JavaOne 2008 day -1: GlassFish un-conference

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On Sunday, May 4 about 50 GlassFish users and developers got together to have some informal sessions about several GlassFish related topics. In the past weeks, anyone planning to attend these sessions got the chance to register themselves on the GlassFish un-conference wiki page. The page lists about 85 people, but I don’t think they all attended. I think the greatest value of this event was to see the faces behind well-known GlassFish names as Eduardo Pelligri and Alexis Moussine-Pouchkine. The one but greatest value, of course, were the sessions themselves.

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Alexis acted as host for the event. The topics for the sessions were put down on a screen and then we got the chance to "register" ourselves for the sessions. I attended three sessions.

OSGi 

The first one was about GlassFish and OSGi. In the past time GlassFish v3 was meant to have a module system based on JSR-277 also known as the Java Module System. Last time I heard about this was on JavaPolis in Antwerp, Belgium, in December 2007. At that time I heard that no integration with OSGi was going to happen. During the session, however, it became clear that even though GlassFish v3 will be based on JSR-277, the module system will also include support for OSGi modules. It is unclear to me if this means that GlassFish modules can also be used in OSGi systems.

One of the questions asked in this session was whether GlassFish will commit code to the OSGi project. Apparently OSGi still uses the Servlet Specification version 2.2 or 2.3 (if I recall correctly) and it would be great if GlassFish would create an OSGi module that is built on the newest Servlet Specification so that other OSGi users can also benefit from it. Eduardo pointed out that this will not be the case any time soon. The GlassFish project is determined to create version 3 as soon as possible and at this time all effort will be put into that.

The GlassFish community 

The next session I attended discussed the GlassFish community. My interest in this discussion mainly was about how social networks like Facebook and LinkedIn can be used to extend the GlassFish community, as well about how Sun can help partners and how partners can help Sun. After a short discussion about another topic we had a nice discussion about Sun and its partners. Eduardo announced some details about a GlassFish partner program that Sun is setting up. I’m sure you’ll hear a lot about this in the next days. This program will initially target ISVs. However, some of the audience including myself showed interest in how Software Integrators (SIs) like AMIS can become a Sun partner. The bottom line is that such a program isn’t completed yet and lots of discussion will have to be done about this. I hope my colleague Lucas Jellema and I will get a chance to talk to Eduardo and GlassFish Product Manager John Clingan about this.

Unfortunately time ran out so we didn’t get a chance to discuss social networks anymore. GlassFish Community Manager Paul Sterk, Peter Berkman and I had a brief discussion on this. Both Peter and Paul felt much for setting up GlassFish groups at social networking sites like LinkedIn. Several other social networks already have GlassFish and other groups, as can be read on this Aquarium post.

OpenESB

The off-session discussion about social networks had a small overlap with the OpenESB session that I wanted to attend. Therefore, I only briefly listened to the plans to also make OpenESB have a module system that hooks into JSR-227 and OSGi, like GlassFish will.

Conclusion

For me, the GlassFish un-conference was very useful. It is great to meet the people behind the names on the mailinglist I’m on. I hope another un-conference will be organised next year. If so, I also hope we can do it in a more quiet place, since at times it was hard to hear what people said because of background noise.

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