Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Oracle Unveils GlassFish Roadmap

Several folks from Oracle had an informal webinar last Thursday to share plans for GlassFish with the community.  While there had been a number of statements from Oracle around the plans for GlassFish and how it would be advanced, an actual roadmap and more specifics had not been shared yet so the community justifiably still had a little angst about what they could expect.

All in all, the roadmap that was shared was consistent with previous statements and more or less what I expected.  There will be minor releases of v3 (errr, just 3.x now, the "v" terminology seems to be gone) that add in some administration, clustering, and high availability features that exist in v2 (err 2.x) and ultimately a GlassFish 4 that would be in sync with the finalization and release of Java EE 7.  Interspersed in the 3.1 and 3.2 releases may also be some additional value add features like Oracle Coherence support and some integration with Oracle Identity Management, all rational things to be adding to try to pull more sales for Fusion middleware.

What wasn't in the roadmap, again as expected, were any features that would increase competition with WebLogic.  Someone asked if Fusion Middleware or Fusion Apps were going to be certified to run on GlassFish and the answer was no.  And the clustering features above are really required to just get back to parity with GlassFish 2.  And the support they are looking to add for Coherence and OIM is really to ensure they can sell Fusion Middleware to GlassFish customers.

Another important change is around naming, distribution, licensing and there is both good and bad news.

First, on naming, the community bits will now be GlassFish Server Open Source Edition and the commercial bits will be Oracle GlassFish Server.  The difference will be that the commercial bits add in value-add features and come with a different license.  The community bits will continue to use the open-source licenses they do today.

The good news is that the commercial bits, including the value add features Sun had for paying customers and presumably the value add features mentioned above in the roadmap, will be available for free download!  This is great as it should generate better awareness of the performance monitor/advisor and enterprise manager.

The bad news is that the commercial bits, as noted above, have a different license for the free download, likely the same or similar to the existing Oracle Technology Network developer license which limits use of the bits to "only for the purpose of developing, testing,  prototyping and demonstrating your application, and not for any other purpose."  This means that unlike the license Sun used for the commercial bits downloaded from, you are not allowed to use the commercial bits in production.

Now, this is likely not that big an issue as the majority of GlassFish users probably downloaded their bits from the community site and weren't getting the commercial bits.  Just keep in mind that with GlassFish Server 3.0.1 downloaded from OTN that while you will now get the add-ons included, you won't be entitled to use it in production.

Interested in other views?  See DZone's summary or vote on the poll on what you think of the roadmap (and see what others think too).  It is interesting that as I write this, the top 2 things folks liked are that GlassFish remains open and the clustering features coming to get parity with v2.  The bottom 2 things are an Oracle supported distro and the interop with other Fusion Middleware.  Interesting.

links for 2010-03-31: Leadership Lessons; Rimini response to Oracle; Gmail and OAuth; Oracle closes loopholes; JumpBox eases apps on EC2; IBM buy Novell?; Apple violated multitouch patent?

Thursday, March 25, 2010

links for 2010-03-25: Redis or SimpleDB?; Oracle extracting revenue from Sun customers; AWS SDK for Java

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

links for 2010-03-23: Cloud Flavors; Java on Android; JavaFX too late?

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Found a bug in Google Chrome with Gmail and Google Charts

I've been using Chrome as my default browser for a few weeks now and generally have liked what I've seen.  There are a few web-sites that don't work, primarily due to plug-in issues, but I came across a strange bug when working with Gmail that is kind of surprising.

There is a labs feature for inserting images into an e-mail that I've used in Firefox for awhile now and it works great.  I can provide a URL to the image and it appears in the sent e-mail just fine.

I had occasion to try this with Chrome last week and to my surprise, it didn't work.  Now, it appeared to work just fine as I was composing as I could insert the image and it appeared in the composition, but the receiver of the e-mail said there were no images.  I looked in my sent e-mails and sure enough, rather than an image there was just a blank box.  I sent an e-mail to myself and the same thing happened.  Just to check, I went back and did it with Firefox and it worked.

So, further inspection was required. I tried copying and pasting from the sent e-mail into an HTML editor and what do you know, the IMG tag was indeed wrong. Rather than:
it was:
[partial url]
A little more investigating revealed that things went wrong if I save the e-mail as a draft and go back to it so it doesn't happen only when the e-mail is sent.

Now, the URL I was using was a very long and complicated one pointing to a chart using Google Charts API.  So I tried it in Chrome with a simpler URL to an image and that worked fine.  So the conclusion is that Chrome somehow can't handle a long URL pointing to Google Charts but Firefox can.

I did submit a bug so we'll see what happens, but has anyone else observed this or a similar problem and have a solution?  For now, I'm using Firefox when sending e-mails like this.

Friday, March 19, 2010

links for 2010-03-19: Russia approves Oracle/Sun; Palm Reports; Tim Bray on Andriod; America's Cup

  • Russia approves Oracle, Sun merger with conditions - Not sure what the condition really means as how can it be proven they continue to develop it?  For what period?  That said, other open-source projects from Sun would have welcomed such conditions given what appear to be their fate.
  • Palm reports results - Not a good trend.
  • Tim Bray interview on Android - "More importantly, because the platform is open source and the APIs to all of the components of Android phones are open, there are no developer NDAs. Programmers who encounter a problem merely need to Google the error code and find answers and solutions in the large development community."
  • Larry Ellison: Make America's Cup about sailing, not money - "This kind of talk is certain to warm the soggy hearts of yacht-racing fans everywhere. Coming, however, from a man who can, and often does, buy whatever he wants, it also seems to stretch credulity."  Ironic to say this after spending $400M to win it himself.  But he does admit that 1 out of every 10 years it is ok to have a free for all like we just had.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

links for 2010-03-18: Elastic Caching Platforms; Whole Web; Google Calendar

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

links for 2010-03-17: Facebook passes Google; Mono on Droid; Switching to Google Apps; Open-source and innovation

Monday, March 15, 2010

links for 2010-03-15: Nexus One Trademark; Google vs Apple;

Friday, March 12, 2010

Data is a Wonderful Thing

The world we live in is generating increasing amounts of data each and every day.  And this is great as when you have the data, you can analyze and graph it in new and interesting ways.  From sports to weather to financials to politics to demographics to who knows what, being able to analyze data, look at trends, and visualize it through graphs, charts, maps, etc. brings tremendous power and insight.

Some examples of interesting data or analysis thereof I've come across in just the past week or so:
Stay tuned, I'll continue to share interesting data and applications of it I come across.

links for 2010-03-12: Patents and Startups; Economics 101; Strange Maps

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Thoughts on Google Chrome

After getting frustrated with a few issues with Firefox, I decided to spend a week using Google Chrome as my primary browser to see how I liked it.  Well, here are my observations.

Things I like:
  • In general, it does seem a bit snappier than Firefox.
  • I have not had it end up using half of my machines CPU like I was observing on occasion with Firefox.
  • I like the "minimalist" decorations/toolbars around the page giving more real estate to the page than I had with Firefox.
  • Single box for URLs and searching.  It isn't a big deal but just typing in one place rather than having a separate search box is a little easier.
  • Independent processes for each tab.  Should some page become a runaway, I can kill just it rather than having to hunt to find out which one and/or restart the whole browser.
  • Bookmarks toolbar that can be turned off by default but appears when you open a new tab.  Another way to increase real estate for displaying web pages.
Things I don't like or are different:
  • When using page-up/down the overlap from the previous page seems to be about 10% which is more than I'm used to and I think I'd prefer the roughly 5% that Firefox has.  For example, with normal sized text, paging down results in the last 5-6 lines from the previous page being shown at the top of the new page and this feels like too much.  I haven't seen an easy way to configure this but imagine there is something somewhere.
  • I like the "Quick Find" feature of Firefox where you can quickly search in a page by typing "/" followed by the text.  It isn't that much more work to just use Ctrl/Cmd-F so it is more just relearning to not use "/".
  • If you accidently close a tab, it does appear in the History menu, but selecting it goes to that URL in the current tab, it doesn't open a new tab.  This is kind of annoying as getting back to where you were requires opening a new tab then selecting the recently closed tab URL.
  • Microsoft Silverlight doesn't seem to work in Chrome.  It appears there may be a beta that adds support.
  • Without a separate search box, you can't have plugins to use other search engines/sites.
I'm sure there is much more, and any hints or tips are welcome.  For now, I'm sticking with Chrome at least a little longer as it is working for me.  How about you?

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

links for 2010-03-10: Google Public Data Explorer; iPhone Dev Agreement; Distributed companies

Monday, March 8, 2010

links for 2010-03-08: NY Times Math Blog; Drizzle to Rackspace; OS X falls, Windows rises

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

links for 2010-03-03: USPS and Saturday delivery; Apple vs HTC and Google

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

links for 2010-03-02: Chile quake changes time; Data everywhere

  • Chile quake may have tipped Earth's axis - And doing so may result in each day being 1.26 microseconds shorter.
  • Data, data everywhere - '“We are at a different period because of so much information,” says James Cortada of IBM, who has written a couple of dozen books on the history of information in society. Joe Hellerstein, a computer scientist at the University of California in Berkeley, calls it “the industrial revolution of data”.'

Monday, March 1, 2010

links for 2010-03-01: Liferay adopts LGPL; Oracle on Cloud; Google Facts; Intel uses IE 6!; Hollywood and digital downloads

Switching to Chrome from Firefox (for a week at least)

I've had periodic issues with Firefox where it will suddenly start using a significant amount of the CPU for no apparent reason.  I'm not watching any video or viewing any pages that would indicate an issue.  Sometimes closing some tabs helps, but often the only solution is to quit out of Firefox and restart.  Upon restarting all the same pages open and the CPU is fine.

I have installed and played with Google Chrome for awhile now but had continued using Firefox as my default browser, but for this week I've committed to using Chrome as my default browser.  I'll post my thoughts and what I plan to stick with at the end of the week.

FWIW, when I tweeted my plan to use Chrome for a week, @firefox_answers did respond with some helpful info to try to make Firefox behave better, that being:

  1. Test Firefox plug-ins
  2. Test extensions
  3. Try a fresh profile
There was a Flash plug-in update I didn't have but doubt that is the issue, and I'm not interested in testing out #2 or #3 as the problem doesn't happen consistently.  Also, given how often this suggestion comes from @firefox_answers I suspect there are quite a few issues.

Anyway, stay tuned.