Humor lost...

Posted by Jim Jagielski on Wednesday, November 28. 2007 in Junk Drawer

It's a shame, but the tongue-in-cheek nature of my Invitations post appears to have been lost on some people... I guess those who know me, caught the humor in it immediately, whereas others may not have caught it at all... Hopefully, this clears *that* up :-)
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Marc responds

Posted by Jim Jagielski on Tuesday, November 27. 2007 in ASF

I was pleasantly surprised to discover that Marc responded to my blog entry. Although it appears that despite my (tongue-in-cheek) suggestion, the ASF will not be receiving an ASF sponsorship check from him anytime soon, Marc does make a few comments which I feel need to be addressed (and one "comment" which I won't even honor with so much as another word). His 4 main points appear to be: (1) How can people claim to speak for the "community" when that is such a nebulous term; (2) that the concept of "community over code" is a mistake (at least, this is my interpretation of some of Marc's post, an interpretation shared by others; (3) that the ASF has some sort of historical hostility to Java and (4) that the BSD-type license is wrong, or, at least, has not proven to be a viable license. Items 2 and 4 deserve a post of their own, so I won't bother addressing them here, but the remaining 2 are easy to clarify. First of all, the ASF does not claim to speak for "the" community but rather for "our" community. The entire Open Source community is more varied and beautiful than just a single interpretation of "community." In fact, I liken the FOSS community as an analog to nature itself; with different species and forms combining to create a rich tapestry. But certainly, continuing with the nature-analogy, one can speak for the "mammalian class" without claiming to speak for others as well. That is what the ASF does; it speaks for a class of the FOSS community that shares a core set of fundamentals, and, as such, has shown itself to be a very successful class. No more, no less. And finally, how anyone can look at the ASF of today and claim that there is some sort of "hostility" or "bias" towards Java is mind-boggling. In fact, I would claim that the ASF's involvement within the JCP and the JCP EC have done more to help Java that any other open source "community" out there. Why an organization which is "hostile" to a technology would go to such pains to ensure the continued viability and universality of that technology flies in the face of logic and common sense. Maybe this perceived "hostility" is due to the fact that, for the most part, ASF developers are self-thinkers, and realize that as great as Java is, it has warts; that as with all languages and technologies, it has advantages and disadvantages; that languages are tools and some tools are better for some tasks than others. I don't consider the fact that people who use Java also know (and use and love) Python, or Groovy, or Ruby or what-have-you as being "hostile" to Java at all. The fact that the ASF is language neutral, that "we" welcome codebases based on lots of languages is not hostility, it's openness.
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I evaluate my sessions at ApacheCon

Posted by Jim Jagielski on Tuesday, November 20. 2007 in Junk Drawer

At this year's ApacheCon event, I had 3 sessions: The State Of The Feather, What's New In Apache 2.2, and Advanced Load Balancing In Apache 2.2. Overall, I think I could have done better... Not so much on the actual content itself, but the actual presentation aspects. First of all, I don't get nervous in front of a crowd, so I have no real issue speaking in front of an audience. But I do tend to focus more on the feedback from the audience than maybe I should... for example, if I see a lot of confused faces, I try to figure out what they are confused about and drift off a bit on a tangent to hopefully address that confusion. What I do tend to do as well, is try to fit all the content in during the timeframe given, even if, due to external circumstances, that isn't feasible anymore. So instead of skipping sections, I rush through on the assumption that something is better than nothing. My first talk is a perfect example. It was scheduled to start at 9 with Doc Searls taking over at 9:30. Knowing how things go, I set the talk to last for about 20 minutes, knowing that we would start a little late. Unfortunately, Rich went a little long, leaving me quite a short timeframe to go through things. Since Doc was one of our keynoters, I for sure wasn't going to grab some of his time. So I knuckled under and picked up the pace and squeezed the whole preso into a timeslot that would have been more comfortable with an extra 5 minutes or so. That doesn't sound like a lot of time, but believe me, it is. After the fact, most of the comments I heard were "very good presentation, but a little rushed"... yeah, I know :-) My next was my What's New In 2.2 talk, also at 9am. I think this went well, since the topics that I just glanced over (authn/authz and proxy) had their own sessions the next day. I was pleasantly surprised that it was a packed room. My final was the last day of the conference, at 3pm (2nd to last session). I was shocked to see that this was also a packed room. Unfortunately, I had a cold coming and tended to get dry in the mouth. Plus, I think that some attendees thought it was an introduction to reverse proxying, rather than a review of the new features in the proxy module, which threw me off a bit. I wasn't happy with how it went, but still, I got some good feedback after the talk, and many people came up to me with questions afterwards. So maybe it wasn't *that* bad. All in all, I'll wait to see what kind of marks I get in the speaker evaluations... Hopefully, I won't be *too* embarrassed or disappointed.
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Invitations

Posted by Jim Jagielski on Monday, November 19. 2007 in Junk Drawer

It appears that Marc Fleury attended ApacheCon this year (for all you out there who have no idea who Marc Fleury is, he was the owner of the JBoss company). In his blog he laments that he had no idea that ApacheCon was in town, and surmises that his invitation to the event was lost in the mail. This surprises me, for a couple of reasons. First of all, I would assume that someone who became a multimillionaire based on the sale of a company whose products were, for a non-insignificant amount at all, leveraging and bundling ASF codebases, Marc would at least have a passing interest in what was going on within the ASF. It would make sense to me to follow the goings-in within a community that was at least partially responsible for my success... I guess not... And secondly, I don't think his invitation was lost in the mail, because I'm not sure what kind of conference Marc thinks ApacheCon is, that one requires an "invitation" to attend. I've attended lots and lots of conferences without receiving a written invitation to do so; heck, I've always considered the announcement of a conference as an implied invitation. I hate to think now that I've been such a rude conference attendee (and speaker, presenter, etc..) bursting in uninvited! How Borat! Anyway, since all the above implies that Marc doesn't follow the events of the ASF, he is most likely unaware of the Apache Sponsorship Program. This is a way for corporations, and entities, and people to show their support for the ASF by making non-directed financial donations to the ASF. So Marc, how about becoming an ASF sponsor? I figure that the Platinum Sponsor (at $100,000) is the right level. The donation would only be a bit over 0.06% of what you personally made off the JBoss deal, which is an amount I hope you could afford. If money is tight (and with the holiday season right around the corner, that's perfectly understandable), then maybe the Gold level ($40,000) is the right fit, at just 0.026%. Please don't hesitate to contact the ASF's fundraising team if interested. Heck, you can even contact me directly if you like. In fact, I'll even mail out a written invitation to sweeten the deal.
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ApacheCon - Day 2

Posted by Jim Jagielski on Thursday, November 15. 2007 in ASF

Today is the 2nd day of ApacheCon... well, maybe I should say "2nd" day, because it's only the 2nd day of the conference itself, but not the full AC event itself. And for me, having arrived on Monday, it's day "4". OK, I admit it, I have no idea what day it is. Sounds like a successful conference, right? In fact, AC US really is a success. It seems that people are generally very happy and pleased with the diversity of sessions and the quality of the presentations (and presenters). I know that every session I've attended, I've learned at least one very useful thing and, much more often than not, learned a bunch of new stuff. Personally, I have 2 out of my 3 talks done. The 1st was the State of the Feather and I went through that more quickly that I would have liked, but I wanted to give Doc Searls his full time slot, and my talk ending up starting a bit later than expected. My 2nd talk was this morning and the ungodly hour of 9am. Even so, I had a packed room, which was unexpected but very very nice. My third and last is tomorrow in the afternoon. It's about the "cool new" load balancing proxy features of Apache 2.2, but the irony is that Paul Querna added a new module to trunk called mod_serf which is a (at present) bare-bones proxy module built using serf. It certainly doesn't have nearly the feature set of 2.2 and trunk's proxy module, but it is a cool initial step. I think he did it to spite me :-)
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