Burr Sutter Speaks at Philly JBUG

My company, Tripod Technologies, hosted the first Philadelphia JBoss User Group meeting this past Tuesday. We had Burr Sutter from JBoss speak on JBoss ESB. In case you are not familiar with Burr, he is a current Java champion, founder of the Atlanta JUG and manager of the JBoss ESB team.

I was a little apprehensive about how many people we would get for this meeting, given that the group has been dormant for a while. As it turns out, about forty people showed up at the Unisys center in Malvern, PA. Not a bad turnout for the first meeting of a “specialty” user group. Let’s hope we can keep up the momentum. To that end, I’m trying my best to schedule someone else of Burr’s caliber to come and speak. Among other things, I’m thinking of having someone speak about JBoss Seam and Groovy. I’m hoping to get a session or two in for EJB 3 as well.

I was really impressed by Burr’s presentation too. I think this is the first time I’ve seen a coherent, unambiguous view of what ESB really is. I can only imagine that this clarity translates to the vision and implementation of the JBoss ESB product as well, although I haven’t gotten a chance to play around with it first-hand myself. The Philly JBUG site will post a copy of his excellent presentation soon (right now we are a little limited for hosting space). For now, you can download it from my website.

If you attended the meeting, I hope you liked what you saw and will spread the word. We are trying our best to deliver something that is useful to the overall Java community in Philly. I think this means reaching beyond the world of purely JBoss-centric talks. Another interesting idea is to have people in the local area talk about cool work that they do at their job. Personally, I’ve always found that very insightful rather than hearing about yet another product or technology I may or may not use. It gives “ordinary” developers a chance to showcase what they’ve accomplished too and gives me a good idea of what is going on in the local area.

If you are so inclined, do send me feedback about the JBUG. I’d really like to hear what people out there are really interested in getting out of user groups. I’m especially interested in knowing about specific speakers and topics you’d like to see at the Philly JBUG.

Launching an EJB Community Site

Having emerged from writing EJB 3 in Action, both I and my co-author Debu Panda were feeling a slight void this past month or so. This past week, an interesting thought filled the void–starting an open-source style community site surrounding the EJB ecosystem.

A similar idea was pursued by Kito Mann when he launched JSF central. JSF central aims to provide something Sun can’t provide because they are a big business, Server-side, Javalobby or Java.net can’t provide because their focus is too broad and Apache MyFaces can’t provide because they are a specific implementation of the JSF standard. JSF central essentially provides a community centered around a pretty widely-used Java standard. We think the next logical candidate for this great idea is EJB 3. In fact, I believe server-side was originally rooted around EJB 2.1 but eventually broadened its focus (please feel free correct me if this is not true).

True to Kito’s original idea, we are thinking of calling the website EJB central. Similar to JSF central, we are planning to have news, articles, books, EJB 3 products and resources sections. In addition, we also want to have forums, project spotlights for the early adopters of EJB 3 and an incubator for solutions around EJB 3 such as patterns, APIs, reusable components and interceptors. Perhaps most interestingly, we are thinking of creating a lightweight EJB 3 tutorial maintained by the community.

Like Wikipedia, any registered community member will be able
to contribute to the EJB 3 tutorial including adding content, refining code samples or just proofeading. We are hoping to create one of the best resources for learning EJB 3 effectively with the active help of energetic and altruistic “committers” to the tutorial. Initially I and Debu will seed the content and see where things gravitate…

Once we hash around a few more ideas, we’ll probaby start the hard work of creating the template/content, registering the domain and finding a suitable host very soon. The site is going to be written on a JSF/EJB 3 stack (what could be more appropriate? :)). We haven’t decided on a container quite yet, but I’m seriously eye-balling OpenEJB.

If you have a helpful idea or comment, definitely drop me note!