May 31, 2003
Saturday blues: Blogging the German soccer cup final: After the first half, 1 FC Kaiserslautern is trailing Bayern München 0:2. 2 Early goals seem to have sealed the game already. 2nd half has just begun and it's now 3:0 for Bayern München. I grew up in Germany near Kaiserslautern and so I feel for them.I've now moved to the garden to sit outside as the weather is so nice. Rather sit here and blog and listen to the kids shout every time a goal is scored. Now it's only a question of how high they lose I suppose. Over: 3:1 for München. Congratulations.
May 30, 2003
Udell speaks: Here are the slides from Jon Udell's keynote at OSCOM from today. Well worth a read. He quotes:
Brent's Law of CMS URLs: the more expensive the CMS, the crappier the URLs
Ants at the gate
Ants at the gate: Forget Barbarians, we have been invaded by ants. I put down baking powder accross their path..but will it help..only time will tell. Email me any other tips!!
Busy day: Really busy today preparing a customer presentation for next week. Should be quite interesting as we want to show that Cocoon and other open source technologies can be used to build an XML based online-shop-system that can stand up with the "big ones". True to the spirit we hope that our tactic of "well we don't have a finished system - but hey look what Cocoon and open source will get you" will win this large company over. Perhaps I should go in wearing a pirate T-shirt.
May 29, 2003
HAL not IBM!
HAL not IBM: Just saw an interesting interview on BBC World TV with Sir Arthur C Clarke. In the interview he debunked the theory that HAL had anything to do with IBM (because of the letters). "If I had realized - I would have changed the name". But we know different - don't we! I also didn't know that Tim Berners Lee calls Sir Arthur the Godfather of the Net - because of the story "Dial F for Frankenstein", published in Playboy magazine in 1963.
Stefano's Journey: Stefano is doing something interesting. Knowing him, Cocoon 3.0 will be sketched onto some piece of wood he finds along the way.
OSCOM blogs: Looks like the blogging has picked up today at OSCOM. Start here for some links.
Bliss'ness: A warm Summer evening here and I'm outside in the garden surfing and posting from my (new) garden chair. What more can you want?
Extending Referers: While looking at the referer log for this weblog I always think the google-related ones are pretty interesting. Wouldn't it be great if referers contained more information like the date and time the search was submitted. How about being able to see who searched? Not sure how you would do this (optional search field perhaps) - but it would certainly be interesting to see.
Weak links revisited
Weak links revisited: Frank wrote me a mail yesterday asking what I meant with "weak links". Here is a very simplistic description of how weak links work. Check my book list on the right for further reading.
A rough-and-ready explanation - but enough to get the idea I hope.
Every one of us belongs to one or more social clusters. The people we work with or the close friends we have make up these clusters. In general everyone in the cluster has strong links to every one else. Frank belongs to my cluster because I have strong links to him.
But every one of us also has weak links to other clusters. So, let's say last year I met Erik Hatcher at OSCON. Since then I have had a weak link with him (the occasional mail or weblog cross-post). Erik belongs to his own cluster of friends and work-colleagues.
The network theorists have found out that is actually the weak links that can be very important and in fact you should make sure you gather as many weak links as possible.
Why? Let's look at an example. Say I was looking for someone to invest in my soon-to-founded open source service company (it's only an example) - if I contact people in my social cluster then chances are the "news" will only travel within that cluster and so I will only be able to reach a limited audience. In order to get the "news" to travel far and wide and reach as many people as possible, I need to send that information over a weak link (so in this example, I would perhaps send Erik an email) - so that it reaches other clusters I have no stong ties to. The information uses the weak link to jump clusters!
Something else to think about is corporate marketing. If I only use the strong links (i.e. the customers I already have) then chances are they already know what I offer anyway - so the chances are slim that I will reach new markets that way. However if I find a weak link (perhaps via an affiliated company that has it's own customer base) I can reach other clusters of companies that are perhaps open to my offer.
That's one of the reasons I write weblogs - in order to form more weak links. When I wrote about Lotus Notes as a weblog tool not so far back I got lots of feedback from the Notes community. A cluster of "people" I would not have been able to reach where it not for the weak-linking of weblogs.
He made it
He made it: Guido seems to have made it to OSCOM, although it looks as though Net access is not easy to get hold of.
Upbeat: You may have noticed that I've changed the byline of this weblog. I decided that the previous one was too "down". In "Pirates of Silicon Valley", Steve Jobs is quoted with the line "We're here to make a dent in the universe". Speaking of which, where can I get a pirate flag :-).
Father's day: It's a public holiday and Father's day here in Germany - so I'm home. Actually these sort of days have some funny effect on the kids and it makes them wake up and get up earlier than on school-days (when we have to drag them out of bed). So, my wish to be gently woken at 9am this morning, fizzled when - at around 6:30 am - the hordes awoke.
May 28, 2003
Weak links: Note to self: Make use of the weak links. Reading up on network theory and related topics - this simple - yet effective - tip needs to written on every desk.
Pied Piper: Today's Pied Piper makes YuGiOh cards. I'm not sure what it's like in other countries - but here in Germany the kids are all hooked on these pieces of card. I was really impressed when Magic came out - but could never find anyone else to play against. So my deck ended up in trash and I never really worked out the rules. Now it seems as though Konami got it right - a whole franchise based on the YuGiOh theme (TV, video, gambeoy game, trading card, toys). I have no idea what it's actually about - but I do know that the kids have gone mad. The cards are constantly sold out (at amazing prices) and the schools are now full of kids swapping, buying, stealing cards from each other.
May 27, 2003
Open source - have you missed the boat?
Open source - have you missed the boat? An O'Reilly article on the subject of the increased interest in open source.
BoatBlogging: Mum returns
BoatBlogging: Mum has just returned from a long weekend "on a boat". Before she went, I suggested she take her laptop with her and write down some entries she could then post when she got back. Very Good! Here's a teaser:
I keep forgetting where my stuff is! I have 2 bags with me, including the laptop’s and I thought it would be easier to keep all the small things in the bags so I wouldn’t lose anything in the teeny tiny cupboards that abound.Well, I lose stuff in the bags too. Incredible how something inanimate travels overnight from one bag to the other.
Venture Capitalist on Open Source
Venture Capitalist on Open Source: Excellent piece by David Hornik over on VentureBlog.
"There can be little doubt that the influence of the open source movement on the overall high tech landscape will continue to grow and leave some bodies in its wake."
Editing HTML in Eclipse
Editing HTML in Eclipse: Looking for an Eclipse Plugin that will help me edit HTML files (doesn't need to be perfect). Any ideas?
Later: Thanks TomK.
Allergies: Nicolas (4) is allergic to mosquito bites. This means that when he's bitten, the bite swells up to the size of a small egg. Unfortunately he is often bitten several times. On one occasion last year - he had over 20. Last year we tried a set of herbal treatments, spraying the room every night, sticking an anti-mosquito device into the wall socket... This year we've bought a mosquito net to hang over his bed. Any other suggestions?
Cambridge bound: Guido is in the air somewhere on his way to Cambridge for OSCOM. Lots of interesting people are going and it's sure to be very interesting. Hopefully there will be some form of Net access there and Guido can report back :-). Other people I know are going: Sam, Dave. If you're looking for Guido - he'll be here at least.
Vienna trip: Some time ago I quoted the old song "Vienna" in my weblog. It now looks as though I will be going there at the end of June to do some Cocoon training. Hopefully I will also be able to attend the Cocoon Stammtisch which our Austrian Cocoon friends are planning.
May 26, 2003
Pirating the Noosphere
Pirating the Noosphere: I watched "Pirates of Silicon Valley" last night and was struck by the similarities of the microcomputers challenge to IBM back then and how open source is now challenging proprietary software today.
Later: Ok, the title of the post doesn't really fit - but it was the first thing that came to mind.
SAP gives up on databases
SAP gives up on databases: This news has been floating around since last week - but today Handelsblatt has this German article on SAP selling their database to MySQL. The next generation of MySQL will then be something built out of SAPDB.
May 24, 2003
Open Source Content Management arrives
May 23, 2003
Can't get away
Can't get away: I actually took a day off today - but work seems to have followed me home. Bah.
May 22, 2003
Book of Blog
On a side note - wouldn't it have been a better idea to have published the whole book as say a PDF file and then asked for donations?
Austrian evening: Out last night with Andreas Hochsteger and colleagues here in Paderborn. Lots of talk about Cocoon, RSS and other topics. Actually a very fun evening. Our guests had to get up at 3am this morning to catch their flight back to Vienna - I'm doubting they got any sleep ..
May 21, 2003
BlogTalk sponsors: Take a look at the sponsor list for the European Blogging conference, scheduled for this weekend in Vienna. Notice anything interesting?
West Wing Update
West Wing Update: I haven't written much about watching West Wing for fear of boring you all. Anyway - yesterday I watched the last 2 epsiodes of the current (4th) season. What a cliffhanger! When does the next season start?
May 20, 2003
Don't panic - this is only a simulation
Don't panic - this is only a simulation: Nick Bostrom PhD, has written on why this may all be a simulation. A briefer version is here. David Weinberger comments here. Methinks this is almost certainly a plot by the Matrix brothers. Of course that's also what they may have programmed me to think I should think. Blink.
Jax pictures: More pictures from Jax are here.
Wikis gaining attention
Wikis gaining attention: There seems to be a current wave of Wikiness going on.Wikis are being mentioned and linked to in various places on the web and gaining visibility fast. I mentioned them last week at jax in my talk: "Penguins are human too" and it was fun to watch a room packed with people resonate with the collective sound of jaws hitting the floor.."you mean anyone can write in them..but doesn't that mean..".
You too can be famous
You too can be famous: Read all about "The Star Wars Kid". The interesting part being that the fans have collected over 2000$ they want to give him. Now where did I put that home video .....
iSync and 3650
Russell gives up
Russell gives up: Russell has given up on Cocoon. A pity. At the weekend I told him to ask around in the Cocoon community for ideas on solving the encoding problems he was having. Cocoon is not a system designed for rapid prototyping and the learning curve is steep at the beginning - but the community will (and can) help.
Good morning Europe!
Good morning Europe! Slowly resurfacing after Jax and sifting through the cumulated web debris.
May 16, 2003
Weekend away: No blogging until Monday as we are away over the weekend. Talk amongst yourselves until then. Have a good one!
Jax pics: More pics from Jax. Enjoy.
Christian Gross talks to Masoud Kamali while Carsten is amused at something.
Giacomo Pati and Pier Fumagalli take a shot of me taking a shot of them...
Michael Kloss and Peter Rossbach waiting for Massimo to start his Avalon presentation.
Jax windup: I wrote a roundup of Jax for the Cocoon mailing-list here. Today I am just plain tired and trying to wade through what got left behind this week. Being at Jax and talking to many many interesting people has my brain cells firing in all directions. I'll post a couple more pictures later.
May 15, 2003
Winding down: Last day at Jax and this looks like being a slow day. We are not doing any presentations but there are a couple of interesting ones to go and see. Christian Gross is doing Lucene and Massimo is doing a presentation on Avalon. Massimo has the last slot of the day - as we did last year. Carsten and I will be going and hopefully all the others haven't left by then :-).
Pier's presentation on "The Apache Way" (my title) was good. Very good. In fact it was a natural follow on from my penguin talk. He showed the origins of Apache and talked a lot about community driven development. I like that. He also explained the origins of the "jakarta" name - which is a story in itself (back in 1998 (?) the Apache guys met with Sun in a meeting room in a building called "Jakarta"). Has the story been published somewhere already (send me a link if you know)? Great to also meet Pier in person too.
May 14, 2003
Evening Keynote and program
And I'm still the only person in the keynote with a laptop on his lap!
Cocoon coverage: Already, and there is still a day to go at Jax - Cocoon is here! It's is being mentioned in sessions that don't even directly talk about it. Christian talked about using Cocoon to parse SOAP messages in his SOAP talks. Lots of peope are talking to us about using Cocoon, or deciding on whether to use Jetspeed or the Cocoon portal. Of course the decision is easy :-) . Last year it was completely different - Cocoon was in a niche - and a small one at that. This year it's nearly on a par with Struts, Jetspeed and the other more "popular" projects. The conference people are talking about raising the number of Cocoon sessions next time round.
SOAP Session: Went to see Christian's SOAP session which was rather good. Apart from just showing slides he added bits and pieces like hacking an example into notepad or doing a hands-on example by passing pages around in the audience.
Meeting people: Met and chatted to Christian Gross yesterday. He'll be at OSCON as well. So, my first date for a breakfast is set.
Lunchbreak: Lunchbreak at Jax and my presentations are over. Time to relax :-). "RSS and Cocoon" was good and around 20 people attended. Syndicating enterprise data with RSS is a theme where the interest is sure to grow. And Cocoon is the ideal platform for setting up enterprise wide RSS infrastructures.
RSS and Cocoon
RSS and Cocoon: Just about to start and I want to check the connection as I will be doing a quick demo to show how weblogs produce RSS.
Jax pictures: Just a quick upload of two pictures taken on my 3650 from Jax.
This was taken on Sunday evening an shows Masoud Kamali, the boss of Software & Support Verlag (they are putting on the conference). Of course he's smiling because the conference hasn't started yet.
And here they are, Otego! Massimo and Giacomo looking very "worldly".
Good morning from Jax
Good morning from Jax: Second day of the Jax conference and I'm blooging from one of the session rooms where a session on Model Driven Architecture is about to start. Actually I'm also preparing my next session on RSS and Cocooon - so I won't be taking much in.
Last night's session on "Penguins are human too" went well and the room was full with around 50 people. I basically talked about our 2 years of experience working with and in open source. There were some interesting discussions afterwards.
Pier Fumagalli is here too and there were long and interesting discussion on servlet engines, Apache licencing until well into the night.
May 13, 2003
Wireless Java: Keynote from Klaus Bergius (Sun).
Testing: I'm on a testing role today. Now sitting in: "Functional Tests with HTTPUnit and WebTest". In parallel, Carsten is presenting the Cocoon portal. It will be interesting to see how many people are in that one. The presentation before his was Jetspeed - which was packed.
JMS Session: Sitting in a presentation on JMS. Done by someone by Sonic Software it will hopefully not turn out to be too much of a product presentation. At the momen he's blabbing on about the company.
Anyone out there?
Anyone out there?: Is there anyone else blogging Jax? I haven't seen anyone else blogging yet. In fact I 'm normally the only person using a laptop during a sesssion. Different from US conferences methinks.
Don't stress me
Don't stress me: Now sitting in a session on using Jstress.
Later: Ok, it's not about the open source tool but about a tool with the same name but developed in a company.
Full up: Jax is booked out completely. Breaks are hell because you can't even get to the coffee. Moving from one side of the hotel to the other takes about 10 minutes of pushing through other Jaxians who are moving in the opposite direction ..
Introducing Cocoon: Sitting in Carsten's presentation to see how many people show up. The first keynote was <yawn/> - Khawar Ahmed spoke on Model Driven Development. He's from Rational and you can probably guess what the presentation was like.
Carsten's just about to start and we have 50 in the room. Cool, no-one (except 1) is already using Cocoon - so it's all new material :-).
Finishing: Nearly over and the number of people has increased to around 60.
Good morning from Jax 2003
Good morning from Jax 2003: Blogging from the lobby where wireless access is good. We have a booth here so my colleagues are setting it up at the moment. Last night was Speaker's Evening Out where we all went out for a meal. Interesting talks with Giacomo Pati, Massimo Sonego and others. Keynote starts in a moment and then the sessions start.
May 12, 2003
Lunch-break: Around 40 people are in our workshop showing that interest in Cocoon has grown a lot since last year. Quite a lot of faces we recognize from last year or from other places which is great.
Anyone coming? According to the people here we can expect around 30 people. The Struts workshop which is accross the floor looks as though it will attract more people. But Cocoon is catching up fast.
Good morning Europe!
Good morning Europe: Blogging from JAX in Frankfurt where our Cocoon Powerworkshop is scheduled to start at 9am. Hopefully someone will show up :-).
May 11, 2003
Travelling: Getting ready for the drive down to Frankfurt for JAX. Tomorrow is our Cocoon Power-Workshop where we will try and fit 3 days traning into a days workshop. Should be interesting. There are also rumors we will be giving away a free book or two....Not sure what the wireless situation will be down there. Last year it was patchy at best (and you had to purchase air-time).
May 09, 2003
- No one owns it.
- Everyone can use it.
- Anyone can improve it.
Applying these three virtues to an open source project such as Cocoon and I only need to make one small change:
- No one owns it.
- Everyone can use it.
- Everyone should improve it.
I'll take WiFi with that
I'll take WiFi with that: T-Mobile (US) are now offering unlimited WiFi access as an add-on to their normal mobile subscription.
Blogs on Google
May 08, 2003
RSS demo: I'll be speaking about Cocoon and RSS at Jax next week and I am thinking about doing a demo at the end of the presentation (breaking the #1 law of presentations - "Never do a real demo - it will fail on you"). The presentation is to focus on other uses of RSS (i.e. for example publishing job vacancies) and so I am wondering what to do. Any ideas out there? I could extract data out of the HSQL database and then publish that as RSS - but that idea is a bit "yawn". Needs to be simple - but effective - if you know what I mean.
He's back: Our roving XML reporter returns from XML Europe and writes up his thoughts. Seems to have been an interesting time and underlines what I said last year about OSCON: Meeting the people is at least - if not more - valuable than attending the sessions.
May 07, 2003
Daily Debriefing - Get up to speed on Open Source. This BOF is entended to give new participants a chance to get up to speed on various issues and ideas around open source in general and talk to fellow attendees who are new to the ideas attendees will hear throughout the conference.
I plan on doing some of my Penguins are Human too stuff. So you better be there...or...
May 06, 2003
Lifting the curtain
Lifting the curtain: Tonight we lifted the curtain a bit on the new version of the Cocoon portal we are currently working on, together with several customers. Tomorrow the current codebase of the new portal will be donated back to the Cocoon project. What we currently is have is a higly flexible rendering engine for portal-type layouts (not limited to being used in an actual portal). Stuff like tabbed layouts, tables in tables, multi-column spanning coplets (or portlets if you prefer), coplets that can be made full screen etc. A whole bag of goodies - already. In the next few weeks we will be adding more bits and pieces - but we wanted to get it out there early. This wouldn't have been possible without the support of other interested parties already using the current portal and who were interested in moving it to the next level. Thanks.
Sam on using his software
Sam on using his software: "If it breaks, you get to keep both halves". Smile. Link.
Hotel booked: Ok, I booked my hotel for OSCON. I'll be in Portland from July 5th to the 12th.
Steve, the author
Steve, the author: Steve is joining the ranks of us book authors :-). Welcome.
Can't register: I wanted to register for OSCON - but the process fails after I enter credit card information - no error details - just a 404. Help.
May 03, 2003
Must haves: Russell has posted a great overview of must have 3650 software. He likes the new Opera browser for the mobile - and I still haven't got round to installing it.
Getting there: I've just finished work on the second presentation for Jax: RSS and Cocoon. I'll be introducing RSS and talking about how corporate data can also be published in RSS to utilize the infrastructure that's already available. Cocoon is a good base to use if you're interested in publishing your data as RSS or if you want to build say a centralized Intrantet RSS aggregator. In fact it's so easy that it would take you under a day to build one (leaving out the 25 people it takes to define the layout).
May 02, 2003
G'day Marcus: Just noticed that Marcus and Michael are spending some weeks "back home" - which for them is Australia! Hope you have some fun guys! Wow - they left on Thursday and arrived on Saturday? That's global travel for you.
Don't have kids
Don't have kids: (I'm joking). At the moment the family is away for a couple of days and if you want to know what it's like with 3 - then Frank can now tell you. They're back tomorrow so I'm having a ... umm.... quiet evening.
Social faces: Something I particularly like about events like Jax and OSCON is the fact that I get to meet people again. Working in open source area brings down certain barriers that exist in the normal world of customer-relations - so meeting customers that are using open source is always more fun. It loses that sense of "we have to sell you something" and "here are our new shiny brochures" and becomes more of a peer-conversation. Of course we're out to sell something in the end - and creating new business is important - but its more... relaxed. For want of a better word. Something that is hard to get other people to understand.
An example: This morning I chatted for an hour on the phone to someone I've never met personally and who works in one of the major telcos in Europe. They're using Cocoon and so we spent basically the hour where he told me what they had done and what issues they had and so on. I told him what we did and gave him a couple of answers to questions he had. Now hopefully, we'll be meeting up at Jax for a further talk and of course in the end it would be great if we could get into some business relationship. But for now it's someone who is using Cocoon and wants to know how to carry on and how to avoid certain mistakes. And you can bet that he'll get that from us without me saying up front "well that will be xxx € an hour before I talk to you".
The interesting thing is that in the end this will pay off. In fact we had the first contact with many customers we now have some months ago. Then there was a lull when they tried things out themselves and now - once they've worked out that open source can get the job done - they come back.
Hard to explain to people more involved in traditional marketing and something that perhaps you have to have experienced to really understand. People like Steven will hopefully agree with this.
Jax preview: Only about a week to go to Jax and we completed the Cocoon power workshop presentation today. Now fitting a weeks Cocoon training into a day is not easy and so something had to go. In the end we decided to leave out the programming side of Cocoon (i.e. building your own components) and focus on showing the big picture of Cocoon from a more user-oriented point of view. So. if you're coming, then you're in for around 200 slides and hopefully a day full of interesting information about Cocoon. The workshop will be in German - but the slides are in English. If you're interested in having something like this on-site or even a longer Cocoon training - then drop me a line.
Gaming awe: Tonight I was struck with gaming awe. It's been a long time since I saw a game that made me go "wow" and more so - was one I could actually get into for any length of time. Most of the titles that come out are sort of ho-hum. Interesting for about 5 minutes. The kids seem to like them so perhaps I'm just too old now. Anyway, today I went and bought Zelda, Windwaker for my Gamecube. There's been a lot of talk about it, I'd seen some of it on TV and it's getting good reviews. Now, I never played any of the previous Zeldas, even on my trusty N64, so I was a little hesitant. However. It rocks. The graphics are superb, even though the use of cell-shading was criticized beforehand. The gameplay (as far as I've played) is just right for me with things moving along at my pace - instead of my pace being driven by the game. Anyway - if you've got a Gamecube - get Zelda. And if you're wondering which console to get - get the Gamecube and then get Zelda. You won't regret it.
May 01, 2003
That's it: Although not through with what I wanted to finish today - I've given up. Going to do something fun now - for a change.
New lease: I've just renewed my Radio Userland licence for another year. Although I don't think Radio ist the ideal solution for blogging (Movable Type is a better and more complete product in my opinion), the problem is that switching tools is not exactly easy if you can't do any hosting yourself. So for the time being I will be sticking with Radio - although I'm looking forward to seeing TypePad launched.
Afternoon break: So far today, I wrote my first Cocoon Flow example, wrote a short introductory presentation on the flow stuff and repackaged 200 Powerpoint slides because the corporate layout has been changed. You don't want to go there. And no Steven, you do not need to comment on the last point :-). I also made myself a yummy meal - which I'll share: pasta in garlic oil with jalapeno chili, sliced green olives and roasted pine seeds.
Make my day
Make my day: While the family is away and visiting Frank (make sure you check Christopher's pockets before he leaves :-)), I have my head down getting things prepared for the next couple of weeks where I will be travelling to a couple of customers and of course presenting at Jax. At the moment I'm wrapping my brain around Cocoon Flow.
OSCON: Steven notices that there are no Cocoon presentations at OSCON. I also submitted a couple of presentations (not only on Cocoon) which were turned down too. Still, I think the program looks very interesting and I'm going! I like the wide range of topics and apart from being able to soak up some new topics it will be time to meet some people I haven't seen for a year. Now, if you went last year you will notice that a couple of things have changed at OSCON - O'Reilly is not providing breakfast or lunch this year. Actually I'm disapointed about that - not so much because of the food (although it was great) but because breakfast and lunch were the times you could just sit down at a table and start chatting with someone like Doc Searls, Sam Ruby, Maddog, Erik Hatcher and loads of others. All people you would want to meet if you went there. It will be interesting to see how that works out this year.
Full blown scan
Full blown scan: Ben went and got himself a body scan. Looks like something I would want to do - if only to have a video of my heart beating.