Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Met Eben Moglen

I had my month made today.

After work I was lucky enough to meet one of my heroes, Eben Moglen.

I talked to him for about 10 minutes. It was a thrilling experience.

I am very predictable when I meet famous people. I typically say something odd. There was no exception today with Eben. I said, "You are one of my heroes!" not once, but 3 times. And then I shouted "Keep up the good work." when I left.

Oh well, I don't care - I hope he does keep up the good work.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Enough Web 2.0

After attending the OSCON O'Reilly Radar: The Executive Briefing today, I have had enough Web 2.0.

I attended this part of OSCON last year as well.

Although it was well worth the time today, I believe that last year was much better. I think I was a lot more "bright eyed" last year - even after attending OSCON for the previous 3 years at the time. I was starting out in a new exciting role and building a new team. I was very thirsty for this type of thing then. This year, the team is in place, it is great & we have already been through a lot together. And we are busy trying to deliver, so maybe it is just a mindset thing.

One thing is for sure - I have had enough of the Web 2.0 crap. I never liked the phrase and I am thoroughly sick of it. I'm with Eben Moglen - 10 years from now, Ajax and Web 2.0 will be "thermal noise".

Last year I was blown away by Tim O'Reilly. This year I wasn't. Don't get me wrong, he is a really bright guy, but this year he just didn't seem to have the same zip (come to think of it, none of the O'Reilly people did). I will say this, Tim was very gracious in talking to Eben Moglen - I could totally see most people flipping out in that situation. Eben admitted that he was intentionally making a spectacle of himself and Tim to draw attention to important issues - you could see that making the receiver (Tim) upset.

Here are some highlights and lowlights from my opinion:


  • Eben Moglen vs. Tim O'Reilly - I'd have to vote for Eben - but who really could debate Eben and win? Tim was gracious though. Update (hour or 2 later): After reading a few other reactions and thinking about it further, I don't quite understand why Eben attacked Tim that way. I'd like to hear an explanation. Was it warranted? Sure doesn't seem like it?
  • Firefox Extension Ecosystem
  • Doug Cutting, creator of Lucene, Nutch, and hadoop
  • Marten Mickos, CEO of MySQL - a real breath of fresh air after Oracle's Mike Olson - what a solid thoughtful dude.
  • - as an enterprise customer of course I like this
  • OpenCV - man I feel dumb about the code I sling after watching this. Wow.
  • Karl Fogel - on Congress and version control and Subversion & centralized SCM vs. Decentralized
  • Dave Morin from Facebook - a big "so what!?" from me
  • Roger Magoulas Director of O'Reilly Research - last year he had way more zip. This year his slides were broke and he kinda tanked. May just be that the novelty of it all wore off from last year. Last year, I was blown away by his presentation.
  • Matt Asay vs. Mike Olson from Oracle - Sorry Matt! I think that I was just more annoyed with Mike's POV, although he did recommend a book that sounded interesting: Non Zero - The Logic of Human Destiny, so he wasn't that bad. Anyways, wasn't awful, I just have heard that stuff before. I wish Matt spazzed out more like I know he can.
  • Jim Zemlin (The Linux Foundation). Sounds like a nice enough guy, but I liked Stuart Cohen better - but I know him so that isn't fair. I don't really get what they do now, other than pay Linus and other core committers which is good enough for me.
  • Mark Shuttleworth - Ubuntu - as a big Ubuntu fan I was a bit underwhelmed. It wasn't bad, but it just wasn't covering areas I was terribly interested in. Mark is a good dude though. He even has Ubuntu in his will - it will be well taken care of should his next space trip not go well. Sweet! Maybe I'm just jealous that I'm not him ;)
  • Andy Oram, O'Reilly - Open Source Documentation - I was lost and bored and the slides didn't work.
  • OpenID - I was just tired at this point. It did cause me to check in on JanRain. That was the first I heard that their CEO changed. Reading Scott Kveton's post on resigning reminded me just how hard start up life can be. I have no doubt that I will do that again at some point in my life, but man does it pack a wallup. Good luck JanRain and Scott.

Compiere Change

I saw this on one of Matt Asay's blogs.

It is nice to see Compiere getting back on track.

I noticed last October that they got forked.

I also read this essay by their new CEO (from Oracle).

I found it interesting. It will be interesting to see if an old dog can turn it around. He seems like he has done his homework.

OSCON - Eben vs. Tim O'Reilly

Wow, Eben Moglen and Tim O'Reilly really got into it today at OSCON.

They are two people I respect - debate == good.

Couple quotes:

Eben: I was reading you last week - talking about we need to revisit what freedom means. (this is what has Eben really hot)

Eben: Gave 10 year licensing opportunity to have conversation in public policy concern and not licensing concern." "Go back to rights and responsibilities.

Eben: We gave you 10 years - I just bought you enough time so that we can fix.

Eben: We are going to have some social charters and ecological rules of the road

Basically, Eben is pissed because he believes Tim is a self-promoter (Web 2.0) and that he is making money on the back of OSS and is now talking about how we need to focus more on freedom.

Interesting conversation to say the least.

Monday, July 23, 2007


I am very excited to attend the O'Reilly Radar: The Executive Briefing. Last year it was fabulous. Definitely the highlight of the conference for me.

I'll post my thoughts from the briefing.

I'm so buried with work this year that I decided to skip the rest of the conference. I could have used a really good geek out as I am rather fried, but maybe next year. The rest of the team is there so I'll just catch up with them.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Rocky Votolato

My friend and co-worker Ed went to see Rocky Votolato last night at Doug Fir in Portland. It is a nice small venue.

If you haven't heard of Rocky you should give him a listen. He is dang good. He is even better live.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Adobe AIR

I went to the Adobe AIR bus tour last night. I love events like that! Wow, that was fun.

AIR (the proper name for Apollo) looks quite promising

It does break your head a bit to see JavaScript accessing the file system, however.

AIR looks simple to get started with - and it will run on Winders, OS X, and Linux. That is great - there really aren't great options today in doing this. You need a special class of develooper that knows a lot of stuff to do this well today.

AIR is cool because it uses technology that developers are already familiar with - this will make it approachable.

AIR could really be big if Adobe executes well on it.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Looking for a Development Manager

We are looking for a world class development manager in Portland, OR.

If you are interested, please see the job req..

Here are a couple of the traits we are looking for:

  • Technical - experience with current technology (e.g., Web, Java, Ruby, Linux, REST, integration styles)
  • Leader
  • Motivator
  • Hard charging - make stuff happen
  • Track record of delivering
  • Have desire to be part of growing something
  • Visionary
  • Collaborative - able to work with others to make the vision real
  • Experience with judicious application of Agile and or Lean techniques
  • Heavy integration experience
  • Strong communication, political, diplomacy skills
  • Financial Services experience (desired, but not required)
If you have questions or are interested, please contact me.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Document Management File Formats

I have been thinking a bit about file formats related to document management lately (aka enterprise content management).

Specifically around forms (think about the printed policy you get from your insurance company).

You may just get this in the mail and laugh that it is still often in ALL CAPS.

But this stuff is enormously complex.

I'm trying to figure out the core document formats. I figure if you make good choices there, you might get it right with the details. If possible I'd like to use open standards, but I'll settle for published friendly standards - there are many 100% proprietary options out there that frighten me (who wants to be beholden to one vendor forever with no way out short of complete re-implementation?).

There are two types of file formats that have my interest right now:

  1. form file format
  2. archival storage format
There are lots of options here of course. And lots of pros/cons. I have a long way to go until I have an opinion. The right answer may be more than one.

With form file format a couple options are perhaps:


With archival storage format options could be:

PDF/A, ODF, OOXML (gasp), more TIFF and AFP.

As I learn more / develop opinions I'll try to share. If you already have some, please do to the same :)

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Apache CXF 2.0

Dan Diephouse announces Apache CXF 2.0.

Dan is an impressive dude.

But then again, Dan is from Grand Rapids, MI. People from there in general are pretty impressive.

Now I have been known to bash WS-*. But CXF (XFire) does more than that. And Dan is a pretty thoughtful dude who just stays above the fray and slings solid code.

Anyhoo, congratulations Dan.

Everybody buy Dan a beer at OSCON.

Updated to "CXF" from "CFX" 04-JUL

Monday, July 02, 2007

Distributed SCM

I have been reading about Mercurial on blogs for over a year.

I saw this on Dan Creswell's delicious.

Good stuff - I have lived similar pain - who hasn't. Anyhoo, I want to try it - I want to do a million other things, but I just can't work any harder w/o snapping! I wish there were more hours in the day, I must find more ways to get more done.

Anyhoo, this link sucked me into Rockstarprogrammer blog. Nice blog and what not.

Hey look, it isn't just me, Hibernate is hard. Rockstar dude (Dustin) explains it exactly. But it is too late, his project is likely over committed to it and he'll just have to fight to the death on the next project to avoid it.

As if you didn't know, I think OR tools are awful. I think they open Pandoras Box on anything but simple projects. You want a cache? Get a cache! You want object to relational? Suck it up and write SQL. Don't mix these concerns.