25,000 People Download Mans Brain from Internet

Yes, it’s incredible , but true. Red Piranha is everything (well , not exactly everything) that I’ve learnt in 7 years of Java consulting, all wrapped up in a nice easy to go bundle. It’s Enterprise software that gets knowledge out of people’s heads and into a PC (no , it’s not as painful as it sounds!).
Red Piranha Fish Logo

I hadn’t checked the stats for a while , so I’m astonished to learn that 25,000 people have downloaded a copy from sourceforge. What’s more amazing is that these downloads are for version 1 – a sort of ‘mini Google’. As I write this post the latest (beta) version is being made available to developers. This moves it firmly into the Enterprise Web 2.0 space, adding workflow, rules and rich internet application capabilities (including Ajax and mashups) – more on this blogpost.

By the way , if you’re looking for more information on Enterprise Web 2.0 , you can check out Jerry Bowles blog on this area.

And the results of the Virtual Java Meetup are …

And the results of the Virtual Java Meetup are … here. Names have been changed to protect the innocent.

If you couldn’t be bothered reading the entire thing , the results of the Dublin Jury on ‘what technologies should I be learning in the next 12 months’ are:

  • Web services are going to be big, but only if they can be simple.
  • EJB 3 and Netbeans are both worth taking a look at again, they are now much better than the previous versions that gave them a bad name.
  • Middleware (e.g. workflow and Rules Engines) are interesting in a corporate environment, but there is a high barrier to entry.
  • Struts , and to a lesser extent JSF , will continue to be dominant Java Web frameworks, despite not being the best technical choice.
  • A lot of companies are still using Java 1.4, but may make the leap to Java 6 (Mustang).
  • Service Orientated Architecuture (SOA) is a nice idea, but not so many projects have been implemented using it.
  • IDE’s (Netbeans / Eclipse / JDeveloper) can deliver a lot of value, but only if backed up by lower level tools (e.g. Ant and Maven).
  • More for the next 24 months , keep an eye on Apache Service Mix.

Red Piranaha Enterprise Java Framework

Stub article – more to follow

Writing for O'Reilly Books

Over the last couple of months, been working on a series of Articles for O’Reilly (online) . The articles are on J2EE / Drools (more later) , but it’s been an interesting process – about 4 weeks total effort (if you count it as a day job, in reality it was spread over many evenings and weekends).

The staff at O’Reilly have been very helpful – even if I went about the process backwards (whereas normally you pitch a couple of paragraphs as a summary , then get go-ahead to do the full article). The hardest / most tedious part was formatting the article in simple html , given that it was initally written using Word / OpenOffice.

The Article will be publish on OnJava in the next couple of days , source code for the article can be downloaded here.

Make your site Search Engine Friendly

I’ve got several sites online at the moment ranging from firstpartners.net and the red-piranha enterprise search tool , not forgetting this blog.

A common theme with all of these is the ability to get search engines (like google) to index them. After all ,what is the point of maintaining websites if the content goes unread. How do you notify the search engine of your brand new content? Google site maps are one way – an xml document that you submit with all the relevant details. Included is a tool to generate the sitemaps , written in Python. Still playing with it , but it appears that (a) the format is easy to generate and / or (b) the script will run in Jython (java+python).

Spring, JBoss Rules Engine and Red-Piranha

The folks at Drools and have been talking about integratng the frameworks ‘for the next release’. They’re not their yet , but there is some sample code available at .

In the meantime , there is a useful article on drools at java.net. (Drools Article Link)

Getting Started with Spring

Red Piranha uses Spring , a J2EE lite framework, for both it’s Presentation Layer (Spring MVC instead of an alternative like Struts) and for it’s mid tier.

I describe it as J2EE lite , as while it gives you most of the advantages of an EJB Server , it is a lot easier to deploy. It is also more flexible , allowing you to run your code in J2SE , then move to J2EE (either a Web Server like Tomcat , or a full application Server like JBoss , Weblogic or Websphere) when you are ready.

The article on how to get started with Spring is at: http://www.springframework.org/docs/MVC-step-by-step/Spring-MVC-step-by-step.html

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