Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Mashups Vs. SOA

Tension emerges between SOA and mashup camps | Service-Oriented Architecture | ZDNet.com

“the approach is not a black and white SOA vs. mashups choice for enterprise integration, but rather, use of mashups for the last mile of integration that may, in many cases, utilize data services, feeds, or other sources that more often than not are exposed as Web or RESTful Services.”

This is the approach we follow in the WSO2 Mashup Server. Not only do we provide a platform for the last mile integration, with support for consuming Data Services, Feeds, REST and SOAP Services, but we also allow the newly created Mashup to be exposed as a service, which in turn can be consumed by others.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

How Google Friend Connect Works

Interesting read. With Facebook acting all paranoid all of a sudden regarding Friend Connect. it's good to know a bit of the internals at a glance.

Google Code Blog: How Google Friend Connect Works

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Google To Launch “Friend Connect” On Monday

Three’s Company Or Three’s A Crowd? Google To Launch “Friend Connect” On Monday

"Google will launch a new product on Monday called “Friend Connect,” which will be a set of APIs for Open Social participants to pull profile information from social networks into third party websites."

Cool. Can't wait to get my hands on this one.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Remote-control Dalek

Frikin awesome. I need one. Exteminate... Exterminate...!!

How To Sync Your iPhone Wirelessly in Linux

IPhone: Sync Your iPhone Wirelessly in Linux

"Apple may open up its iPhone and iPod touch devices to third-party apps
next month, but the chances that Linux users will get invited to the
party are slim at best. That hasn't stopped some intrepid hackers from
coming up with a better music-syncing solution than the one Mac and
Windows users have—a two-way wireless transfer, from almost any music
organizing app you like, no wait for iTunes or USB cable required.
Linux users, let's take a look at how to set up your iPhone or iPod
touch for any-time wireless access after the jump."

Twitter and Google Maps Mashup

Online, real-time tracking of Twitter posts with their points of origin plotted in a Google Map. Have a look :)

By the way, the base platform is the WSO2 Mashup Server, the Free and Open Source Mashup Server. If you want to learn how to make Mashups similar to these, register for the free Webinar by Jonathan Marsh coming up next week.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

A Police Raid; Is Your Business Software Worth it?

"Wednesday, 07 May 2008
COLOMBO: Officers of the Colombo Crime Division with the assistance of representatives of the Business Software Alliance (BSA) conducted criminal raids against distributors of illegal business software in Colombo marking the beginning of greater focus and crackdown on business software piracy distribution and business software under-licensing in Sri Lanka." More >>
Well folks. It looks like the days of the "100 Rupee Window$ and Other Commercial Software" CD is over. The Software Licensing Regime is here and it looks like through the Business Software Alliance or the BSA, it is here to stay. Remember those 3 letters, you will be hearing them a lot in the near future and one day they might even show up at the door of your business.

Free and Open Source Software (or FOSS. Remember those 4 letters too) evangelists in this country often come across the question "Why should I use GNU/Linux (ie: Ubuntu) when I can get Window$ for the same price (Rs. 100) at {insert-pirated-cd-vendor-name}?". At least now they'll know that the price you pay for the GNU/Linux CD is actually paid for the production of the CD-ROM and not the software itself. In other words "You are not stealing software from Micro$oft or {insert-proprietary-software-vendor-name}".

Here's how much your Vista Premium Edition should legally cost you and this is how much the same functionality will cost you in the FOSS World.

Here's how much you should legally pay to have Office Professional 2007 installed and here's what you have to do to get the FOSS equivalent installed, which will give you all the features you will 'actually' use in your day to day work.

Part of being human is the ability to make choices. So make one today ...

Shindig ...

I have been playing with Apache Shindig during the past weeks with mixed results, This is basically an Open Source implementation of the OpenSocial and Gadgets specifications by Google. Although the project is still in the Apache Incubator, support from Google will potentially mean that this might turn out to be the reference implementation for this type of containers.

The container itself is pretty easy to integrate into a J2EE web application. However, apart from providing the infrastructure, there's nothing much for the implementer. There are a few samples, which were very helpful during the initial stages. But if you think integrating a Shindig container to your application will instantly provide your users an iGoogle like experience, be prepared to be disappointed. Maybe I was expecting too much. But it would have been nice to have some more functionality in the vanilla installation and samples to demonstrate those.

But this is without doubt a good project to keep track on. It was pretty interesting going through the codebase, which contains both Java and Javascript. I would love to see some samples on the OpenSocial features of the container in a future release.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Upgraded to Hardy Heron

You know you need to upgrade your distro when you have to download .deb files or add lines to your sources.list, just to get last.fm installed...

So I finally decided to do the migration from Ubuntu 6.10 to 8.04 (see what I mean? almost a two year gap). My first stop was the Ubuntu 8.04 (Hardy Heron) release page and the .torrent file listed there. Having downloaded and burnt the .iso to a disc, I was ready to go. I usually keep my /home in a separate partition, which leaves me free to migrate without losing my data or application settings. Installation was pretty fast as usual and it took me just under 20 minutes to get my system running again.

Here's a list of observations I made during fine tuning Hardy Heron to get things just the way I want...

Pro: Totem HAS arrived
In all my previous Ubuntu versions, I usually replaced this thing with Kaffeine. But this time the Totem team has finally delivered. It is intelligent to the point of knowing which codecs are missing and informing me about the 'freeness' of those and if 'I' give permission, downloading and installing them without a glitch (This of course is with the help of the base system. But Totem seems to be pretty well integrated to that). They have also improved Totem's buffering, which is awesome when it's time to view all my video podcasts.

So Gnome finally has a video player in par with KDE. If only Rhythmbox improved to the level of Amarok ....

Pro: Brasero replaces Gnome Toaster
Here's another area where KDE shines. Toaster was crap. Brasero looks a bit better than that. But nothing beats K3B yet. So the final result here is..

K3B > Brasero > Toaster

Pro & Con: Compiz vs. Workspaces
Ok. So I should have noticed this in my other laptop, which is running Gutsy for months now. But I never use that for my day-to-day work anymore. Apparently Compiz and Wrokspace Switcher are not in the same wavelength yet. The end result? you can't drag applications from one desktop to another using the Wrokspace Switcher applet in Gnome Panel. You have to use the Compiz way, which looks very cool, but might take a while getting used to in my case.

Tip: If your application window is 'maximized', you need to 'restore' the thing first to move it around :)

Con: Firefox 3
Firefox 3 is the default browser in Hardy Heron and if you like your Firefox extensions, stay away from it. When I launched Firefox, I was left with only 2 of my favorite extensions supported. Now, I know FF3 is faster and has a killer bookmark management system and all that. But I need my extensions and until they arrive at FF3, I'm staying away from that party.

I used Synaptic to remove FF3 and associated stuff and installed FF2. But this messed up my extension cache for some reason and I had to delete and install all my extensions from scratch.

The verdict? Ubuntu is still the most user friendly among all the distros I've used and it will continue to help spread the GNU/Linux operating system to the masses. The attention they give to the end user experience should be commended. Especially in Hardy Heron, they have taken this miles further with automated proprietary driver and codec hunting. The important thing I notice in this automation mechanism is the level of feedback they provide to the user. Instead of just downloading and installing proprietary stuff, the system gives the user enough information to make an informed 'choice'.

When it comes to GNU/Linux distributions, Ubuntu Hardy Heron is the Crème de la crème at this point in time.

Saturday, May 03, 2008

This Week @ WSO2

Apache Axis2 - A Practical Guide to Creating Quality Web Services

Written by Deepal Jayasinghe hits Amazon Pre-order

WSO2 Listed in Gartner's
Vendors in Web Technology' Report

"Perhaps the most interesting of WS02's offerings is the recently released Mashup Server, which
enables lightweight programs to be built in server-side JavaScript that can consume Web
services and be deployed as server-side mashups or, alternatively (via WSO2 Ajax XPI), as
client-side code."

WSO2 Data Services Solution Alpha Released


"Data Services are about providing a convenient mechanism for providing a service interface to data stored in a relational database, Microsoft Excel files, CSV files or JNDI data sources."

Key features include; Username token security integration, WSO2 Registry based configuration apart from Complete data services support. The solution one of the first from WSO2 to be powered by Carbon, the OSGi powered Axis2 platform.

WSO2 WSAS - Data Services Wins Gold at SearchSOA Products of the Year 2007

SearchSOA.com's annual search for the best SOA and Web services products awarded the gold to WSO2's WSAS Data Services and listed it as the category leader in Data services/integration.

A pretty exciting week. I have been busy with an interesting experiment myself and will write about it during the coming days.