Friday 24 February 2012

Why the Liberty Profile is like the Millenium Falcon!!!

First of all, the Liberty profile can start in under 12 parsecs! (yes, yes, yes, that's a measure of distance, but what Han says goes, OK!  Besides, he shot first ;o) )

I was stunned to see this video of the millennium falcon and how it took 3 years to animate, brick by brick. Absolutely amazing job by Francisco Prieto.

Lego Millennium Falcon Stop Motion Assembly 3d from Francisco Prieto on Vimeo.

The chap who worked on the Lego Millennium Falcon build, Francisco Prieto, is clearly an uber determined person, with dedication and attention to detail plainly on show.  I've been a privileged developer in my time at IBM, having worked with some equally dedicated, determined and smart folks in the Hursley lab.  None more so than the team who have created the Liberty profile for WebSphere, a truly awesome lightweight, componentised developer focused offering that I'm proud to say I'm working on.

The new lightweight OSGi kernel it sits on provides the base for the liberty profile to enable all the words which people like to hear, such as consumable :o)  Basically, using OSGi you're able to create your server runtime to be bespoke to your application requirements.  If it doesn't use a particular aspect, such as JSPs, why load it into the runtime?  This is the componentised aspect similar to the lego build above which allows you to construct your finished server, as you want with componentised building bricks.

So what are we talking about here when we say lightweight and fast?  On my macbook pro, here are the stats:

Download size:   26MB  (Yep, that's twenty-six Meg!)
Size on disk:  31.2MB
Memory footprint:   70.9MB
Start up time: 1-2 seconds
Total download, install and start time:  < 3.5 minutes (that's 210 seconds!)

For proof it only takes 210 seconds to fully install the tools, runtime, create and start a new server, check out this non stop video:

I hope you're impressed with the changes that have been made to the WebSphere offering!  Don't forget to check out our new WASdev community ( around Liberty, and join in to let us know what you think.  You can download the Beta now and have a play. For more info, check out our education pages.

Friday 10 February 2012

Monki Gras drove me to blogging

Yes, it's been a while since my last blog post, I've been very busy creating a new site for developers around the new Liberty Profile, That's no excuse though! I don't think I've ever blogged about a conference I've not been involved with on this blog site or any others, however, Monki Gras has changed all that...

Monki Gras is the second conference the guys at RedMonk have hosted, after the success of Monktoberfest last year. They're technical conferences (Beer themed!) for developers that really do focus on community, technology and developer relations (and beer!). I haven't seen or been to a conference that compares to the awesomeness of Monki Gras and can't wait to go to the next one!!! I'm really pleased IBM decided to sponsor this conference in it's push for developer relations. Let's take a deeper look into what was on offer.


The content for the conference was nothing short of amazing. The caliber of the speakers was excellent, ranging from the technical insights of lanyrd founder @simonw to the OS community experiences of Jenkins creator @kohsukekawa. My personal top three sessions were:

at 3: Why most UX is shite - - Leisa Reichel @leisa
Leisa gave a great overview of what needs to be clearly thought out to give users the best out of their potentially brief experience with your site/community/product. It wasn't a typical presentation about details required to make a UI pretty and usable, rather a back to basics trying to get people in the right mindset of what you need to be thinking about to then go on to create a great UI/UX.  This is an area which I am quite passionate about learning and changing in my role to help with developer adoption of projects.  Great presentation!

at 2: Kitteh vs. Chikin: What Data Can Tell Us About Who We Are and Who We Want to Be. - - Matt LeMay @mattlemay
A really entertaining presentation with some very interesting social stats contrasting what people share and what people click, including the now infamous kitteh/chikin analogy!

at 1: Creating a developer community - - Kohsuke Kawaguchi, @kohsukekawa
Kohsuke gave some great insight about what he learnt in creating the community for Jenkin, including how everyone starts as a visitor and it's the interactions with the community that turns the visitor to a user and a user into a developer.  There are of course many pitfalls, including UX which prevent these transitions such as crappy download sites/pages, installation guides and getting started pages that are far too big. A really good session about lowering the barrier to entry for a community.


The attention to detail was really good throughout the conference, including great coffee (couldn't find a link - maybe someone could send me their details), great Japanese food, and amazing pastries!  This may sound a bit silly, but trust me, it was epic.


The link between craft beer and craft software/development was rarely too far away during sessions. As a keen beer drinker :) I certainly appreciated what was on offer, although I didn't stay overnight in London, as I'm on baby alert, so had to stay relatively sober :)

Well done to James Governor for what I understand is the first conference he has organised!  Not a bad start, lets see if he can do better next time ;o)  Hope to see you there!