30 May 2008

Seek: A Thunderbird Extension For Improved Searching

Some time ago, I discovered the Simile project at MIT that provides open source, free extensions for both Firefox and Thunderbird that improve working with various digital assets. The
Seek extension provides a vastly improved categorization of email messages using a concept known as faceted browsing that makes searching through messages much, much easier. If you use Thunderbird, you really need to check out Seek!

Seek and faceted browsing are described very well by David Huynh in a screencast. This screencast is a must watch to understand Seek better and get a demonstration of what it provides. After watching the screencast I was hooked and had to install it. Below is a screenshot of Seek:

This is the most useful Thunderbird extension I've found yet and I highly recommend it!

Also check out some additional screencasts by David Huynh about some additional technologies in the Simile project.

23 May 2008

ActiveMQ and ServiceMix at ApacheCon US 2008

I just got word that I will be headed to New Orleans, LA in November for ApacheCon US 2008. One of the talks I submitted for on the topic of Apache ServiceMix was accepted titled Service Oriented Integration With the Apache ServiceMix ESB. I also submitted a third talk titled Taking Apache Camel for a Ride and that was accepted as a fallback session (in case there are session cancellations). I delivered that talk at ApacheCon EU 2008 in The Netherlands and got some really great feedback for it.

Also, Aaron Mulder will be delivering a talk titled Real-World Messaging With ActiveMQ.

21 May 2008

My Favorite Cartoon of All Time - Billy Boy

I remember this cartoon from when I was kid and upon searching the web for it, I found it! Evidently this cartoon was made in 1954 if you can believe that. Watch it for yourself:

Billy Boy - Click here for another funny movie.

14 May 2008

More Cowbell with ActiveMQ - Squawk

I know that James already noted Squawk, but this is just too damn cool to pass up!

Squawk stands for simple queues using awk. It's all about consuming and producing messages via STOMP (Streaming Text Orientated Messaging Protocol), a text-based, wire-level messaging protocol. Writing STOMP clients is extremely easy and there are already many STOMP clients available in different languages.

There have been many times in the past where I could have used message oriented middleware at the operating system level with shell scripting. This really opens up some possibilities. Distributed communication at the shell level is unreliable. The ability to use ActiveMQ for reliable messaging from the shell level means that any system level applications can easily communicate in a distributed yet reliable manner. Maybe we should consider trying to get ActiveMQ into some Linux distributions!

Update: For folks who are not aware of the reference to More Cowbell, see the original SNL video. Will Ferrell and Christopher Walken are priceless in this skit! What's even funnier is that open source can be just like this skit sometimes :-).

WTF? Swearing at Work Inspires Teamwork

A study last Fall in the UK found that swearing at work can inspire teamwork. According to the study:

"apparent misbehavior can serve an organization well." Taboo language, they said, can manifest itself in solidarity that helps create a much more pleasurable and productive place to work

I'll need to remember to point this out to the next manager who becomes offended by my recurrent use of the one magical, multipurpose word, fuck.

Apache ServiceMix 4.0 Kernel Milestone Released

The third milestone release of the Apache ServiceMix 4.0 Kernel was pushed just this week. Check out the release notes to see all the new features that have been added.

ServiceMix 4.0 a new container architecture for Apache ServiceMix and it is progressing nicely. The ServiceMix 4.0 runtime is an OSGi based container that supports many core services and the ability to easily add additional services. See the diagram below for a high level view of the architecture:

Based on conversations I had with folks at JavaOne, the interest in ServiceMix 4.0 is really building. If you'd like to ask questions or discuss it, please join the ServiceMix mailing lists.

12 May 2008

Apache ActiveMQ 5.1 Released

Apache ActiveMQ 5.1 has been released! For more info, check out the changelog and the raw release notes. The stability of ActiveMQ was a high priority in this release so the reliability has been improved quite a lot.

Congratulations to all those involved!

02 May 2008

Sun's Current Financial Status - Ouch!

Yow that smarts! Looks like the financial sector is not the only one affected by the current overall state of the economy.