[pause]

I have decided to pause the activity on this blog for a while, and maybe for ever. In reality, I haven’t been updating it much over the last few months, so I thought a bit of fresh air was needed.

I started blogging back in 2005, sharing both useful experiences and crap. That is exactly an issue that I have now with traditional blogs: well-crafted essays are easily diluted in a stream of ephemeral informations.

By looking closely at the people you follow the most on the Internet, conversations in blogs have seen their pace reduce in favor of fast, informal and brief communications on Twitter, Facebook, FriendFeed and the like. This is a trend that I personally saw for the network that I have, and I suspect that you will easily come to the same conclusions.

Nevertheless, online presence is very important and enjoyable. My need is exactly something right in the middle of ephemeral 140 characters notes and essays that shall not have a date in the URL. Consequently, I have decided to split my personal online publishing as follows:

I am thus happy to announce the birth of http://live.julien.ponge.info/ which is backed by Posterous!

I am unsure yet if this is a pause or the end of this blog, but be assured that in any case I will keep it running.

See you at http://live.julien.ponge.info/ :-)

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Another double release for IzPack and some other news

In case you didn’t notice, we released two versions of IzPack last week!

The release of IzPack 4.3.4 is all courtesy from the work of Mark Miller who backported changes from IzPack 5 to the 4.3 branch. This gives our current users a new stable release from this good old branch while we continue work on IzPack 5.

Speaking of IzPack 5, we released yet another beta. You should note however that several people have reported using it in production, so we definitely encourage you to try it for yourself and report any issue!

Both releases are package with IzPack of course. You should not that the size of those installers has been reduced dramatically, as we do not offer a package with the source code anymore. Shipping the source code was a great idea a few years back, but in the age of GitHub people should know where to get it!

Let me stress out the fact that IzPack remains a project with no corporate backing. This vastly limits our ability to work on it, so feel free to help us! We have a nice page with potential contribution ideas :-)

On a more personal note I have to admit that I haven’t been blogging much recently. I am of course quite busy with the day job, where I am conducting dynamic middleware-related work. Hopefully we will have some nice stuff to show in the next few months, but at least we have some wicked ideas for applied research on several fronts ;-)

I have also been touring french Java User Groups, speaking on IzPack and Opensource Community Management, the later being a fantastic by-product of having created IzPack 10 years ago. I learned everything by experience and trial-errors in the trenches. Looking back in the mirrors that represents a valuable hands-on experience.

Last but not least, I am very honored to be working on some very exciting things that will be revealed soon. Some people already know about it, and you can certainly guess from my LinkedIn profile, but nevertheless I will keep on teasing until it gets visible at “some place” :-)

Stay tuned!

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IzPack acquired by IBM, rejects Google offer

Edited 2011/04/02

This of course was an April Fools!

IzPack is an independent opensource project with no corporate backing. If you would like to help, please refer to our list of ideas. Thanks!

The cat is now out of the bag: IBM and IzPack join forces!

After months of speculations, I decided that IBM would be the best fit for the project growth. Concretely:

  • IzPack will be rebranded as “IzSphere”, and
  • IzSphere will be the standard deployment tool for IBM products, and
  • a set of Eclipse plugins will be created and branded as “IzSphere Rapid Application Developer Tools”, and
  • IzPack IzSphere will switch to the Eclipse Public License, and
  • development moves from Codehaus to Eclipse.org, and the source code will switch from Git to CVS to match the infrastructure at Eclipse.org.

An IBM spokesman said:

We conducted some tests and were impressed by the ability of IzPack to seamlessly handle the packaging and deployment process of the 5.5Gb of our next generation WebSphere application server.

He also mentions that IzSphere will serve as the unified deployment tool for the next WebSphere application servers:

With the advent of Java EE 6, applications are packaged and deployed as regular WAR archives. Our customers remarked that most of their WAR archives only weighted hundreds of kilobytes with this specification, and that it took a ridiculous short time to deploy them, often under 5 seconds.

We decided that having a graphical installer to deploy their applications would make them feel more at home. Especially, their applications artifacts will now be back to sizes in megabytes, and comprehensive manual deployment will ensure that they can stretch any deployment over minutes instead of seconds.

IzSphere will also serve as a basis for a new deployment paradigm:

The DevOps movement is too disruptive for the architects and infrastructure managers that we talk too. We feel that the so-called agility and lean processes it implies are simply inadequate with the requirements of serious enterprise projects. We will develop a solid methodology and governance process to address the requirements of enterprise deployments, and soon reveal the details of our upcoming IzSphere Architect Certification Program.

I am really excited with the prospect of IzPack IzSphere new life at IBM!

We had also been approached by Google over the past few weeks. However, in a pure “not invented here” fashion that characterizes the company, they wanted us to rewrite IzPack with GWT, and switch from PicoContainer to Guice. I cannot reveal all details, but they wanted to use IzPack as the foundation of their upcoming store. They announced having hired James Gosling earlier this week, and want to repeat the success of the Java Store with him on board. Following the succesful acquisition of IzPack by IBM, it looks like that they will need to develop their own deployment solution from scratch, or fork IzPack with the help of Sonatype.

Finally, another key factor in choosing IBM was… well… IBM. They make tons of money by driving the IT of major companies around the globe. Yet, no one really knows what innovative projects they are working on, and their management does not have any famous name you can follow on Twitter. This clearly is the sign of a company you can count on. They also make stupid TV ads no one understand, and as a strong believer of the virtues of being stupid to achieve grand things in life, opting for IBM was a real no-brainer.

Long live IzSphere!

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JetBrains TeamCity is on IzPack for installing build agents

Bored with the intestine war on continuous integration servers between Jenkins and Hudson, I decided to give JetBrains TeamCity a go.

As it happens to me a lot, I stumbled upon IzPack :-)

IzPack is being used for installing build agents over Java Web Start. That’s a pretty nice use case.

One thing you may notice is that JetBrains is using a very old version of IzPack! Indeed, there are still mentions of IzForge.com. IzPack got its own domain name at IzPack.org just a few weeks before JavaOne 2008…

Nevertheless, the installer that they have does just what needs to be done, so there is no really incentive for them to upgrade.

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