With Apachecon NA 2010 about a month behind us, I’d like to share some of the trends I picked up there.
Big Data, the cloud
One of the main trends I noticed is the interest in Big Data (mainly Apache Cassandra) and Big Data processing in various shapes and forms (e.g. Apache Lucene, Apache Hadoop). In relation to many of these, we find a ring of ‘cloudness’: the products tend to allow distribution and replication of data and functionality.
But it doesn’t stop there. It’s no surprise to find cloud-references in talks about Apache Tuscany (including a talk on Building cloud native software, which I regrettably missed), but for instance Tomcat is making its move into cloud territory with Stratos.
OSGi all around
Of course I have a vested interest in OSGi, and my talk during the OSGi track on friday shows this. However, apart from in its own track, OSGi and OSGi-based technologies popped up in a number of other tracks. To name a few,
- Apache Sling is an OSGi based web application platform, and showed up in the Content Technologies track,
- Apache Geronimo 3.0 (in the Content Technologies track) is now based on OSGi, and
- in the Enterprise Track, a number of sessions were decidated to Apache Aries, which focuses on the OSGi Enterprise specification.
It is an interesting development that OSGi is now mainly being referenced in the web- and enterprise spaces, whereas it started out as a specification for embedded devices.
Does this mean that OSGi is really getting traction in the software community? Yes and no. I believe the thing that is really getting traction is the notions of modularity on the one hand, and µServices on the other. OSGi is currently the main technology that marries those two notions.
Business is not a dirty word
I noticed there were roughly three kinds of talks,
- Community talks are all about how Apache works, and how open source software fits into the world around it,
- Technology talks focus on some Apache project, or a combination of projects, and go into the technical details, and
- Industry talks that show how the projects are used in industry.
The last kind of talk shows how industry, the ‘people with the problem’ use open source technology to run their business. No, I probably don’t really care about the products and services you deliver, but I am very interested in your case studies in using open source in your daily life.
A few days ago, Slashdot ran a story Paid Developers Power the Linux Kernel. In the light of sessions on open source in industry (I counted about half a dozen on this year’s schedule), this is not that surprising: if you’re a good enough developer to become a committer in an open source project, it’s very unlikely you’re working as a janitor during the daytime. All of us work for a corporation in some way, and many of us work on open source project during our paid time. I believe this is a good thing!