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From Erin Mulder <me...@alumni.princeton.edu>
Subject Report from the field (a local Geronimo workshop)
Date Tue, 02 May 2006 01:24:29 GMT
Aaron ran a hands-on Geronimo workshop this evening for the Philadelphia
Apache Users Group, and it went great.  Twelve people showed up with
laptops in hand, ready to get going with Geronimo.

Notes from the workshop:

* Installation was painless.  We passed around a CD with a zip of the
latest 1.1 snapshot and everyone was up and going within 5 minutes.

* Nobody had any trouble using the console to download and install the
examples

* Two folks were quite interested in seeing integrated JBI/ServiceMix.
They work at a cancer research center where they do a lot of integration
of bioinformatics systems.

* Nobody had any trouble deploying a basic EAR, though using the
command-line deployer to deploy JMS/DB resources was a bit awkward.  (It
was not the intention to have people do so, but there wasn't time to
package everything properly beforehand.)

* There was a lot of excitement about plugins and configuration cloning.
 The biggest smiles came during a conversation about how you could
configure a Geronimo server and have each developer point the console at
it to suck down the configuration.  There was also considerable interest
in other sorts of plugins (file archives, reporting servers, commercial
tie-ins, distribution of common open source apps as plugins, etc).

* There were a few suggestions for plugin improvements:

   - Allow plugins to be Tomcat/Jetty agnostic

   - Allow installation of a plugin even if all deps/prereqs
     aren't satisfied (just don't start it until they are)

   - Show size for each available plugin so you know what you're in for

   - Let plugins include installation scripts that can initialize
     a database, etc, when the plugin is installed

   - Support things like "Java 1.4.2 or greater" rather than
     just prefixes like 1.4.x

   - Organize the export drop-down list a little better

In general, I thought this workshop was an excellent format.  More than
one person came into it expressing ambivalence about Geronimo and how it
was any different from other app servers.  By the end, everyone was
really into it -- they were working hands-on with the server, firing off
suggestions for improvements, ooohing and aaahing over some of the cool
features, etc.   It was great!

Cheers,
Erin


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