2005

 

JBoss Mail Server is so stable and the installation is so clean that after only one month of having dedicated company support for it and full time development (well 75% since all developers are expected to do 25% services), I'm already getting pressured to call it 1.0. It is a high compliment.

 

Moreover, a user emailed me saying his boss told him he was outsourcing their mail server unless they could get one up in running in 30 minutes. He installed JBoss Mail Server and wrote me to tell me about it.

 

I picked up the phone.

 

"Hello?"

 

"Andy. Marc."

 

"Hi Marc, how is it going?"

 

"Listen, this JBoss Mail Server thing...its really good...lot of people use it...but after a year of stable releases there is no business... we have to dump it... You shouldn't have made the Installer and admin tools so good."

 

"What do you mean?"

 

"Well no on needs support because it is too easy to use."

 

"Yeah, I see what you mean."

 

"Good luck in your next endeavor."

 

I woke up in a cold sweat.

 

So I thought about this seriously. Could an open source mail server be too easy to use such that it was a commercial failure? However, the more I thought about it, the more I realized how ridiculous it is. While we're already incredibly easy to use, running your mission critical software without some guarantee of support is not a smart thing to do. For most businesses an email outage costs money. Lost mails are a critical problem that affect the bottom line. Take "sales@jboss.com" as an example. They don't want to miss a potential support, consulting, training or partnership opportunity because of the latest Exchange security hole or the upgrade cycle to prevent the next 10 of them...

 

Yet despite this, we put up with outages in critical services every day and often times due to the unreliability of existing vendors (you know who I'm talking about -- remember the helicopter joke) and their support offerings, we go it alone and sometimes spend needless hours of downtime instead of getting the prompt answers we need from the experts and guys who develop the software we use.

 

I suspect if the software is good enough and the tools are good enough then there are some who will go it alone who might not have gone it alone with other software, but frankly those are the same people who drive around with no insurance or don't wear seat belts because they don't usually get into car accidents. Moreover, I don't expect to do consulting for simple installs, frankly consulting for simple installation and configuration is a cost sink not a profit center. I want to eliminate that opportunity where possible. Instead I want to open up a high end consulting service opportunity. Ultimate scalability, big organizations who need help figuring out how to structure their mail infrastructure to allow it to handle an enormous (and ever growing) messaging load. Mail based/Mail driven application developers wanting to do new and interesting things on a mail platform. Complex routing. Custom plugins. Partner integration.. Those are where I expect the project to make a profit, I hope to never have to do consulting for a simple 1-3 server configuration -- I'd rather handle that as a simple support offering (and those should be few and far between because the installer should be that good).

 

To me, in order to get to the high end, we need to make the low end a nearly brainless venture. We're not there yet, while installation and initial configuration is trivial (a mail server in 30 minutes or less supporting POP/SMTP over SSL/TLS), administration beyond initial configuration is still a jungle of XML. While I exaggerate when I say we're nearing the XML version of sendmail.cf, it is something I fear. We've made progress and have plans to solve this in the next milestone release after M4(which won't be called 1.0-final ;-) ). However, the final piece will be a bang-up GUI that dynamically configures a cluster of JBMS instances. What form the GUI will take hasn't been decided (if it can use the same stuff as is being built for the appserver or what). My take is that the counter-intuitive notion of making thing easier to use and less difficult will drive adoption and hence support (how many of you really drive with no seatbelt and no car insurance, if you're on the high end and an expert can save you weeks or months by helping out for a few hours/days/etc then are you really going to balk). We see some of the same logic happening in the Appserver world with EJB3 and the upcoming admin console, it is time we had a reliable mail server that takes 30 minutes or less for simple installation, is easy to administer, and yet flexable and scalable enough to handle anything from 1 user or a complex enterprise.

 

I'd really be interested in talking to GUI people interested in getting involved in open source. You're a hot commodity! Join us in the JBMS forum and/or email me. I may not reply immediately as I'm conducting my 25% services in Matsuyama Japan this week, but I value you and your contributions! In addition to JBoss, we have a great bunch of volunteers I think you'll enjoy working with. I'm lucky to work on the best damn project in all of JBoss. :-)

 

JBoss Mail Server 1.0 Milestone 3 is now officially released. Many thanks to all of those who helped test the Release Candidate. I'd also like to thank the members Triangle Java Users' Group for allowing me to give a talk on the issue and for all of their great feedback. It was encouraging to see the enthusiasm building around this project.

 

You can install the JDK 5.0 version of JBMS-1.0M3-final via Java Web Start. You can also download it directly and install by typing java -jar install-jbms-1.0m3-final.jar. We do recommend JDK 5.0 (aka 1.5) as the garbage collector is significantly improved especially on enterprise grade systems.

 

If you still want to run with JDK 1.42, you can JDK 1.4 version of JBMS-1.0M3-final via Java Web Start or download the JDK 1.4 build of JBMS-1.0M3-final directly.

 

While there are already production users of earlier milestones of JBMS, it is not a "final" release, it is suggested that early adopters be cautious and undergo rigorous testing before deploying this release. We eagerly invite participation in the JBMS Forum and request your feedback on the release and project direction and thank you in advance for your continued assistance and support.

 

With this release, some emphasis has been placed on increasing the usability and graphical installation of the software (now based on izPack). You will find many answers in this set of wiki pages as well as an installation tutorial with pictorial walkthrough, and instructions on setting up Mozilla's Thunderbird Mail Client to work with JBMS.

 

 

I like to call this the "Mike Barker release", Mike is one of our volunteer developers that really got things moving while I was globetrotting. It was Mike's excellent work on our mail body persistence mechanism and his help in getting the bugs fixed that really made this release possible. As I transition from the services side of JBoss to full time development of JBMS, I look forward to continuing to work with Mike. He is a leading member of what has become known internally at JBoss as the "JBMS cult". I also look forward to having you as a new inductee.

 

There were few changes between the release candidate and this final release. Routing limited by domain group was added as was a fix to bounce messages. And thank you for your support.

 

JBoss Mail Server 1.0-M3rc1 has been released. You can install the JDK 5.0 version of JBMS-1.0M3rc1 via Java Web Start. You can also download it directly and install by typing java -jar install-jbms-1.0m3-rc1.jar. We do recommend JDK 5.0 (aka 1.5) as the garbage collector is significantly improved especially on enterprise grade systems.

 

If you still want to run with JDK 1.42, you can download the JDK 1.4 build of JBMS-1.0M3rc1 directly.

 

This is a release candidate of the third (of approximately 10) milestones of JBMS. It is primarily a stability, performance and usability release, however some significant features have been added and the architecture has gone a significant evolution. We request that early adopters assist with testing this release candidate in order to ensure the final release of this milestone (which will be released on August 20th barring major issues) is as stable and useful as possible.

 

While there are already production users of earlier milestones of JBMS, it is not a "final" release, it is suggested that early adopters be cautious and undergo rigorous testing before deploying this release. We eagerly invite participation in the JBMS Forum and request your feedback on the release and project direction and thank you in advance for your continued assistance and support.

 

With this release, some emphasis has been placed on increasing the usability and graphical installation of the software (now based on izPack). You will find many answers in this set of wiki pages as well as an installation tutorial with pictorial walkthrough, and instructions on setting up Mozilla's Thunderbird Mail Client to work with JBMS.

 

We hope that you and your organization will enjoy installing/using this milestone release and happy hunting!

 

Read this. I've had many similar experience and I suspect the economics and government bailouts Marc alludes to have a lot to do with it.

 

Just the other day I was traveling with my wife and three kids (one of which is 12 and one is 16 mos so feel extra sorry for me) and of course my personal attendant, my wife's manicurist and three nannies. I could not believe when the stewardess was rude to my personal attendant. If I hadn't been busy getting a free manicure on a dare (my wife thinks I rag too much on metrosexuals), I would have gotten up and asked my personal attendant to give them a piece of my mind. Oh well. What is worse is the stewardess made me buckle my own seat belt! I said "B*tch, you think I fly first class because I want to buckle my own seat belt. If one of my 'hot nannies' doesn't come up here and do it for me, I'm not f*cking going to buckle it" then kicked her. Can you believe that she dared take revenge by not bringing my Chardonnay properly chilled?

 

So I can really sympathize with Marc and his two nannies on his vacation to Mallorca. Life can be tough when you have to fly "everyman airlines"..

Andrew Oliver

Linux Rulez

Posted by Andrew Oliver Aug 4, 2005

 

A little while back, I put up this wiki page in order to determine what is generally viewed as:

  • The best operating system for development
  • The best operating system for production
  • The best IDE

 

Thus far, a group of passionate Windoze lovers have managed to put it at the top for development, but it seems settled that Linux is "the man" when it comes to production. Eclipse seems to take the day as well. I personally vacillate between Eclipse and the greatest editor ever, vi.

 

I have to say, Linux with a 2.6 kernel (but not the bizzare Redhat backported 2.6 threadmodel to 2.4 hybrid that they sadistically put in RHES 3.0 which mostly just crashes Java on a good day) with Sun JDK 5.0 is a pretty impressive combination for performance.

 

I am somewhat shocked that Solaris didn't make a bigger showing. I've yet to see too many really large successful deployments that weren't Solaris. Save your comments for the wiki showdown (but respect the brevity).

Filter Blog

By date: