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Tue, 13 Dec 2005
ApacheCon 2005: Ok, Tim, I'm not jaded anymore

Yesterday I was wandering the halls at ApacheCon, and I passed Tim Bray in the hall. He commented to me that I looked "jaded", which is pretty true. I've been coming to ApacheCon for a bunch of years, and I've seen a lot of the talks by now. This morning was Tim's keynote, which I'll describe in detail in a later post. I had been looking forward to the keynote because I was pretty sure we weren't going to get a heavily vendor oriented keynote, which has happened before.

So I was disappointed when Tim said that he was going to make a product announcement (his first time ever in a speech), and I was unenthusiastic when the announcement turned out to be about a Sun version of Derby. That all changed about a minute into Francois Orsini's demo. Francois is working on Derby at Sun and is a long time Cloudscape engineer (Derby is derived from Cloudscape). So what kind of demo could change my mind? Francois showed how you could use Derby as a local store for Firefox by talking to a copy of Derby via Firefox's ability to talk to Java. His application was a simple tax app and he showed how you could fill in a form, quit (or crash) the browser and have that data returned to you when you restarted the web app.

Adam Bosworth has previously written about the need for local synchronizable storage for the web browser, and I know that the Mozilla folks have been investigating embedding SQLite, for just these sort of reasons. That effort is slated for Mozilla 1.5 or later. It seems to me that what Francois has done is to make that capability available today. I spent some time talking with Francois over lunch, and it turns out that he also has some code that wraps Derby in a way that is AJAX friendly, which means that AJAX applications can do similar tricks without needing the use the embedded Java support.

All of this is pretty cool. Mike Radwin from Yahoo was sitting behind me, and he and his companion were making excited noises while Francois was showing his stuff. I also IM'ed a few ASF people and their reactions were the same. Apparently the conference backchannel lit up as well, but I neglected to sign in to IRC, so I missed that.

It's likely the Francois is going to start up a blog in the near future, and he'll let us know how / where this code will be available.

Update: Francois's blog is up and running now

[13:46] | [computers/open_source/asf] | # | TB | F | G | 8 Comments | Other blogs commenting on this post

Good idea...
Posted by
Ted Leung at Tue Dec 13 14:35:16 2005

Another solution for the client side storage problem is AMASS:


This uses a hidden flash applet to use client side storage.

The advantage with AMASS is that it works with Flash which is already installed in a large percentage of browsers.
Posted by Chris Double at Tue Dec 13 16:52:02 2005

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I work at the Open Source Applications Foundation (OSAF).
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