In the old days I was a Perl guy and now I see the Web through Ruby-red spectacles. Like most people in the open-source and dynamic-language communities, I never really warmed up to Java EE; tons of moving parts, too many layers of indirection, too much XML configuration, and anyhow I didn’t want to use that language for writing Web apps. But it turns out you don’t have to like EE to be real interested in app servers.
[Update: Check the discussion in the comments; there’s more to this than meets the eye.]

This was brought home to me last week at that JVM Languages Summit, when GlassFish kept bobbing up in entirely-non-Java conversations. I guess that those boring old enterprisey app servers actually do lots of useful stuff, and if you can drop a Rails or Django or whatever app on top of ’em, well that’s a Good Thing. Examples, from a Railsoid point of view, here and here.

So from a Sun point of view it’s nice that you can drop by the GlassFish blog and read “We started providing optional registration late December '07; today we passed the 200K registrations...”; and I suspect that number has lots of upside.


Comment feed for ongoing:Comments feed

From: Steve (Oct 01 2008, at 09:46)

No offense, Tim, but you are easily impressed :-)

GlassFish is nonexistent in the appserver market (it's not even close to WebLogic, WebSphere and JBoss). This 200k number is so ridiculously low that a lot of pundits still wonder why Sun is wasting money on it when so many other things in its business model require urgent attention.


From: Eduardo Pelegri-Llopart (Oct 01 2008, at 19:45)

Hi Steve.

You can read about other adoption indicators for GlassFish at [1]. Given the tone in your comment, I doubt they will impress you, but I'll also point to articles like [2], it seems that DZone is easier to impress than you are...



- eduard/o


From: Bob Aman (Oct 02 2008, at 09:39)

I really don't see the benefit of GlassFish, especially in the context of Rack, when Passenger is such a fantastic piece of software.

If GlassFish really is the best thing since sliced bread, Sun is doing a terrible job of actually demonstrating that.

Maybe start by putting a tutorial up on the Slicehost wiki (or somewhere similarly VPS oriented) on how to setup an Ubuntu/Debian box from scratch to work with GlassFish + Merb/Sinatra/Rails. If it's really easier to setup and maintain, maybe there will be some traction. But right now, all I hear about GlassFish is in the form of hype.


From: Charles Oliver Nutter (Oct 02 2008, at 15:48)

Bob Aman: I think you're both wrong and right in your assessment of GlassFish. GlassFish itself is a really nice Java EE server, so for folks interested in that and looking for a new server to use, it's hard to argue against it. You're right: obviously this doesn't fit most Rails users; installing a Java EE server (download of 70B and base memory use of 150MB or more) to deploy a single, simple, low-traffic Rails app is usually not worth it, even with performance improvements from using JRuby. But this model of deployment works extremely well for anyone with an existing Java EE app server, so the focus on making WAR-file deployment work well on GlassFish means it will probably work well on any server. Beyond that, GlassFish V3 is nearing completion, and along with it there's going to be a hopefully-production-ready release of the "GlassFish Gem" we've talked about for the past year. Once you can install a 3MB gem and run a single Rails 2.2 instance under JRuby, using less memory and performing better than any other option, it will pretty much be a done deal.

Granted, it's taken too long to get here. But it's getting close now.


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