Soundbyte 138: Downtown Denver


When Hans asked me earlier this week to take over the SoundByte from him, naturally I accepted. As always, I will start by selecting the music. This time a classic by Pink Floyd: Comfortably Numb. This song needs no further introduction, I hope. Time after time, when I put it on, I’m struck by its beauty, powerful lyrics and mindblowing guitar solos. Wikipedia has a nice summary of the history behind the song, and this rendition is from the live album called Pulse.

Luminis 12th Anniversary

The first thing I obviously need to to is to congratulate all of my colleagues with our 12th anniversary. Luminis was founded on April 1st by a group of people that were extremely passionate about their work and since that day we have managed to attract more and more people that shared that vision. I certainly could not have predicted back then where we have ended up today and I’m extremely proud of everything we did and achieved over those years. Our motto has always been to try to be the best at what we choose to do. This has helped us go through some tough times. More importantly, over the years we’ve completed a lot of great projects and helped our customers make a difference with IT.


This weekend marked the start of our attendance at ApacheCon North America. On Saturday we flew via Reykjavik in Iceland, to Denver, Colorado. The trip went well and for once the queues at the border in the US were non-existent. We arrived in the hotel around dinner time, and enjoyed one of the local beers (brewed across the street from the hotel). Now, Sunday evening local time, I’m enjoying a different local beer, which was part of our ‘goodie bag’ we got at registration. Denver is known for its many local beers, and is also home to the Coors brewery. This morning Jan Willem and I took a walk through the city. The weather was sunny and we got a great impression of one of the nicest cities in the US I have ever visited. The South Platte river, that runs through downtown Denver and sometimes causes heavy floods, also provides a wide open area with a park that breathes a very relaxed atmosphere not seen in many big towns. I have been visiting ApacheCon conferences since 2006, when I did a talk on OSGi Best Practices at one of the first European conferences in Dublin. Looking back at my story back then it it nice to see that most of it is still very true and that quite a few of the patterns I discussed have made it into specifications by now (I’m specifically referring to remote services and management abstractions). Now, eight years later, a lot has changed for OSGi. Especially the last half year or so, there has been a lot of interest in ‘microservices’ and whilst this is not strictly about OSGi, we do provide one of the nicest implementations. As with any technology, the views on it are always mixed. There are no silver bullets and such architectures only work for you if you truly understand them and apply them to your problem sensibly. This year, two talks and a lightning talk are scheduled. Topics we will present are:

  • Continuous deployment with Apache ACE, an updated version of a talk that Jago and I gave last year at EclipseCon in Germany. It focusses mainly on how to effectively deploy modular applications, which is something you need to address early in the life cycle of your (new) application. If you’re successful at doing this, it will save you a lot of headaches later on.
  • The new HTTP specification and its implementation in Apache Felix. This talk demonstrates first of all how to build modular web applications. The current ‘state of the art’ is described, and features some core Amdatu components. Furthermore, we show what new specifications, like support for WebSockets and SPDY, are in development and how these will help you build more scalable solutions.


One thing we believe in at Luminis is to share our knowledge. This might sound odd at first, because one of our main sources of income is from being hired as an expert in the field. However, we feel that does not mean that we should keep our knowledge a secret. In the end the world becomes a better place if we share, so we should not be afraid of that. In fact, with the help of Simone, we are currently starting to build the Luminis Academy. We expect to deliver the first training courses later this year. Announcements will be made soon!