Hi! We are the IBM WebSphere Application Server Liberty Profile development team. WebSphere Application Server Liberty Profile is a lightweight application server designed for developers by developers.

We have a range of team members participating today from developers to managers so please feel free to ask us anything about the Liberty profile, our jobs or what we do :)

Team members participating today:

Thomas Banks (wasdev_Tom) - Technical Evangelist

Adam Gunther (wasdev_adamg) - Manager

Andrew Gatford (wasdev_andy) - Manager

Alex Mulholland (wasdev_alex) - Runtime architect

Walt Noffsinger (wasdev_waltnn) - Product Line Manager

Jeff Summers (wasdev_Jeff) - Product Line Manager

Tim Deboer (wasdev_tim) - Tools guy and developer

Kevin Smith (wasdev_kevin) - Test architect

Alasdair Nottingham (wasdev_Alasdair) - Lead Developer

Erin Schnabel (wasdev_erin) - Lead Developer

Neil Ord (wasdev_Neil) - Developer

Kathleen Sharp (wasdev_kat) - Developer

Michael Thompson (wasdev_mcthomps) - Developer

Brett Kail (wasdev_bkail) - Developer

Joe Chacko (wasdev_joe) - Developer

Joseph Bergmark (wasdev_bergmark) - Developer

Ross Pavitt (wasdev_ross) - Developer

The WebSphere Application Server Liberty Profile can be downloaded free for development purposes from http://www.wasdev.net

Edit: Thanks for all the questions everyone! We have had issues with reddit restricting the frequency of our replies but are still getting to your questions and will answer as many questions currently asked as possible. If you want to ask any more questions around the Liberty profile once we have finished answering the questions here please visit our forums

Edit 2: oops my update last night failed to save to say that we had finished answering questions - I'll try and answer as many up until now though :) - thanks for all the questions everyone! If you want to ask any more questions around the Liberty profile please visit our forums

Comments: 262 • Responses: 90  • Date: 

thesystemx24 karma

Are there any plans to make the Liberty Profile open source?

wasdev_waltnn7 karma

We have an open forum today at wasdev.net. However, we don't have plans today to open source Liberty Profile.

thesystemx8 karma

What do you think is the advantage of closed source? (if any, honest question). I mean, suppose I'm a vendor like you are. I have the choice between open source and close source.

You made the choice for closed source. What were the pros that made you decide that?

wasdev_alex6 karma

We do include a number of open source projects in liberty but having had experience of that over many years with the app server I'd say the main issue is one of backward compatibility (that impacts user apps)... we can control that with our own code (subject to spec changes) but not always with open/community code.

thesystemx8 karma

Thanks for your reply!

If you open source the WebSphere specific parts (your own code), then it's still your own code, isn't it? JBoss also integrates numerous open source projects (like Mojarra for JSF), but they still control the code that makes JBoss AS an application server.

So I didn't mean to hand over the code to some community or committee, but just to release the source code, so in development mode people can attach the code and step through it in e.g. Eclipse in case of problems or unexplained behavior.

wasdev_alex8 karma

Debugging is a good reason to provide the source, something we will think about - thanks. We also try hard to make it easy to debug app bugs without having to step into server code, so if you ever have suggested improvements for that we'd love to hear about them (you can post to the form or open requirements at wasdev.net).

awb112352 karma

One thing that IBM has going for it is that they offer an entire technology stack under the IBM brand. They'll give you IBM hardware with an IBM operating system, running an IBM application server running IBM business intelligence software, and then they'll hook you up with IBM partners who can customize/integrate IBM software with your existing infrastructure (I do that last part for a living).

yogthos7 karma

That's the theory, the practice is that this stack is an amalgamation of many different products which IBM developed and acquired over time and it's often far from a cohesive experience.

wasdev_adamg2 karma

That's one thing we're trying to change with Liberty. Let's use WebSphere Extreme Scale as an example. You can very easily plug-in Extreme Scale into Liberty via a few simple lines of XML in our config (see this example) . Our goal is to leverage the composable nature of Liberty to provide a simple, cohesive experience across the IBM SWG stack. The Liberty Profile provides us the platform to do so.

creep_creepette2 karma

Apache Geronimo needs help. I know IBM has done more than any other company out there on the project, but it just doesn't seem to be enough.

thesystemx2 karma

Geronomo is troublesome.

They have open issues on which there's barely a reaction from anyone. They use an ancient version of MyFaces that can't load Facelets via a resource resolver (making many apps to fail). They don't support using an @DataSourceDefinition ds in persistence.xml. The Eclipse plug-in for Geronimo only wants to deploy if the WTP target-runtime is set to Geronimo (it's the only server that requires this), etc etc etc...

creep_creepette4 karma

A modern open sourced spinoff of WAS (and Liberty Profile) would kick ass under governance like the Eclipse Foundation.

wasdev_waltnn5 karma

interesting point and one I've thought about a number of times.

thesystemx16 karma

The "normal" WebSphere 8.5 is a 2GB download and some 200MB extra to create a profile. That's some 2.2GB.

Why does it need to much space to essentially implement Java EE 6? Most competitors need between 50 and 200MB for this.

(Liberty is really liberating here, but just wondering about WebSphere 8.5... what's IN there???)

wasdev_alex9 karma

Well it does a lot more than implement Java EE 6 - providing a JDK, large-scale admin capabilities, programming model extensions etc. But as you see, with liberty we have recognized that many people would like to at least start with a minimal download and we are keeping a strong focus on that even as we deliver additional capabilities.

Akanaka5 karma

It absolutely rocks that you are working towards an official web profile implementation, but what about the next step? Having a Liberty Full Profile? Is that a goal for Liberty?

Currently if you need the full profile (like for eg JMS, or @Asynchronous, etc), you still need the full WAS, but then you also get the "large-scale admin capabilities", which as a developer I don't need.

wasdev_adamg5 karma

Conceptually, we have a Liberty Profile and a Full Profile. There are still cases where Full Profile is the right choice (you listed some examples). We have received a lot of positive feedback about Liberty, which means we have received requests to continue to add more capability to Liberty ASAP. We also continue to invest in our Full Profile in response to our customers' needs.

For example, check out our new Beta today on wasdev.net. You'll see early previews of JMS, JAX-WS, MongoDB, etc for Liberty. You'll also find a preview of our new Liberty administration capabilities. We also continue to invest in our Full Profile - just look to some of our recent SpecJ Enterprise performance benchmark publishes. We will continue to listen to your feedback and let it guide our direction accordingly.

EDIT: I should add, that the Liberty architecture allows us to deliver more features without forcing them upon you. As the server is composable, you only configure and use what you need. So if you do not need "large-scale admin capabilities", just ignore it and do not configure your server to use it. You can have a custom-fit environment to fit each application's needs.

thesystemx3 karma

Conceptually, we have a Liberty Profile and a Full Profile

Indeed, that's one way of looking at it.

The other way is that maybe there are two architectures. There's WAS that has some specific architectural properties, and there's Liberty, which has different properties.

Now, theoretically, from my limited understanding I would say that with both architectures you could support both the Java EE 6 Web Profile and the Java EE 6 Full Profile.

It doesn't necessarily (technically spoken) has to be that Liberty equals the Web Profile and WAS equals the Full profile, does it?

Pure theoretically still, we could have:

  • WAS Full Profile
  • WAS Web Profile
  • Liberty Full Profile
  • Liberty Web Profile

And them maybe even:

  • Liberty Custom Profile

It's a bit what TomEE and GlassFish are doing. There's a GlassFish Web Profile, and there's a GlassFish Full Profile. There's a TomEE Web Profile, and there's a TomEE+, which you could say is a custom profile (but note that Web Profile is about MINIMUM functionality, a given implementation is allowed to support more, like e.g. Resin does).

wasdev_adamg2 karma

It's custom. It's in your control. This is one of my favorite aspects of Liberty. You can tailor fit your server to your application. Now, take that server and deploy it in a cloud. You are only using the pieces of the server the application needs resulting in high density. You are maximizing your hardware as you scale.

In theory, we can package and distribute this in many ways (Web Profile, Full Profile, etc.). Irregardless of how we package and distribute, it's still customizable.

wasdev_waltnn1 karma

So - today there is the Liberty Profile and the traditional WAS profile and customers can elect which they want to use. As you can see with the beta launched today, there are new functions added to Liberty with the beta (continuing to use a componentized approach). Over time, we'll continue incorporating customer feedback and updating our portfolio as appropriate along these lines .

SCombinator15 karma

Stop calling an Enterprise Java Application Server lightweight, you filthy liars.

wasdev_Tom12 karma

Liberty is a lightweight Java Application server - we're not saying that Liberty profile is a lightweight computer program, but it is lightweight for a Java app server (it runs fine on a raspberry pi which has a total of 256MB of RAM and an ARM CPU).

Akanaka7 karma

Stop spreading FUD, you filthy weasel. Things like TomEE, Resin and yes even Liberty -are- lightweight by pretty much every definition of the word. TomEE for instance is 25mb total, starts up in seconds, runs in 64mb of memory and has an elegant and simple programming model (eg not a single line of XML configuration is needed, a simple web page with backing business logic can be setup in minutes at most, etc).

Decker1083 karma

Every application dev ever should benchmark their easy of installation against Tomcat/TomEE. Nothing beats:

  1. Download zipfile
  2. Extract
  3. Run startup.bat

wasdev_Tom3 karma

Liberty install steps:

  1. Download self extracting jar
  2. Run self extracting jar to extract Liberty
  3. Go to <liberty install dir>/bin directory and run "<server/server.bat> create <your server name here>"
  4. Still in bin directory and run "<server/server.bat> start <your server name here>"

I think we stack up well against Tomcat/TomEE - what do you think? :)

Salacious-12 karma

If you had designed Liberty Prime from Fallout 3, what anti-communist phrases would you have equipped him with?

wasdev_Tom22 karma

Personally if I had created an awesome combat robot I would have made it intimidating through silence. Not hearing anything but the distant sounds of liberation and cries of joy as people are liberated would be enough.

_TaseT10 karma

No question, just want to say that in my experience WAS is likely the best family of technologies IBM has ever produced. Keep up the good work guys.

wasdev_Tom3 karma

Thanks :)

wasdev_mcthomps2 karma

Glad to hear that. Its always nice to have hard work appreciated!

iamaredditer10 karma

Can you get Watson to do an AMA for us?

wasdev_alasdair15 karma

In Jeopardy fashion: "Things the Liberty team can't do for you."

On a more serious note I can try to pass the suggestion on.

wasdev_adamg9 karma

Love the idea :) I actually sit a building over from some of the Watson team. I'll take a walk over there this afternoon and share the idea.

wasdev_kat15 karma

It looks like there is a lot of interest in the reddit community for this http://www.reddit.com/r/IAmA/comments/16czar/ama_request_ibms_watson/

Akanaka10 karma

Will Liberty support the java:app/ JNDI namespace for embedded data sources and other stuff?

wasdev_bkail5 karma

Support for java:app/ for embedded data sources (and resource-ref, env-entry, etc.) is in the 8.5.next beta.

seanhyd8 karma

Can you list 3 advantages of WAS over Weblogic?

wasdev_alex3 karma

It doesn't have anything like Liberty to get up & running in minutes, restart the server in < 5 seconds, and have totally dynamic config to make development much faster.

wasdev_alex3 karma

Oh, and in liberty 8.5.5 you can write your own product extensions - features etc - this mechanism is fully supported, so you don't have to deliver all function as applications.

johnwaterwood7 karma

Were any of you involved with WAS 6, and what do you think about the analogy between WAS 6 and IE 6?

wasdev_Tom5 karma

Yes some of the development team were involved with WAS v6.

I would partially agree with the IE6 analogy in that if you're still using it you should upgrade to a newer, better version (such as v8.5 Liberty profile!)

thesystemx3 karma

How can IBM help to "persuade" clients to upgrade?

The number of WAS 6 installations in active use remains too high, and I know of no developer who likes it. The problem is that so many organizations just don't want to upgrade it. Often there's some operations team that just doesn't care about developer friendly platforms.

How to break that cycle?

wasdev_waltnn3 karma

We have a very active and aggressive migration campaign in process right now. Check out the following external ink for migration details: http://www-01.ibm.com/support/docview.wss?uid=swg27008728

wasdev_Tom3 karma

That's a good question and it is something we need to work on (we'd much rather everyone upgrade). We do speak to our various customers to try and encourage them to move to newer versions but we're not going to force it - all we can do is highlight the benefits of upgrading and hope that they are things that our customers will want to upgrade for.

One of the thing we hope will happen is that developers will try out the Liberty Profile and let their organisations know that it will improve their productivity if they migrate to a newer version of WAS.

wasdev_alex3 karma

I think it's a combination of stick and carrot. The stick is the end-of-service life (although that has recently grown longer) which means people have to move up (eventually) to remain supported. The carrot is a smooth migration and cool new functions. With liberty there is no longer any migration of server config required - just point the new runtime at the previous config and you're good to go.

wasdev_adamg2 karma

We have to deliver features that people want. "If you build it, they will come." We hope not just developers - but administrators find Liberty a lot easier to use and manage. There's some new stuff coming in our next release to further enhance administration and push the bounds on scale (and more cool stuff for developers too). Our new beta will be posted to wasdev.net today. I encourage you to check it out and let us know what's missing.

thesystemx3 karma

I encourage you to check it out and let us know what's missing.

Definitely!

btw, thanks for supporting OS X ;) Great move! (just look at e.g. Devoxx how many Java developers are carrying OS X laptops around)

wasdev_adamg3 karma

Good to hear! A lot of us can now use Mac's ourselves. My wife is jealous each night as I sit with my MacBook Air.

dorfsmay3 karma

Will an apps written for was 7 works on v8.5 without modification (or very little)?

Can one configure v8.5 through property or ini files, or any sane format, or is it still clickety click on the console and a forest of forest of xml files?

wasdev_Tom3 karma

Can one configure v8.5 through property or ini files, or any sane format, or is it still clickety click on the console and a forest of forest of xml files?

The Liberty profile configuration is one simple XML file - typically my application server configuration has ~12 lines of XML (including opening and closing tags - it does depend on how many apps/features/data sources/security config elements you want to add though). You can configure it by hand if you want or you can use our free Eclipse tools to configure it for you with a very simple UI.

dorfsmay3 karma

Thanks. That's a huge improvement!

How much of an effort would it be to move apps written for WAS 7.x? Would it be pretty much a drop in? Or as drastic as moving your apps to Tomcat?

wasdev_Tom2 karma

After speaking to one of our developers who has worked on migration he believes it will be much easier to move from was v7 to v8.5 full profile as we try to avoid breaking the migration path as much as possible. We have a migration tool (and instructions) that you can download for free from here which installs into eclipse - if you run that on your application it will highlight any areas it finds where there could be migration issues.

The tool does not cover moving from an earlier version of WAS to 8.5 Liberty profile - the only Liberty migration it looks at is from tomcat to Liberty. You will need to see if the Liberty Profile supports the technology and features your application needs to see if it can support it currently.

wasdev_Tom1 karma

I'll hunt down one of our migration developers and ask them :)

edit: I managed to corner one and get the info I needed - see my other reply

thesystemx7 karma

If you would build a (perhaps personal) web app with Java EE (on WebSphere of course), which technologies would you use?

JSF, CDI, EJB, JPA? Any third party libs you like, like Guave or PrimeFaces?

wasdev_tim2 karma

I'd have a completely different answer for a large-scale business app (e.g. consider OSGi) vs a personal one, and as Joe indicated, even on the personal side the answer can depend a lot on what technologies you already know and what the purpose of your app is. Personally, I often fall back to JSP/JPA for simple apps, and pick other technologies as I'm trying to learn them or do something specific.

wasdev_joe1 karma

I'm not really a web developer. For work I write simple web apps to test something specific like JPA.

For personal stuff I try to pick one new technology I haven't used before whenever I write something new.
Last personal project I used JQuery on the client side just to see how it differed from Dojo. For my next personal project I intend to learn about MongoDB and NoSQL in general.

planet_jones5 karma

What tool do you use for source code management? Please God tell me it's not ClearCase!

strife256 karma

I'm not sure about the liberty team, but many teams in IBM use Rational Team Concert to manage their projects (it has its own SCM system). The SCM in RTC does not have the same workflow as git does, and is also centralized, but I think it works really well.

Feel free to check out www.jazz.net if you want to learn more.

wasdev_Tom7 karma

Correct - we use RTC.

eatrolls5 karma

Any advice for an engineering student that wants to try out a bunch of different hardware/software stuff? My school regularly has IBM job postings for the office in my hometown, which is great, but its rather selective. I'd love a chance to intern at IBM.

wasdev_Tom4 karma

The intern experience at IBM can differ depending on which country you are in (my experience comes from IBM UK) - I was an intern 4 years ago while I was doing my degree and spent a year in test/development which was a real eye opener to how things work in the "real world" and definitely helped me cement my ideas on what I wanted to do when I graduated.

No matter what role you get within IBM there are lots of corporate social responsibility programs you can join that let you experience different things and work on awesome side projects within work hours so don't worry about finding a role that does everything you want to do - find one that you do want to try and then look for opportunities to work on different things within the company.

Normally interns don't tend to move jobs within the company too much because they don't stay for what I would consider a long time (my posting was 14 months) however graduate positions (in the UK at least) allow you to switch jobs within the company relatively easily so you can try out different roles in different teams. Since I returned to IBM after graduating 2.5 years ago I've been a UI developer, researcher, software developer, game architect, game development lead for 8 games projects and a technical evangelist so once you are within the company the opportunities are great for trying different things until you find something you love to do.

My personal advice would be to give it a go - find a job posting you would like to try out and go for it (there will be a large range of different roles available - there are interns working on some of the development for the Code Rally computer game for example) - the experience you get will help you find out what things you like working on within a technology company and you will be able to forge professional relationships with people who can help you when finding even better jobs within the company or the industry as a whole. The worst that can happen is that you find that you don't like working on certain things which is far better to know early before you've made choices that could limit you to certain parts of the industry.

eatrolls1 karma

Sounds great. I'm pretty sure there won't be room for much role-switching, because internships at my school last only four months. I'm from Canada. I already applied last semester, but didn't receive a reply, though I'm optimistic because I'm still a freshman right now, and can hopefully make something happen within the next couple of years while I'm still studying.

wasdev_Tom1 karma

Definitely keep trying - I work with interns in IBM Canada and they really seem to be enjoying their placements.

wasdev_adamg1 karma

Don't give up! I did not get an intern at IBM my first go-around. I continued to build my skills and tried again a semester later. This time I got my internship. If you're looking for a fun way to build some hands on skills with Liberty, check our our CodeRally game.

Chaoticmass4 karma

[deleted]

wasdev_Tom5 karma

A fast, free development environment with free tools for eclipse. It's easy to configure and is dynamic so once you've made a coding change it is compiled, deployed to the server and ready to test without needing to restart the server. Give it a try and see what you think of it :)

Chaoticmass3 karma

[deleted]

wasdev_Tom2 karma

Great to hear you'll try it out :)

One thing you can try is to make a web app that your android apps can talk with :)

elguando4 karma

[deleted]

wasdev_Tom2 karma

What influence has the advent of virtualization had on the design of Liberty?

I can't comment I'm afraid (I don't know)

if I had a cluster of Raspberry Pis running Liberty, would that make me a bad-ass or a dork?

I'd think it would be pretty bad-ass (we have run sites at developer conferences using a cluster of Pis running Liberty), but as with many things it's not the hardware configuration of your app server cluster but what you do with it that counts.

VANNROX3 karma

How do you get to work on a project like this? What's the selection process like? Or did everyone involved have some participation in the design?

wasdev_Neil5 karma

I joined IBM from Uni almost 3 years ago - to give an idea of how the teams vary, I'm actually a chemistry/physics grad, so not everybody has to come from the traditional compsci/IT route. It's quite easy to move between teams (especially as a new graduate) - I had a couple of roles within other IBM product teams before I was lucky enough to be able to join the WAS Liberty team.

VANNROX1 karma

Sub question, how does your chemistry/physics education contribute to the project?

wasdev_Neil8 karma

Interesting question! The obvious answer would be the analytical and problem solving skills that are part and parcel of studying a degree in any scientific or technical field - I've found those map very well into the sort of skills you need as a software engineer.

More specifically, I spent a large proportion of my final-year timetable as part of a research group with postgrad/postdoc researchers. The ability to be comfortable working on something completely new, and getting up to speed very quickly, is probably the most important thing I learned!

One thing I always like to mention is a guy in a previous team I worked in - he was incredibly technical, held a position at 'architect' level, and was a Zoology graduate!

(Apologies to those of you who were hoping my reply would outline how IBM is snapping up physics students for a super-secret rocket program that our team is a front for - I'm just a mere software developer :-) )

wasdev_Tom3 karma

Different members of the team were brought onto the project in different ways - most of us were already working for IBM on other teams and moved over to the Liberty development team as and when positions became available.

wasdev_mcthomps3 karma

The design has been pretty collaborative in a lot of places, we have regular design calls where we flesh out ideas and look for design direction validation -- its really effective.

wasdev_adamg3 karma

It's a bit of seeing an opportunity/innovating and a bit of right place/right time. We saw the need to provide a lightweight application server that is easy for developers but can scale to full-blown enterprise production. Today you tend to have solutions that are strong on one end of the spectrum and not the other. To do both, we had to innovate (new kernel, new config, etc). Once the project started, we slowly grew the team working on it. We continued to pull in those who develop for our our full profile. Our ideas and designs come from around our global team. We have weekly design sessions that anyone in our development team can participate in - whether fresh out of college or with 30+ years of experience. I say a bit right place, right time as people were already working for the the WAS development team. But from there, anyone with ideas and energy can collaborate.

wasdev_kat2 karma

I studied Computer Science at Uni, then applied to the IBM UK Labs Graduate scheme and got a job there.

I worked on Eclipse-based applications for a few years where I got interested in OSGi so when a job came up working with OSGi in WAS I applied and ended up here :)

vincent1821823 karma

jms and ejb support for when?

wasdev_bkail6 karma

Now! The 8.5.next beta on wasdev.net has EJB and JMS. Download the beta and try it out.

planet_jones3 karma

Is Liberty going to continue to be free? Couldn't this severely dent IBM's income as development teams move to Eclipse and liberty away from the super expensive RAD with bundled WAS for Windows.

wasdev_Tom3 karma

Liberty does require a license to be used in production but it is free for development now. I can't speak for what will happen between now and the end of time but I'm not aware of any plans to stop Liberty being free for development (we love developers).

Although you can use Eclipse with the WDT and Liberty for free in development there are extra features that RAD provides which add functionality which developers may find useful - the point is to provide features in RAD that developers see value in and want to pay for over eclipse.

ricoj3 karma

It would be nice to have way to terminate hung/misbehaving request threads not just for the liberty profile but for the full product as well. Whatever happened to the hung thread interrupter?

Thanks

wasdev_adamg3 karma

We have added some new capability to WAS 8.5 in this space. Click here for details.

wasdev_Tom1 karma

Afraid I don't know - sorry!

johnwaterwood3 karma

Which other AS do you personally use (for developers to cross check behavior). GlassFish? JBoss EAP? ...?

wasdev_Tom6 karma

We don't tend to use other app servers (it wouldn't be very good if another app server did things we personally wanted that Liberty didn't match or do better would it?). As for making sure that the Liberty profile behaves as it should we look at the specifications for the technologies we implement and follow those.

It's better to do what the specs dictate and implement what our users would find useful than to merely copy and mimic how other application servers work - if we just copied each other then it would limit innovation and not offer real choice to developers.

johnwaterwood3 karma

You're basically right, but it might be cool to have some demo apps that you check on every other AS there. If they work on every AS, except WebSphere, then maybe users following blogs, tutorials etc will run into the same issues?

wasdev_Tom2 karma

Good point on the examples not working - if a sample follows the servlet specification then it should just work (otherwise we wouldn't be matching the spec correctly which is something we'd fix).

In the case that a sample does not work it could be because it is using classes specific to an app server such as Tomcat - we can't get around a sample using app server specific classes and we can't include them in Liberty so there isn't much we could do in that case. We do provide samples on our community site - if there is something you would like to see a sample for which we don't have available please feel free to let us know in our forums and we can use that info when looking at what samples to create for people.

n1c0_ds2 karma

Where can I target my hate at IBM Rational Software Architect? Everyone in the office has the same bugs, but no place to report them. We're talking about major bugs on critical RSA/WebSphere features such as running a server and publishing changes.

wasdev_Tom2 karma

Afraid I don't know about reporting defects in other products - sorry!

skulldrome2 karma

How's Hursley this time of year?

wasdev_Tom2 karma

cold :)

Trythisexlamatory2 karma

Why is your job title so long?!

wasdev_Tom2 karma

Who is that aimed at?

Jfhowell123452 karma

How much did it cost to create the server?

wasdev_alex1 karma

I don't know the dollar cost but we have been a growing team over 2-3 years

creep_creepette2 karma

How many people are in the development & QA teams at IBM for all WAS, and approximately how many people were on the Liberty Profile core dev and test teams?

wasdev_adamg2 karma

We're a pretty large team spanning three continents. It's been fun working with people in different cultures. We deliver automated function tests in parallel with our code, so developers and testers are sometimes one in the same. We do have dedicated performance testers and systems testers.

Tetragrammatron3 karma

Can you elaborate on your automated functional tests? Are you using Rational Functional Tester, or some other software to accomplish this?

wasdev_adamg2 karma

We use a mix of homegrown infrastructure based on JUnit and Rational Functional Tester. We also use Rational Performance Tester.

randomfibers2 karma

http://www-01.ibm.com/support/docview.wss?uid=swg1PM71336

Fix Pack 2
8.5.0.2 15 APR 2013

why so long for something so annoying? and reported so long ago

wasdev_bkail3 karma

A very large amount of regression, stress, performance, and compliance testing goes into every fix pack. If you need a fix sooner, you can get interim fixes from IBM with a support contract.

thesystemx2 karma

Any plans to support JASPIC in the Liberty Profile?

It's not really a new technology, since Liberty already has to do authentication. It's about doing authentication in a standard way.

wasdev_mcthomps2 karma

We don't have any immediate plans to support JASPIC.... but we're always open to new requirements :). We do support JAAS so depending on what you are trying to accomplish, it may already be possible for you to do what you want to do

rpgFANATIC2 karma

I don't use WAS, but there's plenty in my company who do. Our team was able to start using Maven for builds + testing extensively, but when I looked at getting the WAS'ers into Maven, it seemed like plugin support was limited.

Considering you guys know the lay of the land better than me... what's WAS's support for Maven? Got any spin-up, create server, deploy stuff plugins? What tools do you guys use when testing a WAS release that us consumers might find useful?

wasdev_adamg3 karma

We have a maven plug-in for liberty available here. Check it out and let us know what you think.

creep_creepette2 karma

Thanks for doing this AmA.

What do you think are the most important advantages of WAS Liberty Profile versus TomEE ?

Additionally, (I couldn't find information about this) has Liberty Profile passed the Java TCK and been certified for web profile? If not, are there plans for certification?

wasdev_bkail3 karma

I think the holistic config is really nice in WAS Liberty Profile.

8.5.0 passed the TCKs for all the technologies that it included (servlet, JSF, JSP, etc.).

wasdev_tim2 karma

Two words: 'developer experience'. Liberty is simpler (from disk structure to command line to configuration-by-exception), is extended consistently (if you've used one feature you know how to use another, or you can write your own), supports more (e.g. OSGi) and has better tools (RAD or WDT).

dev_ire2 karma

How does this product compare with the "full" WAS?

wasdev_Tom2 karma

It has a subset of the WAS full profile's features - it has the same web container and other features as WAS so if it works on Liberty it will work on WAS full profile (of the same version). WAS full profile does have more features and functionality than the Liberty profile does.

eatspam882 karma

Have you started training your foreign replacements yet? Which of IBM's competitors have you applied with?

wasdev_Tom3 karma

i no hablan Ingl├ęs

In all seriousness though our development team hasn't moved or "lost" jobs to other countries - we have had a global development team from the start.

wasdev_adamg2 karma

Not a concern for me. Our Liberty team has developers all over the globe. I like the say "The sun never sets on WebSphere development."

wasdev_waltnn1 karma

and that will continue to be the case.

JCSwneu2 karma

Describe what you do in 10 words or less

wasdev_kat14 karma

code monkey get coffee, code monkey go to job

wasdev_andy7 karma

I manage the code monkeys

wasdev_adamg13 karma

I deal with the $%#@ customers so the engineers don't have to. I have people skills; I am good at dealing with people. Can't you understand that? What the @#@$ is wrong with you people?

wasdev_adamg1 karma

Couldn't resist that quote. But we do like engineers to work with customers/users/developers as often as possible. Its helps us build better products.

wasdev_bkail2 karma

meetings, develop, test, debug, design, conference calls, email, review code, meetings.

wasdev_Kevin1 karma

Thats 11!

wasdev_bkail2 karma

It's only 10 words, but one of them happens to be in there twice :-).

wasdev_joe2 karma

collaborate, design, develop, debug, and review/improve everything including process

wasdev_tim2 karma

I try to make every Liberty users life simpler

wasdev_Tom1 karma

I make cool demos and talk and sleep

wasdev_Neil1 karma

Write code, test code, drown myself in tea

thesystemx2 karma

On Developerworks there was this exciting text:

Something exciting is brewing!

And a clock counting down to ~10 minutes ago, and then... the clock wrapped to -1???

wasdev_Tom4 karma

My bad!

The timer will be fixed imminently pokes server

The countdown was to the release of the Liberty profile v8.5.next beta which is in the process of going live right now.

slyro0071 karma

Thank you guys for doing this AMAA! You guys do a lot of awesome work. What are some of your future projects?

wasdev_bkail3 karma

I've been working on various components in WAS for 8 years now, and I still get huge joy when I make small changes that make life easier for customers: error message improvements, better doc, simplified config, shortcut commands, etc. There's such a large install base, that even small improvements have a big effect.

For example, I worked on "server javadump" in Liberty 8.5.0.1 for triggering javacore/threaddump and heapdump/hprof without needing external tools, signals, etc. If nothing else, it makes my job easier :-).

So, I expect I'll keep doing stuff like that.

wasdev_waltnn1 karma

We are focused in some key areas (developer experience, cloud enablement, mobile integration and transaction resiliency). You can expect that we'll continue to take strides in these areas.

slyro0071 karma

Sounds really hard and annoying to do but sounds like you love your job and its reallllly easy. Keep it it up good sir!

wasdev_bkail2 karma

Yes, it's all just a simple matter of programming :-).

wasdev_adamg2 karma

We have a few tech previews and early access programs on wasdev.net. Look under downloads -> early access releases. Also, you'll see blog posts from time to time talking about new stuff. We update our blog at least once a week.

wasdev_tim1 karma

Most of us are still thrilled to be part of this team, and can't imagine doing anything else. Besides, we're not nearly done yet - check out all we added in the 8.5.next beta! But seriously, IBMers can't publicaly discuss future projects anyway.

BarDweller1 karma

Can liberty read flux timing information from 3.5" floppy disks.. or build an awesome armoured suit that can fly?

wasdev_Tom1 karma

No however one of our developers can do both at the same time whilst juggling and riding a unicycle on a highwire suspended over the grand canyon. He's not here at the moment as he's pulling a sickie!

wasdev_kat2 karma

All this whilst wearing stilettos.

runT1ME1 karma

What is your development process?

What do you feel the biggest limitations of java are? Do you look at C# and Scala programmers enviously?

Do you utilize a lot of AOP and do you think it's a good thing/bad thing?

Are there any controversial architectural/technology decisions you guys made that you still aren't sure were the right ones (This happens for me at least, I'm experienced enough to not make huge mistakes, but sometimes I wonder if I made the right tradeoff).

Note: I have had some patches accepted to JBoss so technically we're 'rivals' ;-)

wasdev_bkail5 karma

Our development process is mostly agile.

I miss structs when programming in Java. I spent too long debugging a problem today that was ultimately caused by signed bytes, so I guess I missed unsigned types, too...

I personally find AOP difficult to work with for the same reason that it's so powerful: action at a distance.

All software development is a matter of architectural trade-offs, and our design process is very meticulous about evaluating those trade-offs, so I like to pretend we don't choose horrible trade-offs very often :-).

TLinden311 karma

[deleted]

wasdev_Tom5 karma

I'm pretty sure I'm real. Then again maybe I'm a construct trapped within Watson unaware of the reality of my existence.

wasdev_mcthomps2 karma

So you want some kind of anti-Turing test? Or possibly a reverse turing test? :P (alas, I can not find a futurama youtube link to that!) EDIT: like -> link

wasdev_tim2 karma

Actually, reddit has noticed the high percentage of replies from one IP (IBM) or our new wasdev_ accounts and is throttling us. So maybe we're a bot after all!

PancakesOrWaffles0 karma

Pancakes or Waffles?

wasdev_Tom2 karma

Pancakes!