Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Flying ..

I'm writing this blog while flying over just south of Kansas City right now .. yep, on a flight :). This is a Virgin America flight from Washington Dulles to San Francisco and it has on-board wifi! I had to pay $12.95 for it but 6 hrs of wifi on a flight for that price when the plane ticket was $110? Anytime! (Oh yeah, this plane (an Airbus A320) has power in every seat too.)

I just tried a Skype Out call but that didn't quite work as well as it could've. That's ok; I'll still accept the wifi!

I flew from Colombo on Emirates .. Colombo to Dubai on a 777 and then on one of their new A380s from Dubai to JFK. WOW. I have to say that plane is absolutely as quiet as everyone has claimed .. its incredibly comfortable. I didn't have the pleasure of being upstairs (which is where business class and more is) but even the economy seats had power, a USB connector to play my media on the inflight entertainment system etc.. Combined with the always awesome Emirates service, that was an amazing flight :).

I first went in a plane in 1980 .. from Colombo to Muscat, Oman where my father was then working. I started flying long distance in 1985 when I came to the US. In the last nearly 25 that I have been flying back and force from one side of the world to the other, I can't say that air travel has improved significantly in terms of the time it takes to get from Colombo to the US or the convenience. However, once the quality of Emirates combined with the comfort of A380 style planes and now wifi on board become more prevalent, I think that equation finally starts to shift in the right direction.

Next all I need is a non-stop flight from Colombo to JFK and another to SFO. The planes can do it now .. just a matter of getting the economics to work. Then I'll be in flying heaven! A one-day meeting in the US would not be outrageous to fly to then ;-).

Sunday, February 22, 2009

On the road to understanding and hope

As many would've heard by now Colombo was attacked by two LTTE aircraft a few nites ago. They were apparently 9/11 style on a suicide mission .. but didn't quite make it where they wanted to go. (Well, not necessarily - its always possible they were paid by someone to crash into the Inland Revenue Service building to destroy some nasty tax files!!!) The good thing is that both aircraft were brought down - and with that most probably all of the remaining parts of the Air Tigers.

I can't really see what logical rationale LTTE had in launching this attack. If they were hoping to "stop" the war, the only way they'd have had any chance would've been to kill our president, defence secretary and probably at least the army commander. Well, the odds of a little Zlin 134 achieving that objective (even when they're packed with explosives) are pretty low.

On the other hand, they also now shoot at civilians leaving their clutches .. so clearly they've totally lost it. We just need to knock off the leadership and then all the lower level people can be spared .. a lot of their "soldiers" are forcibly conscripted children.

They certainly achieved a small PR victory .. or at least got some good coverage. On the other hand, it shows even more clearly that this crazy group that has airplanes, submarines, sea scooters, heavy artillery, suicide boats, suicide unit and more simply must be totally destroyed. Peace must be achieved by solving the underlying issues in our society. LTTE has no role in a peaceful Sri Lanka.

With all this fighting one may feel that there's no hope for Sri Lanka. However, what prompted me to write this blog is an amazing story that's in today's Sunday Times: about how a group of Sinhala and Tamil farmers took a week-long trip to the hill country to learn about better dairy farming approaches .. and how it lead to the people bonding across cultures. Definitely worth reading!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Convergence in Enterprise IT

In October last year I was one of the keynote speakers at the SOA Kongress in Mainz, Germany. I meant to post the slides a while ago but after uploading them to slideshare forgot to post a note about it. Better late than never:

WSO2 OxygenTank refresh

Our marketing team too has been working double-time to give the WSO2 Oxygen Tank ( a refresh in support of the Carbon based product releases.

Check it out - it looks awesome and helps people understand the overall vision behind our product platform!

Friday, February 6, 2009

Carbon is out .. come and get it!

So ... after many many months of really hard work, we just released:
All of these are based on WSO2 Carbon, the componentized, OSGi-powered SOA framework we created.

If you want to know more about what we're trying to do with Carbon then check out Paul's awesome blog on the subject. If you want to know how we managed to pull off such a mammoth release then check out Samisa's blog. If you want to understand different aspects of Carbon then keep an eye on stuff that mentions WSO2 Carbon - many of our folks will start blogging and writing articles about it soon .. Ruwan has already started on the ESB!

Or better yet, just download the code and let us know what you think. Yes, as always, all of our products are no-gimmicks, 100% open source under Apache License 2.0.

Before I end this blog entry, I have to say how proud I am of the wonderful team of 60+ people we have in WSO2. Its been a very hard few months wrapping up 4 major product releases all at once while still serving our large paying customer base, supporting our even larger free user community and also continuing to develop and release our 10 other products. Yeah its been a tough time. But you know what, when the going gets tough, the tough get going .. and we proved that we have a tough team. Its been a privilege to be part of this phase of WSO2 and I know this is just the stepping stone to where we know we can go.

Awesome job guys!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Sahana 2009 Conference

The Free and Open Source Software community in Sri Lanka is organizing a conference around Sahana, the disaster management system that was originally created in Sri Lanka after the 2004 Asian Tsunami.

The conference will be from March 24th to 25th, with a BarCamp organized for the day after.

Interested? You can submit a talk or register etc. at

Why you need WSO2 Carbon ..

.. I cannot possibly say it better than Samisa!

Coming soon .. see: