It has been a long five years, but the Roller Weblogger blogging platform has finally graduated from the Apache Incubator and achieved top level status as an Apache project.The Roller Weblogger project began with a blog post by primary developer Dave Johnson on April 11, 2002 and gained momentum with the publishing of a now landmark article on onjava.com.
Since that time, Roller Weblogger has slowly developed into the blogging engine of choice for Java developers. After Dave was hired by Sun in September of 2004, he has been able to focus full time on enhancing the application and building the community.
Roller is the blogging platform that supports Sun Microsystem's employee blogging site, IBM's DeveloperWorks Blogs , thousands of internal blogs at IBM Blog Central, the Javalobby's 10,000 user strong Java community site, and not too mention the myriad of internal blogs set up by Java development shops across the globe.
As any developer who has gone through the Apache incubation process can tell you, graduating and achieving top level project status is no small feat. The Roller Weblogger team had to develop an understanding of and commit to the governance of Apache while also doing a complete review of the code base in order to comply with Apache licensing policies.
This work resulted in major improvements of the software to bring it to the level of quality that users have been accustomed to from Apache. All this work culminated in the release of version 3.1 and a new home at roller.apache.org.
The improvements contained in the new version include support for tagging (contributed by IBM), an improved weblog editor based on Xinha and numerous bug fixes.
Some people will question whether or not there is a need for another enterprise level blogging engine. That is a valid point, but most people will also agree that a certain level of competition is usually a good thing and a Java-based alternative will be attractive to IT managers who are wary of bringing a PHP or Perl based blogging platform into their enterprise.
Furthermore, Sun's move of the Java Runtime Environment to the less restrictive GPL open source license could lead to Roller becoming a standard offering by blog hosting companies as an alternative to the current PHP-based offerings.
The Roller Weblogger project is a true open source software success story. Kudos to Dave Johnson and the many developers who have contributed over the years.