Camel in Action - Going well, a glimpse of light ahead

Over a year ago we did start on what seems inevitable - A demand in the market for an Apache Camel book.

Looking back in my mail archives, the first trace I can find about how all this began was dating back to February 2009. It was just a month after Apache Camel became a Top Level Project at Apache (actually long overdue).

Now fast forwarding to today, April 25th 2010, its with pride that we can say the book project is definitely going well. The book was launched to the public in late October 2009, and now 6 months later we have a steady and stable stream of book updates (MEAP). In fact the book has been updated 5 times (incl. the first). This is strong testimony that we are on a good path towards the goal of having the book published in Q3 2010. Also we are very proud begin able to offer frequent MEAP updates which ensures, you the readers, having a good feeling as well. I know as a MEAP subscriber myself it becomes frustrating when there are no updates for a long time, and the authors of the book, is not responsive on the Author forums as well. With the Camel book you will neither find yourself in such a situation.

Also we make an effort to make every page of the book count with quality - you'll not find full pages with a maven dependency dump or a console dump of Tomcat starting, etc.. Having seen this in other books, you can't keep wondering that the writers was a bit lazy here, and that you would rather have had those dumps being cut; giving leg room for more pages with material that enlightens you.

At this time we had our 3rd review by a selected review panel. The panel takes their time to read and review the material and provide critique and excellent feedback. Without the guidance and help from this panel, the book would not be in such a great shape, it is currently. The panel is also reassuring we are on the right path as the overall impression on the material is getting much better. They are rating the current material in top (4 or 5 out of 5).

Today is sunday and yet another weekend I will spend writing on the book. Jonathan is busy on chapter 12 and I am hacking on chapter 8. That means the next MEAP update would at least contain 2 new chapters. After this there is only chapter 14 left. And then there is much more work as well, refining each and every chapter, having them copy edited (multiple times), reviews, indexing, appendixes, forewords, double checking code listings, etc. etc.

But still we can start to see the light at the end of the tunnel.


Apache Camel 2.3 will be yet another big win for the Camel community

When I glace over the progress of the Camel 2.3 on the in progress release notes, it tell me this is going to be a yet another great release. The Camel community is really stepping up and keep contributing to the Camel eco system. This time we are looking at approximately 10 new components, this may be a record high.

Martin Krasser keeps working on new features and components to the Camel Google App Engine, as well as his great work on the Camel Akka integration.

And this time we had a new component to the camel-core, which doesn't happen that often. Its the property placeholder component, which finally allows you to use placeholders in your Camel routes without having to use Spring Property Placeholder workarounds and whatnot.

We are also bringing in HawtDB which I am sure we will expand in the future. Currently its the persistent framework for the overhauled aggregator, so we can have those in flight aggregated messages in a safe persistent store.

Ashwin Karpe took the time to add camel-netty, which is great news for us that are starting to loose faith that Apache Mina 2.0 is ever going GA. When I got started with Camel, Mina 2.0 was in the works, and that is over 2 years ago.

Christian Mueller did really great and hard work to upgrade both camel-jetty and camel-http to use the latest stable releases of Jetty 7.0 and Apache Http Client 4.0.1. However in the latter case, we have recently decided to keep camel-http using the good old trusty Http Client 3.1, and let camel-http4 be the new playground for the Http Client 4.x, while it matures a bit more.

Christian didn't stop there and is now working on a camel JSR-303 component for bean validation, CAMEL-2565, which should make it in Camel 2.3 GA.

Mitko Kolev created a camel-exec component, so we can execute native applications. The component can then capture outputs from std out, err and whatnot. Really great work.

Christian Schneider created a camel-soap data format which allows you to marshal to/from SOAP without the need to bring in the guns with CXF or similar framework.

Stephen Gargan, contributed the camel-crypto component/data format. Now using javax.crypt has never been easier in Camel.

And the Camel itself, had many other significant wins as well, which I will safe for another time to do a blog entry.

And yes we need to have a couple of these new components documented on the wiki. It would be a shame if we have to pull out a new component from the release, just because, the contributed only contributed the code, but didn't do the necessary documentation as well.

As you know I have writing Camel up to both my ears with the book, so it must be the community who documents, what is contributed to the code base.

This is really outstanding work from the Camel community. A round of applause from your humble Camel rider.


Deal of the Day - ActiveMQ and Camel in action - 2 for 1

Manning have a deal of the day today, which means you can buy both ActiveMQ in Action and Camel in Action for the price of one. The deal is for all both print, ebook or print + ebook.

Use coupon code DOTD0401
As its a deal of the day its only valid the 1st of April 2010.

A new MEAP update of Camel in Action should be out shortly, which should include 3 new chapters.