Tag Archives: Mergere

Announcing DevZuz

I’m back from a holiday and am at ApacheCon, and obviously starting to get a few questions about what’s going on with Mergere.

After some months of planning, this week the new brand for our company was announced. DevZuz is the evolution of Simula Labs, including Mergere which is now a subsidiary.

Other than “What does DevZuz mean?”, the main question I am getting is “Why change the name?”

The reality of the two companies today is that they have a single, simple and clear goal: to help enterprises adopt open source projects and development processes. Unifying under a single brand gives us the opportunity for a “fresh start” that reflects that specific focus. Far from being the end of Mergere, we are continuing to do what we are doing well now, but additionally making some very positive changes (particularly in relation to our community involvement).

As DevZuz, we will expand on our development and support for Maestro, which is an enterprise-ready distribution of Maven technologies now coming up on its one-year anniversary. Maestro, which remains a free download, provides the foundation that is used behind the firewall to enable artifact-based development practices (and consume open source technologies). We will continue to provide support, training and consulting services for Maestro customers.

In addition, DevZuz can now provide hosted services that build on top of Maestro to help enterprises manage their open source governance and support.

We are also expanding our network of partners to provide additional services, and to continue to provide commercial support for key open source technologies.

More information can be found at our brand new web site. There you’ll also find that we have released Maestro 1.2.

One of the exciting developments is a re-emphasis on our contribution to the open source communities we participate in. Mergere has made significant contributions to open source over the last two years in terms of development resources, free services and the contribution of the first free book about Maven 2. These will, of course, continue – but as DevZuz, we have established specific roles and practices to improve our community involvement. Our aim is for our participation in those communities to be completely transparent.

Though DevZuz is not “the Maven company”, DevZuz is committed to making Maven and its subprojects successful as a community in it’s own right. In particular, we will be focusing on helping produce more frequent releases in the community, in addition to the tested Maestro product suite. You can expect a lot more to come in this area – and this is exciting news for Maven users and developers alike.

In addition to our continued participation in Maven, DevZuz is leading the Eclipse Kepler project proposal as a community effort.

I’m personally pleased with this direction – we have interesting and different problems to solve while continuing to focus on open source development.

I’m at ApacheCon in Amsterdam this week, and JavaOne next week. If you’re there, drop me a line and ask me a random Maven question (everyone else is!)

Is this the end of Mergere?

As they’ve both announced, Jason and John have left Mergere in the last few months. As Jason rightly states, when founders leave a start-up, it’s cause to pause for thought. Naturally, I’ve been doing that – so, is this the end for Mergere?


In fact – right now it feels more like a new beginning than an end.

In saying that, I don’t want to downplay the roles that either of them had in getting us to where we are now: Jason’s sacrifices in starting the company and John’s continued workload were both massive. I have the utmost respect for their decisions, their reasons, and of course wish them every success in whatever they each choose to do next. And though it’s saddening to no longer be working day to day with each of them, there’s comfort in that I work with them still in the Maven community, and hopefully that’ll continue for some time to come. We’re all still good friends.

But the greater comfort is the strong team we continue to have on board. Maven committers Emmanuel Venisse, Carlos Sanchez, Deng Ching, Joakim Erdfelt, Jesse McConnell and Wendy Smoak, and a great group of developers from Exist Global (whom I had the pleasure of meeting face to face last week) form our community and product development team. Shane Isbell, from the incubating NMaven effort, has joined us to boost Maestro’s support for .Net-based applications, and dedicate more time to growing NMaven’s community. Philip Dodds, who recently joined us as the CTO of Simula Labs, is someone with plenty of experience in both open source communities and enterprise development, and he’s not a half bad bloke for a Pom 🙂

Speaking personally, I look back at the last two years with mixed emotions. Mergere has made a lot of things possible – letting us work on Maven projects full time has certainly sped up development, and we’ve been able to make large contributions to the first release of Maven 2.0, plugin documentation and testing, Continuum, Archiva, and we sponsored the free Better Builds with Maven book. All of our current product line has either been part of an existing open source community, or made available under the Apache License.

But, start-ups are not easy work. You’re bound to have to change plans, and make mistakes, and the key is to learn from them quickly. Given the benefit of hindsight, there are 2 primary things I’d do differently.

The first would have been to not limit our scope to being ‘the Maven company’. Maven is a great technology, and it has been and will continue to be an important part of what we offer. We will certainly continue to participate actively in the community. But there are additional and different challenges that these tools can help solve, that we are exploring equally.

Secondly, it’s all about the community – and this rests heavily with me. I was always clear that I didn’t want Mergere to influence the Maven community – however, with good intentions, I tried too hard. In more recent times, as schedules got busier, it became clear that trying not to influence the community actually influenced the community – essentially by putting developers on current business priorities which caused other parts to languish. By trying not to impose our release schedules, we took away the impetus for releases to happen at all. Now, to be fair, this really just exposed long existing cultural problems in the Maven development community with regards to testing, documentation and releases – and my thanks goes to those who’ve regardless plugged away tirelessly at these things like salmon swimming upriver lately. Mergere have definitely contributed to that work, but both as a group of Maven committers, and as an open source corporate citizen, we should have done much more, and sooner. We should have dedicated a baseline of time to ‘unscheduled’ community work – particularly by way of applying patches and encouraging new contributors.

This is certainly something we intend to change right away, and luckily this is at a time where the community is re-energised and ready for it, so I’m expecting that it will be welcomed, and will succeed. It has certainly been a learning experience for me.

I do have one more regret – and that is not talking more about what we’re doing. It’s not that I’ve been secretive – far from it – but rather absorbed in the day to day. So, consider blogging my (late) new year’s resolution.

The great news is that we’re on a good path now, and we have the team to do it well. For me, this is an exciting outlook, and this is a year that I’m looking forward to. There’s plenty more to come.

Trip to the Philippines

I’ve just spent the better part of last week near Manila, and I have to say the stay was way too short. I really enjoyed myself there, and would have liked to stay on longer – I wish I’d taken the opportunity earlier. I’m not exactly sure what it was that endeared the place to me, but I felt very comfortable there.

Of course, the best thing is the people that I got to meet. I was in the country to meet the Mergere and Simula team at Exist Global, some of whom I’ve been working with for over a year and a half, and never had the opportunity to meet face to face. I already knew from working with them that they are friendly and helpful, but it was great to finally see that in person, and to discover what a close-knit group they are. Here is a photo of most of the team:

Left to Right: Dexter, Philip, Myself, Nap, Che, Lester, Jheng, Tin, Henry, Dawn, Mike, Deng, Teody, Glenn, Edwin, Franz

Unfortunately this week did see the last days for a couple of the Mergere team – Pete (not pictured), and Edwin. Good luck in your next adventures, guys!

The office there is good. It’s in a convenient location, at least for me being able to walk from the hotel (via the mega mall!). There’s a really nice view from the rooftop that I discovered on the last day where you can see quite a distance. And of course, just being in an air-conditioned office is a nice change from working from my home office/sauna since Sydney has similar temperatures and humidity to Manila at this time of year!

I got to try some new foods on the Friday – my first time eating a snail (which was surprisingly good), and Halo-halo which is a delicious desert.

I also went to Intramuros, the “walled city” in Manila. I’m fascinated by churches and history, so this was great place for me to visit. Absolutely beautiful. And proof that Starbucks is now pretty much everywhere. I’m always up for trying new things in new places – in addition to the new foods this was the first time I’d ridden in a horse-drawn carriage – and also the first time I’d ridden in a horse drawn carriage in major traffic. I have some photos to post, as soon as I can find a cable for my camera…

Anyway, I hope to return again soon, and my resolution for the next trip is definitely to get out of the hotel a lot more!

Updated: photos here

Maven Interview with the Java Posse

I had an opportunity to do an interview about Maven with the Java Posse podcast recently, which is now available.

We covered what Maven is all about, how it integrates with tools and IDEs, what being at the ASF means, and what Mergere is doing.

This is the first podcast that I started listening to, so it was great to be a part of it, and the interview was a lot of fun.

If you haven’t caught it before, I’d highly recommend giving it a listen – they have some good interviews along with regular news and listener feedback.

Free Maven 2 Book Released

Well, “Better Builds with Maven” is finally out there.


The book is the first about Maven 2, and was written by Maven developers myself, Jason van Zyl, John Casey, Vincent Massol, and Carlos Sanchez. The chapters include:

  • An introduction to Maven 2.0
  • Creating, compiling and packaging your first project
  • Best practices and real-world examples
  • Building J2EE Applications
  • Extending builds by creating your own Maven plugins
  • Monitoring the health of source code, testing, dependencies and releases
  • Team collaboration and utilising Continuum for continuous integration
  • Converting existing Ant builds to Maven

If you happened to get the pre-release before today, the book has been updated – you can download it again from the website.