"I have a mind like a steel... uh... thingy." Patrick Logan's weblog.

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Saturday, July 29, 2006

Responding to James

James Robertson left a long comment to my previous entry on the conflict(s) in the Middle East. I already rambled on in that entry, so I'm pulling his comment and response out here.

I think you misunderstand the nature of modern war if you think a draft would be useful, much less desirable. It takes a long time to create useful soldiers out of raw recruits. Additionally, a mass army is nothing so much as a huge target given nuclear weapons. There's a reason that the military is in the midst of reorganizing itself from large organic divisions into smaller, more easily configurable battalions. A mass draft army would run completely counter to that, and isn't something anyone wants.

I seriously doubt that any US troops will be sent into Lebanon, period. Also, it's telling that you think Israel is losing. Riddle me this: why are Iran, Syria, and Hezbollah desperately calling for a cease fire? Does the winning side ever ask for that?

I don't think a draft would be useful for anything except alerting people in the US that there are wars going on in Iraq and Lebanon (and Afghanistan -- are most people aware conditions are rapidly deteriorating there as well?). Other than a slight increase in gas prices, most people just don't seem to care that much. A draft would at least cause most of us to call for an end to our involvement there.

I never intended to imply Israel is losing. I don't know how to determine winners and losers in conflicts like this, I can barely comprehend their motivations. Disarming Hezbollah seems impossible, though. Someone will always be willing to rearm them eventually. These problems will not go away any time soon.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Just Now Waking Up

John Robb writes...

The 82nd Airborne is on tap to be sent... As Bill Lind said, this is 1914 all over again...

Things have spun way out of control. Can anyone say draft?

A draft would force most of us to turn off American Idol and think finally about what's going on around us, and our current, er, leadership. A draft would be one way for the congress to say it is time to sacrifice... for the first time since we've been at war and cut taxes simultaneously. (And frankly, they've kind of tapped the zygote topic for this election year.)

We might be asked to make a number of sacrifices, finally, beyond the soldiers in Iraq who've lost limbs and sustained severe head injuries, and the families who've lost husbands, wives, sons, daughters, fathers, and mothers.

We will have to ask, what for? What is this really for? I hope we are willing to ask that, and we'd better be determined to cut to the chase for a real answer.

One more thing -- is my son eligible for those same five deferments Cheney got during the Vietnam War? Will he too be allowed to have "other priorities" than shooting Communists, er, Muslims?

Should my son be drafted before or after Jenna and Barbara Bush? Why are they not fighting in Iraq already? All four of Franklin Roosevelt's sons were decorated for bravery in WWII.

I'd bet most Americans would tolerate several "pre-emptive", extremely destructive aerial attacks on the perceived enemies' cities much more easily than they'd tolerate a draft. Those would play a *lot* better on CNN and Fox News.

Count me out on all of this.

XMPP

Mickaël Rémond from the recent Portland Jabber Meeting...

At the end of the day, we were almost able to federate on a secure network, but there is still some interop work to be done to make this work flawlessly. That's why we all commited to make this secure federation of IM network running on different code base work in a close future. I agree with Jacques Belissent that building an open, highly secure xmpp federation based on a pretty diverse set of implementations is a very exciting and close prospect...

I deeply feel that we are only at the beginning. Something really big is now happening around XMPP (eXtensible Presence and Messaging Protocol).

Semantics

Sean McGrath...

Semantic markup is happening at last. Surprise surprise, it is not taking the shape that we had anticipated.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

The Windows Live Developer Platform

Brian Arbogast, corporate vice president for the MSN Communications Platform in an article by Mary Jo Foley...

Windows Live services should be designed to support any platform, browser, language or device, and Windows Live services should make use of simple, standards-adherent HTTP-based application programming interfaces.

Lazarus the Canary

A interesting GC story from Greg Luck via Bill de hÓra.

...our main J2EE app at work with 9 second pauses. These would happen on average every 50 seconds. Needless to say this was a... problem.

In the end we consulted some engineers at Sun who... gave us the following piece of black magic:

java ... -XX:+DisableExplicitGC -XX:+UseConcMarkSweepGC -XX:NewSize=1200m -XX:SurvivorRatio=16

That's quite a canary. Let's name it Lazarus for the time being.

I'd bet the object story is even more interesting than the GC story.

Update:

As coincidence would have it, Greg is in town for OSCON and we ended up having coffee and then dinner with a group staying in town an extra day. There *is* a good object story behind the GC story... they are doing a *lot* in that VM with actual data and several kinds of caching. There are several ways they could slice up the objects into more VMs, in particular partitioning along data domains is natural for their application. Moving things into more VMs is something they've considered, but could take some effort working around their current use of ejb.

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About Me

Portland, Oregon, United States
I'm usually writing from my favorite location on the planet, the pacific northwest of the u.s. I write for myself only and unless otherwise specified my posts here should not be taken as representing an official position of my employer. Contact me at my gee mail account, username patrickdlogan.