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

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Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Unstable At Any Speed

Just a reminder to make all our future software of all stripes more resilient. We have to make that easier. Microsoft Watch captures a crashed kiddie ride at some store...

XMPP DevCon 3

XMPP DevCon #3 is in a few weeks, down the street from my office, coincident with OSCON.

"Bonjour, XMPP."

From http://blog.xmpp.org/...

Today we advanced XEP-0174: Link-Local Messaging to Draft in our standards process. This specification defines how to send XMPP messages in a serverless mode via zero-configuration networking (a technology created by Apple Computer, originally called Rendezvous and now called Bonjour).
To be clear for us newbies to Bonjour, there are implementations like the one from Apple, but it is also a standard, or maybe more accurately a set of conventions for using some IP standards. So it is not like "using something from Apple" which may be less appealing to some than "using some IP networking standards".

Anyway, that said, this is kind of interesting. We've been looking at various intersections of grid computing and messaging. If you have a number of processes coming and going, not too far from each other, and some of them need to find each other to exchange some information, this might be a way to do that.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Common Solutions To Common Problems

Stefan Tilkov and Marc de Graauw debate the advantages to rest.

Here's another aspect to the question: no matter how much caching is used (now or perhaps later) there is a lot more to HTTP, and there is a lot of open and high quality software for HTTP. So why not use common solutions to common problems?

iPhone and Safari SDK

Stefam Tilkov notes...

Had Apple chosen to build a ‘real’ SDK (i.e. using Objective C/Cocoa), only Mac developers would have been able to build iPhone applications — this way, and with the accompanying release of Safari for Windows, there are millions of developers who can (and will) build them...

I fail to see what’s wrong with this, because Safari will allow interaction with the iPhone’s features — you can make calls, access contacts etc. What more could one ask for?

Purt near brilliant, really.

Wish iPhone would support Flex though. :-)

Monday, June 11, 2007

Beavs Return to Omaha!

How'd they do it? Pitching. Defense. (Amazingly the Michigan team batted over .300 through their lineup, top to bottom. Until this super-regional series, where they hit below .200.)

And Small ball. (Read the same summaries below to see how they scored the last two games!)

The Oregon State Beavers are the defending national champions in NCAA baseball. But they lost all but four players from last year. Only two of those four were starters.

This year they went into a three week slump within their Pac-10 schedule, and slid way down those standings. No one really expected too much from them. Their overall record (and perhaps recent history) got them into the regionals as a three-seed.

But just as they clawed and scratched their way last year to the national championship up through the loser's bracket, this year they found their way back to the College World Series in Omaha for a third straight year. (Portland Tribune, ESPN)

Previous year champions often do not return to Omaha. The Beavers are clawers and scratchers.

They won three games in 24 hours to win their regionals. Then in the super-regionals against Michigan they won a *fantastic* game on Sunday 1-0, scoring in the ninth on their only hit, a single to the opposite field.

Today they just clobbered Michigan, 8-2. (Well, sort-of -- the Michigan pitchers gave up some really bad bases on walks, hit pitchers, and balks. And hits.) The College World Series starts on Friday. The Beavers are a long-shot, but last year they were as well.

Go Beavs! Thanks for all the great baseball. And thankfully there is more to come this season. If you want to watch fun baseball, watch the OSU Beavers in the CWS on ESPN.

Flex 3 Deep Linking

The new beta of Flex 3 takes another step or so to resolve webbiness issues. One is becoming more open. Still it's not HTML, but heading in the right direction.

More immediately pragmatic is "deep linking" so the problem of Flash/Flex being a blob of unlinkable bits is significantly less of a problem.

Neet-o. I still think it's better to view a Flex app as kind of like a "browser executable" that reads webs of resources as would any other web client. But doing this *and* being able to deep link to within that "browser executable" is something.

This is most useful when the application is is behaving in ways not easily implemented in Ajax.

Epidemic Algorithms For Replicated Data(base) Maintenance

Fun reading via Werner Vogels via Dan Creswell.

Dinosaurs Online

Also from IEEE... http://dsonline.computer.org/

Is it kind of telling when a publisher puts the phrase "online" in their url? And then the lead article for the June 2007 issue is the best paper from some conference in 2006.

I'm just sayin.

From The Horribly Slow Lead Time Department

IEEE publishes something about an Enterprise Service Bus.

Whew. Just in time! ;-/

I'm just sayin.

Mac Attack

I need to sms my son before he buys Windows for his new MacBook Pro. He was doing so for certain games, but may not need to after all...

Citing that EA customers were moving to the Mac in droves, EA announced that it would once again begin developing games for the Mac platform with simultaneous releases as their Windows counterparts. Command and Conquer 3, Battlefield 2142, Need For Speed Carbon, and Harry Potter & the Order of the Phoenix are coming in July 2007, with Madden 08 and Tiger Woods 08 to follow.
The world keeps nibbling away at the empire. Oh, there's that thing about Safari being released for Windows too.

Microsoft Watch asks if we need another browser on Windows. Yes, if it is from Apple. Maybe IE and Office will whither away due to suckage. Apple moving software to Windows can only help. Maybe Keynote will be next? Competition is *healthy*, remember?

Apollo, Now AIR, On Tour

I just signed up for the July 12 AIR thingy in Portland.

Here's the whole tour page.

All kinds of news about Apollo/AIR, Flex, etc. from Adobe today.

Making The Point

Stu Charlton makes a strong case for why WS-SOAP will never get beyond its current level of development.

The entire fiasco should go down in computing lore as an epic tragedy.

But the most interesting statement from his post is this...

WS-Eventing isn't really implemented or ratified. So there's still a lot of room for MQ, JMS, TIBCO/RV, etc.
Apparently some lessons are hard to learn.

We've now all learned no one in their right mind, vendor or customer, should be investing in WS-SOAP. Furthermore, we should all *immediately* begin extrapolating the lessons learned over the last few years.

Why would anyone, vendor or customer, invest in *any* of the above listed messaging technologies?

OK, if I ran a trading floor with a lot of value moving around constantly I would give RV a look. But under no other circumstances.

If I had any of these already in my data center I would already have a plan in place for isolating and ultimately obsoleting them. Any minor investments would fall under the category of "regret".

HTTP, XMPP, maybe AMQP, and very few others would be on the short list.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Cheaper Than Tibco

Bill de hÓra observes...

it's probably not the kind of message bus you have in mind
Plus he's given us the over/under on Scala hitting Google's front page. (It's not on mine yet either.)

From the referenced post by David Pollak...

In many ways, Scala is blend of a lot of these good worlds. I like that I could choose to blend Actors, servlets, and all the other stuff that's part of the Scala world. It means that I have a choice about how I solve a problem. I hope you've enjoyed my solution to the "scaling Twitter problem." I hope you'll enjoy how the Erlang/Erlyweb folks solve it with their chitter project.

It's Too Wii-alistic

Is the combination of "mature" rated games and the Wii's "naturalistic" controller just too much realism? Some think so, as reported in qj.net. One person calles it "a murder training device".

M-rated games coming to the Wii are expected to be criticized and contested. Manhunt 2, in particular, is receiving much word from anti-game lawyers. In an interview by Fox News, Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum talked about the game's Wii version requiring players to slash and stab using the Wiimote...

Looks like Super Smash Brothers Brawl will take some heat too, since it encourages kids to beat the crap out of their friends and throw them out the stage. Nintendo is not fazed, stating that games simply have different audiences just like movies, televisions, and books. Don't let the kids touch Manhunt 2, problem solved.

Let's not bring common sense into the equation, shall we? Or maybe we should force the players of "mature" games to use those old fashioned controllers with mini joysticks and all kinds of buttons so they remember *It's Just A Game*!

Open (and Linux) Wins The Home Again

I learned about this cool device reading Edd Dumbill's blog.

I've been astounded at the applications people have devised for this little box. Being fairly cheap makes it a great candidate for home automation projects. It's a great example of how limiting resources fosters innovation. Remember how games on 8-bit microcomputers were so much more ingenious than those on their more well-resourced successors?
The NSLU2 is another one of those Linux-based devices for the home and small businesses. They always seem to cost about $100 USD which makes them fairly easy to buy for people (at least me) running home networks already. Fry's has this one, which is just down the road a bit from my house.

I don't really *need* another network storage device, but this one has some really useful hacks, which Linksys acknowledges to be OK and not completely out of line.

Open (and Linux) wins again. Companies that find ways to leverage (and contribute to) common, open platforms appeal to me.

Companies that don't, don't. And so I was also pleased recently that my son chose a new MacBook Pro as his high school graduation present. Although he will be spending his own hard earned money to run Windows on Boot Camp for some games. His choice. I sure am envious of that laptop though. Nice choice!

Watching Out For Lolcats

Learning is fun generally. Learning about the APP and the Atom format can be fun specifically. For example, did you know...

valuable formats - ones with media types, and not just the usual blogging suspects - are properly supported in APP. Lolcats won't be a problem.
See what I mean? This is good news even for us dog lovers. :-)

Finally a general observation that has nothing to do with cats or dogs, but is worth repeating at every opportunity...

Going custom will up the overall design and engineering dollars spent. Companies, even big ones, are resource bound so each engineering dollar spent on publishing infrastructure is a dollar not spent on a cool feature a user might care about. You want to be sure it's the right thing to do. For those integrating against such a provider you probably want to keep custom formats/protocols at the edge and convert them to open models for that internal use.

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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.