Ubuntu Live at OSCON. I wish I had something to talk about...
January 2007 Archives
Today BEA made available the JRockit virtual machine for use for evaluation with the Apache Harmony class library. This is really great news - this is a world-class, production grade Java virtual machine, and having it to help test the class library is a great help for the project. It allows us to isolate bugs as being specific to the classlibrary because the VM is tested and "known good".
You can find JRockit here : http://dev2dev.bea.com/jrockit/jrockitVM
BEA has setup a forum : http://forums.bea.com
And of course, there's also the Harmony dev list for discussion on the Harmony-related aspects.
In the interest of clarity - this isn't JRockit going open source. It's a binary, evaluation-only license (and really, really useful to us).
(Kill me now...)http://crankyflier.blogspot.com/2007/01/ana-goes-upscale.html
In a discussion about OOOOOOOOXML (or whatever it's called this week), Sam puts some wood behind the definition-arrow for "open standard". He says, correctly IMO :
I prefer simpler definitions. A standard is one that has multiple, inter-operable, independent implementations. An open standard, at least in the software world, is one where at least one of those implementations is open source.
I'd like to augment this by pointing out that the term "open source" implies the usual set of freedoms that accompany the copyright license, such as freedom to use in whatever context an end-user wishes without requirements to engage in a transaction or contract of any sort with any other party. Therefore, an open standard must allow such freedoms for users of open source implementations. If not, the implementation isn't open source, and therefore, according to Sam, not an open standard.
Someone at the ASF pointed me to this Sun ad, because if the gratuitous use of "Apache". (You know that the C&D printer in Menlo Park would be out of toner and paper if someone used the word "Java" that way. Anyway...)
What caught my attention was the other thing it says :
"Solaris 10. Free & open source software from Sun"
What does that mean? Clearly Solaris 10 isn't free and open source software, because it's also proprietary. Does the ". " after the "10" and before "Free" mean something ? Not "is". Maybe "contains"? How about "will eventually completely be (as we position it strongly against Linux)"?
Don't get me wrong - I like the idea of Sun removing the religious and political barriers (aka "CDDL") to OpenSolaris adoption, and the much theorized prefixing w/ "GNU" (as in "GNU/OpenSolaris") is a very smart move as well. Is Solaris also was completely open source, that would be icing on the cake.
But they ain't there yet...
I guess you know your open source project has "made it" when you can buy a thong with the project logo on it.
(And if you're looking for that union logo, it is made in the USA, apparently.)
Not long after I became an IBM employee courtesy of the Gluecode acquisition, pigs flew with the return of IBM as a platinum sponsor of JavaOne. Sun and IBM. IBM and Sun.
Now, about a year after I joined Intel, this happened. Who would have guessed?
Clearly, this isn't my fault. And, honestly, in both cases, I think it's great.
Now, time to send that resume to SAP...
I'm not sure what's weirder, that this press release from China Southern Airlines has a title that starts with "BOFFO! BOFFO! BOFFO!", or that they felt the need to assure the general public that they were able to operate safely in 2006.
I noticed a rumor in eWeek reporting that Sun would use GPLv3 for OpenSolaris. (I think that the idea of the CDDL-ed OpenSolaris also under GPLvX is a good idea, actually - remove religious objections for rejecting "OpenSolaris/GNU" distros, and let the two kernels compete on their technical merits.)
Anyway, Rich Green, EVP of Software at Sun, recently corrected the public record - they are still evaluating, which is wholly consistent with their position on GPLv3 for their implementation of Java SE, OpenJDK. Makes perfect sense.
I've been trying to buy Skype credit. It keeps rejecting my MC, and doesn't take Amex. I don't carry a pile of credit cards with me. I wonder why - they don't tell you why it's rejected, just that it is. I realize that by not telling, maybe it's more secure, but still - it seems to be a fairly mickey-mouse operation.
So I tried moneybookers, the suggested alternate payment source. They don't like my mastercard either.
So I called mastercard. They never saw any attempted transactions. Could it be because I'm traveling and in Argentina, and they see the request coming from there? But wouldn't it make sense for a US-based traveler to... want to use skype when traveling?
Good software tools are those that are an extension of you - that you use naturally and stay out of your way. I used to think about this only in the domain of programmers tools - the editor was clearly the most important simply because that's where I spent the most time - but every little bit of the whole process is important. Of course, it really applies to all software, from the OS on up, which is why I'm a mac user - no other platform I've used seriously has ever been so "out of the way" for most things, making it easy as possible to focus on what I want to focus on. Visual and operational serenity :)
I stumbled across WriteRoom via some new friends in the Boston area.
It's an editor that goes into full screen mode on the mac. No windows, no menu bar, no bouncing icons, nada. Just a clean place to think and write. It's nice. Try it. It's not a replacement for a word processor, but for the creative act of just creating words, it's compelling so far. I needed to write some important email today, the kind where you spend lots of time thinking and wordsmithing, and it honestly was refreshing to focus like that.
(I also like the model - use it for free. Pay for it if you want to. I'll certainly pay for it if I find myself using it.)
This is cool - an attempt to create a modern new language for scientific/engineering/numerical computing. I've done my time with FORTRAN in past lives, and I'm very interested in grid computing in my current one - this is definitely worth a look.
And I feel that I'd be remiss in what appears to be my newfound hobby if I didn't bring up the following. Note also the use of the BSD license. As he put in the blog entry :
"We ... settled on using BSD ... so that the widest possible community - Free software people, academics and commercial researchers - would be free to co-evolve the language and its implementation with us."
Good choice! (Btw, although a more modern license from the perspective of patents might have been good too...) However, think of what this is saying about Sun's choice to use GPL for their implementations of Java SE and Java ME. Walled garden? Replace "widest" with some other word, and "free" with some other word...
Will the wonders never cease!
This will be really great to have another open source foundation in the JCP (the first being the Apache Software Foundation, of course)
Anyone who's traveled since late September (?) of last year knows exactly what that is...
I saw the term in a Cory Doctorow blog entry I was reading on a plane (using NewsFire). I woke up the business class cabin I laughed so hard...
I will note that for a while I was traveling with three laptops, and it really isn't that hard. Just takes practice, I guess.
Two years ago, IBM bought Gluecode Software (my employer at the time) and because Gluecode had committed to a JavaOne booth which IBM didn't want, IBM donated the paid-for booth space to the Apache Software Foundation. We (the ASF) created signage and collateral, organized volunteers to work the booth, and generally had a good time talking about the ASF, our projects and communities, and answering questions and meeting people*.
Last year we had no beneficiary to donate the booth, and Sun wasn't quite so interested in open source then, so our hope to repeat it (with a conference-provided booth) didn't happen.
This year, Sun is clearly interested in open-source Java. They've placed a chunk of their JDK under the GPLv2, created a project called OpenJDK to eventually host it, promised the rest sometime in 2007, and if that wasn't startling enough, actually created a separate track on Open Source at the conference. (Woot!)
So Sun - how about creating a section of the expo floor where open source projects can participate, modeled after the standard "free software ghetto" you see these days at LinuxWorld? It shouldn't require much - a table per project, 2-3 chairs, standard curtain/backdrop where the sign is hung. Power and network would be great too (although I realize that does make it more expensive). It will certainly be an attraction for the open and free Java communities, which tend to stay away from JavaOne, and a good introduction to the variety strength of the open and free communities for the JavaOne attendees. How about it? I promise we'll behave :)* At that JavaOne, Graham Hamilton created a technical session for Apache Harmony, which was launched the same month as the conference. I'm sure I've thanked him before, but I just want to say thanks again. It was a really gracious and generous gesture.
With MacWorld this week, we can expect to see cool new stuff from Apple. I want to see the iTV thingy with the freedom to stream anything from my desktop to a TV, and a dual Intel Clovertown (quad-core) desktop.
If anyone feels compelled to spend some of their Wall St bonus, here's an idea...
Anyone know how to get Parallels to use both cores? Would make it useful for testing concurrent stuff...
From the people who put the dot in dot something... :) Danny Coward claims to convert .NET code to Java with his net2java project. I need to try this...
What is the best useable distro for the OpenSolaris kernel? I want to install in Parallels on my mac and see what the hubbub is about...
Update 2007-01-07 : Got a hint from someone who will remain anonymous since he mailed me privately... (I think because I had comments turned off...) that there's a site that offers a Solaris 10 VM for Parallels ready to go. I won't even bother asking under what license that OS is coming to me under. It runs too :) However, still want an open source operating system based on the OpenSolaris kernel (and Solaris 10 ain't it...)
That little red dot on your chest isn't a spotlight, sir...
I'm guessing the Dutch Police never actually tried a Segway, because they clearly do have brakes. I think it would be interesting to see which can stop faster, a Segway or a moped at a given speed. I'm guessing Segway.
Time of the year when I challenge my work habits.... Anyone have a good suggestion for an RSS reader for OS X?
I disagree with the conclusion in that Sun will possibly marginalize Ruby. My theory is that working very hard to expand developer base for Java as well as try to keep NetBeans competing with Eclipse.
So, if they got good Ruby support in NetBeans, with the Ruby code running on the JVM for and debug and profiling support, it's a clear winner if you want to write in Ruby. Then, with all that lovely Java enterprise-ish stuff floating around, it's a no-brainer to start using that Java-as-in-language-based infrastructure in your ROR apps if you need it... :)
I think what they are doing is smart, and while I'm not sure if Sun has thought through a strategy like the above, it will be interesting to see what this will be a year from now.