Monday Jan 23, 2012

Tim Bray on HttpURLConnection

Good information on a bad API. The comments are good too:

HttpURLConnection's Dark Secrets: If you’re programming in the Java language and want to talk to a Web server, there are several libraries you can choose from. HttpURLConnection is one popular choice, and for Android programming, the engineering team has now officially suggested that you use it where possible.

Friday Jan 20, 2012

O'Grady on DynamoDB

Great analysis, as usual, from Stephen O'Grady of Redmonk. Here's the part about Dynamo that concerns me, the lock-in:

Amazon DynamoDB: First Look: Like the initial wave of PaaS platforms, however, DynamoDB is available only through a single provider. Unlike Amazon’s RDS, which is essentially compatible with MySQL, DynamoDB users will be unable to migrate off of the service seamlessly. The featureset can be replicated using externally available code – via those projects that were originally inspired by DynamoDB, for example – but you cannot at this time download, install and run DynamoDB locally.

Thursday Jan 19, 2012

Amazon DymamoDB

Worth a read:

Werner Vogels: Amazon DynamoDB is a fully managed NoSQL database service that provides fast performance at any scale. Today’s web-based applications often encounter database scaling challenges when faced with growth in users, traffic, and data. With Amazon DynamoDB, developers scaling cloud-based applications can start small with just the capacity they need and then increase the request capacity of a given table as their app grows in popularity. Their tables can also grow without limits as their users store increasing amounts of data. Behind the scenes, Amazon DynamoDB automatically spreads the data and traffic for a table over a sufficient number of servers to meet the request capacity specified by the customer. Amazon DynamoDB offers low, predictable latencies at any scale.

Monday Jan 16, 2012

The joys of solitude

Worth a read:

The Rise of the New Groupthink - Solitude has long been associated with creativity and transcendence. “Without great solitude, no serious work is possible,” Picasso said. A central narrative of many religions is the seeker — Moses, Jesus, Buddha — who goes off by himself and brings profound insights back to the community.

Saturday Jan 14, 2012

Obama Administration Comes Out Against SOPA, PIPA

I feel pretty strongly about this. I won't vote for a politician who backs SOPA or PIPA:

Obama Administration Comes Out Against SOPA, PIPA | TPM Idea Lab:Even more promising for critics of the bills, the Administration came down firmly against one of the most vehemently opposed portions of the bills — the part that would give the government the power to force Internet Service Providers to stop loading overseas webpages accused of piracy. Under the original versions of SOPA and PIPA, ISPs would be required to change their Doman Name System settings to block sites accused of piracy, a measure that critics said would essentially break the Internet and make it more insecure.

Friday Jan 13, 2012

NYC gets a Software Engineering High School

Worth a read:

New York City gets a Software Engineering High School - Joel on Software:This fall New York City will open The Academy for Software Engineering, the city’s first public high school that will actually train kids to develop software. The project has been a long time dream of Mike Zamansky, the highly-regarded CS teacher at New York’s elite Stuyvesant public high school. It was jump started when Fred Wilson, a VC at Union Square Ventures, promised to get the tech community to help with knowledge, advice, and money.

Wednesday Jan 11, 2012

The coming war on general-purpose computing

Cory Doctorow's keynote to the Chaos Computer Congress. Worth a read:

Lockdown: The coming war on general-purpose computing - Boing Boing

Tuesday Jan 10, 2012

Open-source vs Weblogic and WebSphere

Survey says 80% of New Relic's Java customers choose open source app servers over expensive bloat-ware.

Server wars: Open-source Java vs Weblogic and WebSphere | Software, Interrupted - CNET News: Overall, it's not surprising that users who are deploying their applications to the cloud are more likely to use open source, if for no other reason than that licensing is far simpler. Additionally, there are Amazon Machine Images (AMIs) available for most open source stacks, making it very easy to choose open source over a traditionally licensed application server.

Looks like I'll be waiting for Netbeans 7.1.1

jVi Home Page: NetBeans 7.1 Bug 205835 can lose edits; a variety of jVi commands run into this. jVi-1.4.5 disables itself if it detects module versions with the bug, AFAICT. The bug is scheduled to be fixed in NB-7.1.1; sometime around January/February.

Seriously, how can you ship without vi?

Monday Jan 09, 2012

State of Android

I hate the "will die" title but Antonio Rodriguz insightfully sums up the state of Android and it does not sound strong, to say the least. All the more reason to take a hybrid approach, e.g. project formerly known as PhoneGap.

Android as we know it will die in the next two years and what it means for you: I used to think that, as with Linux and web services in the early part of last decade, Android was going to be the mortar for the Internet of post PC devices— an essential ingredient to put stuff together. And as bonus, unlike Linux which puttered away quietly in the background doing the heavy lifting for services like Amazon and Google, Android was largely user-facing and would also therefore benefit from massive platform scale (and the resulting de-facto standard it would create) the way no piece of software since Microsoft Windows had.

Sunday Jan 08, 2012

Comments on blogs: emacs vs. vi

Brent Simmons says the blog comments vs. no blog comments debate is like vi vs. emacs. Despite his great explanation, only a geek would get thiat argument. Me, I like vi and blog comments... but may be that's because I don't get many. Comments on blogs: I see my blog that way: it’s one place on the web, the place where I write. It’s one leaf on a tree. It doesn’t have to contain everything. These days there are so many ways and places to comment — so many other tools — that including comments here would be Emacs-like.

Friday Jan 06, 2012

Photo Friday: New Drapes

Finally, after 10 years in the house... drapes in the sun-room.

New Drapes

Taken with my new Canon SX40

Wednesday Jan 04, 2012

OCLC doing interesting things with OpenSocial

And yes that's OCLC, not OSLC.

Rogue Gadgets: Ian Boston: OCLC recently launched WorldShare, an OpenSocial based platform that uses Apache Shindig to render Gadgets and provide access for those gadgets to a wealth of additional information feeds. It does not provide the container in which to mount the Gadgets but it provides a trusted and respected source of rendered Gadgets. This turns the OpenSocial model on its head. A not for profit organisation delivering access to vast stores of information via OpenSocial and the Gadget feeds. Suddenly the gadget rendered feed is the only thing that matters. The container could be provided by OCLC, but equally by members. OCLC has wisely decided to certify any gadget that it is prepared to serve.

Tuesday Jan 03, 2012

More corporate censorship

Tumblr management shows off some pretty poor judgement here:

Jeremy Cutler: "Whether or not I have grounds to justly disagree with them on this, the fact remains that under the Tumblr Terms of Service, they are well within their rights to delete my Tumblr blogs as a punitive action should I continue to distribute the extension. They have informed me that this is the course of action they will take should I not acquiesce to their demands."

Corporate censorship

Rob Beschizza: "Don't let private companies represent themselves as public spaces. 'Cause they ain't."

Monday Jan 02, 2012

2011 Tweet Cloud

Here's what I tweeted about in 2011:

tweet cloud.jpg

Get yours here.

Sunday Jan 01, 2012


2012 is here and I'm happy that I'm still on the face of this spinning ball of star-stuff that we call earth. One of my resolutions this year is to blog more and I'm going to start with a catch-up post. Here's what I was up to in 2011.

At the start of 2011, I was still working for IBM. During the first half of the year I led the Open Services for Lifecycle Collaboration (OSLC) Core specification to finalization. I also managed the release of Apache Roller 5 and mentored a Google Summer of Code student who added Mobile Theming capabilities to Roller. Early in the year, I decided to get in shape, bought an elliptical machine and Line Dieted down 30 pounds. I also doubled-down on running and ran my first half-marathon (with my 14 year old son).

In July, I got a call from my former Sun co-workers and jumped at the opportunity to join Scott McNealy's new startup, Wayin. So far, it's been a blast. I've been able to put my knowledge of server-side web development, REST and social software to good use and have learned a hell of a lot about scaling with Amazon EC2, MongoDB, Solr and lots of other interesting bits.

Things have been going well on the homefront too. All three sons are all doing well and the oldest started high school this year. We're pretty busy all the time with extracurricular activities, family logistics, video game additions, etc. and that's mostly good, but we did find the time to get away for vacations in Charleston SC and Jekyll Island GA. So, that's that. You're all caught up and next, we'll see if I can keep this blog active this year.

Wednesday Dec 21, 2011

Frustrating the Ugg boots, jerseys, etc. spammers

Ugg boots, sports jerseys, World of Warcraft (WOW) gold.... do you like those key words, spammers? Tough crap, you're not getting a link.

I'm posting this blog entry for the sole purpose of tempting, frustrating and basically just thumbing my nose at the idiotic comment spammers that attack this blog every day. Even though I blog about once a month these days, I get hit many times a day with spam. No worries, of course, the Akismet plugin stops 99% of them, but every once and a while, I notice the spam, bulk delete it and remember how much spammers suck.

Tuesday Dec 20, 2011

Rollarcus: from 9 to 2

rollarcus github logo

I made some progress in Rollarcus over the past couple of weekends, but not a lot. This makes me wonder how I ever found the "nights and weekends" to get Roller started in the first place, but that's a different topic.

What I've done so far in Rollarcus is to simplify things. While I was at Sun, we split Roller up into a number of parts: a weblogger part for blogging, a planet part for RSS/Atom aggregation, a core part for things common to both. After Sun, I worked to move Roller to Maven and further split things up into a total of 9 Maven modules including an assembly for building the release. Now, I think that all these modules are unnecessary -- we never shipped a Roller-Planet application and nobody wants to use parts of Roller -- and even if they did, the modules did not really help.

Here's the before view: apache/roller

Here's the after view: snoopdave/rollarcus

So, in Rollerarcus, I've merged all the modules. Except for one "test utilities" module, all Java code, JSPs and other code is now in one module and much easier to deal with. Next, I'm going to attack the (what I consider to be) unnecessary dependencies and drastically reduce the number of jars in WEB-INF.

UPDATE: The most significant of the changes that I made in Rollarcus have been applied by to Apache Roller and today (August 18, 2013) I removed the Rollarcus repository from Github.

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