Day: October 30, 2002

  • Linux Magazine covers web services with Apache Axis.  Here’s a teaser:

    If you’ve invested heavily in the Web — dynamic content, personalized Web pages, extensive browser scripting, and site security — you might be wondering if Web services are even necessary for your business. After all, your Web presence probably didn’t come cheap (even if you used Linux and open source tools), and it meets all of your needs. After all, you say, interoperability is not a new ideal, and the features espoused by Web services are not revolutionary. So why adopt yet another technology?

  • OSDir interviews Bram Moolenaar (of VIM fame) about his newest project, A-A-P.  A-A-P (or aap).

    Bram Moolenaar: This is going to be a long answer, since A-A-P includes so much. Assuming that you know the “make” program, I can say that the core item of A-A-P is kind of a super-make. You can write a recipe and execute it with the “aap” program. The recipe contains variable settings and dependencies like a Makefile. So far no surprises, even the syntax is almost the same. Then add to that the power of Python script. This mixes with Makefile syntax very well, the comments start with a ‘#’ and indents are used to form blocks of commands. And then add a number of commands that allow you to access the internet, perform CVS functions and much more.

    Kinda like Ant for the rest of the world?

  • The Register:

    The next planned release of Borland Software Corp’s Kylix cross-platform development suite could bring Microsoft-style web services to Linux, helping consolidate the product’s early market lead, writes Gavin Clarke.

    Scotts Valley, California-based Borland is investigating use of Ximian Inc’s Project Mono in Kylix, as a possible means for Windows developers to move .NET applications to Linux. Mono is an open-source implementation of .NET libraries and other technologies developed by Redmond, Washington-based Microsoft Corp.

    Borland stressed its work is at an exploratory stage, but told ComputerWire Mono potentially provides a set of components and frameworks that Windows developers can easily map to.

    I had mono once, I never knew it could be a good thing.  This sounds like a cool project.  I’d love to right click and ‘add web reference,’ though I’d probably rather do it in Eclipse. [via Newsforge]

  • The Washington Post/Ellen McCarthy this morning repots about a dorm room specially decked out for current and future CEOs:

    For a certain period in the 1990s, dorm-room dot-coms were all the rage. The most prominent examples, Yahoo and Google, both started by Stanford University students in dormitories and campus trailers, rocketed to stardom and riches, fueling the dreams of many others.

    When the technology boom went bust, those dreams seemed to die, too. But rather than disregard the ambitions of its entrepreneurial students, the University of Maryland is encouraging them with the kind of amenities that earlier students could only dream about.

    Cool dorms.  Is this nurturing a whole new era of dot bombs?  I hope not.

  • OSX-x86?  OSX-x86-64?

    Kenneth Hunt ponders if Apple will go x86.  While this is an incredibly cool idea (I’d love to run OSX on an x86 box), it probably won’t happen in the short term.  I say this because developers are still cursing Apple for the abrupt (and possibly premature) switch to OSX.  I believe that the OSX Public Beta should have been an internal alpha, OSX 10.0 should have been the public beta, and that OSX 10.0.1 should have been the final product.  I know that doesn’t mesh with Steve Jobs’ vision of getting OSX out there, but OSX 10.0 was dog slow and didn’t do a lot of things that users expected it to.

    Things got a little better with OSX10.1.  A lot of developers that were waiting for a stable development platform that they could actually use started coding at this point.  How long did it take Adobe to get Photoshop ported to OSX?  Just about forever.

    Now, imagine taking those pissed-off developers, and saying in six months to a year, “Um, yeah, we need you to port all of your apps over to OSX-x86.”  I doubt it would go over very well.  Unless you ran native Windows apps, but that would be insane.

    The other reason I don’t see Apple going x86 is the hardware.  X86 hardware is commodity.  You can put together a fairly decent system for a couple hundred bucks.  This doesn’t quite mesh with Apple’s overpriced (but cool as hell) hardware.  If you look at a $700 dell and a $1500 x86 Macintosh, the specs are nearly the same, which one are you going to pick now?

    The other thing that bothers me is IBM’s recent PowerPC innovations.  They appear to have pumped out some pretty powerful chips, with a good bit of MHz and a lot of raw horsepower.  Why not throw those in a Macintosh?

    I’m not as caught up with all the mac rumor sites as I’d like to be (it was more fun when I worked in a Mac shop), but I have a gut feeling that Apple will stick with PowerPC, at least in the short to mid term.  Though, like Kenneth said, if project Marklar (OSX on x86) does exist, I’d probably go for it.

  • Jeremy Zawodny:

    This is a little funny. Yahoo got slashdotted today. It was because of Michael Radwin’s PHPCon 2002 talk on Yahoo adopting PHP. The funny thing is that it held up just fine–served by a single FreeBSD server running Apache. The hardware was nothing special. So, why is it that when most sites get “featured” on Slashdot, they crumble?

    They generally have two fatal flaws: (1) not enough bandwidth, and (2) dynamic content. We’re fortunate enough to have some excellent network connectivity, so we can handle a lot of traffic. The fact that was serving static files, no PHP or anything fancy, meant that the CPU had time to spare. During the peak of traffic, the CPU was still over 50% idle much of the time. Running a tail -f against the apache log was quite amusing. It was scrolling really, really fast.

    It was cool to see this get slashdotted after hearing reports from PHPCon from Jeremy.  I thumbed through most of the slides and wished that I had been there.  As a daily (hourly, but only if their RSS has updated) Slashdot reader, I rarely look at the comments for much more than freebsd is dead/linux rules and other mindless droll.  Every once in awhile there’s an intelligent comment, but it’s hard to filter out the gems from the garbage, as something intelligent can be +1 while misinformation can be +5, Informative.

    Slashdot is more like another (geeky) news aggregator in addition to my RSS tendrils.

  • The Mars Network Monitor is a cool little utility to give sort of a heads-up display of your servers.  Here’s how the project is described:

    Mars is a simple services-oriented network status monitor written in Java. It monitors a network by simulating client connections to Internet services and reporting when those services are not responding. It is quick and easy to install and configure, which distinguishes it from other, more complex, more fully-featured network monitoring tools.

    It looks useful, from the screenshot, the UI looks very clean.

  • Kenneth Hunt is watching the watchers.

  • Hello, SOAP!

    Yeah, yeah, another hello world app.  I just thought I’d share exactly how darn easy it is to use web services in VB .NET.  I started a new project, added a web reference, then inserted a few lines of code, and I’m talkin’ SOAP with a Hello World webservice I put up a little while ago.  I just added this in btnGo_Click():

    ‘ Here we go
    Dim ws As New net.eraserver.dev1.www.Service1()
    ‘ Change that textbox
    Me.txtConsole.Text = ws.HelloWorld()

    It was just that easy.  Of course a VB Client at learnXmlws showed me exactly how easy it was.  Eraserver is currently hosting my web services playground.  For some reason, the local IIS doesn’t want to play nice with .asmx files.

  • John Orr:

    Lately I’ve been thinking about choosing software for an organization based on the way the software license strategic fit. I think that the software license needs to fit with the long term strategy of the organization. An example, from government, would be a software license that encourages stability in interfaces. Government needs at least a 10 year run from the technology adopted.

    I’m pleased with the licensing shepherded by the Java Community Process so far. I think it’s great that the JCP is showing good support for Open Source.

    Java has been a great fit in my organization. Over the 4 years we’ve been developing with Java the API’s have proliferated but little of what we’ve written needs to be replaced for obsolescence. And it keeps on chuggin’ day after day.

  • Gordon Weakliem:

    Rickard Öberg has published a rebuttal to the much publicized report from The Middleware Company on J2EE and .NET Application Server and Web Services Benchmark. I suppose that the only way to bury this topic for good is to have the Open Source crowd put together their own benchmark suite, but they probably have better things to do with their time. At this point, I doubt that too many people are going to change their minds over yet another benchmark. Greg recounts some of what went on at Galileo when the decision was made to go J2EE over .NET here. I’m most likely not at liberty to say the real reason, but I think I can safely say that it came down to money – and I’m not talking about OS and App server licensing costs. When businesses make these decisions, there’s a lot more that goes into it than just technical considerations. That drives technologists nuts, but we aren’t the ones signing the checks.

  • Mindreef’s SOAPscope is installed.  I’ll have to play with it tomorrow.