Reminder: new blog and feed locations

Effective January 1, 2010, my blog is split into current and archived versions.

Current blog

Please update your bookmarks and feed subscriptions as follows:

The address of the current blog is http://www.sutor.com/c/.

The link to the blog feed is http://feeds.feedburner.com/BobSutor.

The blog comments feed is http://feeds.feedburner.com/CommentsForBobSutor.

Archived blog

The address of the archived blog is http://www.sutor.com/newsite/blog-open/.

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Monthly disclaimer

The postings on this site are my own and don’t necessarily represent IBM positions, strategies or opinions, especially if they are about the guitar, fishing, gardening, carpentry, house painting, and musical tastes.

Blog entries since the beginning of 2010 are in my current blog.

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New locations for Bob Sutor’s blog

I’ve been extensively reorganizing my website and effective January 1, 2010, my blog will be split into current and archived versions.

Current blog

Please update your bookmarks and feed subscriptions as follows:

The address of the current blog is http://www.sutor.com/c/.

The link to the blog feed is http://feeds.feedburner.com/BobSutor.

The blog comments feed is http://feeds.feedburner.com/CommentsForBobSutor.

Archived blog

The address of the archived blog is http://www.sutor.com/newsite/blog-open/.

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Daily Links for Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Open Source

Oracle gives open source a patent pass
Computer Business Review

Oracle has vowed not to assert its patents against open source projects such as the Linux operating system kernel and the MySQL and PosgreSQL databases by entering into a licensing agreement with the Open Invention Network.

Why does Microsoft fear OpenOffice.org?
ComputerWorld / Preston Gralla

It’s well-known that Microsoft worries that Google Docs may eat into the profits of the Microsoft Office cash cow. But Microsoft also appears to be extremely worried that an unlikely source may be a major threat as well — OpenOffice.org. At least that’s what a recent job posting at Microsoft shows. And market share numbers back it up.

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Some favorite 2009 blog entries on open source, standards, and cloud computing

I’ve been doing some year-end maintenance on the blog and in doing so put together the following list of blog entries that are among my favorites on the topics of open source, standards, and cloud computing. I could have also done a similar list for gardening and carpentry, but I restrained myself …

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My WordPress theming wishlist

Effective January 1, 2010, this site does not use Drupal and instead uses only WordPress.

As I’ve mentioned here ad nauseum, I use both WordPress and Drupal for this website and though I’ve managed to find a WordPress theme similar enough to the Drupal Garland theme, it’s still a pain in the neck to use both technologies. I would like to switch to one or the other and simplify my life, which is a fine resolution with 2010 just days away.

Here are some of my considerations:

  • Two MySQL databases need to be maintained and backed up.
  • Two installations and updates need to be maintained. WordPress is much easier in this regard.
  • While the themes I use for each system are similar, they are not exact.
  • The Drupal theme is visually nicer and provides good default CSS for printing. The WordPress theme does not come with printing support.
  • There are fewer than 20 Drupal pages in production use on my site.
  • There are more than 3050 WordPress blog entries and more than 3040 comments.
  • It would be stunningly non-trivial to import the WordPress blog entries into Drupal and create redirects for links to those blog entries.
  • WordPress themes are stunningly blog-oriented and seem to think that pages should pretty much just look like blog entries, though I think they pretty much want to look like static web pages with their own widget sets, if any.

Numerically it would appear that if I could figure out a way to get those 20 Drupal pages into WordPress and look good, then I should do so. This would involve just a few redirects that I could hand construct. After that’s done, I could delete the Drupal installation and just use WordPress.

Note that I’m talking about an existing website with a very large WordPress blog. If I were starting from scratch, I would definitely consider Drupal for it all, though I would wait to see exactly what Drupal 7 is going to look like.

The major problems regarding moving WordPress over mostly involve themes. Once everything is in WordPress, I want the freedom to change to new themes, so while I could hack a theme to do exactly what I want, I know from previous experience that ultimately that’s a dead end. I need to stick to pre-designed themes and (mostly) only use the customizations available within them.

Therefore, respectfully, I would like to see the following added for building standard themes for WordPress:

  • Separate widget configurations for posts and pages.
  • For three column themes for posts, a way to have two columns for pages since they typically have longer content and don’t need as many widgets referring to comments, archives, etc. This might be able to be done using custom page templates.
  • A standard admin page option that allows including a link to a CSS file with custom definitions. I know there are plugins that can help here, but it should be in the core.
  • Default CSS printing support built in that gets rid of sidebars, headers, and so forth.
  • First class CSS printing support in the best themes.
  • A visual editor that does not discard things like iframes.

Handling mobile users thematically in a smooth way would also be great, but I’ll take the above!

Posted in Blog and Website | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

New Hampshire snowscapes, 2009

I’ve added some new photos of New Hampshire snowscapes to my collection of widescreen wallpapers and backgrounds. Click on the thumbnails below to see the full size images.

Wallpaper image Wallpaper image Wallpaper image Wallpaper image Wallpaper image

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Daily Links for Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Open Source

Is OpenOffice.org a Threat? Microsoft Thinks So
ComputerworldUK / Glyn Moody

This confirms what many of us have been warning about for some time: that Microsoft’s new-found eagerness to “engage” with open source has nothing to do with a real desire to reach a pacific accommodation with free software, but is simply a way for it to fight against it from close up, and armed with inside knowledge.

More than ever, saving is in vogue
Baltimore Sun / Gregory Karp

Don’t forget Lotus Symphony as well.

Also popular was a column on free software. Best advice? Use free antivirus programs, such as Avira AntiVir Antivirus Personal (free-av.com) and AVG Anti-Virus Free Edition (free.avg.com). And try the OpenOffice.org, instead of paying for Microsoft Office.

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Embedded programming languages

A long time ago when I first started at IBM I used an editor named XEDIT that ran under the VM/CMS operating system on mainframes. It was a fullscreen, line-oriented editor that looks primitive now but was quite sophisticated in its time. One of the best things about it was that it was scriptable: you could write very sophisticated programs that could manipulate files and their contents. XEDIT really became powerful when used with the REXX programming language and many of my thoughts and philosophy about embedded languages were formed during my use of REXX.

I love embedded programming languages. Today these not only allow you to manipulate text editors, word processors, and spreadsheets, but also 3D environments like World of Warcraft (Lua) and Second Life (LSL).

These days you don’t need to figure out how to write an embedded language for an application, you can pick up an engine “off the shelf” and link it to your program. This is important, because for non-trivial languages you can spend a tremendous amount of time worrying about basic issues like scanning, parsing, symbol tables, scoping, garbage collection, and other topics. While you must understand the semantics of what it means for the embedded language to operate within your application, it’s still easier to borrow the work of others that start from scratch, unless this is what you want to do.

Note that if you are using an open source embedded programming language you must understand the license used and what you can and cannot do. For example, if the engine is GPL, do not plan to statically link it to your commercially distributed proprietary software.

Here are some of your options for languages to embed open source programming engines in your applications:

Suggestions for other languages and links are welcome.

Also see:

Posted in Software | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Finishing up 2009

There’s not been much action here in my personal blogosphere in the last few weeks since December has been exceptionally busy. I had two domestic business trips plus a week in Tunisia in North Africa, then followed by the holidays. Basically, it’s been run, run, run, but now I’m trying to sit, sit, sit, at least until the beginning of January.

Once I went on break from work, I turned my attention to renovating our kids’ bathroom. This wasn’t a major renovation, but it was more than redecoration. This bathroom has a skylight, and through the years some of the plaster or joint compound near the corners of the shaft to the roof needed repair. I’m not sure if it was water damage from the shower or a leaky roof that caused the problem, but since we had the roof replaced last summer, I decided that it was time to fix the ceiling.

With that done, I painted the ceiling with a white semi-gloss paint and then did the door and beadboard woodwork in a high gloss white. I don’t think flat paint works well in bathrooms because of the moisture. Some sort of gloss is always appropriate for woodwork and I think the semi-gloss on the ceiling gives extra protection.

shade of blue

The walls had been wallpapered, but I think this is also a problem in small bathrooms with a shower. I decided that paint would be best but our family quandary was the choice of color. There are pink accent tiles in the walls and floor, and they were not going anywhere. Since this bathroom is used primarily by my son, I wanted to reduce the pinkness, and I declined his suggestion that I rip out the pink tiles. We briefly considered some shade of green, but then moved to blue. I ended up getting a deep, slightly gray blue called Celestial Blue by Olympic Paints. I used a satin finish, though semi-gloss would have worked here as well.

After the paint, it was time to improve the fixtures. The bathroom had one 24″ towel rod on the wall, so I replaced that with a double rod and added one to the door as well (two kids = a lot of towels). The medicine cabinet is quite old (as in over a hundred years) and I wanted to keep that, so I painted it with the high gloss white and put a new chrome knob on it to match the other fixtures.

Plumbing-wise, I replaced the separate hot and cold faucets with a single bridge model. This fits into the 12″ faucet spacing but has a horizontal pipe that mixes hot and cold, with a centered spigot. It looks traditional but has modern conveniences.

I have a few other odds and ends to finish up before New Year’s Day, both in this project and otherwise. Here’s hoping that everything gets done and that we can all start 2010 with new projects, fresh ideas, and enough energy to get them all accomplished!

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Daily Links for Wednesday, December 24, 2009

Open Source

Red Hat Revenues Up 18 Percent in Q3
eWeek / Darryl K. Taft

Red Hat reported financial results for its fiscal year 2010 third quarter, showing revenues up 18 percent.

For its third quarter ended November 30, 2009, Red Hat reported revenues of $194.3 million, up 18 percent over the same period a year ago and beating expectations. Meanwhile, the open source software company reported that subscription revenue for the quarter was $164.4 million, up 21 percent from last year.

Novell stacks Linux and Mono for mainframes
The Register / Timothy Prickett Morgan

Novell doesn’t just want mainframe shops to put SLES 11 on their boxes and run Linux workloads, it wants them to take the commercially supported Mono clone of the .NET runtime environment and use that to move Windows workloads over to mainframe boxes. So Novell’s SUSE Linux Enterprise Consolidation Suite (SLECS) bundles roll Linux and Mono software together and provide a single support package for the stack.

openSUSE News
Linux for Education Updated / Joe Brockmeier

The openSUSE Education team is proud to announce the availability of the updated Li-f-e hybrid ISO. Unlike the official openSUSE release, the Edu project’s Li-f-e flavor will get updated almost on a monthly basis. These minor releases will contain all the official openSUSE 11.2 updates, some important package version updates and may be addition of new features too. With these gradual improvements we are hoping to make one of the best Education OS even better.

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Daily Links for Monday, December 22, 2009

Open Source

A Concise Introduction to Free and Open Source Software
Consortiuminfo.org Consortium Standards Journal — August – September 2009 / Andrew Updegrove

Abstract: In the early days of information technology (IT), computers were delivered with operating systems and basic application software already installed, without additional cost, and in editable (source code) form. But as software emerged as a stand-alone product, the independent software vendors (ISVs) that were launched to take advantage of this commercial opportunity no longer delivered source code, in order to prevent competitors from gaining access to their trade secrets. The practice also had the (intended) result that computer users became dependent on their ISVs for support and upgrades. Due to the increasingly substantial investments computer users made in application software, they also became “locked in” to their hardware and software vendors’ products, because of the high cost of abandoning, or reconfiguring, their existing application software to run on the proprietary operating system of a new vendor. In response, a movement in support of “free software” (i.e., programs accompanied both by source code as well as the legal right to modify, share and distribute that code) emerged in the mid 1980s. The early proponents of free software regarded the right to share source code as an essential freedom, but a later faction focused only on the practical advantages of freely sharable code, which they called “open source.” Concurrently, the Internet enabled a highly distributed model of software development to become pervasive, based upon voluntary code contributions and globally collaborative efforts. The combined force of these developments resulted in the rapid proliferation of “free and open source software” (FOSS) development projects that have created many “best of breed” operating system and application software products, such that the economic importance of FOSS has now become very substantial. In this article, I trace the origins and theories of the free software and open source movements, the complicated legal implications of FOSS development and use, and the supporting infrastructural ecosystem that has grown up to support this increasingly vital component of our modern, IT based society.

Posted in News, Open Source | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Lake effect night snow in low rez

Snow at night

Photo of Lake Ontario lake effect snow on a cold December evening, Nazareth College, Pittsford, NY.

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Chronicles of a trip home

This last week I had the pleasure to travel to Tunis, Tunisia, in North Africa, to speak at the Conference on Open Source Software. In another post I’ll put up some photos of my two hour tourist time in Carthage on Thursday, but here let me tell you about my trip home.

conference logo

My return flight was scheduled to leave Tunis on Friday at 4 am. This is a not a great time to travel in general, but since I had a full work day on Thursday, I had some decisions to make. Should I bother trying to sleep before the flight? What time should I get to the airport?

Despite some trouble related to weather and travel the previous week, I wasn’t anticipating any problems. My idea was to put one foot in front of the other and repeat through the various flights and airports until I got home.

I returned from the IBM offices to my hotel about 8:15 PM on Thursday night. I had thought about skipping dinner, but I was pretty hungry so I ordered a light meal from room service (the hotel was far from any restaurants). I did most of my packing and some email, and around 10 pm decided to take a nap.

Though I wasn’t sure I could sleep, evidently I did because when the alarm went off at midnight, I woke up, and woke up hard from a very deep sleep. Though I was groggy, I finished getting ready and caught my ride to the airport at 1 am. It probably helped that I kept telling myself that it was only 7 pm Thursday night at home.

The first leg of my trip from from Tunis to Frankfurt on Lufthansa. There were plenty of free seats when I checked in online on Thursday afternoon, which made sense because, I thought, how many people would choose to fly at such a bizarre time? I took me some time to find the check-in counter for Lufthansa (at the far end of the hall on the right) and then where I was to go for passport control and security (back of hall to the left, under the departures sign).

Unfortunately, though I was all set by 1:30, the doors didn’t open until 2 am. While I was waiting, I met a man who had been in the airport for twelve hours. Bad weather (bad weather?) had caused the airline to cancel his earlier flight to Paris and he had hours to go before his rebooked flight.

I was the first one through the processing and found my gate. At first, a few people trickled in and then more and more as we got closer to the boarding time. Unlike in the US and with some airlines, overseas flights sometimes board by saying “ok, everyone get on.” Oddly enough, this works pretty well.

The flight was packed and included a lot of families with children, presumably traveling home for the holidays.

I always bring ear plugs when I fly. It helps with noisy passengers and, oh yes, noisy planes.

Though I had very little legroom, I at least did have an aisle and slept on and off during the two and one-half hour flight. The first passport control was right on the plane – officers stood at the front and back doors of the plane and checked our credentials. After that, we boarded buses and waited twenty minutes.

Eventually we took off and I got through passport control #2 and then over to Hall C for my American Airlines flight to Chicago. Luckily, AA was opening up for earlier flights as I had an eight hour layover. I got my boarding pass and went to the Admiral’s Club. I’m not a member, but if you have AA Platinum status, you can use the club lounge if you are traveling abroad, even if you are in economy, as I was.

I settled in for a long wait. The television behind me was running a continuing story of snowy weather hitting London. I had originally planned to fly through London, but the need to switch planes between Heathrow and Gatwick put the kabosh on that. And so I sat as people came and went. Most of the people in the lounge were taking the 10 am flight to Dallas.

Around 9 an announcement came on that the Dallas flight would be delayed, with more details later. Then: “flight delayed due to mechanical problems.” Later: “there is a hydraulic system leak.” Finally: “a part is needed, it’s coming from Paris, we hope it will be here at 7 pm.”

I, however, was going to Chicago, not Dallas, and my flight left on time. I hope all those people eventually got home to Dallas and beyond.

When I chose my seat I got an exit row aisle, but I made a small mistake. When there are two consecutive exit rows, the seats in front don’t recline as much as the back ones. The bulkhead wall was a bit to close for comfort but I again slept on and off for the nine and one-half hour flight. My left knee kept cramping, but I got through it. Incidentally, I finished reading To Say Nothing of the Dog by Connie Willis.

There were no problems with AA, passport control, and customs in Chicago and I headed over to Terminal 1 for my United flight for the last leg of the trip. I was supposed to have a four hour layover, but I was early enough for an earlier flight. Though I had to pay for the honor of switching (United makes you pay for everything), I did the change to get home a couple of hours early. Moreover, my originally scheduled flight was delayed, so it seemed like a good bet to take the earlier plane.

I got to the gate and it was crammed with people who, of course, were trying to get to Dallas. And their plane was delayed due to mechanical problems. They did better than the folks in Frankfurt, and left without too much delay. My flight was delayed a bit as well, maybe an hour, but as long as the last leg of a trip actually flies, I’m cool.

I finally got home around 11:15 pm Friday night, about 29 hours after I had awakened from my short nap in Tunis. On Saturday a big storm hit the east coast of the US, but we got none of it here in northwestern NY. So it’s been a long weekend with delays and winter weather all around me, but I did pretty well.

I know the travel gods will make me pay for it eventually.

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Daily Links for Sunday, December 20, 2009

Open Source

WordPress 2.9, Now with Built-in Image Editor and Delete Undo
Softpedia / Lucian Parfeni

The latest version of the world most popular self-hosted blogging platform, WordPress 2.9, is now out and available for everyone to download and install. It’s been quite a while since the last major update, more than six months actually, and the latest version comes with a few big new features and a bunch of smaller ones as well as updates, bug fixes, the works. The biggest feature is likely the new image editor which allows users to do basic photo editing inside the post editor without having to rely on third-party tools.

The Five Distros That Changed Linux
Linux Magazine / Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols

Linux’s history can be measured in both releases 2.0, 2.6, and so on, and in its major distributions, which brought these releases to the masses at large. Here’s my list of the top five major Linux distributions that had the most impact in the operating system’s brief history.

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Daily Links for Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Standards

Netherlands helps Denmark with open IT
The Industry Standard

The Dutch government has provided Denmark with information regarding the Dutch national plan Heemskerk for open government IT.

In Denmark, there is heated debate about the approach for open IT usage by the government. One of the obstacles is the open file format for mandatory use by the government and government organizations. ODF (Open Document Format) and OOXML (Open Office XML), originally developed by Microsoft, are the candidates for use.

Open Source

IBM Sala de Prensa – 2009-12-15 IBM presenta en Madrid el Open Company Center
IBM

IBM (NYSE:IBM) ha presentado en Madrid el Open Company Center. Se trata de un centro de prueba, ubicado en el IBM Forum, donde clientes y socios comerciales de la Compañía podrán experimentar con diferentes alternativas de sistemas de escritorio independientes y de arquitectura abierta.

Open Source Group Sues Consumer Electronics Companies
InformationWeek / Antone Gonsalves

Best Buy, Samsung, Westinghouse, JVC and 10 other consumer electronics companies were named Monday in a lawsuit accusing the companies of license infringement in the use of open source software.

The Software Freedom Law Center filed the suit in federal court in New York on behalf of the Software Freedom Conservancy. The latter group claims the defendants sold products containing its BusyBox application in violation of the terms of the software’s license, the GNU General Public License version 2. The GNU GPL v2 governs the use of many open source technologies.

Posted in News, Open Source, Standards | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Topics on open source for college classes

I’ve been asked several times for some ideas about topics on open source that would be suitable for one or more classes at universities. While I know there are curricula out there, here are some specific discussion areas that could be covered in computer science or business classes:

  • Open source vs. traditional software: What’s the same and what’s different?
  • Software business models: where does open source fit?
  • Open source licenses for the ICT professional
  • Building an open source community: it’s more than just coders
  • Innovating within an open community
  • Organizational governance of open source
  • Procurement: open source and traditional software, and services
  • Leadership models to maximize open innovation
  • Merit-based vs hierarchical software development leadership
  • Case studies of successful companies using open source
Posted in Education, Open Source | Tagged , , | 3 Comments

Daily Links for Saturday, December 12, 2009

Open Source

Linux Foundation Announces “Get One, Give One” Holiday Membership Program
The Linux Foundation

The Linux Foundation (LF), the nonprofit organization dedicated to accelerating the growth of Linux, today announced that for every new individual member who joins the organization between today and January 31, 2010, the Linux Foundation will give a free membership to a student for one year.

Fedora 12 – A Visually-Pleasing, Highly-Configurable Linux Distro You Might Want To Try
makeuseof.com / Susan Linton

In addition to Fedora’s commercial uses, it remains a favorite of many desktop users. The latest hardware support and software innovations go into Fedora making it one the most desirable distributions for those who regularly update their hardware or crave the latest in software goodies.

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First big snow of December, 2009

We’ve had some snow already this year, including very blustery weather yesterday, but overnight we had the first big snow. Here’s what the vegetable garden looked like this morning.

The vegetable garden in snow in December

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Daily Links for Friday, December 11, 2009

Cloud

IBM: LotusLive paying subscribers go from 0 to 18 million in a year
ZDNet / Larry Dignan

That LotusLive tally at the beginning of the year was nil so the growth is stunning. I double checked with IBM to make sure that those 18 million client seats were actually paying with a price of more than zero. I was told there are no asterisks here.

Open Source

Red Hat Makes Move That Will Allow Open Collaboration With Partners to Drive Virtualization Innovation

Red Hat, Inc. (NYSE: RHT), the world’s leading provider of open source solutions, today announced that, in an effort to openly collaborate with partners to drive the future of virtualization, it has open sourced its SPICE (Simple Protocol for Independent Computing Environment) hosted virtual desktop protocol. SPICE is a core component of the Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization for Desktops product that is currently in beta. Through the Spice project, Red Hat will collaborate with its partners and the open source community to expand the development of the protocol in an effort to help break down barriers to virtualization adoption.

Ubuntu-ready Dell desktop looks like a nettop
DesktopLinux.com – eWeek

Dell announced new Ubuntu Linux-ready OptiPlex desktop PCs, including a power-efficient model claimed to be the “world’s smallest fully functional commercial desktop.” In addition to the 9.4 x 2.6 x 9.3-inch OptiPlex 780 USFF desktop, Dell announced a 13-inch Vostro V13 laptop that also offers Ubuntu.

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Microsoft survey on “perceptions of interoperability”

Microsoft appears to be running a survey on “perceptions of interoperability.” I’ll let you decide for yourself whether this is phrased in a completely neutral and objective manner, but you might want to weigh in if you feel you want to help separate perceptions from reality.

Also see from this blog:

Posted in Standards | Tagged , , | 4 Comments

Webcast: “Smart Business Development and Test with IBM and Linux in the Cloud”

On Thursday, December 17, IBM will present a webcast entitled “Smart Business Development and Test with IBM and Linux in the Cloud.” From the description:

More than just a presentation, this webcast will take you from the theory of cloud computing to practice in a few simple steps and give you the confidence to explore cloud computing further, with the IBM Smart Business Development and Test on the IBM Cloud.

  • Better understand the IBM vision of cloud computing and some of the benefits.
  • Combine Linux and IBM middleware for an ideal infrastructure for developing solutions in both private and public clouds.
  • Learn how to get started using cloud computing with the IBM Smart Business Development and Test.

Click here to register.

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Daily Links for Thursday, December 10, 2009

Business

Why CEOs Fail
ITBusinessEdge.com / Rob Enderle

After watching and working with CEOs over the last several decades, I think we can point to a number of endemic causes for failure. Let’s look at the ones I think are most important.

Posted in Business | 1 Comment

Speeding up the site

At various times I’ve been concerned about the performance of this website. That is, how long does it take to serve up web pages from WordPress or Drupal and how much load does it put on the server? Reducing bandwidth used is always a good thing as well.

A couple of  years ago I needed to opt for a higher CPU form of web hosting with HostMonster because all the PHP activity was shutting down the site until it cooled down. To keep the site up and running, I also did two other things:

  • Turned on FastCGI to not start and stop the PHP so often.
  • Use the WP-Cache WordPress plugin to serve up saved versions of pages previously requested.

Both of these worked well. I initially had cache pages expire after 2 hours but I’ve since reduced that to 90 minutes. Blog pages will refresh themselves after two hours via

<meta http-equiv="REFRESH" content="7200">

so these values appear to reduce the load while ensuring that the pages are kept relatively fresh for those sitting on the site. (I suspect that is just me, though!)

Lately I’ve been thinking about performance again and so used the YSlow and Firebug extensions for Firefox. It complained that I had too many CSS and javascript files, and not everything was compressed. I know that the WP Super Cache WordPress plugin uses GZIP compression, but did I really need it?

One of the easiest ways to see if your site is delivering compressed pages is via the GIDZipTest page. Pop in the URL, press the button, and you’ll find out. Evidently the main files are compressed but a few others are not.

A WordPress plugin I have installed but hardly ever use is WP-Polls and this was the source of a lot of the extra files that YSlow complained about. I deactivated it and my speed grade jumped from a D to a B. I can live with that, and without WP-Polls.

I still have some work to do to get under some other performance curiosities, but a few minutes of research and testing improved things quite a bit. In the process I removed some other unused WordPress plugins, so I get extra points for configuration hygiene as well.

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Daily Links for Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Politics / Government

Public Access Policies for Science and Technology Funding Agencies Across the Federal Government

With this notice, the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) within the Executive Office of the President, requests input from the community regarding enhancing public access to archived publications resulting from research funded by Federal science and technology agencies. This RFI will be active from December 10, 2009 to January 7, 2010.

Open Source

Chromium Blog: Google Chrome for Linux goes beta!

But bringing Google Chrome to Linux wasn’t just a straight port — it was a labor of love. Google Chrome works well with both Gnome and KDE, and is updated via the normal system package manager.

Mozilla’s Thunderbird E-mail Client Comes With Tabs
PC World / Mikael Ricknas

Mozilla Messaging on Tuesday released version 3 of its Thunderbird e-mail client. It comes with a tabbed user interface and improved search features.

IBM Unveils Mainframe Bundles
InformationWeek / Antone Gonsalves

The two new System z configurations for application consolidation can run hundreds of Linux virtual servers on IBM’s z/VM virtualization platform. The systems come with a “save-as-you-grow” pricing model in which incremental capacity is priced significantly lower as the configuration size increases, IBM said.

Posted in News, Open Source, Politics / Government | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Daily Links for Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Macintosh

Official Google Mac Blog: Google Chrome for Mac goes beta!
Official Google Mac Blog

73,804 lines of Mac-specific code and 29 developer builds later, we’re excited to finally release Google Chrome for Mac in beta. We took a hefty dose of goodness from the Windows version to build a fast, polished browser for Mac — with features such as the Omnibox (where you can both search and type in addresses), themes from artists, and most importantly, speed. Try downloading Google Chrome for Mac and see what you think.

Open Source

Five Reasons Why Android Could Kill Windows Mobile
eWeek / Nicholas Kolakowski

Microsoft‘s Windows Mobile operating system could be the product in the smartphone space that is most vulnerable to the rise of Android, whose market share has steadily climbed over the past year. A variety of factors, ranging from a pairing of the Android OS with the solidly selling Motorola Droid to a positive trend line in Android OS adoption, suggest that Windows Mobile could be squeezed out of the multiple-mobile-device ecosystem unless Mobile 7, rumored to be released sometime in 2010, proves to be the substantial improvement that Microsoft promises.

Joe Brockmeier talks open source and social media
DaniWeb / Ron Miller

It’s been almost a year since I last interviewed Joe ‘Zonker’ Brockmeier, who is the community manager at openSUSE. I sent him several questions to answer by email. I was curious about the new version of openSUSE, 11.2, along with his increasing use of social media to promote it. I also wanted to know how people curious about open source operating systems could get started.

10 open source projects worth checking out
ZDNet Asia / Jack Wallen

The open source field is pretty crowded, but certain projects stand above the rest. Here are 10 tools and solutions you don’t want to overlook.

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Event and conference listing for Linux and open source in 2010

I’ve started putting together a listing of open source and Linux events that will take place in 2010 around the world. The list is small right now, but if you add a comment here or send me a message via the contact form, I’ll post your event, no matter how small.

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Daily Links for Monday, December 7, 1009

Software

Microsoft to randomly generate EU browser ballot list
Ars Technica / Emil Protalinski

The previous method had them listed in alphabetical order, putting Apple‘s Safari first. Complaints from Opera, Google, and Mozilla resulted in the change, and also pushed Microsoft into moving the ballot screen from Internet Explorer into a standard webpage format, according to Bloomberg, which cites two unnamed people familiar with the case. The browser ballot screen will let European PC users download a third-party browser without having to use Internet Explorer.

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Daily Links for Friday, December 4, 2009

Open Source

10 Linux features Windows should have by default
ZDNet / Larry Dignan

In my next two 10 Things articles, I am going to take pieces of each operating system and place them in the other. In this first article, I am going to share 10 features from the Linux operating system that should be in the Windows operating system.

New Linux kernel boosts graphics support, enhances KVM
DesktopLinux.com – eWeek

Linus Torvalds announced the release of a stable Linux 2.6.32 kernel. Major additions include kernel-based mode setting (KMS) and 3D graphics support on select Radeon cards, plus new kernel shared memory (KSM) technology for KVM virtualization, power-saving and performance improvements, and a faster “Devtmpfs” boot technology.

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Open source software: modify, extend, or leave it alone?

Let me begin with a story.

When I first started using WordPress for blogging, it didn’t have support for standards-level Atom feeds. Being open source, though, a colleague had looked at how RSS feeds were processed and had written some code for Atom. I took this code and plugged it into my installation, right along side all the code that came as an official part of WordPress.

This worked great until I installed the next release of WordPress. First, I forgot to stick the Atom code into the code directory. Later I realized that something had changed and things were not working correctly. I was able to tweak it and everything was fine … until it happened again. This might still be a problem except that WordPress eventually provided proper support for Atom and I could delete and forget the custom code.

Continue reading

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