Thursday Jan 24, 2008

The Friendly Elephant and the Rising Elephine

Amol Chiplunkar describes his experience migrating an application to PostgreSQL. Here's how he describes the server requirements met by PostgreSQL.

Courtesy of Petr Zahradnik

The product has a central server layer that collects data from tens or sometimes hundreds of systems periodically. The collected data needs to be processed and stored in the database for generating reports and graphs. The data retainment policy is to keep on rolling it up so that the data stays over a long duration at a gradually reducing granularity level with time. Which means the freshly collected data should be the most granular while the older data should be summarized over a period of time and purged out as and when required.

In the meantime, Bjorn Munch describes how to build PostgreSQL for Open Solaris ... and Zdenek Kotala presents the "rising elephine" ...

Thursday Nov 29, 2007

Where was I?

While I was away for meetings at Sun Microsystems's India Engineering Center, Eileen Alan of SDN channel posted a recent conversation I had with Kuldip Oberoi about Java DB and Apache Derby. I think Kuldip and I touched on a number of important topics about the technology, the business and Sun's general strategy behind Sun's Java DB work, and it is certainly very exciting to see the uptake by the user and developer community. It would be even more exciting as we see Java DB used for more and more database courses. I know Sun's Java DB (Apache / Derby) engineers are coming up with some very cool features and applications, too ... For a glimpse of what might be coming up, take a look at Rick Hillegas' "Saucer Separation" presentation given at ApacheCon (Atlanta, Nov. 2007) ... You might also want to check out the upcoming JavaME conference (Santa Clara, Jan. 2008) and check out JavaPolis (Anwerp, Dec. 2007), where there may be up to 4 Java DB related talks, Francois Orsini tells me. So, stay tuned, and, in the meantime, don't forget to check out Orsini's blog!

Friday May 04, 2007

Blog Entries on JavaOne 2007

At, I will be compiling some blog entries in anticipation of JavaOne 2007 and following the conference (mostly from the pavilion floor).

For a database related topic, you might want to check out Francois Orsini's "Enabling Offline Web Applications with Java DB," where he previews his upcoming JavaOne talk with Zimbra's Kevin Henrikson.

Tuesday Apr 03, 2007

Political Economy of Open Source Communities

Lots of people have said lots of things about open source communities.

Among the books I have seen on shelves and articles in books and online, I've been wanting to read Steven Weber's 2004 book The Success of Open Source but time has never allowed.

Finally, I've been able to start and finish the first 15 pages of Weber's book, and I can tell you that it has all the right elements and sources for its analysis of the political economy of open source communities. Mancur Olson's work, transaction cost economists', Chester Barnard's and others' are weaved together beautifully in those pages.

I look forward to reading more of it as time allows, and I'll be quoting from Weber, here.

Tuesday Mar 20, 2007

John W. Backus

Today, The New York Times carries an obituary to John W. Backus, of the "Backus | Naur form" notation and the lead of the IBM team who brought us Fortran. Many a scientific computing wizard will today salute Mr. Backus for what he and his team accomplished.

While the need for new programming models was dire in the 1950s, a move by Backus to initiate an applied research program to invent a higher-level language led to a revolution in software. The first Fortran team worked on the language from 1953 to 1957. ("The first written reference to 'software' as a computer term, as something distinct from hardware, did not come until 1958," according to The NYT.)

In my experience with Fortran, I join many others who used this first-generation higher-level language to do useful things, including much scientific research.

I wrote my first toy computer program, which calculated the first 1000 primes, in Fortran. Later on, I wrote Fortran programs to calculate temperature profiles in three dimensional body embedded in a heated environment, to study dispersion and diffusion of particles in turbulent flows, to investigate the dynamics of particle-particle collisions and systems, and to perform direct numerical simulations of fluid flow and vortex-vortex interaction in an infinite body. In short, in the mid 1980s, I spent many hours doing scientific programming in Fortran. (Some of this work got its way into my masters dissertation and other to my Ph.D. dissertation. Much of it remained at the level of pure investigation and study.)

Note: For a modern progeny, see Fortress.

Sunday Feb 04, 2007

Railing about Rails

While I may rail about Rails here, you could do something more useful by consulting  Peter Schow on how to get Rails 1.2 up and running on Solaris 10 with PostgreSQL, and by checking it out and sharing on Open Solaris. Alternatively, for another Web 2.0 development environment, consider Phobos.

Wednesday Jan 31, 2007

All The Uses

All the current uses of Apache / Derby  are truly astounding in the variety of applications. Those who have not had a chance to take a serious look are missing out. Sun Microsystems Inc. distributes Derby as Java DB, independently and with the JDK, beginning with JDK 6.

Thursday Dec 21, 2006

Statistics on Open Source Projects

Now, we have places to go to for open source project statistics.

For example, see the Ohloh statistics for Apache / Derby.

Sunday Nov 12, 2006

Watch It

Watch for Java news as "Sun Opens Java"!

Related reports: Wall Street Journal




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