Wednesday Oct 07, 2009

LBL, Technology and Life



21 ways LBL has helped change our technological environment!

Tuesday Aug 18, 2009

Advancing MySQL Open Development One Important Step Forward

Giuseppe Maxia writes about the availability of the active development/test ("pushbuild") MySQL binaries for users—on multiple platforms.

This is a wonderful step forward in bringing greater openness to current MySQL development and in bringing greater value to the MySQL user community!  

Monday Aug 10, 2009

ADO.Net Entity Framework on MySQL

Reggie Burnett, the lead behind MySQL Connector/NET, will be presenting a MySQL webinar, "For ISVs: ADO.NET Entity Framework for MySQL", tomorrow at 10 Pacific Time!

Among other topics, Reggie will discuss how to

  • Develop your application against SQL Server and then switch it to MySQL with zero code changes

  • Optimize your database schema without requiring any code changes in your application

  • Use LinQ syntax for type safety in your applications

(Interest in using MySQL on Windows is growing. The 2008 MySQL OEM Annual Survey, which closed in March 2009, shows that some 73% of MySQL OEM customers develop applications on Windows, and some 59% deploy these applications on Windows.)

If you're interested in Windows programming with MyQL, do not miss Reggie's other upcoming webinar for Sept. 15: "For ISVs: What's New in MySQL Connector/NET 6.1".

Thursday Jun 04, 2009

Brief on MSA 2

Elsewhere, I wrote a brief on MSA 2 ("Mobile Service Architecture 2").

Raison d'être of JavaOne Conference

Elsewhere, I wrote about the Raison d'être of the JavaOne Conference.

Wednesday Jun 03, 2009

Java DB 10.5.1 is Released!

By now, it is already a 5-day-old news that Java DB 10.5.1 has been released!

Great team work and effort went into this release!

Thank you Kim Haase, Liz Drachnik, Hery Ramilison, Edward Ort and the Java DB engineering team!

Read more about it all on Knut Anders Hatlen and Francois Orsini's blogs.

Monday Jun 01, 2009

SunRay @ CommunityOne

This year, at CommunityOne and JavaOne, every user has access (through their registration smart cards) to arrays of SunRay  clients and a choice of Windows, OpenSolaris and Ubuntu desktops accessed through the SunRay clients. The system is powered by SunRay servers and VirtualBox virtualization environment. I'm using one of the SunRay 270's to write and post this blog. (I selected the Ubuntu desktop.)

Wednesday May 20, 2009

The Edge of Technology and Systems Thinking

Last year, competitive strategy guru and Harvard business school professor Michael Porter wrote about "Why America Needs an Economic Strategy." In this brief note for BusinessWeek, Porter emphasizes the importance of infrastructure, logistics and educational upgrades in the U.S. economic system, as key success factors.

These infrastructure upgrades will demand new IT technologies deployed throughout, including upgrades related to people logistics and transportation.

These upgrades, including upgrades that will affect the way we live and work in our urban and suburban environments and those that will make public transportation much more attractive alternatives, will also have a direct impact on other ecological problems we face, including the dangerous changes such as the ones that are now affecting the ice caps. See for example, the report in The Independent, "Exclusive: Scientists warn that there may be no ice at North Pole this summer."

System-level thinking teaches us that various domains of our activity and concern are in fact very well-connected and tied up in complex dynamics. 

Tragedies occur when systems and their dynamics are not properly understood.

Relying on hasty moves, fire-fighting and denying the interplay of of dynamics and time has led to many mispercieved problems and "solutions" that only aggravate problems or create new ones.

Careful attention, deep study and addressing the root causes of these global and systemic problems may deliver a better future path to recovery.

In order to do all this, one needs to have a good understanding of complex systems and their dyamics. This is subtle art and requires a comprehensive understanding of various system components and how they interact, including a mental model for these interactions.

I'm afraid I have to bring the news that not everyone has had the experience or has accumulated the knowledge for that kind of integrative thinking.  This is why we should set aside our bias against those who refuse to be dragged into firefights. These are people who pause to pay proper attention to problems and discover real solutions. This pause doesn't imply slow thinking, rather a paced mode of thinking. These people should be cherished rather than isolated, refused and blocked from hierarchical decision systems that emphasize perpetual firefights. (Studies have shown that "firefight" mode of thinking and acting is much more prevalent in U.S. business and government institutions when compare to Japan or other countries where root solutions are the focus. So, we may need a general cultural change to lay greater value to system thinking and problem-solving that addresses root causes.)

In general, systems thinking will get us to where we want to be. In general, symptomatic and firefight solutions may solve the problem momentarily but will only get us farther from where we want to head. 

Friday Apr 17, 2009

A BoF on Community Code Contributions to MySQL

The BoF schedule for MySQL Conference and Expo (2009) is now published. Lenz Grimmer, Sergei Golubchik, Tomas Ulin and myself will be available during a BoF which focuses on MySQL Community Code Contributions. Lenz will be moderating. For background material, you may start here.


Thursday Apr 16, 2009

A Real Student Bargain for JavaONe

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This year, JavaOne let's students get in free!

Plus, they can sign up for CommunityOne at the same time.

Both passes are full conference passes with access to everything!

Educators can also get in free when they bring 10 students with them to the conference. If they aren't able to do this, they still get a fantastic deal of $895 for a full conference pass.

This is an unprecedented bargain and discount!

What is a Full Pass?

All the benefits of a FULL conference attendee, which includes: JavaOne general and technical sessions, panel discussions, HOLs (Hands-on-labs), BOFs (Birds-of-a-feather), the Pavilion and the After Dark Bash / Networking Mixer! Not to mention a "hang space" (which includes video games, movies & more!), plus you will be able to check email any time at one of our many hacker stations.

PLUS

Admission to the CommunityOne Deep-Dives. What does this mean? FREE training by our very own SLS on some really great topics, plus hugely discounted certification (vouchers will be handed out at the event)- certification can even be done on-site! There will also be numerous parties and chances for you to network with the best and brightest in the industry, from community leaders to "Rockstars" and everyone in between.

Tuesday Mar 31, 2009

MySQL Ideas for Google Summer of Code (GSoC)


Check out the ideas from MySQL for Google Summer of Code 2009!

These are specially-selected projects for students who are looking to do some coding in a real, open-source, highly-adopted software environment. 

The learning experience will be tremendous given that MySQL engineers will be mentoring them. 

Some student stipend is provided by the Google Summer of Code. It is intended for students to gain "exposure to real-world software development scenarios and the opportunity for employment in areas related to their academic pursuits."

Friday Mar 13, 2009

Interview -- Second Part

Sun's web team has just posted the second part of the interview that Janice Heiss conducted with me recently.

Janice has also written a very good summary of the interview. In conducting the interview, Janice gave me an opportunity to go over some of my own thinking in the subject matters we considered together. I'm truly grateful to her for turning this into a productive conversation that goes well beyond the expected questions. Thank you Janice.

This interview was originally conducted for java.net and Sun Developer Network

Saturday Feb 28, 2009

The Three Forces of the Long Tail and the Classic Market

Chris Anderson's study of The Long Tail identifies three economic forces that the modern computing technologies, the Internet and the Web have helped unleash: (1) Improvements in tools of production of content and goods. (2) Improvements in tools of distribution. (3) Reductions in search costs through improvements in search technologies. (When we speak of "search technologies," we should understand them to mean any method of search, including the physical search, which is the "classic" search technology.)

These three forces join and orchestrate a move, in the consumption curve, from "hits" to "niches".

The argument is that this increases overall economic value. It does, indeed, for some firms and large numbers of consumers that engage in related "modern" search-and-consume activities on the Net. However, the classic market economy does not improve and will suffer, without a fast enough replacement in all niches and certainly in "hits" which provide the batteries for the classic market. Unless we reformulate the classic consumption game in new innovative ways, through innovations in general logistics of moving people and goods, I remain skpetical whether the replacement rate will be sufficient to outpace the overal reduction in consumption due to the diminishing physical search habits.

Friday Feb 13, 2009

Contributing Code to MySQL -- Some Simple Guidelines

If you would like to contribute to MySQL development, you can read the relevant top-level page on the MySQL Forge.

This page has some useful links to various forms of contributing to MySQL, including contribution of code to MySQL. (The MySQL|Sun team have recently simplified some of these pages in order to make them more useful to community members and potential contributors.)

Note that after some simple paperwork submitted to Sun ("Sun Contributor Agreement" or "SCA"), any signatory can contribute to any Sun-sponsored open-source project, including to MySQL.

It is a common parctice to require initial paperwork to clarify rights to the contributed work. This practice is also used by other open-source communities such as the Apache Software Foundation.

It is worth quoting, from the the master document, that

As we gain more experience, absorb more contributions and receive feedback from the contributors, please expect some modifications to the contribution system described here.

Wednesday Feb 11, 2009

Vibration Effects on Discs

This video, which I originally found on Jonathan Schwartz's blog, demonstrates, in a laboratory "study," how vibration on discs can be detected by D-Trace instrumentation in FISHworks (FISH stands for Fully Integrated Software and Hardware). The lesson: Don't Shout at Your Discs!

Sunday Feb 08, 2009

Interoperability and Innovation

Most software professionals already know about the important role interoperability plays in fostering innovation. In a recent commentary in Financial Times ("Interoperability: the great enabler"), Michael Schrage, a researcher with the MIT's Sloan School of Management notes

Barriers to interdisciplinary innovation tumble. Favourable economics of interoperable innovation will tempt ambitious "inter-preneurs" to test their ideas.

How might interoperability between Siemens cochlear implants, Apple iPhones, Nike running shoes accelerometers, LG microwave ovens, Nintendo Wiis and BMW Series 3 Sedans create bold entrepreneurial, or diversification, opportunities? Who knows? But the fact that the question piques curiosity reveals fundamental changes in the global innovation climate.

A new innovator's dilemma begins to attend the extent of interoperability in products. 

Monday Feb 02, 2009

MySQL Conference & Expo Coming Up

MySQL Conference and Expo is coming up to Santa Clara this April.

The program schedule is really easy to navigate and tells you about everything there's to partake of.  

A quick review will show you that the  quality of the no-nonsense presentations will be amazing, and it will be a true privilege to attend the conference. (We should thank the MySQL community team for helping ensure this high level of technical quality and relevance.)

Thursday Jan 29, 2009

Wikipedia on Sun | MySQL Servers

Wikimedia Foundation is expanding Wikipedia to multimedia with Sun Open Storage Solution and MySQL Database:

Wikipedia receives between 25,000 and 60,000 page requests per second, depending on the time of day. Wikimedia needed to update its infrastructure to handle this huge volume of traffic and ensure that its systems were reliable, highly available, and easily scalable. It also wanted to expand its upload file limit from 20 MB to 100 MB to accommodate rich media (audio and video) content, but before it could do that it needed to expand its storage capacity.

It is great to see that how the most important non-profit content provider on the web grows and it is great to be part of that growth.

Wikipedia should be the subject of extensive studies in various fields of sociology, economics and information systems: social knowledge, open-source, open-content, markets, information economics and open-scoeity.

Sunday Jan 25, 2009

Best Database Tool

Developer.Com has selected MySQL Workbench as the best database tool of 2009!

Competing behind Workbench were:

  • Altova DatabaseSpy® 2008
  • LINQ (Microsoft® .NET Language Integrated Query)
  • SQL Server® 2008 Reporting Services
  • Oracle SQL Developer

Thursday Dec 25, 2008

The Gibbs

I was reading about the Amistad case on Wikipedia, and noticed the interesting role that Josiah Willard Gibbs Sr., the theologian, had played in finding a Mende speaker. (Gibbs learned how to say numerals one to ten in Mende, shouted it in the New York Harbor, and found someone who understood the numbers.) Gibbs name, of course, made me curious about this relationship to the other Josiah Willard Gibbs, the mathematician and physical chemist, whose theories we constantly apply in chemical thermodynamics. (Josiah Willard Gibbs, Jr. also happens to have been awarded the very first U.S. Ph.D. in engineering, under a dissertation entitledOn the Form of the Teeth of Wheels in Spur Gearing.)

It might be worth mentioning that Wikipedia runs on the MySQL database server, as has already been described in a number of case studies and presentations.

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