Friday Feb 27, 2009

MySQL review in FriendFeed

As you know, social media content aggregator FriendFeed pulls together content from over 40 Websites like YouTube, Flickr, Twitter and more. Needless to say, the service manages a large quantity of information.
Today Bret Taylor -- the co-founder of FriendFeed -- has published a review of MySQL on his company blog stating, "We have optimized our primary indexes quite a bit in this new [MySQL] system, and we are quite pleased with the results."

The review has gotten attention from FriendFeed's strong advocates among the online/social media community. Robert Scoble already posted to Twitter about the post being included on top tech news aggregator Techmeme.

In the review, Bret described how the company looked to manage the rapid growth of content they're experiencing, with their service currently storing over 250 million entries as well as other comments and data.

Bret said that FriendFeed uses MySQL for storing all of this data, and the company was looking for ways to scale and manage indexes more quickly. Regarding background research, Bret said, "In the tests we read about and ran ourselves, none of the projects were stable or battle-tested enough for our needs... MySQL works. It doesn't corrupt data. Replication works. We understand its limitations already. We like MySQL for storage, just not RDBMS usage patterns." This lead the team to implement a "schema-less" storage system on top of MySQL rather than use a completely new storage system.

The majority of the review includes the actual high-level architecture FriendFeed employs, and follows with some graphical representation of the success they've seen. Bret said, "In particular, the latency of our system is now remarkably stable, even during peak mid-day hours."

In conclusion, Bret noted, "the system has been really easy to work with so far. We have already changed the indexes a couple of times since we deployed the system, and we have started converting some of our biggest MySQL tables to use this new scheme so we can change their structure more liberally going forward."

Tuesday Feb 24, 2009

OpenOffice reviews and how-to articles

1. OpenOffice - the free office suite -- Bukisa, 2/17
The blogger provided an overview of including its history of origin, community surrounding this free open source software product and its different features. He recommended trying the product as " you could replace Microsoft Office and Adobe Acrobat - saving hundreds of dollars."
2. OpenOffice 3: Useful, Compatible - and Pretty -- My Mp3 Player, 2/17
Touting OpenOffice as the "initiate spring challenger to Microsoft Office," the blogger announced that the looked bigger than ever. According to him, 3 was the "best, clever and most widely compatible software ever."

3. Taking Your Microsoft Office Templates, and Making Them Available in or StarOffice -- Training, Tips, and Ideas, 2/16
An and StarOffice instructor showed multiple ways of using Microsoft Office templates in and StarOffice.

4. How To Install An OpenOffice Dictionary Manually -- Xual - dedicated to users, 2/11
Sometimes the wizard to install dictionaries did not work for Xual, so she went ahead and presented a step by step guide on how to manually add a dictionary in

5. OpenOffice is the best free open source Microsoft Office alternative -- Using Windows Blog, 2/10
The blogger was very frustrated with Microsoft Word's drawing capabilities. She tried OpenOffice Draw, and felt "an all new appreciation for the OpenOffice suite." The blogger found it a very well put together application and recommended trying this office suite.

6. Tom's Budget Software Pick -- Tom's Macs Blog (, 2/7
Tom Nelson noted that the suite had transformed itself into a more pleasant experience by adding a native OS X Aqua interface. Tom also noticed that one of the best things about was that it was a free open source application, thus saving hundreds of dollars to run a fully functional and highly productive office suite on the Mac.

OpenSolaris Tips & Tricks

1. Booting OpenSolaris in verbose mode -- Levent Serinol's Blog, 2/17
Levent Serinol presented a step by step guide on how to boot OpenSolaris in verbose mode.
2. Comparing Drobo and DroboShare to an OpenSolaris storage server -- Caffeinated, 2/16
Nathan Fiedler replaced his Drobo storage appliance with one he built using OpenSolaris. He noted that "the recent releases of OpenSolaris are remarkably easy to set up and administer," and he found ZFS to be the most "amazing file system on the planet" since it encouraged easy set ups for storage pools and file systems. In his opinion, OpenSolaris was "the best choice" since it supported SMB, NFS, iSCSI, and AFP apart from running reference implementations of ZFS.

3. Mirrored swap with ZFS on OpenSolaris -- chrismiles, 2/13
Chris Miles recently installed OpenSolaris 2008.11 on his development server and liked the fact that out-of-the-box it installed with zfs root filesystems. In this post, he demonstrates how to set up a mirrored swap parition using ZFS.

Monday Feb 23, 2009

VirtualBox Experiences

1. Installing Windows 7 on Mac -- Computerize the world, 2/18
The blogger notes VirtualBox is a favorite for many of his colleagues since it is available for free and "will always be fairly robust." The blogger notes that in addition to offering a plethora of novel features, VirtualBox is also compatible with Windows 7 as a guest operating system, thus making the software even more appealing to developers.

2. VirtualBox 2.1.4 - x86 virtualization software -- Apple Bloog, 2/16
The blogger notes that VirtualBox comes from a family of powerful x86 virtualization products from Sun. He adds that VirtualBox is extremely feature rich and is also the only professional solution freely available as Open Source Software under the terms of the GNU General Public License. The blogger writes that VirtualBox is being actively developed with frequent releases, boasts an ever growing list of features, supported guest operating systems and platforms that it can ran on.
Sun xVM VirtualBox
3. VirtualBox -- Life as a Physicist, 2/11
Blogger Gordon Watts notes, "I've recently become a huge fan of VirtualBox." Gordon states VirtualBox has the "nicest user interface" of the three virtualization solutions he tested. Gordon adds that he now uses VirtualBox all the time, mostly to run Linux for work related applications.

4. VirtualBox as a low cost, high quality desktop virtualization client -- enVirtua, 2/10
The blogger reviews Sun's VirtualBox for Windows, Linux, OpenSolaris and Mac platforms. He notes that the software offers some very interesting features such as better modularity, virtual machine descriptions in XML, guest additions for Windows and Linux, shared folder options, remote desktop protocol and virtual USB controllers among others. "Virtual Box may well be an excellent starting point for people in organizations that need a robust product but are not quite ready for VMware Workstation," he adds.

Sunday Feb 22, 2009

NetBeans Tutorials and Reviews from Developers

1. NetBeans = Best Maven IDE? -- Java and more, 2/17
Peter Karich showed what is possible with Maven 2.0.9 in NetBeans 6.5 in a step by step tutorial.
2. I love NetBeans 7! -- Nice Words, 2/16
The blogger tested a build of NetBeans 7 that according to him was stable, beautiful and really helped him to get his work done. After further testing, he commented, "NetBeans 7 is really going to rock!"

3. NetBeans 6.5, JavaFX 1.0, Groovy and arithmetic training -- Kontrawize, 2/15
Anthony Coates strongly suggested the use of NetBeans for JavaFX development since the IDE offered built-in JavaFX support. He also updated developers about the availability of a slim version of NetBeans that offered bits for Java and JavaFX development, though it was much smaller than the "complete" NetBeans version.

4. Enable JSP editor features for Maven webapp project in NetBeans -- Messages from mrhaki, 2/14
Hubert presented a step by step guide to enable JSP editing features for Maven using NetBeans 6.5.

5. NetBeans IDE support for python and JPython and its usage -- Techtalks, 2/14
Prasanna Seshadri thought NetBeans is poised to become "the best open source IDE for Python and JPython in near future," and presented a tutorial on python and jython projects using NetBeans.

6. NetBeans 7.0 hands-on experience -- Juozas devBlog, 2/13
Juozas shared his experiences testing NetBeans 7.0 as well as the differences from NetBeans 6.5.

7. NetBeans, Komodo Edit, and Bespin -- Fuzzy Tolerance, 2/13
Tobin Bradley was looking forward to trying some recent IDE releases. After giving NetBeans a solid review, Tobin concluded that the IDE was impressive, intuitive and responsive.

8. The Big PHP IDE Test: Why Use One And Which To Choose -- Smashing Magazine, 2/11
The blogger James evaluated popular IDEs and suggested each IDE for different reasons. James concluded that "both PDT and NetBeans are good. ... If editing tools and code completion are more important to you, then pick NetBeans. NetBeans is a bit more responsive, too."

Saturday Feb 21, 2009

PC Magazine's OpenOffice Tips & Tricks

PC Magazine's Edward Mendelson took a look at 3.0, highlighting "7 Things You Didn't Know You Could Do" with the open source office suite. He noted, " 3.0 costs absolutely nothing but comes closer than anything else to letting you delete your copy of Microsoft Office (which probably cost you a lot)."
The majority of his list are tips and tricks to get the most out of the application suite, but one item provided an Easter Egg 1990s-era shoot-'em-up Space Invaders game. ;-)

Edward's list also included instructions on how to perform tasks such as editing multiple parts of a document at the same time, using OpenOffice to open legacy documents, saving files in Microsoft Office format by default, automating actions via macros and changing the default single quote character.

Thursday Feb 19, 2009

Computerworld review of VirtualBox (hosting Windows 7)

Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols of Computerworld tested how Windows 7 runs on a virtualized environment, noting he chose to use Sun's VirtualBox software because it is free and also because it can used as a host for other operating systems.

Steven discussed in detail the installation process for both Windows 7 and VirtualBox, highlighting VirtualBox's ability to load ISOs over both a network or from a local drive as well as noting VirtualBox Guest Additions. He stated, "They only work with Linux and Windows guest operating systems. But in either case, they're darn useful."

Steve also noted that unless one wants to run a high-end game, "VirtualBox gives you everything most of you will need to decide for yourself whether Windows 7 will be worth your time. As far as I'm concerned, Windows 7 and VirtualBox are a great combination."
Sun xVM VirtualBox
Following the conclusion of the article, Steven added a section regarding VirtualBox and why it is his virtualization program of choice. He noted, "I've been a VirtualBox user for some time, and I really like it a lot. It's simpler to use than Xen; it's largely open source, unlike VMware; and it runs on pretty much any desktop operating system you care to name, which is certainly not the case with Parallels or Microsoft's Hyper-V."

Steven concluded, "There may be better desktop virtualization programs available than VirtualBox, but I haven't found one yet. Its combination of flexibility, speed and features makes it my PC virtualization program of choice. If you give it a try, I think you'll find you agree."

Stellar InfoWorld Review of Sun Storage 7210 Unified Storage System (Amber Road)

Amber Road Analytics
Real-time analysis screenshot of the Amber Road storage system

Infoworld's Paul Venezia reviewed the Sun Storage 7210 Unified Storage System (Amber Road) and accompanying FISHworks management platform, rating it a stellar 9.2 out of 10 and noting, "The Sun Storage 7210 Unified Storage System's combination of 48 drives, SSD log storage, broad protocol support, ZFS, and amazing GUI make for one great filer."

Paul took a comprehensive look at the unit's management features, including its real-time monitoring and analytics capabilities. After only a few minutes of use with FISHworks he noted, "I was smitten. It's very attractive and very accessible. In fact, it may be the most complete filer interface I've ever seen, blowing the doors off Network Appliance's Web-based manager." Paul drilled down into the GUI, highlighting its instant feedback on load and throughput as well as the worksheets ability to provide easy at-a-glance status reports.

Turning his attention to the hardware, Paul configured a storage pool and tested performance via a number of access protocols. For NFS access via Linux, he highlighted that creation of a 10GB file performed at near wire-rate over a gigabit NIC. Paul also noted the solid performance of sequential reads and writes to NFS3, NFS4, iSCSI and CIFS, calling out the 55 to 60MBps throughput while under load. "Again, this is very close to wire-rate speeds," he stated.

Overall, Paul was very positive about his experience with the 7210 concluding, "The market for multilingual filers has plenty of players, from NetApp to Adaptec, but in terms of bang for the buck, Sun's 7210 is in rare territory. Regardless of price, son of Thumper is a uniquely complete representation of what a filer should be."

Tuesday Feb 17, 2009

MySQL wins Database of the Year 2008 award!!!

MySQL has been selected as the Database of the Year in the 2008 Members Choice Awards. MySQL got 58.10% of the total votes cast!!!

Congratulations, MySQL team!

MySQL Wins Award

Monday Feb 16, 2009

Tips & Tricks from MySQL Experts

1. Are MySQL stored procedures slow? -- Database Science, 2/13
Brooks Johnson shows MySQL stored procedures are not as fast as equivalent C# and Java codes, and recommends not to implement computationally expensive business logic in the database.

2. Re: Are MySQL stored procedures slow? -- Antony's MySQL bits, 2/13
In response to the post above, Antony Curtis shows that using Perl, a stored procedure will be a lot faster than MySQL's native SQL stored procedures (though not as fast as bytecode languages with JIT compilers).
3. How much memory can MySQL use in the worst case? -- MySQL Performance Blog, 2/12
In a detailed post, Baron Schwartz discusses various memory usage scenarios in MySQL. He concludes that worst case memory usage scenario is not something worth worrying about much. Brian thinks it is far better to use a monitoring tool to watch the actual memory usage over time and see how it varies.

4a. Of MySQL 5.1 and Joomla part 2 - A dirty trick and an idea -- Karlsson on databases and stuff, 2/12
4b. Of MySQL 5.1 and Joomla part 1
Anders has developed a site using Joomla CMS and MySQL. He goes over the tricks of overcoming some of Joomla's shortcomings on MySQL usage.

5. Altering a HUGE MyISAM table in MySQL -- Tech Scraps, 2/10
Vivek Jain had to alter a MyISAM table with approximately 300 million records. He found out some nifty tricks that did the job under 5 hours.

6. MySQL Front 5 -- Ickokid IT Solution, 2/10
The blogger highlighted MySQL-Front as a "real" application that could offer a more refined user interface to MySQL as compared to systems built on PHP and HTML. "MySQL-Front makes working with MySQL databases a snap without hiding the language from the user," he noted.

OpenSolaris 2008.11 Reviews

1. OpenSolaris 2008.11 - What is right, and what needs work -- printf ("Totally out of ideas.\\n"), 2/9
For the blogger, the first step of installing OpenSolaris went very well and the boot in the full install was "impressive." Though he faced a couple of driver and sound related issues, he concluded that his final impression of the OS was great. He said, "Kudos to the people who are working on that end of OpenSolaris. Nice and easy to use, and from my experience, takes care of all the dependencies. It is on par with modern Linux distributions, if nothing else."
2. Building netatalk on OpenSolaris 2008.11 -- Caffeinated, 2/8
Nathan Fiedler had been using Drobo via a DroboShare as a Time Machine backup for his MacBook Pro. However, Nathan ended up replacing Drobo and DroboShare with a server running OpenSolaris. He ended up using OpenSolaris over Linux specifically because of ZFS. "If you don't think ZFS is the most rocking' file system on the planet then you haven't watched the three hour presentation. It's absolutely fascinating."

3. First experiences with OpenSolaris -- Antonio's Blog, 2/5
Antonio Vieiro provided feedback on his first experiences with OpenSolaris and was happy with hardware support, multimedia software, faster and better access to Windows share, OpenOffice 3.0, and great graphics amongst others. He concluded that not only did OpenSolaris offer great Gnome support, but also offered great features to Linux users thus making a great contribution in every released version.

Sunday Feb 15, 2009

JavaFX Tips & Tricks

With the recent anouncement of JavaFX Mobile, I wanted to highlight couple of excellent tips and tricks articles from (non-Sun) JavaFX enthusiasts. Also, do check out the JavaFX site and the JavaFX blog for the latest tutorials and how-to articles.
1a. JavaFX 1.1 Mobile Example: Using Binding and Key Events -- Jim Weaver's JavaFX Blog, 2/13
1b. Lessons Learned from Creating a Data Intensive, Multi-tier Application in JavaFX
James Weaver shows us a couple of code examples for JavaFX Mobile 1.1 along with Java Web Start links to run them. He also has an excellent post on lessons learned from creating Sapphire -- a data intensive, multi-tier JavaFX application.

2. Pet Store with JavaFX 1.0.- Part I -- Java Developer's Journal, 2/12
Yakov Fain investigates what JavaFX 1.0 is capable of. In the process, he gives a face lift to the Java Pet Store 2.0 Application by replacing the UI developed with AJAX/JSP/JavaServer Faces with JavaFX 1.0. In an upcoming post, he will review the code.

3. Creating mashups with JavaFX -- IBM developerWorks, 2/10
In this IBM developerWorks article, eBay's Michael Galpin shows how JavaFX lets us tap into popular Web services such as Flickr and how we can use it to create interactive user interfaces. Along the way, we get a taste of the new capabilities that JavaFX brings to client-side development.

4a. Jump into JavaFX, Part 1: JavaFX Preview SDK -- JavaWorld, 11/6
4b. Jump into JavaFX, Part 2: JavaFX Script
4c. Jump into JavaFX, Part 3: The basic APIs
In this three part JavaFX series (fourth one is forthcoming!), Jeff Friesen walks us through installation instructions for JavaFX with NetBeans 6.1, create a Hello World script, and explore scalable vector graphics conversion and rendering using Project Nile; subsequently a tour of JavaFX Script's language features and APIs.

VirtualBox users chime in...

1. Virtualization Picks -- Rants and Raves, 2/10
Roger L. Soles picked the best available virtualization software based on cost, robustness, ease of use and performance, and VirtualBox came out at the top. While VMware and Parallels also offer some great solutions, Roger noted they were too expensive and had high maintenance costs. Roger stated that VirtualBox was the most appropriate choice for people looking for a great virtualization tool, and ideal for Linux or Intel machine users.

2. VirtualBox Performance on AMD Phenom II (AMD-V & Nested Paging) -- Jayson Rowe's Ramblings, 2/9
Jason Rowe discussed why he relies on Sun's VirtualBox for home use. "It is an excellent workstation product which is not only free (and even has an Open Source variant), but in my opinion, better than some commercially available products," noted Jason. One of his favorite VirtualBox features is its ability to make full use of AMD-V and Nestle Paging -- something that dramatically improved performance. Jason highlighted that when VirtualBox is coupled with Nestle Paging and AMD-V, it performed just like a "real world" CPU.
Sun xVM VirtualBox
3. VirtualBox on OS-X -- Rants and Raves, 2/7
The blogger went through an extremely poor experience with his upgrade to VMware Fusion 2.0.1 but "VirtualBox was a totally satisfying experience." According to him, VirtualBox lacked all the "whizzy" features that VMware offered but it ran virtual machines very reliably -- the only thing he really cared about. He liked VirtualBox's interface because it was clean and simple, and he found the documentation and FAQ's to be excellent.

Saturday Feb 14, 2009

Developer Reviews of NetBeans 6.5

1. NetBeans is Getting Better -- My Open Source Software Development Blog, 2/10
The blogger was writing an article about how to do formatting with Microlog and discussed his experiences working with Eclipse and NetBeans. He had been using Eclipse as his predominant IDE but said, "It is a real shame that after all these years, Eclipse still have problems when it comes to Java ME development." In the end, he downloaded the current NetBeans and said, "My first impression is that NetBeans has matured since the last time I used it."
2. 'Profile Me Now' Feature in NetBeans 7 Milestone 2 -- Pro NetBeans, 2/10
The New and Noteworthy page for NetBeans 7 Milestone 2 notes a new feature called 'Profile Me Now' that will soon be added to the IDE -- enabling users to activate the diagnostic tool, perform some action or set of actions and then deactivate the diagnostic tool. "This will generate a standard NetBeans Profiler snapshot which can then be submitted to the NB team for analysis," the blogger concluded.

3. NetBeans 6.5 and Python -- Geeky Blog, 2/9
Jett tried using NetBeans 6.5 as his IDE for developing a Python-based Google Talk bot program this weekend. Prior to this project, he always used PyDev plugin for Eclipse. After using NetBeans, Jett found a few features that appealed to him were syntax highlighting, auto indention, auto completion and debugging. He concluded, "NetBeans is almost becoming the default IDE for everything I do in Grails, Python, and the occasional quick Java POCs."

4. NetBeans 6.5 as a Cute and free IDE for PHP -- Mike Borozdin's Blog, 2/8
Mike Borozdin believed that NetBeans was mostly known for Java developers as a good and free IDE. He also noted that recently, NetBeans started supporting other languages, such as C/C++, Ruby and finally PHP. Mike concluded, "NetBeans has it all. Furthermore, it works greatly with JavaScript that was a quite a surprise for me after a while working with Eclipse."

5. NetBeans 6.5 - my number one PHP IDE -- Juozas devBlog, 2/8
The blogger was inspired to try NetBeans after reading several articles about it. He liked how NetBeans offered integrated SVN support, projects, debugging Windows/Linux support, and more. He said he disliked the lack of integrated project synchronization over FTP and slow processing with large projects, but concluded, "Overall it's just a wonderful tool - stable, helpful and being actively developed. Give it a try!"

Friday Feb 13, 2009

Recent OpenOffice Reviews

1. PRODUCT REVIEW: OpenOffice 3: Useful, Compatible - and Pretty -- 94blog-software34, 2/9
The blogger reviewed OpenOffice 3.0 and said it was "the most superlative multi-use, widely compatible software ever." He was impressed to see that it included six "full-blown" applications even though it was free, and the most exciting enlargement was enhanced inauguration on the Mac. He concluded that OpenOffice 3.0 did attain "a new assemblage of spiffier, and more modern-looking icon."
2. 3 review -- Macworld, 2/9
John Brandon from Macworld reviewed 3.0 and called it "a powerful productivity suite with one major additional feature: it's free." John went on to say that "OpenOffice 3 is a major upgrade with plenty of new features, native OS support, and all the tools most people would need to get their work done." John gave three out of five stars.

3. Save money on software -- Thrifty Tips, 2/9
Blog Thrifty Tips recommended using -- a "great productivity suite" -- as a free alternative to Microsoft Office. He elaborated that not only did OpenOffice support graphics and databases, but it also offered word processing, spreadsheets, and presentations. He considered OpenOffice as the ideal choice.

4. Free Software? No Problem -- Australian Bookkeepers, 2/9
The blogger listed several free alternatives to commonly used software, including He wrote, "Consider this open-source word-processing program, which offers all the essentials and rarely crashes." He also added that OpenOffice made the whole process of producing PDF's "a snap" and yet demanded far less processing power than its rival.

5. iApprove: OpenOffice -- iApprove and other stuff, 2/9
Blogger Janette Morgan discussed her switch from WordPad to OpenOffice for her various needs that arose while writing novels. Though Janette had first tried OpenOffice because of the word counter, she ended up staying with it for various other reasons -- the most important one being the flexibility of OpenOffice's printer, which did not insist on taking dimensions.

6. 6 Software Programs To Help Your PC -- Identify Theft Internet, 2/8
John Jones declared OpenOffice to be one of the six must have software programs that helped PC's to perform better. John believed that with Word documents or PowerPoint presentations gaining prime importance, working with Microsoft Office documents no longer meant buying a copy of Microsoft Office due to the availability of OpenOffice. John also encouraged its use among businesses running on a tight budget and kids who wanted to write papers for school.




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