Thursday Oct 13, 2005

Solaris 10 Talk

Last night I gave a talk\* at the West Yorkshire BCS group about Solaris 10.

About 50 people attended the talk, which was more than I expected and came as a bit of a surprise. I took a quick poll before I started to talk and learned that:

  • 20(ish) used Solaris on a daily basis
  • 0 used Solaris 10
  • 5 used Solaris 9
  • (The rest) used Solaris 7/8
  • 1 used Solaris 2.6

It looks like we need to do some active encouragement of our user base to upgrade!

The talk was about an hour long and seemed to be well received. It wasn't terribly technical, as I didn't think that would be appropriate for the audience, but I concentrated on introducing four main areas of Solaris 10: Resource Management (including zones), DTrace, Predictive Self Healing, Privileges. I also briefly covered other areas and quickly plugged OpenSolaris. Questions centered on: Dtrace/Resource Management performance impact, wireless drivers, installation problems and the availability of the next release.

The BCS committee told me that they thought the talk had gone well and I was personally satisfied that I'd managed to generate some interest in Solaris. I was a little disappointed that there were so few detailed technical questions. Also disappointing was the realisation that hardly anyone, even in the BCS, used a version of Solaris newer than five years old!

\*Thanks to Jim Mauro for providing the bulk of the slides that I used for the talk and to Bryan Cantrill whose DTrace slides I stole and re-hashed mercilessly.

Wednesday Oct 05, 2005

Solaris 10 in West Yorkshire

I'll be giving a talk on Solaris 10 next Wednesday (12th October) at my local British Computer Society (BCS) branch meeting. If you are in the area and want to talk about Solaris, then drop by and say hello.

You can get more details on the talk here

Update: I've managed to wangle some free t-shirts out of Sun Marketing and will be giving them away to attendees according to some arbitrary and as yet undefined criteria. Suggestions for said criteria are encouraged.

Thursday Jul 08, 2004

Event Ports

poll(2) is a very handy system call, but have you ever wanted to extend the types of events that you can respond to as well as being able to multiplex events from disjoint sources?

Of course you have! This is just the kind of facility you need to help you write scalable, efficient multithreaded software.

Solaris 10 introduces the new event ports facility designed to make this simpler.

If you are interested in finding out more about them, take a look at the port_get(3c) manpage. There is a short example which illustrates their power. Alternatively, if you haven't got access to Solaris 10, you can look at this.

Wednesday Jun 23, 2004

Solaris 10 gets an XML tools upgrade

I look after the version of libxml2 and libxslt which ship with Solaris. Don't ask me why, it's got nothing to do with kernel development. An accident of history I suppose since many years ago in previous employment I used to use XML's ancestor (SGML) on a variety of projects. Be careful what you do, it only qualifies you to do more of it in the future!!

libxml2 and libxslt along with their associated tools xmllint, xmlcatalog and xsltproc are shipped as part of Solaris 10 and occasionally the versions of these tools are upgraded. Usually the upgrade is triggered by a specific project which needs new functionality or a specific bug fix. In this case it's both, since a security fix was provided in libxml2 2.6.6 and the GNOME project requires new functionality from both lthe libxml2 and libxslt libraries.

As of today, Solaris 10 incorporates version 2.6.10 of libxml2 and version 1.1.7 of libxslt.

If you have a requirement to manipulate XML on Solaris then you should definitely investigate the use of these tools and libraries since their performance is good, especially when compared to their Java based equivalents. You can find out more about them here.

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