Wednesday Apr 02, 2008

New Applications on!!!

I enabled 7 applications on sometime back. They are not open source softwares, but freewares.

Here is the list of applications and what they do in brief

> ARMS: Spatial Alignment with the RMS (Root Mean Square) method. (fixed pairwise correspondence)
> ASV: Analytical calculation of van der Waals surfaces and volumes.
> CSR: The Combined SDM/RMS Algorithm for spatial alignment of two molecules. (pairwise correspondence computed)
> DOG: Docking Geometrically two molecules. (fixed pairwise correspondence)
> POP: Optimal Partition (classification). The number of classes is computed.
> QCM: Quantitative Chirality Measure of a conformer. (graph automorphisms enumeration included)
> RADI, RADI2: Computation of the Radius and Diameter of a spatial set. (computes also various other geometrical parameters)

The freewares are now shared in the Job Catalog of!

Groovy on Solaris 10

I tried installing groovy on solaris 10 today. As expected, groovy 1.5.4 installed smoothly but I encountered a problem post installation. When I tried running groovy, I got the following error!

"startGroovy: syntax error at line 219: `i=$' unexpected"

The startGroovy script has a #!/bin/sh at the top and solaris 10 has problems with the lines
i=$(i+1). There were also other lines in the script that were not compatible with the shell - like the case statement which had

case ($i) in
(0) set -- ;;

This has to be changed to

case ($i) in
0) set --;

This patch will fix these issues with solaris. However, the fix has been put back into the code base recently. I will soon be releasing a groovy package for solaris. Do watch out the blog for updates!

Tuesday Apr 01, 2008

Freemat 3.5 now on!

Freemat 3.5 is now available on - Sun's Grid Compute Utility.

"FreeMat is a free environment for rapid engineering and scientific prototyping and data processing. It is similar to commercial systems such as MATLAB from Mathworks, and IDL from Research Systems, but is Open Source." - is Sun's Compute Utility tool where you can 'rent out' Sun's powerful hardware to run / test your applications.
Visit for more info.

How to run Freemat 3.5 on Sun Grid ?

1) Go to the Job Catalog section in and 'Checkout' the Freemat 3.5 Job. It should now appear in your 'jobs' section.
2) Create your 'Freemat Data Resource' - a zip file containing your input files and file called
3) The should contain the freemat commands to be run. Note that you need to specify only the arguments to the freemat command in the file. "FreeMat -nogui -noX -e" is taken by default.
4) Upload your file and point your Freemat Data Resource to the zip (by editing your Freemat 3.5 job)
5) Save and Run the Job!

A sample file would like


This will run two Freemat commands, viz
FreeMat -nogui -noX -e HermitianOperatorExample1
FreeMat -nogui -noX -e HermitianOperatorExample2

You can also compile Freemat on solaris and run it via SGE (Sun Grid Engine)

Download the Sample Resource Zip

Go to the Freemat Home Page

Monday Mar 31, 2008

Compiz on Open Solaris!!!

Compiz is an open source 3D window manager and works great for Open Solaris!

Just download compiz and run the installer!


sh should do it for you!

A pre-requisite is that you need a nice graphic driver. An NVidia card should serve the purpose.

Re-login to experience the compiz magic! The compiz icon should appear in your panel through which you can configure compiz settings.

Open Source...Should it have been named so?

During the Code for Freedom contest that was held in India from Aug 15th last year to Feb 14th this year, I travelled to various universities as part of the Sun university initiative spreading awareness of Sun's technologies and open source in general to college students. Last week, I was in Chennai and Delhi giving talks on Sun's software portfolio and Netbeans to ISVs. This post is about something that I noticed in common during my experience in these 7-8 months.

I can see students and ISVs showing tremendous interest in learning Sun Technologies, especially Netbeans and Open Solaris (ZFS, zones and DTrace). Be it the students or the developers, everyone is either passionate or eager to know about Open Source and Sun's technologies. This is a big positive thing for Sun. However, I rarely find people interested in or talking about participation. Everyone seems to like Open Source. But when asked why, their answer is simple - "Its free. Its rocking! I am able to use it to MY advantage!" Of course, its free and no one is preventing you from using it. But is that all open source is about ? Not many people I have seen say "I want to make netbeans better!" May be the concept of open source goes against the usual human mentality - You are done when you get your job done!

"I have a problem that I need to fix. May be this netbeans plugin would be useful. Let me use it. Period!" Thats how most people look at it. Not many go that extra mile - "This plugin is could I make it even better?" And out of the few who go that extra mile, not many complete the circle of open source - putting their 'better code' back to the community. That is a sad reality that needs to be changed.

May be the name 'Open Source' doesn't stand upto its entire concept! The name tells the world the source is open and anyone can take it, but misses out on the crucial piece of contributing.

For those who love open source and have been involved only with the first half of the open source cycle, here is an analogy that I would like to give. Most of us would have gone through forums looking out for interview experiences. And the rest of us would have used some kind of torrent software to download movies! How did the movies or interview experiences land up on the internet? Its because someone dint want to download or retrieve information alone, but also wanted to share the information that he had! Now, imagine everyone wanting to only retrieve information. Will there be any movies to download or any information on the message forums ?

By downloading open source software alone, you increase the gap between people contributing and people retrieving which is not good for open source and ultimately not good for the you the 'open source software downloader'.

Using open source to your benefit and giving back nothing is neither good for open source nor for you! So, Lets Share, Participate, Innovate and Realize the Power of OpenSource!

Sunday Mar 30, 2008

Open Source Captions

Some of the captions & logos I thought of for the recently concluded 2 day IEC Open Source Mela at Sun, Bangalore.

May the Source Be You!

Participate, Innovate!

Freedom Matters!

Friday Mar 28, 2008

Web Developer Summit 2008

Am writing this post from the Web Devloper Summit, Delhi! Am too tired to take my cab after my long presentation and demo on Netbeans!

Sun is organizing the Web Developer Summit across 5 cities in India (Bangalore, Mumbai, Chennai, Hyderabad and today in Delhi). The summit is intented to spread awareness of Sun's technologies amongst ISVs.

The day kicked off with an introduction of Sun and its strategies followed by a presentation on Sun's hardware and software portfolio. Yousuf then spoke on Open Solaris followed by a Netbeans presentation and demo by me.

The ISVs present were attracted by the ZFS and DTrace features in Open Solari and by some cool netbeans editor features and the build in UML, Ruby, SOA and Web Services features of Netbeans!

Do watch out for the 2 day workshop that is going to happen in the same 5 cities where ISVs can get a hands on experience using Solaris, Netbeans and other cool Sun Technologies..

Here's Yousuf presenting on Open Solaris today at the Delhi Summit.

Thursday Mar 27, 2008

Quake III @ the IEC Open Source Mela

As part of the organizing committee for the IEC Open Source, I was asked to setup a gaming event during the 2 day IEC Open Source Fest!

With the Quake III source code GPL-ed, I compiled Quake III on Open Solaris and used the demo arena to setup a 'LAN Party!' The Open Solaris machines of course needed NVidia cards for better and smoother graphics and hence, I used 5 ultra 20 x86 machines with built in NVidia cards.

To run quake3, compile the GPL licences Quake III code (or you can use the packages available at, use the demo arenas available (place your pak\*.pk3 files in your baseq3 directory) and there you go!!!!

Me, setting up the gaming arcade..

See the video of IEC engineers enjoying Quake III !!!

Wednesday Mar 26, 2008

IEC Open Source Mela!

The IEC Open Source Mela was a two day Sun event at Bangalore to create awareness of Open Source and Open Source technologies amongst Sun Employees. The two day event was held on the 25th and 26th of March. It was a packed two days with demos, talks and lightning talks all day, fun events and some gaming too!

Day 1:

After the inaugral and inspirational talk by KNR, IEC engineers were in for a series of talks surrounding open source! It was an excellent opportunity indeed to learn plenty of stuff about open source and more importantly to be aware of the work happening at Sun, India around Open Source!! The talks were around Sun's open source products like Netbeans, how to contribute to open source, etc. Simultaneously, there were demos happening to enlighten Sun fellow engineers on what Open Source Evangelists at IEC are upto!

The 'Gaming Arcade' was opened up post lunch and attracted plenty!!! Everyone tried their hands on 'Quake III' over the LAN! It was fun indeed to see people frag each other!!!

At the end of the day were some fun events followed by prize distribution for a few events that happened before the mela - the caption and logo contest and the acrostic puzzle! (I won the first prize! ;) )

Day 2:

The day kicked off with an excellent talk on the 'Do s and Dont s' in open source communities followed by some more amazing talks around virtualization, virtual desktops. The demos and the gaming arcade were there today too!! At the end of the day was a luck draw amongst those who attended many talks!

The IEC Open Source mela was a huge success indeed and of course sent the message across loud and straight - Open Source is the way of the future!!!!

Here's Swathi and me talking about the 2 day event!

A small quote that was put up during one of the talks - Open Source is a religion. Those who dont follow it go to hell! ;)

To catch up all the action on the IEC Open Source Mela - check out the blog.

Ruby Native Gem Support on Open Solaris

We integrated Ruby into Open Solaris build 78! From build 78 onwards, you can use ruby 1.8.6 and ruby gems 0.9.4 with Openssl, Curses, Readline, and Tcl/Tk extensions enabled :)

Ruby and Ruby Gems are available in /usr/ruby and have been linked form /usr/bin for easy use! So, in case you want to install a gem, all you need to do is issue the '(/usr/bin/)gem install ' command! If you are behind a proxy, do not forget to set your proxy - export http_proxy="http://:"

However, for native gems, you need to make some changes to your rbconfig.file (in /usr/ruby/1.8/lib/ruby/1.8/-solaris-)

If you are using Sun Studio, make sure you have /opt/SUNWspro/bin in your path and make the following changes to your rbconfig.rb file.

CONFIG["CC"] = "cc"
CONFIG["CFLAGS"] = "-xO3 -xbuiltin=%all -xinline=auto -xprefetch=auto -xdepend -KPIC"
CONFIG["LDFLAGS"] = "-L. -L/usr/sfw/lib -R/usr/sfw/lib"
CONFIG["CPPFLAGS"] = "-DTEXT_DOMAIN=\\"\\" -I/usr/sfw/include -I/usr/include"
CONFIG["CPP"] = "cc -E

If you are using GNU compiler tools, make sure you have gcc, g++, etc (usually /usr/sfw/bin) in your path and make the following changes to your rbconfig.rb file.

CONFIG["CC"] = "gcc"
CONFIG["CFLAGS"] = "-g -O3 -fPIC"
CONFIG["LDFLAGS"] = "-L. -L/usr/sfw/lib -R/usr/sfw/lib"
CONFIG["CPPFLAGS"] = "-DTEXT_DOMAIN=\\"\\" -I/usr/sfw/include -I/usr/include"
CONFIG["CPP"] = "gcc -E"

Voila! you are done and ready to use the gem command to install native gems on the fly!!
Well, this is just for the time being, these changes will also be integrated into Open Solaris soon so that native gem support too will be enabled by default! Shall blog about that once the integration is done!




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