When
· Naughties
· · 2005
· · · October
· · · · 10 (4 entries)

Hunger Barrier Weakened? · If <a href='http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/4325914.stm'>this BBC news report</a> is true, and not just political posturing, it could be huge, huge, news. A couple of years ago <a href='/ongoing/When/200x/2003/07/11/AfriFood'>I wrote</a>: “The world’s richest countries are deliberately, and as a matter of policy, promoting poverty and starvation in the world’s poorest countries.” That’s still true, but if the US and EU are willing to slash the subsidies, the world could stumble into a win-win-win scenario.
 
More GNU/Solaris Rumblings · I’ve been harassing people at Sun fairly relentlessly that we need there to be a GNU/Solaris distro, and sooner rather than later, but so far I haven’t convinced any VPs to assign a phalanx of engineers to the project. But hey, the community may just <a href='http://www.opensolaris.org/jive/message.jspa?messageID=11672#11672'>go ahead and do it</a>; there’s a <a href='http://www.opensolaris.org/jive/servlet/JiveServlet/download/13-2719-11672-307/gnusolaris-screenshot.jpg'>screenshot</a>, even. Hmm.... he mentions <code>www.gnusolaris.org</code> and indeed there’s such a domain, but nothing there yet. Stay tuned.
 
NetBeans CVS · The NetBeans guys have been doing a lot of chest-thumping about how great the CVS support is in the beta. I’d never tried it, but I wanted to check in a bunch of code today. I’ve been doing command-line check-in from my Mac to <a href='/ongoing/When/200x/2005/02/26/NewV20z'>my servers</a> for a long time and it’s Just Worked. Only I hadn’t done any CVSing for a couple of months and furthermore I needed to create a whole new top-level project. Here’s a confession: I’ve never actually set up or administered a CVS, someone else has already done that and I’m basically just a status/diff/update/commit script kiddie. But how hard could it be? After a half-hour I was getting irritated because I just couldn’t figure out the (doubtless obvious) incantation to get my code in. So I went back to the NetBeans beta and said “import this project” and it asked a couple of sensible questions and then it all Just Worked. Then I made some minor changes and did some check-ins to make sure it wasn’t just smoke & mirrors. I’m always a little nervous when software automates away something that I’ll probably have to know how to do someday (“pay no attention to the <code>cvs -d</code> behind the curtain”), but so far it’s really smooth.
 
Oracle vs. Niagara · Last week I was <a href='/ongoing/When/200x/2005/10/06/Edmonton'>in Edmonton</a>, and spent some time talking to the local Sun office and some customers. One of the things we talked about was our “<a href='http://www.sun.com/processors/throughput/'>throughput computing</a>” product line, which is coming, uh I believe the party line is “late this year or early next year”. I like to talk about this stuff because in the Web-centric world where I live, a highly-parallel low-wattage machine hits a bunch of sweet spots at once. (Also, it presents <a href='http://www.tbray.org/ongoing/When/200x/2005/06/12/Threads'>interesting software problems</a>.) Out there in the field, they seem to like it too; then on two separate occasions I heard “But we wouldn’t be able to use that.” I asked why, and they explained that Oracle’s idiotic per-core pricing formula would make it prohibitively expensive. Hey Oracle, Sun isn’t the only company that’s going to be shipping highly-parallel computers, and if there’s a technology out there that meets a lot of customer needs, and you’re standing in the way of them getting it, all you’re doing is moving the <a href='http://blogs.sun.com/roller/page/bmc/20040828#the_economics_of_software'>FYO point</a> closer and closer.
 
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