Friday, January 29, 2010

Saying goodbye to Sun

Today, Sun Microsystem officially ceased to be.

Sun was a great engineering company that was responsible for some great innovations. It will be missed by myself, and I expect many others.

Through Oracle's official announcements as well as what I am hearing from various friends in Sun, whatever gets folded into Oracle will not be the Sun we knew and loved. Frankly, I find some of Larry's choices to be a bit bizarre, but he bought the right to make bizarre decisions with his cold hard cash.

I do think there is a lot of gold being thrown out on the street in terms of both people and projects. It is my fondest hope that both get picked up by others with the vision to make them the successes they deserve to be. And in terms of what is being kept, well, I predict some indigestion in 18 to 24 months, but I could be wrong there, too.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Kenai to the rescue

I don't know if this has anything to do with the oracle Sun acquisition or not, but Sun has a new community development site up in beta and its HOT.

I never cared much for I felt the Oriely software it ran on was ugly and ill fitting to my sorts of projects. But Kenai is awesome. Its a modern interface, has every feature I could imagine I'd want AND has full Netbeans integration. Best of all, its really a site for the community.

Unlike google code, who want to force you into releasing your project under licenses they like, Kenai supports every OSI license that exists. PLUS if you want to use your own license, you can. Now thats what I call community service.

Speaking of Netbeans integration, Ive gone back to NB with NB 6.8 and must say, I am VERY impressed so far. They may have leap-frogged eclipse again. The Scala plug-in needs some work still but is definitely better then the one for eclipse.

Which brings me around to the Scala work I've been doing. But thats for another post...

Conclusion: If you need free open source project hosting I'd *strongly* suggest you look at

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Saying Goodbye to Google Code


Just when I thought I had found a single provider for 90% of my net needs I could be happy with, I came across the following thread:

Particularly this...

"Basically the answer is when I, Fitz, Greg or the team think it is
popular enough. I know you guys think we don't like it for nefarious
reasons, but what you're missing is we dislike -all- new licenses that
are unpopular. They lead to bifurcation of the open source development
world and that is a high price to pay.

I personally think the AGPL is deeply flawed, and I've commented on
that on my own blog and on others, but that really -doesn't- matter.
If the AGPL gets to be popular, like lgpl or bsd popular, than we'll
certainly offer it as an option on, "

The other posters go on to show that AGPL is used on a great many sites and ask how many it takes to pass the "popular" test ... and "Chris" just stops answering.

Now GoogleCode is supposed to be a community site, but here is a google-person stating that a license has to meet *his* particular standards or they won't allow community members to use it

Now I don't know who Chris is, For all I know, he could be a Google founder, but I don't really care. The point of community is not to arm-twist everyone else into doing what you individually want. The idea that google finds such an attitude acceptable has to make me seriously rethink just how google-dependant I really want to become.

As for my AGPL project, I guess I'm headed back to SourceForge who use the yardstick that, if its recognized by OSI, its an okay license. Frankly, I've never been thrilled with OSI either, but its a better yardstick then Google's.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

I am Joe, Dragonrider of Deathworld

So, we went and saw Avatar last night at the 3D IMAX.

It is a beautiful movie. It absolutely sells the mix of 3D animation and live action on a level I haven't seen before. The art direction is simply stunning and highly imaginative. The 3D is used not to poke you in the eye but to immerse you in the space. It was well worth the few extra bucks we paid to see it in large format 3D. It is, in a word, breathtaking.

The story is well written and executed but is mostly a mix of semi-standard science fiction plot vehicles. I wont go into spoilers here beyond the title of this blog, but suffice it to say there are no ideas here that will excite or surprise anyone with a decent knowledge of classic speculative fiction.

I wouldn't call it a great movie, in the way, say, The Godfather is a great movie. This is, in the end, B movie fare. But, of course, thats what Cameron has always been good at. It does have stupendous A-plus production values and is worth watching for the visual spectacle alone. That the story is decent and competently told, is an added bonus.