Monday, October 30, 2006

Blue Moon

Once in a great while, something utterly simple comes along that changes the way you work and do business. I'm wondering if Zotero may be a such a thing on a massive scale?

SOA Suite Release

The latest release of Oracle's SOA suite is available with ESB functionality, policy management and governance, and process management tools and engine. Check it out. Note the article is from an Indian software development site: Indian IT news coverage is getting really strong!

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Unbreakable Linux

There's a flood of commentary coming out on Oracle's move to offer Linux support, most of it speculative. I prefer the simple explanation: its good business to give customers what they want at an attractive price... One thing for sure, this is going to be a major, major shot in the arm for Linux.

Monday, October 23, 2006

SOA at Oracle Open World

Open World is this week and it is truely huge this year. To keep up with the latest and greatest on middleware, you should check out Thomas Kurian's keynote tomorrow. For a high level overview of where we see things moving forward in the SOA space, there are a series of customer-oriented white papers worth checking out.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

The Road Less Taken

After years of labor, OSGI has started to gain critical mass. In fact, OSGI is popping up all over the place: Eclipse, Spring, SCA discussions, etc. It seems like almost everyone is interested in leveraging OSGI. I won't go in to the details of OSGI, except to say that there are some genuinely useful things that can be done with OSGI for building product software: some of the most interesting capabilities have to do with dynamic loading and unloading. Sun has spearheaded an alternative model in JSR, 277. It is interesting to look at the reaction of the OSGI community to 277. Will this be the dividing line that marked the transition to a new generation of middleware technology?

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Kid Safe Internet

There's been a rash of local stories of kids stumbling on inappropriate content on the Internet over the last few months, so I decided to pick up some filtering software. The package I chose was BumperCar 2 for the Mac. As far as I can tell, BumperCar is essentially a customization of Safari.

The software provides the standard white list/black list facilities. The white lists are useful for young kids and the black lists are useful in a way I hadn't thought of initially: you can filter out specific domains associated with an otherwise useful site. For example, BumperCar blacklists Google images by default. Google searches are automatically kid safe on BumperCar, which is imperfect but useful. Lastly, BumperCar will filter on both the content coming in and going out. Incoming content appears to be checked before rendering, which is a nice way to catch things that might slip through.

I've only looked at the filters briefly, but they appear to check for sexual content and violence. In this day and age, it would probably be best to check for extremist material of all sorts as well.

First, impressions: a good product.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Oracle JPA and Spring

I've found the Spring framework to be a very useful addition to the J2EE platform. I've been working with early releases of Spring 2.0 over the last year and its a genuine point release for sure. I've long been a fan on the TopLink toolkit (long before coming to Oracle, I might add), so it is even cooler to see that the core of TopLink and Spring will be packaged together. A new standard for Java development?

Human, All Too Human

I spent last weekend in Paris. Only on my return did I realize this was my first time in France as a tourist, rather than a business visitor. My wife and I had the opportunity to spend some sustained time in the Louvre, which is a wonderful repository of human achievement.

I stopped halfway through the Greek sculptures to ask myself how much we've improved as a species in the last several thousand years. Clearly, we've seen advancements in mathematics, including the algebra and the (recent) development of the fundamental theorem of calculus. As a result we've seen significant advances in sciences, especially in conjunction with the adoption of inductive reasoning. Along similar lines, we've seen progress in medicine, which has extended our lifespan and often (though not always) our quality of life.

In contrast to the ancient world, we've virtually eliminated human slavery, which seems to me to be our most important social advance, since it implies at least the idea of basic and universal human dignity. At the same time, we keep finding reasons to kill each other en masse, as the horrors of the twentieth century remind us. Those retrograde instincts of hate, dogmatism, and fanaticism to which we all may be susceptible to some degree threaten to pull us back to barbarism and to make our scientific advances tools of evil.

In some ways, a uniform measure of progress may be an impossible thing to measure, but it is clear that there is a basic human drive toward humanism, greatness and beauty. The
Louvre is a fine place to rediscover that fact.


I've lived within proximity of Amish communities most of my life, more specifically near the community in Pennsylvania that just suffered a tremendous loss. These people live a meaningful and peaceful life. I cannot imagine in my worst nightmares what would motivate someone to try to harm their children. My heart goes out to them.