Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Worthwhile bay area music - for families

I had the opportunity to attend a performance of the San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra Sunday in a special performance aimed at children. Donato Cabrera conducted. The young performers really did an outstanding job: tight if not quite soulful, they exceeded my expectations. The overall program was great fun - interactive, with clapping and singing. The main classical settings featured works by Tchaikovsky and Prokofiev, two wonderful Russian composers. The capstone was a story-narration by Linda Ronstadt set to Prokofiev's Peter and the Wolf, Opus 67. If you have children these performances strike me as a great way to develop a love of great music and are highly recommended.

Our family is planning to attend (and sponsor) at least one of three upcoming performances in the bay area of a selection of Russian choral music (for which I have more than a soft spot). The concert is called NEVER SETTING LIGHT: A Day of Sacred Song in the Russian Choral Tradition and includes "a capella selections from the services of a liturgical day -- from sunset to sunrise. The ancient lyrics are set to the music of Russian and American choral masters from the 18th century to the present, including 5 pieces by northern California composers."


Saturday, Feb. 20th Livermore - Asbury Methodist Church

Saturday, Feb 27th Oakland - Ascension Greek Cathedral

Sunday, Feb 28th Fremont - Mission San Jose

I expect these will be settings more traditional than, say, Rachmaninov's, Liturgy of St. John, but I am very much looking forward to these performances.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

svod 2009

This year's Silicon Valley Open Doors conference linking Russian technologists and Silicon Valley is scheduled for December 9-10 at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View. Prior year participants and speakers I've known for some time have been consistently impressed with this event.

Monday, October 12, 2009

OpenWorld 2009

This year's show has an almost electric feel to it: lots of enthusiasm and excitement about the 11g middleware offering, which is great to see up close. Kudos to Clemens Utschig for pulling together a great technical deep-dive session on SOA suite 11g today.

You can watch keynotes live or recorded by following this link.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Fusion Middleware 11g Kickoff - Moscow

The rollout for the Fusion Middleware 11g release in Moscow next week: I will be participating in the presentations. The Russian press release has the details. I'm very excited about the 11g release - it's technically compelling but it also contains important advances for delivering business value.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

WESOA 09 Call for Papers

This year's workshop on Engineering Service Oriented Applications has been scheduled for November in Stockholm (still one of my favorite cities). Details follow - I will be working on the Program Committee again this year, so I'm looking forward to seeing submissions.

Many of today’s large-scale software projects in the area of distributed systems and especially enterprise IT adopt service-oriented software architecture and technologies. For these projects, availability of sound software engineering principles, methodology and tool support is mission-critical. However, traditional software engineering approaches are not fully appropriate for the development of service-oriented applications. The limitations of traditional methods in the context of service-oriented computing have led to the emergence of software service engineering (SSE) as a new specialist discipline, but research in this area is still immature and many open issues remain. There is an urgent need for research community and industry practitioners to develop comprehensive engineering principles, methodologies and tool support for the entire software development lifecycle (SDLC) of service-oriented applications. The WESOA 2009 workshop is the fifth in a series of workshops that focus on the specific aspects of SSE.

WESOA highlights key challenges of SSE that arise from specific characteristics of service-oriented applications that are often process-driven, loosely coupled, composed from autonomous services of complex IT landscapes and closely related to diverse socio-economic contexts. Service-oriented computing (SOC) enables the materialization of organizational processes as flexible compositions of autonomous service components. Stakeholders, domain experts, software architects and engineers instrument service-oriented software architectures (SOA) to drive constant organisational change by means of agile reengineering of software services, system landscapes and applications. In particular, service-oriented applications need to provide multiple, flexible and sometimes situational interaction channels within and beyond organizational structures and processes. Engineering of such software systems requires continuous, collaborative and cross-disciplinary development processes, methodologies and tools that synchronize multiple SDLCs of various SOA artefacts with organizational innovation processes.

Our aim is to facilitate exchange and evolution of ideas on SSE topics across multiple disciplines and to encourage participation of researchers and practitioners from academia and industry. In particular, collaboration will be fostered by means of a highly interactive and fast-paced workshop format.



WESOA Series

WESOA'09 continues a successful series of former ICSOC workshops. During the past four editions, WESOA has demonstrated its relevance by constant high numbers of contributions and participants. Its impact is documented by consistent output of high-quality papers.


WESOA proceedings are published in the Springer LNCS Services Science Subline.

WESOA’09 encourages a multidisciplinary perspective and welcomes papers that address challenges of SSE in general or in the context of specific domains. Workshop topics of interest include, but are not limited to the following:

•Software service development lifecycle methodologies and processes
•Distributed and collaborative software service development
•Service-oriented reference models and frameworks
•Architectural styles and standards for software service systems
•Management and governance of SSE projects
•Models, languages and methods for service-oriented analysis and design
•Requirements-engineering for software service systems
•Service-oriented business process modelling
•SSE for cloud computing environments (e.g. IaaS, PaaS, SaaS)
•Validation, verification and testing of software service systems
•Service assembly, composition and aggregation models and languages
•Model-driven SOA and service systems development
•Reverse engineering of software service systems
•Tool support for software service engineering
•Case studies and best practices of service-oriented development

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Principles of Transaction Processing, Second Edition

I wanted to put out a brief note that the new version of Principles of Transaction Processing is hot off the presses. Simply put, this book is the standard reference for getting your brain around the transaction processing components of the IT landscape. It was the book I absorbed when I first started working on implementing transaction managers and one I turned to get up the speed on existing systems. I had a chance to review part of the book prior to publication, so I was lucky enough to get a free copy - Eric and Phil did a great job bringing the text up to date: it remains one of the handful of books that should be on the shelf of anyone involved in information systems implementation or management.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Russia and Web 2.0


When I was in Moscow last, a lot of the talk was centered around attracting foreign capital to tech investments in Russia. The pitch is - or should be - familiar: lower costs, big market, super-bright engineers and scientists. The downside is lack of transparency and a very unique business environment that is difficult (or impossible) to navigate as an outsider. Today's announcement that Facebook has taken $200 million at first looks like a kind of a reversal in this trend: tech oriented Russians still have capital to deploy and may be choosing to spend it on bargain opportunities in the US market, which remains preeminent in technology development.

A closer look, though, suggests this is a part of a trend that has been gaining steam. Russians have been developing and investing in Web technology for a long while. Yes, Google was co-founded by a Russian, but there has been a number of interesting developments based in Russia itself. The Russian firm Yandex is often described as the "Russian Google" and has picked up small Russian social networking companies like Moi Krug on the cheap (someday there long awaited IPO will happen). SUP, run by American-in-Moscow Andrew Paulson, picked up LiveJournal to support their Russian users, and now Yuri Milner's fund takes a position in Facebook. Milner is the founder of, a former physicist, and Wharton alumn.

Watch carefully: the Russians are coming to Silicon Valley and it's been a largely under-noted trend. I've met some of these folks and they are very capable businessmen.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Events for SCA

InfoQ has a short synopsis of the event proposal that was released to add pub-sub style semantics to the SCA assembly model. The genesis of this lies in some ESB related work I had helped lead at Oracle back in the days when we first started to develop the SCA specifications - it took a long time to socialize this to the working group, but I'm very happy to see that that work has borne fruit. This fills an important gap in the specifications - previously, the wire driven semantics forced components to "externalize" pub-sub interactions in a way that was divorced from the SCA semantics - and is broadly applicable to many problem domains including Complex Event Processing, Queue/Pub-Sub style integration, and ESB scenarios.

I remain somewhat distressed over the way the channel abstraction has played out - the original idea divorced much of this from the assembly view and made it an aspect of system configuration. I think the current approach artificially mixes orthogonal aspects of the problem space. Having said that, this is a milestone for the specification and completes the basic assembly model nicely.

By the way, nice write up Boris!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Darwin Dissected

Though it may be impossible to miss, this year commemorates the 200th anniversary of the birth of Charles Darwin, who has justly been called the father of modern biology for this development of the theory of the evolutionary development of species. At times contentious, the fact of evolution has been long established beyond any kind of reasonable doubt - all schools of scientific knowledge are convergent in this regard. But to understand the true importance of evolution for biology as a whole, one of my favorite essays is by Theodosius Dobzhansky: "Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution."

In any case, I happen to find myself reading a facsimile of the original edition of On the Origin of Species - which I have had for many years but never read end to end. Coincidentally, the New York Times has a posted a great selection of passages by Darwin: read and enjoy.