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Bertrand Delacretaz: It’s just a Web server – a plea for simplicity

Mon, 2014-06-16 11:12

I’m currently working on my keynote for next week’s Connect – Web Experience 2014 conference in Basel and very much looking forward to it! Last year’s conference was excellent, and this year’s schedule looks very exciting.

My keynote is about the value of simplicity in software – including a few tales from the trenches.

We like to think of what we build with AEM as large enterprise systems, with complex requirements. Intricate workflows. Rocket science.

However, when you think about it, our systems are “just” HTTP request processors, that manipulate atomic pieces of content in a content repository.

What if you wanted to manage the Whole World Wide Web with a single system? The architecture of that 4WCMS might be quite similar to what Apache Sling provides for AEM: mostly independent dynamic HTTP request processors, selected by path and resource type, that render and/or process resources from a huge tree of content.

If our architecture works for that 4WCMS, the systems that we are actually working on are just peanuts compared to that. Managing a single site, or just a small federation of a hundred thousand sites? Easy. Yes I’m being provocative – it’s a keynote!

The inherently scalable architecture of the Web, combined with the natural decoupling that HTTP and REST (and OSGi) provide, should allow us to keep our systems simple, transparent, robust and adaptable. Yet, much too often, we fall into the “entrprisey” trap and start designing complex machinery where something simple would do – if only someone had the guts to challenge the status quo.

I have a few examples in mind, from past projects, where simplicity provided huge wins, even though it required convincing customers that had different, usually more complex ideas. My goal is to demonstrate how valuable simplicity is, and how expensive it can be to create initially. Like the story of those 28 lines of code that took three months to create, in 1999, and still live happily in production with Zero Bugs.

We shouldn’t give up – creating simple things is a lot of work, but the rewards are huge.

To paraphrase Blaise Pascal, if your system is complicated it usually means you didn’t work hard enough to make it simpler. Or maybe you have a really complex problem, but that’s not very common. And maybe that complex problem is the wrong one to solve anyway.

I hope to see you next week in Basel and until then – keep things simple!


Categories: FLOSS Project Planets

Sam Ruby: New Toy

Mon, 2014-06-16 09:57

New laptop for work: MBP 15.4/2.6/16GB/1TBFlash.  First time I ever went the Apple route.  I did so as I figured with those specs, I could run multiple operating systems simultaneously.  So far, so good.  I’m using VirtualBox to do so.

Notes:

First, Mac OS X 10.9.  My biggest problem with previous versions of this operating system is that they always appeared to me to be fairly hostile to installing open source scripting languages and tools.  For example, each time I updated my Rails book, I would update the instructions on how to install the necessary software.  This now appears to be a thing of the past.  In fact, the only problem I’ve encountered so far is with mod_suexec.  That problem looks easy to address, and if it isn’t addressed by the team managing the brew recipe, I’ll simply compile the suexec bin myself.

Overall, much improved.  This is also my first experience with Apple’s trackpad; and I must say I’m a fan.

Next up, Ubuntu 14.04.  Installation was straightforward.  One only needs to be mindful to install dkms.  Enabling 3D acceleration is also worthwhile, but doesn’t quite get you to native graphics speeds on lesser hardware.  The end result is fully functional, though it is worth while to do most web browsing on the host operating system.

Then Windows 8.1.  This was by far the easiest as Microsoft provides time bombed VMs which you can easily import and use for up to 90 days.  When the 90 days are up, you can import again and start over.  I’ve now done this with both Ubuntu and Mac hosts.

Finally, Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.5.  There were a few more steps to get this running, and even after doing so the result wasn’t fully functional in that it would not use the full display even after installing guest additions.  The solution ended up being to delete (or simply move elsewhere) the following files in the /etc/X11 directory: xorg.conf xorg.conf.d xorg.conf-vm.  I use this VM to access the IBM VPN and to run Lotus Notes.

Categories: FLOSS Project Planets

Bryan Pendleton: The International Sun-Earth Explorer-3

Sun, 2014-06-15 13:45

I loved this story in the weekend paper: Calling Back a Zombie Ship From the Graveyard of Space.

For 17 years, it has been drifting on a lonely course through space. Launched during the disco era and shuttered by NASA in 1997, the spacecraft is now returning to the civilization that abandoned it.

It's a wonderful story of long-term thinking and innovative use of modern technology.

Just consider this amazing outcome from a plan set in place 28 years ago:

After the successful Giacobini-Zinner flyby, ISEE-3 still had ample fuel, so three rocket burns in 1986 set it on a course to zoom about 30 miles above the surface of the moon 28 years later, on Aug. 10, 2014. The gravitational pull of the lunar flyby would swing ISEE-3 into orbit around Earth.

The astonishing thing is, it worked! Although, it may need a bit of refinement:

Mr. Wingo has now persuaded NASA to use the Deep Space Network to pinpoint ISEE-3’s trajectory, to calculate the rocket burn required to put it on a path to Earth orbit. Dr. Farquhar’s 1986 calculations were close, but not exact. Slight errors are magnified over time, and now the uncertainty is 20,000 miles, which means the spacecraft could be on course to splat into the moon.

So, in these days of frantic innovation, how do you manage to interoperate with a machine designed and launched more than 35 years ago?

Recent advances in what are called software-defined radios allowed the team to build a new transmitter and install it on the Arecibo telescope within a few weeks, much more quickly and cheaply than would have been possible a few years ago.

So cheaply, in fact, that large parts of the project were crowd-funded:

On RocketHub, a crowdfunding website, they asked for $125,000 to help pay the costs. They collected nearly $160,000, from 2,238 donors.

All in all, it's great news. You can follow the project on their Facebook page.

Categories: FLOSS Project Planets

Bryan Pendleton: Early reflections on this year's cup

Sun, 2014-06-15 13:36

I hope you've been enjoying the matches, for they've been super, super, super.

A few thoughts, from my parochial American perspective:

  • Decisive play! The first 8 matches have all been decisive, not a draw in the bunch.
  • And high scoring! It seems like we are seeing much more attacking, much higher level of scoring than I expected
  • Good officiating. People will always complain, but all the games I've seen have flowed well, with referees present to keep the matches fair and honest, but not interfering to the point that the referees become a topic worth discussing. Since complaining about the ref is the top thing that soccer fans do, I don't expect this to continue, but it's been a great start in this respect.
  • Good conditions. After all the stories about the weather, the state of the facilities, and so forth, the conditions of play have been superb. The fields are well-prepared and the conditions have allowed an extremely high level of play
  • No weak teams. The only game that seemed like a blowout was Spain-Netherlands; every other game has been close, much closer than the scores might indicate.

If play continues at this level of quality and excitement, this will surely turn out to be one of the great cups of all time.

Ole!

Categories: FLOSS Project Planets

Justin Mason: Links for 2014-06-14

Sat, 2014-06-14 18:58
Categories: FLOSS Project Planets

Rich Bowen: Conversation and Community, by Anne Gentle

Fri, 2014-06-13 16:29

I just started reading Conversation and Community by the amazing Anne Gentle. I'm a few dozen pages in, and already recognize that I'm sitting at the feet of a guru.

I've been doing documentation for 15 years, roughly, making it up as I go along. I've done pretty well, considering, with 8 or 12 books (depending on what you count), and large portions of the Apache httpd docs to my credit, but Anne has made a science of it, and I've been continually impressed with the way that she wrangles groups of people into producing great content in literally a few days.

I'll have to write more, later, once I've finished the book. I find that books like this tend to clarify and focus things that I've observed, but never taken the time to really analyze, about documentation and "customer support".

Categories: FLOSS Project Planets

Rich Bowen: Red Hat at the OpenStack Summit

Fri, 2014-06-13 14:58

A few weeks ago I was at the OpenStack Summit in Atlanta, Georgia, and I spoke with several Red Hat engineers about their work on OpenStack. Here's a few of those conversations when I actually had the microphone running.

Listen to it HERE, or subscribe to my podcast to listen to it in your favorite podcast app.

Categories: FLOSS Project Planets

Rich Bowen: Ready Player One, by Ernest Cline

Fri, 2014-06-13 10:09

I just got done reading Ready Player One by @erniecline, which was recommended to me by @smerrill.

In a word, wow.

In more than a word, this was a great read, full of nostalgia, awesome geek humor, clever puzzles, and a ripping great story.

I finished reading OtherLand, by Tad Williams just a few weeks ago, and their interpretations of what VR/CyberSpace look like are very similar - perhaps because it's what it'll end up looking like some day. But their storytelling is very, very different.

@erniecline's view of what the world will be in just a few short years is pretty chilling - again, because it seems so likely.

Recommended. Buy it here.

Categories: FLOSS Project Planets

Rohit Yadav: Fast Storage with RocksDB

Thu, 2014-06-12 13:30
Cross-posted from Wingify's engineering blog

In November last year, I started developing an infrastructure that would allow Wingify to collect, store, search and retrieve high volume data. The idea was to collect all the URLs on which Wingify’s homegrown CDN would serve JS content. Based on Wingify’s current traffic, we were looking to collect some 10k URLs per second across four major geographic regions where Wingify runs their servers.

In the beginning I tried MySQL, Redis, Riak, CouchDB, MongoDB, ElasticSearch but nothing worked out for me with that kind of high speed writes. I also wanted the system to respond very quickly, under 40ms between internal servers on private network. This post talks about how I was able to make such a system using C++11, RocksDB and Thrift.

First, let me start by sharing the use cases of such a system in VWO; the following screenshot shows a feature where users can enter a URL to check if VWO Smart Code was installed on it.


VWO Smart Code checker

The following screenshot shows another feature where users can see a list of URLs matching a complex wildcard pattern, regex pattern, string rule etc. while creating a campaign.


VWO URL Matching Helper

I reviewed several opensource databases but none of them would fit Wingify’s requirements except Cassandra. In clustered deployment, reads from Cassandra were too slow and slower when data size would grew. After understanding how Cassandra worked under the hood such as its log structured storage like LevelDB I started playing with opensource embeddable databases that would use similar approach such as LevelDB and Kyoto Cabinet. At the time, I found an embedabble persistent key-value store library built on LevelDB called RocksDB. It was opensourced by Facebook and had a fairly active developer community so I started playing with it. I read the project wiki, wrote some working code and joined their Facebook group to ask questions around prefix lookup. The community was helpful, especially Igor and Siying who gave me enough hints around prefix lookup, using custom extractors and bloom filters which helped me write something that actually worked in the production environment for the first time. Explaining the technology and jargons is out of scope of this post but I would like to encourage the readers to read about LevelDB and to read the RocksDB wiki.


RocksDB FB Group

For capturing the URLs with peak velocity up to 10k serves/s, I reused Wingify’s distributed queue based infrastructure. For storage, search and retrieval of URLs I wrote a custom datastore service using C++, RocksDB and Thrift called HarvestDB. Thrift provided the RPC mechanism for implementing this system as a distributed service accessible by various backend sub-systems. The backend sub-systems use client libraries generated by Thrift compiler for communicating with the HarvestDB server.

The HarvestDB service implements five remote procedures - ping, get, put, search and purge. The following Thrift IDL describes this service.

namespace cpp harvestdb namespace go harvestdb namespace py harvestdb namespace php HarvestDB struct Url { 1: required i64 timestamp; 2: required string url; 3: required string version; } typedef list<Url> UrlList struct UrlResult { 1: required i32 prefix; 2: required i32 found; 3: required i32 total; 4: required list<string> urls; } service HarvestDB { bool ping(), Url get(1:i32 prefix, 2:string url), bool put(1:i32 prefix, 2:Url url), UrlResult search(1:i32 prefix, 2:string includeRegex, 3:string excludeRegex, 4:i32 size, 5:i32 timeout), bool purge(1:i32 prefix, 2:i64 timestamp) }

Clients use ping to check HarvestDB server connectivity before executing other procedures. RabbitMQ consumers consume collected URLs and put them to HarvestDB. The PHP based application backend uses custom Thrift based client library to get (read) and to search URLs. A Python program runs as a periodic cron job and uses purge procedure to purge old entries based on timestamp which makes sure it won’t exhaust the storage resources. The system is in production for more than five months now and is capable of handling (benchmarked) workload of up to 24k writes/second while consuming less than 500MB RAM. The future work will be on replication, sharding and fault tolerance of this service. The following diagram illustrates this architecture.


Overall architecture

Discussion on Hacker News

Categories: FLOSS Project Planets

Matt Raible: Rafting the Yampa through Dinosaur National Monument

Thu, 2014-06-12 10:24

In January, my friend Brice sent out an email to a bunch of folks asking us to apply for a river permit lottery. He sent us links to lotteries for Dinosaur National Monument - Yampa River and Desolation Gray - Green River. There were 10 of us on the email and we all applied for both permits. In mid-February, I found out I won the Yampa permit and the trip planning began. This was a huge deal for some since they'd been trying to get this permit for 10 years.

When we got all the details worked out, we were scheduled to launch on Saturday, May 31 and take out on Wednesday, June 4. Our put-in was Deerlodge Park and take-out, Split Mountain. If you're interested, you can see a map.

Over the next four months, many emails flew between us (33 pages if printed out) and much planning ensued. We had a planning BBQ, endured a permit-award-never-sent-fiasco and I tried to back out for Abbie's 5th grade continuation ceremony. Since I was the permit holder (and had to go), the crew convinced me it was a trip of a lifetime. We left Abbie in Denver for her ceremony and took Jack with us. When we launched on May 31, we had 21 people, 8 rafts and one inflatable kayak. Of the crew, 6 were children (aged 6 - 11).

Day 1 (10 miles)
We knew there was high water going into the trip. We later found out that June 1 may have been the highest flow of the season, with between 17000 and 18000CFS. We were only on the river a couple hours the first day. The river was swift and we marveled that none of the rapids we went through had names. Our friend, The Professor, flipped in his ducky, but had no issues recovering. We camped at Teepee Hole that night.

Day 2 (16 miles)
Sunday morning, everyone was in good spirits. It was our first day with named rapids and we all were looking forward to it.

Sunday started out with TeePee Rapid, a Class III. We all stayed right and made it through just fine. The waves were big, but nothing seemed dangerous. We paddled through Little Joe (Class III) and wondered why they named Big Joe (Class II) "Big". We soon learned why when we saw one of the first rafts flip in the middle of it. It was a blue raft with our friends, Eagle Dave and Jake. A few more rafts went through the same route, then a silver raft flipped right in front of us. It contained our friends, Chris and Brice, as well as their kids (6 and 9).

Yes, things got scary all of a sudden. I instantly realized I didn't want to follow their route and rowed as hard as I could to go right instead of left. Once we passed the flipping hole, I rowed as hard as I could to try and reach Brice on the left. It was the hardest I'd ever rowed in my life, yet I couldn't get across the river to stop and help. Luckily, a couple other friends did reach him and were able to help. Chris, thinking quickly, had grabbed both their boys (while flipping) and swam with them until Erick and Galin (11 yrs old) rescued them with a throw bag.

We arrived at Harding Hole about 30 minutes after flipping/recovering. Emotions were high and all the kids were a bit freaked out. Many asked to go home. Luckily, a ranger and number of trainees were camping nearby. They helped calm nerves by giving us advice and offering to run safety for us the next day.

Day 3 (18 miles)
On Monday, we got to experience the biggest rapids of the trip: Warm Springs (Class IV). We stopped and scouted, as well as let the kids walk around the rapid. There was a tall haystack wave in the middle of it, as well as a huge "Maytag" hole at the end.

Luckily, everyone made it through just fine and spirits ran high with accomplishment. The rest of the day was particularly enjoyable as flat water brought us floating and relaxing. Many water fights ensued between boats and laughter erupted off the canyon walls.

We celebrated 80s night with style at Box Elder campground that evening.

Day 4 (14.5 miles)
Tuesday was another floater in the morning. We stopped at the confluence of the Yampa and Green River and enjoyed the view.

In the early afternoon, we stopped at Echo Park and enjoyed our first non-groover toilet in days. We also gathered water and took the kids on a hike to see some petroglyphs.

As we progressed that afternoon, we hit some more rapids that sent some fright through the kids that flipped on Sunday. We stopped for a couple hours to hike, play Yahtzee and relax in the sun.

Then we continued to camp at Big Island that night. Our last night on the river, we spent in a beautiful camping utopia.

Day 5 (13.5 miles)
Wednesday, everyone gathered their things early and had their boats packed by breakfast. It was our morning to cook, so Trish whipped up huckleberry pancakes and dazzled our taste buds. We had one big rapid, Moonshine (Class III), to get our blood pumping. We scouted, the kids walked, and everyone made it through just fine. There were a few more rapids (SOB, Schoolboy and Inglesby) through the rest of Split Mountain Canyon, but none that inspired scouting. We landed at Split Mountain take-out around 2pm, said our goodbyes and headed home. Trish, Jack and I arrived back in Denver just before midnight.

Summary
Wow - what a trip! When we first read about floating through Dinosaur National Monument, we thought it'd be more of a float trip with some fun rapids. Instead, it greeted us with lots of fast water, tons of rapids and not-so-much floating. In the 2014 Boating Information Booklet (PDF), item #5 in the Safety Recommendations says "Rig to flip!" This was no joke.

Everyone was well prepared and we did rig to flip, we just never expected it to happen on a Class II. With kids in the boat, it shook everyone up a bit, but we became a stronger team because of it. Sloane, one of the most experienced rafters on the trip, wore a GoPro through much of the trip. You can view a video of our adventures below, or on YouTube.

Good times, great friends, fantastic memories.

more photos on Flickr &RightArrow
Categories: FLOSS Project Planets

Carlos Sanchez: librarian-puppet 1.1 released with new Puppet Forge support

Thu, 2014-06-12 08:13

Just released librarian-puppet version 1.1.0, a version that adds support for the new Puppet Forge v3 API and fixes the issues in Puppet 3.6+ and Puppet Enterprise 3.2+, versions that started using the new v3 API. From 1.1 the ruby requirement is 1.9+ due to the puppet_forge library used.

 

Librarian-puppet is a bundler for your puppet infrastructure. You can use librarian-puppet to manage the puppet modules your infrastructure depends on, whether the modules come from the Puppet Forge, Git repositories or a just a path.

  • Librarian-puppet can reuse the dependencies listed in your Modulefile
  • Forge modules can be installed from Puppetlabs Forge or an internal Forge such as Pulp
  • Git modules can be installed from a branch, tag or specific commit, optionally using a path inside the repository
  • Modules can be installed from GitHub using tarballs, without needing Git installed
  • Module dependencies are resolved transitively without needing to list all the modules explicitly

Librarian-puppet manages your modules/ directory for you based on your Puppetfile. Your Puppetfile becomes the authoritative source for what modules you require and at what version, tag or branch.

Changelog 1.1.1
  • Issue #227 Fix Librarian::Puppet::VERSION undefined
1.1.0
  • Issue #210 Use forgeapi.puppetlabs.com and API v3
    • Accesing the v3 API requires Ruby 1.9 due to the puppet_forge library used
1.0.3
  • Issue #223 Cannot bounce Puppetfile.lock! error when Forge modules contain duplicated dependencies
1.0.2
  • Issue #211 Pass the PuppetLabs Forge API v3 endpoint to puppet module when running on Puppet >= 3.6.0
  • Issue #198 Reduce the length of tmp dirs to avoid issues in windows
  • Issue #206 githubtarball call for released versions does not consider pagination
  • Issue #204 Fix regex to detect Forge API v3 url
  • Issue #199 undefined method run! packaging a git source
  • Verify SSL certificates in github calls
1.0.1
  • Issue #190 Pass the PuppetLabs Forge API v3 endpoint to puppet module when running on Puppet Enterprise >= 3.2
  • Issue #196 Fix error in error handling when puppet is not installed
 
Categories: FLOSS Project Planets

Edward J. Yoon: 군자는 어울리되 패거리를 짓지 않고, 소인은 패거리를 짓되 어울리지 않는다

Wed, 2014-06-11 03:25
“군자는 어울리되 패거리를 짓지 않고, 소인은 패거리를 짓되 어울리지 않는다." 군자는 의(義)를 높이기에 아부하지 않고, 부화뇌동(附和雷同)하지 않는다. 군자는 대의명분을 지키면서 화합하며 협력한다.

하지만 소인은 이익을 높이기에 이해관계에 문제가 있으면 하시라도 등을 돌릴 수 있다. 그래서 화합하지 못하는 것이다. 소인배들은 작당하고 부화뇌동하며 자신만의 이익을 위해 반도덕적 삶을 서슴없이 살아간다.
Categories: FLOSS Project Planets

Bryan Pendleton: Ole Segunda Parte

Tue, 2014-06-10 15:00

48 hours to go! Oh my!

From the great folks at Zonal Marking, groups E through H:

  • France: surprisingly promisingParticularly notable in the warm-up matches has been France’s midfield press. Pogba and Matuidi are both extremely powerful, energetic players comfortable pushing up and shutting down the opposition, which works well in combination with a centre-back pairing happy playing high up the pitch, and the best sweeper-keeper around.
  • Honduras: physical, but little moreHowever, this shouldn’t hide the fact that Honduras have performed extremely well to reach their second consecutive World Cup. This is a poor country with a very small population, and yet they finished above Mexico in the CONCACAF final qualification group, winning 2-1 in Azteca, a genuinely fantastic result.
  • Ecuador: the most basic side?The inescapable truth about Ecuador is that they’re primarily at this tournament because their home qualifiers are played at altitude.
  • Switzerland: true dark horsesThey’ve always boasted good organisation, but have lacked quality in attacking positions to record victories. That might have changed. Switzerland have a superb generation of young talent, summed up by the fact their four forwards are aged 21, 22, 23 and 24, and their first-choice attacking midfielders 21 and 25. If Switzerland can keep their traditional defensive structure while successfully introducing attacking invention, they have all the qualities required to succeed.
  • Bosnia: more cautious than expectedTheir strength is still the final third – their best two players are their number ten and their number nine. But there’s little to suggest Bosnia will be any more adventurous than average, which seems a great shame.
  • Nigeria: midfield questions…Onazi could do with someone behind him, and it’s odd that Keshi seems so determined to field a midfield in this format – with two deep and one ahead, when the two don’t look comfortable together deep, and there’s no obvious candidate to play just ahead. It’s hard to see Nigeria dominating matches with these problems, although their usual approach is to sit deep anyway.
  • Iran: frustrating to watch, frustrating to play againstQueiroz will drill Iran relentlessly on the training ground. “Carlos was obsessive about stopping [the opposition],” said Gary Neville in his autobiography, remembering Queiroz’s time as Manchester United’s assistant coach. “We’d never seen such attention to detail. He’d put sit-up mats on the training pitch to mark exactly where he wanted the players to be, to the nearest yard. We rehearsed time and time again, sometimes walking through the tactics slowly with the ball in our hands.”
  • Argentina: big strengths, big weaknessesAlejandro Sabella has a system, favoured personnel, and will stick to his beliefs. His starting XI in the group stage will be his eleven most-selected players throughout qualification , which sounds obvious, but it’s rare for international managers to remain so committed to players over such a long period.
  • USA: a diamond midfieldThe United States are expected to add to this variety by using a diamond midfield, which might be unique among the 32 teams. Jurgen Klinsmann has spent recent weeks telling the press that the formation doesn’t matter, but the switch to the diamond in April’s 2-2 friendly draw against Mexico was a significant move, and was designed to bring the best out of the USA’s outstanding player, Michael Bradley.
  • Portugal: the same as usualCristiano Ronaldo is cutting inside from the left, and his performance in the play-off against Sweden, when he scored a sublime counter-attacking hattrick, shows how Portugal have rightly based their side entirely around the Ballon d’Or holder. Ronaldo’s international form over the past 18 months has been the best of his career, and a little like Brazil’s set-up (with Fred primarily in the side to bring the best out of Neymar) Helder Postiga is his foil.
  • Ghana: still great on the breakFour years on, the side remains very familiar. The 2010 squad was packed with youth, and therefore it’s no surprise that the majority of players have retained their places as they’ve gained more experience. But as Ghana’s reputation has grown, they’ve been forced to adapt to different challenges. When they were the underdogs, they could sit back, remain compact and counter-attack extremely swiftly. Now opponents are aware of that threat, they’re forced to become more proactive, but lack the creativity and incision to dominate games and score goals.
  • Germany: need the right combination upfrontGotze has occasionally done OK in the false nine role and combined nicely with Ozil, but it hasn’t been flawless – Gotze coming towards the ball and Ozil breaking into the space is great aesthetically, but there’s no great goal threat. Muller could be pushed upfront, of course, but in a way this could bring less variety to the attacking quartet.
  • Belgium: can they succeed without proper full-backs?Having been something of an irrelevance on the biggest stage just four years ago, they suddenly find themselves with an impressive generation of top-class players at Europe’s biggest clubs.

    As a result, they’ve been cited as the competition’s ‘dark horse’ by many. That term doesn’t really make sense, though – for a start, Belgium are the fifth-favourites, and considered more likely to triumph than the likes of Italy or France. More importantly, Belgium haven’t performed well enough to suggest they’re as good as the sum of their parts.

  • South Korea: organised but prone to mistakesKorea’s problem is the lack of a top-class striker. Kim-Shin-wood is stylistically no more than a Plan B in this side, and Park Chu-young remains something of a mystery – signed by Arsenal three years ago, but barely noticeable and twice loaned out. He’s still first-choice for Korea, but the Arsenal failure prompted a dramatic decline in his goalscoring ability at international level, too – he has 24 international goals, but just one since November 2011. He’s playing in a group with some strong centre-backs, and therefore it’s difficult to see him scoring goals.
  • Algeria: young and mobileCoach Vahid Halilhodzic has the side well organised, but also committed to playing good attacking football, with plenty of movement amongst the front three, and a mobile, young and technically proficient midfield trio too. Algeria are receiving less attention than the other four African sides in this competition, probably because of the lack of star names – but they’re actually the highest-ranked African side in the latest FIFA rankings.
  • Russia: Shirokov a huge lossWhereas Russia played primarily on the counter-attack at Euro 2012, taking advantage of the strong Zenit connection in the side, Capello has favoured different players and there’s no longer such cohesion about Russia, and little rotation of the midfield triangle. In fact, it’s difficult to understand this side’s specialism – the defensive is underwhelming, they don’t keep possession particularly well, and the counter-attacking threat is no more than decent. When you factor in the suspicion Capello might be building for the 2018 World Cup on home soil, it’s difficult to find reasons to back them.
Categories: FLOSS Project Planets

Bryan Pendleton: Ole! Ole Ole Ole! (Part 1)

Mon, 2014-06-09 21:41

There's less than 72 hours to go, so it's time to get serious.

Are you still having trouble naming the 32 countries who are competing? Well, don't worry, the team at Zonal Marking have got you covered!

In part 1, they cover the first half of the teams, as follows:

  • Brazil: organised, structured, and the favouritesThe ‘joga bonito’ ideal has always been something of a myth, with Brazil usually boasting a solid backbone and then giving a couple of talented individuals creative license and positional freedom. In that respect, while this isn’t a legendary Brazilian side and it’s easy to yearn for the ‘three Rs’ that dominated Scolari’s 2002 team, it’s actually roughly what we’ve come to expect from Brazil. The central midfielders are extremely basic and functional, the full-backs bomb on, the attackers combine nicely. Nevertheless, it’s also the most ‘European’ side Brazil have ever taken to a World Cup: the shape is 4-2-3-1, the speed of transitions are very quick, the attackers work hard without the ball.
  • Croatia: great midfield guile but what else?There are few nations that love playmakers as much as Croatia, and national team coach Niko Kovac appears set to field three together in a highly creative midfield trio.
  • Mexico: talented squad, but highly unpredictableBy now, they should be capable of pushing on and finally reaching the quarter-final stage. They were genuinely impressive at points in 2010, won the Gold Cup in 2011 with a brilliant 4-2 win over the USA in one of the best international finals in recent memory, then shocked Brazil the next year by winning the Olympic title.
  • Cameroon: need to get the midfield balance rightCoach Volker Finke was once renowned as an attack-minded coach, but with Cameroon has found himself lacking in the creative midfield department, and therefore has tried to make his side organised, compact and disciplined, and depended upon quick attacking down the flanks. The major question is how he structures his midfield trio, to get the balance between defensive solidity and attacking potential.
  • Spain: can they keep their incredible run going?When you consider their distinctive playing style, and the way they’ve taken possession football to the extreme, they’re unquestionably one of the greatest international sides in history. They are, however, more vulnerable than in previous years.
  • Netherlands: still undecided on best formationVan Gaal stuck to conventional 4-3-3 and 4-2-3-1 formations throughout qualification, but he’s suddenly decided that these shapes might not suit his players after all. The absence of Kevin Strootman was part of this thinking, but it’s still surprising that he’s tried two completely different shapes in the pre-tournament warm-ups.
  • Australia: building for the futureEqually problematic is Australia’s draw – they’re in a group alongside the two World Cup finalists from 2010, plus Chile. It will be almost impossible for them to qualify, and they’re unlikely to register a victory. Therefore, Australia seem set to use this tournament as a learning experience ahead of the 2015 Asian Cup on home soil, and while coach Ange Postecoglou will be keen to avoid any thrashings, Australia will play open football and build for the future, rather than attempt to grind out 0-0 draws.
  • Chile: like in 2010, the most attacking sideYet Chile continue to be enthralling. In March, they travelled to Stuttgart to play Germany, and absolutely battered them. They had 17 shots to 5, and 7 on target to 3. And yet, predictably, they lost 1-0. It’s almost illogical how a side can dominate games so clearly, yet fail to score.
  • Colombia: absences to prompt tactical re-think?Falcao’s absence might change things, however. His role for the national side was strange – sometimes, like at the Copa America in 2011, he was overly keen to become involved in link-up play, but didn’t do it very well. Other times, he stayed upfront and seemed distant from the rest of the side. While a brilliant goalscorer, Falcao wasn’t particularly good at linking play and providing the attacking midfielders with service, and it’s not too much of an exaggeration to suggest Colombia might play better without him.
  • Greece: ten years on, a similar approachIt’s now ten years since Greece shocked Europe by triumphing at Euro 2004, with three consecutive 1-0 knockout victories against the holders, the best team, and then the hosts.

    It was a genuinely remarkable victory, perhaps the greatest upset in the history of international football, and it feels like Greece are attempting to replicate that formula. From their ten qualification group games, they recorded five 1-0 victories – although they opened up more in the play-off win against Romania.

  • Ivory Coast: need individual magicIt’s difficult to think of another big nation that has appointed a completely inexperienced foreigner as coach, and it remains difficult to deduce Lamouchi’s managerial style. The Ivory Coast were hugely unimpressive at last year’s Africa Cup of Nations, struggling through the group stage thanks to same late goals, before being defeated at the quarter-final stage by Nigeria. Lamouchi’s plan is clear: 4-3-3, with Yaya Toure given plenty of license to break forward, but the side doesn’t seem particularly cohesive.
  • Japan: good between the boxesWhile Japan don’t always collect good results, they boast great technical quality in the midfield zone. The two most famous stars are Shinji Kagawa and Keisuke Honda, but arguably more important to Japan’s style of play are the two holding midfielders. While their partnership has sometimes been broken up in recent matches, the combination of Yashuito Endo and Makoto Hasebe has proved highly effective over the last few years, and this Japan side are capable of controlling matches against top-class opposition.
  • England: potentially dangerous on the break It was more about what that selection symbolised. Were England going to rely upon a member of the ‘golden generation’ yet again, despite their constant failures at World Cups, or were they going to turn to a fresh, exciting, attacking and technically excellent youngster, to evolve the side?
  • Uruguay: past their best?Three years ago, Uruguay were unquestionably the best side in South America – they were the only South American side to reach the semi-finals of the World Cup in 2010, before winning the Copa America a year later.

    Their form since then, however, has been extremely poor. Their qualification was a disaster, forced into a play-off against Jordan (which they unsurprisingly won comfortably) and they’ve clearly regressed in the last four years.

  • Costa Rica: extremely defensiveWhile the difficult draw was always going to force Costa Rica to play defensively, that’s essentially their favoured style anyway. Their Colombian coach Jorge Luis Pinto, a good tactician who has won the league in four different countries, has generally favoured a cautious system that is 3-4-2-1 on the rare occasions Costa Rica have possession, but in reality more like a 5-4-1. They’re happy for the opposition to have time on the ball, concede space in midfield, and instead pack their penalty box.
  • Italy: Prandelli not sure of his formationItaly will continue to play the positive, attack-minded football Prandelli has encouraged since taking charge in 2010, with Andrea Pirlo still the star player in his final World Cup. But there are still lots of question marks, and a few underwhelming options in various positions.

Meanwhile, make sure you know what you're looking for when you watch: How to Watch the World Cup Like a True Soccer Nerd: Understanding the brainy side of the beautiful game

Answer those three questions and you’ll have a general idea about what kinds of players are on the field. What it actually looks like when they play is another question entirely, and it’s one more informed by tactics than by personnel.
Categories: FLOSS Project Planets

Rich Bowen: Open Help Conference this weekend

Mon, 2014-06-09 16:23

This weekend I'll be speaking at the Open Help Conference in Cincinnati about writing a better manual. I've given this talk before at various places, but this time it's completely rewritten and reorganized, so I hope a few of you might turn out for this. There will also be other great content on the 14th and 15th, and on the 16th - 18th there will be team documentation sprints.

Categories: FLOSS Project Planets

Claus Ibsen: Meet Fabric8 and video of fabric8 provisioning Apache Tomcat

Mon, 2014-06-09 13:59
Recently my fellow colleague Christian Posta wrote two great blog entries about fabric, which I want to share to you.

The new fabric8 logoIn his Meet Fabric8: An open-source integration platform based on Camel and ActiveMQ, Christian introduces us to fabric8, and talks about what fabric8 brings to the table from a DevOps perspective, and some of the other value-adds. Christian also talks about the history of the project.

In his 2nd blog DevOps with Apache Tomcat/TomEE and Fabric8, Christian talks and demonstrates some of the upcoming functionality in the next 1.1 beta7 release, where fabric8 adds support for provision and manage Apache Tomcat, and other containers. Christian recorded a video demonstrating this in action.

We are currently working hard on getting the last pieces into the 1.1 beta7 release which ought to be released this week. We have also worked on revamping the fabric8 website, and working on having the documentation in a nice bookish readable format, and as in PDF as well. The documentation is nicely readable now on handheld devices. I am also putting my touches on improving the quickstarts and examples to provide a lot more documentation and how-to. So expect the documentation, quickstarts, and other examples to have out attention, leading up to the 1.1 release.

We want to do a bunch of beta releases, as this makes it much easier for the community to try out fabric8, and help contribute to the project, before we reach 1.1 final release (ETA sometimes after the summer vacation).


Categories: FLOSS Project Planets

Paul Querna: SSH Proxy Commands that use `sed`

Mon, 2014-06-09 12:17

If you find yourself using a Bastion or Jump Server very often, you quickly become familiar with man ssh_config.

One trick I've recently figured out is using sed with a ProxyCommand -- this lets me optionally use a bastion host by just appending .bast to a hostname. Most examples of using ProxyCommand apply it to all hosts, or a specific sub-domain, but this configuration allows you to late decide if you want to use the bastion or not.

Examples:

# uses bastion: ssh myserver.example.com.bast # goes directly to myserver: ssh myserver.example.com

Place the following in your .ssh/config, with the appropriate changes for your environment:

Host bastion Hostname bastion-server.example.com ProxyCommand none User paul.examplesurname ControlMaster auto ControlPath ~/.ssh/master-%r@%h:%p Host *.bast ProxyCommand ssh -aY bastion 'nc -w 900 `echo %h | sed s/\\.bast$//` %p' ForwardAgent yes TCPKeepAlive yes ServerAliveInterval 300

Any hostname that ends in .bast will now use the bastion as its proxy, but on the bastion it will resolve the DNS without the .bast in the hostname. Additionally because the bastion host has SSH Multiplexing configured, after the first connection to the bastion, all others are very quick to become established.

Categories: FLOSS Project Planets

Bryan Pendleton: Git gui tools for mid-size repositories

Sun, 2014-06-08 21:51

I've been trying out different git gui tools.

Git itself, of course, comes with both gitk and the git gui, but there are a number of other tools as well.

Gitk works quite nicely on small repositories, such as the git repo itself.

I tried various git gui tools on a more substantial repository: a clone of the stable Linux kernel, which is certainly a sizable repository, clocking in at about 1.4 GB in disk space.

When I try to bring up gitk on the Linux kernel repo, it whirs and hums for several minutes, then eventually crashes with an error saying something like "unable to allocate 112 bytes".

As an experiment, I downloaded Atlassian's SourceTree tool. It looks like a beautiful tool, and indeed when I brought it up on the Linux kernel repo, it did not crash.

However, it was so slow as to be unusable; clicking on a menu item took 30 seconds to display the menu.

When I looked with Task Manager, SourceTree had allocated 7 GB of virtual memory and was still climbing.

7 GB of virtual memory? For a 1.4 GB repo?

Is the Linux kernel repo considered "too large to view", nowadays? Are there GUI tools that work with this repo?

Is it just that git tools don't work well on Windows?

If you know, drop me a line...

Categories: FLOSS Project Planets

Bryan Pendleton: That's it, it's all over now.

Sun, 2014-06-08 14:48

Turing Test Success Marks Milestone in Computing History

The 65 year-old iconic Turing Test was passed for the very first time by supercomputer Eugene Goostman during Turing Test 2014 held at the renowned Royal Society in London on Saturday.

'Eugene', a computer programme that simulates a 13 year old boy, was developed in Saint Petersburg, Russia. The development team includes Eugene's creator Vladimir Veselov, who was born in Russia and now lives in the United States, and Ukrainian born Eugene Demchenko who now lives in Russia.

Of course, this was a fairly specialized program, designed specifically for this purpose:

"Eugene was 'born' in 2001. Our main idea was that he can claim that he knows anything, but his age also makes it perfectly reasonable that he doesn't know everything. We spent a lot of time developing a character with a believable personality. This year we improved the 'dialog controller' which makes the conversation far more human-like when compared to programs that just answer questions. Going forward we plan to make Eugene smarter and continue working on improving what we refer to as 'conversation logic'."

Still, quite a result.

Categories: FLOSS Project Planets

Sanjiva Weerawarana: WSO2Con Barcelona 2014 in just one more week!

Fri, 2014-06-06 22:38

Time flies when you're having fun .. the conference is now just a week away and the advance team is flying in today. If you've ever been to one of our conferences you know what an awesome event it is - Barcelona is going to notch it up again with a really cool Internet of Things platform for attendees (built with our own products of course - plus soldering irons and acid baths).

Hope to see you there!
Learn more about industry trends, being a Connected Business, the WSO2 story, and much more through our esteemed panel of keynote speakers at WSO2Con EU 2014.Alan Clark
Director of Industry Initiatives, Emerging Standards and Open Source
SUSE
Chairman of the Board
OpenStack®Serves as the chairman of the board at OpenStack. Alan has developed a reputation in fostering the creation, growth, awareness, and adoption of open source and open standards across the technology sector. He will explore the evolution of open source cloud platforms in enabling the Connected Business.James Governor
Principal Analyst and Co-Founder
RedMonkLeads coverage in the enterprise applications space, assisting with application development, integration middleware, and systems management issues. He also has served as an industry expert for television and radio segments with media such as the BBC. James will examine how open source middleware contributes to the Connected Business.Luca Martini
Distinguished Engineer
CiscoLeads the Cisco virtualization strategy in two major areas: mobility and home broadband access. He has been involved in the Internet engineering task force (IETF) for the past 15 years, contributing to many IETF standards. Luca will discuss the role of intelligent orchestration and how it is more than simply a Web services engine.Paul Fremantle
Co-Founder & CTO
WSO2Paul co-founded WSO2 in 2005 in order to reinvent the way enterprise middleware is developed, sold, delivered, and supported through an open source model. In his current role as CTO, he spearheads WSO2's overall product strategy.Sanjiva Weerawarana Ph. D
Founder, Chairman & CEO
WSO2Sanjiva has been involved with open source for many years and is an active member of the Apache Software Foundation. He was the original creator of Apache SOAP and has been part of Apache Axis, Apache Axis2 and most Apache Web services projects. He founded WSO2 after having spent nearly 8 years in IBM Research, where he was one of the founders of the Web services platform. During that time, he co-authored many Web services specifications including WSDL, BPEL4WS, WS-Addressing, WS-RF and WS-Eventing.Register now View full agendaLearn how WSO2 can help you build a Connected Business Contact Us
Categories: FLOSS Project Planets