Monday, January 28, 2008

What I Read - II

Finally, you regular readers of my blog (thank you, btw) may have noticed that there was some activity in the right column here (->).
Apart from having an Upcoming box, I finally automated the What I Read widget as I mentioned earlier.
Basically it's a tiny, tiny database ("databasette") that holds the data, a (localhost only) web application for me to maintain it, e.g. search the title/author/isbn on amazon, put it into the database, attach my "reading" data to it.

The data is then published as a javascript file at my (static!!) webspace. When I say "published"... well, its just a little script that wgets the data locally and ftps them to my webspace account. But hey, it works.
The javascript is "widget-ready" to be included in my blog.

New and improved: there is now also an Atom feed for it.
It is good for google reader, but the feed widget on blogger fails to display the images... so I stick with the javascript version there.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Sun's openID service down

Sun's openID service (for employees[1]) at is down at least since Friday... and I could not find any notice in any blog or somewhere else.

I feel so locked out of some services...

[1] yes, I am a Sun employee, as I herewith again declare for full disclosure.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

JSTL fineprint

The following fine print in the JSTL fmt:formatDate documentation just cost me about 45 minutes of my life:
If this action fails to determine a formatting locale, it uses java.util.Date.toString() as the output format.
Meaning that, if you do not set the locale explicitly in the JSP (with fmt:setLocale) and you e.g. use WGET against your JSP page - which per default does not carry any locale information - you get the stupid default format
Sat Jan 26 18:10:50 CET 2008
instead of whatever you specify. Even if you explicitly give a pattern with fmt:formatDate value="${now}" pattern="yyyy-MM-dd'T'HH:mm:ss'Z'"
you nevertheless get the verbose stuff from above.
You have to setLocale first...

Sick. Just sick.

Vista consumer virtualization ban lifted

Finally Microsoft gave up and - contrary to what I reported before - now DOES allow all Vista Editions on virtualization platforms:

Microsoft relents: Vista consumer virtualization ban lifted:
"It only took them a year longer than it should have, but Microsoft has finally relented and approved the use of Windows Vista Basic and Premium Edition in virtualized environments, for both 'consumers' and business users. Among other things, the change means that Mac and Linux users can now run Windows Vista in a VM without having to pay for the more expensive Business or Ultimate editions. This is a boon to anyone who needs virtualized environments for testing and development."

Friday, January 25, 2008

On the relative importance of MySQL

Since the announcement of Sun buying MySQL recently we (Sun) of course had a lot of conversations with customers, partners and Sun internally about the value and position of MySQL.

To show the relevance of MySQL I searched for a couple of database products (or their names) on some job portals (,,,,,, the (not new) idea being, that the number of job postings does correlate to the importance of a platform or system.

I know that this is not representative... but it gives a nice overview. And the ranking of the databases on the various job portals is consistent. (All figures rounded, and those 5 were the only ones I looked for... so it is strictly not percentage of the DB market but it gives you the relative positioning)



Oracle (to be expected)



SQL Server



MySQL (!!)








I did the same on on books which gives a similar, but not identical picture:


Oracle (again)



SQL Server











Not really surprising that DB2 ranks before MySQL here... What does surprise me is that almost all books seem to be on Oracle.

Also of course there is a skew towards Oracle, since I only search (literally) for “Oracle” so the results might contain jobs and books about Oracle applications or (in case of books, not jobs I guess) the Oracle of Delphi, or other totally unrelated Oracles ... see the Wikipedia disambiguation page for a list of oracular things in this world.

Anyway: the results to me are clear:

MySQL has more importance than DB2 today (this of course kind of hurts me, me being an old DB2 fan) and is not that far off from SQL-Server... half of its “value” in both book and job search.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Europe: Your IP Address Is Personal

Finally someone said it... glad to live in Europe.

Europe: Your I.P. Address Is Personal - Bits - Technology - New York Times Blog:
"Nonetheless, Peter Scharr, Germany’s data protection commissioner, told a hearing of the European Parliament that I.P. addresses should generally be seen as personal information, according to a report by The Associated Press. Under some laws, and much industry practice, information that can identify an individual is often subjected to tougher standards for how it can be recorded, stored and transmitted than information about anonymous users and groups of users.", retired

Dave Winer reports on Scripting News:
"We turned off yesterday, for good, as far as I know. It was a good idea, but we never got it together to make it the powerhouse I wanted it to be"
It was a nice and interesting idea and service, and I got some interesting patterns and information out of it, but hardly anyone used it.

To be frank, I haven't uploaded my OPML in months (years?)...

Sunday, January 20, 2008

What I Read

In the right column of this blog you may have noticed a new little feature called "What I read"...
Basically this is a little javascript to embed that lists the books I am currently reading (and nicely links to Amazon, of course).

Amazing what you can do with a little jscript...

Currently this is a manually created thing, but I'm working on a nice little Java (web) application at home that will help me create and upload this jscript file automatically, e.g. search title from amazon (using the amazon webservices) and fill in the author and ISBN details, etc, etc.

Stay tuned.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Yahoo to start supporting OpenID

Yahoo! backs! OpenID! | The Register:
"Yahoo! has pledged to support OpenID from the end of the month, giving a massive boost for the online identity framework that aims to cut password headaches."
Smart move for Yahoo.
Good move for everyone.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Today is Acquisition day: BEA agrees to Oracle offer

BEA finally says yes to Oracle - for $8.5bn | The Register:
"Oracle has signed a definitive agreement to buy BEA for $8.5bn."

No cheap Vista for Desktop Virtualization?

I just got a pointer to this litte know fact (at least I did not know it) from the VMware site:

Microsoft Virtualization Licensing and Distribution Terms - VMware: "Restrictions on Virtualization and Vista:
Microsoft has recently announced a prohibition on virtualizing the less expensive versions of Vista (Vista Home Basic and Vista Home Premium). Microsoft’s explanation has been that virtualization is not broadly usable by consumers or other mass market users, and therefore should be restricted only to the more expensive versions of Vista"
This means that you cannot use a cheaper version of Vista for desktop virtualization (VDI) ...

And this in return means, that Microsoft is afraid of VDI. That simple.

Jonathan Schwartz: Sun to buy MySQL (AB)

Jonathan Schwartz's Blog: "We announced big news today - our preliminary results for our fiscal second quarter, and as importantly, that we're acquiring MySQL AB."


Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Dopplr and city data

Dopplr is a great service... I really like it.
However, the quality of the city/location data ... well ... sucks.
At least for Austria.
Try Saalbach (major skiing resort) or the city of Krems ... totally unknown to Dopplr and replaced with nearby villages that don't make any sense.
Dopplr say that rely on data from the GeoNames project, but Geonames has all those data...(try Saalbach or Krems)... so why doesn't Dopplr know about them...


Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Offline for a couple of days

Am Weissensee
Originally uploaded by roetzi24
I'm enjoying some days off at lake Weissensee in Carinthia, Austria - pondering how to implement an idea for a flickr application I had.

Anyone know a good site with hosted Tomcat or - even better - glassfish ?