The big eBay blowout closes

Much to my surprise, someone bought my Aluminum PowerBook G4 1.25GHz for the “Buy It Now” price on eBay. I always wondered if anyone did that. That was this past Tuesday. Last night, four more things sold. I had two items that didn’t sell. I hate eBay, but I can’t think of a better way to get rid of the stuff I need to sell.

Oh, if the recent entry about The Cathedral and The Bazaar sparked your interest, you may also want to check out The Circus Midget and The Fossilized Dinosaur Turd. 8^)

Jonathan Schwartz – another embarrassing Sun claim (and the Eric Raymond response)

Didn’t I just write about Sun and their relative degree of cluelessness when it comes to open source? Well, here we are again.

According to Jonathan Schwartz, Sun’s Java Community Process (JCP) embodies the characteristics of the bazaar model in Eric Raymond‘s The Cathedral and The Bazaar, a seminal essay on the revolution in software development, more accurately than Linux itself. The absurdity of this claim lies in the fact that Sun and companies like it are built upon processes that are the very things that the cathedral model describes.

A recent Slashdot post led me to a Yahoo! News post where Eric Raymond is responding to the claim from Sun Microsystems.

At this point, part of the handful that read this weblog probably feel like I do when I find myself in a group discussing this year’s lineup for the bowl games of American college football. Here it is in plain English. A large corporate entity is claiming that a process of theirs actually embodies the principles of open, free collaboration in software development more accurately than the groups that developed these new approaches to software development. The details of the situation would leave you laughing at Sun in ridicule, but I will spare you the time and myself the trouble.

Sorry for the slackness with the writing; the work schedule lately leaves me pretty uninspired at the end of day, particularly when the end of the day is 8:00 or 9:00 PM.

A day consumed by eBay

I have listed seven items today on eBay. What an undertaking that can be! I first had to have a photo shoot with all the items, then pick out the photos to use, then template the descriptions to be posted. Only then are you ready to actually log in to eBay and start posting the items. The upshot is that by next Monday I will have made a considerable dent in my attempt to simplify the computing part of my life. When all is said and done I will have two Titanium PowerBook G4 1GHz units and the two Dell Optiplex GX200s I am using for servers. Now to sell some guitars…

My first look at the Debian Developer documentation

Another Saturday afternoon at the Caribou by Emory University. Despite my heinous work schedule of late and a number of other pressing concerns, I decided to carve out some time to work on my Debian involvement today. That led me to start with the Debian Developer’s Corner.

You know that part in The Fellowship of The Ring where Galadriel is offered the One Ring from Frodo and she does that little speech where her voice changes and light shoots out of her body? The one where she says, “all shall love me and despair?”

Yeah, love and despair at once. That probably sums up my initial encounter with the documentation. I started with the Debian Policy Manual, then soon hopped over to the New Maintainer’s Guide in hoped of garnering some sense of accomplishment. There’s a reason that Debian is so rock solid. Its developers are quite diligent folks. When you first come to this mass of process, it looms before you like a smooth, monolithic obelisk that you somehow have to scale.

I am going to have to take this in manageable chunks; chip away at it bit by bit. I think I have gotten chilled today and am in the process of getting sick. Time to make for home and begin treating the coming sickness.

An excellent Sun interview/article

Slashdot has linked an excellent article by Jem Matzan about all things Sun. It includes interviews with Scott McNealy and Jonathan Schwartz of Sun from the Solaris 10 launch party. If you want to see what I was vaguely referring to in the recent entry about Sun’s Java Desktop System, check out that article.

When I read quotes from Sun’s top guys like the ones in that article, I can’t help but think that they have this myopic field of view about what is really going on with Linux. But, it’s Friday, and it’s late, so I am leaving it at that.

My new non-best friends, the organ enlargement spam commenters

Today was a banner day for the Movable Type spam comment goons on this weblog. In two 3-minute bursts about half an hour apart, 50 spam posts were placed in comments to weblog archive entries of mine. They are a real pain to extract. So, if you notice a number of entries that do not allow comment, now you’ll know why. It’s a shame, because I really enjoy when folks leave comments and we are able to interact. That is part of what makes a weblog great, the interaction.

And then the idiot hack profiteers devoid of scruple enter the picture.

This has me looking seriously at other weblog platforms. I have had other gripes about Movable Type, the biggest one being that it is not open source. I recently stumbled across WordPress thanks to the weblog of a fellow Atlanta Linux Enthusiasts member. It is under the GPL, and seems to have an impressive feature set. Blojsom just doesn’t appeal to me; neither did Blosxom. Anything that requires me to host my weblog on someone else’s server is out of the question.

One-time setup and tear down for unit tests in JUnit

I had been wrestling with an odd problem for days in my current project at work. We have a project using the Spring framework, the Struts framework, and Hibernate. When trying run a JUnit TestCase
that has more than one test, I kept getting an error saying that more than one database connection pool with the same name was attempting to be registered with Hibernate through the Spring application context.

Pragmatic Unit Testing in Java with JUnit to the rescue.

I had mistakenly thought that the setUp() and tearDown() methods for a TestCase ran once each, before and after any of the tests had run. The code sample on page 31 of the book had an easily-understood and concise code sample of how to wrap your tests in a TestSuite within the TestCase class and then provide methods to contain work that is called for the setUp() and tearDown() methods of the suite. Needless to say, the approach worked like a champ.

God bless those Pragmatic Programmers.

Signed on for the Debian projects for Eclipse and Lucene

This weekend I actually got my account set up on Alioth, the development environment for Debian GNU/Linux. I have signed on for involvement with the Eclipse packaging project and the Lucene packaging project. The timing is a bit off, as I am heading into a 60-hour week at work, but I think that is the norm when you are moonlighting for open source. It’s catch as catch can, most of us (if not all when it comes to Debian) working purely as volunteers.

I have to admit that I am pretty excited about being “officially” involved with Debian. I hope to be able to come up to speed quickly on the processes and policies, but there’s quite a bit of that to work through. I don’t mind, though, because the organization and discipline of Debian is a major part of its draw for me.

Sun’s Java Desktop System, or c’mon Dad, not in front of my friends…

Sun was told by folks at my local Linux user group that we would like to demo their Sun Java Desktop System (JDS) at one of our meetings. They subsequently became alarmed and insisted that their people needed to demo it, so the whole user group should come to their facility here in Atlanta. For those who don’t know, the JDS is a Linux distribution packaged by Sun with an office suite, email client and (I think) Java IDE for around US$150. Sound pretty innovative? Add up the cost of your last Windows upgrade, what you should have paid for your pirated copy of Microsoft Office, and you get past $150 really quick. Neat idea, huh?

UPDATE: Thanks to the watchful eye of my friend Tom Kovarik, it has been brought to my attention that I failed to include that the JDS has an Exchange-compatible email client.

Well, yeah, in some respects.

I don’t know if it’s going to fly. If it did, I would really get a kick out of that. Anything to diversify the computing environments out there. If this causes some corporations to migrate away from Windows and Office, great. It’s not like Novell hasn’t already been working on this with SuSe. Heck, you can download a CD of that for free via FTP.
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Linux and Java at the monthly ALE meeting

The topic at Atlanta Linux Enthusiasts meeting tonight was Linux and Java – a can’t miss for me personally. It was a great meeting, and Bjorn Roche and Michael Hirsch stepped up to the plate to give some great discussion-inspiring presentations. Java is a controversial topic with Linux folks; the cross-platform nature really appeals to some and the strict Sun licensing and closed source code reviles others.

There’s pretty much no other platform that offers the ability to write an application and deploy it on Windows, Linux, and Mac OS X with a little bit of packaging. That “little bit” can be maddening sometimes, but by comparison there is not another platform with the level of tool support and richness of APIs that can approach Java.

I could go on about it, but I am out of time. Maybe I will have some further installments later.