Thursday, October 04, 2012

ZDNet trolling for anti-Javascript language, another ´anti-something´ Microsoft tech

Microsoft, like many firms -Google too-, suffers from the "NIH syndrome" (Not Invented Here). And it isn´t hard to imagine they aren´t too happy to see one of the key pieces of the modern AJAX paradigm and web apps is Javascript/ECMAscript, not invented by them, but at Netscape and now developed at Mozilla.

So I have recently stumbled upon this piece by a ZiffGatesNet writer outrageously titled "can the father of C# save us from the tyranny of Javascript?" that aims to boost interest in a Microsoft language that wants to dethrone Javascript.

I started laughing when he decided to quote Miguel de Icaza as an authorized ¨open source¨ figure. It seems that not being happy with his Mono Failure (Microsoft .Net clone for Linux) and his Moonlight failure (a failed clone of another failure, Microsoft´s Silverlight) he now wants to give a helping hand in destroying Javascript, as the he and others in the .Net camp have tried to destroy Java -unsuccesfully- for years now.

Back to the story, the headline is eye-catching no doubt about it, as it speaks of this new Microsoft language freeing us from the "Tyranny of Javascript". But when you read the story, there´s no substance about what tyranny we need to be saved from.

So, here´s my two simple answers to this long tirade:

1.there´s no "Javascript tyranny" interesting that the word "tyranny" is present only in the headline, with no substance in the article to back up that claim.
2. The headline asks a question, and the answer lies in "Betteridge´s Law of Headlines" which states: "Any headline which ends in a question mark can be answered by the word 'no'*
So there :-P
PS: Nobody outside of Microsoft and Microsoft-only shops will get to use this language, for the same reasons that hampered .Net and Silverlight adoption: microsoft´s languages only work well and fully on Microsoft´s own OSs. They´re just means to justify Microsoft´s uber-end for the last couple of decades : "Windows Everywhere".

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Foxconn riots - and some exclusive footage from India

After this

Foxconn China plant closed after 2,000 riot

...comes this secretly videotaped footage of a huge riot at one undisclosed Fx.conn factory in India.

Alleged riot at one FC India factory :)

Sorry, I can´t reveal my sources...


The anti-Btrfs FUD must stop...

If you read the Whackypedia entry on "Butter FS" (Btrfs), you see:

"Btrfs (B-tree file system, variously pronounced "Butter F S", "Butterfuss", "Better F S",[1] or "B-tree F S"[2]) is a GPL-licensed copy-on-write file system for Linux. Development began at Oracle Corporation in 2007. It is still in heavy development and marked as unstable"

ewww... SCARY!

But then there´s another view:
LinuxCon Japan 2012 | Presentations
"On The Way to a Healthy Btrfs Towards Enterprise"
by  Liu Bo, Fujitsu

Let me quote:
"Btrfs has been on full development for about 5 years and it does make lots of progress on both features and performance, but why does everybody keep tagging it with ""experimental""? And why do people
still think of it as a vulnerable one for production use? As a goal of production use, we have been strengthening several features, making improvements on performance and keeping fixing bugs to make btrfs
stable, for instance, ""snapshot aware defrag"", ""extent buffer cache"", ""rbtree lock contention"", etc. This talk will cover the above"

From its web "Liu Bo has been working on Linux kernel development since late 2010 as a Fujitsu engineer. He has been working on filesystem field and he's now focusing on btrfs development".

RHEL 7 to get Btrfs support

"RHEL 7 will support ext4, XFS, and Btrfs (boot and data)"

Then you have SuSE:

"With SUSE Linux Enterprise 11 SP2, the btrfs file system joins ext3, reiserfs, xfs and ocfs2 as *commercially supported file systems*. Each file system offers disctinct advantages. While the installation
default is ext3, we recommend xfs when maximizing data performance is desired, and *btrfs as a root file system when snapshotting and rollback capabilities are required. Btrfs is supported as a root file
system (i.e. the file system for the operating system) across all architectures of SUSE Linux Enterprise 11 SP2*. "

"OL6.3 that boots up uek (2.6.39-200.24.1) as install kernel and uses btrfs as the default filesystem for installation. So latest and greatest direct access to btrfs, a modern well-tested, current kernel,
freely available. "

So, again, why does people insist in calling Btrfs "experimental" and "unstable"?. Do you think SUSE and Oracle both ship an unstable FS as a comercially supported feature??.

Sheesh, I´ve lost data with IBM´s "supposedly ´GA´" version of JFS for OS/2 once...

Back to Btrfs... it´s in the mainline Linux Kernel since February so with the adoption by RHEL 7, it´ll become mainstream sooner rather than later...

Here is a good video to get you interested on Btrfs and why it matters...

Just my $0.02...

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Java is based on reason, like Humanism. :)

I read this funny post "if programming languages were religions..." over here , and couldn' t help writing the rebuttal below with regards to its characterization of Java:

Totally wrong on Java. See, some people -often whom have never used it- continue saying Java "is dead", "is so 1990s" yet, Java continues being relevant ever more each day, and is now free (GPL open source, OpenJDK). Then some said Java was going to die after the Oracle acquisition of Sun Microsystems, they were proved wrong once again, with Oracle investing in Java, opening OpenJDK even more, making JavaFX open source (OpenJFX), making OpenJDK the reference implementation of JDK7, and even getting IBM, Apple and Twitter aboard the OpenJDK project. Plus, Apple donated its OSX JRE code to OpenJDK as well.

So does it make it like "fundamentalist christianity"? don' t think so, more like humanism...

See, Java is NOT ONLY a programming language, Java is actually 3 things: a programming language, a virtual machine, and a level playing field software ecosystem. So you can write cross platform Java apps without even writing a single line of Java source code, thanks to dynamic languages that run atop the Java VM. That' s why there' s JRuby, Jython, xRuby (ruby to java bytecode compiler), Scala, JGo, NetRexx (open source REXX for the JVM -, and you can even write Java apps with Basic, thanks to Jabaco (

So, in the end, Java understands that all the people has its own beliefs, and people of all beliefs are welcome to come to the Java VM, which is based on the rational belief that "porting code"  from one OS to another is silly, and that all apps should run on all OSs. It' s based on reason, like humanism.


Saturday, August 25, 2012

Thanks Armstrong for inspiring a generation...

Thanks, Armstrong, for inspiring a generation with regards to #Moon & #space travel.

...fake or true tv footage, it really doesn´t matter...

What a better way to pay homage to him than with #OMD ´s "Apollo 11" song.... immortalizing in the lyrics the "ONE GIANT LEAP FOR MANKIND..."


Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Reader´s feedback says sometimes I´m not full of sh..

It´s really nice when you write a news story and someone writes back, months later, "from inside" -a big corp- saying "hey you hit the nail on the head".

 Photo courtesy (CC) of Marco Repola @ IStoleThe.TV

I wish that came back more often, but I guess that also means I hit the nail on the head only once a while. ;)

This was my story on Oracle´s decomission of "Sun Download Manager"

And this the feedback the story got, posted by the SDM product manager Gary Zellerbach:

12 Aug 00:42

Hi Fernando, I was the co-inventor and Product Manager of Sun Download Manager (SDM) from its inception (~2001) until its recent "retirement." I was surprised to see this article -- frankly, I wasn't sure if anyone had noticed, but obviously you did! 

You seem very perceptive and make some salient points. For the record, I believe the main reason SDM was discontinued was due to lack of engineering resources to update it. As you pointed out, first there was the the desire to rebrand it as "Oracle Download Manager." More importantly, as you also noticed, was the lack of HTTPS support, which was not a problem on the Sun Download Center, but meant that SDM simply did *not* work with Oracle's primary product download site. That was a serious issue. 

To be fair, there was interest expressed in updating SDM and a desire for Oracle to have a good download manager for its customers, but when push came to shove, it was deemed there were higher priority needs for the download engineers. Soon after SDM was retired, my brief stint at Oracle came to end as well. I understand the need to prioritize resources but did not agree with the lack of communication. I wanted to post a blog with a heads-up and explanation about why it was being discontinued. But I was advised not to by my management, as it is company policy not to pre-announce product changes. The most I could do was to insist that customers not get a 404 when hitting the former SDM web pages, and so I got a redirect put in to the FAQ you saw. 

Now I see the redirect appears to have been removed too. (BTW, while the redirect is gone, the FAQ is still available here: ) I can't disagree with much of your editorial perspective, though hopefully my comments help fill out the background.

I don't know Oracle's future plans as to whether they'll ever offer another download manager. I do know, though, that SDM had a great run, was downloaded and used literally millions of times, saved Sun a ton of money on bandwidth and support costs over the years, and was a great example of Java programming. Thank you for noticing it disappeared. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 

What can I say, thanks to you, Gary, for the kind words and taking the time to write back, confirming some of my perceptions from afar.


Monday, May 14, 2012

Dana Blakenhorn joins the anti-Oracle parrots club

Below is my response to Dana Blakenhorn' s article titled "What Oracle
is hiding"

I' m not holding my breath waiting for him to publish it.... (it' s
"under moderation" as I write this).


Wow, you really really hate Oracle, don' t you?. Take a look at the
world around you Dana. The financial markets are plummeting. That' s
where Sun used to sell many of its hardware. Guess there aren' t many
Lehman Brothers to buy Sun hardware nowadays right?

Your rest of your article is pure drivel. Who cares about Apache's
Java implementation and its fight with Sun/Oracle, it' s history.

OpenJDK is where the action is at, and Apple contributed its OSX Java
code to OpenJDK. Twitter has joined OpenJDK along with IBM, too. So I
guess the writing is on the wall, right?. OpenJDK is a sucess, no
matter how Ziff-Gates and its anti-Java writers would like to spin it.
And Oracle has been a great steward of Java, investing in OpenJDK,
NetBeans (the Java IDE), Virtualbox, and Glassfish, among other former
Sun open source projects. Plus, Linux will be on equal footing with
Windows server'  ReFS thanks to the Oracle-developed Btrfs.

So next time you slam Oracle, keep in mind you' re hurting the firm
that is driving Java forward and one great contributor to Linux and
the open source ecosystem. Shame on you!


Thursday, April 12, 2012

How to run .jnlp Java Web Start JWS apps with OpenJDK Java on Linux and Firefox

In the Windows world, Java Web Start apps run "automagically". That is, if you install Java, that' s all there is to it.

 The Sun/Oracle Java Runtime install takes care of installing the Java runtime, the Java plug-in (for all browsers on the system), and also the required bits to run Java Web Start (javaws.exe). So when you click on a .jnlp link on a web page to launch a Java desktop application, the app just starts, you se the Java splash screen, and seconds later, the app pops up.

(If it is the first time you run an app from such vendor, a security dialog comes up asking if you know and want to trust that developer and its cryptographic signature from that dev going forward, or just authorize it this time, or cancel -not run it-).

In the Linux world, Java (as the GPL Open Source project it now is) is called "OpenJDK". But if you install OpenJDK alone, you don' t get the "Plug-in" (the component needed to run applets inside a web browser AND Java Web Start apps).

For that, -the Java Plug-in- you need "IcedTea" which is the name given to the Java Plug-in that goes along with OpenJDK.

Why they choose to confuse the user with two different package names is beyond me (actually, I know why, it has to do with the project's history, but that' s of no interest to end users). If you ask me, Icedtea should be renamed to "OpenJDK-plugin".

But that is besides the point.

Having said that, -please have patience- here' s the solution to run Java .jnlp on Firefox on Linux.

1. You need to install "Icedtea".
OK, so you installed Icedtea, clicked on a Java Wesbtart app launcher link (.jnlp) and got an odd dialog from the browser asking what do you want to do with the .jnlp file?.

Don' t despair. That happens because while you have:.

1. A functioning JRE installed (OpenJDK)
2. A functioning Java plug-in (IcedTea) installed,

... that the Icedtea installation has NOT configured Icedtea as a browser "helper app" to appropiately launch JNLP files.

So how do you fix it?!??!?! Simple: ;-)

1. Select "Open With" and instead of the default app (ie Fedora wants to open .jnlp links with gEdit), click on the app name to "choose another"
2. Then navigate to /bin and select "javaws'
3. Select "Do this automatically for files like this from now on"
4. Click "OK"

...the Java app will launch.

And from that point on, all Java Web Start apps will run when you click on the launcher link.

(again, the first time you run any given app you' ll have to authorize it, but not from that point onwards if the crypto signature is maintained).

Does this need to be so irritatingly complex? of course not.

The problem is that the Icedtea developers think about things like developers, not end users. :-(

PS:Oh, did I mention my favorite Java Web Start apps? There's a lot, but you should start by taking a look at and

Monday, March 19, 2012

Top Five Twitter Annoyances

Since I´ve got an addictive personality, I´ve become addicted to Twitter as of late. Before that I was addicted to Facebook, and before that, to e-mail mailing lists (an addiction that is hard to cure and continues to this day, I reckon ;).

As such, I´ve started to realize a number of annoyances with Twitter, and most important, how Twitter could fix it... of course "...for fun and profit". ;)

#1. DMs. Direct Messages. The user interface is a mess. The chat-like presentation might be good for short exchanges, but once the "conversation" and exchanges of DMs progresses, this becomes a wasteful choice, and a long string of short messages dilapidating screen real state.

#2. Twitter should embrace OPEN PROTOCOLS, more on this below.

#3. Twitter DMs could offer an e-mail gateway. It´s simple, by creating an email gateway to the Internet world, becomes your e-mail address. Anything received at becomes a DM to you. Of course, to keep up with the twitter spirit, messages would have to be stripped of all attachments, and plaintext messages cut to the first 140 chars. Not doing so would create lots of problems to twitter (capacity problems, storage cost, viruses, phishing, etc)

#4. Likewise, it should be possible to access your DMs Inbox via an open protocol. For this, nothing better than IMAP. You should be able to point any e-mail client to, say,, and check your DMs "Inbox", your "Sent" folder, etc.

#5. There is no easy way to download all your old tweets directly from the TW interface. As Google offers the option to "back up all your data", with its "Data Liberation Front" initiative, it should be possible to log-in to your Twitter "my account" area and choose to download a .zip compressed file of all your tweets, everything you have said on twitter both since the account creation, or the last month, or the last week, the user´s choice. I know, you´re telling me that´d be "too expensive" both in CPU and resources, when, how about making this a PAID option, only for people who pay a small yearly fee. (I´m thinking $10/year would be the magic number. Do the math.)

#6 Like Google´s Blogger email posting feature, it should be possible to create tweets by email. IE email and whatever you put on the subject line becomes a tweet.

What´s this for? it´d be great for script writers, to automate the sending of tweets effortlessly without having to deal with oAuth, Twitter APIs and the like.

That´s, imho the top-five Twitter shortcomings. (I know I said five.. )