Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Monday, March 30, 2009

Analyze your blog

According to this blog analyzer I'm a doer.

"The active and playful type. They are especially attuned to people and things around them and often full of energy, talking, joking and engaging in physical out-door activities. The Doers are happiest with action-filled work which craves their full attention and focus. They might be very impulsive and more keen on starting something new than following it through. They might have a problem with sitting still or remaining inactive for any period of time."

Sacha is leaving

If you don't know by now, Sacha is leaving JBoss. There's not a lot more I can add to what Bob has said, except that I'll miss out almost daily interactions. Sacha started as a colleague (when he, Bob and Marc persuaded me to move from Arjuna) but grew to be a good friend and I wish him and his family all the best in the future. Today begins a new chapter in his life as well as that of JBoss. Good luck Sacha!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

First dive of the season

It may only have been Ellerton again, but we managed to get the first dive of the season in today. It was a bit like swimming in tea (less than 2 metres visibility) and cold (8 degrees Centigrade), but it was worth it. Everyone else there was in dry suits but we managed to struggle through in our wet suits. I just wish someone would invent a spray-on suit, because I'm sure I get more of a workout putting the darn thing on that actually swimming afterwards.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

RPC is dead?

From what Steve says it certainly sounds like this year's QCon London was fun. This year Steve was talking on the history of RPC, which has some overlaps with what I was saying at QCon London last year. But Steve goes in to a lot more detail and I recommend people checking it out.

One slight caveat though: as I've said many times in the past (so many that I leave it as an exercise to the reader to find the entries in my blog) RPC isn't dead and isn't something you should ignore. (I don't think Steve thinks that either.) Look around you and you'll see examples of old and new systems based on it. Are they all wrong to do so? No, of course not. Are some of them wrong to do so? Most probably yes. I know of several small and large-scale systems that are being developed in academia (no vendor pressure there) and industry (maybe some pressure) that are being based on RPC. In all cases those guys did their homework and understand the trade-offs that they're making in using RPC.

BTW I'm not a RPC fanboy by any means. Yes, I've used them and helped develop them, but I've also used and developed other approaches too.

What I'm trying to say is that RPC has its place. But a bit like ACID transactions, it can be (and has been) easily misused. There are better approaches these days for many of the things we'd once have considered the domain of RPC. But that doesn't mean RPC can't and shouldn't be used. As with everything, such as which language to use, which database, which communication protocol etc., you need to be aware of the pros and cons. This is an education problem more than a technical problem.

I also agree with Steve around Erlang (in fact it was Steve who put me on to it a while back). A very nice language. Now if only I could find the time to get back to it.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Congratulations Barbara!

Barbara Liskov won the Turing Award! This is really good news. I met Barbara a few times, starting during my PhD days. At that point she was leading the Argus project in transactions and replication, which was relevant to my own research. Thoroughly deserved. Well done Barbara.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

DOA 2009

I'm co-chairing DOA again. Check out the CfP for 2009.

HPTS 2009

HPTS is probably my favourite workshop/conference. I've been lucky enough to be able to attend every one since the 1990's and hopefully this year will be no different. The CfP is now up, so take a look.