Slashdot Explains Sexism in Open Source

In the spirit of beer commercials and sports highlight shows, Slashdot’s editors blithely follow a post about sexism in open source with, just 45 minutes later, a post on a Marge Simpson spread in Playboy.

Slashdot Effect

Let no one say Slashdot does not know its audience. At least, the audience they have, not the one they’re missing out on.

Elephants Ahead!

Matt Asay (the most prolifically correct person writing on open source today) takes a look at PostgreSQL in his posting today (Is it Postgres’ Time to Shine?):

Postgres [could be positioned] to take a bigger share of the enterprise Java database market – not because it’s cheaper than Oracle or more open than MySQL but because it’s a great database in its own right.

Hear hear! But Matt is too kind: PostgreSQL usership will grow strongly over the next couple years and much of the growth will trace directly back to its competitors weakness. MySQL’s continuing community turmoil after the Sun/Oracle acquisition, and Oracle’s continuing pricing problems (in that, they keep going up and up and up, I have yet to meet an Oracle customer who didn’t start our conversation by gasping at ever increasing maintenance costs).

Being an excellent, superior, database is a good start, but having your competitors self-destructing never hurts.

Why I Don't Like Silverlight (and Flex)

It’s this guy. Whenever I go to some “new supercool, rich web thing” I am immediately greeted with this guy.

We spend all this effort to tune web sites, to make them faster, to get those page load times down down down, why do we do that? Because that’s the optimum web experience – your click is my command! So every time I get dumped into one of these Silverlight/Flex things, and the loading bar is creeping along, my visceral response, usually around 68% is, “man, this is taking way too long, I’m going to go do something else”.

It’s not fair, but it’s true.


In the spirit of promoting those products that really make a difference in your work life, let me give a loud shout-out to Dropbox. I’m a road warrior, kinda, in that I migrate between my home office and a bunch of coffee shops, so I’m always mixing my work environment between my laptop and desktop workstation. Some things I work on, like source code in SVN already naturally has a model of disconnected work with a synchronization step. But other things (things I’m doing right now), like talks and presentations, workshops, general writing do not. How to get the benefit of disconnected editing with connected synchronization?

Enter Dropbox! Dropbox sets of a folder on each machine you install it on, and you attach that folder to your Dropbox account. Anything you save in that folder gets replicated up to an “in the cloud” copy regularly while you’re internet connected. And when you’re not, it’s just like any other local copy. You can also share Dropbox folders with others, which is really handy for collaborating on things like PPTs. No more shipping around the latest copy of that Word document.

Functionally, it’s nothing that hasn’t been done before, but it’s been done really well, it’s part of my work-life now, and for small folders (<1Gb) it’s free. For anyone who works on more than one machine regularly and with disconnection, it’s a real time-saver.

Ellison and Balmer

If you haven’t had a gander at these videos at All Points Blog showing Larry Ellison (Oracle) and Steve Balmer (Microsoft) opining on the “cloud” take five minutes and have a look. Larry’s still at stage one but Steve appears to have moved on to stage two.