This is huge - Google and SalesForce are teaming up - which means that the Google app stack (including the new app framework - will be a good default choice for SalesForce users (and vice-versa). This is a huge game changer, because it means that Office is not the default choice for an increasing number of business users.
Microsoft is getting disintermediated, and there's not a heck of a lot they can do about it. They're stuck in the kind of management inertia problem I spoke about yesterday.
We've just started our annual get together for the Cincom Smalltalk team - I took a few pictures of our opening - here's Suzanne Fortman getting things started:
And Alan, the new engineering manager
And below, three photos of the crowd in the meeting room. Here's to a good week!
Speaking of game changing - Google announced their web services a week ago - now Amazon has announced something truly cool - persistent storage for EC2. Not S3, mind you - attached storage for the EC2 instance that is persistent:
In the same way that your running EC2 instances, your Elastic IP addresses, your S3 buckets and your SQS queues can be thought of as items contained within the scope of your AWS account, our forthcoming persistent storage feature will give you the ability to create reliable, persistent storage volumes for use with EC2. Once created, these volumes will be part of your account and will have a lifetime independent of any particular EC2 instance.
These volumes can be thought of as raw, unformatted disk drives which can be formatted and then used as desired (or even used as raw storage if you'd like). Volumes can range in size from 1 GB on up to 1 TB; you can create and attach several of them to each EC2 instance. They are designed for low latency, high throughput access from Amazon EC2. Needless to say, you can use these volumes to host a relational database.
This is absolutely huge - it means that you can now run an entire application stack on Amazon's service without having to rely on S3/SimpleDB for the back end storage. Need to scale your website up? That just got a whole lot simpler.
I'm not sure whether I'll be able to get new Smalltalk Daily episodes posted this week; I'm in planning meetings, and I may not have time. In the meantime, have a look at the large number of existing ones!
I got a little ahead of myself with the posting of Cincom Smalltalk Spring 2008 for download. The commercial release isn't quite out yet, so I've reverted the download page to OST 7.1.3 and VW 7.5. We should have the commercial release out shortly; the product is ready to go. The only issue has been getting ObjectStudio 8.1 Vista Certified, which has been taking more time than we hoped it would.
If that keeps stringing out, we'll be splitting the release - sending out commercial VW 7.6 and OST 7.1.3 now, and OST 8.1 when the certification comes through. Either way, the commercial release should happen within a couple of weeks at worst, and the NC site will revert back to the latest code.
Sorry for the inconvenience!
I'm sure that the few $K in support contracts that come out of this kind of MySQL conversation will justify the $1B they spent:
After a profoundly awkward silence, one of the individuals from their internal development team piped up, "Actually, everybody uses it. Why bother hassling with license agreements when MySQL's got you covered. We're stoked you bought them."
At that rate, I'm sure Sun will monetize that investment in just a century or two. Good luck with that :)
This is interesting - Psystar is selling hardware that is capable of running OS X (Or Windows, or Linux), and for a cost that's well under what Apple charges. I wonder whether Apple will try to find a way to go after them...
Update: Spelling Correction
Update: looks like it's all fake
Technorati Tags: apple
It looks like Cincom Smalltalk will be be shipping very soon now: VW 7.6, ObjectStudio 7.1.3, and ObjectStudio 8.1. We had been holding the release pending Vista Certification for ObjectStudio 8.1; that's done now - I just got this in email via Mark Grinnell, who is the lead for ObjectStudio:
Congratulations. Your product ObjectStudio 8.1 has been tested by <omitted>, a service of <omitted>, and meets the criteria for the Certified for Windows Vista program. Please take a moment to review Next Steps information on our web site so that you can begin enjoying program benefits as soon as possible.
This is great news, and it means you should see the CD with VW 7.6 and OS 7.1.3 - and the DVD with OS 8.1 - arriving soon. Congratulations to the ObjectStudio team for this work!
A couple more photos from our meetings - yesterday, Mark Roberts talked about GLORP, and what he's been doing to get a handle on documentation for it:
And then this morning, Arden talked about product direction for the next little while:
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Vista's thud has been a career ending move for all the MS managers associated with it:
Poole's departure pretty much marks the end of an era. Nearly every Microsoft executive associated with the Windows Vista launch has left the company. Vista has proven to be a career-ending enterprise, in stark contrast to bygone days when big promotions followed the release of a new Windows version.
That sound you hear is the door hitting all those execs in the backside on their way out...
Yesterday, I got a photo of the support group - these are the people you talk to when you call with issues:
The woman standing is Kim THomas, who manages that group. Going around to the right are: Deanna Simpson, Sean Glazier, Janos, Kazsoki, Dennis Gagne, Prasad Payyavula, Janardhana Manne, Chowdari Chiratla, and Ralf Propach (Heeg).
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Randal Schwartz is becoming a one man PR shop for Smalltalk and Seaside:
I was interviewed by noted futurist Stephen Euin Cobb for his podcast, The Future And You. If you skip ahead to about the fifty minute mark, you'll hear me rave about Seaside and describe my recent activities.
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I have a few more photos of the Smalltalk team - here's Arden talking about our plans for the Modeling Tool work being done in OS 8:
Here's Travis leading a discussion on our Font system:
Suzanne and Georg Heeg having a discussion:
John Sarkela involved in a talk about some VM issues:
It's been a productive week so far - great news for all our customers and interested developers!
You may not be able to consolidate all your content in one place, but it looks like Six Apart is trying to make it easier to broadcast your stuff all over the place with a new Facebook app:
Blog It allows you to compose and post updates within the Facebook interface and have them simultaneously appear on any one of the ten supported services, including Movable Type, TypePad, Pownce, Twitter, Blogger and WordPress.
The idea behind Blog It is to simplify the process of updating all the various sites and services you use, offering a single interface for updating all your sites. It's a bit like turning Facebook into a fire hose that sprays your thoughts across the web.
There's got to be a huge demand for this kind of thing; I end up going through a lot of hoops to post podcasts (or links to them) across my site, Facebook, Ning, and a few other places. More of this faster, please :)
In both the laptop and desktop showdowns, Apple's computers were the winners. Oddly, the big difference didn't come in our user ratings, where we expected the famously friendly Mac interface to shine. Our respondents liked the look and feel of both operating systems but had a slight preference toward OS X. In our speed trials, however, Leopard OS trounced Vista in all-important tasks such as boot-up, shutdown and program-launch times. We even tested Vista on the Macs using Apple's platform-switching Boot Camp software -- and found that both Apple computers ran Vista faster than our PCs did.
Simply put, Vista proved to be a more sluggish operating system than Leopard. Our PCs installed some software faster, but in general they were slower in our time trials. Plus, both PCs showed weaker performance on third-party benchmarks than the Macs. Our biggest surprise, however, was that PCs were not the relative bargains we expected them to be. The Asus M51sr costs the same as a MacBook, while the Gateway One actually costs $300 more than an iMac. That means for the price of the Gateway you could buy an iMac, boost its hard drive to match the Gateway's, purchase a copy of Vista to boot -- and still save $100.
has certainly been my experience. With a Windows box, it gets slower over time, as they pre load of apps (which is how MS makes things like Office seem faster) generates more and more of a boot time penalty. A year in with my MacBook Proo, it's still snappy - a year in with my old ThinkPad (meaning, a year after I initially got it) - it had degraded significantly. Buy the Mac :)
We had a nice dinner at PF Changs on the 15th; here's a snapshot looking down the table:
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Thursday morning, and it's deep into planning breakouts - here's the VM team talking about their issues:
And the ObjectStudio 8 work that's being discussed:
And the large talk on build/deployment issues:
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Lukas Renggli will be presenting Seaside in Hamburg, Germany on May 28th:
I will be giving another Seaside presentation Monday, May 28, at the Arbeitskreis Objekttechnologie Norddeutschland in Hamburg, Germany. The talk will start with a short introduction to Seaside and present some of the key features that can't be found in any other web framework. Furthermore I will present the advantages of using Seaside in the context of several industrial projects. The talk will be in English, even if the summary is in German. Hope to see you there.
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It's early days in this evaluation at IBM, but I think it represents a huge win for Apple to even be considered by IBM as a viable option in the "default platform for employees" sweepstakes:
The pilot programme was launched in October 2007, to check out the options and feasibility of moving a few of IBM's 300,000 employees to the Mac platform. Unsurprisingly, Cupertino is rubbing its hands in glee, and is doing its utmost to step up its level of Mac support for IBM's business applications.
This is the kind of "bake off" that Apple simply wasn't considered for until very recently. Here at Cincom, the Smalltalk team has been moving heavily in the Mac direction for awhile now. We use Parallels and/or VMWare for Windows and Linux on those systems, and it's been working out great.
We got the word earlier this week that ObjectStudio 8.1 received Vista Certification; with that, the final obstacle to shipping our release vanished. Today, Cincom officially released the product suite for delivery, which means that customers will start seeing CDs and DVDs arrive next week. What's coming?
- ObjectStudio 8.1, Vista Certified
- ObjectStudio Classic 7.1.3
- VisualWorks 7.6
A side note - that also means that the product will be available for download off the website shortly. I will be turning VW 7.6, OST 7.1.3, and OST 8.1 NC back on sometime next week.
Patrick Logan notices that Microsoft still doesn't get Open Source:
Ray Ozzie speaks, and he speaks about Open Source Software. I don't even know what to quote from his statement. They're just not in the right ballpark. The only thing Ozzie communicates here is that he just does not understand the open source community, which _is_ the community for building out the internets.
I have some familiarity with what Ozzie's problem is. Like MS, Cincom is an intellectual property company that has always made its money from licensing software. The Smalltalk community, strong though it is, has always been fractured across multiple non-interoperable dialects. So yes - I understand the problem Ozzie sees, because his is a much, much larger version of what we see.
The similarity ends there, though. Look at how we are responding to this sea change. Our major change going forward is support for Seaside (open source, cross Smalltalk) and GLORP (open source, cross Smalltalk). Our take is that we can continue to make money in much the same way we have, but only if we can add value around open software that enables complete portability of applications between Cincom Smalltalk and other Smalltalks. We believe that you'll get better support and better performance using Seaside on Cincom Smalltalk, but we aren't trying to lock you down to that - unlike the past, your UI level work and your database level connectivity will all be via fully open and portable code. We simply believe that you'll happily choose Cincom Smalltalk on the merits.
Going back to MS, examine Ozzie's comments on open - it's clear that he means "open" in the same way that Unix vendors meant "open systems" back in the 80's. You can see how well that worked out for them :)
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Joe Wilcox reports that Ballmer has finally admitted the obvious: Vista isn't done. The problem is, this admission came after SP1 shipped:
Today, in a speech to MVPs (Most Valuable Professionals), Microsoft's CEO acknowledged that "Windows Vista [is] a work in progress." As bad as that might sound, timing makes it worse. Ballmer's admission comes weeks after the formal release of Windows Vista Service Pack. And Vista's still not finished.
I have no idea what MS is doing with Windows 7, but here's what they ought to do: cut the team down to something small, on the order of 2 dozen people. Tell them to ignore Vista, and base their work on binary portability with XP. Don't give them access to the rest of MS; cut them off from the Borg and let them build something useful.
Sadly, that's not how it will go. I think MS is on the peak of the same cliff that IBM was staring over back in the late 80's, and the next few years are going to be very painful in Redmond.
Looks like NBC is still on the stupid train - they say they want to be back on iTunes, but only if Apple lets them do stupid stuff - like jack up the prices and prevent shows from playing on iPods. Yeah, there's a plan: disable all of the useful functionality and charge more! If Zucker has learned anything, it's not obvious :)
Charles Miller shows how some companies (Comcast) are trying to fake their way through customer service.
We're trying something new with the podcast - organization :)
We have been doing ad-hoc talks that ramble a bit, and we think we can structure things a little. This week is our first take on that, with:
- a Smalltalk/Seaside news segment
- a general industry new segment
- an interview segment
- Dave's design minute
- James' jobs report
The main difference you'll hear is that we are introducing each segment and trying to stay more on topic within those segments. We'll see how it goes; I expect to get the latest edition out this weekend.
Tim Bray tries to break down the value of travel in a way that would allow you to make an up front "will that trip be worth it?" way. I might have to apply that to some of the trips I take :)
The one man dynamo known as Randal Schwartz has gotten the Smalltalk community a big coup:
But the biggest news is that based on the preliminary interest in Seaside because of my talk, the FISL conference organizers offered an entire room for next years conference (the full three days with 12 hours per day), as well as four or five main-track hour talks, if I could help organize the subconference details! This is quite a gift, because it will mean that we can expose the 7000 conference attendees to a variety of Smalltalk programs, without paying for rooms or badging or promotion. The conference asked if I could get some corporate sponsors on board, and I immediately fired off email to James at Cincom and Monty at GemStone, and thank goodness they read email on Saturday, because they offered their support quickly. Of course, we have many details to work out, but everyone agrees that we will move forward!
I've been to Brazil before, and loved it. This sounds really, really cool.
The problem with Hulu - which seems pretty cool, with the wide range of content available - is the complete lockdown. I can watch a huge range of stuff (even old stuff) - but I can't take it anywhere. I can sit in front of my Laptop and watch it (hello, HD tv in ther other room) - but I can't transfer it to my iPod, I can't save it to my laptop to watch later (like, say, on a plane). So sure, it looks cool. Bottom line though: utterly, totally, and completely useless.
This week we decided to try some organization. The podcast has a number of segments:
- Smalltalk News, with James, David, and Michael
- Seaside News, with James, David and Michael
- Industry News, with James, David, and Michael
- James interviews Kimberly Thomas and Deanna Simpson from Cincom Smalltalk support
The whole thing ran pretty smoothly, and we intend to use this kind of format from here on out. If you have comments or concerns, please send them to email@example.com. You can also subscribe on iTunes, or vote for the podcast at Podcast Alley. We also have pages on Facebook and Ning.
I took a fair amount of video and a lot of photos during the planning meetings last week; I put together a brief montage of the whole thing. I've got available in 4 formats:
You can grab the full quality video via the linked image below, or visit YouTube (also below)
Nick Carr notes that most Linux kernel work (and I would suspect a lot of the rest as well) is now paid effort:
A new report from the Linux Foundation reveals the extent to which the most famous and successful open source software project - the development of the Linux operating system - has shifted from being a volunteer effort to being a corporate initiative. Of the many thousands of changes that have been made to the Linux kernel over the past three years, fully 73.2% came from employees working on behalf of their companies.
I like his comparison of the distribution of Kernel work to the Visa consortium.
There's a techmeme storm about the latest issues with Twitter, but I'm baffled as to why anyone thinks this is new. I've been running Twitterific regularly for a couple months now, and I get this all the time:
The only thing that varies is the text for the error - I get failure notices multiple times a day, and have been getting them since I started paying attention to Twitter again. Why is anyone acting like this is a new problem?
|I finished a great little book by Tuchman on my way back from Cincinnati last week: The Zimmerman Telegram. It covers the backstory behind the infamous telegram that precipitated US entry into WWI.|
I knew the basics of the topic before I read the book, but I really hadn't known just how much meddling Imperial Germany had been up to in Mexico. I highly recommend this book to anyone who thinks they know this subject, but would like to know more.