EU, a drama unfolding

Flag of EuropeWith the elections for the European Parliament behind us a drama starts to unfold in the countries that where at cradle of Europe. The same countries that where like the founding fathers of the Europe Union, the same countries that has one single goal and wish, the same countries that tried to build a new future after the second World War.

Now in the aftermath it is still unclear what is going to happen and a unpredictable future is something that should get everyone worried. The Labour party in the UK would suffer massive losses when the people would vote a for a new national parliament. The ruling parties in The Netherlands also would suffer massive losses infavor of right-wing and conservative parties. For some other counties like Spain the voting on Thursday by the Dutch where most likely the kickstart they needed.

This is now the second time that the people gave a strong signal and hopefully politicians will do something with it. As I fear the third time send out a signal, the signal may no be so gentle as now. I also fear the politicians will ignore it as they did with the previous signal in 2005 and decided that they where allowed to ignore it and create a workaround. But the future will bring us the news and hopefully it is going to be good news.

JavaOne 2009

Duke with helmetJava has had a bad start and has a bad image, but it appears to change as also shows during JavaOne 2009. The changes with Java 5 and Java 6 are starting to show for the better. But the most important highlights for now are JavaFX, project Jigsaw and the Java Store. If I needed to choose between .NET or Java for a new project, then I would put my money on Java.

The most important news may be that Classpath is going to disappear and that you can strip down Java to only ship what you need. Here comes project Jigsaw into the picture to get Java on every computer, phone and appliciance and in a shape it should be in for that situation. With a live presentation of a working television that was able to run JavaFX it may become clear where the newly announces Java Store fits in.

It all starts to fit together with upcoming NetBeans 6.7 when you take project Kenai and Zembly into account. There are developer tools, a place to host your development and application, a place to sell it and also a device to run it on. Is Java going to change television as it did with mobile phones?

OpenSolaris 2009.06

OpenSolarisDuring CommunityOne 2009 Sun Microsystems released OpenSolaris 2009.06 and Open HA Cluster 2009.06. With this release comes an improved Time Slider, support for the Intel Nehalem processor, integration of project Crossbow, SourceJuicer and much more.

First the upgrade from a previous version of OpenSolaris is very simple. The commands below should be enough to upgrade to version 2009.06 and would only depend on your download speed.

$ pfexec pkg refresh --full
$ pfexec pkg install SUNWipkg
$ pfexec pkg image-update --be-name opensolaris-200906

After the reboot you can see which environments there are and which one is active now or will be active after the next reboot.

$ beadm list
BE Active Mountpoint Space Policy Created
-- ------ ---------- ----- ------ -------
opensolaris - - 72.79M static 2009-05-30 02:00
opensolaris-200906 NR / 7.35G static 2009-05-30 11:22
$ uname -a
SunOS homer 5.11 snv_111b i86pc i386 i86pc Solaris

The machine is now up and running with the latest stable release. So the next couple of weeks I’m going to experiment with a lot of new things like SourceJuicer and Crossbow to get a feeling for them.

EU, another day in paradise

Flag of Europe
Flag of Europe

Five years have past and today we go to vote again for a new European Parliament or are we not? Last week some numbers where announced on how the Dutch react to Europe as a whole and one thing can be said very quickly that they’re no very interested or even annoyed. During one show on public television about 200.000 a 300.000 people switch channels within seconds when the word Europe is spoken.

An early warning was 2005 where both the France and the Dutch said NO in a massive way. The Dutch politicians didn’t understand and where disappointed. Some where even angry that the people have said no to their masterpiece. And I heard our prime minister say twice over the years that he deserved a better nation. This reminded me to some books of Noam Chomsky where he describes how a perfect democracy works. For people interested in a short book there is Media Control: The Spectacular Achievements of Propaganda where he explains how the media is being used for democracy.

Maybe our politicians need to spend some money and then they know how to feed us there perfect dream. A dream about a paradise in where everything has been outsourced to the private sector, a paradise where you can have freedom as long as you can pay for it, a paradise where you can have privacy as long as the government and private sector can have access to it. But then again they have another five years to get us convinced to accept the dream.

As for now it is time to vote and to stop caring about the EU and to start worrying again. Also as in 2010 the next elections will be held in The Netherlands to vote for a new parlement. I think the voting tomorrow can be a good indicator of what is going to happen for the next 18 months. But I doubt they will learn from it as they have shown in the past.

SQL is not a standard?

SQL has been seen by many as a standard and on paper they are right. In the real world they are far from the truth when you try to make applications work on multiple databases. Who doesn’t remember ODBC as the golden bullet to solve all your database access issues and later on the same with JDBC. Luckily the language has been standardized is 1986 for the first time and they now are working on the 2008 revision which can be bought from ISO if you want to implement this free standard.

But who implements this standard? MySQL, Oracle, Sybase, PostgreSQL, MS-SQL? The question may be more like “who implements what?” and “how?”. Bug 18078 may give a hint in how well vendors are implementing SQL and may give an inside on how big the vendor lock-in really is. But is also gives an inside on how developers are wasting time writing and discussing abstraction layers to let there application like MediaWiki for example run on multiple databases.

Is this the new barrier where the FOSS-community needs to spend time to give proprietary vendors a run for there money? Just like Mozilla pushed Microsoft to accept open standard for the web, or like OASIS did with OpenDocument, or like the XMPP Standards Foundation is doing with instant messaging? Yes, AOL is running to get there AIM/ICQ-network migrated to XMPP so they can compete and communicate with Google Talk. Hopefully time will teach us how we can free us from proprietary only solutions and level the field again. Until then it’s something to work on and check for when using new applications.