Moved to Linode

I recently made the switch from SliceHost to Linode. I made the switch because RackSpace bought SliceHost, and they’re moving everyone to this cloud computing model. While the talk is that it will cost me less–and I believe it likely does–I hate the fact that I feel like I’m being nickeled and dimed. Moreover, if I had to pay for everything I had now (the bandwidth, the storage, the cpu time), it would cost me more.

Choosing a New Version Control System

The last several years have brought a frenzy of activity on the version control front. Subversion has been joined by Mercurial, Bazaar, Git, Monotone, Darcs, and many more. With all of them touting their abilities over the other, it’s become confusing to pick which one is right for you and your company. I’ve spent the last year and a half evaluating options for my company, watching the development of many of the projects, the community interactions, the feature set, the issues, and generally pushing the boundaries of what I could do with a subset of them.

For the record: I am involved with Subversion development, although to a much lesser degree these days. Some may see this as a bias, but I think it gives me insight into the tool and what it’s really capable of.

Patents are scary

I’ve always thought it was scary that someone could obtain a patent for putting an element into two linked lists, so that you can have different orders of traversal. That’s negligent on part of the Patent Office. Seriously, it was granted April of 2006. This patent covers a simple application of the fundamentals in data structure that computer scientists learn in school, there is absolutely nothing novel about it. To me, it’s like patenting summations: “in my formula, I summed them forwards and backwards.” I can see it already, the title of the patent would be: “Summation through repeated application of addition.” Yet, it was granted.

Oracle vs Google

I’m not going to say much on this topic, except that I think software patents should die. However, Charlie Nutter–a fellow that I met at one of Python conferences–has quite a bit to say, and it’s an interesting viewpoint considering that he worked at Sun for a while helping to move along the JRuby implementation. He’s incredibly smart, and did a good job of summarizing the patents that Oracle is claiming Google violated with Android. So I’m just going to point you there for the details: