Amy and Ladyslippers

We’re fortunate to have some forested conservation land pretty close to our house, and I often take Amy for walks there. There’s a log she really likes climbing over, and a “bridge” (actually a boardwalk) over some wet areas, but one of the best parts in the right season is what I call Ladyslipper Corner. Right now, for example, there are probably more than twenty pink ladyslippers all within about a twenty-five foot circle. Here’s one.

pink ladyslippers

…and here’s Amy with another.

Amy with pink ladyslippers

Life is good.

Revivio Again

Kirby Wadsworth, former VP of marketing at Revivio, has a blog. I still remember when he found out I had one, and told me he’d consider it a personal favor if I’d stop being so mean to those poor defenseless folks at Sun for a while. I probably shouldn’t have, but I went along at the time because I felt that’s the sort of favor colleagues do for one another. Imagine my surprise, then, to see that his inaugural post is not only full of the same kind of commentary he once complained about, but even contains a stab at me personally. Tsk, tsk. I’d be a bit more annoyed if his comments weren’t so totally absurd. A marketing guy, accusing an engineer of spin? Saying I was “completely removed from the action”? When the boardroom door closes, who’s closer to the action? The guy making the product work, both in the lab and in the field, or the guy waving his hands and telling tales? Ultimately, this is all supposed to be about creating value for customers. Everything a company does, from securing investment to answering the phones, either contributes to putting something of value into a customer’s hands or it doesn’t. Product development, product testing, product support all belong firmly in the first category. Much of what happens behind closed doors is in the second; that’s why the doors are closed. I know some people tend to forget that, or don’t want to hear it, but that’s the way it is.

Welcome to the blogosphere, Kirby. I look forward to your revelations about what kind of action I was missing out on. I want to hear who you think the real bad guys are, because I know there will be some and I know they won’t be people you’ve just relegated to the status of bystander. I know my crime was to distract from your master narrative, so let’s hear it. You always did put on a good show.

Layering and Other Violations

About a year and a half ago, Sun’s ZFS was finally released to widespread and well deserved acclaim. Being a bit of a contrarian, not to mention a hater of dishonest marketing and astroturf, I posted a series of fairly critical articles about the less praiseworthy aspects of ZFS’s design and presentation. One of my criticisms had to do with the way that ZFS absorbs the functionality of a filesystem, volume manager, and RAID into one big amorphous blob. That led to quite a conversation on Jeff Bonwick’s blog, and some more snarkiness right here. Now I see that Andrew Morton, of Linux kernel fame, has called ZFS a rampant layering violation, and Sun’s marketing department asked Bonwick to respond. Leaving aside the irony of someone so deeply involved in the Linux kernel criticizing someone else’s application of software engineering principles, I’ll add a little more fuel to the fire.

CDP for Linux

Ext3COW (Wayback Machine link because the site’s currently being slashdotted) looks really interesting. It basically provides the same sort of “storage VCR” functionality that we were working on at Revivio. Of course, it’s filesystem level rather than block level, and it’s Linux-specific (probably even Linux-kernel-version-specific), and it’s not highly available, but it’s still cool. I wish I could read the paper so I could see how they addressed the problem of managing all of the metadata efficiently. Maybe tomorrow.

Digg is Dead

…as far as I’m concerned, anyway. For quite a while, Digg has accounted for far too high a percentage of the stories in my RSS reader, with far too many of them falling into only a few categories. Graphics-card and Linux-distro fanboi-ism. Laissez-faire libertarian astroturf. Future-of-Digg navel gazing. Blech. Every once in a while I’d see a decent story there that I hadn’t already seen somewhere else, but too rarely. Today’s spasm of HD-DVD-code spam was the last straw for me, as it probably has for many others. Digg has succeeded in becoming worse than Slashdot (which has actually recovered somewhat). Bye bye, Digg. You can keep all your adolescent prigs, maybe as long as they’re busy posting on Digg they’ll leave the rest of us alone.