October 21, 2002

XML/XSLT, or Not?

I haven't written much about work here recently. There hasn't been a lot to say--well sort of. I'm in limbo with the whole "I'm moving to Yahoo! Search sometime soon but not too soon and am waiting on other people" thing going on.

On the slightly interesting front, I've been involved in some interesting discussions about the suitability of XML/XSLT to a major revamp of a the Yahoo! Finance infrastructure. It's really fascinating in a way. This stuff all sounds great in theory. But there are so many little and not-so-little issues that come up when you're considering a major shift toward this relatively "new" technology.

The discussions aren't over yet. In fact, they're really starting to get interesting now. For a while it was a less engaging "status quo vs. PHP vs. XML/XSLT" sort of conversation. Now it's headed along the "what if we decided to adopt this in a major way?" direction. Would that better position us for internal data sharing? Separation of business logic from presentation logic? Web services? And so on...

Strangely, this is the first time in 3 years that I've really felt like many of the engineers in Y! Finance have come together to attack a common strategic problem and really re-think things. We're all so used to just working within the confines of our little sub-groups on tactical problems. There are three sub-groups, if you're curious.

Anyway, I'd write more about it (because I've been thinking a lot about it and what it means for building modern infrastructure), but I fear that it's not terribly interesting stuff to most people.

Posted by jzawodn at 11:30 PM

Solved: MySQL, FreeBSD, and LinuxThreads

If you compile your own MySQL server on FreeBSD and link with the LinuxThreads library, make sure to compile with the -DHAVE_BROKEN_REALPATH option.

The short version is that FreeBSD's realpath() isn't thread-safe. That causes badness with LinuxThreads on FreeBSD, because MySQL uses lots of relative paths and globally shared file descriptors may end up pointing to all the wrong places. I'll explain in more detail if I get a chance.

Oh, you could just read my post to the MySQL Internals mailing list, too, I guess. Heh. Sorry I can't link to the original. The web archives are a little funky. Hmm.

Posted by jzawodn at 11:18 PM

Planning to blog PHPCon?

Are you planning to blog PHPCon later this week? If so, let me know. I'm trying to get some sort of TrackBack site or something setup to aggregate the discussion. I'll likely link it on the PHPCon web site too.

Oh, there won't be wireless like all those fancy O'Reilly conferences have, so it'll have to be an evening activity. Sorry. It's just too expensive for a first-time conference. Maybe we'll change that at next year's PHPCon...

Oh, it might be fun to play "count the Yahoo employees" at the conference too. There will be many of us there. Heh.

Posted by jzawodn at 11:11 PM

Things about NYC

I'm no longer quite sure how I came to find this, but here's a Live Journal entry that offers advice and information to would-be NYC visitors.

I mention it because (1) I've never visited NYC but would like to someday, and (2) I think it's well done for what it is intended to be.

Oh, right. I ran across it in the lengthy discussion here on Jason Kotte's weblog. You see, he's headed to NYC from San Francisco.

(I may be seeing a lot more of San Francisco in the not-too-distant future, but that's a story for another day.)

I like the name "undesign" for a weblog. It just fits.

There was also a reference in the comments to NFT, Not For Tourists and the guides they produce. If I ever get my ass up to NYC, I may find their stuff useful.

Posted by jzawodn at 11:06 PM


On The Long Letter:
Mornings just aren't my best time. Bleary-eyed, brain dead, wishing I was still stretched out in bed. Bleah.

Yeah, I'm with you.

Posted by jzawodn at 09:19 PM

Simon on Ruby

Yet another person I respect saying good things about Ruby:

Ruby has pretty much already got all the bits of Perl 6 I'm excited about, plus the additional bits which I was looking for subconsciously while I was messing with the croc project. I have a few gripes about it, of course, but on the most part, it does the right thing.

It's already on my list of languages to learn soon.

Posted by jzawodn at 09:13 PM


It's about time someone else noticed.

Simon says:

I like ESR, and respect him a lot; when he's talking about software or open source economics. For anything else, he's off the fucking map.

And I couldn't agree more.

Posted by jzawodn at 09:12 PM

Excellent MySQL News

Not only did they just strike a deal with Novell, their most recent month of sales hit an all-time high.

Great work, guys!

Posted by jzawodn at 01:54 PM

I Feel It

He sees it and sometimes I feel it.

What to do?

Is it time for a change perhaps? Maybe a big change? Could be.

More on that later. Several interesting things are in the works...

Posted by jzawodn at 12:03 AM