Wednesday, May 31, 2006


I've just stumbled upon a blog search/directory site called "Blogwise", and, of course, decided to add my humble blog into their system. The process was easy - and after hitting "Submit", I've got the following message:

Your site has been added to the submission queue. Thank you for adding your site to Blogwise.

It is important to us that all entries are checked for consistency before approval, however Blogwise is run by volunteers contributing their spare time. There may be a small delay before your blog is added to the directory.

There are currently 46415 blog(s) in the queue. Your blog is expected to be added within 156 day(s).

Well, this isn't what I would call a "small" delay. Though I am in no hurry, I think that the guys at Blogwise should do something with the waiting time.

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Friday, May 26, 2006

Java vs .NET on TSS

Couple of days ago an interesting thread was started on The thread is titled "Java Succumbing to .NET in my Organization". The author of the original post discovered that not only his management, who are non-techies, decided to move to .NET, but many of the programmers were quite happy to do it. The author offered some explanations of why developers might want to discard Java in favor of .NET, and all those explanations boiled down to one complain: Java offers too many choices in frameworks, servers, components and architectures.

The thread, quite predictable, became extremely popular, and soon the discussion turned into a small-scale religious war (Java vs. .NET). The whole thread is quite interesting to read, the most interesting and informative post, in my opinion, being "can Java do a lot of things that .NET cannot?".

However, it seems that the discussion had entirely missed the point. After all, it makes little sense to discuss which technology is better in case of two almost equally powerful technologies. Much more interesting is the question of perception: why do the developers perceive Java as being inferior to .NET?

And here I totally agree with the answer suggested in the original post. Too many choices, without any clear way to chose. The number of J2EE frameworks, technologies, components and ideologies is overwhelming and intimidating, and it seems like new items are being added to this mile-long list almost daily. Not that I am saying that it's bad to have a choice; but if the problem of choice starts to divert developers from Java, it's definitely an unhealthy sign.

Unfortunately, I don't have any solution to this problem, or even a slightest idea of where this solution might be. But it at least anyone will read my post and will recognize this situation as a problem, I will be happy. And if no solution will be found, Java soon can be pushed out of market by .NET - and that would be a very sad thing.

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Monday, May 22, 2006

Don Spamleone

Fact: the company called "Blue Security" gave in to spammers and hackers and shut down their anti-spam service. I think this is the first time spammers achieved victory of this kind.

Story (as far as I got it from various sources): Blue Security came up with a controversial method of fighting spam. Basically, its software called "Blue frog" was installed on the users' computers and was flooding websites of spammers with opt-out messages, thus performing a typical DDoS attack. Then, some (allegedly, Russian) spammer/hacker PharmaMaster declared a war on Blue Securityand staged a real DDoS attack on their servers, disabling their site completely. Blue Security attempted to evade the attack by redirecting the users to its TypePad-hosted blog, but then PharmaMaster stroke Six Apart (the company which hosts TypePad), causing a lot of additional damage along the way. As a result, the company's co-founder Eran Reshef stated (according to "Washington Times") that "It's clear to us that [quitting] would be the only thing to prevent a full-scale cyber-war that we just don't have the authority to start..."- and the service was shut down.

This story is a sorry and disturbing one. Speaking frankly, I don't feel any real sympathy towards Blue Security: fighting crime with criminal methods is not such a great idea. Besides that, their floding caused unnecessary load on the servers and communication channels, and thus was not much better than the spam itself. There is a russian proverb which seems to perfectly describe this conflict: "A thug stole a club from another thug" (my translation is not perfect, but it shows the idea). By the way, there are some attempts to recreate Blue Frog in a P2P way - and I think these attempts are extremely foolish and dangerous, because it definitely will lead to a full-scale cyberwar.

I am also worried by the fact that, as I discovered from some articles, Blue Security got several million dollars from its investors - which menas that, besides some hard-core anti-spam extremists, there are some people with money who support the idea of fighting criminals with their own methods. Basically, this is equivalent to investing money in weapons for guerrillas and rebels. We all know too well where this policy leads to.

And I am disturbed - and enraged - by the fact that one outlaw hacker was able to declare a war on a legitimate company, which resides in a civilized country, and had won the war without anybody being able to protect the victim. This is really scary, because it means that a person with some knowledge of cyber underground, and some money is able to bring down any legitimate company. Some mesures definitely should be taken to protect people and companies from such fate - but, I am afraid, those measures most probably will turn out to be more harmful to Internet that spammers and hackers together.

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Friday, May 05, 2006

Ma.Gnolia API

Yesterday Ma.Gnolia announced that the first version of their API is in production. The details of the API can be found here:

I think this is a very important milestone for Ma.Gnolia. The API opens a multitude of new possibilities: plug-ins and extensions for browsers, mashups, stand-alone application that will either provide more ways to work with Ma.Gnolia database, or even use the database for some other purposes.

As soon as I have time I will go and play with the API – I like new toys!

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Wednesday, May 03, 2006

On Error Resume Next

Maybe I am wrong – but I think that I’ve never seen any programming statement more stupid and more evil than the notorious Basic line:


I never could understand what made someone to introduce such an abomination into the language. Was it a momentary lapse of reason, a stupid joke or just an act of pure and random malice? Anyway, it’s horrible – but even more horrible are the two facts:

a) This thing is still in the language, and
b) Some people are still using it!

I’ve just spent several long hours looking at an ASP page and trying to understand why it behaves so strangely? I usually don’t use ASP – and totally forgot about this little gem. Finally when I discovered that whoever created the page put “ON ERROR RESUME NEXT” in the very beginning. I removed it – and immediately the true source of errors became obvious. It’s good that this page was just a part of an online store – and not of something more important…

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