Friday Miscellany

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In other news, I’ve been tied up with some fun (product installs and testing) and not so fun (admin) stuff for most of the day, but wanted to be sure and mention a couple of things that have been kicking around but don’t necessarily merit their own entries. So it’s another miscellaneous grab bag post:

  1. To FeedBurner: I love the service and appreciate it more every day, but one thing continues to bug me: the handling of ‘alias’ feeds. I’ve talked about this before – and FB’s Matt Shobe was kind enough to respond – but it’s still an issue. The problem is significant in that I can’t, or rather won’t, publish my total subscriber count when it fluctuates by a 100 feeds or more depending on which of the alias feeds it’s lost that day. The problem seems to be localized to Bloglines – and I don’t know if it’s a problem on their end or FB’s – but in any event, my Bloglines subscriber totals vary wildly depending on which (if any) of the alias feeds are included in the total count. So if there’s any way that that could be fixed, and permanently, I’d be a very happy camper – and would begin featuring the FeedBurner count of my front page.
  2. On Debian, Nexenta and the CDDL/GPL Divide: Some of you might recall that Sun’s Tim Bray found the prospect of an Ubuntu/Solaris mashup rather appealing. His precise words, in fact, were: “Whatever we have to do, we should make this happen.” Well, while travelling last week I was very pleased to receive a link and a username/password combo from a Friend of RedMonk (who should feel free to name themself if they choose to) to here (the username/pwd is no longer required, incidentally). While I didn’t have time (or bandwith) to play around with it at the time, it was clear that this was an important project for Solaris – an Ubuntu-like Debian/Solaris hybrid. Unfortunately, there arose pretty quickly a minor but heated scuffle over the way in which the distribution was constructed, particularly with respect to the licensing incompatability of GPL and CDDL code. While I don’t absolve the Nexenta folks of responsibility for respecting the terms of the licenses involved, I do think the discussion is counterproductive for everyone involved. I was going to write something to that effect, but I’m saved the trouble b/c Ian (the -ian from Debian) already has. If you’re interested, go read his piece b/c it sums up my position more or less completely.
  3. Re: Reclining on Airplanes: This is a personal plea from me to anyone who travels by air. Do me a favor, and before reclining your seat, look behind you and see how tall the person is. As someone who’s a couple of inches over six feet, I can tell you that there is precisely zero room between my knees and the back of the seat in front of me on just about every commercial aircraft in existence (with the exception of seats in the all-important Exit Row). Consequently, when you recline you do so mainly at the expense of my legs and knees, which were previously occupying the space now commandeered by your seat. This will lead, inevitably, to you being kicked and/or jostled for the duration of the flight as I attempt to make your life as uncomfortable as you’ve just made mine. So please – if you feel a desperate need to recline, try to think about the person in back of you. Otherwise someone like me may kick you.
  4. On Open Source Hype and Bubbles: Just as it was with the Nexenta situation, I’d been preparing to discuss the open source hype cycle in more detail but have been saved the trouble. Susan Wu, Apache’s Chief Marketing officer, has written an excellent piece on the subject here. I recommend giving the rest of her blog a read as well – it’s a good one.
  5. Blog Stratification: Speaking of good blogs, I thought I’d mention briefly a new strategy I’m taking with respect to managing my syndicated content inbox: feed stratification. Those of you who looked at my blogroll in the past [1] might have noticed that I divided my feeds up into general categories: people, organizations, news, etc. But beginning last week while idling at my home-away-from-home, I began breaking down the people category into two subsets – first feeds and everyone else. I call them first feeds b/c that’s where I start my day, and they get first priority for my attention. I’ve found it a very helpful technique; despite the high growth of unread content (according to FeedLounge, I’m at 14,548 unread items at the moment), I’m at least better about getting to the feeds that I really need to track, as opposed to those I merely want to track. What about you guys? Any brilliant ideas out there?
  6. Yubnub + del.icio.us: If you don’t use YubNub, you should (here’s how). Same goes for del.icio.us (I finally got James to convert ;). Once you’re on both of those, here’s your next step.
  7. One to Watch: I’m not OSBC (obviously), so a “One to Watch” designation from me might not be worth all that much compared to theirs, but for the record I’m going to be following these guys pretty closely. As Matt mentions, r0ml’s bringing his very diverse background and brilliant mind to bear on an industry that is receiving lots of attention.

That’s all for now folks. More to come as I enjoy my first full week in the office in over a month. Meantime, enjoy your weekends.

[1] It’s been taken down for the moment as FeedLounge does not offer the same blogrolling feature that Bloglines does, so it was rather out of date. I very much agree with James McGovern when he says that blogrolls are important, so you can expect mine to return when I get some workable process in place.


  1. I just found your blog, it’s been a good read. You’re the only other person I’ve noted that’s on the same computing ecosystem kick. Keep on keeping on brother!

  2. its not just a person focusing on ecosystems. its a company! glad you enjoyed stephen’s blog rektide.

    a question for you stephen – i am wondering how best to respond to james mcgovern, given our blogrolls ar so damn long. i do like first feeds though – that is a great idea

  3. RE: #3

    Amen brother…I’m 6’5″ and I feel your pain. But Steve (There’s always a but)..

    I know you travel more than I, and I clock in over 100K a year. Why are you in coach? Maybe 1 out of 10 flights I fly coach, but otherwise it’s all free upgrades.

    But you could be a TED man or Southwest and not have the option to upgrade.

    You’re blog is the best…too over my head most of the time, but I read it nonetheless.

    Did you get the Sun Rays up yet?

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