VonGuard writes: Facebook has gotten fed up with the speed of PHP. The company has been working on a skunkworks project to rewrite the PHP runtime, and on Tuesday of this week, they will be announcing the availability of their new PHP runtime as an open source project. The rumor around this began last week when the Facebook team invited some of the core PHP contributors to their campus to discuss some new open source project. I've written up everything I know about this story on the SD Times Blog.
VonGuard writes: "Though Dave Arneson, co-creator of Dungeons and Dragons, passed earlier this week, his spirit lives on in games of all shapes and sizes. Gamasutra unearthed a lost interview with Arneson, and has published the piece. It touches on the origin of the 20-sided dice, what orcs should look like, and how Dave was influencing young developers. In his final years, Dave was teaching game design at Full Sail and still running games of Blackmoor with friends."
VonGuard writes: "Google App Engine has been a free platform for independent developers since it opened up. But today, Google is pushing the App Engine to be a more mature and business-ready platform. The company announced today that users can now pay to remove the quota on their usage of the App Engine. On the free side of the fence, this will, however take a bite out of performance: users of the free form of App Engine will see their resource pool shrink over the next 90 days, giving professionals more to work with on the backend. All the details are on the App Engine page. Now the real question is how will Google App Engine stack up against Amazon Web Services in the real business world."
VonGuard writes: "What's the worst thing about building an open source project, particularly a cross-platform project? Having to store a whole test lab in your basement or garage. The folks behind Snakebite are fed up with keeping SPARCs, G4's and old Windows boxes for testing. Snakebite is an open network, designed to give open source projects access to all manner of platforms, compilers, and operating systems. The project has yet to launch, but it's on its way and should be ready soon. As the folks behind the project have said: Why develop open source software on closed source networks?"
VonGuard writes: "This year marks the 25th anniversary of the GNU Operating System. A major part of that system has always been the GNU Compiler Collection. This year, some of the earliest bits of GCC also turn 25, and yet some of the collection's most interesting years of growth may still be ahead. The GCC team announced today that the long-standing discussion over how to allow plug-ins to be written for GCC has been settled. The FSF and the GCC team have decided to apply the GPL to plug-ins. That means all that's left is to build a framework for plug-ins; no small task to be sure. But building this framework should make it easier for people to contribute to the GCC project, and some universities are already working on building windows into the compilation process, with the intent of releasing plug-ins."
VonGuard writes: "With the price of oil and copper still falling, some unexpected folks are being caught in the crosshairs of the on-coming recession. The Alameda County Computer Resource Center, the non-profit computer recyclers in Berkeley who take old PCs, put Linux on them, then give them away for free, are in dire trouble. The collapse of the scrap metals market has put the squeeze on at the non-profit, and unless $20,000 is raised by this coming Friday, the facility will have to close, possibly forever. Donations of money, equipment and time are being asked for by the ACCRC's staff. Anyone who can help would be extremely appreciated."
VonGuard writes: "My colleague, David Worthington, first revealed info on Microsoft's experimental post-Windows OS Midori earlier this week. While many other bloggers have chimed in with thoughts and speculation, most notably the strangely uninformed and defensive views of Robert Scoble, Worthington has posted even more information on Midori this morning, adding further details on the underlying virtualization infrastructure, and how Midori is intended to function along-side existing Windows environments. Worthington is the reporter who originally smuggled the Midori plans out of Microsoft."
VonGuard writes: "My colleague, David Worthington, managed to smuggle some very interesting documents out of Microsoft this week. The docs reveal the Redmond Giant's plans for a post-Windows operating system. Worthington writes that "Microsoft is incubating a componentized non-Windows operating system known as Midori, which is being architected from the ground up to tackle challenges that Redmond has determined cannot be met by simply evolving its existing technology. Midori is an offshoot of Microsoft Research's Singularity operating system, the tools and libraries of which are completely managed code. Midori is designed to run directly on native hardware (x86, x64 and ARM), be hosted on the Windows Hyper-V hypervisor, or even be hosted by a Windows process.""
VonGuard writes: "When was the last time you had an IT planning meeting without a business person in the room? In times past, the head of IT typically got his marching orders, then created and controlled new projects in whatever way made sense. But business people today want to be in on the IT decision making process, they want to head up the requirements gathering, and they're tying expenses directly to IT budgets. IT is no longer just there to support the business; for many companies it is the business, and that means projects aren't likely to be handed off and forgotten until complete. Michelle Savage took a look at this issue, and tried to find out if traditional IT planning, as we've known it, is doomed. Now that they've taken an interest in the server room, will the suits ever leave?"
VonGuard writes: "Earlier this year, I spoke to Mark Rizzo, the man who manages the people who run Sony's onlinegameservers. Rizzo learned the ropes of MMO hosting back on Ultima Online, and we chatted about where the tough problems were then versus now. Rizzo compares the operation to a 24/7 scientific simulation, albeit with some sassier and more involved end-users. His favorite innovation since those early days? Rapidly provisioning and deploying Linux installations tailor-made to their purposes. For the June 1 issue of the new newspaper, The Systems Management News, I wrote up this piece on Rizzo and his band of 50-some-odd sysadmin-cum-dungeon-masters."
VonGuard writes: "I was at the flea market in Oakland, yesterday, when a pile of EPROMs caught my eye. When I got them home, I found that they were actually prototypes for Colecovision games. A few were unpublished or saw limited print runs like Video Hustler (billiards). Others were fully released, like WarGames. But the crowning jewel is what look to be a number of chips with various revisions of Cabbage Patch Kids Adventures in the Park for Atari 2600. This game was never released, and has never been seen. It was a port of the version for Colecovision, and this lot of chips also included the Coleco version. So, now I have to find someone who can dump EPROMs gently onto a PC so we can play this never-before seen game, which is almost certainly awful."
VonGuard writes: "TCL has turned 20 already? The Tool Command Language hit that mark in January. After 20 years, the language is still being developed and matured, though its originator, John Osterhout has since given up the reins of control. I chatted with John about the past, present and future of the language with the name no one wants to pronounce in a management meeting."