Saturday, May 3, 2008

Sun, the stock market lottery, and the road ahead

Seeing the recent stock market disaster, I wonder if it makes sense to hire capable managers, when your company is hostage of the stockholders mob.
The news delivered by Sun did not seem that bad, except for the USA salesforce. Sun is growing everywhere else in the world, and a slow US economy has punished the whole company out of proportion. The reaction from the crowd is really unbelievable.
On a related matter, Sun has announced the layoff of 2500 people. What does it mean? Sun's strategy is based on growth, or so they say. How can they grow if they start firing people?

Thursday, May 1, 2008

MySQL and Ubuntu - a perfect match

I like Ubuntu's philosophy. Among the Debian derived Linux distros, it's the one that appeals to me the most. The first live CDs (Knoppix, Mepis) were a revolution, but Ubuntu has perfected the trend by adding a quality that was missing from these early ones.
I especially like the ease of installation. Plug to the net, apt-get install package_name, and presto! you got what you want.
MySQL server comes with just one line:
apt-get install mysql-client mysql-server
This will get you the latest server and client binaries, ready to use.
Yesterday I wanted to build MySQL 5.1 from source. The latest one (5.1.24) that has been released is missing the Federated engine, and I wanted the complete thing. So I installed Ubuntu in a spare machine, and got the source code from the development tree.
By default, Ubuntu does not ship with a compiler, and the manual lists quite a lot of requirements to get the ball rolling. In Ubuntu, installing the recommended building tools is as easy as:
apt-get install build-essential autoconf automake libtool bison byacc libncurses5-dev
After this command, to compile a complete server, you type:
cd where/you/downloaded/the/source/tree
And it works without a glitch. Could it be easier than that?
On a side, but not entirely unrelated note, after Sun's acquisition, I suspect that Solaris will play a more important role with MySQL. I have little experience with Solaris, but surely it isn't as easy as Ubuntu. I wonder if there is an equivalent in Solaris to the above apt-get command. Any takers?