Entries by Alan Zeichick

XML schema for business gets better

Jon Bosak informed me this morning that UBL 2.0 has been approved as an OASIS standard. UBL, or Universal Business Language, is designed to provide a consist way for businesses to share common documents using XML; that is, documents like invoices, purchase orders, catalog updates, transportation manifests, things like that. UBL is an alternative to […]

SanDisk’s $600 solid state disk

While we’re on the subject of storage: don’t forget solid-state drive technology. This week, SanDisk released a 32GB SSD that’s going to cost about US$600, and fits into a standard 1.8-inch form factor. Sure, that’s a lot of money for a 32GB hard drive today. But given the incredible rate of change in flash memory, […]

Terabyte drives, but too late to save Andrew

Andrew Binstock pointed me to this CNet article, regarding the forthcoming introduction of terabyte hard drives from Hitachi Global Storage Technologies. Too bad they didn’t ship in December. My, that burger tastes good. Hitachi GST, by the way, is IBM’s old storage division, which Hitachi bought in 2003 and absorbed into their own storage group. […]

CUA compliance and Office 2007

I love the ability generate gorgeous graphics using Excel 2007 and PowerPoint 2007. But otherwise I’m unimpressed by the software update, and have no plans to upgrade our company to Office 2007 any time soon. One particular issue I have is the new user interface, which replaces the familiar File-Edit menu system (which was Common […]

Standards: It’s the little things

Standards are important. Not only for interoperability, but also for sanity. Take, for example, our two family cars, a Mazda3 hatchback and an Acura TSX sedan. Both are great, peppy cars, and both have five-speed automatic transmissions with a manual shift override feature. There are odd differences between the cars. For example, on the Mazda3, […]

Great cover on January’s ST&P

I love the cover of the January 2007 issue of Software Test & Performance. It has graphics by LuAnn Palazzo, the wonderful art director for that magazine, and text from Edward Correia, the editor of ST&P. Be sure to read the fine print on the can. This is a really strong issue of the magazine, […]

The Novell Sweatshirt Meme

Three decades ago, the British evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins proposed the concept of a “meme” – that is, a unit of cultural transmission that exists independently of one person, and therefore, can spread around throughout a culture. Some memes are obvious. President Bush referred to himself last April as “the decider,” that is, what we […]

Nominations for the Eclipse Community Awards

Nominations are now open for the Eclipse Community Awards; the cut-off for entries is January 22, 2007. The Eclipse Community Awards, launched last year, are designed to recognize the people and projects that make Eclipse a successful community. There are two categories of awards: * Individuals: ambassadors, contributors, committers and evangelists. * Technologies: best open-source […]

Microsoft PDC coming to Los Angeles

Microsoft has just announced the 2007 dates for its biannual Professional Developer Conference. It’ll be held Oct. 2-5 at the Los Angeles Convention Center. Microsoft PDC is my favorite of their three big technical events; it’s where you get the real deep-dives into their upcoming technology, and their road maps. I’ll be there… I try […]

STPCon registration is now open

We’ve open up registration for the next Software Test & Performance Conference: April 17-19, 2007, in San Mateo, Calif. The first registration “eXtreme Early Bird” date is January 12 — if you register by that date, you can save up to US$470 on the Full Event Passport, which includes the technical conference and all tutorials, […]

"Working with the IT Press"

If you’re going to EclipseCon, be sure to catch my presentation, “Working with the IT Press.” This “long talk” session has just been accepted by the conference program committee. “Working with the IT Press” is an evolving presentation that I’ve been delivering for more than a decade at various conferences and trade shows, and in […]

Happy holidays!

Happy Holidays to everyone! Many religions celebrate their winter holiday with gift-giving. I treated myself to something that’s very silly, but which also makes me nostalgic: a vintage nameplate from the first “real” computer I worked on, an IBM System 370 Model 168 mainframe. I used one of those machines as an undergraduate, before moving […]

Got the SPOT

Thank you, Sun (and Sun’s PR team), for sending me one of Sun’s SPOT (Small Programmable Object Technology) kits. It arrived earlier this week. The SPOT kit contains a couple of battery-powered devices, each with sensors and a wireless transceiver, plus a base station and a Java SDK. You can see all the parts at […]

Oracle’s latest financials

The software giant in Redwood Shores keeps getting bigger. In its most recent financials, Oracle announced that it made US$967 million in profit for the quarter, on sales of $4.2 billion. That represents a 21 percent increase in profit and 26 percent increase in revenue, compared to same quarter last year. Those numbers seem to […]

Binstock on porting from VS to Eclipse

Andrew Binstock has written an excellent blog entry about the pros/cons of porting an existing C/C++ project from Visual Studio to Eclipse. His post was inspired by a tutorial on developerWorks by Priyadarshini Sampath (pictured), Ramakrishnan Kannan and Karthik Subbian, all of IBM. You should read Andrew’s post, but his conclusion agrees with my own […]

EclipseWorld 2007 call for speakers now open

Mark your calendar for EclipseWorld 2007, Nov. 6-8 in Reston, Virginia. Next year’s EclipseWorld — our third-annual conference for enterprise developers, architects and all other IT professionals using Eclipse-based tools and technologies — is going to be bigger and better than ever. We have just opened our Call for Speakers. The cut-off is April 13, […]

Al Shugart, disk-drive pioneer

The sizes and capacities of rotating magnetic media continues to boggle the imagination. I thought that the 60GB hard drive in my old Powerbook was impressive, but this week Fujitsu announced a 300GB 2.5-inch drive. Wow. Meanwhile, you can pick up 750GB 3.5-inch SATA drives for desktops and servers – but it looks like Andrew […]

IDC predicts big Windows Vista success

A study by International Data Corp. — a respected IT market research firm — predicts that within its first year of shipment, Windows Vista will be installed on more than 90 million computers worldwide, and that in the United States alone, Vista-related employment will reach 18% of all IT jobs during that period. The study, […]

Office Open XML: Learn to love it

Ecma, the vendor-driven standards body that used to be the European Computer Manufacturers Association, has rubber-stamped Microsoft’s next-generation document file formats, called Office Open XML. Ecma’s vote places Office Open XML onto the fast track toward ISO recognition. I haven’t delved into the 6,039-page specification itself, so I can’t comment on the technical quality of […]

Java 6: Available now

The latest version of the Java Platform, Standard Edition, was formally released yesterday (Dec. 11). It would be fair to call this iteration evolutionary, not revolutionary. I can’t think of any “must-have” additions to the platform, but overall, there are a number of incremental upgrades wrapped into the package. As BEA’s Bill Roth wrote, “First, […]

OSDL in turmoil

The Open Source Development Labs – the not-for-profit organization where Linus Torvalds works, and which maintains the Linux kernel – has undergone some changes this week. Stuart Cohen, the visionary who led OSDL since 2003, is leaving the organization, ostensibly to pursue a new business venture. He’s working with OVP Venture Partners, a Northwest venture […]

IBM updates the developer mothership

The IBM Rational tools keep going and going… they’ve undergone changes in just about every dimension, over the past five years. They’ve been purchased by IBM. They’ve been rebuilt on Eclipse, instead of the old VisualAge code base. The latest version, called IBM Rational Software Delivery Platform 7.0, debuted yesterday (Dec. 5). As you’d expect, […]

The ‘oy’ of blogging

In his latest SD Times column, my colleague Andrew Binstock writes about the generally poor quality of blogs, particularly those blogs whose posts consist largely of apologies for not having posted recently. He cites a few blogs that are worth reading, but sadly doesn’t include Z Trek in his round-up. He and I will discuss […]

Green Hills Platform for Secure Networking

Santa Barbara, Calif. – Following CEO Dan O’Dowd’s talk about the need for a secure network platform, Green Hills Software announced that it is launching a secure network platform. The Green Hills Platform for Secure Networking (to use its formal name) includes the company’s INTEGRITY real-time operating system, an IPv4/IPv6 networking stack, a file system, […]

EAL4, EAL6: How secure is secure?

Santa Barbara, Calif. – I’m down at the 4th annual Green Hills Software Embedded Software Summit, where GHS CEO Dan O’Dowd is talking about the company’s big push into secure networking. He’s citing that the company’s INTEGRITY operating system is certified as Common Criteria Evaluation Assurance Level 4+ (EAL4+), and is currently under evaluation for […]

SCO schadenfreude

As a technology analyst, I’m expected to be fair, unbiased, impartial, open-minded, objective and neutral at all times. And I am, of course. Even so, I must confess some amount of pleasure in the blow dealt to SCO in its perennial lawsuits against IBM and Novell this week, when (as reported on Groklaw) U.S. District […]

The Z Trek guide to perfect holiday gifts

1. My colleague Larry O’Brien blogged about a reproduction of the original Altair 8800. For under US$1,700 you can own a piece of history. 2. I just treated myself to the 87th edition of the CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics. It’s just the thing if your reading tastes include the magnetic susceptibility of the […]

XQuery: An important specification

The XQuery 1.0 specification — in progress since the Mesolithic era — reached a new milestone last week: it’s now a Proposed Recommendation from the W3C. (Well, no, it’s not really dating back 8000 years, but XQuery has been in progress since early 2003.) XQuery is important because it’s essentially the XML-based analog to SQL. […]

You are a strange loop

Somebody must like me: I checked my P.O. Box today, and found an “advance uncorrected proof” of Douglas Hofstadter’s “I Am A Strange Loop,” due out in March 2007 from Perseus Books. Dr. Hofstadter is best known as the author of “Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid,” a philosophical tome which I’ve read several […]