Tag Archives | Linux

CentOS 5.2 released

I totally missed this and saw no one blogging about it, but apparently CentOS 5.2 was released on June 24.All of our CFML Servers and websites run on CentOS.

Major changes in CentOS 5.2 compared to CentOS 5.1 are: Firefox 3, Thunderbird 2, OpenOffice.org 2.3 and Evolution 2.12 on the Desktop side, Samba 3.0.28, xen-3.1.2 and an upgraded kernel with lots of driver updates on the server side of the system. The release notes can be found here.

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openSuse 11 is here

The 11.0 release of openSUSE includes more than 200 new features specific to openSUSE, a redesigned installer that makes openSUSE even easier to install, faster package management thanks to major updates in the ZYpp stack, and KDE 4, GNOME 2.22, Compiz Fusion, and much more.

There is also an interview with the openSuse product manager and here is the official announcement.

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Do you really understand open source and the community?

This is a direct response to the blog post of Peter Bell titled “The Future of ColdFusion: What about Blue Dragon?

First of all I would like to mention that the OpenBD project has nothing to do with the commercial BlueDragon that is being sold by New Atlanta. Neither I nor the OpenBD Steering Committee have a commercial relationship with New Atlanta. You can read up on the latest release of the OpenBD Steering Committee were this is officially stated.

Also from reading Adam Haskell’s question, he was questioning about the OpenBD project or better said the lack of thereof in the “The future of ColdFusion” series of the mentioned author and not about BlueDragon by New Atlanta.

That said, reading Peter Bell’s reply leaves me no doubt that he among others have no clue what Open Source really means and what the OpenBD project really is. But let me explain what I really mean by saying “you have no clue”.

Open Source by definition

To quote Wikipedia:
“Open source culture is the creative practice of appropriation and free sharing of found and created content. Examples include collage, found footage film, music, and appropriation art. Open source culture is one in which fixations, works entitled to copyright protection, are made generally available. Participants in the culture can modify those products and redistribute them back into the community or other organizations.”

Open sourcing a CFML engine like OpenBD is by no means a way to cannibalize an existing customer base (As Mr. Bell stated with; “…another commercial competitor to Adobe or an open source project that would mainly cannibalize the existing customer base…”), but is a means to give the CFML community a choice. A choice that the CFML community actually never had!

I don’t know why Mr. Bell does not like choices, but I think choice is a good thing and one of the essential motivations in life. Trough choice we can decide and with choice comes powers. It seams to me that Mr. Bell or the company he speaks for, do not want to let the CFML community to have a choice. How else does Mr.Bell justify a sentence like; “…it seems to me that the ColdFusion community would be better served if the OpenBD project didn’t exist.” or “…I’m not convinced that OpenDB is on balance in the best interests of the CF community.” ?

It simply looks to me that Mr. Bell does not want to give the OpenBD project a choice or even a chance to participate in the CFML community by saying; “Right now my main hope is that Railo and Adobe find a good way of working together that is in both their individual interests and the interests of the broader community…”.

Again, he is not giving the CFML community a choice, but simply ignore the open source movement and what it means to the CFML community. Thus simply not understanding how open source and the movement behind it really works.

Do we need another proof of Mr. Bell’s ignorance about open source? Look no further, in the next sentence he states; “With the history and the current licensing terms, my concern is that OpenBD may end up hindering co-operation as I can see Adobe working together with a true open source project…”.

Mr. Bell, I simply can’t hold myself but laugh out loud at a statement like that. There is no TRUE or FALSE open source project in itself. There is simply only open source. There is no difference between Railo (once Railo goes open source) and OpenBD. By definition and nature of both projects the source is available to the public to view and modify. How they approach customers and how they sell services around these open source offering is different. But that in itself does not qualify for a “true” open source project. Or do you mean to say the Firefox project is not a true open source project? Or that only open source projects under LPGL are true open source projects?

But wait, there is still the license that OpenBD is using that we can go hostile about, right?

The license issue (or the misconceptions of it)

It is a common misconception to speak of something without understanding. Unfortunately, this is the case with people, including Mr. Bell, who think that a LPGL license is superior or “better” then the GPL license.

Of course, if you are a company, like Adobe, who wants to benefit from the efforts of another company (let’s better say from a competitor like Railo “was”) and in turn do not want to give back the changes then the LGPL comes in handy. In other words, the LGPL allows to take, but not give back. No wonder, that the so called “Community Experts” and Adobe embraces Railo and by that any company that releases code under LGPL.

That said, the LGPL stands in contrast to the original GPL that allows you to use the code, but if you change something to the code base to release the code under the GPL again. In other words, the GPL allows you to take, but demands that you give back.

Of course it is up to any open source project to decide on the license it wants to use and there is no need to differ on this point. Ultimately, the GPL has been used by many popular open source projects like MySQL, Linux, RedHat, JAVA and many others. This itself should speak more then any can argue.

It is sad to see that a genuine company and their so called “Community Experts” are not open to the efforts of a genuine open source project and are turning hostile against the efforts to give the CFML community a choice. By doing so, they create more confusion then helping.

At last, there is some light at the end of the tunnel. As Mr. Bell points out; “…I may simply be posting from ignorance.”, Not all hopes are lost.

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Apache htaccess and directive multiviews

Nowadays it is common to use a .htaccess file to configure access to directories and also mask URL’s that point to internal URL’s. Well today, we had to point a URL of http://www.mydomain.com/solution to an internal URL like http://www.mydomain.com/solution.cfm.

Actually no big deal, since the .htaccess comes to the rescue. We quickly put a .htaccess together with the simple lines of:

RewriteEngine On
RewriteRule ^([a-z]+)$ /$1.cfm

But alas, it did not work. We always got an error message saying that the URL  http://www.mydomain.com/solution could not be found. We thought that the .htaccess file was not working or we had a typo. We even restarted the whole server to see if that had any effect. But still we could not get the rewrite rule to work. Strangely the rule *did* work when we used something like:

RewriteRule ^([a-z]+)$ /test.cfm

Apparenlty, Apache was looking for the same directory and was not matching our rule, but only if the URL and the filename had the same name! So, after a long time looking for a solution we figured out that we had “Multiviews” enabled for all of our hosts. Multiviews is part of the “Content Negotiation package” of Apache. In its own words “Content Negotiation” is about;

“It can choose the best representation of a resource based on the browser-supplied preferences for media type, languages, character set and encoding. It also implements a couple of features to give more intelligent handling of requests from browsers that send incomplete negotiation information.”.

Point is that the Multiviews directive interefered with our rewrite rule. Thus the solution to get our rewrite rule to work properly was to add a custom directive to the host in question without the Mutliviews option.

A comprehensive documentation on Multiviews can be found over at the Apache docs.

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