Volume 22, Number 10 - October 2006
|Being Subversive With Subversion - Part 1
Thursday, October 19, 7:00 PM
The CACTUS Newsletter is a monthly publication, distributed to our members and other interested people. Visit the CACTUS Newsletter on the web at http://www.cactus.org/Newsletter/. There you will find archives of back issues, as well as instructions on how to subscribe to the e-mail distribution. We welcome newsletter submissions by our members. Please contact newsletter [at] cactus <dot> org for more information.
This month's presentation is Part 1 of a tutorial entitled "Being Subversive with Subversion" by Randy Zagar. There will be a brief overview of other version control systems like RCS, and CVS and how they compare with Subversion. Randy will also demonstrate how one can use Subversion to keep track of system configuration files.
Also, because of recent policy changes at ARL, we will have an "opportunity" to evaluate new LCD projectors. Randy has volunteered to bring one from Fry's. Let's bring in all our funky laptops and really give it a good workout.
The next CACTUS meeting will be held on Thursday, October 19, 2006 at 7:00 PM (doors open at 6:30 PM for pizza and informal discussion), in the auditorium of UT Applied Research Laboratories. (See end of newsletter for directions to the facility).
Our presentor and guest this evening was Chris Nystrom, a system administrator for Oracle. After a few asides about how Oracle is undertaking a "huge Linux migration", he got down to a discussion of his own project, NewI\O.
Chris has tackled the problem of Rich Internet Applications head-on. While many people are still working with and trying to perfect web-based application frameworks, he's basically tackling the problem with a new TCP/IP technology altogether. As Chris says on his NewI\O website, "NewI\O has nothing to do with the World Wide Web".
Think of accessing a server shell with telnet, or a dumb terminal, and then educate the client/server pair to the 21st century to understand the event-driven programming model over the Internet, and you have a very rough approximation of NewI\O. Applications run on a server which users access with a special client, similar to a browser. The NewI\O client processes not just text input, but mouse events, screen resizes, key presses, etc. and generates event messages which it sends to the server application, which processes client events and sends its responses back to the client for display. Audio I/O, control of peripherals, etc. is handled on the client side to address latency issues. The division of labor between the client and server is still an issue under development. Event driven programming can be quite complex, with multiple event queues, downloadable resources and the like.
The API will be simple, with a library (written in C) which can easily be wrapped for use by other languages, and conversion of existing applications written in C will be easy by design.
Will NewI\O be an expensive, proprietary system? No! It's Open Source, and will remain so. Chris made some effort to get Oracle to back the project and sent a white paper on it to a number of management types at Oracle, including The Oracle Himself, Larry Ellison. All he got for his troubles was a reprimand for jumping the chain of command and it became obvious that Oracle wasn't interested. Pity! IBM has gotten solidly behind the Open Source concept and a number of FOSS projects such as EVMS, to which they've contributed greatly. Some companies just don't get it yet.
Chris ended his presentation with a live demo. While the apps he demonstrated were quite simple in themselves, they served as an exciting proof of concept for NewI\O. This one looks to me like an Idea Who's Time Has Come!
OS upgrades are coming... It's been mentioned in meetings the past couple of months, but I think this is the first time it's been mentioned in the newsletter.
Linux.cactus.org has been an extremely reliable machine for the past few years. It's been purring along at 300 MHz since February of 2002 if not longer. But the disks are small 9GB scsi disks and there's not much room for home directories, and the last kernel update was in January, 2003 (2.4.20, by the way).
For the past couple of weeks, the home directory partition on Linux.cactus.org has been over 90% full. It's not that bad right now, but with less than 1GB free, it's not hard for things to get tight. Fortunately, we have a new server, Outserv.cactus.org, that's 700% faster and has an 80GB drive in it.
You may ask yourself, what about Bubba? Isn't Bubba faster, better, etc...? Why aren't we moving to that?
There are several reasons:
So, Bubba's going to get re-installed with CentOS-4 and is going to be running the free VMware Server software. VMware Server supports FreeBSD, Solaris 9 & 10, and Linux, so we'll have an opportunity to play with all of them... But before that can happen, all the user accounts and network services on Bubba have to move somewhere else...
Starting in November, user accounts on Bubba.cactus.org and Linux.cactus.org are going to be migrating to Outserv.cactus.org. Same goes for all the network services: dns, e-mail, mailing lists, web servers, wiki, everything.
Not all of the details are finalized yet, so you should keep watching this space:
for more information...
P.S. Everybody give John Christy a big hand for volunteering to be our Backup Tzar. John's set up a system where he can backup our servers using rsync and burn those to DVD. Yaaah, John! Let's just hope we never have to use them...
CACTUS would like to welcome Brad Knowles and Michael Lay to CACTUS. Also, thanks to Donald Kassebaum, MH Khan and Chris Nystrom for renewing their memberships.
To renew your membership, please send check or money order payable to CACTUS ($30/yr for regular membership and $100/yr for corporate sponsorship):
PO BOX 9786
Austin, TX 78766-9786
You can also pay in person at the general meetings. Please direct any inquiries or address changes to membership [at] cactus <dot> org.
CACTUS meets on the third Thursday of each month at the Applied Research Laboratories (ARL) in the JJ Pickle Research Campus (JJ PRC). We'll meet in the main auditorium located directly behind the guard's desk and main lobby.
Please do not show up earlier than 6:20 PM on the specified day. Enter through the main entrance at 10000 Burnet Road for ARL. Tell the guard that you are here for the CACTUS meeting. You will be required to sign a log book, but not required to wear a badge. The guards will direct you to the auditorium entrance. Limited parking in the front of the building is available.
IMPORTANT: The side parking lots inside of the Pickle Research Campus will be inaccessible to the main ARL entrance until sometime in early 2007 due to building construction. Therefore, if there is no parking available near the front entrance, you will need to find alternative parking across the street from the ARL building. Please be considerate and do not use the parking right outside the Jack In The Box.
Online maps are available at:
As always, please leave the facility as you saw it when you arrived.