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We can visualize resource starvation using an elaborate rendition of the Dining Philosophers Problem. This classic metaphor of resource allocation among processes was first introduced in 1971 by Edsger Dijkstra in his paper "Hierarchical Ordering of Sequential Processes." It's been a model and universal method for verifying theories on resource allocation ever since. The metaphor goes like this: There are three well-known philosophers in an Asian bistro. Dinner is served but they are only given three chopsticks because the restaurant's supply truck has been stuck in a snow storm for a couple of days. Naturally each philosopher needs two chopsticks to eat his dinner and each is protected from interference while he uses a chopstick. Plato skipped lunch that day and insists that he should have priority or else he'll faint. If he doesn't give up his chopsticks, the other ... (more)

Interviewing Java Developers With Tears in My Eyes

During the last week I had to interview five developers for a position that required the following skills: Flex, Java, Spring, and Hibernate.  Most of these guys had demonstrated the 3 out of 10 level of Flex skills even though each of them claimed a practical experience on at least two projects. But this didn’t surprise me – Flex is still pretty new and there is only a small number of developers on the market who can really get Flex things done. What surprised me the most is a low level of Java skills of most of these people. They have 5-8 years of Java EE projects behind their b... (more)

Oracle-Sun: Jonathan Schwartz Writes His Toughest Ever Email

"To me, this proposed acquisition totally redefines the industry," wrote Jonathan Schwartz this morning to Sun's employees in a company-wide email announcing the acquisition of Sun by Oracle. Among other remarks, Schwartz adds: "Let me assure you [Oracle is] single minded in [its] focus on the one asset that doesn't appear in our financial statements: our people." Here is the email in full: From: Jonathan I. Schwartz To: allsun@sun.com Subject: Today's Sun/Oracle Announcement Date: Mon, 20 Apr 2009 04:34:16 -0700 (07:34 EDT) Today's Sun/Oracle Announcement This is one of the toughe... (more)

Oracle-Sun: IBM Reportedly Behind Delay

Well, well, well, a little bird points to IBM as gumming up the works with the European Commission so Oracle and Sun can’t close their deal. Oracle of course picked up Sun after IBM’s negotiations with Sun failed and Oracle made IBM the intended target of the proposed acquisition in an ad on the front page of the Wall Street Journal last week so the idea that IBM is whispering in the EC’s ear makes perfect sense. And IBM has plenty of practice using the European Commission to attack its enemies. Just ask Microsoft. Oracle CEO Larry Ellison claims the European Commission’s prolonge... (more)

Oracle-Sun: MySQL Creator Kicks Off Worldwide Petition

Mergers & Acquisitions on Ulitzer Bucking an apparent deal between Oracle and the European Commission to approve Oracle’s acquisition of Sun and its MySQL database, MySQL creator Monty Widenius kicked off a worldwide petition late Monday aimed at “saving MySQL from Oracle.” He vowed to keep going until the “the very end of the process.” Widenius is appealing to MySQL users to sign a petition that asks regulators to force Oracle to divest MySQL, or at least make Oracle commit to a linking exception for applications that use MySQL with the client libraries (for all programming lang... (more)

My-Channels Nirvana Adds Support for HTML5 Web Sockets

My-Channels, a provider of unified enterprise, web and mobile middleware, today announced support for the HTML5 WebSocket protocol in their Nirvana Enterprise Server and the Nirvana JavaScript client API. My-Channels' Nirvana API for JavaScript has been updated to include underlying support for Web Sockets, an HTML5 technology for full-duplex communication between web browsers and servers. The Nirvana JavaScript API will now use WebSocket communication by default. Browsers yet to adopt this new standard will continue to function using Nirvana's Comet-based streaming implementati... (more)