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Thank you for reading the sixth edition of the Knowledge7’s Picks of the Week.
Every week, Avinash Meetoo will make you discover interesting articles and websites to help you broaden your understanding of the world of open source software and information technology in general.
The Metasploit Framework
There is currently an ongoing battle between pirates and system administrators. And, of course, given the prevalence of Linux on the Internet, this is true for Linux system administrators too. “The Metasploit Framework is both a penetration testing system and a development platform for creating security tools and exploits. The framework is used by network security professionals to perform penetration tests, system administrators to verify patch installations, product vendors to perform regression testing, and security researchers world-wide. The framework is written in the Ruby programming language!”
The Mirah Programming Language
“Mirah (nee Duby) is a new experimental language born out of the JRuby project. In order to make implementing Ruby on the JVM easier and more approachable for Java and Ruby developers alike. Charles Oliver Nutter wanted to create a language that essentially looked like Ruby, but was statically typed and compiled to fast JVM bytecode. Mirah is the result.” What is sure is that the Java programming language is starting to show its age: its syntax is based on an ancient language called C++ (remember that?) and its programming model is too complex (is an integer an object?). Does Mirah has a chance to succeed? Only time will tell. But it’s going to be tough with Scala, Clojure as well as JRuby (mentioned above) innovating on all fronts…
The Facebook Blog: The Spirit of Openness
“Here’s a secret: Mark Zuckerberg didn’t write all of Facebook in his dorm room at Harvard. (Sorry, Mark, your secret is out.) He had a lot of help. No, I’m not talking about all the wonderful folks who work on the site every day. I’m talking about the unsung hero of many a young Web site: open-source and free software. Without it, there’d be no Facebook.” “Almost all our servers are running open-source software. Our Web servers use Linux and Apache and PHP. Our database servers run MySQL. […] The list goes on—like many Web sites, we use it from top to bottom.” “But we also make it a point to give back.” To all those who want to build the next Facebook in Mauritius: follow a decent PHP/MySQL training. Why not something like ours? 🙂
Drizzle: A Database for the Cloud
“Drizzle is a community-driven open source project that is forked from the popular MySQL database.” Here are its main features: “optimized for Cloud infrastructure and Web applications”, “designed for massive concurrency on modern multi-cpu architecture”, “optimized memory [utilisation] for increased performance and parallelism” and (of course) “Open source, open community, open design”. Why fork MySQL you may ask? The Drizzle developers say that they wanted to “remove non-essential code, refactore the rest and move towards C++”. What they get is a database which is reliable, which supports transactions and which is ACID compliant (atomicity, consistency, isolation, durability). Phew. I initially thought that they forked MySQL because of Oracle…
How to Pick a Co-Founder
When I founded Knowledge7 at the end of 2008, I didn’t pick a co-founder. Sure, I was not alone, we were seven shareholders (hence the name!). But, in hindsight, I should have asked one of them to join me at Knowledge7 as a co-founder. I would have chosen the one who has “a complementary temperament” with mine, with skills sufficiently different from mine, someone who “shares my expectations” of life, someone who has the “same overall vision” for the company, someone with whom I’ve worked with in the past and someone I like. In other words, I should have asked my wife, Christina, to join me 🙂