Archive for March, 2008

Last week’s NetBeans reviews

March 31, 2008

1. Porting BeamTrons to J2ME — Sbeamdk, 3/24
Peter Boné, blogging from Denmark, took NetBeans 6 for a spin, porting his old BeamTrons game to J2ME. He was very impressed finding this version “really ground shaking and innovative.” As a self-described “UI Nazi,” he remarked, “The thing that struck me the most was that everything in the UI is SO polished!” He also wrote that the new deployment options are “so cool!”
Download NetBeans

2. Developing on the cheap — Chris A. Guiney’s LiveSpace, 3/24
Chris Guiney looked at some of the best development tools in the market, writing that “NetBeans is the best IDE in the Java based world, period!”

3. Eclipse 3.3 or NetBeans 6.0 – With Surprising Result — Adam Bien’s Weblog, 3/22
Adam Bien comments on the recent JavaWorld review by expressing surprise that the NetBeans editor was more highly rated. While he says that his own opinion about the NetBeans editor is similar, his perception is that many developers he knows prefer Eclipse. He also discusses how NetBeans should be rated higher for Enterprise Support because of its support of Java EE 5.

4. Eclipse vs. Netbeans — Some Of My Thoughts, 3/21
Frustrated with Eclipse’s rapidly degrading performance, James Kimble recently begun using NetBeans for basic editing with code completion. He found NetBeans’ plugin model to be “much better,” however he felt it lacked some of the features and stability of Eclipse. He plans to use both tools for now, and will wait to “see what wins out.”

5. Some Things I Like About NetBeans — Dave Briccetti’s Blog, 3/21
Dave Briccetti detailed what he likes about the NetBeans 6.1 beta including good Unified Modeling Language (UML) support and excellent documentation. Dave concludes, “With version 6.1, NetBeans has taken big steps forward in giving me what I want in an IDE. Where before I used Eclipse for everything except Swing GUI development, now I find myself using NetBeans exclusively for many projects, especially Web applications, for both the front and back ends.”

6. What IDE do you use – Eclipse, IntelliJ IDEA, or NetBeans — Sky is not the limit, 3/21
Tushar Joshi writes about how his use of Java programming tools evolved from notepad to Eclipse, but that he always has been open to exploring other IDEs. He first decided to use IDEA because of the strong user community, but more recently has been paying more attention to NetBeans because of the many articles and blog posts about it. He points about Matisse as a unique feature.

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InfoWorld’s positive review of the Sun SPARC T5120 server

March 31, 2008

Last week InfoWorld posted a very positive review of the Sun SPARC Enterprise T5120, featuring the UltraSPARC T2 processor. The server scored 8.3 out of 10, a rating of “very good.”

The in-depth review discusses the new features that differentiate the T5120 from previous SPARC servers. The reviewer, Paul Venezia, discusses why the T2 processor is significant, stating, “this architecture is a significant departure from the rest of the industry, and positions these servers to fill specific, highly transactional roles, foregoing the rest. In that capacity, they do quite well.

Sun SPARC Enterprise T5120 Server

Paul also highlights the (local) storage benefits of the T5120, which he cites as unusual — given that the T5120 is built for computing not storage — but that it is not unwelcome. He discusses running the T5120 with Solaris ZFS as it provides more storage options. He says, “it’s easy to see the T5120 supplanting many physical SPARC-based servers by collapsing their workloads into Solaris Containers that feed from the T5120’s 64-thread trough.

Finally, Paul provided a quick comparison of the T5120 running both Solaris and Ubuntu 7.10. For everyday tasks, he found the performance on both to be very similar, but stated that running Solaris resulted in better FPU and crypto performance.

Overall, this is a positive review for Sun that demonstrates the strength of our server products.

Solaris reviews of the week

March 30, 2008

1. Moving towards a single machine — Computerworld, 3/25
Martin Brown posts a review of Solaris 10 8/07, highlighting the use of BrandZ to run Linux binaries in Solaris without requiring virtualization tools. Martin discusses the impact of this type of technology and muses that single machine/OS combinations will become obsolete.
Solaris

2. Solaris 08/07 impressions — MCslp Coalface, 3/25
Martin Brown published an in-depth look at Solaris 10 8/07, including the ease of installation and an overview of the latest features. He mentions that there "is a lot to like in this release" and praises this version for being nearly ‘out-of-the-box’ ready with most applications and programs installed at the outset, including Firefox 2.0 and Thunderbird 2.0. With regard to ZFS, Martin walks through the process for creating a ZFS storage pool and sharing it as an iSCSI device.

3. Solaris Shared Library Troubleshooting Notes — Adam Sherman Online, 3/25
Adam Sherman is building packages under an OpenSolaris Zone hosted by Joyent, and posted a blog about problems that have arisen using shared libraries. He provides instructions on how to solve the issue, noting problems with the linker not finding the appropriate library.

4. Exceptions, gcc and Solaris 10 AMD 64bit — Paul Beach’s Blog, 3/21
Paul Beach wrote about his experience using Solaris 10 on a 64-bit AMD system, and his work porting Firebird 2.0x to 64-bit Solaris. He found that the default debugger for gcc that ships with Solaris 10 can’t handle 64 bit applications, so he had to build his own.

5. Finding/Setting nvalias (nvram) OBP Settings from a Running Solaris O/S — Blog O’Matty, 3/21
Ryan Matteson gives a technical deep dive on how to use the command eeprom (1m) while in the Solaris O/S on SPARC platforms. He mentions this is a useful way to view and set OBP parameters without bringing the entire machine offline and down to the ok prompt.

6. Solaris 8 in a Zone — Milek’s Blog, 3/20
Robert Milkowski takes his readers through the process of bringing Solaris 8 to modern SPARC hardware, getting it clustered, and having MPxIO working with the latest arrays. To accomplish this task, Robert uses Sun Cluster 3.2 with Zones agent, and goes on to mention the benefits of migrating all of the applications to a newly created Solaris 10 zone.

Customer of the Week: Callidus Software

March 25, 2008

Software-as-a-Service vendor Callidus Software was able to launch a new subscription business in 5 months and grow a subscriber base from 0 to 25,000 in 18 months with a combination of Sun Fire servers running the Solaris 10 Operating System and with significant support from Sun Managed Services.

"Sun was the most cost-effective solution," said Callidus’ Jeff Saling, "but what really swung the deal was Sun’s willingness to partner with us as we designed the environment for Callidus OnDemand."

Check out the details here.

Sun customer -- Callidus Software
(Image courtesy: Callidus Software)

Great Honeycomb Review in InfoWorld Today

March 24, 2008

Mario Apicella’s InfoWorld review of the Sun StorageTek 5800 posted today, and we did extremely well, scoring a 9.3 out of 10, or “Excellent” rating.

Mario highlighted many of the ST5800’s features, including its ability to quickly and automatically replace a failed master node with another node; its simplified administrative interface; and its storage management software commands that “are both intuitive and very powerful.”

Mario goes on to say, “How Honeycomb stores objects is one of the secrets to its reliability and persistence … Having objects spread across multiple nodes and spindles also favors fast performance and quick rebuilds after failure.”

He included all performance tests he ran on the ST5800, including one where he abruptly pulled drives, shut down two nodes and killed one of the switches to trigger fail-over to the standby unit — “In every case, the ST5800 kept on ticking and returned quickly to normal status when the failure was removed.”

Honeycomb

In an attempt to “stir the honeypot” and push the ST5800 to its limits, Mario also powered down two nodes and then pulled out another drive (understanding that, if the ST5800 lost 8 of its 64 drives, the system would go into quiescent mode). He was very much impressed that the machine came back online almost immediately after he restored the drive.

In conclusion, Mario states that the ST5800’s “good performance, easy management and incredibly resilient architecture make it a very attractive archiving solution at a price that, although significant, will challenge many competitors.”

Solaris reviews of the week

March 23, 2008

1. Solaris 10 — NetBeans for the Coffee Drinker, 3/19
This blogger tested Solaris 10 for a week and is impressed with its stability and compatibility with NetBeans and Second Life. He was also impressed with the networking speed, noting that Solaris 10 makes his life “a joy because I’m not constantly crashing or having problems.” As for dislikes, the blogger wishes Sun would install a control panel for managing users and groups.
Solaris

2. Solaris Express — Free Colin, 3/17
Colin Black writes about his experiences setting up Solaris Express Developer Edition on back-end servers for his company Earthlink. While he had originally felt that Solaris was slow and difficult to compile applications on it, his experience with the Solaris Express Developer Edition was much better, prompting him to note: “I actually love it! The install process is an absolute breeze and only takes a few minutes on modern hardware.” According to him, Solaris is a compelling option as a solid and well-accepted UNIX desktop OS.

3. How To: Change IP Address in Solaris 10 without Reboot — sQew, 3/13
This blogger gives a step by step overview on how readers can add or edit the IP address on a Solaris 10 server, as the process is different than with previous Solaris versions.

NetBeans reviews of this week…

March 21, 2008

1. Netbeans 6.1 Beta — JJ Blogger, 3/19
Josh Juneau reviews NetBeans 6.1, having recently downloaded it on his Mac. He finds the following to be nice: "No need to manually set up libraries or import projects, ALL of my settings from 6.0.1 have been imported successfully, Javascript support is nice and Startup time has been greatly reduced." He does call attention to finding one negative point so far and that being that facelets support is completely gone from what he can tell with this release.
Get big bucks blogging on NetBeans 6.1 beta

2. Java IDE’s, Cadred.NET — 3/19
Microsoft developer Michael Cook states that he is "new to the Java scene," so he recently evaluated NetBeans, Eclipse and IntelliJ IDEA to determine which IDE to use. He states that he is leaning towards NetBeans because of the better out-of-the-box experience, it is more Visual Studio-like and it has visual designer tools for JSF. He further states that the barrier to entry for Eclipse is very high because of the need to install so many plugins.

3. Shared libraries finally made it to NetBeans — Big Al’s Blog, 3/19
NetBeans developer Allan Christensen shares with his readers his first impressions after installing NetBeans 6.1 beta. He notes that the first thing that caught his attention is the shared library functionality. He discusses what he needed to do previously as a workaround to do what the feature now provides, then walks through how the use the new functionality.

4. NetBeans 6.1 and Why I’m a Banana — NetBeans for the Coffee Drinker, 3/19
NetBeans developer Paul Clevett comments on NetBeans 6.1 and details his efforts to move 6.0.1 project to the new version. He describes some problems he had seen in his application, but mentions how a post from Roman Strobl helped him work through the problem. He notes how excited he is to use 6.1 and also how he has noticed a big performance improvement.

5. Scala on NetBeans v6.1 — Mike Slinn’s Blog, 3/18
Developer Mike Slinn expresses his excitement over the full support for Scala in NetBeans 6.1. He points his readers to where the plugin can be downloaded and notes that while it is "unfinished," he looks forward to using it. He also offers the opinion that someone should add support for the Lift framework to give Ruby and Rails and Groovy "a run for their money."

6. NetBeans 6.1 Beta — Javablog, 3/18
Sam calls his recent switch to NetBeans 6.0 from Eclipse a "very nice experience," noting that "profiling is completely integrated (on all platforms), J2ME and webapp support is awesome and NetBeans uses ant for building projects… so we got a headless builder for free."

7. New Netbeans – 6.1 — Citizen Kane Blog, 3/17
Kane writes about the impressive speed of the NetBeans 6.1 beta, and mentions, "NetBeans is one step closer to becoming the ultimate IDE for me." In his experience, the speed boost was even higher than the "up to 40% faster startup" boasted by NetBeans. He also notes improved features such as improved JavaDoc writing, support for JavaScript and new hints for Ruby and Rails.

8. NetBeans: Beta, once again? — Digital:Meditation, 3/17
Kawazu reviews the NetBeans 6.1 beta, noting that 6.1 is "definitely worth dealing with, as quite a lot of work obviously has been put into what’s likely to be 6.1 rather soon." He predicts Issue 44035 is likely to be fixed, making it easier to share NetBeans projects around. He also applauds the return of Support for Java Bean Patterns in the IDE, and "massive improvements" in the tooling for working with the Spring framework.

9. Rails IDE: NetBeans vs. Aptana RadRails, Take 2 — The reality of my fantasy life, 3/12
Rails developer Arron Washington decides to compare Aptana RadRails 1.0, based upon its recent release, to NetBeans 6.0. He states that he had switched to NetBeans after Aptana "went closed source" but decided to give it another look. He feels that RadRails "is OK" but "needs more polish." He then states that he has gotten so comfortable to NetBeans that it would hard to get him to switch back.

10. Improved Spring Framework Support in NetBeans 6.1 — Ramon.Ramos, 3/6
Developer Ramon Ramos highlights support for the Spring Framework as a noteworthy enhancement to NetBeans 6.1. He states that the significance of this is that it makes it easier to work with XML configuration files. He then shows screen shots to illustrate the functionality.

OpenOffice.org & StarOffice reviews of the week

March 20, 2008

1. How it Holds Up: OpenOffice.org 2.4 — CRNTech, 3/13
CRN’s Samara Lynn reviews the OpenOffice.org 2.4 version, comparing it to Google and Microsoft’s online productivity suites. Lynn highlights a few positive points about increased interoperability and features, noting that spreadsheets created in Excel 2007 were opened without incident and the new version has greater flexibility with charts and graphs. She concludes that there is "still plenty to admire about OpenOffice.org, the fact that it is free, probably being the most endearing fact to the masses. The application suite, in a pinch, has proven itself as a viable option to Microsoft’s Office."
OpenOffice.org

2. Getting Stuff Done on Linux [Part 1] — MakeUseOf.com, 3/13
In a post about software options for Linux, Mackenzie provides a detailed description of OpenOffice.org as an extremely efficient cross-platform office suite, performing all common office tasks. He points out that OpenOffice.org has support for Microsoft formats for easy file sharing with MS users, and feels that Writer has a better layout engine than MS Word does. He thinks Impress is top-notch too.

3. 6 Free Alternatives to Microsoft Office — thinktechno, 3/13
In this blog, Pranjal discusses his top six alternatives to Microsoft Office. He recommends both StarOffice and OpenOffice.org among his selections. He also notes that although StarOffice costs $70, users can get it for free in Google Pack.

4. Top ten useful pieces of FREE software — Box of My Stuff, 3/12
Macotar places OpenOffice.org in the top spot in a list of the 10 most useful free software offerings. While OpenOffice.org is "everything you love in an office suite," Macotar’s says his biggest issue about using OpenOffice.org is in trying to open very complex Microsoft products.

5. When Lintel Beats Wintel — ZDNet, 3/18
In this blog, Paul Murphy discusses if Linux really does cost less then Windows and discusses this assumption in terms of market dominance and the general capabilities of each offering. He uses office suites as an example of Microsoft products that have achieved leadership through market dominance as he states that there are no real tangible benefits obtained through using StarOffice/OpenOffice or Microsoft Office. He does state, however, that there is a consistent difference in the cost of ownership because open source users are forced to incur the costs of being different – providing additional training, re-assuring users unhappy about being held out of the perceived office automation main stream and converting third party documents to and from Microsoft’s proprietary formats.

NetBeans edges Eclipse in JavaWorld review

March 19, 2008

Yesterday JavaWorld published Andrew Binstock’s comparative review of NetBeans 6.0 and Eclipse 3.3. This is a review in which Andrew rated each platform in various categories, and NetBeans beats Eclipse!!! Get big buck by trying NetBeans

In this comprehensive feature-by-feature review, Andrew states, "NetBeans 6.0 … has really elevated itself into the same tier as Eclipse. For the first time, serious Java developers have a true choice when it comes to free, open source IDEs."

In conclusion, Andrew comments that NetBeans’ higher score signifies "the arrival of NetBeans," and notes that this is the first review he has conducted where "NetBeans truly stands on par with Eclipse."

PS: What a great timing!!! NetBeans 6.1 Beta has just been announced, and you can win real money by trying it out. 😉 Details here.

Another Fortune honor for Sun

March 18, 2008

Two weeks after publishing the list of “America’s Most Admired” companies, Fortune has published the “World’s Most Admired” companies for 2008.

As with the America’s listing, our scores improved in EVERY category. Sun’s ranking within the Computers category jumped from #8 to #6 this year and our overall score improved .47 of a point.

The improvement over last 2 years is equally impressive, including a 7 place rise in Innovation, a 6 position jump in Financial Soundness and Long-term investment and a 5 position jump in our rank among computer companies, people management and global competitiveness.

Our 2008, 2007 and 2006 scores/rankings are below. Again, improvements galore… 🙂

Ranking: 2008 Ranking: 2007 Ranking: 2006
Overall Score 6.71 6.24 5.95
Rank in Computers 6 8 11
Innovation 2 4 9
People management 5 8 12
Use of corporate assets 6 9 9
Social Responsibility 4 4 9
Quality of management 6 9 10
Financial soundness 8 10 14
Long-term investment 8 9 14
Quality of products / services 6 7 8
Global Competitiveness 6 10 11

Fortune's Global Most Admired Companies