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Nutch - a free search engine   25 Sep 04
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Right from the faq:

Why does the world need Nutch, when search engines are free? Search engines are free to use like television is free to watch, but, like television programming, search results are subject to manipulation by the interests that control them. The only way one can be certain that search results are unbiased is if the technology which computes them is public. Nutch seeks to make high-quality search technology freely available.

How can a non-profit afford to run a search engine?

Nutch is primarily a software project, not a service. Large scale deployments of Nutch will probably be run by commerical interests separate from Nutch, funded by advertising or somesuch. If the Nutch software is good enough, perhaps existing major search engines will use it in place of their current closed source code.

The Nutch project itself may choose to host small-scale demo system, so that folks can see that it really works. This will require only moderate funding. The Nutch project may never host a full-scale deployment for folks to use as their everyday search engine. We’ll leave that to commercial ventures that can afford it.

Will Nutch ever be as good as other search engines?

We hope it will be better. With developers and researchers from around the world helping out, we hope to be able to surpass the quality of what any single company can do.


No one gets fired ..   25 Sep 04
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(Source: The Register) The old saying goes that you can’t be fired for picking IBM in a major IT rollout. This theory, however, does not seem to apply to other vendors of elevated status - namely Cisco and SAP.

A Cisco purchase gone wrong has cost San Jose, California’s CIO Wandzia Grycz her job. Grycz exited her CIO post earlier this week just ahead of an audit release detailing the city’s findings on a recent computer and phone network installation proposal. Grycz has publicly denied that she allowed Cisco to craft the nature of the IT contact.

A new $51m computer system has had so many bugs that city officials can’t get the technology up and running at all. And the culprit looks like SAP.

"We find problems on a daily basis, and part of that is getting the (computer) system to work for us," Diane Supler, budget director in Tacoma told the Associated Press. "Every time we think we’ve identified all of the issues, something else happens in SAP (the system software)."


Watching the Net's background radiation   25 Sep 04
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(Source: The Register) When the city sleeps, it’s never completely silent. But when the Internet sleeps, what kind of static does it make? What does it sound like? Like the weird warbles astronomers claim to hear from outer space?

We’d like to share what the Internet sounds like when it sleeps, and in its current highly agitated state, we think it’s worth sharing.

Rapid Application Development with Mozilla   25 Sep 04
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This Prenticall Hall book by Nigel McFarlane can now be downloaded complete from the internet:

XUL can give a richer widget than HTML. For a nice application look at the Amazon browser. The author says on its webpage: 6/03/2003 I discovered XUL some months ago, when I found the O’Reilly’s book "Creating Applications with Mozilla", freely available at . I started to read the book and I understood that in my daily web development I could use all widgets I’m used to have in desktop applications. When I develop Content Management System, Control Panel, and Web Administrative tools, I find myself spending a lot of time designing the interface to reproduce the most basic widgets. Things like resizing the columns width of a data grid, make the application usable with the keyboard, scrolling result list with arrow keys, creating tab panels and so on, are not a so simple task in web development. I have to write or find somewhere a lot of javascript library and I waste my time in designing the basic interface when I want to focus on the business logic. I think web applications (that are a different things from public web site) should have a powerful user interface similar to the ones on desktop programs. XUL have almost all widgets. You can customize them using simple CSS or the GUI inherit the browser theme. I remind you that Mozilla is not just a browser, but a complete framework for building cross-platform applications. A big part of Mozilla is made with the same technology you can use in web applications: Javascript, CSS, XUL.

[ANN] Firefox Ruby sidebar   25 Sep 04
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James Britt did hack sth. most useful :-).

Daniel Beger saw the Python version

 > I came across this nifty looking sidebar for Python documentation at
 >  Is there something
 > similar for Ruby?  If not, does someone need a project? :)

And here is the ruby version

It’s really cool!

Good customer service   25 Sep 04
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I wish my bank, my tax office and most of all my mobile phone provider would do that! Good cuomster service pays off. Good case story

Wall Coding   25 Sep 04
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(Source: ) Sharing a computer is an experience. In a world filled with cubicles and monitors it’s amazing how many times someone has to stare over someone else’s shoulder. And the moment 3 people need to get together and look over some code, suddenly we’re back to printouts and meeting rooms. There simply is no productive way to pack 3 people in a cube looking at a monitor.

And once you start doing agile development and pair programming you really recognise the benefit of a big monitor. And if you’re like most companies, you have the largest monitor available, a big blank wall and a screen projector. It’s just that most companies don’t let the programmers use such a valuable item. People that can be trusted to maintain the software that keeps the company in business somehow can’t be trusted with a simple peice of hardware.

I highly recommend also look at this website.

Rails - the secret killer app for Ruby?   25 Sep 04
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I am pretty sick of killer apps and the discussions about them, but make sure you checkout Rails.

Rails is an open source web-application framework for Ruby. It ships with an answer for every letter in MVC: Action Pack for the Controller and View, Active Record for the Model.

Everything needed to build real-world applications in less lines of code than other frameworks spend setting up their XML configuration files. Like Basecamp, which was launched after 4 KLOCs and two months of developement by a single programmer.

Enjoy the Show, dont tell! 10 minute setup video (22MB).

Have fun with Ruby .. says a tired Armin right now coding simple cgi-stuff without any frameworks :-)

eBay buys Indian auction site   25 Sep 04
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(Source: The Register) eBay is buying India’s biggest auction site,, for $50m and some post-acquisition costs. Based in Mumbai, has one million registered users, who flog stuff just like they do on eBay.

India lags far behind China in Internet numbers - just 17 million people are online, according to IDC. But it is a growth market - Internet subscribers are expected to reach 30 million in 2006. link

Waging War   25 Sep 04
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(Source: University of Maine News) I especially liked:
 'We may have nuclear technology, but we still have stone-age brains"
 -- Anthropologist Paul Roscoe.



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