When Idealism Meets The Real World: Google Reader Was The Last Straw

There was a time when Google was the shining beacon of geekdom; when tales of their crazy interview process, fancy chefs, and 20% time were spoken of in reverent whispers.

I’m realizing now that I held onto that fantasy for a lot longer than was realistic.

While I love my freakishly good job at OpenNMS (work from home lots, open-source software, good people), Google is the one place I’d always thought I’d at least entertain if the right thing came along.

Last week, I got an email from a Google recruiter (I get one every year or so, just checking in). I told him the usual, that I wasn’t looking to move, but am always interested to hear about opportunities from Google. He responded back a few days ago, asking when we could talk.

Then they announced Google Reader was going away.

When I realized I was losing something that I spend at least 60% of my web browsing time in, I finally consciously reevaluated my feelings on Google. And then, I responded to the recruiter:

Hey, sorry it’s taken a bit long to . . . → Read More: When Idealism Meets The Real World: Google Reader Was The Last Straw

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Be Careful What You Match For, You Might Not Get It

So I ran into a really interesting issue in Java regular expression parsing while trying to work on an issue for a customer.

OpenNMS has the ability to listen for syslog messages, and turn them into OpenNMS events. To configure it, you specify a mapping of substring or regular expressions to UEIs (OpenNMS’s internal event identifiers).

The customer saw a huge drop in performance from 1.8.0 to 1.8.1. Basically the only change to the syslog daemon was a change to use Matcher.find() instead of Matcher.matches(). The problem was that they were making regular expressions like this:

foo0: .*load test (\\S+) on ((pts\\/\\d+)|(tty\\d+))

…which weren’t matching. So they changed it to put .* at the front, so matches() would get it:

.*foo0: .*load test (\\S+) on ((pts\\/\\d+)|(tty\\d+))

Upon upgrading to 1.8.1, they saw orders of magnitude slowdown. The reason is that when you haven’t specified an anchor, find has to figure out the “right” starting point for the match. In doing so, it spins a LOT, compared to matches() and its implicit anchors. It’s very expensive to scan all the way through the string, attempting to re-apply the regex, if it turns out there is no match. We . . . → Read More: Be Careful What You Match For, You Might Not Get It

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It’s Official, Motricity Lays Off… Durham

My former employer, Motricity, finally officially announced laying off a boatload of people this morning.

I’ve weighed in quite a bit on Motricity and their baffling business strategies on the MocoNews post that talked about rumors of layoffs; going by what most of us former employees have said, this has been expected for a looooooong time.

Best wishes go out to all of those affected by layoffs; I still know a few folks who have stuck around this long; they should be at least expecting a nice severance package and some time to look for something new. I worked with plenty of very talented people there who I expect will be able to get back on their feet pretty quick.

Good luck to all!

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Goodbye DevJam, Hello LinuxWorld

So DevJam officially ended Friday, and now it’s time for LinuxWorld.

If you’re here in San Francisco, please, stop by the .org pavilion and say “hi!” We will be showing off OpenNMS 1.3.6 and hanging out with the other über-geeks. 😉

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One Door Closes…

So along with some other folks, I was laid off from my job at Raritan today. Although I’m disappointed to be leaving a stellar group of people to work with, I’m heartened by the outpouring of commiseration (and job offers!) from everyone. Thank you so much!

If you know of anything interesting for a Perl/Java/Mac/Open-Source/Geek kind of person, let me know. And check out my resume while you’re at it. 😉

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Fink on Rails

So this last week I was at OSCON. I met a lot of awesome people, some of whom I’d met online and finally got to see in person. I also learned a ton about a lot of things, but really, The Buzz® was Rails, Rails, Rails.

I’ve played with Ruby on Rails off and on for a few months, and I was very impressed, but I learned a new appreciation for it at OSCON. There were a ton of good training classes and experts able to explain the stuff that up until now I’d been using without really knowing what it means… (which is common if you’ve just picked up the 15-minute demo and thought “man, that’s cool, I want to try it!”)

Of course, I hate having anything installed on my system without it being package-managed, so I went ahead and packaged up everything up to Rails as well as a few extras — Streamlined (a featureful replacement for the scaffold that was just announced at OSCON), and ferret (a port of the excellent Lucene search engine to Ruby).

It’s dead easy to package . . . → Read More: Fink on Rails

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OSCON 2006 — Say “Hi”

I’m here in Portland at OSCON until Friday night. If you’re here, send me an e-mail and we can try to find each other and say “hi”. I’ve gone ahead and set up a “Birds of a Feather” meet-up, at 8:30pm Wednesday night, in room F150. If you’re interested in Fink, give us a visit.

If you’re not at OSCON, well, you’re missing out. 😉

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OSCON 2006

Looks like I’m lucky enough to have work send me to OSCON this year, in Portland, OR! (Yay!)

If you want to hang out, please drop me a line, it’d be cool to put some faces to names. And if you’re a SourceForge person and want to kill me now, well, I’ll be there for you too. 🙂

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The more things change…

So I’ve got news I totally wouldn’t have expected to have even a year ago. Last week I gave my 2 weeks’ notice, and I’m going to be going to work for Raritan. So you’re thinking, “that’s not so strange. A new job? Happens to lots of people.” Hah! Well, Raritan is the company that ended up with the Oculan intellectual property. 🙂

But wait, there’s more! This time around, I’m going to be a Java developer (which I’ve been doing a little on the side at my current job, and really actually enjoying). I’m really looking forward to giving the Oculan codebase another chance at life, and to work on it a little more deeply, rather than just making RPMs and twinking perl scripts. The technology was always good, so it will be nice to see what Raritan can do with it.

Wish me luck!

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Unemployed No More

I accepted today an offer with PinPoint (well, PowerByHand), doing freaky perl stuff. 🙂 Whoohoo!

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