Getting a rise out of Reiser4

Last time I looked at ReiserFS was, I think, at least couple of years ago.  It was a nice file system but I didn't find any use for it.  Two years later, Reiser4 is released and I still can't find a good use for it, but it sure has some intriguing one liner feature list that would any geek a bit of excitement:

  • Reiser4 is the fastest filesystem, and here are the benchmarks.
  • Reiser4 is an atomic filesystem, which means that your filesystem operations either entirely occur, or they entirely don't, and they don't corrupt due to half occuring. We do this without significant performance losses, because we invented algorithms to do it without copying the data twice.
  • Reiser4 uses dancing trees, which obsolete the balanced tree algorithms used in databases (see farther down). This makes Reiser4 more space efficient than other filesystems because we squish small files together rather than wasting space due to block alignment like they do. It also means that Reiser4 scales better than any other filesystem. Do you want a million files in a directory, and want to create them fast? No problem.
  • Reiser4 is based on plugins, which means that it will attract many outside contributors, and you'll be able to upgrade to their innovations without reformatting your disk. If you like to code, you'll really like plugins….
  • Reiser4 is architected for military grade security. You'll find it is easy to audit the code, and that assertions guard the entrance to every function.

Dancing trees?  I gotta look into that algorithm sometimes.  I wonder if variations of the algorithms will be called Disco or Samba?  ;-)  Hmm.  One of the testimonials is LivingXML which is a native XML engine built-on top of Reiser.  That's nice except LivingXML seems to be, well, dead.  Oh, well.

Perl vs. Java RegEx

Tim Bray compares Perl and Java regular expression performance with the result of Java performing twice as fast as Perl when output performance is factored out.  Fantastic.  I knew Java regular expression library was fast but I didn't know it was this fast.  Even more encouraging, there are even faster third party regular expression libraries for Java.  I wonder if .NET 2.0 makes up for the lackluster RegEx performance in .NET 1.1.

Update:

Jeff Atwood is getting completely different result (.NET RE faster by ~40%) from an informal benchmark I did a while back (.NET slower by ~60%).  BTW, I don't believe .NET RE is 20 times slower than Java RE.

MyEclipse 3.8.1

MyEclipse 3.8.0 GA, released early last week, had a lot of bugs because the MyEclipse team decided to throw in IBM's contribution to Eclipse's Web Tools project which weren't production quality yet.  It's the price one has to pay for being too eager.

Thankfully, they made up for their mistake in short order by releasing version 3.8.1 last Sunday which fixes the most apparent bugs.  I am sure there are bugs yet to be unearthed, but I used it last night and found no serious problems that prevents me from using it.  They even added Sysdeo-style webapp project layout I mentioned before.

For $30 per year, MyEclipse offers a truck load of essential tools for server-side Java developers and unreasonably responsive technical support.  Think of MyEclipse as buying timeshare on a talented blacksmith.  If you want something done, it's just a matter of screaming the loudest.  Highly recommended.

Spring Framework

While I was playing around with MyEclipse 3.8.1 (quickly delivered butt saving release to make up for the silly 3.8.0 version), I got sidetracked into JavaServer Faces (definitely useful but seems to have the same disagreeable feel to it as Struts) and then fell into Spring Framework.  Hmm.  I liked what I read in this introductory article about the framework.

While I am not too hot on IoC (Inversion of Control), I like the way Spring guys implemented IoC.  Most of all, I like the way Spring makes components easier to test by reducing dependency and enhancing configurability.  Apparently, there is an effort to ease integration between Spring and JSF which I'll have to take a look at real soon.

Update:

There is a seemingly very nice Eclipse plugin for Spring Framework you should take a look at if you use Eclipse and are interested in giving Spring a try.

Shopping Cliche

Yesterday, my family went to Palo Alto IKEA store to get a new desk for my son because he will be starting junior highschool this fall.  Last IKEA I visited was in Berkeley, so this was my first visit to this store.  Parking was confusing but we had fun; chief Don leading his tribe through the jungle of furnitures and people.  Desks were cheap so I let my son have his pick.  Thankfully, he chose a corner desk that costs only $129.  Chairs, however, weren't cheap and there weren't many choices in the 'reasonable' range.  So we punted on the chair for now.

Today, my wife and I put the desk together.  Hmm.  The desk looked much bigger than it seemed at IKEA.  Maybe they should put warning labels around IKEA showrooms:

Furnitures May Be Bigger Than They Appear at IKEA.

While recouperating from IKEA Aftermath, I ordered some Moleskine notebooks from ShipTheWeb, one for each member of the family, to complete the shopping cliche.  Frankly, I immensely enjoy not shopping but I don't mind sacrificing my virtues to make lasting impressions on my son.

A Message To Kerry

Dear Kerry,

Please stop trying to win the upcoming election and focus on making Bush lose instead.  Stop trying to tell me what I want to hear.  Saying what you believe in will make it much easier to appear consistent.  My primary reason for voting for you is Bush.  IMHO, no one could possibly screw up this nation worse than Bush regardless of political beliefs.

I want Bush out and someone else in.  That means you but you are not making it easy.  If there is anything I hate more than an idiot with power to affect my life, it is a two faced snake.  Don't screw up by trying to say what your political consultants think I want to hear this week.  Go watch the movie High Noon and do what Gary Cooper did in the movie.  That's exactly what I want, a lone stoic man with a mission from us all.

Sincerely,

Don Park

Korean Archery

South Korea's continuing dominance in archery is amazing but, like the effect of monopoly on economy, I think overdominance is starting to hurt international archery competitions.

IMHO, countries overdominating a field of sports should share it's knowhows and training programs with rest of the world, particularly with those countries that never had a chance to win an olympic medal.  For example, South Korean archery association should offer archery scholarships for amateur archers from third-world countries.  I am sure Korean companies like Samsung and LG will be glad to sponsor such scholarship programs.

Imagine the joy everyone will feel when those athletes win their countries' first olympic medal.  I also think such programs are far more rewarding than traditional international aids and foreign relation efforts.

Colliding Hash Destroys Western Civilization

I don't want to alarm you all, but a handful of papers presented at Crypto 2004 conference last week could force most, if not all, security software, services, and certificates to be upgraded in the near future.  Why?  Because strength of two popular hashing algorithms, MD5 and SHA-1, are being questioned by those papers.  These algorithms are used literally everywhere so, if these papers are right, the impact crater will be huge.

MD5 was known to be weak before but, according to one of the papers, it's much weaker than previously known.  How weak?  Supposedly, just a few hours on your desktop PC will break it, meaning you can find a bogus set of bits that produce the same hash as the bits you are trying to spoof.  Oy!

Eclipse and Gravitation

Diego posts that the Allais Effect, a yet to be explained effect solar eclipse has on mechanical systems affected by gravitation, was confirmed to be real by a recent experiment (PDF) and several conventional explanations were ruled out.

Very intriguing because the phenomenon is at odd with Einstein's General Relativity theory.  But then they are chasing shadows, aren't they? ;-p

google ipo > /dev/null

Looks like Google stock is going to finally start trading tommorrow at $85.  Frankly, I don't know what all the hoopa over the IPO is about.  First of all, I don't think there is a real customer loyalty for Google.  Google is just a tool that became popular enough for the company name to become a verb.  Utility does not make customer loyalty nor brand value IMHO.

Google's search engine was effective in the past but it has failed to keep up with the changing environment such as the rising level of noise introduced by search engine optimization (SEO) hacks and blogging.  Big IPO means new competitors will spring up to pull a google on Google and, if they offer better results than Google, I expect Google users will happily flock out of Google's grasp.

Gmail is interesting but I think trying to make money off private information is like playing with fire.  Besides, others can and are doing the same.  Desktop search has more interesting possibilities, but they are vulnerable to counterattacks by Apple and Microsoft.

Finally, Orkut left a bad taste in my mouth.  I was favorable in the past toward Google's habit of offering experimental services, but those service didn't require me to invest substantial amount of time and attention.  Orkut did and I now feel like a spent laboratory rat.  While some people might laugh at Friendster, at least they are trying earnestly to make something out of it.

So, I am sending Google IPO to the null device.