Friday, August 13, 2010

The open source model comes to medical research

An intriguing article in today's New York Times about a new way of organizing medical research--get all the raw material out there, so lots of eyes can see it:

The key to the Alzheimer’s project was an agreement as ambitious as its goal: not just to raise money, not just to do research on a vast scale, but also to share all the data, making every single finding public immediately, available to anyone with a computer anywhere in the world.

No one would own the data. No one could submit patent applications, though private companies would ultimately profit from any drugs or imaging tests developed as a result of the effort.

Sound familiar? I like the distinction drawn between open information and "ultimate profit". It reminds be of Richard Stallman's definition of Free Software: "Think of free as in Free Speech, not as in Free Beer."

Doing Unix-type things on the Windows CMD prompt

I've playing around with the SVN command line recently, and the inability to use UNIX command-line tools like grep has been irritating. I've done some Googling for Windows equivalents to the basic Unix command line toolkit, and here's what I've found.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Sitecore 6.2 WebDAV features

With 6.2, Sitecore allows you to access uploaded Media Resources as if they were on your local file system--drag and drop file upload, right click to edit, etc. Here's a useful walk through from Sitecore:

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Sitecore Coming Attractions

Just attended a user group presentation on Sitecore 6.3 and Sitecore Azure.  6.3 is all about cleaning up the relationship between Content Management and Content Authoring servers.  The Staging Module goes away, and is replaced by an event queuing architecture that enables, among other things, multiple Content Management servers (e.g one in California, one in the UK), to stay in sync.

But things get really cool with Sitecore Azure, which allows one-click style deployment of Content Management and Content Delivery servers from the cloud, for rapid scale up.  This looks like a big deal for Microsoft, since it provides a pretty nifty front-end to Azure.

Update: Microsoft posted a case study on Sitecore Azure.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

How to avoid Merge clutter

Subversion marks unmodified files as modified - Stack Overflow explains why you get tons of extraneous files and folders as modified after doing a merge. Basic takeaways:
  1. Always merge to the root directory.
  2. Once merge info gets into a file or folder, the merge info gets updated with every merge.
  3. The only way to fix this is with a recursive delete of the merge info in children of the project root.
  4. Before doing this, you need to make sure that the list of merges in the project root is exhaustive, or you may end up applying a merge twice. This is unlikely however, as merge info is a recent addition to SVN, and the underlying code is designed to recognize if a merge has already been applied.