Get highlights about programming news stories, which include vulnerabilities found in popular XML libraries, the CentOS debacle, PDC 2009 open registration, new UI prototypes at SIGGRAPH 2009, and more.
ASP.NET vs. LAMP vs. WIMP: Stunning results in this performance test
Joe Stagner has put together some numbers comparing PHP on Windows and IIS7, PHP on Ubuntu and Apache 2, and ASP.NET. PHP on LAMP and WIMP, while not being equal in performance on any one category, were about equal overall. The real story here is that ASP.NET trounced them both. To say that I was surprised is an understatement. Yes, ASP.NET is pre-compiled, and yes, C# is a strongly typed, static language. But still, conventional wisdom is that ASP.NET is so monolithic that there is "no way" it can beat the relatively svelte PHP. Who knew?
Microsoft's PDC 2009 open for registration
Mary Jo Foley has posted details about the PDC 2009 conference. It will be held November 16-19, 2009 in Los Angeles, and registration recently opened up. I have heard lots of good things about this event, and I would love to go. Chris Eargle also has more in depth details.
Vulnerabilities found in popular XML libraries
A number of XML libraries that are commonly used have been found to have vulnerabilities. Included are libraries from Sun, Apache Software Foundation, Python, and the GNOME project.
Sgt. Clippy goes to war
Well, not really. The U.S. military has put together an extremely ambitious AI project to create an assistant similar to Clippy (the much maligned assistant in Microsoft Office). The tool is designed to help military personnel cope with the overwhelming flow of critical information that they face on a 24 hour basis. It is designed to learn very quickly based on user input, as opposed to Clippy, which ran off of static rules. Ironically, when Clippy was still a prototype known as Lumiére, it worked the same way, but computers at that time were too slow to make this a useful application on the typical desktop PC.
CentOS debacle highlights open source risks
The recent mess with the CentOS project illustrates the fears that many organizations have about open source. A lot of companies perceive open source projects as having unknown risks due to the lack of formal structure or legal status. It's a shame because not every open source project is like this (the Apache Software Foundation comes to mind). But it makes it clear that you should do due diligence on a project before you hitch a mission critical project to it, just like you would make sure that a company is solid and reliable before bringing its products into a mission-critical situation.
Is the Coverflow idea really that bad?
David Morgenstern over at ZDNet says that the introduction of components to make it easy to add a Coverflow-like UI to Mac apps is a bad idea. My experience has been that goofy UI widgets come and go. Remember a few years ago (okay, more like seven or eight years ago) when "skinning" apps was all the rage? What happened to it? Well, people quickly realized that it typically made apps impossible to work with, so they stopped doing it. Sure, some apps go overboard with useless eye candy, but by and large, market forces generally shake these things out pretty fast. The reality is, Coverflow is a fairly specialized UI idea, and I bet that most apps that try to incorporate it will not keep it for long.
But just when I thought skinning was dead...
Five neat new UI prototypes at SIGGRAPH 2009
The ACM's SIGGRAPH 2009 event had five really neat new UI prototypes. While I question the utility of some of them, the prototypes are all extremely cool from a technical standpoint.
RubyConf 2009 looking for proposals
RubyConf 2009, which will be held November 19 - 21, 2009 in San Francisco, is looking for proposals. The deadline is August 21.
J.JaDisclosure of Justin's industry affiliations: Justin James has a working arrangement with Microsoft to write an article for MSDN Magazine. He also has a contract with Spiceworks to write product buying guides.
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