Blue Screen Of Duds

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Archive for the ‘Content Management Systems’ Category

Automattic turns down $200 million offer

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Automattic, the company that created the WordPress.com blogging platform and oversees the WordPress.org open source project, has rejected a $200 million acquisition offer, says multiple sources. — Techcrunch

I’d said a while ago that even the $300 million figure quoted by Rafat earlier was not the right valuation for the company. Automattic does not only create software that helps people — and now a fair number of publications — publish content, they also organise it in a consistent manner using global tags and categories. They are, in fact, a content management, content delivery and allied services company, very much unlike what the world thinks of them as: a blog software company.

If they stick it out in the long run by themselves (no reason why they should not do it, since they have not taken on board any major funding in a while now, which is a good indication that the company is doing well in terms of cash flow/reserves), they would be worth a whole lot more.

Update: More evidence to back it up that WordPress is much more than a blog software company.  How long it will be before they get an actual editor to run that page and push out more organised content?

Written by shyam

October 30, 2007 at 9:15 am

Password idiocy at Jet Airways website

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Whoever made changes to the code on the Jet Airways website should be in the least made to stand in a corner for the whole day. The line of code that’s responsible for a considerable bit of frustration for me on a Sunday is the following:

<input class=”formobject” id=”usrUserLogin_txtPassword” type=”password” maxlength=”8” name=”usrUserLogin:txtPassword”>

What it has done is to limit the password length to 8 characters, which, being longer than that in my case, is not letting me log in to the website to update my details. Basically, anyone with a password longer than eight characters won’t be able to log in to their account till someone fixes this. Ugh!

And what the magic of an industrial strength framework has done (Microsoft Commerce Server 2002, in this case) is to inherit the value of all the login boxes across the website from the same model, truncating it to eight characters before it is posted back for validation, which would fail for all passwords longer than eight characters.

I could find a loophole somewhere, with a mix of the Web Developer and Tamper Data extensions, to log in to my account. But the page that I wanted, to claim missing miles, checks back with the same model again, throwing me back to the log in page. I can only hope that this is an error on the logic front than someone having messed up the database itself.

Written by shyam

April 8, 2007 at 10:53 am

Ibibo Pliggs it

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Ibibo Labs has a link to one of their new products under testing, a Digg-clone running on Pligg, called Newscola. Strangely, for all of Nasper’s technology muscle, MIH had to use a freely available software to push the product out. Now, I don’t have any problems using open source or free software, but the mistake that most companies make is in rushing to the market just to launch the product, without any thought given to how it would integrate with their existing systems. Ibibo’s other services run on .Net and IIS, while Pligg is a LAMP product and there is no common login. I can forsee that at some point a poor developer will end up having to write hacks into Pligg’s authentication module to integrate the regular Ibibo login into the system or migrate the system wholesale to .Net, which is such a ridiculous waste of time.

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Written by shyam

February 2, 2007 at 6:43 am

Is Microsoft ignoring the mainstream media server space?

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Mainstream media publications may not be a high value market for Microsoft, but the segment scores very high as far as visibility and perception go. Who would really not love to have a “Powered by” label on a high volume traffic website like the New York Times, as a showpiece for their product? What you are going to read is by no means a scientific or foolproof way of coming to any conclusion. It is based on the headers that the server returns and Netcraft coming in as the fallback option when faced with the ‘unknown’ server signature.

The list is broken down into three parts. The first is a list of the websites of the top twenty newspapers in America. The second is a smaller listing of European publications. The third is a list of publications from India, because, well that’s where I come from.

The US List

USA Today
IIS5 & BigIp

The Wall Street Journal
IBM WebSphere Application Server

The New York Times
SunOne Webserver

LA Times
SunOne Webserver

The Washington Post
SunOne Webserver

Chicago Tribune
SunOne Webserver

New York Daily News
Apache

Philadelphia Inquirer
Apache & Akamai

Rocky Mountain News
Netscape Enterprise 4.1

Houston Chronicle
Apache 2.0.x + Akamai

New York Post
Apache 2.0.x

Detrori Free Press
IIS6

Dallas Morning News
Apache 2.0.x

Minneapolis Star Tribune
Apache 1.3.x & Akamai

Boston Globe
Apache 2.0.x

The Star-Ledger
Apache

Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Apache 1.3.x

Arizona Republic
Apache 2.0.x

Newsday
SunOne Webserver

San Francisco Chronicle
Apache 1.3.x

Apache: 11
SunOne Webserver: 5
IIS: 2
Websphere Application Server: 1
Netscape Enterprise: 1
Oracle Application Server: 0
Java Server Pages: 0

The European List

International Herald Tribune
Apache

Le Monde
Apache & Akamai

The Jerusalem Post
Java Server Pages & Akamai

Der Spiegel
Apache 1.3.x

El Pais
Apache & Akamai

Corriere Della Sera
Apache 2.0.x

The Guardian
Apache

The Independent
Oracle-Application-Server-10g

The Sun
Apache 1.3.x

The Mirror
Apache 1.3.x

BBC News
Apache

South China Morning Post
Netscape Enterprise 3.6

Apache: 9
SunOne Webserver: 0
IIS: 0
Websphere Application Server: 0
Netscape Enterprise: 1
Oracle Application Server: 1
Java Server Pages: 1

The Indian List

NDTV
IIS5 & Akamai

Rediff
Apache 2.0.x & Akamai

Indiatimes
IIS6 & Akamai

Hindustan Times
Netscape Enterprise 6.0

The Hindu
Apache 2.2.x

CNN-IBN
Apache 2.2.x

CNBC TV18-India
Apache 2.2.x

Sify.com
Apache 2.0.x

Mumbai Mirror
IIS6

Daily News and Analysis
IIS6

The Indian Express
Apache 2.2.x

Mid Day
IIS6

The Pioneer
IIS5

Tehelka.com
IIS4

WebDunia.com
IIS5

The Telegraph
SunOne & ASP

Malayala Manorama
IIS6 & Akamai

Business Standard
Apache 2.2.x

Apache: 7
SunOne Webserver: 1
IIS: 9
Websphere Application Server: 0
Netscape Enterprise: 1
Oracle Application Server: 0
Java Server Pages: 0

The Final Count

Apache: 27
IIS: 14
SunOne: 6
Netscape Enterprise: 3
Websphere Application Server: 1
Oracle Application Server: 1
Java Server Pages: 1

Couple of interesting observations:

  • 3 out of 20 in the US use a CDN (Akamai)
  • 3 out of 12 in the Europe chart use a CDN (Akamai)
  • 4 out of 18 in India use a CDN (Akamai)
  • Sun is impressive with its pitch in US, but non existent in Europe and India (with the exception one site which is running ASP via SunOne).
  • No Apache 2.2.x in the US list
  • IIS does well in India
  • Netscape Enterprise is still around from version 3.6 to 6.0
  • Help! Somebody out there still uses IIS4 on a live website. Line them up and shoot them!

One of the main reasons why this might not be a high value market for Microsoft is that it has become more or less the norm for media websites with huge traffic to get on the Akamai CDN these days than to scale vertically or horizontally to serve the surge in traffic. In fact, some websites on the list run on ancient five to six-year-old servers, running the origin servers for Akamai. From that point of view, Microsoft has little to gain because these guys are not buying new licenses for new CPUs or new servers.

Another interesting trend is the use of acceleration and caching devices like BigIp and Netscaler, that used to be the domain of major ecommerce operations. It is hard to predict and tune your infrastructure in a media set up. The traffic patterns are unpredictable and after a while you really don’t want to break you head over your squid clusters and nothing works as well as a well set-up acceleration device that does TCP offloading.

More to come later.

p.s: The US top-20 list has been sourced from here.

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Written by shyam

January 4, 2007 at 1:16 pm

Skin yo feeds bros

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Alex Boxworth has a yummy application that is hosted at the Sourcelabs sandbox called Skinnerbox. As most you might be unaware, it is possible to make your XML feeds look a lot more decent than the taggy mess it looks right now by using XSL transformations. Bascially, you just slap on an XML stylesheet to it (very much on the lines of the normal CSS that you use in HTML) and you get a page that looks a lot better.

Now, Blogger already ‘skins’ its Atom feed, but it is pretty plain and sadly, since you cannot mess around with the XML feed templates in Blogger (at least that is what I remember), you can’t do much more than to drool at what you could do with it. But if you are one of the lucky ones who can tamper with their XML templates, make sure that you try this one out.

p.s: IE7 already formats XML feeds internally, which is both good and bad. Users would no longer be exposed to raw XML as a result of this, but what if I want to use my own stylesheet to format my feed?

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Written by shyam

September 7, 2006 at 10:47 am

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