Fusion Middleware

The Other

Greg Pavlik - Thu, 2014-07-03 12:33
It is the nature of short essays or speeches that they can at best explore the surface of an idea. This is a surprisingly difficult task, since ideas worth exploring usually need to be approached with some rigor. The easy use of the speech form is to promote an idea to listeners or readers who already share a common view - that is one reason speeches are effective forms for political persuasion for rallying true believers. It's much more difficult to create new vantage points or vistas into a new world - a sense of something grander that calls for further exploration.

Yet this is exactly what Ryszard Kapuscinski accomplishes in his series of talks published as The Other. Here, the Polish journalist builds on his experience and most importantly on the reflections on the Lithuanian-Jewish philosopher Emmanual Levinas to reflect on how the encounter with the Other in a broad, cross cultural sense is the defining event - and opportunity - in late (or post) modernity. For Kapuscinski, the Other is the specifically the non-European cultures in which he spent most of his career as a journalist. For another reader it might be someone very much like Kapuscinski himself.

There are three simple points that Kapuscinski raises that bear attention:

1) The era we live in provides a unique, interpersonal opportunity for encounter with the Other - which is to say that we are neither in the area of relative isolation from the Other that dominated much of human history nor are we any longer in the phase of violent domination that marked the period of European colonial expansion. We have a chance to make space for encounter to be consistently about engagement and exchange, rather than conflict.

2) This encounter cannot primarily technical, its must be interpersonal. Technical means are not only anonymous but more conducive to inculcating mass culture rather than creating space for authentic personal engagement. The current period of human history - post industrial, urbanized, technological - is given to mass culture, mass movements, as a rule - this is accelerated by globalization and communications advances. And while it is clear that the early "psychological" literature of the crowd - and I am thinking not only of the trajectory set by Gustave LeBon, but the later and more mature reflections of Ortega y Gasset - were primarily reactionary, nonetheless they point consistently to the fact that the crowd involves not just a loss of identity, but a loss of the individual: it leaves little room for real encounter and exchange.

While the increasing ability to encounter different cultures offers the possibility of real engagement,  at the same time modern mass culture is the number one threat to the Other - in that it subordinates the value of whatever is unique to whatever is both common and most importantly sellable. In visiting Ukraine over the last few years, what fascinated me the most were the things that made the country uniquely Ukrainian. Following a recent trip, I noted the following in a piece by New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof on a visit to Karapchiv: "The kids here learn English and flirt in low-cut bluejeans. They listen to Rihanna, AC/DC and Taylor Swift. They have crushes on George Clooney and Angelina Jolie, watch “The Simpsons” and “Family Guy,” and play Grand Theft Auto. The school here has computers and an Internet connection, which kids use to watch YouTube and join Facebook. Many expect to get jobs in Italy or Spain — perhaps even America."

What here makes the Other both unique and beautiful is being obliterated by mass culture. Kristof is, of course, a cheerleader for this tragedy, but the true opportunity Kapuscinski asks us to look for ways to build up and offer support in encounter.

3) Lastly and most importantly, for encounter with the Other to be one of mutual recognition and sharing, the personal encounter must have an ethical basis. Kapuscinski observes that the first half of the last century was dominated by Husserl and Heidegger - in other words by epistemic and ontological models. It is no accident, I think, that the same century was marred by enormities wrought by totalizing ideologies - where ethics is subordinated entirely, ideology can rage out of control. Kapuscinski follows Levinas in response - ultimately seeing the Other as a source of ethical responsibility is an imperative of the first order.

The diversity of human cultures is, as Solzhenitzyn rightly noted, the "wealth of mankind, its collective personalities; the very least of them wears its own special colors and bears within itself a special facet of God's design." And yet is only if we can encounter the Other in terms of mutual respect and self-confidence, in terms of exchange and recognition of value in the Other, that we can actually see the Other as a treasure - one that helps ground who I am as much as reveals the treasure for what it is. And this is our main challenge - the other paths, conflict and exclusion, are paths we cannot afford to tread.

Maven support for 12.1.3 Service Bus & SOA Suite artifacts

Edwin Biemond - Fri, 2014-06-27 15:56
With the 12.1.3 release of Oracle Service Bus and Oracle SOA Suite we finally can build all our soa projects with Maven. And this time we can do it natively without calling a utility like configjar or ANT from Maven . We start by setting all the required variables like JAVA_HOME,M2_HOME and PATH export JAVA_HOME=/Library/Java/JavaVirtualMachines/jdk1.7.0_45.jdk/Contents/Home/jre export M2_HOME=

Open Source as religion - when the Bazaar becomes a Cathedral

Steve Jones - Fri, 2014-06-27 10:00
The seminal book on Open Source development "Cathedral and the Bazaar" talks eloquently about the difference between commercial software development and open source development.  In the past few years however there has been another shift, a shift where companies are actively releasing their technology into Open Source as a competitive differentiation.  A claim of 'we are open' because the source
Categories: Fusion Middleware

Telling Tales

Greg Pavlik - Sun, 2014-06-08 18:50
After struggling to find time for many months, I finally was able to sit down and watch without interruption Benjamin Bagby's Beowulf performance - an adaptation that relies on Bagby's voice and a reconstruction of a 6th century 6 tone Anglo-Saxon harp. The performance is engrossing and provokes a strong imaginative response, one that would have been communally experienced. Of course the only way to revive a sense of communal experience in the case of Bagby is to see him perform live - however, given the performance is entirely in Old English and as such most unintelligible without subtitles, I think a digital adaptation may be a necessary tradeoff. In many ways, Bagby's Beowulf is a reminder of how impoverished our notion of entertainment is - ephemeral, base, isolating and essentially throw away as a rule.

By the way, it's not entirely the case that the English are unable to create something of the same texture today - several times during the performance I thought of Judith Weir's one person, unaccompanied opera King Harald's Saga. Weir's work is much shorter, principally a musical composition and less poetically rich, so it is difficult to compare the two directly: Beowulf remains the provenance of a balladeer first and foremost, and this is a genre that more and more feels lost to our world - poetry today rarely seems to be meant to be read allowed and even more rarely follows epic formats. This is a lost social phenomena, for which we are impoverished: in fact, the last long work of a balladeer I read was Ethiopian Enzira Sebhat, itself a medieval work dedicated to the Virgin Mary. The closest - though only indirectly comparable - works to the Enzira Sebhat that I am aware of currently being composed are akathistos hymns of the Russian Orthodox tradition. And while many of those recent compositions are less-than-accomplished literary works, they unquestionably represent a rich and living and at times very beautiful means of transmission of communal memory and values. I am not aware of any recent akathistos compositions that have the expressive beauty and originality of the Byzantine hymnographer Romanos the Melodist, the modern akathist has sometimes proven a source of inspiration for exceptionally great art: the late Sir John Tavener's setting of the "thanksgiving akathist" being perhaps the most significant case in point.

Memories of the way we were...

Greg Pavlik - Sat, 2014-05-31 16:13
The fascinating thing about Hadoop is the obviousness of its evolutionary needs. For example, MapReduce coupled with reliable scale out storage was a powerful - even revolutionary - effect for organizations with both lots of and multi-structured data. Out of the gate, Hadoop unlocked data "applications" that were for all intents and purposes unimplementable. At the same time, it didn't take much imagination to see that separating the compute model from resource management would be essential for future applications that did not fit well with MapReduce itself. It took a lot of work and care to get YARN defined, implemented and hardened, but the need for YARN itself was fairly obvious. Now it is here and Hadoop is no longer about "batch" data processing.

Note, however, it takes a lot of work to make the evolutionary changes available. In some cases, bolt on solutions have emerged to fill the gap. For key value data management, HBase is a perfect example. Several years ago, Eric Baldeschwieler was pointing out that HDFS could have filled that role. I think he was right, but the time it would take to get "HBase-type" functionality implemented via HDFS would have been a very long path indeed. In that case, the community filled the gap with HBase and it is being "back integrated" into Hadoop via YARN in a way that will make for a happier co-existence.

Right now we are seeing multiple new bolt on attempts to add functionality to Hadoop. For example, there are projects to add MPP databases on top of Hadoop itself. It's pretty obvious that this is at best a stop gap again - and one that comes at a pretty high price - I don't know of anyone that seriously thinks that a bolt on MPP is ultimately the right model for the Hadoop ecosystem. Since the open source alternatives look to be several years away from being "production ready", that raises an interesting question: is Hadoop evolution moving ahead at a similar or even more rapid rate to provide a native solution - a solution that will be more scalable, more adaptive and more open to a wider range of use cases and applications - including alternative declarative languages and compute models?

I think the answer is yes: while SQL on Hadoop via Hive is really the only open source game in town for production use cases - and its gotten some amazing performance gains in the first major iteration on Tez that we'll talk more about in the coming days - its clear that the Apache communities are beginning to deliver a new series of building blocks for data management at scale and speed: Optiq's Cost Based Optimizer; Tez for structuring multi-node operator execution; ORC and vectorization for optimal storage and compute; HCat for DDL. But what's missing? Memory management. And man has it ever been missing - that should have been obvious as well (and it was - one reason that so many people are interested in Spark for efficient algorithm development).

What we've seen so far has been two extremes available when it comes to supporting memory management (especially for SQL) - all disk and all memory. An obvious point here is that neither is ultimately right for Hadoop. This is a long winded intro to point to two, interrelated pieces by Julian Hyde and Sanjay Radia unveiling a model that is being introduced across multiple components called Discardable In-memory Materialized Query (DIMMQ). Once you see this model, it becomes obvious that the future of Hadoop for SQL - and not just SQL - is being implemented in real time. Check out both blog posts:



MDM isn't about data quality its about collaboration

Steve Jones - Tue, 2014-05-27 10:00
I'm going to state a sacrilegious position for a moment: the quality of data isn't a primary goal in Master Data Management Now before the perfectly correct 'Garbage In, Garbage Out' statement let me explain.  Data Quality is certainly something that MDM can help with but its not actually the primary aim of MDM. MDM is about enabling collaboration, collaboration is about the cross-reference
Categories: Fusion Middleware

Data Lakes will replace EDWs - a prediction

Steve Jones - Fri, 2014-05-23 15:14
Over the last few years there has been a trend of increased spending on BI, and that trend isn't going away.  The analyst predictions however have, understandably, been based on the mentality that the choice was between a traditional EDW/DW model or Hadoop.  With the new 'Business Data Lake' type of hybrid approach its pretty clear that the shift is underway for all vendors to have a hybrid
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Lipstick on the iceberg - why the local view matters for IT evolution

Steve Jones - Thu, 2014-05-22 13:00
There is a massive amount of IT hype that is focused on what people see, its about the agile delivery of interfaces, about reporting, visualisation and interactional models.  If you could weight hype then it is quite clear that 95% of all IT is about this area.  Its why we need development teams working hand-in-hand with the business, its why animations and visualisation are massively important.
Categories: Fusion Middleware

How to select a Hadoop distro - stop thinking about Hadoop

Steve Jones - Thu, 2014-05-22 10:00
Scoop, Flume, PIG, Zookeeper.  Do these mean anything to you?  If they do then the odds are you are looking at Hadoop.  The thing is that while that was cool a few years ago it really is time to face it that HDFS is a commodity, Map Reduce is interesting but not feasible for most users and the real question is how we turn all that raw data in HDFS into something we can actually use. That means
Categories: Fusion Middleware

Deep Dive: Oracle WebCenter Tips and Traps!

Bex Huff - Tue, 2014-04-08 18:26

I'm currently at IOUG Collaborate 2014 in Las Vegas, and I recently finished my 2-hour deep dive into WebCenter. I collected a bunch of tips & tricks in 5 different areas: metadata, contribution, consumption, security, and integrations:

As usual, a lot of good presentations this year, but the Collaborate Mobile App makes it a bit tough to find them...

Bezzotech will be at booth 1350, right by Oracle, be sure to swing by and register for a free iPad, or even a free consulting engagement!

read more

Categories: Fusion Middleware

Microservices is SOD all within SOA

Steve Jones - Tue, 2014-03-25 10:06
Microservices is a Service Oriented Delivery approach, all within a Service Oriented Architecture context. (Long Title ;) Ok so a few more updates since the last time I wrote about Microservices and I think its worth just updating as it really is heavily underlining why Microservices is a Service Oriented Delivery approach that absolutely can fit within a Service Oriented Architecture.  Lets be
Categories: Fusion Middleware

Microservices is SOA, for those who know what SOA is.

Steve Jones - Tue, 2014-03-18 10:05
Ok so its started a bit of debate on Twitter and now there have been emails, but in the spirit of openness I thought I'd better blog.  Now its good that Martin has now added a side bar on SOA to his article on Microservices but that really makes it worse in many ways.  I'll get to that at the end but first off lets explain why Microservices is just another SOA implementation pattern.  Its SOD
Categories: Fusion Middleware

What is real-time? Depends on who you ask

Steve Jones - Wed, 2014-03-12 13:29
"Real-time" its a word that gets thrown about a lot in IT and its worth documenting a few of the different ways it gets used Hard Real-time This is what Real-time Java was created to address (along with Soft Real-time) what is this?  Easiest way to say it is that often in Hard Real-time environments the following statement is true If it doesn't finish in X milliseconds then people might die So
Categories: Fusion Middleware

Microservices - Money for old rope or re-badging SOA for the cool kids

Steve Jones - Tue, 2014-03-11 13:00
Hat tip to John Evedemon for the heads up on this one.  Martin Fowler is peddling a new approach, 'Microservices' which... wait for it is a way of developing applications as a suite of services.  Each one of which has its own process thread and 'communicates via lightweight mechanisms' such as.... over HTTP. But wait there is more, you'll be stunned to know that these services can be built
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What are the types of Data Scientist?

Steve Jones - Tue, 2014-03-11 11:00
There are various views going around on what a Data Scientist is and what their value is to an organisation and the salaries they command.  To me however asking 'what is a Data Scientist?' is like asking 'What is a Physicist?' sure 'someone who studies Physics' might be a factually accurate but pointless definition.  How does that separate someone who did Physics in High School from Albert
Categories: Fusion Middleware

BI change is coming, time to get over it and get on with the job

Steve Jones - Fri, 2014-03-07 11:15
One of the things that always stuns me in IT is how people don't appear to like change.  Whether it was the EAI folks pushing back on Web Services in 2000 in favour of their old-school approaches.  The package guys pushing back against SaaS or now the BI guys pushing back against the new wave of BI technologies and approaches the message is always the same: We are happy doing what we are doing,
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The next big wave of IT is Software Development

Steve Jones - Mon, 2014-03-03 10:25
I can smell a change coming, the last few years have seen cloud and SaaS on the rise and seen a fragmentation in application development (thanks in a large part to the appalling stewardship of Java) and a real focus of budgets around BI and 'vanilla' package approaches.  Now this is a good thing, both because I jumped out of the Java boat onto the BI boat a few years ago but also because its
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Software Development Wave 4: back to the package

Steve Jones - Mon, 2014-03-03 10:20
The end of the next Software Development wave will be when Software development against 'eats itself' as it did with with technologies like Hadoop showing a new value in information, with platforms like SFDC showing new pre-build services, where people like GoodData have turned BI into SaaS.  So we will see the same evolution again and a new generation of commoditisation which drives
Categories: Fusion Middleware

Configure Coherence HotCache

Edwin Biemond - Tue, 2014-02-04 22:29
Coherence can really accelerate and improve your application because it's fast, high available, easy to setup and it's scalable. But when you even use it together with the JCache framework of Java 8 or the new Coherence Adapter in Oracle SOA Suite and OSB 12c it will even be more easier to use Coherence as your main HA Cache.  Before Coherence 12.1.2 when you want to use Coherence together with


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