An ExceptionalMail, a Contrail, a Concord and a Phenom(enon) – Snippets


  • Expect the Exceptional: A system admin is faced with a regular pattern of emails arriving that confirm things have either worked or occasionally failed. The admin scans them for the “is on fire” part and acts accordingly. But there’s also the other case where no mail was generated, but how would you know that email hadn’t arrived. With that in mind, Alan Bell has just rolled out This is a system designed to detect that exceptional moment when the mails don’t appear or do appear and have trigger words in them and then make sure you realise that this exceptional thing has happened. He’s written a blog post about the system, the AGPLv3 licensed source of which is up on GitHub.
  • Juniper’s SDN Contrail: Juniper has open sourced its SDN controller for its Contrail Software Defined Networking offering and started to host the Apache 2.0 licensed software. Plus points to Juniper for using open protocols like XMPP for messaging between components. They are also running labs to get developers up to speed and the source is available on GitHub. So, if you want another open source way to manage the physical and virtual networking between physical and virtual servers, there’s another option. The SDN world is rapidly evolving and being open source seems to be the easiest way to get partner/competitors on board though in this case, Juniper’s VP of Software Bob Muglia says the switch to open source was driven by customers says who are going down the OpenStack and CloudStack paths. Interestingly, this release is ahead of schedule as it was due in 2014. Lets see how Juniper plays with the world.
  • Concord: The good part – Dave Winer has released an outliner called Concord which is designed to be embedded “anywhere information is structured and organised”. The bad part – Winer says he want to ensure compatibility between features added by developers and has licensed the JavaScript code under the GPL which in no way stops someone from adding entirely incompatible features and breakage to their version while making it unlikely to be used in many public facing web projects where permissive licenses are much more common. Still, at least GPL3 licensed projects have access to an outliner now. You can find the code over on GitHub
  • Something like a Phenom(enon): Facebook have quietly release libPhenom, an eventing framework for Linux and OS X applications written in C. It lets developers break up their applications into Jobs which can be scheduled by the library, comes with memory management which keeps count, has streaming, buffered I/O, a set of useful data structures, a data type for JSON and a printf implementation which can be taught about how to format different objects. It looks light and simple, its licensed under Apache 2.0 and its in active development. If you are writing C based servers and want to make them scale, this may be one to check out.