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Name: Jonathan Abbey
Member since: 2001-01-08 03:56:06
Last Login: 2009-03-27 17:04:51

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Jonathan has spent the last thirteen years developing Ganymede, an object-oriented directory management framework released under the GPL at


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Just got through putting out a fix for a dumb as a bag of hammers bug in the Ganymede 1.0.8 release of a couple of weeks ago. Dumb, dumb, dumb. <sigh>

On the positive side, I've had quite a decent few hours upstairs in the loft at the house listening to french canadian radio stations over the Internet and just messing with code, documentation, and all of the stuff that goes along with christening a new release.

<obligatory>Woo, long time no post.</obligatory>

Things have been busy at the lab. Lots of sysadmin tasks not related to Ganymede, but Ganymede itself has progressed quite nicely. Version 1.0.6 came out a few weeks ago, and it is working wonderfully. I think I've finally got a good, clean, stable 1.0 build out now. <smirk>. Now all I need are users..

So, how does one get users? More importantly, how does one get contributors? Surely there have to be other people out there that have an interest in medium to large scale intelligent directory services management? There are several directions I have been considering going for Ganymede 1.1, to say nothing of 2.0, but with so little feedback and suggestions it's hard to know which improvement s (paging to disk of the database rather than holding everything in VM, enhanced flexibility of the type system, support for container based delegation, encryption of the RMI communications layer, support for a SOAP API) people would most benefit from.

30 Jul 2001 (updated 31 Jul 2001 at 15:33 UTC) »

I'm really tired. Was up til all hours last night getting Ganymede 1.0.5 released.

At the moment, I'm feeling a bit burnt out on it. I don't know whether people out there are finding it useful or not, and I have no idea whether much of anyone is actually using it apart from us and one oil company in Canada that adopted it in a way-way-way-too-early form from one of the 0.94 pre-releases.

Also, I've been tracking down and reading a lot of Brett Glass' anti-GPL rants, and I have started to wonder if releasing software under the GPL really is such a great public gift or not, as versus a FreeBSD-style license. I know lots of people say that Brett Glass is a whiner who wants to be able to make money off of other people's software, but it is true that when a GPL'ed piece of software exists for a particular purpose, it can suck all the air out of commercial versions of the same thing. I'm just not sure that the FreeBSD license is all that better on that count.

Anyway, I just wonder whether Ganymede will ever be 'done', and whether it matters a great deal. If it was a commercial product, I'd at least know whether it was worth anything to people. I've had useful bug reports from people, but no significant contributions from anyone outside of people that I work with for the last five years that I have been working on it.

<sigh> I'm just tired right now.

27 Jul 2001 (updated 27 Jul 2001 at 06:41 UTC) »

I'm looking at the tail end of a 14 hour work day today. It's been a very long time since I've done that. Wound up reworking part of Ganymede's permissions system. I had left a hole in the permissions system, where the "built-in" fields that all objects automatically have (Owner List, Notes, Expiration Date, Removal Date) did not have their permissions tracked independently of the object as a whole. That meant that if an end user was allowed to edit an object to change their password, that end user was also capable of mucking with those four fields.

Bad, dumb, silly, senseless. But I fixed it good, and put in a number of explicit permissions rules in the server that will make everything a lot safer in the presence of a malicious client. In general, I've been very good about making the server not trust the client for anything, but there were some subtle aspects to the permission rules that assumed good behavior on the client's part rather than being explicitly enforced. No more.

So.. a good, old-fashioned late night hack session, with lots of good music (Morcheeba, the soundtrack to Trainspotting) cranked up way louder than I can do when I'm not the only engineering staff member in the building. And I've got some good changes that will make version 1.0.5 worthwhile soon, yay.

Well, I'm starting to get a feel for C again. I had forgotten the joy of hand-crafting pointer loops to do any kind of string manipulation.

That's irony, of course. But it is neat to run my 500 line C program in a debugger and to be able to step through it statement by statement.

On the other hand, I have almost never needed to use a debugger on my 250,000 loc distributed Java program.

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