streetdirectory.com hosed?


This is what I get from http://www.streetdirectory.com. Looks like they are front-ending their Windows 2008 server with a FreeBSD machine.

The preceding shows two images: one is the hosed streetdirectory.com site and the other the article that ran in the Digital Life publication of the Straits Times today, April 1st 2008. Don’t let the date fool you. I think the story is a serious one but is an example of how not to write a technology article (subtly sponsored by Microsoft). It should have been an advertorial, but it is not indicated as such.

Let’s look at the article:

While more users are going down the open-source path, one Singapore firm will be ending its nine-year yourney on that route. Its grouse – a lack of open source talent here.
The company is Virtual Map, which provides road maps through its streetdirectory.com website. It also develops and hosts web-based map aplications for corporate clients.
Since its founding in 1999, the firm has been hosting its map applications on open source operating system, MandrakeSoft, renamed Mandriva three years ago.
All was well until last year, when its IT administrator left. “We couldn’t replace him,” said Eugene Lim, director of business development at Virtual Map.
The firm ended up hiring someone well-versed in another Linux operating system called Fedora Core.
Eugene said because skill are “not portable” between the different open source flavours, his company had to move its map applications to the new operating system.
“We spent three weeks doing that – all because of one guy.”
The firm’s frustrations did not end there. Recently, it found itself repeating the three-week exercise, moving applications from Fedora Core to yet another Linux distribution, as “the open source community has decided to end support for Fedora”.
What this means is that the community will no longer develop security patches and feature improvements on the Fedora operating system.
In October last year, the firm turned to mainstream software vendor Microsoft for help.
“It would be great if we could have only one server operating system running all the time and one neck to choke if things don’t work,” said Eugene.
After testing its map applications on Windows Server 2008, the firm decided to consolidate on the platform.
Customer feedback also helped the map solutions firm arrive at its recent decision.
“Over the years, we’ve received numerous requests to deliver our application on Windows since most customers are more familiar with it (compared to open source).”
Migration is expected to take six to eight months, with the web applications of 50 customers here, including DBS Bank and Kai Soon Air-Conditioning, running on Windows by the end of this year. These applications include a retail store locator and vehicle tracking.
What made the transition easier is a new feature in Windows Server 2008 that hosts PHP (hypertext preprocessor) applications. The last major release of Windows Server in 2003 does not support programs developed using the open source scripting language.
With PHP support, no re-programming of any of virtual map’s applications is required.
Another new feature called Terminal Services allows system administors to do remote monitoring.
For instance, virtual map’s system administrators no longer have to visit customer’s sites to maintain the servers that run its map applications. Such visits could happen as often as once a month.
“We will be able to cut down travel time, expenses and manpower by 30 per cent,” he said.
That being true, the company admits to having to pay more for technology. With open source, virtual map pays nothing to run an operating system.
With Windows Server 2008, however, the firm has to pay about $4,000 in software licenses, making total IT costs rise by about 12 per cent.

Not a universal problem
With virtual map, the problem seems to be a compound of bad judgement and bad hire. it is a different story with another open source user here.
“Most administrators I’ve met and interviewed have strong backgrounds in Linux or Unix, and can even pick up Windows administration easily. The reverse is seldom true,” said Lo Sheng, vice-president of online technologues and quality at Muvee Technologies.
The Singapore-based movie-editing software maker has saved tens of thousands of dollars using Red Hat Linux servers, Apache web servers and MySQL database. It has three open source administrators, whome Sheng is proud of.
“I would say administrators with strong roots in LInux and Unix are a lot more versatile – not only across the different open-source flavours but also the Windows domain. Incompetent administrators – Windows-based or Linux-based – both are equally capable of making grown men cry.”

I have nothing to say except to watch from the sidelines how streedirectory.com crashs and burns. They have such a horrible site, full of ads with the query that you made burried way down. They have exhibited pure incompetence in their technology design that it is really a joke. About 5 years ago, I was looking up “Beatty Secondary School” on their site. It came back empty. Zip. Nada. Hmm. I sorta knew that it was somewhere in Toa Payoh and when I worked my way around their map, I realized that the school was labelled as “Beatty Sec. School”. Typing it as such gave a hit. Their search is horribly broken as is their entire business model.

It probably is useful to remind ourselves that this is the same company that started suing people for making copies of the map and placing on their websites (at $10,000 a pop) and for this same company to be sued by the Singapore Land Authority for using the maps without permit. I think they deserve to run Windows. We do not want them to have any form of stability. Good riddance.

49 thoughts on “streetdirectory.com hosed?

  1. going windows
    fyi, currently streetdirectory.com is combining freebsd and ubuntu linux for their servers, but the admin decided to left the company about a month ago. i heard from my ex colleages at virtual map, it’s positive they’re going to migrate to windows 2008.

    1. Re: going windows
      If you have the contact details, I would like to approach them and propose a Red Hat Enterprise Linux solution to their problems. Email me at hpillay at redhat dot com.

    1. Re: Half-hearted measure
      And hence, the intent of the article. It is badly written, inaccurate and shows the ignorance of both the journalist and the virtual map representative.

    2. Re: Half-hearted measure
      Hi All,
      Please allow me to iterate the benefits for the customer through utilizing Windows Server 2008.
      Because Windows Server 2008 now supports FastCGI out of the box (you can also download it for Windows Server 2003 as well), customers are able to host their PHP applications in a robust and performant environment. Lets be honest, previous incarnations of Windows Server were not able to host PHP applications in a stable manner.
      With PHP fully supported now, it means that customers can move their PHP applications from existing platforms to Windows Server 2008 to get the performance benefits (To see what benefits Virtual Maps gets you can read my blog at http://blogs.msdn.com/the_hardman, in one such application they achieved a 130% performance increase) withough having to change the application saving time, effort and money. Also because it supports PHP, Virtual Maps development staff are able to continue development with PHP, if they were forced to move to ASP .NET to run on Windows Server, then there would be the additional costs of training or hiring staff to get up to speed on ASP .NET.
      In addition, because of the ability to install Windows Server 2008 in a Server Core mode (You can read more about server core here http://www.microsoft.com/windowsserver2008/en/us/overview.aspx), Virtual Maps can now have an environment that is quickly deployed and with a minimalistic attack surface out of the box.
      Thanks Harish for raising this topic to a broader audience, we are really excited about Windows Server 2008 and its ability to be a great platform for Open Source applications. If any of your readers would like to explore the options of realizing these benefits on Windows Server 2008, please do not hesitate to contact me at matthard @ microsoft.com.

      1. Re: Half-hearted measure
        I raised the issue not to say that Windows 2008 is of any particular value, but to say that the article is a piece of journalistic disappointment.
        You can throw all the percentages you need about this, that and the other. The fact that when someone is incompetent, it is just that. In this particular instance, I am very certain that the entire episode was engineered by clever “marketing funds” from your colleagues in the marketing side of your house to buy the customer.
        So, for all the 130% faster code etc etc, the site is down. Explain that, matthard@microsoft.com.
        Tell me that:
        a) Virtual Map was not bought by MS funds to move to Windows 2008
        b) Why is that the site went down on the day the article appeared
        Let’s keep this conversation going.

      2. Re: Half-hearted measure
        Hi Harish,
        In response to your queries,
        a) Virtual Map was not bought by MS funds to move to Windows Server 2008
        I am not sure what you mean by “bought by MS funds”. In all our engagements with customers we work with them to help them discover the tangible benefits for their organization when adopting Microsoft technology. This can be through topics like total cost of ownership, usability or performance gains. Our approach in any account is to understand a customer’s business, listen to their pains, and work with them to find solutions that will ultimately benefit them in the long run.
        b) Why is that the site went down on the day the article appeared?
        I don’t want to make any assumptions on what technical difficulties Virtual Maps were experiencing at the time their site went down. However when you say that it was caused by Windows Server 2008 I can assure you that this is not the case, if you read the case study, you will see that Virtual Maps have plans to move to Windows Server 2008 in the near future based on the benefits they were deriving from the comparison study they did.
        I hope this answers your questions, and please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any other queries.
        By the way, my name is Matthew Hardman, no need to refer to me as an email address🙂
        Thanks

      3. Re: Half-hearted measure
        Thanks Matthew for the reply.
        Bought by MS funds means that the customer is given significant discounts etc in return to be a case study of migration. This was done in 2004/2005 with a bunch of companies who were profiled as being migrated from horrible Linux solutions to wonderful Windows solutions. At least one of them was candid with me that there was funding available to the extend that the whole migration cost them nothing. That’s what “bought by MS funds” means.
        The article is inaccurate in a lot of details, so I have no reason to assume that the timeline referred in it is accurate at all. Hence my conjecture that they are running on some Windows 2008 system (beta perhaps).
        Thanks for engaging.

      4. Re: Half-hearted measure
        Hi, I’ve visited your blog.
        And please, give detail of the Linux version you are comparing to.
        You are making people guess, and without sufficient information, it is not recommended you put the pic out, and claiming 130% performance.

      5. Re: Half-hearted measure
        I just looked at your blog page and it needs silverlight to watch a movie. Why don’t you do us all a favour and put it in flash? Atleast I have gnuash and adobe’s flash plugin to watch it with.

  2. New features?
    PHP and Terminal is not new …
    Why not use in linux? I guess they have been misled, because of the staff hired.
    Why they don’t choose enterprise solutions where there’s 3 -5 years of support at least? Or at least ubuntu LTS …
    They go use a community version, for commercial and I don’t think they know community support for a version is pretty short, and will need to upgrade often.

    1. Re: New features?
      Fedora has a defined end-of-life model. You never run an enterprise on a product that has no extended lifetime AND support model. Red Hat Enterprise Linux has both – 7 years of support and a fully support model. Fedora is a great piece of engineering in itself. It is the upstream of Red Hat Enterprise Linux. Fedora is what Linux is TODAY, Red Hat Enterprise Linux is what Linux has to be for seven years.
      I would encourage anyone from virtual map to contact me at hpillay at redhat dot com. We want to help you and to help you and to ensure that you are not locked into a windows world.

      1. Re: New features?
        Hi Harish,
        i think you are a good blogger. But are you making baseless accusations and assumptions? Because from what i know, Virtual Map are going to Windows 2008, not Windows 2008 yet.
        So what’s behind that error today, is running Linux.
        Anyway, i am sure Microsoft has its facts before they make any statement. And i think you should get the facts before making any statement too..
        You are a respectable blogger, don’t waste that.

      2. Re: New features?
        Your affiliation is a non issue, really. I have been in the free/open source world for a long time (circa 1986). And fwiw, twenty years ago, I was a ‘softie myself. Yes, I am with Red Hat, but that is more of a coincidence (a happy one I might want to add) than anything.

      3. Re: New features?
        Matthew –
        I think you are a good blogger. But are you making baseless accusations and assumptions? Because from what i know, Virtual Map are going to Windows 2008, not Windows 2008 yet.
        Thanks for the compliment. I am quite convinced that I am not too off the mark on virtual map being an “acquired customer” – like earth9 was/is a few years ago.
        It might indeed be that there is no “buying of the customer” in this case, and I will stand corrected. The track record (earth9 as an example), does not show it up that way.
        Anyway, i am sure Microsoft has its facts before they make any statement. And i think you should get the facts before making any statement too.
        MS might have its facts (and can be changed as needed for this is not a court of law) and while I would dearly, dearly like to believe them, again, their track record has far less than honest. As I have alluded to in earlier posts, the people in the organization are fine; it is in the donning of the MS persona that changes the person.
        Again, I will be happy to be proven wrong.
        You are a respectable blogger, don’t waste that.
        Thanks again. Please help me to be honest and fair in my posts and likewise, I ask the same of Microsoft.
        The reason for me reaching out comes from my open source ethos that sees nothing but win-win across the board; not the “I win, you lose” model the proprietary model mandates.
        So, shall I suggest that we form an independent entity that presents information in a transparent and public manner so that nothing is left to the imagination? Where situations as described in the article arises, there is an independent analysis to document and understand everything? I hope you will convince your colleagues to do so.

      4. Re: New features?
        Anonymous,
        You claim that Virtual Map is moving to Windows 2008, and given you’re from MS (which you claimed too), I take that as a fact. Afterall, you do say that MS makes statements on facts, and you represent them as an employee.
        No business can be 100% sure that a new platform will benefit it without having deployed it for real. Effectively, Virtual Map is endorsing a test. Why would any credible company do that if not for some form of incentive, monetary or otherwise?
        I know for a fact that it isn’t a norm for any company to endorse a vendor through case studies (video or otherwise) without actually having used the vendor solution for a reasonable amount of time in a real environment. There’s a good reason for this — credibility.
        Media savvy companies know their credibility is either enhanced or questioned with every media exposure. If they endorse vendors, they’ll be very certain that the solution would’ve provided positive value over a long enough period of time to prove that the benefits are sustainable. And if that’s the case, they’ll usually include mentions of some tangible benefits they’ve received as a result of the solution deployment. Anything less than that would equate to them making statements on a subjective basis. Hypothetically, if Virtual Map finally deploys the new platform for real and it kills their infrastructure, they would then wish they’ve NEVER gone to press with the glowing endorsement in the first place.
        Now, if you insist that no MS incentive is provided, then I question Virtual Map’s credibility completely (which I already do btw, given they’ve gotten all the facts about Fedora and Linux skills completely wrong), and urge Virtual Map to engage a PR manager or fire their existing one. If, hypothetically too, MS did provide incentive for Virtual Map for this purpose, then I question the credibility of all their customer endorsements — past, present, and future.
        It’s all about uncompromising ethics and transparency.
        Sincerely,
        AT-AT

      5. Re: New features?
        its a bit hard since streetdirectory.com bought by jobsdb hongkong (they’re windows fanatics), and i heard they already signed contract with microsoft.

      6. Re: New features?
        Oh, were they? In that case, the story is even weirder. It was not that they could not hire skilled Linux engineers, but a political decision. Very different game isn’t?

  3. Open Source and Support
    At the outset, the article implies that ‘Virtual Map’ could not find support for the open source products. I have a couple of Questions:
    1. Does either the author or the users and the company know that there is a lot of support available provided by reputed companies like Red Hat, Oracle, IBM and several other like SpikeSource for all/most Open source products? And they are much better than the prop. ones as they are driven out of passion than just out of compulsion? Why did Vitual Maps not go for the ‘supported’ open source? But one has to pay for it. There is no free lunch!
    2. Open Source is a two way journey. I think it is only logical to ask what has Virtual Map contributed back in return for taking and running production apps with software from the community?
    3. If they are ‘really’ using open source, what is the need to migrate from one distribution to another? I can’t understand this. Unless they have non-standard code base. In a true open source model, the customer can download the source and have it! So, they can support the same themselves, right?
    Else go for the Supported Enterprise ready distributions like RHEL or Suse or Ubuntu etc. RHEL is truly a certified subset of Fedora and if one gets support for RHEL, it is RedHat’s responsibility to help the customer. I think this is a case of bad management and bad execution and not the fault of any software component.
    SSM
    an open source die hart

    1. Re: Open Source and Support
      SSM –
      Thanks for your comments. They have a choice to do what they want. If they want to bet their business on something that does not come with enterprise grade support, it is their choice. I hope they have enough pride in their business and for it to be successful they should have thought of all of this.
      But if you read the poorly written article, paid support was not what they were prepared to consider until it is way, way too late. And then to blame it on Linux and open source is invoking the Chewbacca Defence. Shameful.
      You make a comment about:
      2. Open Source is a two way journey. I think it is only logical to ask what has Virtual Map contributed back in return for taking and running production apps with software from the community?
      While that is the ideal situation, open source and free software does not mandate it to be two way. It is *nice* to have it, but not a pre-requisite.
      So, in summary, the article is either a clever plant or poor copy-editing. I will bet on the former.

      1. Re: Open Source and Support
        “Core to yet another Linux distribution, as “the open source community has decided to end support for Fedora”.
        What this means is that the community will no longer develop security patches and feature improvements on the Fedora operating system.”
        This is the greatest joke of all.
        Fedora is still ongoing …
        They also didn’t state the core version it is using probably quite old.
        Can’t they upgrade every 6 months if they choose it this way, as community version has a shorter lifecycle. Or every 18 months? With a major upgrade. They are like using the wrong version, and unwilling to upgrade frequently, they should have proceed to corporate linux instead.
        Okay, if necessary, if they wish to think it this way, and want to support their own, then go choose a rolling release distro, which has indefinite patches and support if they want, or else ya, it’s time for Get the Facts Right.

      2. Re: Open Source and Support
        By the way, have you read this?
        http://cid-9720229c26829d90.skydrive.live.com/self.aspx/Public/Virtual%20Maps%20Case%20Study.pdf
        That is link from http://blogs.msdn.com/the_hardman/archive/2008/04/01/php-runs-up-to-130-faster-on-windows-server-2008.aspx#comments
        It’s an unclear case study too.
        They hide a lot of data, even hide the basic linux version.
        And I even suspect, things are done, to show Windows 2008 is superior, it’s like other similar previous case studies done by ms and its associates.

      3. Re: Open Source and Support
        And also, since they are saying existing linux infrastructure.
        I challenge them to use current linux and also same versions of server software to compare alongside and a witness from competing linux company to oversee too. Existing linux infrastructure might be using LAMP versions dated few years ago.
        Disregarding the LAMP versions, while Windows Server 2008 uses the latest server packages or so, and doing tests like that is misleading. It’s like comparing old packages with new packages.
        Don’t forget LAMP increases performance over time.
        I don’t want to go to the core technical detail. Such as server degradation and others due to aged installation(although it might maintain but not as good as new). Comparing aged installation performance, with a freshly installation performance, obviously it’s unfair in tests.

      4. Re: Open Source and Support
        If you look at that PDF, there are some telling signs.
        a) It only mentions “Linux”. It does not say anything more than that.
        b) page 2:
        VM and Microsoft have been long-time partners and VM was keen to test the capabilities of Windows Server 2008 against its Linux setup. VM decided to work with Microsoft to compare the performance of Internet Information Services 7.0 (IIS 7.0) on Windows Server 2008 against Apache on the Linux Operating System.
        There is already an existing partnership. Also note, no mention of what Linux distribution is being used here.
        c) also on page 2:
        The benchmarking procedure was done in Singapore by Chass Computer Consultants Pte Ltd. who measured the performance and response rates of three of VM’s PHP applications listed below: …
        If you refer to page 18 of the PDF, you will see that the company Chass Computer cannot even manage a simple search and replace of the [ADD NAME, TITLE, ASSOC.] stuff. Somehow, I think I will be less inclined to trust their technical abilities.
        d) page 4:
        Improved Management and Remote Administration
        Windows Server 2008 uses Terminal Services which gives VM better connection and management compared to its Linux setup. Terminal Services can provide VM with a low-bandwidth method for administering customer deployments.
        Automation of common tasks can also be achieved with Windows PowerShell, a scripting technology that is built into Windows Server 2008. The flexibility and reliable remote administration on Windows Server 2008 is a big bonus as these features enable VM to extend its geographical coverage for its business.

        Wow. I am shocked to be finally told that there is no way to remotely manage my Linux machines via a low-bandwidth method and that I have been suffering from not having *any* scripting option. I wonder why ssh, bash, perl, and python will ever be ported to Linux? Windows is some much better!
        e) page 5:
        The results also indicated that Windows Server 2008 could help VM run its
        applications at capacity, which frees up its resources. The reliable support rendered by the Microsoft certified team during the benchmarking exercise has also improved technical knowledge, productivity, accuracy and confidence within VM. This relationship is further strengthened with a sponsorship from
        Microsoft Learning to VM on certifying its employees.

        Ah, now I understand. MS was on hand to help with the test. They were also generous in sponsoring the training needed – and I thought MCSEs were dime a dozen and then some. I wonder if they would have done the test with a team of Red Hat engineers to audit and oversee the setup during the benchmarking exercise.
        Suffice to say, this whole thing was a setup. Nothing in this entire article in Digital Life and the “customer solution case study” suggests anything more than a customer that was bought.
        The “benchmarks” were rigged in favour of ws2008, no mention of what Linux distribution is being run etc etc etc. And they used a business partner who would naturally ensure that the outcome would be in favour of their paymasters.
        ’nuff said.

      5. Re: Open Source and Support
        Hi, Harish
        Hope you can clarify with the company to “Get the Real Facts Right”

      6. Re: Open Source and Support
        Hi Harish Pillay,
        Some observations:
        – If you weren’t so stupid to check the web server first in the picture you posted, I wouldn’t have taken you as a non-techie. But you proved that yourself very easily. “That could have been a front-ending, load balancer.” Oh ok.
        – Have you actually tried programming PHP? I did. It was hell doing it in Windows before I had to admit. Running it in CGI was slow. Running it in ISAPI was unstable. But after trying this FASTCGI, I have to say Linux should be concerned, IRREGARDLESS OF FLAVOR. The point made here I think is, PHP is actually running quite decent in Windows now. I mentioned “decent” because since this is a new release, I would assume that this will GET BETTER. Sure, Linux can beat this in numbers NOW. Benchmark tests will always be trivial on either side. But what about next month? Next year? This may sound funny but can you imagine a WIMP competing with a LAMP a year or two ago? Or was there even one? It’s happening now. As a developer, I would like Linux to step up to this and do something to improve the system, instead of bashing the other camp. Oh yeah, you’re ashamed to admit that .NET actually can run on Linux? Or that it sucks? Sure. We want these solutions. It’s a win-win situation for me as a developer. Please consider that. An ideal statement from a blogger with a technological perspective should be technical. Nitpicking on an article speaks well of your character, very uninformed and emotional (I have succumbed to the latter as well because of you)
        – Reading your blog, you seem to have this habit of bashing at your own countrymen when things don’t go your way (which should be embarassing to you if you’re a Singaporean. I’m not). And this statement of yours is quite appalling to say the least “I would encourage anyone from virtual map to contact me at hpillay at redhat dot com. We want to help you and to help you and to ensure that you are not locked into a windows world.” What are you some kind of king or something?? If this is such a big issue for you, why don’t you make a trip down there instead and actually help them?? I’m not so sure they’d let you in anyway, after saying they have a “horrible site”. Good job.
        – I have one good thing to say about your blog though. Thanks for turning on the anonymous comments.
        “Sorry wrong attachment”

      7. Re: Open Source and Support
        Hi anonymous from maxonline.
        If you weren’t so stupid to check the web server first in the picture you posted, I wouldn’t have taken you as a non-techie. But you proved that yourself very easily. “That could have been a front-ending, load balancer.” Oh ok.
        Obviously, you fail to see the purpose of that image. It is intended to show what my browser saw. I am a techie, but then again, you need not believe me anyway.
        You asked: “Have you actually tried programming PHP? …”. Honestly, it has been a long time since I did any PHP programming. I focus on Python and Ruby these days. More power to you if you find that you can run your same PHP code on windows – you have the choice. I cannot see why some tweaks on any Linux environments cannot help make PHP run better. It cannot be that PHP/Linux is so bad for if that were the case, facebook would have died a long, long time ago.
        Oh yeah, you’re ashamed to admit that .NET actually can run on Linux? Or that it sucks? Sure. We want these solutions. It’s a win-win situation for me as a developer.
        Discussions about .NET are out of scope.
        Please consider that. An ideal statement from a blogger with a technological perspective should be technical. Nitpicking on an article speaks well of your character, very uninformed and emotional (I have succumbed to the latter as well because of you)
        We are talking about credibility of an article. How would one discuss that other than by picking out issues? The article says “… the open source community has decided to end support for Fedora. What this means is that the community will no longer develop security patches and feature improvements on the Fedora operating system. …” I trust that you are aware that it is totally inaccurate. Fedora continues to evolve and improve.
        – Reading your blog, you seem to have this habit of bashing at your own countrymen when things don’t go your way (which should be embarrassing to you if you’re a Singaporean. I’m not). And this statement of yours is quite appalling to say the least “I would encourage anyone from virtual map to contact me at hpillay at redhat dot com. We want to help you and to help you and to ensure that you are not locked into a windows world.” What are you some kind of king or something?? If this is such a big issue for you, why don’t you make a trip down there instead and actually help them?? I’m not so sure they’d let you in anyway, after saying they have a “horrible site”. Good job.
        I am Singaporean and proud to be so. When things are wrong, highlighting them and suggesting solutions is not bashing. Why would I be embarassed to point out issues? You have a strange sense of logic.
        Like in my example of searching for “Beatty Secondary School”, virtual map could not locate it. I gave feedback (this is in the early 2000s) and to the best of my knowledge – and I cannot now check – it has not been fixed. I would love to have them fix it. But alas.
        As a Singaporean I am thrilled to see TWO SINGAPOREAN sites that provide far superior map info – http://www.map.gov.sg and http://www.pigeonsky.com – that does a better job than virtual map. Granted the former is the Singapore Land Authority from whom virtual map had to acquire the maps, but the fact that I can easily use it is testimony to the quality of those two Singaporean sites. Virtual map was designed in web 1.0 monikers. They need to catchup. They haven’t yet. Don’t get me wrong. I would love to see them come back with a fantastic site that is superb.
        While the offer to help still stands, I think they are being cozied up by Microsoft, so let’s see.
        And thanks for participating. BTW, nitpicking here, it is “regardless” not “irregardless”.

      8. Re: Open Source and Support
        “As a developer, I would like Linux to step up to this and do something to improve the system, instead of bashing the other camp.”
        Hi, it would be another way. It’s the case study that is bashing every linux, and not the other way. Have you see it’s unfair.
        Have you got to know the latest linux kernel?
        Linux kernel keep improving the system. And releases about every THREE months.
        See this article http://www.linuxdevices.com/news/NS6925891609.html
        Linux kernel is one important part that might affect performance. Do you know it?
        LAMP is just a name, you must look into individual components.
        Like recent linux, there’s CFS scheduler change and others that improve performance or so. And don’t tell me, older php version runs faster than newer php version? There might be performance tweaks, and performance bug fixes now and then. This applies to MySQL too.
        Latest Linux
        Latest Apache
        Latest MySQL
        Latest Php
        See their change log.
        It is not necessary to use Apache, and you can use others too.
        This is flexibility.
        “But after trying this FASTCGI, I have to say Linux should be concerned, IRREGARDLESS OF FLAVOR.”
        Why should linux be concerned?
        It is implemented cross-platform.
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fastcgi#Web_Servers_that_implement_FastCGI
        Some of the default web servers comes with it natively.
        So you not only find FastCGI in windows, you can find in other platforms too.
        Why not test FastCGI in linux in the case study to be fair ya?
        Agreed?
        “Oh yeah, you’re ashamed to admit that .NET actually can run on Linux? Or that it sucks? Sure. We want these solutions. It’s a win-win situation for me as a developer.”
        .NET? Ask ms to release .NET 3.5 for every other platform other than Microsoft Platform. It’s a win-win situation for Microsoft platform but a lose-lose situation on other platform.
        With no support, Mono will always lag behind .NET.
        So applications that are built upon .NET 3.5 cannot run in other platform well?
        Developers should use Mono, but will they aware of it? Or choose the latest to be locked in ms platform?
        Have you known of legal issues?
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mono_%28software%29#Mono_and_Microsoft.E2.80.99s_patents
        Talking about these technical issues, have you ever thought of it?
        “Reading your blog, you seem to have this habit of bashing at your own countrymen when things don’t go your way (which should be embarassing to you if you’re a Singaporean. I’m not). And this statement of yours is quite appalling to say the least “I would encourage anyone from virtual map to contact me at hpillay at redhat dot com. We want to help you and to help you and to ensure that you are not locked into a windows world.” What are you some kind of king or something??”
        The problem is ms might be misleading the customer, after I saw the case study.
        Please analyse the case studies in a technical manner. What harish pillay might doing is telling the company the truth, and offering them more choices, rather than letting VM believing in flawed study that was done, and extremely poor idea of the linux world. It’s more about enlightening them.
        By the way, I’m Singaporean too.

      9. Re: Open Source and Support
        Hi Anonymous poster,
        Come on, have the guts to reveal who you are. Otherwise your credibility is worthless.
        BTW, Harish, rather than restricting to a discussion on the weblog, we (the Linux community) should pick out the flaws and make a analysis / report back to DLife and see whether they can publish. Probably LUGS can contact VM to verify facts.
        Anand Vaidya
        vaidya dot anand at gmail dot com

      10. Re: Open Source and Support
        Anand –
        It is a hard thing to choose which battles to fight and which ones to walk away from.
        Keeping the blog discussion with some limited engagements from Microsoft is useful in terms of having an archivable, searchable record and helps to document the numerous things they do to pursue their business model.
        I am working to have a discussion with digital life on this from both the LUGS angle as well as, where appropriate and relevant, the Red Hat angle. The story used Linux in an anonymous manner.
        The fact that the subject of the article is in limbo now means that their current site as of April 8th 2008 is a place holder with not so a friendly link to the SLA map site tells me that they are both bitter and silly. If they want to do the Right Thing, they should place the link on the SLA Map text in the screenshot below. They only have a working like to the flowers page. I am not sure they want to talk with anyone right now.

        Streetdirectory place holder page

      11. Re: Open Source and Support
        I mean both.
        By benchmarking its existing PHP applications on Windows Server 2008, VM has seen a marked improvement with an ability to handle more concurrent users, number of hits, and achieve a performance gain over its existing Linux infrastructure, and is making plans to migrate to this infrastructure in the near future. increase in performance against Linux, and are planning to build future service offerings with Windows Server 2008.
        You see, the word, over its existing Linux infrastructure.
        I can say, it’s outdated, and the linux distro is more than 18 months years old.
        Why can’t they test a modern distribution side-by-side. Since they have use corporate windows, put a modern corporate linux to test too. I believe if they do so, the result would not be so good.
        By doing this unfair testing, it would only make the case studies seem beautiful but in fact, full of flaws. I believe microsoft have the qualified and skilled personnel to test, but everything must be fair and right. By mentioning microsoft own product name and number, it would seem to be the greatest mistake not to report the competitor’s name and number. I see it is an attack to all linux. Companies that might not be technical, might not see the flaws, thus believing in it and further more microsoft is a sounding brand to them while the case study is not the truth.

      12. Re: Open Source and Support
        May I suggest that we close this discussion off. The points have all been made. There are serious shortcomings both in the article as well as the benchmark study. We have, or at least I have, given ideas to Microsoft on how to improve their stuff. In the true open source way, they are most welcome to adopt (or ignore) the suggestions and step up to the plate of credibility, or not. They have a choice.

  4. Nitpicking..
    “crashs and burns” – crashes and burns
    “that you made burried way down” – buried
    “…funding available to the extend that the whole migration cost” – extent
    “Windows is some much better!” – so much
    What’s wrong with you

  5. A stupid sponsored article
    Since quite a number of people already gave their opinion here, I’ll just sum up mine as follows:
    – I’me very,very sure it’s somehow sponsored by M$, I don’t know in what form but anyone with half a brain can tell.
    – The reporter doesn’t know what she’s talking about, if you’re reading this comment and happen to be the editor of the paper, I suggest you send her a training or even better, transfer her to the Urban supplement of Strait Times.
    – The interviewee, either plain stupid, or smart for accepting the “incentive” for being featured, or really doesn’t know what he’s talking about and have no qualm of embarrassing himself on national paper. For heaven sake, he’s the director of business development! If he’s in charge of this matter, whatever he mentioned in the article, to me it sounded like this:
    – “We’re so stupid to hire someone who pretend to be a linux sysadmin.” If you’re a *nix sysadmin, you’re a *nix sysadmin. It doesn’t matter whether it’s Fedora, Debian, Ubuntu, Mandrake, Suse, Red Hat, BSD, or even Solaris. Well may be some getting-used-to is required but I don’t see that as a reason for “No Hire”.
    – “I have no idea what Fedora Core is and “$oMeone” just ask me to say it’s already in it’s end-of-life stage, now can anyone please explain to me what is Fedora and why we shouldn’t use it as our production server and use RHEL or Debian/Ubuntu LTS/etc instead?”
    – “I wish they didn’t publish my photo with the article, thou I look like a smart guy but the article makes me sound stupid. Now I have to look down and keep my head low whenever I’m in public places.”

  6. My Views on windows 2008
    Hi,
    The title of the article is really strange “Open Source Talent Dearth or Plenty ?”
    As VirtualMap are using PHP for their application they obviously have the talent for open source software as PHP is open source.
    Note the new stuff coming from microsoft is driven by the competition from Linux. The Powershell is basically a clone of a unix/linux shell to improve their current scripting capabilities. Windows 2008 / IIS7 running PHP is a response to the success of the LAMP model. Come on fastcgi is old hat.
    I mean if the windows 2008 is performing better with PHP than they should promote that in the article. Not using some lame excuse like “cannot find linux admin staff”. After all, are there many folks with specific windows 2008 expertise right now ? Probably less than linux.
    It is ludicrous to find Microsoft time and time again somehow doubtful of their own product merits using tactics to put down the competition. Somehow irregardless of what is being said about new and more open Microsoft, it is still the same ruthless entity since 1975
    Competition is good, choice is good, openness is good. Come on Microsoft catch up. Go Linux Go. The race never ends but the customer should always win.
    Anonymous from GNU/LINUX

  7. Microsoft Picks a “Winner”
    The “streetdirectory” site has been taken down for the last two days because of the fact they lost their appeal in the copyright suit with SLA. They have to now remove all the infringing maps and pay damages and legal cost.
    It is highly possible they will have a hard time remaining viable. Moving to Windows 2008 will be the very last of their concerns. Wonder how they are going to handle their customers like DBS who now using “pirated” maps on their DBS corporate web sites.
    scum floats !

      1. Re: Microsoft Picks a “Winner”
        MS did pick a winner – the broken ooxml – now an ISO standard. They threw money at it and they bought it.
        In the case of virtual map, I think it now makes sense. VM was never going to give up their Linux infrastructure; they knew their time was up, sadly, and heck, why not go out with a bang complete with MS throwing money at it!
        It is a pity that VM failed. I think they can redeem themselves by rebuilding their maps with Google Maps and add to it their “local expertise”.
        While I applaud good riddance to a advertisement heavy site, I think they can now harness web 2.0 stuff sans MS-isms and become a must visit site.
        Good luck to them!

  8. From one bad choice to another
    I wish them good luck on the migration. They seems to move from one bad choice to another, first, as a corporate entity with main business from Internet, they should use a well supported Redhat Enterprise, or as much as I hate to say, Novell Suse Linux.
    Why are we even surprise that they make another bad choice now?
    Worm

    1. Re: From one bad choice to another
      Google map is not open source, but it’s free for non-charging usage.
      For businesses using streetdirectory.com maps or if you want your own location map, you can use this service – http://www.elocationmap.com. Hope it is useful.
      Thanks.
      Joshua

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