Recycling to help maintain performance and stability

So I’ve rarely looked at ESRI software, but a friend has administrator rights on the new version of ArcGIS Server, and he decided to show me how it works.  There are a lot of options, and they provide some interesting configuration of how the processes work:

ArcGIS Server

They have this great ‘feature’ called Recycling – ‘Recycling shuts down the process and restarts it at regular intervals to help maintain performance and stability’.

Words escape me.

Ok, not really (when have they ever?), since I want to explain this to people who don’t write software.  This ‘feature’, to me, is their development team admitting defeat.  They couldn’t iron out all the memory leaks and little code errors that might get in the way of a well performing, stable, robust server.  When you mess up your program in that way about the only thing that can fix it is to completely restart the whole thing.  So what this ‘feature’ does is make it so your server automatically restarts itself at the interval you set, the most blunt possible approach to the problem there is.

Now I’m not saying we’ve never had memory leaks in GeoServer, on the contrary.  Indeed we had to delay 1.6.0 and do another release candidate because we found one that only built up over a long time when users were requesting really large maps.  All I’m saying is that to add something like this is to admit defeat, to say that they don’t even necessarily plan to fix all the little bugs that are causing this.  And more than anything I just love that the double speak, playing it as a feature, to ‘help maintain performance and stability’.   Say what you will about their software, they remain absolutely brilliant marketers, and I have a ton to learn from them in that realm.

Great post on GeoData licensing

I have some major posts to write, but thankfully there are others out in the world thinking about and writing about the same issues that I care about.  Today I found ‘The license: where are, where we’re going‘ on the OpenGeoData blog.  It is exactly the post I wanted to write after attending the Science Commons meeting last year, and then goes on to add even more information that I wasn’t even aware of.  It’s really great news to hear about progress being made on the Open Data Commons Database Licence.  I really hope they continue to work on it, since I had the same reaction as many OSM community members to the news of Creative Commons’ recently published “protocol” on open access data – it’s great for scientists, but doesn’t help much with what we’re doing in the geospatial community.  So thanks Richard for post and the great work you are all doing over on the OSM legal list.