Saturday, May 14, 2011

Downtime this weekend

As I noted, there was an expectation of downtime as the VPS host Rosetta Code sits on moved from one data center to another. It looks like that downtime will be parts of today and/or tomorrow. Here is the email I just received a few minutes ago:
We're moving most of our servers from SVTIX[1] to Market Post Tower[2] this
weekend. we've got layer 2 between the two locations already, so we'll
be bringing down servers in batches of five and moving them five at a shot.
each user should experience something like two hours of downtime, if all
goes well.

This, along with the bandwidth outage earlier this month puts me way
over the SLA, so all users we move will be receiving 25% of a month off.

I am sorry for the short notice; I've made several bad decisions
that led to this short notice, but I think I am correcting some of those.
The deal wasn't even final until two days ago, but the solution to that
is more transparency, not less. Well, more transparency and longer
term agreements. I am sorry.

I'm now signing a long-term contract, and I'll put data as to when these
contracts expire in a publicly accessible place, so this sort of thing
will be more predictable in the future.

Now, market post tower is generally considered a better data center
than SVTIX. It's usually more expensive, It's much nicer looking and
has /much/ better and cheaper bandwidth available. I will immediately
double the bandwidth "don't worry about it" allowances for everyone.
Now, svtix has a better history for power, but CoreSite, I am assured,
has recently upgraded the power systems and the bad old days should be
behind us.

In any case, I am maintaining space at both MPT and SVTIX, though SVTIX
will be largely co-location; most of my Xen hosts will be moved to MPT.
For now, my bandwidth at svtix will be coming from MPT, which should
be an improvement for users still at svtix.

please see for the blow-by-blow.
If your concerned about RC's server's state, latest information will be in #rosettacode and #prgmr on Obviously, please don't harass the prgmr folks just lurk and listen if you're in #prgmr; they'll be working as quickly as they can, and the more time they need to spend responding to questions, the longer things will take.

If you normally use RC's web IRC client, I recommend you find an IRC client more suitable to your tastes.
  • On Linux GUI, X-Chat is very good.
  • On Linux CLI, I use irssi, though I've been investigating switching to WeeChat.
  • On Windows, there's the SilverX X-Chat build, though mIRC is widely used.
  • I can't make a recommendation on Macs, but IRC clients for them are certain to exist.
  • Pidgin supports IRC, and if you aren't in as many channels as I tend to be, it may work well as an IRC client for you.
  • If you still prefer an in-browser solution, try
Also, I've been recommending to many people, personally. We'll see whether that continues dependent on the stability at the new data center.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Expected downtime

I've been informed that, our VPS host, will be moving its operations from the SVTIX data center to Mark Post Tower. While this happens, Rosetta Code will be offline.

The actual time frame is not yet known. For the most up-to-date information, Twitter, Facebook and IRC--especially IRC are probably your best options.

More information when I have it.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Trademarks, Scams and DNS

Part of this blog post should interest people who own domain names and run websites. Part of this blog post should interest anyone with an interest in Rosetta Code.

I received yet another scam email this morning warning me that someone was going to register a domain that might infringe on my "intellectual property."

(copied in all its HTML glory)

Dear Manager:
This email is from China domain name registration center, which mainly deal with the domain name registration and dispute internationally in China and Asia.
On March 28th 2011. We received HAITONG company's application, they want to register " rosettacode" as its Internet keyword and CN/Asia domain names. It is china and Asia domain names. But after checking we find this domain name conflict with your company, in order to deal with this matter better, so we send you email, and want to confirm whether this company is your distributor or business partner in China?

I'm looking forward to hearing from you!
Best Regards,
Oversea marketing manager
Office: +86(0)21 6191 8696
Mobile: +86 1366152 9704
Fax: +86(0)21 6191 8697

One technical thing you should notice about emails such as this: there's a space prepending the 'rosettacode' string, so the actual identifier would be " rosettacode".

DNS does not allow spaces in domain names, so, right away, this prospective domain would be invalid. Even if I were to respond to this email and pay the guy to buy the domain from the erstwhile squatter, there's no way he could sell it to me and enter it into the system. (I also doubt I'd get a refund)

About my general position relating to 'rosettacode' as a trademark

First, I'm not the first guy to come up with the domain. As it happens, was (and I believe still is) owned by someone else. He and I have communicated a number of times since I discovered the potential conflict. He and I are working on two very different projects, so there's no trademark dispute. However, because I wanted to absolutely avoid any matter of ambiguity, I've been hosting a small amount of static data he provided as a kind of disambiguation page. (If you point '' to's IP address, you should still be able to see it)

Second, I don't care if you want to use the name 'rosettacode' or 'rosetta code' in similar pursuits. I love that people have been calling task pages that have cropped up on various forums around the web as "rosetta code problems." That speaks well of (and popularizes) the nature of the solution, which I like and appreciate. Besides, I own the DNS entry. If someone wants to find Rosetta Code, I've got the implicit domain for it. It's really no skin off my teeth of you want to popularize the term.

That's all. I'd write about the massive amount of interesting things I've been watching happen on the wiki (we've got a large number of new users and tasks), but I'm a bit low on time.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011


On Thursday, Februrary 17th, I'll be doing a presentation on Rosetta Code at the Grand Rapids Java Users' Group.


My usual presentation format goes as follows:
  1. Distribute a list of language-specific and language-agnostic pages in advance, including a few pages I think that language's community might find particularly interesting.
  2. Give a quick overview of the site description and history.
  3. Show the URLs I'd distributed on whatever projector or screen is available.
  4. Go into Q&A.
The format is helped by the fact that I'm presenting to computer geeks who've almost certainly brought their computers with them, and would be browsing the web anyway; the URL set gives them a set of starting points for browsing, and seeds questions.

URL List

While some of the URLs change from language to language, there are a few common starting points:
Following that are the language-specific URLs. Since I'm doing a presentation on Java, these will be specific to Java:
Finally, some points of interest:
Presentations on/to Other Languages/Groups

I'd be more than happy to do a presentation on Rosetta Code on other languages, and to other groups. I've done presentations in front of my local Python and Ruby users groups, in front of the local BarCamp, and in front of the Ann Arbor Perl Monger's group (albeit hosted in Lansing by LiquidWeb). I love talking to people who find Rosetta Code's model interesting, and especially to people who program for the sheer fun of it.

Send me an invite, and if the logistics work out (RC isn't my day-job, so there's time/money complications), I'd be happy to come by. I can take as little as five minutes (if I talk fast, skip the language-specific parts, and skip the Q&A), or I can fill as much time as desired with Q&A, participation walkthroughs and showing people around the site's various nooks and crannies.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Getting 2011 rolling

2011 is going to be a prime year for everybody, Rosetta Code and yourself included. To get started, let's try out simple task creation exercise.

Take a look at the list of the tasks already on Rosetta Code. Each task was written by someone who wanted to show or see how languages handle something.

Think about how something you would like to see demonstrated in other languages. If the task already exists, either contribute to the code examples on that task page, or come up with something else you'd like to see demonstrated.

Create a draft task. Use {{draft task}} at the beginning of the page, give the task an initial description, and provide an initial example in a language or two; however many you feel comfortable providing examples in. While not strictly necessary, providing initial examples helps communicate what you want the task to show.

(How to create the task page itself? Go to, replacing Task_name_goes_here with your task's name, and click the "create this page" link.)