All posts by Richy George

Tech woes hamper jury in Oracle case aginst Google

Posted by on 24 May, 2016

This post was originally published on this site

As if the jury deciding the Oracle v. Google trial didn’t have enough on its plate already.

Deliberations were interrupted Tuesday when the 10-member panel ran into technical problems trying to review evidence from the case given to them on a PC.

The jurors apparently wanted to look at some of the source code for Google’s Android OS and couldn’t get the large files to open.

“You lawyers should not have done this to the jury; you should have tested it out yourselves,” an irritated Judge William Alsup told lawyers for the two sides, who huddled with the court’s IT specialist to try to figure out the problem.

The IT person seemed momentarily flummoxed that the jury would want to look at source code until the judge told him it was central to the trial.

“You all have sabotaged the system so bad I don’t know what to do,” Alsup told the lawyers at one point, threatening to make them print out the millions of lines of code on paper.

In the end, the lawyers wrote some instructions for the jury telling them how to open the files.

Deliberations in the case began Monday after lawyers for the two sides gave their closing arguments. The jury has to decide whether Google’s use of Java in Android was protected under the “fair use” exemption in copyright law, or whether Google needed a license from Sun — now owned by Oracle.

If the jury decides Google’s use of Java was fair, the case is over — pending a likely appeal by Oracle. If they decide it was not, the trial moves to a second phase to calculate damages.

The jurors meet at the San Francisco federal court from early morning until 1 p.m. each day, and they can review evidence from the trial to help them with their task. After the computer problems Tuesday, they broke for the day without a decision. It’s not known how long they’ll take, but it could be a few more days.

The jury can also submit questions to the judge, and they had a few for him on Thursday, leading to more tension between Alsup and the lawyers.

The jury wanted to know if they could take their hand-written notes from the trial home to review in the evening. Oracle was fine with that, but Google’s lawyers said the jury ought to deliberate as a whole.

The judge didn’t like that. “It’s not even evidence, it’s just their handwritten notes,” he snapped. “I’m very suspicious — you must think you’re gonna lose this case.”

“No, your honor,” Google’s lawyer said, but stuck to her position.

“This is one of the best juries in the history of our courthouse,” Alsup said. “They’re not going to deliberate with someone else; that’s a fallacious argument.”

The jury also wanted to know if individual members can review evidence alone if they arrive at the court early or stay late, and if they can take home with them instructions given to them by the court.

Neither side wanted to grant those requests, and Alsup again grew irritated.

“It’s up the jury how they decide this case,” he told the lawyers.

In the end, he asked both sides to put their objections in writing by midnight. For the time being, all three jury requests were denied.

Posted Under: Mobile
Tech woes hamper jury in Oracle case aginst Google

Posted by on 24 May, 2016

This post was originally published on this site

As if the jury deciding the Oracle v. Google trial didn’t have enough on its plate already.

Deliberations were interrupted Tuesday when the 10-member panel ran into technical problems trying to review evidence from the case given to them on a PC.

The jurors apparently wanted to look at some of the source code for Google’s Android OS and couldn’t get the large files to open.

“You lawyers should not have done this to the jury; you should have tested it out yourselves,” an irritated Judge William Alsup told lawyers for the two sides, who huddled with the court’s IT specialist to try to figure out the problem.

The IT person seemed momentarily flummoxed that the jury would want to look at source code until the judge told him it was central to the trial.

“You all have sabotaged the system so bad I don’t know what to do,” Alsup told the lawyers at one point, threatening to make them print out the millions of lines of code on paper.

In the end, the lawyers wrote some instructions for the jury telling them how to open the files.

Deliberations in the case began Monday after lawyers for the two sides gave their closing arguments. The jury has to decide whether Google’s use of Java in Android was protected under the “fair use” exemption in copyright law, or whether Google needed a license from Sun — now owned by Oracle.

If the jury decides Google’s use of Java was fair, the case is over — pending a likely appeal by Oracle. If they decide it was not, the trial moves to a second phase to calculate damages.

The jurors meet at the San Francisco federal court from early morning until 1 p.m. each day, and they can review evidence from the trial to help them with their task. After the computer problems Tuesday, they broke for the day without a decision. It’s not known how long they’ll take, but it could be a few more days.

The jury can also submit questions to the judge, and they had a few for him on Thursday, leading to more tension between Alsup and the lawyers.

The jury wanted to know if they could take their hand-written notes from the trial home to review in the evening. Oracle was fine with that, but Google’s lawyers said the jury ought to deliberate as a whole.

The judge didn’t like that. “It’s not even evidence, it’s just their handwritten notes,” he snapped. “I’m very suspicious — you must think you’re gonna lose this case.”

“No, your honor,” Google’s lawyer said, but stuck to her position.

“This is one of the best juries in the history of our courthouse,” Alsup said. “They’re not going to deliberate with someone else; that’s a fallacious argument.”

The jury also wanted to know if individual members can review evidence alone if they arrive at the court early or stay late, and if they can take home with them instructions given to them by the court.

Neither side wanted to grant those requests, and Alsup again grew irritated.

“It’s up the jury how they decide this case,” he told the lawyers.

In the end, he asked both sides to put their objections in writing by midnight. For the time being, all three jury requests were denied.

Posted Under: General
76% off Intel Compute Stick – Deal Alert

Posted by on 24 May, 2016

This post was originally published on this site

The Intel Compute Stick is a tiny device the size of a pack of gum that can transform any HDMI TV or display into a complete computer. This model is currently discounted 76% or a whopping $375 off its regular Amazon list price, so you can buy this neat little gadget for just $115.90. It averages 4.5 out of 5 stars on Amazon (80% rate it a full 5 stars — read reviews). It comes loaded with Windows 10 and Android 5.1, and has both wifi and bluetooth capabilities. You’ll easily connect to the internet, and peripherals such as a wireless keyboard and mouse. This is literally a full blown computer that fits in the palm of your hand. Learn more about this dramatically discounted Compute Stick from Intel at Amazon.

This story, “76% off Intel Compute Stick – Deal Alert” was originally published by TechConnect.

Posted Under: Windows
76% off Intel Compute Stick – Deal Alert

Posted by on 24 May, 2016

This post was originally published on this site

The Intel Compute Stick is a tiny device the size of a pack of gum that can transform any HDMI TV or display into a complete computer. This model is currently discounted 76% or a whopping $375 off its regular Amazon list price, so you can buy this neat little gadget for just $115.90. It averages 4.5 out of 5 stars on Amazon (80% rate it a full 5 stars — read reviews). It comes loaded with Windows 10 and Android 5.1, and has both wifi and bluetooth capabilities. You’ll easily connect to the internet, and peripherals such as a wireless keyboard and mouse. This is literally a full blown computer that fits in the palm of your hand. Learn more about this dramatically discounted Compute Stick from Intel at Amazon.

This story, “76% off Intel Compute Stick – Deal Alert” was originally published by TechConnect.

Posted Under: Windows
jQuery readies version 3.0 release candidate

Posted by on 24 May, 2016

This post was originally published on this site

Attention Web developers: Get ready for what soon will be the only version of the jQuery JavaScript library available. Version 3.0 of the widely used library has moved to a release candidate stage. 

“When released, jQuery 3.0 will become the only version of jQuery,” jQuery core lead Timmy Willison said. “The 1.12 and 2.2 branches will continue to receive critical support patches for a while but will not get any new features or major revisions.” The upgrade will not support versions 6 through 8 of the Internet Explorer browser, he added.

Upgrading existing code should not be much of a problem, Willison explained. “Yes, there are a few ‘breaking changes’ that justified the major version bump, but we’re hopeful the breakage doesn’t actually affect that many people. To assist with upgrading, we have a brand-new 3.0 Upgrade Guide. And the jQuery Migrate 3.0-rc plugin will help you to identify compatibility issues in your code.”

JQuery, which turned 10 years old January, is in use in 70.2 percent of the top 10 million websites, according to W3Techs, which surveys usage of Web technologies. Version 3.0 will include accommodations for ECMAScript 2015 Promises, used for deferred and asynchronous computations. JQuery.Deferred Objects are now compatible with Promises/A and ES2015 Promises, Willison said.

Some jQuery custom selectors will be sped up in the upgrade. “Thanks to some detective work by Paul Irish at Google, we identified some cases where we could skip a bunch of extra work when custom selectors like :visible are used many times in the same document,” said Willison. “That particular case is up to 17 times faster now.”

With the upgrade, animations use the requestAnimationFrame API on supportive platforms for smoother, less-CPU-intensive operations and more economical consumption of battery power. Also in version 3.0, error cases will not “silently fail,” Willison said. “Perhaps in a profound moment you’ve wondered, ‘What is the offset of a window?’ Then you probably realized that is a crazy question — how can a window even have an offset? In the past, jQuery has sometimes tried to make cases like this return something rather than having them throw errors. In this particular case of asking for the offset of a window, the answer up to now has been { top: 0, left: 0 } With jQuery 3.0, such cases will throw errors so that crazy requests aren’t silently ignored.”

Posted Under: General
Microsoft has been conning Windows users for two months

Posted by on 24 May, 2016

This post was originally published on this site

Microsoft has been using a deceptive tactic to dupe Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 users into upgrading to Windows 10 for at least the last two months, according to the company’s website.

An oft-revised support document that Computerworld cited in a May 16 story about Microsoft’s aggressive upgrade practices spelled out the workings of a pop-up notification that Windows 7 and 8.1 users had been seeing. The notification told those customers — primarily consumers, but also many small-to-mid-sized businesses — that the free Windows 10 upgrade had been pre-scheduled by Microsoft.

The same document also acknowledged that those who clicked the red “X” in the upper-right corner of the pop-up were approving the scheduled upgrade.

“If you click on OK or on the red ‘X’, you’re all set for the upgrade and there is nothing further to do,” the document stated.

The problem was that that operation — clicking the X — has been a decades-old convention in graphical user interfaces (GUIs) for simply closing a window. To users, shutting a window by clicking the X tells the operating system or application to remove the notification or close the window frame without expressing an opinion, without selecting an option or without calling for an action.

In an application like Microsoft Word, for example, clicking the X closes the window: If Word did not remind the user to save his or her work, all content would be lost.

Plainly put, users have been “trained” by operating systems, including Windows, to click the “close” button to do just that, and nothing more. (In OS X, the action is conducted a bit differently — one clicks on the red, left-most button at the top of a window — but the behavior is identical.)

Yet Microsoft bucked convention by instead equating closing the window with approving the scheduled upgrade. Because there are no explanations to that effect in the pop-up — only in the support document — it’s highly likely that the vast majority of users who clicked on the X to make the notification disappear had no idea that they were, in fact, authorizing an upgrade to Windows 10.

But while Computerworld first mentioned the practice on May 16, Microsoft has been counter-intuitively interpreting the action for months.

A version of the same support document found in a search engine cache last week revealed that Microsoft has been using the tactic since at least late March: The cached document carried a “Last Review” date stamp of March 23.

That document also noted the Bizarro World way of construing a click-on-X.

“Your Windows 10 upgrade will occur at the scheduled time if you close this window without either selecting Upgrade now or by using the link to change the upgrade schedule or cancel the scheduled upgrade,” the document read [emphasis added].

It’s unclear how long before March 23 Microsoft was defining an X-click as approving the pre-scheduled Windows 10 upgrade.

Not surprisingly, the reaction from users has been brutal.

Long-time Microsoft watcher and blogger Paul Thurrott today called the practice “indefensible” and said “I’ve had it.” Brad Chacos, a senior editor at PCworld — like Computerworld, a publication owned by IDG — dubbed it a “dirty trick” and related how his wife, a dedicated Windows user, was so angry at the scheme that she had started shopping for a Mac Mini from Apple.

Even self-professed fans of Windows thought Microsoft had gone too far in pressing people to upgrade.

“Windows 10 is, in my opinion, a great OS, and the fact that it’s free to upgrade from 7 and 8 is just awesome,” said someone identified as zeynl on Sunday in a long Reddit thread on the X-clicking practice. “But the fact that Microsoft will go this far to get it onto peoples’ systems is disgusting.”

“I like Windows 10, but this…is just wrong,” added TheJewelOfJool last week, also on Reddit.

“Wow. Even for Microsoft, that’s a new low,” said AI221 on Reddit today.

Some, though, essentially told everyone to suck it up and take the upgrade. “I find it amusing that people are fighting this so hard for nothing,” countered XxSliphxX yesterday. “[Windows] 10 is pretty awesome just f****** update and stop being massive hipsters about it.”

Within the pop-up, the only way to avoid the upgrade, according to Microsoft, is to click the one-word link highlighting “here” in the line, “Click here to change upgrade schedule or cancel scheduled upgrade.”

This cached version of the Microsoft support document explaining a Windows 10 pop-up notification shows that the company has been interpreting closing the window as authorization the upgrade for at least two months.

This story, “Microsoft has been conning Windows users for two months” was originally published by Computerworld.

Posted Under: Windows
Businesses harbor big data desires, but lack know-how

Posted by on 24 May, 2016

This post was originally published on this site

Big data has never been bigger, nor more of a crapshoot. At least, that’s the sense one gets from a new survey revealing that 76 percent of all enterprises are looking to maintain or increase their investments in big data over the next few years — despite a mere 23.5 percent owning up to a clear big data strategy.

That wouldn’t be so bad if things were getting better, but they’re not. Three years ago 64 percent of enterprises told Gartner that they were hopped up on the big data opportunity. But then, as now, the vast majority of big data acolytes didn’t have a clue as to how to get value from their info stores.

Despite our best attempts to capture signal from all the big data noise, in other words, we’re mostly flying blind.

Bigger and bigger!

The consultancy DNV GL Business Assurance, in partnership with research institute GFK Eurisko, polled 1,189 enterprises across the globe to better understand their big data plans. A majority of these companies — 52 percent — see big data as a big opportunity. That number climbs to 70 percent among large companies (1,000-plus employees) and tops 96 percent of those the report authors categorize as Leaders.

This jibes well with the survey’s other finding that nearly 45 percent of enterprises see big data as “important” or “very important” to their current operations. It leads, not surprisingly, to big plans to invest even more into big data:

That’s the good news.

What am I supposed to do with it all?

The bad news is that despite all this earnest energy to put big data to use, the vast majority of enterprises don’t. More troubling still, despite all the enthusiasm for investing more in big data, these same companies haven’t shown a particular penchant for effectively planning out how to improve the situation.

Sure, 100 percent of those companies classified as leaders are, by definition, “leveraging big data to boost their productivity and value creation,” but 73.2 percent of everyone else is adrift in the big data sea. Even most large enterprises can’t seem to buy a big data clue:

big data productivity boost

Furthermore, the percentage of companies actually deriving value from data is unlikely to rise, given that most companies lack a clear strategy for putting their data to work:

big data strategy

Big companies are a bit further along (39.6 percent of them claim to have a clear strategy), perhaps because they invested in big data earlier than most, but the fact remains: Most companies still don’t know what to do with their data.

Again, this fact hasn’t changed much in the past few years. As Gartner uncovered in 2013, most companies struggle to define a strategy, determine how to get value from their data, and find the skills necessary to do so. As I wrote then, “When 56 percent of respondents struggle to know how to get value from their data yet are either deploying or planning to imminently deploy a big data project, we have a serious disconnect.”

It was true then, and it’s true now.

More data, more noise

The problem may come down to Nate Silver’s contention in his book, “The Signal and the Noise” — more data doesn’t necessarily equate to more insight. In fact, it often yields the opposite:

If the quantity of information is increasing by 2.5 quintillion bytes per day, the amount of useful information almost certainly isn’t. Most of it is just noise, and the noise is increasing faster than the signal. There are so many hypotheses to test, so many data sets to mine — but a relatively constant amount of objective truth.

Enterprises that jump willy-nilly into the big data fray quickly discover that “big data” often translates to “big confusion,” and more data doesn’t solve that. It exacerbates the issue.

Back in survey land, most respondents (80.8 percent) to the DNV GL survey acknowledge that they and their management aren’t adequately preparing for a big data future. Couple this with a lack of enterprise strategy around data and we have a recipe for big data implosions, not insights.

In response, 47.3 percent of respondents claim to be investing in in-house training to improve their chances of discovering signal in the the ever-increasing noise of their data. This strikes me as the one clear positive from the report. After all, as Gartner analyst Svetlana Sicular noted years ago, “Organizations already have people who know their own data better than mystical data scientists.”

The key, she continues, is to enable people who understand the business to also intelligently query the business’ data. “Learning Hadoop is easier than learning the company’s business,” she posits, so more efforts should be made to train existing employees on the tools necessary to unlocking the value of enterprise data.

In sum, we don’t need more data — not really. What we need is more people who can understand the data we already have.

Posted Under: Database, Networking
Businesses harbor big data desires, but lack know-how

Posted by on 24 May, 2016

This post was originally published on this site

Big data has never been bigger, nor more of a crapshoot. At least, that’s the sense one gets from a new survey revealing that 76 percent of all enterprises are looking to maintain or increase their investments in big data over the next few years — despite a mere 23.5 percent owning up to a clear big data strategy.

That wouldn’t be so bad if things were getting better, but they’re not. Three years ago 64 percent of enterprises told Gartner that they were hopped up on the big data opportunity. But then, as now, the vast majority of big data acolytes didn’t have a clue as to how to get value from their info stores.

Despite our best attempts to capture signal from all the big data noise, in other words, we’re mostly flying blind.

Bigger and bigger!

The consultancy DNV GL Business Assurance, in partnership with research institute GFK Eurisko, polled 1,189 enterprises across the globe to better understand their big data plans. A majority of these companies — 52 percent — see big data as a big opportunity. That number climbs to 70 percent among large companies (1,000-plus employees) and tops 96 percent of those the report authors categorize as Leaders.

This jibes well with the survey’s other finding that nearly 45 percent of enterprises see big data as “important” or “very important” to their current operations. It leads, not surprisingly, to big plans to invest even more into big data:

That’s the good news.

What am I supposed to do with it all?

The bad news is that despite all this earnest energy to put big data to use, the vast majority of enterprises don’t. More troubling still, despite all the enthusiasm for investing more in big data, these same companies haven’t shown a particular penchant for effectively planning out how to improve the situation.

Sure, 100 percent of those companies classified as leaders are, by definition, “leveraging big data to boost their productivity and value creation,” but 73.2 percent of everyone else is adrift in the big data sea. Even most large enterprises can’t seem to buy a big data clue:

big data productivity boost

Furthermore, the percentage of companies actually deriving value from data is unlikely to rise, given that most companies lack a clear strategy for putting their data to work:

big data strategy

Big companies are a bit further along (39.6 percent of them claim to have a clear strategy), perhaps because they invested in big data earlier than most, but the fact remains: Most companies still don’t know what to do with their data.

Again, this fact hasn’t changed much in the past few years. As Gartner uncovered in 2013, most companies struggle to define a strategy, determine how to get value from their data, and find the skills necessary to do so. As I wrote then, “When 56 percent of respondents struggle to know how to get value from their data yet are either deploying or planning to imminently deploy a big data project, we have a serious disconnect.”

It was true then, and it’s true now.

More data, more noise

The problem may come down to Nate Silver’s contention in his book, “The Signal and the Noise” — more data doesn’t necessarily equate to more insight. In fact, it often yields the opposite:

If the quantity of information is increasing by 2.5 quintillion bytes per day, the amount of useful information almost certainly isn’t. Most of it is just noise, and the noise is increasing faster than the signal. There are so many hypotheses to test, so many data sets to mine — but a relatively constant amount of objective truth.

Enterprises that jump willy-nilly into the big data fray quickly discover that “big data” often translates to “big confusion,” and more data doesn’t solve that. It exacerbates the issue.

Back in survey land, most respondents (80.8 percent) to the DNV GL survey acknowledge that they and their management aren’t adequately preparing for a big data future. Couple this with a lack of enterprise strategy around data and we have a recipe for big data implosions, not insights.

In response, 47.3 percent of respondents claim to be investing in in-house training to improve their chances of discovering signal in the the ever-increasing noise of their data. This strikes me as the one clear positive from the report. After all, as Gartner analyst Svetlana Sicular noted years ago, “Organizations already have people who know their own data better than mystical data scientists.”

The key, she continues, is to enable people who understand the business to also intelligently query the business’ data. “Learning Hadoop is easier than learning the company’s business,” she posits, so more efforts should be made to train existing employees on the tools necessary to unlocking the value of enterprise data.

In sum, we don’t need more data — not really. What we need is more people who can understand the data we already have.

Posted Under: Database, Networking
Businesses harbor big data desires, but lack know-how

Posted by on 24 May, 2016

This post was originally published on this site

Big data has never been bigger, nor more of a crapshoot. At least, that’s the sense one gets from a new survey revealing that 76 percent of all enterprises are looking to maintain or increase their investments in big data over the next few years — despite a mere 23.5 percent owning up to a clear big data strategy.

That wouldn’t be so bad if things were getting better, but they’re not. Three years ago 64 percent of enterprises told Gartner that they were hopped up on the big data opportunity. But then, as now, the vast majority of big data acolytes didn’t have a clue as to how to get value from their info stores.

Despite our best attempts to capture signal from all the big data noise, in other words, we’re mostly flying blind.

Bigger and bigger!

The consultancy DNV GL Business Assurance, in partnership with research institute GFK Eurisko, polled 1,189 enterprises across the globe to better understand their big data plans. A majority of these companies — 52 percent — see big data as a big opportunity. That number climbs to 70 percent among large companies (1,000-plus employees) and tops 96 percent of those the report authors categorize as Leaders.

This jibes well with the survey’s other finding that nearly 45 percent of enterprises see big data as “important” or “very important” to their current operations. It leads, not surprisingly, to big plans to invest even more into big data:

big data investment plans

That’s the good news.

What am I supposed to do with it all?

The bad news is that despite all this earnest energy to put big data to use, the vast majority of enterprises don’t. More troubling still, despite all the enthusiasm for investing more in big data, these same companies haven’t shown a particular penchant for effectively planning out how to improve the situation.

Sure, 100 percent of those companies classified as leaders are, by definition, “leveraging big data to boost their productivity and value creation,” but 73.2 percent of everyone else is adrift in the big data sea. Even most large enterprises can’t seem to buy a big data clue:

big data productivity boost

Furthermore, the percentage of companies actually deriving value from data is unlikely to rise, given that most companies lack a clear strategy for putting their data to work:

big data strategy

Big companies are a bit further along (39.6 percent of them claim to have a clear strategy), perhaps because they invested in big data earlier than most, but the fact remains: Most companies still don’t know what to do with their data.

Again, this fact hasn’t changed much in the past few years. As Gartner uncovered in 2013, most companies struggle to define a strategy, determine how to get value from their data, and find the skills necessary to do so. As I wrote then, “When 56 percent of respondents struggle to know how to get value from their data yet are either deploying or planning to imminently deploy a big data project, we have a serious disconnect.”

It was true then, and it’s true now.

More data, more noise

The problem may come down to Nate Silver’s contention in his book, “The Signal and the Noise” — more data doesn’t necessarily equate to more insight. In fact, it often yields the opposite:

If the quantity of information is increasing by 2.5 quintillion bytes per day, the amount of useful information almost certainly isn’t. Most of it is just noise, and the noise is increasing faster than the signal. There are so many hypotheses to test, so many data sets to mine — but a relatively constant amount of objective truth.

Enterprises that jump willy-nilly into the big data fray quickly discover that “big data” often translates to “big confusion,” and more data doesn’t solve that. It exacerbates the issue.

Back in survey land, most respondents (80.8 percent) to the DNV GL survey acknowledge that they and their management aren’t adequately preparing for a big data future. Couple this with a lack of enterprise strategy around data and we have a recipe for big data implosions, not insights.

In response, 47.3 percent of respondents claim to be investing in in-house training to improve their chances of discovering signal in the the ever-increasing noise of their data. This strikes me as the one clear positive from the report. After all, as Gartner analyst Svetlana Sicular noted years ago, “Organizations already have people who know their own data better than mystical data scientists.”

The key, she continues, is to enable people who understand the business to also intelligently query the business’ data. “Learning Hadoop is easier than learning the company’s business,” she posits, so more efforts should be made to train existing employees on the tools necessary to unlocking the value of enterprise data.

In sum, we don’t need more data — not really. What we need is more people who can understand the data we already have.

Posted Under: Database, General, Networking, Security, Tech News
Bitbucket’s Pipelines turns up the pressure on GitHub and GitLab

Posted by on 24 May, 2016

This post was originally published on this site

Yesterday GitHub competitor GitLab offered local Docker repositories in a bid to expand its footprint in code hosting. Now GitHub competitor Bitbucket has upped its game as well.

Bitbucket’s new Pipelines offering is still only in beta, but its intention is clearly to make developers consider Bitbucket as a core continuous integration/continuous delivery (CI/CD) tool, not only a code silo.

The idea is to support an entire application’s workflow, from coding to testing to deployment, within Pipelines’ interface — including different workflows for different branches of a project. The build process is detailed in a file placed in the root of a given repository, and since the build process runs inside a Docker image, it’s possible to use almost any language runtime.

Bitbucket’s ambitions for Pipelines are evidenced in its integration with third-party products and services. Cloud platforms (AWS and Azure), automated testing systems (Code Climate), and third-party repositories (NPM) can all be added to a pipeline as part of the deployment, testing, or monitoring phases.

As you might expect in a beta, Pipelines is missing a few features. For one, it only works with Git repositories, not Mercurial. Support for Mercurial has long been one of Bitbucket’s small but useful selling points, as teams who have a workflow built with Mercurial want to preserve that. Final pricing for Pipelines hasn’t been disclosed, but there’s currently a usage limit of 300 minutes per month.

Most of the competition will come from two sources: competing services like GitLab and GitHub and on-premise CI/CD solutions like Jenkins, which offers some of the same behaviors (for example, its Pipeline plug-in). Atlassian is trying to keep a foot in both camps, with Bamboo Server as the local product and Bitbucket Pipelines as the cloud item. A cloud version of Bamboo Server exists, but it’s being deprecated, with users offered a chance to switch to the local edition.

GitHub has its own integrations with build services — most prominently, Travis CI — but its emphasis is a little different. With Pipelines, the integration process is native to Bitbucket; with GitHub, Travis is only one of a number of pipeline technologies that includes CircleCI or AWS CodePipeline. Due to its approach, GitHub’s service is one of many components in a workflow, rather than the source of the workflow — not that it lessens criticism about the degree of dependency developers have on GitHub.

Posted Under: Database, General, Networking, Security, Tech News
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