Tomcat 6 and Ubuntu apt-get

I understand the philosophy behind package managers.  It is a major reason I use Ubuntu over say Gentoo.  However, just because I choose to use a package installer does not mean I get an application installation that is mangled.  I suspect there is something wrong with the tomcat6 deb installation that is preventing me from using a particular war. 

1.)  How the hell do I enable logging?  Why do I have to go through several web pages to figure out how to do something so basic in a system?  Why does the tomcat6 manager not have a link to the logs?  Who cares about JLUI and Java.Logging differences.  All I want is a simple log file that I can open up in a text editor and refresh when new entries get created.  Why do I have to go through var/log and syslog to see tomcat debug messages.  Tomcat6 logging is ridiculous.

2.)  Why does a broken deb result in you not being able to install any other deb on your system?  I had to manually delete entries in apt-gets database.  This was not fun or pleasant and they could have easily included that functionality in synaptic.

3.)  Why is this easier to install on a Windows XP box than a fresh Ubuntu install?  Iv’e been a linux user since the early days of Slackware and back then open source software was not easier to install in Linux than windows.  This is a new development for me. 

The king is dead, long live Android

I don’t have to pretend to be a futurist (this has happened before ), but, its worth noting.  As it stands the Apple Iphone is the 8001b gorilla in the mobile device space.  They have over 50 million devices and are racking up record sales numbers every quarter.  However, as they have stumbled in the past, they are about to stumble again.  I am assuming that Jobs prefers having Apple as a recognizable quantity rather than a sizable one.  Apple is going to lose the mobile desktop, just like how they lost the PC desktop. This time, it may be more painful as there are far more investments depending on Iphone dominance.  Hopefully, this post can get some folks to avoid major investments.  The truth is that within 2 years Android and Maemo will be on more devices than Apple currently has in the wild.  In fact, I predict that Verizion wireless alone, will have more Android devices sold in 5 years. 
This is not a hard prediction to make as I have seen the movements occuring in the last year.  I am quite surprised by how quickly Android has matured in less than a year.  I am also surprised by how much better Android is than other phone stacks from its launch.  Android is a game changing platform, because, it is the first mobile stack that gives a desktop experience to the mobile market.  This is a sea change that will be replicated though not with as much success.  The Verizon development was the killer launch for Android.  The largest mobile phone provider in the United States is putting its entire heft behind a single platform. 
The Windows Mobile and Iphone teams must have simultaneously gasped at this announcement.  If not, the end of year reports on Android device sales will.  Let me be the first to encourage Microsoft to enter the Android development business and stop wasting money on a platform that has not achieved the quality of Android’s first iteration in its umpteenth iteration. There will be plenty of room in the mobile device space for all competitors, but, soon it will consist of Android devices and those that are not Android devices.  Android will set the trends and will be the platform to match in order to be successful.  Apple neither has the technical capability nor the corporate mindset to compete with Android. Microsoft is also facing an also ran status, but, will continue to have a sizable market share.  However, it will become harder and harder to justify purchasing an Iphone.

A revolution of simplicity

I came across something today, that promises to change how I develop software moving forward.  Its not every day that you experience something like this.  The particular problem that I was looking into was for how to manage data collection and data quality reporting for a data management entity.  Having solved some problems for them with a different set of technologies (.Net and workflow technology), I was interested in what was the current state in the art (I had developed the core concepts of the solution over a year ago).  A technology of interest last year was Xforms.  There were several problems with using that last year.  Today many of those problems have disappeared so its viability is more promising.  However, while researching this I came across something much more consequential:  XRX:

Forms on the client
REST interfaces
and XQuery on the server

Stayed tuned to this space, but, I am expecting to add this concept to my toolset.  Meanwhile please review the manifesto of sorts:  XRX