wissel.net

Usability - Productivity - Business - The web - Singapore & Twins

By Date: April 2013

Dear SingTel, please fix your routing performance!


Slashdot asked for the latency to their site, so I ran a few tests with pretty consistent results in the 250ms range. Slashdot labels that as "still stuck on dialup or in space". Their expectations for overseas users was 80 to 150ms. Puzzled by the result (local websites typically respond in the sub 2ms range), I used traceroute to get to the bottom of this. Here are the results:
Hop IP DNS Name Packet 1 Packet 2 Packet 3 AVG Delta
1 192.168.1.1 router 0.3730 0.5390 0.3200 0.4107

 

2 202.166.123.170 (202.166.123.170) 5.9160 4.8020 4.7630 5.1603

 

3 202.166.123.169 (202.166.123.169) 2.7000 2.6150 2.8210 2.7120 -47.45%
4 202.166.121.101 (202.166.121.101) 3.7700 2.8390 2.5490 3.0527 12.56%
5 202.166.120.186 (ae6-0.singha.singnet.com.sg) 2.8160 7.1180 3.6210 4.5183 48.01%
6 202.166.126.41 (ae5-0.beck.singnet.com.sg) 29.7140 3.1530 2.9850 11.9507 164.49%
7 203.208.190.130 (203.208.190.130) 6.1800 3.6980 3.0630 4.3137 -63.90%
8 203.208.182.153 (ge-4-0-6-0.sngc3-cr2.ix.singtel.com) 3.0040

 

 

 

 

 

203.208.151.177 (ge-0-1-7-0.sngtp-dr1.ix.singtel.com)

 

3.9300 2.9730 3.3023 -23.44%
9 203.208.171.186 (203.208.171.186) 180.7350

 

 

 

 

 

203.208.153.162 (203.208.153.162)

 

193.0680 192.9220 188.9083 5620.45%
10 203.208.171.154 (203.208.171.154) 185.7070

 

 

 

 

 

203.208.171.158 (203.208.171.158)

 

189.3080 189.1780 188.0643 -0.45%
11 67.17.192.141 (67.17.192.141) 185.5320 181.1660 181.5870 182.7617 -2.82%
12 64.208.27.50 (savvis-1.ar4.SJC2.gblx.net) 192.5370 185.9260 185.3730 187.9453 2.84%
13 206.28.98.117 (cr2-te-0-5-0-1.sfo.savvis.net) 185.3240 201.3570 202.9370 196.5393 4.57%
14 204.70.196.246 (cr2-tengig-0-7-0-0.chicago.savvis.net) 239.1180 234.3400 234.1810 235.8797 20.02%
15 204.70.195.122 (hr2-tengigabitethernet-12-1.elkgrovech3.savvis.net) 228.7670 240.4970 240.9600 236.7413 0.37%
16 64.37.207.158 (das5-v3032.ch3.savvis.net) 240.7050 244.1670 243.6270 242.8330 2.57%
17 64.27.160.194 (64.27.160.194) 240.7910 264.4990 253.7380 253.0093 4.19%
18 216.34.181.45 (slashdot.org) 235.7960 242.7860 242.3070 240.2963 -5.02%

Checking for the hosts that created that 5000% jump in latency it turns out, they are SingTel's:
stw@box:~$ whois 203.208.171.186
% [whois.apnic.net node-3]
% Whois data copyright terms    http://www.apnic.net/db/dbcopyright.html

inetnum:        203.208.171.128 - 203.208.171.191
netname:        SINGTEL-IX-AP
descr:          Singapore Telecommunications Pte Ltd
descr:          31C Exeter Road, Comcenter III
descr:          Unit #06-06
descr:          Singapore 239734
country:        SG
admin-c:        SAK3-AP
tech-c:         SAK3-AP
status:         ASSIGNED NON-PORTABLE
notify:         shanali@singtel.com
mnt-by:         MAINT-SINGTEL-IX
changed:        shanali@singtel.com 20070615
source:         APNIC

stw@box:~$ whois 203.208.153.162
% [whois.apnic.net node-5]
% Whois data copyright terms    http://www.apnic.net/db/dbcopyright.html

inetnum:        203.208.153.128 - 203.208.153.191
netname:        SINGTEL-IX-AP
descr:          Singapore Telecommunications Pte Ltd
descr:          31C Exeter Road, Comcenter III
descr:          Unit #06-06
descr:          Singapore 239734
country:        SG
admin-c:        SAK3-AP
tech-c:         SAK3-AP
status:         ASSIGNED NON-PORTABLE
notify:         shanali@singtel.com
mnt-by:         MAINT-SINGTEL-IX
changed:        shanali@singtel.com 20070615
source:         APNIC

Looks very much like an underperforming switch/router/filter. SingTel, please fix that!

Posted by on 25 April 2013 | Comments (0) | categories: Buying Broadband

A more actionable Connections UI


IBM Connections is a two headed beast: on one hand it is a set of rich APIs offering different services (Status, Blogs, Wiki, Text, Activities etc) on the other it provides a set of UIs on top of this APIs. Yes, not one, but a set: Browser, Android, iShiny??? and IBM Notes. I'm a big fan of the APIs. After all they stand for IBM's commitment to open standards and are build with XML, REST, ATOM and ActivityStreams compliant to the OpenSocial specifications.
I'm not so sure about the UIs, especially the browser UI. While it is fiercely backward compatible in its browser support, it doesn't take advantage of modern browser capabilities (a all to common Catch 22: the general expectation is software to be bleeding edge but to work on all runtimes. Only slowly the idea takes hold "work on all runtimes" doesn't necessarily mean "is the same" and software embraces graceful degradation instead of the least common denominator. We might see that in Connections some time in the future too.
Anyway, the API concept allows you to create your own UI without running foul of breaking the existing application. So I doodled around with my favourite mockup tool how I would enhance the existing UI:
A better Sharebox
Following the concept of progressive disclosure the entry box in the status update could be used to create any type of entry. It is quite paradoxical, that now I need to decide where (Status, Blog, Wiki, Activity etc.) to say something before I can say it. The what and where need to be more independent. By providing a single entry box this is absolutely possible.

Read more

Posted by on 19 April 2013 | Comments (0) | categories: IBM IBM - Lotus

Planning applications (XPages MindMap)


In a recent XPages workshop in Kuala Lumpur, the class brainstormed on the planning process for an XPages application. This is what we came up with. For every item on the list one could elaborate quite a bit, but putting that on the map would make it rather messy.
Planning XPages MindMap
Enjoy

Posted by on 18 April 2013 | Comments (a) | categories: XPages

Is SharePoint a Failed Vision for Collaboration?


Rich Blank (of Jive software) makes a case on CMSWire to consider SharePoint a failure for collaboration. Looking closely it isn't SharePoint to fault.
SharePoint with its place concept and flat views is a 1:1 conceptual copy of Lotus Notes implemented with a (then) current Microsoft technology stack. Thus it does have the potential for successful collaboration, as the (then) success of Lotus Notes clearly showed.
With the right effort of adoption any collaborative technology can be successful, be it shared folders (like Dropbox), Lotus Notes, SharePoint, LinkedIn, Jammer or Connections. It is an too common pattern: failure of collaboration gets attributed to the platform, to avoid the necessity to wake up to the fact that the core reason of failure is lack of skills, vision, execution and adoption.
Of course, and I'm certainly biased here, a more people than place/document centric approach makes adoption and collaboration more efficient, effective and pleasant (read: usable), so SharePoint would need to fuse with Yammer and Skype to get there. This still doesn't negate the need to drive adoption.
The collaboration space has still way to go. With all the tools around we celebrate information scatter for the sake of "social collaboration". A key success factor for eMail was " everything in one place (the inbox) at my disposal". The modern collaborative tools (I'm not fond of the term social, since in my part of the world it still has a different meaning) are wanting in place and control. Activity streams (as the transport protocol) seem most promising, since they are open, don't reinvent the wheels (after all they are HTTP and ATOM) and can be contributed/digested in any programming language.
Nevertheless the UIs offered are to consumption and not enough action oriented. Embedded experiences are a step to remedy that, but I still can't act on the stream, only on some of the information that flows by. So there's way to go to make this collaboration effective, efficient and pleasant. Be it Jammer, SharePoint, IBM Notes or IBM Connections (or any of the nice players).

Posted by on 14 April 2013 | Comments (2) | categories: Software