ACM Queue on Virtualisation (bonus: me on spelling)

Note: This entry has been restored from old archives.

Or should that be virtualization. I’m sick of dealing with two slightly different dialects of English, we zhould remove the letter ezz from the alphabet or zomething. The problem is that back in those oh-so-formative years of primary school it was hammered into us that spelling errors are a crime against all things good and decent. Hammered in with a bloody pile-driver. People who didn’t “get it” in the spelling department, I being one of them, were labelled as stupid slow-learners and punished. This is despite getting into “talented” class streams (via some weird abstract test) and being a voracious reader of “very large books” — doesn’t matter, if you can’t spell you’re clearly a moron. (Do I hold a grudge against the Western Australian public Primary School curriculum, nah, despite life becoming incredibly better after I moved to a private school for my final year of primary school, never…)

The point is: not being able to spell is a crime and a word spelt incorrectly is an abomination. This facet of education is, I suspect, the reason so many people seem so ridiculously patriotic about their funny little localisations of English. My guess is that the root of the problem is a deep and abject fear of our primary school teachers, fascist dictators over years of our lives, who would mock and ridicule us if we forgot our i before e except after c (except the exceptions.)

So, what are we to do in a world where there are two correct ways to spell many words? Where, for business reasons, spelling something the wrong correct way (the uncomfortable way) is often required. A lot of people, such as the audience for that report you’re writing, suffer the same mental disability when it comes to uncomfortable foreign spelling. Grin and bear it I say, try to put the childhood monsters of “incorrect” spelling behind you. For any given document decide which is the best way to go and, first and foremost, strive for consistency.

OK… that was an unintentional rant-cum-ponderance. What I was meaning to write was that the Jan/Feb ACM Queue landed in my mailbox the other day and I’ve been reading it over my morning coffee this week. It provides a pragmatic, low-hype, introduction to virtualization. Starting with an essential history and “what is it” before moving on to an informative coverage of some technical gotchas by Ulrich Drepper. I highly recommend reading the articles to anyone curious about this latest buzz-word. They put the full Queue on the web now, not as nice to read as the paper version IMO (yeah, trees, I know) but better than nothing. (sigh using some non-web-format-for-the-web like IEEE spectrum.)