iPlanet  ->  quadium.net

iPlanet is one of the saddest things I've ever seen. In case you've never run into them, iPlanet is this cooperation thingy between Sun and Netscape-AOL-Time Warner-The Illuminati. I was at Sun when the whole thing happened, and it created enormous headaches for me.

First, there was the question of infrastructure. Our people needed to see some of their stuff, and their people needed to see some of our stuff. It being proprietary, I can't say much, but suffice it to say the elegant solution I was tasked to provide was held up for months by beauracracy on both sides, and something was finally kludged together months later.

Then somebody high up decided that we should be using the Netscape^WiPlanet server for every internal Web server, never mind the fact that it is one of the most bloated, inefficient, and hard-to-use blobs of software I have ever encountered. It ate our configuration and refused to recover. Oh yes, and it didn't believe in a strict construction of the servlet spec, the one that Sun wrote. You'd think we'd have gotten them to fix that, being strategic partners and all, but...

The iPlanet initiative was run by people who must have really admired the ostrich, because they had buried their heads in the sand so far that they were completely oblivious to the reality around them --- that the Netscape server was monumentally bad and the market had realized this. One influential person who really should have known better suggested removing the Apache package from the Sun CDs, because its presence "discourages them from purchasing our iPlanet products". This despite the fact that any admin with any sense of self-preservation does two things:

  1. Downloads and installs Apache from source.
  2. Avoids the Netscape server like the plague.

Netcraft meant nothing to these people.

One other thing: somebody decided that merging the Netscape and Sun phone databases was a good idea, so when Tim Howes left Netscape for Loudcloud, I, being the closest match, started receiving his mail and phone calls. I had gotten several job offers to be the vice president at various companies, or join their board of directors, and I had decided to accept the next one before I left. Too bad.

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AIM: TimHowe
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Last modified: Sun Nov 12 04:40:19 PST 2000