One of the best information sources for any topic are blogs, and the Oracle Solaris operating system in all its variants (Solaris 10 and OpenSolaris) is no exception. Most of what I learned about OpenSolaris was through blogs, or through interacting with Solaris bloggers.
As a way of saying "Thank You", I did some research and came up with a list of the top ten Solaris related blogs with the highest traffic on the Internet.
But first, let's clear up some basic rules.
First of all, this is just a starting list for you to discover Oracle Solaris from. It is by no means complete, authoritative or official. But this is the best list I could come up with, based on the information available to me right now. And you can participate by submitting your own favorite blogs, offering rule changes or suggesting other ways to find a better (or more useful) top 10 list. So check this out and place your comment at the end of the post.
These are the rules for the "Constant Thinking List of Top Ten Solaris Blogs":
As a way of measuring traffic, I'm using the Alexa Rank value, as pulled down from the Alexa website on Sunday, June 27th. Smaller is better. If you have a more objective, transparent or more fair method of measuring blog traffic for Solaris blogs, let me know.
Some blogs can't be measured through Alexa, because they are hosted on platforms that distort the Alexa ranking. As an example, all blogs hosted on blogs.sun.com currently have an Alexa rank of 697, because Alexa only measures traffic for "sun.com" and not for individual blogs therein. This is also true for blogs hosted on livejournal.com or dyndns.com. These blogs are not included in this list. Before you start complaining: I do feel that Solaris blogs hosted on blogs.sun.com are important and I'm planning to do a similar list for blogs that are hosted there. But I don't know of an easy way of measuring their traffic, other than monitoring the Popular Blogs column. Again, if you have ideas, let me know. On the other hand, building an audience as a blog outside of blogs.sun.com is not easy. That's what I want to reward by highlighting the most successful independent Solaris blogs. If your blog is on blogs.sun.com and you want to blog more independently, there are some very good reasons for getting your own domain.
The list of blogs I'm monitoring is based on my personal experience and the great help of Ricardo of COLOSUG, the OpenSolaris User Group of Colombia, who I met through oDesk (a virtual outsourcing site, affiliate link). If you know a blog that has an Alexa ranking that would place it inside this list, then please let me know.
Don't take this list too seriously. This is intended as a starting point for you to learn more about Solaris. I'm just trying to find new ways of charting the Solaris blogosphere and I'm open for suggestions. I'm going to feature more Solaris related blogs, based on other criteria in future upcoming posts. As always, sign up here for some regular updates to this blog.
So, without further ado, here's my current list of "Top Ten Solaris Blogs" (in reverse order):
Alexa Ranking: 3,514,685.
Garret D'Amore, the blog's author, is the main architect of the OpenSolaris OpenSound project "Boomer", and he is now an employee of Nexenta. He's now working on ZFS development and other storage related projects, so look forward to some more updates in his blog.
9. E O N
Alexa Ranking: 2,708,754.
Andre Lue is a Solutions Architect for Thomson Reuters and the father of the E O N OpenSolaris distribution, which is focused on delivering a NAS platform with embedded ZFS and Solaris Operating System and Networking. His blog is a great resource for ZFS knowledge in general and of course for users of E O N as well.
Alexa Ranking: 2,168,682.
Jim works at Oracle (through Sun) and he's the true father of OpenSolaris communities world-wide. If you want to learn how to build communities, he's the man. His blog is full of advice on how to build and run communities, along with photos, stories and wisdom from OpenSolaris, Barcamps and other events and from his life as an engineering project manager in Tokyo.
Alexa Ranking: 1,986,012.
Marcelo Leal, the blog's author, is also the author of ZFS – Para usuários OpenSolaris, Windows, Mac e Linux, a book about ZFS in Brazilian Portuguese. He's very active in the Brazilian OpenSolaris community and he has published a wealth of OpenSolaris and ZFS articles and tutorials, including screencasts, mostly in English language.
Alexa Ranking (entic.net): 1,686,360.
Entic.net is a small 3-person startup that offers a variety of neat, cloud-based services, including a Virtual Private Server (VPS) based on OpenSolaris, how cool is that?
Their blog is relatively new, but features a number of useful insights into ZFS, Tomcat and using Solaris as the basis for Cloud Computing services.
5. Milek's Blog
Alexa Ranking: 1,570,839.
The author Robert Milkowski is a Senior Systems Analyst at Talk Talk Group in UK. He blogs since 2005 about all aspects related to Solaris and OpenSolaris and other Sun technologies. He likes to share his insights about new technologies, trying out new Solaris features in his blog and he shares lots of useful little scripts and DTrace snippets for you to try out.
Alexa Ranking (blastwave.org): 771,924.
Dennis Clarke is the founder and owner of Blastwave.org, one of the most popular freeware software services for Solaris and OpenSolaris in the world. Since his blog is hosted on the same domain as the BlastWave service, the Alexa ranking is probably more related to the service than the blog. Still, the contribution of BlastWave and Dennis to the Solaris community is so important, that I'm opting to put it in here. Let me know how you feel about this.
His blog entries revolve around small and large glitches he encounters while putting together packages for BlastWave.org, plus numerous little hints to make your Solaris life more enjoyable.
Alexa Ranking: 319,457.
This blog's name is a play of words, as it refers to the device name of the first slice on the first disk of the first target in the first controller of a SPARC system. Jörg Möllenkamp, the blog's owner, is a Principal Field Technologist at Sun Hamburg, blogging daily about all aspects of Sun technology, from servers to CPU technologies to, of course, Solaris and OpenSolaris.
Some blog entries are related to flying and photography (two hobbies of his) and some are in German language. A range of categorized RSS feeds make it easy for you to tailor Jörg's vast amount of content to your needs.
c0t0d0s0.org is home to the popular Less Known Solaris Features tutorials.
Alexa Ranking (prefetch.net): 253,332.
Blog O' Matty is a Unix technology blog by Ryan Matteson, based in Austin, Texas with lots of solutions to problems, howtos, technology reviews, and step-by-step guides on how to debug various issues, related to Linux, FreeBSD, OpenBSD and of course Solaris and OpenSolaris. There's a lot of useful Solaris and OpenSolaris related content here, so I chose to include this blog in the list despite it really being a more general Unix technology blog.
Alexa Ranking (cuddletech.com): 122,850.
Ben Rockwood works at Joyent, an IaaS Cloud Services Company and early adopter of the latest Solaris technologies. He frequently blogs about OpenSolaris, both from a community and from a technology perspective. By reading his blog, you can get excellent, unbiased and thoughtful insights into the thinking of one of the brightest Solaris sysadmins and advocates in the world. He recently blogged about how he sees Solaris as a community project and his analysis of how its governance really works.
Congratulations to the people on the list, you're running some cool blogs and I hope this post will send you even more readers!
Remember, this is not official and I expect to have missed a blog or two in the list above. That is why I need your help: It is surprisingly difficult to find a complete list of OpenSolaris bloggers (planet.opensolaris.org is just the beginning...), so I hope that the above top ten list is a good start. However, let me know of your favorite OpenSolaris blogs by writing a comment now and I'll be happy to monitor them so I can bring you an updated Top 10 list in a month or so.
And if you happen to know a better, more objective and perhaps more fair way to measure blog traffic, let me know as well. Meanwhile, I'll prepare my list of 10 more, subjectively cool OpenSolaris blogs for an upcoming post. Stay tuned!