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Most recent entries
Author: lakerdonald (1:27 pm)
In case anybody reads this anymore, the new URL is http://libervis.com/blogs/6/lakerdonald
Author: tbuitenh (9:42 am)
My weblog has moved, it can now be found here: http://www.libervis.com/blogs/3/tbuitenh
Author: charles (12:52 pm)
Dear and loyal readers,
you knew that my blog URL was: http://charles-blog.libervis.com .
This blogging platform has been changed although it is on the same site, because of several technical problems. Please change your links to:
My blog will still be available on that new blog. Just click on Old Blogs in the upper left part of the page.
Author: charles (10:54 am)
Following up the Microsoft announcement about their so-called new open file formats for office documents, I couldn't help but notice that Intel was part of the consortium backing the Microsoft initiative. Here's why it is suprizing at first glance: Intel was also part of the OpenDocument meeting in Armonk, New York, and it is also very close to contributing code to OpenOffice.org .
The rationale behind the decision of Intel to back Microsoft is clear if you consider that OpenOffice.org on both Windows and Linux does not account for more than 90% of machines running on Intel processors. At some point somebody at Microsoft may have called somebody else at Intel and asked who was their best buddy these days.
I hope though that the day we'll get to the point where OpenOffice.org on both Windows and Linux will reach 20% of the machines running on Intel processors, the CPU maker will consider a traditionnal and most welcome 20 - 80% approach with the FOSS community. This would mean that, just like the old marketing rule explains, 20% of your customers are more important to your business (for whatever reasons) than the 80% others.
So while I can forgive Intel's decision, I do not, of course, support it, and would like to know if they are still willing to support the OpenDocument Format.
Author: charles (11:57 am)
UPDATE: Here's the OpenOffice.org's official press release on the topic.
By announcing that its new format would be standardized, open, and XML based, Microsoft has also announced to the world that it had lost the initiative in the Office wars.
Microsoft latest move is the evidence that OpenOffice.org, and the OpenDocument Format are leading the way when it comes to innovation in the Office technology and the vendor-independant data formats. So thank you, Microsoft.
Thank you Microsoft? Actually, not that much. Whereas the validation of the MS Office next formats by the ECMA and the ISO remains to be seen, I'd like to point out that Microsoft did not choose the existing, state-of-the art open file format, OpenDocument. By choosing not to adopt OpenDocument and claiming for another standards, Microsoft has opened a WAR OF STANDARDS. A war of standards is exactly what Microsoft wants in order to stop, or try to stop the momentum behind OpenDocument.
Some may also object that these upcoming MS Office file formats are actually open. But it may not be the case if you consider these points:
-Microsoft truly opened its format, but did not open its former versions of the MS Office file formats.
-the openness of the file format has to be narrowed: open, according to Microsoft, is not open as in "open source" and the licensing scheme, IPR statements from Redmond are a progress but fall short of any comparison even with Sun's CDDL or BSD. Beside, Microsoft patented the XML technology used in its formats. What good is that?
-Microsoft, despite its claims, doesn't invite others and the community to work and decide collectively on the format specifications. Microsoft owns it anyway, and can change it overnight.
As for myself, I suggest that we keep pushing OpenDocument, no matter what Microsoft says and does. Let's keep an eye on Redmond, though. As time goes by, it may even release Windows under GPL...
Author: tbuitenh (12:45 pm)
I love LaTeX for many reasons. It lets me focus on document structure instead of markup. It's great for mathematical formulas. I can easily use it together with whatever happens to be my favorite version management system at the time, because just like program source code, TeX files are plain text. And last but not least it is very easy to have a program write a LaTeX document. If my program does some complicated math, I even use it for debug output!
When I publish my LaTeX documents, I have a choice between postscript, pdf, somewhat crappy html using latex2html, and I believe there also is the possibility to create rtf files, but I forgot the name of the program that makes those cause I never used it. Anyway. The only option that is really satisfying is pdf, because it looks good, supports hyperlinks, and everyone can read it.
Today I thought "I don't want pdf, it's not an open standard, I want OpenDocument!". Guess what? It's possible! It's an undocumented feature of a program that I don't have installed and is not packaged for my linux distribution (see http://groups.google.com/group/comp.text.tex/browse_thread/thread/d066e94eeb7d1fdc/f0d951ef038c7a4c?lnk=raot ), but... wow! Once again the free software community created what I need already before I knew I needed it!
I also found this nice blog entry:
Author: tbuitenh (10:56 am)
You can control who can access your data, but it is technically impossible to control what they do with it, including sharing it with others.
Author: Libervisco (8:49 pm)
This story asks a question: Is open source a bubble ready to burst?
It concludes in a rather positive light and I would agree that open source, that is Free Software investments aren't forming a "bubble ready to burst".
What article mentions as one of the most crucial things a Free Software business startup has to have is *community*. But it sounds like it's being put out as a requirement not existant in the proprietary business world, which is in my opinion actually a pretty silly presumption.
Even proprietary software businesses need sort of a community to form around their software; community of users, even if those are merely paying customers. It is their market. The only difference is that a proprietary software users community isn't and can't be so active as Free Software users community can be. Proprietary software users can't send in their own software code modifications and are usually much slower at submitting bug reports and any such feedback. It is a "we and them" approach where "we" is the software company and them are just "consumers". The "we" feeds "them" and there is generally no mingleing and no real cooperation between the two.
So, what the "community" is to a Free Software business is still actually a "market" that has to be won just as they'd need to win if they were a proprietary software company, only this "market" (the community) is more proactive, it wants and needs to have a say, it wonts to cooperate and it wants to have certain freedoms granted.
This kind of market, the market which we can call a community, not just "consumers" is what the market should have been in the first place. The "we and them" situation is corrupt as it assumes people should merely be consumers. Free Software business model changes that as it gives a face, voice and a tool to the people, the community, the Free Software market.
Author: skrye (7:41 pm)
Yet again, David Blunkett has managed to make a mockery of of his position in high office and the 'faith' Tony Blair has put in him. He has been forced to resign after completely disregarding ministerial rules by failing to consult with and gain the approval of the ministry before accepting a directorship in a DNA testing company. He said that it was an 'error in judgement' on his part, though I think he would have considered it less of a mis-judgement, if he had not been caught breaking the rules. This is the very same type of company, who's services he may be required to utilize, to verify if he is indeed the father of the child born to a woman he was having an illict and adulterous (on her part) affair with.
Tony Blair has spoken out against those calling for his sacking, and allowed him to resign gracefully, without any smears to his credits. There is no doubt in my mind that this has been to leave the door open for Blunkett to be re-appointed to another postion when the media frenzy has calmed down, and the tabloids have got their hooks into another scandel.
This whole mess come less than a year after David Blunkett was forced to resign as Home Secretary when he was caught personally approving and fast-tracking a Visa application for a woman who was to be the nanny of the above mentioned child. This was literally days after he had brought in tough new immigration laws. Several months later and he was re-instated as Works & Pension's secretary.......Can you see a pattern here?
Tony Blair should not have the kind of totalitarian powers he has to be lenient in these matters. Many other MP's would have been given the sack for half of the trouble Blunkett has caused. Also I think that the political avantages of having a blind person in high office have not gone unnoticed. (Talk about positive discrimination) I can understand being given a second chance, but for another scandel to happen ten months later just beggers belief. It forces me to question again, the ethics and democratic process in use in the highest levels of British government. A government that seems to be at the beck and call of a paranoid, muscle flexing, oil-grabbing, republican (totalitarian) US government and its devolved leader.
Author: lakerdonald (8:43 pm)
Hello all. I'm back from my blogging hiatus.
Kinda Jedi Linux news...kinda just general F/OSS news. I have officially moved the former Jedi GNU/Linux project, along with force-get and fs-make to a new endeavor known as the Jedi/GNU Project.
To this end, the name of Jedi GNU/Linux is now Jedi/GNU Linux, to fit the name of the Jedi/GNU Project.
The Jedi/GNU Project aims to provide a stable userland that fills in the gaps that the GNU Project has left.
It currently includes:
-abp (Automated Binary Packager)
-JedInit (*unreleased/in development)
-the JediSHell (*)
Just figured I'd announce it on an Open Source advocacy site.
Unfortunately there is no official hosting for us yet, but soon!
Well it's good to be back on Libervis!