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Most recent entries
Author: charles (12:21 pm)
I was getting tired to hear IBM marketing division polluting the TV ads and the airport ad shields telling us that Linux is an absolutely fantastic OS. In fact, I was even wondering how the entire FOSS community could have passed by such an imposture.
IBM recently released its Workplace productivity software and by doing so effectively forking the OpenOffice.org's code.
For those who never heard about Workplace, here's a link to it.
You may even get the chance to see a complete flash demo of the product.
In short, what is IBM Workplace, really:
It's an office software, a calendar, groupware and workflow bundled in one big server-thin client offer.
The annoying part of it is that the office software-side of Workplace is openoffice.org. IBM has fixed several bugs and modified some of its code so that it is now a fork of OpenOffice.org series 1.1.x .
And of course, IBM doesn't plan to contribute back its modifications to the community. Workplace is and will remain a proprietary product, its only real value being the possibility to use open file formats, its only legacy from OpenOffice.org.
In thisblog, a famous journalist asked Louis Suarez-Potts, the Community Manager, what was going with IBM.
I agree with him.
OpenOffice.org has nothing against IBM. We really want them to come over and contribute. But IBM and Sun cannot stand each other, so, here's the catch: Sun doesn't trust IBM. IBM doesn't trust Sun. IBM, unlike Novell, doesn't seem to be mature enough to understand that the JCA doesn't harm its corporate and IP assets. So nothing gets done, at the end.
Some voices here and there suggest that this could be solved by an independent, mozilla-like foundation for OpenOffice.org . It is a rather smart way to consider our situation at OpenOffice.org, but I feel that we're still caught in a chicken-n-egg-like situation.
We have a very slow pace, but remember what Yoda once said: "faster, easier, more appealing is the Dark Side of the Force..."
Author: tbuitenh (7:00 am)
Linus stops using bitkeeper
Now I wonder... What will be used instead of bitkeeper? Darcs maybe?
By the way, I don't agree with the quote. The compromise helped the development of linux. Now there is no free of cost version of bitkeeper anymore, that doesn't do much damage. Overall the compromise was a good choice.
del.icio.us or de.lirio.us?
You know I like http://del.icio.us . An open source clone has appeared: http://de.lirio.us . Is this good or bad? It's good that it's open source, it allows me to build and extend my own bookmarks server if I want. On the other hand the social bookmarks concept might work better with only one server. I guess it would be best if there was some method to search all known del.icio.us-like servers at the same time. Perhaps there is some possibility to use RSS for this? Just a thought.
Author: charles (8:54 am)
I'd like to apologize for the false news and the false joys I've contributed to spread.
The Sun Java Runtime Environment (JRE) won't be released under LGPL after all.
I didn't get a real "no" from Sun, but maybe after the JavaOne event at the end of June we will get more news, good or bad.
I'm sorry for this buzz. However, the news about Sun putting their JES (Java Entreprise System) under a yet-to-be defined open source license is true, thanks to Daniel for that.
More to come in a few days....
Author: tbuitenh (11:57 am)
I think most people would think of the world wide web as a library, with websites as books. One would then think the same principles of copyrights of books should be applicable to materials published on the web. But what if we would use a different analogy? Perhaps one that fits better?
Personally, I like to think of the net as a city with streets. We could think of, say, amazon as a shopping centre and ebay as the flea market, and actually that would be quite right, but that's not what I mean. What I do mean is that we should reason about someone who publishes on the net the same way we reason about a street artist. You see, on the net you can find many (sometimes interesting) things you were not looking for, very much like meeting street artists. Also, the web is not such a permanent medium as a book, it changes all the time. It's almost like a live performance. A weblog actually is a website that changes so fast an archive becomes a useful service to its visitors .
Let's see how this new analogy makes us think about copying materials on the web:
- copying is OK, just like noone stops you from whistling a tune you just heard in the street.
- copying without attribution is not OK, it's like walking around with a hat in front of a performing street artist, collecting money (or, on the net, honor), and then keeping it for yourself.
Perhaps not completely by coincedence, this exactly matches my opinions. Maybe those who disagree with my opinions about copyrights will like the library analogy better. Anyway, this shows how a different analogy for a new technology can make us think about it completely different.
We'll see that pattern again in a very different places, for example in one of my future posts about user interface design...
Author: tbuitenh (11:22 am)
Do I really need to introduce myself?
My name is Taco. I'm a computer science student from the Netherlands.
I'm libervis's top poster, although I think soon Pascal will take that position, and also I think libervisco posts even more.
I do not consider myself part of the free software movement or the open source movement, but I am part of the bigger thing they are both subsets of. I think it is very important to share as much useful information as possible with everyone instead of keeping it for yourself. The long time reward for sharing is always bigger than the short time advantage of secrecy. The internet is a great tool for sharing. You can find stuff shared by me and share stuff with me in the following places:
- http://del.icio.us/tbuitenh : interesting links
- http://www.rojo.com/ : interesting news from RSS feeds (username tbuitenh)
- http://www.livejournal.com/users/tbuitenh/ : personal weblog (rather boring, the interesting things are only viewable by friends)
I would appreciate it if you connect your accounts to mine (adding to friends lists and such). Share with me!
Last but not least, you can reach me by email: tbuitenh in the gmail.com domain.
I hope you will enjoy the thoughts that I will share with you in this blog.
Author: charles (10:23 am)
I hope it's true, but I can already tell you that it is and was not meant to be yet another joke for the fool's day.
I have had rumours from somebody who is not working at Sun but who is rather reliable for this kind of things: Sun would put its JRE under the LGPL.
(Space needed to breathe, shout, laugh, cry, whatever)
Okay, let me phrase it again: Sun would put its JRE (not Java!) under the Lesser General Public License (LGPL). I wrote it twice in case you wouldn't have understood it yet.
How related to OpenOffice.org 2.0 and other stuff it is I can't tell, i just had these news.
Hopefully it's true!!!!
Have a nice week-end.
Author: klepas (2:29 am)
I noticed this when I created my first brush set [Libervisioners :: download the brush set :: guests] and began to use it. Of course, like all most other brushes you'll find pre-packaged with The GIMP - they are black, but you can of course change this so you draw and paint in colour - click on the coloured rectangle which gives you the Change Colour window (or use File -> Dialogs -> Colours*):
Now the interesting part is when you change the colours to say a nice imperial blue and grab one of my brushes, or another downloaded brush, very likely you will continue to paint in black. I am not a programmer so I do not know directly why one cannot change the colours for simple "homebrewn" brushes.
Anyway, since you all would probably like some colours in your work, use Layers! Like some of you may have realised, I love layers. They offer so much to you - use it!
So just make a new transparent layer above your other layer you were working on before and go about your brushing with your downloaded brush. Next, once you are satisfied with what you have achieved, go to Layers -> Colours -> Colourize. Simple - now you can nicely balance saturation, brightness and colour to make your desired colour. Voila.
* On default, the Change Colour window will not have a short cut key like the Layer window does, but you can configure this yourself, just like all other short cuts/key-bindings, using File -> Preferences...
Below is a screenshot of the Change Colour window:
Author: charles (5:20 am)
Well, I guess it had to come out, as wrote Bruce Byfield, the author of the recent article on Java in OOo2.0. At some point, it was even weird not to hear some complaints about Java being used to power some features of the next OOo.
Here are my thoughts on that. I'm not speaking on behalf of the community of OOo, I'm speaking on behalf of myself, someone who has been contributing to this project and who has been serving the free and open source software movement in the best way it was possible in regard of his skills for more than 3 years now.
First of all, I'd like to remember some technical points that are important:
Java was needed as a runtime since the beginning of OpenOffice.org (OOo 1.0) and besides:
* Accessibility features need Sun’s JDK 1.4.1 with
the ATK layer
* XML file filters as well as XSLT filters, including
that for Docbook
* JDBC database connectivity
* Report Wizard
* PocketExcel/Word import features
* Java UNO bridge
* The SDK itself has Java depends -
on OS X, we point to Java as well as Ant in configure
* Rhino for scripting
* Applet access when doing HTML stuff
(or embedding in Impress for instance)
* And now… HSQLDB for database integration
(thanks Colin Charles for this list).
In the mean time, I would also like to remind a very important point on the licensing scheme: although a jre has to be used to run some features, OpenOffice.org 2.0 is STILL FREE SOFTWARE and complies with free software ideals and legal requirements. Java is a separate software platform that doesn't belong to OOo itself, and is only used to run some selected features.
Of course, what I, and apparently many others, find cumbersome is that this list of features tends to grow rather than to diminish.
Why did OpenOffice.org make such a move? Well, actually, the decision to implement Java was not only a long-time decision, it was also a transparent and public decision.
This was taken on public mailing lists, even though there was no much debate about it. Truth is, developpers tend to know what's best for them and for their software, but the thing is, the core developpers of OpenOffice.org (core development of the trunk) are employed at 90% by Sun Microsystems, so maybe yes, it was a political decision from Sun at some point. Was Sun right? I hope it was, but since they're paying for the developpers, they're also supposed to call the shots.
That doesn't mean that Sun will go bust in some years. Linux doesn't need Sun, and Sun doesn't necessarily need Linux. I believe that Sun's bottomline is not to make money out of OpenOffice.org, because Sun is supposed to sell support, services, servers, and operating systems as well. Of course it would be agreeable for them to lower their costs, but in the mean time they would like to retain some control on OpenOffice.org .
This is why the only way out is to let more independent (community) developpers enter the core technical projects of OpenOffice.org and contribute code. And you don't do that by bashing us, OpenOffice.org. Remember, I am part of the "org" in OpenOffice.org . And although the development forces are still pretty much paid by Sun, the situation tends to get better, but it is still a slow progress.
I can't let people say what I read in that quoted post by Daniel, that some project will soon surpass OOo or that OOo is dead.
Well, you forget three things here:
-there is an OpenOffice.org community, and not just a community of users, far from that; we do localizations, QA, documentation, development, marketing... Oh, and later today, we will accept the creation of the Marathi native-lang project. The size of this new "market": 100 million potential users. And I don't hear them complain about Java. If anybody in the crowd of naysayers can do better than that, I'll apologize publicly...
-We, at OpenOffice.org, view the product (OOo 1.0, 1.1.x, 2.0, etc.) as a base, not as a finished product. If some wish to modify it, for instance by taking away the Java dependencies, or recoding them in a more suitable way, go ahead and do it. We'd love to help you, and mind yourself, we're not working for Sun. We have no problem with that. I personally tend to see the Debian build of OOo as a great example of what can be done with OOo and I use it almost daily.
-Talking about modifying the product, the article mentions gcj, but there are other efforts ongoing in the same direction, sablevm, Kaffe, etc. Despite technical difficulties, you don't have to use the Sun-provided JRE if you wish not to use it. Java is not open source, but it's certainly not closed, and imho it's "enough" cross-platform for the rest of us.
What makes me feel sad is that of course this decision by Sun to add more jre-dependent features in the 2.0, but still, without these, OOo 2.0 is much more advanced as a free-software office suite than any of the existing ones, Koffice, Abiword/Gnumeric...
If you wish to know what troubles me though, it is the state of advancement of the Database component, "OOoBase". Based on HSQLDB, this component is imho not solid enough today; its development team is composed of cool guys but they lack ressources and time to complete all the requested and planned features of the 2.0 Base. The problem seems to come from Sun engineers who have had trouble evaluating to amount of work necessary to integrate and build a full-fledged database component for OOo. That can be a real problem if it is not fixed for the release date of the 2.0, and this can cost us many users.
Anyway, I hope that my story has helped you understand how this Java problem is not that bad, even if it is sometimes sad that Sun doesn't think enough on the community input for such questions.
I also hope you will download OOo 2.0 and use it. It's cool, has the most complete set of features for any free and open source office suite, and is our best weapon to compete against MS Office and proprietary file formats.
Author: Libervisco (7:38 pm)
Reading the comments to the story about Java fallout: OpenOffice.org 2.0 and the FOSS community i have found one rather long, but interesting comment posted by an anonymous reader. It was interesting enough for me to want it to share it with you here, as a quote.
It was a response to a "troll" that numerous times posted a basically same comment saying that "You don't complain when sitting on top of closed-source hardware, why make such a fuss when sitting on top of a closed-source virtual machine?" and in other such comments mentioning Nvidia drivers as an example.
It's a Java developer or fanboy trying to justify Java by bringing up nVidia drivers.
I especially like the ending part where Sun developers are being called to embrace Linux before Sun goes to ashes. I must say he has a nice point. Sun's future really doesn't look that much bright to me, especially if GNU/Linux adoption continues to rise while they want to sit on two chairs at once.
Author: klepas (12:09 am)
Well as promised the gimp brushes are there, at least my first set. Below is the cover art piece I did.
Please feel to post any feed back for them, as well as any art you've done with them, I'l like to see what you've created. I'd like to know which improvements or specifications to include in the next batch.