Friday, July 25, 2008

Hell really froze over today...

Yes, it seens to be true: hell just froze over with Microsoft explicitly supporting GPL'd software using it's Open Specification Promise. PJ has more at Groklaw. I wish I had time to investigate this myself. Satan seems to need a new wintercoat...

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Aw fuck: Linux gone brainless^H^H mainstream?

I had been toying with the idea of installing gOS on my machine. So a couple of days ago, I downloaded the Enlightenment version of gOS. I started it in a VM on my Linux desktop to check it out and I was impressed by the smoothness of the animations and the quickness of the applications. The responsiveness was real good, even though I ran the OS in a VM. So I decided to install on my laptop. That didn't work though, because for some reason I didn't quite grasp, my fonts were about as big as the screen. It probably had something to do with dpi not being correctly detected. Package updating was a no-go, since a newer 'Space' version had just come out. It seems the Enlightenment version of gOS has been discontinued.

Now, by itself, that is already too bad, since it was exactly the fact that gOS used to use Enlightenment that made me try it. Apparently, gOS switched to Gnome. That's a pity too, because Gnome based distro's come by the dozen. Ok, anyway, I download this 'Space' version. And was scared shitless...

First of all, you have to understand that the 'Space' here actually means 'MySpace'. Personally, I haven't been to MySpace. Not having been on that site, I cannot really claim I know what goes on there. But from what I hear the site's pretty popular, with kazillions of visitors. One would expect there to be some intelligent people within that crowd here and there, right?

So what surprised me in gOS was the 'News' menu item. Well, not the fact that it's there: a 'News' menu on the desktop can be pretty useful. No, it's the fact what is in the menu. Take a look at the screenshot. Apparently the good people at Good OS thought the vast amount of crap listed here qualifies as 'News'. Wtf? Have these people lost their minds?

I mean, personally I think it is a bit early to build a Linux-based desktop for brainless Paris Hilton wannabes, but I could be proven wrong at that. I am pretty sure however, that brainlessness it not something we want to encourage. Maybe I would be defendable to put links in the 'News' menu item to sites that bring news in a way youngsters find easy to digest. That I could have understood. But these links are without exception links to sites that bring completely irrelevant, non-news about Britney Spearsy, Paris Hiltony people who are utterly unimportant in the grand scheme of things. Coming to think of it, they are utterly unimportant in every possible way.

I read an interview with the founder of gOS a few months back in Linux Journal and he seemed a pretty decent fellow, so I really don't get where this comes from. Who's idea is it to shift focus from building a fast and innovative interface on top of Enlightenment to building yet another Gnome distro with built-in crap? Seriously, gOS has lost it.

What on earth is the purpose of a MySpace-centered Linux distribution? Who are you building that for? Why did you stuff it with links to brainless bullshit? Why did you try to build something following the complete opposite philosophy of OLCP (stimulate brainlessness instead of learning)? I'm not saying MySpace is brainless per se: I've never been there. But I am asking: what's this with people acting like news about Britney Spears is even remotely important? And why did you put that lunacracy in a distro that had potential and virtually destroyed it by doing so?

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Gnome 2.30 is Gnome 3.0?

Wow. I just read Gnome 2.30 will be Gnome 3.0. That means massive API breakage, probably a new major release of GTK and lots of application porting. I don't code GTK myself, but I can imagine the hughe amount of work that will probably have to be invested in getting a good amount of apps working.

Nevertheless, this also promises an opportunity to get away from some less-than-good design decisions from the past, getting your hands dirty with a new widget toolkit and maybe, maybe a better desktop ;-)

I'm anxious to hear more news about this!

Monday, July 7, 2008

EP screwing us over?

It is once again amazing to see the ease with which European politicians are manhandled by large corporations. Recently, France implemented a law banning p2p traffic. Now they want to do the same in Europe. Is it a coincidence one of the largest European record labels has strong ties with France? I think not.

The French are cunningly trying to disguise copyrightlaw-like rules as part of the new Telecommunications directive; which it of course is not and should not be.

The French proposals include forcing ISP's to monitor and filter all traffic and to block traffic that *possibly* infringes on someone's IP. I do not want my ISP snooping around my traffic. Besides, I'm pretty sure we'll be the ones paying for this in the end.

I suggest we say 'no' to this rubbish. Please, contact a MEP of your choice and tell him so!