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OS/2 Open Source January 22, 2008

Posted by rjdohnert in 1.
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One article over on OS/2 World.com caught my attention.  It was a letter from IBM regarding a possible open sourcing of OS/2.  The short version being that its not going to happen. While many on OS News are quick to contribute the reasons to Microsoft and blame Microsoft, as always seems to be the case in the Open Source world, Microsoft has nothing if anything to do with IBM’s position.

I wrote on OSNews that I challenge IBM’s sincerity to their commitment to Open Source since they are unwilling to even work on this.  If Sun can open source Solaris after years of work, IBM can open source OS/2.

To have a successful Open Source project you have to look at several factors the most important being; Is there a need?  With OpenSolaris, Linux, BSD and at least 2 more than capable proprietary offerings is there really a need for this technology?  MacOS/Windows/Linux/BSD/Solaris are already light years ahead of OS/2 at this point.  An open source OS/2 project would take a while toeven bring OS/2 up to par of where it needs to bee.

What are the advantages of making this technology open source?  Is there a competitive edge to be achieved by making the technology open source.

Third an final criteria, will open sourcing this technology interfere with my investments in other technologies?  When you invest over a billion dollars in competing technologies you have to evaluate what your priorities are.  IBM’s commitment is to Linux and UNIX technologies now and have invested a ton of cash into Linux why compete with itself?

I think IBM will be happy to let father time come and swoop up OS/2 and to just let OS/2 die already.

Link to OS/2 World

Link to OSNews article 

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KDE 4: Good, bad, ugly.. mostly bad January 13, 2008

Posted by rjdohnert in Opinions.
7 comments

After all the work that went into developing KDE 4, Im just pissed they didnt produce anything even resembling useful or user friendly.

The good:

This is a very short list, visually KDE 4 is beautiful. Its got some drop dead GORGEOUS wallpaper and themes and the color arrangement is one of the best. The desktop blends together and doesnt have any aspect where it doesnt look like it fits. This is the biggest and really only improvement.

The Bad
It doesnt compensate for GTK themes and GTK apps dont look like a first class citizen, they look like a “go away I dont want you here citizen”, before someone pipes up and says configure the gtkrc file, I didnt have to do that in KDE 3 and i shouldnt have to do it in KDE 4. Sorry. There is no way to configure the panel size or location so Im stuck with this monsterous blob at the bottom of the screen, There is also no way thats user friendly to add applets to the panel. The desktop icon system looks like something that came from Irix or CDE. The default filemanger is good but for some reason when I mount removable media there is a delay in the opening of any readable data.

The ugly.

Not so much ugly as there is bad. One thing I noticed and from reading forums is that to do anything really useful, you must edit configuration files in “.kde” in your home directory. KDE Team, 1995 called and they want their text configuration files back.

Well, thats mostly it. In this release the KDE team shows clear lack of respect for screen real estate. I was supposed to go to the release party but I dont feel like being celebrating this release as for me its been a huge disappointment. I cannot in good regards suggest this desktop to anyone. Stick with KDE 3 or GNOME and let them fix the train wrecked plane crash that is KDE 4.

RIP Netscape December 30, 2007

Posted by rjdohnert in Opinions.
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Netscape has formally ended support for their web browser.  While this is a sad day, the Netscape origins of Firefox cannot be denied.  While Netscape was basically shilling a customized version of Firefox, this move not only marks the end of Netscape the browser, it also marks the death of Netscape the portal.  After all, Google is the default homepage of the Firefox browser and there are few if any reasons to change it.  So sorry, this is the end of an era and the end of one of the first internet companies.  Sorry Netscape, stick the fork in…you are done.

Link 

Merry Christmas to all December 25, 2007

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’nuff said, have a great holiday everyone and we will see you layer this week.

Why Richard Stallman and the FSF bore me. December 20, 2007

Posted by rjdohnert in Opinions.
6 comments

While many see me as attacking Richards pride and joy and as hating free software and the FSF I dont.  I disagree with his views and his conclusion on why Linux needs to be called GNU/Linux and I think he goes overboard, I dont hate the guy.  I look at software as a tool.  I use the tools that work best for me.  Sometimes that tool may be an open source solution, sometimes its a proprietary solution and sometimes its a proprietary solution and open source solution in a mixed environment.  I disagree that binary blobs are bad.  I buy a piece of hardware I want it to work.  If it doesnt work I find a solution that does work.  We have to respect proprietary software/hardware vendors rights.  If they dont want to open source their drivers or software products but are willing to provide the blobs and  support why not use em?

Richards stance is everything needs to be free, well sorry.  In the real world we live in it doesnt work that way.  You have to have give and take, you have to reach a healthy compromise.  Some people blame the lack of interest as the main failing point for Hurd and gNewSense.  Its not, the failures of these systems rest solely on Richard and the FSF.  By not having that give and take the systems failed.  Richard failed.  Both systems, on my hardware anyway, failed miserably. By not having that compromise the FSF will become obsolete.  While the rest of the world is moving on and different Linux and BSD distributors are working together with hardware manufacturers and software vendors to get their hardware and software certified with these distributors the FSF and their systems are becoming more obsolete everyday.

I work with IT vendors and technology companies on an everyday basis.  I have a good relationship with them, I have a good rapport with my vendors.  If I have a piece of hardware or a software packages that fail, I dont sit there and say ” I need to see the source” I say “Look, Im having a problem with this, how can I help you expedite a fix?  Bug reports, system logs etc etc.”  Working with hardware manufacturers and software vendors is a lot like marriage.  In marriage you need to have compromise, you need to have communication otherwise your marriage and relationship are doomed to failure.  In a marriage if you go through demanding ridiculing and (running to the press and writing flame articles) complaining, what happens?  Your spouse, girlfriend, boyfriend, whatever is not going to want your company and will avoid you like the plague.  The same with your relationship with hardware and software vendors. if you spend every meeting complaining, demanding and running to the press writing flame articles you are not being a partner.  You are being a nuisance and will be hard pressed to find anyone willing to work with you.   I know several good IT workers who are out of work because they fancy themselves as being all important and posterboys of some movement.

When Eben Moglen says that Microsoft needs to be afraid, to me he is just wasting air.  Because I dont fear the FSF, Richard Stallman or even the numerous Linux zealots in the world.  I pay attention to people like Sun, Oracle, BEA, Apple, Microsoft, Red Hat, Novell, Intel.  The people that develop tools and solutions that will help me do my job.  The FSF provides me with nothing nor do I pay them to provide me with anything.  So when Richard posts to a mailing list I read or goes to a forum and starts blathering on why should I care what he writes?

So why do Richard Stallman and the FSF bore me? They sure as hell arent my partners, they dont provide me with anything, I dont give them anything.  They dont even help with any kind  of kernel development.  So why should I or anyone else in the industry pay attention to anything they have to say?

IE 8 Renders Acid2 test December 20, 2007

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IE 8 now renders the Acid2 test. While an important move, is it a little too late? Unlike the Firefox zealots and IE naysayers I applaud this move by Microsoft. Once again it shows they are interested in web standards. IE 8 should be interesting and with the bit of screenshot it contains it doesnt look like many cosmetic changes are in store. Hopefully soon we will have a broader look at IE 8.

Link to blog

Channel 9 video

Everex at it again December 12, 2007

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Everex, the company that brought you the gPC and the rebranded Ubuntu  called gOS is working on what is called “The Cloudbook” this PC is similar to the Asus eePC in its small formfactor and will include, gOS.  Lets hope its a better product by that time than what it is now.  The Asus PC has been hacked several times by various Linux distributors and Im sure “The Cloudbook” will be no different.

Link 

Print to PDF using PCLinuxOS/Kubuntu any KDE distro December 3, 2007

Posted by rjdohnert in 1.
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Under Windows and Mac OS X printing to PDF is not a big issue but there are very few solutions in Linux.

With KDE apps its not a very big issue but to print from Firefox and Thunderbird you have to work to get PDF printing capabilities. Until now

1. Grab cups-pdf from your respective repositories and install through Synaptic

2. Open Firefox

3. Click on File and Print. Leave the selection as Postscript and click on properties, under print command clear out the entire command and type in ‘kprinter’

4. Click ‘OK’ and return to the main dialog, click on ‘Print’ and wait a few seconds. When the kprinter dialog comes up set it to ‘Print to PDF’

5. You are done

printtopdf1.png

printtopdf2.png

printtopdf3.png

OpenSolaris on IBM mainframes December 2, 2007

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On YouTube somebody posted 5 videos on the OpenSolaris to z-series mainframes.  Very interesting concepts and should be ffairly interesting to see it come to conclusion.  If you had told me this was going to happen 10 years ago I probably would have laughed at you.

This build is considered prototype with a few features missing the most notable being networking support but it just goes to show you its happening.

Link to Video 1 

Link to Video 2 

Link to Video 3 

Link to Video 4 

Link to Video 5 

GNOME Foundation Endorses MS OpenXML November 25, 2007

Posted by rjdohnert in 1.
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While the title may sound like the GNOME Foundation may be moving to a Shared Source style of licensing its really not the case.  While Russell Ossendryver  may think that the GNOME Foundation helping with OpenXML may be a bad thing I for one applauded them if that was the case.  This industry always has two sides to it and the fighting and evangalism never ends.  GNOME vs KDE, UNIX vs Linux, Mac vs Windows, PC vs PowerPC it goes on and on.

I was thinking very higly of the GNOME Foundation because it had appeared that they were going to put the evangelism and zealotry aside and contribute but alas it appears not to be so.

Contribution to the process is a very good thing.  It levels off the playing field and actually helps to make the technology better.  If you arent contributing and just sitting there pointing fingers and not devulging any kind of technical expertise to help overcome the hurdles why bother.  Do they think they are the high priests, so self righteous that they think they are the saviors of the IT world?  So a message to the GNOME Foundation stop wasting everyones time with petty games.

Alright now.

If you look at ECMA TC45 there are many companies involved in the process.  Apple, Toshiba, NextPage and even non-it companies like BP, the Library of Congress (does this mean the government is selling out?) The GNOME Foundation is one of many involved in the process.  The adoption of OpenXML as a standard will in no way shape or form harm ODF, it just levels the playing field.  OpenXML will be used, ODF will be used neither format will die off.  If the GNOME Foundation decides to help overcome the hurdles than they are to be applauded and thanked.  If they dont want to be involved and if they arent contributing like their open letter suggests then its time for them to get off the bus.