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The Emperor’s New Clothes, summer edition

August 26, 2010 1 comment

Originally, I was going to write about something else — Microsoft’s “love” of open source, where invariably Mr. Godwin’s theorem would have definitely come into play, and probably very early on — but I decided to shelve that blog post in favor of this one.

Yesterday, Bruce Byfield’s essay — er, blog — is entitled “Ubuntu 10.10 Alpha: Slouching Toward Ubuntu GNOME.” During the course of a pretty good look at the upcoming Maverick Meerkat, Bruce points out that the desktop is beginning to stray further from the original GNOME to something that Ubuntu is developing on its own. Which is fine, and kudos for the efforts, even though (in my opinion) it would be better if they went upstream in GNOME with whatever they produce, which doesn’t seem to be happening.

So, stop me if you’ve heard this before. Bruce writes:

“These changes in Ubuntu GNOME inspire mixed feelings in many. Some think that Ubuntu should be praised for making innovations in the desktop, and probably some, such as Multitouch, will eventually find their way into mainstream GNOME and other desktops.

“Still others note that Ubuntu is introducing these changes unilaterally, rather through the GNOME project, and — even though the changes are available under free licenses – the company is not being a good community citizen by acting in this way.”

So while firmly in the camp of “still others,” I’ll just wait patiently while the Ubunteros from the top down line up to either a.) make valid arguments against what Bruce wrote, or b.) start in on ad hominem attacks that have little, or anything, to do with the issue at hand. Or weigh in with something in between.

Also, I should start cleaning up the office for an upcoming visit by the celebrated Colonel Panik, who will be gracing Northern California in an upcoming trip in the near future.

Ladies and gentlemen, start your engines.

[FSF Associate Member] (Fedora ambassador Larry Cafiero runs Redwood Digital Research in Felton, California, and is an associate member of the Free Software Foundation.)
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Showtime

August 20, 2010 2 comments

No, I’m not referring to the cable channel of the same name: Two shows (plus a third on the far horizon) deserve special mention. One of them I can’t make because, well, it’s too far to drive/Amtrak/bus/walk and you know Larry the Free Software Guy doesn’t fly unless thrown by someone larger than him (fat chance). The other, I wouldn’t miss for the world.

The show I’ll miss, but naturally I urge you to go if you can make it: Ohio Linux Fest from Sept. 10-12 in Columbus, Ohio. Stormy Peters of GNOME kicks it off with the keynote, followed by five tracks of talks from open source and Linux experts like Tarus Balog, Amber Graner, Catherine Devlin, Dru Lavigne, Paul Frields, and Jon ‘maddog’ Hall. This year’s OLF also features a special medical track for those interested in the use of free and open source software in medicine — readers of this blog (thanks, Mom) will note that I rant often about the need to develop medical software that is free/open source and it’s good that OLF has taken the ball and run with it.

Then if you want to meet me at the next expo I attend you’ll have to go to the Utah Open Source Conference from Oct. 7-9 at Salt Lake Community College in — where else? — Salt Lake City, Utah. This growing show, which I like to call “the fall classic” because it’s fast becoming a standard in the West between the Southern California Linux Expo right before spring and OSCON in the summer, will have Jared Smith of the Fedora Project giving the keynote. Oh, and yours truly gives a presentation on User Groups 2.0 dealing with the ups and downs of forming a LUG in this age of a new generation of Linux users.

Speaking of SCALE, they’ve moved to bigger digs — namely down the street to the Los Angeles Airport Hilton — and the call for papers should be made fairly soon. For those who want to mark their calendars way in advance, it’s Feb. 25-27, 2011.

See you at the show.

[FSF Associate Member] (Fedora ambassador Larry Cafiero runs Redwood Digital Research in Felton, California, and is an associate member of the Free Software Foundation.)
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Adjective plus animal equals . . .

August 18, 2010 2 comments

The naming conventions for distros can be entertaining. Whether it’s Debian’s “Toy Story” connection or Fedora’s less than simple formula — $CURRENT_NAME is a ___________ and so is $NEXT_RELEASE_NAME — code names for the current or future versions of distros can be entertaining at the selection stage.

Ubuntu’s naming convention is fairly simple: Take an animal and throw before it an adjective beginning with the same letter.

So after Maverick Meerkat, which is the name set in stone for Ubuntu 10.10, we have the name already foisted on the FOSS public for Ubuntu 11.04.

OK, it’s an N, right? So how does Natty Narwhal float your boat?

There’s a trend here according to the thesaurus, pointed out by Akkana Peck: Synonyms for “natty” include dapper and jaunty. Where have we heard those before?

The letter O, methinks, would be more challenging. Good thing they have awhile to think about it.

[FSF Associate Member] (Fedora ambassador Larry Cafiero runs Redwood Digital Research in Felton, California, and is an associate member of the Free Software Foundation.)
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