Archive

Posts Tagged ‘Linus Torvalds’

He likes it! Hey Linus!

November 4, 2012 3 comments

Now to separate the get-off-my-lawners from those who need to get off the lawn . . .

Those who get the reference in the blog’s title can read on; those who don’t — and it’s generational, trust me — can watch here.

A few days ago on Google+, reported on later in a Muktware blog post, Linus Torvalds talked about his recent foray with KDE. Generally, he likes it, though his praise — stop me if you’ve heard this before — is still tempered by the things he finds he doesn’t like.

He likes the ability to configure things (who doesn’t?), despite the “odd and distracting default behavior” (behavior that, of course, can be changed). But then he goes on to give KDE a test run by fiddling with the desktop widgets.

According to the Muktware blog, Linus continues: “As a result, right now my terminal and web browser buttons look like a drunken fratboy has been messing with my desktop. I suspect I’ll turn them back to their boring upright position (because that’s how I roll – boring), but for now I’m mildly amused by the sheer whimsicality of it all.”

First things first: There are thousands, possibly millions, who “roll” a lot more boring than Linus, but let’s put that aside. What’s important is that, like when he tried Xfce, it gives those who are developing desktop environments a few minutes with the creator, for better or worse. Further, and more importantly, Linus’ example also shows that we don’t have to stick with one desktop/program/software forever.

In other words, from time to time, change is good.

This blog, and all other blogs by Larry the Free Software Guy, Larry the CrunchBang Guy and Larry Cafiero, are licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs CC BY-NC-ND license. In short, this license allows others to download this work and share it with others as long as they credit me as the author, but others can’t change it in any way or use it commercially.

(Larry Cafiero is one of the founders of the Lindependence Project and develops business software at Redwood Digital Research, a consultancy that provides FOSS solutions in the small business and home office environment.)

Add to Technorati Favorites EFF Binary Freedom Dead button Wordpress button Xfce button dbEntrance button AntiX 7.0 fedora badge GIMP Scribus Linux Mint Kororaa Salix OS Fluxbox Conky Thunderbird LibreOffice Crunchbang Bodhi Linux PostgreSQL identi.ca python scale 10x

Eliminate DRM!

The vision thing

July 25, 2012 5 comments

The Linux Foundation posted this on Facebook this morning: “TODAY’S NEWS: Torvalds, Shuttleworth and other Linux/OSS visionaries to be in Barcelona Nov 5-7. Will you be there?” Of course, it links to the press release here.

I would grant you that Linus Torvalds is a visionary — perhaps, arguably, an accidental visionary in the sense that he never expected the kernel he developed would grow into what it has become. But fortunately for everyone involved, Torvalds is a visionary who has kept a significant degree of humility amid the vast contribution to society he has made.

Looking at the lineup in the press release, I would have put Marten Mickos on the release as a “Linux/OSS visionary” instead. Mickos is the MySQL guy, despite the fact that it has gone through a couple of, um, changes since he sold it to Sun in 2008, and is now in the evil clutches of Oracle. Regardless of what it has become now, MySQL is an important piece of FOSS history, and Mickos deserves the visionary label, along with a degree of gratitude for fostering such an important project.

But Shuttleworth? I’m not so sure how he ranks as a visionary. Doing great work in promoting Linux/FOSS in financially backing Ubuntu is commendable and worthy of praise, but this is hardly “visionary.” Add to this going off on his own to develop things that are generally not used by the wider FOSS community — Unity and HUD come immediately to mind — and arguably he has done more to stifle progress in the wider FOSS world rather than contribute to its advance. How this is visionary remains to be seen.

Further, I think I can put Shuttleworth’s contributions to the wider FOSS paradigm better in perspective with a little help from The Oatmeal here. If Linus Torvalds is Nikola Tesla, then Mark Shuttleworth is Thomas Edison.

No, Linux Foundation, I won’t be going to Barcelona for the European version of LinuxCon. But thanks for asking.

This blog, and all other blogs by Larry the Free Software Guy and Larry Cafiero, are licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs CC BY-NC-ND license. In short, this license allows others to download this work and share it with others as long as they credit me as the author, but others can’t change it in any way or use it commercially.

(Larry Cafiero is one of the founders of the Lindependence Project and develops business software at Redwood Digital Research, a consultancy that provides FOSS solutions in the small business and home office environment.)

Add to Technorati Favorites EFF Binary Freedom Dead button Wordpress button Xfce button dbEntrance button AntiX 7.0 fedora badge GIMP Scribus Linux Mint Kororaa Salix OS Fluxbox Conky Thunderbird LibreOffice Crunchbang Bodhi Linux PostgreSQL identi.ca python scale 10x

Eliminate DRM!

Enjoy the quiet?

July 10, 2012 2 comments

Well, judging by the standing level of eyeballs that WordPress tracks on my behalf and passes on to me regarding this blog, it appears most everyone has enjoyed the quiet during the time there has been neither a hue nor a cry about anything — FOSS related or non-FOSS related — on this blog for the last three weeks or so.

Again, for the 40th or 50th time, I don’t usually write something unless inspired or provoked, somewhat like a wasp (which also doesn’t write unless inspired but usually provoked, but that’s another matter). Also, if you add into the mix the fact that I get busy sometimes with the mystery of life and the trappings that surround it, then you’ll have to just forgive me if these blog items are not more forthcoming.

Nevertheless, since I wrote last about the 20-second F-bomb the Linus offered in what was an outstanding one-hour-plus presentation — if anyone cared to watch the whole thing instead of getting persnickity about the offending clip — there have been a couple of items of note that crossed the radar. Like

Jon maddog Hall comes out: As I give him a tip of the hat, it’s hard to imagine that I could think any more of Jon maddog Hall than I did before his recent essay on Alan Turing. But I do, and I think his essay is pretty remarkable — worthy of his choice of lager, should I have an opportunity in the near or distant future to buy him one. To some, this is not a big deal, and yet for others it is a big deal, and I can see both sides. It’s not a big deal in the sense that his sexual preference neither adds nor subtracts from the great guy and outstanding contributor to FOSS that he is and has always been. Yet it is a big deal because it makes gays both less invisible and also shows that it’s a lot harder to hate someone you know who’s LGBT. I’m not doing the essay justice here, so read it yourself at the link above (worth the read — stop reading this blog and go there now, if you haven’t read it already). I should also mention that he wrote the essay on the 100th birthday of Alan Turing who, if he did nothing else (and he did much), saved England, and the world for that matter, from the Nazi uprising in the 1930s and 1940s, and was thanked by the British government with imprisonment and chemical castration which essentially forced him to suicide.

Higgs Boson, brought to you by . . .: Winston Churchill — or was it Vikings running back Adrian Peterson? — once said that a lie travels halfway around the world before the truth can put on its pants. Or words to that effect. In any case, someone posted on reddit that CERN used Scientific Linux — which CERN developed (a fun fact about this Red Hat-based distro I did not know) — and, wait for it, Ubuntu. Meanwhile some in the FOSS press who should have better journalistic skills — Katherine Noyes for starters — ran with it because, well, someone on reddit said it, so it must be true. Well, having been in journalism since the day Jimmy Carter was inaugurated, I put my skills to work — something every reporter would do — to find a.) it was mostly Scientific Linux that gave physicists a leg-up on making this remarkable discovery, and b.) Ubuntu had little, if anything, to do with it. Proof? Linux @ CERN only mentions Scientific Linux and another blog item in German (incidentally, Google Translate speaks excellent German) outlines OS use at CERN.

What’s missing? Ubuntu, of course.

Funny thing is that apologists for the Ubuntu Apocalypse brush this inaccuracy off as none of their concern. One response to me on social media was, in effect, “Well, did Canonical say it?” Actually, they didn’t. But that doesn’t make it any more accurate, and of course the right thing to do would be for either an Ubuntu advocate, or Canonical itself, come out and say, “Um, hold on a minute.” But then doing the right thing may not be in the proverbial playbook for Ubunteros, but playing fast and loose with facts might be. At least it seems that way, a lot more often than not.

That’s about all from here — as if that’s not enough. I’m trying to confirm that Jaroslav Reznik from the Czech Republic has been named the Fedora Project Manager, taking the place of Robyn Bergeron who became the Fedora Project Leader, but for some reason, I can’t seem to confirm that. So rather than offer congratulations, I’ll just wait until that’s confirmed or denied.

This blog, and all other blogs by Larry the Free Software Guy and Larry Cafiero, are licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs CC BY-NC-ND license. In short, this license allows others to download this work and share it with others as long as they credit me as the author, but others can’t change it in any way or use it commercially.

(Larry Cafiero is one of the founders of the Lindependence Project and develops business software at Redwood Digital Research, a consultancy that provides FOSS solutions in the small business and home office environment.)

Add to Technorati Favorites EFF Binary Freedom Dead button Wordpress button Xfce button dbEntrance button AntiX 7.0 fedora badge GIMP Scribus Linux Mint Kororaa Salix OS Fluxbox Conky Thunderbird LibreOffice Crunchbang Bodhi Linux PostgreSQL identi.ca python scale 10x

Eliminate DRM!

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 77 other followers