Monthly Archives: January 2007

Foresight 1.0 is out!

yeah, nice to see. http://www.foresightlinux.com/

I did not realise that it was out. I just wondered why conary updateall took long than expected. Download and test it!

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Developing FLOSS

I like to talk about how FLOSS projects can or should develop. The first thing is to accept some facts:

  • There is a competition in public attention of projects
  • There is competition between developers (everybody like to present himself in a nice light)
  • There is competition between companies (that is “the Novell people”, the “Red Hat people” , the “Canonical people”)

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no new intranet server :-(

As rPath does not have a 2.4 kernel it won’t work. Because I would need an i686. I think it should be possible to habe a 2.4.x kernel in rBuilder and than remix rPath? As the whole idea of rBuilder is what one could call “Remix Linux” 😉 Let’s see.

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Setting up an intranet server

Tomorrow I am going to change our house intranet server. Until now it ran on Fedora Core 4. As readers of this blog know I am switching away from Fedora for many reasons . The current setup is:

  • a simple 350 MhZ, 512 MB server
  • one small hard disk with FC4
  •  and a big one as a samba share

In the future the setup will be

  • server: same hardware
  • rPath Linux as the core system
  • Xen
  • and a Samba appliance that is  serving the samba hard disk.

This way I am able to run the stable, underlying rPath system as long as it has power – and work with the other appliance(s) as I like. Maybe a second network card would be a good idea? Generally I like the idea of seperating the intranet and the extranet traffic. So that the server exchanges internet data through one card (eth0) and data for client computers on the other (eth1).  This also would allow to clearly control with a netfilter what should come in and what not.

Well I COULD also just set up an IP alias eth0:0 and work with that. hmmm. But my guess (as a non netfilter expert) that it is more clean to do this on two cards. Anybody likes to comment on this one?

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webmonday january kiel

A bit of a disappointment as there were no preparations for possible presentation and no talks (besides my own). Also I missed a bit of a discussion culture – I would have expected that a group of people try to keep the discussion in a circle so that everybody can listen and add some points. – If discussion is split it splist even more and people get distracted, which again distracts more people. So it is needed that everybody keeps up some basic discipline and care about how good everybody can follow. Maybe the problem is that people are used to have some kind of leadership that enforces discipline – and if there is none they are not willing to follow some basic rules. As an anarchist I don’t like leaderships and i think that as grown ups we should be able to communicate with each other on a free basis. Nobody is forced to come to this event (again), neither am I. I hope the webmonday in Kiel will develop its own culture so that is fun and also informative to go there.

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Collabo-rational software

I am very much a friend of software like The Rosetta Translation Portal. Still many translation happen with email communication which takes long – although maybe in the communication process people can learn more. But thats not my point. I think, I wish that more software would try to
combine common results. As: Common translations – so if somebody translates a menu entry in KDE or GNOME  you have the option to just use this in Firefox or the other way round. So immediate worldwide collaboration. Chatting should be integrated (take Jabber!) The same could be true for bugs. There are bugs that have the same roots in many distributions and also in GNOME or KDEs bugzillas. But still: No direct data exchange is there. Why should a user have different bugzilla accounts? Couldn’t we have the one developing ID (with openid?).

So this is something I would like to describe as Web 3.0 – its not that I liked the Web2.0 hype – but as we have this term I like to tell with the term Web 3.0 that there is much more than just nice graphics and AJAX. And if you see the web as a real WEB it is sad to see that not much of interwebed websites do exist. Web 2.0 has some nice features – but it does not solve collaboration problems. Most Web2.0 is about interactivity – but what we really need is automated collboration. And again I think that the old principles of Unix could be an example of how things could work.

I now just talk about that in the light of help for free software projects, because I see how much time is wasted in doing things that sure have been done and said many times before. And that is because web solutions are seperated. Web2.0 tried to solve these things by making web sites stronger and  more easyto use. This is good – and we should not walk back – but I feel that their is a huge overweight in making better usability while less work was spent into making work redundant.

So we now have dozens of independent social bookmark systems or wiki solutions. But they are not talking to each other. So we have to have hundreds of accounts – and if we switch a provider – we have to start from scratch. if we are lucky one provider was able to write an importer for the data of the old provider – but this is seldom and mostly will only be done if the data is in a market dominant tool. This is what Salesforce.com did for Excel spreadsheets. Even on the desktop – OpenOffice.org did not care about Gnumeric spread sheet standard – both prefer to use Excel as exchange. So that one could wonder what FLOSS applications would do without Microsoft? 😉

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short summary of Foresight Linux experience

So after a few weeks of using Foresight what should I say? I like the community which is generally helpful and friendly. I like that it is possible to do things and people actually beeing happy to get help. Would I recommend Foresight for simple users. Well the conary commands are very long and thing can get complicated because you do have many options and sometimes might want to get things from different repositories. So the command line tools are not really for simple users if it is getting complicated – on Fedora you often only install a repository info RPM and then make ‘yum install packagename’. With conary you do not need to install a package info or edit any files – you can type in sources and then you have it. But as long as you are happy with using an uptodate GNOME desktop you should be able to use Foresight also if you are not a developer. To install a a package from command line you simply type ‘conary update packagename’. There is a graphical tool that works with a web service, so you are accessing it via a web browser. This works most of the time but still has some minor issues (stops), but if you restart an update it has worked every time. We are expecting Foresight 1.0 to be release soon. There are some issues that still need to be resolved and if they are i think it will be a very nice distro and sure many more people will love to try this out. I think Foresigh really adds something to the distribution market because they have some new approaches for common problems. And I like the distributed development idea. BTW: Conary is CPL (Common Public License) whichs is incompatibe with the GPL but only because it forces somebody to give rights for patents to all those who use the software and you can license parts of the software as proprietary software. This licences was coined by IBM.

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