I am back to Boston after a week out.
We were on the 5:50am flight, so as soon as I got home, I went straight to sleep.
There is a new Piano in the living room. I tried playing like Phillip Glass, but failed. Back to hacking for me I guess.
Posted on 29 Jul 2001
Ted Ts'o delivered the closing keynote of OLS. A very good speech. There are a few things worth mentioning about Ted's talk:
Ted has joined the ranks of those who are still confused about what .NET is. It is completely understandable, given the fact that Microsoft labels everything as .NET. What is dissapointing is to see people making bold statements on the `Dangers of Mono' because it will allow Linux servers to participate with Passport.
The bad news is: Linux servers can *already* participate with passport. Microsoft has been shipping the Linux development toolkit for Passport since the first day of their release.
He also encouraged application writters to stop breaking the library APIs, because that gets vendors upset. I replied to him that kernel developers should get their act together and stop breaking the device driver API on each kernel release.
Honestly, my mum really cares very little about getting a 0.0005% perormance improvement on her system. To the average user, it is more important to spend less time configuring and fixing the machine and dealing with device driver problems than getting a few nano-seconds less of latency.
Remember: computers are cheap. Time is not.
If Linux is going to loose to Microsoft is not because of some evil super plot and rollout of technologies like passport.
Microsoft might win just because they understand `binary compatibility'.
I remember when the OpenBSD did a port to the m88k machines. They needed drivers for their system, and they just use an 10-year old driver that they extracted from CMU Mach. Plug and play. It was working.
The Ximian Party as usual was great. Thanks Michelle! Thanks Nat! And everyone else who went to the party and made great conversation.
I talked to Don Becker about GNU/Linux, and he had an interesting story to tell. Back in the day when he was at MIT and was an active contributor to gcc, he tried to get RMS to support Linux. RMS' answer back in the day went along the lines of `Linux is a waste of time, work on the Hurd instead, it is the future'.
An interesting twist to the Linux vs GNU/Linux debate.
Posted on 28 Jul 2001
Today I did my talk at OLS, after having an morning Ximian meeting.
I decided to not talk about Monikers and Bonobo, and instead focused on Ximian's new project: Mono.
There were a lot of interesting things to say about Monikers, specially the fact that our moniker implementation and design is much better than the Microsoft version, simpler, and more general.
Microsoft begun their moniker work as a way of addressing a particular problem (object linking). Eventually, this grew up to be an object naming space, sort of by accident.
We began on the other side of the spectrum: we saw monikers as an object naming space, and we walked towards implementing that. So `object linking' happens to be just one of the uses of monikers in GNOME.
If you are interested in Monikers, you can read the docs we wrote on monikers: http://primates.ximian.com/~miguel/monikers.html
Posted on 27 Jul 2001
Our last day at the O'Reilly conference. We woke up early to have an interview with Rachel at the451, we talked about Mono, but we talked more about the cool stuff that we are doing at Ximian (Evolution coming out, Red Carpet getting better every day, the Setup Tools, etc).
Then we headed for the Tiemman/Mundie debate. Nothing new to report, nothing that you have not read anywhere else. I felt there was not much to learn from the debate.
Mitchell and Tim O'Reilly were the most lucid voices in the debate. I love them.
I got to meet Dave Winer for the first time, he was as wise and smart as I had pictured him to be.
As we were taking our bus to the airport, we heard a woman ask a couple of the attendees `What is this convetion?'. The explanation of the `Open Source convention' from these guys begun like this:
Well, there are two factions: the Open Source people and the
Free Software people. It is all about being able to [...]
The scary thing is that now people present things as a `split' movement. This is becoming ridiculous. First of all, I do not believe that there are two `factions': those who want freedoms and those who want source code. Instead there are hundreds of factions:
those who care about cheap software; those who want sources to be able to change things; those who care about freedom; those who care about open protocols; those who care about open standards; those who care about cool features; those who care about complex software; those who want to learn from the sources; those who like some kind of scripting language; those who want to reuse software; those who want to innovate; those who want to use an alternative operating system; those who want to use a Unix system; those who want a unix system with drivers; those who want a secure unix system; those who want unix on the desktop; those who want to give back; those who want to build a different tomorrow.
But you get the idea: there are many different reasons why you might like Open Source software. And not everybody agrees on two points: not everybody is working on Open Source/Free Software because they "belong" to a camp. There is no such camp division, but in the minds of those who want to push a specific naming convention over the other.
Calling this `body' of software and reasons `Open Source' is good enough for me. I realize that other people might have different interests and reasons to use and contribute to the software than I do, and that is perfectly fine with me.
I like the pragmatic approach of Tim O'Reilly: Tim does lean more towards new technologies. He likes Open Source, but deep inside Tim, you can see that his interest is more about how technology will change people's lives and hearing such an articulate man speak is a unique experience. When Tim speaks, I listen.
Anyways, the bottom line is: we should not present our community as a split community. This is a community of people with different interests, which sometimes are aligned, and sometimes are not. This is not a black and white situation.
We flew out from San Diego to Ottawa to attend the Ottawa Linux Symposium
Posted on 26 Jul 2001
We just released a new version of Mono and MCS, more classes, more stuff. The usual.
Sean has been doing a great job in getting the complete package to build with a single `make' command. We are on our way to pass one entry more in the Joel test.
Today we attacked the Longhorm restaurant. Alex (whooo-pah!) Graveley came to the office to spend some time hacking, he had to (whooo-pah!) go back (whooo-pah!) home.
So I got a Rio Volt player a couple of weeks ago, and I unpacked it today. The next step is to figure out a strategy to put my music on mp3 cds. What theme should each mp3 cd have?
I do not think that a plain dump of my cd collection will do it. I think I am going to need various organizations:
Per artist (so I can hear all the music from a single artist).
Per theme (dancing, programming, chilling out, party, party for american attendees, reading, cooking, walking, sky watching, exploring the universe, looking at core dumps and annoying the neighbors).
I got an external USB HP CD-RW, which does not work on Windows. I tried and tried, and it wont work. And people thought that Linux device drivers were hard. I have a few things to say about USB, HP-RW drivers and Windows 2000.
Jacob recently has been trying to go out with some femme fatale (actually, she is more like a wannabe femme fatale).
Jacob should just use the Aztec Kiss.
The more I learn about code compiler-compilers, the more confused I am. LCC is one genuine pieces of beautifully architected code. I wish there were more design documents, and not the line-by-line documentation that the book is.
Regarding the code generator-generators: They are beautiful beasts, and today I learned a few nice tricks like tree pattern matching, which made me feel definely smarter than I was yesterday.
Posted on 14 Jul 2001
Wow! So we finally launched the Mono Project. Go check it out! It rules.
The community has been really receptive, and I have tried to keep the FAQ updated and as much documentation as possible since the beginning (hey, our APIs are inline documented with gnome-doc ;-)
Too many things have happened since the last time I updated my diary to remember. Laura came to visit to Boston this week, and I went to New York and had lunch with Mauricio, which was good.
Things at Ximian are as exciting as always. The Red Carpet team has been busy working on their next generation updater features: better, more, faster, nicer, quicker!
Evolution went into a feature freeze last week or so, and the guys are working towards their UI freeze now, followed by their bug freeze. Great stuff.
Nat also has scheduled The Ximian Setup Tools team to release their first public release (btw, it is available through Red Carpet, if you want to try out the all innovative, all ground-breaking technology).
I still think that there is no good infrastructure for building Web applications from my personal experience maintaing my home page (go ahead, laugh at me). I talked to Dave Winer who pointed me out to his manila software, and I will be trying to use it in the next few days.
But I still got this feeling that there-must-be-something-I-am-missing.
After launching Mono, I keep getting the question about Passport, so I decided to write up about it: here
Check out a couple of stories at O'Reilly Network about .NET and Open Source
Currently I am a busy bee, and I am reading as much as possible on code generation. Man, this is wonderful!
Posted on 12 Jul 2001
More work on the MonoNet runtime. I realized soon that the recent documentation released is already inconsistent with Beta1.
So some research on the differences between Beta1 and Beta2 had to happen. This is a good excuse to leave this bit of the project alone, and go back to finish the type system on the compiler.
Mancha and Tonio
Posted on 06 Jun 2001
Visited the offices of Ximian Mexico.
Went to visit my doctor to get fixed.
Posted on 28 May 2001
Visited Patrick, had sunday lunch kind of thing. Tasty.
Saw the Purple Rivers.
Dinner late at el Charco.
Posted on 27 May 2001
Slept for an hour before I had to catch my airplane for Mexico City. Not as terrible as I expected it to be, my luggage was heavy though.
Had lunch with my friends at el Cambalache -again-
Posted on 26 May 2001