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
A new release of the great Ximian Setup Tools is out, the team got support for SuSE, Red Hat 7.1 and Debian Woody on this release, plus a load of fixes, and many improvements. Progess is being done at an amazing pace.
I have been listening for some time to Ian explain to me the problems that RPM and the libRPM has. RPM was born as a good solution (by 1996 standards) for the problem of package management. But the library apparently changes the API, the ABI and the database format on every release (even on micro-updates the ABI changes, funfun). So Red Carpet actually has to cope with those problems by dynamically loading the library, and depending on the version, finding the correct entry points for the library.
Pretty CRAZY if you ask me.
I think I am going to purchase the new Sony laptop
Posted on 25 May 2001
Who would have thought that the debate would spawn such a large thread on the mailing lists. The heat is not turning down yet.
Got in touch with Guavac's author, and I keep reading the source code for the Guavac compiler. It is very similiar to my approach and actually has shed the light on a number of problems I did not know how to solve and where I was getting stuck.
New mailing list for the Labs team at Ximian.
Posted on 24 May 2001
So Chema went skydiving to California and achieved some kind of record.
GNOME has been mentioned a few times in EWeek in the past month, and I had not noticed until my friend Leila told me about it. Today's note, this one talks about us, and this one talks about Ximian's Red Carpet
Sun released GNOME 1.4 for Solaris which is pretty cool. Now Solaris Intel and Solaris SPARC users can get enjoy GNOME.
I am still impressed by Guavac, the design is very elegant (just like my compiler, ahem, *cough*, *cough*) and I learned a few tricks in there: how to detect the use of uninitialized variables and I learned how it does type resolution.
Very nice code. I mailed the author (David Engberg), I tried to find other software written by him afterwards, but could not find much.
Lauris is making progress, and we got some input from Federico on how to support the OMNI drivers in `low memory consumption mode'.
I had lunch with Mexico's consul in Boston at what used to be Legal Sea Foods, very close to the Arlington station. An interesting character.
Finally got my printed documentation bound. My life is a bit cleaner as I dont have to keep paper all over my office in unbound format.
Went with the guys for drinking culture tonight at Bukowski's Tavern. Had some lasagna, and came back to work.
Subscribers are still pouring into the GNOME Love effort, and we are starting to see some contributions. We feel all good and nice citizens.
Getting another Aeron chair, this time for home. So I can hack from the comfort of my bedroom.
Provided me with the Article to that great RMS presentation on MIT about copyrights and globalization.
RMS can be a really nice person if you know how to get the best out of him.
Posted on 23 May 2001