Monkey Magic!

by Miguel de Icaza

Linux Format Magazine is running a contest to get your idea implemented in Mono. The contest goes like this:

Get your dream application made! In Linux Format issue 89, our Mono cover feature includes a competition called Make it with Mono, where you design your ideal piece of software. Just jot down your suggestions, and in April other users will rate them -- if your entry makes it into the top 30, you'll win a cool Mono T-shirt. And if yours is the number 1 rated entry, it will be programmed in Mono!


To see the entries submitted so far, go to: Entries Page, and you can submit your application here.

Posted on 25 Jan 2007

Microsoft's Ajax.Net License

by Miguel de Icaza

Microsoft recently announced the release of ASP.NET AJAX, their extension to ASP.NET to spice it up with Ajax goodness (Scott Guthrie's blog is always the best source for the details).

Microsoft must be commended for picking the Microsoft Permissive License (Ms-PL) for all the of their client-side Javascript libraries and the AJAX Control Toolkit.

The Ms-PL is for all intents and purposes an open source license.

This is a diagram from the introduction to ASP.NET AJAX:

The left-hand side is what has been released under the Ms-PL. For the whole stack to work on Mono, we will have to do some work on the server-side assemblies that provide the support (the System.Web.Extensions assembly). It is likely a lot of work, but considerably less than the whole stack.

The AJAX Control Toolkit comes with 30 controls for common tasks, with a nice sampler of the controls. The Control Toolkit is actually being developed in the open, and Microsoft is integrating external contributions.

Nikhil has a retrospective on how the project came to be. A good chunk of information for those of us interested in the archaeology of software.

A big thanks to everyone at Microsoft involved in picking the Ms-PL license for these technologies.

Posted on 24 Jan 2007

SecondLife Updates

by Miguel de Icaza

Jim has posted an update on using Mono to script SecondLife.

The challenges that they were facing were related to memory leaks that were experienced when they loaded and unloaded thousand of application domains (I gather this happens when they refresh a specific script in SecondLife).

Posted on 22 Jan 2007

Score Music in Wiki Form

by Miguel de Icaza

Wikifonia has been launched, a Wiki to share sheet music, it is on its early stages, but it already has some content.

Posted on 22 Jan 2007

Buck Stopping and the White House

by Miguel de Icaza

In his Open Letter to the President Ralph Nader points out that although Bush admitted "mistakes were made", he quickly moved on, and changed the subject:

You say "where mistakes have been made, the responsibility rests with me." You then quickly change the subject. Whoa now, what does it mean when you say the responsibility for mistakes rest with you?

Responsibility for "mistakes" that led to the invasion-which other prominent officials and former officials say were based on inaccurate information, deceptions, and cover-ups?

Responsibility for the condoning of torture, even after the notorious events at abu-Gharib prison were disclosed?

Responsibility for months and months of inability to equip our soldiers with body armor and vehicle armor that resulted in over 1,000 lost American lives and many disabilities?

Responsibility for the gross mismanagement over outsourcing both service and military tasks to corporations such as Haliburton that have wasted tens of billions of dollars, including billions that simply disappeared without account?

Responsibility for serious undercounting of official U.S. injuries in Iraq-because the injuries were not incurred in direct combat-so as to keep down political opposition to the war in this country?

Click to read the rest of the letter.

Posted on 21 Jan 2007

Crap in Vista, part 2

by Miguel de Icaza

Microsoft has posted some answers to questions regarding the Content, Restriction, Annulment and Protection (or CRAP, some people euphemistically call it "Digital Rights Management") features built into Vista. I previously blogged about Peter Gutmann's explanation of the problems that it would cause Vista.

Microsoft has responded to these claims here.

The response does little to contradict Peter's findings, and merely tries to shed some positive light on things. They answer questions in the best style of Ari Fletcher; for example, when it comes to cost, they conveniently ignore the question and instead focus on the manufacturing benefits (!!!).

It is interesting to compare this with the presentation by ATI at Microsoft's Hardware conference in 2005 (WinHEC), Digital Media Content Protection which has a more honest look at the costs all throughout the stack.

The discussion at Slashdot browsed at +4 has the good stuff.

Posted on 21 Jan 2007

Sansa Connect Video

by Miguel de Icaza

You can see the UI of the Sansa Connect in action in this Engadget video:

It apparently will also let you browse your Flickr (wonder if they use the Flickr.Net API) and share songs with your friends, and it seems to have some sort of last-fm like listening mode.

The details on the song sharing are not very clear, it all seems bound to the service. But I wonder if you can pass around your own mp3s.

Anyways, am buying this on the grounds that it runs Mono, and so I can finally show a physical object to the family that runs it.

Posted on 18 Jan 2007

Mono-based device wins Best-of-Show at CES

by Miguel de Icaza

The SanDisk Sansa Connect MP3 player won the Best of Show award in the MP3 and Audio category:.

The Sansa Connect is running Linux as its operating system, and the whole application stack is built on Mono, running on an ARM processor.

There is a complete review of it at Engadget, among the features it includes:

  • 4GB of memory.
  • SD slot for extra storage.
  • WMA, MP3 subscription WMA and PlayForSure are supported.
  • Internet Radio streaming.
  • WiFi.
  • Photo browser.
  • 2.2 TFT color screen.

The WiFi support allows users to download music from providers or their own home servers.

The Sansa Connect is designed by the great guys at Zing and it will be available to purchase in a couple of months.

Posted on 17 Jan 2007

Not a Gamer

by Miguel de Icaza

With all the rage and discussion over the PS3 vs the Wii and how the Wii is a breakthrough in interactivity, I decided to get myself one of those, and auctioned my way to one on eBay.

The last time I owned a console it was an Atari 2600, and I barely got to play with it.

Wii Sports is a very nice program, and I enjoy playing it. As reported, your arms are sore the next day after playing Wii Tennis.

I went to the local game store and bought some assorted games for the Wii, the clerk said "excellent choices sir", as if I was picking a great cheese at Formaggio Kitchen.

The graphics are amazing, but I could not stand playing any of them. The Zelda graphics are incredibly well done.

But all I could think of was the poor guy in QA that must have debugged been filing bugs against this. Man, do I feel sorry for the QA guys that do games.

But I just do not feel like solving Zelda. Am sure it must have some kind of appeal to some people, but solving puzzles in a 3D world and shooting at stuff and earning points did not sound like an interesting enough challenge. I can appreciate the cuteness of having to find the cradle in exchange for the fishing pole and shooting rocks and "zee-targeting" something.

As far as challenges go, to me, fixing bugs, or writing code is a more interesting puzzle to solve. And for pure entertainment, my blogroll and reddit provide a continuous stream of interesting topics.

Am keeping the Wii though. Playing Wii box and Wii tennis with Laura is incredibly fun (well, watching Laura play Wii Box accounts for 80% of the fun).

When I got the Wii, I told myself "If I like this, am getting the PS3 and the XBox". Well, I actually just thought about it, I do not really talk to myself.

But am obviously not a gamer.

Posted on 11 Jan 2007

Programmer Guilt

by Miguel de Icaza

With Mono, is has often happened that I have wanted to work on a fun new feature (say, C# 3) or implement a fun new class.

But most of the time, just when am about to do something fun for a change, I think "don't we have a lot of bugs out there to fix?", so I take a look at bugzilla and try to fix them, follow up on some bugs, try to produce test cases.

By the time am done, I have no energy left for the fun hack.

I need some "guilt-free" time, where I can indulge myself into doing some work that is completely pointless. But there is a fine balance between happy-fun-fun hacking, and making sure that Mono gets a great reputation.

Posted on 11 Jan 2007

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