OpenSUSE 10.2 and Mono VMWare Image.

by Miguel de Icaza

We have upgraded our VMWare Mono Image from SLED to OpenSUSE 10.2. In the process we fixed most of the problems that were reported by our Windows users doing their .NET migration from Windows to Linux. Please keep sending us your feedback!

I have also migrated my desktop computer at home to OpenSUSE 10.2 (my laptop remains in SLED-land for now), and here are some personal experiences.

Duncan improved my computing experience ten times by suggesting that I install the Smart package management system for OpenSUSE (Smart home page is here).

Smart is fantastic, and I like it a bit better than apt-get so far (still got apt-get installed, but I have switched to smart for my package management now).

The second piece of advise from Duncan was to configure the Additional Package Repositories. Which is a fantastic universe of packages for OpenSUSE, pretty much anything under the sun is packaged there. I accidentally ran into the "GuitarScaleAssistant" while trying out the smart search features. GuitarScaleAssistant: lovely piece of software.

Jonathan Pryor has also a blog entry on caring and feeding your new OpenSUSE 10.2 installation, which should be very useful to Windows guys migrating to Linux.

Posted on 06 Jan 2007


CRAP In Vista

by Miguel de Icaza

The new Content, Restriction, Annulment and Protection (CRAP) subsystem built into Vista is another reason to stay away from it.

Leaving aside the political issues of CRAP, this is what users of Vista will be treated to:

Executive Executive Summary

The Vista Content Protection specification could very well constitute the longest suicide note in history.

...

This document looks purely at the cost of the technical portions of Vista's content protection. [...] However, one important point that must be kept in mind when reading this document is that in order to work, Vista's content protection must be able to violate the laws of physics, something that's unlikely to happen no matter how much the content industry wishes it were possible.

Read the whole piece, its hilarious.

The "remote shutdown" capability for device drivers, if true is a reason enough to not buy Vista in any form or shape.

Microsoft: Shooting itself in the foot. One toe at a time.

Posted on 23 Dec 2006


Cocoa APIs for Linux and Windows

by Miguel de Icaza

Cocotron is a cross-platform, MIT X11-licensed implementation of the Cocoa APIs.

The Foundation works on Windows, Linux and Solaris. The GUI side (AppKit) currently only has a Win32 backend.

The TODO list is here.

It might be useful to hack on Cocoa# and Dumbarton on non-Apple platforms.

Posted on 23 Dec 2006


Billmon Retrospective

by Miguel de Icaza

The quality of the writing over at Billmon never ceased to amaze me. I wish I had the anything remotely as good in the way of writing, constructing and researching that Billmon had.

The blog started in April 10th of 2003. A time when the anti-war movement had been served a slap in the face, jingoism in the US reached new levels and war peddlers were at the top of their game.

Today Billmon has a retrospective on the blog posts from those days:

By my rough guess, at least two thirds, if not more, of the almost three thousand posts I've written since that day have concerned the Iraq War, directly or indirectly. Over the past three-and-a-half years the war has come to define my thinking just as thoroughly as it has come to define Shrub's presidency -- not to mention the world we now live in.

What I also realized, ploughing through hundreds of forgotten or half-remembered posts, is that much of what I wrote back then proved not only true but also extremely prescient -- especially in the first few months after "mission accomplished," when the corporate media by and large was still drinking the White House Kool-Aid and the conservative movement was proclaiming the deification of Emperor George.

It's not that the story wasn't being told. Then as now, most of what I understood to be true about Iraq came from reading between the lines of the semi-official media (New York Times, Washington Post) from the samzidat journalists at Knight-Ridder, from the foreign press (the Guardian and the Independent in particular) and from the Juan Cole's crucial work translating and analyzing Iraqi and other Arabic-language sources. The downward trends could even be seen in the bare factual bones of wire service reports with obscure datelines like Fallujah and Haditha and Tikrit.

But to piece together the truth in those days you had to scrounge for it, ignore the ignorance and lies pouring out of Donald Rumfeld's mouth and defy the prevailing political tide of arrogant triumphalism. Very few journalists, and even fewer politicians, were willing to do that. Some in Left Blogistan were (Kos, Needlenose and Steve Gilliard, among others, also come readily to mind). As a result we presented a far more accurate picture of the war to our readers than the corporate media -- with a few honorable exceptions -- did to its own. I'm proud enough of that to want to remind the world, and the moronic media blog bashers in particular, of it.

The retrospective is here.

Posted on 22 Dec 2006


Compiz Site and Compiz Forums

by Miguel de Icaza

Compiz has a new web site and they now also have forums.

Logo contest is here and you can vote here.

Posted on 22 Dec 2006


Mono-based Ultima Online Server

by Miguel de Icaza

SunUO is a free Ultima Online server based on "RunUO".

SunUO has released a new version of their server that runs on Mono.

Posted on 21 Dec 2006


SecondLife, Town Hall Meeting

by Miguel de Icaza

Mono adoption in SecondLife was discussed in the Technical Town Hall with Cory Linden:

There are some technical changes we still need to make in particular, we’ll need to compile Mono on the server side which requires a distributed compilation service to be running on the grid (yay, backbone!) but I expect that we will begin testing Mono on the main grid in Q1/Q2 2007.

The process there will be to have places on the grid where you can bring scripts and recompile them into Mono for testing. That will let you report broken scripts to us.

Since Mono tends to execute LSL about 600 times faster, I expect that there will be some interesting borkage around carefully timed scripts. Babbage has talked about the implications of Mono extensively, but it’s important to remember that the sequence will be:

  • Start allowing compilation of LSL to Mono/CLI. Test existing scripts like crazy. (Q1/Q2)
  • Think about ways to include other languages (Q more than 2)

Posted on 21 Dec 2006


Dollar

by Miguel de Icaza

A small article explaining the dangers that the dollar faces ahead here.

Posted on 19 Dec 2006


Web Developer Tools

by Miguel de Icaza

My Friend Taylor Hayward has launched a site that tracks hundreds of widgets that people can use to develop web applications, the ThePeoplesToolbox.

Check it out, and if you like it, digg it.

Posted on 18 Dec 2006


Parameters in Indexer Properties

by Miguel de Icaza

C# allows an arbitrary number of parameters (similar to varargs in C) in indexer properties. This looks like this:

   class Vector {
	 public object this [params object [] items]
	 {
	 	get { ... }
        	set { ... }
         }
    }

    // ...

    Vector v = new Vector ();

    v [1, 2, 3] = 10;
	

This is one of the parts of the spec that I did not find on the first pass of writing the compiler, so the internal design of the compiler did not allow for this particular usage. Not many applications depended on it, but there have been a few.

The problem was that the compiler had a flag describing whether a method's last parameter was a "params" (setters and getters are treated as methods). This works for the getter method, but the problem is that the setter method has a params in the middle, the above would turn into:

	object set_Item (object [] items, object value) 
	

Today Marek Safar submitted a fix to this long standing bug. Although the bug was filed by a third party a year ago, it was on my personal compiler TODO list for at least three years.

This fix will be on Mono 1.2.3 or it's available on SVN on r69571.

Posted on 16 Dec 2006


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