Infocard

by Miguel de Icaza

We have been exploring for some time the new Infocard identity framework from Microsoft. If you are interested in this new identity system being developed, check the Microsoft web site here.

Thanks go to Mike Shaver for getting us in touch with Kim Cameron and Mike Jones:

Kim:

The Zen of this is that we cant change it by ourselves. Microsoft can be part of that.

Posted on 23 Feb 2006


Follow up to Chris

by Miguel de Icaza

Chris points out in his blog entry that Xgl is a lot of work:

[...] The big thing about the AIGLX approach is that it's incremental. The path to get from here to there allows us to leverage the strengths we have, allow people to participate as their hardware allows and work iteratively with vendors to add support to cards. Simply put, AIGLX presents us with a hill instead of a cliff. That's the big difference.

But it is not an academic discussion anymore about the complexity of getting from here to there. We are already there, and the code is already on CVS and we have already climbed the most difficult part of the cliff.

Anyways, Chrisl, what about addressing the comments on the Fedora Wiki to reflect David's comments? There is a link added, but there were no "architectural" changes developed in private.

Anyways, more power to the Red Hat folks with AIGLX, am sure we will have a combination of both in various machines and am just happy to be able to use both depending on the hardware I have available at my disposal.

Posted on 23 Feb 2006


Port Security

by Miguel de Icaza

Dave Winer observations are interesting:

I love the political storm President Bush is caught in over the UAE port managers, because it is totally unfair, as he says it is. Of course they're perfectly qualified to manage the ports. They're not terrorists. They employ Americans. There's no extra risk. I love it because it's exactly the kind of dirty trick Bush uses, the same kind of dumb emotional illogic, and like his opponents he's left stammering like an idiot, caught in the headlights, explaining how it's not really an issue. It's the Swift Boat logic turned back at the master. It's as if Karl Rove was working for the Dems. I love it because it's funny and it's justice.

Posted on 23 Feb 2006


PHP.NET Compiler

by Miguel de Icaza

Raffa was funded by Google during the Summer of Code. He implemented a PHP compiler for Mono and .NET. After a small pause, he has resumed work on his compiler and has now started a blog here:

Other .NET assemblies can now be accessed directly from within PHP scripts. Like that you can i.e. build GUIs with PHP using the Gnome libraries. I've already created two interesting examples including events and Drag&Drop features. You can import namespaces and types from other .NET assemblies with a spcial "using" syntax similar to the one known from C#. After doing so the imported types are avialable in the same way as classes implemented in PHP.

Posted on 23 Feb 2006


Novell Linux Desktop Updates Blog

by Miguel de Icaza

I just found out about Moosy a blog on Novell Linux Desktop-centric happenings.

I believe its someone at Novell, but I could not find any contact info.

Posted on 23 Feb 2006


The Dave Reveman Files: Xgl and AIGLX

by Miguel de Icaza

David Reveman, has posted his thoughts on the Xgl/Aiglx debate here:

One of the points that I particularly like is:

An important goal with X on OpenGL is to make it easier for X to keep up with the advances in graphics hardware. Eliminating the custom 2D acceleration code will reduce the development burden and make this easier. This can probably be achieved through AIGLX as well, I know that the people working on AIGLX have discussed putting some of the acceleration code I have in Xgl inside Xorg with AIGLX and that would be a step in that direction. However, I strongly believe that going all the way to an X server completely on top of the OpenGL API is the best solution in the long run.

In particular I like his comments on the criticisms of Xgl, they all boil down to "It is a lot of work":

I think the arguments made by nvidia to why X on OpenGL would be worse than the current driver architecture can be debated on until forever. I think it all boils down to if we want put some more effort to it and take the big scary step to something new or if we want to stick to the old well known. Not too surprising, we have people who are in favor of both and we'll likely have development being done on both, which I don't think is that bad after all.

So far I haven't heard a single argument for why X on OpenGL is a a bad idea other than that it's a big step and a lot of work will have to be done. If that would stop me from working on Xgl, I wouldn't have started working on it in the first place.

Finally, David sets the record straight on the Xgl development, to refute the claims made on the Fedora page:

"We've been working on the AIGLX code for a some time with the community, which is in direct contrast with the way that XGL was developed. XGL spent the last few months of its development behind closed doors and was dropped on the community as a finished solution. Unfortunately, it wasn't peer reviewed during its development process, and its architecture doesn't sit well with a lot of people."

I've been developing Xgl in the open since November 2004. Only the last few months have been behind closed doors. I can agree that this wasn't the best thing but no architectural changes have been made during this period, just a lot of hard work implementing missing functionality, tracking down and fixing bugs in xgl and various other places in the x server tree. We didn't drop a finished solution, we dropped a much improved version, that's all.

Anyways, more details are on David's post

Posted on 23 Feb 2006


Novell's Open Audio Podcast, part 2

by Miguel de Icaza

Ted has posted some updates on Open Audio: Ogg formats are comming, he discusses high/medium qualities, why they chose the format they did and the music they use. His post is: Next Steps for Novell Open Audio.

Posted on 23 Feb 2006


Novell starts Podcasting

by Miguel de Icaza

Novell has started a podcasting show.

On the first show they talk with Brady Anderson and Calvin Gaisford from the iFolder.

Since iFolder is built on top of Mono, you should listen to this right away.

Posted on 22 Feb 2006


Linux World México

by Miguel de Icaza

I am in México this week for Linux World.

My keynote is open to the public on Thursday at 4pm.

Posted on 15 Feb 2006


Your Politics Update

by Miguel de Icaza

I ran into this article from conservative Paul Craig Roberts. Despite the growing excuses, I believe it spells out a few interesting bits.

Americans have forgotten what it takes to remain free. Instead, every ideology, every group is determined to use government to advance its agenda. As the government's power grows, the people are eclipsed.

We have reached a point where the Bush administration is determined to totally eclipse the people. Bewitched by neoconservatives and lustful for power, the Bush administration and the Republican Party are aligning themselves firmly against the American people. Their first victims, of course, were the true conservatives. Having eliminated internal opposition, the Bush administration is now using blackmail obtained through illegal spying on American citizens to silence the media and the opposition party.

[...]

Before flinching at my assertion of blackmail, ask yourself why President Bush refuses to obey the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. The purpose of the FISA court is to ensure that administrations do not spy for partisan political reasons. The warrant requirement is to ensure that a panel of independent federal judges hears a legitimate reason for the spying, thus protecting a president from the temptation to abuse the powers of government. The only reason for the Bush administration to evade the court is that the Bush administration had no legitimate reasons for its spying. This should be obvious even to a naif.

The years of illegal spying have given the Bush administration power over the media and the opposition. Journalists and Democratic politicians don't want to have their adulterous affairs broadcast over television or to see their favorite online porn sites revealed in headlines in the local press with their names attached. Only people willing to risk such disclosures can stand up for the country.

(Emphasis added)

In particular I like his point about the no-fly list. It always felt dumb to have the no-fly list in the first place and all of the side effects we have heard from it are the result of this dumbness. Maybe it was naivete on my part, but this makes sense:

Consider the no-fly list. This list has no purpose whatsoever but to harass and disrupt the livelihoods of Bush's critics. If a known terrorist were to show up at check-in, he would be arrested and taken into custody, not told that he could not fly. What sense does it make to tell someone who is not subject to arrest and who has cleared screening that he or she cannot fly? How is this person any more dangerous than any other passenger?

This is priceless:

If Senator Ted Kennedy, a famous senator with two martyred brothers, can be put on a no-fly list, as he was for several weeks, anyone can be put on the list. The list has no accountability. People on the list cannot even find out why they are on the list. There is no recourse, no procedure for correcting mistakes.

I am certain that there are more Bush critics on the list than there are terrorists. According to reports, the list now comprises 80,000 names! This number must greatly dwarf the total number of terrorists in the world and certainly the number of known terrorists.

He has a follow up article, on the State of The Union, focusing in particular on the economy bits here.

On that note, Bilmes and Stiglitz claim that the actual cost of the Iraq war will end up being between one and two trillion dollars.

In the meantime there is a Sundance short that makes fun at the actual state of the economy. I found it entertaining, but it might not be appreciated by everyone (sorry, requires an updated Flash): here.

Update: Robert's second article goes well with the previous video link:

[...] The US trade deficit in ATP now exceeds the US surplus in Intellectual Property licenses and fees. The US no longer earns enough from high tech to cover any part of its import bill for oil, autos, or clothing.

This is an astonishing development. The US "superpower" is dependent on China for advanced technology products and is dependent on Asia to finance its massive deficits and foreign wars. In view of the rapid collapse of US economic potential, my prediction in January 2004 that the US would be a third world economy in 20 years was optimistic. Another five years like the last, and little will be left.

Posted on 13 Feb 2006


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