by Miguel de Icaza

Today I got back to hack, and I managed to finish the dead code removal code in the compiler. I also started fixing some bugs that I started looking into this weekend.

More to come.

Defining terrorism.

A simple definition of terrorism:

Fuzzy and ideological definitions of terrorism just make it easier to kill people. When you know your actions will kill innocent non-combatants, that's terrorism. And it must be clearly named as unacceptable - no matter who does it (individuals, groups, or states), and whatever the weapons, the expressed intentions, or political justifications. Deliberately taking the lives of innocent civilians must simply be morally condemned. That's a clear definition of terrorism and a beginning of resistance to it.


The West Bank Conflict in 3D. A set of picture essays by Architect Eyal Weizman. There is one new episode coming every day for seven days: 1 and 2 were the Maps; 3. Hills and Valleys; 4. West Bank Settlements; 5. From Water to Shit.

Generals and Israel

An article from linguist Tanya Reinhart from the university of Tel Aviv: Israel: The Generals' grand design


We still do not know what has happened in Jenin: but the Israeli Occupation Forces provide us with to prove that nothing really happened.

A separate measurement of the destruction by David Chandler

Palestine Remembered

Very interesting site, containing pictures of the occupation (before, during and after).

It comes with per-city pictures, testimonials, maps, and a message board.

Chomsky makes a much better case explaining the issues than the people on that web site.

Posted on 30 Apr 2002

Dave Winer on Sharon

by Miguel de Icaza

Dave Winer's essay Sharon Must Go

Six Myths

Debunking Six Common Israeli Myths.

Microsoft right to innovation

If Microsoft's thinks that they can only innovate if they integrate third party products into the operating system, that tells you a lot about how little they know about innovation.

It seems more like they are closing their eyes to innovation. I understand that innovation might not be as profitable if you can not drive competitors out of the market, or if you do not bundle the products with the OS.

Everybody else (but the convicted monopolist) has to ship products which are not bundled with the OS. Why should Microsoft be given special treatment? Specially when two courts have found Microsoft guilty of abusing its monopoly.

Microsoft next step should be to strip out the OS from all the extra middle ware and sell those components separately. This is how the industry works today. Each component then has to be tested against the operating system, and cross-company and cross-product testing will have to happen.

Microsoft is one of the proponents of interface-based programming (as part of COM and now .NET) in which the implementation details are not relevant provided that the individual "components" follow the contract specified.

So everyone will have to develop using these contracts (Microsoft and third party people), and a chance for software to compete on the operating system level will happen: if you get a bare-bones operating system, where you purchase the extra components, we might get some competition in there, and people might be able to get different options.

Right now, Microsoft bundled products (CD burning, Media Player, Internet Explorer, the Movie software, MSN, WordPad, DVD playing (that does not work)) are 50% to 70% of what people need, not really worth spending the extra 69 dollars to get the full product.

Why dont we get a discount on that, and let people build their own solutions using the best components?


I consider myself a savvy user, but when it comes to using the "consumer XP", I have found that XP has all sorts of troubles playing my DVDs or having an intuitive interface (or even providing the options) to burn CDs.

I bought my XP machine so I could read the .NET documentation at home while I hack on my Linux laptop. After trying to use the XP machine for something more than a document browser, I was really dissapointed by how poor this OS is.

They got better icons now (of far lower quality than MacOS X and GNOME) and their file manager has some neat features, but I had to install Linux on the machine to play DVDs and burn CDs.

It was easier to find the device drivers on the net and recompile my kernel and try various DVD players than trying to get a coherent answer from my PC and DVD manufacturer and the Windows consumer OS.

No Movies

No movies will ever be made of this account by reporters for the UK Independent on the Jenin massacre (which right now is being spinned quickly as `It did not happen')

Posted on 26 Apr 2002


by Miguel de Icaza

The Guardian: Red Cross and Amnesty International say attack violated Geneva accords: Amnesty International concurred and called for an investigation on the same basis as the war crimes inquiries in the Balkans.

An account of Israel War Crimes in the past few days.

Like shooting an american young mother that was holding her 9-month old kid on her arms. Collateral damage. Maybe she had evil thoughts that had to be eliminated.

Research Guide

A Research Guide to the Palestine-Israeli conflict.

Work out your own conclussions.

Destroy their roots.

why they had to do this? To demoralize the population:

Let's not deceive ourselves; this was not a mission to search and destroy the terrorist infrastructure. If the forces breaking into every hard disk of every bank and clinic, commercial consultant's office or PA ministry, thought that a list of weapons or wanted men was inside the disk, all they had to do was copy the information and pass it on to the Shin Bet. If they thought incriminating evidence was hidden in the Education Ministry and the International Bank of Palestine and in a shop that rents prosthetics, the soldiers would have examined document after document, and not thrown the files on the floor without opening them.

Keeping an eye for justice:

From here:

The globalization movement isn't anti-Semitic, it just hasn't fully confronted the implications of diving into the Middle East conflict. Most people on the left are simply choosing sides and in the Middle East, where one side is under occupation and the other has the U.S. military behind it, the choice seems clear. But it is possible to criticize Israel while forcefully condemning the rise of anti-Semitism.

And it is equally possible to be pro-Palestinian independence without adopting a simplistic "pro-Palestinian/anti-Israel" dichotomy, a mirror image of the good-versus-evil equations so beloved by President George W. Bush.

Posted on 24 Apr 2002


by Miguel de Icaza

Today I went to see my Fourth Noam Chomsky talk. He answered questions about the current (current?) crisis in Palestine.

Posted on 23 Apr 2002

Colorado Delegations to Palestine

by Miguel de Icaza

The making of a suicide bomber: Diary of a 15 year old palestinian girl. In the meantime, a man watched his son die next to him.


Pictures of the conflict

Posted on 22 Apr 2002


by Miguel de Icaza

The iTolet


Sharon states that the UN representative in the Middle East is a persona non-grata and has cut relationships with, after his statements yesterday about the situation in Jenin.

Posted on 21 Apr 2002

Free Software UI

by Miguel de Icaza

A great piece from Havoc on Free Software UI.

Not only he answers the question of user interface design in free software, but also some more organizational issues of a project of the size of Gnome


Hakam Kanafani is the CEO for Palestinian telecom company. He has a diary of the last two weeks.

My take: Palestinians will be erradicated from the region, this year, or in the next 30 years. It is Israel objective, (see the older links for the history of the conflict). Terrorism is just today's excuse.

If I were a Palestinian, I would just leave any land Israel claims to have divine rights to and move to a different country. Israel has no intention of any co-habitation in the area. The sooner people get out of there, the better for their families.


Today Alex said to me `If you have two groups of people who hate each other and one of them is going door by door looking for terrorists, what do you expect to happen?'

Of course, you have to wonder, how Apache missiles targeted at buildings in Jenin were supposed to hit a terrorist.

People are not allowed back in Jenin either (guess touching Jenin turns you into a terrorist), so they just shoot at them.

Posted on 20 Apr 2002

Concensus at Lawyer Point

by Miguel de Icaza

A blog about the activities of the hollywood lobbyists trying to take away our freedoms.

Posted on 19 Apr 2002


by Miguel de Icaza

Back in Boston after two weeks in Spain.


Congress man Edgar David on the use of open source software in the Peru administration.

Posted on 18 Apr 2002


by Miguel de Icaza

The Guardian reports on a very interesting study done by the Glasgow University Media Group. on how the Palestine news are reported and why people do not understand what is going on.

Gershon Baskin:

They don't have faith in UN Resolutions. They see that that the entire world could not even send one Red Cross Ambulance into Jenin to rescue even one single life. Bush, Powell, Prince Abdallah, King Abdallah, President Mubarak, all of them and others can do nothing to help the Palestinians.


First the carrot, then the stick Behind the Carnage in Palestine.

Israel invasion.

Some accounts from international volunteers that are trying to help the population in Nablus:

Israel continues its invasion, after the successful cover up for the Jenin massacre, the Israel military continues the various violations to human rights and the agreements of the Fourth Generva Convention in Nablus: `No ambulances are allowed in':

There are few patients in the hospital, not because there are few injuries or deaths, but because ambulances are not allowed by the Israeli military to reach the dead and dying.

Of course, who cares about the 4th Geneva Convention agreements, when you already ignore years of resolutions from the UN to withdrew from the territories you illegally occupy?

UN Vetos

Why has the US consistently vetoed the UN Resolution 272, which calls for Israel to withdraw from the occupied territories?

Posted on 17 Apr 2002

by Miguel de Icaza

Posted on 16 Apr 2002


by Miguel de Icaza

Recently my friend Alan got me to read `Blindness' from Jos� Saramago, and I loved the book immediately. The book is being removed from bookstores in Israel.

Jos� Saramago (Nobel prize winer for literature) went to Palestine and was interviewed. I have only got pieces of it, and I am trying to find an english translation, I have a copy in spanish.


The Amnesty International report: Israel and the Occupied Territories: a must read, a quote from the Amnesty report:

''The military operations we have investigated appear to be carried out not for military purposes but instead to harass, humiliate, intimidate and harm the Palestinian population. Either the Israeli army is extremely ill-disciplined or it has been ordered to carry out acts which violate the laws of war.''

Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, March 5, 2002, talking to the press:

``The Palestinians must be hit and it must be very painful. We must cause them losses, victims, so that they feel the heavy price''

Robert Fisk on the Jenin massacre. 150 civilians murdered by the Israeli Army. In the meantime, everyone is sitting still, watching what is that there is

Chomsky talks about US-Israel-Palestine.

Posted on 15 Apr 2002


by Miguel de Icaza

Amaya got a group of people together for dinner outside Madrid: Amaya, Ana Carolia, Bego�a, Hector, Israel, Juan, Marta, Lucia, Pablo, and Myself. We went outside Madrid for dinner.

Me and Ana Carolia.

Juantom�s joined us back in Madrid.

Posted on 13 Apr 2002


by Miguel de Icaza

Morning talk in the UAM. A large group of users from the Universidad Pontificia came.

I also had an idea during my talk: countries could have a tariff on proprietary software. This has been done for centuries for other products to protect the local economy. The money from the taxes could be used to improve free software.

Since it would be very hard to do this for every piece of software, I suggest that the tariffs are only impossed on proprietary software from mass monopolies.

Sharp readers will be thinking that this goes against free markets, and the whole invisible hand theory that "magically" fixes economies. The problem with the theory of free markets is that we do not have one. We have a monopoly that has been found guilty of abusing of their position, and can not be broken.

A tariff on proprietary software from a monopolist would help naturally balance our industry. Once they stop being a monopoly, and become another player, the tariff can be removed.

More on Palestine.

A reader found my weblog and sent me this great link. It contains all kinds of information, pictures and maps of the problem in Palestine.

Posted on 12 Apr 2002

More Palestine

by Miguel de Icaza

Live report from Ramallah.

Gila Svirksy: Can you imagine life with no water, while men, women, and children are bleeding to death around you? And finally having to bury the corpses in an empty lot nearby, after days of keeping them at home?

Tax Dollars At Work

Mono talk

Today I did another talk on Mono in the afternoon in the University in Mostoles (south of Madrid). Rodrigo Moya did a GNOME 2.0 presentation before my presentation.

This picture was taken after the talk.

Posted on 11 Apr 2002


by Miguel de Icaza

Today I met with the members of the special commission on new technologies in the Spanish Senate. I got to see the senate, a beautiful building and visit their library and event attended a real voting.

In the main room, we took many pictures.


Later in the day, we headed to the Colegio Mayor San Juan Evangelista where I did a talk on Gnome and Mono. Since there was no projector, the conference was a bit more informal. I had fun, and the student audience was awesome.

We had a long session of questions and answers at the end. Also various good friends from the Madrid Linux Users Group were there.

Posted on 10 Apr 2002


by Miguel de Icaza

I have been trying to understand what has happened in Palestine which started the current events, and I finally understand what has been going on. There are plenty of articles on the history of the conflict.

I particularly like this account of events: "The origin of the Palestine-Israeli conflict".

The article above is interesting in understanding why the Oslo and Madrid agreements are not being followed up on.

The Electronic Intifada has pointers and resources to information on the new intifada. I read with interest the Historical Myths section (covering for example, the origin of the various wars, and the Israeli need for security).

A countering view of things can be viewed in the Israeli Insider.

The palestinians are in checkmate: Arafat locked down, 450 tanks vs 50 and 130 helicopters vs 2 and 450k active soldiers vs 69,000 militia man (as reported by Spain's newspapers).

Elen Cantarow describes her experience.

Chomsky has covered the topic in depth in various books, there is a short Q/A with him from a couple of days ago.

From the front

Reports from the front are available on the Electronic Intifada WebLog.

Robert Frisk who has been covering the Middle East for a long time has a great piece.

Neta Golan, an Israeli part of the 40 peace observers that are in the building with Arafat has a live report

War criminals.

I do not know what Arafat's background is, but Robert Fisk once called him a criminal of war (He did not go into the details in the article I read that, Robert was covering the bombing in Afghanistan).

He refers in the same terms to Sharon.

Electronic Intifada has an annotated resume of Sharon.

Posted on 09 Apr 2002


by Miguel de Icaza

Nat and I were on a train back to Madrid, and ran into Montana, Jakub and Tuomas in . I am currently hosted at La Red's offices with Juantom�s

Posted on 08 Apr 2002


by Miguel de Icaza

The Guadec (The Gnome Developers and Users Conference) conference in Sevilla is over.

What a great conference we had this year. We had four tracks of activities going on. Guadec has grown a lot from the first Guadec conference we had in Paris.

Various groups have developed around the project: the Anjuta developers had a strong presence. The Gnome Hispano group and various interest groups on specific areas of Gnome: Usability, Accessibility, training, project management and bug tracking.

Everyone had a lot of fun. The Gnome Hispano group beat the record for continous partying at a conference. Many new developers came to the conference for the first time, I was looking forward to meet Naba, and finally he made it to the conference.


It is obvious that Microsoft has no intention of correcting their behaviour as Steve Ballmer had promised: to act responsible, and do the right thing, given that Microsoft is a monopoly.

The new licensing changes to the CIFS specification are disturbing. It is disturbing because you would expect that a company the size of Microsoft that previously had competed by delivering what users wanted and improving their tools would do that, rather than depend on tricky licensing issues.

Attacking the GPL as a license is just a smokescreen for the fact that Linux, that little operating system *is* fulfilling the needs of big sectors of users without giving Microsoft a chance to compete.

Finally, I have been using Galeon has my web browser and it turns out that MSN and Hotmail no longer allow me to create new accounts using a plain Web Browser.

What is most striking is the fact that Microsoft does not envision a world where there are multiple software providers. They envision a word where they are the only source of software for horizontal applications.


I have come to realize recently that if software patents continue, those countries that do not acknowledge them (for their bogosity) could become software development paradises.

Places where the software industry could still have a chance to compete without being hampered by artificial limitations.

Posted on 07 Apr 2002


by Miguel de Icaza

Today was the meeting of the GNOME Foundation's Advisory Board. It was great to see everyone again at the conference. During lunch, I picked Keith's brain about the history of X (again, in my quest to dig more in the history of software than software itself).

The faith of OpenLook compared to Motif and how a consortium pushed for bad technologies to be adopted by technologies that were worst than what Sun and ATT had developed. Really interesting.

Jim and Keith were running beautifully configured X servers with anti-aliasing, apparently I had never correctly configured my system, because Keith later during the week fixed my X configuration and I have the best anti-aliased desktop (after installing GdkXft).

Evolution is so beautiful. It is a joy to read email with the anti-aliased, sub-pixel rendered fonts.

I met for the first time Don from HP. Also the Mandrake guys demostrated their `Tasks' feature that they incorporated from Debian: a very nice idea to simplify the use of Linux.


I would love if Ximian would ship GnomeMeeting. I have been asking Nat for this for a few months, but so far I had no luck. At least it seems like we will be shipping the enhanced Mozilla that does anti-aliasing, because it is so beautiful.

Posted on 03 Apr 2002


by Miguel de Icaza

I arrived to Sevilla at night. Vigu, Rocio and Juantom�s were at the airport to pick me up. Telsa had also arrived there.

Nat was in bed when we got to our hotel, and was as funny as always.

Posted on 02 Apr 2002