Microsoft slammed over misleading Windows Linux Claims

by Miguel de Icaza

Microsoft comparing, apples to oranges when measuring itself against Linux.

Best quote, from a footnote in the advertisement: "Results may vary outside the United States"

Back from vacations

Plenty of Mono activity in the past two weeks in the development branch (1.1.xx: we are using the same numbering scheme as the Linux kernel).

The new managed implementation of Windows.Forms is moving along (internally it uses Win32 messages and codes to help applications that hook up to Wndproc or use CreateParams), the hack-a-thon in Provo, Utah seems to have been a success.

Documentation of Gtk# is continuing at a rapid pace, and we will soon update the online version of the documentation.

Progress is underway on a few major components: Code Access Security (CAS) and the security related infrastructure for .NET 1.x and 2.x by Sebastien. Atsushi has been busy working on our XQuery implementation: a fairly large task but progress is advancing rapidly.

On the JIT side of things, the most important development are the s390 port morphing into s390x (to support the 64 bit machines of this kind) as well as the record-time port of Mono to the AMD64 platform. The AMD64 port was done by Zoltan and is the second 64-bit port of Mono (his SPARC v9 port being the first).

During my vacation plenty of micro optimizations were done to the JIT and Paolo has fixed the exception bug that made throwing exceptions several orders of magnitude slower than it should have (exposed by IronPython). Also Paolo is working on a new trampoline setup that will help the dynamic nature of IronPython as well as enabling some clever recompilation strategies. Also Massi continues work on our SSAPRE implementation, an effort that is on hold while he goes on a two week vacation.

Paolo has also checked in a few plans on changes that we want to make to our register allocator, you can find this on the Mono CVS repository in the mono module.

Martin continues to improve our generics compiler: just when he thought he was done, we received the C5 generics class libraries (which seems to be the largest body of generics code out there) and he is now fixing the bugs exposed by this.

The team in Bangalore continues work on the Basic compiler for Mono, and it is now possible to run simple ASP.NET applications with it. A Basic compiler is more important for ASP.NET 1.x as it does not support "pre-compiled" sites, so a compiler is required on the deployment machine. With ASP.NET 2.x we could eliminate this problem by having people pre-compile their sites and just deploy binaries on the target site.

Chris Toshok from the Evolution team (thanks JP!) will be assisting us with the debugger core in the next few months.

Induce Act, Venezuela, Greg Palast, Dimona

Induce Act: Just learned about the INDUCE Act another retarded law (plenty of coverage here.

Venezuela: Various readers raised an issue with my post about the Venezuelan election and said that if I do not document myself better I should not post to my blog about Chavez. That seems relatively fair, but it misses two points: Greg Palast is a man I respect for his investigative journalism.

But my readers missed a larger point: In fact I do not know enough to advocate a `yes' or `no' vote on the Chavez election (which I did not advocate), but that was not the point of my post. The point of my post was the fishyness of foreign intervention through ChoicePoint in the Venezuelan election. ChoicePoint was the same company involved in removing black-voters from the Florida elections in 2000 (documented also in the great book `The Best Democracy Money Can Buy').

One of my readers in the US claims that the oil production facilities in Venezuela are in the government power, Greg Palast disagrees.

I found out about the results of Chavez election while on vacation. And Greg Palast has a great follow up article.

Right now, the oil majors - like PhillipsConoco - keep 84% of the proceeds of the sale of Venezuela oil; the nation gets only 16%.

Chavez wanted to double his Treasury's take to 30%. [...]

But to feed and house the darker folk in those bread and brick lines, Chavez would need funds, and the 16% slice of the oil pie wouldn't do it. So the President of Venezuela demanded 30%, leaving Big Oil only 70%. Suddenly, Bill Clinton's ally in Caracas became Mr. Cheney's -- and therefore, Mr. Bush's -- enemy.

So began the Bush-Cheney campaign to "Floridate" the will of the Venezuela electorate. It didn't matter that Chavez had twice won election. Winning most of the votes, said a White House spokesman, did not make Chavez' government "legitimate." Hmmm. Secret contracts were awarded by our Homeland Security spooks to steal official Venezuela voter lists. Cash passed discreetly from the US taxpayer, via the so-called 'Endowment for Democracy,' to the Chavez-haters running today's "recall" election.

In Mexico at least, it is illegal to receiving funds from an external country to influence the political process. The SI people might be right or wrong, but the whole thing leaves a bad taste in the mouth.

That being said, in Mexico there is an ongoing debate over the monies that funded Vicente's Fox election: a clever setup to bring funds from abroad into his political campaign is under scrutiny.

Dimona: A nice animation of the Dimona Nuclear Complex in Israel. Based on the pictures taken by Mordechai Vanunu and revealed in 1986.

Posted on 25 Aug 2004

Fixing Venezuela's Elections

by Miguel de Icaza

Greg Palast has another detective piece. This time is about "fixing" the Venezuela Election results.

Palast describes a document which landed on his desk:

[Dept of] Justice offered up to $67 million, of our taxpayer money, to ChoicePoint in a no-bid deal, for computer profiles with private information on every citizen of half a dozen nations. The choice of which nation's citizens to spy on caught my eye. While the September 11th highjackers came from Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Lebanon and the Arab Emirates, ChoicePoint's menu offered records on Venezuelans, Brazilians, Nicaraguans, Mexicans and Argentines. How odd. Had the CIA uncovered a Latin plot to sneak suicide tango dancers across the border with exploding enchiladas?

What do these nations have in common besides a lack of involvement in the September 11th attacks? Coincidentally, each is in the throes of major electoral contests in which the leading candidates -- presidents Lula Ignacio da Silva of Brazil, Nestor Kirschner of Argentina, Mexico City mayor Andres Lopez Obrador and Venezuela's Chavez -- have the nerve to challenge the globalization demands of George W. Bush.

The last time ChoicePoint sold voter files to our government it was to help Governor Jeb Bush locate and purge felons on Florida voter rolls. Turns out ChoicePoint's felons were merely Democrats guilty only of V.W.B., Voting While Black. That little 'error' cost Al Gore the White House.

An interesting document, worth a read.

In Mexico every effort and dirty trick is being thrown at Andres Manuel L�pez Obrador with overwhelming support from the Media. Currently Mexico City's governor and the man with the popular backup.

This past week to protest the dirty war waged by the federal government against L�pez Obrador a 42-kilometer (26 miles) human wall was constructed running from the South to the North of the Mexico City.

Mexico's federal policies on economy have been a disaster as well. The government is a blind follower of all the recommendations (mandates) from the International Money Fund and World Bank (polices well known to be a recipe for social disaster). Also the government managed to extend our foreign debt, just when you thought that the platform of Vicente Fox on an "Enterprise Government" would be able to keep the budget on track. Seems like running the economy is not the forte of the right-wing economic policies anywhere in the world.

Government's reply to the human chain run from funny to hillarious: `we need production chains, not human chains' stated Sonora's governor (in lieu of the president, which is known for his lack of verbal articulation power and being a master of sticking his foot on his mouth). Humor wise, you can not beat Vicente Fox's own justification for keeping the disastrous economic policies (notice that he criticized his predecesor for keeping these policies, policies that today he defends, follow the link for all the humor ;-)

Posted on 14 Aug 2004

Spain trip.

by Miguel de Icaza

I will be in Madrid from the 11th to the 13th, then will spend a week in Cadiz.

The next step is Paris, roughly from the 17-20 (depending on weather) to the 22nd.

Daily Show and Bill Clinton

Great Daily Show last night with Bill Clinton. Clinton had great insight into

Posted on 10 Aug 2004

Happy Birthday Nat!

by Miguel de Icaza

Nat has been fairly active this morning replying to e-mail even if he should be enjoying himself outside on this gorgeous day in Boston.

Happy birthday dude!

Tim Bray on Software Patents and Linux.

Duncan sent me this excellent post from Tim Bray on Patents and Linux.

Posted on 06 Aug 2004

Edd's book

by Miguel de Icaza

Edd's book on Mono today is #8 on the Internet section in Amazon.

Posted on 05 Aug 2004

So Chic!

by Miguel de Icaza

The new Real Player and Helix Player are out, with OGG support. Loving it.


On Thursday I will be on the Dot Net Rocks show with Rory and Carl.

I ran into Rory the other day at the airport. He later came to OSCON to hang out.

Is this true?

Seems hard to believe:

The Department of Justice has called for these five public documents, two of which are texts of federal statutes, to be removed from depository libraries and destroyed, making their content available only to those with access to a law office or law library.

The topics addressed in the named documents include information on how citizens can retrieve items that may have been confiscated by the government during an investigation. The documents to be removed and destroyed include: Civil and Criminal Forfeiture Procedure; Select Criminal Forfeiture Forms; Select Federal Asset Forfeiture Statutes; Asset forfeiture and money laundering resource directory; and Civil Asset Forfeiture Reform Act of 2000 (CAFRA).

Love Todd and Shaver.

They are sweet. Love you guys.

Molly Ivins

Last week two of my airplanes in a day were broken, so they had to send me through some other airline or some other plane. While waiting for my next plane, I purchased a book of articles from Molly Ivins. I was laughing for the rest of the trip. It makes Clinton even more likable. Larry Flint also has a quite interesting book.

This is a public service announcement: do not watch "The Village".

Must see two-minute video: Will Ferrell as the president. Too many great bits.

On that same subject, I enjoyed my first Gore Vidal book quite an excellent writer.

My quest to learn to play four instruments at once is progressing nicely. I have learned to play 2 notes in four different things. At some point, I expect some kind of magic economic phenomenon to turn me into a virtuoso.


Met loads of people, partly because I have developed a skill for missing every session and hanging out in the public areas. Loved the conference, always good to discuss things live.

Dan Sugalski was a man of his word, and brought a couple of pies for the contest. I do not like Parrot, but the man and his team stood by their word. Guido was a gentlemen and refused to throw the pie. So no pics.

I noticed that Open Source proponents using MacOS X have developed highly tuned excuses, similar to those that smokers have about why cigarettes are good for you.

Posted on 03 Aug 2004