by Miguel de Icaza

Yesterday I decided to use one of those nifty installation images that we have in the internal network to perform an OS upgrade on my machine. The only problem is that the images we have on the network are designed for quick-installs: no questions asked. A tiny bit of information that escaped me as I live life in the fast lane.

This time I avoided spilling the coffee on the keyboard, but I was a few seconds too late to unplug the power and remove the battery of the computer when I saw the message that said `Formatting hard drive'. I was expecting an upgrade, and I got a reinstall image.

Anyways, I managed to recover my partition setup by using a nifty tool called gpart which guesses my partitions (Linux, swap and Windows). But some data was corrupted, after running fsck on the file system, tons of files ended up in lost+found, all kind of very scary error messages were shown up, and many files on my machine ended up with large blobs of zeros in the middle.

Happy for me, I had done a backup of the anonymous method support for MCS, which has not been checked in into CVS, but plenty of e-mail and images that I had not copied to my server got corrupted.

For now, I have decided to install on a separate hard drive and machine.

Perrspectives update on Google

Jon has posted an update to the baning of his web site from Google advertisement: The Google Freedom of Information Act. His site has some updates on Google inconsistency here

Macromedia Flex

Very nice development platform for GUI applications, which happens to generate code that will run on the Flash Player VM. The widget set is very flash-like, and has the standard set of components you would expect from a widget set, and the components are tied together with their implementation of ECMA Script.

Since the VM is the same across all platforms the code runs on Linux, Windows and the Mac unmodified, I am pleasantly surprised by the results.

Microsoft's Avalon is doing something very similar to this, but the Macromedia markup is not only simpler, but also cross platform from the client to the server.

Posted on 13 Jul 2004

Sport Model GC

by Miguel de Icaza

Chris Toshok has been removing the Java-isms from the Mozilla Sport Model GC.

A GC done in 1998 for Mozilla's own implementation of Java (Eletrical Sheep) which is concurrent, generational, precise and has a C API.

Sport Model is available from the Mozilla tree as: mozilla/ef/gc

Posted on 03 Jul 2004


by Miguel de Icaza

The Glitz hackers at Usenix did a mind-blowing demostration of their technology and how Cairo applications benefit from their OpenGL accelerated graphics support.

They have modified the SVG rendered from Cairo as a simple presentations program: wonderful 3D-based transitions, very clearly rendered text, smooth and zoomable.

Posted on 01 Jul 2004

Mono 1.0 is out

by Miguel de Icaza

We vastly underestimated the Slashdot effect. There were 85k hits in the first hour since we went live, and then the machine collapsed under the weight and has remained in that state despite repeated attempts to get some data out of it.

None of the betas really had this problem, we got some mild load, but today the load on the machine was insane.

I made a few posts today: New Windows.Forms plan, the new cvs rules in the post 1.0 world and finally a thank you note to developers.

Mike Kestner has posted an update on Gtk# in the release.

Afternoon at Usenix

I had a great afternoon at Usenix, met lots of good friends again.

Tomorrow: Rob Pike's keynote at 9am.

Posted on 30 Jun 2004

Tiny Follow up on CORBA

by Miguel de Icaza

The OMG is one step ahead: they have a RFP for the Minimal CORBA. Beautiful.

Apple's new Spotlight and Beagle

Apple's new Spotlight is remarkably similar to Nat's Beagle and Nat's Dashboard.

Nat's tool was demostrated yestearday at GUADEC, here is a photo from the talk.

Posted on 29 Jun 2004

On following the C# standard

by Miguel de Icaza

I have been asked recently whether we should fork the C# language and add extensions and improvements to the language and the class libraries to deviate from Microsoft (there are plenty of little small things that can be done with relatively no effort).

I do not believe that making the Mono C# compiler incompatible with the Microsoft and the ECMA standard is a good idea. A big benefit of having a compatible language is that source code can be interchanged between the two platforms with ease. If we were to modify the language to have features not found in the Microsoft compiler, we would make the life of our end users (software developers) harder for no good reason.

On the other hand, I would encourage folks to prototype their ideas on the compiler: if your idea is great, we could help drafting a proposal and bring that forward to ECMA and Microsoft, and who knows, it could even become part of the standard.

Nullable types

I personally did not like the C# language support for nullable types I felt they had no place in the language, and I think a lot of people feel the same way.

I changed my opinion on its usefulness when I explained them to a couple of friends: they immediately saw the benefits to them. It was clear that my programmer background was not the same programmer background that nullable types addressed.

Posted on 28 Jun 2004

Corba, Web Services and Mono

by Miguel de Icaza

A good friend was asking me about why I had abandoned CORBA (I did not). Here is my response:

On the CORBA question: I have not particularly abandoned the idea of CORBA. It was just that CORBA as a platform to solve the multi-lingual issue was too hard (too huge of an investment, steep learning curve). In fact, I would like to use more of IIOP as a replacement for remoting and web services in key places.

I think that *some* elements of CORBA are extremely useful and are better than many of the Microsoft proposed APIs/protocols, but the problem with CORBA is that you must move carefully: it is too easy to get trapped in that world of standards and try to implement and use everything.

Some bits of CORBA are extraordinary, but teaching it is hard given the large scope of it: what pieces of it must be ignored and what pieces are followed is a tricky part.

I think the Next Generation Web Services (WS-*) world has reached the same level of complexity that CORBA achieved in an effort to satisfy the users requests. It seems that WS-* is a victim of its own success: once SOAP web services could be produced and consumed easily with `netcat', but today, realistically to integrate with any of the advanced features you need a stack as complete and as complex as the various CORBA implementations.

Web Services were pushed in the same direction that CORBA was used, and it started to get used in places where CORBA was used, and they ended up with pretty much the same thing CORBA had, and sadly without some of the benefits of it. Not a particularly fascinating subject.

Speaking of fascinating technologies, a few ex-CORBA people went to create a new RPC stack with a very precise set of features at ZeroC. It is called Ice

I first heard about Ice from Vladimir, who wrote his own implementation of the protocol in C#. It is available from the Mono CVS repository, and is a subset the features offered by ZeroC's product. ZeroC's product is dual licensed: GPL and Commercial and today they support Java and PHP with a C# version in the works.

Posted on 27 Jun 2004

Fahrenheit 9/11

by Miguel de Icaza

Having being subject to three years of propaganda, this movie feels like an Oasis.

Too short, seems like a lot of interesting material was left out.

Posted on 26 Jun 2004

Microsoft demoing Mono

by Miguel de Icaza

Various reports have arrived that Microsoft was demoing Mono at the LinuxDays. I do not have more data other than a Windows machine was used to build a web application, copied to Linux and ran there and that they also showed Monodoc.


Mandatory Movie

Got tickets for the worst possible time for Farenheit's 9/11 showing tonight. I underestimated the demand, all the other showings were sold out.

Mono Freeze

The Mono Freeze has continuted in preparation for the 1.0 release, everything is looking good.

Posted on 25 Jun 2004

Google censors Persspectives

by Miguel de Icaza

My friend Jon Perr was running a political commentary site, called Perrspectives and using Google adwords to advertise it.

Here is the tale of the adwords censoring his site.

Posted on 23 Jun 2004

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