Gnome Summit

by Miguel de Icaza

Today it was the second day of the Gnome Summit. Peter took various yesterday, which are now available here .

I arrived at MIT around 2pm, and went to the hacking room. But found nobody there, which I found quite surprising. It would take me 90 minutes to figure what had happened: everybody was at the Rob Pike presentation. At this point, I ran to the presentation, but people were coming back, and found Rob with a group of people coming towards the hacking room.

The good news is that the discussion about Rob's work continued on the hacking room, and I got to catch up on his presentation on the plumber. As part of his plumber presentation, there were various Plan-9 features discussed, which are always nice to see.

Posted on 19 Jul 2002


by Miguel de Icaza

The big news today is that Paolo fixed the last remaining problems in the runtime and the compiler and we are now completely self hosting on Linux. Which is good.

I am still working on the new type lookup system that should close various bugs in the compiler.

Martin Baulig will be an intern over at Ximian for a couple of weeks during the summer. These are great news, because he is the man behind the debugging support in Mono. Great news. Just great.

Duncan has been busy writing sample applications for Gtk#, so we can stress test the bindings, and we can have something nice to show for the O'Reilly conference.

Posted on 16 Jul 2002


by Miguel de Icaza

I have signed my lease to my new apartment. Very cool, and in a nice location. Will be moving out by the end of August.


Switched to the development branch of Evolution (RupertZilla) for my day to day work. I use a peculiar view of the calendar and have a lot of information, which made Evolution 1.0.x quite slow. The new version is about three times faster.

Also, incorporating e-mail into evolution is dramatically faster for indexed mailboxes, thanks to Michael Zucchi for the new indexing engine which can cope much better with large volumes of e-mail.

Finally, the new user interface touches are really nice in RupertZilla, something that I was missing. I decided to switch because all of the bug reports that I had filed before in Bugzilla have been taken care of now.

Also, the new composer is gorgeous, and allows for multiple-language spelling. Since I write in Spanish and English this is very helpful.

Posted on 15 Jul 2002


by Miguel de Icaza

Jos� Barber�n, which was my boss while working for the PRD during the 1994 elections died this morning. He studied the results of the 1988 and 1994 elections, and found plenty of evidence of the tampering of the electoral results.

His findings were documented in "Radiorgraf�a del Fraude". What nobody realized is that it was possible to plot the results from the elections. You would expect a regular population distribution, but instead the results for the election showed the PRI winning with abnormalities in the population graphics, they called this phenomenon the "crocodile's tail" because of the shape of the graph.

A typical graph would look like this (plotting the percentage with which a given party won per locality):

This is how the PRI won in several states:

What that means is that there were many places where the PRI won the election completely (100% votes of the votes) which is an anomality, particularly in Chiapas.

Sorry for the poor graphs ;-)

A quote I found online for the book:

"The statisticians found two telltale signs of massive tampering. In place of the single bell-shaped curve that would be expected to describe the distribution of votes obtained by each party, the PRI was found to have two such curves: one centered around a mean of 36 percent (its true national average), and the other peaking around an implausible 100 percent."

"A second diagnostic test revealed the provenance of these 'unanimous' results. Whereas totals for each of the opposition parties had last digits that occurred with roughly equal frequency, the last digit of PRI totals was 60 percent more likely to be a zero, indicating that the PRI had inflated its totals by simply adding zeros to its actual vote count."

Last year he begun leading the effort to make the Mexico City government move to Linux.

Many people in the Linux community in Mexico had been working with his teams bringing Linux to the administration.

We will miss him.

Posted on 09 Jul 2002


by Miguel de Icaza

The University of Mariland's Fishcal user interface for calendars seems like a good place to borrow ideas for things that we can do with Mono, Gtk# and Evolution.

Posted on 08 Jul 2002

More on the RIAA

by Miguel de Icaza

Janis Ian:

Costing me money? I don't pretend to be an expert on intellectual property law, but I do know one thing. If a music industry executive claims I should agree with their agenda because it will make me more money, I put my hand on my wallet?and check it after they leave, just to make sure nothing's missing


Again, from personal experience: in 37 years as a recording artist, I've created 25+ albums for major labels, and I've never once received a royalty check that didn't show I owed them money.

The article goes on to explain what things the RIAA should do if they really cared about artists (they dont) instead of caring only for their own profits.

The issue here is profits: The artist needs are not going to enter the picture, unless they will help profits. In the above article, a nice case is made.

Courtney Love said the same thing two years ago in Courtney Love does the Math in Salon.

Peru report

In Peru, the free software law is getting very good coverage.

The coverage is in depth, with interviews to the congressmen behind the law, and what it means to people.

In spanish.


Another real hero speaks: Why I wont serve Sharon:

No more. No more excuses. We members of Courage to Refuse, reserve soldiers who have vowed not to serve in the occupied territories, will not set foot beyond the 1967 line unless it is in civilian clothes and as invited guests.

Posted on 05 Jul 2002

Palestine thoughts

by Miguel de Icaza

Recently I was having a discussion about the Palestine situation with my friend Jody. And there are a couple of things that I have been thinking about since that discussion:

First, we should all strive to preserve Human Rights. That is the only foundation in which we can have a meaningful debate.

Take a look at the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. And ask yourself whether Ariel Sharon is violating or not human rights.

Second, Spain has dealt in a pretty interesting way with terrorism in the Basque country. For instance, they have not resorted to establishing curfews on the entire population because there are terrorist groups in the region.

They have not resorted to blaming the entire Basque countrie for the crimes of a few.

A million people in Palestine are under curfew, that is also a human rights violation.

Bush's plan on Palestine

What an Israel Officer has to say about Bush's policy on the Middle East.


An article on peace activism in Israel: here

More Killing

Ha'arez reports on `How Abd a-Samed became the 116 child killed in Gaza'. 26% of those killed in Gaza are children.

Libert�, Egalit�, Fraternit�.

Rodolfo said something very interesting in Uruguay. In modern culture, most people realize the importance of the french revolution's "Libert� and Egalit�" (although, as some people say, those with money are more equal than others). But we do not generally acknowledge the importance of the Fraternit� piece.

Gnome has been for some time been seen as a hippy project, because we originally used some nice flowers on our web site. I think that many of the people involved with gnome and free software were of the fraternit� kind.

Anyways, something worth keeping in mind.


Interesting list of questions and answers on the Palladium.

This raises the question of whether governments are serving the people that elect them, or are serving other interests. The war on drugs, the Ucita, the Dmca, the war on communism, and the war on terror.

Posted on 02 Jul 2002


by Miguel de Icaza

Today I was invited to do a talk to a group of people at one of the banks in Porto Alegre, Banrisul. I did the same Gnome presentation that I had done the day before. After the presentation was over, I saw some of the work that the bank has been doing with free software.

The ATM machines that they started rolling out in 2000 are all Linux-based systems, and I had a chance to see the ATM machine boot: the traditional Linux boot sequence is shown, followed by the X startup and finally the ATM application runs.

Not only is the bank rolling out ATM machines with Linux-based systems and their own software, but the terminals that are being deployed are running Linux systems as well.


Marcelo and I later on went to meet with some of the Debian developers from Porto Alegre in a Churrasquer�a, the food was most excellent. First you begin by getting some salads from the salad bar and some rice and beans, and then you wait for your choice of meat to arrive. The waiters bring different kinds of cuts to the table, and you pick the pieces you like the most.

We created an interest group: Gnome-RS (Rio Grande do Sul) to start developing and contributing to the Gnome effort.

Yerba Mate in the central market in Porto Alegre.

Remembering Arturo, I ordered a Guaran� drink (people remember Arturo fondly, not only for his passion for the Guaran�, but also for his crazy pupilo-adventures in town).

Porto Alegre

Porto Alegre is the home for the World Social Forum. Whose motto is: "Another World is Possible". They have taken this principle to practice with the Participative Budget.

Basically, the people decide what the budget should be spent on and the government just executes on the decisions from the people (Unesco report)

Posted on 28 Jun 2002

Gnome 2.0

by Miguel de Icaza

As GNOME 2.0 was being announced in Ottawa, we did our own introduction of Gnome at the UERGS. The State University of Rio Grande do Sul. This university is has deployed in all the desktops Gnome.

They want us to change the default in Gnumeric, Abiword and OpenOffice to store the files in Office 95 format. This is important because not everyone uses the same spreadsheet all the time: some people prefer Gnumeric and Abiword for quick documents, and some other prefer the larger OpenOffice applications.

They are using a customized version of the Conectiva Linux distribution that includes the Ximian Gnome.

I met with Vagner from Conectiva, and hoped that Conectiva would include more support for Gnome in their distribution. We are interested to work with them.

Porto Alegre Government

Marcelo had arranged a meeting with the vice-governor of Porto Alegre to discuss the impact of free software and Gnome. Marcelo reports directly to the vice governor office and he is a liason with the UERGS.


That afternoon I did a talk on Mono, and some bits about Gnome at the Federal University. The talk went pretty well, it was mostly a technical presentation on Mono: the history behind it, and the reasons to develop it.

I was exhausted at this point.


The last stop of the day was a meeting with Marcos Manzoni and other representatives of Procergs the state software development company. They have a very nice piece of software called Direto GNU which is a web-based groupware solution written in Java.

The question of building a protocol handler for calendars to Evolution came up. We have to research what is the status of the CAP protocol, because the last time we looked at that at Ximian, it was still a protocol either in flux or broken.

Later that night, we went for a traditional dinner at a churrasco restaurant. Here you can see me dressed as a RS Gaucho

Posted on 27 Jun 2002


by Miguel de Icaza

After catching up some sleep (very little) Haroldo and Rodolfo showed up at my hotel with some Mate to drink and took me to our next destination: Unesco.

I met with Cl�udio Menezes at the Unesco offices in Montevideo which is a Regional Adviser in the Communication and Information Sector.


Before departing to the next city, we had lunch at the downtown market. Here you can see some of the delicious food we were about to have.

Porto Alegre

My next destination was Puerto Alegre. Pretty tired at this point after all these meetings, but I had a lot of fun.

Puerto Alegre was the last destination of my trip.

At my next destination Marcelo would pick me up at the airport. I almost do not make it into Porto Alegre, as there was no time to get a visa for Brasil, but various guys in Puerto Alegre managed to expedite my visa application.

Arturo had been in Puerto Alegre before, when he was working on the Red Escolar project in M�xico. The people from Procergs in Porto Alegre had taken some of the ideas from Arturo's work and continued it. One of the major changes from Arturo's project to the one being deployed in Rio Grande do Sul is that they have switched to Debian as the distribution for their own Scholar Network project.

Marcelo had also arranged a pretty active agenda in Puerto Alegre, but for now, it was time to sleep some.

Posted on 26 Jun 2002

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