GDT::FLOSS::Electronic Rambler::Archive::Year 2007

FLOSSER
I Need To Look At SAGE Someday
Mathematics software can be expensive and come with complicated licenses. Maybe FLOSS will come to the rescue.

From the SAGE homepage.

   "Use SAGE for studying a huge range of mathematics, including 
    algebra, calculus, elementary to very advanced number theory, 
    cryptography, numerical computation, commutative algebra, group 
    theory, combinatorics, graph theory, and exact linear algebra."

SAGE motto: "Building the Car Instead of Reinventing the Wheel."

SAGE software is written in Python.

SageMath.org:: Open Source Mathematics Software

[22 December 2007, top]

SourceForge.net Opens An Open Source Marketplace
SourceForge.net® has launched an "online marketplace for technology professionals to buy and sell service and support for open source software."
   "The demand for support around open source software continues 
    to grow.  We're extending what is already the world's most 
    open and transparent open source hub to allow technology 
    professionals to buy packaged support directly from the 
    creators of the software." -- Mike Rudolph, vice president 
    and general manager of SourceForge.net. 

At the time of this posting, SourceForge.net had 163,969 register projects and 1,742,705 registered users.

SourceForge.net:: Marketplace--Buy Service

[06 December 2007, top]

Sun Microsystems Offering Open Source Awards
Sun Microsystems needs to be given a Thank You for helping promote FLOSS.
   "Sun will be announcing a multi-year award program in support 
    of fostering innovation and advancing open source within our 
    open source communities. We'll be providing a substantial prize 
    purse and working with the communities involved to develop the 
    approach that works best."

ComputerWorldUK.com:: Sun promises prize money to boost open source efforts

[06 December 2007, top]

Open Source is a Pragma Versus a Method
The following is correct: "Open Source is more than just software - it is a way of doing things - not to be confused with best practices."

However, I never heard this before: "Open Source is a pragma versus a method."

I've always known pragma to be a preprocessor directive, but it works in the Open Source context when defined as a "practical approach to problems and affairs." [source:M-W.com]

I'm looking foward to reading Part II...

SysThread.net:: Facets of Open Source Part I

[24 November 2007, top]

Sun Microsystems Open Sources xVM
Virtualization appears as if it is a "growth" industry and Sun Microsystems has created the "openxVM" open source project. Sun's CEO, Jonathon Schwartz, announced that his company is allocating $2 billion in R&D to build "xVM."
   "xVM is the intersection of virtualization and management. 
    OpenxVM is a community hub for a number of related open 
    source projects that together create the next generation 
    of data center infrastructure."

   "By combining virtualization software and data center automation 
    tools, OpenxVM technology provides the technologies to operate 
    data centers at radically reduced costs."

openxVM.org:: Home Page

[15 November 2007, top]

MIT Makes Multics Source Code Available To All
Multics (Multiplexed Information and Computing Service) was a "mainframe timesharing operating system that began at MIT as a research project in 1965." Many consider Multics the "father" of Unix. According to MIT, the last Multics system was deactivated in 2000. MIT has received, as a gift from Bull HN, the source code for the final Multics release.

Web.MIT.edu:: Multics

[13 November 2007, top]

You Cannot Unfree Free
If you can't beat them, sue them.
   "About a month ago, Network Appliance sued Sun to try to stop the 
    competitive impact of ZFS on their business."--Jonathan Schwartz

Innovate/innovation are major buzzwords these days, but the FLOSSer likes to think they are also keywords.

   "I can understand why they're upset - when Linux first came on 
    the scene in Sun's core market, there were some here who responded 
    the same way, asking 'who can we sue?' But seeing the future, we 
    didn't file an injunction to stop competition - instead, we joined 
    the free software community and innovated."--Jonathan Schwartz

Free Software enables innovation.

ZFS is the Zettabyte File System and it "enables expensive, proprietary storage to be replaced with commodity disks and general purpose servers."

Once you experience freedom it is tough to give it up.

   "Their objectives were clear - number one, they'd like us to unfree 
    ZFS, to retract it from the free software community.  Which reflects 
    a common misconception among proprietary companies - that you can 
    unfree, free. You cannot."--Jonathan Schwartz

Blogs.Sun.com:: ZFS Puts Net App Viability at Risk?

[26 October 2007, top]

College Students Should Learn About OpenOffice
There was an email message sent to all faculty about students being about to get a good buy on Microsoft's Office 2007; however, the students needed a dot-edu email address to get the good buy. I (the FLOSSER) sent the following reply.

OpenOffice is a great way to expose students to Free Software and Open Source. OpenOffice can be obtained for free ($0) at http://openoffice.org

On 10 September 2007, IBM joined the OpenOffice.org project.

   "IBM will be making initial code contributions that it has been 
   developing as part of its Lotus Notes product, including 
   accessibility enhancements, and will be making ongoing 
   contributions to the feature richness and code quality 
   of OpenOffice.org. Besides working with the community 
   on the free productivity suite's software, IBM will 
   also leverage OpenOffice.org technology in its products."

OpenOffice.org:: IBM Joins OpenOffice.org Community

[11 October 2007, top]

BiOS--Open Source, Open Science, Open Society
The ideas behind the computing world's Open Source can be applied to other disciplines. BiOS (Biology Open Source) was created as a "response to inequities in food security, nutrition, health and natural resource management." The goal of BiOS is to "democratise problem solving to enable diverse solutions through decentralised innovation." BiOS is a project of CAMBIA and CAMBIA lists the following alliances: O'Reilly Media, Apache Community, OSDL (Open Source Development Lab), Apple, IBM, Google and the FSF (Free Software Foundation.

BiOS.net:: Open Source, Open Science, Open Society

[06 October 2007, top]

Linux Foundation to Microsoft: No More FUD
Many FLOSSers (i.e. users of Free/Libre and Open Source Software) consider Microsoft to be an evil empire. They might be right, but it could also be envy because many of them realize that in the computing world "size" matters.
   "While some of the mainstream press reported Microsoft's 
    statements as news, many journalists and bloggers keenly 
    identified the most intriguing aspect of this aggressive 
    maneuver: a glimpse of a threatened giant struggling to 
    keep a grasp on its empire. What most people don't realize 
    is that the story really isn't about patents at all--it's 
    about a rational actor trying to protect its privileged position."

What's FUD? FUD is Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt (or Deception).

   "We ask Microsoft to stop engaging in FUD campaigns that only 
    serve to undermine confidence in the U.S. intellectual-property 
    system. Instead, please work with us to make the patent system 
    tighter, more reasonable, and efficient for everyone in the 
    software business."

Is Microsoft a FUDder? Probably, but we're subjected by FUD all the time and Microsoft is not responsible for all FUD.

BusinessWeek.com:: Linux Foundation Fires Back at Microsoft
by Jim Zemlin, Linux Foundation Executive Director

"If you earned $34 million a day from Windows and Office, you too would try to spook the market with patent threats."

[23 September 2007, top]

Gartner Says Open Source Cannot Be Ignored
Network World reported that Gartner opened their Open Source Summit stating that "by 2011, at least 80% of commercial software will contain significant amounts of open source code." 80% is a high percentage, but Gartner's opinion comes as no surprise to today's FLOSSers.

NetworkWorld.com:: Open source impossible to avoid, Gartner says

[20 September 2007, top]

Software Freedom Day Was a Bust For This FLOSSer
Freedom Software Day was on Saturday, 15 September 2007. I attempted to do something at ASU, but failed. I thought I'd do something at SCC, but I ended up doing nothing.

The following is an email message I sent as part of preparing for Software Freedom Day in the Valley of the Sun.

   I visited the ASU Memorial Union (the student center) today 
   (Saturday at 11:30am) and it was virtually empty.  I visited 
   the computer commons and it was empty.  I suspect once the 
   semester gets up and running, the computer commons is a busy 
   place.  I will inquire to see if we can do anything inside 
   that building.

   I am not able to get to the campus this afternoon, but the 
   campus was dead when I left it today at about 12:30pm.  
   Granted, the humidity makes is zero fun to be outside, 
   but for today it was hard to believe that ASU is one of 
   the largest universities in the country.

   The Maricopa County Community College District is one of the 
   largest community college districts in the United States of 
   America.  We have physical space all over the Valley of the 
   Sun.  I wish I owned the land Gateway CC sits on (there's a 
   light-rail stop at Gateway). I'd like to see the campuses 
   morph into meeting areas for FLOSSers ( i.e. the users of 
   Free Software and Open Source). 

   I'm only 7^2+1 years young, but I sound like I'm 50 years old 
   when I say that the "whiteboard" is still the best tool for 
   collaboration.  The Maricopa Community Colleges have classrooms 
   that have whiteboards on all their walls (and now, via law, all 
   the classrooms have an American flag along with a copy of the 
   U.S. Constitution).   The whiteboards are grossly under-used 
   on all of our campuses. 

   The classroom connected to my office is empy from 12:00pm to 
   1:30pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays.  We have a Nanotech For 
   Nanonewbies meeting in that room on Thursday, 6 September 
   2007, and today, while wandering ASU, I've decided to have 
   a FLOSS presentation in that room on Thursday, 13 September 
   2007.  I will be able to get flyers posted/distributed to a 
   good number of students.  It will be interesting to see how 
   many attend.

[16 September 2007, top]

Sun Acquires Majority of Cluster File Systems' IP
Sun Microsystems announced they are acquiring the "majority of Cluster File Systems, Inc.'s intellectual property and business assets, including the Lustre File System." The following was copied from ClusterFS.com.
   "Lustre® is a scalable, secure, robust, highly-available 
    cluster file system. It is designed, developed and maintained 
    by Cluster File Systems, Inc."

   "Public Open Source releases of Lustre are available under the 
    GNU General Public License."

A Sun executive VP said, "This acquisition, coupled with the recent announcement of the Sun Constellation System, the most open petascale capable HPC architecture in the industry, shows our long-term commitment to the open source community and leadership in HPC."

Cluster File Systems Inc. announced that they are "now in the process of installing a 500+ TeraFlop and 1.7 PetaByte cluster at Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC)." Sun Microsystems is already involved with the TACC.

[12 September 2007, top]

Can FLOSSers Live in Bio- and Nano-Worlds?
I am seeing that it might be difficult for FLOSSers (i.e. people who use Free/Libre and Open Source Software) to keep the Free/Open mindset when hanging out in the bio- and nano-worlds. These days the bio- and nano-worlds are all about acquiring and securing IP (Intellectual Property). It is without question a great time to be a lawyer in these emerging future worlds.

[12 September 2007, top]

FLOSS Resources--Where To Start
September 15th is Software Freedom Day (SFD). SFD is a "worldwide celebration of Free and Open Source Software (FOSS). Our goal in this celebration is to educate the worldwide public about of the benefits of using high quality FOSS in education, in government, at home, and in business -- in short, everywhere!"

[22 August 2007, top]

Windows is Free, Not!
I can see where many computer users believe Windows is free (free as in free beer).

The following was posted to Slashdot.org.

   "Dave Gutteridge has an unusual take on why people are not 
    interested in saving money by using a free-as-in-beer OS 
    like Linux or *BSD: because Windows is free. At least, that 
    is an all-too-common perception, thanks to bundling and piracy. 
    Bundling is a well-known problem to the adoption of open source 
    operating systems, so Dave takes a look at the piracy issue in 
    depth. His title may offend you, but his well-written article 
    will most likely get you thinking hard about the question, 
    'how much does Windows cost?'"

TLUG.jp:: Windows Is Free

[16 August 2007, top]

Corporate Open Source Success is Important
ComputerWorld asked the head of the Linux Foundation the following question.
   "As you talk to people in the IT community about Linux 
    and open source, what is your main message today?"

Jim Zemlin's answer was as follows.

   "I'd like to be very clear with people that there is no inherent 
    risk of using open source as opposed to a proprietary license. 
    The reality is that the corporate success of this movement helps 
    the success of the free software movement. We all need everyone 
    to be successful right now. This is the fundamental thing about 
    open source -- that it's good for everyone. The passion that 
    Ubuntu generates is good for Red Hat and other vendors. We need 
    to keep our eye on that ball. Their success is ours."

ComputerWorld.com:: Q&A: Jim Zemlin touts the 'second phase' of Linux

[03 August 2007, top]

I'm Now a Member of the Free Software Foundation
It took me years, but on 16 July 2007 I finally became an associate member of the Free Software Foundation. I'm FSF member #5561 and I have the email address gthurman at member dot fsf dot org. The FSF advocates that "Free software is a matter of liberty not price."

FSF.org:: Free Software Foundation

[16 July 2007, top]

OSS Think Tank on Commercial OSS
The 2nd Open Source Think Tank was held during March of 2007. The event provides a "venue for thought leaders from key segments of the open source industry to collaboratively discuss, brainstorm and develop solutions to key issues in the growth and maturation of commercial open source."

The Open Source Think Tank was hosted by Olliance Group (open source business and strategy consulting firm) and DLA Piper (law firm). Plantium sponsors: Microsoft and Novell; Gold sponsers: NEC and Unisys; Silver sponsers: JasperSoft, OpenLogic and SugarCRM.

The following are some items I found noteworthy.

   + CIOs unanimously agreed that open source is viewed as a viable 
     option in software procurement decisions for their companies.
   + customers must perform a more thorough license review when 
     considering an open source solution
   + lack of commercially available support
   + integration and interoperability
   + lacks compliance with many standards
   + faster product cycles 
   + lower acquisition cost for open source is not seen as a major advantage 
   + monetizing open source remains a key challenge
   + balancing the needs of customers versus the interests 
     of the developer community
   + confusion over OSS license terms is a major issue

And about GPLv3...

   "Everyone agreed that most companies will implement hybrid models
    GPLv3 (draft 2) is accepted by some but disliked by most. Many open 
    source companies and customers had very strong negative opinions 
    about GPLv3 (draft 2), and will manage their organizations to 
    reduce their exposure to GPLv3."

ThinkTank.OllianceGroup.com::
2007 Open Source Think Tank: The Future of Commercial Open Source

[05 July 2007, top]

From 1776 to 1984 and Free Software
On July 4th of 2007, I was writing a BAB (Basic Arithmetic Bit) about the number 1776. My work on 1776 resulted in finding the following words from Richard M. Stallman (rms).
The Free Software Movement was founded in 1984, but its
inspiration comes from the ideals of 1776: freedom, community
and voluntary cooperation. This is what leads to free enterprise
to free speech, and to free software.

-- Richard M. Stallman (01953-?????) { from The GNU GPL and the American Way; more... } [freedom]

[05 July 2007, top]

Microsoft Signs Deals with Xandros and Linspire
Microsoft Corp. announced it will share technology with Linux distributor Xandros Inc. Xandros Linux market share is almost zero. The agreement is a "clause that protects Xandros customers from running afoul of Microsoft's legal machine for patent infringement" and the deal is similar to what Microsoft did with Novell.

In other Microsoft open source news, the company announced it will "license instant messaging and digital media technology to a small desktop Linux distributor, Linspire Inc. Linspire's CEO Kevin Carmony was quoted saying: "For me personally, Linux in its formative years was about, 'The reason you should pick Linux is, it's not Microsoft.'" Carmony is now "beyond that."

[16 June 2007, top]

FLOSS is an Industry
The FLOSS movement continues to be a movement and now it is being categorized as an "industry."
   [source: NewsFactor.com, 4 June 2007]
   "A new report by IDC concludes that stand-alone, open-source 
    software is poised to become a $5.8 billion industry by 2011, 
    up from $1.8 billion in 2006. That represents a compound annual 
    growth rate of 26 percent over that time period, and, according 
    to IDC, it might go higher."

I hadn't thought about this, but NewsFactor reported that Open Source software is being used as a "tool for negotiating with proprietary software vendors."

NewsFactor.com:: IDC: Open Source a $6B Industry by 2011

[06 June 2007, top]

Microsoft Says Linux Violates 235 Patents
Microsoft claims that Linux violates 235 of its patents and Fortune Magazine wrote an article on the topic that had some interesting quotes.

Eben Moglen (executive director of the Software Freedom Law Center) was quoted saying.

   "It's a tinderbox. As the commercial confrontation between 
    [free software] and software-that's-a-product becomes more 
    fierce, patent law's going to be the terrain on which a big 
    piece of the war's going to be fought. Waterloo is here somewhere."

Linus Torvalds (creator of the Linux kernel) was quoted saying.

   "The Free Software Foundation [Stallman's group] simply doesn't 
    have goals that I can personally sign up to. For example, the 
    FSF considers proprietary software to be something evil and 
    immoral. Me, I just don't care about proprietary software."

The following is another quote from Eben Moglen.

   "The free world says that software is the embodiment of knowledge 
    about technology, which needs to be free in the same way that 
    mathematics is free. Everybody is allowed to know as much of 
    it as he wants, regardless of whether he can pay for it, and 
    everybody can contribute and everybody can share."

Microsoft CEO, Steve Ballmer, was quoted saying.

   "We live in a world where we honor, and support the honoring 
    of, intellectual property.  [FLOSS patrons must] play by the 
    same rules as the rest of the business.  What's fair is fair."

Money.CNN.com:: Microsoft takes on the free world

[22 May 2007, top]

FLOSS Helping the Education World
It seems like the educational world should be strong advocates of FLOSS. Some examples... MIT's OpenCourseWare, Wikipedia, Linux, OpenOffice, Mozilla and Firefox--just to name a few.

OEDB.org:: How the Open Source Movement Has Changed Education: 10 Success Stories

[07 May 2007, top]

SugarCRM--Commercial Open Source Software
CRM is Customer Relations Management and lots of CRM systems have been created.

According to its website, SugarCRM is the "world's leading provider of commercial open source customer relationship management (CRM) software for companies of all sizes."

SugarCRM is considered 3rd-generation CRM. As of this posting, Cupertino, CA-based SugarCRM, which was founded in 2004, had about 90 employees.

SugarCRM.com:: SugarCRM defines the new CRM generation

[Extra] Scott McNealy (co-founder of Sun Microsystems) believes the government should never use open-source software--they should use commercial products based on open source.

[More Extra] Speaking of Sun Microsystems... The open source Apache project continues to have problems incorporating Java into their system. {News.Yahoo.com:: Apache Seeks Harmony with Sun}

[28 April 2007, top]

RMS Speaks At Lehigh University
Richard Stallman was a speaker at Lehigh University and here are some quotes from his talk.

On using proprietary software...

    "[...] divided because we can't make copies to help our neighbors 
     and helpless because we can't see the source code." 

On using cell phones...

   "You shouldn't use them, because of the software, but also, because 
    your cell phone is a tracking device, even when it is turned off."

On living cheaply... (this one made my quote collection)

   "Don't buy a house, a car or have children.  The problem is 
    they're expensive and you have to spend all your time making 
    money to pay for them."

LinuxInsider.com:: Free Software Foundation's Richard Stallman: 'Live Cheaply'

[10 April 2007, top]

Groklaw Interview with Richard Stallman
It is always fun to see what Richard M. Stallman (RMS) has to say. Stallman started the GNU Project and the Free Software Foundation in 1983 and 1985, respectively. On 3 April 2007, Groklaw posted an interview they did with RMS.
   "Well, every large program infringes lots of patents. Microsoft 
    has lots of patents. Most large programs, I would expect, infringe 
    some Microsoft patents. This just goes to show why software patents 
    shouldn't exist."

Saying "every" is a strong statement, but probably true.

   "The popularity of Flash has been a big problem for our community, 
    and we've been urging people not to use Flash for anything. However, 
    we've just about solved that problem and we're soon going to release 
    a version of Gnash which can even handle YouTube."

Having Flash capabilities will be nice.

Groklaw.net:: Interview with Richard Stallman on GPLv3 and More

[09 April 2007, top]

Eric Raymond Speaks About Open Source in 2007
Eric Raymond now believes Open Source got its beginnings back in 1961 and he is probably correct. Raymond says:
   "I have gradually come to understand that year zero of 
    our movement wasn't 1985, the year FSF was founded. I 
    now think perhaps it was 1961, the year MIT took delivery 
    of the first PDP-1 and the earliest group of self-described 
    'hackers' coalesced around it."

Open Source might be to popular to go away anytime soon and Raymond believes that for the sake of community it should continue to live. Raymond says:

   "The flip side is that if not for 'open source', the community 
    we cherish would be a significantly poorer, smaller, and more 
    fractured place today. That's reason enough to keep it."

Linux-Watch.com:: Eric Raymond: Yes, "open source" is still meaningful

[16 March 2007, top]

Open Versus Closed--It's a Matter of Security
The ACM Queue has article by Richard Ford of the Florida Institute of Technology. Ford says "that resolving the debate of whether open source or closed source software involves defining open source, closed source, and, perhaps most critical of all, security." In other words, the core of the open source versus closed source debate must be focused on which is most "secure." Without a definitive definition for "secure," the debate is somewhat moot.

Ford shares some common sense: "closed source, simply put, does not allow access to source code while open source does; similarly, most open source advocates support the legal modification and redistribution of distributed source code, while closed source proponents tend to oppose derivative works."

The ACM Queue highlighted the following from Ford: "Open source has advantages to both software hackers and defenders --for hackers, open source offers complete disclosure on the implementation of software features and transparent discussion of vulnerabilities and design decisions, while defenders can inspect the code to determine how secure features are. Meanwhile, closed source only provides code access to the small segment of a given community, meaning hackers must undertake an arduous process of reverse engineering, while users have little choice but to trust the vendor as to the product's security.

ACMQueue.com:: Open vs. Closed

[03 March 2007, top]

WordPress.org Server Cracked
Kudos to WordPress.org for calling a cracker a cracker.

A cracker "gained user-level access to one of the servers that powers wordpress.org, and had used that access to modify the download file." The cracker made code modifications that "allow for remote PHP execution."

WordPress is an Open Source project that was "started in 2003 with a single bit of code to enhance the typography of everyday writing and fewer users than you can count on your hands and toes. Since then it has grown to be the largest self-hosted blogging tool in the world, used on hundreds of thousands of sites and seen by tens of millions of people every day."

WordPress.org:: WordPress 2.1.1 Dangerous, Upgrade

[03 March 2007, top]

Stallman In Cuba Promoting Free Software
Richard Stallman (RMS), the founder of the Free Software Foundation, visited Cuba to promote the use of Free Software.
   "Stallman also warned that proprietary software is a security 
    threat because without being able to examine the code, users 
    can't know what it's doing or what 'backdoor' holes developers 
    might have left open for future entry."

RMS was quoted saying: "A private program is never trustworthy." Using the word "never" in a statement makes for a strong statement, but we are talking about Richard Stallman.

The following is a quote from Hector Rodriguez, who "oversees a Cuban university department of 1,000 students dedicated to developing open-source programs."

   "Two years ago, the Cuban free-software community did not 
    number more than 600 people ... In the last two years, that 
    number has gone well beyond 3,000 users of free software and 
    its a figure that is growing exponentially."

APNews1.iWon.com:: Cuba Embraces Open-Source Software

[17 February 2007, top]

Open Source: Predatory Versus Choice

Given the strength of the Open Source movement, it only makes business sense for companies to learn how to make money using and producing Open Source tools and products. I don't see Open Source as being "predatory." Instead, I see it as being a usable alternative (a choice).

Gordon Haff quoting James Robertson...

   "...had Microsoft released Visual Studio as free software 
    10 years ago, that almost certainly would have been seen 
    as predatory behavior."

Robertson is probably correct because many believe everything Microsoft does is "predatory."

Gordon Haff ended his posting with...

   "However, don't mistake it for altruism--and thereby get all 
    shocked and disappointed when the same companies take some 
    other action that is nakedly self-serving the next week."

A large majority of companies exist for one reason and one reason only--to make money.

Illuminata.com:: Predatory Open Source?

[16 February 2007, top]

Mitchell Baker Leads Mozilla Forward
Mitchell Baker is the president of Mozilla Corp. (the for-profit arm of the non-for-profit Mozilla Foundation) and she has the official title of "Chief Lizard Wrangler." Mitchell, providing proof that names can be mis-leading, is a woman whose first name is officially Winifred. In 2005, Time Magazine listed her as one of the "100 most influential people in the world."

INC.com:: Mitchell Baker and the Firefox Paradox

[Extra] I've added Mitchell's blog to my blogroll.

[14 February 2007, top]

Metcalfe Called Open Source 'Open Sores'
Robert Metcalfe has been inducted in the Inventor Hall of Fame. During the late 1990s, Metcalfe called Open Source the "Open Sores Movement."
   "The Open Source Movement's ideology is utopian balderdash 
    [... that] reminds me of communism. [...] Linux [is like] 
    organic software grown in utopia by spiritualists [...] When 
    they bring organic fruit to market, you pay extra for small 
    apples with open sores -- the Open Sores Movement. When 
    [Windows 2000] gets here, goodbye Linux."
   "Next, I predicted that the Internet would gigalapse before the 
    end of Y2K. I said I wouldn't eat my column, again, if the Internet 
    doesn't gigalapse, so the audience booed."

What's a gigalapse? "[the Internet] did not suffer a gigalapse during 1996 -- a billion lost user*hours in a single outage."

   "Unix and the Internet turn 30 this summer. Both are senile, according 
    to journalist Peter Salus, who like me is old enough, but not too old, 
    to remember. The Open Sores Movement asks us to ignore three decades 
    of innovation. It's just a notch above Luddism."

Yes, Metcalfe called the Open Source movement the "Open Sores Movement."

InfoWorld.com:: Linux's '60s technology, open-sores ideology won't beat W2K, but what will? [8 November 1999]

[14 February 2007, top]

Quackle is No Scrabble Quack (kwak!)
A computer program named Quackle won a best-of-five Scrabble contest over David Boys, a computer programmer who won the world Scrabble championship in 1995. David Boys won the first two games, but Quackle won the final three to win the series.

Quackle is an Open Source program designed by Jason Katz-Brown, a student at MIT.

Web.MIT.edu:: Quackle - kwak!

[14 February 2007, top]

Sun Microsystems Makes Fortress Open Source
Supercomputing has given Fortran new life. Sun Microsystems has a new program language named Fortress that they have released as open source. Sun says Fortress is a "replacement for the 50-year old Fortran language" and that it was designed through a Defense-Department supercomputing project. Sun hopes that "Fortress will be able to solve the problem of programs that do not scale very well, allowing them to utilize parallelism." Fortress allows programmers to use "ordinary mathematical expressions instead of having to translate formulas into the intricate syntax of computer languages."

[04 February 2007, top]

Not All FLOSS is Good
The following blurb by Charles Babcock...
   "There are 139,834 open source projects under way on 
    SourceForge, the popular open source hosting site. 
    Five years from now, only a handful of those projects 
    will be remembered for making lasting contributions--
    most will remain in niches, unnoticed by the rest of 
    the world. For every Linux, Apache, or MySQL, dozens 
    of other open source efforts fizzle out."
reminds me of a quote by Thomas Watson made back in 1943...
   "I think there is a world market for maybe five computers."

Babcock wrote: "If building open source code requires tactful leadership, short lines of communication, and trust among team members then [...]" I don't see why the "If" was necessary.

InformationWeek.com:: How To Tell The Open Source Winners From The Losers

[04 February 2007, top]

Open Source Book About Nanotechnology
From the Nanodot blog at Foresight.org we learned about an open source textbook on nanotechnology and nanoscience. The book starts with the following.
   "In his famous speech There's Plenty of Room at the Bottom in 
    1959, Richard Feynman discussed the possibility of manipulating 
    and controlling things on a molecular scale in order to achieve 
    electronic and mechanical systems with atomic sized components. 
    He concluded that the development of technologies to construct 
    such small systems would be interdisciplinary, combining fields 
    such as physics, chemistry and biology, and would offer a new 
    world of possibilities that could radically change the technology 
    around us."

Wow... 1959... Feynman was a visionary. [Feynman died in 1988.]

Wikibooks.org:: The Opensource Handbook of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology

[28 January 2007, top]

Making Software Patents History?
I refuse to call it a revolution, but Free Software and Open Source is a movement. I could argue that software patents should be voided in order to software to take full advantage of high-performance computing. Let the geeks go wild having supercomputers at their fingertips.

Money.CNN.com:: Linux group asks Supreme Court to nix all software patents

[19 January 2007, top]

Client-Side of Second Life Going Open Source
According to the Wikipedia, "Second Life (abbreviated SL) is an online virtual world provided by Linden Lab which came to international attention in late 2006 and early 2007. Through a client program, subscription-based users interact with other users through avatars, providing an advanced social network service." An avatar is an incarnation a higher- or supreme-being.
   "Aiming to take advantage of its already-impressive momentum, 
    San Francisco's Linden Lab, developer of the Second Life virtual 
    online world, will announce Monday that it is taking the first 
    major step toward opening up its software for the contributions 
    of any interested programmer."

   "The company will immediately release open source versions of its 
    client software for Windows, Mac OS, and Linux. In order to enter 
    and move around the Second Life service, users must download and 
    run this software on their computer desktop. But now, says Linden 
    CEO Philip Rosedale, independent programmers will be able to 
    'modify it, fire it up and sign on with it.'" 

Note: Only the client-side of Second Life is being open sourced. The back-end will remain proprietary software.

Money.CNN.com:: Second Life to go open source

[08 January 2007, top]

About the FLOSS E-Rambler
The FLOSS E-Rambler (FLOSSER) is excited about the increasingly popularity of Free/Libre and Open Source Software (FLOSS). The FLOSSER was started on 18 September 2004 and it enters 2007 with 99 postings.

FLOSSER Archives: 2006 | 2005 | 2004

[01 January 2007, top]


Author: Gerald D. Thurman [deru@deru.com]
Last Modified: Saturday, 05-Jan-2013 11:18:37 MST

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