Where are they now?
Jan 18, 2012 GMT
Years ago, the short-lived Maximum Linux magazine ran a graphic showing Eric Raymond, Richard Stallman, and Linus Torvalds wearing the gang colors of open source. Naturally, Stallman protested in the next issue that he was an advocate of free software, not open source, but the point is that, back then, it was easy to point out the leaders of free and open source software (FOSS) in a way that would be impossible today. And I can't help thinking that's a healthy sign.
I was reminded of how much things have changed when I more »
GRUB 2 Editor
Jan 13, 2012 GMT
Mostly, I prefer using a command line for system administration. However, I'm willing to rethink this preference in the case of the GRUB 2 Editor for KDE.
Not too long ago, editing the GRUB boot manager was a straightforward task. You edited a text file directly, and, if in the long intervals between changes you forgot the structure of a boot entry, you could usually figure out what to do from existing entries. About the hardest thing to remember if you didn't have an example to crib from was how to boot an... more »
Internet access and human rights
Jan 05, 2012 GMT
This morning, Tim O'Reilly linked with apparent approval to Vinton G. Cerf's New York Times editorial, "Internet Access Is Not a Human Right". Technically, Cerf is correct, but I'm not sure that the distinctions he makes are ones that should be insisted upon too strongly.
Internet technologies have been an enabler of the Arab Spring, and a few... more »
Comparing DuckDuckGo with the Search Giants
Dec 26, 2011 GMT
Reviewing the latest Linux Mint release, I discovered the DuckDuckGo search engine. Linux Mint is using DuckDuckGo as its default search engine in a revenue sharing plan, and, given DuckDuckGo's friendliness to free software, as well its privacy tools, the choice is one that should appeal to many. But how does DuckDuckGo's search results compare to that of the search giants Google and Bing?
I'm still working out a detailed answer to that question. For one... more »
New Survey on Gender Indicates Increased Awareness
Dec 20, 2011 GMT
For several years, people have talked about updating the FLOSSPOLS survey about gender in the open source community. Now, Roberto Galoppini, Senior Director of Business Development at Geeknet, is actually doing it, posting the same questions used by FLOSSPOL as a new survey. The survey is still going on, but preliminary results... more »
In Defense of Free Riders
Dec 08, 2011 GMT
Free riders, people who contribute nothing to the software they use, are to free and open source software (FOSS) what illegal downloaders are to the Recording Industry Association of America. They're people who are perceived as getting away with something, and are the subject of periodic rants. Really, though, I don't see what the fuss is about.
Yes, FOSS projects might be better off if everyone who used their software contributed code, time, or cash. Projects could be finished faster, and core... more »
Back to the Future with GNOME Shell Extensions
Dec 02, 2011 GMT
When GNOME 3 was released, the marketing material emphasized how the new interface was uncluttered and contained nothing that users didn't need. In effect, the advertising copy was a repudiation of everything that the GNOME 2 series had become after seventeen incremental releases in nine years.
A praiseworthy cleanup, you might imagine. So why are most of the extensions for GNOME 3 designed to put the clutter back, and make GNOME 3 look and act more like GNOME 2?
Not all the extensions... more »