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Name: David Reid
Member since: 2000-10-15 00:29:17
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Homepage: http://www.david-reid.com/


I'm a member of the ASF and try to contribute to Apache as often as I can. I have worked with many operating systems and the one that comes closest to being ideal (note I didn't say perfect!) was BeOS, now sadly defunkt. I run various flavours of BSD and Windows (until I can find something that can replace it totally).


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Well, it finally happenned! The server has died yet again and given it's somewhat strange departure (dying and being reborn a number of times overnight before it's final curtain call) it might be fatal this time. Time to source a new server and get the old one replaced! Of course startig such an undertaking at 5pm on a Saturday isn't ever going to work, and as I'll be away for much of next week it'll be even more stressful than it might otherwise be :(

I'm hopeful that tomorrow after a swift kick from a size 12 it'll rejoin civilised society and give ma the time to ease the transition, but my luck isn't normally that good so no money will be riding on that bet!

Some interesting developments wlesewhere in life though I still find myself battling a cross-compile of gcc at present. That battle has a few rounds to play out yet, but until the server issue is resolved we've agreed a truce :)

4 May 2003 (updated 4 May 2003 at 09:27 UTC) »

I don't think that many folks here will have seen this, but while the english in the post isn't perfect it's well worth reading. Frans has been a friend for a while and I was very sad to read this :(


He's very open and honest and I wonder how many people who frequent this site can't see at least some of their own behaviour in what was written?

7 Apr 2003 (updated 7 Apr 2003 at 11:44 UTC) »

April already! Wow, time really does fly :)

I've been following the developments in the BeOS world over the last few weeks (http://www.beosjournal.org is a useful site if you get over the horrible look) and I've got mixed feelings.

I've written here before about OpenBeOS and why I left that project, but being honest looking at the website and browsing the recent newsletters they've posted I'm glad I did. The in-jokes, constant Palm baiting and general feeling of standing still are overwhelming. Recent newsletters seem like they're being written just to fill space! Sorry, but the one thing that the project needs is to be taken seriously, and recently they've been doing more and more to move away from that!

I appreciate that the BeOS community wants something to look forward to, but I really think that the love affair they have with OBOS and the ignoring of it's faults isn't healthy for the community or OBOS.

Zeta looks much more interesting and may well be what the community have been waiting for. They've played the game close to their chest with few details being released and that has attracted some critisism, but overall I think they've done it the right way. Results look promising and the pre-release "buzz" is that it's good. Good enough to make an impact? We'll have to wait and see but let's hope so for Yellow Tab.

Hmm, forgot to mention that I actually did some work on my idea for a central place for driver information, though it's not yet finished! Where am I supposed to find time for all the things I want to do? Someone invent a way to give me 36 hours per day and I might make more progress :) Anyone who's interested can find it here


If people want to help out then that'd be cool so they should email me direct at david at jetnet dot co dot uk.

20 Mar 2003 (updated 20 Mar 2003 at 23:31 UTC) »

Wow, has it really been that long since I posted? Guess it has...

Life has been through it's usual cycle of ups and down since my last posting, though generally on an upward slant. I'm still developing and writing code though not in as public an arena as I have been for the last few years. My decision to get involved in what is essentially a closed source project will surprise some folks I'm sure so I'll try to outline why :)

Open source projects need only one thing to function well - a large body of interested people actively developing the code. That's the conclusion that I've come to after several years of being involved in various oss projects. The lack of a large body of people working will result in one or two doing the majority of the work, with little or no review of the code and the resulting bugfest will be immense in proportions! Bugs are only one of the problems though. OSS projects by their definition don't tell people what to work on so people scratch their own itch. With alarge body of developers this isn't a problem as invariably there will people scratching all the itches, but as the body of developers shrinks so to does the number of itches being scratched. The recent spate of postings about XF86 seem to echo my feeling quite well.

In the situation where you have a few developers working on a project the other problem that gets generated is all the "hangers on" who feel that they can comment on all aspects of the project. done correctly and in a constructive way this can be very helpful, but more often than not the comments are along the lines of "why don't you do this..." with no suggestions or helpful comments. How often have you been working on a prohject and read such emails? Let's be honest, they're not very helpful or encouraging are they?

The combination of these problems has led me to where I'm currently devoting my time. The source may be closed and the development team is small, but we are following the best OSS principals in how we approach the work - CVS, mailing lists, IRC and peer review of commits.

Don't get me wrong, I think OSS is a great motivator and in many cases produces better software than would otherwise result, but I don't think it's right for all projects. The existance of openly available code is wonderful and empowers much development that wouldn't otherwise be possible.

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