I'm not going to make excuses as to why I haven't updated my blog in the last seven months. No one really wants to know anyhow. :-)
I'm back with a new focus on Java free software. I will be working with Java free software on the job and in other professional level projects, so there will be a lot more free software news coming from me now. I'll write about that at some other time.
Now moving right along...
The pond just got a whole lot bigger for the little folks...
I find Red Hat's leaving the consumer operating system market to concentrate on the enterprise market awesome news for the growth of Linux, but it's a bit sad. It marks the end of an era and the start of a new one for Linux. The most famous Linux distro is leaving its roots behind, maybe not in spirit, but at least in writing. :-)
The interesting thing is, this now leaves room in the consumer market for Mandrake to come back from bankruptcy. Now that the big fish has moved to other waters, suddenly there is a huge market gap to fill.
Of course, Mandrake now has even more competition than before, with Lindows and Xandros also positioning themselves in the consumer Linux market. Lindows goes for the computer newbie, while Xandros goes after the early adopter hardcore gamer that doesn't want to leave Windows games behind, doesn't know how to hack Linux either, they just want to move to this Linux thing because it's the cool new thing. I'm not sure which one has the higher market, but as Mandrake is the closer one to what Red Hat was, it may be the one to gain the top spot. I think Lindows and Xandros are positioning themselves in really narrow niche markets.
As for Fedora, I hope it turns out regular releases that compare in stability to the "old" RH Linux. I also hope it stays a volunteer-run project and doesn't go commercial. The world needs a showcase volunteer-run distro that doesn't require one to be a hard-core Linux hacker.
Disclaimer: I myself use Gentoo and Linux-From-Scratch for my development servers, so I'm not bashing hard-core distros. All I'm saying is that there are a lot more mainstream Linux users than hard-core Linux users, and I'd like Fedora to be there for the mainstream Linux users the way Red Hat's consumer Linux used to.
My best wishes to Red Hat and Fedora in the years ahead.
A little over a month has gone by since my last post. I got swamped with work from my job, and barely had any free time for hacking. Things have been back to normal for a week now.
Here's the summary:
Free Software in Puerto Rico Government
During this last month, the March 12-13 conference promoting broader free software use in the Government of Puerto Rico, was scaled way down in scope, because of lack of financial support. Now that this has passed into history, I am starting to plan a 'real' conference for some undetermined time in the future.
But first, I am exploring commercial sponsorship possibilities from the green-lizard and rouge-thing-on-the-head free-software companies, as well as the two-lettered computer hardware company and the three-lettered computer hardware company.
Mono and Gnome Hacking
I cleaned up some documentation in The Mono Handbook and began adding content to the introductions of the various ECMA standard .NET namespaces.
I am having a blast rewriting Same Gnome in Gtk# and Glade2. I didn't know Gnome2 programming could be so easy! :-) I am documenting my effort, to be included in The Mono Handbook as a case study of Gnome programming in Mono.
After I'm finished with Same Gnome, I'm converting GnomeCalc. :-p
Hacking the Linux kernel
My only solace during this last busy month was reading Understanding the Linux Kernel, Second Edition, during my lunch break and before bedtime. I also located a copy in good condition of Linux Core Kernel Commentary (aka LCKC) with the CD-ROM, which is now out of print. Finding this last book in good condition was a waste of time, because after only a week of use, the spine broke and the pages started coming unbound, which seems to be the fate of all LCKCs in existance. :-/
Good hardware is so cheap these days, I went and built a new spare PC, installed Debian GNU/Linux on it, plus the source of the last three releases of the 2.4 series kernel, some of Con Kolivas' patches and his contest benchmark. I grabbed the last three releases from the 2.5 series kernel as well, to keep track of the latest development. I also have installed LXR cross-references to all this source on my XBox Apache server.
It seems in my overenthusiasm, I misunderstood my invitation to the free software in government conference. I was asked to 'participate', and I assumed that meant that I was asked to speak. More details later.
New HTML Parser: The long-awaited libxml2 based HTML parser code is live. It needs further work but already handles most markup better than the original parser.
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If you're a C programmer with some spare time, take a look at the mod_virgule project page and help us with one of the tasks on the ToDo list!