Just got back from Kings Island... I had a great time,
except that I missed the Vortex, and the Son of Beast
wasn't running. :-(
The new Face/Off ride was really cool. Also, the Beast and
Outer Limits are always a thrill.
It seems that a few people do read these diary entries.
Hi Jonathan and
Michael, glad to run across some familiar faces.
Jonathan, thanks for the M4 info, I'll look into using
it for the next batch of Aggregate web pages.
Speaking of which... On Saturday I spent about an hour
rummaging around the web pages of the University of Sao Paulo
in Brazil trying to find a research project page from the
past...and, no, I don't know Portuguese. Eventually I found
it: they had made a "new" web site for their project, and
only left behind those stupid 404 errors at their old web
page. grrr... So I guess I'm wondering, is there some easy
way to make an entire old web-page-heirachy not become 404's,
but instead a pointer to the new site. If this was easier to
do, there might be fewer broken/dead-end links out there.
The Sao Paulo page I was looking for was their reference
to our work with the
project. I was looking for
that, since I think the next update to
The Aggregate site
should be a pile of links to users of our technology.
I know its out there in many places, but we've not
been keeping track of how many people actually use
our public domain technology.
Anyway, I guess my point/question is "Is there a non-
invasive, ethical, easy, and
regularly used method for tracking how many, and/or who, is
using a particular free/open source software package?"
I don't like the idea of making people fill out some form
first before the can download our software. Especailly since
that doesn't correlate to who actually uses it for anything.
I have filled out those "registration forms" for a variety of
open software packages, and yet, I'm not sure I still use, or
ever actually used any of them beyond the first run or two.
Including an annoying "Please don't forget to register your
XYZ software" each time it is run is out of the question.
I've had programs crash from broken registration-reminder
features! Also, the idea of having a
software package check in with its "authors" over the
internet each time it's run is repulsive to me. I guess in
the form of a feature to "automatically/periodically
(with permission) check for the latest version of itself"
might be a sensible way to measure the number of real users
of said package.
I guess you could even make it check in anonymously by
default. Hmmm, I wonder if the recent spat of commercial
software packages that have "auto-update" features are really
serving the "demographics department" more than the user...
Probably the best thing I can do would be to put up
a voluntary registration form for people who wish to
be linked in as "part of the user community" for XYZ... hey,
isn't that sort of what Advogato is doing!
I'm rambling... time for sleep.