Is that a slash in your dot?
Or are you just happy to… Err… Let’s not go there, shall we?
Some recent Slashdotting.
Most “main-stream” GNU/Linux distros nowadays go with the “pre-compiled packages” solution to software installation. This goes against the compile from source concept which is, for many GNU/Linux purists, the whole heart and soul of the whole GNU/Linux concept (or the bread-and-butter of it, pick your choice), as the actual compiling method allows the user to configure and customise the software to his needs, preferences and optimal system compatibility. This article tests both options.
One of the Mars rovers, Spirit, has lost one of it’s 6 wheels. Not bad for something that wasn’t supposed to last more than 3 months, now well into its second year, or to quote NASA “two years into its 90-day mission” Much like the Star Trek franchise which after almost 40 years into its 5 year mission has lost all the brakes.
Speaking of Open Source, the Economist runs a (somewhat clueless, it seems) article regarding open source projects, citing MySQL, Firefox and, well, Wikipedia as examples of a method of which “Its advantage is that anyone can contribute; the drawback is that sometimes just about anyone does.” Which serves as a lesson to kids everywhere that writing under the influence of drugs is not a good habit.
I think the biggest confusion here is by bundling open-source software projects with the “communal-edited” Wikipedia. Open-source projects are not chaotic, anarchic, or “contributed by anyone”. These projects have a maintaining body, which has the final word on what goes in and what not. Contributions are welcomed, but do not immediately become part of the product, even when the nature of the contribution is a free-for-all one. For example, while anyone can create a Firefox extension, those are not available as an integral part of the downloaded software (i.e. “The product”), but are presented on a separate “use at your own risk” basis. Other products, like the Debian Distro, goes even further and restrict the software packages submitting to authorised maintainers. This is why the Wikipedia concept is not a good example of Open-Source or, to quote the NYTimes, “Anonymous Source Is Not the Same as Open Source.” The “everyone can do anything” method is just not the same as open-source development, not by far.
And, a double-duo couple of two Microsoft issues:
An analysis of .NET usage in vista shows that “Vista has no services implemented in .NET“. Always nice to see a company backing up their own technology. Almost makes one wonder what are the Mono guys doing supporting this framework while its creators prefer running native code to utilising the .NET framework. Once again, it seems developers and companies are falling for Microsoft PR rather than the simple reality.
Which speaks volumes for the next article, claiming “Windows Vista’s tough approach to spyware may put anti-spyware companies out of business“. But seriously, folks. I’ll believe it when I see it. Marketing your yet-to-be-released product as “100% spyware proof” to a point where it will cause anti-spyware companies to go out of business just don’t cut it in my book. Remember Bill Gates announcement at 2004 that “Two years from now, spam will be solved“? Remember Gates claiming, this year, that Microsoft has, true to its word, eliminated spam? I just hope their concept of “eliminating spyware” isn’t as fuzzy as their concept of spam-removing.