Skip to main content

Ralsina.Me — Roberto Alsina's website

Me and FLOSS in the late '90s

I have no idea how, but I ran in­to this in Lin­ux­to­day:

KDE Pro­gram­ming Tu­to­ri­al 0.2 (Dec 22nd 1998, 00:09:36 )

Rober­to Alsi­na an­nounced that he up­load­ed to ft­p.kde.org the ver­sion 0.2 of his ex­cel­lent pro­gram­ming tu­to­ri­al. It is al­so avail­able here. Hope­ful­ly, this must-have ma­te­ri­al will be soon in­clud­ed in the kdes­dk pack­age and in CVS.

Now, this was pret­ty shock­ing be­cause I don't re­mem­ber writ­ing it (any­one knows where a copy may be?). I have no idea what was in it, and in fac­t, the idea of peo­ple learn­ing C++ from me in 1998 is so stupid it's shock­ing, since I knew very lit­tle.

Then it hit me, the URL! Ul­tra­7? That was my 486 at col­lege 1.

It had a web­server? What on earth had I been drink­ing back then? Why can't I re­mem­ber this???

Way­back ma­chine, come here! Fetch!

Here's my first home page. I must say it's pret­ty good. It's not gar­ish. Very We­b2.0 in the abun­dant white space.

First in­ter­est­ing thing: there is at least one ex­tant copy of PyX­Forms, my first free soft­ware pro­jec­t, used by ab­so­lute­ly noone.

And there are even two cool screen­shot of a func­tion­al pro­gram noone ev­er used 2:

im1im2

In fac­t, I have no idea how I did that high­light­ed mes­sage dis­play.

Then all that pro­to-­good taste goes away when you reach the page for my most "pop­u­lar" project ev­er... Krn in my 1999 home page 4. It' so 1999 free soft­ware style. All that's miss­ing is an elec­tric blue back­ground.

It seems I had dis­cov­ered The Gimp and it's ban­ner script­s!

BTW: I won­der what's Mag­nus Ref­tel do­ing nowa­days? We used to ex­change dozens of mails a day and for some rea­son we lost con­tac­t.

There was al­so a mail­ing list ar­chive for the very very very first posts of our pro­to LUG (which would lat­er be­come LUGLI)

And here's the best part, and the one that makes me kin­da sad... Themes for Qt1.

You can read a lit­tle about them in this thread.

I have writ­ten about them once or twice be­fore but here's the short ver­sion:

Raster­man was start­ing to hack themes for Gtk. I de­cid­ed they could­n't be the on­ly ones with this cool new tech­nol­o­gy but I had the big dis­ad­van­tage of not be­ing able to touch Qt's code be­cause of li­cens­ing is­sues. So I in­ter­cept­ed the draw­ing events us­ing a LD_PRELOAD hack and im­ple­ment­ed a theme full of gra­di­ents with­out mod­i­fy­ing or re­com­pil­ing Qt or KDE.

Now that's one of the most im­pres­sive hacks I have ev­er per­formed, even if it was a hack done with the most evil code ev­er, and... there seems to be no ex­tant copy of the code or the screen­shots.

Which is kin­da sad, in­deed.

1

UN­L, where ev­ery com­put­er had a pub­lic IP ad­dress!

2

The idea was a sort of GUI Pine, all han­dled with sin­gle key strokes. I still pine for that pro­gram! 3

3

And for the fjord­s.

4

AKA the bug­gi­est pro­gram ev­er to be part of KDE prop­er.

Juanjo Conti / 2007-08-08 14:18:

Jaja!estuve leyendo el archivo de la lista de correos. En este momento un grupo de veinteañeros (3ra generación de linuxeros) estamos aceptando el token para administrar la lista.

Magnus Reftel / 2007-10-26 13:15:

I have this bad habit of suddenly losing interest in things I'm doing, which leads to me not doing what I'm supposed to do, which leads to guilt, which leads to reclusion. That's about what happened those ten-odd years ago. Nice to be remembered =)
So, what am I doing now? Windows Mobile porting for an undisclosable telecoms giant. Not yet blogging at http://blog.zoom.nu/ . When I'm not busy googling for my own name, that is... ;-)

Roberto Alsina / 2007-10-26 14:09:

Hey, cool to hear from you again Magnus, and see you are doing OK :-)