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Ralsina.Me — Roberto Alsina's website

Posts about kde (old posts, page 10)

What is flexibility

Ok, a rant.

A word you see a lot on the free soft­ware (what­ev­er) cir­cles, is flex­i­bil­i­ty.

In par­tic­u­lar, peo­ple al­ways like to say how a cer­tain pro­gram, or op­er­at­ing sys­tem, is flex­i­ble.

For ex­am­ple, some peo­ple say gen­too (or GNOME, or KDE, or fvwm) is flex­i­ble.

Poor mis­guid­ed soul­s. They should say they are con­fig­urable.

Flex­i­ble does­n't mean con­fig­urable!

A flex­i­ble pro­gram will han­dle many dif­fer­ent con­di­tions with­out us­er in­ter­ven­tion (or with min­i­mal in­ter­ven­tion). The metaphore is that flex­i­ble ob­jects are bent with min­i­mal force.

Kudzu (or Knop­pix's hw­con­fig) is flex­i­ble.

Re­com­pil­ing your ker­nel to stat­i­cal­ly link a new driv­er is in­flex­i­ble.

If you think that just be­cause you can man­u­al­ly re­con­fig­ure your sys­tem in­to a bazil­lion dif­fer­ent con­fig­u­ra­tions, your sys­tem is flex­i­ble, then you sure­ly agree that mar­ble is flex­i­ble.

Af­ter al­l, you can turn mar­ble in­to many dif­fer­ent stat­ues, all dif­fer­en­t!

No, sil­ly put­ty is flex­i­ble, be­cause you can shape it in­to dif­fer­ent forms eas­i­ly and quick­ly and with lit­tle ef­fort.

If in or­der to change the ink set­tings on your print­er you need to cre­ate a new print­ing queue, or print to a file and per­form a mag­ic in­can­ta­tion with a .ps file, your print­ing sys­tem is not flex­i­ble.

In fac­t, the on­ly re­mote­ly flex­i­ble print­ing sys­tem on Lin­ux is CUP­S. The rest are rigid, in­flex­i­ble and bad at their work (at least the ones I know).

If in or­der to ac­cess a de­vice some­one tries to use you have to re­con­fig­ure your sys­tem, or down­load more stuff, or hunt for a driver, or re­build your ker­nel, or re­com­pile ap­pli­ca­tion­s, your sys­tem is bro­ken.

If you think that your sys­tem is flex­i­ble just be­cause af­ter ap­ply­ing force to your sys­tem it per­form­s, you are wrong. Your sys­tem is rigid, and you are the flex­i­ble buf­fer that is adapt­ing, it's like a bake­lite rod wrapped in rub­ber­foam. And you are the foam.

You know, when you take an in­flex­i­ble ob­ject and you try to make it adapt to some­thing, it breaks. That's why in­flex­i­ble soft­ware is bro­ken so of­ten.

Since al­most ev­ery­one has this sil­ly idea about what flex­i­ble mean­s, I will prob­a­bly start us­ing mal­leable or plas­tic in­stead.

Thank you very much, try the veal, I'll be here un­til thurs­day.

New Stylesheet

Ok, so I touched it a lit­tle.

If any­one hates it too much, or it's bro­ken some­how, let me know how to fix it, since I have no idea about CSS.

I think the code snip­pets look a lot bet­ter now, and spe­cial­ly, thanks to Georg's tip, they don't screw the lay­out any­more.

One weird thing, though (not re­al­ly re­lat­ed).

Ap­par­ent­ly, long ago, I knew how to put the source of the item on a post (see here, the Source KDE Dot News part).

Ei­ther the op­tion is gone, or I for­got how to do it. Even if I ed­it that old post, I can't see where it is.

The Roberto KDE Show

I will be speak­ing at the Primer Con­gre­so Na­cional de Soft­ware Li­bre on May 27th, at 15:00.

Now, I am not all that thrilled about it, since it's a com­mer­cial event and I am not get­ting any mon­ey for it, but it's a chance to show KDE, and I am a pret­ty good de­mo guy.

How­ev­er, look at the spon­sor list: IB­M, HP, Sun, Nov­el­l, and Mi­cro­soft.

Yeah, Mi­cro­soft.

So, I did whine a lit­tle to the or­ga­niz­er­s, about how this was not ex­act­ly a free soft­ware even­t, and that I did­n't just speak for free for any­one who asked me.

Well, they told me that the spon­sors pay, but it's a free soft­ware even­t, and that I am im­por­tant for the even­t, as a mem­ber of the free soft­ware move­men­t, or what­ev­er.

Ok, since it's like all oth­er free soft­ware events, I am now con­sid­er­ing wardrobe.

Jeans and T-Shirt is an ob­vi­ous choice. I use that even on com­mer­cial events.

But... what t-shirt? Here's one good can­di­date.

I spe­cial­ly like the "KILL BIL­L" mod­el be­cause it shows my com­bined ad­mi­ra­tion for Lin­ux And Quentin Taranti­no.

Too bad I can't or­der a t-shirt from North Amer­i­ca. I will have to gimp it, hope they don't mind!

Kill Bill Vol. 2

As I men­tioned, I saw Kill Bill Vol. 2.

While I en­joyed Vol­ume 1's child­ish no­tion of grandeur by ac­cu­mu­la­tion, I must con­fess I was wait­ing for that emo­tion­al mo­men­t, like S. Jack­son's mono­logue at the Din­er in Pulp Fic­tion.

Or the whathe­heck mo­ment like the death of Robert de Niro's char­ac­ter in Jack­ie Brown.

Or even the goofy quar­ter-­pounder-with­-cheese mo­men­t.

But all I got in Vol­ume 1 was Uma Thur­man in the slick Bruce Lee out­fit, blood, Yakuza­s, and the brass of RZA­'s ver­sion of "Bat­tle with­out hon­our".

Which is not ex­act­ly a small amount of things to get, don't get me wrong, but not quite what I wished for.

And much lat­er I start­ed read­ing the re­views for Vol­ume 2, and it seemed a more QT flick, and I like those, and I saw it.

And it's good. And it has the quater-­pounder-with­-cheese mo­ment (Su­per­man), and the whatthe­heck mo­ment (Elle's), and it has the emo­tion­al mo­ment (a lot of them), even if they are dark­er, and let's face it, ba­si­cal­ly evil.

So, there's a lot I liked. I was even hap­py about David Car­radine's part (although his lisp drove me nuts (and I don't mean LISP (I mean he says yeth in­stead of yes))).

BTW: I read on a news­pa­per an ex­cerpt from an in­ter­view he did for Un­cut mag­a­zine... he's one crazy guy.

The Pai Mei stuff is hi­lar­i­ous. Michael Mad­sen's Budd is awe­some. The very pic­ture of moral deca­dence wrapped around the nas­ti­est lit­tle-broth­er syn­drome ev­er.

So, I ac­tu­al­ly quite loved this movie. It's not my favourite QT flick ev­er (that's Pulp Fic­tion, then Jack­ie Brown), but it's a hell of a lot bet­ter than al­most ev­ery­thing else I saw in the last year or so.

All I want to know is what hap­pened to Sofie Fa­tale (cheesi­est name ev­er for a french char­ac­ter), and I would be hap­py as a clam.

Checking old stuff

I looked at my old sto­ries, and found some rather new com­ments :-)

In my Squid au­then­ti­ca­tion via POP or IMAP ar­ti­cle, Ed­win Groothuis asked for it to be up­dat­ed for Squid 2.5. Which is pret­ty rea­son­able, so I did it ;-)

And plovs, at 04:00:27 AM on April 05, 2004 post­ed the first com­ment on the very first ar­ti­cle I ev­er post­ed here, Sim­ple KDE Trick #1 (first and last of the se­ries ;-).

That first feed­back on­ly took... 14 months and 4 days, since the ar­ti­cle was post­ed on March 1st 2003.

Is­n't it amaz­ing how noth­ing is ev­er lost?


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