2000-08-05 13:24

Advogato post for 2000-08-05 13:24:00

Went to a couple of sessions yesterday, one about kernel past and future (a chance to brag about answering 130 questions by yes/no when the punishment about missing was starting from scratch ;-)

That got me thinking... I have not compiled a kernel in years! And I am not precisely a low end user. Looks like modularity really works, no? ;-)

In a couple of minutes there is another install demo (I don't know what distro yet) and after lunch I will do my KDE 2 thing. Hope it goes well...

2000-08-04 15:57

Advogato post for 2000-08-04 15:57:29

Ok, so I am finally in Rosario for the Jornada Linux!

There is, they say, 1700 people signed in. Today, since it 's a working day, only about 400 are here.

The Corel people are showing their instal, with, let's say, less than stellar results (as in 1 hour into the demo and still no install).

Checked the place where I am suposed to give my talk about KDE2 tomorrow... it a damn stadium. 400 people can fit there. Now I'm scared :-)

Checked into a little hotel called Colonial, just 5 blocks away from the conference... nice, cheap, clean. No elevator, though, and I carry the biggest, heaviest bag you can imagine (it contains clothes for three days, man's kit (shaving/etc), and a full tower system :-)

Met with some of the guys I know, César from LUCAS, a couple guys from LUGLI, a lady from the MAGIC (that a ministery :-)

In an hour or so, I will attend César's talk about i18n. Should be interesting.

And no, I have not met RMS yet, because he will arrive tomorrow (even after I gave my talk, so he will not be there ;-)

2000-08-04 05:34

Advogato post for 2000-08-04 05:34:39

It's 2:30 AM, and instead of being arriving at rosario for the 1ra Jornada Linux, I am here in my office polishing the slides.

I am either too responsible, or the exact opposite :-)

Anyway, making the slides made me see a whole bunch of things that are already very cool in KDE 2.

For example, snapshot harvesting is just too easy. split konqy, and drag the images into the folder :-)

KPresenter is pretty solid (except for embedding :-P)

In fact, I am now decided that konqueror is my new default browser.

It's stable enough for real use, it can be made to have separate processes for different windows, and... it does java and plugins better than netscape itself! So, I'll keep it ;-)

Now, I will finish this, and go find a bus, so I will be in Rosario around 8AM.... just in time to go without sleeping into the activities. Oh, the fun ;-)

2000-08-02 14:06

Advogato post for 2000-08-02 14:06:01

Wow, I'm tired :-P

Gave a "lecture" last night at the UP (Universidad de Palermo), the usual "Introduction to Linux" one.

Things were not as smooth as one would want, though.

First, I broke kpresenter, and (dumb) had no staroffice version of the slides. I could have rewritten them right there... if I had a monitor!

Then we got there, and instead of the usual largish classroom, there we were, in a freaking theater :-)

We were moved, because the signed-in exceeded the classroom's capacity! So: 160 seats. Stage. Podium. Mandatory mic. 80 people in attendance (give or take 10).

And the computer lodged in a projection room, 20 meters away from me, and one floor higher!

So, I wouldn't have been able to control the slides anyway, because this place needs two to make the speech/slide thing work right.

The actual speaking was not too bad, I think, although without the help of the slides I tend to get more disorganized. I forgot to mention a couple of things, too.

And since the computer was unusable, I could not show the system in action, so it turned out to be some 15 minutes shorter than expected.

The questions section was ok-ish. Not too long, but those who asked seemed clueful, and the questions were fairly interesting.

One funny thing: apparently some assisted because they believed it was about something else. Almost noone left, though, and one of the organizers said someone said "I wanted something else, but now I know what linux is" ;-)

2000-07-31 16:38

Advogato post for 2000-07-31 16:38:18

Well, KDE Beta 3 is working quite nicely, and I'm now finally confident that I can actually code for it.

So, it's time to go crazy, get a computer, and redo KRN.

This time, using librmm, my mail storage thing, and the KDE I/O stuff, plus XMLGUI, and perhaps an exported DCOP interface.

It's gonna be fun :-)

2000-07-25 21:10

Advogato post for 2000-07-25 21:10:58

I'm teaching a course on Linux Network Administration to trainers who will later teach it in Conectiva training centers. It's coming out nicely.

I had trouble doing it the first time I had to, but that's par for the course for me, I usually suck at doing ANYTHING for the first time.

The "jornada Linux" in Rosario is close, so I better start cranking slides. Also some presentations on universities are coming, which are fun.

And well, not much else, really.

2000-07-21 20:23

Advogato post for 2000-07-21 20:23:30

I feel like shit. A woman has left the office crying today, and I don't feel what happened is right, although I have no official word on why it happened.

And even if it was right, I would still feel like shit.

You know, I'm starting to feel working in the "real world" is not worth the trouble.

2000-07-19 17:45

Advogato post for 2000-07-19 17:45:35

We had a "work breakfast" today with some 60 people where we presented our "corporate solutions". Now, am I becoming a droid?

It went well, I was even, according to what I was told by people watching, fairly good at it myself (or maybe I inspire kindness from strangers ;-)

Interest was varied, and every one of us who spoke made at least one mistake with our slides.

Advice: I know it looks better if the bullet items appear each one with an effect at your command, it makes the thing more interesting... but it makes it hell if you by chance happen to drop off the presentation, because getting back to where you were takes minutes :-)

2000-07-18 19:53

Advogato post for 2000-07-18 19:53:02

Whoa, with all that brain activity about freedom, I forgot to write the diary entry I actually wanted to write.

Today's topic is one that probably has never been covered in advogato (and there are more of those ;-): Alexandre Dumas (père).

Why? Because I lately see him everywhere. For one thing, a few weeks ago, I watched a movie. I think the english title is "the ninth gate". That movie, while apparently a books and demons sort of thriller with Mr. Depp, is based in a book by a guy called Pérez-Reverte.

Now, that book is way better than the movie. In fact, it's one of the better books I've read in the last year or so, and I read a lot.

The book is called... El Club Dumas. Which in english means roughly the same thing as in spanish.

Now, I can understand why Roman Polansky would throw away half of the book (The Dumas half) and keep the other half (the devil's half), and making a movie based on the book would probably be impossible otherwise, but hey, it still sucks.

Why does it suck? Because the Dumas side of the book is way better. It's fun. It has a plot. Or two plots. It has characters. It has great dialog. The devil's half is, well, about the devil, and about books. Old books.

And I prefer the Dumas half, because it has a ghost of the real thing. That real thing being, of course, Dumas' work.

I had read Dumas when I was a kid, and I thought it was funny, and that I had outgrown it, until one day, two years ago, I felt a irresistible urge to buy a 1300 page mammoth called "The Count of Montecristo".

In the first 120 pages or so, it has, love, politics (with Napoleon!), evil scheming, prison, drugs, escapes from prison, sex, religion, loyalty, betrayal, and, the most important thing, it's so much fun you don't even care about the stranger parts.

I remember a article in Salon a while ago, like a defense of the plot in literature, against style. And Dumas is the greatest example of why that makes sense. The style is not bad, mind you, but it's functional to the plot. Characters in a Dumas book exist to do things. They make decisions, they try to advance to their goals, they push and kill and fuck each other as if their lifes depended on it, and well, as far as a character has a life, doesn't it depend on it?

And then I realized the bad luck Dumas' books have had when turned into movies. And I can't understand why. After all, they have everything to make good, or at least fun, movies. They have guns, explosions, scenarios, action, and sex! Ask Peter Dragon to make one!

But last night I saw The Man in the Iron Mask on TV. Oh, man.

Ok, I understand that noone could make a movie about the man in the iron mask with the original title (The Vizcount(sp?) of Bragelonne), because people would mistake it for a Merchant-Ivory movie.

I understand that they had to make Leonardo diCaprio into Louis XIV. Hey, he's not so bad at it, even. He does look like a bland inbreed with an attitude problem.

I accept that they had to cast 3 actors from UK and the US as mousketeers, and that they had to fake french accents (why? the audience wouldn't notice it is set is France if they didn't?)

I can accept the way they totally screwed the character of Athos' son, turning him into a moron.

What I can't accept is the ending.

In the book, Athos dies of grief. Porthos dies saving his friends. Aramis (who is NOT, for christ's sake, the secret general of the jesuits) retires to a monastery, D'Artagnan dies many years later in the siege of Maastricht (to match the death of the real D'Artagnan), and Louis XiV wins.

It's a very sad ending. But it actually makes sense. You don't go and replace the king of a country, get caught and then get away with it, sad as it may be.

The movie? Oh, well, let's see, the man in the iron mask becomes king, Athos, Porthos and Aramis become his counselors, Athos gets the (new) king as a (new) son, as if it was a new goldfish to replace the flushed one, and the only one that dies is D'Artagnan, but he dies saving everyone else, so it doesn't matter.

Oh, and D'Artagnan is revealed to be the father (with Anna of Austria) of Louis XIV (and the man in the iron mask). Why was that? Someone saw "The empire strikes back" while drafting the script?

And it's not the first time. Monsieur Dumas has (ok, no, he's dead) seen many movie versions, and each one massacred the books in similar ways.

And here I am, hoping one day someone will burn 120 million bucks in a 5 hour epic called "The vizcount of Bragelonne".

With people speaking without accents. Or in french, or with a real french accent. And where everyone dies in the end.

2000-07-18 18:57

Advogato post for 2000-07-18 18:57:16

Hey, first time I see a reply to one of my diary entries ;-)

Stefan: the freedom of the developer is paramount. If nothing else, because the developer is the producer. You know, the land is for those who work on it, and such ;-)

Besides, saying that the GPL defends the rights of the user fighting the rights of the developers and distributors still sounds a bit fishy for a few reasons.

a) It presumes there is a firm boundary between one side and the other. Presumably, one of the freedoms granted to users by anything that can be called free software, is the right to cross that boundary!

b) I don't see where the GPL actually protects the rights of the user in a way BSDL doesn't. Let's take a program called progA, under the BSDL. The user has more rights over it than over a progB under the GPL.

The usual GPL advocate response is that if some evil company takes progA and proprietarizes it, the user's freedom diminishes. Well, AFAICS, it doesn't, since progA is still just as free as it was.

Then, it must be assumed that the evil company actually IMPROVES progA while proprietarizing it. In that case, the freedom is only improved by a hypothetical GPL version of it, if the GPL version would be better than what the BSDL version would be, perhaps by forcing the Evil Company (TM) to improve it and keep the improvements GPL (making it a Not Evil Company (tm)).

That is so because if the GPL version would be no better than the BSDL version, the available freedom is:

A) Freedom to use the BSDL version or the proprietary one (paying)

B) Freedom to use the GPL version.

Therefore, if the BSDL version is as good as the GPL version, freedoms in A) and B) is at least equivalent.

Now, assuming that all that hoopla about the cathedral and the bazaar was actually correct, shouldn't the free BSDL version improve at least at the same rate as the proprietry version? (Or the GPL version, for that matter).

And when confronted with the alternative between a very free and a proprietary versions of programs that are basically just as good as each other (perhaps the free one being better), shouldn't the proprietary version be marginalized?

So, we end, it seems, in a strange decision. Either open software development is not really better, or copylefting is not really better.

At least that's the way I see it, and I decided to drop copylefting, because if it is not any better, it lacks any reason to be. Open development at least has other good secondary effects.

Final preemptive rebuke: yes, I could keep on doing both things, even if one was apparently useless. But I am starting to find copylefting morally inferior (there was a good article about ethics and free software a while ago).

So, when I find something both morally inferior, and ineffective, to me it's time to drop it.

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