Le blog de Olivier Crête



November 2006
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Viva Sun, boo Novell & AOL

I spent my whole weekend fixing stuff in GnomeICU. It started by fixing a few bugs.. And then I decided to port the visible/invisible/ignore/online notify lists to use the newer GtkTreeView instead of the old GTK+ 1 style GtkClist.. and I only stopped coding two days later. The MVC implementation is really nice and the GtkModelFilter thing is really powerful. I now have only one data store with the contact list and all the widgets that show the list (or parts of it) are just filtered views of it. And I also implemented my first drag and drop stuff (and it works!). And then when all of this was done, I realized that a bunch of things that worked with the previous versions have stopped working (like changing my user infos or sending contact lists) and obviously AOL still isn’t publishing its protocol. And that killed my motivation. Proprietary networks suck.

It’s also my turn to way in on the Novell/Microsoft deal. Obviously, I find it appalling that a major GNU software distributor would enter in such a deal. But I think it shows a great difference between Novell and Red Hat. And the difference is that there is no member of the Free Software community near the top at Novell. Red Hat was obviously founded by members of the community and they are plenty near the top. It seems that Novell is run purely by business people who are from a proprietary software background at best (and probably are business and accounting majors) and I’m pretty much certain that they had not foreseen the backlash and I’m not sure that they would have cared had they predicted it. That’s why Novell has such an erratic behavior from a software freedom perspective. Remember that Caldera/SCO was founded and filled by ex-Novell people and they were also always a bit ambiguous on the whole Free Software thing (although they did love of good things in the old days).

And finally, it seems that the free software people are winning at Sun. They are freeing Java under the right license. Bravo! And I think the whole community should thank them. Congratulations Sun! You are shinning brighter every day!

Miguel had an interesting comment about the release of Java to the effect that a large corporation could develop massive amounts of code better than a distributed community if it was really focused. And he seems to find that worrying. This really highlights the differences between the Open Source community to which Miguel seems to identify himself, which is interested in the collaborative development of software, instead of the FSF-style Free Software movement which is worries mostly about how the software is distributed, not how its built.

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