Anybody able to read french should read the on-line article from Le Monde where Michel Rocard (ex french Prime Minister, socialist) explains how much battle and pressure occured under the hood at the the European commision on software patents. To borrow a short translation found from a commentator on /.:
We never could have talked a common language with the companies representatives we met - in particular those from Microsoft. Speaking about free ideas circulation, free access to knowledge, was like speaking chinese to them. In their way of thinking, everything that is not usable for immediate profit cease to be a growth vector. They don't seem to be able to understand that an invention which is a pure spirit creation can't be pattented. It's simply terrifying. Many of us, at the Parliament, agree to say that they never have know such a pressure and such a verbal violence during their parliamentary work. It is a huge case.
Other translations from me that time:
The Parliament vote, the 24th of September 2003, adopted by 361 vote for, 157 against and 28 abstain of amendments [restricting the field of software patentability]. This caused the furor of the commission and led to a storm of mails coming from 15 large groups led by Microsoft.
We learned that to draft the first project, the Commission used the work of external experts because this was a new topic to them. But many of those external experts were coming from Microssoft and other software companies.
What IMHO make this big, is that it's such a failure and there is so much griefs that someone with a very high position like Rocard ends up exposing the case himself, publicly and to the main newspaper in France !
I didn't blogged for 2 months, but I did some code anyway, I just released version 0.0.24 of gamin which should fix the damn Desktop update problem people on Fedora Core 3 have been complaining about. I also worked on libxml2 for example working on XPath streaming subset but this is not finished, it's in part used by Kasiemir to finish the implementation of XML Schemas constraints.
Okay I also worked on sabayon, mostly by giving its name in a 2mn IRC challenge with Mark, implementing python bindings for gamin, and working on the RPM packages. You can visit us on #sabayon on gnome IRC if needed, but best is to use the RPM packages, it requires very recent versions of various packages. We also lack a mailing-list (asked) and a web site :-).
I have been pointed to Radio Paradise Internet radio, and have been listening to it from xmms the whole day, truely excellent, I'm tempted to make a donation since they re listener supported (no ads !).