Older blog entries for garym (starting at number 60)

1 Mar 2003 (updated 1 Mar 2003 at 14:47 UTC) »

Scripting News' Dave Winer says Neither Microsoft or Google, or Pyra or UserLand are open source companies. You'll find that the excitement in software is often this way. The open source implementations can come later, but people at the leading edge generally need to keep the source to themselves. No matter, if everything is working correctly, users still get choice, and have the ultimate power over what's created.

Say what? Dave Winer is saying that innovation requires closed source? Or is he saying only closed source can produce exciting software? (Does RMS and the FSF have any thoughts on this claim? How about the claim that "user's still get choice and have ultimate power"?

Are Advogadorians going to sit back and let that go by without challenge? Are we all simply working on open source implementations that copy the innovative commercial software what's gone before? (I know I'm not, but what about the rest of you?)

Argument by anecdote is bad enough, but to make an assertion like this one, based on just 4 exceptional examples out of a whole world of possibilities... and yet Winer gets the Harvard post? The world is a funny place.

On a tip from JOHO, here's Tim Oren's point by point comparison of Bayesian Nets and Latent Semantics used in spam filters. Latent Semantics was a new one to me, but considering the number of IP patent weights around its neck, that's not surprising. The good news is Tim's undecided on which of the two methods is more effective.

15 Feb 2003 (updated 15 Feb 2003 at 06:37 UTC) »

Reversible.org is a new weblog directory where the link you make determines the classification you get -- if you haven't already, check it out: The webpage you cite doesn't exist until someone asks for it, and then it's created with a link back to all referring page. The hope is people will spontaneously organize themselves as they trade off the egotistical need to be the top level with the hard reality that there's no advantage to being one in a million, and less advantage to being one of a million communities of one.

For example, if you click that link above, you will find yourself in the <code>/weblogs/technical/advogato</code> classification -- if you then blog that page on your own diary and induce someone to click it for you (ok, click it yourself like I did ;) we would start a new classification of Advogato blogs within the larger community of technical weblogs.

Will it work? It's going to be interesting. Right now it's total anarchy as everyone wants top spot (thanks go Clay's now famous essay on Power Laws?) but over time each participant is going to recognize the Nash Equalibrium as the real goal state. That's my theory.

15 Feb 2003 (updated 28 Apr 2003 at 16:11 UTC) »

Ok, for those who may follow me in attempting to correct Mandrake Linux 9.0 passivetex pdfxmltex the solution is, well, the same solution that is usually the solution in unix ... install from the source. I really do want package managers to work, but some days I really wonder if shipping binaries is even worth the risk or if we could just do as the unix did in the days of yore when a <code>shar</code> archive would unpack as sources, config the Makefile and compile your software for <u>your</u> local environment.

All I had to do was

  • fetch those source files
  • install them matching the dirs to what Mandrake xmltex had already chosen, moving any existing dirs out of the way (ie <code>mv passivetex passivetex.mdk</code>, and remember to run <code>mktexlsr</code> just as it advises
  • switch to the <code>web2c</code> dir and build the format as in their step #1
and my pdf rendering came back online.

I don't know if it was needed, but I also edited my pool sizes and whatnot in the texfm.cfg file.

This is what I love about the blind enthusiasm of Linux distros, clipped from an obscure mailing list, where I find confirmation, after 9 hours of beating my head against the brick wall, that "passivetex on mandrake 9.0 is screwed even when it is installed"

Knowing this, why, prey tell, did they bother to ship passivetext with their distro? Wouldn't it have made more sense to even just stub it out? Apparently not.

Ok, so it does work; you can download advogato.el and now you too can do the XML-RPC bridge from Emacs to Advogato. (you'll need MAH's latest xml-rpc.el too)

Ok, let's try that again, only this time being certain I'm working from the new file ...don't ya just love debugging lisp network code?

<p>If this works, then Ramakrishnan has updated his <a href="http://www.hackGNU.org/files/advogato.el">advogato.el</a> XML-RPC bridge from Emacs to Advogato. If it's littered with markup, then forget I said anything.</p>

here goes again, this time for sure: I've updated my OCN download page to point to the three ISO images for the Mandrake 9.1 beta 3 disks.

If you want to give it a shot, all you need is Java 1.4.1 (with Java Webstart); once you have your disk images, please leave your browser online and running -- your bandwidth will assist others in fetching the disks.

With Beta 2, I cut the 9 hour download of disk one down to just over 6 hours for disk two. It's worth the bother of downloading Java to do it and besides, you should go grab Java if only to stick to to MS ;)

If you already have the ISOs but still want to try it out, we've put a couple of Ogg files up there too (or you might want to listen to those while you download the ISOs)

6 Feb 2003 (updated 6 Feb 2003 at 02:45 UTC) »

Extreme agility ... now there's some marketing spin to a badly named good idea: the Laurie Williams interview in New Architect is a pretty good exec-overview of the methodology and rationale of extreme programming, and ends with this note of hope for those of us who wish the real world was just a little more xp friendly:

"... attention has turned to a class of software development methodologies called agile. Agile methodologies focus on being responsive to changing customer needs and market demands. If you ask a manager whether he wants to be extreme, you'll scare him off. If you ask a manager if he wants to be agile, it's pretty hard for him to say no."

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