Older blog entries for itp (starting at number 17)

24 May 2001 (updated 24 May 2001 at 20:56 UTC) »

More and more lately, I realize that the Free Software / Open Source community is primarily a load of bullshit. To be sure, there are talented, smart, and pleasant people out there, and if you're lucky you get to work with them on projects. But that's true no matter where you work, be it Free Software or locked up in some proprietary development house.

There seem to be lots of people out there, however, who think they're entitled to stick their fingers in the pie when the sad fact is, they don't know shit. I'm talking about the hangers-on, the asshole "journalists", the slashdot crowd... you know what I mean. I don't begrudge them their right to use Free Software -- hell, that's part of the reason we do what we do! -- but I just don't understand where all of the rudeness, the anger, the righteous indignation comes from, especially when they have no idea what they're talking about.

It's frustrating enough tackling difficult technical issues. It's exacerbated when those technical issues have all sorts of political baggage tied to them. But it really sucks when you have to do it while dealing with a constant barrage of angry people, all of whom think they know more than you do, except that they don't and instead rely on you to do all of the work.

Of course, now that I think about it, I realize this syndrome probably isn't limited to Free Software. People are always arrogant, judgemental, and convinced of their own superiority. They probably always have been and probably always will be. Increasingly I have to ask myself, what's the point?

Oh, and this morning on the way to work, while getting off of the T, a woman started shoving people out of her way to get onto the train as soon as the doors open, before anyone had gotten out. I was content to let it go with a dirty look, but an older man behind me turned and told her off. So she started hitting him with her umbrella.

Sometimes violence is so appealing, it's all I can do to stop myself. Because I've reached a point where I begin to feel that no matter what you do, there will probably always be people who are so sheltered from the consequences of their own actions, so protected by society, so far removed from the formerly harsh realities of life, that the only thing you could ever do to get through to them is to inflict pain.

And people wonder why I don't like myself very much.

22 Apr 2001 (updated 22 Apr 2001 at 18:04 UTC) »

Galeon, among other things, has inspired me to start keeping a diary again. It's a somewhat convoluted path.

Work has been hectic but exciting lately. I sent an email to the red-carpet list today talking about the shutdown of the Red Carpet server in preparation for a launch of the stable version. It's been a long haul for the past 8 or 9 months, and it feels good to be at the point where we're ready to say Red Carpet is a supported product.

So, feeling somewhat punchy, a bunch of us took off from the office to go to Trident Cafe and get some food. Along the way we were wishing everyone a happy Earth Day, until we found out we were still a few hours from Earth Day. Sigh. But then midnight hit while we were waiting for the T, so we paid a T performer ~$8 to lead those waiting for the train in the Happy Earth Day song.

Looking back, I can't see why it was so funny.

Weekend (and Monday): met phil, totally cool guy. We bummed around all weekend (with vladimir), played Dreamcast Virtua Tennis and Power Ball 2, watched some movies. Felt pretty lazy.

Today, I got my new hard drive for my T20, pulled the old one, got Debian on the new disk. Still need to make suspend to disk work again, but everything is sane again. Now back to serious work.

Crashed Rob's party. Gave out some Helix stuff.

RPMv4 is nice, but I'm not sure I understand what the point was. So far, the API changes are incrementally better, but with the additional burden of making you #ifdef your way around stuff. Eh.

Needless to say, I'd still give almost anything for some relevant documentation.

Debian continues to remind me of Xanadu -- good vision, sketchy implementation.

Just read a terribly amusing diary entry by mathieu. Here's what he has to say about my company (Helix Code):

Sounds really crazy knowing how many non-existant business and marketing people they have (sorry for the rant). I feel concerned by this. I hope no one will feel bad about me saying this but having too many marketing weenies is bad but having none is even worse.

I knew there was a reason I'd been getting so much work done lately. I'm not sure why he thinks we need more "marketing weenies" when we've been doing as well as we have on the basis of our product alone.

I feel really bad for Red Hat lately, as I now know how annoying it is to deal with the StuddlyCapCrowd, who insist on butchering your name. It's Helix Code. Is it really that difficult? ;)

I'm using a Mozilla build that Vlad recommended. 2000091021, and it's the first one I've really felt comfortable in. My faith in the Mozilla project has been renewed.

Sometimes it doesn't.

Sometimes it rains.

aaronl: campd put it beautifully, and much more calmly than I could have.

uweo: you have to keep in mind the audience we're targeting. We've set out to develop a new generation of applications for the desktop. Component reuse through Bonobo means common libraries and foundations. We're fighting bloat in a different way; by reusing objects and components where appropriate, we hope to make the desktop more usable than before.

There are definitely people who aren't interested in this, and for them, GNOME doesn't make much sense. My point remains; aaronl's self-appointed job of de-GNOME-ifying applications will soon be impossible as more and more of them derive much of their functionality from components.

I guess we disagree in approach; nevertheless, aaronl's method of slandering GNOME programs by abusing statistics which are inherently difficult to measure, and willfully abused and misrepresented, is still inexcusable.

aaronl: I think you'll be surprised by the number of people who do use and like GNOME. Nevertheless, you certainly are free to modify free software applications as you see fit. I would only ask two things.

Please, please, please spend some time reading up on memory, address space, ammortized cost analysis, etc. before continuing to push your concept of bloat. And please don't tell people who disagree with you to "piss off".

I think you'll find that your task of de-GNOME-ifying programs will rapidly become more difficult with the continuing move towards component technology. With bonobo become the backbone of most new modern apps, you won't be able to remove what you consider "bloat" before quickly hurting your users. And that's a good thing. Yes, it's an extra dependency, but it's a massive step forward for both the programmers and the users. I think you've completely missed the boat on this one, and it shows.

aaronl: a free software implementation of a generic non-debian-specific fully featured package manager for Linux/Unix systems that has both a GUI and command line version? That's the one.

Now, just to clarify, are you sure you want to pick a fight with us? I made it clear my views are my own, not my companies. Were I you (and, given what an ass you've made of yourself, I'm glad I'm not), I'd stop and think a little more before mouthing off about GNOME, or Helix, or difficult concepts like shared memory that you don't seem to understand.

For the innocent bystanders: aaronl has been on a kick recently to "remove the bloat" from a variety of programs by removing functionality, in this case, the consistancy, user control, and other benefits provided by the GNOME framework. Specifically, he has posted a number of misleading facts about the memory used by a GNOME application. For a much better explanation than I could give, have a look at mjs' recent diary entries.

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