Work has been keeping me very busy. I really wish I had more time to work out some ideas for Fresco
. Despite its seemingly slow pace of progress, I do think the project has an important future - I really think the features it provides are very useful.
By the way, hunger
is very likely going to give a presentation about Fresco at Fosdem
. Hope to see some of you there!newdocms
An article about it got posted on slashdot recently. It's a system where the user, instead of organising his/her documents by giving it a file name and path, attaches all kinds of metadata to it - a bit like BeOS's "live queries" I think. There's a lot of situations where a filename isn't really appropriate. While a simple path/filename organisation may sometimes be enough, it puts a lot of the burden on the user to keep things properly organised. And I do think some ways of organising your info really doesn't map to file/paths, even if you have the possibility of using symlinks. I think the time for such systems are approaching rapidly.
Newdocms is a good first step. I'm not sure its design for the "tree of concepts" is general enough. But it's really important to have some real code "out there", that people start to play with, to see what tradeoffs are appropriate for a system like that, and also important, try to find out some good ways to allow a user to interact with such a "document management system". After all, people are so used to folders/files, for such a system to be accepted it has to offer some very compelling advantages, and be at least as easy/fast to work with.
If you're interested you can find more info about newdocms here
I'm a bit dissapointed with the whole "graphic drivers on Linux" issue.
- Xfree86 is very good, but they seem very inflexible in exploring other directions - and as a community it seems they're very closed, as mharris points out in his latest diary entry.
- Since the 3D drivers are quite linked to xfree, I wonder if we can hope to see 3D without X in the foreseeable future (there's fbdri or Mesa + Glide2 - but neither is really practical). I remember bringing this up to one of the xfree developers at one of the LinuxTag's - his response: "Why would you want to run without X?"
- GGI/KGI seems a bit more alive lately, but they have quite some catching up to do.
- I'm not against things like NVidia's binary drivers, but they make matters really harder. Recent example: I was really happy seeing that Apple brought out a nice new, small laptop - it has everything I need and a good price. But I do alot of my work in Linux, and since the machine has NVidia graphics, it means no 3D under Linux. I guess I could try to do all my work under OS X, but I'd like to have the choice at least.
- ATI seems a bit better about releasing info to DRI. I cannot help but wonder if that will continue now that they have their own closed driver. The juicy bits, like the programability of their cards, may never be released in the open.
- The other hardware makers just aren't providing proper information or driver support to the linux(/bsd) community. Matrox has 2D drivers for their newest cards where you need a binary-only module for even basic features (like DVI). SIS doesn't provide anything (which is bizarre, since they are probably the ones with most to gain from good Linux drivers). PowerVR are DRI but binary-only. Not a big deal in this case since the only non-x86 platform with powervr hardware I've seen is the dreamcast. 3DLabs... well, who knows what's going to happen there.
If a hw-provider _has_ to distribute binary-only drivers for Linux/BSD, it would be nice if they could at least:
- make sure they respond well to bug reports
- allow for flexibility in platform choice (distro, BSD, PowerPC etc)
- try to provide the same features as they do on Windows
- if at all possible, a sunset clause would be nice: "If we don't provide support anymore for some reason (company goes bankrupt, change of focus, we suddenly don't care anymore, whatever) - then we'll open the source"
Under those conditions, I don't think anyone would reasonably object to binary-only drivers.
Back in the real world, I have to decide what hardware we are going to work on. Not an easy choice.
I'm looking forward to seeing MAS
(the media application server) opened up. It's something like GStreamer
, but network transparent (distributed schedulers, ouch) cooked up by the X.org people. It will be released under an X license. They're going to release the source end of january. I wonder why they've kept in under wraps for so long (years?). I've seen some demonstrations of them, and it's clearly quite powerful. But, maybe it's too late - there's already a lot of other projects that do similar things, and maybe they're good enough. Then again, there's no reason why several cannot coexist successfully (Gnome/KDE come to mind) - at which point it becomes a matter of taste.