Older blog entries for peaceandlove (starting at number 4)

Somehow I'm now a Master. Weird. You fools.

Iain's Quickie Review of his new Nokia 770
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Finally got it after a phone call to complain to UPS who seemed unable to find the door of a cafe that was open from 8am til 11pm and decided not to deliver it at all, but return it to the depot with "Premises closed" as the reason. Second time they sent a driver with a degree in door opening apparently.

Smaller than I imagined, but quite nice size. Device is cool, slightly annoyed that the powerpack isn't the same type as my phone, but oh well. The bag is nice, but the stand just looks and feels tacky.

Playing with it, I realised that I got bored of it within about an hour. Its nice and all, but I don't use the internet very often except for checking emails once a day. Maybe once I get sdk installed on my laptop and start hacking on it, it might be fun, but as it stands all I'm using it for at the moment is playing Mahjongg in class.

Had no problem pairing it with my Bluetooth phone, and like that the phone turns up in the file selector like another volume automatically without me having to do anything silly.

Also no problem setting up wireless, clickity click click, type the WEP key and away you go. All pretty painless.

It gets slow sometimes, the email program is fairly unusable with 500 emails, and having the news feed reader and a few browser windows seems to slow the device down a bit, but I guess thats just me forgetting that its only a little tablet and not a whopping big computer.

In short, its nice and all, but I'm not a big enough geek to care about it overly, and I wouldn't have bought one had nokia not given me insane discount.

Oh, and I thought "Oh, its got a neat audio player, I can listen to music in class while I play Mahjongg"(*) and so I uploaded a few OGGs onto it, only to discover that the media player doesn't play OGG files.

(*) Yeah, I'm one of those students.

So, there's this here cliff, and at the bottom are big waves that'll smash anything that happens to fall off the cliff into the big jagged spikey rocks at the bottom. And its a dark windy stormy night, the grass at the cliff edge is slippy, and most of the soil has turned to mud. And its on a slope, and the protective barriers have been broken off...Oh oh, and the cliff is crumbling away at an amazing rate, there's a house over there and the conservatory has just fallen into the sea and is being beaten against the rocks, occasionally you can see a bit of the white PVC structure poking out before being devoured by another huge wave.

And currently, my laptop is staggering drunkenly along the edge of the cliff.

Hopefully it'll hold out until I can buy a proper desktop. But that may have to wait 'til I can sell my car.

And that, dear readers, is the answer to 'So, how's Marlin coming along?'

As the English sulk, here is a message for them

HAAHAA! Love N. Ireland

I think that the "Unix Philosophy" is bollocks. That is all. Goodnight

Following on from how Gnome is no longer fun, I thought I'd give my perspective, as a person who dropped out of mainstream Gnome-ness to just get on with what I found fun.

I think there are a number of reasons to why Gnome is "no fun" anymore. Other people have brought some of them up already, and seeing as I'm making this up as I go along, I'll probably be retreading the same ground often, but what the hey...

The Lie of Open Source Projects

There is an underlying assumption that an open source project must be as inclusive/transparent as possible. From this, it is thought that all mailing lists must be open, all work must be done in public, all interactions must be seen by everyone, and that all participants in the project are equal. I think this is a lie.

There are many people "involved" in the project, from the coders and designers, to the documenters, translators and testers, and even down to the lurkers on the mailing lists. The lie says that these people are all equal, and that all input, no matter where it comes from, is valid. The problem is that often (not always, but I'll come to that later) it is not. While translators and documenters and testers are all nice people to have on a project, and that it is true that a project may not be complete without them, they are not essential to a projects existence. People will use a program that meets their needs whether it is documented or translated into their native language or not. Programs don't even need to be well designed for them to be popular, they just need to meet the users needs at that time. (eg: winamp and a million other programs) The only people who are essential to whether a project lives or dies are the people coding it. Without sniggering take the doomed GoneME fork of Gnome...a million (well, okay, 10) people with a million ideas, but not one of them with any clue how to put these ideas into code.

No programmers = No project

And this is the first problem this lie perpetuates: Everyone on a mailing list thinks their view is just as important as the people who are doing the work, and the people doing the work end up having draining and 99% of the time pointless flamewars justifying their actions as though they were accountable to the hangers on who, generally, are not very polite about things. Every minor (or not so minor) change in a UI layout apparently renders the entire program USELESSS!!!!

The second problem that comes from this lie is that it helps create and sustain a tabloid press (OSNews, you know who you are). All dirty laundry is washed in public and every little detail is hailed as important, when in fact, its really not.

Both of these problems mean that the coders are being forced to check and double check their work, and anticipate every little detail that might offend, annoy or antagonise the user/reviewer/tabloid journalist or render the software USELESSSSS!!!! This can zap the will of people to do anything, because there's always someone who will be annoyed or at least make out that they will.

If everything is slammed or scrutinised by people who don't matter, it not only destroys the people codings productivity, but it has a detrimental effect of also scaring off potential contributers as well, who look and see this scary bunch of people who just scream USELSSS!!!!! at everything. This whole situation arose from Edd's comments, and although he didn't mention it I think he's feeling the effects of his Bluetooth stuff being dissed and slammed by people who didn't even understand the things they were talking about (Edd, if you read this and I'm wrong, let me know and I'll remove this bit)

A Solution

I don't know really, but I'd suggest closing Gnome down slightly, raising the barrier of entry, so that people who contribute nothing are prevented from distracting the people who actually matter.

People will obviously complain about the gnome elitists, but from my understanding Firefox is an invite only project and it clearly hasn't hampered it.

I think the fun element will return when people are allowed to do what they want to do, without having to worry about the vast majority of people who don't matter.

I program for myself, if other people like what I do, thats nice, but its not what I do it for, so so long as I like what I've done, then I'm happy.

(and before anyone complains that I'm relegating everyone who is not a coder to a lower status I happily admit that there are non coders to whom many projects would not be in the state they are today and whose contributions to the projects are of immense importance, but these people are few and far between, and it takes a lot more work for them to contribute just as well as coders. So for you guys, I applaud you)

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