6 Jun 2002 raph   » (Master)

Jbig2

Ralph and I had been stuck for a long time on a bug that caused the symbold dict decoder to fail partway through all real streams (but of course succeed on the test stream in the jbig2 spec). We wrote the UBC people asking for help (trace data would have been enormously helpful), but were completely ignored. I'd like to give them the benefit of a doubt and believe that they were simply too busy (lord knows I suck at answering my own email) rather than having sold their soul to the corporate devil, but it's impossible to be sure.

In any case, William Rucklidge, primary editor of the spec, dropped by the mailing list recently, and was able to provide spec clarification and trace data, and we fixed the bug handily. Thanks!

Voice on 802.11b

Wes pointed a number of interesting 802.11b voice products on the horizon. Vocera seems to have a particularly appealing product - a 46g, 10x3.5cm "badge" that has a speaker and mic built in, and can take Plantronics headsets. Also, Broadcom and Agere are working on "VoIP phone on a chip" chips. There's a good chance that low-cost phones will be available soon. Current VoIP phones are dramatically overpriced.

All this stuff seems designed for large corporations. I don't see any signs that anyone is trying to sell to actual people. Dual 16-bit, 44100Hz D/A's would be a good start (the chip is about $6).

Valgrind

I spent a lot more time with Valgrind today, and caught quite a few Ghostscript bugs. The tool rocks. movement expresses amazement that people are still finding out about the tool. I think it's because you don't see how good Valgrind is until you use it yourself. There are a lot of crappy proof-of-concept free software projects out there (and SourceForge hosts most of them!). It's quite rare that a project delivers this level of quality so quickly, coming out of nowhere.

Mozilla

Today I wore the "Welcome Mozilla" t-shirt I got on the launch of the project over four years ago. I've also pretty much switched over. Congratulations!

Petty personal fighting

chip86: I can certainly see why you're frustrated. In general, I don't like to intervene in these cases. In my experience, ignoring the unpleasantness works better than anything else.

Even so, one simple change I'm considering is to only include certified entries in recentlog. I thought about that last time around, but the problem went away before I got around to implementing the change. That change would be a little bit unfriendly to new people joining, which also makes me somewhat reluctant.

bytesplit: I don't understand why you and Christian are fighting, and I'm not sure I want to. In any case, I don't recommend Advogato as a forum to air your grievances.

I'm hesitant to post even this much, because I am not getting involved. I hope this doesn't escalate, but if it does, it will be a good testbed for the trust metric ideas.

Btw, George Monbiot has some writings that will be particularly interesting for those who like controversy.

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