12 Nov 2004 rcastro   » (Journeyer)

It took me a long time to decide, but I ended up quitting my job (will work until the 19th) and will work on some projects. Basically I want to work on technical projects, namely Linux Kernel and JBoss application server, and on entrepreneurship with some projects I have in mind. I am very eager to start this new stage in my life.

Gaim

This weekend I worked on a patch for Gaim 1.0.2 to make the away menu (ie, status menu) aware of the current status of each protocol. Without this patch, I was unable to know what was my current status in Yahoo or ICQ. I don't think it is going to be accepted (because I worked on the stable branch), but I tried and it was a good experience. It is available in my home page and in the patch section of Gaim project page. If the Gaim developers tell me that I could help in the development branch (what I volunteered for), I will port these changes to it.

Apache

In my last days at Convergys, today I started installed Apache Jetspeed 2 Enterprise Portal, but didn't have time to finish. I had the chance to install Maven (I am curious about it) and Tomcat (never installed it without an application server, such as JBoss. Besides all these things, I would like to create a first web service next week in order to learn about Apache Axis.

Linux Kernel

Now it is time to work on some Linux kernel ideas. When they are mature enough, I will publish about them here.

In these last days, I followed a discussion thread between Marcelo Tosatti and Andrea Arcangeli about out-of-memory killer in Linux Kernel. Very interesting and very intriguing. I intend to do some work on this as soon as I start work intensively on the Linux kernel.

Skype?

I talked to Livio, a friend of mine, about Skype and he called my attention to some interesting points about it, that I will share with you. Have you ever checked its license agreement?

**********************************************************************
"Skype End User License Agreement"
[...]
Article 4. Permission to Utilize

4.1 Permission to utilize Your computer. In order to receive the benefits provided by the Skype Software, you hereby grant permission for the Skype Software to utilize the processor and bandwidth of Your computer for the limited purpose of facilitating the communication between You and other Skype Software users.

4.2 Protection of Your computer (resources). You understand that the Skype Software will use its commercially reasonable efforts to protect the privacy and integrity of Your computer resources and Your communication, however, You acknowledge and agree that Skype cannot give any warranties in this respect. [...] *********************************************************************

Besides that, Damien Sandras, from Gnome Meeting, has insightful thoughts about it, that he published in the project web site:

    People are often asking me what I think of Skype. What I think is
    pretty clear...

The main problem is not that the program is not Open Source, the problem is that Skype is locking users into a proprietary protocol. Would you imagine the Internet with a proprietary equivalent to the HTTP protocol that only a given client could browse? That's what happens with Skype. Skype also has a great marketing force, some people even think that Skype has a superior audio quality. How could Skype have a superior quality when it is using the same codec (iLBC) than software like GnomeMeeting while introducing more latency by making calls go through a 3rd party? The only real advantage of Skype is that it is easily going through any type of NAT, using a 3rd user to proxy the call. But the day when the Linux kernel NAT will natively support H.323 or SIP, Skype will have lost its only advantage... Skype is hype...

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