Older blog entries for sej (starting at number 166)

Today I asked myself if the actions of the Bush administration are increasing or decreasing the likelihood of terrorists using weapons of mass destruction in this century. Yesterday I was amazed that Al Gore questioned the effectiveness of a unilateral pre-emptive attack on Irag. Perhaps fate saved him to serve a different 8 years in the White House.

12 Sep 2002 (updated 12 Sep 2002 at 16:37 UTC) »
vxl, vtk, and cmake

vxl is a third-generation class library for image processing, recognition, and analysis. The 2nd beta for release 1.0 is now available. It uses an interesting cross-platform build tool called cmake, which I assume is shared with vtk, the visualization class library from former GE researchers.

I would love to be employed in a commercial setting to leverage these open source frameworks. They are high quality, seasoned and mature packages. As far as I know their use hasn't broken out of academic or government circles. In time I believe it will, because although class libraries take greater skill to wield than a plethora of linear functions, if you're developing a competitive commercial product with no room for inefficiency, they really are slack.

nymia

See my comment yesterday on sources of Flash info. Today's diary entry removed yesterdays's from the recent log, so you were never going to find the link. Oh for diary cross-referencing...

12 Sep 2002 (updated 12 Sep 2002 at 05:29 UTC) »
TNAOAL

Just read Scott McCloud's The New Adventures of Abraham Lincoln. In spite of what Scott says about his creation, it should be required reading (or at least available in the library) at every middle school in the USA.

Flash clones

nymia, visit the vector-graphics foundry for links to Flash-cloning projects.

Been filling out a certain online form for a certain form of state-sponsored insurance (for once I'm with the trend in Silicon Valley). Failed with the latest IE, Mozilla 1.0, and Netscape 4.*. Finally Netscape 7.0 could hack it (all on MacOSX).

vacation

It was over a few weeks ago, but after-effects lingered until now. Saw Oregon, South Dakota, Minnesota, and Wisconsin all in one trip (hybrid drive-fly thing). The tricky bit was reversing our path, to make our way back from the beautiful northern Wisconsin lake to poolside California via Minnesota, South Dakota, and Oregon. Played golf twice and listened to a lot of (lowest-common denominator) top-40 radio.

sustaining development

I've been thinking about models for supporting ongoing development of free software. How do we get closer to the reality of proprietary software development, where the money that changes hands finances future development and lubricates communication about desired evolution of the product.

...more thoughts later...

ivtools

ivtools-1.0.6 is out. Other than a host of build-from-source fixes, it most significantly speeds the asynchronous import of rasters from URLs by avoiding incremental display. You still get a placeholder image and return to interactive control before the connection is established and the download begins. But now you won't see anything but the placeholder image until the download is complete. The incremental display was pleasing in the era of 56k modems, but an inefficient annoyance for broadband connections.

RedHat 7.* and gcc-2.96

I finally faced up to what was required for compilation of ivtools on RedHat 7.* (it seems extraneous includes of string.h have been pulled from stdio.h, or something similar). The problem never was gcc-2.96 (a version of gcc never approved by the gcc steering committee). My bias about the ever-evolving g++ environment had blinded me to the simple fixes necessary to accomodate such a major distribution.

knock on woody

Still no explanation for why ivtools slipped out of Debian woody. And to think I had been carefully watching for such an occurence for almost a year. Hard to notice if no one documents it. I really appreciate Debian's effort to be a true-blue free-software distribution. But I never get a feeling of respect for the producers who give them their raw material (we're called upstream maintainers instead of developers, which in my case is only half true -- 50% of ivtools is new code).

karma balance

To balance my karma I have to think of something positive to say. Hmmm. The Onion is extremely prescient? No, I don't think that will do.

C'mon, this shouldn't be so hard... I got it -- catch They Might Be Giants at First-Avenue on Sat. August 3rd and especially Sun. August 4th where they will promote their new best-selling children's album "No!". There. Does that work for you?

30 Jul 2002 (updated 30 Jul 2002 at 19:16 UTC) »
Battle of the Republics

The way I see it, energy banditos from Texas figured out how to transfer massive amounts of capital from the speculative boom of Silicon Valley to their own pockets by gaming California's energy market. Something that abruptly halted the day a Vermont Senator abandoned their political party of choice, transferring control of the investigative power of the Senate to the opposition. But the damage was already done with long-term contracts signed for way-over-market-rate energy for the next decade. The problem is the transfer of capital is not from those who got rich on the boom in California to those under investigation for shady business practices in Texas. It is from those recent home purchasers in California who are contributing half a billion dollars in increased property tax to the state coffers, money that would have gone to increase the outlay on education, and restore quality in California public schools that has ebbed away since Proposition 13. You stole from my kids, and you can bet I'm going to remember.

(ok,ok, that isn't quite so. Most of the cost of long-term energy contracts is passed on to all consumers and businesses rather democratically I believe, not paid by the state. But increased cost of living and/or manufacturing will show up as decreased state coffers, and fewer resources for education. I suppose vouchers will be the proffered solution. Grrr....).

Related News

In related news, Joel Klein, the former head of the Justice Department anti-trust prosecution against Microsoft, was appointed head of New York City public schools. Bye, bye Windows.

ivtools got kicked out of Debian woody without ever appearing in the Release-critical bug-report. I'm disappointed, but on the upside I've got an improving relationship with Ben Armstrong of the Debian Jr project, who will keep offering the unofficial stuff to kids.
16 Jul 2002 (updated 16 Jul 2002 at 21:12 UTC) »
MPL, NPL, GPL, what-the-L

jamesh, you are right, in that it is the NPL which is clearly a dual-licensors creation. The MPL only equates to that if Netscape used their right to change the MPL into the NPL or something similar. There is a difference between declared intent to make a profit off of proprietary versions (the NPL), and a loophole that would allow for this declaration in the future (the MPL). A loophole that exists for the FSF with the GPL as well, but in that case one would have to worry about leaning to the left rather than leaning to the right.

rendering libraries

You raise an interesting point with your reference to Mozilla's policy on non-original software. Someone ought to get in touch with the Mozilla SVG folks (any here?) and discuss this. I want my, I want my, I want my SVG (in Mozilla).

Wait, is libart specific to X11? That would be a more concrete reason why Mozilla can't standardize on it. I wonder if they've heard of Vector-AGG?

Hold it, what am I saying? The libart-enabled copy of Mozilla I have runs on Windows. Somebody has ported it. So back to my first question...

some time passes

Ok, here's the real answer to my question about libart and SVG:

From what I understand, SVG can't be added until all of the missing hackers (http://mozilla.org/MPL/missing.html) are found to complete the relicensing. If and when the are all found, Mozilla can include the LGPLed code needed to render SVG, such as Libart.

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