Microsoft staying relevent

August 5, 2010 at 12:24 pm (.Net, Apple, Free Software, Google, Linux, Mac, Microsoft, Opensource, Personal, Programming, Python, Rant, Ruby, Ruby on Rails, Technology, Web2.0)

Update: As the Ruby Inside blog points out maybe Microsoft thinks they need to revert back to their old ideas

Lately as I’ve been learning Ruby I’ve noticed some frustrating hurdles that are becoming all too familiar.

Now I know  Microsoft has taken steps to embrace the “other” world of web programmers but as I’ll show, I believe the wrong steps.

As the Ruby and Python web frameworks grew and also the community that insisted on developing web applications in a way that kept them in control of the HTML,CSS etc. Microsoft noticed and responded with the ASP.Net MVC releases. Their also were Windows programmers working on Iron Ruby, Iron Python etc.

This strategy while seemingly plugging the whole in the boat in my opinion is only delaying the inevitable shift developers are making to the “dark side”. Whether Microsoft or anyone else wants to admit it the threat from Mac OS X, Linux, Ruby, Python etc has much more in common then is admitted from the Microsoft camp.

For starters as I’ve said in other blog posts, a great deal of the Mac OS X shift by Windows developers and to be fair even Linux developers has more to do with the tools then it does to do with the pretty beach ball spinny thing ( ie. the pretty things). The Linux shift has more to do with instability at times on the Linux platform but that may be worked out if Ubuntu stays focused on the important things.

Not only do I believe Windows could slow the shift by their current developers but they could also possibly gain some of them back. Rather then try to force everything through the .Net filter they need to do the obvious. Give them what they are looking for.

1.How about a native Bash or Zsh environment. Environment being the key word. There are some applications running natively but far from a complete environment. An even so much of this has to be scraped together from evry corner of the web.

Developers now hanging on by a thread to the Windows platform have to jump through all kinds of hoops to use Windows. There is the Cygwin setup that breaks every time Windows upgrades. Although I must say the Cygwin developers have done a good job keeping things in order. I know Microsoft hates to admit it but .Net and C# isn’t for everyone. Stop thinking everyone wants a .Net implementation of every tool or language there is.

2.Embrace what the developers want to use rather then what Microsoft thinks they should use.

This doesn’t mean Microsoft is giving up on what they see as the future of programming. There are plenty of developers that still use those tools and will continue to stay the .Net path.

3.Embrace the commandline, the classic commandline. There are many developers and sysadmins who have tried to wrap their heads around Poweshell. The object oriented shell isn’t what some want to use. Again there are some who think that way but there are also those who wonder what the hell was Microsoft thinking. When the sysadmins and developers were begging for a better commandline story on Windows I’ll be willing to bet Powershell isn’t what they were thinking. The problem with Microsoft and these technologies is that they spend so much money and time on these technologies before the users get to see them that is more or less stuck with where they’ve gone.

If none of this strikes a note with Microsoft people then maybe we need to just admit that there are droves of developers who just need to keep switching.

There are developers that are holding on by a thread, believing that they can possibly stay on Windows but that thread is getting thin. Try setting up a native Django, or Rails development environment on Windows and see how long before your installing Cygwin, creating symlinks and such to make their environment “feel” native.

I would venture to say with all the free and opensource software that already exists having this happen would be more of pulling these tools together then remaking everything from scratch.

This would give Microsoft a much better story in their competition with Google and web applications in general. How much better off would they be covering much broader of a base of developers then they currently do. Who knows Microsoft could even innovate in this space and shock everyone. I know the resources are there but the will is at this time.

How would they like to see all the old school hackers that even work for Microsoft to stop buying Macs and using Macs to program for Microsoft. When the .Net Emacs project starting getting leaked to the world I truly believed that someone at least got part of the problem. But developers don’t want .Net everything. Microsoft could embrace what developers want even more then Apple and in my opinion shift the tide

P.S. Maybe you’ll listen, maybe you won’t, but at least I tried to articulate a few things that would make Windows seem like a platform I could even think of continuing to use.

As always just my two cents.

Thanks

Joe Ryan

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I want to learn programming very badly!

July 5, 2010 at 11:01 am (Computer Science, Free Software, Google, Linux, nonEvil, Open Web, Opensource, Personal, Programming, Python, Technology)

So badly that I am offering any hacker out there my volunteer time in helping with any programming related task. Just comment to me if you are interested. No matter how tedious the task let me help and possibly become a part of the project involved if it works out.

I have free time, but unfortunately because I have been diagnosed with Scleroderma. Which seems to make my dream of being a hacking Ninja a bit more urgent.

I figured I would throw this out there although I haven’t got much traffic to my blog yet. Hopefully the Google picks it up (ha ha).

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Web Browser as the OS?

June 12, 2010 at 11:39 am (Cloud Computing, Evil, Free Software, Google, Linux, Open Web, Opensource, Personal, Programming, Rant, Technology)

This idea always struck me as kind of odd because no matter how you slice it the browser is not smart enough nor is meant to control the hardware etc. I like to think about it as though the actual windows are more intelligent, or connected. Sort of the same abstraction that is given by the X/Windows environment on Unix/Linux type systems. The browser application becomes the window manager in a way.

When the browser begins to handle such tasks as hardware and process management, it no longer is considered only a browser. It is an operating system running a single application, a web browser. The idea of the web operating system in it’s most real sense would be a WAN connected server taking over some tasks that our operating systems are handling locally now. Forgive me for feeling like this is taking a step back. I believe the ideal future will be very capable hardware on the client working in a more networked-by-design, distributed sense. There are certain tasks that I believe should not involve network latency etc. We already are dealing with applications being slow and ultimately using a great deal of resources. The only difference will be taking the latency from the local bus of the PC and transferring it to the network. That doesn’t fix anything, or move us ahead technologically. What happens is that someone gets to monetize everything about our communications, even more then is happening now. I believe there are applications that are better left handling things locally. Not to mention with most “free” web applications there is someone monetizing your personal data without you being aware. Even if you do not store your data on their servers, your keystrokes and network communications etc are mined, without your permission in most cases. I know the the 5 page license mentioned that they will be mining your data and communications “to better serve the customers needs”, but most users would not agree to half of the license agreements that they unknowingly agree to by clicking through windows to get to their work. You know how it is, check here, click here to start using etc.

Please people think about the ramifications. There is a reason we moved from mainframe type computing to local processing and storage. I like the idea of all homes running their own servers with their data and such. Now the business model changes but there are still ways of taking the complexity away from the common users. With so much added complexity with servers and the like being at user’s homes, there would be a need for subscription support services and the like. Which could be handled remotely, not adding distraction or inconvenience to the customer’s experience.

Linux would be a perfect fit for such a scenario.

While I am on the subject of web operating systems. The fact that Google takes advantage of the fact that users must pay for Windows or other proprietary operating systems makers but can use ChromeOS for free is a bit disingenuous. You are paying for it just not when you buy your PC or when you buy the CD from Best Buy. If things go the way Google likes you no longer need Windows Mac or anything else. Just a dumb terminal connected to Google’s non-evil monopoly. They want to give you your phone, your OS, your office applications, your email application, your navigation/GPS device application. Is there anything I’m leaving out. Think about the power that comes from that level of integration. Everything about you, where you are at any given time, all your personal information, your communications, likes, dislikes, secrets etc, stored on Google’s servers. Welcome to cloud computing.

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The cloud scares the hell out of me!!

June 10, 2010 at 4:30 pm (Cloud Computing, Evil, Open Web, Personal, Rant, Technology) (, , )

This may be old news to some but we need to as a society wonder if we really want to put all this power in the hands of greedy corps looking to sell their mother if they could.

The conversation involving Zuckerburg of Facebook while coding and releasing Facebook while at Harvard is telling of how humans deal with great power. Even if he was joking, the very thought that he may have used any of the information he attained against or for his own greedy appetite should answer the question for us all whether the future of the web will be all the world’s citizens info stored on a few filthy rich corporate greed mongers servers is the answer to what some are calling “the open web”. I know the open web term usually refers to the interoperability between technology but to me these terms are used interchangeably all the time. See Zuckerburg’s IM conversation for yourself (well a piece of it).

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Google selling search phrases to BP!!

June 7, 2010 at 1:32 pm (Evil, Google, Open Web, Personal, Rant, Technology)

BP, the very company responsible for the oil spill that is already the worst in U.S. history, has purchased several phrases on search engines such as Google and Yahoo so that the first result that shows up directs information seekers to the company’s official website.”

I don’t know about you but is this the future that we want as consumers of the so-called “open web”, that Google is trying to take over and monopolise. The worst part is that they are doing it, and all the while still claiming not to be evil. And they are using the open source banner to achieve it. It is one thing to sell advertising and such but I think the slippery slope has been surpassed when those with the money can now create or fabricate what the world knows about them, by buying search phrases from the Googles and Yahoos of the world. This is probably been a known practice for a while but I guess it doesn’t have any reason to really be reported as such. You know the reporting of someone buying the “intertubes” in a way.

I’m sorry for being so disturbed, but think about the ramifications. You have people selling SEO advice to garner web traffic when if you have enough money you can buy the traffic.

This is more then image repair and marketing. I already wonder how much valuable information is buried on the internet beneath all the search engine behemoths. It used to be about mining the treasure of the world’s information but soon the internet will be seperated with the haves and the have nots.

The open web should not be the rich boy’s club as everything else in the world is.

What happened to the days where the web was not controlled by the search engine but the search engine was strong only because it could without bias lead you to the things that were found because of the best algorithm that dug the best for pertinent info.

I know I’m rambling a bit.

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What is Opensource?

June 3, 2010 at 2:18 am (Computer Science, Evil, Free Software, Google, Opensource, Personal, Programming, Rant, Technology) (, , , )

This is a genuine question that really starts to make me understand why the Richard Stallman’s of the world are so adamant about Free Software.

Case in point I was watching some of the new Google IO videos today and noticed the video about “Freemium – how to make free users paying customers” and was just a bit taken back by the somewhat underhanded sound of that statement. In my opinion it is anyway. It seems that they see there users as a means to the ultimate end, PROFIT (again just my opinion). The idea that ”free users” as future paying customers seems to speak of altier motives. I already blogged about how commercial companies seem to build their “opensource” projects in secret and then when they are happy with the project they “throw it over the wall” and magic happens, the project is no longer a for profit business venture but a good hearted move by a non-evil company to help the world of open source and free software move forward (NOT).

Back to my point of today. I noticed certain blog posts about certain Google open source projects, namely Web Sockets, and O3D and the changes Google was making to the “opensource” project. The changes were pretty substantial like the next version of O3D was no longer a plugin and that Web Socket versions would no longer be compatible etc. I guess in the normal scheme of an opensource project code breakage is not that unusual but when you consider these projects being released by commercial profit making companies claiming to not be evil when in reality opensource has become just another “edge” in the corporations bid to make money. Again if this understood at the outset it is fine but when companies like Microsoft are evil simply because of their dominant position and same tactics it just seems to be a double standard.

Imagine just for a moment a new startup that uses O3D plugin to build their stack around and now another company has simply decided that the plugin will no longer be such. This at the very least can cause it to be impossible for companies to work together on opensource projects if other companies learn how to bring them down or take them out of the game simply because they feel like it. This may seem to be circular reasoning but there is a point in there trust me.

I guess that’s what separates the profitable opensource companies from the ones that are at least trying to honor the principle and not mow people over with their size and influence.

Here is a quote from the blog I mentioned reading today. Notice the steering of the ship in spirit of openess and community.

“At Google, we’re deeply committed to implementing and advancing standards, so as of today, the O3D project is changing direction, evolving from its current plug-in implementation into a JavaScript library that runs on top of WebGL. Users and developers will still be able to download the O3D plug-in and source code for at least one year, but other than a maintenance release, we plan to stop developing O3D as a plug-in and focus on improving WebGL and O3D as a JavaScript library.”

The emphasis is my own in the quote. Just the few statements that struck a chord so to speak. I know some will say “that is opensource if developers need the old project they have the ability to fork it” . Yeah, I guess they can but that probably defeats the purpose of them joining up with developers of an opensource project of what was thought to be like minded people. No, just another huge rich “opensource” corp. I guess some will see this as being a bit unfair to Google but we should ask ourselves why the spirit of free and opensource software even means anything. Developers who participate and contribute to these corporate sponsored projects need some means of protection or at least predictability for their efforts, Right?

Thanks for listening

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Linux is frying my laptop!

May 6, 2010 at 9:19 pm (Linux, Opensource, Personal, Technology)

Update: Just to show my desire to actually be a help not a hindrance to the future of Linux I think it is only fair that I update what the issue may be with the temperature crashes. I believe there must be a setting in the system somewhere that crashes the kernel or system when the CPU reaches a certain threshold because Windows 7 seems content to run at even higher temperatures without crashing then my Linux partition has been crashing at (94 cel.). Apparently some laptops run hotter then others because I have found varying opinions and runtime temperatures after googling for anyone experiencing the same issues. 6/2/2010

I picked the title of this post because I have a sneaky suspicion that whatever is going on is kernel related as were other issues in the past that were fairly major like wireless driver breakage and such.

I was running Fedora 12 last night after some rather unpleasant bugs in the new Ubuntu 10.04 release. After about 12 updates a package conflict a reboot , repair of dependencies then a 400 some odd updates to Fedora 12 my processor temperature immediately started cooking like a stove then crashed. I received a black command prompt reporting that my cpu was 90 or so degrees celsius and a shutdown (not graceful by any means). I didn’t have any CPU temperature sensor software installed on Ubuntu or Fedora so I booted in to Windows 7 and watched my CPU temp slowly go down, while I was using several programs and such so I was happy to see my laptop was not toast. I just bought it less than a year ago for $1500, so I would have been up the creek.

So I proceeded to reformat my Fedora partition not wanting to take a chance again with overheating. I reinstalled Ubuntu to see if that may have been the case with Ubuntu as well and after a fresh install of Ubuntu and about an hour of usage my CPU was back up to 90 some degrees celsius again. I shutdown Ubuntu and booted back to Windows 7 to witness the same cooling process I witnessed last evening with Fedora 12.

I noticed something strange in the gnome system monitor applet though. My dual cores kept trading 100% CPU utilization every few seconds. I was only running one instance of Firefox and the system monitor applet. I have also noticed the system monitor applet using upwards of 40% CPU to run by itself.

I have had Windows spyware and annoyances in the past but I can safely and confidently say I never witnessed such shoddy software in my life. I am very irritated after two years of trying to make excuses and listen to why Linux is superior quality and blows Windows performance away etc. Why is this tolerated in the open-source world. I am a pragmatist, something has to prove to be more stable and superior not just be said to be such, as it seems the whole Linux thing has turned out to be.

Just so I do not leave this to just Linux let’s talk about Chrome’s blazing speed that eats up 100% CPU regularly as well.

Awesome engineering guys!

NOT!!!!!!!

Open-source needs to be more than a hobbyist’s dream if they are to prove their model of developing quality software superior to proprietary software.

Then you get answers like, “stop whining !”, “what do you expect , it is free!”, “blah,blah,blah”.

You can not have it both ways guys it is either superior or it is not, will someone answer that for me!

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