Firefox 4, Chrome killer?

March 12, 2011 at 12:29 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , )

I have been using the latest Firefox beta and I’ll have to admit I usually miss my Chrome experience while using it. Well that has become less apparent. I think the Firefox developers really stepped up their game, and just might slow down the avalanche of users switching to Chrome.

The only thing that I have become addicted to in Chrome is searching from the address bar, rather then a dedicated search box as Firefox still uses. I understand the search bar in Chrome is a deep rooted, purposeful design that isn’t as simple as a few function additions. But there are some I’m sure that still appreciate the classic way of doing search (from a dedicated search box).

Firefox on Windows 7 is what I’m referring to. I’ve always had less then optimal performance with Firefox on Linux but hopefully that will change.

The new Firefox, besides the new tab design, is very snappy and loads pages noticably faster. Which was another reason Chrome became my browser of choice.


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Linux Desktop!!!!!

February 15, 2011 at 12:48 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , )

I think its time to start weeding the garden of bad info concerning “is Linux ready to dominate the desktop market”. Until someone makes and funds a distro in the right manner it will never be a reality in the way the public is expecting. Most Linux users especially Ubuntu users, of which I am one. I will say I’m not sold out to Ubuntu anymore then any other distro that you hear is the one that “just works”. Obviously Linux as a kernel is far beyond ready as a technology to dominate the market. Linux as a technology gets blamed for every wireless driver that stops working, every laptop display that will not allow you to brighten the back-light. Whoever compiles the distro makes the choice to put bits out in the public that are at the very least unpredictable. Then you see all the articles, and blog posts rolling about how Linux hosed their laptop or their Windows partition etc etc. As valiant an effort Ubuntu is and will be I still think until someone has a purpose to sink their teeth and money behind building a stable desktop environment with free software it will remain two steps forward and three back. Don’t get me wrong things have improved greatly but when three releases ago all your drivers were perfectly fine and now you upgrade or even do a clean install and blam, “what happen to my wireless, why dont my dimmer switch work for my laptop etc etc”. That is not Linux failing, it is the process failing of the distribution. I know Mark Shuttleworth has done great things for the reputation of Linux as an alternative desktop to Windows but some of his crusades he has gone on has to me been a a shot from left field. The worst part of the regressions that most users suffer through is that they are scripts that have been setup to suddenly blacklist your driver and off you go to the races finding out why your laptop is suddenly not Linux friendly. The kernel community has a part in this mess but no where near the blame they get. Ubuntu is a commercial product now, whether you use semantics to say it is totally free blah blah blah. No company or business will use an operating system without support. Someone has to be responsible for breakages and guess what Canonical is looking for a way to make Ubuntu profitable but not by selling it directly but selling you the service you can not do without, if your business depends on your computers working as expected. The way things are setup Red Hat is closest to what works for free software but Mark chose to condemn them as just another proprietary OS. I completely disagree. Red Hat understands that the bits their customers are using and paying service contracts on do not have to line up with every new kernel release etc. Fedora is there contributing heavily to the bottom line of free software while Red Hat’s business grade distro is kept stable by the team that understands what customers expect. That to me has been shown to be the business model that will move us forward. It’s not about a race to the newest and brightest untested kernel if your trying to satisfy “Joe Microsoft”. I know there are alpha releases and they beg for bugs but people are starting to see that as going through the motions for nothing. Developers are overwhelmed or just plain bad people persons (i know, its bad English). There are bugs open for years that were never bugs to start with. If you want to release something as your distro, then don’t blame, the new kernel, the newest gcc etc. You released it. It is a tremendous responsibility I’m sure to get this right but until we acknowledge what the problem is it will never be “The Year of The Linux Desktop”. Linux gets accused of not being ready to run a desktop yet is running super computers, ISP servers by the thousands, Google to name a few. Just stop the blame game. Even Ubuntu’s long term support release is plagued by the same system that is still broken. I don’t mind most of the time to make fixes but when you turn your computer on and want to get work done you don’t feel like playing joe hacker. Get this right and we’ll see Linux shine in the desktop market.

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My Macbook from Linux results

February 11, 2011 at 10:19 am (Uncategorized) (, , , )

Well after a few months I couldn’t take the muffled feel of the Macbook compared to my trusty old Ubuntu. I was dual-booting fairly early in the experience anyway but it just didn’t seem worth the extra dough to own the glamorous, what some make call trendy Mac. I went back initially to my two year old Sony which has been very trust worthy I might say for dual booting Linux and Windows (Windows since the streaming video still seems to need work on the Linux side of the fence). I watch alot of tech videos online if for nothing but to keep up with what is going on on the landscape of our world. That has lead me to Microsoft sights that require Silverlight, and no offence to Miguel but the Moonlight plugin sometimes doesn’t just install has hoped, not to mention you can tell they are chasing a technology around like a dog chases his tail and that it is not something I feel like getting behind since it’s future (Mono etc.) is still to me a bit shaky.

I did not like MacOSX plain and simple and the hardware is not any better then the new Samsung I just paid a quarter of the price tag as the Macbook. Mac used to have the supposed advantage because they “made” the hardware and the OS so things were much grander since they were made for each other NOT. Not to mention Apple showed the inability to keep up with Intel so the insides of the Mac are no longer any different, and as I see it better then the competition they for so long have made fun of. Good bye Mac OSX, good bye. Now I still haven’t answered the question of why Linux developers and open-source developers were parading their Macbooks at Gnome, and Lnux conferences (others as well of course). No things don’t “just work”, any better then using Cygwin on Windows “just works” for someone looking for the workflow and open smorgasbord that has become Linux’s hallmark. Please developers use what you are building in the way that will make our position stronger. The world sees this as someone who works for General Motors building the best cars GM has to offer, then leaves the plant to drive home in the comfort of his Japanese made automobile. Show the confidence in Linux and the available hardware for it, that you’re preaching by building it. If you do it for a hobby or do it for the money you make please stop making us all look like we are “talking out both sides of our neck” . As always just my two sense and I do not want to argue but good dialogue I look forward to.

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Rails3 on Ubuntu! (Can Linux be a first class citizen?)

August 14, 2010 at 9:29 am (Apple, Free Software, Linux, Mac, Microsoft, Open Web, Opensource, Programming, Ruby, Ruby on Rails, Technology, Ubuntu) (, , , , , , )

I know there are people developing Ruby and Rails on Linux and probably a good number. I am a newbie to programming and while learning Ruby and Rails, besides being what I’m interested in, has become a good way for me to build real usable applications and not get bogged down in “hello world” land forever. Can anyone out there relate?

Anyway since I started using Linux about a year and a half ago I always hoped to eventually become a very active commiter to an opensource project(s). I just haven’t been able to get myself to a comfortable level to be helpful in the programming side of things and at times I get somewhat discouraged. Rails and Ruby has brought wind to my sails!

As I said I know there are Rails developers using Linux or more specifically Ubuntu. I also notice that at the very least the Mac is the primary platform being used by Rails and probably Ruby developers and I will admit I probably would do the same if I could afford it but that’s another story. I would like to find like minded people out there who are passionate to make Ubuntu a first class platform in the Rails community. To the point that when new developers or even wanna be developers come along that may be testing opensource or Linux they find that Ruby/Rails is Linux friendly to the point that the tutorials or blogs don’t have to always end with “I’m using Mac but there is probably some help on the web for Linux users”.

Let’s make a landing point for Ubuntu Rails developers and work together to keep packaging, tutorials, and overall community attention fresh and focused on making Ubuntu second to none when it comes to being used with other open source projects. I’ve said it myself before I know that the Mac has answered to alot of users concerns on the Linux desktop or can I say has become the best of both worlds for developers who want the Unix tools they would have with Linux but coupled it with a pleasing stable graphical desktop experience. Heck even Linux/Gnome developers are using Macs to develop free software. Now I don’t want this to be misunderstood as a Apple hater story it is far from that. I just believe that as an opensource platform what better scenario would there be to be able to develop in a first class setting, the software you know and love, and is also open source software. I know in a perfect world being able to use an open desktop with other open source software has got to be better for open source at large then open source software on a proprietary operating system.

Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you catch the vision. Let’s make Ubuntu the best answer to the Unix that so many are using the Mac for.(not to ignore some of the visual design things that I believe the Ubuntu community is working on as well.) Let’s keep open up and down the stack from the programming languages to the browsers to the desktop OS itself. We can do it with the same charisma that the Ruby community uses to make programmers happy using Ruby. Let’s make Ubuntu and Ruby/Rails the number one answer to the developers looking for the best answer to the questions they have. There are quite a few .Net and Windows developers all over the net talking about trying to get Ruby and Rails working on Windows let’s give them a reason why they don’t need to.

Thanks for listening

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Python or Ruby!

July 25, 2010 at 2:37 pm (Uncategorized) (, , )

Just a few thoughts in my quest to become a very proficient professional hacker. I have probably tried to get going the most with Python but as always there just seems to be a disconnect with the abstractions that just don’t click with me. Lately I have been playing with Rails and Ruby and as much as I kept running from Ruby as the language that I wanted to learn it is starting to grow on me. In the words of many great hackers Ruby seems to fit my brain. The code is quite a bit more readable then even Python. Along the way I also noticed a few things about the Ruby and Rails culture that differs from the Python world. Ruby has not had the problems Python has with package management as Python seems to still have. Ruby Gems are pretty ubiquitous when it comes to Ruby packages. I think Python and Linux has very striking similarities when you look at Linux’s packaging and all around standards in general. You can’t just read instructions on installing programs on Linux or where in the file system to find things etc. Some may enjoy this but they have to admit it is a hindrance when it comes to adoption of a platform. Python seems to be as splintered just look at the squabbling over web frameworks between the Turbogears type and the Django types. Ruby like the Mac has found a way to agree on things that help to keep the community productive and pragmatic as well. I’m even finding Rails to make a lot of sense in terms of how it works and as much as the web seems to be crawling with the Twitter performance stories and Ruby being slow, the Ruby and Rails communities still move along at a pretty good pace getting things done. There are very big sites and web apps still using Rails in spite of the Twitter story. I know it has quieted down somewhat but it is far from a dyeing technology. There are still a great deal of thriving businesses being started and chugging along that find Ruby and Rails a perfect fit. I know some would argue that Python and Linux are stronger communities for all the choice you have but some people want to see a platform mature and make some choices that allow a platform to move on to the next step. As much as I hear people say how readable Python is and how it fits their brains I understand it but for me it seems to be Ruby.

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Opensource, but when and for whom!

May 21, 2010 at 3:06 am (Uncategorized) (, , , )

I have a question. Is it me or has the corporate world completely changed the opensource philosophy. I really started thinking in depth about this when Mark Shuttleworth was getting a hard time for Launchpad’s opensource timeline. It seems that opensource is completely foreign to its roots which to me were much closer to the beginnings of free software.

Think of how Linus started the kernel project compared to how the new “open source” non-evil companies start projects. The spirit is completely lost. The idea as far as I’m concerned was never for multi-billionare company starts money making venture by building their “open source” project for a year or two in secret. Then when they think the project is ready to make money the source code is put on a server to get some free help improving said product.

Just my two cents but is the spirit of free software completely lost in “open source” business. We watch Google year after year get more and more powerful and keep saying “don’t be evil”. Is that all there is to it. If so I think we could use some good old fashion Stallman to counter balance these fallacies.

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Quick Ubuntu rant!

May 6, 2010 at 12:42 am (Linux, Opensource, Technology) (, , , )

I continually switch between Ubuntu and Fedora and have been meaning to mention the irritating notification popup behaviour in Ubuntu, When you get connected to your wireless network etc. and the sleek black MACish notification box popups up the behaivour that I always expect is that when I click on the popup, the popup should go away. Well for several releases now that is the default behaviour. Besides being a nuisance to me it is much more “polished” to have the popups behave like Fedora has since at least F10. I remember a conflict between Mark Shuttleworth and a user on his blog argueing about the new notifcation system’s default behaviour but I can not say for sure if this was mentioned, I seem to recall that but I haven’t confirmed it. It seems lately that Ubuntu’s new design-level focus could be more about usability and less about trying to clone the MAC. There seems to be some harsh reaction to user’s complaints about the direction of Ubuntu. I would think the nitch they are looking to fill those types of issues would be readily accepted by the Ubuntu designers and Markm himself.

Say what you will about Fedora’s bleeding edge they do still find a way to innovate and still be mindful of little things like the notification system behaviour being intuitive. I myself do not like to click a notification box only to have it blink and fade at will. It just seems buggy!

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