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Not so appreciated attitude of Dr. Richard Stallman

DO NOT USE FACEBOOK!

On a mailing list MIT CSAIL, a thread was started by some students asking for votes over facebook as they were competing for a chance to win $100K.

Hi all,

A few MIT current students and alumni (previously on the GPI action team)
are working on an exciting project to help *MIT students and international
development volunteers*! We are competing on Facebook and if we get enough
votes (if we can make 5th place or higher) we have the chance to win $100K!
*It takes 1 minute to vote on Facebook and you can disable the app
immediately after voting!*

We are building *an International Development Project Database and Mentor
Connection** *that gathers detailed information about international service
projects. Future students and volunteers will be able to build upon
previous work (use previous designs, materials) instead of starting from
scratch. Experts and previous volunteers will help students form their
projects and prepare for on the ground work in specific regions.*We would
extremely appreciate your vote!*

Dr. Stallman response tells us that he hates facebook from all his heart. His response can be checked here. He said:

Facebook is not your friend. Its “real name” policy is enough reason to refuse to use it, but there is so much more nastiness in Facebook. I don’t use it, and you shouldn’t either.

He even said:

Facebook is an international parasitism project.

Read full reply here.

He brought up pretty strong points to justify his hatred. What do you say? Leave comments.

Microsoft counted as key Linux contributor, for now anyway

For the first time ever, and probably only temporarily, Microsoft can be counted as a key contributor to Linux.

The company, which once portrayed the open-source OS kernel as a form of cancer, has been ranked 17th on a tally of the largest code contributors to Linux.

The Linux Foundation’s Linux Development Report, released Tuesday, summarizes who has contributed to the Linux kernel, from versions 2.6.36 to 3.2. The 10 largest contributors listed in the report are familiar names: Red Hat, Intel, Novell, IBM, Texas Instruments, Broadcom, Nokia, Samsung, Oracle and Google. But the appearance of Microsoft is a new one for the list, compiled annually.

Overall, Microsoft contributed 688 changes, or about 1.0 percent of the accepted changes to the kernel, since version 2.6.36. Company engineers also signed off on 2,174 changes, or about 1.1 percent of all the changes in this review period.

Much of the work Microsoft did centers around providing drivers for its own Hyper-V virtualization technology. Microsoft’s Hyper-V, part of Windows Server, can run Linux as a guest OS. Linux kernel developer and LWN.net editor Jon Corbet, a co-author of the study, estimates that Microsoft’s involvement peaked around last year’s 3.0 release of Linux and will diminish over time. “Even the [hypervisor] drivers can only need so much cleaning up,” he wrote in an article explaining the influx of Microsoft contribution.

For the Linux Foundation, Microsoft’s involvement in Linux shows how widely used the OS kernel is these days. Microsoft must work with Linux to be part of the larger enterprise computing ecosystem.

In the time period covered by the report, more than 1,000 developers from nearly 200 companies contributed to the kernel. Lone contributors provided the largest number of changes, 11,413 changes or about 16.2 percent of all the changes in this review period. Among contributions from companies, Red Hat provided the most changes, or 7,563, or 10.7 percent of all changes. After Red Hat, Intel provided the next largest batch of changes, 5,075, or about 7.2 percent of all changes.

On average, between 8,000 and 12,000 patches are added to each new kernel release, which, overseen by Linus Torvalds, come out every two or three months. The vast majority of these changes are developed by outside parties.

In addition to Corbet, Linux kernel maintainer and Linux Foundation fellow Greg Kroah-Hartman, and Linux Foundation Vice President of Marketing and Developer Services Amanda McPherson co-wrote the report.

The Linux Foundation is a nonprofit organization devoted to further developing and maintaining the open-source Linux kernel. It is funded by companies that use Linux in their products and services, including Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Intel, Novell and Oracle.

Actual meaning of Free Software: Free as in beer versus Free as in speech

Vastness of open source can leave anyone in confusion. Whether it is distro hunting or phrases that are used to explain related concepts. The one which annoys every single beginner is that Open source is said to distribute free software, so far so good, but what exactly we mean by free? Free as is Beer or Free as in Speech? Keep reading.

The difference can be narrowed down to “no money” versus “no restrictions (or a bit of them)”. In English, free is often mistaken for both the meanings but in Spanish they have different words for them, Gratis and Libre.

Free as in Beer (Gratis)

Java from Oracle is a product which is free as in beer. When you are offered a beer, you are not supposed to pay for it but enjoy. The ‘body’ giving away pays for it and everyone enjoys it at no cost.

Java from Oracle is available free of cost for everyone but restricts users from getting even a glimpse of source code. Hence, users are also deprived of the liberty of modifying the code. Speaking of that, none of distributing publicly and submitting bug fixes is available. The decision of What/When/How you get the “beer” is made by the “giver”.

Free as in Speech (libre)

In addition to facility of getting the software for free, the air of liberty comes in. The liberty in “libre” is more than you get in “gratis”. Following are the rights you have in software which are Free as in Speech:

♦ You can use it anyway you want. They don’t care if the software was made for computer you are running it on mobile device. More the merrier!

♦ You can easily see the internal working of the software. Users want to know the secret ingredients in their favourite beer but are deprived of this pleasure in case of free beer.

♦ Sharing is caring! After using and falling in love with the software, one would definitely want to share it and libre allows him to do that without violating any law. Distribute it publicly whether by packaging it with your software or provide a mirror, etc.

♦ You can be a part of the development process. If you find a bug and a fix to it, you can submit it so that community benefits from it. After all it is all about giving away.

VLC 2.0 twoflower released

Open source media player, one of the greatest, VLC has reached version 2.0. This one is a major upgrade for vlc. According to just-in-report several hundred bugs are removed from previous versions.

What freaks me out is itself being an open-source project, no downloads for linux are being provided on official website. A link to its source is given, fair enough, but the link is returning 404 error (in India). And then we complain why people are still stuck on non-linux operating systems. There you go!

See whats new in all new vlc 2.0 Twoflower on official page.

Edit: Looks like they made a typo, you can build it yourself from source.