Welcome to Ubuntu Video | Linux Videos for Human Beings
Welcome to Ubuntu Video | Linux Videos for Human Beings


Pete Savage: Thank you Kevin Morey - Tigla is almost there - Still need a little help

Planet Ubuntu - Wed, 2007-08-15 00:19

Thank you Kevin, you seemed to have stopped the crashing completely, a call to the get_state, or should I say printing the get_state, was crashing the whole thing. The code is much fast now, however, some notes still don’t sound when I press the buttons. Sometimes it’s because it seems as if I’m trying to do it too fast, other times it’s just random. I noticed you can hammer down on keys and get pretty fast strumming. So it seems like it can do notes fast.

Please, any help on this would be very greatly appreciated. You just need a little gstreamer experience. Though Kevin claims he has none. Thanks man.

Code available here.

Debian Package of the Day: ttf-inconsolata: an open font for your terminal and for nice code printouts

Planet Ubuntu - Wed, 2007-08-15 00:00

Article submitted by Nicolas Spalinger. We have run out of good articles! Please help DPOTD and submit articles about software you like!

You love the command-line interface but you also want things to look good and be free as in freedom? Maybe you’re looking for a good open font to use when you code? or something to make your code snippets look even better in a printed publication?

Then check out ttf-inconsolata!

What is it?

Inconsolata is a monospace font designed by Raph Levien of Advogato and Ghostscript fame (and quite a few other things).

It is a high-quality font released under the Open Font License (OFL), the community-approved free license specifically designed for fonts and collaborative font design. (See https://www.scripts.sil.org/OFL for all the details including a extensive FAQ).

Screenshots taken from inconsolata’s website:

How does it compare to other fonts?

This fonts really stands out compared to other fonts out there for the following reasons:

It’s an open font which comes with sources! The great thing about this font is that extended sources - not just the ttf - are made available by the designer: the Fontforge .sfd and the Spiro .plate sources are available on the upstream website and in the source package. A Type1 version of the font is also available.

It is a collaborative font project: you can freely use, study, modify, redistribute and/or sell the font under the terms of the OFL which means you are free to derive artwork from the font, to embed it in a pdf, to branch, extend and tweak the fonts to your liking. You can also send a patch to contribute to Raph’s project.

It is also the result of cutting-edge innovation. Raph has been using his own font design toolkit called spiro to design Inconsolata. Spiro is based on revolutionary curve technology implementing Euler spirals. The spiro toolkit also includes various optimisation scripts. See https://www.levien.com/spiro for all the details.

It is work in progress (the coverage is mainly Basic Latin, Latin Extended-A and Latin-1 Supplement at this stage) but it is already very useful as such and has great potential to grow to support more Unicode blocks as needed.

This open font project is being generously sponsored by the TeX Users Group Development Fund which you can contribute to.

You can also use Inconsolata directly from your TeX environment using newer implementations like XeTeX or pdfTeX.

Alright, how do I get it?

Thanks to work done by the Debian fonts task force (See the corresponding Alioth project), Inconsolata is now available in Debian unstable and Debian testing. It will soon be sync-ed to Ubuntu.

It is co-maintained by the pkg-fonts team and the mirror Ubuntu fonts team. These teams are part of the open font movement working on improving the availability of high-quality open fonts, packaging the existing ones, integrating them with the wider free desktop stack, getting a toolkit together to do open font design and of course engaging more designers to release fonts under the OFL.

You can find other open fonts designed by Raph on his OFL fonts page

And many other open fonts projects are listed at: https://www.unifont.org/fontguide, https://www.scripts.sil.org/OFL_fonts and https://www.openfontlibrary.org/

Free the glyphs :)

IBM's Mainframe Simplification Reduces Data Center Staffing, Analyst Says

Topix - Linux - Tue, 2007-08-14 21:55

"IBM's simplification efforts are helping ensure that the mainframe is the right solution for new customers and new markets"

A new report by IT industry analyst Clabby Analytics says that "all of the new improvements that IBM is making in mainframe management may actually reduce the number of people needed to manage mainframes in the ... via WebWire

Google Pack Gains StarOffice

DesktopLinux.com - Tue, 2007-08-14 21:00
Google is adding Sun Microsystem's StarOffice 8 to its free software package, Google Pack. Read the full story on eWEEK.com: Google Pack Gains StarOffice

Jeremy Austin-Bardo: An Open Community

Planet Ubuntu - Tue, 2007-08-14 17:53

An open community is one thing that I think of with Ubuntu. My work with Meeting Logs and the Scribes Team is all about maintaining an aspect of an open community. Easily accessible and publicly available meeting summaries and logs.

In the Ubuntu Community, there are many teams handling many different community and distribution aspects. How can a new individual understand our community quickly? My answer would be to look at Meeting Logs. It should be concise account of what has happened to the community and distribution.

Our community should help support Meeting Logs. Every team in our community should take a moment to visit the wiki page. They should check that (a) their team is listed and (b) that all their meetings are listed and linked to on their index page. If they notice anything, the teams should make the correction or notify the Scribes Team.

Since my last post on the Scribes Team, I have noticed more interest in MootBot. I see this as a valuable tool for our community, but it could use some loving. I have a few features I would like implemented, but I am clueless and the author has been busy. If you understand eggbot code and would love to help, contact the Scribes Team.

Joseph Price: LugRadio Live 2007 - Videos

Planet Ubuntu - Tue, 2007-08-14 15:57

Just thought I’d point out that the majority of talks from this year’s Lug Radio Live are now available!

Only the “Main” and “Lightning” stage talks are currently available, but the talks from the Atrium will be here soon. (I know you’re all wanting more gong-a-thong action)

Of the talks I managed to hear, a few of my favourites currently available include:

Clicky!

Pete Savage: Pleading for some GStreamer help

Planet Ubuntu - Tue, 2007-08-14 15:14

Need some help. I’ve been working on this app since yesterday, and it’s working ok. I was going to announce it once it was complete, but I’ve been having issues that require more brain power than I have access to. I’m pretty new to GStreamer, and I’ve gotten this far. Basically it’s a virtual guitar of sorts. Codenamed Tigla.

It basically works like so, the samples variable holds the start/end nano second markers for each of the sample files. These hold 5 notes from each string, and basically….make the sound.

The GUI will obviously need work, it’s just a test base right now. The problem is that when pressing any button in quick succession, the program crashes. If you wait about 3-4 seconds before pushing each button, it’s generally ok. Please can someone help me out here. I can’t wait to start polishing this app.

Code and samples available here.

Jordan Mantha: Gutsy and openSUSE 10.3 Beta1

Planet Ubuntu - Tue, 2007-08-14 14:53

So, I’ve been kinda thinking lately that I could really be good for me to broaden my Linux horizons. I’ve been so focused on Ubuntu for a couple years now I haven’t had a chance to see much of what’s going on elsewhere in the Linux Universe.

Anyway, last night I installed openSUSE 10.3 Beta1 on a spare 10GB partition I had on my laptop. I’m not going to do any indepth review or anything, but I’d like to share just a few thoughts from my, maybe more developer biased, perspective:

  • The installer is quite nice graphically. It does make me appreciate the simplicity of Ubiquity though. It requires quite a bit more supervision. A big plus for openSUSE was how well it handled Grub. I was expecting to have to mess around with a clobbered grub config to get everything (openSUSE, Ubuntu, and Windows XP) to boot properly. I was pleasantly surprised on first reboot with a very nice looking openSUSE-themed grub that had my Ubuntu and Windows entries already there. I didn’t have to touch a thing or do anything during the install. Beautiful.
  • openSUSE has split 10.3Beta1 into a Gnome CD, KDE CD, and non-OSS CD. I like this approach. As we’ve been talking lately about the naming scheme for *buntu, I was impressed with how consistent openSUSE made it all. I did one install with the Gnome CD and one with the KDE CD. Aside from the panel, they pretty much feel the same. Similar color scheme, same wallpaper, etc. Very nice.
  • The artwork and overall look-n-feel in 10.3 Beta1 is very nice. Bootup is smooth. The only thing I have to criticize here is that I can’t figure out if openSUSE is supposed to be green or blue And I really do like the brown/orange in Ubuntu. Gutsy doesn’t feel as revolutionary in artwork as Fedora 7 or openSUSE 10.3 .
  • There are a lot of system administration tools. It’s a bit overwhelming and if I was a new user switching from another OS I’d be a bit confused, but for power users there are a lot of cool tools.
  • My laptop has an Atheros wifi card and ATI graphics so I find it a pretty decent test of how distros handle the “binary blob” problem. Ubuntu simply rocks in this regard (I didn’t even know until Restricted Manager came along that my wifi card needed madwifi). openSUSE doesn’t handle madwifi automatically but has a reasonably easy way to get it going, involving a good wiki page and 2 rpms to download and install. Fedora 7 failed abysmally when it came to madwifi.
  • Package management in Yast totally sucks. This is something that I think the openSUSE devs are working on, but adding a repo or even installing packages is very very painful in Yast. The plus side is that the zypper package manager is tons better. This is a least on the same order as apt in terms of speed and being able to do packaging basics (install, search, remove, upgrade).
  • The openSUSE Build Service seems to allow for cool grouping of packages. I’m interested in Education and Science so I looked around the Build Service and found repos for both topics.
  • Even with Build Service, there are a whole lot of packages I’m used to seeing in the Debian/Ubuntu repos that just don’t exist in the openSUSE repo. I’m not sure if this is a product of Novell’s focus on the desktop or what, but it’s both discouraging and a challenge to people wanting to contribute to openSUSE.

Overall, I was quite impressed with the progress openSUSE has made. I found the amount of “breakage” in the development version (Beta1) to be roughly similar to Gutsy. I think I’ll try to track openSUSE until 10.3 is released (early in October I think) and see how it all shapes up. I find openSUSE development to be a bit hazy still. I haven’t figured out how often Factory (the development repo) gets updated.

To summarize, for me openSUSE wins on artwork/consistency and configuration tools and Ubuntu wins on hardware setup and package management. Overall Linux is progressing awesomely and I’m proud of how Linux is innovating on the desktop. \o/

Probably stuff you already know, but maybe not.

Got Case Badges?

The Fridge - Tue, 2007-08-14 13:40

Martin Owens from the Massachusetts LoCo team is spearheading an effort to pool LoCo resources to make a mass purchase of aluminum “Powered by Ubuntu” case badges.

The wiki page has mockups, cost quotes, and current orders so if you or your LoCo are interested in getting a batch of good quality case badges check it out! The bigger the order the cheaper they are.

VMware May Violate Linux Copyrights

Slashdot Linux - Tue, 2007-08-14 12:34
Nailer writes "Bloomberg believe VMware's IPO today may the largest technology offering since Google. But doubts have been cast over the company's supposedly proprietary ESX product, as top 10 Linux contributor Christopher Hellwig claims the software may violate Linux kernel copyrights. 'Is Hellwig right, and is VMware a derived product of Linux? Unless vmkernel can be loaded without the Linux kernel, it would appear so. VMware was developed from another, long ago OS created as a research project, but it's unclear whether vmkernel was ported from that OS or rewritten as the Linux-requiring binary blob. What's more of an issue is that VMware had these serious questions posed directly to them a year ago, repeated in a public forum many times since, but have yet to respond at all.'"

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Christer Edwards: US Teams Project Interview on Linux.com

Planet Ubuntu - Tue, 2007-08-14 11:19

I thought some of you might be interested in reading a recent interview I did with Linux.com concerning the US Teams Project.

Ubuntu tries to go LoCo in all 50 states

Enjoy

Stephen Stalcup: Python Cheat Sheet

Planet Ubuntu - Tue, 2007-08-14 10:00

I stumbled across a very handy python cheat sheat the other day.

Download: Python Short Reference Card: 8.5 x 11 tri-fold (PDF)

Download: Python Short Reference Card : NotePack format (PDF)

Download: Python Short Reference Card: OpenOffice (ODT)

source https://www.notebind.com Thanks guys!

Also, great tutorial on how to get started with python for those interested in learning python: Learn Python in 10 minutes

Of course the Python site is full of great info too

Christer Edwards: Privacy and Encryption with PGP : Signing and Encrypting Email / Files

Planet Ubuntu - Tue, 2007-08-14 09:08

Preface

Saturday night the Ubuntu Utah Team had a great presentation on Privacy and Encryption. One very important topic and another very interesting topic. With as much is going on these days to screw with our privacy (NSA) it isn’t a bad idea to learn a little bit about encryption. Now, I know you may think that you aren’t doing anything private so what is the point? I’m not doing anything “private” either, but honestly if I really wanted to talk to the NSA I’d send my emails directly to them. I’m not doing things that *needs* to be hidden, it’s simply a matter of it not being any of their business.

I have for some time now been digitally signing my emails. If you’ve seen me pop-up on a mailing list or got any emails from me you’ve probably seen a digital signature in-line or as an attachment. Via this digital signature you can verify that the exact contents of the email into your box is the same contents that came out of mine. If even *one* character changed the signature would not validate and you could tell the email or signature had been tampered with.

I have also started signing and *encrypting* emails to others that also have a PGP key pair that I have personally trust-signed. We’ll get into the trust signing later but I wanted to share a few steps and some other references to how you can generate your own key and also be able to sign and / or encrypt emails or files.

The GUI Front-End

There are a number of tools to help you generate and manage your PGP keys. I suggest seahorse on gnome or kgpg on KDE. You can also use the command line equivalent on either system, which will be standard between the two. (note: there are also solutions for OS X and Windows, but I won’t get into those.)

First we’ll install the GUI front-end to go with the pre-installed GnuPG back-end.

sudo aptitude install seahorse (gnome)

or

sudo aptitude install gpa (gnome)

or

sudo aptitude install kgpg (kde)

Creating The Key

Now that we have one of these installed we’ll launch the front-end and start creating a key. In this example I’ll refer to seahorse but the steps should fairly easily transfer to the other two applications.

Applications > Accessories > Passwords and Encryption Keys

Select “Key” from the File Menu and “Create New Key (ctrl-N)

This will prompt you with a selection between PGP and SSH. In this case we’ll want PGP.

The next window will prompt you for your full name, email address and comment. It is generally recommended to use your full legal name (not nicknames or aliases) and your primary valid email address. I suggest leaving the comment section empty.

You may want to select the “Advanced key options” button and set a higher key strength. The default type DSA Elgamal of 2048 is a very powerful key strength but it does support up to 4096 as well. Personally I chose the 4096 but, again, the default 2048 is plenty powerful in itself.

You can also optionally select a date that this key will expire. Unless you know a reason why you’d want to do that (sometimes for temporary project-based keys, etc) you can safely set it to not-expire.

When you hit “Create” it will ask you for a passphrase to bind to this key pair. Choose a good, solid, more-than-a-dozen character passphrase to make this even more solid. Your digital signature and key are only as strong as its weakest link which is the passphrase. If someone gets a hold of your passphrase they can make use of your private key, un-encrypt emails sent to you or appear to be you! Once you have entered the passphrase it will generate your key pair. Remember this passphrase because, without it, the key pair is useless!

Depending on the key strength and the speed of your machine this may take a while. You should see a progress bar on the screen while it processes a new key. Just be patient.

You now have a basic key that is capable of digitally signing and optionally encrypting emails or files. One great use of this is to digitally sign the Ubuntu Code of Conduct as outlined here.

Using the Key

For those of you that want to get started right away signing emails you may be interested in some of the extensions available for commonly used mail applications. Thunderbird has a great one (actually the #1 reason I use Thunderbird as my client) with Enigmail. You can find it on the mozilla addons site or via the ubuntu repositories.

Evolution has PGP support built in but it is not as flexible (or at least I haven’t figured it out). You can find this in the Privacy tab of your email box settings.

Now this tutorial is getting a bit long so I’ll have to expand this next time and explain expanding your key with your alternate email addresses, keysigning parties, etc.

Until then I hope this helped a little bit.

UPDATE: screenshots of the key creation here [1,2,3,4]

Two major things to remember before you run off and start playing around. Remember your passphrase and back up your private key!!

Your public and private keys are found in ~/.gnupg/ . I suggest backing up this entire folder to an external USB. If you lose your private key the whole pair is useless. Even if you still have the public key and the passphrase the private key section is the most critical part of the process.

Benjamin Mako Hill: Animals That Are Also Verbs

Planet Ubuntu - Tue, 2007-08-14 08:16

I recently met the wonderful Laura Norris. Inspired by that delightful sentence Buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo, one of Laura's many worthy endeavors is the creation of a comprehensive list of animals that are also verbs. With help from Daf and a few other folks at Debconf, I've expanded the list considerably and put it into my user space in Wikipedia.

You might want to help out with wiki formatting, links to relevant articles or, of course, additions of animals that are also verbs that we have missed. When it's done, I'll make a (foolhardy?) attempt to move it into the article namespace.

The list has a temporary wiki-home here:

User:Benjamin Mako Hill/List of animals that are also verbs

Increased Linux Use With SCO's Defeat Predicted

Slashdot Linux - Tue, 2007-08-14 07:48
twitter writes "The defeat of SCO's infamous copyright attack has Forbes wondering if a GNU/Linux boom is upon us. They discuss how this will benefit Novel, IBM, Chrysler, AutoZone and Red Hat. 'The SCO Group frightened potential business users away from Linux with lawsuits demanding billions in royalties. But the litigious company's claims were shot down in a ruling that will likely boost uptake of the operating system.'"

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Elizabeth Bevilacqua: Ubuntu Pennsylvania BBQ

Planet Ubuntu - Tue, 2007-08-14 06:41

The BBQ this past weekend at Norristown Farm Park was a success!

The weather was absolutely perfect and the location was easy to find, unless you’re Alex Launi (just kidding, there was a road closure in the direction he came in that caused him to be quite late :)). We had somewhere around 25 attendees, including a few families so these was no shortage of excitement from young children running around. Unfortunately the batteries in my camera died shortly after I arrived, so I was only able to take a few pictures, which I’ve posted on the Ubuntu US-PA gallery.

I was really pleased with the number of people who came out because of my note about it to the PLUG list (one of whom offered to grill - thanks again Carl!), and excited that we snagged two woman via my post to PhillyGeek. There used to be an annual Linux picnic in the area, and the organizer of that ended up swinging by toward the end of the day, and now I’m considering working more closely with PLUG next year to broaden the scope and attendance of the picnic. It’s pretty awesome how the pool of people to draw from for such an event has expanded so much since the last such event was organized, Linux is really growing up! We planned to have the picnic from noon-4 but a bunch of us didn’t end up leaving until after 5, it was really fun to have an event where we could kick back and socialize rather than having to run around and fix/install/show off computers all day. A couple laptops did come out at the end of the BBQ and a few Ubuntu CDs were given out, we received our approved team box of CDs just in time for this BBQ so we had the nicely packaged ones for distribution.

A big thanks to everyone who contributed to this event, especially to Jim, who brought duplicates of all the important items for the BBQ in case someone didn’t show and brought a van-full of bread and desserts (I could eat that Oreo cake all day). We did good!

Brian Burger: Ein Frankfurt, mit beir und jetlag

Planet Ubuntu - Tue, 2007-08-14 06:10

OK, I promise no more butchered German in the rest of this.

Made it to Frankfurt, folded up in Air Transat's tiny seats. Narrowest seats & shortest pitch I've ever had in an airliner. Not fun. Breakfast consisted of something that might have been eggs in a previous life, and a small greasy sausage made of... something. Best not to speculate.

Wandered around Frankfurt's old town this morning, probably visit one more museum this afternoon, then beer & dinner and an early night - the jetlag is still lurking. Tomorrow we're off to a small town about an hour outside Frankfurt, to stay with a friend of the family for a couple of days before we drag ourselves back onto an airplane for the long (11-12hr) haul down to South Africa

No Flickr photo update to report - the hostel's wireless isn't fast enough to allow photo uploads.

Freespire 2.0 released, getting something for free

Topix - Linux - Tue, 2007-08-14 05:57

"Freespire 2.0 picks up where Ubuntu leaves off by adding proprietary software, drivers and codecs, to make for a more complete turn-key solution for mainstream desktop computing"

Who says nothing in life is free? Linspire announced Wednesday it's releasing Freespire 2.0, its free version of the desktop Linux operating system. via CNET News.com

Mark Shuttleworth: Emerging consensus in favour of a unified document format standard?

Planet Ubuntu - Tue, 2007-08-14 05:35

It’s too early to say for certain, but there are very encouraging signs that the world’s standards bodies will vote in favour of a single unified ISO (”International Standards Organisation”) document format standard. There is already one document format standard - ODF, and currently the ISO is considering a proposal to bless an alternative, Microsoft’s OpenXML, as another standard. In the latest developments, standards committees in South Africa and the United States have both said they will vote against a second standard and thereby issue a strong call for unity and a sensible, open, common standard for business documents in word processing, spreadsheets and presentations.

It’s very important that we build on those brave decisions and call on all of our national standards committees, to support the idea of a single common standard for these critical documents.

The way the ISO works is interesting. There are about 150 member countries who can vote on any particular proposal. Usually, about 40 countries actually vote. In order to pass, a proposal needs to get a 75% “yes” vote. Countries can vote yes, no, or “abstain”. So normally, 10 “no” or “abstain” votes would be sufficient to send the proposal back for further consideration. In this case, however, Microsoft has been working very hard, and spending a lot of money, to convince many countries that don’t normally vote to support their proposed format.

So there is something concrete you can do, right now, today, this week! Find out which body in your country is responsible for your national representation on ISO. In SA is the South African Bureau of Standards (SABS) and in the US I believe it is ANSI. Your country will likely have such a body. There is a list of some of them here but it may not be complete so don’t stop if your country isn’t listed there!

Call them, or email them, and ask them which committee will be voting in the OpenXML proposal. Then prepare a comment for that committee. It is really important that your comment be professional and courteous. You are dealing with strong technical people who have a huge responsibility and take it seriously - they will not take you seriously if your comment is not well thought out, politely phrased and logically sound.

If you have a strong technical opinion, focus on a single primary technical issue that you think is a good reason to decline the proposal from Microsoft. There are some good arguments outlined here. Don’t just resend an existing submission - find a particular technical point which means a lot to you and express that carefully and succinctly for your self. It can be brief - a single paragraph, or longer. There are some guidelines for “talking to standards bodies” here.

Here are the points I find particularly compelling, myself:

  1. This is not a vote “for or against Microsoft”.
    In fact, this is a vote for or against a unified standard. Microsoft is a member of the body that defines ODF (the existing ISO standard) but is hoping to avoid participating in that, in favor of getting their own work blessed as a standard. A vote of “no OpenXML” is vote against multiple incompatible standards, and hence a vote in favour of unity.If the ISO vote is “no”, then there is every reason to expect that Microsoft will adopt ODF, and help to make that a better standard for everybody including themselves. If we send a firm message to Microsoft that the world wants a single, unified standard, and that ODF is the appropriate place for that standard to be set, then we will get a unified global standard that includes Microsoft.The reason this point is important is because many government officials recognise the essential position Microsoft holds in their operations and countries, and they will be afraid to vote in a way that could cost their country money. If they perceive that a vote “no” might make it impossible for them to work with Microsoft, they will vote yes. Of course Microsoft is telling them this, but the reality is that Microsoft will embrace a unified standard if the global standards organisation clearly says that’s a requirement.
  2. Open, consensus based document standards really WORK WELL - consider HTML
    We already have an extraordinary success in defining a document format openly, in the form of HTML. The W3 Consortium, which includes Microsoft and many other companies, defines HTML and CSS. While Microsoft initially resisted the idea, preferring to push Internet Explorer’s proprietary web extensions, it was ultimately forced to participate in W3C discussions.The result is a wonderfully rich document format, with many different implementations. Much of the richness of the web today comes directly from the fact that there is an open standard for web documents and web interactions. Look at a classy web page, and then look at a classy Word document, and ask yourself which is the most impressive format! Clearly, Word would be better with an open standard, not one defined by a single company.
  3. A SINGLE standard with many implementations is MUCH more valuable than multiple standards
    Imagine what would happen if there were multiple incompatible web document standards? You couldn’t go to any web site and just expect it to work, you would need to know which format they used. The fact that there is one web document standard - HTML - is the key driver of the efficiency of the web as a repository of information. The web is a clear example of why ODF is the preferred structure for a public standard.ODF, the existing standard, is defined openly by multiple companies, and Microsoft can participate there along with everyone else. They know they can - and they participate in other standards discussions in the same organisation.Microsoft will say that “multiple standards give customers choice”. But we know that it is far more valuable to have a single standard which evolves efficiently and quickly, like HTML. The network effects of document exchange mean that one standard will in any event emerge as dominant, and it is important to governments, businesses and consumers that it be a standard which ITSELF offers great choice in implementation. People don’t buy a standard, and they don’t use a standard document, they use a software or hardware tool. If the “standard” only has one set of tools from one vendor, then that “choice of standards” has effectively resulted in zero choice of provider for customers. Consider the richness of the GSM cellular world, with hundreds of solution providers following a single global standard, compared to the inefficiency of countries which allowed proprietary networks to be installed on public frequencies.ODF is already implemented by many different companies. This means that there are many different tools which people can choose to do different things with their ODF documents. Some of those tools are optimised for the web, others for storage, others for data analysis, and others for editing. In the case of OpenXML, there is not even one single complete implementation - because even Microsoft Office12 does not exactly implement OpenXML. There is also no other company with any tool to edit or manage OpenXML documents. Microsoft is trying to make it look like there is broad participation, but dig beneath the surface and it is all funded by one company. The ODF standard is a much healthier place to safeguard all of our data.

I’d like to thank the team at TSF for the work they put into briefing the South African standards committee. I hope that each of you - folks who have read this far, will pick up the phone and contact your own standards body to help them make a smart decision.

The USA, South Africa, China, and other countries will be voting “no”. Let’s not allow heavy lobbying to influence what should be a calm, rational, sensible and ultimately technical discussion. Standards are important, and best defined in transparent and open forums. Pick up the phone!

Carthik Sharma: Thoughts that make me go hmmm!

Planet Ubuntu - Tue, 2007-08-14 01:01

This thought just struck me: the GNOME “save file” icon is still an image of a floppy (or it is at least in Gnumeric). How many people still remember what a floppy looks like?

Should the save icon be replaced by something else (a picture of a cd/usb drive)? Or should floppy discs be “icon”ized forever?
Somehow, all these days, the above thought never occurred to me. That icon with a floppy drive in it meant “Save” and to be honest, I have failed to think “floppy” when I have seen the icon before.

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