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Comment: Re: So.... (Score 5, Interesting) 170

by Guy Smiley (#47849871) Attached to: Fedora To Get a New Partition Manager

In typical open source fashion, their replacing a tool (GParted) that doesn't support a few features they want with a new one that (at least initially) didn't support _any_ features at all because it was written from scratch.

Why not just fix GParted to add the few missing features instead of writing a completely new too? The new one will of course itself not support all the features GParted had, but instead be chok full of new bugs that will take years to find and fix...

Why is it that everyone wants to reinvent the wheel instead of using and improving the tools we already have?

Comment: Re:And in other news... (Score 1) 506

by Guy Smiley (#46362611) Attached to: Quebec Language Police Target Store Owner's Facebook Page
And just to point out, I live in Alberta and all three of my children, and the children of all my friends, go to French immersion schools since kindergarten, so I'm not anti-French. I also speak German.

My point is that Quebec needs to let go of the "French Only" mantra and join the 20th^W21st century. Why should Chinese restaurants not be able to have larger Chinese writing than French? Why should KFC be renamed PFK or whatever, when they don't even want to be called "Kentucky Fried Chicken" in English anymore because "Fried" is bad for business. They should rename their company to "Kiosque Frit Canada" to have initials "KFC" :-).

Languages evolve over time, but Quebecois has stagnated. Even the French call email "email", instead of "couriel." Even "facsimilie" (the root of the word "fax machine") is a valid French word, but the language police had to invent "telecopie" (sorry, my accent's are not happy) just to avoid polluting the language with an "English" word.

Did the language police make up new words for "samurai" or "sushi" or "glasnost" or "naan"? No, just for English words.

Comment: Re:They should have stolen some more recent plans. (Score 3, Insightful) 131

by Guy Smiley (#46236089) Attached to: China's Jade Rabbit Lunar Rover Officially Declared Lost

The US leads everybody in their belief in astrology, and their disbelief in evolution as scientific fact.

The government is dominated by individuals that care more about enhancing their personal fortunes or agendas than about the long-term success of the country.

I don't think this bodes well for the future.

Comment: ... or "by 2015 nobody will be allowed to sleep" (Score 5, Insightful) 53

by Guy Smiley (#45350939) Attached to: Your Digital Life Will Only Get More Crowded... If You Let It
This seems like extrapolation gone mad. People will consume almost 16h of media every day excluding work hours so they'll either be watching two shows simultaneously in the 8 non-work, non-sleep hours in the day? Or they will watch 16 hours of media and never sleep? Ah, "consumption" in the original paper means media delivery to the household, with no guarantee anybody is even paying attention (I'd guess set top box on but TV is off, click on 1h YouTube video but stop after the first 20 seconds).

Comment: Re:Obligatory Flash bitching thread (Score 1) 40

Works fine on my iPhone 3GS with iOS 6.0. The special YouTube app is also gone in iOS 6, and one can view YouTube content directly in Safari. So either iOS 6 has flash video support, or the servers are offering it in a format that can play on devices w/o flash?

Comment: Re:Don't sell project itself but its future (Score 2) 167

by Guy Smiley (#41683935) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How To Get Paid For Open-Sourcing Your Work?

I'm also a 10+ year open source company veteran, and we have survived 1/2 on customers paying us for feature development, and 1/2 on ongoing maintenance and support in production environments.

The one thing that I think is the linchpin in _customer_ value is that there is no vendor lockin on their part. If our company were to go bankrupt or become money grubbing idiots, then they are free to go their merry way an continue I use our software without any license or support from us. They can hire someone else to provide their support, or do it on their own via mailing lists. There are many smaller sites that so not pay for support, but the larger ones pay us because their system uptime and stability is more important to them than the annual support fee, and they know that money paid to us makes their product better.

Comment: Re:You're in the wrong business (Score 1) 167

by Guy Smiley (#41683791) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How To Get Paid For Open-Sourcing Your Work?

Sorry, you don't know what you are talking about. I've worked on open source software for over 10 years, and our customers pay us _because_ our software is open source.

They don't want vendor lockin that makes their system useless if we went out if business or decided to stop developing the product they are using.

We also get some contributions from non-company developers, both bug fixes and features. Not a ton but it helps the users in areas that we are not focussing development, and in turn helps us move into markets that were not central to us in the past.

Comment: Linux and ZFS licensing (Score 1) 56

by Guy Smiley (#41660001) Attached to: Interviews: Ask Free Software Legal Giant Eben Moglen

The ZFS filesystem is a robust, modern filesystem originially developed on Sun Solaris that contains many advanced features and is being used (among other things) on the largest computer in the world, LLNL Sequoia, which is running Linux.

ZFS is licensed under the Sun CDDL, which is an OSS-approved license. As ZFS was originally developed for Solaris, it is not a derived work of Linux or other GPL software. There is little hope of getting the ZFS copyright owner (Oracle) to relicense it under GPL. Since open source software is intended to increase users' freedom instead of restrict it, there is still a broader community of users would like to make ZFS on Linux available to the masses as part of easily-used Linux distributions.

It seems relatively clear that combining ZFS and Linux source code and compiling it on your own is permissible under the GPL if one does not redistribute the combined work, but there is uncertainty about whether it is legally safe to distribute ZFS and the Linux kernel together in either source or binary form.

Unlike issues with binary kernel modules that have proprietary licenses and/or are closed source, in this case the ZFS code is open source and has none of the objections that traditionally surround binary kernel modules, and it is in fact the GPL license that prevents distributing two open source components together if they do not both use the GPL license.

Under some interpretation of the GPL, ZFS is an independent work and can function on its own without the Linux kernel (there is a userspace component that can be used to run regression tests on the code independent of any kernel), but the Linux-compiled ZFS kernel module itself is not useful to users without the kernel.

Would you consider distributing ZFS binary Linux kernel modules (together or separately from the kernel) a violation of the GPL? Would the binary ZFS kernel module be considered "not based" on the Linux kernel per the GPLv2 section 2, the last paragraph that allows "mere aggregation" of another work packaged independently on the same media or download site? Would it be permissible if the ZFS code were distributed as a source package together with the binary kernel and compiled on the end-user system at installation time? Failing that, would the FSF be willing to make a special exemption to the GPL to allow ZFS to be bundled with Linux?

Comment: Re:Why get a psych degree when you can program? (Score 2, Interesting) 186

by Guy Smiley (#41343643) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How To Prove IT Knowledge Without Expensive Certificates?

That said, the computer programmers we hire are mostly found by finding smart people who are posting on mailing lists answering questions about topics they are knowledgeable in, or contributing patches to open source projects.

This makes it clear to us that the poster is already smart, is interested in the topic at hand, has actual skills in the particular programming language, and is self motivated. These are all desirable traits that cannot necessarily be found from a stack of resumes.

Comment: Why get a psych degree when you can program? (Score 2) 186

by Guy Smiley (#41343603) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How To Prove IT Knowledge Without Expensive Certificates?

Honestly, if you have enough skills to support yourself through programming, why would you ever get a degree in psychology, especially a Ph.D.? That IMHO is the road to a dead-end career path without much hope of earnings.

Ph.D.s are often only useful in academia, or in career paths where there are so many students that they need a Ph.D. to distinguish themselves from the people with "only" a masters.

Better to just get good at some programming skills in high demand (hint, don't pick "popular" and "easy" languages) and have a good career path going forward. Then you don't have to waste 2-3 years of your life to get a piece of paper that won't pay itself off in the next 10 years.

Comment: Re:Now that it's been Oracled... (Score 1) 137

by Guy Smiley (#40191937) Attached to: Making ZFS and DTrace Work On Ubuntu Linux

The Oracle/Solaris version of ZFS is dead to the open-source world. Almost all of the original ZFS developers left Oracle and are working at other companies developing OpenSolaris (now called Illumos). That means that the open source version of ZFS is getting better all the time, and the Linux ZFS code is pulling fixes and features from Illumos, so it isn't just sitting still either.

Oracle doesn't "hold the reigns" on ZFS anymore, though they may like to think that. That is the benefit of open source software - once it is free, nobody can stop you from using it. In this regard, CDDL is even better than GPLv2, since CDDL explicitly grants a patent license for all patents embodied in the ZFS code.

As for stability, there are full time developers working on deploying ZoL on a 55PB Lustre+ZFS+Linux parallel filesystem running 1TB/s for one of the largest computers in the world, so you can bet it will be stable enough for your desktop.

"And do you think (fop that I am) that I could be the Scarlet Pumpernickel?" -- Looney Tunes, The Scarlet Pumpernickel (1950, Chuck Jones)

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