July 04, 2002

Scribble on your Browser

Ever wished your Web browser understood little scribble marks like your favorite handheld OS does? Then MozGest is for you.

Posted by jzawodn at 11:26 PM

Microsoft at LinuxWorld -- So what?

No doubt, it's big news that Microsoft is going to be at LinuxWorld this year. As reported by The Register:

Microsoft is to exhibit at LinuxWorld Expo this August, and it appears that the company wants to be nice. Yesterday, Linux Today spotted the Beast's presence on the Expo exhibitor list, and after publicising this was contacted by an apparently kinder, gentler Microsoft.

I really hope that the Open Source "movement" can get over itself and actually talk to Microsoft rather than simply stopping by their booth to poke fun at Windows and make joke about how scared billg must be of the almighty Linux.

Look at it this way, with Microsoft at the show, LinuxWorld is certain to attract a larger than normal crowd.

Microsoft is not the enemy

As Adam Goodman has so often pointed out to me and others, Microsoft is a fact of life. They're in the business of building software and selling, just like a lot of other big companies (Oracle, SAP, etc). They're affected by the changing landscape as much as every other company. And you know what, they're a very, very smart company. But they're also very concerned about Open Source.

Why are they coming?

Why not? They're trying to figure out how to deal with Open Source. As a smart company, they're attacking the problem for multiple angles--often at the same time. They've run advertisements in Linux Magazine, attacked the GPL, appeared at the Open Source Convention, and so on. Little that they've tried so far has worked. But they're not quitting. They rarely do. They're used to wearing down their opponents until they give up or go out of business.

The Open Source movement, as we all know, is quite different. Microsoft has never really faced a challenge like this before. There is no company to buy or put out of business. They're battling a large volunteer army.

The point is that Microsoft probably still doesn't quite "get" Open Source, so they're doing everything they can to learn about it. Their shareholders would expect no less. That's why they're coming to LinuxWorld.

What should we do?

Nothing. Treat them as you would any other company seeking to learn more about Open Source. If you really believe that Microsoft is capable of destroying Open Source, think again. Despite the jokes of world domination, Open Source has never been about winning anything. It's about building great software and a great community. I don't think that attacking Microsoft helps do either of those.

Microsoft is coming to LinuxWorld. So what? No, it's more a matter of "it's about time!" They've supposedly been a leader in software innovation all these years, but they've been notably absent from one of the more important conferences year after year. It's good to see them getting involved.

Posted by jzawodn at 09:23 PM


Memelogging is:

the process of inventing and promoting a meme while simultaneously identifying yourself as the creator of that meme. It's an ongoing media event, and it's yours.

Neat. Wonder what I'll invent someday.

Posted by jzawodn at 09:13 PM

Drupal, Community Plumbing

I saw a reference in The FuzzyBlog! to a piece of software call Drupal that seemed worth checking out.

Drupal is:

Drupal is the English pronunciation for the Dutch word 'druppel' which stands for 'drop'. Drupal is a content management/discussion engine suitable to setup or build a content driven or community driven website. We aim towards easy installation, excessive configuration and fine-grained maintenance capabilities. Due to its modular design Drupal is flexible and easy to adapt or extend. Drupal is written using PHP. The source code is available under terms of the GNU General Public License (GPL) .

Now I know this is difficult to quantify, but Drupal just feels like a much more professional project than PostNuke, PHPNuke, or similar projects. It reminds me a bit of the feeling I got when I looked at Scoop a while back.

Here are the cool things that caught my eye about Drupal:

  • Blogger API support

  • RSS all over the place

  • Google API support

  • Documentation that doesn't suck

Anyway, give it a look if you're in the market for a good CMS/discussion system. I am.

Posted by jzawodn at 01:48 PM

Adam Wendt copied me

Well, sort of. In this blog entry, he explains that he switched from Radio UserLand to MovableType and AmphetaDesk for a variety of reasons. Amusingly, I made the very same switch a couple weeks ago for almost the exact same reasons. Spooky. We both ran Radio under VMWare. The only difference is that I'm running AmpetaDesk on my new XP-based laptop. But I could run it on my OS X TiBook or my older Linux-running Thinkpad. That's what's cool about AmphetaDesk (and that the author recently mailed me about some neat ideas).

My plan is to get AmphetaDesk working on one of my co-located servers this weekend. That'll be just another piece of my making the desktop irrelevant plan that I've yet to articulate in public. Pateince...

Posted by jzawodn at 04:15 AM