Tag Archives: FOSS


Being in the spotlight means people often take things you say our of context. I’m speaking of Richard Stallman, who recently got hammered over his “church of emacs” speech and perspective on Mono.

So if you see a discussion of the topic of Mono/ .NET/C#, etc, in which people do not understand the issue properly, please post a correction and cite this article as a link.

If you read that anyone says that RMS “attacked Mono”, please post that he did not attack Mono at all, and ask them to read what he actually said.

There’s enough FUD flying around as it is.

FSF response to Microsoft’s “Promise”

The Free Software Foundation has published a reply to Microsoft’s Community Promise surrounding C# and CLI. Here’s a snippet:

Incomplete Standards

The ECMA 334 and 335 specifications describe the core C# language, including information about standard libraries that must be available in any compliant implementation. However, there are several libraries that are included with Mono, and commonly used by applications like Tomboy, that are not required by the standard. And just to be clear, we’re not talking about Windows-specific libraries like ASP.NET and Windows Forms. Instead, we’re talking about libraries under the System namespace that provide common functionality programmers expect in modern programming languages: binary object serialization, regular expressions, XPath and XSLT, and more.

Microsoft needs to do more to assure the free software community that they will not sue over the use of .NET. Release an irrevocable license for all patents in .NET (or at least Mono’s implementation) that remains in effect even after a sale of said patents. Or make a deal with Novell and get them to release Mono under GPLv3..

Microsoft C# and CLI patent promise coming?

Peter Galli has written on his blog that he was informed by Scott Guthrie (the Corporate Vice President for the .Net Developer Platform) that Microsoft will include C# and CLI under their “Community Promise“.

Peter writes:

It is important to note that, under the Community Promise, anyone can freely implement these specifications with their technology, code, and solutions.

You do not need to sign a license agreement, or otherwise communicate to Microsoft how you will implement the specifications.

Just when (or if) this will happen is not yet clear, nor is whether it will hold any water. Still, it could be the one step to help ease the current patent issues in Mono in relation to C# and CLI (the rest of the Mono implementation of .NET remains under threat however).

Gotta laugh at this from Microsoft’s promise, though:

This promise by Microsoft is not an assurance that either (i) any of Microsoft’s issued patent claims covers a Covered Implementation or are enforceable.

Anyway, interesting to see where this goes.


Mono: An infectious disease

I’ve been reading around the Internet for a while now about folks asking why some people don’t like Mono.

I have written an article which expresses my opinion on the situation as it relates to free software.

By all means, let Linux run Windows .NET applications through Mono, but let’s not make our own software dependent on this proprietary programming framework.

The article itself is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 Australia license.

“Linux Don’t Need No Stinkin’ ZFS”

Linux Magazine has a pretty nice little article about Btrfs, a new enterprise level file system developed by Oracle which recently entered the Linux kernel.

The article has a comparison with ZFS, Sun’s (well, now Oracle’s) file system which is not Linux compatible, as well as some benchmarks. It’s an interesting, short read. The Btrfs file system does look very, very promising.


FOSS worldwide – Australia 4th overall

Red Hat has announced the results of a survey they sponsored showing the amount of open source activity around the world. An activity map shows the level of open source activity happening today, while the environmental map is based off more speculative factors to determine whether the environment is favourable for open source to take hold.

Out of the 57 countries included in the survey, the top 5 were:






So, Australia comes in at number 4 overall. Our Industry was quite high, while our Government continues to let us down (I wonder whether Universities were considered Government or Industry?).

Anyway, interesting numbers. The Open Source Index is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 license.


Sed off

I’m sure many are familiar with the general substitute method of sed for replacing something in a file, i.e. sed -i s/this/that/g ~/myfile but recently I wanted to replace an entire line in a file, using bash.

I wanted to modify the localhost entry in /etc/hosts to include the static hostname too, all tab delimited. This is how I did it.
sed -i /^\\\t`hostname -f`\\t`hostname`\\tlocalhost.localdomain\\tlocalhost /etc/hosts

Find the line that begins with and replace it with itself, plus the result of the hostname commands, etc. This gives me a line like so:   pc.fqdn   pc   localhost.localdomain   localhost

I’m sure someone else knows a much more efficient way of doing this, but oh well, it works 🙂


The long ARM of Debian

I bought a D-Link DNS-323 NAS box a while ago with the mind to put Debian on it (it already ships with Linux, but I wanted more control). Previously I installed Debian under a chroot environment which activated itself on boot, but it wasn’t really clean or nice.

I came across a blog post by Martin Michlmayr where he talks about getting Debian working on a CH3SNAS, and mentions he might write an installation guide. I emailed him encouraging him to do so, and that I’d be happy to test it for him and provide feedback. He replied with his information once it had started to take shape. Today I finally had a chance to test it out.

I followed the installation instructions on his website and it worked perfectly! I now have Debian running natively on my little ARM box and it’s very, very awesome.

Although the box has a gigabit network card, it never transferred anything fast enough to prove it. Copying a 4GB ISO file took 31minutes, averaging around 2.2MB/sec rate which is not even 100Mbit speed. So don’t expect to be serving up high definition movies to your network from this box.

Anyway, if you have one of these boxes, then I highly recommend that you give this a shot. Debian on a tiny little appliance.. it doesn’t get much better than that!


Update: There are some things which don’t work, most of which I didn’t care about, except one. Fan control. I figured this meant the fan couldn’t speed up and slow down based on internal temperatures, but it actually means “fan doesn’t work at all”. The result is that drives can run hot, damn hot in that little box without any air flow. Something to think about if you’re going to install native Debian.

Update #2: The fan issue is now solved.