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Things I like about KDE4.

       There's been quite a bit of hubub about the KDE project ever since the 4.0 release last year. Critics have slammed the 4.0 series repeatedly, citing the mentality of "Well, it's not good enough to be a full release.". Between the poor publicity, the crashes in Plasma, and the still-developing early features, KDE was definitely not having a good time. Developer blogs were plastered with hateful comments, and one of my favorite devs Aaron Seigo had to temporarily shut down his blog.

       However, for all the bad rap that the 4.0 series received, KDE has grown wonderfully. With the upcoming releases of KDE 4.3, Plasma has become a rock-solid desktop environment. Sites such as KDE-Look.org have dozens of Plasmoids and Plasma themes ready for desktop user consumption. Major headway is being done on theming, as new community artists continue to contribute new variations of the existing theme engines. (This user in particular is using the "Introducing KDE4" Bespin configuration theme)

       With all said and done, I would like to bullet-point a few things that I really love about KDE. After tinkering around with the system and setting up a build environment (mainly for building Plasmoid binaries), I have this to say:

 -Plasma gets the job done nowadays.  It's not the crashy, spiteful desktop of the 4.0 days. Also, many of the themes and plasmoids that have come out are just incredible. As of writing this, I'm using the Daisy plasmoid for Window management with an Xbar on a panel up top. All with a Glassified theme. Looks spiffy!

 -Cmake, the build system for KDE applications, is a fantastc piece of work. I've always had trouble with the build-essentials packages when compiling Gnome apps. I have to hand it to Gnome packaging teams, that stuff can be a real pain in the rear if you don't know the dependencies! At the very least, Cmake is great about letting me know about a missing dependency, or an error in the CMakelists.txt, or etc. It's becoming a real joy just to find the most obscure experimental apps on KDE-Apps.org, and build them to see what they do. 

-Kwin is nice and snappy. I've loved the simple effects that ship with it, but it's a real lifesaver for when something goes awry when  I build experimental Plasmoids that crash Plasma. You can just flick to a running terminal. Better yet, you can just run Yakuake and make things even easier. 

 -The KDEArtwork package gets better with every subsequent release. Oxygen becomes more and more beautiful and polished, and the user-submitted wallpapers that make it into the release package are top-notch. While I usually end up just switching to the wallpapers I've always used, the KDE wallpapers anymore look better than a lot of professional pictures done for those Other operating systems.

-The Developers are so in touch with the community. One of my favorite things is moseying over to Planet KDE and reading the latest experiments the devs are up to. There's always a fascinating screenshot or mockup to explain a concept. 

-KRunner is a superb app for quickly launching anything you need to. It really reminds me of QuickSilver, which was one of my favorite OSX addons ever.

 -The Folder View/Desktop view merged paradigm blows me away. I like having my Desktop function like an actual desktop, but I love using a folder view to check files in my documents. With the simplicity of dragging and dropping, Plasma has really gotten intuitive.

-Phonon's graphical configuration frontend is much more comprehensible to me than Pulse Audio Device Chooser's numerous dialogs. Out of the box, it just works with my music player, web browser, games, etc.

-As a final note, I really appreciate that the Rekonq Project has finally been officially integrated in the KDE Project. For those of you who don't know, Rekonq is built off of Trolltech's Qt Webkit example browser. It sports a clean interface, and the webkit engine is not only ridiculously fast, it renders things properly! I've always had problems with Konqueror, even with the Webkit Kpart. Hopefully, this will open up more options for KDE-compatible browsers.

 

It's Time For Change: Part I

The Linux community can always be a better place.  I have always pictured the "perfect" Linux community as one that is helpful and kind to others, nonexclusive, professional (not in the sense of business formality) and free of bureaucracy.  As picturesque as that is, I have doubts to whether that will ever happen.  Too many people have attitudes that limit the community.  I cannot recount how many people have told me they want to use Linux but don't want to get around the online community.  In this series of blog posts, I plan on addressing several sticking points that are not helping the Linux community, basically a subject per part.  We're close, but we're not there yet.

The Activism Needs to End

Anyone remember the failed "BadVista" campaign the FSF ran a few years ago?  Remember the protests in the hazmat suits?  How about the protesters against the OOXML document format?  Or even the student who ran across a stage behind Bill Gates with a sign that said "FLOSS" on it?  Ever feel a little... embarassed?  I'm not saying that the people protesting are not fighting the good fight, because they are, just not in the best way.

Thankfully, the FSF seems to be changing it's tune.  It's turning to actually creating better products than the competition, rather than having a fit because the competition has a lock on the market.  The truth is that there are better ways to approach software injustice... and step one is to not blow it out of proportion.  It's just a piece of software -- remember that.

Protesting, of course, is not the only form of activism.  There's also the issue of what is said online.  Of course, I could make a 1000 volume book on the junk that happens online.  People say a lot of stupid things -- mainly because they feel free from the consequences that could be faced in the real world.  It's a shame, it's a freak show, it's the online community... not much that can be done there.  However, there are a few things that can make things better for everyone.  First, attack blogs need to go.

When I think of an attack blog, the first one that comes to mind is "Boycott Novell."  Just a few minutes on the site makes me nautious.  So many self-pointing links, angry rants (and pointless rants?...  irrational rants?), and images disparaging Microsoft, it leaves me almost embarassed to say I know of anything about Linux.  It's not that the site fights for a competitor, it's on our side.  The site just goes about it in the wrong way - primarily by demonizing a company, and even more specifically demonizing individuals.  That's not good.  It makes us look bad and very unprofessional.  I mean professional in the sense that we can stand competition, we face it with our own offerings, and we do not stoop to such low levels as attacking individuals.  Remember, it's just a piece of software!

So, instead of activism, we should keep focusing on what we do best: software! If we stick to that, how can we go wrong?  If we fall behind, it may not be because of the software, but if it really is better than the competition, people will use it.  Remember that the business world is a dirty place, and sometimes someone will sleaze by with a plan that will hold us back.  Help somebody on the forums, IRC, or mailing lists.  A little kindness goes a long way -- a lot further than any sleazy business plan because you end up with another happy user using your software, a user earned by hard work, not just paying someone off.  It is also important respect the competition, because that will give us a good reputation with end users, and possibly make things easier when working with the competition. 

I'll follow up soon with Part II.  I'm not exactly sure what topic I will hit at just yet, but the Linux community has given me a lot to work with.  ;-)

 

 

 

Cloudera Announces the Industry's First Certification Program for Hadoop/MapReduce

 

BURLINGAME, Calif., - May 28, 2009 - Cloudera, the commercial HadoopTM company, today announced the Cloudera Certified Hadoop Professional (CCHP) credential - the industry's first certification program for Hadoop and MapReduce. The certification program documents and tests the recipients understanding of big data analysis and how to manage big data using the Hadoop platform.

 

The CCHP credential requires successful completion of a test administered by Cloudera - after which the passing participant's test date is registered and available for third party CCHP certification. The first CCHP test is scheduled for June 23rd, 2009 in Washington DC and costs $499 to register.

 

"For those working with Hadoop and MapReduce, a CCHP certification serves to establish them as a trusted and valuable resource," said Christophe Bisciglia, Founder at Cloudera. "Developers, technical leaders, and data management specialists can use a CCHP credential to demonstrate their experience with Hadoop and MapReduce while customers can reduce risk by relying on contractors and suppliers who retain current Cloudera Certification for their personnel."

This CCHP test focuses on the basic principles of large-scale data processing with Hadoop and MapReduce. Specifically, it will cover:

* Hadoop Basics

* Data Import / Export

* MapReduce Algorithms and Applications

* Hive and Pig Basics

* Understanding when to use MapReduce, Hive and/or Pig

 

In preparation, Cloudera offers a comprehensive array of training sessions, exercises and tutorials designed to provide a deep comprehension around working with Hadoop and MapReduce, as well as related business intelligence platforms such as Hive. For more information about the Cloudera Certified Hadoop Professional credential, visit http://www.cloudera.com/hadoop-training-certification.

 

About Cloudera

Cloudera (www.cloudera.com), the commercial Hadoop company, develops and sells Hadoop, the open source software that powers the data processing engines of the world's largest and most popular web sites. Founded by leading experts on big data from Facebook, Google, Oracle and Yahoo, Cloudera's mission is to bring the power of Hadoop, MapReduce, and distributed storage to companies of all sizes in the enterprise, Internet and government sectors. Headquartered in Silicon Valley, Cloudera has financial backing from Accel Partners and angel investors who include Diane Greene (former CEO of VMware), Marten Mickos (former CEO of MySQL), and Gideon Yu (CFO of Facebook). Cloudera's advisors include the founders of the Hadoop project, Doug Cutting and Mike Cafarella.

 

Blubness, the most powerful force in the universe?

Blubness or the blub paradox is a concept used to explain a phenomenon that occurs when a programmer becomes so cognitively locked into thinking in the programming language they predominately use that they begin to lose their ability (if they ever had it) to recognize the superior power of other languages and instead just view these languages as "weird" because they display different characteristics to their language of choice, blub.

The idea of blub (the average programming language) was first introduced by Paul Graham in his essay "Beating the Averages".

Blubness is a powerful force because it is deeply linked to the human tendency to seek comfort in the familiar and to resist change. It spans all IQ's and levels of programming ability and interestingly seems to very strongly effect those who have excelled in their specific areas of programming expertise.

Here is Paul Graham's "Beating the Averages" essay http://www.paulgraham.com/avg.html

To learn more about the blub paradox join the Anti-blubness group at linux.com http://www.linux.com/community/groups/viewgroup/911-Antiblubness

 

Hylafax, send a fax from the command line

In these days I'm stressing hylafax a lot, I think it's a nice and powerful program, stable, complete and reliable. When my job will be completed I'll publish some thoughts about it.

Server part is so stable and secure, client part, expecially for Windows clients have some lacks, there're a lot of win client all around but every software I've tried has some lacks so as a lot of you I've decided to write my own.

Few of them have everything I need, except the license and price, I mean I think it's right to charge for your work but while talking about an high ranking opensource software I was thinking it has good opensource clients as well.

No matter I'm deploying a base installation with a lot of different clients so I think I'll buy some commercial clients suitable for my needs (I was really impressed about ifax.com HylaFSP client) but by the way I think I'll deploy even few clients maded by me, I'm in an Active Directory network and few considerations and limitations about existing open source clients made me take the decision of writing some clients on my own.

Now let's start with the basics, you've started reading this article for getting information about sending faxes from command line, don't you ?

While deploying my new client I've read about how to send something from command line, this solution will be integrated in my new client. First you need to install command line hylafax-client, check out your favorite distro, most of them have a package called "hylafax-client" (Gentoo, Debian based and others), if don't have it take a log at a command called sendfax, your distro should have it somewhere.

here's the command:

sendfax -f " This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it " -R -r "Fax Subject" -c "Coverpage comments" -x "Your recipient" -d "Recipient@1234567890" sendfax.example.document.ps

First you need to create your example document in PostScript format, if you've installed hylafax you'll have ps2xx utilities (ps2pdf, ps2ascii, ps2txt, pdf2ps, ...), use them to convert from your current format to Postscript if you don't have a PS ready document (dummy example: pdf2ps input.pdf output.ps)

then modify parameters according to your email address if you want to receive notification about the job status (failed, success), fax subject, coverpage comments if you've it and so on, obviously change 1234567890 with your destination fax number.

Pretty easy, isn't it ?

That's why I'm writing my own windows and linux wrapper, backend sendfax program is so easy to use so I just need few changes for adapting my AD integration

 

Let me know your thoughts

Ben

 

 

Good programmers have small brains!

I found this great little article about one of the most important skills required to be a great programmer. I loved this quote.

"most of programming is an attempt to compensate for the strictly limited size of our skulls. The people who are best at programming are the people who realize how small their brains are."


Its so true! Acknowledging your limited capacity will definitely make you a better programmer. Ever had that NullPointerException and instantly blamed the framework your using or the JVM? Remember a good tradesman never blames his tools.

Heres the article: http://www.codinghorror.com/blog/archives/000051.html

 

Slackware

Slackware 12.2:

It's same old slackware  style -- a simple distro, but with a twist....

Aside from a new kernel that supports some new driverless web cams

It also packs an upgrade/patch tool in the form of slackpkg, which greatly simplifies getting the latest patches/upgrades.

 It also works with common wifi devices out of the box, so no need to search for and download  drivers for your wireless LAN devices

 Another thing to watch out for is the 64 bit Slackware, which may be coming out really soon...

check out www.slackware.com 

 

 

 

The Lean green eco-friendly Linux machine

Green IT is one of the hottest of today's technology trends, and the GNU/Linux community has risen to the challenge. Along with several corporate partners, the GNU/Linux operating system provides solutions for dealing with power consumption, carbon emissions, and e-waste. See the eco-friendly advances of the GNU/Linux and FLOSS communities with green computing practices and how you can help the cause.
 

OpenSUSE Weekly News #74 WIP

Hello Friends,

ATM i'm workin' on the OpenSUSE Weekly News Issue 74. If you have anything (Posts, Blogs or other), you can send this to: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . So i can add this to the next Issue...

 

Counting the days.

As I wait for the next release of Fedora in 6 days, recently I have been spending some time away from GNU/Linux and playing with OpenSolaris UNIX. And might I add that it is a very impressive distribution. From the implementation of ZFS (and the Time Slider feature in GNOME) to Dtrace along with some other nice features.

I have worked with Solaris for many years and while Sun has always been ahead of its time with features and functionality, they always lacked in usability over the GUI. Usability over the CLI was always great and always there, it is just the GUI never looked good as it traditionally defaulted to CDE until recently (GNOME).

Spending more time with ZFS just makes me look forward to seeing a stable Btrfs in the Linux kernel.

 

Pardus 2009 Alfa

You can download it from here

Pardus 2009 Alfa Version came with these features:

KDE 4.2.3
Linux kernel 2.6.30_rc7
Openoffice 3.1rc6
Firefox Web Browser 3.5beta4
Gimp 2.6.6
Xorg 1.6.2pre
Python 2.6.2
GCC 4.3.3
GLIBC 2.9

and EXT4 and more ofc :D . Be sure that you burn your CD's with maximum 16X Speed and DAO mode. This is first testing version, you can send the problems you fond to http://bugs.pardus.org.tr/

 
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