URL : http://phil.freehackers.org/writings/tea-with-stallman.html
KDE has tea with Stallman
Tea with Stallman
For Linux Solutions 2003 (see my report) , the french KDE team
thought that we could take the oppurtunity to improve our relationship
with RMS. He seems to accepts KDE as fully free software now. So we
invited him for a tea, to show him the latest KDE and discuss. He
As promised, RMS came to visit us and see KDE after his conference. We
thought he would just had a quick look but it turns out that he stayed
for an hour! We had tea, we had biscuits, we had chairs, knoppix with
KDE 3.1 and a laptop for demonstration.
One question I wanted to ask him for a long time is how often he runs
X . The answer was the one I had forcast: "sometimes". Most of the
time, he is using emacs in terminal mode for more or less everything.
He asked me what I was doing and I talk about KVim. He said
something like: "I can't tell if I am more sorry for vim or for KDE".
We then talked a bit about emacs and if an embeddable version could be
made for KDE, like for the vimpart.
Gerard ask him if emacs was using gettext and could be translated. It
turns out emacs is not using gettext, which is a reason why it can not
be translated. There are incompatible API for this but someone can
tackle the problem.
He asked whether KDE people were saying "Gnu/Linux" or just "Linux",
and Open Source or Free Software. I told him some of us are using
KDE/Gnu/Linux which pleased him as an answer.
We told him quickly what was in KDE 3.1 and gave him a Knoppix with
KDE 3.1 and OpenOffice, all in french. We thought he would then leave
but he was willing to see KDE running. So Sebastien started
demonstrating him Konqueror and other stuff. Sebastien was willing to
make a quick overview of everything but Richard quickly stopped him,
asking him to go very slowly, explaining each key he types and what
exactly happens on the screen.
He spotted a bookmark named Linux and asked immediately what was in
it, Linux or Gnu software ("Should not that be Gnu/Linux) ? It turns
out it was just a list of bookmark related to Free Software
(freshmeat, linuxfr, dot.kde.org, ...).
While discussing, we discovered that he was not subscribed to the
linux kernel mailing list, he just receives cc: sometimes. He did not
know about Kernel Traffic so we showed him (with konqueror of course).
He was disappointed not to see his recent thread about Linux and
Gnu/Linux mentionned. He receives something like 300 mails every day,
and one third of that is spam.
We showed him the konsole embedded into Konqueror. The first thing he
did was to run emacs in text mode, which was successful. So we had
emacs inside konsole inside konqueror. Fun!
After that, he took the mouse and start wandering throught the control
center. He checked a few things and seeemed to find it interesting. He
had problems with the french keyboard, so we enabled a dual
Since he was mainly a terminal user, I showed him the multi-terminal
capability of konsole. This highlighted a bugs in emacs: it does not
notice that the konsole window is resized. I told him vim could do
that but he did not let the flamewar start :-) . I told him there is a
kind of signal emitted by the terminal when it resizes (I don't
remember exactly) and he wants me to send him more information on
He asked for a C binding that would be used equally with Gnome/Gtk or
KDE/Qt. I told him that this was more or less what WxWindows does, and
that apart from that, this is not a good idea. First, both toolkits,
although they have the same api, are internally very different.
Second, it would prevent people from using the real interesting
features of KDE or Gnome. He insisted quite a lot on that. This allow
him to remind us that KDE is C++ and C++ is still not recommended for
Gnu Software. I asked if C was still the recommended language and he
answered negatively. He just points out that the FSF actually does not
recommend C but recommands against C++!
After one hour, he had to leave to visit other booth. All in all, this
was a very nice and interesting meeting. He consider now KDE as a
fully free desktop and we even discussed the possibility of getting
into the Gnu project. He did not oppose the idea although many KDE
hackers would probably not accept.
URL : http://www.ilug-cal.org
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Welcome to iLUG-Cal
Submitted by webmaster on Tuesday, January 21, 2003 - 14:46
* About us: The Kolkata chapter of the Indian Linux Users's group
(ILUG-CAL) is a non-profit, volunteer driven organisation
dedicated to the propagation and usage of GNU/Linux in Kolkata,
and in West Bengal. The organistion tries to provide suppport to
the GNU/Linux community in Kolkata, as well as to increase the
usage of GNU/Linux among the general computer users community in
the city. It also organises workshops, seminars, etc for the local
* Membership: Anyone who is interested in GNU/Linux, or wants to try
it out, or wants to learn more about it is welcome to join. One
can become a member in two ways - either by joining the
mailing lists or by attending a meeting.
* Meetings: Meetings are held every month, usually on the 2nd
Saturday - and the venue is usually announced on the mailing list.
Meeting on Saturday, 10th May 2003
Submitted by webmaster on Saturday, May 10, 2003 - 16:30
We have a meeting on the 10th of May, 2003 (Saturday) from 16:30 (IST)
onwards. Please click on the "Read More" link below for more details.
add new comment � read more
Slap the credits everywhere!
Submitted by sankarshan on Saturday, May 03, 2003 - 19:50
Sankarshan (sankarshan(a)ilug-cal.org) writes as:
A recent article on Newsforge, by Hank Reiser (the architect of
the Reiser filesystem and founder of namesys)makes for interesting
reading. The article is posted below, while for the newsforge link
Slap the credits everywhere!
by Hans Reiser -
add new comment � read more
"Exec Shield", new Linux security feature
Submitted by webmaster on Saturday, May 03, 2003 - 17:04
Here's the announcement:
We are pleased to announce the first publically available source code
release of a new kernel-based security feature called the "Exec
Shield", for Linux/x86. The kernel patch (against 2.4.21-rc1, released
under the GPL/OSL) can be downloaded from:
The exec-shield feature provides protection against stack, buffer or
function pointer overflows, and against other types of exploits that
rely on overwriting data structures and/or putting code into those
structures. The patch also makes it harder to pass in and execute the
so-called 'shell-code' of exploits. The patch works transparently, ie.
no application recompilation is necessary.
add new comment � read more
Gitobitan Online - a noteworthy effort
Submitted by sankarshan on Saturday, May 03, 2003 - 11:39
Somendra M Bhattacharjee of Bhubaneshwar has finally gone ahead
and done it. Over an extended period of time, Somendra has been
toiling over the important project of putting Rabindranath Tagore's
Gitobitan online - something the Bengali speaking population worldwide
would appreciate. It is finally available here.
add new comment � read more
Get ready for another 'office suite' shakeout
Submitted by cybersiddhu on Monday, April 21, 2003 - 10:59
It seems that we are in the verge of watching the battle of best
'office suite' - combo-pack of softwares to perform common tasks like
word processing, spread sheeting, presentation and e-mailing. And this
time, hopefully it will not be a smooth sailing for the market leader
add new comment
Linux is... The Bachelor!
Submitted by webmaster on Saturday, April 19, 2003 - 05:52
O'Reilly Net is featuring a hilarious article called "Linux is...
The Bachelor!", which begins with..... Sun stood with one hand on her
hip and the other twirling her long, pretty blonde hair. "I really
like Linux. I think he's really got it together. I mean he has so much
energy. I can definitely see myself as Mrs. Linux." .
Read the entire article here.
add new comment
Bitstream/Gnome Release Vera Font Family
Submitted by webmaster on Friday, April 18, 2003 - 13:53
Bitstream, a leading developer of font technology and digital
fonts and our very own good old GNOME have released the Vera font
family under an open source/free license. The set of 10 fonts can be
downloaded from http://www.gnome.org/fonts/. I have personally
downloaded the fonts, and to be honest - they rock!!! For the full
press release on the deal, click here.
add new comment
Submitted by webmaster on Thursday, April 17, 2003 - 02:02
As many of you know, www.ilug-cal.org is run on a Free (GPL'ed)
content management system called Drupal (www.drupal.org). We had
started with Drupal 4.0.0, and this morning I upgraded the system to
Drupal 4.1.0. This upgrade adds a number of new features and
optimization (including better performance and faster response).
I expect the transition to be as smooth as possible. However, I would
request all who are visiting the site to notify me immediately if they
find any error (if a page is not rendered, or if a comment cannot be
posted, or if there is any error from PHP). My email address is
In case of *extreme* emergency, ring me up at 24632431 and lemme know
(I am at home throughout the day now).
add new comment
Review of "The Not So Short Introduction to LATEX2"
Submitted by Indranil Das Gupta on Tuesday, April 15, 2003 - 10:58
A review of "The Not So Short Introduction to LATEX2" done by
Rohit Vishal Kumar.
The reviewed resource is an useful starter's guide to learning LATEX 2
by any TeX/LaTeX newbie. The review covers the structure of the above
book and mentions where to get hold of this rather handy resourse.
You can download Rohit's review from here.
The Free Software Consortium is a new initiative and business model to
promote and comercialize free software. It is Global, descentralized
and coordinated through the net.
The FSC is very interested to have Indian members. There is a need for
lawyers, technical people, political advisors, marketing people, etc.
For more details and inscriptions please visit www.fsc.cc
Feel free also to ask any questions to jaco(a)fsc.cc
URL : http://newsforge.com/article.pl?sid=03/04/28/1859244
Slap the credits everywhere!
Friday May 02, 2003 - [ 03:00 PM GMT ]  Print this Article
Topic - Open Source
- by Hans Reiser -
Free software is ego-propelled. People don't get paid, they get
famous. Yet we as a community do far too little to prominently credit
the names of the authors. I propose we change that by adopting a few
Free software is like radio and broadcast television -- easily
accessible and available to anyone who wants it. As software
programming gets to be as big as entertainment programming, it begins
to copy it in other ways. We should consciously pick which of those
ways we want and as a community create taboos to enforce them now
before we drift into bad habits that take become de facto rules.
Do we want free software projects to be as well-funded as soap operas?
It would be nice if it were so.
Do we want ads inserted into people's screen backgrounds suggesting
they lose weight and look stylish by smoking Camels? I think not.
Do we want people to know the names of the authors of all of the
software that they frequently use? Sure -- it would result in more and
I propose that we as a community insist that all distros make the
default screensaver be one that randomly displays a different detailed
credit for one of the authors of Linux software every 60 seconds. I
propose that we insist the default splash screen for booting also
display a random detailed credit describing the software one of the
I think we should make this crediting of authors a license requirement
for our free software. Why is it necessary to make it a license
requirement? Won't everyone just go along with it if it is a good
If you think that, you have not met many marketeers in suits. To a
marketeer, consumer awareness is money, and there is no reason why
anybody but their company should have any. Their job is to ensure that
they get the highest possible fraction of consumer awareness.
Marketeers tightly control credits on their products so that only the
company gets credit on anything they can control. This is why distros
install splash screens with their name and no one else's on them into
kernels they mostly did not write. The splash screens serve the
purpose of emphasizing their brand name and obscuring everyone else's.
A very minor reason, but the only one they speak of publicly, is that
it obscures information average users don't understand with a nice
graphic by a third-rate corporate artist. (Anyone else think we ought
to have an open art contest for that boot splash screen?)
This is why distros drop the K from all the KDE programs: somebody
else is trying to establish a brand name, and that is a market threat
they want to cut off. This is why they change the user interface of
desktops they didn't write to display their logo instead of the
desktop authors' logos.
Using the work of others without giving them credit is plagiarism.
Academia has long had in place mechanisms for dealing with plagiarism
and other failures to attribute. In academia, authors' work is
examined by an independent review board before publication. If you
don't attribute, your reviewers laugh at you, you have to add the
attribution, and you might not get published at all if the error was
not an honest one. There is a constant continuing struggle to catch
failures to attribute, but the social mechanism is in place and fairly
By contrast, with free software publishing, the distros -- and
appliance vendors -- determine the proper share of the credit. Because
the distros have a vested interest in their brand, they don't even
bother to try to give appropriate credit to the creative talent, let
alone the people and companies that fund the work. Perhaps you think
that those who contribute only money should get less mention than
those contributing code? I disagree. Have you ever worked a day job to
fund other coders? Pure hell, let me tell you, especially if you are
also so essential that time off becomes unacceptable. Money is
unimportant only to those who don't work to create it.
Steps in the right direction
This proposal is just the first round of struggle over this issue.
There are going to be lots of issues to solve in the details of how
authors ensure that their credits are not stripped out of their work.
For instance, how do you define what is fair crediting if there are
many authors? What if you don't agree with someone's assessment of
what is their fair share of the credits? Do you either suffer with it
or do without their software? This is not a new problem -- or don't
you think actors argue over the size of their name on the screen?
At some point we'll need an arbitrator to solve these disputes. At
first, this will probably be the original author, but since the
original author is not disinterested, it will eventually need to be
someone else. Original authors who name their software after
themselves (ahem) have an advantage as an arbitrator of credits in
that it is easier for them to worry less about their presence in the
rest of the credits. (I encourage more people to do as Linus and I
have done. It is mostly the guys working for me who need the kind of
mention I'm suggesting if they are to get their deserved due. Naming
software is the best possible way to credit authors. Look for pieces
of reiserfs to acquire programmer names in the future.)
The Free Software Foundation has finally begun to do something about
giving proper credit. As a prelude to V3 of the GPL, the Free Software
Foundation has moved to the GNU Free Documentation License. The
GFDL allows authors to make their credits or their political
That's a step in the right direction, but what about making the
credits visible? It seems V3 of the GPL only protects credits in the
source code, and does nothing to guarantee that users actually see the
credits of the authors instead of the credits of the marketeers. In
other words, it is 99% irrelevant. Fewer than 100 people have read the
source code to reiserfs, and while those 100 are important, they
aren't as important as 99% of the public. Nobody responsible for
deciding whether to sponsor us has ever read the source code that I
Protecting credits only in the source is inadequate. If you agree,
perhaps you can help me influence V3's authors to provide relevant
protection from plagiarism. If that doesn't happen, I will try to
convince the community that we need to move to an anti-plagiarism
Unfortunately there are those who don't want their software burdened
with even credit for the authors. Debian, for instance, seems to be
leading the resistance to the GFDL. But maybe this is a burden we
should shoulder if we want better software. What do you think?
I would love to see an arbitrator determine who gets what mention on
the outside of GNU/Linux distribution boxes. When Richard Stallman
isn't even mentioned on the box as an author because doing so does not
further the mindshare capture effort of the distro, well, this is just
wrong. I don't have to agree with Stallman's socio-economics to abhor
seeing his voice obscured by suits who don't equal his contribution in
code and leadership. I hope you agree with me.
Hans Reiser is architect of the Reiser filesystem and founder of
URL : http://siepr.stanford.edu/programs/OpenSoftware_David/FLOSS-US_announcement…
The Free/Libre/Open Source Software Survey for 2003
A Survey of Software Developers
FLOSS-US is an online survey currently being conducted by researchers
at Stanford University's Stanford Institute for Economic Policy
Research (SIEPR). It is a part of the study of the Economic
Organization and Viability of Open Source Software undertaken by
SIEPR's Knowledge, Networks and Information for Innovation Program
(KNIIP) which is being supported by a grant from the National Science
This survey has been designed in cooperation with Rishab Aiyer Ghosh
(MERIT and Infonomics, University of Maastricht), who led the FLOSS
survey of Open Source/Free Software developer communities, carried out
with the sponsorship of the European Commission during 2002.
To establish comparability with the previous sample of voluntary
respondents, FLOSS-US asks questions on the same range of topics that
the original FLOSS survey addressed, including:
� Motivation: monetary / non-monetary, reputation, pleasure,
� Expectations: what do you expect of others? What do they
expect of you?
� Organization: efficiency, quality, comparison with
� Law: intellectual property licenses, authorship, public
� Technology: preferred programming tools
In addition, developers are invited to provide information about their
experiences and opinions on several other issues, such as: extent and
intensity of OS/FS activities and project roles; relationships with
commercial enterprises based on Free/Libre/Open Source software;
support of OS/FS projects by proprietary software firms.
Announcements of this new online survey will be posted in languages
other than English, and at sites likely to be visited by developers in
regions outside as well as within western Europe and North America.
We will make public tabulated responses for each of the questions as
soon as the survey period is closed, and the results of our further
analyses will also be published on the SIEPR/KNIIP website. We are
committed to protecting respondents' privacy: no personal identifiers
will be stored with your answers and responses will be reported in
aggregates that will prevent inferences about individual identities.
If you are an Open Source/Free Software developer, please assist this
research: go to the questionnaire at
and fill it out!
At the end of the questionnaire you will find links to to the
SIEPR/KNIIP website and further information about our project. When
you have submitted your response there will be an opportunity to
comment on the questionnaire itself, and to request any of the
publications that will be based upon analyses of the survey data.
Hi New and old friends,
Was out on a trip. could not contribute much to the amazing world of fsf. A
short note to say hi to all my friends who believe in the spirit of free
Regards to all,
Hot new gizmos. Check 'em out. http://www.msn.co.in/Computing/Gizmos/ Right
There is this wonderful project that is starting off. The reason why
I'm posting this here is that this tool, though is technical good,
seems very shady - in that 1. it wants to dual license its code,
2. the site claims the free version "might" be under the GPL. So we
should all participate in this projects and vote for GPL and make sure
that if this tool reaches the same fate as that of source forge we can
atleast fork off a new free project and take it further.
-- BEGIN LINK --
Welcome to the SchoolTool Project
SchoolTool is a project to develop a common school administration
infrastructure that is freely available under an Open Source
Our vision is to create a platform that is equally compelling for
schools and colleges in First and Third World countries, that
best practices in school administration and which is readily
customised to suit local regulatory requirements.
Our hope is that the first version of SchoolTool will:
* be available under a variety of licences including at least one
Open Source licence (probably the GPL).
* support critical school administration tasks: student
registration, timetabling, attendance tracking, test results
tracking, report writing and web portal functionality
* support a web interface for remote deployment and
* meet regulatory requirements and local customs in South Africa,
the UK and the USA
You can read more about the SchoolTool Vision, and the detailed
SchoolTool Requirements. We are developing SchoolTool largely in
Python, which makes it platform-independent (it should run on
UNIX, the Mac OS and Windows). Key target platforms for support are
Linux and WindowsXP. You can read about the SchoolTool
Development of SchoolTool is hosted on the SourceForge network. If
have an interest in effective school management then please join
mailing list and help us to make this a robust tool that suits your
SchoolTool development is funded by The Shuttleworth
non-profit organisation that supports social innovation based in
Town, South Africa. We are always looking for new and innovative
to improve education, please take a look at our web site and send
Mailing List Created. Please see our SourceForge Project Summary
and join the schooltool-devel mailing list if you would like to
participate in the discussion.
SchoolTool Reborn. Development recommences, Mark Shuttleworth will
lead project from London. Initial target is system that meets basic
requirements for schools in US, UK and SA.
-- END LINK --
| Besiege the seekers, if they have to seek, not |
| to seek those who have no qualms in hiding |
| (dreading alms - 7), Thirukkural |