Open Source

September 3rd, 2004

Novell Linux Day


Novell is organizing Novell Linux Day in Singapore next week on 8th Sept. If you are interested, sign up here

I was also invited to meet their CTO Alan Nugent but unfortunately, I wouldn’t be in town during that week. It is a pity because I am very interested to to meet with Alan to understand what’s Novell plans after acquiring Suse and Ximian. It is nearly a year now…

August 30th, 2004

Gmail FS

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This is so cool! It turns your Gmail account into a Linux mountable filesystem! (via Slashdot). What this means is you can store files onto Gmail account as if it is like your own harddisk and can be accessed from anywhere :-)

Actually I already have this sort of ‘remote harddisk’ on my computer setup for a while, using Apache WebDAV. The nice thing about webdav is that it is accessible by Mac and also Window transparently. And since I ran my own server, I basically have over 100Gb of ‘remote diskspace’.

Still, I am impressed with this hack is made possible using libgmail.

ps: I have 4 Gmail invites. Drop me an email if you want one :-)

August 4th, 2004

Day 3 at IETF

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Actually I wasn’t at IETF. Instead, I went out to visit Lindows (aka Linspire) and who is based in UTC in San Diego. I met Michael Robertson about a couple of months ago in Singapore and this is basically a courtesy call to catch up on things. Michael is not in town unfortunately, but I met up with Jeff Bonforte and Randy Linnel (sipphone & linspire respectively) and spend the whole morning with them. It is worthy to note that how 6-man company can change the world :-)

We are suppose to have an APEET dinner tonight but most members weren’t here. But we went out to dinner nevertheless, with Hotta-san, Yoneya-san, Morishita-san, Fujiwara-san, Jim Reid and Carsten Schiefner. We have Sushi and end up discussing ENUM anyway. ENUM is well, ENUM but Sushi was funny, esp when Jim yelled ‘Gozilla!’. ;-)

June 14th, 2004

IX 2004

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Okay, it is confirmed: Dave Farber is unable to make it to Singapore :-( I spend the whole morning cancelling the meetings for Dave and looking for a replacement speaker for CommunicAsia 2004. Luckily, Dr. Lawrence Wong agreed to do so on short notice. (Thanks Lawrence! I owe you one! :-)

So I missed the whole morning section of IX 2004 – including a talk by Nicholas Carr (of “IT does not matter” fame). He has since back panel to a less controvsial title “Does IT matter?”. *yawn* I dont think I missed much, what he has been saying is true but pretty moot1.

Anyway, I arrived in time to attend the Open Source session. In short, it is a disaster! The session has a balance mixed of proponents and opponents of Open Source which is a good thing.

The bad news is the OSS proponent comes badly prepared – with Scott McNeil’s slides (presented by Michael) rattling on Linux Standard Base which most of the business audience dont understand dont frankly dont care, and Harish Pillay (from Red Hat Asia) who did a negative demostration of the failure of RedHat desktop to play the video clips he wanted to show. Tan Min Liang did a slighly better job but unfortunately, he is there as a lawyer, not as a proponent of Open Source.

The OSS opponents comes strong and powerful, lead by Chris Sharp from Microsoft who did the standard Microsoft Get The Facts on their bias survey showing MS is more security (haha), more reliable, cheaper etc. And Goh Siew Hiong from BSA repeated BSA standard corporate position that Open Source are not neccessary better then properiatary software.

And people wonder why Singaporean is slow to take up Open Source *sigh* I think the advocate needs to look at themselves/ourselves first.

1 For those who wonders why I say it is moot, read Geoffrey Moore’s Living on the Fault Line and its concepts of core vs context.

May 25th, 2004

LinuxWorld Singapore


Today is the first day of LinuxWorld Singapore which I am chairing. Actually my chair job is pretty simple: introduce speakers, keeping time, doing housekeeping announcement, ask some questions (if there is none which is very likely) and probably entertain the audiences if we have some delay here and there. Not really a joker myself, I think I pretty screw up the last part :P I guess my “Chairman” badge could be replace with “High-level MC” and no one will notice any difference.

We got some pretty interesting speakers today like Rusty Russel of iptables & kernel module loader fame. Highlight of the day is Looking Glass demo by Terrence Ng from SUN which really dazzle the audiences with its effect (yo yo…I seen it so many times now! Can we download it now…please?)

Anyway, the summary is (1) Less people are asking questions compared to 18months ago and more real deployment (2) Total market size is still small (10%) but growth rate is huge (25-30% compound) (3) Lots of improvement on the kernel to make it more reliable and scalable (4) Many of middleware and application developers are making Linux as their platform.

The pleasant surprise was the number of hands raised (more then 80% of the room) when Steven Tan asked how many people are thinking of adopting or migrating to Linux. :-)

ps: Oh yea, Drupal 4 Bloggers is still alive. I just send in my patches to the patch queue for Drupal 4.5 on sat and also just uploaded upload.module and blogadmin.module to the contributions directory. Morbus iff is also working on a migration tool from MT which would really save a lot of my time ;-)

February 16th, 2004

Munch Munch Linux


Wired ran an article about the problems Munich is facing with its migration to Linux for its 14,000 desktop. Issues cited include (a) resistance to change (b) lack of test plans and (c) lack of linux experience in local vendors.

Like it or not, Linux Desktop is about 5 to 10 years away. I wonder the wisdom of rolling out pre-matured software in such massive scale. While we gain some short-term publicity, we are likely to suffer long term backfire which will hurt OSS movement. *sigh*

February 5th, 2004

Japan Day 3

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Today is an easy meeting too. We spend some time to go through the resolution one by one to clean it up. Then we pass the resolutions fairly easily and wrap up the meeting by noon! Yeap!

Oh, I also got a pleasant surprising getting an invitation to hook by from Theodore Ts’o who is part of the US delegation. Ts’o is a well-known Linux kernel hacker and fellow IETF’er among other things. Always nice to meet cool people.
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February 4th, 2004

Japan Day 2

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Meeting today was smooth, much smoother and faster then what I expected. In fact, it went so well that we finish at 3pm. I stayed on to help to draft the resolutions but otherwise, things goes well. We also conclude that there is no need to meet again.

This is our first participation in SC22-LRG and they conclude the meeting to say “Okay, we are done!”. Haha.
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February 3rd, 2004

Japan Day 1

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I have a bit of trouble waking up this morning after a late night. I was suppose to have breakfast with Michael Clark (part of Singapore delegation) and I got more then I bargain for. I ended up having breakfast with both Michael and Scott McNeil, the Executive Director for the FreeStandards, whom I havent seen since last Nov. After breakfast, we head towards Waseda University for our meeting.

John Hill (SUN) was the rapporteur of this JTC1-SC22-LRG meeting and we spend the first half of the meeting on administrative issues. Boring (but neccessary) task of rollcalls, agenda, JTC1 procedure. During which I made some noise about admitting documents during meeting (and not before). Some folks thinks I am trying to create trouble.
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February 2nd, 2004

Tokyo and Luggage

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I am flying to Tokyo in a few hours time for the ISO/ITC JTC1/SC22 Linux Rapporteur Group. As the name suggest, the group is going to create ISO standards for Linux.

I couldn’t wrap my head around this initially, considering most people prefer Linux to be on ISO disk instead. But I think there is value to bring LSB into ISO, and ISO standards are recongized in WTO.

Anyway, I will be there for an week and will be meeting some incredible fun people. More about it to come :-)