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at the exploratorium.
LCS started today. Attendee demographics changed as the Embedded conference ended…
Dirk Hohndel’s keynote. Why use Linux on an embedded device? "It’s the ability (for ODMs) to control your device (by not being locked in to proprietary OSes from chip vendors) … Not because it’s ‘free.’ "
TikiTV is an awesome open-source video mixing application for Mac OSX, developed by peliom and VJ Science. If you are a video nerd, you should check this out:
- decodes 6 full-quality 720×480 MPEG-2 streams at 60fps
- on screen preview of both 3-channel decks
- fullscreen output to second display (vga projector)
- rock solid 60fps output, no dropping frames
- requires MacBook Pro 2GHz or higher
You can download TikiTV here. For the video hax0rz out there, you can clone the the github repo.
Apple compiles OS X and almost all of its software with gcc. I still find it hard to believe that such a secretive company builds almost all of its software products using gcc, the compiler that anchors the Free Software movement.
Apple’s uses Objective C because NeXT used Objective C. When Steve Jobs was at NeXT, he didn’t want to place their objc gcc frontend under the GPL, but ended up having to. Here is an excerpt of an email from Stallman:
I say this based on discussions I had with our lawyer long ago. The issue first arose when NeXT proposed to distribute a modified GCC in two parts and let the user link them. Jobs asked me whether this was lawful. It seemed to me at the time that it was, following reasoning like what you are using; but since the result was very undesirable for free software, I said I would have to ask the lawyer. What the lawyer said surprised me; he said that judges would consider such schemes to be "subterfuges" and would be very harsh toward them. He said a judge would ask whether it is "really" one program, rather than how it is labeled. So I went back to Jobs and said we believed his plan was not allowed by the GPL. The direct result of this is that we now have an Objective C front end. They had wanted to distribute the Objective C parser as a separate proprietary package to link with the GCC back end, but since I didn't agree this was allowed, they made it free.
So that’s why. Via this email thread between Richard Stallman and Bruno Haible about why Common Lisp is under the GPL. Via reddit.
Apple’s move to the GNU Toolchain has been very good for developers (remember MrC and MPW?), but it sure took a long time to get here. Yesterday I remotely debugged an iPhone app using gdb. Spending time in a debugger isn’t usually a very pleasant, but I surprisingly happy when gdb stopped at my first breakpoint…
xeyes is watchin our back.
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We went to a ridiculous event put on by the GitHib crew. It was like dorkbot but with version control instead of electrons.
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The Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has ruled that the Artistic License is enforceable! Happy day! The 16-page opinion is a good read.
From Lawrence Lessig:
So for non-lawgeeks, this won’t seem important. But trust me, this is huge.
In non-technical terms, the Court has held that free licenses such as the CC licenses set conditions (rather than covenants) on the use of copyrighted work. When you violate the condition, the license disappears, meaning you’re simply a copyright infringer. This is the theory of the GPL and all CC licenses. Put precisely, whether or not they are also contracts, they are copyright licenses which expire if you fail to abide by the terms of the license.
Important clarity and certainty by a critically important US Court.
orig photo by Sam Ogden
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Shag and I were collaboratively hacking on a new radio station for the archive, and we needed a collaborative text editor. SubEthaEdit is great, but Mac-only. Shag found Gobby, which is a like an open-source SubEtha that works great on Linux.
If you haven’t used a collaborative editor before, multiple authors can work on the same files, and everyone sees each others edits in real time, differentiated by background color. Gobby has syntax highlighting, integrated chat, over-the-wire encryption, and is a pretty solid text editor too. We love it! Here are some ideas we had for future patches:
- sound cue upon message receipt
- birds-eye view of the file to watch changes go in
- function dropdown
As soon as we get indent-region and function dropdowns patched in, I’ll switch my main unix editor from KDevelop to Gobby.
Come join us!
Bob, raj, Sam, and rita
Unfortunately, the Wii runs out memory when loading YouTubeFilter! And of course, Firefox bugs on the mac prevent some of the embedded videos from showing up unless you resize the window just right. Stupid firefox.
Unfortunately, Firefox on the Mac doesn’t ship with a Devanagari fonts, and it doesn’t use the OS X system font, so all the characters show up as question marks. And unlike peliom’s Japanese flashcards that work great on the iPhone, the Devanagari characters show up as square boxes on the iPhone. So if you want to use these for Hindi, use Safari on a Mac or FF on unix.
Anyway, check it out and let me know what you think.
I’ve finally made it easy to post good-looking iChat transcripts to the blog! We use CSS to style DIVs to look like iChat speech balloons.
Cool! Where I can get the CSS?
But how does it work?
A brief description is here. Scott Schiller came up with the Even More Rounded Corners technique that we use. There is a CSS file to include and a python script that turns transcripts into html that you can paste into a blog post. We need more documentation, CSS cleanup, cross-bowswer support, and more speech balloon colors, if you feel like contributing patches.
Doesn’t WordPress completely bork the formatting in Safari by adding unmatched </p> tags?
Yup! WordPress is crap! You can use the wp-unformatted plugin to disable autop() on posts that contain ChatBubbles.
Shoes is a very informal GUI toolkit. It’s for making regular old windowing apps. It’s a blend of my favorite things from the Web, some Ruby style, and a sprinkling of cross-platform widgets. (More in the README.)
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SourceForge is great for project hosting, but let’s face it.. their bug tracker is slow, clunky, and barely usable. Same for the SF.net support forums. Today I found LaunchPad. It’s a project by Canonical, the people behind Ubuntu.
They also do code hosting, but they also let you link your LaunchPad project to your SourceForge project. Hooray open source collaboration! LaunchPad code hosting requires that you use Bazaar, but offers svn/cvs import.
Over 60 million CAPTCHAs are solved every day by people around the world. reCAPTCHA channels this human effort into helping to digitize books from the Internet Archive. When you solve a reCAPTCHA, you help preserve literature by deciphering a word that was not readable by computers.
reCAPTCHA is a great project. I added the WordPress plugin to TikiRobot, which will hopefully reduce all the crap that Akismet fails to catch. If you haven’t seen Prof. van Ahn’s TechTalk on Human Computation, check it out. It’s very good!
Update: Here is a quote from Brewster:
“I think it’s a brilliant idea — using the Internet to correct OCR mistakes,” said Brewster Kahle, director of the Internet Archive, in a statement. “This is an example of why having open collections in the public domain is important. People are working together to build a good, open system.”
I’m embracing my inner corporate whore and digging my new BlackBerry. I don’t use BlackBerry push email though, and I don’t use POP or IMAP or gmail either. I use mutt, and I love it, but that means I need a ssh client so I can check my mail.
Fortunately for me, there is a great open source ssh client for the BlackBerry (and other J2ME devices) called MidpSSH. Although there are more polished commercial ssh clients available, MidpSSH works great for me, and you definitely want your SSH client to be OSS.
Shag asked what the terminal window size was. stty -a reports the default window size is 40 rows X 80 columns, but the font is really tiny. I prefer using the 5x9px LCD font, which gives a terminal size of 26 rows x 64 columns. It looks much sharper than the sidekick ssh client.
Check out this bit about subpel fonts on J2ME devices:
On MIDP 2 devices there are additional font options provided by Roar Lauritzsen. These fonts exploit the spatial separation of the RGB components within one pixel (similar to Microsoft’s ClearType). They double the horizontal resolution of the font by treating the G component as one pixel, and the R+B components combined as another. Basically they are more readable but still very small.
A while back I posted a perl script that would update your Twitter status whenever you changed your iChat status message. Unfortunately, you had to configure launchd or cron to use it, which no one wanted to do. So I made an open-source Cocoa app that is easy to use! It’s called TikiTwit, and you can download it for free!
Download it here! This is a very early version, so please help me test it!