open source

A system engineer has to do what a system engineer has to do...

After reading You may want to avoid hacking your open-source CMS today I was saddened, not because Drupal fell short (it didn't), not because Open Source usage is flawed (it isn't), but because it reminds me of situations I have endured in the past from the receiving end unfortunately.

Summarizing the story, The Onion forked (as in adapted to their own wishes) Drupal 4.7 apparently not realizing the costs of maintaining/syncing their own product. Wrong expectations make up a big part of a disappointment. Good expectations are part of doing your homework.

A Nobel peace prize to Open Source

I was amused by the idea to propose Linus Torvalds for a Nobel peace prize. But it does make sense to honor the Open Source community in general for the collaboration across many boundaries. Open Source levels the playing field for anyone to innovate and improve, it is an extension of what is known in the academic world applied to Information Technology on a global scale, facilitated by the Internet.

The original link lists a few projects for the common good, but to me it's not so much the individual projects that make a difference, but rather the global mindset it created among peers for the better good without discrimination. And there are many more examples to proof this than looking at specific projects. It would harm our efforts if we would only look at specific initiatives, rather than our collective collaboration.

Joomla! Bootcamp in Gent

I was just informed that the first Belgian Joomla! bootcamp is organized in Gent. The bootcamp's programm includes:

  • a session about Joomla! 1.5 features,
  • building Joomla! components,
  • Joomla! and security
  • as session about important "hot" technologies

The bootcamp is presented by Joomla! experts, including Johan Janssens (Joomla! 1.5 lead developer) and Matthias Verraes so it is a perfect opportunity to learn directly from the wizards.

More information is available from the Joomla! website at:

If you're interested in learning more about Joomla!, this is likely the easiest and fastest way to achieve it!

How I stumbled into Linux

Today I had an interesting conversation with a colleague about the Linux provisioning (how I dislike that word) deployment system we are developing at a customer. And in the midst of things he brought up how he started with Linux.

Apparently we share the same story, and I wondered how many other people were driven to Linux by frustration over some unexplained Windows bug at the time.

My story goes back to 1995, involved Windows 95 and an expensive CD burner I bought. I was already using Linux on a 80386, but that one was slower and did not have an internet connection.

Stop software "piracy", support Open Source !

De Standaard is once again helping the BSA and Microsoft with their scare tactics, so let me give some counter-weight...

Last call for LinuxWorld Brussels

Again for the people that missed it, if your Open Source non-profit organisation or project wants to make some free advertisements at LinuxWorld, don't forget to bring your posters and flyers so we have them ready for visitors at the Open Source pavilion.

The audience is mostly business-focused, so you are welcome to promote your project/organisation in person at the booth or give away flyers at the booth.

For the conference part of the Open Source pavilion, the following presentations will be given:

  • Wednesday 19/3
    • 11h: Profoss - Raphael Bauduin
    • 13h: OpenDoc Society - Machtelt Garrels
    • 14h: Drupal - Roel Guldemond
    • 15h: CentOS - Dag Wieers
  • Thursday 20/3
    • 11h: Open Source at Hogent - Ilse Baetsle
    • 13h: Ubuntu LTS - Serge van Ginderachter
    • 14h: Joomla - Johan Janssens
    • 15h: OpenQRM - Kris Buytaert

Firefox 3 memory usage

As a fervent user of tabs in my browser, this article caught my attention. It explains in great detail all the different changes and improvements to Firefox that affect its memory usage.

At some point you start to wonder how it could have gotten this worse, but it usually takes a big swing in one direction to get corrective actions and a joint focus on what was neglected.

Belgian Open Source projects at LinuxWorld Expo Brussels

As announced before, 2008 will be the first year that LinuxWorld Expo Brussels has an Open Source pavilion to promote Open Source in an Enterprise environment.

The RFP for presentations is over since some time, but the pavilion also has some space for promoting and discussing Open Source software. So if your non-profit project somehow fits into what business need, you could use this area to put up a poster or distribute flyers.

Addicted to Wii

After 2 months of having a Wii, I can admit that I am a bit addicted to it. But not in a way that one would expect though. I don't play that many games even though I did collect a few (= 7).

I try to use the Wii daily for 5 minutes of Wii Fitness and once a week I play some more tennis to try to reach my old hi-score of 2209 points. (I dropped to 2105 :-/)

We also like to follow-up on the voting channel and see how we did and vote for the new questions. It is a quick 2-minute break twice a week and it is fun to see what your partner and others think about silly questions.

Improving Putty settings on Windows

Since I started contract work for a new customer and have been offered a Windows Thinkpad to connect to the internal network, I have been looking at ways to make my life more comfortable. Putty is now my window to the world work so let's look at how I can make Putty nicer to work with by tweaking its configuration.

PS: Some of these options work equally well for Putty on Linux, put there is little use for that combination.

LinuxWorld Expo Brussels 2008

LinuxWorld Expo Brussels this year will take place on wednesday 19 and thursday 20 March 2008 in Brussels Kart Expo. Last year's edition was lacking any Open Source cooperation and this year the organisers acknowledged the benefit of an Open Source pavilion on the LinuxWorld exhibition.

Having this Open Source pavilion allows us (the Open Source community) to showcase some technologies and communities on an exhibition floor that is primarily dominated by sales and marketing people and that is aiming towards the business world.

Red Hat Partner Summit, Malaga, ES

Location: Hotel Torrequebrada, Avenida del Sol, 29630 Benalmádena, Malaga, ES

Why is there no Open Source SLES ?

Fabian pointed to an interesting article from a Red Hat engineer about CentOS and Red Hat's position. An interesting question popped up that I asked myself before: "Why is there no SLES alternative distribution ?". Given all the benefits a free Enterprise Linux brings to Red Hat, Novell must be eager to want to tap into this resource, right ?

One comment suggested that Novell did not release SRPMs and therefor it was impossible to create a free SLES clone. Reality seems a bit different: Novell does release SRPMs.

There are a few reasons why there is no Open Source SLES alternative.

mrepo: now with YOU (Yast Online Update) support

Yes! After a few weeks of wanting this I finally took the time to write it. With the help from Jo De Baer I wrote YOU (Yast Online Update) support for mrepo.

mrepo works with helper-tools for the actual downloading of updates or creation of metadata and so the real meat is inside the tool called youget.

How a presentation made a tool better...

The aim of doing a set of Dstat presentations was not just to promote Dstat, but also to hear people's impressions and ideas. And lots of ideas were shared and ended up in the TODO list.

But one of the questions that I did not quite understand initially, turned out to be an interesting and useful idea. And after the presentation we sat together to show how simple it was to bring an idea into practice.