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Open Source… wars?

Posted by dgcom on March 27, 2014

Ok, its been a while since I posted here, but this is not the reason not to post again… and again :)
Many post to social networks, but I don’t think that good technical discussion belongs there.

Anyway. Want to touch on hot topic recently – wars in some open source projects. Don’t really want to get on either side of those (that is not that simple), but examples concern me a lot:

  1. Bacula backup vs Bareos – who stole what?
  2. pfSense protecting their trademark by requiring written agreement to get access to their build tools

Both projects are flagships in their respective areas (backup and firewalls), both trying to get more from commercial operations – maybe that’s the problem?

Contributor took our code and forked it? So what? Wasn’t it open source? Oh, you had some contributions, which were not open source? Because you want to make more money from commercial product? Yes, I understand, but people, who supported this project for a long time want those improvements too and there was nothing released for “community edition” for quite some time. It sad. Reading posts by the owner of Bacula just gives a feeling of someone desperately trying to save the face.

pfSense firewall trying to protect its own trademark? Maybe, but asking to remove community-supplied build, which many were asking for (which added Hyper-V drivers) and then trying to justify letters from lawyers  – looks silly and just shows that intent to get code away from community is there.

I do not have anything against making money on open source projects… but I feel that the community should have higher priority than profits. Maybe non-profit is better way to go, but that’s not what people, owning such projects really want – they want to make more money… and maybe sell off to some big corp later – to win a fortune.

Its possible I am wrong. But the above is the result of reading news and discussions.


Posted in computers, OpenSource | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

SSL Browser Root Ubiquity – is it real?

Posted by dgcom on April 20, 2011

I haven’t posted in a while, so this is a good post to revive this blog.

Just run across a post onVeriSign’s (now Symantec) blog.This is former Tim Callan’s SSL blog, was quite interesting to follow. However, Tim Callan left Symantec recently, so different people now write posts for it.

Regardless… Here is the post in question:  The SSL Blog – Online Security

First, I wanted to post a comment to that entry, but I couldn’t – blog engine told me that:

Your comment submission failed for the following reasons:
Text entered was wrong. Try again.

Doubt this is AI :) just comments are broken in such funky way, so here is my response:

  1. You can’t say “more than 1 in 10 visitors to this site were being shown a message” based on “IE6 which still enjoys nearly 11% of worldwide browser market share” – you do not know what is the share of IE6 users on the site in question, it very well could be 0%.
  2. Going forward, new CAs will rise and they won’t have their new roots in old browsers – because there is no time machine to go back and put them in.
    This does not make those new CAs less trusted than the old ones.

I guess, Symantec does not like competition and uses every opportunity to poke at rivals.

Posted in computers, ssl | Leave a Comment »


Posted by dgcom on September 11, 2009

Writing large programs in assembly language is almost impossible – they always turn out to be small!

Posted in general | Leave a Comment »


Posted by dgcom on October 17, 2008

Posted in general, photo | Leave a Comment »

Pidgin forks

Posted by dgcom on April 30, 2008

From Slashdot: “Pidgin Controversy Triggers Fork“:

Pidgin, the premier multi-protocol instant messaging client, has been forked.

And this is not the first controversy either – the other one I remember was with protocol icons. Did not end up like that, patch was accepted as an option. This time – no such luck.

Posted in computers, IM | Leave a Comment »

Hacked back by WordPress.com?

Posted by dgcom on February 6, 2008

I’ve blogged 3 days ago about WordPress.com blog being hacked and rogue post appearing in the feed.

The post contained screenshot from my Google Reader page showing that rogue post.

Today I find this screenshot missing on my blog:

Missing screenshot

I do have a backup of the original screenshot, of course. But the the question is why it is missing?
Did WordPress delete it? Do not know, I’ve sent email to support and will post if I receive reply!

Posted in general | 1 Comment »

WordPress.com Blog – hacked?

Posted by dgcom on February 3, 2008

Just opened my Google Reader and what do I see as WordPress.com Blog post?

WordPress hacked-1

Seems like someone posted spam entry there… Was it hacked? Or just an accident?

Here is the footer of the post, if anyone is interested:

WordPress hacked-2

Posted in general, hacks | Leave a Comment »

Blogging here

Posted by dgcom on July 18, 2007

Spent time today trying to cleanup this blog a bit.

I love wordpress, but there are some usability issues. handling templates is one of them. No preview available. No conformation when selecting new template.

As a result – screwed blog by accident. Of course did not have any notes on how it was formatted – had to reinvent the wheel.

Would be nice to be able to define couple customized layouts – one default for example, and test one – to try different templates, colors and widgets. Oh, well.

So much for tags – love that idea, but it does not translate to Categories logically all the time. Example – I had “Computers and Internet” category. All good, but this name is too long for a tag, which should be simple one-work label. Converted to just “computers”.

Another issue is a layout. That’s more my personal quest for the best.  I’d like to use full width of the screen – to be able to post wider items. On another hand – wide text is hard to read, better to limit the width. But with 3-column design, middle column isn’t too wide. On the other hand – 3-column layout may look too cluttered (and it probably does!).

Decided to keep current layout anyway…

Posted in computers, general | Leave a Comment »

Open Source and user’s feed back

Posted by dgcom on July 4, 2007

You would think that Open Source projects would excel in several areas, including listening to user’s feedback…
Not really true overall, but big projects with large customers base usually good in implementing feature requests.

Unfortunately, there is one exception from this rule – Pidgin Purple (formerly GAIM).

I’m still on last beta version of GAIM and was looking into upgrading to the most recent version of Pidgin, hoping it will bring enhanced stability and new features. Since I usually use applications in their portable incarnations (from PortableApps for example), I couldn’t test Pidgin before – there was no portable package for it and I did not have time to make one myself.
Just today I found some unofficial packages on PortableApps forum and decided to give Pidgin a try.
To my biggest surprise, I found one missing feature – there are no protocol-specific icons in the buddy list anymore…
You can see what protocol contact is by holding mouse over it – tool tip will have protocol icon, but you are out of lack if you just glance over contact list…

Hoping that I’m missing something, I checked all possible options – nothing. Finally, when to their bug tracker to find some interesting and worrisome discussions..

Judge for yourself. There is a very long discussion in ticket 414. Ticket itself is closed with status “wontfix”.
And the most interesting is this paragraph (left by user “elb”, someone from Pidgin team, I presume):

Adding a “me too” to this ticket is NOT USEFUL. If you do not have a solid use case that is NOT discussed above or on the thread on this topic on devel@pidgin.im, save your time and ours by not replying. If you DO have new information, please send it to devel@pidgin.im, do not comment on this bug.

Ok, you do not want me to even vote on this feature? You are not allowing me to even comment about it on your public site?
Why then, in another (although, duplicate) ticket 1863, the same user comments this:

There is no indication that there are “thousands upon thousands” of users “just like you”; there have been a dozen or so users requesting protocol icons in the buddy list, compared to the *millions* of Pidgin users out there.

Well, I find this quite arrogant. And this is really disturbing to hear such things from advanced, long standing Open Source project…

I will probably pass on migrating to Pidgin this time. Wonder how many others will do the same. Oh, sure, I understand that it is possible to create plug-in to make protocol-specific icons come back, but WHY? Why would this standard feature in current GAIM or any other multi-protocol client should magically disappear from project?

There is an explanation on why this step was taken in Pidgin Design Guidelines. But I don’t buy it – that “uniformity” is good in theory (or can simplify life of the developer), but in practice… In practice you should care of your customer base need or want, and let them raise their voice, and listen to it!

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Posted in computers | Leave a Comment »

MS ISA Server 2006 and FTP

Posted by dgcom on June 16, 2007

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After upgrading ISA server to 2006 version, I was surprised to find that my FTP behind it stopped working in passive mode. Having quite smart FTP server installed I blamed MS ISA for this and did not have time to look at this deeper… until I found a need for this – had to move my Blogger blog from 1and1 hosting (expired free one) to my own server. And Blogger refused to publish the blog unless I have passive FTP working.

FTP client was getting 500 response – that FTP server sent bad response. Quick capture on ISA server showed that my FTP server was too smart – it actually was configured to return correct IP address in PORT command (the external IP, not default internal one). This, turns out, is “bad” thing from ISA server FTP filter prospective. Turning advanced NAT support on FTP server, making him return internal IP, fixed this – now ISA server could replace that IP with the external one it knows about.

But that got me thinking – software gets smarter, you try make it better and as end result – there is some stupid “simplification” (or “assumption”) made by other developer broke functionality.

Granted, if I’d read the docs for ISA server, I might have caught this, but sorry, RTFM is the last thing I’d do. smile_wink

Posted in computers | Leave a Comment »

Already history

Posted by dgcom on June 16, 2007

Started _programming_ – 1981

Started Mainframe – 1983

Started PC – 1988

I find this article Very nostalgic – ’80 Mbytes of storage for under $12k!’ and other ad favorites through the years (via /.)

Posted in computers | Leave a Comment »

Skype hidden emoticons

Posted by dgcom on June 14, 2007

While I’m at it, I’ll repost a list of hidden Skype emoticons I found long time ago here:
New emoticons in Skype 2.5

There are 8 hidden emoticons in Skype 2.5 4 old ones:

And 4 new ones:
(smoking) (smoke) (ci)
(headbang) (banghead)

Since that post, many new were discovered. Some examples:


And flags like:

Tip: To see them in Skype without sending to your party, copy/paste them instead of just typing.

Posted in computers | 3 Comments »

Pirate quiz

Posted by dgcom on June 14, 2007

After reading this comment on /.
Nerdy Photo in Vista DVDs Thwarts Disk Pirates

REAL pirates primarily care about:
a) Can I sell it and get away with it?
b) Can I sail it and get away?
c) Both

Posted in computers | Leave a Comment »

Special symbols in file path

Posted by dgcom on June 4, 2007

I like to organize my files to my liking and sometimes use special symbols in folder names, like:

  • #Working
  • !Soft
  • etc.

All good most of the time, but there are couple of problems I found:

  1. Microsoft help files in CHM format do not work if path contains “pound” (or “hash”) sign – “#”
    If you try to open CHM file from such folder, you’ll get “The page cannot be displayed” error from the IE browser which is hosted inside help control.
    There is some lengthly discussion about this and how people mix this issue with another problem:
    CHM help files error: The page cannot be displayed
    That other problem is described here: KB896054
  2. Java have issues running from folders with “!” in side folder names. You may see different errors depending on the application.
    As an example, Sun’s tzupdater.jar throws java.lang.ExceptionInInitializerError if executed from such folder.
    Note 1: The problem appears to happen while trying to access resources in java.util.ResourceBundle.getBundle.
    Note 2: Appears to be fixed in JDK 1.6
  3. Microsoft batch files hate “!” signs everywhere if delayed variable expansion is enabled via “SetLocal ENABLEDELAYEDEXPANSION” command. Not only it will ignore single “!” in commands like “echo hi!”, but magically, folders with “!” disappear – statement like If exist C:\!Apps\myfile.txt will return false even if file is there. (and no, quotes will not help here).

When next time you decide to create a folder or file with special character in it – think twice first if it may create problem for you going forward…

Posted in computers | Leave a Comment »

Translation of Macrovision Response to Jobs on DRM

Posted by dgcom on February 18, 2007

Must read:

Daring Fireball: Translation From PR-Speak to English of Selected Portions of Macrovision CEO Fred Amoroso’s Response to Steve Jobs’s ‘Thoughts on Music’

Source: “Macrovision’s Response to Steve Jobs’s Open Letter”.

Posted in computers, giants | Leave a Comment »


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