Definite's Extractor

My findings on Life, Linux, Open Source, and so on.

Monthly Archives: October 2009

opera qt4 and ibus

Once upon a time, opera does not get along with ibus well by default. Normally, your have to set
QT_IM_MODULE=xim
in order to make the input work.

However, that workaround still come with problem: Whenever you restart ibus, opera will go down with it, though it will manage to crawl back, but what you type is lost forever.

Given ibus provide qt4 interface, I went to find opera qt4 build.
I’ve tried opera 1010 beta qt4 static build, it turned out working well.
But not shared build, according to Peng Huang, it crashed with ibus-qt4.

There is a thread about the differences between qt3 and qt4 at here
, which says that the main difference is merely the skins. That’s incorrect. At least it provides some remedy for input method users.

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DLL hell v.s. Dependency hell.

Yesterday several friends of mine came to visit us to see my new little girl. During some chit-chat, one guy mentioned that his company has already adopted to Ubuntu, even servers. But he never think it is a good idea. Well, it does not mean he adored Fedora, he is a Windows guy.

He said that Windows has DLL hell, yet Linux suffers from dependency hell, as dll and so are basically the same. I don’t know much about dll, so I didn’t make much comments. After I do some reading, dll is M$’s implementation of share library.

However, the the cause of dependency hell in Linux is not the same with Dll-hell. The cause of Dll hell, as far as I observed, is that many software tend to install their own versions of dll into system directory. Dependency hell in Linux on the the other hand, caused by inconsistency among software repositories.

Bugs may look small, but hard to fix.

Today Jens Petersen and I have tried to fix the AR PL UMing HK Light does not show properly in x86_64. In the beginning, we thought only Lin has this problem, as Jens could not reproduce the bug, and I can only reproduce the GDM part.

Nevertheless, today we want to put this bug to the end. After seeing me playing with GDM’s gconf (which does show and hide the bug). Jens thought it can be more persuasive if we can reproduce this bug on F-11 x86_64 Live USB. So we do the test. Despite our machines are only different in monitor, mine reproduced the bug while his couldn’t. After hooking on the same monitor model, his machine also reproduced the bug!

Great, shall we tell Lin to fix the bug by changing his monitor? That does not make much sense, so we continue to dig on. After a few tests, we found out that GDM, gucharmap, and gnome-menu were hit by the bug if the font size were smaller than 14, while pango-view, gnome-terminal, and gedit seems handle small font rather well.

After a few more test, Jens pointed out that bitmap mode is used with small Chinese font, and it might be cause of the problem. So he remove the /etc/fonts/conf.d/25-ttf-arphic-uming-bitmaps.conf and bling, it works. 🙂

Other workaround can be found in the comments of the bug.

Is open source communism?

Long ago, open source and Linux are deemed as communist. This impression can be bad (see the following picture, from mikeely’s blog, but he/she doesn’t seem to oppose open source anyway. :-P)

On the other hands, people in Russia and China rather like the idea. Search on google picture for examples.

Back to our question.

Is open source communism?

According to Communism wikipedia page, ideally, communism wants to achieve:

  1. Egalitarianism: All people should be treated as equal.
  2. Classlessness: Everyone was equal and carried out the same work.
  3. Stateless society: A society without a government.
  4. Common ownership: assets of an enterprise or other organization are held indivisibly rather than in the names of the individual members or by the government.
  5. Control of the means of production and property.

Is open source qualified as communism? Let’s see:

Egalitarianism: Some

In term of software development, there are two classes of people: developers can commit to source; while users can only read. But on the other hand, usually it is relative easy for users to join the development team or fork project.

Moreover, developers are also users of other projects.
So it is not absolute egalitarianism.

Classlessness: Some

As said before, at least two classes are needed.
However, can’t say which one is higher, because developers need to do all the hard work,
yet they have the power to allocate development resources.

Stateless society: Mostly

If the project is developed for a company,
then the project is considered governed and thus not stateless.
But even that, people can still fork the project for their own need if the license is open enough. So I scored it as MOSTLY.

Common ownership: Doesn’t matter

Mmm, open source is seen as communism usually because of this. But contrary to common beliefs, in term of the software usage, ownership does not matter.

Do you own Windows when you paid for it? No, it still belongs to Microsoft, and it is illegal if you copy it to other machine without the proper license. Open source is actually the same. Even as permissive as BSD, you cannot claim the ownership of FreeBSD, but you can do nearly everything you want with it.

So, does open source provide common ownership? No, but it give you the freedom to use it.

Control of the means of production: No

It’s solely depended on developers.

Control of the property: Depends on the license

For the permissive license, there is no control of the property.
GPL on the other hand, does control the property, but it is just a measure to ensure the work and its deviant can be freely redistributed.

To sum up, open source does not yet fill the bill of communism.