open source

OSX's greatest strength is its greatest weakness

I use a macbook air. I haven't always been a mac user, but around 5 years ago I joined a company which said they would spend $3,000 on a computer so I left the land of neckbeards, printed out my X11.conf file and burnt it in a fire of virgin's hair and blood and joined the dark side.

I don't really mind the darkside, I actually really like it, as long as someone else is willing to spend on my machine. But the past couple days I got caught in some yak shaving which led to some realizations around the fragility of the "full stack" myth Apple likes to talk about.

Specifically, my company uses Jabber for chat and I use the excellent Open Source client Adium. We also use a self-signed certificate which adium complains about everytime I start it. In the new version of Adium, you can say "trust this cert forever", however doing so causes the Apple Keychain file to become corrupted (of course, this isn't obvious). The first symptom of this is that https:// URLs don't work in Chrome and Safari but not Firefox. It also causes various programs that use HTTPS to crash in weird random ways and eventually a kernel panic. Obviously it took awhile to figure out the cause of this.

The bug

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A collaborative open source presentation

I presented at DrupalCon London on contributing to Drupal.  The talk is called “How to have an open relationship… with software.”  Sadly, there is no nudity, polygamy or even dirty jokes.

 Nope, it’s just about how it is strategic to contribute to Open Source software and techniques for sales, marketing, management and developers. I did the same talk at Drupal Camp Montreal in September (video and Slides - not matching video).

 
 
It’s a lot of fun to do this talk.  It’s also the first time I’ve presented on non-technical topics.  There is a lot more doubt there.  When presenting on a technical topic I know that I am an authoritative voice on the topic.  That is, I have facts at my disposal. Solid, indisputable knowledge that my audience (at least 99% of them), will not have.  That is a position of power, it’s why
  • Engineers have good stability and income
  • Managers are scared to death we aren’t really working hard
  • We had a boss screen in DOOM and it worked, etc.
My new talk is all opinions.

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Appcelerator's Titanium: A truncated review

Like any self respecting entrepreneurial geek, I've got my eye on mobile applications.  Recently receiving my sweet sweet Nexus One (seriously, drool worthy phone), I wanted to see what I could break.

I used one of my very precious Sundays about a month ago to dig in.

What is Titanium 

As far as I can tell (this review is truncated) Titanium is basically an API and runtime which allows you to build a web application and deploy it to a mobile device, or run it on the desktop.  The differentiator is that while your app is just running in a webkit browser, you can add controls and utilize APIs on the host machine using Titanium's custom JavaScript APIs.  I guess they accomplish this via a plugin for webkit which renders them in the browser?  I don't know, but anyway, that's the gist.  It's supposed to be better than Phonegap (which is now my only other option for x-platform mobile development) because it uses these native controls instead of the ugly browser based ones.  So your app doesn't look like a web app (even though it kinda is).

The company's website has been nicely lacquered with Web 2.0 spray and they are venture backed.

Great idea, doesn't work.

Getting the desktop

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