Archive for the ‘os’ Category


I will not violate Demeter’s Law!

October 28, 2007

I find “laws” when applied to software design a wrong term. I prefer the term “best practice”.

I will not violate Demeter’s Law!


About FLOSS phenomenon, and the rest…

January 21, 2007

After 15 years of existence of GNU/Linux, can we measure the impact of it and the FLOSS phenomena ?
That’s what EUROPA ENTR Study did in a quite complete Economic impact of open source software on innovation and the competitiveness of the formation and Communication Technologies.
You’ll see a lot of interesting figures and statistics there. You’ll also read Macro-analysis, ie that the most impacted, and active region by FLOSS is Europe, then America, but China and Latin countries will soon overtake Europe.
After leading the field of supercomputing (Top500 Operating system Family), with 75.20% being Linux (17.20% Unix), OSS is gaining popularity in Operating Serrver Systems in companies (15.7% OSS in UK, Sweden, Germany).
While the North/South fracture is disappearing for some country in some domain, the digital fracture is present :
World Map of Commiters by population
Some other interesting questions from the study are :

1. What were the actual costs of developing a given set of software, in terms of time and effort and the equivalent in monetary terms?
2. What is the substitution cost of the same software – i.e. how much would it have cost to build the same software entirely within a single firm in a proprietary software development model33.

Then are given figures about Debian 3.1 FLOSS distribution (2005) :

Source lines of code : 221,351,503
If Debian was written in a software company…
Estimated effort : 163 522 person years
Development cost estimate (till 2005) : Euro 11.9 billion
Development cost estimate (till 2010) : Euro 100 billion
Copyright © 2006 MERIT. Source: URJC estimates (cumulative effort estimation), (salary data).

A note concerning this figure, it uses a COCOMO model adding complexity, without it it would be Person-Years = 2.4 * (KSLOC**1.05)) / 12 = 81915.
Firstly I didn’t know that latest Debian distros were that big, latest stats I read around about the Debian 2.2 potatoe were around 56 SLOC (56 Millions of Source Lines Of Code).
I guess that with those latest counts, X, Mozilla, Desktops are included.
Anyway what are 3 SLOC (for X), 6.2 SLOC (for KDE Snapshot / > 3.5.5), 1 SLOC (KOffice) next to the gigantic 221 SLOC.
You can do your own statistics using sloccount on your favorite projects (I did for X11R6.8.1, KDE Snapshot / > 3.5.5, I also did Beryl 0.1.4 : 0.2 SLOC).
So this has to be considered to the commercial equivalent Software :
Mac OS X 10.4 : 86 SLOC (Most of which must be from BSD…)
Vista : Said to be around 50 SLOC
So what to conclude the more SLOC, the better ? Not really, it’s hard to draw conclusion of the quality of a software only from the number of lines of code, but you can estimate the costs quite easily and you have an idea of how many license one needs to sale to make benefits.
Microsoft problem can be summed up easily :

Suddenly, the market changed and competitors started delivering technology at the speed of the Internet,” said James McQuivey, professor of market research at Boston University. “In some cases, they do it for free, and that’s painful for Microsoft.”

Vista is said to have cost 10 Billions Dollars, it is predicted to be installed on 76 Millions of computers, and should be responsible for $11.5 billion of profits by the end of June 2007.
That’s where we go and what European Study doesn’t emphasize, while there’s no doubt that the FLOSS is growing inside companies, the Personal Computer has a majority of Microsoft OS installed. So why Vista should be the last of it kind ?


Kubuntu Install day!

January 14, 2007

I installed Kubuntu one week ago and thought I would share my experience toward that.

Firstly now that I have it installed, running, tweaked, I find it not so bad.
I have experienced quite a lot of os install :

  • For personal use : Debian (2.2, 3.0, Sarge), and the usual microsoft : windows9x/2k and XP.
  • For educational use : FreeBSD

And now it’s Kubuntu 6.10 Edgy turn, a Debian-based system.

I have to admit Kubuntu did a lot of effort on their install as it’s really easy to handle, with livecd (still I used to prefer the old interface with cfdisk … ;)). But when I installed the other os, I had been installing them on a newer machine while now it is 2 years old, so I won’t get the latest unresolved bug at install screen I had with the other install (sata not recognized for instance with Sarge DVDs…).

I experienced a small problem with grub that would install on an old ide hard drive used only for backup, the faster solution I found was to unplug the harddrive and reinstall with only my sata harddrive plugged (yeah I know I should have played with the hdX,X but had no fun…). By the way speaking of grub that I had installed since Debian Sarge, that’s a great and easy to use booter. I’m happy that LILO belongs to the past.

It took 1 hour to install (incl partition ordering/formatting), and I had a working linux running X (X was a big pain to handle in the past, it’s still a bit when you want the latest drivers working). It detected the other partitions (windows) and mounted them in media.

The ppoeconf was fastly configured (when you know it’s called that way) so I had inet 2minutes after install.

Ok now first problem, how do I increase resolution, I’m stuck at 1024 and 60Hz and my eyes don’t like that. Incredible, my (5 years old) iiyama screen is in the list! Ok click on ‘Test’ and you’ll get a blackscreen and noway to get rid of it even with ctrl-alt-F1… Ok reboot… Try again but with apply directly, cool I can view the effect now…

Ok now drivers, firstly a good idea is to save your /etc/X11/xorg.conf. Firstly tried the ubuntu way from Ubuntu Edgy Installation Wiki Guide. Unfortunately, with the ubuntu way of install I would get a DRI Initialization failed in /var/log/Xorg.0.log, and after installation of the drivers the manual way and a sudo aticonfig –initial then I would get a black screen of the death at login startup with my screen being requested 95Hz that it doesn’t support. So I took back my xorg.backup.conf uninstalled previous drivers and reinstalled the manual way and aticonfig –initial from my clean xorg.conf. Neat, I got it with DRI!!

Then wanted to listen to some Music, so I launched Amarok but it wouldn’t be able to grab the mp3 codec from the net (now it’s working good), So I switched to xmms which worked but had crazy fonts when browsing file system for mp3 (I didn’t fix that yet).

Ok, I find Konqueror better with each linux distro I installed in time, but my favorite webbrowser is : firefox. Naive as I am I tried to apt-get it without success, It would only bring me some patches… So I tried to install it from Mozilla but it complained that it doesn’t find the executable although I am 100% sure it is here… In fact this is the non-explicit message you’ll get each time you install an i386 binary on your amd64 architecture. After some search and some unsuccessful tries, I ended on an Ubuntu forum post How to install 32 bit Firefox with flash, it worked like charm!

While all this, I encountered a major problem with my keyboard : I was not able to type the essential key ‘|’ and several others you get while pressing ‘Alt Gr’. Also / * – + from keypad were not working, not that I use them that much but it’s faster when you have some calculus to do.
This was solved creating $HOME/.Xmodmap with :
keycode 113 = Mode_switch
keysym KP_Divide = slash
keysym KP_Multiply = asterisk
keysym KP_Add = plus
keysym KP_Subtract = minus

This won’t work as I read here and there that xmodmap is deprecated and that xkb should be used instead. For the moment I’ll just add xmodmap ./Xmodmap to my $HOME/.bash_profile. I’ll play with xkb later.

Ok, For the moment we stayed with the basis, I wanted to give a try to beryl 3d desktop manager version 0.1.4. I followed the simple Beryl Installation For Edgy but without success as when I would run beryl-manager I would end with a non-explicit message (again) : Beryl caught deadly signal 11. After some reading around the net I downloaded rearranged amd64 beryl package beryl-0.1.4.tar.gz that I got from Ubuntu Forum. It worked like charm, and then I had to admit I was really surprised by this nice and new Desktop!

Finally, I wanted to have my pctv working so I installed kdetv Viewer. It’s not bad but the screen is scrambled on certain screen size. Then I tried with XawTv, but their interface didn’t change and is still unfriendly… Wanted to try xdtv but couldn’t find the latest deb for amd64 so I took older one (I didn’t want to compile it, as it depends on zillions of lib and that I had better stuff to do than spending time on that), but without success. Finally the award winning for tv watching on my ubuntu was tvtime. But still the rendering without overlay is worse than with K!TV on Windows.

To draw a conclusion, I would say that Kubuntu managed to put one of the best distro around (Debian) available for Desktop users easily. Once configured you’ll have a good Desktop (I’ll blog about that later cause I still have criticism about that). But if you want it perfect, it will take you quite a lot of time to get to the result you want, lambda user doesn’t want that! He wants to click, reboot X times and that’s it…
Now a programmer can spend some more time to get his best Integrated Development Operating System Environment.


Why lambda user will install Vista…

January 14, 2007

… or at least keep his Windows 9x / 2K / XP.

Just because he wants a full-one-click-install/post-install. Yeah Linux distros improved a lot on that, but still when you want every key of your keyboard, a popular webbrowser working, you’ll need some tweaks.

To be continued with post on Kubuntu Install…