Ubuntu is developing a new graphic server (not Wayland)

We are developing a next generation display server known as Mir. A system-level component targeted as a replacement for the X window server system to unlock next-generation user experiences for devices ranging from Linux desktop to mobile devices powered by Ubuntu. This document outlines the motivation for the project, describes the high level design, summarizes the scope, and provides the roadmap of the Mir display server.

The purpose of Mir is to enable the development of the next generation Unity.

MirSpec – Ubuntu Wiki

Wow! And they’re converting the Unity code to QT/QML. Wow, just WOW! This is so much change for the Linux world that i don’t even know how what this could lead on to.

My guess is that Ubuntu will evolve into a “linux-based” System as different from present day Linux distros as Android already is. And, in my experience, that’s probably a good thing.

Current day Linux distros always suffered from a messed up, scattered approach to a modern home-user system when most of its developers were from the server side or hobbyists. The “professional” full-time developers dedicated to produce a fully usable, user-friendly system for “households” were pretty much a rarity and it noticed. Linux has been much better these last years but it’s still a good mile from its competitors Windows or Mac in many aspects. Ubuntu has been a spearhead into attacking this faults, even if sometimes they seriously messed things up.

Also, if you didn’t try recent Ubuntu versions, do so. It’s a very interesting experience and as much “mac-like” as you can get without it being a Mac.

Working with the Chaos Monkey

We’ve sometimes referred to the Netflix software architecture in AWS as our Rambo Architecture. Each system has to be able to succeed, no matter what, even all on its own. We’re designing each distributed system to expect and tolerate failure from other systems on which it depends.

If our recommendations system is down, we degrade the quality of our responses to our customers, but we still respond. We’ll show popular titles instead of personalized picks. If our search system is intolerably slow, streaming should still work perfectly fine.

One of the first systems our engineers built in AWS is called the Chaos Monkey. The Chaos Monkey’s job is to randomly kill instances and services within our architecture. If we aren’t constantly testing our ability to succeed despite failure, then it isn’t likely to work when it matters most – in the event of an unexpected outage.

Which, let’s face it, seems like insane advice at first glance. I’m not sure many companies even understand why this would be a good idea, much less have the guts to attempt it. Raise your hand if where you work, someone deployed a daemon or service that randomly kills servers and processes in your server farm.

Now raise your other hand if that person is still employed by your company.

Who in their right mind would willingly choose to work with a Chaos Monkey?

Jeff Atwood – Coding Horror

Your C# App on 66 Million Macs: Announcing Xamarin.Mac | Xamarin Blog

Today we’re proud to announce Xamarin.Mac, which makes it possible to use C# to build self-contained Mac OS X apps suitable for publication in the Mac App Store.

Smiling Macs with Xamarin

With the release of Xamarin.Mac, it is now possible to build apps in C# for over 2.2 billion devices worldwide: 1.2 billion Windows devices, and using Xamarin, 1 billion Android, iOS, and Mac devices.

Xamarin.Mac allows developers to build fully-native Cocoa applications for Mac OS X with C#. Xamarin.Mac exposes native platform APIs, making it possible for developers to build sophisticated apps that integrate with platform conventions and leverage the rich spectrum of platform-specific functionality that make Mac apps so beautiful and distinctive.

Xamarin Blog

Not being a professional developer, I still haven’t understood what advantages exactly has C# and .Net over something else like Java or Python and QT, (( Speed probably? )) but i find Xamarin and Miguel de Icaza efforts to bring this set of technologies everywhere laudable.

And if it can truly increase and speed up the development of cross-platform applications then it should be embraced / helped. There really shouldn’t be a single (( or a duo of )) dominating operating systems. The easier it is for everyone to use several different Operating Systems, the better, richer and safer the technology world will be.

Releasing Outside the App Store

Scary piracy

My perception: Apps will be pirated.

The reality: Yes, that will happen, no matter what you do. Guaranteed. Can’t stop it. Can’t prevent it without (unreasonable, for most cases) amounts of effort. It happens to App Store apps too, all the time.

Suggestion: Seriously, don’t worry about it. Most people don’t pirate stuff unless it’s trivially easy to do so, and/or you make legitimate purchasing unduly difficult or expensive (see The Piracy Threshold).

Just accept that it’s going to happen, and don’t lose any sleep over it. Take it as a compliment that hacknerds want your stuff. As long as enough people do actually pay for your software, what do you really care anyway?

How long it’ll take: To not worry it? Zero minutes. Do something fun instead.

Notes: Maybe read a book? Not a technical book. A novel. Or head to the pub for a while.

Matt Gemmell

This is probably the sanest thing about piracy i’ve heard in a long time. It’s gone happen, you can’t stop it, just make some minimum level of protection so that most honest/regular people can buy it and stop worrying about it.

The whole insane level of protection of big developer house games / software that makes you jump through 99 loops before you can play is not only insulting to honest buyers but mindlessly useless. If it can be built, it can be hacked and it will be. The only persons you’re inconveniencing are the ones that actually bought your game and didn’t got it already cracked from the web. Those who did got it cracked from the web, actually manage to get a better gaming experience, essentially due to the developers efforts to screw its paying customers. Does that make any sense?

For a personal anecdote, let’s say hypothetically that i once managed to get hold of one of those cracked games downloaded from the web somewhere… Let’s say hypothetically, that i loved the game so much that i went and bought the game in a promotion due to me wanting the full experience, the nice box and manual, and also so that i could give back to the developers. Let’s also say hypothetically, that the game had a CD verification system that required that i carried the optical disk all the time with me if i wanted to play. Let’s say hypothetically that this was somewhere in the last 4 years, where laptops are omnipresent and over the internet verification / activation where already the norm. Let’s also say hypothetically that it mainly wasn’t even an online multiplayer game but a regular single player offline game.

See the problem here? If i wanted to play the legitimate legal copy of the game, i had to carry a CD and insert it, and spend battery just spinning the thing so that the game could start. (( also increasing the physical damage to the media disk. )) If i just went and played the illegal downloaded copy, i wouldn’t have such limitation and could just enjoy the game whenever and wherever i wanted. Let’s say hypothetically, that for the first months i didn’t even played the game because every time i remembered and had time to play, i wasn’t even near the physical media. Do you wanna take a wild guess how much time it took me to go back and just download the illegal copy again so that i could play the game when i wanted? (hypothetically, off course…)

Releasing Outside the App Store

Dealing with Xcode. You can only ever love Xcode in the sense that, after visiting the site of an ecological disaster, even your dilapidated, graffiti-covered, urine-soaked local park seems vaguely pleasant by comparison. A relation with Xcode is basically abusive, but I have nowhere else to go

Matt Gemmell

Mozilla to cease development on Thunderbird

“Mozilla has announced it’s ceasing development on Thunderbird; one more version will be released, and it’ll be security updates from then on. ‘Most Thunderbird users seem happy with the basic email feature set. In parallel, we have seen the rising popularity of Web-based forms of communications representing email alternatives to a desktop solution. Given this, focusing on stability for Thunderbird and driving innovation through other offerings seems a natural choice.'”


Actually, although a bit sad for this “much dear friend”, this is good news!

I’ve been realizing that the most proclaimed and loved “quality” of open-source is simultaneously it’s worst enemy and the single major reason why, unfortunately, open-source software is usually not an option. I mean this referring solely at “end-user software”, not open-source libraries or small UNIX-style programs/packages.

The driving feature of open-source is it’s community passion and desire to program something new and exciting. Something that “scratches their itch”. So, as result open-source “new programs and projects” spring everywhere and for all things.

But a mature, robust software is not that very exciting. Simple bug correcting and security updates (the kind that Mozilla says that are the only ones they will be doing for thunderbird) is probably a PITA and dull as hell. I know i would probably hate it.

So, to keep developer momentum and joy, as soon as the program is mainly stable and stuff is just chugging along the way, some need comes along so that we just have to rewrite the entire stuff, or add a revolutionary new interface or just go in another completely absurd direction.

I’ve first experienced this when i changed to linux back in 2007/2008. Switched a lot, try a dozen distros and finally decided i was really comfortable with KDE. Highly polished, highly usable Graphic environment. I assume there was some fundamental need for something different/security/touch/sound/fireworks in the sky or diamonds on strawberry hills and “they” had to change do KDE4. which was utterly unusable back those days, and a complete departure from everything i liked about KDE3.

Switched to gnome after a lot of teeth grinding and adjusting, and when i was getting comfortable using and thought that a good “enterprise class” (stable, robust, simple and clean) product could probably be built on it, “they” had to build something different for security/usability/diamonds or the fireworks or whatever, and then came Gnome3 and/or Unity. And guess what, they’re still pretty much a mess…

I’ve been realizing that of all the open-source software that i use, eventually they all either die in “abandonment” when they are in the “good-enough”/robust phase and all that’s left is some boring maintenance and some loooooong development cycles; or they all got sent back to square one for a complete, utterly unusable, refit/redraw of the whole thing. There’s some exceptions off course but on the whole that ‘s been my general experience.

So unfortunately, i’ve been unconsciously changing (i’ve realized later) to paid software (or backed by some big corporation/foundation) because it allows me my “found something that does what i want, how i want, then i don’t ever change it and just keep using it as i want” behaviour. Which is also the behaviour of most people out there.

I don’t see how this can be fixed in a voluntary driven environment, so i’m kind of pleased that mozilla decided to took this step. The truth is that Thunderbird is already good enough for most, so instead of killing it by abandonment or just dropping the whole thing and starting over, they are just slowly keeping it updated and working for us folks that just want use it and never thinking about it.

I would love that it had some new features though (as a more Mac OS integration or a slightly simpler and slightly cleaner interface) but on the whole the entire thing is pretty much everything you could expect from a multi-platform, free mail client and it’s hard to find a reason to complain strongly about it.

So thanks Mozilla! And may Thundebird keep working along, silently and efficiently for a long, long time!