Quotes in 2001

Wednesday, January 2, 2002
A preinstalled JVM is not an advantage in this world. A JVM that is installable, documented and current is.

--Greg Boswell on the java-dev mailing list

Tuesday, January 1, 2002
The Justice Department and nine of the states prosecuting the Microsoft antitrust case snatched a humiliating defeat from the jaws of victory. Having trounced a corporate lawbreaker in court, they sold out competition and consumers with a vacuous settlement. Nine states, led by California, Iowa and Connecticut, couldn't stomach the deal and stayed the course. But the odds now favor Microsoft, which has never wavered in its determination to continue brutalizing an industry over which it gained absolute control through unethical and illegal practices, and ultimately to control the choke points of commerce and communications. Makes you wonder if crime pays.

--Dan Gillmor
Read the rest in The year in tech: the highs and lows (12/30/2001)

Monday, December 31, 2001
Project Liberty hasn't done diddly except wave things -- flags, hands, vapour-emitters -- and figure out how the Big Boys can pat each other on the back. The open-source community, while not being shut out, is getting barely a token nod; Liberty appears to be turning into yet another old-boys' club, and so isn't really a factor in this 'open source' discussion.

--Ken Coar on the "Computer Book Publishing" mailing list

Sunday, December 30, 2001
Any developers who would choose a #@%^&! psychotic paper clip as the default means of providing "help" for a major application are capable of any lunatic decision

--Andrew Watt on the "Computer Book Publishing" mailing list

Saturday, December 29, 2001
Cyber criminals are like idiot Hansel and Gretels, scattering electronic breadcrumbs that lead straight to them. You just don't see this sort of behavior in other criminals. I've never seen a burglar leaving cute notes crediting the crime to himself. And I've never run across a burglar who puts up a self-promotional website or goes into a chat room to discuss the night's activities.

--Pete Angonasta
Read the rest in Why Worm Writers Stay Free

Wednesday, December 27, 2001

it is easier to introduce new complications than to resolve the old ones.

--Neal Stephenson
Cryptonomicon, p. 655

Monday, December 24, 2001

Watch any usability test where the product is failing - the users inevitably blame "their own stupidity." Better that 100,000 users should feel stupid than one programmer admit he didn't do a very good job.

Don't let anyone tell you that as a programmer you don't have to make moral or ethical decisions. Every time you decide that making users feel stupid is better than fixing your code, you're making an ethical decision.

--Joel Spolsky
Read the rest in Joel on Software

Friday, December 21, 2001
Arrests under these powers stamp all over basic principles of British justice and the European Convention of Human Rights - even the Government admits that. We pride ourselves on our traditions of fairness and justice. By locking people up without clear evidence or access to a proper trial, the Government is violating those traditions. If we have real evidence that these people are guilty of the very serious crimes alleged, then they should be charged and put on trial. Imprisoning people without trial remains utterly unjust.

--John Wadham, Director of Liberty
Read the rest in Independent News

Thursday, December 20, 2001
JavaScript is probably the single most frustrating problem for disabled users today and it is on almost every web page you go to.

--Richard Schwerdtfeger on the www-dom mailing list

Wednesday, December 19, 2001
understanding pointers in C is not a skill, it's an aptitude. In Freshman year CompSci, there are always about 200 kids at the beginning of the semester, all of whom wrote complex adventure games in BASIC for their Atari 800s when they were 4 years old. They are having a good ol'; time learning Pascal in college, until one day their professor introduces pointers, and suddenly, they don't get it. They just don't understand anything any more. 90% of the class goes off and becomes PoliSci majors, then they tell their friends that there weren't enough good looking members of the appropriate sex in their CompSci classes, that's why they switched. For some reason most people seem to be born without the part of the brain that understands pointers. This is an aptitude thing, not a skill thing – it requires a complex form of doubly-indirected thinking that some people just can't do.

--Joel Spolsky
Read the rest in Joel on Software - The Guerrilla Guide to Interviewing

Tuesday, December 18, 2001
One thing I've noticed in my tweakings and investigations with MRJ and AWT is that peer instantiation seems to be a major difference in performance between AWT on Mac OS (both on OS 8/9 and OS X) and AWT on Windows. If AWT is heavyweight on Windows, then it must be superfatheavyweight on Mac OS, to explain the difference.

--Steve Roy on the Java Dev mailing list

Monday, December 17, 2001

Could we get some otherwise normal humans and somehow persuade them that they are not going to die as a consequence of flying a plane smack into a skyscraper? If only! Nobody is that stupid, but how about this - it's a long shot, but it just might work. Given that they are certainly going to die, couldn't we sucker them into believing that they are going to come to life again afterwards? Don't be daft! No, listen, it might work. Offer them a fast track to a Great Oasis in the Sky, cooled by everlasting fountains. Harps and wings wouldn't appeal to the sort of young men we need, so tell them there's a special martyr's reward of 72 virgin brides, guaranteed eager and exclusive.

Would they fall for it? Yes, testosterone-sodden young men too unattractive to get a woman in this world might be desperate enough to go for 72 private virgins in the next.

It's a tall story, but worth a try. You'd have to get them young, though. Feed them a complete and self-consistent background mythology to make the big lie sound plausible when it comes. Give them a holy book and make them learn it by heart. Do you know, I really think it might work. As luck would have it, we have just the thing to hand: a ready-made system of mind-control which has been honed over centuries, handed down through generations. Millions of people have been brought up in it. It is called religion and, for reasons which one day we may understand, most people fall for it (nowhere more so than America itself, though the irony passes unnoticed). Now all we need is to round up a few of these faith-heads and give them flying lessons.

--Richard Dawkins
Read the rest in Guardian Unlimited | Archive Search

Sunday, December 16, 2001
Crossing the JNI bridge for anything "for a speed increase" is generally a bad idea. The cost varies by platform, but allowing Hotspot to do it's thing is generally better. The main exception being if you have a large dataset you can run without crossing too much. The native library codecs for the Java Media Framework comes to mind.

--Andrew J. Hobbs on the java-dev mailing list

Saturday, December 15, 2001
A Wise Old Man once told me that the best way to evaluate the relative performance of competing systems is to look at who's publishing their performance numbers. Those who publish their numbers invariably have good numbers, while those who talk about how meaningless benchmarks are... well, let's just say that if you ever manage to get THEIR numbers out of them, you won't be surprised.

--Ronald P. Hughes on the java-dev mailing list

Friday, December 14, 2001
Electronic evidence is by its nature mutable. If the government wanted to plant electronic evidence and then lie about it, it would be virtually impossible to prove that it happened.

--Mark Rasch, a former federal prosecutor
Read the rest in Where Were Suspect's Porn Pics?

Thursday, December 13, 2001
What about Java? Yes, I've used Java extensively, but unfortunately the language, the code libraries, and especially the GUI libraries are just too primitive for a commercial desktop application. I like the language and I appreciate the benefit of write-once-run-anywhere, but frankly not a lot of desktop software is sold for Sun Solaris and I think that WORA benefits Sun more than it benefits software developers, and I'm not willing to write an app that behaves in an inferior way on 95% of my customer's computers to benefit the 5% with alternate platforms. Every Java app LOOKS like a Java app, takes forever to launch, and just doesn't feel completely native.

--Joel Spolsky
Read the rest in Joel on Software - Working on CityDesk, Part Three

Wednesday, December 12, 2001
I'm sick and tired of giving this Government the benefit of the doubt. Labour's let people down. Like more and more people in this country, I have lost confidence in the Labour Government. I have had enough of their obsession with control-freakery and spin instead of policies which will really improve people's lives. I want to belong to a party which encourages debate and practises genuine internal democracy. Tony Blair is behaving in an increasingly arrogant and presidential manner. His party believes in threats and intimidation to crush internal dissent

--Former Labor MP Paul Marsden
Read the rest in Independent News

Tuesday, December 11, 2001
Writing a fully internationalized app is more expensive than ignoring the issues, but not that much. What's really expensive is the task of going back to i18n-izing an existing i18n-oblivious app.

--Tim Bray
Read the rest in XML.com: Practical Internationalization

Monday, December 10, 2001
The first movies on DVDs were done well, in part because designers hadn't yet discovered the medium, so things were left simple. But now, visual designers have somehow discovered the medium, and off we go, revisiting the horrors of the past. It seems that every time a new medium appears, the everyday users are forced to endure the worst sins of the previous media.

--Don Norman
Read the rest in DVD Menu Design

Sunday, December 9, 2001
It doesn't excuse them for beating me up so badly but there was a real reason why they should hate Westerners so much. I don't want this to be seen as a Muslim mob attacking a Westerner for no reason. They had every reason to be angry - I've been an outspoken critic of the US actions myself. If I had been them, I would have attacked me.

--Robert Fisk
Read the rest in BBC News | SOUTH ASIA | UK journalist beaten

Saturday, December 8, 2001
If you're a software company, there are lots of great business reasons to love bloatware. For one, if programmers don't have to worry about how large their code is, they can ship it sooner. And that means you get more features, and features make users' lives better (if they use them) and don't usually hurt (if they don't). As a user, if your software vendor stops, before shipping, and spends two months squeezing the code down to make it 50% smaller, the net benefit to you is going to be imperceptible, but you went for two months without new features that you needed, and THAT hurt.

--Joel Spolsky
Read the rest in A resource for software marketing, software s...

Friday, December 7, 2001
I think everybody who isn't a Microsoft vassal understands, and has been saying, this is the most bizarre, pointless, ridiculous antitrust settlement that anyone could have possibly imagined. It doesn't even pass the red face test.

--Michael Morris, Sun Microsystems' senior vice president and general counsel.
Read the rest in SiliconValley.com - Opinion - Good Morning Silicon Valley

Thursday, December 6, 2001
Getting code to work on the entire universe of Windows machines is a lot of work. That's the real appeal of "write once, run anywhere" systems like Java. In theory, if you use the Java Virtual Machine, the burden is on the VM vendor to provide compatibility with all these platforms. In reality, as Java programmers learned, code is just too fragile for this to work very well. When I developed a game with Java I learned that Java's inability to guarantee exactly when threads would run (a seemingly harmless concession to the fact that CPU scheduling is basically unpredictable) actually meant that on the Macintosh, some threads got starved, um, forever, basically, until the other threads tried to do i/o in fact, which is not what I had assumed and made my game not very challenging on Macs. (This was in 1996. Don't email me with workarounds, fixes, or to say that this bug has been fixed.)

--Joel Spolsky
Read the rest in Joel on Software - A Hard Drill Makes an Easy...

Wednesday, December 5, 2001

if countries want good relations with us, then they have to know that whatever religious vision they teach in their public schools, we expect them to teach the "peaceful" realization of that vision. All U.S. ambassadors need to make that part of their brief. Because if tolerance is not made universal, then coexistence is impossible. But such simple tolerance of other faiths is precisely what Saudi Arabia has not been teaching.

If the Saudis cannot or will not do that, then we must conclude that the Saudi ruling family is not really on our side, and we should move quickly to lessen our dependence upon it. I was for radical energy conservation, getting rid of gas-guzzlers and reducing oil imports before Sept. 11 -- but I feel even more strongly about it now.

--Thomas L. Friedman
Read the rest in sunspot.net - op/ed

Tuesday, December 4, 2001
Cisco cleverly sold software that plugged into the wall, had a fan and got warm. People had a long history of buying things that plugged into the wall, made noises and got warm.

--Ralph Gorin
Read the rest in A start-up's true tale (12/01/2001)

Monday, December 3, 2001

On the basis of secret evidence, the government accuses a non-citizen of connections to terrorism, and holds him in prison for three years. Then a judge conducts a full trial and rejects the terrorism charges. He releases the prisoner. A year later government agents rearrest the man, hold him in solitary confinement and state as facts the terrorism charges that the judge found untrue.

Could that happen in America? In John Ashcroft's America it has happened.

--Anthony Lewis
Read the rest in It Can Happen Here

Sunday, December 2, 2001
We have Linux extensions to Solaris. We just don't think a Linux partition on a mainframe makes a lot of sense. It's kind of like having a trailer park in the back of your estate.

--Scott McNealy
Read the rest in Q&A: McNealy defends Sun reliability, personal privacy views

Saturday, December 1, 2001
Just about everyone on the business side has figured out the game now, and they won't sign up for another round just because Microsoft thinks they should. The days of blindly upgrading the OS and office products are over. It is too expensive and there are few real benefits.

--Robert X. Cringely
Read the rest in I, Cringely | The Pulpit

Friday, November 30, 2001
The Office of Homeland Security. Has a nice retro-Soviet ring to it, eh? Or how about Operation Infinite Justice, the Orwell-by-way-of-Madison-Avenue moniker that Pentagon image-makers first hung on our nascent World War Three? When the propagandists adopt phrases plucked from dystopian novels, we're in trouble.

--Bill Kauffman
Read the rest in Independent Argument

Thursday, November 29, 2001

I had a customer, a big bank in Europe, who said he evaluated StarOffice, and he said, "We loved it, it passed with flying colors. In fact, there are parts of it we liked better than Microsoft Office." I said, "So did you go with StarOffice?" And he said, "No, we went with Microsoft Office." I said, "Why?" And he said, "Free scared us. We weren't sure you were serious and were going to invest in it. There couldn't be a long-term business model for free."

I about fell out of my chair, and I went back and said, "Let's start charging for it." The people with no money will filibuster and say, "Don't," but the people with a lot of money are saying, "Free scares me."

So who do you want to please, the people with no money or the people with a lot of money?

--Scott McNealy
Read the rest in Q&A, Part II: Sun's McNealy discusses NDA pol...

Wednesday, November 28, 2001

The problem with this particular issue is it's way more complicated than a classic, single, one-line zinger that I tend to throw out just to kind of tweak everybody. Like, 'You have no privacy, get over it.' I'm pretty famous for that one. But nobody understood the five paragraphs before it and the five paragraphs after it because the press doesn't have time and people don't have the attention span to really sit down and really understand. Anybody who understands my perspective on authentication says it's ultimately and fabulously logical.

If there were no audit trails and no fingerprints, there would be a lot more crime in this world. Audit trails deter lots of criminal activity. So all I'm suggesting, given that we all have ID cards anyhow, is to use the biometric and other forms of authentication that are way more powerful and way more accurate than the garbage we use today.

--Scott McNealy
Read the rest in Q&A: McNealy defends Sun reliability, personal privacy views

Tuesday, November 27, 2001
Each time Microsoft releases an operating system they crow about how extensive the testing was and how secure it is, and every time it contains more security vulnerabilities than the previous operating system. I don't believe this trend will reverse itself anytime soon.

--Bruce Schneier
Read the rest in News: Bug secrecy vs. full disclosure

Tuesday, November 26, 2001

Patriots – by which I mean Americans who love their untelevised country – despise war, not least for its catastrophic domestic consequences. In time of war, power flows to the centre. Regional culture withers, idiosyncrasies are smothered, young men are sent across the globe to serve as armed employees of the central government. People shift their loyalties from the local and immediate to the abstract and remote; already, local charities are reporting huge shortfalls as generous souls send their donations to the bureaucracies of New York and Washington. Through it all, the belligerent eggheads of the militaristic right and world-reforming left piss their pants with glee.

I defer to no one in my desire that the homicides who orchestrated the evil acts of 11 September be given their measure of justice, thrice over. But I will not watch silently as my country disappears. Empire is not worth a single American (or Afghan) life; defending Israel is not worth sacrificing what remains of our traditional liberties; overthrowing the Taliban is not worth bleaching the colour out of regional America.

The time for dissenters to keep quiet out of respect for the dead is over. Simple patriotism demands that we take up the plaint of a peaceable statesman from the Vietnam era: Come home, America. Come home now, while there is still a recognisable America.

--Bill Kaufmann
Read the rest in Independent Argument

Sunday, November 25, 2001
Microsoft's motives in promoting bug secrecy are obvious: it's a whole lot easier to squelch security information than it is to fix problems, or design products securely in the first place. Microsoft's steady stream of public security vulnerabilities has lead many people to question the security of their future products. And with analysts like Gartner advising people to abandon Microsoft IIS because of all its insecurities, giving customers less security information about their products would be good for business.

--Bruce Schneier
Read the rest in News: Bug secrecy vs. full disclosure

Saturday, November 24, 2001
The president is by emergency decree getting rid of rights that we assumed that anyone within our borders legally would have. We can find ourselves in a police state step by step without realizing that we have made these compromises along the way.

--Robert B. Reich, secretary of labor under President Bill Clinton
Read the rest in Hue and Murmur Over Curbed Rights

Friday, November 23, 2001

it is worth remembering the moral basis upon which we are prosecuting this war. This is, remember, a war "for civilisation". It is a war for "democracy". It is a war of "good against evil". It is a war in which "you are either for us or against us".

So when we see the pictures of the next massacre, let's ask ourselves whose side we are on. On the side of the victims or the murderers? And if the side of good happens to coincide with the side of the murderers, what does that make us? We're hearing a lot about the Allied success in the war. But the war has only just begun.

--Robert Fisk
Read the rest in Independent Argument

Thursday, November 22, 2001
They that give up essential liberty, to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty, nor safety.

--Benjamin Franklin

Wednesday, November 21, 2001
The desktop metaphor made assumptions about how we use computers that just aren't true anymore. It's time to throw away the old model.

--Don Norman
Read the rest in Technology Review - The Next Computer Interface

Tuesday, November 20, 2001
It is generally the case that in times of fear, people place security above all, and they are quite willing to cede to the government extraordinary authority,. We love security more than we love liberty

--David Cole, Georgetown University
Read the rest in Despite Some Concerns, Civil Liberties Are Taking a Back Seat

Monday, November 19, 2001
The Internet is very fragile. It would be very easy for an angry teenager with a $300 computer to create almost unlimited pain for anyone on the Internet and not get caught. We've got to have attention focused on this

--Paul Vixie
Read the rest in Key Internet servers vulnerable to attack

Sunday, November 18, 2001
To adopt this military tribunal is essentially to throw out the window all of the protections we have for 200 years considered critical to a fair determination of guilt. It throws out the requirement that the trial be public, that the evidence that the government relies on be revealed to the defendant, that there be any judicial review. It throws out the requirement that the government provide exculpatory evidence.

--David Cole, professor of constitutional law, Georgetown University
Read the rest in Bush's Tribunals Under Fire

Saturday, November 17, 2001
VCs don't like to see themselves as boobs, but many are. Some have become very successful investing with the "spray and pray" technique of funding a lot of companies and hoping for a few big winners. Some VCs are more selective, thinking they are adding value by doing so, and perhaps they are, but generally not in the meager profit fields of the Internet. The Internet is something totally new for VCs used to the high profit margins of traditional high tech. The Internet is more like the grocery business, with painfully thin margins and high capital requirements. You can't spray and pray as an Internet investor, yet that's generally what has been taking place.

--Robert X. Cringely
Read the rest in I, Cringely | The Pulpit

Friday, November 16, 2001
There is no shortage of organizational incompetence. I'm shocked at how much trouble I've had with my oughta-be-very-simple customer relationship with AT&T Broadband, for example. It shouldn't be necessary to spend man-days wrangling with AT&T just to get a telephone line that does what it's supposed to do. But it does, and consistently.

--Steven R. Newcomb on the xml-dev mailing list

Thursday, November 15, 2001
You might catch some senior Al Qaeda leaders; you might catch some senior Taliban leaders. If they are the kind you want to shoot, you shoot them.

--Donald Rumsfeld
Read the rest in Taliban Are On the Run; bin Laden Is at Large

Wednesday, November 14, 2001
Vendors don't take security seriously because there is no market incentive for them to, and no adverse effects when they don't. I have long argued that software vendors should not be exempt from the product liability laws that govern the rest of commerce. When this happens, vendors will do more than pay lip service to security vulnerabilities: they will fix them as quickly as possible. But until then, full disclosure is the only way we have to motivate vendors to act responsibly.

--Bruce Schneier
Read the rest in News: Bug secrecy vs. full disclosure

Tuesday, November 13, 2001

Public health officials want to shut down roads and airports, herd people into sports stadiums and, if needed, quarantine entire cities in the event of a smallpox attack, according to a plan being forwarded to all 50 governors this week.

The plan, drafted at the request of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, could give states sweeping new powers.

--Michael Lasalandra
Read the rest in Smallpox plan grants sweeping power

Monday, November 12, 2001
for many inexperienced programmers, the imperative navigational style, where their own program is in control and issues requests to other subsystems, is the only model they really feel comfortable with. It's a control thing, a perception that the job of the programmer is to tell the computer what to do next.

--Michael Kay on the xml-dev mailing list

Sunday, November 11, 2001
On the surface, we see the war in Afghanistan as a just war to end terrorism. Beneath the surface, both Pakistanis and Afghans see it as a war between the Taliban — who are ethnic Pashtuns and who stretch from Afghanistan right across the Pakistani border here into Peshawar — and the Northern Alliance, who are primarily Tajiks and Uzbeks. For us this is good versus evil; for them it is the Hatfields versus the McCoys — Round 50. The Pashtun-led Taliban will not break easily, because they think they're fighting for the survival of their tribe in Afghanistan — not for the survival of bin Laden. But bin Laden can take advantage of that.

--Robert Friedman
Read the rest in New York Times: Beware of Icebergs (Registration required)

Saturday, November 10, 2001
The security lapses further support our claims that Microsoft's guarantees of privacy and security are deceptive and unfair to consumers. Further, Microsoft's failure to disclose the actual risks associated with the collection and use of personal information in the Passport service constitutes an unfair and deceptive trade practice.

--Marc Rotenberg, director of the Electronic Privacy Information Center
Read the rest in Microsoft tries to cage security gremlins

Friday, November 9, 2001

.NET is essentially a giant system for tracking user behavior and, as such, will become Microsoft's most valuable tactical tool. It is a system for tracking use of services, and the data from that tracking is available only to Microsoft.

.NET is an integral part of Windows' communication system with all calls going through it. This will allow Microsoft (and only Microsoft) to track the most frequently placed calls. If the calls are going to a third-party software package, Microsoft will know about it. This information is crucial. With it, Microsoft can know which third-party products to ignore and which to destroy. With this information, Microsoft can develop its own add-in packages and integrate them into the .NET framework, thus eliminating the third-party provider. A year later, as explained above, the problem is solved.

--Robert X. Cringely
Read the rest in I, Cringely | The Pulpit

Thursday, November 8, 2001
If I never have to write another line of C/C++ code I would be a happy man. The meat of the C++ language has evolved into a monster, but worse yet the trimmings now outweigh the beef. Win32/MFC/ATL/COM all try to layer more abstractions onto the low-level language but they're a nightmare to learn and use, especially if you try to use them together and need to convert between disparate data representations. NuMega's BoundsChecker helps, but often even Microsoft sample code won't pass through it without complaint so you have to wonder when the creators can't get it right.

--David W. Methvin
Read the rest in Whither Now C++?

Wednesday, November 7, 2001

I predict that Microsoft is about to beat the bejeezus out of Java.

Java was to have been the Microsoft-killer, gold kryptonite to what passes for creativity in Redmond. Sun's cross-platform, write-once-run-anywhere language was going to free us all from the tyranny of Microsoft and Visual BASIC, but it simply hasn't happened. For this, I blame Sun and nobody else.

Simply put, the hype in the programming community is steadily moving from Java to Microsoft's new Java competitor, C# (C-sharp). This shift is happening for a reason. When Java came to market five years ago, it was bulky, slow, and buggy. Today, five years later, Java is still bulky slow, and buggy. C#, while still in beta, already feels better than Java. Its performance is snappier. Java had an enormous head start that Sun simply frittered away. Now Java just plain feels old.

This is happening not because Microsoft is so good, but because Sun is so bad. C# and Java are astonishingly similar with the only major difference being that Microsoft left out the kludgy parts. Microsoft's version of James Gosling (the father of Java) is Anders Hejlsberg, listed as the "inventor" of C#. The guy probably started his design process by reading Learn Java in 21 Days.

--Robert X. Cringely
Read the rest in I, Cringely | The Pulpit

Tuesday, November 6, 2001
What should distinguish us from bin Laden is the ability to feel unease at the sight of wounded children

--Fergal Keane
Read the rest in Independent Argument

Monday, November 5, 2001

If some people are "confused" about this war, it may be because they remember the rationale for it: Killing thousands of civilians is unconscionable.

Though you wouldn't know much about it from watching TV news or skimming the front pages, large numbers of Afghans -- many of them children and elderly -- are facing the likelihood of starvation because the bombing has forced recurrent halts to the movement of food-aid trucks from Pakistan into Afghanistan. Concern is growing among humanitarian aid workers that about 100,000 people are now in imminent peril. By winter, the number could be in the millions.

Meanwhile, on television, we see footage of air-dropped meals that amount to no more than 1 percent of what's needed to prevent people from starving. That's called good PR.

--Norman Solomon
Read the rest in Media Beat: War Needs Good Public Relations

Sunday, November 4, 2001
This is a reward, not a remedy. This agreement allows a declared illegal monopolist to determine, at its sole discretion, what goes into the monopoly operating system in the future.

--KellyJo MacArthur, RealNetworks General Counsel
Read the rest in Settlement is "a reward, not a remedy

Saturday, November 3, 2001
You have a judge that doesn't know the facts of the case yet and who said in the strongest possible terms, "Please, please, please settle." Forgetting the merits of the case, it would be easy for her to rubber-stamp whatever the DOJ and Microsoft come up with. If the states want to howl, well, too bad.

--Bob Lande, University of Baltimore School of Law.
Read the rest in Microsoft settlement expected Friday

Friday, November 2, 2001

If the sources are correct, the expected has occurred -- a sellout of the American public by an administration that had long since made clear it would do exactly that.

What a sham this has been. What a shameful process, leaving a lawbreaker free to do practically anything it wishes. What a signal to the business community.

If the terms reported are accurate, the states are the last hope for a serious remedy. Do they have the stamina and the courage? It will take plenty of both.

--Dan Gillmor
Read the rest in SiliconValley.com - Dan Gillmor's eJournal

Thursday, November 1, 2001

Bill Gates doesn't run Microsoft anymore. Steve Ballmer does.

The fact that he appears in the commercials might have as much to do with the way the company is run as the fact that Dave Thomas is still the front-man for Wendy's.

I'm reminded of the long, painful slide of IBM when a string of sales-oriented MBA's took over from TJ Watson, Jr. Each driven by money and little else. I don't think any of us knows what actually goes on in the Board Room at Microsoft, and I'm not trying to excuse the fast one that Microsoft appears to be trying to pull. But I do think that Bill Gates presided over a different era, not the one we're in now.

--Dan Mabbutt on the XML-DEV mailing list

Wednesday, October 31, 2001
Unless backed by strong testing, I always take the 'XYZ language is too slow' with a grain of salt. In this case (Java), I have personally been happily surprised with Java, its speed, scalability and stability in a recent Cocoon 2 deployment.

--Sergio Carvalho on the general@xml.apache.org mailing list

Tuesday, October 30, 2001
The poor quality of Microsoft Windows costs the world economy $170 billion per year in lost productivity due to crashes. This is four times Bill Gates' net worth, so we are not talking pocket change, even for him, if he were forced to cover the cost of his deeds.

--Jakob Nielsen
Read the rest in Poor Code Quality Contaminates Mental Models (Alertbox Oct. 2001)

Monday, October 29, 2001
The anti-terrorism legislation was rushed through Congress. There was little time for legislators to review the legislation before the vote happened. To their shame, they pretty much went ahead and voted for it anyway.

--Declan McCullagh
Read the rest in Reason magazine

Sunday, October 28, 2001

Open source programmers need to stop being so darned lazy about error handling. That obviously doesn't include all open source programmers. You know who you are.

If you want a demonstration of what I mean, start your favorite GUI-based open source applications from the command line of an X terminal instead of a menu or icon. In most cases this will cause the errors and warnings that the application generates to appear in the terminal window where you started it. (There are exceptions, depending on the application or the script that launches the application.)

Many of the applications I use on a daily basis generate anywhere from a few warnings or error messages to a few hundred. And I'm not just talking about the debug messages that programmers use to track what a program is doing. I mean warning messages about missing files, missing objects, null pointers, and worse.

These messages raise several questions. Doesn't anyone who works on these programs check for such things? Why do they go unfixed for so long? Are these problems something that should be of concern to users? Worse, what if these messages appear because of a problem with my installation or configuration, and not because the program hasn't been fully debugged? But even if it is my installation that is broken, shouldn't the application report the errors? Why do I have to start the application from a terminal window to see the messages?

--Nicholas Petrely
Read the rest in Open source programmers stink at error handling - Oct 25, 2001

Saturday, October 27, 2001
Vendor initiatives have a lifespan of about two years. Open Source initiatives have a lifespan of between seven and ten years, though the juries out on whether it might even be more. .NET will be old hat by 2004, for instance, and the "new paradigm" will be rapidly spinning out of Microsoft's marketing department well before then (think OLE, COM, ActiveX, DCOM, COM+, DNA ... to get an idea of what I'm talking about), while XML will still be vibrant in 2010, though in probably a vastly richer form. Look for early growths in various open source technologies, and figure that they will end up in commercial products in slightly different form within the year.

--Kurt Cagle on the "Computer Book Publishing" mailing list

Friday, October 26, 2001
Anything Microsoft gains by stopping people like me from committing "casual copying" isn't worth what we lose when Office just stops dead in its tracks, as my own experience so well illustrated.

--David Coursey
Read the rest in ZDNet: Story: My travails with Office XP: Finally, the end of my tale

Thursday, October 25, 2001
When everyone has to reinvent the wheel, many people invent square wheels. Most projects don't have the time or the talent to do a superb job on all aspects of the user interface, and features outside the company's core competency are most likely to suffer.

--Jakob Nielsen
Read the rest in End of Homemade Websites (Alertbox Oct. 2001)

Wednesday, October 24, 2001
Surely many countries will rejoice at the opportunity to enlist Washington's support for their own atrocities. Commentators express much satisfaction that other countries are expressing some willingness to join Washington's "crusade against evil," but they are not explaining why. They surely know the reasons. US assistance is welcomed by Russia for crushing Chechens, by China for its wars against Muslims in Western China, by Indonesia for its continuing atrocities in Aceh and elsewhere, by India for destroying resistance to its rule in largely-Muslim Kashmir, and on, and on. If you have in mind the Middle East, the regimes that are the targets of bin Laden's wrath and despised many of their own citizens will be inclined to join Washington's assault against their enemies, but they are also wary of the consequences. They doubtless agree with Foreign Minister Vedrine about the "diabolical trap" laid by bin Laden, who reiterated what has been stressed by specialists on the region and presumably US intelligence agencies. They understand the likely consequences of a ground war in Afghanistan, and understand as well that the massacre of Afghanis -- not Taliban, but their victims -- will only help bin Laden and others like him to enlist others in the horrendous cause, the familiar dynamic of an escalating cycle of violence.

--Noam Chomsky
Read the rest in The Theatre of Good and Evil

Tuesday, October 23, 2001

There are an average of fewer than 2,000 federal wiretaps authorized each year, yet the FBI long had on the table a request to increase that number to 10 million. Sorry, but in the interest of fighting terrorism (or communism, or racism, or white collar crime, etc.) we don't need a 5,000-fold increase in the number of wiretaps. Yet that's exactly what Congress will likely authorize in the next few weeks.

How many bad guys can you monitor with 10 million wiretaps? Figuring four phone lines per bad guy (main line, mobile line, home line, and Internet) that would allow us to keep electronic tabs on 2.5 million people at a time or just under one percent of U.S. residents, including children. If there are 2.5 million subversives working right now in America to change forever our way of life, they'd probably do a much better job of that by voting and running for office than by blowing things up. There simply aren't that many bad guys, and authorizing wiretaps to that extent is asking for abuse by law enforcement.

--Robert X. Cringely
Read the rest in I, Cringely | The Pulpit

Monday, October 22, 2001
Absolute anonymity breeds absolute irresponsibility. We need a thumbprint Java card in the hand of everybody in the country. I'm tired of the outrage. If you get on a plane, I want to know who you are. If you rent a crop duster, I want to know who you are

--Scott McNealy
Read the rest in Sun Micro CEO Sees More Support for National ID

Sunday, October 21, 2001
If I have seen further than other men, it is by stepping on their glasses.

--Michael Swaine
Read the rest in WebReview.com: April 27, 2001: Swaine's Frames: IPgrams for New Cynics

Saturday, October 20, 2001
Steve Jobs figured that a lot of people wanted a computer but didn't have the time to construct one the way I had. He had an idea to make a PC board for $20 and sell it for $40. We figured that it would be fun to have a company, even if we lost money.

--Steve Wozniak
Read the rest in Guardian Unlimited | The Guardian | Inside Apple's core

Friday, October 19, 2001

When countries are attacked they try to defend themselves, if they can. According to the doctrine proposed, Nicaragua, South Vietnam, and numerous others should have been sending suicide bombers to destroy the US from within, Palestinians should be applauded for suicide bombings in Tel Aviv, and on, and on. It is because this doctrine had brought Europe to virtual self-annihilation after hundreds of years of savagery that the nations of the world forged a different compact after World War II, establishing -- at least formally -- the principle that the resort to force is barred except in the case of self-defense against armed attack until the Security Council acts to protect international peace and security. Specifically, retaliation is barred. Since the US is not under armed attack, these considerations are irrelevant -- at least, if we agree that the fundamental principles of international law should apply to ourselves, not only to those we dislike.

International law aside, we have centuries of experience that tell us exactly what this doctrine entails. And in a world with weapons of mass destruction, what it entails is an imminent termination of the human experiment -- which is, after all, why Europeans decided half a century ago that the game of mutual slaughter in which they had been indulging for centuries had better come to an end, or else.

--Noam Chomsky
Read the rest in Not the end of the world

Thursday, October 18, 2001

When we opened our air bombardment of Afghanistan, we went straight into Kosovo mode. We were, so we were told, going to attack ground to air defences, command and control centres and achieve total "air superiority". Forget the fact that the Taliban have already taken Afghanistan back to the Middle Ages, that scarcely any of their 20 clapped-out Mig-21s can fly, that they probably wouldn't know the difference between a command and control centre and a dustbin. In just a few short hours last week, we turned the Taliban into the Serbs.

True, we bombed Osama bin Laden's camps. I bet we did. There would have been no difficulty in spotting their location because, of course, most of them were built by the CIA when Mr bin Laden and his men were the good guys – although this salient fact oddly eluded the generals when they came to tell us what they had bombed.

But do we really believe that punching holes into the runway of Kandahar airport is going to have any military effect on men who smash televisions and hang videotapes from trees? Do we think that blowing up fuel dumps is going to stop bearded men from shooting at us in the mountains? If the equally bloody men of the Northern Alliance are to be our foot soldiers, do we intend – once they reach the ruins of Kabul – to allow them to return to their good old days of rape and looting? Or are we going to send in the Americans and the British to capture the cities – which is exactly what the Russians did in 1980 – and leave the mountains to the bad guys?

--Robert Fisk
Read the rest in Independent Argument

Wednesday, October 17, 2001
Although Afghanistan was never directly ruled by European empires, modern Afghanistan is in many ways an artificial European imperial creation, like Sierra Leone or Angola. It was the territory left between the Russian Empire and the British Indian Empire; and the founder of the modern Afghan state, Emir Abdur Rahman, was armed and subsidised by the British to build up that state. But the modernising Afghan state was hated by all too many of its own subjects as an offence against both their old anarchical tribal freedoms and their religions traditions. And of course it did not help that, as elsewhere, the servants of the state were brutal and corrupt and its economic development programmes a failure.

--Anatole Leiven
Read the rest in Independent Argument

Tuesday, October 16, 2001
Most Afghans have not had an ability to keep up on the news. They're just scratching out their day-to-day existence. They didn't even know about the World Trade Center, for the most part.

--Jay Farrar, Center for Strategic and International Studies
Read the rest in After Bullets Fly: War of Words

Monday, October 15, 2001

In Baghdad we had the bunker where our missile fried more than 300 people to death. In Kosovo we had a refugee column torn to pieces by our bombs. Now in Afghanistan, a village called Karam is our latest massacre.

Of course it's time for that tame old word "regret". We regretted the Baghdad bunker. We were really very sorry for the refugee slaughter in Kosovo. Now we are regretting the bomb that went astray in Kabul on Friday night; the missile that killed the four UN mine clearers last Monday; and whatever hit Karam.

It's always the same story. We start shooting with "smart" weapons after our journalists and generals have told us of their sophistication. Their press conferences produce monochrome snapshots of bloodless airbase runways with little holes sprinkled across the apron. "A successful night," they used to say, after bombing Serbia.

They said that again last week and no one – until of course we splatter civilians – suggests going to war involves killing innocent people. It does. That is why the military invented that repulsive and morally shameful phrase "collateral damage". And they are always ready to smear the reporters on the ground.

--Robert Fisk
Read the rest in Independent Argument

Sunday, October 14, 2001

Responding to the threats facing America's free democratic system, White House officials called upon Americans to stop exercising their democratic freedoms Monday.

"In this time of national crisis, a time when our most cherished freedoms are threatened, all Americans—not just outspoken talk-show hosts like Bill Maher—must watch what they say," White House press secretary Ari Fleischer told reporters. "Now more than ever, if we want to protect democracy for future generations, it is vital that nobody speak out about the issues of the day."

--The Onion
Read the rest in Freedoms Curtailed In Defense Of Liberty

Saturday, October 13, 2001
Microsoft couldn't beat Java, couldn't claim ownership to C++, so now we have C#.

--Chris Parkerson on the xml-dev mailing list

Friday, October 12, 2001
let's not start any arguments about what tools programmers should be using to create documentation; any documentation is better than none at all, which seems a lot more comMonday, unfortunately

--Sean Lamb
Read the rest in Linux Orbit - Features: StarOffice 6.0 Beta - Out of the (Cyber) Box Experience

Thursday, October 11, 2001

Microsoft has always maintained that Java is a good language but isn't capable of supporting real-world solutions. The market has clearly proven Microsoft wrong, and the overwhelming number of Java adopters (independent software vendors and businesses) look to the technology to provide not only an object-oriented development language but also a unified library of reusable components and services, as well as a cross-platform runtime infrastructure. In a recent Gartner survey, most respondents mentioned cross-platform support as a significant reason for selecting Java, and 23 percent mentioned "avoiding Microsoft lock-in."

Java has always been a second-tier technology for Microsoft, which considers it inferior to C#. Visual J#.Net is a good example of the company's resolve to have developers think of something else other than Java. But experienced developers are wise to Microsoft's strategies, and so they should be.

--Mark Driver
Read the rest in Commentary: J#.Net will be ignored - Tech News - CNET.com

Wednesday, October 10, 2001
The Patriot Act is ludicrous. Terrorists have proved that they are interested in total genocide, not subtle little hacks of the U.S infrastructure, yet the government wants a blank search warrant to spy and snoop on everyone's communications.

--Kevin Mitnick
Read the rest in Mitnick Warns Other 'Scapegoats'

Tuesday, October 9, 2001

The FBI has said that the terrorist network relies on credit card fraud and identity theft as fund-raising tactics. Given that, improved information security and use of encryption on the Internet become patriotic acts. The last thing we want is to be in the situation where the rest of the world, terrorists included, has access to strong encryption and U.S. citizens do not.

--Jody C. Patilla
Read the rest in ZDNet: eWEEK: Aftershocks will ripple through IT industry

Monday, October 8, 2001

There are hysterical cries that we dare not look at the reasons that lie behind criminal acts carried out by our enemies (it's fine in other cases) because that amounts to condoning them. Aside from the transparent absurdity, that stance is profoundly immoral, on the most elementary grounds: it increases the likelihood of serious harm. And like other immoral acts, we should ask what lies behind this disgraceful stance. The answers often are not pretty.

--Noam Chomsky
Read the rest in Not the end of the world

Sunday, October 7, 2001
IBM's a great supporter of Linux if it can avoid pissing on its feet. IBM is straddling the line on intellectual property and content control measures, and while it has it has been a great supporter of the Linux community, it needs to decide which side of the bar it needs to stand on, before that bar comes up hard.

--Karsten Self
Read the rest in The Register

Saturday, October 6, 2001
Britain's experience under the watchful eye of the CCTV cameras is a vision of what Americans can expect if we choose to go down the same road in our efforts to achieve "homeland security." Although the cameras in Britain were initially justified as a way of combating terrorism, they soon came to serve a very different function. The cameras are designed not to produce arrests but to make people feel that they are being watched at all times. Instead of keeping terrorists off planes, biometric surveillance is being used to keep punks out of shopping malls. The people behind the live video screens are zooming in on unconventional behavior in public that in fact has nothing to do with terrorism. And rather than thwarting serious crime, the cameras are being used to enforce social conformity in ways that Americans may prefer to avoid.

--Jeffrey Rosen
Read the rest in A Cautionary Tale for a New Age of Surveillance

Friday, October 5, 2001

W3C, the World Wide Web Consortium, recently released a Patent Policy Framework draft which provides for two forms of patent licensing that may be mandated by web standards: either RF for Royalty-Free, and RAND which stands for Reasonable and Non-Discriminatory patent licensing. When the proposal belatedly came to the attention of the web community, there was a storm of protest against RAND patent licensing and in favor of RF. There are many reasons to dislike RAND, but the one I focus on as HP's Linux and Open Source Strategist is the fact that a required patent royalty is incompatible with Open Source software. Open Source is by definition royalty-free. Thus, "non-discriminatory" patent licensing actually does discriminate against Open Source.

Over the past several years, all successful new software standards have had one thing in common: an Open Source implementation. In order to maintain the many benefits to the public provided by Open Source software, we must prevent it from being marginalized by interoperability "standards" in which Open Source may not participate. Thus, we must insist that our interoperability standards be free of any legal encumbrance that would prohibit an Open Source implementation.

--Bruce Perens
Read the rest in Source of: http://perens.com/Articles/HP_And_W3C_Standards.html

Thursday, October 4, 2001
Gartner recommends that enterprises hit by both Code Red and Nimda immediately investigate alternatives to IIS, including moving Web applications to Web server software from other vendors, such as iPlanet and Apache.

--John Pescatore, Gartber Group
Read the rest in The Register

Monday, October 1, 2001
Microsoft's relationship to its users is that of the blue whale to krill. Our only purpose is to breed, feed and get squeezed against its giant tongue until every last drop of money is released. There was a slight diminution in the aggressive, monopolistic feeding frenzy last year when, let us not forget, the company was found guilty of abusing its position. Now that Bush is in power, Microsoft is right back in those fertile Antarctic waters. Not only does it act in a way that suggests it doesn't care about the cries of pain from its customers, it barely registers that such cries exist. Now it has 90 percent of the corporate market, it will hunt its users to extinction before it notices anything wrong.

--Rupert Goodwins
Read the rest in News: Time to stand up to Microsoft

Saturday, September 29, 2001

Suppose this magically-effective" face-recognition software is 99.99 percent accurate. That is, if someone is a terrorist, there is a 99.99 percent chance that the software would indicate "terrorist," and if someone was not a terrorist, there is a 99.99 percent chance that the software would indicate "non-terrorist." Assume that one in one billion flyers, on average, is a terrorist. Is the software any good?

No. The software will generate 9,999 false alarms for every one real terrorist. And every false alarm still means that all the security people go through all of their security procedures. Because the population of non-terrorists is so much larger than the number of terrorists, the test is useless. This result is counterintuitive and surprising, but it is correct. The false alarms in this kind of system render it mostly useless. It's "The Boy Who Cried Wolf" increased over 1000-fold.

I say mostly useless, because it would have some positive effect. Once in a while, the system would correctly finger a terrorist. But it's a system that has enormous costs: money to install, manpower to run, inconvenience to the millions of people incorrectly identified, successful lawsuits by some of those people, and a continued erosion of our civil liberties. And all the false alarms will inevitably lead those managing the system to distrust its results, leading to sloppiness and potentially costly mistakes. Ubiquitous harvesting of biometrics might sound like a good idea, but I just don't think it's worth it.

--Bruce Schneier
Read the rest in Biometrics in Airports

Friday, September 28, 2001

Look, I don't know, maybe I haven't made myself completely clear, so for the record, here it is again. Somehow, people keep coming up with the idea that I want them to kill their neighbor. Well, I don't. And to be honest, I'm really getting sick and tired of it. Get it straight. Not only do I not want anybody to kill anyone, but I specifically commanded you not to, in really simple terms that anybody ought to be able to understand.

I don't care how holy somebody claims to be. If a person tells you it's My will that they kill someone, they're wrong. Got it? I don't care what religion you are, or who you think your enemy is, here it is one more time: No killing, in My name or anyone else's, ever again.

Read the rest in God Angrily Clarifies 'Don't Kill' Rule

Thursday, September 27, 2001

We've heard that it's important for journalists to be independent of the government. Sometimes that independence has been more apparent than real, but sometimes it has been an appreciable reality and a deserved source of professional pride. But today, judging from the content of the reporting by major national media outlets, such pride has crumbled with the World Trade Center towers.

More than ever, as journalists report for duty, the news profession is morphing into PR flackery for Uncle Sam. In effect, a lot of reporters are saluting the commander-in-chief and awaiting orders.

Consider some recent words from Dan Rather. During his Sept. 17 appearance on David Letterman's show, the CBS news anchor laid it on the line. "George Bush is the president," Rather said, "he makes the decisions." Speaking as "one American," the newsman added: "Wherever he wants me to line up, just tell me where. And he'll make the call."

--Norman Solomon
Read the rest in iviews.com

Wednesday, September 26, 2001

The Arabs, of course, would also like an end to world terror. But they would like to include a few other names on the list. Palestinians would like to see Mr Sharon picked up for the Sabra and Chatila massacre, a terrorist slaughter carried out by Israel's Lebanese allies ‹ who were trained by the Israeli army ‹ in 1982. At 1,800 dead, that's only a quarter of the number killed on 11 September. Syrians in Hama would like to put Rifaat Al-Assad, the brother of the late president, on their list of terrorists for the mass killings perpetrated by his Defence Brigades in the city of Hama in the same year. At 20,000, that's more than double the 11 September death toll.

The Lebanese would like trials for the Israeli officers who planned the Israeli invasion of Lebanon in 1982, which killed 17,500 people, most of them civilians ‹ again, well over twice the 11 September statistic. Christian Sudanese would like President Omar al-Bashir arraigned for mass murder.

But, as the Americans have made clear, it's their own terrorist enemies they are after, not their terrorist friends or those terrorists who have been slaughtering populations outside American "spheres of interest". Even those terrorists who live comfortably in the US but have not harmed America are safe: take, for example, the pro-Israeli militiaman who murdered two Irish UN soldiers in southern Lebanon in 1980 and who now live in Detroit after flying safely out of Tel Aviv. The Irish have the name and address, if the FBI are interested ‹ but of course they're not.

--Robert Fisk
Read the rest in Independent

Tuesday, September 25, 2001
Definitely the problem is and has been, that most of the people who do the hiring are not developers themselves and never have been. They rely either on other standards which are not relevant to IT, or go by something they've been told or have briefly encountered while reading. I think this is a problem for IT folks as well as companies that are involved in any IT development, since it decreases the quality of an employee since they haven't been adequately tested. I can only recall a few interview where an interviewer actually asked me technical (low level) questions to test my development skills. Others stay on a high level project overview, which is easily conquered by any candidate who has common sense and is willing to prepare for the interview.

--Ilya Sterin on the xml-dev mailing list

Monday, September 24, 2001
The Gnutella network has the potential to be one of the core information distribution tools on the Internet. Lime Wire LLC supports open standards and open networks. No corporation should be able to own the world's networks. To that end, we are giving our hard earned code to the world. A global networking protocol must have an open source piece at its core in order to remain uncorrupted.

--Limewire LLC
Read the rest in limewire.org

Sunday, September 16, 2001
As I write this, a terrified voice on the radio I have kept on for hours now asks, "Why now, when the world is basically at peace?" Perhaps it is because I follow world news more obsessively than most, but I find that sort of statement deeply unnerving. The last several weeks have been marked by a war in Macedonia, a fight for land in Zimbabwe, and Protestants' lobbing missiles at small Catholic schoolgirls in Northern Ireland. A Palestinian suicide bomber blew himself up in front of a French lycee in Jerusalem, his head landing in the playground as children arrived for classes. In Congo, old-fashioned mercenaries, reborn as global corporate armies-for-hire like Executive Outcomes, used high-tech weaponry to obliterate angry, destitute villagers so as to protect the interests of mineral and metal merchants. In Israel, leaders defended a policy of "surgical" assassination. And in Fiji, tensions continued between its indigenous and its ethnic Indian populations.

--Patricia Williams
Read the rest in Pax Americana

Saturday, September 15, 2001
The fact that Java on the browser failed is no argument against using client-side code in a general sense, as there are plenty of other examples where client-side code has become completely commonplace. JavaScript in the browser, for example.

--Max Dunn on the xml-dev mailing list

Friday, September 14, 2001
Technical documentation is the savior and bane of every programmer and system administrator. On one hand, we need documentation as it helps us learn and understand what we need to accomplish. As long as we don't need to write it, we value documentation above all else.

--Joshua Drake
Read the rest in DocBook can be a sysadmin's best friend - Sep 8, 2001

Thursday, September 13, 2001

Last week, I told someone that I knew we were at the bottom of the market because things couldn't get any worse.

I've never been so wrong in my life.

--Jason McCabe Calacanis on the Silicon Alley Daily mailing list

Wednesday, September 12, 2001
Those of us who value our liberty, even in the face of danger, will need to be vigilant in the days to come.

--Thomas Leavitt
Read the rest in Anti-Attack Feds Push Carnivore

Tuesday, September 11, 2001
There's nothing worse than spending a day tracking down a bug, only to discover that the bug you stumbled across is commonly known, well understood, and often easily avoidable.

--Jason Hunter
Read the rest in Servlets.com | Servlet bugs you need to know about

Monday, September 10, 2001
Like it or not, a bandwagon adds value to a language, because as more people write in it, there's more API's and pieces of software to use in it. This means the anointed standard systems language--C/C++ before, and moving to Java now--have a momentum of their own, whatever their failings. All they have to do is be good enough, not perfect.

--Kyle F. Downey on the WWWAC mailing list

Sunday, September 9, 2001
We should forget about small efficiencies, say about 97% of the time: premature optimization is the root of all evil.

--Donald E. Knuth, Structured Programming with go to Statements, Computing Surveys 6, 1974

Saturday, September 8, 2001

We follow two rules in the matter of optimization.

Rule 1. Don't do it.

Rule 2 (for experts only). Don't do it yet -- that is, not until you have a perfectly clear and unoptimized solution.

--M. A. Jackson, Priniciples of Program Design, 1975

Friday, September 7, 2001

Both HP and Compaq dreamed of competing head-to-head with Big Blue across a broad product line, and both were losing on the low end to Dell. In many ways, this deal has more to do with IBM and Dell than it has to do with HP and Compaq.

So let's look at those vaunted synergies that are supposed to be driving this deal. The idea is that the product lines will meld beautifully, which they don't at all.

At the high end, we have Compaq's former Tandem mainframes and HP's model 9000 mainframes. In the mid-range, we have HP's servers, Compaq's servers, and Compaq's (formerly DEC's) VAX minicomputers. At the low end, we have Windows PCs and handhelds. The only architectural similarities among any of these machines is at the low end, where they also share the similarity of losing money on every machine sold. Now THERE's a synergy. Otherwise, this is not a consolidated product line. This is no opportunity to move customers up from a server to a VAX to an HP 9000. These products, unlike the prospect of moving a customer up from a Chrysler to a Mercedes Benz, are more like moving that customer from a Chrysler to a dirigible to a submarine. Each computer line has unique and very different hardware, software, applications, and support organizations. They have almost no customers in common. Hence, no synergy.

--Robert X. Cringely
Read the rest in I, Cringely | The Pulpit

Thursday, September 6, 2001
Oh the shame of it all! After years of being the language for real programming, C++ has lost its throne as being the most popular serious language to, God help us, Java.

--Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols
Read the rest in Whither Now C++?

Wednesday, September 5, 2001
Most software design is lousy. Most software is so bad, in fact, that if it were a bridge, no one in his or her right mind would walk across it. If it were a house, we would be afraid to enter. The only reason we (software engineers) get away with this scam is the general public cannot see inside of software systems. If software design were as visible as a bridge or house, we would be hiding our heads in shame.

--Charles Connell
Read the rest in The Relationship Between Software Aesthetics and Quality

Tuesday, September 4, 2001
I don't think the kernel matters anymore. For most applications, the kernel is good enough.

--Linus Torvalds
Read the rest in The week in review: Linux lovefest - Tech News - CNET.com

Monday, September 3, 2001
Regarding syntactic sugar, all programming is syntactic sugar on machine code, but without that syntactic sugar, computing would have never made it out of the '50s. Believe me, syntactic sugar is necessary.

--Matthew Fuchs on the xml-dev mailing list

Sunday, September 2, 2001
No Word books sell well any more, at least not in the quantities that they once did. That's precisely the point. A class of software that is incredibly widely used eventually becomes uninteresting to readers. They are happy with the 5% of the product that they know, and no longer feel the need for a book. It's not that there's not still a lot to know; not enough people care to stretch their comfort level.

--Tim O'Reilly on the Computer Book Publishing mailing list

Saturday, September 1, 2001
I believe our country risks being thrown into a Dark Age of medical research. Biologists are at the threshold of the most important set of discoveries in history, and rather than teach and lead, our politicians react and follow a conservative few.

--James Clark
Read the rest in Clark Protests Stem Cell Ban

Thursday, August 30, 2001
Object-orientation is another hard concept to grasp, expecially for people who have been programming procedurally for many years. On the other hand, once you get it, it is extremely empowering. Most problem domains map more intuitively to classes and objects than they do to procedures.

--Jeff Lowery on the xml-dev mailing list

Wednesday, August 22, 2001
Some words (like "freedom") make this kind of semantic ping-pong game way too easy. They obfuscate more than they enlighten, they cloud the issues rather than clearing the air. This is a major reason I have spent the last three years trying to get open-source developers to stop talking about "freedom". The way we use the word doesn't merely confuse others, it confuses ourselves.

--Eric S. Raymond
Read the rest in Linux Today - Eric Raymond: Freedom, Power, or Confusion? [ESR on debate between O'Reilly and FSF

Tuesday, August 21, 2001

Freedom is being able to make decisions that affect mainly you. Power is being able to make decisions that affect others more than you. If we confuse power with freedom, we will fail to uphold real freedom. That is what Tim O'Reilly did in his essay, My Definition of Freedom Zero. He advocated a "basic freedom" which is really a form of power.

Tim O'Reilly says the most fundamental software freedom is: "The freedom to choose any license you want for software you write." Unstated, but clearly implied, is that one person or corporation chooses the rules to impose on everyone else. In the world that O'Reilly proposes, a few make the basic software decisions for everyone. That is power, not freedom. He should call it "powerplay zero" in contrast with our "freedom zero".

--Bradley M. Kuhn and Richard Stallman
Read the rest in linux.oreillynet.com: Freedom or Power? [Aug. 15, 2001]

Monday, August 20, 2001
Freedom Zero for me is to offer the fruit of your work on the terms that work for you. I think that is what is absolutely critical here. Let there be competition in the marketplace; that is the answer. Let people use whatever license they choose and if their customers don't like it they will have other choices. Because of the technological changes, we are entering an era of greater choice. The fact is, Microsoft's past history is past. We are entering a new era, not of just open source but of profound technological changes. The future is open and we can make that future be what we want it to be.

--Tim O'Reilly
Read the rest in O'Reilly Network: My Definition of Freedom Zero [August 20, 2001]

Sunday, August 19, 2001
There are no technical fixes. People have tried to lock up digital information for as long as computer networks have existed, and they have never succeeded. Sooner or later, somebody has always figured out how to pick the locks.

--Bruce Schneier, Counterpane Internet Security
Read the rest in Technology Review - Taming the Web

Saturday, August 18, 2001

My dear fellow Open Source supporters, I share your frustration and exasperation at the blind spot that most people seem to have regarding Open Source. I share your pain when they simply don't get it. However, forgive me for pointing out your own football-sized blind spot about Java. I'm afraid you don't get it either.

"Java is not free", the refrain goes. That's right, it isn't. But does that mean we shouldn't touch it with a barge pole? Does it justify all the nonsense about dotGNU and Mono, the Open Source implementations of .NET? Of all the architecture ideas in this world, did we have to go and embrace .NET? To our eternal mortification, we are again reduced to chasing tail lights. A proud Unix community is letting a desktop application company teach it how to build distributed enterprise applications. The shame of it! In our eagerness to snub Sun, we are legitimising Microsoft and belittling ourselves.

--Ganesh Prasad
Read the rest in Linux Today - Guest Column: Will Open Source Lose the Battle for the Web?

Friday, August 17, 2001

Sun, which complained about Microsoft having Java in Windows, is now complaining about Microsoft not having Java in Windows. Sun is publicly demanding that Microsoft support Java, and is writing its own Java Virtual Machine for Windows just in case Microsoft doesn't see the light. This is ludicrous. Sun looks stupid and Microsoft can point to its actions as simply being in accordance with the terms of their legal settlement. And while many XP users may load Sun's JVM, most probably won't and Java will be seriously hurt as a de facto standard.

A great irony here is that Sun is really getting the end it asked for, but didn't expect to achieve. The Java license agreement was written with Microsoft in mind and tested at great expense by the best legal minds in Silicon Valley. It was a trap set by Sun for Microsoft only Microsoft has turned the tables.

--Robert X. Cringely
Read the rest in I, Cringely | The Pulpit

Thursday, August 16, 2001
Liberal, shmiberal. That should be a new word. Shmiberal: one who is assumed liberal, just because he's a professional whiner in the newspaper. If you'll read the subtext for many of those old strips, you'll find the heart of an old-fashioned Libertarian. And I'd be a Libertarian, if they weren't all a bunch of tax-dodging professional whiners.

--Berkeley Breathed
Read the rest in The Onion A.V. Club | Feature

Wednesday, August 15, 2001

While Microsoft has been nimbly outflanking Open Source on the Western front, another power has been successfully engaging them on the Eastern front. Far from being vapourware, this is a real Enterprise architecture, a set of well-designed interfaces, and plenty of stable implementations to actually provide a viable alternative to .NET. That's the Java 2 Enterprise Edition, or J2EE. The trouble is, the way the big J2EE vendors are repeating history is textbook Santayana. Their greed for high margins is causing them to abdicate the low end of web services to Microsoft and .NET. Big mistake. We remember how high-margin Unix workstations ultimately fared against "low-end" PCs.

It needn't be this way. J2EE doesn't have to be an expensive alternative at all. There is an excellent Open Source J2EE server called JBoss, which provides a solid foundation on which to base a platform. Most Open Source enterprise components such as databases, directory services, message queues, mailservers and the like already support J2EE interfaces. What we need to do now is add Open Source implementations of web services standards (WSDL, UDDI, ebXML) and combine them all with a nice user interface (can anyone say "drag and drop"?). In fact, some of these standards are already implemented as Open Source (e.g. pUDDIng). That would be the Open Source answer to .NET.

--Ganesh Prasad
Read the rest in Linux Today - Guest Column: Will Open Source Lose the Battle for the Web?

Tuesday, August 14, 2001
what works or not in Netscape 6 is becoming irrelevant, Netscape 6 is just a clone of Mozilla now. I'd rather stick with the original open source version than an AOL-Time-Warner clone.

--Bruce McLaughlin
Read the rest in MacInTouch Reader Reports: Netscape 6

Monday, August 13, 2001

Remember what happened to C++ - it got so complex that the majority of programmers (on Windows anyway) ended up with visual tools. These tools in no way allowed you to visualize what C++ was. They purely acted as buffer zones between the programmer and the complexity of the language. Over time, the vendors developed a stranglehold and effectively forced organizations using C++ to purchase visual tools and then specifically to look for visual programmers.

The underlying C++ may have been standardized but the surrounding tools were proprietary and involved $$$. To the detriment of the idea that C++ was an open "standard".

--Sean McGrath on the xml-dev@lists.xml.org mailing list

Sunday, August 12, 2001
Sun has got what it asked for, and what it deserved. They should have bent over backwards to keep Java in Windows, they instead have litigated it out of Windows.

--Ron Guerin on the WWWAC mailing list

Saturday, August 11, 2001
From a clarity and maintenance viewpoint, block instance initializers are vastly inferior to explicit code in a constructor. I find it hard to see why it should be legal to have arbitrary specks of code littered throughout the source file, including accidentally, which are all then magically and silently collected into one place (the constructor) for execution. It's spaghetti code with invisible GOTO's. Any programmer who does it should be forced to read "War and Peace" and "Naked Lunch" at the same time, where the texts have been merged into a sequence of alternating sentences from each novel.

--Greg Guerin on the java-dev mailing list

Friday, August 10, 2001

The Internet under its original design built a platform that induced lots of innovation in applications and content. And it did this by embracing an end-to-end principle, which meant that the network would remain as simple as possible and push all of the intelligence and, therefore, innovation to the end. This is the vision that is now enabled by a peer-to-peer architecture, and it's the environment that has inspired the greatest amount of innovation around the Internet in its history.

Now this architecture threatens existing interests, business interests and Hollywood interests, and in response to that threat there have been a number of changes that have occurred in both the technical and legal environment, aiming to undermine this platform for innovation, aiming to change it into a platform where it's easier for certain interests to exercise control over innovation on that platform. And the changes at the technical level include changes to the architecture, enabling network owners to exercise more control or discrimination over content that flows across their network or for applications that run on the network.

--Lawrence Lessig
Read the rest in OpenP2P.com: The End of Innovation? [Aug. 07, 2001]

Thursday, August 9, 2001
Namespaces become necessary when you start exchanging data with other people / products, just the same as packages are necessary when you start shipping Java libraries to other people. My guess is that most people use XML and Java in house, so the need never arises. However, the minute things start going out the door, namespaces and packages (or something like them) are necessary.

--Ronald Bourret on the xml-dev mailing list

Tuesday, August 7, 2001
The internet has itself been very much an academic project until commercial interests have become involved. It seems that we have gained the ability to buy stuff online at any time of the day or night, regardless of whether its something we want or need, with the tradeoff of being afflicted with endless amounts of spam email. Your pick.

--Jonathan Borden on the xml-dev mailing list

Monday, August 6, 2001
The Java language is simple, and approachable. The JDK 1.0 was a minimal runtime library for doing what one absolutely needed to with the Java language. Since then, Sun's "Java Platform" grew. It's now a monster, where a lot of the useful features of the original runtime are there, but are increasingly difficult to find in the haystack of niceties. Unfortunately, because Java is a proprietary offering, you can't just extract the minimalist's version (unless you're Microsoft, of course... in which case you call it C#).

--Tom Bradford on the xml-dev mailing list

Sunday, August 5, 2001

In past years, the greatest usability barrier was the preponderance of cool design. Most projects were ruled by usability opponents who preferred complexity over simplicity. As a result, billions of dollars were wasted on flashy designs that were difficult to use.

One of the main advantages of the "dot-bomb" downturn is that cool design has suffered a severe set back. Companies are now focused on the bottom line:

  • Public websites, which formerly focused on building awareness, now aim at making it easy for customers to do business.
  • Intranets are similarly refocused on improving employee productivity. Many companies are attempting to create order, impose design standards, and enhance navigation on previously chaotic intranets.
Happily, glamour-based design has lost and usability advocates have won the first and hardest victory: Companies are now paying attention to usability needs.

Unfortunately, winning a battle with usability opponents doesn't win the war with complexity. It simply moves us to a new front line: The battle is now to get companies to do usability right.

--Jakob Nielsen
Read the rest in Source of: http://www.useit.com/alertbox/20010805.html

Saturday, August 4, 2001
If you get a 100-kV power supply built in 1950, chances are you'll be happy. There is continual improvement, but no quantum leaps. Computers are the most useless--they are right up there with disposable diapers in landfill.

--Ed Morse, University of California, Berkeley
Read the rest in Physics Today July 2001

Friday, August 3, 2001
The wonder of all these Internet security problems is that they are continually labeled as "e-mail viruses" or "Internet worms," rather than the more correct designation of "Windows viruses" or "Microsoft Outlook viruses." It is to the credit of the Microsoft public relations team that Redmond has somehow escaped blame, because nearly all the data security problems of recent years have been Windows-specific, taking advantage of the glaring security loopholes that exist in these Microsoft products. If it were not for Microsoft's carefully worded user license agreement, which holds the company blameless for absolutely anything, they would probably have been awash in class action lawsuits by now.

--Robert X. Cringely
Read the rest in I, Cringely | The Pulpit

Thursday, August 2, 2001

the major problem with applets was that they were oversold as solutions where they were inappropriate. Ratio of smoke to heat far exceeds unity. Having hammer, every solution-space revolves around pounding and nails.

If we simply recognize that applets are intended to be components in a browser windows, not full-blown applications, then almost all major "problems" with them go away.

--Greg Guerin on the java-dev mailing list

Wednesday, August 1, 2001
I object to the notion that my "license keys" or "serial numbers" should be sent back to the software creators. They do not have a right to know when, where, and which computer(s) I'm using the software from. Can you imagine if automakers sold you a car that every time you started the ignition it sent your location and VIN# to their database in Detroit/Tokyo? How about your laundry machine?

--Erik Oliver
Read the rest in MacInTouch Reader Reports: Totally Hip LiveStage Pro Copy Protection

Tuesday, July 31, 2001
It's important to remember to check the specs against reality. The browsers won't support the latest and greatest specs for years after they are written, and even worse, users won't upgrade their browsers.

--James Eberhardt on the XHTML-L mailing list

Sunday, July 29, 2001
it was primarly the Visual Basic progammers that Java targeted... programmers who got sick and tired of their programs not running on the Macintosh or Unix. Certainly there were some C++ people included... but the migration was primarly from Delphi, Powerbuilder, and Visual Basic.

--Clark C . Evans on the sml-dev mailing list

Saturday, July 28, 2001
We think that in conjunction with the strong indications from Mars Observer images that show water flowed on the surface in the recent past, a lot of the necessary characteristics of life are there. I think back in 1976, the Viking researchers had an excellent reason to believe theyÕd discovered life; IÕd say it was a good 75 percent certain. Now, with this discovery, IÕd say itÕs over 90 percent. And I think there are a lot of biologists who would agree with me.

--Joseph Miller, Keck School of Medicine
Read the rest in USC neuroscientist finds signature of life on Mars in decades-old data

Friday, July 27, 2001
Microsoft wants to be a gateway to the Internet over the long haul--the company that holds all of consumers' personal information. That's a control, antitrust issue. It's like they are the one credit card company on the Internet.

--Richard Smith, The Privacy Foundation.
Read the rest in Privacy group details complaints against XP - Tech News - CNET.com

Wednesday, July 25, 2001
Microsoft is trying to reduce diversity in computing. Java is one way to maintain the little that's left, and maybe grow it.

--Dan Gillmor
Read the rest in SiliconValley.com - Dan Gillmor's eJournal

Tuesday, July 24, 2001
the protesters you hear on TV are the ones that Jack Welsh wants you to hear, edited the way that Rupert Murdoch wants them edited.

--Glenn Cherrits on the WWWAC mailing list

Monday, July 23, 2001
Java has a >looooong< way to go on the desktop before being the universal platform. Perhaps it could start with each application that needs the JRE not installing its own version and causing all of the other applications that use the JRE to lose track of the one that was previously installed.

--Adam Fields on the WWWAC mailing list

Sunday, July 22, 2001
Kirk's mind raced as he quickly assessed his situation: the shields were down, the warp drive and impulse engines were dead, life support was failing fast, and the Enterprise was plummeting out of control toward the surface of Epsilon VI and, as Scotty and Spock searched frantically through the manuals trying to find a way to save them all, Kirk voWednesday, as he stared at the solid blue image filling the main view screen, that never again would he allow a Microsoft operating system to control his ship.

--Mike Rottmann, Winner of this year's Bulwer-Lytton award for science fiction
Read the rest in 2001 Results

Saturday, July 21, 2001
Microsoft is doing Sun a big favor. If you were Sun, you could go to Dell, IBM or Compaq and ask them to put copies of the virtual machine on their systems. They could download future JVMs from Sun, cutting Microsoft completely out of the picture.

--Peter O'Kelly, Patricia Seybold Group
Read the rest in Microsoft's Java decision a mixed bag - Tech News - CNET.com

Friday, July 20, 2001

In the end, Microsoft may have done PC users a favor. PCs today are bundled with Microsoft's polluted version of Java. If the PC makers can agree to accept the latest JRE, which Sun and Java supporters -- IBM among them -- have been upgrading, we might see a time when we have a consistent Java environment on new PCs.

This will be a test of the manufacturers. If they're truly out from under the thumb of Microsoft, they'll do this. If they are not, they won't.

--Dan Gillmor
Read the rest in SiliconValley.com - Dan Gillmor's eJournal

Thursday, July 19, 2001
For the average consumer who is expecting that something works the first time they go to a site, and it's going to tell them they have to download something in order to continue -- nine times out of 10 I just say I don't have enough time, so I just move on.

--David Harrah, Sun Microsystems
Read the rest in Windows Spills Java Off Its Sill

Wednesday, July 18, 2001
the POTENTIAL for abuse of a tool, or even DOCUMENTED abuse of a tool doesn't mean we should outlaw the tool. Do we outlaw knives because they can be used to kill people? No. With few exceptions, we outlaw the crimes, not the tools used to perpetrate the crimes. IMHO, outlawing tools that may be used to violate copyright laws while leaving dangerous tools like knives and guns legal displays a seriously skewed set of priorities.

--Rod Smith on the "Computer Book Publishing" mailing list

Sunday, July 15, 2001

OO is currently vogue. Someday it will not be. Can Java adapt? I know Perl can, it demonstrated its flexibility when it made the leap from structured to object-oriented programming six years ago.

Because Java is selling you a philosophy of programming, anything which does not fit into that philosophy rapidly becomes awkward. This is typified by "Hello, World". It is not a data-centric task, therefore the OO solution is clunky.

There's nothing you can't do with objects. There's nothing you can't do with any Turing Complete language. But that's not the point. The point is how easily, elegant and maintainable can you do it? When you try to shoehorn every programming task into one style, things get ugly. I'd rather have a tool-box full of lots of different tools than one with 57 kinds of hammers.

And what of other styles? Structured programming has not breathed its last, and functional programming is just coming into its own, just to mention two alternatives. I've recently started playing with object-inheritance in Perl and find it useful. Can a strict, class-based OO language be adapted to new styles or will they become the COBOLers of the future? I know Perl can adapt.

--Simon Cozens
Read the rest in O'Reilly Network: Why Michael Schwern is not a Java programmer [July 15, 2001]

Friday, July 13, 2001
our industry's leading consumer ISP's are worse than useless when asked for any form of help relating to Internet security or the welfare of the paying customers. For reasons unfathomable to me they choose to disavow responsibility for the conduct of their users, and equally refuse to offer any help for their customers' Trojan-infected machines.

--Steve Gibson
Read the rest in The Attacks on GRC.COM

Thursday, July 12, 2001
China is expected to spend billions on infrastructure for the 2008 Games, with many of the contracts going to foreign firms - and all the usual IOC sponsors such as Coca-Cola, Visa, Kodak and McDonald's are standing in line to move in as soon as Beijing gets the nod, along with hundreds of other firms which can't wait to get a toehold in that billion-strong market. As far as the corporations are concerned, the Chinese can lock up all of Tibet as long as they keep that market open.

--Jack Todd
Read the rest in Montreal Gazette - Thursday 12 July 2001 - Muzzled in Moscow

Wednesday, July 11, 2001

The GPL places no restrictions whatsoever on the reward you reap for your own work, unless you apply it to your own work. It does, however, place a restriction on how you can use my work, to which you are not the copyright owner, and to which I have already applied the GPL for my own reasons. Nobody forces you to use the GPL. If you include a GPL component in your own work, you are doing so willingly and you convey certain rights to your work as a fair exchange for the right to make use of mine. If you don't think this is a good deal, you are free to refrain from making use of my GPL code.

This is the classic way we hear complaints about the GPL. The complainer is not the one who puts the GPL on his code, he's the one who wants to use code that other people have GPL-ed, without any obligation to them, without a quid-pro-quo. Let that person negotiate a commercial license.

--Bruce Perens
Read the rest in SV.com Roundtables

Tuesday, July 10, 2001
Microsoft embraces standards like a boa constrictor embraces its prey.

--Bruce Epstein on the "Computer Book Publishing" mailing list

Monday, July 9, 2001

Microsoft is a Spartan outfit, and Spartans like to fight. They don't see all this as anything except an opportunity to win. Forget the private lawsuits; those will take decades to settle. And you can pretty much forget a settlement with the Feds, too, unless it can be done for under about $2 billion.

Why $2 billion? Because that's about how much it would cost to move Microsoft offshore, something they will threaten to do. Bill Gates has built an empire by threatening to take his ball and go home and he will do it again. It has been a very successful strategy. And if Microsoft skips town like a Robert Vesco, Gates won't feel bad at all because in his mind it will have been the government's stupid decision, not his, that made the move happen. "They forced me to do it."

I have no idea where Microsoft would move, but I know they are considering it. Let me repeat that: I KNOW THEY ARE CONSIDERING IT.

--Robert X. Cringely
Read the rest in I, Cringely | The Pulpit

Sunday, July 8, 2001

There are still people in Silicon Valley who get excited talking about flexible substrates, amorphous silicon layers and organic light-emitting diodes.

Which is a good thing, really.

--Mike Cassidy
Read the rest in Ingenuity, optimism still thrive in the valley, but quietly (7/05/2001)

Saturday, July 7, 2001
Business history teaches the following lesson: When a market-dominating firm engages in a FUD campaign of this magnitude, it's not merely because they're scared of competition from a new market entrant. Often, it's because the new market entrant is seen to challenge the business model that has enabled the market-dominant firm to make huge gobs of money. I believe the GPL does pose a threat to Microsoft's business model, and that's why the free software licensing scheme is under such concerted attack. Specifically, the GPL threatens Microsoft's ability to preserve what economists and legal scholars (as well as the judge in the Microsoft antitrust case) call the "application barrier to entry"--the primary means by which Microsoft has been able to establish and preserve commanding dominance in its core markets.

--Bryan Pfaffenberger
Read the rest in Why is Microsoft Attacking the GPL?

Friday, July 6, 2001
This is what you get when you put Spielberg in charge of a Kubrick film. It has to "make sense" and wrap up with a happy ending, at any expense. No matter how absurd it may seem. I think anyone who could have injected any reason into Stephen's mind was afraid to stand up to him, and let him wreck what could have become a real jewel of a film.

--Daniel Modell on the WWWAC mailing list

Thursday, July 5, 2001
I usually follow the XP/Refactoring approach and build the tests in-step with the code. I've found that this not only has the benefits of testing your code immediately, but also puts you firmly on the 'client' side of your API / interfaces. This has generally lead to improvements in those APIs.

--Leigh Dodds on the xml-dev mailing list

Wednesday, July 4, 2001

Until the advent of Windows 2000 & XP, the most common and familiar, complex, potent, and untraceable Denial of Service and Distributed Denial of Service attacks have only been generated from Unix-family operating systems. Due to the sheer volume of Windows XP machines soon to be loose in the world, Unix systems will quickly be supplanted as the premiere launching pad for new torrents of Denial of Service floods. This will have an unfortunate corollary effect for XP users:

The huge number of Windows XP machines will motivate
hackers to find new ways into those machines — AND
THEY WILL.   Then users of Windows XP machines will
become the most sought-after target for penetration.

In other words, the use of the high-power, mass-market and unsecurable Windows XP operating system, promises to paint a big target on every user of that system.

In the hands of a clueful hacker, fully-supported Raw Sockets is the enabling factor for the creation of a series of "Ultimate Weapons" against which the fundamentally trusting architecture of the global Internet currently has no effective defense.

Windows XP is the malicious
hacker's dream come true.

--Steve Gibson
Read the rest in Denial of Service with Windows XP

Tuesday, July 3, 2001
Microsoft may have ducked the murder-one conviction and the death penalty, but they sure look like they've been hit with a murder two They have been found by the full panel of the D.C. Court of Appeals to have illegally maintained their monopoly in violation of the Sherman Act. That's devastating.

--Rich Gray, attorney
Read the rest in Appeals court victory fleeting for Microsoft - Tech News - CNET.com

Monday, July 2, 2001
In terms of technical expertise, we found that a Microsoft technician using Knowledge Base was about as helpful as a Psychic Friends reader using Tarot Cards. All in all, however, the Psychic Friends Net work proved to be a much friendlier organization than Microsoft Technical Support. While neither group was actually able to answer any of our technical questions, the Psychic Friends Network was much faster than Microsoft and much more courteous. Which organization is more affordable is open to question. If Microsoft does refund all three "solutions" fees, then they will be the far more affordable solution provider, having charged us no money for having given us no assistance. However, if Microsoft does not refund the fees for our call regarding Microsoft Graph, then they will have charged us more than 120% of what the Psychic Friends charged, but without providing the same fast and courteous service that Psychic Friends provided.

--Michael Patrick Ellard and Daniel Albert Wright
Read the rest in Microsoft Tech Support vs. Psychic Friends Network

Sunday, July 1, 2001
So I called Cisco tech support. I wish had done this sooner. I was amazed first of all by how you can talk to a qualified Cisco tech immediately... we're talking an 800 number that you dial and within less than a minute you are talking to a technician... doesn't Cisco realize how shocking this is to technical people, to actually be able to talk to qulified technicians immediately who say things other than, "Well, it works on my computer here..."? Do they not know that tech support phone numbers are supposed to be 900 numbers that require you to enter your personal information and product license number, then forward you to unthinking robots who put you on hold for hours, then drop your call to the Los Angeles Bus Authority switchboard... does Cisco not understand that if you do not put people on hold for at least 10 minutes they might pass out in shock for being able to talk to a human too soon? Apparently not.

--Kurt Gray
Read the rest in Slashdot | Blow-by-Blow Account of the OSDN Outage

Saturday, June 30, 2001
Microsoft can't play its "embrace and extend" game with GPL-licensed software because the company can't appropriate and modify the code. If Linux had been released under the BSD license, Microsoft would have probably already released a version of Linux, Linux++ or Linux# or L-Nux, with a variety of maddeningly incompatible oddities that taken together would make it even more difficult to develop applications for Linux.

--Bryan Pfaffenberger
Read the rest in Why is Microsoft Attacking the GPL?

Friday, June 29, 2001
Thomas Penfield Jackson is not merely a federal judge with a soft spot for government prosecutors and an undisguised contempt for Microsoft executives. He's also a media blabbermouth, whose private chats with reporters wound up costing the Justice Department its biggest victory in a generation.

--Declan McCullagh
Read the rest in Real MS Verdict: Jackson Blew It

Thursday, June 28, 2001
Microsoft readily goes beyond the offenses that they complain about in the GPL. Microsoft's license is meant to cast Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt upon the use of "publicly available software". Software developers, upon reading the Microsoft license, will wonder if they must now purge their establishments of all publicly available software tools so as not to run awry of Microsoft's licensing - and this is exactly what MS intends the license to compel them to do: get rid of Perl, GNU Make, and those Samba file servers on BSD or Linux systems.

--Bruce Perens
Read the rest in SV.com Roundtables

Wednesday, June 27, 2001

In practice Microsoft staff treat customers as software thieves until proven otherwise. Microsoft executives can deny it all they like, but that's the daily reality for Office customers. There's no avenue of appeal except to 'supervisors' who appear to have a vested interest in affirming the decisions of their sub-ordinates. We've suggested a separate appeals facility to Microsoft (better than going to court, guys) but the company rejects that notion, arrogantly self-assured of their own infallibility.

We've been jumping up and down about this for a long time. Now you know why. The most depressing news? The Fat Lady ain't sung yet, folks. If you think we've got it bad with Office XP, wait 'til you see product activation in Windows XP.

--Woody Leonhard on the Woody's Office Watch mailing list

Tuesday, June 26, 2001
On the Open Source side, everybody has pretty much the same rights. One of the most important benefits of this is the possibility of circumvention - we can get around any player who attempts to block our business. If, for example, I don't get the solution I like from Red Hat, I can go to someone else who can give me the same software, and all of the same rights that Red Hat would have granted me.

--Bruce Perens
Read the rest in SV.com Roundtables

Saturday, June 23, 2001
You are in a maze of twisty little Linux kernel options menus, all different.

Eric S. Raymond--
Read the rest in Linux-Kernel Archive: Kernel configuration. It's not just a jo

Friday, June 22, 2001
The internal improvements of Mac OS X are long overdue, but the UI, well, yuk. Apple has ignored for years all that has been learned about developing UIs. It's unprofessional, incompetent, and it's hurting users.

--Jef Raskin
Read the rest in Mac creators talk about Jobs, OS X at MacHack

Thursday, June 21, 2001
I have maintained for years that NC is the inevitable future. I also believe Microsoft knew this to be true even as it fought NC tooth and nail. Once it squashed the real threat -- the type of NC that would have been free from Microsoft's control -- it simply had to redefine NC as some new plan created by Microsoft. Hence .NET was born. Now that Microsoft has convinced much of the mainstream media that .NET is something new, all .NET has to do is simply ride the natural momentum of NC that Microsoft managed only to stall.

--Nicholas Petreley
Read the rest in MS masters NC mind-set

Wednesday, June 20, 2001
There are companies out there that are spending $50 million or $100 million on compiler development, and for a given arch, that may give them a leading position by some percentage," he said. "But in my opinion, the (ability) to support a wide range of microprocessors with a common compiler infrastructure and the ability to more rapidly adapt to microprocessors as they come out gives you better opportunity to take advantage of Moore's Law

--Michael Tiemann, CTO Red Hat
Read the rest in Famed open-source compiler upgraded - Tech News - CNET.com

Tuesday, June 19, 2001
Sometimes I was an outstanding student and sometimes I was a terrible student, depending on if I had money or if I had to work or whatever. Also, I had no incentive to get good grades; I just wanted to get an education. I was completely on my own; I paid for it myself; I viewed myself as the customer, and a grade was just some stupid rule that the university had. So I optimized my grades just so they won't throw me out. Anyway, the Dean talked to me and said, well, Mr. Simonyi, you were doing so well and are now doing so poorly; what's the reason? Can we help you? You can share anything with us, tell us what it is. Is it drugs, is it grass, acid, or mescaline? I smiled at him and said, I think it's a stock option. He said, well in that case we can't help you.

--Charles Simonyi
Read the rest in EDGE Digerati: The WYSIWYG - Charles Simonyi [page 3]

Friday, June 15, 2001
Like most people, I wrote the Macintosh off a long time ago. After an 11-year relationship, I dumped the Mac in 1996 and persuaded my partners to switch to a Windows-only network. I thought Apple Computer was pretty much toast. But then Steve Jobs refocused the employees and started getting real financial results, and the company delivered a series of truly cool devices. All of which led me, a few weeks ago, to buy my first Apple product in years--the gorgeous Titanium G4 Macintosh. Now I'm rethinking the Macintosh as a factor in computing. There's one simple reason: Unlike Windows, the Macintosh seems to work.

--Stewart Alsop
Read the rest in Fortune.com

Wednesday, June 13, 2001
There are only about 10 suits total for all the programmers in Silicon Valley. We all takes turns wearing them for job interviews and once we're hired, we don't see them again until the next time we need to look for work.

--Dave Navarro on the "Computer Book Publishing" mailing list

Tuesday, June 12, 2001
There was the assumption that if we gather enough people on the Internet service, we'll find a way to monetize it. That was a lot easier said than done. Today, there is no business model on advertising. The big promise wasn't fulfilled.

--Marty Yudkovitz
Read the rest in Gated communities on the horizon - Tech News - CNET.com

Friday, June 8, 2001
Nothing more than the whim of a 13-year old hacker is required to knock any user, site, or server right off the Internet.

--Steve Gibson
Read the rest in The Attacks on GRC.COM

Thursday, June 7, 2001
When scientists are intimidated from publishing their work, there is a clear First Amendment problem. We have long argued that unless properly limited, the anti-distribution provisions of the DMCA would interfere with science. Now they plainly have.

--Cindy Cohn, EFF legal director
Read the rest in Code-Breakers Go to Court

Wednesday, June 6, 2001
Critics of both Linux and Open Source have said that its taking the industry back five or ten years, but I think you'd find that it was about this time when people began to feel dissatisfied with the direction that Microsoft and the rest of the industry took and are instead saying, "well, let's fix the mistakes we made taking that path."

--Kurt Cagle on the "Computer Book Publishing" mailing list

Tuesday, June 5, 2001
most universities don't teach useful job skills in CS programs because their professors don't have them in the first place. Most of the professors I have met over the years would be hard pressed to write a working 1,000 line program in any programming language. The older the professor the more likely this is true. While it is possible that they may have had these skills at one time, programming skills are not as important as the political and management skills that are required to be a university professor.

--Wayne S. Freeze on the "Computer Book Publishing" mailing list

Monday, June 4, 2001
Linux is inexpensive, the dev tools are fair to good, and there's a lot more opportunity to do things there than exists in the largely mature world of Windows. It also had something of a revolutionary fervor to it that made people feel they were on the inside of a conspiracy rather than being forced to hue the corporate line (many programmers are also Libertarians, Greens or Anarchists, and have a justifiable distrust of business - they've been screwed too many times by perfect people in expensive suits).

--Kurt Cagle on the "Computer Book Publishing" mailing list

Saturday, June 2, 2001
India has already transformed itself into a high-tech superpower. With the right government policies, virtually any nation in the developing world could do the same, probably within 10 years.

--James Martin
Read the rest in Discover Current Issue

Friday, June 1, 2001
In an intellectual property society, capital does not make labor productive. The dot com market collapsed in great part because that assumption was wrong. Now you have an entire generation of young programmers and IT workers with their own computers (the tools of production), distribution system, and mobility. I don't think most companies will know what hit them when they do start to attempt to rehire.

--Kurt Cagle on the "Computer Book Publishing" mailing list

Thursday, May 31, 2001

Predictably, Microsoft's 'help' in turning "Britain's e-government vision into a reality" has mysteriously turned into a lockout for users of anything other than IE on Windows. Linux, Netscape and Mac (even with IE, friends...) can look but not touch, because the digital certificate system selected by the developers mysteriously always seems to lead to IE 5.01 or above on Windows.

The developer is, ahem, Microsoft, and the site in question, gateway.gov.uk, is intended to be the portal that acts as "the centralised registration service for all e-Government services in the United Kingdom." Microsoft announced this one in March with much ballyhoo - as well it might. The portal is a core part of the Blair government's ambition to put 100 per cent of government services online by 2005, so this is big bucks.

--John Lettice
Read the rest in The Register

Wednesday, May 30, 2001
This notion that Apple dropped CRTs in favor of LCDs to be green is downright funny. CRT monitor retail prices are at record lows, which don't allow Apple much profit, if any. LCDs simply offers a higher retail price and more profit opportunity. Apple's challenge and spin is getting people to buy into LCD technology. Being green is what marketing came up with. That's the story.

--Dave Dahlberg
Read the rest in MacInTouch: Mac news, information and analysis

Tuesday, May 29, 2001
Many programming language features enforce common sense, because programmers and software engineers don't have it.

--Al B. Snell on the xml-dev mailing list

Monday, May 28, 2001
The reason that I think that O-O is fading is because O-O required software developers to make 1 assumption that turned out to be completely incorrect for performance reasons. That assumption is that the consumer of the component does not know or care where the data in the component came from. It turns out that consumers of components almost always care where the data came from, such as an RDBMS. So the one whole thing that the encapsulation hid - where the data really is - turned out to be mostly unusable.

--David Orchard on the xml-dev mailing list

Saturday, May 26, 2001
If implementation inheritance is cleanly separated from interface inheritance, as they are in properly-constructed mix-in classes, the brittleness largely goes away. The developer finds themselves almost forced to constrain the generic code to small and consistent patterns of behavior. Most of the brittleness of botched inheritance comes from cases where programmers confuse the interface they need to sub-class with the implementation they'd like to reuse.

--Uche Ogbuji on the xml-dev mailing list

Friday, May 25, 2001

We've seen the Java(TM) runtime balloon from a few megabytes all the way up to today's bloated 40 Megabyte beast.

Enough already!

If we want a new API, we'll find a third-party to supply it. Concentrate on actually making Java(TM) work (performance, distribution, etc.) and leave the new APIs to those who need and can supply them.

--Chris Kelly
Read the rest in Java(TM) needs to go on a diet Petition

Thursday, May 24, 2001
OO does not make reuse magically happen. However, in the hands of a skilled developer who knows how to design with reuse in mind, OO is a much more effective tool for supporting reuse than alternative approaches. Designing with reuse in mind is challenging, though, and many developers never really get the hang of it. That's not the fault of OO.

--Michael Brennan on the xml-dev mailing list

Wednesday, May 23, 2001
Java tries to protect developers from themselves by allowing only single inheritance of implementation, but they get it wrong from two fronts: it's not really solid-enough protection because developers can easily botch single inheritance. And it makes it harder for programmers who know what they're doing to properly genericize their code.

--Uche Ogbuji on the xml-dev mailing list

Monday, May 21, 2001
I don't want to use software where my use rights can be whimsically dictated by someone else. And I'm really not sure why anyone else would either.

--Jason Hunter on the jdom-interest list

Sunday, May 20, 2001
the hacker culture isn't going to be smothered by the bear market. We were here long before the dot-com bubble, and we'll be here when it's been forgotten.

--Eric Raymond
Read the rest in Salon.com Technology | No recession for free software

Saturday, May 19, 2001
We're past the point where the dumb ideas are getting eliminated by "market conditions" and to a place where good ideas are being killed off too.

--Martin T. Focazio on the wwwac mailing list

Wednesday, May 16, 2001
Microsoft's Shared Source program recognizes that there are many benefits to the openness, community involvement, and innovation of the Open Source model. But the most important component of that model, the one that makes all of the others work, is freedom. By attacking the one license that is specifically designed to fend off their customer and developer lock-in strategy, they hope to get the benefits of Free Software without sharing those benefits with those who participate in creating them.

--Bruce Perens, Richard Stallman, Eric Raymond, Linus Torvalds, Miguel de Icaza, Larry Wall, Guido van Rossum, Tim O'Reilly, Bob Young, and Larry Augustin
Read the rest in Free Software Leaders Stand Together

Tuesday, May 15, 2001
My dad, who was about 75 at the time and struggling with his second computer, once asked me why, if computers were progressing as rapidly as claimed, they weren't getting any easier to use. It took me several days to come up with an answer but here it is: "Whenever something difficult becomes easy, two impossible things become difficult."

--Jim Buyens on the "Computer Book Publishing" mailing list

Sunday, May 13, 2001
Everyone wants to go into this "Let's not sell software. Let's license it," but that's horrible. It is the most stupid thing because nobody wants it.

--Linus Torvalds
Read the rest in Torvalds: Software subscriptions doomed - Tech News - CNET.com

Saturday, May 12, 2001
Corporations don't adopt technology, individual programmers do and by and large, management is ignorant of the process and desire to remain as ignorant as possible. Python and Perl emerged in the trenches... they solve day-to-day business needs that the programmer must struggle with.

--Clark C . Evans on the sml-dev mailing list

Wednesday, May 9, 2001

Microsoft surely would like to have the benefit of our code without the responsibilities. But it has another, more specific purpose in attacking the GNU GPL. Microsoft is known generally for imitation rather than innovation. Its purpose is strategic--not to improve computing for its users, but to close off alternatives for them.

Hence their campaign to persuade us to abandon the license that protects our community, the license that won't let them say, "What's yours is mine,and what's mine is mine." They want us to let them take whatever they want, without ever giving anything back. They want us to abandon our defenses,

--Richard M. Stallman
Read the rest in The GNU General Public License Protects Software Freedoms - GNU Project - Free Software Foundation (FSF)

Tuesday, May 8, 2001

there is not now, and cannot be, an 8-bit code page adequate to English, and the same is necessarily true for every other language in modern use. More than a century of typewriters and computers has inured us to the hardship of less than publication- and calligraphic-quality documents, but has only slightly changed the standards for publication itself.

One of the strongest benefits of Unicode is that it supports adequate *monolingual* computing for the first time in any language.

--Edward Cherlin on the unicode mailing list

Monday, May 7, 2001
Unicode support is so much easier than supporting every random code page that the only reasonable way vendors can keep up with every single market is to have a good story for Unicode support.

--Michael Kaplan on the Unicode mailing list

Saturday, May 5, 2001
Microsoft SVP Craig Mundie is dead right when he said in his Commercial Software Model speech at NYU that the next generation of Internet applications can only come about through development efforts from a wide-ranging group of companies and developers. And Microsoft's "Shared Source Philosophy" is a clear vindication of open source as the best way to engage an inclusive developer community. They're lining up to "embrace and extend" the open source development model precisely because it has proven so compelling a threat to the monopoly they've enjoyed for so long.

--Tim O'Reilly
Read the rest in O'Reilly Network: Microsoft's Shared Source Program is a Validation of Open Source Disguised as an Attack [May 05, 2001]

Friday, May 4, 2001
The Free Software Foundation was formed because Richard M. Stallman had a vendetta based on the disparity between the way things work and the way he wished things worked, and he was smart enough to realize that packing up the most complicated text editor in the world and taking it home would not make quite the statement that forming a movement would. He was aware of the phenomenon codified by Abraham Maslow: there are lots of people who will sign on to just about any movement in exchange for the sense of belongingness that being the proud member of a group imparts

--Dennis E. Powell
Read the rest in LinuxPlanet - Opinions - .comment: Wanna Invest in a Bridge? Okay, How About a Donation? - All Around the Mulberry Bush...

Thursday, May 3, 2001

The year's Big Lie is the assertion that Apple has embraced open source software. Sure, Apple's next generation OS X is based on its Darwin project, which is based on the open source Mach operating system. But the embrace is actually a chokehold. Apple's only interest in open source is what it can extract, both in technology and publicity. Despite appearances, Darwin's dependence on free software doesn't indicate that Apple has changed its self-serving attitude towards the community.

Because Apple is using technology licensed without restrictions, rather than under the GPL commonly found in Linux (news - web sites) software, the company can use Mach code, exploit what the open source community has done, make proprietary modifications, and give back nothing of substance. And that appears to be exactly what Apple has done.

--Evan Leibovitch
Read the rest in Open source's black hole

Tuesday, May 1, 2001
As an API user, I couldn't care less how hard the API writer has it; I care about what the API does for me.

--Brett McLaughlin on the jdom-interest mailing list

Thursday, April 26, 2001
We can't really tolerate a situation where anyone who breaks a system that embarrasses someone gets served with a writ.

--Ross Anderson, Cambridge University
Read the rest in Watermark Crackers Back Away

Wednesday, April 25, 2001

We support the establishment of an online public library that would provide the full contents of the published record of research and scholarly discourse in medicine and the life sciences in a freely accessible, fully searchable, interlinked form. Establishment of this public library would vastly increase the accessibility and utility of the scientific literature, enhance scientific productivity, and catalyze integration of the disparate communities of knowledge and ideas in biomedical sciences.

We recognize that the publishers of our scientific journals have a legitimate right to a fair financial return for their role in scientific communication. We believe, however, that the permanent, archival record of scientific research and ideas should neither be owned nor controlled by publishers, but should belong to the public, and should be freely available through an international online public library.

To encourage the publishers of our journals to support this endeavor, we pledge that, beginning in September, 2001, we will publish in, edit or review for, and personally subscribe to, only those scholarly and scientific journals that have agreed to grant unrestricted free distribution rights to any and all original research reports that they have published, through PubMed Central and similar online public resources, within 6 months of their initial publication date.

--Pledge signed by more than 15,000 scientists worldwide and growing
Read the rest in Public Library of Science: Open Letter

Tuesday, April 24, 2001
recognize that Java's behavior is under-specified and that different implementations can take different approaches.

--Larry Rosenstein on the java-dev mailing list

Monday, April 23, 2001
When in doubt, it's a classpath problem.

--Philip Nelson on the jdom-interest@ mailing list

Wednesday, April 18, 2001
.NET is far less important than the XML technology that lies beneath it. Same for Sun ONE, the most obvious competitor for .NET.

--Robert X. Cringely
Read the rest in I, Cringely | The Pulpit

Tuesday, April 17, 2001
if a manager doesn't understand the work his people are doing, he's likely to reward them for maximizing the amount of effort needed to accomplish a given task.

--Eric Bohlman on the xml-dev mailing list

Monday, April 16, 2001
We're operating at our limits of our ability to comprehend just what the heck we're doing.

--Greg Bollela, leader of the real-time Java effort at Sun
Read the rest in Sun bends rules for nimbler Java - Tech News - CNET.com

Sunday, April 15, 2001
when I see Java certification on a resume, I count it as a strike against the person (though only a small one). This is based on my experience with the types of people who get Java certification. Frequently they are trying to use it as a substitute for experience. Good programmers are easy to recognize. They don't need a certificate to prove that they're good. If a person has gone to the time and expense to get Java certification, that says to me that they weren't confident they could get a job based on their experience and ability.

--Peter Eastman on the java-dev mailing list

Saturday, April 14, 2001
by developing on your Mac, the company gets free, informal Mac OS testing, which is always useful should a customer want Mac support. That happened to me a few times in the past. It is fun to see the VP of Sales suddenly become your best friend because he just got this huge account who won't sign without Mac support.

--Jean-Michel Decombe on the java-dev mailing list

Friday, April 13, 2001
Very little these days is new. Things succeed because vendors hype them, which happens when the sales department stumbles across the potential of something - not when that "revolutionary cutting edge technology" was developed two decades ago :-)

--Al Snell on the xml-dev mailing list

Friday, April 6, 2001
FireWire is the next SCSI. Only Intel and a few other companies don't want you to know this.

--Stephan Somogyi
Read the rest in News: Why you should be using FireWire

Saturday, March 31, 2001
The era of BMP characters only is now officially over. The historic notion of Unicode as a uniformly 16-bit encoding has been in principle obsolete for a while, but now it is also obsolete in practical terms.

--Peter_Constable on the Unicode mailing list

Friday, March 30, 2001
The CD is the root of all of our problems with the Net. If CDs were as hard to copy as DVDs or VHS tapes or even books, we would not be going through anything like what we're going through now with Napster or Gnutella.

--Jay Samit, senior vice president of new media at EMI
Read the rest in First ÔNapster-proofÕ CD set to burn

Tuesday, March 27, 2001
I think we've all experienced the puzzlement that our own tests give better results than those run by third parties. The results obtained in a benchmark are always best when the benchmarking team is thoroughly familiar with the product under test. It isn't just marketing people cheating - it's simply a question of knowing how to get the best results out of your product and being motivated to keep tweaking until you do.

--Michael Kay on the xsl-list mailing list

Sunday, March 25, 2001
After spending several months with various builds of Mac OS X as well as a few different Linux distros, one thing has become crystal clear: Mac OS X delivers on a promise made by Linux--Namely, that Linux is Unix for the masses, and it's the next killer operating system destined for the hard drives of geeks and regular folks alike. When Mac OS X ships on Saturday, it's going to deliver on that promise--Apple will become the highest-volume vendor of Unix in the world, and it'll bring all that *Nixy power to folks who don't know a thing about command line terminals--in other words, most of us.

--David Reynolds
Read the rest in MacAddict - now Spumoni-free!

Saturday, March 24, 2001
what XP promises is that the customer will ALWAYS get whatever functionality is most important to them, right away (well, at the end of an "iteration", which is 2 weeks around here). Waterfall development gives you a big-bang creation in some longer period of time... if it doesn't run late, if the design specification is actually what the customer still wants by the end of the development process (which is almost never the case), if the engineers are so inhumanly smart and/or psychic that they can do perfect design up front, if the requirements never change, and if absolutely nothing goes wrong. That any software at all is delivered by waterfall is nothing short of a miracle.

--Mark Hughes on the xml-dev mailing list

Friday, March 16, 2001
Java and Python have quite different characteristics. Java is sophisticated language. It takes a longer time to learn Java than Python. With Java, you have to get used to the compile-edit-run cycle of software development. Python is a lighter-weight language. There is less to learn to get started. You can hit the ground running when you have only a few days of Python training under your belt. Python and Java can be used in the same project. Python would be used for higher level control of an application, and Java would be used for implementing the lower level that needs to run relatively efficiently. Another place where Python is used is an extension language. An example of that is Object Domain, a UML editing tool written in Java. It uses Python as an extension language.

--Guido von Rossum
Read the rest in Linux News - searchEnterpriseLinux.com: The Linux Specific Search Engine

Thursday, March 15, 2001
Project planning in the first decade of the 21st century is about as accurate as medical diagnosis in the first decade of the 11th century. Sometimes we get it right -- generally by accident -- but usually our treatments do more harm than the original disease.

--David Megginson on the xml-dev mailing list

Tuesday, March 13, 2001
Tux is an excellent proof of concept of the whole rationale behind open source and free software development. Release your creation to the community, let them do with it as they see fit, and you'll end up with something wonderful.

--Marco Pastore
Read the rest in The Story Behind Tux the Penguin

Monday, March 12, 2001

Many people imagine Java is slow because it generates interpreted bytecode rather than native code. This used to be true, but not any longer with today's just-in-time compilers. Raw code execution speed is usually almost as good as -- sometimes better than -- the equivalent code written in a compiled language such as C.

Where Java can have a problem is with memory allocation. Unlike C and C++, Java takes care of memory itself, using a garbage collector to free unwanted objects. This brings great convenience to the programmer, but it is easy to create programs that are profligate with memory: they thrash due to excessive use of virtual memory, or they place great strain on the garbage collector due to the frequency with which objects are allocated and released.

Some coding techniques minimize the memory-allocation problems. For example the use of StringBuffer objects rather than Strings, use of pools of reusable objects, and so on. Diagnostic tools can help the programmer determine when to use those techniques. Getting the code fast does require a lot of tuning, but that is arguably still much easier than using a language such as C++, in which you must manage all the memory allocation manually.

--Michael Kay
Read the rest in developerWorks : XML : Anatomy of an XSLT processor

Sunday, March 11, 2001

Don't run Outlook and you won't have a problem. Don't run Windows and you REALLY won't have a problem. Virus writers aim their work where it can have the greatest effect, which means Linux users running some freeware POP3 e-mail program will probably never be hurt. But that's not the way things work in industry, where the byword is standardization, which is to say "Kick me." No, it says "Kick us all, please."

If, as a systems administrator, you don't want to support more than one e-mail program in your organization, that's fine. Just make the e-mail program you do support one that isn't very popular. The standard here isn't Outlook, which in itself means nothing, it's POP-3 or SMTP, or IMAP. There are hundreds of good e-mail clients, some of them even better than Outlook. Remember your Mom asked, "If all your friends drove on the wrong side of the road, would you do it too?" If all the other kids use Outlook, will you use it too? Wise up. It's not that Outlook is bad, just that using it makes us victims.

--Robert Cringely
Read the rest in I, Cringely | The Pulpit

Saturday, March 10, 2001

The "new" National Security Agency threw out a security-enhanced version of the Linux 2.2 kernel (called SE Linux ) into the open source community. Not only that, they gave out background briefing papers on the research methodology that they used to model whether or not SE Linux was truly secure.

If you haven't been following the cryptography area lately, let me assure you that this action by the NSA was the crypto equivalent of the Pope coming down off the balcony in Rome, working the crowd with a few loaves of bread and some fishes, and then inviting everyone to come over to his place to watch the soccer game and have a few beers. There are some things that one just never expects to see, and the NSA handing out source code along with details of the security mechanism behind it was right up there on that list. Up to this point, the NSA has embodied in itself the classic Cold War paranoia imperative of the past 50 years ("If you knew what we knew, you'd agree with us"). To see it spewing source like some long-haired Stanford student was enough to make for uncontrollable twitching.

--Larry Loeb
Read the rest in developerWorks : Security : Uncovering the secrets of SE Linux - Part 1

Monday, March 5, 2001
C++ never had the backing of a major vendor. Every major vendor pushes -- and always pushed -- some proprietary language over C++. C++ never had marketing clout; where marketing was done, it was mostly done by organizations selling something else (such as a software development environment) that happened to include C++. Also, the C++ community suffers from the very success of C++: It is clearly "the one to beat" and in today's heavily commercialized world, a fair fight is a rarity.

--Bjarne Stroustrup
Read the rest in An interview with Bjarne Stroustrup

Sunday, March 4, 2001
The Free Software Movement was founded in 1984, but its inspiration comes from the ideals of 1776: freedom, community, and voluntary cooperation. This is what leads to free enterprise, to free speech, and to free software.

--Richard M. Stallman
Read the rest in News: The GNU GPL and the American Way

Saturday, March 3, 2001
I think that any language that aspires to mainstream use must provide a broad base for a variety of techniques -- including object-oriented programming (class hierarchies) and generic programming (parameterized types and algorithms). In particular, it must provide good facilities for composing programs out of separate parts (possibly writing in several different languages). I also think that exceptions are necessary for managing the complexity of error handling. A language that lacks such facilities forces its users to laboriously simulate them.

--Bjarne Stroustrup
Read the rest in An interview with Bjarne Stroustrup

Friday, March 2, 2001

No license can stop Microsoft from practicing "embrace and extend" if they are determined to do so at all costs. If they write their own program from scratch, and use none of our code, the license on our code does not affect them. But a total rewrite is costly and hard, and even Microsoft can't do it all the time. Hence their campaign to persuade us to abandon the license that protects our community, the license that won't let them say, "What's yours is mine, and what's mine is mine." They want us to let them take whatever they want, without ever giving anything back. They want us to abandon our defenses.

But defenselessness is not the American Way. In the land of the brave and the free, we defend our freedom with the GNU GPL.

--Richard M. Stallman
Read the rest in News: The GNU GPL and the American Way

Thursday, March 1, 2001

Corporate IT is currently plagued by a type of obsessive-compulsive disorder known as DUH, or Dementia Upgradia Habitua. It manifests itself through the irrational assumption that the only way a company can maintain a competitive edge in productivity is to upgrade to the latest and greatest hardware and software. Since hardware and software are continually changing (change is almost always considered to be progress, of course), DUH compels corporate IT to remain in a continual state of upgrade.

DUH may afflict anyone from the lowliest grunt to the most senior manager. Regardless of where it afflicts your organization, I have come to the sorry conclusion that DUH is almost always incurable. The philosophy "If it ain't broke, don't fix it" may make perfect sense to most people who hear it, but few IT departments are allowed to live by it even if they want to.

--Nicholas Petreley
Read the rest in Make Debian the base standard

Wednesday, February 28, 2001
I view Open Source as a form of enlightened self interest. Just how many times does the industry need yet another NE2000 driver for example? How many C++ compilers do we really need (trick question... the answer is zero :-) ).

--Gary Hughes on the WWWAC mailing list

Tuesday, February 27, 2001
Casually including Microsoft in the same aspersion as made against Sun was partially inaccurate. Sun's sins I could count if I had reason to. Microsoft's no one can. So I get lazy. (Not that I could count my own sins if I had to. ;-> )

--Joel Rees on the Unicode mailing list

Monday, February 26, 2001
The idea that there is one right way to solve essentially every problem for essentially every user is fundamentally wrong. I'm a great fan of the idea of object-oriented programming and the design ideals and techniques that it supports -- originating with Simula 67. However, those are not the only effective techniques. Much programming is best done with techniques that do not fall within a narrow definition of "object-oriented." And if you broaden the definition of "object-oriented" sufficiently for it not to be an obstacle to good programming and design, you get something that is basically meaningless.

--Bjarne Stroustrup
Read the rest in An interview with Bjarne Stroustrup

Sunday, February 25, 2001
I'd done a bit with Java in the early alphas, some pretty silly graphics that would have worked better if I had a clue about trigonometry. I was applying for jobs, and that bit of Java got me into three interviews. None of them panned out, but my favorite part was when I asked the interviewer what kind of Java work they were actually doing. His answer: "Well, none right now, but we think it's likely someday and we don't want to have to pay for training."

--Simon St.Laurent on the XHTML-L mailing list

Monday, February 19, 2001
It may be very difficult to say, "What I want to do is to interconnect these parts." With Jini we said, "We're going to describe the parts as Java types," because in the end the actions and the data formats that they're going to interconnect with have to interoperate. That was basically the equivalent of designing guns with interchangable parts. For the military that makes a huge difference. But it's still relatively brutal in that it's mechanically engineered, as opposed to biological systems. Biological systems are designed in a way that is more tolerant of misalignment. Things in an engineering sense have to be machined to be very precise. But when you try to make parts that are machined that are more biological, you fall off the end of computer science, basically. We don't know how to do that yet. We don't know how to describe systems in a more flexible way.

--Bill Joy
Read the rest in OpenP2P.com: A Conversation with Bill Joy [Feb. 13, 2001]

Sunday, February 18, 2001
Computing began with lambdas, and lambdas are still the cleanest form of computing. While other programming models succumb to hideous complexity in the presence of such real-life inconveniences as parallel processing, asynchronous events and chaotic problem spaces, lambdas never lose their essential elegance.

--Uche Ogbuji on the xsl-list mailing list

Saturday, February 17, 2001
One thing I would say, though, about peer-to-peer is that the real trend here is optical networking. It's going to provide us with almost unbelievable bandwidth. You know, to the extent that it's optically switched, the photons really do go in one end and drop out the other. It's not really even packet-switched; it's circuit-switched. And that provides you with what you might call cross-sectional bandwidth. You know, the sum of all the point-to-point bandwidth is just huge, and that provides an opportunity for connecting machines in a way that is much more powerful than they have in the past.

--Bill Joy
Read the rest in O'Reilly Network: A Conversation with Bill Joy [Feb. 13, 2001]

Friday, February 16, 2001
The patent bar has been lowered so far you can trip over it if you're not watching.

--Perry Leopold
Read the rest in Winner 1

Thursday, February 15, 2001
The most important thing about Windows XP is that it replaces a "toy" operating system ≥ Windows 9X ≥ with technology designed for reliability and robust performance, the Windows NT/2000 kernel. Putting this technology into a consumer OS is the key to everything else.

--David Coursey
Read the rest in Windows XP: 10 things to know

Wednesday, February 14, 2001
The important thing to remember about yesterday's decision is that people are using Napster not because they don't know that its illegal but because they don't care. As with Prohibition or the 55 mph speed limit, laws which face massive uncoordinated civil disobedience can fail even if they are buttressed by unassailable legal arguments.

--Clay Shirky on the Computer Book Publishing mailing list

Tuesday, February 13, 2001
when designing a language^* if over half the potential users can't do XXX without help, it is probably an indication that there is a feature missing somewhere. You could do everything with a finite alphabet a finite set of rules and an infinitely long tape, but it can get tedious. Sometimes "convenience" features makes all the difference.

--David Carlisle on the xsl-list mailing list

Sunday, February 11, 2001
Encryption and export control laws are out of control. Encryption is all about helping honest people protect their information from bad people.

--Scott McNealy
Read the rest in Sun to Fed: Don't Settle With MS

Saturday, February 10, 2001
Even though Java is more than fast enough on modern hardware for all but the most demanding applications, there's still this weird perception that it's too slow for "real work". I find this bizarre given how extensively Linux programmers use even slower scripting languages, often for non-trivial purposes, and no one complains about performance.

--Lou Grinzo
Read the rest in Welcome to LinuxProgramming.com!

Friday, February 9, 2001
Why is UNIX so much better than its interface? Because, its designers were experts at the theory and practice of software design and development. They were not experts at cognitive psychology, and the field of interface design barely existed when they were designing it. Now that we know a significantly more, it is time to fix the mistakes that they (understandably) made.

--Jef Raskin
Read the rest in osOpinion: Tech Opinion commentary for the people, by the people.

Thursday, February 8, 2001
If you remember Visual Basic in 1990 and what it did to Windows in getting mainstream applications onto the desktop, this is what Kylix will do for Linux. This is going to make an explosion of applications in Linux.

--Gent Hito, N Software Inc.
Read the rest in PC Week

Tuesday, February 6, 2001
Marketers are like dogs: They jump up on top of you and try to lick you everywhere, and it's just painful to have to ward them off at every corner. Surfers are an individually minded lot, so the marketers are using browser technology to extend and exploit that attention in ways that really annoy the consumer.

--Jason Catlett, Junkbusters
Read the rest in Media - Tech News - CNET.com

Monday, February 5, 2001
When people have problems using a design, it's not because they are stupid. It's because the design is too difficult.

--Jakob Nielsen
Read the rest in Are Users Stupid? (Alertbox Feb. 2001)

Saturday, February 3, 2001
Individuals are in some ways signing over their Fourth Amendment rights by opening up their computers. It's too bad that to protect people's privacy, they have to pay extra.

--Ari Schwartz, Center for Democracy and Technology
Read the rest in Tech News - CNET.com

Friday, February 2, 2001

The problem with Java is that Sun has repeatedly fumbled its strategic handling of Java as a platform. It is doing so even now in the world of open source. Sun just doesn't know how to embrace the open source community, and that's hurting Java as Linux quickly penetrates the server market. Sun has to face the fact that it desperately needs Linux, both as the platform for Java servlets and as an underlying operating system for Java-enabled embedded devices.

I suspect that the problem boils down to a fierce struggle within Sun, and it all starts with the issue of Solaris versus Linux. How could a company so proud of its regal Solaris operating system possibly consider replacing it with something so uncouth as Linux? I can actually sympathize with the engineers in that respect. It's hard to dedicate your work to something for years then have it threatened by an upstart from the street. I'm certain that Hewlett-Packard and Silicon Graphics have the same inner conflicts. I would be willing to bet that Bruce Perens, who now works for HP, spends more time evangelizing Linux to HP employees than to HP customers.

--Nicholas Petreley
Read the rest in Java's future lies with Linux

Thursday, February 1, 2001
APL is a long time member in good standing of that elite but not small club, the Club of Superior Languages. At this very moment, in New York City, Tokyo, Bombay, Paris, and Tuva, APL, J, and K programs are computing the precise methods to take money from those investors ignorant of these powerful languages.

--Jay Sulzberger on the lxny.org mailing list

Wednesday, January 31, 2001
Sun has to quickly decide whether it wants to be a hero to the open source community, or a threat. So far Sun has taken only a baby step with Open Office. That's wonderful, but it is not nearly enough. Source code for office productivity software is becoming a dime a dozen. What Linux really needs is a Java that runs fast and flawlessly, and is open source in such a way that the Linux developers embrace it. And Sun needs to overcome its obsession with Solaris so that it can compete with the likes of IBM when Linux starts to take over the world.

--Nicholas Petreley
Read the rest in Java's future lies with Linux

Tuesday, January 30, 2001
Microsoft is doing what Sun is desperately trying to prevent them from doing. If you've got Java code and you want to .NET-ify it, you've got a way to do it. It looks to me like Microsoft's lawyers have done another brilliant job of doing a fake left, run right. It looks like Microsoft has totally blindsided Sun. I wouldn't be surprised to see Sun litigate this one, but I'm not sure that it will get anywhere.

--William Zachmann, the Meta Group
Read the rest in MS Goes After Java Geeks

Monday, January 29, 2001
If you have important medical documents, the last place you want them is in your house. You want them out on the network where you can access them from anywhere. You want them where the appropriate people can get at it if they need to, if you're lying by the side of the road.

--Scott McNealy
Read the rest in Sun CEO: There's safety in networking - Tech News - CNET.com

Sunday, January 28, 2001
We're very pleased with this. It protects our customers and current products, since they are not impacted by the settlement. This affirms our right to independently develop technologies,

--Jim Cullinan
Read the rest in Sun and MS Settle Java Suit

Saturday, January 27, 2001
The joke of the day over here was, "Did the janitor shut off the same light switch in the closet again?" and "Did the temp trip over that cord again?" It was either laugh or puke. Some of us did both.

--Anonymous Microsoft technician
Read the rest in Microsoft Crashes: The Fallout

Friday, January 26, 2001
Sun was afraid Microsoft would do a better job implementing Java on Windows than they could in implementing it on Solaris, so Sun's message became, "If you want to do Java, do it on Unix." It resulted in a scorched-earth scenario. Java ended up losing more than Windows. But no one really won.

--Will Zachmann
Read the rest in Enterprise Computing - Tech News - CNET.com

Thursday, January 25, 2001
Microsoft is very pleased with the successful conclusion of this litigation. This settlement will not impact our customers or current products in any way and will allow us to focus our time and resources on what we do best: developing great software.

--Tom Burt, deputy general counsel for litigation at Microsoft
Read the rest in Yahoo - Microsoft Reaches Agreement to Settle Contract Dispute With Sun Microsystems

Wednesday, January 24, 2001
It's pretty simple: This is a victory for our licensees and consumers. The community wants one Java technology: one brand, one process and one great platform. We've accomplished that, and this agreement further protects the authenticity and value of Sun's Java technology.

--Scott McNealy

Tuesday, January 23, 2001

Java has made little headway on the desktop. That trend is clearest -- and, to me, most disappointing -- in the area of standard productivity software.

By 1997 or so, at least three of the world's largest and most experienced application developers -- Oracle, IBM's Lotus division and Corel, publisher of the WordPerfect Office -- had announced plans to create and market Java-based suites with the usual Office components: word processing, spreadsheets, personal-information management and more. All three hoped to take on the formidable Microsoft Office.

Not one of these efforts came to fruition. Lotus and financially strapped Corel officially shelved their projects; I'm not sure what ever happened to Oracle's, but it doesn't seem to exist today.

--Henry Norr
Read the rest in ThinkFree Delivering on Java's Promise

Monday, January 22, 2001
Java has a lot of flaws, many of which can be traced to Sun's marketing department (the elevation of JSP to a standard part of their platform is near the top of my list). They spew out specs faster than programmers can implement them, then deprecate them and replace them with something else. They've refused to standardize.

--Kyle F. Downey on the wwwac mailing list

Sunday, January 21, 2001

Just at the level of taste and aesthetics, it's astounding that anybody could vote for this man at the start of the 21st century. But then again, his opponent's act was like a pig trying to be a chameleon. Gore's maneuvers were so pathetically opaque that one almost wanted to weep for him.

The big topic now is whether the Bush presidency will be legitimate. I've never granted any of them much legitimacy anyway, considering the process -- the compromises, the exploitation of friends and supporters, the money, and the horseshit one must at least pay lip service to in order to achieve that position of presidential candidate within the major parties.

So unfortunately, I can only measure the legitimacy of a president in terms of him being the country's biggest star. Can he pull it off? Kennedy, Reagan and Clinton were able to pull it off with charisma, and Nixon did it with Shakespearean pathos. I don't think Bush stands a chance. His much-touted charm is Grade B at best.

In terms of politics, well, he'll be even more of a tool of big money and particularly of big oil than Clinton was, and economic policies will proceed accordingly. In other areas, I think how he'll play out is still up for grabs.

--R.U. Sirius
Read the rest in A Sirius View From the Fringe

Saturday, January 20, 2001
It's important to understand that large enterprises cannot stop investing in this Interent technology. The Internet is still wildly underhyped and underutilized and underimplemented around the world. A bigger issue for us is keeping the power on here in northern California. That's the biggest challenge right now

--Scott McNealy
Read the rest in CNET.com - News - Enterprise Computing - Sun steers clear of computing slump

Friday, January 19, 2001
I hate Java. As a programmer, I hate Java, the language, for what it has done to the field of programming. As a journalist, I hate the relentless hyping of Java by its supporters, as well as their unending excuses as to why Java has failed to deliver. And as a technologist who has been involved with three major projects that have used Java, I hate the complications that Java has caused.

--Simson Garfinkle
Read the rest in Salon.com Technology | Java: Slow, ugly and irrelevant

Thursday, January 18, 2001
I've done a reorg every year that I've been here. I don't reorg defensively, I reorg offensively. Just as we get comfortable, I'll change things.

--Ed Zander, President of Sun
Read the rest in Forbes.com: Solar Power

Wednesday, January 17, 2001
The obstacle to the full embrace of Apple hardware has been the antiquated operating system. Honestly, I think Apple has been held hostage by its customers for far too long. Customers who insisted that the OS be backwards compatible to aging Macs with weak processors. Customers who on one hand said that "we want you to stay ahead of Windows," and on the other were unwilling to let Apple abandon the crumbling foundation of its OS in order to do so.

--Derrick Story
Read the rest in O'Reilly Network: Mac OS X Opens Apple to a New Audience

Tuesday, January 16, 2001
If you look at the macro trends, the cost of hardware is trending toward zero. The cost of network bandwidth is trending toward zero. And the cost of software is trending toward zero. Open source is accelerating those trends.

--Michael Tiemann, CTO Red Hat
Read the rest in CNET.com - News - Newsmakers - Red Hat CTO looks to make running Linux less of a chore

Monday, January 15, 2001
The bottom line is that if you are a skilled-enough programmer and a dedicated-enough person to wade through the docs and learn to use Java effectively, you are going to be just as effective in any of the other computer languages that people have been using in the last 30 years. If you weren't good enough to program in C or LISP or PL1 or Pascal, then you aren't good enough to program in Java.

--Philip Greenspun
Read the rest in Salon.com Technology | Java: Slow, ugly and irrelevant

Sunday, January 14, 2001
Since most software spends the majority of its lifecycle in maintenance, I would much rather inherit a well-written Java program that's 30% slower than a tweaked-out, unreadable C program with memory leaks!

--Kyle F. Downey on the wwwac mailing list

Saturday, January 13, 2001
In my experience, applets can be a pain in the neck when you're trying to move beyond a certain level of functionality. For one thing, they limit you to having a live network connection in order to accomplish any work at all. For another, they create an additional dependence on a particular browser that is known to work with the applet. Safer to be independent of browsers than dependent on them. The Browser Wars may be over, but there are plenty of Browser Skirmishes still flaring up.

--Greg Guerin on the java-dev mailing list

Friday, January 12, 2001
But what will be the ultimate legacy of Java? The anti-Microsoft crowd said that Java would allow Sun to finally make inroads against Microsoft's dominance of the desktop. But in the final analysis, Java was nothing more than a ploy to capture the public's interest and, in so doing, boost Sun's stock price. And it worked marvelously. Java's introduction in 1995 marked the beginning of what was essentially a five-year climb in the price of Sun's stock: $1,000 invested in Sun on July 1995 would have been worth $18,535 at the close of trading on December 30th, 2000. Now that's the power of Java.

--Simson Garfinkle
Read the rest in Salon.com Technology | Java: Slow, ugly and irrelevant

Thursday, January 11, 2001
I think you have to rate competitors that threaten your core higher than you rate competitors where you're trying to take from them. It puts the Linux phenomenon and the Unix phenomenon at the top of the list. I'd put the Linux phenomenon really as threat No. 1.

--Steve Ballmer, CEO Microsoft
Read the rest in Techweb > News > Linux Vs. Windows > Ballmer: Linux Is Top Threat To Windows > January 10, 2001

Wednesday, January 10, 2001
We have this uncanny ability to seize disruptive technologies and just go maniacal on execution

--Ed Zander, President of Sun
Read the rest in Forbes.com: Solar Power

Monday, January 8, 2001
This technology doesn't belong in disk drives at all. I think consumers should have the right to control their own disk drives and what they put on them -- that control shouldn't be abrogated to the manufacturers of hard drives.'

--John Gilmore
Read the rest in Coalition makes concession on anti-piracy technology (1/04/2001)

Sunday, January 7, 2001
In a move unanimously hailed by the trade press and industry analysts as being a sure sign of incipient brain damage, Linus Torvalds (also known as the 'father of Linux' or, more commonly, as 'mush-for-brains') decided that enough is enough, and that things don't get better from having the same people test it over and over again. In short, 2.4.0 is out there.

--Linus Torvalds
Read the rest in Vaporware? Ha! Linux 2.4 Arrives

Friday, January 5, 2001
Every time Sun does one of these announcements, I'm reminded that they have not been good at getting people to sign up in interesting volumes for the preceding pieces. Sun has lots of interesting ideas, but the sign-up has been thin

--Amy Wohl
Read the rest in CNET.com - News - Enterprise Computing - Sun sambas into Web-based software field with "Brazil"

Tuesday, January 2, 2001
JDOM is to Newton's Laws as DOM is to Einstein's Theory of Relativity. Einstein's equations explain a broader range of physical behaviors, but they're so darn cumbersome that for earthbound requirements people use Newton's.

--Jason Hunter on the jdom-interest mailing list

Monday, January 1, 2001
When a distinguished but elderly statesman states that something is possible, he is almost certainly right. When he states that something is impossible, he is very probably wrong.

--Arthur C. Clarke
Read the rest in Clarke: Wheeling Boldly Into 2001

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Last Modified January 10, 2001