Thursday, May 03, 2007

The Code Linux

I came across this Finnish movie about development of Linux operating system.
Movie portrayed many things like :
Free software and Open source, how they are different and what is their basic philosophies.
How loosely knitted programmers across the globe can work together.
How can some one make business out of open source, in fact they portrayed many organization's early history like Redhat, VA Linux works and some Chinese Linux company.
They also challenged some basic principles of software organizations like closed source system.
And yes as usual loads of Bill Gates and M$ basing(I love this part.)
Some portions of interview with RMS and Linus were kool, although very contrasting personalities but have similar ideas.
The movie have some part of Linux being dragged into political controversies things, but Linux has came out of all this.
The Idea of a hacker is presented very well.
I loved the movie, kinda inspirational

Wednesday, May 02, 2007


"Hey Man, you are _THE_ Man!". Well these are my words of appreciation for the great hacker who thought the concept of man pages. As far as I know any help available on this planet can not be more standardized or comprehensive than the man pages of unix. The format of man pages is fixed all through out the generations of all sorts of unixes(linux included). Man pages are most readily available and I find them much much more convenient than googling around. Man pages are precise. clear-cut, comprehensive and very very well written and the great thing is they even report the bug or any other such flaw, if it exists. In the vast world of unixes, where each command itself is a utility, the number of commands has increased to a surprisingly large number and remembering all of them is difficult and not very productive, also they have switches and options for each command. So, I can think of only resort to this problem is to just remember one command, that is "man" and here you are, the undefeated warrior of unix world.
Man pages are well divided with respect to kind of users using them. They cater to all kind of users may it be a normal user, an admin or an application developer or even a kernel hacker. Everyone in unix is so-much in love with man pages, that one cannot imagine his or her day without doing "man X something".
Some people think unixes are cocky and elitist kind of OS's, well yes, they are just great and everyone loves it that way. Similar concept is applied to man pages, man pages seems very cryptic to many people, but they are very standardized and always follow a fixed pattern and hence are consistent throughout.
So people, whenever in doubt in unix just be a "man".

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Fiesty Fawn

Today, I have seen this open source project called as Beryl.
Trust me guys, it is the coolest desktop I have ever seen
Now the same effects has been used with new release of Ubuntu call as Feisty Fawn.
Some of the feature i found are really very kewl and It seems like altogether a new generation of desktops is coming.
First and fore most it can be converted into a 3-D box like desktop and 4 desktop can be sides of the cube.
All windows open like as if hanging in some liquid medium.
All the movement of windows is very smooth and movement seems as if paper is being moved.
Raindrop and water effects are very very neat.
Developers have done a very good work and two major developments are: OLPC eis going to use it. And Dell has said that it was also make Ubuntu used with its Laptop.
So, Now M$ will have to start copying Ubuntu's stuff to keep up with them, but that will not change the future of open source desktop.

Friday, April 20, 2007


UNICES are beautiful operating systems, in every sense. They truly represent the freedom and independence of human intelligence and knowledge, as to it is no one's property; but human knowledge belong to society.
There is much more to unix than what i can describe here, but with such meager amount of shallow knowledge, i cannot say everything about their greatness.

I will rather start with 3 basic principles of unixes:
1. No captive interfaces:
Now this the thing, which is loveliest of all. The very assumption that the user knows what he is doing, makes me feel great about myself. This gives a feeling of power and control.
Every time, i do
#rm /tmp/file
I am not bugged, by the obvious, that whether was that an intension or not. Yes, off course i mean to do it; why the hell are you asking?

The simplicity of interfaces leaves me awe stuck elegant interfaces like menuconfig are clean and thrifty and still very very powerful. And again they do not bother for doubly conforming every move of yours, just clean.

2. KISS(Keep it simple stupid).
All unix utilities are meant to do just one thing and they do it well. Entire philosophy of unix surrounds around making simpler utility, which just does one task.And for every other task rather than loading the program with multiple enhancement, which makes it difficult to use and leaving the user wondering about the result, they would rather make an another simple program.
grep is one such simple, yet powerful tool, it just searches string, but it does it so well, that i consider it most handy tool for many of my searches.
There are numerous examples of such utilities, but I think "grep" will suffice here.

3. Everything is a file.
This is what i call a pure work of genius. I bow before all you lords of Unices, who have such a great vision. Now look at this: you know every thing is written in form of text file and your most utilities and apis have a symmetric and simple method of manipulating the file. You simply do not worry what kind of file it is. By that, i do not mean you treat all kinds of file in same manner, off course there is a semantic for different kind of files. But the very fundamental that behavior of file system and related utilities are transparent makes file system management very easy.
Now one such extension of this concept is device files, a hard disk or a cd rom is a special file, which is manipulated in different manner than other files, but still stored and listed in same manner as any other file. Gosh! Unix is just great.

Not although fundamental principle of Unices, but yes they are the adopted conventions that leaves me speechless in the way they are implemented. First thing is clean file system, everything lies here my boy ---> "/". You just can mount anything to everything, under this very "root".
Unices provides immensely potential environment for software development, they just have prefect editor, perfect debbuger, perfect compiler. What else do i need? Can anyone beat that?

Lets consider security. By the very nature of their existence, unixes and networking has been so close and been developing together that networking support in Unices is seem less. With such strong networking support, the security becomes an important aspect. And on this front also, unices are much more secure than other operating systems.
Unices are safe, secure, stable, simple, clean, powerful for all sorts of applications and yet they are flexible, portable and scalable. Shall i need to say more.