2004 Sep 1 (Wed), 14:24 Singular ;-)
Okay, just wanted to point out that in my post yesterday I was refering in singular to one person (although, the guy who changed the topic kinda makes it plural ;-)

I have since had four people from inside and around the Gaim project contact me and say they felt bad about a certain developer's comments. They say they are aware of the problem. Apparently, this isnt the first time this person has done something like this (and I doubt it will be the last).

I really have been meaning to write something on the topic of grouchy bastards inside of FLOSS projects who really should be sheilded from the public (i.e., they do not have the temperment to provide support). Hell, I think I may be one of the ones needing to be kept from the public (can't have someone who's the head of Tux4Kids using phrases like "Fuck me with a flaming weasel" ;-) The thing is, every project has them... some have even become notorious for them.

At any rate, just want to say I know not ALL Gaim developers are that way. I really only know of one (maybe two ;-)

BTW, house apparently closed (but who knows, realtor may be blowing smoke out his ass). So I'm trying to vacate it as quickly as possible.

2004 Sep 1 (Wed), 14:48 FLOSS and Games

Just wanted to comment quickly on an article I saw on Slashdot, "Is Open Source An Advantage For Game Developers?" (which originated at OSNews). As usual, the /. audience and the OSNews guys have completely and totally missed the mark.

FLOSS is important to game developers.. this is actually a proven fact. Were you aware that some of the top games to come out in the last four years or so have utilized FLOSS software? No? Well, let me enlighten you...

A little game series called Unreal Tournament has used FLOSS for years. Parts of the original Unreal Tournament engine were open-sourced a while back, and the new UT2003 and UT2004 utilize tons of FLOSS projects (such as SDL and Ogg Vorbis). Hitman 2 (which was a great game, BTW), used Zlib, Expat, Ogg Vorbis and Freetype in every version of its game (even the XBox version... kinda cool, no? ;-) There have been many others as well.

Using these tools allow them to be more platform independent, not have to worry about obstructive licensing issues requiring a share of the profits, and patent issues. Plus, the tools provide them with mature and ready-to-go solutions that they need only learn how to use.

So FLOSS is important to game developers (and has been) as a source for powerful, more cost-effective, and patent free solutions to their development problems.

2004 Sep 2 (Thu), 17:34 Concerning PyKota

Apparently some people misunderstood my reference to PyKota the other day when I mentioned doing what they do as a better alternative for XChat. Since I actually really respect PyKota, I wanted to clarify.

What is happenning (as near as I can tell) with XChat that I take issue with is that the author of the Win32 port (may even be the original XChat author, I havent exactly checked too deeply) wants to restrict the free (as in beer) distribution of the Win32 binary. The reason for this is because it takes more time and effort to do the Win32 port (something I understand, Win32 development is so ass-backwards in my book I couldnt ever stand doing it for very long... but I'll admit I'm more of a makefile/command-line kind of guy).

So, what the XChat Win32 port would become would be a shareware app. I.e., something that works for a limitted time and then will not work unless it is registered and paid for.

This, in an of itself, is not my problem. I may not like it, and I may disagree with it, but it certainly isnt a violation of any software license involved (mostly GPL). My problem is the fact that this shareware Win32 version is effectively a fork of the XChat code available out there with additional code and patches to make it work better under Win32. This shareware Win32 version is taking GPL code from all over the place (and from many contributors) and making it closed-source, proprietary, and no longer free (as in Freedom).

And this is a hazy area because if this person is the original XChat author (and I think they are) they do have the right to change the copyright to an extent. I mean, it has happenned before, right? Let's not forget TuxRacer, Quanta, and friends.

However, the haziness quickly becomes more sharpenned when you realize that so many of the people who contributed code to XChat do not wish their contributed code to be un-GPLed. And a quick perusal of the forums and mailing lists shows that a significant portion (with a significant amount of the code that makes this app work) feel this way.

Why I mentionned PyKota was because, IF the XChat author wants to limit how the binary is distributed (wants to do this shareware thing) a far more GPL-friendly way of doing it would be to mimic what PyKota does. I never implied that this was the intent of the PyKota project, nor did I wish to draw any correlation between the two. I just suggested making the Win32 code available via CVS (perhaps even with a stipulation saying it has to say "unofficial" or something) it would allow the XChat Win32 guy to do what he wants without angering all the contributors and users of XChat out there.

Anyway, I hope that's clearer now. The biggest problem with such informal web-diaries is that intended meaning doesn't always come across. Hell, the problem isn't web-diaries specifically, but all one-way (not multi-way like IRC, IM, etc) electronic text communication (divorce via email, anyone? ;-)

So, to state again, NO I was not comparing PyKota to XChat. I was saying that the PyKota model is something that could give the XChat guy what he wants (even if it wasnt the intention of the PyKota guys to allow for such things).

Also, in defense of PyKota: I know many people disagree with the way they do things in their distribution of binaries, I'll even admit I felt the same way at first. However, the more I thought about it, the more it occured to me that there is really nothing ideologically, politically, or morally conflicting with the GPL in what they are doing. The kneejerk reaction for me certainly was to condem the action, but the more I thought about it the more I realized it was really a non-issue. In fact, I use PyKota at the Physics Department, and have been very pleased with it. It certainly works a lot better than Printbill ever did (but, that's because we use CUPS here... and Printbill doesnt play as nicely with CUPS... so your mileage may vary ;-)

2004 Sep 2 (Thu), 17:41 Viva la PyKota!

(One more comment I feel I should add before I let this dead horse lie dead ;-)

...In fact, I think the PyKota binary distribution model is a really great idea for FLOSS projects in general, especially ones which desperately lack time to build lots of diverse binaries (and also ones that are short on funds, afterall, hosting is expensive). The only potential problem I see is the whole "unofficial" tag requirement... but IANAL and can't say for certain if this is really a problem or not.

So, anyway, I wasn't condeming PyKota or drawing any insane comparisons ;-)

2004 Sep 3 (Fri), 14:16 Having your cake and biting it too...

Oh... my... hell...

I am so freaking tired. Last night was really the last night to get out of the house (it closed on the 31st, much to my surprise, and the new owner gave us until today- Friday- to get everything moved out). So, Cassie and I worked on cleaning and moving stuff.

Let's just say, it didn't go well. We were both grouchy and tired, and sad that we were leaving our home (I mean, we would still be there if it hadnt been for her divorcing me... but oh well). My appartment is stacked to the ceiling with boxes and crap (so much crap), my couch is covered with boxes (no place to sit) and so is my bed (no place to sleep).

We worked until 11pm or so, and then she left me (okay, so I was peeved by this, but I do recognize she doesn't do well with little sleep). I continued to work until 3am. Now, my appartment is so packed I can't hardly move around in it, and I'm using my car as a temporary storage unit.

Anyway... let me get some things unpacked this weekend so I can clear off my computer desk and hook up my computer again (or at least my laptop) and I will try try TRY to respond to people and get back to everyone early next week. Sorry folks... life sucks.

Oh... and I got the money from my house. $9200 after splitting proceeds with Cassie (and after realtor screwed us out of around $800 each). So, I wont be hurting financially for a while... a while. $9200. Married for 11 years and that's what I get... that and a divorce via email.

2004 Sep 7 (Tue), 16:48 Not there yet...

Spent the weekend unpacking so I can hook up my computer (hell, right now I'd accept a table that I could sit at and use my laptop!) so I could get back to work on this, but to no avail. Since my car was full of more boxes from the move, cleaning things out inside just resulted in the boxes from the car taking their places... Grrr... I hate moving.

So, those waiting for me or wanting something from me: Sorry, just a bit more... I hope..

2004 Sep 15 (Wed), 16:16 ...

Last week my mother had a series of mini-strokes... whatever in the hell those are. They also found out the medication she has been on for her Diabetes is damaging her kidneys and they are worried about failure.

In case you aren't keeping score, let me recap. Over the last few months I've had:
  • A brother die
  • An uncle die
  • A wife of 10+ years divorce me (via email)
  • A job deteriorate
  • Another job not pay enough to survive
  • Ex-wife forced selling of my house (divide up equity)
  • Ex-wife declare bankruptcy forcing me to as well
  • Move into tiny rat-trap appartment (with boxes stacked to ceiling and a neighbor who masterbates outside my back door... aiming his load in my back-alley yard)
  • My mother's health begin to fail
  • And quite probably other stuff I'm forgetting right now
So, you know what? I'm fucking losing it.

On Monday night I went and I did laundry. I had my laptop then and I wrote about what happenned at the laundromat here. Beware, it isn't any more upbeat then my web log has been recently. But it did really happen.

2004 Sep 15 (Wed), 17:41 Thank's Dubya!

I love America.

2004 Sep 25 (Sat), 00:28 A Touch of Evil

Okay, I've been a bit pissed off lately, and I've been venting on my website here. Since not everyone wants to read the ravings of an angry person, I've moved my pissed off ravings elsewhere.

From now on, my normal page (and its mirrors) will just be normal (potentially semi-pissed off) ravings. Meanwhile, all my really vile, angry, nasty rantings will be found on evil samhart com.

Seeing as how I've been generally pissed off any angry lately, I would wager that the alternative evil site will probably be where I'll be updating things. Feel free to ignore it and me.