New company & new blog

Free Software 6 Comments »

New Job

What an interesting month this has been! A few weeks ago, I got leads for some very good commercial opportunities, but the other decision makers at my company decided that we should not pursue it, and stick to the educational and development sectors instead. I really wanted to chase those deals, so I sent in a proposal where I start a new company, where I’ll be doing my current job as a service to the company, and I’ll be able to take on the new, lucrative commercial work. I was real excited about starting the new company, I planned to do some groundbreaking Linux work here in South Africa…

But all of that changed just 6 days before I planned to get the new company off the ground. Word got out that I’m leaving, I even got job offers from Google and IBM, which quite surprised me, I declined and decided to go ahead with the company. I also felt that I wasn’t quite the right person for the positions they offered. I then got a real interesting offer from a local Linux company. They will allow me to bring in my customers to their company, and I will give technical guidance to their development team, and gain access to their resources for the projects I’ve planned to work on. It also means I have short-term security in terms of a steady job, and I can continue working on the tuXlab distro and some other interesting things. I’ll only be able to give more information next week, so sorry for being a little secretive here! One of the coolest things about the new job is, that we’ll play a big part in the government’s conversion to ‘FLOSS’. Exciting times!

New Blog

I also started an Afrikaans blog. I decided to make it a separate blog to avoid confusion for people who are subscribed to by blog, but who does not understand Afrikaans :)

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Eric Raymond converts to Ubuntu

Free Software 3 Comments »


If I thought the state of Fedora were actually improving, I might hang
in there.  But it isn't.  I've been on the fedora-devel list for
years, and the trend is clear.  The culture of the project's core
group has become steadily more unhealthy, more inward-looking, more
insistent on narrow "free software" ideological purity, and more
disconnected from the technical and evangelical challenges that must
be met to make Linux a world-changing success that liberates a
majority of computer users.

I have watched Ubuntu rise to these challenges as Fedora fell away
from them.  Canonical's recent deal with Linspire, which will give
Linux users legal access to WMF and other key proprietary codecs, is
precisely the sort of thing Red-Hat/Fedora could and should have taken
the lead in.  Not having done so bespeaks a failure of vision which I
now believe will condemn Fedora to a shrinking niche in the future.

You realise what this means!?

Yes! Another episode of Everybody Loves Eric Raymond is on its way! ;)

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Thank you to the Ubuntu Technical Board

Free Software 7 Comments »

Previously, I wrote about proprietary drivers included by default in Ubuntu, which I sent to the Ubuntu Community Council. I received swift and decent responses, although things didn’t look very promising, from what I understood the decision to include proprietary video drivers would most likely stand. However, Mark Shuttleworth did invite me to continue to stay part of the debate. Thank you Mark, for that.

Tonight, however, I was *very* pleasantly pleased to read about a decision by the Ubuntu Technical Board to exclude proprietary drivers by default in Ubuntu. I agree 100% with their reasoning, and 100% with the way that it will be implemented. The reality is that in many cases, Ubuntu’s users will simply have to rely on proprietary drivers, and making it easily to install is crucial. Instead of shipping proprietary drivers by default, Ubuntu will in the future ship with a simple interface where a user can simply choose to enable composite effects, and if they need a proprietary driver, then they can install it with a few simple clicks.

I have renewed confidence in both the TB and CC, and I’d like to give a big thanks to Mark Shuttleworth, Matt Zimmerman, Matthew Garrett and Scott James Remnant, who have, as far as I’m concerned, really made the best choice for Ubuntu and the free software world. I think it’s absolutely fantastic that such complicated decisions can be handled with such foresight, rationality and style.

Keep it up!!

UPDATE: (14 FEB 2007): I unintentionally mislead some people when I said that proprietary drivers will not be included by default, I meant to say proprietary video drivers would be included by default. I believe that the proprietary wifi drivers is a necessary inclusion, since most users wouldn’t be able to install those drivers without having a working network connection. I hope that this clears it up!

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