Techrights to Embrace Android

Dr. Roy Schestowitz is making some changes, getting married and switching from PalmOS to Android/Linux for his writing.

“Perhaps now is a good time to just write all the posts on an Android tablet, which actually runs Free software editors and contains Linux at the core. PalmOS has become too long in the tooth.”

via Techrights to Embrace Android | Techrights.

Good luck to him. You can’t go wrong with */Linux and a good woman is worth everything. I know. I have one. Yesterday, she climbed a ladder and cleaned gutters of decomposing leaves on the house we built together and in which we raised three children. She’s a keeper.

About Robert Pogson

I am a retired teacher in Canada. I taught in the subject areas where I have worked for almost forty years: maths, physics, chemistry and computers. I love hunting, fishing, picking berries and mushrooms, too.
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63 Responses to Techrights to Embrace Android

  1. twitter wrote, “The easy line to draw is personal insult. Several of your trolls corssed that in this thread.

    Sometimes it’s fun to argue with them, but the overall time waste and distraction is terrible.

    Good points and decisive. I hate to lose oldman, though, he has been around a long time. Generally, he’s polite but annoying. I keep hoping to convert him…

    I think one of the roles of a troll is to stress the patience of others. That’s my only excuse for the foul language I occasionally use. I try not to judge others because we really don’t know them on the web. They are just dots on the screen but the actions of M$ and some others are institutional not a real person’s actions and I won’t refrain from speaking my mind about such evildoers.

  2. twitter says:

    The easy line to draw is personal insult. Several of your trolls corssed that in this thread. Thorsten Rahn, for example, insulted both you and Roy. Ted and Clarence Moon insult Roy and later Clarence Moon turns his attention to you.

    You could also do well without having to tell Oldman that Android uses a Linux kernel. That’s wasting time with the obvious.

    Sometimes it’s fun to argue with them, but the overall time waste and distraction is terrible. One of the trolls actually taunts you with not spending enough time with your wife. I think you should take them at their word and stop letting them waste your time.

    Maybe you should move to a premoderation system, where you can put these frequently rude and habitually wrong people. Stick them in jail and only let out the one or two useful things they have. It won’t take long for them to quit trying.

  3. twitter wrote, “Let them start their own blogs to spew their poison and see how many people read it. Leaving these comments disrupts useful conversation and gives them a platform they don’t deserve.”

    I agree but I am indecisive. Whom do you think is a troll and should be banned? Help me out. At times the worst of them does express some knowledge of IT. My big objection is that they do that so rarely. My spam filter is working properly now that my son has given me better messages in the spam queue.

  4. twitter says:

    Why don’t you delete and block these jokers, Mr. Pogson? It’s the same trolls on every post with the same insults and bullshit. On this one, they have taken the conversation to personal insults. It’s a complete waste of your time talking to them and you have years of their comments to prove the point. Let them start their own blogs to spew their poison and see how many people read it. Leaving these comments disrupts useful conversation and gives them a platform they don’t deserve.

  5. ch says:

    “Is there any particular reason why MS Smart stuff has to use a new format to store it. That it could not have been a generator using the pre-existing drawing storage.”

    Yes, there is a reason – and if you ever had used SmartArt, you might even guess it: It’s “smart”, meaning it has certain features that regular drawing objects don’t have. If you save a document with SmartArt objects in the old MSO formats (pre-2007), the SmartArt objects are converted into regular drawing objects, loosing this functionality.

  6. oiaohm says:

    ch
    –Nice – and it’s already in beta! So LO is starting to get another useful function that MSO had five years ago – exactly my point–

    My point is not that its getting another feature MSO had 5 years go. They way LO is doing it is more sane.
    ch
    – having at least a minimum of talent when it comes to graphic design –

    This is correct. Is there any particular reason why MS Smart stuff has to use a new format to store it. That it could not have been a generator using the pre-existing drawing storage. The answer is there is no particular reason why it need a fully new storage in the file format. Also this means if the generator has a bug you can remove it and still view the document. Big problem remove MS smart art library and Smart art disappears this is because its not a generator.

    Doing this also stopped documenting using Smart art being viewed simply in older versions of MS Office.

    –Something like 15 years ago MS modularized Office, meaning that shared functionality (like spell checking) was moved into shared libraries. Guess what? The drawing function is such a shared part (as you would know if you ever used MSO).–

    You missed the problem.

    Ok 15 years ago MS modularized into share libraries. Good. Its what Microsoft did next is where the problem comes in.

    Microsoft want to add a new feature. Instead of adding that new feature to an existing module/library or adding generator to exploit existing more. Microsoft insert a new module. So you want to create flow charts so they create a visio module with its own unique draw system. You want to create a publisher document and the repeat the process again. You want to create smart and they repeat the process again. Basically creating a growing stack of libraries duplicating functionality with each other but slightly different to each other.

    This is not the goal of good modularity. OpenOffice has a little bit of the problem inside itself. Libreoffice is working to kill poorly designed modularity.

    ch items like smart art in MS Office really should be generators using what was already there and expanding what was already there. This way everything using draw would have got extra features straight up. Part of the reason why a human using MS draw cannot replicate what is done by Smart art in MS Office is particular drawing features are missing.

    If I open a document in a different libreoffice without the smart extension what I did by smart extension is still displayed as if I did it myself. So I get to appear to be a better artist than what I am. Also if I want to tweak it I can. Its backwards compatible as well.

    The good part is that LibreOffice is not clone how MS Office did it. Since the way MS Office did it is insane.

    That smart extension is not the same functionality. Developing down the path to being a suitable replacement to the MS Office functionality yes. The way its done is way more sane.

    Part of the push for standard following from MS was a hope they would make their program more sane.

    Visio files, MS Publisher Files, MS Draw, MS SmartArt are all independent libraries in MS Office.

    That is the big question ch why in hell do they have to be. Should they be. I say most likely not. It is modularisation gone nuts.

    Libreoffice is attempting to have its module design nicely solidly planed out before it breaks into libraries. I wish MS had done that 15 years ago. Since it defines where in the program you should find vector and bitmap graphics processing and so on.

    MS Office is a stack of COM modules joined up without a formal layout. The duplication creates bigger code area for software bugs.

    ch so yes I don’t dispute that LibreOffice is behind in areas. The sad part is MS Office is behind on doing what is required to make the product secure.

    So its the classic features vs security problem. If you don’t do your features cleanly you create more risk of security problems. Yes there is a reason to be on MS back about how MS Office is designed. More lack of formal design of what modules should exist.

    Reality is annoying MS Office and Libreoffice sux for two very different reasons ch.

    Fixing lack of features is possible with out major headaches. Removing features that have been done completely wrong on the other hand is very hard ch. Reality MS Office contains lots and lots of features done completely wrong.

  7. ch says:

    “The result can look equal.”

    I was referring to the alternative of doing the graphics yourself with Draw: Yes, one could create the same things, but if I did it – having at least a minimum of talent when it comes to graphic design – the resulrt would look OK but not as good. I shudder to think what you would create.

    “When it comes to draw MS Office has many small individual engines”

    Something like 15 years ago MS modularized Office, meaning that shared functionality (like spell checking) was moved into shared libraries. Guess what? The drawing function is such a shared part (as you would know if you ever used MSO).

    “http://extensions.libreoffice.org/extension-center/smart”

    Nice – and it’s already in beta! So LO is starting to get another useful function that MSO had five years ago – exactly my point.

  8. oiaohm says:

    ch
    http://extensions.libreoffice.org/extension-center/smart

    One of the extensions. That is not implementing MS Smart art. That is basically just adding a generator on the top of normal ODF Graphics.

    Most of what you call Smart Art that is a library and OLE object in MS Office will most likely be done as a extension that just generates standard ODF that any bog standard ODF program can read without altering their code base at all.

    The problem is that stuff generated by the extention when exported to Windows does not end up as smart art of stuff you are kinda expect. Its a little hard with all the formats MS Office has for drawings to go this should be X when you have a generic do everything drawing format in ODF programs.

    Its what makes MS Office formats are a prick to support instead of improving what they have they create many different interfaces all doing the same basic crud that you have to support.

  9. oiaohm says:

    ch really take note of this.

    LibreOffice Draw what does it open?

    Visio files, MS Publisher Files, MS Draw, MS SmartArt and that is only the tip of the Iceberg.

    Open Document Graphics that Draw in LibreOffice is a processing engine for is very flexible.

    When it comes to draw MS Office has many small individual engines that have to be-maintained. LibreOffice and all other Open Document programs each only have 1 engine for all forms of drawings.

    In fact the interesting thing is the xml format of ODF really does not split the document types with most Tags. Most tags when you add them in ODF they can be used in all documents ODF supports.

    So formulas work in Tables in all documents not just excel. Since all programs share the same formula engine.

    ch so one added feature somewhere in Libreoffice is more often than not adding it to a lot more. Just the interface has not been displayed yet. So yes those fancy graphics done on calc this cycle could simply be moved to a generic table feature.

    LibreOffice feature matching is not exactly feature matching.

  10. oiaohm says:

    ch there is a difference. Try getting OpenOffice or LibreOffice in justification mode to have a break between words lined up between lines.

    Its a historic StarOffice readability feature. Justification is not just processed line to line in StarOffice and any of its releations.

    Avoiding blank spaces between lines lining up exactly reduced people reading a cross line.

    So justification is processed by full paragraph in LibreOffice. Because its some of its checks are vertical between lines to make sure justification did not result in lining white space up so stuffing readability.

    Not that most people would even notice this difference. Its causes some of the difference in printing when a document has come from MS Office or LibreOffice.

    ch the importer is not implementing Smartart. It just gives LibreOffice the means to read it.

    –result probably wouldn’t look as good–
    The importer converts Smartart to LibreOffice Draw. LibreOffice draw is a full ODF 1.2 draw far more functional than a normal MS Office Draw. The result can look equal.

    There are quite a few generation extensions for Libreoffice draw.

    –but don’t try to save them later!– They exist in the ODF document as a normal drawing. So when they return to MS they return as a normal drawing and bugs in MS drawing processing show threw.

    So yes the smart art is kinda saved in a new format.

  11. ch says:

    “They are making the justification paragraph-wide rather than line by line.”

    Could you please explain what that means? As I understand it, “full justification” means that each line in a paragraph (except the last and maybe the first if one uses indentation) has the same length, so the format is applied to the whole paragraph but always works line-by-line.

  12. ch wrote, ““full justification” is something I rarely use because it all-too-easily looks bad (space between words/characters gets way too big) depending on how your lines happen to break.”

    That’s being fixed in LibreOffice. They are making the justification paragraph-wide rather than line by line.

  13. ch says:

    “Now, most realize that doing the most-used/most-desirable features well is the game.”

    And which are the most-used/most-desirable features? How do you know before introducing them? And which features do you kill/leave out?

    You really ought to read this:
    http://www.joelonsoftware.com/articles/fog0000000020.html

    I mentioned SmartArt: Silly name, great feature (introduced in MSO2007). It allows you to easily create drawings of some complexity that look good, examples:

    http://0.tqn.com/d/presentationsoft/1/0/y/L/-/-/05hierarchy.png

    http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_79SognVSu7A/Sb8rzu5QTdI/AAAAAAAAAv0/UkEyf-JvYbY/s400/SmartArt+Styles.jpg

    http://blogs.technet.com/blogfiles/seanearp/WindowsLiveWriter/CombiningSmartArtDiagramsinWord2007_FCCF/image_4.png

    http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-C1Zxp6E7Zoo/Tch2Iv6m5rI/AAAAAAAAAAg/cHFRlw9eLJs/s1600/ZA010378900.JPG

    http://imgsrv.worldstart.com/ct-images/mso_smartart_new2_off07.gif

    Yes, you could somehow do that in Draw – but with much more effort, and the result probably wouldn’t look as good.

    LO has only now started to implement them – so far, you can import MSO documents with them (but don’t try to save them later!) but you cannot add your own SmartArt. So obviously the makers of LO agree that this is a feature worth implementing – and MSO is far ahead on this.

    BTW, “full justification” is something I rarely use because it all-too-easily looks bad (space between words/characters gets way too big) depending on how your lines happen to break. (In German, with lots of long words, it’s worse.)

  14. oiaohm wrote, “Has LibreOffice caught up a version.”

    It used to be trying to keep up with M$’s hundreds of “features” was the game. Now, most realize that doing the most-used/most-desirable features well is the game. LibreOffice is on top of that. M$ is locked in to its own bloat.

    The vast majority of users of word-processing software still don’t use full justification because of the defaults that old version of M$’s office suite had. LibreOffice will triumph when they finally change that “feature”. Imagine using a word-processor without full justification as the default. That’s backwards compatibility all the way to Underwood typewriters. People who don’t need full justification certainly don’t need hundreds of other features M$ has added over the years. Those features certainly decrease ease of learning. I think LibreOffice has huge advantages for many users.

  15. ch says:

    “ch –state of the art– does it have to be at the moment.”

    RP said it is state of the art, I disputed this. So far you really haven’t made me change my mind on this one.

    “I see you are not saying 2003 any-more. That is a interesting point. Has LibreOffice caught up a version.”

    Get new glasses, I wrote “Yeah sure, that’s why all the “new” features in it’s latest release are things that at least MSO 2007 already had.”

    E.g. the presenter’s console had been in PP 2003, at least.

  16. oiaohm says:

    –And not only that. PP allows the presenter to make marks and highlights on the current slide.–
    Same.

    I got the feature slightly wrong. Its when you have set auto change of slide. Impress nicely displays how long until that will happen in the console under Libreoffice. This is kinda handy.

    ch –state of the art– does it have to be at the moment.

    Working with multi files bound into one document Libreoffice is good. So was the first star office.

    http://www.dynamicmethods.com.au/microsoft-office-master-documents-dos-and-donts-21

    Yes 2007 Microsoft is still having major trouble doing it. There are still bugs in 2010 handling.

    Yes in some areas like multi document handling OpenOffice and StarOffice have been state of art and in a lot of ways still is.

    This is not across the complete program.

    Corrupt master documents have never happened with StarOffice or any of its relations.

    ch the design choices of StarOffice and LibreOffice to not include non documented items in their file formats have cause a lower cases of documents going Corrupt in non recoverable ways.

    Some areas Libreoffice is state of art. Just its not everywhere. The true fact of the matter MS Office 2010 and 2012 are not state of art everywhere.

    The big question is not if LibreOffice is picking up 2007 features. I see you are not saying 2003 any-more. That is a interesting point. Has LibreOffice caught up a version.

  17. oldman says:

    “Did your mother teach you no manners? Trust is a good thing. Constantly questioning the integrity of strangers is not.”

    You regularly insult us to our faces and then presume to lecture us on our manners.

    You certainly have a pair Pog!

  18. Phenom, insulting as ever, wrote, “I start to pity our dear Mr. Pogson. By trusting your opinion he makes a fool of himself, too.”

    Did your mother teach you no manners? Trust is a good thing. Constantly questioning the integrity of strangers is not.

  19. Phenom says:

    “Full console shows the notes and the sites and time of presentation on the one screen while displaying the slide on the output.”

    Exactly what PP does – including showing the time.

    And not only that. PP allows the presenter to make marks and highlights on the current slide.

    Ohio, will you ever stop making a fool of yourself? I start to pity our dear Mr. Pogson. By trusting your opinion he makes a fool of himself, too.

  20. ch says:

    “Full console shows the notes and the sites and time of presentation on the one screen while displaying the slide on the output.”

    Exactly what PP does – including showing the time.

    “Corel Draw import” in LO is useless, so it doesn’t matter.

    “The question is do we need it two ways.”

    No, of course not – who would want to save the document he’s been working on?

    “If that is all that is major-ally missing.”

    Rest assured that it’s not all. It is just one more example for a feature that has been in MSO2007 and is only now coming to LO – and even that not completely. So LO is state of the art?

  21. oiaohm says:

    ch
    –When was the last time you have seen PP anywhere? IIRC it had that way before 2007.–

    Not a full console it did not. 2003 and 2007 both don’t have it. Full console shows the notes and the sites and time of presentation on the one screen while displaying the slide on the output. One of the big advantages of the full console is you can in fact be displaying your notes from another file.

    One of the differences between the two is so simple its not funny. If you set your sides to auto change. Libreoffice you can see a clock for how long the presentation has been running. So you can know exactly when a auto change will happen.

    ch a proper presenters console always includes how long the presentation has been running for. Yes I know hair spitting.

    Corel Draw import is into all documents. Its been added to Libreoffice draw module. I would like to see you use MS Draw in MS Office to open Corel Draw documents. Yes nice issue that. Might seam the same the importer in Libreoffice is basically all versions. Remember Visio does not come with all versions of MS Office. Microsoft could have included the importer in default draw but they did not.

    Yes that smart art one is a little evil. Yes it imports and convert it to a LibreOffice drawing. So in the process of importing it basically ceases to exist. There is no export function. Its one way. The question is do we need it two ways.

    Some features sound the same ch be in reality they are quite different.

    Just to be fun MS Office 2007 Smart art is not support by OOXML strict. So most likely libreoffice will be configured for forward migration. So exporter most likely will wait for MS Office 2013 to release and not support 2007. 2010 will be able to open the file since it can process strict.

    ch
    –Yes, but no symbols (e.g. up/down arrows) like in Excel.–
    If that is all that is major-ally missing. Calc must be getting fairly close to feature complete to replace Excel.

  22. ch says:

    “Powerpoint does not have a presenters console.”

    When was the last time you have seen PP anywhere? IIRC it had that way before 2007.

    “Not all the features being added are in MS Office.”

    Let’s look at the “Featured Updates” in 3.6, as by
    http://www.libreoffice.org/download/3-6-new-features-and-fixes/

    [Calc] “Support for color scales and data bars.”

    Yes, but no symbols (e.g. up/down arrows) like in Excel.

    “Import from .xlsx and import/export from/to .ods in ODF 1.2 (extended). Warning: Some limitations still apply which will be fixed in 3.7.0”

    No comment.

    [Writer] “Added Word Count to status bar.”

    In Word since ages ago.

    “PDF Export with Watermark option.”

    Word 2010: Watermark in document shows in PDF, too.

    “Support for importing Office SmartArt.”

    Importing, yes. Adding SmartArt in your document, no. And if you safe the document, the SmartArt is gone. State of the art, indeed!

    [Draw] “Import Filter for Corel Draw documents.”

    If they are simple enough, else it won’t work.

    Oh, and:
    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/303883/en

  23. oiaohm says:

    ch I don’t remember MSO 2007 have Lanczos algorithm for rescaling images without destroying their quality.

    In fact I know it does not. MS 2010 is also lacking the same kind of algorithm why it screws up printing some images at times.

    That was added to LibreOffice in 3.6.

    –Impress now correctly detects the external display and puts the presenter console on the local display.–

    Powerpoint does not have a presenters console. Let alone detect what screen is external or local.

    Not all the features being added are in MS Office.

    ch yes I will give you there is a lot of catch up but each release there has been one or 2 features that are unique to Libreoffice that MS Office does not have. Apache OpenOffice does not have them either.

    Phenom Bloat claim is interesting. Most likely valid. Since size is not expanding and new features are being added. Bloat is reducing in Libreoffice at the about the same pace as new code for new features is introduced. 3.5.6 and 3.6.1 are basically the same exact size. Question is how many versions can Libreoffice go without expanding in size.

  24. ch says:

    “LibreOffice and FireFox are both less than 10 years old and state of the art.”

    WTF? LibreOffice is “state of the art”? Yeah sure, that’s why all the “new” features in it’s latest release are things that at least MSO 2007 already had.

  25. Phenom says:

    Star Office 5.2 which was what I started was 93MB. LibreOffice is 208 MB. Something has been added in the process.

    Bloat?

  26. Phenom says:

    Pogson, you still fail to prove your claims. The core of Firefox is still Gecko, which was originally developed by Netscape. At no point has anything ever hinted that Gecko has been rewritten.

    Btw, the last company that rewrote a browser from blank became AWOL.

  27. oiaohm says:

    oldman LibreOffice and OpenOffice in a lot of internal places are major-ally different.

    There was 3 regex engines in OpenOffice code base and there still is in apache version. There is only 1 in Libreoffice. This in time will also go and be replaced by posix standard regex instead of custom version.

    Pockets of the core internal API sections are gone as part of internal redesign oldman. Its very much following how the Linux kernel changes its internal design. Automated conversion patches and other more modern methods. Also include deprecation and systemically hunting down everywhere that references what you want to be rid of.

    So yes basic internals have been changed oldman. Its a on going chip by chip process with LibreOffice. Like all the never used internal functions. That list has a habit of growing as you clean those functions out you find more and more that they were the only reference to a stack of other functions that nothing else uses.

    So there was a huge stack of API in Apache OpenOffice that basically does nothing bar waste space. Ok or might have been used by some Sun internal closed source product.

    The simplest internals to kill of are the wasted of space ones. Killing the regex engines off has been harder. The internal regex engine is only used in 1 file of the complete program now. So you could say its on limited life span.

    oldman there are also a lot of duplication structs that have been killed off as well. Like you don’t need 8 class structs to store and process strings. Yes OpenOffice code base has 8 class structs for string handling. Then casting all over the pace to convert between them.

    So yes internals of Libreoffice compared to Openoffice have changed mostly at this stage killing of the insane. Oldman you would not call 3 internal regex engines + the posix regex engine sane code. Or having 8 unique string handling classes plus the c++ with required converting between all of them so stuff works sane either. Part of these clean ups is to clean the code base so it can be broken up into libraries.

    This insanity removal is why Libreoffice has speed up and uses less memory than OpenOffice.

  28. Star Office 5.2 which was what I started was 93MB. LibreOffice is 208 MB. Something has been added in the process.

  29. oldman says:

    Apache had to do with OpenOffice.org to convert to ASL. Then LibreOffice has taken an axe to “dead” code and inefficient code widely since the fork.

    While individual modules have probably been changed out, I would very seriously doubt that anyone has tackled changing the basic internals or structure of what was StarOffice. Changing out modules or possible well contained sections of the code is very doable (so long as the software interfaces and returns are understood. Changing the fundamental way that anything as complex as a word processor is structured internally is another thing entire, at least in the short time since the fork.

  30. Phenom wanting to waste my time, wrote, “I dare you to find any to support your lightheaded claims.”

    The StarOffice code was littered with non-Free components and had to be rewritten in large part to fix that, similarly to what Apache had to do with OpenOffice.org to convert to ASL. Then LibreOffice has taken an axe to “dead” code and inefficient code widely since the fork.

    FireFox has been rewritten.

  31. Phenom says:

    There isn’t much of the original code left, if any.

    Wishful thinking, Pogson. Both are solidly based on their ancestors – StarOffice and Netscape, and there is absolutely no evidence that “there isn’t much of the original code left, if any”. I dare you to find any to support your lightheaded claims.

  32. Phenom wrote, “Git.” as if it were nothing at all. Ever heard of GitHub? It’s huge. It has millions of developers using it. It is a very successful project by any measure. Android uses it… Developers use desktops, too.

    LibreOffice and FireFox are both less than 10 years old and state of the art. Both have been seriously revised since the early days. There isn’t much of the original code left, if any. LibreOffice has had hundreds of developers slashing and burning. FireFox was completely rewritten at least once.

    All the FLOSS projects I know resemble competitive closed-source projects barely if at all. LibreOffice may resemble M$’s office suite from years ago and will be more comfortable than the new stuff from M$. People are getting off the Wintel treadmill.

  33. Phenom says:

    Recent ones (less than 10 years old) include Android/Linux, SugarCRM, LibreOffice, FireFox, Git

    Pogson, please. Android, LibreOffice and FireFox are older than that. All are based on much older code, and they are anything but new.

    SugarCRM can be new, but is not exactly free: http://www.sugarcrm.com/page/editions-pricing/en. Yeah, there is a free version, which is reportedly not for production use.

    Git. I wonder how you can even bring this to the table. This is a source version-control system, for heaven’s sake! Not even all software developers would use it, let alone the average computer user!

  34. Clarence Moon, being a condescending ass, wrote, “There are really only a handful of open source projects of any importance today and they are the same projects that were important ten or even twenty years ago.”

    Nope. New and important FLOSS projects come into existence almost every day. Recent ones (less than 10 years old) include Android/Linux, SugarCRM, LibreOffice, FireFox, Git, etc. to say nothing of gazillions of driver projects which come with new hardware.

    Clarence Moon, being a condescending ass, wrote, “you dodge the issue, Mr. Posgon. It is a question of the complexity of the software, not the relative cost of the hardware used. There are hundreds of thousands of such ad hoc projects as your control system,”

    Typical troll behaviour, trying to set the agenda. Of course the total cost of a system matters, idiot! And the systems I wrote were complex, meeting diverse needs of users, suppliers of hardware, me, and my bosses. They were ad hoc only in that they were one-off projects but there were no proprietary software equivalents anywhere. The University of Manitoba Cyclotron was a unique machine, using heated metal in vacuum to shape the magnetic field. No COTS parts would even function in that environment. KFSH was one of a few dozen implementations of Cyclotron Corporation machines in the world. It was out of business at the time so there was no market for that software. People used what TCC supplied but we improved on it by replacing the software with a high-level language and improved algorithms for display and control. We also made it multi-user/multi-processing and we made it fit in 8KB of RAM. PCs were not even considered because re-engineered hardware interfaces would have cost more than the software development and we needed something far more reliable than DOS.

  35. There’s no particular merit in coding for a larger project.

    As ever, you dodge the issue, Mr. Posgon. It is a question of the complexity of the software, not the relative cost of the hardware used. There are hundreds of thousands of such ad hoc projects as your control system, I know, and that is where I got my start in software development, too, using minicomputers to directly control automation systems in factories. Prior technology was based on using digital circuits to control things and making the processes computer controlled vs hardwired was a natural evolution. We didn’t need much in the way of OS then either.

    The computer science in such instances is trivial and that may have misled you into your current set of beliefs and attitudes regarding what it takes to do even a minor product development in today’s technologies. The type of mind set needed to be effective in such things, whether proprietary or open source, is completely outside of your experience I think.

    There are really only a handful of open source projects of any importance today and they are the same projects that were important ten or even twenty years ago. The open source products mimmic the successful proprietary products and attempt to siphon off users who are not really benefitting from the “real” thing to want to pay the price for it. That is fine by me, those people were never really in the market for my product and so they can use whatever they please.

    Loosing the interest of dabblers who were never really customers to begin with is hardly any loss for Microsoft or any other commercial company serving some software product market segment.

    Ballmer is not a code-developer and he runs the company.

    Well, if you were the CEO of Microsoft, your word would carry a lot more importance too, Mr. Posgon!

  36. Clarence Moon wrote, “Have you ever been associated with a major project, Mr. Pogson, working as a developer on some part of it?”

    Yes. I wrote the control system of the King Faisal Specialist Hospital cyclotron, the University of Manitoba Cyclotron Laboratory robotic field mapping and analysis software and I customized all the servers at a large high school where I worked. I have also written a lot of software tools for smaller projects. There’s no particular merit in coding for a larger project. The smaller ones have to get done as well. The large projects on which I worked amounted to $millions invested over several years. It was all mission-critical stuff for the organizations. e.g. KFSH was taking 6 months to train new operators. My control system allowed them to cut it to 1 month with much more reliability and ease of use. The software was actually helpful instead of just being useful.

    Further, since when do I need to be a code-developer to write about software? That’s nonsense. Ballmer is not a code-developer and he runs the company.

  37. Clarence Moon says:

    .No, it’s not. One can keep score by polling user-satsfaction or running instances or throughput or …

    But who cares? The only thing that counts in commerce is the money. Anything else is just trivia for game shows to stump their audience with.

    I have developed a lot of code in my time everything from…

    Have you ever been associated with a major project, Mr. Pogson, working as a developer on some part of it? It is silly to get into a contest over this, but I will say with extreme certainty from substantial experience that code development at the level of Linux or Windows is way beyond your ken. You are not a developer of the ilk that attend the conferences and chant with Mr. Ballmer in the convention center halls. Or pick an open source conference if you want. From your postings, it seems certain that you have never attended one of them.

  38. Clarence Moon wrote, “The only way to keep score on something like an OS product is to measure the commercial revenue impact the product provides.”

    No, it’s not. One can keep score by polling user-satsfaction or running instances or throughput or …

    Clarence Moon wrote, “Mr. Pogson is not a software developer/engineer.”

    I have developed a lot of code in my time everything from robotics, control systems and CAD to web applications. I have even written a little PHP but why would I mess with PHP when there’s a professional in the family who will work for Coketm? I have consulted for him a bit on algorithms but he can code ten times faster than I can and it will be right the first time. He has coded web pages for more than a decade and has worked across Canada doing magic with databases and PHP.

  39. Clarence Moon says:

    It’s funny how Pogson and Schestowitz like to promote Android

    It is the same way that Michigan fans promote “whoever is playing Ohio State” on any given Saturday. “The enemy of my enemy is my friend” is another way to put it. Curiously, neither Pogson or Schestowitz have any skin in the game and do not develop or sell OS software products, so the whole argument is immaterial.

    The only way to keep score on something like an OS product is to measure the commercial revenue impact the product provides. There may very well be 1% or more of the world’s population who do not wish to or cannot afford to pay for any such product, choosing to use Linux or Android or BSD or the like at no charge. Those are not very interesting people unless there is an opportunity to sell them something.

    On the other hand, there are loads of people who pay for, directly or indirectly, a commercial OS product such as Windows. Those people are cherished as existing or prospective customers and their desires are carefully studied by Microsoft so that products that they will be willing to buy are made available.

    It is a simple matter to see how things are going for the companies that have some commercial interest in the situation. Just look at their balance sheets and see if they are improving or not. Microsoft is doing very well, in my opinion. So is Apple, IBM, Google, Dell, HP, Adobe, and many others. As all are prospering, it seems to me that no one has any cause for complaint.

    Users may well prefer more open OEMs and secrecy will cost them.

    A total myth, I am sure. No one with a life of their own gives a fig for source software. There may be some developers who might want to sneak a peek at their opponent’s wares, but none of them are willing to make any changes to their own wares in response. Software development is a very personal sort of thing and people who do this sort of thing are very protective of their “baby” or whatever term you want to use to describe their work product.

    Mr. Pogson is not a software developer/engineer and seems even proud of himself that he knows nothing of C, let alone C++ or java or C# or (heaven forbid) F#. Even simple PHP constructs are apparently left to a shirt tail relative in the family. He hopes that there are a lot of talented individuals who will join together in some worldwide commune of programmers bent on producing all the world’s software with no compensation for their efforts. Thus the tightfisted Mr. Pogson can continue to enjoy his computer on the cheap and vent his ire at upstarts such as the Microsoft staff who want to get rich off their innovative thoughts.

    Maybe he will offer to share his corn or tomato paste with them someday.

  40. Johan wrote, “Android is indeed part Linux but contains all kinds of stuff that would never be allowed in any true FOSS operating system, like DRM, settings being locked or hidden from the user, usage of binary blobs, having to crack the phone to get root access etc.”

    I have looked at the code and the Linux component was huge.

    Android/Linux is FLOSS. The part that is not Linux is mostly ASL (Apache Software Licence) which allows the code to be examined, modified and redistributed in source or binary or both. The only thing it lacks is requiring the modified source code to be passed on. So, the non-Free aspects are entirely from OEMs who tweak things for their commercial purposes or to distinguish their products. That’s entirely understandable but they would be better off to improve Android/Linux by contributing upstream their changes to reduce developmental costs. It’s not that big a deal for me as The Little Woman is the only one running Android/Linux regularly in my home and it seems snappy and trouble-free. I expect as the Android/Linux ecosystem matures, that OEMs will see the light and share. They already to via the Open Handset Alliance and the Linux Foundation. They might as well go all in. Same for Google. If a standard Android/Linux release were adopted globally, there would be little need for them to keep ASL. They could move the whole thing to GPL. Android is still young enough that would be easy. The longer ASL survives the harder it will be to move all the code to a more open licence.

    There are issues of blobs with phones just as there are with wireless gadgets generally. Governmental regulators don’t want ordinary humans tweaking RF sources and communication channels. I doubt there is any solution to that problem, but the issues raised by Johan are mostly FUD.

    I did not ignore the non-Free aspects of Android/Linux. I pointed them out early on. Google stated that the licence was their preference and suggested OEMs etc. would prefer it as well. Old ways die hard. OEMs still think trade secrets are great but they are not optimal for mass-produced consumer electronics based on computers. The cost of developing software for such gadgets is obviously low for OEMs thanks to Google but the OEMs don’t realize the cost of their tweaks could be lowered as well. They should limit their customization to logos/backgrounds/colours, configurations, rather than features. If they want their features to become loved by consumers, it’s a good idea to let them see those features everywhere even on competitors devices. There are lots of ways to compete on price, service, reliability, hardware design, without keeping the software a secret. Users may well prefer more open OEMs and secrecy will cost them.

  41. Johan says:

    It’s funny how Pogson and Schestowitz like to promote Android but ignore the non-FOSS aspects of the OS. It seems that because Android contains Linux code and having a high marketshare it is used as “proof” that Linux in general is succeeding.

    In reality, Android is indeed part Linux but contains all kinds of stuff that would never be allowed in any true FOSS operating system, like DRM, settings being locked or hidden from the user, usage of binary blobs, having to crack the phone to get root access etc. etc.

    While I don’t necessarily mind non-free and/or closed software, I say: if you are an ideological proponent of FOSS, you should not promote and/or use Android, because that would be plainly hypocritical.

  42. lpbbear says:

    “With good reason, because android is not linux.”

    Bushwah!

    (cue the theme for “loonytunes” for Oldman)

  43. Thorsten Rahn says:

    Nobody else gives a damn. FLOSSies know the score. The general public doesn’t know Linux from Adam. So it’s only for yourself.

    Interesting. Because that goes directly against every assertion you people have ever made on this blog that the public buys Android because it’s based on the Linux kernel. Now you say it doesn’t matter. But then you can’t claim that buyers consciously choose Linux by buying smartphones. Linux — the kernel and the OS — is irrelevant to them.

    When you say Android is not Linux it is only in your mind and that of your fellow Cult of Microsoft members.

    When it is said that Android is not Linux, then this is a true statement. It is neither equal to the Linux kernel nor to any kind of baseline Linux distribution. Therefore it is not Linux. Android is Android, and it uses the Linux kernel.

    You’ve abused the “Android IS Linux” slogan for far too long. Nobody believes this crap. But then you’re the sort of people who also claim that one “uses” Linux when surfing on some website.

    Pathetic. Simply pathetic.

    Oh, and I’m still waiting for this mysterious source that proves that Bill Gates imitated Joseph Göbbels.

  44. ch says:

    Mr k,

    by definition Android cannot be Linux: Android is object of class “operating system”, Linux is an object of class “kernel”. As even SJVN has realised, there is no such thing as a Linux OS (and that is part of the problem). There are several OSes based on the Linux kernel, and among them, Android is definitively the odd man out: No X11, CLI practically AWOL, Java – err, Dalvik – as the main API. In other words: The only thing Android has in common with the various Linux distros is the most uninteresting thing, the kernel. Pretty much what Apple did: Take a kernel that can be had for free and build a sensible GUI and API on it.

  45. kozmcrae says:

    @ldman wrote:

    “With good reason, because android is not linux.”

    And the Santa Maria had nothing to do with Columbus discovering America. If you want to separate Android and Linux by not capitalizing go ahead. In your mind they are separate like Columbus and his ships. But together they perform a task and only together can they do it.

    Android separate from Linux cannot do anything. Only knitted together with Linux can Android do anything of worth. Only with his ships could Columbus discover America.

    When you say Android is not Linux it is only in your mind and that of your fellow Cult of Microsoft members. Nobody else gives a damn. FLOSSies know the score. The general public doesn’t know Linux from Adam. So it’s only for yourself. Every time you say Android is not Linux you are giving yourself pleasure @ldman. You know what the call that, don’t you.

  46. dougman says:

    The Android project uses the Linux kernel, but with some modifications and features built by themselves. For a long time, that code has not been merged back to the Linux repositories due to disagreement between developers from both projects. Fortunately, after several years the differences are being ironed out. Various Android subsystems and features have already been merged, and more will follow in the future. This will make things easier for everybody, including the Android mod community, or Linux distributions that want to support Android programs.

    http://kernelnewbies.org/Linux_3.3

    Android is Linux. To be exact, Android runs on top of the the Linux kernel. To quote from the Android developer page, Dalvik, Android’s Java-based interface and user-space, uses the “Linux kernel for underlying functionality such as threading and low-level memory management.” Let me make it simple for you, without Linux, there is no Android.

  47. Ted wrote, “he’s been touting the superiority of Open Source/Free Software”.

    He has not. “Techrights, part of Bytes Media, is a progressive site which supports software freedom and advocates digital diversity through standardisation (naturally, it is against monopoly). The different sections address multiple areas or companies”

    Bytes Media: “Bytes Media delivers stories and analysis about issues where law and technology interact with partial focus on UK law but also law overseas, for example copyright and patent law in the United States.”

  48. oiaohm says:

    Ted not really thinking Dr Roy Palm is old. Waste not want not. His Palm is that old there was no open sourcish phone at the time.

    Really he used Matlab before he started using Octave as well. Porting from something to something new you still have to understand the language.

    Ted really this is the thing most of the loudest voices against Microsoft have used it. Most of the pure Linux users are very silent people.

  49. Ted says:

    Hang on a minute…

    Dr Roy is switching from the CLOSED SOURCE (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Palm_OS) PalmOS to Android?

    All this time he’s been touting the superiority of Open Source/Free Software, and he’s been using a non-Free operating system?

    Anyone would think he’s that much of a hypocrite he lambasts Microsoft at every opportunity on BoycottNovell (TechRights is just BoycottNovell with a crude paint job) but at the same time list several Microsoft operating systems and *Visual Basic* on his CV on his personal site.

    http://schestowitz.com/roy/

  50. oiaohm says:

    TM Repository
    –Several of the core systems, such as messaging, are totally incompatible and were rejected by the kernel team (despite them being better than what the core team currently has).–
    Out of date information.

    http://elinux.org/Android_Mainlining_Project
    Binder the IPC/messaging has been in Staging of Mainline since Linux 3.3. This does mean the kernel core developers are looking at it. This is not a reject out of hand.

    Yes Binder was rejected on it first include attempt there were some major security issues causing it to have to be reworked. Its still in staging because it still needs more code work to be Mainline core quality.

    TM Repository
    –It seems the core team has no problem breaking compatibility unless someone like Google is contributing the code.–
    Every ABI/API breakage has to be justified in the Linux kernel.

    One of androids drivers turned out completely stupid pmen since there is another feature in the Linux kernel that does exactly the same thing for years before Android existed.

    There are arguments backwards and forwards. Like some of Android poor performance at times on multi cores tracked to how the logger was design global locking is bad. So of course it should have been delayed from leaving staging until is issue with multi core is addressed.

    So android userspace and linux kernel space are both changing as part of merge. Some of the Linux kernel space have been expanded.

    TM Repository the reality is the Android features are being merged. In the true sense of being merged. Wake-locks has made it other areas will keep on being worked on.

  51. “I have looked at the code. Android/Linux has a Linux kernel as does GNU/Linux.”

    You haven’t touched the code at all, admit it. If you had, you’d know Android has features in it that simply cannot be pushed upstream anymore. Several of the core systems, such as messaging, are totally incompatible and were rejected by the kernel team (despite them being better than what the core team currently has). It seems the core team has no problem breaking compatibility unless someone like Google is contributing the code.

    So who wins in your software deathmatch this time? Is it your Microsoft surrogate Google, or your FOSS darlings the kernel team?

  52. oiaohm says:

    Thorsten Rahn
    –In any way, Android is not a Linux according to the popular definition of Linux. Case closed.–

    Read down the wikipedia a bit more. Its not case closed.

    Embedded Linux particularly Android is commonly classed as Embedded Linux not Desktop Linux. Android is still Linux be common define. Just not Desktop Linux by common define.

    The greyness around Android –based on a modified version of the Linux kernel–

    Over time these modifications have reduced. So at one point there was such thing as a Android kernel that you could not run Android without it. Today Android will run on a mainline kernel.

    Android/Android was valid. Due to how far modified the Linux kernel at the core of android was at the start of android it officially was not a Linux kernel.

    Thorsten Rahn
    –You even fail Stallmanian nomenclature, as GNU/Linux, or rather the specific order in it, is meant to clarify that GNU came first. As Android definitely didn’t come before Linux, you’d have to call it Linux/Android.–
    This is miss understanding. Userspace/Kernel. Is the convention the convention kernel/userspace you wish to avoid at all costs.

    You also find Linux/GNU and Linux/GNU/X these are rare to be used they follow the mirror convention of Kernel first. then user-space then what ever else is on top.

    So Android/Linux and Linux/Android are both correct. If you really want to confuse someone. With Linux on Android using old school convention. You could write Linux/Android/Ubuntu. Due to how much this convention could get out of hand it kinda got forbin from usage on grounds we want to remain sane. Not end up with a system running lots of chroots described as something like this. Linux/Ubuntu/Debian/Mint/Redhat…… 100 distribution names latter the end of it.

    Remember Ubuntu Debian mint all come after the Linux kernel came into existance. If you are writing them with / they are always Ubuntu/Linux Debian/Linux….. Because of the insanity of the old convention. Kernel then Userspace is Unix world convention with a unlimited levels of stacking of userspaces. That must remain dead.

    Linux/Android risks bring the old convention back so don’t use it.

  53. Thorsten Rahn says:

    Nope, I can define a Linux operating system as an OS with a Linux kernel and Adroid/Linux has one.

    No, you can’t, Rob. Because the popular definition has superseded your own definition a long time ago. Your good friends at Wikipedia agree, writing about the Linux kernel under, well, Linux kernel.

    You even fail Stallmanian nomenclature, as GNU/Linux, or rather the specific order in it, is meant to clarify that GNU came first. As Android definitely didn’t come before Linux, you’d have to call it Linux/Android.

    In any way, Android is not a Linux according to the popular definition of Linux. Case closed.

  54. oldman wrote, “Run any Desktop Linucx binary say Openoffice unmodified on a android THEN you can call it linux.”

    Nope, I can define a Linux operating system as an OS with a Linux kernel and Adroid/Linux has one. Linux is Linux. I can run binaries unmodified on it, even those from that other OS, so that’s a poor definition. Meaningless perhaps. Android/Linux has been hacked to allow native GNU/Linux code to run.

  55. oiaohm says:

    Does get interesting
    http://www.google.com/trends/?q=linux,+android,microsoft,ubuntu&ctab=0&geo=all&date=all&sort=0

    Its not just Linux losing its popularity. Microsoft is as well.

    Lot don’t include Ubuntu either.

  56. oldman says:

    “I have looked at the code. Android/Linux has a Linux kernel as does GNU/Linux.”

    Who cares!

    Run any Desktop Linucx binary say Openoffice unmodified on a android THEN you can call it linux.

  57. oldman wrote, “android is not linux.”

    I have looked at the code. Android/Linux has a Linux kernel as does GNU/Linux.

  58. “BTW, for the person that said the Linux is becoming irrelevant, they failed to include Android on which Linux is based.”

    But Android isn’t Linux, it’s been either claimed, or denied, here many times depending on what argument it suites.

    If Android is doing well then “Android is Linux”, if Android stops releasing source or posting upstream or having issues with fragmentation then “Android isn’t Linux”. Keep spinning.

  59. oldman says:

    “BTW, for the person that said the Linux is becoming irrelevant, they failed to include Android on which Linux is based.”

    With good reason, because android is not linux.

  60. dougman says:

    Re: For someone that creates useless articles… there sure is enough uproar from the “Linux is a Cancer” crowd. Why is that??

    If a nut-job, was composing useless dribble why would anyone care unless they have a vested interest. Seems to me that is the case.

    BTW, for the person that said the Linux is becoming irrelevant, they failed to include Android on which Linux is based.

    http://www.google.com/trends/?q=linux,+android

  61. Thorsten Rahn says:

    Dr. Roy Schestowitz is making some changes, getting married and switching from PalmOS to Android/Linux for his writing.

    He wrote… articles… on a Palm PDA? Seems like a Ph.D. doesn’t mean anything any longer. You can have one and still be a nutjob. His wife-to-be must be equally insane.

    Good luck to him. You can’t go wrong with */Linux and a good woman is worth everything. I know. I have one. Yesterday, she climbed a ladder and cleaned gutters of decomposing leaves on the house we built together and in which we raised three children. She’s a keeper.

    Well, Rob, you know, if you spent less time writing useless articles, you’d have more time helping your wife.

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