Saving Resque

Open source project Resque needs some volunteers:

Rescuing Resque: Let’s do this

Anyway, Resque has been psuedo-abandonware for a while now. In January, Terence Lee from Heroku got in charge of the project, but it’s a big job. Too big of a job to properly manage alone. It’s hard to sift through 60 pulls and 120 open issues, some of which have been open for a few years. And manage the 1.x line while working on new stuff for 2.0. And debug issues that basically boil down to “When I upgrade Resque and this random gem, everything breaks, but when I downgrade that other gem, it works again. But Resque throws the error.”

So Terrence gave a presentation at Frozen Rails, and in it, he outlined what needs to be done for Resque 2.0, and asked for some help getting it out the door. So myself and a few other people are gonna pitch in and help out, and we’d love to have you.

Resque is a Redis-backed Ruby library for creating background jobs, placing them on multiple queues, and processing them later. You can contribute through GitHub.

Oracle shuts down open source test servers

Oracle shuts down open source test servers that PostgreSQL uses to test their builds. PostgreSQL is competing with Oracle’s MySQL and Oracle Database.

Oracle shuts down open source test servers

Like most open source platforms, PostgreSQL relies on an army of distributed volunteers. It is volunteers that, for example, operate the PostgreSQL Build farm, a “distributed, automated build and verify system” built by enthusiast Andrew Dunstan.

Oracle has shut down servers Sun Microsystems was contributing to the build farm for open source database software, PostgreSQL, forcing enthusiasts to scramble to find new hosts to test updates to their software on the Solaris operating system.

“It’s a vital piece of the infrastructure for developing PostgreSQL,” Dunstan told iTnews. “Before it existed, if some change we made broke on some platform, it was often weeks or months before we found out about it. Now we know within hours.”

At the start of July, Oracle shut down its three PostgreSQL build farm servers without warning, leaving the PostgreSQL community rushing to find replacements.

Dunstan said he “suspects” Oracle does view PostgreSQL as a competitor. (Source: IT News)

I love to see Oracle post their financial results, they have made quite a bit of cost cutting moves since the acquisition. You can hardly blame them too; they’ve got shareholders to report to. After all, doing too much charity work on open source is partly why Sun Microsystems failed in the first place.

Round up on WordPress and opensource vulnerability

Not long ago, word’s been going around to upgrade WordPress to its latest version 2.8.4. Robert Scoble suffered some loss, some hackers broke in and deleted some of his blog posts. In addition to that, the hackers also placed malicious code in his archive pages and Google sent him an email stating it has removed his blog from its indexes.

I would be terribly upset if such things happened to me. I keep updating WordPress just in case. But what happens when it did get hacked? Are the WordPress developers to be blamed? One of things brought up is custom plugins being incompatible with the new WordPress. I hate to say this but when it comes to security, it’s still more important to temporarily disable the plugin and fix it ASAP instead of not upgrading. The risk is just too much.

And backups. Do them frequently. If it’s hard to do backups, just pay your host to do so. I just pay them to settle those stuff for me. I’m not too clever with all the backup utilities. I never had the time to explore them.

One of the comments in Scoble’s Friendfeed caught my attention:

This recent wave of WordPress incidents shows the negative side of using open source software. Matt says that there are many people looking into WordPress’ source code, but the problem is that probably half of those people have malicious reasons for doing so. – Nikolay Kolev

To which Matt of WordPress fame replied:

Nikolay, it’s always better to have more people looking at the code, because a bug that’s been found is better than a bug that hasn’t. WordPress used to get almost no security problems and people thought it was because it was coded differently, when in fact it was coded far worse than it is today it just didn’t have enough users to make it worthwhile to target. Also where many commercial or proprietary companies try to minimize information about their problems or sit on a fix for months so they can package a bunch into one update, we put everything out there doing a new release as soon as possible after a problem has been reported. – Matt Mullenweg

Here’s another response from another user, Tim:

Nikolay: I would also push back against your assumption that using Open Source software equals less security. Microsoft Windows and OS X are both closed source and both have security holes – there is a competition each year to help MS and Apple find them and fix them. Both Apple and Microsoft came away with security holes to fix this year. So just because it’s open source doesn’t automatically make it more open to security holes. I agree with Matt and believe that have the source open to all makes fixing the holes much quicker. – Tim

I think I can relate to this…

Anyway, Matt also wrote an article on How to keep WordPress secure.

Ubuntu’s bug #1: Microsoft has a majority market share

Ubuntu’s bug number 1 is reported by Mark Shuttleworth, founder of Canonical Ltd. and as of 2009, provides leadership for the Ubuntu operating system.

Bug #1 in Ubuntu: “Microsoft has a majority market share”

Microsoft has a majority market share in the new desktop PC marketplace.

This is a bug, which Ubuntu is designed to fix.

Non-free software is holding back innovation in the IT industry, restricting access to IT to a small part of the world’s population and limiting the ability of software developers to reach their full potential, globally. This bug is widely evident in the PC industry.

Steps to repeat:

  1. Visit a local PC store.

What happens:

  1. Observe that a majority of PCs for sale have non-free software pre-installed.
  2. Observe very few PCs with Ubuntu and free software pre-installed.

What should happen:

  1. A majority of the PCs for sale should include only free software like Ubuntu.
  2. Ubuntu should be marketed in a way such that its amazing features and benefits would be apparent and known by all.
  3. The system shall become more and more user friendly as time passes.

(Source: Launchpad)

E Text Editor has been opensourced, Linux version coming

E Text Editor has been opensourced. Linux version is expected too as E Text Editor blog reveals:

Releasing the Source

As of today, the source of the e text editor is being released. This is the first step in the transformation into an Open Company.

Note that this is not just handing the development over to the community. I am still, and will continue to be, the main developer. Development of the editor will continue and it will still be fully supported in the future.

What the release means is that you can never risk ending up with a product that is totally abandoned, that many more eyes will be there to find and remove bugs, that companies and individuals can themselves add features only they need for inhouse use and that the community can help speed up the development of e and hopefully free me up to work on the more innovative features (of which there are many in the planning stages).

Linux version

There has been many questions about whether the release of the source would make it possible to build a Linux version. The answer is yes. The source does build under Linux, it just needs a Linux version of the ecore library which will be released shortly.(Source: E Text Editor)

I tried a trial of E Text Editor before but it was a little buggy back then. This news do, however, made me smile.

ASP.NET MVC is now opensource

Some exciting news from the ASP.NET world, ASP.NET MVC has been released open-source

Releasing the ASP.NET MVC source code under MS-PL

I’m excited today to announce that we are also releasing the ASP.NET MVC source code under the Microsoft Public License (MS-PL).  MS-PL is an OSI-approved open source license.  The MS-PL contains no platform restrictions and provides broad rights to modify and redistribute the source code.

Learning more about ASP.NET MVC

To learn more about ASP.NET MVC, you can read my free ASP.NET MVC PDF tutorial that covers building an end-to-end application (starting literally with File->New Project).

There were a number of great ASP.NET MVC talks at MIX this year.  Below are links to several of them:

There are also several great ASP.NET MVC tutorials at  You can also read the ASP.NET MVC MSDN Documentation. (Source: Scott Guthrie’s Blog

This is something worth mentioning. Love seeing more opensource commitments from Microsoft.

The weakness of open-source projects

Note the difference between the way Apple and open-source community does things. GNOME is just not cool enough.

This is what Apple iChat looks like in one of Apple’s site:

Apple iChat user interface
Apple iChat user interface

Apple essentially have gotten some happy people in their screenshot. At least they look happy too me.

And this is how GNOME Empathy looks like as one of GNOME’s screenshots:

GNOME Empathy screenshot
GNOME Empathy screenshot

GNOME got 2 guys who appears not to have been that pleased with being selected for a screenshot demo. Granted both Apple and GNOME likes the racial diversity.

Open-source major weakness is with marketing, or rather the lack of. Now I really empathize…

Anti-aliasing finally comes to

One of the reasons that turn me off from is the artwork seems a little toward the ugly side. And the thing they lack? Anti-aliasing. In digital signal processing, anti-aliasing is the technique of minimizing the distortion artifacts known as aliasing when representing a high-resolution signal at a lower resolution. Anti-aliasing is used in digital photography, computer graphics, digital audio, and many other applications. (From Wikipedia since I’m lazy)

Finally: Anti Aliasing is done for OOo 3.1!

After a long preparation and implementation phase, Anti-Aliasing is available and will be activated for OOo 3.1 in all Applications and on all Systems. This was one of the most voted issues.

As You may have noticed, the task took 5 years to complete. Why did it take such a long time? The preconditions for Anti-Aliasing had to be created first. The internal geometric representations used before were simply not precise enough. Also, rendering and data were not orthogonal (not divided as in Model/View/Controller paradigm). A new tooling to work with enhanced precision was needed, too. Fast enough methods for Anti-Aliasing on all systems had to be evaluated. All this had to be done in a compatible manner, migrating the ‘living’ office over that time. All in all, about 500,000 lines of code were changed/rewritten (CWSes aw024, aw033, aw059). Doesn’t sound like a dead project, does it? If You are interested in more details, You may follow the task’s description and its discussions and links. (Source: GullFOSS)

But 500,000 lines of code were rewrittened for this? That’s a hell lot just to see anti-aliasing.