25 June 2009

24 June 2009

Microsoft Get The Facts IE8

So Microsoft have put together a new "Get The Facts" campaign this time for IE8. When I read this I was hoping for none of the marketing that featured in previous "Get The Facts" campaigns.

This article over at Webmonkey sums the claims up rather well so I will say no more.

However, two thoughts spring to mind. The first being that like it or not most people will use it if it comes with their new hardware. These people don't really care about the facts and if they don't know or care enough about other browsers then Microsoft are preaching to the converted. People that do care won't believe what Microsoft's claims and so the whole campaign is a waste.

The other thought is that perhaps if Microsoft stopped these campaigns and promoted on the truth they would get more respect.

KDE Hater Blog.

Flicking through the mails in my inbox this morning I've just discovered this. Someone has taken the lead of the infamous Linux Hater blog and created a KDE Hater blog.

So far nothing too scary but it appears to contain 2 posts. The first is some choice quotes from history and the second a sort of build up post.

I guess it will be interesting to see what is posted.

23 June 2009

The Mono Argument

This article on some of the latest Mono arguments that are flying about just hit my inbox.

As a Linux/OSS user I want freedom. I want to be able to install and use or uninstall things on my pc and use it for what I want and need to use it for rather than use the only option. As someone who uses dotnet all day at work I do not like Mono. However, as stated I Do No Like Mono I didn't state that Mono is a cancer that needs removing or anything else that would be as OTT or plain stupid.

Mono is impressive or imho it was before Novell got their hundreds of coders onto it. It showed the power of part time and OSS developers. However, now it is just one company constantly playing catch up with another. The Mono platform will never be on an equal footing to .Net and this can be seen most clearly in this months Linux Format where a review of MonoDevelop states clearly that you can't debug with it! That particular review was written (in case you was wondering) by Paul Hudson one of the biggest Mono fans I know of (and esteemed editor of said publication).

My other problem with Mono is the fact it has decided to only really work with the GTK stable of the Linux UI Toolkits. What I find quite funny is that people who only a few years ago started to develop GNOME so they did not have to use the Qt Developed KDE are now integrating with Mono so tightly. The irony does make me smile every time I see Qt is now released under LGPL.

Mono has its fans and I am sure that it may even bring some people over to Linux which will be great. I just do not like it or the politics that surround it (yes I also stopped using openSuse). However, lets not start name calling that do use it or find familiarity with it.

22 June 2009

Laptop Battery Performance.

An interesting article on laptop battery benchmarking.

Nothing most techies didn't know (appart from perhaps Intel created the tests).

As someone who only uses laptops I find that there are a number of things I can do to exten my battery life. However, at the end of the day I really do not want to have to squint to see the screen because I have the brightness turned down to 20% so I can get another 10 mins out of the battery.

I really find it no problem to be plugged in 80% of the time. In saying that when I ordered my main work laptop I ensured I upgraded the battery to the largest I could get and I can survive running XP and compiling and testing ASP.Net code using Visual Studio for between 2.5 and 3.5 hours unplugged.

Laptops have become very "trendy" and remarkably cheap but I think people have to really consider that to get the best out of using one they should be considering running it on the mains as ofter as possible and see the ability to work unpplugged as a bonus rather than the norm.

16 June 2009

Boycott Opera

This is a link to the new Boycott Opera campaign which a Windows user group has started due to Opera's suit again Microsoft.

The most interesting thing on the page at the above link is that IE is listed as a great alternative to Opera. Having to use IE everyday at work I would disagree but that is just a personal opinion!

Now I don't think people realise why companies are going after Microsoft about the issue of bundling IE with windows. This argument has been raging for a few years now and I think that the main point is that Windows is shipped by default on probably over 95% of all new pc's. Microsoft where the "in the right place at the right time" company that brokered deals with the hardware suppliers to ensure that their operating system was the one that was shipped and ensured it was in the hardware suppliers favour to do so. At the time (once they had dealt with IBM) there was no competition.

Now there is some competition. Both in the OS market and in the software market. We only have to see how Microsoft likes to spread untrue and unfounded rumours about Linux and how they attempt to gain a grip on markets (Office document format?). Unfortunately, IT users, directors, developers etc are all finding that Microsoft is not the only solution but rather there are cheaper and better alternatives available. Although sometimes Microsoft is the answer there is no denying.

Internet Explorer is not the best browser in the market place. IE attempted to do to the web what J++ was going to do to Java, make the target language (or in this case web sites) Microsoft specific. Luckily for the world, the internet was to far advanced by the time Bill and Steve decided they better pay it some attention and standards had been developed to ensure that it remained a "Standard and Open platform".

Now I read IE 9 will be the most standard compliant browser ever. As I read IE 8 was going to be. IE 8 has had to ship with a compatibility mode to ensure it can render pre IE 8 pages correctly. This is to rectify the issues that IE 1 through 7 caused in it's rendering engine.

I have two main thoughts on the whole subject. The first is that I applaud Opera for taking the stance. It could have settled and from what I read Microsoft wanted to settle quickly and quitley. However, what Opera are really fighting for is not so much IE to not be bundled with Windows but rather the strangle hold on the entire OS market that Windows has.

My other main thought is perhaps if Microsoft where to provide a true standards compatibly browser and adhere to standards rather than try and dictate and "own" all technology available the perhaps Opera and other browser developers would have no need to have issues with IE as all pages would render equal.

Now if only IE would move to webkit.

10 June 2009

KDE 4.3 Beta 2 Is Out.

KDE 4.3 beta 2 is out. 2991 bugs have been fixed/closed since Beta 1. Full details can be found at the link.

KDE & Amarok Release's

Having been backed up with work and then being ill I have failed to note the following two important releases :

Amarok 2.1 is out and the release notes containing lots of info can be found here.

KDE 4.2.4, the fourth monthly maintenance release of KDE 4.2 has also been released and the full details can be read here. This releases code name is CornRow.

KDE, The Good & The Bad

Two KDE articles at opposing ends of the spectrum.

This is a nice review of some of the cool plasmoids that are available in KDE 4 and shows that they seem to be taking off in a good way. Always room for more and I am sure as time goes on we will see lots more arriving.

(Also a great way in to KDE coding!)

This is a review of Fedora with KDE. The chap that writes the review raises some interesting points. I would be keen to find out if the issues are KDE related or Fedora related. Although some of the points are obvious and are in need of some love. I have always thought the way the logout/shutdown functionality works was a bit "clunky". I think it would be nice to lose the tab off the menu and move the functionality to one button which would display a single screen with the various options. From memory (and hows this for a link) I think there is a plasmoid that sits there to do just that!