Simon Willison’s Weblog


166 items tagged “opensource”


Good architectural layering, and Bzr 1.1. Mark Shuttleworth on the growing importance of plug-in architectures as an open source project evolves, as they allow new developers to release their own components without needing commit access to the project. Django is pretty good for this, but more hooks (and a faster event dispatch system) would be useful. # 9th January 2008, 2:06 pm

From my perspective, it is crucial for Linux to have good support for Silverlight because I do not want Linux on the desktop to become a second class citizen ever again. [...] The core of the debate is whether Microsoft will succeed in establishing Silverlight as a RIA platform or not. You believe that without Moonlight they would not have a chance of success, and I believe that they would have regardless of us.

Miguel de Icaza # 4th January 2008, 12:42 pm

The Dark Side Of The Moon (via) Robert O’Callahan believes that Moonlight is a strategic mistake, because it gives credibility to Microsoft’s entry to a new market which they will use to “keep the competition on a treadmill”; Moonlight can also never be entirely free due to the need for a proprietary codec (VC-1) available only as a binary blob. # 4th January 2008, 12:41 pm


The future of web standards. Nice analysis from James Bennett, who suggests that successful open source projects (Linux, Python, Perl etc) could be used as the model for a more effective standards process, and points out that Ian Hickson is something of a BDFL for the WHAT-WG. # 17th December 2007, 1:16 pm

Don’t EVER make the mistake that you can design something better than what you get from ruthless massively parallel trial-and-error with a feedback cycle. That’s giving your intelligence _much_ too much credit.

Linus Torvalds # 16th December 2007, 9:53 pm

The companies that couldn’t beat Microsoft have all died, and evolution has resulted in three very different types of companies that are each immune to Microsoft’s strategies in their own way. Yet all are still vulnerable to the same thing: a better product. For the end users, this is a good position for the industry to be in.

Ian Hickson # 6th December 2007, 3:43 pm

Simply put, free and open-source software is just the scientific model applied to programming: free sharing of work open collaboration; open publication; peer review; recognition of the best work, with priority given to the first to do a meaningful new piece of work; and so forth. As a programmer, it is the best arena in which to work. There are no secrets; the work must stand on its own.

Dave Shields # 30th November 2007, 11:47 pm

A Little Laptop With Big Ambitions. I hadn’t realised how much competition OLPC faced from Microsoft and Intel’s Classmate. It would be amazing to see a generation grow up understanding that computers are open tools that they can control themselves rather than closed black boxes. # 24th November 2007, 10:47 pm

Proprietary Software Does Not Scale. I’ve been thinking this for a while: if you’re using software with a per-CPU license you can’t just roll it out as an image across a bunch of virtual machines when you need to. # 18th November 2007, 12:30 am

Yet when you look at the projects in the UK, these projects are failing. The more they fail, the more it drives [the UK government] down this weird behaviour of only selecting the biggest people—even though they’ve failed two or three times before.

John Powell # 16th October 2007, 5:33 pm

/trunk/jl/scraper. is open source, and the screen scrapers are written in Python. # 11th October 2007, 4:10 pm

Kosmos Distributed File System (via) New open source distributed filesystem similar to Google’s GFS. # 28th September 2007, 9:12 am

The Rubinius Sprint. Sun are throwing a ton of resources at Ruby, because as Tim Bray says, “it’s not fast enough”. Imagine where they’d be if they’d invested this kind of support in Jython five years ago... # 21st September 2007, 11:32 pm

Open source is neither an industry fad, nor a magic bullet.

Microsoft FAQ # 13th August 2007, 1:54 pm

Why Tamarin instead of... Justification for Tamarin in Mozilla over Mono and the JVM. It mainly comes down to license compatibility and overall size. # 9th August 2007, 12:43 pm

Sweet Gig. SitePen seek “R&D Associate” to have fun hacking on Open Source software and researching whatever they think is important. # 7th August 2007, 2:47 pm

Django weekly roundup: July 30. Every active open source project needs something like this. # 30th July 2007, 5:03 pm

Grub. Jimmy Wales just announced at OSCON that Wikia have acquired Grub from LookSmart, and will be releasing it as open source. # 27th July 2007, 5:24 pm

gSculpt. Powerful open source modelling software, written in Python and demonstrated (to much applause) as the last lightning talk of EuroPython 2007. # 11th July 2007, 11:48 pm

Implementing Silverlight in 21 Days. Absolutely incredible feat of software engineering by Miguel de Icaza and the Moonlight team. # 21st June 2007, 11:10 am

Croquet. Open-source collaborative virtual world environment built on top of Squeak, a bit like a decentralised version of Second Life. # 10th June 2007, 10:50 am

google-diff-match-patch (via) Robust algorithms to perform the operations required for synchronizing plain text, in Java, JavaScript and Python. # 9th June 2007, 6:15 pm

Semi-synchronous replication for MySQL (via) Google’s patch for MySQL which enables more reliable master-slave replication (a transaction isn’t committed until at least one slave has replicated the data). # 5th June 2007, 10:07 pm

Ten Reasons The World Needs Patent Covenants (via) Sun just made their OpenID patent covenant official. Simon Phipps explains why these are a Good Idea. # 22nd May 2007, 5:09 pm

Arduino. Open source hardware hacking. It’s way easier than you would think. # 17th May 2007, 6:30 pm

VirtualBox. GPL licensed virtualization software; they recently released an OS X version. # 8th May 2007, 9:35 pm

Migrating Microsoft Hotmail from FreeBSD to Microsoft Windows 2000. I’d like to see them try that with Yahoo!’s 100+ properties. # 4th May 2007, 5:54 pm

MSFT and Yahoo: two icebergs, roped together. Yahoo!’s engineering platform and culture is Open Source pretty much all the way down. Microsoft’s isn’t. I wonder how that would pan out. # 4th May 2007, 5:50 pm

Adobe open sources Flex. Ted Leung says that this might indicate the possibility of Adobe open sourcing Flash itself in the future. # 26th April 2007, 11:24 am