I played with Apple’s
Spotlight quite a
bit when I was prototyping the Creative Commons extension to it. Today I
was trying to find something on my Windows machine and I started to pull
up the Windows Search tool, planning to go get lunch and come back to
see if it found what I wanted. Then I remembered that I’d installed
Google Desktop Search 2 recently and
that it does more than just display a cool sidebar. Of course, it does
too much more.
I wanted to find something by filename (my .emacs file, which I can
never remember where it’s at on Win32). Searching Google Desktop was
fast, but it returned everything on my system containing “emacs”.
What I’d really like from Google Desktop is something that seems pretty
natural to me (and apparently Apple’s engineers, too) — the ability to
search on a particular attribute. So is this really a missing feature,
or have I just missed some super secret search syntax?
Ted is trying to use the
wpLicense WordPress plugin
and ran into some problems. So he wrote a little blog
entry and when it showed up in my
Trackback queue, I went to leave a comment, but can’t — you must be
registered, and it appears registration is turned off (at least the link
is, and I’m too lazy to try and find the URL). So here’s my reply; I’m
dropping it here because classes start today, so I don’t know how long
it’ll be before I get around to updating the actual documentation:
Hi Ted, thanks for trying the plugin. The most common reason the
plugin doesn’t display the license icon and link has to do with
themes. WordPress provides a “footer” hook which wpLicense uses, but
in order for it to be called, your template must include a call to
wp_footer();, probably in footer.php. The default theme,
Kubrick, does that, so you might look at it’s footer.php for a sample.
I just looked at the documentation again, and that’s not clear, so
I’ll try to get that updated. In the meantime, if you still have
problems, feel free to email me directly (nathan at yergler dot net).
Hilary Rosen is guest-blogging for our esteemed
chairman, and while it makes perfect sense in
theory — CC is not about tearing down copyright, but about building a
better system within it’s confines — I call bullshit.
Ms. Rosen posits:
I love the Warhol Campbell Soup example. I wonder if Campbell’s
would sue him today. doubt it. in fact that is what is always so
fascinating. the amount of people who face legal consequences for
things like samples or parodies is so miniscule compared to the
amount of their use. Music sample lawsuits, for example are really
only done by successful artists against successful artists because
it just isn’t worth it to pursue. Every once in awhile “artistic
integrity” comes into play, but rarely.
First, I wonder why she thinks Campbell’s Soup wouldn’t sue Warhol
today, especially if he chose to distribute his work in a digital medium
(something that strikes me as plausible, although I’ll admit that
I’m just pissing in the wind here). It seems to me like the atmosphere
has shifted to a more litigous one in all areas, not just copyright. But
that’s not the point — neither Ms. Rosen nor myself can speak for
Campbell’s, of course. The point is with respect to the link she tries
to draw between Warhol’s use of the Campbell’s Soup can, parody and
sampling. And here’s where I call bullshit: if the lawsuits are so few,
the “chillling effect” on creativity so minimal, and the damage to
artists so slight, why not codify the right of artists to reuse, remix
and sample in copyright law? What not provide real statutory protection
for parody and sampling so that judges don’t have to decide how much a
sample is worth, and possibly decide incorrectly.
And we were hung up. Hung up on the very issue you raised. What
would happen when legitimate fair use needs arose and the required
content wasn’t available in upprotected formats? While we knew it
wasn’t a “dreamers” issue and that technology was moving rapidly
enough that protected content could be a reality quite soon, it
wasn’t yet at the time. And several of us, including most
importantly by that time, the Committee Chairman who had heretofore
been opposed to the Bill, wanted to get it done.
So, I pulled out a long used legislative tactic and suggested we put
a “study” in the statute.
Oh, right, I forgot — the Copyright Office and Commerce Department
studied it, and found out its not a real
issue. Thanks for that legislative gem,
Hil — you’re a doll.
PS: Tell ‘Liz to get you a keyboard with a shift-key that works — you
work hard for the money.
One of the most frequent [STRIKEOUT:complaints]requests I receive for
ccPublisher and ccLookup is for Linux packages. As one user pointedly
put it, “how free can your app be if you don’t even support a free
Operating System?” While I took issue with the user’s tone and statement
(packaging does not necessarily equal support), I know that ccPublisher
is more difficult to run from source than it should be. My stock answer
to these requests has been that Linux packages are coming “real soon
now” and “definitly by 2.0”. Well, with work on 2.0 moving along, I
turned my attention to packaging this week. The approach I’ve chosen
won’t make everyone happy, but I think it’s a good compromise for a
So what format are we packaging? RPM? DEB? Neither. We’re using
autopackage. Autopackage is fairly slick —
it uses a package specification file to build an installer. When the
user runs the installer, they’ll either see a text, GTK or QT version of
the front end, whatever’s available. Autopackage also allows us to be
rather flexible with our dependencies. We decided early on that unlike
the Mac OS X and Windows versions of ccPublisher, the Linux packages
would actually require Python and wxPython as dependencies. There are
lots of reasons for this, but the biggest one is that in my experiments
“freezing” just doesn’t work as well under Linux. So Autopackage lets us
specify dependencies using “skeleton” files. All I had to do was write a
simple skeleton for wxPython that sets the appropriate environment
variables with the installed version.
Finally, a major change in ccPublisher 2 is the split of the actual
application from a more generic framework. The goal here is to make life
easier for maintainers of derivative apps (like Ourmedia
Publisher) — [STRIKEOUT:if] when we find a
bug, fixing it in ccPublisher will generally fix it in other derivative
apps. Autopackage makes life slightly easier in this respect by allowing
us to specify a dependency on our framework (which I’m calling P6 for
the time being) as you’d expect. If a user already has a P6 application
(like ccPublisher) installed, Autopackage will just use that
installation. If not, it will seamlessly download the dependency and
install it. Slick.
Mike pointed out that I’m not the
only one who doesn’t love working from
— well, the isolation part of it, at least. Brad Neuberg has started a
effort in San Francisco. Described as “Community for Developers Who Work
From Home”, Brad focuses more on things like group meditation and yoga
than I would choose to, but it sounds a lot like something I’d like. I’m
curious to see how it progresses.