Dear Lazy Web,
Ever since upgrading to Ubuntu Edgy Eft (which I admittedly did before
it hit official beta), the file selector in Gnome shows hidden files.
How do I hide them?
UPDATE: Uh, never mind… I discovered right-clicking the file list
displays a menu with a helpful option: Show hidden files. Sigh.
(well, not really) …I’m an uncle now.
I ran across Timeline a few weeks
ago, from the folks who brought you
PiggyBank. Timeline is an
draggable timeline representations of date-oriented data. This is pretty
slick by itself, but then I ran across the WordPress
plugin, which lets you auto-magically generate a timeline from any
WordPress category. What I’d love to see is something that published a
local stream of data showing what I worked on, browsed, created,
editted, etc that was usable by Timeline. Sort of a dynamic window into slacking.
So it looks like I’m going to be presenting at the Seneca Free Software
and Open Source Symposium later
this month. I’ll be presenting about our work on MozCC
2, with a talk titled Little
s Semantic: Exploring Metadata About the
Who knows, maybe I’ll even work in something about this mythical MozCC
I’ve heard about ;).
Tom posted an insightful
from last week regarding the iSummit report. His point was basically
bringing me back from snarky-fun-land to reality-land: “OK, so Garton’s
an idiot, but what if he makes legitimate points?” (my words, not his)
My comments were the result of my initial read-through which pushed some
buttons (regarding the paper throwing, accusations that we “helped”
Microsoft, etc). I had sort of decided not to publicly complain about
the whole “Oh my god! You helped Microsoft!” attitude, but after reading
Garton’s report, well, the soap box doth beckon. So a few further
thoughts spurred by Tom’s comment:
- I don’t think I’m in a position to judge whether or not the event was
“too” self-congratulatory. I think that recognizing and celebrating
our successes is important given how easy it would be to think “wow,
the ‘enemy’ has so much money, so much entrenched power, this is a
fool’s errand!” Whether it was too much or not… others are in better
places to judge.
- I think your question about “Should Microsoft have sponsored…” is
really asking “Should CC/iCommons have accepted their sponsorship?”
And to that question, I answer “yes”; flying delegates around the
globe isn’t cheap, and I don’t see any evidence that we’re somehow
beholden to them now [I’m sure some will disagree; this, like the
previous post, is just my personal opinion].
- Should we have given the plugin such prominence? Well, I don’t know.
I think it was a big deal for two reasons: the fact an incumbent
player was supporting explicit content licensing, and the massive
size of the installed user base which can now take advantage of
license embedding. Ignoring questions of whether the software is evil
v. not-evil (which frankly lots of end users don’t care about), the
latter point (installed user base) makes the Office support a bigger
deal than, say, Inkscape, by definition.
- This does not mean that I think having open source applications
support licensing is irrelevant. In fact, I think it’s a way to
innovate currently ignored by lots of major players. Not just in the
license selection field, but in the license
interpretation/remix/reuse field. I think that the MS plugin is
interesting in many ways (especially, as I said above, simply because
it allows millions of users to tag works with license information).
That said, I also think they blew a couple of good opportunities to
do it “right”. See our stub page on a hypothetical OpenOffice.org
plugin in the
CC Wiki for some details. In particular, I think the absence of some
sort of “auto-text” for revealing the license information is a huge
let-down. Sure, you can re-select the license and it’ll re-insert the
standard statement. but it won’t remove the old one, and if you’ve
customized the statement in some way, you have to repeat whatever
customization you did before.
- Finally, in regards to implications of Microsoft not sponsoring the
event, I honestly don’t know. People at Creative Commons far smarter
and more qualified than I were the brains behind the iSummit. I just
showed up, talked about CC software and was generally harangued by
disgruntled OOo users. I kid. I also drank a lot of caiperinias.
A recent message to the
mailing list pointed readers to a self-described “slick” critical
report of the
iSummit held in Rio earlier this year.
The reporter, Andrew Garton, takes Creative Commons to task for the
“self-congratulatory” atmosphere, the acceptance of Microsoft as a
sponsor and our apparently over-zealous promotion of Microsoft’s CC
Microsoft Office (among other things). Garton questions if the same
response would have been equal had a similar plugin been developed for
OpenOffice.org. I can’t speak for Creative
Commons as an organization or any other staff member. What I can say
is that I would personally have been even more enthusiastic about an
OOo version, because that would mean I could actually use it.
I think that critical self-examination is a good thing, both at the
personal and organizational level. But after an initial read, here’s the
rub in my mind:
- Implying that we would be less enthusiastic about an OOo plugin
because we accepted sponsorship from Microsoft is at best the moral
equivalent of an ad
- The scholarships CC handed out to enable greater (broader) attendance
of the iSummit weren’t free; they relied on, uh, sponsorship.
- We can’t even debate how well we would promote an OOo plugin because
no one has written one. It’s not like I took time out of my work
schedule to write a Microsoft plugin or even to assist them with
coding. They simply took advantage of our **publicly
web services and built it.
- The amount of crap I took at the iSummit as a CC employee for
“helping Microsoft” was, well, ridiculous. If you want something
different, maybe you should stop whining about it and start coding.
are dumb. Throwing paper wads at the presenter from Microsoft (which
Garton fails to mention as another “protest” action) is not only
disrespectful, but makes you look like a child. A spoiled, petulant
brat of a child. [God, I’ve been wanting to say that for months!]
So those are my own initial thoughts. As I was reading the PDF in
Evince, I happened to look at the document properties. Huh, that’s
interesting. Written using Microsoft Word, generated used Distiller
for Microsoft WIndows.
“Mmmm… that’s some good irony; with just a hint of hypocrisy.”
I’m not sure how I found it, but over the weekend I ran across
Rope, a Python IDE I hadn’t run into
before. Rope sets itself apart from other tools I’ve used lately
(including PyDev and Wing) by embracing a very functional approach to
development. This approach is visible from the start when you visit
their web page. There are no screenshots. Maybe they just haven’t
had time to put them up, but after playing with Rope, I don’t think they
should: it’s an editor with some advanced features, what do you need to
see? Instead the web page lists some of the things Rope tries to do
well: code-completion, type inference and refactoring. Especially refactoring.
When you start Rope, you immediately notice its austere, functional
interface. Rope uses TkInter as
its GUI toolkit. TkInter isn’t going to win any beauty pageants on
any platform. But it does have an installed base as big as, well,
Python’s. The editor is what you’d expect from a basic editor: it does
syntax highlighting and uses Emacs-like key bindings for some tasks.
One difference that I noticed immediately is Rope’s idea of a Project.
Tools like Wing have explicit project files.
These files contain information about the project, and opening them
restores your working environment. Rope, on the other hand, takes the
view that a Project is just a directory that contains… stuff. This seems
very “Python-ic” in some ways: a package, after-all, is just a
directory with a bit of special sauce in the form of __init__.py, so
why shouldn’t a Project (which might be thought of as a collection of
packages and modules) be a directory as well? Opening a project simply
means selecting a directory tree which contains your project’s files.
From there you can browse the project tree, and pick files to open (or
create new ones, of course).
So I really like Rope. I’m not sure it’ll replace Emacs as my tool of
choice, but it doesn’t get in my way or gobble system resources, so I’ll
keep it around. Is Rope a mature tool? No. To really call itself an IDE
it needs some sort of debugging support, in my opinion. But it already
makes one hell of an editor.