Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sun 1st Apr 2007 21:56 UTC, submitted by suka
Novell and Ximian "Nat Friedman has been one of the driving forces behind the development of the Linux desktop for a few year now. First with his own company Ximian, founded together with Mono chief architect Miguel de Icaza, after its acquisition now inside Novell. A few months ago he has been named 'Technologist of the Year' by the VarBusiness magazine for his work around the SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop. Since then he has been promoted to Chief Technology and Strategy Officer for Open Source, besides the desktop he is also overseeing Novells server business now. During Novells Brainshare Andreas Proschofsky had the possibility to sit down with Friedman and talk about the Linux desktop, the consequences of the Microsoft agreement and the mistakes of the Hula project."
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Because what else
by DittoBox on Sun 1st Apr 2007 22:35 UTC
DittoBox
Member since:
2005-07-08

Because what else do single, middle aged, heavily bearded *NIX engineers hunched over a keyboard 20 hours a day have to do than to cut each other off at the knees?

:P

Reply Score: 4

RE: Because what else
by raver31 on Mon 2nd Apr 2007 16:02 UTC in reply to "Because what else"
raver31 Member since:
2005-07-06

There is loads of other things for them to do, here are a few examples;

1: Argue that Pepsi is better than Coke.
2: Discuss why captain Kirk was a better captain than Picard.
3: Try to work out if Dominoes or Pizzahut have the quickest delivery times.
4: Write complaints letters to TV companies, even though they did not watch the programme.
5: See who can get the biggest flame when they light their farts.

There are countless others, feel free to come up with a few ideas for these bored geeks.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Because what else
by dylansmrjones on Mon 2nd Apr 2007 16:16 UTC in reply to "RE: Because what else"
dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

6: Figuring out which is the better editor: vi or emacs? (The answer is nano ;)
7: Complaining about all the youngsters who don't appreciate old knowledge (Cthulhu etc.)
8: Fart for the sake of farting.

Reply Score: 2

Tracker
by monodeldiablo on Sun 1st Apr 2007 23:11 UTC
monodeldiablo
Member since:
2005-07-06

My favorite part was when he trashed Tracker, calling it unnecessarily redundant, only to then go on and pimp Beagle's new tagging features, something even he admits Tracker did first. Feeling threatened, Nat?

I hate to sound like a fanboy, but the Tracker folks seem to be doing things the right way. It's fast, implemented in C, standards-based, has a very small dependency list and has bindings in your favorite language. Oh, and its maximum memory footprint is still way smaller than the Beagle team hopes to get theirs down to in the undetermined future.

Competition is good, Friedman. It's what makes this community so resilient, so quit your bad-mouthing. Learn from Tracker instead of trashing it.

Reply Score: 5

RE: Tracker
by milles21 on Sun 1st Apr 2007 23:26 UTC in reply to "Tracker"
milles21 Member since:
2006-11-08

It amazes me half ass contributors always are quick to bad mouth people who are actually contributing. What I am saying is that it's like no one can have a damn opinion without being tore down. the same people who tear down Nat and Miguel conviently forget their contributions. I know I have opened the flood gates but damn I mean the bitching is old.

Liniux borrows features from other OS's nad it's an alternative. Let a closed source OS copy something Linux and it's oh the are copying not contributing. Since I know I will get the flames I am going to all out rant. What Linux needs is innovation and piublicity something that Nat and Novell has given. It is because of Novell and Linux that a whole new door has been open to end users. They may not know Redhat but they know Novell.

The introduction of beagle, and advances made Linux easier to use with the new sled menu. I guess I will stick to opensourcing the applications I develop and stay away from the community disputes it only destroys my belief in the benefits

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Tracker
by WorknMan on Sun 1st Apr 2007 23:53 UTC in reply to "RE: Tracker"
WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13

he same people who tear down Nat and Miguel conviently forget their contributions. I know I have opened the flood gates but damn I mean the bitching is old.

Speakin of which, what do you guys think of this comment from the article:

Sure there are consequences for Novell in the community resulting from the (Microsoft) deal, we have seen that, but not in the respect that someone says "Well, Novell as a business did this agreement with Microsoft, so we won't accept their patches". And most of that negative sentiments don't seem to come from the people who accept patches anyway, they come from people who have a sort of "professional commentator" role in the community.

In other words,the people who are bitching aren't the ones doing all the work. Classic ;)

Reply Score: 5

RE[3]: Tracker
by Rehdon on Mon 2nd Apr 2007 07:21 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Tracker"
Rehdon Member since:
2005-07-06

Unfortunately for Novell, people like Allison (the SAMBA developer) cannot be discounted of as just "professional commentators". Novell has created a breach in the community and worked as a MS FUD tool, I read many comments not only from users, promptly ditching SUSE for other distros, but from developers as well, upset that someone could take advantage of their work allowing only a selected few to use it.

GPL v. 3 looms over, Novell's wishful thinking under that regard has no significance, the first they start to work to correct the situation the better for all of us.

Rehdon

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: Tracker
by monodeldiablo on Mon 2nd Apr 2007 00:31 UTC in reply to "RE: Tracker"
monodeldiablo Member since:
2005-07-06

I'd like you to read my comment again, this time without your religious goggles on. At no point did I "bad mouth" Nat. I was merely pointing out the hypocrisy in Nat flaming a project while condemning those who flame, especially given that his criticisms were incredibly weak, considering the facts. I intentionally avoided personal attacks to prevent just the kind of knee-jerk defensiveness that you and your fellow personality cult worshippers exhibit.

His contributions are numerous and appreciated, but that doesn't make him God. Just like the rest of us, if he doesn't like Tracker, he can make it better or improve on his alternative. He sank to the level of his detractors by throwing his torch into the flamefest.

Edit: sPilLeng.

Edited 2007-04-02 00:45

Reply Score: 5

RE[3]: Tracker
by natfriedman on Wed 4th Apr 2007 22:35 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Tracker"
natfriedman Member since:
2007-04-04

Hey, I didn't say flamewars are always bad, just that they are part of the way the community operates. :-)

(And I didn't choose the title of this article)

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Tracker
by monodeldiablo on Mon 2nd Apr 2007 00:36 UTC in reply to "RE: Tracker"
monodeldiablo Member since:
2005-07-06

This is a continuation of the prior reply, sorry...

Case in point: Nat made it a point to claim that Tracker "doesn't work half as good as Beagle, it doesn't do half the things that Beagle does at the moment", but fails to elaborate on what that "half" is.

Very constructive.

What was that about flaming again?

Reply Score: 5

RE[3]: Tracker
by GhePeU on Mon 2nd Apr 2007 08:24 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Tracker"
GhePeU Member since:
2005-07-06

Case in point: Nat made it a point to claim that Tracker "doesn't work half as good as Beagle, it doesn't do half the things that Beagle does at the moment", but fails to elaborate on what that "half" is.

Well, I suppose it is pretty obvious if you compare
http://www.gnome.org/projects/tracker/index.html and http://beagle-project.org/Supported_Filetypes.

Reply Score: 4

RE[4]: Tracker
by dylansmrjones on Mon 2nd Apr 2007 09:33 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Tracker"
dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

Actually these pages cannot be compared.

The tracker-page only shows the major mime-types while the beagle-page shows the minor mime-types.

Fact is tracker handles most of the mime-types beagle can handle. Indexing of mails in Thunderbird is still missing as is a few other mime-types, but most are supported. And SVG is better supported in Tracker than in Beagle. Beagle usually dies on malformed SVG-files while Tracker handles it much more elegantly.

The downside is that Tracker has a somewhat unpolished and tricky GUI compared with Beagle. It is simply a messy layout. Beagle looks much nicer, but is less stable and requires an insane amount of resources. And it's not because it's using mono. You can easily write very featurefull mono apps and still make them small. Beagle is just not an example of that.

Reply Score: 5

RE: Tracker
by Jamie on Mon 2nd Apr 2007 00:28 UTC in reply to "Tracker"
Jamie Member since:
2005-07-06

Yeah that's a good April fool's joke (beagle being better than my tracker!)

Reply Score: 5

RE: Tracker
by GhePeU on Mon 2nd Apr 2007 08:15 UTC in reply to "Tracker"
GhePeU Member since:
2005-07-06

I don't use a desktop indexer, I'm no beagle fanboy, but I'm SURE that I'll never install tracker unless they'll force me by making it a mandatory dependence.

I'm really sick of how tracker developers and users keep spamming of tracker everywhere: in the last months it seemed that no one could post in the GNOME mailing lists without being told that "tracker could solve his problem," no matter if it was the loading of .desktop files, the music player database, the translations of the names of the special folders or whatever. As Emmanuele Bassi put it, "tracker: a solution looking for a problem."

The only thing they didn't propose was to start tracker just after the linux kernel to index and load the modules. I'm not worried, however, I'm sure that they won't overlook this fondamental application of tracker any longer.

Edited 2007-04-02 08:16

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Tracker
by Jamie on Mon 2nd Apr 2007 12:30 UTC in reply to "RE: Tracker"
Jamie Member since:
2005-07-06

First off only two posts on d-d-l were about tracker solving a problem - its a bit exaggerated to call it spamming.

I can sure understand some people not wanting a desktop indexer but they are a minority and the majority of users (IE not geeks) will definitely need this technology.

Hopefully, when we are more integrated into the desktop, you will see the clear benefits (especially becuase we are not just an indexer but an RDF triple store metadata database too)

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Tracker
by g2devi on Mon 2nd Apr 2007 14:27 UTC in reply to "RE: Tracker"
g2devi Member since:
2005-07-09

I haven't found the need to use desktop search yet (If you keep your files organized, you don't need to search), but I don't see a problem with the "tracker everywhere" proposal. *If* tracker is modular then several technologies inherent in an indexer should be applicable to many tasks. Why do we need to reinvent the square wheel? Doesn't Unix get it's enormous power by force-fitting everything to be like a file handle? If there's one central concept to understand, then implementing generic concepts that work on things that we haven't even thought of becomes a lot easier. It's called good design.

So here's my question to you. Do you see anything fundamental in the design of tracker that would prevent it from filling that generic role?

Reply Score: 4

RE[3]: Tracker
by abraxas on Mon 2nd Apr 2007 15:00 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Tracker"
abraxas Member since:
2005-07-07

I haven't found the need to use desktop search yet (If you keep your files organized, you don't need to search)

Beagle is a huge benefit to me because of email and conversation searching. There is no real way to keep instant message conversations organized and when you deal with thousands of the mailing list emails it is very hard to find information within those emails no matter how organized you are. It also makes available many different types of information when you search which can be extremely beneficial. For example, I can do a search fo SELinux and find a paper on security stored as a PDF, email from security mailing lists, and news concerning SELinux from my RSS feeds. I never thought I would need desktop search either but after trying it out for a while I think it is the best technology to really mature in the past few years with Beagle, Spotlight, and Vista's new search.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Tracker
by monodeldiablo on Mon 2nd Apr 2007 21:44 UTC in reply to "RE: Tracker"
monodeldiablo Member since:
2005-07-06

Actually, there are a number of problems that Tracker solves (and solves nicely). For instance, open Rhythmbox with a library of 5,000 songs.

Wait for it... wait... hold on... Takes awhile to load, doesn't it?

Now, try importing some photos (let's say 100 RAW or large JPGs) into F-Spot. Watch that silly little progress bar creep along. You can keep reading along while F-Spot chugs, if you wish. Hell, you could order a pizza.

Now that you've finally got those two running (only two apps, mind you) check how much memory those hogs are consuming, just sitting there. On my computer, it's over 100 MiB. And I haven't even started using the damn apps, yet!

But if they simply made calls to Tracker when they needed information, they wouldn't have to hold a massive list of all the files, metadata, tags, versions, etc. in memory, would they (that's Tracker's job, remember)? Startup would be nearly instantaneous. And you wouldn't have to import your files into each application after you're already moved the files to your disk.

And, of course, search today is inconsistent across applications. Tracker is optimized for search (tag-based, keyword or service type), doing so better than either app, on more fields, yielding more relevant information. And Tracker can bring tagging to Rhythmbox and greater flexibility in sorting/organizing to F-Spot. For free! With less work! How nice of those Tracker folks.

With a single metadata store/indexer, the user gains consistency across the desktop, speed, memory and utility. Developers get to reduce the amount of application-specific code they need to write (think: far fewer bugs). Tracker promises to reduce development redundancy, speed up the apps you use every day and significantly shrink the memory footprint of the Gnome desktop.

Remember, my example only used two apps. Think of all the other projects on the Gnome desktop that are reinventing the "search", "index" and "tag" wheels. Tomboy alone sucks another 15-25 MiB of memory! And all it amounts to is a GUI for Tracker's tagging and object store capabilities.

So I've got to ask you, how is this bad, again? If I were you, I would read up on technology you're bashing before trying to discredit it. Your arguments are about as specious as claiming that filesystems or shared libraries are "solutions looking for a problem".

Reply Score: 5

Some Interesting Bits
by segedunum on Mon 2nd Apr 2007 00:35 UTC
segedunum
Member since:
2005-07-06

One of the interesting things though, is the work we have done closely with customers - like the Peugeot deal...we have learned a lot from that. Resulting from that there has been lot's of interoperability work, Active Directory...

I sincerely hope you're getting Peugeot to ditch AD and use a Novell client and server that will support your desktops, and Windows, under your control. Otherwise, people will continue to bitch about how difficult it is to manage Linux desktops in AD and how the obscure group policy they've just committed has no effect on those desktops. It's the chasing tail lights thing again, and all you're doing is running on a tread mill.

We also did a lot of work on Microsoft Exchange support

Sigh. Speaking of another tread mill. The only way you can support Exchange is through MAPI, and that's just too complex to implement. You'd be better off convincing people to move away from Exchange to a much more convenient, and cheaper, groupware solution that will allow Linux desktops and Outlook access on a level playing field and providing it as an all-in-one thing.

Quite what that groupware solution is, I don't know, but it certainly isn't Groupwise. What it should have though is a dead simple, no brainer migration tool to get everything out of Exchange and into the new environment inside about half an hour. Same with AD.

So all in all we've a huge 300.000-400.000 line application, we have a dozen or so engineers working on it inside Novell...

I do agree with the tone of the interviewer here. Circa 2001, Evolution was a half decent mail client, but over the years, with the addition of groupware support amongst other things, it has become an awful lot less stable.

You know, Service Pack 1 is still not out, so there is still some work left to do.

Sounds like something Microsoft might say. "That must be why we're not releasing it yet".

We have set some performance goals for those kind of issues, both the main menu and the "more applications" should open in less than a tenth of a second.

You can't just set meaningless and arbitrary performance goals, unless you're going to spend a ton of time and throw a lot of developers at the problem. You're on a hiding to nothing there.

And most of that negative sentiments don't seem to come from the people who accept patches anyway, they come from people who have a sort of "professional commentator" role in the community.

I wouldn't exactly call someone like Jeremy Allison a commentator.

Tracker on the contrary doesn't work half as good as Beagle, it doesn't do half the things that Beagle...I think what you'll see as the Beagle memory footprint gets lower and lower, it'll become even more dominant in terms of who uses it.

We keep hearing about how much less memory Beagle is going to use in the future, and indeed every Mono application. Constantly. The fact is, Tracker is written with what Gnome is natively written with and should integrate an awful lot better with the desktop as a result. They look as if they're going to be collaborating with Nepomuk and through FD as well, which is great.

Novell are going to be stuck maintaining an open source application in-house while Gnome and KDE move ahead with better integration of desktop search, right within their infrastructure. Better integration of search in the desktop is the way to go, rather than having some entirely separate, polling service dragging down your system that has to react to what you do.

Are you interested in doing something like Time Machine / Shadow Copy...Yeah, I think that's interesting, it could be very good to have something like that, I'm not sure exactly how to do that.

Volume Shadow Copy could be done easily with LVM, but something like time machine would need something more fundamental at the filesystem level - certainly if it was real time. However, you might be able to do something like it with better integration with something like Bacula, and you'd get networked backup as well!

One thing I commented on a while ago was that Novell look as if their desktop activities are going to consume more and more resources, and require more and more in-house developers - hacking on open source software whose functionality they are largely duplicating. I can't imagine that being a good thing.

Edited 2007-04-02 00:38

Reply Score: 5

RE: Some Interesting Bits
by jpobst on Mon 2nd Apr 2007 00:52 UTC in reply to "Some Interesting Bits"
jpobst Member since:
2006-09-26

I wouldn't exactly call someone like Jeremy Allison a commentator.


I wouldn't exactly call your example of one person as 'people'.

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: Some Interesting Bits
by segedunum on Mon 2nd Apr 2007 20:01 UTC in reply to "RE: Some Interesting Bits"
segedunum Member since:
2005-07-06

I wouldn't exactly call your example of one person as 'people'.

Oh, you wanted a list? I merely used Jeremy as an example, considering he used to be employed by Novell. I'm sure you can find an awful lot of people contributing to an awful lot of quite important open source projects who thought the Novell/Microsoft deal was a seriously bad idea. There's was too many people everywhere commentating on it to get a full list of names. Quite how he claims to know this, I don't know.

Unfortunately for him, Nat Friedman trying to dismiss the whole thing as a lot of fuss from commentators doesn't make the deal Novell made any less ridiculous, stupid, any less of a legal circumvention of the GPL by a supposed open source company or any less damaging to the perception of open source software. Which is the real point.

Reply Score: 5

RE[3]: Some Interesting Bits
by natfriedman on Wed 4th Apr 2007 22:50 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Some Interesting Bits"
natfriedman Member since:
2007-04-04

My point was just that people in a position to accept patches don't seem to be saying "Hmm, this patch came from a Novell person, I won't accept it!"

Or at least, I haven't heard of any cases of that.

I think part of the reason is that relationships in the community are between individuals, not companies, and hackers in general are not held responsible for the actions of their companies.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Some Interesting Bits
by sbergman27 on Mon 2nd Apr 2007 04:33 UTC in reply to "Some Interesting Bits"
sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

"""
We keep hearing about how much less memory Beagle is going to use in the future, and indeed every Mono application. Constantly.
"""

Yes. They do keep flogging that dead horse, don't they?

Beagle is often held up as a shining example of a great Mono app.

But when one looks at all closely, Beagle starts to look like a good argument against it.

Beagle is nice. It really is.

But the memory requirements are pretty embarrassing.

More discouraging than that, though, is the slow progress compared to Tracker.

From a late start, Tracker has come from way behind and has mostly caught up with Beagle. And it is actually a much more ambitious project.

On the other hand, Beagle had the core of their code handed to them on a silver platter in the form of the Apache Lucene project[1], a Java indexing framework which they simply ported to C# and *Bam!*, they had a "Mono" indexing engine.

What they actually wrote, using the awesome development power of Mono, was the crawler that feeds the data to their Lucene port. Just the crawler itself, though, and not the programs that actually convert the various documents to text. Those are third party and largely written in C, I believe.

The other piece that they had to write was the Gnome applet to interact with the user.

Oh, and the scheduler for the crawler which is supposed to let Beagled do its work without impacting yours. (And is the most disappointing part of Beagle, IMO.)

It really makes one wonder *why it took them so long* to put a few third party apps together with a little glue code written in C#.

The *concept* of Beagle is neat.

But far from being a shining example of the power of Mono, upon closer inpection, Beagle is actually more of a warning beacon to the rest of us.


[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lucene

Edited 2007-04-02 04:50

Reply Score: 5

Cross platform
by s_groening on Mon 2nd Apr 2007 10:41 UTC in reply to "RE: Some Interesting Bits"
s_groening Member since:
2005-12-13

I agree with you!

But apart from your points, what I miss from Beagle with it being a Mono app, is a more standalone character. I'd like for Beagle to be more cross platform so that I could choose to use features like live queries on e.g. Open Solaris or BSD as well as Linux, but since that part i all tied to the libinotify kernel part ...

I think those sorts of aspects of a project needs to be taken into consideration, since the open source community always touts the freedom of choice part quite strongly. Plus it has always been the thought that choice and alternatives are what makes better programs which in turn also counts for operating systems.

Personally I feel that one should be able to choose ones (major open source) OS of choice and still be able to benefit from development efforts concerning major projects like e.g. Gnome - and that's why I'd like for Tracker to slip past Beagle to offer a true freedom of choice!

But the idea of the open source 'Spotlight clone' is great, it could just be even greater...

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Some Interesting Bits
by segedunum on Mon 2nd Apr 2007 20:06 UTC in reply to "RE: Some Interesting Bits"
segedunum Member since:
2005-07-06

Beagle is often held up as a shining example of a great Mono app.

But it isn't really a Mono app. It's just a rewrite of Lucene in C#, which is the most crucial part about it. Given the overhead Beagle clearly has I have just never seen the justification for writing it with Mono. It's not spectacular merely by it having been written in the ultra cool, language to end all languages, C#.

Reply Score: 5

RE: Some Interesting Bits
by kelvin on Mon 2nd Apr 2007 10:43 UTC in reply to "Some Interesting Bits"
kelvin Member since:
2005-07-06

Circa 2001, Evolution was a half decent mail client, but over the years, with the addition of groupware support amongst other things, it has become an awful lot less stable.

Evolution has had groupware support since its inception. The project was, in fact, started in order to create an "Outlook killer"; opinions differ on whether or not it has succeeded in accomplishing that goal.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Some Interesting Bits
by abraxas on Mon 2nd Apr 2007 14:26 UTC in reply to "Some Interesting Bits"
abraxas Member since:
2005-07-07

Quite what that groupware solution is, I don't know, but it certainly isn't Groupwise. What it should have though is a dead simple, no brainer migration tool to get everything out of Exchange and into the new environment inside about half an hour. Same with AD.

Half an hour!? I wish any mail migration took that little time. It's simply not feasible in most situations considering the amount of data that has to be processed.

I do agree with the tone of the interviewer here. Circa 2001, Evolution was a half decent mail client, but over the years, with the addition of groupware support amongst other things, it has become an awful lot less stable.

Evolution went through a rough spot in the early version 2 series but is very stable now. I use it on a daily basis and seldom have a problem with it.

We keep hearing about how much less memory Beagle is going to use in the future, and indeed every Mono application. Constantly. The fact is, Tracker is written with what Gnome is natively written with and should integrate an awful lot better with the desktop as a result. They look as if they're going to be collaborating with Nepomuk and through FD as well, which is great.

Mono does take a decent amount of resources. Beagle in particular takes a large chunk of memory but it is perfectly usable on a modern machine. For me searches are instantaneous. There is nothing slow about Beagle unless you are on a memory constrained system.

The last time I looked Tracker still did not have nearly as many features as Beagle but most of them were being worked on by the Tracker team. I use Beagle now and haven't tried Tracker yet but I don't see a need to unless I want to go backwards in functionality. Does anyone know if Tracker actually has a stable version that competes with Beagle feature for feature yet?

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Some Interesting Bits
by Jamie on Mon 2nd Apr 2007 15:04 UTC in reply to "RE: Some Interesting Bits"
Jamie Member since:
2005-07-06

Tracker is a lot lot faster and lighter than beagle and does not slow your machine down while indexing.

Search time average is 20 milliseconds and we can index over 100 text files per second - you wont find a (significantly) faster indexer.

We have had reports of tracker running well on a 700MHz pentium III with 128 MB ram so its by far the better system if you want to run it on all kinds of systems

Its architecturally superior to Lucene (tracker is a differential indexer so can handle changes to files better than Lucene which must delete and reindex after every minor change) and is better optimised for desktop usage.

AFAIK its the only indexer with an RDF triple store integrated so is the only one that can currently deliver an integrated desktop solution that spans all metadata. When Beagle has a triple store then we can compare features with tracker.

The notion that tracker is way behind beagle is simply not true.

We do virtually all the same file formats beagle does.
We do Evolution Emails (in svn)
We do Gaim Logs (in svn shortly)
We do Application Files

We will be adding our external services support over Easter which will allow third party apps to act as indexers for tracker (and we have patches for Tomboy notes and Liferea already done - they just need to be integrated)

Also there's a GNOME SoC to make Epiphany use tracker to store all its bookmarks and history.

So i think we reaching a point where we are very close to what Beagle does. On the metdata database front we are way ahead of them as we have:

1) highly optimised triple store
2) Ability to cross query indexer and triple store
3) RDF Query implementation for powerful searches
4) No duplication of metadata in triple store and indexer (unlike Lucene our indexer does not store any metadata and is metadata agnostic so can scale better)

Reply Score: 5

RE[3]: Some Interesting Bits
by abraxas on Thu 5th Apr 2007 19:36 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Some Interesting Bits"
abraxas Member since:
2005-07-07

We do Evolution Emails (in svn)

Beagle indexes and searches my email right now in the stable version.

We do Gaim Logs (in svn shortly)

Same here.

So apparently tracker doesn't meet my needs, unless I want to use an SVN version and even then I'll have to wait if I want to search my gaim logs.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Some Interesting Bits
by natfriedman on Wed 4th Apr 2007 22:40 UTC in reply to "Some Interesting Bits"
natfriedman Member since:
2007-04-04


I sincerely hope you're getting Peugeot to ditch AD


We would definitely like that to happen (and are trying to convince Peugeot of the same), but if we make adoption of the Linux desktop contingent upon people substituting out all the rest of their IT systems, then it will never happen. So interoperability is important as we phase Linux desktops into companies.


I wouldn't exactly call someone like Jeremy Allison a commentator.

Jeremy is a superb hacker and a friend and I definitely was not referring to him.

Reply Score: 1

The loonies have taken over the asylum
by porcel on Mon 2nd Apr 2007 00:39 UTC
porcel
Member since:
2006-01-28

Does anyone else have the feeling that Nat is completely self-serving and nor furthering the interests of Novell itself?

Nowhere in the desktop projects does he mention KDE which has much more demand among enterprises than Gnome. If he really is setting desktop/server strategy at Novell, all my hope for Novell is quickly vanishing and I have a large number of desktops and servers on Suse right now.

He seems to be a typical child of dysfunctional corporations allowing the most incongruent and disqualified people to rule supreme based on their sheer arrogance. To top it all all, the man cannot even speak proper English. It becomes very annoying to read someone who sounds like a character out of a 1980s fraternity house B-Movie:

"Also there is a fork called Bongo now, were they are doing some great work, so I guess Hula will live on through both of that."

Moderation be damned. I have seen nothing good come from Nat and Miguel's involvement with the Linux desktop. They are self-important luminaries in their own minds.

Damn shame what they are doing to the face of the linux desktop and damn shame that Novell has allowed them to run amok.

Edited 2007-04-02 00:48

Reply Score: 5

sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

"""
Nowhere in the desktop projects does he mention KDE which has much more demand among enterprises than Gnome.
"""

Only in your fantasy world.

Enterprises don't roll out PCLinuxOS. They use enterprise distros. And all the enterprise distros I know of (SLED and RHEL Desktop) are Gnome based.

Enterprises don't really care about Gnome or KDE. They care about what their vendor supports.

So there is really no enterprise *demand* for either one.

Reply Score: 5

superstoned Member since:
2005-07-07

Suse has for a long time been the most viable option on the DESKTOP (Red Hat is mostly used for servers). And 90% of the Suse users use KDE. Novell (Nat) is indeed trying to change that. Bad for the users, imho, and a waste of money, but hey, let 'em if they want...

Reply Score: 5

natfriedman Member since:
2007-04-04

You probably won't believe this, but I don't particularly care whether SUSE users choose GNOME or KDE or something altogether different. The big problems that early Linux desktop adopters face today are: interoperability with corporate systems and file formats, hardware support, and availability of applications for Linux. These things have nothing to do with what window manager, file manager, panel, and widget toolkit you use. I don't know the percentage, but most of the desktop work that we've done at Novell in the last 3 years has been in areas that have nothing to do with KDE or GNOME.

Reply Score: 1

superstoned Member since:
2005-07-07

True, I've seen that. Work on Evolution or OpenOffice, it has been noted for sure.

But if you want to solve these problems, you must realize you can't do it alone. Thus fostering a efficient development platform might even be more important than the actual work you do yourself - it allows others to chime in.

Imho Novell should be more ambitious. Now they focus on copying what the competition has (see OO.o, Gnome) instead of trying to innovate and do or facilitate much really new stuff. Ok, there are new things, sure, but how much innovation is there in OO.o? How much CAN you innovate with that codebase? It's larger than the whole of KDE + Koffice...

I think Novell is focused too much on the short run. How can we get this-and-that-feature on linux as fast as possible. Not - how can we gain a real, more permanent edge over the competition. I miss a longterm strategy here, you'll always be behind if you mostly focus on these big problems you mention.

They are important, sure, but again, where's the ambition? I simply miss that in the OO.o, Evolution and Gnome communities. And no wonder, they have such a huge cruft of code to maintain, they don't have the time to dream... It takes some guts to spend 2 years on laying the foundation for innovation, but I think KDE got it right. Compare Koffice to OO.o - the first might really offer something new, better - the latter will only ever be a MS clone, nothing to see here, move along.

Innovation is a hard thing, and it actually needs a vision, ambition. I'm not saying you guys aren't ambitious, but I think you're not ambitious enough. In terms of exploitation vs exploration, you focus to much on the first, which will lead to a competence trap in the long run. You'll find you've been left behind (yeah, I happen to know a little about this, doing research in the area of strategic innovation).

Love to talk about it, I might look you up on some show or event, once ;-)

Reply Score: 2

porcel Member since:
2006-01-28

Enterprises do care about desktops. The proof is that Novell was force to reinstate KDE as a desktop choice in its enterprise distribution after it announced that it was no longer going to support it.

Do you think Suse made this decision out of the kindness of its sweet corporate heart?

KDE is what made Suse popular in Europe and KDE is what everyone runs over here.

Red Hat has no desktop presence and is largely irrelevant in that space. And SLED has at best an equal share of KDE/Gnome users, in spite of the fact that Gnome is the default desktop. Want numbers? Ask Miguel or Nat and if they are honest, they will tell you exactly what I am telling you.

Edited 2007-04-02 11:41

Reply Score: 5

dagw Member since:
2005-07-06

I've personally seen a fair few Red Hat desktops rolled out across large companies here in Europe (all with Gnome), but not a single large SLED rollout. Not saying that they don't exist, but I disagree with your statement that Red Hat has no presence in Europe

Reply Score: 4

Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

"Nowhere in the desktop projects does he mention KDE which has much more demand among enterprises than Gnome."

It does? Says who? Where are the facts?

Reply Score: 5

porcel Member since:
2006-01-28

Suse had to go back to the drawing board when they announced that they would no longer be supporting KDE as a desktop choice on their enterprise distribution.

Why? Because too many clients called in and complained. Here in Europe, I have deployed and worked on hundreds of linux desktops over the last 4 years and have not seen many corporate linux deployments where the choice was gnome.

Reply Score: 5

lopisaur Member since:
2006-02-27

The original article was in German; I guess the interview was done in English, translated into German and then translated back into English. And English/German translators in Germany and Austria aren't what you'd call "good" by any means. (Maybe except me, self-serving plug)
It's sort of like when you read your VCR's manual that was written in Japanese, translated into English, translated into Japanese, translated back into English and then published...
What I mean is I guess the guy actually speaks proper English.

Reply Score: 1

natfriedman Member since:
2007-04-04

The interview was transcribed from tape by a non-native English speaker and some of the things I said were paraphrased a little bit.

Reply Score: 1

what!?
by broken_symlink on Mon 2nd Apr 2007 00:42 UTC
broken_symlink
Member since:
2005-07-06

i didn't even know novell got rid of hula. it is one of the easiest mail servers to get setup. i really liked the look of it too. also had a lot of useful features. luckily there seem to be plans in place to keep it going.

Reply Score: 2

RE: what!?
by IanSVT on Mon 2nd Apr 2007 01:01 UTC in reply to "what!?"
IanSVT Member since:
2005-07-06

Messaging Architects picked up NetMail along with Hula. Hopefully they can keep it going. There wasn't much from the devloper community as far as Hula support and development, but it's still a nice email option.

http://www.itbusiness.ca/it/client/en/home/News.asp?id=42031&cid=9

Reply Score: 1

I must cry but have no tears...
by B. Janssen on Mon 2nd Apr 2007 08:10 UTC
B. Janssen
Member since:
2006-10-11

Hot-docking works for T/X60s from Lenovo laptops... and my employer just switched last year to HP's Compaq nc/nx line from IBM/Lenovo. Oh, please, I hope this stuff is free, open and generic enough to be lifted from SLED.

Reply Score: 3

REMF
Member since:
2006-02-05

"Suse has for a long time been the most viable option on the DESKTOP (Red Hat is mostly used for servers). And 90% of the Suse users use KDE. Novell (Nat) is indeed trying to change that. Bad for the users, imho, and a waste of money, but hey, let 'em if they want..."

but i don't think it will get any worse for KDE lovers under opensuse, the big 4 release will entrench the policy of supporting both desktops, and confirm forever the overall community preference for KDE.

as long as they keep giving us both as an option.

Reply Score: 2

My experience with Nat...
by SReilly on Mon 2nd Apr 2007 11:52 UTC
SReilly
Member since:
2006-12-28

dates back to 1999 or 2000 at a Linux expo in Dublin, Ireland. I don't know what the guy was on, but he could not seem to stop a torrent of almost incomprehensible babble from poring forth for about 30 minutes strait. What I did understand was that, as far as he could tell, MS was trying to "take over" the internet and that we should all be ever vigilant when dealing with the wolf (ironic, ain't it? ;-).He then went on to praise Miguel in all his glory for a further 5 minutes(!?!) at which point, the drugs must have warn off as he started not only to slow down, but also realize that no one in the crowd had any real idea WTF he was talking about. It's fair to say that already at this stage, he was no longer a happy camper.

Just as suddenly, it was questions time. Taking my chances, I ask him where he got the idea that MS wanted to "take over" the internet to which he replied that he had heard all this from a very trustworthy source, namely Miguel (again, how ironic!). When I asked Nat, not just slightly rhetorically, who the hell Miguel is, he literally gasped out loud as if I had uttered some form of blaspheme.

Taking all that into account, as well as the fact that he's not very good at expressing himself (although I doubt he realizes this), I found myself very much put off by what, at the time, seemed like a jumped up, arrogant and ignorant man. Looks like first impressions are not always wrong.

Reply Score: 2

RE: My experience with Nat...
by tony on Tue 3rd Apr 2007 20:09 UTC in reply to "My experience with Nat..."
tony Member since:
2005-07-06

To be fair, Microsoft really did try to take over the Internet, kinda, although a bit earlier. Microsoft was doing a developer road show in '95, and the gist of it was that the Internet sucked, MSN could do everything you ever wanted to do on the Internet, only better, and that you'd be a fool to continue to develop/invest in Internet infrastructure. They wanted everyone to use MSN, and abandon the Internet. They were showing off newly-rebranded Internet Explorer (a build of Spyglass with the logos replaced), a dual Pentium P60 server running IIS, and some basic applications.

It was forgotten, like many other of Microsoft's less-than-successful pushes. But the paranoia wasn't exactly without precedent.

Reply Score: 2

RE: My experience with Nat...
by natfriedman on Wed 4th Apr 2007 22:54 UTC in reply to "My experience with Nat..."
natfriedman Member since:
2007-04-04


My experience with Nat...dates back to 1999 or 2000 at a Linux expo in Dublin, Ireland


Hmm, I've only been to Dublin twice -- once in 2001 for a meeting with Sun and once in 2003 for the GUADEC conference. Maybe you're thinking of someone or somewhere else?

Reply Score: 1

Novell is still in denial
by walterbyrd on Mon 2nd Apr 2007 12:29 UTC
walterbyrd
Member since:
2005-12-31

Wake up novell, the community is wise to this msft scam, and the scam is being over-whelmingly rejected.

This is nothing more than msft paying novell, so novell will say that linux (except for novell linux) is illegal.

This has nothing to do with interoperability - msft can chose to cooperate with linux anytime msft feels like doing so; no scam deals with particular linux distributors are needed. Why else would msft and novl firmly refuse to point out the particular patents that they claim to be infringing?

When GPLv3 in finalized, novl will be hurting.

Reply Score: 2

Flamewars or Famewares
by moleskine on Mon 2nd Apr 2007 13:00 UTC
moleskine
Member since:
2005-11-05

The 'Flamewars Are Part of the Community Culture' bit in this interview isn't very convincing. It's just a throwaway line from NF to bat off some contrary views. I bet he doesn't really think anything of the kind. As "Chief Technology and Strategy Officer for Open Source" (quel titre!) he surely can't afford to be quite so casual.

The interview might have been more interesting if NF had been pushed at little harder. For example, a potential weakness of the whole Mono thang is that it's not necessary or essential. Everything can be done better, or at least replicated, by existing tools or programs, many of them darn formidable.

If I remove Beagle, Mono, the rug/zmd stuff, the Mono apps like Banshee, and that embarrassing new start menu that's not very easy to use from OpenSuSE, I am left with something that's faster and less resource hungry (and more reliable in the case of the online updater/installer). And I get to use apps like Digikam or Amarok that knock the Mono stuff into a cocked hat. OK, I lose a monster indexer - but most folks don't need it at all, and anyway native indexers are on the way.

So I would simply suggest that Novell may be following a slightly eccentric strategy. They are putting so many of their eggs into a basket - Mono - that doesn't really have a unique selling point. I know that we're talking about an "Enterprise Desktop" here, but that's another debatable issue. Just what's so special and unique about an enterprise desktop compared to any other kind of desktop? I guess saying something like "Well, Microsoft likes it enough to have given us $320 million on the strength of our Linux strategy" would be just adding to these flamewars, guffaw, guffaw.

Reply Score: 5

RE: Flamewars or Famewares
by SlackerJack on Mon 2nd Apr 2007 15:21 UTC in reply to "Flamewars or Famewares"
SlackerJack Member since:
2005-11-12

Can you prove that mono apps are resource hungry as you claim?, i'm sorry but F-spot wipes the floor with most of it's kind.

Beagle only was resource hungry because of a memory bug which is fixed now. The funny thing is that the so called native versions of the mono apps only just have started coming out, just to prove a point maybe?

The whole mono thing has prompted C programmers to try and come up with a their version of the mono app always claiming it's faster/better.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Flamewars or Famewares
by dylansmrjones on Mon 2nd Apr 2007 16:14 UTC in reply to "RE: Flamewars or Famewares"
dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

The newest version (0.2.16.3) of Beagle still takes around 50 Mbyte according to exmap. Tracker takes around 7 according to exmap.

Tracker uses much less memory, is much faster (you can especially feel it with Nautilus) and doesn't bug the system the same way as Beagle does, though Beagle continues to get fixes for deadlocks.

Beagle OTOH has a great GUI. But that's the one thing Beagle has going for it.

Reply Score: 5

RE[3]: Flamewars or Famewares
by SlackerJack on Mon 2nd Apr 2007 16:19 UTC in reply to "RE: Flamewars or Famewares"
SlackerJack Member since:
2005-11-12

Yes but is that because of mono or just bad coding?, C apps can do the same as well, bugs and memory leaks. Many C apps give a bigger memory footprint than others, so are you talking about mono or the application itself?

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Flamewars or Famewares
by dylansmrjones on Mon 2nd Apr 2007 16:25 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Flamewars or Famewares"
dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

It is my belief it is a matter of bad coding. I have mono apps that loads in approximately .3 seconds (gedit takes 0.7 seconds). I have mono apps loading in 9 seconds.

I have C++ applications loading in .3 seconds and others takes 2.5-3.0 seconds. And eclipse takes 22 seconds. The only kind of applications that tend to take quite long on my system is Java applications. They are always slow to load, but quite fast after that.

It is not the language but the code - except for special situations (like directX in Windows - native C++ is much faster than .Net or mono).

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Flamewars or Famewares
by moleskine on Mon 2nd Apr 2007 16:22 UTC in reply to "RE: Flamewars or Famewares"
moleskine Member since:
2005-11-05

Can you prove that mono apps are resource hungry as you claim?, i'm sorry but F-spot wipes the floor with most of it's kind.

No I can't prove it - can you? - but that was my strong impression over the past two or so years, particularly with SuSE's rug/zmd updater tool that didn't work properly. If the Mono Project is now getting to the stage of some fast, optimized apps, then good on them. However, this still begs the question of where reinventing the wheel is really going. Bringing Mono to the table takes cash and expertise that isn't then available for other, native projects. So I'd still question whether Novell is really on to a good thing - or a loser - by placing so much emphasis on it.

Reply Score: 4

Should be respectful.
by JMcCarthy on Mon 2nd Apr 2007 14:22 UTC
JMcCarthy
Member since:
2005-08-12

It's sad to see so many people reject semi-decent apps because they don't care for the deal Novell made. Go back a few months and you'd be surprised how brown most peoples noses were.

Here I thought it was plainly obvious that code doesn't make such stupid deals.

And even if you don't care for the apps&technology they have created --or significantly pushed along--, they still can take credit for lighting a fire under everyone. Look at all the things that were developed as a reaction against Novells stuff.

AIGLX, Beryl, and I'm pretty sure Tracker wouldn't be around now, or at least this far along if it weren't for a rejection of Beagle.

They have brought competition back to stagnation.

Edited 2007-04-02 14:23

Reply Score: 4

Comparison of Search tools
by searly on Mon 2nd Apr 2007 15:38 UTC
searly
Member since:
2006-02-27

Following on from this thread it would be great to have a review/comparison of all the main free desktop search tools, once all the main free desktop search tools are out, inlcuding Beagle, Tracker, Strigi/Nepomuk, Affinity (even though only a front-end) and any other tools a haven't mentioned.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Comparison of Search tools
by dylansmrjones on Mon 2nd Apr 2007 16:20 UTC in reply to "Comparison of Search tools"
dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

You mean like this one? (btw. from my birthday ;) )

http://www.osnews.com/story.php/16984/Comparison-of-Desktop-Indexer...

Reply Score: 2

Flamewars and Communities
by vinayak on Mon 2nd Apr 2007 19:25 UTC
vinayak
Member since:
2005-07-27

I had posted a similar story on Communities and flamewars on OSnews quite some time back.

http://www.osnews.com/story.php/9501/Flame-Wars-Forks-and-Freedom

Reply Score: 1

About Mono
by thompson4822 on Mon 2nd Apr 2007 21:11 UTC
thompson4822
Member since:
2006-07-16

As I read through these postings I am amused by what some otherwise sensible people are suggesting. Somehow, holding up both Beagle and Tracker, we are to make a judgement about Mono? How in the world does that even make sense? If Tracker is much faster than Beagle, great! If it consumes far less memory, awesome! But should we take these findings and just conclude that the Mono platform is junk? Absolutely not!

Look, there are a number of factors that go into any project. These might be awfully convenient for some people in this conversation to ignore, but they are there nonetheless, and exist in every development effort I've ever been involved in. Consider:
- People are a huge part of the success of any project. I'm not just talking about having great coding skills, but also the general dispositions of those involved.
- Technology is always a factor. In probably the most illuminating post, it was revealed that Beagle uses Lucene for .Net while Tracker uses a different technology with some optimizations.
- There are tradeoffs for going with C#/Java/Python vs C/C++. The latter are usually chosen for their execution speed and memory efficiency. Unfortunately they also consume a lot more developer cycles because of their low level nature.
- Many developers use a mixture of high and low level language when developing a solution. It is simply incorrect to think that every app written in <insert high level language here> doesn't rely on some low level code for speed critical areas.
- Part of the success of any project is its user interface (if necessary) and the options it provides. I will freely admit that I use digiKam over F-Spot. Doesn't mean F-Spot is worthless, the fact of the matter is that digiKam has a lot more features. I also use Amarok over Banshee. Again, Amarok has more features. Neither example is an indictment of Mono or any of the myriad languages it supports.

There is no need to point fingers at one another and make accusations of religion. In the end the best applications will (hopefully) win out, language be damned. But anyone who has ever worked with Mono and its various libraries in any sort of depth knows that it is an extremely useful development platform with many extraordinary capabilities. We can either get into a self righteous lather about this (doing no one any good) or accept the fact that, when it comes to creating solutions, we have more options now than we did in the past, which is always a good thing.

Reply Score: 5