posted by Andy Tars on Fri 25th Apr 2003 17:06 UTC
IconJoćo Paredes is an almost-21-year-old student of Electrotecnical and Computers Engeneering at Oporto's State University for Engeneering (Faculdade de Engenharia da Universidade do Porto), in Portugal. He is well known and respected in his community, known to be a visonary and a good leader. Also known to be an excelent programmer, as he's been programming computers for 16 years now (yes, since he was 5).


He knows and uses a variety of languages like C, C++, PHP, HTML, XML, XSLT, BASIC, Visual BASIC, VBScript, Perl, SQL, Pascal, x86 Assembly in the most of the variants of each language/compiler combination. Although a kind of a "swiss-knife" of programming, developing from operating systems and compilers, to databases and websites, he still prefers to be considered a low-level developer. But he is not only a programmer. He also develops hardware, being also involved in a project for the creation of a new 64-Bit CPU programming architecture, as he thinks it w! ould perfect. He has projects to start as soon as he finishes any of the current projects he's in, like a small digital fone just for the fun, or an OC-48 switch. He is also known as "The Problem Solver", because he manages to get things to work that nobody else could or thought it could be done. He is experienced in several operating systems. He used all versions of Windows since 2.x, several versions and distributions of Linux, FreeBSD, QNX, OS/2, BeOS, Solaris 8, and a few more. He is experienced in a few database management systems, like MySQL, PostgreSQL, FirstBase, and his all time favourite FirebirdSQL. He also ministers small courses on programming, Linux and networking.

Joćo is pretty straightforward, sometimes more than he should. He created Chefax R&D (or Chefax I&D in Portuguese), a group of students that gather to develop because their faculty lacks the practical component. They wanted to "get dirty", the hands-on approach, get to work with the things they learn. Amongst their projects there are an operating system, a complete integrated development system that includes compilers, linkers, library mangares, IDE's and project managers, a relational XML-based database manager and a lot more. They are even making the entire faculty campus in 3D for the Half Life engine, and believe me, it's big.

Why did I choose to interview him? I've known him for a few years now, and I was allways fond of his ideas about almost anything we have talked about - future and technology. I have been following all the discussions on OSNews about "Windows vs. Unix", about whether is Linux ready for the desktop or not, etc. I thought that it would be interesting to share his ideas and opinions. I started with some tricky questions.

1. How much do you... hate Windows?

Joćo Paredes: I do not hate Windows. I do not hate Windows, neither Microsoft, nor Bill Gates. I do think Windows (as a lot of Microsoft products) should and could be severely improved (well, Linux also, but in a different direction). Not my favourite OS to work with, but I admit I use it and I need to work with it.

2. Some of your friends do think of you as a biased anti-windows-linux-rules fundamentalist. Then...

JP: They are wrong. I see them as windows-rules fundamentalists. I only use what I have to use. What I need to and because I need to. Although there are a lot of operating systems out there, even with most of them being free or open source, the truth is that none of it serves completely my needs. For what I need at the moment, Linux and Windows are the operating system that do the work best. For a PC, these are the two that evolved the most. I already lost too much time trying to find the perfect OS. There is no such thing. Yet. At least for me.

3. So, let's see. What do you really think it is wrong with Windows?

JP: Well, a lot of things. The first thing I complain about the size. Windows is big, and I mean big. It occupies space, space, space. I am sure those programmers at Microsoft could have done it smaller and better. Second: Windows is heavy. It drains all of the resources. Makes it look like it swallowed all of the system memory. Third, which everyone also knows, it is really, really buggy. The first two are, in part, prices to pay for maintaing backwards compatibility with systems and standards obsolete for decades. The NT versions are extremely more safe and stable than the 'home' versions, but still not enough. About the home versions of Windows... I think they sould already be dead by now, at least the actual concept MS understands for home version. The Unixes also have bugs. But in the unix case, rather than operating system or kernel bugs, most of them are application bugs. Fourth: Networking. Windows network security is the most well known security of all... because! throughout the years it has been almost none at all. I don't say all other operating systems are safe, although most of them are a lot safer than Windows. And for a lot of others, they are only safe because they are not as much as used and explored... or exploited... this is a critical subject, because network security is allways critical, but it wouldn't be the subject I would choose when starting a conversation about Microsoft... Microsoft has been developing operating systems for so many years now, that the programmers there should already have learned a few lessons. Their experience should have taught them that if they don't get it right having the system working first and interfacing with the user, than there is not much chance it would work right in the network. About the GUI... well, I really have no complains about the GUI. Simple enough while not being ugly or losing funcionality, usually responds well, coherent. Probably a few minor details could make it better, b! ut nothing of great importance. But I still don't understand why a server or an Advanced Server OS needs a GUI... just increases the code, the space occupied, the memory needed, the processor cycles needed... Couldn't they do something with less eye-candy?

Table of contents
  1. "Joćo Paredes Interview, Part I"
  2. "Joćo Paredes Interview, Part II"
  3. "Joćo Paredes Interview, Part III"
  4. "Joćo Paredes Interview, Part IV"
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