2007-08-21 20:08:36

Federal courts: Star Office vs. MS Office

The federal courts of Switzerland are currently debating whether to continue the support for open source solutions (UNIXoid systems, Star Office) or whether to go back to Microsoft solutions (Windows, MS Office).

Up to this point, the Federal Court in Lausanne has been pioneering towards an open infrastructure, while the newer courts (the Federal Criminal Court in Bellizona and the Federal Administrative Court in Berne) went for Microsoft-only solutions. However, the Federal Court in Lausanne has already developed a large number of programs solving specific tasks in their specific environment, which makes it a lot harder to switch to the closed Windows platform again.

The reason of the debate was a decision of the parliament to have «IT in one pour». The story is covered in more detail in an article in «Der Bund».

Posted by Tonnerre Lombard | Permanent link | File under: news, standards

2007-08-20 22:41:14

bcollect 0.5 released

Today I released my up-to-now stealth project bcollect. It is basically a clone of ccollect which is written in C. Advantages over ccollect are clear locking and a single configuration file.

However, much work remains to be done here. Apart from the items in the todo file, which I forgot to update before the release, there are also:

  • Push the locking down further. Currently, one single instance of bcollect is permitted to run, and until that instance has finished running, no other instances may start in the same directory.
  • Make the output more suitable for logging.
  • Add ways to specify more arguments to the rsync process.
  • Make the behavior on locked backup dirs configurable.
    And still:
  • Make the rmdir implementation iterative rather than recursive.
  • Implement parallel execution (-p).
  • Implement pre/post execution scripts.

For more details on the project see the BSD project site or the project website.

Posted by Tonnerre Lombard | Permanent link | File under: programming, general

2007-08-20 13:10:55

Collection of documents related to the Antitrust case

This is an interesting collection of documents from the Antitrust case against Microsoft:

Please note that all of these are Microsoft internal documents and not an invention of some conspiracy theorist.

Posted by Tonnerre Lombard | Permanent link | File under: general, chaos

2007-08-20 11:58:12

Windows Vista - End of Monopoly?

Apparently, Microsoft has managed to finally hit over the bar with Windows Vista. Not only do the sales go horribly bad, they also get bad critics from all over the globe, predicting that Linux will become the dominant OS – the commodity OS – for both the PC and the server, to the eventual detriment of Microsoft's revenues.

PC magazine editor Jim Louderback, a former Windows Vista evangelist, has declare that he has lost his faith in Vista. Even more, he also suggests that a move to Linux might come to consideration, given the fact that Microsoft still doesn't remotely have the Vista bugs under control, after more than nine months.

"I've been a big proponent of the new OS over the past few months, even going so far as loading it onto most of my computers and spending hours tweaking and optimizing it. So why, nine months after launch, am I so frustrated? The litany of what doesn't work and what still frustrates me stretches on endlessly. The upshot is that even after nine months, Vista just ain't cutting it. I definitely gave Microsoft too much of a free pass on this operating system: I expected it to get the kinks worked out more quickly. Boy, was I fooled! If Microsoft can't get Vista working, I might just do the unthinkable: I might move to Linux."

The sales of MS Office 2007 don't appear to go well either, and additionally, the new OOXML document format is doing really badly. After 10 monthes that Office 2007 is out in the wild, less than 2'000 OOXML documents are available on the Internet. 1'329 of them have been added during the last 3 monthes, and 1'600 of them are coming from microsoft.com.

Its opponent, the Open Document Format, appears to be doing much better in the meanwhile: in the same period of time, 13'400 more documents were added to the pool of documents available on the Internet.

Given all these facts, The Register already proclaims the triumph of Linux, which might be a bit early to shout out but is indeed a general trend. If even the release of a new Microsoft product doesn't change the market situation dramatically, as it did regularly in the past, there is definitely something going on.

Under these circumstances, it doesn't come as a surprise that Microsoft is pushing this badly for the standardization and use of OOXML, mainly with governmental bodies. It is an attempt to save the market share with the jimmy, and if it goes well, it could suddenly lead to a big rise in market share of Apple's MacOS 10.

The reasons for this are simple. Apple's iWork suite in version 08 now officially supports OOXML, but does not feature support for ISO 26300:2006 standardized formats. Of course, the question remains to be asked why Apple would do Microsoft such a favor: because they think that when the Microsoft Empire falls apart, they might inherit the market share through the OOXML jimmy. It seems that Apple doesn't see any other way either to prevent Linux from becoming the natural successor of Windows.

Posted by Tonnerre Lombard | Permanent link | File under: news, standards

2007-08-19 22:47:32

OOXML: The Monty Python Factor

geekz.co.uk has a nice hommage to Monty Python's regarding the OOXML specification.

Posted by Tonnerre Lombard | Permanent link | File under: standards