Linux Blog

Whats your take on proprietary software?

Filed under: General Linux,Linux Software — TheLinuxBlog.com at 11:57 am on Monday, August 4, 2008

Using proprietary software to some Linux users is considered a sin, right up there with not reading the manual. Not everyone that runs Linux feels this way. I for one don’t mind using a commercial / propriety product if the product serves the purpose well, and perhaps better than an open source implementation.

Take VMWare server for example. Although it does have its problems, it works very well for virtualization. Its pretty stable, has a good interface, works well and most of all is free. I have no problem installing and using this as long as it works.  I’ve been using it for a while, its what I’m used to and I have no problems with it. The moment VMWare Server stops working, I’ll try to find another alternative. Be it open source or not.

I don’t get why some people are so into the open source movement. Not tainting a system to me has no clear advantages. If I were to not install any proprietary software I would hardly be able to use my Linux box. Think about it, no Java (ok, I’d have the IcedTea runtime and GCJ), but no supported Java for Tomcat / Eclipse, I’d have no Flash, hardly any video codecs and no 3D accelerated graphics. My virtualization, may or may not work depending on what day of the week it was or if I had supported hardware. There is probably a whole lot more that I am missing that I don’t even know about.

So, I’m just interested to know what is every one else’s take on using proprietary software? Am I alone in being “fine” with installing closed source / proprietary software? Is my computer going to go to robot hell and sing with Bender for eternity? Please let me know your thoughts.

Wakoopa For Linux

Filed under: General Linux,Linux Software — TheLinuxBlog.com at 12:01 am on Monday, March 31, 2008

I stumbled across Jakes blog post over at: http://blogs.howtogeek.com/jatecblog/posts/software-tracker-for-linux. Until this point I had never heard of the Wakoopa service. It seems like a really good idea. It is sort of the Alexa for software applications. Naturally I left a comment showing interest in an open source Wakoopa and shortly after received an e-mail from Jake.

Here it is:

Hello Owen, 

First I'd like to clarify that I don't actually have a need for the 
application tracker... it would be purely for fun. That said, I would love if 
you would be willing to create this. Here is the idea I have envisioned in 
more detail but do not have the skills to create:

1) The process list is purged every so often to generate a log file.
2) The log file is periodically sent to a server. It is cleared after each 
time it is uploaded.
3) The server then has an application which goes through and sorts out process 
names and so forth and presents them as user reader data (much like Wakoopa) 

I think that this would be the easiest way, but I'd love to hear your 
suggestions. If you were to make this I think it would be used and loved by many, as well as being useful.

Now that he has broken it down like that it seems like it would be pretty easy to implement. The only thing that I can see being a little bit complicated is determining what processes are running and how long they have been running for. I hopefully have a short shell script up for next Sundays column and have some sort of prototype. There should be nothing new in this script that I haven’t covered before on this blog, except possibly the sort command. Other commands I plan to know I will probably use are ps or top, cat and echo. There will probably be lots of loops and conditional if’s. The good thing about this idea is that if I write a shell script to do this some one will be able to translate it into another language. The real part where I would like to spend the majority of my time would be in the web interface. I expect that this will be written in PHP but I am unsure of the database technology that will be used since the recent happenings with MySQL.

So when this open source Wakoopa prototype is finished how many people do you think will use this service? Would you use it? What do you think an acceptable update time is? Any one have any other questions / input?