Category Archives: SE Commentary

Kotlin, JavaFX, and OpenJDK Is My Perfect Dev Baseline

Like many people I got into my software development stack rut; complaining about the things I hated about it and why I wanted to change. The Java stack had been treating me ever increasingly well, especially with the refactoring of Spring into what it is today, but the language itself and it’s stagnation bothered me and had me starting to gaze at .NET now that it’s open source. I am now officially done with that exploration and will be sticking with the JVM-based system for the time being. This is driven by three major things: Kotlin, JavaFX, and the fully open source nature of the pieces I use.

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ArsTechnica’s IBM PC-History Series Is Awesome, But There’s More…

I am totally loving ArsTechnica’s two part series on the history of the IBM-PC (Part 1, Part2).  However there are some glaring omissions around the MS-DOS part of the story that I think they should have added in at least an afterward.  My write-up here is based substantially on other articles but most importantly this article from the Computer History Museum.

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Solus Is Solid One Week In (Minus One Thing)

As the whole “what happens to Unity” thing unfolds I decided to redouble my efforts in trying different distros again.  I’m trying everything from trailing edge (latest Debian) to bleeding edge (Solus).  As luck would have it it was time for me to refresh one of my development VMs so I decided to jump that one from Mint to Solus to give it a real world spin.  My first impressions are that it is a really interesting distro and one I’ll keep playing with but there is one not-so-tiny problem that hopefully they will grow out of.

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Existential Angst From Ubuntu Desktop Demise

As much as I’ve never been a fan of Unity I’ve learned not to hate it as much as my host OS (and even in some of my VMs).  Sure, my go-to desktops of late are mostly MATE distros or Cinnamon, but Unity hasn’t been completely unacceptable.  With Ubuntu’s recent announcement of the demise of Unity and people openly pontificating on if this means Ubuntu is abandoning the desktop or looking to sell to someone like Microsoft who will then kill it on the desktop I started to analyze what this meant to me as a Linux desktop user.  Is this the end of the road for that journey and therefore back to Mac or, god forbid, Windows?

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Linux .NET Immersion Rev.2

Back in November I started trying to mess around with .NET again, with the twist of I refused to become Windows bound to do it.  After some time experimenting holidays got in the way, then work got in the way, and as usual life gets in the way of hobbies.  Today I needed to work out some standard C# code samples for interacting with REST services I had written in Java.  I could have spent two hours installing Visual Studio in the virgin Windows 10 VM on my laptop, or I could fire up a new Linux VM and give cross platform .NET another try.

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I Want My Linux Laptop Now! (A Voluntary Simplicity Exercise)

I’m being impatient, and it’s my own fault.  I started that Linux Craptop experiment to see how much mileage I could get out of a decade old laptop running a lean(ish) Linux.  That actually became my only home laptop while my 6+ year old (I think) MacBook Air was getting its battery replaced.  I was going to “suffer” through it for just the few days and then the MacBook would hold me over for at least another couple of years.  At this point however I’m really chomping at the bit to retire that Mac and go Linux full bore.

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Yes, you can survive with a ten year old laptop running Mint MATE

At the beginning of January I decided to try my hand at using a ten year old laptop running Linux Mint MATE as my daily at home machine. While there is certainly some cruft associated with using such an old machine for the most part the experience was perfectly fine.  In fact I’m using it right now to write out this article.  I wouldn’t recommend running out and buying one solely for the purpose, but the fact remains that Linux Mint MATE, and probably Ubuntu MATE as well, provide a great average user load experience on underpowered hardware.

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Wix/WordPress Argument Shows Viral Nature of GPL

Over on Slashdot there is an article about an IP saga of sorts between Wix and the makers of WordPress.  While the Slashdot title accuses Wix of “stealing” code, not even WordPress’s Matt Mullenweg accused him of that in the original post.  What happened is pretty simple.  The Wix engineers decided to wrap a WordPress rich text control so it would work well with React Native.  The Wix engineers made that project under an MIT license and then dutifully used it in their proprietary iOS application.  The WordPress control they wrapped was licensed under GPL, and that is where the problem is.

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