Posted by & filed under Open-source, Web Site. 3,856 views

I ‘rediscovered’ it recently as I was showing it to people around the office. There is simply no way around it, if you ever do edit HTML/CSS/JS, it is the single most useful extension available for Firefox.

The screenshot here does not do it justice (Display Element information, a.k.a. Ctrl+Shift+F) because that’s just one feature and there are a whole lot more. You have to see it, install it, use it.


Posted by & filed under BzzAgent, Personal. 3,212 views

It’s official, after happily working there as a consultant for a couple of months, I have accepted a full time position as director of engineering at BzzAgent.

I couldn’t be more psyched, the company is exciting, the people I work with refreshing and fun as are the industry we’re in and technologies we use.

And there was much rejoicing.

If you’re curious about BzzAgent, check it out and don’t hesitate to sign up. Also, we’re looking to hire Java specialists and QA engineer like, “yesterday”. Email me your resumes !


Posted by & filed under Linux, Mono, Open-source. 5,887 views

Well, it’s a week full of good news. I’d like to make official something I’ve been dying to tell you since we signed the contract this summer. Joe Hummel, Geoff Norton, Niel Bornstein, Brian J. Sletten and I are co-authoring a book about Linux Application Development with Mono with Addison Wesley as our publisher.

Here is an excerpt from the preface: “It should be clear to you now, why we chose to write about Mono in the context of Linux development. You will not find a lot of literature on that subject, especially when desktop applications are concerned. So while we have chosen to focus on Mono in the context of creating desktop applications, we will not dwell on C# or .NET class libraries or any general .NET knowledge you can find in other books. This book will introduce you to the Mono platform, its specificities and exclusive libraries. While it mostly focuses on how to build desktop applications, you’ll find tips and tricks for migration of existing applications, use of existing Java and .NET libraries, frameworks and even lesser known programming languages you might want to try out.

We’ve assembled a team of .NET, Mono experts and open source enthusiasts to author this book. We each are passionate about the subject, experts in the technologies and have a vested interest in seeing new applications written for Linux.

We’re on track and the book is scheduled to be published in 2007. I also signed up as a series editor for a few Mono books but I can’t tell you about much about that yet…
Suffice to say that it’s a fascinating thing to be lead author as well as series editor and I am learning a lot.

Posted by & filed under Open-source. 10,693 views

How do you guys test your web applications (Functional testing & performance / scalability testing) ?

I researched this subject briefly but came up short. JMeter looks a little light, HttpUnit seems pretty much abandonned. All in all, nothing seems to be equivalent in functionality to Segue or Mercury’s products.

Am I wrong ? What do you use ? Please comment

Posted by & filed under Linux, Mono, Novell, Open-source. 4,811 views

Connect the dots…

  • 2004: Sun sells its soul to Microsoft for $1.6 billion, ‘shares’ patents and colaborates with Seattle’s giant.
  • Late 2004: Novell acquires key web services patents from defunct company Commerce One.
  • 2004-2005: Many essential and innovative linux desktop applications are created using Mono (Photo, Music, Search, Note taking). Fedora and RHEL cannot run them out of the box.
  • Late 2005: IBM, Novell, Phillips, RedHat and Sony create the Open Invention Network, put patents in common pool. The event goes largely unnoticed
  • Early 2006: Redhat decides to include Mono in Fedora, its “community driven” linux distribution. “Business considerations that prevented certain Mono components from being included in Fedora previously have now been resolved“. “
  • Red Hat has no plans at this time to include the Novell software in Red Hat Enterprise Linux“, company spokeswoman Gillian Farquhar said,”meaning that there are no plans right now to make it a standard part of the commercially supported product from the Linux leader.”

P.S.: I hope that Gillian Farquhar was seriously misquoted when she calls Mono Novell software. If not, she should probably look at the Mono project licensing model (hint: open source, mix of GPL/LGPL 2.0/MIT X11) as well as copyright and IP ownership. I would be very surprised if RH doesn’t include Mono in RHEL within 6 months though.

Posted by & filed under Bzz, Personal. 4,358 views

I have no problem paying for value and innovation though $5 a month is a little steep. Aggravated by Bloglines, I couldn’t wait to subscribe to Feedlounge (but I had to since I couldn’t get in the early testing program).

The UI is pretty cool though a few things are clearly missing:

  • No sorting by date (I want to read my feeds oldest unread entry first)
  • No ‘display only unread messages in feeds with unread messages’
  • Cool little stuff like “Email this”, automatic “Open in new tab” and others

But the BIG thing for me is that feeds are simply very rarely or never getting updated. I could go through the list (50+% of my feeds) but it’s too long. Amongst them: the gawker feeds, engadget, Monologue, Planet Gnome, TUAW, …

I am about to give up and go back to Bloglines, I hope they improve things quickly. Bloglines is not perfect either but at least it’s free.

Update: Scott @ FeedLounge was very responsive in tracking those issues. It looks like it’ll be solved soon.


Posted by & filed under Personal, Photography, Scuba-diving. 2,647 views

WrasseBlennyThough most of you don’t care much about scuba diving, I wanted to tell you about a memorable dive I made a few weeks back. I started rating my dives recently and that one definitely scored an ‘A’. I was diving with my buddy of that week and the scuba doc who had I met the year before in Turks and Caicos and who just happened to be there in San Salvador.

It was the first dive of the day and therefore the deepest of the two. When diving multiple times a day, it’s customary for your dive profiles to get shallower and shallower. We quickly descended to a hundred and twenty feet or so, following a wall covered by large barrel sponges in which a person could have easily fit. I didn’t really get deep diving until last year in T&C where I realized that deep down, below the shallow reef and colorful fish population, there was a quieter, colder but impressive and lonelier world.

So anyway, my two buddies and I were swimming along and instead of examining every crevice and cavern, looking for the hidden and the rare, I looked up. I was facing the wall and the reef a hundred feet above me, bathed in sunlight. Behind me, the ‘blue’, the deep ocean, above, the sun, bright, playing with the surface of the water. It was an amazing view, virtually limitless in every direction.

I stopped for a second and signaled my buddies. There is no sign that I know to tell them, underwater: “Look how beautiful this is. Stop for a moment. Look at that wall, that world before us.” They looked quickly thinking I was pointing them towards a whale, a spaceship or Neptune dressed as Captain Kirk. I was making big gestures with my arms, levitating mid-water, looking amazed, impressed, wide eyed. They looked again, understanding maybe that I was telling them “Stop for a moment, look at how beautiful this is”.

Then, 1…2…3… as we were looking up at the top of the reef, as if I had planned it all along, two large Hammerhead sharks appeared above, slowly swimming down from the edge of the wall towards us, towards the blue and away. It was grand.


Posted by & filed under Mono, Open-source. 1,940 views

sigh my mono is so borked:

Got a SIGSEGV while executing native code. This usually indicates
a fatal error in the mono runtime or one of the native libraries
used by your application.


Native stacktrace:

        /usr/local/bin/mono(mono_handle_native_sigsegv+0x7c) [0x813dd1c]
        /usr/local/bin/mono [0x8110d5b]
        /lib/ [0x400d65f3]
        /usr/local/bin/mono(mono_runtime_class_init+0x10c) [0x809039c]
        /usr/local/bin/mono [0x812b416]
        /usr/local/bin/mono(mono_magic_trampoline+0x12) [0x813ee62]
        /usr/local/bin/mono(mono_runtime_exec_main+0x80) [0x8090c30]
        /usr/local/bin/mono(mono_runtime_run_main+0x12f) [0x809360f]
        /usr/local/bin/mono(mono_main+0xeff) [0x805d38f]
        /lib/ [0x4016531f]
        /usr/local/bin/mono [0x805bf31]

I am not even sure how it happened. It’s sicker than Martin the day after Jackson, Gonzalo and I took him for beers.