[TAG] "I'll do it myself, thanks" open-source app: Gobby (cf. SubEthaEdit)
Jay R. Ashworth
jra at baylink.com
Thu Nov 3 20:02:53 MSK 2005
On Tue, Nov 01, 2005 at 06:17:52PM -0700, Benjamin A. Okopnik wrote:
> > The normal operating environment had the most amazing job of shoehorning
> > drivers and processes into the 386/40's 1 MB real-mode address space
> > (out of the 4MB total EEMS expanded memory) that you'll ever see: I was
> > able to cram QEMM, DesqView, special FOSSIL serial drivers and secure
> > ANSI video drivers, a TCP/IP stack(!), and a full-blown multinode
> > BinkleyTerm/RBBS-PC environment into that tiny amount of RAM -- and have
> > it utterly reliable and all maintenance automated -- and even have it
> > documented so the entire thing was comprehensible.
> To derail my own thought process for a while: *WOW*, in technical terms.
My roomie back in 91 and 92 ran Maximus on OS/2, and a few other BBSs,
and I remember the days of running <mumble> that reloaded all your TSRs
in shuffled order until they all a) fit and b) worked. I just don't
remember what it was called.
I *do* remember how long it took to run, though.
> > But I'd spotted the pattern: The more I became directly involved with
> > open-source Unix, the more control, autonomy, and stable, consistent
> > presence on the Internet I enjoyed. The better I understood that
> > technology, the more I was able to protect and extend that control and
> > autonomy.
> I say again, _hmm._ Not a 'hmm' of doubt, but of serious contemplation
> of the topic.
> I see your point. I strongly agree with it: I can't argue against it,
> because it's at the core of what I believe. My problem is that, due to
> the way I live, I don't have access to the services that allow you to
> maintain that autonomy; for me, the choice often comes down to "be on
> the consumer end or forget about having the service." Up until very
> recently, all of my communications at home were done via Nextel, at
> 1okB/S or less; as of yesterday, I have a Verizon card that promises DSL
> speeds (yeah, right. But it *is* a lot faster than the Nextel was.) If I
> tell Nextel, or now Verizon, to take a long walk off a short pier, then
> I don't get to be on the Net at all - unless I take a mile-long hike to
> a cafe where I can connect (sometimes, when their notwork is up) *if* I
> buy food.
> In a way, it's sorta like being disabled. There's only so much autonomy
> you can have before you have to ask your nurse to wheel you over to the
> stand with the pills. Yeah, in theory, nurses and doctors are fungible.
> In practice, it just doesn't work. You saw what I went through when I
> was trying to run my own mail server - dammit, I *wanted* that bit of
> autonomy! - and it came down to "no can do" because I didn't have
> anything like reasonable connectivity.
But your problem, Ben, and the one we're actually on about (as I
understand it), are slightly different; I'll elucidate.
> I live on a boat, (usually) disconnected from land; that's not something
> that's going to change, except perhaps in the direction of "less
> connected" - at some point in the future, I'll be doing the Panama
> Canal, etc. to sail over to California, and will likely be out of touch
> most of that time. The wireless solutions, up until recently, were
> either a) ridiculously expensive ($40k+ for Inmarsat M, a lot cheaper
> for Inmarsat C if I wanted 2400Bps. Gee, thanks...) or b) technically
> infeasible (many of them required kilowatts of juice to run.) My options
> came down to, well, lack of autonomy or simply not having the service.
You've seen Globalstar and Iridium's data offerings, right?
> > And there I stand. The _only_ third-party service I rely on is
> > unfiltered IP routing, and that's fungible and purchasible from anyone
> > -- and equally fungible DNS registration that's heavily protected and
> > paid many years in advance. Anyone who tries to dislodge, threaten,
> > manipulate, or manipulate my presence and writings on the Net with
> > anything short of an uncontested court judgement is in for a rude shock:
> > The only place to complain about me or my users is not to some twitchy
> > corporate manager but rather directly to _me_, the guy who reads law
> > books, takes only careful risks, looks out for his users, and really
> > _hates_ being pushed around.
> > (My mother, during my teenage years, declined to be pushed around by
> > various Boeing Company agents,
> and I'm very much my mother's son in
> > certain ways -- and have a lot of my key interests mediated via the
> > Net. ;-> Even Google and the Internet Archive sometimes silently
> > purge contents to appease special interest pressure -- see
> > http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Clambake -- but I do not.)
> Well, Rick... you've made some awesome lemonade from those early lemons.
> I'm glad and proud to know you.
You're both great guys to have in a corner.
> > Every time I decline to use some third-party, usually proprietary
> > service that I can reasonably do with Linux and open source on my own
> > systems, instead, I am protecting and promoting the perception by
> > onlookers that Linux and open source are the right solution -- not to
> > mention improving my own competence. Internet services are supposed to
> > be the Linux community's core competency: What sort of message does it
> > send to go moving our affairs onto other people's third-party services
> > as a convenience, in an area where we're supposed to be the leaders?
> It comes down to a question of owning that kind of resources. I have no
> way to offer, e.g., Flickr-like services on any server that I control;
> my web stuff is hosted on a BSD system at Freeshell.org, and I have no
> more control over that than I do over Flickr. Use it, and put up with
> that lack of control? Or deny myself the (admittedly minor) bit of fun
> at nearly zero cost? That way lies a fairly grim existence.
> There are, undeniably, services which promote a pernicious model, and
> they _should_ be shunned - even at a high cost (i.e., I don't shop at
> Walmart, even though it costs me more to shop elsewhere.) However, I
> simply _can't_ draw the line as low as I wish; at a certain point, the
> cost becomes too high.
But that's not the only issue here.
> (All this beside the pleasure of reading from someone intelligent,
> erudite, and armed with excellent diction. Sheesh, where's the downside
> of this scenario?)
There's a downside?
But, to get back on track: the issue about things like Flickr and
Frappr tit practically a requirement that they be ASP-hosted as they
are is the networking aspect of them -- Metcalfe's Law:
"The usefulness of a network rises as the square of it's number of nodes."
It's an uncommon -- but, I think, a useful -- generalization to apply
it to services like this; they *could* be implemented as distributed
services, but it would be damned difficult, and since 98.3% of the
current-day inhabitants of the current-day internet aren't equipped to
participate in them in that fashion, the cost-benefit analysis on the
implementation isn't looking all that bright.
Now, admittedly, there's some chicken-and-end interaction between that
issue and the old "long live the end-to-end internet" thing, but,
really, most of it is "developing for Windows is much more of a pain
than doing it for *nix, and that's still where all the people are".
So, while they may in *fact* have business models that aren't entirely
palatable to Libertarianism, let's remember that that's not the only
reason they're built that way.
-- jr 'Google Talk?' a
Jay R. Ashworth jra at baylink.com
Designer Baylink RFC 2100
Ashworth & Associates The Things I Think '87 e24
St Petersburg FL USA http://baylink.pitas.com +1 727 647 1274
"NPR has a lot in common with Nascar... we both turn to the left."
- Peter Sagal, on Wait Wait, Don't Tell Me!
More information about the TAG