open source

GPLv3 - Discussion Draft 1 [Update]

You might have already noticed (if not, you will, very very soon) that the FSF has released the first draft of the forthcoming GNU General Public License 3. You can leave comments on the license or help to populate the wiki, if you're inclined.

I think the Rationale Document will be very interesting to read (for me, at least).

I'll leave it to more competent people to comment on the pros and cons of the changes of this new version... I hope that in the end (after a few more months of reviews etc.) we will have a fine new version of the GPL which will suit the majority of the Free Software world very well.

Update 2006-01-18: Here's a nice diff between GPLv2 and GPLv3-draft1 (thanks Nico Golde).

My (second) Drupal article has been published

After my last Drupal article in the German + international Linux Magazin(e) from early 2005, my new Drupal-related article has been published in PHP Solutions's issue 1/2006 (13).

After I was back from a short vacation without Internet access, I was surprised to see a post by Robert Douglass titled "Uwe Hermann's Drupal article in PHP Solutions is out" on the main page. At that point I didn't even know that the article had been published ;-)

Robert wrote a short review of the article which outlines the main content. In contrast to my last article which was a general introduction to Drupal, this one concentrated on some specific (probably more advanced) topics instead: multi-site install, l10n+i18n, search engine optimization, and AJAX(-like) user interfaces of the upcoming Drupal 4.7 release.

The printed article should be available in multiple languages (German, French, Polish and Italian, at least). There might be a free online version as soon as the next issue of PHP Solutions is published, but I'm not entirely sure.

Thanks a lot to Robert Douglass for the review and to Drupal's Benevolent Dictator for Life Dries Buytaert who reviewed an early draft of my article and provided helpful suggestions!

Nessus 3.0 released as closed-source project [Update]

Nessus 3.0 (a popular security vulnerability scanner) has been released, and the license was changed from the GPL to a closed-source license. Goodbye Nessus, hello Porz-Wahn, hello OpenVAS, hello Sussen.

Update 2005-12-13: Added Sussen.

(via Golem)

Karl Fogel - Producing Open Source Software

Late at night an no time for reading, but this sounds like a good candidate for the next few days:

Producing Open Source Software by Karl Fogel of CVS and Subversion fame. The book is freely available (e.g. in HTML, PDF, or dead tree format) and licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 1.0 license. Thanks Karl!

(via Roland Tanglao)

(U)DMA On My Toshiba Satellite A80-117 [Update]

Toshiba Satellite A80-117

Sometimes funny things happen. I spent several hours yesterday, trying to figure out why my laptop is responding so darned slow. I suspected it had something to do with the hard drive and I found out quite quickly that (U)DMA was disabled, hence the CPU had to do all the work. OK, no problem, I'll just do a hdparm -c1 -d1 /dev/hda and everything will be fine. Or so I thought.

What I got was this:

setting using_dma to 1 (on)
HDIO_SET_DMA failed: Operation not permitted
using_dma = 0 (off)

Which means DMA could not be enabled. I noticed an error message in the output of dmesg which seemed related: ide0: Speed warnings UDMA 3/4/5 is not functional. Some people had the same problems because they were missing the correct option in the kernel (mine is CONFIG_BLK_DEV_PIIX), but that was not my problem. After a few hours of googling and 6 or 7 kernel recompiles, I gave up and went to bed.

Now to the funny part: Today, John Choffee posted a comment about bashpodder in my blog. Curious as I am, I also visited his blog and in his "LinkFeed" box a tiny entry caught my attention: [PATCH] ich6m-pciid-piix.patch. Now guess what this patch (for Linux 2.6) does. It adds support for my specific type of IDE/(S)ATA controller, the "Intel Corporation 82801FBM (ICH6M)". Patch, recompile kernel, reboot, hdparm -c1 -d1 /dev/hda, bingo!

Here's the output of hdparm -tT /dev/hda:

Before the patch:

Timing cached reads: 2468 MB in 2.00 seconds = 1232.95 MB/sec
Timing buffered disk reads: 8 MB in 3.84 seconds = 2.08 MB/sec

After the patch:

Timing cached reads: 2624 MB in 2.00 seconds = 1312.20 MB/sec
Timing buffered disk reads: 88 MB in 3.00 seconds = 29.33 MB/sec

Thanks John, you're my personal hero today.

Update 2006-03-01: The URL for the patch is broken. This one works.

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