July 30, 2007

Microsoft's open source licenses.

Microsoft seems to be trying to create a open source license after all the criticizing it had done in recent months. They appear to be working on a new license for their own open source code and software and get it approved by OSI. So Microsoft has submitted its so-called shared source licenses to the Open Source Initiative for certification as true open-source licenses.

Microsoft initially started off with the relase of Windows Installer XML on SourceForge almost three years ago. After this Microsoft has released 650 internally developed software programs to the general public via its shared source program. At the same time don't expect Them to release Windows or other major revenue making software to be released under the shared source licenses. These shared source applications are hosted at Microsoft's CodePlex site, which is equivalent to SourceForge.They have come up with three licenses:
  • Microsoft Permissive License (Ms-PL)
  • Microsoft Community License (Ms-CL)
  • Microsoft Reference License (Ms-RL)
According to Microsoft,if the licenses are approved, should give the community additional confidence that the code they sharing is truly Open Source. But I wonder how the OSI team and the open source community will take this. This is mainly because of the recent behavour of the company with copen source community.They have claimed that Linux and other open-source products infringe on 235 of its patents. Apart from this they reached agreements with Novell Inc and other vendors like Linspire which brought a split within the Linux community.

So, If Microsoft joins the open source technology like Nokia, Apple and others, will we have a mind shift from Microsoft? Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, who once called Linux "a cancer"! And
now they seems to criticize and follow the open source line!

SugarCRM Adopts GPLv3!

SugarCRM Inc., the world’s leading provider of commercial open source customer relationship management (CRM) software became one of the first adopters of GPLv3. The upcoming release of Sugar Community Edition 5.0 will be licensed under the new Version 3 of the GNU General Public License (GPL). GPLv3 was released recently by the FSF as new license for free and open source softwares.

SugarCRM's also has Professional and Enterprise edition which remain under commercial licenses and is said to have a good customer base. The software is well know to easily adapt to any business environment by offering a more flexible, cost-effective alternative than proprietary applications. The major reason for this shift may be because the company used Mozilla-derived license, which is not a recognized OSI-approved open source license.

For more details check out the company's Press release and FAQ!

July 26, 2007

What is ReactOS?

ReactOS is a free and open-sourced operating system based on the Windows architecture. It stands for React Operating System. The operating system a ground-up implementation of Microsoft Windows XP compatible OS. The ReactOS team aims to achieve complete binary compatibility with both applications and device drivers. The OS is licensed under the GNU General Public License, but some parts have different licenses like code from Wine project which is licensed under LGPL.

In major difference in ReactOs is that even though its open-source, it is not a wrapper built on Linux. Instead the ReactOS development team has built a operating system with windows architecture and plan to provide support for existing applications and drivers. So is it another OS apart from all these Windows,Linux,Unix,Mac...?? Well even though the ReactOS belives it's not "yet another OS".. I belive it is. As per the ReactOS team the major reason for developing this OS is that "some people, or especially companies, will -never- switch to Linux." -- Which I will never belive!

ReactOS claims that its compatible and visualy consistent with Windows.Thus,it removes many of the problems that people or companies face when switching to Linux: training everyone on the new OS, increased support costs, acquiring or writing new software, hardware incompatibilities, and the list grows.

So, is this new OS here to stay and replace what Linux has been fighting for (desktop replacement of windows)? You can download the 0.3.1 version of ReactOS and check out how good it is! Good luck!

mxGraph - drawing diagrams in a browser

Web 2.0 has brought a lot of desktop applications and collboration technique on to net. Starting with personal file storages to online office suites and net meeting. The "quick web"a result of Ajax,Flex and other technologies like SOA, have made this possible. I have recently presented many online applications and here is another: mxGraph!

mxGraph is solution for drawing diagrams in a browser. It not a online paint application, but help in drawing flowcharts,workflows, build database schemas and create network topology diagrams. mxGraph is built using a javascript library but I was not able to identify with one. Looks like they have come up with their own library. One impressing thing about mxGraph is that it is comaritively faster than other online applications.

Like I mentioned,mxGraph provides four types of diagrams : Workflow, Diagram (flow charts, organization charts etc.),Network and Database. I tested all four options and liked Workflow and Database. Workflow is a complete tool with very detail capablities (better that Documentum workflow manger) and is worth try for whose who design workflows and work in this area.

The other tool is the Database where you can build your schema using the UI and convert all your database development into SQL statments or export it as XML. Both these features are very useful for database design.

The mxGraph look very professional and is I am sure a try will not be waste of time!

July 22, 2007

Visual search engines

For some time Google have been experimenting with new way to display search results, so are others. You can see a new trend coming up by representing results in visual form rather than listing it. You can call these "Visual Search Engines".In this entry I am going to talk about two such search engines. These two search engines have come up with interesting ideas to represent the results. These two are : Quintura and searchCrystal.

Lets start with Quintura ... Its a company that was launched with a mission to make Web search easier and faster by adding context or meaning to keywords and visualizing search. With its "See & Find" technology the results are displayed in two halves: Tag Cloud on left and list on right with links to the result pages. Keeping mouse on any entry in the tag cloud fetches more results regarding that entry. The right half also changes accordingly to display the result.

Quintura develoment team has come up with both web version (web site) and a desktop version which can be downloaded for free. Apart from this, that have provided the facility to save and share the searches.

Now on to, searchCrystal... Its a search tool that collects information from multiple search engines and displays them in cluster,spiral or list. The tool fetches results from web, image, video, blog, tagging, news engines, flickr and even RSS feeds. But the search engine is slow compared to other search tools. This is what I against my name:

Apart from being slow in displaying the data, there is no trouble from searchCrystal. You can get widgets that can be placed into your website or blog. Plus you can sign up for Analytics where the true power of the search engine lays! The tool provides a heavy tool where you can customize the search queries and see the results. You also get tog cloud, filters, sort tools etc. So this may become a serious tool for those who really want to study the trends, patterns and details of how the information is on net.

Now onto the final word.. you will see these tools come up for sure. I expect searchCrystal to improve as they have come up with a brilliant tool. Both these search engines are still in beta and Google must look into these type of data visualization in future. I have always wanted Google to provide a tag cloud of the resent search in their home page.

But for now.. I will simply watch these new tools and will as always use Google :)

July 19, 2007

Microsoft Strikes GPLv3 and ditchs Linspire!

Yet again Microsoft plays out its plan to mess up Linux and open source software. I am sure you must have heard about the MS deal with Novell and Linspire.And now we see how MS is ditching both these compaines after the so called "patent protection deal"!

The latest : Microsoft says that's open source software licensed under GPLv3 isn't covered by the patent protection deal it recently signed with desktop Linux distributor Linspire.

On "Microsoft Interoperability" site it says "software products of Linspire that include the Linux operating system, including Linspire Five-0 and successor offerings. However, Client Offerings do not include (i) any portions of products that comprise or include Foundry Products, Clone Products, GPLv3 Software or Other Excluded Products, (ii) Freespire and any other software offerings that include the Linux operating system for which Linspire receives no Revenue, (iii) any products running on a server, or (iv) any Linspire CNR applications distributed separately from the Linux operating system."

The article appeared on MS site on July 5th, 6 days after GPLv3 was launched. From the time of launch Microsoft has been treating GPLv3 software as highly radioactive. Just after the launch, Microsoft said "Microsoft isn't a party to the GPLv3 license and none of its actions are to be misinterpreted as accepting status as a contracting party of GPLv3 or assuming any legal obligations under such license,".

Its not just Linspire that's the target,but Novell is also in the trap.Microsoft recently said that it wouldn't distribute any GPLv3 software under its SUSE Linux alliance with Novell. But Novell insists that GPLv3 does not touch their agreement. So does Microsoft! So now we know that's going to happen with the agreements if Novell and Linspire want to provide GPLv3 softwares! And this is how Microsoft does the business -- Destroy your competitor!

July 17, 2007

New IM from Airtel (Airtel Messenger)!

Bharti Airtel, a company of Bharti Enterprises have introduced 'Airtel Messenger'. A service that offers the power of text chatting within a personalized set of communities. Users will now enjoy real time chat on your mobile. 'Airtel Messenger' is aiming to bring in the same experience as that of a desktop chat service like Yahoo Messenger. You can now send and receive messages in real-time without the need to be attached to a computer but will require GPRS.

You can create a buddy list and add a buddy to buddy list or import buddies from you phone contact list. The service also offers you various personalized options of usage such as status-tag option like Online, Offline, I am busy etc. Users can use the "Airtel Live" GPRS connection which is free GRPS rather than 'Mobile Office' or any other connection provided by Airtel. Since this service is now, Airtel is providing it free till August 31st, but the supported handsets is a small number. For more details of this see 'Airtel Messenger' site.

Now other details of this messenger... It's developed by Jataayu Software which s a pioneer in the Mobile Internet domain. I assume Airtel has customized Mobile IM Client to come up with Airtel Messenger.

So, with this new mobile messenger installed on my mobi.. I am going to play with it :)

July 12, 2007

An introduction to WhoLinked!

WhoLinked is a very interesting service that I found recently [ I need more time to surf :( ] . The WhoLinked service is service that checks to see who is linking to your website and then provides you with an easy way to display this information on your website or blog. You can see my WhoLinked widget on the right side below subscribe options.

So what is it? Lets have a peep into it... WhoLinked have code/plugins for Blogger, Typepad, Moveable Type and generic blogs and websites. And the installation of this service is quite easy. All you have to do is select the type of blogging service you use, get the code and install it on your blog. WhoLinked also provides a small control panal that helps you to customize your displayed results. You can choose the number of rows,language,layout and also ban some of the entries.

So far its a small tool, but I am not sure of the spam protection of this stuff. I will watch this for the next few days and update this entry [may be!]. Till then bye!

July 09, 2007

What is Acropolis?

Microsoft have given enough publicty for Silverlight, but did they miss out one of their own product during the RIA campain against Adobe's Flex and Apollo or Sun's JavaFX? I am talking about "Acropolis", A code named project which microsoft has been working on for long.It's a toolkit for creating modular, business-focused Windows client applications. Its build on .NET framework and includes a run-time framework,tools and out-of-the-box functionality. The basic idea is to alow build reusable,connectable components and assemble them to work as an application.

"Acropolis" applications consist of a shell and one or more discrete pieces of business logic that interact with each other. These pieces of business logic, called parts, are the building blocks of an "Acropolis" application. A part that logically contains other parts is called a form. So, "Acropolis" part contains only the business logic and no user interface code, but a part do have a interface accociated with it.These are called a part view or just view. To build a "Acropolis" application, we will need a xaml file, and c# or VB file. The xaml file will contain the connection point and service dependency declarations for the part. And, Visual C# or Visual Basic file contains the business logic of the part.

The "Acropolis" runtime and shell provide a framework and an application host to create smart client applications. The runtime manages the lifetimes and intercommunication of all parts and services in an "Acropolis" application. On the other hand, shell is shell is a parent or host application that integrates "Acropolis" parts, forms, and services together with its own functionality. It defines the overall appearance and behavior of an "Acropolis" application.

So with "Acropolis" Microsoft is really planning to change how business applications are developed. But the questions are,
  • Is "Acropolis" capable of making business application programs easier to build and manage?
  • Will it provide web-desktop intergration?
  • Will these applications run on portable devices [sure will require .NET framework!]?
  • Will these applications interact with other entriprise products build by other than Microsoft?
But for now, Microsoft seems to keep "Acropolis" under cover.

July 03, 2007

Backbase for iPhone

Here is the next step of Backbase! They are going to introduce Ajax SDK for iPhone. But's its not going to be just the iPhone, since iPhone uses Apple's Safari web browser, the new SDK will be applicable for desktop versions of borwers also. Ajax is one of the preferred technology for developing custom applications on the iPhone, because the iPhone does not allow installation of native applications. so backbase is all set to provide a strong environment for developers to build ajax applications that have the power of native applications.

"Because of our Ajax dedication and focus, support for the iPhone will reinforce Backbase's technology leadership role in the Ajax space," said Backbase President and CEO Jouk Pleiter. "It ensures that customers developing websites and Web applications using our technology can fully leverage Apple's iPhone and OSX platforms."

The new version of the Backbase Ajax Framework is fully compatible with the Apple stack (OS X and Safari 2 and 3).Backbase promises to provide the new software soon. They recently launched Ajax 360 service, which is a complete enterprise Ajax solution. Let's see who all comes out with their ajax SDK. I guess dojo,yui and other will come up with their widget extension
necessary for iPhone.