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Microsoft does open source chocolates

Microsoft has mailed around boxes of Windows Live chocolates to various teams, and I (risking my life) tried one. Suffice to say that Microsoft is no better at making chocolates than they are at making operating systems. I guess the adage is true: the day Microsoft builds a product that doesn't suck is the day they build a vacuum cleaner. For the curious: yes, the ingredients list was printed on the back - surprisingly open for Microsoft!

When all you work on is Mono, everyone starts looking like a monkey.

I'm neck-deep into half a dozen projects right now, which is pushing my mental process scheduler into overdrive.

First up, I'm still slogging my way through converting my PHP book into wiki format. It's real drudge work: the Docbook to Wiki converter I wrote did a grand job, but it's just a matter of cleaning things up so that Mediawiki doesn't throw a fit when I space things in a certain way. It's only about four more hours work to finish it, but it's four really boring hours!

How sweet

How to spend a birthday: waste 10 hours of your life moving from the north west to the south west of England, thanks to the grossly incompetent and money-grabbing privatised rail service. Overcrowding, diversions, and two broken-down trains -- and the government wants us to get out of cars? What a bunch of blathering ninnyhammers.

Fashion flash

With styles having had time to bed in, I thought I should give you a Fall Fashion Report, knowing how close fashion is to your hearts. Of course, one theme for autumn dressing is always to reflect the colours you see in the trees and on the ground around you. This morning I was passed by a lady wearing tan mid-calf boots, mossy (in colour and texture) tights, a green velvet skirt, quilted bronze jacket and brown rainhat. It was as if she had been to method dressing classes, with the teacher urging at her, "Be the leaf!

Announcing OpenSurveys.org

A little over a week after Fuzz shipped (over 100 downloads already - go try it for yourself!), I'm happy to announce the public launch of OpenSurveys.org: everyone can now create their own accounts and create as many surveys as they want. Please do give it a try - I'm sure there are bugs in there, and I'd like to get them worked out as quickly as possible so the site can become useful to the community.

Release when ready…

So, Fedora Core 6 is to be delayed by a week. Well, I'm sure we aren't the only ones who are disappointed. But one of the beauties of open source is that there is no real compelling reason for the distro to launch before it is ready. Perhaps there is some amount of pride in shipping when you said you would, and maybe Max Spevack and the rest of the Fedora team feel they have let people down a bit. But it is, surely, far better that (and here I am struggling not to use the word 'product') this version of Linux actually works when it ships.

Signs of Life

Solely consumers

I just heard a story on the radio about the EU enforcing a tariff on shoes imported from China and Vietnam. Apparently the governments there have been subsidising manufacturers, who can now make shoes so cheaply that they can dump their products on the European market and undercut swanky Italian cobblers and what not. The radio journalist was talking to someone from Brussels about the news, and he said, "Of course, what everyone listening will want to know is, how will this affect the price of shoes on the high street?"

From Russia with love

I'm back from holiday now, and - thank God - have a clear month ahead of me. I'm looking forward to rest, relaxation and Battlestar Galactica. Yes, I do consider programming to be relaxation.

And you thought it was just vapourware…

Fuzz 0.5 has been released publically on SourceForge. If you haven't been following this blog (admittedly, my work on Fuzz has been off and on for a long time - largely thanks to Brain Party!), then you probably don't know what Fuzz is or why you absolutely must have it. Fuzz is an SDL/.NET-based 2D games engine that lets game developers (that's you) "program" your games in XML.



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