Archive for November, 2012

Over A Year Since My Last Post But What’s Really Changed in Linux?

November 16, 2012

It’s been a while — over a year — since I last posted anything here. A lot’s changed in my life. But what’s really changed in the Linux world?

Last time I posted, the kernel was in the 2.6.x era. Now it’s 3.whatever and ext4 is known to have some serious problems with recent kernel versions. Oops. Other software has evolved, too. Firefox was still in the 3.x era, now I’m running version 17 or something like that and by 2014 they’ll be able to switch to annual (2014.1, 2014.3, etc.) release numbers. Congratulations Mozilla.

A lot has also changed in interfaces. Gnome has undergone an image crisis akin to what pubescent girls do. That’s caused some distros to go out of their way to make it more useful for traditional users (since the Gnome developers didn’t count on so many Luddites continuing to use desktops, laptops, and other archaic devices when they changed their paradigms). I tried Ubuntu Pompous Penis for a while and gave Unity a shot. Then I wanted to shoot it. Other attempts to make Gnome 3 more “comfortable” for recalcitrant Gnome 2 users likewise pissed me off. I wasn’t alone and enough people with mad coding skillz forked G2 into Mate, which just might be the best thing that happened in the Linux world since my last post.

I needed to stay more on the cutting edge so I stuck with the Ubuntu ecosystem and tried Xubuntu (horrid) and Lubuntu. I was going to write that Lubuntu’s not quite as bad as Xubuntu but I just tried installing 12.10, codenamed Queer Quaker or some such, on my netbook — yes, I still use and often loathe it — and aborted only to realize it had made changes to my partitions without ever asking me to confirm that I actually wanted to make them. Don’t think you can make a dry run with Canonical installers in 2012 and not fuck things up. You most certainly will.

Speaking of fuck ups in Queer Quaker, Canonical decided to opt-in commercial searches for users of Unity lens. Which is why I won’t install anything that installs Unity anymore no matter how easy they make it to keep Amazon or anyone else from littering my searches with advertisements. I don’t care that future versions will be opt-in, this is something I won’t forgive/forget. (I’m now waiting for the Debian installer to load in CrunchBang Waldorf, which is what I’m installing on the netbook instead of Lubuntu.)

Hey, speaking of my Aspire One netbook, I replaced the buggy Atheros wifi card that was the thorn on my little white rose. It’s been problem-free ever since. I’m now a big fan of Intel wifi. Never had a problem with them no matter what OS I’m using.

I have a nit to pick about credit people take for others’ work in the FOSS world.This is nothing new. I’ve seen people not get credited for work they’ve done, and I’ve seen people apply stricter (GPL) licenses to changes they’ve made to more open (BSD, etc.) licensed code.

Here’s the deal. I tried contacting the founder/developer of Tiny Core Linux a couple months back but never heard back from him. The problem I have isn’t with him — he’s a good, decent guy I admire and respect. It’s with whoever set up the Tiny Core website and in particular the “about us” page. See, there’s a guy who’s credited with “banner, logo, and icons” who sure as fuck didn’t create the Tiny Core logo or the banners still used on the website.

I know because I created all the logos Robert has gone with, including the current one shaped like a screw with text engraved in it which better reflects the paradigms of TCL than the first logo I made with a CD-looking thing. If I still maintained my old e-mail account (at a site that closed it down due to inactivity for >3 months) I could produce e-mails from Robert telling me he wanted the blue text instead of red or other colors I submitted. I’d also show all of you that he asked me for the logo in SVG so he could get Tiny Core swag (hats in particular) for SCALE.

I recall I told him the license I was offering him the logo was Creative Commons – Attribution, just as I do for stuff I’ve made for my own website.

Did I get an attribution for it? No. And, to be fair, I never asked it to be posted everywhere like some people (howdy M*rga) demand. I didn’t know who else besides Robert and any of the other developers even knew I’d offered the new logo.

But here’s the rub. Someone else — a gentleman named Dale Marks — has been taking credit for my artwork since at least the last time the “about us” page was updated. That was 15 May 2011 — over a year and a half ago as I write this. I don’t know who Dale Marks is, but surely he knows as well as I do that he’s not the one who created the logo or banner.

Just to be clear, I don’t care that I’m not credited (as lucky13 or anything else). But I do care someone else never had the character to say, “Wait, I didn’t make that logo. Don’t give me credit for that.” Why should someone else take full credit for what I did?

Even if he did a variation of it, CC-A is about giving credit where it’s due. Not to him except for his variations on my original. The original was and forever will be mine. I know that. Robert S knows that. And Dale Marks, don’t you also know that?