my blog

Saturday 14 November 2009

I'm a pop star!

Someone pointed out to me that I'm featured in two recent Boycott Novell posts. In the first one, I learnt that I'm not a representative of Free/open source software, while the second post shows how Novell still controls GNOME’s direction through me (and this could be a way for Novell to influence GNOME into becoming more dependent on Mono).

Oh, I'm certainly not perfect, but I would think that having contributed to GNOME and free software in general for something like 6 years during my free time before I joined Novell could, you know, count a little bit. Had I stopped contributing in my free time, maybe it would make some sense? Actually, I should do that: I'd have much more time for sleep ;-)

Also, I must admit I didn't know Novell is telling me where GNOME should go; but now I wonder: could I be hypnotised? Or someone could be invading my dreams in some way to influence me! Or wait, I know: there has to be some subliminal messages sent on my screen! That's it, surely! More seriously, how to explain this... I think I'm way more a GNOME person in Novell trying to make Novell change, than a Novell person in GNOME trying to make GNOME change.

But thanks for the good laugh! The conclusion of all this, I guess, is that it means I'm now a pop star! Woohoo :-)

Friday 22 August 2008

Olympic Games Medal Count

I'm not a big fan of the Olympic Games, or maybe it's just that I don't care. I don't think I even followed what was going on -- except when reading some newspaper at the airport. But a friend of mine got annoyed that France wasn't really well-positioned in the medal count: we're currently ranked 11th or 7th, depending how you count things.

However, getting annoyed can lead to amusing results. He took the official results and made a script to compute the medal count for the European Union. And guess what? We're first, and with a large gap between the EU and the second country. Go see the true medal count :-)

Wednesday 6 August 2008

Certificate fun and how Mozilla can help

Yay! Certificates are the latest hot topic. I had a discussion about this with a few people back at the RMLL because lots of users there were complaining about it. I have no strong opinion on this myself, but it strikes me that Mozilla could help here.

The worst problem is self-signed certificates, which are especially common in our free software world. People have commented that using CAcert should help, but as long as the CAcert root certificates are not installed by default with your browser, this won't help much. And it seems this is not going to happen (well, at least for Firefox) because of Mozilla's CA certificate policy. I guess other browsers have a similar policy, and the policy itself probably makes some sense.

So what can Mozilla do? Let's look at the Mozilla Manifesto (which seems to be offline at the moment -- but you can look at the archived version). The fourth principle is related to this issue and reads as Individuals' security on the Internet is fundamental and cannot be treated as optional.. And then in the Mozilla Foundation pledge, you can read use the Mozilla assets (intellectual property such as copyrights and trademarks, infrastructure, funds, and reputation) to keep the Internet an open platform. Can you see where I'm heading?

I believe the Mozilla Foundation could use some of its assets to be a certificate authority that operates in a compitable way with its own CA certificate policy. It would offer this service to non-commercial entities that respects some criteria. I'm not going to put a list of potential criteria here, but I guess many free software projects would qualify and would benefit of this. This would fix what Chris highlights in his post, ie, the fact that it affects the free software community more than others. And it would also help improve the user experience web, which is one of Mozilla's missions.

Friday 2 March 2007


J'étais déjà tombé sur xkcd pour le coup du sudo, mais je n'étais pas aller voir plus que ça. Et voilà que j'ai lu toutes les archives de ce webcomic. Autant des fois, cela ne me touche pas du tout, autant certains dessins font parfaitement mouche chez moi. Petite sélection, comme ça, pour le fun :

Monday 19 February 2007


Les vidéos sur Internet, c'est désormais devenu très courant. Youtube, Dailymotion, Google Video et plein d'autres sites encore : cela pousse dans tous les sens depuis plusieurs mois, et tout le monde en redemande. Cependant, presque tous ces sites ont choisi d'utiliser Flash pour afficher les vidéos. C'est en effet plus pratique pour la grande majorité des gens, mais aussi pour les créateurs de ces sites. Mais cela pose tout de même deux problèmes :

  • cela handicape les quelques personnes qui n'ont pas de plugin Flash (pour des raisons techniques ou par choix). Certains sites, tel Google Video, permettent de télécharger certaines vidéos pour les regarder avec un lecteur vidéo, mais c'est loin d'être une règle générale ;
  • il n'est pas possible de télécharger les vidéos pour garder un petit souvenir pour dans 30 ans[1].

Mais rien n'est impossible en ce monde moderne ! Il est possible de profiter des plaisirs des images animées sans Flash et, si jamais le besoin s'en fait ressentir, de garder ces petites images animées au chaud dans un coin de disque dur. Le tout grâce à KeepVid, qui n'est qu'un parmi d'autres sites de ce genre : il suffit d'entrer l'adresse de la vidéo pour récupérer un lien vers le fichier FLV de la vidéo, qu'il est possible de lire dans tout lecteur vidéo disposant des codecs nécessaires.

Je n'irais pas jusqu'à dire que KeepVid a révolutionné ma vie, mais cela l'a en tout cas rendue plus facile de nombreuses fois.


[1] oui, j'avoue être un peu sceptique à propos de la pérennité des vidéos sur ces sites à long terme. Ne l'êtes-vous pas non plus ?

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by Vincent