Wednesday, November 3, 2010


There are three licenses I use most of the time.

I use the Apache Software License (ASLv2) when I want to make money out of Open Source Software, it's simple and easy to integrate with other software.

I acknowledge the GNU General Public License (GPLv3) whenever I put my FLOSS hat on. This is pretty nasty to do business with, so it's better off used in spreading the teachings of The Force of Open Source to the uninformed.

I apply the Creative Commons license (CC) in my presentations, photos and content materials because it has specialized clauses on how you can control your material. Not only does it encourage you to share, it makes you look real friendly too.

Then for all things not thought deeply enough of, or stuff I don't care much of, there's the Do What The Fuck You Want To Public License (WTFPL).

Friday, October 22, 2010

The Ubuntu Maverick Meerkat (10.10) Release Party is a Go!

Scheduled on Saturday October 23, the event will be held simultaneously in the different parts of the Philippines. The participating regions are Manila, Cebu, Puerto Princesa and Zamboanga among others.

Release parties are fun. I enjoy the freebies, talks and/or hackathons. Sometimes even just plain geekery. But most of the time, I get to meet people of different opinions revolving around how Ubuntu affects their lives in front of the computer. Some users showcase their customizations, while some share stories on how they battled configuration issues. Some victories, some tragedies. The mix keeps it interesting.

I've been to a couple release parties so far. The first was the hilarious flash mob and the second was the event sponsored by our office, both in Manila.

It's a good thing our company supports events related to Open Source and technology, it exposes us employees to a variety of ideas and communities.

This time will be different for me, I'm celebrating it in Cebu! This will be Cebu's first time to hold an Ubuntu release party, after a failed attempt for last summer's Lucid Lynx. What makes it more different is that I volunteered to act as spokesperson to the Cebu Ubuntu Users Group in behalf of the official Ubuntu-PH LoCo. I'll be reaching out to them, to help them get recognized as part of the official LoCo.

There will be lots of things to talk about and many experiences to share! But for now, party time first! As a treat, I'll be bringing a box of pressed CDs from Canonical c/o the LoCo head Zak.


I'll see you on Saturday! It's gonna be at JIVE RestoBar in Lahug, starting at 6:00pm until 10:00pm.

For the Cebu party, here's the forum thread and registration page.

For the Manila party, follow the thread here and register here.

For the Puerto Princesa party, you may register here.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Plants (Sysadmins) vs. Zombies (Developers)

I don't like how the IT industry draws the line between the software developer and the system administrator. Worse, I don't like how people acknowledge these labels. I think it's just some way to identify which roles do what kinds of work, a la assembly line model. Maybe a running sarcasm, or probably an attempt to establish an elitist form of pride. I don't even know when it started. Even so, I find it sickening for people to be so enclosed in a concept that they too begin peddling what they just knew from something else without further analyzing it. But I digress. The issue is how developers solely responsible for programming the business requirements into tangible applications are unfairly differed to system administrators perceived to babysit the hardware, control the access to servers and network infrastructure. If these were true, it probably was around a decade ago. Gone were the days when John was supposed to code the application and hand it over to James to deploy it to the servers, but then James realizes that the application appears to break in production and had to script something up to make it work then blame John later for the trouble--then John would have to rebut, but James would retaliate, and so on.

In the business, what matters most is the ability to deliver in substance, in elegance. To achieve that, there must be a team and there must be cohesion in the pursuit to deliver what the users expect. Usually visibly, it is the developer's duty to implement the functional requirements then it's "hands off" when development ends and the application is deployed by the system administrator. All too often the system administrator catches holes in the application upon deployment. But since he is a programmer too, he fixes it to get it running anyway. The problem really lies in the separation of responsibilities that turns to the negative.

Or at least where I work, it doesn't happen. That's because our system administrators collaborate with the development team even from the beginning--or at least in the projects I worked on. Black and white or not, it's one rare indispensible trait that needs recognition. I'm one lucky developer to work with these system administrators. Sometimes at the start of the technical design or during the implementation phase, our system administrators take into consideration the kind of environment the application will run on and raises possible implementation smells the development team might encounter, and even possibly recommended approaches in implementation that would match well with the infrastructure. The aspects hidden to the developer like performance, scalability, availability, and stability are what the system administrator is concerned about. Everything about the application running smoothly, that's our system administrators' commitment to the project and that contributes significantly to the delivery.

If there's still nothing to call this kind of inter-role collaboration, please give it one and respect the idea. Recognize the efforts and give due rewards. These breakthrough system administrators under this kind are rare.

I don't see what all the fuss on developers vs sysadmins is all about. THWT.

Happy month-late Sysadmin Appreciation Day.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Sweet Victory

Badass Grandma

We just finished filling up our big cart with groceries when I decided to have a last stroll around for last minute buys before lining up in the cashier. Neither of us knew that the first cashier we lined up for was dedicated to shoppers with five items or less. So right away, we switched to the next lane that services big carts as we conversed,

"Wanna try the next lane?"

"Nope, it's fine here. It's rush hour and I'm sure all other cashiers are filled up. Besides, I don't think we'd take that long 'coz I think the shoppers ahead of us didn't buy as much as those in the other lanes."

After a few minutes waiting in line, we noticed that the other cashier next to the one we lined up for was cutting off the line as it prepared for closing time. It was definitely trouble for the shoppers who were cut off, and we were grateful as we were already nearing the counter. To our surprise, a bunch of grandmas sneaked and cut into our line. They obviously knew we were lined up already and they just ignored us, probably thinking we'd let them get away with it. But yeah, we did.

"Hey look, aren't we lined up here already?" I was asked.

"Yeah, give 'em a break. They must be a bunch of grandmas in a hurry. Besides they might be shopping for just a few," I replied.

Some minutes more later, the bunch of grandmas I'd like to call "partners in prime", again switched to the other cashier we lined up for before and again cutting in between the other people in the process.

"Oh my, what a relief. But now they've troubled the people from the other line," I uttered.

Our line suddenly grew shorter to our delight and now at only three more shoppers ahead of us, the parters in prime realized that it would take them longer waiting to where they transferred. We noticed them eyeing to get back to our line. But nooo, I read them ahead and closed up on the shopper ahead of us, giving them no chance of cutting in front of us again. One of the grandmas was trying to cut in at one point, but our defenses were solid.

The game is on!

It seemed like they took on the challenge as they kept checking on us if we were ahead of them. We did the same. I whispered, "Hah! Look who's about to finish now. We don't need to cut in lines just to finish first" and I think they heard. Now down to two shoppers on each line, it was a tie. It was a close fight until a technical error happened to our lane. I don't think it was karma but the cashier just had to re-enter the items of the current shopper and that gave us a two-shopper handicap.

"Oh no, but I know we're going to make it, I'm sure! We revving up! Go cashier go!" I cheered after I laughed a devilish laughter.

The shopper ahead of us finished pretty quickly to our advantage, closing the race to one-to-one. Good thing we sorted our groceries, ready to be accounted for in the doot-doot machine. One by one, we carefully handed over every item of every type to the cashier. Then everything else went smooth. And so while we were paying, they were still unloading their unsorted groceries from their basket. We walked away with a sweet victory as another one bites the dust!

There was no champaigne spraying but we celebrated by buying ourselves some chili mushroom beef-topped rice and fish fillet for dinner.