Day 2 of my 365 project.
So this is perfectly clear: I’m writing this as a response to Jason Perlow’s HP: If you want folks to hack the TouchPad, then Open Source it. I do not claim to speak for the WebOS-Internals community, nor do I consider this an acceptance of his twitter offer for a community Op-Ed piece.
In this article, Mr. Perlow takes what some would call artistic license with the facts regarding the relationship between WebOS-Internals and HP. Unfortunately, the reality of this relationship does not support Mr. Perlow’s statements, specifically:
I’ve learned on the down-low that the WebOSInternals folks are apparently acting as a form of supplementary engineering team for Hewlett-Packard who is using them to exchange code and software engineering expertise as needed to integrate it into their products.
The above text is how the article currently reads. The original article read as follows, and was modified after a request was made to remove the bolded text.
I’ve learned on the down-low that the WebOSInternals folks are apparently acting as a form of supplementary engineering team for Hewlett-Packard and the company has an under the table agreement to take and exchange code and software engineering expertise with these folks as needed to integrate it into their products.
The reality here is that WebOS-Internals is an independent group of homebrewers/developers who provide software and functionality above and beyond what HP offers, either in the stock OS provided, or through it’s developer APIs.
Mr. Perlow’s article suggests a couple of different things:
- patches and kernels available through Preware make the HP TouchPad run optimally, something which it does not do with stock software
- That WebOS-Internals is being unfairly used in the relationship with HP, to the extent that HP is using “double-secret community developers” rather than developing their own software to it’s fullest extent.
I’d like to address these two points in turn.
First, patches and kernels certainly are made available through Preware, and in some cases, both patches and kernels can help improve the usability of the stock OS. That’s an indisputable fact. However, not all patches, nor kernels, make the TouchPad run optimally, many are intended to extend the functionality of the device to an extent above and beyond what the stock OS provides. The kernels provide, among other things, different power-saving profiles, support to allow use of TrueCrypt on the devices, and yes, over-clocking capacity.
Second, there’s an insinuation that somehow WebOS-Internals either is being unfairly used by HP to make the stock software better (by way of HP incorporating WebOS-Internals work back into the OS), or that WebOS-Internals somehow has an agreement with HP wherein they are not employed, but work to fix HPs mistakes. Neither of these things are true.
Rod Whitby (founder of WebOS-Internals) has stated a number of different times that the licenses chosen for the WebOS-Internals work are specifically chosen to allow HP to integrate this work back into webOS, should they so choose. This is not an unfairly balanced relationship, but instead an explicit choice by WebOS-Internals to work on webOS in a way that can benefit everyone involved.
Further, WebOS-Internals always has been, and continues to be, an independent group of people working on WebOS. This is not some plot by HP to have “double-secret community developers”, nor is there an “under the table agreement” with HP around the work that WebOS-Internals is doing.
The crucial point that Mr. Perlow seems to be missing is the concept of community. There is a very vibrant (albeit comparatively small) community that has sprung up around webOS, specifically because of the choices HP made in basing webOS’ underlying system on open source software. The work that WebOS-Internals does, and supports (through Preware feeds, public chatrooms, a public wiki, etc.) is done for the community, by the community. The reward for this work comes in the form of further community building, and further platform adoption by those who think the work being done, or the community around webOS, is worthwhile.
To be fair, HP has provided, no strings attached, a server valued at $10,000, as well as a number of TouchPads to WebOS-Internals, as an attempt to continue to support the work WebOS-Internals does, and to foster a continued good relationship between the people making the devices, and the dedicated people using them and trying to make them better.
This process isn’t about WebOS-Internals being exploited, it’s about people who love the platform that HP provides, doing whatever is in their power to make it better.
Mr. Perlow, in the future, please make a point to check your facts.
This night we will comfort each other, talk with each other, and stand together.
This quote was spoken (and translated) as part of the address to Norway after the attacks that occurred. It was directed at the people of Norway, urging them to remain together in light of the attacks.
However, I feel there is broader meaning here. This needn’t be limited to Norwegians, nor to people of any one country. We’re all human. We, as humans, ought to comfort each other, talk with each other, and stand together.
I came across this speech on Facebook, the original link can be found here
i promise you, you will get to a point where the fraud police will come knocking. and you will open the door. and when they accuse you of being a fraud, you will honestly be able to say, “you’re right. i still have no idea what i’m actually doing. i am making this shit up as i go along, but it is working out just fine. and also here in behind me is an incredible party with awesome people, a bumping sound system that we built ourselves out of salvaged parts, with a giant electronic glass bubble bath installation filled with escaped pandas and dancing girls that we found on craig’s list, and you are not invited.”
passed through the foot-deep frame, felt so final
you. fixing the world. me. here.
words won’t come
I’ll be here when you get back
it sneaks up on you
It’s been a while since I’ve posted, pretty much all semester. Life has been hectic, but I’ve decided I should start writing again, gives me a place to vent.
This blog mostly has always been me writing, venting about social and political issues that bother me (back before The Great Server Move). Most of the readership are people that agree with me, so there’s usually not a lot of discussion. That’s mostly ok, but it means that my ranting/venting goes mostly unheard. I don’t claim to think that I’m this great political visionary, because I’m not. However, in the past couple days, I’ve been pondering how I can affect change.
There’s too much going on currently that I’m unhappy with. There’s too much the people we have put in power are doing to a) maintain their own power and b) continue to support the wealthy special interest groups. This needs to change. As such, I’ll likely be shifting the focus of my posts away from the problems, and perhaps start proposing solutions to the best of my ability. I’ve all but lost faith in the system that we have, but I’m really unclear on how to affect change outside the system.
At this point, I’m too livid to think properly, but I needed a place to say this. For those of you who read, we can change things. To steal Obama’s slogan, “yes we can”. Yes, it was mostly happy rhetoric. Yes, the Obama administration has essentially decided that mediocrity (or worse) is an acceptable way to deal with issues. Accepting this is accepting defeat. That’s all there is to it.
Expect to see and hear more from me in the future. That’s all I’ve got tonight.
Events have a tendency to stick to people. I don’t mean small events like “my mom packed pudding for me that day” or “I lost my pen”. Large disasters are the most common event that people remember, things like the Challenger shuttle accident, Kennedy’s assassination, and the attacks on the World Trade Centers and Pentagon.
Everyone tends to know where they were, if you talk to people who lived during the time, they can almost always tell you what they were doing, and where they were.
Personally? I was in 7th grade science class. We were getting ready to start an experiment meant to show how a vacuum works, and how flame uses oxygen. The premise was you have a hard boiled egg, match, and a glass bottle with a wide lip. You would light the match, drop it in the bottle, and set the egg on top. If you did it correctly, the match would burn and use al the oxygen, and pull the egg into the bottle, unharmed. Our principle announced over the school-wide intercom that a plane had just run into the first tower, and that the government was considering the possibility of a terrorist attack.
Later that day, in my english class, the teacher was trying to help people through their various reactions, so we talked about reactions in class. Someone, I don’t remember who, announced to the class “I think whoever is responsible should burn”. This statement by some 7th grader has stuck with me since then.
I remember my reaction to the events of that day as being astounded, confused, curious, but most of all I remember wanting more information. I didn’t feel like the principle was doing justice to the events by announcing what he’d seen on the news to the school (no blame to him, I just wanted more information). I remember wondering why people were automatically jumping to terrorist attack, and as the events unfolded it became more and more clear that it did, in fact, seem to be an attack.
I never once remember feeling like whoever had done it “should burn”. I remember thinking that we should get as much information as possible and make a rational decision about the next step. Apparently, however, this 7th grader had a viewpoint fairly similar to the President at the time.
9 years later, I still wish we’d reacted to these events differently, I still wish my opinions and viewpoints at the time had been the prevalent ones, instead of “whoever is responsible should burn”.
The events of that day were catastrophic, and as the saying goes, we should “never forget”. Not only that the United States was the target of an attack that day, but first and foremost, the lives of people lost that day and secondarily the eventual 2 wars, hundreds of unreasonable imprisonments and the degradation of individual rights, all justified by words like “terrorist”, “9/11″, and “homeland security”.
Please, let us never forget the way the United States reacted to the attacks on September the 11th, 2001. Let us never forget “whoever is responsible should burn”. Let us never forget, and learn.
My thoughts are with the people who lost someone in those attacks today, and with those who have lost someone due to actions taken by the US in an attempt to deal with those attacks.