Freedom at your disposal

This isn’t going to be too long.

Linux and other OSS Mobile platforms:

  • You can get/buy the Operating system of your choice.
  • You own the copy of the OS you have on your computer
  • You decide which software you want to install/buy.
  • You decide which technology should be available for your OS, if it isn’t available you are free to implement it.
  • Your OS can install softwares from any third-party software website.
  • You can remove the default browser, default media player and all default applications and put in your own ones which you like.
  • You were and are always encouraged and allowed to share code,ideas and development methodology.

 

Windows and Microsoft’s Mobile Platforms:

  • You buy Windows for a hefty license fees.
  • You decide which software you want to install/buy.
  • You don’t own the copy of Windows you have, you are just licensed to use it.
  • You decide which software you want to install on your system.
  • You decide which technology should be available for your OS, if it isn’t available you are free to implement it.
  • Your OS can install softwares from any third-party software website.
  • You can remove *most* of the default applications and install your own favorites counterparts to them.
  • Developers always shared code, tips and development style. Microsoft never objected.

 

Apple and its iPhone:

  • You buy its OS and hardware together for a huge amount.
  • Apple decide which application suits you.
  • You can buy applications only from its App store.
  • If you want flash support, you can’t get it unless your GOD company (Apple) gives consent.
  • If you want to get your app in the app store, wait for weeks or maybe months.
  • If you want to submit updates to the app you created, give it to apple and the update may appear after weeks, by the time many handsets may be compromised.
  • You can buy iPhone only with carrier facility from AT&T(in US).
  • The App you created can get rejected from the app store any time. Don’t bother to get the reason. Its useless and waste of time hunting out a suitable reason.
  • Applications replicating the functionality of default applications get rejected from the app store. So this makes you out of luck for getting better apps for those default ones.
  • Apple’s NDA discouraged and banned anyone from talking about development, sharing ideas and codes for the iPhone SDK. Now this NDA has been scrapped off, but it’s dark shadow still remains.

 

Now who is Saint and who is Evil ?

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Ubuntu Experiences

I have been using Ubuntu for quite a long time and seen lots of its releases. Some of them were really groundbreaking in features. Many of them showed a new route for other distro developers. Indeed Ubuntu enjoys a strong community ahead of Fedora. Apart from Ubuntu, other most famous distros are Fedora and OpenSuse, but none of them have such a strong, dedicated and friendly community. The community factor is the place where Ubuntu is miles ahead of any other Operating System.

I first saw Ubuntu in Nov, 2006 when one of my friend Swaroop Hegde, installed it on his system. It was really amazing to see an OS running Live without even touching the Hard Disk. Most of the features like Graphics, Wireless, Wired Network worked out of the box without any additional drivers. Firefox was the default browser which made me especially happy.

Even though all these advancements, each Ubuntu release has a habit of breaking down the installation except one release – Feisty Fawn 7.04. The first one which I tried was Dapper Drake 6.06, which ran very smoothly on my system and had great hardware support for all the devices I used. The next release Edgy Eft 6.10 broke my PPPoE internet connection which I have at home provided by BSNL. Edgy was one of the worst release I ever tried out till now. Next came out Feisty Fawn 7.04 which gave a new direction to the Ubuntu community. It had exceptionally good user experiences, didnt crash all of a sudden or any hardware glicthes we expected due to last release. Its the best release I consider till now.

Next in the line was Gutsy Gibbon which did a daring move to incorporate a lot of new features like Compiz Fusion and NTFS-3g. People started facing problems especially due to the fact that their graphics card didn’t have proper drivers for Desktop Effects to be enabled. For many the LiveCD didnt even boot up. Hundred people, hundred problems. The ubuntu devs slowly fixed up all such problems with automatic updates. The problem didn’t stop till this line. Another ghastly problem which was knocking at the doorsteps was Flash Problem Update which gave nightmares to all YouTube users. I was still shocked how the devs took such a long time fixing up this problem. The Forums were flooded with help requests on Flash on Gutsy.

Next in the series was Hardy Heron 8.04 which did live up to its expectations to break some of the left out features. As opposed to Gutsy, this was an LTS which is supposed to be a Long Term Release being supported upto three years. The initial problem which was out there in wild was the fsync problem concerning Firefox, which made this excellent browser freeze for around 20-30 seconds occasionally. Apart from that, I faced some problems with gdm which was not starting after 4-5 restarts. The major update 8.04.1 fixed many many of the problems and at this stage am not even facing a single problem, everything is working fine. SWEET!

The next release Interpid Ibex used 2.6.27 kernel, due to which people reported a lot of problems. For many systems the LiveCD booting is as slow as sloth. The problems lies somewhere in ACPI being turned on , even on unsupported motherboards. I didnt upgrade fearing some problems which affected the Intel 3945ABG Wireless Drivers which suffered from some weird bugs, and half of the bug report was completely greek to me.

After using Ubuntu for around two years, the only thing which comes to my mind is that it rocks. APT fares better than YUM, dependency resolution is better in any case when compared to RPM based distros. Leaving everything, the best thing which comes to my mind is SHIP IT!

Generating XML using PHP

Long back I was hunting the entire web for some tutorials for generating XML using PHP. To my surprise, there are only a handful of them, where half of them are not of any use. Since PHP Library is very large, finding the right library was also a vey dauntng task. I first encounted XMLWriter, but it echoed the generated XML right out on the page. It’s useless in case when you want to send the generated XML across a network over socket.

After googling, I found a library called DOMDocument which helped me a lot and cleared off all problems in matter of minutes. It looks similar to .NET’s XMLWriter library or maybe the way round.

To start with we create a new instance of XMLDocument using

$doc = new DOMDocument();

Now if you want to turn on the XML Formatting , you need this line

$doc->formatOutput = true;

Now if you want to create a new Node Element or Text Element, all of them have to be created from $doc using createElement and createTextNode methods of DOMDocument class. If you want to create a Node Element and attach it to its parent, then use this code

$operation = $doc->createElement("operation");
$doc->appendChild($operation);

where operation string passed in createElement is the name of the XML Node.

TextNode are also a kind of Node and is represented by a node below its outer Element.

$type = $doc->createTextNode("kill");
$operation->appendChild($type);

You can use arrays to store data temporarily and use the foreach construct to fetch the key value pairs.

$student = array( "name" => "Mike Ross" , "age" => 25 ,
     "dob" => "1980-10-12" , "post" => "CEO");

foreach ( $student as $key => $value )

{

    // Your processing here

}

Now if you want to retrieve the data stored inthe $doc object, use the saveXML method to fetch th String

$doc->saveXML();

Apple Says : Dogs and Opera not allowed

The similarity between Apple and Microsoft is that they both are big evil corporations. The difference between them is that Microsoft has abundance of hateboys, whereas Apple is swarmed by fanboys.

The days of Hitler and Mussolini are back. Now its not a one man rule with armed forces but a one man rule with a giant corporation standing with him and enforcing his will through the law of land. Yes! It’s again Apple. The fanboys are making the matter more complicated which doesn’t even leave the freedom of speech to the general people. They forget that its eventually the end-customers whom they should target.

I read a shared article by Ankur on Google Reader telling how Apple rejected Opera browser in the App Store of iPhone. Now isnt it too much of a monopolistic decision on behalf of Apple? Now when they have scrapped off their controversial NDA, what new f**king excuse would they throw out at the face of Opera developers? Isnt apple trying to control each and everything that is available on this planet? iPhone apps have to be acquired through App Store and any app not available through the store cant run, unless your jailbreak your phone.

People tout Android as a weak opponent of iPhone. I agree to some extent, but the release of G1 really had some impact on the Apple’s policy. The NDA was shown the door and Apple’s tone became a bit liberal. Inspite of all these the iPhone looks more like a Nazi kingdom where you don’t have an alternative. You need to bow your head in front of the Almighty for food apps.

Now since iPhone is Apple’s most important product, should’nt Apple think twice before closing doors at the face of developers without citing a reason? Some day or other I come to hear of news of apps being rejected from the Store. If iPhone dominates the world market, then an anti-trust lawsuit can be files againt for controlling the market. Microsoft has already faced this situation and Apple should learn from the experience.