NME – Another write once run everywhere toolkit

NMENME is an open source cross-platform programming framework based on the HAXE language. It’s main stated purpose is to let you write a single code base that will then be portable to a wide range of devices and platforms. This is not a new idea, in fact this, is a kind of a computing holy grail, that goal was stated by HTML5, and by Java before that, and by Cross-Platform toolkits before that, and by high-level languages before that. And while all those tools have their advantages and uses, none had become “the single tool you use for everything”, most found other purposes that were far removed from the originally stated goals. While HTML5 seems to me to be the most serious contender to that throne, it’s success might be due to the fact that you have the same browsers everywhere.

NME seems to have an enthusiastic community around it, and who knows, with the mobile market’s balkanized state, it might succeed.

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JavaScript as a multilangauge environment.

emscriptenI am fascinated by multi-language programming environments and libraries. I believe that if a programming environment or technique is useful, that it should be useful to programmers of many languages, not just those of the language with which the environment was initially implemented. That is why I typically dislike thing like Rails, Java and browser JavaScript – that take a set of ideas and confine them to a single language.

It is not by mistake that I’ve specified the 3 technologies above. All of them have become multi-language over time, the ideas in Rails have been re-implemented many times in many languages, The Java VM has become a language neutral runtime, and now, it seems, so do the web browsers` JavaScript engines.

Here is a list of languages that can be compiled to JavaScript, it is quite extensive, and includes Python, Ruby, Java and C# to name a few.

Another approach is to use something like Emscripten to actually compile the language interpreters written in C or C++ to JavaScript, I”m beginning to wonder if someone would try to compile the JVM or the CLR with it, at some point it may become impossible to tell how many layers of compilers and interpreters you are running on top of…

IndieWeb and running my own pipes

Indie Web Camp logo

It seems that by deciding to run my own instance of Tiny Tiny RSS as a response to the looming shut down of Google Reader, I’ve joined a movement called IndieWeb.

I’m thinking about expanding my operation with that regard, maybe run my own web event processor, or even move this blog or my mail account, I’m also wondering about trying to run and use my own ownCloud or Dispora instances.

They are trying to add DRM to HTML. Really?

StopI can’t believe that in 2011 people still think DRM can work for anything but limit end user choices, security and privacy. Here is an article from EFF  explaining what is going on with this on the HTML standardization front. Please join this struggle and sign EFF’s petition.

In case you don’t know or understand what this is all about, here is my attempt at explaining, by writing a fictional conversation between a DRM Programmer and a Technology Literate User.

DRM Programmer: I want you to buy my data (Movie/Music/Book/Game) and then be able to read (Watch/Listen to/Play) it but not copy it.

Technology Literate User: That is impossible, on computers reading is copying.

D: I will protect the data by encrypting it.

T: If you encrypt the data I won’t be able to read it.

D: I will give you a decryption key so you can decrypt the data and read it.

T: If you give me the decryption key, and let me read the data, I can then write (E.g. save) it, unencrypted, to somewhere else, and therefore copy it.

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Looking for a Google Reader replacement – like everyone else

Google ReaderI, like the rest of the internet, was shocked and annoyed tho learn that Google is planning no shutting down the Google Reader service.

I’ve been looking for an alternative, Here is a rundown of the options I looked info:

  1. The old reader – Lots of promise in the name, couldn’t get my feeds imported yet, I’m 22-thousnad-something in the queue…
  2. NetVibes – Dashboards suck, The reader view looks ok, but you can’t change the sorting to begin from oldest, also the key-bindings are strange.
  3. NewsBlur – Not free. Also the UI is very strange, looks like an upside-down mail reader. If I wanted my RSS reader to look like  mail reader I’d use Thunderbird.
  4. Baz Qux reader – Only one display mode that looks like Google Reader’s “Expanded View” totally useless for reading large amounts of feeds.
  5. TT-RSS – Open sources PHP APP I’d need to host on my own – but the UI looks nice from the screen-shots and it seems to have nice mobile support. I’m planning to look further into this.
  6. Feedly – This is what I use currently – not completely happy about it  since it uses a browser plug-in rather then being an independent site, so I wonder about its portability and support for my mobile phone. The UI is very flashy and wastes a lot of screen real-estate but it can be made useful with the Firefox Sylish Plugin and a custom condensed style. One additional plus for this service is that the key-bindings are compatible with what the reader had.

Finally, here are some links to various call to action sites and petitions:

  1. savegooglereader.org
  2. bringgooglereaderback.com
  3. Petition on change.org and another one and a third

Crypton – Open sources encrypted cloud storage library

Crypton is a library that is meant to allow developers to write privacy-enhanced cloud applications where all data is encrypted on the client side before being stored in the cloud.

Crypton currently consists of a JavaScript library for web applications that provides an object storage API, and a data storage backend built with PostgreSQL, Redis and Node.js. Additional client libraries for desktop applications are also planned.

Crypton is currently developed by the SpiderOAK company and licensed under the AGPL.

Considering GlusterFS for a side project

GlusterFS has been getting a lot of attention recently with RedHat’s decision to integrate it with Hadoop. While is is one of many similar open source distributed file systems, RedHat’s solid backing seems to promise a solid future for GlusterFS.

I’m wondering if it may be time for me to play with it a little, I’m wondering whether I should try and used it to synchronize and backup files on my home computers.