Frontier goes Open Source (soon)

After dabbling with Frontier over the last five years, I often miss the outlining features of Frontier’s built-in IDE when working in other environments. I’m intrigued however with
Dave Winer’s latest announcement regarding the eminent release of the Frontier kernel as OSS.

It will be interesting to see what OSS license UserLand chooses and if they intend on releasing any of the non-kernelized code such as part of the CMS framework, Manila and/or Radio.

Ultimately however, I’m happy to hear that Frontier’s development opportunities will continue. Perhaps it will evolve into an IDE framework like Eclipse.

Boot. Play! Retro-style

Give that old PC a new life by turning it into a retro gaming console with the KnoppiXMAME Live CD Linux Distro.

KnoppiXMAME is a bootable CD/DVD image with hardware automatic probing and configuration for playing MAME games. No games are included, but they can be added to the ISO image, as well as new versions of X-MAME, gxmame, and the Linux kernel”

Of course you’ll need to legally obtain a few MAME ROMs, but you knew that anyway ;-)

SENTINIX as a Secure Mail Server Cluster

After reading a bit about the Sentinix GNU/Linux distribution, I wasn’t entirely interested because it’s described as a Linux distribution for network monitoring intrusion detection, penetration testing, auditing, statistics/graphing and anti-spam.

The anti-spam feature seemed to be a minor addition.

That is until I read an article about the current Sentinix release from November 2003 on NewsForge.

Ignore the title of the article too and scroll down to the middle of the page where they mention how the OpenMosix clustering enables it to be a Spam/Virus filtering super-computer.

Specifically, check out these quotes from the article:

“As a sysadmin I have frequently seen the need to add more processing power as e-mail traffic increases. The e-mail server is suddenly overloaded and a solution is needed immediately. With the typical system design, this is never easy, it is always tedious and expensive, and it generally causes down time. So, you follow a period of poor system performance by one of system outage.”

“But SENTINIX is on openMosix. You add a new computer to the network, boot it from the SENTINIX CD, and a node adds itself to the Cluster. In seconds the load is being taken up by the new “temporary” machine and the old server is back to running as intended.”

bknox: “So, you are just using the built-in load leveling of openMosix with these standard e-mail filtering applications? And the results?”

michel: “Thats right, SpamAssassin and MailScanner are processing intensive, use modest IO, and the e-mail handling generates several forked processes. We thought that this would be great fit for openMosix and it is.”

bknox: “OK, I know the theory. Processes automatically move to the available resources. But, the proof is in the results. What kind of test results have you seen?”

michel: “My tests are not rigorous or scientific, but sending a huge number of e-mails to a dual-processor (SMP) SENTINIX node plus one additional openMosix node will generally lower the workload on the dual-processor system and also finish the last e-mail more quickly (20-25% faster with no tuning or special consideration given to the cluster). I will share the details.”

It’s been awhile since the Sentinix distro has been updated, but the mailing list is fairly active — apparently with an upcoming release in the works!


Open Source Movies

I just read via Boing Boing that the copyright on the original Night of the Living Dead movie has expired and the entire film is available online for download via! (Brewster Kahle, I’ll say it again, you rock!)

Incidentally, not only does the Internet Archive have a huge collection of Public Domain movies, it also has what appears to be a growing compilation of Open Source movies (and I don’t think they are talking about code)

My SteVo is currently downloading it for me… WAIT! I thought SteVo was an inanimate object… Zombie Server?

Are we seeing the end to commercial TV? Probably not, but it’s nice to dream…


Kazaa is promoting a BitTorrent-like distributed P2P alternative that can be embedded in other P2P networks and web links, which they are calling Magnet links (via Anil Dash’s Links)

More here…

Magnet links allows users to directly download large media files saving website creators and bloggers money on bandwidth costs and effectively propagating files on p2p networks that attract millions of users per day.”

“Magnet links” uses…

MAGNET-URI, [which] is an open URI-scheme and supporting practices/code for enabling seamless integration between websites and locally-running utilities, such as file-management tools.”

MandrakeMove: Bootable Linux Distro

Looks like Mandrake has joined Knoppix in the bootable Linux CD distro trend…

“The MandrakeMove Download Edition is a new product based on Mandrake Linux 9.2 which provides a complete personal desktop operating system on a bootable CD. With MandrakeMove, bring your Mandrake Linux system everywhere: demo it, use it to connect to the Internet, listen to MP3s, watch DivX movies — the possibilities are endless! In addition, the MandrakeMove Boxed Edition provides the ability to save configuration and personal data to a USB key.”

Understanding Open Source Software

This is a handy legal explination of Open Source Software by Red Hat’s Mark Webbink, Esq.:

“Mark Webbink, Senior Vice President and General Counsel of Red Hat, Inc., wrote this article for corporate attorneys, explaining free and open source software and comparing various open source licenses, detailing how the GPL really works, explaining US copyright law, and listing some corporate law office best practices for software, from the standpoint of what policies are prudent for the corporate environment.
He also explains how derivative works are defined, touches on the indemnification issue and the difference between open source and “shared source”, and highlights some of the main myths and misconceptions about the GPL and open source.” (via /.)

Morphix Modular Live-CD Linux Distribution

Morphix is similar to Knoppix in that it’s a complete bootable Linux Distro on CD. The main difference however is that Morphix is modular — with ISO packages ranging from light-weight GUI to gamer

Morphix is a modular distribution, with live-cd support (you burn the CD, you put it in your CD-Rom drive, you boot and it works… no harddisk-installation necessary, doesn’t touch your data). Also, installing Morphix on a harddisk is a breeze, if you want to. Just click on the icon on the desktop, or choose the installer from the morphix/babytux submenu.”

Note that many of the Morphix ISOs are still beta and should still be considered experimental.

Stopping spam with the Anti-Spam-SMTP-Proxy

This seems like a smart approach: Stop spam at the SMTP-level with Whitelists and Bayesian filtering using the Anti-Spam-SMTP-Proxy (ASSP):

“The Anti-Spam SMTP Proxy (ASSP) Server project aims to create an open source platform-independent SMTP Proxy server which implements whitelists and Bayesian filtering to rid the planet of the blight of unsolicited email (UCE). UCE must be stopped at the SMTP server. Anti-spam tools must be adaptive to new spam and customized for each site’s mail patterns. This free, easy-to-use tool works with any mail transport and achieves these goals requiring no operator intervention after the initial setup phase.”

JavaScript: Search word hit-highlighting

I found searchhi, which is a slick JavaScript library by Stuart Langridge that will highlight keywords in your documents when the referring link to you page comes in from a seach engine such as Google:

searchhi JavaScript library is a way of automatically highlighting words on a page when that page was reached by a search engine. In essence, if you search, for example, Google for some words, and then follow a link from the search results to a searchhi enabled page, the words you searched for will be highlighted on that page.”

I was actually thinking of using PHP to do this, but Stuart’s JS code seems to be a better alternative given that the performance hit is on the client-side.

Jahia: Integrated Java CMS and Portal

I had a chance to take a look at the new 4.0 version of Jahia and I must say that I am very impressed. As 100% Java solution, it’s a competitive alternative to SharePoint.

Jahia is not quite Open Source however, you do get the source code, but the license model is “Jahia Collaborative Source License (JCSL)”, which roughly means that you can either pay for the license in dollars or pay with code contributions to the project. Certainly an interesting model that is similar to Sun Collaborative Source License (SCSL).

Some of the other interesting facets to Jahia are the stack of Java Open Source Projects that the default install includes. Like for example Tomcat, Slide WebDAV, the Lucerne Search Engine, Struts, OpenLDAP, and HSQL Database Engine.

As far a features go, it definitely crosses the line between CMS and Portal, by integrating rich CMS functionality with workflow and versioning as well as document management (check-in/check-out) with WebDAV access. This is all on top of a highly-configurable “portlet-based” interface framework.