Google Maps Plugin for WordPress

This software will let you easily render Google Maps anywhere on your blog as a web service. It also includes code for easy integration with WordPress blogs, but what the code does best can actually be used with any other blog system or plain web page.

This plugin will let you easily create from simple maps with one marker and a text balloon, to complex multimarker maps with hypertext balloons as this page.

Installation on WordPress Blogs

Install it as any other plugin (unziping plugin files under [WORDPRESS_ROOT]/wp-content/plugins directory and activate it in WP Plugins admin tool). Then go to the Google Maps API key signup page, get an API key for your website, and install it in the plugin’s admin page under Options.

Google Maps WP admin page

Creating Simple Maps

This is the easy part.

  1. Go to Google Maps, find the spot you want to show, select Map, Satelite or Hybrid view buttons, double-click on the most important point on the map to centralized it, and define the zoom factor you want.
  2. On the left-top corner of the map, click on the “Link to this page” link, and copy your browser’s location to the clipboard. You can do the same for complex maps created on the My Maps section of Google Maps website.

    Link selection

  3. While creating the post, select the text that will be displayed on the map marker, and create a link with it.

    Select text for the map's mrker

  4. Paste the map URL on the Link URL field, and on Title write “googlemap“.

    Link creation dialog

  5. Continue editing your post and publish.

You are done. This example will render a map like this (don’t forget to click on the marker to see the balloon):

TuxThis will be a map’s marker text with an image.

Passing Parameters

You may have noticed that on the Title field above we used other commands. In fact you can use the following switches, separated by “;” to control the way the map will appear in your site.

googlemap
Instructs the plugin to transform this link into a Google Map area. If not used, the plugin will not work on the link and you’ll get a plain link to the Google Maps site.
nocontrol or nocontrols
Renders a map without the zoom and scale controls
nomarker or nomarkers
Renders a map without the marker with the information balloon.
w:SIZE_IN_PIXELS and h:SIZE_IN_PIXELS
Defines the size of the map area in pixels.
w:PERCENT% and h:PERCENT%
Defines the size of the map area relative to full width and height.

Since other plugins may use the title attribute, you can also put these commands in the rel attribute and activate this functionality in the plugin configuration dialog.

Some examples for the Title (or rel) field:

googlemap
Renders a map with controls, marker an default sizes, as specified in the plugin’s admin page, under WP Options.
googlemap;nocontrols;w:300;h:200
Renders a 300×200 map with marker but no zoom controls.
googlemap;nomarker;nocontrols;w:100;h:100
Renders a small 100×100 map without marker and zoom controls.
googlemap;nomarker;nocontrols;w:100%;h:300
Renders a maps that fills the full width available with a 300 pixels height, without markers and zoom controls.

Creating Complex Maps

This procedure requires some HTML knowledge, but will let you create maps with multiple markers, and results as good as on this post.

The proccess consists of creating a definition list (<dl> XHTML element) of a center point and markers with their text balloons.

Learn by example. Pay attention to the following complex map, and select all its markers to see the text inside their balloons:

Center of map
map
Center of São Paulo
map
Flea market
map
Traditional market
balloonless marker
map
Japanese town

It was generated by this (X)HTML code:

<dl title="googlemap;w:100%;h:400">
	<dt><a href="http://maps.google.com/?z=15&ll=-23.550887,-46.631985&om=1">Center of map</a></dt>

	<dt><a href="http://maps.google.com/?ll=-23.550592,-46.633122">map</a></dt>
	<dd><strong>Center of São Paulo</strong></dd>

	<dt><a href="http://maps.google.com/?ll=-23.547563,-46.631041">map</a></dt>
	<dd>Flea market</dd>

	<dt><a href="http://maps.google.com/?ll=-23.54535,-46.627693" title="marker">map</a></dt>
	<dd>Traditional market</dd>

	<dt><a href="http://maps.google.com/?ll=-23.54715,-46.637263">balloonless marker</a></dt>

	<dt><a href="http://maps.google.com/?ll=-23.555195,-46.635547" title="marker">map</a></dt>
	<dd>Japanese town</dd>
</dl>

So the structure must folow these rules:

  1. Create a definition list (<dl>) and put map-related commands and parameters on title= attribute as specified above.
  2. First definition term (<dt>, first green line) must contain only a link to Google Maps site, to define its center and other map parameters. The text for the link is ignored when a map is generated, so use a text like “Center of Map” so people accessing your posts outside your blog (for exemple, through feed readers) will have a clue what is this link for.
  3. The rest is a pair of terms and definitions (<dt> and <dd>) with the marker position (as a Google Maps URL) and the text on the balloon respectivelly.
  4. You can create a balloonless markers specifying only a <dt> without a <dd>.
  5. Whatever you put inside the <dd> block will appear inside the balloon. Put links, images, lists, tables, etc.

Using Google My Maps or KML and GeoRSS maps

You can use Google My Maps service to create and manage colorfull markers, paths, regions and the text inside the balloon, and simply use the “Link To This Page” link to embed the map in your page as described above.

The plugin will use the KML-exported version of your map to create the balloons, markers, regions and paths. Simply exaplained, KML is XML dialect that contains all meta information of your maps: markers positions and images, line colors, balloon texts, etc. You can create KMLs with tools like Google Earth, Goole Maps or even using a plain text editor. GeoRSS format is also supported but can’t be used for paths, regions and markers colors, only plain geographical positions.

The good news is that you can embed KML-maps from any source, and not only from Google My Maps. You can upload a KML file to your web server and pass it to the plugin to render it. Here is an example on how to do it in a more advanced way:

<dl title="googlemap;w:100%;h:400" id="my-wonderful-map-with-kml">

	<dt><a href="http://maps.google.com/?z=7&ll=-23.550887,-46.631985&om=1">Center of map</a></dt>

	<dt><a title="kml" href="http://my.server.com/spots-on-the-farm.kml">markers</a></dt>

	<dt><a title="kml" href="http://my.server.com/spots-on-the-beach.kml">more markers</a></dt>

</dl>

This example will render a map centralized on geo position -23.550887 -46.631985 and overlay it with two KML specifications: spots-on-the-farm.kml and spots-on-the-beach.kml. Note the required title=”kml” parameter that indicates to the plugin that this is KML or GeoRSS overlay and not a plain marker position.

Positioning and Style Possibilities

To have better control over the map positioning and overall look, you can manually edit the HTML code while posting, including style and class attributes. Find the <a> or <dl> tag for your link and use this examples to get some clues:

  • <a style=”float:left; width:300px; height:300px;” title=”googlemap”
    Renders a 300×300 map floating on left of the paragraph. See example.
  • <a class=”photo” style=”float:right;” title=”googlemap”
    Renders a map with default dimensions floating on the right of the paragraph, with style class photo, that in my theme defines some margins and borders.
  • <dl style=”visibility: hidden;” title=”googlemap”
    Using style=”visibility: hidden” will make the browser hide the map definititon text while loading the page. Seconds later, when the plugin renders the maps on your page, the hidden blocks will finaly appear as maps.

The HTML attributes id=, style= and class= you specify will be inherited by the generated map.

In addition, a CSS class called map will be added to all maps, and to all balloons a CSS class named balloon will be assigned. This way you can define your own style for these elements.

Troubleshooting

Some common problems people have, and solutions.

  • Map does not appears or appears on a different geo locationMake sure the Google Maps URL you are pasting is correct and complete. A correct URL must have the following parameters: ll= required to define latitude and longitude for center of the map or a marker, om= option to show or not the overview map on bottom-right, z= required to define the initial zoom factor, t= option to define if map is plain, satellite or hybrid, msid= required if you are pasting My Maps from Goole Maps website.
  • Problems with &You should not have problems with & chars being modified by the WordPress editor. If so, it means you are working with complex maps. Yes, WordPress WYSIWYG editor sucks a little bit. So if you are working with complex maps, you should switch to the plain text editor. You can’t just open the post editor in WYSIWYG and select the plain text editor after that. The mess was already done. You will have to edit your profile under Users->Your Profile and deselect the “Use the visual editor when writing” options when you edit that post. Once it is saved you can reselect it again.
  • Grey area instead of markers, or simply don’t have markersGoogle Maps API uses a lot of CSS style to render its maps on your page. This problem is caused by a conflict between CSS needed by Google Maps and your page or theme defined style. Use Firefox’ DOM inspector to drill down into your document structure until you find the markers XHTML nodes. Then switch to CSS Style Rules mode on the inspector, then select a rule that was defined by your theme, on the top-right box, then delete “background-” related properties on the bottom-right box, one by one, until the marker appears. This will indicate you which property you have to delete from your theme’s or own style.css file.
  • Problems displaying the map on IE7

I still don’t know what is the problem here. I rarely use Windows nor IE, so I can’t reproduce it. This is probably caused by the same CSS conflict above. If you can correctly see the map on this page with IE7, indicates that the problem is specific to your page and related stylesheets. You must debug your CSS styles.

No WordPress ?

If you use other blogging systems, or just want a simple way to create maps on your pages you can still take advantage of this plugin.

Download the plugin, unzip, install its content somewhere on your server accessible from the web. Then edit the HTML source of the pages you want to render maps, find the <head> block, and include the following code inside of it:

<!-- Google Maps Plugin (begin) -->
<!-- http://avi.alkalay.net/2006/11/google-maps-plugin-for-wordpress.html -->

<!-- Google Maps API -->
<script src="http://maps.google.com/maps?file=api&v=2.x&key=MY_API_KEY" type="text/javascript">
</script>

<!-- Google Maps Plugin logic -->
<script src="http://my.site.com/path/to/plugin/googlemapsPlugin.js" type="text/javascript"></script>

<!-- Google Maps Plugin initialization -->
<script type="text/javascript">
	//<![CDATA[

	MapPluginInit(
		/* Default maps width  */          500,
		/* Default maps height */          300,
		/* Use rel instad of title? */     false);
	//]]>
</script>

<!-- Google Maps Plugin (end) -->

Change the red parts to fit your needs. Every page containing the above block will be able to render simple and complex maps as described.

About

This plugin was inspired on Macdiggs Google Maps plugin, but was completely redesigned, rewritten, has much more functionality, made more user friendly, has cleaner code and is more standards oriented. The former Macdiggs’ plugin will not receive updates anymore so this is the plugin you should be using.

Soleil Theme for WordPress

Soleil screenshot

The Soleil theme for WordPress was based on the original creation and colors by designer Carrie Petri for other blog systems. I just mixed the PHP code and some technical ideas thowards what a blog system should be.

Althought it looks really good, Soleil is way more than eye candy. It is unique due to this main features:

  1. Localized on demand
    The blog generic control strings will appear in visitor’s language that he set on his browser. Also, all blog-specific strings as category names, post titles and personal links may have hooks for personal localizations. See bellow how to activate this feature.
  2. Widgetized sidebar
    Soleil provides all its sidebar content as widgets. If you use the WordPress Widget Plugin, you’ll be able to visually rearrange the sidebar and also visually use more widgets from a vast network of developers.
  3. Very friendly to feed readers
    Every aspect of a Soleil blog provides clear and intuitive links and icons to its feed version. Categories archive pages, comments, list of categories on the sidebar, etc. Browse my blog to see what I’m talking about.

All artwork was completely redrawed in CAD systems and in OpenOffice.org Draw to improve images quality. The vector files are included.

Other benefits of this theme are:

  1. Shiny and vibrant colors, thanks to Carrie.
  2. Certified to work on Firefox 2, IE 6 and Konqueror. This gives a clue it will look good in any other browser.
  3. Efficient, yet well balanced use of the entire screen.
  4. Intuitive icons for reply, trackback, blog, post and category feeds, etc.
  5. Clear visual separtion between each post, each comment, etc.
  6. Shows number of comments in evidence.
  7. Direct links to post and comment editing (for administrator only).
  8. Includes a style for printing that hides parts of the page irrelevant to this media.
  9. Provide list of links with icons to popular feed readers.

Download the theme archive, unzip it in your [WORDPRESS_ROOT]/wp-content/themes directory, and select it in the Presentation tab of your WordPress admin interface. Organize the sidebar widgets (if you use the recomended Widgets Plugin) on the admin interface, Presentation -> Sidebar Widgets.

Soleil Predefined Style Classes

Soleil provides some CSS classes that I heavily use in my posts:

photo
To be used on image tags. Add margins, padding and a slim border. Use it like this:

<img class="photo" style="float right" …
command
From the docbook series and for technical writers, renders a computer command in evidence. Use it like this:

<span class="command">ls -al</span>
programlisting and screen
From the docbook series and for technical writers, renders a box with special fixed size font as a computer output or programlisting. Adds scrollbars if content is too wide, to not breake your layout. Usage:

<pre class="programlisting"> 
	// sourcecode of a program 
	code { 
		Some code 
	} 
</pre>

or

<pre class="screen"> 
	bash$ ls -al 
</pre>
filename
From the docbook series and for technical writers, renders a filename in evidence. Use it like this:

<span class="filename">/bin/kdb</span>
xmlbutton
An XML button maker, the one very popular on blogs etc. To get a button like My XML button, use as:

<a class="xmlbutton" href="http://someplace">My XML button</a>
articleinfo
Creates a nice may-be-floating box for you to show some information about the post. The box will appear in evidence but outside the stream of the text. See an example on this post. Usage:

<div class="articleinfo" style="float: right">Some info about this article.<div>

You should also use <h4> as the header for subtitles inside posts.

Displaying Links Correctly on Sidebar

Many blogs that use Soleil have their links looking bad on their sidebar. To fix this, you should go to your blog admin interface, select Links->Link Categories and edit each link category’s properties in a way that each item will be wrapped into an HTML <li> tag.

For example, my blog categories have Before Link: <li> and After Link: </li>

Soleil Localization and Internationalization

Soleil’s default language is english, and is currently localized to portuguese.
To localize Soleil to you language, go to soleil/languages and copy the theme-pt.po (portuguese language) file to theme-YOURLANGUAGECODE.po and edit it to fit your language needs. The file format is very intuitive and it contains all generic messages the theme uses.

You can also localize your blog specific strings as your category names, blog name, blog description, and even some posts titles. For this you have to edit personal-YOURLANGUAGECODE.po in the same way.

To compile a .po file, on Linux do this:

bash$ msgfmt -c -v -o theme-YOURLANGUAGE.mo theme-YOURLANGUAGE.po 
bash$ msgfmt -c -v -o personal-YOURLANGUAGE.mo personal-YOURLANGUAGE.po

The .mo files must be located under soleil/languages/ while the .po don’t have to be under your blog installation, live them in your PC only.

To activate on demand localization based on visitor’s prefered language, ensure your wp-config.php file contains this:

define ('WPLANG', substr($_SERVER['HTTP_ACCEPT_LANGUAGE'], 0, 2));

Enjoy.

Converting YouTube to MPEG or iPod

In the end of this proccess you’ll have an .mpg file on your local disk, generated from an Internet-only YouTube URL.

First make sure you have ffmpeg (video encoding and decoding tools) and lame (MP3 audio encoding and decoding tools) softwares and dependencies installed on your system. You will also require the youtube-dl scripts that downloads the actual YouTube video.

In a Red Hat or Fedora system you can install it from Dag or Livna RPM repositories, with a simple yum command:

bash# yum install ffmpeg lame youtube-dl

Then you get to the YouTube video page you want to download. In this example we’ll use the Heist video, the first Linux ad from IBM, that has http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DO9ZWDaLLxA as its URL.

I’ll use youtube-dl this way:

bash$ youtube-dl -t http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DO9ZWDaLLxA

And I saw it connecting to YouTube several times and downloading the video. In the end, I found a big file named the_heist-RRZyz1vXkPE.flv in the current firectory, which is the video file.

Now lets convert it into MPEG with ffmpeg:

bash$ ffmpeg -i the_heist-RRZyz1vXkPE.flv -acodec copy -sameq heist.mpg

-acodec copy will cause ffmpeg to copy the audio from input to output file, while -sameq causes the output video quality to be the same as the source, but output file will be very big. For YouTube videos, you can use -b 320000 instead of -sameq to get smaller file sizes.

I saw ffmpeg taking some time to convert, and in the end I got the heist.mpg file which I was able to confortablly play in any MPEG aware video player, as mplayer.

If you want to convert the video file into MP4, which is the format supported by iPod Video players, you just change the extension:

bash$ ffmpeg -i the_heist-RRZyz1vXkPE.flv -acodec copy -b 320000 heist.mp4

Ffmpeg will take care to use the maximum screen size available from the source (the .flv file) so the converted file will be as hi-fi as YouTube let be (not too high really).

Enjoy your video.

Samba to use Elektra for configurations

Read here before it goes broad in Slashdot.

Gerald (Jerry) Carter, Samba’s core developer and architect, initiated a Google SoC project to elektrify Samba. The project was successfully completed by Mingwang with Jerry’s mentorship. “Longer term, we (Samba) have to come to an agreement about (…) How (and to what degree) do we support legacy systems that want to continue to the the smb.conf text file. This is a pretty big shift for us. And although everyone agrees that we must have programmatic access to out configuration data from within Samba, we have to chart the course to get from where we are today to where we want to be 6 months down the road.” – said Jerry on the Elektra list while also showed a kdbedit screenshot of an elektrified Samba.

Open Source Geeks Should Read This

The title of that article is Why we won’t be talking about Open Source in the future, by an analyst called Clay Ryder, and I think is provides an insightfull and pragmatic perspective of how Open Source should be looked at by the business world. It perfectly feets what I use to say and present in events.

Here are some quotes:

While there are religious devotees who believe that the most important role of Open Source is to bankrupt Microsoft, there are many who are not on the Redmond attack squad, however, that talk about Open Source as if it remains somehow discrete, or fundamentally different than other software.

…the reality is that from a bits and bytes perspective, open source software is no different than any other. It is code that runs on the machine and hopefully solves a problem and delivers value to the end user. The development model and the pricing model vary, as do issues related to intellectual property and ownership, but at the end of the day it is just software.

Open Source software is making the same demands on the marketplace – these technologies are priceless, therefore stop trying to make money them, but instead invest those same dollars in adding value on top of the priceless technology. As a result, freely distributable, standards based, basic technology will be a given, let’s learn innovate on top of it, where the real value, and may I add, margins, will be found.

This kind of article may appeal to clients who are skeptics about Linux fanatics.

System Rescue Without a Password

So you lost your Linux root password.

No panic. There is a way to reset it:

  1. Turn the computer on and pay attention.
  2. When the bootloader (GRUB or LiLo) screen appears, select the partition you want to fix the password.
  3. Do not boot it yet. Go into edit mode for this partition.
  4. In the end of the kernel boot parameters line, include this init=/bin/bash.
  5. Then boot the partition.
  6. You will see a very fast boot. And right after the pure kernel initialization you’ll receive a root command line. If you try to change a password at this time (with the passwd command), you’ll get a message that means you don’t have write permissions on the filesystem.
  7. So you’ll have to put your system in a read-write state whit this commands:
    bash# mount /proc
    bash# mount -o remount,rw /
  8. All set. Now use the passwd command to change the root password.
  9. Now type the following: sync; sync; exit. Then reset the system.

Note: If the computer has a BIOS or Bootloader password that you don’t know, you won’t be able to use this technique.

The idea here is to change the default program that is executed to setup all the OS environment, right after the kernel initialization. By default it is /sbin/init, and what we did above is to change it to /bin/bash — a regular shell prompt, a command line.

My IT Presentations

Here are some presentations that I created and use to deliver in IBM events.
Most charts include speaker notes. They are all in Use OpenOffice.org Open Document Format (ODF).
I rarely use the full presentations, I select the best charts according to the audience.

I am also founder of the Elektra Initiative, and produced an Elektra Presentation that members of the community use to deliver in Linux events.

See also the articles I have written.

Inline Blogger.com Comment Form

  • WARNING: This script is not being supported anymore since I moved to a much better blogging system with WordPress.

If you don’t want your blog visitors to be redirected to blogger.com website just to write a comment for your post, you are in the right place.

This page will show you how to include a comment form directly into your post page, just as you can see in this very page, bellow. After installing this solution in your blogger.com blog you’ll feel an instant increase in the number of comments people write for you, because a comment form right in the face of your visitor is way more intuitive and inviting tsule with nowadays blogger.com interfaces, and stepped out from a hack status into a clean, functional and well documented solution.

PLEASE, write a comment here, including a link to your blog so people can know who else is using this solution.

PLEASE, do not make test in this post. PLEASE, leave it for real comments or support questions. PLEASE, use this post to test the form.

Installing

  1. Download this script and make it available somewhere on your website, for example from the URL http://my.website.com/resources/bloggerCommentForm.js (this is the URL we’ll use in our examples).
  2. Edit your blogger.com template and look for the end of the HTML header marked by the </head> tag.
  3. Right before the header ending include the following piece of code in a way that everything will look like:
    <ItemPage>
    <script type="text/javascript" xsrc="http://my.website.com/resources/bloggerCommentForm.js"  >
    </script>
    
    <script type="text/javascript">
    // Lets configure the comment form a little bit
    
    // Include some style
    commentFormStyle();
    
    </script>
    </ItemPage>  </head>
  4. Now you’ll have to place a call to a JavaScript method that will render the form. Scroll down and look for the section on your template that renders the comment. It starts with a <div id=”comments”> tag. This code should be included right after it:
    <a name="postcomment"></a><h4>Write a Comment</h4>
    
    <script type="text/javascript">
    commentForm('<$BlogItemCommentCreate$>');
    </script>
  5. Save your template and republish your blog.
  6. Visit one of your posts page, see if the form appears, and try posting some different comments as different users.

Configuring the Form

You can configure the form, specialy for internationalization, in a very clean way without having to change the code. For example, look how it looks in a brazilian portuguese blog post.

  1. For that, edit your template again and look for the script initialization part you just included in the <head> section.
  2. You can define some JavaScript variables that will define the form language and other parametrizations. Copy and paste these defaults to start translating:
    <script type="text/javascript">
    
    // Lets configure the comment form a little bit
    
    // Include some style
    commentFormStyle();
    
    // General parameters
    var labelWidth = 80;
    var bloggerFormActionURL="http://www.blogger.com/login-comment.do"
    var confirmBeforePost = true;
    
    // Language defaults
    var bloggerUserLabel = "Blogger.com user";
    var otherUserLabel = "Other";
    var customUserLabel = "Name or nickname: ";
    var urlLabel = "URL: ";
    var anonLabel = "Anonymous";
    var rememberLabel = "Remember Me";
    var postedByText = "Posted by";
    var commentButtonText = "Post Comment";
    var previewButtonText = "Preview";
    var previewWindowTitle = "Comment Preview";
    var confirmText = "Post this comment?";
    var boldButtonText = "B";
    var italicsButtonText = "I";
    var linkButtonText = "Link";
    var linkPrompt = "Link Text:";
    var urlPrompt = "Link URL:";
    var quoteButtonText = "Quote";
    var quotePrompt = "Use your mouse to select the text"+
    " in the comment you want to quote.n"+
    "Then press the quote button.";
    </script>

Additionally, you may want to change the target links in your template to make them point visitors to the comment form in the post page. For example, I have the following piece of code in my template that renders each post footer:

<p class="post-footer">
<em><$BlogItemDateTime$></em> |
<a xhref="<$BlogItemPermalinkUrl$>"
title="permanent link">permalink</a>
<BlogItemCommentsEnabled>
<a class="comment-link"
xhref="<$BlogItemPermalinkUrl$>#postcomment"><$BlogItemCommentCount$>
comments</a>
</BlogItemCommentsEnabled>
<BlogItemBacklinksEnabled>
<a class="comment-link"
xhref="<$BlogItemPermalinkUrl$>#links"  >links to this post</a>
</BlogItemBacklinksEnabled>
<$BlogItemControl$>
</p>

This script is free and licensed under the LGPL.
Enjoy.

High Availability Linux Clusters

Here is a light document, in the form of a presentation, to help IT architects or sales people to understand High Availability Clusters with Linux:

  • How it works
  • Components needed to build HA clusters
  • Replication
  • SCSI and Fiber Channel considerations
  • Reference architectures
  • Clustering of popular products
  • Sizing guides
  • etc

Start here and follow the links to browse it, download PDF or the original Use OpenOffice.org (ODF) file.

There are also excelent presentations and tutorials in the Linux-HA Project website.

Developers for Increased Openness Ecosystem

I’m proud to say that Rogério Oliveira, IBM Brazil General Manager, said a phrase that I keep saying inside IBM for at least 4 years.

If we build relationships with our customer’s development teams, we’ll be able to detect opportunities at least 6 months earlier than when talking only to customer’s IT infrastructure teams

Rogerio Oliveira, IBM Brasil General Manager

Development teams role in the IT environment of some customer is to be the closest point to the line of business a technology provider like IBM can and should effectively reach.

The Best Linux Distribution

Check this presentation to business and technical people about Linux Distributions. There is an article outlining the same topics that can work as a transcript for this presentation.

The topics included are:

  • What makes a Linux distributions to be what it is
  • The ingredients for success and for market failure
  • Core technologies inside a distribution
  • Important points to consider when choosing “the best distribution”
  • What “support” is, its importance, and what customers should really look for when considering comercial support for a Linux distribution
  • High level comparation between Red Hat Enterprise Linux and SUSE Linux Enterprise Server in flavor, standards adherence and stability
  • Highlights on other non-comercial distributions as Fedora, OpenSUSE, Debian, Slackware etc, and the weak-ecosystem ones as Mandriva, Ubuntu, etc
  • Colorful details about how Linux distributions work with and package Open Source software
  • The new generation of “semi”-comercial distributions

Availability:

Check also an interview I gave in a Linux World event right after presenting this:

Linux Astral Map

This is Linux atral map, which defines (for who believe) Linux’s personality and future. It was made based on the time the Linux OS was born, took from the e-mail Linus Torvalds sent releasing the first Linux version.

From: torvalds@klaava.Helsinki.FI (Linus Benedict Torvalds)
Newsgroup: comp.os.minix
Subject: What would you like to see most in minix?
Summary: small poll for my new operating system
Message-ID: 1991 Aug 25, 20578.9541@klaava.Helsinki.FI
Date: 25 Aug 91 20:57:08 GMT
Organization: University of Helsinki.

Hello everybody out there using minix-

I’m doing a (free) operating system (just a hobby, won’t be big and professional like gnu) for 386(486) AT clones. This has been brewing since april, and is starting to get ready. I’d like any feedback on things people like/dislike in minix; as my OS resembles it somewhat (same physical layout of the file-sytem due to practical reasons) among other things.

I’ve currently ported bash (1.08) an gcc (1.40), and things seem to work.
This implies that i’ll get something practical within a few months, and I’d like to know what features most people want. Any suggestions are welcome, but I won’t promise I’ll implement them 🙂

Linux Torvalds torvalds@kruuna.helsinki.fi

The astrologist who made the interpretation said many things about Linux “personality”. Some of them:

  • He’ll have a lot of money
  • He’ll receive many many help from many many people
  • He has a kind of a funny personality, like a child (remembers the Tux logo…)
  • He has a very speial personality, something you don’t find everyday