Mono installation fest today. I installed Mono 0.31 on Linux as well as my iBook running MacOS X. My usual test is building NAnt and running the test suite of Ant's .NET tasks. As always things went smooth on Linux.

I didn't have any compilation trouble on OS X this time, but the JIT is still rather wacky. Whenever I try to build NAnt, I get greeted by a core dump or mono hangs - this time it hangs after an unhandled NullReferenceException (could be NAnt's fault).

So I tried Ant's .NET task tests and for the first time ever, mono - the JIT - worked for a simplistic "Hello world" like example. I'm happy.

It looks as if the .NET antlib is in a usable state right now and I consider putting together some kind of official release so it gets a bit more testing. I may even use it to push for an Ant subproject dedicated to Ant task libraries.

path: /en/dotNet/mono | #

I've been quite surprised when I received the first spam mail that got my name correct in the subject line sometime last months, but now I've started to get virus mails with an attachment named Imagine how many people will be convinced the document is for/about them. Scary.

path: /en/malware/viruses | #

I've noticed some effects of the virus attacks of the past months on the way I usually deal with email:

path: /en/malware/viruses | #

Matthew thinks about a German version of BoggerCon. Nice idea and the Nixdorf Museum would certainly be worth a visit.

This blog is hosted on so it seems I should reach quite a few people with a pointer to Matthew's post. I'll check with the guy behind this effort to find out which forum would be appropriate.

path: /en/Germany | #

Betrand points to a publication of the Swiss government detailing their open source strategy.

This reminded me that I wanted to blog about a speech I attended during OOP 2004. It was a keynote by an IT director of the German Federal Ministry of the Interior talking about the German eGovernment strategy.

By the end of 2005 Germany wants to provide internet-access to all federal services where this is possible - and a lot of it is already done. Of 400 services on the list, more than 240 are already online according to the "Fortschrittsanzeiger".

What I found to be the most interesting part was that an agency of the Federation and the German states has been created (not interesting in itself) and they have delivered a number of documents and components.

The first - and probably most important for eGovernment - document is SAGA. "Standards and Architectures for e-Government Applications". This contains detailed recommendations on the development process, software architecture and platform as well as data descriptions to use. XML is everywhere. In the middleware field J2EE wins with .NET being "under observation". PHP is the recommended technology for services "without middleware". Adhering to SAGA is not mandatory, but you better don't expect public funding if you don't follow it.

The other interesting document is a Migration Guide for services that are going to migrate to the recommended architecture. This also includes migration of desktop systems in public offices. The introduction goes a long way to explain that it wasn't a single-sided pro-open-source guide. For a lot of areas it shows a (mostly Microsoft based) proprietary "now" and lists some migration alternatives. Sometimes there is only one alternative. For almost all areas - one exception is "middleware", since J2EE can, but doesn't have to be open source - there is at least one open source migration alternative.

This migration guide is quite detailed and obviously applies outside of German government offices as well. Central pieces of the open source architectures are Linux, Samba, OpenLDAP and Apache HTTPD 2.x. In some areas there is no clear decision between open source alternatives (like with RDBMSes and office applications) and the document contains various interesting comparisons of the alternatives.

The other interesting aspect is how those documents have been assembled. There are public online discussion boards and everybody can contribute.

The German government's position on open source software seems to be quite a bit more positive than the Swiss'. Several government agencies sponsor open source projects. An example is Ägypten that incorporates support for electronic signatures according to the German "Signaturgesetz" into various open source MUAs.

path: /en/Germany | #

I'm still running RedHat Linux 7.3 on my machine at home, mostly since it simply works. For the time being all it has is a 28k modem to connect to the internet (sooo 90s or even 80s, I know) and using an OS that needs online access to be upgraded is not an option.

Today I stumbled over The Fedora Legacy Project which will make me bother about unfixed security holes a lot less. It certainly isn't new and I wonder why I didn't know about it before.

path: /en/oss | #

CNN: McSupersizes to be phased out (via Rich Bowen).


Since first grade, we have been taught to eat a balanced diet. Folks, "balanced" does not mean one cheeseburger in each hand.
really made my day, thanks!

The whole story reminds me of the Stella Liebeck Awards - funny, even though I'm not sure they are authentic.

path: /en/humor | #

I knew this would happen sooner or later, it seems a Windows installation at home is becoming unavoidable.

Our son, Florian, wants to use the computer for something more than just paint stuff with xpaint or attaching earrings to a Potato. Not a bad idea, but there doesn't seem to be too much on the market for my home setup. I own an Intel (actually AMD) based desktop currently running Linux and an iBook running MacOS X. I could be talked into installing additional OSes, but would like to avoid Windows or MacOS 9.

I've googled a little and came across the Open Source Education Foundation, Tux4Kids (currently down) and The KDE Edutainment Project among some other interesting things like Tux Paint. But nothing I've found there really fits what I'm looking for.

Florian is six, he's a first grader, which means he's just started to learn reading and writing and his maths skills for this term are bounded by the number 20. This is where all the open source efforts I've found are lacking, they target a much older audience.

What do I need

  1. Software that is localized - he doesn't speak any language other than German yet.
  2. Software that is easy to use.
  3. Software that is fun to use.
  4. You should be able to learn something by using it.

Certainly I could write something myself but would fail badly with all but the first point in my list above. I'm neither a teacher nor a GUI wizard (quite the opposite).

All commercial software I've found requires Windows or with very much luck MacOS 9. My current plan is to try to get one of those commercial packages to run with Wine and if that fails to give in and install Windows ME in a VMWare sandbox, but maybe there are alternatives? I'm willing to pay, both money or with my time.

I've also started to ask for non-Windows versions with some of the major German educational software companies, but don't expect too many responses.

path: /en/edutainment | #

Somebody has to mention it, so why not me. Gump has been promoted to a stand alone project in Apache land and is no longer a sub-project of Jakarta. This is another step to show that Gump isn't all about Java, or at least it shouldn't be.

Gump started as an integration project for some Apache code bases, building projects every night from CVS and compiling each project against the latest version of the projects it depends upon - instead of a released version. It has since then by far outgrown its initial purpose and is in use to communicate code changes between 484 projects in 181 modules (being CVS or Subversion modules) right now - actually Gump's purpose is now to get the developers of those projects to communicate with each other.

Right now it can only build projects that either use a shell-script/batch-file combo or Ant, Maven support is on the way.

It's still very much Java centric, something we really want to address. We (well, most of the work is done by Adam) are currently rewriting Gump in Python. If you are interested in helping out, or want to help us reach into non-Java projects, you are more than welcome. Please join us at

path: /en/Apache/Gump | #