Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Haskell': Changes to the Report!

The recent goal for Haskell' has been to actually start committing modifications to the Haskell98 report. Well, as mentioned on the mailing list, we've started making changes relating to Pattern Guards.

The current draft of the Haskell' report will be auto-generated whenever someone submits a patch. Thanks for setting up the build system, Malcolm!

Haskell' ("Haskell Prime") is the working name of the next Haskell language standard. Haskell is the best programming language in the world.  

Monday, January 15, 2007

Open, Linux-based Phones

I want a cell phone that runs Linux. I've been wanting one for a long time. Why should I care what OS it runs? Well, I have two main reasons: 1) because I want to support commercial ventures related to free software, and 2) I want to write applications for it, and I don't want to be beholden to some vendor to sell me a development kit, and tell me what I can and cannot write. I want to apt-get install the developer kit, write some code, and upload it to the phone. Rock.

I've been paying only scant attention to the cell phone market since I got a Treo 600, which I like a lot. It is _not_ a Linux-based phone. It runs PalmOS, which is a pretty crufty OS, but I've been using it since 2001, so I have a lot of data in there. It should be pretty easy to get the data out, though, so I'm not worried. I really like the Treo's thumb-keyboard; It's qwerty, and I can type pretty fast on it. Numeric keypad based phones are lame. I hardly ever type in numbers anyway.

Apple recently announced the iPhone, which I shouldn't even mention because it doesn't allow 3rd party applications, doesn't run on a free operating system, and is probably very buggy since they've never done anything like that before. Enough about Apple.

As I poke around the intern-webs, I find that some stuff has been happening over the year when it comes to Linux-based phones, but I'm having a hard time figuring out exactly what is happening. It's surprising how little information is out there. Despite this great list of starting places from linuxdevices.com, the rabbit trail never leads to a "buy this phone" button.

Look! There's an open Linux-based phone platform called OpenMoko. At least, I think that's what I pieced together from the scant information available on their web site. Maybe OpenMoko is the phone and openembedded is the platform? I had a very nice conversation with some folks on freenode who explained a bit about this really cool project to me. It looks like they even have a phone that it sounds like is going to be released soon, and it's discussed on LinuxDevices.com. That phone looks pretty sweet. It has a GPS built in too. I like the touch-screen idea that I guess it has, based on the pictures, and it's not way too expensive. Maybe that's the phone I'll get.

All it's missing is a "buy it now" button. Oh, and "apt-cache search openmoko" doesn't turn up anything.
So on to the Green Phone by Trooktech. This looks pretty good, but not as a replacement for my Treo, since the primary interface is a numeric keypad instead of a qwerty keyboard.

It looks like you can actually buy a development version of the phone, but it's not overly free; you cannot develop commercial applications on it without paying them a licensing fee. Lamers. According to some folks on freenode, this phone is just a prototype for vendors like this one. (But do you see a "buy this phone" button on that page?)

There's a nice article that talks about several of these devices, including the Nokia N800, which is a Linux-based handheld computer / web appliance. I played with one the other day, and it's pretty sweet. Too bad it isn't a phone, or I'd buy one today.

So it looks like there's no open, Linux-based, qwerty phone out there yet. If you know otherwise, let me know. Perhaps one is coming out next month. I think I can wait that long.   

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Karen Sept's Osteopathic Practice

Some of you may know Karen Sept from Saint Stephen's. I just put a web site for osteopathic practice up on my server. She runs her practice in Hawaii. Karen is a great person, and I'm really hoping her practice takes off :) So if you know Karen, link to her site. Osteopathic medicine sounds really cool. I never knew what it was before.

I was really pleased with how easy it was to set up a brand new site. I just logged into my registrar and added the new name, pointing it to my IP address. Then I modified my Apache configuration to bring up that web site when people visited that URL using Apache's Virtual Host system, which took all of 3 minutes, and I didn't even know anything about it; I just copied some example. She wrote the site content, so all I had to do was untar it onto my server.

That probably sounds pretty hard to folks who are using a complete hosting service where you have FTP access and all you have to do is drag the files over to the server. Well, I like doing things the "hard" way and then talking about how easy it is ;)  

Monday, January 1, 2007

Cycling Fun and Pictures of Oregon

I've been having a nice vacation from work over the last week. In Portland, the weather has been pretty darn good, and I've been doing a lot of cycling. I rode up two of Portland's extinct volcanos, Rocky Butte (which is also a climbing area) and Mount Tabor, where my friend Jenn thinks she might get married. Speaking of Jenn, I also biked up and over the hills of Washington Park to go visit her place the other day.
I also did some biking in Forest Park (pictured below) with Phil, who was visiting this week. I had a great time with Phil. We talked a lot about books, and played an epic game of Risk for new years. It was awesome. I've never played Risk before. Phil is lots of fun, it's great when old friends visit :)
And now for some pictures of Oregon.
This is Beacon Rock (actually, I have to admit that it's in Washington). Heres me climbing it:
And my friend Dan, which gives more of a perspective view:
Here's Anna at an Oregon vineyard. Oregon has lovely vineyards and good beer :)
Here's Forest Park, previously pictured on this blog:
And back by popular demand, a picture of my cat. He is clearly very clever: