Archive | July 8, 2005

Using WebMin for Fun and Profit, a DLSLUG presentation with S5

I had the privilege last night of speaking to the Dartmouth-Lake Sunapee Linux User Group, one of five chapters of the Greater New Hampshire Linux User Group on the installation, configuration and management of WebMin, a Perl-based, BSD-licensed tool for remote, secure, web-based management of many, many different modules in a Linux/Unix/HP-UX/Solaris system. This is a great tool, providing a simple, discoverable, explorable GUI for systems controlled by sometimes-obscure text configuration files. Text files are superior to an opaque “Registry” but having a GUI as well is the best of both worlds! My slides and notes are available for viewing from the whitepapers site, written in Eric Meyer’s great S5: Simple Standards-Based Slide Show System – a single HTML page, a couple of magic CSS files and a couple of images give you a slide show with keyboard shortcuts, a handout/slideshow view toggle and a popup menu (move your mouse to the lower right corner) to navigate to any slide. Slick stuff, elegantly simple to use.

Microsoft Longhorn Beta 1 to be released Summer 2005

Microsoft Watch from Mary Jo Foley reports Microsoft Reconfirms Longhorn Targets. “Beta 1 of Longhorn is still on track for this summer, Sanjay Parthasarathy reiterated that Longhorn Beta 1, which will not include the new user interface bits, is due this summer. Beta 2, which will showcase the new interface, is due out some time in the first part of 2006. The final Longhorn client release is still, as of now, due out in the latter half of 2006.”

Isn’t that curious. Microsoft has previously used “Beta” like much of the rest of the software industry for a feature-complete product with testing required but all major features in place. In particular, Microsoft’s “Marketing Betas” to the public were primarily used by the MS Marketing teams to determine how to pitch the product and how to respond the the FAQs. This beta is more likely what most would consider an alpha, with features yet to be completed, making evaluation of the product more difficult. This comes across to me as primarily a PR effort to show that Microsoft is still in the game. With the dropping/delay of major features (WinFS), release of others separate from the Longhorn OS (Avalon and Monad) and the addition of others (RSS), Longhorn still feels like too much of a moving target and not a product with a fixed feature list. It will be interesting to read how the industry press reviews this “beta.”

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This work by Ted Roche is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 United States.