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Project migration from Sourceforge to Googlecode


I have been using googlecode for some of my recent open source development work, and I was surprised how googlecode speeds up development. The SCM is very fast and gave me no troubles, it is easy to create wiki pages and documentation for projects etc. etc. Although it offers limited features, compared to sourceforge for example, but the real power is in its simplicity. Sourceforge offers more features like, hosting web pages and shell services and if you are smart you can also create your own little maven repository for your artifacts; one might argue that all these features make sourceforge very complex. But recently sourceforge has become slow as hell, and it is bit of a pain to manage your work, SCM is slow, web pages are not served with a desired speed, shell services (although more secure) but slower and the whole shell-creation process takes too long. So to cut the story short, I finally decided to migrate some of my work from sourceforge to googlecode, simply because googlecode is faster and simple.

In the beginning I had no clue how to achieve this task. But it was much simpler than I anticipated. My only concern was to get the code migrated fully, safely and with all the version history. This is done by synch'ing the project's SVN repository on googlecode with the repository on sourceforge. First I reset the googlecode repository to enable svn synch'ing. This is done under Administrator->Source tab on your project's homepage on googlecode. Then I began the synch'ing process.

The first step is to initialize the googlecode's subversion repository

svnsync init --username [user] --password [pass] https://[project] https://[project][project]

After this we just start synch'ing the repositories.
svnsync sync --username [user] --password [pass] https://[project]

The above command will fetch all the code, with the version history and including tags and branches.

And this is all to it :). For more information on the svnsync refer to the subversion redbook.
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Oracle-IBM pact and Android


IBM-Oracle pact is a good news for Java developers and for the open source community in general. OpenJDK is a more natural open alternative to Oracle J2SE and is well backed by the Java community, so IBM's move to shift "its development effort from the Apache project Harmony to OpenJDK" makes sense. And remember IBM also wanted to acquire Sun mainly because of Java. Apache Harmony on the other hand never gained enough popularity because of the TCK-issuance tussle between Sun and Apache. But Harmony remains as another open-source implementation of Java, free from legal infringements.

Now a lot of people see this pact as a threat to Google's Android platform, and associate it with Oracle's lawsuit against Google, but I don't think this is the case (although Oracle may think otherwise). First of all OpenJDK is not built for mobile platforms, it could be a threat to Oracle's own J2SE but not to Android. Secondly Google uses Apache Harmony, which has been rewritten and is Open. Google also uses a Dalvik VM, which is a special virtual machine written from scratch for mobile devices, and is also backed by the Open Handset Alliance. Dalvik VM is also open-source and uses it's own form of bytecode, which is "distinct and different from Java bytecode". So Google is not using any Java component in their Android platform, which would obligate them to require a license from Oracle.

As a developer, I think IBM's move is good for Java being Open. To Google it is kind of an opportunity to start owning Harmony and to control development on it; and Google should seriously start investing in Harmony and capitalize on this opportunity. And for the lawsuit, I think Google can win it, if it is not thrown out of the court, may be fined for "some incompatibilities" in their version of Java. But it is the time this suit is going to take, "may" cause some hardware vendors to slowdown their production of android phones, but the demand will drive it and I don't see it happening because Android phones are much cheaper; a lot of android phones are lined up for 2011 with Android-3-based tablets.

Oracle, a patent troll, just wants money and will try to prolong the lawsuit as much as they can to get some leverage from "time" and "doubts" about future of android. But in the end it is not going to matter much because Oracle is not Android's competitor and doesn't have a "real" mobile platform except for the dying-j2me, which they inherited from Sun.

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Open Source "Duke Nukem Forever"


One of my favorite games of all time, Duke Nukem 3D had me waiting "forever", for DNF (Duke Nukem Forever). Then in May 2009 the wait finally ended, when the DNF team got axed. And the game was then kicked into the back burner of Apogee. I think the fans of Duke deserve better, we waited 13 years for the game and in the end it was all in vein.

I think it is time to make DNF Open Source and let the community and fans develop it, and I am pretty sure it won't take that long for the game to be completed. The Open Source guys have done it in the past by developing the High Resolution Pack for Duke Nukem 3D, and I am sure they can do it again.

I'll end this entry with my favorite dialog from DN3D: "it's time to kick ass and chew bubble gum, and I'm all outta gum."

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Cyber Sanctions: "Freedom" the American way


US government has recently asked Sourceforge to deny content to certain countries, including Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Syria and Sudan. This means that users in these countries trying to post or access content on Sourceforge will get a big 403 error. Here is what Sourceforge is saying about it, although not happy but they don't seem to have a choice:

Since 2003, the Terms and Conditions of Use have prohibited certain persons from receiving services pursuant to U.S. laws, including, without limitations, the Denied Persons List and the Entity List, and other lists issued by the U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of Industry and Security. The specific list of sanctions that affect our users concern the transfer and export of certain technology to foreign persons and governments on the sanctions list. This means users residing in countries on the United States Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) sanction list, including Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Sudan, and Syria, may not post content to, or access content available through, Last week, began automatic blocking of certain IP addresses to enforce those conditions of use.
This move will only divide the open source community and will not achieve anything. There are other ways to access content through mirrors and other project hosts; and people will be forced to use anonymizers etc. to hide their identity. But will the US government stop Microsoft, Apple etc. to sell their applications to businesses in these countries? I doubt that. So why target Open Source alone? And what is next? denying free email and web hosting services?

On a more serious note, we all know that most of the affected countries are poor and belong to the third world, so it will just push the users towards piracy. It also means that Internet and WWW are still not global and have a lot of American influence. The US seem to have their own definition of freedom, which just serves the US interests with hypocrisy written all over it. On one side US is trying to battle the Chinese censorship on Google and on the other hand they are doing the same thing by denying people services, which are licensed to be free for all.

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