Open Source In Developing Countries

Sanjiva Weerawarana the Chairman and
Executive Director of the LSF (Lanka Software
) and Jivaka Weeratunga (my former boss) have released a very detailed
report (114 pages) titled ‘Open
Source in Developing Countries
’. The report gives an overview of the open
source phenomenon and then outlines various business models based on open source and
implementation strategies.

I learnt quite a lot on how open source can help developing countries through an interesting
interview with Linus Torvalds in the report’s appendix.

Open Source In Developing Countries

It’s the whining Aussies now

Dammika mailed me this article from The

The English are often referred to as “The whining Poms,” particularly by the Australians,
but the term seems to be fitting them too. After Australia lost the second One Day
International narrowly to Sri Lankans by one run, the Australian captain Ricky Ponting
was seen in an angry mood, a complete contrast to the mood he was in when the Aussies
won the first ODI. On Friday, after the game, Ponting was seen sipping a cool Foster’s
Beer in the dressing room after Australia had won, but on Sunday, he was seen smashing
his pads down.

When the Tasmanian came down to speak to the media he passed a crude remark at the
Sri Lankan journalists when he said, “a huge contingent of Sri Lankan journalists
today,” Ponting was passing an obvious remark as after the first ODI only a few Sri
Lankan journalists showed up at the press conference. However, little did Ponting
know that at around 10 in the night after the first ODI some of them were working
on tight deadlines unlike on Sunday.

And when he spoke, he had a few complaints as well. “I was disappointed to get the
same wicket today. There hadn’t been a lot of cricket here and I would have
thought that there was plenty of time for the curator to bring up two wickets for
these two games,” he said. Over the years, when touring the sub-continent, the Australians
have complained about food, water, dust, security and so on and on this occasion Ponting
was blaming the wicket.

Speaking further Ponting hailed the performance of his players, whom he said would
take a lot of confidence to the next games after playing on a “very worn Sri Lankan

Meanwhile, paceman Glenn McGrath, who wasn’t picked for the series, too has
come up with a list of complaints on Sri Lanka in a column he writes for The Australian,
a hardcore nationalist newspaper back in Australia. In the column, McGrath says that
“conditions in the country can be harsh…..” and singles out security as one of the
major problems.

Among his complaints are, “Our other mode of transport is the coach and I always get
a bit of a laugh when they call it a luxury coach. To me, it’s an old bus with
vinyl seats that get hot and appear to be placed right on top of a bar that’s
uncomfortable,” he writes.

Probably it’s time to replace the idiom, it’s no more “whining Poms,”
but it’s “the whining Aussies”.

It’s the whining Aussies now

A fine gesture that will strengthen the game

World cricket woke up stronger on Monday morning. Not just because it had witnessed
a pulsating game of one-day cricket between Sri Lanka and Australia in Dambulla –
a rarity for such a formulaic version of the game – but because an ancient spirit
of the game was awoken in the fierce heat of battle. Sportsmanship, an endangered
concept in all modern day sport, blessed international cricket.

Australia had lost a flurry of wickets, slipping from 148 for 1 to 190 for 4. But
with Andrew Symonds and Adam Gilchrist at the crease and Michael Bevan, finisher extraordinaire,
still padded and waiting in the wings, Australia were odds on winners, needing a modest
56 at a run-a-ball with six wickets to spare. Kumar Dharmasena was pinging down his
flat off-breaks and Symonds edged an attempted pull onto his pads. Both bowler and
wicketkeeper appealed instantaneously and Peter Manuel raised his finger. Sri Lanka
had struck a crucial blow.

Symonds was shocked but kept his cool and walked. Gilcrhist, the non-striker, was
equally appalled, his reaction tight-roping the definition of dissent. Sri Lanka celebrated
in a huddle but they knew it was not out. “It was an obvious nick to most of us and
it was awkward for a moment,” said Marvan Atapattu, Sri Lanka’s one-day captain. “I
mean …it was not a bump ball or something like that. We did not really know
what to do.”

But seconds after raising his finger, doubt had spread across Manuel’s face. He consulted
first with Billy Bowden, his eccentric but cool-headed partner, and then turned to
Atapattu. “He told me that he believed that he had made a mistake and that he wanted
to call Symonds (now over half way back to the pavilion) back. He asked me whether
I would have a problem with that and I said no. It was obvious to us he [Symonds]
had hit the ball and this is a game after all – we have to look after its spirit.
We were all happy with the decision.”

What goes around comes around, they say, and perhaps it was Gilchrist who sowed the
sporting seed when he walked during the 2003 World Cup semi-final against Sri Lanka,
a remarkable decision that was greeted with stony silence upon his return to the dressing
room. Now Atapattu has followed up with a return gesture, which in turn presents us
with an intriguing possibility: will the players of both teams now play the rest of
the series as graciously and fairly? [CricInfo]

A fine gesture that will strengthen the game

Two Mahanayakas condemn monks’ election bid

The country’s top two Buddhist prelates yesterday condemned the decision by
a section of Buddhist monks to contest in the forthcoming general election.

In a joint statement, the Most Venerable Rambukwelle Sri Vipassi Maha Nayaka thera
and the Most Venerable Udugama Sri Buddharakkitha Maha Nayaka thera said, “It
had been said in the media that Bhikkus are going to contest the forthcoming general
election citing various reasons.

“This is the beginning of a grave calamity to the Buddha Sasana. Therefore for
no reason can this be approved. Both the clergy and the laity who are concerned about
the Sasana are astonished by this move. They are distressed.

“When considering the historical background it is clear that Bhikkus have served
as advisors and mentors to those who governed while attending to the spiritual needs
of the people.

“Therefore the responsibility of the Bhikkus is to act in an advisory capacity
as aforesaid,” the two prelates stated. [ColomboPage]

Two Mahanayakas condemn monks’ election bid

J2SE 1.5 Preview Goes Into Beta

Sun Microsystems Inc. this month has released the beta
of J2SE 1.5
for public review, moving the latest version of desktop Java from
a theoretical list of requirements and definitions to code that developers can download
and test.

The beta is the reference implementation for Java Specification Request (JSR) 176
and includes the Java Runtime Environment (JRE), the Software Developer Kit (SDK),
and Documentation. J2SE licensees also have access to a beta version of the Testing
Compatibility Kit (TCK).

The software is available for Linux, Solaris and Windows at Both binary
and source code are available.

Sun announced the features of J2SE last June at JavaOne in San Francisco. At that
time, the company said the features of the desktop Java platform would fall along
the themes of ease of development; monitoring and management; reliability, availability
and serviceability; and performance and scalability.

The specification and virtual machine for Java 2 Standard Edition is distributed free
from Sun, and form the basis for both the J2EE server platform and the J2ME mobile

Among the new features is support for generics. “It makes it easier and type-safe
for people to use Java,” said Calvin Austin, JSR 176 specification lead.

Other ease-of-development features include support for metadata, enumerated types
and enhanced for loops. These changes to the Java language itself come from individual
Java expert groups, and combined, the APIs make up the most comprehensive update to
the Java language since 1996, Austin said.

“Some of the look and feel of Java was from the last century. We have a whole new
look and feel called Ocean,” said Austin. The platform has a skinnable API so developers
can customize applications’ appearance. It also can use the native features of the
operating system on which it is running.

-Yvonne L. Lee [SD Times]

J2SE 1.5 Preview Goes Into Beta

zone24x7 vacancies

Shoba’s (my batch mate) company zone24x7 is looking to recruit a bunch of people.
The openings include Software Architect, Team Leads, Software Engineers, Software
Engineers (Embedded Development), QA Manager and Test Developers. They are mostly
looking for Microsoft Technologies (C, C++, VB & VC++) plus some on Linux. Leave
a comment with your address if you want me to mail you the whole advertisement.

zone24x7 vacancies