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Jacob Wisor

Jacob Wisor
Jacob Wisor
Personal Information
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Home: Too many homes to enumerate
Fedora-specific Information
FAS-Name: gitne
Miscellaneous Information
Private Mail: gitne (AT) fedoraproject (DOT) org
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Facts and Thoughts

I have been a Red Hat Linux user since my college days in 2001. However, this has not been my first contact with Linux. It has been during my school days and it was SuSE Linux 5.0 in 1997. These were the days of Linux kernel version 2.0, no online updates, no bug trackers, and no distributed development, remember? :-D
I have also done a lot of Windows programming and administration, like at the Paderborn Center for Parallel Computing (PC²) administering the Windows HPC cluster. And, I have worked as a Java and .NET (C#) application developer for companies too. Oh, and yes, I have been doing relational database programming using SQL, and believe me, expertise in SQL is greatly exaggerated by recruiters.

Just because you do not know or understand something it does not mean it must be fancy.

While working for companies, my major work and development platform was Windows, simply because the company and most clients freely decided into the Microsoft vendor lock-in. So, we had to use Windows. One company based their entire business on Windows and Microsoft products. And yet, there were still many tasks I could only accomplish while using any of the prominent Linux distros (at that time).

Nevertheless, I do not hate Windows, I even appreciate it some times. Windows solves the same problems Linux solves, just in a different way. Therefore, it also creates new problems, just like any Linux distros do. So, I am going to let you in on a "secret": No solution is perfect. In this situation, the only advantage Linux has over Windows is that you actually can fix what is giving you head aches.
Linux distros have solved many problems in a great way, so has Microsoft with Windows. You just have to be open minded and fair enough to actually see and appreciate it.
What I really do despise is when vendors try to lock you into their own ecosystem by force and putting up artificial walls against interoperability. Of course, this applies to any vendor, not only Microsoft. And, an absolute no go since 2013wink wink is closed source and actively "collecting" information on your customers. So, if Microsoft or any other major vendor with closed source software wants to win my trust back; start open-sourcing your products (you may even benefit from this).

Fedora has become my major desktop and development environment since Fedora 18 (Spherical Cow). I chose Fedora because...

  1. ... it is the only (and first) distro to seriously adopt systemd. systemd finally solves a major problem for Linux (without forcing itself on legacy lovers) in a sane and elegant way. No, a bunch of SysV scripts is not an init system for the 21st century nor does present a foundation for modern operating systems and hardware. Yes, a complete operating system takes much more than just a kernel and a bunch of scripts in user space (this may have been enough in the 1970s). So, Linux distros, welcome to the 21st century thanks to major Fedora contributors and Red Hat sponsor. Oh, and some words towards Ubuntu and Upstart: good riddance. systemd is probably one of the finest pieces of software on this planet and poses a major improvement in the Un*x world.
    IMHO, what it still has missing is a network transparent single sign-on authentication module. But, no wonder it has not been solved yet. Adding a sane authentication framework to an OS is no trivial task.
  2. ... you always get fairly recent Linux kernels. Well, although every release model his its advantages and disadvantages, thus serving different purposes better or worse, and with the Linux kernel being a monolithic kernel design with constant improvements to graphics device drivers, Fedora simply offers the best trade off of all aspects important to me. Yes, I want a fairly recent kernel because of the updates and improvements I get. But no, I do not want to constantly mess around with compiling the kernel or other possibly large and complex software packages. I want to get my work done, that's it. Indeed, I am a developer but I want to spend my compiling time on improving my work and product than on somebody else's product who probably also has better understand of it than me. Fedora has a very well balanced package release model and policy.
  3. ... RPM is the package manager of choice. RPM has a very long lasting legacy, some enterprise grade unique features and together with Package-x-generic-16.pngyum are an unsurpassed combo. Yes, some other distros have long lasting package managers too, most prominently Debian/Ubuntu with deb and apt. The problem with these is however that they have never been pushing for innovation like RPM does. Like with RPM's latest features optional packages and weak dependencies.
    Because I personally love packaging, as well with RPM on Linux as with MSI on Windows, I do care about this. However, all of the most prevalent packaging solutions do share although different but effectively common design flaws, which means that none of them would have been designed today the way they were in the 1990s. As much as I love packaging, I must admit that they are all severely flawed; namely in the way their internal structure is described.
  4. ... it is a major contributor to Wayland and thus has a serious determination to finally deprecate The X protocol is really really old. It has never been designed for modern hardware accelerated graphics. So, although code is working, it is doing a lot of hardware accelerated stuff either by hacks or working around the X protocol. Hence,'s implementation has become complex and bulky, including a massive amount of actually obligatory extensions. Often these extensions turn out to be incompatible or excluding each other mutually with certain configurations. The time is way overdue for an architecturally sane and clean replacement. Finally, GNU/Linux will get a de facto standard for high quality graphics for everyone to enjoy. Yey!
  5. ... there is a solid commercial company behind it. Yes, this is very controversial to some people in the FOSS world and difficult to understand or accept. But, those who dismiss the notion or fact that it is indeed not only legitimate but also often helpful to the cause of FOSS having companies commercially involved into FOSS, either did not read any particular free and open-source license carefully enough or did not actually understand it.
    It takes a huge effort, both in terms of resources and time, to build a sane product like Fedora (or any other significant distro or OSS product). Therefore, you need someone who is continuously interested in a FOSS product and also has the resources to do so. Lets face it, many initially good FOSS projects simply die because of lack of people and/or resources. Often, this could get prevented if companies would have involved stronger or much earlier in the initial process. So, I am grateful to those people who have taken on the challenge — despite the initial odds voiced by critics — living, promoting, and exploiting the FOSS cooperation model.

Unfortunately, Package-x-generic-16.pngAnaconda is still terrible and a disaster to release. Anaconda is a shame for a distro of Fedora's prominence and the talents gathered in its community. Fedora can do better. Those who feel their work may have been misjudged, please take a look at the quality and sophistication of openSUSE's installer. But, please do not try ingesting a configuration tool into Anaconda for all packages, just like SuSE did with YaST. You will fail even more terribly. You simply can not create "one tool to rule them all". The absence of such an unfortunate tool is also another reason why I chose Fedora over openSUSE, although openSUSE had adopted systemd pretty early too and used RPM for package management ever since. I could never get warm with the supposedly good intentions of YaST as the system's central configuration tool but always failing and breaking when updated packages would change their configuration structure or because of manual configurations I had made. Fedora is cool for delivering software packages pretty much vanilla style and not messing up their configuration structure.


If you really want to contact me please use email.

  • Twitter: GITNE
  • Fedora Account: gitne


  • Operating Systems
  • Languages
    • Programming
      • Java
      • C
      • C#
      • C++ (although I do not like it very much because it is not truly object oriented)
    • Markup and Other
      • XML (and many derivatives), XML Schema, XHTML
      • HTML
      • SQL
    • Familiar with but not interested in
      • JavaScript (ECMAScript)
      • BASIC
      • Visual Basic
      • Pascal
      • Delphi
    • Natural
      This is mainly why I love localizing software. Localizing your software makes it not only more user friendly, but look cool too!
      • English
      • German
      • Polish
  • Packaging
  • Build Automation
    • ant
    • msbuild
    • make
    • No autotools: They do not solve anything and are not platform independent
    • No Gradle: It is a desperate attempt to simplify the complexity of building software for multiple platforms by sprinkling in narcissistic domain specific syntax
  • Version Control Systems

Software and Packages

Activities within Fedora

I have always been interested in Java, since its very beginning in 1994. I was intrigued (and still am to this very day) by its promise of platform independence, interoperability, language design, and concepts. So, it was only natural to get involved with IcedTea and now OpenJDK.

  • IcedTea-Web
    • Localized to de and pl locales
    • Fixed some UI bugs
    • Improved documentation a bit
    • Reviewed commits
  • IcedTea-Web for Windows
    • Port currently in progress
    • Seeking approval of initial Windows code into IcedTea-Web repository so that others can collaborate on the port too
  • OpenJDK
    • Currently localizing JDK tools to de and pl locales, where missing
    • Still probing for the best way to commit OpenJDK repositories
    • Next contribution: Multi-threaded signing and verification of JAR files (prototype already working)