August 23rd, 2007

device

It's a tad depressing to realize how cynical I sometimes can be...

Just came across this article, describing how some German researchers have developed a virtual chainsaw. The purpose of the thing is apparently to teach lumberjacks how to use chainsaws safely, by giving them a completely safe simulator that looks and feels exactly like the real thing. But my immediate reaction was, "The heck with lumberjacks -- if they can commercialize the thing, I bet they could sell a million of them as a game peripheral"...
device

CVS or Subversion? (Also, hosting sites and licenses)

So I'm prepping to get the Querki project up and running -- the next couple of weeks are going to be heavily focused on laying the groundwork. I'd promised myself that I would get the project started this summer, and I'm running out of that, so it's time to deal. Which means that I need to make a lot of decisions that I've been putting off. One of these is: what do I use to do the versioning, publishing and management of this project?

The first part of this is which package I use to manage the files. There are really only two contenders here, CVS and Subversion: I'm not going to use a commercial option to manage an open-source project, and those are the two "brand name" open-source choices. I know CVS moderately well, and am familiar with its quirks and failings -- in particular, the fact that it doesn't do atomic checkins, which has annoyed me for many years. I don't know Subversion nearly as well, but it generally seems to be the choice for newer projects, so it's probably the default choice. Do folks here have experience and opinions? I'm particularly interested in hearing from people who have experience with both, about whether they see any gotchas in Subversion that might be an issue for me.

The second part is where to host the project. For something like this, using an open project host seems like a good idea -- it means I don't have to wrestle with the management, backups, and so on. SourceForge is the obvious choice, but I know there are others. Anyone have any reason to believe one of the alternatives would be superior?

Any input here would be greatly welcomed, so long as it's soon. Sometime soon (possibly as soon as late this afternoon) I'm likely to sign the project up on SourceForge under Subversion, unless I find reason to do otherwise.

Also of interest is the question of which open source license to use. If anyone has passionate opinions, I'd be interested to hear them, but I have pretty strong views on this topic myself.

Oh, and I also had better park the domain for the project -- someone's already squatted the .com version, so I think I need to claim the .org, even though it'll be some months before I'm ready to use it. Any opinions about good web hosts for parking? It's fairly likely that I'll eventually host the site out of my living room (if Comcast is allowing HTTP traffic out of my node, which I'm not sure about), so I'm mainly interested in an easy-to-deal-with site that I can put a parking page up on, and later swap away from. (Edit: actually, looking into this a little more, I suspect that simply putting the parking page on SourceForge itself may be the easiest option...)