Friday, January 27
However, there *is* a positive alternative if there are enough people brave enough, out there. A co-operative. The whole essence of a co-operative is the opposite of a company. Members own shares, and the co-operative exists to provide services or goods to the members in the most effective possible way. For an up-to date example, see the Tech Co-op in Canada.
Off the top of my head, this is how I see it working:
I'd envisage a game developers co-op working as two-coperatives: first there would be a gamers service co-op and secondly there would be a smaller game developers workers co-op, the membership of the first driving the second. The reaons for this are that the membership of the gamers co-op would be open to anyone on the internet. Membership would get you regular mailed game CD's for at least a year, then these would be provided thereafter for a small subscription fee. The gamer as a member of the co-operative would be able to pitch ideas and designs to the developers-cooperative, get technical support, game server hosting, and other services to be identified.
The game developers co-operative would provide or sell services to the gamers co-op at a preferential rate, but would also engage in marketing and distribution efforts on behalf of it's members. This would enable an otherwise less affluent group of developers to talk directly to publishers and get access to platforms it would otherwise not have access to. Revenue would be ploughed back into the memebers projects.
These are only tentative back of the envelope thoughts; the main point is that with the reach of the internet, a co-operative has the potential be a much larger, more effective organisation than before. The inherent problems with such a proposal - no one reaching any agreement - have to be dealt with by careful sturcturing of the co-operative.
It's time for me to do more research..
Sunday, January 8
Installing Oracle Express Edition on Gentoo Linux was both easy and hard. It's the usual case of synthesising bits and peices off the web: the system tweaking you have to do pre-install is well documented here; then you need a portage overlay, as documented here, and then you can use the ebuild from this thread to install it.
Once it's up and running getting emacs to talk to it is a peice of cake. You need to customise the oracle-sql program to point to the installed sqlplus binary, and you need to source oracle_env.sh from the config directory..then launch emacs and connect.
It took some work, but it's *much* better than using a bare sql plus instance and notepad in Windows. I can develop my SQL in a similar style to my Lisp, sending fragments to a running instance via C-c C-r, which is the absolute minimum I am coming to expect of any language.