Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Wikia Acquires Grub, Releases it Under Open Source

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 7 years ago | from the more-fodder-for-the-cannons dept.

Programming 119

An anonymous reader writes "During a keynote address at the O'Reilly Open Source Conference (OSCON), Jimmy Wales announced that Wikia has acquired Grub, the original visionary distributed search project, from LookSmart and released it under an open source license for the first time in four years. Grub operates under a model of users donating their personal computing resources towards a common goal, and is available for download and testing."

cancel ×

119 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

FIST SPORT (5, Funny)

ringbarer (545020) | more than 7 years ago | (#20045161)

Oh fuck! Does this mean I have to read [Citation Needed] every time I boot up?

Re:FIST SPORT (5, Informative)

Archangel Michael (180766) | more than 7 years ago | (#20045231)

Not the bootloader

Re:FIST SPORT (0, Redundant)

TheWanderingHermit (513872) | more than 7 years ago | (#20046055)

That's a good point, both your correction and the original joke/question. I don't know if the /. editors ever read discussions, but one thing they don't do that I think could help a lot is to clarify what a story is talking about. I read this and wondered, "Why does Wikia need a boot loader?" I clicked on the link and still wasn't sure they were talking about something other than the boot loader until I clicked on the website's home page.

Sometimes it would be a big help if a story explained what some acronyms are or explained what something was for people not up on that particular topic.

Re:FIST SPORT (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20046375)

Calling grub "the original visionary distributed search project" didn't provide you with a clue that it wasn't the bootloader?

Re:FIST SPORT (4, Insightful)

Ltar (1010889) | more than 7 years ago | (#20046507)

How do you expect him to get first post if he reads the summary?

Re:FIST SPORT (0, Offtopic)

Hatta (162192) | more than 7 years ago | (#20046673)

I wish someone would acquire the GRUB, and close it. That piece of crap has caused me more pain than any other open source software. If lilo broke, well just grab a boot disk and rerun it. When (not if) grub breaks, god help you trying to figure out what to do.

I admit, grub is nice when it automagically works. The problem is when it doesn't. GRUB failures are the only reason I reinstall operating systems anymore.

Re:FIST SPORT (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20047331)

Lol you reinstall the whole OS just because the boot loader doesn't work? That sucks.

Re:FIST SPORT (1, Interesting)

Afrosheen (42464) | more than 7 years ago | (#20047559)

*That* doesn't suck, GRUB does. I have no idea why Debian distros have such a hardon for GRUB.

Hell, the fact that it doesn't have an uninstaller (like LILO does) should be reason enough to avoid it. lilo -u and it's gone. Grub? Hope you have a dos or other bootdisk with fdisk on it handy.

Re:FIST SPORT (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 7 years ago | (#20048091)

I wish I still had that install handy. I'd dare you to fix it for me. I tried everything else first.

Re:FIST SPORT (1, Interesting)

VagaStorm (691999) | more than 7 years ago | (#20047579)

I think what your looking for is your boot disk and the command grub-install --some_parameter_to_to_set_root_directory :p

Re:FIST SPORT (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 7 years ago | (#20048033)

Except when it doesn't work. I had a machine that I could run grub-install on all day, with a valid menu.lst, it would pretend to work and then on reboot... nothing. I tried manually updating it with setup(hd0), same thing. I spent 4 or 5 days in #grub trying to get help, all I got was ignored.

Re:FIST SPORT (1, Interesting)

caluml (551744) | more than 7 years ago | (#20048925)

I also had a problem with Grub that I spent about 2 days trying to fix. I can't remember now exactly what it was, but it was something to do with a raid controller, Reiserfs/XFS, and something else.
And when you're building a server, you can't sit searching the web all day.
Lilo works. I'm not going back to Grub.

Re:FIST SPORT (2, Informative)

MoxFulder (159829) | more than 7 years ago | (#20050809)

I wish someone would acquire the GRUB, and close it. That piece of crap has caused me more pain than any other open source software. If lilo broke, well just grab a boot disk and rerun it. When (not if) grub breaks, god help you trying to figure out what to do.
Are you kidding me? On most Linux systems, you can just run update-grub to reinstall the first-stage bootloader (or grub-install on some). To adjust its settings, you need only edit the file /boot/grub/menu.lst ... you don't even have to re-run GRUB after editing that file.

Unlike Lilo, GRUB offers a full-featured command line so that you can edit your boot settings if it doesn't quite work right. No need for a rescue disk almost ever. GRUB reads it configuration file at boot time, unlike LILO which hides it somewhere after the boot sector of the hard disk.

GRUB is very powerful, it can boot off USB drives in a sane way, it can work around all kinds of BIOS bugs, etc. And in my opinion it's easier-to-use than LILO as well! It sounds like you only have trouble with GRUB because you never bothered to learn the one or two commands needed to reinstall it :-) Since I switched from LILO to GRUB, the *only* times I've ever needed to reinstall GRUB are when I install Windows on top of Linux, and it hoses my boot sector. And I lay the blame for that squarely on Microsoft...

I admit, grub is nice when it automagically works. The problem is when it doesn't. GRUB failures are the only reason I reinstall operating systems anymore.
Well, sure... *any* bootloader is great when it "just works." It's when it doesn't quite boot right that you start to care about it. And that's why GRUB's command line and other features are so great.

For many of us, the bootloader is just a solution to the fact that the PC BIOS is horribly retarded, and no self-respecting operating system kernel includes the kind of awful code needed to interface with the BIOS. If we could all use LinuxBIOS, which can boot Linux or *BSD or Windows directly, we wouldn't need any separate bootloader software. Someday...

Re:FIST SPORT (1)

totally bogus dude (1040246) | more than 7 years ago | (#20053141)

Your experiences don't overrule other people's experiences. I'm glad GRUB works for you, and when it worked for me I liked it too - but I've had a lot of problems with it as well, and while it is quite powerful it's also quite complicated to use. At least it was when I tried it. You really seem to have to understand what the various stages of the bootloader are in order to use the "full featured command line", or to get it installed in any slightly non-"standard" environment.

I've had my perfectly working GRUB stop working after installing a new kernel, even though the installation is supposedly so easy and magical. I've never had LILO stop working with the same configuration file which was working before. While I have encountered difficulties getting LILO configured on some (slightly odd) systems, once it's set up it just seems to work. That hasn't been my experience with GRUB.

Now, my anecdote doesn't overrule yours, so I'm happy that you're happy with it. But the idea of using GRUB on a remote system I don't have console access on scares the bejeezus out of me. Then again, I'm one of those people who consistently experienced filesystem corruption with ReiserFS, while other people swear by it. YMMV.

Like a flakey filesystem, when the bootloader craps itself for no apparent reason after a routine upgrade, it tends to be very inconvenient and disconcerting. Thus, I probably treat it a bit more harshly than it deserves. Once bitten, twice shy, and all that. And LILO works for my needs, so learning the nuances of GRUB just doesn't have a sufficient payoff for me.

Re:FIST SPORT (1)

X0563511 (793323) | more than 7 years ago | (#20051847)

You let grub automatically configure itself? Hell no! I install and configure GRUB myself. I have never had a problem once I fixed my own issues (usually typos in the config file or other stupid mistakes - that's why you keep a bootable disk handy. It's nice to just load up a bootdisk and edit a text file, rather than find and run the appropriate LILO executable...)

I don't really like LILO, as it is nowhere near as flexible in my experience, but it works fine as well.

As a matter of fact, I don't remember having troubles with ANY bootloader I've used, even the Windows ones... they don't just break on their own.

Re:FIST SPORT (1)

Starayo (989319) | more than 7 years ago | (#20054325)

Super Grub Disk [linex.org] is extremely easy to use and... Well, I assume it can fix a lot of stuff. It sure restored GRUB after I reinstalled windows.

Re:FIST SPORT (1)

Zekasu (1059298) | more than 7 years ago | (#20047115)

GRUB != Grub, apparently. Could've fooled me, however.

Re:FIST SPORT (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20054391)

No, it means that it reads the configuration file from Wikipedia and searches the whole internet for the kernel to boot.

good grub (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20045169)

let's eat!

I can finally boot without using google. (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20045175)

great.

Meh... (1, Offtopic)

lixee (863589) | more than 7 years ago | (#20045229)

Real mean use Lilo. Oh, wait...nevermind.

Re:Meh... (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20045399)

Unix is case-sensitive you dipstick.

Re:Meh... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20045681)

Real men use Grub. Lilo is easier and limited. Surely not for real men.

Re:Meh... (1)

lixee (863589) | more than 7 years ago | (#20052995)

Let me guess...you're an emacs guy.

Re:Meh... (1)

halber_mensch (851834) | more than 7 years ago | (#20046191)

Real mean use Lilo. Oh, wait...nevermind.
You misspelled BTX.

Re:Meh... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20046405)

Real mean use Lilo.

Can't you just renice -u ?

Use shoestring. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20047219)

It's faster, lighter, doesn't require a gazillion support files and is easy to configure. It's also dead, but that's never stopped Elvis from having an active career at the supermarket.

Lunch Time (5, Funny)

n1ckml007 (683046) | more than 7 years ago | (#20045233)

That's funny, I ALSO just acquired some grub, yum yum.

Re:Lunch Time (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20045555)

Are you on Redhat then?

Release (5, Funny)

EnsilZah (575600) | more than 7 years ago | (#20045999)

Yes, but in what form are you planning to release it?

Re:Release (1)

bberens (965711) | more than 7 years ago | (#20046383)

Open source?

Re:Release (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20046719)

Binary blob.

Re:Release (1)

HolyCrapSCOsux (700114) | more than 7 years ago | (#20046779)

Best... Slashdot joke... ever

should be a penny arcade strip!

Re:Release (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20046445)

No need to release that.... Microsoft already beat you to it.

Dude I need to go take a Vista.......

Re:Release (4, Funny)

Mathness (145187) | more than 7 years ago | (#20047009)

It will be released as public domain, delivery will be as a Fast Universal Dump and Gas Exchange (fudge) packet [1] over a Wireless Connection (WC) with a water protocol to a local STP node (sewage treatment plant). At the STP node it will be processed for redistribution.

[1] including several pamphlet with Rorschach-like art.

Re:Release (1)

zoloto (586738) | more than 7 years ago | (#20047205)

open sores?

Re:Release (3, Funny)

iknowcss (937215) | more than 7 years ago | (#20047833)

There's a joke in here somewhere involving a "tarball", but I don't think I want to go there.

Re:Release (1)

Tarlus (1000874) | more than 7 years ago | (#20048669)

Who knows what form it will be in, but it will probably be similar in shape to a real grub.

Nice catch.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20045235)

But where's the OS X version?

Re:Nice catch.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20051969)

Sorry, this one isn't for whiny emo whores with too much money and no sense.

AC because my karma has already taken a bit of a beating lately.

Uh-oh? (3, Insightful)

dedazo (737510) | more than 7 years ago | (#20045245)

This might be bad news for Google. WP is about the only "organization" capable of putting together a human-vetted search with the Grub software. I have no idea of people will go for that sort of thing (I like my search results from an algorithm, thanks) but if they do, and the search results work correctly (that relevance is what made Google to begin with) then Google might just be in trouble.

Of course at that point Google will buy Wikia and whatever other properties seem relevant... and then Google will have completed the transition from "do no evil" to "if you can't beat them, buy them" that started with YouTube.

Of course this might not be the case, but I have trouble trying to come up with a reason why Wikia might want something like Grub.

Re:Uh-oh? (3, Funny)

anilg (961244) | more than 7 years ago | (#20045625)

This might be bad news for Google.

Not if you use smileys, it isn't! ;) ;) :)

Re:Uh-oh? (1)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 7 years ago | (#20051957)

Google will have completed the transition from "do no evil" to "if you can't beat them, buy them" that started with YouTube.

How is that evil?

Well, actually, in the case of YouTube, it kind of is -- given that they still haven't unified YouTube with Google Video, and they both still use Flash excessively. (Flash does many things well; a media player isn't one of them.)

So? (2, Interesting)

DogDude (805747) | more than 7 years ago | (#20045273)

It's a nice idea, but badly implemented. Search doesn't even work (I've tried it before, and it's never worked), and on top of that, today, search throws a bunch of mySQL errors (mySQL? for a search engine?!?!). It's a nice idea, and maybe this group will breathe some life into it, but right now, grub is doa, as far as I'm concerned.

\ I'll be excited if they make a working search engine. I'll be even more excited if they do work on the searching algorithms, which is what makes or breaks search engines, not the amount of content they have. It's what you do with the info. Anybody can spider lots and lots of information. Providing relevant results is why Google is #1 now, and those results are the results of some heavy, heavy math that is done by lots of pHD's. Spidering, which seems to be the focus of Grub, isn't a big limitation for most search engines these days.

Re:So? (1)

mhall119 (1035984) | more than 7 years ago | (#20045473)

mySQL? for a search engine?!?!
Search engines need fast searching and reads over large amounts of data, which database would you suggest they use?

Re:So? (1)

cmacb (547347) | more than 7 years ago | (#20045601)

Search engines need fast searching and reads over large amounts of data, which database would you suggest they use?


vi?

If you can use a boot loader I would think a flat file editor would be a big advancement.

Re:So? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20046177)

Search engines need fast searching and reads over large amounts of data
Not to mention stability and maintaining the speed while under heavy use.

which database would you suggest they use?
Postgres. It's the only open-source db that fulfills the real-world requirements.

MySQL might be OK for small (single-user) installs, but Postres would be a must for anything else.

Re:So? (1)

mhall119 (1035984) | more than 7 years ago | (#20046353)

MySQL might be OK for small (single-user) installs
It seems to be working well enough for Google and Wikipedia, so I'd have to say it has both stability and speed, even under heavy use.

Re:So? (1)

mini me (132455) | more than 7 years ago | (#20046427)

A database designed for searching? Relational databases traditionally aren't all that well suited for search operations.

Re:So? (1)

j-pimp (177072) | more than 7 years ago | (#20046647)

Search engines need fast searching and reads over large amounts of data, which database would you suggest they use?

Ldap?

Re:So? (1)

mhall119 (1035984) | more than 7 years ago | (#20046745)

In my experience, not so good at fast searching (especially with wildcards) and lots of data, but I guess that all depends on your LDAP implementation.

Still, LDAP isn't a database.

Re:So? (1)

j-pimp (177072) | more than 7 years ago | (#20048395)

In my experience, not so good at fast searching (especially with wildcards) and lots of data, but I guess that all depends on your LDAP implementation.

Still, LDAP isn't a database.
I know LDAP isn't a database, and while I've dealt with LDAP, I never had the opportunity to compare LDAP to a database in a meaningful way. Being its hard enough to get reasonable benchmarks for side by side database comparisons, or even something like file compression software, I doubt that will ever happen.

Re:So? (1)

commonchaos (309500) | more than 7 years ago | (#20046903)

Map/Reduce [wikipedia.org] ? (See also: Hadoop [wikipedia.org] )

Re:So? (2, Funny)

truthsearch (249536) | more than 7 years ago | (#20045507)

I'll be even more excited if they do work on the searching algorithms, which is what makes or breaks search engines, not the amount of content they have.

So you're saying it's not the size that matters, but how they use it.

Interesting. I'm sure I've heard this somewhere before...

Re:So? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20045815)

yea, a bunch of dudes made that up to feel better about themselves.

Re:So? (1)

Miseph (979059) | more than 7 years ago | (#20052229)

So... how's it working out for you?

Plans for BOINC? (1)

Sierpinski (266120) | more than 7 years ago | (#20045303)

I wonder if they have any plans to be part of the BOINC project [berkeley.edu] . After being a seti@home user for several years, then finally following it over to BOINC, I can't help but think of BOINC every time I hear something about distributed computing.

I know BOINC isn't the end-all-be-all of distributed computing, but it seems they gathered a large following once Seti@home project moved there, especially with what I would newbies or laymen to distributed computing in general. It might seem a smart move considering the variety of projects they already have along with their current userbase.

Obligatory (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20045405)

All your boots are belong to us... sorry!

But... (-1, Offtopic)

smaerd (954708) | more than 7 years ago | (#20045417)

..does it boot linux?

Misread (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20045487)

This is far fetching, but I read grep. Now grep as a search project uhn...

Re:Misread (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20054485)

Integrating with grep might even be interesting. Searching the whole web would be done with using the option -r and http:// as "file" argument. Searching a certain server only would use http://whatever.org/ instead. Indeed, you could even search a subset of a server by using e.g. http://www.unseen-university.edu/~rincewind/ as argument.

wait a second (5, Insightful)

wwmedia (950346) | more than 7 years ago | (#20045503)

WIKIA is a for profit company!

so they want to use other peoples spare CPU cycles to build an empire on top without spending money on servers?

rofl!

all them spare cpu cycles would be better used for distributed research like Folding@Home and other @home projects

Re:wait a second (1)

catbutt (469582) | more than 7 years ago | (#20046161)

People don't have to participate if they don't want to.

Some people might decide that they like having a good alternative to google. The interesting thing is, if the company gets greedy (say, but putting too many ads, or charging too much to advertisers), it's likely that people will stop helping them out. That is a powerful check on them that doesn't apply to google and others.

Another thing to think about: if they go public, you can always buy their stock, and then let them use your resources....not quite so altruistic then.

Re:wait a second (5, Insightful)

kebes (861706) | more than 7 years ago | (#20046379)

I use Google search, which is produced by Google Inc., a for-profit company. I use the search "for free," but then again I "pay" with my eyeballs, since the search pages have ads. This is a trade-off that I (and many others) are willing to make.

So why is it so crazy to think that users would be willing to participate in a search engine where you "pay" with your spare CPU cycles? If the search engine generates useful results, it seems like a fair trade-off for me.

I'm not sure what Wikia's business model is here. It's probably not ads, since it would be difficult to reliably enforce and bill an ad-pushing system using software that is open-source and a network that is peer-to-peer. Probably they hope that this will drive more traffic to Wikia projects, or somesuch.

But, ultimately, I don't see what's so crazy about a for-profit company and end users coming to a mutually beneficial agreement. I donate CPU cycles and bandwidth, and get access to search results. Sounds fair to me. If the result is useful and the terms-of-use not onerous, most users will happily use it.

Re:wait a second (1)

thePowerOfGrayskull (905905) | more than 7 years ago | (#20047245)

So why is it so crazy to think that users would be willing to participate in a search engine where you "pay" with your spare CPU cycles? If the search engine generates useful results, it seems like a fair trade-off for me.
If there was not a search engine that already filled these needs, with the only "price" being the viewing of inobtrusive ads, how is giving up my spare CPU cycles to receive the same thing from another source a fair trade? This also assumes that wikia won't begin using ads of their own, which would mean I'm "paying" twice. (CPU + ads)

Re:wait a second (1)

totally bogus dude (1040246) | more than 7 years ago | (#20053249)

You said it yourself: giving up your spare CPU cycles. i.e. something you're not even using! Why would you have a sad over that? It's not as if you can horde them in a box and use them later when you need some extra grunt.

Re:wait a second (1)

PhrostyMcByte (589271) | more than 7 years ago | (#20046459)

They haven't mentioned a license anywhere, but if it is Open Source more likely than not you can take the source and make your own non-profit with it.

Re:wait a second (3, Informative)

ZachPruckowski (918562) | more than 7 years ago | (#20047191)

Wikia is the for-profit arm of Wikimedia. A large amount of Wikia profits help cover Wikimedia costs, and I'm pretty sure Wikia pays a Mediawiki developer. It also pays the salaries of some people who spend a lot of time administering Wikimedia, including Jimbo Wales and Angela Beesley.

There are way too many uses of "wiki" in that paragraph...

Anyhow, my point is that while it's a for-profit, it's still "for the public good" in a sense, since it exists to support non-profits, and thus it's not crazy to donate them CPU cycles.

somebody think of the environment! (1)

wwmedia (950346) | more than 7 years ago | (#20047343)

i would rather see 100,000 servers in a datacenter "google style" dedicated to number crunching with operating systems and hardware tuned for servers and efficiency rather than 1,000,000 home pcs wasting away electricity and bandwidth

or at least have them home pcs doing something usefull like folding proteins or other distributed medical projects that will help people

the world doesnt need Yet Another Search Engine

google, live and yahoo do a great job already

Re:somebody think of the environment! (2, Insightful)

Torvaun (1040898) | more than 7 years ago | (#20052377)

The world doesn't need Yet Another Operating System

Whatever you're doing is already covered pretty well by something already out there. See the foolishness of that statement?

Yes. The existing search engines do a pretty good job. However, I've been brainstorming lately to try and figure out what the next big thing will be for search engines (so I can buy a load of stock when something shows up that does this) and the thing I keep coming back to is context. When I search for Chaos Theory, am I looking for Ian Malcolm or Sam Fisher? When I search for Errant, am I looking for sites where a friend of mine used that as his username, am I looking for a dictionary, am I looking for knights errant? This is the biggest thing that hasn't happened to search engines yet without using a bunch of clunky boolean expressions. Wikipedia et al are built for this. Searches that have a bunch of different things for the same terms hit a disambiguation page. This lets you tell the system if you care about a movie, a band, a person, or any number of other things that your search term might be referring to. I eagerly await what this will bring.

Re:wait a second (1)

gad_zuki! (70830) | more than 7 years ago | (#20048029)

Wikia is the for-profit arm of Wikimedia. A large amount of Wikia profits help cover Wikimedia costs, and I'm pretty sure Wikia pays a Mediawiki developer.

Who then get paid in Wikidollars for every Wikihour worked. If they add the prefix Wiki to their variables they get double pay.

it is not the for-profit arm of Wikimedia (2, Informative)

Trepidity (597) | more than 7 years ago | (#20048145)

They are completely separate entities. The only relationship is that Wikipedia's founder, Jimmy Wales, started this venture with Angela Beesley, a former member of the Wikimedia Foundation board of directors.

There is some synergy, partly because of the fact that Jimmy Wales runs Wikia and sort-of runs Wikimedia, partly because Wikia needs community goodwill to succeed, and partly because Wikia uses the MediaWiki software on its own servers so has an interest in it working well. However it isn't anywhere near as close a relationship as you described.

Re:wait a second (1)

josephpate (317462) | more than 7 years ago | (#20052343)

Anyhow, my point is that while it's a for-profit, it's still "for the public good" in a sense, since it exists to support non-profits, and thus it's not crazy to donate them CPU cycles.
Kind of how Microsoft's monopoly power is used to support the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation?

Microsoft is a force of good in the universe! Who knew!?

Re:wait a second (1)

at_18 (224304) | more than 7 years ago | (#20053223)

Wikia is the for-profit arm of Wikimedia. A large amount of Wikia profits help cover Wikimedia costs,

Nope. Wikia is a separate entity from the Wikimedia Foundation. And all Wikimedia cash comes from donations, not from Wikia's accounts.

Re:wait a second (1)

wikinerd (809585) | more than 7 years ago | (#20049703)

If the company runs on open-source tools, then you can use the same tools to run your own shop. However, the power of a company lies in its people and its culture, not its tools, and it's very difficult to copy a community and its culture.

Interesting (5, Funny)

Waffle Iron (339739) | more than 7 years ago | (#20045575)

I just loaded this new grub on my system. I got a strange new boot menu:

  1. Fedora Core 7 (redirected from Red Hat)
    [Note: This selection may be too technical for the average user. Please help revise to improve.]
  2. Microsoft Windows Vista (redirected from Longhorn)
    [Note: This entry has been locked from new and anonymous users due to ongoing controversy. See also: WGA]
  3. Microsoft Windows 98 Second Edition (redirected from Win98)
    [Note: This OS requires cleanup to conform to quality standards. Please get involved.]
  4. FreeBSD 6.2
    [Note: Link appears dead. This has been tagged since July, 2007]
  5. MSDOS 5.11(redirected from DOS)
    [This operating system is a stub. Please help to expand and improve it. This entry has been tagged since 1981]
Use the up and down arrow keys to make a selection, press Enter to boot.

Re:Interesting (1)

caluml (551744) | more than 7 years ago | (#20048969)

Very good :) Simple, but funny. :) I doff my cap to you.

Is this a good thing? (4, Interesting)

Animats (122034) | more than 7 years ago | (#20045679)

Wikia is a for-profit company. Users running portions of their crawler should be paid. At least in stock of the company. Otherwise it's a ripoff. It's reminiscent of Kazaa's approach to "peer to peer": user machines do the work; Kazaa collects the money.

Distributing the web crawl isn't that big a win. The crawl is a batch job, but replying to search requests is a near real time application. The expensive part of a search engine is the system that generates fast search responses. That's where you need the systems with gigabytes of RAM and tight coupling to the other machines of the cluster.

Doing the web crawl on user machines offloads some of the effort, but not all that much of it. If you want to cut crawl costs, some of the query machines can be devoted to crawling during slow periods.

Remember, you can't trust the client. Web spammers can modify their copies of the crawler to report extra, phony links to their web sites and boost their stats. This gives a whole new meaning to the term "link farming". Until Wikia, there was no easy way for "search engine optimization" types to mess with the internals of the search engine. Now there is.

Besides, what's the selling point? "Our search costs less to use than Google?" Hello?

Re:Is this a good thing? (1)

ozamosi (615254) | more than 7 years ago | (#20046795)

This is a part of Wikias search engine project, that is supposed to beat Googles web search monopoly. Everything will be open sourced, and there will be a public protocol for communicating between different users. The goal isn't to make one search engine to beat Google, but to create an infrastructure to make it really easy to create lots of search engines, where each is really good at something (say, tech blogs, or the semantic web, or NGO:s, or whatever). The different search engine front ends are supposed to be able to choose what crawlers they want to use, and what "rankers" they want to use to rank the crawlers data. To make it near real time, the system that displays the results will probably have to use a lot of cache.

There is also hope that commercial entities will be able to take part of this, by for instance modifying the crawler to include ads - and, as I said, the front end will be able to choose if it wants to use those results, or not.

Read more about it at http://search.wikia.com/ [wikia.com] . The selling point (actually, there's four) are on the top of that page.

Re:Is this a good thing? (1)

bitspotter (455598) | more than 7 years ago | (#20046921)

"We will be posting the complete, current codebase as soon as possible, here on Grub.org"

Presuming this includes the server code, this isn't as bad as it sounds. Yes, Wikia is for profit, but so are IBM and Red Hat. So long as there is a public license on the code, they're at least significantly lowering the barriers to entry and empowering users to revolt if they can't trust Wikia, which is more than you can say for Google. Even if users don't revolt and go elsewhere, the pressure exerted on Wikia to stay in tune with users is significant (Imagine MS Windows or Mac OS in a market without GNU).

Don't get me wrong, though. Just because you open source your codebase doesn't mean there's nothing to be desired. Livejournal has open code (and Second Life is getting there, too), but that doesn't mean they don't bottleneck the DATA they have (and not always for legitimate reasons of privacy). Just because the grub userbase generates the index doesn't mean the grub search interface will make it available in useful ways. And this obstruction remains possible despite a public license. Yes, you can fork, if you want, but that won't change the code any particular party deploys if they don't want to.

So the release will definitely be a step in the right direction (toward public desires), but isn't perfect.

Re:Is this a good thing? (1)

PietjeJantje (917584) | more than 7 years ago | (#20046955)

Gosh I guess the Wikia people and investors are really stupid, that they failed to see what any layman can come up with after reading that announcement. Amazing they didn't consider those issues before, and we have to read the clear truth on Slashdot instead. Either that, or:
>Wikia is a ... reminiscent of Kazaa
Comparing Kazaa to Wikia is rather over the top as Wikia doesn't install spyware and ad-serving crap. A bit of FUD?

>Distributing the web crawl isn't that big a win
>Besides, what's the selling point?
What's the selling point of open source software? What's the selling point of Linux? We got Windows Vista! You're missing the whole point: it's about open search. It's about not knowing how exactly Google determines something should go to the top. It's about privacy. You didn't get it.

>Remember, you can't trust the client.
So you crawl content from multiple sources and filter out the bad clients.

Re:Is this a good thing? (3, Insightful)

Frosty Piss (770223) | more than 7 years ago | (#20047387)

kquote>Comparing Kazaa to Wikia is rather over the top as Wikia doesn't install spyware and ad-serving crap. A bit of FUD?

That's not the part the parent is comparing. The parent's comparison has NOTHING to do with the spyware issue. It has to do with using the "communities" resources to make money without paying for those resources. But hey, if *you* like to work for free, have at it.

Re:Is this a good thing? (1)

asylumx (881307) | more than 7 years ago | (#20052039)

There are two definitions to the term free...

You may have heard the metaphors here:

1. Free as in Beer.
2. Free as in Speech.

While Google has #1 covered, #2 is still restricted by them as you do not have any idea how they are picking your results, nor what they are doing with your search terms (citation needed for the AOL Leak...)

I, for one, welcome our new Wiki overlords (2, Insightful)

Lord of Hyphens (975895) | more than 7 years ago | (#20045761)

Oh, great, so we get to extend the now-infamous Wiki popularity club to searches.

Translated Press Release (1)

martyb (196687) | more than 7 years ago | (#20046311)

FTFA:

Wikia has aquired the Grub sourcecode from LookSmart. We will be posting the complete, current codebase as soon as possible, here on Grub.org. In the meantime, signup and stay tuned to developments regarding getting Grub going again.

Translation: Development had slowed to a SNAIL's pace(*), but now casting off its SHELL, we bring you a new and improved (TM) GRUB!

(*) From: Member Statistics [grub.org] (as of 20070730 at 14:47 EDT)

Members Overview (see all)
Total members: 1,049
Oldest member: 14,016 days
Active this month: 2

Let's see here:

dc --expression="2k 14016 365.25 / f"
38.3737 YEARS!

Celebrity Deathmatch! (1)

catxk (1086945) | more than 7 years ago | (#20046581)

I hope they are successful so I can witness a fair fight to the death between man (Wikia) and machine (Google). My bet is machine.

Big deal (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20046885)

... well, I'z jus' sayin'

Compared to others? (1)

alexandre (53) | more than 7 years ago | (#20047295)

How does this compare to http://www.yacy.net/yacy/ [yacy.net] ?

Re:Compared to others? (2, Informative)

TeknoHog (164938) | more than 7 years ago | (#20050781)

This Grub seems to be a human-edited system not unlike Wikipedia. I'm much more interested in algorithmic search, which is why your YaCy link was most welcome :) Another distributed search I've come across is Majestic-12 [majestic12.co.uk] .

Here is what I think (1)

recoil01 (1134963) | more than 7 years ago | (#20047863)

I think you should all go vote for my girlfriend in this contest: [URL="http://www.thegiantdream.com/Profile.php?ID= 21"]http://www.thegiantdream.com/Profile.php?ID=21 [/URL] kinda NSFW ... bikini ! Its lagit im just trying to help her win, i know u all think its spam or trollign or whatever, give me a break tho and help her out ! Thanks

yowza! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20050133)

OK, I voted for her, but she lists her legs as her best feature, so now we need some leg pics! Micromini and some heels wouldn't hurt....

BTW, WTG! having a GF that cute

Welcome Back Grubby (5, Informative)

zokord (1135057) | more than 7 years ago | (#20048441)

I'm the guy that started Grub back in 1999. In 2003, after getting a little bit of press, I sold the company to LookSmart. I was hoping for a continuation of the OS license for Grub, and the financial backing of a larger company that could help develop the product out to it's logical conclusion - distributed, open search.

Unfortunately that didn't happen with the situation, and I decided to move on to other opportunities. Now here I am again, and I fully support what Wikia is doing with Grub, and what their resources can do for the project and the problem it can solve.

Myself (Kord Campbell), Igor Stojanovski and Ledio Ago (both who work at Splunk BTW) are three original founders of Grub. We are now helping Wikia out with getting it up and running, and explaining how things work (or don't) and will continue spending a bit of time helping out where we can as the project matures.

I would like to point out that Grub itself isn't all that interesting right now. About all it does is distribute jobs that consist of URLs to crawl. Yes, something similar could be done with BOINK. Yes, nothing is being done with the crawled data. Yes, it breaks occasionally and it's full of bugs.

However, it's a start. It's the first pass at fully distributing the job of search, and putting it where it belongs - in the commons. Search doesn't belong to Google, or Wikia, it belongs to everyone. It's your data, and it should be your search engine crawling, indexing and searching that data - not some monolithic profit hungry company.

Go and read the page on search over at Wikia: http://search.wikia.com/ [wikia.com] - Jer Miller (worked on Jabber) explains what they have in mind for Atlas. It's a fully distributed, OS, open protocol dream of making better search. Like Wikipedia (which is non-profit), Jimmy Wales wants search to be open, and community driven/managed - it's not about making gobs of money off your CPU/Bandwidth - it's about making better search for everyone.

Ideally the current Grub clients/server will go away, and be replaced with something better. For now, you have to crawl before you walk, and you have to walk before you run. Given time, and support from the OS community, I'm sure Wikia will do the right thing here.

If you want to get involved and help out, start by hitting the wiki and contributing your thoughts. We are going to need coders working on different aspects of the project as well, so think about volunteering in your particular area of expertise.

GRUB or Grub? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20050339)

Am I the only one who thought.. Wow! I thought GRUB was already open source. I mean, it ships with so many Linux distros.

Although I'm old school and I still use LILO. ;)

Great (1)

joeszilagyi (635484) | more than 7 years ago | (#20051211)

I wonder if Wikia will have controls over their search terms? What will "Wikipedia admin real name" turn up?

peer-reviewed engines rocks (1)

renrutal (872592) | more than 7 years ago | (#20051277)

In all honesty, del.icio.us is a better search engine than what Google and other algorithmical engines ever hope to be.

Is it worth it to you? (1)

jgoemat (565882) | more than 7 years ago | (#20051313)

Using "spare" computer cycles costs money. Hook up a power meter to your computer and check it out. My computer uses more than 50 extra watts during computation intensive tasks (not even graphics) than when the processor is idle. At 20 hours a day of extra processing cycles (if you would normally have your computer on but processor idle during those times) at 10 cents per kilowatt hour would be just about 10 cents per day, or $3 a month added to your electric bill. It would probably be more efficient for people to donate that money to Wikia so they can buy their own efficient servers, mine wastes a lot of energy on the power supply and hard drives for instance. The bandwidth might count for something also, but there are extra trips to deliver information back to Wikia also...

Wow, that's confusing. (1)

jonadab (583620) | more than 7 years ago | (#20051741)

Given that Grub is Gnu-branded, and Debian installs it *by default*, I was practically certain that it was open-source already (though I don't happen to actually _know_ which license, though since it's Gnu-branded I bet I could venture a guess...) and maintained by the FSF. Now here we have Wikia acquiring Grub and releasing it under an open-source license. Must be a different Grub, but that still leaves room for lots of confusion.

What I want to know is, will Grub be released under the *same* open-source license as is used for Grub, or a different one? I could just about break out into an Abbott and Costello parody with this question...

boot loader (1)

wolverine1999 (126497) | more than 7 years ago | (#20053509)

Grub is a boot loader not a search tool...
You've got your wires crossed again...
Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?