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We've improved Slashdot's video section; now you can view our video interviews, product close-ups and site visits with all the usual Slashdot options to comment, share, etc. No more walled garden! It's a work in progress -- we hope you'll check it out (Learn more about the recent updates).


Comment: Re:Don't forget Firefox Hello! (Score 1) 147

by asa (#49125077) Attached to: Firefox 36 Arrives With Full HTTP/2 Support, New Design For Android Tablets

Videoconferencing from any device on the planet without installing any special software is bloat?

YES, in the same way that every user on the planet would probably want a calculator once in a while but that doesn't mean the browser needs to add one!

Firefox comes with a couple of calculators built in. It has since before it was called Firefox.

Comment: Re:No, you really havent avenged anything. (Score 5, Insightful) 1350

by BZ (#48754721) Attached to: Gunmen Kill 12, Wound 7 At French Magazine HQ

Unfortunately, Stephane Charbonnier is one of the people who were killed in this latest attack. I really hope you're right that Charlie Hebdo will keep going, but it's a lot easier to recover from physical damage to offices than it is from having the staff that make the magazine what it is killed. :(

Comment: Re:What do they spend the money on? (Score 1) 161

by BZ (#48438847) Attached to: Mozilla's 2013 Report: Revenue Up 1% To $314M; 90% From Google

Browsers are pretty complicated, yes. Things like low-latency high-performance VMs, hardware-accelerated video pipelines, plus the details, like actual HTML parsing, CSS layout, a network stack, and so forth. Also, what matters is not just the complication but how fast you're trying to change things, and people are adding new things (flexbox, more complicated CSS layout modes, mode DOM APIs, etc) faster than ever before.

But also, in addition to a browser Mozilla is working on FirefoxOS, which involves a whole separate bunch of developers, since it's not like the browser developers are writing things like the dialer app for FirefoxOS. Also, you need QA, not just developers.

And yes, Mozilla has 1000-ish employees, for what it's worth.

It's not just Mozilla. If I look at I see on the order of 600 committers with commits in the last month. And that's not even counting whoever is working on the non-open-source parts of Chrome. And not counting, again, QA and so forth.

And the worst part is, this is not a new development. Microsoft had over 1000 people working on IE6 in 1999, according to

So yes, browsers, complicated.

Comment: Re:Chrome Soon? FireFox on the other-hand... (Score 1) 67

by BZ (#48415035) Attached to: Chrome 39 Launches With 64-bit Version For Mac OS X and New Developer Features

The "let" keyword is not the same thing as "let blocks" and "let expressions".

The keyword looks like this:

    let x = 5;

and is in ES6. A let block or let expression (neither of which is in ES6) looks like this:

    let (x = 5) alert(x);

so that "x" is only in scope for the duration of the let block. It's syntactic sugar for:

    let x = 5;

Comment: Re:Chrome for Android and Safari for iOS? (Score 4, Informative) 74

by BZ (#48350785) Attached to: Mozilla Launches Browser Built For Developers

> So, they're running Android and iOS on your
> computer to run the same binaries as those
> platforms?

No. "They" are allowing you to connect your Android or iOS device to your computer (likely via USB), then debugging the on-device browser using the Firefox debugger running on your computer. That way you're debugging the thing you actually want to debug, but using the same developer tools you're using for your other debugging, and which therefore you're already familiar with.

Comment: Re:Nice Thing: systemctl status shows you log entr (Score 1) 928

by db48x (#48278887) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Can You Say Something Nice About Systemd?

cgroups just enable systemd to collect all of the log entries from all of the processes belonging to a service without missing any*. When a sysvinit service daemonizes itself, the pid of the daemon isn't the same as the pid of the process that init actually created. This means that every service has to keep track of its own pid (in a pidfile), and that every service would have to report this information to syslog somehow.

Or you could add this capability to init, but then your new init is no longer doing just one thing and this is exactly the complaint most people have about systemd. Also, be careful not to change the existing interface with syslog, because then you're imposing your own views on everyone else, just like folks are saying about systemd.

Oh, and if your service logs to syslog, and it's being run under systemd, then systemd intercepts those and attaches all of the extra metadata before adding the log entry to the journal. You don't need to rewrite anything to be compatible with systemd. In fact, if you also have syslog installed then systemd will automatically send everything that gets logged to syslog as well; you get both at the same time and neither steps on the other.

I don't like systemd because it is systemd, I like it because it gives me a great way to query my logs and find out what my systems have been up to. If you give a sysvinit system the same capabilities then I will use those capabilities just as often.

* Well, cgroups also let systemd do a few other things not related to logging, such as setting resource limits on individual services, but I don't use them much myself.

Comment: Nice Thing: systemctl status shows you log entries (Score 5, Informative) 928

by db48x (#48277113) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Can You Say Something Nice About Systemd?

If you have a service called 'foo', then 'systemctl status foo' not only shows you whether the service is running, it also shows you the last 10 log entries created by that service. This is great when the service failed; usually the error message will be right there.

How does it do this? Well, because all processes created by the service are in the same cgroup, all of the log messages (and even anything they print to stdout, which would have been lost otherwise) can easily be tagged with the service name (and a bunch of other metadata). You can use journalctl to query the journal for the logs from a specific service, and systemctl status does this for you.

Comment: What is the point? (Score 4, Insightful) 88

by asa (#48247381) Attached to: Firefox OS Coming To Raspberry Pi

What was the point of Firefox? IE was free and was a proven and already well-established browser. By your logic, we never should have built Firefox and the Web should have stalled with IE6 in 2002.

The world needs a truly open mobile OS as much as it needed a truly open browser a decade ago. Android is open in name only and Google is hurriedly moving its most lucrative components into closed proprietary services and apps that aren't a part of open source Android. iOS is as closed as everything Apple does. Windows is getting some nice HTML5 support for apps, but not nearly enough. There's clearly an opportunity for HTML5 apps to compete on mobile if someone can build a solid alternative platform to the monopolies and silos we're all stuck with today.

Aren't you glad you're not getting all the government you pay for now?