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Comment: Re:MORE BLOAT! (Score 1, Offtopic) 81 81

A "lean" OS an OS where you easily add/enable just the pieces you want/need, not one that comes with everything and the kitchen sink preinstalled and enabled "just in case somebody needs it". The whole point of an OS is to ease the development, installation and execution of programs in form of libraries and applications, and the only reason behind bundling and preinstalling something that's non-essential to the vast majority of users is simply to promote that application/library/framework/whatever for reasons that are based on commercial agreements between manufacturers, not on technical merit or usefulness for the end users. Are you still in the "we sell solutions, not programs" monolithic boat of the '90? The rest of the world is going faster, developing software for uses that you couldn't ever anticipate, on hardware that's not typical, and that's possbile only if your OS is a simple and reliable building block that scales well up and down and doesn't get in the way of doing unusual things.

Comment: Re:But does it matter any more? (Score 1) 181 181

Competition makes them good, and story may repeat itself. I remember using the native IE 4.x ports on Solaris and HP-UX back in the times when Netscape Navigator was THE browser (late '90). Then, once IE gained market, they disappeared at once.

See here

Comment: Re:polish != Polish (Score 1) 148 148

There's a simplier answer to that: to be case-insensitive, you have to agree to a character encoding first, or write it down somewhere along with the name, and then you need additional code to deal with equivalences between characters in that encoding.

To be case sensitive, *nix-style, is straightforward: you just aren't allowed to use byte 0x00 (C string terminator) and 0x2F ("/" in ASCII encoding) when encoding file names. Everything else is just fine, regardless of encoding (and endianess, just in case you used multibyte characters). To compare names you just compare sequence of bytes up to the C string terminator, and two are names are equal if their bytes are equal. End of it.

This, and the fact that forcing down policies on file naming is a task better suited to user interfaces than kernels or system libraries (this way, an UI can always be as case-insensitive as it wants/needs to be).

Comment: Really nice, but... (Score 4, Insightful) 75 75

I'm trying it these days (to refresh and improve my German), and I have to say I've become sort of addicted. I can't really vouch on the quality of their courses, since the only one available for speakers of my mother tongue (English for Italian speakers) isn't that good yet (fine for most lessions, but the more advanced ones have definitively weird italian translations that could throw you off a bit). Hopefully, the courses for English speaking people are better. The web interface for the courses seems to be well-thought (lots of easy keyboard shortcuts) and works surprisingly well, didn't try the mobile applications yet.

On the other side, for what I could see, the translations you are kindly asked to do "to repay" them are usually poorly-written descriptions of commercial articles/ads, nothing really interesting, and the related web interface has some rough spots (just some quirks, but they get distracting).

That being said, I believe it's still the best online resource I've seen yet to get your feet wet with a foreign language (provided you know English)

Comment: Emacs, Vim (Score 1) 359 359

GNU Emacs for every programming language but Java (C, C++, SQL, Tcl, Python, Perl, Javascript, shell scripting), XML, HTML and CSS. Because it's the same on all platforms and ELisp comes to the rescue when I need it. Vim for configuration files (because vi is everywhere and it's the same on all platforms). Eclipse for Java code, because it does the job and because of the plugins that sometimes are required (but for large edits, I use GNU Emacs as an external editor - because it's faster). After 20+ years in the field, I have to have a really good reason to try other editors. These fill all my needs.

Comment: Re:Here's how it goes: (Score 1) 98 98

Back in the day, I remember a setting on iBrowse (Amiga) that caused the browser to ask before accepting each and every cookie. I don't see that setting on my current browsers, though I may just be overlooking it

Firefox has such setting, with the option to ask what to do for every cookie a website tries to set/update (which quiclky gets annoying), plus an option in to remember your choice for all subsequent cookies from that website. It's there in Preferences->Privacy->History->Use custom settings.

Comment: No X servers required on servers... (Score 1) 264 264

It has to have an X-windows server since we use that remotely from our Windows

Just to clear out a misconception that arises from time to time: you do not need an X server on a server exactly in the same way you don't need a web browser on your HTTP server. To understand that, you can think of an X server as a "browser" for the X protocol. On the server you just need some support libraries (which help applications in talking the X protocol).

Reality must take precedence over public relations, for Mother Nature cannot be fooled. -- R.P. Feynman

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