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Comment: Re: Metadata (Score 1) 36

by Ben Hutchings (#48664683) Attached to: How a Wildfire Helped Spread the Hashtag

SMS allows 7-bit, 8-bit and variable-length (UTF-16) encodings, for 160/140/80 code units per message. The 140 character limit leaves some room to add a username prefix when users receive tweets by SMS in a 7-bit encoding.

Whatever the restrictions of SMS or the original Twitter service, tweets may now use any Unicode character (for some version of Unicode). Whenever they forward tweets by SMS, if they have to use an 8-bit encoding or UTF-16 they may need to split.

Comment: Re:I am not going to convert (Score 1) 245

by Ben Hutchings (#48234731) Attached to: Help ESR Stamp Out CVS and SVN In Our Lifetime

the trouble with DVCSs is there is no repository to backup.

There are many repositories you can backup. It's a matter of policy for each project to choose which of these is the authoritative version.

Everyone has their copies and a vape in one can (and will) be propagated to the others.

It sounds like you are talking about non-fast-forward pushes. These can be disallowed, and I think that's the default but I could be wrong. It's also not necessary to allow all developers to push to the authoritative repository (which you can't do with a centralised VCS).

Its not like a centralized system where you can have proper backups.

No, it's much better.

Comment: Re:Seems incorrect (Score 1) 80

by Ben Hutchings (#48119543) Attached to: NVIDIA Presents Plans To Support Mir and Wayland On Linux

You need at least:

1. Kernel driver for hardware init, power management, mode setting, GPU buffer management and command submission

2. Userland library for GPU buffer management and command submission

3. OpenGL implementation

In the open source graphics stack, the kernel driver exposes KMS and DRM interfaces and potentially others. Parts 2 and 3 are part of libdrm and Mesa respectively. The display server can (I think) be built on top of KMS, libdrm and OpenGL and be independent of the hardware. However it will need an extension to OpenGL called EGL which will be specific to each display server protocol.

Currently X doesn't usually work that way for historical reasons - it used 2D acceleration first and still supports hardware that has only 2D acceleration. So it has hardware-specific drivers for each family of GPUs. However there is the 'Glamor' library that supports 2D acceleration genericallly on top of OpenGL, and I would expect to see a gradual move to that, not least because it's the only option for 2D acceleration in XWayland.

Getting back to Nvidia, their problem currently is that they don't implement the same interfaces as the open source stack and therefore don't work with the new display servers that depend on those interfaces. Implementing KMS gets them a long way there. However it sounds like they still need to reimplement the EGL, not because it's hardware-specific but because their OpenGL implementation is entirely independent of Mesa.

Comment: Re:One bad apple spoils the barrel (Score 3, Interesting) 1134

by Ben Hutchings (#47829027) Attached to: Combating Recent, Ugly Incidents of Misogyny In Gamer Culture

1. The allegations against Quinn are insinuations with no evidence behind them.
2. Sarkeesian has been loudly contradicted and claimed to be a con-woman by people that can't take criticism and are annoyed by the success of her Kickstarter.
3. This is being called "misogyny" in gaming because it is directed specifically at women.
4. The Social Justice Warriors have all supported these women because they oppose misogyny.
5. It's so cheap and easy to brand gamers basement dwelling vrigin men-children than it is to look at the facts. This is stereotyping, but it is nothing like the harrassment, online bullying, doxxing or death threats made by some gamers against feminist critics.

Fixed that for you.

Comment: Re:This does pose the question: (Score 1) 195

by Ben Hutchings (#47664551) Attached to: Facebook Seeks Devs To Make Linux Network Stack As Good As FreeBSD's

ASICs generally aren't flexible enough that you could simply emulate another controller in firmware, while FPGAs suck too much power to use on commodity network adapters. Writing a new driver (or bringing an existing neglected driver up to scratch) is going to be quicker than trying to make hardware that's compatible enough to work with a driver written for another vendor's controller.

(Besides which, as that other driver is probably maintained by your competitor, do you really think they're going to make an effort to ensure that their later updates are compatible with your clone controller? You'll still have to maintain your own fork.)

I have often wondered why there isn't a vendor-neutral register-level standard for Ethernet controllers, along the lines of AHCI and xHCI. There is the virtio networking standard, but as it's designed for VMs I assume it does not cover Ethernet link management. I seem to remember that VMware tried to promote a common interface for SR-IOV virtual functions at one time, but that didn't get very far. Again that would not have included link management.

Comment: Meanwhile, in reality... (Score 2) 201

by Ben Hutchings (#45692771) Attached to: Under the Hood of SteamOS
It's a stock Debian kernel with some minor packaging changes and support for a new game controller. All those realtime patches? Not actually used by default. The full list of exciting changes:
  • Make the binnmu regexp also reconize our build suffixes
  • New XBox controller driver
  • Disable Intel P-State driver as it causes issues with sound being choppy during BigPicture trailer video playback.
  • Hard-code parallel build for now since our OBS infrastructure doesn't know how to set these options yet.
  • Add postinst step to touch /var/run/reboot-required

Comment: Re:But can SVN merge a branch yet? (Score 1) 378

by Ben Hutchings (#44056933) Attached to: Subversion 1.8 Released But Will You Still Use Git?
Repeated merges have worked well for a while now (maybe since 1.6?). It's not quite as good at merging as git is, but it works well enough. But I have to agree with the general sentiment against merging from release to devel branches. Merging should be considered an expert-only operation (not expert in version control, but in the code base). Cherry-picking/backporting fixes from devel to release is safer because then you know exactly what you're changing.

Comment: Re:Online Advertising Response (Score 1) 369

by Ben Hutchings (#42995725) Attached to: Firefox Will Soon Block Third-Party Cookies
Whenever a web site has a form, some other site can set up another (hidden) form pointing to the same URL and with any values they like. Someone who visits both sites can unintentionally submit that form (together with their cookies from the first site, so it's properly authenticated). This is 'Cross Site Request Forgery' and the usual way to avoid is to check the Referer header.

Computers are useless. They can only give you answers. -- Pablo Picasso

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