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Comment Re:Basically no (Score 1) 532

That's not quite how freedom of speech works.

You can say whatever you want as yourself*, and the government can't stop you.

If you're speaking as a representative of the government, however, the government can put limits on your speech, just like any employer can. As an example, IBM is well within their rights to fire an employee that badmouths their products while on service calls. A police officer that badmouths the mayor while in uniform can also be fired.

The government can certainly discriminate against employees or potential employees based on their views and political leanings**. I believe I was asked if I was a communist whenever I enlisted in the military.

TL;DR: Erik Barnett, the guy that lives on the corner and has the green lawn flamingos, can say whatever he wants. Erik Barnett, assistant deputy director at U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and attache to the European Union at the Department of Homeland Security, can't.

[*] within various limits, fire in a theater, etc.
[**] imagine the lawsuits for every presidential appointee if this wasn't the case

Comment Unicode characters in code (Score 2) 145

One thing that caught my eye was this:

Non-digit unicode characters with a numeric value (½ and such) can now be used for that numeric value


Provide tau constant (also: )

(There's a Unicode tau there that slashdot won't pass)

I've seen this in Emacs LISP, but I haven't seen it elsewhere (granted, I mostly use older languages...). I imagine non-ASCII characters in code are going to be a point of contention among developers.


Superscripts can now be used for integer powers

I haven't payed much attention to Perl 6 (I use Perl 5 for a lot, though), but now I'm looking forward to playing with this.

Comment Re:Gnome 3 (Score 1) 402

It sounds like you don't use GNOME like it is intended either. Sure, you get what you want - for the most part - if you go without the panel and use compiz and build an OSX-like interface, etc. etc.

At that point, you're not running GNOME. You're using GNOME components.

As far as what's missing, it was like I said: configurability. There was a constant push to remove options from settings panels, and a constant push towards a Windows-like workflow. That's great for people coming from Windows. It sucks for people like me, who actually liked OpenLook, FVWM, and Afterstep, and whose first actions upon a new install is to put a launch icon for xterm and add a grid of desktops with edge flipping.

It's been fifteen years, I can't give you specifics. The mailing lists should still be there, and you'll find people on them (including myself) complaining about the process. My point was merely that people have been complaining about UX designers mucking about with GNOME for long before 3.x.

Oh, and I like Motif, too, in a strange sort of way. Want to talk about removal of configrability, just ask where X resources went.

Comment Re:gasping at emacs? (Score 1) 402

Emacs isn't hard to learn. It's certainly no harder than vi. It helps to ignore all the parts in the tutorial about being compatible with old terminals - in other words, if you like using PgUp/PgDown and the arrow keys, use them - they work just fine.

If you do a lot of text editing, you just switch to it. In a couple weeks you'll be up to your old speed or faster than you were in whatever you used to use (unless what you used to use was just a simple editor, in which case you'll be up to speed in much less time). Learning to customize it involves learning some LISP, but LISP syntax is simple and you can pick it up pretty quick (probably quicker than vimscript, anyway). I came from vim so I use evil mode, which gives Emacs vi keybindings.

Comment Re:"weak" UX often found w/ the most powerful SW (Score 2) 402

So, you have coworker with a different skillset, and you blame his choice of tools rather than the person himself?

Did you come here from 4chan?

I can't make out your point. Something about Unicode, some implication that open source doesn't offer features (which is false), a bunch of talk about various graphical stuff with the implication that those are unavailable in open source (the only one that might apply to is CAD, but I don't do CAD so I don't know), and then some sort of rant about GUI vs. CLI that doesn't apply to any of this (are you under the impression that all open source apps are CLI?).

I hope your coworker is more coherent than you.

Comment Re:"weak" UX often found w/ the most powerful SW (Score 1) 402

Emacs by default has menus and point-and-click functionality. A lot of users turn all that off. Of course, that's not saying that Emacs is easy, even with all that turned on, but what does market share mean to an open source project, anyway? As long as enough people use it to maintain the community, the project continues.

I don't disable the menus because they're useful for rarely-used functions. I spend most of my time in org-mode or one of the programming modes, but every now and again I run something off-the-wall and the menu comes in handy. And hey, what's the point of having large monitors if I can't give up a few pixels for a menu?

Comment Re:"weak" UX often found w/ the most powerful SW (Score 1) 402

Emacs doesn't do things like, for instance, edit movies or do Disney-style animation.

The interesting thing about Emacs is that the above two limitations are not because Emacs can't do those things, but because no one was written the code to do them yet.

Art mode's about due for an upgrade, anyway.

Comment Re:Gnome 3 (Score 2) 402

That process didn't start with GNOME 3. GNOME 2 is a result of the exact same thing. And I'll enthusiastically disagree with your assessment that it was the "best desktop environment of its day." Maybe it was great if you were coming from Windows, but coming from earlier versions of GNOME or from other UNIX DEs, it was lackluster at best.

Sun provided UX people for GNOME because it wanted to ditch CDE (ironically, right after it had switched to it from OpenLook). The Sun people came in and said, "fuck the power users, let's make things easy!" Options were considered confusing and omitted. The traditional UNIX workflow was replaced with a very Windows-like workflow. This lives on today in MATE - if you compare the standard Windows workflow with MATE, it's basically the same.

Metacity is the perfect example here. It's the most brain-dead, unconfigurable window manager ever. It's less configurable than TWM. Thanks, GNOME, no, I don't want to be productive, what a silly idea! The first official WM for GNOME was Enlightenment, which was all kinds of configurable, and then Saw[mill|fish] (which I've been told was very configurable, although I didn't know LISP at the time so I never found out for myself). Going to Metacity was pretty much par for the course and indicative of their "options are evil" mentality.

Those of us who started using GNOME back in the 0.x days watched our beloved features go away. Some adapted. Some, like me, ditched GNOME as a DE and ran a mixture of various software, including GNOME and KDE apps, and put up with the times when stuff just didn't work right. I eventually switched to KDE, since KDM can do most of what I wanted FVWM for and supports something closer to the traditional UNIX desktop workflow, but I can see where the UX people have been "innovating" there too.

Comment Re:openssl? (Score 1) 113

I'll admit that I don't hang out on the OpenBSD mailing lists, but I'm surprised to hear the LibreSSL team doesn't get much support. Theo himself was working on it, at least in the early days, and I had the impression the other devs on the project were pretty high profile. If they're not being funded out of OpenBSD's development fund or equivalent (again, I'm speaking out of ignorance about how the OpenBSD organization works), I'd be very surprised.

Things have shifted quite a bit - it works more or less a drop-in replacement for OpenSSL on OpenBSD now, so current efforts are aimed more at ports and the new API - but I imagine it's still pretty important to the OpenBSD project.

Comment Re:openssl? (Score 1) 113

Dunno if 2015 is a good year for the OpenSSL project.

LibreSSL is being ported to other operating systems, and they're working on a new API that is supposedly much easier to work with than OpenSSL's.

We'll see how it goes adoption wise, but I would not be surprised if 2015 is the beginning of the end for OpenSSL.

Comment Re:God isn't just "anything" (Score 1) 209

The FSM has changed focus. It was once just an argument against religious interference in schools. Now it's something like those people who claim their religion as "Jedi."

People are having fun with the concept. Let them have it. If people actually want to get married in front of a real god, they'll do so. If you don't want people making fun of your religion, quit using laws to shove it down our throats.

Comment Re:Very rare indeed (Score 1) 90

I was just considering intelligence, not necessarily space-faring. Honestly, we're barely a space-faring race ourselves.

Either way, we're working on way too little data at this point to do more than guess. We know a bit more about other planetary systems than we used to, but we're still largely ignorant. We've got statistics we can work with, but the variables we're feeding into it are flimsy at best. My reasoning for thinking we're not the first intelligent species is the number of stars in the galaxy - there's a whole whopping shitload of them. When we compare that to the tiny amount of time an intelligent species has been on this planet vs. the time between when planets first formed in the galaxy to now, however, we're certainly the newbies.

It's all a moot point unless we figure out a way to go out and look, though. Maybe one day we, or something we become later, will be able to do that.

Comment Re:Very rare indeed (Score 2) 90

I've heard that theory before, and I doubt its accuracy.

Life like ours, out on the surface, would have difficulty living without the magnetic field, but we evolved on this planet. Life that evolves in an ocean doesn't have to worry about radiation. Look at Europa, for instance - we think it's possible for life to evolve there, and it's in a much harsher environment than the Earth would be even without a magnetic field.

If life evolved in an ocean on a planet with a dead core, and eventually left the ocean to colonize land, it would evolve the capability of dealing with the environment. Perhaps it would have extra redundancy in its DNA analog, or maybe it would not even use a cell-based system like we do. Who knows?

That said, while life might be more common than you think, you might be right about intelligence - at least at our moment in time. I would be very surprised, however, if we were the first intelligent life in this galaxy.

Comment Re:If you want people to learn programming... (Score 1) 105

I never used Logo, because none of the schools I attended in the 80s taught programming until high school, and by that age BASIC and Pascal were the languages of choice.

That said, I first learned BASIC by drawing things on an Atari 800. It was just PLOT and DRAWTO statements, so to do anything interesting you had to use loops and conditionals. It was a blast.

I can see where Logo would have been popular in the places it was taught.

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