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Comment coalesce (Score 1) 191

-- coalesce returns the first argument that is not null
select 1 from
table where
(coalesce(?, foo) = foo) and
(coalesce(?, bar) = bar) and
(coalesce(?, baz) = baz)

Comment Farming without a farm (Score 1) 353

Economy of scale. Population density in agricultural areas means your cost per port is huge.

That's why cities should embrace urban horticulture, such as square foot gardens, rooftop gardens, Topsy Turvy strawberry and tomato planters, and the like. One problem is zoning; another is that due to the war on some drugs, authorities tend to assume that this sort of smaller-scale horticulture involves a certain prohibited psychoactive plant. "If we let you grow tomatoes, we'll have to let your neighbor grow marijuana." In addition, there'd have to be some way to reduce demand for meat because growing animals takes even more sparsely populated land. But in any case, bringing more food production capacity within range of wired broadband would reduce the need for living in areas affected by harsh usage caps.

Comment Kernel issues are a slim minority (Score 1) 226

So tell me again how an application suite solves the issue of kernel level multi-tasking support?

That and video hardware support issues were the only kernel-level issues I found when I summarized the article. The vast majority of mentioned points could fit into a new desktop environment targeted at creative professionals.

Comment Color management algorithms are patented (Score 1) 226

And no OS I know of implements the needed algorithms for serious color management.

How much of that is because "the needed algorithms for serious color management" were invented less than 20 years ago, and the patent holders price a license too high for an operating system intended to cover both home users and professional graphic artists?

Comment Refers to applications and libraries (Score 2) 226

An OS's primary goal should be to manage the hardware

The screen is hardware. A window manager application divides it into areas for applications. The disk drive is hardware. A file system divides it into areas for documents, and a file manager application allows arranging and locating these documents. The "OS" of the article refers not to the kernel as much as to window manager and file manager applications and system-wide libraries that support audiovisual creative use cases.

Comment Market segment of those who share a use case (Score 1) 205

[Multi-window multitasking is] not really a market segment it is a use case.

Every use case, such as multi-window multitasking, has a corresponding market segment of people who regularly use it. Page 4 of an Ars Technica article about OS features useful to the market segment of creative professionals (discussion) mentions multi-window multitasking features, and page 5 decries Microsoft's focus on retooling its OS for "consumption" (passive viewing of works created by others) of one thing at a time.

Comment Operating environment independent of kernel (Score 2) 226

Of course, KDE isn't an operating system.

That depends on how you define "operating system". I'm aware that some define OS as kernel, but I was under the impression that KDE on Linux felt like KDE on FreeBSD. I read the article, and only a few items related to video drivers or multitasking performance would need direct support from a kernel.

  • Page 1: A system-wide image loader and a file manager with image thumbnails.
  • Page 2: System-wide support for video containers and codecs used in professional video production (which would likely require the OS to be paywalled due to patent royalties), uploading to multiple video sharing providers, support for displays deeper than 8 bits per channel with color correction (kernel?), support for displays with higher density than 96 dpi, recent OpenGL (kernel?), best-of-breed compilers (again, paywall if GCC/LLVM isn't good enough), system-wide support for pressure-sensitive pen input, and user control over startup (kernel?) and the behavior of the window manager and file manager.
  • Page 3: Search by size, format, dimensions, structured metadata within files, full text extracted from binary formats, and easy ability to add searchable comments to a file. Search box in all file choosers. Web search tools to find stock media to incorporate in your project (which may require the OS publisher to run its own search servers, which may in turn require ads).
  • Page 4: File manager support for adding colored labels (such as "draft", "final", "managed by art department", "managed by editorial department", etc.) to files or folders. Thumbnails in window pickers. Multi-window multitasking with tools to make the workspace associated with a document fill the left or right half of a screen. Smart support for recently used folders in file choosers, including disambiguating identical names and listing open windows in the file manager. High performance under multitasking load (kernel).
  • Page 5: All applications are scriptable, be it through command-line equivalents of GUI operations or through high-level events sent to an application. Scripting language bundled with the operating system so that users don't have to go through the IT department to get one installed. System-wide backup that allows backing up the installed applications (with configuration) and data separately and restoring to any point in time. Don't take the color out of system icons. Don't completely rearchitect your UI around passive home viewing of works created by others. And don't shun paywalled technologies entirely.

Comment Minutes between scan and acting (Score 1) 121

You mean the ~$50 it costs to buy a used phone off craigslist and use it as a portable computing device with no phone service

I own such a portable computing device: an Archos 43 Internet Tablet. But I thought one needed cellular data service in order to have a data connection with which to act on the information in the scanned QR code. Or is there a procedure that allows scanning the QR code, waiting several minutes to an hour to find a Wi-Fi connection, and then acting on the scan?

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