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Comment Re:Very bad (Score 1) 676

So, if you look at some of the factors that he claims "dirty" the data, one is that a lot of management/refactoring of code is done by Sun employees, and another is that a lot of outside contributors find it hard to get commit access and just leave patches in the bugtracker, which Sun employees pick up.

He claims this means that the graph — which shows Sun responsible for the vast majority of all the commits — is inaccurate.

I claim that if the project isn't getting external contributors, or not giving them the ability to get commit access, and it's basically being run by Sun internally, and he has to mention that people leave patches in the bugtracker, that itself is a sign that the project is profoundly sick, more so than any charts can so.

As further evidence that Sun isn't playing well with external contributors and the community, read the tale of the non-upstreamed Calc solver, which Meeks linked to.

Comment Re:That's because there DONE! (Score 5, Interesting) 676

This is not true at all. Sure, you can type stuff in, mark some stuff bold, spell check it, and print it out -- but there's no need for an office suite to do that, and if that's all you intend to do don't call yourself an office suite.

Here's something I ran into yesterday. There's a "Compare Documents" feature under the Edit menu. It doesn't compare the contents of tables. The bug reporting this was opened in July 2003, and nobody has seemed to care yet. In 2007, someone had a patch, which was committed and not added to the next release's codeline because "I don't think that this issue fulfills the criteria for 2.3.1". This may it was retargeted for 3.1 and rejected in November because There are too many open questions to finish in 3.1." People complained again in 2004 and 2008; I don't think you can say in good faith that "no one cares enough".

It occurs to me that your exact phrasing was "no one cares enough to add it", which is completely right. Nobody cares enough to develop to where it should be.

If you ask what more, are they not done, then I'll ask the same thing about the Linux kernel -- isn't it done? What benefit is there to running the latest 2.6.28 or whatever instead of 2.4, which worked fine for everyone a few years ago? But yet who in their right mind would (all other things being equal) set up a new system with 2.4 instead of some kernel released this year? And you'd laugh if I suggested the Linux 1.x tree, but that can open and close programs and files just as well as any other OS, can't it?

Comment Re:Serious issues with this project (Score 1) 194

No fine-tuning user access, no support for external authentication

MediaWiki supports both of these. The first is the userrights array, which you can configure in LocalSettings.php, and groups configured in the usergroup table. The second is by subclassing AuthPlugin.php and telling it exactly what you want — autocreate local users? create remote users? fetch a password db or authenticate externally? replace the login and logout pages?

Most decent external authentication providers set REMOTE_USER, and meta has a plugin for autologin with REMOTE_USER.

not easy to add new markup

I haven't had a reason to try this, so I don't know. But you can make pseudomarkup really easily via the template feature, e.g., map {{{serif|foo}}} to <font face="my favorite serif font">foo</font>, or whatever. In fact, templates are how Wikipedia does their infoboxes (the tables on the right side of articles about prominent public figures or businesses or whatever).


Submission + - Hacked Bank of India Site Labelled Trustworthy ( 1

SkiifGeek writes: "When the team at Sunbelt Software picked up on a sneaky hack present on the Bank of India website, it became a unique opportunity to see how the various anti-phishing and website trust verification tools were handling a legitimate site that had been attacked.

Unfortunately, the results showed that not one of the sites or tools identified that the Bank of India website was compromised and serving malware to all visitors. This isn't the first time that trust verification sites have had trouble identifying web content, with noted web application researcher RSnake recently taking umbrage at the classification that SiteAdvisor applies to his site."


Submission + - Global Warming Debate Overheats with Bad Numbers (

Geoffreyerffoeg writes: In response to last week's discussion of a bug in global warming data that made 1934, not 1998, the hottest year on record, a post in the Wall Street Journal's "Numbers Guy" blog notes that the change is statistically meaningless. Guest columnist Keith Winstein writes, "[A]t least 12 years out of the last 127 can claim to be in a statistical tie for warmest in the U.S. ... 1934 and 1998 have been swapping (statistically insignificant) spots on the ranking for a number of years." It turns out the 0.02 degree Celsius change was actually far less than the 0.47 degree margin of error.

NASA Optimistic About Fuel Tank Repairs 104

DarkNemesis618 writes "NASA is now optimistic Atlantis' fuel tank will be able to be repaired in Florida. Due to a freak hail storm February 26 that had golf-sized hail chunks raining down on the launchpad put several thousand dings in the foam covering the external fuel tank as well as damaging 28 tiles on Atlantis' wing. 20 of the 28 tiles have been repaired and workers have started sanding down the damaged area of the tank itself. After it was decided that Atlantis needed to return to the VAB, NASA was unsure as to whether or not the tank could be repaired. But after bringing it back and doing more extensive inspections, the tank appeared to be in good enough shape that repairs could be done on the spot and a replacement was not necessary. This will allow for Atlantis to be launched late April for its construction mission to the ISS as well as not interfering with the remaining 4 launches planned this year. If the tank needed to be replaced, Atlantis would not have launched until June at the earliest."
User Journal

Journal SPAM: I am not a state secret 1

"ON NEW YEAR'S EVE in 2003, I was seized at the border of Serbia and Macedonia by Macedonian police who mistakenly believed that I was traveling on a false German passport. I was detained incommunicado for more than three weeks. Then I was handed over to the American Central Intelligence Agency and was stripped, severely beaten, shackled, dressed in a diaper, injected with drugs, chained to the floor of a plane and flown to Afghanistan, where I was imprisoned in a foul dungeon for more than f

The Internet

Submission + - Lying Admin No Longer at Wikipedia

abscissa writes: Essjay, the one of highest level ups on Wikipedia who lied about his credentials in an effort to "protect his identity" (though he later announced his real name, age, and place of residence), announced that he will be leaving Wikipedia. He claimed to have several advanced degrees in theology and even went so far as to pretend to be a professor and write in support of a student (that content has now been permanently erased). He had been promoted to a paid Wikia position by Jimbo Wales, but after an outpouring of anger he was asked to resign by Jimbo (who claimed not to have all the facts until very recently).
Operating Systems

Submission + - Why isn't ReactOS gaining momentum?

CSMatt writes: "I find it puzzling and interesting that, given all of Microsoft's negligence on Windows, the community still doesn't seem to support ReactOS development near as much as the Linux distributions or even the BSDs. ReactOS could easily do to Windows what the GNU project did to UNIX, but it seems like it is constantly falling short of a suitable Windows alternative due to either a lack of developers or a lack of money. Yes, I know that it takes about a decade for the community to write a complete operating system, and it will probably take at least 15 years to write one as complex as Windows, but there still seems to be something that is slowing the project down. Is it disbelief that the final version will be able to provide compatibility with Vista or Vienna programs because ReactOS will inevitably have to play catch-up with Windows? Is it the idea that it would still be used only by hobbyists and free software advocates, even though it is possible that the low price of zero might woo OEMs into preinstalling it?"

Submission + - What bad customer service have you gotten?

Ninjaesque One writes: In response to an AC comment in a previous Ask Slashdot story, I must ask you of the heights of the prodigious hilltops of Stupidity, New Hampshire. Does it involve work? Nepotism? Bureaucratic Doom Ninjas?

Surprisingly, this story is not a dupe. Customer service ratings site, no reports of flagrant violations of the rules of company, law, and sometimes attempts at physics.

Submission + - 5 Minutes to Midnight

An anonymous reader writes: We stand at the brink of a second nuclear age. Not since the first atomic bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki has the world faced such perilous choices. North Korea's recent test of a nuclear weapon, Iran's nuclear ambitions, a renewed U.S. emphasis on the military utility of nuclear weapons, the failure to adequately secure nuclear materials, and the continued presence of some 26,000 nuclear weapons in the United States and Russia are symptomatic of a larger failure to solve the problems posed by the most destructive technology on Earth. As in past deliberations, we have examined other human-made threats to civilization. We have concluded that the dangers posed by climate change are nearly as dire as those posed by nuclear weapons. The effects may be less dramatic in the short term than the destruction that could be wrought by nuclear explosions, but over the next three to four decades climate change could cause drastic harm to the habitats upon which human societies depend for survival. This deteriorating state of global affairs leads the Board of Directors of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists — in consultation with a Board of Sponsors that includes 18 Nobel laureates — to move the minute hand of the "Doomsday Clock" from seven to five minutes to midnight.

Submission + - Put the Amiga Demoscene in your DVD Player

Jason Scott writes: "Four years ago, the crew at Hornet put out a collection of PC demos spanning 10 years on a DVD, and called it "Mindcandy". Everyone asked when they'd come out with a DVD of demos for other platforms, and just four short years later, they've announced MindCandy 2: Amiga Demos. It's got 30 Amiga demos rendered on the original hardware, a documentary about how a demoparty is run, and even 5.1 surround remixes of all the music. Additionally, they're sponsoring a rare US demoparty this April called Blockparty. It's a great year for demos!"

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C++ is the best example of second-system effect since OS/360.