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Comment Re:Get rid of the frigging embedded PDF viewer! (Score 3, Insightful) 85

The real fix in my opinion is to get rid of the goddamn built in PDF viewers that now bloat browsers like Chrome and Firefox. Clearly they can be abused, like in this case. But in addition to that they just piss me off to no end. In the rare cases when I have to view a PDF, I typically want to use a real PDF viewer. I don't want to use the ones built into the browsers because they usually misrender the PDF in some way! Yeah, I probably could find some way to disable it, but I shouldn't have to. A web browser shouldn't come with a fucking PDF viewer built in!

Your argument rings pretty hollow considering that the vulnerability has nothing to do with the PDF format itself, or the fact that browsers can render them. The bug was with the PDF viewer's interaction with a third-party JPEG viewer library. In either case, you have to get a user to open the PDF file.... it wouldn't have mattered whether it's baked into a browser or a standalone program.

The logical continuation of your argument would be to assert that browsers also shouldn't include audio/video codecs because they're also "bloat" that could compromise the system. If you don't want PDF in your browser, you shouldn't want VP9 or MP3 either.

Comment Re:Why isn't Mozilla panicking? (Score 4, Interesting) 140

As distasteful as I find DRM, at least we see Microsoft trying to improve their web browser. With Edge they're actually succeeding in creating something that average users do want to use!

Not exactly. Microsoft's Edge browser is still in fourth place in terms of being standards compliant,

Err.... standards? Look, HTML5Test leans heavily on W3C working drafts which are nowhere near finished. Edge doesn't implement Web Components, streams, service workers, web notifications, speech recognition and speech synthesis. These account for about 10% of the total HTML5Test score, but they're all drafts or proposals!

The fact that some browsers are implementing these drafts without a prefix is a PROBLEM, not a good thing. Library & web site developers end up taking dependencies on things that may very well change over time.

Meanwhile, if you want to stick to stable, published specifications, Edge is currently the leading browser for ES6 support in terms of percentage of features implemented. As for CSS, have a look at the list of CSS features Edge doesn't support and note that for most of them, at least one of Firefox and Chrome hasn't implemented them either..... and/or they're a working draft.... or other browsers have just implemented them in the last few months.

Comment Re:Tell me again, why do I need Windows 10? (Score 2) 214

The Start menu takes up nearly half the screen with large icons, yet truncates the text for those large icons because the text has not been allocated enough room. Really, really poor UI design.

It's configurable. You can:

  1. * Resize the start menu both horizontally and vertically
  2. * Make tiles larger if seeing all the text on an icon is extremely important to you.
  3. * Make tiles smaller to get rid of the text altogether -- presumably the software you're running has identifiable icons.
  4. * Remove all the tiles if you have a major issue with having apps that can tell you some status info without opening them
  5. * Right-click Start instead of left-click to get a very simple menu of commonly-accessed Windows functions

Seems like they're adding new capabilities in this area every build, too. What's there now surely isn't representative of the final product so it's too early to make final judgments.

I lost control of the Windows Update process, there were no options for me to select besides, ~allow Microsoft to brick my computer at any time~.

This is a technical preview and Microsoft has said that they're really keen on testing their automatic update systems. That's fair, right? It's not like there's currently any benefit to you in sticking with older builds. The option to be prompted before downloading updates has indeed gone missing, but that doesn't mean it isn't coming back -- they're still very much in the middle of migrating all the classic Control Panel options into the new Metro apps.

Also, many news sites have reported that Windows 10 has the ability to prompt you for a to install any given update requiring a reboot. It also analyzes the typical idle periods for your computer and will use that as a default time for scheduling a restart but you can pick any time you like for every update. Surely you'll agree that this is an improvement over being barraged with "Restart your computer" windows every 15 minutes like it does in Windows 7.

Comment Re:Doing it now... (Score 1) 267

My only problem with C# is that pesky vendor lock in. For now, you gota run that on Windows. I don't mind Windows, but I do mind being forced to use it.

Ermm..... C# and VB.NET are Apache-licensed, open-source projects, hosted on Github, built with Jenkins. running under Linux and Mac OS X as well as Windows. Forking is encouraged, pull requests are taken, and you can talk directly with the Microsoft people who're paid to work on this stuff in a Gitter chat room, through issues on Github, and so on.

And yet people still drone on about vendor lock-in with these languages. Amazing how little fact-checking people do before posting sometimes.

Comment Re:Running only Windows on a Mac (Score 2, Informative) 209

To get a rough spec equivalent to the MacBook Air, which comes with an i5 CPU, 128GB SSD, and a keyboard, you have to spend about $1100 on the Surface Pro 3, which is a bit pricier than the $899 MacBook Air.

Sure, the Surface Pro is more expensive than a Macbook Air of similar performance levels, but that's because you're paying for a larger, higher-resolution (2160px wide vs 1440) touchscreen, with a detachable keyboard..... so you don't have to go buy a separate tablet for commuting or kicking around at home or whatever. You may end up saving money overall.

Microsoft has also said that Surface Pro 3 keyboards are going to be compatible with the upcoming Surface 4, so if you're a chronic upgrader (or your Surface 3 dies an ignoble death) you don't have to pay twice.

Comment Re:That's impossible (Score 4, Interesting) 317

The previous CEO of Microsoft assured European regulators that IE was so deeply embedded in Windows architecture that it could not be replaced.

It's not impossible at all -- Spartan is a copy of the IE engine code, repackaged as a Metro app and will be updated on an ongoing basis through the Windows App Store model. Anything that doesn't work in that space like ActiveX/COM, Browser Helper Objects, etc. are all stripped out.

IE11 will also remain in Windows 10, with good ole' MSHTML.DLL and all that other cruft that developers (and parts of Windows itself) have been taking hard dependencies on for 15+ years. It will receive security updates, performance improvements and so on, but it will not be updated at the pace of Spartan.

Maybe shipping two browsers with the OS will upset some people, but this should actually work out pretty nicely.

Comment Re:We all dance in the streets (Score 4, Informative) 192

Finally Microsoft was given me a reason to install Windows on all my machines to support their glorious Visual Studio 2015. I will lock all my projects up in Team Foundations installed on Windows Server.

I know this is is meant as a jokey comment, but it's worth noting that VS2015 has native Git support as well so Github etc. works without any plugins. (Even has Gravatar support if you turn it on) And it's not some half-assed in-house implementation, either: VS uses the OSS libgit2 library and MS developers are active contributors to that project.

Comment Re:Silly (Score 4, Insightful) 764

Sort of like, "I'm proud to be 5'10"", or, "I'm proud to be male" or something. We have exactly nothing to do with creating these conditions so why would we be proud of them? Things to be proud of would be, "I wrote some amazing code." Or perhaps, "I ran five miles and made my personal best time." You aren't supposed to be proud of things you had no control of...

The idea of "gay pride" isn't a statement of "this is how I am", it's about taking a stand against oppression. People are routinely killed in the United States due solely to their sexual orientation. Killed. Do you fucking hear me? KILLED. And the US being one of the safest places in the world to be gay! You're a lot worse off if you're in Russia, Africa, eastern Europe, many parts of India, pretty much all of Central America, the Phillipines, etc.etc., and publicly came out.

Do people get routinely killed (or are denied access to their sick partner in a hospital, or tax breaks, etc.) for being 5'10 or being a good programmer? Emphatically no. So sit your ass down and keep your "being proud of being gay is the same as being proud of being 5'10" nonsense to yourself.

Comment Re:What? (Score 0) 104

DevOps is a niche. Get over it.

Do you even know what "DevOps" is?

Here, I'll tell you: Devops: IT infrastructure folks, devs, QA people, sitting in a room and working together to release software on a timely basis.

How it works:
1) Boss schedules a meeting
2) Everyone shows up
3) Work out a couple of things that'll make everyone's jobs easier.
4) Do that.
5) Repeat.

That's it. Seriously. It's not cloud voodoo, it's not shirt-and-tie marketspeak, it doesn't take expensive consultants or software or anything.

If that's considered "niche" in your world, I sure as fuck don't want to work at whatever miserable place you're working at.

Comment Re:Still... (Score 1) 193

Interestingly, Visual Studio got C99 library support [] last year. I'm mentioning this because the C support in VS has mostly been a desert scene with tumbleweeds passing by. I'm not sure how close VS is to full C99 support and what pieces are possibly missing. Does anyone know?

Microsoft's VC++ team blog provides details on conformance to C99, C++11 and C++14 on a regular basis. Here's a recent one:

The TL;DR: their C99 support is complete except for tgmath.h (though they do have ctgmath from C++11). VS2013's printf is also missing some format specifiers though that has been resolved for VS "14". Apparently they had to rewrite their 1980s-era implementation of printf from scratch to get this finished...... not exactly a trivial job. A couple of other minor things are missing too.

Comment This article has a ton of problems (Score 2) 479

First of all, if you're trying to make a statement of how a product must "die" due to transgressions from the 1980s, that's plain ridiculous. Someone who committed a drugs offence during the Reagan administration shouldn't be denied a job opportunity in the fall of 2013. Right? Let's pass judgments in the current state of things, not what we had to deal with 20 years ago.

Second -- the whole technical argument being made seems to revolve around the idea that mixing "control code" and "style sheets" in a single format is bad. I've got quite a bit of past experience in writing software that builds doc files (the binary ones) and I can state with great certainty that this is NOT how Word works. Everything is a style, whether explicitly or implicitly by combining styles with direct formatting, and every style is able to be (and usually is) inherited from a parent style. You don't have to explicitly define the combined styles, and in more recent versions of Word they've made it much clearer that that's what is happening. (IMO Word 2007 is the first version where they actually got the UI right)

A lot of people are confused by all this because older versions of Word favoured UI simplicity over structurally beautiful documents. A lot of that has to do with trying to convince WordPerfect users to come over to Word..... anyone remember the complaints that everyone had in the 1990s about how Word didn't have a "Reveal Codes" function like WordPerfect? Yeah, that's because THERE ARE NO CODES like the author of TFA claims.

Third -- the Word style system is remarkably similar to HTML + CSS. It's hierarchical layout with the ability to override anything at any time. Presentation and content are "ideally" totally separate, and you can certainly work this way in Word if you are disciplined, but nothing at all stops you from saying "yeah I -know- this block of text is 14pt but I want this one word to be 12pt."

The author also drills pretty hard on the point that the format of Word documents has changed from one version to the next. Well, yeah....they added features like Table Styles and List Styles in Word 2002. Surely nobody is expecting documents that utilize this really helpful feature to older versions of Word..... right? This is no great's just a case of adding new features. Switching to the XML-based document format and standardizing the format with Ecma and ISO has definitely helped settle the format down, but if a word processor doesn't support a feature in a newer version of the document format, well.....tough shit. I don't hear anybody bitching about how Firefox 3.6 doesn't fully implement CSS3, accordingly people shouldn't bitch about how Word 2000 doesn't implement features new to Word 2010!

One last thing: I'm posting this to debunk some mythology and refute the author's claims, but I'm not defending the old-school Office document format....yeah, it was driven by a very 1990s need to be fast on old 286s etc. (same reason Windows 3.0 APIs lacked a lot of bounds checking, BTW) and the format is a proprietary file system unto itself (doc files always come in sizes of multiples of 8192 bytes because that was the size of a block of data regardless of its content). But those times are long gone now. We should have a great appreciation for the people who worked really hard on decoding all this ten years ago and published some good Perl modules on CPAN.... I've read all that source code and it is insane. And we should have an appreciation for those who pushed Microsoft to go "open" with their Office formats. Openness was pushed into Office without users even realizing it, which is good for everyone.

Comment Re:A Mature Local Machine Product vs Immature Clou (Score 5, Informative) 346

it has features that fit any conceivable needs

Speak for yourself. I use Google Docs for lots of things, where Word simply does not fit. For ex:

1. Daily time-sheets of my team members with details of work done, and time spent, with status.

2. Project progress of my department; which plugs into the that of the entire division.


3. A taxi dispatch system uses Google docs to find out current location, availability, status etc using Google docs. Word is totally unusable in such scenarios.

Wait, what? Are you talking about the ability to do real-time collaborative editing of Word documents here?

Word (and Excel, and Onenote) has this already, and has for a few years now. It's part of the Skydrive integration. Documents are stored "in the cloud" but you get a local copy, too, for disconnected editing. Any machine (or phone, yes even iPhones and Androids) connected to Skydrive gets the synced up copies too). Version history (up to 25 versions anyway) are stored. Hell, even the OS X versions of Word and Excel support real-time collaborative editing. You don't even need Office installed.... the web app versions of Office 2013 are free.

In short -- Microsoft has real-time editing of an Excel document by someone using a native app on Windows, a native app on OS X, and someone using Chrome on a Linux system. Your uses cases are supported just fine.

Comment Re:Not replace, but maybe work with. (Score 1) 388

I don't think you can replace Active Directory for things like Group Policy, etc.

Strictly speaking, Group Policy and user settings management stuff is not "Active Directory". It is a layer on top of Active Directory, which was originally called IntelliMirror but now just goes by the name Group Policy. All "Active Directory" gives you is a scalable authentication layer based on DNS and Kerberos with some interesting hierarchy features, the ability to "trust" other AD organizations to varying degrees, as well as a schema-based object system that anyone can expand on. AD objects can represent any kind of "thing" you have in your organization.

If you had the resources, you could probably build a complete OS X or Linux-based user and computer settings management system, on top of Active Directory, without actually doing things the "Windows way". As long as the operating system/desktop environment supports a way of storing and protecting settings that a user can access but not change, then you're good to go. (This is the one thing the Registry has going for it -- you can secure individual settings, whereas with other operating systems, you can only apply security at the file level.)

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