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Comment Re:Meanwhile, back at the ranch ... (Score 1) 155

If you're referring to front-end web development I also left it years ago for the same reasons. Back then it was getting columnar layouts to play nice with IE6. Days of my life wasted working around browsers bugs. I decided my time was much better spent coding Perl + database stuff but I recently dipped my toe back into the morass of HTML, CSS & javascript on the understanding that I could finally get away with telling IE6 users to take a hike. A moment of glee at the prospect of using IE7 as the bottom line was short-lived when I was hit by the HTML5 hype and just didn't get it. To me it looks like 2001 all over again. Multiple platforms/browsers, increasing diversity and nothing even half-finished. Give me a break. Back to Perl for, oh, at least another 7 years. So much for the fast pace of technological change.

Comment Legacy browsers = forget HTML5 for, say, 10 years (Score 0) 256

If the lessons of IE6 are anything to go by HTML5 won't really be relevant for about another 10 years, ie. when IE8 has faded into obscurity. I just started upgrading my CSS skills and the landscape is only now ready for phasing out IE6 support. With IE7 as the baseline most of CSS3 is irrelevant, never mind HTML5. Microsoft has a lot to answer for. Despite the insidious tentacles of their insipid monopoly they don't seem to have the ability to use it for good and impose browser upgrades, largely due to the way they encouraged companies to build IE(6)-only apps for so long.

Comment Re:Important Issues (Score 1) 209

The IE factor is THE reason I gave up on front-end design to concentrate on web application development. The years I spent testing features in multiple browser/platform versions were the biggest waste of time in my whole life. I'd rather add value delivering content than labour over the broken horse of [X]HTML[4,5] + Javascript DOM [version X] + half-implemented CSS[2,3]. IE6 seems to be entrenched in corporate culture so I'll have another look at front-end design in, oh, about 10 years.

Simpler "Hello World" Demonstrated In C 582

An anonymous reader writes "Wondering where all that bloat comes from, causing even the classic 'Hello world' to weigh in at 11 KB? An MIT programmer decided to make a Linux C program so simple, she could explain every byte of the assembly. She found that gcc was including libc even when you don't ask for it. The blog shows how to compile a much simpler 'Hello world,' using no libraries at all. This takes me back to the days of programming bare-metal on DOS!"

Lack of Manpower May Kill VLC For Mac 398

plasmacutter writes "The Video Lan dev team has recently come forward with a notice that the number of active developers for the project's MacOS X releases has dropped to zero, prompting a halt in the release schedule. There is now a disturbing possibility that support for Mac will be dropped as of 1.1.0. As the most versatile and user-friendly solution for bridging the video compatibility gap between OS X and windows, this will be a terrible loss for the Mac community. There is still hope, however, if the right volunteers come forward."

Comment Re:Fix SMB first (Score 1) 276

I've watched SMB fail in so many different ways, first on Tiger then much worse on Leopard. Visit the Mac forums and you'll see hundreds of messages along the same lines - the SMB/Finder combo is broken and Apple doesn't seem to give a damn about fixing it. It's no good saying change your /etc/smb.conf when Finder is gumming the works. Shares should auomtaically appear in Finder and thej don't. If you have 2 similar systems, say desktop and laptop, with similar accounts and files try moving files on one machine via symlink and watch OS X move the files on your desktop machine instead. OK, change your /etc/smb.conf again and it can (maybe) be fixed but ... you get my drift. I have had files appear in remote shares and I copy them to my desktop machine only to find they were never copied, and that's after waiting for the progress bar to complete. With Finder/SMB you solve one problem and it either reappears next time or another one takes its place. To me this is THE issue stopping me from recommending OS X in mixed network environments. With Snow Leopard Apple seems to have surpassed itself with new Finder/SMB problems. I didn't think there were any more to add to the long list of unresolved bugs.

Comment Why do we trust Javascript all of a sudden (Score 3, Insightful) 156

Is it just me who remembers the days when the only way to browse safely was to turn off Javascript? Now we're all drinking the web 2.0 kool aid it seems we've forgotten how many browser vulns are Javascript-related. Websites should never depend on Javascript to function properly but now we have point 'n click JQuery, Dojo etc. it seems websites are built on Javascript foundations with all the security issues that implies.

Comment Desktop Linux still not there (Score 1) 400

Much as I would love to tout Ubuntu, the nearest thing to "desktop Linux", as an alternative to Windows my recent experience with 9.04 left me in doubt that it would ever happen. Although it's getting better I'm a Linux/OS X geek and still found I had to spend a long time futzing with the OS to get it working properly. I came to the conclusion that it hadn't been fully tested considering the appalling state of video playback. When I put a DVD in the drive the default video player couldn't parse the dvd:// URL for some reason and I had to create a custom desktop launcher complete with command-line foo from a geek internet source before I could get it to work. Finding codecs was also a pain. I can't imagine how an inexperienced Linux user would cope with this so, no, Linux is not ready for the desktop/netbook and we shouldn't be surprised if Windows users find it too hard to get to grips with. Destop Linux is a viable option in organisations where you have experienced sysadmins but a Windows user left on his own with a new Linux installation is going to have problems.

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