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    Other important political aspect of Material Design (and some other UI/web styles that are popular now) is “minimalism”. Your UI should have few buttons. User should have no choices. User should be consumer of content, not a producer. Having play and pause buttons is enough. User should have few choices how and what to consume — recommender system (“algorithmic timeline”, “AI”) should tell them what to consume. This rhetoric is repeated over and over in web and mobile dev blogs.

    Imagine graphics editor or DAW with “material design”. It’s just nearly impossible. It’s suitable only for scroll-feed consumption and “personal information sharing” applications.

    Also, it’s “mobile-first”, because Google controls mobile (80% market share or something like that). Some pages on Google itself (i.e. account settings) look on desktop like I’m viewing it on giant handset.

    P.S. compared with “hipster” modernist things of ~2010, which often were nice and “warm”, Material Design looks really creepy for me even when considering only visual appearance.

    1. 8

      A potentially interesting challenge: What does a design language for maker-first applications look like?

      1. 13

        Not sure if such design languages exist, but from what I’ve seen, I have feeling that every “industry” has its own conventions and guidelines, and everything is very inconsistent.

        • Word processors: lots of toolbar buttons (still lots of them now, but in “ribbons” which are just tabbed widgets). Use of ancient features like scroll lock key. Other types of apps usually have actions in menus or in searchable “run” dialogs, not toolbar button for each feature.
        • Graphics editors: narrow toolbars with very small buttons (popularized by both Adobe and Macromedia, I think). Various non-modal dialogs have widgets of nonstandard small size. Dark themes.
        • DAWs: lots of insane skeuomorphism! Everything should look like real synths and effects, with lots of knobs and skinning. Dark themes. Nonstandard widgets everywhere. Single program may have lots of multiple different styles of widgets (i.e. Reason, Fruity Loops).
        • 3D: complicated window splits, use of all 3 mouse buttons, also dark themes. Nonstandard widgets, again. UI have heritage from Silicon Graphics workstations and maybe Amiga.

        I thought UI guidelines for desktop systems (as opposed to cellphone systems) have lots of recommendations for such data editing programs, but seems that no, they mostly describe how to place standard widgets in dialogs. MacOS guidelines are based on programs that are included with MacOS, which are mostly for regular consumers or “casual office” use. Windows and Gnome guidelines even try to combine desktop and mobile into one thing.

        Most “editing” programs ignore these guidelines and have non-native look and feel (often the same look-and-feel on different OSes).

        1.  

          3D: complicated window splits, use of all 3 mouse buttons, also dark themes. Nonstandard widgets, again. UI have heritage from Silicon Graphics workstations and maybe Amiga.

          Try Lisp machines. 3D was a strong market for Symbolics.

        2. 8

          I’d suggest–from time spent dealing with CAD, programming, and design tools–that the biggest thing is having common options right there, and not having overly spiffy UI. Ugly Java swing and MFC apps have shipped more content than pretty interfaces with notions of UX (notable exceptions tend to be music tools and DAW stuff, for reasons incomprehensible to me). A serious tool-user will learn their tooling and extend it if necessary if the tool is powerful enough.

          1.  

            We had a great post about two months back on pie menus. After that, my mind goes to how the Android app Podcast Addict does it: everything is configurable. You can change everything from the buttons it shows to the tabs it has to what happens when you double-click your headset mic. All the good maker applications I’ve used give me as much customization as possible.

          2.  

            P.S. compared with “hipster” modernist things of ~2010

            What do you mean by this

            1.  

              Bootstrap lookalikes?

              1.  

                Stuff like Bootstrap mentioned there, early Instagram, Github. Look-and-feels commonly associated with Silicon Valley startups (even today).

                These things usually have the same intentions and sins mentioned in this article, but at least look not as cold-dead as Material Design.

                1.  

                  Isn’t this like… today? My understanding was: web apps got the material design feel, while landing pages and blogs got bootstrappy.

                  I may be totally misinterpreting what went on though

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              I’m glad they’re going with the GTK ecosystem and contributing to it, I’d love to see more people building GTK apps.

              (I keep a list of GTK apps, btw. Most new apps seem to be built by elementary OS users, with Vala+Granite as the elementary “SDK” instructs them to do.)

              1. 3

                While I prefer Gnome, it seems foolish to me Purism is inventing a mobile stack from essentially whole cloth instead of trying to adopt Plasma Active, which while extremely rough, has had a head start by actually existing.

                1. 3

                  While there’s nothing wrong with GTK as such, Qt has always looked nicer, had a nicer API, better designer tool, better Python bindings, better documentation… and for all the issues with C++, it’s a first-class programming language with a tool/library ecosystem that Vala can never hope to match. Given that the licensing issues have been resolved years or decades ago, I do think the best thing for the community would be to get behind Qt.

                  1. 6

                    I never liked Qt. It has some advantages (native look on Windows, various options for running without any window system), but it feels very much like a “jack of all trades” thing, and it feels like a Heavy Framework.

                    The C++ thing makes it hard to use from other languages. While GObject has been designed for auto-generating language bindings. You can write GTK apps in Haskell, Rust, Nim, D…

                    Documentation… honestly, no UI toolkits has great docs.

                    Also, GTK 4 is bringing GPU rendering to the existing regular desktop widget system, instead of creating a new separate thing (QML/QtQuick) that’s rarely going to be used, especially on desktop apps :P

                    1.  

                      it feels very much like a “jack of all trades” thing, and it feels like a Heavy Framework.

                      Given the limited state of package management in the C/C++ world I think monolithic frameworks are an advantage. Slackware gave up on packaging Gnome because the build dependencies were too complex to keep track of, whereas Qt’s qtcore/qtnet/qtui/… model is straightforward enough to make up for using bigger libraries than strictly necessary, IMO.

                      The C++ thing makes it hard to use from other languages. While GObject has been designed for auto-generating language bindings. You can write GTK apps in Haskell, Rust, Nim, D…

                      Not convinced that that’s worked out in practice. Certainly when working in Python, the Qt bindings were much nicer to use than the GTK ones. “It’s harder to bind to C++ than C” is true as far as it goes, but binding to GObject doesn’t really mean binding to C, it means binding to either a pile of preprocessor macros or to Vala, both of which seem harder than binding vanilla C++.

                      Documentation… honestly, no UI toolkits has great docs.

                      True as far as it goes, but there are definitely some with better docs than others.

                      Also, GTK 4 is bringing GPU rendering to the existing regular desktop widget system, instead of creating a new separate thing (QML/QtQuick) that’s rarely going to be used, especially on desktop apps

                      We’ll see how that works out for them. Back when I worked on a game in ~2010 I found the Qt approach to this very easy and common-sense: set the flag to enable OpenGL on the part for which it made sense (my game scene), don’t try to use it on the vanilla widgets (because why would I want to?)

                  1. 6

                    Also Sortix.

                  1. 11

                    a chipmonger kills its webshit propogands after some employees complain

                    If you can easily n-gate a submission, maybe it shouldn’t be here.

                    Spam about ad campaigns and counterreactions is not a core value prop of lobsters. :(

                    1. 18

                      on the other hand, this story is currently on the front page with an above-median vote score, and the other riscv-basics story is the highest voted story currently on the front page, so evidently the users of lobsters found both relevant to their interests.

                      Yours is some low-quality gatekeeping.

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                        News is the mindkiller. Humans are hardwired to be really interested in new things regardless of their utility, usefulness, or healthiness–you need look no further than the 24 hour news cycle or tabloids or HN front page to observe this phenomena.

                        If you look at any given submission, it has a bunch of different things it’s “good” at: good in terms of educating about hardware, good in terms of talking about the math behind some compiler optimization, good in whatever. Submissions that are news are good primarily in terms of how new they are, and have other goodness that tangential if it exists at all. The articles may even have a significant off-topic component, such as politics or gossip or advertising.

                        This results in the following pathologies:

                        • Over time, if a community optimizes for news, they start to normalize those other components, until the scope of the submissions expands to encompass the formerly off-topic material…and that material is usually something that is at best duplicated elsewhere and at worst pure flamebait.
                        • The industry we’re in specializes in spending loads of money on attractive clickbait and advertising presenting as news, and so soon the submissions become flooded with low-quality crap or advertising that takes up community cycles to process without ever giving anything substantial in return.
                        • The perceived quality of the site goes down for everybody and the community fragments, because news is available elsewhere (thus, the utility of the site is diminished) and because the valuable discussion is taken up with nitpicking news stories. This is why, say, c2 wiki is still around and useful and a lot of news sites…aren’t.

                        What you dismiss as gatekeeping is an attempt to combat this.

                        EDIT:

                        A brief note–your example of the two ARM articles being on the front page illustrate the issue. Otherwise intelligent lobsters will upvote that sort of stuff because it’s “neat”, without noting that with everybody behaving that way we’ve temporarily lost two good spots for technical content–instead, we have more free advertising for ARM (all press is good press) and now slightly more precedent for garbage submissions and call-response (news thing, rebuttal to news thing, criticism/analysis of rebuttal). It’s all so tiresome.

                        1. 5

                          ugggh, you leveled up my brain regarding what belongs on lobste.rs. “I like this!” is not only not necessarily an argument ‘for’, it is sometimes an argument ‘against’. Mind-blown.

                          1. 2

                            I bookmarked and often shared this post since it seemed like a nice set of guidelines. Had a lot of votes in favor, too.

                            1. 1

                              I thought we concluded that votes in favour represent anti-signal.

                              1. 1

                                Haha. Depends on the context. They’re important for meta threads since it can determine site’s future.

                          2. 5

                            This is interesting news, it’s not just drama or clickbait. The big chip makers have maintained an oligopoly through patents on abstract math: an ISA. It’s insane that innovation can only come from a few big players because of their lawyers. RISC-V is the first serious dent that the open source movement has been able to make in this market because (unlike ARM, OpenPOWER, and OpenSPARC) it has a serious commitment to open source and it is technologically superior.

                            ARM will be the first player to fall to RISC-V because they have a monopoly on lower end chips. Samsung, Qualcomm, NVidia, Apple, Google, etc. are all perfectly capable of making a competitive chips without having to pay a 1% tax to ARM. We are already seeing this with Western Digital’s switch to RISC-V, there is no advantage to paying ARM for simple micro-controllers … which is a huge portion of ARM’s business.

                            That they are resorting to FUD tactics shows that ARM execs know this. People interested in the larger strategic moves, like myself, find this article about how their FUD tactics backfired very interesting. I would appreciate it if you didn’t characterize this sort of news as spam and the people who follow how big industry players are behaving as just being into drama.

                            1. 6

                              With respect, a good deal of your post is kremlinology.

                              That they are resorting to FUD tactics shows that ARM execs know this.

                              The ARM execs cannot be guaranteed to “know” anything of the sort–it’s more likely that there is a standard playbook to be run to talk about any competing technology, RISC-V, OSS, or otherwise. Claiming that “oh ho obviously they feel the heat!” is speculation, and without links and evidence, baseless speculation at that.

                              the people who follow how big industry players are behaving as just being into drama.

                              The people who “follow” big industry players are quite usually just people that want to feel informed, and are quite unlikely to be anybody with any actual actions available given this information. Thus, just because something is interesting to them doesn’t make it necessarily useful or actionable.

                              characterize this sort of news as spam

                              Again, all news is spam on a site with historically more of a bend towards information and non-news submissions. Further, it’s not like this hasn’t been covered extensively elsewhere, on Slashdot and HN and Gizmodo and elsewhere. It’s not like it isn’t being shown on many fronts.

                              Please understand that while in this specific case, you might have an interest–but if all lobsters follow this idea, it trashes the site.

                              1. 2

                                With respect, a good deal of your post is kremlinology.

                                I’m not allowed to infer basic information about the internal state of an organization based on its public actions?

                                That they are resorting to FUD tactics shows that ARM execs know this.

                                The ARM execs cannot be guaranteed to “know” anything of the sort–it’s more likely that there is a standard playbook to be run to talk about any competing technology, RISC-V, OSS, or otherwise. Claiming that “oh ho obviously they feel the heat!” is speculation, and without links and evidence, baseless speculation at that.

                                Do you understand why I might feel frustrated when someone mocks arguments defending a topic but then demands others provide extensive context to the conversation s/he inserted themselves into?

                                It’s not like ARM hasn’t spoken out on this subject before; a high level ARM technology fellow debated RISC-V foundation members a couple of years ago. The debate sounds a lot like an early draft of the arguments presented on the FUD website: RISC-V can’t possibly replicate ARM’s ecosystem and design services.

                                If you go look at the RISC-V foundation membership list, you will find a lot of ARM licensors and competitors including Qualcomm, Samsung, NVidia, IBM, Huawei, and Google. They are using RISC-V as a vehicle to jointly fund high-quality replacements of ARM’s IP, much of which consists of ISA patents and tooling. RISC-V has a very thorough patent review process, making it difficult to sue RISC-V manufacturers based on the ISA. There is a lot I don’t understand about the value ARM adds in terms of chip design and industry collaborations, but NVidia alone is worth 3x what SoftBank paid for ARM just two years ago.

                                If ARM execs aren’t worried about RISC-V taking market share, they should be. ARM creating a FUD website is very strong, direct evidence that this is the case.

                                The people who “follow” big industry players are quite usually just people that want to feel informed, and are quite unlikely to be anybody with any actual actions available given this information. Thus, just because something is interesting to them doesn’t make it necessarily useful or actionable.

                                It feels like you are talking down to me and other interested readers. Are kernel hackers the only people allowed to be interested in kernel development news? I don’t get a lot of actionable information based on the latest scheduler drama, but (as a UX engineer) I am interested in the outcome of these debates.

                                I came to Lobste.rs for a deeper understanding of the underlying technical and political factors at play here.

                                Again, all news is spam on a site with historically more of a bend towards information and non-news submissions.

                                I am open to this argument and I probably wouldn’t have perceived your comments so negatively had I not started from the standard definition of spam. Of course, I also understand that it is hard to justify the time to fit such nuance into a comment on an article : )

                                You clearly have thought a lot about this and discussed it with others, but new and causal readers haven’t. Perhaps you could use less incendiary language? Just say that Lobste.rs focuses on non-news submissions and that you feel industry news is offtopic.

                                Further, it’s not like this hasn’t been covered extensively elsewhere, on Slashdot and HN and Gizmodo and elsewhere. It’s not like it isn’t being shown on many fronts.

                                The technical analysis on HN and other sites is … non-existent. I would love to hear more from experts with informed opinions on chip design and manufacture and that’s what I expected of the comments here.

                                Please understand that while in this specific case, you might have an interest–but if all lobsters follow this idea, it trashes the site.

                                Well, I’m kinda peeved that the comments section of both stories turned into a slow-burn flamewar : /

                              2. 2

                                ARM will be the first player to fall to RISC-V because they have a monopoly on lower end chips.

                                They actually don’t. A good chunk of the chip market is 8-16 bitters. Billions of dollars worth. In the 32-bit category, there’s a lot of players licensing IP and selling chips. ARM has stuff from low end all the way up to smartphones with piles of proven I.P. plus great brand, ecosystem, and market share. They’re not going anywhere any time soon. MIPS is still selling lots of stuff in low-end devices including 32-bit versions of MCU’s. Cavium used them for Octeon I-III’s for high-performance networking with offload engines.

                                With most of these, you’d get working hardware, all the peripherals you need, toolchain, books/training on it, lots of existing libraries/code, big company to support you, and maybe someone to sue if the I.P. didn’t work. RISC-V doesn’t have all that yet. Most big companies who aren’t backers… which are most big companies in this space… won’t use it without a larger subset of that or all of that depending on company. I’m keeping hopes up for SiFi’s new I.P. but even it probably has to be licensed for big money. If paying an arm and a leg, many will choose to pay the company known to deliver.

                                From what I see, ARM’s marketing people or whatever are just reacting to a new development that’s in the news a lot. There some threat to their revenues given some big companies are showing interest in RISC-V. So, they’re slamming the competition and protecting their own brand. Just business news or ops as usual.

                                1. 3

                                  The 16 bit category has been almost totally annihilated by small 32-bit designs. The 8-bit category will stands.

                                  (I’m also deeply doubtful of RISC-V while hardware beyond SiFive suffers critical existence failure, but that remains to be seen…)

                                  1. 2

                                    ARM will be the first player [large monopoly] to fall [lose lots of market-share] to RISC-V because they have a monopoly on lower end chips.

                                    Argh, I thought “fall” was too strong a choice of words while writing this, I should’ve listened to myself.

                                    My line of thought was that it’s really hard to create a competitive server platform, as evidenced by the niche market SPARC, OpenPOWER, and ARM occupy in the server space. However, there are plenty of low-power, low-complexity ARM cores out there that are up for grabs. I’m hoping that Samsung, Qualcomm, and other RISC-V backers are supporting RISC-V in hopes that they can take their CPU designs in-house and cut ARM out of the equation.

                                    I am largely ignorant of the (actual) lower-end chip market, thanks for the insight.

                                    With most of these, you’d get working hardware, all the peripherals you need, toolchain, books/training on it, lots of existing libraries/code, big company to support you, and maybe someone to sue if the I.P. didn’t work. RISC-V doesn’t have all that yet.

                                    The RISC-V foundation was very intentional in their licensing and wanted to ensure that designers and manufactures would have plenty of secret sauce they could layer on top of the core spec. This is one of the reasons OpenSPARC failed and why so many different frenemies are collaborating on RISC-V.

                                    From what I see, ARM’s marketing people or whatever are just reacting to a new development that’s in the news a lot.

                                    Their marketing people made the site, but an ARM technology fellow pitched similarly bad arguments in a debate ~2 years ago. Or maybe I’ve just drunk too much Kool Aid.

                                2. 3

                                  I upvoted both submissions. I consciously bought Lobsters frontpage spot for RISC-V advertising and paid loss of technical content in exchange. I acknowlege other negative externalities but I think they are small. Sorry about that.

                                  I think RISC-V advertising is as legitimate as BSD advertising, Rust advertising, etc. here. Yes, technical advertising would have been better. I have a small suspicion of gatekeeping RISC-V (or hardware) against established topics, which you can dismiss by simply stating so in the reply.

                                  1. 4

                                    Thanks for keeping up the effort to steer the submissions in a more cerebral direction, away from news. I totally agree with you and appreciate it.

                                    1. 2

                                      I almost never upvote these kind of submissions, but seeing as it can be hard to get these off the main page, maybe it could be interesting for lobsters to have some kind of merging feature that could group stories that are simply different stages of the same news into the same story, thus only blocking one spot.

                                      1. 3

                                        Now that is interesting. It could be some sort of chaining or hyperlinks that goes in the text field. If not done manually, the system could add it automatically in a way that was clearly attributed to the system. I say the text field so the actions next to stories or comments stay uncluttered.

                                        1. 3

                                          It’s been done before for huge and nasty submissions; usually done to hot takes.

                                          1. 2

                                            It would also allow it to act as a timeline of sorts. Done correctly I could even apply quasi automatically to tech release posts as well, making it easier to read prior discussions.

                                            The main question right now would be how to handle the comments ui for those grouped stories.

                                        2. 1

                                          All publicity is good publicity is actually totally false.The actual saying should be something like “Not all bad publicity is bad for you if it aligns with your identity.”. Fighting OSS definitely doesn’t align with the ARM identity/ethos.

                                        3. 5

                                          It’s so easy to just react and click that upvote button without thinking; the score is a reflection of emotional appeal, not of this submission’s relevance. “But it’s on the front page” is also a tired argument that comes up in every discussion like this one. @friendlysock makes excellent points in his reply to you, I totally agree with him and appreciate that he takes the time to try to steer the submissions away from news. There are plenty of news sites, I don’t want another one.

                                        4. 8

                                          or maybe n-gate is a worthless sneer masquerading as a website that doesn’t need to be used as a referent on topical material? Especially given that literally anything posted to HN is going to be skewered there? I’m not the go-to guy on HN cheerleading (at all, in any way) but n-gate is smirky petulant crap and doesn’t exactly contribute to enlightenment on tech topics.

                                          1. 11

                                            worthless sneer masquerading as a website that doesn’t need to be used as a referent on topical material

                                            El Reg could be described the exact same way!

                                            1. 2

                                              thats…..actually a good point.

                                        1. -6

                                          This thing is barely readable. What the fuck?

                                          If you build a collaborative website, show the threads, the authors (BEFORE a new paragraph, not after), who added what and when.

                                          This reads like a dump of opinions.

                                          That’s pretty ironic given the subject.

                                          1. 12

                                            it’s worth pointing out that this is the original wiki. It’s recently been rewritten in JS, but they have stuck with their old conventions through lots of waves of stylistic changes that have influenced UX/web design. I’m sure they’d consider a pull request source code on github

                                            1. 7

                                              Yeah, c2 has always had a conversational instead of authoritative tone; with little formatting conventions, so it can read as a stream of consciousness at times.

                                              1. 4

                                                Yeah, the original was easier to read. It just had a plain, one-point-after-another style. I loved reading all the debates on there about things like LISP.

                                            1. 4

                                              Reminds me I should try to finish the Mono port and figure out what the heck was wrong with it. (Basically, it would run fine until you hit a bunch of different runtime termination issues….) I’m wondering if I was actually hitting bugs in Haiku….

                                              1. 5

                                                It’s possible. If you have some stack traces, I might be able to give some sort of tips as to how you might determine that (or perhaps I’ll recognize them as some outstanding issue.)

                                                1. 2

                                                  Yeah, next time I will, I’ll try to bug you on #haiku about it ;)

                                              1. 6

                                                The internet search experience suffered a setback when the major browsers abandoned the separate search box for the combined address/search box. Only FireFox retains this feature, where your default search engine is the first choice in a list.

                                                In the days before Alta Vista became better than Yahoo, and then Google crushed all other search options, there were meta-search engines that combined, filtered, and formatted results from several search engines of your choice. IIRC Magellan was one of these. I’ve toyed with the idea of reviving this idea for my own use. Google and Bing are pretty similar, but not perfectly similar, and provide different results depending on whether you are signed-in or anonymous. DDG usually provides different enough results to be important. There’s a lot of room for innovation in meta-search.

                                                Finally there are still all sorts of specialized search options. In this category I would start with Amazon and Wikipedia. There are also sites like noodle.com, specializing in education related searches.

                                                1. 5

                                                  DuckduckGo is my go to search.

                                                  It is simple and doesn’t have the Google bloat to it and thise smart searches like where you can generate a md5 hash for example in a search query or do number system conversions is pretty cool

                                                  1. 2

                                                    Duckduckgo owns, its my configured default search on all devices. When i need something specific from Google, i use the bang feature for google, !g.

                                                    1. 2

                                                      I never knew that was a bang available, my word. Is there a !b for bing too? (Update: there is wow)

                                                    2. 0

                                                      So essengially DDG has a great interface and is actually way more useful.

                                                      1. 4

                                                        Let’s be honest, though: the results are not as good as Google for many/most queries.

                                                        1. 3

                                                          I don’t know. I switched to DDG at home and I’ve always been able to find what I’m looking for. I still use Google at work so I’m able to compare and contrast. About the only place where Google is better (in my opinion) is in image search, and that may be due to how Google displays them vs. DDG.

                                                          1. 4

                                                            Here’s a concrete example. Let’s say I’m trying to remember the name of the project that integrates Rust with Elixir NIFs.

                                                            First result for me for the query “elixir rust” on Google is the project in question: https://github.com/hansihe/rustler

                                                            After scrolling through three pages of DDG results, that project doesn’t seem to be listed or referenced at all, and there are several Japanese and Chinese-language results despite the fact that I have my location set to “United States”. I will forgive all the results about guitar strings since DDG doesn’t have tracking data to determine that I’m probably not interested in those (although the usage of the word “rust” in those results is in the term “anti-rust” which seems like a bad result for my query).

                                                            That query is admittedly obtuse, but that’s what I’ve become accustomed to using with Google. These results feel generally characteristic of my experience using DDG. I end up using the !g command a lot rather than trying to figure out how to reframe my query in a way that DDG will understand.

                                                            1. 2

                                                              I think you did that wrong. You were specifically interested in NIF but left that key word off. Even Lobsters search engine, which is often really off for me, gets to Rustler in the first search when I use these: elixir rust nif. Typing it into DDG like this gives me Rustler at Page 1, Result 2.

                                                              Just remember these high-volume, low-cost engines are pretty dumb when not backed by a company the size of Google or Microsoft. You gotta tell them the words most likely to appear together. “NIF” was critical in that search. Also, remember that you can use quotes around a word if you know for sure it will appear and minus in front of one to eliminate bogus results. Put “site:” in front if you’re pretty sure which place or places you might have seen it. Another trick is thinking of other ways to say something that authors might use. These tricks 1990’s-early2000’s searches get me the easy finds I submit here.

                                                              1. 0

                                                                I disagree that “NIF” was essential to that query. There are a fair number of articles and forum posts on Google about the Rustler library. It’s one of the primary contexts that those two languages would be discussed together. DDG has only one of those results as far as I see. Why? Even if I wasn’t looking for Rustler specifcally, I should see discussions of how those two languages can be integrated if I search for them together.

                                                                1. 2

                                                                  There are a fair number of pages where Elixir and Rust will show up without Rustler, too. Especially all the posts about new languages. NIF is definitely a keyword because you’re wanting a NIF library specifically instead of a page about Rust and Elixir without NIF. It’s a credit to Google’s algorithms that it can make the extra connection to Rustler pushing it on the top.

                                                                  That doesn’t mean I expect it or any other search engine to be that smart. So, I still put every key word in to get consistently accurate results. Out of curiosity, I ran your keywords to see what it produces. The results on the top suck. DuckDuckGo is usually way better than that in my daily use. However, instead of three pages in, DuckDuckGo has Rustler on page 1, result 6. Takes about 1 second after hitting enter to get to it. Maybe your search was bad luck or something.

                                                              2. 1

                                                                I did exactly that search and found it at the 5th position.

                                                                While “elixir rust github” put it at 1st position. Maybe you have some filters? I have it set to “All Regions”.

                                                            2. 2

                                                              Google has so many repeated results for me that I feel they have worse quality for most of my queries than ddg or startpage. Maybe I’ve done something wrong and gotten myself into a weird bubble, but these days I find myself using Google less and less.

                                                              1. 1

                                                                Guess so. I have been using it at uni though for a long time and gotten atleast what I needed.

                                                                But I admit that googs has more in their indexes.

                                                          2. 5

                                                            Searx is a fairly nice meta search engine.

                                                            1. 4

                                                              Finally there are still all sorts of specialized search options. In this category I would start with Amazon and Wikipedia.

                                                              DuckDuckGo has a feature called “bangs” that let you access them. Overview here. Even if not using DDG, their list might be a nice reference of what to include in a new, search engine.

                                                              1. 1

                                                                the URL bar itself now performs a search when you put something that’s not a URL in it

                                                                1. 1

                                                                  I thought that was clear. What I like about the old style dedicated search box is it that its is so easy to switch between search engines.

                                                                  1. 3

                                                                    I believe that you can use multiple search engines in an omnibar by assigning each search engine a keyword, and typing that keyword (and then space) before your search.

                                                                    1. 1

                                                                      Or if you use DuckDuckGo, you can use !bangs to pivot to another search engine or something else.

                                                                    2. 2

                                                                      With keyword searching (a feature I first used in Opera, and which is definitely present in Firefox; I can’t speak to any other browsers), it’s “so easy” to switch between search engines—in fact, far easier than with a separate search box. I type “g nephropidae” to search Google, or “w nephropidae” for Wikipedia, “i nephropidae” for image search, or even “deb nephropidae” for Debian package search (there’s no results for that one).

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                                                                        This is not completely obvious from the user experience. Without visual cues, much available functionality is effectively hidden. You must have either taken the initiative to research this, someone told you, or you stumbled upon it some other way. This also effectively requires you to have CLI-like commands memorized, the exact opposite of what GUIs purport to do. And adding new search engines? That’s non-obvious.

                                                                        1. 1

                                                                          I use YubNub to get large library of such keywords that is the same on every device.

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                                                                    I wonder, have you heard of Word?

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                                                                      I know one author who swears by it. I know many who swear at it.

                                                                      1. 2

                                                                        That’s fine, I guess. I’m not really sure why you’d want to use this when better tools have existed for years; even if you don’t subscribe to “WYSIWYG” graphical word processing, there’s still tools that are more usable and useful that subscribe to the Unix tautology.

                                                                        1. 2

                                                                          While I could be sarcastic and say I tried ed because I like pain, Dark Souls is too easy, and going to a dominatrix would upset my wife, I actually have reasons for doing this.

                                                                          1. I had bought an electronic copy of Michael W. Lucas’ Mastering Ed, and figured that since he bothered to write it and I bothered to not only spend five bucks on it but read it, I might as well try actually using ed.
                                                                          2. I wanted to cut through all of the memes and see if using ed was really as terrible an experience as people seem to think it is. I figured that if Ken Thompson could use it to write the first version of Unix on a PDP-7, it couldn’t be that horrible.
                                                                          3. I want to separate composition from revision because I have trouble actually finishing shit; I tend to go back and edit when I should be writing. A line editor like ed doesn’t prevent me from going back and making changes, but it does make doing so hard enough that it’s easier to say “fuck it” and keep going.
                                                                          1. 4

                                                                            Hand cranked cars that also required extensive manual lubrication weren’t that horrible either, but you would want to use them today? No, thanks ;-)

                                                                            1. 2

                                                                              I figured that if Ken Thompson could use it to write the first version of Unix on a PDP-7, it couldn’t be that horrible.

                                                                              How is that possible? I though he had to write it in assembler, and only later on was it re-written in C with the help Ritchie?

                                                                              But seriously, by that logic we shouldn’t have advanced beyond research unix v1, since if it could be used, why bother changing it? I understand this attitude if one looks at it like a game, but otherwise I’d rather prefer a more integrated experience, at the expense of having to focus by one’s own willpower.

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                                                                                It was originally written in assembly. They started turning B into C in a series of steps called “proto C’s.” They couldn’t do UNIX rewrite in them until the one with structs.

                                                                                If arguing from Thompson’s actions, you’d write a modern, graphical OS in assembly (see MenuetOS). Then, you’d partner with someone who could build the best system language you could on top of the one you had available within your hardware constraints. Probably be more like Rust or Nim esp since they already exist. Could be better, like a leaner one. And then rewrite the assembly OS in that.

                                                                                The result doing about the same things they did with modern tools would output something much better than UNIX and C. People trying to keep to what they did is like if they tried to keep doing what successful, number-crunching, batch-oriented computers did. Better to try to improve things.

                                                                            2. 1

                                                                              what better tools?

                                                                              1. 2

                                                                                vi as mentioned in thread

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                                                                                  well vi encourages editing while you write and has a lot more commands, which can be distracting for some. i’d say vi is a different tool, not necessarily better.

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                                                                          One of the OSes that Nebulet reminds me the most of is again, IBM i (but everyone old enough calls it OS/400), with its single address space and requiring applications be written for a safe VM. If it had objects, database as storage, and a single level store, it’d be very close to it!

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                                                                            It’s a design that’s easy to get off the ground, for sure. Managing arbitrary user binaries with different permissions means needing to rely on hardware memory management (non-portable and one of the ickier corners of the 386 IMO).

                                                                            I’ve done it on all my OS projects, on the ground that I’m lazy & don’t care about the performance & security of toys. But, with JIT and virtualization on the table, there’s plenty of practical reason to move the management of permissions to the VM and away from hardware facilities. (Plus, recent events have shown that trusting chipmakers to do complicated security-vital stuff in hardware is not any more reliable than doing it in software, & perhaps worse since it’s harder to investigate and patch.)

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                                                                              FWIW, i uses an AOT compiler for the VM based applications. (It does also implement private address spaces for applications that request it, and for AIX applications running under it.)

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                                                                            Bring back LeechFTP!

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                                                                              WS_FTP!

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                                                                                LLNL XFTP!

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                                                                              Adjacent set of unfocused rants: are we even teaching them useful programming?

                                                                              • As a society, we’re obsessed with teaching “practical” knowledge by rote instead of learning how to learn. Are 1 month JavaScript bootcamps useful for people 5 years down the road? 10?

                                                                              • We teach kids how to learn, but they can do nothing useful with it even if they do care. Environments like Swift Playgrounds are cute, but they can’t be used to develop applications - for that, you need a Mac (and how to use it!) and a developer license. Even on Android, for “post-PC” children, especially in the third world, what good is their programming knowledge if there’s no good environment for it?

                                                                                • Likewise, nothing much can be really done with programming on device. It’s not like you can script or query Instagram - it’s all silos. AppleScript or Unix pipelines could be a model. (It seems Apple might start to resolve that a little with the Shortcuts app though.)
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                                                                                There is no question it’s not possible to teach kids “useful” in the professional sense programming in a few months course. Even adults for that matter. That’s not the point however.

                                                                                For all talk about “digital natives” the kids have no fainest clue about how the things that define most of their waking life work. They only have an ad hoc mental concept of networking, casual exposure to what OS is, they rightfully fear malicious software and hacking but do not understand the vectors they work through nor what they can or can not do. Computers and smartphones are magic to them, to the extent that cars, electricity or airplanes never were for the previous generations.

                                                                                My son had a programming course like that, it lays a decent foundation to how computers actually work, what they can and can not do. It’s a lot easier to explain how malicious program can work when a person has a concept of what a program is. There were also a bunch of classes with Micro:bit helping demystify what’s happening in countless devices around us.

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                                                                                  Yeah. I think a lot of Lobsters users are in a “goldilocks” generation of computer knowledge - young enough to have the access or necessity to learn computers, but old enough to do it back when computers were hard.

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                                                                                    I rolled a 20 on being in the right time to learn computers. I had Tandy 1000XLs in my kindergarden, with various educational apps, then around the 4th grade, I received a hand-me-down Commodore 64 with two cubic meters of books, wires, disk drives, disks, carts, an Atari with a keyboard, joy sticks, paddles, a koala pad, etc. I played with that a couple years, and my very next computer was a 120Mhz Pentium, Win95, no internet. After exploring almost literally every file on the thing, I got AOL, riiiiight before the web blew up.

                                                                                    Today, as you might imagine, I hate almost everything that is going on with computers. :/

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                                                                                  Did you read the article? It’s basically a response to this exact critique, saying that focusing on the end product misses other benefits, like knowing what kinds of things programs are and are not capable of. This helps them make more informed decisions around privacy, etc. thruout their life regardless of career path.

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                                                                                  I can’t believe there was a way to get the progress of a copy tucked away all this time, I have wanted that many times.

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                                                                                    If you don’t mind setting up a pipeline, pv could work if you do it before running the command.

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                                                                                    Somehow, this reminds me of shoutboxes from back in the day.

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                                                                                      Yeah, I get those vibes. - also quite like the extremely restrained design which adds to that perception. I wish a lot of webshits could be like this one in that sense.

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                                                                                        a lot of webshits

                                                                                        Had a bit too much n-gate today?

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                                                                                          I recently configured my RSS reader to email me n-gate on a regular basis. It’s not a good idea: help, I’m becoming too cynical…!

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                                                                                            Thanks for reminder to check it. The repealing net neutrality one w/ “executive fiat’ was great haha.

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                                                                                              No such thing in our industry, regrettably, due to the extensive marketing and cultural issues.

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                                                                                            So it’s “IRC meets nothing else”?

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                                                                                            Have you considered federation?

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                                                                                              One I did in JS to try to learn node as an environment. I basically hook into the brains of marked.js and create a TOC from its internal representation.

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                                                                                                These UIs look so nice! There’s something about this aesthetic that really comes off as clean.

                                                                                                Maybe lack of color prevents bad color choices

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                                                                                                  Reminds me of 80s Mac games - they had a tastefulness and crispness in graphics that other home computers at the time lacked, helped by the monochrome yet high-res constraints.

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                                                                                                  If the strings are immutable, why is string.Split(”,”) allocating so much? In Go for example it would returns a slice to the original strict which is only a few bytes long.

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                                                                                                    System.String.Split predates Span et al; so it likely is allocating new strings instead.

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                                                                                                      Thanks, I don’t know anything about the .NET environment.

                                                                                                      It seems like OP could have used a version of Split that returns an array of Span and he would have gotten 90% close while keeping the code straight-forward.

                                                                                                    2. 3

                                                                                                      .NET never shares substrings like Java or Go (the object layout is “Pascal-style”, length followed by content, so you can’t do this without changing representations)

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                                                                                                      One thing you might find interesting is IBM i’s command language. Arguments to commands are named and typed, and one very interesting property is that you can hit the F4 key and pop up a form with the command’s available options; and prompt further into those, with pop-up help. It then creates the command line to run. This series of toots is probably the best quick primer on why it’s interesting.

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                                                                                                        Every time someone mentions VMS, AS/400, AIX, HP-UX I wonder if there is any way to goof around these systems to see for myself the differences from the current mainstream servers.

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                                                                                                          There’s an outfit called VMS Software that claims to be working on an x86_64 OpenVMS port. According to this roadmap document from 2017 they expect to have OpenVMS 9.2 ready for production on x86_64 sometime in 2020. It’ll still be proprietary, of course.

                                                                                                          1. 2

                                                                                                            There’s a hobbyist program for OpenVMS to get licenses. Gotta get an emulator or used hardware on eBay from there. Im not sure about the rest.

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                                                                                                          at this point most browsers are OS’s that run (and build) on other OS’s:

                                                                                                          • language runtime - multiple checks
                                                                                                          • graphic subsystem - check
                                                                                                          • networking - check
                                                                                                          • interaction with peripherals (sound, location, etc) - check
                                                                                                          • permissions - for users, pages, sites, and more.

                                                                                                          And more importantly, is there any (important to the writers) advantage to them becoming smaller? Security maybe?

                                                                                                          1. 11

                                                                                                            Browsers rarely link out the system. FF/Chromium have their own PNG decodes, JPEG decodes, AV codecs, memory allocators or allocation abstraction layers, etc. etc.

                                                                                                            It bothers me everything is now shipping as an electron app. Do we really need every single app to have the footprint of a modern browser? Can we at least limit them to the footprint of Firefox2?

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                                                                                                              but if you limit it to the footprint of firefox2 then computers might be fast enough. (a problem)

                                                                                                              1. 2

                                                                                                                New computers are no longer faster than old computers at the same cost, though – moore’s law ended in 2005 and consumer stuff has caught up with the lag. So, the only speed-up from replacement is from clearing out bloat, not from actual hardware improvements in processing speed.

                                                                                                                (Maybe secondary storage speed will have a big bump, if you’re moving from hard disk to SSD, but that only happens once.)

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                                                                                                                  moore’s law ended in 2005 and consumer stuff has caught up with the lag. So, the only speed-up from replacement is from clearing out bloat, not from actual hardware improvements in processing speed.

                                                                                                                  Are you claiming there have been no speedups due to better pipelining, out-of-order/speculative execution, larger caches, multicore, hyperthreading, and ASIC acceleration of common primitives? And the benchmarks magazines post showing newer stuff outperforming older stuff were all fabricated? I’d find those claims unbelievable.

                                                                                                                  Also, every newer system I had was faster past 2005. I recently had to use an older backup. Much slower. Finally, performance isn’t the only thing to consider: the newer, process nodes use less energy and have smaller chips.

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                                                                                                                    I’m slightly overstating the claim. Performance increases have dropped to incremental from exponential, and are associated with piecemeal attempts to chase performance increase goals that once were a straightforward result of increased circuit density through optimization tricks that can only really be done once.

                                                                                                                    Once we’ve picked all the low-hanging fruit (simple optimization tricks with major & general impact) we’ll need to start seriously milking performance out of multicore and other features that actually require the involvement of application developers. (Multicore doesn’t affect performance at all for single-threaded applications or fully-synchronous applications that happen to have multiple threads – in other words, everything an unschooled developer is prepared to write, unless they happen to be mostly into unix shell scripting or something.)

                                                                                                                    Moore’s law isn’t all that matters, no. But, it matters a lot with regard to whether or not we can reasonably expect to defend practices like electron apps on the grounds that we can maintain current responsiveness while making everything take more cycles. The era where the same slow code can be guaranteed to run faster on next year’s machine without any effort on the part of developers is over.

                                                                                                                    As a specific example: I doubt that even in ten years, a low-end desktop PC will be able to run today’s version of slack with reasonable performance. There is no discernible difference in its performance between my two primary machines (both low-end desktop PCs, one from 2011 and one from 2017). There isn’t a perpetually rising tide that makes all code more performant anymore, and the kind of bookkeeping that most web apps spend their cycles in doesn’t have specialized hardware accelerators the way matrix arithmetic does.

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                                                                                                                      Performance increases have dropped to incremental from exponential, and are associated with piecemeal attempts to chase performance increase goals that once were a straightforward result of increased circuit density through optimization tricks that can only really be done once.

                                                                                                                      I agree with that totally.

                                                                                                                      “Multicore doesn’t affect performance at all for single-threaded applications “

                                                                                                                      Although largely true, people often forget a way multicore can boost single-threaded performance: simply letting the single-threaded app have more time on CPU core since other stuff is running on another. Some OS’s, esp RTOS’s, let you control which cores apps run on specifically to utilize that. I’m not sure if desktop OS’s have good support for this right now, though. I haven’t tried it in a while.

                                                                                                                      “There isn’t a perpetually rising tide that makes all code more performant anymore, and the kind of bookkeeping that most web apps spend their cycles in doesn’t have specialized hardware accelerators the way matrix arithmetic does.”

                                                                                                                      Yeah, all the ideas I have for it are incremental. The best illustration of where rest of gains might come from is Cavium’s Octeon line. They have offloading engines for TCP/IP, compression, crypto, string ops, and so on. On rendering side, Firefox is switching to GPU’s which will take time to fully utilize. On Javascript side, maybe JIT’s could have a small, dedicated core. So, there’s still room for speeding Web up in hardware. Just not Moore’s law without developer effort like you were saying.

                                                                                                            2. 9

                                                                                                              Although you partly covered it, I’d say “execution of programs” is good wording for JavaScript since it matches browser and OS usage. There’s definitely advantages to them being smaller. A guy I knew even deleted a bunch of code out of his OS and Firefox to achieve that on top of a tiny, backup image. Dude had a WinXP system full of working apps that fit on one CD-R.

                                                                                                              Far as secure browsers, I’d start with designs from high-assurance security bringing in mainstream components carefully. Some are already doing that. An older one inspired Chrome’s architecture. I have a list in this comment. I’ll also note that there were few of these because high-assurance security defaulted on just putting a browser in a dedicated partition that isolated it from other apps on top of security-focused kernels. One browser per domain of trust. Also common were partitioning network stacks and filesystems that limited effect of one partition using them on others. QubesOS and GenodeOS are open-source software that support these with QubesOS having great usability/polish and GenodeOS architecturally closer to high-security designs.

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                                                                                                                Are there simpler browsers optimised for displaying plain ol’ hyperlinked HTML documents, and also support modern standards? I don’t really need 4 tiers of JIT and whatnot for web apps to go fast, since I don’t use them.

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                                                                                                                  I’ve always thought one could improve on a Dillo-like browser for that. I also thought compile-time programming might make various components in browsers optional where you could actually tune it to amount of code or attack surface you need. That would require lots of work for mainstream stuff, though. A project like Dillo might pull it off, though.

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                                                                                                                      Oh yeah, I have that on a Raspberry Pi running RISC OS. It’s quite nice! I didn’t realise it runs on so many other platforms. Unfortunately it only crashes on my main machine, I will investigate. Thanks for reminding me that it exists.

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                                                                                                                        Fascinating; how had I never heard of this before?

                                                                                                                        Or maybe I had and just assumed it was a variant of suckless surf? https://surf.suckless.org/

                                                                                                                        Looks promising. I wonder how it fares on keyboard control in particular.

                                                                                                                        1. 1

                                                                                                                          Aw hell; they don’t even have TLS set up correctly on https://netsurf-browser.org

                                                                                                                          Does not exactly inspire confidence. Plus there appears to be no keyboard shortcut for switching tabs?

                                                                                                                          Neat idea; hope they get it into a usable state in the future.

                                                                                                                        2. 1

                                                                                                                          AFAIK, it doesn’t support “modern” non-standards.

                                                                                                                          But it doesn’t support Javascript either, so it’s way more secure of mainstream ones.

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                                                                                                                          No. Modern web standards are too complicated to implement in a simple manner.

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                                                                                                                            Either KHTML or Links is what you’d like. KHTML would probably be the smallest browser you could find with a working, modern CSS, javascript and HTML5 engine. Links only does HTML <=4.0 (including everything implied by its <img> tag, but not CSS).

                                                                                                                            1. 2

                                                                                                                              I’m pretty sure KHTML was taken to a farm upstate years ago, and replaced with WebKit or Blink.

                                                                                                                              1. 6

                                                                                                                                It wasn’t “replaced”, Konqueror supports all KHTML-based backends including WebKit, WebEngine (chromium) and KHTML. KHTML still works relatively well to show modern web pages according to HTML5 standards and fits OP’s description perfectly. Konqueror allows you to choose your browser engine per tab, and even switch on the fly which I think is really nice, although this means loading all engines that you’re currently using in memory.

                                                                                                                                I wouldn’t say development is still very active, but it’s still supported in the KDE frameworks, they still make sure that it builds at least, along with the occasional bug fix. Saying that it was replaced is an overstatement. Although most KDE distributions do ship other browsers by default, if any, and I’m pretty sure Falkon is set to become KDE’s browser these days, which is basically an interface for WebEngine.

                                                                                                                            2. 2

                                                                                                                              A growing part of my browsing is now text-mode browsing. Maybe you could treat full graphical browsing as an exception and go to the minimum footprint most of the time…

                                                                                                                          2. 4

                                                                                                                            And more importantly, is there any (important to the writers) advantage to them becoming smaller? Security maybe?

                                                                                                                            user choice. rampant complexity has restricted your options to 3 rendering engines, if you want to function in the modern world.

                                                                                                                            1. 3

                                                                                                                              When reimplementing malloc and testing it out on several applications, I found out that Firefox ( at the time, I don’t know if this is still true) had its own internal malloc. It was allocating a big chunk of memory at startup and then managing it itself.

                                                                                                                              Back in the time I thought this was a crazy idea for a browser but in fact, it follows exactly the idea of your comment!

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                                                                                                                                Firefox uses a fork of jemalloc by default.

                                                                                                                                1. 2

                                                                                                                                  IIRC this was done somewhere between Firefox 3 and Firefox 4 and was a huge speed boost. I can’t find a source for that claim though.

                                                                                                                                  Anyway, there are good reasons Firefox uses its own malloc.

                                                                                                                                  Edit: apparently I’m bored and/or like archeology, so I traced back the introduction of jemalloc to this hg changeset. This changeset is present in the tree for Mozilla 1.9.1 but not Mozilla 1.8.0. That would seem to indicate that jemalloc landed in the 3.6 cycle, although I’m not totally sure because the changeset description indicates that the real history is in CVS.

                                                                                                                              2. 3

                                                                                                                                In my daily job, this week I’m working on patching a modern Javascript application to run on older browsers (IE10, IE9 and IE8+ GCF 12).

                                                                                                                                The hardest problems are due the different implementation details of same origin policy.
                                                                                                                                The funniest problem has been one of the used famework that used “native” as variable name: when people speak about the good parts in Javascript I know they don’t know what they are talking about.

                                                                                                                                BTW, if browser complexity address a real problem (instead of being a DARPA weapon to get control of foreign computers), such problem is the distribution of computation among long distances.

                                                                                                                                Such problem was not addressed well enough by operating systems, despite some mild attempts, such as Microsoft’s CIFS.

                                                                                                                                This is partially a protocol issue, as both NFS, SMB and 9P were designed with local network in mind.

                                                                                                                                However, IMHO browsers OS are not the proper solution to the issue: they are designed for different goals, and they cannot discontinue such goals without loosing market share (unless they retain such share with weird marketing practices as Microsoft did years ago with IE on Windows and Google is currently doing with Chrome on Android).

                                                                                                                                We need better protocols and better distributed operating systems.

                                                                                                                                Unfortunately it’s not easy to create them.
                                                                                                                                (Disclaimer: browsers as platforms for os and javascript’s ubiquity are among the strongest reasons that make me spend countless nights hacking an OS)

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                                                                                                                                I reiterate the request to add OS tag, 1 2 3.

                                                                                                                                1. 4

                                                                                                                                  I think it should be a systems tag to clarify it’s not about anything OS related (lest they tag like Windows posts) but rather, systems development, not just kernel/OS stuff, but drivers and some embedded too.

                                                                                                                                  1. 3

                                                                                                                                    os-dev?

                                                                                                                                  2. 2

                                                                                                                                    Second. We need a tag!

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                                                                                                                                      Actually, whenever I post something about Jehanne, I feel the same need.