1. 1

    This seems like it would fit better at Barnacles instead of Lobsters.

    1. 1

      As another person that uses many tabs (308 tabs across 20 windows at the moment), I am quite happy to see these improvements.

      1. 12

        I am not surprised, since Firefox’ current mission seems to copy Chrome, throwing away all advantages that they had (like extensibility) to become a worse Chrome. Might as well switch to Chrome then.

        1. 13

          Throwing away XUL is necessary, being a technical dead end preventing them from doing necessary refactors for e10s and such.

          I agree it hurts a lot. They need to work a lot on WebExtensions to make it viable.

          1. 7

            XUL was an incredible piece of technology. Ten years ago I developed a cross-platform application with native look-and-feel and embedded data-visualizations in a couple of weeks. I don’t think there was anything else that would have allowed me to do that back then… and even now, that would be a challenge. I wish XUL had been blessed by W3C standardization.

            1. 3

              Maybe it was incredible technology, but I always wished for a firefox build using native widgets. Back in the day, just wiggling my mouse back and forth over the title bar (not over the page) in firefox used to nearly max out my cpu.

              1. 1

                There was Camino for Mac, and Galleon on Linux, but those are dead. There’s K-Meleon on Windows, but I’m unsure of its development state.

            2. 0

              Is electrolysis worth losing a ton of extensions and developers over?

              Is electrolysis even a good thing? If I open facebook, twitter and youtube at the same time I can expect firefox to grind to a halt. With electrolysis, my whole PC will grind to a halt? I don’t buy better the security argument either - firefox is a reverse shell with or without electrolysis.

              1. 12

                E10S is required for shipping a sandbox for Firefox. I’m a bit biased, since I work on Firefox sandboxing, but I believe this is probably the single most important security project we have.

                I’m not sure what you mean by “firefox is a reverse shell with or without electrolysis” - enabling the sandbox makes it so that any random memory corruption in the content process isn’t game over for security, which is a huge win.

                1. 3

                  You don’t buy the “security argument” of process isolation and sandboxing? It’s fairly easy not to see the benefits of something if you deny the reality of the benefits it does provide.

                2. 1

                  That’s my concern though - I don’t think they recognize how much people depend on their favorite extensions to make using Firefox a pleasant expeiernce. The impression I get is they’re basically gonna draw a line in the sand and switch whether or not the extension ecosystem comes with them.

                  I agree that it needs to happen, but were I them I’d be looking at the most popular extensions and ensuring that a transition plan exists. Their market share depends on it.

                  1. 4

                    I agree that it needs to happen, but were I them I’d be looking at the most popular extensions and ensuring that a transition plan exists. Their market share depends on it.

                    They are doing exactly that… they have many bugs filed that are “enable to be written as webext”. The core webext team is extremely smart and capable.

                    1. 1

                      That’s really fantastic to hear. I should get tuned into that effort to see if my favorite extensions are being represented :)

                  2. 1

                    So, I don’t doubt it, but why exactly? I’ve heard security cited, is that something inherent to XUL itself or merely an artifact of that particular subsystem being left to wither on the vine?

                  3. 4

                    Agreed. Throwing away XUIL extensions is going to totally cripple them. I don’t know what I’ll do at that point. IMO they’re what make Firefox a usable alternative, and there are a bunch of things you simply can’t do with the proposed Javascript extension standard (can’t think of the name).

                    It’s All Text comes to mind.

                    1. 3

                      I don’t know what I’ll do at that point.

                      Palemoon perchance?

                      1. 2

                        Palemoon

                        Maybe? No Mac support right now, which is a deal breaker for me. As I’ve posted about here before, Linux desktops have yet to come close to the accessibility features OSX provides. I’m partially blind, and ‘living’ on the Linux desktop was sheer agony.

                    2. 3

                      Might as well switch to Chrome then.

                      Look at the linked Mozilla blog post — they already did!

                      The head of Firefox marketing admits to using Chrome every day, for leisure.

                      1. 2

                        Yeah, I guess it has to get a lot worse before it gets better. As long as they are (so) dependent on income from advertisers (Yahoo?), they will not put the user first regarding privacy and security. For example why are the Tor Browser’s Firefox settings not the default in Firefox? Why is Privacy Badger or something similar not a default extension? Why are third party cookies still enabled by default?

                        I guess over time more and more stuff will break again with Firefox as also mentioned in the article, that making it a bit worse now by enabling the Tor settings and Privacy Badger won’t make much of a difference. At least you’d know Mozilla has your back, and Firefox may even gain some users by being privacy friendly by default. That is, for as long as it is relevant and “the web” is used by the average user.

                        1. 4

                          Mozilla is actively working with the Tor project to upstream their Tor Browser patches and improve privacy defaults.

                          1. 2

                            Ah, I missed that it was also about changing the defaults! I thought it was just to get the (code) changes upstream, but not (necessarily) the defaults. If so, that is great news!

                          2. 3

                            Maybe it will get a lot worse before it gets even worse.

                        1. 4

                          So this drives me nuts because if your Node project depends on dependency A, but dependency A lists a version range for dependency B, npm will update B to the latest version available when you rerun “npm install”, even if you have an exact version listed for A. You can solve this with shrinkwrap but in some cases you want to check you can blow away your shrinkwrap and reinstall and get the same file back out.

                          We usually worked around this by forking A and locking down its dependencies.

                          1. 4

                            My understanding is that yarn and its lock file do a better job with this than npm shrinkwrap.

                            1. 1

                              That is actually the most compelling reason to use yarn, that it produces a sane lock file.

                          1. 1
                            1. 3

                              I believe the main reason so many Firefox users run a 32 bit version is because of legacy browser plugins, some of which may never have been released in a 64 bit version. Since they are binary blobs, the browser ABI has to match the plugin’s ABI for the plugin to work.

                              At any rate, many users should be able to switch these days. There is work scheduled to migrate Windows users with 32 bit Firefox to 64 bit Firefox (assuming they’re on 64 bit OS, of course).

                            1. 2

                              I have the 60" rectangular Jarvis that your coworker mentioned with the bamboo top. It’s a great choice all around. I’ve had it for about a year so far. I also agree with twelvebravo that the programmable controls are a key feature, so you don’t have to fiddle each time.

                              1. 1

                                Coworker just got it, so I’ve been hesitant about it. But it’s good to hear someone with it over a year. I might have to buy one.

                              1. 1

                                I would love to have the ability to save or favorite stories and comments. Right now the only way you can go back and find things to read is by commenting on a story.

                                1. 2

                                  If you upvote a story, you can find it again at https://lobste.rs/upvoted which lists all your upvoted stories. Not sure what to suggest about comments, though.

                                1. 5

                                  I do agree it’s a bit hard to follow how all the caching semantics work out in practice, especially once you start stacking various headers together in one response.

                                  Mark Nottingham (chair of the IETF HTTP working group) has a decent informational guide to HTTP caching for web developers.

                                  Jack Archibald (Chrome developer advocate) has a good collection of best practices for difference scenarios.

                                  1. 6

                                    I know others will disagree, but I find 500px unreadably narrow, and couldn’t find where to turn it off in the inspector.

                                    1. 4

                                      In the Chrom{e,ium} inspector, expand the body, click on the site-wrapper div then uncheck the width: 500px style, then expand the site-wrapper div and click on the core-content div and uncheck the width there too.

                                      1. 1

                                        These steps should work in inspector tool of any browser these days.

                                    1. 1

                                      Wow, this is like a time machine to my childhood. :) Thanks for posting!

                                      1. 2

                                        Yep, I’ve been posting a lot about this since I learned about the issue.

                                        There are really only two solutions:

                                        1) Use older x86 hardware. I’ve been playing with Libreboot on a Thinkpad X200.

                                        2) Use non-x86 hardware. I’d love to get my hands on an old SPARC server. There’s also the POWER8 TALOS Secure Workstation.

                                        1. 1

                                          I’m also interested in the TALOS workstation project. Looking forward to their progress!

                                        1. 1

                                          Where is the referenced NEWS to be found?

                                          1. 1

                                            At the linked URL, you just need to scroll a bit.

                                            1. 1

                                              Below comments? There’s nothing there, and then it’s the end of the page.

                                              1. 2

                                                The yellow block is actually a scrollable element… I was also confused.

                                                1. 1

                                                  Wow.

                                          1. 10

                                            I was so distracted by the website that I didn’t even read what the project is about. What is with all the pointless animations and transitions? The “Zephyr” text in the upper left corner that transitions when you start scrolling to become… a slightly smaller “Zephyr” with a kite. The fade-in of the main body text, which then jumps out and becomes a whole point size larger when you mouse over it. The search bar that drops down and completely fades out the text you’re reading, so you can’t read something on the page and quickly search for it without copying the text first.

                                            1. 5

                                              Yeah, wow, that page is painful to read. This about doc seems like an easier to read summary:

                                              https://www.zephyrproject.org/doc/about_zephyr.html

                                            1. 12

                                              They’ve acclimatized people to the idea/technology, and now they’re closing the door on the long tail of refusers. As a person who flies several times/year and has never been through a scanner, I have only once stood in line with a fellow opt-outer, and not recently. Widespread opposition to scanning has just not materialized, so it’s going to become a part of the routine.

                                              1. 14

                                                Yeah, it’s as you say. That has always been the clear intent with these “security” measures - get people used to them gradually.

                                                This particular step wouldn’t be news really, but … as a trans person, this one is particularly distressing. Figuring out why is left as an exercise to the reader.

                                                1. 2

                                                  Actually I’m quite confused why this is trouble for trans. When you opt out, they have to pick a man or woman to do the patdown. When you go through the scanner, they don’t ask about gender. The scanner in my experience is much closer to anonymous and impersonal.

                                                  1. 1

                                                    Excuse me, but what is a trans person?

                                                    1. 3
                                                      1. 1

                                                        Someone who identifies as belonging to a gender different from their biological sex or just has a plainly ambiguous biological sex (this is actually far more common than people realise) and had to pick one of the two options.

                                                    2. 1

                                                      I joined the TSA-Pre program and have no issues whatsoever. Sure I have to pay an extra fee every year, but it beats going through the lines and being thoroughly inspected for no reason.

                                                      1. 10

                                                        I have TSA-Pre as well (via Global Entry), but I’ll be damned if “having more disposable income” resolves to “having more civil liberties.”

                                                        1. 7

                                                          I find the existence of TSA Pre terrible, in the same way as these body scanner changes: it slowly becomes normal for society to give up more information and money to the government to achieve a short term goal of “shorter lines”.

                                                          I’ll happily wait in longer line.

                                                          1. 4

                                                            But that’s basically what it is, right? It’s a real shame that it’s come to this. My older folks tell me of the days when you could walk into the airport without having a single person check your luggage. Times sure have changed.

                                                            1. 2

                                                              Growing up, and even while I was in college, one could enter an airport and go anywhere they wanted (more or less). The worst you would be subjected to was a brief pass through a metal detector.

                                                              I love flying, but absolutely loathe airports now.

                                                            2. 1

                                                              It appears that the fee is only 85 USD, which is good for 5 years, e.g., comes to about 1.42 USD per month, which seems like rather small change, even if all your air travel is free otherwise. They even accept anything from credit cards to money orders.

                                                              However, what doesn’t make that much sense is that basically almost everyone’s eligible! The list of Interim Disqualifying Criminal Offences is quite amusing, to say the least. It sounds like they might as well do “random” security checks on the spot to start with, instead of making everyone go through the lines in the first place, and accomplish just about the same (or even a better one!) level of security.

                                                        1. 2

                                                          In all seriousness, Hacker News. Here is alright but much slower and contains less of the mainstream news that I do find valuable.

                                                          1. 1

                                                            “Slower and less” is part of what I like about lobste.rs vs. Hacker News. :)

                                                          1. 1

                                                            An odd comment on that story now by someone from Purism:

                                                            Purism laptops will always run unsigned firmware. Purism has been in contact with coreboot from the very beginning!

                                                            It is very surprising and unclear where mrnuke got these ideas. Wish (s)he joined the conversation on coreboot mailing list https://www.mail-archive.com/coreboot@coreboot.org/msg43618.html. Again, this is only possible because of Purism’s pioneering efforts in using Intel CPUs that are allowed to run unsigned firmware.

                                                            Purism is actively working on porting coreboot to Librem15 with some coreboot developer(s). @mrnuke is more than welcome to join the effort :) There, that’s the truth about Purism.

                                                            So is this rant completely unfounded?

                                                            1. 1

                                                              I’m not sure. In the past, others' promises of “actively working on” something never bore fruit.

                                                              A similar complaint is Apple not yet open-sourcing Swift. Complaints are valid until they actually do it.

                                                              (Side note: Lobsters allows you to comment on super-old threads. Is this generally considered okay? Or is it rude?)

                                                              1. 1

                                                                It doesn’t bump the thread in any of the top-down views, so I see no reason it would be rude. It gets basically no responses though. :)

                                                                1. 1

                                                                  They appear to still be making progress on coreboot. They post regular updates on their blog. So still in progress, but seems to be moving forward at least.

                                                                  1. 1

                                                                    Thanks for the tip. Here is a direct link to one of their latest updates, for posterity. https://puri.sm/posts/bios-freedom-status/

                                                                    The CPU is fused to allow running unsigned binaries (old news), but they’re still working on creating FOSS firmware for the chip. They’ve done some good breakdown and analysis of the different pieces, but nothing concrete has shipped so far.

                                                              1. 2

                                                                So far, not sure I see any advantages over Chrome or Safari (though the way it handles multiple tabs is better than Chrome). No keyboard shortcuts, which is a shame, since I’m often using my (awesome) Logitech keyboard for my iPad. It’s a nice first release, so hope they find some ways to differentiate.

                                                                1. 1

                                                                  Three things they could do that wool immediately make them stand out more from Chrome and Safari:

                                                                  • Integrate with 1Password
                                                                  • Support extensions
                                                                  • Allow any type of meaningful on-device dev tools

                                                                  That said, even having my tabs synced is quite nice.

                                                                  1. 3

                                                                    There’s actually no need to integrate 1Password, they just need to fix this bug which would allow all installed action extensions to show up, like 1Password does in the official Safari app.

                                                                    As for 3rd party extensions, that will never happen due to restrictions on iOS. Extensions would either have to be shipped with the app (Dolphin Browser style) or have limited interaction through the standard action extensions that come from other, independent iOS apps like 1P.

                                                                    1. 1

                                                                      Allow any type of meaningful on-device dev tools

                                                                      What sort of tools are you thinking of here? When you say “on-device”, you’d like the UI of the tools on the device’s screen (which could be tricky on a phone), or you want to debug iOS from a desktop / laptop?

                                                                  1. 16

                                                                    “… I need to learn how to Google before getting excited.”

                                                                    No! That’s about the worst lesson you can take as a student. Get excited about things, you’ll learn so much that way.

                                                                    But the author got it at the end, so all is good :)

                                                                    1. 5

                                                                      I think he meant to use Google before getting excited about “discovering something new.”

                                                                      1. 10

                                                                        That’s exactly what he shouldn’t do.

                                                                        If he thought “oh, hey, I’m going to google ‘sort with binary tree’” he’d have probably seen that treesort is a thing and wouldn’t have the same excitement and drive to investigate it. It’d be much easier to skim the Wikipedia page and move on. Where’s the excitement there? What do you learn? How do you improve yourself?

                                                                        Googling first is fine when your code ends up going to production; when you’re a student, you should always assume you’re the first person to crack the problem and proceed accordingly! Even if you’re on a well worn path the excitement of going down it will let you learn so much more…

                                                                        1. 5

                                                                          I don’t mean to sound rude, but that’s engendering a delusion. If you’re not opposed to using a delusion to motivate yourself why just just convince yourself that you will be shot if you stop working. In fact when people get attached to this mindset, when they go out into the workforce they view themselves as God’s gift to programming, with a habit of failing to do adequate research. They ritually reinvent the wheel and pat themselves on the back for being SO SMART. This is terrible mental hygiene. You don’t need delusion to motivate yourself, just get it done.

                                                                          1. 6

                                                                            @owen already made a distinction between learning and production above.

                                                                            You seem highly focused on the “in the workforce” / production case, while @owen is thinking of educational value outside of the goal to build a product.

                                                                            1. 3

                                                                              There is no educational value in pretending to be the first person to have invented a thing.

                                                                            2. 4

                                                                              Learning to innovate and developing the desire to blaze trails is just as important as listening to a professor tell you about all the different sorting algorithms that are out there.

                                                                              If people don’t get that in university (or, for self taught programmers, if you don’t develop that yourself) you can end up with the opposite effect: they’re plenty able to solve problems so long as they fit in a narrowly defined scope of what they’ve done and been shown before, but they’re completely unable or uninterested in exploring new solutions and learning new things. A sort of “programming by rote” individual, I guess.

                                                                              But perhaps we’re both colored by experiences with people who have very different pathologies at play :)

                                                                              1. 3

                                                                                I more or less agree, though even in research rather than applied work, I think it does eventually become important to get a feeling for when something “probably has already been solved”, and be able find that solution rather than reinventing it. It helps to develop an intuition for what someone has probably already studied vs. is probably new, so you can maximize the proportion of your time working on not-yet-solved things, and tie in your work to the existing work, and the established terminology for it. That’s one thing that productive PhD students tend to do better than less-productive ones.

                                                                                But yeah, probably not when starting out. When figuring out how things work in a new field (or if you’re new to research entirely), it’s more motivating and less overwhelming, and can help understanding, to tackle things on first principles, and it’s fine to re-discover standard solutions.

                                                                                1. 1

                                                                                  Sure, you SHOULD reason about a problem, but you definitely shouldn’t pretend there isn’t a solution out there. Very different statements with very different implications. Mess around with it a bit, see what you can accomplish, but also go out and find the accepted answer to the problem, observe that and figure out what makes that tick. If you just do the first part, you’ll end up in an ego trap.

                                                                              2. 2

                                                                                I agree with this. An undergrad probably should attempt to crack the problem (or think of potential solutions) from first principles. Though in a Masters' through research program, you are kinda neither here nor there. You are a student-cum-researcher that is forced to do a lit survey before starting your thesis.

                                                                                A lightly tangential remark: I will bet anyone a hundred bucks that though the posters' Professor was seemingly nonchalant, he clinked a glass of whiskey that night celebrating the fact that a student of his understood the class and came up with something on his own.

                                                                            3. 2

                                                                              A thousand times this.

                                                                              1. 10

                                                                                I’ve noticed that people who used IRC before entering the job market (in university or earlier) are significantly more comfortable with it as a medium, and far more likely to actively participate in it that people who are introduced to it later in life. For whatever reason, IRC doesn’t tend to be a gentle, friendly experience for beginners.

                                                                                While the availability of many different clients is an advantage, it’s also something of a disadvantage because it fragments the community - I’m not going to be able to help a person with their irssi config/plugins if I use Colloquy or XChat, and so there’s more of a learning curve there. Also there’s a bit of the paradox of choice going on. And when you really get down to it none of the clients are as straightforward and easy-to-use as Slack.

                                                                                Then you have IRC commands to learn. Not a huge deal, but certainly not obvious to a beginner. And then if you take a look at any given network it seems extremely chaotic - rather than the few dozen channels you may see in a slack, you’re looking at hundreds or thousands of channels. How are you supposed to find the right forum?

                                                                                I could keep going on about aspects of IRC that are barriers to entry, but I think the point has been made. Sometimes on IRC I conceitedly consider the barrier to entry a feature - though in reality it’s not keeping trolls/assholes out. Slack is just more accessible to the masses, is a polished experience, is consistent across platforms - it has a lot of advantages.

                                                                                Having said all that… I agree with the author. Slack’s closed-ness sucks for open source projects, at some point I think a lot of people are going to have the rug pulled out from under them. E.g. Slack has a (unofficial?) user limit which some projects have hit.

                                                                                TLDR; I love Slack, and I love IRC - they each have their place. The IRC experience could and should be better.

                                                                                1. 5

                                                                                  And when you really get down to it none of the clients are as straightforward and easy-to-use as Slack.

                                                                                  http://irccloud.com/ is a strong contender for being exactly that.

                                                                                  1. 2

                                                                                    In my experience, one big issue with Slack is the necessity to keep one tab open for each project (issue which is described in the linked article).

                                                                                    1. 2

                                                                                      I use the desktop client, so it’s less of an issue. That’s fair, though.

                                                                                      1. 1

                                                                                        As opposed to keeping a tab open per IRC channel? I don’t get this criticism.

                                                                                        1. 3

                                                                                          With IRC, I can use the same clients for all channels. With Slack, I have to keep one browser tab open for each project. Am I misunderstanding something?

                                                                                          1. 1

                                                                                            I have a Slack window open connected to two different accounts with multiple channels each. I can swiftly change between them with a few keystrokes.

                                                                                            How do IRC clients handle channels across multiple servers? I have spent a tiny amount of time on IRC recently, and the clients didn’t appear any different today than they were 15 years ago.

                                                                                            1. 1

                                                                                              Maybe you use the Slack desktop client?

                                                                                              1. 1

                                                                                                I do. Can your IRC client connect to multiple servers in the same window? I thought they at least required multiple windows for that.

                                                                                                1. 2

                                                                                                  I use IRCCloud currently, and that can certainly support many channels and servers all together in one window (browser tab). It has keystroke navigation between channels as well, sounds similar to what you are describing in Slack. Been a while since I’ve looked at the rest of the IRC client space, but surely others support this too…?

                                                                                                  1. 1

                                                                                                    IRCCloud isn’t IRC, it’s a cloud platform just like Slack that happens to integrate IRC. The article was comparing Slack with standard IRC servers.

                                                                                                    1. 2

                                                                                                      IRCCloud is not an IRC server, it’s more like an IRC bouncer (ZNC, etc.) with a web client. IRCCloud still connects to regular IRC networks on your behalf, like any IRC client.

                                                                                                      It does not require the IRC network to support anything special. It does not require everyone to use IRCCloud. You are still free to connect from any IRC client, since the server is just a regular IRC server (not something maintained by IRCCloud at all).

                                                                                                      As it says in an update to the article this discussion is about, IRCCloud “is really cool and solves all of the problems”, so it seems worth considering.