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    Also avoid “flexible holidays”. That’s just another way of saying there’s a baseline of no holidays, and for the few you’ll want, you’ll have to get approval from management. Similar story with “flexible hours”, which means you’ll be expected to leave late rather than early. Often when there’s “flexibility”, it’s flexibility for the company, not for you.

    Much better to go for jobs with clear business hours and a clear number of holidays per year, at least you know exactly what you’ll get and can make an informed decision.

    1. 13

      As I understand it “unlimited vacation” is a hack on human psychology to trick workers into taking less vacation. If they don’t let you book it when you try, though (barring normal reasons like a pending release you’re super important for or whatever – which apply even with “standard” vacation policies) it’s not really flexible or unlimited.

      My old employer gave me 4 weeks of vacation, and I usually didn’t use it all, or forced myself to use it at year end and got long Christmases. Since moving to new job with “unlimited vacation” and knowing the risks of such a policy, I make very sure to book at least 4 weeks a year. This year it’ll be 5.5 weeks.

      1. 5

        Not always. At my last job, it was exactly as you described it: a hack to get you to take less vacation. At my current job, it really is unlimited. “Standard practice” at my current company is 3-4 weeks off per year, with 5-6 not being unheard of as well. I, personally, take less but also have an understanding with my manager that I can take off on short notice as I tend to have periods where I get very sick of work.

        1. 3

          I’ll echo this; at my current company, the unlimited vacation policy exists pretty much in earnest. I calculated that over the past 3.5 years I have averaged 4.5weeks/year of vacation. I’ve never had a vacation request denied, though I obviously don’t do things like request every single Friday off, or take a month in the middle of a release rollout, etc.

          1. 1

            At my last job, it was exactly as you described it: a hack to get you to take less vacation. At my current job, it really is unlimited.

            These do not have to be mutually exclusive. As I said in my post, as long as you make sure to take ownership of the situation and force yourself to remember and ask for vacations, you can get them (often). Just don’t let your mind fall into the trap of not counting the vacation days, because then you’ll (likely) end up taking less.

          2. 3

            Alternatively, employers have to pay out unused vacation days when you leave a company. This can be pretty expensive, especially if you accrue a lot of vacation.

            1. 2

              Around here (Ontario, Canada) they have to have a baseline of some vacation in the contract, so that still has to get counted and paid out in theory.

              1. 1

                Yeah, probably varies by location. I’m in California and my old manager admitted it after I put two and two together.

            2. 2

              Unlimited vacation makes no sense to me. You can just take as many paid days off per year as you like? Why don’t people just take the whole year off?

              If you mean unpaid holidays then… who the hell cares how many unpaid days off you can take per year? What kind of employer is going to tell you that you can’t take unpaid leave. The number that matters is the number of paid days holiday above the legal minimum.

              1. 2

                You can - but your coworkers will judge you for it. Social forces are pretty powerful.

                The theory is that you avoid having employees show up un-motivated - the practice is nobody gets any time off.

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                  My coworkers will judge me? Who cares they judge me. I can take unlimited paid time off..

                2. 1

                  Why don’t people just take the whole year off?

                  Three reasons – because employees are more trustworthy than that – because an employee who did that would have zero productivity and likely get fired – because vacations require manager approval and no one would approve the whole year.

                  At my company in particular, you need “extra special” approval to get more than two weeks in a row, even. But taking almost 6 weeks in drips and drabs is easy to do.

                  1. 1

                    because employees are more trustworthy than that

                    If you trust someone to not take advantage of an incredibly poorly thought out policy that allows them to get as much free money as they like without doing five minutes of work, then you’re a naive fool.

                    because an employee who did that would have zero productivity and likely get fired

                    You can’t fire someone for taking leave. If it’s ‘unlimited leave’ then it’s unlimited leave. They aren’t expected to be productive when they’re on leave when they take a month of leave, so why would they be expected to be productive on leave when they take 6 months or 12 months of leave in a year?

                    because vacations require manager approval and no one would approve the whole year.

                    Okay, so the actual answer is ‘it’s not actually unlimited leave’?

                    At my company in particular, you need “extra special” approval to get more than two weeks in a row, even. But taking almost 6 weeks in drips and drabs is easy to do.

                    That’s not unlimited leave, that’s 6 weeks of leave, but where if you take fewer than 6 weeks of leave you don’t accrue more that you can take the next year or be paid out for when you leave. In other words, it’s really shitty leave.

                    1. 1

                      no one would approve the whole year.

                      So it’s not unlimited. That’s the issue I have with this - there’s obviously an upper limit to how many days one can take, and I don’t see why the company would keep that information a secret. I prefer things to be clear from day one and the same for everybody. Otherwise it’s just those who remember to take days off, or those who get along well with the manager who get more vacation days, it’s basically a policy that’s not fair to all employees.

                3. 2

                  That might be true in some places, but it’s certainly not true everywhere. The last place I worked, ‘flexible holidays’ meant that while they expected you to take holidays they were pretty much fine with you taking them whenever you wanted.

                  ‘Flexible hours’ meant you were expected to be there 10:00-15:00 on Monday-Friday and when you did the rest of your 40 hours per week was up to you. Want to work 6:30-15:00? Cool! Want to work 8:00-17:15 four days a week and 10:00-15:00 on Fridays? Do it. Most people finished around 16:00 on Fridays, for example, and many came in at 9:30 or 10:00 every day or 7:00 or even earlier every day.

                  Maybe you should fix your labour laws so that ‘baseline of no holidays’ doesn’t exist.

                1. 1

                  What if the $EDITOR path has spaces in it? Shouldn’t it be tmux split-window -p 33 "$EDITOR" $@?

                  1. 2

                    Yes it should be that. Keep in mind I also expect people to modify this as they need :)

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                    I think I’m missing the point. If anything, I feel that most posts don’t have enough comments, compared to HN for instance. And the few comments there is are interesting in general, I don’t remember having seen any troll or abuse. Basically it doesn’t feel we reached a point where we need to worry about quantity over quality so closing down registration doesn’t seem like a wise decision.

                    1. 2

                      Try not to rely on fingerprint unlock only, or better yet use only PIN/password/pattern unlock, as biometric data can be cloned.

                      Source?

                        1. 2

                          The researchers did not test their approach with real phones, and other security experts said the match rate would be significantly lower in real-life conditions.

                      1. 6

                        begin rant

                        I have never used Windows as my primary operating system but I thought with WSL I could consider it. I have a burner laptop I use for when I absolutely have to run Windows (usually work related).

                        Windows 10 is awful. The amount of bloatware is incredible. Alerts popping up to tell me to subscribe to OneDrive. A ton of XBox crap I won’t ever use and can’t uninstall. Ads in the start menu.

                        And it’s unusably slow. The little burner laptop isn’t particularly fast, but it’s name-brand (HP) and all that jazz…and resizing windows or right-clicking to open a menu can take tens of seconds. I figured out it’s due to the Windows Defender antivirus scanning; disabling that makes it barely usable but I’m surprised that it’s that bad. Supposedly it only runs when the box is idle, but I think what they consider “idle” is wrong. (It would happen when I was videoconferencing, which definitely isn’t “idle”, and tax the system to the point that I’d lose connectivity.)

                        Then you have the weird split between Metro and Classic apps. Why are some things in the Settings app, and other things in the Control Panel?

                        I remember, years ago, when Windows seemed to be “put together well”…now it seems really Frankensteiny.

                        1. 2

                          Yes it’s amazing how much they messed up the config screens with Windows 8 and many years later they still haven’t fixed it. They need to make up their mind, either move all the functionality to their pretty new screens, or move it all back to the old style config panel, but as it is it’s incredibly confusing to find under which screen is which config item.

                          I was using Windows 7 on an old laptop the other day - everything is nice, clean and logical. I don’t get how they could mess everything up so badly with Windows 8.

                          1. 1

                            I agree that Windows can be pretty crummy out of the box, especially if the OEM adds a layer of crud. If you find that you need to use Windows more often, it’s not too painful to get a clean install and remove a lot of that annoying stuff.

                            1. 1

                              That’s unsurprising. With every Windows, I had to go through a first step in disabling all kinds of bad stuff and installing good stuff (i.e. Microsoft alternatives). Then, Windows was a great platform to use. Even Windows Vista minus its RAM usage. It sounds like you didn’t do the initial, cleanup step that’s pretty much mandatory for a positive experience with Windows.

                              I’m not going to encourage that since I think it’s a waste of your time given you’re rarely on Windows. ;) I am mentioning it as a reminder for anyone reading that thinking it’s inevitable or even you if you ever want to see how good you can make it just in curiosity. I’m sure there’s piles of guides on Internet to assist given how resourceful Microsoft forces people to get.

                              EDIT: Windows 7 Professional was the last, great Windows. I’d buy it today if they resold it under a perpetual, per-machine license with security or other fixes. They can basically charge us each year for the fixes. Make everything optional like with Windows Embedded. We could easily turn off what we don’t want. I’d be a happy camper.

                              1. 1

                                There’s an easy way to remove almost all of the bloatware, search google for ‘powershell script remove appx’

                                A good guide is here: https://www.askvg.com/guide-how-to-remove-all-built-in-apps-in-windows-10/

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                                Sounds like decent stuff but I do find it amusing that some really basic things are getting big headlines: “Notepad Supports Linux Line Endings” and “Copy/Paste Arrives for Linux/WSL Consoles”.

                                I’m hoping the console improvements are actually useful since the worst part about the WSL (aside from I/O performance) are the really poor consoles in Windows, including current 3rd party offerings.

                                1. 2

                                  I actually did get excited about a couple of those. Which I guess just illustrates how low the bar was to begin with!

                                  1. 1

                                    including current 3rd party offerings

                                    ConEmu is pretty good. The only problem I’ve noticed is that it likes to put the cursor one line above (than the actual prompt line) in my zsh prompt :D

                                    1. 3

                                      ConEmu is an ok console, but it’s a poor Terminal Emulator, in my experience. (In part due to lag and some minor issues when processing VT-100 codes).

                                      If you don’t use Vim or co, it seems to do quite servicably

                                      1. 1

                                        I used it for neovim in tmux, haven’t noticed any problems (though it’s not very fast indeed)

                                      2. 1

                                        UPD: another issue: in ConEmu, paste doesn’t work inside tmux. Switched to wsltty (mintty) :)

                                      3. 1

                                        The user, of course doesn’t (shouldn’t) care about how hard something was to implement, but the people writing these release notes are biased by that sometimes, it’s only normal. The LF change must’ve been a ton of work. Most of it probably not coding, but still work.

                                        I don’t know it for a fact, it’s just speculation based on experience. By the way, I work at Microsoft though nowhere near notepad.exe.

                                        1. 1

                                          Yup. it’s amusing, but sadly it’s a Thing. I adopted WSL here at work because for some kinds of access it’s Windows or the hiighway and WSL is a LOT better than being stuck in CMD.EXE/ Powershell.

                                          Thing is the cut&past experience at least before these changes was AWFUL. I’m embarrassed to admit that our workflow involves a LOT of cut&paste, and the experience was abysmal.

                                          1. 1

                                            The Notepad update was quite interesting considering it took 33 years for that basic feature to finally be there. No more opening config files and seeing nothing but a very long single line.

                                            1. 1

                                              Looks like what I’m looking for but it’s a pity it’s not open source and that it requires an email (and I didn’t see a privacy statement).

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                                              As a result, many companies put product quality on the pedestal and regard it as their holy grail.

                                              As the Wikipedians say, citation needed.

                                              1. 7

                                                And a good Wikipedian would have slapped a {{Weasel}} tag on that sentence by now.

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                                                Please, no links to Twitter as tech stories. It’s more like “a story forming” than anything else and rarely results in reasonable discussion. (In this case, there is already a correction issued in the thread that undermines the claim in the title.)

                                                Lobste.rs is not a breaking news site. Those are elsewhere.

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                                                  Proposal: by default, lobste.rs should reject stories that link to Twitter. There may be reasonable exceptions to this rule, but I can’t think of them right now.

                                                  1. 4

                                                    I’m opposed to having breaking news stories, as on Hacker News where the top article of the Guardian about any random non-tech story makes it to the front page of HN, this I’m not a fan of.

                                                    However, Twitter posts about technical issues should be evaluated on their own merit (that’s why we have downvotes/upvotes after all). In this particular case, in my opinion the “correction” doesn’t undermine the post, as recreating the cookies immediately and automatically is not much better than not deleting them, and so it’s still worth discussing the story.

                                                    1. 1

                                                      Usually I find this to be the case but for this story there really is nothing more to be said than the screenshot. Sure some news website could fluff it up with a bunch of useless text but the screenshot shows you all you need to know

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                                                      Brief correction: Cookies seem to get removed and re-created immediately. At least the cookie content and creation date seems to change. Nonetheless: After hitting the “remove all” button you still don’t end up with an empty cookie jar.

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                                                        Recreating the cookies immediately and automatically is not much better. If anything it will give Google another data point, which is the date and time when the user tried to clear all their data.

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                                                        It’s all easy to tell people to switch from X to Y (browser, OS, antivirus, etc.) but you can’t just go preaching when the alternatives aren’t quite the same. Sure you have Firefox (or any other flavour) and while I’d love to fully switch, it isn’t quite there yet. You can tell people to switch to some Linux distro or to install LineageOS but that comes with losing certain features or apps (try doing gamedev from Linux for example).

                                                        And Firefox won over IE because it was better not for the fact IE back in the XP days was crap with its ActiveX madness. And same with the general switch to Chrome, it performed better.

                                                        The bottom line for me is: make better alternatives to cover the general use case and people WILL switch (because their “techy” friend installs it for them) but they probably won’t just to get away from privacy issues if it gives them less headaches.

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                                                          same with the general switch to Chrome, it performed better

                                                          Most people did not care that it performed “better”.

                                                          They just saw the ads. On every google page. Including the search front page.

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                                                            Pretty sure Chrome grew its popularity when Firefox became quite sluggish, together with its strong presence in smartphones.

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                                                              Yeah, it is easy to forget how amazing Chrome was versus the competition in 2008. Other browsers were covered in garbage and layers of UI, Chrome was minimalist. When other browsers would crash when you went to a bad webpage, chrome just lost a tab due to the process separation. Even at initial release, Chrome was much faster than the competition. It also had the omnibar which felt like the “right way”.

                                                            2. 3

                                                              Watch the Google Chrome announcement video

                                                              They compare it side-by-side with Internet Explorer. It shows that, for JavaScript, Chrome was around 100 times faster. For rendering it was around 3 times faster. The tab isolation, simpler user experience etc was also a serious win.

                                                              These types of improvements did matter to a lot of people.

                                                              1. 2

                                                                The ads gave Google an opportunity to win people over, but ads alone don’t convince anyone to commit to a product. IMO by the time Chrome ads started popping up on Google properties, Chrome had already won.

                                                                When Chrome came out it had superior UX to Firefox on every front. Performance, extensions, sync, transparent auto-updates, omnibar: everything was better and simpler for the 90% use-case. I specifically remember switching my parents and grandparents to Chrome because they kept getting stuck on old versions of Firefox and/or extensions would randomly stop working (namely ABP; about once a quarter I would get a call complaining that “the ads are back”). Chrome solved that problem for me.

                                                                I’m a big fan of Mozilla but Firefox has always been a funky browser for nerds. It dominated IE because Microsoft had made zero technical investments for years and years. Firefox has made great strides competing with Chrome, but it hasn’t made any huge leaps and it still has rough edges. I think Mozilla as an organization struggles to put out products that are uncompromisingly great for the non-technical user.

                                                                1. 2

                                                                  It dominated IE because Microsoft had made zero technical investments for years and years.

                                                                  Uh, when did Firefox “dominate IE”? Even after major EU legal wins, etc, Firefox was second until Chrome came with an even bigger backer that the regulators hadn’t smacked yet and ate everyone’s lunch.

                                                                  1. 1

                                                                    Uh, maybe it was too strong a word. But the market-share numbers are distorted by the incapability of corporate IT to move off IE at that time. That’s why the lifecycles of IE 6/7/8 were so drawn out.

                                                                    My recollection of that era is that anyone who understood what a browser was and had the ability to choose whichever one they wanted was using Firefox.

                                                                  2. 2

                                                                    Wow, I had forgotten auto-update, that might have been the most important feature!

                                                                    When Chrome was released, it actually lacked both extensions and sync, but the per-tab process and auto-update were killer features – plus general performance.

                                                                    1. 1

                                                                      When Chrome was released, it actually lacked both extensions and sync

                                                                      It got them in 2010, shortly before the first release for macOS, which is probably what I’m remembering as the initial release. It didn’t surpass Firefox and IE in market share until 2012.

                                                                  3. 2

                                                                    Most people did not care that it performed “better”.

                                                                    I don’t think this is true. At the time, both IE and FF were very slow and frustrating for people. A crash in either would take down the entire browser. “Updating their browser” was something their tech friends would tell them to do, and they wouldn’t do. Chrome was automatically updated, simpler, faster, more stable (re: crashing) and it was less complicated (at least in UI – omnibar, better on smaller screen). I think it won due to fitness for purpose, not ads.

                                                                  4. 6

                                                                    What about Firefox “isn’t quite there”?

                                                                    1. 5

                                                                      Firefox is not “quite there” because developers today mostly create Chrome apps, and consider other browsers as an afterthought. On desktop, and even more on Android, I often need to switch back to Chrome because the app I’m using doesn’t work on Firefox or is way too slow.

                                                                      Technically it’s very easy to get a website to work on any browser, but we don’t create websites anymore, often even plain text articles are “apps”, with JS all over the place and this is mostly designed to work on Chrome only.

                                                                      1. 1

                                                                        Firefox isn’t quite there because developers don’t target it. Developers don’t target Firefox because it isn’t quite there.

                                                                        I understand and agree with your point, but this isn’t really something Mozilla can do much about (other than actually gaining back market share).

                                                                      2. 4

                                                                        I’ve tried to adopt Firefox seriously many times over the years, but every time the support for multi-user didn’t cut it for me.

                                                                        I maintain two profiles in Chrome, a professional and a personal one. I’ve tried to replicate it with Firefox profiles, then later with containers, but the UX is not fitting my use case.

                                                                        1. 2

                                                                          Firefox lacks Chrome’s --app switch for example. That launches a window without the tab bar and the URL bar (essentially, only a webview). It’s super-sweet. Firefox does not support it out of the box, and all solutions I found involved setting up a separate profile. Chrome allows me to have these “apps” in the same profile, so they have access to the same extensions, I can open tabs from them, in my main browser window.

                                                                          It’s a stupidly powerful feature if you have a few webapps you want to treat as apps instead of tabs.

                                                                          1. 12

                                                                            That sounds like a very very specific feature though, that maybe 1% of the people might use.

                                                                            For the rest, Firefox is a perfectly good browser which (so far) seems to follow better privacy practices than Chrome.

                                                                            1. 2

                                                                              That sounds like a very very specific feature though, that maybe 1% of the people might use.

                                                                              You’d be surprised how many people use this. Makes it so much easier to use a website as an app, and unlike the common Electron apps, allows one to use extensions with it. But even if only 1% used it, for that 1%, Firefox is not quite there.

                                                                              Also, Electron. Tons of stuff is built on it, and it uses Chrome under the hood.

                                                                              Firefox is a perfectly good browser which (so far) seems to follow better privacy practices than Chrome.

                                                                              Yeah, like those experiments, or DNS-over-HTTPS which sends all DNS requests to Cloudflare. Or the integrated Pocket. Those might spy on me less, but it’s only marginally better.

                                                                              1. 2

                                                                                I hope for your sake that it’s way more than 1% usage. Google has a history of removing features that not many people use [1].

                                                                                [1] I still prefer using Google Maps over anyone else but over time, I’ve had features I use removed due to lack of utilization. It’s annoying. Second only to the UI constantly changing.

                                                                                1. 1

                                                                                  I believe a place that chrome apps are more commonly used is enterprise. It basically gives an easy way to put your internal CRUD webapp on the start menu with an icon and if you use the extended support some additional features. I suspect this is what keeps –app alive more than the at-home users use of it.

                                                                                  I have seen orgs with 30+ “chrome apps” in the default image. Actually probably the biggest category of apps on those deploys. Nevermind of course Chromebooks.

                                                                                2. 1

                                                                                  But even if only 1% used it, for that 1%, Firefox is not quite there.

                                                                                  That’s nonsense. 1% might use it, and that’s probably an overestimate. For how many of them is it a dealbreaker? Even fewer. Probably far fewer. It’s a really insignificant feature.

                                                                                  Yeah, like those experiments

                                                                                  I don’t know what this means, could you elaborate?

                                                                                  or DNS-over-HTTPS which sends all DNS requests to Cloudflare.

                                                                                  DNS-over-HTTPS does not send all DNS requests to Cloudflare, and even if it did it would still be more secure than insecure DNS which sends all DNS requests to anyone listening, including Cloudflare if they wanted to.

                                                                                  Or the integrated Pocket.

                                                                                  Don’t like it? Don’t use it. I fail to see how this is ‘spying’ on you.

                                                                                  1. 0

                                                                                    It’s a really insignificant feature.

                                                                                    For you, yes. For me, it is essential. It doesn’t matter how many use it, for those who do, Firefox is not quite there. For everyone else, it might be, good for them.

                                                                                    I don’t know what this means, could you elaborate?

                                                                                    Look for Firefox studies. Granted, you have to opt in to them right now (like you used to be able to opt in to logging into Chrome), but then you’re opting in to pretty much all studies. This is just a step away from what Chrome’s doing now, and sending your browsing data to third parties, disguised as studies is even less honest.

                                                                                    DNS-over-HTTPS does not send all DNS requests to Cloudflare, and even if it did it would still be more secure than insecure DNS which sends all DNS requests to anyone listening, including Cloudflare if they wanted to.

                                                                                    Err, yes, it does send all DNS requests originating from Firefox through Cloudflare. It does fall back to regular DNS, but if enabled, it first goes through them. Not saying I trust my ISPs DNS servers, but I do trust my ISP to be far less competent at mining my data than Cloudflare.

                                                                                    1. 2

                                                                                      Firefox studies are completely opt-in. They’re in an options window most people apparently never open. To compare this to Google forcing you to send them all your browsing data if you so much as log into GMail through their browser is ridiculous.

                                                                                      DNS over HTTPS

                                                                                      Doesn’t even look like this is out of nightly, it’s a feature you have to enable through the about:config page… I mean come on man, you cannot seriously be arguing this is a breach of privacy. They’re both completely opt-in.

                                                                                      DNS over HTTPS sends your DNS traffic to a DNS-over-HTTPS provider. I’m sure it’s possible to change which provider it is. I wouldn’t be surprised if Google switched DNS in Chrome to go to 8.8.8.8 by default anyway. Certainly they widely encourage people to do so without telling them that this gives Google again all their browsing history, and more besides.

                                                                                      1. 1
                                                                                        1. 1

                                                                                          Firefox studies are completely opt-in

                                                                                          So was Chrome’s login until recently. I’m not going to trust a for-profit corporation to respect my privacy forever. Especially when those studies are marketed as harmless things, yet, send a whole lot of data to third parties (not even to Mozilla, but third parties).

                                                                                          I’m sure it’s possible to change which provider it is

                                                                                          It is, but there are currently two public DNS-over-HTTPS providers: Cloudflare and Google. Yay. You can run your own, yes, but not even 0.1% of users will ever do that. Besides you can also disable Chrome’s login thing if you really want to, with a flag: go to chrome://flags/#account-consistency, and set it to disabled.

                                                                                          It’s an internal flag, and may or may not go away, but for the moment, it gets the job done, and I get to keep –app too.

                                                                                          1. 1

                                                                                            So was Chrome’s login until recently.

                                                                                            It isn’t now. Now is what matters.

                                                                                            I’m not going to trust a for-profit corporation to respect my privacy forever.

                                                                                            Then why are you trusting Google to respect your privacy, given that they have never done so and Mozilla have nearly always done so. Mozilla has always acted in good faith wrt. privacy. Google has not. Yet you defend Google and attack Mozilla. Why?

                                                                                            Especially when those studies are marketed as harmless things, yet, send a whole lot of data to third parties (not even to Mozilla, but third parties).

                                                                                            So don’t enable them then. They’re completely optional and opt-in. I don’t understand why you think being able to opt into something is anywhere near comparable to being forced to give data.

                                                                                            It is, but there are currently two public DNS-over-HTTPS providers: Cloudflare and Google. Yay. You can run your own, yes, but not even 0.1% of users will ever do that.

                                                                                            So don’t enable it then. How is it Mozilla’s fault there aren’t more DNS-over-HTTPS providers? Get your ISP to provide it.

                                                                                            Besides you can also disable Chrome’s login thing if you really want to, with a flag: go to chrome://flags/#account-consistency, and set it to disabled.

                                                                                            It’s opt-out, in other words. Opt-out = might as well be mandatory for most users. On the other hand, opt-in = might as well not exist for most users. Most users are never ever going to enable anything opt-in and never ever going to disable anything opt-out.

                                                                                            It’s an internal flag, and may or may not go away, but for the moment, it gets the job done, and I get to keep –app too.

                                                                                            I’ve already explained how you can get the same functionality as --app in Firefox: go fullscreen, disable toolbars.

                                                                                            1. 1

                                                                                              Now is what matters.

                                                                                              Now I can disable the sign-off in Chrome and Chromium. Chromium doesn’t send my data to Google. They both support the feature I want. If now is all that matters, then there is zero argument in favour of Firefox, as Chromium does precisely what I want, and am already using it.

                                                                                              Thank you.

                                                                                3. 3

                                                                                  Firefox and Chrome have different sets of features. They overlap significantly but not exactly. It’s easy to cherry-pick features either of them have that the other doesn’t. That doesn’t mean that Firefox isn’t a perfectly acceptable replacement for Chrome.

                                                                                  I have no clue why you’d want to launch a window without a tab bar and URL bar. Oh no, a couple of bars at the top of my screen, that’s far worse than sending all my browsing history to Google.

                                                                                  1. 1

                                                                                    That doesn’t mean that Firefox isn’t a perfectly acceptable replacement for Chrome.

                                                                                    It is, if you don’t need the features it does not have. If you do, it is a deal breaker. (No size fits all and all that)

                                                                                    I have no clue why you’d want to launch a window without a tab bar and URL bar.

                                                                                    And I have no clue why you’d want to launch more than one browser window with tab and URL bars. But, to illustrate: I have two screens, and on my secondary, I have Mastodon & Discord open, in a frame-less chrome window. Whatever link I click there, if it leads away from the domain, it opens in a new tab. I never leave the “app” itself. Why would I need a tab and an URL bar there? Those just make it too easy to navigate away. Not having them removes that problem, and also makes them look almost like a native app, which is great.

                                                                                    Small thing, yes, but so convenient that I’d rather patch Chrome to remove the login requirement than to figure out how to do the same with firefox. The former is considerably easier.

                                                                                    If you don’t need this feature, sure, use Firefox or whatever.

                                                                                    (Note: I’m not saying Chrome is better. It isn’t. I’m saying Firefox lacks useful features Chrome has, and as such, is not quite there for those of us who want those features. I’d love to switch way from Chrome, but haven’t found a browser that supports the extensions I use, and app windows. As soon as I find one, I’ll be jumping ship. I’m pretty sure it won’t be Firefox though.)

                                                                                    1. 2

                                                                                      FF actually had the “apps” feature before Chrome even was released.

                                                                                      Sadly it was killed off.

                                                                                      1. 1

                                                                                        Yeah, I remembered Firefox having it, and arrived at the same page, and was even more disappointed :/

                                                                                        Mind you, Prism isn’t the same - it’s separate from the main browser, chrome’s –app is not (and that’s the great thing about it; I can get the separate think with Firefox with a kiosk add-on, but that’s not what I’m aiming for).

                                                                                        1. 1

                                                                                          It actually felt very similar, I would go so far as to say most of the way Chrome’s –app was inspired by the Prism extension. It used the same core in a different XULrunner and could be created just like you do in Chrome from the menu. Created desktop icons, had unique window idents, the whole deal. It had to be a bit more separate because back then there wasn’t process isolation per tab in FF, and one of prisms major goals was to avoid crashing the main browser.

                                                                                      2. 0

                                                                                        In Firefox in full screen mode you can hide toolbars (includes URL bar and tab bar). I use this to watch full screen videos sometimes. You don’t have to have it actually covering your full screen either, if you use a proper window manager like dwm that can resize windows that ask to be fullscreen.

                                                                                        I really mean no offence when I say this, but your argument is bad. You can’t have everything you want. If you prioritise ‘app windows’ over security and privacy that’s your call, of course, but it’s a bad argument to claim that Firefox isn’t a satisfactory replacement for Chrome because it doesn’t have ‘app windows’. By that logic, Chrome is a wholly unsatisfactory replacement for Firefox, for the reason that it’s insecure crap that gives all my browsing data to Google…

                                                                                        1. 1

                                                                                          You just said they made a bad argument… then in literally the next sentence admitted that for their requirements it was a good argument… they DO prioritize ‘app windows’.

                                                                                          Their argument was simply that it isn’t a “perfectly acceptable replacement” within the requirements they laid forth of “having app window support”. This makes their argument well reasoned and coherent. If you want to attack one of their premises, you can do that – but that is another argument.

                                                                                          You then go on to attack the premise and claim their requirement is not an actual requirement, and can be replaced with some set of outside tooling. I don’t believe you proved your case on that front based on the short point you made about dwn. They referenced other features as well.

                                                                                          I personally have unsuccessfully tried to replace chrome apps a number of times with FF or even other browsers. I never got it working the way I wanted it – window identification issues mostly, and in a few cases webapps not playing well with being forcefully resized. So currently I use chrome only for these “apps” and I use FF as my primary browser.

                                                                                          As for Chrome not being a satisfactory replacement for FF for you – that also seems to be true. With your implied premise of being opposed to Google’s data collection practices, obviously Chrome is unacceptable for you. That argument is also coherent with those premises. I won’t say you have a “bad argument” because within the premises you implied, it is a good one. You value different things – neither argument is bad or wrong.

                                                                                          1. 1

                                                                                            In short: their argument was a response to a question asking why Firefox was not generally suitable as a replacement for Chrome. In that context it’s bad.

                                                                                            1. 0

                                                                                              That doesn’t mean that Firefox isn’t a perfectly acceptable replacement for Chrome.

                                                                                              Your high bar of “perfectly acceptable” was simply not met. It lacks features the poster needs. If you claim features don’t matter then what does exactly?

                                                                                              1. 1

                                                                                                In short: their argument was a response to a question asking why Firefox was not generally suitable as a replacement for Chrome. In that context it’s bad.

                                                                                          2. 1

                                                                                            But I don’t run those windows full screen - they’re clamped to a screen half, so fullscreen is not an option. Been there, tried it. I could change my WM, but that’s another workaround that doesn’t work, because then I’d have to switch to one that can resize fullscreen apps, and still do everything my current one does. No thanks. I’ll patch the login stuff out of Chrome instead.

                                                                                            And yes, Chrome is crap. But I can work around its most recent stupid far more easily than I can add app windows to Firefox. So Chrome is still a better browser for me, unfortunately.

                                                                                            Again, I’m not saying Firefox is not a satisfactory replacement for most people. I’m saying it is not suitable for me, that there are things in Chrome that Firefox does not have, yet, people depend on, and for those people, Firefox is not quite there yet.

                                                                                            1. 0

                                                                                              But I don’t run those windows full screen - they’re clamped to a screen half, so fullscreen is not an option. Been there, tried it. I could change my WM, but that’s another workaround that doesn’t work, because then I’d have to switch to one that can resize fullscreen apps, and still do everything my current one does. No thanks. I’ll patch the login stuff out of Chrome instead.

                                                                                              So in other words the problem is that you’re using a crap window manager. How is that Firefox’s fault? You choose to use a crap WM, that’s fine, but don’t go around threads about browsers crapping on Firefox just because you make poor choices elsewhere in your setup.

                                                                                              You can’t patch anything out of Chrome. Doesn’t work like that. You can patch Chromium, but Chromium isn’t Chrome.

                                                                                              And yes, Chrome is crap. But I can work around its most recent stupid far more easily than I can add app windows to Firefox. So Chrome is still a better browser for me, unfortunately.

                                                                                              No, you cannot work around Chrome sending all your browsing data to Google. Chrome is built from the ground up to send your browsing data to Google. It’s untrusted proprietary software. You cannot work around that.

                                                                                              Again, I’m not saying Firefox is not a satisfactory replacement for most people. I’m saying it is not suitable for me, that there are things in Chrome that Firefox does not have, yet, people depend on, and for those people, Firefox is not quite there yet.

                                                                                              You were defending the comment that said ‘It’s all easy to tell people to switch from X to Y (browser, OS, antivirus, etc.) but you can’t just go preaching when the alternatives aren’t quite the same. Sure you have Firefox (or any other flavour) and while I’d love to fully switch, it isn’t quite there yet.’ I’m sorry, but that’s a broad statement about Firefox that suggests it’s missing important core browsing features. Not that it’s missing some tiny obscure feature you personally use but which most people have never heard of and wouldn’t want anyway.

                                                                                              (and which you can emulate in Firefox if you use a decent window manager)

                                                                                              1. 2

                                                                                                So in other words the problem is that you’re using a crap window manager.

                                                                                                No, my problem is that Firefox does not implement a feature I use. My window manager is fine, thank you very much. That fact that the only way to make an app emulate a feature I use is to work it around in WM, by ignoring a full screen request and doing something else is not a solution. That is a crude hack.

                                                                                                You can’t just go around telling people “Go use a different browser and a different WM”. That’s about the same level of good advice as “Tired of systemd? Just go use OpenBSD!”. It doesn’t work like that.

                                                                                                You can patch Chromium, but Chromium isn’t Chrome.

                                                                                                Yeah, but I can patch it out from Chromium. Or disable with a flag. And still keep –app, and won’t have to switch to a whole new WM. If I used firefox, my task would be a whole lot harder.

                                                                                                You were defending the comment that said ‘It’s all easy to tell people to switch from X to Y (browser, OS, antivirus, etc.) but you can’t just go preaching when the alternatives aren’t quite the same. Sure you have Firefox (or any other flavour) and while I’d love to fully switch, it isn’t quite there yet.’

                                                                                                And I stand by my defense: you can’t tell people to change, when the alternatives lack important features. It just happens YOU don’t consider the same features important. I’ll give you an analogy:

                                                                                                • I’m tired of systemd, for reason X.
                                                                                                • Use OpenBSD.
                                                                                                • But OpenBSD does not support my hardware.
                                                                                                • It is your fault for making poor hardware choices, it is easy to run OpenBSD on proper hardware.

                                                                                                That’s how you sound like now.

                                                                                                1. 2

                                                                                                  No, my problem is that Firefox does not implement a feature I use. My window manager is fine, thank you very much. That fact that the only way to make an app emulate a feature I use is to work it around in WM, by ignoring a full screen request and doing something else is not a solution. That is a crude hack.

                                                                                                  It’s not a crude hack. It’s a normal expected feature of any window manager: to be able to resize windows.

                                                                                                  1. 1

                                                                                                    It’s not a crude hack. It’s a normal expected feature of any window manager: to be able to resize windows.

                                                                                                    Not fullscreen ones. Very few can resize those.

                                                                                                    1. 1

                                                                                                      Most window managers are bad, I guess. Most things are bad.

                                                                                      3. 1

                                                                                        How do you use this feature? It sounds interesting, but it’s never occurred to me. When you say ‘webapps’, do you mean browser extensions or things that would ordinarily be packaged as android/iOS apps? Or something else entirely?

                                                                                        1. 4

                                                                                          It is even simpler than you are thinking. Basically when you create a “app” out of a website what happens is you get a shortcut that does the following:

                                                                                          • opens a browser instance with no browser ui components, it is just the page loaded in a window.
                                                                                          • gives that window a custom id (so your window manager can tell it apart from other windows for rules and such)
                                                                                          • gives it a taskbar entry
                                                                                          • gives it an icon
                                                                                          • puts a link to it in your menu system if supported
                                                                                          • puts a link to it on your desktop if supported

                                                                                          I use a ton of them, right now I am running in “app” mode:

                                                                                          • IRCCloud
                                                                                          • WhatsApp Web
                                                                                          • Google Keep
                                                                                          • Google Music
                                                                                          • Fastmail Inbox
                                                                                          • Pocketcasts
                                                                                          • Todoist
                                                                                          • Trello
                                                                                          • Tweetdeck
                                                                                          • Dungeon Crawl Web Tiles
                                                                                          • Youtube.TV

                                                                                          I run these as “apps” because I have rules that put them on certain desktops or monitors, and I like them having their own taskbar entries.


                                                                                          I actually use Firefox as my main browser – and one of my annoyances with you these chrome “apps” is that if I click a link from like IRCCloud – it always opens in chrome because well – it is already IN chrome. I wish I could set them up to use the system default browser.

                                                                                          1. 2

                                                                                            The latter, things that would be packaged as android/ios/electron apps. I use slack, discord, mastodon like this, because I want them always-on, without accidentally navigating away, but links still opening in my main window (on another screen), and with my extensions available so I can tweak my experience, block trackers, and so on. Since I want these always on, and separate from my main browser, there is zero purpose for a tab or url bar on them. They feel much more like an app than a browser window would, yet, I have more control than if I ran a (non-free, usually) native app.

                                                                                            1. 1

                                                                                              I segregate websites that are not good actors but that I still use (Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram) using single-site browsers, via Fluid. Fluid uses a completely different local storage instance for every “app” you create, so you don’t have to worry about being tracked around. This allows me to ratchet up the level of privacy I ask for from my browser without worrying about breaking functionality on those web “apps” I use.

                                                                                              As much as I despise it, this is also why I use the Electron versions of Spotify and Slack.

                                                                                          2. 1

                                                                                            I was going to say the memory footprint and its overall smoothness but I don’t have data to back that up, so it’s just a feeling.

                                                                                            I try to go back to FF out of principle but I guess there is something in Chrome which keeps winning me over.

                                                                                          3. 1

                                                                                            Of course Firefox is “there”; it’s been “there” for longer than Chrome’s even existed.

                                                                                            1. 1

                                                                                              make better alternatives to cover the general use case and people WILL switch (because their “techy” friend installs it for them)

                                                                                              This strategy has never worked.

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                                                                                              I’m surprised to see that Go rated only 3/5 for simplicity. It’s far simpler than modern Java! Just consider how few concepts it has and that they’re all orthogonal to each other so you need not learn about those you don’t use.

                                                                                              1. 9

                                                                                                And bus factor for Go should be 5/5. It’s used a bit everywhere at Google and by all kind of large projects outside, so it’s there to stay for many, many years.

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                                                                                                  A corporate google mandate could also kill the whole project at any time if they invented something much better. It may not die immediately, but I’m pretty sure they could kill it far more easily than C could be killed. One problem is a scale of 1-5 doesn’t have good resolution :)

                                                                                                  1. 6

                                                                                                    I don’t see how a corporate Google mandate would kill off Go. I could see it removing Go’s google contributions, in the worst case, but the code is open source, and there are a lot of outside companies that use Go, and several of them have implemented other languages in it (at least 2 separate Lua implementations and 1 Lisp come to mind). and Go gets a decent amount of outside developers working on it.

                                                                                                    At this point, Go’s use outside of Google is enough to keep it going should Google suddenly lose interest in it. But given that Go is used a lot inside Google, to the point that there exists a cross compiler from Python to Go, a sudden loss of interest from Google would be a very unlikely event. Dart, a language that is far less popular, is still quite alive and kicking at Google, on the basis of their Ads team using it, even though it has had a much harder time getting adopted outside of Google.

                                                                                                    I don’t think Go is going anywhere soon. I’d personally give it a 4.5/5, if C is the 5/5.

                                                                                                    1. 1

                                                                                                      I very much agree. I am making plans on how to leave the Google ecosystem for emails. Last week they killed Google Inbox (announced plans to do so very soon), and I loved that product very much. I wouldn’t be surprised if Gmail gets killed too. And the same could happen to Go language.

                                                                                                      Inbox wasn’t a less-popular product by any means, and still it got killed.

                                                                                                  2. 1

                                                                                                    I may be accidentally judging on the fact that my old job used an outdated version of java to support the old code. Modern java must be a different story for some things.

                                                                                                  1. 3

                                                                                                    For the rare occasions I need a three way diff, I use Beyond Compare, which does a very good job and can also compare other things (directories, pictures, hex data, etc.).

                                                                                                    1. 2

                                                                                                      I agree that we should be more conscious about our personal privacy and a return to the pseudonyms of the early internet can only be a good thing for that cause.

                                                                                                      1. 2

                                                                                                        Just like in real life you can use your real name while preserving your personal privacy.

                                                                                                      1. 1

                                                                                                        Having a successful open source project is a good thing and there’s no need to hide your real name, however it seems that, in case of OP, things got too personal or he got too involved in his projects.

                                                                                                        In my opinion, it’s better to keep some distance and to keep things technical. Basically focus on what you’d like to improve and don’t argue too much with other users or contributors, unless it’s absolutely necessary (to keep the project running for instance, but most of the time arguing on the internet is a waste of time and energy).

                                                                                                        1. 1

                                                                                                          What about people who take sides in the master/slave debate? Arguably still technical, but it does have political ramifications. It has become very difficult, in the information age, to have private, political, and workplace personas.

                                                                                                        1. 1

                                                                                                          I read the “Work begins” post but couldn’t find much info on how it’s going to be implemented. Data deduplication along with client-side encryption is hard and I’m curious how this will be solved.

                                                                                                          1. 3

                                                                                                            Sure, I will write up and post on lobste.rs, it might be generally interesting for people even if the project doesn’t complete soon.

                                                                                                              1. 1

                                                                                                                Wow none of those are what I had in mind (I think). Interesting…

                                                                                                            1. 1

                                                                                                              Hopefully this explains some of it… https://packnback.github.io/blog/dedup_and_encryption/

                                                                                                            1. 3

                                                                                                              This seems to be a trend with major browsers recently — I definitely take issue with it, but I’m guessing there’s some rationale behind the decisions.

                                                                                                              1. 9

                                                                                                                Because URLs are hard to understand, apparently: https://www.wired.com/story/google-wants-to-kill-the-url/

                                                                                                                1. 7

                                                                                                                  I don’t think URLs are working as a good way to convey site identity

                                                                                                                  That’s because they are supposed to convey a location, not an identity.

                                                                                                                  But it’s important we do something, because everyone is unsatisfied by URLs

                                                                                                                  Who’s “everyone”? Never heard anybody say they were unsatisfied with URLs. Typical google-speak where they claim they are working for the greater good, while they are simply trying to twist the web to make it easier for their algorithms to process.

                                                                                                                  1. 7

                                                                                                                    That’s because they are supposed to convey a location, not an identity.

                                                                                                                    A URL is a URI, so they are definitely also identifiers.

                                                                                                                    1. 6

                                                                                                                      Who’s “everyone”?

                                                                                                                      I’m pretty sure the numbers speak loud enough about people not understanding URLs or its shortcoming only with all the successful phishing going around and all the confusion about the meaning of the padlock (Could be argued this is not an URL issue, but IMO still relies on the user understanding what is a domain).

                                                                                                                      Domain and URLs should be abstracted away to the average user. The user wants to go on Facebook or Google, not https://facebook.com or https://google.com.

                                                                                                                  2. 5

                                                                                                                    I prefer what a lot of browsers do where they gray out most of the URL and show the domain name in full white/black

                                                                                                                  1. 34

                                                                                                                    I’m impressed by the lack of testing for this “feature”. It may have a huge impact for end users, but they have managed it to ship with noob errors like the following:

                                                                                                                    Why is www hidden twice if the domain is “www.www.2ld.tld”?

                                                                                                                    Who in their right mind misses that, and how on Earth wasn’t it caught at some point before it made it to the stable branch?

                                                                                                                    1. 11

                                                                                                                      url = url.replace(/www/g, '') - job well done!

                                                                                                                      1. 21

                                                                                                                        Worse

                                                                                                                        What’s really eye-opening is that comment just below wrapped in the pre-processor flag! Stunning.

                                                                                                                        1. 9

                                                                                                                          Wow, so whoever controls www.com can disguise as any .com page ever? And, as long as it’s served with HTTPS, it’ll be “secure”? That’s amazing.

                                                                                                                          1. 5
                                                                                                                            1. 5

                                                                                                                              Not just .com. On any TLD so you could have lobster.www.rs

                                                                                                                            2. 3

                                                                                                                              If I may ask, how is this worse than url = url.replace(/www/g, '')? If anything, the current implementation use a proper tokenizer to search and replace instead of a naive string replace.

                                                                                                                              1. 2

                                                                                                                                That’s just my hyperbole.

                                                                                                                          2. 10

                                                                                                                            Right, the amateurishness of Google here is stunning. You’d think with their famed interview process they’d do better than this.

                                                                                                                            On a tangential rant, one astonishing phenomenon is the helplessness of tech companies with multibillion capitalizations on relatively simple things like weeding out obvious bots or fixing the ridiculousness of their recommendation engines. This suggests a major internal dysfunction.

                                                                                                                            1. 14

                                                                                                                              To continue off on the tangent, it sounds like the classic problem with any institution when it reaches a certain size. No matter which type (public, private, government…), at some point the managerial overhead becomes too great and the product begins to suffer.

                                                                                                                              Google used to have a great search engine. It might even still be great for the casual IT user, but the signal-to-noise ratio has tanked completely within the past ~2 years. Almost all of my searches are now made on DuckDuckGo and it’s becoming increasingly rare that I even try Google, and when I do it’s mostly an exercise in frustration and I spend the first 3-4 searches on quoting and changing words to get proper results.

                                                                                                                              1. 5

                                                                                                                                Large institutions collapsing under their own managerial weight is more of a ‘feature’ in this case.

                                                                                                                                1. 1

                                                                                                                                  What are a few examples of queries for which DDG produces better results than Google?

                                                                                                                                  1. 2

                                                                                                                                    I’m not able to rattle off any examples, sorry. I’ll try to keep it in mind and post an example or two, but don’t hold your breath :)

                                                                                                                                    I’ve been using DDG as my primary search engine for 2-3-4 years now, and have tried to avoid Google more and more in that same time frame. This also means that all the benefits of Google having a full profile on me are missing from the equation, and I don’t doubt that explains a lot of the misery I experience in my Google searches. However, I treat DDG the same and they still manage to provide me with better search results than Google…

                                                                                                                                    In general every search that includes one or more common words tend to be worse on Google. It seems to me that Google tries to “guess” the intent of the user way too much. I don’t want a “natural language” search engine, I want a search engine that searches for the words I type into the search field, no matter how much they seem like misspellings.

                                                                                                                            1. 9

                                                                                                                              You either use an existing framework, or you end up re-inventing one… poorly.

                                                                                                                              1. 6

                                                                                                                                I’ve yet to see a web framework I truly enjoy using. Most of them don’t even try to tame the incidental complexity of the web, preferring to heap on even more. I think this is because the type of people that make web frameworks often love the web to the point where they’re blind to the incidental complexity.

                                                                                                                                These frameworks seem to take special delight in taking over every aspect of your application, because ‘convention.’ Apparently, one of the greatest evils of software development is that there is no standard directory for models unless we institute The Right Way. Meanwhile, massive coupling makes testing difficult, causing years of “Fast tests using this one weird trick” presentations continue to be given.

                                                                                                                                The best libraries are the ones you can lock away somewhere and forget about.

                                                                                                                                1. 1

                                                                                                                                  Enjoyability seems to me to be a bad criterion to judge a tool on. I may enjoy one hammer more than another, but I still need to use specific ones for specific tasks and the ones I enjoy less are no less functional and suitable.

                                                                                                                                  I don’t think the remainder of your post depends on your remark about ‘enjoying’ a web framework, which I feel is extra evidence for that not mattering.

                                                                                                                                  1. 3

                                                                                                                                    Enjoyability seems to me to be a bad criterion to judge a tool on.

                                                                                                                                    Also “Enjoyability” is based on what timeline you measure it on. If you measure it based on day 1 enjoyability, day 100 enjoyability or day 1000 enjoyability. Stuff like unit testing and fuzzing might not be very enjoyable on day 1 – might be far more enjoyable on day 100 and put you a state of absolute bliss with same testing and fuzzing on day 1000.

                                                                                                                                  2. 0

                                                                                                                                    Of course web frameworks are not optimal. However, I take the leaky abstraction here and there any time over the mess I have seen with non-framework code. I did Python starting with Python 2.3 which was released in the early 2000s. Back then, I didn’t do Python web development much, yet every now and then I wrote something or looked at options how to do things. This was the time of mod_python and still cgi. Nowadays we have Django, Pyramids and if you feel like having a bit more freedom - Flask. I must say I wouldn’t want to go back.

                                                                                                                                    Potentially, if you have very special requirements, that actively go against the typical patterns, no framework is an option, but other wise it isn’t. at least I wouldn’t like to take over maintenance of such a codebase.

                                                                                                                                    That’s actually quite a nice indicator: “If someone would use that advice, would I like to take over maintenance of that code base?”.

                                                                                                                                1. 4

                                                                                                                                  Seems fair I guess. They probably made thousands of easy ad dollars off Nintendo’s property, so it’s normal they have a problem with this.

                                                                                                                                  1. 4

                                                                                                                                    However, is Nintendo actually making profit of the original Zelda, for example? I mean, is there a way for me as a player to get to play the original Zelda without having to search for a second hand NES and fishing for the original cartridge in flea markets? I get that is their intellectual property, but still it’s not like they still sell those games

                                                                                                                                    1. 18

                                                                                                                                      The current philosophy of the law is that Nintendo has an eternal right to tax Zelda. It was never meant to go into the public domain, will never go into the public domain, and if legislators have funny ideas about this stuff then they’ll use their billions of previous culture tax revenue to bribe (er… “lobby”) them to have the right ideas again.

                                                                                                                                      Anyone who gripes about this state of affairs is obviously a commie trying to steal from them.

                                                                                                                                      1. 2

                                                                                                                                        In my understanding, in France and probably other countries, works (not sure what, but writings and musics are included for example, probably programs/video games?) enter public domain 70 years after creator’s death.

                                                                                                                                        How can this apply to a living company?

                                                                                                                                        1. 2

                                                                                                                                          The original author(s) license (indirect in employment contract or direct via a specific one) rights to the work. The ‘death’ clause becomes really gnarly when the actual work of art is an aggregate of many copyright holders.

                                                                                                                                          This becomes more complicated as the licensing gets split up into infinitely small pieces, like “time-limited distribution within country XYZ on the media of floppy discs”. Such time-limit clauses are a probable cause when contents to whole games suddenly disappear, typically sublicensed contents like music.

                                                                                                                                          This, in turn, gets even more complicated by the notion of ‘derivative’ work; fanart or those “HD remakes” as even abstract nuances have to be considered. The stories about Sherlock Holmes are in the public domain, but certain aesthetics, like the deerstalker/pipe/… figure - are still(?) copyrighted. Defining ‘derivative’ work is complex in and of itself. For instance, Blizzard have successfully defended copyright of the linked and loaded process of the World of Warcraft client as such, in the case against certain cheat-bots - and similar shenanigans to take down open source / reversed starcraft servers.

                                                                                                                                          Then a few years pass and nobody knows who owns what or when or where, copyright trolls dive in and threaten extortion fees based on rights they don’t have. Copyright in its current form has nothing to do about the ‘artist’ and is complete, depressing, utter bullshit - It has turned into this bizarre form of mass hypnosis where everyone gets completely and thoroughly screwed.

                                                                                                                                          These aspects, when combined, is part of the reason as to why “sanctioned ROM stores” that virtual console and so on holds have very limited catalogs, the rightsholders are nowhere to be found and can’t be safely licensed.

                                                                                                                                      2. 10

                                                                                                                                        Yep, Nintendo do still sell these games, and it is possible for you to buy them. I bought one of these last week.

                                                                                                                                        https://www.nintendo.com/nes-classic/

                                                                                                                                        1. 2

                                                                                                                                          They also still sell them on the Wii U and 3DS Virtual Consoles.

                                                                                                                                          1. 1

                                                                                                                                            Oh sure, I totally forgot about those new editions, you’re right

                                                                                                                                            1. 2

                                                                                                                                              I just got a NES Classic and SNES Classic. They are pretty dope! I think that they are starting to care a lot more now that these are a thing :)

                                                                                                                                              This does, however, have the unfortunate side effect of players not being able to play their favorites unless they are one of the ~60 games on these two classic editions. So, that’s sad. :(