Friday, August 29, 2008

My perl caught a bug

There were a lot of things that I could have written about this week. Like, for example, Red Hat getting p0wned. Or how freetards in Quebec want their goverment to be even more inefficient. (Does this mean now they have to come to the US to buy their copy of Windows, along with their MRI's?)


No, the fruit ripest for the picking this week is Red Hat's perl performance bug.* Long story short, it turns out that the version of Perl that RH shipped has a huge performance bug that a whole bunch of people have just been working around. There's also apparently a bug report open about this that's been around for the better part of a year. Nicolas Clark, a core perl developer, also chimes in on how Red Hat fucked up.

The bug itself is not that interesting. It's just a performance bug. Whatever, it happens. But it's everything around it that has the ever so recognizable luser stench.

First there's the bug report it self. Go ahead, read through the comments. It's full of a bunch of whiners being actively hostile in an attempt to get RH to fix the bug. Way to set an example guys. To all the companies who have yet to go deploy a public-facing bugzilla, you're effectively saying, "do this, and we will shit all over you whenever you have a bad bug." It's a really great way to show that open bug DB's can be good for companies. **

Second, it's yet another example of where access to the source code causes stupid things to happen. RH released a version of the source code that upstream never released. I guess they have the freedom to do so, in this case, this freedom wasted a bunch of time for a bunch of people.

Third, is something that the upstream developer notes this himself:

RedHat seem to have an aggressive policy of incorporating pre-release changes in their released production code. This would not be so bad if they actually communicated back with upstream (i.e. me and the other people on the perl5-porters mailing list), or demonstrated that they had sufficient in-house knowledge that they didn't need to. But evidence suggests that neither is true, certainly for
5.8.x

Just because you have the source code, doesn't mean you have the expertise to maintain it, modify it, and release it. This is one of the biggest fallacies of the open source model. Lusers always like to say that as long as they have the code, they can make it work and fix things themselves. Never do they say that as long as they have the code, they have way more opportunities to fuck things up, because they often have no idea how or why the code was written as it was. This is just another example of this. *cough* Debian *cough* SSL *cough*

* Bad week for them, I suppose.
** Not that people don't do this already on various forums and bulletin boards. But when the nastiness appears on the same company-hosted page that everyone else is going to be looking at to find a solution, it looks especially bad.

Monday, August 25, 2008

National Convention of Anarchy

What else happens every four years other than the olympics? Why, the DNC!

OMGWTF! I can't view the videos using Linux! EPIC FAIL!

Slashtards. Seriously, how do you keep doing it? How do you stay so inspired? I find myself struggling to keep up.

First of all, they do support Windows and Mac. So, that's like 99% of all computers. Why don't we first worry about the people who don't have computers, instead of worrying about the 1% of computer users who just like being fucking annoying.

But that last 1%, don't we care about them too? or wait just a second, do the Democrats not care about lusers? Could it be? Such an intelligent, polite crowd? What if they are the swing vote? Doesn't their quest for freedom synergize with the Democratic message? Don't we want them on our side?

Even though their numbers are small, they're all on the internets! And like 23 hrs a day! They could all unite behind a common cause, organize, work together, and .... oh wait. Ha ha. I get it now. They can't even do that to produce a working operating system. What makes anyone think they can do it in real life?

Yes that's right folks. Lets not kid ourselves. Linux is not a democracy. Linux is anarchy. Everyone going in their own damn directions. It's not about working together. It's about works for me! It's not Yes We Can, it's Yes I Can.

So if you guys want to create all your own rules and abide by them on your silly internet chatrooms, be my guest. Just don't come bitching when you find out that the real world doesn't really care about you.

BTW guys. A few words of advice.

You can watch the damn thing on TV. You know that thing you could watch if only your video capture card was actually supported under Linux? I hear there are like a bajillion TV-compatible devices. Why don't you go enjoy your analog hole why you still can?

Also, if you're making your political decisions based on all the contrived, sugar-coated moments that they broadcast during the conventions, you're already lost. Go read a newspaper or something. I hear there's also this globally accessible network of computers that is actually a good place to read about what the candidates really stand for.

Rants and Laughs 3

Yay, Olympics over! Burning man begins!

  • Another freetard comes around.
    Now, I know that I should have got something more compatible with the community that I’m a member of. Maybe one of those OpenMoko powered Neo FreeRunner devices or even an Ubuntu Mobile powered prototype device.

    But an iPhone it was. Why?

    Well, frankly I needed something that works today.
    And just for kicks he throws in a rant about the sound and UI library jungles.
  • A nice rant from Thiago Macieira, on Trolltech Labs.
    I have been trying for the past few days to make desktop effects work and not
    use 90% of my CPU. I am frustrated, so this blog will step on people’s toes.
    Maybe you shouldn’t read it.
    Which means you definitely should read it.
  • This dude is proud of his wife because she managed to get a machine on an encrypted wireless network. Wow, first of all, I dunno why the hell she married you when you sound so condescending. And second of all, female computer users have been accomplishing these tasks you talk about for ages using OSes that make it easy. Are you proud of all of them too? Actually, may I suggest another post about how proud you are when she successfully cooks dinner for you?
  • Apparently, perl is seriously fucked on Redhat. Go open source! Many hands to fuck shit up once again.
  • apt-get can solve sudoku?! Well, df can show you some silly math. Apparently -h not only means human readable, but also horrible arithmetic.
  • Adrian discovers IE is actually important. It's totally like one of those coming-out-of-the-basement moments. It made me cry. In pain.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Certified to suck

Hey guys. Turns out, I had the awesome privilege to look in to Linux certification this past week. You know, like how when Novell says SUSE runs well on some laptops, then, well, it should? Well, turns out they have a funny definition of "well".

So umm, lets see, say I'm looking at HP's certification page, and I decide the 6510b is the one I want. Oh, look, it's certified by Novell. But you know, I'm thorough, so let me check out the certification report.

Nice, this thing is YES CERTIFIED. Ok. So far so good. Let me take a look under the Tested Configuration spec. Desktop Effect Enabled? Yes. Cool. Power Management? Also Yes. Sweet. That means I'm set to go right?

Oh, what are these Config Notes?

1) Intel 865GM graphics needs to install seperately, please download the driver from http://forgeftp.novell.com/hp/HP-Compaq-6510b, and follow instructions 2) Suspend to disk and Suspend to RAM: Hotkey (fn+f3) does not work, however, powersave -U and powersave -u function at the command line and hibernate, sleep works when invoked from the power management icon on the gnome panel. Occasionally, the system may need a reboot when waking up 3) Same behavior as #2 is observed when Desktop Effects are enabled.


Uhh. Certifcation Fail? How the hell is this acceptable? You're telling me that you've certified a machine that, when I put to sleep, I might "Occasionally" lose my data? Great guys. You've proved to me that your definition of working "well" really means "occasionally, not at all".

And then farther down on that page, look at the driver that they used to check the video card. fbdev_drv.so? Seriously? the frame buffer driver?

YES! I'm certified to have a 1990's era desktop experience with this machine. Super Hyphy. So now, not only do I know that the experience will likely suck on this machine, I also have no idea what the hell you mean when I see all the other machines that have been certified.

I'm glad you've got all this money from Microsoft and you've decided to invent a huge system that tells me absolutely nothing. Think of all the Ximian folks that you could have paid to stay to maybe actually finish Evolution.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Flash me a clue

Idiotry at Slashdot continues.

No matter how stably, smoothly, efficiently, and correctly Linux runs on a machine, the public will continue to view it as second-rate if Flash keeps crashing. This is the worst example of being tied down and bound by a crappy 3rd-party product over which no Linux distribution has any control.


This is so typical. Without having any evidence whatsoever, lets blame the closed-sourceness of Flash for all of desktop Linux's problems.

When will you lusers fucking learn? In case you haven't noticed, users want Flash. Say it again. Users want Flash. Anything you do to make Flash not work is your fucking fault. Not Flash's. Yours. At some point in time in the past, Flash worked on Linux. In some configuration. Otherwise Adobe wouldn't have released it. Whatever you did to deviate from that configuration is your responsibility. Not Adobe's. The fact there are a bazillion Linux configurations that Adobe couldn't possibly test: OSS sound, or Alsa sound, or alsa-oss sound, or pa-alsa emulation, or pa-alsa-oss-jack-esound-vagina emulation, or all of the above inside nspluginwrapper, or whatever the fuck... it's all your fault. Not Adobe's.

I don't give a shit if Flash is the worst piece of code since Microsoft Bob. Your users want it. That's all that matters. If you ever cared about your users, you'd give them what they want. Users don't give a shit whether your browser is open source, or whether you have the latest greatest audio system with shitty emulation of the 20 audio systems that came before it.

When you guys have actually bent over backwards to make Flash work for your users, only then can you even beging to complain to Adobe about what they do to make it difficult. Right now, Linux is the making it difficult for Flash, NOT the other way around.

As if it weren't enough, the Slashdot entry finishes with:

I really do have to suspect Adobe's motivation for keeping Flash on Linux in such a deplorable state.


Are you shitting me? Yes, Adobe's spending precious developer resources to release a half-assed version of Flash just to subvert the Linux desktop. If you maybe had one more brain cell (bringing you to a grand total of one), you'd realize that it's actually beneficial to Adobe if the Linux desktop takes off. They have the only credible cross-platform rich application delivery mechanism in Flash and Flex. When Linux spreads, MS-specific technologies like Silverlight look worse and worse to developers. As diversity increases, cross-platform Flash looks increasingly appealing.

But no. You guys not only make it hard for Adobe to ship anything that works, you have to swiftboat Adobe and accuse them of subverting the cause. I hope Adobe just stops supporting Linux altogether for a year or two. Just to teach you lusers a lesson. Then you can concoct some crazy wine-based browser plugin emulation scheme to make the windows Flash run on Linux, and then write another article complaining that Adobe not open sourcing their Flash plugin makes it difficult for lusers to port it to FreeBSD or some shit.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Rants and Laughs

Olympics are still going on, and the day job is a tad busy these days (don't worry! it'll calm down soon enough). Maybe I should give it up and move back into my mom's basement and work on free software.

Anyways, looks like you guys are still finding the good stuff out there, so here's another bunch of links:


Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Bundle me this

Hey y'all. Sorry about the whole comment thing. I've decided (like many of you also have) that disqus sucks (threading seemed like a good idea, until it indented so much that you couldn't even see the messages), so let's go back to the old Blogger comments. Besides, having comments stored in a separate site is still a little weird in the web-2.0-epic-fail kinda way.

BTW, in case you've been wondering where I've been for the past few days... well, you see, there's this little thing going on called the Olympics. Oh, and if you go to the NBC site, you can use this thing called Silverlight and watch tons of footage of sports that I never got to see before. But I know you lusers can't see any of that stuff, so instead you were busy commenting away on the last post. Sounds like fun. Sorry I couldn't join you.

But really, what I wanted to talk about today is bundling. As in "shipping software with your OS", not "what you want to do with Jessica Alba".

Lusers like to always bring up the whole IE + Windows thing as an example of Micro$oft being evil. And somehow the EU caught the same mental disease and continues to go after them over a stupid media player. Those same lusers will also talk about how the latest release of their favorite distro has so much software out of the box that you don't need to install anything else.

Do you guys like being ironic? And don't even try to get me started about Apple.

The thing that everyone likes to forget in the IE 3/4/5 days when all this shit happened was that IE's (especially 4 and 5) were better browsers than what Netscape had to offer. Yes, it was ever so slightly more inconvenient to use Netscape (the huge download size of Communicator didn't help), but there was also no reason to go through the trouble.

And what do you know? When something like Firefox comes along, which is actually better than IE in many ways, people start to use it. OMFG. Shocking.

Then there was that whole bit about M$ giving IE away for free. That was what really killed Netscape, but the freetards don't really talk about that part of it now do they? Oh hellz no, they're trying to give M$ some of its own medicine. Except there's a huge difference. Microsoft had a business plan when they made that fateful decision. Give away the browser, sell the OS. Freetards on the other hand? Uhh. Uhh. Uhh. Oh! I got it, let's whore out the search bar! Yay!

Some lusers like to think it was the Mozilla folks collective business genius that made Firefox successful. Sorry to break it to you, but it was Google that figured out how to make the dough. They just happen to also realize that giving a tiny bit of it to Firefox could benefit them. FF was, as they say, just in the right place at the right time. Let's just keep things in perspective, pleez?

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Challenged

Yay. A challenge. But before I start, let me point out a few mistakes you've already made:

  1. You commented on my blog.
  2. You replied to another commenter. (Hell, even I know not to do that)
  3. You challenged me.

You know, I don't even know if I want to spend so much time on this. It looks like commenters on your blog already called you on your bullshit. There's not really much for me to add. But I'll try anyways.

I’m a system administrator, and I want to get XP and Ubuntu installed as quickly as possible on as many machines as possible. What flexibility do I have with the Windows XP Professional CD as far as meeting this need? Well, as far as I can see, I only have the CD to do the install. I have to sit through each screen by hand, clicking through the dialogs one by one until the install finishes.


Really? That's your opener? Did you even try googling for "windows automated install" before you wrote that? Hey, why not try "windows 95 automated install" for that matter. Boom. I AM feeling lucky.

Hey BTW, FYI, JIC, for your future reference, you should try googling things before you make claims like this. It turns out, Microsoft actually writes this thing called "documentation". AND it's not out of date like 10 minutes after it's written, just because someone replaced a working subsystem with something "shiny".

With Ubuntu, by default, if services are setup, they are only listening on the local interface, localhost. Coupled with AppArmor, I have a Mandatory Access Control system keeping my processes in check with my files. A default firewall is disabled, but can be enabled with the Netfilter kernel module, and built easily with the uncomplicated “ufw” command.


Wow. I have to know what a kernel module and a terminal command to set up a firewall? Can I just have XP's default firewall, which can let me pass through specific apps on-demand and in just a few clicks?

Users created on the system are not administrators, so system-wide security vulnerabilities introduced through the user and highly improbable. Antivirus software, as well as software needed to remove malware, spyware, etc. is not needed, as the security design behind the operating system does not let this software grow beyond the user’s home directory.


Thank God! My rogue script only deleted my home directory! I'm so happy it spared my /usr/lib! I just have to reinstall Ubuntu to get my home directory back, right?

With Ubuntu, OpenOffice.org is shipped and installed by default providing the employees the necessary tools to begin working. Evolution is provided for email communication, which gives me the ability to connect to POP3(s), IMAP(s) and Exchange servers. Ubuntu ships with Evince as the default PDF viewer, and a PDF “printer” is installed by default, giving me easy access to create PDFs. Three compression utilities, zip, gzip and bzip2, coupled with GNU tar, give me the ability to archive and compress anything on disk. GnuPG is installed by default for encrypting those sensitive emails. Lastly, Pidgin is my mult-protocol application for using instant messaging, giving me the ability to connect to Jabber, MSN, Yahoo, AIM, ICQ, Novell groupwise, and many, many others simultaneously. As for Windows, I have Notepad and Wordpad installed for my “word processing”. There is no spreadsheet application installed. Outlook express is available as a minimal email client. There is no PDF creator or viewer. Zip is provided for compression, but no encryption application is installed. A Windows Messenger application is installed for instant messaging. Of course, many third party utilities can meet many of these needs, but none of them are provided by default


So, out of the crapware you listed that comes with Linux, the only ones that I could possibly want are OO and pidgin, and guess what, you can get those for Windows. Yay! Zip files? Have you heard of right-click, send to compressed folder? Yay! Tar and bzip? turns out you don't need a separate archiving format and compression format if you support one that does both (zip).

But the thing you keep repeating is that none of this stuff is provided by default. Guess what? Windows lets you install 3rd party software that you download from a website. Look Ma! No compiler! Imagine that. But best of all, I don't have to update my entire distro to get Firefox 3.

I don't know why you freetards sit around optimizing installers all the time. If you had actually designed your system properly, I'd install once, like 4 years ago, and then I'd never care again. My secret theory is that it's exactly because you have a 6 month update cycle that you care so much about your sacred install time.

Let's do some math. Let's say I set up XP once 3 years ago, and never had to do any installs, and it took me like 2 hrs to get the base OS and the apps that I use. Now if I had install Ubuntu, I'd be on my 6th update, and all the package downloads and installs takes at least 30 minutes each time, plus fixing the all the shit that broke takes at least (and I'm being super generous here) 10 hrs each time, so we arrive at a grand total of 63 hrs. 63 vs 2. Awesome. Thanks for playing.

XP Professional has given me the ability to utilize the RDP protocol through remote desktop. RDP uses encryption by default, however, due to the nature of XP, I can only login via RDP when the user on the other end has logged off. XP only allows a single user logged in at any given time. Unfortunately, however, there is no scripting language provided by the operating system, so writing simple scripts to automate tasks for me is not possible.


Uhh... Remote Assistance? or install a VNC server (hey look! it's FREE!)? Dude, really, you're just starting to make yourself look bad. No scripting languages? Try googling cscript.exe. Actually, here, I'll save you a few keystrokes. Shipped in Windows 98 dude. That's like 10 years ago. Where have you been?

Honestly, I'm disappointed. I think you'll find that if you want to have a serious discussion, I'm more than willing to play along. But you have to first prove to me that you know what you are talking about. And Sir, respectfully, at this task, you have failed.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Rants and Laughs

Argh. I'm getting way behind on these things, so I'm combining the Rants and Laughs posts into one series. I can feel that we're getting closer and closer to becoming the anti-slashdot. Perhaps ~/. is an appropriate way to refer to this site.

First the rants:

Angry? Now some laughs for you to chillax:

Phewsh. That should keep you guys busy for a bit.

Monday, August 4, 2008

One bug report to rule them all

Whatup y'all. I hope I haven't worn out all those refresh buttons on your browsers. Just because I don't post for a few days, y'all want to declare the death of this blog? You wish.

Anyways, today I'm talkin' about one of the community's crown jewels: bug trackers. We've heard it all before. Open bug tracking increases collaboration, transparency, and saves lives of poor, hungry children, etc.

But guess what? take a look at the bug trackers out there. They're mostly full of hogwash. Most of the bug reports go something like this...

Johnny User writes...
Hi. I'm trying to use ellipticaljerk-0.3.2, but my speakers make a farting sound when I click the jerk button. Then it crashes. Is this a bug?

Sammy Developer writes...
Hi Johnny. The jerk button works for me.

Bug status updated: CLOSED - USER ERROR


Sally User writes...
I'm also seeing this problem. These farting noises suck.

Bug status updated: REOPENED


Sammy Developer writes...
Ok, fine. Could you give me some more information? A backtrace maybe?

Johnny User writes...
What's a backtrace?

Sammy Developer writes...
It tells me where the problem is. You need to make sure you have debugging symbols installed. Also please tell me which compiler, which glibc, and which libjerk you are using.

Johnny User writes...
What are debugging symbols? How do I figure out all this information?

Sally User writes...
Johnny, I know what Sammy is asking for. Here's the info:

gcc-4.1.3
glibc-2.5.1
libjerk-0.8a

backtrace:

:
:


Sammy User writes...
Thanks Sally. Except that I can't reproduce this bug. But I'm using glibc-2.5.2 beta and libjerk-cvs

Sally User writes...
I don't know how to use the versions you talk of. And besides, this is how it behaves on Ubuntu. I don't care about how it works on your computer. It is broken in Ubuntu Masturbating Monkey.

Joe User writes...
OMG, I'm so glad I found this report. I think I have a related problem. I'm trying to play videos using mplayer for my wife, but she farts in my face everytime I have to look at the man page to remember the options. Here's my xorg.conf. Could you help me?

:
:
(A huge long xorg.conf that makes a bug page a huge pain to navigate)
:
:


Sammy Developer writes...
Joe, you need to file a separate bug for that.

Johnny User writes...
When will this bug be fixed? I thought Open Sauce meant that if I report the bug, it'll get fixed

Sammy Developer writes...
Johnny, I can't reproduce it. Feel free to send me a patch

(a few months later) Sammy Developer writes...
Upstream libjerk-0.9 fixes this problem.

Bug status updated: FIXED


(6 months later) Johnny User writes...
I just updated to Ubuntu Naughty Nutgoblin, and this broke again...

Sammy Developer writes...
It works for me. It must be Ubuntu's fault. I don't know what patches they apply, so please file a bug with them.

Bug status updated: WON'T FIX


Joe User writes...
What about my bug? Will you please fix it? My wife is still farting at me.

Yep. That sounds about right to me. Open bug trackers are filled with so much noise that there's a constant call for "triagers", which really are zealous volunteers suckered into cleaning out the accumulated crap.* Meanwhile, all the noise hides the real issues, causes developers to get frustrated, and slows progress. It's no wonder companies rarely open up their bug trackers. If you do, you're just asking for it.

I stopped filing bugs long ago. If you're gonna ask me to do it for free, you should at least make sure it's worth my time.

Bug trackers can be useful tools to coordinate work between competent developers and testers who speak the same language, and who work within a well-design development workflow. But as a mechanism to collect problem reports from clueless non-technical users, they FAIL in the EPIC manner. So y'all need to stop acting as if an open bug tracker is some crazy new innovation that is going to make FOSS better than all other software. I bet these things slow you down as much as they help.

* by the way, the idea that just anyone can effectively triage bugs is a huge load of crap as well. Anyone who has worked at a real software company writing huge complex software will tell you the same.