* Posts by SecretSonOfHG

202 posts • joined 30 Jul 2014


GitHub Codespaces: VS Code was 'designed from the get-go' for this, says Microsoft architect


Microsoft is trying to get out of their own pool of blood - by going Linux

After a few years of watching it develop (no pun intended) they have come to a point where the difficulty of setting up a machine so that it can run a development environment under Windows is an absolute nightmare and insanely difficult. Except trivial projects, all development projects have a number of dependencies. To satisfy them on Linux is just a matter of starting a few containers and/or installing a few packages. On Windows it is a crap fest of download, install, configure and bear with all the updaters that try at the same time to get your attention about an unneeded update. Not counting altering defaults that assume that they are going to be the only program/daemon running/installed on the machine. Not counting all the deprecated MS technologies that still lurk around whose dependencies have also to be satisfied, etc, etc, etc.

So in the end it is just easier to toss a Linux VM/Container that already has everything required running, won't pester you with updates, won't be broken by the next update and runs half decently in a meagre 4GB (my, how times have changed)

Red Hat’s new CEO on surviving inside Big Blue: 'We don’t participate in IBM's culture. It’s that simple'


It is the IBM PC again

A business unit that does not follow IBM bureaucracy and rules but gives them enormous advantage. Just like then, it is just a matter of time that the bean counters and bonus-chasers get hold of it and milk RedHat to its bones.

The Adobe Flash Farewell Tour 2020: LibreOffice to axe export support for .SWF in version 7


Re: "Word 2010 users should upgrade to LibreOffice."

Bah. Mom is still on 2003, the latest one before the ribbon. Runs fine under Windows 10 and shockingly fast

Web pages a little too style over substance? Behold the Windows 98 CSS file


Re: Better

Amen. I cannot understand why anoyone thinks that a user interface where actionable items that are always possible to be used are not visible by default is sensible.

Yeah, everyone now knows that such things as scroll bars or window resize handles are there if you just hover over the edges, but for the uninitiated they are simply not discoverable because they are not there.

And don't forget that there is still a large portion of the population that, at best, is used to the smartphone metaphor of a single window taking up all space and won't we able to adapt well to a desktop environment without some visual helping clues.

Oh wait, you can always dumb down the desktop interface...

SAP decides one head is better than two in a crisis, parts ways with co-CEO Jennifer Morgan


Re: Does this tell something about SAP cloud?

Glad to hear that there are al least two places where S4/HANA is actually working. But saying it anonymously does not exactly inspire confidence as a data source.

OTOH, not that my nickname provides any means of backing up my opinions either.


Does this tell something about SAP cloud?

I mean, it must have been a very close race of two train wrecks: both SAP cloud and S4/HANA are full of inflated claims and very, very short of actual successful implementations. Morgan was leading cloud business, so it may be very well the worst of the two.

At least S4/HANA taps into the core of the SAP business, which is trapping its customers into a gigantic incomprehensible platform that it theory does everything but in practice requires loads of consultancy and money to actually barely do anything at all, including myriad of satellite systems with spaghetti interfacing to support what is plainly impossible or extremely difficult to do on SAP., Which makes S4/HANA it the less likely to be the worse of the two. If you believe that my description of a SAP system is an exaggeration, please check any SAP install that has been runnig at least two years and come back with your "best practices", please.

Ah, the smells of downvotes early in the morning... please, spare yourself the "but SAP works if your change your business process to follow its ways instead of forcing SAP to adapt to your business processes" mantra. The notion of "best practices" is absurd outside legal compliance stuff because the very "best practices" for a business are those that make it thrive and survive, not something dictated by a bunch of consultants that learned how a business worked two decades ago. It was back then when people realized that there is not a single business on the planet that can comfortably adapt to SAP's idea of how a business should run. All of them need some level of customization on the SAP side to at least tolerate it.

Microsoft attempts to up its Teams game with new features while locked-down folk flock to rival Zoom... warts and all


All those billions spent in Skype

How to spend 8.5 billion dollars on something only to throw it away in a matter of less than ten years. Just when they managed to get out a half decent Linux version (half because for some reason outgoing calls have sound issues that incoming calls do not have...)

COBOL-coding volunteers sought as slammed mainframes slow New Jersey's coronavirus response


There's a rather interesting twitter thread on this

Where the chap (forgot the name) that ran the project described what happened when the state launched a project to replace these NJ systems with a single solution that managed the data previously held in a dozen of disparate systems.

In summary, they wanted to integrate all data in a single place, only to find once the project started that it was close to impossible due to huge data quality issues. Legacy apps had no data validation whatsoever in even the simplest or most crucial data points. SSNs allowed dates, simple things like gender were not validated. So no way of replacing all these with a unified system without making significant investiments in the legacy data and their ways of processing data. That meant political battles between all the different management organizations that led nowhere because it was always the other's guy fault. And yeah, why fix what is not broken (from their miopic, cost-saving, ass-preserving perspective)

All this compounded by an outsourcing partner whose program management kept punishing progress reports that were different from "all green, no issues" and firing staff that tried to raise issues.

After some time and quite a sum of money wasted (millions of dollars) the project was abandoned.

I'm sure that this story is all too familiar with many people around here.

Official: Office 365 Personal, Home axed next month... and replaced by Microsoft 365 cloud subscriptions


Orson Welles?

That invokes in my head a scene from "Citizen Kane"....


Re: Office 2007 has been serving me well for over 10 years

For me it's 2010. Astonishing how well a package that is 10 years old covers my home office needs.

Stuck inside with nothing to do? Apple fires out security fixes for iOS, macOS, wrist-puters... and something weird called iTunes for Windows


iTunes is the new Flash?

Everyone hates it, everyone can't wait for it to die. Yet there is still people using and needing it.

Asterix co-creator Albert Uderzo dies aged 92


I still have my collection from 40 years ago

And its memories still bring back a smile to my face. Thanks, Uderzo

'Azure appears to be full': UK punters complain of capacity issues on Microsoft's cloud


Who would have thought? Serverless things need to work ... servers!!!

A lot of people, even IT people, think that "serverless" is some kind of magic technology that spares you from having an actual server to execute things. Marketingspeak for "serverless" is "you don't need to pay for a server to execute this", but many people miss that part.

The shelves may be empty, but the disk is full: Not even Linux can resist the bork at times


Re: This can't be Linux

I can tell you, from first hand personal experience, that NT 4 was unable to boot with a boot disk full. Killed himself when trying to add info to its event log. That was a lot of time ago, but created a critical incident that lasted a whole day.

Perhaps they have become better with later versions... haven't had to support anything for a while, you see.

Surge in home working highlights Microsoft licensing issue: If you are not on subscription, working remotely is a premium feature


Re: Until wayland screws up Linux

Agreed, I had to give up on using Kubuntu over RDP after an afternoon of trying. Ended up using Windows instead of Linux as my RDP server....

What are those Windows 10 PCs running? Several flavours from 2019, by the looks of things


Posting from a Kubuntu install

Done in 30 minutes after hours struggling to update Windows 10 to 1903. Update starts, then fails for some reason during the boot phase, then boots again rolls back to previous version. This takes a number of very, very irritating hours and has become so irritating that I'm seriously contemplating not installing it again.

How long consumers can tolerate this degree of reliability? Seems to me that people keep running Windows today not by preference but by some means of lock-in, be it a game, a piece of HW, or some custom software. Windows has become a joke buried inside umpteen different layers of UI and OS compatibility that MS does not even try to understand anymore but instead keeps alive by piling up patches on top of patches.

MS please, do a fresh start with your OS, something like you've done with... gasp, browsers, break up compatibility and do it right.

Microsoft's Teams goes to bat for the other team with preview on Linux


There is an open source version

Not supported by MS, but it has working now Shifts, which the MS official version does not have.

Check https://github.com/IsmaelMartinez/teams-for-linux

The '$4.4m a year' bug: Chipotle online orders swallowed by JavaScript credit-card form blunder


So much web development ignorance here

Astonished by how many people blame the Chipotle devs. This is first and foremost a problem triggered when one web site uses a form field with the same name as some other form elsewhere that the user has already previosuly completed. "Elsewhere" means anywhere in the entire internet. No amount of coding on the client side can prevent autocomplete from inserting what it thinks should be there. If anyone is to blame here is the browser developers who do not honor the "do not autocomplete" DOM attributes.

True, there are things the Chipotle devs can do to at leats mitigate that, like using aonother name for the field (note that flagging to autocomplete that it should not mess with the field may result in these same "usability experts" complaining about having to type the CC expiry year all the time!) And they should do whatever it takes to streamline the customer experience. But definitely they should not get so much blame as the comments imply.

Rust in peace: Memory bugs in C and C++ code cause security issues so Microsoft is considering alternatives once again


Re: Eh?

<<There is no reason why correctly written code should run slower than buggy code>>

You miss the fact that there is no way to tell apart "correct" from "buggy" code, much less automatically. The best you can hope is to avoid operations that could make bugs become attack vectors.

And yes, as Linus said, every bug is at least a denial of service vulnerability, but let's not dive into that.

PS: please, the "but there's this and that code that has been verified" people save themselves from commenting, as there is no one able to asses that the verification is correct, see Turing, Godel, etc...

Google's Go team decides not to give it a try


Going full circle?

Excuse me but I'm a bit tired of the never ending cycle... Someone creates a language with a lot of powerful features designed to make developer lives easier. People then proceed to use those features, and unavoidably, some also abuse those features and create monsters. The next generation decides that it is better to not have these features than risk the chance of someone abusing them, so they remove them. Case in point: Rust and inheritance, and now Go

Now in a few years someone will realize the amount of extra code and effort that has to be added to Rust/Go programs to emulate those missing features, go back and add them in their next generation language. Only to have them abused and.... oh please. There is already enough experience in the usage patterns to know that the problem is most always not the language, but how the developer uses it and how change averse development can be without the right processes. Language designers: fix that, not what is not broken.

Oof, are you sure? Facing $9bn damages, Google asks Supreme Court to hear Java spat


Re: @Doug S ... Better if they refuse cert

"The other issue.. suppose they hear it and Google wins?

Now you have no protection for IP in the software industry."

No, if Google wins you have a clear and firm position on what is an interface and what can be copied or not. Like, say, an auto spares company creating parts that are plug in compatible with the original ones. Or a printer ink manufacturer creating cartridges that can be used in printers from other brands. Or a battery plug connector that can be used on many brands of batteries. Or (gasp) a power plug connector that can be used in many countries, or.... the list is endless.

The debate of whether interfaces can be subject to IP property is as young as software itself, because in the past nobody ever even thought of copyrighting the shape of shift gears, or power plugs, or the diameter of tubes, or the shape of threads on a bolt, or... anything at all.

If Oracle wins the entire software industry will flock to open specifications for everything over time, just to avoid the risk of accidentally infringing some interface IP. This will kill IP property in software, forever.

Official: IBM to gobble Red Hat for $34bn – yes, the enterprise Linux biz


RH employees will start to jump ship

As soon as they have a minimum of experience with the terrible IBM change management processes, the many layers of bureocracy and management involved and the zero or negative value they add to anything at all.

IBM is a shinking ship, the only question being how long it will take to happen. Anyone thinkin RH has any future other than languish and disappear under IBM management is dellusional. Or a IBM stock owner.

Python lovers, here's a library that will help you master AI as a newbie


Re: Yet another opportunity

"unaccountable systems with potentially far-reaching and possibly adverse effects on the public at large without having to understand the first thing about what you're doing"

Sounds like how 99% of software is created, managed and mantained

Firefighters choke on Oracle's alleged smoke-and-mirrors cloud


Re: Ahhh, the Oracle we all know and love

In my experience, limited of course to some products, MS has also used license audits -or rather the veiled threat of them- as tool to steer customers towards whatever was their sales interest at the time.

Hooray: Google App Engine finally ready for Python 3 (and PHP 7.2)


Re: Being a python developer...

"I mean who in their right minds, in the 21st century, comes up with a programming language that is whitespace / indentation sensitive."

That was my first idea when I first approached Python. However, after using it for some time I have a few answers for you: someone that perhaps weighted all the pros and cons and decided that it was much better to save time and energy spent in formatting debates in exchange of something that at least is reasonably readable? Or perhaps someone aware that the tabs vs. spaces debate was over a decade ago?

"Python is snakeoil. And much like snakeoil, it draws in far too many gullible people."

My C++ peers in the other side of the room would kill to have the degree of interactivity of the Python shell, or just being able to churn out new features at only just more than 10 times the speed we humble pythonistas do. We sometimes long for their speed of execution, but not very often. They are barely able to release something new each six months, whereas we, gullible as we are, do it each three weeks the longest.

Python has some tremendous advantages in productivity in exchange of a lack of speed and very few bad surprises. And yes, lack of native threading.

People hate hot-desking. Google thinks they’ll love hot-Chromebooking


Re: Pointless?

" the user logs on with their roaming profile and continues where they left off. apps and programs are pushed out via group policy."

That's pretty close to "grab and go", but not quite. For a start, you have your machines pre-imaged, which means someone is taking time (and money) to put your image there. Also, everyone in your environment has exactly the same client software built into the image and already installed (otherwise group policy updates will kick a series of installers) so your licensing is quite simple, and no one uses any kind of specialist software.

Your environment is likely some kind of call centre, one with very little software diversity, these kind of environment are the exception, rather than the norm.


Re: Pointless?

@ac: oh, for God's sake, don't try to sell us on that wet fantasy of Windows "grab and go" because most of use aroung here have suffered from some attempt at implementing that fantasy. In the best case "grab and go" is just a reimaging of a OS installation, followed by AD policy updates, with the associated application installs. If all goes well, after a couple of hours your "grab and go" machine will be ready to work. That is, of course, if the only local app is just a Citrix client that you use to connect to a remote desktop.

Note that having a build ready in a few hours without human intervention is still way ahead of the old days. So this is not an attack on the whole concept, but really a warning: those Windows tools don't provide for the "grab and go" experience that Google describes, where a user picks a machine and is able to get back to work in a matter of minutes, not hours or days.

IBM's Watson Health wing left looking poorly after 'massive' layoffs


I saw it coming back in 2015

When Trevor posted an article about IBM's future...


Have to say that I feel bad for beign right just because there remains some decent people at IBM that are going to ultimately lose their jobs.

IBM Australia to end on-shore software support


Re: I think IBM figured out...

Can't imagine how bad HPE and DXC service can be if IBM service is seen as superior

Accenture, Capgemini, Deloitte creating app to register 3m EU nationals living in Brexit Britain


Accenture, Capgemini and Deloitte together? Now I'm confident

This won't happen. Ever. We're safe from Brexit. Any of these three on its own is perfectly capable of screwing much simpler projects. The blaming, finger pointing and lawsuits will also provide a lot of entertainment value.

SAP Anywhere is gonna be absolutely nowhere: We're 'sunsetting' this service, biz tells punters


Missing a crucial data point: how many customers?

One feels that the number of actual, paying customers for this service is necessarily abismally small, otherwise SAP would not have cancelled it.

What's next, HANA?

Don't waste your energy on Docker, it says here – wait, that can't be right...


Next in line: virtual machines perform worse than equivalent bare metal

Scoop!!! Shock and horror!!! Who could have thought that adding abstraction layers could introduce... GASP!!! overhead!!!

This has to be investigated. And studied. And a herd of consultants will start shortly selling tools and processes to avoid this huge cost increase that all these fools using virtualization never realized before. Should we call them... ahem "server huggers"?

So few use Windows Phone, Microsoft can't be bothered: Security app is iOS, Android only


the mobile Windows team won't run up the bill too high

At this rate, it could be cheaper to take out for dinner the customer base instead of the developer team.

Watson can't cure cancer ... or all the stuff that breaks IT projects


Said it a while ago...

.... in a post related to IBM's future where someone was saying that Watson had any future beyond jeopardy contests.

"And where are the products? Watson? The perfect death trap for the risk averse IBM: no customer wants to sign off a contract where they will be footing the bill to set up an incredibly complex system with no ROI guarantees whatsoever."

Seems that IBM finally found a customer willing to fall into that death trap

It's Friday – and that means one thing: Yup, Microsoft's TypeScript 2.0 is out


Re: Strong vs static

Robert, it could be the time and day of the week (Friday afternoon), but why one would want to have static typing and weak typing in the same bag? Seems to me that if you take the extra work of telling your compiler about your types and then allowing to freely mash them would be a waste of the extra information that the type provides about what you can or can't do with an object.

Of course, all languages I know that are strongly typed have the ability to cast one type to other, but this is usually a conscious decision from the user, not something done automatically.

That didn't take long: Shareholders sue Oracle in 'fake cloud sales' row


Re: Business Opportunity for Lawyers

One day worth of profits? Will be more like one hour of profits.

Oracle pulled made-up cloud figures out of its SaaS – whistleblower


The real surprise

Is to see someone in that stratified corporate world that still keeps some decency, and good enough to be fired for it. And brave enough to challenge its employer in court.

Microsoft's Universal Windows Platform? It's an uphill battle, warns key partner



"Is it possible that Microsoft will deprecate Win32 eventually ?."

They haven't got around even running full Office on non-intel machines (see their crippled RT version) Deprecating Win32 means rewriting Office, which is their biggest cash cow. So no chance. Win32 will exist forever, or as long as there is a stand alone Office application.


Re: Microsoft needs to realise...

Upvoted. I made a similar comment two years ago and got lots of downvotes. Seems that people have finally realized that all devices having the same resources and capabilities and differ only in input methods is an absurd premise and that the "your phone is your PC" mantra is not going to happen. Unless you're writing a dumb "terminal" app which just consumes remote API calls (and the result sets are fairly small) you can't assume the same amount of memory and CPU will be usable.

Samsung: Don't install Windows 10. REALLY


Re: Samsung gets a pass, again...

Don't forget that delicate moment when owners of their high-end smart TVs were told that the built in Skype app stops working next month and their web cameras will become basically useless.


Typical Samsung

Ask Galaxy Note owners about what Android version they are using.

Shakes on a plane: How dangerous is turbulence?


Raised hands at the beginning of the video

Made me remember these kind of idiots. Those supposedly brave souls that start laughing at the first signs of turbulence and raise their hands as if they were on a roller coaster and having fun with the turbulence. They usually start joking about how the plane is shattering and try to impress their surroundings/girlfirends with anecdotes about that other flight they were long ago when things were much, much worse than now. That's usually a sign that they have not ever experienced how bad things can really get inside a plane. Because when things get really bad their hands go down, faces turn white and they stop talking and instead try to concentrate on not throwing up... which is what they usually end up doing.

GM crops are good for you and the planet, reckon boffins


Re: Genetic modification has been done since a long time ago

@AnonymousCoward: "Ever tried to cross a squid with a cat or a tomato with rice?"

You must be a geneticist if you can assure with 100% confidence that (a) no genetic material is shared between different species and (b) random mutation can't produce the same genetic material in disparate species.

I'm not a gene boffin, but from my limited knowledge, the answer to those two points I think is... yes. You don't need anyone messing up with gene sequences for those two things to happen. Let me even add, again from my possible ill informed point of view, that the current scientific consensus is that if/when those mutations happen and derive a competitive advantage to the individuals carrying them, they'll actually become dominant over time.


Genetic modification has been done since a long time ago

No sympathy for Monsanto et al, but by means of crossing species, grafting and crop selection, genetic modification has been done for centuries. This is just doing the same but faster, on an industrial scale and with more targeted goals. You can challenge the goals (e.g, limiting the crop lifetime) or the velocity with which they reach the market (asking for more controls), but if you challenge the means you're basically saying that for the last two millennia (or longer) humanity has been doing it all wrong.

Which I admit it could be the case...

Hewlett Packard Enterprise hiring temps to cover for redundancies - sources


Well deserved

Managing by moving numbers around in an Excel spreadsheet has its dangers, one of them that this little thing called "customer satisfaction" is quite hard to value, so it tends to be ignored.

So let's see the collateral damage: they'll need a cell labelled "cost of hiring temps to do the work permanents were doing" and another labelled "cost incurred by those temps making mistakes due to their lack of familiarity with customers"

Will bonuses get smaller as consequence of this? I doubt it.

At the BBC, Agile means 'making it up as we go along'


Re: At the BBC, Agile means 'making it up as we go along'

@Boltar, you not only make incorrect assumptions (software is never finished, if only because it always has bugs. Whether your customer(s) bother to ask you to fix them is another matter. Unless of course you claim to write bug-free software, in which case I'd suggest you apply for a Turing award/Nobel prize) but you're also confusing "engineering" with "development"

Going back to you analogy, I hope that you never get involved in developing a new product or device. Think going ten years back and try create a "social network" site or a site for "sharing videos" or a "100.000 node cluster to compute search results" The people building those had no idea of what the final result would look like and had to learn on the go and make changes as necessary to accomplish what they wanted. By the way, just as people developing avionics had to learn iteratively what works and what not. They took the knowledge they had and tried to apply it to the job at hand. Some if it worked, some not, and as a result they learned new ways of doing things.

All this may not apply to the article's specific topic, of course, which looks like yet another case of "big waste of money because nobody had a concrete idea of what they wanted"


Re: At the BBC, Agile means 'making it up as we go along'

"Its a well known fact that customers will always change their minds given half a chance - well you don't give them that chance. You nail down the spec BEFORE any work is done, get them to sign it off and get to work"

You are either very lucky or working in a very narrow field, health care or defense perhaps? Rest of the world experience is that if you try to nail down a spec so tightly you won't find many people willing to sign it off. And if/when they do, that only means that negotiating change costs is going to be a nightmare.

It is much better to do short iterations with something usable (even if not perfect) at the end of each cycle and allow them to tinker and change whatever they want, under the full understanding that each of these tweaks means adding cost, time or both and allow them to prioritize these changes. Yes, you may have to sacrifice architectural cohesiveness or cleanliness, but at least you're delivering something usable, and thus, able to generate some return.


Re: Shocking

"Maybe they should developed RESTful microservices implemented using component-based sub-systems on an object-oriented paradigm, hot deployed using a loosely coupled devops process on a high-availability cloud"

You're not going anywhere these days without adding BIG DATA to your buzzword set.


Re: At the BBC, Agile means 'making it up as we go along'

"Give me a waterfall any day, at least it makes people admit when they're going off track."

I can't see anything in waterfall that makes people admit they are wrong. If anything, waterfall delays the realization of what is wrong until much, much later in the cycle, when sponsors/stakeholders/whatever you want to call them start QAing the final product. At that point in time the biggest share of project resources have already been burnt and people fall to the sinking cost fallacy: it is too late to admit anything wrong.

Yeah, you can attribute that as a problem with improper design and planning. But let's face it: given enough size or complexity, most people are very poor at being able to describe something they want built in abstract terms, that's why brick and mortar architects build scale models. So what Agile does is recognize this very human trait and assume that the customer will change its mind along the way. And the sooner that happens, the better because less resources are wasted in something useless.

Don't blame this on Agile, because in these contexts Agile actually mitigates the risk. Agile may produce deliverables that are weak in some other dimensions (architecture, integration...) but if the customer focus is kept, Agile will at least deliver something useful quicker and cheaper than waterfall.

Love it or hate it, it's time for that Software Power Meeting again


Everyone knows CABs are useless at preventing issues

But how pretty CAB meeting minutes look on your SOX compliance report.



Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2020