* Posts by ChadF

9 posts • joined 24 Aug 2019

I love the Linux desktop, but that doesn't mean I don't see its problems all too well


" and over half-a-dozen different major ways to install software such as the Debian Package Management System (DPKG), Red Hat Package Manager (RPM), Pacman, Zypper, and all too many others. "

There has also been CPIO, TAR, ZIP, RAR and others.. but nowadays it isn't uncommon for a single tool to be able to handle most archive formats, since they are just variants of the same conceptual thing. In the same way, package files are just variations of each other, so there is little technical reason why package manages can't read each other's formats, at which case it becomes more of just a user interface difference. Ideally, they could also use the same system database format(s), so you could use them interchangeable based on personal preference the same way someone uses the text editor of choice to edit the same files (but we're not quiet there yet).

Perhaps what's really needed is a non-profit organization who's goal is to help unite various distros with common APIs, without preference to any particular distro. If being a member of such an organization can provide additional developers (or direct funding), it might encourage them to be less fragmented, or eventually merge distros once the differences become trivial.

The sad state of Linux desktop diversity: 21 environments, just 2 designs


Common Unification Needed

In recent years, I thought about how all these different toolkits might be better off if they shared a lower-level API of common operations which [mostly] all of the toolkits do under the hood. This would allow better interoperability between applications written to use different UI libraries. So a Qt based app would work transparently in a Gtk based desktop, or vice-versa. They would all so copy/paste the same way, do drag-and-drop the same way, content handling/launching the save way. Then developers could deal with their UI style and top level interface and share the effort of maintaining the common API code. At first, such an effort would just standardize the common API/features, keeping each toolkit's underlying implementation and slowing transitioning parts to shared code.

The benefits of doing this (assuming it was possible):

- Better cross-compatibility between software using differing toolkits.

- Less code duplication (of function) across toolkits.

- Easier to create new toolkits without having to reinvent everything (or fork/depending on another toolkit). Thus, more chance of innovation,

Of course, this seems unlikely to ever happen. Maybe if a couple well-used projects were willing to convert, others might follow, but still a big IF.

Apple to bin apps that go three years without updates


Imagine you have a simple and 100% finished app that does what is needed perfectly, is used by hundreds of thousands of people and doesn't need any changes.. then Apple removes your app because it "hasn't had updates". This is a sign of the stupidity in the world of software where everyone assumes something is outdated/useless if it's not constantly being changed (often in the form of bloat).. or when M$ push a new version of a product with no real new features just so they can extort more money out of customers for the sake of keeping current (before they end support for the previous version).

Microsoft: Many workers are stuck on old computers and should probably upgrade


M$ to English Translation

In other words, Microsoft, a company with so much surplus money it can buy up other companies for literally billions of dollars, wants everyone else spend their limited funds on new, overly expensive hardware (due to part shortages), so that it can run their newest [unnecessary] OS, instead of switching to more streamlined alternatives, such as Linux.

Only 'natural persons' can be recognized as patent inventors, not AI systems, US judge rules


Property Rights

Can an AI [currently] own property? No. And something which can't own property obviously can't patent something, as it gives IP ownership to the patent holder. Now maybe one day, when AIs become sentient, that may change. But for now, they don't have the cognitive requirements.

Software piracy pushes companies to be more competitive, study claims


Natural Selection

It's just simple evolutionary principles in effect. Adapt to your [changing] environment or die. For software companies, innovating is a way to adapt, rather than just trying to keep a stranglehold on their existing IP and be lazy.

GitHub's Copilot may steer you into dangerous waters about 40% of the time – study


What did they think would happen?

When M$ tried running a learning AI against social media awhile back, didn't it start mimicking all the bigotry and hate it "learned"? Why would they think this would be any better, that it would somehow, magically, only learn from the good training data?

What happens when the maintainer of a JS library downloaded 26m times a week goes to prison for killing someone with a motorbike? Core-js just found out


Bus factor

I guess this is a whole new twist on the "bus factor" (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bus_factor) when a key part of a project is only one developer deep. Only now it also applies if you're the one doing the hitting and not just the victim.

Microsoft: Reckon our code is crap? Prove it and $30k could be yours


Drop in the bucket

Only $30k? Microsoft probably spends more than that on toilet paper in the executive restrooms, each month. And is certainly cheaper than paying multiple $100k on employees/services to do the same work (most of which will result in dead ends).


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