…for their help in significantly mitigating the problems we were having with running out of memory when linking Firefox with Profile-Guided Optimization using Microsoft Visual C++. (If we’d have had to turn off PGO due to this problem, that would have made Firefox’s performance on Windows significantly worse.) Ted has the write-up.
Some things made with 3D printers could possibly be made more easily using other manufacturing methods – although printing them yourself is often more fun. But sometimes you come across something which would be fairly tricky to make otherwise, unless perhaps you had high-end equipment like a laser cutter.
Cots, in the UK at least, often have a “drop side” – a side which is normally at the standard height, but can be lowered to make it easier to insert or remove a child. The side is usually held up by some kind of safety clip at each end, such that when you raise the side, the clips automatically engage, and when you want to lower it, you need to lift the side a little and pull both clips out of the way from the outside. This prevents a child pulling off an escape :-)
One of the two cots we have used to belong to my wife’s brother. It has such clips, and long ago one of them broke. He made a flat replacement out of cut perspex, but it has also recently broken. This is a problem because our changing table fits on top of the cot, and if the sides aren’t the same height, the table can’t be used and we are having to change William and John with the mat on the floor! So I thought I’d try and print one.
As you can see from the right of the photo below, the existing clip is a rather specific shape, and would have been hard to produce by many other methods without a lot of trial and error. Many parts have to be exactly the right angle and length or it won’t open, or close, or pass the cot side, or whatever. I took a scan of the existing clip (which was a bit blurry, as the clip is not flat) and traced around it in LibreCAD. I then saved that trace as a DXF file, and wrote an OpenSCAD file to make a new clip, based on a linear extrusion of the outline, plus (on later attempts) two extra blocks for a stop and a handle. Here are my efforts:
The first was too small, the second marginally too big (and the blocks not aligned right), and the third, like Little Bear’s porridge, was just right :-) Well, it suffices anyway, although the hook could do with being 1mm smaller for easy passage of the side.
Here’s the clip in situ, supporting the side of the cot:
And this photo, beautifully modelled by my wife, shows how it fits when the side is down:
Currently, Firefox Nightly makes all plugins click-to-play. Except that it doesn’t – the latest version of Flash is exempt and I, like a good net citizen, have the latest version. I disabled Flashblock in order to test CTP… is there any way of getting CTP on ALL, as in all, plugins except by re-enabling Flashblock? Do Flashblock and CTP interact well?
People who demonstrate evil see the world as they want to see it rather than how it actually is. To maintain their version of reality, they must scapegoat others and project their own faults onto them. They must attack any and all who jeopardize their self image. All of this means that those who demonstrate evil are entirely incapable of true empathy and can be utterly destructive in their relationship with others in the name of self-preservation.
– Christie Koehler (summarising part of the message of People of the Lie, by M. Scott Peck)
It seems there is no money in the email client space.
Some of the finest minds at Mozilla were unable to make Thunderbird financially self-supporting, having tried several methods, and now an Indigogo campaign to raise $100K for the Geary email client, with support from Bytemark and CiviCRM and with publicity on TechCrunch, has not met its target (they reached just over half the total). I have no inside insight into what’s going on at Postbox, but their last major release was in November 2011, most changes since then have been bug fixes, and most of their recent blog posts have been about price reductions or ways to get it cheaper.
Is it simply that webmail is good enough for most people?
One new feature of the MPL 2.0 is that it allows you (without dual-licensing) to incorporate MPL 2.0 files into a larger project licensed under the GNU GPL or LGPL.
We’ve written a document to help developers who want to incorporate MPL 2.0 code into (L)GPL-licensed projects. It explains what to do with the boilerplate, and how best to respect the intention of upstream developers.
Niche, but useful if you’re in that niche :-)
[Update: changed links so each shows events in the office's local timezone, rather than GMT.]
Mozilla’s wonderful Workplace Resources team are maintaining public calendars for the events going on at each Mozilla Space. If you live near one of these, you might want to keep an eye on it. Each has a .ics feed linked from the bottom corner. (Note that not all these calendars may be in use yet; they are proactively created for each space as it comes into existence.)
I want to build a web-based tool to help people in Mozilla answer the question “Who Owns What?” Questions like: who’s in charge of Layout? Who runs Persona? Who do I talk to about the Thunderbird feed reader?
The data source would be the Module Owners list, which was carefully designed to be machine-readable in its source format. Compared to most databases, it’s a very small amount of data indeed.
The UI would, I hope, be a single search box, which would return one or more complete entries from the list which had a textual match, with the match highlighted.
This seems to me like it’s a very standard database-backed website, of the type that people build every day. I’m sure there are tools and frameworks out there which will do much of the heavy lifting for me, including a decent search system with some sort of intelligence to it.
Can the Mozilla community tell me what I should be using? An install of this software will need to be supported by Mozilla IT. Is Bedrock the right tool for the job?
User interface input also welcomed.
In any project that’s making active use of its bug tracker, there is always a danger of the tracker turning into a discussion forum itself, even though the mailing lists would really be better. Usually it starts off innocently enough: someone annotates an issue with, say, a proposed solution, or a partial patch. Someone else sees this, realizes there are problems with the solution, and attaches another annotation pointing out the problems. The first person responds, again by appending to the issue…and so it goes.
The problem with this is, first, that the bug tracker is a pretty cumbersome place to have a discussion, and second, that other people may not be paying attention – after all, they expect development discussion to happen on the development mailing list, so that’s where they look for it. They may not be subscribed to the issue changes list at all, and even if they are, they may not follow it very closely.
There isn’t one right answer, but there is a general principle: if you’re just adding data to an issue, then do it in the tracker, but if you’re starting a conversation, then do it on the mailing list. … To use a mathematical analogy, if the information looks like it will be quickly convergent, then put it directly in the bug tracker; if it looks like it will be divergent, then a mailing list or IRC channel would be a better place.
– Karl Fogel, Producing Open Source Software
A striking observation:
Being willing to ask probing, difficult questions about what is really working versus what just feels good is often a tough shift for organizations that are used to running on instinct and anecdote.
I recently did an interview for my church, The Crowded House in Sheffield, on my experience living as a Christian with cancer. An edited video of the interview was used as the introduction to a talk called “An Imaginary God in a Suffering World?”, which covered the question of how both Christians and non-Christians try and make sense of the existence and meaning of suffering – because it’s a difficult question wherever you stand.
You can also hear the talk which followed the video (length: about 38 minutes including Scripture readings).
[This post was pre-recorded.]
Today, March 31st, is the logical anniversary of three significant beginnings, all of which are wonderful.
Firstly, it’s the logical anniversary of the start of Mozilla. There are several significant dates here – the organization itself was created on February 23rd – but historically we have always remembered the day at the end of Code Rush, the day when the source code became available to the public – March 31st 1998, 15 years ago today. Because that’s the primary way we do what we do – we make great open source software and give it to people. And while the software that was released that day may not have been great in many ways (we threw a lot of it out some time later), it had the seeds of greatness within it. We’ve come a long way from there to Firefox OS, and we should pause and recognise our achievement.
Secondly, it’s the logical anniversary of my engagement to Ruth – a seed which has flowered into a happy marriage and two lovely sons. We got engaged on Easter Sunday 2010 (which, that year, was 4th April) and so we like to celebrate at Easter each year.
And no post about today would be complete without recognising that Easter Day is, of course, the logical anniversary of the day Jesus rose from the dead. The Easter story is how he does what he does – he provides salvation, hope and joy for all who come to him, by dying in their place and rising from the dead, conquering death. In doing so he also planted a seed, which has now grown into a worldwide church, hundreds of millions strong.
So all in all, a great day, and hopefully one which will be marked by peace and harmony. Happy Easter!
Mozilla recently joined OASIS, in order to take part in some work on the PKCS#11 cryptography standard which is being hosted there. So if any Mozillian has an interest in anything else OASIS are doing, we now have the capability to get you involved.
So if we roll with it, and take our time, then we’ll live forever. After all, it’s our wonderwall.
There will be no explosion when forums reach [a] breaking point. There is just a quiet negative feedback effect: people unsubscribe from the lists, or leave the IRC channel, or at any rate stop bothering to ask questions, because they can see they won’t be heard in all the noise. As more and more people make this highly rational choice, the forum’s activity will seem to stay at a manageable level. But it is staying manageable precisely because the rational (or at least experienced) people have started looking elsewhere for information—while the inexperienced people stay behind and continue posting. In other words, one side effect of continuing to use unscalable communications models as the project grows is that the average quality of both questions and answers tends to go down, which makes it look like new users are dumber than they used to be, when in fact they’re probably not. It’s just that the benefit/cost ratio of using those high-population forums goes down, so naturally those with the experience to do so start to look elsewhere for answers first. Adjusting communications mechanisms to cope with project growth therefore involves two related strategies:
- Recognizing when particular parts of a forum are not suffering unbounded growth, even if the forum as a whole is, and separating those parts off into new, more specialized forums (i.e., don’t let the good be dragged down by the bad).
- Making sure there are many automated sources of information available, and that they are kept organized, up-to-date, and easy to find.
– Karl Fogel, Producing Open Source Software