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Balancing Performance and Convention

r Re:I wouldn't (171 comments)

If that's a major chore for you, may I suggest investing in a test suite, so that you don't have to go through manually and test all your patches?

Yes, that would help with testing, but also multiplies the work: now you have patches and the new test suite to maintain and shepherd through upgrades. :)

Testing patches actually wasn't the main obstacle. The far bigger time sink was when some patched piece of functionality moved over to a different location in the codebase. Then the engineer had to go and become familiar with their changes, find how things got rearranged, and adopt the patch to the new code. That's a lot of unnecessary work just to maintain the status quo.

As for whether we needed to upgrade so frequently - yeah, we actually did. Hopefully the OP doesn't, though. :)

more than 5 years ago
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Balancing Performance and Convention

r I wouldn't (171 comments)

Maintaining custom patches for a foreign codebase is going to be painful, proportionally to the number of patches, and how badly spread out they are through the codebase.

Consider this: every time the Rails team changes things, you'll have to go through your patches and make sure they still apply correctly. And if, heavens forbid, they do some major refactoring, you'll have to spend the time figuring out what functionality got moved where, and re-apply the patches as necessary.

My project was maintaining a custom set of patches for a major open source library for a while, and it was fairly labor-intensive: every time the library provider released a new version, a senior engineer spent a good part of a day going through the codebase and repatching it, testing the new version, etc. The problem was, however, that they released new versions frequently, and we needed them as soon as they were released.

If your patches aren't going to migrate upstream, I'd be very wary of spending a lot of time maintaining them as the core library keeps evolving. Try to measure how much time it would take to update your local patched Rails when they release a new version (especially a major one, if you can), and project future work estimates from that.

For us, we ended up sacrificing functionality for development speed, and we switched to a less capable library that worked right out of the box without endless patching.

more than 5 years ago
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Notebook Makers Moving to 4 GB Memory As Standard

r Re:Can we get some parental supervision on this si (567 comments)

Lots of people get confused about the various caveats in how 32-bit machines handle more than 32-bits worth of physical address space:

  • x86 processors have been able to access 36-bit physical address space for a long time now (since the Pentium Pro?), but many motherboards flat out don't support it
  • Even when they do, the OS needs to turn it on explicitly. Windows needs to be started with the /PAE switch to extends its physical address space
  • Even with PAE in place, the virtual space is still 4GB per process.
  • And out of the box, Windows limits user virtual address space to 2GB; getting more requires the infamous /3GB switch


So yes, there's a lots of parts that people don't necessarily understand. Besides, facts would get in the way of a good flame fest. :)

more than 6 years ago

Submissions

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Security Flaw in Android Web Browser

r r writes  |  more than 5 years ago

r (13067) writes "The New York Times reports on a security flaw discovered in the new Android phones. The article is light on details, but it hints at a security hole in the browser, allowing for trojans to install themselves in the same security partition as the browser:

"The risk in the Google design, according to Mr. Miller, who is a principal security analyst at Independent Security Evaluators in Baltimore, lies in the danger from within the Web browser partition in the phone. It would be possible, for example, for an intruder to install software that would capture keystrokes entered by the user when surfing to other Web sites. That would make it possible to steal identity information or passwords.""
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Felon Became COO of Wikimedia Foundation

r r writes  |  more than 6 years ago

r (13067) writes "The San Francisco Chronicle recently found that the former COO of the Wikimedia Foundation had a questionable past, including being convicted of theft, drunken driving, and fleeing a car accident. "Before she left in July, Carolyn Bothwell Doran, 45, had moved up from a part-time bookkeeper for the Wikimedia Foundation and spent six months as chief operating officer, responsible for personnel and financial management. In March, she signed the small nonprofit's tax return, which listed more than $1.3 million in donations. At the time, she was on probation for a 2004 hit-and-run accident in Virginia that had landed her seven months in prison. Doran had multiple drunken-driving convictions, and records show earlier run-ins for theft, writing bad checks and wounding her boyfriend with a gunshot to the chest." How could Wikimedia fail to perform a basic background check on the person handling the foundation's financials?"
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San Francisco free Wi-Fi plan falls through

r r writes  |  more than 6 years ago

r (13067) writes "Earthlink backs out of contract negotiations to blanket San Francisco with free Wi-Fi, citing money problems. From the SF Chronicle article: The contract, which was three years in the making, had run into snags with the Board of Supervisors, but ultimately it was undone when Atlanta-based EarthLink announced Tuesday that it no longer believed providing citywide Wi-Fi was economically viable for the company. ... EarthLink spokesman Jerry Grasso said that EarthLink was willing to work with San Francisco but had decided that it "was not willing to work in the business model where EarthLink fronts all the money to build, own and operate the network.""
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