jm + operating-systems   4

After Seven Years, Microsoft Is Finally Fixing the "J" Email Bug
True story: when I started at Amazon, I thought people were using "J" instead of smileys as shorthand for "joking". Great job Microsoft!

(via Tony Finch)
microsoft  fail  operating-systems  monoculture  character-sets  j  wingdings  exchange  email 
28 days ago by jm
Files Are Hard
This is basically terrifying. A catalog of race conditions and reliability horrors around the POSIX filesystem abstraction in Linux -- it's a wonder anything works.

'Where’s this documented? Oh, in some mailing list post 6-8 years ago (which makes it 12-14 years from today). The fs devs whose posts I’ve read are quite polite compared to LKML’s reputation, and they generously spend a lot of time responding to basic questions, but it’s hard for outsiders to troll [sic] through a decade and a half of mailing list postings to figure out which ones are still valid and which ones have been obsoleted! I don’t mean to pick on filesystem devs. In their OSDI 2014 talk, the authors of the paper we’re discussing noted that when they reported bugs they’d found, developers would often respond “POSIX doesn’t let filesystems do that”, without being able to point to any specific POSIX documentation to support their statement. If you’ve followed Kyle Kingsbury’s Jepsen work, this may sound familiar, except devs respond with “filesystems don’t do that” instead of “networks don’t do that”.I think this is understandable, given how much misinformation is out there. Not being a filesystem dev myself, I’d be a bit surprised if I don’t have at least one bug in this post.'
filesystems  linux  unix  files  operating-systems  posix  fsync  osdi  papers  reliability 
december 2015 by jm
Help the GNOME Foundation defend the GNOME trademark
Recently Groupon announced a product with the same product name as GNOME. Groupon’s product is a tablet based point of sale “operating system for merchants to run their entire operation." The GNOME community was shocked that Groupon would use our mark for a product so closely related to the GNOME desktop and technology. It was almost inconceivable to us that Groupon, with over $2.5 billion in annual revenue, a full legal team and a huge engineering staff would not have heard of the GNOME project, found our trademark registration using a casual search, or even found our website, but we nevertheless got in touch with them and asked them to pick another name. Not only did Groupon refuse, but it has now filed even more trademark applications (the full list of applications they filed can be found here, here and here). To use the GNOME name for a proprietary software product that is antithetical to the fundamental ideas of the GNOME community, the free software community and the GNU project is outrageous. Please help us fight this huge company as they try to trade on our goodwill and hard earned reputation.
gnome  groupon  trademark  infringement  open-source  operating-systems  ip  law  floss 
november 2014 by jm
Comparing genomes to computer operating systems in terms of the topology and evolution of their regulatory control networks — PNAS
'we present a comparison between the transcriptional regulatory network of a well-studied bacterium (E. coli) and the call graph of a canonical OS (Linux) in terms of topology and evolution. ... both networks have a fundamentally hierarchical layout, but there is a key difference: The transcriptional regulatory network possesses a few global regulators at the top and many targets at the bottom; conversely, the call graph has many regulators controlling a small set of generic functions. This top-heavy organization leads to highly overlapping functional modules in the call graph, in contrast to the relatively independent modules in the regulatory network. ... These findings stem from the design principles of the two systems: robustness for biological systems and cost effectiveness (reuse) for software systems.' (via adulau)
via:adulau  papers  toread  genetics  genome  call-graph  linux  kernel  e-coli  operating-systems  transcriptional-regulatory-network  from delicious
may 2010 by jm

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