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Mozilla: Firefox for ALSA, OverbiteNX, Scripts on GitHub

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Moz/FF
  • Building Firefox for ALSA (non PulseAudio) Sound

    I did the work to built my own Firefox primarily to fix a couple of serious regressions that couldn't be fixed any other way. I'll start with the one that's probably more common (at least, there are many people complaining about it in many different web forums): the fact that Firefox won't play sound on Linux machines that don't use PulseAudio.

    There's a bug with a long discussion of the problem, Bug 1345661 - PulseAudio requirement breaks Firefox on ALSA-only systems; and the discussion in the bug links to another discussion of the Firefox/PulseAudio problem). Some comments in those discussions suggest that some near-future version of Firefox may restore ALSA sound for non-Pulse systems; but most of those comments are six months old, yet it's still not fixed in the version Mozilla is distributing now.

  • Let's kill kittens with native messaging (or, introducing OverbiteNX: if WebExtensions can't do it, we will)

    WebExtensions (there is no XUL) took over with a thud seven months ago, which was felt as a great disturbance in the Force by most of us who wrote Firefox add-ons that, you know, actually did stuff. Many promises were made for APIs to allow us to do the stuff we did before. Some of these promises were kept and these APIs have actually been implemented, and credit where credit is due. But there are many that have not (that metabug is not exhaustive). More to the point, there are many for which people have offered to write code and are motivated to write code, but we have no parameters for what would be acceptable, possibly because any spec would end up stuck in a "boil the ocean" problem, possibly because it's low priority, or possibly because someone gave other someones the impression such an API would be acceptable and hasn't actually told them it isn't. The best way to get contribution is to allow people to scratch their own itches, but the urgency to overcome the (largely unintentional) institutional roadblocks has faded now that there is somewhat less outrage, and we are still left with a disordered collection of APIs that extends Firefox relatively little and a very slow road to do otherwise.

    Or perhaps we don't have to actually rely on what's in Firefox to scratch our itch, at least in many cases. In a potentially strategically unwise decision, WebExtensions allows native code execution in the form of "native messaging" -- that is, you can write a native component, tell Firefox about it and who can talk to it, and then have that native component do what Firefox don't. At that point, the problem then becomes more one of packaging. If the functionality you require isn't primarily limited by the browser UI, then this might be a way around the La Brea triage tarpit.

  • Fixing Content Scripts on GitHub.com

    Content scripts ordinarily reload for each new page visited but, on GitHub, they don’t. This is because links on GitHub mutate the DOM and use the history.pushState API instead of loading pages the standard way, which would create an entirely new DOM per page.

More in Tux Machines

Sparky SU 0.1.0

This tool provides Yad based front-end for su (spsu) allowing users to give a password and run graphical commands as root without needing to invoke su in a terminal emulator. It can be used as a Gksu replacement to run any application as root. Read more

Leftovers: Linux in the Ham Shack and Golden Age of the iPhone Is Ending

  • LHS Episode #264: The Weekender XXI
    Welcome to the 21st Weekender episode of Linux in the Ham Shack. This time around, we talk about the few contests and special event stations that are around for December. We also touch on Linux distros to try, things to do in the amateur radio and open source world and then we dive straight into hedonism, discussing good food, good music and good spirits. Thank you for listening and Happy Holidays.
  • The Golden Age of the iPhone Is Ending
    Apple’s premier gadget faces a less certain future than ever as the market shifts under its feet.

OSS Leftovers

  • The fourth industrial revolution is under way, and leaders must adopt open source thinking
    For the first time in history, knowledge is free and abundant, ordinary people are more empowered than ever before, and almost every boundary to communication has been lifted. [...] Welcome to the 21st Century where everyone and everything is connected 24/7, and where exciting progress opportunities and daunting challenges coexist. In this century, life and business have become “open source”. In order to succeed and thrive, our thoughts and actions must also become open source. It is time for business leaders to shed myths of the past, question conventional wisdom, and adopt “open source thinking” around the following fundamental questions/challenges:
  • Can real-world enterprises digest all this open-source, startup stuff?
    Why does the Cloud Native Computing Foundation now host more than 30 projects? Why are cloud-based startups coming out of the woodwork with narrow point solutions? Mostly just so users can have a better time with an application. But it’s all getting a bit weedy. How can enterprises pick out the right technologies from the aisles of them? “It’s really easy to forget that infrastructure is not a thing in its own right — it’s solely there to enable applications and to enable other things,” said Steve Herrod (pictured), managing director at General Catalyst Partners LLC.
  • CableLabs Open Source IoT Project Shoots for Scale
    Opening up another chapter in its open source story, CableLabs this week took another shot at the industrial Internet of Things market with its LPWAN Server project. The general concept is to create open source LPWAN Server software that can run on off-the-shelf hardware and support a wide range of low-power, IoT wireless technologies designed to transmit small bits of data over long distances. (See Blog: CableLabs Intros Open Source LPWAN Server.) "We don't see one clear winner in the LPWAN space," said Daryl Malas, principal architect at CableLabs' advanced technology group. "We don't see NB-IoT (Narrowband IoT) dominating all use cases. And we don't see LoRA dominating all use cases."
  • The 10 Coolest New Open-Source Technologies And Tools Of 2018
  • The fight to keep ideas open to all
     

    “The only way we can preserve and nurture other and more precious freedoms is by relinquishing the freedom to breed.” This ominous sentence comes not from China’s one-child policy but from one of the 20th century’s most influential—and misunderstood—essays in economics. “The tragedy of the commons”, by Garrett Hardin, marks its 50th anniversary on December 13th.  

    The article, published in the journal Science, was a neo-Malthusian jeremiad about uncontrolled population growth. But it is remembered for the image that the title conjures up and for the anecdotes that Hardin used. The idea behind it is as simple as it is profound: a resource freely available to all will be used inefficiently. An actual common will inevitably be overgrazed. Who would restrict their cattle if other herders may not follow suit?  

  • Suriname community uses new open-source app to preserve storytelling traditions
    To prevent that from happening, the local community-based organization Stichting voor Dorpsontwikkeling Matawai has spent the last few years documenting their oral storytelling traditions using video recorders and interactive maps. With support from the Amazon Conservation Team (ACT), the organization trained younger Matawai to record and interview their elders about the numerous named places and sites in their ancestral lands.
  • Bluespec, Inc. Releases a Second Family of Open-Source RISC-V Processors to Spur Open Innovation
    Flute is a configurable 5-stage application processor complementing the previously released 3-stage Piccolo microcontroller, both of which are suitable for IoT. The initial release provides synthesizable Verilog for a bare metal RV32IMA core and a supervisor level RV64IMA core. Future releases will add floating point and compressed instructions (RV32GC/RV64GC) and run Linux and FreeRTOS. The Flute download (here) provides working Verilator and Icarus simulations and the Verilog has been tested in Xilinx UltraScale/UltraScale+ boards.

Schedule a visit with the Emacs psychiatrist

Welcome to another day of the 24-day-long Linux command-line toys advent calendar. If this is your first visit to the series, you might be asking yourself what a command-line toy even is. We’re figuring that out as we go, but generally, it could be a game, or any simple diversion that helps you have fun at the terminal. Some of you will have seen various selections from our calendar before, but we hope there’s at least one new thing for everyone. Today's selection is a hidden gem inside of Emacs: Eliza, the Rogerian psychotherapist, a terminal toy ready to listen to everything you have to say. Read more