Even Adobe is Abandoning Flash?
Sometime last month, I saw a news article stating that Adobe would not be releasing any new updates for the Linux version of their flash player, except for security backports.
My initial reaction was a mixture of surprise and “so what?”. I didn’t really consider Flash being as relevant as it used to be, and that I could do just fine without it or the security/performance problems that came with it. I was actually pleased a year or two ago when I learned that Adobe had discontinued Linux support for Adobe AIR (which, in my experience, had been total garbage).
However, what was most interesting was the closing statement at the bottom of the article:
"Adobe itself has also been stepping away from Flash, too, and virtually all of its recent projects for web developers have been about supporting web standards and creating HTML5-based sites."
This puts the discontinued Linux support into a new perspective for me. I had initially thought they had written off Linux as not worth the effort, in spite of growing interest in it (especially with gaming, something Flash is used for a lot).
Now, what I’m thinking is that they discontinued it because they are devoting fewer resources and developers to Flash, in favor of their newer web projects.
Either way, though, I can’t say I’ll miss Flash when it finally goes the way of the dinosaur.
Done With Arch Linux, Displeased With SystemD
I have once again switched the Linux distro I was using, moving from Arch Linux to Linux Mint, but the switch was one I was forced to make. Here’s the full details:
For the past month or two, I had been having increasing instability in Arch Linux. Because Arch Linux is a “bleeding edge” distro, things will sometimes work poorly, or just break, or make you want to cut yourself (which must be how the term “bleeding edge” was coined).
In my case, my most frequent problems were:
* The /home directory was missing on bootup, though data was intact. I had to recreate the /home directory and then mount the home partition to it.
* When the /home directory was not missing on bootup, something would sometimes use very high CPU and RAM.
* When shutting down or suspending, the system would randomly freeze, forcing a manual reboot/shutdown.
* Random crashes with lm_sensors, and it would take gkrellm with it. Either that, or gkrellm was crashing due to a glitch with lm_sensors.
Because of these problems, I was already considering a move to a more stable distro, and I was thinking of Linux Mint. But then stuff happened yesterday afternoon that forced me to move.
I did an update for a lot of packages, and then rebooted after they were installed. Shutdown froze, once again, but this time I saw some messages about failing to disable USB devices. I was forced to manually reboot.
On bootup, things got even worse. USB devices were not working, and it took two more reboots and the removal of a few USB devices just to get working keyboard input.
Next problem, no graphics. Xorg wasn’t starting, and attempting to start LXDM resulted in silent failure. I attempted to do another system update, in the hopes that there was a critical package that got missed due to mirror syncing.
No such luck: networking was dead as well. I checked the /etc/rc.d folder and saw that numerous daemons were missing (though I was later told that with SystemD, this was irrelevant). I shutdown the desktop, booted up my laptop, and downloaded a Linux Mint install DVD. After burning it, I booted up into the Linux Mint live environment, backed up my files to a flash drive, and then installed Linux Mint.
I could have reinstalled Arch Linux, but why bother? I’d run into the same problems again, and their installation procedure has become far more involved and complicated than it was two years ago. I didn’t have the patience to sit through all of that for the now-questionable benefits of Arch Linux, so I simply chose to go to a more stable linux distro.
SystemD is another thing where I am not convinced the benefits are worth the while. SystemD is like PulseAudio: it brings more problems for debatable benefits when systems that already exist simply work, are rock solid, and do the job without any problems. One frequent claim I see is “faster boot times”, but I didn’t see any gains in boot speed at all.
So, all in all, I’m finished with Arch Linux. Probably for good this time. I also don’t see myself ever using any linux distributions that make SystemD mandatory.
Another Performance Comparison Test
Today I performed another performance comparison test between InWorldz and Second Life, this time using something that has been one of the most commonly-alleged sources of lag: chat listeners.
This dates back to the old days in SL, where you are always advised not to run listeners on local chat, for fear of causing lag. Linden Lab claimed things improved in SL, but by how much?
To start off, I used a simple script in InWorldz, it listens on local chat, and then performs a SHA-256 computation on whatever it hears, via the IWSL function iwSHA256String.
I started off with 256 listeners, and had a click-activated object which would shout a random UUID on local chat. Clicking this rapidly showed no observable lag. So, I made copies of the listener prims, until I had 1024 of them. Then I tested again. And again, the scripts caused no lag.
So, I bumped it up to 2048 listeners, and 4096 listeners. Again, the results were the same: the scripts caused no lag. There was SOME lag generated, but it was the usual lag you would get from your internet connection getting saturated with the data of a thousand prims being rezzed.
So, I ran this test again, this time in Second Life. There, the conditions were stacked against SL. The region I tested on had relatively low lag, at about 0.95-0.99 average time dilation. Because iwSHA256String was not available, I used its LSL cousin, llSHA1String. That function computes a SHA-128 hash, which has lower computational performance than a SHA-256 hash.
And, the results: no lag from the scripts, at all. The region continued on as though nothing happened.
Conventional wisdom is that listener scripts cause lag, but by my own testing, it appears that listeners, by themselves, do not cause any lag at all.
That’s not to say that a listener device can’t cause lag. If the listener is running poorly-written code, or is running code that puts load onto the network or server, then it’ll put load onto the simulator. But listeners by themselves do not cause any lag.
The Great Cabbage Catastrophe (Reposted)
Many of my friends know me for being calm, reserved, with occasional outbreaks of surreal humor and extreme silliness.
One such incident occurred a late last year, and was posted on grouply prior to them being bought out by Oodle and then shut down. I’m reconstructing the post here.
During the usual silliness and semi-RP in Elf Clan’s group chat, Bryster Shan chose to joke about dropping 30 tons of rotten cabbages on my island. After that, I decided to get back at him (with encouragement from a certain little Dwagon)!
It was two days before he noticed what had happened, and the whole thing had to be pointed out to him. With some subtle, not-so-subtle, and blatantly overt hints, we finally got Bryster to take a look at what had happened to his Tavern!
- Zauber Paracelsus: NUCLEAR DRAGON FART!!!!!!!!!!
- Scotsgraymouser Janus: EEEP
- Cy all: WOOOP WOOOP WOOOP
- Scotsgraymouser Janus: NUCLEAR CABBAGE FART BACK
- Cy all: HALP! WE GOT NUKULAR CROSSFIRE!
- Bryster Shan: I see the cabbage thing is spreading. I love being a trend-setter.
- Cy all: CAN SOMEONE PLEASE CALM THE FIRE DOWN?
- Cy all: XD
- Zauber Paracelsus: Oh yeah, I saw you’ve got a huge cabbage hoard in yer bar!
- Zauber Paracelsus: MWAHAHAHAHA
- Scotsgraymouser Janus: OOOH PHEWIE!!
- Cy all: hehehe
- Scotsgraymouser Janus: you making Rubens Bryster?
- Bryster Shan: Huh?
- Zauber Paracelsus: MWAHAHAHAHA
- Scotsgraymouser Janus: Sandwiches
- Scotsgraymouser Janus: saukraut?
- Scotsgraymouser Janus: sigh
- Bavarin Fleetfoot: That would be with sauerkraut. Made with cabbage.
- Bavarin Fleetfoot: On caroway rye I believe
- Bryster Shan: Ham or cheese?
- Scotsgraymouser Janus: Swiss
- Scotsgraymouser Janus: with Thousand island dressing
- Bavarin Fleetfoot: Ham AND cheese innit??
- Zauber Paracelsus: Hey Bryster, guess what Snoots said to me yesterday?
- Bryster Shan: ‘Hello’ ?
- Zauber Paracelsus: he said ”Revenge is a dish best served cold”
- Zauber Paracelsus: or in this case, ROTTEN and SMELLY
- Zauber Paracelsus: MWAHAHAHAHAHA
- Bryster Shan: Oh right! Comes in next week.
- Zauber Paracelsus: jeeze, we’ve tried both subtle and overt hints with ya,
- Zauber Paracelsus: GO LOOK AT THE TAVERN!!!
- Zauber Paracelsus: MWAHAHAHAHAHA
- Bryster Shan: Good grief.
- Zauber Paracelsus cackles maniacally
- Cy all: hehehe
- Bryster Shan: Oh bu**er!
- Scotsgraymouser Janus: hehehehe
- Bavarin Fleetfoot: What’d I say? Hooligans and ruffians they is! I told ya… ;)
- Bryster Shan: Looks like a scene from Aliens.
- Scotsgraymouser Janus: LOL
- Scotsgraymouser Janus: wait till they get RIPE
- Zauber Paracelsus rolls on the floor, laughing his fat scaley a*** off
- Scotsgraymouser Janus: giggles insanely
- Zauber Paracelsus: Good thing I thought to take PICTURES :D :D :D https://picasaweb.google.com/ZauberExonar/PrankOnBryster
- Scotsgraymouser Janus: hahaha, i was so NOT THERE
- Scotsgraymouser Janus: nope
- Scotsgraymouser Janus: nowhere near
- Zauber Paracelsus: MWAHAHAHAHA
- Bavarin Fleetfoot: Oh my… The thousand year Elf/Dragon War begins…
- Bavarin Fleetfoot hides.
- Scotsgraymouser Janus: ohhh ^^
- Bryster Shan: Does anyone have any last words to say to Zauber?
- Bavarin Fleetfoot: Is that a pot of cabbage stew there where Snoot’s bowl of rum was?
- Scotsgraymouser Janus: mm..how about
- Scotsgraymouser Janus: GET ‘EM ZAUBER!!
- Scotsgraymouser Janus: wuahahaha
- Bavarin Fleetfoot quickly runs to take pictures of the Elven and Dragon lands before they both become glowing smoking craters.
- Bryster Shan: And I was right in the middle of making a special dragon brew.
- Bavarin Fleetfoot: This will be important historical documentation when the younglings ask “What ever happened to dragons and elves, gran’pa?”
- Scotsgraymouser Janus: yes..NOTECARD THIS TIME
- Scotsgraymouser Janus: put it in scrolls
- Bryster Shan: ”Well, the Dragons got a bit out of order and the Elves roasted them on spits.
- Scotsgraymouser Janus: let bards sing of it[04:53 PM]
- Zauber Paracelsus scorches Bryster with dragonfire
- Scotsgraymouser Janus: again
- Scotsgraymouser Janus: PHEW!!
- Bryster Shan: That Zauber is a dead dragon. THat Dragon is no more. THat Dragon gone and snuffed it.
- Bavarin Fleetfoot: The epic tale of how the elves and dragons became naught but memory… *shakes head sadly and sits the younglings down for story time*
- Scotsgraymouser Janus: it all started with VEGETABLES
- Zauber Paracelsus releases the destructive radioactive flatulance inside of the Forrestral Tavern
- Bavarin Fleetfoot: “This is why we EAT our vegetables instead of playing with them, kids.”
Let this be a lesson to all: never mess with dragons or dwagons!
Public Emails and Spam
I really hate the fact that mailing lists publicly display your email address. I can understand the convenience of having an easy way to directly/privately email other members of the mailing list, but these lists are regularly trawled by spammers.
And although most email providers include spam filtering, it doesn’t really help when your email is attached to an instant messenger account (hotmail, gmail, yahoo). Then you get spam messages in your IMs, which are completely unprotected by the spam filters.
The other thing I hate: when people throw caution to the wind and make no effort with providing even a minimal amount of security.