Archive for March, 2005

Mozilla, Firefox, Linux, and GPL3

This article at on the forthcoming third version of the General Public License is quite interesting. It mentions that there is the spectre of licence-incompatible forks of various GPL licensed projects like the Linux kernel. Now, I humbly ask the greater Mozilla community some questions. What do we know about GPL3 that might be incompatible with GPL2? What is’s current stance (if any) on GPL3 and moving to it (relative to the current trilicense using GPL2)? What are your opinions on it so far, and why do you hold those opinions? And if three years from now we do move to include GPL3 instead of GPL2, what issues do we face?


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I hate LiveJournal for breaking Password Manager

LiveJournal breaks Firefox’s Password Manager, and therefore I hate it. It’s annoying as all hell. Why? This Bugzilla bug shows some detail. Basically, LJ and other sites don’t actually use your password, but an MD5 hash of it so it’s not sent over the net in cleartext, and manage this with some client-side JavaScripting to swap out the password and clear the field when you submit the form. There’s nothing there for PWM to remember, or so it thinks, and doesn’t prompt you. This is stupid because it’s a fricking web log not a bank account. Further, even banks don’t use this scheme. It’s insane and insipid. If it wasn’t for the fact I comment on some LJ users’ blogs, I woundn’t care.

Of course, if I knew what method Firefox uses to encrypt passwords then one could add the password in manually, like you could in Mozilla. Mozilla just used Base64 if you never specified a Master Password, which was good enough to prevent casual snooping of passwords. Of course, I’d update my Mozilla Password Tricks page with Firefox info too if we cracked it. 🙂

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Bugzilla email address changed!

I have changed my email address in Bugzilla. For several years it’s been my address, with my handle of “jesus_X” (which I also use for IRC, if you ever stop by, so people coulg CC me using that as an identifier. I have changed it now to route to my personal domain, The new email address for me is: bugzilla(at) where (at) is @ obviously. We now return you to your regularly scheduled program already in progress.

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It’s time to put up or shut up.

There, I said it. I’ll say it more bluntly. We, as a community, whine too damn much and do too damn little. Hell, I admit that I was part of the whiners at times. The Mozilla Suite communty right now is sounding a lot like the Mac OS 9 community did a couple years ago when support for OS 9 was being dropped due to a shrinking userbase and an even smaller developer group. The Mozilla Foundation has limited resources, limited time, and an even more limited budget. The shift from Seamonkey to Firefox/Thunderbird as the primary project was announced long ago, so people wanting to step up and maintain Seamonkey have had ages to prepare for this day. When OS 9 support was being dropped, there were lots of Mac users crying foul. said, “Hey, the code is still there, if you want to maintain it, please do! But we can’t, so someone else needs to take over.” No one did. Now that the Suite is going away, we’re hearing the same moans. I wasn’t a Firefox fan for ages, and just recently shifted to Thunderbird. But now that I changed over, I literally have not fired up Mozilla since. I’ve even found my small bugaboos with Firefox to be easily addressed.

Notice, however, that I actually did something. I checked out the alternatives, and found them to be better than the suite alone. Most people just whine and don’t even bother to try Firefox or Thunderbird to see how they work compared to Mozilla. And give it a fair shot, don’t try it for three minutes. It’s different, so give it a few days to get used to it first. I found I was so ingrained being able to search from the URLbar that changing the behavior of the URLbar’s default Google action (changing it from “I’m Feeling Lucky” to the normal search) was easier than trying to relearn to use the Googlebar. I also found the increase UI speed is most certainly worth the switch. I noticed the slimmed down Prefs panels made no difference in my life. And yes, I used to bitch about that.

I installed one extension into Thunderbird (Mnenhy, the worst-named extension in history) to add back different column views for mail and news and it’s better than Mozilla was now. Much faster in many ways. And now when Yahoo’s Java apps wind up bringing Firefox to it’s knees, when I have to kill it my mail lives on regardless. Peace in the valley.

In short, this is an Open Source project here folks. If you don’t want Seamonkey to die, stop talking and do something about it. Can’t code? Learn, or find someone who can and try to help by testing, traiging in Bugzilla, evangelizing, whatever. Work with the Foundation to shuttle the code into a new project that doesn’t carry the Seamonkey baggage and make it what you feel it should be. But don’t just sit there and whine.

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Bandwidth costs money…

Yikes. Seems some of the stuff I had in Shared Media got linked from some pix site. In two days it burnt through 4.06GB in an hour. And another 3.31GB over the next day. It was my cache of Lindsey Lohan pictures. I’ve had to slap a password on them for now, because I’m less than 2 gigs from my bandwidth cap for the month. So, I’d love to open them back up, but right now, won’t be able to until April 1. But, for just five dollars I could reopen it, because I can buy some extra bandwidth. And, my host (Total Choice Hosting, who while they’re a great host, don’t offer any kind of referral bonus sadly) accept PayPal as well as credit cards for payment. So, I’ve decided to see if anyone cares enough to chip in a buck or two. So, if you liked the Firefox logos, or the Lohan pix, or other goodies, chip in a buck or three! If you do, and want to check out the Lohan pix, mail me a copy of the receipt and I’ll mail back the login and password. It’s off for now so I don’t do belly up. 🙂

Update: Well, we’re up to $3 so far. 🙂

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Pushy Evangelicals, Gay Marriage, Condoms, and other prosaic topics.

I’m really getting tired of these pushy Evangelical Christians shoving their version of Christianity down the throats of Americans. Every day I hear about how Government needs to start taking moral stances against television, movies, music, culture, etc.; how we need to put prayer back in schools; how we need statues of the Ten Commandments in courthouses; basically how we need to put Christ in every nook and cranny of life. Don’t get me wrong, I’m Roman Catholic. I have nothing against Christ at all, but he never said I had to live my entire life in some specific pattern, and that fialing to do so would mean eternal damnation. I recall that accepting Christ and God was the requisite, and living in a generally moral way was all that was needed. No one said I have to go to a specific church, hold my hands up when I pray so everyone sees how holy I am, and mention Christ in every conversation. I go to my church, where I pray in a private manner without public demonstrations. I don’t need Hollywood or television networks watching out for my morality, or the morality of my children. That’s my job, not movie makers, TV producers, and certainly not the government’s job. When you mix Religion and Government, the result is always bad, which is why the Founding Fathers tried to keep them separate.

The First Amendment states “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free excercise thereof;”…

This means that religion is not within the purview of government at all. No religion nor expression thereof shall be officially endorsed, provided for, nor prohibited. An example is that the government can neither establish a moment of prayer in schools, nor can it prohibit students from engaging in one of their own will. But this isn’t good enough for Evangelicals, no, they want to create a moment of prayer in chools. They say those who don’t want to participate don’t have to participate. While this is true, it’s that way already. Kids are welcome to say a prayer in school, and are equally free not to. I did when I was in school. I said grace before every lunch meal (ok, not EVERY lunch, but I tried), and I didn’t need the school to create a special time for me to do this.

Every religion has flaws, and every religion at one point or another infringes basic human rights of some group. These days, the most common groups are gays and those in need of abortions. My own Church says gays are immoral, and so is abortion, but I disagree. I see no moral reason why gay people should not be able to enter into a legally recognized, and legally protected relationship. Fine, don’t call it marriage. Frankly, marriage is fundamentally a religion issue and shouldn’t be legislated; all government should do is give civil unions, and leave marriages to the desired Church of the participants. Gay unions don’t have to be religious at all, so the Church should butt out. And abortion can be a medically necessary procedure, so any church not willing to take that into account in their stances against abortion is being inhumane. Personally, unless there’s a threat to the mother’s life, or it’s a case of rape or incest, I’m against abortion. There are millions of couple who would love to have a baby and can’t, and young babies are so easily adopted that it’s very hard to actually find one (there’s plenty of older kids though, so go adopt one, they need love too), so it’s a very viable option. But I’m never going to be pregnant, and I’m not so arrogant to think I can decide what’s best for half the population in a situation I’ll never face. That’s criminally egotistical.

Teen pregnancy is a crisis in small-town America and among poor socioeconomic groups. Evangelicals say preaching abstinence only is the way to go. Guess what? It doesn’t work. It didn’t work in the 40’s and 50’s, it didn’t work in the 1800’s, it didn’t work 500 years ago. Teens have sex, and we can’t stop them. Even in repressive societies there are kids who find ways to have sex. The only ways to cut down on teen pregnancy are education about birth control, or manditory contraception procedures, and the latter isn’t politically viable. It’s time these Evangelicals faced reality that the general population isn’t perfect, won’t be, and can’t be bullied into being so. Hell, even they aren’t perfect. I’ve known kids of Evengelicals who would up parents in high school, and we’ve all heard about the infidelity of high profile evangelicals.

Christ preached tolerance of reality and human faults, and also gave us a way to try to improve ourselves through Him. But He never said that anyone had the right to force those teachings on others. We must come to Him on our own, not at the tip of a spear, or through to government mandate. Anyone who preaches that way is in direct conflict with the Christ they claim to love. I think the Salvation Army and many Catholic missionaries get it right. They offer help to those in need, and they also offer the teachings of Christ, but you aren’t obligated to take either. If you need help, it’s there with no strings, and if you want Christ, they can help you there too. That’s true Christianity.

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Help Identify These Heads!

Ok, my mother received these busts of an Indian man and woman many years ago as gifts. And after all these years, we’re interested in their origin. I’ve taken photos of the front and profile views of each one, and a shot of the maker’s mark stamp on the back bottom of each, and they’re in here if you’d like to view them. There are two front shots of the man because he didn’t seem to take a good photo. Now, when I say Indian, I mean from India, not Native American. The maker’s mark isn’t very clear, the glazing seems to have obscured part of the name. I’m pretty sure the first five letters are “MAGWA”, but the sixth and final letter I’m unclear on. It could be a G, or an L, but I’m not sure at all. It’s something Industroes, and I think the last part is “IN” for India. Any information at all would be really great.

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