Tag Archives: Open Source

商業電台網站大混亂

真係未見過有公司咁樣 launch website 嘅,原本個 website run 得好地地,為咗推新 service,將成個 site 換咗佢,結果係搞到好多俾咗錢聽 archive 嘅人聽唔到,特別係一眾 Mac user 同非 Windows user。嗰個新推出嘅 Toolbar 又唔 support OS X,又唔 support Firefox 3。原本嗰 site 都仲有得俾 user 揀用 RealPlayer 定係 Windows Media Player (Microsoft ASF format) 來收聽 realtime 廣播同 archive,但係個新 website 淨係 serve ASF 同埋用佢個 P2P toolbar。香港公司搞 website,已經無眼睇好耐。宜家咩年代啊,做 website 竟然仲唔注意係唔係 cross-platform。雖然 Real Audio 同 ASF 都係 proprietary,但係點計 RealPlayer 嘅 cross-platform support 都好過 ASF 好多,Mac 有 client,Linux 又有,連 Unix 都有。宜家商台竟然仲廢埋 Real Audio,有無搞錯。其實商台真係好天真好傻,將個 site outsource 俾大陸公司做,大陸公司做 website 出名 IE-only,商台自己嘅 project management 又好有問題,無做好 testing 唔駛講,個 site 宜家俾人媽到飛起,俾咗錢嘅用唔到應有服務,咁都仲唔 rollback 番個舊 site 出來,又或者同時間放番個舊 site 出來一齊行,咁係咪即係話根本無諗過任何 fallback plan,無 contingency plan 嘅呢?前幾日入去商台個 website,赫然發現個 domain name 變咗 beta.881903.com,心諗,唔係唔記得改番 DNS 吓嘛,邊有人用咁嘅 domain name 架,後來先發現原來商台係認真嘅,仲喺埋個 logo 寫住 beta,懶係 web 2.0 咁,真係膠到無朋友。人哋啲 website 寫住 beta,好似 gmail 咁,alpha, beta, gamma 都無問題,因為第一,佢就算係 beta 都仍然好 stable,第二,佢無收我錢。但係商台呢個 case 唔係咁,我真係唔信竟然有人 launch beta service 俾 paid service 嘅 user 咁樣搵香蕉皮自己踩。

好,鬧完,既然俾咗錢,唯有自救,用 XCode + Applescript + shell script 寫咗個 application 俾 Mac OS 10.5 嘅 user 用(唔知 10.4 得唔得,得嘅話通知聲),可以聽得番 archive,呢度 download。Download 完記得睇 README 點樣用!為咗獲得最佳效果,請同時下載 Real Player & Flip4Mac,得閒可以順手裝埋 Perian

更新 2/7/2008 6:25pm: 如果你安裝咗 Flip4Mac,你要先響 System Preferences 度打開 Flip4Mac,make sure “Use Filp4Mac WMV Browser Plug-in” 選項無被揀中。

I helped Firefox today, I’m feeling great

It’s not easy to find a reproducible bug in a stable open source software that has the exposure as large as Mozilla Firefox, which has more than 20% market share of the web browser market in Europe. But I did, and I think I’m very lucky. Not only that, this bug has been hiding in Firefox since 2003 (was it the Firefox 1.0 days?), so this bug has been in existence for 5 years, wow, I think I’m really very lucky to have spotted it.

This bug is serious, but very difficult to manifest itself. Under rare conditions, a form post will be sent to the web server twice without your notice. Say, if you’re shopping in an online e-shop, and you’re so “lucky” that you encountered this bug, you would be buying the same goods twice, or if you’re making a payment, you would be paying the amount double.

Thanks Alfred Peng for confirming the bug so that Firefox developers began taking a look at the bug. From the perspective of open source development, identifying and testing thoroughly for the existence of the bug and filing a detail bug report with reproducible steps is the task I should do. The fix for the bug is just less than 10 lines long (the test case is much longer), but it may take me days if I have to come up with a patch. Filing a bug report is something anyone who speaks English can do, so if you find a bug in Firefox, please go to their bug tracking system and submit a problem report. The more people contribute to it, the better the software will become, and by doing so, we, in turn, are helping ourselves to create a more pleasant web experience.

Debian GNU/Linux 4.0 Release Talk

Last night I gave a short presentation at Beijing Linux User Group (BLUG) on the Debian project and the new Etch release. As Roy Chan had given a talk about the new release in the Hong Kong Debian Etch release party, I asked for his permission to use his slides for this talk, and he happily agreed. I made some modifications to his slides and cut out the part about Linux introduction, you can find the presentation slides in OpenOffice.org 2 format here, PDF version here. In the meeting Darren mentioned the idea of using peer-to-peer technology in apt, so that users don’t need to set any repositories in the configuration, this is a very good idea, and coincidentally there is a Google Summer of Code project on this topic.

深入研究發布管理 (release management)

上一屆的 Debian leader Martin Michlmayr 在他的 blog 上發表了一系列關於自由/開源軟件發布管理 (release management) 的分析文章。由於 Martin Michlmayr 在劍橋大學所做的 PhD 論文是針對自由軟件質量保證方面的研究,他的幾篇就 Debian, GCC, GnomeLinux kernel 的分析都很精確,重點的列出了每個 project 管理發布的問題和解決方法,各有千秋,非常值得參考。雖然篇幅不多,但是對於需要宏觀了解這些大 project 的朋友起了很大的幫助。相信他的論文會有更詳細的分析,非常期待可以早日看到他的研究成果,並希望能同時為 Debian 找到一條光明之路。