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Firefox to integrate Pocket

I was shocked when I saw news of Mozilla's Firefox native integration with Pocket; the popular read-it-later bookmarking service. This is the first time I can remember when Mozilla has integrated a commercial third-party service. It feels a little odd.

I understand why they might have done this. My guess is that Pocket is another revenue stream for Mozilla. I can appreciate the need for money; it keeps the employees happy, and the Firefox updates rolling out in a timely fashion. Not to mention funding research projects like Rust and Servo that are very exciting for the future of the web.

I can understand this, and yet it still feels weird to me. Not bad, or too uncomfortable, just a little odd. Still, that is how the slippery slope starts, with a slow steady boil. This the part that makes me feel the most ill-at-ease; how long until the next commercial integration.

Frederic Lardinois writes in TechCrunch

Mozilla probably could have built this kind of service from scratch, but must have decided that supporting applications on these different platforms from iOS to Kindle and Android to Windows wasn't what it wanted to do.

I would have preferred Mozilla develop their own solution, but Pocket was an easy choice. They have the servers, and the service; built, ready, and working. Their brand in this niche does not hurt either. It looks to be a win-win for both sides.

So in truth it is a benefit for those who use both, and not even an annoyance for those who do not. My hope is that this weird feeling I have fades away into nothing; and the cause of it, becomes but a footnote in the long, free, and open source history of Firefox.

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Building Go projects with gb

Sähköä ilmassa sunset behind power lines
Image courtesy of smerikal

gb is a new build tool for Go created by Dave Cheney. It address the problem of reproducible builds. Building the same functional binary anywhere at any time is a problem of dependency management. Of knowing exactly which library version to use, and having it at hand. gb is a radical tool compared to current dependency solutions, which work with the existing Go toolchain and idioms. gb takes a different approach, it replaces not only dependency management tools, but the Go build tools themselves. Instead of using go build or go install you would use gb build.

Dependency management in Go has always been a little wonky, a little weird. From the beginning there was go get but no other specific tools or process. go get infers a location from the import path about where libraries live, and grabs them. Placing them ever so lovingly in the src directory along side project code. go get knows enough about DVCS to grab the HEAD code, but not much more. There are no options for specifying which, if any, versions should be used, or commit hashes to checkout. The idea was to simply keep everything up to date manually. Keeping everything at HEAD sounds nice, but in practice it has proved problematic.

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Understanding Go Dependency Management

lego blocks, dependency management
Image courtesy of kreezzalee

Right now there is a discussion thread on the golang-dev mailing list about formalizing how Go manages dependencies. The Go Team is putting forward that Go use vendoring to manage dependencies, and asked the community to formalize a configuration format that tools can use to manage vendored code.

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The iOS keyboard is terrible

Can you tell which one of these keyboards will input uppercase or lowercase letters?

The iPhone, and iOS, brought about a revolution in mobile network connected pocket computers. It did a lot of things right, but it did one thing terribly wrong. When using the keyboard the letter on the key does not show the true character that will be input. The letters on the keyboard are always capitalized, even when pressing the key will input a lowercase letter.

It has been a very long time since I've used an iPhone day to day, but this still annoys me. Simply put the lack of accurately displaying the key to be input, capital or lowercase, is a disgrace. In part because of the years that iOS devices have been around, and the years that this features has been available on many Android phone. Though most importantly because it was Steve Jobs himself who cajoled his competitors and their fixed, never changing, keyboards.

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Galaxy Tab Pro 8.4 Review

Beautiful Tab Pro 8.4 screen.

Reading on mobile devices is something I have done for a long time. I have read novels on some low quality screens; such as the Palm III, with it’s spinach green tint. Recently I’ve been looking at trading up from my Kindle Keyboard to a device with a better reading experience. I wanted something that was comfortable while reading for long periods of time, had a better screen, and access to more books and articles than the Kindle.

In the Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro 8.4 I have found a great device that give me joy to use. It is comfortable to hold, has a super sharp screen, and access to everything I’d want to read.

Read on for the full review.

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