hacker news with inline top comments    .. more ..    25 Nov 2014 Ask
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Does mobile app development really works as cool side income?
10 points by nouveauuser  4 hours ago   5 comments top 4
techjuice 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Yes it is worth putting in the time and effort to create great mobile apps and games. If the people like what you have created and it is properly monetized (Free, free with in app purchases, paid and priced at a point to where you will make a decent profit on sales) then you will be rewarded very nicely for your work.

The main issue with many that fail to make sufficient income from their mobile apps is normally down to the experience that is being offered to the user. Your application might be amazing but if it is annoying the end user with ads, buggy, receives slow updates or new features that are implemented are not properly tested then eventually any success a successful application had will die off. Then there are always the short lived applications that are great at first but does not have enough variation of content to keep the user coming back over a long period of time.

It has been proven time and time again that anyone that can create a product that people love to use repeatedly over time that adds substantial value to their lives (fun, top quality advice, doesn't bore them, gives them that uncontrollable smile (oh man this is awesome, or mmm just one more level, or let me check appname for that) etc.) has ended up becoming a very nice return on investment for the developer of the application if they own all or most of the IP for the app or have a very good royalty contract setup.

codeonfire 28 minutes ago 0 replies      
App development for the sake of app development is unlikely to pay off except in better skills. It will be far more work than many other possible investments. That said there is a sort of serendipitous value to creative work. You'll eventually see benefit but maybe not in the way you expect.
lovelearning 3 hours ago 1 reply      
This guy[1] earns 7 figures from just one free iOS app, enough for him to go buy a cool sports car[2].

I do think it works. I don't have any data, but I suspect iOS devs make a lot more than Android devs.

[1]: http://www.reddit.com/r/IAmA/comments/17lwcs/iama_a_person_i...

[2]: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e0LqXtKajqQ

haidrali 1 hour ago 0 replies      
I have experience of Android development unfortunately Development environment of android is very slow as compared to IOS.Keeping in mind "Cool side income" i recommend you to start with IPhone development.
Ask HN: Would you please be my mentor?
6 points by joeclef  3 hours ago   1 comment top
S4M 19 minutes ago 0 replies      
I don't think you will find a mentor that way. Instead, I'd suggest you to go to stackoverflow or various programmers forums with your questions. Stackoverflow is more for straight forward questions ("I have this code, it's suppose to do this, but instead it does that"), and you can find other forums to ask more "abstract" question ("is this code good?", "what is the most efficient way to do X?", etc.).

Good luck!

Embedding browsers for 3rd party login a security issue?
2 points by bozho  5 hours ago   1 comment top
pixelcort 4 hours ago 0 replies      
IIRC some oauth providers let you specify a custom URI as a callback. Then you just load your user's native browser, and have a registered URI protocol handler that will bring the user back into your app after authorization completes.
Ask HN: JavaScript resources
4 points by Paul_Dessert  12 hours ago   4 comments top 4
robin_carry 11 hours ago 0 replies      
Nodevember Videos about PROMISE object - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oa2clhsYIDY

Nodevember Videos has interesting session on ES6 (ECMAScript 6 spec discussion), this is learning about the future.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hjkc9m9vYCU

JS Design Pattern book (I refer to it quite regularly) - http://addyosmani.com/resources/essentialjsdesignpatterns/bo...

Eloquent Javascript (First book I read after working for few months on JS) - http://eloquentjavascript.net/

Additionally - read the specification always helps - this is the draft of ES6 (http://www.ecma-international.org/publications/files/ECMA-ST...)

Also, if you want to learn pure JAVASCRIPT, I presume you should also work on NODE.JS because JAVASCRIPT has evolved big time in the past few years to become "THE" Language.

Recent conference (NODEVEMBER) has lot of interesting videos - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC7z0nOE8ITfrGnXJgNzYaEQ

kachhalimbu 6 hours ago 0 replies      
I highly recommend 'Secrets of JavaScript Ninja'[1] for learning intermediate/advanced topics of JS. The book is written by John Resig (creator of jQuery) and Bear Bibeault

[1] http://www.amazon.com/Secrets-JavaScript-Ninja-John-Resig/dp...

gamesbrainiac 6 hours ago 0 replies      
This series, https://github.com/getify/You-Dont-Know-JS has been good for learning the nuances of javascript.
_RPM 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Define "using JS for years" It is a relatively small language, how haven't you become highly proficient in it yet?
I've failed to pass the Google phone screen three times.Could I get blacklisted?
11 points by murmermur  12 hours ago   2 comments top 2
s3nnyy 5 minutes ago 0 replies      
Just practice often enough to avoid this. Try http://interviewing.io - it's in (private) beta at the moment.

How long were the time periods between your phone-interview attempts?

dougfelt 6 hours ago 0 replies      
I've never heard of this happening.
Ask HN: Is an e-commerce business a tech-start up?
3 points by fweeks  8 hours ago   4 comments top 2
nstart 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Let's break it down a little bit.

First, is an ecommerce company a start up. According to the current generation's definition of start up, kinnnda sorta. A start up is synonymous with growth. Ideally, an ecommerce company should be that, but if it is something that falls into more like bespoke systems, then no, it isn't a start up. Yours sounds more like the product type kinda of ecommerce site (sign up and set up your shop) so yes it would fall into a start up category at some point.

Second, is it tech? Forget being a start up for a moment. Is an ecommerce company a tech company. Having worked in the ecommerce field, I know the answer to be this; you decide whether or not it's tech. The ecommerce experience I had was largely a sales driven one. Tech took a back seat for it. I've consulted for another ecommerce company, whose primary focus was great customer care, followed by online conversion optimization. Their tech interests were limited to customer profiling and facebook ad targeting. None of them were tech start ups. They were just start ups (ish).

This begs a question. What makes a startup a tech startup? For example, what makes medium a tech startup? In their case it's all about the experience of the writing application and reading. Technology is solving tough problems and driving them forward. And that's really it, is technology solving the problem? More importantly, is tech driving the business forward.

In the cases I mentioned, tech was the back seat. Tech enabled us for sure, and if the site was down we'd be dead. But really, it was just a magento site with a custom theme on top of it.

In your case, beyond building out the initial product, what's going to be a primary driver of the business here? Is it all about the marketing? Pushing sales people hard? Being crazy about customer service? Building a product that does some technically amazing things along the lines of data crunching? Thing is, you probably don't know yourself. You might like to think it's all about the product, but at some point you might decide that you've done enough on the product and everything is driven by a 'phone-to-phone' aggressive salesforce. Who knows?

Short answer to your question so far, if you envision fast growth of users, and your business is driven by technology solving real world hard problems, then it's a tech startup and yes, a hacker/techie would get behind it. A start up using tech is not the same as a start up driven by tech. As for interest, techies are attracted by interesting problems. The best way to know if you've got an interesting problem on your hand, is to talk to them about it, and see if they are interested.

Heck, I got behind the ecommerce venture I was in simply because I was using technology to solve backend problems in the company. That's what got my gears rolling.

But all this raises a more serious question. Are you doing this primarily because you are fascinated with the idea of a tech startup? Or are you doing this because you have a real problem that you've (ideally) validated and you want to solve and you need strong technology backing it? You've probably guessed the answer should never be the former. One last note before ending this long comment, don't force your startup to be a 'tech' one.

Maybe it's not and that's cool.

fweeks 8 hours ago 1 reply      
And looks like its still not in the ASK section, sorry. :(
Ask HN: Math and science gift ideas for kids?
17 points by bcks  22 hours ago   18 comments top 12
kendallpark 20 hours ago 1 reply      
Female programmer here.

Some of my favorite toys were Legos. My little brother used to get all the Lego presents growing up (because he was a boy) so I would use my allowance to buy my own. When she's old enough, try out the Lego Technic series or the Mindstorms. I had the entire first-gen of Bionicles (this is where my allowance went for a year), a Mindstorms R2D2, and the RCX 2 Mindstorms kit by the time I entered middle school.

I don't think you'll get a lot of mileage with the prepackaged science/engineering kits. I used to get those all the time for presents. Barely used them. They're just not that fun and don't have a ton of reuse. You also get seriously railroaded. You want to explore at that age, not follow a set of instructions.

Same goes for telescopes. The kind that parents are willing to buy are the kind that will probably get used only a couple times (unless your kid is REALLY into space). Also applies to the star-projector things.

Set, the card game. What a great game.

Equations is a competitive math game for 3rd-5th graders. You can scale it for lower grades by taking the exponents and square roots out. It's best played amongst peers. Get the rules off the internet, not from the boxed instructions. I was pretty good at it back in the day--my team placed 3rd at regionals. I volunteered with my old elementary school's Equations club a few years back and whooped those kids (still got it, baby). ;)

I think early access and training in hardware tools can really open up the possibilities for any kid that likes building things. I was always building things as a kid.

EDIT: Punctation and details.

pm90 19 hours ago 0 replies      
Please please please have a copy of these books in your house:



Its certainly too advanced for a 6 year old (or even a 16 year old, TBH) but just having it around is really great, I think. I remember when I was younger, I would look up stuff in more advanced books even if I couldn't understand them right away. The feeling I had was always: "Someday, I will be able to understand this..." which made me learn more physics and math.

"How to Solve it" is especially great if you do/will teach her in the future.

saluki 16 hours ago 0 replies      
Here are some ideas . . . (some are probably more advanced for 6 year olds . . . but will give you ideas for the future).

magnatiles, squares and triangles that snap together to make buildings and other structures, high quality and all kids love them. (they are pricey but this is one of the best toys we ever bought, now at target).http://www.amazon.com/Magna-Tiles%C2%AE-Clear-Colors-100-Pie...

Legos in general . . . are great. Mixels are popular now and give you a lot of creative options to combine them.

Consider lego mindstorms a little advance for 6 but something you could build projects on together. (check out the Lego Jr. FLL program and FLL robotics competitions for kids).

The snap circuit sets are fun, again something you can do together initially.

html/css is always fun for kids, get them a domain and hosting and start teaching the basics.

There are lots of great how things work books out there and lots of great documentaries on netflix.

Create a water board . . . get a square piece of plywood and attach tubes, containers and help them set it up to flow top to bottom (great fun in the summer).

sytelus 4 hours ago 0 replies      
I maintain the list for kids >= 3 yrs old here: http://goo.gl/rLGwtr. This list is in progress and perhaps always will be. Initial items were from the things I myself loved and wanted but couldn't :(. I've added suggestions from here.

For <= 3 yrs here's another list...http://www.amazon.com/registry/baby/3TYUVBEO9672C

dreamweapon 21 hours ago 0 replies      
Penrose Tiles, of course:


The online shop for the new Museum of Mathematics in NYC has some of fairly cool stuff, also:


arh68 19 hours ago 0 replies      
A gyroscope, a radiometer, pentominoes, a lego bucket, a chess set? There are also the Handy _____ Answer Books. I see you've already included the Cartoon Guides to ____, which are great. There's got to be a set of children's encyclopedias, but there is also the Internet [1].

[1] https://simple.wikipedia.org/wiki/Main_Page

EDIT: I don't remember pentominoes being square, more triangular/rhombus shaped. Wikipedia shows unfamiliar shapes: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pentomino

spodek 22 hours ago 0 replies      
I wouldn't discount simple toys like baseballs and frisbees as motivating understanding and enjoying nature.

Not sure if people still play with ant farms, but Darwin and E O Wilson both played with bugs.


thearn4 19 hours ago 0 replies      
As a soon-to-be-father, I'd also be interested in infant/toddler ideas. Though simply reading to and talking with them as often as you can is probably the obvious winner there.
csarva 21 hours ago 2 replies      
Have heard good things about Robot Turtles - I think it was on HN before too --


FolioSwarm 21 hours ago 1 reply      
See hobby lobby section on this stuff. Tons of ideas. I take my kids there about once a month to buy these types of things.

Also Errector.us

Also not sure if Capsela is still around but I loved those.

Good luck,

Jordan - FolioSwarm

jacksonhole7 21 hours ago 0 replies      
My daughter went to a friend's house this weekend and played Junior Explorers and loved it - all about wildlife and nature. www.juniorexplorers.com
noblethrasher 21 hours ago 0 replies      
A large, magnetic, dry-erase board.
Is paying for backlinks for SEO ethical? Do you do it?
4 points by jayd77  11 hours ago   6 comments top 5
rfergie 19 minutes ago 0 replies      
Most of the SEO's I talk to would not advise paying for backlinks (directly, with cash). But most of their advice is intended for larger companies who have more invested in their website than just where it ranks in Google. So the downside of getting this kind of business a penalty is quite large.

There are people who make a tonne of cash buying links to websites (not just those who sell the links!) but these businesses set themselves up so that if a domain is penalised it doesn't really make much difference to them.

For a blog, particularly one you want to grow organically, I would not buy links as you build equity in the blog domain through other channels (recognition on HN for example). Buying links represents a risk in this case and for little reward.

Ethics doesn't come into it as long as you accept that spending money on marketing is ethical.

chintan39 2 hours ago 0 replies      
I have done this before and I don't see any changes.Also there is always risk of Google blacklisting those site.
_RPM 7 hours ago 0 replies      
This might sound cliche, but you have to have excellent content. If you are writing pseudo-topic content, you won't get many repeat users.
general_failure 10 hours ago 0 replies      
I don't see what the problem is. It's just like pushing ads?
redmattred 10 hours ago 1 reply      
No, it is not ethical.
Ask HN: Can we talk about FreeBSD vs. Linux?
339 points by bjackman  3 days ago   207 comments top 49
byuu 2 days ago 10 replies      
Like others have said, being unbiased is difficult, but I'll try. First, Linux v FreeBSD is really tough, so I will instead approach this from Debian v FreeBSD.

I really like how easy Debian on the desktop is: install it, apt-get install xfce, and I have a nice desktop. It's very easy to add Adobe Flash, Steam, Skype, etc.

The FreeBSD desktop isn't as nice. You can add things like Flash and Skype on FreeBSD, but you have to fight harder and often use the Linux emulator. We're missing nouveau, I've had some kernel panics with the nvidia binary drivers (caused by nvidia's own shoddy code, not FreeBSD's fault), there's a lot of missing and unstable features due to developers primarily targeting Linux these days (Thunar's file refresh is glitchy and often fails to update, Thunar volman only really works with udev/Linux, mousepad crashes when you open a file an even multiple of 4KiB due to a bug in their code and a quirk of Linux mmap, livbte-based terminals tend to crash sometimes when you open them due to a bug somewhere between libvte and FreeBSD's /bin/sh, file-roller explodes when you try and extract large archives, Firefox has freezing issues with loading gigantic images unless you set MOZ_DISABLE_IMAGE_OPTIMIZE=1 in your environment, on and on.)

And it's also not really configured well out of the box for the desktop. I have to make this org.freedesktop.consolekit.pkla file and add entries to it in order to get the restart and shutdown buttons in Xfce to work. I have to create a fontconfig/fonts.conf file and substitute Helvetica with Sans in order to get Firefox to anti-alias text on web pages. And so on.

You are also doing all the setup from scratch. You install xorg, you install your video drivers, you set up xorg.conf, you create .xinitrc, you install a display manager if you want one, etc. This is both good and bad. It's great if you love tweaking your system, it's bad if you just want to throw it on a box and run it.

Moving on ... I really, really appreciate Debian's branches. If you install Wheezy, you can get security updates for packages, but not get version bumps. With FreeBSD, you have to choose between "the packages made at release time", or "the absolute bleeding edge." These updates can and do break workflows, especially on the desktop (Firefox pushed Australis on me, ibus moved to this braindead, slow-as-molasses super+space IME changer, etc.) The actual package installs are about the same for binary (apt-get vs pkg), but I much prefer FreeBSD's ports for building software (which is great when you need to patch software bugs.)

But if you're patient and good at fixing problems, you can end up with a rock-solid desktop. And hey, maybe PC-BSD will save you all of the above steps, too. I kind of look at FreeBSD vs PC-BSD as I do Debian vs Ubuntu: I'd rather know how things work than have it all done for me.

In terms of features, I really like FreeBSD's ZFS, even though it does eat a lot of RAM. Snapshots, whole-disk encryption on root, encrypted swap, mirroring/striping/RAID even across different disks, easy resilvering, etc. I also really like pf a whole lot more than iptables, as I find the syntax a whole lot more readable and flexible, although I will lament that FreeBSD's pf ships with ALTQ (QoS) off by default. I prefer the base system being maintained by the FreeBSD team. I like the consistency, the minimalism, and the great documentation.

Whenever I spot a difference between FreeBSD and Linux, I almost always favor the former's design: /dev/random behavior, jails vs cgroups, SO_NOSIGPIPE socket opt instead of needing the MSG_NOSIGNAL flag, etc.

I like that FreeBSD avoids a lot of the 'licensing wars' BS of Linux. I have Firefox instead of Iceweasel, I have cdrtools instead of cdrkit (I continue to this day to have issues with burning on Linux), I have ZFS instead of btrfs, we had sound mixing in an OSS fork instead of ALSA, and just in general I favor the BSD/MIT/ISC licenses to the GPL.

I very much like that FreeBSD is much more conservative about major changes, and open to choice, so we don't get things like systemd, Pulseaudio, etc pushed on us before they are ready for production. I used to love this about Debian as well, but they've really lost their way as of late in pushing systemd on everyone before it was ready. I greatly value stability over whiz-bang bleeding edge features. I like that FreeBSD is run by a democratically elected core team instead of by a benevolent dictator (I don't have to read what crazy thing Linus or Theo said today in the news.) I like that FreeBSD isn't balkanized into hundreds of different distros. I love not having people telling me to say "GNU/FreeBSD" whenever I mention FreeBSD. I like that third-parties like Redhat don't exert so much control over upstream.

I like the community of FreeBSD more, as it feels that most of the members are more technically oriented. Distros like Ubuntu have brought in a lot of users with little to no experience nor interest in learning the unix way of doing things. I'm not saying this is a bad thing, or that I think less of eg Ubuntu users, just that I prefer the company of sysadmins and developers over gamers and web surfers. I dislike that I can't really discuss the OS with anyone in real life, because it's too niche.

lifeforms 2 days ago 0 replies      
I have introduced FreeBSD at a number of companies, and I'm a big fan of it, but also like Debian and Ubuntu a lot. Here are some things I like about FreeBSD:

* Since it's all developed in a smaller community, and FreeBSD hackers/users tend to be pretty opinionated about many things, most subsystems have a consistent feel and are very unsurprising. This makes that you can often guess and be right. It also means you don't get to have some hyped trends. (I have the same feeling about the Go language and community by the way.)

* This might be subjective but I feel that many administration tasks are very transparent, orthogonal and simple. Many system configuration, like enabling of services, network configuration, can be changed by a simple setting in a /etc/rc.conf shellvariables file with defaults in /etc/defaults/rc.conf. Stuff ends up in understandable text config files. Comments and options tend to be simple and don't require --lots-of-long-options --which-i-cant-ever-remember which GNU utils seem to really love :(

* The base system is being developed in a conservative way. We never reinstall servers for a major upgrade, we just upgrade running systems forever. We have some boxes that come from FreeBSD 6.0 (2005) and were gradually bumped up without reinstalling. There is little switching around of subsystems, so you don't often have to learn replacements (like ipfwadm/ipchains/iptables). The OS is just a vehicle to me, please don't complicate my life needlessly!

* The storage options are pretty nice. ZFS is now a common buzzword so I won't go into it, also Linux is now getting a good replacement in btrfs. But I also like FreeBSD's GEOM, which has a lot of 'building blocks' that you can stack on eachother. For instance, you can use gmirror to create a RAID1 mirror, then use geli to create an encrypted volume on top of that.

* The ports/packages collection is a rolling release and generally has very new versions of apps from OpenJDK to Node to PHP etc. In my mind, it's best to keep your app stack continuously fresh, compared with lagging and doing large upgrades every few years. That way you get security updates from the app authors constantly, instead of from maintainers who backport it. I actually prefer this, since upgrading apps creates tangible value for our developers and customers, but it's a tradeoff. If you want to be hands-off, set-and-forget, no-budget-for-maintenance, then you might be better off with an Ubuntu LTS or RHEL strategy of locking apps into old versions with backported fixes. But damn, I cringe whenever I see a box with PHP 5.3...

* If you compile ports yourself, the port maintainers often create configurable options so you can build stuff with your own preferences. This is very useful for instance if you need ffmpeg with some specific codecs. It can be a real drag on Linux to get it just right. Creating your own binary package repository with your favorite custom options is super easy.

* We distribute that stuff like crazy (e.g. on appliances), and it's nice to be able to do that without having too much fear about the GPL(v3).

That said, there's some positive points about Linux (mostly Ubuntu/Debian here):

* Desktop support is undoubtedly better on Linux right now. FreeBSD desktops seem a bit like Linux desktops were in the '00s: manual twiddling, lots of tweaking, having to really watch what video and wireless hardware you get. PC-BSD should be better in this regard, but I haven't tried BSD on the desktop for years now. But I'm tempted to give it another try.

* I think AppArmor is a really cool way to constrain applications without going the whole container way, for which FreeBSD doesn't have an equivalent right now.

* While I'm skeptical about systemd's overreaching goals, I do agree that it is time to centralize service and event management. It's not a critical issue to me however, I'm not too bothered by the old inits for instance. So hopefully FreeBSD doesn't have to have a big controversy and pick the 'good parts'.

* Obviously Linux has a lot of momentum right now, so using it might be less of a long term risk in terms of support, hiring, etc.

jocmeh 2 days ago 3 replies      
I started using FreeBSD (version 4.8 at the time) in 2003 and I began a switch to Ubuntu in around 2011.

Disclaimer: the following is all very opinionated and 8.1 is the last version of FreeBSD I actively used. Actually, it's still running without any problems on a colocated machine, but it's a bit a "don't touch it" situation, because upgrading even a single piece of software would probably cause a cataclysm of struggle. So I don't touch it (except for the occasional move of something to an Ubuntu vps), but it works like a charm.I've tried version 10 in a virtual machine because it had a new installer, but it was not the best experience ever (FreeBSD's x.0 versions have always been better to skip, the x.1s were fine though). FreeBSD really needed a new installer and they did some great work, but it did not yet feel very solid. On the other hand, I've had to restart the Ubuntu installer often enough as well and I have a love/hate relationship with both of them.

Okay, let's hit it.

FreeBSD: it's clean, it's minimal. It's very good for learning *NIX stuff because you will have to do a lot of configuration yourself. What they do is very well done and I'd say it's hard to break it. Jails are very cool (OS level virtualization), but like everything else in the FreeBSD world, it's quite some work to maintain. If it runs, it runs and will keep on running basically forever. If you want to upgrade stuff, brace, brace. The ports tree was amazing back in the day, but has been overtaken by stuff like apt-get. Installation of bash used to be like this: cd /usr/ports/shells/bash && make install clean. And then, depending on your hardware and de ports dependencies, minutes or hours of waiting on the compilation. You can upgrade your base to any version without having to fear. You fetch a specific version, compile all the things (again, that is a lot of waiting), run mergemaster to fix up your configurations, reboot and you're back.FreeBSD isn't very cutting edge on the level of hardware support, but it comes with OpenBSD packet filter which is the best firewall ever, it's very powerful yet easy to setup. Also, the zfs support is awesome. That file system is truly amazing, very flexible and serious about data integrity. It's cool until it breaks though, 'cause you'll be diving deep in obscure Solaris documentation and just praying to get your data back. But, I had zfs on an external USB drive and you just shouldn't do that. With built-in drives you'll probably be very safe with zfs.To sum it up: if you're patient, care about technology and have a lot of time, FreeBSD is truly a marvellous operating system that will never let you down. It's solid stuff and it's serious, but it is an investment.

Ubuntu: as someone who started with FreeBSD, Linux always felt a bit messy to me. We, the FreeBSD users at the time, used to make fun of Linux guys saying they have scripts for everything. And in some way I still think that's true. ;) The scripts in init.d very often have 'issues'. Ubuntu does a lot of stuff for you automatically. Installation of software couldn't be much easier and many times there's not much to configure. A 'disadvantage' is that you don't have to spend a lot of time figuring out how the software does and what all it's options are, it just works. The way configuration files are organised is pretty neat, with almost everything in it's own dir in /etc/ and foo.d dirs for adding extra options in small config files. (This is very contrary to FreeBSD, where you have one big /etc/rc.conf to configure the stuff that starts when booting and where you can define extra parameters for the software. There's /etc/ for configuring the base system and /usr/local/etc/ for placing files for software that's not in base.) When you're used to pf, iptables is just shit (but ufw helps a lot). It's such a struggle to configure.

So why did I switch from FreeBSD to Ubuntu? Reason number one is because the place where I started working had done that. I really loved FreeBSD and I didn't really had that feeling towards Linux, but using Linux in day to day life is just a lot easier. It's more common, most people use Linux so you don't have to do 'BSD specific stuff'. Also, I loved doing all the configuration stuff years back, but I know how it's done now and I mostly just want my stuff to work without spending hours on configuration and maintenance. You can do that with one FreeBSD server without any problem, but when you have to manage around 50 servers, it becomes quite a thing. Installing a new kernel on an Ubuntu server or upgrading software is super easy and you don't have to wait for hours because you don't have to compile all the stuff.

To conclude, I'd say: just give FreeBSD a try, it's never a bad idea to have a look at what others do. I just wouldn't advise rolling it out to lots of servers, unless you have a very specific reason to do so.

Random_BSD_Geek 2 days ago 2 replies      
Long time reader, first time poster.

I've run FreeBSD on laptops, desktops and servers since 2.2.7. Laptops are not its strong suit. It works great for me as a desktop, but I've been tinkering with X desktop configurations for a long time, and don't mind doing some work to have a desktop that functions precisely the way I want it to. Also, it is not my only desktop. (/usr/ports/sysutils/synergy FTW!)

Servers and network appliances are where FreeBSD really shines. The ports tree can be updated independent from the base OS and the base OS can be updated independent of ports. No upgrading to a new OS just to get a security fix for your web server.

ZFS is brilliant. ~7 years of FreeBSD/ZFS and no issues.

PF makes every other firewall I've run (including every commercial option) look silly. PF is like the Python of firewalls: optimized for readability. Add in CARP and PFsync for easy fault tolerance.

The project is managed by a democratically elected core group. Like a real democracy, sometimes this means change happens slowly. But the deliberate approach to change is part of what makes FreeBSD great. It's stable, predictable, and reliable. It functions as a well-engineered, well-documented whole.

FreeBSD's biggest fault is how little attention it draws to itself. It is quietly brilliant. It just works. It doesn't try to do everything. It's just good, reliable infrastructure.

wyc 2 days ago 1 reply      
This is a brief (probably incomplete) summary of my understanding (many pointsalso supported by the essays in your included link):



FreeBSD has the concept of a base system: a set of tools intended to worktogether harmoniously, maintained by a core group of people. You can easilyfind evidence of this by looking at the source code; the userspace tools sitright next to the kernel[0]. This is in contrast to _GNU_/Linux, where everything(including coreutils) is pulled in from various sources. Many Linuxdistributions emulate a base system by including utilities that transform thekernel into a complete standard system (e.g. Debian[1]).

[0]: https://github.com/freebsd/freebsd/tree/master/usr.bin

[1]: https://www.debian.org/doc/debian-policy/ch-binary.html#s3.7



Linux has a benevolent dictator who decides project direction[0], while FreeBSDhas a core group of contributers who decide the future of the project. However,I'm not sure that the Cathedral vs. Bazaar is a fair comparison to impose onthese projects[1]. In any case, both projects seem to have been getting thingsdone, and unfortunately (or maybe fortunately), I'm not too savvy on internalmanagerial disputes or issues.

[0]: http://www.softpanorama.org/People/Torvalds/index.shtml

[1]: https://www.freebsd.org/advocacy/myths.html#closed-model


Package Management:

The closest Linux distribution to FreeBSD is most likely Gentoo Linux, as itsPortage system is very heavily inspired by the FreeBSD Ports system, in whichall "packages" are simply recipes to build from source. You can even run theGentoo project on a BSD kernel[0], although this sickens most FreeBSD usersfor some reason. Most other Linux distributions default to installing binarypackages, which is also possible, but not traditional in FreeBSD[1].

[0]: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gentoo/Alt#Gentoo.2FFreeBSD

[1]: https://www.freebsd.org/doc/handbook/pkgng-intro.html


Process Management:

Linux has recently added LXC, while FreeBSD has had Jails for a while now[0].LXC is much better marketed than BSD Jails through Docker, butAbsolute FreeBSD has an excellent section that describes how to do isolateddeployments via Jails[1]. FreeBSD also has the Linuxulator[2] that emulates32-bit Linux system calls via FreeBSD system calls, allowing users toseamlessly run Linux binaries on FreeBSD. The FreeBSD startup system, however,has stayed more or less the same for the past few decades, revolving aroundan rc.conf file and init scripts. Linux has seen many more efforts in thisarea, including systemd and initramfs.

[0]: https://www.freebsd.org/doc/handbook/jails.html

[1]: http://www.amazon.com/Absolute-FreeBSD-Complete-Guide-Editio...

[2]: https://www.freebsd.org/doc/handbook/linuxemu.html



BSD projects use a BSD license, which many businesses prefer over the GNUlicense used by Linux. However, this is a discussion that deserves more thana small summary.



Linux is most likely to support recent hardware because of extensive userbaseand industry support. For example, NVidia's latest CUDA SDKs always have Linux bindings, but not BSD ones.

The BSDs have great reputations for killer implementations of TCP/IP.

The BSDs have been using the GEOM[0] disk management system for a long time,which is one of my personal favorites in terms of features. It allows you totreat character and block devices as pipes, so for example, adding encryptionis simply "piping" a bare disk through an encryption layer, resulting in a newdevice. You can even "pipe" things across the network. Linux is somewhat caughtup via device-mapper, so this is not a huge deal if you're trying to choosewhich one to use. Both are great operating systems. Just use whatever works.

[0] https://www.freebsd.org/doc/handbook/geom.html

It's likely that you know things that I don't, so please feel free to correctme if I'm wrong.

_paulc 2 days ago 0 replies      
FreeBSD user since 2.0.5 (1995) - Linux since 0.95

I have always found that FreeBSD has had a much cleaner and more orthogonal feel as a system than any of the Linux distros and was always much more familiar for UNIX 'old hands'. If you come from the school where UNIX systems shouldn't have displays or the frippery associated with PCs and should be interacted with from a terminal you will probably be comfortable with FreeBSD. It shines as a rock-stable server O/S and in most cases trying to use it as a desktop is going to be fairly frustrating - the easiest way round this is not to bother and buy a MacBook Pro.

My view is that in the late 90s early 2000s adoption was impacted fairly significantly by two rather flaky major releases (3.0 & 5.0) where major bits of the system (SMP/Giant lock) were upgraded and took a long time to stabilise. These felt like a step back from the previous rock solid releases (2.2.8 & 4.11). Realistically the next really good release was the 8.0 series but since then the pace of development has really taken off and the 9.0 and 10.0 series are outstanding.

My view is that it is a great choice as a server O/S - with the significant commercial backing as an embedded O/S looks to have a strong future. I know that there will continue to be an interest in getting the desktop bits working but to be honest I think that this is a lost cause and should be dropped (though I acknowledge that the PC-BSD team doesn't agree)

One other point is that there is probably a chunk of the Linux userbase who probably shouldn't try FreeBSD as it really isn't aimed at them.

morganvachon 2 days ago 1 reply      
My personal (limited) experience with FreeBSD vs my (extensive) experience with GNU/Linux:

FreeBSD pros:

Very stable

Excellent network support

Friendly, knowledgeable devs and tightly knit community

Runs most GNU/Linux apps via ports or jails, sometimes better than on Linux

Easy to learn given prior 'nix experience

FreeBSD cons:

Difficult to learn if you're new to the 'nix world

Smaller pool of compatible hardware[1]

The above has been my personal experience and obviously won't be the same for everyone. Also, I'm most comfortable with Slackware Linux, which is very BSD-like compared to other Linuxes, so that probably influences my point of view. Generally speaking, I like FreeBSD but I don't run it as a production machine (yet) since I'm happy with Slackware. Should that ever change (and there's only one reason it would, and that doesn't need to be rehashed here) I'd be able to switch to FreeBSD relatively easily.

Something else you might want to explore, as an easy introduction to FreeBSD, is PC-BSD. It takes FreeBSD and makes it much more user friendly, with a focus on being a GUI based desktop OS (though they do offer an alternate server installation as well).

[1] While the official list of compatible hardware is extensive, I've found in practice that certain COTS hardware simply doesn't work well with FreeBSD. I've even had professional workstations like a Lenovo ThinkCentre refuse to boot the installation media, throwing a kernel panic instead. I've also had poor luck with cheap motherboards. Generally, my best experiences with installing and running FreeBSD have been on Dell and HP workstations, and on quality motherboards from companies like Gigabyte and ECS.

emcrazyone 2 days ago 1 reply      
These discussions usually amount to flame wars but I will offer some real world usage perspective. I use to work for a fortune-5 company that standardized on Linux. We compiled our own Linux kernel and we used the SUSE distribution from Novell. The main driver behind this was two fold. (1) Novell indemnifies us from a legal perspective and (2) they support us on IBM hardware. Any problem from drivers, to user space apps (CUPS, Syslog, etc...) they support us. These are pretty much required by large companies.

I'm still in the automotive field but now I work on embedded stuff. I'm one of the software developers behind CUE (Cadillac User Experience) and Linux is the go-to defacto standard pretty much because all the BSP (Board Support Packages) run Linux. For example, Freescale iMX processors and their demo kits are all Linux based and so brining up drivers for iMX ethernet, SPI, GPIO, I2S and I2C have some sort of vendor support.

The large fortune-5 companines indirectly support Linux by entering multi millon dollar support contracts with companies like Novell and RedHat. To give an example: We once had an issue with CUPS where the root cause was a software bug. Novell, under the support agreement, fixed the issue and then submitted the patch back to the open source community.

So from my perspective, I can see how Linux seems to have more traction than openBSD. Linux seems to have a larger following in the automotive sector but I'm not sure if Linux's success is because of these factors I'm pointing too or if these factors are because a lot of people just know of or about Linux more so than openBSD.

There also seem to be more company backed open source projects that support Linux before openBSD. Example is Yocto which advertises itself as an open source Linux build system. And recently Freescale has been moving their LTIB BSP tools to Yocto.

I would be interested in hearing how others industries are using Linux outside automotive.

dschiptsov 2 days ago 1 reply      
Why, FreeBSD is an advanced UNIX-like system for servers, derived from original BSD sources I don't remember exactly when. My first experience was with FreeBSD 2.0

It confirms to recent UNIX standards, such as various POSIXes (pthreads, rt extensions), UNIX98 (I guess), etc. and obviously don't have any Linuxisms, like udev, systemd (thank god!) fuse, you name it, which aren't that important for a server. So you could compile as a port or install as a pre-compiled package almost everything you want for a server.

It runs on pair with Linux on network and application performance, in some cases even slightly better. Notably, nginx prior to version 1.0 has been developed on FreeBSD.

Nowadays here are a few obvious disadvantages.

1. Driver support is fair - it runs on standard modern hardware, but cannot be compared to Linux with tens of thousands of contributors, it has very small core-team.

But it considered much less "marginal" than, say, OpenBSD (which is very clever in its own way) or NetBSD.

2. Vendors doesn't support it, so basically you wouldn't run, say, Oracle or DB2 on FreeBSD (while there is a possibility to install some Linux binaries with emulation). Notably, there is no that "certified, safe Oracle JDK" for FreeBSD, only "unofficial" OpenJDK port.

Not long ago it has a reasonable share of all Internet servers and the recent decline isn't due to any quality or reliability issues with FreeBSD, but because "too many Linuxes everywhere".

It has some clever technologies of its own, like netgraph, jails+union-fs (which is you could call "chroot-based containers before Docker") native ZFS support, etc.

Lots of sane people ran FreeBSD in production, Yahoo is the most notable example. Russians love FreeBSD too - many early ISPs and hosting services has been built on top of it. Lots of developers and contributors are from Russia.

So it is modern, reliable UNIX for servers. But not that popular, of course.

wslh 2 days ago 1 reply      
Facebook Seeks Devs To Make Linux Network Stack As Good As FreeBSD's: http://bsd-beta.slashdot.org/story/14/08/06/1731218/facebook...

(I don't want to start a flamewar, just add more stuff for a good discussion)

_asummers 2 days ago 1 reply      
This book came out a few months ago, may be a good springboard if you're interested in learning how FreeBSD works under the hood. From what I understand, the first edition of this book is highly regarded.


arh68 2 days ago 2 replies      
BSD is often just a little bit different. Hard to be unbiased. Some people prefer GNU make, some like bsdmake.

- kqueue is a very powerful event loop similar to epoll [1]

- the FreeBSD ports collection is very simple to use as far as compiling from source goes. I only really prefer Debian's apt-get and Gentoo's emerge

- the FreeBSD Handbook is a very well-maintained text [2]. I freely admit OpenBSD has the best man pages ever written, but the Handbook is good too. Not bleeding-edge talk like the gentoo-wiki or archwiki, just reliable information.

[1] https://www.freebsd.org/cgi/man.cgi?query=kqueue&sektion=2

[2] https://www.freebsd.org/doc/en_US.ISO8859-1/books/handbook/

pellaeon 2 days ago 3 replies      
I have few experience with Linux distros other than Ubuntu, so I'm only comparing FreeBSD with Ubuntu. Linux distros are so diverse I don't think you can just compare all of them with FreeBSD anyway.

I have both FreeBSD servers and Ubuntu servers. Thing I like the most with FreeBSD is its further separation (compared with Ubuntu) of OS (kernel and world) from third-party software.In Ubuntu every package comes in multiple versions for different releases, in FreeBSD there's only one version.

There's no "because I want git 1.8 so I have to upgrade to Ubuntu 14.04", in FreeBSD you can install the latest version of git on all supported OS versions. (In my experience even a slightly outdated OS version can run latest third-party software quite smoothly)

Software in FreeBSD Ports (its system getting third-party software) catch up with upstream releases very quickly. You might think they have less testing than that is in Ubuntu/Debian, but I don't know if it's really the case. Though I rarely encounter bugs with these cutting-edge software in FreeBSD.

I speak mainly from the experience with Ubuntu, I'm not so familiar with other Linux distros.

justincormack 2 days ago 0 replies      
The culture is different. The most noticeable thing is of course simply size. FreeBSD is by far the largest of the BSDs, but it is a much smaller community than Linux. That means that it is easier to get involved, easier to follow what is going on - eg look at the commit log[1] - you can follow it pretty well, vs the Linux commits where each is a large merge of a nested set of commits[2].

Sometimes small size means things can change faster, eg NetBSD has had 64 bit time_t since 2012, while 32 bit Linux still has no roadmap to fix this (the BSDs are also have a different compatibility model). Other times it of course means that less is done and things take longer. You will often hear people say the BSDs are better designed, as perhaps prioritising limited resources leads to more design, or maybe there are just fewer people who need to solve a problem fast but not so well.

Including (some) userspace means that the tools are less bloated than the GNU ones which were designed pre Linux as portable tools, before the Gnu project had a kernel - remember GNU was the cathedral in the cathedral and the bazaar.

[1] https://github.com/freebsd/freebsd/commits/master

[2] https://github.com/torvalds/linux/commits/master

xenophonf 2 days ago 0 replies      
_The_ thing that brought me to FreeBSD is the base system. A full installation is about 2.5 GB including source code (which is about 900 MB for the FreeBSD sources plus about another 800 MB for the Ports tree). Installation is extremely simple. Third-party software is cleanly separated from the base system. If you're coming from Linux, FreeBSD now has great binary package management tools in the form of pkgng, which is every bit as good and easy to use as APT or yum. I love the FreeBSD documentation. There are useful manual pages even for kernel internals and device drivers. I think that PF is vastly easier to understand and configure than iptables; the same goes for FreeBSD's IPsec implementation. Everything's laid out in a very logical, consistent manner, with lots of comments in config files and whatnot.

What's kept me on FreeBSD is the Ports tree (the third-party package build infrastructure). I love how easily I can build customized packages for my computers, especially now with pkgng and tools like poudriere (refer to this great tutorial at http://www.bsdnow.tv/tutorials/poudriere). I can very easily set up my own custom package repository that either supplements or wholly replaces FreeBSD's. I've tried to do similar things with Linux, but it definitely isn't as easy. The ports tree committers are very responsive, and creating (and submitting!) one's own packages is both well documented and very easy.

I like how much of the system configuration is done in /etc/rc.conf. I like how the various system and ports tree build-time knobs are all in /etc/make.conf. I like how daily maintenance scripts/health checks both run by default and are all configured in /etc/periodic.conf. I like how understandable the base system is, kernel internals included. I'm no expert developer (and believe me, there's plenty of advanced Unix hacker wizardry in the FreeBSD sources), but things are accessible enough to even one such as me that I successfully modified the ciss driver this year to work around a weird bug in some old server gear I was experimenting with.

Don't get me wrong - I love me some Unix, but modern Linux distributions seem over-complicated in a lot of the ways I don't like about Solaris or AIX or Windows, even though there's a lot of nice stuff from the perspective of an end user. If you install Ubuntu or Fedora, a lot of stuff Just Works(tm), and that's great! I love Ubuntu and Fedora! But if anything breaks and I have to go digging, things get complicated so rapidly that it makes debugging more of an effort than it should be.

vitriol83 2 days ago 1 reply      
i use it mainly as a soho nas. the things i like about it are

1) userland and kernel owned by the same group. this lends consistency to the experience, that is absent in linux, where it's clear that it's an amalgamation of many different tools.

2) (largely) one way of doing things

3) package management system (pkg-ng) that is a cross between gentoo portage and debian apt-get

4) extremely good documentation for an open source project (https://www.freebsd.org/doc/handbook/)

5) configuration is very simple (mostly driven from rc.conf)

6) excellent full-disk encryption support (geli)

driver support always lags a bit behind linux, on the other hand the drivers that do exist i'm confident are stable. i make sure to buy hardware which i know is supported.

Jukelox 2 days ago 0 replies      
In my experience it all comes down to performance and tunability. Our personal preferences are just that, personal.

Linux has vsyscalls which makes it performant for the typical LAMP stack. If you profile a PHP Zend framework "hello world" app it makes 20k+ calls to gettimeofday(), which is very slow on FreeBSD in comparison. Throw a couple hundred requests/s and you saturate the CPU for no good reason.

FreeBSD needs business support in order to maintain funding, and be a relevant competitor to Linux. If a developer were to pick a popular application stack like node and identify significant performance gains it would make waves.

reidacdc 2 days ago 2 replies      
I think this would be a useful conversation.

The userlands are pretty similar, I think, they both support the GNU tools, as is attested to by the existence of Debian/kFreeBSD.

I don't know what the OP's motivation is, but I'm an enterprise server admin, with lots of Debian experience, but no real FreeBSD knowledge at all. I've been looking at Debian/kFreeBSD off and on for a while as a way to get at ZFS, and possibly better NFS performance. I was actually planning on deploying some experimental Debian/kFreeBSD systems when Jessie releases, but it now looks like that might not be such a good plan: http://lwn.net/Articles/614142/

sikhnerd 2 days ago 0 replies      
Freebsd has this Quickstart Guide for Linux Users[1] which is somewhat helpful.

[1] https://www.freebsd.org/doc/en/articles/linux-users/

Rapzid 2 days ago 0 replies      
I'd really like to hear from someone about the network stack. I often see jabs at Linux's networking features in regards to FreeBSD, but Linux has a crazy comprehensive stack. Many network appliances are based on Linux kernels and I've personally worked on Linux routers. I also recall doing brief investigation into FreeBSD's networking features and came away with the impression that Linux is out ahead; is this not the case?

How does the storage stack compare? I really love ZFS and have used ZoL quite extensively in the past for a VPS/baremetal backup system and of course FreeBSD has rock solid ZFS support. But Linux has bomber RAID, LVM, dm(which lets you write you're own targets and do all kinds of awesome mapping) etc.

And then of course there are "containers". I'm aware of jails and they are much tested but I saw the other day that they don't have cgroup type features to allow controlling RAM and CPU usage? Namespaces? Is it the case that Linux containers are overtaking jails on the features front?

I really like the idea of FreeBSD and I have bought "The Design and Implementation of the FreeBSD Operating System"(which I ought to start reading) but I'll admit to not knowing a whole lot about it. Most of the topics that come up in comparison discussions seem a bit more superficial than what I'm interested in.

ilolu 2 days ago 9 replies      
I wanted to know about hosting solutions if I want to use FreeBSD. Linode, Digital Ocean don't support it.

AWS and GCE have support, but it seems the kernel is provided by a FreeBSD maintainer rather than AWS or GCE. How stable is FreeBSD on AWS or GCE ?. And are there any companies using FreeBSD on AWS / GCE ?.

louwrentius 2 days ago 4 replies      
For those of us that are more interested in FreeBSD due to the whole Systemd 'controversy', look at the other HN link about the 'FreeBSD: the next 10 years' presentation. They clearly state that FreeBSD is in the same position and it seems that they are not hostile towards the concept of Systemd. Personally I hope that FreeBSD will choose a solution that does not involve QR codes (not mandatory).
keithpeter 2 days ago 1 reply      
It might help to know your main interest: bare metal server in a coloco? Virtualised servers? embedded? desktops?

Do you manage thousands/hundreds/a handful of machines?

Or is your interest entirely academic and structural?

I agree that most of the obvious Google searches return superficial comparisons of the installation process or explanations of the packaging and upgrade processes.

eikenberry 2 days ago 0 replies      
They are both free *nix, so they are very similar. BSD prefers the simpler versions of many of the common command line tools where the Linuxes prefer the GNU tools which tend to have more features. There will also be other small tech differences that will come into play in special cases, like ZFS being nice for fileservers.

Other than the basic tech there are 2 important differences. First is the that there is one FreeBSD but there are hundreds of distributions of Linux. And among them you'll find much larger differences than between FreeBSD and the popular Linux dists.

The other big difference is simply derived from the fact that Linux is more popular. It will tend to have better drivers, have more bugs worked out of the software, etc., just like any other free software out there. FreeBSDs conservative nature towards its core software more than mitigates this, but for all the peripheral software it will matter.

joshbaptiste 2 days ago 0 replies      
Start watching http://www.bsdnow.tv , great show focusing on the *BSD's.
sudioStudio64 2 days ago 0 replies      
It's going to be hard to find an unbiased identification of the strengths and weaknesses of both. These kinds of things tend to bring out the definition of bias.

Anyway, I like the first comments idea about a wiki. That would be helpful.

octotoad 2 days ago 0 replies      
A lot of HN posts related to BSD release announcements end up with the inevitable "Can somebody explain the advantages of using xxxBSD?" comments. Might be worth looking at the comments section for some of those past submissions.
cperciva 2 days ago 0 replies      
I arrived at this thread about 6 hours late and people have said most of what I would say; but I'll add that we would like to see more startups using FreeBSD (a preference which predates Koum's donation!) so if you've considered FreeBSD but found that it was lacking some functionality which your startup needed I'd love to hear from you.
lelf 2 days ago 0 replies      
FreeBSD: ZFS. Jails. Dtrace. Greatly easier to grok

GNU/Linux: Desktop

feld 2 days ago 0 replies      
Maybe start a wiki page somewhere with what you know/want to know about Linux and then people can fill in the equivalent FreeBSD parts
calebm 2 days ago 1 reply      
Docker has a ton of momentum right now, which should play into this comparison (as it doesn't run on FreeBSD).
mmmatt1 2 days ago 0 replies      
Voxer is a really interesting case, as they have run a similar production load on Linux, then switched to SmartOS (Solaris), and now switched to FreeBSD.

Their staff are technically savvy, and I don't know of anyone else who has tested the options in this way, in production. They have a popular mobile app which turns your phone into a walkie talkie and more, and have millions of users.

I saw them interviewed about their move to FreeBSD recently: http://youtu.be/NGT3jpilYfE?t=15m

I like FreeBSD, but I have yet to run the same stack on multiple operating systems in production. That's a LOT of work!

obviouslygreen 2 days ago 2 replies      
As a Debian user who started on Gentoo, I think the linked article was very interesting in terms of at least getting an idea of what the differences in design are.

I've never used a BSD or even looked into it... given what I read there, it seems like it'd be a lot nicer in at least one sense, since Debian releases die off and release-upgrade can be either perfect or very painful.

On the other hand, I do love how small and unassuming a basic Linux installation is, and -- as the author repeatedly and correctly stresses -- I'm used to doing things the way I currently do them. That's not good or bad, it's just momentum.

I do hope I'll get the chance to work with a BSD at some point, but much like my attempts to really get into Clojure... well, unlike the Stones, most of us do not have time on our side.

debacle 2 days ago 1 reply      
I love the BSD ecosystem, but until FreeBSD is as easy to use and as maintained as Debian, I can't see myself switching over. Debian is just far to convenient, not because it is better, but because it probably has 100 fold the maintainers that FreeBSD does.
sjackso 2 days ago 0 replies      
Here [0] is a really extensive how-to for running FreeBSD as a desktop OS. It goes beyond the basics, including information about 3D graphics, printing, emulating Linux binaries, installing Flash, and running Wine. It's useful as a guide for someone starting out with FreeBSD, but it's also useful to skim over it in order to get a sense of the distance between the minimalist, base FreeBSD installation and a modern desktop environment.

[0]: https://cooltrainer.org/a-freebsd-desktop-howto/

sgt 2 days ago 1 reply      
We do quite a bit of Java development and particularly with regards to Java EE 7. In the past I've had bad experiences in terms of a stable Java environment on production servers on FreeBSD.

It appears that OpenJDK is the best option on FreeBSD right now - but is it something one can trust as much as Oracle's Java on Linux?

These are mission critical servers, so I would hesitate to take chances. To put it in perspective, even the latest Java 8 has a serious bug (on Linux) that we've recently reported to Oracle, so we'd like to be as risk averse as possible.

gingersnaps 2 days ago 0 replies      
> I just want to know about differences in design and unbiased identification of strengths and weaknesses.

There's no such thing as an unbiased identification of strengths and weaknesses, especially when it comes to monoliths like operating systems.

You say you're not interested in arguing about which system is better -- and I believe you -- but you're also asking for argument about which system is better, in list form. Heck, even your title has a versus in it.

That said, I join you in looking for a concise source of information about FreeBSD's design and usage in the wild contrasted with Linux.

jtchang 2 days ago 1 reply      
Because I have a FreeBSD box with this:

$ uptime11:23PM up 835 days, 5:33, 1 user, load averages: 0.07, 0.02, 0.01

hiphopyo 2 days ago 1 reply      
There's the old "FreeBSD vs. Linux vs. Windows 2000" document which caused quite the stir:


anonbanker 2 days ago 0 replies      
Why aren't we talking about OpenBSD vs. Linux?I mean, it's the only OS I trust anymore.
raphaelss 2 days ago 0 replies      
What has kept me from using FreeBSD (or other bsds) in the past on my laptop was lack of nvidia optimus support. Last time I checked, there still wasn't a bumblebee port.Nevertheless, I have always wanted to try it for longer periods. Perhaps I should try to contribute if it's feasible.
sergiosgc 2 days ago 2 replies      
A side question somewhat related to the theme: What features of ZFS can't be achieved with ext4 on top of LVM? I see lots of people longing for full disk encryption, mirroring, snapshots or foreign hard disk consolidation, all of which seem doable with ext4+LVM.
oDot 2 days ago 1 reply      
I think an interesting question in this context is:

If you wanted to create Ubuntu today, would you use GNU/Linux or FreeBSD as base?

grigio 2 days ago 0 replies      
no, or your comments will be banned :/
pmoriarty 2 days ago 0 replies      
The worst part of FreeBSD is the license.
babo 2 days ago 0 replies      
If you can't decide yourself just stick with your current OS.
Ask HN: Why netflix doesn't have playlists?
3 points by jturolla  10 hours ago   2 comments top 2
yzzxy 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Probably because the Netflix UI experience has a lot of inertia - there's a Netflix frontend on every TV or device sold nowadays, I'm guessing a feature has to be ESSENTIAL if they're going to make new GUIs for every modern set-top box in the world.
kolev 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Bigger issues for me are:

* Why queues are limited to just 500 items?

* Why I can't slice a queue by facets (genre, year, rating, stars, etc.)?

* Why I can't control the queues of my children (I really want them to stay away from the brain-washing Disney stuff, for example)?

* Why main account's viewing activity includes sub-accounts, too (in my case, the main account is me and my wife, children have their sub-queues)?

I find less and less value in Netflix. Recently, I buy more stuff on Vudu, Amazon Instant Videos, and even Google Play. Netflix should rebrand to OldFlix or KidFlix as the there's very little quality available for streaming. I really don't get why they didn't implement Amazon's model earlier - offer a fixed selection for the monthly price and then pay per rental or purchase of individual titles not available with the subscription. Maybe they have licensing/contract issues, but if Amazon could do it, they should've done it, too. I'm not into TV shows, but it seems that they are trying to compensate with "Netflix Originals", which works for some, but not for me.

Ask HN: Anyone making a living from Desktop apps?what had been changed?
15 points by umenline  1 day ago   21 comments top 7
sireat 23 hours ago 0 replies      
Let's assume Desktop includes Mac, Windows and Linux.

First You need an app that solves a need (doesn't matter if other commercial or open source alternatives exist) and does not completely suck.

That's the easy part.

Then you need a channel to display your app. That also does not seem so hard these days. Mac, Windows both have stores, we can consider Synaptic and Ubuntu store thing to be a channel too(setting aside money question for now).

Unfortunately channel is not going to suffice.

The hard part is getting a funnel, that is a way to guide your prospective customers to your product.

One method perfected by patio11 was to create SEO friendly content for one audience, but use the SEO juice to sell to completely different audience. This is very very hard to do.

Of course, if you already have your own channel(nice e-mail list), then you can push your apps too.

But building an e-mail list is again very hard.

The days of late 1980s shareware boom have been over for a long time, but I suspect with razor sharp focus there are still some success stories(paging Patio11 and his Bingo Card Creator).

Disclaimer: I write internal apps at mediumcorp for a living and have no personal indie success stories.

tabulatouch 16 hours ago 1 reply      
I am making a living with my windows only projection mapping application http://www.facadesignage.comIt started in 2006 but went online 2 years ago, and that was my best idea ever (i mean going online).I learned a lot about software, products, funnels, marketing and niches. And best of all: narrowing down the user pain and solving it at the UI level.
umenline 5 hours ago 0 replies      
This is also good example for great niche: http://www.collectorz.com/
sebg 20 hours ago 1 reply      
This is the canonical article I point people to when this question comes up: http://www.evanmiller.org/why-i-develop-for-the-mac.html

Evan is a frequent contributor here on HN and it's also worth reading most of his other articles/posts as well.

umenline 17 hours ago 0 replies      
Example of someone or small team ( i guess ) that doing useful desktop apps http://www.hkvstore.com/ someone knows something about them ?
mike_hearn 22 hours ago 2 replies      
You mean other than Notch, or anyone in the video games business, or the iLife team at Apple, or the Microsoft Office team?

Sure. Lots of people are making money from desktop apps. Just because it's not hip or cool these days doesn't mean it's useless.

dragonbonheur 23 hours ago 1 reply      
There's a much higher probability of getting that question answered on the Business of Software Forum which can be accessed through joelonsoftware.com
Ask HN: Worthwhile ad networks?
6 points by foxpc  17 hours ago   7 comments top 3
jimbobob 17 hours ago 1 reply      
Hi foxpc- that is a hard question to answer without knowing more specifics. Here are some of the questions that I can use to point you in the right direction.

- What kind of site(s) do you have traffic for?

- Are they in a specific niche, or is the traffic more general?

- Which ad units do you support?

- What is your estimated volume (impressions/month)?

- What is your geo breakdown?

Feel free to reach out to me directly if you don't want to share this info publicly. I would love to help!

jsonne 10 hours ago 1 reply      
What are you working on? I run a digital agency, and I'd be more than happy to help if I can.
stephancoral 15 hours ago 1 reply      
Have you looked into AppNexus?
Ask HN: Is it time to give up, or is it time to push on?
47 points by Curll  21 hours ago   64 comments top 28
tptacek 20 hours ago 4 replies      
This isn't a hard question to answer. Your prospective investors really aren't going to invest without customer traction. You have no product, and you have just a month's living expenses left.

Even with a hail-mary play that gets you some a semblance of a working product and some users in December, you still won't have a trendline to show investors.

If plodding forward doesn't really cost you anything, because you're basically insolvent anyways, sure, keep plodding forward.

Otherwise: draw up Plan B. Doing something else doesn't mean you can't return to your fantasy sports platform later on. It just means you need to figure out a way to start getting paid, and that needs to be a priority.

Due respect to the rest of the comments on this thread, but how much you believe in yourself really doesn't have much to do with your decision.

austenallred 21 hours ago 0 replies      
This is the hardest question to answer. My startup was once at a point when any sane person would have given up, and yet here we are - alive, growing, funded. Before that there was a phase when I was all in. I was living in my car in Silicon Valley because I couldn't afford rent, stressed out of my mind, had no product, and could tell that we were a long way yet from having product, traction, and being compelling to investors (or even an accelerator). And I had zero dollars in the bank (actually significantly fewer than zero dollars).

So how did we get from point A to point B? I got a job so that I could pay the bills and think straight. My co-founder and I parted ways, and I ended up finding another. We built out the product and got enough users for an accelerator to take a risk on us, then for investors to do the same. Now, a year later, I have the perfect team with enough money and the right product.

It sounds like, if you're honest with yourself, you're a long way away from being a palatable investment. My guess is that you're even farther than you think you are, because that's just the nature of the beast.

If I hadn't taken the time to postpone - not give up, but realize the circumstances we were in weren't conducive to building a company - I'm sure we would have failed. If you're not going to make it, accept that fact, and do what you have to do to get your ducks in a row.

Sometimes "Don't give up" looks a lot like giving up, and that's the hardest part. But if you really believe in what you're doing, you do what you have to do, no matter what that is.

Just my two cents.

andy_adams 19 hours ago 1 reply      
If your devs are learning Node & Angular on the job, it's time to find new devs. I've picked up far too many freelance projects where the devs just wanted to try a new framework, and Node/Angular are top of the list for "cool things to try".

If you're going to continue, find a dev with lots of experience in an old/stable platform (Rails, Django, etc) who can crank out version 0.1 in a month or two.

When you're this early, you don't have the resources to be educating your developers. They will bail before they're productive, and you're left footing the bill.

fsk 20 hours ago 1 reply      
Give up. Your current team is incompetent. They are padding their resume with node/angular experience at your expense. They should have a working demo after 2 months.
benologist 21 hours ago 1 reply      
"our two other developers are learning Node and Angular, but not much progress has been made on the product."

Why are they learning this stuff now while you're under a deadline and have no product?

Do these guys have previous experience with other languages/frameworks/etc that would let them focus on building instead?

kordless 20 hours ago 0 replies      
There's one awesome thing that is apparent here which is that you already know the answer to your question. Read your words: "boring details", "hired away", "not much progress", "developer doubts", "find a replacement", "too early", "need usage stats", "able to make rent", "stress is getting to me", "shut the whole thing down".

Your last comment is the most telling: "Giving up is way harder than trying."

When I say something is hard, what I mean is that it challenges and scares me. I live my life by one motto now: do the thing that scares you the most. It's worked so far for me - good things are happening already.

I think you should try doing what scares you the most. Is that keeping on keeping on, or quitting?

FolioSwarm 21 hours ago 1 reply      
I don't think you've been at it long enough to quit. Here is an idea. Can you build something smaller that will generate revenue quickly instead of a much larger fantasy sports platform site? You obviously play fantasy sports so what if you wrote down all the things that drive you crazy about the big guys sites and apps and create a small solution for each problem on paper and then fix it with an app. Or look on a few app stores and find all the problems via viewing the low ratings on all the other apps out there. This is where the pain is and fantasy sports players will use whatever they find as a solution to their problems. What if you just build a small app that helped people get an advantage over other players that was easy to create, costs a couple bucks on an app store (or links to add rev. that can be dumped into an account that is linked to a top fantasy platform) and can be done before baseball season. You may have to do some Wizard of Oz stuff to start making money and get traction until you have some dough to hire a better team, etc. Here is an idea that may work: In my business, investments (actually building an SaaS product in FinTech) there are all these sites that for lack of better words are called "Guru" sites/apps. There are probably 5 sites and 5 - 10 apps out there. It sounds corny, but what people/companies have done (Using public filings) is find what the big guys (Hedge Funds/Institutions) are buying and then wrap a service around it. So if Warren Buffet buys MSFT they send out an email to all their subscribers telling them that Warren Buffet owns this now and they pile in. People will pay a lot of money for information. Some sites are slicker, where they have a good GUI with portfolio holdings of every single hedge fund, every single trade, weightings, etc., where you can slice and dice data a hundred different ways. Some have gotten as far as trading your accounts based on their (The Gurus) trades. So what if you built the simplist version of this where all the baddest ass fantasy players were tracked (Trades, allocations, etc.)and you sold a service where they get emailed when players are moved, allocations change, trades are made, etc., but the hook is you have to track the best, or maybe even professional athlete's picks (who knows more than a professional athlete about other athletes?) or maybe coaches, who knows. But keep it small, it has to create revenue immediately so you can pay rent and it has to be non-existing and something you could possibly sell to a big competitor (or put on their site to generate split ad revenue or something) because lets face it over time you could have a site with every widget, app, stat cruncher, etc. like a mall for fantasy players that need the best tools to kill it against all the guys in their office. Start thinking outside the box, but it has to be quickly built and must generate revenue quickly and then do what you want to do. Maybe follow an MVP regimen to get it going. Just some ideas, you could always build a quick picks aggregator that takes all the picking sites lists and makes a master list. Or generate a new way to rate players with a number (1,2,3,4) or alphabetic system (A,B,C,D), or turn players into stocks and make them into charts, quotes, graphs as a way or means to analyzing them better. Don't create a "market" for players though because it's been done and the Gov. doesn't like these sites/apps because they resemble gambling. good luck - Jordan
kissmd 21 hours ago 1 reply      
But frankly: 3 devs * 5 months and you have nothing? This is a no go for every investor, i am sure.
gwbas1c 19 hours ago 0 replies      
Just remember this: You don't need to be the guy in charge to be successful.

It takes a long time to find a CTO; and if you can't make rent in January, you aren't going to look very appealing. Even if you find a CTO who's into fantasy sports; given your company's (cough) debt, a potential CTO might think it's easier to start over, without you, your code, and our developers.

If you like the startup scene, you can go work for an early stage startup. Chances are, there's a sports-themed startup that you'll be able to do very well in.

You can also keep networking until you find the right team of people to work with. Remember, you don't need to be the guy in charge to be successful.

waterlesscloud 21 hours ago 0 replies      
How far away is baseball season, 4 months? You can't have an MVP by then with several months already under belt? Is your Minimal Viable Product minimal enough?

If you plan to continue, you might need to look at chopping your launch features down a bit.

sebastianconcpt 18 hours ago 0 replies      
Reality check: Curll, if you can't fix your cash-flow problem in 30 days, then you already know the experiment requires a strategic pivot.

It doesn't help to question that.

It will have an emotional impact for you but fighting facts will not help you. Deep breath and change the perspective to see how you need to pivot. Don't narrow possibilitites. On the contrary, expand them. You might feel blind or stuck for a little but do some Customer Development (essentially listening) to get inspired again.

You need the cash-flow problem fixed and is better if you can fix it by yourself delivering direct value (AKA, your paying clients).

Even if you have to do something else (diversification) and everybody tells you that you should focus, if it's not working then is not working (AKA pivot needed).

Remember that you can always do the self-angel strategy (AKA bootstrap) and do that project as secondary thing instead of primary. Might not be so exciting but it will protect you (and reality around you is asking for it).

Do not surrender to peer pressure on cheap advice (perhaps including this one). Stay questioning and trust your subconscious intuition and discern.

What would you say to you if you were to advice your son on this?


silverbax88 19 hours ago 1 reply      
1. Solve your financial problem first. Get a job to make rent, even if it's seasonal. Once you know you can eat and sleep somewhere, it will be easier to step back and be objective.

2. Decide if the market is there "if everything was perfect". Nothing will be perfect, but if there is no market even in a perfect world, well, walk away. If you think there is a market even in an imperfect world that you want to go after, then that's your answer. But your second step is deciding whether to move forward on the project. If you aren't going to make the baseball season (which is likely), decide if it would be better to target the 2015 football season opener or the 2016 major league baseball opener.

3. PM me anytime, I have a sports media company and I am very tech-savvy, I'm a longtime coder, I've worked for major corporations as an architect and manager, and I've worked with/advised multiple smaller 'grassroots' sports companies. I'm not offering to build your platform, but I am offering someone who you can at least bounce ideas off of that will know your market. And I'm not building a competing platform. I might not be able to solve your problems of today, but if you decide to move forward with it, I might be able to provide objective advice about your market and tech.

xpto123 12 hours ago 0 replies      
Don't get bankrupt for this, its not worth it. Shut it down temporarily, try to make the MVP really minimal in your spare time.

The product you describe seems to have huge scope. Try to make it really focused, like an an NFL only fantasy league (the most popular sport).

You should really get developers that know already Angular and Node, those technologies are just not learnable overnight.

Other than that it seems like a nice stack, I personally would go for a backend based on socket.io and mongoose.

Any change of having people working remotelly to reduce office costs?

JSeymourATL 20 hours ago 0 replies      
Pivot Today: Keep your team together, assuming they're good guys. Find some contract development work to bring cash-in. Carve out time to work on your e-sports platform as a side project. Recommend reading Alan Weiss on acquiring clients> http://www.amazon.com/How-Acquire-Clients-Techniques-Practit...
jboggan 19 hours ago 0 replies      
Been there, done that. Had to make the choice between paying Heroku or my landlord, I moved out and started couch surfing and crashing with my parents. Eventually that wears thin - actually immediately that wears thin.

You have a highly in-demand skill-set and I suggest you go use it and restore your finances and your sanity. The tech world isn't going anywhere.

Spend the next 3 years applying all the lessons you've learned which are no doubt numerous. How would you have done things differently to avoid your current predicament and lack of runway? You get another chance - and in the meantime you can take a load off mentally and financially.

Edit to add: By the way, you're successful for even attempting this. Don't hang your head in shame or beat yourself up for wanting to quit, or think that something magical will materialize if you just hold on. View it as a step to something greater and move on. You'll have great stories to tell the people who've been safely ashore the entire time.

startupfounder 19 hours ago 1 reply      
Sales fix everything.

Cash flow fixes everything.

If you can't generate cash then quit or pivot to something that does quickly.

Cash flow and traction leads to investors not the other way around.

Are you generating cash now? how much? what are you costs?

Focus on one thing and do it really well. I know you hear this all the time, but be the best SF Giants fantasy league.

goodgoblin 19 hours ago 0 replies      
In the spirit of "any advice" :)

How did you fund the initial 5 months?

The reason I ask is, if you don't have a ton of people to support at this point, you might want to move into "hibernation mode" and get a job to pay your bills while looking for folks you can count on to help you advance your vision and get to a point where you have traction, users, sales, etc, something that would be appealing to an investor.

If you already have taken money from an investor though, your options will be more limited.

Take a hard look at the market you are trying to penetrate and give yourself an honest assessment of what your chances of success are. Would you invest in yourself if you were angel or VC?

Think about how long you would have to spend on this idea to reach that goal and decide whether it is something you really love or not because 'success' can involve an arduous climb of 7 years or more.

RangerScience 19 hours ago 0 replies      
> "learning..."

is a gigantic red flag. They should be learning the problem domain, not technologies with which to solve the problem. I'm with the folks saying they're wanking around on your dime and time to learn a thing they're interested in - which would be great, if you weren't about to starve.

I don't really have a lot of experience with which to base this, but...

I can't comment as to whether you should abandon your idea. I can comment that you should abandon your current plan for realizing it: That plan has become untenable.

Also, learn to code, at least enough to approximate competency. (Or use the wine trick: Ask for details, and look for coherence and passion - someone who knows wine can tell you /all about it/. You just need to know enough to judge coherence, not accuracy)

simonebrunozzi 19 hours ago 1 reply      
If you live in the Bay Area, I would be happy to give you 30-45 minutes of my time and listen to your situation. Sometimes these things can be better clarified/understood in person.

I've been helped by HN members in many ways (mostly online though, and mostly indirectly), but in this case I feel compelled to "give back".

I have a few years of mentoring experience, and I can safely promise that with whatever suggestion I will come up with, I won't make your situation worse :)

[edit] just as a last thought, in case we won't meet - it seems that with such a short runaway, there's not much to do. The question you should ask yourself is rather this one: should I simply give up, or should I "regroup" and try again in a few months (e.g. with a short consulting gig in between, to get some cash flowing)?

kissmd 21 hours ago 0 replies      

get some money in the old way. if it is still in your head after 6-8months and dont let you sleep, you can still continue.

byoogle 18 hours ago 0 replies      
Ping me I might be able to help: I run a (new but fast-growing) consulting co, work for equity, have fantasy sports on our project wish list (you have to have a unique take, though).

That said, I think the top advice here is good.

(My contact info is at the bottom of 10x.co.)

thalesfc 21 hours ago 0 replies      
For me you are using the two frameworks harder to prototyping - this is more truth for node, in fact. (this is my opinion, take it on your own).

What I would do in your place is simplify your code. This is, change to ruby and do not use any front end framework (remove angular for now) and just stick with a simple bootstrap integration.

cgrusden 16 hours ago 0 replies      
If you want, contact me at corey@sofetch.io, and we can talk about how far along you are? If the platform is 50%+ finished, we may be able to take it on, knock it out, and consume a hefty % of equity.

I run sofetch.io, we build and design web and mobile apps.

fleaflicker 14 hours ago 1 reply      
There's no glory in jeopardizing your wellbeing. And it's hard enough to make money in any market, especially one as competitive as fantasy sports, where all the big players have massive audiences already built-in.
ebbv 21 hours ago 0 replies      
5 months should have been plenty to come up with something. It sounds like your initial goals were way too complicated. You need to aim small for a version 1 and then add features later. You have now learned one of the first lessons of software development.
general_failure 19 hours ago 0 replies      
All you need is to find the right find of partner? Get someone in as a partner and give him lots of stocks. Make sure he knows is his technology and makes a promise to deliver (put it in the contract).
650REDHAIR 19 hours ago 0 replies      
Can you get a part-time job to pay bills until you can sell the product?
panon 19 hours ago 0 replies      
Fail fast and often.
Ask HN: The Tools we used to build a SAAS. 1100/month in 6 wks. Favorite tools?
11 points by kumarski  16 hours ago   6 comments top 3
acesubido 12 hours ago 1 reply      
Slightly off-topic, great job launching! You did ask for feedback on your site, just pointing out a specific copy that was bolded out:

"You are losing customers right now. Desktop viewers of your website are leaving without downloading the app..."

Here's a friendly tip from a conversation between Amy Hoy and Nathan Barry that can be found here -- http://nathanbarry.com/step-by-step-landing-page-copywriting...

Nathan: Good. I wrote out half a dozen headlines trying to get at the core pain.

Amy: How would you feel, though, if a stranger came up to you and said Youre losing hundreds of sales.?

Nathan: Who the hell are you to tell me whats wrong with my business

Amy: Right, me too. Not because youre not interested in getting extra sales, but because it SOUNDS like youre being attacked.

Nathan: Good point.

Amy: I tell my students to be very careful with statements that might sound accusatory.

anigbrowl 16 hours ago 1 reply      
Interesting concept, but I can already use the Google Play store to install stuff on an Android device from my desktop, so I'm not sure what problem you're solving here - how is this approach more efficient than a clear link to eh apps store, or conversely, if people ignore an app store link why do you think they'll ignore a text? For stuff I may just 'want to try out' then I very much prefer to go through the app store for the extra bit of security, as opposed to a download link from who-knows-where.

Obviously you've already got a bunch of subscribers - well done! - so it has some value, but talking about monthly income after 6 weeks seems a little premature - my initial instinct was to flag it for spam. Might be better to phrase it as '$1100 subscriber income in 6 weeks.'

Edit: 'Concept' refers to the underlying idea rather than the current state of the product. If you don't like pedantry then you should probably eschew it in your own responses.

palidanx 13 hours ago 1 reply      
Thanks for all of the links! I was just kind of curious, what was the thought process behind the inception of the saas product? And did you have many pivots or was this a first stab?

To add to your list[1] briteverify.com[2] braintreepayments.com[3] clicky.com

Ask HN: Is there a big startup scene in KL?
3 points by philers  19 hours ago   discuss
Ask HN: What's the future of Google?
7 points by 123user  17 hours ago   8 comments top 7
ianamartin 17 hours ago 0 replies      
In the short term, I think Google founders as the people buying online ads from them become increasingly aware that the real value of online ads is far far lower than what people are paying at the moment.

As the ad and research industries catch up to the web and figure out real metrics for these things, people will not keep paying the prices that prop up Google's cash cow.

At some point in the next 5-10 years, I think the bottom drops out of that market and Google gets caught flat-footed. Same goes for Facebook, incidentally.

At the same time the ad market is bottoming out for Google, I expect something like Duck-Duck-Go to hit them on the search side of things in a big way.

The result of this 1-2 punch is that 10 years from now, Google is about where Yahoo! was before Marissa Mayer took over, and where it is a hundred years from now depends on what direction they go from there.

The key for both Google and Facebook is when someone cracks the code on doing something useful with all the data they are collecting. To me, this isn't a technology problem; it's a science problem. Classical statistics doesn't do well at this scale. Collect enough data, and you can find evidence for any correlation you might happen to search for. That doesn't mean it's real. We need real scientific advances in the way that we prepare, ingest, test, and interpret data at this scale, and we are literally at the infant stages of imagining how that might work.

If Google hangs on through the hard times ahead, they are well-positioned to lead the way in that scientific advancement. But they will have to get out of the mindset that some new technology innovation can solve this. It can't.

Personally, I think we're 25-30 years away from being able to deal effectively with data at Google's scale. While it's possible that Google could still be around at that time, collecting data that way will no longer be a novelty that only people like Google and Facebook can do. Everyone will have that capability. Mountains of data treasure will be the commodity that processing power is today.

So, yeah, 10 years from now, Google is throwing out press releases that sound like recycled PR material from Yahoo or Microsoft in 2008, and most people are looking at them thinking: "How did that happen?"

That's my 2 cents.

edited for typos.

no_future 11 hours ago 1 reply      
Google confounds me. They are one of the largest tech companies as far as just pure reach, they own the top search engine, email service, and mobile operating system, as well as a host of other properties both hardware and software(and a huge pile of money that they're sitting on), yet still to this day make 99% of their revenue from assaulting people with ads on Youtube and in their search results. They attempted to get into hardware by buying Motorola, but later ended up selling it to Lenovo at a loss. They have the capital and resources to expand into pretty much any field that they so desire(including taking another crack at hardware), so why do they put all their eggs in the advertising basket?
techdog 16 hours ago 0 replies      
I agree with much of what ianamartin said. Google is unlike most big companies in that it thinks 10 to 20 years out (but pays scant attention to short-term strategies). Their problem as I see it is not to have great products in 10 years but to build a bridge from here-and-now to the 10-year mark. Clearly, their ad model is fading in significance. Ad spends are shifting (rapidly) from classic PPC search ads to timeline ads (on FB, TWTR, Pinterest, and other "timeline providers") and "native" content ads. In the meantime, Google has suffered a lack of focus, spreading itself rather thinly over a large surface area of products and projects that haven't become big moneymakers. Its efforts in social media (Google+) have brought mixed success. With the decline of classic PPC search ads, the SEO value of Google+ has become moot. Google is attempting to compete with Amazon in cloud services but is unlikely to get further than "also-ran" status.

Over the short term, Google will remain profitable, but whether it can build a bridge to a future of driverless cars, etc., is less certain.


xpto123 12 hours ago 0 replies      
Well according to Larry Page, what they are actually building is actually an Artificial Intelligence http://www.artificialbrains.com/google

Sounds like Skynet to me.

gamesbrainiac 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Semantic Search, is the goal. Perhaps in 10 years time, that may be possible.
dmamills 14 hours ago 0 replies      
Google is one part of several companies that will form like Voltron to become a real life version of "Buy n Large" from Wall-e
comboy 17 hours ago 0 replies      
Ask HN: Robotics for a 5+ year old?
8 points by bkmartin  18 hours ago   7 comments top 6
saluki 18 hours ago 0 replies      
Lego Mindstorms are probably the best fit . . .

I coached a lego robotics team for the first time this year . . . FLL starts at age 8/9 till age 13/14. It was a great experience.

There is a Jr. FLL you might want to check in to for him.http://www.usfirst.org/roboticsprograms/jr.fll

Mindstorms will be challenging for a 5 yr old but you can help him build his ideas . . .

The retail version has everything you'd need to get started . . . and would make a good christmas present.

Our local science center has a class you can sign up and take to get some hands on time with the kit before investing in one or maybe you have a friend that has one you can borrow.

Also the next generation of mindstorm came out in the last 18 months or so . . . there are lots of FLL teams upgrading from NXT (old version) to EV3 (new version) so you might be able to get an NXT version from a team that has moved on to EV3 (every team usually have 2 to 3 kits).

Good luck with robotics . . .

beardicus 16 hours ago 0 replies      
Piccolo is a neat little plotter/drawing robot that's open hardware: http://www.piccolo.cc/

Unfortunately it seems nobody offers a full kit, so you'll have to gather materials yourself. It looks like it'll take four or five orders... ponoko for the laser cut parts, seeed studio for the pcb, hobby king for motors, and so on. Also not sure it fulfills the "build on top of that" requirement either, though after it is built you could spend lots of time learning programming to make it draw cool things. Think LOGO with an actual pen!

bcks 18 hours ago 1 reply      
Funny, I just posed a related question:https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=8652432

You might check out the Lego Wedo set, or Sphero:http://stemkids.io/robots/

Or perhaps Snap Circuits or LittleBits:http://stemkids.io/electronics/

debacle 16 hours ago 0 replies      
Snap Circuits are good for teaching the basics of how electronics work.

MindStorms, in my mind, are really the best choice, despite the high cost. Nothing else is really as kid-friendly as I would like. My wife and I have purchased a few non-Lego sets and none of them have really been comparable.

kallesverige 18 hours ago 0 replies      
Have you looked at those different Lego construction kits? Double present I would say :)
lhorie 18 hours ago 0 replies      
Lego Mindstorms
Ask HN: Tried something different for the home page, any thoughts?
3 points by dstpierre  1 day ago   8 comments top 4
toumhi 1 day ago 1 reply      
This is what's called gradual engagement. Google what patio11 has to say on the topic, but to summarize it it's not an obvious win and you should A/B test that (against just getting contact details + getting them into a free trial).

Now, I see you have just launched a beta version and have an aversion to copywriting (on the "try" page). In my opinion, you should focus on explaining the value proposition to users, getting a few of them onboard and working on the engagement. Avoid spending too much time on the product itself and listen to what the users have to say: is it solving a need? How are they using your product in their work? etc etc

lovelearning 1 day ago 1 reply      
I actually liked both - the idea of a WYSIWYG proposal designer and the way you've implemented it.

I wish more SaaS apps gave such functional demos instead of putting up a video I don't have the patience to watch or forcing me to first sign up just to try it.

I also liked how every style change updates the page immediately.

Perhaps you can make the "Client preview" button more prominent in some way, because that's what leads to the "aha, so this is what it does!" moment.

h3sean 1 day ago 1 reply      
Landed on your homepage and it was quite a shock for me. Not what I expected for a homepage - and I don't mean that in a good way.

I think that what Groove and promoter.io is doing with their homepage is pretty much how a SaaS homepage should be done. A clear, crisp explanation of what your 'paid' account can solve for a lost user such as myself.

I run a SaaS startup myself BTW (https://qeryz.com) just so you know where I'm coming from :)

fwn 23 hours ago 0 replies      
I feel pretty overwhelmed by the amount of information/tools I need to scan to realize what I can do there.

It might be worth considering some kind of instructive overlay which ends in the proposal editor you've created.

Edit: But I am really no UX expert; just what I've thought..

Ask HN: What to do if you can't find programmers better than you?
10 points by johnnyfaehell  1 day ago   7 comments top 6
cromulent 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Venkatesh Rao wrote a good article on this recently.


EliRivers 1 day ago 0 replies      
Double-check yourself first to be absolutely sure that your perceived level of expertise matches the reality. Sure, it's possible you're the best programmer you've ever met, but double-check.
jlcfly 1 day ago 0 replies      
Teach them to be better than you. That may seem counterproductive. I have a type A personality, and I have decent coding skills. I've been in your situation a number of times. I also know there's these mythical expert developers out there that I can't seem to find (or afford). So, what to do? A few years ago I realized that if I continue down this path, I'll end up with some serious health issues due to the stresses that come along with having a reputation for being a really good developer.

So, I decided that instead of searching for developers better than me, I would teach developers I work with how to BE better. It's taken a lot of patience. And it's taken me quite a bit to LET GO of my way of doing things. I had to take my ego out of the picture. (VERY hard to do.)

Nowadays, I realize that developers don't have to BE better than me. I simply have to ALLOW them to do what they do without being so obsessive about it. Turns out, even junior developers really CAN do good work. They just need a little guidance that only comes with experience, and then they need me to get out of their way.

curiousDog 1 day ago 0 replies      
Well there are a lot of companies that currently hire only the best of the best. Try working at companies that have notoriously difficult interviews. I've heard MemSQL, Dropbox, Jane street capital, D.E.Shaw and Palantir are a few of them. These companies tend to hire more competitive programmers (top coder, ICPC etc), who usually have very high IQ. Now, these may not be the best all-round developers but they'll definitely be among the smartest.
informatimago 1 day ago 0 replies      
Find harder problems to solve. I'd expect you'd then be surrounded by smarter people.
dragontek 1 day ago 1 reply      
I thnk it's to better to join big companies like google, ibm, oracle, etc.
Ask HN: What's the greatest thing on the Internet?
4 points by 123user  18 hours ago   7 comments top 6
haidrali 50 minutes ago 0 replies      
eitally 18 hours ago 0 replies      
Currently, Google. Not necessarily because they are world-leading trendsetters in all things internetty, but because they have acted as the ultimate facilitators in internet-related development over the past decade. Whether you like Google or not, the online world wouldn't be what it is without their contributions (and investments, and acquisitions).
mattwritescode 1 hour ago 1 reply      
webnik 18 hours ago 0 replies      
The Internet itself. For all the big greatest things and little nothing things in it.
Xoxox 15 hours ago 0 replies      
Hacker News of course!
uyw98 16 hours ago 0 replies      
Ask HN: Usable remote desktop over WAN
3 points by pktgen  1 day ago   2 comments top
ausjke 1 day ago 1 reply      
You can try teamviewer though it's pricey
Ask HN: Dart's Future
10 points by Pharohbot  4 days ago   discuss
xpto123 4 days ago 0 replies      
Unless other browsers support it via browser plugins, it could turn out to be a dead end, Google is betting on mutiple horses here because themselves cannot predict this.

Its also possible to compile Dart to Js and use it as an improved language for web development.

But the JS VMs are already very fast these days, so being the performance of Js VMs acceptable there is not much reason to go from Js to Dart.

I have the impression that Ecmascript 6 and Web standards like components, templates, imports and shadow dom are the future of the web, and not an alternative language.

All browsers are investing very heavily on that, in 2015 we should probably start having the first Ecmascript 6 compliant browsers.

ES6 seems to be the backwards compatible path of least resistance going forward, and that is the path that usually succeeds.

josteink 4 days ago 1 reply      
Dart is a Google-only dead end.

Even if Google supports it in Chrome, the other browser wont bother supporting it, and like spankalee says, it will then become another "runs best in Chrome" thing, and cement Chrome's position as the new IE.

I'm not sure if they want to do that, but Google's (mis)direction as of late means I'm not going to leave out anything.

spankalee 4 days ago 5 replies      
I'm on the Dart team, so I'm extremely biased here :) but I think Dart has a very bright future.

Many people seem to think that better performance is the main reason to choose Dart, which can be viewed in a positive or negative light, because a Chrome with the Dart VM could be great because of the performance gain, or terrible because it's bringing a "runs best in Chrome" world.

So I like to say that better performance is just one reason to choose Dart, but that Dart brings many benefits over other languages (not just JavaScript) and so appeals to different developers for different reasons. A few examples:

  * Dart is very toolable and has a great IDE experience in a number of IDEs already: IntelliJ/WebStorm, Eclipse, the Dart Editor, Sublime, etc.  * The semantics are much more sane and predictable than JavaScript: objects are closed; Dart has class-based inheritance with interfaces and mixins; type coercion is eliminated and thus predictable; arrays are real arrays, bound checked and can't have holes; 'this' is lexically bound; accessing a undefined property throws an exception rather than propagating undefined through your program; there are no top-level statements, so startup is predictable; and on and on...  * Dart's syntax combined with interfaces allow for really great libraries, and Dart's core libraries and dart:html take full advantage of that. [] is separate from property access, so Lists, Maps, and Sets have nice-to-use interfaces. There can be multiple implementations of List, Map, etc. It's possible to write delegate/wrapper/proxy classes, etc. Dart's core libraries are a joy to use.  * Static type warnings and checked mode helps developers write correct programs. Type checks really do find errors early and save users time. We see this internally.
The syntax is much lighter weight than Java. While people claim it's Java-like just because we have types (though they're optional), that's really a nonsensical argument - Dart's more like Smalltalk :) Dart programs are massively less verbose than Java, and I cringe every time I have to write Java code even a little.

So we're seeing increased usage internally even though the VM isn't in Chrome yet. The other advantages are huge and have enabled teams to deliver new apps at very fast rates. They're mostly internal for now, but we'll hopefully see more externally visible apps soon. Also, we've just begun the era of server-side Dart in earnest. That's a big area for expansion that will feedback on the web usage.

Ask HN: Do you still use Emails?
7 points by 123user  17 hours ago   10 comments top 10
junto 16 hours ago 0 replies      
It is working a great deal better for me since I started using Google Inbox. I was just about to make the move to Fastmail and boom, Inbox arrived and threw me a curve ball.

In a couple of days I'm at inbox zero. Reminders and snooze are awesome, if not the killer feature. I'm using email like Evernote.

chintan39 2 hours ago 0 replies      
World cant work without emails.World wont die without emails.
idoh 15 hours ago 0 replies      
I still use email, it is a core part of my workflow. I start my day trying to hit inbox 0, that works well. I vastly prefer email and other async methods of communication to anything else. That being said, I also use (because of people on my team):

- slack- Skype- text messages- phone calls- Facebook messenger

_RPM 11 hours ago 0 replies      
I can't imagine effective online communication without Email. I use email daily for work and school.
orliesaurus 17 hours ago 0 replies      
Depending on where you work, you might have a lot of emails or less emails. But zero emails is, from my perspective, impossible to achieve - as of today.
general_failure 13 hours ago 0 replies      
Who doesn't? Maybe a better question is - who doesn't use emails?
rpietro 11 hours ago 0 replies      
although instant messaging is excellent for fast communication, it's still hard to track around topics or "conversations".
jordsmi 13 hours ago 0 replies      
I talk to zero people via email. Only time I use email is for verification/resets and receiving spam.
therealidiot 16 hours ago 0 replies      
Yep, it works pretty well where I work
uyw98 16 hours ago 0 replies      
is that a question ?
Apache Mesos 0.21.0 is released
12 points by preillyme  15 hours ago   11 comments top 8
preillyme 14 hours ago 0 replies      
The TaskStatus associated with a status update has relied on a single enum and free-form string to communicate the status. There are benefits to adding more data to the status update, and in Mesos 0.21.0, we have introduced the notion of a Source and Reason.

The source of a status update is, broadly speaking, the actor that changed the status. This can currently be Master, Slave, or Executor. Similarly, we have added an enumeration of reasons for the status update. The list can be found in include/mesos/mesos.proto and is fairly extensive.

Our hope is that frameworks can use the source and reason to better communicate status updates to end users, and make better scheduling decisions.

We have also introduced the notion of a TASK_ERROR state, distinct from TASK_LOST. The semantic difference is that tasks that are updated as lost can be rescheduled and should succeed, while tasks with status error will continue to fail if they are rescheduled. In Mesos 0.21.0 we do not send TASK_ERROR but it has been defined so frameworks can prepare to receive it. We will start sending it in Mesos 0.22.0.

preillyme 14 hours ago 0 replies      
Mesos modules provide a way to easily extend inner workings of Mesos by creating and using shared libraries that are loaded on demand. Modules can be used to customize Mesos without having to recompiling/relinking for each specific use case. Modules can isolate external dependencies into separate libraries, thus resulting into a smaller Mesos core. Modules also make it easy to experiment with new features. For example, imagine loadable allocators that contain a VM (Lua, Python, ) which makes it possible to try out new allocator algorithms written in scripting languages without forcing those dependencies into the project. Finally, modules provide an easy way for third parties to easily extend Mesos without having to know all the internal details.
preillyme 14 hours ago 0 replies      
Mesos 0.21.0 introduces an optional shared filesystem isolator for the Mesos Containerizer. The isolator does not provide full filesystem encapsulation like Docker. It is intended for deployments where containers share the hosts root filesystem but certain parts of the filesystem should be made private to each container.

One example use-case is a private /tmp directory for each container. Processes running in the container will see a normal /tmp directory but it actually refers to a subdirectory of the executor work directory, e.g., the relative path ./tmp. Processes will not be able to see files in the hosts /tmp directory or the /tmp directory of any other container.

This isolator is available only on Linux.

preillyme 14 hours ago 0 replies      
Mesos 0.21.0 also introduces an optional pid namespace isolator for the Mesos Containerizer. The isolator runs each container in its own pid namespace such that processes inside a container will not have visibility to processes running on the host or in other containers.

The Mesos Containerizer Launcher has been updated to use the pid namespace to terminate all processes when destroying a container. This avoids known kernel bugs and race conditions when using the freezer cgroup. If the container is not running inside a pid namespace (started with an earlier slave version), the launcher will fall back to the prior behavior and use the freezer cgroup.

This isolator is only available on Linux.

nor0101 14 hours ago 0 replies      
The DockerInfo protobuf has been updated to let frameworks pass arbitrary options to `docker run` via the Docker containerizer. This will come in handy for specialized use cases (--volumes-from, --lxc-conf, etc.)
preillyme 14 hours ago 0 replies      
Frameworks are now able to reconcile task state through the mesos API, to ensure that they remain eventually consistent in the face of failures.
ssk2 14 hours ago 1 reply      
Finally Docker support for Chronos, this is going to be great for running idempotent batch jobs!
ken-sipe 14 hours ago 1 reply      
Docker support for Chronos is a big deal!!
Ask HN: How do I get users to engage?
4 points by Drei01Matt  20 hours ago   13 comments top 7
codebeaker 20 hours ago 1 reply      
I'm not convinced that "cron as a service" (standalone) is a valuable enough proposition at all.

I would guess if people are signing up, and you're not able to convert them there's a disconnect between your understanding of what that means, and theirs. (That said, you have a demo video (gif?) on the homepage, so I imagine that would help.) From the video it's not clear what you did, you posted a cron expression and a URL, and got back a load of null data in the response, and then the gif went dead at the next prompt, I waited a while to see if anything came up, but it was stuck at a blinking `$ |` prompt.

Full disclosure, I'm working on something http://www.harrow.io, which is a more general CI/CD service, part of which might mean running things on a schedule, we have alpha clients doing just that; however our case is a bit stronger, since we already understand their environments, and have keys and secrets in place to actually do useful work on their infrastructure, and send emails, and integrate with cc menu if things are going wrong.

michaelbuckbee 20 hours ago 1 reply      
The general term for what you're describing is onboarding. There's all sorts of different approaches but the highest value - quickest thing to do is just sit down with a developer who might want to use your product and watch them try to sign up and use it.

I entered my email in your site and it says: "Thanks! We'll be in touch soon."

This is also really confusing given the "Get started in 29 seconds" thing - which almost seems like I should cut and paste into a commandline? But it doesn't have any directions? Is there an API key?

Hope that helps.

ViXxRoXx619 19 hours ago 0 replies      
This Problem do occur in Various fields where people just sign up according to their need but do not log in for miscellanious factors.If you want to engage people for real then be calm and work hard and so the first step would be popularising your app.Popularising: inspite you having your own website, you have to work to spread information about your app in varuous social networking sites +(plus) you have to make an short video with appropriate deacription that reflects your work and publish it to video hosting sites.At first if you don't have ads, then it's your choice to find out the free ones for beginning to list your site aming search engine or try some modification to your work so that dearch engines will list you as much as top.Or you can try some uniqueness with your app or website, for ex: have a unique name for your app or website that no one ever had which could! Bring your work top to the list when they search out.Good luck!
sebg 20 hours ago 0 replies      
1) Find out where people who run cron jobs hang out

2) Figure out what they care about

3) Engage them to figure out what problems they have

4) Figure out if/how your app helps them solve the problems they have and show them how you can make their lives better

5) Repeat steps 1-4 indefinitely.

striking 19 hours ago 1 reply      
Perhaps take a look at onboarding examples on http://useronboard.com
mszyndel 20 hours ago 1 reply      
Are you sure that running cron jobs as a service is big enough market? I can hardly imagine any use cases.
bobsadinook 19 hours ago 0 replies      
Ask HN: Have you ever lost a clever bit of code you weren't able to reproduce?
9 points by jarcane  2 days ago   10 comments top 6
mchannon 22 hours ago 0 replies      
Often I've lost code not permanently but came across it months or years later after I thought I'd lost it.

More often than not, it turned out that the code wasn't clever so much as I had remembered it being clever. The code itself often didn't even do what I thought it had.

rprospero 22 hours ago 0 replies      
Not as much clever as infuriating, but I once had a bit of C++ code that would run perfectly fine, unless you deleted one of the comments, at which point it wouldn't compile. I lost the file in a hard drive failure many moon ago. Mostly, I wish that I still had it simply to prove that the compiler really was that buggy.
yen223 2 days ago 0 replies      
I once wrote an AI that solves the Sliding Block puzzle: https://itunes.apple.com/en/app/unblock-me-free/id315019111?...

The code is still in my PC, but I moved overseas, and didn't bring my PC along.

divs1210 1 day ago 1 reply      
Once, when I was pretty much a noob, wrote a language called OOJASIC which I implemented in Java. It was loosely typed, compiled to Java. I wrote a wrapper over swing as its UI library, and a simplistic visual IDE along the lines of BlueJ, that would show a smiling dino face if the file was compiled, and an anxious one if it wasn't.

All that's left of all this is the compiler code (decompiled using cavaj), and screenshots of the IDE (that I called Rex).

It was the most complicated piece of software I'd written at that point of time, and there's little left to show for it.

Here's a link to the project page, btw.And don't judge. This is from a long, long time ago.


informatimago 2 days ago 0 replies      
It happens. Usually, rewriting the code from scratch will produce a better version.
andersthue 2 days ago 1 reply      
I once (while in university) had the awesome idea to write some fantastic code after a night out.

Sadly I had to scrap the project the next day since it did'nt compile anymore :)

Ask HN: Can we talk about Linux vs. OS/X?
7 points by diminish  1 day ago   16 comments top 5
120photo 8 hours ago 0 replies      
OS X is a great desktop and thing just work out of the box.

Setting up OS X as a web server is doable but the experience is a lot like trying to setup Linux / BSD as a desktop, you can do it but really it is not the main focus of the system.

I worked at a place where we hosted a site off OS X servers using all the same software that would run on a Linux/BSD box. In fact, I was not allowed to use Linux for some systems so I had to build a lot of servers on OS X. Yes you can do it, and it is actually a great learning experience because you have to figure out how things work rather than just follow tutorials, but fact of the matter is that being a server is not the main focus of OS X.

Kjeldahl 1 day ago 4 replies      
On the desktop side, a good UI on OS X compensates for a mish-mash of inefficient and insecure technology on the backend side of things (legacy tech, mix of ..ix/Mach/Next/MacOS).

On Linux/FreeBSD it's typically the other way around; no matter how optimized and clean the back end is (relative to OS X), nobody seems to be able to put together a great working desktop standard UI supporting modern hardware.

Hopefully somebody will be able to provide a good free desktop on top good *ix platforms like Linux/FreeBSD etc, but all the people who held their breath died a long time ago.

The OS X packages like Homebrew and MacPorts make it very easy to run most of the standard backend stuff on OS X while developing, which means many developers prefers to work on modern proper functioning hardware while still deploying on standard Linux servers and similar.

In addition technologies like virtualization, Chef/Puppet/Docker etc support additional workflows which allow testing server work locally on OS X before deploying on Linux or similar.

matt_s 1 day ago 0 replies      
Licensing would be the number one reason. Also, I think the devotion to OSX and Apple hardware amongst startups and web programmers is sort of like a survivor bias. You don't hear anything from web programmers and general software developers that work at the Fortune 500 on what they use.

One piece of tech that makes the OS of your PC irrelevant is Vagrant and VM software (and other similar). Build locally but use the same OS as your Production environment.

fragmede 1 day ago 0 replies      
(fyi; it's OS X, not OS/X)

macminicolo.net has been around since shortly after the original Mac Mini in 2005, so there are people that deploy on OS X, but it's not really cost effective. The XServe line was Apple server, but they discontinued that back in 2011, so it's likely that Apple doesn't even use OS X in their datacenters, opting more to use more traditional servers with a supported OS. Apple's draconian licensing rules for OS X prohibit wider distribution (read about the Psystar case) anyway, so there's not really a wider market, especially compared to the licensing cost of Linux.

As far as init, OS X uses launchd which has its own foibles (XML everywhere), but it works. The app store is sort of a 'package manager', though it's not really designed as one. What you're really looking for is Homebrew which has all the unixy/webdev tools you should need. Mysql and sqlite work fine on OS X, and for the built-in 'web sharing', Apple actually runs Apache under the hood. The network stack runs fine. It isn't great if you've trying to maximize throughput on 10-Gigabit ethernet, but that's hard anyway.

People use it on development machines because Apple makes sexy laptops with sufficiently big batteries to last all day on a single charge. Because Apple controls the hardware and the software, their laptops run OS X really well.

You can run Linux on a Macbook Air/Pro, but at the end of the day, the Unix underpinnings of OS X are good enough, especially for webdev. Install brew, do 'brew install ruby/python/nodejs/whatever', and you're ready to go. Not sure how many brain cells it takes to remember 'brew install $pacakge'.

However, if you find yourself doing lower level systems work where the difference between a .kext or .ko file is huge, or you have your own opinions about systemd, influenced by the amount of time you spend digging around in systems, then by all means, use Linux as your primary OS, but webdev isn't devops.

jawb 1 day ago 2 replies      
I used to work on Ubuntu since 10.04 but I saw no future with it (lots of bugs, error reports,...) I tried many other distros (Mint, CentOs, Fedora) everything was like everything .. Last summer I bought a Macbook Retina and switched to OS X, result is good hardware and software. I installed my Linux things ZSH,Git,LAMP,Node,... + proprietary stuff like MS office, Adobe apps, which is nice because you use best of both worlds + you get Mac specific apps like Alfred which really worth it.So my point is my computer is my life I don't only code on it, I prefer a nice UI/UX while having a perfect Unix environment, I still use Vagrant for advanced stuff though. Linux distros are a mess they should collaborate and come up with a good ergonomic and CONSISTENT desktop environment rather than add a menu button and call it a new version.On servers nothing beats Linux/BSD no argument there.
Ask HN: Where are all the Rails jobs?
93 points by grover_hartmann  3 days ago   87 comments top 39
haidrali 52 minutes ago 0 replies      
As you said that you have been programming with Rails since 2008. Do you think the development support provided by the rails is present in any other framework ? certainly not. According to me this is the reason that's why Rails still is on top in web development because of development support in term of gems, community support and internal rails features like ( easy integration with other systems, deployments )As far as rails jobs is concern i would recommend to you have a look at https://angel.co/ for remote work with startuphope it helps you
johne20 3 days ago 1 reply      
Here is anecdotal evidence from my own company. As someone who is hiring developers, my belief is more and more front end development is moving to js frameworks like Angular/React/Ember and that means the backend becomes "just" an API. Rails is still a very pragmatic choice for an API, but as SOA becomes more popular, micro-services are very easily written in any language, golang, js (node), etc.

Also, as a developer you better get used to "accumulating all the knowledge and skills" but be willing to stay up to date on the trending technologies. It is the best way to stay marketable, and I think its a lot of fun too!

PM me what timezone you are in and some brief overview of your experience and contact info.

jandrewrogers 3 days ago 2 replies      
Welcome to the business, for better or worse. Technology stacks have a pretty short shelf-life with very few exceptions. I've been in the business 20+ years, most of it in Silicon Valley, and with few exceptions, like Java, most development platforms do not last even five years. It is one of the reasons I have experience with so much obscure stuff. I am constantly moving through technology stacks.

You might not like it but you need to follow the tool chains. Specific to your situation, I do not know anyone doing Ruby anymore for new systems. I am sure some people are but it is clearly on the decline. Continuous evolution of the tool chain is the curse of our industry. Right now, Javascript is probably much more valuable than Ruby.

If you do not like trading up, some skills are more durable than others. Over the long term, I've seen C/C++, Python, and Java retain their value better than most languages over the years. I think Javascript is likely to add itself to that list.

While you might find it depressing, a lot of what you have learned is immediately applicable in these other environments. You just need to figure out how they map, which is not too difficult. Going from Ruby to Python or Javascript is not that big of a stretch. In most cases, it is a weekend learning syntax and tool chain differences.

rebelidealist 3 days ago 1 reply      
As a freelance developer, the big opportunities lies in sectors outside of internet startups. (manufacturing services, clothing, import/export, finance, construction, home services, agriculture). Those are the areas where a skilled programmer can provide the greatest needed value.

Most of the time, you pick your own programming languages and the clients trust your expertise. Plus, these jobs are often less demanding than working for startups.

Personally, I still find Rails as one of most efficient and fastest tools for developing web apps.

lunaru 3 days ago 0 replies      
Why are you married to Rails? Sure, it's pleasant to work in, but being so tied down to one stack is an antipattern considering how quickly technology moves. Sell yourself as more of a talented full-stack developer who can apply knowledge and experience to any stack. If you think about it, all the things you've learned in Rails (the ORM, the MVC paradigm, front-end/API separation) all exist in other stacks.
peteforde 3 days ago 0 replies      
I tell my consulting clients that there are only three ways to make more money: get more clients, charge more, sell your existing clients more stuff.

Most devs are under-charging.

Getting more clients is expensive in terms of time and support.

What almost everyone forgets is that it's far better to sell your existing clients more stuff than to get a new client. When was the last time you called everyone you've worked with and asked them how they are doing, how things went after you were involved.

Get in the habit of asking them which of their friends might need some work done. It should always be your last question.

mattt416 3 days ago 0 replies      
There are tons of remote rails jobs on https://www.wfh.io -- in actual fact, it seems like most jobs we get ARE rails-related.

See our crude search for more info: https://www.wfh.io/search?query=rails&commit=Search


--Matt @ WFH.io

jared314 3 days ago 0 replies      
You successfully caught a wave. This is to be expected in any area of programming.

RoR was propelled forward by businesses trying "new" technologies in the hopes that it would pay off in faster / cheaper software development. While RoR is not getting any less useful, the 5 year hype cycle of web dev has made SPAs and Node.js the new technology stack to experiment with.

My suggestion is to either secure traditional employment in the RoR stack, or move to the JS and Node.js stack. The former will give you a few extra years, while the latter will allow you to continue with the remote work you have grown accustom too.

hkarthik 3 days ago 0 replies      
I've been hiring Rails devs for the past year and here are my thoughts on the subject.

If you're a classical Rails dev (no frontend experience with Ember, Angular, or Backbone) then you should have significant experience on the backend in terms of building APIs, provisioning and configuring cloud servers, and scaling databases. Ideally, you've done this work at a successful shop that has reached meaningful scale to where you've learned where the framework works and where it falls down.

If you lack those skills, then you better hop on the tech treadmill and get in shape on the client side. Learn a frontend JS framework or get some native mobile dev experience so you can remain full stack. Just being able to just sling Rails Views around with jQuery simply doesn't cut it any more.

rtfeldman 3 days ago 0 replies      
If you're in the San Francisco area, please apply for our Rails position! We're a small team (the whole company is 9 people, but we've been doing extremely well) making an awesome product, and we're actively looking for great Rails developers. :)


danso 3 days ago 0 replies      
A lot of the most popular/profitable U.S. bootcamps have seemed to focus on Rails, so I imagine that might impact the number of available novice Rails devs. But I'd be surprised if the market has simply crashed...In the past two months I've gotten unsolicited recruitments from well-funded/known companies...and considering I'm not a particularly noted Rails dev (but happen to have a lot of Rails-related commits in my Github), I see it as anecdotal evidence that things aren't completely saturated (though maybe the impact is more on remote jobs?)
gaius 3 days ago 0 replies      
I'm afraid this is normal and will happen to you several times in your career. It is just the nature of this industry, which is more driven by fashion than anyone is comfortable admitting.
headz 1 day ago 1 reply      
Did you try toptal.com? I bet that you will have no issues in finding remote Rails job once you are in.

You can find more information about joining toptal here: https://medium.com/@jsuchal/getting-into-toptal-7eecd8d21cd3

jhgg 3 days ago 2 replies      
Everything's trending to Node.js (unfortunately). Ruby has been steadily declining over the years. The web development industry seems to shift really fast.

Server side web technologies/languages change/shift in popularity really fast. As a freelancer, the best thing you can do is learn how to learn things fast. Most of the patterns translate over between languages and technologies though.

Client side work is even more wild. I remember when everything was just jQuery spaghetti. Then things moved to KO/Ember, then to Angular in around 2012, and now everyone I know seems to be moving towards React. A lot people were disenfranchised by the Angular 2.0 announcements over the past month.

alainmeier 3 days ago 0 replies      
We are looking for Rails people, hit us up!


redmattred 3 days ago 2 replies      
I think its probably a combination of companies moving away from rails and a huge flood of newer developers into the market who have picked up RoR.

Here are some stats on the demand trends: http://www.indeed.com/jobtrends?q=rails%2C+django%2C+node%2C...

dejv 3 days ago 0 replies      
I found that it depends on type of jobs available. There are tons of full-time rails jobs everywhere, but smaller/remote projects tends to be more on the edge of things and more often use new, hip, technology. So there is less smaller rails projects and more smaller Node projects.
skaag 1 day ago 0 replies      
As your lazy race flocks towards reactive platforms, they choose frameworks that do more of the work for them. One of the better frameworks out there that does this is Meteor.js

Some human once said: "Everything that can be written in JavaScript, will be". So hone your JavaScript skills, my son.

reality_czech 3 days ago 1 reply      
Rails is soooo over. The new cool platform is COBOL on Cogs (http://www.coboloncogs.org/INDEX.HTM), an enterprise-ready, full-stack agile paradigm.
JimboOmega 3 days ago 0 replies      
I find it nightmarishly hard to find rails programmers with experience - not just the latest App Academy/etc. grads. Maybe it's your market? In SF, there's still fierce competition
smk 3 days ago 0 replies      
Hey! Dabo Health is always looking for solid Ruby and Rails engineers. We use a variety of other technologies in our stack (Node, Backbone, etc.) and have the healthiest engineering/company culture I've ever experienced. We're doing big thingsright nowwith the Mayo Clinic to improve how healthcare is delivered in the US. https://www.dabohealth.com/#/Careers -- sean@dabohealth.com if you want to know more.
gokulj 3 days ago 1 reply      
1) Transfer your overall web development skills to another language/platform (Go, Clojure, Elixir or JS/Node). For anyone 'spoilt' by the beauty of Ruby, Clojure and Elixir are good choices. Given that you are coding professionally since 2008, you should be able to move into 'adept' category quickly in any of the above.

2) Utilize your Ruby programming expertise and become a Mobile developer !! Check out Rubymotion.com. Code in Ruby for Android and iOS.

BorisMelnik 3 days ago 0 replies      
We are in the midst of a record breaking bubble where billion dollar valuations are getting handed out left and right & everyone is dumping money into app development.

Many people are seeking custom solutions, and don't care what language it is developed in. I've had several web app projects this year that just needed to work. If someone wanted to use PHP, Python, or Ruby it wouldn't matter as long as it was operable and functioned correctly with the front end.

stevenwilkin 22 hours ago 1 reply      
The demand for contract Rails devs here in London is showing no signs of lessening
untog 3 days ago 0 replies      
If people want Node, why not learn Node? It's all the same stuff - you're taking HTTP requests, interacting with some data from a database and sending it back down to the response. You already know what's going on, the language you use to do so isn't that important in the end.

I went from C# to Node with few regrets. I play around with Ruby and Python from time to time. Mentally they're all very similar.

mateo411 3 days ago 1 reply      
I suspect that Nodejs is taking market share away from Rails and Django. It makes sense though. You can do your entire stack in a single language and the event loop in Nodejs scales better, than a Django WSGI deployment. I'm not sure how you can deploy a Rails application, but I suspect that it scales similar to a Django WSGI deployment.
maknz 3 days ago 0 replies      
I haven't noticed a particular decline in Rails jobs locally here in New Zealand. In fact, a company has been looking for a Rails dev for over a year and can't find anyone. I work in PHP, and there's quite a lot of opportunity. On the other hand, there's no Node jobs around, perhaps because of its infancy.
Trissa 1 day ago 0 replies      
Check http://devsdirect.com/, I heard they have some projects that need RoR dev.
NovaS1X 3 days ago 3 replies      
If you're willing to move to Vancouver and work for an animation company on a 2D/3D animation pipeline in rails I may have a contact for you!

We've been looking for good ruby devs for a long time. They're impossible to find up here... Or no rails devs want to work on an animation pipeline.

chrisduesing 3 days ago 1 reply      
I am trying to hire Rails programmers and everyone I talk to from other founders to recruiters to lead devs all report the same problem: too many Rails jobs way too few available programmers.

Unfortunately I am not looking for remote workers though. Good luck in your search, I am sure you will find something!

chad_strategic 3 days ago 0 replies      
This company is looking for Rails programmer with more than +10 years.


bdcravens 3 days ago 0 replies      
At RubyConf this week the job board seemed pretty full:


esaym 3 days ago 1 reply      
I can't really find work either. Looks like in general IT is just dying: http://tinyurl.com/phy8bw8
poserdude 3 days ago 0 replies      
I've heard of these guys, but that's all: http://www.mirrorplacement.com/
mrgordon 3 days ago 0 replies      
In San Francisco. There are about a million of them.
bluedevilzn 3 days ago 0 replies      
Can you tell me where all the Node.js jobs are?
nodelessness 3 days ago 0 replies      
Which country are you in?
notastartup 3 days ago 2 replies      
I'm also wondering what happened to PHP jobs. Now everything has some sort of MVC in the browser and I am reluctant to learn "front-end" because jQuery is not enough apparently.

What happened to good old php backend with jQuery ajax calls. Now everything has to be asyncy and we have to use javascript in the server side as well.

doseomthingelse 3 days ago 3 replies      
What a surprise! You picked a fad platform and the work is drying up. I've been working several large platforms that sit on top of the JVM for years now, I charge over $850 (550) and I've never struggled to get work.

I mainly work with big ecommerce platforms; Oracle ATG, SAP Hybris, IBM WebSphere amongst others. They are built using Java and have made me somewhat wealthy. No fads.

Ask HN: If you could write to Mark Zuckerberg, what would you write?
2 points by 123user  18 hours ago   5 comments top 3
ada1981 18 hours ago 0 replies      
I'd ask him to repay me the $100 he froze in my Facebook ads account in 2004 for selling tshirts making fun of Facebook.

Seems the appropriate thing to do would be to repay the cash as if it were a $100 investment in Facebook in 2004 - stock would be fine.

_RPM 10 hours ago 0 replies      
I'd ask him if I could work for him once I get out of undergrad.
webnik 18 hours ago 2 replies      
I"d ask how they felt after sinking billions into OculusVR only for Google to slap them with Google Cardboard (and the DodoCase et al), then made another slap with Magic Leap.
Ask HN: What's the biggest problem of this world that we need to solve?
10 points by 123user  22 hours ago   12 comments top 11
drivingmenuts 21 hours ago 0 replies      
Where do socks go?!?

There's not just one big problem - there's millions (perhaps billions) of one big problems, depending on who's doing the asking and who's doing the answering. Sure, there are a few common problems that could be solved, but you have to figure out a way to ask the questions about the problems in such a way that the solution will be mutually agreeable to the largest number of people.

Energy, food, war, socks. All of these are big problems (OK, not so much with the socks) that won't be solved with one big solution. By the time you're done breaking them down into solvable units, some wierdo will come along and ask "So, what's the biggest problem?"

uptown 22 hours ago 0 replies      
Cheap, clean energy.

Solve that, and virtually everything in almost every industry changes.

pdevr 20 hours ago 0 replies      
* Incurable diseases

* Mass killings of human beings by other human beings (whatever be the reason, whatever they are called)

* Mismanagement of global food inventory, as mentioned by others

* Inequality between women and men (and others). Existing solutions are not customized for cultures/communities.

frtab 22 hours ago 0 replies      
Inequality and lack of social mobility.

It's mind boggling how uneven wealth distribution is in some countries.

zia505 19 hours ago 0 replies      
Its equal access to opportunity. Population would not be a problem, given level of education has a direct correlation to number of children. And there is more than enough food to sustain the planet
32faction 20 hours ago 1 reply      
Food production. Even today there are people without enough food. The planet isn't getting any bigger while the population grows each day.
thepoet 21 hours ago 0 replies      
Food, cheap but nutritious engineered food which can be produced/grown in diverse geographic areas in large quantities/density.
AntiEgo 21 hours ago 0 replies      
Paraphrasing Jared Diamond, the biggest problem we face is thinking that we can fix just one problem and be OK.
ljw1001 19 hours ago 0 replies      
population growth. It drives hunger, unemployment, pollution, resource exhaustion, political instability,.... In systems terminology it is a control variable with many output variables.
kphild 21 hours ago 0 replies      
pge 20 hours ago 0 replies      
climate change
       cached 25 November 2014 13:05:01 GMT