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12:33 pm, 19 Mar 04

integration

New in Mozilla 1.7 beta: Support for smb:// URLs using the gnome-vfs library (only enabled in GTK2+XFT Linux builds).
!!!

For part of the Google interview I was talking to a fellow who works on the Google toolbar; I hadn't put my Windows programming experience on my resume, but I actually have done a surprising (to me, at least) amount. He was talking to me about all these nice things you can do in Windows that you can't in Linux. They all were integration/kernel-type issues: you can be notified when a file changes without polling (FAM plus kernel support can do this), you can do asynchronous I/O (needs kernel support), etc...

LogJam has a some code for opening URLs that's a pile of functions and UI for selecting the command for running your web browser. On Windows it's all #ifdef'd out and replaced with a single call to ShellExecute(..., "open", url, ...);.
Integration always sucks for free software, but it's also good in a way: we're forced to keep components small and independent. This means we move more slowly, but also that we also can pull pieces out and stick others in; for example, both OS X and Windows have their new graphics systems built-in, while KeithP's extension lets an external process manage compositing. If I could only replace the window manager on OS X, I could tolerate using it on my laptop!

Anyway, it's neat to see gnome-vfs (which is a file system abstraction library that doesn't depend on GNOME; they keep talking about renaming it) becoming one of those pieces.