A longer commentary on chromecalypse


I think that many people on threads related to the recent Chrome 79 bug are completely missing the important points and are instead doing the “place the blame on developers who should known better” game which is a bad approach to talking about what has happened.

LocalStorage, webSQL, IndexedDB have been rock solid solutions for hybrid apps for probably close to a decade. Data eviction seldom happens for hybrid apps. These are stable APIs and have been working reliably for many years. It is not as if the developers have flocked to a new shiny unstable thing and then got burned by it not failing to work as advertised. This bug completely breaks the way the web platform stores data. It doesn’t matter if these APIs should only be used for caching purposes, that is not how the spec puts it and not how people been developing hybrid apps for years. Google owns Android and Chrome, they know that those hybrid apps are storing data in localStorage. They’ve broken something that was stable. I wonder if people would be placing the blame on third-party developers if Apple or Microsoft made shipped an update to windows or iOS that destroyed the sandbox filesystem.

There is massive damage happening in the real world because of this. From vet hospitals losing animal vaccination data, a process that can’t be repeated. To small business losing their financial data. Users faced with an app with zero data, begun been trying to reinstall the apps in hopes to fix this, which only caused further damage as the data is now unrecoverable. Planting the blame in “developers who should known better” is a complete lack of empathy to both the users and the developers who’ve been affected by something completely out of their control. There are developers pulling their apps out of the Google Play store because the onslaught of bad reviews will kill them or because they can’t provide a solution for a bug that happens in layers beyond their control. The bug is not fixable by the app developers. If you have an app that was affected by this, there is nothing you can do.

And for the “developers should use it only as cache” people out there, this affects this use case as well. Using localStorage as a temporary location for data while you’re offline and pushing this data later has been a best practice for a long time. This bug will erase this temporary data. All those field workers, all the remote data collection, goes poof as soon as the phone goes back into mobile coverage and auto-updates chrome before the app have the chance to sync it up.

Lastly the chrome team is not, in my own personal opinion, having the correct approach here. They failed. Their automated test should have flagged this. There should have never been a release with this bug. Treating responsibility like a hot potato and saying “you developers should have tested the beta and reported back” is acting like they don’t have ownership over their own project.

New Add-on: Remind Me Of That Page

I just made a new add-on that I believe you people might like. It is an add-on to help remember to check back on a page at a different date. Have you ever been in one of those situations reading a web page and thought that you needed to check back there in 15 days or next year, and totally forgot to do it? Well, this add-on is for you.

Piecepack, or, the infinite board game

Today I want to share with you all something that is very dear to me. Something that is not related to programming or anything computer related. Today we’re going to talk more about board games. We’re going to talk about one specific board game that has captured my imagination for the past 15+ years. It is called Piecepack and it is not really a board game at all.

A week with the Surface Pro X

I’ve spent a bit more than a week with my new Surface Pro X. What follows is review of my experiences with it as a try to set it all up for it to become my main machine. Be aware dear reader that this is not a review with benchmarks, graphs, and comparisons with alternative machines. This is a personal account and ecosystem commentary of how it has been working for a single person and what this person (me!) is feeling about it. That being said, read on for the nitty and gritty details. I’m providing you with a handy table of contents in case you want to go directly to topics that you’re curious about.

Adventure X 2019

AdventureX 2019

Photo: Conference banner

Photo: Conference banner

This weekend is AdventureX 2019 at the British Library. It is a game development conference focused on narrative driven games like old adventure games from Sierra On-Line and LucasArts. Those have always been my favorite games ever and I didn’t realize people were still making games like those today. I knew and played some telltale games, the cave, and others which have reached my bubble but I couldn’t imagine the awesome games I’ve seen this weekend.

Adding IndieWeb support to this site.

Today I was at Redecentralize Conference and went to session about the IndieWeb movement that really excited me. I’ve been following the steps outlined in this handy interactive guide and making changes to this blog. Things are not yet the way I want them to be but it is already quite functional. I’ve added some markup for microformats2 and am accepting WebMentions by relying on https://webmention.herokuapp.com/. I’ve also added brid.gy so that my Twitter and Mastodon are integrated into this. To send webmentions from my static site, I’m relying on the command line tool from https://webmention.app/.

Thanks a ton to Tantek and Kevin Marks for all the help.

Another windy and rainy day in London

Today is a gray and windy day here in London but that is to be expected as we’re approaching the end of the year. There are few things I like more than sitting on a coffee shop and watch the city walk by. I don’t to this as often as I did in Brazil but I had some minutes to wait and decided it was a good option to sit outside for a coffee.

photo of me sitting at an outside table drinking coffee

photo of me sitting at an outside table drinking coffee

Remembering Mobile World Congress 2014

Mobile World Congress 2014 was a special event in my life. We had a wonderful vision of what the future could be. Unfortunately our vision was not a market success and Firefox OS was cancelled but for those brief years, mobile was special. Below are two videos from Mozilla in which I am featured as a community member talking about the future. I wish I was excited by mobile today as I was back then.