Sunday, July 23, 2017

Do you work for Facebook? Do you like old Power Macs? Help a brother out.

Are you a front-end engineer for Facebook? Are you sympathetic to us struggling masses trying to keep our Power Macs out of the landfill? Do you, too, secretly agree that the iMac G4 looks far better than any of the crap Tim Cook and friends churn out now?

If so, give your TenFourFox users a little hand. Yes, I will preface this by saying I do not use, nor (candidly) particularly like, Facebook, but lots of TenFourFox users do and I've reached the limit of my debugging ability against the minified front end of Facebook.

We have an issue with our custom keyboard handling code with users pressing Delete repeatedly: it not only doesn't delete anything but the first character, but actually inserts repeated 0x08 bytes (i.e., the ASCII value for Delete). Everything else seems to work. Obviously this is our bug, because regular Firefox (including Firefox ESR 45, on which we are ultimately based) doesn't do this, but I can't determine what DOM fields our keydown events aren't correctly providing to Facebook's keydown handler because the code is minified to hell. And debugging minified event handlers even with my Quad G5 cranked to ludicrous is not a good time. No other site seems to do this, so I don't have something smaller to test against either.

So, if you're a Mac retronerd and also a Facebook front-end engineer, does this ring a bell to you? If it doesn't, is there at least a non-minified version I can test against? I sent an E-mail to browsers at fb but got no reply, so I'm asking publicly and begging for your mercy so we can keep our otherwise perfectly good Macs serviceable and running. And for some people, "serviceable and running" means Facebook. So I won't judge. Honest.

Jokes aside, I'd really appreciate any of your insights and time. You can drop a line to classilla at floodgap dawt com if you have a suggestion (or better yet the answer).

We're delayed on FPR2 because I'm trying to track down a regression one of the security backports caused during shutdown when network connections are pending. However, this blog post is being typed in it, so it's otherwise working and I'm still shooting for the official beta next week.


  1. Any reason you use remote debugging on a modern box?

    1. No, I do the debugging on the G5 itself. As far as remote debugging *from* a modern box I'm still hobbled by the speed of the G5 to actually do the stepping-thru (and I've never tried TenFourFox in a remote debugging configuration -- I'll have to see if that even works).


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