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2008 Mozilla Summit Affected By Rock Slide 84

An anonymous reader writes "The recently concluded 2008 Mozilla Summit, held in Whistler, Canada, was impacted by a rock slide that cut off the main highway between Whistler and Vancouver, where most attendees planned to depart via airplane. In true open-source fashion, summit attendees collaborated on a solution, opening a Bugzilla bug (severity: "blocker"), posting crash dumps, and proposing solutions, including chartering a flight (which would land first in TRUNK, then BRANCH). Eventually, attendees settled on a workaround which seems to have been successful. For next year's summit, organizers might want to consider a location with more redundancy."
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2008 Mozilla Summit Affected By Rock Slide

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  • Whistler? (Score:5, Funny)

    by segedunum ( 883035 ) on Saturday August 02, 2008 @12:01PM (#24448131)
    Wasn't that where some Microsoft people used to meet, and wasn't that a codename of a version of Windows?


    *Strokes chin in style of Dr. Evil*
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Not only, Whistler is a popular destination for Mr. Gates -- the codename 'Longhorn' is also the name of the Longhorn Bar/Pub, one of Bills favorite places to hang out in Whistler. Windows Media Center's 2003/2004 were named after 2 popular skiing areas on Whistler mountain (Harmony Bowl and Symphony Bowl). Windows 7 was originally named "Blackcomb" the sister ski hill beside Whistler.

      Yeap, Bill secretly loves us Canadians more...

      • Well, i'd like to believe that too, and understandably aswell (lived in B.C. most of his life).

        If you tallied the list [] there are far more USA names, or even tropical ones (and minerals, animals, gases, etc), than Canadian/BC ones...

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        the codename 'Longhorn' is also the name of the Longhorn Bar/Pub, one of Bills favorite places to hang out in Whistler.

        I guess that proves it, MS really was drunk when they coded Vista.

    • by i kan reed ( 749298 ) on Saturday August 02, 2008 @12:20PM (#24448321) Homepage Journal

      Sources report seeing a high velocity chair strike the mountainside moments before the conference.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Jager Dave ( 1238106 )
      "Windows XP" was codenamed "Whistler" during it's development and Beta testing....Hopefully that NDA I signed has long since expired. ;)
  • by TuringTest ( 533084 ) on Saturday August 02, 2008 @12:01PM (#24448141) Journal

    Mozilla Summit rocks!

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 02, 2008 @12:07PM (#24448191)

    ...or an attack from Microsoft's ultra high tech assault geek ninja squad, aimed at derailing the conference?

    I think any sane person already knows the answer.

  • bah (Score:5, Funny)

    by larry bagina ( 561269 ) on Saturday August 02, 2008 @12:08PM (#24448197) Journal
    if this a TRUE bugzilla ticket, it would be closed ("I'm not blocked in") or ignored for years.
    • Re:bah (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 02, 2008 @01:01PM (#24448677)

      All open source bug trackers are like that. I've had a bug closed INVALID against Apache Tomcat because, even though it broke Internet Explorer support, it was needed to work around a bug in some other browser. No one could remember what other browser, but hey, who cares about supporting Internet Explorer?

      My favorite "dumb bug close reason" though has to be a bug I filed against Java's AWT about an easily reproducible VM crash under Windows. Sun closed it immediately as WORKSFORME because they couldn't reproduce it under Solaris.

      My favorite "dumb Mozilla bug close" (to move ontopic-ish) was some bug where the reporter originally reported it via a comment on another bug. He was then told to file it as a new bug since, while related, it wasn't that bug. So he did, and this new bug was then immediately closed as a duplicate of the original bug.

      All of the bugs I've submitted to Mozilla are invariable closed as duplicates. Generally this isn't because I haven't already looked for the bug, but because I have and failed to locate it through Bugzilla's crappy search. One time this was because they had some very, very generic bug that was basically "feature X doesn't work" and all bugs related to it were duplicates.

      My general experience with bug reporting is not to bother. It's just not worth it.

      (Posted anonymously because I can't remember any of the actual facts. So take this as a meaningless rant. YMMV and all that.)

      • All of the bugs I've submitted to Mozilla are invariable closed as duplicates. Generally this isn't because I haven't already looked for the bug, but because I have and failed to locate it through Bugzilla's crappy search.

        I see this as a part of the search functionality. The words you would use to describe a bug don't match the previous reported ones. So by reporting a bug and getting it marked as dupe, the following happens:
        - The person who marks it as a duplicate doesn't have much work, since he/she already knows "Oh yeah, that is that bug".
        - You then have the right bug that you can post on and possibly help out on.
        - The search engine is getting better, because you added new words for describing the bug. Others may find t

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by RealGrouchy ( 943109 )

      They should be taking this much more seriously. Filing bogus bug reports will only send the Mozilla brand down a slippery slope.

      - RG>

    • WONTFIX (Score:5, Funny)

      by Jay L ( 74152 ) * <jay+slash&jay,fm> on Saturday August 02, 2008 @02:50PM (#24449725) Homepage

      I guess you missed comment #35: []

      Since this bug effects only a small portion of Firefox users, proposing this as

      Perhaps interested parties can create an extension?

      Robert Accettura wins that bug.

  • by Fishead ( 658061 ) on Saturday August 02, 2008 @12:14PM (#24448265)

    That highway is quite spectacular, with some interesting vista's along the way. Unfortunately, some of those vista's were poorly designed. The foundation of this particular one was unstable from the beginning, and looks to have crashed Mozilla. Personally, I think they should do away with the vista's and focus on stability and long term viability.

  • by Richard_at_work ( 517087 ) <> on Saturday August 02, 2008 @12:18PM (#24448293)
    This isn't something you want women to read :)
  • by Anonymous Coward

    they would've seen, high in the mountains, a group of rogue engineers from the MSIE team playing with "Acme TNT" and sticking their thumbs in their ears.

  • MLM (Score:5, Funny)

    by iamapizza ( 1312801 ) on Saturday August 02, 2008 @12:23PM (#24448353)
    Couldn't they just use Microsoft LiveMeeting to hold their summit?

    I should probably hide right now.

  • by Freshly Exhumed ( 105597 ) on Saturday August 02, 2008 @12:35PM (#24448437) Homepage

    Many events during the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics will be held in Whistler.

    Now we are seeing why people are very nervous about the idea that the one and only direct connecting highway connecting Vancouver and Whistler does not have acceptable uptime, security, or redundancy. The Pemberton-Lilloet-Hope-Vancouver workaround is hopelessly time consuming.

    There is a train route between Whistler and Vancouver but it is also vulnerable for most of the same reasons.

    The government sold the IOC on the Vancouver-Whistler idea by promising to throw millions of dollars of upgrading at that highway, and after a few years of work already underway we get this giant dump file.

    Are we being set up for a snowcrash?

    • by qdaku ( 729578 ) on Saturday August 02, 2008 @01:04PM (#24448707)
      This is actually what I do for a living --assess the stability of rock slopes. Those guys in vests you see going in before anyone else does, that's me. Though I did not work on this particular case and I usually look at larger scale failures in open pit mines.

      In all honesty, they've done what they can. There is no way of 100% securing that highway, or frankly any mountainous highway in difficult terrain. The highway is as safe as reasonably achievable and is inherited from the 60's when our understanding of geomaterials was significantly less than what it is now. Would a tunnel in places be better now? Probably. But it comes down to money and what people are willing to pay. Quoted 3-4 billion for a new route and you can be damn sure there would be budget overruns. It's one of those assumed risks for living in an area with high natural hazard risks.

      Hey, the big earthquake that is supposed to be hitting Vancouver any day now could happen during the Olympics. Hell, one could hit china. The world isn't a 100% thing as much as we think we can understand it and it's very true in natural rock slopes where you are dealing with limited data (strength, joint network, etc) of a highly variable system (properties can be difficult to impossible to measure, vary wildly, and have an insane amount of scale effects). You can get the intact strength of rock out of UCS/triaxial tests, you can get the shear strength along discontinuities. Extrapolating that to the entire slope for the complex interaction of sliding surfaces (joints, where you have a guess of what's there but you don't know 100% because it's buried), block movement/crushing/aspherity removal, natrual processes (weathering, frost jacking, tree roots, animal burrowing, strain softening, etc) is difficult and not 100%

      If you don't want to have to deal with road closures due to the fact you live somewhere gorgeous in the mountains and have to drive on a road where there IS a risk of rock falls --tough, go live in the Prairies.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by belmolis ( 702863 )

        I don't think that anyone is criticizing the engineers. The problem is (a) that the Olympics are going to be held in such a location and (b) that the local organizing committee persuaded the IOC that it would be okay because they would either improve Hwy 99 or build a new road in a different location. The latter was ruled out by both cost and environmental considerations, so what they've done is make relatively minor improvements to Hwy 99, which don't really change things.

        I have driven that road many ti

      • IANAG (I Am Not A Geologist), but I'm a bit surprised by where this slide occurred. When I heard about 'rockslide blocking the road to Whistler', I was expecting something north of Squamish, particularly along the river valley (Cheakamus?) that's bordered by the lava flows from Garibaldi mountain. Seeing this along Howe Sound was a bit of a surprise.

        If someone knows the type of rock that was in that slide, could you post that info? I guess it's not the granite that makes up the Chief...

        dave (lived in N.

        • by qdaku ( 729578 )
          Not sure.... but it is in the same stretch where a smaller rock fall (half size? maybe) came down and killed some folks sometime in the sixties. It definitely looks structurally controlled so even if it was the granite... doesn't matter if it's just big heavy blocks sliding on a rough surface (think highschool physics class). Friction angles on those things can range quite heavily (15-40?) depending on the roughness, undulation, infilling (something low friction like chlorite..). I'll look into it, hara
      • ...with the rock slide instead of what happens in the prairies [].

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by thewils ( 463314 )

      Well, the athletes and officials will all be taken care of - helicopters, planes, boats etc.

      But the paying public will basically be told to sexually go elsewhere. This grants the IOC it's wish of having a games where the public paid for, but cannot get to (and hence disrupt) any of the events. I'm sure the security forces are watching this one with interest.

      • ...will basically be told to sexually go elsewhere...

        I don't think that word means what you think it means. Then again, this is slashdot.

    • by jo42 ( 227475 )

      promising to throw millions of dollars of upgrading at that highway

      At last count, over $600 million. By the time they are done, with cost over runs and what not else, figure on over $1 billion. What a frickin' waste of hard earned tax payer money.

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by mseidl ( 828824 )

      No redundancy...

      Are you suggesting they create another Whistler and run them in Raid 1? Or 4 whistlers in Raid 5?

  • Never hold any type of important meeting in a city that has the same name as a Microsoft codename! (Windows Whistler = Windows XP)!
  • Someone should have come up with a workaround to overcome the bugs in this non standards-compliant rockface.

  • by zzxc ( 635106 ) on Saturday August 02, 2008 @12:57PM (#24448649)
    Even through the bear encounter [], rock slide, power outage [], and overnight bus trips to the airport, the organizers (especially Dan Portillo) made everything happen as smoothly as it could. Everyone had a great time, and (most) of the almost 400 attendees made their flights home. There was even a "Mozilla Camp" at the Vancouver airport where everyone was waiting for hours. Pictures of the summit are being aggregated on []. We all learned a lot and met lots of people, and overall the summit was a huge success.
  • All hail Pope Gates and Cardinal Ballmer.
  • by alexborges ( 313924 ) on Saturday August 02, 2008 @01:11PM (#24448787)

    Bring our the lizzard, ask it to move the rocks.

    Sheesh. Such smart people didnt think of THAT?

  • Don't forget the other fun facts of the summit.

    The ever-present bear menace: [].
    The power in the hotel going out for half a day: [].

    • by ceoyoyo ( 59147 )

      Bears and mountains are why people go to places like Whistler.

      If you want no rock slides, no bears and reliable power, Vancouver has a nice selection of conference venues, and even some mountains. Of course, you'll have to deal with the traffic then.

  • I didn't even see them or know they were there. I use a Greasemonkey script to automatically filter out rockslides.

  • ultimate geekdom!
  • Immediately after the rock slide, several figures were seen at the top of the mountain, cackling evilly. They wore shirts with a strange blue lowercase "e" on them.
  • If they travel in the opposite direction of the rock slide, they will eventually arrive at the other side.

  • That bug is one of the best collections of jokes I've ever found, most of them deserved +5 Funny.
    I guess I'm spending too much time here on /.
  • Then all they would have had to do is wait for Tuesday.

  • Bill claims godliness.
  • It was CANADIAN GODZILLA, fighting his longtime enemy Mozilla.
  • My parents are staying in Squamish on holiday .. they just hired a boat and sailed straight up the river. (They were offered the round trip showing on that google map, but declined.)
  • The workaround only makes sense to get back to Vancouver itself. Going to the US or the airport one would skip recrossing the river on the Trans Canada.

  • I was at Whistler last week for another conference. I sat in on a few mozilla talks cause I couldn't resist. (Funny how when I asked the official front desk if I could, they told me "No, we fly all these people in, they're private talks" but everyone else I asked was like "Oh yeah no problem go ahead")

    Our bus to Vancouver airport was scheduled 8am to make 12pm flights, and it had to be moved to 2am -- and we took the long way around, going from roughly 3 hours to 9 hours. It's actually a really nice scen

Marvelous! The super-user's going to boot me! What a finely tuned response to the situation!