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    So far as I could make out, the Xiph policy was that if you wanted to decode (say) a Vorbis stream, you’d need Vorbis-specific code anyway, so it was OK if every codec stored its metadata completely differently. Conversely, if you encountered a stream you didn’t recognise, you wouldn’t be able to do anything with it anyway, so what did it matter if you couldn’t identify it?

    My counter to that would be that not every tool that deals with metadata also handles the data. If I want to do decent searching on my filesystem, I need to be able to extract metadata from every file, but I won’t be trying to open a Word document or play an audio file with my metadata indexer. I want my file manager to show me metadata about music files when I click on them, even if I need to double-click on them and open them in an external application to actually play them. It is a lot easier if all of the data that is common to a format (e.g. title, author, length in some unit, number of video / audio streams, and so on) is in a single format. With most container formats, I can quite easily write a tool that extracts this information from any file in that format, irrespective of the CODECs used (my favourite example of this was on BeOS, where a tool could extract info from container formats and store the same information in searchable and filterable filesystem metadata [though with the down side that it was stored in two places and could become out of sync]). From what you’re saying, it sounds like this is not the case for Ogg.

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      The war against encryption is a red herring. Since encryption can be re-implemented even if illegal, this may be actually a war against general-purpose computing.

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        I suspect that it is also partly due to a lot of the early lead-free solder either being really terrible or at least not behaving in the way engineers were used to. I had (I think) 6 replacements for the logic board of my 2003 PowerBook because the SO-DIMM sockets kept detaching from the board when the machine got warm. This was apparently a known fault… caused by the manufacturer’s move to lead-free solder with a lower softening point than the board designers were expecting. They had enough thermal conductivity and cooling to keep the solder below its design tolerances, but then those tolerances changed. Those replacements probably cost someone (maybe Apple, maybe the manufacturer) more than the profit on the machine. I can imagine that kind of experience prejudicing people against lead-free solder.

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          Honestly, saying this is like saying “drinking bleach is better than drinking bleach with arsenic mixed into it.”

          The healthiness of solder should not be a concern. It shouldn’t be entering your body at all! These are laboratory-grade materials. You wouldn’t eat a sandwich immediately after handing dangerous chemicals in a chemistry lab, would you? At least I hope not.

          You should be practicing proper lab safety with these materials, like any other for goodness sake.

          1. Ensure you have proper ventillation so you’re not constantly huffing fumes. Even a makeshift fume extractor made from a PC fan is going to be much better than nothing.
          2. Wash your hands after handling solder, flux, or other lab chemicals.
          3. Don’t eat or drink around your electronics/soldering area!

          The healthiness of solder should be a non-issue if people actually took proper precautions. Unfortunately, the widespread adoption of the hobby made possible by cheap electronics kits, easy programming, etc. has made folks ignorant to the proper safety precautions that must be taken when handling these materials.

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            I think having kind of checklist (or “process”) is not necessarily a bad idea, as it ensures that things actually get done. Humans are rather prone to forgetting things and the like. If you look at avionics then there are a huge amount of checklists for everything, ranging from standard procedures to emergencies. This is good, because it’s just too easy to miss something, with potentially disastrous consequences; quite a few crashes could have been prevented if the pilots has followed the checklist.

            Writing software is not avionics, but it’s still interesting to look at it, as it does highlight the value of checklists/processes.

            I think having some sort of review process is a good idea. My own rather anti-authoritarian nature hates processes, but I’m also not blind to the limited capabilities of humans, and having a vague “is this a good idea?”-kind of review makes it much easier to make “oops, didn’t think of that!” mistakes. There is some overhead, yes, but it also comes with some advantages.

            I don’t disagree that following process for the sake of it is not a good idea, or that disallowing any and all deviation from it is bad, but for some things at least, there are some advantages.

            A similar example are the issue templates that many projects have; for some issues, such a template just doesn’t make any sense (“Description”: “segfault when I do A; “What happened?” “Segfault”; “What did you expect instead?”, “No segfault”), and deviating from that should be okay in those cases. But it’s still a good idea to have the template/process in place, as it’s a good default that works well for many issues, and it prevents things like people just posting “X doesn’t work”, or forgetting to post stuff like the full error message or version (well, most of the time anyway; some people seem unteachable in this regard).

            Treating process as a law is a bad idea because you keep running in to edge cases where it doesn’t 100% fit, but if you treat it as a default template that works well for most cases then usually it works quite well.

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              Is Qt4 still viable for new development? Qt 5 shipped 2012-ish, if memory serves, and last time I tried to build a Qt 4 app (not for CL… for C++) on a relatively modern system (2018-ish) it was terribly painful. Maybe CL hides the pain but that doesn’t feel like something I’d like to rely on.

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                I think displaying the number of points at all is not a good idea. Just sort by points and be done with it. Perhaps some text descriptions such as “well received” or “poorly received” might be okay to get some feedback, but other than that I only see downsides and no real positives.

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                  I only realize now that linking to a google query might come across as patronizing

                  Not in this case, mostly because it put exactly what I wanted on the first page when the queries I’d thought of myself last time I looked for this all turned up either just fonts for sale or weird SaaS things that were really intended for mocking up whole apps. If you’d linked lmgtfy it would’ve seemed patronizing :)

                  Because I’m much better at python than drawing, the results I’m getting from adapting that notebook I linked are already much better than the photos of my whiteboard I was using before.

                  Also nicer looking in less time than drawing on a whiteboard and getting a photo that doesn’t have a weird glare spot in the middle.

                  And I hadn’t previously considered a wacom tablet at all, mostly because the expense for just this use case (I am not an artist at all) feels too high.

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                    IANAL, but the entire point of Section 230 protection is that your users can publish on your platform, and you are not legally responsible for objectionable stuff - or rather, you can act after they’ve posted, not before. If Signal never reveals anything publically, how can anyone even find out what’s there?

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                      I spend more time reading articles about the books that programmers should read than actually reading the books

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                        It probably wouldn’t have occurred to me either (I only realize now that linking to a google query might come across as patronizing), but I read an article describing how one of them worked, and the term has stuck with me since.

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                          Signal “publishes” nothing, but it does transfer, and temporarily stores, messages. So I’d say it’s in an even more precarious situation than my two examples.

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                            It depends on the template system and whether it has any kind of map data structures that you can build. The problem with Jekyll’s extension mechanism really only applies if you care about GitHub compat. For most of the things I’ve built with Jekyll (other than academic pages, where jekyll-scholar is essential), I try to support the GitHub Pages version, which doesn’t allow other plugins to be loaded. It’s a shame GitHub doesn’t support plugins with some limits on RAM / CPU usage.

                            1.  

                              Well, so it happened that I only read books about Unix. Still, it seems to me that the core principles are more or less the same across different OSes.

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                                At the time of my talk “The Pragmatic Programmer” wasn’t as relevant as before, as many of the key insights there had become common practices today. Still, there’s no argument that it’s a very important book in the history of programming. Haven’t seen the updated edition, though.

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                                  Yes, I’m in the process of making those again, but I don’t know when I’m going to finish it. Thank you for noticing, though :)

                                  1.  

                                    Work

                                    As a technical co-founder of a company that’s trying to bootstrap, the past month (even before the global lockdown) saw me transitioning to marketing/sales role, something I have zero knowledge of. But in order to survive we also need to sell. It’s a SaaS app for product managers, and it’s a hard sell due to competition. Been reading a lot of resources on sales and found Founding Sales a good resource so far.

                                    Personal IT-related

                                    Working on a checkin app for ice swimmers. It’s a very popular hobby in the country I live in, lots of clubs. But the only means to track down how much, for how long, and where is by making a note in the paper journal. Decided to try functional languages for this one, Elm and Elixir. It’s still very much in the early stage and will probably be ready for the next season, but going good so far. There’s source available but it’s quite ugly at the moment as I’m doing a lot of prototyping.

                                    For fun

                                    Living next to a forest I see lots of fallen trees after winter storms and was thinking of a good use for some of that timber. I only have a hand saw so quite limited in ideas but eventually settled on a small chair made entirely of a single piece of log with no nails. I have cut a ~70cm tall log today and will cut out the inner part to have 4 legs.

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                                      I very appreciate you describing your professional experience! This is much better than my hearsay comment.

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                                        Install firefox on your mobile device and install ublock origin on that.

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                                          Note that none of this requires systemd, DBus, or really anything else that X11 didn’t have for at least 25 years.