1. 5

    I support the addition of tags for specific programming languages. Just the other day I used one for the purpose of seeking out posts about a certain language.

    At the same time, “I am completely uninterested in X or the people behind it” is…not the kind of thing I would say to someone’s face. Or broadcast to a community which includes a number of those people.

    1. 16

      Those are my true feelings but it was not my intent to be rude. I’d rather not put a filter on them when they’re what drove me to make this post in the first place. As has been said elsewhere in this thread some people found positive reasons to create a tag for Zig even though they differ from my own.

      So taking a step back and being perfectly honest I think this is just some evidence that Zig is being validated despite my lack of interest.

      There are only two kinds of languages: the ones people complain about and the ones nobody uses.

      1. 18

        For the record I think Blintk is being perfectly reasonable in the OP and no offense taken.

    1. 1

      I have been wondering about a similar subject for the past half year or so. If you could model the system using existing tax laws, interactions between different taxable entities, ownership of entities and their property, the depreciation of such, many many other variables that I probably don’t know about yet and the interaction of different separately governmentally conceived systems, you could probably figure out a way for a group of people to pool their money into a vehicle to avoid paying any amount of taxes whatsoever, but in a possibly altruistic fashion.

      Taxes ideally are for the greater good but it seems like that’s not happening so my feeling that if everyone can get out of paying them then nobody will get out of paying them sooner rather than later. /soapbox

      1. 2

        Can we add a zig tag, please? I want to filter it.

        1. 2

          Most of the time when I’ve put anything on github I’ve used it as a dumping ground for things I don’t want to work on anymore but someone might find something in those piles of spaghetti that are useful for their very narrow case. It’s never helped me get a job and I hope it never does.

          1. 1

            Is there anyone using swift on the backend here at all? If so, what are your thoughts on it as a whole? In addition to this project maybe?

            1. 3

              My team is a group of Swift developers that primarily works on an iPad app. We’re dipping our toes into the BFF “Backends for Frontends” pattern, which, combined with the modern world of containerization, makes Swift on the server make a lot of sense for us. It took a good bit of convincing for me that it was the right direction to go—even though I love Swift!—but Vapor has been a great success for us so far.

              That said, I’ve not done a lot of server backend work aside from a stint in ASP.NET a few years back, so I certainly can’t say much intelligent about how it compares to other such frameworks; but, as someone who wants to stay in Swift as much as possible at the moment, it’s been great to develop in it on the backend, too.

              1. 2

                I do backend work, but I don’t do it in Swift, because I don’t think it’s ready yet. For instance, the first steps toward async/await are only now being merged in. But I have a lot of history with Swift, it’s still my favorite language, and I look forward to a time when it could be a contending best choice for backend work.

                “Swift on the server” is a top priority for the language team this year. Swift began at the level of front-end applications, but intends to grow its feature set and support base all the way to the domain of systems level languages like Rust, which is realistic too, maybe a few years from now. Backend work is considered to be a step on that path to systems work. The language team has a server working group and projects like SwiftNIO, Lambda runtime support, and this one. These are for creating a solid foundation and are not a complete path to smooth backend dev work, but add Vapor and you can cook up a nice API. Support for more Linux distros arrived this spring, though more are needed (I want Alpine, personally). And it may take some time for macOS-centrism to wash out of the language community.

                In other words, keep your eye on it. If you’re interested, give it a try for applications or command line tools.

              1. 3

                He’s right. Up until today decentralization and p2p networks have mostly been treated as novelties and tools for accessing information in ways that laws had not yet caught up with. What most people never understood until it was in the news was that using them pushed the liability from the service providers which used to be the owners of websites to the users themselves. It’s all just been a game of proxies and pinning fault with a healthy dose of legal threats and police state mixed in. Until there is a protocol that properly takes care of all of those issues our collective situation is going to get slowly worse as lawmakers figure out how to strangle the life out of any possible competitor to centralized easily controllable services. It’s happened with financial services already, it will happen with information services as well.

                The only thing I’m currently thankful for is the fact that most people are thinking about streaming services and mostly leaving torrenting and other p2p things alone. We need time to build a solution for this but it’s coming.

                1. 1

                  Nice article, but if you need to animate layout, browsers don’t support animating css grid properties and aspect-ratio doesn’t work in many browsers.

                  1. 2

                    Yeah this is one quality of life thing that’s still on its way but until then calc works well enough. The perf penalty people talk about isn’t that bad in most cases.

                  1. 14

                    This article and video is great solely for the place-item: center option. I didn’t know that existed and it would have saved me hours of work years ago.

                    1. 4

                      If it makes you feel any better, it’s quite new, so a few years ago, it wouldn’t have saved you all that much time.

                    1. 25

                      The general pattern in which I’ve seen “tone policing” used is usually something like this:

                      • “Something offensive, abrasive, insulting, or otherwise unpleasant”
                      • “Hey, that was pretty offensive, abrasive, insulting, or otherwise unpleasant!”
                      • “Stop tone policing me you troll!”

                      I am not a fan.

                      A better solution would be to just not say something offensive, abrasive, insulting, or otherwise unpleasant. Or if you do (we all do sometimes) then just either own up to it or have a conversation about it, instead of going “tone policing!” full defence mode.

                      As a general point, I’ve found that almost every time I see someone use “that’s [fallacy X]” they’re not really interested in having a meaningful conversation. It’s just trying to “win the argument”. Checkmate atheists, or something.


                      As for your second point … sometimes people disagree on complex social issues 🤷‍♂️ If I look at this comment you linked then the good-faith interpretation of it is that they actually agree on the basic premise that there are problems with disadvantaged groups, but they just disagree on the solution. I don’t think being wrong[1] is automatically “sexist”, and certainly not a “hostile sexist troll” as you said on Twitter. Why not just engage in conversation?

                      It seems to me that making any conversations or scepticism verboten would be far more harmful for your cause. How do you know you’re 100% right in your analysis of the situation and proposed problems? I’m all for calling out sexism or whatnot, but this is really just a disagreement.


                      [1]: although I do think there is a kernel of truth in it, based on my own personal experience (which this margin is too narrow to contain); but I think they’re focusing on small details rather than the larger far more important issues.

                      1. 3

                        All you to have to do is actually, like, talk to some women in tech and hear the shit they go through. When told “it’s just the label that is screwing you over, just get over it” most people who have better things to do with their life will just go somewhere else, not waste time debating. So you lose people.

                        I can’t say that Hillel trying to debate this person made any difference.

                        “You should debate people who say you are less worth/less human/just making stuff up” is not how you make a welcoming community.

                        1. 13

                          I’m not going to go in to the matter itself here. My comment was not intended to take any position on the matter as such, mostly because typing out an entire essay here with the appropriate nuance and such which will take several hours to get right, and I have other things to do as well.

                          But I will reply to this:

                          people who have better things to do with their life will just go somewhere else, not waste time debating

                          Who started the debate? That entire story had no bearing on the position of women in open source until someone rather forcefully and a abrasively injected it (and yes, the question comes off as a pretty abrasive challenging, almost an accusation).

                          people who say you are less worth/less human/just making stuff up

                          No one said anything like that. Do you really think those people think that woman are “less human”? I mean … like … what?

                          1. 1

                            No one said anything like that. Do you really think those people think that woman are “less human”? I mean … like … what?

                            I didn’t mean that someone said that in this particular context. Rather, that is an explanation for why I think the second proposed moderation policy is useful, rather than saying “You should just debate those people.”

                            1. 8

                              Well, we’re discussion specific examples, so if you say something like that I think it’s reasonable to assume it’s about those specific examples we’re discussing.

                              I think very few – if any – people here would be against banning overt sexism or the like, but the examples you’ve posted don’t really seem to exhibit that. As I said in my top-level comment: being incorrect is not the same as being sexist.

                              1. 4

                                I think you and @itamarst may have gotten at a core disagreement, that he sees more expressions as overt sexism.

                                1. 10

                                  Indeed; perhaps there’s an even more fundamental disagreement: whether or not these people are acting in good faith or not.

                                  Generally speaking I tend to assume people are acting in good faith unless there’s a decent indication that they’re not, even if they say something stupid, harmful, or otherwise spectacularly wrong. This is perhaps a bit naïve because clearly there are bad-faith trolls – and I’m not afraid to call them out if there’s a good indication that they are – but I’d rather be a bit naïve than write people off as trolls so quickly.

                                  This seems to be a general issue I’ve seen many times, both here and elsewhere.

                                  I hate to use the term because it’s so often used by right-wing trolls (I can’t think of a better term), but this is probably what distinguishes a “Social Justice Advocate” from a “SJW”.

                                  1. -2

                                    Basically what you seem to be saying is that “sexism and racism is OK so long as it’s in good faith.” If someone is sincere in their beliefs, and not particularly trying to get a rise out of anyone, you are saying that is reasonable discourse that is acceptable in a community you’re part of.

                                    From my perspective it’s not about good faith or bad faith, it’s about how certain positions inherently force you to choose which people are welcome. And I would argue that “don’t make sexism or racism allowable” is the better choice.

                                    1. 5

                                      That’s an extremely ungenerous reading of what I said. To quote myself from the top comment:

                                      Sometimes people disagree on complex social issues 🤷‍♂️ If I look at this comment you linked then the good-faith interpretation of it is that they actually agree on the basic premise that there are problems with disadvantaged groups, but they just disagree on the solution. I don’t think being wrong is automatically “sexist”.

                                      As I mentioned I always do my best to engage in good faith, but you’re giving me a hard time here…

                                      1. 0

                                        There’s two questions:

                                        1. Should sexist or racist comments be allowed if they’re in good faith?
                                        2. What counts as sexist or racist.

                                        I am willing to discuss #2 if you are willing to say to #1 “should be not be allowed”, but otherwise there’s no point.

                                        (Edited, original version got the negative wrong.)

                                        1. 10

                                          Should sexist or racist comments be allowed if they’re in good faith?

                                          I literally answered this question already in my top comment: “I’m all for calling out sexism or whatnot, but this is really just a disagreement”. What more do you want? A bloody “I am not sexist” club membership card? Do I need to take a test? Is there certification involved? Can I put it on my CV?

                                          I am retiring from this discussion as I’ve grown weary of it. I don’t need to prove a damn thing to you, especially not if your implied accusations are based on bad-faith readings of posts I carefully spent some time writing. Talking to you seems like playing a game of “avoid being called sexist”. There is no value for me here at all, and only frustration and accusations.

                                          Somehow you managed to misconstrue everything I said completely different from the first reply with your ridiculous “people who say you are less worth/less human/just making stuff up” comment which is apparently about hypothetical other people or something, rather than the people and comments we’re discussing. What kind of debating tactic is that? Sjeez…

                                          So yeah, I’m done with it. The only thing that has turned me off from social justice is the last few years have been its proponents, not its detractors. Ya’ll impossible to engage with.

                                          1. 0

                                            At no point did I say you were sexist.

                                          2. 4

                                            If I read this correctly, you’re willing to “discuss” one point if the other party is willing to cede the other without question?

                                            I don’t believe I could agree to such terms, and I’m pretty sure nobody seriously interested in engaging in genuine discourse could, either.

                                            (And I say this as somebody who believes that sexist or racist comments categorically don’t belong here on lobsters, good faith or not, because they are not relevant to the subject matter.)

                                            1. -2

                                              They didn’t say that anyone had to agree.

                                              They said that they are willing to discuss IF that is the case. It is likely meant to be a nice way of saying that if you don’t agree with that then the conversation need not continue and it is likely not someone trying to force you into a decision.

                                              People are allowed to state boundaries without it being a requirement of some sort to concede.

                                              Furthermore, this person has already stated that they are “turned off” from “social justice”. Their intentions here are clear as freshly cleaned glass. Nobody else has said it, but they are being sexist if they think that supporting women being treated equally is something that you can be “turned off” from.

                                              As I have mentioned elsewhere, the only thing that has turned me off from social justice is the last few years have been some of its proponents and not its detractors.

                                              https://lobste.rs/s/lpvcsm/proposal_for_moderation_policies_no_tone#c_97hpgq

                                              Interestingly, this person has also joined in the last couple years during the time that I’ve noticed the worst degradation of discussions on this site. Maybe a coincidence since it’s just my experience, but at some point I guess that every community becomes another HackerNews, Reddit, whatever…

                                              1. 8

                                                Furthermore, this person has already stated that they are “turned off” from “social justice”. Their intentions here are clear as freshly cleaned glass. Nobody else has said it, but they are being sexist if they think that supporting women being treated equally is something that you can be “turned off” from.

                                                Do you really think it’s impossible for someone to completely burn out because of the people behind the mission and want nothing to do with it in spite of wanting the core of the mission to succeed? That there’s no difference between supporting the methods and arguments for a cause vs supporting the cause?

                                                Your paragraph right there is phrased as such and I find that kind of weird.

                                                1. 5

                                                  Furthermore, this person has already stated that they are “turned off” from “social justice”. Their intentions here are clear as freshly cleaned glass. Nobody else has said it, but they are being sexist if they think that supporting women being treated equally is something that you can be “turned off” from.

                                                  The problem isn’t the cause, it’s having to deal with people like you. But yeah quote me out of context all you want to confirm your witch-hunt.

                                                  1. -1

                                                    interestingly, in my view, Lobste.rs is already far worse than HN/Reddit, etc. I think these threads are pretty instructive of why – the balance of active and engaged users along the political spectrum is off. most of the hard left is gone, and the rest of the site is center-right to hard right. and it can be seen easily in which topics are labelled as political and which aren’t.

                                                    there’s probably also something to how small the lobste.rs community is I think and how that makes the imbalance so much more glaring.

                                                    EDIT: actually, the issue is quite obvious now that I think about it. a website for whom membership is invite based needs to have a diverse group of “seed users”. I’m fairly sure you could track the rightward slide of the site with a gigantic tree view of users invited on a timeline.

                                                    1. 3

                                                      We could test that at a single data point right now, you know. We were invited by the same user (what are the odds, eh?). I’m not sure if it would hold true for the rest of the users though.

                                                      I would be center left based on wikipedia’s explanation. I don’t keep track of this stuff tbh.

                                                      I would like to add that the information that I can glean from the comments and stories on this site is greater than what I can gather on Hackernews and Reddit. The conversations are higher quality most times as well.

                              2. 1

                                I don’t think being wrong[1] is automatically “sexist”, and certainly not a “hostile sexist troll” as you said on Twitter

                                The Twitter thread, for context: https://twitter.com/itamarst/status/1279366605185613827

                              1. 11

                                No tone policing

                                You saw what they were replying to, yes? You saw how useless of a comment it was? That tone policing was in addition to multiple commenters pointing out the flaws in the approach of the offending commenter. It was not an innocent question. It was not simply “Why are there no women in this list?”. The commenter is not a child and knows that asking such a question is inflammatory. Is that a stupid cause and effect combo? Yes. But they could’ve avoided the entire chain that you’re referring to and in fact helped both the women and men frequenting this site by putting forth a bit more effort into what they submitted. Instead of this:

                                Why are there no women in this list?

                                We could’ve had a fruitful discussion on female influential thinkers and programmers. A discussion that I would have relished on the many other people who could help us along in our collective programming slog. But instead we get a shitty one line question that is neither enlightening nor broadening of thought. Instead it’s just another injection of the same tired school yard to work place to life to internet argument.

                                Just try harder and help us. I really don’t know any openly female open source authors that contribute a heck of a lot to anything. This is not an insult, this is an admission of my own ignorance and one that monokrome did not help to alleviate but was easily able to.

                                So no, I don’t think tone policing should be banned. I have no issues with your other thing.

                                1. 2

                                  What policy would you write to prohibit the parent comment? (Or would you?)

                                  1. 15

                                    We already have one, it’s trolling and I down voted that comment as such. It was purposefully controversial and low effort. I’m pretty sure that’s trolling even if it’s by accident.

                                    1. 5

                                      I wouldn’t, but if I had to I’d throw it under the bucket of bad faith questions that if genuine would make more sense to ask in private, unless the goal is to score points with onlookers.

                                    2. 2

                                      You saw what they were replying to, yes? You saw how useless of a comment it was?

                                      I don’t think that was a useless comment. I think it raised an excellent point via a pointed question.

                                      1. 8

                                        an excellent point

                                        I disagree. It was a interjection that derailed the discussion of possible members of an imaginary league of open source leaders. There was no discussion of gender anywhere near the remarks of the opening poster. The names, save RMS, were sprung from the mind of a single person. The comment that you’re defending didn’t help and didn’t add to the discussion. There was positivity in that chain before it was sucked out with 8 words.

                                        If it provided names or projects then maybe it would help but by the end of that short question what’s coming up in my mind is that they want to attack rather than help. I’m already defensive. That criticism is something a lot of other men feel as well. Is it really so difficult to approach the commenters with a guiding hand rather than a slap to the nuts?

                                        pointed question

                                        I disagree here as well. A pointed question would arrive at the core of the problem the opening poster was trying to solve which I can only assume would be to build a team of open source visionaries that get things done. The comment you’re defending is a quibble and considering the fallout from it includes the rest of that chain and this completely separate thread where most people seem to agree that we don’t need what’s being proposed is also inflammatory. The proposals of course support the kind of comments that you’re defending.

                                        I don’t want arguments. I don’t want to start or be in arguments. I want to educate and be educated. Sometimes arguments are helpful but that comment started a flame war, didn’t help solve the issue that it was a reply to and even got the mods involved on a 3rd party channel.

                                        It’s a fucking useless, low effort, troll comment. We don’t need them. The orange site and everywhere else is filled with them. If I wanted to read them I would go on twitter, which btw is where this meta (read: nearly off topic) thread found its launch pad. Take this comment for example. You see how upvoted it is regardless of the fact that it’s pointing out the same type of biases that the flame bait you’re defending is? That’s a useful comment. That’s what we should be trying to aspire to.

                                        I’m tired of this. I would like to ask you to stop defending flame bait because you very clearly are.

                                        1. 6

                                          It was a interjection that derailed the discussion of possible members of an imaginary league of open source leaders.

                                          I’ll disagree with you here for the very reason that I don’t believe it’s possible on the medium of this website to interject or derail.

                                          Consider the fact that you get to write a comment in your own time, edit it, and click the “Post” button without interruption. This is not a realtime chat app, nor is it linear; since discussions are in fact trees, if you don’t want to engage in a path through the comment tree, then you don’t have to. If you see others following a comment path in favor of one you’d rather engage with, then consider the fact that they’re doing so on their own free will. They might want to comment on something that you don’t. Who is policing who?

                                          There was no discussion of gender anywhere near the remarks of the opening poster.

                                          And so what? Suppose we have a comment thread discussing memory performance, and someone brings up security. There was previously no discussion of security. Are you going to be as angry with that poster as you are in this instance? Or what if, in the case of the thread at hand, the “interjecting” comment brought up natively spoken language instead. Would you be as upset, and as driven to engage in this case? Who is the judge of what is and is not relevant to a discussion? For a community nominally focused on intellectual pursuits, are you not interested in exploring associations, obvious or not, at the cost of some comments that you yourself don’t like?

                                          Further up the thread, you wrote:

                                          It was not an innocent question. It was not simply “Why are there no women in this list?”. The commenter is not a child and knows that asking such a question is inflammatory.

                                          You seem to pose that either: a) the poster is a “child” asking roughly: “excuse me I am confused that there no women on this list. could someone kindly clue me in?”, or b) the poster is an instigator, keen on “interjecting” and “derailing” discussion, someone who in bad faith wishes to expose the innocent wish-list parent comment as a misogynist. Since a) couldn’t be the case, it must be b) with evil intent!

                                          I’m not a mind reader either, but consider that the poster simply wanted to open up a discussion; that they actually meant what they wrote. Why are there no women in the list? This is a prompt for discussion. In fact, it’s one that we ought to be interested in. Why are the overwhelming majority of household open source names men? Prominent intellectuals, academics, and creatives in other fields seem to have a much more even distribution of gender. Why get defensive when we could think critically? It’s a good question.

                                          edit here’s a follow-up post clarifying intent.

                                          We could’ve had a fruitful discussion on female influential thinkers and programmers. A discussion that I would have relished on the many other people who could help us along in our collective programming slog. But instead we get a shitty one line question that is neither enlightening nor broadening of thought.

                                          We could have, and we still can. Since you’d “relish” a discussion of prominent women in tech, please go ahead and start that thread.

                                          1. 3

                                            I don’t believe it’s possible on the medium of this website to interject or derail.

                                            We’ll have to agree to disagree that it’s possible to derail a comment tree. When the branch is off topic even for the website that we’re on I would consider it derailing.

                                            Who is the judge of what is and is not relevant to a discussion?

                                            From the about page:

                                            Lobsters is a computing-focused community centered around link aggregation and discussion.

                                            From the wiki about Downvotes:

                                            Troll - These are used when a comment is made specifically to get a rise out of other users with no attempt at sharing new information or engaging in honest discussion.

                                            Why get defensive when we could think critically? It’s a good question.

                                            This is where there is a problem with the question’s framing. In the majority of online conversations you’ll see these types comments and would be justified in assuming the worse - that the commenter is going to start an argument with little for us to gain from it. In Lobste.rs from what I’ve seen is that the signal is missing because the questions are presented in a more developed manner. There’s typically context provided. Ideas are given along with the question for some sort of guidance on how they arrived there and why they’re asking it. Or hey, you know, the question is actually related to the topic of the site.

                                            We could have, and we still can. Since you’d “relish” a discussion of prominent women in tech, please go ahead and start that thread.

                                            I won’t because I don’t start threads on things I don’t know much about. If the thread comes up I’ll be asking questions though.

                                            1. 2

                                              From the about page:

                                              Lobsters is a computing-focused community centered around link aggregation and discussion.
                                              

                                              Right, and you’ll note that to many members, a “computing-focused community” centered around “discussion” should be prepared to discuss computing-focused communities.

                                              1. 2

                                                The community is prepared but the question doesn’t give the impression that it’s made in good faith. Like you said, we’re not mind readers. You’ve already seen that many of us will put effort in. You still haven’t answered my question btw.

                                          2. -5

                                            There was no discussion of gender anywhere near the remarks of the opening poster.

                                            That was indeed the point of the comment?

                                            I want to educate and be educated.

                                            Hmm, facts not in evidence ;)

                                            1. 3

                                              That was indeed the point of the comment?

                                              But why does it matter? In the criteria laid out in the opening comment we had:

                                              1. They cannot be easily manipulated
                                              2. They do not want to manipulate others
                                              3. They are visionaries
                                              4. They express themselves through software (on both technical and conceptual levels)
                                              5. They work very hard, for very long time, based on a believe and passion alone
                                              6. They are not afraid to challenge ‘status quo’

                                              Please tell me which if any of these qualities is exclusive to either gender. Why would gender be a part of the equation rather than the content and caliber of their minds? I see no link, therefore I saw a useless derailing comment made by someone who ignored the list above.

                                              1. 2

                                                Could you point me to the rule of engagement describing the idea that in order to reply to a comment, you must respond to it within the framework of analysis that the OP has constructed?

                                                1. 0

                                                  There is none. But why would you ignore it entirely when your answer probably lies in that list?

                                                  1. 2

                                                    your answer probably lies in that list

                                                    So in other words, you claim that the answer to “why are there no women in this list?” is “probably” because:

                                                    1. They are easily manipulated, or
                                                    2. They want to manipulate others, or
                                                    3. They are not visionaries, or
                                                    4. They do not express themselves through software (on both technical and conceptual levels), or
                                                    5. They do not work very hard, for very long time, based on a believe and passion alone, or
                                                    6. They are afraid to challenge ‘status quo’

                                                    Yikes

                                                    1. 0

                                                      THIS IS WHAT I WANT. Instead of that shitty little comment why couldn’t you have come along and said something?

                                                      I don’t know whether it’s probable or not. I haven’t done studies and I haven’t seen any either. It would stupid to think that all of the reasons there are no women on that list is because of one of those six reasons. But you still missed my question. Why would it be ignored entirely?

                                              2. 4

                                                Hmm, facts not in evidence ;)

                                                Flagged unkind. This does not leave much room to build on, doesn’t cite relevant examples to learn from, and generally doesn’t seem (to me) to improve the discussion.

                                                1. 1

                                                  That feels to me like an unreasonable response to a substantial (if pithy) reply to the comment + a clearly indicated joke as a post-script. Please re-assess your criteria for flagging.

                                                  1. 3

                                                    I too flagged your comment as unkind. It did not come across as a joke at all (more like sarcasm, which isn’t kind). Rather, as an unilteral “do this, or else!” vibe. OP also does the same, right now on Twitter:

                                                    many (likely vast majority) of the women programmers I know would not participate on http://lobste.rs after reading some of the threads there.

                                                    How does he know that “many (likely vast majority)” would not participate for this reason? Why don’t these women directly complain about it, so that we know for a fact that it is indeed “many (likely vast majority)” that are put off by the current discussion (and that it is not OP exaggerating it for whatever reason)? If you ask him that, we would probably be accused of being a sexist or a troll. I am actually glad that pushcx notices what’s going on.

                                                    I want this community to remain tech-focused, and not get dragged into culture wars.

                                                    1. 0

                                                      The fact that you dismiss topics and comments like this as “culture war” stuff rather than meaningful, topical, and endemic problems in tech-focused communities that need to be addressed is, I think, good evidence towards the OP’s Twitter point.

                                                      1. 2

                                                        So now merely mentioning the phrase “culture wars” is enough to be shouted down as sexist without even explaining why? None of the things you’ve said can be deduced from what the previous poster wrote, you made you own conclusions about that on no evidence what-so-ever.

                                                        This is incredibly toxic. And yes, even if you cause is a good one you can still be toxic.

                                                        1. 1

                                                          So now merely mentioning the phrase “culture wars” is enough to be shouted down as sexist without even explaining why?

                                                          No, but dismissing relevant points by handwaving “culture wars” is evidence that a community is immature in that dimension, and likely unwelcoming to the affected minority.

                                                          This is incredibly toxic.

                                                          “Toxic” isn’t a catch-all pejorative that can be used when someone advances an argument you don’t like.

                                                        2. 1

                                                          That’s a very uncharitable interpretation of my comment.

                                                          These things should be discussed, but with good faith assumptions, not by unjustly accusing others as “nazi” or “sexist” or “racist”, which only perpetuates an “us vs them” mentality (a telling characteristic of culture wars), that in turn divides the community with toxic influence rather than build it based on fellowship regard.

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                                                The question was as pointed as it was irrelevant. It could just as well have been ‘why are there no left-handed people on this list’ or ‘why are there no Hindus on this list’ or ‘why are there no Freemasons on this list’. Identity politics is politics no matter whether the identity is sex, dextrality or religion. It only serves to split communities in factions and factions into a power struggle. As far as I can see this is far from an ‘excellent point’ unless you happen to be a competitor to the community or its goals.

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                                                  As far as I’m aware, there is no systemic under representation of left handed people or Hindus in software, so the comparison you’re drawing is not effective.

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                                              So is this is advice for the run of the mill cloud engineer who can’t be bothered to learn from the experience shared by those who created those managed services in the first place? Maybe my approach can be generalized but I think the information contained in blog posts and whitepapers and conference talks about the tech in the managed services is enough to build in house services in their image. Maybe it’s a bad idea? Probably. Obviously you pay for it in terms of time and effort which can be equated to money and fewer features elsewhere.

                                              What you gain though is control over your own destiny and lower infrastructure costs over time. Honestly it’s probably not the best trade off but I would rather have control than sending emails to engineers or “support specialists” who I can’t fully trust to care about my application or my customers instead of handling it myself. SLAs and reimbursements don’t matter much in that case. At some point the amount of redundancy that I implement to make sure I don’t get screwed because of a service outage or shutdown one day (regardless of any promises they have made to me) is going to eclipse the amount of work I would need to implement the service itself. At that point it becomes a bad deal.

                                              None of them are actually that hard. All of the building blocks exist.

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                                                What you gain though is control over your own destiny and lower infrastructure costs over time.

                                                Great way to explain the tradeoff. And different orgs can make different choices. My experience has primarily been at smaller companies where it didn’t make sense to build our own.

                                                I mean, I guess you make the same choice using a commercial service like pagerduty vs building up your own scripts based on a solution like nagios (or something else, I haven’t been in that space for a while). You need to make strategic decisions about what is worth keeping in house and what isn’t.

                                                None of them are actually that hard. All of the building blocks exist.

                                                Even if true (which I don’t grant, especially when you consider edge cases and ongoing maintenance) it becomes an opportunity cost choice. Do I build my own database backup automation system (which is not, for a typical business, a value add) or do I use a managed service (which introduces additional dependencies)?

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                                                I’m no crypto expert, but isn’t the crux of the issue step 2:

                                                Share your keys in some way

                                                To me as a newbie, that seems to be the fundamental problem of cryptography–how can we share keys in a way that is secure and ensures that only the entity we want gets the key.

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                                                  It’s unsolved. You can’t (yet?) just magic up some trust out of nowhere. Every solution relies on some trusted (or at least previously identified, untrusted, but verifiable) entity, or some previous trusted setup/communication. Then, cryptography can stretch that trust to many parties, many messages, whatever.

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                                                    Every solution relies on some trusted (or at least previously identified, untrusted, but verifiable) entity, or some previous trusted setup/communication.

                                                    This is key. There are enough third party services which can serve as routes to verify public assets. Their lack of coordination is the opening upon which private networks can be built.

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                                                      That is unfortunately fragile. Security through obscurity. Maybe this strategy works for the masses just trying not to get caught up in dragnets/passive surveillance, but it’s critical that we don’t recommend these types of solutions to people who actually need protection from malicious governments/nation states.

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                                                    I’ve thought about that but I haven’t really come up with a perfect solution. Considering key sharing parties are not as convenient as using the internet so I wanted to use the internet to do it. At that point I think the best solution is hiding in the crowd, which means sharing your key on third party services. If you do that then in most cases you’re talking about using browser. The browser’s security, not to mention attackers who target our browsers can possibly be an issue but I’d rather assume that we can trust it for now so we can focus on getting your public key to another person.

                                                    You’ve got a couple of options for the initial key share between participants who have no existing secure channels through other people:

                                                    1. Directly messaging the person you want with your public key
                                                    2. Posting your public key in a public forum.

                                                    Option one leaves a record of you interacting with that specific person and it’s also susceptible to targeted interception and manipulation by the service. I believe the better option is two. Using steganography allows people to keep their public key sharing hidden. The size of a public key is under 200 bytes which considering the size of images being shared today is below the level of any stego detection techniques that I’ve found.

                                                    As long as the images posted are expected to be unmodified by the time they hit everyone else’s screen you’ve just successfully shared your key. Most services aren’t looking and after bootstrapping the p2p key network on this most of the key sharing will happen between members of the group. There are some things I’ve omitted and some problems that I haven’t seen yet but it seems to be the path forward.

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                                                    My new work laptop (Dell Precision 7540 with an 8c/16t Intel Xeon, 64GB ECC RAM, 1TB NVMe, and dedicated/discrete NVIDIA GPU) came in today. So I’m gonna spend the weekend playing around on it. It’ll be an awesome HardenedBSD and OPNsense development machine. :)

                                                    edit[0]: Fix typo

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                                                      8c/16t Intel Xeon, 64GB ECC RAM

                                                      I used to look enviously at SGI Origins and Onyx’s that costs hundreds of thousands of dollars to a million wanting that kind of RAM. Now it’s in laptops. Amazing. Still doesn’t have the 256 CPU’s, though. They need to work on that.

                                                      1. 2

                                                        I got a variant model of that (less RAM, figured I’ll upgrade it when it starts to bug me), it’s really a great laptop.

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                                                          Serious question because I’m a bit jealous, what are you gonna use all that ram for?

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                                                            I’ll be running a number of VMs simultaneously. One of them will need a dedicated 32GB RAM.

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                                                            Is the battery life okay? Is it really able to handle all the heat of the CPU? Intel says the TDP is 45W. That’s a bit crazy for a mobile device.

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                                                              I’m not sure. This will be plugged into power nearly 100% of the time.

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                                                              interestingly, the dell website does not report a 7542 model (only a 7540) – is that some kind of custom order ?

                                                              1. 1

                                                                Whoops! Typo. Thanks for catching it. The laptop is indeed a 7540.

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                                                              Finishing up my implementation of a multi partition asynchronous Cassandra lookup based on time partitioned buckets and getting the messages back to the front end. This part is not fun. I spent a day looking at docs and blogs trying to figure out how to get the round trips needed to do an efficient range query on Cassandra to 1 but it seems that’s impossible across partitions with the resilience and speed that I want. 2 hops then back to the client. Seems fast enough though.

                                                              1. -1
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                                                                  I am interpreting presentation as the artwork, apologies if that’s not what you meant.

                                                                  You wouldn’t know because you passed on it, but it’s a well researched, interestingly opinionated piece that discusses the nuances of a cryptographic construction in an accessible way, while acknowledging what’s good about the design. And it has some cute drawings. We need more of this, and less hot takes on how this or that is bad and dumb, IMHO.

                                                                  I am surprised and disappointed to see a comment on Lobsters which is gratuitously negative, dismisses a point of view because of the innocuous identity expression of the author, and tries to enforce the stereotype of technical content having to be inexpressive and boring and dry and nerdy. I have downvoted this as Unkind and I hope you’ll take the time to think about whether that was appropriate.

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                                                                    The original comment has since been removed so I can’t see if this was acknowledged, but the author’s about page gives some (very genuine) rationale for the format.

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                                                                  The author starts off by offering to share some knowledge to newer people but then more or less shares a story, with some benchmark numbers, which I think are from wrk. (Or maybe some other tool?)

                                                                  This would be a lot more interesting if there was actual code. Otherwise, it’s frustrating because it’s just story time. Stories are fine but sometimes to really understand what’s going on it’s helpful to see code.

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                                                                    I think if she shared code it would just turn into a nit pick festival.

                                                                    The point is just to explain in general terms that machines can handle a lot of connections with fairly low effort.

                                                                    Many of her stories feature situations with lazy or unsmart devs torturing machines, maybe hinting that just a bit of planning and testing your code will get you pretty fair.

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                                                                      I think if she shared code it would just turn into a nit pick festival.

                                                                      I kinda disagree. She had enough disclaimers pointing out that the code was thrown together without a large amount of careful thought. I also think it would be more interesting if there were code provided, not even to verify her claims, just to learn what kind of code causes that kind of performance beyond what she describes.

                                                                    2. 4

                                                                      Not the author of the post, but at work, I wrote a bit more capable server than Rachel’s in Lua based around an event loop framework. The sockets are UDP based, so it’s a bit easier on the networking side to deal with, but we’re processing millions of SIP messages per day with it. Not bad for something that I intended to be a “proof-of-concept” (and was put into production without my knowledge) about five years ago and only last year did I actually profile the code.

                                                                      So yeah, I think computers are more powerful than we realize.

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                                                                        This would be a lot more interesting if there was actual code. Otherwise, it’s frustrating because it’s just story time.

                                                                        Given that people have demonstrated again and again that you can get this kind of performance out of a server, I don’t think proof is necessary.

                                                                        (On the other hand, I’m not sure what she’s trying to illustrate that couldn’t have just been “hey look at all these other tests people have done”.)

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                                                                        These notes are what I’ve compiled over the past week+ of research, load testing and checking what would work on VPS and dedicated servers with the best $/capability ratios that I could find. If anyone has any input I would take it wholeheartedly.

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                                                                          It was quick and entertaining to read (I meant to skim, but ended up reading most of it). Very tight, light summaries… A lot of these writes tend to run too long, but yours is great. Also, great title. ETA: One question, out of curiosity but probably useful for the article: What were your own driving use cases? (e.g. storage for smaller projects, startup, day job, personal files, etc).

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                                                                            The purpose is to be able to store a bunch of encrypted files and messages without vc funding or needing ads to do it. So it’s project or bootstrapped startup I guess?

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                                                                          Can I ask what you think about seaweedfs? S3 compatible and optimised for clustering and small files.

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                                                                            I just gave it a few test runs using the included s3 api server command weed server -s3. The default filer was backed by Leveldb. With small files (6KB) it’s slow compared to Cassandra. It seems to be able to upload around half the number of what CockroachDB can do. This is might be because there’s no batching in the s3 api but I don’t think it was because of the lack of asynchronous clients; I used 15 clients simultaneously but didn’t max the cpu so it’s something else since request per second still dropped.

                                                                            When it comes to larger files (6MB) it’s great, all files are uploaded and it’s really, really fast. Adding volumes for buckets seems fairly straightforward in comparison to minio where the sizes of clusters are fixed and the scaling comes from federations of clusters under etcd namespaces.

                                                                            Originally I was cursing you because you gave me something else that seemed worth investigating but now I’m happy I’ve seen it. It should be relatively simple to shove this in in place of everything I would’ve been doing with S3 or wasabi since it even supports presigned urls. Thanks. :D. Gotta update the article with new info and hope no one else has reasonable suggestions.

                                                                          1. 6

                                                                            Since it seems like horizontal scalability is important to you and you are mainly looking for support for key GETs similar to S3/GCS on your data, you may also want to look at HBase, Cassandra, ScyllaDB. These three are specifically made for horizontal scalability and for a way to store lots of files, especially small files, with fast concurrent reads, high availability, and low cost. I personally wrote about our experience with Cassandra for storing hundreds of billions of 4-10kb records here.

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                                                                              It took me a while to get them working but I tried out both Cassandra and ScyllaDB. They are not the easiest to install on Debian 10 at the moment. Cassandra is stupidly fast. On my dedi it’s operating at the nearly the sequential MB/s of the HDD with writes. That’s an 8 core machine, single 7200rpm disk and with 8 python clients on the same machine using each using execute_async to repeatedly load { uuid : 6Kb } payloads (similar to my use case) for 60 seconds. With a single disk I could very nearly saturate a 1Gbps connection. Makes me giddy to be honest. I tried BatchStatements too but async was much faster.

                                                                              The weird thing is that I tried the with ScyllaDB and it kept dropping connections, having weird semaphore timeout issues, and just in general not loading all of the data during my simple localhost load test. I’m not sure what I’m doing wrong but I don’t really feel like trying to debug it anymore when I have such an acceptable choice with Cassandra or CockroachDB.

                                                                              Your write up is very helpful btw. I’m going to be stealing that xsv formatting trick.

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                                                                                That’s great to hear. Yea, we found Cassandra to be stupidly fast as well, as long as you keep it simple and ensure the client library isn’t doing too much client-side work. Cassandra was pretty much designed for speed of ingest and speed (esp. end-to-end latency) of concurrent reads, and it is especially fast on the read side when the reads can be disk-aligned (which it tries hard to do).

                                                                                I only mentioned ScyllaDB because I have a mental model of, “it’s a clean-house rewrite of Cassandra from Java to C++, in order to remove the ‘JVM tax’ and improve performance further.” I had never actually tried ScyllaDB concretely before. But there’s no need to adopt it up front since the whole point is that it is 100% compatible with the Cassandra wire protocol.

                                                                                If you’re happy with Cass, you can probably skip HBase. It’s more complex to set up than Cassandra, and I found that its data model was also more difficult to understand.

                                                                                Also, it may not be totally up-to-date, but since you were using Python to saturate Cassandra, you might be interested in a blog post I wrote about the Python Cassandra async event loops and their performance impact on Cassandra ingest. Here it is.

                                                                                Happy hacking!