Threads for COCK

  1. 7

    If you really want to look at the fundamental science and history of the major network protocols (and maybe get a glimpse at why there’s so little innovation in this area) I highly recommend John Day. “Patterns in Network Architecture: A Return to Fundamentals”, Prentice Hall. It’s out of print, but not too hard to find. Most of the material is online as well, on the Pouzin Society website. You should be aware that it’s not exactly the most practical book, since Day’s a bit of an iconoclast, but he’s also an old-timer who’s experienced much first-hand. Very interesting read. I think you’d enjoy it.

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      His critique of IPv6 is refreshing, interesting. Do you know whether other experts share his opinion? I have the impression that the generally held consensus is that IPv6 is a good thing.

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        It seems very very interesting, thanks!

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        As someone who has spent wayyyy too much time in the world of CSP I applaud this effort.

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          How did you spend the time? golang?

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            Was working on a proof tool for CSP for a number of years.

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              Interesting, because to quote Hoare’s original paper:

              However, this paper also ignores many serious problems. The most serious is that it fails to suggest any proof method to assist in the development and verification of correct programs.

              Not sure what the current status is with proof tools.

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                The common thing to use with CSP-like formalism in industry was SPIN model-checker. It was used a lot. Various temporal logics have also been modeled in proof assistants. People dont do it a lot but I think it’s more lack of interest than difficulty.

                Anyway, I took a look and found CSP-Prover. They had an initial paper then another in search results about deadlock detection. Hope yall enjoy it.

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                  Iirc SPIN is the best of the open source CSP capable checkers. Not looked at it for a few years though.

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            Massive kudos to this guy for not putting up with this SJW madness. I wish him all the best!

            We at suckless are heavily opposed to code of conducts and discriminatory organizations of any shape or form.

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              Suckless takes a similarly principled stand against runtime config files.

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                How does suckless oppose discrimination?

                1. 15

                  It’s very simple. Any non-technological matters during software development move the software away from its ideal form. Thus, to make your software suck less, you only take the best developers no matter what race, gender, heritage, etc. these persons have.

                  We do not believe in equal status (i.e. e.g. forcibly obtaining a 50/50 gender ratio), as this immediately leads to discrimination. We do however strongly believe in equal rights, naturally. You also naturally cannot have both.

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                    Any non-technological matters during software development move the software away from its ideal form.

                    Suckless makes a window manager: a part of a computer that human beings, with all their rich and varying abilities and perspectives, interact with constantly. Your choices of defaults and customization options have direct impact on those humans.

                    For example, color schemes determine whether color-blind people are able to quickly scan active vs inactive options and understand information hierarchy. Font sizes and contrast ratios can make the interface readable, difficult, or completely unusable for visually impaired people. The sizes of click targets, double-click timeouts, and drag thresholds impact usability for those with motor difficulties. Default choices of interface, configuration, and documentation language embed the project in a particular English-speaking context, and the extent to which your team supports internationalization can limit, or expand, your user base.

                    With limited time and resources, you will have to make tradeoffs in your code, documentation, and community about which people your software is supportive and hostile towards. These are inherently political decisions which cannot be avoided. This is not to say that your particular choices are wrong. It’s just you are already engaged in “non-technical”, political work, because you, like everyone else here, are making a tool for human beings. The choice to minimize the thought you put into those decisions does not erase the decisions themselves.

                    At the community development level, your intentional and forced choices around language, schedule, pronouns, and even technical terminology can make contributors from varying backgrounds feel welcome or unwelcome, or render the community inaccessible entirely. These too are political choices. Your post above is one of them.

                    There is, unfortunately, no such thing as a truly neutral stance on inclusion. Consider: you wish to take only the best developers, and yet your post has already discouraged good engineers from working on your project. Doubtless it has encouraged other engineers (who may be quite skilled!) with a similar political view to your own; those who believe, for instance, that current minority representation in tech is justified, representing the best engineers available, and that efforts to change those ratios are inherently discriminatory and unjust.

                    Policies have impact. Consider yours.

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                      I don’t know if that was your goal, but this is one of the best arguments for positive discrimination I’ve read. Thanks for posting it, and also thanks for noting that all decisions have some inherent politics whether we like it or not.

                      Unfortunately there is simply no solution: positive discrimination is opposed to meritocracy. Forced ratios are definitely an unethical tool, as they are a form of discrimination. However, this unethical tool brings us to a greater good, which is a final product that incorporates diversity on its design and accommodates more users, which is a desirable goal on itself, for the reasons you explained.

                      1. 1

                        Unfortunately there is simply no solution: positive discrimination is opposed to meritocracy.

                        This is not necessarily the case. One’s skills are strongly a result of the opportunities available to them, and meritocracy as it is commonly interpreted (“whoever has the best skills right now”) is basically just a proxy metric for who had the most privilege growing up. This is an obviously unreasonable metric if your goal is good software.

                        There’s a different interpretation of “meritocracy”, however; that is, you ensure that the same opportunities are available to everyone, and then look at who comes out most competent. This interpretation of meritocracy requires positive discrimination, as it means active outreach to underprivileged demographics and giving them the same opportunity to learn and grow that privileged demographics got automatically.

                        Another way to look at that, is that you are massively increasing the pool of people who have the opportunity to manifest their competence, by lifting up those who are societally disadvantaged. Even just from a “building good software” perspective, ignoring the ethical side, this is a great approach.

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                        color schemes determine whether color-blind people are able to quickly scan active vs inactive options and understand information hierarchy. Font sizes and contrast ratios can make the interface readable, difficult, or completely unusable for visually impaired people. The sizes of click targets, double-click timeouts, and drag thresholds

                        Let me see if I understand what you’re saying. Are you claiming that when color schemes, font sizes and drag thresholds are chosen that that is a political decision? I think that many people would find that quite a remarkable claim.

                        1. 7

                          It’s impossible to not be political. You can be “the status quo is great and I don’t want to discuss it”, but that’s political. The open source “movement” started off political - with a strong point of view on how software economics should be changed. In particular, if you say a CoC that bans people from being abusive is unacceptable, you are making a political statement and a moral statement.

                          1. 3

                            It’s impossible to not be political

                            Could I ask you to clarify in what sense you are using the word “political”?

                            Merriam-Webster (for example) suggests several different meanings that capture ranges of activity of quite different sizes. For example, I’m sure it’s possible to act in a way which does not impinge upon “the art or science of government” but perhaps every (public) action impinges upon “the total complex of relations between people living in society”.

                            In what sense did you use that term?

                            1. 8

                              Let’s start off with a note about honesty. FRIGN begins by telling us “We do not believe in equal status (i.e. e.g. forcibly obtaining a 50/50 gender ratio)” as if someone was proposing the use of force to produce a 50/50 gender ratio - and we all know that wasn’t proposed by anyone. There’s no way to discuss this properly if people are going to raise false issues like that. What comment’s like FRIGN’s indicate is an unwillingness to have an open and honest conversation. The same bogus rhetoric is at the heart of Damore’s memo: he claims to be in favor of equal rights and just against mythical demand for 50/50 gender equality so that he can oppose obviously ineffective affirmative action programs at Google where 80% of technical staff are male (Damore’s misappropriation of science is similarly based on an objection to a position that nobody ever argued.).

                              The next point is that some people are objecting that a CoC and a minority outreach program are “political”. That’s true, but it involves the use of the more general meaning of “political” which the Collins dictionary provides as “the complex or aggregate of relationships of people in society, esp those relationships involving authority or power”. If we are using that definition, of course a CoC and a minority outreach program are political, but opposition to a CoC and a minority outreach program fits the definition as well. If you have an opinion one way or another, your opinion is political. You can’t sensibly use this wide definition of political to label the effort to adopt a CoC and to recruit more minorities and then turn around and claim your opposition to those is somehow not political. So that’s what I mean by “it is impossible to not be political”. The question is a political question and those who try to claim the high ground of being objective, disinterested, non-political for their side of the question are not being straightforward (perhaps it’s just that they are not being straightforward with themselves).

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                                I agree that a CoC, a minority outreach program, and opposition to a CoC all impinge upon “the complex or aggregate of relationships of people in society, esp those relationships involving authority or power”.

                                Would you also agree that there is a popular ideological political movement in favour of CoCs (some combination of the feminist, civil rights and social justice movements)? Perhaps there is also a popular ideological movement against CoCs (some combination of MRAs and the alt right). Are you also claiming that if one claims a “neutral” stance on CoCs one is de facto supporting one of these ideologies?

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                                  I’m not sure it is possible to have a neutral stance. In fact, I doubt it.

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                                    Interesting! Do you also doubt it is possible to take any action that is neutral with regard to a political ideology?

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                                      You are introducing something different. I don’t think you have to line up with one “side” or another, but you can’t avoid being a participant.

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                                        You said “It’s impossible to not be political” so I’m trying to understand what you mean by that. So far I’m not clear whether you think every action is political. I’d appreciate it if you’d clarify your position.

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                                          I’m making a very concrete assertion, which I sense does not fit into your schema. My assertion is that there is no neutrality on workplace equality and inclusion for anyone involved in the workplace. Anyone who, for example, participates in an open source development effort has a position on whether efforts should be made to make it more inclusive even if that position is “this is not important enough for me to express an opinion.”

                                          1. 1

                                            Thank you for clarifying. When you originally said “It’s impossible to not be political” I got the wrong impression.

                                            Do you also hold the same point of view when it comes to roughly comparable statements in other spheres? For example ‘Anyone who eats has a position on vegetarianism even if that position is “this is not important enough for me to express an opinion.”’?

                        2. 1

                          You’ve been quoted by LWN: https://lwn.net/Articles/753709/

                        3. 11

                          AKA shut up and hack? :)

                          1. 2

                            The suckless development process has no non-technical discussions?

                            How are the best developers identified?

                            1. 8

                              just curious, why would you need to identify the best developers? Wouldn’t the quality of their code speak for that?

                              1. 5

                                I also fail to see what the reasoning is. Just send your code, get the non technical discussions out.

                                1. 1

                                  Apparently, quoting @FRIGN from above, “to make your software suck less.”

                                2. 9

                                  How are the best developers identified?

                                  I think this is a totally reasonable question, and one I’d like to see the answer too–if for no other reason than it might help those of us on other projects find more objective metrics to help track progress with.

                                  Do you all at suckless use something like:

                                  • defect rate
                                  • lines of code/feature shipped
                                  • execution time
                                  • space in memory, space in storage

                                  Like, what metrics do you use?

                                  1. 8

                                    You know, suckless is not a big company and the metrics that can be applied are more of a heuristic. A good developer is somebody who e.g. supplies a patch with a bug report, provides feedback to commits, makes contributions to the projects, thinks his commits through and doesn’t break stuff too often and does not personally identify with their code (i.e. is not butthurt when it’s not merged).

                                    What needs to be stressed here is that the metric “lines of code” is completely off. There are horrible programmers who spit out lots of code and excellent ones who over time drop more lines than they add. Especially the latter group is very present among us and thus the LOC-metric will only give false results. Same with execution time, you find that when not enough time is spent on a problem you end up solving it wrong, in the worst case having to start all over.

                              2. 8

                                By being very diverse and doing fackelmärsche of course. https://suckless.org/conferences/2017/

                                1. 6

                                  @FRIGN What’s the purpose of this “torchlight hike” in the context of producing code that sucks less? Don’t you see that the activities you choose to have during your conferences are a cultural stance, and because of that, can be perceived as exclusive by programmers that don’t recognize themselves in these activities?

                                  1. 2

                                    I get your point, but must honestly say that your argument sadly aligns with the ever-excluding and self-segregating destructful nature of cultural marxism. By eating food together at the conferences, do we exclude anorexics that might otherwise be willing to attend such a conference? I don’t drink any alcohol and never have. Still, it was not a problem when we went to a local Braukeller and some people drank alcohol and others like myself didn’t.

                                    The fundamental point I think is that one can never fully and analytically claim that a certain process is completely unaffected by something else. If we dive down into these details we would then move on and say that the different choice of clothings, hairstyle, means of travel and means of accomodation all affect the coding process at suckless. This can be taken further and further with no limit, as we all know about the butterfly effect. At some point it is just not measurable any more.

                                    If you ask me, this is a gross overstretching of what I said. There are quite a lot of people who do not attend the conferences but still work together with us on projects during that time. What really matters is that we e.g. do not ignore patches from these people or give them less relevance than those of others. To pick the example up: The torchlight hike did not affect any coding decision in a direct way, but it really bonded the team further together and was a very nice memory of this conference that I and the others are very fond of from what I’ve heard. On top of that, during the hike we were able to philosophize about some new projects of which some have become a reality. The net-gain of this event thus was positive.

                                    In classical philosophy, there are two main trains of thought when it comes to evaluating actions: Deontology and Teleology. Deontology measures the action itself and its ethical value, completely ignoring the higher goal in the process. Teleology is the opposite, evaluating actions only by their means to reach a goal, completely ignoring the value of the action itself. The best approach obviously should be inbetween. However, there is a much more important lesson that can be taken from here: When evaluating a decision, one needs to realize what they are measuring and what is unimportant for a decision. What I meant is that to reach the goal of software perfection, the gender and other factors of the submitters do not matter. So even though we here at suckless have a goal, we are not teleologists, as we just ignore the factors that do not matter for coding.

                                    It is an ethical question which norms you apply to a decision.

                                    If we look at organizations like Outreachy, one might be mistaken to think that they are deontologists, striving to improve processes. However, after closer inspection it becomes clear that this is not the case and they are actually working towards a certain goal, increasing the number of trans and minority people in such communities. No matter how you think about this goal, it makes one thing clear: When you are working towards such a goal and also do not ignore irrelevant factors in your norms (and they in fact do by not ignoring e.g. race and gender), you quickly end up discriminating against people.

                                    I hope this clears this up a bit, but as a short sentence, what can be taken from here is: When discussing ethical matters, it’s always important to make clear which norms are applied.

                                    1. 16

                                      fackelmärsche

                                      I’m not going to wade into anything else on this, but I’d like to just take a second and let you know that, while you may not mean it in this way the phrase “cultural marxism” is very, very often used as a stand in for “jews”. Some links for the record:

                                      https://www.splcenter.org/fighting-hate/intelligence-report/2003/cultural-marxism-catching

                                      https://newrepublic.com/article/144317/trumps-racism-myth-cultural-marxism https://www.smh.com.au/world/cultural-marxism--the-ultimate-postfactual-dog-whistle-20171102-gzd7lq.html

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                                        wow, uh, kind of a weird red flag that pointing this out is getting seriously downvoted. I picked these links pretty quickly, and anybody who comes behind and reads this and wonders how serious this is, do yourself a favor and image search and see how many memes have the star of david, greedy merchant, world strangling octopus or any of a number of openly anti-semitic imagery. Its not hidden, its not coy. If you’re tossing “cultural marxism” around you’re either willfully ignoring this or blatantly playing along. Its not a thing in the world. There are no leftists (at all) who call themselves “cultural marxists”, and in fact there is a sizeable faction of marxists who are openly disdainful of any marxism that eschews political struggle. The new republic article linked above goes into this, Perry Andersons “Considerations on Western Marxism”, a well known, well regarded text across a number of marxist subsects, is explicitly based on this. Anyway, enjoy contributing to a climate of increasing hostility toward jews. good stuff.

                                        edit: have some fun with this https://www.google.com/search?q=cultural+marxism&client=firefox-b&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjz2tWrhvnaAhUJ7YMKHVgcCccQ_AUIDCgD&biw=1247&bih=510#imgrc=_

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                                          The term ‘Cultural Marxism’ describes very well what it is, and not all leftists are cultural marxists. The classical theory of marxism, roughly spoken, is to think of society as being split in two camps, the Proletariat and the Bourgeoisie, eternally involved in a struggle, where the former is discriminated against and oppresed by the latter.

                                          Cultural Marxism applies these ideas to society. In the Frankfurt School it was called ‘Critical Theory’, calling people out to question everything that was deemed a cultural norm. What is essentially lead to was to find oppressors and oppressed, and we reached the point where e.g. the patriarchy oppressed against women, white people against minorities, christians against muslims and other religions and so forth. You get the idea. Before you go again rallying about how I target jews or something please take a note that up to this point in this comment, I have just described what cultural marxism is and have not evaluated or criticized it in any way, because this here is the wrong platform for that.

                                          What you should keep in mind is that the nature of cultural marxism is to never be in a stable position. There will always be the hunt for the next oppressor and oppressed, which in the long run will destroy this entire movement from the inside. It was a friendly advice from my side to you not to endulge in this separatory logic, but of course I understand your reasoning to the fullest.

                                          Just as a side note: I did not see you getting ‘seriously’ downvoted. What do you mean?

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                                            Generally people who use “cultural marxism” as a pejorative are sloganeering. The idea of an “eternal struggle” is completely foreign to any kind of marxism which is based on a theory that classes come out of the historical process and disappear due the historical process. Marxism claims that the proletariat and bourgeosie are temporary divisions that arise from a certain type of economic organization. Whatever one thinks of that idea, your characterization of Marxism is like describing baseball as a game involving pucks and ice. Your summary of “cultural marxism” is even worse. Maybe take a class or read a decent book.

                                            1. 10

                                              Did you actually read any of the links I posted? Specifically the New Republic and SPLC links? I don’t know how else to say this and you pretty much side stepped what I said the first time so I’ll try to reiterate it: There is no such thing as “Cultural Marxism”. At all. Its not a descriptive category that any marxist actually self applies or applies to other marxists. I’m fully aware of the Frankfurt School, Adorno, Horkheimer, etc. I’ve read some of them and many, many of their contemporaries from Germany, people like Karl Mannheim. I read marxist publications everyday, from here in the states and from Europe. I’m a member of an explicitly marxist political party here in the states. I can’t emphasize this enough, “cultural marxism” isn’t real and is roughly on par with “FEMA camps”, “HARRP rays” and shape shifting lizard jews, meaning; its a far far right wing paranoid fantasy used to wall off people from other people and an actual understanding of the material conditions of their world. I also didn’t say, specifically in fact pointing out that I wasn’t saying this, that you were “targeting jews”. That being said, if you use a phrase that has its origins in anti-semitic polemics, is used explicitly and over-whelmingly by anti-semites, than that is on you. (Did you take a look at the linked image search? Does that sort of thing not give you pause?) To say that you “just described what cultural marxism is” is also inaccurate, you absolutely used it in a descriptive way

                                              I get your point, but must honestly say that your argument sadly aligns with the ever-excluding and self->segregating destructful nature of cultural marxism.

                                              White supremacist organizing is experiencing an enormous upsurge, not only here in the states but in Europe as well. From Le Pen to AfD to SVO in Austria and on and on. These people are not interested in polite conversation and they’re not using “cultural marxism” as a category to illuminate political opponents, its meant to denigrate and isolate, ironically given thats exactly what Neo Nazis and white supremacists here in the states accuse left wingers and “SJWs” of doing.

                                              I appreciate that you’re discussing this peacefully but I’m going to bow out of this thread unless you’re interested enough to take some time and read the links

                                              FWIW these also dismantle the trope and point out pretty much exactly what I’m saying around anti-semitism: https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/78mnny/unwrapping-the-conspiracy-theory-that-drives-the-alt-right https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/feb/22/chris-uhlmann-should-mind-his-language-on-cultural-marxism

                                              1. 4

                                                I took some more time to read it up and from what I could see, I found that indeed cultural marxism has become more of a political slogan rather than a normal theoretical term in the USA.

                                                Here in Germany the term “Kulturmarxismus” is much less politically charged from what I can see and thus I was surprised to get this response after I just had “translated” this term into English. It might be a lesson to first get some background on how this might be perceived internationally, however, it is a gigantic task for every term that might come around to you.

                                                So to reiterate my question, what term could be better used instead? :)

                                                1. 2

                                                  interesting that it has a different grounding/connotation in Germany, but then again I’m not surprised since thats where its supposed to have originated from. I’ll reread your other posts and come up with a response thats fair. Thanks for taking the time to read those links.

                                              2. 2

                                                It’s uncommon to find such a well-put explanation; thanks for that.

                                                There will always be the hunt for the next oppressor and oppressed, which in the long run will destroy this entire movement from the inside.

                                                If the movement runs out of good targets (and falls apart because they can’t agree on new ones), wouldn’t that imply that it will self-destruct only after it succeeds in its goals? That doesn’t sound like a bad thing.

                                                1. 2

                                                  I’m glad you liked my explanation. :)

                                                  That is a very interesting idea, thanks for bringing this thought up! It’s a matter dependent on many different factors, I suppose. It might fall apart due to not being able to agree on new targets or when everybody has become a target, but it is a very theoretical question which one of these outcomes applies here.

                                            2. 5

                                              It’s not my fault that some idiots don’t understand this term or it’s critical analysis. Cultural marxism, as the term implies, is the classical theory of marxism applied to culture. It has nothing to do with jews directly, it’s just an idea. If you know any better term to describe it, please let me know.

                                              Anyway, in the philosophical realms it’s known as ‘Critical Theory’, which originated in the Frankfurt School. However, nobody knows this term.

                                              Unless a better term is found, I disregard your argument and won’t accept your attempt to limit language of perfectly acceptable words to describe an idea. At the end of the day, terminology must be found that adequately describes what a certain idea is, and I see no reason why this should be wrong.

                                              Regarding the torch hike: Yes, marching with torches was abused by the NSDAP as a means of political rallying. However, at least in Germany, it is a much older and deeper-reaching tradition that dates back hundreds of years.

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                                                You have amply demonstrated that you don’t know anything about the topic. You could start with the decent Wikipedia article. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frankfurt_School

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                                      I’m not going to remove this because you’re making a public statement for suckless, but please don’t characterize positions you disagree with as madness. That kind of hyperbole generally just leads to unproductive fights.

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                                        Please don’t remove anything unless it’s particularly vulgar…

                                        1. 0

                                          Removing differing viewpoints? It is precisely this kind of behavior that maddens people who complain about SJW, who (the SJW) seem unable to take any discussion beyond calling their opponent’s position “evil”, “alt-right”, “neo-nazi”, or, if they are exceptionally well-spoken, “mad”.

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                                            No, removing abuse and hyperbole that acts as flamebait regardless of the political opinions expressed. So far I’ve removed one post and hope not to remove more.

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                                              It’s hard for me to see a reason to remove things when we have the voting system in place, neither are perfect but one is at your sole discretion whereas the other is the aggregate opinion of the users.

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                                                Voting isn’t a replacement of moderation. It helps highlight and reward good comments and it can punish bad comments, but it’s not sufficient for running a community. I’m trying to head off places where people give up on argument and just try to hurt or tar the people they disagree with because it doesn’t lead to a good community. Lobsters is a very good place for discussing computing and I haven’t seen that in communities this size with hands-off moderation (but I’d love counter-examples to learn from!) From a quick query, we’ve had comments from 727 unique users in the last 30 days and there’s around 15k unique IPs in the logs per weekday, so people are constantly interacting with the others who don’t know their background, don’t share history, can’t recognize in-jokes, simply don’t have reason to trust when messages are ambiguous, let alone provocative. Friendly teasing like “ah yeah, you would think that” or “lol php sucks” that’s rewarding bonding in a small, familiar group hurts in a big one because even if the recipient gets the joke and laughs along or brushes it off as harmless, it’s read by thousands of people who don’t or can’t.

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                                                  Lobsters is a very good place for discussing computing and I haven’t seen that in communities this size with hands-off moderation

                                                  I support your position on sub-topic but even my Trial you linked to shows a bit otherwise on just this point. This site has more flexible, hands-off moderation than many I’ve seen with this much political dispute. Even in that link, we saw an amount of honest, civility, and compromise I don’t usually see. There’s been quite a bit better results in this thread than usual elsewhere. There seems to be enough community closeness despite our size that people are recognizing each others positions a bit. Instead of comments, you can actually see it by what’s not said more since it’s prior ground we’ve covered. The others are learning as discussion furthers. Then, there’s the stuff we don’t want which seems to be basically what those individuals are intending in a way that has nothing to do with site’s size.

                                                  So, I support you getting rid of just pure abuse, trolling, sockpuppeting, etc. I don’t think we’ve hit the full weaknesses and limited vision of large sites yet despite our increase in comments and views. We’re still doing a lot better than average. We’re still doing it with minimal intervention on things like politics relative to what I’ve seen elsewhere. I think we can keep at current moderation strategy for now because of that. For now.

                                                  Just wanted to say that in the middle of all this.

                                                  1. 0

                                                    Voting isn’t a replacement of moderation. It helps highlight and reward good comments and it can punish bad comments, but it’s not sufficient for running a community.

                                                    I’m not sure if I see why it’s not a good replacement. To me, I see voting as distributed moderation and the “real” moderation is automatically hiding (not removing) comments when they fall below a threshold.

                                                    I’m trying to head off places where people give up on argument and just try to hurt or tar the people they disagree with because it doesn’t lead to a good community.

                                                    I think this method relies on an accurate crystal ball where you can foresee people’s actions and to an extent, the reactions of the people reading the comments.

                                                    I’d have to question what you mean by “a good community”, it seems like it’s just a place where everyone agrees with what you agree with and those that disagree aren’t heard because it risks offending those that do agree.

                                                    I think the best discussions on here are because we have many people with wide and varied opinions and backgrounds. The good comes from understanding what someone else is saying, not excluding them from the discussion. The only places I see that warranted is where someone has said something purposely and undeniably vile.

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                                                      The automatic hiding of low-scoring comments is also a “sole discretion” thing; jcs added it and I tweaked it a few months ago. The codebase enforces a lot of one moderator’s ideas of what’s good for a community in a hands-off way and the desire to do that motivated its creation.

                                                      I strongly agree that a community where everyone agrees with the moderator would be bad one, even if I am that moderator. It’s tremendously rewarding to understand why other people see things differently, if for no other reason than the selfish reason that one can’t correct learn or correct mistakes if one never sees things one doesn’t already agree with.

                                                      I think the crystal ball for foreseeing problems is experience, from many years of reading and participating in communities as they thrive or fail. I think it’s possible to recognize and intervene earlier than the really vile stuff because I’ve seen it work and I’ve seen its absence fail. I keep asking for examples of excellent large communities without active moderators because I haven’t seen those, and after a couple decades and a few hundred communities I see the anthropic principle at work: they don’t exist because they self-destruct, sink into constant vileness, or add moderation. At best they have maintain with signal-to-noise ratios far below that of Lobsters where the thoughtful commentary is crowded out by trolling, running jokes, ignorance, and plan low-quality comments because it doesn’t seem worth anyone’s while to care when posting.

                                                      But moderation is not a panacea in and of itself. Without good experience, judgment, and temper a bad moderator swiftly destroys a community, and this is a very common way communities fail. If it helps any, the author of the comment I removed agrees that it wasn’t done to suppress their opinion.

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                                                        The benefit I see from moderation being part of the codebase is that it’s public, predictable and repeatable (it terms of reliability). When you take moderation decisions into your own discretion many of these virtues are lost.

                                                        As for experience, I think that’s tricky because it can easily lead you to making the same mistake twice. It’s also made of your personal experiences and you’re using that to curate the discussion of other people, I would caution that it’s another method of controlling dialog (perhaps subconsciously) to what you find acceptable, not necessarily what’s best for everyone.

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                                                          The benefit I see from moderation being part of the codebase is that it’s public, predictable and repeatable (it terms of reliability). When you take moderation decisions into your own discretion many of these virtues are lost.

                                                          Most of them go into the Moderation Log. I’ve been watching it since the jcs days since it’s what folks are supposed to do in a transparent, accountable system. Gotta put effort in. I haven’t seen much of anything that bothered me. The bans and deletes I’ve been able to follow @pushcx doing were trolling, alleged sockpuppeting, and vicious flamewaring. Some I couldn’t see where I’d rather the resource go off the front page rather getting deleted so someone looking at logs could see it for whatever it was. Nonetheless, his actions in the thread about me, the general admining, and what I’ve seen in moderation have been mostly good. A few really good like highlighting the best examples of good character on the site. I think he’s the only one I’ve seen do that on a forum in a while.

                                                          You have little to worry about with him in my opinion at the moment. Do keep an eye on the comments and log if you’re concerned. Scrape them into version storage if concerned about deletions. What goes on here is pretty public. Relax or worry as much as you want. I’m more relaxed than worried. :)

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                                                            Yeah, I agree on the pitfalls of experience. As SeanTAllen noted in a separate branch of this thread a minute ago, there’s “but you didn’t say” and other wiggle room; I think that’s where automatic moderation falls down and human judgment is required. Voting has its own downsides like fads, groupthink, using them to disagree (which is all over this thread), in-jokes, a drifting definition of topicality, all the parallels to the behaviors of political rhetoric, etc. Lobsters has never been voting only and I don’t see a compelling reason to change that. jcs’s involvement in the site was steadily declining so I’m certainly more actively moderating, but I don’t see that as a change in character. I guess what it comes down to is that I agree with you about what successful communities do and don’t look like, but I haven’t seen one that works on the model you’ve outlined and I don’t see that kind of fundamental change as a risk worth taking.

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                                                  So FRIGN writes to oppose “SWJ madness”, and you chime in to complain that “SWJ” calls opponents “mad”. Are you calling FRIGN “SWJ” or what? It’s kind of hard to discern your point in that cloud of grievance.

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                                                    “SJW” for “social justice warrior.”

                                                    @COCK is sarcastically non-replying because you typo’ed.

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                                                      Not exactly, I was sarcastically non-replying because I assumed he was intentionally misunderstanding me. I assumed this because I didn’t see any ambiguity in my answer. On later inspection I noticed the ambiguity so I gave an actual reply:

                                                      https://lobste.rs/s/nf3xgg/i_am_leaving_llvm#c_yzwuux

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                                                        The interesting thing is how people agreeing with Mr. cock pile on the insults against the people who they complain are insulting them by forcing them to sign on to codes of conduct which prohibit insults. It’s almost as if there was a good reason for those codes.

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                                                          I doubt the irony is lost on anyone supporting a CoC.

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                                                        Yes, I’m calling FRIGN a “SWJ”.

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                                                        The only comment that was removed was against FRIGN point of view. Nobody is removing differing point of view, just enforcing civil discussion.

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                                                      It’s responses like yours that really make the case for codes of conduct.

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                                                        Are you speaking for the group or is that your own opinion? Knowing that the group aligns itself with that position would certainly make me not interested in working with it or contributing.

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                                                          To be fair, suckless is not well-organised enough to be a group that can have a single opinion to be spoken for.

                                                          That said, FRIGN is a prominent contributor and I from what I’ve seen most contributors are heavily on the side of “the code will speak for itself”.

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                                                        The real crisis will come when they decide to rewrite it in a “modern” language. Programming languages are overrated.

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                                                          Do you mean that in the sense that all languages are equal in terms of their ability to solve a problem, so the rewrite is both unnecessary?

                                                          I agree that it will be a catastrophe if people decide to just rewrite whole systems, but not because all languages are equal but because rewrites are technically very challenging (recent examples include outages from RBS and TSB when they did big-bang rewrites and deployments of major systems).

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                                                            COBOL is probably a bad language by most criteria that you can come up with. And yet… Has that it mattered that much?

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                                                              Has that it mattered that much?

                                                              This question is really hard to answer and probably doesn’t have one. I’ve worked in enough projects that were objective failures but human nature makes us turn it into a success in some way. Maybe if the software was kept more up-to-date my bank wouldn’t have maintenance windows on Sundays where I cannot do any transactions? Or maybe if the software was implemented in a more expressive language it would be less code so easier to maintain. But then you can always argue that when this software was written, COBOL was more-or-less the only game in town so would you rather not have the banking software at all?

                                                              So, I don’t know if mattered that much, I don’t know if anyone does. So I don’t think it’s that interest of a statement to make. I do think advising caution if people want to migrate away from it is an interesting discussion to have, though.

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                                                            Do you think runtime environments are also overrated?

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                                                              I have no idea what a “COBOL runtime environment” looks like, to be honest.

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                                                            Better check haveibeenpwned.com tomorrow

                                                            EDIT: unless phpBB DDoS’es itself before that

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                                                              I wonder what would JavaScript be in this parallel world of programming languages characters :)

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                                                                The Troubadour and his Travelling Troupe of Merry Dancers

                                                                Your songs about the Scripture are heard everywhere and are especially popular with younger children. Older people have long since given up trying to block you out of their villages.

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                                                                    Spy from a distant land that the kingdom occasionally trades with. He is always browsing local windows and sending secrets back home. A bit slow, but nobody else was willing to live so far from home.