1.  

    Half this article is out of date as of 2 days ago. GOPATH is mostly going to die with vgo as is the complaint about deps.

    Go is kind of an example of what happens when you focus all effort on engineering and not research.

    Good things go has:

    • Go has imo the best std library of any language.
    • Go has the best backwards compatibility I have seen (I’m pretty sure code from go version 1.0 still works today.).
    • Go has the nicest code manipulation tools I have seen.
    • The best race condition detector tool around.
    • An incredibly useful in practice interface system. (I once used the stdlibrary http server over a serial port because net.Listener is a simple interface)
    • The fastest compiler to use, and to build from source.
    • Probably the best cross compilation story of any language, and uniformity across platforms, including ones you haven’t heard of.
    • One of the easiest to distribute binaries across platforms (this is why hashicorp, cockroachdb, ngrok etc choose go imo).
    • A very sophisticated garbage collector with low pause times.
    • One of the best runtime performance to ease of use ratios around.
    • One of the easier to learn languages around.
    • A compiler that produces byte for byte identical binaries.
    • incredibly useful libraries maintained by google: (e.g. Heres a complete ssh client and server anyone can use: https://godoc.org/golang.org/x/crypto/ssh)
    • Lots of money invested in keeping it working well from many companies: cloud flare, google, uber, hashicorp and more.

    Go is getting something that looks like a damn good versioning story, just way too late:

    Go should have in my opinion and order of importance:

    • Ways to express immutability as a concurrent language.
    • More advanced static analysis tools that can prove properties of your code (perhaps linked with the above).
    • Generics.
    • Some sort of slightly more sophisticated pattern matching .

    Go maybe should have:

    • More concise error handling?
    1.  

      Perfect list (the good things, and the missing things).

    1.  

      Imo nix is just a better system period. It is growing despite some usability concerns I have (that I think can be solved) because it is actually a better model fundamentally. It takes a few weeks of using it to really appreciate it. Bonus points if you use nixops to manage multiple nix machines.

      1.  

        I thought combining a tool like this with a pomodoro cli would be a cool workflow.

        1. 2

          Maybe a dumb questions, but in semver what is the point of the third digit? A change is either backwards compatible, or it is not. To me that means only the first two digits do anything useful? What am I missing?

          It seems like the openbsd libc is versioned as major.minor for the same reason.

          1. 9

            Minor version is backwards compatible. Patch level is both forwards and backwards compatible.

            1.  

              Thanks! I somehow didn’t know this for years until I wrote a blog post airing my ignorance.

            2. 1

              PATCH version when you make backwards-compatible bug fixes See: https://semver.org

              1. 1

                I still don’t understand what the purpose of the PATCH version is? If minor versions are backwards compatible, what is the point of adding a third version number?

                1. 3

                  They want a difference between new functionality (that doesn’t break anything) and a bug fix.

                  I.e. if it was only X.Y, then when you add a new function, but don’t break anything.. do you change Y or do you change X? If you change X, then you are saying I broke stuff, so clearly changing X for a new feature is a bad idea. So you change Y, but if you look at just the Y change, you don’t know if it was a bug-fix, or if it was some new function/feature they added. You have to go read the changelog/release notes, etc. to find out.

                  with the 3 levels, you know if a new feature was added or if it was only a bug fix.

                  Clearly just X.Y is enough. But the semver people clearly wanted that differentiation, they wanted to be able to , by looking only at the version #, know if there was a new feature added or not.

                  1. 1

                    To show that there was any change at all.

                    Imagine you don’t use sha1’s or git, this would show that there was a new release.

                    1. 1

                      But why can’t you just increment the minor version in that case? a bug fix is also backwards compatible.

                      1. 5

                        Imagine you have authored a library, and have released two versions of it, 1.2.0 and 1.3.0. You find out there’s a security vulnerability. What do you do?

                        You could release 1.4.0 to fix it. But, maybe you haven’t finished what you planned to be in 1.4.0 yet. Maybe that’s acceptable, maybe not.

                        Some users using 1.2.0 may want the security fix, but also do not want to upgrade to 1.3.0 yet for various reasons. Maybe they only upgrade so often. Maybe they have another library that requires 1.2.0 explicitly, through poor constraints or for some other reason.

                        In this scenario, releasing a 1.2.1 and a 1.3.1, containing the fixes for each release, is an option.

                        1.  

                          It sort of makes sense but if minor versions were truly backwards compatible I can’t see a reason why you would ever want to hold back. Minor and patch seem to me to be the concept just one has a higher risk level.

                          1.  

                            Perhaps a better definition is library minor version changes may expose functionality to end users you did not intend as an application author.

                            1.  

                              I think it’s exactly a risk management decision. More change means more risk, even if it was intended to be benign.

                              1.  

                                Without the patch version it makes it much harder to plan future versions and the features included in those versions. For example, if I define a milestone saying that 1.4.0 will have new feature X, but I have to put a bug fix release out for 1.3.0, it makes more sense that the bug fix is 1.3.1 rather than 1.4.0 so I can continue to refer to the planned version as 1.4.0 and don’t have to change everything which refers to that version.

                      2.  

                        I remember seeing a talk by Rich Hickey where he criticized the use of semantic versioning as fundamentally flawed. I don’t remember his exact arguments, but have sem ver proponents grappled effectively with them? Should the Go team be wary of adopting sem ver? Have they considered alternatives?

                        1.  

                          I didn’t watch the talk yet, but my understanding of his argument was “never break backwards compatibility.” This is basically the same as new major versions, but instead requiring you to give a new name for a new major version. I don’t inherently disagree, but it doesn’t really seem like some grand deathblow to the idea of semver to me.

                          1.  

                            IME, semver itself is fundamentally flawed because humans are the deciders of the new version number and we are bad at it. I don’t know how many times I’ve gotten into a discussion with someone where they didn’t want to increase the major because they thought high major’s looked bad. Maybe at some point it can be automated, but I’ve had plenty of minor version updates that were not backwards compatible, same for patch versions. Or, what’s happened to me in Rust multiple times, is the minor version of a package incremented but the new feature depends on a newer version of the compiler, so it is backwards breaking in terms of compiling. I like the idea of a versioning scheme that lets you tell the chronology of versions but I’ve found semver to work right up until it doesn’t and it’s always a pain. I advocate pinning all deps in a project.

                    1. 8

                      Personally I trust Russ Cox’s judgement… though I could see how people who worked on ‘dep’ would be furious. Go has a reputation for taking community direction with a grain of salt. The go team certainly is not afraid to do unpopular things in the goal of simplicity.

                      1. 7

                        I am reminded of this comment from Russ, which I think explains rather a lot: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=4535977

                          1.  

                            vgo is certainly different than dep, and in some ways it’s simpler, but in other ways it pushes a lot more complexity on the user. I think on balance it’s got to be a wash, at least for now.

                            1.  

                              What are the complexities pushed onto the users?

                          1. 4

                            At my undergrad CS program (NYU, 2002-2006) they taught Java for intro programming courses, but then expected you to know C for the next level CS courses (especially computer architecture and operating systems). Originally, they taught C in the intro courses, but found too many beginning programmers to drop out – and, to be honest, I don’t blame them. C isn’t the gentlest introduction to programming. But this created a terrible situation where professors just expected you to know C at the next level, while they were teaching other concepts from computing.

                            But, as others have stated, knowing C is an invaluable (and durable) skill – especially for understanding low-level code like operating systems, compilers, and so on. I do think a good programming education involves “peeling back the layers of the onion”, from highest level to lowest level. So, start programming with something like Python or JavaScript. Then, learn how e.g. the Python interpreter is implemented in C. And then learn how C relates to operating systems and hardware and assembler. And, finally, understand computer architecture. As Norvig says, it takes 10 years :-)

                            The way I learned C:

                            • K&R;
                            • followed by some self-instruction on GTK+ and GObject to edit/recompile open source programs I used on the Linux desktop;
                            • read the source code of the Python interpreter;
                            • finally, I ended up writing C code for an advanced operating systems still archived/accessible here which solidified it all for me.

                            Then I didn’t really write C programs for a decade (writing Python, mostly, instead) until I had to crack C back open to write a production nginx module just last year, which was really fun. I still remembered how to do it!

                            1. 3

                              One of the things I loved about my WSU CS undergrad program 20 years ago is that in addition to teaching C for the intro class, it was run out of the EE department so basic electronics courses were also required. Digital logic and simple circuit simulations went a long way towards understanding things like “this is how RAM works, this is why CPUs have so much gate count, this is why you can’t simply make up pointer addresses”

                              1. 2

                                they taught Java for intro programming courses, but then expected you to know C for the next level CS courses (especially computer architecture and operating systems).

                                It’s exactly like this at my university today. I don’t think there’s any good replacement for C for this purpose. You can’t teach Unix system calls with Java where everything is abstracted into classes. Although most “C replacement” languages allow easier OS interfacing, they similarly abstract away the system calls for standard tasks. I also don’t think it’s unreasonable to expect students to learn about C as course preparation in their spare time. It’s a pretty simple language with few new concepts to learn about if you already know Java. Writing good C in a complex project obviously requires a lot more learning, but that’s not required for the programming exercises you usually see in OS and computer architecture courses.

                                1. 1

                                  I think starting from the bottom and going up the layers is better. Rather than being frustrated as things get harder, you will be grateful for and know the limitations of the abstractions as they are added.

                                1. 1

                                  This seriously needs to use the –require-hashes option to pip. Docker does not mean you can rebuild what you had before. Consider this a PSA, use hashes for EVERYTHING.

                                  1. 2

                                    people seem unaware of the dep tool for go which locks dependencies.

                                    1. 2

                                      Totally agree with the author. I was also using Python for too many things. Nowadays it’s Go for most things, Python for simple scripts, Node for some other stuff (running a test suite against websockets is much easier in Go than most other languages, also scraping is pretty awesome in Node)

                                      1. 2

                                        r. I was also using Python for too many things. Nowadays it’s Go for most things, Python for simple scripts, Node for some other stuff (running a test suite against websockets is much easier in Go than most other languages, also scraping is pretty awesome in Node)

                                        Python is more ergonomic for some CRUD stuff when you can just use django, other than that I prefer Go.

                                      1. 1

                                        Starcraft 1 is still played a lot, making the source code public would almost certainly increase the number of cheaters in online games.

                                        1. -3

                                          authors of popular databases who discuss their sexist ideas openly, neo-reactionaries leading functional programming conferences.

                                          How dare people discuss controversial and offensive ideas openly? They should be forced underground so those ideas can fester without any external contradiction or moderation.

                                          And of course people with weird, icky politics should be censored from purely technical events. Who knows what kind of whacky fascist programming paradigms they might force on us otherwise?

                                          1. 29

                                            This is an incredibly bad faith excerpt to take out of context. The author was discussing doubts they had about attending the Recurse Center, and:

                                            A bigger part was the mission itself: “to get dramatically better at programming”. Did I even want to get better at programming?

                                            A lot of bad things in the world have been created by programmers: software for operating drones that bomb civilians, data-mining that violates privacy, companies that “disrupt” by dropping vast amounts of capital in to a market without any intention of building a sustainable business. A lot of bad people love programming: open source thought leaders who harbor deeply racist views, authors of popular databases who discuss their sexist ideas openly, neo-reactionaries leading functional programming conferences. The norms of programmer culture still revolve around using needless complexity as a cloak of wizardry.

                                            As @vyodaiken says, you’re demonstrating the toxic behavior the author is wary of.

                                            1. 5

                                              This is such a misguided fear (even though the author says it wasn’t realized in reality anyway) - lot’s of bad people love mathematics, science and music too, it’s no reason to question the value of those pursuits.

                                              1. 13

                                                That’s the nature of fear. I don’t know how to interpret your comment except as a criticism for the author talking about something she honestly felt, then talking more about it later when the fear wasn’t realized. How is this a problem?

                                                Tons of people worry about the impact of their work and whether they are on a path that is ultimately doing more good than harm for the world. Is the author not allowed to worry about that too? Is she not allowed to talk about it?

                                                I’m trying to give you the benefit of the doubt, but I don’t understand what else your comment could be saying.

                                                1. 0

                                                  It is more about me being puzzled by the train of thought. I understand wondering if programming is worthwhile, but I don’t understand how the actions of others have any relevance at all.

                                                  edit: I guess you could make the case harm is an inevitable outcome of programming.

                                                2. 4

                                                  A misguided fear? The Recourse Center has designed social rules to prevent behavior we know is endemic in technical (and business) forums. The author appreciated the results of those rules. But she’s “misguided” ! In what way? Is it your contention that there is not an endemic toxic culture in tech forums? Are all those women just making it up? Is Yarvin’s hobby of smirking racism something we are obligated to ignore? How do you get to decide the validity of what other people experience?

                                                  1. 2

                                                    Misguided that the actions of others has bearing on your own personal value that can be derived.

                                                    1. 1

                                                      It has a bearing on whether I want to put up with it

                                                3. 2

                                                  I wasn’t responding to that part of the article; I was responding to the part of the article I had an opinion on. What is your rule for when people are allowed to respond to things? Do they have to fully agree or disagree with the entire article first?

                                                4. 17

                                                  And of course people with weird, icky politics should be censored from purely technical events. Who knows what kind of whacky fascist programming paradigms they might force on us otherwise?

                                                  How dare women suggest tech and especially programming is a potentially hostile environment one might not want to enter! Preposterous. It is just “locker room talk” for programmers! Either learn to deal with it or stay out of our tree house, you icky girl!

                                                  Why? Why would you focus on that sentence in a post full of great sentences about positive aspects of the Recurse Center?

                                                  1. 19

                                                    Reminds me of a quote from Lean Out

                                                    Women in tech are the canary in the coal mine. Normally when the canary in the coal mine starts dying you know the environment is toxic and you should get the hell out. Instead, the tech industry is looking at the canary, wondering why it can’t breathe, saying “Lean in, canary. Lean in!” When one canary dies they get a new one because getting more canaries is how you fix the lack of canaries, right? Except the problem is that there isn’t enough oxygen in the coal mine, not that there are too few canaries.

                                                    (from Sunny Allen’s essay What We Don’t Say)

                                                    1. 6

                                                      Lot’s of people have a knee jerk reaction because a lot of this stuff sounds like “remove undesirables from society/jobs/conferences”, and puts the power of who is undesirable into the hands of some questionable people.

                                                      It wasn’t the point of the post though, so i agree with you.

                                                      1. 8

                                                        Got another Lean Out quote for you cause they’re just so damn relevant. This one from Sexism in Tech by Katy Levinson.

                                                        In the least three years, I was asked not to use the words “sexism” or “racism” when speaking on a diversity panel because it might make the audience uncomfortable.

                                                        Which throws into especially stark relief wyager’s comment that sparked all of this discussion, since “both sides”[1] are equally worried about censorship. But one group actually gets to say racist, sexist, discriminatory stuff and remain in charge. The other can hardly speak on panels and post on their blogs without the whole world jumping down their throats.

                                                        So yeah, the knee jerk reaction you mention rings a little shallow to me.

                                                        [1] I know, “both sides” is highly misleading, but it captures the duality on display here.

                                                        1. 5

                                                          The other can hardly speak on panels and post on their blogs without the whole world jumping down their throats.

                                                          You mean like how people tried to ban Moldbug (presumably who the OP was talking about) from LambdaConf?

                                                          1. 4

                                                            With something akin to backchanneling over weird views on a blog totally unrelated to his behavior in conferences, too. Another I cited previously was Opalgate where a guy that didn’t agree with trans people on Twitter got hit by a storm of folks in his project wanting him ejected. They didn’t contribute anything to it like he regularly did but did demand it adopt all their political positions after ejecting its main contributor. The venom was intense with much talk of things like burning bridges and them trying to set him up to look like he supported child molestors or something.

                                                            And these are supposedly the oppressed people who have to worry about “the whole world jumping down on their throats.” The people who eject any folks who disagree with their beliefs from their own projects, conferences, and this thread. You and their other targets don’t look very powerful and oppressive from my vantage point. They were wielding more power in each of these circumstances.

                                                            1. 5

                                                              You want people who Yarvin declares are inferior to politely accept his views? Why should they?

                                                              1. 6

                                                                We separate things based on context. In conferences, he had caused no trouble at that point. The reports at the time said he just went to give talks and be helpful. On his blog or personal life, he says or does things I don’t agree with. More than many others but still same thing: many people disagreeing with many things. I’d rather have him at the conference because I don’t ban people I disagree with. If he misbehaves at conferences, then we deal with him.

                                                                My opponents have a different view. They think everyone should believe/do certain things and not believe/do other things. They should be compatible with those in every forum. If they aren’t in even one place, they are to be shamed in or ejected from every place. He was just one example of that behavior. He was an easy target since his crazy views wouldn’t bring lots of sympathy. In the Opal example, the project had been welcoming and nice to everyone with the violation being a maintainer’s actions on Twitter. Nothing stopped people from participating in the project and no evils were done in it. The maintainer did violate a rule of their politics in one public forum, though. So, an entire group of them hit that project, ordered the ejection of that member, ordered total compliance with their beliefs, trolled the hell out of them, and of course offered nothing to the project in code or other support.

                                                                I’d rather stop that kind of stuff. It’s just domination rather than anything moral or productive. We can either let a small group of people enforce their arbitrary views on everyone with no discussion or dissent allowed like they desire. Alternatively, we accept everyone under rules the various groups have a consensus on where good things we agree on are encouraged and bad things are prohibited. That maximizes the overall good and productive things we do. That’s my stance. It’s also what we usually do at Lobsters. It’s also what most successful companies and democratic governments do. What my opponents who eject people at conferences ask for is more akin to a dictatorship or theocracy since discussion/dissent is considered evil to be punished.

                                                                1. 7

                                                                  I have somewhat similar thoughts as you, but here’s a thought experiment for you that might help put some things in perspective. Let’s say you are running a conference. You are invested in it and hope for it to succeed, and you have some or all power in determining who is invited to speak. After the CFP ends, you like Foobar’s talk and invite them. Sometime later, you post the list of speakers. To your surprise, a lot of people are upset about Foobar’s invitation because Foobar maintains a very controversial blog that makes a lot of people uncomfortable.

                                                                  You decide to stick to your guns. You definitely appreciate that Foobar expresses controversial views and understand that it makes a lot of other people uncomfortable, but you determine that since Foobar’s controversial views are not related to the conference topic, and therefore, they should still be allowed to speak. So you communicate this to all the would-be conference goers and other invited speakers.

                                                                  I think this is all pretty reasonable actually, although I do understand why some might object to this type of decision making on ethical grounds. But here’s the kicker. At this point, you hear back from N of the invited speakers and M of the people that would otherwise buy tickets. All of them feel strongly enough that they refuse to attend your conference.

                                                                  So here’s the question: how big does N and/or M need to be for you to retract your invite to Foobar? Are you so ethical as to allow the conference to fail? Or are you so pragmatic as to let it succeed? Perhaps a little of both?

                                                                  I think the point of this thought experiment is to demonstrate that morals/ethics aren’t necessarily the only thing at stake here. In particular, you could even be in violent agreement with Foobar but still rescind their invitation for practical reasons alone because you want the conference to succeed. I personally don’t have a strong answer to my thought experiment either, so this isn’t a “gotcha” by any means and probably more of a rhetorical proposition than anything else.

                                                                  1. 2

                                                                    (Sorry for delay. I was getting overwhelmed between work, email, and foums exploding. Trying to reply to everyone.)

                                                                    Alright, before the thought experiment, I’ll note that the situation with that conference was a bit different per initial reports I read. The conference wasn’t experiencing a huge loss hinging on accepting or taking such people. Many people liked the presenters’ talks. Instead, a handful of political activists worked behind the scenes convince the people running it to eject a person they didn’t like regardless of what the conference thought. They probably said a lot of the same kinds of things, too, since an organizer would be receptive to them. This kind of behavior is a major reason I’m holding the line resisting the political or meta stuff such people want to work with.

                                                                    Alright, now to your exploration which is more than reasonable: it’s something I’ve worried about myself.

                                                                    “At this point, you hear back from N of the invited speakers and M of the people that would otherwise buy tickets. All of them feel strongly enough that they refuse to attend your conference.

                                                                    It really comes down to the philosophy of the organizers I guess. There’s a few routes they might take:

                                                                    1. Ideological. Do what’s perceived as right regardless. In this case, they should include their politics in their marketing to give clear signal of what’s expected. They should block or eject anyone not compatible even if the talk fails. The example you gave is one where the talk could fail. On other end, certain conferences in highly-liberal areas might fail if not doing enough to address their concerns like inclusive language.

                                                                    2. Impact and/or financial success. This philosophy says do what it takes to succeed financially or just in terms of conference activity. Nothing else matters. You gave one example where a conference might have to eject folks controversial among highly-liberal people to get attendees. I’ll also note this same rule would justify reinforcing ills of society like racism or sexism at conferences under “don’t rock the boat” concept. Lecturing or politicizing typical bunch of Silicon Valley or enterprise developers, esp the privileged males, will only irritate them with lost sales. This priority is a double-edged sword.

                                                                    3. In the middle. The great thing about real life is most stuff is a spectrum with tradeoffs. That’s the hard thing but also good here. An example is an organizer might set ground rules that reduce bad behavior instead of force politics front and center. Another example is ignoring diversity or bad behavior on the sales team at conferences or in meetings for enterprise segment to drive up sales since buyers often want to know their partners are “like them” or some crap. Whereas, the backend, developers or community side, can be really diverse without the haters even knowing they’re supporting an organization that heavily invests in developming minority talent. This is one of my hypothetical schemes rather than something I’ve observed outside Fortune 500 trick of having immigrants doing lots of work in background.

                                                                    So, I see some possibilities here where the conference organizers’ priorities seem to be the biggest factor in whether they should accept or block someone. They might block some but not others depending on level of extremism. They might rule exclusively on behavior instead of beliefs. The crowd they’re serving might like behaviors like sexism or hate it with serving the crowd being morally context-sensitive.

                                                                    I write off top of my head for honesty. I wrote that before I got to your last paragraph. I was about to say I don’t really have an answer for you past the conditional framing above. Too dependent on circumstances or whose in control. Seems you didn’t have one either, though. It is a very important consideration, though, since conferences are usually created to accomplish specific things instead of brag they were compatible with ideology of a person or group. Most of them anyway.

                                                                  2. 4

                                                                    My opponents have a different view. They think everyone should believe/do certain things and not believe/do other things. They should be compatible with those in every forum.

                                                                    It is possible that there is a belief, or set of beliefs, which are sufficiently sociopathic that they disqualify people who hold them from a platform in any context? Is there some value for X that if someone publicly and explicitly said “X” you would refuse to support them in any way?

                                                                    I hope it’s uncontroversial that the answer to both of those questions should be “yes”. In making that affirmation we’ve established that the set of things exists. Now the discussion shifts to which things belong in the set. Reasonable people can make reasonable arguments for this or that belief. I think it’s completely understandable that Moldbug’s feudalist racism would cross the threshold for a lot of reasonable people.

                                                                    Put more succinctly: a society isn’t obligated to give a platform to the intolerant in deference to the abstract right of free expression. Rather the opposite: a society is made better through a vigorous assault on intolerance, in whatever form it blossoms.

                                                                    1. 2

                                                                      You might separate things by context but I don’t. People are not compartments. You might think other people should separate by context and not consider that e.g X is a holocaust denier when X speaks on functional programming. Great but don’t dare demand I do the same. That would be super presumptuous. BTW you appear to believe some organized group is after you. I’m unaware of any such group.

                                                                      1. 1

                                                                        e.g X is a holocaust denier when X speaks on functional programming. Great but don’t dare demand I do the same.

                                                                        I always challenge people who say that to list all of their political beliefs on the major topics that provoke controversy somewhere to link in their profile. We’ll just link it before any comment they make so the person replying can see the entire political spectrum of who they’re talking to plus what they’re saying in that moment as one thing. Then, like you said, they can want to interact with that person in their entirety or ignore all value they may have contributed over one thing they didn’t like. I think we should heed Richelieu’s warning instead.

                                                                        “BTW you appear to believe some organized group is after you. I’m unaware of any such group.”

                                                                        I just cited a few. The Yarvin thing was a small group of political activists trying to get rid of someone they didn’t like in a shady way. The Opal scandal was Ehmke’s posse pummeling that project on Github with no problems within it. Ehmke’s been in quite a few of these with an openly-stated mission to force her brand of politics (“social justice”) in every forum using her Code of Conduct as leverage. Two people involved in those actions are active in this forum with both voting for a similar CoC here. Ehmke later griped about the hate she and her white-hating buddies receive online and at Github saying it was because she’s trans rather than shoving her politics down the throats of everyone she meets. I particularly loved how they bragged about hiring “token, white people” on their team. Nobody could even joke about that if they said black. Anyway, I called Ehmke out on that submission for trying to pretend her politics had nothing to do with it. Then, some organized group was after me with the community at least being more impressive in how that was handled than most forums those kind of people hit.

                                                                        (Edit to emphasive these are loosely-organized, small groups that know how to say the right things hitting people not usually expecting it or knowing how to react. They create PR nightmares with passive-aggressive sophistry, basically.)

                                                                        So, yeah, there’s definitely organized groups doing the exact thing I’m worried about with some here that have done it on previous forums. They always prop up the rules they use as leverage by saying they’re just trying to stop discrimination or hate speech but (a) they get to define what is or isn’t and (b) their own actions are quite discriminatory against other groups with inconsistent enforcement. Even minority members that disagree with them get hit as happened on HN same week where I got slowbanned for quoting women disagreeing with women. Give them an inch in a new place, they’ll take a mile. I’m not giving them an inch.

                                                                        Note: There’s plenty of similar stuff happening at college campuses across the states, too. A lot of folks doing this sort of thing come out of them. Hard to combat since dissenting speech is considered hate speech or otherwise put down.

                                                                        1. 5

                                                                          That’s not a challenge, it is an example of sealioning. I don’t have any obligation to provide you with an algorithm or to be consistent or to satisfy your sense of what’s right. My right to not read Pound’s poetry because he was a fascist or to read Celine’s early work because it is so eloquent even though he became a fascist, or to refuse to attend a conference where Yarvin speaks or to prefer the rules of Recourse center doesn’t depend on your stamp of approval. Sophie didn’t make any demands of you. On the contrary, you are demanding that she not express opinions that make you uncomfortable. Get over yourself. Go explain why Yarvin’s work is so damn great that you don’t care that he’s a smirking racist or cheer for the pseudo-science of the Google Manifesto all you want. You have the right to speak. You do not have the right to demand others approve or refrain from criticizing or even shunning you.

                                                          2. -1

                                                            Why would you focus on that sentence

                                                            Because I didn’t have anything to say about the other ones. Do you think I’m obligated to address every sentence in an article if I want to address any of them?

                                                          3. 7

                                                            The fact that we almost know who she was talking about proves that they can currently discuss these ideas openly mostly fine.

                                                            So these people express their opinions, and others are like “well now I don’t want to talk to them”. If you(*) want to barrage people with your unpopular opinions, people will stop wanting to hang out with you .

                                                            I understand the fear of being shut out of social events like conferences. But they’re social events, so if you make yourself unliked… No amount of rulemaking will solve that, I think.

                                                            The bad faith logical inverse if your argument is “everyone should be friends with everyone. No matter how much disagreement with social issues are present, someone should always be allowed to be present. This includes allowing to bully other members of the community without repurcussions ever.”

                                                            It’s the bad faith interpretation, but one that some people will make.

                                                            (*) Impersonal you

                                                            1. 5

                                                              “So these people express their opinions, and others are like “well now I don’t want to talk to them”. “

                                                              These people express opinions but want anyone disagreeing to shut up. That’s been present in replies on most threads here where people did. Allowing only one side to speak while defining any disagreement as an attack or hate is political domination.

                                                              “This includes allowing to bully other members of the community without repurcussions ever.””

                                                              There’s the word games your side is famous for. vyodaiken did it earlier redefining a rhetorical disagreement as an attack on one side but not the rhetoric of the other side that painted everyone without qualification with negative labels. In your case, the people whose politics I oppose here regularly define any disagreement as hate speech, offensive, bullying, behaviors not to be tolerated, and so on. Not all of them do but many do. You all redefine the words from the neutral, tolerable thing they are (eg disagreement or political bickering) to a new word we all have a consensus against (eg bullying, hate speech). Then, you’re arguments for action focus on the new word with its meaning whereas what was actually going on is a lesser offense which wouldn’t be justified.

                                                              So, what people supporting Sophie actually want is anyone on their side able to express their opinions without disagreement and without repurcussions ever. Whereas, anyone disagreeing with it is automatically labeled as something far worse, dismissed immediately, and for some ejected if allowed by rules. That’s always worth fighting against even if wyager’s parody was as poor a wording strategy as Sophie’s own overly-broad, only-negative portrayal of programmers.

                                                              1. 3

                                                                She never advocated censorship. She never said “most programmers” or “all programmers”. So your response is obviously not directed at her words but at something else.

                                                                1. 1

                                                                  as Sophie’s own overly-broad, only-negative portrayal of programmers.

                                                                  Again, this is an opinion unsupported by the data. The examples were specific, and real. The concerns are non-trivial, and real. You’re making something about you that isn’t about you.

                                                                  1. 0

                                                                    That’s always worth fighting against even if wyager’s parody was as poor a wording strategy as Sophie’s own overly-broad, only-negative portrayal of programmers.

                                                                    wyager is arguing that people with bad values should be allowed space in public or in others’ private spaces, which is a bad value. Majority supremacists, patriarchal maximalists, authoritarians, etc. should not be allowed safe spaces, and should never be accommodated.

                                                                    From your characterizations of the author’s post and how they portrayed programmers, it’s clear you’ve either not read it and are arguing from ignorance, or you have read it and are arguing in bad faith, since the passage is clearly contextualized as part of explaining an internal struggle about how best to grow as a human being.

                                                                    1. 4

                                                                      From your characterizations of the author’s post and how they portrayed programmers, it’s clear you’ve either not read it and are arguing from ignorance, or you have read it and are arguing in bad faith

                                                                      I’ve read it. Part of learning a field and growing as a human being is a fair assessment of what’s going on in it good and bad. Author’s concerns in that section solely focus on the bad… the worst of it actually… with the people side being like talking points out of one part of a political debate. Outside of those, I usually see a wide range of claims about programmers, jobs, effects on world, etc. Author is setting up false, strictly-negative premises in either ignorance or bad faith, maybe even unintentionally due to bias, then struggling to work from within the moral straight-jacket she put on. Totally unnecessary if starting from a more accurate worldview that includes the positive and neutral people and programs.

                                                                      Note that I liked all the stuff about RC in the article. I enjoyed the article right up to that point. I just mentally deleted that part so I could just think about the rest which was most important parts. As in, more corroboration and anecdotal evidence in favor of RC visits. Then, the debate started.

                                                                      1. 1

                                                                        Note that I liked all the stuff about RC in the article. I enjoyed the article right up to that point. I just mentally deleted that part so I could just think about the rest which was most important parts.

                                                                        I feel like you’re attempting to speak in good faith, so I’m going to do the same.

                                                                        This point I’ve highlighted here, that you “just mentally deleted that part”, is an example of privilege in action*. You have never had your life or well-being threatened by people or organizations like the ones the author calls out, and you have never had to be concerned with whether or not they were active or influential in the spaces you inhabited. Other people are not so lucky, and have learned from difficult experience that they need to be aware of their surroundings and who might be in them, or else they may be injured or otherwise harmed.

                                                                        Some people, especially those who come from outside the main software development industries, have heard only that IT/tech has a huge problem with sexism and toxic masculine culture. Some people are members of the marginalized groups whose well-being is directly threatened by the personal values of community leaders of some of the popular software communities, as named by the author of the post. The Recurse Center attracts a lot of people from diverse and non-technical backgrounds, and many of those people share the concerns that the author had, and would appreciate having them explicitly dispelled with regards to RC, as the author did.

                                                                        So the least that those with privilege, like you and I have, can do, is not make it harder for those less fortunate to engage with the playground we have (programming) that also gives us power and status. It’s bad form to raise barriers against those with a harder lot in life than we have. These kinds of messages, from “the other side” as it were to those people who might be afraid of what they’ll find when they get there, are super important. And it’s not about you, or me, or anyone here, unless they’re part of the problem. It’s for other people like the author or who might be thinking about getting into a tech career by applying to RC, but who have heard the industry has some problems.

                                                                        *) note that you have this privilege, even if you are not privileged in other ways (eg, you were born into a poor family, etc.). life is complicated.

                                                                        1. 1

                                                                          Since you’re being in good faith, do read this next like I’m just bluntly saying something instead of losing my shit or being loud. ;)

                                                                          “You have never had your life or well-being threatened by people or organizations like the ones the author calls out, and you have never had to be concerned with whether or not they were active or influential in the spaces you inhabited. “

                                                                          You’re assuming I don’t understand the concept because I’m presumably white male. My first school experience was being attacked or mocked because I was a “nerd.” All but a few people excluded us which happened varying degrees whole time in school. That included “minorities.” They all do to nerds what they claim others do to them, including violence by alpha males but not police. They might interrogate or arrest them if something happened involving computers if said nerd is known programmer or hacker.

                                                                          Next, I was white in a black-run, mostly-black school where they added to mockery or exclusion the fact that we were shouted down if disagreeing with any issue (especially racial) plus randomly attacked. I doubt most of these people talking about their minority concerns have been held down on a bus while black people take turns beating them with the smirking driver not reporting it. Attempts like that were too common for me until I learned kickboxing and paranoid vigilance, esp wide turns around corners. Still had to dodge fights due to rule white people can’t be allowed to win against black people either at all or too much. Varied. My friends and brothers who went to other black schools endured the same where just bending over a water fountain could be too much vulnerability. I avoided bathroom stalls, too, after seeing what that led to.

                                                                          I also got to be a man in places run by women who favored women. Essentially, whoever stayed in their good graces talking about what they talked about, being an insider, laughing at anti-male jokes, and so on had more privileges in those places. That would benefit grades, get more work hours, increase odds of promotion, even get some guys laid with those opposing sexism shamed. Unlike women on average, it’s been a while since I dealt with that but happening again in my current company. Highly-political, card-playing woman took over a specific department I was almost transfered to. After exit-interviewing her ex-employees, I blocked transfer fast before expected changes happened: she hired mostly black folks like her (esp exploitable youth), promoted only the older black women exactly like her kissing up instead of mix of races/genders who outperformed them, and politics over performance further destroyed that departments’ numbers with them saying nonsense about why. Current team is good with mix of straight/gay/lesbian, white/black, and liberal/moderate/redneck. Usually fun, interesting group with occasional in-fighting due to differences all apologize for after.

                                                                          That covers structural racism and sexism which the type of politics I fight denies even exists for whites or men despite supporting data. We get no help. What about “neo-reacitonary?” Well, I am an outspoken liberal and Union man who defends decent Muslims and calls out police corruption on the side in the rural South deep in Trump, meth, and capitalist country. Interesting enough, one insult they fling at me here is probable Hillary supporter while people I argue with on liberal forums assume I’m a right-winger. Biases… Being outspoken in rural spots led me to have to negotiate with people intent on beating or killing me right there if I got too many words wrong. Rare people but non-passive outsiders will run into them. Most online “activists” on social media talk about threats which I find are folks talking shit online or with prank calls that don’t on these issues result in hospitalizations or anything almost ever. Just irritating trolling by jerks shielded by anonymity. Pales in comparison to what even a trip for groceries can cost a white person in impoverished areas in or around Memphis, TN. The First 48 was banned from there over too much stuff to cover. Some police are gang members, too, so gotta act in a way to reduce risk of their attention.

                                                                          Since you admitted it, you might have privilege of growing up as or hanging with white people that didn’t face racism, sexism, or drug heads’ threats on regular basis. Lot of us in poor areas, minority-controlled areas, areas of opposing politics, isolated areas… these are some where many say they have similar experiences to me. We find it strange people “speaking for oppressed” as they might say ignore existence of probably millions of us due to skin color or gender. Especially rural whites given their high rates of both drug addiction and suicide, too. My friends and family have had to fight those.

                                                                          Alright, what about someone like Sophie or I who are concerned with environments where we might be facing racists or sexists that hate our group? Well, I agree with you entirely that it can be reassuring to see someone bringing that up saying it doesn’t happen at a specific location. Going from an all-black school to a mixed school where they didn’t hate us was… it was heaven. We had fun together! Likewise, groups with fair/excellent women or being around civil Southerners who only get X-ist if explicitly talking politics. I’d definitely want to know every place or group where I could avoid groups I mentioned first in favor of others if that was best I could hope for.

                                                                          That said, remember how it started was exclusively portraying the field based on worst of the worst. I don’t do that. Since we’re at that point, I’ll tell you the violent people I met were single digit percentage of each area, the negative bias was huge, there were coping mechanisms to get me past some of it, there were neutral/decent people, and some were so fair or good they inspired me to be more skilled or tough. If I talk about a field, I try not to throw them under the bus entirely or I take the counterpoint I had coming for screwing up due to emotion winning or whatever. You’ll see that in programming with C or PHP languages where I’m a strong opponent but don’t pretend they’re 100% bad even if many developers do damage. Likewise, following my politics, I’m still getting along with and exchanging tips with specific Lobsters who were strongly opposing me in prior political debates.

                                                                          So, what she was doing isn’t the only way to respond. It was a weaker, overly-broad, politically-charged claim that got low-value reactions followed by a whole battle that distracted from her main points. She set her post up to fail to quite a degree. I’d have told her to be more fair and accurate since bringing politics in is putting a spotlight and a metaphorical scope on you. The negative responses left over would have to be haters or themselves prioritizing some politics. Easy to dismiss when they have little to no ground to stand on. Those of us in minority positions unfairly have to be careful about our claims since they’ll get more scrutiny and attack.

                                                                          Since she probably made up her mind, I just mentally deleted it like I trained myself to do when saying something to that person won’t change their views IRL. Focus on good, shrug off perceived bad if not an intentional attack, and go on from there. It’s how we integrate and survive down here in our powder keg of diversity. Works fine, too, with most of us getting along well enough. :)

                                                                          “These kinds of messages, from “the other side” as it were to those people who might be afraid of what they’ll find when they get there, are super important.”

                                                                          This I disagree on if they’re aiming to affect policy or law anywhere. I’ve already seen it happen in many places with ultra-liberal universities being good examples. In those, allowing it to go too far without participation shifted power to those groups. Those groups built on their politics and power until they regularly belittle whites or males in various ways. They also try to silence disagreement on political issues saying it’s not about them. Well, if we stand to lose anything (even rep or jobs) by decree, then it is about us and we should at least weigh in. I don’t gripe about the reasonable stuff where each person has a view they can state, chance at the job, etc. I’m usually backing it.

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                                                                        I’m sure all the people hit with the bad value hammer will disappear into the ether once you get your (apparently unauthoritarian) way.

                                                                        1. 1

                                                                          Your false equivalence, that being intolerant of intolerance and hatred, is also cowardly stated using passive aggressive style, as well as sarcasm. That is, you are acting like a coward, lest I be accused of not speaking my point forcefully enough.

                                                                          1. 0

                                                                            I find passive aggressive sarcasm allows for remarkable concision, but whatever. I don’t respect you and your group as the arbiters of good and bad values and all people like you have done is make me care substantially less about being labeled a patriarchal maximalist or whatever you’d like. Many people I know feel similarly. We’re not going to leave the field if you succeed in banning us from the recurse center

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                                                                              Hey, have fun hanging out with Nazis, then.

                                                                              1. 0

                                                                                Enjoy weilding whatever power that label still has while it has any at all.

                                                                                1. 1

                                                                                  I don’t want to wield power. I want to not be around assholes. Are you really saying you’d rather hang out with white supremacists and gamergater pigs, than take a stand and say, “Those values are not welcome?” How is this even a question?

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                                                                    Great illustration of what she wanted to avoid.

                                                                    1. 8

                                                                      I don’t get why people don’t want to talk about this? I don’t necessarily agree with wyager, but this type of discourse is pretty healthy IMO. It’s precisely why I prefer this site to HN, because that comment would surely have been censored by the moderators.

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                                                                        It’s also completely off topic in the context, which is about using programming for good, and it’s really obnoxiously phrased to boot. Which does matter.

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                                                                          In your opinion it is obnoxious, I didn’t find it so bad, but maybe that is just me.

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                                                                            Obnoxious is a bit subjective, but his comment is destructive (as opposed to constructive), and that’s an objective observation.

                                                                            How dare people discuss controversial and offensive ideas openly?

                                                                            This is sarcastic and demeaning.

                                                                            They should be forced underground so those ideas can fester without any external contradiction or moderation.

                                                                            Sarcastic and a strawman.

                                                                            And of course people with weird, icky politics should be censored from purely technical events.

                                                                            Sarcastic and a strawman.

                                                                            Who knows what kind of whacky fascist programming paradigms they might force on us otherwise?

                                                                            Sarcastic and a strawman.

                                                                            Here is a what a more honest, direct version of the post would be:

                                                                            I think people should be allowed to express controversial and offensive ideas openly. Otherwise, they’re pushed underground where they fester, instead of being brought out into the light where they are exposed to moderation and contradiction.

                                                                            But that wasn’t the comment we got, and for good reason. The more direct version wouldn’t be posted because it is immediately obvious that it isn’t related to this topic. The response to it might be

                                                                            The author is just talking about what makes her uncomfortable in most programming community spaces, and why the Recurse center was so valuable for her. She isn’t making an argument or saying you need to feel the same way.

                                                                            Thus it is clear that the comment, even in a less caustic form, isn’t particularly relevant. I mean, look at the originally quoted snippet in wyager’s post: it’s just a list of facts.

                                                                            1. 0

                                                                              “controversial and offensive” is a fluid social contract that changes with audience and context. The big problem is nobody can ever agree on what is controversial and offensive. At the same time people’s nuanced opinions are routinely caricatured as the most extreme version (in both directions, and I’m guilty of it too) then paraded on social media to people with no context.

                                                                              1. 3

                                                                                I try my best to avoid the words controversial and offensive. Constructive and destructive are less weighed down with baggage and relativity (though there is always room for people to mess with words). Constructive moves the conversation forward. Destructive moves it backwards.

                                                                                At the same time people’s nuanced opinions are routinely caricatured as the most extreme version […] then paraded on social media.

                                                                                Yeah, I’m a bit detached from it since I don’t use Twitter or Facebook, this being a primary reason. It’s a good example of destructive conversation. Nobody ever learns from it, nothing really improves.

                                                                              2. -5

                                                                                I’m very sorry I didn’t use the exact rhetorical style you were hoping for. In the future I will avoid using sarcasm and any other rhetorical technique that you don’t like is “destructive”.

                                                                                1. 5

                                                                                  God forbid you say what you mean.

                                                                                  Come off it, you know it isn’t about what I happen to prefer. If you don’t know better, then you should.

                                                                            2. 3

                                                                              Hm, I suppose it did completely derail this thread

                                                                          2. 10

                                                                            I doubt it. She’s making political points in the post instead of just talking about good things at Recurse Center. She’s putting it front and center in people’s minds as they read. Anyone reading it deserves to respond to that. That automatically means a thread might get political. It’s definitely her intention.

                                                                            Predictably, someone responded to it with thread turning to the tangent. Ive had enough politics for the week, though. So, just pointing out the obvious that statements like hers with accusations against a bunch of programmers or political statements will definitely get a reaction. She couldve got the points across without that but wanted it political.

                                                                            1. 10

                                                                              She’s not allowed to talk about politics? She makes a fairly common point: she finds the environment around programming often unpleasant or hostile and she wanted to avoid that. So she did. Many people, including myself, are put off by people who sound like that Google Memo person or worse and try to avoid it. If that makes other people uncomfortable, that’s too bad.

                                                                              1. 8

                                                                                wyager is allowed to counter her politics if she is going to bring it up. It’s not “what she was trying to avoid.” It’s what she or anyone else should expect saying what she did. All Im saying.

                                                                                Your initial comment read like one should be able to make negative, political characterizations of programmers with no reply expected.

                                                                                1. 10

                                                                                  I guess for me it’s not who’s “allowed” to “counter” things or not, but is this actually a useful discussion? The comment reads to me as a wordy way of saying “I disagree with your politics”, which, ok, but what does that add? When I read the original post I could already guess some people would disagree, sure. A person doesn’t have to reply to every in-passing comment they disagree with on the internet. It wasn’t even the main point of the post!

                                                                                  I’ve noticed more discussions here lately being sort of tangential sniping threads. I posted an article a few weeks ago and the entire discussion was a thread about whether people like PDFs. Ok, fine, but I posted a research paper, and the fact that you don’t like PDFs isn’t really on-topic, novel, or interesting. And then there was one last week where someone didn’t like that the title of an article ended with a question mark. I think we could use less of that kind of thing.

                                                                                  1. 2

                                                                                    I’ve noticed more discussions here lately being sort of tangential sniping threads. I posted an article a few weeks ago and the entire discussion was a thread about whether people like PDFs.

                                                                                    I agree with this. It happens in political threads so much I voted against politics in meta. I can’t overemphasize that since, yet again, one disagreement with a political point in a submission created another situation like this. I basically just represent the dissenting side if they’re getting dogpiled or call out double standards when people pretend it’s about logic or civility rather than politics.

                                                                                    I totally agree, though, about the sniping thing with me preferring some kind of rule against it if not politics in general. Maybe in addition to. It should make for a quality improvement. I’m still fine with tangents, though, so long as they’re adding insight to a discussion like the meta stuff I try to do connecting sub-fields.

                                                                                  2. 7

                                                                                    But he didn’t counter her politics, he attacked her. She didn’t call for suppressing anyone’s speech. She simply said she found a certain common mode of speech in tech, a mode I find offensive too, to be unpleasant and wanted to avoid it. There is no sensible way to take issue with that.

                                                                                    1. 7

                                                                                      She said this about programming:

                                                                                      “A lot of bad things in the world have been created by programmers: software for operating drones that bomb civilians, data-mining that violates privacy, companies that “disrupt” by dropping vast amounts of capital in to a market without any intention of building a sustainable business. A lot of bad people love programming: open source thought leaders who harbor deeply racist views, authors of popular databases who discuss their sexist ideas openly, neo-reactionaries leading functional programming conferences. “

                                                                                      She painted a picture of programming as if it was mostly bad things done by bad people. She painted the picture that people going to thought leaders, doing database work, or getting involved in functional programming were only going to be dealing with the worst. You’d think the profession was one of most horrible ever invented reading that stuff. Don’t ask that she properly qualify that: take her word for it without any of your own comments or reactions. She is attacking most programmers with a programmer, @wyager, reacting to that statement.

                                                                                      When a man here said something similarly negative about tech industry, several of us countered him pointing out how he was vastly overstating the problem projecting the worst groups onto the average or majority in a way that was unfair to them. Like her, he exclusively considered the bad things and people in tech when judging the field instead of the vast amount of decent or productive things programmers have done many of whom were OK people. We also suggested maybe he avoid the worst if we couldn’t get rid of them since they were ultimately unnecessary to interact with being a drop in the bucket of the many people and resources out there. I don’t remember all these people being there supporting his view shocked anyone disagreed with him. This one was a woman with different set of politics. Let’s see what happened.

                                                                                      So, wyager responds with a political comment that looks very motivated by emotion lacking qualifiers, consideration to others, or evidence much like Sophie’s. While Sophie’s ad hominem is allowed to stand, you imply his rhetoric shouldn’t be present at all. @jules deconstructs his aiming for purely logical or information content with some strawman which was not done to Sophie’s (or most here with similar viewpoints). @mjn said it was not adding anything new which was true about Sophie’s (or most here with similar viewpoints). These replies are exclusively given to people whose politics each person disagrees with but not people doing same things whose politics each agrees with. They’re held to a lesser standard. So, rather than it being what it appears, these comments aren’t really about addressing civility, information vs rhetorical content, and so on. You all mostly ignore those attributes for comments supporting your type of views while downvoting for opposite naturally leads to dominance of your side in those threads. As in, it’s political maneuvering by folks of one type of views against another rather than quality assurance with any consistency.

                                                                                      Here’s a few where those writing thought wyager and others disagreeing were supposed to nod saying it makes sense with what happens next being too ironic and obvious:

                                                                                      “How dare women suggest tech and especially programming is a potentially hostile environment one might not want to enter!” (fwg) (my emphasis added)

                                                                                      “But one group actually gets to say racist, sexist, discriminatory stuff and remain in charge. The other can hardly speak on panels and post on their blogs without the whole world jumping down their throats.” (jules) (emphasis added)

                                                                                      “I’m not allowed to respond about politics?” (wyager)

                                                                                      “I missed the part where anyone asked for you to be deprived of that right.” (vyodaiken)

                                                                                      You must have missed yourself and the others basically telling him to shut up, the downvotes adding up by a vocal minority, and wyager’s thread collapsing into oblivion where it isn’t seen unless we expand it. Quite unlike most low-info-content, political comments here that are in favor of view’s like Sophie’s not disappearing. Doesn’t look like Sophie or other women with her views would be facing the “hostile environment” with “censorship” and people “deprived” of the right to speak. That contrived scenario is instead what people that agree with her were doing to others who express themselves in a similarly low-evidence, rhetorical way like Sophie or some of their crowd, but with different views. Some of these talk about how everyone is out to get people on their side of spectrum in the same thread where they disappear their opponents’ claims. As opposed to just disagreeing or discussing. Then, they defend the low-quality, repetitive, rhetorical statements of people like Sophie on the same threads since they agree with their views.

                                                                                      Gotta love politically-motivated double standards for discourse that exclusively benefit one side. Also, people talking about how folks on their side have a lot to worry about as sub-threads their opponents make sink and disappear with some clicks. That’s just too rich in reality distortion.

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                                                                                        You are completely inverting what is happening. Sophie Haskins wrote her opinion. A lot of people here are apparently very angry and want her to shut up. They position their arguments as if she argued for censorship which is a lie and are attempting to shout her down. If you disagree with her opinions, you could say: “My experience is that most programmers are nice” or “It doesn’t matter to me if people who have interesting technical ideas are racists” or otherwise - you know - disagree. But you are not doing that. Instead you are offended that she expressed her opinion and are inventing this whole oppressive regime that wants to suppress your opinions. There is a difference between freedom of speech and impunity. If people want to express racist opinions, for example, they don’t have a right to have other people applaud or pass over in silence or even listen to them. This is exactly the issue of the Google Memo. Its author is free to proclaim all sorts of men’s rights and racist claptrap on his own time, but he has no right to either have his coworkers refrain from reacting to it or have his employer decide that offensive speech in the workplace is ok. The toxic atmosphere of many tech forums is a reality. You should make an effort to understand what Sophie Haskins actually wrote instead of leading a Crusade for the right to be socially acceptable while denigrating others.

                                                                                        1. 2

                                                                                          “You are completely inverting what is happening. Sophie Haskins wrote her opinion.”

                                                                                          Her opinion did not happen in isolation. You yourself mentioned that along with some other people. She is part of a group of people that are concerned with and speaking out about bad actors in tech. That’s all I’m certain about right now. Instead of being fair as you expect of me, she paints an exclusively-negative picture of tech’s contributions and the kind of people in it. As she wonders/worries aloud, what she describes is pretty far from reality of a diverse field with all kinds of people in it that mostly don’t do horrible stuff. Majority just support businesses that provide some value to consumers in the economy. Many are also volunteers in FOSS on code or communities. Many other writers whose work was submitted, including about every woman, had a more balanced view in their writing. The exceptions were those all-in on a specific brand of politics that frames tech in terms of race and gender. She writes more like them.

                                                                                          “Instead you are offended”

                                                                                          I’m neither offended, nor did I reply to her. I countered you, not her. I discussed other things as people brought them up. People like her trash-talking whole fields is something people do all the time in many ways. I don’t get offended so much as roll my eyes just to maintain peace of mind if nothing else. Whereas, people expecting nobody to reply to or counter a false, negative claim does concern me. That’s allowing one side to discuss but suppressing another in a place where that can define community norms. I often get involved when that happens. All I was doing initially before other claims appeared.

                                                                                          Now, you’re talking about racism, denigration, etc that we shouldn’t tolerate. The first to do that was Sophie in her unfair characterization of the field. If you think that’s unfair perception, then you can test if that kind of comment is acceptable to people with opposing views in this thread by going to any forum where they’re dominant submitting this version of Sophie’s claims: a white male is concerned about about going to a workplace, conference, or CompSci courses at specific colleges because “there are some bad programmers” who “hate men” behind filesystem development, “hate whites” organizating at major colleges, and support “radical views” leading community teams of major projects. Each of these people exist in the field with groups of people backing them who will shout down or eject opponents within their area of influence. So, the person you’ll ghost-write as is a non-radical, friendly, white male who is concerned about getting into programming should they run into those people they’ve read about. They just worded it like Sophie did in their context.

                                                                                          What do you think would happen? We can guess based on prior replies to claims like that. Detractors would show up in large numbers immediately citing evidence showing most people aren’t like what he worries about. They’d say he shouldn’t denigrate entire groups like women or non-whites based on behavior of a small amount. Some would say racism against whites or sexist against men are impossible based on their redefinitions of those words that make it maybe impossible. Others would say it’s unrealistic worrying to point he should know better or even distracts from “real” problems (i.e. their worries). Probably some evil, political intent since only a X-ist would say it. If he said that wasn’t his intention, they’d force him to be clear on a version they were cool with. They’d tell him he should phrase his writing more appropriately so others who are different feel safe in that space. That he must think in terms of how people might read that. The person would be dismissed as a racist, sexist idiot as they dogpiled him like many others have.

                                                                                          When this woman did it, we’re supposed to assume the best with no concerns about larger implications of what she’s saying in terms of what’s in her head or perception of what she writes. Countering it on just incorrectness like we’d do anything else is now not just dismissing bad ideas or statements: it’s “toxic behavior” that needs to be stamped out. Nah, someone said some political BS on the Internet with disagreement of various quality following. Something we do for any kind of claim here. She doesn’t deserve special treatment or defense of her poor arguments/methods any more than a male does.

                                                                                          To males, you usually have quick, small rebuttals of ideas you disagree with (esp on tech) where you didn’t do a full exploration of everything they might be thinking before you countered. It’s pretty clear you do a quick take on what they might mean, compare it to your own beliefs, and fire an efficient response. Most people do that most of the time I’d guess. You’re doing the opposite here. Whereas, I’m treating her equally to anyone else by protecting dissent and countering her overly-negative claims like I already did to a man who did the same thing before. Like I’ve done to a lot of people’s claims here and everywhere else. Clearly a political bias in action on other side if expecting her claims to get a level of acceptance or no critique that’s not expected of men here or for other topics. I say they all get treated the same from agreement to critiques or we don’t discuss that stuff at all.

                                                                                          I’ve said enough for this part of this thread as both our views are plenty clear.

                                                                                        2. 5

                                                                                          She painted a picture of programming as if it was mostly bad things done by bad people . . . You’d think the profession was one of most horrible ever invented reading that stuff.

                                                                                          This is not a reasonable conclusion to draw from the passage you quoted.

                                                                                          1. 1

                                                                                            She painted a picture of programming as if it was mostly bad things done by bad people. She painted the picture that people going to thought leaders, doing database work, or getting involved in functional programming were only going to be dealing with the worst. You’d think the profession was one of most horrible ever invented reading that stuff. Don’t ask that she properly qualify that: take her word for it without any of your own comments or reactions. She is attacking most programmers with a programmer,

                                                                                            This conclusion is bonkers.

                                                                                      2. 2

                                                                                        She’s not allowed to talk about politics?

                                                                                        I’m not allowed to respond about politics?

                                                                                        1. 3

                                                                                          I missed the part where anyone asked for you to be deprived of that right.

                                                                                      3. 1

                                                                                        I doubt it. She’s making political points in the post instead of just talking about good things at Recurse Center. She’s putting it front and center in people’s minds as they read.

                                                                                        Those “political points” are some of the more important “good things” about the Recurse Center.

                                                                                      4. -5

                                                                                        is there a latin phrase for “does your mom know you’re gay?”

                                                                                    1. 2

                                                                                      My problem with the exception example is generally you would want a different user readable failure message for each error line.

                                                                                      1. 2

                                                                                        You can do that with monadic error handling, (see Railway-Oriented Programming) .The article is a little weird, though, in that it seems to be implying that Java exceptions are monads, which they’re not.

                                                                                      1. 5

                                                                                        I plan to work on these things […] A “carrot” for Oil, i.e. a feature that existing shells don’t have. Ideas: [static analysis, app bundles, and crash reports]

                                                                                        If you’re looking for ideas, here’s another one that might interest you: nestable string literals, a.k.a. tagged string delimiters, a.k.a. I don’t think this construct has an official name. It’s a rare language feature AFAICT, but solves an annoying and error-prone task that is especially common in shell: quoting, escaping, and multiple escaping.

                                                                                        Examples of tagged string delimiters in other languages (I am aware of only two):

                                                                                        • Lua’s long brackets let you write string literals (and multiline comments) as [[...]], [=[...]=], [==[…]==]`, and so forth – the number of equals signs in the opening delimiter is counted, and the string ends when the matching closing delimiter is found.

                                                                                            --[[ This comments out an assignment to my_lua_string
                                                                                            my_lua_string = [==[one [=[inner]=] two]==]
                                                                                            ]]
                                                                                          
                                                                                            -- This is a string delimited with long brackets, that contains several other closing delimiters that are ignored without needing escaping
                                                                                            [=[one ]==]'" two]=]
                                                                                            --> 'one ]==]'" two'
                                                                                          
                                                                                            -- Using long brackets with loadstring (Lua's `eval`):
                                                                                            f = loadstring([[i = i + "x"]])
                                                                                            i = 'a'
                                                                                            f()  -- i = 'ix'
                                                                                            f()  -- i = 'ixx'
                                                                                          
                                                                                        • PostgreSQL’s dollar quoting:

                                                                                            $$Dianne's horse$$
                                                                                            $SomeTag$Dianne's horse$SomeTag$
                                                                                          
                                                                                            CREATE OR REPLACE
                                                                                                FUNCTION increment(i integer) RETURNS integer AS $myAddOne$
                                                                                                    BEGIN
                                                                                                        RETURN i + 1;
                                                                                                    END;
                                                                                                $myAddOne$ LANGUAGE plpgsql;
                                                                                          
                                                                                        • Heredocs don’t count, because you can’t write them inline.

                                                                                        Ways tagged string delimiters would improve the OSH/shell experience:

                                                                                        • Tagged string delimiters make it trivial to write any string literal without escaping the contents: you simply choose a delimiter that doesn’t occur in the string.
                                                                                        • Tagged delimiters make it easy to nest commands with quoted string arguments inside the quoted string argument of a higher-level command: for example, cp 'my file with.spaces' /etc within sudo sh -c 'multiple; commands; cp "..."' within ssh 'multiple; commands; sudo sh -c "..."'.
                                                                                        • Shell’s string-centric nature and interactive usage means is the context in which I frequently quote strings, or pass quoted shell code that contains its own quotes that need escaping, and so on. The example in the previous item is one I have encountered in real life, albeit only once. It would be good to get away from escaping, and wonderful to get away from double escaping.

                                                                                        Sorry to dump such a long post on you (although turnabout is fair play :-P), but I thought you might be interested. For my part, I find your OSH project fascinating, and avidly read every post. Thank you for writing such good writeups!

                                                                                        1. 5

                                                                                          Perl has nestable strings with q{} / qq{} / qx{} as well.

                                                                                          print q{foo q{bar}};
                                                                                          
                                                                                          1. 3

                                                                                            Yes I totally agree that shell’s string-centric nature means that this is one of the most important features! I often have HTML snippets in my shell scripts, and I see tons of config file snippets in shell scripts, like /etc/resolv.conf, etc. Not to mention Awk, Perl, and Python snippets.

                                                                                            I think of this feature as “multiline strings”. It will subsume here docs, and as you mention you can use one as an argument to a command.

                                                                                            It will replace all the variants of here docs: << EOF , << 'EOF' (quoted), <<-EOF (indented), etc.

                                                                                            I’m thinking using a variant on Python’s syntax:

                                                                                            # operator << takes a string literal, not a filename, like <<< in shell
                                                                                            cat << 'normal string' 
                                                                                            
                                                                                            cat << '''
                                                                                            $var is NOT expanded in 3 single quotes, equivalent to quoting 'EOF'
                                                                                            '''
                                                                                            
                                                                                            cat << """
                                                                                            $var is expanded in 3 double quotes, like unquoted EOF
                                                                                            """
                                                                                            

                                                                                            I have thought about the “tag” problem too. I originally had a proposal to have some sort of tag, but someone pointed out to me that it’s not necessary for multiple here docs on a line. You can just use the order of the here docs.

                                                                                            I guess I have never really had an issue with Python’s multiline strings – e.g. embedding a multiline string in a multiline string! The fact that there are two different types of quotes helps. But I’m open to adding that later if it’s a problem.

                                                                                            I plan to write a preview of Oil syntax, as requested on lobste.rs. So I’ll make sure to highlight this part. Unfortunately I have at least 2-3 posts to write before that, so it might not come for awhile.

                                                                                            There is also the issue of C escapes, e.g. $'\n' in shell.

                                                                                            Thanks for the feedback!

                                                                                            1. 1

                                                                                              multiline strings with interpolation and also trimming of leading indentation is super handy, the way nix does it is pretty fun to use.

                                                                                              1. 1

                                                                                                OK interesting, I didn’t know Nix did that. That’s pretty much what I expect Oil to have – the indentation of the closing quote is what you strip off of every line.

                                                                                                But ‘’ already means something in both shell and Oil, so it will be ‘’’ and “”” like Python, except that single and double mean what they already do in shell.

                                                                                                https://learnxinyminutes.com/docs/nix/

                                                                                          1. 6

                                                                                            The point of this article is pretty badly made. They designed a purposely broken vector data structure and operations in C disregarding many mistakes a mediocre C programmer would have either known to avoid from good practice or just by knowing them, and then proposed a solution by making an implementation in rust that they actually put some effort in, because rust does force bad programmers to put more effort into their program before it can compile. Was that what they were trying to show?

                                                                                            1. 0

                                                                                              agreed, I would have expected a case study to go find some real world equivalent code written in each and then look for problems.

                                                                                            1. 2

                                                                                              Would you crowd source design of an everyday object? Reaching a quorum means having an average solution, pretty much by definition. I think that languages should be designed by a small group of people, which ensures a strong vision and consistency. It’s interesting, though, to see a radically different approach being explored.

                                                                                              1. 2

                                                                                                So in this case, from what I’ve seen, they’re not so much having an average design, so much as verifying that their design choices are actually effectively understood, and changing them if they aren’t. It’s certainly not going to come up with something radical, but it might be an interesting way to make radical ideas more easy to understand.

                                                                                                1. 2

                                                                                                  COBOL, Visual Basic 6, and PHP are the closest things to that where design was for average user. Lots of code was certainly written. The problems the languages brought are inescapable for many due to the legacy code effect. That’s a warning sign to get the foundations right upfront in case your language is successful enough people get stuck with it.

                                                                                                  Also, one can assess what was achieved with prior work using metrics like code conciseness, compile speed, run speed, whether it’s statically analyzable, and so on. Also, prior studies on these comparing languages on productivity and defects. At least one person saying they’re involved in Quorum project rejected that when I brought it up on HN. I’m not sure how far one can get on a good language if not designing for balancing those metrics from the beginning using prior work as a guide. As shown by their studies, they will probably come up with some good evidence on usability or productivity of specific mechanisms, though. That’s the value I see in the project.

                                                                                                  1. 3

                                                                                                    I would say Go is a language designed to be good on average.

                                                                                                    1. 2

                                                                                                      I would say that, more specifically, Go is designed to raise the floor for programmers of a certain type, with no real thought given to raising their ceiling, or for how it would be received by programmers who aren’t C/Python people. Which is fine, of course, and I’m sure some acceptable software will be written with it. But it doesn’t have much appeal otherwise, as far as I’m concerned.

                                                                                                      1. 2

                                                                                                        Rob Pike’s talk From Parallel to Concurrent discusses the target audience for Go.

                                                                                                        The key point here is our programmers are Googlers, they’re not researchers. They’re typically, fairly young, fresh out of school, probably learned Java, maybe learned C or C++, probably learned Python. They’re not capable of understanding a brilliant language but we want to use them to build good software. So, the language that we give them has to be easy for them to understand and easy to adopt.

                                                                                                        (Edited to name the Go language explicitly)

                                                                                                      2. 2

                                                                                                        It started with Oberon-2 per Pike which is a family of languages designed for educating the masses. They added other stuff to make it more practical and C-like. So, that would make sense.

                                                                                                        1. 1

                                                                                                          I intended to reply to a different comment so I have removed the text that was here.

                                                                                                    1. 3

                                                                                                      The only two operating systems I am confident I can rebuild to a known state if I need to and patch things myself are openbsd and nixos, though for totally different reasons.

                                                                                                      1. 2

                                                                                                        couldn’t you just do social activities in real life instead of using social media?

                                                                                                        1. 4

                                                                                                          I have a lot of interaction via social media (broadly defined, includes real-time chat) with people in other parts of the globe. Meeting them “IRL” is prohibitive in time and cost, yet we all derive value from the interaction online.

                                                                                                          The same goes for people who I have met IRL and who are still in close physical proximity. Time constraints (read: kids) often makes meeting in real life hard to schedule. When we do plan to meet, social media takes out of the friction of planning and execution.

                                                                                                          In fact, the main value FB brings to me is as as meeting and event organizing tool.

                                                                                                          1. 4

                                                                                                            I think this does not answer @dmonay’s original question and sounds a bit accusatory in the sense assuming that the author lacks real life social activities. Nonetheless, I think that social media is a big waste of time and a quick chat from person to person is worth more than thousand text messages. I also don’t like the trend that more and more people—at least in my social circle—try to communicate solely through instant messengers instead of giving a quick call. (Better to stop here before it goes even more offtopic.)

                                                                                                            1. 3

                                                                                                              Privacy focused social media just seemed like a huge oxymoron to me.

                                                                                                              1. 3

                                                                                                                Sort-of. If I share something privately at a small gathering and the details get out, I know it’s because somebody there talked. I can reason about that; I can ask my friends which of them did it. I can’t assume that about facebook etc.

                                                                                                                1. 1

                                                                                                                  Let me reframe this in a way that will seem more obvious to you.

                                                                                                                  “Privacy focused communication just seemed like a huge oxymoron to me.”

                                                                                                                  1. 1

                                                                                                                    Never write a letter or destroy one if you care about secrets.

                                                                                                              2. -1

                                                                                                                They said on social media, ignorant of the irony of the statement.

                                                                                                                1. 3

                                                                                                                  If you want privacy and dislike social media you can stop using it. Lobste.rs included. There is no irony because I am not suggesting staying on lobste.rs either.

                                                                                                                  1. 1

                                                                                                                    The fact that you are here implies you like social media. Nobody in here is talking about not liking social media, so who is your audience here?

                                                                                                                    1. 1

                                                                                                                      The whole original post is someone grappling with wanting social interaction but hating being a cog in the online advertising machine. I’m just saying it might well be possible to opt out without being a hermit by trying other things (religion, sport, social clubs). To be honest, I often wonder if i do like social media or not, it clearly is addictive, and by some metrics it does not pay for itself.

                                                                                                              1. 18

                                                                                                                Some feedback:

                                                                                                                I have seen many oil shell posts, but still don’t know what the heck the actual OIL language looks like.

                                                                                                                1. 4

                                                                                                                  OK thanks, maybe I should link these at the very top of the “A Glimpse of Oil”:

                                                                                                                  http://www.oilshell.org/blog/tags.html?tag=osh-to-oil#osh-to-oil

                                                                                                                  They are linked somewhere in the middle, which is probably easy to miss.

                                                                                                                  It’s sort of on purpose, since Oil isn’t implemented yet, as I mention in the intro. But I think those posts give a decent idea of what it looks like (let me know if you disagree).

                                                                                                                  1. 7

                                                                                                                    I’ve seen your posts and hat around and never really understood what Oil was really about, but this link is really wonderful. The comparison to shell, the simplifications, the 4 different languages of shell vs the two of Oil, it all really clicked. Really cool project.

                                                                                                                    1. 3

                                                                                                                      I agree with the others. Until I see what’s your vision for the language, I’m not motivated to get involved.

                                                                                                                      The only example you give contains “if test -z $[which mke2fs]”, which can’t be what you’re aiming at.

                                                                                                                      IMHO If you really want Oil to be easy to use, you should take as much syntax from Python or Javascript as you can. And use similar semantics too.

                                                                                                                      1. 11

                                                                                                                        I’m willing to be convinced that a new syntax would be better for shell programming.

                                                                                                                        I’m not very confident that moving towards an existing non-shell scripting language will get us there.

                                                                                                                        The problem I have with writing shell programs in some non-shell language is that I expect to keep using the same syntax on the command line as I do in scripts I save to disk, and non-shell languages don’t have the things that make that pleasant. For example, a non-shell language has a fixed list of “words” it knows about, and using anything not on that list is a syntax error. That’s great in Python, where such a word is almost certainly a spelling error, but in a shell, most words are program names and I don’t want my shell constantly groveling through every directory in my $PATH so it knows all my program names before I try to use them.

                                                                                                                        I’ve also never seen a non-shell language of any type with piping and command substitution as elegant as bash and zsh, but I’m willing to be convinced. I’m afraid, though, anyone in the “Real Language” mindset would make constructions such as diff <(./prog1 -a -b) <(./prog1 -a -c) substantially more verbose, losing one of the main reasons we have powerful shells to begin with.

                                                                                                                        1. 3

                                                                                                                          Yes it has to be a hybrid. I talk a little about “command vs expression” mode in the post. I guess you’ll have to wait and see, but I’m aware of this and it’s very much a central design issue.

                                                                                                                          Of course “bare words” behave in Oil just as they do in bash, e.g.

                                                                                                                          echo hi
                                                                                                                          ls /
                                                                                                                          

                                                                                                                          I will not make you type

                                                                                                                          run(["echo", "hi"])
                                                                                                                          

                                                                                                                          :-)

                                                                                                                          One of the reasons I reimplemented bash from scratch is to be aware of all the syntactic issues. Process substitution should continue to work. In fact I’ve been contemplating this “one line” rule / sublanguage – that is, essentially anything that is one line in shell will continue to work.

                                                                                                                          Also, OSH and Oil will likely be composed, and OSH already implements the syntax you are familiar with. This is future work so I don’t want to promise anything specific, but I think it’s possible to get the best of both worlds – familiar syntax for interactive use and clean syntax for maintainable programs.

                                                                                                                          1. 1

                                                                                                                            For example, a non-shell language has a fixed list of “words” it knows about, and using anything not on that list is a syntax error. That’s great in Python, where such a word is almost certainly a spelling error, but in a shell, most words are program names and I don’t want my shell constantly groveling through every directory in my $PATH so it knows all my program names before I try to use them.

                                                                                                                            tclsh is an interesting example of not having this problem.

                                                                                                                            I’m afraid, though, anyone in the “Real Language” mindset would make constructions such as diff <(./prog1 -a -b) <(./prog1 -a -c) substantially more verbose, losing one of the main reasons we have powerful shells to begin with.

                                                                                                                            You get constructs that look like this in pipey libraries for functional languages (the likes of fs2 or conduit), though they’re controversial.

                                                                                                                            1. 1

                                                                                                                              Well put. There’s also loads of muscle memory built up that is hard to leave behind. That point keeps me off of fish; I like almost everything else about it, but I don’t see why it can’t have a separate bash-like syntax.

                                                                                                                            2. 2

                                                                                                                              OK that’s fair. I’m on the fence about outside contributions – some people have contributed, but I think most projects have more users and more “bones” before getting major contributions. I’m really looking for people to test OSH on real shell scripts, not necessarily adopt it or contribute. (although if you can figure out the code, I applaud you and encourage your contributions :) )

                                                                                                                              As I mention in the post, the OSH language is implemented (it runs real shell scripts), but Oil isn’t.

                                                                                                                              There will be a different way to test if a string is empty, but for the auto-conversions, if you have [ -z foo ], it will become test -z foo. The auto-conversion is going to make your script RUN, not make it idiomatic.

                                                                                                                              As far as appearance, you can definitely think of Oil as a hybrid between shell and Python/JavaScript.

                                                                                                                              I can probably write up a cheatsheet for those curious. I haven’t really done so because it feels like promising something that’s not there. But since I’ve written so many blog posts, it might be worth showing something in the style of:

                                                                                                                              https://learnxinyminutes.com/docs/bash/

                                                                                                                          2. 0

                                                                                                                            Yes and I don’t think I’ll care about it until I do. It could look like APL for all we know.

                                                                                                                          1. 5

                                                                                                                            I stopped carrying mine around, don’t really miss it at all.

                                                                                                                            1. 9

                                                                                                                              It’s a bit sad he’s taking Rust mostly as a stepping stone to sell his thing. For example, he’s not showing any examples of code that actually has that problem. But, he’s definitely right.

                                                                                                                              That being said, I find the following comment from Manish worth cross-posting: https://www.reddit.com/r/rust/comments/7sq8xl/unsafe_zig_is_safer_than_unsafe_rust/dt75ny6/

                                                                                                                              I mean, unsafe C++ is also safer than unsafe rust (all zig is unsafe zig, all c++ is unsafe c++)

                                                                                                                              Generally c++ does try to make it tedious to do really footgunny things. It’s hard to compare because UB is UB and nasal demons come out regardless, but ime the scarier kinds can be harder to trigger in c++ in many cases. Plus Rust has noalias. But this is very anecdotal, others may disagree.

                                                                                                                              1. 4

                                                                                                                                I don’t see why it is sad, it seems quite intelligent for him to adopt strategies that reach his target audience. What would really be sad is if he did all that work making zig and nobody gave it a shot because there was no reasonable way to get people to read about it.

                                                                                                                                1. 4

                                                                                                                                  It’s generally not a good strategy to take simple shots at others. We’re as excited about zig as anyone else, but this sets up for an annoying and unnecessary competition.

                                                                                                                                  Framing it as “Zig gets pointer alignment right” and using Rust as an example later in the post is a much better strategy. People appreciate if you point out flaws in a not-too-annoying way. That’s for example a reason why I promote Pony at any moment I can, they really get this right.

                                                                                                                                  In any case, I definitely don’t intent on telling you how you should feel about it. I don’t like it and Rust happens to be the project I align with :).

                                                                                                                                  1. 4

                                                                                                                                    I understand what you’re saying about putting it in a positive light instead, but honestly I’m not sure I would’ve read the article if it had been “Zig gets pointer alignment right”.

                                                                                                                                    Rust has taken a similar approach, many times it has taken “shots” at C++ and Go (I say “Rust” but of course it’s about individuals) and that is fine IMO. It is both helpful for the language to get attention, and helpful for the reader to have it compared to something more widely known.

                                                                                                                                    I’m keeping an interested eye on Zig as I think it can turn into something great, that “better C” place that’s closer to C than Go and farther from C++ than Rust (that’s my impression of the language, I may be wrong as I don’t follow it that closely yet).

                                                                                                                                    1. 3

                                                                                                                                      I don’t see it as taking a shot at Rust. At the end of the day here’s what I think will happen:

                                                                                                                                      • Rust will improve handling of this particular problem (there’s no fundamental reason Rust can’t do it)
                                                                                                                                      • Zig gets some attention

                                                                                                                                      Both wins, in my book.

                                                                                                                                      1. 7

                                                                                                                                        I don’t see it as taking a shot at Rust.

                                                                                                                                        The post starts with a language that’s safe-by-default with the temporal safety very rare in general. Cyclone and Clay are only predecessors coming to mind. The post then drops into unsafe Rust to focus on its weakest area: an area where you really want external tools like symbolic analysis or fuzzers running on it like with C. Then, post compares another language, Zig, with less safety in general to Rust in unsafe mode to show unsafe Rust is less safe in a specific case. Readers will find that the post pushing Zig sniping a weak area of Rust is also written by the author of Zig.

                                                                                                                                        That is exactly how most language promoters take a cheap shot at another language getting more attention. You might have not intended it that way but many readers will perceive it that way. skade’s suggested framing here is always better for this sort of thing. Double true if you’re authoring both the post and a competing language.

                                                                                                                                        And good luck on Zig since it’s an interesting language in the system space which I love seeing people try to improve. :)

                                                                                                                                      2. 2

                                                                                                                                        It’s generally not a good strategy to take simple shots at others. We’re as excited about zig as anyone else, but this sets up for an annoying and unnecessary competition.

                                                                                                                                        It is a competition already, people can only use a finite number of programming languages. If someone is using rust on a project, they are not using zig and vice versa.

                                                                                                                                    2. 1

                                                                                                                                      Not requiring a keyword to do unsafe operations doesn’t mean all code in a language is unsafe, it just isn’t explicitly spelled out when it is.

                                                                                                                                      1. 6

                                                                                                                                        Sure, but it means that any line of code is potentially unsafe.

                                                                                                                                        1. 5

                                                                                                                                          I like that the unsafe keyword in Rust makes it explicit. Makes it very easy to grep for unsafe behavior without additional tooling. Also frees up the mind from remember a list of unsafe operations while programming or while understanding other people’s code.

                                                                                                                                          1. 3

                                                                                                                                            That’s exactly it. Wirth did this in his languages like Oberon. Safe by default with unsafe modules saying so loud and clear.