1. 4

    I’m planning a non-productive weekend, it’s been a very hectic week again at work and I just feel I should lay off for a bit and maybe think a bit about what future I want.

    Things I do have planned:

    • reading The Lost World by Michael Crichton
    • going to a fun fair with my kids
    • go visit my parents
    1. 2

      maybe think a bit about what future I want

      That actually sounds pretty productive :)

      1. 1

        It might, yes! I’m certainty going to do more devops-y things and be more socially active and find some meetups.

        I’m also going to try to accept work is work and not ponder at home about it. I’m not sure of how to achieve that, I’m hoping google will help me with that.

    1. 8

      Regardless of the proposals themselves I find the openness of the team impressive and laudable.

      1. 0

        I do paper for very short term lists, but everything else goes in workflowy. Use it for scoping projects too. Lists of lists.

        https://workflowy.com/invite/5f5e43d.lnx

        1. 2

          https://workflowy.com

          You get referral money for that link?

          1. 2

            Nah. Free version is limited. If you sign up with the link I get a few more items. I’m throwing it out there.

            It is a good tool, works well on my phone in both web and app.

            1. 1

              Same idea as dropbox has (had?). Still good to know, thanks for answering.

          1. 1

            Mods, can I merge this (‘my’) submission with/into the submission that contains the official announcement? (I couldn’t find an official way to propose a merge, hence this comment.)

          1. 2

            At work, we log everything via sysog(), which is feed into splunk which means we can search in pretty much real time across the entire system. For each message we log via syslog(), a unique tag is used, for example:

            T0011: Can not open configuration file %s: %s
            T0180: Significant clock skew detected (%llu uS)
            

            The tag (the T0011 or T0180) are just allocated sequentially as needed (the T component has 246 defined log messages). Each component has a separate prefix (they are not restricted to a single letter—I wrote a component with the prefix NIEnnnn for example). This makes it easy to search for a particular log message or for messages for a particular component.

            The other thing we do is log key performance indicators (KPI). Receive a request? Log it. Experienced an error? Log it. I took the idea of statd from Etsy that makes it easy to log such events. For example, when a component I use experiences a DNS timeout, I run:

            stat.incr("nie.dns.timeout")
            

            which sends a message to the statd to increment the counter “nie.dns.timeout”. At regular intervals, statd will output all the information via syslog() (which leads into splunk). It was simple enough to write my own version of statd (the Etsy one does more than we wanted). It’s easy to just add new KPI entries (if statd receives a name it doesn’t have, it starts a counter for it) and I’ll add metrics just because.

            Given all that, we have debugged some pretty hairy situations, like bad network routing, memory leaks, certain crashes, and the utter garbage requests we can’t parse from our customers (who I would have expected to know better).

            1. 1

              The other thing we do is log key performance indicators (KPI).

              You might want to have a look at Prometheus with Grafana for that.

              1. 1

                I’ve looked at Prometheus (another team at work uses that) and the thing I didn’t like about it was that it polls for data instead of receiving data. Yes, there is a way to feed data into Prometheus, but from what I’ve read, it is extremely discouraged to use that, and instead, let Prometheus poll for the data. In my case, this means embedding a web server into several components that don’t use HTTP (or even TCP for that matter—they all use UDP) for network transfers.

            1. 4

              I am amazed that mutt is still alive and kicking. Fond memories of another Internet

              1. 4

                It’s very much alive and kicking - there’s even NeoMutt, a fork with added features. As someone who’s used Mutt/NeoMutt almost every day for 20+ years, it’s still very much useable today. Yes, HTML email does make things a bit painful, but there are workarounds.

                1. 1

                  I’m using a stripped down version of elinks to do HTML -> plaintext conversions, both for mail and some other projects. w3m is also popular for this task.

                  Do you have other solutions you’d like to share?

                  1. 3

                    I’m using pretty much the same, albeit with w3m. I use a modified version of view_attachment.sh to handle attachments (grabbed from The Homely Mutt - there are plenty of other great tips in that article).

                    1. 1

                      Thanks. I’m working on a bidirectional mail gateway which does Unicode/MIME/RFC-5322/RFC-6854 <—> ASCII-ANSI-X3.4-1986/RFC-822 conversions.

                      Converting MIME/Base64 encoded parts into to UUENCODE and back is straightforward (and lossless).

                      The lossy transliteration of Unicode characters into plaintext equivalents is less straightforward and there is a wealth of prior art.

                      The task of ceating a usable presentation of modern HTML mail as plaint text, however, is more of an art than a science.

                    2. 2

                      FWIW urlscan is another useful tool https://github.com/firecat53/urlscan

                      In mutt I bind this to C-b so I can quickly open some link in my browser

                  2. 2

                    I’m actually still an elm user, myself.

                    1. 2

                      I also still use it. Works great, no nonsense. Sure, when I want to see an image I have to scp it to my local system, but hey :)

                    1. 7

                      I remember playing with Slackware around 20 years ago - it was so nice fast distribution with dead simple package management. Non-standard software you had to compile yourself with all the dependencies resolved on your own :) Oh fond memories…

                      1. 2

                        I started off with Slackware in 1996. I got a six-pack (I believe) of Linux distros on cdrom. It shipped Red Hat, Debian and Slackware.

                        My friend told me Slackware is the hardest-core so I decided to jump in the deep end immediately.

                        Zero regrets!

                        1. 3

                          Same for me but two years later, 1998. Using Slackware was likely one the biggest contribution to my career. The fact that it forced me to really understand what was going on taught me so much about operating systems, software development and open source. I haven’t used Slack in a looong time, but I hold it dear in my memories!

                          1. 2

                            Exactly! And these were times before Google, even, so everything had to be learned the hard way. Like patching Joliet support into the kernel for cdroms.

                            LFS was another big thing. I ran that for quite a while too, think with Debian packaging.

                            The switch to Debian, after forays into Red Hat and Mandrake, felt like a nice retirement from that, like something I’d earned through self-education.

                        2. 2
                          1. 1

                            Nowadays the package management is as simple as ever, but the collection of binary packages is huge and very up to date (much more so than ubuntu). For example, there are only a few days between a new release of gcc or clang and their official slackware packages, so you always run a really modern system.

                          1. 6

                            I agree with every word of this. It’s good to have a suitable label that nicely encapsulates the concept.

                            I would like to see some examples. I would say that https://www.gov.uk/ would be one of the best examples of brutalist web design. What do you think?

                            1. 3

                              I was worried that I clicked into a spam site when I visited it!

                              1. 3

                                Like the sibling comment, I, too, had my “parked domain” flags triggered. However, the actual practice of using the gov.uk constellation of websites is fantastic. Very easy to use.

                                The login.gov stuff and related things in the US are catching up to the usability of the UK sites.

                                1. 2

                                  Like the sibling comment, I, too, had my “parked domain” flags triggered.

                                  I agree, but once you scroll down it improves a lot. Nice site.

                              1. 14

                                I’ve been using Macs for nearly a decade on the desktop and switched to Linux a couple of months ago. The 2016 MacBook Pro finally drove me to try something different. Between macOS getting more bloated each release, defective keyboard, terrible battery life, and the touch bar I realized that at some point I stopped being the target demographic.

                                I switched to Manjaro and while there are a few rough edges as the article notes, overall there really isn’t that much difference in my opinion. I’m running Gnome and it does a decent enough job aping macOS. I went with Dell Precision 5520, and everything just worked out of the box. All the apps that I use are available or have equivalents, and I haven’t found myself missing anything so far. Meanwhile it’s really refreshing to be able to configure the system exactly the way I want.

                                Overall, I’d say that if you haven’t tried Linux in a while, then it’s definitely worth giving another shot even though YMMV.

                                1. 4

                                  terrible battery life

                                  Really? It’s that bad? The Dell is better?

                                  1. 3

                                    I don’t know about Dell, but my 2016 MacBook Pro was hit pretty hard after the Specter/Meltdown fix came out. I used to go 5 or 6 hours before I was down to 35-40%. Now I’m down to %20-25% after about 4 hours.

                                    1. 2

                                      Same here. I wonder if the specter/meltdown fiasco has at all accelerated Apple’s (hypothetical) internal timeline for ARM laptops. Quite the debacle.

                                      In regards to the parent, I have actually been considering moving from an aged Macbook Pro 15” (last of the matte screen models – I have avoided all the bad keyboards so far), to a Mac /desktop/ (mac pro maybe). You can choose your own keyboard, screen, and still get good usability and high performance. Then moving to a linux laptop for “on the road” type requirements. Being able to leave work “at my desk” might be nice too.

                                      (note: I work remotely)

                                      1. 3

                                        I honestly don’t understand the fetish for issuing people laptops, particularly for software development type jobs. The money is way better spent (IMHO) on a fast desktop and a great monitor/keyboard.

                                        1. 2

                                          Might be the ability to work remotely. I’m with you, though, that laptops are a bizarre fetish, as is working from Anywhere You Want(!)

                                          1. 2

                                            It’s an artifact of, among other things, the idea that you PURSUE YOUR PASSIONS and DO WHAT YOU LOVE*; I don’t want to “work anywhere” – I want to work from work, and leave that behind when I go home to my family. But hey, I’m an old, what do I know.

                                            *: what you love must be writing web software for a venture funded startup in San Francisco

                                        2. 2

                                          Same here. I wonder if the specter/meltdown fiasco has at all accelerated Apple’s (hypothetical) internal timeline for ARM laptops.

                                          I wouldn’t guess that. Apples ARM design was one of the few also affected by meltdown. Using it for a laptop wouldn’t have helped.

                                          1. 1

                                            I bought a Matebook X to run Arch Linux on and it’s been pretty great so far.

                                            1. 1

                                              I’ve been thinking about a librem 13. I’ll take a look at the matebook too. Thanks!

                                        3. 2

                                          Yeah I get 4-6 hours with the Dell, and I was literally getting about 2-3 hours on the Mac with the same usage patterns and apps running. I think the fact that you can be a lot more granular regarding what’s running on Linux really helps in that regard.

                                          1. 5

                                            +1 about deciding what you run on GNU/Linux.

                                            I have a Dell XPS 15 9560 currently running Arch (considering switching to NixOS soon), and with Powertop and TLP set up I usually get around 20 hours (yes, 20 hours) per charge on light/normal use.

                                            1. 1

                                              Ha! Thanks for this I didn’t know these were available!

                                              1. 1

                                                No problems! They’re very effective, and are just about the first package I install on a new setup.

                                      1. 1

                                        I distinctly remember including HotBot in a list of Internet search engines I had to compile for some kind of “internet literacy” school project I had to do in 4th grade or so. So that’s a hell of a nostalgic name for me. Interesting that they’re still around, and claim to be a “private” search engine along the lines of Duck Duck Go - anyone have any idea of how trustworthy that claim is?

                                        1. 2

                                          It probably means they have no budget to do any fancy user tracking. IIRC that was also actually the reason behind DDG’s initial “we don’t track you” policy. Then they figured out it was actually a niche selling point, and made it a proper feature. [citation needed]

                                        1. 3

                                          Nice to know about – I’ve got a few python scripts that’ll help clean up a bit.

                                          (Note also the <<- here-doc variant, which is similarly convenient when writing shell scripts.)

                                          1. 3

                                            Here docs/strings are awesome.

                                            Another use case I like (beyond ascii art) is embedding test text file contents in a string along with the test itself. When you come back to it later, instead of the indirection of looking up the contents of an external file and cluttering up the file system, you have it right there with the test.

                                            1. 5

                                              Perl has __DATA__, which is places at the end of the code in the file, and everything which comes after you can read with the DATA filehandle (I don’t know where Larry stole this idea from).

                                              So a file looks like:

                                              #!/usr/bin/env perl
                                              
                                              print "here be dragons!\n"
                                              __DATA__
                                              {
                                                 "id": 42
                                              }
                                              

                                              and you can read that last bit by passing a filehandle along. Pretty nice to embed simple stuff in test files, for example.

                                            2. 1

                                              Note that the <<- heredoc form only works on text indented with tabs, other kinds of white space will be ignored.

                                            1. 5

                                              What I don’t really understand is how Andrew has a comfortable standard of living in NYC on $600 per/month.

                                              https://www.patreon.com/andrewrk/overview

                                              I’m guessing that there must be another source of Zig donations aside from Patreon?

                                              1. 7

                                                Savings?

                                                1. 2

                                                  Oh woops, I misread the first paragraph, I thought it stated that Zig was supporting him entirely, when it’s actually about his programming supporting him.

                                                  1. 3

                                                    Note that this isn’t his first attempt at doing this. But the project he was working on before Genesis didn’t find the same traction as Zig has. BUT, if I recall correctly, he also didn’t live in NYC the last time… Anyway, he’s got experience with living frugally, so I’m sure he knows what he’s doing here.

                                                    1. 2

                                                      he extrapolated the donations growth versus his savings.

                                                  2. 2

                                                    What I don’t understand is if you are not working in NYC anymore, and only working on your own and getting donation, why doesn’t he move to anywhere but NYC to minimise his personal expense?

                                                    I’m sure there are cities in the US with 80% the fun of NYC at lower than 80% of the cost.

                                                    1. 17

                                                      I work remote, and there are places I could move that are < 20% of the cost.

                                                      My friends aren’t going to move with me, and I have enough money to live where I am. Why be wealthy and lonely?

                                                      1. -10

                                                        Didn’t know your city is the only source of friends in the world. That must be good for the economy.

                                                        1. 32

                                                          I know that this is very hard for some people to believe (seems to be harder the more western the society is), but some people don’t consider their friends a replaceable commodity. Not that I don’t want to make new friends, but these are my friends right now and I am more loyal to them than I am to a meaningless job or to money.

                                                          1. 4

                                                            Maybe because your partner has a job he/she really enjoys in this city? I mean, we’re lucky in our field to have a lot of different possibilities, in remote or not, mostly well paid. Let’s not forget that it’s a chance and not something everybody has.

                                                        2. 2

                                                          The usual reason is the significant other.

                                                          1. 1

                                                            There’s a shit-ton of them. Even Memphis TN that’s close to me with all its problems is low cost of living with all kinds of fun stuff to do. Just don’t live in or shop around the hood. Solves most of problems if you don’t have kids going to school or college.

                                                            There’s plenty of cities in the US that similarly have low cost of living with plenty going on. One can also live in areas 30-40 min from cities to substantially reduce their rent. The fun stuff still isn’t that far away. The slight inconvenience just knocks quite a bit off the price.

                                                            1. 4

                                                              I don’t remember the details, and I can’t find the link, but a few years ago someone did some research here in Berlin where they compared the cost of rent in more-or-less the city proper, and the cost of rent + public transportation tickets when you lived in the outskirts. It ended up being not much of a difference.

                                                              1. 2

                                                                Well, if you don’t workin in the city and need to commute then you spend even less. Though OTOH, you get tax returns for commutes in Germany so probably the commute is not that expensive to begin with.

                                                                1. 2

                                                                  Berlin is currently the city with the highest increase in rent world-wide and a few years ago, it was unusually low.

                                                                  Also, Berlin is hard to compare in many aspects, possibly because of a very unique city history.

                                                          1. 2

                                                            Anyone got any idea how stable (financially) gitlab is?

                                                            1. 3

                                                              My research found it’s a YC-backed company that wants to grow up to a 2020 IPO. It took tens of millions in VC funding probably because they were spending more than they were earning. They’re probably not stable specifically because the strategy requires them to adapt and take what chances they need to for that IPO. If they IPO, they’ll probably stabilize a bit focusing on recurring profit.

                                                              Although their numbers are private, they did have this neat page where they describe goals and results of various positions over time. Might have some educational value for how these jobs work in a fast-moving startup with products like this.

                                                              1. 2

                                                                Interesting document, thanks. And I didn’t know they entered the YC circus (in 2015).

                                                            1. 14

                                                              I really hate browser notifications. I never click yes ever. It feels like preventing browsers from going down this hole is just yet another hack. The Spammers and the CAPTCHAers are fighting a continuous war, all because of the 2% of people who actually click on SPAM.

                                                              1. 7

                                                                I’m amazed there is no “deny all” setting for this

                                                                1. 5

                                                                  My firefox has that in the settings somewhere:

                                                                  [X] Block new requests asking to allow notifications

                                                                  This will prevent any websites not listed above from requesting permission to send notifications. Blocking notifications may break some website features.

                                                                  help links here: https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/push-notifications-firefox?as=u&utm_source=inproduct

                                                                  1. 2

                                                                    Did anyone find the about:config setting for this, to put in ones user.js? I am aware of dom.webnotifications.enabled, but I don’t want to disable it completely because there are 3 websites which notifications I want.

                                                                    1. 3

                                                                      permissions.default.desktop-notification = 2

                                                                  2. 1

                                                                    there always has been in Chrome and Safari and since very recently, there’s also one in Firefox. It’s the first thing I turn off whenever I configure a new browser. I can’t possibly think of anybody actually actively wanting notifications to be delivered to them.

                                                                    Sure, there’s some web apps like gmail, but even there - I’d rather use a native app for this.

                                                                    1. 3

                                                                      I can’t possibly think of anybody actually actively wanting notifications to be delivered to them.

                                                                      Users of web-based chat software. I primarily use native apps for that, but occasionally I need to use a chat system that I don’t want to bother installing locally. And it’s nice to have a web backup for when the native app breaks. (I’m looking at you, HipChat for Windows.)

                                                                  3. 5

                                                                    There is a default deny option in Chrome, takes a little digging to find though. But I agree that it’s crazy how widespread sites trying to use notification are. There’s like 1 or 2 sites that I actually want them from, but it seems like every single news site and random blog wants to be able to send notifications. And they usually do it immediately upon loading the page, before you’ve even read the article, much less clicked something about wanting to be notified of future posts or something.

                                                                    1. 1

                                                                      The only time I have clicked “yes” for notifications is for forums (Discourse only at this point) that offer notifications of replies and DMs. I don’t see a need for any other websites to need to notify me.

                                                                    1. 4

                                                                      Oh man, the memories. Great video, thanks for sharing – I doubt I would have run across it otherwise.

                                                                      1. 2

                                                                        tl;dw, what is it about? A documentary about the game?

                                                                        1. 6

                                                                          It’s really an overview of adventure games during the late 80s through the 90s all the way to today - with a focus on the Monkey Island games and SCUMM-built games (as well as their competitors). If you love that style of adventure game you’d probably get a lot out of this video.

                                                                          1. 2

                                                                            Ah, alright! Thanks! I’ll take a look later when I have time.

                                                                            1. 1

                                                                              I watched the one about Quake from the same channel. It was nicely done, but a bit long and minor repetitive. Will keep this one for later since I still want to play Monkey Island unspoiled one day :)

                                                                        1. 1

                                                                          Nice. Guess you need quite a bit of traffic before using this becomes necessary.

                                                                          1. 11

                                                                            gpg encrypted file somewhere. With a simple grep script if I need a password, and a vim plugin to edit gpg files if I need to add/update something.

                                                                            1. 1

                                                                              I do something similar but I could not wrap my head around gpg yet: I have a 2GB pendrive that I always mount to /mnt/key and have /mnt/key/ssh /mnt/key/pop3… files encrypted with enchive. It have a --agent flag to make it act as an ssh-agent.

                                                                            1. 5

                                                                              Bonus points for using Python to get fields out of a Perl file :)

                                                                              1. 3

                                                                                btw, the perl equivalent of the python (kinda):

                                                                                grep -i apl /usr/share/perl/5.26.2/unicore/Name.pl| \
                                                                                   perl -C -pe'print chr("0x" + (split " ", $_, 2)[0]), " "'
                                                                                

                                                                                (since you obviously have perl installed already)

                                                                              1. 3

                                                                                None. I find the talks usually too slow, and I’m rubbish at the networking part.

                                                                                Hmmm, maybe those two things are related…

                                                                                1. 3

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

                                                                                  1. 4

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

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

                                                                                    1. 1

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

                                                                                      1. 2

                                                                                        Has that it mattered that much?

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

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

                                                                                    2. 1

                                                                                      Do you think runtime environments are also overrated?

                                                                                      1. 1

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