1. 7

    iperf3 is a handy tool for testing the link between two machines

    on one machine: iperf3 -s - this will be the “server” in this case

    on the other: iperf3 -c [hostname of the server]

    additionally, if you’re getting slow speeds for syncthing, it’s likely that the two machines are not connected directly. make sure the address for each device is the internal address and not routed through a gateway/relay

    1. 1

      ooh, iperf3 is handy – I haven’t heard of that one. After running a test it looks like the link between the two machines is 20-30mb/s so it must be a misconfiguration in syncthing. Thanks for the suggestions!

    1. 4

      hand written html and a tiny vue app for figlet: https://tilde.team/~ben/

      blog is written with bashblog: https://tilde.team/~ben/blog/ - I haven’t written any new posts in a long time…

      1. 2

        I built my PC last winter: https://pcpartpicker.com/list/dwGPq4 My laptop is a thinkpad x1 carbon (gen 5).

        1. 9

          Hello everyone! I’m the creator and one of the current admins of tilde.institute. If you have any questions, I’ll be able to answer them. :)

          1. 3

            Love it. Being able to build and test my code on OpenBSD will be handy.

            1. 1

              Glad to have you join us!

            2. 2

              I just subscribed (waiting for approval, no rush!). I think it will be similar to SDF.org as an experience? Do you plan to have a gophersphere?

              1. 3

                ~inst has a gopherhole at gopher://tilde.institute

                1. 1

                  Yes, the experience is similar to SDF, though IRC is more active on tilde.institute. I was a user on SDF for many years before moving to the tildeverse and creating tilde.institute

                  Like was said in the other reply, we do run a gopher server :)

                2. 2

                  Kudos! I totally love the whole tilde-verse idea and am a Tildetown user. Thanks for setting this up! I mostly use Linux everywhere and it’d be neat to have a chance to take a look around OpenBSD!

                1. 2

                  I’ve been collecting introductory gopher tutorials over on https://gopher.zone. I’ll have to contact the author of this one to see if I can pull it in.

                  1. 1

                    The author is I think @alynpost, admin here and owner or at least employee of prgmr

                    1. 1

                      Thank you @raymii for highlighting me. James I would love to have this article on gopher.zone.

                      The author of the article is Paul Scott. I’ve previously spoken with him about publishing this article on gopher.zone. He would like to be able to extend and republish it in the future but verbally non-exclusivity was the only issue he raised with you publishing this article. I would like attribution on the article stating where it was originally published.

                      I’ve sent you an email to the address on your resume restating this and including the relevant parties. I’m glad you’re interested in incorporating this material.

                      1. 1

                        The site is on github :)

                      2. 1

                        Hi, James! I’m glad you like the article. :)

                      1. 1

                        Slick little setup. Might be worth looking into autossh to address your reconnection woes.

                        1. 1
                          at home
                          • small media server (lenovo thinkcentre purchased open-box)
                            • plex
                            • transmission-daemon
                          • pi
                          vps (from ssdnodes)
                          • email (postfix, dovecot, rspamd)
                          • nextcloud
                          • url shortener (running polr)
                          • irc stuff
                            • ircd node for tilde.chat
                            • always-on weechat with relay proxied through nginx
                          dedi (from hetzner)
                          1. 1

                            I’ve seen stuff about tilde club posted around here before - how active is it these days?

                            1. 2

                              i can’t speak for tilde.club, but tilde.team sure is! tilde.town is also quite active as well.

                              there’s also a relatively new effort to collaborate between the ‘tildes’ which mostly includes an irc network and a handful of self-hosted services.

                          1. 3

                            I’ve been observing this community over the last few months with great interest. http://tilde.club/ seemed very interesting the first time I found it (I wished it had existed when I was limited to using Windows), but it was closed (which of course has it’s benefits too, as this site shows). Nevertheless I consider http://tilde.town/ to be more successful in it’s message and idea.

                            It’s kind of a more general, and larger, community like the one around suckless/cat-v/nixers that I found very interesting around a year ago. They have common opinions that go against contemporary trends, forging a community that does stuff and creates stuff. But what makes it even more interesting is how it transcends just one site, while not loosing it’s character. The affinity to the fediverse also delights me.

                            Sadly it seems to be kind of a 10%/90% affair when it comes to activity: Just look at http://tilde.town/ as you’ll see most people still have the little more added than the default index.html (examples 1, 2). What I read into this is that although this exists, and people find it interesting, many don’t know what to do with it. Kind of sad… General lack of creativity maybe? But I haven’t seen it from the other side, so maybe they are more active in other ways.

                            1. 5

                              Not all people are super creative with their sites; at least for me most of the social activity occurs on the irc net and the mailing lists.

                              1. 3

                                I think it’s important to note that many of these pubnix servers are not oriented toward generating a lot of public web content, but rather to intra-system activities. IRC chat, bulletin boards, local gaming, “botany”, grafitti walls, and so on are extremely popular. tilde.town is a lush playground of activity of all sorts, just not a lot of it bleeds out through the web. But that’s also kind of the point. Everyone on a tilde knows how to toss a webpage out there in some form or another. They congregate for the community. The outputs are very different.

                                Now, there are other tildes, like my own https://cosmic.voyage (or gopher://cosmic.voyage) which ARE oriented toward a public channel (collaborative storytelling in our case). Our activity is still more robust in IRC with people talking and planning than the output suggests.

                                Finally, you touched on federation and that’s some new and exciting territory for the tildeverse. While we do have a round-robin of IRC servers that all federate, there’s also some novel experimentation going on. The circumlunar pubnix servers are rsyncing their local bulletin boards to one another. Cosmic, baud.baby, and circumlunar are experimenting with a low-fi social networking system built on top of fingerd. There’s a lot of playing around of this sort as people push limits and turn their hobby eye toward community building.

                                1. 2

                                  maybe they are more active in other ways.

                                  Yes. The community is super active on IRC, 24 hours a day. They also have a local intranet for more private things that users don’t want indexed by google. There are a number of CLI apps that don’t have a web presence, also, such as feels, bbj, botany etc…

                                1. 81

                                  I beg all my fellow crustaceans to please, please use Firefox. Not because you think it’s better, but because it needs our support. Technology only gets better with investment, and if we don’t invest in Firefox, we will lose the web to chrome.

                                  1. 59

                                    Not because you think it’s better

                                    But that certainly helps too. It is a great browser.

                                    • privacy stuff — the cookie container API for things like Facebook Container, built-in tracker blocker, various anti-fingerprinting things they’re backporting from the Tor Browser
                                    • honestly just the UI and the visual design! I strongly dislike the latest Chrome redesign >_<
                                    • nice devtools things — e.g. the CSS Grid inspector
                                    • more WebExtension APIs (nice example: only on Firefox can Signed Pages actually prevent the page from even loading when the signature check fails)
                                    • the fastest (IIRC) WASM engine (+ now in Nightly behind a pref: even better codegen backend based on Cranelift)
                                    • ongoing but already usable Wayland implementation (directly in the official tree now, not as a fork)
                                    • WebRender!!!
                                    1. 7

                                      On the other hand, WebSocket debugging (mostly frame inspection) is impossible in Firefox without an extension. I try not to install any extensions that I don’t absolutely need and Chrome has been treating me just fine in this regard[1].

                                      Whether or not I agree with Google’s direction is now a moot point. I need Chrome to do what I do with extensions.

                                      As soon as Firefox supports WebSocket debugging natively, I will be perfectly happy to switch.

                                      [1] I mostly oppose extensions because of questionable maintenance cycles. I allow uBlock and aXe because they have large communities backing them.

                                      1. 3

                                        Axe (https://www.deque.com/axe/) seems amazing. I know it wasn’t the focus of your post – but I somehow missed this when debugging an accessibility issue just recently, I wish I had stumbled onto it. Thanks!

                                        1. 1

                                          You’re welcome!

                                          At $work, we used aXe and NVDA to make our webcomponents AA compliant with WCAG. aXe was invaluable for things like contrast and missing role attributes.

                                        2. 3

                                          WebSocket debugging (mostly frame inspection) is impossible in Firefox without an extension

                                          Is it possible with an extension? I can’t seem to find one.

                                          1. 1

                                            I have never needed to debug WebSockets and see no reason for that functionality to bloat the basic browser for everybody. Too many extensions might not be a good thing but if you need specific functionality, there’s no reason to hold back. If it really bothers you, run separate profiles for web development and browsing. I have somewhat more than two extensions and haven’t had any problems.

                                            1. 1

                                              I do understand your sentiment, but the only extension that I see these days is marked “Experimental”.

                                              On the other hand, I don’t see how it would “bloat” a browser very much. (Disclaimer: I have never written a browser or contributed to any. I am open to being proved wrong.) I have written a WebSockets library myself, and it’s not a complex protocol. It can’t be too expensive to update a UI element on every (websocket) frame.

                                          2. 5

                                            Yes! I don’t know about you, but I love the fact that Firefox uses so much less ram than chrome.

                                            1. 2

                                              This was one of the major reasons I stuck with FF for a long time. It is still a pronounced difference.

                                            2. 3

                                              honestly just the UI and the visual design! I strongly dislike the latest Chrome redesign >_<

                                              Yeah, what’s the deal with the latest version of Chrome? All those bubbly menus feel very mid-2000’s. Everything old is new again.

                                              1. 3

                                                I found a way to go back to the old ui from https://www.c0ffee.net/blog/openbsd-on-a-laptop/ (it was posted here a few weeks ago):

                                                Also, set the following in chrome://flags:

                                                • Smooth Scrolling: (personal preference)
                                                • UI Layout for the browser’s top chrome: set to “Normal” to get the classic Chromium look back
                                                • Identity consistency between browser and cookie jar: set to “Disabled” to keep Google from hijacking any Google > - login to sign you into Chrome
                                                • SafeSearch URLs reporting: disabled

                                                (emphasis mine)

                                                1. 1

                                                  Aaaaaaaand they took out that option.

                                              2. 1

                                                The Wayland implementation is not usable quite yet, though, but it is close. I tried it under Sway, but it was crashy.

                                              3. 16

                                                I switched to Firefox last year, and I have to say I don’t miss Chrome in the slightest.

                                                1. 13

                                                  And those with a little financial liberty, consider donating to Mozilla. They do a lot of important work free a free and open web.

                                                  1. 10

                                                    I recently came back to Firefox from Vivaldi. That’s another Chromium/Webkit based browser and it’s closed source to boot.

                                                    Firefox has improved greatly in speed as of late and I feel like we’re back in the era of the mid-2000s, asking people to chose Firefox over Chrome this time instead of IE.

                                                    1. 2

                                                      I’d love to switch from Vivaldi, but it’s simply not an option given the current (terrible) state of vertical tab support in Firefox.

                                                      1. 2

                                                        How is it terrible? The hiding of the regular tab bar is not an API yet and you have to use CSS for that, sure, but there are some very good tree style tab webextensions.

                                                        1. 2

                                                          The extensions are all terrible – but what’s more important is that I lost the belief that any kind of vertical tab functionality has any chance of long-term survival. Even if support was added now, it would be a constant battle to keep it and I’m frankly not interested in such fights anymore.

                                                          Mozilla is chasing their idealized “average user” and is determined to push everyone into their one-size-fits-all idea of user interface design – anyone not happy with that can screw off, if it was for Mozilla.

                                                          It’s 2018 – I don’t see why I even have to argue for vertical tabs and mouse gestures anymore. I just pick a browser vendor which hasn’t been asleep on the wheel for the last 5 years and ships with these features out of the box.

                                                          And if the web in the future ends up as some proprietary API defined by whatever Google Chrome implements, because Firefox went down, Mozilla has only itself to blame.

                                                          1. 2

                                                            The extensions are all terrible – but what’s more important is that I lost the belief that any kind of vertical tab functionality has any chance of long-term survival. Even if support was added now, it would be a constant battle to keep it and I’m frankly not interested in such fights anymore. The whole point of moving to WebExtensions was long term support. They couldn’t make significant changes without breaking a lot of the old extensions. The whole point was to unhook extensions from the internals so they can refactor around them and keep supporting them.

                                                            1. 0

                                                              That’s like a car manufacturer removing all electronics from a car – sure it makes the car easier to support … but now the car doesn’t even turn on anymore!

                                                              Considering that cars are usually used for transportation, not for having them sit in the garage, you shouldn’t be surprised that customers buy other cars in the future.

                                                              (And no, blaming “car enthusiasts” for having unrealistic expectations, like it happens in the case of browser users, doesn’t cut it.)

                                                              1. 3

                                                                So you’d rather they didn’t improve it at all? Or would you rather they broke most extensions every release?

                                                                1. 3

                                                                  I’m not @soc, but I wish Firefox had delayed their disabling of old-style extensions in Firefox 57 until they had replicated more of the old functionality with the WebExtensions API – mainly functionality related to interface customization, tabs, and sessions.

                                                                  Yes, during the time of that delay, old-style extensions would continue to break with each release, but the maintainers of Tree Style Tabs and other powerful extensions had already been keeping up with each release by releasing fixed versions. They probably could have continued updating their extensions until WebExtensions supported their required functionality. And some users might prefer to run slightly-buggy older extensions for a bit instead of switching to the feature-lacking new extensions straight away – they should have that choice.

                                                                  1. 1

                                                                    What’s the improvement? The new API was so bad that they literally had to pull the plug on the existing API to force extension authors to migrate. That just doesn’t happen in cases where the API is “good”, developers are usually eager to adopt them and migrate their code.

                                                                    Let’s not accuse people you disagree with that they are “against improvements” – it’s just that the improvements have to actually exist, and in this case the API clearly wasn’t ready. This whole fiasco feels like another instance of CADT-driven development and the failure of management to reign in on it.

                                                                    1. 3

                                                                      The old extension API provided direct access to the JavaScript context of both the chrome and the tab within a single thread, so installing an XUL extension was disabling multiprocess mode. Multiprocess mode seems like an improvement; in old Firefox, a misbehaving piece of JavaScript would lock up the browser for about a second before eventually popping up a dialog offering to kill it, whereas in a multiprocess browser, it should be possible to switch and close tabs no matter what the web page inside does. The fact that nobody notices when it works correctly seems to make it the opposite of Attention-Deficient-Driven-Design; it’s the “focus on quality of implementation, even at the expense of features” design that we should be encouraging.

                                                                      The logical alternative to “WebExtension For The Future(tm)” would’ve been to just expose all of the relevant threads of execution directly to the XUL extensions. run-this-in-the-chome.xul and run-this-in-every-tab.xul and message pass between them. But at that point, we’re talking about having three different extension APIs in Firefox.

                                                                      Which isn’t to say that I think you’re against improvement. I am saying that you’re thinking too much like a developer, and not enough like the poor sod who has to do QA and Support triage.

                                                                      1. 2

                                                                        Improving the actual core of Firefox. They’re basically ripping out and replacing large components every other release. This would break large amount of plugins constantly. Hell, plugins wouldn’t even work in Nightly. I do agree with @roryokane that they should have tried to improve it before cutting support. The new API is definitely missing many things but it was the right decision to make for the long term stability of Firefox.

                                                                        1. 1

                                                                          They could have made the decision to ax the old API after extension authors adopted it. That adoption failed so hard that they had to force developers to use the new API speaks for itself.

                                                                          I’d rather have extension that I have to fix from time to time, than no working extensions at all.

                                                                2. 1

                                                                  Why should Mozilla care that much about your niche use case? They already have a ton of stuff to deal with and barely enough funding.

                                                                  It’s open source, make your own VerticalTabFox fork :)

                                                                  1. 3

                                                                    Eh … WAT? Mozilla went the extra mile with their recent extension API changes to make things – that worked before – impossible to implement with a recent Firefox version. The current state of tab extensions is this terrible, because Mozilla explicitly made it this way.

                                                                    I used Firefox for more than 15 years – the only thing I wanted was to be left alone.

                                                                    It’s open source, make your own VerticalTabFox fork :)

                                                                    Feel free to read my comment above to understand why that doesn’t cut it.

                                                                    Also, Stuff that works >> open source. Sincerely, a happy Vivaldi user.

                                                                    1. 2

                                                                      It’s one of the laws of the internet at this point: Every thread about Firefox is always bound to attract someone complaining about WebExtensions not supporting their pet feature that was possible with the awful and insecure old extension system.

                                                                      If you’re care about “non terrible” (whatever that means — Tree Style Tab looks perfect to me) vertical tabs more than anything — sure, use a browser that has them.

                                                                      But you seem really convinced that Firefox could “go down” because of not supporting these relatively obscure power user features well?? The “average user” they’re “chasing” is not “idealized”. The actual vast majority of people do not choose browsers based on vertical tabs and mouse gestures. 50% of Firefox users do not have a single extension installed, according to telemetry. The majority of the other 50% probably only have an ad blocker.

                                                                      1. 3

                                                                        If you’re care about “non terrible” (whatever that means — Tree Style Tab looks perfect to me) vertical tabs more than anything — sure, use a browser that has them.

                                                                        If you compare the current state of the art of vertical tabs extensions, even Mozilla thinks they suck – just compare them to their own Tab Center experiment: https://testpilot.firefox.com/static/images/experiments/tab-center/details/tab-center-1.1957e169.jpg

                                                                        Picking just one example: Having the navigation bar at a higher level of the visual hierarchy is just wrong – the tab panel isn’t owned by the navigation bar, the navigation bar belongs to a specific tab! Needless to say, all of the vertical tab extensions are forced to be wrong, because they lack the API do implement the UI correctly.

                                                                        This is how my browser currently looks like, for comparison: https://i.imgur.com/5dTX8Do.png

                                                                        But you seem really convinced that Firefox could “go down” because of not supporting these relatively obscure power user features well?? The “average user” they’re “chasing” is not “idealized”. The actual vast majority of people do not choose browsers based on vertical tabs and mouse gestures. 50% of Firefox users do not have a single extension installed, according to telemetry. The majority of the other 50% probably only have an ad blocker.

                                                                        You can only go so far alienating the most loyal users that use Firefox for specific purposes until the stop installing/recommending it to their less technically-inclined friends and relatives.

                                                                        Mozilla is so busy chasing after Chrome that it doesn’t even realize that most Chrome users will never switch. They use Chrome because “the internet” (www.google.com) told them so. As long as Mozilla can’t make Google recommend Firefox on their frontpage, this will not change.

                                                                        Discarding their most loyal users while trying to get people to adopt Firefox who simply aren’t interested – this is a recipe for disaster.

                                                                    2. 1

                                                                      and barely enough funding

                                                                      Last I checked they pulled in half a billion in revenue (2016). Do you believe this is barely enough?

                                                                      1. 2

                                                                        For hundreds of millions users?

                                                                        Yeah.

                                                                  2. 1

                                                                    At least with multi-row tabs in CSS you can’t dragndrop tabs. That’s about as bad as it gets.

                                                                  3. 2

                                                                    Are vertical tabs so essential?

                                                                    1. 3

                                                                      Considering the change in screen ratios over the past ten years (displays get shorter and wider), yes, it absolutely is.

                                                                      With vertical tabs I can get almost 30 full-width tabs on screen, with horizontal tabs I can start fishing for the right tab after about 15, as the tab width gets increasingly smaller.

                                                                      Additionally, vertical tabs reduce the way of travel substantially when selecting a different tab.

                                                                      1. 1

                                                                        I still miss them, didn’t cripple me, but really hurt. The other thing about Tree (not just vertical) tabs that FF used to have was that the subtree was contextual to the parent tree. So, when you opened a link in a background tab, it was opened in a new tab that was a child of your current tab. For doing like documentation hunting / research it was amazing and I still haven’t found its peer.

                                                                    2. 1

                                                                      It’s at least partially open source. They provide tarballs.

                                                                      1. 4

                                                                        https://help.vivaldi.com/article/is-vivaldi-open-source/

                                                                        The chromium part is legally required to be open, the rest of their code is like readable source, don’t get me wrong that’s way better than unreadable source but it’s also very wut.

                                                                        1. 2

                                                                          Very wut. It’s a weird uneasy mix.

                                                                          1. 2

                                                                            that’s way better than unreadable source but it’s also very wut.

                                                                            I wouldn’t be sure of that. It makes it auditable, but has legal ramifications should you want to build something like vivaldi, but free.

                                                                      2. 8

                                                                        firefox does not get better with investment, it gets worse.

                                                                        the real solution is to use netsurf or dillo or mothra, so that webmasters have to come to us and write websites that work with browsers that are simple enough to be independently maintained.

                                                                        1. 9

                                                                          Good luck getting more than 1‰ adoption 😉

                                                                          1. 5

                                                                            good luck achieving independence from Google by using a browser funded by Google

                                                                            1. 1

                                                                              I can achieve independence from Google without using netsurf, dillo, or mothra; to be quite honest, those will never catch on.

                                                                              1. 2

                                                                                can you achieve independence from google in a way that will catch on?

                                                                                1. 1

                                                                                  I don’t think we’ll ever get the majority of browser share back into the hands of a (relatively) sane organization like Mozilla—but we can at least get enough people to make supporting alternative browsers a priority. On the other hand, the chances that web devs will ever feel pressured to support the browsers you mentioned, is close to nil. (No pun intended.)

                                                                                  1. 1

                                                                                    what is the value of having an alternative, if that alternative is funded by google and sends data to google by default?

                                                                                    1. 1

                                                                                      what is the value of having an alternative

                                                                                      What would you like me to say, that Firefox’s existence is worthless? This is an absurd thing to insinuate.

                                                                                      funded by google

                                                                                      No. I’m not sure whether you’re speaking in hyperbole, misunderstood what I was saying, and/or altogether skipped reading what I wrote. But this is just not correct. If Google really had Mozilla by the balls as you suggest, they would coerce them to stop adding privacy features to their browser that, e.g., block Google Analytics on all sites.

                                                                                      sends data to google by default

                                                                                      Yes, though it seems they’ve been as careful as one could be about this. Also to be fair, if you’re browsing with DNT off, you’re likely to get tracked by Google at some point anyway. But the fact that extensions can’t block this does have me worried.

                                                                                      1. 1

                                                                                        i’m sorry if i misread something you wrote. i’m just curious what benefit you expect to gain if more people start using firefox. if everyone switched to firefox, google could simply tighten their control over mozilla (continuing the trend of the past 10 years), and they would still have control over how people access the web.

                                                                                        1. 1

                                                                                          It seems you’re using “control” in a very abstract sense, and I’m having trouble following. Maybe I’m just missing some context, but what concrete actions have Google taken over the past decade to control the whole of Mozilla?

                                                                                          1. 1

                                                                                            Google has pushed through complex standards such as HTTP/2 and new rendering behaviors, which Mozilla implements in order to not “fall behind.” They are able implement and maintain such complexity due to funding they receive from Google, including their deal to make Google the default search engine in Firefox (as I said earlier, I couldn’t find any breakdown of what % of Mozilla’s funding comes from Google).

                                                                                            For evidence of the influence this funding has, compare the existence of Mozilla’s Facebook Container to the non-existence of a Google Container.

                                                                                            1. 1

                                                                                              what % of Mozilla’s funding comes from Google

                                                                                              No word on the exact breakdown. Visit their 2017 report and scroll all the way to the bottom, and you’ll get a couple of helpful links. One of them is to a wiki page that describes exactly what each search engine gets in return for their investment.

                                                                                              I would also like to know the exact breakdown, but I’d expect all those companies would get a little testy if the exact amount were disclosed. And anyway, we know what the lump sum is (around half a billion), and we can assume that most of it comes from Google.

                                                                                              the non-existence of a Google Container

                                                                                              They certainly haven’t made one themselves, but there’s nothing stopping others from forking one off! And anyway, I think it’s more so fear on Mozilla’s part than any concrete warning from Google against doing so.

                                                                                              Perhaps this is naïveté on my part, but I really do think Google just want their search engine to be the default for Firefox. In any case, if they really wanted to exert their dominance over the browser field, they could always just… you know… stop funding Mozilla. Remember: Google is in the “web market” first & the “software market” second. Having browser dominance is just one of many means to the same end. I believe their continued funding of Mozilla attests to that.

                                                                                              1. 2

                                                                                                It doesn’t have to be a direct threat from Google to make a difference. Direct threats are a very narrow way in which power operates and there’s no reason that should be the only type of control we care about.

                                                                                                Yes Google’s goal of dominating the browser market is secondary to their goal of dominating the web. Then we agree that Google’s funding of Firefox is in keeping with their long-term goal of web dominance.

                                                                                                if they really wanted to exert their dominance over the browser field, they could always just… you know… stop funding Mozilla.

                                                                                                Likewise, if Firefox was a threat to their primary goal of web dominance, they could stop funding Mozilla. So doesn’t it stand to reason that using Firefox is not an effective way to resist Google’s web dominance? At least Google doesn’t think so.

                                                                                                1. 1

                                                                                                  Likewise, if Firefox was a threat to their primary goal of web dominance, they could stop funding Mozilla. So doesn’t it stand to reason that using Firefox is not an effective way to resist Google’s web dominance?

                                                                                                  You make some good points, but you’re ultimately using the language of a “black or white” argument here. In my view, if Google were to stop funding Mozilla they would still have other sponsors. And that’s not to mention the huge wave this would make in the press—even if most people don’t use Firefox, they’re at least aware of it. In a strange sense, Google cannot afford to stop funding Mozilla. If they do, they lose their influence over the Firefox project and get huge backlash.

                                                                                                  I think this is something the Mozilla organization were well aware of when they made the decision to accept search engines as a funding source. They made themselves the center of attention, something to be competed over. And in so doing, they ensured their longevity, even as Google’s influence continued to grow.

                                                                                                  Of course this has negative side effects, such as companies like Google having influence over them. But in this day & age, the game is no longer to be free of influence from Google; that’s Round 2. Round 1 is to achieve enough usage to exert influence on what technologies are actually adopted. In that sense, Mozilla is at the discussion table, while netsurf, dillo, and mothra (as much as I’d love to love them) are not and likely never will be.

                                                                            2. 3

                                                                              Just switch to Gopher.

                                                                              1. 5

                                                                                Just switch to Gopher

                                                                                I know you were joking, but I do feel like there is something to be said for the simplicity of systems like gopher. The web is so complicated nowadays that building a fully functional web browser requires software engineering on a grand scale.

                                                                                1. 3

                                                                                  yeah. i miss when the web was simpler.

                                                                                  1. 1

                                                                                    I was partially joking. I know there are new ActivityPub tools like Pleroma that support Gopher and I’ve though about adding support to generate/server gopher content for my own blog. I realize it’s still kinda a joke within the community, but you’re right about there being something simple about just having content without all the noise.

                                                                              2. 1

                                                                                Unless more than (rounded) 0% of people use it for Facebook, it won’t make a large enough blip for people to care. Also this is how IE was dominant, because so much only worked for them.

                                                                                1. 1

                                                                                  yes, it would require masses of people. and yes it won’t happen, which is why the web is lost.

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                                                                                I’ve relatively recently switched to FF, but still use Chrome for web dev. The dev tools still seem quite more advanced and the browser is much less likely to lock up completely if I have a JS issue that’s chewing CPU.

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                                                                                  I tried to use Firefox on my desktop. It was okay, not any better or worse than Chrome for casual browsing apart from private browsing Not Working The Way It Should relative to Chrome (certain cookies didn’t work across tabs in the same Firefox private window). I’d actually want to use Firefox if this was my entire Firefox experience.

                                                                                  I tried to use Firefox on my laptop. Site icons from bookmarks don’t sync for whatever reason (I looked up the ticket and it seems to be a policy problem where the perfect is the enemy of the kinda good enough), but it’s just a minor annoyance. The laptop is also pretty old and for that or whatever reason has hardware accelerated video decoding blacklisted in Firefox with no way to turn it back on (it used to work a few years ago with Firefox until it didn’t), so I can’t even play 720p YouTube videos at an acceptable framerate and noise level.

                                                                                  I tried to use Firefox on my Android phone. Bookmarks were completely useless with no way to organize them. I couldn’t even organize on a desktop Firefox and sync them over to the phone since they just came out in some random order with no way to sort them alphabetically. There was also something buggy with the history where clearing history didn’t quite clear history (pages didn’t show up in history, but links remained colored as visited if I opened the page again) unless I also exited the app, but I don’t remember the details exactly. At least I could use UBO.

                                                                                  This was all within the last month. I used to use Firefox before I used Chrome, but Chrome just works right now.

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                                                                                    I definitely understand that Chrome works better for many users and you gave some good examples of where firefox fails. My point was that people need to use and support firefox despite it being worse than chrome in many ways. I’m asking people to make sacrifices by taking a principled position. I also recognize most users might not do that, but certainly, tech people might!? But maybe I’m wrong here, maybe the new kids don’t care about an open internet.

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                                                                                  Nitpick: loose != lose

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                                                                                    oh, thanks. English is not my first language, I make lots of little mistakes like that. I’ve fixed it on the text and title here. I just didn’t fix it in the URL because it has already been shared and I don’t want to break that.

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                                                                                      No worries, I figured that was the case. This is a nice writeup about another looming problem for the future of the web.

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                                                                                        Don’t feel too bad, I once got in an argument with my middle school teacher about this and she didn’t even believe me when I showed her the dictionary. ¯_(ツ)_/¯

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                                                                                      I like Droid fonts that were used in older versions of Android, before they were replaced by Roboto. It feels more “warm and cozy” than Roboto, which is quite standard and dull, despite Google described it as more “emotional”.

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                                                                                        As pointed out in this article, it barely differs from Helvetica Neue, among others. Certainly is quite standard.

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                                                                                          I don’t think that’s fair at all. Helvetica Neue is not particularly nice at small sizes, because of small apertures and terminals only being sliced at the horizontal axis, and I think Roboto does a very good job taking design cues from Helvetica while being much more useful at small sizes. I do think it’s fair to call Roboto “standard,” and even to say that its design brief is to nail standardness more squarely than just about any other font before or since.

                                                                                          I do agree that Roboto feels “cooler” (in the sense of not as warm) as Droid Sans, but I personally like that.

                                                                                          Disclosure: friends with the Christian Robertson, creator of Roboto, and have been lightly involved with a few aspects of it.

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                                                                                            At that size, and in the comparison given in the article, there are very few differences.

                                                                                            Roboto does do a great job at small sizes.

                                                                                            I should have qualified that being “standard” isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It’s not a bad font in any sense, but it doesn’t have anything particularly outstanding about it.

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                                                                                          Roboto for Ice Cream Sandwich is pretty different from Roboto for Lollipop. If you can’t tell the difference, look at the numeral 7 (the ICS one has an exaggerated curve in it’s diagonal stroke) and the capital R (the diagonal, again, is different). The ICS one is a multi-headed frankenfont. The Lollipop one is Generic Sans #2844.

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                                                                                            Droid sans mono is by far one of the best terminal fonts I’ve ever used

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                                                                                            plex mono has become one of my favorite monospace fonts for sure!

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                                                                                              Mine too. And I use Plex Sans as my UI font. It’s nice to have a whole superfamily of free, high-quality fonts, that work perfectly together.

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                                                                                                Ooh I hadn’t thought to use it as my UI font. I’ll definitely be trying this shortly.

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                                                                                                I may be one of the few people who actually uses Windows: screenshot. That said, most of my time is spent in the WSL (using wsl-terminal, the best of a ho-hum bunch of terminal emulators on Windows) and Firefox. The battlestation is a Thinkpad T25.

                                                                                                My FreeBSD server is used for most other things, accessed through PuTTY. Most everything is done in Emacs, with tmux and zsh. And yes, Emacs is used entirely in a terminal (emacs -nw forever!). The font in the terminals is Iosevka.

                                                                                                And if anyone is wondering, the apps on the Taskbar are: Firefox, wsl-terminal, Directory Opus (worth it!), PuTTY, PDF-XChange Editor, Snipping Tool, and Task Manager.

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                                                                                                  I am also a Windows user, Here’s my Desktop.

                                                                                                  Can’t show any coding windows, as what I work on is classified. The application menu and to-do list apps are self-written. I never use the actual start menu for anything…. one day I’ll write a complete shell replacement…

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                                                                                                    Have you tried sharex for screenshots? It’s the one thing I miss from the windows world.

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                                                                                                      Great recommendation. Thanks!

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                                                                                                      My new personal laptop has poor Linux support for the time being, so I am currently relegated to WSL as well.

                                                                                                      I’ve created a way to launch X11 applications from Windows shortcuts, and I am using Terminator and Emacs this way. If you’re looking for a better terminal emulator, I could clean up my scripts and document them. They rely on an X11 server running on Windows, and I’ve been using VcXsrv for that purpose.

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                                                                                                        I did this (use an X server) for a while but I found it to be laggy, notably with keyboard input. I was running urxvt in Xming (started from a shortcut) until recently. I tried wsl-terminal and found it to be acceptable. (Side note: it’s almost stunning how poor the terminal emulators on Windows are.)

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                                                                                                          Totally agreed. For the WSL ones at least I think the big problem is that they’re the bog standard Windows Console (a-la CMD.EXE :) underneath.

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                                                                                                      Painfully accurate.

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                                                                                                        Way too fast to be accurate.

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                                                                                                          Hah, that’s true! All these comments are good examples of other terrible things sites are doing these days.

                                                                                                          This one was surprisingly pleasant to use.

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                                                                                                        I wonder if they were sending wasm.js over every time as well.

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                                                                                                          I’ve used mutt for something like 20 years; I don’t recall exactly when I started. Despite using it for two decades, I don’t think that I will use it for the rest of my life. I expect that, much like screen -> tmux and irssi -> weechat, a console-based mail client that is more idiomatically designed to eventually replace mutt for mail reading for me.

                                                                                                          I say this largely on the observation that console applications have seen convergent design since mutt was released. We know a lot more about how to build configure, and extend applications of this sort. I appreciate the consistency I find in tmux and weechat, compared to their predecessors.

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                                                                                                            what’s the weechat of terminal mail clients?

                                                                                                            I’m aware of neomutt and Alpine but not much else.

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                                                                                                              it’s not there yet.

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                                                                                                                heh ok that’s fair. mutt for now then :)

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                                                                                                              This is updated.

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                                                                                                              I’d like a column in here that notes whether there are desktop apps that don’t involve Electron.


                                                                                                              I see Tox in this list. Last time I looked at their crypto, it was pretty horrible – see https://github.com/TokTok/c-toxcore/issues/426 for example – with a core developer eventually admitting there, “We haven’t got to the point where we can enumerate [Tox’s security guarantees] properly, given the general lack of understanding of the code and specification. “ No clue how far they got since that thread – if they moved forward at all – but, well, it’s certainly not a messaging system designed by cryptographers. Careful!

                                                                                                              So maybe the list would also benefit from a column called “crypto is good” or something sufficiently vague that you can include Signal and exclude Tox, for example.

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                                                                                                                Sorry for the delay. I’ve noted this under the E2E Audit column with a link to the github issue.

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                                                                                                                I suppose I should have put this in the ask: I use a combination of

                                                                                                                • mutt
                                                                                                                • rainloop
                                                                                                                • aquamail on android
                                                                                                                • thunderbird

                                                                                                                edit: added thunderbird

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                                                                                                                  It’s appropriate to comment on your own submission when answering it, as you’ve done here.

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                                                                                                                    good to know!

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                                                                                                                    How do you like Rainloop? It looks pretty nice at a glance.

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                                                                                                                      I like it a lot! Definitely the best self-hostable one.