1.  

    It’s rare that I have a programming project in my hobby time but I’m working on an expense tracker. I have been making a surprising amount of progress on it considering that I’m not really much of a developer and web development in particular is not at all my in my wheelhouse.

    1.  

      Sounds interesting. I’m preparing for a talk this week on plain text accounting so I’m always curious for work happening in this domain. Do you have any details to share at this point?

      1.  

        Oh, this isn’t a plain-text project, I’m implementing it mainly in the traditional HTML/CSS/Javascript stack. This will be so that my wife and I can track our expenses better. I’ve looked at a LOT of existing solutions but none of them quite fit because they either try to do too much, do too little, or are written in a technology stack that I have no hope of being able to maintain myself (e.g. Java) or that my wife isn’t technical enough to use (e.g. ledger).

        I haven’t decided yet what the backend will be yet so I might be able to leverage some plain text accounting tools there but it’s too early to say.

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      I don’t totally agree with Stallman on a lot of things but I’m extremely impressed with how much common sense is being applied here. This approach is a lot better than the various codes of conduct bolted on to so many open source projects. Many CoCs are somewhat authoritarian in their tone in that they simply tell you what you can and cannot do without offering any advice about effective communication. (Worse, some projects require you to agree to the CoC, which makes it a binding and enforceable contract whether you realize it or not.)

      1.  

        It is my understanding that CoCs are meant to communicate in clear language what a community will and will not accept, and the consequences of unacceptable behavior. And perhaps all communities converge to something like a CoC even if it isn’t explicit, e.g. “Do what you like, we don’t moderate here.” Perhaps community organizers can have CoCs and communication guidelines side-by-side and cross-referenced, so that the guidelines come first and the CoC is there for when boundaries are crossed?

        1.  

          The original motivation by the author of Contributor Covenant was forcing far left politics on folks everywhere. When such people get one passed, they use its broad language to do that. They just talk about obviously bad stuff that few would argue with in lead up to it. Hence, the strong opposition.

          There’s also folks who saw the trend, didnt know/share the political goals, liked emforcing civility, and added one to their project for that reason. That happens, too. Most of the enforcement interpretation comes down to moderators and/or vocal members, though.

          1.  

            forcing far left politics on folks everywhere

            That’s not what far-left politics is, it’s pretty milquetoast liberalism.

            1.  

              Most of the strong opposition I’ve seen has been an amorphous blob without much substance to them but vitriol.

              Yes, I think Coraline handled this poorly, but after the backlash and personal attacks against her I think that’s kind of understandable. I also think the flashpoint of this backlash (Linus) is kind of indicative as well. Linus was a dick. He often provided an entertaining display of brutal honestly which people unconnected to the issue at hand would latch onto. They wouldn’t care about the issue being argued, only Linus’s display of maleficent brutality. I’m cool if you call my idea stupid. I’m less cool when you start calling me ugly.

              Sooo @nickpsecurity is there anything specific argument you have against these CoC’s?

              1.  

                When such people get one passed, they use its broad language to do that.

                I understand that this is a popular theory among people who oppose the Contributor Covenant. Is there any evidence for it?

                Most of the enforcement interpretation comes down to moderators and/or vocal members, though.

                This seems like the “bottom line” for all projects. Accepting a CoC written by someone else isn’t giving up the existing project/community and their standards, it’s just encoding them in a more formal way than most projects have (up until now).

          1.  

            This looks interesting. Of course it’s a shame it’s based on Intel, but:

            • PCI-e
            • SATA
            • 2 x gigabit ethernet
            • x86
            • VT-x + VT-d
            • 32 GB ram
            • 4 okay-ish cores

            At first glance this looks like the first SBC that actually will be usable for stuff like routers, virtualization host/hypervisor (in a cluster for example) or a simple linux desktop stuck to the back of a monitor. Price will be important though, since you also need to get memory while a lot of other SBC’s have memory on the PCB.

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              The fact that its based on Intel is, imho, a good thing .. I’ve got a drawer full of SBC’s that started out with lots of promise - ultimate power, great battery life, etc - but are sitting there unused because the vendors failed to keep the kernel promises.

              That’ll be less likely to happen with an Intel-based SBC, imho.

              1.  

                Most ARM SoCs are decently supported by mainline operating systems. Which boards do you have and what would you like to use them for?

                1.  

                  Which ARM SoCs do you have that are supported on mainline? I’ve had nothing but all kinds of issues with ARM. I tried using an overpriced SolidRun as a router and ran into nothing but issues and terrible support.

                  I wrote another post on seeing these issues in Android devices. ARM is not a platform. It’s just random shit soldered to random pins. At least Microsoft phones had ARM + UEFI. I mean we have device tress, but they’re usually broken to hell too and most phone vendors don’t use them.

                  Is the particular device in this post a 3rd party x86 clone? Is it free of Management Engine or other 3rd party controllers? I realize all x86 stuff has non-free binary blobs everywhere, where as you can get a lot of totally free ARM chips/boards, but long term support is often an issue. With x86+UEFI or even classic BIOS, you can run mainline Linux on them for years to come. There are even forks of Linux for older unsupported 386 chips if you really want to buy a ton of old 386 stock and use them in embedded applications. ARM is a clusterfuck by comparison.

                  1.  

                    Rockchip RK3399/RK3328, Allwinner H3/H5/A64, Nvidia Tegra X1, the Broadcom junk that’s in the RPi…

                    I run FreeBSD (actually I worked on RK3399 support), so there’s no non-mainline :) but for Linux, Rockchip is actually mainlining their official drivers, and for Allwinner it’s the community.

                    Of course the cheap embedded boards aren’t as good as the high end server stuff (ThunderX/2/Centriq/eMAG/…), but there is a lot of support.

                  2.  

                    I bought the original PINE64 and found the is support to be pretty terrible, even today it feels like it’s all been hacked together by guests in China rather than the manufacturer doing much about it.

                  3.  

                    I think the parent was implying AMD would have less microcode updates and more trustworthiness due to better QA than Intel. Likely inspired by Meltdown/Spectre vulnerabilities. Also, AMD has been in the low-power, SoC game for some time. I don’t know if you’ll get lots of problems out of them that you wouldn’t out of Intel. It would surprise me a bit. I remember Soekris was using AMD Geodes.

                    Oh shit:

                    “Due to declining sales, limited resources available to design new products, and increased competition from Asia, Soekris Engineering, Inc. has suspended operations in the USA as of today.”

                    Glanced at their page to see product updates. Got sadder news than I was looking for.

                    1.  

                      I don’t know much about the Soekris boards, but pcengines.ch sells surprisingly affordable AMD Jaguar-based boards for embedded and network applications. I’m using one for my OPNSense firewall and have been perfectly happy with it.

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                        Thanks for the tip!

                        1.  

                          From corebooting my ALIX2C3 I recalll the geode microcode has another issue in that it’s reliant on legacy tooling to build so you are encouraged to just use the blob (tooling is either DOS based or related to visual studio, can’t recall).

                    2.  

                      If I remember properly HardKernel had everything for their C2 platform mainlined so you could use modern kernels without having to use a vendor specific one.

                    3.  

                      it’s a shame it’s based on Intel […] Price will be important though

                      I too immediately thought “why not Ryzen?” but, price is actually the reason they went with Intel, according to the blog post that’s linked here. Excerpt:

                      2017 December, We considered AMD Ryzen 5 2500U 3.5Ghz mobile processor. The performance was very impressive, but the price of the CPU was also very impressive. Fortunately, Intel also announced the Gemini Lake processors. It was slower than Ryzen but much faster than Intel Apollo Lake, and the price was reasonable.

                      Looks like the board will be considerably cheaper due to the Intel chip.

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                      You’ve gotten a lot of good feedback here but I’m going to throw in my own 2 cents because I’m not sure the most important points have gotten enough attention:

                      I’m the slowest engineer on my team. I’m frequently the person who brings the least amount of points to “release” per sprint, which means I’m providing the least amount of value to the company on my team

                      Your value to the team should not be measured merely in points. If that’s the way your manager is doing it, your manager sucks, go get hired somewhere else, only this time be sure to ask in the job interview how they measure employee performance.

                      Development is not my main job but I’ve done a fair mount of it. I’m not a fast developer. I’m not a fast anything. Any time I solve a problem, I take the time to understand the bigger picture in which that problem fits and then I craft the best solution in that context. This puts me “behind” others in an environment where looking busy and productive is held to a higher standard than providing actual value. And that’s fine as far as it goes, I’m just careful to either prove my value in other ways or I make a move somewhere else.

                      It’s probably the case that you are in fact providing the same amount of value to the team as everyone else, it’s just that these “points” don’t reflect it. For example, your work may higher quality on average. Or your team members might be better at picking stories with higher points that they know they can do quicker. Or they just simply might have more experience than you and you will eventually catch up.

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                        Google does the same for Chrome last time I used that.

                        1. 3

                          As well as Visual Studio Code, Vivaldi, etc, etc. This is not exactly a big deal, in fact I vastly prefer it to applications that want you to download a shell script and run it as root (“trust us!”), or even worse, the hostile curlpipe pattern.

                          1. 2

                            Fully agree. This pattern is very common. I’m very surprised someone makes a secure advisory with Level: Critical for this.

                        1. 3

                          I am heading over to devopsdays Detroit 2018 on Wednesday at $too_damn_early to volunteer and then take part in the panels and festivities.

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                            Parental leave. :)

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                              congrats!

                              1. 1

                                Thanks!

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                              “I love my domain registrar.” Has anyone ever said this?

                              I use name.com and I really like their UI. It’s constantly improved too and they even have an API now that I’ve been using for DynDNS (which they didn’t have a year ago the last time I looked into it).

                              Moving to a new registrar is hard. You don’t want to lose money, so you want to schedule transfers when you have a month left, so the last time I did it, it literally took me a year to get everything ported over. If you’re a company, this isn’t that big a deal; you eat the cost and do it all at once.

                              I think I’ll stick to mine. I don’t like how Cloudflare is turning into another mega-corp and would rather spread my money across smaller companies.

                              1. 2

                                When you transfer a domain to a new registrar, every registrar that I know of will honor the expiration date of the current domain and just tack another year or whatever to that, so you don’t have to time your domain moves if you don’t want to.

                                1. 2

                                  I don’t like how Cloudflare is turning into another mega-corp

                                  Even worse: I don’t like how CloudFlare’s business is literally based on centralizing the internet. They offer reverse proxying for smaller sites. So if every personal blog and such is behind them, pretty much all traffic is going to go either to other giants (Google/FB/Netflix/etc), or to CloudFlare.

                                1. 2

                                  I’m not sure how I feel about this. I mean It’s great the prices are so low, but there will definitely be costs incurred by Cloudfare to continue this service, plus user support, etc. Those costs are real. With no obvious way to cover these costs, something is going on. Are they selling your data/usage to someone? Are they treating it like a loss-leader and using it to further create a monopoly? Something is going on here, not sure what it is, but the old adage: if something is to good to be true.. seems to come to mind.

                                  1. 2

                                    I think the key is in the paragraph containing the phrase “we charge a significant premium”. That premium is so significant that they don’t even mention numbers.

                                    The rest is just marketing.

                                    A lot of companies spend 30% of their income on marketing, a research institute I know spends almost as much on grant applications. Cloudflare spends some percentage of its income on free tiers and services, expecting that the people who benefit from those are also people who write purchase proposals a little later.

                                    1. 1

                                      My impression of cloudflare is that they’re very cash rich or something and basically trying to become a one stop shop for everything you need to get a site hosted on the web except for the actual hosting. It reminds me of Google about 15 years ago when they had more extremely talented engineers than they knew what to do with and were cranking out projects left and right.

                                      1. 1

                                        They definitely have some good engineers working there, they are doing some great technical things. That doesn’t make their business plan any easier to swallow. Many people jumped into bed with Google and are now trying to get out of bed and finding the jumping painful, because Google continues to go to great lengths to keep you (and your privacy) with them. Google desperately wants your data in their and only their hoover vacuum, because it’s proven so lucrative. They started off with great intentions 15 years ago and got addicted by a googol of money, to the detriment of Users and arguably the Internet as a whole(think AMP, etc), sadly. (OK technically they don’t have an actual googol of money, but the reference was just too good to pass up, given that was their name origin – as I remember it, back when they still used lego’s for drive bays)

                                        I don’t know Cloudfare’s business plan, either short term or long term, and I have no problems with them making money, I just don’t want them to become another Google, that gets sidetracked into harming users for the benefit of another buck.

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                                      Although the copyleft licenses were (and in some ways, still are) a bit radical and the founder somewhat controversial, it’s hard to overstate the monumental positive impact that GNU has had on free and open source software and the Internet itself. Happy birthday, GNU.

                                      1. 2

                                        My contrarian opinion from my observations in bioinformatics is that people like unencumbered licenses like MIT or Apache better than GPL. These licenses better capture the original hacker spirit of “do what you want, don’t sue”

                                        Indeed when I cast about for libraries for hobby projects I’m biased towards these permissive ones, just because I don’t have to worry about legal issues and what happens in the future.

                                        In this respect I view the GPL as a bit like communism: an idea that looked good on paper and in academic circles but missed important aspects of the real world.

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                                          I used to like permissive licenses a lot more than restrictive licenses like this, but now I like copyleft better (for my own projects) because…

                                          1. You’re still helping education, nonprofits, and individuals benefit from your work.
                                          2. It’s still open source, so people will still be able to contribute and use your work in their own projects.
                                          3. Companies that want to use your code to make money can do so, but only if they also help out the other “worthy” causes by contributing changes back.

                                          In fact, I might even consider something more radical like a YUMMY license (you make money, I make money) - which has all the same benefits of being open source and helping worthy causes, except at least you get to make money when someone uses your work to do something that you might not even want, like selling ads.

                                          1. 5

                                            I think a lot of people want the “no-fuss” licenses like MIT or Apache but later misunderstand what some of that no-fuss means when someone else raises a fuss.

                                            You can grab MIT-licensed code and add all sorts of restrictions on top of it. When someone recently added restrictions that forbade Microsoft and other companies that are helping putting migrant children in detention camps from using this code, many people thought that this was a violation of the MIT license in some way, that you couldn’t add restrictions such as those. Of course, adding restrictions is a right granted by the MIT license. If you wanted a license that could have prevented this, pick a copyleft license.

                                            People say they don’t want copyleft because it’s too complicated, but it only reflects an inherent complication in the world; it didn’t originate it.

                                            1. 1

                                              You can grab MIT-licensed code and add all sorts of restrictions on top of it.

                                              Yes, that is post modification. The original code remains as is. You added on top of the open sourced code and you can do whatever you want with the derivative work. That is the intent of the MIT/Apache licenses. I think Apache also gives you patent rights. These are truly free licenses.

                                              1. 1

                                                You don’t have to modify anything. The MIT license lets you sublicense with or without restriction. I can grab MIT code as-is and redistribute it under different terms as long as I keep the original copyright statement, not necessarily the original terms.

                                                https://softwareengineering.stackexchange.com/a/189704

                                            2. 5

                                              These licenses better capture the original hacker spirit of “do what you want, don’t sue”

                                              I can’t decide if the call-outs to some imaginary original hacker spirit is a No True Scottsman or Revisionist History.

                                              In this respect I view the GPL as a bit like communism: an idea that looked good on paper and in academic circles but missed important aspects of the real world.

                                              I don’t know if you missed it, but:

                                              • Linux, some BSDs, OSX, and others all use or previously relied upon the GNU userland and/or compiler.
                                              • GNU was hugely important in shaping the idea of open source and, in turn, the software industry.
                                              • A whole generation of programmers, academic and commercial, have collaborated on innovative GPL licensed software and made billions of dollars.
                                              • More to the point, there are successful businesses and business models built around GPL licensing

                                              What important aspects, in particular, do you think the GPL missed?

                                              1. 2

                                                Way before Stallman, people were sharing bits of code quite effectively with extremely permissive licenses (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_free_and_open-source_software#Free_software_before_the_1980s).

                                                As I have said before, the GPL is born out of idealogical rigidity, mostly from one person, who evangelized this based on his own personal experiences with a company (https://www.free-soft.org/gpl_history/).

                                                What important aspects, in particular, do you think the GPL missed?

                                                The level of control the GPL exercises over not just the current software but future versions of the software is impressive and, again, as I have said before, strangles commerce and cooperation.

                                                1. 5

                                                  I am well aware of that history. If you’re saying that those people embody the “original hacker spirit,” I’d note the exact next section that talks about the decline of free software. It seems like that original hacker spirit sold out immediately after software became copyrightable.

                                                  I sincerely doubt you were active in any of the 1940s - 1960s hacker scenes. So, what source are you getting your definition from? The MIT hacker scene? The Berkeley hacker scene? Very different ethos. Or do you mean the hackers of the ’80s? Or do you mean a Hacker as defined by the Jargon File?

                                                  All software and all software licenses are ideological and political.

                                                  The level of control the GPL exercises over not just the current software but future versions of the software is impressive and, again, as I have said before, strangles commerce and cooperation.

                                                  You’ve said it, but you haven’t demonstrated it.

                                                  Meanwhile, as we type, GPL software is being collaborated upon by a rich tapestry of individuals and organisations; used in the most critical systems of our modern world; having made many, and will again make many more, people rich beyond their dreams.

                                                  1. 1

                                                    You’ve said it, but you haven’t demonstrated it

                                                    I have a feeling won’t be able to demonstrate this to your satisfaction. However, I have seen it demonstrated to my satisfaction, and I have understood why. I have heard arguments from legal, corporate and engineering roles. I have also seen this is in operation.

                                                    1. 5

                                                      Well, if use of a GPL license prevented a company from using some code, it sounds like Mission Accomplished.

                                                      1. 1

                                                        This is interesting. So in your opinion the GPL is explicitly for preventing commercial use? This is not the intent, however. The GPL assumes it’s clauses are sufficient for commercial use, though, as I’ve said, in practice the extreme control it presupposes (the “viral nature”) makes it difficult in practice for companies that are not just providing support for existing software.

                                                        1. 5

                                                          So in your opinion the GPL is explicitly for preventing commercial use?

                                                          My opinion is: if a company decides it can’t use GPL software because they can’t obey its conditions, then Mission Accomplished!

                                                          Especially since the GPL, in particular, is legally very well understood.

                                                          The GPL assumes it’s clauses are sufficient for commercial use, though, as I’ve said, in practice the extreme control it presupposes (the “viral nature”) makes it difficult in practice for companies that are not just providing support for existing software.

                                                          “The GPL” assumes nothing. It’s a legal license. Have you read the GNU manifesto? It speaks, directly, to what kind of commercialisation RMS had in mind, back in ’85.

                                                          And the GPL makes what difficult in practice? What commercial use, in particular, are you talking about? Because, as I’ve already pointed out, there is heaps of commerical use involving GPL software.

                                                          You raise the “viral nature.” I defer to a well written article on this very topic, linked from the Philosophy section of the GNU website.

                                                          1. 1

                                                            The basic issue is the incorporation of GPL software into proprietary software. If some one writes an efficient math library and releases it permissively then companies using it will freely incorporate it into their own stack.

                                                            GPL-think says companies will now keep all innovations to themselves and “steal” the code. In practice, the reason why the company used the code is that they did not have sufficient resources in that area of expertise. However, they often will pragmatically realize that it is more efficient to contribute fixes and enhancements back to the original library - which is being actively worked on, often by other companies too - rather than keeping their own separate fork which falls behind and becomes a pain to keep up to date.

                                                            If the library was written in GPL now there is legal in the loop, and you can’t incorporate the code into proprietary code without exposing your internals. There is also some tip-toeing around by engineering so that the code doesn’t become more embedded in proprietary code (like taking functions etc).

                                                            1. 2

                                                              GPL-think says companies will now keep all innovations to themselves and “steal” the code.

                                                              It’s not about the company keeping changes to the code to themselves, it’s that by building a proprietary software product they have done evil, by using my code to do it they have made me complicit in their evil.

                                                              1. 2

                                                                Thank you for a very precise description for why you use the GPL.

                                                                However, this raises even more questions for me.

                                                                Can you explain why proprietary software is evil? Is proprietary hardware evil? Can free software run on proprietary hardware? What about books? What about paintings? What about ships and planes? Are buses evil?

                                                                1. 3

                                                                  This is more than I can answer properly here, and the answers are more than 30 years of work by many people attempting to communicate about software freedom.

                                                                  However, I will try to hit to broad strokes here. As mentioned above I believe a computer exists to serve its owner and that the user has a fundamental human right to control their computing. As such, proprietary software infringes this human right by both legal and (often) technical means.

                                                                  Proprietary hardware is bad, but not so direct an infringement only because we do not yet have the facility for most users to have full control in this area anyway (fabbing silicone being something most could not do in their house, nor reasonably hire anyone to do).

                                                                  Art is different again because proprietary art does not limit its use or the user’s control in the same way as proprietary software (unless it has DRM, which is of course evil). Even so, I believe freedom of expression should trump monopoly rights when it comes to creating new art and support remix culture, etc.

                                                                  Ships/planes/buses are in much the same position as hardware, though of course these days some companies abuse DRM to bad ends even in vehicles like this and I would generally think of “right to repair” as also a human right that should not be infringed.

                                                                  I know these small sentences cannot adequately capture the nuance of a multi-decade movement, but hopefully it shows a glimmer of what is going on.

                                                                  1. 1

                                                                    Thanks @singployma

                                                                    Your answer is detailed, but I think the core is here:

                                                                    I believe a computer exists to serve its owner and that the user has a fundamental human right to control their computing.

                                                                    I would assume you would extend this to any tool. Since a computer is merely just another tool in a long lineage of tools we’ve had, starting with the stone axe.

                                                                    As such, proprietary software infringes this human right by both legal and (often) technical means.

                                                                    Not clear what right this is. If I sell you a stone axe I can actually attach any conditions of use on it I want. I can forbid you from attacking my family with it. I can forbid you from selling it to my rival so he can copy the design. I can forbid you from selling it to a rival tribe who may attack me with it. I can forbid you from selling your own version of it. You, of course can refuse these and not buy my axe.

                                                                    There is no “right”. Never has been. Always merely a license agreement.

                                                                    What differs from thing to thing is how easily you can violate our license agreement and how hard it is for me to enforce it.

                                                                    1. 1

                                                                      @singpolyma has more patience than me. Your questions are literally responded to in the links I gave earlier.

                                                                      You have, thus far, entirely refused to do either the basic reading or even demonstrated trying understand the counterarguments and counterexamples given to you.

                                                                      Whether you intend to or not, you are trolling.

                                                              2. 2

                                                                Sounds easy: just use fast middleware or use a fast microkernel or separation kernel. OKL4, which advertised exactly that benefit, was supposedly deployed in phones that sold a billion units or something before General Dynamics bought it. I didn’t track it after that. So, we have that for end-user devices plus the SaaS model as a few examples that have been working fine to generate huge fortunes from FOSS code without giving anything back or giving the tiniest slice of benefit back.

                                                                I think the GPL holding back proprietary software or forcing sharing like you describe is a myth except in situations where the performance or cost of integrating FOSS in one of these ways prevents management from doing it. It achieved something in those cases, sometimes a lot (esp Linux and Android).

                                                                Looking at all the high-overhead software out there, I doubt that’s a lot of situations given middleware is often already in use. All kinds of companies are using FOSS without giving anything back. It failed if its goal was what you said. They needed a stronger license.

                                                                1. 2

                                                                  Hi @nickpsecurity !

                                                                  I think there will always be users who don’t contribute back. It’s the sad truth of the world. Regardless of license. The hope with open source is that a commonly used infrastructure will get distributed maintenance and updation with low cost from individual users. Things like MIT/Apache sweeten the deal by not getting legal worried.

                                                                  I have to understand the solution you propose. The LGPL lets you link libraries without having to give up the company jewels. But it requires returning derived works if used externally (I think). Kind of a half-way, reluctant compromise in response to the popularity of permissive licenses.

                                                                  Would the solution you propose violate the spirit of the GPL? Wouldn’t that be cause for litigation? My understanding of the GPL is if you use GPLd code in your offering (external), you have to GPL your offering. There was some loop-hole to do with micro-services I think (yep: the ASP loophole), for which the AGPL was developed.

                                                                  1. 2

                                                                    (I’m fairly sleep-deprived right now so just a quick, partial reply with more thorough one later if needed.)

                                                                    It’s how you link them that seems to determine whether the proprietary work becomes derivative of and/or also GPL. The few things I’ve seen on it say they have to communicate via user-space. The examples I mentioned have GPL software communicate with messaging through middleware or user-space via a microkernel. In those cases, the plumbing that makes messaging work will likely be derivative at least in GPL program but the combo would not. Also, the GPL isn’t enforced as aggressively as proprietary licenses, esp with patents. That means there’s low, overall risk of non-compliance that can hit a company’s balance sheet. The combo of methods that nullify common mechanisms of things going derivative plus lower risk of expensive litigation negates the supposed benefits of the GPL for freedom-loving contributors in these situations. The license essentially was too permissive in its wording if goal is to stop commercial exploitation giving nothing back.

                                                                    That’s why I found Parity and Prosperity of License Zero interesting in recent research. Parity focuses on contribution sharing by forcing that any changes or extensions that are made are resubmitted back regardless of whether they’re distributed. If you make a change, everyone can use it. Prosperity focuses on commercial angle by saying any commercial use, not distribution, needs a paid license at some point. I like the focus there on “use” for what gain versus distribution since it’s harder to legally cheat around commercial use if you’re provably making money with the software.

                                                                    I’m not saying they’re the end goal or anything. I just found their terms interesting in that they forced contributions to be shared and more-easily intercepted commercial freeloading. The GPL failed to do both in many cases. Projects aiming to deal with those might want to ditch or update GPL to handle that. AGPL was an attempt. So is Parity. Prosperity is a shared-source, not open, license whose tactics might be useful in open one. Just examples to consider and build on in future experiments.

                                                                  2. 1

                                                                    All kinds of companies are using FOSS without giving anything back. It failed if its goal was what you said. They needed a stronger license.

                                                                    I’ve already covered elsewhere in this thread why I think “giving back” is not the point, however any weakness in effectiveness of the license as a strategy I think is less in the strength of the license, and more in the lack of enforcement efforts. There are only one or two small, underfunded non-profits working on community enforcement, and they can only enforce for the very small number of projects where copyright holders are interested in their efforts.

                                                  2. 3

                                                    Businesses push for MIT and BSD licenses for a reason. Whenever you make a license decision make sure you think about who it ultimately benefits. Seems GPL worked great so far and I prefer to open my code with it. I’m not working for free here!

                                                    1. 1

                                                      I find the comparisons to communism interesting. It used to be said, at least here in the birth-country of Linux, that it’s communism because it’s meant to be free. As in free of charge. Linus dad’s political convictions, though they seem to have shifted, probably helped spread the meme here.

                                                      But it really is meant to be free as in libertarian free.

                                                      Yet it really isn’t, because it makes private forks harder.

                                                      There’s also that discrepancy between getting funding for free and open video playback and hardware making illegal forks of the software, for example.

                                                      I don’t think a BSD/MIT license would have caused as much good in the end, but it is a mixed bag.

                                                      So the comparisons are interesting, but they don’t really hold up that good. GNU is definitely its own thing and all analogies are lies.

                                                      1. 0

                                                        I’m sorry my statement wasn’t clear. I’m not saying GPL is Communism. I’m saying that GPL is another one of those ideas, like Communism, that look good on paper but fall apart in practice because humans.

                                                        The MIT/BSD/Apache are the original hacker spirit and I am heartened that not only do they make up the bulk of licenses but they make up the bulk of newer licenses.

                                                        You might say - oh, companies will just take the code and run away and make a profit of your back. That’s GPL-think.

                                                        In practice what happens is the company sees, god, it’s gonna be SO EXPENSIVE to maintain our own independent fork. Let’s just contribute back to the main code base. So they’ll help out, in fact form consortiums around MIT licensed code, while not touching GPL code because of it’s interesting requirements that makes the legal department twitchy.

                                                        1. 5

                                                          I’m saying that GPL is another one of those ideas, like Communism, that look good on paper but fall apart in practice because humans.

                                                          GPL licensed software is in daily use all over the planet, which can hardly be said about Communism. I’d like to see more examples of how it is “falling apart”.

                                                          I am aware of the many and deep philosophical differences between GNU and “the BSDs”, especially when it comes to licensing, and I can appreciate both sides, but it’s hardly the case that GNU is losing. Sure, its most visible example is the Linux kernel , but it has been so monumentally successful as to carve out a niche where the BSDs among others can thrive.

                                                          1. 1

                                                            If you look at license distributions:

                                                            https://resources.whitesourcesoftware.com/blog-whitesource/open-source-licensing-trends-2017-vs-2016

                                                            you can see where people have voted with their feet.

                                                            A good example of MIT/Apache fostering cooperation and resulting in a common good is Cloud Foundry (Pointed out to me by one of my colleagues as an example of effective cross-company collaboration)

                                                            Many projects under the Apache foundation are also good examples of collaboration.

                                                            These are all driven, under the hood, by avoiding legal tangles in licensing and letting development and innovation move ahead.

                                                            1. 5

                                                              Right…. but that doesn’t really mean that BSD-like licenses == awesome capitalism and GNU == Godless Communism.

                                                              Before GNU, it was common for companies to take academic work (traditionally “open”) and shut it down. Stallman reacted to that and created the “viral” license that couldn’t be shut down. In doing so, he expanded the idea of what software licensing could be, how people could work without specifically pecuniary renumeration to write and maintain it, and basically created the ecosystem that enabled the internet.

                                                              You might say that the pendulum swung too far, and some companies, while totally fine with contributing to open source, would avoid the GPL for precisely its viral features. But without the tireless advocacy of RMS and the GNU foundation, people would still be ridiculing the idea that high quality software could be made “for free”. The BSDs didn’t have that advocacy. They were happy enough to tool around in an academic setting. RMS wanted to take that to the world.

                                                              1. 1

                                                                That is an interesting but very speculative hypothesis. The genesis of the internet was via ARPANET. In my view the reason why the internet took off was a common protocol (TCP/IP) which is an open standard.

                                                                The wide use of the internet outside of academia was driven by private enterprise (the age old theme of offering services for a fee, in an effort to earn revenue).

                                                                It’s not clear to me that RMS advocated for open source. He advocates for GPL and has strong scriptures on what can and should be distributed via GNU/Linux (including how you can say the name). Note that these scriptures do not prevent people from running the software on closed hardware.

                                                                Almost every response I’ve gotten in this thread has boiled down to “Companies are evil”. This seems to be RMS’ view based on his experiences. I have no opinion on this - companies are all different and act differently under different stewardship and their own individual circumstances (a lot like people, actually). I do find it fascinating that support for GPL, in this thread, boils down to this aphorism.

                                                                1. 2

                                                                  The very fact that we can have the discussion of what open-source[1] license is best for business shows that RMS and GNU… maybe didn’t win according to their strict definition of Free Software, but at least pushed very hard to make the idea of open source mainstream and accepted.

                                                                  For that, they deserve recognition and respect.

                                                                  [1] A term RMS despises.

                                                          2. 3

                                                            You might say - oh, companies will just take the code and run away and make a profit of your back. That’s GPL-think.

                                                            I think you have deeply misunderstood the GPL. It isn’t an anti-commercial license – commercial use and “making a profit off your back” is both protected and encouraged by the GPL.

                                                            The GPL is meant to prevent someone evil from taking my work and using it to lock users in to yet another proprietary oppression. “GPL-think” says a user has a basic human right to control of their computing, and I want no part in the infringement or violation of that right.

                                                            1. -1

                                                              The GPL is anti-commercial in effect, which is the distinction I make between an academic hoped for effect and the actual effect in the real world.

                                                              The legal complexities the GPL introduces act as a barrier in commerce.

                                                              The GPL is not a concern to service companies, but is a barrier to companies making derivative works.

                                                              1. 7

                                                                If they want to make derivative works that remove the user’s control over their computing, then yes. This happens to be a popular practise of commercial entities, but also of some noncommercial entities. Refusing to respect user’s rights isn’t limited to commercial cases – nor must a commercial case choose this path.

                                                                1. 1

                                                                  Yes, the GPL is driven by an idealogy. There is an “idealogy lock-in” (in this respect it’s very similar to communism). You can take MIT code, modify it and release it under GPL. You can not go the other way. You can form an island of Communism in a free society, but you can not go the other way.

                                                                  I find this idealogy lock-in anti-thetical to my beliefs as a hacker.

                                                                  1. 3

                                                                    I recently had a user of my AGPL-licensed library ask if I would possibly relicense under a more liberal license… because the user’s clients, including a certain “Goldman Sachs,” might be scared by the AGPL.

                                                                    I chose not to relicense it, and so they released their derived work under the AGPL, too. The thought of lawyers at Goldman Sachs being scared by my copyleft license deeply appeals to my beliefs as a hacker!

                                                                    It seems to me that you’re using “ideology” as a pejorative while actually your anti-copyleft advocacy is just a different ideology. But this is such an old and tedious discussion.

                                                                    Especially the “communism” part is tedious…

                                                                    1. 1

                                                                      Hi!

                                                                      It seems to me that you’re using “ideology” as a pejorative while actually your anti-copyleft advocacy is just a different ideology. But this is such an old and tedious discussion.

                                                                      Oh yes indeed, but more in the “intolerance of intolerance” manner. I personally support the ideology that is free-er and more permissive. But I don’t object or oppose people using the GPL. To each their own!

                                                                      I just want to point out some effects it was that may not have been intended. But I am amused by how personally people take my statements. It does suggest a strong cult of personality around the GPL.

                                                                      Especially the “communism” part is tedious…

                                                                      I apologize. Perhaps I shouldn’t use that as an example. De-icers on bombers, perhaps? Any idea that seems good initially but then in practice turns out to not work as expected is what I was going for. Especially because of sociological properties.

                                                                      However, the example I give about freedom in licensing and how the permissive ones give more freedom to everyone I think is correct.

                                                                      1. 3

                                                                        It seems like you support both non-copyleft open source and proprietary closed source, with no sympathy for copyleft. I consider copyleft a very reasonable use of copyright—my right as a creator to maintain some control over my creation. When I release my work into the commons, I am generally disinterested—in a rather selfish sense—in enabling others to distribute proprietary derived work, so I usually choose copyleft.

                                                                        I don’t think ethical judgments can be fully grounded in rationality, but I clearly have at least a personal bias toward wishing for the strategic success of the free software movement, and I prefer to imagine a future where most of the code used in an ordinary user environment is open for study and modification. It seems like this could potentially be extended to a more comprehensive critique of the way business secrecy alienates customers from products, and I do actually feel like that’s a serious problem with capitalism.

                                                                        The idea of, let’s say, a car whose functioning is transparent to enthusiastic owners, which provides at least basic material for self-study and maintenance, is much more beautiful to me than the idea of a car that’s intentionally locked down as much as possible to prevent the user from opening and understanding it. Same for computers and software systems. So I see the GPL as a strategic/tactical instrument for promoting this latter vision.

                                                                        One goal being to cause businesses to think “it would be cheaper for us to work within free software and gain access to the copyleft corpus, than to develop proprietary versions of these dependencies,” thus shifting the economic incentives toward freedom of study and modification (which makes for more competent, effective citizens, etc).

                                                                        You might find all this distasteful and ridiculous… but it’s not a revolutionary plot to seize all private property and centrally control the world economy. It’s just a copyright license made to promote the software commons.

                                                                        1. 1

                                                                          Hi @mbrock,

                                                                          Thank you for that beautiful answer. I do admit that I like the world you envision - it is possibly a world that all tinkerers envision - where all the stuff is out there, open to tinker with.

                                                                          I’m not convinced that the GPL will help us get there. I don’t think it’ll work with businesses who deal with actual technological innovation - it reduces their freedom to innovate. It fits with businesses who deal in services, but they are not really pushing technology forward, just surfing on existing technology.

                                                                          Personally, I do like tinkering, but I know the exact moment I gave up on the open world you envision: as a kid I used to love repairing clocks. My uncle had many and I would repair them. Then I opened up a modern LCD clock. There was nothing I could do to help it. I did get something cool out of it though: a polarized plate. Science marches on.

                                                                2. 1

                                                                  Hard for me to tell on anti-commercial part given all the dollars built on GPL-licensed apps often giving nothing back to developers. That’s part of reason License Zero made a free, shared-source, non-commercial license. That discourages commercial use by freeloaders. The GPL hasn’t.

                                                              2. 1

                                                                The MIT/BSD/Apache are the original hacker spirit

                                                                They really aren’t since two assume only copyright law matters. People using them can still be sued and/or controlled via patents. Apache attempted to correct that. Anything preserving the hacker ethos has to have patent protection. Interestingly, BSD code helped two companies succeed who patent sue their FOSS-using competition the most. One might say those licenses aided and abetted the opponents of hackers even more given their financial and legal model was strong enough to lobby for laws leading to more bad and less good for hacker goals.

                                                                It’s why I’m against those except when you want those damaging, evil companies using your code in ways that can support further damage. If not, gotta use something that tries to reduce that damage.

                                                        1. 2

                                                          I cannot, for the life of me, figure out why Google hasn’t already just paid Jack Conte a gazillion dollars to buy Patreon and close the loop.

                                                          Between all of the demonetization and baseless DMCA takedowns, and other YouTube incompetence, I’m not going to be at all surprised if sometime soon we see a bunch of the most popular YouTubers standing up and saying, “Despite the billions in revenue we generate for YouTube, it doesn’t feel like we’re being appreciated, maybe let’s go somewhere else.”

                                                          I kinda hope that somewhere is PeerTube or something else non-decentralized but eh, a guy can dream.

                                                          1. 1

                                                            There is bitchute.com which uses webtorrent. It works well but that’s only one piece of the puzzle. There needs to also be a business model innovation (like patreon, but doesn’t ban people) that provides a way for small creators to sustain themselves.

                                                            1. 1

                                                              I would hope that if Google buys Patreon that will be the impetus necessary to get a viable competitor to Patreon for any kind of content that Google disapproves of up and running.

                                                            1. 1

                                                              Seriously a cool game for only 13k of javascript.

                                                              (I died a lot, though :/)

                                                              1. 8

                                                                That was quite a rant!

                                                                I tried to use SeaMonkey a few times over the past couple of years but gave up after general crashiness and the fact that Thunderbird is a way better email client.

                                                                I sympathize with the author to a degree. For backend things like programming languages, libraries, and kernels, we nerds are great at iterating on what already works. But if it has a GUI, some people just seem to have this irresistible urge to throw out the whole baby+bathwater and reimplement the thing (poorly, as a rule) literally just because it seems like a fun thing to do. Especially web browsers, desktop environments, smartphone interfaces, and so on. Once the UI has had time to mature, get stable, and regain all of the features that made it useful again, guess what? Time to wipe everything clean and start all over again!

                                                                (Yes, I’m still bitter about GNOME 3.)

                                                                1. 4

                                                                  I wonder if there’s some structural reason that free software does so badly in some areas, or if it’s a function of the population of people who work on free software. I tend to think it’s the latter, but I am willing to be persuaded.

                                                                  Also, I really wish that Apple didn’t ship Mail with the OS, because I’d love to see some actual competitive pressure on email clients. As it stands, I’ll just stick with mu and mbsync.

                                                                  1. 5

                                                                    I don’t think bad UI development is a free software problem. We see it all the time in commercial products:

                                                                    • Windows Start menu -> Tiles
                                                                    • MS Office toolbars -> Ribbon
                                                                    • Gmail interface variant 99834279834 -> Gmail interface variant 99834279835
                                                                    • Reddit old -> Reddit new
                                                                    • etc etc

                                                                    I suspect this is a problem driven by a psychological desire to appear fresh, new and “innovative”. Whether or not you succeed does not matter, you only have to appear to change for people to think you are doing the right thing.

                                                                    1. 3

                                                                      Yeah, this is true. “We must do something! This is something!” &c.

                                                                  2. 3

                                                                    I was considering adding the Rant tag :)

                                                                    SeaMonkey … general crashiness … Thunderbird is a way better email client

                                                                    Eek, I’ve never had any stability issues with SM. At least not more than any other web browser.

                                                                    I always felt that Seamonkey mail and Thunderbird were identical to use. What differences caused you problems? Anything major?

                                                                    Once the UI has had time to mature, get stable, and regain all of the features that made it useful again, guess what? Time to wipe everything clean and start all over again!

                                                                    Ooh yes. I’m very happy with GTK2 apps simply because the interface is OK and it’s not constantly changing. GTK3 seems to be still changing and yet simultaneously ignoring all of the lessons learned in the GTK2 era and earlier.

                                                                    There’s a small paradox involved. The expectation that new app develop uses the latest frameworks, but the latest frameworks are never the best ones.

                                                                    (Yes, I’m still bitter about GNOME 3.)

                                                                    twitches

                                                                    1. 1

                                                                      Hi! Thanks for the article :-) My story is the opposite one: I’ve just begun to use SeaMonkey seriously, after looking for a good web browser and e-mail client for a long time.

                                                                      Eek, I’ve never had any stability issues with SM. At least not more than any other web browser.

                                                                      I suppose this is different for everybody, but I experience instability to the point of crashing when browsing particularly heavy websites, like NY Times and Dropbox. It might be a problem with the OpenBSD port. It’s not a big issue, though, as I mostly avoid such sites anyway :-)

                                                                    2. 3

                                                                      Minus HiDPI support Motif and gtk 2 are mature and stable. It’s too bad we as a community want to throw them away. I really wish there was an interest in a lighter weight GUI framework for Linux/Unix. I agree and sympathize with you and Hales.

                                                                      1. 2

                                                                        Motif

                                                                        As far as I know, Motif doesn’t have any accessibility support. GTK 2 does, though.

                                                                        1. 1

                                                                          Thanks drs.

                                                                          You bring up an important point. Why are projects transitioning from GTK2 to GTK3? GTK2 is a bit like win32 UI’s, it’s such as popular historical foundation that compatibility for it is never going to go away. GTK3 doesn’t really bring that many advantages (HiDPI, anything else?) and instead brings horrible things like the new file chooser dialog (that searches instead of navigating when you type).

                                                                          Seamonkey’s transition from GTK2 to GTK3 has never made sense to me. Most of the UI is in html/XUL anyway, what was the motivation? Perhaps it was easier for maintenance because upstream had done the same?

                                                                          Sidenote: perhaps HiDPI support can be hacked into GTK2 at the renderer level without the application knowing (other than for custom widgets, which would look scaled)? I’ve never used the library, so there’s probably a pile of technical reasons why this wouldn’t work.

                                                                          1. 3

                                                                            Why are projects transitioning from GTK2 to GTK3?

                                                                            Because developers like using active projects, not abandoned wastelands.

                                                                            GTK3 doesn’t really bring that many advantages

                                                                            • Wayland
                                                                            • Broadway (rendering to HTML — maybe not the most often used backend, but might be useful for running apps on a headless server)
                                                                            • CSS styling (soooo much better than the gtk2 theme-engine hellscape)
                                                                            • touchscreen support (I can even pinch to zoom in Evince yaaaaay)
                                                                            • inertial scrolling support for touchpads (if you “had” it it gtk2 and everywhere else — that was your driver emulating inertia by changing wheel scroll speed, which is a horrendous hack)
                                                                            • header bars and other cool modern UI elements (conservative “Windows 95 UI fans” hate them, but as an ex-Mac-user I love them)
                                                                            • great language bindings with gobject-introspection

                                                                            But wait, GTK 4.0 is coming! — with GPU rendering (WebRender-ish kind of engine), constraint based layout, and the whole thing actually becoming a scene graph while still keeping all existing widgets (Qt really dropped the ball on this with QML/QtQuick being its own separate from-scratch world)

                                                                        2. 1

                                                                          I was considering adding the Rant tag :)

                                                                          SeaMonkey … general crashiness … Thunderbird is a way better email client

                                                                          Eek, I’ve never had any stability issues with SM. At least not more than any other web browser.

                                                                          I always felt that Seamonkey mail and Thunderbird were identical to use. What differences caused you problems? Anything major?

                                                                          Once the UI has had time to mature, get stable, and regain all of the features that made it useful again, guess what? Time to wipe everything clean and start all over again!

                                                                          Ooh yes. I’m very happy with GTK2 apps simply because the interface is OK and it’s not constantly changing. GTK3 seems to be still changing and yet simultaneously ignoring all of the lessons learned in the GTK2 era and earlier.

                                                                          There’s a small paradox involved. The expectation that new app develop uses the latest frameworks, but the latest frameworks are never the best ones.

                                                                          (Yes, I’m still bitter about GNOME 3.)

                                                                          twitches

                                                                        1. 4

                                                                          As we expect the language to evolve rapidly, we strongly recommend using the regular releases instead of the LTS releases for large projects; while this does mean you need to upgrade more often, both us and our users have found that it is generally easier to catch up on 2 months worth of changes 3 times as often than 6 months of changes in one go. We will also be re-evaluating the length of our release cycle; one possibility is that we will move to releases every 4 weeks, with these releases being supported for 6-8 weeks.

                                                                          That’s a break-neck pace usually seen at the genesis of a new language. I know they’re dying to change it and being PHP-compatible has been holding that back, so it makes sense. However, this really means that everyone using it as a drop-in “faster PHP” is going to have to pin their deps for now and possibly migrate back to PHP soon because that’s a hard cadence to maintain for many projects.

                                                                          1. 4

                                                                            I think they decided that they’re just gonna consider it as an internal tool with no warrant for users outside the company at this point; the major users have either dropped HHVM or recommend using PHP7, from what I understand.

                                                                            1. 2

                                                                              However, this really means that everyone using it as a drop-in “faster PHP” is going to have to pin their deps for now and possibly migrate back to PHP soon

                                                                              If they are not already compatible with it, switching to PHP 7 is arguably the best path for most code since it is as fast or faster than HHVM for most workloads.

                                                                            1. 1

                                                                              sigh I wish I had more time for deeply nerdy stuff like this.

                                                                              1. 18

                                                                                If you haven’t clicked the article already, it essentially boils down to: if you’re not a proponent of CSS in front-end design, you’re a misogynist.

                                                                                1. 8

                                                                                  That’s definitely a strawman.

                                                                                  1. 5

                                                                                    That is very much not what it says. The argument is “both technical choices are valid in some situations, so many of the people who are arguing one side are doing so for sexist reasons.” You may disagree with that claim, but your summary is just plain wrong.

                                                                                    1. 0

                                                                                      definitely a good faith reading of the article, please continue to add more substantive insights like this.

                                                                                      1. 0

                                                                                        I usually peek at the comments before reading the articles, this time I didn’t and I paid for it… (with neurons)

                                                                                      1. [Comment removed by author]

                                                                                        1. 1

                                                                                          I believed this for quite some time. In order to develop even a basic web application, the number of technologies you have to learn first is frightening. Web browsers have grown in complexity to the point that they are basically operating systems in their own right. That the ecosystem works at all is simply amazing. I figured a decade ago that something “better” would have replaced the web for applications by now but here I sit wrong as always. :)

                                                                                        1. 10

                                                                                          antirez highlights a lot of the reasons I just can’t get behind the recent spate of almost militant political correctness going around. It’s all empty politics. It’s shouting on the internet without actually getting anything meaningful done.

                                                                                          Towards the end, he touches on something that I’ve thought about often:

                                                                                          Moreover I don’t believe in the right to be offended, because it’s a subjective thing. Different groups may feel offended by different things. To save the right of not being offended it becomes basically impossible to say or do anything in the long run.

                                                                                          Exactly. Offense is taken, not given. We choose what to be angered by, what we laugh at, or what we find beautiful. Because it is a subjective choice, I can choose to be offended by literally anything. Nazi’s used the color red in much their symbolism, so I can choose to be offended by all use of the color red. Does that give me the right to demand that Lobsters stop using the color red in their logo?

                                                                                          Nobody has the right to not be offended by other people’s words or actions. There never was any such right and there never should be. The freedom for an individual to say what they want, regardless of what literally anyone else thinks of it is literally the basic fundamental human right and trumps all else. We curtail that at our own peril.

                                                                                          Just because you were somehow offended by something, does not automatically grant you the power to make the person who said it stop saying it or apologize for saying it. For sure, you can criticize someone’s words or opinions and that is exactly what you should do when you disagree with them. But this latest movement has much darker tone to it in that anything that doesn’t align precisely with their ideals is automatically and subjectively labeled “hate speech” and is thus fit for deletion right off the Internet according to most companies’ terms of service.

                                                                                          Finally, although I firmly believe slavery is a horrible evil, most people who talk about it seem to believe it’s a thing that only happened to African Americans in the US and that use of slavery terminology is primarily offensive to descendants of this group. In fact slavery has been practiced around the world since the beginning of time and is still alive and well in certain parts of the world. If you truly care about the issue of slavery and want to do something about it, complaining about the use of commonplace terminology by an open source software project is just about the least effective use of your time and energy as is theoretically possible.

                                                                                          1. 17

                                                                                            We choose what to be angered by, what we laugh at, or what we find beautiful.

                                                                                            We literally do not.

                                                                                            1. 7

                                                                                              We literally do given our rational and emotional brains interact with one able to override the other to varying degrees. You cant help having an initial, emotional reaction. Your beliefs and effort can train that part of your brain to weaken the response, pause it to distract from it, ignore it entirely, and so on.

                                                                                              I learned the techniques from being raised on that mindset in the South (“have thick skin”), stress management books, those on meditation, and cognitive therapy in Learned Optimism. Using those techniques dramatically reduced the amount of stuff that pissed me off, time I stayed mad, and severity. That’s despite having severe PTSD. Others dont even notice I have it in a stressful work environment because they’re reacting worse than me. They’re letting their emotions control them instead of attempting more self-control.

                                                                                              And I could probably do even better if I didnt procrastinate on learning and practicing more of it. Im the lower bound, not upper, to what can be achieved by putting effort into getting emotions under control. Most people dont care to try. Uncommon few might be genuinely unable, too.

                                                                                              1. 1

                                                                                                You cant help having an initial, emotional reaction. But given our rational and emotional brains interact with one able to override the other to varying degrees, we also literally have the ability to choose what emotions we allow to persist.

                                                                                                Inverting these two sentences and slightly tweaking the second one makes this response seem immensely more constructive, instead of making it seem like it is just disagreeing and dismissing the parent.

                                                                                                1. 3

                                                                                                  It was intentional. I said I’d do it a while back, too, when I was writing careful, thorough counterpoints with opponents doing dismissive one-liners or personal attacks. It was a time-consuming, draining process. My comments were also taking 10-30 min on an audience for which they were a waste. I decided I’d put less effort into responses to people doing that with good ones save for more reasonable folks. Still mostly civil and with info but less effort.

                                                                                                  Also, it’s a little weird you snipped two lines out of my comment saying I shouldn’t sound dismissive when the parent’s comment was four, dismissive words with no further evidence of position. Why did you admonish me instead of them about being dismissive? Some kind of bias there.

                                                                                                  1. 2

                                                                                                    My consideration was: “that’s a good response, it would be a shame if it went to waste over the start”. My comment was as much for other readers and lambdax as it was aimed at you.

                                                                                                    1. 2

                                                                                                      I wasn’t sure if you did it for positive or negative reasons. That’s why I just said bias. Thanks for clarifying. I’m still committed to putting less energy into responding to those kind of comments. Maybe can still drop some snark from them as you suggested. Hard for me given I call out bad logic and roast jerks in real life encounters. :)

                                                                                              2. 6

                                                                                                Talking about choice is often a way to disguise simple hatred. I’ve noticed that for example, Christians being against homosexuality would say it’s wrong to choose to be gay. They would then fight both homosexuality and anyone trying to say it’s not a choice. After all, how much can circumstance be hated?

                                                                                                1. 1

                                                                                                  I thought someone might be triggered by the use of the word “choice” and try to conflate it with the conservative argument against homosexuality. Let me assure you that I personally believe any and all conservative arguments against homosexuality are complete and utter nonsense. I stand with the LGBT community because I believe everyone has the right to choose who they want to make a life with regardless of what anyone else says, period. Whether or not their actual feelings for others are a choice of their own is, and always was, a silly thing to argue about. Because it’s completely irrelevant to the larger point that freedom of speech and action trumps virtually all other considerations.

                                                                                                  As you can tell, first and foremost, I am pro-freedom. The only way to have a free society is to allow people to make choices for themselves. Choice is good, choice is freedom. Removing or discouraging choice is slavery and I have many wonderful examples of how western society is quite effectively enslaved by those in positions of great power not through force but through the reduction of choices or the presentation of false choices and I would love to discuss them all with you but lobsters is probably not the place for it. :)

                                                                                            1. 2

                                                                                              I remember being excited when nano first came out, because it meant I wouldn’t have to install the whole pine package just to get pico.

                                                                                              1. 1

                                                                                                Woah, I had no idea that pico was part of pine, nor that pico is 11 years older than nano. I would have never guessed!

                                                                                                1. 1

                                                                                                  I read my mail with pine for years in the late 90s and into the early 00s, yet I forgot about it until now.

                                                                                                  Really ugly with no support for threads.

                                                                                                  It may have improved, but I love my mutt too much to consider going back ;)

                                                                                              1. 21

                                                                                                “Moreover I don’t believe in the right to be offended, because it’s a subjective thing. Different groups may feel offended by different things. To save the right of not being offended it becomes basically impossible to say or do anything in the long run. Is this the evolution of our society? A few days ago on Hacker News I discovered I can no longer say “fake news” for instance.”

                                                                                                Everyone should have a right to be offended, because that’s a continuous empathy machanism.

                                                                                                In society, as we interact with each other, there may be situations where someone may feel offended, and that’s okay. We could even offend someone accidentally, and that’s okay too. The adult life is complex. Life is complex. We get feedback, learn, and iterate. It’s been like that since ever.

                                                                                                What isn’t okay is to think that other people shouldn’t be offended with something, because “It isn’t a big deal”. They may be offended, and that’s something you’ll have to deal with. We should be ready, and conscious, that our acts, even when we think are harmless, could be affecting other people’s emotions, they have the right to do so.

                                                                                                That’s, basically, empathy. And without empathy, we won’t go anywhere.

                                                                                                Overall, I would agree with the author, but I deeply disagree in that statement. It’s not “everyone is offended” or “no one should be offended”, it’s way more complex than that.

                                                                                                ¿Is it okay to have “Master-Slave” in Redis, as it may offend (or just feel unwelcome) to some people? Just measure the possibilities, and based on this, on feedback, and on empathy, decide what’s the best decission to make here. But don’t take away the right to be offended to the people.

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                                                                                                  I fully agree that we should be sensitive to others perspectives and situations and try to always have an open mind.

                                                                                                  But I strongly disagree that there exists any right to not be offended.

                                                                                                  The problem with such a premise is that anyone can choose to be offended by literally anything. Or they can say they are offended by something when really they just want a soapbox to stand on. Or you might offend someone and not even know it. The bottom line is that if you try to go out of your way to offend no one, you will quickly find that you have nothing left that you can safely say.

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                                                                                                    Note that they are talking about the right to be offended, not a right to not be offended. That is quite different.

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                                                                                                      It’s the same thing once they take action. They’re offended. They want the thing changed so theyre not offended. Equivalent in practice.

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                                                                                                      Having a right to be offended doesn’t mean to be, automatically, offended for everything.

                                                                                                      There’s a sweet spot, a sane spot, which is: Be offended whenever you feel like that, and just use that card when you feel that offense.

                                                                                                      But, already having the right, you still need some social skills to interact with each other. Someone that gets offended for too many things will interact with a society that will reply with feedback. That ends up shaping you.

                                                                                                      The point is: No 100% offense. No 0% offense. There’s a sweet spot. And the sweet spot requires the right to be offended.

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                                                                                                      You are taking what antirez said literally, but I don’t think that is charitable. Most people agree that emotions/feelings usually precede notions of right and wrong. I doubt antirez wants to deny people their feelings.

                                                                                                      What I think he means by having “a right to be offended” is “being entitled to having your way based on the fact that you feel offended”. Using master-slave terminology offends some people and their basic argument is that that alone is sufficient reason that it should be changed.

                                                                                                      Antirez sees that as a bad argument and feels that people do not have a right to have their way based on the fact that they feel offended. And honestly, they probably wouldn’t want that right either, because those making these arguments are usually people with opinions that deeply offend their more conservative countrymen. Who would then also be entitled to getting their way, based on their feelings of being offended.

                                                                                                      If we’re using empathy as a measuring stick, we should apply it equally and also require empathy of those that feel offended. When you feel offended, understand that someone does not intend to offend you. Understand that they may simply not understand why something is offensive to you. Recognize that feelings are regularly used coercively and your feelings thus have very little weight. Recognize patience and persistence are needed to achieve change.

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                                                                                                        What I think he means by having “a right to be offended” is “being entitled to having your way based on the fact that you feel offended”

                                                                                                        If that’s what he meant, I agree (And would sugest to write that, instead). You have the right to be offended, and your feelings should be taken in count, but being offended doesn’t empower you with the absolute truth.

                                                                                                        If we’re using empathy as a measuring stick, we should apply it equally and also require empathy of those that feel offended.

                                                                                                        Totally agree. Empathy is a two-way road.

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                                                                                                          (And would sugest to write that, instead).

                                                                                                          Some of the modes of failing to communicate I regularly see in issue reports written by colleagues:

                                                                                                          • not realizing that what they wrote doesn’t mean what they intend it to mean (especially non-native English speakers)
                                                                                                          • not realizing they are leaving out knowledge or intermediate reasoning steps that make the report confusing and easy to misunderstand
                                                                                                          • misunderstanding the issue and writing things that don’t make much sense given a correct understanding of the issue (but are completely sensible assuming their understanding of the issue)
                                                                                                          • misunderstanding or failing to make explicit their own arguments/reasoning (related to the second, but concerning non-factual or very indirect matters, such as reasons for having a hunch about a cause)
                                                                                                          • probably various other failure modes that I haven’t clearly distinguished yet.

                                                                                                          Whenever I find someone seems to be saying something weird or ridiculous, I start by assuming there is a communication problem. After fleshing out the issues I may still disagree, but at least the thing I’m disagreeing with is an actual opinion held by the other. So in this case, I’m much inclined to not take what antirez wrote very literally.

                                                                                                          (And I would even go as far as to say that even if antirez would chime in to say he did mean it literally, then I would have some serious questions before I would actually believe that to be the case. Thinking you believe something while not actually believing something is a very real thing)

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                                                                                                            It totally happens, but trying to guess what the author was trying to say while failing on communication seems like too much guessing for me, not optimal.

                                                                                                            I prefer to understand exactly what the author says, and, if there’re misunderstandings, a quick discussion will clear everything. (And maybe the next time, the author is able to communicate better).