1. 4

    What’s the trend with UI’s designed for touch? It would make sense if the OS was designed for iPad. How many use Gnome on a touch device? Adding more whitespace doesn’t simplify a UI.

    1. 1

      Maybe to take advantage of laptop hardware with touchscreens?

      1. 1

        Maybe, but I really doubt more than a small percentage of Gnome users have a touchscreen.

        If this “improvement” really is intended to help touchscreen users, maybe we should just take a quick hardware survey to see how common touchscreens on Linux machines are?

    1. 4

      This looks cool, but why would I want to learn this language over Python, or a more mature alternative shell like Oilshell?

      1. 5

        Good question - abs is a research vehicle for exploring the semantics of actor-based programming languages. As such, the syntax is somewhat restricted in some areas (to make static analysis easier), and the standard library is small. You’ll notice quickly that there are no file operations.

        The closest recent analogue to abs semantics is the new actor-based concurrency model of Swift. The similarity extends to the problems with mutual deadlock and state mutation during process suspension - I’m really curious about the patterns and tools the larger community there will come up with to cope with these problems!

        One (I believe) unique feature of abs is await-ing on member variables: multiple processes can, for example, cooperate on a list of work items stored in their actor, without the list growing unbounded. (Each consumer does await length(items) > 0, each producer does await length(items) < upper_bound, and cooperative scheduling guarantees that the field items always has between 0 and upper_bound items.)

        For me, the nicest thing about abs is modeling systems that are timed – multiple actors, each with their own timed behavior, can run in parallel and the behavior of the whole system just composes naturally. There’s a small example here: https://abs-models.org/documentation/examples/single-watertank/ – the two actors in that example happen to wake up at the same time points, but that’s not necessary.

        TL;DR: you shouldn’t learn abs if you need a mature implementation language, and this is what happens if you ask an academic why their thing is interesting. ;)

        1. 2

          Are you sure you’re talking about the same thing? The linked language seems to be a user-friendly shell scripting replacement.

          1. 2

            Oh wow, you’re right! I only saw “Abs language” and didn’t even click the link, how embarrassing. (The one I was talking about is at https://abs-models.org.) Terribly sorry for hijacking the discussion.

          2. 1

            Thanks for the great explanation!

        1. 1
          • Getting used to the labwc wayland compositor (stacking windows, wlroots) - I’d like to try embedding Lua into it, but first job is getting it to a place I can dogfood it

          • Finding some people to review my new command line password manager moss (like pass but with age instead of gpg) and tell me what I missed security-wise

          1. 2

            Hey, you made a typo in your link to moss. I think you meant https://github.com/telent/moss

          1. 3

            I really hate syntactically significant white space. Not because it’s a bad idea, but because to this day nobody can really agree on spaces vs. tabs, or tab width.

            1. 2

              Is there any reason for randomizing, or even rotating, the CA? I don’t understand the reasoning for it. It seems entirely unrelated to the “let’s encrypt can go down” scenario.

              1. 12

                If you always use LetsEncrypt, that means you won’t ever see if your ssl.com setup is still working. So if and when LetsEncrypt stops working, that’s the first time in years you’ve tested your ssl.com configuration.

                If you rotate between them, you verify that each setup is working all the time. If one setup has broken, the other one was tested recently, so it’s vastly more likely to still be working.

                1. 2

                  when LetsEncrypt stops working

                  That’s how I switched to ZeroSSL. I was tweaking my staging deployment relying on a lua/openresty ACME lib running in nginx and Let’sEncrypt decided to rate limit me for something ridiculous like several cert request attempts. I’ve had zero issues with ZeroSSL (pun intended). Unpopular opinion - Let’s Encrypt sucks!

                  1. 5

                    LE does have pretty firm limits; they’re very reasonable (imo) once you’ve got things up and running, but I’ve definitely been burned by “Oops I misconfigured this and it took a few tries to fix it” too. Can’t entirely be mad – being the default for ACME, no doubt they’d manage to get a hilariously high amount of misconfigured re-issue certs if they didn’t add a limit on there, but between hitting limits and ZeroSSL having a REALLY convenient dashboard, I’ve been moving over to ZeroSSL for a lot of my infra.

                  2. 2

                    But he’s shuffling during the request-phase. Wouldn’t it make more sense to request from multiple CAs directly and have more than one cert per each domain instead of ending up with half your servers working?

                    I could see detecting specific errors and recovering from them, but this doesn’t seem to make sense to me :)

                  3. 6

                    It’s probably not a good idea. If you have set up a CAA record for your domain for Let’s Encrypt and have DNSSEC configured then any client that bothers to check will reject any TLS certificate from a provider that isn’t Let’s Encrypt. An attacker would need to compromise the Let’s Encrypt infrastructure to be able to mount a valid MITM attack (without a CAA record, they need to compromise any CA, which is quite easy for some attackers, given how dubious some of the ‘trusted’ CAs are). If you add ssl.com, then now an attacker who can compromise either Let’s Encrypt or ssl.com can create a fake cert for your system. Your security is as strong as the weakest CA that is allowed to generate certificates for your domain.

                    If you’re using ssl.com as fall-back for when Let’s Encrypt is unavailable and generate the CAA records only for the cert that you use, then all an attacker who has compromised ssl.com has to do is drop packets from your system to Let’s Encrypt and now you’ll fall back to the one that they’ve compromised (if they compromised Let’s Encrypt then they don’t need to do anything). The fail-over case is actually really hard to get right: you probably need to set the CAA record to allow both, wait for the length of the old record’s TTL, and then update it to allow only the new one.

                    This matters a bit less if you’re setting up TLSA records as well (and your clients use DANE), but then the value of the CA is significantly reduced. Your DNS provider (which my be you, if you run your own authoritative server) and the owner of the SOA record for your domain are your trust anchors.

                    1. 3

                      There isn’t any reason. The author says they did it only because they can.

                      1. 2

                        I think so. A monoculture is bad in this case. LE never wanted to be the stewards of ACME itself, instead just pushing the idea of automated certificates forward. Easiest way to prove it works is to do it, so they did. Getting more parties involved means the standard outlives the organization, and sysadmins everywhere continue to reap the benefits.

                        1. 2

                          To collect expiration notification emails from all the CAs! :D

                          1. 2

                            The article says “Just because I can and just because I’m interested”.

                          1. 3

                            Personally I like to prevent hostname collisions even on disparate networks, just in case I ever link them with a VPN. Usually I use something like home.$DOMAIN where $DOMAIN is a personal use/development domain (and sometimes I’ll make DNS entries if appropriate), but you could just as easily do something like foo.home.arpa if you don’t need to use a real domain.

                            If you have a DNS server with a home.arpa or foo.home.arpa zone you can also address these over VPN as if they were real domains, without opening up your firewall.

                            1. 1

                              I thought Gnome 40 was already considered stable. Why are new distro releases still shipping 3.x?

                              1. 4

                                Because Gnome 40 was released after Debian 11 features freeze.

                                1. 3

                                  That’s right: bullseye soft freeze was February, GNOME 40 released in March.

                                  IMHO (as a Debian developer) we should have delayed the soft freeze and got 40 into bullseye, if there was sufficient confidence that 40 really was stable enough (we’d have had to evaluate that before 40 actually shipped)

                                  1. 1

                                    Does gnome not make it into back ports?

                                  2. 1

                                    FWIW (not much, I know!), I think that this is exactly the right approach to take. There’s always one more update, one more feature. If you are aiming for stable releases (and I think Debian should), then you gotta draw a line in the sand at some point.

                                    I love that Debian is run so well. I only wish more projects had a similar, healthy respect for stability.

                                1. 1

                                  This is awesome! I was considering building something similar for offloading compilation of AUR packages for my Pinebook Pro. Is native (not cross-compiled) aarch64 support a goal?

                                  1. 1

                                    Lambda doesn’t support aarch64 functions so I’m not sure how you could do ARM builds using it without doing some sort of cross-compilation. If there’s a high-performance ARM cloud functions provider out there, I’d potentially be interested in trying it.

                                    1. 1

                                      That makes sense. I’m not familiar with Lambda, but I thought it might support a Graviton host

                                      1. 1

                                        Could run inside of qemu, would just be a constant factor.

                                    1. 3

                                      Not to discount this work here, but Vim is still available for Amiga. I know I’d prefer that!

                                      1. 4

                                        I really wonder why they used Weston. Is it still the “reference” Wayland compositor? I thought wlroots now fits that.

                                        1. 6

                                          Yes, Weston is still the reference implementation. wlroots isn’t really in a position to change that; it’s just a really good implementation, but with no special ties to the Wayland project.

                                          1. 2

                                            Collabora has sold in Weston in quite a few places you’d perhaps not look (the RDP implementation is also a reason in this specific case) - and they had their hands in the WSL cookie jar as well. See the slides to https://aglammjapan2019.sched.com/event/L8Vr for a treat.

                                          1. 2

                                            Is the lowercase i just a restyled U+0069 or is it a U+0131 ?

                                            1. 2

                                              It’s a restyled lowercase i, as the site notes :)

                                              since the dotted glyphs for i and j are obviously inferior to the undotted variants, those are used instead.

                                              1. 6

                                                Just FYI, several Turkic languages use dotless I and ı as completely separate letters from dotted İ and i.

                                                1. 2

                                                  Welp. Not sure what I can do about that :V

                                                  1. 7

                                                    Live up to the name, and dot the dotless versions. Obviously.

                                            1. 27

                                              I’d recommend a NUC here. I’ve tried using an RPi 1, and then an RPi 3 as desktops, but both were painful compared to a NUC, which was drama-free. I’ve never had any problems with mainstream Linux on mine. IIRC, it comes with either SATA or M.2.

                                              1. 4

                                                I’ve also used an Intel compute stick when traveling. It has the added benefit of not needing an hdmi cable.

                                                1. 2

                                                  It has its benefits, but it was slow when it came out five years ago… I used one for a conference room and it really is disappointing. A NUC would have been better. Harder to lose if you do take it traveling, too.

                                                2. 3

                                                  I agree with this: If you don’t want a laptop, a very small form factor PC is a better choice than a more barebones SBC for use as a general-purpose PC. The NUC is great, though there’s some similar alternatives on the market too.

                                                  I have a Zotac ZBOX from a little while ago. It has a SATA SSD, Intel CPU and GPU, and works great in Linux. In particular it has two gigabit NICs and wifi, which has made it useful to me for things like inline network traffic diagnosis, but it’s generally useful as a Linux (or, presumably, Windows) PC.

                                                  The one I own has hdmi, displayport, and vga, making it compatible with a wide selection of monitors. That’s important if you’re expecting to use random displays you find wherever you’re going to. It also comes with a VESA bracket so it can be attached to the back of some computer monitors, which is nice for reducing clutter and cabling.

                                                  1. 2

                                                    Never heard of a NUC before now but I can agree that trying to use an RPi as a desktop is unpleasant.

                                                    1. 1

                                                      Yeah the Pi CPUs are very underpowered, it’s not even a fair comparison. They’re different machines for different purposes. I would strongly recommend against using a Pi as your primary Linux development machine.

                                                      I think this is the raspberry Pi 4 CPU, at 739 / 500:

                                                      https://www.cpubenchmark.net/cpu.php?cpu=ARM+Cortex-A72+4+Core+1500+MHz&id=3917

                                                      And here’s the one in the NUC I bought for less than $500, at 7869 / 2350 :

                                                      https://www.cpubenchmark.net/cpu.php?cpu=Intel+Core+i5-8260U+%40+1.60GHz&id=3724

                                                      So it’s it’s 4-5x faster single-threaded, and 10x faster overall !!! Huge difference.

                                                      One of them is 1500 Mhz and the other one is 1600 Mhz, but there’s a >10x difference in computer. So never use clock speed to compare CPUs, especially when the architecture is different!

                                                    2. 2

                                                      Yeah I just bought 2 NUCs to replace a tower and a mini PC. They’re very small, powerful, and the latest ones seem low power and quiet.

                                                      The less powerful NUC was $450, and I got portable 1920x1080 monitor for $200, so it’s much cheaper than a laptop, and honestly pretty close in size! And the CPU is good, about as powerful as the best desktop CPUs you could get circa 2014:

                                                      https://www.cpubenchmark.net/cpu.php?cpu=Intel+Core+i5-8260U+%40+1.60GHz&id=3724

                                                      old CPU which was best in class in a tower in 2014: https://www.cpubenchmark.net/cpu.php?cpu=Intel+Core+i7-4790+%40+3.60GHz&id=2226

                                                      (the more powerful one was $800 total and even faster: https://www.cpubenchmark.net/cpu.php?cpu=Intel+Core+i7-10710U+%40+1.10GHz&id=3567 although surprisingly not that much faster)

                                                      This setup, along with a keyboard and trackball, is very productive for coding. I’m like the OP and don’t like using a laptop. IMO the keyboard and monitor shouldn’t be close together for good posture.

                                                      In contrast the tower PC in 2014 was $700 + ~$300 in upgrades, and the monitor from ~2006 was $1000 or more. Everything is USB-C too on the NUC/monitor setup which is nice.

                                                      I guess my tip is to not upgrade your PC for 7-10 years and you’ll be pleasantly surprised :) USB-C seems like a big improvement.

                                                      1. 4

                                                        Yeah I just bought 2 NUCs to replace a tower and a mini PC. They’re very small, powerful, and the latest ones seem low power and quiet.

                                                        NUCs are great machines, but they are definitely not quiet. Because of their blower-style fan, they become quite loud as soon as the CPU is just a bit under load. Audio proof: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rOkyFLrPc3E&t=341s

                                                        1. 2

                                                          So far I haven’t had a problem, but it’s only been about 3 weeks.

                                                          The noise was the #1 thing I was worried about, since I’m sensitive to it, but it seems fine. For reference I replaced the GPU fan in my 2014 Dell tower because it was ridiculously noisy, and I have a 2012 era Mac Mini clone that is also ridiculously noisy when idle. The latter honestly 10x louder than the NUC when idle, and I have them sitting side by side now.

                                                          The idle noise bothers me the most. I don’t have any usage patterns where you are running with high CPU for hours on end. Playing HD video doesn’t do much to the CPU; that appears to be mostly GPU.

                                                          I’m comparing against a low bar of older desktop PCs, but I also think Macbook Airs have a similar issue – the fan spins really loud when you put them under load. For me that has been OK. (AdBlock goes a long way on the Macbooks, since ads code in JS is terrible and often pegs the CPU.)


                                                          I think the newer CPUs in the NUCs are lower power too. Looking at the CPU benchmarks above, the 2014 Dell i7 is rated a 84 W TDP. The 2020 i5 is MORE powerful, and rated 10 W TDP down and 25 W TDP up.

                                                          I’m not following all the details, but my impression is that while CPUs didn’t get that much faster in the last 7 years, the power usage went down dramatically. And thus the need to spin up fans, and that’s what I’ve experienced so far.

                                                          I should start compiling a bunch of C++ and running my open source release process to be sure. But honestly I don’t know of any great alternative to the NUCs, so I went ahead and bought a second one after using the first one for 3 weeks. They’re head and shoulders above my old PCs in all dimensions, including noise, which were pretty decent at the time.

                                                          I think the earlier NUCs had a lot of problems, but it seems (hopefully) they’ve been smoothed out by now. I did have to Google for a few Ubuntu driver issues on one of them and edit some config files. The audio wasn’t reliable on one of them until I manually changed a config with Vim.

                                                      2. 1

                                                        I have also been using a NUC for a year now, and it works well. A lot of monitors also allow you to screw the NUC to its back, decluttering your desk.

                                                        Just watch out, it has no speakers of it’s own!

                                                      1. 1

                                                        Wow, this brings back memories. MSJVM 2.0?

                                                        1. 7

                                                          I love systemd services and templates and the features it has to restart things, but I think this is a pretty absurd thing to say:

                                                          and run it as a systemd service, because how else are you going to start this thing anyways, cron?

                                                          Does anyone seriously think that Linux didn’t properly support services before systemd? It’s not like /sbin/init was symlinked to bash

                                                          1. 5

                                                            i’m dealing with this right now on Alpine Linux, which doesn’t use systemd. other than xdg autostart, there are no user services. the autostart thing is very very limited compared to systemd user services..

                                                            1. 3

                                                              the point i was making here is that there’s some sort of a controversy around adoption of systemd across major linux distribution in general, and in Debian in particular. It was a tongue-in-cheeck comment about how i am making a stand and declaring systemd as a standard, even though there is an ongoing controversy, but i’m too tired of that debate to engage into it in that specific post.

                                                              I find the fact that you not only bit on the bait but also that your comment here is the most highly rated kind of strange, to be honest. You’d think comments regarding the actual setup would be more interesting than a single line commenting on that controversy.

                                                              Or maybe people assumed I truly didn’t know about alternatives to systemd, in which case I apologize: it is obvious, to me, that there are multiple ways of starting processes outside of systemd (cron being the actual, truly most common occurence i find in the wild, because it allows regular users to inject themselves in the boot process without root).

                                                              i hope that clarifies things…

                                                            1. 5

                                                              I have a bunch of keyboards. One of my special interests is high-quality rubber dome boards. I have a buyer’s guide on my web site, if anyone is interested.

                                                              Right now, though:

                                                              • On my Windows 7 PC, I use an Acer 6312K, with Alps-like Acer switches. Quite nice.
                                                              • On my old Macs, I use an original Apple USB Keyboard for the iMac G3. Not very nice.

                                                              Other notable keyboards include IBM Model M, Topre Realforce 104UG, Dell QuietKey RT7D5JTW. None of them see any use at the moment. Just ordered a Dell AT102W. Looking forward to trying it!

                                                              1. 3

                                                                Since you like rubber dome boards, I’m curious what you think about a Sun Type-5. I have one whose layout is very nostalgic for me, that I have been thinking of converting to USB with a spare Pro Micro or similar.

                                                                1. 3

                                                                  Would love to try one, but haven’t had the chance. It’s absolutely beautiful, and I’ve heard good things about it, apart from the difficulty to use it with other computers. Sounds like a worthwhile project!

                                                              1. 19
                                                                [ $USER != "root" ] && echo You must be root && exit 1
                                                                

                                                                I’ve always felt a bit uneasy about this one. I mean, what if echo fails? :-)

                                                                So I usually do

                                                                [ $USER != "root" ] && { echo You must be root; exit 1; }
                                                                

                                                                instead… just to be safe.

                                                                1. 10

                                                                  Indeed, echo can fail. Redirecting stdout to /dev/full is probably the easiest way to make this happen but a named pipe can be used if more control is required. The sentence from the article “The echo command always exists with 0” is untrue (in addition to containing a typo).

                                                                  1. 3

                                                                    Don’t you need set +e; before echo, just to be extra safe?

                                                                    1. 3

                                                                      I had to look that up. set +e disables the -e option:

                                                                                -e      Exit immediately if a simple command (see SHELL  GRAMMAR
                                                                                        above) exits with a non-zero status
                                                                      

                                                                      That’s not enabled by default, though, and I personally don’t use it.

                                                                      1. 1

                                                                        Or &&true at the end, if it’s okay for this command to fail. EDIT: see replies

                                                                        It’s as much of a kludge as any other, and I’m not sure how to save the return value of a command here, but bash -ec 'false && true; echo $?' will return 0 and not exit from failure. EDIT: it echoes 1 (saving the return value), see replies for why.

                                                                        1. 2

                                                                          You probably mean || true. But yeah, that works!

                                                                          1. 1

                                                                            I did mean || true, but in the process of questioning what was going on I learned that && true appears to also prevent exit from -e and save the return value!

                                                                            E.G.,

                                                                            #!/bin/bash -e
                                                                            f(){
                                                                            return 3
                                                                            }
                                                                            f && true ; echo $?
                                                                            

                                                                            Echoes 3. I used a function and return to prove it isn’t simply a generic 1 from failure (as false would provide). Adding -x will also show you more of what’s going on.

                                                                      2. 2

                                                                        I personally use the following formatting, which flips the logic, uses a builtin, and printd to stderr.

                                                                        [ "${USER}" == "root" ] || {printf "%s\n" "User must be 'root'" 1>&2; exit 1; }

                                                                        When I start doing a larger amount of checks, I wrap the command group within a function, which turns into the following, and can optionally set the exit code.

                                                                        die() { printf "%s\n" "${1}" 1>&2; exit ${2:-1}; }
                                                                        ...
                                                                        [ "${USER}" == "root" ] || die "User must be 'root'"
                                                                        
                                                                        1. 2

                                                                          I also always print to standard out, but I’m pretty sure most shells have echo as a built-in. The form I usually use is

                                                                          err() { echo "$1" 1>&2; exit 1; }
                                                                          
                                                                      1. 9

                                                                        I think CDE is beautiful in a brutalist sort of way, and very nostalgic having grown up with SparcStation workstations, but when I compiled it on Manjaro on my Pinebook Pro it really feels slow and dated. I want to love it, but I can hardly even use it.

                                                                        Customizing the panel and menus is a chore I haven’t figured out much about. The default .desktop launchers for other DEs don’t show up because CDE uses a different launcher format.

                                                                        I could go on. It’s not horrible or unusable, but it’s slower than any other DE I have installed, and it feels like a chore to use.

                                                                        I also tried NsCDE, which reminded me of everything I dislike about CDE and had a number of issues on its own: it’s even slower, less documented, and it would crash often and hard.

                                                                        At the end of the day I am running CDE on a very quirky platform anyway; some of my experience is tainted from that. But if KDE Plasma runs faster on the same hardware than CDE, I can’t help but assume something is wrong.

                                                                        1. 5

                                                                          I was one of the people pestering “The Open Group” about making CDE open source.

                                                                          I have no illusions about its future though: it’s a historical artifact, and it’s probably better to just keep it buildable on modern systems. Any attempt to “make CDE great again” should start with rewriting it from scratch, or rather creating a new DE on the same design principles.

                                                                          Also, no idea why it’s tagged “games”. ;)

                                                                          1. 6

                                                                            Also, no idea why it’s tagged “games”. ;)

                                                                            Because we’re compiling “GENERIC TETRIS” from 1992 😁

                                                                            Someone on Reddit pointed to a modern variant, a sort of rewrite: https://github.com/NsCDE/NsCDE/

                                                                            1. 1

                                                                              I tried this, and it was less usable than old CDE… Also they seemed to spend a lot of effort rewriting some of the weirder things about CDE that I doubt are particularly useful to have in 2021.

                                                                              I’m also a little annoyed that the desktop would crash if I tried to make a change in the settings window (which is also far too much of a CDE settings clone… I’d like to be able to set an image as my wallpaper as opposed to a 1-bit pattern… and for that matter it would be really nice if the settings window would let me apply anything without crashing on me…

                                                                          2. 4

                                                                            But if KDE Plasma runs faster on the same hardware than CDE, I can’t help but assume something is wrong.

                                                                            I feel like it’s probably that there are compiler optimizations that you’re missing out on. I’ve never used CDE myself, but I know that (1) it’s old (and so therefore should be less resource-intensive) and (2) Plasma is relatively heavy (compared to XFCE/LXDE).

                                                                            …or, felt like it. After looking through the wiki page section on software tuning, I now suspect that the problem is lack of video acceleration or concurrency on the part of CDE. Older software is generally less resource-intensive, sure, but it also tends to use less of the hardware features that we’ve developed over time - the above, as well as SIMD instructions and newer kernel APIs.

                                                                            1. 1

                                                                              I was going to chime in with the same thing. I don’t know anything about either desktop environment, but I can only imagine that CDE is written like it’s running on a single-core machine with no hardware acceleration. Whereas I’m confident that Plasma uses OpenGL and I’m assuming it also uses concurrency and/or threads and/or separate processes to communicate between different parts of the desktop.

                                                                              Plus, there are people who will claim that Plasma now uses less memory than Xfce on the same machine. I doubt that’s true in general, but even if it could be true enough for someone to grab a screenshot at one moment in time, that’s pretty good for Plasma!

                                                                          1. 18

                                                                            Our sysadmin @alynpost is resigning as moderator and sysadmin to focus on other projects. Prgmr will no longer be donating hosting. For security’s sake, I’ve reset all tokens and you’ll have to log in again - sorry for the hassle.

                                                                            Is there any risk that Lobste.rs could go offline in the future due to running costs?

                                                                            1. 38

                                                                              No. The new hosting bill is $75/month, which I don’t mind at all.

                                                                              1. 14

                                                                                Isn’t that very overpriced? 40€/month at hetzner gets you a dedicated machine with a Ryzen 5 3600, 64GB of RAM and 512GB of SSD on RAID1 (no affiliation or anything, it’s just the provider I know).

                                                                                1. 8

                                                                                  Hetzner also just uses electricity from sustainable sources, while with digital ocean it depends on the location

                                                                                  1. 3

                                                                                    Hetzner is the goat! I use them for my VPS and it’s the best deal I’ve seen yet for cloud services. The fact that they’re environmentally friendly as well makes it that much better!

                                                                                  2. 5

                                                                                    Does Hetzner have managed MySQL? Seems like it’s a big hassle removed there.

                                                                                    1. 6

                                                                                      You can rent a managed server with Hetzner and they have a panel to install and mange MySQL on it, but I don’t think it’s comparable to DigitalOcean’s managed offerings.

                                                                                      1. 1

                                                                                        Would be really interesting to hear what they’re doing with “managed”. Because based on the prices I’d say prgrmr.com is also not cheap compared to the hardware you get.

                                                                                  3. 5

                                                                                    Does hosting lobster requires lots of CPU or RAM?

                                                                                    1. 4

                                                                                      It’s Rails. So both :)

                                                                                      1. -1

                                                                                        #rust

                                                                                    2. 5

                                                                                      Would you consider accepting donations for hosting?

                                                                                      1. 35

                                                                                        I appreciate the offers but prefer not to, no. Still looking for someone to print-on-demand stickers, though.

                                                                                        1. 12

                                                                                          I’ll buy $75 worth of stickers every month to show my appreciation.

                                                                                          1. 6

                                                                                            Minor dissenting opinion:

                                                                                            I support a lot of people on Patreon and expect nothing in return. Chipping in $5/month to Lobste.rs because I like the community and the stuff that gets shared here isn’t a tall order, and won’t come with any entitlement. (A lot of the people I support are artists and content creators that are usually in high demand from the rest of the community.)

                                                                                            I can’t speak for the rest of the community, but I don’t think I’m particularly saintly in this regard. :P

                                                                                            If the expenses grow, please don’t rule this option out entirely.

                                                                                            1. 3

                                                                                              It seems to me that the expectation comes from the design of sites which ask for monthly donations. Thinking out loud here, but a donations system which really was just a donations system, something more similar to ko-fi and didn’t have names attached, might help highlight the fact that by donating one is helping out rather than a new account tier?

                                                                                              I personally also donate on Patreon and expect nothing.

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                                                                                              Thank you! That is a great attitude.

                                                                                              I have one concern though. What happens when lobste.rs keeps growing and the bill increases? What is your maximum you would spend on the site? Wouldn‘t it be better to care about that rather earlier than later?

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                                                                                                By design, Lobsters grows pretty slowly. I’m thinking of design decisions like invites vs open signups, and a narrow focus rather than a subreddit for everything. Growth is not a goal like it would be in a startup, and I’d pause invites if we saw some kind of huge spike.

                                                                                                Right off we should have plenty of spare capacity. I aimed to overprovision this new server and we’ll see if I eyeballed that correctly as we reach peak traffic during the US work week. If the hosting bill goes to about 10x current I’ll start reconsidering donations. But that may never happen! Hosting costs slowly decline as power gets cheaper, data centers get built, and fiber gets laid. Lobsters is cheap to run because it’s a CRUD SQL app pushing around text a few kilobytes at a time and our size increases slowly. I hope not to jinx it, but it seems likely that our hosting bill is flat or declines over the next decade.

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                                                                                                Not print-on-demand afaik, but Sticker Mule has been great to work with in the past for me.

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                                                                                                  Redbubble do print on demand for stickers, iirc.

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                                                                                                    I’m definitely in the market for some stickers if you find a service or have any left over from the first batch!

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                                                                                              Bad title, but actually interesting read. Except this part:

                                                                                              A good webcam, in my opinion, is a device that provides a decent sound quality

                                                                                              Maybe I’m just realistically pessimistic but years of experience with people and their shitty audio setups made me swear to never ever use a room mic myself for a video or audio call.

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                                                                                                When using a MacBook Pro for video calls I can get away with using the inbuilt mic as others tell me I come across very clearly and with no background noise / echo etc. I’ve noticed the same with other callers on Apple devices.

                                                                                                Those on our company’s (expensive) Dells all need to wear headsets to be heard properly and avoid noise / echo.

                                                                                                I don’t know what Apple is doing with their mics and processing of the audio but it works.

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                                                                                                  The Apple mic array is doing a ton of digital signal processing behind the scenes – identifying voice-like noise and “steering” to it using phased array techniques. That stuff is really cool but expensive to develop.

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                                                                                                    It sounds cool, but in reality it is not that hard to develop. And they only have three mics, that gives only a very crude beam-steering abilities.

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                                                                                                      I wonder why other device / OS manufacturers aren’t providing something similar then. Perhaps it’s encumbered by patents or is much harder to implement if you don’t have your hands on both the hardware and OS. Windows drivers should have enough access though, I’d have thought.

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                                                                                                        Crude is good enough to distinguish between the voice directly ahead of the camera and other sources. If two people are directly in front of the camera, the chance is good that both intend to be heard.

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                                                                                                    I use one and it works (and I’m conscious enough of these things to have spent almost €1k on conference quality improvements, and some of it was my own money). Location is everything. My microphone is far from my keyboard, somewhat directional, and I’m alone in the room.

                                                                                                    if I wanted to build a good-quality product I’d probably spend a lot of effort on using two or three good microphones and driver code and training/calibration tools to be able to boost the voice and suppress noise sources (typing on the keyboard, construction work in the neighbouring offices, neighbours fighting, whatever). And I’d forget absolutely 4k.

                                                                                                    I’m sure 4k resolution is useful for something, but being able to count the hairs on people’s chins during video conferences is not likely to help the conference achieve its purpose.

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                                                                                                      That and probably no current videoconferencing system allocates users enough bandwidth to transmit 4k anyway, even if their internet connection suffices for it.

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                                                                                                      My solution to all this, is I bought a good microphone. I have 2 now, a blue yeti, and a rode podcaster. The former is a condenser mic, so its a bit finicky on room noise pickup. The latter is a shotgun mic which is way better for meetings. I bought an arm for them as well.

                                                                                                      My only problem with all this is I kinda want the whole thing in a package, so I’m tempted to try to buy a new arm with in arm cable management (I HATE CABLES DIE DIE DIE), and to then get an rpi4 with the camera module v2 and make this whole setup work off the boom arm and setup obs there to act as a usb camera passthrough for say 720p. I’m also wondering if I solder up an led light array powered off usb too by the camera. Lighting seems to be the biggest issue with most live meeting setups.

                                                                                                      Then I can just use like xpra to connect to obs on the pi and all the stupid software on any system I plug this crap into will “just work” and think of the entire thing as a mic/camera but I’ll have sane audio filters.

                                                                                                      I’ve started down this path actually but not entirely sure I want to do the entire race. It all seems like a ton of silly work for little gain. Depends how bored I get this winter.

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                                                                                                        Is OBS running on a Pi really good for that? I mean, I’ve thought about building a webcam out of a Pi and a HQ Camera module (and by my suggestion a friend did so), but he used Ethernet/RTSP from the Pi, and I thought about just getting a UVC stream from the Pi and using OBS on the computer it’s plugged into.

                                                                                                        I guess the real question I have is, how well does OBS run on a Raspberry Pi?

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                                                                                                          Great question. I’m not entirely sure to be honest, I have a spare 4b 8gig I can test on. But my fallback option is this: https://www.lattepanda.com/products/3.html

                                                                                                          For 1080/720p should be enough and i’m also trying to have the goal of it doing all this over usb as a device not over ethernet/wifi which is a huge pita. The wifi is the only thing i’ll use and use it for having xpra run obs so I can disconnect/reconnect to things. I might just abandon the pi as the backbone and just use x86 instead because its a lot less of a pain to maybe do something that could be booted/installed off of pxe.

                                                                                                          You could run obs on the host computer as well instead of on the soc, my goal here was to more to have “obs in a box hooked up to a camera and mic”. It won’t connect super fast if I power it off the host bus and will have to boot but the tradeoffs seem worth it.

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                                                                                                        At work, I have a fairly expensive VoIP phone with a speakerphone mode that I use exclusively as a microphone. It works very well in my office. In my home office, I’ve been using the microphone built into my Surface Book 2. That also works very well, though it works far better with Teams than Signal. As far as I can tell (having not looked at the code), Teams is doing some dynamic measurement to detect the latency between the sound and the speaker. This is really apparent when you use a wireless setup (for social things, I sometimes use the WiFi display functionality of my Xbox to send video and audio to the living room screen and speakers - this has about half a second latency, which Teams is fine with but Signal can’t handle at all).

                                                                                                        My webcam actually does have a microphone but I’ve not tried using it.

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                                                                                                          Bad title, but actually interesting read.

                                                                                                          I’m open for suggestions on improving the title :)

                                                                                                          Maybe I’m just realistically pessimistic but years of experience with people and their shitty audio setups made me swear to never ever use a room mic myself for a video or audio call.

                                                                                                          It is actually possible to make a good audio setup with room mic. Of course, in some cases it is very hard, if someone is sitting in a crammed open space, but this product is supposed to be used basically at home, where it is much easier to do.

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                                                                                                            I’m open for suggestions on improving the title :)

                                                                                                            Buzzfeed it! Top 10 reasons you can’t buy a good webcam, #10 will shock you! I think its fine as-is though, but I am also annoyed that getting good video and audio even for zoom stuff is sooooo more effort than i’d expected. I appreciate the people that put in the effort on calls now though. So much background noise that could be eliminated with a filter through obs or some other audio processing that would remove my headphones letting me hear every wash cycle of their clothes. (also, why do people not mute when not talking or try to do laundry when they’re not on a meeting but I digress)

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                                                                                                              Top 10 reasons you can’t buy a good webcam, #10 will shock you!

                                                                                                              Ughh, thanks, I hate it :)

                                                                                                              So much background noise that could be eliminated with a filter through obs or some other audio processing

                                                                                                              When in a meeting from PC - sure, it’s possible. When someone is on a meeting from phone it’s both really hard to do anything custom and generally a lot more noise, because someone is walking by a busy street, or standing next to a grinding coffee machine… Or does their laundry, as you say.

                                                                                                              Seems like the only solution here is to convince people to buy some noise-cancelling headsets for their phone.

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                                                                                                              I didn’t say it’s impossible, but I seem to have exclusively worked with people who don’t care about others in the past. I’m regularly the only one using a headset with a microphone, some people at least have earbuds with a non crappy mic, but environmental noise or static is more common than not. And yes, maybe I’m just grumpy because nobody seems to care a bit.

                                                                                                              Regarding the title: I think “good” is very subjective here, especially given the many different use cases. Yes, my ThinkPad one is horrible, but for team meetings where I have the people on a 14” laptop screen the one in e.g. 4-5y old Macbooks is totally fine. Also I kinda like the Logitech ones (forgot the model) that were actually just 70-100€ and maybe? catered to streamers. No, it’s not 4k but I honestly don’t see the need for that, many people I know never watch this on big enough screens to even notice.

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                                                                                                                the Logitech ones (forgot the model) that were actually just 70-100€ and maybe? catered to streamers

                                                                                                                Maybe the C920 HD? They’re excellent, especially for their price. Not sure about the quality of the built-in mic, I always use a headset, but it’s overall a very solid product.

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                                                                                                            This looks really useful for me! Thanks!