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    There is a reason for the proliferation of Electron apps. There is a huge ecosystem, and the time to ship is fairly low. There are tonnes of FOSS IDEs in electron that you could take inspiration from as well. Don’t worry about the size of binary - the intersection of people interested in IDEs/notebooks and people interested in minimal memory footprint is tiny.

    1. 32

      No, just.. no. The whole idea of making individual applications that each depend on their own copy of a fully featured web browser that, get this, will almost never be updated to patch future security issues is an extremely flawed and dangerous practice. You do not need an entire copy of chromium to edit text.

      1. 10

        you’re right that you don’t need it, but that analysis is only considering the user’s perspective, and is only considering it from a narrow frame of reference.

        For one thing: most Electron apps in most situations are being deployed to users who will run just a few applications at a time; less than ten. I agree that you don’t need to run a web browser to edit text. The reality is that the vast majority of users will only run one instance of VS Code (or Atom). The question is not whether or not you need it, it’s whether or not you can get away with it.

        For the majority of orgs, staffing is significantly simplified with Electron, because it has significant overlap with the web as a platform. You can’t seriously consider the merits of Electron without acknowledging how much Electron lowers the barrier to entry.

        With that said: I absolutely despise building Electron apps personally, and I loathe using them. It is, in my opinion, a terrible platform. It does, however, solve real problems that are not solved by the alternatives.

        My hope is that the proliferation of Electron will give Microsoft pause, and will encourage innovation in the desktop application development space. (I don’t think this is likely, but that’s a topic for another day.) It’s an absolute embarrassment that Slack takes about 3x as much memory to run as Blender, when the former is just a glorified IRC client and the latter is literally a world-building tool. But at the end of the day, Slack is taking 350mb of memory in an age where entry-level machines have 4 or 8gb of memory. For most users in most situations, the bloat just doesn’t actually matter. The irony is that the people most affected by this bloat are software people, who are the exact people that have the power to stop it.

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          The irony is that the people most affected by this bloat are software people, who are the exact people that have the power to stop it.

          This is a pretty shallow analysis. The people most affected by this bloat are the people with the least capable hardware, which is not usually people in software engineering positions, and certainly not the people choosing to write Electron apps in the first place.

          1. 3

            I think that’s broadly true but I left it off because I’m having a very hard time imagining a user persona that describes this problem in a way where it really is a problem, and where there are realistic alternatives.

            A big sector of the low-end PC market now is Chromebooks (you can get a Chromebook with 4gb of memory for under a hundred dollars), but that’s a circular issue since Chromebooks can’t run Electron apps directly anyway, they have to run Chrome Apps, which are … themselves Chromium contexts. That user persona only increases the utility of Electron, inasmuch as that entire market is only capable of running the execution context that Electron is already using: the web. By targeting that execution context, you’re lowering the barrier to entry for serving that market since much of what you write for Electron will be portable to a Chrome App. The existence of Electron is probably a net positive for that market, even if, yes, as I said before, it’s a very wasteful foundation on which to build your software.

            The Raspberry Pi userbase is particularly notable here. Electron is probably a net harm to RPi 3 and Pi Zero users. Electron is a problem for the RPi userbase, but that’s a highly specialized market to begin with, and newer models of the RPi are fast enough that Electron’s bloat stops being as punitive. (when I say specialized here I don’t mean unimportant or rare, I mean that it’s notably different from other desktop environments both in terms of technical constraints and user needs.)

            It’s easy to say “Electron is bloated, therefore harmful to people with slow computers”, but as a decision-making tool, that conclusion is too blunt to be useful. Which users, on which hardware, in which situations, attempting to access which software?

            And besides, it’s not like Electron has cornered the market on writing bloated software. Adobe Photoshop is written in C++ and uses a cool 1gb of memory without a single document open. The reality is that Electron empowers beginner developers to create cross-platform desktop apps in a way that is absolutely dominating the space because it focuses on solving problems that actually exist, instead of problems that are only believed to exist. The path to getting people away from Electron is not to say “don’t use Electron because it’s bloated”, it’s for other tools to figure out what needs Electron is satisfying that are not satisfied by the alternatives.

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              And besides, it’s not like Electron has cornered the market on writing bloated software. Adobe Photoshop is written in C++ and uses a cool 1gb of memory without a single document open. The reality is that Electron empowers beginner developers to create cross-platform desktop apps in a way that is absolutely dominating the space because it focuses on solving problems that actually exist, instead of problems that are only believed to exist. The path to getting people away from Electron is not to say “don’t use Electron because it’s bloated”, it’s for other tools to figure out what needs Electron is satisfying that are not satisfied by the alternatives.

              That’s not a fair comparison given how many plugins and features out of the box Photoshop has.

              1.  

                The path to getting people away from Electron is not to say “don’t use Electron because it’s bloated”, it’s for other tools to figure out what needs Electron is satisfying that are not satisfied by the alternatives

                We need basically the Flash Player, without the legacy timeline or embedded VM. A cross-platform, high-performance scene graph with a small but complete API surface that developers can mate to the language of their choice, be it a VM like JS or Lua, or Python, or with D / Rust or C++ code.

                1.  

                  the timeline and the AS3 VM are … kinda the core of Flash, so I’m not really sure what would be left. Without that stuff isn’t it basically just Cairo?

                  anyway, you know about Scaleform, right? Not clear by your answer if it’s already on your radar, but it was a licensed implementation of Flash, significantly more performant that Adobe’s implementation, that supported C++ interoperability, that was in its later years owned and run by AutoDesk. Using Scaleform to build the 2D UI for 3D games was a dominant trend in the games industry for over 15 years. Some people still use it today but it was cancelled years ago. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scaleform_GFx

            2. 3

              My hope is that the proliferation of Electron will give Microsoft pause, and will encourage innovation in the desktop application development space. (I don’t think this is likely, but that’s a topic for another day.)

              Nope, they’re huge users of it.

              1. 1

                I mean, my first example was VS Code and I said I thought this result was highly unlikely so … I feel like I’ve already demonstrated an awareness of that fact and I’m not sure what you’re getting at.

                1. 2

                  Eep, I read it but didn’t catch that line. Sorry.

          2. 3

            the intersection of people interested in IDEs/notebooks and people interested in minimal memory footprint is tiny.

            In my experience the more someone crafts code, the more they care about memory footprint- even if it’s in the sense of “I’ll have less memory for testing my application”.

            1.  

              In my experience the more someone crafts code, the more they care about memory footprint- even if it’s in the sense of “I’ll have less memory for testing my application”.

              I am with you to some degree - but we are talking about Notebook/repl-style applications here. These aren’t traditional applications in the sense that they are never daemonized, are always foreground applications, and are tested by manually tweaking and observing (or at least that is how I use notebooks). Also, I probably should clarify - if the application actually ships and people feel it is slow, then the effort involved in porting over to Qt or something might be justified. Most of the times, in crowded spaces, getting things to ship is more important than quibbling about memory use.

          1. -3

            About implemented useless features: “What is so wrong about […]”
            About non-implemented useless features: “Support has borders”
            We really don’t need to get too detailed to affirm that ShitDSystemD sucks, even because most people that says the contrary are not aware of the internal details (or do not care about technical quality at all)

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              To not let people completely aimless about my statement (and let new downvotes consider using “unkind” instead of “troll”).

              Main Problems:
              • Too big
              • Is becoming a hard dependency of many projects

              Those are the biggest problems (the rest, such as bricking your BIOS, are bonus), because as we become more dependent of it, the harder it becomes to use alternatives (gl trying to re-implement the necessary interfaces, especially when it grows ad-infinitum); Otherwise people who still cares about quality could simply use an alternative.

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                Don’t you think that the reason why it’s becoming a hard dependency of many projects is because it’s actually pretty useful?

                1. 1

                  Does a bad thing being useful mean it’s use should be supported?

                  1. 2

                    Bad is a moral judgement, and software doesn’t have moral character.

                    A more obvious form of the question is “Does a complex, buggy, opaque thing being useful mean it’s use should be supported?”.

                    This form of the question is unpopular with people who insist the answer should be “no” - possibly because it makes clear the reasons why it might sometimes be “yes”.

                    1. 1

                      Your question is too generic to answer ;), also I think it’s too generic to be adequate for our “should we use systemd’ problem.

                      • Should you use your car to travel? It contains complex, buggy, opaque and user-hostile systems (user-hostile when you’re trying to fix it yourself), it influences the environment in a negative way, it’s loud, kills people, and is designed to be replaced few years after buying. But because ambulances use it, people’s lives can be saved.

                      • Do you have the source code of the UEFI implementation of your motherboard? It’s complex, buggy, closed, nobody knows what it’s doing, and it’s running every time you power on your computer. But because it can be used to bootstrap your operating system, it allows you to connect with other people.

                      • Do you eat sugar / do you smoke / drink alcohol? It’s bad for your health, but it’s tasty / can help with social interaction.

                      1. 2

                        Wether or not you should use a car is a personnal concern. Some people don’t want to be bothered and need it (ambulances, police, etc..). The problem is that distros are getting rid of the bike lanes and sidewalks because they don’t want to be bothered with alternative transportation methods, as the car do it well. And me, a longboard enthusiast that don’t need a car at all to move around the city is forced into it, even though I neither need or want it.

                        1. 1

                          Wether or not you should use a car is a personnal concern.

                          I don’t agree. There are lots of people who would like to limit other people to have cars. Also lots of people who are bothered because 1 person has more than one car. Also, the environment that we live in is influenced by other people having cars (noise, pollution, sidewalks as parking spots, etc). So, I understand that me having a car can influence another person in a negative way. So since it influences another person, it’s not a personal concern. There’s also a non-zero risk that the car owner does some damage with it, since using a car involves manipulating a high energy object, that’s why the car insurance exists (disclaimer: I own a car and I’m not against using it).

                          The example with removing bike lanes and sidewalks seems adequate, but maybe the distro does it because the majority of people uses cars. So I’m not sure is it sensible to try to limit the optimization of the city for the majority, because a small percent of citizens desn’t want it. Also, removing sidewalks and bike lanes is not the goal here. Future features that will be possible to be implemented by optimizing the city for cars are the goals.

                          1. 2

                            the environment that we live in is influenced by other people having cars (noise, pollution, sidewalks as parking spots, etc). So, I understand that me having a car can influence another person in a negative way

                            This is where the metaphor stops applying. Of course an init system has zero impact on the environment, and does not directly impact other people. If we both use gentoo, and my system runs systemd while yours uses openrc, you won’t be bothered at all, no matter how bad I tune/use my system.

                            Back when systemd appeared, I was running archlinux, so I mostly remember the design choice for this particular distro. When they decided to make systemd the default init, many people asked why a tinkerer distro like this would enforce the init system on its users (it was possible at the time to replace the init system, SysV with openrc or runit fairly easily). The developers/maintainers stated that they chose systemd because it would unify how the services would be managed, so they would not have to maintain all the scripts for other daemon managers. They wanted a single way to write service files so they won’t be bothered with bugs in shell init scripts.

                            They did not remove the sidewalks and bike lanes because people used cars. They forced users into it so they won’t have to maintain the sidewalks and bike lanes. The choice didn’t come from the users at all, it cames from the distro makers.

                            edit: Found to official communication from 8 years ago! https://bbs.archlinux.org/viewtopic.php?pid=1149530#p1149530 There were more than just the initscripts part obviously, as systemd solves real problems. I just remember getting into a discussion where the main argument was that maintaining init scripts was a waste of time for the devs because with systemd provides a unique interface for them, that distro can share together in a common effort (I still believe each distro maintain their own service files and don’t use a common source…).

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                    such as bricking your BIOS

                    This was buggy firmware that bricked itself when no EFI variables were set; such behaviour should be a factory reset instead. And it’d be exposed regardless of init system if you mounted the EFI variable filesystem.

                    1. 3

                      yep, but in SystemD case specifically, it needs the efivars to be mounted writable, according to Poettering because SystemD writes to it (with systemctl reboot --firmware)

                      1. 3

                        And that is systemd’s fault exactly how?

                        1. 3

                          Why does it need to write to the EFI filesystem every single boot?

                          No seriously, the whole point of having EFI on a separate filesystem is to protect the security and integrity of the boot process. systemd writes data to what should be a read-only partition unless you’re altering your bootloader.

                          1. 1

                            First, I think you’re mistaking EFI Filesystem (the FAT32 blob store with kernels) for EFIvars, NAND-backed kv configuration store. Systemd only writes to the latter when you explicitly invoke a reboot-to-firmware. And for that you need efivars mounted as rw.

                            EDIT: Also, traditionally, the former has always been mounted as rw somewhere under /boot, just like in BIOS days. And no one complains about it. And for EFIvars there are other customers too: gdisk, syslinux, grub2, efibootmgr, fwupd’s fwupdmgr and Gnome-Software frontends…

                            1. 1

                              If systemd needs to write to the EFI filesystem it should mount it read-write in a private namespace, not in the global namespace. I understand that namespaces are a relatively new feature but they’re not that new honestly.

                              1. 3

                                That’s much more actionable feedback. Makes sense to me.

                                1. 2

                                  If systemd needs to write to the EFI filesystem it should mount it read-write in a private namespace, not in the global namespace.

                                  Fine, but what about the half-dozen other clients, that expect writable efivars in the global namespace? Especially efibootmgr and fwupd.

                                  1. 1

                                    They should do the same IMO. This is an area you can permanently brick your machine, needing a little bit of inconvenience is a good thing

                                    1. 1

                                      Okay, that might work, can’t disagree here.

                        2. 3

                          I don’t see how that’s an excuse. It wouldn’t have happened if not for the actions of systemd’s developers.

                          1. 6
                            1. The EFI spec says you can reboot to firmware by wiping EFI vars.
                            2. Someone shipped hardware that is bricked if you follow the EFI spec.
                            3. Someone else shipped free software that follows the EFI spec.

                            How is it that the free software that follows the spec attracts more blame than the paid hardware that doesn’t?

                    1. 3

                      Twitter thread with links to news articles, as you wish.

                      1. 4

                        Lots of good things were originally unintended or semi-intended results of technical limitations. The /usr split is still a good idea today even if those technical limitations no longer exist. It’s not a matter of people not understanding history, or of people not realising the origins of things, but that things outgrow their history.

                        Rob’s email is, in my opinion, quite condescending. Everyone else is just ignorantly cargo-culting their filesystem hierarchy. Or perhaps not? Perhaps people kept the split because it was useful? That seems a bit more likely to me.

                        1. 19

                          I’m not sure it is still useful.
                          In fact, some linux distributions have moved to a “unified usr/bin” structure, where /bin, /sbin/, and /usr/sbin all are simply symlinks (for compatibility) to /usr/bin. Background on the archlinux change.

                          1. 2

                            I’m not sure it is still useful.

                            I think there’s a meaningful distinction there, but it’s a reasonable decision to say ‘there are tradeoffs for doing this but we’re happy with them’. What I’m not happy with is the condescending ‘there was never any good reason for doing this and anyone that supports it is just a cargo culting idiot’ which is the message I felt I was getting while reading that email.

                            In fact, some linux distributions have moved to a “unified usr/bin” structure, where /bin, /sbin/, and /usr/sbin all are simply symlinks (for compatibility) to /usr/bin. Background on the archlinux change.

                            I’m not quite sure why they chose to settle on /usr/bin as the one unified location instead of /bin.

                            1. 14

                              That wasn’t the argument though. There was a good reason for the split (they filled up their hard drive). But that became a non-issue as hardware quickly advanced. Unless you were privy to these details in the development history of this OS, of course you would copy this filesystem hierarchy in your unix clone. Cargo culting doesn’t make you an idiot, especially when you lack design rationale documentation and source code.

                              1. 2

                                … it’s a reasonable decision to say ‘there are tradeoffs for doing this but we’re happy with them’. What I’m not happy with is the condescending ‘there was never any good reason for doing this and anyone that supports it is just a cargo culting idiot’ which is the message I felt I was getting while reading that email.

                                Ah. Gotcha. That seems like a much more nuanced position, and I would tend to agree with that.

                                I’m not quite sure why they chose to settle on /usr/bin as the one unified location instead of /bin

                                I’m not sure either. My guess is since “other stuff” was sticking around in /usr, might as well put everything in there. /usr being able to be a single distinct mount point that could ostensibly be set as read-only, may have had some bearing too, but I’m not sure.
                                Personally, I think I would have used it as an opportunity to redo hier entirely into something that makes more sense, but I assume that would have devolved into endless bikeshedding, so maybe that is why they chose a simpler path.

                                1. 3

                                  My guess is since “other stuff” was sticking around in /usr, might as well put everything in there. /usr being able to be a single distinct mount point that could ostensibly be set as read-only, may have had some bearing too, but I’m not sure.

                                  That was a point further into the discussion. I can’t find the archived devwiki entry for usrmerge, but I pulled up the important parts from Allan.

                                  Personally, I think I would have used it as an opportunity to redo hier entirely into something that makes more sense, but I assume that would have devolved into endless bikeshedding, so maybe that is why they chose a simpler path.

                                  Seems like we did contemplate /kernel and /linker at one point in the discussion.

                                  What convinced me of putting all this in /usr rather than on / is that I can have a separate /usr partition that is mounted read only (unless I want to do an update). If everything from /usr gets moved to the root (a.k.a hurd style) this would require many partitions. (There is apparently also benefits in allowing /usr to be shared across multiple systems, but I do not care about such a setup and I am really not sure this would work at all with Arch.)

                                  https://lists.archlinux.org/pipermail/arch-dev-public/2012-March/022629.html

                                  Evidently, we also had an request to symlink /bin/awk to /usr/bin/awk for distro compatability.

                                  This actually will result in more cross-distro compatibility as there will not longer be differences about where files are located. To pick an example, /bin/awk will exist and /usr/bin/awk will exist, so either hardcoded path will work. Note this currently happens for our gawk package with symlinks, but only after a bug report asking for us to put both paths sat in our bug tracker for years…

                                  https://lists.archlinux.org/pipermail/arch-dev-public/2012-March/022632.html

                                  And bug; https://bugs.archlinux.org/task/17312

                            2. 18

                              Sorry, I can’t tell from your post - why is it still useful today? This is a serious question, I don’t recall it ever being useful to me, and I can’t think of a reason it’d be useful.

                              1. 2

                                My understanding is that on macOS, an OS upgrade can result in the contents of /bin being overwritten, while the /usr/local directory is left untouched. For that reason, the most popular package manager for macOS (Homebrew) installs packages to /usr/local.

                                1. 1

                                  I think there are cases where people want / and /usr split, but I don’t know why. There are probably also arguments that the initramfs/initrd is enough of a separate system/layer for unusual setups. Don’t know.

                                  1. 2

                                    It’s nice having /usr mounted nodev, whereas I can’t have / mounted nodev for obvious reasons. However, if an OS implements their /dev via something like devfs in FreeBSD, this becomes a non-issue.

                                    1. 2

                                      Isn’t /dev an own mountpoint anyways?

                                      1. 1

                                        It is on FreeBSD, which is why I mentioned devfs, but idk what the situation is on Linux, Solaris and AIX these days off the top of my head. On OpenBSD it isn’t.

                                        1. 2

                                          Linux has devtmpfs per kernel default.

                                2. 14

                                  The complexity this introduced has far outweighed any perceived benefit.

                                  1. 13

                                    I dunno, hasn’t been useful to me in the last 20 years or so. Any problem that it solves has a better solution in 2020, and probably had a better solution in 1990.

                                    1. 6

                                      Perhaps people kept the split because it was useful? That seems a bit more likely to me.

                                      Do you have a counter-example where the split is still useful?

                                      1. 3

                                        The BSDs do have the related /usr/local split which allows you to distinguish between the base system and ports/packages, which is useful since you may want to install different versions of things included in the base system (clang and OpenSSL for example). This is not really applicable to Linux of course, since there is no ‘base system’ to make distinct from installed software.

                                        1. 3

                                          Doesn’t Linux have the same /usr/local split? It’s mentioned in the article.

                                          1. 5

                                            I tend to rush for /opt/my-own-prefix-here (or per-package), myself, mainly to make it clear what it is, and avoid risk of clobbering anything else in /usr/local (like if it’s a BSD). It’s also in the FHS, so pedants can’t tell you you’re doing it wrong.

                                            1. 4

                                              It does - this is generally used for installing software outside the remit of the package manager (global npm packages, for example), and it’s designated so by the FHS which most distributions follow (as other users have noted in this thread), but it’s less prominent since most users on Linux install very little software not managed by the package manager. It’s definitely a lot more integral in BSD-land.

                                              1. 3

                                                […] since most users on Linux install very little software not managed by the package manager

                                                The Linux users around me still do heaps of ./configure && make install; but, I see your point when contrasted against the rise of PPAs, Docker and nodenv/rbenv/pyenv/…

                                                1. 3

                                                  Yeah, I do tons of configure make install stuff, sometimes of things that are also in the distro - and this split of /usr/local is sometimes useful because it means if I attempt a system update my custom stuff isn’t necessarily blasted.

                                                  But the split between /bin and /usr/bin is meh.

                                            2. 1

                                              That sounds sensible. Seems like there could be a command that tells you the difference. Then, a versioning scheme that handles the rest. For example, OpenVMS had file versioning.

                                        1. 4

                                          This has a really good point, that the majority rule as implemented disproportionately affects small bloggers in a bad way. I mentioned in the initial description it’ll have to get patched this week and reaffirmed that; I’ll take your point into account there.

                                          And then positively: what difference can we get at between small bloggers with limited audiences and the quasi-spammers?

                                          1. 5

                                            I think bloggers (and people like me, who submit things they read from RSS when suitable) tend to engage with the site; even it’s just to update read status, but often substantive like replying to comments. Spammers tend to see the site as a dumping ground, and any engagement is very artificial looking.

                                            1. 4

                                              This feels like a very important point for making the distinction between the false positives and exploitative marketers. When I’ve nudged people in PM to do more than promote their business, I’ve said, “Lobsters is not a write-only site”.

                                              It feels like there’s probably a very useful metric here around non-self-promotional behavior like voting and posting well-scored comments on other people’s stories. I really don’t want to encourage “great article i loved the part where you wrote a program” me-too comments. Hmmmm.

                                            2. 2

                                              I think the key is to focus on the human aspects of our community. Maybe there could be some way for users to vouch for other users, or posts? I’m sure there are a lot of people here who would vouch for @soapdog and his posts as being useful and interesting and valuable to the community. And the same could probably be said for other independent bloggers who get featured here regularly. Of course, any system can be gamed, so this probably deserves more care and thought before being rolled out.

                                              1. 2

                                                As I said in my original comment on the original thread: Thanks a ton for the hard work on the site, I really appreciate it Reading this site is probably among my favourite things in my daily routine, I’m not forgetting all the sweat and effort that goes into keeping this going with such high quality content and engagement among community members.

                                                I decided to make that post because for me it was not just lobste.rs, there is a larger problem of sharing our blog posts elsewhere as well. Spam and “content marketing” became such a pervasive thing in our industry that I totally understand why you, the other ops and the rest of the community is so engaged in trying to solve it at least for this site. I wrote my post before reading some of your later comments in the thread. I don’t remember if they were already there when I wrote and I failed to see them, or, if I ended up posting before you commented further. Anyway, it is an important topic and it is leading to a very healthy conversation, so I think it is all positive and that whatever will come out of this will be the best we all can do.

                                                I wanted to agree with that comment from Calvin about somehow taking into account the other interactions on the site might lead to a better metric for separating marketeers from blogger but then, I saw your reply quoting that this might lead to a lot of “me too” comments. I totally agree with you, no one want that. It is bad enough to have spam links, spam comments would be even worse.

                                                Maybe the best measure would be reactionary instead of preventive. Maybe what is needed are better self-moderation tools so that community members can flag stuff. Given enough flags from good karma members, the post (or even the author) could face automatic spam measures such as be given a time delay, or even flagged for further investigation by a sysop. The key for this to work well would be for it not to rely on sysops for everything. Some stuff such as “given enough flags, this entry is hidden”, or “given enough flags, this author is prevented from posting for a week/month/etc”, if repeated offences from the same user happen, the user becomes read-only or banned. This way, sysop intervention should only be necessary if some arbitration is needed. Instead of algorithms and machine learning, we can have real humans triaging stuff and the consequences are automated. (it is just a thought)

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                                                Thanks for your efforts!

                                                After four links, a domain can’t have a majority of its stories submitted from a single user.

                                                As a datapoint, I currently can’t submit stories from my domain as I’ve submitted 14 (9 by others). I’m probably biased, but most stories have been reasonably well received so I’d consider that a loss.

                                                1. 46

                                                  A simple tweak to this rule: bumping against the ceiling makes new submissions from that domain require mod approval. If posts are consistently well-received, mods can whitelist that (UserName, Domain) pair?

                                                  1. 9

                                                    I like this idea! If this is too much moderation overhead, maybe users with sufficiently high karma could see this queue and add approvals?

                                                    1. 11

                                                      Maybe. I dunno. I just threw it out there, but concerns around mod overreach and cabals of power-users are as old as time.

                                                      Tying site privileges to karma creates all sorts of Goodhart’s-law-shaped problems.

                                                      1. 3

                                                        Yeah, but maybe the same trust system that lobsters already has would work here: namely, a mod can delegate this queue to a user they trust? It’s all highly transparent anyway so abuse could be punished?

                                                        1. 2

                                                          A hidden, secondary confidence score that is calculated based on outcomes that are subjectively chosen is where pushcx may be heading with this in due time. Putting a number to it might be a good idea.

                                                    2. 37

                                                      As a datapoint, you are not alone. I wrote:

                                                      in the meantime bumping up against this limit posts a note to moderators so if it goes wrong we’ll see problems

                                                      This definitely went wrong.

                                                      My apologies to those inconvenienced by it, there’s a lot more false positives than I recognized. We’ve had a couple suggestions on how to reduce the error rate like only looking at the last N months or skipping it if any of the domain’s stories have done especially well (better than average or median?). I especially appreciate the folks writing and tweaking queries to try to build up our understanding, and I expect there’s probably some novel angle to separate noise from signal that we’ll think of in the next few days.

                                                      1. 10

                                                        There’s a “homepage” link in the profile. Perhaps the limit could be increased for your declared domain, (possibly, only if it’s unique across users?)

                                                        1. 4

                                                          This is a good idea, but what if the user is submitting from two blogs? For example, their personal blog and the blog of a project (perhaps a project the user contributes to) that the Lobsters community might be interested in.

                                                          1. 8

                                                            We have an authored by checkmark, that might work?

                                                            1. 2

                                                              How many people are doing that? I think it may be acceptable collateral damage.

                                                              1. 1

                                                                Aren’t hats available for that purpose?

                                                                1. 2

                                                                  Hats can’t be attached to posts… yet? Also, hats are generally used more for speaking on behalf/with significant involvement for more major projects, less associating sites to users. I suppose it can be changed…

                                                                  1. 1

                                                                    To clarify, are you suggesting that hats be used as a signal for increasing the (proposed) limit as to how many times a user can submit stories from a particular domain?

                                                                    1. 1

                                                                      No, but to have people make it clear that they are posting personal or project related. A separate limit per hat would be an idea yes for the post limit.

                                                              2. 2

                                                                Perhaps rate limiting posts rather than an absolute limit (or some combination of trust - whatever that means, account lifespan, etc to generate a score/threshold coupled with rate limits).

                                                              3. 35

                                                                Yes, this rule doesn’t really make sense to me. Users who write good stories will most likely be punished in this category.

                                                                1. 25

                                                                  yes, I came to the comment section to ask specifically how to handle posting entries for our own blog posts. I enjoy blogging and this is one of the few places I share my blog posts. Don’t how to handle this now.

                                                                  1. 5

                                                                    So, it is mostly me posting my own stories as can be seen in https://lobste.rs/domain/andregarzia.com

                                                                    1. 4

                                                                      Yeah. I don’t blog about stuff as much as I should and lobsters is one of the good signal to noise places I’d wanna share with.

                                                                    2. 17

                                                                      Looking at @arp242 submissions, they look relevant and interesting, so I agree it seems to be a problem with the new algorithm. It will reduce the amount of interesting niche content - precisely what Lobste.rs should be about.

                                                                      I’m probably in the same boat as @arp242 as I submit posts from my domain. One of my submissions is a book announcement with 26 upvotes, and the other five are Elm and Postgres posts and projects, which are neither low-effort nor frequent (this is over two years). I agree with @akkartik’s comment that the timeframe needs to be taken into account too.

                                                                      I was going to suggest that the problem could be addressed by checking whether the user submitted other sites or participated in discussions, with an additional check for community approval in the form of a certain number of upvotes across submissions/comments. However, after looking at @UV’s comment history I see that they would have still gamed that, primarily because it’s still easy to get upvoted low-effort comments here.

                                                                      1. 16

                                                                        Same boat. On the other hand, maybe this will motivate me to start digging through your archives to find interesting things, because I can’t rely on you just posting them here for me ;)

                                                                        1. 11

                                                                          Yeah, it’s a hard choice. I like to think that my own stories, at least as of the past couple of years, are a reasonable fit for this community, and at my current rate of about one post per year I don’t feel like I’m spamming down the site. At the same time, we’ve all seen those account which just post blogspam article after blogspam article from the same domain.

                                                                          Maybe these measures are necessary, but I consider it a good thing that people like yourself, and drew devault, and other people who write in-depth about technology topics they’re genuinely interested in, are able to post their stories here.

                                                                          Besides, this restriction would mostly affect real users who have the community’ best interests at heart, right? If I was a marketing shill and wanted eyeballs I can show content advertising to, I could just create a new account every fourth article, right?

                                                                          1. 8

                                                                            If I was a marketing shill and wanted eyeballs I can show content advertising to, I could just create a new account every fourth article, right?

                                                                            I think we’re actually good in that case! You’d have to invite the alt account, making what you’re doing SUPER obvious. And then we’d bad the entire domain, so you’d never get links from lobsters ever again :D

                                                                            1. 3

                                                                              I sat down at my laptop after work to respond to this because, yes: I was aware of the perverse incentive, but at least it’s pretty darn obvious and it reveals bad intentions. And I was distracted from finishing this comment to investigate and confirm that, yes, this happened.

                                                                              1. 2

                                                                                Why was this user banned? The user submitted 3 things, all of which are relevant and on topic? One of the github links is pretty low quality, but again, not off topic.

                                                                                Or, maybe the things I want to see no longer align with the site…

                                                                                1. 2

                                                                                  They were a sockpuppet of vermaden, not a person. I left the three on-topic stories that he submitted as cover for a link promoting his blog.

                                                                                  1. 2

                                                                                    Thanks for the explanation!

                                                                                    So, if that’s provably the case that the account was a sock puppet, ban vermaden?

                                                                                    But, how is having multiple accounts any different than asking “joe rando” to post on my behalf, which I did today (it happened to be posted by someone I actually know, but only after I asked)?

                                                                                    I’m going to start following the hashtag on twitter “#promotemeonlobsters” and submit links that appear to be on topic, that don’t appear to be spam to me.

                                                                                    If I get enough people also do this, there will be a wide variety of potential submitters to these stories, making this silly change irrelevant. Additionally, cannot exactly ban submissions found in that stream, since I can plausibly deny I found it there, and not directly from the source by happenstance.

                                                                                    OR, you could stage same domain posters, showing them to a random sampling of users until they reach some upvote threshold (say 3?), at which point everyone can see them. While you’re at it, perhaps this should be the way all posts start out…

                                                                            2. 8

                                                                              Want to second this.

                                                                              It feels like a rule that will punish personal blogs. I’ve been posting stories from my personal blog here before, I’m not sure if there are stories from my blog others posted. I think they match the content people expect here (mostly infosec related) and I don’t think that’s abuse, some of them got well received.

                                                                              If I’d post on medium etc. I wouldn’t have that problem.

                                                                              1. 5

                                                                                It could be time bounded, or tested against multiple time ranges?

                                                                                For instance, user cannot post from a domain if more than half of stories in the last 6 months are from them.

                                                                                Or combine that with the original: a user cannot post a domain if they are more than half of all time posts AND they posted more than half within the last 6 months. That way if you could be the majority of all time, but not the majority of recent posts, or vice versa, and still be allowed to post for a certain domain.

                                                                                And “the last 6 months” could be 3 months, could be 1 year, or what-have-you.

                                                                                1. 3

                                                                                  I agree. The four link thing is kinda messed up. I write essays every couple of weeks or so, all about making better tech. I’ve spent some time making sure there’s no ads, no email lists, no sales at all on these links. I can’t make them any more innocuous, and I use the comments and feedback from here to learn more and (hopefully) write better stuff.

                                                                                  It doesn’t make sense that I can’t keep doing this. Perhaps the four link rule would work better when the domains were already high traffic sites? You don’t wanna kill the mom and pop grocery stores simply because you don’t like the new WalMart moving into town.

                                                                                1. 15

                                                                                  This is the complete list of domains where a user’s next submission could be blocked for having a majority of submissions from them. It’s a little close to being a worst-of list I don’t like to share queries of (especially where the submitters column is 1…) but I wanted to include it as a list of examples of content marketing.

                                                                                  MariaDB [lobsters]> select domain, count(*) as submitted, count(distinct stories.user_id) as submitters, (select count(*) from stories s where s.domain_id = domains.id group by s.user_id order by 1 desc limit 1) as from_one_submitter from domains join stories on domains.id = stories.domain_id group by domain having count(*) > 5 and (from_one_submitter + 1) * 2 > count(*) order by 2 desc;
                                                                                  +-------------------------------------+-----------+------------+--------------------+
                                                                                  | domain                              | submitted | submitters | from_one_submitter |
                                                                                  +-------------------------------------+-----------+------------+--------------------+
                                                                                  | blogs.msdn.microsoft.com            |       206 |         36 |                132 |
                                                                                  | jvns.ca                             |       159 |         36 |                 80 |
                                                                                  | blog.netbsd.org                     |       126 |         13 |                 85 |
                                                                                  | css-tricks.com                      |       116 |         15 |                 86 |
                                                                                  | developer.telerik.com               |       113 |          5 |                101 |
                                                                                  | codewithoutrules.com                |        93 |          2 |                 92 |
                                                                                  | righto.com                          |        91 |         19 |                 64 |
                                                                                  | flippinawesome.org                  |        90 |          2 |                 86 |
                                                                                  | phoronix.com                        |        85 |         31 |                 44 |
                                                                                  | oilshell.org                        |        83 |          4 |                 80 |
                                                                                  | devblogs.microsoft.com              |        75 |         20 |                 42 |
                                                                                  | spin.atomicobject.com               |        74 |         20 |                 39 |
                                                                                  | blog.softwaremill.com               |        73 |          4 |                 55 |
                                                                                  | lemire.me                           |        72 |         22 |                 45 |
                                                                                  | ponyfoo.com                         |        68 |          5 |                 64 |
                                                                                  | mail-index.netbsd.org               |        61 |          5 |                 44 |
                                                                                  | citusdata.com                       |        60 |         10 |                 41 |
                                                                                  | alistapart.com                      |        58 |         14 |                 45 |
                                                                                  | hillelwayne.com                     |        58 |          3 |                 56 |
                                                                                  | smashingmagazine.com                |        57 |         17 |                 33 |
                                                                                  | dailydrip.com                       |        55 |          4 |                 39 |
                                                                                  | vermaden.wordpress.com              |        55 |          2 |                 54 |
                                                                                  | vuejsdevelopers.com                 |        52 |          1 |                 52 |
                                                                                  | schneems.com                        |        50 |          6 |                 45 |
                                                                                  | eev.ee                              |        49 |         17 |                 31 |
                                                                                  | crate.io                            |        48 |          2 |                 47 |
                                                                                  | driftingruby.com                    |        48 |          1 |                 48 |
                                                                                  | bendyworks.com                      |        46 |          8 |                 25 |
                                                                                  | petecorey.com                       |        44 |          2 |                 43 |
                                                                                  | codepen.io                          |        42 |         14 |                 21 |
                                                                                  | kev.inburke.com                     |        42 |          5 |                 38 |
                                                                                  | imaginarycloud.com                  |        41 |          3 |                 39 |
                                                                                  | zwischenzugs.com                    |        41 |          5 |                 36 |
                                                                                  | intoli.com                          |        40 |          3 |                 28 |
                                                                                  | pythonspeed.com                     |        40 |          1 |                 40 |
                                                                                  | ma.ttias.be                         |        39 |          7 |                 30 |
                                                                                  | pdfs.semanticscholar.org            |        39 |         11 |                 24 |
                                                                                  | fsf.org                             |        38 |         15 |                 20 |
                                                                                  | tboox.org                           |        38 |          1 |                 38 |
                                                                                  | mattwarren.org                      |        37 |          5 |                 31 |
                                                                                  | nanxiao.me                          |        37 |          2 |                 36 |
                                                                                  | daringfireball.net                  |        36 |         11 |                 24 |
                                                                                  | christophermeiklejohn.com           |        35 |          4 |                 32 |
                                                                                  | dolphin-emu.org                     |        35 |          6 |                 24 |
                                                                                  | filfre.net                          |        35 |          9 |                 25 |
                                                                                  | 250bpm.com                          |        34 |         12 |                 22 |
                                                                                  | blogs.gnome.org                     |        34 |         16 |                 17 |
                                                                                  | christine.website                   |        34 |          2 |                 32 |
                                                                                  | newrustacean.com                    |        34 |          1 |                 34 |
                                                                                  | tech.marksblogg.com                 |        34 |          3 |                 32 |
                                                                                  | flak.tedunangst.com                 |        33 |          6 |                 28 |
                                                                                  | kevq.uk                             |        33 |          2 |                 32 |
                                                                                  | os2museum.com                       |        33 |          7 |                 26 |
                                                                                  | pixelstech.net                      |        33 |          2 |                 30 |
                                                                                  | stackbuilders.com                   |        33 |          5 |                 17 |
                                                                                  | blog.ikura.co                       |        32 |          2 |                 30 |
                                                                                  | blog.logrocket.com                  |        32 |          6 |                 22 |
                                                                                  | blog.runnable.com                   |        32 |          4 |                 22 |
                                                                                  | craigkerstiens.com                  |        32 |          8 |                 22 |
                                                                                  | deliberate-software.com             |        31 |          4 |                 27 |
                                                                                  | promptworks.com                     |        31 |          4 |                 27 |
                                                                                  | bravenewgeek.com                    |        30 |         10 |                 21 |
                                                                                  | drmaciver.com                       |        30 |         14 |                 16 |
                                                                                  | beza1e1.tuxen.de                    |        29 |          4 |                 26 |
                                                                                  | bluishcoder.co.nz                   |        29 |          6 |                 24 |
                                                                                  | neo4j.com                           |        29 |          6 |                 16 |
                                                                                  | solipsys.co.uk                      |        29 |          5 |                 24 |
                                                                                  | blinkingcaret.com                   |        28 |          2 |                 27 |
                                                                                  | joezimjs.com                        |        28 |          1 |                 28 |
                                                                                  | geeklan.co.uk                       |        27 |          1 |                 27 |
                                                                                  | interrupt.memfault.com              |        27 |          2 |                 26 |
                                                                                  | victorzhou.com                      |        27 |          2 |                 26 |
                                                                                  | blog.mariusschulz.com               |        26 |          3 |                 21 |
                                                                                  | davidgerard.co.uk                   |        26 |          1 |                 26 |
                                                                                  | gigasquidsoftware.com               |        26 |          2 |                 21 |
                                                                                  | gkbrk.com                           |        26 |          2 |                 25 |
                                                                                  | jeremymorgan.com                    |        26 |          2 |                 25 |
                                                                                  | saturnflyer.com                     |        26 |          2 |                 25 |
                                                                                  | sicpers.info                        |        26 |          5 |                 21 |
                                                                                  | blog.higg.im                        |        25 |          1 |                 25 |
                                                                                  | pragtob.wordpress.com               |        25 |          1 |                 25 |
                                                                                  | raganwald.com                       |        25 |         12 |                 13 |
                                                                                  | telerik.com                         |        25 |          2 |                 21 |
                                                                                  | hoelz.ro                            |        24 |          1 |                 24 |
                                                                                  | metaredux.com                       |        24 |          3 |                 22 |
                                                                                  | nedbatchelder.com                   |        24 |          7 |                 17 |
                                                                                  | netbsd.org                          |        24 |          8 |                 13 |
                                                                                  | osnews.com                          |        24 |          6 |                 18 |
                                                                                  | raymii.org                          |        24 |          3 |                 22 |
                                                                                  | verisimilitudes.net                 |        24 |          2 |                 23 |
                                                                                  | about.sourcegraph.com               |        23 |          5 |                 15 |
                                                                                  | arp242.net                          |        23 |          9 |                 14 |
                                                                                  | blog.jle.im                         |        23 |          7 |                 13 |
                                                                                  | blog.pragmaticengineer.com          |        23 |          4 |                 20 |
                                                                                  | blog.sqreen.io                      |        23 |          3 |                 21 |
                                                                                  | dragan.rocks                        |        23 |          3 |                 18 |
                                                                                  | ecc-comp.blogspot.com               |        23 |          2 |                 22 |
                                                                                  | parsonsmatt.org                     |        23 |          5 |                 19 |
                                                                                  | bitemyapp.com                       |        22 |          3 |                 19 |
                                                                                  | cambus.net                          |        22 |          3 |                 20 |
                                                                                  | tedium.co                           |        22 |          8 |                 13 |
                                                                                  | blog.takipi.com                     |        21 |          6 |                 10 |
                                                                                  | brooker.co.za                       |        21 |          9 |                 11 |
                                                                                  | carlchenet.com                      |        21 |          2 |                 20 |
                                                                                  | beastie.pl                          |        20 |          1 |                 20 |
                                                                                  | kanoki.org                          |        20 |          2 |                 19 |
                                                                                  | lethain.com                         |        20 |          8 |                 11 |
                                                                                  | modernweb.com                       |        20 |          2 |                 18 |
                                                                                  | wilfred.me.uk                       |        20 |          4 |                 15 |
                                                                                  | blog.ably.io                        |        19 |          4 |                  9 |
                                                                                  | blog.codeship.com                   |        19 |          8 |                  9 |
                                                                                  | blog.dantup.com                     |        19 |          1 |                 19 |
                                                                                  | blog.floydhub.com                   |        19 |          6 |                 14 |
                                                                                  | blog.graphqleditor.com              |        19 |          2 |                 13 |
                                                                                  | blog.testdouble.com                 |        19 |          7 |                 10 |
                                                                                  | ops.tips                            |        19 |          2 |                 17 |
                                                                                  | people.eecs.berkeley.edu            |        19 |          9 |                  9 |
                                                                                  | shape-of-code.coding-guidelines.com |        19 |          8 |                 12 |
                                                                                  | sigusr2.net                         |        19 |          2 |                 18 |
                                                                                  | sourcegraph.com                     |        19 |          6 |                 10 |
                                                                                  | testdroid.com                       |        19 |          2 |                 17 |
                                                                                  | wyeworks.com                        |        19 |          4 |                 12 |
                                                                                  | blog.bitsrc.io                      |        18 |          6 |                 13 |
                                                                                  | michaelochurch.wordpress.com        |        18 |         10 |                  9 |
                                                                                  | monades.roperzh.com                 |        18 |          1 |                 18 |
                                                                                  | patshaughnessy.net                  |        18 |          7 |                 11 |
                                                                                  | raphlinus.github.io                 |        18 |          5 |                 13 |
                                                                                  | stratus3d.com                       |        18 |          2 |                 17 |
                                                                                  | yegor256.com                        |        18 |          8 |                 10 |
                                                                                  | amir.rachum.com                     |        17 |          2 |                 16 |
                                                                                  | blog.hboeck.de                      |        17 |          5 |                 13 |
                                                                                  | blog.packagecloud.io                |        17 |          5 |                 12 |
                                                                                  | doxsey.net                          |        17 |          2 |                 16 |
                                                                                  | fluentcpp.com                       |        17 |          4 |                  8 |
                                                                                  | jackhiston.com                      |        17 |          2 |                 16 |
                                                                                  | jezenthomas.com                     |        17 |          2 |                 16 |
                                                                                  | jlongster.com                       |        17 |         10 |                  8 |
                                                                                  | oshug.org                           |        17 |          1 |                 17 |
                                                                                  | ponylang.org                        |        17 |          4 |                 14 |
                                                                                  | prathamesh.tech                     |        17 |          1 |                 17 |
                                                                                  | silvestarbistrovic.from.hr          |        17 |          1 |                 17 |
                                                                                  | talospace.com                       |        17 |          2 |                 12 |
                                                                                  | virtuallyfun.com                    |        17 |          6 |                 10 |
                                                                                  | wordsandbuttons.online              |        17 |          5 |                 13 |
                                                                                  | 256kilobytes.com                    |        16 |          3 |                 14 |
                                                                                  | bfilipek.com                        |        16 |          4 |                 10 |
                                                                                  | blog.carlosgaldino.com              |        16 |          2 |                 15 |
                                                                                  | blog.jessitron.com                  |        16 |          6 |                 10 |
                                                                                  | blog.librato.com                    |        16 |          3 |                 11 |
                                                                                  | brianmckenna.org                    |        16 |          3 |                 14 |
                                                                                  | coolcoder.in                        |        16 |          2 |                 13 |
                                                                                  | ds9a.nl                             |        16 |          5 |                  9 |
                                                                                  | fitzgeraldnick.com                  |        16 |          4 |                 13 |
                                                                                  | fsharpforfunandprofit.com           |        16 |          8 |                  9 |
                                                                                  | itsfoss.com                         |        16 |          5 |                  9 |
                                                                                  | lauradhamilton.com                  |        16 |          1 |                 16 |
                                                                                  | microservicesweekly.com             |        16 |          1 |                 16 |
                                                                                  | notamonadtutorial.com               |        16 |          1 |                 16 |
                                                                                  | objective-see.com                   |        16 |          6 |                 11 |
                                                                                  | omgubuntu.co.uk                     |        16 |          7 |                 10 |
                                                                                  | aiprobook.com                       |        15 |          1 |                 15 |
                                                                                  | blog.asrpo.com                      |        15 |          1 |                 15 |
                                                                                  | blog.cubehero.com                   |        15 |          1 |                 15 |
                                                                                  | blog.drewolson.org                  |        15 |          6 |                  9 |
                                                                                  | blog.garage-coding.com              |        15 |          1 |                 15 |
                                                                                  | blog.jakubarnold.cz                 |        15 |          2 |                 14 |
                                                                                  | blog.jonlu.ca                       |        15 |          2 |                 13 |
                                                                                  | blog.scottnonnenberg.com            |        15 |          2 |                 14 |
                                                                                  | boxbase.org                         |        15 |          3 |                 12 |
                                                                                  | cmcenroe.me                         |        15 |          1 |                 15 |
                                                                                  | degoes.net                          |        15 |          7 |                  7 |
                                                                                  | dev.theladders.com                  |        15 |          1 |                 15 |
                                                                                  | geshan.com.np                       |        15 |          3 |                 13 |
                                                                                  | jozefg.bitbucket.org                |        15 |          8 |                  7 |
                                                                                  | oshogbo.vexillium.org               |        15 |          3 |                 12 |
                                                                                  | thefullstack.xyz                    |        15 |          1 |                 15 |
                                                                                  | vaibhavsagar.com                    |        15 |          6 |                  9 |
                                                                                  | well-typed.com                      |        15 |          6 |                  9 |
                                                                                  | zendev.com                          |        15 |          1 |                 15 |
                                                                                  | alexkyte.me                         |        14 |          2 |                 11 |
                                                                                  | bitquabit.com                       |        14 |          4 |                 10 |
                                                                                  | blog.jcoglan.com                    |        14 |          8 |                  7 |
                                                                                  | blogs.technet.microsoft.com         |        14 |          6 |                  8 |
                                                                                  | chrisshort.net                      |        14 |          2 |                 13 |
                                                                                  | clever-cloud.com                    |        14 |          4 |                  8 |
                                                                                  | csswizardry.com                     |        14 |          4 |                  9 |
                                                                                  | dustycloud.org                      |        14 |          4 |                 11 |
                                                                                  | haiku-os.org                        |        14 |          5 |                 10 |
                                                                                  | hardenedbsd.org                     |        14 |          2 |                 13 |
                                                                                  | hypothesis.works                    |        14 |          5 |                  9 |
                                                                                  | ithare.com                          |        14 |          5 |                 10 |
                                                                                  | jepsen.io                           |        14 |          3 |                 12 |
                                                                                  | jugad2.blogspot.com                 |        14 |          1 |                 14 |
                                                                                  | juxt.pro                            |        14 |          4 |                  7 |
                                                                                  | meyerweb.com                        |        14 |          4 |                 11 |
                                                                                  | orbifold.xyz                        |        14 |          2 |                 13 |
                                                                                  | paperswelove.org                    |        14 |          6 |                  7 |
                                                                                  | paragonie.com                       |        14 |          4 |                 10 |
                                                                                  | penguindreams.org                   |        14 |          1 |                 14 |
                                                                                  | sethvargo.com                       |        14 |          2 |                 13 |
                                                                                  | tiny-giant-books.com                |        14 |          1 |                 14 |
                                                                                  | videlalvaro.github.io               |        14 |          3 |                 11 |
                                                                                  | yodaiken.com                        |        14 |          3 |                 12 |
                                                                                  | alexgaynor.net                      |        13 |          4 |                 10 |
                                                                                  | blog.learngoprogramming.com         |        13 |          1 |                 13 |
                                                                                  | blog.ploeh.dk                       |        13 |          7 |                  7 |
                                                                                  | boston.conman.org                   |        13 |          2 |                 12 |
                                                                                  | defn.io                             |        13 |          1 |                 13 |
                                                                                  | dirk.to                             |        13 |          1 |                 13 |
                                                                                  | dmitryfrank.com                     |        13 |          3 |                 11 |
                                                                                  | dspace.mit.edu                      |        13 |          7 |                  6 |
                                                                                  | engineering.appfolio.com            |        13 |          5 |                  6 |
                                                                                  | getstream.io                        |        13 |          2 |                 12 |
                                                                                  | hookrace.net                        |        13 |          8 |                  6 |
                                                                                  | jvt.me                              |        13 |          1 |                 13 |
                                                                                  | loige.co                            |        13 |          1 |                 13 |
                                                                                  | longren.io                          |        13 |          1 |                 13 |
                                                                                  | maxhallinan.com                     |        13 |          2 |                 12 |
                                                                                  | mempko.wordpress.com                |        13 |          2 |                 12 |
                                                                                  | onebigfluke.com                     |        13 |          5 |                  9 |
                                                                                  | tedinski.com                        |        13 |          5 |                  8 |
                                                                                  | tel.github.io                       |        13 |          3 |                 11 |
                                                                                  | benlakey.com                        |        12 |          2 |                  8 |
                                                                                  | blog.demofox.org                    |        12 |          4 |                  8 |
                                                                                  | chrismm.com                         |        12 |          4 |                  9 |
                                                                                  | codon.com                           |        12 |          5 |                  7 |
                                                                                  | daverupert.com                      |        12 |          4 |                  8 |
                                                                                  | dylanfoundry.org                    |        12 |          2 |                 11 |
                                                                                  | inaka.net                           |        12 |          4 |                  6 |
                                                                                  | readtext.org                        |        12 |          1 |                 12 |
                                                                                  | robustperception.io                 |        12 |          2 |                 11 |
                                                                                  | snowplowanalytics.com               |        12 |          1 |                 12 |
                                                                                  | transposit.com                      |        12 |          1 |                 12 |
                                                                                  | ubuntu.com                          |        12 |          5 |                  8 |
                                                                                  | ably.io                             |        11 |          5 |                  6 |
                                                                                  | autodidacts.io                      |        11 |          1 |                 11 |
                                                                                  | blog.arkency.com                    |        11 |          4 |                  6 |
                                                                                  | blog.ponyfoo.com                    |        11 |          1 |                 11 |
                                                                                  | bloomca-me.github.io                |        11 |          2 |                 10 |
                                                                                  | csrc.nist.gov                       |        11 |          7 |                  5 |
                                                                                  | cstheory.stackexchange.com          |        11 |          6 |                  6 |
                                                                                  | designpepper.com                    |        11 |          1 |                 11 |
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                                                                                  | gavinmiller.io                      |        11 |          1 |                 11 |
                                                                                  | howistart.org                       |        11 |          4 |                  7 |
                                                                                  | icyphox.sh                          |        11 |          4 |                  8 |
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                                                                                  | itnext.io                           |        11 |          5 |                  5 |
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                                                                                  | kristerw.blogspot.com               |        11 |          5 |                  5 |
                                                                                  | lauris.github.io                    |        11 |          1 |                 11 |
                                                                                  | letterstoanewdeveloper.com          |        11 |          3 |                  9 |
                                                                                  | longren.org                         |        11 |          1 |                 11 |
                                                                                  | michaelburge.us                     |        11 |          3 |                  9 |
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                                                                                  | tenderlovemaking.com                |        11 |          6 |                  5 |
                                                                                  | theprogrammersparadox.blogspot.com  |        11 |          1 |                 11 |
                                                                                  | thorstenball.com                    |        11 |          5 |                  5 |
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                                                                                  | v8.dev                              |        11 |          3 |                  9 |
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                                                                                  | blog.codacy.com                     |        10 |          2 |                  9 |
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                                                                                  | chargen.one                         |        10 |          3 |                  8 |
                                                                                  | devup.co                            |        10 |          1 |                 10 |
                                                                                  | eigenstate.org                      |        10 |          1 |                 10 |
                                                                                  | grsecurity.net                      |        10 |          5 |                  6 |
                                                                                  | kevinmahoney.co.uk                  |        10 |          2 |                  9 |
                                                                                  | kmjn.org                            |        10 |          2 |                  9 |
                                                                                  | learnbchs.org                       |        10 |          4 |                  7 |
                                                                                  | manifest.fm                         |        10 |          1 |                 10 |
                                                                                  | mapzen.com                          |        10 |          1 |                 10 |
                                                                                  | marianoguerra.org                   |        10 |          3 |                  8 |
                                                                                  | naildrivin5.com                     |        10 |          4 |                  5 |
                                                                                  | pages.cs.wisc.edu                   |        10 |          6 |                  5 |
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                                                                                  | quickleft.com                       |        10 |          1 |                 10 |
                                                                                  | redblobgames.com                    |        10 |          5 |                  6 |
                                                                                  | singularityhacker.com               |        10 |          1 |                 10 |
                                                                                  | skerritt.blog                       |        10 |          2 |                  8 |
                                                                                  | snowsuit.io                         |        10 |          2 |                  9 |
                                                                                  | sobolevn.me                         |        10 |          1 |                 10 |
                                                                                  | superjavascript.com                 |        10 |          1 |                 10 |
                                                                                  | svnweb.freebsd.org                  |        10 |          4 |                  6 |
                                                                                  | tenfourfox.blogspot.com             |        10 |          2 |                  7 |
                                                                                  | theory.stanford.edu                 |        10 |          5 |                  6 |
                                                                                  | wozniak.ca                          |        10 |          3 |                  8 |
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                                                                                  | 24ways.org                          |         9 |          2 |                  8 |
                                                                                  | ai.googleblog.com                   |         9 |          4 |                  6 |
                                                                                  | akkartik.name                       |         9 |          6 |                  4 |
                                                                                  | alchemistowl.org                    |         9 |          4 |                  5 |
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                                                                                  | badcode.rocks                       |         9 |          1 |                  9 |
                                                                                  | blog.appliedcompscilab.com          |         9 |          1 |                  9 |
                                                                                  | blog.bigbinary.com                  |         9 |          4 |                  4 |
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                                                                                  | blog.joinmastodon.org               |         9 |          5 |                  5 |
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                                                                                  | blogs.telerik.com                   |         9 |          1 |                  9 |
                                                                                  | cambium.consulting                  |         9 |          2 |                  7 |
                                                                                  | cnn.com                             |         9 |          6 |                  4 |
                                                                                  | conal.net                           |         9 |          5 |                  5 |
                                                                                  | crawshaw.io                         |         9 |          6 |                  4 |
                                                                                  | cs.berkeley.edu                     |         9 |          5 |                  5 |
                                                                                  | danielcompton.net                   |         9 |          2 |                  8 |
                                                                                  | fedoramagazine.org                  |         9 |          5 |                  4 |
                                                                                  | fusion.net                          |         9 |          6 |                  4 |
                                                                                  | goto.ucsd.edu                       |         9 |          5 |                  5 |
                                                                                  | hackazach.net                       |         9 |          1 |                  9 |
                                                                                  | hakibenita.com                      |         9 |          2 |                  8 |
                                                                                  | infoscience.epfl.ch                 |         9 |          3 |                  7 |
                                                                                  | joachim-breitner.de                 |         9 |          4 |                  5 |
                                                                                  | jonlennartaasenden.wordpress.com    |         9 |          1 |                  9 |
                                                                                  | kamalmarhubi.com                    |         9 |          5 |                  5 |
                                                                                  | kennethreitz.org                    |         9 |          6 |                  4 |
                                                                                  | learnk8s.io                         |         9 |          2 |                  5 |
                                                                                  | lists.zx2c4.com                     |         9 |          3 |                  7 |
                                                                                  | lyonwj.com                          |         9 |          2 |                  8 |
                                                                                  | monkeysnatchbanana.com              |         9 |          2 |                  8 |
                                                                                  | naughtycomputer.uk                  |         9 |          2 |                  8 |
                                                                                  | pharr.org                           |         9 |          5 |                  4 |
                                                                                  | philcalcado.com                     |         9 |          2 |                  8 |
                                                                                  | pluralsight.com                     |         9 |          3 |                  4 |
                                                                                  | ponylang.io                         |         9 |          1 |                  9 |
                                                                                  | prl.ccs.neu.edu                     |         9 |          3 |                  5 |
                                                                                  | qfpl.io                             |         9 |          3 |                  7 |
                                                                                  | rachelandrew.co.uk                  |         9 |          2 |                  8 |
                                                                                  | rain-1.github.io                    |         9 |          3 |                  7 |
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                                                                                  | taylor.fausak.me                    |         9 |          4 |                  4 |
                                                                                  | tech.adroll.com                     |         9 |          5 |                  5 |
                                                                                  | vfoley.xyz                          |         9 |          1 |                  9 |
                                                                                  | abe-winter.github.io                |         8 |          4 |                  5 |
                                                                                  | anupshinde.com                      |         8 |          1 |                  8 |
                                                                                  | azeria-labs.com                     |         8 |          5 |                  4 |
                                                                                  | beepb00p.xyz                        |         8 |          3 |                  6 |
                                                                                  | blog.bloomca.me                     |         8 |          1 |                  8 |
                                                                                  | blog.jfo.click                      |         8 |          4 |                  5 |
                                                                                  | blog.obligd.com                     |         8 |          2 |                  7 |
                                                                                  | blog.scottlogic.com                 |         8 |          5 |                  4 |
                                                                                  | blogs.technet.com                   |         8 |          4 |                  4 |
                                                                                  | cbloomrants.blogspot.com            |         8 |          4 |                  5 |
                                                                                  | cis.upenn.edu                       |         8 |          5 |                  4 |
                                                                                  | cloudbootup.com                     |         8 |          1 |                  8 |
                                                                                  | codeblog.jonskeet.uk                |         8 |          4 |                  5 |
                                                                                  | community.rapid7.com                |         8 |          3 |                  6 |
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                                                                                  | crondev.blog                        |         8 |          1 |                  8 |
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                                                                                  | dockyard.com                        |         8 |          4 |                  4 |
                                                                                  | fivethirtyeight.com                 |         8 |          5 |                  4 |
                                                                                  | fixingtao.com                       |         8 |          1 |                  8 |
                                                                                  | franciskim.co                       |         8 |          1 |                  8 |
                                                                                  | gazerlog.com                        |         8 |          1 |                  8 |
                                                                                  | gilesbowkett.blogspot.com           |         8 |          4 |                  4 |
                                                                                  | ieee-security.org                   |         8 |          4 |                  4 |
                                                                                  | inko-lang.org                       |         8 |          3 |                  6 |
                                                                                  | jaspervdj.be                        |         8 |          3 |                  6 |
                                                                                  | jocellyn.cz                         |         8 |          1 |                  8 |
                                                                                  | kyleisom.net                        |         8 |          2 |                  7 |
                                                                                  | learntemail.sam.today               |         8 |          3 |                  4 |
                                                                                  | m50d.github.io                      |         8 |          2 |                  7 |
                                                                                  | mako.cc                             |         8 |          4 |                  5 |
                                                                                  | michaelboeke.com                    |         8 |          2 |                  7 |
                                                                                  | osmocom.org                         |         8 |          2 |                  7 |
                                                                                  | pointieststick.com                  |         8 |          2 |                  7 |
                                                                                  | probablydance.com                   |         8 |          5 |                  4 |
                                                                                  | push.cx                             |         8 |          2 |                  7 |
                                                                                  | pythonsweetness.tumblr.com          |         8 |          3 |                  6 |
                                                                                  | randomhacks.net                     |         8 |          4 |                  5 |
                                                                                  | redditblog.com                      |         8 |          3 |                  4 |
                                                                                  | remotesynthesis.com                 |         8 |          4 |                  5 |
                                                                                  | rystsov.info                        |         8 |          2 |                  7 |
                                                                                  | sgoel.org                           |         8 |          1 |                  8 |
                                                                                  | sourcesort.com                      |         8 |          1 |                  8 |
                                                                                  | storj.io                            |         8 |          4 |                  5 |
                                                                                  | tbf-rnd.life                        |         8 |          1 |                  8 |
                                                                                  | thoughtcrime.org                    |         8 |          5 |                  4 |
                                                                                  | trackchanges.postlight.com          |         8 |          5 |                  4 |
                                                                                  | travisdowns.github.io               |         8 |          4 |                  4 |
                                                                                  | vincent.bernat.im                   |         8 |          4 |                  5 |
                                                                                  | weblog.jamisbuck.org                |         8 |          1 |                  8 |
                                                                                  | wezm.net                            |         8 |          2 |                  7 |
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                                                                                  | 200ok.ch                            |         7 |          3 |                  5 |
                                                                                  | alpinelinux.org                     |         7 |          4 |                  3 |
                                                                                  | andregarzia.com                     |         7 |          1 |                  7 |
                                                                                  | angersock.com                       |         7 |          1 |                  7 |
                                                                                  | atilanevesoncode.wordpress.com      |         7 |          3 |                  5 |
                                                                                  | ben-evans.com                       |         7 |          3 |                  4 |
                                                                                  | bitsofco.de                         |         7 |          3 |                  5 |
                                                                                  | blather.michaelwlucas.com           |         7 |          4 |                  4 |
                                                                                  | blog.0day.rocks                     |         7 |          3 |                  5 |
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                                                                                  | blog.bitrise.io                     |         7 |          1 |                  7 |
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                                                                                  | blog.mirabellette.eu                |         7 |          1 |                  7 |
                                                                                  | blog.mirabellette.netlib.re         |         7 |          1 |                  7 |
                                                                                  | blog.particle.io                    |         7 |          3 |                  3 |
                                                                                  | blog.plan99.net                     |         7 |          5 |                  3 |
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                                                                                  | blog.threatstack.com                |         7 |          2 |                  6 |
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                                                                                  | freebsdfoundation.org               |         7 |          5 |                  3 |
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                                                                                  | junglecoder.com                     |         7 |          1 |                  7 |
                                                                                  | keen.io                             |         7 |          3 |                  5 |
                                                                                  | keith-mifsud.me                     |         7 |          1 |                  7 |
                                                                                  | kristaps.bsd.lv                     |         7 |          5 |                  3 |
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                                                                                  | opendylan.org                       |         7 |          3 |                  5 |
                                                                                  | paulox.net                          |         7 |          2 |                  6 |
                                                                                  | perspectives.mvdirona.com           |         7 |          4 |                  4 |
                                                                                  | pkgsrc.org                          |         7 |          3 |                  5 |
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                                                                                  | rcoh.me                             |         7 |          3 |                  5 |
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                                                                                  | sandimetz.com                       |         7 |          3 |                  5 |
                                                                                  | scarybeastsecurity.blogspot.com     |         7 |          5 |                  3 |
                                                                                  | setosa.io                           |         7 |          5 |                  3 |
                                                                                  | sgt.hootr.club                      |         7 |          1 |                  7 |
                                                                                  | soc.github.io                       |         7 |          1 |                  7 |
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                                                                                  | strugee.net                         |         7 |          2 |                  5 |
                                                                                  | sulami.github.io                    |         7 |          1 |                  7 |
                                                                                  | sysadvent.blogspot.com              |         7 |          5 |                  3 |
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                                                                                  | tante.cc                            |         7 |          2 |                  6 |
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                                                                                  | ultimaratioregum.co.uk              |         7 |          2 |                  6 |
                                                                                  | unterwaditzer.net                   |         7 |          1 |                  7 |
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                                                                                  | whitane.com                         |         7 |          1 |                  7 |
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                                                                                  | 0xcc.re                             |         6 |          1 |                  6 |
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                                                                                  | anishathalye.com                    |         6 |          1 |                  6 |
                                                                                  | balaskas.gr                         |         6 |          3 |                  4 |
                                                                                  | benedikt-bitterli.me                |         6 |          3 |                  3 |
                                                                                  | benwilber.github.io                 |         6 |          1 |                  6 |
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                                                                                  | bitcannon.net                       |         6 |          2 |                  5 |
                                                                                  | blog.cesanta.com                    |         6 |          2 |                  5 |
                                                                                  | blog.ericgoldman.org                |         6 |          2 |                  5 |
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                                                                                  | blogs.apache.org                    |         6 |          2 |                  5 |
                                                                                  | bowero.nl                           |         6 |          2 |                  5 |
                                                                                  | branchandbound.net                  |         6 |          1 |                  6 |
                                                                                  | bsdcan.org                          |         6 |          4 |                  3 |
                                                                                  | bubbl.in                            |         6 |          2 |                  5 |
                                                                                  | chr4.org                            |         6 |          1 |                  6 |
                                                                                  | cipht.net                           |         6 |          4 |                  3 |
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                                                                                  | cookieplmonster.github.io           |         6 |          2 |                  5 |
                                                                                  | creativedeletion.com                |         6 |          3 |                  3 |
                                                                                  | cs.nyu.edu                          |         6 |          4 |                  3 |
                                                                                  | cybertec.at                         |         6 |          2 |                  5 |
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                                                                                  | developer.squareup.com              |         6 |          3 |                  3 |
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                                                                                  | ftp.openbsd.org                     |         6 |          4 |                  3 |
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                                                                                  | gamozolabs.github.io                |         6 |          3 |                  4 |
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                                                                                  | inessential.com                     |         6 |          4 |                  3 |
                                                                                  | io.pellucid.com                     |         6 |          1 |                  6 |
                                                                                  | isc.sans.edu                        |         6 |          3 |                  4 |
                                                                                  | joeellis.la                         |         6 |          1 |                  6 |
                                                                                  | jpadilla.com                        |         6 |          1 |                  6 |
                                                                                  | julien.danjou.info                  |         6 |          3 |                  4 |
                                                                                  | julienblanchard.com                 |         6 |          1 |                  6 |
                                                                                  | kateheddleston.com                  |         6 |          3 |                  4 |
                                                                                  | kitchensoap.com                     |         6 |          4 |                  3 |
                                                                                  | korban.net                          |         6 |          1 |                  6 |
                                                                                  | kyleconroy.com                      |         6 |          2 |                  5 |
                                                                                  | limelight.link                      |         6 |          1 |                  6 |
                                                                                  | loper-os.org                        |         6 |          4 |                  3 |
                                                                                  | lord.io                             |         6 |          3 |                  3 |
                                                                                  | lowrisc.org                         |         6 |          3 |                  4 |
                                                                                  | markkarpov.com                      |         6 |          3 |                  4 |
                                                                                  | matthias-endler.de                  |         6 |          4 |                  3 |
                                                                                  | michaelnygard.com                   |         6 |          4 |                  3 |
                                                                                  | mikekohn.net                        |         6 |          3 |                  4 |
                                                                                  | mooreds.com                         |         6 |          2 |                  5 |
                                                                                  | nelenkov.blogspot.com               |         6 |          1 |                  6 |
                                                                                  | nextjournal.com                     |         6 |          3 |                  4 |
                                                                                  | ngoldbaum.github.io                 |         6 |          1 |                  6 |
                                                                                  | noidea.dog                          |         6 |          2 |                  4 |
                                                                                  | norswap.com                         |         6 |          1 |                  6 |
                                                                                  | number-none.com                     |         6 |          4 |                  3 |
                                                                                  | openmirage.org                      |         6 |          4 |                  3 |
                                                                                  | opensourceconnections.com           |         6 |          3 |                  3 |
                                                                                  | openstreetmap.org                   |         6 |          4 |                  3 |
                                                                                  | paleotronic.com                     |         6 |          4 |                  3 |
                                                                                  | pattern-match.com                   |         6 |          3 |                  3 |
                                                                                  | pcmag.com                           |         6 |          3 |                  4 |
                                                                                  | piechowski.io                       |         6 |          1 |                  6 |
                                                                                  | probablyfine.co.uk                  |         6 |          1 |                  6 |
                                                                                  | purelyfunctional.tv                 |         6 |          2 |                  5 |
                                                                                  | pythonforengineers.com              |         6 |          1 |                  6 |
                                                                                  | realtimeapi.io                      |         6 |          2 |                  4 |
                                                                                  | rkn.io                              |         6 |          1 |                  6 |
                                                                                  | roy.marples.name                    |         6 |          1 |                  6 |
                                                                                  | rubygems.org                        |         6 |          2 |                  5 |
                                                                                  | ryanbigg.com                        |         6 |          3 |                  4 |
                                                                                  | silvestar.codes                     |         6 |          1 |                  6 |
                                                                                  | sizovs.net                          |         6 |          2 |                  5 |
                                                                                  | streaming.media.ccc.de              |         6 |          3 |                  4 |
                                                                                  | supertcp.com                        |         6 |          1 |                  6 |
                                                                                  | sweetness.hmmz.org                  |         6 |          1 |                  6 |
                                                                                  | talkoverflow.com                    |         6 |          1 |                  6 |
                                                                                  | techblog.shutl.com                  |         6 |          1 |                  6 |
                                                                                  | terathon.com                        |         6 |          2 |                  4 |
                                                                                  | tomassetti.me                       |         6 |          3 |                  3 |
                                                                                  | triplebyte.com                      |         6 |          3 |                  4 |
                                                                                  | triplefault.io                      |         6 |          2 |                  5 |
                                                                                  | typeclasses.com                     |         6 |          1 |                  6 |
                                                                                  | ucare.cs.uchicago.edu               |         6 |          3 |                  4 |
                                                                                  | ungleich.ch                         |         6 |          2 |                  5 |
                                                                                  | venam.nixers.net                    |         6 |          3 |                  4 |
                                                                                  | vidarholen.net                      |         6 |          3 |                  4 |
                                                                                  | vvvvalvalval.github.io              |         6 |          3 |                  3 |
                                                                                  | yggdrasil-network.github.io         |         6 |          3 |                  4 |
                                                                                  | zdziarski.com                       |         6 |          3 |                  3 |
                                                                                  | zerotosingularity.com               |         6 |          1 |                  6 |
                                                                                  | zge.us.to                           |         6 |          1 |                  6 |
                                                                                  | ziglang.org                         |         6 |          4 |                  3 |
                                                                                  | zoetrope.io                         |         6 |          2 |                  5 |
                                                                                  | zork.net                            |         6 |          3 |                  4 |
                                                                                  +-------------------------------------+-----------+------------+--------------------+
                                                                                  641 rows in set (3.42 sec)
                                                                                  
                                                                                  
                                                                                  
                                                                                  1. 37

                                                                                    I am 100% on board with mitigating content marketing (especially the egregious examples you provide) but yeah… I’m uneasy about this as an active member of the community whose own blog appears on this list because it’s one of the only places I submit links to. I visit lobste.rs almost every day and appreciate that so many of the links are relevant to my interests and especially that the front page is slow moving enough that I can actually keep up with it, but I don’t submit many stories other than my own posts, and this list makes me feel like that’s not a welcome pattern. I appreciate that it is pretty close to the behavior of a self promoter (though I guess it is in a way, but I am not selling anything, I just happen not to have much else to show). This leaves me with four options, if and when I start actively blogging more (which is something I would like to do soon, and also the reason I’m commenting):

                                                                                    1. start submitting more posts I didn’t write to offset those that I did.
                                                                                    2. only submit my own posts when they’re extra special by some metric or another
                                                                                    3. get other people to submit my posts
                                                                                    4. don’t submit my posts

                                                                                    1 seems spammy af, 2 is a little weird but maybe the right answer (I would prefer just to submit everything and let the algorithm sort through them, where the algorithm is people’s eyes… tbh this is sometimes an HN strength, as you’re not guaranteed a front page land there and even if you get it, it fades quickly.)

                                                                                    3 is just gross, and 4 bums me out.

                                                                                    also it just makes me feel bad that I fall in this bucket I guess. Is “lurker who submits their own work from time to time” just doomed to be bucketed with “content marketing garbage spam”?

                                                                                    1. 14

                                                                                      I’m sorry I made you feel bad, and I agree these are all bad choices. Your posts are certainly welcome, and folks up and down this thread are already brainstorming ways to fix it.

                                                                                      1. 2

                                                                                        Maybe there should be a separate page on Lobsters for bloggers to submit an RSS/Atom feed! That way regularly blog content can be labeled separately, and vetted for quality of the blog itself, rather than the person/people submitting it to Lobsters.

                                                                                        1. 4

                                                                                          I certainly don’t want to have a whole RSS feed autoposted here, but I’m not saying your idea is bad - something along the line of a moderation queue for whole RSS feeds for stuff that >50% gets posted anyway is something to think about.

                                                                                          1. 3

                                                                                            I think jcs experimented with adding Planet-style aggregation years ago.

                                                                                            FWIW, this assumes 100% of the blog’s posts are in scope, and someone needs to clean up titles/tags, sometimes add context.

                                                                                        2. 16

                                                                                          So three questions:

                                                                                          1. What’s the average upvote score for articles from these sites? What about average upvote score for the articles submitted by the majority submitter?
                                                                                          2. How much content marketing stuff from dev.to, hackernoon, and medium is not on here?
                                                                                          3. How many of the majority submissions are from authors? Like I’d guess a lot of stuff from blogs.msdn.microsoft.com is from people who specifically are looking for interesting articles from there while everybody else isn’t.

                                                                                          (Disclaimer I’d really like to keep posting stuff from my site, but if the rest of the majority-things are by content marketers then it’s still worth it overall. Also, I think I’m well-known enough that other people would probably post stuff from my site anyway.)

                                                                                          1. 9

                                                                                            What’s the average upvote score for articles from these sites? What about average upvote score for the articles submitted by the majority submitter?

                                                                                            I think this is a key detail. I don’t self-submit often, but the 12 posts I have submitted over 2 years have generally been well received. I’d say the same goes for you. Well received self-submissions are something we don’t want to discourage. If someone is self-posting and the posts are not getting many votes then it seems more likely they should be subject to the post limit.

                                                                                            1. 9

                                                                                              I agree with corporate-operated blogs in this list, but I don’t understand the presence of private blogs such as jvns.ca or Daring Fireball. Those blogs usually have high-quality content (in my humble opinion) and I’ve never seen any form of content marketing on those websites (I could be wrong though).

                                                                                              1. 7

                                                                                                I think Daring Fireball is such an outlier, isn’t it like one the top 3 most-read sites with a 100% Apple focus anyway? I’m not using any Apple stuff, but I can’t help but getting the news anyway - and I personally don’t like reading it.. but I think it’s very often news-heavy and we don’t so many “New product by X” posts here, for a good reason.

                                                                                                Yes, Apple is a bad topic for me to comment, but Daring Fireball is not a personal blog anymore. He’s one of the major Apple-ecosystem influencers and pundits. This is 100% a business website by now.

                                                                                              2. 2

                                                                                                I also think this would be a useful component to include. My domain falls on the list, and I’m a bit sad to see my domain on the list. It’s technically content marketing, but I put a massive amount of effort into each post and the content is generally very well received both here and on Hacker News. I would understand the decision to block it, but I think that taking the average submission rating into account would still address the problem without eliminating content that is a good fit for the site. This also incentivizes people to only submit their best content.

                                                                                                1. 1
                                                                                                  1. Averages are misleading because of site growth over time. (Related)
                                                                                                  2. A significant amount. (Related)
                                                                                                  3. Feels like most, but this a trickier query than I have spare brainpower to write. I worry that it would incentivize not checking that box because it’d be subtle and deniable.
                                                                                                2. 14

                                                                                                  Is there anything we could do in terms of vetting a user? For example, as far as I am concerned, @andyc, @akkartik and @hwayne all submit rather high quality content from their own blogs, I’d rather not miss them.

                                                                                                  1. 11

                                                                                                    This just struck me when I was trying to submit my Nix rebuttal post.

                                                                                                    1. 2

                                                                                                      That’s a shame… I’ve always enjoyed your posts on christine.website and I think it would be a real loss if your website were to be blocked.

                                                                                                      1. 2

                                                                                                        Apparently it’s going to be fixed and this was just an extreme over-reaction. I’m still gonna post though :)

                                                                                                    2. 10

                                                                                                      15 of the top 30 in this list are sites that I probably actively visit when they’re linked from Lobste.rs and otherwise don’t visit. Excluding them may surface less popular content but it would also seem to reduce the visibility of content that I’ve come to trust and want to get from Lobste.rs. 7 of the next 20 are in that same bucket, so penalizing by this metric would inhibit submissions 44% of the top 50 domains considered content marketing.

                                                                                                      1. 8

                                                                                                        @pushcx, thanks for all the hard work on the site. I really appreciate this site a lot. Now, I’m a bit offended to be included in this list. I’m a web developer and volunteer for some FOSS communities, I have a low traffic blog and every now and then I share some of my blog posts here. Not all of them, just the ones I think have value for users here. I’m not selling anything on this site, and my blog posts are not related to anything I sell.

                                                                                                        If this website is going to be hostile to blogs with such low traffic as mine with very few posts per month, about 500 users per month, then I think this site loses a ton of value. Not because they will be missing me but because the criteria that includes me and my site here, will also include lots of other minor bloggers. No one is posting my posts here because I don’t have a large number of readers, I’m probably faster to share content than some hypothetical reader.

                                                                                                        Seriously, scanning this list I can see many blogs I actually subscribe and that provide me with good content, not upselling anything. I don’t think this metric is a good way to filter who you want to filter. What this metrics leads to is that only content from domains that are so popular that a ton of people repost content from them will end up in this site. This is not only an echo chamber that makes whatever is popular, more popular. But also gatekeeping small people who just want share their own story every now and then, and will prove that the blogosphere is dead since we can’t share blog posts.

                                                                                                        1. 6

                                                                                                          As Lobster’s is my primary article discovery site, I’m a bit worried that this change will cause me to miss great articles because the author couldn’t post it, and they don’t have other avenues / connections to get it noticed (read: they suck at marketing, don’t have an RSS / atom feed, etc).

                                                                                                          I typically self submit (I’m on the list here) and sometimes it gets upvoted, sometimes it doesn’t. I kind of thought that was the purpose of votes, and flags, and such, but ¯\_(ツ)_/¯.

                                                                                                          At least this change creates a new “market.” We can create a voting ring of sorts that keeps track of their submissions to certain domains and nominates someone to submit queued up links. The list of domains above is a good seed list of potential members, too….

                                                                                                          I should probably just go back to over subscribing to RSS / Atom

                                                                                                          1. 6

                                                                                                            Could you run this query? I’m not entirely sure it’s correct, but it should sort by the percentage of single user submissions.

                                                                                                            select domain, count(*) as submitted, count(distinct stories.user_id) as submitters, (select count(*) from stories s where s.domain_id = domains.id group by s.user_id order by 1 desc limit 1) as from_one_submitter, (select count(*) from stories s where s.domain_id = domains.id group by s.user_id order by 1 desc limit 1)/count(*)*100 as submited_by_one_percentage from domains join stories on domains.id = stories.domain_id group by domain having count(*) > 5 and (from_one_submitter + 1) * 2 > count(*) order by 5 desc;
                                                                                                            
                                                                                                            1. 6

                                                                                                              Looks correct to me. Results.

                                                                                                              (I put the original list in a comment because I saw it as central to the discussion, so I didn’t want it on free hosting even though I don’t have a convenient place to indefinitely host a small static file attached to Lobsters.)

                                                                                                            2. 5

                                                                                                              I was a little worried to see my name On A List, and also a little flattered to know that my blog was getting so many posts from here. I had to look into who was doing all the posting, and, well, maybe you ought to watch out yourself ;)

                                                                                                              1. 4

                                                                                                                TIL I’m a content marketer, alongside such evil spammers as the Free Software Foundation and Hillel Wayne! And the tell was that I used federated blogging technology—my own article feed at my own domain, integrated into the fediverse via RSS—rather than high-quality centralised platforms like Facebook notes or Medium.

                                                                                                                Unfortunately, I’m really bad at content marketing. I tend to publish articles that explore ideas about software that I (and others, mercifully) find interesting, rather than SEO-first eyeball scrapers. I forgot to monetise with affiliate content, adverts, store links, or anything. Nobody even clicks the tip jar button on the site.

                                                                                                                I guess I need to find a community where us “Badly-marketed Low-value Output Generators”, or “BLOGgers”, can share, discover, and comment on each other’s posts without disrupting those people who are focused on consuming Medium-rate content. Preferably with a focus on programming, just because that is the niche vertical I have chosen to exploit with my rational-minded acquisitive process. Does anyone know where that community hangs out?

                                                                                                                1. 4

                                                                                                                  Maybe copy query output to a gist or nopaste and link it?
                                                                                                                  I found it hard to read due to line wrapping. :/

                                                                                                                  1. 3

                                                                                                                    Wow… Okay. Did this site just become hostile to its users? My site is on the list.

                                                                                                                    1. 4

                                                                                                                      No.

                                                                                                                    2. 1

                                                                                                                      First of all, thanks for the good work. Now, since you invite:

                                                                                                                      kibitzing about particulars

                                                                                                                      and pointing out false positives. I expected @ahu’s site to be on there and it is[1], since one of his stories got moderated in a way I disagree with. (And I see other sites that I think are high-quality, but I’m happy to also see a lot of low-quality sites on the list.)

                                                                                                                      Having said that, if you look at his submissions you’ll see that it is mostly geeky stuff so I would rather classify him as an author than a content marketeer. He is a geek and happens to be a pretty good writer. His last article on Huawei, 5G and Europe has been doing some good rounds on Twitter (I won’t link to it directly but search for “5G: The outsourced elephant in the room”).

                                                                                                                      The only thing he perhaps went overboard with is the DoH centralization by Firefox on Cloudflare, which is an item we (PowerDNS) are pretty concerned about, but not for business reasons as implied by its proponents. Hell, we live in The Netherlands and couldn’t care less if we get fired or not since we got actual social security.

                                                                                                                      [1] ds9a.nl, but I didn’t expect blog.powerdns.com to be there as well

                                                                                                                      disclaimer: I’m a PowerDNS employee and ahu was my ‘boss’

                                                                                                                    1. 2

                                                                                                                      I moved my static website from an Apache host where I wasn’t the sysadmin to a VPS where I was. I found Nginx a bit hard to get my head around, but with the help of some googling (Digital Ocean’s docs are very good) I got it to work.

                                                                                                                      If I were to implement TLS (which I’m not currently interested in) I’m concerned to read that Nginx doesn’t play well with Let’s Encrypt (at least according to this author). But that’s not really a knock against Nginx in my book, rather that the tooling from LE is lacking.

                                                                                                                      1. 5

                                                                                                                        I found LE setup with nginx super easy. certbot supports nginx out-of-the-box.

                                                                                                                        1. 1

                                                                                                                          That’s good to know.

                                                                                                                        2. 2

                                                                                                                          I don’t know why the author suggests that Let’s Encrypt is hard with nginx. As icyphox mentioned, certbot handles nginx. I have managed to confuse certbot’s autorenewal but a close re-reading of the docs solved that.

                                                                                                                          1. 2

                                                                                                                            OpenBSD’s acme-client (which has a portable version) is also incredibly trivial to use.

                                                                                                                            1. 1

                                                                                                                              Which is probably, I haven’t tested, good for folks using H2O or other webservers that don’t have direct support for LE.

                                                                                                                              1. 1

                                                                                                                                which has a portable version

                                                                                                                                Which one should be used? The author from OpenBSD no longer maintains their portable variant since acme-client was upstreamed.

                                                                                                                                1. 1

                                                                                                                                  Ah, I’m sorry, I didn’t realise that! I’ve just been using the OpenBSD version so I don’t really have any experience with the current ports. Looks like there are a couple.

                                                                                                                                  https://github.com/Duncaen/acme-client-portable https://github.com/graywolf/acme-client-portable

                                                                                                                          1. 7

                                                                                                                            At first it seems a bit strange that Epic would award a grant to another game engine but I guess they see Godot as a stepping stone for developers to learn and eventually go with Unreal.

                                                                                                                            1. 9

                                                                                                                              I would guess most of their money comes from players rather than Unreal licensing, so maybe the reasoning is that higher quality in game engines overall means more good games [to put on the Epic store]. Whyever - it’s great to see them doing this.

                                                                                                                              1. 9

                                                                                                                                That’s a rather new development, though. Licensing the engine is definitely in the companies DNA, it’s their huge innovation from Unreal. (Yes, ID did that as well, but more as a side business, while Unreal was always built as a separate kit)

                                                                                                                                It could be a way to compete with Unity: funding a free competitor that people may pick over Unity.

                                                                                                                                1. 8

                                                                                                                                  i think competing against unity is what makes the most sense here. godot’s popularity seems to be surging, namely as a begginer-friendly engine, which is something i don’t think a lot of people see unreal as, as opposed to unity

                                                                                                                              2. 4

                                                                                                                                Having people that can develop game engines = larger talent pool = more people to poach away into unreal engine as well

                                                                                                                                1. 3

                                                                                                                                  I wouldn’t be surprised if unreal had nothing to do with this. What’s good for the goose is good for the gander. The more people make games, sell games, and are into games in general the better for Epic and the industry as a whole.

                                                                                                                                  1. 2

                                                                                                                                    I’ve heard the theory it may be an attempt to flank Unity from a business perspective - use Unreal to attack Unity from the high end, prop up Godot to attach Unity from the low end.

                                                                                                                                    1. 2

                                                                                                                                      also they potentially set some legal framework so that those grants are deductible from their taxes which makes them very interesting for them from not only a let’s improve the talent pool perspective but also from a financial and generating goodwill perspectives as well.

                                                                                                                                    1. 0

                                                                                                                                      TL;DR: “uh-oh, a latency-sensible service shouldn’t be written in a garbage-collected language”.

                                                                                                                                      1. 14

                                                                                                                                        Perhaps depends on the language though - Erlang is used in what I assume to be latency-sensitive applications like telephone switches, and it’s GC’d.

                                                                                                                                        1. 1

                                                                                                                                          Erlang is a special case with per-process tiny heaps that are collected independently of one another. I’m not aware of another system that uses such a model.

                                                                                                                                          There are fully concurrent GCs in experimental and proprietary JVMs (Azul and Shenandoah) that exhibit remarkably low pause times even with large heaps. They are very much the exception rather than the rule and to my knowledge require a throughput hit compared to standard VMs or manual memory management.

                                                                                                                                        2. 2

                                                                                                                                          Oh, that explains why no one writes such services in Java or JavaScript or C# or PHP or Perl or Python or Ruby or Erlang or LISP or Haskell … only C and C++. And Pascal.

                                                                                                                                        1. 1

                                                                                                                                          Reminds me of PaperWM, but from the other direction.

                                                                                                                                          1. 2

                                                                                                                                            For work I also have a MacBook Pro.

                                                                                                                                            Can’t be on usesthis.com without a Mac, can you?

                                                                                                                                            1. 3

                                                                                                                                              Quoting the source:

                                                                                                                                              Is this some sort of Apple fan site?

                                                                                                                                              Nope! Folks just like using their gear.

                                                                                                                                              Yet, further down that page:

                                                                                                                                              <input type="search" name="q" placeholder="MacBook Pro">
                                                                                                                                              

                                                                                                                                              Clearly someone is an Apple fanboy ;^)

                                                                                                                                              1. 1

                                                                                                                                                Guilty. Though really, I’m being tongue in cheek.

                                                                                                                                                1. 2

                                                                                                                                                  So was I… typing it all on a MacBook Pro :^P

                                                                                                                                              2. 2

                                                                                                                                                I put it in the contract before every interview.

                                                                                                                                                1. 1

                                                                                                                                                  I think we both forgot a ;)

                                                                                                                                                  1. 1

                                                                                                                                                    Mmmmmmmaybe. :p

                                                                                                                                              1. 3

                                                                                                                                                Something like this was actually done in the “Game Programming Gems” article “Designing a General Robust AI Engine” to implement a DSL for state machines which is just C macros.

                                                                                                                                                1. 2

                                                                                                                                                  With such emphasis on macros for metaprogramming, perhaps there can be peace between C and Lisp programmers, even if the Lispers don’t want to admit it.

                                                                                                                                                  (Disclaimer: Yes, I know the pre-processor is textual instead of AST.)

                                                                                                                                                  1. 3

                                                                                                                                                    (Disclaimer: Yes, I know the pre-processor is textual instead of AST.)

                                                                                                                                                    Not quite. I uttered that mistake in a publicly available talk (eek!), but the preprocessor deals with tokens.

                                                                                                                                                  2. 2

                                                                                                                                                    “Designing a General Robust AI Engine

                                                                                                                                                    Now you have me searching for this all over the place. Damn

                                                                                                                                                    1. 2

                                                                                                                                                      I have the book. I know that the Graphics Gems books are online, but I haven’t found the Game Programming Gems ones online.

                                                                                                                                                  1. 7

                                                                                                                                                    How is “building something from source takes longer than using a binary” surprising to anyone? The only fault Alpine made was not having a py3-matplotlib package (which appears to exist, but only in their ‘edge’ or unstable repository right now).

                                                                                                                                                    I don’t even particularly like running Alpine on systems and I don’t think this article is at all fair. This isn’t even comparing performance of the resultant image - the build is 50× slower, sure, but how is throughput and performance of the output? It’s entirely possible that if you plan on using this software for many months, the initial build time may be recouped from other system optimisations. It’s equally possible it won’t, but this data is much more relevant a comparison than a one-time build step.

                                                                                                                                                    1. 3

                                                                                                                                                      One of those articles that’s objectively right (everything they list is true), but subjectively wrong (why do it like that? why focus on some things?).

                                                                                                                                                    1. 1

                                                                                                                                                      In the olden days where malware was written by bored kids and lazy spammers, and were blatantly destructive/infected executables, they were probably more effective. Nowadays, the issues are often things like exploits (patch your systems), software violating privacy (…as the example points out, often the anti-malware software itself, and our unfortunate tolerance for this), and cryptolockers. Much of this is emergent and often backed by state level actors.

                                                                                                                                                      Counterpoint: signature based detection (instead of heuristic or whatever techniques) will probably be fine against the kind of malware the average person will encounter.

                                                                                                                                                      1. 12

                                                                                                                                                        With companies like Microsoft and Google stand behind some major open source projects, the “Us” vs. “Them” mentality that ruled in the early days of open source is long gone.

                                                                                                                                                        Strongly disagree. It’s more like “If we use a Free Software license there’s nothing at all in for Us when FAANG end up reimplementing it but Open Source”, and BigCorp using an open source model to get developers to test and bugcheck (and sometimes develop) their product for free (while the maintainers and core team are still BigCorp employees, making their decision final). The whole Open Source ecosystem is “Us v. Them”, but they are better at propaganda.

                                                                                                                                                        1. 6

                                                                                                                                                          We should also always bring up their patent trolling in this. Microsoft has taken over a billion in patent royalties from Android despite not contributing crap. Then, they didn’t use that money to create a great experience for their Windows customer or expand the F/OSS ecosystem. Just enriching themselves in shady ways at other companies’ expense.

                                                                                                                                                          1. 1

                                                                                                                                                            “Us v. Them” I find this kind of approach in many niche industries Like the blockchain for example

                                                                                                                                                            1. 3

                                                                                                                                                              The sprit of blockchain is an “us v. them” spirit; Satoshi’s words:

                                                                                                                                                              [Lengthy exposition of vulnerability of a systm to use-of-force monopolies ellided.]

                                                                                                                                                              You will not find a solution to political problems in cryptography.

                                                                                                                                                              Yes, but we can win a major battle in the arms race and gain a new territory of freedom for several years.

                                                                                                                                                              Governments are good at cutting off the heads of a centrally controlled networks like Napster, but pure P2P networks like Gnutella and Tor seem to be holding their own.

                                                                                                                                                              1. 1

                                                                                                                                                                Tor

                                                                                                                                                                It helps Tor is a government project…

                                                                                                                                                            2. 0

                                                                                                                                                              Free software and open source are synonyms for all intents and purposes. Do you mean ‘If we use a copyleft licenses there’s nothing in it for us when FAANG end up reimplementing it and releasing their version under a permissive license’?

                                                                                                                                                            1. 6

                                                                                                                                                              Am I the only one kinda sad about the cultural defeat of Microsoft?

                                                                                                                                                              1. 10

                                                                                                                                                                Probably, yes.

                                                                                                                                                                1. 10

                                                                                                                                                                  I sure miss one aspect of it: the operating system as a distinct business. In this model, an operating system vendor is encouraged to support as many hardware devices as possible and as many software applications as possible. Users are then free to acquire hardware and software from any source that suits their specific purpose. The model we’ve moved to, where systems are bundled with devices, encourages device vendors to lock bootloaders to only run approved systems and systems builders to authenticate devices to only run on approved devices. Software capabilities are restricted in order to preserve the ability for the vendor to add value in next year’s model rather than let the ecosystem innovate. Updates bundle security updates with changes whose beneficiary is the vendor, not the user, and users are forced to take them. In this world, users lose, because the capabilities they receive are limited to those offered by a single vendor, as opposed to any software or peripheral maker. If it’s not in the interests of the vendor, users are just not allowed to do it.

                                                                                                                                                                  In the desktop space, Linux still provides a lot of the traditional model, although the lack of ABI stability limits the scope of some software pieces. But in the mobile world, it’s hard to escape the influence of the locked-down model: even if you personally buy an unlocked phone, because so few people do, there’s not a good selection of systems and software available to exploit its capabilities. Sometimes I think we’re living in a dark ages and don’t know it, where we’re missing out on many potential innovations and it’s impossible to explain to people because there’s no way to reason about nonexistent creations.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. 2

                                                                                                                                                                    Well said.

                                                                                                                                                                    It’s like whenever we nail something down, someone comes in and finds a way to exploit it to make more money out of it and thus ruining the whole thing.

                                                                                                                                                                    Same applies to how mobile games nowadays are, in the mind of most developers, either full of IAP or ads, like we’ve peaked with this rubbish business model that basically makes the whole platform awful for games.

                                                                                                                                                                1. 4

                                                                                                                                                                  Suggest fortran… obviously.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. 1

                                                                                                                                                                    I think I tried to add that tag when I submitted it but didn’t find it.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. 49

                                                                                                                                                                    Kind of annoying that you have to read thru a third of the article to get to the important part:

                                                                                                                                                                    Is Flow open source?

                                                                                                                                                                    No. […]

                                                                                                                                                                    1. 19

                                                                                                                                                                      It is this part of the answer that I find more interesting: “There’s no current plan for that as we don’t have a large corporation backing our development. “

                                                                                                                                                                      It just makes me sad. Open source was supposed to destroy the corporations, not empower them! It was to bring freedom to the development world, not leave it at the mercy of big money operators.

                                                                                                                                                                      Nothing new, no big comment. Just lamenting :( (though the khtml legacy may be interesting - and it is LGPL… perhaps we have that to thank for the openness we do still have at least)

                                                                                                                                                                      BTW I also hate the name “Flow”. Gah I can’t wait for this era of names to come to an end.

                                                                                                                                                                      1. 14

                                                                                                                                                                        Open source was supposed to destroy the corporations, not empower them!

                                                                                                                                                                        Was it? I always thought that free software was about empowering the users — raising then up, not dragging anyone down.

                                                                                                                                                                        1. 8

                                                                                                                                                                          Open source has always been about empowering the corporations from the beginning, and free software has always been about preventing corporations from exploiting users, which under the current capitalist system amounts to destroying or crippling them.

                                                                                                                                                                          1. 1

                                                                                                                                                                            yeah i was being kinda loose to fit the star wars meme.

                                                                                                                                                                            But open source is basically corporations taking over the free software idea and twisting it for their own benefit. So I should have said “free software” of course but eh the article said “open source”.

                                                                                                                                                                          2. 10

                                                                                                                                                                            This is a weird attitude. I’m all for open source and have been working on open source full time for several years.

                                                                                                                                                                            But just because someone starts an important/interesting project doesn’t mean anyone should demand it be open source.

                                                                                                                                                                            The obvious response is: Start your own open source browser project, and recruit or pay the 100+ developers it will take over decades! If it were easy or cheap, we’d see a lot more of these types of projects.

                                                                                                                                                                            1. 5

                                                                                                                                                                              I don’t demand it, I just would prefer not to run some person’s code nobody can read.

                                                                                                                                                                            2. 8
                                                                                                                                                                              1. 4

                                                                                                                                                                                It is this part of the answer that I find more interesting: “There’s no current plan for that as we don’t have a large corporation backing our development. “

                                                                                                                                                                                Well, imagine they release it today: people will report issues, create PRs, ask for features, etc.

                                                                                                                                                                                Responding to that in a vaguely timely fashion takes up a lot of time. If you’re a small company, you may not want to spend the time/money.

                                                                                                                                                                                1. 15

                                                                                                                                                                                  You don’t have to have an issue tracker, or forums, or accept contributions, or even have source control.

                                                                                                                                                                                  It’s open source if you dump a tarball once per release.

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                                                                                                                                                                                    I’ve worked on open source without a public bugtracker. We were flamed for that. “Not really open source” etc.

                                                                                                                                                                                  2. 5

                                                                                                                                                                                    More than that, they want to sell it.

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. 2

                                                                                                                                                                                      I would like Flow to be open source, but I don’t care enough to do anything about it. If I really wanted to make it happen, here’s how I’d go about it:

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. Find enough developers who will commit to maintaining it properly
                                                                                                                                                                                      2. Approach Ekioh and ask them to make a deal
                                                                                                                                                                                        • They would benefit from additional contributors without paying maintenance costs
                                                                                                                                                                                        • They will probably want some cash too
                                                                                                                                                                                      3. Crowdfund to raise the cash

                                                                                                                                                                                      That’s pretty simplistic, I realize. But my point is just that license problems are business problems, and can sometimes be solved.

                                                                                                                                                                                    2. 4

                                                                                                                                                                                      I think it’s honestly a misdirection. There have been plenty of good open source projects with small businesses behind them. It’s like saying “Oh I can’t do the dishes tonight because I don’t have large corporation backing”.

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. 12

                                                                                                                                                                                        I’ve worked at one of those (one of the first to do it) and when I read that sentence it, I just nodded. “Yeah, can understand that.” What they mean is probably that they need income, every month, and they’re worried that by opening the source their existing business model is at risk and they don’t have an obvious replacement.

                                                                                                                                                                                        The worst case is roughly: zero outside contributions, a wide user base that pays nothing and expects much, the user base does not contain prospective customers, and too many of the existing customers decide to stop paying and just use the free offering. With skill and luck it’s possible to devise a new business model and sales funnel that uses the width of the user base, but doing that takes time, and without a corporation backing it, how does one keep the lights on meanwhile?

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. 4

                                                                                                                                                                                          What they’re really saying is they don’t have the skill or finesse to pull it off. That’s fine, however plenty of small businesses have made great profits while open sourcing their products. You don’t “need” corporate backing, and I’d argue if anything it’s an obstacle rather than a benefit.

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. 10

                                                                                                                                                                                            The skill and finesse to pull it off is considerable, IMO it can be regarded as infinite unless you have two more things:

                                                                                                                                                                                            • skill and finesse
                                                                                                                                                                                            • luck
                                                                                                                                                                                            • funds to last you through a period without income.

                                                                                                                                                                                            Skill alone isn’t enough.

                                                                                                                                                                                            A “large corporation” in this context is simply one that’s large enough to have one or more sources of income unaffected by the product being developed, and whose other income is large enough to carry a team through the product development phase.

                                                                                                                                                                                            (I’ve worked at three small opensource companies and spoken to my counterparts at others.)

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. 1

                                                                                                                                                                                              Not saying your concern is entirely invalid, I think those things DO matter. I just also think the reality is probably somewhere between “It can’t be done” and “It’s trivial to do”. The idea that you can’t run an OSS business without backing by a major corporation is probably untrue. The idea that you can run an OSS business without capital, luck, or skill is probably also untrue. I personally found it upsetting that he was attempting to put it all on a lack of corporate backing instead of just saying it was a strategic decision to keep an edge on competition or something. I often find when people deflect blame on to things they can’t control they are often trying to sidestep the extent they do have responsibility or control over the situation.

                                                                                                                                                                                            2. 5

                                                                                                                                                                                              What fields were they operating in? Are they still prominent or even around? Were they ever prominent?

                                                                                                                                                                                              Where did they get money? Corporate customers, side gigs or a big inheritance? Did they detour from their core paying business to do open source?

                                                                                                                                                                                              How long did it take for them to become sustainable? Did they?

                                                                                                                                                                                              What’s the proportion of “plenty” in comparison to the competition that didn’t make it? To the corporate-backed competition? To the competition that’s still around with the same premises?

                                                                                                                                                                                              Not to come off as too much of a duck here, but all these questions are very important when saying someones have generally made money. Surely the response might warrant more of a study than a reply, but seeing how under-staffed and -paid open source is, I’m a bit triggered by negating legit concerns with “others done it”.

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. 2

                                                                                                                                                                                                I’m a bit triggered by negating legit courses of action with “it can’t be done”, so… I doubt we’ll have a tremendously productive discussion. I think your questions around it are fair and reasonable but I think our stances and positions are too far apart to find the center in the comment thread. I’m not really interested in debating this out however I do appreciate that you took the time to come up with good challenges to my point.

                                                                                                                                                                                        2. 1

                                                                                                                                                                                          I’m curious about the name. What would have been your choice?

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. 2

                                                                                                                                                                                            Seeing as the company is named Ekioh, perhaps “Ekioh Browser Engine”, EkEng or EBE for short, or maybe a four letter word that isn’t already used by multiple software projects

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. 2

                                                                                                                                                                                              I probably would go Ekioh Browser - descriptive yet unique by including the existing company name. There’s just a trend right now to use fairly short, generic names. I imagine the marketers are like “we want to evoke a feeling” but I just want some decent idea of what it is and how it is distinct.

                                                                                                                                                                                          2. 17

                                                                                                                                                                                            Does the fact that the browser is not open-source mean that it is not bringing diversity to the market? I’d argue that browser diversity was in a healthier state when Opera had a proprietary engine than it is now that Opera uses Chromium and Blink.

                                                                                                                                                                                            Don’t get me wrong, I’d much rather see this be open-source, but I don’t think the fact it’s closed source means it’s irrelevant.

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. 40

                                                                                                                                                                                              one thing to keep in mind is that privately controlled web engines can disappear without leaving a base for a community to develop, as with presto.

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. 8

                                                                                                                                                                                                That’s a fair argument.

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. 3

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Open source software can disappear, too, when the entire development team goes away.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  I’m not aware of any open source that was

                                                                                                                                                                                                  • developed by a smallish company
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • opened
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • received substantial contributions from outside

                                                                                                                                                                                                  AFAICT, if something comes from a company and isn’t an obvious non-product like e.g. lepton, then outsiders regard it as that company’s product, and don’t spend their time developing that company’s product for free. A community does not develop.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  I’d be thrilled to learn otherwise. Particularly how small companies might get others to develop their product for them.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. 2

                                                                                                                                                                                                    IIRC even the Mozilla codebase languished for quite a while, long enough for the company to go under before it got really picked up by a community. It was a last-ditch desperate effort, but still…

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. 2

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Doesn’t Netscape/Mozilla/Firefox fit your criteria? Plan 9 also comes to mind.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. 2

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Wasn’t Plan 9 a Bell labs thing? That is to say, unless I misunderstand what you mean by “Plan 9” it was produced by one of the largest, most famous monopolies in US history. Or pretty much the opposite of a smallish company.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        I would not call Netscape or AOL (depending on who you want to attribute the open source release to) smallish either… if memory serves they were worth $10 Billion or so at their peak. But that pales in comparison to Bell.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. 2

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Right. (The $10B is irrelevant IMO, the relevant number is about $2B according to Wikipedia.)

                                                                                                                                                                                                          So from the point of view of the Flow people who might be considering going an open source route, there’s a distinct shortage of examples to learn from. A $2B company whose CEO regards as an “amalgamation of products and services” is hardly relevant.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Mozilla was founded with a ten-digit endowment from AOL. Fine for the users, but it makes Mozilla irrelevant as a case to learn from for teams without such fortune.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. 1

                                                                                                                                                                                                            (I was assuming that the poster I replied to was sincerely arguing that Netscape or Plan 9 would count as something from a small-ish company. If my sarcasm detector was miscalibrated, mea culpa.)

                                                                                                                                                                                                            This is perhaps the only case in the world where I’d call a difference of $8B “splitting hairs” :)… I’m no more prepared to argue that a $2B company is small than I am to argue that a $10B company is.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. 1

                                                                                                                                                                                                              No, your rant detector was miscalibrated.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Some of these pseudo-arguments annoy me so very much. I wish opensource advocates would use real arguments, not shams that look good at first glance, but make open source look bad in the eyes of developers/teams that are considering going open source. 39 upvotes for something that silently implies that open source can’t/won’t disappear means 39 people who aren’t thinking as carefully as I wish opensource people would. It gets to me and I start posting rants instead of staying properly on-topic. Sorry about that.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. 1

                                                                                                                                                                                                                sorry; i missed that you asked about “smallish” companies and i misunderstood the thrust of your argument. i guess you were arguing that it would be a risk for flow to open source their browser? i don’t disagree, but that’s different from the question of how much we should care about or support this effort, as people who care about browser diversity.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                are you trying to argue that free software can disappear without leaving a base for a community to develop? what line of careful thinking would lead you to that conclusion?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. 2

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  The careful thinking is based on two things.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  First, an observation that the number of outside committers to a conpany’s product is extremely small. People don’t choose to use their own time to work on someone’s product — they find something else to work on. Because of that, the development team for any opensource product is overwhelmingly in-company.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Second, source access is necessary but not sufficient for good software development. Much of what makes development practical is in the team. It’s drastically easier to develop software (both fixing bugs and developing new features) if you can speak to the people who’ve worked on it so far, ask questions, get answers.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Both of those are rules of thumb, not laws of physics. If you however assume both to be absolutely true, then there’s no difference between a single-product closed-source company doing an opensource dump when it’s acquihired and an opensource company with a single opensource product. If you (more realistically) assume both things to be true with exceptions, then the difference is as large as the exceptions permit.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  You may compare threee scenarios for product/team/company closure, whether it’s an acquihire, bankruptcy, pivot or even things like the whole team going on a teambuilding exercise on a boat, and the boat sinking:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Open source company closes (any reason): New team may form from volunteers, continuity is lost.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Closed source company closes, dumps source on github: New team may form from volunteers, continuity is lost.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Closed source company closes, does not dump source on github: End of story.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Ie. open source has advantages and some of them are IMO significant, but safety or continuity in the event of the team going away isn’t one of them. “Safety” and “continuity” are big words. A new team may spontaneously form, but that’s far from automatic, so there’s no safety, and and if it does form it hardly provides continuity.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. 1

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    that all makes sense, and does not contradict the fact that open source products provide a base for community development, even if the base is just a source code dump. there may be a continuity barrier, but it can be overcome.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    for a browser engine, it makes a difference whether it is released like gecko, allowing forks and community development, or released like presto, where a pivot by a private company ends the possibility of further development.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    hopefully you see now that my argument was real and not a sham, and your wish for open source advocates to think carefully is fulfilled.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. 1

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Well, it provides a base in almost exactly the same way as, say, Mitro’s code dump did when it was acquired. Mitro could have opened the source earlier (it actually did so on the day as part of its acquihiring process), and I don’t see any reason why an earlier open source process would have provided more of a base.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. 1

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        sure, but before a company does a code dump there is no assurance that they will if the company pivots or goes bust.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. 2

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          True. However, do you think that’s a major aspect of uncertainty? I think the users you have in mind aren’t paying customers, right? Someone who isn’t a paying customer (who has no contractual relationship with the maintainers) can hope for continued development, support, years of unpaid service, but only hope, no more. There’s no assurance of bugfixes, of new features, of a port to the next OS version, of compliance with next years’s laws or the ability to read next year’s Microsoft Word files, or that the next version will be open source.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          It’s just one more item on the list of hopes.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          You’ve probably heard stories about companies who implement major new features and then leave them out of the open source tree? I heard about someone who did that with Catalina support recently. It was a tool often used by system integrators, can’t remember the name, but it’s said to be the only open alternative in its niche. For these system integrators, open source was basically a free trial. Once they had invested in that tool, deployed it widely, their customers upgraded to Catalina and they needed to react in a hurry.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. 1

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            True. However, do you think that’s a major aspect of uncertainty? I think the users you have in mind aren’t paying customers, right? Someone who isn’t a paying customer (who has no contractual relationship with the maintainers) can hope for continued development, support, years of unpaid service, but only hope, no more. There’s no assurance of bugfixes, of new features, of a port to the next OS version, of compliance with next years’s laws or the ability to read next year’s Microsoft Word files, or that the next version will be open source.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            the same applies to proprietary projects so i’m not sure what you’re getting at.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            are you saying even corporate-led open source projects don’t provide a guarantee that the project will continue to be open source? that’s fine but again doesn’t contradict anything i’ve said. it’s still better than proprietary from the perspective of browser diversity because the latest open source release would still provide a base for community development.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. 1

                                                                                                                                                                                                            i must have missed the word “smallish,” whoops

                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. 2

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Even Internet Explorer, shitty as it was, using its own engine made the web more diverse and forced developers to at least keep some semblance of portability. With the arrival of Edge, they also went the Blink/Webkit path.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      There are basically only two (or three, if you count Blink and Webkit as distinct) rendering engines left which matter. That’s truly sad.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      So yes, seeing a new browser emerge is actually something that I find hopeful.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. 2

                                                                                                                                                                                                        With the arrival of Edge, they also went the Blink/Webkit path.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        They did not do that with the arrival of Edge. They started Edge on its own engine and only just recently released a blink-based version.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        IE may have initially encouraged some portability, but its net effect was quite the opposite. There were a lot of IE-only products by the time we saw version 6 or so.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. 2

                                                                                                                                                                                                          IE may have initially encouraged some portability, but its net effect was quite the opposite. There were a lot of IE-only products by the time we saw version 6 or so.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          That was when IE had “won” the browser wars and had added nonstandard features which other browsers didn’t support. Once they’d killed off Netscape people didn’t have any incentive to run other browsers, and those extra features got used by developers, entrenching it further because of these IE-only products you mention.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    3. 6

                                                                                                                                                                                                      This is the only thing I was looking for too. Not sure how Flow is supposed to solve any of the problems posed by a lack of browser diversity if it isn’t open source.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. 11

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Any alternative implementation of web technologies that isn’t WebKit gaining a non-trivial market share is a positive for those of us concerned about browser diversity, regardless of whether that implementation is open-source or not.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. 1

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Android might be a point, but without Windows it will not get a non-trivial market share.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. 3

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Thank you, thats one of the first items I check

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. 4

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Can you come up with a better way to sustain its development than “people paying for it”? Unfortunately, free software isn’t free to develop.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. 1

                                                                                                                                                                                                            I’m not complaining that they’re charging for it; I just wish the article was up-front about the licensing at the outset so I would know not to waste my time on it.