1. 8

    The biggest challenge will be rallying the Linux desktop developer communities to support this rather than whatever they are working on at the moment (Ubuntu, Linux Mint, elementaryOS, KDE, etc.) The people at System76 seem to be giving themselves a lot of work and I’m not sure if that energy will convert into a dramatically better desktop (that presumably will encourage people to buy more System76 computers).

    1. 15

      I think it will, and here’s why. In a word - Focus.

      I’ve become much more involved in the Linux community again over the last 5 years, and in that time I’ve watched Gnome go through at least 3 ground-up redesigns of various subsystems. I feel like because their project is almost entirely volunteer driven except for the handful of fine folks who get paid to work on it, they go after what’s bright and shiny (e.g. rewrite/redesign) rather than focusing on what many might consider the decidedly less glamorous work of actually polishing their DE for usability and accessibility.

      This is an area where KDE IMO shines - they’ve been quietly chugging along for the last several years adding polish and stability to their core. The big problem with trying to use KDE being that you only choices in distro are KDE Neon or a bunch of alternative spins that get even less eyeballs and love than the mainline Gnome flavors of various distributions.

      1. 7

        The big problem with trying to use KDE being that you only choices in distro are KDE Neon or a bunch of alternative spins that get even less eyeballs and love than the mainline Gnome flavors of various distributions.

        OpenSUSE is one of the most established distributions and has been KDE-by-default for decades.

        1. 2

          Wasn’t aware. That’s great news!

      2. 7

        I think the attempt is more important than drawing any audience to it. You fail at 100% of the things you don’t try.

      1. 1

        Very cool, I’ve needed to use much more complicated tools just to find some information in webpages.

        1. 23

          LtU does have some clever people. The majority of the predictions seem to be really good / close to truth. The most amusing/true I found were:

          Debates that both sides will lose because the debate will be made irrelevant by a third option: Emacs vs Vim

          We got vscode. I know that’s just one specific case and they weren’t really made irrelevant, but vscode really did take the dev world by storm in comparison. (with people using vi or emacs keybindings inside it)

          I think that we know more or less how the hardware will evolve: several (4-16) heterogeneous(not all with the same performance, some with specialized function unit) CPUs (due to the power wall).

          I take it as 4-16 in total, not 4-16 types. Right on with the recent big-little chips.

          Things from academia that will (start to go in the direction of) mainstream by 2020: Functional reactive programming

          Almost all the new web frameworks and a lot of declarative desktop draws strongly fro FRP.

          In 20 years the prevalent market will be the mobile platforms. The primary language used for development will be JavaScript or some variant, with some of the following characteristics:

          Pretty close if we consider that most websites target mobile now. And just perfect regarding “A misguided spin on lexical scope”.

          Therefore, programming will take on a much more “organic” feel: programming by example, programming with help of machine learning

          Only a year off for the copilot prediction.

          1. 11

            I dint think any vi(m) or emacs user is likely the switch to vscode. Vscode is just the latest in the line of sublime/atom/etc

            1. 2

              It’s much more than just the next sublime according to SO developer surveys. Vscode took some users from virtually every other option. Between 2016 - 2021: (multiple options allowed so there’s overlap)

              Vim fell 26% to 24%

              Vscode rose 7.2% to 71%

              Sublime fell 31% to 20%

              1. 9

                Direct links to the data:

                Given that neovim went from not on the list at all to 5%, I don’t think this supports the idea that meaningful numbers of vim users are switching to vscode. Emacs is virtually unchanged, from 5.2% to 5.3%

              2. 1

                I did (for a while), using the VSCode neovim extension (which literally runs neovim as the backend for editor commands while still getting VSCode’s GUI + language extensions). Ended up switching back emacs when i got a new job because CIDER is still the best Clojure tool imho.

              3. 6

                Debates that both sides will lose because the debate will be made irrelevant by a third option: Emacs vs Vim

                We got vscode. I know that’s just one specific case and they weren’t really made irrelevant, but vscode really did take the dev world by storm in comparison. (with people using vi or emacs keybindings inside it)

                As someone who doesn’t use any of these 3 editors, I don’t think this quite matches up to the prediction. VSCode is a good editor, and it surprised people and rapidly gained dominance for many, but it did not “render emacs vs vim debate irrelevant”. That fight is still raging, whether it’s for the editors themselves or keybindings inside other editors.” If the prediction was something like “a new editor will gain dominance over emacs vs vim” maybe this would count but let’s be honest – most popular editors already did this. Neither Emacs nor Vim have dominance anywhere; the prediction here is merely about the Holy War between the editors. VSCode did not solve this; No editor ever will lol.

                1. 8

                  I’d argue that the distributions of emacs-as-vim and to a lesser extent vim-as-emacs (spacevim) as well as emulation in VS code or jetbrains IDEs is what made the debate w.r.t. UX irrelevant.

                  The “holy war” debate between vim and emacs was made irrelevant by a bigger holy war (one which both vim and emacs take the same side of) which is the fight for free software and “non-corporate” software.. from that pov it was VS code that ended the debate.

                2. 2

                  I can’t imagine a GUI code editor ever making a difference in the Vim/Emacs world. Vim and Emacs are fundamentally different from something like VScode because they are inside a terminal. Some people either prefer to or have to use a terminal for a variety of reasons and I don’t think any level of technological advancement would change most of those reasons (probably ¯_(ツ)_/¯ ).

                  1. 3

                    While I almost exclusively use Emacs in a terminal it is, in fact, a first-class citizen of GUIs (albeit with rather weird habits).

                    1. 1

                      Yeah, one of the nice things about emacs vs vim is that there’s a GUI (so stuff supports it) and there’s only one GUI (so you don’t have to worry about feature differences).

                    2. 2

                      If you look at NeoVim, there are lots of attempts of creating a GUI for it, e.g.:

                      https://www.onivim.io/

                      This suggests that there are a lot of people who want to use NeoVim as a GUI tool, not just terminal. As far as I’m concerted however, I value the terminal side of NeoVim, since I can run it on a Windows machine through SSH and start compilation without having to use RDP nor Windows on my local machine.

                      1. 1

                        Definitely! People want to put Vim and Emacs (mostly Vim) inside any of their existing GUIs or create GUIs just for those tools.

                        But, as you said, the Terminal has special uses that aren’t replaceable and so GUIs like VScode will never directly compete with terminal editors.

                        1. 1

                          Onivim is actually based on vim, not neovim. Don’t remember why.

                          1. 1

                            Thanks, I didn’t realize that. From what I’m searching now, OniVim was based on NeoVim, but OniVim2 switched to Vim due to build issues of NeoVim in author’s environment.

                            https://github.com/onivim/libvim#why-is-libvim-based-on-vim-and-not-neovim

                    1. 36

                      Honest question: why should I care it’s written in Rust? I keep seeing these posts of new software and the authors highlight its “written in Rust.” I’ve never before seen such an emphasis on the language rather than the features it offers.

                      1. 34

                        I care that it isn’t written in C/C++. Memory safety catches a lot of security bugs. And language communities have different cultures, so knowing the actual language can be a signal as well.

                        1. 17

                          Okay, but in that case, it would be cool if the submission at least highlighted some of the neat use cases for which the language is relevant. E.g. if the description would at least mention an example – a particular module that’s very easy to get wrong in C, but Rust is particularly suited to, the way e.g. Julia is so well-suited for writing a FEM program. Or a “this module would’ve been 600 lines of inscrutable C but look how neat it is when you have explicit lifetime management features baked in the language”.

                          If there’s none of that, but it’s just a very good program, that’s great (even better, in fact) – but at least let’s talk about that. Is it remarkably fast, in which case can we have some benchmarks? Is it super secure, as in, has anyone tried to do even an informal review, it’s cool that it’s written in Rust but what I’d really like to know is if someone checked it to make sure that attempting to view an attachment called /dev/null; rm -rf ~ won’t nuke my home folder, which is a far more straightforward exploit than anything involving memory safety.

                          Better – hell, best yet – if it’s none of that, and the author just wrote a cool program and wants to share it with everyone else and wants some feedback. Great, but can we at least get that? Hey, fellow lobsters, here’s a thing I made, it’s super early, it won’t be big and professional like Outlook, do you like it? Would you like to send in a patch? What do you think about X?

                          Otherwise it’s just another program written in Rust. I get it’s cool but hundreds of programs get written in Rust every day.

                          As far as security bugs are concerned, if being written is C would be a red flag, what colour would you say is best ascribed to the flag raised by a tool whose installation script – which you’re supposed to curl straight into bash, of course – downloads an unsigned archive and `sudo mv’s the stuff in it into $PATH ;-)?

                          1. 8

                            I believe 4 out of these 5 would’ve been unlikely if mutt and libraries were written in rust, for example:

                            https://www.cvedetails.com/vulnerability-list/vendor_id-158/product_id-274/year-2018/opov-1/Mutt-Mutt.html

                          2. 10

                            Any GC language is memory-safe.

                            1. 4

                              Which is why written in Go is also a popular thing, and deserves to be. People want single binaries and fast, safe programs but for whatever reason they also want to pretend there’s no reason to care what language something is written in.

                              1. 3

                                Apart from the fact that garbage collection brings its own issues (although probably none that would affect a mail client), Rust offers much more than just memory safety.

                              2. 2

                                What is the most likely security attack surface for a email client?

                                1. 10

                                  Untrusted input: message body, attachments, headers; protocol implementation (tls negotiation, authentication)? [ed: and in particular string handling and path handling]

                                  1. 2

                                    This is a great argument for making MUAs just deal with MH/Maildirs and leaving the server interface to existing programs (mbsync, msmtp).

                                    Not only do you sidestep a good chunk of problems you mentioned - no worries about protocols, network, etc - you also are likely to fit into existing workflows. And it engenders trust: honestly, I’m unwilling to try software that speaks to my mail server. I risk anything from a bug inconveniencing me to something more malicious. Keep it local and I’m not as worried.

                                  2. 2

                                    HTML & images mostly

                                    1. 1

                                      If you want to support it, html display.

                                  3. 29

                                    I really have trouble understanding why people ask this. What’s so hard to understand about folks caring about which language a program is written in? There are literally oodles of reasons why it might be relevant. For example, if the title of the post were, “email client written in Zig,” it would actually attract my interest more than the current title. I would probably wind up spending some time reviewing the source code too. But if the title left that out, I probably would have skipped right by it.

                                    1. 2

                                      Yeah, I agree that the underlying tech can be interesting and makes sense in some cases to be in the title. We’re all hackers lobsters here, right?

                                      I’m a little surprised you’d show so much interest in Zig. I think of you as one of the “gods of rust”. Are you interested in a “keeping tabs on the competition” sort of way? Or is there some use case that you think Zig might shine more than rust for? In other words: are you interested in ideas you can bring to rust, or because you’re evaluating or interested in using Zig in its own right?

                                      1. 5

                                        No, I’m legitimately interested in Zig. I’ve always loved the “simplicity” of C, for example, for some definition of simplicity. (That one can cut a lot of different ways.) It’s also why I really like Go. And I think Zig is taking an interesting approach to memory safety and I’m very interested to see how well it work in practice. I’m also quite interested to see how well comptime does and how it balances against readability and documentation in particular.

                                        But I haven’t written a single line of Zig yet. I’m just following it with interest. I’m also a Zig sponsor if only for the amazing work that Andrew is doing with C tooling.

                                      2. 2

                                        I think “written in [L]” makes sense, if the fact that it was written in a language is interesting. If a more complex program is written in APL, it is interesting because APL is know to be diffucult. If something is written in C89 is is interesting because that will probably make it very portable. If something is written in Zig, it might be interesting because a lot of people are not familiar with it’s strengths and weaknesses in real world systems. If something is written in Go, it might be interesting because it provides a easy static binary that can be installed without a big fuss.

                                        Most of the time, I’m not surprised about Rust because why shouldn’t you be able to write a CLI tool in Rust? It has been done over and over again. If writing something in Rust has practical advantanges (”… written in Rust making it 4x faster”, “… written in Rust avoiding 90% of all security issues”, …) then it might be interesting.

                                        1. 14

                                          One aspect of that is that what is “interesting” varies from person to person and from time to time. Just as an example, I know I would be more interested if the title were “written in Zig,” but I’m sure there are plenty of others that would be less interested because of it. And that actually makes the “written in Zig” part of the title useful. Because it lets people filter a bit more, even if it means it’s less interesting.

                                          More to the point, “interest” is just one reason why “written in [L]” makes sense. It’s not the only reason. As others have mentioned, some programming languages tend to be associated with certain properties of programs. Whether that’s culture, barriers to contribution (for some definition of “barrier”), performance, UX and so on. Everyone here knows that “email client written in C” and “email client written in Rust” likely has some signal and would mean different things to different people.

                                          I truly don’t understand why people are continually mystified by this. It’s like the most mundane thing in the world to me. Programmers are interested in programming languages and how tools are built. Who woulda thunk it.

                                          To be clear, this doesn’t mean everyone has to be interested in the underlying technology 100% of the time either. So I’m under no illusions about that. Most of the users of my software, for example, not only don’t care what language it was written in, but probably don’t even know. I’d even bet that most of my users (via VS Code) not only don’t know what language their “find in files” is written in, but probably haven’t even heard of Rust.

                                          But we’re on a tech forum. It self selects for nerds like us that like to talk shop. What a surprise that we would be interested in the tools used to build shit.

                                          Apologies for the minor rant. This is just one of those things that pops up over and over on these forums. People are continually surprised that “written in [L]” matters to some people, and I guess I’m just continually surprised that they’re continually surprised. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

                                      3. 11

                                        Personally I care because I am trying to learn Rust and projects like this are nice to explore and figure out stuff.

                                        1. 6

                                          I’m not sure either. I do occasionally see the “written in Go” or “written in Crystal” or “written in pure C99”, however.

                                          1. 4

                                            This was a trend 5 years ago with Python I feel, now it’s a trend with Rust. In case of Python, in my experience, it boiled down to “we improved the UI massively (compared to existing alternatives) and our error handling is nonexistent”, while with Rust it’s more likely to be “we’re obsessed about efficiency and everything else is secondary” ;)

                                            In practice, the “in X” is likely a call for contributors, not the users – as a user, when I see “it’s written in X” I assume that it’s probably got no real upsides aside of that, as if writing it in X was the whole point.

                                            1. 3

                                              It makes it interesting to me because I’m interested in Rust, so I’d like to check out the source and learn something!

                                              1. 3

                                                As an email client for users, it isn’t interesting at all (no disrespect to the creator). But, as an expression for the possibilities of an up-and-coming language, it is useful. This post has the same similar feel to a “hello world” for a new language.

                                                1. 2

                                                  People still writing new software in C in TYOOL 2021 also like to brag online about their choice of language. I don’t get it.

                                                  1. 2

                                                    I first thought “written in Rust” seems boisterous, then rethought and realized it’s beneficial specifying such, not just in boistering, but as an example for folks wanting to learn.

                                                    1. 2

                                                      Well,one reason to care is to make sure they don’t fall victim to the RIIR question from the Rust Evangelism Strike Force. (Have you considered rewriting it in rust?) (https://transitiontech.ca/random/RIIR).

                                                      (Note: this is a joke. You probably don’t care about rust and nor should you, but the author does.)

                                                    1. 1

                                                      Also why reseting some elements if you are not using them in your project. Example: If you don’t have forms in your project don’t reset them.

                                                      This makes me think there should be a pre-processor tool for including resets only for the HTML you include in your website.

                                                      1. 1

                                                        I was thinking that, but the problem isn’t important enough for the amount of work that would be.

                                                      1. 4

                                                        There’s not much to see so it’s difficult to judge. I think it was Bootstrap that started the trend of a-lot-of-dashes which I’m not a fan of (although it’s a very popular style of writing CSS).

                                                        I would highly encourage anyone who is looking to switch to a Flexbox layout to first learn how to use it (and there is a lot to learn) and then using a framework like this if it seems more convenient.

                                                        Of course the spacing on the example website is no bueno, but I know that’s in part because you haven’t finished the content part of it yet.

                                                        1. 2

                                                          Yes, you first should know what is Flexbox, then you can use my framework to speed up your work.

                                                          About spacing…I want this spacing to separate items, but the framework does not create it…it’s mine style. Remember, Strawberry does not add graphic style.

                                                        1. 3

                                                          It’s a good thing that Firefox now allows users to preemptively disable all future notification requests.

                                                          So what is the end goal of this type of hack? I assume the assumption is that someone will just say “yes sure fine”, but then they could easily go into their system UI(?) to disable the notifications after they leave the browser. Notifications in browsers don’t exist in iOS so I don’t know the mechanism for how Android handles this.

                                                          1. 5

                                                            but then they could easily go into their system UI(?) to disable the notifications

                                                            What you’ve just described is beyond the technical abilities of most people, in my experience.

                                                          1. 1

                                                            The funny thing about this post is that this is the most positive take I’ve seen on Gnome 3 in a while.

                                                            1. 5

                                                              It looks cute, but I can’t imagine playing games with that. I can feel my hands getting cramped just looking at that demo video.

                                                              1. 2

                                                                I’m more worried about my fingers hurting from the tiny friction, with the PS1 I remember my fingers hurting from the D pad. I’m not sure if my eyesight will be able to appreciate all the magic either.

                                                                1. 1

                                                                  Their OLED display is native “96 x 64 px, cropped to 5:4 ratio”, so actual display area is 80x64 pixels. The Game Boy LCD resolution was 160×144. So if the picture seems blurry and cramped, it’s not just your eyesight. I’m sure it’s fine for Tetris, though.

                                                              1. 6

                                                                I don’t think this advice is particularly applicable because it’s only a few services like Medium that actually take a personal blog post and turn it into a multi-megabyte mess.

                                                                Anyone using a standard Wordpress theme or writing their own template is likely not to incur that much bloat because most of the bloat comes from unused widgets (that Medium thinks are neat), ads, useless analytics, random JS garbage that Medium thinks is neat, and preloading gigantic images.

                                                                1. 2

                                                                  The website feels snappier

                                                                  1. 2

                                                                    Standard warning that Tedu self-signs his SSL so that’s why the error comes up.

                                                                    1. 4

                                                                      Standard rant that this breaks both archive.org and archive.is

                                                                      1. 2

                                                                        Non-standard effect that 3 out of 3 comments are about the self-sign instead of content. He’s achieved his intended milestone of 100% tangent in a submission about something on his site. I’m going to do something about that in next comment.

                                                                        1. 1

                                                                          I totally agree with his reasoning though… Me reading his blog doesn’t need third party approval to be ‘secure’ when unencrypted http between the same two people is fine according to the browser.

                                                                      1. 6

                                                                        The comments section of that article is a good example of what to remove with such tech. Also why I stopped commenting there. Amazing how much a combo of paid trolling and Slashdot-style influx can change a site.

                                                                        1. 2

                                                                          Wow, that comments section is like reading something out of Infowars. I’m surprised he doesn’t just close that off.

                                                                          1. 2

                                                                            If yall are wondering, here’s how the discussions looked years back when I hosted my essays and designs there:

                                                                            https://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2011/06/court_ruling_on.html#c552667

                                                                            That topic is banking security where a court ruled substandard security was OK. I designed a solution to the problem based on my prior work. A bunch of people jumped in with ideas. Such peer review and people adding enhancements was common enough on Schneier’s blog that I just dropped anything I had there first. People left one by one until a handful remained… buried in noise of paid trolls and low-quality comments. Such a loss.

                                                                        1. 5

                                                                          I lost my Telegram account when I lost my phone number so it’s difficult to take the argument about backups and message histories seriously. Apps like Telegram seem nice until you realize you’re at the whims of your phone company when it comes to a third-party app’s sensitive data.

                                                                          1. 3

                                                                            “Unscathed” is the nicest thing you can say about the development of Virtualbox. I think about projects like Vagrant that exist because people don’t like using Virtualbox’s CLI and I think about the paid alternatives that aren’t cheap, but people are willing to shell out for something with a better UI.

                                                                            1. 4

                                                                              It makes me sad there there are so many different instant messaging platforms in common use today and they are all proprietary and unfederated walled gardens.

                                                                              • iMessage
                                                                              • Skype
                                                                              • Facebook messenger
                                                                              • Snapchat
                                                                              • Google Hangouts
                                                                              • Google Allo
                                                                              • WeChat
                                                                              • SnapChat

                                                                              I would like for something like XMPP to be successful, but it seems more and more unlikely as time goes on.

                                                                              1. 4

                                                                                I until recently would have agreed. However, I think that Conversations on Android showed that you can make a good client that people seem to be able to agree upon. Having something like that (a dominant, fully featured, yet simple to use) application, maybe web application could make things better again when using XMPP.

                                                                                If not I hope that Matrix picks up some steam. It looks promising, however I think it’s too early. Currently the clients are very rough around the corners and only techy people seem to use it. That’s not a complaint, other than against myself, for not helping out - or not having time to.

                                                                                This is all based on the assumption that the major reason for not using XMPP is the lack of easily working desktop/mobile sync, especially in combination with encryption. OMEMO to me is the best thing that has happened in a while.

                                                                                1. 3

                                                                                  I’ve sometimes thought that the only reason we have good email interoperability is because there was no profit in running email systems back when the standard was written.

                                                                                  It seems that there’s no way to create a commons once a market develops. (I’m happy to be proven wrong, and would love to see counterexamples!)

                                                                                  1. 3

                                                                                    XMPP is evolving with the times. You can now get end-to-end encryption, and mobile-friendly optimizations that minimize polling and save battery life.

                                                                                    Android client: https://conversations.im/

                                                                                    iOS client: https://chatsecure.org/

                                                                                    Eventual codebase unification: https://chatsecure.org/blog/chatsecure-conversations-zom/

                                                                                    Riot/Matrix isn’t XMPP but is similarly open: https://matrix.org/docs/projects/client/riot.html

                                                                                    1. 3

                                                                                      Not to mention KakaoTalk, WhatsApp, and LINE, which are crazy popular in places that aren’t the US.

                                                                                      1. 3

                                                                                        You listed Snapchat twice!

                                                                                        1. 2

                                                                                          I think there is a slight difference with iMessage. When it comes to the Mac app, you could plug in all sorts of services that had XMPP as their baseline. This fell apart over time as Facebook, Google, etc. all closed up and in the High Sierra version of Messages you can only add smaller Jabber/XMPP services.

                                                                                          For a lot of those services, they did start out as open XMPP services, but it’s likely the case that they realized they didn’t want the competition on the client side.

                                                                                          1. 1

                                                                                            I think part of the issue has been XMPP’s lack of adoption of new market features, and how hard it’s been to keep up with the pace of innovation throughout the entire XMPP federated network. If those challenges can be made simple, I’d expect there to be an increase in adoption. I don’t know if that would be enough to start chipping away at the network effect however.

                                                                                          1. 27

                                                                                            Even as a web developer, I haven’t heard of this browser until now. If you visit the website with an ad blocker then you get this warning:

                                                                                            We love ad blockers as much as you, but we depend on ad revenue to fund various sites and services. We use responsible ad services to keep your visit to our websites a safe and uninterrupted one. To ensure our continued operation, please disable your ad blocker for this site or support us another way.

                                                                                            Why would an open-source browser use advertisements on their main website? The worst part, these ads are definitely not safe or responsible.

                                                                                            http://i.imgur.com/neimpSW.png

                                                                                            http://i.imgur.com/yOZyWJM.png

                                                                                            1. 7

                                                                                              I don’t think ads on the website is necessarily an evil way for an open source project to fund itself, but asking to disable your ad blocker under the pretence that your website has only responsible ads, only to try to trick users to install malware when they disable the ad blocker, is definitely not okay.

                                                                                              Neither is blacklisting an add-on for that matter. At least you can disable the blacklist in the configuration, but the argumentation from moonchild was extremely weak, even trying to argue that the add-on in question is malware because it makes the user part of a “botnet”.

                                                                                              Pale moon never really struck me as my kind of browser, but I tried it once and thought of it as a nice project which could be an alternative to Chrome if Firefox ever went down the drain. I gotta say I don’t think quite as highly of it anymore - but crucially, they at least don’t try to prevent you from disabling the blacklist.

                                                                                              1. 2

                                                                                                I wouldn’t say “evil” necessarily. It’s a word that is too easily thrown around by GPL supporters.

                                                                                                But if you want people to support your open-source project then you have to do so in the clearest, most honest way. It’s part of the open-source culture.

                                                                                                I can tell what the web devs were thinking “oh, Google is a big ad company. Of course they are going to filter out the worst ads!” And Google think so themselves which is why they have placed themselves on the good side of their initiative against sneaky ads in Chrome.

                                                                                                The problem of course is that Google actually isn’t great with filtering advertisements. It’s (relatively) easy to publish something on DoubleClick which can spread malware. And that was obvious when I visited the Pale Moon site and saw two DoubleClick banners.

                                                                                            1. 35

                                                                                              Focusing heavily on how it makes a robot computer feel, these posts ultimately neglect what will be the deciding factor in Electron’s success or failure: how it feels for most people to run Electron apps day-to-day.

                                                                                              This is my favorite line because it doesn’t have any resemblance to reality. I nearly threw my tea at my laptop screen at the idea that people enjoy Electron apps especially the idea that they like those apps more than native applications.

                                                                                              Slack is widely thought of as an application people have to deal with. Atom is an okay application, but when push comes to shove, they have to use native code to get decent performance. Basic things like resizing a window will make Slack drop frames. The writer must have a really low bar for what counts as an enjoyable application. I receive some great emails, but that doesn’t make my email client any better.

                                                                                              I can speak for myself when I say Electron runs like a dream. On a typical day, I’ll have about three Atom windows open, a multi-team Slack up and running, as well as actively using and debugging my own Electron-based app Standard Notes. I’ll also have a bunch of other non-Electron apps opened or running, like Adobe Photoshop, three Terminal windows with 3–4 tabs each, Sequel Pro, Google Chrome with on average 4–5 tabs, Apple Mail, iMessage, Little Snitch, Dropbox, and iTunes/Apple Music.

                                                                                              I also really enjoy this one because the long list of apps is made to sound like there’s a bunch of usage going on, but maybe this writer doesn’t realize how little consumption goes on in the background with these standard macOS apps when they’re “open” (Messages, really?). Photoshop also uses very little RAM if you don’t actually have anything open. This is also supposed to be bragging about using all of these applications on a computer with 16GB of RAM. That is quadruple the amount of RAM that most people use on a typical laptop.

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                                                                                                To those who run the slack desktop app, my question is… Why? Why not just use it in a web browser where it belongs? If people need you, they’ll find a way to contact you.

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                                                                                                  The brilliance about Slack’s business is that it’s both a business application and an instant messaging platform. Both of those together create an evil combination where the people who need to use it are those who need to use it all day long.

                                                                                                  For any number of reasons, people generally like to be able to open/close browser tabs & windows without worry that some important business application wherein people expect a response from you within minutes (if not seconds) will be lost. This is especially true if you’re a web developer who will need to close all windows or restart the browser on a regular basis.

                                                                                                  Slack has just become too important in the lives of many (thus all the consternation about how terrible the app is) and using it as a separate application makes things a lot cleaner and simpler.

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                                                                                                    Pinned tabs?

                                                                                                    Also does Slack support web push? If it does, you should be able to just close it and get notifications.

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                                                                                                      Luckily, it doesn’t (I get enough notifications while I’m working, no need to spam me even more when I decide to focus and close the browser tab)

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                                                                                                    I couldn’t find a way in the browser to be able to stay logged in to multiple slacks at once, so I have to run the desktop app.

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                                                                                                      When you run things in a browser you lose really basic command-tab functionality in OSX

                                                                                                      You also have browser chrome to deal with , as well as all the browser UI cruft (don’t need to see that URL all the time)

                                                                                                      I think voice chat doesn’t work in Slack on the web either?

                                                                                                      I think some of this is solvable , but I haven’t ever found much reason to not just use the slack app that works

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                                                                                                        You also have browser chrome to deal with , as well as all the browser UI cruft (don’t need to see that URL all the time)

                                                                                                        Not necessarily. With Chrome you can create chromeless “applications” from any URL. This is what I do with Spotify, Outlook 365, and HipChat. Spotify in particular is much faster that way than “native.”

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                                                                                                          oh is this possible? How do you do this?

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                                                                                                            On Windows it’s Menu > More Tools > Add to Desktop. Then make sure that you check “Open as Window.” Voila! Your web page is now a standalone application!

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                                                                                                              Just had a look at Chrome on Mac OS and couldn’t find anything like this.

                                                                                                              I’ve been using Fluid to turn web apps into standalone apps, works quite well (aside from the resource usage of course).

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                                                                                                                Yeah. A little searching shows that option is only available on Windows and Linux, not Mac OS.

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                                                                                                        Why not just use it in a web browser where it belongs?

                                                                                                        Judgy judgy! :)

                                                                                                        I don’t particularly like running “applications” inside web browsers because my browser is a dynamic place. I open tabs, close tabs, move things around etc all the time and frequently need to restart. In short, for my use case, browsers make AWFUL persistent application platforms.

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                                                                                                          I used to use Slack in the web browser. I’m on Linux and wanted to try to use Slack’s voice call features, and the browser version wouldn’t let me select my speaker/mic device, so I couldn’t use it.

                                                                                                          Then I heard there was a Slack desktop app, so I thought, hey maybe that will work. So I tried that. But I had the same problem.

                                                                                                          I never switched back to the browser version because there’s really nothing that has made me want to switch. It’s using about 700MB of RAM right now, and that feels pretty par for the course to me. My gmail tab is using just as much. As a bonus, the Slack desktop app uses my notification daemon that I have running (dunst), which lets me very easily dismiss or recall notifications without touching the mouse.

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                                                                                                          Photoshop AND Sequel Pro opened at the same time?! This just reads as someone enumerating the apps installed on his laptop…

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                                                                                                            This is my favorite line because it doesn’t have any resemblance to reality. I nearly threw my tea at my laptop screen at the idea that people enjoy Electron apps especially the idea that they like those apps more than native applications.

                                                                                                            Clearly native applications are better in some respects (they may be faster, more conformant to local UI norms, etc.)

                                                                                                            However the key question is - Is having a cross platform electron app to solve a particular task better than not having that niche served at all?

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                                                                                                              I was responding to the idea that the writer threw out there that Electron may use a lot of resources, but it’s in service of making a better UX & UI for users. He didn’t actually elaborate on that probably because there is no way to defend that position.

                                                                                                              It’s a lot more easily defensible to talk about the business side of web apps rather than anything technical. In the particular case of Slack, that company has plenty enough money to completely rewrite their web app as a set of native apps, but why would they when everyone is already locked in?

                                                                                                              I also like that he used some strange math to say that his basic note-taking application would cost $500 when, last time I checked, not even the most complicated native applications run by the smallest teams that would need the most money actually charge that much money for their apps.

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                                                                                                                not even the most complicated native applications run by the smallest teams that would need the most money actually charge that much money for their apps

                                                                                                                I wish! Have you seen what Autodesk charges? And they’re subscriptions

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                                                                                                                To which the obvious response is: does any electron app serve a unique purpose?

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                                                                                                                  The same question could be asked of any given native technology. This is almost but not quite a troll :)

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                                                                                                              If this is the best that the AI field can come up with then we have a long way to go until we have a bot that can be confused for a human.

                                                                                                              I am honestly surprised at how simple-minded this bot can be to actually get tripped up just because a sentence has “good” or “bad” in it.

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                                                                                                                I am honestly surprised at how simple-minded this bot can be to actually get tripped up just because a sentence has “good” or “bad” in it.

                                                                                                                It’s nothing more than word-based pattern matching. I’d be surprised if it worked at an acceptable level.

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                                                                                                                There’s an argument to be made that macOS is better documented from an average user point-of-view. There are extensive reviews of every piece of UI on macOS and the Knowledge Base articles written by Apple are more detailed instructions on how to use hardware/software than I’ve seen within any individual tech company.

                                                                                                                When are we going to see the 20 page review on the next update of Ubuntu? The Arch Wiki is known to be the best source of Linux documentation because all other sources are lacking.

                                                                                                                The main problem with Apple’s Unix utilities has less to do with documentation than it has to do with the utilities themselves. If Apple isn’t keeping their utilities up-to-date with mainstream then why would they document those utilities?