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    A few things that were missed: POSIX / the Single Unix Specification require vi. That’s a big part of why it’s ubiquitous, every *NIX system that aims for POSIX compliance needs some vi clone. *BSD shipped nvi, because it’s small and they have a separation of base system and third-party things, so people who want a richer editor can install one (including vim) and only pay a tiny cost for nvi being installed. Linux distros picked vim. I have no idea why this was (early Linux distro creators liked it? They assumed everyone would want a richer vi clone?), but once it became the standard Linux vi, everyone learned it. I was hoping that the article would give some insight into this.

    The first shell and editor that you use seem very sticky. I still use bash and vim on pretty much every system, even when they’re not the default on a system (neither is on FreeBSD). The SSH factor is still the main thing keeping me in vim. If the VS Code remote extension weren’t so tied to x86/Linux, I’d probably use that, but since it doesn’t work with ARM, MIPS, FreeBSD, and so on, I can’t rely on it everywhere and so I don’t want to have to switch between tools.

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      I also find this post very sparse on information. For example, it doesn’t really make any sense of the path of punch cards to line editors. Line editors existed because early terminals were not “glass terminals” as we have them now, but hard copy terminals in which you interacted with a printout, one line at a time appearing as you typed in the commands, at which point it makes sense you don’t have a full-screen editor; there wasn’t even a screen.

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        Another reason was that other options (such as Emacs) used to cost a lot of money and effort to get installed, because there were no simple package-distribution mechanisms as we now have.

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          And if you go even further back, to the days when it was really just “vi” instead of “vim”, Emacs was FAR more resource-intensive, which mattered a lot on shell hosts you were sharing with a bunch of other users. When I was in college, we joked it stood for Eight Megs And Constantly Swapping. Obviously not an issue at all these days but that was one of the things that steered me away from Emacs when I was first learning to use UNIX.

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            When I studied at KTH in Sweden in the early 90s the Sun dickdiskless workstations we used had 2 windows open when an X session started: a shell (I believe it might have been tcsh but this was before I actually cared about these things) and an Emacs session. All documentation regarding how to edit text assumed Emacs.

            I guess my Emacs usage started there. I played with Emacs-like editors on the 386 I had at time (running Windows 3.1) just to keep the keybindings.

            I know enough vi to be able to edit a local apt-source list to install Emacs ;)

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              That probably confirms the point David was trying to make: defaults stick with us.

              Lovely “typo” and how you left it in btw :)

            2. 2

              I was actually thinking of the pre-vim times, AFAIK it as already possible to distribute the Emacs source via FTP when vim started to become popular.

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                emacs - eight megs and constantly swapping

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                  My first PC had 2 megs so I couldn’t run Emacs on it - nor install Debian, for that matter.

            3. 2

              *BSD shipped nvi, because it’s small and they have a separation of base system and third-party things, so people who want a richer editor can install one (including vim) and only pay a tiny cost for nvi being installed.

              One other minor point - *BSD ships with nvi because the original vi (although originall Berkeley-developed) contained encumbered AT&T copyrighted source code. nvi is a re-implementation of vi by Keith Bostic, based partially on elvis, and included initially with 4BSD.

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                The first shell and editor that you use seem very sticky. I still use bash and vim on pretty much every system, even when they’re not the default on a system (neither is on FreeBSD).

                I’d imagine you’re half-right about this. If only vi is available on some system, many choose to install vim. But I think it is less common even to notice that the shell is not bash.

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                  The first thing i do after installing Void linux is changing from dash to bash and vi to kakoune.

                  Dash is just unusable as a day to day interactive shell. It is probably not meant to.

                  After learning kakoune i can’t stand using any type of vi.

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                    How many years did you use vi?

                    I’ve tried to use kakoune but there are many vi(m)-isms which stop me. It’s not the plugins; I use like 2.

                    For me, vim-sneak is the biggest one for movement. Can kakoune do similar movement?

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                      I don’t know. I’ve been using Linux since Mandrake Linux almost 18 years ago and always used vim because it was the default. I just recently started programming so i never used vim intensely in the past, it was always simple tasks so i never acquired too much knowledge in it. Just wrote some bash scripts.

                      When i tried kakoune it simply felt more natural for me and the instant feedback and multiple cursors is wonderful. It’s when i started learning programming.

                      I don’t know about vim-sneak. Looking briefly at the website, it seems that you perform a search and it highlights the results and you can jump around? If i search for “as” i can jump to the third instance by typing ‘3n’. If i hold shift it selects all the instances in the way. So 3 + shift + n will select the next 3 instances.

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                        I used Vim daily for like twenty years before trying Kakoune, and after a couple of months (which, I admit, were a bit awkward and frustrating) I can’t go back.

                        I don’t know of any equivalent to vim-sneak (although there is an easymotion plugin) but because of the way Kakoune deals with selections instead of cursors movement has a very different feel — it’s not just about moving the cursor to the right place, but also moving the anchor (the other end of the selection) to the right place at the same time. When I started out, it felt a little bit like playing that Snake game on old Nokia phones, always being conscious of where your tail was.

                        My suspicion is that a Kakoune equivalent of vim-sneak wouldn’t be nearly as useful as it is in Vim. On the other hand, it’s pretty easy to build Kakoune plugins, and that might be a decent tutorial project.

                      2. 2

                        As far as I remember the ksh in OpenBSD was surprisingly usable as a daily driver despite having only like 3 features: line editing, tab completion of command names and tab completion of file names.

                        1. 0

                          This is a tangent but for anyone with a passing knowledge of Greek or French etymology “kakoune” is an unfortunate name.

                          1. 4

                            Here, broaden your linguistic horizons a bit.

                            1. 1

                              Interesting. Is “{en|in}close” specific to how the editor works? I thought it was a modal editor with alternative verb/noun nomenclature than vim.

                              As much as I’d like to learn Japanese, learning French was hard enough, and I can’t unsee kakoune as a (ungrammatical) gloss on “the shitty one”.

                              1. 5

                                Kakoune’s major innovation relative to vi(m) is specifying the object before the action, which also neatly enables (SublimeText-style) multi-select. You enclose some text and then operate on it. Japanese puts nouns before verbs too.

                                But on the shell, it’s usually just called kak. So, yeah, kind of a cuss… kek!

                            2. 2

                              My understanding is that the primary author of Kakoune is from French-speaking New Caledonia, where the word means “a hard punch”. I don’t know if that’s a meaning borrowed from some Polynesian language, or a novel invention, but I’m sure the author was aware of the variant reading you’re thinking of.

                          2. 1

                            I think that depends on what the other shell is. OS X used to ship with tcsh as the default (and the rest of the BSD family still does). Installing bash was one of the first things I did on a Mac and apparently this behaviour was so common that Apple switched to bash as the default shell some time around 10.3ish. Solaris, last time I used it, shipped with an incredibly minimal POSIX shell by default, so bash was one of the first things I installed. If I use a system where the default shell is zsh, for example, I typically don’t care.

                          3. 1

                            Linux distros picked vim.

                            Not all of them! My beloved Slackware defaults vi to elvis and vim is a separate command. I actually kinda like elvis - it has a kind of wysiwyg html mode that is somewhat cool among other little thing. Lightweight too.

                            Though vim i my main editor for bigger jobs.

                          1. 1

                            I’m still learning programming. I started with Go and i’m liking it so far.

                            First time seeing slices and maps and i’m getting ultra confused, but am slowly starting to grasp. I understand it, but i get all confused when writing the for range loops for those.

                            I’m learning from udemy, but i’ll probably go after some text course after finishing this one.

                            1. 1

                              Wow.

                              Now I’m considering changing my laptop to this. I don’t use it on the go, just at home or my parents home and i have a monitor in each place and i’m just tired of dealing with nvidia optimus and not being able to use wayland.

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                                I don’t understand why a lot of websites now require JavaScript to load images, such as Medium. This is a basic feature from web browsers!

                                I heard about “lazy loading” but I never had any issue with pages with a lot of images (except maybe, very long pages ? this should be a browser issue to handle). Recent browsers support loading=lazy attribute.

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                                  It’s mainly for tracking and collecting data. See those videos that popup on news sites that have no relation to what you are reading there? A lot of times that’s what it is. Analytics. It’s harder to block those on videos.

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                                    Trying to improve we make things worse..

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                                    While suckless as a way to build software is definitely interesting (and a lot of the benefits of suckless come from disregarding edge cases, internationalization and accessibility), I’d argue that suckless as a project is something one should handle really carefully.

                                    They’re doing literal torch hikes through southern Germany at their conferences, fighting online against “cultural marxism”, and their mail server has the hostname “Wolfsschanze” (see: https://twitter.com/pid_eins/status/1113738766471057408)

                                    I recommend reading this thread (with a suckless.org developer with enabled hat speaking officially) and looking at this photo from one of their conferences.

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                                      The topic pops up here and there, and one should always consider that Lennart Poettering used this bait to easily escape from a discussion about his software that I personally think should take place. Suckless is not directly a coherent group and more of a group of like-minded individuals, so I’m careful to speak “for” the project even though I’m first chair of the legal entity suckless.org e.V..

                                      What I can say is that we are probably one of the very very few software projects left that do not politicize. We have members from all political spectrums, but make it work, because we only discuss software and nothing else. Those disagreeing with us or unaccustomed to non-political software projects try to put us into a corner, but it makes no sense when it is used to disregard the suckless philosophy itself, which is non-political.

                                      Torch hikes are nothing unusual in Germany and there was no political intent behind it. Though I do understand now that it might send a different message worldwide, I expect more cultural sensibility from every observer before “calling us out” for allegedly re-enacting nazism or celebrating a Charlottesville march, which is a ridiculous assessment.

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                                        One should always consider that Lennart Poettering used this bait to easily escape from a discussion about his software that I personally think should take place.

                                        Perhaps, but I don’t think calling out getting emails from a wolfsschanze host is that unreasonable to be honest; as I mentioned in my other post I’m not going to attach far-fetched conclusions to it but I do find it in pretty bad taste. At any rate, to ask it plainly, what’s the deal that?

                                        1. 3

                                          There is no such thing as “non-political”, because we live in a society with power imbalances. Therefore not taking an explicit political stance, translates to implicitly supporting the status quo, whatever that status quo is in a given society at a given time. You’ll find that people in underrepresented demographics will largely avoid your project as a result, regardless of the political views among members of your project.

                                          If supporting the status quo is what you intend to do, then that is one thing. But please stop presenting it as “non-political”, because that is simply not the reality of it. It only looks non-political if you yourself are in a position where the status quo benefits you. Which I am also - so this is not a personal accusation, to be clear. But it is something you need to be aware of.

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                                            not taking an explicit political stance, translates to implicitly supporting the status quo

                                            No no no, I cannot agree with that. Let’s take an example. I’m working on a crypto library, that on many aspects is very close to the Suckless ideals: it’s in C, it’s small, it’s easy to integrate into other projects… One of the motivations for it was to fight unnecessary complexity. A fairly political goal if you ask me: if software becomes as simple as I think it can (and should) be, the changes could be felt throughout the global economy itself.

                                            My project also has an implicit endorsement of the status quo: it is written in English, and I have no intention to translate the documentation, or even the web site to other languages. Not even French, my native language. Sorry, you need to learn English to use my project. That’s kind of an implicit endorsement of US hegemony. Not that I’m very happy about that, but not fighting that fight does make me reinforce the ubiquity of the English language.

                                            But there’s no way my project can have a stance on everything. Its stance on many many subjects is really neutral. It does not fight nor reinforce the status quo. Veganism? Patriarchy? White supremacy? I hardly have a community to speak of, there’s just not enough people to warrant something like a code of conduct. That does not mean my project implicitly rejects vegan transgender black women. In fact, I do hope they’ll feel as welcome as anyone else. And right now, I believe being nice to whoever contacts me is enough.

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                                              I couldn’t have put it better, thanks for sharing your thoughts. I always like to consider the example of Chemistry: In the 19th and 20th century, German scientists were leading in chemistry and most papers were published in German. Chemistry students were more or less forced to learn German to understand these papers, and German became the lingua franca of Chemistry, which has changed to English though.

                                              In computer science, English is the lingua franca. I don’t think it’s exclusionary to only offer software documentation and code comments in English.

                                            2. 7

                                              That is a good point and I understand what you mean with that. For our conferences, we actually offer those who are unable to attend due to financial reasons to pay their travel expenses and accomodation for them, which was greatly appreciated especially by younger programmers who often don’t have the means to fund such a travel.

                                              Apart from income differences, that might be a deciding factor being unable to attend a conference and meeting like-minded people, I see no other factors that might hinder someone from joining us. You basically only need an internet connection and a computer. The computer doesn’t even need to be that fast, unlike if you, for instance, intended to work with deep learning software.

                                              And if you still criticize the conferences for being exclusionary in some way: Most communication takes place on a mailing list and IRC, many people use pseudonyms. Factors like race, country of residence, gender are thus irrelevant and even non-determinable, if you choose to, and the development on mailing lists and IRC is the main way development happens and there’s no need to do anything else to partake or make submissions.

                                              So, again, I know what you mean, but suckless is not an example for a project supported by the status quo. Most people disregard suckless as too extreme in terms of software philosophy and conclude that we would also be extreme in other areas of life, but suckless, for me, is software zen, and everyone is welcome to adopt this philosophy.

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                                                Factors like race, country of residence, gender are thus irrelevant and even non-determinable, if you choose to, and the development on mailing lists and IRC is the main way development happens and there’s no need to do anything else to partake or make submissions.

                                                This is a common point of view among those in privileged demographics. However, it is also a misunderstanding of how underrepresented people in demographics actually choose where to hang around and contribute, and why.

                                                Imagine for a moment that you are someone in a demographic who’s frequently a target of harassment. The exact demographic doesn’t matter much - maybe you’re black, or you’re a woman, or you’re transsexual, or whatever else. But for the sake of the example, imagine that you are a woman.

                                                Now, there are two different communities for you to choose from:

                                                1. A community that says “we don’t police member’s politics, this is purely a tech project”.
                                                2. A community that says “we actively welcome women”.

                                                Where are you going to feel safer? In the second community - because there, it’s clear that if someone finds out you’re a woman, them harassing you over it isn’t going to be tolerated and the harasser is going to be thrown out.

                                                In the first community, you just kind of have to stay quiet about your identity, have everyone assume that you’re a guy, and hope that no-one finds out the truth. If they do - maybe there’s some persistent stalker following you around and posting about you in every community you join - you can basically predict ahead of time that harassment and other discriminatory behaviour is not going to be acted upon, because “people’s own politics are not policed”.

                                                In a way, there are parallels here to how gay people are “tolerated” in many countries. It’s “fine so long as you don’t bother me with it”, which effectively means that you cannot speak about it publicly or have a public relationship with someone of the same sex, because then the cover falls away and you are no longer “okay”, because your identity can no longer be ignored. Harassment (and often violence) promptly follows.

                                                “Don’t ask, don’t tell” policies like this don’t make for healthy, diverse environments. They make for environments in which the status quo is preserved, and where the only way to be vaguely safe as a minority is to never tell anyone that you don’t fit into that status quo. This is not inclusive, and it absolutely does support the status quo. Those who fall outside of it will silently move on to healthier communities.

                                                I would like it if “who you are doesn’t matter, it’s about the project” were the reality, I really would. But that just isn’t how things work by default in a society with power imbalances, and the only way to get there is by actively enforcing it - and that means taking a political stance, one that disavows discriminatory behaviour and harassment.

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                                                  Now, there are two different communities for you to choose from:

                                                  1. A community that says “we don’t police member’s politics, this is purely a tech project”.
                                                  2. A community that says “we actively welcome women”. Where are you going to feel safer?

                                                  I don’t know how the suckless community is, but I am convinced that, if I had a dime for every company, group or project that claimed to “actively welcome women” or “promote equal opportunity for everyone” or “have a zero tolerance” towards discrimination, sexual harassment or any other one of the multitude of abhorrent behaviours that plague our industry – and then turned out to be cesspools of prejudice and discrimination, I would be so outrageously rich that even thinking about it is embarrassing.

                                                  (FWIW, in addition to witnessing it enough times that it’s part of why I seriously contemplated switching careers at one point, I have some first-hand experience with some of that: my most useful skill, career-wise, has been an impeccable accent. Slightly Irish-sounding (which lots of folks in the US seem to fetishize for some reason), which I developed purely by accident (I’m from nowhere near Ireland, I’ve never been there, and I am not a native English speaker) and is extremely embarrassing every time I’m talking to someone who has a real Irish accent. I certainly had it easier than my black or hispanic colleagues – most Western managers of various importance in the corporate hierarchy could immediately identify them as worthy of contempt, whereas in my case it could take weeks before they realized I’m not a white expat, just some Eastern European programmer.

                                                  Edit: in case anyone’s wondering – the reason why I can be so light-hearted about it is that, for better or for worse, this experience has been largely confined to the workplace, after-work drinks, conferences and the like. I got to live with it for like 40 hours a week at most, and never really got a taste of it before well into adulthood. I always had alternatives and always had refuge – I could always put up with it on my own terms, which most people can’t)

                                                  Coming from a culture whose closet is not devoid of skeletons in this department, either, I certainly agree that the mere act of not discussing race, or gender, or ethnicity is in itself a privilege that not everyone has. And that it’s up to every one of us to actively fight discrimination, and to make the world safer and more inclusive for those whose voices are silenced by intolerance. But I don’t think it’s reasonable to ask people to integrate that in every single thing they do. Even activists don’t fight the good fight 24/7, I don’t think it’s unreasonable that some people choose to do it only to a limited extent, or in a possibly misguided way, as part of their hobby project.

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                                                    I might’ve been a bit unclear. A don’t-ask-don’t-tell approach can be taken by members, if they prefer (many communities don’t provide that luxury and e.g. require clear-name-contributions), but doesn’t have to be. We just don’t care about genders or other aspects other than your coding skills. I see that you have a different opinion on this, which is cool, but the suckless philosophy does not extend beyond software aspects and I personally (not speaking for the group) don’t see a reason to extend that.

                                                    1. 5
                                                      1. A community that says “we don’t police member’s politics, this is purely a tech project”.
                                                      2. A community that says “we actively welcome women”.

                                                      The two may not be mutually exclusive. Although there’s certainly a huge overlap, there’s a difference between advocating the revocation of women’s right to vote, and actually harassing women in a particular group, be it an open source project or a chess club.

                                                      A president of a chess club, or a maintainer of an open source project, can hardly be expected to be aware of the political views of the members, no matter how extreme. He could pry, but that would be uncomfortable for many people, and ultimately exclusionary. We could do it anyway, and define the range of acceptable political opinions, and exclude the outliers. We could exclude traditionalists, or we could exclude gay marriage supporters. We could exclude white supremacists, or we could exclude black panthers sympathisers.

                                                      In my opinion this would be neither ideal nor possible. As long as people stay courteous and focus on working towards whatever common goal the group has, we could actually have, say, gay and homophobic people working together. So we probably want to define a range of acceptable behaviours instead. For instance, revealing your sexual preferences is generally acceptable (unless maybe you’re too loud about this), and revealing your contempt for people who don’t share that preference is generally not.

                                                      That’s what codes of conduct ultimately do: they don’t talk about the politics one might have outside of the group, they define a range of acceptable behaviours within the group. Yes, that range will tend to filter out people with some particular political opinions. Few white supremacists will follow a black maintainer. But I would think real hard before I make that filter explicit.

                                                      I’ve seen it done, and it’s not pretty. I’ve heard of someone being disinvited from some conference because of their political beliefs, even though they (allegedly) never let them seep through or ever behaved inappropriately. I have also heard of someone being fired over their sexual practices (at the behest of SJW, ironically). And at the same time, some people who seem to engage in genuinely harmful behaviour (such as straight up sexual harassment) are not excluded. My suspicion? Enforcement goes after the easy targets, instead of going after the important ones.

                                                      1. -5

                                                        we could actually have, say, gay and homophobic people working together.

                                                        Honestly, this free speech absolutism is whack and that’s why I’m out.

                                                        You don’t know what the fuck you’re allowing. I do - you’re allowing someone who literally spreads hate to walk into work, meekly get some shit done, then go home to post on the internet how trans people are all pedophiles and should be killed.

                                                        Fact is, you can’t divorce your life from politics because where many of us stand, all minorities, live under the continuous threat that we’ll be murdered, denied service, beaten and reviled all because some free speech absolutist like you envisions a future where racists and their victims can work side by side.

                                                        My community just had their 12th death. Death because people like you continually give deference to allow our killers to bask in their hate speech until one of them spots us and brutally kills us.

                                                        You enable this. I’m so happy (not) to be the sacrificial lamb for your perverse ideology.

                                                        1. 2

                                                          we could actually have, say, gay and homophobic people working together.

                                                          Honestly, this free speech absolutism is whack and that’s why I’m out.

                                                          Who said anything about free speech? I never said hate speech should be allowed. Actually, I do believe we free speech should have limits (though I’m not sure exactly what those should be), and people who cross those limits should be punished.

                                                          The question is who should punish them, and how. Forums can (and most probably should) ban hate speech however they can. Police and Judges could intervene whenever appropriate. The worst offenders could be sent to jail.

                                                          Wholesale ostracism though? Exclusion from all groups, not just wherever they spread their filth? That’s a death sentence: no job, no home, no shelter. Are you prepared to follow through all the way? (Not a rhetorical question: sometimes, killing your enemy is the right thing to do. But this question is so fraught with self serving cognitive biases that one must be very careful about it.)

                                                          Then there are false positives. The guy who was fired over his sexuality? He practised BDSM. One way of putting it is that he liked to whip bound women. When he was outed, there was an SJW outcry about him being some twisted archetype of patriarchy that should be removed from any public position.

                                                          I don’t know the guy, I haven’t investigated, so I cannot presume. I’m not even certain this story is even true. But I guess this may have been a huge misunderstanding. See, done properly, BDSM is very careful about safe words, physical and psychological safety… everyone is supposed to enjoy this, including (perhaps even primarily) the bound and gagged “victim”. Being a good dom typically requires empathy and respect for their sub. Pretty far from the simplistic image of the misogynistic man taking pleasure from the suffering of women.


                                                          Going back to gays and homophobic working together, that probably requires that they are mutually unaware of their position. It’s when they do become aware of their position that we have a problem, and the group may have to make a choice. My first step would be something like “you don’t like them being gay? deal with it or get the fuck out”. If it’s just gay people being uncomfortable, we may need to know why. If it’s because the other dude displayed an homophobic attitude within the group, that’s pretty obvious grounds for exclusion. If it’s because gay people learned of his views outside the group, this is more delicate, and I honestly have no right answer.

                                                          The problem is made even harder because actual bullying, embarrassment, and other inappropriate behaviour within a group, are often hard to see for anyone but the victim. Hence the temptation to rely on more visible, but less reliable, external signs.

                                                          For instance, let’s imagine: religious people and atheists working together in the same group. One atheist have written in their blog about how religion is stupid, unfounded, and how religious people are either critically misinformed, or just plain delude themselves. Oh and by the way if there is a God, it’s morals are highly questionable at best. So there we go: no personal insult, but a harsh criticism and a good dose of blasphemy.

                                                          Should we exclude this atheist from a chess club because some religious people in that club feel uncomfortable being next to someone who has written a blasphemous pamphlet? Should we exclude the religious people from the club because wearing a cross, a star, or a scarf makes the atheist uncomfortable? Depending on who you ask, you’ll have very different answers.

                                                  2. 4

                                                    On the other hand, I don’t think it’s realistic to expect every project to look in depth at difficult social problems and form some sort of consensus on how to best deal with it.

                                                    You’ll find that people in underrepresented demographics will largely avoid your project as a result

                                                    Why would that be the case?

                                                    1. -4

                                                      On the other hand, I don’t think it’s realistic to expect every project to look in depth at difficult social problems and form some sort of consensus on how to best deal with it.

                                                      I think that’s entirely reasonable. This is pretty much the basis of community management in general. It doesn’t even need to be done by the core developers, but someone in the community needs to do it, if you want a healthy community.

                                                      Why would that be the case?

                                                      Because they know that their safety is not assured in communities that refuse to take an active stance against bigotry of various kinds. I’ve gone into more detail about this in this other subthread.

                                                      1. 4

                                                        Because they know that their safety is not assured in communities that refuse to take an active stance against bigotry of various kinds.

                                                        But there is a difference between belief and action. If someone is actually doing something bad within the project then obviously that’s an issue. If someone just believes something you disagree with (whether you label it bigoted or not) then refusing to work with them in a non-political atmosphere just makes you seem like a bit of a dick, IMO.

                                                    2. -4

                                                      There’s no such thing as “non-political” software projects because any political actor can decide that the way your software project run things is bad and should be made to change. And if you resist this, you find yourself in a political conflict, even if you didn’t want to be.

                                                      1. 1

                                                        Why would you care what a political actor thinks about your free software project? Do you mean an actual national politician? Why would they be concerned with a free software project?

                                                        1. 1

                                                          No, anyone trying to argue that a software project should change their practices for political reasons is a political actor with respect to software, not just national politicians. Tech industry activists are political actors. joepie91 in this thread is a political actor. I’m a political actor too, for trying to prevent other political actors from carrying out their will.

                                                    3. -1

                                                      What are you doing to keep this kind of toxic behaviour from forming inside of the suckless communities you participate in?

                                                      You have not denied that these people exist in your community. How are they not a problem for you?

                                                      1. 3

                                                        Calling people toxic, I think, is the wrong approach. What matters is how people behave in the context of the community. I couldn’t care less about their private political/social/other endeavours as long as it doesn’t affect their actions within the community.

                                                        I don’t know why there is such a push to politicize software projects, from the inside and outside. It may make something look more homogenous on the outside, but I believe it mostly creates social stress and shifts the focus on issues that shouldn’t be a problem in the first place. But this is just my opinion, and I don’t think there’s a true or false answer to that. It heavily depends on your Weltanschauung.

                                                        1. 1

                                                          I’m sorry, my first approach was a bit antagonistic and too political because I tried to keep my questions short.

                                                          People sometimes express their political ideologies in behavioural ways, which might cause exclusion and secularity in the communities that they take part in. I haven’t been much in contact with the suckless community, although I have used and I respect the software and the philosophy, but I have seen communities suffer this. I have no prejudice, but toxic (extreme, hateful) ideologies do lead to toxic behaviour, especially in like-minded groups where it can be cultured. This is why people feel the need to keep them from spreading to their own group.

                                                          Have you noticed any exclusive or secular behaviour in the suckless communities that you take part in? If yes, what have you been doing to counter it?

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                                                            Have you noticed any exclusive or secular behaviour in the suckless communities that you take part in? If yes, what have you been doing to counter it?

                                                            No, I’ve never seen such secular behaviour like that. The conferences we organize have always been very harmonic and there was never such a push or even a culturation. Thanks though for elaborating what you meant, and I have to say that I’ve seen this problem occuring within other communities. I am and will be very careful that this won’t happen within our community.

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                                                      I was subscribed to the suckless mailing list for a long time (though no longer, simply out of disinterest), and never had the impression I was dealing with a group of extremists (other than a rather extreme take on software). I don’t recall any political discussion off-hand, and would certainly have unsubscribed if people started ranting about “cultural Marxism” and the like.

                                                      I read the Lobsters thread you linked and there are many things I personally don’t agree with, but I also find it’s a lot more nuanced than what you’re suggesting (specifically, there was a lot of confusion what was even intended with “Cultural Marxism”). I saw that on HN you (or someone else?) linked to an old tweet of yours that screenshotted just the initial “Cultural Marxism” mention of FRIGN, and I think that’s unfairly out of context. That’s not a defence of the contents if his posts, only a defence of treating people with fairly and with kindness.

                                                      I find putting the picture of the torches next to literal Nazis and the “Unite the Right” rally incredibly tasteless and offensive. Note the suckless event happened before the Charlottesville march (not that it really matters). [edit: incorrect, see follow-up]. I’ve done torch hikes – they’re actually used to celebrate the end of Nazi occupation in my home town every year and participated regularly. I’ve also done them with scouts just for the fun of it. Maybe some day someone will dig up a picture of that too and put it next to a bunch of Nazis to prove a point… I’m very disappointed anyone would try to make a point like that, here or elsewhere. This part of your post in particular is really bad in many ways IMHO; it’s really not acceptable to just sling around grave insinuations like that based on a friggin’ contextless photo of what is almost certainly just a harmless social event.

                                                      The mail server belongs to an individual (@FRIGN here). I agree it’s in very bad taste, offensive, and that Poettering was completely right in calling that out, but it’s hardly proof that “they’re a bunch of Nazis”. I find the jump from “edgy hostname” to “literal neo-Nazis” a bit of a leap.


                                                      I doubted for a long time if I should post this reply as it has the potential to spark a long heated discussion, but I find public casual comparisons to Nazis in particular serious enough to warrant something of a rebuttal.

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                                                        Note the suckless event happened before the Charlottesville march (not that it really matters).

                                                        I just want to comment on this one factual point, according to the suckless website this event happened in September 2017, just a couple of weeks after Charlottesville.

                                                        https://suckless.org/conferences/2017/

                                                        I do think the proximity in time to the Unite the Right rally is important, especially given the insistence that they were just enacting a German cultural practice.

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                                                          Oops, I checked the website and I misread that date as being on “2017-01-03”, instead of “2017-09-(01-03)”. How silly 😅🤦‍♂️

                                                          I’m not sure it matters all that much though; it still seems incredibly tenuous at best. This happened on the other side of the world and I’m not sure if the entire world should tip-toe around sensitive topics in the United States. Were these people even aware of Charlottesville? And to what degree? Me, personally, I mostly stopped following US news since the 2016 election as I find it emotionally draining and serving little purpose as it’s not in my power to do something about anyway.

                                                          Either way, I’d sure like to see some more evidence exactly because I take it serious: you just don’t go around insinuating people of such serious things with such slim “surely it can’t be coincidence…” type of stuff.

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                                                            I was at the torch hike and hadn’t even heard of the Charlottesville marches then. When I heard the accusation that we in some way celebrated it, which would make no sense in the context of a software conference, I first had to look up what they were.

                                                            The thing is, Americans tend to overestimate the importance of domestic events like the Charlottesville marches and think that nothing happens in the whole world and, e.g., we Germans are just sitting at home and waiting for something to happen in the USA to witness it.

                                                            The truth, and I think everyone would agree that this also makes much more sense, is that torch hikes are perfectly normal in Germany. I have an understanding for this cultural misunderstanding, and I’ve been guilty of those, as well, but it doesn’t help when one continues to spread this nonsense that this torch hike was some political event every time suckless is discussed here.

                                                            To give an example for how normal torch hikes in Germany are, there is a so-called Sommertagszug in the Kurpfalz which also involves torch hikes at night. They are also offered by tourist organizations, e.g. Breitbach Klamm.

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                                                              What’s with the mail server host name though? Do you think that’s fine?

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                                                                It bothers me that he is actively ignoring this question and by saying nothing, he is saying enough.

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                                                                As an American, thanks for sharing your perspective. It makes me wonder if the Internet, and particularly social media, make it too easy to carelessly make connections between things that should remain disconnected. Maybe Facebook’s stated mission of making the world more connected (whether or not that’s their real mission) isn’t a totally good thing.

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                                                                  It definitely comes at a cost. Still, as I could see from my own experience, after a few years one gets more careful with culture-relative judgements. There are still many things Americans do that I don’t quite understand or find interesting.

                                                                  To give an example, I found out a few years ago that the German “mhm” (i.e. the expression to acknowledge you are listening to someone while he speaks) is often interpreted by Americans as a “huh?”. You could imagine how much confusion that caused.

                                                                  Cultural differences are valuable, though, and I would not want to miss them, even if they become troublesome. I can imagine an American coming to Germany to experience a torch hike and liking it.

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                                                                    To give an example, I found out a few years ago that the German “mhm” (i.e. the expression to acknowledge you are listening to someone while he speaks) is often interpreted by Americans as a “huh?”. You could imagine how much confusion that caused.

                                                                    I have never in my life seen or heard “mhm” interpreted as “huh?”, and while I’m just one American and this is anecdotal I’ve lived in three fairly distinct regions of the USA.

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                                                                      German “mhm” is very distinctly different to American “mhm”. I wouldn’t know how to describe it in words, though.

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                                                                        It’s it very distinct from the British “mhm”?

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                                                                  Going on a torchlit hike at night sounds fun to me in the abstract, and also like the sort of activity that could hardly be unique to any one place, time, or culture. For ages before the invention of electric flashlights, how else were human beings supposed to light their way when walking around at night, wherever in the world they happened to be? I was unaware that some people associated the practice of going on torchlit hikes with specifically the NSDAP (or maybe just going on a torchlit hike while being an ethnic German??) until I saw people mentioning it in the context of suckless. Even if it’s true that the historical Nazis practiced torchlit hikes (which I assume is true, because I think it would be very easy for any group in human history to do so), I don’t think that confers any obligation on people alive today to refrain from it, any more so than Adolf Hitler’s famous vegetarianism confers any obligation on people today not to be vegetarians.

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                                                                    I agree. I’m pretty well read on the topic, including having read Shirer’s “Rise and Fall of the Third Reich,” and I hadn’t heard about the association between torchlit hikes and Nazis before it was brought up in the context of suckless either. If I’m actually educated on the topic and still didn’t know about it, how could I really expect others to know about the association?

                                                                    Personally, a torchlit hike sounds like a blast to me. If the opportunity presented itself to me, I would absolutely participate.

                                                                    I agree with others in this thread that people are generally way too quick to bring up Nazi associations. I like to think I’m not naive about it either, since there are trolls and Nazis online that like to play these kinds of games. But I personally expect some pretty firm evidence before I’m willing to entertain Nazi accusations seriously. It’s a pretty serious thing to say.

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                                                            As an engineer child of social scientists, I’ve concluded that mental models like that are basically what you get when you take an engineering approach to social systems to its logical conclusion without considering people as, well, people. You end up with very efficient, streamlined, rational systems that place no value upon the people who are crushed in the process. It’s a simple, effective solution to the very complicated problem of human society, and it makes the complicated problem simple by saying “the people on the losing side don’t matter”. You can see this approach working efficiently and effectively all throughout human history, usually in the form of mass graves.

                                                            Everything should be made as simple as possible, but no simpler.

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                                                              Because I can’t be sure which comment you’re replying to (AFAIK there’s no “parent” link for comments here), can you please clarify what you mean by “mental models like that”?

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                                                                Sorry, I was talking about mental models such as the ones described by this comment: https://lobste.rs/s/nf3xgg/i_am_leaving_llvm#c_01mpwm . Essentially “we are not going to worry about equity and equality because it is irrelevant to the problem we are actually trying to solve”. Works fine when the problem you are trying to solve is “design a machine that does a particular thing well”, but ignores lots of ugly externalities when it comes down to the social structures and organizations of the people actually doing the design. Like unfettered free-market capitalism, it sounds ideal in theory and that makes it an appealing position. But my observation has been that it works great for the people already powerful enough or lucky enough to be unaffected by those externalities, and does not actually make the world a better place for anyone else.

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                                                              Extremes are rarely good. There should not be an aura of aggressivity around any project.

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                                                                They’re doing literal torch hikes through southern Germany

                                                                I have no idea what holding torches might mean in this context. Could you explain, or provide links?

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                                                                  It looks like one of those things Nazis ruin for everyone - https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2017/08/why-they-parade-by-torchlight/537459/. Whether that is intentional on the part of the suckless folks, is not clear to me.

                                                                  The other top hit I got when googling was a torchlit tourist hike through Partnach Gorge in Garmisch-Partenkirchen. I’ve been to that gorge (not by torchlight) and it’s pretty cool!

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                                                                In a folder on my hard drive separated by year.

                                                                When the year ends, i compress it with xz, encrypt with gnupg2 and upload to google drive.

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                                                                  I won’t buy a DRM’d eBook, that’s for sure. I’ve bought one or two DRM-free ebooks before. A few weeks ago I had a similar experience. I wanted to read a particular book and I bought it knowing it was DRM’d. I couldn’t get the thing to work after spending two hours with tech support. I ended up cancelling the order.

                                                                  My wife recently bought a kindle and reads lots of stuff on it, and she understands that she doesn’t really ‘own’ the books, but the value is just to tear through lots of content, not to keep the pages forever. I suppose if you understand what you’re buying, and it works, it’s fine.

                                                                  But really, DRM sucks. I thought we nailed this down several years ago?

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                                                                    Calibre is a godsend for us Kindle owners.

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                                                                      I wanted to read a particular book and I bought it knowing it was DRM’d. I couldn’t get the thing to work after spending two hours with tech support. I ended up cancelling the order.

                                                                      I’m impressed that you managed to cancel the order. Most e-book stores I’ve seen have a policy along the lines of, “you’ve downloaded it, you can’t ‘return’ it or prove you haven’t kept a copy, so we won’t refund you, regardless of whether you are actually able to access the content you supposedly ‘bought’”. I guess maybe devoting two hours of your time to the issue convinced them that it really didn’t work.

                                                                      Like you, I never buy drm-encumbered e-books. I don’t think I have the necessary devices capable of running the stuff required to open them (As I understand it, the calibre workaround referred to in the article requires windows or OS X). By contrast, I happily buy drm-free e-books from publishers such as Manning.

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                                                                      Ditto. I’m happy to buy DRM-free books, games and music (needs to be FLAC too, else I won’t bother and just buy a CD and rip it).

                                                                      But I’ll never shell out a cent for anything DRM encumbered. It’s simply not worth spending money to then having to spend time and effort to get rid of the DRM.

                                                                      1. -1

                                                                        needs to be FLAC too,

                                                                        You must be one of those guys that can hear about 30khz. Do dog whistles annoy you?

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                                                                          You must be one of those guys that can hear about 30khz.

                                                                          I stated I am happy enough with buying CDs and ripping them myself, which would limit me to 22050Hz (Audio CD sample rate is 44.1KHz, applied Nyquist–Shannon sampling theorem). I have no idea how you jump from my comment to me being able to hear 30KHz or not.

                                                                          My point is that lossy codecs are ill-suited for preservation, and archival of whatever music I care about in lossless formats is very feasible with current storage technology, and preferred as it puts me in control, rather than relying on the availability of third party services.

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                                                                            Flacs are good for archival purposes too.

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                                                                          Here it is. It is brand new and in portuguese (BR): https://crdpa.github.io

                                                                          I made two bash scripts to generate the pages using pandoc and an index based on my folder and file structures.

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                                                                            $WORK: Negotiating new contracts after being laid off, can afford to be picky so taking it slow.

                                                                            $PLEASURE: Took the tactic of ‘keep calm and adopt a puppy’ so a lot of puppy training.

                                                                            $RESEARCH: Side-channels on remote desktop protocols and related crypto designs.

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                                                                              We need a puppy picture here.

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                                                                              Void Linux. I destroyed my Gentoo install one day and didn’t want to do everything from scratch again. I found Void Linux and never looked back.

                                                                              It’s the best distro I used. My distro history went like this: Mandrake > Slackware > Gentoo > Void

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                                                                                I spooked my co-workers by telling them that the information that tracks them might just be approximate information. GPS is not accurate to your exact location. It could look like you were spending a lot of time next door with the guy who made a bunch of pipe bombs. The data doesn’t reflect who you are, it reflects what sensors were able to detect.

                                                                                Besides, who’s to say that it will be the government that uses your data in intrusive ways. It turns out that mobile providers were selling location data to third parties. The capabilities exist and may leak out into other parts of the world.

                                                                                https://www.engadget.com/2019/02/07/carriers-were-selling-your-location-data-to-bounty-hunters-for-y/

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                                                                                  Side note about gps: i found out that even with the “GPS” turned off on Android, maps still know my location.

                                                                                  I want to change to LineageOS without gapps, but by doing that i lose the superb camera that comes with it.

                                                                                  This is an example of trading privacy for comfort. Not exactly comfort because the camera is something i paid for, but it’s similar.

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                                                                                    It might be through the cell network tracking your location via towers. They always check which tower you are closest to in order to give you the best coverage. Don’t know if this is higher resolution than GPS. I’m not exactly an expert on this topic.

                                                                                    1. 2

                                                                                      It could be, but on my previous phone i was using LineageOS with micro gapps. The GPS would work poorly if at all when turned off, maps couldn’t find my location that easily. Now it’s always correct.

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                                                                                  There’s not much to it, but I like to keep it minimal: https://bejarano.io

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                                                                                    Minimal here, too: https://soc.me

                                                                                    (Largely articles on language design.)

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                                                                                      Love your website. The keyboard section is really cool (and the XDG migration status too).

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                                                                                        Thanks!

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                                                                                      I third your minimalism: https://awalgarg.me.

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                                                                                        I like yours

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                                                                                        I love the style, reminds me of good old https://notes.torrez.org/ - a blog design I was always jealous of.

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                                                                                          I like the design - clean and straightforward. At least on mobile. Also the way you organized your sites is also efficient, I think.

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                                                                                            Thanks!

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                                                                                            This is beautiful!

                                                                                            1. 2

                                                                                              Thanks!

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                                                                                            Do you use it daily?

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                                                                                              Nice. I love the distro, but sadly i’m now with a laptop with Optimus technology and with Void i have to choose to only use nvidia dedicated card or the integrated intel.

                                                                                              My only choice right now is Fedora because i can use the beta nvidia driver and a patched Xorg that support optimus. It is nice enough, but i miss the faster boot and simplicity of Void.

                                                                                              Can’t wait to have a desktop again. Or for the Zen2 AMD laptops to be releases in Brazil.

                                                                                              1. 1

                                                                                                Isn’t Optimus Technology supported? Here is says it just need some manual config: https://wiki.voidlinux.org/Proprietary_Video_Drivers

                                                                                                1. 1

                                                                                                  Not exactly. The nvidia driver that really supports it is in beta and not available on Void. For optimus to work correctly you need libgvlnd and it’s not on Void too.

                                                                                                  And in Void you can’t have mesa GL libraries and nvidia GL libraries at the same time, so you can’t install both drivers. There is a hack called nvidia-xrun where you install nvidia and it’s *GL libraries in a fake root so when you want to use nvidia you start xorg with the nvidia-xrun command. But it is an ugly hack to maintain.

                                                                                                  The solution in the wiki keeps the Nvidia card running all the time, sucking the battery dry.

                                                                                                  1. 1

                                                                                                    Care to share the technical specs of your machine, for when anyone volunteers to look into this?

                                                                                                    1. 1

                                                                                                      It’s the ASUS VivoBook released here in Brazil.

                                                                                                      • Intel i5 8250U
                                                                                                      • NVIDIA GeForce 930MX

                                                                                                      But this is more on the Nvidia side of things than any particular distro. The code for Xorg that enables Optimus is not released yet (only God knows when there will be a new Xorg release), but on Fedora there is a copr (custom repository) where the patch is backported to the current version (or you can get it compiling the git current version).