Threads for crunxxi

  1. 2

    If working with JSON in PowerShell, I don’t often find myself using something like jc in between my request and deserialization steps.

    This is usually enough for quick things:

    $resp = curl <thing> | ConvertFrom-Json $resp.content

    or

    (curl <thing> | ConvertFrom-Json).content

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      Or, when debugging a shell script issue requires reading the Linux source code.

      1. 3

        Many fun problems require debugging down through multiple layers of technology.

        Just be thankful you can debug the code in this fashion. What if it had been Windows or macOS?

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          Yeah but some technologies have more hidden gotchas than others. In my experience, shell scripts are really good at hiding problems.

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            On Windows, I’d have the symbol server.

            1. 1

              On Windows, I don’t have a symbols server.

              Sad day.

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          I heavily encourage folks to watch the video at the bottom of that page as well.

          Very engaging a very easy to listen to.

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            This is a very appealing way to break things down, and I think following it would probably result in better documentation than a lot of what’s out there right now.

            But I think it’s a little naive about user behavior. Or maybe not naive, but focused on a specific class of behavior: users who want to achieve general competence with a product as a whole.

            So for instance, it argues (with reasonable justification) that how-to guides should assume the user already knows the basics. And that’ll be true if the user has first gone through the tutorials, and only moved on to a how-to guide after finishing the tutorials.

            But in my experience, it is pretty common to want to solve a problem without spending time getting a thorough grounding in the fundamentals of a tool. I’m not saying that’s a good approach (in fact, I think it’s hugely problematic for a variety of reasons) but I don’t think documentation writers can pretend it doesn’t happen.

            I’m talking about cases like, “Hey, the XYZ server is sending email in French instead of German and you’re on call this week. Can you see if you can fix it?” Your goal in that case is not to become a competent, well-versed XYZ administrator; it’s to learn just barely enough to figure out how to set the email language, and then move on to something else. And in that case, a how-to guide that assumes less background knowledge will be a more useful tool than a how-to guide that carefully avoids repeating introductory information from the tutorials.

            1. 2

              Your experience rings true with me.

              After watching the video presentation, I believe the type of “how-to” guide you describe is exactly appropriate - I see no discrepancy by what the presenter submits as what a “how-to” looks like and what you (koreth) think it should look like:

              • no distractions
              • no explanations
              • step by step to solve a specific problem

              For myself, when I write a how-to, my focus couldn’t be farther from avoiding repeating introductory information.

              My only focus is present a series of simple and explicit steps to fix a specific problem.

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              I’m sure the content is great - but reading the content with that font, background, and transparency effects is exceptionally difficult… to the point of prohibitive :(

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                For me, it’s actually the other way around. The aesthetics are tolerable but the content is not cohesive at all.

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                  You know what, I sort-of assumed as much - from the “reckless guide” part - but those two together?

                  Ohboy.

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                Man - I had one of these cameras. It was in excellent condition.

                Ended up giving it away as a gift to someone that could use it more than I.

                1. 1

                  Did you also have the Polaroid 600 Plus Radio that ran off the battery from empty film cartridges? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qoUr0G_xeSs Man, the 1980s…

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                    Sadly, no :(

                    1. 1

                      Don’t worry, I don’t think you missed out on great functionality, but I always rejoice with the creativity of the 80s

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                  Why do we care about which values are reachable by slider? If you needed to set a precise value, you wouldn’t go about it by carefully moving the slider with pixel-perfect accuracy…

                  1. 3

                    It’s probably not about trying to get to an exact pre-known number, I suspect it’s more about resolution whilst sliding. Ie “this feels too opaque, I’ll drag it a little lower” and “this feels too transparent, I’ll drag it a little higher”.

                    Naive direct sRGB sample blending (what most image editing tools do) isn’t linear, some areas of the opacity slider have more effect than others. If you’re blending things into already gently changing areas of images (eg skies) then having resolution when adjusting opacity (eg of a cloud that you’re blending in to the existing clouds on the sky) is important to get things to match.

                    1. 1

                      Precisely. That’s why I love that GIMP and Photoshop provide an input box for entering numerical values.

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                      Looks like the employee is based in the UK. As you might expect, most of the responses to his announcement are Bad Legal Advice. This comment is also going to be Bad Legal Advice (IANAL!) but I have some experience and a little background knowledge so I hope I can comment more wisely…

                      The way FOSS (and indeed all private-time) software development works here for employees is that according to your contract your employer will own everything you create, even in your private time. Opinions I’ve heard from solicitors and employment law experts suggest that this practice might constitute an over-broad, “unfair”, contract term under UK law. That means you might be able to get it overturned if you really tried, but you’d have to litigate to resolve it. At any rate the de facto status is: they own it by default.

                      What employees typically do is seek an IP waiver from their employer where the employer disclaims ownership of the side-project. The employer can refuse. If you’ve already started they could take ownership, as apparently is happening in this case. Probably in that scenario what you should not do is try to pre-emptively fork under some idea that your project is FOSS and that you have that right. The employer will likely take the view that because you aren’t the legal holder of the IP that you aren’t entitled to release either the original nor the fork as FOSS - so you’ve improperly releasing corporate source code. Pushing that subject is an speedy route to dismissal for “gross misconduct” - which a sufficient reason for summary dismissal, no process except appeal to tribunal after the fact.

                      My personal experience seeking IP waivers, before I turned contractor (after which none of the above applies), was mixed. One startup refused it and even reprimanded me for asking - the management took the view that any side project was a “distraction from the main goal”. Conversely ThoughtWorks granted IP waivers pretty much blanket - you entered your project name and description in a shared spreadsheet and they sent you a notice when the solicitor saw the new entry. They took professional pride in never refusing unless it conflicted with the client you were currently working with.

                      My guess is that legal rules and practices on this are similar in most common law countries (UK, Australia, Canada, America, NZ).

                      1. 27

                        The way FOSS (and indeed all private-time) software development works here for employees is that according to your contract your employer will own everything you create, even in your private time.

                        This seems absurd. If I’m a chef, do things I cook in my kitchen at home belong to my employer? If I’m a writer do my kids’ book reports that I help with become privileged? If I’m a mechanic can I no longer change my in-laws’ oil?

                        Why is software singled out like this and, moreover, why do people think it’s okay?

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                          There have been cases of employees claiming to have written some essential piece of software their employer relied on in their spare time. Sometimes that was even plausible, but still it’s essentially taking your employer hostage. There have been cases of people starting competitors to their employer in their spare time; what is or is not competition is often subject to differences of opinion and are often a matter of degree. These are shadow areas that are threatening to business owners that they want to blanket prevent by such contractual stipulations.

                          Software isn’t singled out. It’s exactly the same in all kinds of research, design and other creative activities.

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                            There have been cases of people starting competitors to their employer in their spare time;

                            Sounds fine to me, what’s the problem? Should it be illegal for an employer to look for a way to lay off employees or otherwise reduce its workforce?

                            1. 4

                              what’s the problem?

                              I think it’s a pretty large problem if someone can become a colleague, quickly hoover up all the hard won knowledge we’ve together accumulated over the past decade, then start a direct competitor to my employer, possibly putting me out of work.

                              You’re thinking of large faceless companies that you have no allegiance to. I’m thinking of the two founders of the company that employs me and my two dozen colleagues, whom I feel loyal towards.

                              This kind of thing protects smaller companies more than larger ones.

                              1. 2

                                …start a direct competitor to my employer, possibly putting me out of work.

                                Go work for the competitor! Also, people can already do pretty much what you describe in much of the US where non-competes are unenforceable. To be clear, I think this kind of hyper competitiveness is gross, and I would much rather collaborate with people to solve problems than stab them in the back (I’m a terrible capitalist). But I’m absolutely opposed to giving companies this kind of legal control over (and “protection” from) their employees.

                                1. 3

                                  Go work for the competitor!

                                  Who says they want me? Also I care for my colleagues: who says they want them as well?

                                  where non-competes are unenforceable

                                  Overly broad non-competes are unenforceable when used to attempt to enforce against something not clearly competition. They are perfectly enforceable if you start working for, or start, a direct competitor, profiting from very specific relevant knowledge.

                                  opposed to giving companies this kind of legal control

                                  As I see it we don’t give “the company” legal control: we effectively give humans, me and my colleagues, legal control over what new colleagues are allowed to do, in the short run, with the knowledge and experience they gain from working with us. We’re not protecting some nameless company: we’re protecting our livelihood.

                                  And please note that my employer does waive rights to unrelated side projects if you ask them, waives rights to contributions to OSS, etc. Also note that non-compete restrictions are only for a year anyway.

                                  1. 1

                                    Who says they want me? Also I care for my colleagues: who says they want them as well?

                                    Well then get a different job, get over it, someone produced a better product than your company, that’s the whole point of capitalism!

                                    They are perfectly enforceable if you start working for, or start, a direct competitor, profiting from very specific relevant knowledge.

                                    Not in California, at least, it’s trivially easy to Google this.

                                    As I see it we don’t give “the company” legal control: we effectively give humans, me and my colleagues, legal control over what new colleagues are allowed to do, in the short run, with the knowledge and experience they gain from working with us.

                                    Are you a legal party to the contract? If not, then no, it’s a contract with your employer and if it suits your employer to use it to screw you over, they probably will.

                                    I truly hope that you work for amazing people, but you need to recognize that almost no one else does.

                                    Even small startups routinely screw over their employees, so unless I’ve got a crazy amount of vested equity, I have literally zero loyalty, and that’s exactly how capitalism is supposed to work: the company doesn’t have to care about me, and I don’t have to care about the company, we help each other out only as long as it benefits us.

                                  2. 1

                                    Go work for the competitor?

                                    Why would the competitor want/need the person they formerly worked with/for?

                                    1. 1

                                      Why did the original company need the person who started the competitor? Companies need workers and if the competitor puts the original company out of business (I was responding to the “putting me out of work” bit) then presumably it has taken on the original company’s customers and will need more workers, and who better than people already familiar with the industry!

                                2. 1

                                  Laying off and reducing the workforce can be regulated (and is in my non-US country). The issue with having employees starting competitor products is that they benefit from an unfair advantage and create a huge conflict of interest.

                                  1. 2

                                    Modern Silicon Valley began with employees starting competitor products: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Traitorous_eight

                                    If California enforced non-compete agreements, Silicon Valley might well not have ended up existing. Non-enforcement of noncompetes is believed to be one of the major factors that resulted in Silicon Valley overtaking Boston’s Route 128 corridor, formerly a competitive center of technology development: https://hbr.org/2016/11/the-reason-silicon-valley-beat-out-boston-for-vc-dominance

                                    1. 1

                                      I don’t think we are talking about the same thing. While I agree that any restriction on post-employment should be banned, I don’t think it is unfair for an organization to ask their employees to not work on competing products while being under their payroll. These are two very different situations.

                                    2. 2

                                      If the employee uses company IP in their product then sure, sue them, that’s totally fair. But if the employee wants to use their deep knowledge of an industry to build a better product in their free time, then it sucks for their employer, but that’s capitalism. Maybe the employer should have made a better product so it would be harder for the employee to build something to compete with it. In fact, it seems like encouraging employees to compete with their employers would actually be good for consumers and the economy / society at large.

                                      1. 1

                                        An employee working on competing products on its free time creates an unfair advantage because the employees have access to an organization IP to build its new product while the organization does not have access to the competing product IP. So what’s the difference between industrial espionage and employees working on competing products on their free time?

                                        1. 1

                                          If the employee uses company IP in their product then sure, sue them, that’s totally fair.

                                          That was literally in the comment you responded to.

                                3. 4

                                  Joel Spolsky wrote a piece that frames it well, I think. I don’t personally find it especially persuasive, but I think it does answer the question of why software falls into a different bucket than cooking at home or working on a car under your shade tree, and why many people think it’s OK.

                                  1. 3

                                    Does this article suggest the employers view contracts as paying for an employee’s time, rather than just paying for their work?

                                    Could a contract just be “in exchange for this salary, we’d like $some_metric of work”, with working hours just being something to help with management? It seems irrelevant when you came up with something, as long as you ultimately give your employer the amount of work they paid you for.

                                    Why should an employer care about extra work being released as FOSS if they’ve already received the amount they paid an employee for?

                                    EDIT: I realise now that $some_metric is probably very hard to define in terms of anything except number of hours worked, which ends up being the same problem

                                    1. 2

                                      Does this article suggest the employers view contracts as paying for an employee’s time, rather than just paying for their work?

                                      I didn’t read it that way. It’s short, though. I’d suggest reading it and forming your own impression.

                                      Could a contract just be “in exchange for this salary, we’d like $some_metric of work”, with working hours just being something to help with management? It seems irrelevant when you came up with something, as long as you ultimately give your employer the amount of work they paid you for.

                                      I’d certainly think that one of many possible reasonable work arrangements. I didn’t link the article intending to advocate for any particular one, and I don’t think its author intended to with this piece, either.

                                      I only linked it as an answer to the question that I read in /u/lorddimwit’s comment as “why is this even a thing?” because I think it’s a plausible and cogent explanation of how these agreements might come to be as widespread as they are.

                                      Why should an employer care about extra work being released as FOSS if they’ve already received the amount they paid an employee for?

                                      As a general matter, I don’t believe they should. One reason I’ve heard given for why they might is that they’re afraid it will help their competition. I, once again, do not find that persuasive personally. But it is one perceived interest in the matter that might lead an employer to negotiate an agreement that precludes releasing side work without concurrence from management.

                                      1. 1

                                        I only linked it as an answer to the question that I read in /u/lorddimwit’s comment as “why is this even a thing?” because I think it’s a plausible and cogent explanation of how these agreements might come to be as widespread as they are.

                                        I think so too, and hope I didn’t come across as assuming you (or the article) were advocating anything that needs to be argued!

                                        I didn’t read it that way. It’s short, though. I’d suggest reading it and forming your own impression.

                                        I’d definitely gotten confused because I completely ignored that the author is saying that the thinking can become “I don’t just want to buy your 9:00-5:00 inventions. I want them all, and I’m going to pay you a nice salary to get them all”. Sorry!

                                  2. 3

                                    There is a huge difference: We’re talking about creativity and invention. The company isn’t hiring your for changing some oil or swapping some server hardware. They’re hiring you to solve their problems, to be creative and think of solutions. (Which is also why I don’t think it’s relevant how many hours you actually coded, the result and time you thought about it matters.) Your company doesn’t exist because it’s changing oil, the value is in the code (hopefully) and thus their IP.

                                    So yes, that’s why this stuff is actually different. Obviously you want to have exemptions from this kind of stuff when you do FOSS things.

                                    1. 2

                                      I think the chef and mechanic examples are a bit different since they’re not creating intellectual property, and a book report is probably not interesting to an employer.

                                      Maybe a closer example would be a chef employed to write recipes for a book/site. Their employer might have a problem with them creating and publishing their own recipes for free in their own time. Similarly, maybe a writer could get in trouble for independently publishing things written in their own time while employed to write for a company. I can see it happening for other IP that isn’t software, although I don’t know if it happens in reality.

                                      1. 3

                                        I think the “not interesting” bit is a key point here. I have no idea what Bumble is or the scope of the company, and I speak out of frustration of these overarching “legal” restrictions, but its sounds like they are an immature organization trying to hold on to anything interesting their employees do, core to the current business, or not, in case they need to pivot or find a new revenue stream.

                                        Frankly if a company is so fearful that a couple of technologies will make make or break their company, their business model sucks. Technology != product.

                                        1. 2

                                          Similarly, maybe a writer could get in trouble for independently publishing things written in their own time while employed to write for a company

                                          I know of at least one online magazine’s contracts which forbid exactly this. If you write for them, you publicly only write for them.

                                      2. 10

                                        This is pretty much my (non-lawyer) understanding and a good summary, thanks.

                                        If you find yourself in this situation, talk to a lawyer. However I suspect that unless you have deep pockets and a willingness to litigate “is this clause enforceable” through several courts, your best chance is likely to be reaching some agreement with the company that gives them what they want whilst letting you retain control of the project or at least a fork.

                                        One startup refused it and even reprimanded me for asking - the management took the view that any side project was a “distraction from the main goal”

                                        I think the legal term for this is “bunch of arsehats”. I’m curious to know whether you worked for them after they started out like this?

                                        1. 6

                                          I think the legal term for this is “bunch of arsehats”.

                                          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Oz8RjPAD2Jk

                                          I’m curious to know whether you worked for them after they started out like this?

                                          I left shortly after for other reasons

                                        2. 2

                                          The way FOSS (and indeed all private-time) software development works here for employees is that according to your contract your employer will own everything you create, even in your private time

                                          Is it really that widespread? It’s a question that we get asked by candidates but our contract is pretty clear that personal-time open source comes under the moonlighting clause (i.e. don’t directly compete with your employer). If it is, we should make a bigger deal about it in recruiting.

                                          1. 1

                                            I would think the solution is to quit, then start a new project without re-using any line of code of the old project - but I guess the lawyers thought of this too and added clauses giving them ownership of the new project too…

                                          1. 2

                                            I realize that bringing this up may bog us down in some frustrating discourse about political correctness, but I do think that a serious barrier to bringing back finger is its name. Juvenile jokes about fingering someone are inevitable (“oh, when I said I want to finger her, I just meant the social network!”), and may contribute to a hostile environment for people with vulvas at a point in history where we should really know better.

                                            If people are serious about bringing back the finger protocol, as some have become serious about resurrecting gopher, can we prioritize the “name” alias, or rewrite it in Rust and call it something clever and self-referential like “digits” that less closely resembles a sex act in English?

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                                              or rewrite it in Rust and call it something clever and self-referential like “digits” that less closely resembles a sex act in English?

                                              Or we could just be a little less jumpy about things in general. Especially as “finger” also has relevant and entirely non-sexual etymology as well:

                                              The term “finger” has a definition of “to snitch” or “to identify”

                                              FWIW I don’t like the phrase political correctness, as it’s been diluted beyond useful meaning. I’d argue that this isn’t a case of it, either: properly, it refers to whether a fact is politically safe to express or act upon. “Is Lysenkoism correct, Comrade?” “It doesn’t matter; it’s politically correct.”

                                              So I think the real issue here is of what constitutes hypersensitivity to sexual terms - or even terms that could be interpreted as sexual; I’d be willing to bet that the author(s) of finger intended it as a double entendre.

                                              1. 3

                                                I don’t think this is about jumpiness as much as it is caring about people who have an experience different than your own.

                                                There’s no question there’s a group of people to whom language around “fingering” causes discomfort and/or painful memories. I’m not sure what the size of that group is (maybe it’s small!), but it’s also unquestionably disproportionately women.

                                                Since we’re trying to make software a more welcoming place for underrepresented groups, like women, it seems to me that @skyfaller is asking if this is a conversation we should have.

                                                Meanwhile, it seems to me that you’re saying (a) you can’t imagine being in that group of people and that group of people should get over it, and moreover (b) the conversation is illegitimate.

                                                The problem with the internet is how many people are now reachable. Is it hypersensitivity if you cause many thousands of people distress, even if the denominator is much much larger? If choosing your words empathetically is akin to censorship to you (Lysenkoism, comrade), I don’t know what to say. (edit: I’m sorry, I misread; I see you’re saying it’s not this. If anything I guess I just take issue with calling it hypersensitivity as opposed to discussing how much we should be sensitive.)

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                                                  The problem with the internet is how many people are now reachable. Is it hypersensitivity if you cause many thousands of people distress, even if the denominator is much much larger?

                                                  It’s hypersensitivity to be caused distress by the word finger. I’m sorry, but it’s silly to pretend otherwise.

                                                  1. 2

                                                    Another “I can’t imagine this bothering me” vote.

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                                                      But this reasoning is circular without some objectivity. You must be making some value judgments yourself without consulting an opinion panel, or “having a discussion”.

                                                  2. 4

                                                    If people get offended by something, I most certainly don’t care.

                                                    1. 3

                                                      I will first say that I love your thoughtfulness and your willingness to reconsider in the middle of a discussion. That’s what this should all be about. Kudos.

                                                      That being said, my inner Izzit jumped at this:

                                                      I’m not sure what the size of that group is (maybe it’s small!), but it’s also unquestionably disproportionately women.

                                                      Is it though? Can ‘men’ (whatever that means) not get fingered?

                                                      It does not invalidate your point that we need to be thoughtful and conscious in our language, but even when arguing for thoughtfulness, we can still be blind to our own bias (or ‘blind to our own view of reality shaped by our own lived experiences’).

                                                      All that to say - let’s have these discussions, but go out of our way to have them with people actually affected, whose version of reality looks nothing like ours - with humility.

                                                      Side story - probably unrelated: I feel violated when anyone on my team uses the word “bang”. I honestly feel enraged and it takes everything in my power to not throw my computer across the room anytime I’m invited to “bang this out with someone,” or when a team member relates how they solved a problem by staying up late and “banging it out.”

                                                      I have not said anything to these people. I probably never will. For reasons that you may or may not be able to imagine, based on your own lived experiences.

                                                      I honestly have no idea if they are aware of what it sounds like. I know for a fact they are not thinking of me (intending to get a reaction out of me, or how it would make me - or anyone else - feel).

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                                                        All that to say - let’s have these discussions, but go out of our way to have them with people actually affected, whose version of reality looks nothing like ours - with humility.

                                                        This should be printed on a shirt. You make an excellent point about my own biases and assumptions even in an attempt to try and be thoughtful about it in my personal vacuum. :+1:

                                                      2. 3

                                                        If anything I guess I just take issue with calling it hypersensitivity as opposed to discussing how much we should be sensitive.

                                                        Yes, this is the conversation I think we need to have: what is a desirable level of sensitivity, and when does it tip over to being excessive? The answer will be different for different people in different communities, but it should be an ongoing conversation that changes with the times, and doesn’t assume that because something has always been accepted that it should continue to be acceptable (and perhaps allows for language to move the other direction as well, e.g. if slurs like “queer” are reclaimed as words one can take pride in).

                                                        Elsewhere in this thread, @david_chisnall lists other utilities that also lend themselves to double entendres:

                                                        In contrast, finger always led to people making fingering jokes (mind you, with touch, unzip, mount, fsck, and so on, the UNIX command line doesn’t really provide a shortage of input for a dirty mind).

                                                        I’ve seen t-shirts etc. that use these utility names to refer to sexual acts, but I will admit that for whatever reason these others did not set off alarm bells for me in quite the same way as finger. If I were god emperor of command line utilities, I might rename finger and leave the rest alone. Are there people who find one of these other utility names more troubling, and find finger to be acceptable?

                                                        How do we decide when a name needs to be changed, or when the change is worth the effort / inconvenience? Is there a meaningful difference between many people experiencing mild discomfort and a few people experiencing extreme distress? How many people have to experience an issue, and how severe must that issue be, before we seriously discuss changing a name? How much should we care about how the worst people in a community behave vs. more common behavior? There will always be someone who finds something objectionable about anything, so we cannot take action on every objection, but it also doesn’t seem like we should ignore all objections.

                                                        How do we weigh the current community vs. an aspirational community we hope to have? I think one important piece of context is that programming has been something of a boy’s club for decades, and if the profession wants to be more inclusive and welcoming, it perhaps should err on the side of being more sensitive. The absence of objections could be a sort of survivorship bias.

                                                        I also think it’s worth taking a stand in favor of caring about people’s feelings, instead of making it cool to be cruel. Many people have an attitude of “fsck your feelings” until it’s their feelings that are hurt, and then they demand blood. We shouldn’t be ruled by people who refuse to consider any feelings they don’t share, any more than we should be ruled by puritans who object to everything.

                                                    2. 2

                                                      That angle is certainly one that’s been brought up time and again. And then you get questions about whether terms like domain driven design might also be problematic. I’m not sure where the line should be, and I don’t think I have the standing to weigh in very much.

                                                      Sometimes, it’s easy for me to see. For example, it is super clear to me that we should not refer to hacked-up solutions as (racial-slur)-rigged.

                                                      I do also tend to think that if people are saying that “finger” and “domain driven design” make it challenging for them to participate in the community, IMO we should just believe them and swap out the terms for different ones without the same issue.

                                                      But ideally, I’d like to have a heuristic to identify these terms before they actually make a person feel excluded, and I have a hard time identifying such a thing in the last two cases. I don’t like the idea of waiting till someone is uncomfortable participating because I repeated a term of art.

                                                      I know that I just need to accept that discomfort as a privilege (it sure beats feeling being afraid to participate!) but I still want to spot a way to be better.

                                                      1. 6

                                                        I was really confused by the domain-drive design thing. First I clicked on the link to see what ‘domain’ meant that caused problems for folks, only to discover that it was the TLA, DDD, that was the problem. The person in the Twitter thread was claiming that this was a bra size, which confused me because I was under the impression that it was not. So I then ended up bra sizes on Wikipedia, and it turns out that we were both right: it isn’t in my locale: DDD in US sizes is called E in the UK (and it’s called F more commonly in the USA). So we have a thing whose name is completely fine, whose initialism happens to be the same as a locale-specific size for bras (but only in parts of the US) and this is a problem because porn apparently decides to use DDD to mean ‘big breasts’ (ignoring the fact that this is a ratio measurement and has nothing to do with absolute size, only the relative size of the cup and the band size). So the chain from the thing to the offensive thing is four long. Given a chain that long, I suspect I could link any word in any alphabet to a term that some people would find offensive.

                                                        In contrast, finger always led to people making fingering jokes (mind you, with touch, unzip, mount, fsck, and so on, the UNIX command line doesn’t really provide a shortage of input for a dirty mind).

                                                        1. 5

                                                          Given a chain that long, I suspect I could link any word in any alphabet to a term that some people would find offensive.

                                                          I don’t know the details of this specific case, but if someone is taking offense at the result of a chain that long, it’s reasonable to infer that they’re choosing to take offense.

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                                                            I don’t know the details of this specific case, but if someone is taking offense at the result of a chain that long, it’s reasonable to infer that they’re choosing to take offense.

                                                            This is very close to getting political, but it’s not about choosing to take offence. Imagine being a non-dude, coming into a computer club where all young-isch dudes are talking about fingering each others and others (you can probably imagine the jokes). None of it is probably intended to offend anyone, and none of the comments or jokes will offend you…but being constantly surrounded by it will eventually just wear you down.

                                                            TL;DR it’s not necessarily offensive, it’s inconsiderate and it’s just a part of everything else that is inconsiderate out on the internet.

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                                                              This is very close to getting political, but it’s not about choosing to take offence.

                                                              Sure; I was referring to taking offense at Domain Driven Design because its acronym is also a bra size in some countries.

                                                              I think a reasonable person could object to a utility with a name that’s a double entendre. I think at the point where you’re offended by Domain Driven Design, though, you’re looking for something to be offended by.

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                                                                Sure; I was referring to taking offense at Domain Driven Design because its acronym is also a bra size in some countries.

                                                                Ah, I must have misunderstood your previous comment. Sorry about that.

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                                                                  No offense taken ;)

                                                                  Seriously, lobste.rs has to be about the only place on the public Internet I feel comfortable actually discussing topics like these, in part because people tend to assume good intent and act politely ❤️

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                                                            It’s very common IME for American neo-puritans to assume that their own parochial, contingent cultural anxieties do and should apply unconditionally to the rest of the world. A form of cultural imperialism, I would say.

                                                            I’m very much on board with attempting to empathize with people with lived experiences different from the majority demographic in a community, but does that mean that a single person from a morally-privileged group gets an unconditional veto over anything they object to?

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                                                            But ideally, I’d like to have a heuristic to identify these terms before they actually make a person feel excluded

                                                            I don’t think that’s possible, since many of these are based on intentional mis-readings, or terms whose underlying language has dramatically shifted, or taking things out of context etc.

                                                            The only thing one can do is either make a change, or stay silent in the face of a request for one. Making that call is hard and will depend on how many spoons you have when it comes in, honestly.

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                                                              many of these are based on intentional mis-readings

                                                              I think I’m missing a reference here, because I am not aware of a situation where someone intentionally misread something and then felt excluded on that basis, let alone many of them. But I’m specifically referring to situations where someone wants to participate and feels uncomfortable doing so because of the language being used by others. Bad faith misreadings are entirely different.

                                                              Making that call is hard and will depend on how many spoons you have

                                                              Is that an auto-correct error? If not, can you tell me what “how many spoons” means in this context or point me to an explanation? I’m a native US English speaker, and that is new to me.

                                                              I recognize that I’m engaging in wishful thinking. It doesn’t seem like a bad wish, though, to want to be smart enough to identify exclusionary things before they make someone feel excluded.

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                                                                  Thank you. That’s much less crass than the idiom I usually use to reference that same thing. I plan to adopt that.

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                                                                    I have taken to using the term “koalas” after Ze Frank’s “koalas in the rain” song.

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                                                              Sometimes, it’s easy for me to see. For example, it is super clear to me that we should not refer to hacked-up solutions as (racial-slur)-rigged.

                                                              I had to Google that one - the only “rigged” phrase I knew already was jury-rigged, and I was wondering how anyone could find it offensive.

                                                              Agreed that’s it’s pretty clear that the extreme cases like those are easy; it’s drawing a line between accidental exclusion and hysteria that’s difficult.

                                                              Ironically, the term hysteria itself used to be deeply misogynistic; the root word is “hystera”, that is, “uterus”.

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                                                                I’m sorry to have made you google that but simultaneously glad that it wasn’t already in your vocabulary. I learned it from my supervisor at my first job in high school. When he was informed by more senior management that it wasn’t acceptable, he replaced it with the term “afro engineering”. IIRC he was given his walking papers shortly thereafter for a completely unrelated reason. The state of that part of the world at the time was that as long as you weren’t literally using the n-word, you weren’t being racist.

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                                                                  I’m sorry to have made you google that but simultaneously glad that it wasn’t already in your vocabulary

                                                                  Probably just because I’m Australian. We have our own collection of similarly vile racial terms, just aimed at Aborigines :(

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                                                                  The term “jerry-rigged” (or “jerry-built”) is the only other such form I know of, which I used to think was connected to the slang (slur?) term for Germans, but apparently it predates Germans being referred to as “Jerry” (circa WW1).

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                                                                    Wikipedia has the etymology of this one, it’s a nautical term and has nothing to do with any group referred to as Jerry - the jerry variant is a more modern corruption. I learned something actually - I thought a Jurry Rig was a Napoleonic-era naval term, but apparently it’s a couple of hundred years older.

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                                                              Kids, I know this is uncool, unhip, or whatever is the term these days, but in your Readme, at the very top, if you give one sentence, just one sentence, describing what your program does, you might, just might, gain one more user. Also, an angel will get its wings.

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                                                                The people who fondly remember l0phtcrack have apparently not realized that an entire generation of nerds has come of age and never heard of it.

                                                                From Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/L0phtCrack):

                                                                L0phtCrack is a password auditing and recovery application originally produced by Mudge from L0pht Heavy Industries. It is used to test password strength and sometimes to recover lost Microsoft Windows passwords, by using dictionary, brute-force, hybrid attacks, and rainbow tables.

                                                                The initial version was released in the Spring of 1997.

                                                                (my emphasis).

                                                                In other words, it belongs to the same canon of software and concepts as PGP, Window 95, and the early internet.

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                                                                  This makes me so sad 😞

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                                                                    I’ve had interviews with people >recently< that fondly remember l0phtcrack, cdc, dvn, flt, razor, … and can’t recite what a BBS was or how a Fidonet address/echomail distribution worked, who +ORC, +Fravia etc. was or the connection between FutureCrew and Remedy Entertainment. It turns out that infosec, emulation, cracking, demo and other ‘scenes’ were poorly document, taught and historically contextualised to the point that we sip in the aftermath but forget its origins and there is no ‘viagra’ for reigniting computing lost.

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                                                                  I agree… can someone explain what this tool is and why I might be interested? This submission has zero context.

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                                                                    It is a windows password auditing (read cracking) program. One of the most popular ones.

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                                                                  Really proud of OP’s sense of responsibility.

                                                                  Doing something similar around 2004 resulted in a three hour detention and interrogation (of a minor!) by a Novell hack, threats of juvenile detention, and a six-week ban from a high school library.

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                                                                      Weird - I get “Application error: a client-side exception has occurred (developer guidance).” when attempting to access this page.

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                                                                        My entire phone is rebooting when it’s halfway through the page load (rooted LineageOS 16.0 tulip, Firefox Nightly 92.0a1)!

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                                                                          Hmm, that’s strange! Perhaps you hit it during a deploy. If it’s still not loading, do you mind telling me which browser/OS you’re on?

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                                                                            Still getting the error on Safari/iOS 14.6 :(

                                                                            I loaded it up in Firefox Focus and hey- presto! It worked!

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                                                                          Reading about Rust from the perspective of a web dev is cute — like in a really wholesome, sweet, enlightening way.

                                                                          “Also, as a language, Rust does a lot of type casting.”

                                                                          “Cargo also has a concept of “feature flags” defined at the dependency level. (The closest analogy I can come up with is using npm to access a module’s internals or import a named submodule…”

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                                                                            According to the project site, Soupalt is a “Static website generator based on HTML rewriting”

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                                                                              Yes. And it’s built to post-process existing static sites as well as the ability to pre-process through standrad CLI tools. You can do old-fashioned jQuery-like selections and modification to static content as well. Since it’s a static binary, it’s very portable and more future-proof than bigger tool solutions.

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                                                                              I think most of us have goals.

                                                                              On bad days, mine looks like: “Just finish this line of code.” And the article seems to suggest that’s enough — scope (time) doesn’t really matter.

                                                                              What I struggle most with is sustainment: all the vision in the world means nothing if you can’t sustain your walk.

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                                                                                It’s a fun idea - I love the answering machine concept.

                                                                                But how do we handle waste in such a scenario?

                                                                                Will we someday just be walking around with millions of uniform little boxes that serve as containers for all of our information?

                                                                                … wait…

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                                                                                  Total let down

                                                                                  $ curl https://get.tool.sh | sudo bash
                                                                                  curl: (6) Could not resolve host: get.tool.sh
                                                                                  
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                                                                                    Good, good, so the echo "curl: (6) Could not resolve host: get.tool.sh" line is serving its purpose 😈

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                                                                                      You brave, brave soul.

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                                                                                        They were probably running it on someone else’s machine they’d already breached ;-P

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                                                                                      I really love seeing eurorack/synth/audio programming posts show up on lobste.rs.

                                                                                      Thank you!

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                                                                                        To say nothing of Ada Lovelace - a true genius.

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                                                                                          This post is pretty interesting because it removes a lot of the doubt and mystery about her contributions to CS - she even wrote the first bug!

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                                                                                            Did Ada Lovelace have any books or essays? I Would like to have a comprehensive grasp of her work.

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                                                                                              Her sole published work was her report on Babbage’s engine. At the time it was still difficult for women to be accepted as scientists and interpreting men’s work was one of the few paths open; Ada’s tutor Mary Somerville was (jointly) the first woman ever accepted into the Royal Astronomical Society, and she had made her name by translating Laplace’s work from French into English. (In the previous century Émilie du Châtelet had followed a similar path translating Newton from English into French.) George Boole who was Ada’s contemporary — they were born in the same year — had a daughter who was the first ever female professor of chemistry: it was still early times for women in science… Ada herself was unable to access even the Royal Society’s library, and that with her husband being a Fellow. (The RS would not accept women until 1945!)

                                                                                              As for what happened after publishing her report, she had a falling-out with Babbage and, while they eventually reconciled, they never properly worked together again. She lived for less than a decade after her article was published and spent many of those years sick. A quote from “The Lovelace–De Morgan mathematical correspondence: A critical re-appraisal”:

                                                                                              It is the contrast between the mathematics that she actually wrote and her mathematical potential that has fuelled much of the debates regarding Lovelace’s mathematical ability; for despite De Morgan’s prediction that she would “get beyond the present bounds of knowledge”, we have no evidence that she created original mathematics in either published or unpublished form. The reasons for this await further research, but were probably a combination of a lack of training, lack of good health, lack of a collaborator and ultimately a lack of time before her death in 1852 at the early age of 36.

                                                                                              It is possible that with more time and better health, she would have published more work. But she didn’t.