1. 3

    Ohhhh, this is good! One of the biggest obstacles I’ve found when trying to understand the Wayland ecosystem (and why it’s taking so long for things to get ported). This is a good start.

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      In 1996, I was working for Digital Equipment Corporation, at the time the second largest computer company in the world. Today most people have never heard of it.

      That makes me so sad.

      It’s like the time I went to a punk festival where NOFX was set to play and the younger people in the audience didn’t know who they were. :(

      1. 7

        Almost a decade ago I was lucky enough to see Stone Temple Pilots - way after their prime - at a festival in Sacramento. I was telling some people I met at the festival that I had bought the day pass just see STP and that I was glad I could see them live, as they didn’t do a lot of tours in South America. They were like ‘who’s that again?’.

        Turns out that was their last show with Scott Weiland, so I guess I was double lucky. But it did make me feel pretty old.

      1. 4

        This article doesn’t seem to even touch on one of Ada’s most interesting features (and the reason they taught us this language in my college): Ada has built-in and dead simple concurrency.

        1. 2

          The subtle distinction between ‘abstraction’ and ‘magic’ is a bit like the famous quip about porn: you know when you see it. It’s too subjective and fluffy to be of use. I think a better way to decide if something has gone too far is the Principle of Least Surprise: if an abstraction introduces unexpected side-effects then it’s a bad abstraction.

          1. 1

            I think it’s objective enough, or can be formulated as such. Let me suggest some easily identifiable objective metrics (with relation to the text below):

            • “it works when you run it, but not when you read it”

              Magic is different. It feels different. When you encounter something magical, it may work, but you aren’t sure why. Worse, you can’t trust it.

            • Abstraction inversion

              A successful abstraction is presented as a set of tools. There may need to be escape hatches, and a good abstraction includes semantics around them that, if not elegant, are at least usable. The places where “leaks” occur are signposted.

          1. 4

            Are there any well-known open source .NET apps (CLI or GUI) that run on Linux?

            1. 7

              KeePass.

              Back when Gnome + Mono was a thing lots of interesting stuff was born, eg. Beagle.

              Suse was actively developing nice user facing tools in mono at astonishing pace, then C# fell from favour because of politocs, most stuff was half rewritten in C++/Python/JavaScript, usually in lower quality/featureset.

              Since then I find Gnome worse with every release, but that has not so much to do with .NET support.

              1. 1

                I was using keepass on my windows desktop. When my machine started to die I was pleasantly surprised to find my keepass database worked on debian.

              2. 4

                There are a few Mono apps from back when the Gnome project was kind of adopting Mono as their standard runtime for apps. Two that come to mind are Tomboy (notes app) and Banshee (music player).

                1. 4

                  Jellyfin media server (FOSS fork of Emby and alternative to Plex) runs on dotnet.

                  1. 4

                    If anything should work on Linux, it should be F#, but here’s a tweet from yesterday from the author of an F# course bemoaning the difficulty he is having getting his course to seamlessly work.

                    https://twitter.com/kitlovesfsharp/status/1362125496683819012

                    1. 3

                      It works fine for me on Fedora. As the comments suggest, it may be related to snap.

                      Ionode is buggy sometimes, but so is Visual Studiofor F#.Both are steadily getting better.

                    2. 3

                      PowerShell for one, but it’s fairly recent that .NET Core got Linux support, so I doubt there are many large projects around yet. Most likely any really large open source projects in the coming years will come from Microsoft open sourcing their own products.

                      1. 2

                        There may be some, but I have been waiting for a bit more maturity in the .Net Core, .Net 5 (and now .Net 6) ecosystems before diving in. A year ago, I was reading a lot of stories about cross platform issues in core and I had my own painful experience setting up .Net Core with Asp.net.

                        I’m actually quite surprised how quickly there is now a .Net 6 version coming out.

                      1. 2

                        I wonder whether GTK+ finally supports fractional scaling. Last time I used GTK+ on a Hi-DPI screen I could choose between “everything is incredibly tiny” and “everything is way too large, also no screen estate at all”.

                        1. 1

                          Yep, it does. The last couple versions if Gnome even provide an option on the settings dialog for it. Honestly the bigger issue for me had been dealing with mixed-dpi monitors (which I solved by buying a 4k monitor)

                        1. 2

                          Hm, I have now completely switched to nix search instead of nix-env -q; do you see any disadvantages in it?

                          edit: A huge question I’m having regarding nix-darwin, which makes me afraid to try it since long ago, is: what changes will it make in the OS config on the first run? I know it’ll be easy to rollback to old configs after nix already works; but how do I know it won’t break something for me in OSX when I “darwin-rebuild switch” first time, that I then won’t have idea how to undo? If you could possibly help me understand the answer to this, I’d be super grateful! Though obviously, you’re not in any way required to :) Given that concern, I’m currently only using home-manager…

                          edit 2: Re: “The Lisp Curse”: my personal interpretation of the configs problem in nixpkgs is that of “The Lava Layers Anti-pattern”; though I may be wrong and/or they may be correlated. I.e. my take is, that it’s because Nix/Nixpkgs is exploring a new problem space, so new solutions are discovered and evolve over old ones, and are in fact educated by (the pitfalls of) the old ones - while the old ones tend to naturally ossify in the meantime, becoming (socially and technically) costly to change to the new, better approach.

                          1. 3

                            I was actually not aware of nix search. Another case of bad discoverability I guess.

                            I’m not aware of any destructive changes nix-darwin performs on the first run, and I’ve had a pretty customised system before I installed it.

                            I like the Lava Layers comparison, very apt.

                            1. 2

                              Yep, I totally think the same about discoverability. That said, I’m recently growing in optimism, as from what I observe, there seem to be various undercurrents towards improving the situation - even if things are moving slowly. Notably, the nix command (a.k.a. “nix 2.0”) is one of such efforts - towards improving the UX (and I believe nix search succeeds in being miles ahead in friendliness and speed over nix-env -q). The other quiet breakthrough I’m cautiously optimistic towards, is that a proposal was recently accepted to migrate the docs from XML to Markdown - which might make it easier for people to contribute to them and thus improve them. Also, as mentioned in other comments around, flakes also are aimed (among other features) at improving discoverability. I recommend watching Eelco’s keynote from the last NixConf if you’re interested in seeing what are the issues they’re aware of, and how they’re actively exploring ways to facilitate solving them.

                              1. 1

                                In my very limited experience, Nix has one of the worst interfaces for discoverability and general use. It’s almost like the interface is actively hostile.

                                1. 2

                                  This is getting better. Flakes define a standard interface for package/library/module repos. This also makes things easier for tooling.

                                  There was also a proposal by Eelco Dolstra at the last NixCon for improving the module system, with improved discoverability as a goal.

                                  1. 1

                                    What pieces are needed? I’m just getting into nix and would like to know!

                              1. 3

                                Word of caution: this framework is open sourced under a very unusual (and verbose) license that I doubt has been tested in court. Also, it seems to be moving at a really fast pace, almost too fast for comfort. The last time I checked this a few months ago it looked like the perfect way to bootstrap a simple microservice. The latest version adds some kind of ‘environment’ you need to run your applications on, which seems like creeping complexity.

                                Not hating on it, it seems to provide a lot of value if you are just starting and the licensing scenario doesn’t bother you, but I was taken aback by all the changes and decided I wouldn’t risk basing new internal code on this.

                                1. 4

                                  Due to constant interface changes and unnecessary complexity we dropped Go Micro completely at the company I work for. It was just a constant string of problems including them moving or renaming their Github repositories therefore breaking everything completely. We completed the migration to plain gRPC after I joined the company and whenever someone suggests using Go “frameworks” the story of using Go Micro is brought up as a definitive counterargument to the proposal.

                                  Given our experience this platform is something I will always avoid from now on.

                                  1. 1

                                    We opted for Polyform Shield because Heather Meeker wrote all the custom licenses for the commercial open source companies trying to protect against cannibalisation by AWS. We think Polyform will effectively be new license standardisation for commercial open source. Apache 2.0 and others and now inappropriate if your starting point is building a business while making source available.

                                    On the speed of development, yes its fast. I was largely one person maintaining this for many years and last year managed to raise funding to build a team and a platform. My goal was always to orient around a platform and provide the all encompassing experience for microservices, it was just hard to do that without a team.

                                    1. 2

                                      Please take this as constructive criticism: I’m having issues understanding what’s the point you are trying to make about AWS. I read that in the Licensing section of the website but I couldn’t really figure out what it meant. Is your concern that someone will write an open-source microservice using Micro and that AWS will then incorporate it as one of their hosted services (as they’ve done with Memcached, etc)?

                                      On the speed of development: clearly you are a very prolific developer and that’s great, my concern is that kind of fast-paced change will alienate people looking for a stable foundation to build something on. It certainly alienated me, who had shortlisted Micro as a tool I could recommend internally in my company as the basis for a number of new Go-based microservices we are writing.

                                      1. 1

                                        Is “new works based on the software” supposed to stop Amazon rewriting it in a month and deploying an identical service?

                                        1. 3

                                          No, I’m pretty sure it’s meant to make them do exactly that if they want it - pay their own way.

                                    1. 5

                                      I wonder what the typical use case is.

                                      As a mobile computer, I would love to see a Raspberry Pi inside a tablet.

                                      Keyboards are plenty out there. But a tablet that runs Linux is a challenge to find. You have to hunt around the net, hoping to find some users who describe their experience.

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                                        I think one use-case will be in schools, where studens just have to “plug-in their keyboard” into the monitor, and they can just use the system, and easily take it home. It’s easier than with a standard pi, since you don’t have to carry around peripheral devices, and they actually get to own their hardware for once.

                                        1. 5

                                          I wonder what the typical use case is.

                                          Perhaps, as a modern home computer, like Commodore 64, Atari ST, and the like, or, specifically, to emulate these platforms.

                                          1. 4

                                            The magic of those platforms wasn’t the keyboard. It was the explorability and comprehensibility of the programming environment, and the power it off and on again robustness of the firmware: no “oops, I screwed up my install” worries encourages fearless exploration.

                                            The keyboard is nostalgia at best, cargo cutlting at worst.

                                            1. 2

                                              I don’t think we’re ever going to get that back; not beyond proverbial “toys” anyway (as opposed to machines you actually do stuff with).

                                          2. 4

                                            These would be great for running classes in the hackerspace I’m a member of. We got given a bunch of old laptops to resurrect a while back, but before that had happened it was really difficult to teach computer-y classes ’cause getting 8 or so functioning computers for students was not necessarily trivial, and having students use their own computers for stuff is a great way to spend 90 minutes on installing/setting up programs.

                                            1. 2

                                              For one, I’m thinking of building one of these for my daughter as soon as she’s old enough to want to play with a computer :)

                                              1. 2

                                                Desktop replacement. You could stretch it into a laptop replacement by adding a touchpad, a battery bank and a hinge for your portable (USB-powered) screen of choice.

                                                To make a tablet would be a further stretch in terms of touch support on Linux (not to mention UX). I actually made one based on a Nitrogen6x, but that was before Linux supported multi-touch. As you can imagine, it was really only usable as a laptop replacement.

                                                1. 3

                                                  Dang; I was hoping they would have done something to make the Pi easier to run off battery. It’s really a beast; without an onboard charging circuit the best most people have been able to do is hook it up to an external USB auxiliary battery, which usually means you can’t charge it without powering the whole system down. (the only SoC I could find that doesn’t have this problem is the Pine64)

                                                2. 1

                                                  One reason a tablet poses extra difficulties as the touch UI is different from the classic desktop UI.

                                                1. 2

                                                  I really want to run Fedora but 25 years of dpkg & apt are hard to get over. Maybe I’ll try it again when I next get a new laptop. But I’m just so comfortable on Debian…

                                                  1. 2

                                                    I just switched this year, after a few years of debian. It’s probably not the same experience, but for basic things, dnf is practically equivalent to apt. My personal intuition is that it might not be worth it, unless you’re also interested in GNOME (strictly speaking, the Fedora spins aren’t real Fedora releases, and usually aren’t as polished).

                                                    1. 3

                                                      the Fedora spins aren’t real Fedora releases, and usually aren’t as polished

                                                      I concur with this sentiment. I’m pretty steeped in the Red Hat universe for some time, so I really like Fedora on the systems I have to touch most. As an experiment, I tried the KDE spin for a year. It was OK, but had lots of paper cuts that the standard workstation edition just doesn’t have. They’re generally very minor, like needing to use the command line for firmware updates instead of getting alerted to them by the system tooling. Since I was mostly in KDE for kwin-tiling and a few other things that are much less integrated than that, I switched back to the standard workstation edition once Pop Shell shipped and got easy to integrate with the standard Fedora GNOME installation.

                                                      1. 3

                                                        My personal intuition is that it might not be worth it, unless you’re also interested in GNOME

                                                        To me, the most interesting subproject of Fedora, even though it may not be ready for wide use yet, is Silverblue. Having an immutable base system with atomic upgrades/rollbacks is really nice. This really sets it apart from other Linux distributions (outside NixOS/Guix). Sure, Ubuntu is trying to offer something similar by doing ZFS snapshots on APT operations, but that looks like another hack piled upon other hacks, rather than a proper re-engineering.

                                                        1. 2

                                                          Then again, I haven’t head good things about trying to use Silverblue with XFCE or other WMs.

                                                        2. 2

                                                          I like Debian and I’ll run it on servers but for desktop use, I want things to Just Work out of the box. My experience with Debian on the desktop is that you have to know all the packages you need in order to get the same out-of-the-box experience as Ubuntu or Fedora. At least, that’s what it was like when I tried Debian with XFCE.

                                                          You might also be interested in PopOS and Linux Mint, both of which are based on Ubuntu but strip out most of the annoyances like snapd.

                                                        3. 1

                                                          A couple years ago I went through a distro jumping phase. Fedora worked fine but I didn’t find any particular advantages of running it over - say - running Ubuntu. The one thing setting it apart from other distros was Wayland as default.

                                                          I ended up on Manjaro, and it’s been a breath of fresh air: most software is a click away (thanks AUR!), things just work out of the box and in general their configuration of Plasma and Gnome feel snappier than Fedora and Ubuntu.

                                                          1. 2

                                                            The one thing setting it apart from other distros was Wayland as default.

                                                            The one thing setting Fedora apart from other distros is often getting bleeding edge stuff as default. Most of the times it works out super.

                                                            1. 2

                                                              You are not wrong. What I meant was on the ‘experience’ front. Most of the time - if I’m lucky and the hardware obliges - I don’t bother remembering what version of the kernel, Mesa, etc. I am using, so being on the bleeding edge doesn’t introduce a lot of advantages.

                                                              BTW, the last time I tried Fedora was when Intel introduced their Iris driver and I wanted to see if it’d improve the sluggish performance I was experiencing on Gnome.

                                                          2. 1

                                                            I’d like to add that rpm command is similar to dpkg

                                                            for example: dpkg -l > rpm -qa

                                                          1. 8

                                                            Been thinking about this for a while. I’m a relative newcomer to testing, but:

                                                            I look at most mocks and think “Exactly what are we testing here?” - most of the time people seem to mock out various functionality but then not actually TEST anything!

                                                            So you’ve written 300 lines of code to create MockPipelineConnectionFrobnicator, but what does that prove other than you know how to write mocks?

                                                            1. 2

                                                              This is something I had to drill my employees about: if you create a mock, you better write an assertion against that mock.

                                                            1. 4

                                                              When I started reading this article I saw something like this:

                                                              Scala shows a 0.2% decline in the PYPL index.

                                                              First thought I had was “so what?” Second thought was why is this article making a big deal about a rounding error?

                                                              I couldn’t read the rest with it making wild conclusions.

                                                              1. 4

                                                                I had to search for this index, I only knew the mostly useless TIOBE index of so far.

                                                                I had an ex-colleague who was checking TIOBE every week to know what language is worth studying to get a new job, because he was always complaining about that job. He never did actually learn a new language, I guess he is still there, complaining 😀. Yeah, just checked it on LinkedIn, he is still there.

                                                                I learnt Scala (the basics) in those times, and the guy kept telling me It is not worth it, it has a backwards TIOBE position. Well, I never earned a single cent with Scala (yet), but I’m working on an F# project right now, which is not even on the PYPL index :) So who cares about these indices?

                                                                1. 2

                                                                  They don’t really directly index what they are being used to infer.

                                                                2. 1

                                                                  It depends on what that 0.2% is relative to, though. If it’s 0.2% to Scala use the previous year, it might be negligible. If it is 0.2% of all languages, it could mean a lot for a relatively obscure language like Scala (if, say, the index had Scala at 0.5% use last year). Considering indexes usually report percentages or global issue, I’d guess the latter. That said, I haven’t read the article yet, so I might be wrong.

                                                                1. 1

                                                                  Reading those RUN commands makes me want to weep - the one that builds Python itself is 75 lines long. Surely there has to be a better solution than that?

                                                                  1. 2

                                                                    Well, I’d imagine using a multi-stage Dockerfile would help. One could install all the cruft and build in one stage, then copy only the built binaries and required files to a different - clean - stage. I’m wondering if they keep it this way because the Docker hub itself doesn’t provide a way to specify a target stage to create the image from? (no idea, but the last time I checked they didn’t).

                                                                    1. 1

                                                                      The commands are combined in the single RUN command to avoid Docker caching the build artefacts in that layer. The looks to be a lot of effort here to limit the layer caching behaviour and clean up build components.

                                                                      I think this is an excellent candidate for multistage build (https://docs.docker.com/develop/develop-images/multistage-build/) as @dguaraglia mentioned, with all build artefacts including compilers and build dependencies jettisoned as soon as the binary build is completed with the resultant python binaries and associated libraries moved into a fresh container. With this approach, the layer caching from build/compile steps isn’t an issue because the whole thing is destroyed. There may be reasons why this approach wasn’t used.

                                                                      I also believe there is value in utilising the OS package managers for this. The constant driver for a lot of the source builds in containers seems to be the desire to access the bleeding edge versions that aren’t available in the distribution released packages of the base OS used for the image. In this example, the binary build process could be moved to a .deb package build of the latest source in an earlier CI step with the result stored/published. These .deb packages could then be installed using apt like the base OS components in the container in the same apt-get step. The additional benefit here is the resultant binary .deb can be used consistently inside multiple containers, or even across legacy VMs without requiring a rebuild.

                                                                      1. 2

                                                                        Indeed, I can understand why the build has been done like that, and a lot of effort has certainly gone into cleaning up the built artifacts. Maintaining it must be a nightmare though (I’m guessing it probably doesn’t change hugely from Python-release to Python-release though).

                                                                        I agree with your sentiments about using OS package managers. Building, for example, a .deb and having that made available for containerised/non-container use would be much easier to maintain, IMHO. Building Debian packages with all of the associated tooling is a lot easier than stringing everything together in a single RUN command.

                                                                    1. 3

                                                                      Stop supporting and embracing Electron apps, please.

                                                                      1. 4

                                                                        Serious question: what’s wrong with Electron apps?

                                                                        1. 15

                                                                          As someone who just spent a little time attempting a port of an Electron app to FreeBSD, only to quit in disgust, I have a few opinions.

                                                                          1. Electron apps are huge. Really, really, really big with a gigantic web of dependencies. Think an 18,408 line Yarn lockfile.

                                                                          2. Those dependencies are JavaScript libraries. To put it mildly, there is not a large intersection between the JavaScript community and users of non-mainstream OSs (e.g. FreeBSD). And those libraries tend not to be written in a portable fashion. This example (admittedly from a few years ago now) of a library disregarding $PATH is just one.

                                                                          3. Platform support in Electron is a gigantic steaming pile of bogosity based upon the wrong set of abstractions. Instead of learning from the autotools people who were doing this decades ago, they detect platforms, not features. So when a new platform comes along (say, FreeBSD) you can’t just specify which features it has and let it compile. No, you have to create a gigantic patch that touches a bazillion files, everywhere those files check for which platform it’s compiling on.

                                                                          4. Once compiled and running, they’re still huge (up to 1GiB of RAM for an IM client!). And - although perhaps this is a reflection of the apps themselves, not the framework - many are sluggish as hell. Neither is an attractive prospect for resource-limited Linux machines, like PinePhones.

                                                                          I had thought, prior to attempting a port of an Electron app, that people were unfairly criticizing it. Now having peeked under the covers, I don’t think people are criticizing it enough.

                                                                          1. 6

                                                                            As someone who isn’t an Electron hater: Electron apps are slow to load and memory hogs, which is something you might live with if you are talking about your IDE or Slack, but starts getting really old when it’s a utility application that should load quickly or spends most of the time in your icon tray. Worse yet: poorly written Electron apps can become CPU hogs as well, but I guess the same goes for all software.

                                                                            1. 3

                                                                              I agree that lots of Electron apps have issues with poor performance and high memory usage. That said, a well written Electron app can perform well. For example, I’m a heavy user of the Joplin desktop application and in my experience it performs well and has fairly low memory usage (currently under about 200MB) and doesn’t seem to have the issues that plague the Slack client. Admittedly the Slack client is a lot more complex…

                                                                              1. 2

                                                                                Oh, I agree that there great, performant Electron apps. VSCode is one of my favorite examples of that. Spotify is another one.

                                                                                One of my biggest gripes with Electron is that - because of the nature of how it’s embedded in binaries - you usually end up with with several full copies of the whole framework in memory. If you are using KDE or Gnome, most of the processes in your desktop are sharing a significant amount of memory in the form of shared libraries. This tends to be fine in systems with 16Gb+ of memory and a fast CPU, but for people with more meager resources… it’s a drag.

                                                                              2. 2

                                                                                I’m sure performance issues will be addressed in time.

                                                                                1. 13

                                                                                  Electron has been around since 2013 and still, typing in Slack still has a noticeable latency (that drives me crazy). I also still have to restart it once a day or so, to avoid that it becomes more and more laggy.

                                                                                  In the meanwhile, ripcord was developed by a single indie developer in Qt. Has most of Slack’s functionality, only uses a fraction of the memory, and is lightning fast. Oh, and it is multi-platform.

                                                                                  People (not you) claim that it is only possible to write cross-platform applications in Electron. This is nothing further from the truth, people have been writing cross-platforms apps in Qt literally for decades. (And it’s not hard either.)

                                                                                  1. 2

                                                                                    I’m not sure that I would consider Slack a stellar example of an Electron app. Slack is slow even by Electron standards. VS Code’s latency is indistinguishable from typing in the Lobsters comment in Chromium on my middle-of-the-road desktop machine. Discord is a much better Electron-based chat app from a performance standpoint, in my experience.

                                                                                    People (not you) claim that it is only possible to write cross-platform applications in Electron. This is nothing further from the truth, people have been writing cross-platforms apps in Qt literally for decades. (And it’s not hard either.)

                                                                                    For commercial software, the more important part is not whether it’s possible (or “hard”), but whether it’s commercially viable. Without any hard data one way or another, I’d say that writing Electron apps is much less expensive than writing native Qt apps for most companies (especially since web technology experience is much easier to come by).

                                                                                    1. 1

                                                                                      I don’t mind electron, but even VS code drops 1-2 frames on keypress on my threadripper desktop (and Chrome/Firefox do not). So far I’m putting up with it for the language server integration.

                                                                                      1. 1

                                                                                        Come to the dark side, we have cookies!

                                                                                        https://github.com/emacs-lsp/lsp-mode

                                                                                        Disclaimer: haven’t tried language server mode in Emacs myself as these days I do all my dev in Common Lisp, and SLIME has had this approach covered for over a decade with SWANK. But it’s nice to see other languages catching up to Lisp in this area too ;)

                                                                                  2. 4

                                                                                    I’m sure once the performance issues are addressed the complaints about performance issues will subside.

                                                                                    1. 1

                                                                                      I’m looking forward to the day that systems like Electron will compile everything to WebAssembly as a build step. In a way, I think Gary Bernhardt might have been more correct than I gave him credit for in his famous The Birth & Death of JavaScript presentation.

                                                                                  3. 3

                                                                                    There are the utilitarian critiques (they are big and slow) and there’s also the sort of Mac critique (they are not in any way native) and there’s my weird “I HATE THE WEB” critique that is probably not widely shared. I have a couple of them that I use daily, but I really, really, really wish I didn’t.

                                                                                1. 5

                                                                                  I’ve heard good things about Cursive, but I can never get used to IntelliJ IDEs, they take forever to boot and are sluggish even on smallish projects.

                                                                                  1. 3

                                                                                    Agreed. That said:

                                                                                    will be available in the future as a standalone Clojure-focused IDE

                                                                                    So cursive may be more viable later.

                                                                                    1. 1

                                                                                      Oh nice. I will definitely give it another whirl then.

                                                                                    2. 3

                                                                                      I use both PyCharm and Goland on a daily basis, and I’ve used CLion with the Rust plugin for a couple of smallish projects. Before that I used IntelliJ for a few years for Java projects and IntelliJ + Scala plugin for some big projects. Two things I’ve noticed: increasing the default memory available to the IDE by tweaking your VM parameters makes a huge difference in performance. There’s plenty of information about that online. Also, so far my experience on Linux is much smoother than MacOS. All in all I feel the functionality gains greatly offset the initial slowness of the first 30s after I open a project once every few days.

                                                                                      1. 2

                                                                                        I did run it on Linux but have not tweaked JVM params. With LSP getting somewhat decent support in Sublime and other editors like vim and emacs, the gap between these editors and IDEs is getting narrower.

                                                                                        1. 1

                                                                                          Yep, LSP has finally brought actual cross-language and cross-editor functionality closer to what IDEs that cost hundreds of dollars would do 5 years ago. I’m excited to see more languages and editors adopt the standard. There’s still enough of a gap that I’m happy to pay for the IDEs, but the experience for developing Go and Python projects on VSCode is very acceptable.

                                                                                    1. 5

                                                                                      What still stands out are the touchpad and the speakers of the MacBook.

                                                                                      While the touchpad on MacBook is indeed amazing, surprisingly, Android (on x86) comes with a better gestures support than the stock macOS. People always forget that Android is, uh, a Linux distro.

                                                                                      I had an Android installation on MacBook Pro 2015 and everything worked flawlessly up until Oreo release where the Wi-Fi crashed the system on connection (kernel panic, seems to be specific to Macs…). Haven’t tried the new releases though, but otherwise that was the best UX out-of-the-box I’ve seen on desktop Linux. The shutdown was also instant (systemd has an excessive DefaultTimeoutStopSec=90s and macOS takes a few seconds too).

                                                                                      1. 12

                                                                                        While the touchpad on MacBook is indeed amazing, surprisingly, Android (on x86) comes with a better gestures support than the stock macOS.

                                                                                        For me it’s not the amount of gestures that win. I turn most off. It’s the precision in moving the pointer and how well macos removes accidental taps/moves.

                                                                                        This gets me every time I think I’m ready for Linux. The macos input handling is just in a league of its own. That and high dpi, shearing while scrolling and jerky scroll.

                                                                                        1. 5

                                                                                          Libinput (the default touchpad driver in most recent release on most distros) is a huge improvement over where things were even a couple years ago. At least in my case, palm rejection and accidental clicking is something I don’t worry about anymore, and input responsiveness is great.

                                                                                          Jerky scrolling and tearing are mostly a graphic driver issue. Unfortunately, it’s still pretty pervasive on some Intel GPUs.

                                                                                          1. 2

                                                                                            Sounds good! I look forward to trying out Linux soon again since Apple seems dead set on ruining macOS for me.

                                                                                          2. 3

                                                                                            I’d agree with this. For me everything else (my freedom, ability to tune things, trustable code etc.) is well worth ditching macOS, but I still miss the Mac touchpad. Natural scrolling is a big part of the reason why. GNOME has an option to change the scrolling direction so it’s “natural”, but it’s not at all the same because moving my fingers down on the touchpad does nothing for a bit, and then scrolls down a few lines - just like it would on a mouse’s scroll wheel. On the Mac the scrolling matches where your fingers move exactly, like it would on an actual touchscreen device.

                                                                                            1. 2

                                                                                              Ah yes. I’m not much of a tinkerer, but I’m totally with you on sandboxing. It’s like, let me be in charge of my computer, thanks.

                                                                                              That’s exactly it, scrolling on Linux often feel like a mouse scroll wheel, and it’s not the same.

                                                                                        1. 3

                                                                                          Looks rather interesting, I’m going to have to try this one day. Absolutely despise the usual suspects (Ansible, Docker, Puppet, etc).

                                                                                          1. 2

                                                                                            As someone who was recently asked to do a deep dive on Ansible, I’m curious, how would you describe the downsides of Ansible?

                                                                                            1. 2

                                                                                              Sorry for the late, late response to this but my few complaints about Ansible:

                                                                                              • It’s really hard to figure out how to organize your project when you are first starting
                                                                                              • The dynamic inventories tend to fail in very non-obvious fashions (for example, if you forget to make the script executable or if it’s missing one of its dependencies you’ll get some bizarre error because Ansible will try to include the content of the script as if it was the actual inventory)
                                                                                              • Managing dependencies between tasks is hard if you plan to use tags to restrict the tags that need to be run. Happy to give an example if you are curious
                                                                                              • Managing secrets is kind of a pain in the ass; haven’t tried Ansible Vault, but the documentation made it look harder than using SOPS

                                                                                              All in all, Ansible isn’t bad, and it definitely has served my company well, but the level of complexity introduced is high and you’ll end up writing a bunch of wrapper scripts if you don’t want to remember the 10000 command line flags you need to run any moderately complex scenario.

                                                                                              1. 1

                                                                                                Very interesting. I’m someone who observes ansible a bit from afar – I grew up in the fab + chef + libcloud era, but my DevOps team took over and switched to ansible + terraform, which are admittedly more solid tools for cloud automation. To me, the only real downside of ansible I could tell from studying it (aside from all the YAML-ese) is that its “push” model starts to slow down for big clusters and cloud footprints. But then I discovered mitogen for ansible and it seems like that’s actually becoming a solved problem, without the downsides of the pull model. In which case, it feels to me like ansible will stand the test of time due to ecosystem/network effects, but I could be wrong!

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                                                                                            Colleague of mine tried to install Linux on the Macbook we got him for work (2019 model, touchbar macbook pro 15”).

                                                                                            I can say that it was a lesson in futility, patience and over-all unpleasantness.

                                                                                            Aside from the obvious (no touchbar support, no esc key) there were issues such as fan control and the keyboard. Can you imagine having a laptop where you can’t use the keyboard? This is apparently fixed in kernel 5.3.

                                                                                            One of the major things was trying to bypass the system integrity protection.

                                                                                            I wouldn’t recommend buying an Apple Laptop if you intend to install another OS on it; it’s just too much work and there is equivalent quality hardware out there.

                                                                                            There is a good (active) document of people trying to do this though: https://gist.github.com/roadrunner2/1289542a748d9a104e7baec6a92f9cd7

                                                                                            1. 2

                                                                                              thanks for this, it has been in my todo list for a long time, but I never really got to try because afraid of this exact kind of issues.

                                                                                              1. 2

                                                                                                What laptop do you recommend then?

                                                                                                1. 7

                                                                                                  ThinkPads are high quality machines and are well supported on Linux (and at least some other free operating systems).

                                                                                                  1. 3

                                                                                                    For the most part all the BSDs have good thinkpad support, especially as Intel/Radeon graphics drivers are under a BSD license. Haiku and illumos often have good support as well, usually porting the code from the BSDs.

                                                                                                    1. 2

                                                                                                      Thanks: I thought support was pretty good on the BSDs, but I wasn’t sure about the uniformity, and suspected, but didn’t know, that things like Haiku and illumos would too.

                                                                                                  2. 5

                                                                                                    As with all things it depends;

                                                                                                    If you want a thin&light and don’t care about ports there’s the new Dell XPS 13” (with a 16:10 display!).

                                                                                                    If you need something with a bit more ports and a rugged chassis, great keyboard I’d go with the Dell Latitude.

                                                                                                    More power and it’s the XPS 15.

                                                                                                    Most power and it’s the Asus ROG Zephryus G14 (AMD cpu).

                                                                                                    There are countless others and alternatives here, but all of the above are practically on par with the MacBook line.

                                                                                                    1. 2

                                                                                                      I have a Matebook X Pro (2018 model) and it works great with Linux. Dell’s XPS and Precision lines are also well supported. But the gold standard is ThinkPads. At least that’s what Google would give its employees if they wanted a Linux laptop.

                                                                                                    2. 2

                                                                                                      Yeah it just seems like a nightmare.

                                                                                                      I think my model (2015) was pretty much the last in the lineup before T2 got introduced and there seems to be a myriad of problems with stuff like getting sound working and the keyboard stuff you’ve mentioned.

                                                                                                      It’s a real shame because they’re great hardware

                                                                                                      1. 1

                                                                                                        One of the major things was trying to bypass the system integrity protection.

                                                                                                        Could you elaborate on this? Where exactly did he try to bypass SIP?

                                                                                                      1. 9

                                                                                                        I knew it a few seconds in, but I listened on 1.75x in the background… then he finally gets there that the folks who got rms to resign were complaining about stuff not worth mentioning by name which indeed was part of a national scandal.

                                                                                                        Centering in part on a WWII era center of American thought MIT, the scandal over Epstein, over dehumanizing women’s lived experience, wasn’t a joke scandal. The acts of RMS for years were bugging people out, in ways that if he’d done them to fellow men, fellow young men, he probably would’ve gotten booted years ago. But here in this video it doesn’t even merit mention by name, only vague reference.

                                                                                                        Being excellent to each other means replacing missing stairs.

                                                                                                        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Missing_stair

                                                                                                        1. 4

                                                                                                          I think there are two separate issues here: what RMS said and did, and the mob reaction that forced him out. Maybe both are wrong.

                                                                                                          1. 3

                                                                                                            There was no mob reaction, let alone a ‘linux users mob’ That’s really the crux of it. The video assumes Linux users had some majority agency in removing him, when in fact he was booted because no organization can have someone like that associated with them. It’s common decency not Linux community decency that forced him out. No mob of any sort needed.

                                                                                                          2. 5

                                                                                                            If I’m ever in the mood for reading toxic rhetoric (which never happens), I go read RMS. While the things you listed are important, I never really knew about them until the mob happened, because I chose to ignore him.

                                                                                                            Anyway, toxic rhetoric is exactly the thing that polarizes our world and turns everyone into abominable villains. Toxic rhetoric starts wars and tears communities apart. So in my book, toxic rhetoric alone is enough to get anyone fired.

                                                                                                            1. 4

                                                                                                              Yeah I don’t get why some people insist on defending Richard Stallman after his:

                                                                                                              • pedophilia support
                                                                                                              • untoward behaviors towards women
                                                                                                              • utter lack of humility bordering on parody

                                                                                                              It often makes me think the RMS defenders really think that low of women and that their only code is the bro code. As a woman in technology, it makes me feel somewhat jaded. Just because someone does good things doesn’t excuse them from acting like a human being. :-/ It feels more that people like me are perfectly fine to sacrifice as long as some figure head gets his adoration. And that bothers me a lot.

                                                                                                              1. 25

                                                                                                                RMS never supported pedophilia. I actually read the supposed evidence. They are thoughts/questions, admittedly naive, on the subject of unintended consequences of laws (evidence against pedosexual activity being itself illegal) and whether non-coercive, mutually beneficial, pedosexual activity, could, in principle, be possible.

                                                                                                                Also, please don’t use the term ‘pedophilia’ here. Pedosexual activity is child abuse and that is what is wrong, not ‘pedophilia’. We should encourage people to come forward as pedophiles to counselors and therapists so they can learn to live with a -philia that they must never follow up on. Shaming them for their feelings or even calling them evil merely for their feelings only makes the risk greater.

                                                                                                                1. 18

                                                                                                                  pedophilia support

                                                                                                                  It was a single philosophical blog banter that he later retracted. Calling it a support is a far far stretch.

                                                                                                                  untoward behaviors towards women

                                                                                                                  Am I missing something or all he did was literaly ask out women on dates? Is that bad?

                                                                                                                  Stallman is weird in many ways but to consider him to be a malicious monster is ridiculous.

                                                                                                                  1. 5

                                                                                                                    He’s an awkward, clearly aspergers guy that asked some women out on dates quite awkwardly. That’s ‘untoward behaviour towards women’ today.

                                                                                                                  2. 27

                                                                                                                    When I did initially read about it, I was quite skeptic, particularly as I had recently seen many cases of mob justice gone wrong.

                                                                                                                    Later it blew out of control and I did some digging. It turned out to be nothing else than the usual character assassination some collectives favor. Due to his personality and lack of awareness of current trends, Stallman proved an easy victim.

                                                                                                                    1. 20

                                                                                                                      Hard agree. Unfortunately, this is happening in tech far too often. The free and open source software movements are getting caught in the cross-fire of US politics.

                                                                                                                      1. 4

                                                                                                                        I disagree. RMS was a seminal contributor to the movement, but there is no reason to pretend that his behavior - which might have acceptable back in the day when computer sciences were a boys club and movies like Revenge of the Nerds were considered funny even though they depict non-consensual sex as a ‘prank’ - is compatible with today’s world.

                                                                                                                        Epstein’s case is not subject to ‘politics’: the guy was a known pedophile and sex trafficker. There’s not even a point in arguing that. Minsky, who Stallman defended, was well-aware of Epstein’s circumstances and willingly took money from him and sexual favors from one of his victims. One could argue that Stallman was trying to make a ‘philosophical’ argument or playing devil’s advocate, but you’d have to ignore the kind of message that would be sending to any young women or victim of sexual assault in that mailing list: welp, it’s a shame Minsky got caught doing something really bad, let’s just ignore this other victim so we avoid rocking the boat!

                                                                                                                        1. 14

                                                                                                                          Epstein’s case is not subject to ‘politics’: the guy was a known pedophile and sex trafficker. There’s not even a point in arguing that. Minsky, who Stallman defended, was well-aware of Epstein’s circumstances and willingly took money from him and sexual favors from one of his victims. One could argue that Stallman was trying to make a ‘philosophical’ argument or playing devil’s advocate, but you’d have to ignore the kind of message that would be sending to any young women or victim of sexual assault in that mailing list: welp, it’s a shame Minsky got caught doing something really bad, let’s just ignore this other victim so we avoid rocking the boat!

                                                                                                                          It is insane to me that RMS’s opponents would denounce a person for making an argument that a personal friend of theirs is not guilty of a crime, on the grounds that making this argument “sends a message” to people who might see it who are members of a demographic they assume is likely to be a victim of that crime. I’m deliberately not addressing the question of whether or not Stallman’s argument is correct or not, in the context of the actual alleged crime. Maybe he’s wrong and Minsky really was guilty in a legal or moral sense of having illict sex. I’m not sure what I think about Stallman’s argument in context, although I agree with him that something seems morally wrong about charging a person with the crime of statutory rape who was unaware that the person they had sex with was under the age of consent.

                                                                                                                          I’m not particularly interested in litigating the details of a media-reported crime I have no special information about, and it doesn’t matter in any event. Young women as a demographic, or even actual victims of sexual assault, have no particular right to never see someone argue that a specific sort of sexual encounter wasn’t actually a sexual assault. I refuse to be complicit in condemning RMS for doing so.

                                                                                                                          1. 2

                                                                                                                            Do you even understand how society works? Are you arguing that people - in particular people in a position of power in a learning institution - should be able to say whatever comes to their minds, disregarding how other people are going to take what they say?

                                                                                                                            That’s the kind of behavior that leads to the normalization of behaviors like Minsky’s. The fact that people like RMS are comfortable thinking this is some philosophical riddle we are able to discuss, instead of clearly gross behavior that would creep the fuck out of any young person in the lab, is the problem. This is not someone pondering whether a bear shits in the woods, this is someone defending a 74 year man having sex with people in the age range of his students in front of his students.

                                                                                                                            Now, if that’s perfectly normal behavior for you, then I don’t know what to tell you. Maybe a consultation with a therapist would be a good start (and no, I’m not being an flippant about it).

                                                                                                                            1. 6

                                                                                                                              Do you even understand how society works?

                                                                                                                              I believe this is a bit patronizing.

                                                                                                                              Are you arguing that people - in particular people in a position of power in a learning institution - should be able to say whatever comes to their minds,

                                                                                                                              Yes? I believe that anyone should be able to say almost anything. Of course, there are the traditional exceptions for slander and specific incitation of a crime.

                                                                                                                              disregarding how other people are going to take what they say?

                                                                                                                              Lacking foresight is no reason to deny someone’s voice.

                                                                                                                              1. 6

                                                                                                                                I believe that anyone should be able to say almost anything.

                                                                                                                                Good argument against arresting someone. None of this is illegal, nor should it be.

                                                                                                                                Bad argument for leaving someone in charge of the FSF. Figureheads have resigned for less.

                                                                                                                                1. 3

                                                                                                                                  Being cast out from society is, like it or not, a serious effect. It’s more serious, in many cases, than legal censorship.

                                                                                                                                  1. 2

                                                                                                                                    Not being the head of the FSF any more is not the same thing as being banished.

                                                                                                                                    1. 3

                                                                                                                                      Being ostracised by the community and accused of all manner of wrongthink and wrongdoing based on at best wilful misinterpretation is being banished.

                                                                                                                                      1. 1

                                                                                                                                        If it works out anything like it worked out for Brian Eich, I’m sure Starman would do fine.

                                                                                                                                        1. 3

                                                                                                                                          Brian Eich? Starman?

                                                                                                                                          Come on if you’re going to participate in the discussion you could make a good faith effort to at least get the names right.

                                                                                                                                          1. 2

                                                                                                                                            I agree, but it’s Brendan Eich and Stallman. Starman is someone else entirely.

                                                                                                                                  2. 4

                                                                                                                                    I believe this is a bit patronizing.

                                                                                                                                    But, on the other hand, it isn’t patronizing at all to assume how everyone should behave around people who say things that make them feel unsafe?

                                                                                                                                    Yes? I believe that anyone should be able to say almost anything. Of course, there are the traditional exceptions for slander and specific incitation of a crime.

                                                                                                                                    Sure, and I believe people should be able to fire a co-worker they disagree with or find generally disagreeable.

                                                                                                                                    Lacking foresight is no reason to deny someone’s voice.

                                                                                                                                    ‘Lacking foresight’ is hardly the problem, when there’s an extensive email thread where RMS kept digging deeper and deeper. I could see him lacking foresight before the first email, but by the third reply you’d assume he’d have some hindsight.

                                                                                                                                    1. 3

                                                                                                                                      Lacking foresight is no reason to deny someone’s voice.

                                                                                                                                      Dr. Stallman’s free speech rights have not been infringed in any way.

                                                                                                                                    2. 4

                                                                                                                                      Do you even understand how society works? Are you arguing that people - in particular people in a position of power in a learning institution - should be able to say whatever comes to their minds, disregarding how other people are going to take what they say?

                                                                                                                                      Yes. In fact, providing a space for people to say things that (some) other people take to be offensive is an important function of universities as an institution. This is the purpose of tenure systems, for instance.

                                                                                                                                      That’s the kind of behavior that leads to the normalization of behaviors like Minsky’s. The fact that people like RMS are comfortable thinking this is some philosophical riddle we are able to discuss, instead of clearly gross behavior that would creep the fuck out of any young person in the lab, is the problem.

                                                                                                                                      This isn’t (only) a question over whether some kind of sexual behavior is gross on an abstract philisophical level, it’s a question about whether something a friend of his did in fact or should have have constituted a serious felony under law. Discussing questions of law is absolutely the rightful concern of any citizen. I completely reject the idea that the standard of whether a behavior is moral or not should be based on whether some people claim it makes young people in a lab feel grossed out or not.

                                                                                                                                      This is not someone pondering whether a bear shits in the woods, this is someone defending a 74 year man having sex with people in the age range of his students in front of his students.

                                                                                                                                      I defend this. I explicitly believe that it is possible for a 74 year old man to have sex with someone of the traditional age to go to college (18-22 or so - that is, legal adults!) without either party doing something immoral. In fact, I believed this when I myself was within the ages of 18-22! Again, I refuse to be complicit in condemning someone else for making this kind of argument.

                                                                                                                                      1. 2

                                                                                                                                        Yes. In fact, providing a space for people to say things that (some) other people take to be offensive is an important function of universities as an institution. This is the purpose of tenure systems, for instance.

                                                                                                                                        RMS, as a non-tenured member of MIT, should’ve known that didn’t apply to him.

                                                                                                                                        This isn’t (only) a question over whether some kind of sexual behavior is gross on an abstract philisophical level, it’s a question about whether something a friend of his did in fact or should have have constituted a serious felony under law.

                                                                                                                                        ‘Gross’ vs. ‘legal’ isn’t abstract in the context he was discussing though. Let’s think of a different example: let’s say someone in an academic context talks about his experiences with prostitutes in a country where that’s legal. Would that be acceptable?

                                                                                                                                        Just because something is legal, it doesn’t mean discussing it or defending it is appropriate in every context.

                                                                                                                                        I defend this. I explicitly believe that it is possible for a 74 year old man to have sex with someone of the traditional age to go to college (18-22 or so - that is, legal adults!) without either party doing something immoral. In fact, I believed this when I myself was within the ages of 18-22! Again, I refuse to be complicit in condemning someone else for making this kind of argument.

                                                                                                                                        Well, we agree to disagree on that. Personally, I feel like there are so many questions about power imbalance embedded in that statement, that it could lead to a loooooong conversation I’m not willing to have seeing as people have been flagging my replies because apparently not defending RMS is a sin or something.

                                                                                                                                        1. 1

                                                                                                                                          Yes. In fact, providing a space for people to say things that (some) other people take to be offensive is an important function of universities as an institution. This is the purpose of tenure systems, for instance.

                                                                                                                                          There is a time and place for this - for example, invited speakers, seminars, lectures. A free-form mailing list for students and faculty would fall outside of this in most contexts - i.e. if some idiots starts spouting Nazi propaganda for trolling purposes, they can be banned from the conversation.

                                                                                                                                          Dr. Stallman did not have tenure at MIT. In fact, he was not even part of the staff. His office and access to the mailing list was provided as a courtesy.

                                                                                                                                          This isn’t (only) a question over whether some kind of sexual behavior is gross on an abstract philisophical level, it’s a question about whether something a friend of his did in fact or should have have constituted a serious felony under law.

                                                                                                                                          The sad part of this is before this happened, I had no idea that Marvin Minsky was mentioned in the Guiffre deposition[1]. Had Dr. Stallman not gone out on the field and broken a lance for him, I would not have to contend with the plausible possibility of him availing himself of sexual favors provided through Epstein.

                                                                                                                                          I refuse to be complicit in condemning someone else for making this kind of argument.

                                                                                                                                          One can simultanously agree that Dr. Stallman has and did have a right to make this argument, and also agree with the right of MIT to terminate his unofficial occupancy of an office, and the right of the FSF to remove him from a leadership position[2].

                                                                                                                                          Free speech is the right of an individual not to be gagged by the state, not an obligation that private parties have to host that speech.

                                                                                                                                          ______
                                                                                                                                          

                                                                                                                                          [1] a deposition isn’t a statement of fact under the law, it’s a document submitted by one party in an ongoing lawsuit.

                                                                                                                                          [2] as an advocacy group, the FSF is reliant on persuading people to their ideals (and usually soliciting financial donations). A public view (no matter how legally absurd) that their primary spokesperson is a defender of pedofilia is counterproductve to the mission of the FSF.

                                                                                                                                          1. 4

                                                                                                                                            Free speech is a principle of good society. Yes it has legal protection in some states but this constant appeal to ‘free speech is just a law stopping the STATE from censoring you’ is pathetic. Should we condone attacks on free speech in other states because it’s not protected by law in China or North Korea? Freedom of expression existed as a principle of a decent society far before it was ever enshrined in legislation. In New Zealand it isn’t even supreme law, essentially just a rule of administrative law and of legal interpretation (interpret ambiguity in favour of rights).

                                                                                                                                            Nobody is talking about whether MIT had the right to terminate his privileges. That’s not in question, anywhere in this thread. The discussion is around whether it was right to do so.

                                                                                                                                            1. 2

                                                                                                                                              Nobody is talking about whether MIT had the right to terminate his privileges. That’s not in question, anywhere in this thread. The discussion is around whether it was right to do so.

                                                                                                                                              In the narrow circumstances of Epstein’s alleged contributions to Harvard (he also had access to an office there as a private citizen, I believe) which is currently tearing Harvard apart, it was absolutely correct of MIT to defensively cut off Dr. Stallman from access to official MIT facilities and mailing lists. Not doing so would only have hurt MIT’s image (and possible future endowments).

                                                                                                                                              Note that if Dr. Stallman had been part of the faculty or student body, I would probably not accept MIT’s behavior.

                                                                                                                                              What is your opinion on the FSF removing him from a leadership position?

                                                                                                                                        2. 3

                                                                                                                                          Do you even understand how society works? Are you arguing that people - in particular people in a position of power in a learning institution - should be able to say whatever comes to their minds, disregarding how other people are going to take what they say?

                                                                                                                                          I think that people should not be expected to self-censor on the basis that people might get offended on behalf of others.

                                                                                                                                          This is not someone pondering whether a bear shits in the woods, this is someone defending a 74 year man having sex with people in the age range of his students in front of his students.

                                                                                                                                          Society decided a long time ago - and has not changed its decision since then - that once you’re over the age of consent there’s nothing wrong with relationships with anyone of any age also above the age of consent.

                                                                                                                                          You can advocate for change to that or that you think that’s wrong, but given that the primary basis for LGB rights advocacy I’ve seen is ‘consenting adults in private should be able to do what they like’ I think you should think carefully about what you’re implying.

                                                                                                                                          1. 2

                                                                                                                                            I think that people should not be expected to self-censor on the basis that people might get offended on behalf of others.

                                                                                                                                            So, is there any situation at all where you think people should self-censor? Say, for example, is sexual harassment appropriate? After all sexual harassment is just one person being offended about how someone else treats them.

                                                                                                                                            Society decided a long time ago - and has not changed its decision since then - that once you’re over the age of consent there’s nothing wrong with relationships with anyone of any age also above the age of consent.

                                                                                                                                            This is definitely not true. Society frowns upon all kinds of relationships where the age disparity is incongruous with the situation. For example, the terms ‘gold digger’, ‘crate robber’ and ‘cougar’ come to mind. Legality doesn’t equal acceptance.

                                                                                                                                            You can advocate for change to that or that you think that’s wrong, but given that the primary basis for LGB rights advocacy I’ve seen is ‘consenting adults in private should be able to do what they like’ I think you should think carefully about what you’re implying.

                                                                                                                                            If you can’t see the difference between two adults in a loving relationship wanting to be accepted by society vs. someone abusing a power imbalance to take advantage of people, then I don’t know what I can do to explain it to you.

                                                                                                                                        3. 1

                                                                                                                                          Young women as a demographic, or even actual victims of sexual assault, have no particular right to never see someone argue that a specific sort of sexual encounter wasn’t actually a sexual assault.

                                                                                                                                          Conversely, Stallman has no particular right to an office provided as a courtesy by a private university, nor does he have a particular right to a leadership position in a privately-held non-profit advocacy group.

                                                                                                                                          1. 8

                                                                                                                                            Imagine someone who pretend to be very nice and morally virtuous to a crowd that’s obsessed with this, which can easily be any crowd when carefully herded the right way (most people will agree with superficial statements that sound “morally good”) and gains influence in this crowd.

                                                                                                                                            Then, using this leverage (the belief this person is definitely a good person) and some character assassination material (an article, twits, whatever claiming a person is terrible; truth here is irrelevant, the holding of controversial opinions at any point in time, even the distant past, is often used as material), on someone (thereon subject), written by themselves or some convenient third party, calls on the mob to take on actions to try and destroy the subject’s life. Actions including online bullying and organized harassment of the subject’s employer, family and friends. This isn’t an exhaustive list.

                                                                                                                                            There’s a name for a person who does this. It’s Sociopath, or as it used to be called, Psychopath. They are the actual monsters. Whereas the subject is actually nothing else than a victim. If you still have doubts, digging a little on the perpetrator will typically reveal they have had other targets. Yes, they do it, enjoy it, realize they can get away with it and then do it again.

                                                                                                                                            It helps when in the mob there’s other monsters which enjoy doing this. They willingly help the mob leader, as in exchange they also get their help with other targets. There’s literally entire communities built around doing this.

                                                                                                                                            This is getting out of control and it needs to stop. Awareness of how these monsters operate helps. At some point, however, instigators will hopefully have to start answering to Justice. The official sort, with trials, evidence, presumption of innocence and all these steps and safeguards which separate Justice from Mob Justice.

                                                                                                                                              1. 5

                                                                                                                                                I have just finished reading this. As I suspected, others have noticed this pattern, analyzed it and explained it much better than I could have.

                                                                                                                                                Thank you for linking this excellent article on the matter.

                                                                                                                                              2. 1

                                                                                                                                                Imagine someone who pretend to be very nice and morally virtuous to a crowd that’s obsessed with this, which can easily be any crowd when carefully herded the right way (most people will agree with superficial statements that sound “morally good”) and gains influence in this crowd.

                                                                                                                                                This is a straw man.

                                                                                                                                                1. 3

                                                                                                                                                  This is a straw man.

                                                                                                                                                  No, it is not. My comment is about a dark pattern I have noticed in recent years, nothing else than that. The intended audience is pretty much everybody reading the thread. The intended effect is to raise awareness of this dark pattern, and to promote critical thought (there’s never enough of this).

                                                                                                                                                  The poster I was replying to isn’t being targeted by me in any other way than being the post that incited my reply, and is absolutely not being pinpointed as the instigator. Thus, I am not making them into some strawman.

                                                                                                                                                  Instead, they are kindly and indirectly being nudged into considering the possibility that they might be participating in such a scenario, and into reflecting into whether what they’re doing is positive.

                                                                                                                                                  1. 1

                                                                                                                                                    Can you cite an example of that ‘dark pattern’ you’ve noticed? Can you cite two examples? Can you cite examples where both sides of the political spectrum used that dark pattern to their advantage?

                                                                                                                                                    I’ll be happy to discuss them.

                                                                                                                                                    1. 3

                                                                                                                                                      Here’s an example: there is a transgender YouTuber whose channel is called ‘ContraPoints’. Her name is Natalie Wynn. She makes videos about a variety of different topics. She’s clearly left-wing and has stated openly and frequently that she is not a transmedicalist (essentially someone with a very narrow view of what constitutes a ‘valid’ transgender person).

                                                                                                                                                      She was essentially ‘cancelled’ on Twitter, and left Twitter as a result, because she made a video where she used a particular transgender activist as a voice actor for all of 6 seconds in an hour long video. What this activist actually said had nothing to do with transmedicalism, he was there to be the voiceover for a particular quote.

                                                                                                                                                      However, because said activist is alleged (without any basis that I’ve seen) to have transmedicalist views, not only did ContraPoints get ostracised from Twitter and harassed so badly she deleted her account and left the platform, but anyone that expressed any support for her (her friends, etc.) were harassed, even if they didn’t actually say anything beyond ‘she’s my friend’.

                                                                                                                                                      So to be clear, people get harassed (death threats, other violent threats, spammed with abusive imagery, told to kill themselves, etc.) not just for being a transmedicalist, not just for allegedly being a transmedicalist, not just for collaborating in an unrelated way with someone that they did not know allegedly is a transmedicalist, inhales but for being friends with someone that collaborated with someone that they did not know allegedly is a transmedicalist.

                                                                                                                                                      But no you’re right I’m sure that cancel culture isn’t a problem.

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                                                                                                                                                        Can you cite an example of that ‘dark pattern’ you’ve noticed? Can you cite two examples? Can you cite examples where both sides of the political spectrum used that dark pattern to their advantage?

                                                                                                                                                        The answer to all your questions is: I don’t need to.

                                                                                                                                                        I’ll be happy to discuss them.

                                                                                                                                                        I do not have the time nor the inclination to humor you any further than I have.

                                                                                                                                                        1. 1

                                                                                                                                                          The answer to all your questions is: I don’t need to.

                                                                                                                                                          So… it was a straw man. You were just pushing the whole ‘virtue signaling’/‘conservative oppression’ talking point on a conversation that had literally nothing to do with that.

                                                                                                                                                          I do not have the time nor the inclination to humor you any further than I have.

                                                                                                                                                          I have a feeling that you are one of those people who thinks he’s right even when proven wrong, and has been proven wrong enough times he’s learned not to push the envelope when things aren’t going his way. Can’t say I’m surprised.

                                                                                                                                                  2. -1

                                                                                                                                                    lol

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                                                                                                                                            I especially recommend reading the “Low grade “journalists” and internet mob attack RMS with lies.”, article, perhaps more for it’s content than it’s choice of words.

                                                                                                                                            The upside to this whole debacle is that RMS will probably have more tile to work on the GNU project. IMO the role of president of the FSF wasn’t ever the best for him – even if I disagree with they way they amputated him. I’ve been following the Emacs mailing list in more detail recently, and maybe I have a wrong impression, but I see him taking part in the discussions more than at least over the last few years.

                                                                                                                                            1. 0

                                                                                                                                              I remember that article. It had some weird phrasings, since edited:

                                                                                                                                              https://twitter.com/gerikson/status/1176211260142231552

                                                                                                                                              RMS’ more ardent defenders are in general a bit outside the mainstream.

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                                                                                                                                                This is known as ad-hominem. The author’s personal views (or what kind of person they are) are irrelevant to the validity of arguments presented.

                                                                                                                                                The linked twit is a good reminder of why I avoid twitter. It is a community full of hate and destructive energy, not one of reasoning and respect for difference of opinions.

                                                                                                                                                If someone cannot tolerate the existence of human beings who hold opinions different than theirs, then they’re toxic. Twitter is toxic, as it’s full of this sort of people, to the point it hosts mobs that attack people they disagree with, with the full intent of destroying their lives. This is called mob justice (I believe those involved tend to use euphenisms for this), as opposed to justice. Basically a mob, typically herded by a sociopath, playing judge and executor. It isn’t just in any way.

                                                                                                                                                Twitter tolerates this behaviour and thrives on it. Twitter is a platform for organized hate. It is literally the platform where most of this is conducted. If Twitter went away overnight, the world would be better for it.

                                                                                                                                                1. 3

                                                                                                                                                  It’s not really a stretch to say that the age of consent at 16 is too old. There are clearly kids having consensual sex that shouldn’t be illegal below that age, but not much below it. ‘Romeo and Juliet’ laws for anyone under 18 is probably a much more reasonable system.

                                                                                                                                              2. 1

                                                                                                                                                Hm, that article doesn’t do a great job of proving Stallman’s supposed innocence.

                                                                                                                                                His argument that Minsky having sex with Virginia Giuffre is not a crime even though she was a minor because she was coerced by someone else is ludicrous. By that argument, having sex with a victim of sexual trafficking Is acceptable. Minsky was a grown-ass man that should be responsible - and accountable - for his decisions, including deciding to have sex with a minor in very weird and strange circumstances.

                                                                                                                                                Besides the potential legality based on jurisdiction, the very obvious lack of morality of the act should make anyone take a step back. One can’t equate a 17 year old having sex with a partner of similar age as part of a normal love relationship with a full-grown adult taking advantage of someone barely able to make a decision about their sexuality… and yet, the author of that article seems to think that because Stallman somehow has been consistent about that misrepresentation, that must mean he’s been wronged by someone pointing out it’s wrong.

                                                                                                                                                1. 8

                                                                                                                                                  He’s not arguing that it wouldn’t be a crime. I don’t know how you read that from the very clear, incredibly specific text.

                                                                                                                                                  1. -1

                                                                                                                                                    Did you read the mail thread linked in that article? The whole point of the thread is pondering if they should be calling this sexual assault or not, because to Minsky’s knowledge she could’ve just been a really keen very young woman. For context, they are talking about a 74 year old thinking that a teenager is coming on to him.

                                                                                                                                                    1. 5

                                                                                                                                                      I know two women who in their teens were gerontophiles.

                                                                                                                                                      1. -1

                                                                                                                                                        Ah, I see. So that makes it OK, I guess.

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                                                                                                                                                          It makes it believable that an old man could think a teenager is coming onto him, at the least.

                                                                                                                                                      2. 2

                                                                                                                                                        The structure of your post throws around some ideas, but doesn’t construct any arguments. It reads as an appeal to emotions.

                                                                                                                                                        The whole point of the thread is pondering if they should be calling this sexual assault or not, because to Minsky’s knowledge she could’ve just been a really keen very young woman. For context, they are talking about a 74 year old thinking that a teenager is coming on to him.

                                                                                                                                                        Your point being? Be very specific, because through your roundabout strategy, you come out to me as pushing the idea that some topics should never be discussed, that some ideas should be never expressed, and that people who dare do so should be executed by mob. Or that it is alright if this is what happens.

                                                                                                                                                        Please correct me if I am wrong. By all means, please tell me this isn’t what you’re trying to push.

                                                                                                                                                    2. 3

                                                                                                                                                      Virginia Giuffre

                                                                                                                                                      Being born in 1983, she couldn’t have been a minor in 2001 when she alleged this trafficking took place. Assuming that it happened, that Minsky was involved, and that Minsky had sex with her, the crime would not be having sex with a minor.

                                                                                                                                                      His argument that Minsky having sex with Virginia Giuffre is not a crime even though she was a minor because she was coerced by someone else is ludicrous. By that argument, having sex with a victim of sexual trafficking Is acceptable.

                                                                                                                                                      If you don’t know that someone is a victim of sexual trafficking then it isn’t wrong. Obviously.

                                                                                                                                                      1. 2

                                                                                                                                                        That depends on the definition of ‘minor’. In most places that means ‘under 18’, and last time I checked, if she was born in - say - September 1983 and the sexual encounter happened in January 2001, that’d make her a minor. In fact, being that both of them are American, and considering that Americans aren’t exempt from crimes committed against other Americans abroad, the statue is even less clear.

                                                                                                                                                        If you don’t know that someone is a victim of sexual trafficking then it isn’t wrong. Obviously.

                                                                                                                                                        Millions of Johns that got thrown in jail would like to disagree with you.