1. 1

    From Reddit:

    ability to automatically follow back other instances, statistics in about page, a new ‘Most liked videos’ page, ability to autoplay next recommended video, better search functionality and much more!

    1. 2

      I really enjoyed watching this talk. I’ve worked in enterprise software for a decade now and it’s become pretty clear that ideas are recycled pretty regularly. It seems to me like software engineering has a marketing problem.

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        My two cents: keep it minimal, focus on content and not on fancy themes.

        For my personal website I keep it as simple as I can and I’m quite satisfied. https://github.com/dacav/App-PFT/blob/master/share/templates/terminal.html rendering as https://dacav.roundhousecode.com/

        1. 1

          I also tried to keep it minimal: https://soc.github.io/

          1. 1

            I really like that you have things organized into a grid, it makes it so that I don’t have to do a separate search once I’m already on the site.

            1. 1

              Thanks! It took a substantial amount of time to get the dimensions to 2. :-)

          2. 1

            I agree with this. It’s roughly what I’ve done with my site as well: https://c.har.li/e/

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              I really like the look of your site!

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                With a bachelor’s degree, I’ve tripled my starting salary from my starting gig in 2011, from 40k to 120k. I live in the american midwest.

                The top-line advice I can give is that it’s a lot easier to get a pay raise by switching jobs than it is to ask for a raise from your current employer. You just have to be careful not to be seen as a job-hopper.

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                  I never worked with Ember but I’m surprised at the claim that React has Won. I thought that Angular and Vue have been on solid footings. In the .NET shops I’ve seen, the majority have used Angular for front-end development.

                  1. 6

                    I’ve never had much connection to the .net world; over in the dynlang diaspora I’ve gotten the impression that React has not just a plurality but a majority share of frontend frameworks. I built a graph with StackOverflow insights and my impression was wrong: React and Angular are roughly equivalent in popularity, with Vue at a third of either and Ember very low. (I’d love to see more sources of data if anyone has them!) Thanks for prompting a better understanding of the landscape.

                    1. 5

                      React won the hype cycle thus far. People whose understanding of framework popularity is colored by tech news are going to think React is dominant because people talk about it so much.

                      There is some correlation with tech chatter and usage, but it’s an imperfect one. Boring technologies that work well don’t get talked about.

                      1. 8

                        But React is a perfect example of boring technology that work. And it’s already 6 years old.

                        1. 2

                          As someone who’s never used JS at all up until recently, React is so boring I can almost feel the yawn coming on… and I love it!

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                      Unions would help remove this chicanery from the already-grossly-imbalanced empower/employee relationship.

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                        1. 8

                          Probably, but unions aren’t a panacea. Unions can lead to some bad things too. From my experience I’m not sure which I prefer.

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                            Unions are not a panacea, as in they don’t solve all problems and even come with some of their own, but they exist to deal with exactly this situation. This feels a little like discussing an article about nails and pointing out that hammers aren’t a panacea.

                            1. 10

                              “Unions” as a concept is mainly just “allowing workers to form a structure to gain negotiation power”. There’s thousands of implementations of that concept, which makes it hard to have a discussion about “unions” on that level as much as for “political parties” or “enterprises” globally.

                              Even as a business owner, I got a lot of support from my union, which makes me quite happy with my particular implementation, but I appreciate there’s tons of problems even in mine, specifically around my business.

                              1. 1

                                By that definition, you might consider callout-blog-posts like these as a form of union.

                                1. 6

                                  Where’s the collaborating structure? This is an individuals post.

                                  1. 1

                                    collaborating

                                    Message boards (such as this one) and social media, I suppose.

                                    1. 1

                                      That’s not collaboration. That’s marketing and communication.

                              2. 3

                                Wouldn’t the logical conclusion be to prefer power being more dispersed between employers/unions, rather than concentrated? We should fight concentration of power, as it is always weaponized against us.

                                The only argument I can think of is that the union can interfere at times when they aren’t strictly necessary.

                                1. 2

                                  No, the logical conclusion is to prefer power being more dispersed between employers and employees. Unions are one way of achieving that, but they present their own problems which ought to be considered. Unions can pervert incentives. Where I work (UAW) there is no reason to work harder because you will never get ahead from it (unless you’re trying to be a supervisor, but there aren’t many of those). Sometimes people will work really slow to make sure they don’t do better than standard. Our supervisors won’t even tell us “good job today” unless it’s in private because they’re worried about the union. It’s also basically impossible to fire someone no matter how bad they are at their job. I’m not sure we make more money either, the last place I worked started a bit lower but increased the longer you worked there.

                                  I pointed out that they aren’t a panacea because I get the impression that the people advocating for them in tech have no experience with them and aren’t fully considering the implications. But maybe UAW is the only one with these problems.

                                  1. 4

                                    Individual approaches can pervert incentives just as much. It does for example lead to situations where motivations are entirely self-driven. I’ve seen many projects put on hold because people personal goals for the next raise in the company didn’t align with the goals of their team. That included that their goal became meaningless over the year!

                                    I’m not saying unionisation cannot lead to weird situations such as yours, but that also usually a sign of a business where this still go too well. For example, when talking to union people in the insurances sector in Germany, they are keenly aware that the whole sector is being automated, so for example some of their strategy is currently bargaining with the employers to migrate people to either other parts of the company or going half-time positions instead of straight-out being fired. Those are very knowledgeable people with high interest in finding a good solution for all sides.

                                    I do agree with your reading of union advocacy in tech: most of the time, employees figure out they want to unionise when they already have an open conflict with their upper management. Even if they manage, they will be in a situation where management gives them not quarter (why should they, they didn’t before) and that will also lead to them never giving a win away anymore.

                                  2. 1

                                    bosses can interfere at times when they aren’t strictly necessary

                                2. 6

                                  This threat, along with wage suppression and employee control in general, is why big tech is pushing for more H1Bs for India.

                                1. 3

                                  I’m building up my homepage from scratch instead of using a blogging engine. Its nothing ground-breaking, but I’m enjoying the process of doing it all from scratch instead of using an off-the-shelf sitebuilder.

                                    1. 1

                                      It appears to be both innovation trigger and trough of disillusionment. This is because humans don’t universally hold the same opinion, and because deep learning will prove to be insanely useful in some areas and deceptively useless in others. It wouldn’t surprise me much at all if the recommendation system itself is a fundamentally intractable problem.

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                                      I had a preliminary lunch interview once with a potential candidate. He was nice enough to me but rude to the wait staff, never said please or thank you, and would just hold his glass up without looking when he wanted a refill. When the waitress made an honest mistake he grudgingly accepted a replacement drink and then told me about how you “can’t get good service anywhere in this town.”

                                      Needless to say I didn’t hire him.

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                                        He was nice enough to me but rude to the wait staff

                                        I’ve been telling young women to watch for this for years. Get this supposedly dream guy to take them somewhere involving servants or some perceived lower class. Preferably a busy time where mistakes might happen. Watch how they treat them. Although some habitually fake this, lots of assholes out themselves when they have targets who can’t easily defend themselves. One might also look at it as a position of power they just have to abuse for fun.

                                        I don’t know how often it works for most I tell. I have heard some good things. I see it myself plenty, though. Waiters, receptionists, store clerks, customer support… anything like that.

                                        1. 9

                                          The CTO who hired me at my last job told me he would always break his half hour interview up into a twenty minute interview with him that was always preceded by a ten minute interview with his secretary: “oh, sorry, Mr. Xxx is running late, can I get you a water or show you the restrooms?”

                                          He suggested that this lead to at least one no hire and that made the exercise infinitely valuable.

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                                            There are seriously people like this? I thought this only happened in movies.

                                            1. 1

                                              Remember kuro5hin? That guy would’ve been one of the polite ones on there.

                                              1. 1

                                                Really? My recollection of that site wasn’t as bad as yours seems to be…

                                            2. 2

                                              In a recent post-interview dinner I had with some of my future teammates and VPs, they shared similar stories of rejected candidates. It’s anecdotal without a proper study, but I guess this happens quite a bit.

                                            1. 2

                                              I can just feel the glee with which Mr Hilton wrote this. I’m glad he was able to pass it ;)

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                                                I’m really thankful for lobste.rs as an alternative to the echo-chamber of hacker news. Great community, great moderation, productive and healthy conversations: that’s a lot to ask for from an internet community and you can find it here.

                                                1. 32

                                                  I’m glad to have a place to talk about programming and computers without necessarily bringing in the “tech industry” part.

                                                  1. 5

                                                    This is made possible by vigilant flagging! :)

                                                    1. 3

                                                      I can confirm since I see it in Recent regularly. There’s about a handful of you hard at work at that for years. Usually get to it before I even see it. Appreciate your efforts.

                                                    2. 2

                                                      A thousand times this!

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                                                    I love blog posts like these even if I mostly don’t understand them.

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                                                      I really dislike websites that don’t even pretend to work without javascript enabled. This site gives you a 100% blank page with JS disabled. They don’t even bother to tell you, hey, we hate your non-JS ways, so you can’t play here. Who cares about accessibility or sanity.

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                                                        I imagine being a website for javascript developers, they don’t bother considering users that don’t have js enabled. Not that I agree with that sentiment.

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                                                          It’s just a discourse server, and a relatively vanilla one it seems at that. Whether nojs works is probably just however much discourse is designed to support it, and not a decision of npm.

                                                          EDIT: Discourse supports nojs fine, zie’s browser is just misconfigured

                                                          1. 4

                                                            Just to wrap this up, I agree, my browser is sort of misconfigured, I used uBlock Origin with the global setting, and it does not work, nor does imgur, and a bunch of other websites.

                                                            I went digging around the various extensions/addons for other options, and I settled on LibreJS[0].

                                                            similar to noscript, it allows some JS to run, but unlike noscript it doesn’t automatically trust random corporate websites just to make users lives easier. Plus the UI is a lot easier than noscript, and allows one to easily see the source of the JS(both the URL and the actual JS source code) before whitelisting it..

                                                            So I think this is maybe the best of both worlds. imgur and other sites basically work, you can easily whitelist specific things as needed, and by and large most every JS 0day exploit will be a non problem.

                                                            Thanks everyone for helping me better understand the crazy insanity that is browsers and JS these days.

                                                            0: https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/librejs/

                                                          2. 4

                                                            This reminds me of the brief time I was working for a media company. Developers needed to interface with ads servers and nothing worked until they disables ad blockers… :D

                                                          3. 3

                                                            You must be one of those wierdos that prefer plain text email.

                                                            (I’m genuinely not being an ass, I’m a wierdo just like you)

                                                            1. 3

                                                              It’s almost like the content of the email is what I’m there for :)

                                                              1. 1

                                                                Maybe I am :) hehe

                                                              2. 2

                                                                That’s strange, it worked fine for me https://i.imgur.com/lmC3FID.png

                                                                1. 2

                                                                  imgur doesn’t work without JS either :P

                                                                  1. 2

                                                                    I linked you directly to the image, there is no html let alone javascript on that URL. You can curl it if your browser is misconfigured to just block all imgur domains.

                                                                    Relevant headers:

                                                                    HTTP/2.0 200 OK
                                                                    last-modified: Fri, 28 Jun 2019 15:07:43 GMT
                                                                    content-type: image/png
                                                                    date: Fri, 28 Jun 2019 16:08:22 GMT
                                                                    server: cat factory 1.0
                                                                    

                                                                    Cat Factory 1.0, great name for a web server.

                                                                    1. 4

                                                                      Imgur has been redirecting direct image links to the main site for a while now (see https://minimaxir.com/2014/02/moved-temporarily/.

                                                                      I couldn’t reproduce the redirect using curl, but clicking that link on the browser will go with the redirected version.

                                                                      1. 2

                                                                        It depends on your user agent and accepts request headers.

                                                                        1. 2

                                                                          From FF, it redirects to the full page, and the image doesn’t display(assuming you have JS totally disabled). Which makes imgur totally broken, the entire point of using a site like imgur is the showing an image.

                                                                          AKA imgur is totally unusable without JS for anyone in a browser.

                                                                          The noscript FF extension and others actually do allow some JS to run, by default, to fix broken sites like imgur.

                                                                          But uBlock Origin, which totally disables JS(if you set it as a global default) imgur doesn’t serve it’s primary purpose of showing an image.

                                                                          Unless you re-think their primary purpose is to make money, not show images, and then maybe they are doing just fine.

                                                                          1. 2

                                                                            From FF

                                                                            You’re already using an adblocker I recommend you try UA switching.

                                                                            Unless you re-think their primary purpose is to make money

                                                                            This is the goal of every business, for worse or, well, for worse.

                                                                  2. 2

                                                                    It seems to be a difference between disabling JS and just blocking scripts. zie, if you’re uMatrix, you can enable ’Spoof <noscript> tags` in the ‘…’ menu to be able to see the noscript block of the page.

                                                                    Edit: <noscript> was getting eaten by the markdown parser.

                                                                    1. 1

                                                                      disabling JS and just blocking scripts

                                                                      OK I think what you are saying here is 1st party JS vs 3rd party JS? Or are you trying to say something else?

                                                                      I’m not really up to speed on JS and browsers, as I basically just leave it disabled all the time unless I really need to see some site that requires it.

                                                                      I use Ublock Origin, and it’s settings near as I can tell is just all on or all off.

                                                                      1. 2

                                                                        In HTML there is a <noscript> tag where content is shown if the web browser doesn’t support javascript. For some reason your blocker is blocking the noscript tags LOL

                                                                        1. 3

                                                                          Not that it’s blocking it specifically, more that js is “enabled”, but just prevented from loading, so the browser hides the <noscript> blocks as it it normally would.

                                                                          Weirdly though it sounds like uBO should make the browser show noscript tags: https://github.com/gorhill/uBlock/issues/308#issuecomment-417812479 Maybe “that new per-site switch” isn’t what you’re using, zie?

                                                                          1. 2

                                                                            Right, I disable JS globally, not using a per-site switch. the per-site switch requires you to at least load the JS once, to even get access to the switch. That is a terrible security position. This story[0] is a good reason why.

                                                                            0: https://lobste.rs/s/vi8ybf/i_was_7_words_away_from_being_spear_phished

                                                                  3. 1

                                                                    Yeah. E.g. every time I read the docker documentation i get a headache. I run noscript

                                                                    1. 1

                                                                      noscript by default, actually allows running of JS. both on every single global page, and on a bunch of domains that come pre-trusted.

                                                                  1. 7

                                                                    Is the problem OP complains about (professional front-end devs who don’t know HTML) real? When I was a kid, there was nary a middle-school student who didn’t know HTML…

                                                                    My biases make me want to believe him, but if I want to believe something, that’s a red flag that I should be extra careful to make sure it’s really true.

                                                                    1. 10

                                                                      It is absolutely real. Many devs learn a framework and only speak and think within that framework, not realizing it’s a pile of code that sits on top of the ‘native’ html/css/js stack. I’ve worked with several. It’s a dangerous mindset to take but it isn’t all bad. Those frameworks exist to increase productivity, so some amazing stuff gets built quickly. But sometimes, without that lower-level knowledge (and I kind of smirk at the idea that html/css/js is ‘low level’), weird things happen.

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                                                                        Wow. I’ve run into some folks who are afraid to write vanilla javascript, but I’m lucky enough to have never run into somebody who can’t at least generate HTML.

                                                                        1. 2

                                                                          I was reading this and waiting for the point where it would say something that wasn’t blindingly obvious (to me), but it never happened. But I suppose there must exist people to whom this is news, otherwise how would you explain the existence of so many bad web apps?

                                                                        2. 2

                                                                          I’ve been learning webdev recently (I have experience with embedded & IoT programming, but not much actual web stuff) and I find it sort of unfathomable to not learn anything about such a fundamental technology…

                                                                          1. 3

                                                                            Right? Though, to be fair, when I started coding it was also pretty normal for people to learn assembly – the expectation to understand history & the system as a whole has gone down as entry-level wages have increased.

                                                                            1. 2

                                                                              But then again assembly is one or two levels of abstraction above literally thinking about voltages and transistors, which are incredibly complex and basically require abstraction to do any sort of productive work!

                                                                              Is the same thing true about HTML and CSS? Maybe, but definitely not to the same degree. I think you could draw the line at Single-Page web applications, which is where I believe relying only on vanilla JS makes things difficult. But a lot of websites don’t need to be SPAs, and creating something simpler would make the web significantly more accessible.

                                                                              1. 5

                                                                                I wouldn’t say that assembly is one or two levels of abstraction above voltages. Assembly is one level of abstraction above microcoded machine language. Beneath that, you’ve generally got people thinking in terms of gates. In college, as part of a sophomore-level class, we were supposed to design a 4-bit CPU from gate level to opcodes & then write assembly for it – something that wasn’t terribly difficult & gave some insight into how CPUs work, but also didn’t teach me a damned thing about electrical engineering.

                                                                                HTML & CSS are document-formatting systems, and they require workarounds and abstractions in order to be borderline usable as application GUI libraries. Even then, there’s enough abstraction leakage that I would expect everybody who does web app development, even if they primarily use a big framework, to occasionally need to write some plain javascript that injects plain HTML into the DOM.

                                                                        1. 14

                                                                          I still can’t get over the fact that someone got an idea to refresh HTML document tree 60 times per second and make HTML document viewer render it over and over and call it as “application”.

                                                                          It’s so wrong on just too many levels that I don’t even know where to start, and people basically just don’t even notice that.

                                                                          1. 11

                                                                            But it doesn’t actually work the way? In AJAX apps, DOM is only updated on events (e.g. click, user network data received). You would have to have a timer to actually update it regularly in the background.

                                                                            Probably the place it gets close to that is when they hijack the scroll event, which is horrible. But even that’s not changing the DOM if you’re not scrolling.

                                                                            FWIW I agree with the premise of the OP, but I don’t think your criticism is accurate.

                                                                            1. 7

                                                                              It’s not the first time that someone got an idea to build GUIs by just extending existing document-rendering technology…

                                                                              1. 9

                                                                                DPS is a little bit different, because postscript is a programming language (specifically, a forth dialect with logo/turtle-style pen control). It’s relatively sensible to do widget-drawing with a language optimized for drawing arbitrary line graphics. A web app is more like trying to use dot macros to modify an MS word document at 30fps.

                                                                                1. 9

                                                                                  A web app is more like trying to use dot macros to modify an MS word document at 30fps.

                                                                                  That reminds me, years ago my dad, who was a chemical engineer in a large company, showed me a simulation he’d gotten as an email attachment from a colleague. It had a pretty decent graphical animation entirely within an Excel spreadsheet. Part of the sheet was a “normal” spreadsheet with the actual formulas, but another part had cells resized to be small and rectangular, and their colors were changed a few times a second by macros, producing a medium-resolution raster-graphics display basically. This was apparently relatively common, because it made the graphical output self-contained within the same spreadsheet that you could mail around.

                                                                              2. 7

                                                                                I am not actually that offended by this idea, because most GUI applications are enhanced document viewers. But I do think that when your application requires to be run at 60 fps, you should use something else.

                                                                                For example: The interoperability problem has already been solved with Java and if you really need something with more performance than that, you’d basically have to resort to lower level code like C/C++.

                                                                                But if “a glorified document viewer and/or editor” all your application is, then an web-application will more than suffice.

                                                                                1. 3
                                                                                  1. 5

                                                                                    Web apps are a cool hack, and I absolutely love the perverse joy one gets from making something impressive using the absolute wrong tools for the job. But, the point of a cool hack is that the idea that somebody would use it seriously or for important tasks is absurd.

                                                                                  2. 3

                                                                                    A developer equivalent of https://xkcd.com/763/

                                                                                    1. 2
                                                                                    1. 0

                                                                                      I enjoyed this essay a lot. I’ve had similar thoughts (though not this well refined) while attending church services.

                                                                                      1. 5

                                                                                        Nice writeup, happy to read some hard numbers! The most compelling idea I took from it is that if tech workers unionize, we could make organized, sustainable donations to open source projects.

                                                                                        1. 16

                                                                                          Dude, if the majority of the tech worker class unionized, we could short-circuit the finance sector, end the attention economy, avert climate change and bring post-scarcity full automation to the whole world. But sadly those beefy salary to optimize adtech algos are necessary to buy a Tesla, so…

                                                                                          1. 2

                                                                                            Yeah. It’s hard to unshackle yourself from golden handcuffs. It’s even harder to do it on a mass scale.

                                                                                          2. 5

                                                                                            I’m reminded of the old observation that managing programmers is like herding cats. The kernel of truth in that makes unionization not very likely.

                                                                                            1. 4

                                                                                              In a field where the expectations change significantly every five years and skills can range very widely among individual software engineers, unionizing doesn’t seem to be appropriate anyway. I’m willing to have my mind changed about this, though.

                                                                                              1. 6

                                                                                                I’m not an expert by any stretch of the imagination, but I tend to think the fact that our field changes rapidly is more of a hurdle to overcome rather than an indicator that it isn’t appropriate to unionize. Given the ageism, sexual harrasment, wildly varying salaries, and extreme unneccesary overtime in our industry, I think unionizing is wholly appropriate.

                                                                                                1. 2

                                                                                                  The ageism is huge.

                                                                                                  1. 8

                                                                                                    Historically, older workers are where unions come from - they’ve got the life experience to understand why shifting the power dynamic matters.

                                                                                                    Ageism is perhaps the ultimate union-busting technique…

                                                                                                    1. 2

                                                                                                      In startups, or everywhere? I’m in my late 30s. In my team there’s probably 2 guys younger than me, 4 older and a couple around the same age.

                                                                                                  2. 5

                                                                                                    Read the material from Tech Worker Coalition: their strategies for unionization rely on very different assumptions from traditional blue collar unions.

                                                                                                    Also there’s a wave of mobilization in the USA that might result in mass unionization in the short term: it’s the present, not the future.

                                                                                                    To read more about these topics, there’s this very good issue of Notes from Below: https://notesfrombelow.org/issue/technology-and-the-worker

                                                                                              1. 3

                                                                                                As long as there is no Firefox phone, I am not interested. I need a full ecosystem that respects my privacy and Apple ecosystem is the closest.

                                                                                                I wonder if they can bring Firefox phone back. There is WebAssembly now, and that can be a game changer.

                                                                                                1. 1

                                                                                                  That would be exciting.

                                                                                                  1. 1

                                                                                                    As far as i know the reason why firefox phone fail was not that it was too slow, but because they fail to take a significant market share. So webasm is likely to change nothing on the problem.

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                                                                                                    I like how the bottom of the post has a link to ESR’s (now defunct) Google Plus profile.

                                                                                                    1. 0

                                                                                                      What irony, lol