1. 1

    @emacsomancer@fsmi.social

    I work professionally on linguistics, especially formal semantics. I’m interested in free software, including especially Emacs, (La)TeX, and Lisp-based things.

    1. 16

      Amusingly the site won’t load for me.

      1. 13

        ButtCloudFlare literally gatekeeping me with a captcha for using Tor :(

        1. 1

          You really blame them when their operating requirements include minimizing liability?

          1. 6

            It’s a terrible default. If someone gets a lot of e.g. bot registrations from Tor, they should have that option, but it’s really stupid for a static document site that cannot receive any interaction from the outside world.

            1. 1

              Do you think it should scan and interpret all the content on all the pages it serves to decide which get Tor filtering? Or what’s your alternative implementation that achieves the same level of protection with the labor cost of adding some firewall rules? Gotta be something their management would agree with.

              1. 7

                A more reasonable default would be to not show CAPTCHA until a POST request has happened.

                1. 4

                  Bam! There it is! That could be a great sell since they’d spend less resources on the CAPTCHA’s in the first place. Maybe (depends on implementation). I’ll try to remember and mention it when I run into Cloudfare employees. :)

        2. 3

          It has no A or AAAA records. No MX record either.

          $ dig any  stop-gatekeeping.email
          
          ; <<>> DiG 9.11.5-P4-RedHat-9.11.5-4.P4.fc29 <<>> any stop-gatekeeping.email
          ;; global options: +cmd
          ;; Got answer:
          ;; ->>HEADER<<- opcode: QUERY, status: NOERROR, id: 45133
          ;; flags: qr rd ra; QUERY: 1, ANSWER: 1, AUTHORITY: 0, ADDITIONAL: 1
          
          ;; OPT PSEUDOSECTION:
          ; EDNS: version: 0, flags:; udp: 512
          ;; QUESTION SECTION:
          ;stop-gatekeeping.email.		IN	ANY
          
          ;; ANSWER SECTION:
          stop-gatekeeping.email.	3788	IN	HINFO	"RFC8482" ""
          
          ;; Query time: 22 msec
          ;; SERVER: 8.8.8.8#53(8.8.8.8)
          ;; WHEN: Thu Jul 25 03:31:29 EDT 2019
          ;; MSG SIZE  rcvd: 72
          
            1. 2

              It’s a domain just purchased for cheap, I guess this will be fixed soon if there ever is a bug.

              Given how DNS works there might be different delays between the moment where the record is published and when it is made available.

              Maybe it is a cache issue…

              To accelerate domain changes:

              From the users side, I use a local (dq) cache that points at the root servers, so I can flush my cache myself.

              1. 1

                It does have A (and AAAA) records:

                $ dig +short A stop-gatekeeping.email
                104.31.77.194
                104.31.76.194
                
                $ dig +short AAAA stop-gatekeeping.email
                2606:4700:30::681f:4cc2
                2606:4700:30::681f:4dc2
                

                it just doesn’t respond to ANY queries by following RFC 8482

                1. 1

                  Now it does. When I tested, it wasn’t responding to either A, AAAA, or ANY.

            1. 15

              A related and upstream point on this can be found here: https://cmpwn.com/@kline/102333166678467931

              While we don’t want to change IRC radically, there is absolutely the issue that more and more projects and people see IRC as being full of sharp edges, or lacking what they need. We’re really interested in what we can do that enhances, rather than changes the protocol. A hard line for us is not to change how older clients can use our network, as those clients and users are very important to us - but we also want to smooth the way for new and migrating projects.

              It’s a fact that IRC is shrinking, and in the face of things like the moznet closure, we should be looking to keep IRC healthy. This doesn’t mean “growth” as our primary target, but we do need to understand what people want to keep the protocol competitive and true to itself. We don’t want to be a matrix catch-up, we want to be able to compete with it as the different protocol and ecosystem it always has been.

              1. 2

                FWIW here are my comments on why I barely use IRC from a year ago:

                https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=16495984

                The tl;dr is that I like the shell (hence spending a long time writing one), and I used BBSes back in the mid-90’s, and I used Gopher before Netscape existed, but I’ve never gotten into IRC.

                Since then I started using Zulip for https://oilshell.zulipchat.com, and it works quite well (aside from most people not knowing how to use it, which is sumountable obstacle). It’s better and faster than Slack IMO.

                1. 3

                  . I just don’t want to spend my mental energy on my chat client [for IRC] (https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=16495984)

                  Likewise I don’t want to spend mental energy signing up for and trying to figure out some new IRC replacement, especially since it’ll presumably sit in the browser, where I try to minimise how much text I have to type. Whereas for IRC, I can use any number of frontends, including one right in my editor.

                  Just like for using the shell, TeX, etc.; IRC has some upfront time/mental energy cost, but then after that it’s really easy, comfortable, and powerful. I have no interest in setting up/signing up for Slack, Zulip, [insert name here], ….

                  1. 4

                    it’ll presumably sit in the browser

                    See https://github.com/zulip/zulip-terminal

                    Also, for Mattermost (a open-source self-hostable Slack alternative) there’s Matterhorn. I prefer the web-based clients myself but there are some options; even slack-term is a thing.

                    1. 3

                      When there’s a https://github.com/zulip/zulip.el maybe I’ll take a look.

                      But as far as I can tell everything’s that worth talking about is on Freenode.

                    2. 1

                      Yeah, that’s totally fair. I don’t want to convince anyone who likes iRC not to use it. I’m just explaining why most people don’t prefer it.

                      Although I don’t necesssarily agree with the equivalence. I would say the signup cost to Slack/Zulip is less than the setup cost to IRC, depending on your definition of usability. If you already set IRC up 10 years ago, then obviously the equation changes.

                      1. 2

                        The setup/learning cost to something like Slack/Zulip is less than the setup/learning cost of IRC in the same way that the setup/learning cost of Word is less than the setup/learning cost of (La)TeX, but you pay a high hidden cost in that now you have to use Slack/Word rather than IRC/LaTeX.

                1. 14

                  The main issue that IRC faces imo is the lack of connection persistence: If you get thrown into a room without knowing if your spamming by interrupting, how active it is, etc. you’ll have a bad experience. If you can’t turn of your laptop because you’re still expecting a response, you’ll have a bad experience. If the suggestion to fix this is to try to set up one of the who knows how many broken bouncer servers, you’ll have a bad experience.

                  And if you have a bad experience, you’ll loose users.

                  1. 3

                    But isn’t this more natural? Consider entering a room in real life where people may be having a conversation. Do you barge right in and immediately start talking at everybody? Of course not, you take time to see who’s present and what the feel of the situation is.

                    1. 11

                      Of course, that might be the case, but now imagine a room with people sitting around staring into the void, and seeing no reaction when you ask a question. Since you just suddenly appeared in this room and have no ability to look back into it’s history (one unrealistic fact for another) you’ll have to wait to see if anyone is even alive – what the value of being “natural” is in this situation can clearly be questioned.

                      1. 3

                        IRC has addressed this problem mostly through norms rather than technically (i.e., it’s sort of impolite to just join a channel, ask a question, and leave if you don’t get an answer: proper netiquitte is to idle in every channel you think you’re liable to be interested in using more or less forever, which produces local logs & also raises the likelihood that conversation will happen & relationships will be developed). IRC is not stackoverflow, in other words, & this makes IRC great for developing long-term relationships in a community but terrible as a mechanism for newbies to get help.

                        I think the problem here is not that IRC fails to be stackoverflow, but that folks who do a lot of their dev communication on IRC have made the mistake of suggesting non-developers use IRC for tech support, filling channels with users who don’t know or care about the norms or about developing long-term relationships as regulars. (Or, in said in the hyperbolic & slightly acid way I used to say it back in my heavy IRC days, “people who shut off their computers shouldn’t be on IRC”.) Mailing lists (unless they are announcement-based) have basically the same issue.

                        There are common norms around hosting public logs, as well. As Drew says, pretty much everything that slack tries to build in is already supported on IRC as an add-on (or as expectations around behavior), & this allows the system to be accessible to a wider variety of people – it’s just not accessible to people who are unwilling to learn the norms or use the tools (i.e., people who aren’t going to buy into the community).

                        1. 1

                          people who shut off their computers shouldn’t be on IRC

                          I like this, well said!

                        2. 3

                          Yeah, the in-person experience usually has existing conversations you overhear, people physically situated in a way that tells you stuff, and even their gestures or clothing might indicate some interests. Whereas, IRC is much more like a void at the start unless it’s really active.

                        3. 2

                          If I wanted something as shitty as real life I’d go outside. I want my tools to do better than I could do without them.

                        4. 1

                          That’s why there are IRC bouncers/persistent clients. The problem is that you either pay a monthly fee or you have to figure out how to set it up yourself.

                          That said, all of the alternatives to IRC offer worse experiences.

                          1. 6

                            you either pay a monthly fee or you have to figure out how to set it up yourself.

                            That’s not even the primary issue, instead it’s that in practice most bouncers are unmaintained, have very specific and peculiar settings, too many moving components, bad documentation (*cough*, ZNC) etc. They are generally a mess and don’t integrate all to well into IRC as a protocol in general.

                            That said, all of the alternatives to IRC offer worse experiences.

                            If I’m quite honest, and I don’t like saying this, but most IM networks like WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger offer a far more stable and expectable experience, which is why people use these kinds of clients/networks. The network effect only determines which from this category becomes popular.

                            1. 2

                              most bouncers are unmaintained, have very specific and peculiar settings, too many moving components, bad documentation (cough, ZNC) etc

                              Weechat is really excellent. It still has some upfront ‘costs’ in terms of setting it up, but it’s really easy and pleasant, and I’ve had no real issues with IRC via Weechat.

                              If I’m quite honest, and I don’t like saying this, but most IM networks like WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger offer a far more stable and expectable experience,

                              I also end up using WhatsApp from time to time, and it’s a far, far, far worse experience than IRC. The web client sucks, and has all sorts of connectivity issues. If your phone isn’t on the same network, it simply doesn’t work. It expects to be used on mobile. I can’t easily adjust how things are displayed to me in the app. I can’t connect to it from, say, Emacs.

                              So in practice I much more frequently check IRC than I do WhatsApp, despite having family members etc. on WhatsApp.

                              Thus, I think your example of WhatsApp is excellent. As an example of a far worse, very miserable user experience.

                              1. 1

                                (You might find sms-irc quite useful… :p)

                            2. 2

                              Have you given Matrix a fair shake?

                              1. 1

                                Eventually I’ll probably try to figure out how to set up a Matrix bridge or whatever via Weechat.

                                1. 1

                                  No need for a bridge if you’re an end user and just want Weechat to speak Matrix:

                                  https://matrix.org/docs/projects/client/weechat-matrix

                          1. 1

                            I think Weechat does have some sort of support for embedded images, actually, doesn’t it?

                            1. 1

                              I use it in a console. Well, generally under lxterminal.

                              1. 2

                                Weechat is nice because you can connect to it with a terminal, or emacs, or a web browser, or a mobile app.

                            1. 6

                              None of this even considers what is good about IRC. It’s a series of decentralized networks built on the shoulders of volunteers. It’s venerable and well-supported with hundreds of client and server implementations.

                              Like all decentralized networks, it’s has to overcome the inherent streamlining advantages of VC-backed, centralized, poised-to-monetize competitors.

                              Ideally simply the presence of the VC vultures hovering over a service like Slack, poised to monetize it by striking without notice would be enough that folks would instinctively flinch away from using them. But we’ve seen that folks tend to have a short memory about these kinds of things and are very good at coming up with rationalizations why “this time it will be different”.

                              1. 2

                                The more I think about this, the more I think the solution (to this and many other problems) would be some sort of mental inoculation against the tricks that tech companies use to convince people to use their products even when it’s not in their best long-term interests.

                                1. 4

                                  Yes, and when you’ve figured that out you’ll likely to be able to solve many of the other problems which have arisen in the world since 1688 (or, arguably, much earlier).

                              1. 8

                                Does the obfuscated Pocket add-on bundled with Firefox count as an extension?

                                1. 9

                                  The Pocket Addon is open source and on github, not obfuscated to my knowledge other than minified.

                                  1. 1

                                    Pocket’s server-side is not yet open, so you can’t self-host the service. There is Wallabag for those who want a similar self-hosted service.

                                  2. 2

                                    Maybe this move will accompany a release of Pocket source.

                                  1. 6

                                    As a person with ~intermediate knowledge of Nix/NixOS and only knowing Guix from a distance yet:

                                    • I don’t see a word about GuixSD there - what’s the status of this?
                                    • (How) can I pin my whole config to a particular commit of the package set, and only update gradually? I’m kinda having trouble with this in NixOS
                                    • Can I package non-libre software for Guix? Are there third-party package sets? I know GNU proper doesn’t want me to do this, and I’m sympathetic, but not ready for the jump. What’s the situation for me in practice?
                                    • Can I replace kernel with L4Linux? I tried to do that in NixOS but gave up because of complexity.
                                    • edit: Also, do they mirror/archive package sources somewhere?
                                    1. 5

                                      You can specify additional channels and I believe I’ve seen at least one nonfree package repo somewhere in the past.

                                      It is possible to boot into a different kernel. I also found that someone has written a config with a custom (nonfree) kernel; I don’t know much about L4 but it could be a good starting point.

                                      1. 1

                                        Thanks! Where/how can I find the source of the linux-libre expression mentioned in the manual link you listed? I’m also interested in compiling L4Linux as part of the Guix system, instead of only using a prebuilt binary.

                                        edit: Interestingly, as part of a similar thread on HN (where I also copied my questions from here once I found it), I learnt that Guix seems to have some preliminary support for Hurd, so it may be helpful to me too.

                                        1. 2

                                          Here it is in git. The manual section on defining packages will be a big help for hacking on it.

                                      2. 3

                                        I’m kinda having trouble with this in NixOS

                                        It’s not well documented, but you can just grab the package set directly:

                                        let
                                        
                                        pkgs = import (builtins.fetchTarball {
                                          name = "nixos-unstable";
                                          url = https://github.com/nixos/nixpkgs/archive/1fc591f9a5bd1b016b5d66dfab29560073955a14.tar.gz;
                                          sha256 = "1ij5x1qw486rbih7xh2c01s60c3zblj6ad1isf5y99sh47jcq76c";
                                        }) {};
                                        
                                        in ...
                                        
                                        1. 1

                                          Question is, how do I apply this concretely in /etc/nixos/configuration.nix — which is a function starting with: { config, pkgs, ... }: ... — do I override pkgs parameter? Does it make my whole NixOS pinned? Or only some parts of it? AFAIU, the /etc/nixos/configuration.nix is included from some NixOS code, so I imagine it can’t override this? So probably what I should do is override the channel, as hinted by some other people in this thread and on HN?

                                          1. 2

                                            If you want to override the nixpkgs used for your whole OS, you have quite a few options. You can set NIX_PATH with a nixpkgs= at the front. You could change your nix-channel so that it points to a different nixpkgs. You could change the nixpkgs.pkgs configuration option to point to whatever path you’d like.

                                            If you just want to use it for some system packages, you can just reference them directly:

                                            environment.systemPackages =
                                              let
                                                pkgs1903 = fetchTarball "https://nixos.org/channels/nixos-19.03/nixexprs.tar.xz" { };
                                              in
                                              [
                                                pkgs1903.chromium
                                                pkgs.firefox
                                              ];
                                            

                                            But at this point I’d just use nix-env and mix there, it’s a lot easier.

                                            If you want your system to use a specific package that’s not installed, but used as part of a module, you can do something like:

                                            nixpkgs.config.packageOverrides = pkgs: {
                                              inherit (pkgs1903) hello;
                                            };
                                            

                                            Which might work, or might not, depending on compatibility of things. You might then want to backport a whole module, which gets a bit tricky.

                                            1. 1

                                              AFAIK packageOverrides is deprecated now in favour of overlays, since the latter can be composed nicely https://nixos.wiki/wiki/Overlays

                                              1. 1

                                                Dunno about deprecated but yes thanks, overlays are a nicer and more composable way to do this.

                                        2. 2

                                          From HN:

                                          (Note: we call it “Guix System” instead of “GuixSD” now.)

                                          There is little difference between Guix and the Guix system when looking a little more closely.

                                          1. 2

                                            I don’t see a word about GuixSD there - what’s the status of this?

                                            It’s been renamed “Guix System”. “Guix” and “Guix System” (née “GuixSD”) update together; apparently 1.0 brings a new TUI installer for the Guix System.

                                            1. 1

                                              Seems like the versions and name are a bit intertwined.

                                              Guix can be used on top of any system running the kernel Linux, or it can be used as a standalone operating system distribution for i686, x86_64, ARMv7, and AArch64 machines.

                                              1. 1

                                                can I pin my whole config to a particular commit of the package set, and only update gradually? I’m kinda having trouble with this in NixOS

                                                What is the problem you are having with nix?

                                              1. 2

                                                “…horse-and-carriage arrangement is so stable…”

                                                1. 56

                                                  Fortunately, it’s also the best of currently available major browsers, so it’s not exactly a hardship.

                                                  1. 22

                                                    Not on macOS. Sure, it has a whole lot of great features, but it’s just slow. It feels slow, looks slow, and macOS keeps telling me that Firefox is using an excessive amount of power compared to other browsers.

                                                    I guess it’s too much to ask for, for Firefox to feel like a good, native macOS app, like Safari, but the fact of the matter is that that is why I don’t use it as my main browser.

                                                    1. 19

                                                      I use it on Mac OS X and it doesn’t feel slow to me at all. And it’s not using an excessive amount of power that I can tell. Perhaps it’s the version of Firefox being used?

                                                      1. 14

                                                        I’ve been sticking to Safari on MacOS because I’ve read that it really does make a difference to battery life (and I’m on a tiny Macbook so, you know, CPU cycles aren’t exactly plentiful). This thread just prompted me to check this for myself.

                                                        I opened a typical work mix of 10 tabs in both Safari 12.1 and Firefox 66.0.3 on MacOS 10.14.4: google calendar + drive, an open gdocs file, two jira tabs, this lobsters thread (well, it is lunchtime…) and the rest github. Time for some anec-data! :-)

                                                        After leaving both browsers to sit there for 10 mins while I made lunch (neither in the foreground, but both visible and showing a github page as the active tab), these are the numbers I eyeballed from Activity Monitor over about a 30 second period:

                                                        Firefox:

                                                        • Energy Impact: moving between 3.3 and 15.6, mostly about 4
                                                        • CPU: various processes using 0.3, 0.4, 0.5 up to one process using 1.4% CPU

                                                        Safari:

                                                        • Energy Impact: moving between 0.1 and 1.3, mostly around 0.5
                                                        • CPU: more processes than Firefox, but most using consistently 0.0 or 0.1% CPU

                                                        Firefox isn’t terrible but Safari seems really good at frequently getting itself down to a near-zero CPU usage state. I’ll be sticking with Safari, but if I was on a desktop mac instead I think I’d choose differently.

                                                        As an aside, Activity Monitor’s docs just say “a relative measure of the current energy consumption of the app (lower is better)”. Does anyone know what the “Energy Impact” column is actually measuring?

                                                        1. 5

                                                          I have had the same experience with Firefox/Chrome vs Safari.

                                                          I use Chrome for work because we’re a google shop and I tend to use Firefox any time my MacBook is docked.

                                                          But I’m traveling so much, I generally just use Safari these days.

                                                        2. 9

                                                          I use it on Mac OS X and it doesn’t feel slow to me at all.

                                                          If you can’t feel and see the difference in the experience between, say, Firefox and Safari, I don’t know what to tell you.

                                                          And it’s not using an excessive amount of power that I can tell. Perhaps it’s the version of Firefox being used?

                                                          Have you tried checking in the battery menubar-thing? There’s an “Using Significant Energy” list, and Firefox is always on it on my machine if it’s running. And that is both Firefox as well as Firefox Nightly, and it is so for all versions since a long time. My two installs are updated per today, and it’s the same experience.

                                                          1. 1

                                                            If you can’t feel and see the difference in the experience between, say, Firefox and Safari, I don’t know what to tell you.

                                                            There are plenty of people who can’t hear the difference between $300 and $2000 headphones. Yes, there are audiophile snobs who’re affronted by the mere idea of using anything but the most exquisitely constructed cans. But those people are a vanishingly small minority of headphone users. The rest of us are perfectly happy with bog standard headphones.

                                                            Apple likely had to descend through numerous circles of hell while hand-optimizing Safari for the single platform that it needs to run on. Will Firefox get there? Unlikely. Will most users even notice the difference? Most certainly not.

                                                            1. 6

                                                              They will when their battery life is abysmal and they start hearing that it’s because of Firefox.

                                                              I really want to see Firefox get more adoption, but there are a lot of techies with influence who will keep away because of this, myself included. It’s not a convenience thing - I just can’t get to mains power enough as it is in my job, so more drain is a major problem.

                                                              1. 1

                                                                They will when their battery life is abysmal and they start hearing that it’s because of Firefox.

                                                                The problem is that the feedback cycle isn’t even long enough for them to hear about this. The cause and effect are almost immediate depending on your display resolution settings with bug 1404042.

                                                                1. 3

                                                                  This is what happens when you fight the platform.

                                                                  1. 2

                                                                    This is what happens when the platform is hostile to outsiders.

                                                                    1. 8

                                                                      See, I don’t see it that way. I see it as Mozilla deciding on an architecture for their software that renders that software definitely suboptimal on the Mac. It’s just a bad fit. I’m not claiming that Mozilla should have done things differently – they are welcome to allocate their resources as they see fit, and the Mac is most definitely a minority platform. There are many applications that run on the Macintosh that are not produced by Apple that don’t have these problems.

                                                                      iOS is a different story, one where hostility to outsiders is a more reasonable reading of Apple’s stance.

                                                              2. 2

                                                                Now that I’m at work, I’m seeing what hjst is showing. This doesn’t bother me that much because I use the laptop at work more like a desktop (I keep it plugged in). But yes, I can see how Firefox might be a bit problematic to use on the Mac.

                                                              3. 1

                                                                I’ll have to check the laptop at work. At home I have a desktop Mac (okay, a Mac mini).

                                                              4. 4

                                                                There are known issues which are taking a long time to fix. Best example is if you change the display resolution on a retina Mac. You can almost see the battery icon drain away on my machine.

                                                                1. 3

                                                                  I find it depends a lot on what FF is doing - usual browsing is fine, but certain apps like Google Docs or anything involving the webcam make it go crazy.

                                                                  1. 20

                                                                    Google sites, unsurprisingly if disappointingly, don’t work as well in Firefox as they do in Chrome. But that’s really on Google, not Mozilla.

                                                                    1. 15

                                                                      They used to actively break them - e.g. GMail would deliberately feed Firefox Android a barely-functional version of the site. https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=668275 (The excuse was that Firefox didn’t implement some Google-specific CSS property, that had a version in the spec anyway.) They’ve stopped doing that - but Google’s actions go well beyond passively not-supporting Firefox.

                                                                2. 5

                                                                  For me, it feels faster than Chrome on MacOS, but the reason I don’t use it is weird mouse scroll behavior (with Apple mouse). It differs too much from Chrome’s behavior. I don’t know how to debug it, how to compare, what is right behavior (I suspect Chrome’s scrolling is non-standard and it dampens acceleration, while Firefox use standard system scrolling). It just feels very frustrating, but in subtle way: I become nervous after reading lots of pages (not right after the first page). I tried various mouse-related about:config settings but none of them had any effect (and it’s hard to evaluate results because differences are very subtle).

                                                                  Maybe the answer is to use standard mouse with clicky scroll wheel, but I hate clicky scroll wheels. “Continuous” scrolling is one of the best input device improvements of recent times (however it would be better if it was real wheel/trackball instead of touch surface).

                                                                  1. 1

                                                                    Have you tried Nightly yet? I believe there are some great improvements made recently for this. It isn’t all fixed, but it has improved.

                                                                    1. 3

                                                                      I’m on Nightly right now, and it hasn’t improved for me at least.

                                                                    2. -1

                                                                      I think macOS disadvantages apps that compete with Apple products. That’s unfortunate though.

                                                                      1. 7

                                                                        Any evidence for this statement?

                                                                        1. 9

                                                                          Do you have any proof?

                                                                          Anecdotally I use a lot of third-party apps that are a lot better than Apples contemporaries.

                                                                          I just think the truth is that Firefox’ hasn’t spent enough time on optimizing to each platform, and on macOS where feel and look is a huge deal, they simply fall through.

                                                                          1. 1

                                                                            The reports that Firefox has issues on macOS and Apple’s behaviour with iOS, for starters.

                                                                            1. 7

                                                                              Often the simplest solution is the correct one, meaning that it’s more likely that Firefox just hasn’t optimized for macOS properly. If you look at the bug reports on the bug tracker, this seems to be the case.

                                                                              Also if your theory were to be correct, why is other non-apple browser like chromium not having these issues? Could it perhaps be that they have in fact optimized for macOS, or do you propose that apple is artifically advantaging them?

                                                                              1. 13

                                                                                pcwalton hints at twitter that gains that e.g. Safari and Webkit have is through the usage of private API in macOS. You could probably use those API as well from Firefox, at the cost of doing tons of research on your own, while Webkit can just use them. (further down the thread, he hints at actually trying to bind to them)

                                                                                https://twitter.com/pcwalton/status/1068933432275681280

                                                                                1. 3

                                                                                  That’s very interesting, and it’s probably a factor. However these are problems that Firefox have, not all third-party browsers. No Chromium based browser have these issues, at least in my experience. Maybe it’s through privat API that you can optimise a browser the most on macOS, but it doesn’t change the fact that Firefox is under-optimised on macOS, which is why it performs as it does.

                                                                                  1. 8

                                                                                    Point being: Chromium inherits optimisations from apples work which Mozilla has to work hard to develop in a fashion working with their architecture. Yes, there’s something to be said about organisational priorities, but also about not being able to throw everyone at that problem.

                                                                                    I’m really looking forward to webrender fixing a lot of those problems.

                                                                                    1. 1

                                                                                      And it’s a sad fact, because I’d love to use Firefox instead of Safari.

                                                                                      1. 7

                                                                                        Sure, from a users perspective, all of that doesn’t matter.

                                                                                        Just wanted to say that this is hard and an uphill battle, not that people don’t care.

                                                                                        The Firefox team is well aware of those two contexts.

                                                                                2. 0

                                                                                  It’s certainly possible. But at the very least Apple has little incentive to have Firefox work well on macOS. Chrom{e|ium} is so widely used, that Apple would hurt themselves if it didn’t work well on macOS.

                                                                                  I’d be a bit surprised if Mozilla is really falling down on optimising Firefox on macOS. It’s not as if Mozilla is a one man operation with little money. But perhaps they decided to invest resources elsewhere.

                                                                            2. 1

                                                                              That’s true in cases where apps want you to pay for features (like YouTube not offering Picture-in-Picture since it’s a paid feature and Apple wants money for it to happen) but not true in the case of Firefox. Unfortunately, Firefox’s JavaScript engine is just slower and sucks up more CPU when compared to others.

                                                                          2. 7

                                                                            Yeah, I’ve switched between Firefox and Chrome every year or two since Chrome came out. I’ve been back on Firefox for about 2 years now and I don’t see myself going back to Chrome anytime soon. It’s just better.

                                                                            1. 3

                                                                              Vertical tabs or bust.

                                                                            1. 2

                                                                              I could understand liking vi’s command set, I suppose, but I don’t share in the lauding of the program itself. Not only is it nothing special, but it’s not an enviable design to start with.

                                                                              These relevant passages from chapter six, ’‘Terminal Insanity’’, of the ’‘The UNIX-HATERS Handbook’’ come to mind:

                                                                              Unix (through the hand of Bill Joy) took a third approach. The techniques for manipulating a video display terminal were written and bundled together into a library, but then this library, instead of being linked into the kernel where it belonged (or put in a shared library), was linked with every single application program.

                                                                              As a result, Unix never developed a rational plan or model for programs to interact with a VDT.

                                                                              If the Unix aficionados are right, and there really are many users for each Unix box (versus one user per DOS box), then well over two-thirds of the people using Unix are stuck doing so on poorly supported VDTs. The most interactive tool they’re using is probably vi.

                                                                              I’ve thought the ’‘editor war’’ has long been solved, because most people don’t use vi, they use vim, and vim may as well be a far worse Emacs. Emacs also has a first-class notion of an interface that isn’t a terminal, with my understanding that Vim’s is a hack in comparison. In any case, the relatively uncustomizable and ’‘traditional’’ vi has largely been left. I’m not claiming Emacs is by any means perfect or even ideal, merely clearly better; does Vim even have an online help system as Emacs does?

                                                                              Wouldn’t you agree that lauding a program originally written in 1976, a text editor at that, shows a severe lack of progress?

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                                                                                Emacs also has a first-class notion of an interface that isn’t a terminal, with my understanding that Vim’s is a hack in comparison

                                                                                Indeed. Neovim forked Vim and rewrote the UI subsystem, decoupling the layout from the terminal display. This means that Neovim’s terminal UI is merely a client to the Neovim UI server, just like all other Neovim UIs.

                                                                                Emacs has nothing like this. This architecture later inspired xi editor.

                                                                                does Vim even have an online help system as Emacs does?

                                                                                Vim has :help, although Emacs’ help is more “alive” (I seem to recall it having orgmode-like code execution).

                                                                                Wouldn’t you agree that lauding a program originally written in 1976, a text editor at that, shows a severe lack of progress?

                                                                                If progress were made, would you notice it? Vim has online help, but you didn’t notice that…

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                                                                                  Emacs has nothing like this.

                                                                                  Emacs does have a client-server system. You start the server and spawn clients whenever you want to use it. You can even remotely connect to a headless Emacs server through TCP (although it’s a hack, you’re better off just sshing).

                                                                                  It’s just that there’s no alternative client written to communicate with the server. Decoupling the interface from the underlying software is a good idea though.

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                                                                                    Emacs does have a client-server system

                                                                                    Obviously. But it does not have a UI protocol, it is not possible to write an alternative Emacs UI via RPC.

                                                                                    1. 1

                                                                                      It’s not possible at all. It’s just never done so far because it’s not meant to be used outside Emacs itself and the protocol is undocumented. After all, it’s all done through Unix domain sockets (or plain TCP).

                                                                                      1. 1

                                                                                        “I could do that, I just don’t want to” is the standard response that I found in my 12 months in the Emacs community. What specifically are you referring to? I hope something other than emacsclient.

                                                                                        After all, it’s all done through Unix domain sockets (or plain TCP).

                                                                                        emacsclient -t receives literal terminal sequences sent from the emacs --daemon. This is not a decoupled UI, it is quite literally the opposite.

                                                                                        Here’s a sample from strace showing the emacs server sending a blob of terminal sequences, representing the statusline and minibuffer:

                                                                                        write(7, "\33[10;1H\33[30m\33[47m-UUU:@----F2  \33[39;49m\33[1m\33[30m\33[47m*scratch*   \33[0m\33[39;49m\33[30m\33[47m   All (5,0)      (
                                                                                        

                                                                                        That fd 7 refers to -tty /dev/pts/9 which was sent by the client to the server, so the server itself is writing to the tty, that doesn’t even go over the socket.

                                                                                        1. 1

                                                                                          “I could do that, I just don’t want to” is the standard response that I found in my 12 months in the Emacs community.

                                                                                          Okay, you’re right about that one. I don’t like it one bit myself either. It’s harder to write an actual program to work outside Emacs itself than just writing Emacs Lisp scripts.

                                                                                          emacsclient -t receives literal terminal sequences sent from the emacs --daemon. This is not a decoupled UI, it is quite literally the opposite.

                                                                                          Yes, the server keeps the text data you’re working on. The client is literally just a detached UI, meaning you can work with separate clients working on different buffers held in the same Emacs server. (Or on the same buffer. The clients update simultaneously when the buffer is edited.) I don’t see how this disqualifies it from being a UI.

                                                                                          1. 1

                                                                                            Yes, the server keeps the text data you’re working on.

                                                                                            I didn’t say anything about text. Terminal sequences are much more than “text data”.

                                                                                            The client is literally just a detached UI,

                                                                                            I showed above that emacsclient -t only tells the server which tty to connect-to, and then the server itself writes directly to the tty.

                                                                                            So emacsclient is not a UI–but this was never the central point (nor did I even make that claim), merely a funny result found on closer inspection.

                                                                                            I don’t see how this disqualifies it from being a UI.

                                                                                            “Decoupled” is the operative word, not “UI”. Emacs server renders the UI, rather than sending a logical representation of the UI. Supporting multiple clients was never in question.

                                                                                            Neovim server does not send terminal sequences to the client, it sends structured data with a well-defined protocol so that UIs can use any rendering engine or even layout. Emacs has nothing like this.

                                                                                            1. 2

                                                                                              Neovim server does not send terminal sequences to the client, it sends structured data with a well-defined protocol so that UIs can use any rendering engine or even layout. Emacs has nothing like this.

                                                                                              I think I see what you mean now. Yes, Emacs has nothing like that. Whilst it’s very modular in terms of functionality, its actual display code is notoriously monolithic and tied up. I don’t think the UI can be separated that deeply without a total rewrite of display code, something everyone wants since ’90s but no one actually does.

                                                                                2. 4

                                                                                  Wouldn’t you agree that lauding a program originally written in 1976, a text editor at that, shows a severe lack of progress?

                                                                                  …wasn’t Emacs also released in 1976?

                                                                                  1. 3

                                                                                    Yes, in its original incarnation. The version most people would use today is GNU Emacs, which is from 1985 (the second time rms was involved with creating Emacs).

                                                                                    But I agree that a program dating from 1976 doesn’t tell us anything about progress. Part of why Emacs is so good is because it’s been around for so long.

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                                                                                  Vi is powerful (and I love it!), but I don’t think it rocks. All these snippets are composed from useful primitives, but the primitives themselves aren’t easily discoverable. I’m not saying I want Clippy as a vim plugin, but when I’m doing something repetitive and there’s a better way to do it, it would be nice to get a hint that there’s a better way to do it.

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                                                                                    I agree with this. Vim introduced a lot of good ideas, but it’s very, very far from the ideal modal editor in any capacity. But we don’t see all that many iterations of modal editing in the same way we do other text editor features.

                                                                                    1. 2

                                                                                      In your opinion, what’s a more ideal modal editor than vim?

                                                                                      1. 6

                                                                                        The one in my imagination :(

                                                                                        I’d say the two biggest improvements the ideal modal editor would have over vim are:

                                                                                        1. Go noun-verb instead of verb-noun, like how Kakoune does it.
                                                                                        2. User-designed modes.

                                                                                        I really like what Kakoune does, but it’s missing some existing features I want, like a plugin system and a Windows version.

                                                                                        EDIT: I guess I’d also really like a more central focus on the idea that keystrokes are effectively a DSL and take advantage of that. Like making it easy to undo both actions and specific keystrokes. Not only should I be able to undo d3w, but I should be able to undo just the w and return to the state where I’ve already typed in d3.

                                                                                        1. 1

                                                                                          What would you want from a Kakoune plugin system? There’s already a fledgeling ecosystem and some third-party plugin managers if you want something fancier than bare git submodule.

                                                                                        2. 3

                                                                                          vis tries. sam is not strictly a modal editor, but it’s also interesting.

                                                                                          1. 2

                                                                                            I’ve been using vis exclusively for 3+ years now, and started before sam expressions or even lua support. It still kicks in for me, and I didn’t encounter any bugs in a long time. sam expressions coupled with multi cursor makes it feel so powerful and smooth.

                                                                                            I’m definitely keeping it over vim/nvim/whatever!

                                                                                            1. 2

                                                                                              I tried getting into vis for a bit, because the core idea of a lightweight editor with sam-like editing language and multiple cursors is quite neat. Unfortunately I kept running into rather basic bugs, and as far as I can tell the project is unfinished and abandoned.

                                                                                              1. 2

                                                                                                vis isn’t abandoned

                                                                                                It’s just a one-man show, where the man had some other things to do (e.g. life). Also, last commit is from February, I wouldn’t say is “abandoned” by that.

                                                                                                And… I don’t think there’s much to do on this project. It got feature complete at this point, and every other feature you might want is just a matter of few lines in Lua hooking here and there.

                                                                                                1. 1

                                                                                                  Ah good to hear. Earlier this year it was easy to get a different impression.

                                                                                        3. 3

                                                                                          Okay you just gave me the idea to make a clippy vim plugin. A horrible idea.

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                                                                                              I swear, you can’t create anything new these days lol

                                                                                          2. 3

                                                                                            You could try a self-documenting editor.

                                                                                            1. 1

                                                                                              DIsagree. Just because it’s not perfect and you can conceive of something better doesn’t mean vi doesn’t rock for those of us who simply want to leverage its incredible power in creating hyper efficient editing workflows.

                                                                                              In short. Vi may not rock for you because you have the vision for CoutEditor in your head. Great. But for many of us, discovering quantum leaps in editing efficiency which Vi can provide does indeed make it rock.

                                                                                              I’d also argue that the book Practical Vim can be a tremendously useful tool in the discoverability arena.

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                                                                                              I like the argument about the intuitiveness of hashtagging and linking as a layer on top of plaintext, but couldn’t the same be done with bolding for example like **bold** i.e. the markup is not stripped.

                                                                                              1. 9

                                                                                                Good idea. You could do this with other formatting too, such as making # headers bigger while still showing the #s.

                                                                                                You can see an example of this style of formatting in the screenshot of the Mou Markdown editor on its home page. The editor pane on the left shows some of this hybrid formatting. (To try it yourself, download the open-source MacDown editor.)

                                                                                                Taken to its conclusion, this style of formatting is just really good syntax highlighting.

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                                                                                                  and a really nice thing about it is you can copy and paste it just fine!

                                                                                                2. 4

                                                                                                  That’s possible, but it still has the factor that you can accidentally invoke the markdown syntax. Let’s say, for example, that you want to place a shruggie onto a platform like this:

                                                                                                  If you do not implement escape characters at all, then you wind up with ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ where the anatomy is all visible, but the face is tilted sideways.

                                                                                                  If you do implement escape characters, and you hide the escape characters, then you wind up with ¯_(ツ)_/¯ the classic “missing arm” broken shruggie.

                                                                                                  If you implement escape characters, and show them, then you wind up with a correct ¯\_(ツ)_/¯. This is the outcome we want, but that policy is NOT generally good. I had to use escape characters extensively in this site, and I would not have benefited from such a policy.

                                                                                                  1. 3

                                                                                                    You can accidentally invoke the hashtag syntax on Twitter, by using the number sign in front of a number as per normal (see post #1). All the rest of this is just a matter of degree.

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                                                                                                      You can accidentally write an unintentional url, too. Twitter also makes it hard to write a url that will appear as text without mangling and truncation, so even knowing what will happen may not help.

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                                                                                                      How about (sic)? I imagine it as an escape mechanism which nullifies the special formatting of whatever directly precedes it. And, it is already considered “transparent, not part of the text” by most English readers. (Does something like it exist for non-English readers?)

                                                                                                      So:

                                                                                                      The robot prefers to be addressed as 345ART0.

                                                                                                      vs.

                                                                                                      The robot prefers to be addressed as 345*ART*0 (sic).

                                                                                                      I will abstain from speculating about how to handle edge cases, like, a sentence that contains the names of ten robots…

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                                                                                                        You could have it only format whole words. Then users can invent their own ad-hoc ._escaping_, or prepend with any other character to disable formatting. Sure, they then can’t format within words (I almost never do), but it avoids the inadvertent formatting problem.

                                                                                                        Or have [formatting _not apply_ within square brackets] or some other infrequent character sequence.

                                                                                                        I really like this whole concept, by the way.

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                                                                                                          Or have [formatting not apply within square brackets] or some other infrequent character sequence.

                                                                                                          Sadly that would go against markdown (or at least commonmark, to be exact), which I think is worth preserving, especially since it has proliferated itself to become the default limited-markup for websites. And compared to alternatives like bbcode or the markup wikis use, I find it a lot more comfortable.

                                                                                                      2. 3

                                                                                                        Yeah, that’s generally how Emacs handles styling (‘font-locking’) for Org-mode markup.

                                                                                                        1. 2

                                                                                                          If you have a look at the Ulysses app on macOS it does this. It’s a writing app that lets you write in markdown. But what it does is for instance for headings, it has a gutter on the left like a code editor which shows the heading level while still retaining the markdown syntax in the view and stying it based on the heading level selection or markdown. It also extends certains items with inline controls like images, etc…

                                                                                                          You can see an example on their features page https://ulysses.app/features/ it’s a paid product though. I bought it years ago, then it went to subscription and the version I bought was left to rot and constantly crashed and got worse on subsequent versions of macOS.

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                                                                                                          I believe that Open Source has done a few things:

                                                                                                          • It’s been awful for the Free Software Movement
                                                                                                          • It’s been vital in the growth of the technology sector
                                                                                                          • It’s been hurtful for (some, not all) individuals who have chosen to release under Open Source

                                                                                                          Open Source is great for business, bad for people, where as Free Software is great for people, and bad for business. The fact that we continue to protect business over ourselves is frightening in and of itself, but let’s move on.

                                                                                                          I like that Steve looks beyond “open source,” but I don’t agree that lack of focus on “production” is the problem. The problem is that “production” is the default. The problem is that sites like GitHub create “celebrity status” through vanity metrics. The problem is that the herd says “Open Source should be the default.” The problem is that GitHub is a project management tool, which you get by default.

                                                                                                          That means that everyone, including companies, has your attention, by default, just because you choose to dump your source code online to “share the good will.”

                                                                                                          The problem is that we prioritize business over the health and welfare of people, by default.

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                                                                                                            While that’s a very neat paradigm, I don’t think it’s accurate. Linux is released under GPL2, which is obviously a reciprocal (i.e. ‘non-permissive’) copyleft Free Software licence, and it’s made plenty of businesses plenty of money. (Ask Red Hat, for instance.)

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                                                                                                              First, Open Source is different from Free Software.

                                                                                                              Next, Red Hat is an exception, not a rule. It plays well with Free Software, and sells a distribution and support services, primarily. That model, unfortunately, hasn’t shown great success for Open Source, and certainly not for many other companies, in part because there’s literally nothing stopping Amazon from forking your code, undercutting you, and offering the same service after bifurcating your community (e.g. Elastic Search).

                                                                                                              Granted, it could do this with GPL software, too, but corporations are generally scared of the inability to proprietarize GPL stuff.

                                                                                                              Also, sorry, I did not address the Linux part of your comment:

                                                                                                              Plenty of businesses have used Linux in the same way they’ve used Open Source software. Primarily as consumers of something, gratis, so they save money on selling their proprietary product.

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                                                                                                                First, I don’t understand why you start by informing me that Open Source is different from Free Software. Obviously I already understood that point, otherwise I wouldn’t have made the reply that I did.

                                                                                                                Second, Red Hat shows that Free Software isn’t bad for business generally. Maybe Free Software is bad for bad businesses.

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                                                                                                                  I think the Cisco GPL case would support that. The code had value, thus its use by Cisco. Cisco did not want to follow the rules, thus the court case.

                                                                                                                  1. 4

                                                                                                                    If Free Software was generally good for business, Free Software licenses would be rising in usage, and companies would generally be in favor in incorporating GPL, AGPL and LGPL software into their products.

                                                                                                                    They may even allow their own projects to be released under GPL licences, but this, too, does not generally happen.

                                                                                                                    All this points at businesses think that Free Software is fine to use for tooling (have to explain those Res Hat licenses somehow!), but not OK, generally, to modify, and not OK to link in anyway to the proprietary software they sell (SaaS, or otherwise).

                                                                                                                    Happy to see an argument say otherwise, but you really don’t have to look far to see that companies aren’t using/releasing Free Software, generally speaking. Again, there are non-normative counter examples.

                                                                                                                    1. 7

                                                                                                                      I can only re-iterate: maybe Free Software is bad for bad businesses.

                                                                                                                      1. 0

                                                                                                                        I think you need to define “bad businesses.”

                                                                                                                        Edit: And, please don’t “just” say “Businesses that don’t support Free Software,” because that’s obviously non-productive.

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                                                                                                                          It is bad to do things which do not respect the rights of others. Proprietary software does not respect the rights of others. Ergo, proprietary software is bad.

                                                                                                                          1. 2

                                                                                                                            I am a Free Software supporter, but work for a “bad company”, ergo, I am not idealist enough.

                                                                                                                            Other businesses don’t really see proprietary software as bad if it gives them enough leverage, or eliminates toil from work that is not their main value.

                                                                                                                            This could be due to education—if these customers knew they could pay programmers to change Free Software to fix the bugs they had, or add the features they need, would they? Chances are many don’t actually have the budget to do this, fwiw.

                                                                                                                            My accountant complained that his software crashes constantly, but not once did he consider giving it up—it’s too valuable even with its problems.

                                                                                                              2. 4

                                                                                                                where as Free Software is great for people, and bad for business.

                                                                                                                You can sell free software. Most just don’t do it. I think it’s worse for business in that it reduces ROI for a greedy, profit maximizer. I don’t think it’s bad for business in general since it can make money. I think it will vary project by project, market by market. Some things we might not be able to sell or folks would scrape by. That’s bad for business. Anything people or companies might buy might not be.

                                                                                                                1. 4

                                                                                                                  History has shown little success in making money by selling Free Software. Most commonly seems to be selling support contracts, which is fundamentally different.

                                                                                                                  1. 1

                                                                                                                    Does it show that or that most were ideological types who didnt even try to make money?

                                                                                                                    Also, that they charged support instead of for licenses is part of problem. One is a commodity companies try to minimize. The other might have more justified value. In big companies, software licenses and support can even be categorized under different departments. So, companies should license it with support, not sell support.

                                                                                                                    1. 0

                                                                                                                      Are you suggesting the dual license model?

                                                                                                                      This has “worked” in the past (MySQL, for instance), but that resulted in, essentially, proprietary extensions to MySQL, which is not the goal of Free Software. The dual license strategy is good for businesses, bad for people.

                                                                                                                      1. 1

                                                                                                                        re licensing model

                                                                                                                        One of the SUSE people countered me on HN when I claimed you couldn’t license or sell free software by saying they did that themselves. They literally charge a license for GPL’d software. The businesses like it because they have someone accountable. Another person said many businesses won’t use free software because they falsely believe you get what you pay for. Finally, one other guy just GPL’s any code from business apps he makes. The business knows, but doesn’t care, because they’re internal things that aren’t directly a competitive advantage.

                                                                                                                        So, just literally charging businesses a license fee for free software. You can also do dual-license but that’s doesn’t always work. I still encourage trying both. Just gotta make sure the free part is AGPL, Parity, or something super-copyleft. One of those countering me also gave me this article by Stallman encouraging people to sell free software.

                                                                                                                        re “The dual license strategy is good for businesses, bad for people.”

                                                                                                                        You have it backwards. Most of what we see in FOSS world shows that giving it away for free put tons of burdens on the developers and maintainers with almost all the benefit going somewhere else, usually businesses. Some of them are rich, too. The FOSS model so far has been bad for people if they’re developers. I’m in the camp that says it’s better if they can make money to pay their bills, hire extra help for a popular project, etc. If dual-license achieves that, it’s better for people than something that only lets businesses pull in billions while developers get nothing or next to nothing.

                                                                                                                        From there, we look at the various options, what each brings to stakeholders, and choose which is best. Comparing developers not getting paid while businesses get rich to developers getting paid while businesses get rich seems apples to oranges.

                                                                                                                        1. 1

                                                                                                                          The FOSS model so far has been bad for people if they’re developers. I’m in the camp that says it’s better if they can make money to pay their bills, hire extra help for a popular project, etc. If dual-license achieves that, it’s better for people than something that only lets businesses pull in billions while developers get nothing or next to nothing.

                                                                                                                          Open Source is bad for people primarily because it doesn’t preserve that changes must be given back to the people. As a result, it means that companies can exploit good will.

                                                                                                                          A dual license scenario which pays people for their Open Source version, I will admit, is better for developer bank accounts, but eventually equates to the proliferation of proprietary software, which is bad for people.

                                                                                                                          1. 1

                                                                                                                            “ but eventually equates to the proliferation of proprietary software, which is bad for people.”

                                                                                                                            I agree with that. Do note I said they were licensing GPL software. That’s free source, not just open.

                                                                                                                            1. 1

                                                                                                                              Do note I said they were licensing GPL software.

                                                                                                                              I don’t actually understand this. The GPL provides an avenue to pay for the cost of distribution, but gives a user the right to redistribute it (with or without changes), gratis. Do you mean that they are “licensing” the distribution of pre-built binary or even source packages (as Red Hat does)?

                                                                                                                              And if so, can’t I just mirror that? If I can’t, that’s not Free Software under the GPL…

                                                                                                                              1. 1

                                                                                                                                I know, right? I only have a few anecdotes. SUSE made quite a bit of money, though. Almost everyone in those discussions said the companies either (a) will pay to have someone to blame for problems (get fixes) and (b) some won’t use free software since the managers think it’s inherently low quality without reviewing evidence. You can either sell those in (b) on how much better free software is or… sell them free software. ;)

                                                                                                                                It’s apparent to me that a big chunk of businesses just buy most of what they need without going through the trouble to obtain source, build from it, etc. It’s a big enough number that, assuming there’s paying demand for that kind of product, folks should be able to sell it regardless of the license. Also, most of them probably aren’t mixing whole applications with proprietary code in a way where copyleft would bother them. They just use the product as a black box or plug it into some service architecture.

                                                                                                                                This approach probably won’t work if it’s something that mixed like a library. People doing that definitely look at licenses maximizing freeloading.

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                                                                                                                I believe this writing is largely misguided and incorrect.

                                                                                                                Now, I’m not saying Free Software is harmful. What I am saying is that refusing to use a wifi connection on your laptop because there aren’t free drivers helps basically nobody, and only harms yourself.

                                                                                                                It can be said to help the person who rejects the proprietary software. If you think proprietary software is bad, then rejecting it is the only option. This is no different than people telling those who campaign against wars or other such things they’re wasting their time. While I generally dislike the idea, consider the concept of ’‘the tyranny of the intolerant minority’’.

                                                                                                                I realized that a lot of software I used was under a permissive license, and even though I’d prefer if it was GPL’d, the only way to actually realize the dream of improving the software thanks to the source I’d been given was to contribute back, under those terms. So I started to.

                                                                                                                You could’ve simply used copyleft anyway. These people will generally complain about that, remaining silent when companies make proprietary software with their work, but oh well.

                                                                                                                And at that point, the permissive licenses were becoming more and more popular. So I found myself in a strange position: even though I was a passionate Free Software advocate, I found myself near-exclusively building Open Source software. All around me, I saw the assault on copyleft, from all sides. And copyleft was losing.

                                                                                                                It’s not at all surprising that companies encourage the permissive licenses that let them profit off work without contributing back in any way. This is the reason all of these evil companies will constantly mention ’‘open source’’, but not Free Software. The entire idea about ’‘open source’’ is about making it easier for these companies to do this.

                                                                                                                The FSF sees copyleft, and therefore copyright, as a legal tool to enforce software freedom. This sometimes puts Free Software advocates in a strange position. For example, they will campaign passionately against Digital Rights Management, a software tool to protect copyrighted works, yet also support expanding copyright in some cases when it can further the aims of the GPL. (Due to controversy, they’ve stepped back a bit since, as you can see.)

                                                                                                                That’s not a strange position. I agree with the FSF that, ideally, copyright wouldn’t exist, but it’s important that Free Software not be disadvantaged in a world that does have it. A good example is Sweden’s Pirate Party discussing copyright expiration and, I believe it was RMS, point out that this disadvantages Free Software, since it stays useful, whereas compiled proprietary software doesn’t in nearly the same degree, so Free Software should have more protections.

                                                                                                                It’s that the aims and goals of both of these movements are about distribution and therefore consumption, but what people care about most today is about the production of software. Software licences regulate distribution, but cannot regulate production.

                                                                                                                If you build with copyleft software, you must use a copyleft license, which is part of production.

                                                                                                                Those of you who have been around the block a few times may recognize situation number two: it’s what Apple did with WebKit.

                                                                                                                This is also the same basic reason GCC has an Objective C frontend and CLISP is Free Software. Just because a company can act in bad faith doesn’t mean the overall result is bad. Apple is a terrible company for many reasons.

                                                                                                                It’s that the source being open is a necessary, but not sufficient, component of being open source.

                                                                                                                Having a Free Software license is all that’s sufficient. Just because Mozilla uses bug trackers and mailing lists doesn’t mean everyone should. Under this own opinion, Mozilla doesn’t really qualify, because they don’t let any meaningful changes in their garbage browser go through if it conflicts with their malicious agenda.

                                                                                                                I believe that this focus on process is why the GNU project has fallen out of favor as well. The tools that the GNU project uses to develop its Free Software are arcane, ugly, and unique to them.

                                                                                                                A sustained campaign against it helps. Calling GNU/Linux just ’‘Linux’’ is not only insulting, but a big part of it.

                                                                                                                Most developers see that you can use it for no money, and that the software produced with it is open source. They see this as consistent with their values.

                                                                                                                Yes, and these are the same idiots who think they can license their software so ICE and any organization affiliated with them can’t use it and it’s still ’‘open source’’. They’re being intentionally misled by organizations such as Microsoft.

                                                                                                                Programmers today don’t seem to be upset that, if they’ve developed any proprietary extensions to their open source software, that those extensions are not shared back with the community.

                                                                                                                I would be, but that’s because I license most of my software under the AGPLv3, which means it would be illegal to not do so if they shared it through most conventional means. Of course, by using the AGPLv3, many companies won’t touch it, which is fine by me.

                                                                                                                Software licenses can only restrict what people can do when they distribute the source code, and that’s it. It cannot force someone to have a bug tracker, or a code of conduct, or accept your patch.

                                                                                                                Here I see this ’‘code of conduct’’ nonsense being sneaked in. One of these things is not like the other.

                                                                                                                Beyond that, there’s two other major questions: who would do this certification, and how would they determine the criteria? It’s not clear who has the moral authority to suggest that they are the arbiter of what is correct here, and that a majority of people would agree.

                                                                                                                Firstly, I’d reject any certification that emphasized ’‘open source’’ over Free Software. Secondly, the FSF already provides certifications for such things and I’d trust them more than anyone else to do it well enough.

                                                                                                                Another option is some sort of “Developer Union,” which would put pressure on the companies that those developers work at to contribute back to open source projects. Many developers seem rabidly anti-union, and tech companies are as well. I’m not sure this is a viable path, today.

                                                                                                                I can only see such a union as being subverted, in all likelihood. The union would likely implicitly support proprietary software and you can’t force Free Software developers to unionise, unless one offers to pay them for it.

                                                                                                                Something to think about, though.

                                                                                                                I don’t find it particularly thought-provoking, as it’s still not clear precisely what is being gone on about.

                                                                                                                1. 16

                                                                                                                  I don’t find it particularly thought-provoking, as it’s still not clear precisely what is being gone on about.

                                                                                                                  You’re invalidating your own thoughtful response.

                                                                                                                  Fascinating, captain.

                                                                                                                  I’m with Steve. I think a more pragmatic attitude towards software that can be used and re-used by the community at large is exactly what we need.

                                                                                                                  RMS’s attitude was SUPER important in getting this revolution started. We all have him to thank for many of the tools we all rely on every day, but it’s time to evolve past that narrow asceticism and accept that we live in a capitalist society where money matters and closed / proprietary is a fact of life.

                                                                                                                  If Steve Klabnik can accept that, we should all be taking a step back and reconsidering whether our ideals actually make sense in the world we’re currently living in.

                                                                                                                  1. 12

                                                                                                                    RMS’s attitude was super important, but now that everything is half-arsed open source, I can’t be bothered to keep my principles in the face of everyone making a fat paycheck

                                                                                                                    Is how your second paragraph reads to me. I also find it absurd to ascribe Klabnik’s opinion any more value than Stallman’s (they’re not even in the same league on the subject).

                                                                                                                    1. 1

                                                                                                                      Ah yes. Money is evil. Anyone who wants to make money is evil. You are Lawful Good and will now sit in judgement above all of us.

                                                                                                                      Please - tell me about how we should all eschew worldly things and embrace the One True Faith of open source!

                                                                                                                      Some of us have to live in the real world and pay things like health insurance, so we can, you know. Stay alive.

                                                                                                                      Also, your response reads to me as pointlessly snarky and trollish.

                                                                                                                      My point is that pragmatism is a more productive way to live for some of us than some kind of highly principled asceticism. Snark all you want - my point still stands.

                                                                                                                      1. 11

                                                                                                                        Despite all my yearning and healthcare spending, it is exceedingly unlikely that I will ever need more than 7 bits to store my age in years.

                                                                                                                        I knowingly and willingly choose to dedicate my little flash in the pan to an ideal rather than to myself. What are you gonna do, Flash, sue me about it? Mock me? I got bigger problems.

                                                                                                                        Also, “open source” is not the one true faith. The term you are searching for is “free software”.

                                                                                                                        1. 3

                                                                                                                          I have ideals as well. There are things in this world I fight for, and I consider them to be Important. If the evils of installing a proprietary binary blob to make the video on my laptop go are REALLY the hill you want to die on, then good on you.

                                                                                                                          For me, there are more important things to fight for. This is not the hill I choose to die on.

                                                                                                                          1. 12

                                                                                                                            That’s not exactly the specific hill on which I’d sooner die upon than give up control of. But, since we’re talking about it (thanks stallman!) what is a video core anyway, and what is inside that binary blob?

                                                                                                                            Maybe, hypothetically, a superior hill to control would be the “stack of software used to develop blobs for GPUs” hill.

                                                                                                                            But, we don’t have a foothold on that other hill.

                                                                                                                            Meanwhile, this binary blob hill is terrific territory; very easy to defend.

                                                                                                                            To review (skip this paragraph if you like)… The owner of a machine is asked to install a blob she doesn’t like and the reason she doesn’t like it is because it’s opaque and she prefers to reason about her tools. The owner of the blob seemingly doesn’t want it to be transparent because it wouldn’t be so valuable anymore–they act as if they are afraid that the machine owner herself would somehow devalue it. They act as if they are committing some deceit and desperately want to obscure it.

                                                                                                                            Could it be that GPUs are overvalued? That more of their complexity lives in the blob than on the die? Maybe they are insecure? Maybe the basic design is one of those elegant ideas that anybody can implement in a weekend, once they’ve seen an implementation once?

                                                                                                                            Maybe if we can take and keep this hill, then we can take and keep the next one. Perhaps the aforementioned GPU driver devstack hill, and from there the GPU design hill? And onward to the CPU, and the network? (and the companies, and the organizations, and politics, and banks?)

                                                                                                                            There are so many “hills”, so many problems. Well, let me look at the “source code” of some of these problems. “It’s complicated”? Sorry, that isn’t enough to dissuade me, not anymore, not with my friends here to help.

                                                                                                                            The man is sticking it to us every day on every conceivable scale, all the way from “that’s not economical” to “that’s just human nature” and right down to this binary blob thing, which is, in essence, asking you to choose between “watch a youtube video” and “stand up for what you believe in”.

                                                                                                                            Because if you believe in free software, then it only makes sense to believe in free drivers, and free hardware, and free motherboard factory blueprints. Heading back the other direction, it makes sense to believe in free search engine algorithms, and free cellphone networks, and free zoning (land use) and free medical research and free councils and courts and congresses.

                                                                                                                            If you believe in any of those things, then the free drivers fight is an important one because that’s where the action is today. We can win that one! Please everybody stop saying you don’t care about it.

                                                                                                                            ‘Cause we could lose it, too–you know, it’s called a fight for a reason.

                                                                                                                            1. 9

                                                                                                                              Could it be that GPUs are overvalued? That more of their complexity lives in the blob than on the die? Maybe they are insecure? Maybe the basic design is one of those elegant ideas that anybody can implement in a weekend, once they’ve seen an implementation once?

                                                                                                                              I asked hardware engineer that specializes in reverse engineering and countering it why they were so secretive. He said there were two reasons in this order when they talk amongst themselves:

                                                                                                                              1. Hardware, esp micro-architecture, is a patent minefield with companies like ChipWorks tearing chips down to help sue happy companies spot their “inventions” in them. Since that’s costly, being closed means they have to be picky about which tear-downs they buy. Reduces spending on damages and royalties.

                                                                                                                              2. Protect their secrets. It’s often a mix of hardware and firmware like you said. The firmware, if optimized for hardware, can hint at tricks it’s using. Realistically, though, the biggest players are probably constantly tearing down each other’s products with enough patents to block new players. The threat is low for them if it’s a copycat.

                                                                                                                              So, it’s mostly reducing patent suits.

                                                                                                                              1. 2

                                                                                                                                Let me give you an example.

                                                                                                                                In September of 2019, I bought a laptop. I wanted a high end PC gaming laptop. I wanted to be able to play the latest games and not have to fuss with any complicated software configuration - I wanted to be a dumb end user and enjoy the fruits of the PC gaming world. For many people this means running Windows.

                                                                                                                                I also wanted to try running Linux, because I wanted to re-experience Linux on the desktop a full decade later as the last time I’d tried was back in the days of hand edited XF86Config and the closest thing to a ‘desktop’ was the fvwm that ran when X started :)

                                                                                                                                In order to do that given the scenario above, given that my laptop had an Nvidia card in it and, at that time, AMD video chipsets in laptops for gaming were not amazing.

                                                                                                                                First, I tried to use Nouveau, because I actually Prefer to run FLOSS when I can.

                                                                                                                                It didn’t work. Despite the valliant efforts of the Nouveau driver team, my setup suffered from debilitating, crashing bugs that rendered Linux unusable.

                                                                                                                                So, I tried the binary NVidia blob. Flawless.

                                                                                                                                For me, it may be evil but it’s the right compromise to make given the hardware I have on hand. If at some future time, 5 years down the road when it’s time for a laptop upgrade, I can get the gaming performance I want with AMD graphics and the commensurate superb in kernel support they provide, I will do so with aplomb. But at least as of last September, that wasn’t an option.

                                                                                                                                The ascetic would say I should not want to be a dumb PC gamers. The ascetic would say I am not a true devotee of open source. I would tell the ascetic that they may be right but despite my “Deal with the devil” I can now have my cake and eat it to explicitly because of the binary blob from Nvidia.

                                                                                                                          2. 4

                                                                                                                            I don’t think money is evil at all.

                                                                                                                        2. 4

                                                                                                                          Regarding this:

                                                                                                                          Now, I’m not saying Free Software is harmful. What I am saying is that refusing to use a wifi connection on your laptop because there aren’t free drivers helps basically nobody, and only harms yourself.

                                                                                                                          I think there are perfectly pragmatic reasons for doing exactly this: not wanting to have unauditable code as part of your immediate networking environment.

                                                                                                                          Now, really the solution is to remove the wifi card that lacks free drivers and put in one that does have free drivers.

                                                                                                                          1. 1

                                                                                                                            First, you’re assuming that this is a “card” and not a part of a chipset, say in a laptop.

                                                                                                                            Second, you’re assuming that the end user wants to fuss with this level of configuration chop for some level of gained “freedom”.

                                                                                                                            1. 6

                                                                                                                              First&Second, then just run with the non-free drivers.

                                                                                                                              I just pointed out that (1) there is another solution which is at least possible sometimes [if it’s not, you should get a better laptop, but that’s not always an option] other than just refusing to use WiFi, which is in fact what such people would normally do, rather than the caricature of the article; and (2) that users who do care about such things can have perfectly pragmatic reasons (instead of or in addition to ideological ones) for doing so.

                                                                                                                          2. 3

                                                                                                                            I think a more pragmatic attitude towards software that can be used and re-used by the community at large is exactly what we need.

                                                                                                                            It’s not pragmatic for me to make it easier for others to disrespect the rights of their users and hoard software. The GPL and AGPL are pragmatic: they recognise the reality of copyright as it exists and take advantage of it in order to ensure that the rights of software users are respected.

                                                                                                                            Your comment reads to me as ‘thanks for all the great free software; I want to make it proprietary now.’

                                                                                                                            1. 3

                                                                                                                              I am partially blind.

                                                                                                                              When I went to buy a laptop last september, I NEEDED to buy one with a 17” screen.

                                                                                                                              I would have vastly preferred to buy one which had 100% open source driver support for LInux.

                                                                                                                              At that time I could not find such available on the US commercial market.

                                                                                                                              So I made the best choice I could and bought a laptop with an Nvidia card.

                                                                                                                              Am I evil for still wanting to run Linux?

                                                                                                                              I would VERY much prefer that NVidia release the full source code to their drivers. That would be amazing. However they feel it’s in the interest of their shareholders that they protect their IP, and as a service to their customers who wish to run Linux they offer binary blobs to make that work.

                                                                                                                              Do you not remember a time when even such binary blobs weren’t available? Are you saying you’d rather than all those laptops running Nvidia hardware be denied the ability to run free software? What kind of moral high ground does that stance inhabit?

                                                                                                                              This is precisely the kind of lack of pragmatism I see as problematic in the free software community.

                                                                                                                              1. 2

                                                                                                                                In the end I think this is ultimately the flaw with consumer oriented politics. Many don’t have a choice and most don’t meaningfully have a choice. The ability to choose what to consume is a benefit of good fortune. However it also highlights our need to organize.

                                                                                                                                1. 2

                                                                                                                                  Wow oh wow I can’t agree more with this sentiment!

                                                                                                                                  Rather than shaming people for making choices we disagree with, let’s raise the bar on the industry so we can both give people the tools they need and be happy with how we get there.

                                                                                                                                  1. 1

                                                                                                                                    My gosh, yes. It boggles my mind that folks would be encouraged to abstain from purchasing plastic straws for example. The idea is that if people buy less straws, less straws will end up stuck in the mouths of wild animals. Or something like that. This seems so profoundly backwards to me… Isn’t the right answer to shutter the plastic straw factories?

                                                                                                                                    I feel like a lot of non-activist folks would reply (and pardon me if they wouldn’t) that closing factories is harmful to people that own them or work in them or have customers that earn money from them. How should that be answered?

                                                                                                                                    1. 3

                                                                                                                                      What if the plastic straws come from overseas or from another state? It’s hard to say “your factory can’t make this anymore” with the government as the reason (instead of the enforcer of someone else’s property rights).

                                                                                                                                      Fixing an industry by banning things is very hard and not always productive.

                                                                                                                                      But consumers organizing to decide what they will or will not buy is separate and a just fine way of manipulating the market. Just remember to not force people into your organization and you have the foundations of a truly free way to make change.

                                                                                                                                      1. 2

                                                                                                                                        Arguments over the correct extent of government may yet turn out to be our most renewable resource.

                                                                                                                                        It’s hard to say “your factory can’t make this anymore” with the government as the reason

                                                                                                                                        It’s not hard at all for a government to say ‘no plastic straws’. Argument persists over the degree to which it is (or is not) a moral decree to make.

                                                                                                                                        That said, the idea that a ‘no plastic straws’ law wouldn’t change the number of plastic straws seems ridiculous on the face of it. Most people shop at large retailers which tend to follow the law (at least as far as what products they sell).

                                                                                                                                        1. 1

                                                                                                                                          No, the law would likely be effective. It’s only products that we have forced away from large retailers, such as medical procedures and specialized tools that will last even being outlawed.

                                                                                                                                          It’s a dreadful idea for a government to ban an industry where people otherwise will spend money, and that in turn can be taxed. So long as the government is getting its share, and things are done according to the (reasonable) rules, there is no cause for further care.

                                                                                                                                          I want to grow corn. Should the government really be in the business of saying “too many corn growers, you can’t do that”? Or should it let me figure it out. One is freedom. The other is tyrrany.

                                                                                                                                          1. 2

                                                                                                                                            More directly the problem isn’t plastic straws, it’s disposable plastic straws. Furthermore it’s disposable plastic straws for everyone instead of simply those who have an accessibility need. Create lids that are sippable like coffee cups and you’ve solved most of the problem.

                                                                                                                                            1. 1

                                                                                                                                              government

                                                                                                                                              government

                                                                                                                                              government

                                                                                                                                              Ok… I know this is outside of the Overton Window but… be fair to my original suggestion, please. I didn’t say “why don’t we ask the government to ban plastic straws”. I said “shutter the factories”.

                                                                                                                                              In general, I would encourage folks to seek solutions closest to the root of the problem. This disposable plastic straw thing… First off, it’s just an example from recent news. I have not personally confirmed that the straws are harmful to animals and I can certainly think of worse things we’re doing to animals right now. Incidentally, some municipalities did ban restaurants from using their usual straws. Enough disclaimers! When your problem is a bunch of straws stuck in animal mouths, don’t try to stop them being thrown out, or stop them being stuck in cups, or stop them being sold to restaurants, or stop them being shipped. Stop them being manufactured. Now that I think of it, maybe stopping the raw ingredients from being delivered to the straw factory would be a good idea… Maybe stop the oil from being pumped from the ground, since that’s where plastic comes from, right? Wow, lots of problems that animals have today could be solved with that one.

                                                                                                                                              …This got weird. :)

                                                                                                                                              1. 1

                                                                                                                                                How do you shutter factories? How do you stop people from extracting oil from the ground?

                                                                                                                                                1. 1

                                                                                                                                                  Naive answer: it’s probably quickest to use existing “lockout” mechanisms.

                                                                                                                                                  Maybe the real question is, how do you stop people from turning that stuff back on? Conversely, what do factory and oilfield owners currently do to stop crazy people from messing with their equipment?

                                                                                                                                                  Governments have grappled with questions like these forever. Contemporary western governments all use what I would call a ‘graduated response’. You tell them to shutdown a piece of equipment; if they don’t, you lock it out; if they unlock it, you fine them; if they unlock it again, you jail them. Jailing is pretty vulgar: often enough, resistance is met with lethal force.

                                                                                                                                                  Our society accepts, supports, and pays for these practices because, frankly, it’s not the kind of thing you think deeply about every day, but moreover, it was the solution our founders came up with and there isn’t a widely known, clearly superior alternative.

                                                                                                                                                  I guess we’re pretty off-topic by now… Back to “using consumer choice to push for open hardware”? I suggested, in a round-about way, that we should do stuff to prevent the manufacture of closed hardware in the first place.

                                                                                                                                                  What would that look like? Ask the governments to criminalize the manufacture of laptops that require drivers unless the driver source code is open? Ask them to change patent law? Use backhoes to tear up the road to the laptop factories (except some of them)? Anything but this “consumer choice” myth?

                                                                                                                                                  1. 1

                                                                                                                                                    Who orders the lock out tags?

                                                                                                                                                    You yourself are coming back to government forcing the choice.

                                                                                                                                                    1. 1

                                                                                                                                                      Kinda. The reason people do what the government says is because they have a monopoly on violence. Mostly.. Gangs and pirates and terrorists all attempt to violate that monopoly.

                                                                                                                                                      1. 1

                                                                                                                                                        Yeah, we organize to decide what is acceptable violence and what is not. Only through violence, or more peacefully “government” can you just have the factories shuttered. Better to encourage social trends so the shuttering is natural

                                                                                                                                                        1. 1

                                                                                                                                                          I concur that social pressure is favorable if and only if it is effective. If it isn’t, then it’s a distraction.

                                                                                                                                                          The same rubric applies to the other options! Non-governmental violence may well be a deeply distracting ineffectual effort.

                                                                                                                                                          I would like to reinforce my point that the endgame of refusal of government orders is violence. I’m sorta passively kvetching about government here, but mostly just encouraging folks to recognize that throughout most of history, folks have at least kept non-governmental violence on the table, and doing so has put a cap on how much they may be ignored. A society that will literally never fight may be safely ignored. Right? I feel like there is a counterexample out there but I can’t put my finger on it. :)

                                                                                                                                                          …What about a one-two punch? Apply a padlock to the gate of a factory without asking, then use social pressure to keep it there? This is only madness if some other less aggressive tactic is effective, right?

                                                                                                                                                          Finally, I hope we all know this isn’t so much about straws. There are worse factories and plants.

                                                                                                                                                          1. 1

                                                                                                                                                            Straws are just the current, entertaining, foil.

                                                                                                                                                            Either it is illegal violence against the property of others or it is governmental violence.

                                                                                                                                                            By the way, what is the counterexample you have in mind? I’m curious.

                                                                                                                                                            1. 1

                                                                                                                                                              Sorry, I meant literally that I can’t think of one. Uh.. let’s see, DDG for: non-violent success…. Oh, the titles of those results look promising. Maybe I’ve been too pessimistic. That would be nice.

                                                                                                                                              2. 1

                                                                                                                                                Corn isn’t harmful to the commons; plastic is.

                                                                                                                                                Argument over the extent of government power largely turns on the value, validity and extent of the commons.

                                                                                                                                                1. 1

                                                                                                                                                  That’s why I use the example. The moral either stands or it doesn’t. Also corn grown badly can harm the environment

                                                                                                                                                  1. 2

                                                                                                                                                    If the moral justification is ‘disallow behavior which harms the commons’, then yes; fertilizer and pesticide misuse should be controlled just as tightly as plastic straws, assuming a sufficient standard of evidence is met.

                                                                                                                                                    Reasonable people can (and do) differ on the standard of evidence required, the extent to which common property exists (value / validity / extent).

                                                                                                                                                    Once you accept a given thing (eg, healthy wild animals) are common property, the government (as representative of the people collectively) can act to protect their right to that property.

                                                                                                                            1. 33

                                                                                                                              Googling is at least more environmentally-friendly than xeroxing all of the results. But if you’re going to cry about it, I can hand you a Kleenex, or give you an aspirin and a popsicle.

                                                                                                                              1. 7

                                                                                                                                There’s one interesting difference here. Even if Google loses their trademark, they still get to keep the google.com domain name, which is probably what matters to them most anyway.

                                                                                                                                1. 3

                                                                                                                                  Xerox still owns xerox.com, Kleenex still owns kleenex.com, Bayer still owns aspirin.com, and Popsicle still owns popsicle.com. So, I don’t think there’s any difference at all between Google and the other examples GP gives.

                                                                                                                                  1. 2

                                                                                                                                    Though Bayer lost the trademark on aspirin long ago, after WWI, as part of the Versailles Treaty.

                                                                                                                                    1. 1

                                                                                                                                      And yet, they still own the relevant domain, which was the point GP was trying to make.

                                                                                                                                    2. 2

                                                                                                                                      They don’t operate primarily over the web, though.

                                                                                                                                      1. 1

                                                                                                                                        Well, Xerox doesn’t make medicine, and Popsicle doesn’t make printer stuff, and Bayer’s aspirin isn’t something you can easily blow your nose on, and Google doesn’t make a cold frozen ice thing you can suck on. None of them are really operating in fields that the others are. Your point is irrelevant.

                                                                                                                                        1. 2

                                                                                                                                          then you missed the point, somehow. owning a domain obviously gives more advantage to a web company than to a non-web company. those other companies have nothing analogous to a domain name which strengthens the link between the name and the product to a similar degree.

                                                                                                                                    3. 2

                                                                                                                                      Some time ago Microsoft was trying to get people to ‘verb’ Bing. It doesn’t seem to have worked….

                                                                                                                                      1. 2

                                                                                                                                        First response I heard was whether a straight guy would want to talk about “Binging Brad Pitt.” I knew the verb wasn’t going to take at that point.

                                                                                                                                        1. 3

                                                                                                                                          And, perhaps more importantly, what is the past tense of ‘Bing’…..

                                                                                                                                          1. 2

                                                                                                                                            bung

                                                                                                                                            1. 0

                                                                                                                                              I didn’t think about that. Yeah haha.

                                                                                                                                              1. 0

                                                                                                                                                clearly bong

                                                                                                                                                1. 1

                                                                                                                                                  no, that’s the past participle…

                                                                                                                                        2. 2

                                                                                                                                          “I come to lobste.rs for productive discourse and insightful comments”

                                                                                                                                        1. 3

                                                                                                                                          NewPipe is also the sort of FOSS technology that is subversive in a wonderful way, SAMBA also comes to mind.

                                                                                                                                          1. 1

                                                                                                                                            Let’s say (and use) searx[1] instead. I suppose it should be pronounced as per German.

                                                                                                                                            [1] https://www.searx.me/

                                                                                                                                            1. 14

                                                                                                                                              Oh wow – this is an elaborate “prank.” You can actually even view bug reports, git {commits,trees,etc}, … there even are ASCII graphs of the popcon!

                                                                                                                                              In case you’re in need for a gopher client: lynx(1) works well.

                                                                                                                                              1. 4

                                                                                                                                                I use sacc(1), or custom scripts that just does printf '%s\r\n' "$query" | nc "$domain" "$port" and that just works. :)

                                                                                                                                                1. 1

                                                                                                                                                  Or, for Emacs: https://github.com/msnyder-info/gopher.el

                                                                                                                                                  There’s also a Firefox plugin (which I found out about browsing gopher via Emacs….)

                                                                                                                                                1. 4

                                                                                                                                                  Yeah one thing I’ve learned over my career is that there’s a tension between what’s good/productive for “you” and what’s good for the team.

                                                                                                                                                  It’s just like in life – there’s no way around it. As an analogy, I think it’s true that Americans value individualism more but other cultures value the group more. Neither is right or wrong, but it’s a different value.

                                                                                                                                                  I think the key is to recognize this and change your behavior depending on the situation. If you’re working with 100 developers on Clang, follow Clang’s style and choices. If you’re starting your own side project, then go nuts with your own language!

                                                                                                                                                  Also, I think Paul Graham and other “powerful language” advocates would agree 100%… they always advocate small teams as well. I don’t think it’s that controversial!

                                                                                                                                                  1. 2

                                                                                                                                                    There are also differences between what is good (in the longer term) and what is easy (in the shorter term) that factor in.