1. 3

    This is a great piece. Fair, well balanced, and focused on problems and solutions rather than flinging poo or splashy headlines on HN. We need more articles like this in the technical community.

    1. 9

      Why do people think MS is doing all this? Do people really think a company worth 860 billion dollars has anything to give away for free? I do not want to go into MS bashing, but believing that a big company like MS is now altruistic and believing in making the world a better place is just naive. MS wants to be seen as cool and hip with the dev. crowd, esp. the young Sillicon Valley crowd, so that they can sell more Azure. They do not care about software freedom or anything like that.

      1. 12

        Goals can align. Microsoft might care about software freedom because that improves their business in some way. In this case, their goal is obviously to collect metrics about users. Almost all of the code is open though.

        1.  

          I don’t think thats an obvious goal at all - metrics about users. A perfectly acceptable goal is to regain mindshare among developers. vscode can be seen as a gateway drug to other microsoft services, improving their reputation.

          1. 2

            I wonder what metrics from a text editor would be useful to them?

            1. 10

              I want metrics from the compilers I work on. It’d be super useful to know what language extensions people have enabled, errors people hit, what they do to fix them, etc. Sounds mundane at first, but it’d allow me to focus on what needs work.

              1. 8

                Well, VS Code doesn’t choose your compilers :)

                either way, I don’t get the paranoia. Performance telemetry, automated crash reports, stats about used configurations – not stuff that violates privacy in any meaningful way. It’s weird that this gets lumped in together in the general paranoia storm with advertisers building a profile of you to sell more crap.

                1. 8

                  Issue #49161 VSCode sends search keystrokes to Microsoft even with telemetry disabled

                  It’s not even paranoia so much as irritation at this point. I know my digital life is leaking like a sieve, and I’d like to plug the holes.

                  1. 3

                    Kinda clickbait issue title. Yeah, keystrokes are always a lot more worrying than metrics, but this is settings search. I guess you could Ctrl+F search for something secret (e.g. a password) in a text file, but not in the settings.

                    1. 12

                      You know, there was a time when it was big news if a commercial program was caught to “phone home” at all. It didn’t matter what the content was.

                      (Today, you’d call a ‘commercial program’ a ‘proprietary application’.)

                      It’s still a big deal today if an open source/community maintained/free software application ‘phones home’, because reasons: untrusted individuals, the value of big data, and principles of privacy.

                      Now that M$ is in the game, let’s add ‘untrusted corporation’ to that last list.

                      I don’t care what the nature of the data is–I don’t want to be observed. Especially not as I ply my craft–few activities produce measurable signals from any deeper inside myself, and every one of those is definitely on my personal ‘no, you can’t watch!’ list.

                      1.  

                        For me personally, I have no problem adding telemetry to apps I maintain. But I’m sure going to make sure users know about it and can disable it if they want. I think that’s the real issue - consent.

                      2. 5

                        That’s having to think way too hard about what they’re intercepting.

                2. 4

                  Platform it’s running on, type of code being edited, frequency of use for a given feature. Heuristic data about how people interact with the UI. The list goes on. Note also that none of this need be evil. It could be seen as collecting data looking to improve user experience.

              2. 3

                I’d guess they’re after a platform. They want to build a base (using organic growth) that they might later on capitalize on, either by learning from it to invite people to use (proper) Visual Studio or by limiting VSCode’s openness.

              1. 4

                Taking care of our new rescue dog and doing a dog friendly walking intensive pub crawl with friends :)

                1. 6

                  jo is pretty rad, too. It handles creation of JSON much easier than jq.

                  1. 2

                    The problem is jq is becoming a standard and working its way into a bunch of mainline scripts. I wish someone would write a book on it. I can do simple queries but find some of the syntaxes to be impenetrable.

                      1. 1

                        Linking to the manual isn’t really helpful. Do you have other more insightful resources to offer?

                        1. 1

                          None. But I found the manual to be excellent. There’s even examples for almost everything.

                    1. 1

                      Do you have any recommendations to do the reverse?

                      1. 8

                        You want to destroy JSON?

                        1. 1

                          This comment mentions gron.

                      1. 10

                        Were I a Windows user if I had had any doubts about switching browsers before, that right there would clench it for me. It’s like a clingy ex.

                        1. 9

                          For the average user this might have some pretty devastating effects. Firefox is in decline despite being technically incredible because they don’t have a powerful platform to leverage.

                          It seems plausible that in the future essentially every windows user will use Edge, every Apple user uses Safari and every Android user uses Chrome. Chrome is pretty much the only browser people manually install and thats because it’s constantly pushed on users on all google pages as well as IE being horrible.

                          1. 9

                            It’s actually not that bad, as long as all of them agree on a common standard. And now they have to, because otherwise too much of the Web will look broken to too many users. Anything is better than a monoculture, even if it means that Mozilla who’s been pushing for this diversification all these years doesn’t get to claim winning numbers in terms of users. It doesn’t matter. Firefox’s role is to be a constant threat/challenge that keeps other browser developers honest. In a world where we already have 3 major browsers competing besides Firefox, this role just isn’t emphasized.

                            And as The Beast, who once saved the world, Firefox will recede to its lair and keep vigil in case any new sons of Mammon arise from the ashes!

                            1. 1

                              They aren’t though. Apple regularly invents proprietary web standards when they need them and only switches to open standards when another org makes them.

                            2. 1

                              Do you mean that Firefox’s market share numbers are declining?

                          1. 10

                            Multics email development continues at BAN.AI — working on MAIL-11 over DECnet and UUCP.

                            1. 4

                              i have used BAN.AI multics i recommend checking it out for sure

                              1. 2

                                Very cool! Must have missed your previous updates. Are you running atop modern hardware on something liek SIMH?

                                Is there a multics media kit out there somewhere you bootstrapped from or were you the lucky owner of some actual period tape and the ability to read it?

                                1. 5

                                  I’d recommend reading the past thread on the system, which is now a little dated (things move fast) but still a good introduction to the system.

                                  I started this project as something of professional agitator, contacting many Multics people and the past Multics-using sites trying to track down any leads on software (and hopefully backups) that may still exist, and finding what was run at each site. While successes are few and far between, we’ve recovered a surprising amount of software this way.

                                  In some cases software has been available from various disparate collections, but was never integrated, compiled, and run on post-MR12 systems until now. Sometimes this involves correcting OCR errors and retyping listings from scans and microfilm.

                                  In other cases there is known Multics software which is essentially ‘extinct’ but various descendants and forks still exist, so we are working on backporting/crossporting the existing software versions back to Multics - this includes programming languages like XPL and SNOBOL, software packages like REDUCE, MACSYMA, OMNITAB, TeX, etc.

                                  Finally, we are also working to develop new Multics software and ports. We will be distributing the software and updates through a “package management” system via an online MIKSD (Multics Internet Kermit Service Daemon), which we hope to have available and running next year.

                                  The most important utilities and tools from the efforts are being integrated back upstream and will appear in future releases of the base Multics distribution, where appropriate.

                                  The BAN.AI system hopes to become the Multics equivalent of the SDF system, and already has become the de facto “home base” for a lot of efforts — I’m humbled and grateful to be able to work with so heroes of computer culture and science.

                                  We recently completed the initial implementations of a few fun projects, including Internet email and DECnet.

                                  I’d really recommend logging in and reading the system news (pmotd -a) to get an idea of what we’ve been working on lately!

                                  1. 2

                                    Thanks for the reply I’ll definitely do that! Has any thought been given to backporting ssh or telnet? Just wondering because I can’t connect with the web app due to cranky corporate firewalls :)

                                    1. 2

                                      You can mosh or ssh to dps8@m.trnsz.com and you can also telnet to m.trnsz.com on port 52815.

                                      1. 2

                                        Thank you very much! Exploring systems like this is so enlightening for folks like myself who really dig computer history and UNIX history in particular.

                                        Like I couldn’t help but notice that the help system reminds me a lot of our long lost “friend” GNU info! :)

                                        1. 1

                                          The info pages are brief, usually similar to man pages.

                                          The ‘paper’ documentation, most of which is in our document archive, not always up to date for the latest release however, is the main source, but is indexed online.

                                          The where_doc (wdoc) command locates the appropriate manual. Try ‘wdoc fnp’ or ‘wdoc directory’ or ‘wdoc fortran’ - or any keyword.

                                          There is also explain_doc (edoc) which summarizes a manual and shows you the table of contents. Example: ‘edoc AG92’ or ‘edoc AK50’

                                          Between prints of the documentation, the errata is available online. You can use ‘lh errata’ to see all the available errata.

                                          (Retyping all the documentation from scans back into “compose” source code is something nobody wants to do, a gargantuan task - but will probably have to be done eventually!)

                                          Another thing, probably the inspiration for the bugs section of UNIX man pages, are error info documents. These document all the open trouble tickets that still shipped with a release. You can type ‘lh errors’ to see a list, or for example ‘help lisp.errors’ or ‘help probe.errors’

                                          1. 1

                                            Wow that’s a nice leg up. Thanks! WRT hand typing in the paper docs - could you use OCR and then hand correct the bits it gets wrong? That might at least reduce the task’s size somewhat?

                              1. 5

                                Diving into the guts of Linux and figuring out why my Alienware R5 17 doesn’t properly wake after suspend. Thankfully there’s an excellent doc on digging into this and I can’t wait to work through it: https://wiki.ubuntu.com/DebuggingKernelSuspend

                                (Resuming properly on wake from suspend is the last thing I need to get working on this new laptop. Otherwise it’s an amazing battle tank of a machine :)

                                1. 2

                                  It’s really shitty that OS/2 Warp didn’t make it and continue to grow into a consumer operating system.

                                  Imagine a world today where average consumers had a choice between three major operating systems instead of just two.

                                  1. 2

                                    I realize The Year of Desktop Linux has been upon us for DECADES at this point, but I really do think things are maturing over there to the point where it’s becoming more and more of an option.

                                    Even commercial applications and games are starting to fall into place with Valve’s recent investment in Proton, and Snaps/Flatpaks are making Linux a much more viable platform for consumer commercial development.

                                    But yeah, it’s a shame OS/2 never took off. Just another instance where IBM couldn’t market itself out of a paper bag. Amazing technology, crap marketing, and ultimately marketing = adoption to a large extent.

                                  1. 3

                                    Ah, reading 6502 assembler warms the cockles of my heart :) I was always an Atari guy, but am appreciating the Apple II more and more over time if only because of its cultural gravitas.

                                    1. 2

                                      I ran it in Qemu. It didn’t work quite right and some things were glitchy, but well worth the download to play around with.

                                      It really is a fascinating piece of “outsider art”.

                                      Also thought this article posted here years ago was interesting as well: https://www.jwhitham.org//2015/07/porting-third-party-programs-to-templeos.html

                                      1. 1

                                        The federation relay support and admin CLI seem like nice additions. I’m glad they’re doubling down on Docker support. I installed my instance before that was formalized and when I tried to upgrade to 2.4 my instance basically blew up such that nobody including several of the core devs could figure out what was wrong beyond “Seems like a back end problem.”.

                                        I’ve decided I don’t need to run my own instance and am happily at feoh@cybre.space but making it easy for those who do want to take the plunge is important, so good on them! Overall a super great project and I’m thankful for all the work that’s gone into it. I love the Fediverse and get way more out of my interactions there than on Twitter.

                                        1. 1

                                          I get that mental illness gives old mate a pass on the racist diatribes, but most of those “features” are really bad ideas.

                                          1. 7

                                            As the article put it:

                                            Don’t write things off just because they have big flaws.

                                            That said, would you please expand on why most of the features are really bad ideas?

                                            1. 11

                                              I may be the only user of my computer, but I still appreciate memory protection.

                                              1. 5

                                                More to the point: Practically every, if not every, security feature is also an anti-footbullet feature. Memory protection protects my data from other people on the system and allows security contexts to be enforced, and it protects my data from one of my own programs going wrong and trying to erase everything it can address. Disk file protections protect my data from other users and partially-trusted processes, and ensure my own code can’t erase vital system files in the normal course of operation. That isn’t even getting into how memory protection interacts with protecting peripheral hardware.

                                                Sufficiently advanced stupidity is indistinguishable from malice.

                                                1. 15

                                                  But that’s not really the point of TempleOS, is it?

                                                  As Terry once mentioned, TempleOS is a motorbike. If you lean over too far you fall off. Don’t do that. There is no anti-footbullet features because that’s the point.

                                                  Beside that, TOS still has some features lacking in other OS. Severely lacking.

                                                  1. 1

                                                    Beside that, TOS still has some features lacking in other OS. Severely lacking.

                                                    Like?

                                                    1. 12

                                                      The shell being not purely text but actual hypertext with images is lacking in most other os by default and I would love to have that.

                                                      1. 6

                                                        If you’ve never played with Oberon or one of its descendant systems, or with Acme (inspired by Oberon) from Rob Pike, you should give it/them a try.

                                                        1. 0

                                                          If you start adding images and complex formatting in to the terminal then you lose the ability to pipe programs and run text processing tools on them.

                                                          1. 13

                                                            Only because Unix can’t comprehend with the idea of anything other than bags of bytes that unformatted text happens to be congruent with.

                                                            1. 4

                                                              I have never seen program composition of guis. The power of text is how simple it is to manipulate and understand with simple tools. If a tool gives you a list of numbers its very easy to process. If the tool gives you those numbers in a picture of a pie chart then it’s next to impossible to do stuff with that.

                                                              1. 7

                                                                Program composition of GUIs is certainly possible – the Alto had it. It’s uncommon in UNIX-derived systems and in proprietary end-user-oriented systems.

                                                                One can make the argument that the kind of pipelining of complex structured objects familiar from notebook interfaces & powershell is as well-suited to GUI composability as message-passing is (although I prefer message-passing for this purpose since explicit nominal typing associated with this kind of OO slows down iterative exploration).

                                                                A pie chart isn’t an image, after all – a pie chart is a list of numbers with some metadata that indicates how to render those numbers. The only real reason UNIX doesn’t have good support for rich data piping is that it’s hard to add support to standard tools decades later without breaking existing code (one of the reasons why plan9 is not fully UNIX compatible – it exposes structures that can’t be easily handled by existing tools, like union filesystems with multiple files of the same name, and then requires basically out-of-band disambiguation). Attempts to add extra information to text streams in UNIX tools exist, though (often as extra control sequences).

                                                                1. 3

                                                                  Have a look at PowerShell.

                                                                  1. 3

                                                                    I have never seen program composition of guis. The power of text is how simple it is to manipulate and understand with simple tools. If a tool gives you a list of numbers its very easy to process. If the tool gives you those numbers in a picture of a pie chart then it’s next to impossible to do stuff with that.

                                                                    Then, respectfully, you need to get out more :) Calvin pointed out one excellent example, but there are others.

                                                                    Smalltalk / Squeak springs to mind.

                                                                    1. 2

                                                                      Certainly the data of the pie chart has to be structured with such metadata that you can pipe it to a tool which extracts the numbers. Maybe even manipulates them and returns a new pie chart.

                                                                  2. 3

                                                                    You don’t loose that ability considering such data would likely still have to be passed around in a pipe. All that changes is that your shell is now capable of understanding hypertext instead of normal text.

                                                                    1. 1

                                                                      I could easily imagine a command shell based on S-expressions rather than text which enabled one to pipe typed data (to include images) easily from program to program.

                                                                2. 1

                                                                  But why do I want that? It takes me 30 seconds to change permissions on /dev/mem such that I too can ride a motorbike without a helmet.

                                                                  1. 2

                                                                    That is completely beside the point. A better question is how long would it take you to implement an operating system from scratch, by yourself, for yourself. When you look at it that way, of course he left some things out. Maybe those things just weren’t as interesting to him.

                                                                    1. 1

                                                                      You could do that, but in TOS that’s the default. Defaults matter a lot.

                                                                      1. 2

                                                                        /dev/mem more or less world accessible was also the default for a particular smartphone vendor I did a security audit for.

                                                                        Defaults do matter a lot…

                                                                  2. 8

                                                                    If there are no other users, and it takes only a second or two to reload the OS, what’s the harm?

                                                                    1. 6

                                                                      Its fine for a toy OS but I dont want to be working on real tasks where a bug in one program could wipe out everything I’m working on or corrupt it silently.

                                                                      1. 11

                                                                        I don’t think TempleOS has been advertised as anything other than a toy OS. All this discussion of “but identity mapped ring 0!” seems pretty silly in context. It’s not designed to meet POSIX guidelines, it’s designed to turn your x86_64 into a Commodore.

                                                                3. 2

                                                                  Don’t write things off just because they have big flaws.

                                                                  That’s pretty much the one and only reason where you would want to write things off.

                                                                  1. 14

                                                                    There’s a difference between writing something off based on it having no redeeming qualities and writing something off because it’s a mixed bag. TempleOS is a mixed bag – it is flawed in a generally-interesting way. (This is preferable to yet another UNIX, which is flawed in the same boring ways as every other UNIX.)

                                                                4. 2

                                                                  This is probably not what you meant to imply, but nobody else said it, so just to be clear: Mental illness and racism aren’t correlated.

                                                                  1. 2

                                                                    Whatever is broken inside somebody to make them think the CIA is conspiring against them, I find it hard to believe that same fault couldn’t easily make somebody think redheads are conspiring against them.

                                                                    1. 2

                                                                      You’re oversimplifying. There are many schizophrenic people in the U.S., and most of them are not racist. Compulsions, even schizophrenic ones, don’t come from the ether, and they’re not correlated with any particular mental illness. Also, terry’s compulsions went far beyond paranoia.

                                                                1. 1

                                                                  The thing that has always turned me off about HN is there’s no way to turn all the entrepreneur stuff off. I do not want to start a company. At all, very likely ever :)

                                                                  1. 4

                                                                    It’s an interesting set of questions. A few of them feel a bit unrelated to sysadmin skills though, or are oriented around a very particular mindset.

                                                                    For instance “Have you contributed to an open source project?”

                                                                    That is an awesome question and can say all kinds of things about a candidate but says NOTHING about sysadmin skills IMO.

                                                                    1. 6

                                                                      Nothing tech related, but interesting nonetheless - I’m helping my wife prepare a fairly large trove of WW2 era photographs and correspondence from her grandpa who was an MP and served through most of the European campaign, including the liberation of the concentration camps. Heady stuff, but amazing, and I’m super glad it’s going to be preserved for scholarship in posterity.

                                                                      1. 2

                                                                        We (Amazon Web Service Elastic Filesystem) are!

                                                                        https://www.amazon.jobs/en/jobs/703035/software-development-engineer-ii

                                                                        Don’t believe the hype. Working for Amazon has been a literal life changer for me. Nothing is ever perfect, and this place is no exception, but there’s plenty of awesome around here and we work at a scale that few can match. The job is full of challenges and it’s a VERY different day to day experience from any company I’ve ever worked, but I love it.

                                                                        Most of our work is Java or C/C++ and a bunch of Python on the infrastructure side.

                                                                        Feel free to list me (cpatti at amazon dot com) as a referral if you apply, and let me know so I can connect the dots internally :)

                                                                        1. 2

                                                                          Hey @feoh! I’ve several times tried to apply for an SRE where I live but NEVER got any answer back. My profile is probably still a bit too young (4years exp), but I’m looking for great environment and teams to learn from. Would you have any idea about the profile matching this kind of job @ Amazon?

                                                                          1. 2

                                                                            It depends very much on the job level of the job in question.

                                                                            Also I don’t exactly know what “SRE” maps to in Amazon-ese :) My job title is “System Development Engineer” and that’s a good guess, but I’m not sure.

                                                                            If it’s a SysDE role, things we look for generally are:

                                                                            • Solid coding ability: You need to be able to implement simple algorithms and solve common systems problems in code. In practice this means you should know an actual programming language, not just bash, and be able to demonstrate that with a simple collaborative coding task.

                                                                            • System design at scale

                                                                            • A functional understanding of networking

                                                                            And then there are the less technical areas like our Leadership Principles. Definitely do some thinking on those and how each might apply to various situations in your career.

                                                                            As to finding a way in - network! Amazon has a sizable presence on LinkedIn. Reach out and politely ask quesitons of people, and don’t be afraid to be persistent. People are busy and may not get to you right away. Just be respectful of the fact that you’re asking for a leg up and you’ll be surprised at the response you might get.

                                                                            Good luck!

                                                                            [Note - I’m not speaking for my employer, just giving you my impressions of what we tend to look for in this one particular area.]

                                                                            1. 2

                                                                              Thank you so much for this comprehensive answer! That’s super helpful and I’ll definitely give a try!

                                                                          2. 1

                                                                            Every once in a while I get poked at by an Amazon recruiter on LinkedIn. Usually, I say it sounds awesome but I’m not willing to relocate, and I never hear back. :P

                                                                            1. 4

                                                                              I hear you. It was like that here for a long time too, and then around 5-6 years ago our director pitched a Boston office to the Seattle management chain and it worked. Now we’re booming.

                                                                              It’s kind of frustrating how cavalier some recruiters are about locating. My answer usually shuts them up “My wife is a VP at a bank, makes more than me, and has held the same job for 15 years. There is NO way we’re gonna give that up.”

                                                                              1. 2

                                                                                Recruiters seem to believe, and in the aggregate they’re correct if only because it’s a self-fulfilling prophecy, that anyone who would answer their unsolicited emails can’t afford to be picky.

                                                                                1. 2

                                                                                  I’ve wondered about that. Like, as in, what is their ACTUAL success rate? I get the impression that tech recruiting is one of those fields like real-estate. There WAS mad money to be made for a while so a lot of people got into it. But these days, with the web and with much better networking all around.

                                                                                  1. 2

                                                                                    It’s hard to tell. I expect that some of the larger “hiring” websites have some data on it for their own purposes, but for the rest of us, I don’t see any way to find out.

                                                                          1. 4

                                                                            It’s just embedded into bash like DSL’s do in LISP’s.

                                                                            And still suffers from all limitations of its host language. :)

                                                                            Don’t get me wrong, I do think it’s a noble effort, but myself I’m on a crusade to eliminate shell scripts as much as possible. I believe the future belongs to embedded DSLs that make executing and composing external commands easy. In my main project I rid the build configuration scripts of shell almost entirely, and it’s got so much easier to maintain and extend.

                                                                            1. 2

                                                                              That was my feeling when I looked at it as well.

                                                                              “Oh hey look, they built a skateboarding dog! Neat!”

                                                                              I hope someone got enjoyment out of building it, because I can’t ever imaging recommending this to anyone for anything serious.

                                                                              1. 2

                                                                                There’s one bash library that I actually find handy for testing command line utilities though: https://github.com/lehmannro/assert.sh

                                                                              2. 2

                                                                                Maybe the two don’t have to be mutually exclusive: Michael MacInnis: Oh a new Unix shell - BSDCan 2018

                                                                                Though, that said, I’d personally gravitate more towards DSLs than traditional shells if I were to choose.

                                                                              1. 8

                                                                                Installing Ubuntu 18.04 on my new Alienware 17” R5 laptop! Totally love the hardware. It’s very reminiscent of the early 2000s era 17” Power/Macbooks I fell in love with. A really nice non squishy keyboard with actual key travel and tactile feedback, really superb build quality and a GORGEOUS display.

                                                                                Two issues remain to be tackled: 1) I’m clueless about UEFI / EFI boot and need to figure it out. Grub install failed and apparently from workarounds I’ve seen posted I need to create a small EFI “boot” partition on my boot SD. 2) I need to get the trackpad working. Posted workarounds from earlier revs seem to indicate it’s fairly standard Synaptic fare and a couple of tweaks and a mobprobe or two should get it working.

                                                                                I am positively stoked to be able to play with Linux desktop software again. It’s been almost 10 years and HOLY GUACAMOLE BATMAN have things improved!

                                                                                Super grateful to whoever at Canonical coded the accessibility features I need. I literally can’t even computer without them :) (Full screen zoom and adjustable text size in every UI component).

                                                                                1. 9

                                                                                  FWIW I really like Overcast, an independent mobile podcatcher (iOS/web) https://overcast.fm

                                                                                  Anyone else have a podcatcher they recommend?

                                                                                  1. 5

                                                                                    I use antennapod. I’m a heavy podcast listener, 3h of traffic everyday, 100 hours a month.
                                                                                    The application doesn’t limit itself to itune you can also search on https://www.gpodder.net/ and others, or still add your own RSS feeds. It’s open source, so no ads and only good features that the people use.

                                                                                    1. 2

                                                                                      +1 for Antennapod. It has its bugs, but the UI is simple but still functional enough for me.

                                                                                    2. 1

                                                                                      I really like PocketCasts.

                                                                                      1. 1

                                                                                        I’ve used them all and for IOS Overcast is the clear winner IMO. I wish they’d polish their web player a bit but other than that it’s totally fab.

                                                                                      1. 1

                                                                                        Here’s my issue with this article. The author posits that most podcatchers will remove the ability to subscribe via a URL.

                                                                                        This makes no sense to me at all. There are many cases where people might want to listen to podcasts not offered through GOOG or APPL.

                                                                                        Every podcatcher I have access to still supports and explicitly provides options for this.

                                                                                        1. 5

                                                                                          Op here,

                                                                                          I’m saying “I won’t be surprised if these apps gradually and silently remove this feature”. Of course, I can’t know this, but this is what I’m afraid of. And I don’t think it’s that crazy to imagine.

                                                                                          1. 1

                                                                                            It’s a valid concern. I guess I feel like as long as there’s any kind of application ecosystem on a given device, there will always be a podcatcher that allows subscriptions via bog standard RSS URL.

                                                                                          2. 4

                                                                                            I subscribe to a lot of RSS feeds, including podcasts and there’s been a worrying trend over the last year or two where new podcasts don’t even provide a direct RSS/Atom feed.

                                                                                            You have to visit their site to download the mp3 manually like some kind of animal. Or worse still, they make some stupid javascript widget or expect you to use a 3rd party app, or they proudly say it’s on itunes - which doesn’t expose the RSS feed - I had to write a scraper to get the RSS feed from the itunes page myself.

                                                                                            Same with blogs too. So many blogs now don’t have a feed. You’re expected to go to the site to check for new content.

                                                                                            The slow demise of RSS/Atom is a really worrying situation fo me and very few people seem to care.

                                                                                            1. 1

                                                                                              That is disappointing, and surprising given that there are companies like Feedly and Flipboard among others whose sole business relies on consuming RSS-ish feeds.

                                                                                            2. 1

                                                                                              How was the author saying that? Sounded like they were saying the other way around, if a podcaster posts just over RSS on their site then users on just Apple won’t see it on Apple by default.

                                                                                              1. 2

                                                                                                I think you’re conflating two things.

                                                                                                There are two problems here:

                                                                                                1. Unless you take explicit steps, merely publishing an RSS URL will not get your podcast into iTunes/Google Play
                                                                                                2. The author is worried that podcatchers (which now all provide this feature, if perhaps in an undocumented way for some) will remove the capability of subscribing to podcast RSS feeds via URL.
                                                                                                1. 2

                                                                                                  Oh you said podcatcher. I read that as podcaster because I never heard of it called a podcatcher but that makes sense now.