1. 7

    So now product placement is allowed and even gets more upvotes than actually interesting content? mmmm

    1. 10

      I was thinking of posting an article to the various announcements on different sites but decided to post the product page instead to avoid the complaint about blogspam.

      Here’s why I think that thing is interesting:

      • A complete reimplementation of a Gameboy in FPGA. If I posted a Github link to that it would’ve been exciting for the hack-value of that alone
      • An insanely hi-res screen (that some commenters here including me didn’t know existed)
      • A second FPGA that might be useful for programming and is meant to be programmed
      • A seller with a reputation of shipping good products, so it is not just vaporware and pretty renders
      • A niche product that many people might miss. If I had posted the new iPhone, that would’ve been pretty boring

      I am sorry you don’t find it interesting and I agree that this is a borderline post, but rest assured I used my best judgement to post something that is actually interesting at least to and a few other fellow crustaceans.

      1. 6

        There’s no code on this page, there’s no link to Github, and the thing isn’t even being sold until 2020.

        It’s product dev-washing.

        1.  

          Maybe, but it wasn’t posted by their company dev (see leonidas’s comment above), it’s kinda cool, it looks closed source anyway so I doubt there’s a github .. I mean you’re probably right, but it was still posted in good faith as something tech peeps would be interested in.

      2. 6

        Some people, me included, get excited about new handheld gaming devices, specially if it is not emulation.

        1.  

          I mean, it’s still emulation, in the sense that it’s Analogue’s best guess at how the Game Boy Advance worked, rather than licensing the original hardware design from Nintendo. It’s just not software emulation, so it can be more power-efficient than a general-purpose CPU.

          1.  

            Makes you wonder what edge cases it might fail on with some of those crazy cartridges with their co-processors and other weird chips onboard. I doubt there were as many of these in the portable space as with the SNES (with games like StarFox), but there are probably a few out there.

            1.  

              it’s still emulation

              If anything it’s simulation. The hardware isn’t faked, it’s real transistors and everything else. That’s a huge difference.

              1.  

                It’s a huge difference in technology, but does it make any perceptible difference to the user?

            2.  

              I think Nesh’s aversion comes from the content being an attempt to sell you this device in exchange for your hard-earned cash, not that it’s about video games

              1.  

                I see. Yes, it makes sense. I saw the post from a different angle which is best summed by the bullet list in this previous comment by the op

          1.  

            A well-meaing mod has removed the source document from this article. It’s EWD 1036, available in the EWD archive.

            1. 7

              “Software developers are domain experts. We know what we’re doing. We have rich internal narratives, and nuanced mental models of what it is we’re about, …”

              For a large proportion of software undertakings surely this is not true. Much of software development is outside the domains of the computing and data sciences, and computing infrastructure. While popular to consider that these are the only endeavors of importance to today’s developers, the modeling of systems in domains other than these into code represents the majority of software running in the world today.

              In these, we don’t know to model reliably and predictably, the systems that stakeholders (think they) want, and that external domain experts know. How can one consider applying scientific rigor to that?

              1. 3

                Great point. You are certainly correct that software developers are not always experts in the domains of their products. They are still experts in the domain of their tools and practices though, so they should be considered “domain experts” from the perspective of researchers.

                1. 1

                  They are still experts in the domain of their tools and practices though

                  I like this degree of optimism, and hope one day to overcome my experience enough to share it!

              1. 1

                Congratulations! What is your caching story right now–it seems a little slow to revisit some pages?

                1. 1

                  At the moment there is no caching. However, it’s slower than it should be. Need to tweak some elastic beanstalk settings, I guess

                1. 15

                  I’m a bit disappointed that the interviewer didn’t mention a single question regarding addiction or any ethical dimension. It’s kind of been assumed that not liking pornography is just a conservative, right-wing thing, but I don’t think that’s correct. I personally perceive it to be pushing harmful stereotypes (both as in what women should look like, or how intimacy should look like), and then there’s the problem with trafficking, and never knowing what’s actually going on behind the scenes. Chomsky says it well.

                  Setting aside things like these, which should be enough to say something isn’t right, but knowing the digital world (where creating addictions has become a common and often even necessary business model) reading

                  you have to be clever to innovate at the bleeding edge of the web.

                  makes me somewhat uneasy. Especially a front end developer should have to think about these questions. They are the ones tasked with creating “seamless experiences”, ultimately, disregarding the influence it has on people’s daily and personal life’s. I don’t think the interviewer should have just glossed over this. YouTube has hateful or harmful videos, but their raison d’être isn’t hosting them. PornHub will have it a bit harder that hosting and spreading pornography isn’t a big part of what they are.

                  From the technical perspective it’s somewhat interesting, I guess. It’s about the problems of high-demand video streaming, probably above the level of most other video sites, but still way below sites like YouTube. That’s like having an interview with a slaveholder on what kind of whips they have found to have the best quality CIA agent on what the best strategies are to manipulate a foreign election.

                  Edit: Rewrote a few sentences to avoid confusion, and replaced my analogy with a different one.

                  1. 13

                    I’m a bit disappointed that the interviewer didn’t mention a single question regarding addiction or any ethical dimension.

                    Porn has been around a really long time. I’m pretty sure there’s nothing new to be discovered or discussed almost anywhere on earth on the topic, much less here.

                    Like, the human race has brute-forced about every part of that solution space we can. There is not a dirty thought we can have that hasn’t occurred to scores of other people at one point in history or another–of this I’m certain.

                    1. 21

                      Porn has been around a really long time.

                      Not in the way it is now, as an endless torrent on demand. Modern porn has demonstrably changed society in ways that ancient porn did not. For example, women now believe that pubic hair is unclean and as a result of excessive pubic hair removal are getting health problems that pubic hair can prevent.

                      Also, just being around forever does not categorise something as innocuous or beneficial.

                      1. 3

                        Hairstyles have been coming and going in fads ever since we left the trees and discovered hair can be cut and washed. Having this apply also to pubic hair is not exactly a huge change.

                        1. 3

                          As the article notes, gynecologists disagree, but what do they know, I guess.

                      2. 8

                        Like comparing chewing coca leaves to mainlining cocaine.

                        1. 3

                          Quantity acquires a quality of its own, you know. Not to mention that quality is altogether different as well: 4K video isn’t the same as a blurry black and white photo. There’s a strange blindness to this effect in the tech industry, whether it comes to social media, endless tsunami of content on Netflix, or indeed porn. Much like Facebook’s idea that more communication is unconditionally better has backfired spectacularly, maybe it’s the same with porn. And then of course there’s also all the engineered “engagement” in all these areas. Don’t be so quick to say it’s all totally harmless.

                          1. 0

                            Well-put.

                          2. 6

                            I’m a bit disappointed that the interviewer didn’t mention a single question regarding addiction or any ethical dimension.

                            The audience is web developers wanting to read something interesting about web development at a big company. They also want most of them to enjoy the article. Talking about the damage they might be doing doesn’t serve either purpose. Most would’ve just clicked the little X or otherwise moved on.

                            There’s been a lot of good writing on that subject for anyone looking for it. The key words are easy to guess.

                            1. 6

                              You’re kinda circling back to the same point. Yes, talking about ethical implications of our jobs is hard, and uncomfortable, but it’s necessary. Of course nost people don’t want to do it, off course most people don’t want to read about it. But it’s our responsibility to talk and to read about those things. “I don’t like doing it” is not a valid excuse for not doing something it’s your responsibility to do.

                              That said, the comparison with slavery is a bit out of place, imo.

                              1. 10

                                You’re doing that trick many people do here where it becomes all or nothing in every post, forum, etc. The stress of introspecting on these topics make many people do it at certain times and read relaxing content at other times. They’re fine splitting it up. Dare I’d say most people prefer that based on that simply being most popular way content is done online.

                                Then, other people think they should be mentally engaged on these topics at all times in all articles, forums, etc due to their importance. They also falsely accuse people of not caring about social responsibilities if they don’t discuss them in every article where they might come into play. You must be in that group. Author of the original post and their audience is not. Hence, the separation of concerns that lets readers relax just focusing about web tech before optionally engaging with hard realities of life at another time in another article.

                              2. 2

                                This isn’t a “what if my open source library was used by some military”-kind of question, I think that there is a much stronger connection between the two. Front end design is related to user behaviour, and I still consider this relation to be a technical question (UI design, user protection, setting up incentives, …).

                                If the interviewer had asked these questions, and the interviewee had chosen not to comment, that would have been something, but the article currently just brushes it away affront by saying “ Regardless of your stance on pornography, …”.

                                1. 3

                                  I’m a bit disappointed that the interviewer didn’t mention a single question regarding addiction or any ethical dimension

                                  A tech-related, Lobsters-worthy discussion of the topic would focus on how they collected user behavior, analyzed it, measured whether they were reaching their goals, strategized for how to achieve them, and specific methods of influence with associated payoffs. It would actually be more Barnacles-like since marketing is behind a lot of that. These technical and marketing techniques are politically-neutral in that they are used by many companies to measure and advance a wide range of goals, including pornography consumption. They could be discussed free-standing with little drama if the focus was really on the technology.

                                  You were doing the opposite. That quote is an ethical question, even says so, where you have political views about pornography consumption, you wanted theirs explored, and you might have had some goal to be achieved with that. The emotional language in the rest of your post further suggested this wasn’t about rational analysis of a technology stack. You also didn’t care what the writer or any of their readers thought about that. So, I countered representing the majority of people who just wanted to read about a web stack. A mix that either doesn’t care about ethics of porn or does with it being a depressing topic they want to handle at another time.

                                  I was on 2nd cup of coffee when you wanted me to be thinking about lives being destroyed instead of reading peaceful and interesting things easier to wake up to. Woke up faster in a different way. Oh well. Now, I’m off this drama to find a Thursday submission in my pile.

                                  1. 2

                                    A tech-related, Lobsters-worthy discussion of the topic would focus on how they collected user behavior, analyzed it, measured whether they were reaching their goals, strategized for how to achieve them, and specific methods of influence with associated payoffs.

                                    I think these kinds of things were missing from the article. I know this isn’t the place to discuss pornography, and I try not to go into it in the comments. What I just brought up was a disappointment in the style and focus of the interview, and it being one-sided.

                                    The emotional language in the rest of your post further suggested this wasn’t about rational analysis of a technology stack.

                                    Well I do think it’s important, so I apologize for being a tad emotional. But other than what I wrote, I don’t have anything else to contribute. I neither run nor plan to run a streaming site, so I end up not having too strong opinions on what is being used in the backend stack ^^.

                                    A mix that either doesn’t care about ethics of porn or does with it being a depressing topic they want to handle at another time.

                                    I understand that, that’s why I prefixed my top comment with what you quoted. I furthermore feel obligated to apologise if anyone had to go through any inconvenience thinking about the “ethics of porn” because of my comment, I guess? No but seriously, bringing up a concern like this, which I explicitly tried to link back to a technical question, should be ok.

                                    1. 1

                                      “I furthermore feel obligated to apologise if anyone had to go through any inconvenience thinking about the “ethics of porn” because of my comment, I guess? No but seriously, bringing up a concern like this, which I explicitly tried to link back to a technical question, should be ok.”

                                      There’s quite a few people here that are OK with it. I’m not deciding that for anyone. I just had to remind you that caring people who want a break in some places exist and that you do more good by addressing the porn problem where it’s at. I appreciate you at least considering the effect on us.

                                      “I neither run nor plan to run a streaming site”

                                      The main problem is consumer side where there’s mass demand following by all types of supply and clever ways to keep people hooked. You can’t beat that since they straight-up want it. What you might do is work on profiles for porn sites with tools such as NoScript that make them usable without the revenue-generating ads. Then, lots of people push for their use. If there’s any uptake, they get a temporary hit in their wallet but maybe an offset with ad-free Premium. I’m not sure the effectiveness. I just know they’re an ad model with tools existing to attack that.

                                      Griping about it on technical sites won’t change anything because… most viewers aren’t on technical sites and those that are rarely changed. So, it’s just noise. Gotta work on porn laws, labor protections for those involved, ethical standards in industry itself, ad blocking, etc.

                              3. 6

                                If you would like to discuss the ethical aspects go to a different forum. I would rrecommend the community around Thaddeus Russell’s podcast for a critical and reasoned take from people that actually interact with sex workers https://www.thaddeusrussell.com/podcast/2

                                1. 3

                                  I’ve mentioned it elsewhere, but I’m not here to discuss the ethical aspects, not am I in a position to be able to. My comments are related to the interviewer and his choice of questions.

                                  1. 1

                                    Your gave opinions, stated as scare-hints without support:

                                    “then there’s the problem with trafficking,”

                                    “which should be enough to say something isn’t right,”

                                    … and then based upon the now well-built pretext that porn “isn’t right” (and is therefore ethically ‘wrong’) - you commented on what the interviewer should have done - i.e. they should have had the same opinions and conceptions as yourself - and they should have turned the interview into one about ethics.

                                    The interview was interesting to read, because of the info about the tech. As bsima says, please take ethical discussion elsewhere.

                                    1. 2

                                      As you said, I prefixed the controversial parts by saying that it was my opinion. But I don’t think that the interviewer must have shared my views. The point I was raising was that I thought it wasn’t appropriate for the interview to just ignore a quite relevant topic, since this was about PornHub specifically, not their parent company.

                                      IMO, a just final question like

                                      “What are you doing to enforce age restrictions?”

                                      or

                                      “Due to recent reports, do you think that doing something against pornography addiction among younger generations can be tackled technically or does it need more (social) effort?”

                                      would have been more than enough, as to just show this is being considered. I’m not a journalist, so I don’t know how these questions could be phrased better, but I hope you do get my point.

                                    2. 1

                                      I’m not here to discuss the ethical aspects

                                      …and yet, it’s the ethical aspects that you brought up.

                                      1. 3

                                        Looking at this thread, I didn’t respond to people who started talking about the harmfulness of pornography or the lack thereof. This even though I would like to – yet I understand that it is off topic. In fact most of this sub-thread has been more about the meta-discussion.

                                        All I can say is that I will be more careful not be too provoke these kinds of discussions in the future. I was thinking critically a lot about the topic the last few months, so my comment might not have been as neutral as some might have wished.

                                  2. 5

                                    That’s like asking an interview with a slaveholder on what kind of whips they have found to have the best quality.

                                    This is more than a little hyperbolic.

                                    1. 4

                                      My analogy is that the direct consequences of technical questions are being more or less ignored, which I think is fair in both questions. Of course it’s not identical, but that’s stylistic devices for you.

                                    2. 2

                                      I could come up with quite a few objections to pornography, but the chap in your video link is not only not convincing, he is also hinting that he watches porn even though he denies it. He backs up his statement “porn is degrading to women” by qualifying “just look at it” which implies that he does that enough to have an opinion.

                                    1. -9

                                      I’m shocked (in a good way) people haven’t expressed outrage at 9front’s propaganda. http://9front.org/propaganda/

                                      Maybe because it’s blatant satire, so no one could possibly think that they were literal nazis.

                                      Unfortunately in today’s social climate humor is becoming less and less acceptable. Anything mocking, outrageous, edgy, or otherwise not-mainstream can make your coworkers feel unsafe or uncomfortable. A react programmer was nearly crucified after he made the OK symbol with his hand during a conference talk.

                                      https://twitter.com/ken_wheeler/status/1164934308366340096?lang=en

                                      And it was 4chan that started that “OK symbol = white power” troll, specifically to troll everybody into thinking it actually had any kind of white power meaning. It’s like the media can’t help but play right into 4chan’s hands. https://www.bbc.com/news/newsbeat-49837898

                                      1. 27

                                        4chan is also packed to the rafters with open and unironic white power enthusiasts so it’s not particularly giving your arguments any credence. When you do something ironically enough times that unironic enthusiasts of that thing are more prevalent than the people who do it ironically, then it’s no longer ironic, it’s just that thing.The thing that makes 9Front different is that they also espouse literal opposites as propaganda. It’s like putting skateboarding is a crime on your skateboard.

                                        1. 19

                                          Can you think of a reason why recycled Nazi propaganda, even as a joke, might cause some people earnest anxiety, in our present moment?

                                          1. 10

                                            Which of those images are Nazi propaganda? I can see a V2 launch, but I’m not sure it is propaganda any more than archival footage. I see far more references to the US nuclear program and radiation than anything else (Which I suppose could be offensive to some).

                                            1. 3

                                              For the same reasons a repurposed Jurassic Park screencap might?

                                              1. 4

                                                For the same reasons a repurposed Jurassic Park screencap might?

                                                I don’t understand the reference or implication here, can you spell it out for me?

                                                  1. 1

                                                    Maybe just riffing on Operation Paperclip? Who knows, actually…there’s even a photo from the Alien 3 set, which really sold them to me. Alien 3 is a strange flick.

                                            2. 7

                                              Maybe because it’s blatant satire, so no one could possibly think that they were literal nazis.

                                              I think it’s because there imaginary is all over the place. You’ve got Kennedy, Mao, 30’s Germany, Orwell, movies, etc.

                                              As far as I remember They also had have the communist manifesto somewhere in their source , which I guess ends up worrying other people (and sometimes the same).

                                              Edit: It’s in this directory, under manifesto: https://code.9front.org/hg/plan9front/file/82cc8a9cd294/lib

                                              And it was 4chan that started that “OK symbol = white power” troll, specifically to troll everybody into thinking it actually had any kind of white power meaning. It’s like the media can’t help but play right into 4chan’s hands. https://www.bbc.com/news/newsbeat-49837898

                                              That was particularly mean, because on the one hand it started as satire, but at the same time it became a symbol, because it was satire, making it an actual symbol, beyond satire, masked as satire. Quite honestly, it was executed masterfully, it’s really a surprised it even worked.

                                              1. 1

                                                Quite honestly, it was executed masterfully, it’s really a surprised it even worked.

                                                Heads they win, tails we lose: the more the symbol is used by fascists the more people talk about how it’s a fascist symbol; the more people talk about how it’s a fascist symbol the more cryptofash, fash-lite and fash adjacent people mock the notion that it’s a fascist symbol - thus giving cover to fascists who use it.

                                                Feedback loops, oof.

                                              2. 17

                                                Unfortunately in today’s social climate humor is becoming less and less acceptable. Anything mocking, outrageous, edgy, or otherwise not-mainstream can make your coworkers feel unsafe or uncomfortable.

                                                This is such bullshit and I’m tired of hearing these tired and lazy talking points repeated without question any time the topic comes up.

                                                Humor is not “becoming less and less acceptable.” What is actually happening now is that, at least in the United States, we are slowly starting to be aware as a culture, in fits and starts, that the status quo in place for most of the history of the U.S.–where it was okay to use people in a perceived lower social class as punching bags and call it “humor”–is actually maybe not okay and not a cultural value we want to keep and moreover, not even funny. And in response what we are hearing is a bunch of people getting butthurt about not being able to talk shit about whoever they want without repercussions…and claiming that actually they are just being “edgy” and the rest of us snowflakes can’t take it. It’s the same bullshit as when Rush Limbaugh was complaining about political correctness hampering his ability to say racist shit without getting called on it back in the 90s, and he is still making money, so obviously things haven’t really changed that much…yet.

                                                You know what edgy humor is? Scott Thompson going to Russia during the Sochi Olympics and flaunting his gayness in a place where that could get him arrested or beaten. It’s the Monopoly guy showing up to senate hearings, or, basically anything The Yes Men do. It’s the Satanic Temple unveiling a Baphomet statue at the AR state capitol to make a point about church and state. It’s the Chappelle show’s Frontline Sketch about Clayton Bigsby but, unfortunately, not Dave Chappelle making jokes about trans or gay people or doing racist Chinese accents–that stuff is old and tired.

                                                So maybe if you’re saying shit that makes your co-workers feel unsafe and uncomfortable, you should first ask yourself if you should really be saying shit that makes your co-workers uncomfortable (if it’s not about the work itself) or unsafe, and then consider whether it’s really that important to be able to freely make “edgy” and “outrageous” jokes in a work environment. It’s probably not. I will go out on a limb and say that you’re almost definitely not contributing anything useful if you’re making people feel unsafe, and you should probably be fired.

                                                I don’t think any of this is particularly hard but yet, a lot of folks seem to have trouble figuring it out. Hopefully this helps.

                                                1. 14

                                                  Why would you bring this up? At best, it’s off-topic…at worst, it could result in an outrage ball that could result in issues for 9front or the removal of that comedy.

                                                  Why?

                                                  1. 9

                                                    Unfortunately in today’s social climate humor is becoming less and less acceptable.

                                                    It’s all fun and games to cry “wolf!” when everybody knows there’s no wolves for hundreds of miles around.

                                                    It’s not cool to cry “wolf!” in a dark forest when the howling of wolves is carried clearly on the midnight air.

                                                    My point is: if I tell a joke and my audience doesn’t laugh, blaming the Fun Police might soothe my ego, but really I should think about what my audience will find funny before I try again.

                                                    1. 4

                                                      Are we even looking at the same thing? Can you explain what, exactly, you’re reacting to? (Maybe a screenshot?) All I see is a bunch of random images with their logo on them.

                                                      1. 6

                                                        Maybe because it’s blatant satire, so no one could possibly think that they were literal nazis.

                                                        How could anyone get the impression that they are Nazis from that collection of almost entirely Nazi-less images?

                                                        1. 4

                                                          Someone started a rumor that the ok sign is white supremacist and then white supremacists started doing it en masse so it’s safe to say it’s officially a white supremacist symbol now. You’re playing into their hands by allowing them to maintain plausible deniability.

                                                          1. 4

                                                            How should anyone who lives outside the social media filter bubble know what symbols are used by extremists now and thus are not okay to use anymore? I never heard of this rumor before and do not know anyone who has.

                                                            1. 3

                                                              The user I’m responding to posted a link to the BBC, it’s not just some social media thing.

                                                            2. 3

                                                              Rather than flipping out, why not just claim it back by doing it for the exact opposite reasons? If you don’t they will just do the same thing with a million other symbols… maybe thumbs up is next?

                                                              All that you are doing by perpetuating the idea it is a white supremacist symbol, is losing a little ground.

                                                              The original trolls who started that joke must laugh to themselves every time they see someone mention it seriously like you just did.

                                                              1. 4

                                                                No, the white supremacists who use it as a white supremacist symbol are perpetuating the idea that it’s a white supremacist symbol.

                                                                1. 2

                                                                  The point is the same, why allow that? They are just gonna steal thumbs up and the peace sign next. Is there not a counter to that?

                                                                  1. 3

                                                                    Yeah, the best counter is to organize and smash white supremacy.

                                                                    1. 4

                                                                      Yeah, but even then, when can we do okay signs again?

                                                                      1. 8

                                                                        It’s a lot like viking runes, Nazis picked em up for their propaganda, using them doesn’t mean you’re a Nazi but if you see someone with a bunch of them they might be a Nazi. People who have viking heritage and want to have an artifact of their culture avoid the most propagandized ones.

                                                                        You can do whatever you want. It is a white supremacist symbol now. If you see someone doing it in a situation that seems overtly racist, they’re probably a white supremacist. If you see someone doing it when someone would say ok, it’s probably not a white supremacy thing.

                                                                        1. -2

                                                                          Do you actually think this is a question I can answer or are you making some kind of point?

                                                                          1. 1

                                                                            It’s a serious question.

                                                                            1. 3

                                                                              I’m a lot more worried about the increased frequency of hate crimes in the last few years than when I’ll be allowed to use a specific hand gesture again to be honest with you.

                                                                              1. 5

                                                                                I’m worried about the rise of hate crimes, for sure. But, I’m also worried about the Internet’s ability to cause irrepairable harm to innocent people. It’s incredibly easy to take some tweet, some forum post, some photo out of context and cast someone as $X because of $Y, and $Z. “They used a certain hand gesture, and wrote a tweet 3 years ago that, if you squint, suggests they support nationalism–they’re a white supremacist!”

                                                                                The downvoted OP linked to a tweet where this seems to have happened. I don’t know anything more than what is in the thread, but guy is bald, used an OK sign for another reason, suddenly he’s the same as Richard Spencer.

                                                                                I don’t want to make light of White Nationalism! Far from it. But, we cannot assume, by default, that everyone is bad, and we seem to be doing that more by default. Of course, this could be, and probably is to some degree, reactionary to the rise in hate crimes…

                                                            1. 4

                                                              In a potentially far-reaching move […]

                                                              There’s nothing “potentially” about it. I don’t know why it would be a good thing for the government to 1) decide what constitutes software accessibility, and 2) force people by threat of legal action to change the way their websites work when there’s no negative externality to not being able to use a website

                                                              1. 12

                                                                How is this any different than the government mandating certain architectural/design rules for commercial buildings and public spaces (ADA)?

                                                                1. 3

                                                                  That’s the whole point if I understand the case correctly (and I may not! I’m not a lawyer!).

                                                                  See here:

                                                                  First, the Ninth Circuit reaffirmed its position that, to be covered by the ADA, a website or mobile app must have a nexus to a physical place of public accommodation. The court stated that this nexus was “critical” to its analysis in the Domino’s case where the “alleged inaccessibility of Domino’s website and app impedes access to the goods and services of its physical pizza franchises – which are places of public accommodation.” The Ninth Circuit said in a footnote that it was not deciding whether “the ADA covers the websites or apps of a physical place of public accommodation where the inaccessibility does not impede access to the goods and services of a physical location.”

                                                                  Like, that’s the key thing–the website augments a physical location.

                                                                2. 9

                                                                  there’s no negative externality to not being able to use a website

                                                                  If an insufficient number of websites include accurate accessibility metadata, browser developers won’t write code to consume it. If nobody uses it, then the effort will never get off the ground, and accessibility tool (and, almost identically, search engines) rely on heuristics instead. The benefit is reaped by the web authors, who don’t have to write the metadata, but is born by browser and search engine developers, who are not direct parties. Thus, it’s an externality.

                                                                  1. 2

                                                                    Allow me to clarify, I’m looking at this in the frame of actions that are legally recognized as externalities; I think the example you point out is a cultural/social consequence of adhering to accessibility standards. Legally, negative externalities are generally effects that directly cause harm to a party not involved (I’m sure there are exceptions, but we’re talking about the rule here). If a website doesn’t work, that is neither endangering the person unable to access the website, nor is directly inflicting harm to them. That’s why I’m saying the government shouldn’t really be involved in something like this.

                                                                    1. 2

                                                                      In the case of Dominos there was an online-only promotion that was inaccessible, so they literally lost money if they had to phone in an order.

                                                                      1. 2

                                                                        I think calling it losing money is overzealous. It would be losing money if they had no choice but to order from Dominos. They weren’t forced to order from Dominos. If there’s a coupon for groceries that gets mailed out by a grocery store, we don’t legally pursue the grocery store for being exclusionary if someone that doesn’t have a mailbox didn’t get the coupon (e.g. homeless folks). They didn’t lose money, they just didn’t save some money; those aren’t the same thing

                                                                        1. 1

                                                                          Well of course folks who aren’t customers aren’t going to care/lose money, but there was literally an unfair financial advantage in favor of those who could use the website to order pizza vs those who could not use the website to order pizza. Folks who had to use a phone to order pizza literally paid more than those who could use the website. They lost money.

                                                                  2. 7

                                                                    In addition to what other posters have raised - IMO ‘no negative externality’ is a defensible claim, but far from a sure one.

                                                                    The negative externality of impeded access is paid by the carers (usually family), who end up spending their time managing the affairs of someone who would otherwise be able to do so themselves.

                                                                    1. 5

                                                                      I think you’ve misunderstood the ADA. The whole point of creating a private right of action is that the government does not set specific standards. Instead those affected by inaccessible accommodations sue, and a court decides if the place is in fact inaccessible. Accessibility is the standard. Places of business are free to meet that standard in any way that actually meets it.

                                                                      1. 2

                                                                        You’re right, I did misunderstand it.

                                                                      2. 6

                                                                        I’ve also tried to make this point but nobody wants to hear it… I don’t think we want the government to get involved in UI/UX design.

                                                                      1. 3

                                                                        Note that this is tagged historical because it is a survey of suggested best practices in 2002, and is useful because it shows some things that people found wanting at the time. It’s tagged practices because it gives concrete and actionable suggestions for how to accomplish its goal. It is not tagged culture, because the other tags better describe what its content is about.

                                                                        One of the implicit assumptions in it, for example:

                                                                        We all know that most computer games are written by and for men. They feature non-stop gore and women with unrealistically huge breasts, but hey, if that’s the market, what’s the problem?

                                                                        As of 2019, women make up a majority of mobile gamers, which in turn make up a majority of the gaming market. So, for example, that claim in the article is no longer accurate–at the time, of course, there was very little mobile gaming.

                                                                        1. 4

                                                                          Even in 2002 there were lots of video games without gore and tits and with things that women were generally more interested in then men. In fact, characterizing video games this way is a signifier that whoever wrote this pictured something like 1996’s Quake as a prototypical video game, rather than 1995’s Sailor Moon: Another Story. I.e. they thought that the video games with traits they assumed (perhaps justifiably) appealed to males were the only important video games.

                                                                        1. 7

                                                                          Flagged off-topic, this is internal org politics/drama.

                                                                          • It technical? No. There is no code in this, there are no technical principles being conveyed. It’s a call to remove somebody.
                                                                          • Is it actionable for most users? No. Only one user I’m aware of here (@JordiGH) has a direct stake in this, and has already acted.
                                                                          • Is it covered elsehwere? Even in El Reg.

                                                                          If you value this site, let me suggest that you please help keep drama submissions like this off. Flag early, flag often.

                                                                          1. 6

                                                                            It technical? No. There is no code in this, there are no technical principles being conveyed. It’s a call to remove somebody.

                                                                            It is correctly tagged under ‘culture’, so this point is moot.

                                                                            Is it actionable for most users? No. Only one user I’m aware of here (@JordiGH) has a direct stake in this, and has already acted.

                                                                            Whether something is actionable or not does not belie whether it has interest for people.

                                                                            1. 1

                                                                              It is correctly tagged under ‘culture’, so this point is moot.

                                                                              I don’t agree, obviously. Also, the culture tag is suspect.

                                                                              Whether something is actionable or not does not belie whether it has interest for people.

                                                                              All kinds of things are interesting but are off-topic for Lobsters. Mere interest is a painfully low bar–if that’s sufficient for you, the orange site might well enjoy your patronage.

                                                                            2. 1

                                                                              Flagged troll, this is waging your own personal culture war.

                                                                              Just filter the ‘culture’ tag and be done with it, why don’t you?

                                                                              1. 0

                                                                                That isn’t what the troll flag is for, and you using it because you disagree lowers the utility of it for marking genuine bad-faith actors.

                                                                              2. 0

                                                                                Underrated post.

                                                                                1. 1

                                                                                  There are a dozen people agreeing with you: ’ 38 comments | +38, -13 off-topic, -2 spam’ as of now. I did doubt to submit this, but I did so because the previous resignation also stirred up some discussion as I recall. I also only tagged it culture and nothing else.

                                                                                1. 20

                                                                                  Am signatory, AMA.

                                                                                  1. 5

                                                                                    Were there any project leaders that refused to sign?

                                                                                    1. 6

                                                                                      Let’s provide some context here, shall we?

                                                                                      There’s been 20 signatories, and one of them isn’t even a maintainer of any package (they’re a staff member).

                                                                                      There’s close to 400 GNU packages, plus close to 100 additional discontinued GNU packages:

                                                                                      E.g., about 5% of folks singed this. Many bigger packages like GCC would have more than one maintainer, too.

                                                                                      Additionally, it’s been pointed out on another platform that this whole thing is a Guix’ response to disagreeing with Dr RMS on his GNU Kind Communications Guidelines some 11 months ago, because they weren’t punitive enough:

                                                                                      I’d say the whole thing was brewing for quite a while. Would be surprised for the list of signatories to change in any significant manner. Just looking at these numbers and the dates, I’d be surprised if many more folks haven’t been afforded the opportunity to join the mob, but didn’t. The fact that they hide all these things reveals their methods of action.

                                                                                      1. 4

                                                                                        We are not hiding anything. Stallman is not a victim. We are not a mob. We are a collective of GNU maintainers who have had enough, and we’re hardly alone in the world with having had enough with RMS. He’s had good philosophies that persuaded all of us at one point, but his leadership and communication have been sorely lacking.

                                                                                        I actually expect the number of signatories to increase a little. I know of at least a few who wanted to sign but just didn’t get around to it because they were busy. Of those 400 GNU maintainers, most are inactive. GNU is not as cohesive as you might think, which again I think shows lack of good leadership.

                                                                                        Yes, there’s only 20 or so of us, but we represent some of the biggest GNU packages.

                                                                                        1. 1

                                                                                          We are not hiding anything. Stallman is not a victim. We are not a mob. We are a collective of GNU maintainers who have had enough, and we’re hardly alone in the world with having had enough with RMS. He’s had good philosophies that persuaded all of us at one point, but his leadership and communication have been sorely lacking.

                                                                                          I actually expect the number of signatories to increase a little. I know of at least a few who wanted to sign but just didn’t get around to it because they were busy. Of those 400 GNU maintainers, most are inactive. GNU is not as cohesive as you might think, which again I think shows lack of good leadership.

                                                                                          Yes, there’s only 20 or so of us, but we represent some of the biggest GNU packages.

                                                                                          There’s so much misrepresentation here I don’t even know where to begin.

                                                                                          There’s already at least a couple of people on the list that aren’t even developers.

                                                                                          You refer to yourself and all other signatories as “GNU maintainers”, including the “GNU Octave maintainer” on your hat, but what does it mean exactly?

                                                                                          Not familiar with GNU Octave, I originally got the impression that you were the sole person responsible for the project. In fact, that’s what the word “maintainer” means in most other projects. Which, per further examination, cannot be further from the truth — there’s a bunch of commits over at http://hg.savannah.gnu.org/hgweb/octave, and none of them seem from you. When searching for your name, http://hg.savannah.gnu.org/hgweb/octave/log?rev=Jordi, we get a whole 10 results, spanning 2014 to 2017. Do you use some other ID within the project? Or is this pretty much representative of your involvement with the project you claim to be an official representative of? Wikipedia has a link to http://hg.savannah.gnu.org/hgweb/octave/file/tip/doc/interpreter/contributors.in, which reveals that there are a whole of 445 contributors to GNU Octave, and you’re the only one of these people who is a Guix signatory listing Octave.

                                                                                          Sure, some of the folks on the list are actual maintainers and/or are responsible for significant work. But do you even fail to see how simply putting a random list of semi-active part-time and drive-by developers as signatories behind cancelling the founder and 80-hours-per-week full-time advocate of Free Software is not exactly representing things as they are? How’s that not a mob?

                                                                                          Also, what is your exact intention when presenting yourself and everyone else as a “maintainer”, and with statements like “we represent some of the biggest GNU packages”? Were you officially designated to speak on behalf of any of these projects? Or is the whole intention to confuse others in a way similar to how you had me confused with your hat here on Lobste.rs? I don’t have time to check out every name (and some do checkout, some don’t), but it is beyond obvious that you don’t actually represent the views of GNU Octave as you imply, and presenting yourself as an active “maintainer” shows that you have no interest in spreading any truths anywhere, either.

                                                                                          1. 5

                                                                                            As much as I dislike the backstabbing of this “joint statement” by GNU developers, I have to say that you are grossly mis-representing JordiGH contribution to Octave. He’s easily the main scientific contributor to this project after Eaton himself (which makes me even sadder that he’s actually signed the backstabbing manifesto).

                                                                                            1. 2

                                                                                              He’s been busy, but jwe finally got around to signing it too. 24 signatories now.

                                                                                              1. 3

                                                                                                I’m very sad to hear about that. From the outside it looks like you are part of the pithy smearing campaign against free software. I fail to understand how this “joint statement” at this moment helps anybody (besides mattl and the like).

                                                                                                I admire the work of most people who signed this statement, and jwe is one of my heros and sources of inspiration–as much as RMS. Even if I agree with the principle that the FSF/GNU leadership can change for the good, the second part of the statement that you signed reads as a callous backstabbing. I literally cried when I read the list of signatories. I cannot help but feel a bit guilty today when recommending octave to my students.

                                                                                                1. 1

                                                                                                  GNU leadership and its structure needs to change. Hell, GNU needs a structure to begin with – we don’t have any sort of organisation yet and thus our ties and cohesion between GNU packages over the years have weakened.

                                                                                                  Even if RMS were a perfect saint and the hero many of us made him out to be, nobody should be appointed leader for life. We rotate other leadership positions, and we should do the same with this one.

                                                                                                  1. 4

                                                                                                    I agree 100% with what you say here, but not with the public statement that you signed, which alienates me.

                                                                                            2. 1

                                                                                              He’s been busy, but jwe finally got around to signing it too. 24 signatories now.

                                                                                        2. 3

                                                                                          I don’t know. I wasn’t the one doing the outreaching.

                                                                                        3. 4

                                                                                          How was this coordinated?

                                                                                          1. 8

                                                                                            Private emails. We all were kind of aware of each other and Ludovic started an email thread where we discussed this.

                                                                                          2. 4

                                                                                            You all planning to replace RMS with a new “chief GNUsciance”, or planning to switch to a steering council like Python did?

                                                                                            If there is no plan, then which one do you prefer?

                                                                                            1. 9

                                                                                              No plan yet, just a plan to discuss. I am personally in favour of a steering committee. It seems to have mostly worked for gcc. I got to see some gcc people a couple of weeks ago for GNU cauldron, and that was fun. I would like something more like that.

                                                                                            2. 2

                                                                                              I’m confused by this FSF statement: https://www.fsf.org/news/fsf-and-gnu.

                                                                                              It links using “GNU leadership has also published a statement”, which kinda implies with the surrounding text that GNU leadership is multiple people, but the link target is mail by Stallman saying that he will talk to FSF as a single person.

                                                                                              https://lists.gnu.org/archive/html/info-gnu/2019-10/msg00004.html

                                                                                              Is there anyone else or is this just a language oddity?

                                                                                              1. 3

                                                                                                Just a language oddity. As of right now, nothing has changed and “GNU leadership” is synonymous with “RMS”.

                                                                                              2. 2

                                                                                                So, if rms resigns from GNU and suffers any negative mental health outcomes, would you believe yourselves to be contributing factors or perhaps even responsible?

                                                                                                1. 27

                                                                                                  Let’s not play into “if you leave me, I’ll hurt myself and it’ll be your fault” abuser playbook.

                                                                                                  RMS should get help if he needs it, but not in the form of coddling him in a position of power he’s unfit for.

                                                                                                  1. 9

                                                                                                    I don’t know about abuser playbooks, I’m just thinking about it in terms of common decency for folks that have had internet mobs arrayed against them (correctly or incorrectly).

                                                                                                    I certainly think it would be tacky if, say, a bunch of trolls got somebody ousted from their position in an open-source project and then refused to take responsibility if that person was harmed. The only salient difference to me here seems that you think (and correct me if I’m wrong!) of rms as an acceptable target.

                                                                                                    1. 10

                                                                                                      RMS getting fired over the Minsky remarks is utter bullshit, and it was a total violation of due process, journalistic integrity, and other niceties of civilization… but that doesn’t mean he should be in a leadership position. I think the the whole Epstein business was used as a pretext for people who already wanted him out (for good reasons) to kick him out (based on a bad reason).

                                                                                                      Which is to say, it’s not entirely that simple.

                                                                                                      1. 3

                                                                                                        RMS getting fired over the Minsky remarks is utter bullshit,

                                                                                                        He wasn’t fired. He voluntarily left of his own accord, because of comments that he made, while interjecting into a conversation that he was not originally part of. The comments are in line with culturally taboo statements he has made public on his website for over 20 years that people have willfully ignored for the sole reason of giving him the benefit of the doubt. This time, he crossed a line because a) the statements that he made are incredibly adjacent to, and almost identical to, arguments made by people who abuse young children (Regardless of his intent) and b) there were abuse survivors in the conversation that he interjected into, that were likely affected by those statements.

                                                                                                        and it was a total violation of due process, journalistic integrity, and other niceties of civilization…

                                                                                                        Well, no. Not only is his position as chairman not subject to those concerns, he himself violated said niceties of civilization.

                                                                                                        but that doesn’t mean he should be in a leadership position. I think the the whole Epstein business was used as a pretext for people who already wanted him out (for good reasons) to kick him out (based on a bad reason).

                                                                                                        Indeed. The word is that he has continually scuppered several projects (Including GNU’s version of DotNET which had a presence on the steering committee!!!) which caused non-GNU alternatives to have the upper hand, defeating GNU’s objectives of software freedom in the process.

                                                                                                        1. 8

                                                                                                          Pretending his exit was voluntary is disingenuous.

                                                                                                          1. 4

                                                                                                            he himself violated said niceties of civilization.

                                                                                                            One of the niceties of civilization is the rule of law, in particular “just because you broke the rules doesn’t mean I get to”. So that’s irrelevant.

                                                                                                          2. 0

                                                                                                            They railroaded a guilty man, in other words?

                                                                                                            1. 3

                                                                                                              Not sure I follow the phrasing, but perhaps “a good thing done badly” might describe it, depending on whose stories you give credence to.

                                                                                                          3. 7

                                                                                                            Part of leadership is your subordinates not wanting to be lead by you anymore. This doesn’t make him a target.

                                                                                                            Harm reduction may be a goal in these situations and, if you have a look at the statement, it gives appropriate credit to RMS, but also makes it clear that his time is over.

                                                                                                        2. 17

                                                                                                          He’s fine. We’re not responsible for his behaviour or his health. He is, and his own actions over the decades are.

                                                                                                          But really, he’ll be fine. He’s not a martyr. We need a change in leadership and he needs time to reflect.

                                                                                                        3. 2

                                                                                                          What’s the big deal?

                                                                                                          1. 8

                                                                                                            I don’t understand the question. Big deal about what?

                                                                                                          2. 1

                                                                                                            Perhaps I’m out of the loop. I’m aware of Stallman’s anti-social behavior in the past, but is there some new reason this is happening now, rather than years ago?

                                                                                                            Edit: Oh, I am definitely out of the loop. I just read about Stallman’s Epstein remarks. How vile.

                                                                                                            1. 10

                                                                                                              If you ask me (which I think you did), this should have happened years ago, but yes, the recent incidents were the final push we all needed.

                                                                                                              1. 2

                                                                                                                I don’t think that the Epstein remarks, at least what I’ve heard of them, are anything new or surprising if you’ve followed Stallman for a while. It’s not out of character at all.

                                                                                                              2. 1

                                                                                                                Well, it may be nice to have a different leadership for the GNU project. Why not discuss it with the man himself? Has anyone tried before going public?

                                                                                                                1. 1

                                                                                                                  We’re trying to discuss different leadership. And they’re trying to not go public. I don’t think i can say much more without being unkind.

                                                                                                                  1. 1

                                                                                                                    So I guess, that’s a no. “Unkind” is too kind a word.

                                                                                                                    Edit: to clarify this comment, this all reeks of “the ends justify the means”. While I agree with the ends, the means do not look good, and it changed how I perceive both RMS & the projects under the GNU umbrella.

                                                                                                                    I hope I did not sound angry. I’m just annoyed at myself (mostly). I wish you luck in this endeavour and other future projects. :)

                                                                                                              1. 3

                                                                                                                Does the Wayback Machine still have the problem of retroactively applying robots.txt? That’s a misfeature imho.

                                                                                                                1. 1

                                                                                                                  I believe they stopped. BoingBoing puts it in clearer words: “To be clear, they’re ignoring robots.txt even if you explicitly identify and disallow the Internet Archive.”

                                                                                                                  Edit: when you submit an archival request (at least through the website), they use your user agent now.

                                                                                                                  1. 2

                                                                                                                    Ah, cool. For a while there was the thing where, if a site updated it’s robots.txt, the IA would zorch the old crawls iirc.

                                                                                                                    1. 1

                                                                                                                      I think archive.org also leaks your IP address in one of the header. I’m not sure it’s even explained anywhere, BTW. It sure surprised me when I tried doing a tcpdump on them once.

                                                                                                                  1. 1

                                                                                                                    The programmer in me is excited by the modularity and ability to kitbash things.

                                                                                                                    The engineer in me is horrified by the weight, cost, and complication of modeling forces and predicting failure.

                                                                                                                    1. 8

                                                                                                                      Reluctantly flagged off-topic as it’s about economics and marketing, not computing.

                                                                                                                      1. 19

                                                                                                                        From a nerd’s perspective I liked this - it was written well, held the interest and was about an interesting topic that intersects math and psychology. I consider it on-topic for this site.

                                                                                                                        1. 6

                                                                                                                          I agree it’s good content. But it’s still off-topic. I’m just one voice. I’m not gonna go mad if others upvote it.

                                                                                                                        2. 13

                                                                                                                          I’ll note that there is a (finance) – Finance and economics tag that seems to have content somewhat similar to this. Given that that’s one of the predefined tags on this site, that suggests to me that this post is not wholy off-topic here and is simply mis-tagged. Personally, I found it well written and fairly interesting.

                                                                                                                          Edit: It appears that events have overtaken me. In the time it took me to write this, the tag has been corrected from (hardware) to (finance).

                                                                                                                          1. 5

                                                                                                                            I didn’t realize there was a finance tag! I will remove my flag.

                                                                                                                          2. 4

                                                                                                                            I know the policies and culture of our site have evolved over time. The most upvoted thing I’ve ever posted anywhere (2017) wouldn’t be appropriate to post here today.

                                                                                                                            How do we feel about this?

                                                                                                                            “Reluctant” could describe my feelings. I enjoy this site being a source for on-topic content, and I am willing to protect it from becoming a cesspool.. I support efforts to remove off-topic content even if (and sometimes especially if) it is good or engaging.

                                                                                                                            But like… I also love this post and I’m glad I read it.

                                                                                                                            Should the lobste.rs community spawn an off-topic site or sub forum or something? (it’s just a question!)

                                                                                                                            1. 9

                                                                                                                              I never liked this obsession with The Topic™, I’d love to see more of this on the main site instead of some spin-off nobody would use.

                                                                                                                              1. 8

                                                                                                                                I’d agree. At this time this is one of the most upvoted stories on the front page. To me that says the community has decided that it is, in fact on topic. If it wasn’t, it’d be downvoted.

                                                                                                                                1. 1

                                                                                                                                  It would be nice to have a series of integrated sites that were more focused and preselected than subreddits. E.g. having a business oriented site (like barnacles) that had tags for finance, auctions, economics, etc. would be pretty nice.

                                                                                                                                2. 3

                                                                                                                                  That’s exactly the problem–I think it’s a totally interesting and neat article, and well-done, but my rough bucket is “analysis of the economics of a luxury good”. And it pains me, but like there’s a lot of interesting content out there that can clog up a site like this pretty quickly.

                                                                                                                                  I think an off-topic site for this, say the massive discussion on the orange site, would be a fine place for this.

                                                                                                                                  1. 3

                                                                                                                                    I think an off-topic site for this, say the massive discussion on the orange site, would be a fine place for this.

                                                                                                                                    I think an off-topic sister site based on the Lobsters codebase would be pretty good, too. It’s so much easier to use this site than to try to follow (or participate in) what’s going on in orange site discussions.

                                                                                                                                3. 3

                                                                                                                                  Dammit.

                                                                                                                                  1. -3

                                                                                                                                    Agreed

                                                                                                                                  1. 2

                                                                                                                                    This is kinda off-topic, but thinking about the nice single-blob executables I see from a lot of Go programs, I kinda wonder if we could go ahead and also stick a SQLlite DB onto them as well–like, have an in-memory database backed by the data section of the executable and then write out to it.

                                                                                                                                    1. 3

                                                                                                                                      I’ve wondered about this as well, but aside from the technical aspects I don’t think this is a good idea because it’s very surprising/bad UX. Normally rm program is a safe operation, but now you risk losing data. Also how will upgrades work, etc.? All in all it seems more trouble than it’s worth to me.

                                                                                                                                      1. 1

                                                                                                                                        You nerd sniped me a bit. While I don’t see a simple way to use an array of bytes as a vfs, I do see a vfs for putting a sqlite db at the end of an executable. https://www.sqlite.org/src/file/ext/misc/appendvfs.c

                                                                                                                                      1. 11

                                                                                                                                        So you want to switch off of Cloudflare because they took too long to cave in to political pressure to drop a client forum website? And you think the forum should have been dropped sooner because some deranged individuals posted there?

                                                                                                                                        1. 9

                                                                                                                                          I think that why they did it is much less interesting than how.

                                                                                                                                          If the article was just bagging on CF for whatever reason, I wouldn’t have submitted it.

                                                                                                                                          1. 6

                                                                                                                                            And in any case, knowing the mechanics of how to switch away from Cloudflare is as useful to entities running sites that Cloudflare might be politically-pressured into dropping, as it is for the people doing the political pressuring.

                                                                                                                                            1. 1

                                                                                                                                              Fair enough. Maybe I’ll go back and actually read it, instead of getting immediately turned off by the political posturing.

                                                                                                                                          1. 1

                                                                                                                                            This is the death-knell of usefulness but ok.

                                                                                                                                            1. 5

                                                                                                                                              You should elaborate on your feeling here!

                                                                                                                                            1. 2

                                                                                                                                              The Stallman katamari is a great example of this, spawning additional vitriol that leaked into other threads.

                                                                                                                                              Yes, because some users on the website did things such as allude to blaming Stallman’s apologia for pedophilia on autism. Such things make people upset, for obvious reasons.

                                                                                                                                              Like many other users, I exclusively use lobste.rs for keeping up with technology and technology news. Why?

                                                                                                                                              TechCrunch.

                                                                                                                                              This is a news website. Not a discussion forum, and not an aggregator of news sources.

                                                                                                                                              /g/ on 4chan.

                                                                                                                                              Yes, because blaming pedophilia on autism isn’t good enough, we all need our fair share of racial slurs too.

                                                                                                                                              Ars Technica. The Daily Beast. El Reg. The New York Times. Wired. Vox. Vice.

                                                                                                                                              Every one of these is also a news website and not a discussion forum or news aggregator.

                                                                                                                                              Youtube comments.

                                                                                                                                              Nobody has ever has a continued quality discussion in Youtube comments. Maybe it’s because Youtube is not a forum.

                                                                                                                                              The Orange Site.

                                                                                                                                              This website is ran by a business with vested interests and has had a lengthy, horrific record with closed-door moderation.

                                                                                                                                              Reddit.

                                                                                                                                              Lobste.rs was opened as a direct reaction to Reddit and HN. Why? The reason stated above, and throughout the development of the website, an important feature which has historically distinguished its community from the one-upsmanship and frivolity of Redditor discourse, was the absence of down-votes.

                                                                                                                                              Many comments below boil down to the ridiculous

                                                                                                                                              I want technical content so I don’t mind seeing the culture flag go away.

                                                                                                                                              The entire reason that tags were added to the website was so that you can mute the things you don’t want to see. I came here for Ruby content so I wouldn’t mind seeing the javascript flag go away!

                                                                                                                                              Previously on this website, I rarely have seen posts discussing poor behavior of public FOSS figures get spammed (incorrectly) with “off-topic” because the people downvoting don’t want to see posts about the tech community [1] [2]. How could this not be relevant to a tech forum? This phenomenon of downvoting any such discussion as “off-topic” is new to me, and I’m curious where these people are coming from, and why they think it’s ok to abuse the website in this fashion.

                                                                                                                                              1. 3

                                                                                                                                                blaming pedophilia on autism

                                                                                                                                                That’s not what I wrote or stated, and the quality of conversation here is going to be higher if you can accurately represent opposing viewpoints–otherwise we just end up wasting a lot of time with back-and-forth talking past each other.

                                                                                                                                                <large number of “It’s a news site, not a forum!” claims>

                                                                                                                                                You overlook that every story, or almost every story, on those sites has a large comments section built in to those sites for discussion. In the case of Ars Technica, there is explicitly a forum.

                                                                                                                                                The reason stated above, and throughout the development of the website, an important feature which has historically distinguished its community from the one-upsmanship and frivolity of Redditor discourse, was the absence of down-votes.

                                                                                                                                                This misrepresents history. Lobsters has had downvotes going back at least five years, not including the time jcs removed them, which in turn caused trouble.

                                                                                                                                                why they think it’s ok to abuse the website in this fashion.

                                                                                                                                                That’s the same question motivating the proposal to remove the culture tag. It’s one thing to post, say, a retrospective on online communities in 1994. It’s another thing to echo a public call for shaming and dismissal.

                                                                                                                                                1. 0

                                                                                                                                                  That’s not what I wrote or stated

                                                                                                                                                  It’s what myself and the user responding directly below your post took from it. You never responded nor rebutted to that post, so I assumed that it was accurate.

                                                                                                                                                  You overlook that every story, or almost every story, on those sites has a large comments section

                                                                                                                                                  Yes, and a comments section is not a community. It’s nonsensical to equate the two. I didn’t know that Ars Technica specifically actually has a forum, but I can say confidently that it’s likely not the sort of community topic-wise I’m interested in participating with personally.

                                                                                                                                                  This misrepresents history. Lobsters has had downvotes going back at least five years

                                                                                                                                                  You also should accurately represent what I said. I never said that Lobsters was launched without downvotes. I was in the discussion about the UI for replacing them! What I was saying (“throughout the development of the website”) is that this is a feature that many have considered a great distinguishing quality of Lobsters over other forums through the majority of its lifetime.

                                                                                                                                                  It’s another thing to echo a public call for shaming and dismissal.

                                                                                                                                                  I will concede that this isn’t what I’m interested in, because while personally the call to simply remove any sort of cultural discussion of our profession from the website has upset me, and at times my comments simply suck, I believe strongly that completely removing culture from the website topics essentially because of the stalling man thread is a mistake and overreaction primarily because it’s long been a lively tag with lots of great posts and discussions, and it would be a shame to see an end put to it now. Yes, any sort of discussion about individuals should be navigated carefully, but it’s just a fact that any forum will see its own apocalypse moment when something smelly eventually hits the fan, and removing the culture tag would essentially end up just being just an attempt to dodge this sort of inevitability in a growing forum by walking back on the potency of topics covered.

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                                                                                                                                                  Previously on this website, I rarely have seen posts discussing poor behavior of public FOSS figures get spammed (incorrectly) with “off-topic” because the people downvoting don’t want to see posts about the tech community [1] [2]. How could this not be relevant to a tech forum? This phenomenon of downvoting any such discussion as “off-topic” is new to me, and I’m curious where these people are coming from, and why they think it’s ok to abuse the website in this fashion.

                                                                                                                                                  The examples you present are about persons and their behavior when directly working with them on software/technology. The first one at least looks like the author was trying to present the situation in a reasonable manner, despite being directly affected. The second is focused on how to do better.

                                                                                                                                                  At least for me, in the RMS drama the core issue was not about technology or people dealing with each other in that context. It also didn’t help that some reports seemed to be focused on maximizing impact while not being too concerned with accuracy. On this site, I would have preferred to only see the resignations as submission, and the story behind those only referenced in comments.

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                                                                                                                                                    I don’t disagree that the RMS threads were a perfect storm of garbage, although I feel this was aggravated by the confusion of the merges. However, I wouldn’t say we should simply limit ourselves to just talking about the behavior of public figures while they are specifically working on technology, because under this limit this website wouldn’t have permitted posts about the Reiser story, were it to occur while this website existed. I think the litmus test should be impact on the technology world, and we could probably both agree that the head of the FSF resigning is pretty far up there.

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                                                                                                                                                  Folks that think technology and culture are separate can mute the tag if it exists. Folks that think they are interleaved can leave it. If you take away the tag you just end up pushing stories about culture into technical tags.

                                                                                                                                                  Treating culture as forbidden on a site focused on technology is a strong cultural statement of avoidance, which is maladaptive at best.

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                                                                                                                                                    you just end up pushing stories about culture into technical tags

                                                                                                                                                    Or this will mean that such stories can be removed from the site as off topic. If no tag applies then you shouldn’t post it here.

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                                                                                                                                                      This is my feeling. The about page specifically points that out.

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                                                                                                                                                        The only reference I see to culture on the about page is how the signup process helps new users acculturate. In terms of removing culture as off-topic, I stand by it being avoidance. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Avoidance_coping As in acknowledging technology as part of culture and culture as hugely influential on technology is simply acknowledging the reality in which we exist. But if the culture of lobste.rs denies culture + tech otherwise, so be it. I’ve said how I feel.

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                                                                                                                                                    Was there a meta discussion where the tag was suggested?

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                                                                                                                                                      Ah, it appears to be here.

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                                                                                                                                                        Don’t see anything listed here, and the oldest culture post is from 5+ years ago.

                                                                                                                                                        Edit: whoops, apparently that first story is about the culture tag after all.