1.  

    No gemini or gopher version?! Lame.

    1.  

      I downvoted this comment because it is unkind and judgemental and off topic. I think the content is truly deeply technical and of significant relevance to its audience. I’m willing to acknowledge you might not be the intended audience. But then why comment at all?

      1.  

        I think it wasn’t meant to detract from the quality of the content, it would just be cool and very h4ck3r-y.

    1. 6

      I am curious, is this illegal in some way? They are effectively on purpose introducing bugs or security holes into a ton of computer systems including ones that are run by various government agencies and they admit openly to doing it.

      1. 6

        Probably not illegal, but there is no evidence of ethics approval. Chances are they can’t get ethics on it.

        I’ve spoken to a couple of academics about this case and they can’t quite believe someone is trying to pull this in the name of research.

        Also, looking at the funding sources they cite, they seem pretty out of bounds on that front:

        https://nsf.gov/awardsearch/showAward?AWD_ID=1931208 https://nsf.gov/awardsearch/showAward?AWD_ID=1815621

        1. 5

          I think it’s borderline. Pen-testing is legal, and it’s generally done “on the sly” but with management’s approval.

          1. 14

            I don’t think this is pen-testing, their code reached the stable trees supposedly. Once that happens they actually introduced bugs and security issues and potentially compromised various systems. This is not pen-testing anymore.

            https://lore.kernel.org/linux-nfs/CADVatmNgU7t-Co84tSS6VW=3NcPu=17qyVyEEtVMVR_g51Ma6Q@mail.gmail.com/

          2.  

            Probably not, opensource is “no warranty” all the down.

            1.  

              Almost certainly… For instance the following seems appropriate.

              18 U.S. Code § 2154 - Production of defective war material, war premises, or war utilities

              Whoever, when the United States is at war, or in times of national emergency as declared by the President or by the Congress, […] with reason to believe that his act may injure, interfere with, or obstruct the United States or any associate nation in preparing for or carrying on the war or defense activities, willfully makes, constructs, or causes to be made or constructed in a defective manner, or attempts to make, construct, or cause to be made or constructed in a defective manner any war material, war premises or war utilities, or any tool, implement, machine, utensil, or receptacle used or employed in making, producing, manufacturing, or repairing any such war material, war premises or war utilities, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than thirty years, or both

              Probably also various crimes relating to fraud…

              1.  

                when the United States is at war,

                Except it’s not, so, this is not appropriated at all.

                There’s no contract, no relationship, no agreement at all between an opensource contributor and the project they contribute to. At most some sort of contributor agreement that is usually in there only for handling patents. When someone submits a patch they’re making absolutely no legal promises as for the quality of said patch, and this propagates all the way to whoever uses the software. The licenses don’t say THE SOFTWARE IS PROVIDED “AS IS”, WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND for nothing. Sure, the US army or whatever might use Linux, but they do it at their own peril.

                Now, they might get in trouble for being sketchy about the ethical approval and stuff, but that will only get them in professional trouble at most, like loosing their jobs.

                1.  

                  You missed the second half of the disjunction

                  or in times of national emergency as declared by the President or by the Congress,

                  This clause is true… many times over https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_national_emergencies_in_the_United_States

                  Edit: The US army does not do it at their own peril against actively malicious activities. Civil contracts do not override statutory law, rather the other way around.

                  1.  

                    Hmm, yeah, I stand corrected (partially, at least).

                    However, the law you’re quoting says war stuff or stuff used to make war stuff. I’m not even sure software would qualify as stuff, as described in there. But yeah, I’m less sure they are not screwed now. Also, from the names, they might not be US citizens, which could make things worse.

                    That said, I’m somewhat skeptical anyone would pursue this kind of legal action.

                    1.  

                      The definition of what’s protected here is really broad. Is the linux kernel used a tool to help operate the telecommunications infrastructure for the company making uniforms for the military? If so it’s protected.

                      It’s almost like it was written for actual times of war, not this nonsense of a constant 30 national emergencies going on. Blame congress.

                      I agree it’s unlikely to be prosecuted, unless there is significant damage attributable to the act of sabotage (someone deploys some ransomware to a hospital that exploits something they did, for instance), or someone in power decides that the act of sabotage’s main purpose was actually sabotage not getting papers… If it is prosecuted I also think it’s likely that they’ll find some more minor fraud related crime to actually charge… I just found this one by googling “sabotage, us law”.

                      1.  

                        There’s what the law says (or can be construed to say) and what a court will actually accept. I think a lawyer would have a hard time convincing a jury that a silly research paper was war sabotage.

            1.  

              I really like using a font called “JuliaMono” because it has nicely designed mathematical symbols and brackets. It makes programming with unicode (which I think is cute) a lot more enjoyable for me.

              e.g. a function to test if its input is a pangram can look like this:

              ispangram(str) = lowercase(str) ⊆ 'a':'z'
              

              Which is both a beautifully simple way of describing what a pangram is and (in my opinion) a cute way to write it. Using a font where the subset symbol fits nicely with the monospace font makes it look more natural and makes me more likely to do it.

              1.  

                I was looking exactly for a font like Julia for working with Isabelle/HOL, since it also heavily relies on Unicode. Thanks for this tip!

                1.  

                  Happy to help! I hope it works well for you :)

                2.  

                  I was going to reflexively complain that JuliaMono is sans-serif only , but I now see it has serif versions too, which is frankly a bit weird, but not unwelcome.

                  It’s sans-serif straight through, see below…

                  1.  

                    It does? Where are they?

                    And yeah, obviously any particular font won’t be for everyone, but that’s all right and I like JuliaMono :)

                    1.  

                      OK, I retract my comment, the examples here https://cormullion.github.io/pages/2020-07-26-JuliaMono/#examples were just placeholders as the webfont hadn’t loaded in. That’s fine, the “serif fonts” were kinda meh ;)

                1. 6

                  I don’t really have a say into what the Rust community decides, but I’m predicting that “yeet” as a term will age spectacularly badly. It would be like naming a keyword “groovy” in the 1970s and still have to live with it today.

                  1. 25

                    If it’s anything like Groovy, we’ll have a mildly successful programming language named ‘yeet’, running on the JVM in about 30 years.

                    1.  

                      Yeah, it’s a good thing the field of computer programming avoided becoming saturated with neologisms from the 1970s.

                      :)

                    1. 16

                      Yes, yes you can technically use a fairly restricted subset of C++ or whatever and then you can avoid some C-isms at the cost of risking runtime panics on the new operator.

                      If you’re referring to compiling with exceptions disabled, you avoid such crashes by using the nothrow variant of operator new, so an allocation failure just returns a null pointer.

                      There’s really no cost to using “C++ without exceptions and RTTI” relative to using C. Right now I’m working on a project for an embedded ARM32 device with 20KB of RAM and about 200KB ROM, and I’m doing it in C++. I’m using classes, references, and a few templates, but zero heap allocation, not even using the C standard library. Currently it’s about 30K of code and a couple hundred bytes of global data.

                      1. 9

                        Today I learned that was a thing! I’m not up to snuff on C++ (it’s always scared me) but I’ll see about editing that quip in a bit.

                        1.  

                          C++ is simpler than Rust, if you don’t try to make your own templates. There’s kind of a bunch of features that all add on to C — references, overloading, classes — that you can mix & match. And using the standard templates like vector, optional, map, etc. isn’t too bad, although the design isn’t the greatest. But actually creating templates is kind of a rabbit hole that I’ve never gone very far down.

                          In general, though, I don’t see why anyone would write C anymore. It’s like Middle English.

                          1.  

                            It’s like Middle English.

                            Muffled sobbing from the corner where J.R.R. Tolkien is quaffing ale

                            1.  

                              Aye, I was unhappy with that simile but had to finish the comment in a hurry because real life.

                              How about “it’s like a steam engine?”

                            2.  

                              C++ standards move much faster and tend to break compatibility more, the ABI guarantees are much less useful, compilation times are much worse, etc. Some people just prefer a simpler, more stable language.

                              1.  

                                For *NIX platforms, the C++ ABI is the Itanium ABI and this has remained backwards compatible for about 20 years. GCC 3.0 was released in 2001 and every version of GCC and clang since then has supported the same ABI for C++.

                                The ABI of any given library is typically weaker, but C++ isn’t worse than C in this regard. If you modify a struct layout between C library versions, you break the ABI. Similarly if you add or remove fields in a C++ class or struct, you change the ABI. If you expose a struct of function pointers in C and change the layout, you break the ABI. If you add or remove vtable methods in a C++ class, exactly the same applies.

                                1.  
                                  1. All I can say is I haven’t had problems going from ’11 to ‘14 to ‘17, but then I always turn on lots of warnings and -Werror and run UBsan, so maybe I don’t leave questionable stuff in my code that hits such edge cases.
                                  2. The ABI is unquestionably really poor for things like dynamic libraries, but it’s no worse than C’s since all you have to do is add some extern “C” and you’ve got the C ABI at library boundaries.
                                  3. Yes, but unless your codebase is huge they’re not terrible. Even when I worked on Chrome ten+ years ago, on a 2008 Mac Pro with a spinning disk, turnaround times were about 20sec in most cases. In my current project it’s more like 5sec.

                                  IMO these things are worth it for a more expressive, safer language where I’m not constantly juggling raw pointers and manual memory management.

                                2.  

                                  C++ is simpler than Rust, if you don’t try to make your own templates

                                  That’s a little bit sad, because for systems-programming tasks templates are exactly where C++’s power comes from. For example, snmalloc’s platform abstraction layer is built using templates and inlines to either nothing or calls to individual platform-specific code. Actually, snmalloc uses templates all through the codebase, making it really easy to plug in different bits of behaviour.

                                  It’s much harder in C to create type-safe compile-time specialisation. The C++ template syntax is pretty painful, but once you get comfortable with it then you have a vastly more powerful language. We generally turn off exceptions and RTTI and strongly discourage inheritance in C++, but we get huge benefits from templates.

                                  Most recently, I wrote some code that inspects the mcontext in a signal handler for signals that are raised from sandbox violations, pulls out the arguments from the frame, calls a function that does an IPC to emulate the system call in the parent process, and then injects the result back into the signal context. I have absolutely no idea how I’d write this in maintainable C, but in C++ there are Linux and FreeBSD that abstract over the details of the signal frame, a templated function that invokes this with types extracted from the argument types of the function that handles the fallback and then a generic lambda that invokes the template function with inferred type arguments. If you look at the generated code for the release builds, this folds down to a handful of instructions. In C, I can’t imagine this being anything other than either a bunch of scary type casts and incomprehensible macros.

                              2.  

                                The bigger problem in Linux is that most of the headers are invalid C++. I recently tried writing C++ code in the Linux kernel. In the FreeBSD kernel it’s mostly fine (I needed to undefine a few macros) but with Linux you get huge numbers of compiler errors just from a single #include when the language is set to C++.

                              1.  

                                I love Fantasque Sans Mono; it’s so damn cheerful and twee every time I look at a terminal or editor.

                                1.  

                                  l and I look identical in that font :(

                                  1. 19

                                    As in the font used on lobste.rs which made your comment a bit hard to parse ;)

                                    1. 5

                                      l and I

                                      Perhaps I’m missing something, but if I type them in the code sample input box on Compute Cuter (selecting Fantasque Sans Mono) they look different to me?

                                      1.  

                                        I also see clearly identifiable glyphs for each when I try that. The I has top and bottom serifs, the l has a leftward head and rightward tail (don’t know what you call em), and only the | is just a line.

                                      2.  

                                        cf

                                        1.  

                                          Honestly when is that ever a real issue? You’ve got syntax highlighting, spellcheck, reference check, even a bad typer wouldn’t accidentally press the wrong key, you know to use mostly meaningful variable names and you’ve never used L as an index variable… So maybe if you’re copying base64 data manually but why?

                                          1. 5

                                            My friend who’s name is Iurii started spelling his name with all-lowercase letters because people called him Lurii. Fonts that make those indistinguishable even in lowercase would strip him of his last resort measure to get people to read his name correctly. (Of course, spelling it Yuriy solves the issue, but Iuirii is how his name is written in his id documents, so it’s not always an option)

                                            1.  

                                              It could be, and it’s not just limited to I, l, and 1. That’s why in C, when I have a long integer literal, I also postfix it with ‘L’: 1234L. Doing it that way makes it stand out easier than 1234l. And if I have to do an unsigned long literal, I use a lower case ‘u’: 5123123545uL. That way, the ‘u’ does stand out, compared to 5123123545UL or 5123123545ul.

                                        1. 6

                                          Well that was disappointing. They called the event “spring loaded” and didn’t introduce anything that’s literally spring-loaded like a foldable phone would be…

                                          1. 10

                                            They called the event “spring loaded”

                                            It’s both spring, and 4/20, so I’m sure there were some “loaded” people somewhere out there watching at the very least.

                                            1.  

                                              Do people actually use foldable phones? (I have the same question about iPad Pros too.)

                                              1.  

                                                I saw a picture on reddit yesterday of someone using a flip-phone fullscreen folding phone, complaining about the ads they get in the built in weather app. So, I guess the answer is at least one person does…

                                                1.  

                                                  I see them used by hosts on shows sponsored by Samsung ;)

                                                2.  

                                                  Do people actually use foldable phones? (I have the same question about iPad Pros too.)

                                                  I can answer for the second part with a yes, indeed. Best device I’ve ever owned.

                                              1. 6

                                                As a reminder, freedom from competition is not one of the core freedoms of any FSF/GNU manifesto. Nor is suppression of competition a pragmatic goal of the Open Source movement.

                                                Yet all of these re-licensings have in common that their main and obvious goal – more or less openly admitted in this post – is to ensure that a core person or team get to have freedom from competition, by imposing burdens on potential competitors that put them at too much of an effective disadvantage.

                                                No amount of talking about “freedoms for our community” or “open source will always be at the core of who we are” can get around this. Nor can it change the fact that when these relicensings happen, people who previously were participants in an open project effectively become unpaid interns working on improving the “open source” company’s product.

                                                1. 19

                                                  A reminder that GNU is not open source but free software, that open source was a word used commonly at the time and redefined to mean something new and that the point of the GNU license has been and always will be freedom of the end user, not the person who owns the machine or source code.

                                                  The amount of revisionism from people who want to make money off the backs of software others made would be disappointing if not completely expected. In todays world the AGPL is the minimal license that any software which pretends to care about users freedom should be.

                                                  1.  

                                                    … [and] that the point of the GNU license has been and always will be freedom of the end user

                                                    … where “end user” is narrowly defined. I’m not opposed to the FSF’s project, but it is very rooted in a specific context.

                                                    1.  

                                                      In todays world the AGPL is the minimal license that any software which pretends to care about users freedom should be.

                                                      Maybe the issue is that none of the participants really care about the end user. To me it sounds more like tool vendors who want to make money off selling support for software tooling to companies. Nothing wrong with that, but the incentives are slightly different.

                                                      One (unintended?) consequence of removing monetary considerations from FLOSS software is that a signal path is removed. If you make software for pay, and you’re losing money, you can check what your paying customers are unhappy about and adjust from that.

                                                      A user’s preference for Free Software as opposed to Open Source software is much less pronounced. In fact, I’d argue that the vast majority of users don’t even know the difference (as evinced by the comment I’m replying to). This leaves the next level - producing FLOSS software but charging for consulting and support (as suggested by the FSF). And then the signal is there - companies using FLOSS software and who might be prepared to pay for these services avoid GPL licenses and prefer permissive ones.

                                                      1.  

                                                        A reminder that GNU is not open source but free software

                                                        A reminder that the very first sentence of my comment began by pointing out:

                                                        freedom from competition is not one of the core freedoms of any FSF/GNU manifesto.

                                                        Meanwhile:

                                                        The amount of revisionism from people who want to make money off the backs of software others made would be disappointing if not completely expected.

                                                        A reminder that the essentially ideal software business, as advocated by the Free Software Foundation, Richard Stallman, and the Free Software movement, consists of selling the effort of software, which includes not just new greenfield development projects, but also maintenance and improvement of existing software which, yes, often will have been written by others (since in the ideal Free Software world, a recipient of software always has the freedom to perform or contract out such maintenance and improvement).

                                                        And a reminder that this wave of recent relicensings is entirely about ensuring that the VC-backed SaaS startup of the original authors of (insert project name) get to monetize the work of everyone who contributed under the prior more-Free license, while nobody else does.

                                                        In todays world the AGPL is the minimal license that any software which pretends to care about users freedom should be.

                                                        A further reminder that if you check my history, I do not personally consider the AGPL to be a Free Software license, and point out at every opportunity that it only is considered one by the FSF due to a combination of fiat (rather than adherence to principle) and an explicit AGPL-specific exception clause added to the GPLv3. The plain GPL does not allow passing on less freedom to downstream recipients than you yourself received from upstream. The AGPL requires that you pass on less freedom in certain circumstances. The moment that principle of conservation of freedom is compromised, the entirety of the Free Software moral position is not merely compromised, but utterly collapses beyond repair.

                                                        1. 14

                                                          I do not personally consider the AGPL to be a Free Software license

                                                          Any further discussion is moot, and anything you’ve said has been pedantry at best and pointless at worst.

                                                          I am reminded of the discussions in the 90s as to why the GPLv2 was not free software and why the only real free software license was the MIT license for exactly the same reasons you state here.

                                                          Those discussions were pointless then, and this is pointless now.

                                                      2. 7

                                                        This seems to help me, as a user, get contributions from other users upstream.

                                                        If I use grafana on Amazon’s hosted product, I’m paying them to change or improve it, but then lose those changes to Amazon. I would like to pay for a product, like grafana, but not lose improvements. This seems like it fixes that situation while still allowing me to choose my preferred grafana vendor.

                                                        1.  

                                                          The AGPL does not protect you against the original author, or against the original author prioritizing their business model over your needs.

                                                          All of these recent relicensings have in common that the original author(s) (really, their VC backers) are prioritizing their business model over your needs.

                                                          1.  

                                                            This criticism doesn’t make sense since nothing stops the authors from changing the license at any point as is. The GPL and the AGPL were always about dealing with the free-rider problem where people want to extend off existing software but not contribute the changes back. It that breaks your business model, too bad, you aren’t entitled to the work of the authors.

                                                            It sucks if you were a contributor and you expected the software to stay on the Apache license. If you were in that boat, I’d hope you could comply with the new license without too much trouble.

                                                            1.  

                                                              Could you please state were in the GPL it states you have to contribute changes back? I don’t think that’s actually in the license.

                                                        2.  

                                                          As a reminder, freedom from competition is not one of the core freedoms of any FSF/GNU manifesto. Nor is suppression of competition a pragmatic goal of the Open Source movement.

                                                          So what?

                                                          “Open source” and “free” are neither precisely defined nor inherently good. Their value isn’t self evident, it’s a function of the positive effects they have on real human beings. And not abstract or theoretical effect in some model of reality, but real and observable effect in reality as it exists. Does freedom from competition in this specific circumstance have a net positive effect for human beings? I think you can at least argue that the answer is yes. If you don’t agree, let’s have that debate, but let’s have it on the merits, the FSF/GNU definitional stuff is just semantic noise.

                                                        1. 30

                                                          However, there’s one advantage to Gnome - it’s a good indicator of where the future of Linux lies.

                                                          I feel like it’s been a good 15 years since people have made the argument that desktop usability has any bearing on the future of adoption. UI/UX anti-patterns are pretty rampant in modern UIs - be they touch or pointer-based. Of all the things preventing “Linux on the desktop” from reaching critical mass, I would put Gnome’s despotic approach to minimalism and various idiosyncrasies way down on the list.

                                                          I remember hot takes declaring web apps a dumb fad because users would reject their painful UI and would not tolerate radically different UX across multiple different applications. In today’s world this is the norm: even native apps on mobile devices style their own widgets, use their own layouts and only loosely follow platform usability guidelines or various trendy design patterns.

                                                          1. 9

                                                            I agree with you.

                                                            A curious fact though, Ubuntu with gnome 2 was probably the closest Linux ever was to more widespread adoption as a desktop solution.

                                                            The whole gnome 3 fiasco pretty much dictated the peak. Linux mint became the most popular distribution thanks to their commitment to a classic desktop paradigm. But let’s be honest, Linux mint never had the momentum Ubuntu had.

                                                            Now it all belongs to the past. More and more people are happy with a phone as their primary or even only computing device. And the phones even offer a desktop mode of you connect them to a screen. The future of desktop computer might well, and sadly, be in android and iOS.

                                                            1. 6

                                                              Linux mint became the most popular distribution thanks to their commitment to a classic desktop paradigm.

                                                              When did that happened? It is hard to believe that Linux Mint was more popular than Ubuntu at any time.

                                                              1. 2

                                                                Looks like I was wrong in that it never overtook Ubuntu, however the effect of moving away from gnome2 is quite clear: https://trends.google.com/trends/explore?date=all&q=linux%20mint,ubuntu%20linux

                                                                The news story I remember from a decade ago is this one: https://www.extremetech.com/computing/104581-linux-mint-the-new-ubuntu

                                                            2. 4

                                                              UI/UX anti-patterns are pretty rampant in modern UIs - be they touch or pointer-based.

                                                              At what point are these anti-patterns and at what point are these desire paths? I’m legitimately asking because I’m not very aware of the pedagogy of UI/UX and what basis practitioners have to say “anti-pattern” in these situations. TFA was just a rant, there wasn’t anything approaching empiricism there.

                                                              1. 2

                                                                The masses won’t chose what works best for them, but rather what looks flashier. Something can be desired by the author of a UI because of popularity incentive. Which in its turn is driven by the looks. It can still be an anti pattern.

                                                                1. 4

                                                                  I’d still appreciate concrete examples of anti-patterns (and no, dark patterns that are designed to trick consumers don’t count).

                                                                  1. 5

                                                                    The fact that UI elements lack a consistent look/feel between applications. The conventional wisdom in the 90s and early 00s was that this was massively off-putting to users. It’s the entire reason why Apple (and later) Gnome created formal Human Interface Guidelines (http://interface.free.fr/Archives/Apple_HIGuidelines.pdf and https://developer.gnome.org/hig/stable/). Modern apps will loosely follow design trends, but nothing resembling the level of formalization of a HIG-like document.

                                                                    I also don’t fully understand why you feel dark patterns shouldn’t count?

                                                                    1. 1

                                                                      Thanks for taking the time to answer!

                                                                      I also don’t fully understand why you feel dark patterns shouldn’t count?

                                                                      Because they are real antipatterns, designed to trick the user into taking actions contrary to their intentions.

                                                                      If you had to page through 3 screens of ads to save a file,that would be a dark antipattern - it would leverage something that you have to do as a user and make is profitable for someone else.

                                                                      I use Windows and Mac daily and the built-in system don’t have that stuff. If Gnome does I’d be surprised.

                                                                    2. 4

                                                                      A few general anti-patterns: hamburger menus, low-contrast text, buttons that don’t look like buttons.

                                                                      Specific anti-patterns mentioned in the article: unnecessarily large amounts of mouse movement for common flows (click upper-left corner to open activities view, move mouse to screen bottom to select an application). Hidden/missing buttons for common actions (minimize/maximize). Missing/removed features that are intuitive, ergonomic, and useful (desktop icons, files still doesn’t let you right-click > create files.). Missing visual hints for focus (“no distinction between foreground and background windows”).

                                                                      1. 1

                                                                        Thanks for taking the time to answer, I appreciate it.

                                                                        1. 1

                                                                          Specific anti-patterns mentioned in the article: unnecessarily large amounts of mouse movement for common flows (click upper-left corner to open activities view, move mouse to screen bottom to select an application). Hidden/missing buttons for common actions (minimize/maximize). Missing/removed features that are intuitive, ergonomic, and useful (desktop icons, files still doesn’t let you right-click > create files.). Missing visual hints for focus (“no distinction between foreground and background windows”).

                                                                          I’m curious, are you aware of any tools in regular, current-use that follow these guidelines? Like enterprise apps or something.

                                                                          1. 2

                                                                            I can only give you a few examples, but these are ones that I’ve thought of off the top of my head.

                                                                            Microsoft Outlook 2016 places several navigation panes on the left side in close proximity to each other - after selecting a folder, you can select an email it in with only a small mouse motion. Windows 10 places the start menu icon right next to the icons in the taskbar, and several more useful buttons (power, profile settings) in the lower-left-hand corner of the start menu - after you click the start button, you have several useful actions available to you with a relatively small mouse movement.

                                                                            The Windows context menu allows you to make a new file very easily.

                                                                            Windows has desktop icons - which you can also completely remove if you don’t like.

                                                                            Windows windows have hinting to help you determine which is focused - albeit not as much as ideal.

                                                                            Are either of these programs perfect? Quite the opposite - I think that they’re bad. But they do get these things right, and I would much prefer the Windows interface to the GNOME 40 interface (although Openbox and StumpWM would be better than either).

                                                                1. 3

                                                                  Why do you think that list syntax gets in the way? One thing that people seem to forget about Markdown is that it should both be human readable in plain text as well as in rendedered form, ideally even if you don’t know a lot about Markdown. Lists reflect this, as their synax mimics how you would write in on paper or see it in a book.

                                                                  1. 1

                                                                    Only if you write it using consecutive numbers, which is not required and would be a huge pain to actually do.

                                                                    1. 1

                                                                      In my experience (writing Markdown basically since Gruber released it), numbered lists rarely exceed 3 items. Of course, your mileage may vary, but crucially, if you’re writing a document that requires numbered items, the tool generally takes care of it. Word dynamically renumbers (badly), HTML and as far as I recall, LaTeX simply render the numbers on output, and Markdown follows a similar trend. You can just prepend each item with 1. and it will be renumbered as HTML, or you can do the extra work and renumber manually if you’re absolutely sure that the MD source will be the primary.

                                                                  1. 2

                                                                    Is the lowercase i just a restyled U+0069 or is it a U+0131 ?

                                                                    1. 2

                                                                      It’s a restyled lowercase i, as the site notes :)

                                                                      since the dotted glyphs for i and j are obviously inferior to the undotted variants, those are used instead.

                                                                      1. 6

                                                                        Just FYI, several Turkic languages use dotless I and ı as completely separate letters from dotted İ and i.

                                                                        1. 2

                                                                          Welp. Not sure what I can do about that :V

                                                                          1. 7

                                                                            Live up to the name, and dot the dotless versions. Obviously.

                                                                    1. 22

                                                                      Sadly that’s a really difficult bit of software to use. The license states that you cannot use it in any capacity without emailing the author.

                                                                      I’d be very hesitant to engage with this at all, unfortunately.

                                                                      1. 5

                                                                        Yeah that licence is … interesting. I could understand emailing for permission to modify it, but just to use it seems a bit over the top.

                                                                        1. 18

                                                                          This is an effort to fight individual exploitation in the FOSS community.

                                                                          By writing proprietary software. ;)

                                                                          The fact that the source code is available doesn’t make it less proprietary.

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                                                                          Where do you see the license?

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                                                                            It’s at the bottom of README.md.

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                                                                            Not at all. Compiling and running the code privately or for educational purposes would fall under fair use.

                                                                            Exploitation is a huge problem in the community, and it starts with little acts like this to fight it, even if it isn’t what people are used to. And as time goes on I will refine what I do to help the problem. ☺

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                                                                              Exploitation is a huge problem in the community, and it starts with little acts like this to fight it, even if it isn’t what people are used to.

                                                                              I’m not sure this achieves anything, honestly. Other than of course, being proprietary software in an effort to “fight exploitation in the FOSS community”.

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                                                                                what “exploitation” are you referring to?

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                                                                                  The most recent event, which really opened my eyes, was the the one where Amazon took over ElasticSearch.

                                                                                  My code can still be used under fair use, and is available for reading.

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                                                                                    Amazon didn’t take over ElaaticSearch…Elastic chose to relicense it under a proprietary license, and then Amazon forked the latest Apache 2.0 licensed version into a competing product.

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                                                                                      Any software licensed under terms that prevent Amazon (or any other party) from doing this is not free. Maintainers of software that claims to be free software should not be able to prevent users from modifying that software in ways they disapprove of.

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                                                                                  That’s nice for users of your software in countries where Fair Use exists as a concept in copyright law.

                                                                                  In the UK for example, the concept of Fair Use is described as Fair Dealing, and a defence exists to copyright infringement if it is for the purpose of ‘academic study’, ‘criticism or review’, or ‘reporting of current events’.

                                                                                  Running this bot, for example, for my own use in a channel unrelated to its development, I don’t believe would reasonably fall into any of those three buckets.

                                                                                  Have you considered a strong licence like AGPL-3.0?

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                                                                                (Is something wrong on my end or why is the prose monospaced and the code using sans-serif?)

                                                                                SQLite is almost always more user friendy. I sometimes decide to not use tools if they depend on a Client-Server DBMS, just because configuring it is always more complicated than it has to be (for me).

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                                                                                  At my end, the prose is monospaced sans-serif while the code is monospaced with serif (Courier family).

                                                                                  I use Chrome on Windows with no appearance-related plugins.

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                                                                                    Yeah, the body font family is monospace, while the pre font family is “Courier New, Courier;” – i.e., missing any generic font in case Courier (New) isn’t installed on the user’s system. So pre blocks are displayed in your browser’s default font.

                                                                                    Makes for a funny combination…

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                                                                                      Yet another reason not to use monospace for prose.

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                                                                                    So basically we finally arrived at the “make your app a web page” that Apple demanded when launching the iPhone

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                                                                                      Yes, and the latest trend in web development is to render content on the server. Everything old is new again!

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                                                                                        I think it’s better this time, because phones and network are fast enough that doing everything in the browser isn’t limited by UMTS speeds.

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                                                                                          The original iPhone didn’t even support UMTS (3G), it was GPRS (2G) EDGE (2.5G). A load of mobile providers who had already rolled out large UMTS had to go and deploy older hardware to support the iPhone without it falling back to GPRS. The latency on GPRS was awful (500ms RTTs were common, making it unusable for anything interactive).

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                                                                                          I have noticed this and had the very same reaction a few weeks ago.

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                                                                                          To be fair: when Apple announced this, React did not exist, Vue did not exist, precursors like Backbone didn’t even exist, and most critically, most of the technologies and tools we use in 2021 to do SPAs, let alone offline webapps, did not exist. Hell, I think the dominant offline storage solution was WebSQL, which was never standardized and is not (AFAIK) supported in any contemporary browser, and no equivalent of web workers existed unless you had Google Gears installed. You also had nothing like WebGL, or web sockets, or even widespread contemporary CSS that would make reasonable, cross-platform styling feasible. So what Apple was offering at the time was morally equivalent to having bookmark links on the home screen.

                                                                                          (Yeah, I’m very aware of the pile of old meta tags you could use to make the experience be better than that in a literal sense, but that doesn’t resolve anything else I highlighted.)

                                                                                          Speaking purely for myself, I found the initial announcement infuriating, not because I didn’t believe in the web (I did! Firefox was growing! Safari was proving the viability of KHTML! IE was on the decline!), but because Apple’s proposal was just so damn far from what doing that seriously would’ve actually looked like that it felt condescending. The Palm Pre, which notably came out two years later, was dramatically closer to what I’d have expected if Apple were being sincere in their offer. (And even there, webOS, much as I love it, is more an OS that happens to have JavaScript-powered apps than a genuine web app platform in the 2021 sense.)

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                                                                                            Even at the time, Apple’s stance felt to me like, “We aren’t finished with our native SDK yet and it’s so far from ready for public consumption that we’re going to just pretend it doesn’t exist at all.” I remember talking about the iPhone with my coworkers when it first came out and everyone just assumed native apps would be coming at some point.

                                                                                            Even webOS (which I also loved) ended up supporting native apps eventually, despite having a much more feature-rich platform for JavaScript code.

                                                                                            Games seem to be the killer app category that pushes mobile OS vendors to support native code. They’re one of the few categories of application where a lack of native code support can make an app impossible to implement, rather than just making it a bit slower or clunkier but still basically workable.

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                                                                                            Even Firefox OS was too early in the game for that (besides other problems of FFOS).

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                                                                                              If it was timed right, Mozilla would have found another way to run it into the ground. ;-)

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                                                                                                Could not agree more !

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                                                                                            Wow, this speaks to me. I am often frustrated as a soon-to-graduate undergraduate student, looking for a way to contribute to the language/software community and at the same time get enough (not lots, just enough) to live a comfortable life. Having some working experience with internships seemed to help me more in getting into big tech’s resume review rounds rather than a non-profit community. As somewhat a language enthusiast (I’m looking into getting a Master’s on this subject), I sometimes check out Rust and Zig repositories looking for things I can help out with. I have not been able to so far. This has been keeping me thinking a lot about my future since third year…

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                                                                                              You might feel you have some obligation to contribute to open source, but you really don’t. You should take stock of your time, consider what’s most important, and see if contributing to open source fits in there. No-one will fault you for not contributing if you prioritize family or putting food on the table.

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                                                                                                And even if you didn’t, you can’t really force yourself to contribute, if you’re like me. You contribute because you have an itch to scratch, but it a problem you run into every day, something missing you want, or you’re paid to scratch other people’s issues. There’s no contribution without a need.

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                                                                                              One thing I’ve been thinking about recently is a software licence that throws in a clause that it’s only for people. If you’re a corporation you don’t get to use the software without paying for it. The difference from non-commercial software is that if you take on full liability for your business, like a sole trader, than you can use it to your hearts content.

                                                                                              It would also be a license that builds its own ecosystem, you have an advantage in taking on liability compared to big co and only need to pay for insurance. Since anything derived from that work would also require the same you would end up with a flock of one man businesses that collaborate with each other and charge third parties for the software/hardware.

                                                                                              A free market if you will.

                                                                                              Which is a very large change from the current situation where right now the choice we have is to starve on donations, make obscene salaries in big tech, or gamble with even more obscene sums in the buyout game.

                                                                                              The issue I see with traditional tech, viz. online stuff, is that there still isn’t a viable way to charge users for content. But the fact that the real world isn’t digitized yet, and that IoT has been hot air and baloney, makes me wonder if this wouldn’t be the only way to bring computing to the physical world where running costs don’t asymptotically approach 0.

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                                                                                                I hate to break it to you, but corporations are people now…

                                                                                                More seriously, a single person can act as a corporation in all manner of non-evil ways, such as to simplify a one-person business - economic actions made as a corporation are separate from the ones made as an individual.

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                                                                                                  economic actions made as a corporation are separate from the ones made as an individual.

                                                                                                  Is that a good idea?

                                                                                                  If I dump toxic waste in baby formula I will get arrested for something like attempted manslaughter, if a company does it it’s a great way to cut on costs as long as the fines are lower than the costs of proper disposal.

                                                                                                  I’m a big fan of making boards and employees who report to the board criminally liable for the actions their firms take.

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                                                                                                    I’m not commenting on the moral aspect of it, just mentioning that right now there are individuals who are also judicial persons for any number of reasons - businesses, trustees, managing estates. Drawing the line between individual and business is tricky!

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                                                                                                      I think for the topic at hand it’s less tricky; it would just be about making money with a product based on the code in question.

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                                                                                                  One thing I’ve been thinking about recently is a software licence that throws in a clause that it’s only for people. If you’re a corporation you don’t get to use the software without paying for it.

                                                                                                  hm, I find this quite an interesting approach.

                                                                                                  How would that work when a company is (either fully or partially, as original creator or by employing an author) sponsoring an open source project?

                                                                                                  Maybe there should be some way to ensure they pay some amount proportionate to how much they earn from the product in which they use the code. I mean, they’re already paying apple 30% of revenue just to be able to publish their software on the app store…

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                                                                                                    How would that work when a company is (either fully or partially, as original creator or by employing an author) sponsoring an open source project?

                                                                                                    There will be no one size fits all. Have your lawyer call their lawyers and start figuring out licensing fees. It’s how everything else is sold and we’ve had a good 500 years worth of experience in figuring out how that works.

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                                                                                                      hm, might be good if it’s possible to get law firms to agree on some sort of commission-based fee to discuss this on a no-cure/no-pay basis. Otherwise I don’t see it happening for small projects without financial backing.

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                                                                                                        Because those projects right now capture about none of the value they create. From memory the guy who started Vue.js makes less money a year than I do. If you can’t afford a lawyer what you’re doing isn’t a business, it’s a hobby. But somehow our hobbies are used by the largest corporations on the planet to make hundreds of billions a year. I have no idea how developers have convinced themselves that this is a sane state of the world.

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                                                                                                          100% agree. But that’s my point; the Vue creator might not have the money to hire the lawyers to negotiate a good deal with the companies using it in the first place.

                                                                                                          Also, it would be important to avoid the tragedy of the commons situation, otherwise those companies wouldn’t even look at Vue but go with one of the many, many alternatives. But maybe this situation settles itself because once developers start making money they can afford to put more of their time behind the project to support it.

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                                                                                                  To be totally honest, one can learn a lot about the current limitations of today’s Starlink by wading through the HN comments: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=26760735, than by reading the linked puff-piece.

                                                                                                  Things I learned

                                                                                                  • the cell restriction is to prevent congestion at the current level of satellite coverage
                                                                                                  • the hardware is sold at a loss, but is not guaranteed to continue working. You’ll have to be prepared to shell out for new hardware in a relatively short time.

                                                                                                  To me, this is an intensely US submission. I think the US is the only country with the requisite combination of customers:

                                                                                                  • rural/remote location
                                                                                                  • high income to spend on this stuff

                                                                                                  As a citizen of a country with working broadband infrastructure (granted, without the enormous distances that are a reality in the US), I’m kinda pissed that Starlink is plastering the night sky with satellites so that rich preppers can watch Netflix.

                                                                                                  (Edit: wording)

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                                                                                                    so that rich preppers can watch Netflix

                                                                                                    Ignorance of the US or just bad hyperbole?

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                                                                                                      What’s the ignorance?

                                                                                                      • that there’s no significant market of preppers in the US?
                                                                                                      • that they don’t watch Netflix?

                                                                                                      Just kidding, of course it’s hyperbole, but I happen to think it’s quite good.

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                                                                                                      Every new technology starts out as expensive and gets cheaper. Fast sattelite internet that works anywhere in the world is clearly useful for the same broad set of reasons widespread availability of wired broadband is useful, or widespread availability of 56k dial up internet was useful decades ago compared to that previous status quo. I’m sure there are things the people living in places around the world with poor physical infrastructure could do with such internet connections that are more ethical with respect to your value system than watching Netflix while living in a rural area to mitigate the potential effects of emergencies in dense urban areas.

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                                                                                                        Starlink (and its investors) are obviously betting that the first adopters will be the ones who cover the initial R&D and deployment costs and they will be able to offer a cheaper service that can reach more people later. That’s not a totally stupid bet, although the long list of failed ventures for satellite connectivity does make one pause.

                                                                                                        If Starlink makes it so that, say, a farmer in the interior of Congo-Kinshasa can get broadband for the same price or cheaper as they can now get cellphone service, that would be a net good! But if Starlink flames out and we have to wait for 20 years for their satellites to fall out of orbit, I’ll still be miffed.

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                                                                                                      Author starts off setting up the cousin’s situation, with current up/down speeds for comparison and then it turns out the Starlink doesn’t even work… What’s the point of that whole bit then?

                                                                                                      Then we get the Starlink speeds without a non-satellite comparison. 😔

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                                                                                                        Author starts off setting up the cousin’s situation, with current up/down speeds for comparison and then it turns out the Starlink doesn’t even work

                                                                                                        That’s not really accurate - it turns out the cousin’s house is outside the author’s cell - there’s no reason to expect that if the cousin ordered a set, they wouldn’t get the same speed (or better, given possibly better line of sight).

                                                                                                        So, we get a meaningful speed comparison, and a meaningful warning about cell size.

                                                                                                        Ed: in fact, looks like they could run a fiber between the houses, and improve the cousin’s internet, by sharing the connection.

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                                                                                                          I don’t think anyone would expect “cells” for satellite Internet. At least not me.

                                                                                                          And yes, I’d like to get info on the connection in the rural situation of the cousin, or skip completely the long section about it.

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                                                                                                            Running the fiber for more than 100km isn’t going to be cheap

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                                                                                                              It’s probably against Starlink’s ToS too.

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                                                                                                            The point is that this was on the HN front page and people like Elon’s stuff…

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                                                                                                              When asking “What’s the point of that whole bit then?”, you can target either the post, or the submission.

                                                                                                              Your answer is about the submission and probably not useful to the original comment that target (from what I understand) the post, which isn’t helping lobsters to be a good place to exchange about tech related stuff (which this is about).

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                                                                                                                I think the post is on-topic but low-quality. I have not flagged it, indeed, my comment has caused it to gain prominence.

                                                                                                                I stand by my supposition that it was submitted because it spent time on HN’s front page and got traction there.

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                                                                                                                  I haven’t read the post myself yet, but certainty if someone’s experience with the much touted StarLink is that “it didn’t work at all”, then that’s useful information for the comments to discuss, and for me to read.

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                                                                                                                    TL;DR, author’s property could not get the required sky coverage, so they drive 100M to their cousin, who was outside the units cell, went back, bolted the unit to a roof, got connectivity, but will feed back on speeds later.

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                                                                                                              Content creation, most exposure equals more money. Another typical YouTuber.