1. 3

    Honest question: is anyone outside of Fastmail (and Fastmail-owned Topicbox) using this?

    1. 15

      You’ve got to start somewhere. I’d given up on IMAP ever getting better or being replaced. This is an encouraging step.

      1. 2

        Absolutely agree, I’m curious to see if anyone’s implemented it independently. It’s been a thing for a few years now, and I don’t recall seeing anyone else implement it but I know my awareness is hardly comprehensive :-)

        1. 6

          Apparently someone has a grant or something to add JMAP support to K-9 mail this fall. And Dovecot have been talking about adding support for a couple of years, but I don’t see it as having gotten anywhere.

            1. 1

              Can’t wait for K-9 to support JMAP! Since better performance over mobile networks is a core goal of JMAP [1], I except to see a fair improvement when I pull new emails over a LTE or 3G connection.

              [1] https://jmap.io/#why-is-this-needed

        2. 1

          Also, I’m curious why there hasn’t been any move from Fastmail to make it available externally. AFAIK, it’s pretty much an implementation detail of their web client, and there’s no documented way to use an external client connecting via JMAP, nor even mention of it coming in the future.

        1. 4

          Does anyone know of a compatible-client list? I’m guessing that Gnus (for now) isn’t on it.

          1. 9

            There’s an official client list here: https://jmap.io/software.html

            1. 1

              Thanks, this is exactly what I was struggling to find :-)

          1. 3

            What’s so special about platform.sh that it charges 50$ for a tiny server. ?

            1. 5

              Well, based on the domain name, I assume it’s written entirely in Bash, so that probably takes some extra cycles.

              1. 2

                It’s not 50 USD for a server, but for a project. So if you had two “projects” (I’m guessing web sites/apps) it’d be 100 USD instead. I imagine the overhead is for if you don’t want to deal with AWS/Google yourself.

                Their pricing model reminds me of Webflow.

                1. 1

                  It’s not exactly like that. There’s a little more provided to ‘project’ than just ‘a server’. The project model gets you an app (I think just one on the standard plan, but it can be more) connected to provisioned services (databases, search index, queues, whatever) and a git server and some storage. Within your project plan you get a certain number of environments, which are branches. (e.g. staging, feature branch etc.) When you branch you can clone the whole setup, services, data, etc. and everything can be driven via git So there is additional value and a different workflow compared to just provisioning some cloud servers.

                  1. 2

                    I think we are both saying the same thing :-)

                    Their site isn’t very clear (your description confirms things that I’ve guessed at from their site) but it sounds like you get a lot for your 50 USD. They’re taking care of CloudFront, ELB/ALB, CodeCommit/CodePipeline, DynamoDB/RDS, ElasticSearch, SQS etc. for you. If you set it all up yourself you’d undoubtedly pay less to AWS per month, but then you’d have to operate it all yourself.

                    For devs it sounds great if you don’t want to manage all that yourself (or don’t have a team that does it for you at work). It really does remind me of Webflow, which does a similar thing for content sites (i.e. they do everything for you including visual design tool, CMS, form creation & submission handling etc.).

              1. 4

                There are official 64bit builds of GNU Emacs for Windows, and they work very well in my experience. If you’re already familiar with Emacs that seems like the obvious choice.

                If you want a fast, Windows-native editor then I think most people would recommend Notepad++.

                1. 1

                  Think I’m gonna give it a try again.

                1. 28
                  • Get rid of “hello” and “bye”, along with custom footers. Your name is in the “From” field of each e-mail, and your position can be pulled out from Active Directory or something.
                  • Use double enters to make separate paragraphs. Don’t let your e-mail to be a “wall of text”.
                  • Check typos in your e-mails. Or use a spell-checker if you’re too lazy.
                  • Seriously, being too lazy is NOT a good thing. Really. Don’t brag about it.
                  • DO include a short context about the problem you’re having with some issue, along with a link to the issue. Link itself is not enough.
                  • DO NOT use bold text, or italic text, or different colors of your font, or use it very rarely. There’s 95% chance it will be abused. And it will happen that some people will send very important e-mails consisting of only bold letters (even with the footer), because of such critical importance of such email. And later, when everyone will start using bold letters, nobody will notice them anymore.
                  • HTML can be used for good. Like, for example, using links to issues, not for changing the formatting of the text.
                  • Do not place links to Jira, Redmine or whatever, inline in your e-mail. Use references[1], like this[2], and put the links on the bottom of the message, or use HTML and use normal hyperlinks.
                  • If the company uses top-posting when replying, DON’T reply using inline replies. Same thing in the reverse direction. A good rule can be: use whatever convention is used by the person you’re exchanging e-mails with.
                  • When replying, trim footers of the previous person (you can leave the signature, but again, the name will be visible anyway in the From field).
                  • Don’t use custom characters when using inline replies, use standard one like this: “>”
                  • If pasting code, format it with a monospaced font, or at least make an effort with formatting it, so that the person who will read it later will have it easier. If using text mode and pasting code, consider using ‘#v+’ and ‘#v-’ markers.
                  • If writing a longer e-mail, summarize it on the end.
                  • If writing a longer e-mail, try to put a TL;DR version on the top of the mail. Then, consider if this TL;DR version can be sent instead of the longer message. If yes, remove the longer message and send TL;DR version as the actual message (the longer the message is, the smaller chance is that everyone will read it).
                  • Again, if you’re writing a longer e-mail, double make sure the recipients will understand what is it you ask/expect from them.
                  • If you want to say “I don’t know”, include the next best thing that comes to your mind when you think about a solution to some problem.
                  • Remember that an e-mail is written once, and can be read hundreds of times by hundreds of people. Make an effort to spell-check, format, structure it and minimize it (unless you’re writing a poem).
                  1. 10

                    I agree with most of your post.

                    Get rid of “hello” and “bye”, along with custom footers. Your name is in the “From” field of each e-mail, and your position can be pulled out from Active Directory or something.

                    Custom footers I can see either way. They’re noisy, but it also can be useful context. But do say “hi” or “thanks”. People appreciate some warmth.

                    If writing a longer e-mail, try to put a TL;DR version on the top of the mail. Then, consider if this TL;DR version can be sent instead of the longer message. If yes, remove the longer message and send TL;DR version as the actual message (the longer the message is, the smaller chance is that everyone will read it).

                    Good advice. One slightly different spin: if you can’t substitute the TL;DR version, it’s highly likely that you’ve created a document that deserves to live longer than the email you’re writing. Ask yourself whether you should give it a permanent home (e.g. a wiki) after writing the email.

                    1. 7

                      But do say “hi” or “thanks”. People appreciate some warmth.

                      I include these for the first email I send to someone I don’t regularly correspond with, and omit them after that.

                      1. 2

                        That’s probably right, I was reacting to what I perceived as a blanket rule. And I suppose I’d never write “bye”, but “best”, “thanks” or something similar.

                    2. 6

                      Get rid of “hello” and “bye”, along with custom footers. Your name is in the “From” field of each e-mail, and your position can be pulled out from Active Directory or something.

                      E-Mail is not instant messaging. In the latter you can omit the greeting/opening, but personally, I consider e-mails without opening and closing just rude. If the reason for the omission of opening and closing is that you exchange a whole series of e-mails with a specific person in a single day, you’re using the wrong medium. Use an instant messager.

                      Not so long ago, I wrote a (German) blogpost about IM vs. e-mail, albeit it was in a totally different context (security).

                      As for footers, it is not unusual that they are legally required.

                      1. 4

                        It really depends on the context. If you’re writing an e-mail to someone for the first time today, a greeting might not be a bad idea, especially when you’ll probably still use a greeting even if using instant messaging. But I don’t think any further followups or replies require greetings, but still many people use them. It’s not an issue that needs to be resolved, but I just don’t think it’s necessary.

                        As for footers, it also depends on the context. I don’t think footers are legally required when exchanging e-mails inside the company. They may be required when a person needs to contact people outside of the company. But when such a person sends an e-mail to another person in the company, it can look unnecessary to include a “yes” or “no” answer, following with a footer message that is larger than 2 pages.

                        Also I can’t agree with the theory that instant messaging is a fundamentally different method of communication than e-mails. It can be used this way; but I don’t think there should be a pressure to reply instantly if a message will arrive on an IM communicator. If I’m busy, absent, or in a bad mood, I don’t answer IMs. I may answer them 3 hours later. I don’t see it as a problem. If a person is in a hurry, there’s always a high priority phone call that can be made.

                        1. 2

                          Hello,

                          Why is it rude in e-mail, but not in your message on Lobsters?

                          Kind regards,

                          1. 4

                            Good question! While your messages in lobsters may be in response to an earlier comment by a particular individual, the norms are different because it’s a discussion board, in which comments are generally meant to be read by many individuals.

                            1. 3

                              (Intentionally without a greeting)

                              Because lobste.rs is not a replacement for snail mail. lobste.rs is not 1-to-1 communication, but a 1-to-many and many-to-one communication.

                              1. 2

                                E-mail is also not 1-to-1 communication, I am not the only recipient for the vast majority of e-mails I receive.

                                1. 1

                                  When I made my original statement, I only had 1-to-1 e-mails in mind. Public discussion media like mailing lists work over e-mail, technically, but are not what I experience as the normal use of e-mail. My original statement applies to the personal 1-to-1 communication, where e-mail replaces the written letter. Letters are not written without openings and closings, and so shouldn’t be 1-to-1 e-mails. I don’t write greetings in mailing list e-mails either, except for the opening e-mail of a thread.

                                  Maybe I’m just conservative.

                          2. 5

                            Do not place links to Jira, Redmine or whatever, inline in your e-mail. Use references[1], like this[2], and put the links on the bottom of the message, or use HTML and use normal hyperlinks.

                            I disagree with this one. Especially in an email with lots of links and/or text. I find it annoying to have to scroll to the bottom, find the corresponding link, then scroll back up and find my place again from where I was reading.

                            1. 5

                              Get rid of “hello” and “bye”, along with custom footers. Your name is in the “From” field of each e-mail, and your position can be pulled out from Active Directory or something.

                              I’ve come around to this.

                              For those of us who have been around the block a few dozen times, signatures are a hold over from the USENET days, when there was no LDAP or AD or whatever and your .signature was a part of your flair :)

                              But in today’s corporate world, they’re just extra noise.

                              1. 3

                                LDAP and AD does assume it is intra-corporate email isn’t it?

                                1. 1

                                  Is that really where it comes from? I’d assume it comes from signatures in writing physical letters.

                                  1. 2

                                    Well, sure, that’s where the word originated, but I’m saying it was popularized by USENET and early E-mail.

                                    Here’s the USENET “Netiquette” document circa 1993/5 but I’m quite sure it goes back MUCH farther. I know I saw E-mail .sigs in wide use in the late 80s when I was on the internet.

                                2. 3

                                  Adding to this:

                                  • Avoid using passive voice. It adds more, useless, words. Also, complicates the structure of your text, tiring your readers and sometimes even confusing them.
                                  1. 4

                                    Passive voice is to be avoided. More useless words are added by it, and the complexity of the structure of your text is increased by it, as well as the energy and sometimes even confusion levels of your readers.

                                    1. 1

                                      This sentence is clear, but reading passive voice all day will surely tire you.

                                  2. 3

                                    HTML can be used for good. Like, for example, using links to issues, not for changing the formatting of the text.

                                    Agree.

                                    Do not place links to Jira, Redmine or whatever, inline in your e-mail. Use references[1], like this[2], and put the links on the bottom of the message, or use HTML and use normal hyperlinks.

                                    Wait what? This seems directly contradictory to the previous statement. Why are links to issue trackers (Jira/Redmine/whatever) exempt from the previous example of good use of HTML links in email?

                                    1. 5

                                      I think what was meant was this:

                                      Please see issue 1234 (https://foo.jira.com/browse/ABC-1234)

                                      versus this:

                                      Please see issue 1234 [1].

                                      [1] https://foo.jira.com/browse/ABC-1234

                                      If you’re using inline HTML, then it would be an actual link:

                                      Please see issue 1234

                                      1. 2

                                        Yes, that’s what I meant, thanks!

                                  1. 3

                                    Also worth reading if you’re interested in eshell: Mastering Eshell by Mickey Peterson

                                    I’ve tried a few times to make the switch (for redirecting to buffers, using emacs commands easily like opening dired, even little things like opening man foo in the much nicer emacs pager) but so far I haven’t been able to make it stick. My big pain point is the I/O performance: because everything has to go through emacs buffers it’s slow for anything that produces more than a couple of screenfuls of output, and I never seem to know when that’s going to happen. I can’t run one normal terminal emulator and emacs/eshell side-by-side and try remembering to use the proper emulator when a command might trigger lots of output.

                                    Has anyone here managed to successfully get around this sort of issue? How did you manage it?

                                    1. 2

                                      People seem to be able to get around this, or it doesn’t bother them, I don’t know.

                                      I ran into the same issues as you when I attempted to use terminals in Emacs. Decades of Unix usage conditioned me to terminals that just work when there’s lots of output (as they should).

                                      My fix: EXWM.

                                      1. 1

                                        I keep a urxvt terminal around for performance reasons, but I rarely use it. Mostly it’s handy when running something that’s going to spew out tons of logs, but usually you can have that stuff sent to a file without redirects.

                                      1. 3

                                        At work I use a mix of Azure DevOps wikis (markdown in a git repo model) and Confluence. Of the two I think Confluence wins: non-devs have a chance at being able to use it, and it allows for quite sophisticated extensions and embedding (plantuml and ditaa for diagrams for instance, or embedding fragments of docs and avoiding duplication of content).

                                        Its editor still sucks, mind. If Confluence had any local app option (git+markup, or an old-fashioned app, hell even an offline-capable electron thing) it would be almost incontestable in my opinion.

                                        1. 3

                                          I’ve tried OpenBSD a few times over the last few years, and a few weeks back I finally got a working installation (suspending, keys, etc.) but then I realized that it is just generally too slow, especially when compared to Linux on the same machine. And even if some parts are nicer or cleaner, the documentation is more thought through (but not necessarily that easy to find something, if you’re not sure what you are looking for), it’s still not worth having Emacs be 5-10 times slower, let alone Firefox or any other larger application (which to be fair, for me is just the two). It’s sad, but that’s what really what keeps me back, and the main comparison, since both are free operating systems.

                                          Though I should say that it’s quite nice (with the exception of relayd) on servers.

                                          1. 1

                                            What was notably slower? Firefox?

                                            1. 1

                                              Firefox, Emacs, Startup, everything that had to do with I/O basically.

                                              1. 1

                                                For posterity I will say I’ve personally never noticed much slowness sans Firefox, which was solved in the about:config by setting layers.acceleration.force-enabled to true. A lot of packages put information like that in /usr/local/share/doc/pkg-readmes. There are also some sysctl settings that help improve OpenBSD performance, though I shan’t go into them here.

                                            2. 1

                                              I’m thinking of trying openbsd again for a little pet home server, and relayd would necessarily be a part of that (I think, from its docs). What pain did you hit with it?

                                              1. 2

                                                My use case was to serve a regular HTTP server (httpd) and a Go server on the same host, where one domain directs to one port, and the other to another. After looking though quite a few mailing lists (which still takes less time than reading the manual) I got it working, but it didn’t have https support. Also websockets broke sometimes.

                                                But if you only want to host static content or cgi, then httpd should have you covered, which is a bit easier to work with.

                                                1. 1

                                                  I’ve been running relayd as a TLS termination proxy for a few web apps for a few years and it has mostly been fine. A few configuration issues, I can’t remember what exactly (but my fault), and I haven’t tried websockets. Otherwise it has worked for me.

                                                  1. 1

                                                    I’m not saying it’s no doable, it’s just that it seems a lot harder to do (since there is less resources) compared with more popular alternatives like nginx. And I know I could also use nginx, but that kind of takes the whole fun out of OpenBSD.

                                                  2. 1

                                                    Hmmm, yeah I was hoping to virtualhost multiple domains, and redirect ports 80/443 accordingly (some static httpd, some python/flask).

                                              1. 11

                                                Another article about macOS package managers which fails to mention Joyent’s binary sets for pkgsrc on macOS… I’m beginning to think I’m the only one using them.

                                                1. 7

                                                  I used to maintain a bootstrapper script for getting people going with Joyent’s pkgsrc builds on macOS a few years back: https://github.com/cmacrae/savemacos

                                                  I have since moved to Nix, as I use it for more than just package management. But, I can assure you; you won’t be the only one using those packages!

                                                  1. 2

                                                    I used to use savemacos back then, thank you a lot for making something useful and sharing it.

                                                    1. 1

                                                      Ah well that’s nice to hear! You’re very welcome

                                                  2. 3

                                                    You are not

                                                    1. 2

                                                      I’m not using /u/jperkin’s binary packages but I’ve been using pkgsrc on macOS since ~2007 (I’m a former heavy NetBSD user, so rather like pkgsrc). I’m pretty happy with it although I’ve never explored any of the other options (MacPorts, Homebrew, etc).

                                                    1. 5

                                                      The text macros I get, this is clearly a refined system and it’s impressive but I get it. I completely do not get how he’s producing those diagrams in realtime in the middle of a lecture though, so this blog post is a cliffhanger :-)

                                                      1. 3

                                                        I really want to see how the diagrams happen. My thoughts: diagrams on a sketchpad that are later imported (or imported with a script??).

                                                        I used to take notes in LaTeX for 2 courses, for diagrams I would draw them in my notebook and then make diagrams and graphs after class. I stopped doing it because it got to a point where I was trying to fix a latex error and I would ignore the content. I think what would’ve worked best for me would be to take notes in LaTeX during class, but only try to compile it and fix errors after class.

                                                        1. 2

                                                          Have a look here!

                                                          1. 1

                                                            You have a really awesome workflow. Thanks for sharing!

                                                        2. 2

                                                          I just published the follow-up blog post here!

                                                          1. 1

                                                            I was wondering how you did it, if there was a bit of a cheat maybe, and I’m delighted to see that the answer is “streamlining and lots of practise with inkscape”! This is inspirational stuff, keep it up :-)

                                                          2. 1

                                                            I think the answer is mentioned but the setup isn’t described. He’s using SyncTeX with his PDF viewer Zathura sitting next to his terminal that’s running Vim. I agree, it’s a super slick setup to watch in real time.

                                                            1. 2

                                                              Re-reading you comment, I see that you meant the graphical diagrams and not just the LaTeX generation…that would be interesting to see.

                                                          1. 3

                                                            I think it’s not different enough from Markdown to be interesting. Sure it has text diagrams, but you can put text diagrams in Markdown too. You can also add some JavaScript to your Markdown files to have them render automatically in a browser (although I’m not sure I see a point to this, as opposed to just rendering the file to HTML before publishing it).

                                                            It basically feels like a proprietary variant of Markdown, tied to a specific JS lib, so once you start using it it makes it hard to move your data. As opposed to regular Markdown (based for instance on CommonMark), which will work pretty much everywhere.

                                                            1. 4

                                                              While I agree with your sentiment I should point out that the link says that markdeep is an open-source hobby project, not proprietary. (I know you wrote feels like but I thought this note was still worth pointing out.)

                                                              1. 3

                                                                I use it in my blog, and Markdeep is amazing.

                                                                I’m using the diagram feature, and for me it’s basically the decision of either using Markdeep, or not providing diagrams at all, because Markdeep just works.

                                                                1. 1

                                                                  Do you do diagrams by hand? I always get annoyed tweaking the whitespace.

                                                                  1. 1

                                                                    Well there’s always things like artist-mode in emacs, or DrawIt in vim. More convoluted than dia or visio, but they do have the advantage of being inline in a readme.

                                                                2. 1

                                                                  I think adding graphs is valuable however I think it maybe should be done as a contribution to markdown.

                                                                  1. 7

                                                                    There’s no contributing to Markdown, which is the genesis story of CommonMark.

                                                                1. 56

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

                                                                  1. 22

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

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

                                                                    1. 19

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

                                                                      1. 14

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

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

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

                                                                        Firefox:

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

                                                                        Safari:

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

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

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

                                                                        1. 5

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

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

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

                                                                        2. 9

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

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

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

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

                                                                          1. 1

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

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

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

                                                                            1. 6

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

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

                                                                              1. 1

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

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

                                                                                1. 3

                                                                                  This is what happens when you fight the platform.

                                                                                  1. 2

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

                                                                                    1. 8

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

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

                                                                              2. 2

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

                                                                              3. 1

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

                                                                              4. 4

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

                                                                                1. 3

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

                                                                                  1. 20

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

                                                                                    1. 15

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

                                                                                2. 5

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

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

                                                                                  1. 1

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

                                                                                    1. 3

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

                                                                                    2. -1

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

                                                                                      1. 7

                                                                                        Any evidence for this statement?

                                                                                        1. 9

                                                                                          Do you have any proof?

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

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

                                                                                          1. 1

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

                                                                                            1. 7

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

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

                                                                                              1. 13

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

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

                                                                                                1. 3

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

                                                                                                  1. 8

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

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

                                                                                                    1. 1

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

                                                                                                      1. 7

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

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

                                                                                                        The Firefox team is well aware of those two contexts.

                                                                                                2. 0

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

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

                                                                                            2. 1

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

                                                                                          2. 7

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

                                                                                            1. 3

                                                                                              Vertical tabs or bust.

                                                                                            1. 1

                                                                                              iTerm2 should be easy to replace? There are millions of open-source terminal emulators out there.

                                                                                              I just migrated from Enpass to Pass, on MacOS. Much happier. Should work on BSD about exactly the same, although I’ve been burned by Pass a bit when gpg versions mismatched. It would be a much nicer piece of software if it bundled that part instead of using /usr/bin/gpg et al…

                                                                                              1. 4

                                                                                                iTerm2 is very polished, more so than most *nix terminal emulators. Yes, there are many, but most are basic reiterations of the same thing, using the same emulation library. Konsole and GNOME Terminal are good, but they have lots of dependencies if you don’t already use KDE or Gnome.

                                                                                                I’d say Tilix is a good one, that supports iTerm2-like tiling and also looks very good, but there’s no OpenBSD package for it.

                                                                                                1. 1

                                                                                                  I just migrated from Enpass to Pass, on MacOS.

                                                                                                  I’m considering the same move (work has settled on 1password, I’m getting a bit annoyed with the Enpass Qt app on Mac and its habit of losing input focus). How did you manage the migration? I took a quick look at the Enpass JSON export format and it seemed workable for writing a migration script. My one concern is TOTP tokens; how are you handling those on MacOS?

                                                                                                  I’ve seen an issue where apparently there are two formats for TOTP tokens?

                                                                                                  otpauth://totp/foo?secret=0123456789
                                                                                                  

                                                                                                  vs.

                                                                                                  totp: 0123456789
                                                                                                  
                                                                                                  1. 2

                                                                                                    I used a dev version of this https://github.com/roddhjav/pass-import – needed the dev version at the time because I had already upgraded to enpass6 and that wasn’t supported by the release version yet. Dunno if that’s still true.

                                                                                                    I didn’t use TOTP with enpass, so I don’t know about your other question.

                                                                                                    1. 1

                                                                                                      Aha! That’s one less script I have to write :-) thanks, I’d somehow managed not to find that yet.

                                                                                                1. 3

                                                                                                  No mention of virtualenv or a Pipfile? My “empty python project” process is pipenv install <whatever> && pipenv shell.

                                                                                                  1. 6

                                                                                                    Looks like FIGlet still doesn’t have support for colour output, so I’ll keep using TOIlet for my MOTDs :-)

                                                                                                    toilet --font slant --filter gay $(hostname -s) > /etc/motd
                                                                                                    
                                                                                                    1. 2

                                                                                                      I use figlet "Your Message Here" | lolcat -f.

                                                                                                      Another fun one: fortune | cowsay -n | lolcat -f

                                                                                                    1. 2

                                                                                                      How does this work if Skype snoops on the URL as you share it?

                                                                                                      1. 3

                                                                                                        Anyone having the full URL will be able to download the file as long as it’s available. Thus, if a Skype employee, or someone else manages to obtain the URL they’ll be able to download. You can set an additional password though, which you share through a different channel making the URL useless without it.

                                                                                                        1. 4

                                                                                                          I think Vaelatern might be referring to the habit that Skype et al. have of issuing a HEAD/GET for every URL in every message, for their “link preview” features. This probably doesn’t affect Mozilla Send though, as the shared URL is for an HTML document which contains the real download link, right?

                                                                                                          1. 4

                                                                                                            My bad! Nope, that doesn’t affect it at all. You have to explicitly click a download button on the share page. Only when the file is fully downloaded the download counter decreases.

                                                                                                      1. 8

                                                                                                        I just tried uploading a 350MB file as a test, and it looks like it doesn’t generate your unique URL for copy/pasting until it’s done. I remember ge.tt years ago would change the location bar almost immediately to the unique URL, and if someone else loaded the page while you were still uploading they still got a “please wait” page (or did it allow partial/streaming downloads? I forget). I’m always surprised when I don’t see similar functionality on file sharing sites these days. Is there some technical reason Mozilla avoided it here?

                                                                                                        1. 8

                                                                                                          I don’t know the real technical reason.

                                                                                                          What I do know, is that the service currently only responds with the actual share URL after you’ve fully uploaded your file (it isn’t the interface holding it back). The actual share entry is probably only created when it has confirmed your upload didn’t fail. The fact that Amazon object storage is used probably also plays a role. The share URL contains a share ID and secret. The secret is generated by the client, and known before hand.

                                                                                                          So, the method of encryption isn’t the problem here. I think the method of storage, and wanting reliable uploads resulted in this decision.

                                                                                                        1. 2

                                                                                                          So coder.com is like Cloud9, but with VSCode instead of Ace? I wonder how long until MS does something similar for Azure…

                                                                                                          1. 5

                                                                                                            My work area. Just a plain MacOS desktop, nothing fancy. I’m waiting to see what jcs posts :-)

                                                                                                            1. 3

                                                                                                              The link doesn’t seem to work

                                                                                                              1. 1

                                                                                                                Thanks, I guess something expired with the Google Photos share link.

                                                                                                              2. 1

                                                                                                                Tell me about the pig, inquiring minds must know.

                                                                                                                1. 3

                                                                                                                  I used to have two pet pigs. Unsurprisingly, over the years this has resulted in quite a few pig-themed gifts. Xiaozhu was the first, I think, a crudely-carved little jade pig we picked up in a market.

                                                                                                                  1. 3

                                                                                                                    I always wanted pet pigs, but my wife shot that down. Says “They never stay that small”.

                                                                                                                    1. 4

                                                                                                                      Your wife is correct! Don’t get pigs unless you’re ok with looking after a full-grown one, as even the smaller breeds are still medium/large dog size :-)

                                                                                                                    2. 2

                                                                                                                      My brothers had a pot-belly pig as a pet. They said they act pretty much like dogs if you have them in the house. Dogs with some behaviors specific to pigs that anyone can find online. Back to dog analogy, theirs would great them at the door, like being petted, and jump on their laps when they sat on the couch. Loved playing outside with them. Also liked to flip the children’s pool over its head to run around with it for some reason. It sounded like a trip.

                                                                                                                      Curious what yours was like since I don’t run into that many people with domesticated pigs.

                                                                                                                      1. 2

                                                                                                                        They are rather like dogs, yes. Ours were only indoors when they were very young, and by the time they were a year old they were living outdoors in the yard with their own pen. They loved basking in the sun, would snooze slumped against each other and would come running whenever they thought there was a belly rub in it for them.

                                                                                                                        When they were little sometimes they would argue/fight and we discovered the best solution was to throw a blanket over them (it calmed them immediately). A few times this would happen in the middle of the night, and we grabbed one each and put them under the bedcovers by our feet, where they immediately calmed down and went to sleep. Bit odd waking up and wondering for a moment why you can feel a piglet against your feet.

                                                                                                                  2. 1

                                                                                                                    I need to login with a google account?

                                                                                                                    1. 1

                                                                                                                      Sorry about that, I used the Google Photos sharing thing and didn’t realise it wasn’t public (my quick test in an incognito window this morning worked fine, but something has apparently expired somewhere in the meantime). Should work now.

                                                                                                                    2. 1

                                                                                                                      That giant clothespin is awesome

                                                                                                                      1. 1

                                                                                                                        I like it too :-) I bought it in a charity shop many years ago for pennies, and I’ve used it to collect scrap paper and receipts on my desks ever since.

                                                                                                                      2. 1

                                                                                                                        I bought that same keyboard but for the life of me I can’t stand it. I used it for a couple days and had to go back to my unicomp. Just really wasn’t comfortable for me.

                                                                                                                        1. 1

                                                                                                                          It’s worked out completely the opposite for me: I love the laptop-style layout.

                                                                                                                          1. 1

                                                                                                                            It’s like a better Happy Hacking Keyboard. Just wished the Race had a similar bezel to the HHKB.

                                                                                                                      1. 23

                                                                                                                        Put me squarely in the don’t understand the webcam stickers camp. What’s on my screen is 99% more likely to be interesting than what’s in front of it. Like, why try to extort me with a video of me picking my nose when you can just remote drive my browser and empty my bank account. And then there’s the whole microphone thing. It’s hard to imagine a threat model where webcam stickers are relevant.

                                                                                                                        1. 48

                                                                                                                          I was squarely in the same camp… until WebEx started my video on a call when I didn’t want it to, and a nice view of me (and my wife!) in bed wearing pyjamas (I was dialling in from 6 timezones ahead to listen to a town hall meeting) was projected on the wall for everyone to enjoy.

                                                                                                                          I’m not worried about evil malware, I’m worried about WebEx ;-)

                                                                                                                          1. 19

                                                                                                                            I had that happen with google hangouts while I was listening to a call on the toilet. That was a bad moment. With “continuous deployment” this is bound to happen unpredictably.

                                                                                                                            1. 10

                                                                                                                              Yup, IMO badly-written conference calling software is a much more realistic and everyday threat than teh evil hackerz. WebEx and Hangouts and other systems seem to be constantly changing their UI and behavior, yet always seem to really want to broadcast video. And then sometimes pop up some other modal dialog blocking the buttons to stop it. It’s worth it IMO to definitely never ever send out video unless I’ve explicitly okayed it first, no matter what some marketing manager thinks would help them increase their engagement by 1%.

                                                                                                                              1. 6

                                                                                                                                I was fortunate enough to be dressed when it happened to me. Conference software has the worst defaults.

                                                                                                                              2. 42

                                                                                                                                My threat model isn’t malicious attackers as much as incompetence. I use webcam covers in case (1) a program that I trust has some mindblowing lapse in competence and turns on my webcam unexpectedly or (2) I fat-finger a video call button without noticing.

                                                                                                                                1. 4

                                                                                                                                  Ah, I hadn’t thought about that too much since I rarely use such software. Also, I think this thread is the first time I’ve seen someone mention that. It’s always the evil hackers that get blamed instead.

                                                                                                                                  1. 2

                                                                                                                                    Do you use a webcam cover on your smartphone too?

                                                                                                                                    1. 5

                                                                                                                                      I removed the front camera in my phone. It was useless for me, and I didn’t like the idea of never knowing if some app was using it.

                                                                                                                                    2. 1

                                                                                                                                      But what’s the big difference compared to disabling the webcam in your BIOS settings?

                                                                                                                                      1. 18

                                                                                                                                        With a piece of electrical tape over the camera I can “re-enable” it in seconds without rebooting for the times when I do actually need it. Disabling it in the BIOS is a good option if you know you’ll really never need it though.

                                                                                                                                        1. 1

                                                                                                                                          Fair enough, but for someone who never needs it, this doesn’t really change a lot…

                                                                                                                                        2. 14

                                                                                                                                          Stickers/covers are simple in every aspect of their operation.

                                                                                                                                          1. 4

                                                                                                                                            Exactly! Most people’s understanding of stickers/covers allows them a fairly high degree of confidence that it’s working. You can hold the sticker up to the light to confirm that it’s opaque to visible light and you can see that it covers the lens. You can also run a camera application to see what it can see. By comparison, it is incredibly difficult to confirm that a BIOS setting does what it says it does.

                                                                                                                                      2. 14

                                                                                                                                        It’s hard to imagine a threat model where webcam stickers are relevant.

                                                                                                                                        Porn and whacking off to it. I believe one Black Mirror episode was centered on that. I think blackmail on such footage is a credible threat even if you’re not into kinky/illegal stuff. And even if not anything as sleazy as that, there’s something quite disturbing in a random person essentially being inside your house looking around with you having no clue about it.

                                                                                                                                        1. 4

                                                                                                                                          The real threat seems to be people worried about the threat, given all the “I caught you visiting a naughty site, you know which one, pay me bitcoins” spam I get.

                                                                                                                                          1. 4

                                                                                                                                            You do understand that there’s a pretty big difference between the two situations, right? Someone leaking that you visited a naughty site isn’t really comparable to someone leaking pictures or video of you.

                                                                                                                                            1. 0

                                                                                                                                              The scam threat obviously includes “I hacked your webcam” blah blah. Sorry for not posting the entire spam here.

                                                                                                                                              1. 1

                                                                                                                                                Right, that makes sense. I’ve never actually read such a spam e-mail; if I get any, they just end up caught in the spam filter.

                                                                                                                                                You would presumably take the threat more seriously if someone contacted you with some actual proof, such as showing an actual image of you naked taken from your webcam?

                                                                                                                                                1. 1

                                                                                                                                                  I’ve had this email a few times, and they spoof the sender address to make it look like it came from your own email address. This at least gives the illusion of them having hacked you specifically.

                                                                                                                                            2. 2

                                                                                                                                              In a lot of the country, getting caught viewing porn can hurt their career or ability to run for office. It’s hypocritical given lots of people in those same areas watch porn. It’s a reality, though. This is also true for lots of other habits or alternate lifestyles cameras might reveal.

                                                                                                                                              1. 4

                                                                                                                                                In some countries, any consumption of anything deemed immoral can have even more devastating consequences. I know a guy from a small Persian Gulf country — a son of a late imam too — who was scammed for a few thousand euros recently by a con-artist he found on Grindr.

                                                                                                                                                Losing a few thousand euros is not the harsh consequence in this scenario.

                                                                                                                                          2. 10

                                                                                                                                            I mostly agree, but I don’t think you should need to choose. I’d prefer HW switches for microphone, webcam, wireless and allowing only whitelisted HID device instances being active.

                                                                                                                                            As I see Microsoft and Apple (even more so) have started to realize that there is a user demand for more privacy. The next windows update will notify you when there is an active microphone recording going on, for example. I think this is not a bad direction, but too little too late for my taste.

                                                                                                                                            Also I think it is a design flaw that in current windows versions it is still so simple to globally register every keystroke, and that in Windows UWP, and Android there are so many grouped capabilities, and still you have to allow the app to use a capability in advance, or for now and for ever to use these privileges…

                                                                                                                                            I don’t have much experience with Apple products.

                                                                                                                                            Edit: regarding webcams:

                                                                                                                                            You need to take into account that the line between digital and psychical life is getting thinner and blurrier. I often leave my machine running when I leave home, as it is energy efficient, and I might need to log in remotely, or a download is running in the background. A malicious actor could get information about my physical whereabouts, or about an opportunity for home invasion for example, should they deem it profitable.

                                                                                                                                            1. 1

                                                                                                                                              started to realize

                                                                                                                                              This is hardly new. Apple’s 2003 external webcam model, the iSight, included a manual iris shutter/switch that rotated to both disable the device and physically obstruct the camera. Fashions change.

                                                                                                                                            2. 4

                                                                                                                                              There’s a mix of bad things people are doing right now and some things they could do with it that they’ll figure out eventually. I’m not writing about the latter since I prefer them to be delayed.

                                                                                                                                              For now, I’m for being able to totally disable inputs, specific wireless, etc for a simple reason: no access by default until it needs it (POLA). No power by default until it needs it if available. I can try to guess every bad thing that can happen with risky peripherals. Or I can just shut them down when not using them. Covering my webcam is easy way to shut down its vision. My old laptop had a wireless switch, too. My old speakers didn’t act up when I had to turn something down quickly since the knobs actually worked. Killed power with last turn.

                                                                                                                                              On a related note, I also buy old, dumb appliances without smart anything. They also last longer, are cheaper, and have no smart anything for people to hack. If there’s a risk from hackers, just eliminate it where it’s easy. Then, don’t think about it again.

                                                                                                                                              1. 3

                                                                                                                                                Funny, I had never even thought of tape over the webcam as a security measure.

                                                                                                                                                For me it’s entirely there to make sure I’m not on camera when I join meetings unless I explicitly want to be.

                                                                                                                                                1. 1

                                                                                                                                                  If you buy a new laptop there is no choice between with or without webcam. I don’t need it and never use it ergo I put it sticker on the camera, a simple and pragmatic solution.

                                                                                                                                                  1. 1

                                                                                                                                                    Well someone can take over your bank account and take your photo.