1. 2

    .org

    Wait, did folks already forget the recent fiasco around ICANN trying to sell away .org to a company that wanted to jack up rates?

    1. 3

      I for one did not. The situation seems stable right now but we have to stay vigilant that those shenanigans are not repeated. When it does, the people will once again speak. Until then, it seems the .org TLD is safe for the moment. Any reason to believe otherwise?

      1. 3

        No concrete reason, other than the pessimist in me just assumes this isn’t over and they’ll try again in a more subtle way than the first attempt.

        1. 3

          They will try again, ICANN has shown itself to be untrustworthy.

          1. 1

            The question isn’t whether .org is perfect. The question is whether anything else is better.

            1. 2

              Depending on your location, your country’s ccTLD may be better? If I have a French online business I probably don’t want my domain to be subject to US law.

              I love the idea of a truly international non-commercial, non-profit TLD run for the public good. PIR is/was the closest we’ve had, maybe? They and their parent are US non-profits and subject to US courts though, right?

              My personal domain is .org, so it’s subject to US courts and British courts (as that’s where I live). If I owned a .uk domain instead there would only be one set of laws in play, which I think would be better?

      1. 6

        This is besides the point, but when the author describes discovering and settling on VSCode, then:

        I continued using VSCode throughout my college life and during internships.

        How times flies…

        (The initial (non-preview) release of VSCode was November 2015)

        1. 1

          I had a hard time making sense of the author’s timeline… He talks about learning C++ in an MS-DOS IDE, but then used VSCode (which is only 5 years old) throughout his college years… So either he went to college much later in life than most people or his first computer was technically obsolete for two decades before he owned it.

          1. 1

            In third-world countries, Borland’s IDEs were popular in education for long past their sell dates. I know it’s the case for Russia, at least.

        1. 6

          As much as I dislike snap, this post is overly dramatic. You can easily download the non-ubuntu chromium binary and install it without need of snap.

          The main problems of snap, which are “irreconcilable differences” that will alienate a part of the population, are:

          1. hardcoded home directory pollution
          2. user home must be inside /home/
          3. cannot disable the automatic update feature
          1. 9

            You can easily download the non-ubuntu chromium binary and install it without need of snap.

            I suppose they want to use official packages from a reputable repository. Installing binaries manually really is bad practice for security and maintainability reasons.

            1. 2

              I installed the official chromium .deb for Debian and it works flawlessly. (I prefer firefox, but jitsi does not work well in firefox).

              1. 4

                Is that a repository, or a single .deb file? If the latter, that doesn’t get updates along with regular system maintenance. If it’s an external repository, that could be a decent solution depending on how much you trust it.

                1. 2

                  if chromium is anything like regular chrome or firefox they are updated out of cycle with the rest of the system anyway, unless you happen to turn auto-updates off

                  1. 4

                    At work I’m using Chromium and Firefox from the Debian repositories. Auto updates are turned off and will use the standard system update mechanism.

                    Having random binaries update themselves in a system sounds like a recipe for madness to a sysadmin. Also, how does that even work in a multi-user system where they’re installed system wide? Does that mean these binaries are setuid root or something?

                2. 2

                  jitsi does not work well in firefox

                  I keep hearing this, but I use jitsi from firefox every day and don’t have any issues. There was a feature missing in firefox about a year ago that was preventing jitsi from working, That was reported and fixed eventually although it took a while to get through the system. Maybe there are still some minor issues but nothing I have seen that makes me want to switch to chrome.

                  1. 5

                    Firefox’s implementation of WebRTC has some issues that make Jitsi scale poorly when anyone in a call is on Firefox. This is fine for small groups; it only becomes an issue if there’s more than 10 or so participants.

                    1. 2

                      Ok, thanks for clarifying that. I can confirm I am only using it in small groups.

              2. 5

                I really don’t understand why Ubuntu pushes Snaps when there is Flatpaks (desktop) and Docker (server), unless what they really want is to generate lock in. I wished they were more collaborative and smarter about what maked them stand out (like being a polished desktop Linux). Point 1. was one of the reasons for me to switch to Fedora.

                1. 9

                  I find the existence of both Flatpak and Snap confusing. They seem to solve a problem that only exists for a limited set of software within an already very limited niche of users. Web browsers on desktop Linux distros seem to be well-served by them, but how many engineer-years have gone into building these things?

                  I suspect there’s some big benefit/use-case that I’m completely missing.

                  1. 12

                    I find the existence of both Flatpak and Snap confusing.

                    This!

                    Snap and flatpack try to solve two completely unrelated problems: application sandboxing and package distribution, and do a notoriously bad job at each one.

                    Application sandboxing should be an OS-feature, not requiring any action by the potentially hostile application distributors. Thus, it should be able to act upon arbitrary programs. If I want to run “ls” in a controlled container, so be it. Any application, no matter how is it distributed, must be sandboxable.

                    Package distribution is a different thing. At this point, it seems that nearly all of the problems can be solved by distributing a static executable as a single file.

                    1. 2

                      If I want to run “ls” in a controlled container, so be it.

                      That may be rather difficult. It already needs access to the whole filesystem…

                      1. 3

                        But it doesn’t need to access to the network, or file contents and it definitely should not be allowed to change anything. Plenty of permissions to restrict.

                        1. 2

                          or file contents

                          Can you restrict that on Linux? Is there a separate permission for reading files and reading directories?

                          You’d also need a whitelist for reading some files, such as shared libraries and locale.

                          and it definitely should not be allowed to change anything

                          Well it has to be able to write to stdout… which could be any file descriptor.

                          1. 1

                            Can you restrict that on Linux? Is there a separate permission for reading files and reading directories?

                            So long as the directory has r-x (octal 5) permission, and the file does not have read r permissions you can browse the directory but not read the files contents.

                            1. 3

                              No I mean is there a way to allow readdir but not read? AFAIK Linux does not have that level of granularity.

                    2. 1

                      This is entirely new to me too.

                      From the wikipedia entry https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Snappy_(package_manager):

                      The system is designed to work for internet of things, cloud and desktop computing.

                      So it’s a more light-weight Docker I guess.

                      1. 6

                        I’m not sure how much more light-weight they can be, given that Flatpak and Snap are both using the same in-kernel container mechanisms (cgroups, namespaces, seccomp etc.) as Docker.

                        1. 4

                          Somewhat tangential (maybe you happen to know, or somebody else who does is reading) – is the sandboxing any good these days, and do Flathub applications/other packagers user them? About two years ago, when Flatpak was just getting hot, the flurry of “this is the future of Linux desktop” posts convinced me to spend a few weekends with it and it was pretty disappointing.

                          It turned out that virtually all applications on flathub had unrestricted access to the home directory (and many of them had unrestricted access to the whole filesystem), even though it showed the pretty “sandbox” icon – arguably not Flatpak’s fault I guess, but not very useful, and also not very assuring (features that go almost completely unused tend to be broken in all sorts of ways – since no one gets to use them and hit the bugs). Lurking through the bug tracker also painted a pretty terrible picture – obvious bugs, some of which had had serious enough CVEs assigned for months, lingered for months. So basically it was (almost) zero sandboxing done by a system that looked somewhat unlikely to be able to deal with really malicious applications in the first place.

                          (Edit: I don’t mean that Flatpak, or Snap, are bad as a concept – and I also want to re-emphasize, for anyone reading this in 2020, that all of this was back in 2018 or so. But back then, this looked like years away from being anything near something you’d want to use to protect your data – it wasn’t even beta quality, it was, at best, a reasonable proof of concept.)

                          Also, even though this was all supposed to “streamline” the distribution process so that users get access to the latest updates and security fixes more quickly, even the most popular packages were hopelessly out of date (as in weeks, or even months) in terms of security fixes. I expect at least this may have changed a bit, given the increase in popularity?

                          Has any of this stuff changed in the last two years? Should I give it another go this weekend :-) ?

                          (Edit: I can’t find my notes from back then but trying to google around for some of the bugs led me here: http://flatkill.org/ . There’s a lot of unwarranted snark in there, so take it with a grain of salt, but it matches my recollections pretty well…)

                          1. 4

                            It turned out that virtually all applications on flathub had unrestricted access to the home directory (and many of them had unrestricted access to the whole filesystem),

                            A cursory GitHub search of the Flathub organization shows ~150-200 applications have --filesystem=host or --filesystem=home each. And close to 100 have --device=all. So it seems that a large portion is still effectively unsandboxed.

                            Lurking through the bug tracker also painted a pretty terrible picture – obvious bugs, some of which had had serious enough CVEs assigned for months, lingered for months.

                            This is a disaster in the making. Outside the standard SDKs that are provided through FlatHub, applications compile their own picked versions of… pretty much everything. Just going over a bunch of Flatpaks shows that the dependencies are out of date.

                            That said, I see what they are aiming for. The broad permissions are caused by several issues that will probably be resolved in time: broad device permissions are often for webcam access, which should be solved by Pipewire and the corresponding portal. The home/host filesystem permissions can partially be attributes to applications which use toolkits for which the portal mechanism isn’t implemented.

                            The problem that every Flatpak packages their own stuff is more concerning though… I know that the aim is to be distribution-independent, but it seems like a lot could be gained by allowing re-use of regular packages within Flatpaks.

                          2. 2

                            I’m thinking more lightweight conceptually. Docker is seen as a sysadmin/devops thing, Snappy is more like a mobile app.

                            1. 3

                              In practice however it is still a sysadmin thing.

                    3. 4

                      You can easily download the non-ubuntu chromium binary and install it without need of snap.

                      Then you’re either stuck using PPAs (which is a no-go for certain environments) or manually updating the DEB. Both of which are not good options when it should be as easy getting updates from the official repositories.

                      1. 0

                        I’ve found Chris’ recent posts to be increasingly histrionic. He’s otherwise been a reliable read for ages.

                        1. 1

                          You say that but I’d agree it’s a serious bug or even just WTF moment.

                          Yes, there’s the FHS - but nowhere it says (afaik) that software should break if you change something like this, which isn’t even an edge case but has been done for decades.

                          1. 1

                            I don’t disagree with that. It seems like a poor limitation that deserved more attention from the devs once reported. And it would have likely caused problems at the last place I was a Sysadmin.

                            What I’m complaining about is the tone with which he’s presented the issue. And it’s not limited to this post; I’ve been reading his blog for about ten years and it’s been a high quality read for most of that time, until relatively recently when the tone has been more entitled and (for want of a better word) whingy which detracts from the substance of what he’s writing about.

                      1. 6

                        Obvious idea:

                        • run the most bug filled insecure CMS you can find. Leave it somewhere not publicly accessible. (e.g. have apache hide it behind http basic auth and https)
                        • on publish, use wget --mirror -k to generate static pages from it
                        • publish those in public

                        Presumably something like this already exists as a plugin for WP? Any dynamic site generator that doesn’t do anything too surprising in the frontend code is probably one wget invocation away from doubling up as a (slow) static site generator. ;)

                        1. 4

                          I’ve done exactly this in the past and am in the process of doing it again for my personal site.

                          WP has a decent plugin to offload its media library to an S3 bucket; that combined with wget was all I needed.

                          Caveats: you lose comments (no loss in my case) and you will want to edit your theme a bit to remove links to login pages etc. which won’t work from the static mirror. This time I’m planning on putting the whole thing (content pages plus media lib) onto S3.

                          Why bother? I do my photo editing on my iPad these days, and I read a lot on it. The iOS WordPress app provides a very nice “share to” feature that would be tricky to reimplement with some combination of Siri Shortcuts, git, Hugo etc.

                          1. 1

                            Nice.

                            I should maybe have mentioned the comments thing but I figured it could be assumed since it’s par for the course on a static site.

                          2. 2

                            There’s a version of Wordpress packaged for Sandstorm that does something like that: https://apps.sandstorm.io/app/aax9j672p6z8n7nyupzvj2nmumeqd4upa0f7mgu8gprwmy53x04h

                          1. 3

                            I see 8 rules I need to keep in mind when using stringify() to map objects like this. Also, if multiple if/else statements are “not scalable at all”, how is the mapObj and the duplicated key strings in the regex better?

                            If I needed to do this I think I would reach for Map() instead of JSON.stringify(), but perhaps I’m missing something?

                            1. 18

                              Also, the regex replacement is dangerous as the keys might appear in the values of a different object with the same shape. This really isn’t a good solution.

                              1. 2

                                How does Map help?

                                1. 1

                                  It doesn’t really; my kneejerk way of doing this would look like:

                                  for (let [key, value] of new Map(Object.entries(todayILearn))) {
                                      if (key === '_id') output.set('id', value);
                                      else if (key === 'created_at') output.set('createdAt', value);
                                      else if (key === 'updated_at') output.set('updatedAt', value);
                                      else output.set(key, value);
                                  }
                                  

                                  Now I’ve written it out it’s no different from the author’s first “inelegant” solution :-)

                                  1. 1

                                    It may seem a bit “ineleganter” because of these ifs and all, but looks significantly safer and significantly more readable to me then the stringify version there. I haven’t tested it, but I assume it’s also much more performant.

                                    I think there is value in the article in that that it shows some “rules” on how things get stringified (I just wish the naming was better), but the example is a totally wrong one in my opinion - both in proposing the dangerous regex and the use case not being a good one for stringify in the first place, at least in my opinion.

                                    Maybe with some work the article can get improved?

                              1. 7

                                prgmr.com has the openbsd installer officially available, as well as the netbsd installer and freebsd (both as an image and the installer.)

                                1. 3

                                  For those of us in Europe there is also https://openbsd.amsterdam/ (I mention them because one obvious reason to prefer DO is that they have locations outside California).

                                1. 1

                                  I used to use Orgmode for my work logbook (with org-journal), but I switched to Agenda because I wanted something that supported both handwritten notes on an iPad (something I find I do a lot now in work meetings) and typed notes on a desktop (Orgmode obviously only does the latter).

                                  Agenda isn’t perfect: its editor pales next to emacs of course, and I wish it had better outlining support (it just offers word-processor-esque indent/outdent). However it is simple enough, and date-focused enough, that I find it makes an excellent logbook.

                                  I still use Orgmode for my non-logbook notes and all my other writing though.

                                  1. 1

                                    I wish i had a mac, I love Agenda and Things

                                  1. 24

                                    Copy paste is still horribly ‘broken’. I guess <Cmd>C isn’t a thing on Linux and <Ctrl>C has a different meaning in terminals, so I can get with that. And I guess there are tricky/valid historical reasons for having two different clipboards, but for the end user, it’s just shit not being able to copy in one app and paste in the next if you closed the former.

                                    I’ve moved between Windows, Linux, and macOS in my career with enough time to really get used to each, and the mac approach of using cmd for UI shortcuts is just a superior choice for this reason. It pains me that this isn’t possible in Linux.

                                    1. 6

                                      Haiku (and, I suppose, BeOS back in the days when I did not even have a computer) went in the right-ish direction of using Alt for everything GUI. It’s sad to see Linux GUIs to be influenced by Windows so much.

                                      1. 6

                                        Another added benefit of using cmd for UI shortcuts is that it frees up the control key for Emacs style shortcuts. The fact that macOS supports these out of the box is one of my favorite features.

                                        1. 11

                                          MacOS also makes it easy to remap Control to the correct key position (aka the so-called “caps lock” key, which has inexplicable prominence on most modern keyboards).

                                          1. 2

                                            The same goes for Linux (console) and ‘Linux’ (X11 etc). Keys can be remapped more or less at will, if you want to use AltGr or Alt as a ‘command’ key you’re free to do so. The main problem here is that everyone and his dog will end up using a different strategy, e.g. I use a lot of Shift-Left_Alt-X combinations for launching sessions on different hosts while those same combinations might do something totally different on your systems.

                                            1. 1

                                              It’s not impossible on Windows either but there’s no built-in way, instead you have to hack the registry or use 3rd party tools.

                                          2. 5

                                            Even if I do say so myself, since I wrote it, I use appmodmap to dynamically remap the keyboard depending on the application. Then I can still use my Mac muscle memory on a Mac keyboard with my Talos II.

                                            https://github.com/classilla/appmodmap

                                            1. 1

                                              How’re you finding the Talos II? I laugh when I see “a price that won’t break the bank” on their site, but I still desperately covet one.

                                              1. 2

                                                Well, yes, the sticker shock, but I like it a lot. Very little is missing of what I need a computer to do, performance is well within the Intel ballpark, and it satisfies my personal goals of more owner control and materially supporting viable alternatives to x86.

                                          3. 3

                                            It pains me that this isn’t possible in Linux.

                                            This is possible, the WM I use (i3, and now sway) supports setting a modifier key. IIRC the default is the ‘windows’ key.

                                            Linux is the kernel, and there are a lot of desktop environments and window managers that run on Linux…

                                            1. 0

                                              People say “Linux” to mean much more than the kernel. Don’t be That Guy.

                                              I’ve been using Linux for 20 years, trust me it ain’t that simple. Yes you can set some nonzero percentage of UI shortcuts to use another modifier, but it will not be comprehensive. There will always be one more thing that doesn’t behave correctly, death by a thousand papercuts. Linux is simply not capable of making a sweeping change like this in a comprehensive way.

                                              1. 3

                                                What you refer to as “That Guy” is, in fact, “GNU/That Guy”…

                                                1. 2

                                                  People say “Linux” to mean much more than the kernel. Don’t be That Guy.

                                                  Sure, but if you make ridiculous generalizations like “Linux cannot do XYZ”, then you need to be more specific about the userspace you used… because most of the time XYZ can be accomplished on a Linux-based userspace.

                                                  Linux is simply not capable of making a sweeping change like this in a comprehensive way.

                                                  I disagree. This is a userspace problem, and if the right person were motivated to solve it, it could be solved in some UI toolkit, etc. Will all distros adopt it? Who cares, there are different distros that are all different for a reason.

                                                  1. 1

                                                    you need to be more specific about the userspace you used

                                                    No, I don’t because it literally doesn’t matter. The fact that there are a multitude of UI systems to choose from, that don’t share a unified system of configuration, is the crux of the problem. There is no way to enforce any HIG standard in a Linux UI.

                                                    I disagree. This is a userspace problem, and if the right person were motivated to solve it, it could be solved in some UI toolkit, etc.

                                                    Great, what about all the other toolkits? How are you going to generalize this solution to work with all graphical programs?

                                                    You don’t. It’s fundamentally impossible on Linux.

                                              2. 2

                                                Select with left mouse button, paste by clicking the mouse wheel. No keyboard needed.

                                                1. 3

                                                  The point OP is making is not that it’s easy to copy and paste, but that in macOS you have two “layers” of keyboard shortcuts. Most application shortcuts will use Command (Cmd+C to copy, Cmd+C to paste, Cmd+T to open a new tab, Cmd+A to select all, etc), leaving Control to give text commands (Ctrl+A to go to the beginning of the line, Ctrl+E to go to the end, etc, just like in Emacs).

                                                  In theory, this should also be possible on Windows and Linux by using Control and Alt, but in these OS almost all shortcuts use Control, reducing the amount of key combinations that an application can use as shortcuts.

                                                  1. 1

                                                    Many window manager allow defining and using extra modifier keys.

                                                    On a side note, modifier keys are proven to be slower than sequential keypress sequences and also more difficult to remember.

                                                  2. 2

                                                    A keyboard is very often much faster and accurate than a mouse.

                                                    1. 1

                                                      Not necessarily, with the obvious exception that literally typing is certainly faster with a real keyboard than an on-screen keyboard, but the task of choosing an option is probably always faster on a mouse.

                                                      1. 1

                                                        We’ve done a cool $50 million of R & D on the Apple Human Interface.

                                                        The original Ask Tog piece was published on 1989, and the quoted study may have been done some time before that. It needs to be asked how relevant that study is, especially when that study can’t be either found or replicated.

                                                        Further, it is unclear whether the quoted study address the improvement when user performs the same action multiple times as to make it a finger memory.

                                                        Here is a more recent study (2014), which shows that keyboards are fastest for often used commands while toolbars are better for infrequently used ones.

                                                  3. 1

                                                    FWIW I think it will be. With Canonical & Redhat saying “Gnome is THE desktop” I think you’ll see better across the board integration of things like this.

                                                    I don’t love that they chose Gnome (KDE fan :) but I AM happy they chose a horse. Maybe if they can make Gnome better enough, I’ll stop caring :)

                                                    1. 1

                                                      I hope you’re right, but I’ve been using GNOME since the 1.x days and I’m not holding my breath.

                                                      1. 1

                                                        It’s a matter of money and man hours, that’s why I think things will change for the better. Open source is not free. It takes go juice to evolve in positive ways.

                                                    2. 1

                                                      The USB HID standard actually provides (see https://www.usb.org/sites/default/files/documents/hut1_12v2.pdf, search for “Keyboard Copy”) for a usage code that means copy (and friends). So you could in theory create a keyboard that has shortcuts for copy/cut/paste, universally.

                                                      I say in theory because I have no idea if all operating systems handle it properly.

                                                      1. 1

                                                        I actually have an old Sun Microsystems keyboard that has separate keys for cut, copy, paste etc.

                                                        here’s a picture of a similar one (though not identical to mine close enough) https://duckduckgo.com/?q=sun+microsostems+keyboard&t=ffab&iax=images&ia=images&iai=http%3A%2F%2Fxahlee.info%2Fkbd%2Fi%2Fkb%2Fsun_keyboard_left.jpg )

                                                        doesn’t work great on Windows though. it works, just not amazingly.

                                                        1. 3

                                                          Wow, that’s wild. It even has a button for giving folks props on forums. Sweet!

                                                          1. 1

                                                            wait, how can it work less than completely? Does it copy and not paste? copy only sometimes?

                                                            1. 2

                                                              I worded that poorly, the extra keys require a separate driver install on Windows or they will do absolutely nothing. On Linux at least the key presses are forwarded to programs, even if they don’t know how to interpret them.

                                                      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

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                                                                                                                                                      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.

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                                                                                                                                                        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.

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

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                                                                                                                                                            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.

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                                                                                                                                                      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.

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                                                                                                                                                  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.

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                                                                                                                                                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.

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                                                                                                                                                  Vertical tabs or bust.