Threads for indy

    1. 2

      Cool to see this here. Big fan of the podcast, been listening since the beginning! :)

      1. 2

        I’m the host, thanks for listening!

        1. 1

          in a similar thrust to Casey’s making this entire game from scratch, have you seen Charles Childers’ The Code It Yourself Manifesto? It is the second to bottom-most link in the left-hand column, I can’t find a way to link to it directly!

          Loved the episode, too!

          1. 2

            Thanks! This forth guide is interesting itself.

            1. 2
        1. 23

          I used to think this was the case until I realized that Google funds Firefox through noblesse oblige, and so all the teeth-gnashing over “Google owns the Internet” is still true whether you use Chrome directly or whether you use Firefox. The only real meaningful competition in browsers is from Apple (God help us.) Yes, Apple takes money from Google too, but they don’t rely on Google for their existence.

          I am using Safari now, which is… okay. The extension ecosystem is much less robust but I have survived. I’m also considering Brave, but Chromium browsers just gulp down the battery in Mac OS so I’m not totally convinced there yet.

          Mozilla’s recent political advocacy has also made it difficult for me to continue using Firefox.

          1. 19

            I used to think this was the case until I realized that Google funds Firefox through noblesse oblige, and so all the teeth-gnashing over “Google owns the Internet” is still true whether you use Chrome directly or whether you use Firefox.

            I’m not sure the premise is true. Google probably wants to have a practical monopoly that does not count as a legal monopoly. This isn’t an angelic motive, but isn’t noblesse oblige.

            More importantly, the conclusion doesn’t follow–at least not 100%. Money has a way of giving you control over people, but it can be imprecise, indirect, or cumbersome. I believe what Google and Firefox have is a contract to share revenue with Firefox for Google searches done through Firefox’s url bar. If Google says “make X, Y and Z decisions about the web or you’ll lose this deal”, that is the kind of statement antitrust regulators find fascinating. Since recent years have seen increased interest in antitrust, Google might not feel that they can do that.

            1. 9

              Yes, I agree. It’s still bad that most of Mozilla’s funding comes from Google, but it matters that Mozilla is structured with its intellectual property owned by a non-profit. That doesn’t solve all problems, but it creates enough independence that, for example, Firefox is significantly ahead of Chrome on cookie-blocking functionality - which very much hits Google’s most important revenue stream.

              1. 4

                Google never has to say “make X, Y and Z decisions about the web or you’ll lose this deal,” with or without the threat of antitrust regulation. People have a way of figuring out what they have to do to keep their job.

              2. 17

                I’m tired of the Pocket suggested stories. They have a certain schtick to them that’s hard to pin down precisely but usually amounts to excessively leftist, pseudo-intellectual clickbait: “meat is the privilege of the west and needs to stop.”

                I know you can turn them off.

                I’m arguing defaults matter, and defaults that serve to distract with intellectual junk is not great. At least it isn’t misinformation, but that’s not saying much.

                Moving back to Chrome this year because of that, along with some perf issues I run into more than I’d like. It’s a shame, I wanted to stop supporting Google, but the W3C has succeeded in creating a standard so complex that millions of dollars are necessary to adequately fund the development of a performant browser.

                1. 2

                  Moving back to Chrome this year because of that, along with some perf issues I run into more than I’d like. It’s a shame, I wanted to stop supporting Google, but the W3C has succeeded in creating a standard so complex that millions of dollars are necessary to adequately fund the development of a performant browser.

                  In case you haven’t heard of it, this might be worth checking out: https://ungoogled-software.github.io/

                  1. 1

                    Except as of a few days ago Google is cutting off access to certain APIs like Sync that Chromium was using.

                    1. 1

                      Straight out of the Android playbook

                2. 4

                  Mozilla’s recent political advocacy has also made it difficult for me to continue using Firefox.

                  Can you elaborate on this? I use FF but have never delved into their politics.

                  1. 16

                    My top of mind example: https://blog.mozilla.org/blog/2021/01/08/we-need-more-than-deplatforming/

                    Also: https://blog.mozilla.org/blog/2020/07/13/sustainability-needs-culture-change-introducing-environmental-champions/ https://blog.mozilla.org/blog/2020/06/24/immigrants-remain-core-to-the-u-s-strength/ https://blog.mozilla.org/blog/2020/06/24/were-proud-to-join-stophateforprofit/

                    I’m not trying to turn this into debating specifically what is said in these posts but many are just pure politics, which I’m not interested in supporting by telling people to use Firefox. My web browser doesn’t need to talk about ‘culture change’ or systemic racism. Firefox also pushes some of these posts to the new tab page, by default, so it’s not like you can just ignore their blog.

                    1. 6

                      I’m started to be afraid that being against censorship is enough to get you ‘more than de-platformed’.

                        1. 10

                          Really? I feel like every prescription in that post seems reasonable; increase transparency, make the algorithm prioritize factual information over misinformation, research the impact of social media on people and society. How could anyone disagree with those points?

                          1. 17

                            You’re right, how could anyone disagree with the most holy of holies, ‘fact checkers’?

                            Here’s a great fact check: https://www.politifact.com/factchecks/2021/jan/06/ted-cruz/ted-cruzs-misleading-statement-people-who-believe-/

                            The ‘fact check’ is a bunch of irrelevant information about how bad Ted Cruz and his opinions are, before we get to the meat of the ‘fact check’ which is, unbelievably, “yes, what he said is true, but there was also other stuff he didn’t say that we think is more important than what he did!”

                            Regardless of your opinion on whether this was a ‘valid’ fact check or not, I don’t want my web browser trying to pop up clippy bubbles when I visit a site saying “This has been officially declared by the Fact Checkers™ as wrongthink, are you sure you’re allowed to read it?” I also don’t want my web browser marketer advocating for deplatforming (“we need more than deplatforming suggests that deplatforming should still be part of the ‘open’ internet.) That’s all.

                            1. 15

                              a bunch of irrelevant information about how bad Ted Cruz and his opinions are

                              I don’t see that anywhere. It’s entirely topical and just some context about what Cruz was talking about.

                              the meat of the ‘fact check’ which is, unbelievably, “yes, what he said is true, but there was also other stuff he didn’t say that we think is more important than what he did!”

                              That’s not what it says at all. Anyone can cherry-pick or interpret things in such a way that makes their statement “factual”. This is how homeopaths can “truthfully” point at studies which show an effect in favour of homeopathy. But any fact check worth its salt will also look at the overwhelming majority of studies that very clearly demonstrate that homeopathy is no better than a placebo, and therefore doesn’t work (plus, will point out that the proposed mechanisms of homeopathy are extremely unlikely to work in the first place, given that they violate many established laws of physics).

                              The “39% of Americans … 31% of independents … 17% of Democrats believe the election was rigged” is clearly not supported by any evidence, and only by a tenuous interpretation of a very limited set of data. This is a classic case of cherry-picking.

                              I hardly ever read politifact, but if this is really the worst fact-check you can find then it seems they’re not so bad.

                              1. 7

                                This article has a few more examples of bad fact checks:

                                https://greenwald.substack.com/p/instagram-is-using-false-fact-checking

                              2. 7

                                Media fact-checkers are known to be biased.

                                [Media Matters lobby] had to make us think that we needed a third party to step in and tell us what to think and sort through the information … The fake news effort, the fact-checking, which is usually fake fact-checking, meaning it’s not a genuine effort, is a propaganda effort … We’ve seen it explode as we come into the 2020 election, for much the same reason, whereby, the social media companies, third parties, academic institutions and NewsGuard … they insert themselves. But of course, they’re all backed by certain money and special interests. They’re no more in a position to fact-check than an ordinary person walking on the street … — Sharyl Attkisson on Media Bias, Analysis by Dr. Joseph Mercola

                                Below is a list of known rebuttals of some “fact-checkers”.

                                Politifact

                                • I wanted to show that these fact-checkers just lie, and they usually go unchecked because most people don’t have the money, don’t have the time, and don’t have the platform to go after them — and I have all three” — Candace Owens Challenges Fact-Checker, And Wins

                                Full fact (fullfact.org)

                                Snopes

                                Associated Press (AP)

                                • Fact-checking was devised to be a trusted way to separate fact from fiction. In reality, many journalists use the label “fact-checking” as a cover for promoting their own biases. A case in point is an Associated Press (AP) piece headlined “AP FACT-CHECK: Trump’s inaccurate boasts on China travel ban,” which was published on March 26, 2020 and carried by many news outlets.” — Propaganda masquerading as fact-checking

                                Politico

                                1. 4

                                  I’m interested in learning about the content management systems that these fact checker websites use to effectively manage large amounts of content with large groups of staff. Do you have any links about that?

                                  1. 3

                                    The real error is to imply that “fact checkers” are functionally different from any other source of news/journalism/opinion. All such sources are a collection of humans. All humans have bias. Many such collections of humans have people that are blind to their own bias, or suffer a delusion of objectivity.

                                    Therefore the existence of some rebuttals to a minuscule number of these “fact checks” (between 0 and 1% of all “fact checks”) should not come as a surprise to anyone. Especially when the rebuttals are published by other news/journalism/opinion sources that are at least as biased and partisan as the fact checkers they’re rebutting.

                                    1. 1

                                      The real error is to imply that “fact checkers” are functionally different from any other source of news/journalism/opinion.

                                      Indeed they aren’t that different. Fact-checkers inherit whatever bias that is already present in mainstream media, which itself is a well-documented fact, as the investigative journalist Sharyl Atkisson explored in her two books:

                                      • The Smear exposes and focuses on the multi-billion dollar industry of political and corporate operatives that control the news and our info, and how they do it.
                                      • Slanted looks at how the operatives moved on to censor info online (and why), and has chapters dissecting the devolution of NYT and CNN, recommendations where to get off narrative news, and a comprehensive list of media mistakes.
                              3. 5

                                After reading that blog post last week I switched away from Firefox. It will lead to the inevitable politicization of a web browser where the truthfulness of many topics is filtered through a very left-wing, progressive lens.

                                1. 23

                                  I feel like “the election wasn’t stolen” isn’t a left- or right-wing opinion. It’s just the truth.

                                  1. 15

                                    To be fair, I feel like the whole idea of the existence of an objective reality is a left-wing opinion right now in the US.

                                    1. 5

                                      There are many instances of objective reality which left-wing opinion deems problematic. It would be unwise to point them out on a public forum.

                                      1. 8

                                        I feel like you have set up a dilemma for yourself. In another thread, you complain that we are headed towards a situation where Lobsters will no longer be a reasonable venue for exploring inconvenient truths. However, in this thread, you insinuate that Lobsters already has become unreasonable, as an excuse for avoiding giving examples of such truths. Which truths are being silenced by Lobsters?

                                        Which truths are being silenced by Mozilla? Keep in mind that the main issue under contention in their blog post is whether a privately-owned platform is obligated to repeat the claims of a politician, particularly when those claims would undermine democratic processes which elect people to that politician’s office; here, there were no truths being silenced, which makes the claim of impending censorship sound like a slippery slope.

                                        1. 4

                                          Yeah but none that are currently fomenting a coup in a major world power.

                                    2. 16

                                      But… Mozilla has been inherently political the whole way. The entire Free Software movement is incredibly political. Privacy is political. Why is “social media should be more transparent and try to reduce the spread of blatant misinformation” where you draw the line?

                                      1. 5

                                        That’s not where I draw the line. We appear to be heading towards a Motte and Bailey fallacy where recent events in the US will be used as justification to clamp down on other views and opinions that left-wing progressives don’t approve of (see some of the comments on this page about ‘fact checkers’)

                                        1. 7

                                          In this case though, the “views and opinions that left-wing progressives don’t approve of” are the ideas of white supremacy and the belief that the election was rigged. Should those not be “clamped down” on? (I mean, it’s important to be able to discuss whether the election was rigged, but not when it’s just a president who doesn’t want to accept a loss and has literally no credible evidence of any kind.)

                                          1. 2

                                            I mentioned the Motte and Bailey fallacy being used and you bring up ‘white supremacy’ in your response! ‘White Supremacy’ is the default Motte used by the progressive left. The Bailey being a clamp down on much more contentious issues. Its this power to clamp down on the more contentious issues that I object to.

                                            1. 6

                                              So protest clamp downs on things you don’t want to see clamp downs on, and don’t protest clamp downs on things you feel should be clamped down on? We must be able to discuss and address real issues, such as the spread of misinformation and discrimination/supremacy.

                                              But that’s not even super relevant to the article in question. Mozilla isn’t even calling for censoring anyone. It’s calling for a higher degree of transparency (which none of us should object to) and for the algorithm to prioritize factual information over misinformation (which everyone ought to agree with in principle, though we can criticize specific ways to achieve it).

                                              1. 4

                                                We are talking past each other in a very unproductive way.

                                                The issue I have is with what you describe as “…and for the algorithm to prioritize factual information over misinformation”

                                                Can you not see the problem when the definition of ‘factual information’ is in the hands of a small group of corporations from the West Coast of America? Do you think that the ‘facts’ related to certain hot-button issues will be politically neutral?

                                                It’s this bias that i object to.

                                                This American cultural colonialism.

                                                1. 3

                                                  Can you not see the problem when the definition of ‘factual information’ is in the hands of a small group of corporations from the West Coast of America?

                                                  ReclaimTheNet recently published a very good article on this topic

                                                  https://reclaimthenet.org/former-aclu-head-ira-glasser-explains-why-you-cant-ban-hate-speech/

                                                  1. 3

                                                    That’s an excellent article. Thank you for posting it.

                                                    1. 3

                                                      You’re welcome. You might be interested in my public notes on the larger topic, published here.

                                      2. 3

                                        Out of interest, to which browser did you switch?

                                  2. 2

                                    if possible, try vivaldi, being based on chromium, it will be easiest to switch to f.e. you can install chromium’s extensions in vivaldi. not sure about their osx (which seems to be your use-case), support though, so ymmv.

                                  1. 26

                                    Avoiding culture war issues. I found any engagement to be highly stressful and rarely constructive

                                    1. 4

                                      I avoid it as much as I can, I never willingly participate in these issues, but sometimes I find myself explicitly targeted by combatants in this war.

                                    1. 2

                                      Reminded of Microsoft’s Palladium from 20 years ago.

                                      1. 4

                                        The biggest unsolved issue in programming language design is a social one:

                                        How to stop “well-intentioned” people from suggesting/demanding/adding features until the language collapses under its own complexity.

                                        For this reason, I believe it is unlikely that there will be any lasting progress in language design within my lifetime.

                                        1. 2

                                          Clojure does this well. Want something added? Make it a library. No adding operators to the core language or changing syntaxes.

                                          This is related to https://erikbern.com/2016/12/05/the-half-life-of-code.html because clojure more looks like each year adds a thin layer of bedrock

                                          1. 2

                                            Remove the social element and have a benevolent dictator? Jonathan Blow’s Jai language looks interesting and takes such an approach. (Now if only he’d release a publicly available beta)

                                            1. 1

                                              That may help for your personal project, but doesn’t stop the decay of languages (that many people depend on) out there.

                                              E. g. if the reaction to not wanting another feature is basically HOW DARE YOU, EXPLAIN YOURSELF then there is no chance of ever getting language growth under control.

                                              1. 1

                                                Elm’s Evan (I think that’s his name) is another language dictator. I think Elm is quite a nice language, and is extremely simple. A lot of thought goes into each new feature of the language. However, people have voiced concerns with Evan’s leadership; I don’t quite know enough about that.

                                            1. 1

                                              I’ve created a scheme-like language for generating art: https://seni.indy.io/

                                              It has syntax for specifying which parts of the code can vary, and a system that uses genetic algorithms then generates variations.

                                              This is a personal project that I’ve been working on for a few years, originally implemented in JS, then C (via wasm) and currently in Rust (via wasm)

                                              1. 2

                                                I spend more time reading articles about the books that programmers should read than actually reading the books

                                                1. 1

                                                  Programming Rust is really, really good. Well worth the $15.

                                                  1. 1

                                                    Totally agree, I basically bought the bundle as it was the cheapest way of obtaining the Programming Rust book.

                                                  1. 5

                                                    I’m curious as to Google’s motivation for Fuschia: what does it offer over Linux?

                                                    1. 26

                                                      They’ll be able to use a license other than the GPL and have a stable ABI. This would please a lot of device manufacturers

                                                      1. 4

                                                        Isn’t the Linux ABI somewhat stable? Isn’t that a sticking point for Linus, not breaking userspace?

                                                        1. 12

                                                          The syscall interface is stable. The ABI for kernel modules/drivers is not.

                                                          1. 2

                                                            If this is the main objective, didn’t they “solve” this with Android’s new hardware abstraction layer?

                                                            Rebuilding from the ground up seems like a huge amount of work when we can build up piecemeal stuff pretty nicely

                                                            1. 9

                                                              I doubt the ABI chances have been solved with the /vendor partition. As I understand it, this change just allows for a clear separation between what is and isn’t the core Android system. Manufactures can still have binary blobs in /vendor and not release their customizations and plugins kept there. ABI breakage happens at the Kernel level, and can only be solved in the Android world if Google forced all manufactures to one standard Kernel for all devices.

                                                              The GPL is also something they can’t solve either. This is probably the saddest part of the Fuchsia project, and echos Google releasing Chrome after drumping so much money into Firefox. They support the OSS tool, but then dump them because they want their own control and licensing. Their new tool is still OSS, but with a license that’s better for them. I wrote about how companies embrace/use OSS a while back:

                                                              http://penguindreams.org/blog/the-philosophy-of-open-source-in-community-and-enterprise-software/

                                                      2. 11

                                                        We’ve seen a large number of Google devices coming to market (tablets, phones, notebooks). I wouldn’t be surprised if they were on their way to an “Apple”-like hardware mode where we have a 3rd, proprietary, but fully integrated environment to choose from. MSFT has the same sort of model going, with the Surface line of things, so it could be that we have an all out war between MSFT and Google for the next generation of business machines. I mean, look at the product lines:

                                                        • Office: Covered by both, with MSFT having the product to beat
                                                        • Email/Calendaring/Collaboration/etc: Exchange / Sharepoint vs Apps for Business
                                                        • Managed “IT” services: Windows Server (run yourself, with domains etc) vs. Apps for Business

                                                        Apple isn’t a threat to MSFT in this space, though it has a lot of similar, consumer grade, products.

                                                        Obviously, there’s a bootstrapping problem for Google here, but, I’m sure there’s nothing stopping the Fuchsia team from running a Dalvik VM, or making Android apps run seamlessly on it, and I’d fathom that that’s part of the plan for adoption, with Dart/Flutter being the answer to C#/.NET.

                                                        Google recently killed off Chrome Apps, so it seems that extending the Chromebook beyond running android apps, and Chrome Extensions (very limited as far as I can tell) will lead to an eventual death for the Chrome OS line of products.

                                                        So, you have the ability to take what you’ve learned from Chrome OS, integrate all the hosted “cloud” stuff seamlessly into a full feature operating system that has better native app abilities? Seems like a lot of potential to gain market share, especially, as they are doing so in the open, where “what’s this Fuchsia thing?” is being asked about, people can look at, play with it, and audit the design, source code, and, of course, write blog posts about how it’s broken. Basically, they’re in a really good position here, technically, and from a marketing standpoint. It markets itself! And jeesh! Think of all the baggage they are eliminating by starting fresh.

                                                        Black hats are salivating, and keeping track of all the errors that are being made in commits, just hoping that they become exploitable in some future, after aging a couple years without being touched….

                                                        1. 7

                                                          See the linked article in the article about how Google likes to build two of everything. I figure it’s essentially a hedge. If it turns out to be awesome in some way that Linux can’t be, they can move to it. If it turns out they need to do something they can’t do on Linux, they have this other OS all ready to go. If it turns out that it doesn’t do anything as well as Linux-based systems already can, then they aren’t really out anything but some money and engineer time, which they have plenty of. Google likes to do this in a number of domains to ensure that they stay on top no matter which way the industry goes.

                                                          1. 11

                                                            Linux has accumulated a lot of irrelevant features (attack surface) over time?

                                                            1. 4

                                                              They have the money and time to do it? Or perhaps they are tired of trying to make the fragmented android / linux ecosystem work for them amd want to take a new approach they can fully control. Ui-wise I’m happy to see that it seems to have a functional out-of-the-box app launcher ala Kiss, though I guess any ui component will massively change in the future.

                                                            1. 3

                                                              WebAssembly is the reason that I’ve returned to C. Prior to that, like ESR, the last time I started a C project was in the 20th century.

                                                              1. 6

                                                                Expect some moves with wasm and Rust in the future ;)

                                                              1. 2

                                                                Looks like these Node Summit 2017 videos haven’t been made public yet.

                                                                1. 1

                                                                  Added a note, apologies.

                                                                1. 3

                                                                  If only Google had bought Sun instead of Oracle. They would have been much better stewards of Java, Solaris, DTrace, ZFS etc

                                                                  1. 8

                                                                    Java maybe, but not Solaris or ZFS because Google is an massive Linux user (cluster, Cloud, ChromeOS, Android, developer machines) and distributed file systems on top of ext4. A lot of ZFS features aren’t interesting in a Google-style cluster. And probably not DTrace because single-system tracing isn’t as a big a use case as cluster-level tracing.

                                                                  1. 3

                                                                    It’s asking me to create an account.

                                                                    1. 2

                                                                      Even after creating an account it says I don’t have permission to view the post

                                                                      1. 1

                                                                        Hum. I’ll see what went wrong, and repost (and delete this one) if I can.

                                                                        1. 1

                                                                          I think the post has been set to protected since I posted it here. I can’t visit it myself any more, either, though I can still visit its siblings. Apologies to all.