Threads for jenx

  1. 32

    If I were to compile a list of things I believe have the potential to make you a better coder, typing speed would very likely not even make it. Getting any sort of benefit from your amazingly high WPM output assumes you actually have something to type, which is – at least for me – most of the time not the case when programming. I spend much more time thinking about what to write and where to write it than I do actually typing. Does it then matter that I can, after an hour of investigation, write that 1 line fix in n seconds as opposed to n + 1?

    If you feel like your typing speed is holding you back, then by all means invest time in getting better at it. But if not, there are so many other areas you can focus on – like reading and understanding other people’s code – that have a much higher chance of making a better (and more efficient) coder out of you.

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      I remember reading that 80 percent of our time on a project is reading instead of writing code.

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        .. and thinking about the solution. that is also why i don’t get the “using the mouse makes me slow” argument. especially when some things are faster using the mouse, given the right tools :)

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          When is using a mouse faster?

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            The mouse is a very fast way to make a precise selection from fuzzy data.

            For instance, I’m often looking at outliers on a heatmap graph. Selecting a group of outliers to investigate with the keyboard would be slow and error-prone; mouse selection is near-instant.

            Over in radiology, a mouse is a popular way to adjust the windowing function used to render a scan (by adjusting the window size on one mouse axis, and the midpoint on the other). This would also be slower and more error-prone with a keyboard.

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              I find using mouse easier for switching between multiple files. Looping over dozens of windows is a nightmare with keyboard. Don’t suggest using a shortcut to focus window by its title, usually I don’t remember them.

              Also, sometimes touchpad is faster, e.g. with Force Touch on MacBooks you can instantly look up the definition/translation of the word.

              And so are touch screens. Using keyboard/mouse/touchpad is so inefficient after arranging windows with your fingers! Tiling window managers are not panacea.


              And, ahem, how would you play DOOM on 9front without mouse?


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                If I have too many windows open, I close some, or otherwise put them on different monitors or virtual desktops for instant navigation with shortcuts. Each to their own, of course. The main things I can’t not use a mouse for are FPS games and DAWs.

                I first played the PSX version of DOOM, and a little later, a keyboard-only version. Vertical aiming isn’t necessary at all, and it’s perfectly serviceable without a mouse!

              2. 2

                for me:

                • navigating in text is done faster using the mouse when jumping more than a few lines/words, even when displaying relative line numbers in vim.

                • acmes mouse chording is really nice to use and required only a short time to become used to. i still wish copy/cut/paste would work like this everywhere. maybe modified a bit for the current mice, clicking with the wheel isn’t that great.

          2. 1

            If I were to compile a list of things I believe have the potential to make you a better musician, your ability at sight reading would very likely not even make it. Getting any sort of benefit from your amazing sight reading skills assumes you actually have something to play, which is—at least for me—most of the time not the case when playing music. I spend much more time thinking about what to play and when to play it than I do actually playing. Does it matter that I can, after a week of studying, play this piece 120bpm as opposed to merely 100bpm?

            If you feel that your musical reading ability is holding you back, then by all means invest time in learning solfège. But if not, there are so many other areas of musicianship you can focus on—like listening and understanding other people’s music—that have much higher chance of making a better (and more virtuosic) musician out of you.

          1. 10

            While I agree with the practical suggestions of this article in principle, what’s being suggested here effectively sounds like “host your own git repositories so you’re free of all criticism and can let your toxic behavior go unchecked”? I think there’s a difference between GitHub taking action on things that are legitimately offensive and would go against any Code of Conduct, and the true political censorship GitHub has been enforcing over the last months, such as barring users to access their site based on their location.

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              Presumably, people disagree with Github about the what constitutes “toxic” and “legitimately offensive”.

              Or (like me) they are uncomfortable with a service enforcing their views, even if the views themselves are reasonable.

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                Personally, I would like it if the services I used barred people who don’t think I deserve to exist from participating in the same things I participate in.

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                  I would like it if the services I used barred people who don’t think I deserve to exist

                  FWIW, I have strong issues with people who think other categories of people should not exist, and it sucks that you have to deal with them.

                  However, I don’t think this is a very good long term practical solution, especially when the moral compass of a lot of SV companies seems to be directly related to the amount of social media pressure a given issue garners. I would perhaps have a different viewpoint if companies had a well articulated, solid set of moral principles that they stuck to.

                  Even then, I see services such as code hosting as completely orthogonal to political/moral judgement. I see no reason why they should be intertwined.

                  1. 13

                    I don’t want to retread the same ground that we’ve been on 100 times before for the sake of winning an argument online, so I’ll just say that my opinion is that all social spaces are political and therefore require moderation (codes of conduct, etc) in order to be welcoming to newcomers. GitHub has a much larger precedent on this than almost all other code hosting platforms I’ve seen.

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                      I don’t see how every social space being political logically leads to the conclusion that they should be welcoming to newcomers. And every social space being moderated sounds like a totalitarian nightmare.

                      I can see that ‘social’ aspect of github does potentially shift it towards more of a political space, especially as they do position themselves as a place for newcomers. I would say, though, that people like the author of the article wanting to move away from that social aspect and the attendant rules is not necessarily a sign that they want create a den of free-for-all abuse and horror. Perhaps they just don’t want every space they inhabit to be political.

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                        Professional social spaces (that is: places where some of the people have to be there in order to keep a roof over their head) need very different rules from other kinds of space.

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                          Indeed; github is in some ways more like a workplace than, say, a cafe or a park.

                          Thinking about it in those terms helps me to clarify my objection. Github is more analogous to an office building than to an organisation. It’s a piece of infrastructure within which individuals and organisations come to work. It would seem rather bizarre if the owner of an office building enforced rules about the speech of their tenants.

                          It’s obviously an imperfect analogy.

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                            It would be bad if every cafe and park was required to enforce the same rules as a workplace, just in case you encountered someone you knew at work there.

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                              If Github is analogous to an office building, surely a project within it is analogous to the group of people operating within it.

                              If those people put up a sign saying “You’re welcome to come in, but don’t do X”, and you decide to do that anyways, don’t whinge when they call security (github) and ask to have you escorted from the premises (banned).

                              (that is: projects have codes of conduct; github has very lax rules other than ‘behave on other peoples projects’)

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                                (that is: projects have codes of conduct; github has very lax rules other than ‘behave on other peoples projects’)

                                The original article has examples of github enforcing their own set of standards.

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                                  If GitHub’s own rules are that minimal, then to respond to @marisa’s original point, the relevant distinction isn’t between GitHub and self-hosted projects, but projects with an appropriate (and enforced) code of conduct and those without one. And AFAIK, there’s no reason why more project maintainers who conscientiously apply and enforce a CoC shouldn’t leave GitHub and host their repo, issue tracker, etc. under their own domain.

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                                    I agree, but that’s not what the blog post sounded like :)

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                            I’ll just say that my opinion is that all social spaces are political and therefore require moderation (codes of conduct, etc) in order to be welcoming to newcomers.

                            Even if you take this as read, and I think this statement taken in isolation is reasonable, you still need platform diversity because some platforms will settle on codes of conduct which you see as wrong, perhaps even horribly wrong. One example is TERFs: They see trans women as males invading female spaces and will work extremely hard to police that kind of thing, which is inherently unfriendly to trans people. Unless you’re absolutely sure none of the kinds of platform you want to participate in (code hosting, web hosting, issue tracking, etc.) will go a pro-TERF route, you need some kind of backup plan to avoid dealing with them.

                            Self-hosting is simply the ultimate backup plan.

                        2. 10

                          It’s getting annoying to have to keep a list of the services I shouldn’t use due to overly pedantic/prescriptive definitions of sex/gender.

                          1. 1

                            That is confusing: How sex/gender came into question with Git Hosting?

                            Of course it is a social network that tries to map account to social identities. That is the source of the problem: Github being not only a git service but also aiming to be a part of our “lifestyle”.

                            1. 19

                              It’s common for queer activists, particularly trans activists, to argue that people who disagree with them on political issues related to sex and gender “think they don’t deserve to exist”, using that specific phrasing. I think this kind of rhetoric is nearly always disingenuous, designed to make it seem like their attempts to censor opposing rhetoric are unquestionably-righteous, rather than themselves a kind of true political censorship. If you think that your own freedom to publish things on the internet is important, then you should try to avoid centralized services like Github precisely because they can be co-opted by political activists (who you might not agree with) who think that advancing their cause and suppressing their opponents is more important than your freedom to publish things on the internet.

                              1. 6

                                I think this kind of rhetoric is nearly always disingenuous, designed to make it seem like their attempts to censor opposing rhetoric are unquestionably-righteous, rather than themselves a kind of true political censorship.

                                There is a difference between censorship and trying to maintain a level of basic human decency in a community.

                                In order for a larger community to function you need to set at least some rules in place to determine what kind of behavior and speech is not welcome. The worst you allow sets the bar. I can think of at least one genuinely “censorship”-free place and we all know how pleasant of a corner of the internet that is.

                                So assuming we can agree that at least some rules are needed, the question – and I’m by no means saying it’s an easy one – is where to draw the line. For me, unsolicited opinions about trans people are very far from simply “disagreeing on political issues”. They’re actively harmful. How can you “disagree” with someone’s lived experience? Is that not, in itself, a form of invalidation, of erasure?

                                The kind of behavior and speech you allow also effectively silences people who would otherwise like to be part of the community by forcing them out or discouraging them from joining in the first place. But somehow, people are more worried about censorship. I’m more concerned about the people who didn’t even get to say anything in the first place.

                                1. 5

                                  When I become king, this will be stapled to the doors of GitHub, Twitter, the BBC…

                                  I might run out of staples.

                                  1. 10

                                    I think this kind of rhetoric is nearly always disingenuous, designed to make it seem like their attempts to censor opposing rhetoric are unquestionably-righteous, rather than themselves a kind of true political censorship.

                                    Whenever I hear or read someone saying “trans people are too pushy” I mentally substitute them saying “women are too shrill”, or “black people are too uppity”, and I afford their utterance precisely the amount of respect it deserves.

                                    1. 9

                                      You’re proving @Hail_Spacecake’s point.

                                      What you just said can be logically reduced to “whenever I hear someone say x, I substitute that with some y that they didn’t actually say.”

                                      This is exactly the kind of straw-manning disingenuous argument style that we’ve all become accustomed to when engaging this specific flavour of political activist.

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                                        I’m saying that there’s no qualitative difference in the arguments against trans rights than in past arguments against the rights of women, gays, or people of color.

                                        1. 9

                                          A criticism of an underhanded debate tactic used by a group is not a tacit denial of that group’s rights.

                                          I mean, look at it the other way around: You’re arguing against me. Does that mean you don’t believe I deserve equal rights?

                                      2. 4

                                        trans people are too pushy

                                        But that’s really not what @Hail_Spacecake is saying, is it? He points out that there are queer/trans activists who reduce opposition to the personal attack that one “don’t deserve to exist”, which if it is a “common” thing, would be a legitimate criticism. Other than that, I don’t see how what you say related to the discussion? If anything, you would want decentralised systems so that those who do actually say “X are too Y” don’t control you, or inhibit you in acting according to your intentions.

                                      3. 4

                                        It’s common for queer activists, particularly trans activists, to argue that people who disagree with them on political issues related to sex and gender “think they don’t deserve to exist”, using that specific phrasing

                                        Do they? Do they, really?

                                        Might it be that those people who “merely” “disagree with them on political issues related to sex and gender” are actually opposing their existence? Like, say, by supporting bathroom bills - which are aimed at removing gender non-conforming folks from the public eye - by opposing anti-discrimination laws, or by trying to make access to treatment more difficult?

                                        Might it be that their “disagreement on political issues” is also, most of the time, accompanied by behaviours that go beyond mere disagreement, and that “I just disagree with [homosexuality|transsexuality]” is never just that?

                                        designed to make it seem like their attempts to censor opposing rhetoric

                                        Is it really censorship if someone says “you suck” at the Westboro Baptist Church because of what they say? I thought both had a right to express their opinion.

                                        Oh, sure, maybe hearing “you suck!” over and over again might make them think twice before opening their mouth.

                                        Is that censorship? In any case, is it wrong? And, do you think that LGBT+ people are immune to it?

                                        I feel like getting told, over and over again, “trans people are mentally ill”, “there is only two genders”, “they are just doing it for the attention”, might have a chilling effect on that population.

                                        1. 1

                                          Is it really censorship if someone says “you suck” at the Westboro Baptist Church because of what they say? I thought both had a right to express their opinion.

                                          No, but it is censorship for github to bar them from using their SaaS product because of what they say. It’s definitely censorship for trana activists to attack the entire concept of decentralized github alternatives for the specific reason that it would make it harder for github to enforce a code of conduct requiring that they be barred from github for what they say, which is what several people in this thread about decentralized alternatives to github have done. We’re all the Westboro Baptist Church in someone’s eyes, and I don’t want Github making that judgment call for everyone who writes open source software.

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                                            It’s definitely censorship for trana activists to attack the entire concept of decentralized github alternatives

                                            Where, exactly, are they doing that?

                                            Because I’m looking pretty hard at this thread and I can’t seem to find “trans activists attacking the entire concept of decentralized github alternatives”, or doing so because “[decentralized alternatives] would make it harder for github to enforce a code of conduct”.

                                            I saw a few people expressing their worry and disappointment, how they felt unwelcome in some spaces because of petty, discriminatory asshats, and how an article starting with “controversy resulting from GitHub censoring” - listing events often described as “those damned S-J-Ws want to destroy open source” - might be read as endorsing alternative spaces as free from censorship and, by extension, free from “SJWs” and “political correctness drama”.

                                            As one example of a censorship-free, “SJW”-free spaces is Voat, you can see how it might be concerning to some.

                                            There wasn’t much else here, which is both disappointing and funny. Why, “those spaces cannot be censored and might become a free-for-all” sounds more like an endorsement than an attack.

                                            We’re all the Westboro Baptist Church in someone’s eyes,

                                            Yes, yes, yes. Trivially true, and yet irrelevant.

                                            We are all the Westboro Baptist Church in someone’s eyes. We are all monsters in someone’s eyes. We can also avoid trite platitudes such as this one.

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                                              Where, exactly, are they doing that?

                                              https://lobste.rs/s/s0s8fu/why_not_github#c_g1rymt

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                                                The only argument against decentralization I can see there is this mild statement:

                                                decentralization can be harmful in unexpected ways (see: all of Bitcoin)

                                                And I really don’t see how you determined that @rebecca is a “trana*(sic!)* activist”. I certainly could not from her About page.

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                                        It matters when you are a gender/sexual minority and want to avoid being shat on for factors beyond your control

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                                          It is easy to people in the majority to say “it’s not that painful to be in the minority”. Until they face another situation, for which they belong to the minority and suddenly change the reaction toward “it’s a nightmare everyday”.

                                          We all are in one majority for some topic. We all are in a minority for some other topic.

                                          If one hesitate between “Do I include the minority and be frown upon by the majority” and “Do I exclude the minority and be safe with the majority”, then it’s all about asking to ourselves: “in that other case in which I am the minority, would I appreciate to be included by the majority?”.

                                          Then the choice becomes obvious to me: treat the 10% minority as a first class citizen and fully give it the 10% it deserves without reserve.

                                2. 6

                                  For other readers’ info: https://help.github.com/en/articles/github-and-trade-controls

                                  GitHub themselves don’t really have much choice in the matter, but if you live outside the US, it makes perfect sense wanting to host in your same country, so that you don’t have to deal with two different sets of laws at once.

                                  1. 2

                                    Author here. Added this link to an update to the article. Thanks.

                                  2. 2

                                    Interesting, I hadn’t heard about that. Looking into it, though, I do agree it’s a much bigger concern than those mentioned in the article.

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                                      barring users to access their site based on their location.

                                      They and everyone else have to follow the law.

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                                        While that is true not everyone using GitHub lives in the US. So in many cases it really is using GitHub rather than being more independent causing that particular issue.

                                        Of course that applies to similar central hosting platforms and other countries and therefor laws as well. I’d also not read that as anti-GitHub in particular, but to a large part anti-centralization.

                                    1. 11

                                      I do enjoy a good rant but this post comes off as extremely arrogant and condescending, which are two things I believe tech and discussions about tech would be much better without. Yes, you can and should criticize language/ecosystem features that are badly designed or not working the way they’re supposed to, but I believe one can (and should strive to) do it without calling people who use said languages “jerks” and “bad programmers” who should use a “real language”. The ad hominem brings nothing to the discussion.