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    I’m really mad about this. I’ve been a linux shill for a long time, and continue to be one, but if someone wanted me to recommend a laptop, at this point, the only thing I can say (unless you want to play games) is an m1 macbook. I’d go for the pro rather than the air, but it’s all the same. It does everything I need it to, and it doesn’t do all that much I don’t want it to. There is no other alternative that has the same build quality, usefulness, and battery life out there.

    1. 3

      Agreed. I really want to use Linux, and I don’t mind grinding through all of the little bugs and quirks to get it to behave properly with whatever hardware I happen to have; however, there’s just no way to get anywhere close to Mac quality trackpad support or at least I haven’t found it in the last ~15 years. Certainly I can’t recommend it to anyone less technical.

      It’s really a marvel that Microsoft doesn’t work with hardware vendors to get close to parity. Is trackpad software/hardware really that difficult that it’s a veritable mote for Apple laptops?

      1. 1

        Agreed. I really want to use Linux, and I don’t mind grinding through all of the little bugs and quirks to get it to behave properly with whatever hardware I happen to have; however, there’s just no way to get anywhere close to Mac quality trackpad support or at least I haven’t found it in the last ~15 years. Certainly I can’t recommend it to anyone less technical.

        I recently switched back to a Macbook, my first in 10 years or so. I’ve been using Linux/*BSD for 15 or so years, including many as a primary machine. I try to think of MacOS like a wierd Linux distro that limits what I can do and run, yet runs photoshop/lightroom reliably which is a must for me. Oh it runs Emacs as well!

        I haven’t pushed the hardware much yet, but it’s snappy and all that. My previous laptop had 4 GB of RAM so even 8 GB is such an improvement in itself. I typically use it for PS/LR, ssh:ing, writing Ansible and scripting. It’s not as amazing as I thought, but it never gets in the way or start swapping like my old machine :-)

      2.  

        Completely agree. I switched to an Air a few months after rocking the ThinkPad/Linux combo for many years. Im sad to say, the Macbook just is a better all round package.

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        This “the browser’s default styles suck therefore every webpage has an imperitive for CSS” meme is depressing. Like, yes, I sort of agree that since browser defaults are garbage it is responsible to include a couple lines of CSS to fix them. But that isn’t a reason we need CSS! We could fix the browsers!

        I think some CSS is super useful for other reasons, but it should always be possible to disable it and get a usable, readable webpage.

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          Yes, while I support Gemini and related minimalist projects, I think there is also room for a simple web browser that basically just implements reader mode, no CSS or JS at all. It would only be useful for reading articles, not web apps or more complicated interactive websites, but for many use cases that would be more than adequate. Such a browser would be much simpler to implement, and might be possible for an individual to build from scratch, although parsing modern HTML5 is no joke (certainly much more complicated than gemtext).

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            Yeah, I do agree with you. But I don’t think the browsers will ever fix that at source. Plus, design is so subjective that one person may find the browser defaults to be just fine, whereas other may loath them.

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              But I don’t think the browsers will ever fix that at source.

              Yes, because that would break websites that use CSS. But if you come from a standpoint where websites wouldn’t use CSS, then browsers would immediately change default styles to be more readable. See the reader mode example used in the article: it doesn’t just make the page unstyled, it also makes it readable, like browsers would do by default if CSS didn’t exist.

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                It would be very easy to detect unstyled websites and always put those in reader-mode. There’s a small gotcha if we’d want to allow JS in that reader-mode (to provide a default style for interactive elements) cause JS can set CSS, but that’s trivial to work around.

                Maybe we just need a head Element to instruct the browser to use reader-mode.

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                  Yes, because that would break websites that use CSS.

                  It shouldn’t. The browsers don’t all use the same defaults, and their defaults can be changed to some extend already without breaking pages. Webpages with a lot of CSS use a reset so that browser defaults don’t matter. Webpages with only a little responsibly written CSS are already written to consider browser defaults a feature.

                  We’re not talking about a heavy theme from the browser here, just changing obviously bad defaults. Some browsers already use sans-serif by default, all should use a sensible sans-serif font from the system. Most already have some padding around the body, just need to make it reasonably sized (I find 5% left and right pretty good, but more than 1 or 2 em for sure). And so on. Maybe creme or slate background color based on if the browser is in dark mode or not. This kind of thing.

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                    We’re not talking about a heavy theme from the browser here, just changing obviously bad defaults.

                    Changing the default margin to center text is a big change. It would break a lot of websites.

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                    I don’t think it would break anything. The cascade ensures this wouldn’t happen.

                    A i understand it, it goes browser style > website style > user style with each in turn taking precedence over the last.

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                      I don’t think it would break anything. The cascade ensures this wouldn’t happen.

                      If every websites expects no margin to be set, and you set a default margin, a lot of websites will break. It should be obvious.

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                    We’ve all seemed to forget that we used to call web browsers “user agents”. They are an agent of the user and should be something the user controls!

                    You wrote:

                    As you can see from the screenshot above, the text spans the entire width of the screen. I also think that the text is too small. Even on my little 13” MacBook Air screen, constantly scanning my eyes from the far left to far right of the screen really strains my eyes.

                    This is why I think CSS should continue to exist.

                    In Netscape Navigator 4, I used to be able to set my preferred link color, background/foreground, fonts, etc. I was able to configure my user agent in such a way that it was comfortable for me to use. I’d expect in a world where the browser exists as a true engine of hypertext instead of as some quasi-hypertext/quasi-remote terminal engine, we’d see even deeper customization options than that.

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                      You still have a “user agent” and it still is customizable to a pretty high degree.

                      It just also happens to let web page authors suggest how to display the page, as a default in case you don’t choose to override it. And some people are good at coming up with helpful, useful styling. Some people are less good at it. But the world is richer for the variety they produce, just as the world is richer for the fact that we didn’t all standardize on exactly one font and list of rules for typesetting at the advent of movable type, but instead got a wide variety of books which experimented with different ways of doing things.

                      And the real logical conclusion of your argument is to require everyone to become as skilled at putting together their own user-specific styles are you are, which would ironically be a terribly disempowering thing for most users, who don’t want to put in that kind of time and effort.

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                        I think all modern browsers support user CSS. This takes precedence over any other CSS, so any element that is styled in your user CSS will see that style, even if it is also styled by the site’s CSS. CSS is very powerful and includes things like regex matches, so I can add a little superscript [pdf] next to any links that link to .pdf files and add a health warning next to any links that go to Facebook in my user CSS.

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                          Does my browser support user CSS? Certainly! Is that particularly useful in a world where a hyperlink to another site may be represented as an <a> tag, a button, a span/div with an onclick() handler, … … …? Not particularly: I either spend time building my user CSS to fit every site I interact with (hah!), or I use some type of best-effort tooling. And that’s often a huge pain. If you’ve never looked at the hoops Firefox jumps through to generate a ‘reader mode’ page, you should.

                          A counterfactual history where we didn’t get the ability to drive pixel-perfect design and instead picked up <article> and <menu> and other semantic friends early would look very different: my user agent could allow me to describe how I want to see my data presented, but more importantly, that control would exist over every site I visit.

                          1. 1

                            A counterfactual history where we didn’t get the ability to drive pixel-perfect design and instead picked up and and other semantic friends early would look very different: my user agent could allow me to describe how I want to see my data presented, but more importantly, that control would exist over every site I visit.

                            There was a problem with this history (which is what the W3C was pushing with XHTML): semantic markup makes it very easy to separate adverts and content and a UA will then always make the decision not to show adverts. When web standards are driven by a company that gets the vast majority of its revenue from adverts, this model could never exist. It’s far better from their perspective if the browser just renders pixels and the difference between ad pixels and content pixels is completely opaque.

                    2. 2

                      One of the original intents is that users would provide their own stylesheets. I don’t think that’d be as practical even in the 90s though; sites presume a default stylesheet that may not match your custom reality, nor would sites likely to use the same selectors or semantics elements for exactly the right purpose.

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                        Why wouldn’t that work? I understand not every single person is going to implement their own stylesheet, but os and browser vendors would likely have a nice default style and some themes one could choose from.

                        For people who want more, there would probably be a subreddit with fancy stylesheets to download for free. Browsers could make this easy by adding a button that makes it easy to switch between them.

                    1. 3

                      I’m @kev@fosstodon.org. I run the Fosstodon instance with my friend Mike. Fosstodon focusses on tech and open source software. We’re a friendly bunch…most of the time! 😊

                      https://fosstodon.org

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                        @jamesog@mastodon.social - although I rarely post as I largely forgot about it :-(

                        I imagine if I found a decent iOS client I’d use it more. Does anyone have any recommondations?

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                          Toot! Is an excellent app for iOS, I’d highly recommend it.

                          https://apps.apple.com/gb/app/toot/id1229021451

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                            @freddyb@mstdn.io, but also stopped using it and forgot about it. Looking for recommended mobile clients as well.

                            1. 2

                              For iOS, I would probably recommend FediApp. If you’re on Android, Tusky or FediLab are quite popular. Husky is a fork of Tusky that supports additional features that Pleroma has, such as Markdown posts, chat, significantly higher character limit, etc.

                              1. 2

                                I use Tusky; it’s the best app I’ve used on Android. (though there’s not a ton of competition for that tbh)

                                It supports higher character limits and rendering markdown posts now; maybe it didn’t a while ago. Husky is most well-known for removing Tusky’s block on white supremacist instances.

                                1. 2

                                  Tusky is specifically a Mastodon client while Husky is specifically a Pleroma client; you can of course use one with the other but they each add support for features implemented by their respective platforms before the other. For example, I just installed Tusky and it still has no reactions or chat while Husky does because both of those are Pleroma-specific.

                                  Husky is most well-known for removing Tusky’s block on white supremacist instances.

                                  I would argue that Husky should be known as a Pleroma client because that’s what it is.

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                            That all sounds very interesting, but has the performance of Talk improved any over the last year or so?

                            Last time I tried it, for a group of 5 people, the performance was practically unusable and it was full of bugs.

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                              Is linking random web games allowed now? 😯

                              1. 5

                                It’s a game and a cool display of development. I thought this would be perfect for Lobste.rs.

                                Clearly not though judging by the downvoted. :(

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                                I honestly don’t understand why the author wants to move to a static site.

                                The reasons stated are basically

                                • different tech stack (Linux instead of *BSD)
                                • slight incompatibility with org-mode files
                                • maintenance overhead

                                To me, these don’t sound like unsurmountable problems. One can run WP on a BSD. I’m sure there’s a plugin for WP that can handle org-mode files, and one of the main complaints I’ve read about Hugo and Jekyll is the maintenance problems they bring.

                                The downsides seem to be

                                • risk losing comments/ have to roll your own
                                • RSS incompatibilities
                                • a hell of a lot of work that can be put into actually blogging
                                1. 1

                                  I’ve recently moved from WP to Jekyll, but for different reasons than the OP. Ultimately it’s their decision what platform they use.

                                  I can understand the maintenance argument, not with regards to WP, but WRT the stack WP sits on top of. However, the only thing they’re removing by switching to Hugo is MySQL and PHP. Two less software packages to manage, I suppose.

                                  If maintenance is a problem, and they want to focus on writing, why self host at all? Why not go with something like Netlify or AWS Amplify?

                                  It’s fun to tinker though. 😊

                                1. 2

                                  Looks nice. I’m curious what does complying with the GPL3 license of SimpleCSS looks like for a site using it? I imagine if you just drop it in, it doesn’t effect your project but if you use a bundler to “compile” a final website artefacts perhaps it applies to the whole project?

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                                    I actually just changed the license to MIT. I’m not a licensing expert (far from it!) and didn’t realise that the GPL doesn’t allow for closed source redistribution. MIT seems more permissive in that regard.

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                                      Great!

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                                    It’s more like a CSS snippet than a framework

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                                      Considering what it tries to achieve that’s a good thing.

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                                        Calling it framework won’t be fair enough, a CSS Library is fine, Frameworks are vast and provide everything.

                                      2. 6

                                        I’m totally fine diluting the meaning of framework like this.

                                        1. 0

                                          Calling it framework won’t be fair enough, a CSS Library is fine, Frameworks are vast and provide everything.

                                          1. 3

                                            attempt to provide everything.

                                            1. 1

                                              Except that it doesn’t attempt, it’s a beautifier.

                                              1. 1

                                                I was saying that Frameworks attempt to provide everything, not that this specific thing is a framework or does attempt to provide everything.

                                            2. 1

                                              The definition of a framework according to the Cambridge dictionary is:

                                              a supporting structure around which something can be built

                                              I think this project satisfies that definition. Yes, software frameworks like Bootstrap are goliath, but that doesn’t mean something small like Simple.css can’t be a framework.

                                          2. 4

                                            The linked page doesn’t actually describe Simple.css as a framework, it describes it as a “classless CSS template.” I’ve made a suggestion to change the title of the link here to reflect that.

                                            1. 1

                                              In that case, it’s fair, promoting it as framework won’t be fair.

                                          1. 2

                                            I use Miniflux’s hosted service - https://miniflux.app/hosting.html

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                                              Maybe because the dark mode is not that great for our eyes?

                                              1. 2

                                                Absolutely (and thanks for posting a link to my blog! :)) it’s not great for your eyes, but it’s about giving users the choice.

                                                I don’t use dark mode 90% of the time, but from time to time it’s nice to have the ability to switch if you want to.

                                                Plus, some people prefer it. :)

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                                                  With all due respect, some random guy saying it’s bad for me, won’t change my personal experience of how much better it feels when the color-scheme is right.

                                              1. 1

                                                I’m curious about the transition. How did you migrate all the WordPress blogs and pages? I’m interested in moving my WordPress monster and had thought about Jekyll in the past.. very interested in your experience there.

                                                1. 1

                                                  I used a script to export every post and all images to markdown. Then it was just a case of adding frontmatter to the posts. Pages I just did manually.

                                                  1. 1

                                                    Not the author, but there are plugins for exporting from WP to Jekyll, like this one.

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                                                    I feel like you spend an excessive amount of time on your website and the things that surround it. Not faulting you for it—just making an observation. Also £30 p/m for a website? That’s a lot of money.

                                                    1. 0

                                                      Agreed on both counts. That was the rationale for the change.

                                                    1. 2

                                                      You really spent $30 a month on Wordpress plugins? wew

                                                      1. 0

                                                        No. I spent 30/m on the entire site - hosting, CDN and a couple of plugins.

                                                      1. 1

                                                        I like the increase in personality and being a bit more open about yourself. Truly reminds me of the 90s web.

                                                        300kb is a lot in 90s terms though ;) I challenge you to dramatically reduce your website and will accept a challenge from you in return (mine is already quite slim. Less than 5kn iirc).

                                                        1. 2

                                                          Haha you’re absolutely right, but it’s not an authentic 90s site (did emojis even exist then?) it’s just a nod to the 90s. Considering we’re in the days of the multi megabyte webpages, I think 300kb is pretty good. 😊

                                                          Although, I do like a challenge…

                                                          1. 1

                                                            Emoji were standardized in unicode in 2010. Windows 7 added support for them in 2012. So no, they didn’t exist in the 90s, not even in the 00s (as we know them today).

                                                            1. 1

                                                              Sure. For webapps 300kb is alright. but for a blog? ;)

                                                              1. 1

                                                                I think for any webpage these days, 300KB is ok. It’s way lower than what it was with the old theme.

                                                                1. 1

                                                                  Ah, come on. Accept my challenge and return the favor! I’d be curious what I ought to improve :)

                                                            2. 2
                                                              1. 1

                                                                Nice job! Looking forward to a write up of how you did it.ä and waiting for a counter challenge;-)

                                                            1. 1

                                                              Google is pretty good at making cool things, aren’t they? Google Search, Material Design, Google plus (nah), and now this. In case you didn’t catch it, the about page says that it was made by Jigsaw, which is a google subsidiary.

                                                              1. 2

                                                                That doesn’t make it any less useful.

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                                                                If the site is about no JS, then what’s the point in having a bar that shows the page size? Is the size of the page somehow relevant to sites not running JS?

                                                                I get that this is a direct copy of sites like 1mb, 512kb and 200kb club, but I don’t get the focus on page size for this application. Surely there’s a better measure to add on the page?

                                                                1. 2

                                                                  What’s a better measure? I’m open to suggestions.

                                                                  1. 7

                                                                    NoJS vs JS is a binary distinction, there is nothing to measure other than presence or absence.

                                                                    1. 2

                                                                      Sure. That’s The criteria for being added to the list the page size is an objective measure to stack rank them. It could have been alphabetical but size is a bit more substantial.

                                                                      1. 3

                                                                        A minimal or lightweight site could have more data per page in principle, if it has more content. But in practice heavier pages have more cosmetic BS, not more content, which I think is what you were hoping to get at.

                                                                    2. 6

                                                                      That’s kinda my point…there’s no way to measure a negative, so it seems counterintuitive to measure something completely unrelated just for the sake of having “a measurement”.

                                                                      1. 1

                                                                        I disagree

                                                                      2. 4

                                                                        How about full site loading time with a browser? I think considering that people usually dislike JS in that it makes sites feel slow, this would be a more useful measure.

                                                                        1. 1

                                                                          Good idea. I’ll investigate how easy it is to run phantom or cdp in GitHub actions.

                                                                          1. 5

                                                                            I also agree with the other comments here arguing that there are ways to judiciously use JS… however, JS usage is definitely overall ridiculous and out of hand and so I can’t resist pointing out that a particularly ironic metric to look at here would be Time to First Meaningful Paint, which AFAIK basically only exists because of dumb JS tomfoolery “booting” pages and filling in all the content client-side.

                                                                            Maybe you could even have a second version of the page that would add (with red bars for “bad” or something) a few JS heavy sites to demonstrate just how dramatically improved TTFMP is on the no-JS sites?

                                                                    1. 3

                                                                      On one hand, I get that it’s nice to have a centralized place for comments, and not have to worry about spam (for the most part), but part of me wonders if there’s a better way to meet people in multiple places for comments.

                                                                      Once I redo my blog, I want the comments section to be links to places like twitter, mastodon, maybe here or HN, where there’s an easy way to dialog for people who don’t want to be forced to make a GitHub account. Just a thought for people looking to have a third-party host their comments.

                                                                      1. 1

                                                                        Once I redo my blog, I want the comments section to be links to places like twitter, mastodon, maybe here or HN, where there’s an easy way to dialog

                                                                        That doesn’t sound like it follows. If someone on Twitter comments on your blog will that be reflected to Mastodon? Will someone who then replies on Mastodon be able to reply? I suppose it’s true in the strict definition of dialog (i.e. two participants) for communication between you and one other person at a time but it sounds as if you’ll end up with a load of distinct views on different subsets of the comments that people interact with.

                                                                        1. 1

                                                                          I’ve had that in the past, where “comments” are pulled from multiple sources, like Mastodon and Twitter via Webmention. But I didn’t want all the noise on my blog posts, and I didn’t want to have to manage them (they come through as WP comments). This way, there’s a platform for people to discuss the post, without the extra headache for me of managing comments.

                                                                          HN or here would be great alternatives to GitHub Issues, but I think it would have to be HN rather than here, as the topics are VERY focused here (that’s a good thing), so a general life update, for example, wouldn’t be appropriate to post here. So there would effectively be no comments on that post.

                                                                          1. 1

                                                                            Or just start your own subreddit.

                                                                        1. 6

                                                                          looks similar to utterances

                                                                          1. 1

                                                                            A few people have told me about Utterances since I published this post. It looks really cool. I deliberately wanted the comments to be a separate thing from the blog though, so I wouldn’t want to use a tool like this to pull them in.

                                                                            1. 0

                                                                              Also Gitalk

                                                                            1. 10

                                                                              GitHub does commenting reasonably well indeed, but I’m worried about adding even more dependencies on the centralized, commercial service belonging to Microsoft.

                                                                              1. 1

                                                                                I get what you’re saying, but I wouldn’t call it a “dependency” personally. It’s a nice to have thing that I offer to people who want to use it. If it goes away (doubtful) it’s no big deal.

                                                                                1. 1

                                                                                  It’s a “dependency” in that it’s

                                                                                  1. A software implementation…
                                                                                  2. …written by someone else…
                                                                                  3. …that can change at any time, without your input

                                                                                  Something like a mailing list wouldn’t have this issue. Since many people don’t like the concept of “mailing lists”, simply including a mailto: link at the bottom of the article and a link to the online list archives without including the words “mailing list” on your website should do the trick.

                                                                                  Most commenting platforms require users to create an account with their email; if you require an email, you might as well use it.