1. 2

    I don’t think it’s a fair comparison. Synology sells it’s own hardware (that the software is presumably optimised for), is expensive (relatively to NC), and the hardware is not upgradable (in most models)..

    I built my item NAS and run unRAID and run NC. It’s okay. It feels bloated, and everything feels like halfway done. But all apps I use get constant updates so I’m sure it’ll be better next year. Heck it’s free and OSS can’t expect more.

    As an aside, the NC mac app is garbage. Constantly crashing and not updated in months.

    1. 1

      I think if you compare the core functionality of Synology and NC then you’re right - one is a NAS the other is a file syncing application. However, both have apps that overlap in their feature set - contacts & calendar, file syncing, online document editing, email etc. These are the kind of tools people tend to use on their home server.

      When comparing the overlapping features, Synology comes our way in front. Honestly, I don’t understand how NC is so popular.

      1. 1

        I think NC is popular because of OwnCloud but I only started using it last year. I looked at Synology and Qnap and others, and chose NC to get upgradability and no vendor-lock in.

        1. 1

          The scopes are different though, and the underlying technology is different. This limits what can be done with Nextcloud compared with Synology.

          As an example: take a BitTorrent client. For a platform like Synology this is easy because they can take an existing BitTorrent client and integrate it in the operating system offering. For Nextcloud though, which runs within the confines of a web server and does not control the underlying operating system, this is harder. Either they have to require a bunch of manual setup to install the native client that’s required, or they have to implement a BitTorrent client in PHP which wouldn’t work that well anyway because the architecture is oriented around request/response cycles and BitTorrent fits extremely poorly into that model.

          A more apples-to-apples comparison, I think, would be to compare Synology with Nextcloud running on top of FreeNAS.

      1. 5

        Never heard of Synology, but article linked to a NAS company and didn’t mention if their software is commercial or FOSS?

        1. 4

          I’m fairly sure it’s predominantly closed source.

          1. 1

            Synology are proprietary, but I think the underlying OS is based on Open BSD.

            1. 3

              It is Linux based

              1. 1

                Perhaps you’re thinking of TrueNAS which is based on FreeBSD. (A Debian-based version is also in the works.)

            1. 10

              My feeling is Nextcloud are compromising the quality of their core features by expanding out to try and do everything else (the shit quality apps Kev talks about). Although for the same reason I don’t mind it lacking a backup app, I’d rather use a first class backup tool outside Nextcloud than rely on them to get that right.

              1. 1

                That’s a great point actually - I’d rather use a first class backup solution than a half baked one.

                1. 1

                  Nextcloud the company only focuses on some of those apps, and the “Official” label in the app store doesn’t necessarily mean that the company is involved in developing that app. It can be confusing to figure this out though, especially because a lot of people from the company still support and help out with the community-developed apps even though they aren’t necessarily the company’s priority.

                1. 1

                  So display: none;

                  Would be the worst offense one can do to the “semantic web”. If it’s not shown to the visitor, why bother with using HTML all together for your profile?

                  1. 2

                    Because the h-card is there for the IndieWeb to parse. As I said in the post, the purpose for me personally writing it this way, is so there is a simple block of code for me to edit that acts as my profile. Everything within this profile can be found elsewhere in my site. It’s just a simple way for me to update it for IW purposes.

                    1. 1

                      I feel like it’s a waste of bytes. If data is already there, why not put the classes in those places, instead of duplicating the content?

                      1. 1

                        It’s a miniscule amount of data, and the time it saves me having to parse the codebase of various pages to look for these certain classes just isn’t worth it. I’d much rather have everything in one place.

                  1. 1

                    So to summarise… spam is sort of manageable if you invest some time in it, but email is essentially not private and the workflow is difficult to manage and doesn’t lend itself well to most communications.

                    Which to me sounds like saying, “It isn’t broken, it just isn’t good at any of the things people actually use it for”.

                    1. 1

                      So by that rationale, is your mobile phone broken? Or your laptop/desktop? All these devices (especially Windows) aren’t private out of the box, and their workflow isn’t optimised for you specifically either.

                      You need to harden these devices by installing AV, the apps you use, disabling intrusive services, like Cortana/Siri & telemetry.

                      Just because some work is needed up front to get something working how you need/want it to work, doesn’t mean it’s broken. It just means they’re configured to have wide appeal. I don’t recall people claiming their laptop, desktop and/or mobile phones’ are intrinsically broken though…

                      1. 1

                        People have been trying to bolt security/privacy onto email for decades and haven’t succeeded. You can invest the work needed to encrypt your outgoing emails, but then you can no longer send them to just anyone with an email address, and even if you do manage to find a recipient who can decrypt the message there’s a possibility they’ll reply in plaintext quoting your entire message.

                        By contrast, most mobile phones, laptops and desktops come in a more-or-less useable state. It’s very easy to “customise” them to your workflow by installing your favourite applications or tweaking the settings. If you have slightly different needs there are a whole host of different OSes and distros which come ready-made for different use cases. The point is that you can set up your system to work how you want it to: you can’t make email private.

                        In this age of surveillance, both corporations and governments (foreign and your own) are determined to read, store and process anything they can. To have one of the most widely used communication methods not be private-by-default is irresponsible and dangerous. Email cannot be made private, so unless you want to make an argument along the lines of “the tool isn’t broken, it’s just that every single user is using it wrong”, then I think it’s fair to call it broken.

                    1. 18

                      Email from a self-hosting perspective absolutely is, though. Absolute clusterfsck to try and configure.

                      1. 10

                        Configuration is one thing. Actually getting email delivered is another. I feel like you’re instantly on Google’s and Microsoft’s blacklist with your little server, marking all your messages as spam. It’s horrendous!

                        1. 12

                          Email is now a cartel. Old thread about it.

                          tl;dr if you really want to die on that hill, start by choosing your VPS provider carefully…

                          1. 2

                            Damn, my VPS of choice is DigitalOcean and I have to tell people to maybe check their spam folder for my email. Annoying.

                            1. 1

                              I relay all my email from my VPS through my (personal) FastMail account, which is easy and works well enough. Thus far the volume is still well within my account limits, but if I go over them I’ll probably just use SendMail or whatnot.

                              You can probably do the same with gmail or other providers.

                          2. 2

                            I spent a few hours setting up DKIM and SPF, after which my emails were delivered to gmail addresses (haven’t checked ms, but I’ve heard they’re more lenient) without a hitch. Yes, it’s irksome to have to spend even that amount of time, but it’s not that much work.

                            1. 2

                              Microsoft often marks its official communications as spam (usually correctly :)) in my Office 365 account… With the cloud and hosts reusing IP addresses all the time the old spam-fighting methods simly do not work anymore (many were bad ideas even back then)

                              1. 1

                                DMARC can be painful to setup.

                                1. 0

                                  It’s trivial what do you mean

                              2. 6

                                I don’t think this is related to the article’s content.

                                1. 5

                                  I’m not sure I agree. Services like Mail in a Box and Mailcow make getting started a little simpler. Overall it is complicated, but email is a complicated system. Being complicated doesn’t mean it’s broken though.

                                  1. 3

                                    Which part is the most painful?

                                    1. 3

                                      I understand that email hosting used to be appalling and most of it still is but OpenSMTPD is actually really nice to use. I’ve chosen to write email apps over webapps for a couple things, e.g. self hosted instagram where I email photos from my phone to myself.

                                      Just need OpenIMAP and OpenSpam and Open Everything Else and we are all good.

                                      1. 1

                                        Could you go into some more details about your OpenSMTPD based workflow? I’ve been thinking of building apps over email, but would love to hear about others’ usage.

                                      2. -2

                                        It’s really not that hard.

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                                        @kev considering your background: what do you think of the privacy and security impact of having your details visible and easily scrap-able? I also wonder about webmentions and spam (back in the day with WordPress’ linkbacks and pings), is this an issue or has this been solved?

                                        1. 2

                                          Great question! I think as long as you’re sensible, the privacy and InfoSec risks are low. For example, I would never put my location out there as my address, it just says “North West England” which I think is vague enough to not be a privacy concern.

                                          The social profile links are all public anyway, so no issues there; and the email address that I publish is different than the personal email address that my friends, family, tax office, government etc have.

                                          WRT WordPress and spamming, Webmentions come through as WordPress comments, so you can plug them into Akismet to filter out spam. The Webmention plugin also has a mechanism by which you can whitelist certain domains. So you can automatically allow Webmentions from certain sites, then edit this list as you go. There’s a little work at first, but once you have it setup and tuned, there’s little to do in terms of managing spam.

                                          1. 1

                                            Thank you. Good to hear you can allow certain sites and prevent others from sending Webmentions. I’ll have a closer look at Webmentions and see if I can add them to a new project I’m planning.

                                        1. 5

                                          I’m not sure I really grasp the added value of the IndieWeb compared to the usual self-hosting of blog without IndieWeb. Is it about the notification part when someone posts one of your articles? Is the idea to simulate a social networking environment so that people feel it’s no different when self-hosting blogs? Anyone cares to enlighten me on this.

                                          1. 12

                                            As I understand it, it’s a grassroots effort to enable tooling etc. to get the benefits of social networks and the like without the centralisation.

                                            It is pretty much in the “toys for geeks” stage at the moment, if it will ever leave it depends on adoption and wether said tooling emerges. It’s a chicken-and-egg problem right now.

                                            1. 3

                                              Yeah, cschorn, that’s a pretty good summary of what the IndieWeb is to be honest.

                                              The TL;DR is that if I link to one of your pages/posts in one of my pages/posts, you get a notification (AKA webmention). If reply, I get one back. You can also create shorter posts that are formatted in such a way to provide a “like” or a “repost” where the post literally says “I liked the post XYZ on Jane Smith’s blog” which includes a link to her Jane’s post. Jane will then get a notification.

                                              Where the h-card (profile) comes into play is that the IndieWeb uses this to markup comments, posts and webmentions with this data, so that when Jane gets a notification on her blog, she can see it comes from me, it has my name and my avatar etc.

                                              Hopefully that helps somewhat?

                                            2. 3

                                              It feels like the modern equivalent of webrings plus the federated, OSS equivalent of Disqus.

                                            1. 3

                                              I’m curious, has the indieweb landed on microformats for a reason? Even if it’s a tad more verbose my preference would tend to RDFa; is there some form of adoption for that or is it a big no-no for reasons unspoken?

                                              1. 3

                                                I might be way off base here, but RDF was a big part of the push for “Web 2.0” - which I see as the spiritual precursor to today’s IndieWeb. The problem was that the entire process bogged down into standards wankery. It doesn’t help that RDF is pretty damn weird, and the proponents didn’t do a great job explaining why the overheard was required.

                                                I think microformats (which are basically HTML+CSS classes) is a reaction to that overcomplication.

                                                1. 4

                                                  I’m not actually sure what the rationale was for landing on Microformats.

                                                  As far as I know, it’s only Microformats that have been adopted within the Indieweb. I don’t recall reading anything about other platforms within their documentation.

                                                1. 1

                                                  I wouldn’t trust this procedure to take consistent backups. Just to point to one specific thing, the export procedure clearly states that it’s still an experimental features (and hope is not an option).

                                                  Also, there is a backup procedure… But no restore procedure in this tutorial.

                                                  I do this differently and so far I managed to recover from two tragic (shut myself out and a failed disk) situations without much problems. I run both nextcloud and its mysql in docker containers, via docker compose. The docker-compose file along with mysql and nextcloud data reside on a dedicated zfs dataset. I take snapshots hourly, and keep two weeks worth of snapshots (~360 snapshots iirc). I have scripts to manage retention. Every four hours I send all the snapshots to a replica of the zfs dataset onto another machine in a remote location.

                                                  Zfs snapshots are atomic.

                                                  This article is bad in my opinion because there are so many moving parts. Stuff break, and when it breaks you want to have as little things to fix as possible.

                                                  Simplify!

                                                  1. 1

                                                    I came to say the same thing. I back up Nextcloud by doing a ZFS snapshot then ZFS send to a remote machine. I’ve had the VM running it fail entirely and I was able to completely restore everything.

                                                    1. 1

                                                      But no restore procedure in this tutorial.

                                                      There’s a red banner saying “TEST YOUR BACKUPS” followed by instructions on how to restore.

                                                      1. 1

                                                        Zfs snapshots are atomic.

                                                        What does that actually give you, given how in Unix file systems have no concept of a transaction? What benefits do ZFS snapshots have then regarding consistency?

                                                        Let’s say that I run a program which adds a user to the system. This program will have to update /etc/passwd, /etc/shadow, /etc/group and create a directory in /home. Do ZFS snapshots protect you from taking a snapshot of your file system when you’re in the middle of those operations (as in let’s say you modified /etc/passwd and /etc/group, but didn’t modify /etc/shadow and didn’t create a directory in /home yet)?

                                                        1. 1

                                                          zfs snapshots are not automatic, you must do them either by hand or by script. so just make sure to create a snapshot after you know your data is consistent.

                                                          for the most part it will not be a problems (databases are pretty good at this, postgresql also has a “checkpoint” feature that should help with this iirc).

                                                          just to be sure, my backup script stops the databases every night, takes a snapshot, and then restarts the database.

                                                      1. 1

                                                        The use of web fonts makes the website look the same for everyone, gives a lot more options to the webmaster, but nothing is free, and the cost is website performance.

                                                        The cost is trampling on your users font choices.

                                                        1. 3

                                                          Of the few users for whom this might be an issue, I’d imagine most are quite capable of overriding the stylesheet.

                                                          1. 1

                                                            Yeah, and that means for people who do adjust their font sizes for accessibility reasons, this is untested. Leaving this stuff untested means that text overflows and wraps strangely, and leads to a suboptimal user experience.

                                                            1. 3

                                                              I think that’s a bit of a stretch. Unless you’re doing something very strange, text will usually flow just fine. How are you imagining that designers would test every possible font that a system might select anyway? You should always set a fallback like sans-serif, and depending on the system that could be literally anything (not to mention that text rendering can be inconsistent between browsers and platforms even with the same font). Again, unless you’re doing something strange or complex, I don’t think that’s going to lead to any major problems anyway. Whether you’re using web fonts or not, you should design for some level of flexibility.

                                                              1. 3

                                                                Most of the problems come from something having a width: 200px or some such, which just fits with the assumed font(s) but won’t fit if you substitute it with a font that’s slightly wider. It’s a problem in some dialogs on Stack Overflow for example (or was, anyway, I think it’s fixed now).

                                                                This is hardly a web font problem; I use DejaVu Sans instead of Arial for example, which is slightly wider and very occasionally things break on some websites. It’s just the price you pay for frobbing with this kind of stuff.

                                                                1. 1

                                                                  There’s a few spots in Slack (yes, I use Slack in Firefox) has an issue where the timestamp on individual messages line wraps. Luckily, nothing is cut off, but it does result in single-line messages that take up two lines because the 10:00 PM takes up two lines of its tiny cell.

                                                              2. 2

                                                                Unless you’ve carefully specified aliases for all “web-safe” fonts it’s not like you’re in “full control” anyway. I would wager that a vanishing small amount of people do this.

                                                                Either way, for most cases it’s not too hard to make sure that $any font works. I use web fonts on my site and my product and you can swap them out with $preferred_font and everything should still work fine.

                                                                1. 1

                                                                  Firefox has a toggle to disable web fonts entirely. Chrome has an extension.

                                                            2. 2

                                                              I’d be willing to bet that the vast majority of users have never set a font preference in their browser. I certainly never have, and I don’t know anyone who has.

                                                              1. 1

                                                                I had to bump up the font size in order to read some pages. My eyes are better than some, but not what they used to be when I was 20.

                                                                I really wish that browsers picked up the system font settings, though.

                                                            1. 6

                                                              I was under the impression that a lot of left-handed people just use a right-handed mouse; both my left-handed mother and brother do anyway. It’s just easier, especially if you have to use someone else’s computer and such.

                                                              At any rate, I really don’t like the whole “must hate left handed people” and “do left-handed people not matter to you?” angle. Trackballs are already a niche market, and left-handed trackballs are a niche within a niche. The economics of these kind of things are such that it’s just not worth making products for such a small market. I appreciate that this kinda sucks, but … it’s not “hating left-handed people”.

                                                              I once had a discussion with someone on the value of an alt tag for a certain image. I felt it had no value in this particular case and was better left blank. His reply? “You must hate blind people!” It wasn’t the kind of reasoning that made me more sympathetic to their argument, to put it mildly.

                                                              1. 4

                                                                I really don’t like the whole “must hate left handed people” and “do left-handed people not matter to you?” angle

                                                                Even worse since the blog author does not actually have an answer. The post does not provide any additional information to answer that claim beyond the headline.

                                                                1. 2

                                                                  I’ve added some context to the post, as you’re right I wasn’t very clear. My issue is that it’s impossible to get a left handed ergo mouse from Logitech - trackerball or not. Right handed people get so much choice, but we’re left with the billy basic symmetrical mice for most of the time.

                                                                  The title is also supposed to be facetious; I’m well aware that Logitech don’t hate left handed people. I thought that would have been obvious, clearly not though, so again I’ve added some context at the end of the post.

                                                                  Thanks for the feedback. :-)

                                                                  1. 2

                                                                    Right handed people get so much choice, but we’re left with the billy basic symmetrical mice for most of the time.

                                                                    Yeah, but that’s just an economical issue. For better or worse, the Free Market is not always good at catering to niche markets, leaving some groups consistently out in the cold (something I could write at length about, but that would get rather off-topic).

                                                                    The title is also supposed to be facetious; I’m well aware that Logitech don’t hate left handed people. I thought that would have been obvious, clearly not though, so again I’ve added some context at the end of the post.

                                                                    Even with the context, it just comes across as bitter and angry to me. I appreciate that this is perhaps not how you actually feel about it, but it is the message it gives.

                                                                1. 4

                                                                  Note: every second line in the table is unreadable with prefers-color-scheme:dark

                                                                  1. 1

                                                                    Thanks, hadn’t noticed that - I’ve fixed it.

                                                                  1. 20

                                                                    Of course everyone is free to spend as much money as they like, but if you want to start a blog and self-host, and might be discouraged, please let me give you another estimate that should 100% cover your needs:

                                                                    • Cloud VPS to host your blog: 3 EUR per month (Hetzner / Scaleway / whatever)
                                                                    • Domain: 12 EUR per year.

                                                                    And then you still have plenty of resources left to run stuff on your VPS.

                                                                    1. 12

                                                                      And in case you decide to go with a static site, Netlify has an extremely generic free tier which would waive off those 3€ per month as well.

                                                                      1. 3

                                                                        Supporting your point, I have a non-optimized, web app written in Python with plain HTML and CGI serving people daily at under 30% utilization of a $5 VM. Static, cached website offloading to a CDN might be even cheaper.

                                                                        1. 3

                                                                          You can get a VPS for free (and domain as well), check out: https://matrix.org/docs/guides/free-small-matrix-server#get-a-free-server (yes, I wrote that page).

                                                                          1. 4

                                                                            If something if free, you’re the product. ;-)

                                                                            1. 7

                                                                              This isn’t like facebook/whatsapp/google(well, some of their services) where you cannot pay for the services. It’s a freebie to get you hooked. Start using and then discover you need more but don’t have the time/effort/resources to move someplace else, so you need to start paying to grow.

                                                                              1. 1

                                                                                I became really disenchanted with the US engineering program I went through when I found out that they only taught us to use $1000+ software titles. Not that open source existed for some of those titles then or now, but I felt a ton like the product…

                                                                              2. 2

                                                                                It’s actually really impressive that Oracle gives enough to run an actual ha service. It’s the core of any system to scale from one to two. Terraform even has the free tier all coded up (copyright Oracle, obviously): https://github.com/terraform-providers/terraform-provider-oci/blob/master/examples/always_free/main.tf

                                                                              3. 2

                                                                                Good point.

                                                                                You can do things even cheaper if you use plain html/css files. I paid $37 on nearlyfreespeech, but I could’ve shaved off another ~$15 if I only had one site instead of two.

                                                                                Bandwidth has never been a concern, but if it is, Cloudflare has a free plan.

                                                                                1. 3

                                                                                  I think a static blog can easily be hosted on netlify/git(hub|lab) pages for free

                                                                                  1. 2

                                                                                    I just now realized I didn’t specify a time frame. Whoops. That’s $37 for all of 2019, or $3 a month.

                                                                                  2. 1

                                                                                    With HTML and CSS knowledge one can just set up a static site.

                                                                                    Of course it’s not as convenient as logging into a CMS but unless you have loads of traffic it will be free, most likely forever.

                                                                                    1. 1

                                                                                      Depending on how important it is for people to self-host, one might reconsider and use services like neocities, SDF or one of the many friendly tilde communities. True, you don’t get to decide that much, but you can still learn a lot under constraints, that you can then apply if you reconsider again later on and “self-host” (though that’s not always the right term with VPS’s).

                                                                                      1. 1

                                                                                        I’ve seriously considered hand writing a blog on Neocities, but my current blog takes an enough time as it is without having to hand code the entire thing. Would be a lot of fun though.

                                                                                        1. 1

                                                                                          As if you can’t use an SSG witth neocities. ;)

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                                                                                      £9/m for an SEO plug-in is a real eyebrow raiser

                                                                                      1. 4

                                                                                        I can’t help if but feel that everything SEO nowadays is a whole bunch of smoke.

                                                                                        Search engines are incredibly smart in detecting and ignoring specific SEO techniques. Genuine, relevant organic content is still the best SEO you can do.

                                                                                        1. 3

                                                                                          I don’t do any SEO, and there’s no requirement to do it for a personal blog. Still, if the added name recognition gets him an additional .1% in salary or lets him shorten a job search by one day, it will pay for itself.

                                                                                          1. 3

                                                                                            Yeah, it’s not cheap that for sure. But it’s the plugin I get the most use from. Not only for SEO, but writing assessments too.

                                                                                          1. 5

                                                                                            Usually (from my perspective) most expensive is your time spent by writing articles. Costs of running a server (even physical one) are order of magnitude cheaper (depending on how often you write of course).

                                                                                            1. 3

                                                                                              Agree completely.

                                                                                            1. 3

                                                                                              Most of these costs could be reduced by running a static site like Hugo or Jekyll, for one there are GitHub Actions that run pngcrush etc over your blog to reduce image size.

                                                                                              I run my site off AWS, and my costs are:

                                                                                              • DNS (Route53) $0.51 for the hosted zone and DNS queries
                                                                                              • Amplify around $0.10 for bandwidth and build time, but could be reduced by using GitHub actions or building locally.
                                                                                              • Domain name $0.90 / month

                                                                                              Could be reduced even further by using Netlify and GitHub Actions but I’m too lazy to do that.

                                                                                              I mean for a blog do you need a VPS when a static site will do?

                                                                                              1. 5

                                                                                                But I don’t want a static site. I use Wordpress and am very happy with it. It’s all about personal choice. :)

                                                                                                1. 2

                                                                                                  Sure thing everyone has a different opinion.

                                                                                              1. 1

                                                                                                However, I prefer to separate web and DNS hosting, and having a separate host for my DNS means I also have DDoS protection.

                                                                                                How does using ClouDNS over Namecheap’s free DNS or hosting your own provide DDoS protection?

                                                                                                Thanks for the link to BunnyCDN too though, since it’s so cheap I might have to try it too :)

                                                                                                1. 1

                                                                                                  ClouDNS packages have DDoS protection.

                                                                                                1. 3

                                                                                                  Unless you’re using an OLED or AMOLED screen

                                                                                                  And CRT.

                                                                                                  1. 1

                                                                                                    Is anyone still using CRT? :-)

                                                                                                    1. 2

                                                                                                      Of course, CRTs have display properties that LED and LCD don’t.

                                                                                                      1. 1

                                                                                                        I recently heard a discussion about using CRT TVs for retro gaming…

                                                                                                        1. 1

                                                                                                          i have saved an crt tv for old consoles, their output really looks unpleasant on modern screens.

                                                                                                    1. 7

                                                                                                      In fact, this very site that you’re on right now automagically flips to dark mode if you’re that way inclined.

                                                                                                      no it doesn’t

                                                                                                      1. 1

                                                                                                        It does. I’ve been going through a site re-design, which I finished this morning. prefers-dark-mode was re-implemented today.

                                                                                                        1. 2

                                                                                                          Confirmed, since 20 hours ago it has been fixed. Thanks!