1. 35

    I don’t think anybody would have dared suggest this if the issue had been in any country other than the USA.

    1. 11

      It’s interesting that the language that’s dividing developers is not a programming language. It’s English.

      The belief that social issues can be addressed by changing the language around them is one I’ve only seen among English speakers. Perhaps it’s time to drop this legacy language until they sort out a new standard.

      1. 11

        A lot of the concepts about the connections between language and social issues came out of Structuralism and Post-Structuralism, which were developed in France, and to a lesser degree Italy, by philosophers like Derrida, Foucault, Barthelme, and Eco before spreading to liberal-arts academics in most countries. There is a ton of this stuff in US progressive discourse (more than I’d like tbh), maybe more than in other English-speaking countries, but you may just see less of it from non-English-native people because they participate less in English-dominant forums.

        1. 3

          That’s quite possible. And I think that all languages have euphemisms and political correctness. (So, say, a politician might prefer jobseekers’ allowance over unemployment benefits to borrow an example from the UK). But at least over here it’s not considered desirable to talk like a politician.

          And this kind of request, were it asked in my native language, would typically met with complete incredulity. And I think it would be the same for bbatsov’s native environment. And think of the recent example of antirez (a compatriot of Eco if I’m not mistaken), who completely misread the opposition to master/slave terminology in Redis.

        2. 2

          The green party in Germany just proposed to remove “race” from Germany’s constitution’s Article 3 which states “Nobody shall face face disadvantages or advantages due to their sex, family, race, language, home and origin, belief, religious or political views.” so that we “unlearn racism” that way. (If having that word in there perpetuates racism, we should probably drop all the other qualifiers as well to ensure equality on those ends, too?)

          While that might be an Anglosaxon import (we have tons of those), from what I gather there’s more interest in the US in particular to keep the terms alive so that they can be used to reason about inequality (as in: without race, what’s “black” in “black lives matter”?).

          So I’m not sure if it’s really an English-only phenomenon.

          1. 1

            Had this discussion a while ago, while the English version of the hacker ethics CCC version includes the word ‘race’, in the German version it was substituted with ‘Spezies’.

          2. 2

            well, it’s not english, it’s the anglo-saxon philosophical discourse that puts an emphasis on language as the tool we use to build realities and subjective experiences. It’s also spreading to the rest of the western world and part of the indian discourse is also entering the same sphere.

            In many places though is divisive and seen as a result of American soft power and to be rejected (also because it didn’t really bring big wins for the American Left).

            1. 2

              language as the tool we use to build realities and subjective experiences

              What are some alternatives for me to ponder and research here? I’ve always intuitively believed this, and have read some materials in the field of cognitive science and philosophy, but nothing beyond undergrad-level course material.

              I’m curious as to what other models of cognition exist that posit language as a secondary or ancillary driver in our experiential self awareness. Have any suggestions?

              1. 3

                Well, all the essentialism , from Plato onward, states that reality exists regardless of perception. It’s not built but exists on its own with specific traits.

                Same for realist philosophers like Popper, that take similar positions .

                1. 3

                  In some eastern philosophy, particularly Buddhism, language is considered to be something along the lines of a cognitive pollutant. In order to understand the universe better it is often recommended to abstain from all forms of language completely for a period. I don’t want to put words into the mouth of a culture I don’t belong to and please someone correct me if I misrepresent anything, but that is my understanding of the take on language from that philosophical direction.

                  I certainly think that the question “What are some alternatives” does show something interesting: As someone immersed in language, no answer comes to mind. But I have a vague memory from the time I stopped using all language for 10 days (silent retreat), when language was not my main tool it did not really even seem like a useful tool for understanding. Only from within the language paradigm does it seem like language can really facilitate clear understanding. When language is not the main support of your entire ontology the feeling that some fundamental element of understanding is missing falls away too.

                  If you wish to research these ideas further I recommend spending a week or two working your way through the following reading list:

                  and not discussing it or anything else with anybody :-p

                  1. 1

                    That’s a great question. I don’t know enough about the topic to answer you, but I can say that this is generally known as the Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis, and searching for that phrase should turn up years’ worth of reading material, pro and con.

              2. 1

                Yes, but it doesn’t matter, since the USA are culturally egemonic in the western IT space. The culture of IT is American culture. And I say as a person that doesn’t buy in the American political discourse (or tries to, at least). Nonetheless if the community is mostly american or sharing the american space of values and beliefs, this comment is irrelevant. You cannot claim something is less valid in the American discourse just because there’s a whole world outside that doesn’t care about these issues.

              1. 5

                In the issue comments I found repeatedly a proclamation that „All software is political“.

                This is generally not true. There might be some „political“ software, but usually software is simply a tool. It is not good or bad* – it can be used for good or bad or neutral purposes, just depending on who and how is using that software.

                And there is also software or development style that is explicitly apolitical – Sane software manifesto says:

                In order to contribute, it must not be required: … to sign any political, religious or other proclamation or agree with it.

                P.S. Yes, free software has some political undertone, or I would rather say ethical, but it is very strictly defined and there are clear boundaries that prevent bending and misusing this term. Free software can be used by anyone for any purpose.

                *) now I am not talking about code quality, but about the ethical dimension

                1. 13

                  The inception of the Free Software movement was inherently political, and the recuperation of that movement into a more business-friendly Open Source movement was also political. Licensing software using a FLOSS license is a political act.

                  1. 2

                    Yet the success of the open-source movement in relation to the failure of the free software movement (at least, according to their goals) is almost 100% due to the FSF’s politics. Companies would rather use open-source software rather than free software because there’s less legal bullshit to go through. Additionally, companies have been less inclined to license their own software with the GNU GPL and have chosen alternative licenses that are more permissive and don’t place so much burden on the author to “give credit where credit is due”.

                    I love the FSF, GNU, and the movement it all stands for. But in my opinion, the world has mostly left that concept of “freely available software that you have total control over” behind. Especially in the current “rental” climate where less software is actually owned by a user.

                    1. 5

                      Companies would rather use open-source software rather than free software because there’s less legal bullshit to go through.

                      You use company adoption as the yardstick for success here but I would counter that it is entirely irrelevant to the political goals of Free Software.

                      (P.S. my use of the word recuperation above was deliberate.)

                      1. 3

                        Open source is hardly a success. It’s companies struggling over control of software for their own interest (that very often is not aligned with the interest of the community) or bright people working for free for companies and be happy about the theft of time and energy. Corporate adoption and investments for control is their own metric of success but arguagly one that reflects the wellbeing of the commons.

                        1. 4

                          hardly a success

                          What? This makes very little sense. Most of the software running the Internet is open source. Throw a dart at the list of top 100 tech companies, they’ve probably open sourced major libraries that have gone on to spawn entire industries.

                          The Linux kernel, ffs.

                          I’m confused at your argument. What is it you define as “success?” Adoption? Growth? Longevity? Monetary return?

                          1. 3

                            Be useful to people, solve problems in the real world (ideally problems that aren’t created other open source software), make the world a better place.

                        2. 0

                          ‘Free’ and ‘open source’ are synonyms. Companies don’t use open source software instead of free software. Using open source software is using free software. Using free software is using open source software.

                          Copyleft and permissive software licenses are all both free software licenses and open source software licenses.

                          1. 2

                            No, they are not synonyms. Free software does no need to be gratis, nor does open source software imply that you have the freedom to change and distribute that software - even in exchange for money - like free software gives you. This distinction has been made clear so many times by now that it is surprising to see the claim that these two are synonyms.

                            1. 1

                              No, they are not synonyms. Free software does no need to be gratis

                              Nor does open source software.

                              nor does open source software imply that you have the freedom to change and distribute that software

                              Yes it absolutely does imply that you have the freedom to change and distribute that software. The Open Source Definition requires:

                              “The license must allow modifications and derived works, and must allow them to be distributed under the same terms as the license of the original software.”

                              This distinction has been made clear so many times by now that it is surprising to see the claim that these two are synonyms.

                              It’s been stated over and over again by everyone from the FSF to the Open Source Initiative that, ignoring some very idiosyncratic edge cases, ‘free software license’ and ‘open source software license’ are synonyms. The cases where the FSF approves and the OSI doesn’t or vice versa is generally because one of the them considers it too vague to be a valid license, such as with the Artistic License v1 or some issues with public domain licenses in Europe. Or to put it another way: if you put the FSF people in charge of evaluating licenses under the OSI definition and the OSI people in charge of evaluating licenses are free or not, they’d come to the reverse conclusions. The requirements for something to be a free software license are virtually identical to the requirements for something to be an open source software license.

                              RMS: The term “open source” software is used by some people to mean more or less the same category as free software. It is not exactly the same class of software: they accept some licences that we consider too restrictive, and there are free software licences they have not accepted. However, the differences in extension of the category are small: nearly all free software is open source, and nearly all open source software is free.

                              1. 1

                                “The license must allow modifications and derived works, and must allow them to be distributed under the same terms as the license of the original software.”

                                If the original licence says the software can not be used for or distributed by individuals and companies who work in a certain industry - defence is an example which has come up several times, police would be another - that software is not free software.

                                1. 1

                                  Nor would it be open source software.

                                  Have you ever actually read the open source definition?

                                  “The license must not discriminate against any person or group of persons.”

                                  “The license must not restrict anyone from making use of the program in a specific field of endeavor. For example, it may not restrict the program from being used in a business, or from being used for genetic research.”

                                  1. 0

                                    OK, if that clause is part of the open source licence (there are many) the distinction gets less clear. This used to be a problem back in the day when ‘open source’ and ‘free software’ started to be recognised as two possibly distinct licence types. It still is for some licences (e.g. [1], “The license above does not apply to and no license is granted for any Military Use of the Licensed Patents.” but they do seem to be getting more rare.)

                                    [1] https://www.cs.ucdavis.edu/~rogaway/ocb/license2.pdf

                                    1. 1

                                      OK, if that clause is part of the open source licence (there are many) the distinction gets less clear.

                                      That clause is a restriction on what constitutes an open source license. It applies to all open source licenses by definition.

                                      1. 2

                                        Ah, but that is where the shoe wrings. Open source has become a generic term which is applied to any and all software for which the source is not hidden. The OSI has tried - and, as far as I can see, failed - to rein in the term to only encompass those licences which abide to the directions set forth in their licence, other software should be called ‘source-available’ or similar such constructs.

                                        1. 1

                                          the shoe wrings

                                          I love this translation of “där skon klämmer”, but I think a better English is idiom is “there’s the rub”.

                                          1. 2

                                            It is actually a translation of “daar knelt de schoen”, an idiom which exists in many Germanic languages (the one cited being Dutch), English being one of them. Proverbs citing shoe-related woes have been used for many centuries, Shakespeare and his contemporaries were rather fond of these expressions which can be found scattered around their proze: I feare me theres s shooe wrings her i’th instep, of my yong [sic] Shooemakers making was a way of referring to a pregnant woman in a play from 1540.

                                          2. 1

                                            Open source has a definition and is still being used according to that definition. I have never seen anyone refer to anything that isn’t open source as ‘open source’ without having many comments pointing out the incorrect use of language and then usually an apology.

                          2. 1

                            Most developers who write open source (or free, if you will) software either aren’t very familiar with the politics of Free Software, or explicitly reject it. A well-known example of this is Linus Torvaldus, but there are many more.

                            Many who use the GPL simply want to ensure people contribute code back, nothing more. I think Free Software as a political concept is not particularly common, even among people who contribute to it, and even less common outside of it.

                            1. 2

                              Torvalds doesn’t reject Free Software, he rejects the tivoization clause(s) in GPLv3.

                              1. 2

                                He’s been pretty critical of the concept of Free Software, and sharply critical of Stallman and the FSF, and not just about the GPL3. He’s often said that he mostly sees open source and the GPL has a simple practical matter (“it just works best, and sending back your patches is just basic fairness”), and has also said that he doesn’t really mind that proprietary software exists (which is quite different than the political position of the FSF).

                          3. 17

                            Nothing is apolitical, because nothing can exist outside of the political (social) climate in which it is created or consumed. Calls to keep politics out of X are political, however, because they distill down to a tacit defense and support of the status quo.

                            1. 9

                              This argument has no merit, as you could equally apply it to the choice of condiments you put on a hotdog.

                              1. 5

                                It’s political in a very narrow scope; the one of producing the software. The reverse conclusion that some seem to make is that it is a justification to throw even more politics into software development. It is used as a strong-arming argument that disrespects the intent of the author.

                                1. 8

                                  Calls to keep politics out of X are political, however, because they distill down to a tacit defense and support of the status quo.

                                  You have to be trolling. Some people are just sick of everything being a political discussion.

                                  1. 13

                                    I think the counter here would be that, if you are sick of discussing a political issue, it is likely because the issue does not affect you, which is in some cases due to what might be described as social/cultural/whatever privilege: hungry people don’t often become “sick of” talking about food.

                                    I’m a straight white upper class American male and I both empathize somewhat with your sentiment and do often get tired of every discussion becoming political (hence why I read lobste.rs 100x as often as the orange site) but I must concede some validity to the argument that my position in society is what lets these political discussions be just “boring” to me instead of terrifying and immediately relevant.

                                    1. 13

                                      I think the counter here would be that, if you are sick of discussing a political issue, it is likely because the issue does not affect you

                                      And sometimes, you are powerless to affect it.

                                      Racism exists everywhere in the world, but the form it takes in Bulgaria and elsewhere in the world is unlikely to line up with the American discourse. Imagine how you’d feel if people vehemently demanded you pick a side about the Indian citizenship law, and saw your unwillingness to comply as an indirect endorsement of the other side’s position? Because this is what the internet is like for non-Americans, at the moment.

                                      1. 6

                                        if you are sick of discussing a political issue, it is likely because the issue does not affect you

                                        Bear in mind that even activists and volunteers need to decompress.

                                        One can’t be 24/7 involved in the same thing or you will burn out. Not every conversation can be about the same topic, over and over again.

                                    2. 3

                                      Nothing is apolitical

                                      It’s not true. The action itself can be apolitical at the same time when analyzing the results of the same action can be political. If I stare at a tree because I find it relaxing, it’s not political. But the realization that I’m at the park staring at the tree instead of vandalizing public monuments in a name of some idea, can be political.

                                      It’s similar to mathematics. If I eat an apple because I’m hungry, the action itself is not mathematical. But the number of apples in the area I live in will decrease by 1, so it will be a mathematical result only if you use mathematical reasoning when interpreting the situation.

                                      1. 3

                                        Maybe this would help you understand:

                                        … People are different and have various opinions on various topics. But the pure free software ideas are a common interest which leads people from different groups and with different backgrounds to cooperation and shows them the way how to talk each other and eventually build a friendly and respectful community. It is much better than if people from different groups stay in their own bunkers and just bark at each other.

                                        Future of the Free Software Foundation

                                        1. 2

                                          If you want to make something political you can, not matter what it is. Eating a peanut butter sandwich can be political. Washing your hair can be political. Walking to your work can be political. Washing your hands can be political.

                                          That does not mean these things are political, only that you choose to make them political. This is a personal choice which does not need to - and often does not - transfer to others who get to make their own choices about what they consider to be political and what not.

                                          That last statement is political, it is the freedom of thought and expression which is one of the pillars most of our societies are built on. Think well before you demolish this pillar, it was built for a good reason.

                                          1. 0

                                            Let’s suppose, for the sake of argument, someone came into your supermarket and demanded you change the labels on the white pepper and black pepper (to, say, retted and unretted pepper, or pepperseed spice and peppercorn spice, or any other term that didn’t mention colours) because the words ‘white’ and ‘black’ are racist and political.

                                            You respond ‘no that’s ridiculous, there’s nothing political about white and black pepper’. They respond ‘everything is political’.

                                            Ponder that.

                                            1. 4

                                              You think you’re making a point, but you’re not.

                                              1. 3

                                                Well, for example, electron recently changed whitelist/blacklist to allowlist/blocklist, and Chromium did the same some time ago.

                                                1. 5

                                                  A blacklist is literally a list of bad things, which are clearly bad because they have the ‘black’ quality.

                                                  Black pepper is a tasty spice.

                                                  1. 1

                                                    Nonsense. Bookkeepers and accountants rejoice when the numbers are ‘in the black’ but shudder to see them go red. Here, black is good, red is bad. Is this a different black from the one used in the blacklist?

                                                    1. 1

                                                      A blacklist is a list of bad things which are bad because the colour black is associated with negativity in our culture, while white is associated with good. That has nothing to do with skin colour. It’s honestly pretty cringe to try to force an association between the word ‘black’ and black people everywhere the word exists. ‘Blacklist’ has nothing to do with black people and black pepper has nothing to do with black people. Black MTG cards have nothing to do with black people. Whitelist has nothing to do with white people, white pepper has nothing to do with white people, white MTG cards have nothing to do with white people.

                                                      1. 1

                                                        white pepper has nothing to do with white people

                                                        No shit.

                                                        It’s honestly pretty cringe to try to force an association between the word ‘black’ and black people everywhere the word exists.

                                                        Sure.

                                                        ’Blacklist’ has nothing to do with black people

                                                        Nothing wrong with disagreeing with the majority of linguists if you’ve got an informed opinion.

                                                        Perhaps demonstrating some familiarity with the relevant literature (or maybe even linked a source for this unfounded claim) would help people be a little more charitable in their reading of your ideas.

                                                        1. 2

                                                          Nothing wrong with disagreeing with the majority of linguists if you’ve got an informed opinion.

                                                          It’s been used in the English language for hundreds of years (as far back as the mid 1600s, if I remember correctly), rarely, though its first popular use was in the 20th century in reference to blacklists of union members. It’s a blacklist in the sense that the list itself is black. A blacklist was originally two words (as with many compound words) and its first usages are in a more poetic sense: a ‘black list’ where ‘black’ is used poetically to mean dark or evil. ‘His black list’ i.e. ‘his evil list’. It is not a list of ‘blacks’, never has been. Its use far predates modern American conceptions of race.

                                                          Now you might respond by saying that using a term that has its popular origins in the suppression of unionism to be ‘problematic’, but etymology is not the same as meaning. Words do not mean precisely what they were coined to mean, and it would be absurd to expect everyone to inspect the etymology of every word they speak to make sure it isn’t associated too closely with whatever topic has fallen under the gaze of the keyboard warriors on Twitter and is now considered ‘problematic’. There are probably heaps and heaps of completely normal terms people use all over the place that have their origin in something that, under close inspect without the proper context, might seem ‘problematic’.

                                                          Should one not use the word bugger? Or hysterical? Are no can do and long time, no see racist? What about uppity or hooligan? Grandfather clause? Call a spade a spade? What about gypsy or Eskimo or American Indian where despite the popular view among white Americans that they’re racist or outdated terms, they’re actually preferred by many of the people they’re meant to describe over Romani (lots of whom aren’t Romani at all) or Inuit or native American?

                                                          Maybe instead of being offended on behalf of others, you just leave it to them to raise issues if they are actually offended? Getting offended by the origins of terms that have been free of offensive connotation for decades or centuries because a couple of keyboard warriors on Twitter decided that the best way to solve an issue like systemically racist police violence in the USA is to police what variables people use on GitHub…

                                                          Perhaps demonstrating some familiarity with the relevant literature (or maybe even linked a source for this unfounded claim) would help people be a little more charitable in their reading of your ideas.

                                                          If you’re going to make such a significant claim you should back it up with sources from the relevant literature. Language is not problematic-by-default. The onus is on you to prove that the term was coined in reference to race if you wish to claim that it is “problematic”. I’m not telling people what to do or calling anyone racist. I’m not making any extraordinary claims. I don’t see why any burden of proof falls on me.

                                                          1. 2

                                                            its first popular use was in the 20th century in reference to blacklists of union members

                                                            Says who? (The wikipedia page for an active political controversy is not a source).

                                                            Maybe instead of being offended on behalf of others, you just leave it to them to raise issues if they are actually offended?

                                                            Firstly, I’m not offended by it; secondly, what idea would you have whether it was on someone elses behalf or my own if I were.

                                                            I’m offended by longwinded, unsourced, nonsensical arguments on an otherwise-good-SNR technical forum.

                                                            I don’t see why any burden of proof falls on me.

                                                            You’ve asserted, without evidence, that ‘Blacklist’ has nothing to do with black people, which is sort-of the crux of the discussion. Not only are you raising flat assertions without a source, you’ve the gall to demand anyone who points out this is low-effort do the legwork for you. Generating bullshit is much easier than refuting it, and all that.

                                                            EDIT: Oh. It’s you, but you’ve changed your username again. I’ll update my killfile, as usual.

                                                            For anyone else as uninterested as I am in this inanity, a handy ublock rule is:

                                                            lobste.rs##:xpath(//div[contains(concat(' ', normalize-space(@class), ' '), ' comment ')][.//a[contains(@href,'/u/mrr')]])

                                                            1. 1

                                                              You are a nasty piece of work.

                                                  2. 3

                                                    He is making a point though, even if you choose not to see it. You might not agree with it but that does not imply the point doesn’t exist. In other words, a single person or a group does not get to be the purveyor of truth in an open society which allows freedom of thought and freedom of expression.

                                                2. -2

                                                  Excellent. Now these monsters who support the status quo have no place to hide.

                                              1. 1

                                                I don’t think that an attempt to make a community more welcoming to marginalized groups is dramatic or aggressive. I don’t think forking a project after a maintainer has decided not to address an issue is dramatic or aggressive.

                                                In the original GitHub issue, you posted this:

                                                I wonder how all of you would feel if suddenly a ton of people who haven’t done anything for the project appeared here, told you’re a horrible person and started bullying you into doing what they want…

                                                This is in reference to 4 or 5 comments that expressed disagreement, most of which were couched in “I feel” or “I think.” Up to this point - and please correct me if I’m wrong - the discussion actually seems quite polite. People were passionate because police violence is an important topic, but I didn’t see anyone calling you names or dismissing your efforts even when they disagreed with you. But after you made your post, people came to your defense by characterizing the original issue as “nonsense,” “execrable,” “SJW,” “absurd,” “whining,” “ridiculous,” and so on.

                                                1. 34

                                                  I acknowledge any mistakes on my part and I regret and denounce the negativity invoked in my defence. My initial reaction was directed at some Twitter comments, but I failed to make this clear, which is on me. As noted I wrote this at 7 am having woken up a few minutes earlier. Clearly not my brightest moment. :-)

                                                  1. 14

                                                    After reading the entire thread, you did nothing wrong. I found your replies to be reasonable.

                                                    I would have put a “No” and closed/disabled further discussion in the very beginning. Engaging with this type of person is a waste of time. Pretending as if forking and running a sed command is “doing most of the hard work”.

                                                    Ultimately this seems to be the consequence of writing a successful tool with a big userbase.

                                                    1. 5

                                                      If someone forks it, just sit back and enjoy them fixing all your bugs for you, or giving up at the effort.

                                                      1. 1

                                                        You have done absolutely nothing wrong and have nothing to apologise for.

                                                      2. 17

                                                        What would your response be if that happened to you? If someone opened up an issue with grunt-simple-mocha requesting you change the name because “grunt” is a US slang term for “soldier,” which implies US hegemony and violence against other countries? And a lot of other people supported that?

                                                        1. 6

                                                          I’d take the request seriously. I’d wonder why they were taking it up with me rather than the authors of Grunt. I’d wonder if they opened the PR as a form of harassment/retaliation. But assuming their concerns were legitimate, I’d consider changing the name.

                                                          I’d definitely delete any needlessly dramatic comments that called other contributors SJWs, bullies, aggressive, or censors for expressing concerns about bigotry in an industry which has repeatedly proven itself to be structurally unequal and unwelcoming to large groups of people. But I already do that thrice daily after washing my hands for 20 seconds with soap.

                                                          1. 7

                                                            It was an example of a project whose name might be taken in a bad context. I could have used, for example, your funny-fingers repo as offending someone because that is mocking people with deformed hands. You might think that’s a silly example, but until two weeks ago, there wasn’t an issue with the word “cop”.

                                                          2. 4

                                                            I wonder this, as well. Where do we draw the line?

                                                            Should our industry lean towards plain-English definitions for names when it comes to software?

                                                            Is there demonstrable evidence that “RuboCop” has caused anyone, anywhere, undue distress? Moreso than would be required to rename a highly-used library?

                                                            1. 9

                                                              I think too many people are taking George Orwell’s 1984 more as a manual than a warning.

                                                          3. 0

                                                            But after you made your post, people came to your defense by characterizing the original issue as “nonsense,” “execrable,” “SJW,” “absurd,” “whining,” “ridiculous,” and so on.

                                                            Which is fine, because the original issue is absurd, ridiculous whining from an SJW concerned, ironically, more with policing the language of others than with doing anything useful.

                                                          1. 2

                                                            Debian, because it’s stable and as “vanilla” as it gets. It’s pretty mainstream as far as distros go.

                                                            I run i3wm + i3gaps, tint2 and kitty.

                                                            I’m happy.

                                                            1. 8

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                                                              We pay above market rates, offer educational and tech stipends, healthcare, 401(k) and support a positive career trajectory. I look forward to hearing from y’all!

                                                              1. 1

                                                                Wait, this is great and all, but they’re saying (emphasis mine):

                                                                Proteins are not stagnant—they wiggle and fold and unfold to take on numerous shapes. We need to study not only one shape of the viral spike protein, but all the ways the protein wiggles and folds into alternative shapes in order to best understand how it interacts with the ACE2 receptor, so that an antibody can be designed. Low-resolution structures of the SARS-CoV spike protein exist and we know the mutations that differ between SARS-CoV and 2019-nCoV. Given this information, we are uniquely positioned to help model the structure of the 2019-nCoV spike protein and identify sites that can be targeted by a therapeutic antibody. We can build computational models that accomplish this goal, but it takes a lot of computing power.

                                                                Aren’t there institutions…or states…. that might have more computing power at hand than Folding@home has?

                                                                I’m perhaps too naive here, and certainly glad to help such a great project, but it does beg the question.

                                                                1. 2

                                                                  it does seem like a great time to say “hey, world supercomputers – can you please crunch this for a while, we’ll pay you handsomely”

                                                                1. 1

                                                                  This looks like Visual Basic stuff I did back in 03

                                                                  1. 7

                                                                    The grammar of the questions asked in this article irks me. You can either say “Why development teams are adopting GraphQL”, as a statement, or you can say “Why are development teams adopting GraphQL?”, as a question. But what the author is doing is a strange mishmash of both. It would only be correct if it was meant as a quote with a follow-up: “Why development teams are adopting GraphQL? I have no idea!”.

                                                                    1. 5

                                                                      Or with an extra comma as an interjection:

                                                                      Why, development teams are adopting GraphQL? What a preposterous notion!

                                                                      1. 5

                                                                        I assume Tomek’s first language is not English.

                                                                      1. 4

                                                                        I just got Nextcloud setup on my raspberry pi for my family and I!

                                                                        1. 2

                                                                          What’s your experience with the calendaring application? I briefly used it a few years back and it paled in comparison to iCal and GCal…. I’m still trying to get away from Google

                                                                          1. 1

                                                                            I use Nextcloud calendar. I’m happy with it for basic personal usage, but where it really shines is the CalDav integration. Google I suppose can add extra features because they don’t support proper syncing via standards from what I remember. And even though I’m using an Android phone, I want my data portable.

                                                                        1. 3

                                                                          I’m hoping to finish a project at work I’m writing in C between today and Wednesday afternoon. My wife and I will be celebrating the US’s Independence Day by taking our eight-month-old puppy (pic taken at around six months) to Kent Island in the Chesapeak Bay. He absolutely loves the water! I cannot wait to take him camping and hiking next year.

                                                                          1. 2

                                                                            Adorable pupper! My little girl is eight-months as well, she’s going to her first water adventure this weekend. Have a safe and happy Fourth!

                                                                          1. 3
                                                                            Oddball/DSVA
                                                                            Moonlight
                                                                            • Upgrading an ancient Rails 3.2 application and redeploying on AWS as an exercise in making previous clients surprised and happy

                                                                            Personal
                                                                            • Maintain my weight-and-body-fat-loss rate by tracking calories and exercising discipline in diet
                                                                            • Visiting family and friends on vacation for US Independence Day
                                                                            • Finish Fall; Or Dodge in Hell

                                                                            Anyone experienced in SRE/Metrics/Monitoring have interesting reads for me?

                                                                            1. 25

                                                                              I give away Sidekiq and sell Sidekiq Enterprise. If you use Ruby/Rails, it’s the standard. https://sidekiq.org

                                                                              1. 3

                                                                                it’s the standard

                                                                                For a very good reason. Wonderful piece of software. Thanks @mperham!

                                                                                1. 2

                                                                                  Woah thats awesome. I have been using sidekiq lots. Great bit of software.

                                                                                  1. 1

                                                                                    Hey @mperham!

                                                                                    Thanks for all of your code. I’ve used and loved several of your projects.

                                                                                    Out of curiosity what is the current status of Faktory? It sounded like an interesting project, but the rate of development looks like it kind of cratered last Dec.

                                                                                    1. 2

                                                                                      It’s under active development but summer has been slow due to family issues. Latest:

                                                                                      https://mastodon.xyz/@mperham/100583959557092421

                                                                                  1. 2

                                                                                    Oddball is hiring a Senior Full Stack Engineer (React, Rails) and a Devops engineer (AWS, Terraform). We work on cool projects like vets.gov and are partnered with AdHoc - the agency that salvaged the original healthcare.gov project. Fully remote, great compensation, US based only.

                                                                                    1. 1

                                                                                      Out of curiosity (I’ve always wanted to ask someone this), what’s the motivation for US-based only?

                                                                                      I’m an American living in Canada, and it’s a bit of a head-scratcher how often I see this. Having worked remotely for US companies in the past, I have trouble figuring out what it is that the companies adding this disclaimer are worried about.

                                                                                      1. 2

                                                                                        In this particular case the project we’re hiring for is under the umbrella of the US Gov’t, and any contractor/subcontractor is required to be located in the United States. (AFAIK).

                                                                                    1. 5

                                                                                      “missing” out of the box for composition and revision are tools for version control

                                                                                      There’s RCS and CVS in the base system for that.

                                                                                      One thing that I find somewhat unfortunate is that OpenBSD has a lot of great text editing tools, yet it’s missing any kind of typesetter (troff, TeX) in the base system.

                                                                                      1. 3

                                                                                        …editing because @xorhash had been kind enough to remind me of rcs(1) and cvs(1)…

                                                                                        OpenBSD’s base system doesn’t provide dictionary searches or spell check, either, but I’m fine with that. I’m grateful they provide X Window as part of the base system. Stuff like git, troff, aspell, diction, pandoc, and dictd I’m happy to install using the package mangler.

                                                                                        What I would love to know is why OpenBSD ports has the dict server but none of the dictionaries. If I want a dict daemon on my laptop so I can check definitions offline, I have to get the actual dictionary archives out of the FreeBSD port’s distfiles because ftp.dict.org is dead. While I can do that, I’d rather not have to. :)

                                                                                        1. 3

                                                                                          I second xorhash’s mention of RCS. (Though, I’m no BSD user.)

                                                                                          I heard somewhere that RCS was designed with your sort of use case in mind! Maybe it was this post (2009)?

                                                                                          It’s certainly an easily understood, unixy tool. Maybe I’ll try using it one day. ;)

                                                                                          1. 3

                                                                                            That’s an excellent introduction. Thanks.

                                                                                            However, RCS isn’t actually suited to my use case because I don’t use one file per novel. Instead, I write novels the way I code at my day job, with text distributed across various files in a directory tree. Yes, it’s probably overkill, but it beats paying a shitload of money for a Mac so I can use Scrivener or Ulysses.

                                                                                            My hierarchy currently looks somewhat like this:

                                                                                            $SERIES/
                                                                                              $TITLE/
                                                                                                title
                                                                                                dedication
                                                                                                disclaimer
                                                                                                acknowledgements
                                                                                                $SUBPLOT1/
                                                                                                  01.scene
                                                                                                  02.scene
                                                                                                  01.revision01.sed
                                                                                                $SUBPLOT2/
                                                                                                  01.scene
                                                                                            

                                                                                            When I’m ready to read what I’ve done as a whole, I’ll assemble the whole mess using cat and fmt. Likewise when I’m done with all revisions and am ready to submit to a publisher. At that point I’ll put everything together into a file like “submission01”, mark it up with with Markdown or reStructuredText (depending on whether I was pretentious enough to include footnotes), run it through pandoc and convert it to Word format (unless the publisher is hip enough to accept an OpenDocument Text file, and then edit the output in LibreOffice to suit the publisher’s house style.

                                                                                            You can’t manage something like this with RCS. CVS would be more appropriate, but as I mentioned in another comment I’m already familiar with git. I use it when tinkering with static site generators, build websies, and at my day job.

                                                                                            1. 4

                                                                                              I don’t know much about the BSDs but I use Scrivener on Debian via WINE, flawlessly! Just a note.

                                                                                              1. 3

                                                                                                Apparently there’s an AppImage of the unfinished Linux version for people who don’t want to use WINE.

                                                                                                Believe it or not, I’ve tried Scrivener. It’s not a bad app, but I don’t like that it stores everything in RTF files. When I’m drafting something, I’d rather work in plain text.

                                                                                                Also, as @qznc noted, a tool like ed(1) is great if you have a tendency to go back and edit unfinished work. I have this tendency in spades.

                                                                                              2. 2

                                                                                                I don’t see why you can’t use RCS.

                                                                                                % ed test
                                                                                                a
                                                                                                this is a test of using
                                                                                                RCS for version control.
                                                                                                .
                                                                                                w
                                                                                                49
                                                                                                !ci -l % 
                                                                                                ci -l test
                                                                                                test,v  <--  test
                                                                                                enter description, terminated with single '.' or end of file:
                                                                                                NOTE: This is NOT the log message!
                                                                                                >> test check in
                                                                                                >> .
                                                                                                initial revision: 1.1
                                                                                                done
                                                                                                !
                                                                                                ,n
                                                                                                1	this is a test of using
                                                                                                2	RCS for version control.
                                                                                                a
                                                                                                
                                                                                                Now we add a new paragraph.
                                                                                                .
                                                                                                w
                                                                                                78
                                                                                                !ci -l %
                                                                                                ci -l test
                                                                                                test,v  <--  test
                                                                                                new revision: 1.2; previous revision: 1.1
                                                                                                enter log message, terminated with single '.' or end of file:
                                                                                                >> new paragraph 
                                                                                                >> .
                                                                                                done
                                                                                                !
                                                                                                ,n
                                                                                                1	this is a test of using
                                                                                                2	RCS for version control.
                                                                                                3	
                                                                                                4	Now we add a new paragraph.
                                                                                                q
                                                                                                

                                                                                                Compared to git, the only thing that’s missing is keeping track of contents that get moved from one file to another.

                                                                                                1. 2

                                                                                                  RCS is one repository per file. That’s not what I want. I want one repository for the entire project. And I want the master repository to live on BitBucket (or some other provider I trust because I’m too lazy to self-host on a VPS). This lets me sync between multiple machines.

                                                                                                  This way, when I’m dead because somebody got upset about me typing in public and decided to beat me into the ground with my laptop, it’s possible that some other nerd who overdosed on JRPGs and Blue Öyster Cult albums as a kid might find it and take over. :)

                                                                                                  1. 1

                                                                                                    In the true spirit of unix, you use one tool for one purpose only. Just use a separate tool for syncing. scp(1) works. rsync(1) works better. unison(1) beats everything.

                                                                                                    You can’t really call RCS a ‘repository’. It is, after all, just one ‘,v’ file for the version history of a single file. You can setup rsync or unison to sync up ‘,v’ files exclusively, which essentially transforms rcs to a hand-rolled cvs.

                                                                                        1. 42

                                                                                          GitLab is really worth a look as an alternative. One big advantage of GitLab is that the core technology is open source. This means that anybody can run their own instance. If the company ends up moving in a direction that the community isn’t comfortable with, then it’s always possible to fork it.

                                                                                          There’s also a proposal to support federation between GitLab instances. With this approach there wouldn’t even be a need for a single central hub. One of the main advantages of Git is that it’s a decentralized system, and it’s somewhat ironic that GitHub constitutes a single point of failure.

                                                                                          1. 17

                                                                                            Federated GitLabs sound interesting. The thing I’ve always wanted though is a standardised way to send pull requests/equivalent to any provider, so that I can self-host with Gitea or whatever but easily contribute back and receive contributions.

                                                                                            1. 7

                                                                                              git has built-in pull requests They go to the project mailing list, people code review via normal inline replies Glorious

                                                                                              1. 27

                                                                                                It’s really not glorious. It’s a severely inaccessible UX, with basically no affordances for tracking that review comments are resolved, for viewing different slices of commits from a patchset, or integrating with things like CI.

                                                                                                1. 7

                                                                                                  I couldn’t tell if singpolyma was serious or not, but I agree, and I think GitHub and the like have made it clear what the majority of devs prefer. Even if it was good UX, if I self-host, setting up a mail server and getting people to participate that way isn’t exactly low-friction. Maybe it’s against the UNIX philosophy, but I’d like every part of the patchset/contribution lifecycle to be first-class concepts in git. If not in git core, then in a “blessed” extension, à la hub.

                                                                                                  1. 2

                                                                                                    You can sort of get a tracking UI via Patchwork. It’s… not great.

                                                                                                    1. 1

                                                                                                      The only one of those Github us better at is integration with CI. They also have an inaccessible UX (doesn’t even work on my mobile devices, can’t imagine if I had accessibility needs…), doesn’t track when review comments are resolved, and there’s no UX facility for viewing different slices, you have to know git stuff to know the links

                                                                                                    2. 3

                                                                                                      I’ve wondered about a server-side process (either listen on http, poll a mailbox, etc) that could parse the format generated by git request-pull, and create a new ‘merge request’ that can then be reviewed by collaborators.

                                                                                                      1. 2

                                                                                                        I always find funny that usually, the same people advocating that emails are a technology with many inherent flaws that cannot be fixed, are the same people that advocate using the built in fit feature using emails…

                                                                                                    3. 6

                                                                                                      Just re: running your own instance, gogs is pretty good too. I haven’t used it with a big team so I don’t know how it stacks up there, but I set it up on a VPS to replace a paid Github account for private repos, where it seems fast, lightweight and does everything I need just fine.

                                                                                                      1. 20

                                                                                                        Gitea is a better maintained Gogs fork. I run both Gogs on an internal server and Gitea on the Internet.

                                                                                                        1. 9

                                                                                                          Yeah, stuff like gogs works well for private instances. I do find the idea of having public federated GitLab instances pretty exciting as an alternative to GitHub for open source projects though. In theory this could work similarly to the way Mastodon works currently. Individuals and organizations could setup GitLab servers that would federate between each other. This could allow searching for repos across the federation, tagging issues across projects on different instances, and potentially fail over if instances mirror content. With this approach you wouldn’t be relying on a single provider to host everybody’s projects in one place.

                                                                                                        2. 1

                                                                                                          Has GitLab’s LFS support improved? I’ve been a huge fan of theirs for a long time, and I don’t really have an intense workflow so I wouldn’t notice edge cases, but I’ve heard there are some corners that are lacking in terms of performance.

                                                                                                          1. 4

                                                                                                            GitLab has first-class support for git-annex which I’ve used to great success

                                                                                                          1. 1

                                                                                                            I also use pass with keybase git.

                                                                                                          1. 2

                                                                                                            Wow the nostalgia factor here caught me by surprise. It was actually Easter Sunday in 2004?) when I first setup PHPBB and learned what MySQL was. Wow. This is my favorite prank thus far.

                                                                                                            Well done pushcx

                                                                                                            1. 3

                                                                                                              I’ve been remote for 3 years, and Monday I start my first office-based job (small office, open floor plan.)

                                                                                                              I’m excited to be around my colleagues and have the opportunity to discuss things in real-time. I’m not excited for what will be ~1hr commute per day. The freedom granted from working remote has been great - I can make my own lunch in my own kitchen. Hopefully I’ll transition back to a remote position after a few months of getting to know the team.

                                                                                                              As for tips I echo everything said in the other comments. It’s great to be out of bed and directly on to PC for work, but it’s even greater to wake up and have a breakfast routine, a separate office and time blocks for flow-state work.

                                                                                                              I found it’s easier to get into flow-state with people around because I’m less likely to be distracted if I’m in the office.

                                                                                                              1. 3

                                                                                                                “It is very dangerous to run the latest version under sudo and I have a feeling it isn’t just me getting these results.”

                                                                                                                It’s dangerous to run anything as root. FTFY :)

                                                                                                                1. 2

                                                                                                                  No, it’s not.

                                                                                                                  1. 2

                                                                                                                    I disagree, it’s dangerous to run commands as root and not know what you’re doing.

                                                                                                                  1. 7

                                                                                                                    Great read. My favorite tl;dr;

                                                                                                                    By the way, NaN != NaN, so Aristotle was wrong about that whole “Law of Identity” thing.