1. 4

    Article seems to imply:

    Xerox (Cedar/Mesa)->[mumble]Modula-2/Lilith/Ceres[/mumble]->OBERON!

    Where I would argue the Modula-2 and Lilith influence is vastly more important, broad and long lasting. Oberon is, by comparison, an interesting, if archaic, cul-de-sac.

    1. 35

      e-mail has a lot of legacy cruft. Regardless of the technical merits of e-mail or Telegram or Delta Chat, Signal, matrix.org or whatever, what people need to be hearing today is “WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger are unnecessarily invasive. Everyone is moving to X.” If there isn’t a clear message on what X is, then people will just keep on using WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger.

      It seems clear to me that e-mail is not the frontrunner for X, so by presenting it as a candidate for replacing WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger, I think the author is actually decreasing the likelihood that most people will migrate to a better messaging platform.

      My vote is for Signal. It has good clients for Android and iOS and it’s secure. It’s also simple enough that non-technical people can use it comfortably.

      1. 26

        Signal is a silo and I dislike silos. That’s why I post on my blog instead of Twitter. What happens when someone buys Signal, the US government forces Signal to implement backdoors or Signal runs out of donation money?

        1. 10

          Signal isn’t perfect. My point is that Signal is better than WhatsApp and that presenting many alternatives to WhatsApp is harmful to Signal adoption. If Signal can’t reach critical mass like WhatsApp has it will fizzle out and we will be using WhatsApp again.

          1. 12

            If Signal can’t reach critical mass like WhatsApp has it will fizzle out

            Great! We don’t need more silos.

            and we will be using WhatsApp again.

            What about XMPP or Matrix? They can (and should!) be improved so that they are viable alternatives.

            1. 13

              (Majority of) People don’t care about technology (how), they care about goal (why).

              They don’t care if it’s Facebook, Whatsapp, Signal, Email, XMPP, they want to communicate.

              1. 14

                Yeah, I think the point of the previous poster was that these systems should be improved to a point where they’re just really good alternatives, which includes branding and the like. Element (formerly riot.im) has the right idea on this IMHO, instead of talking about all sorts of tech details and presenting 500 clients like xmpp.org, it just says “here are the features element has, here’s how you can use it”.

                Of course, die-hard decentralisation advocates don’t like this. But this is pretty much the only way you will get any serious mainstream adoption as far as I can see. Certainly none of the other approaches that have been tried over the last ~15 years worked.

                1. 7

                  …instead of talking about all sorts of tech details and presenting 500 clients like xmpp.org, it just says “here are the features element has, here’s how you can use it”.

                  Same problem with all the decentralized social networks and microblogging services. I was on Mastodon for a bit. I didn’t log in very often because I only followed a handful of privacy advocate types since none of my friends or other random people I followed on Twitter were on it. It was fine, though. But then they shut down the server I was on and apparently I missed whatever notification was sent out.

                  People always say crap like “What will you do if Twitter shuts down?”. Well, so far 100% of the federated / distributed social networks I’ve tried (I also tried that Facebook clone from way back when and then Identi.ca at some point) have shut down in one way or another and none of the conventional ones I’ve used have done so. I realize it’s a potential problem, but in my experience it just doesn’t matter.

                  1. 4

                    The main feature that cannot be listed in good faith and which is the one that everybody cares about is: “It has all my friend and family on it”.

                    I know it’s just a matter of critical mass and if nobody switches this will never happen.

                  2. 1

                    Sure, but we’re not the majority of people.. and we shouldn’t be choosing yet another silo to promote.

                  3. 5

                    XMPP and (to a lesser extent) Matrix do need to be improved before they are viable alternatives, though. Signal is already there. You may feel that ideological advantages make up for the UI shortcomings, but very few nontechnical users feel the same way.

                    1. 1

                      Have you tried joining a busy Matrix channel from a federated homeserver? It can take an hour. I think it needs some improvement too.

                      1. 2

                        Oh, definitely. At least in the case of Matrix it’s clear that (1) the developers regard usability as an actual goal, (2) they know their usability could be improved, and (3) they’re working on improving it. I admit I don’t follow the XMPP ecosystem as closely, so the same could be the same there, but… XMPP has been around for 20 years, so what’s going to change now to make it more approachable?

                    2. 4

                      […] it will fizzle out

                      Great! We don’t need more silos.

                      Do you realize you’re cheering for keeping the WhatsApp silo?

                      Chat platforms have a strong network effect. We’re going to be stuck with Facebook’s network for as long as other networks are fragmented due to people disagreeing which one is the perfect one to end all other ones, and keep waiting for a pie in the sky, while all of them keep failing to reach the critical mass.

                      1. 1

                        Do you realize you’re cheering for keeping the WhatsApp silo?

                        Uh, not sure how you pulled that out of what I said, but I’m actually cheering for the downfall of all silos.

                        1. 2

                          I mean that by opposing the shift to the less-bad silo you’re not actually advancing the no-silo case, but keeping the status quo of the worst-silo.

                          There is currently no decentralized option that is secure, practical, and popular enough to be adopted by mainstream consumers in numbers that could beat WhatsApp.

                          If the choice is between WhatsApp and “just wait until we make one that is”, it means keeping WhatsApp.

                      2. 3

                        They can be improved so that they are viable alternatives.

                        Debatable.

                        Great! We don’t need more silos.

                        Domain-name federation is a half-assed solution to data portability. Domain names basically need to be backed by always-on servers, not everybody can have one, and not everybody should. Either make it really P2P (Scuttlebutt?) or don’t bother.

                        1. 2

                          I sadly agree, which is why logically I always end up recommend signal as ‘the best of a bad bunch’.

                          I like XMPP, but for true silo-avoidance you need you run your own server (or at least have someone run it under your domain, so you can move away). This sucks. It’s sort of the same with matrix.

                          The only way around this is real p2p as you say. So far I haven’t seen anything that I could recommend to former whatsapp users on this front however. I love scuttlebutt but I can’t see it as a good mobile solution.

                      3. 8

                        Signal really needs a “web.signal.com”; typing on phones suck, and the destop app is ugh. I can’t write my own app either so I’m stuck with two bad options.

                        This is actually a big reason I like Telegram: the web client is pretty good.

                        1. 3

                          I can’t write my own app either so I’m stuck with two bad options.

                          FWIW I’m involved with Whisperfish, the Signal client for Sailfish OS. There has been a constant worry about 3rd party clients, but it does seem like OWS has loosened its policy.

                          The current Whisperfish is written in Rust, with separate libraries for the protocol and service. OWS is also putting work into their own Rust library, which we may switch to.

                          Technically you can, and the risk should be quite minimal. At the end of the, as OWS doesn’t support these efforts, and if you don’t make a fool of them, availability and use increases their brand value.

                          Don’t want to know what happens if someone writes a horrible client and steps on their brand, so let’s be careful out there.

                          1. 2

                            Oh right; that’s good to know. I just searched for “Signal API” a while ago and nothing really obvious turned up so I assumed it’s either impossible or hard/hackish. To be honest I didn’t look very deeply at it, since I don’t really care all that much about Signal that much 😅 It’s just a single not-very-active chatgroup.

                            1. 1

                              Fair enough, sure. An API might sound too much like some raw web thing - it is based on HTTPS after all - but I don’t think all of it would be that simple ;)

                              The work gone into the libraries has not been trivial, so if you do ever find yourself caring, I hope it’ll be a happy surprise!

                          2. 2

                            The Telegram desktop client is even better than the web client.

                            1. 3

                              I don’t like desktop clients.

                              1. 4

                                Is there a specific reason why? The desktop version of Telegram is butter smooth and has the same capabilities as the phone version (I’m pretty sure they’re built from the same source as well).

                                1. 3

                                  Security is the biggest reason for me. Every other week, you hear about a fiasco where a desktop client for some communication service had some sort of remote code execution vulnerability. But there can be other reasons as well, like them being sloppy with their .deb packages and messing up with my update manager etc. As a potential user, I see no benefit in installing a desktop client over a web client.

                                  1. 4

                                    Security is the reason that you can’t easily have a web-based Signal client. Signal is end-to-end encrypted. In a web app, it’s impossible to isolate the keying material from whoever provides the service so it would be trivial for Signal to intercept all of your messages (even if they did the decryption client-side, they could push an update that uploads the plaintext after decryption).

                                    It also makes targeted attacks trivial: with the mobile and desktop apps, it’s possible to publish the hash that you get for the download and compare it against the versions other people run, so that you can see if you’re running a malicious version (I hope a future version of Signal will integrate that and use it to validate updates before it installs them by checking that other users in your network see the same series of updates). With a web app, you have no way of verifying that you’re running the same code that you were one page refresh ago, let alone the same code as someone else.

                                    1. 1

                                      A web based client has no advantages with regards to security. They are discrete topics. As a web developer, I would argue that a web based client has a significantly larger surface area for attacks.

                                      1. 1

                                        When I say security, I don’t mean the security of my communications over that particular application. That’s important too, but it’s nothing compared to my personal computer getting hacked, which means my entire digital life getting compromised. Now you could say a web site could also hijack my entire computer by exploiting weaknesses in the browser, which is definitely a possibility, but that’s not what we hear every other week. We hear stupid zoom or slack desktop client containing a critical remote code execution vulnerability that allows a completely unrelated third party complete access to your computer.

                                    2. 1

                                      I just don’t like opening a new window/application. Almost all of my work is done with one terminal window (in tmux, on workspace 1) and a browser (workspace 2). This works very well for me as I hate dealing with window management. Obviously I do open other applications for specific purposes (GIMP, Geeqie, etc) but I find having an extra window just to chat occasionally is annoying. Much easier to open a tab in my browser, send my message, and close it again.

                            2. 3

                              The same thing that’s happening now with whatsapp - users move.

                              1. 2

                                A fraction of users is moving, the technically literate ones. Everyone else stays where their contacts are, or which is often the case, installs another messenger and then uses n+1.

                                1. 2

                                  A fraction of users is moving, the technically literate ones

                                  I don’t think that’s what’s happening now. There have been a lot of mainstream press articles about WhatsApp. The technical users moved to Signal when Facebook bought WhatsApp, I’m now hearing non-technical folks ask what they should migrate to from WhatsApp. For example, one of our administrators recently asked about Signal because some of her family want to move their family chat there from WhatsApp.

                                  1. 1

                                    Yeah these last two days I have been asked a few times about chat apps. I have also noticed my signal contacts list expand by quite a few contacts, and there are lots of friends/family who I would not have expected to make the switch in there. I asked one family member, a doctor, what brought her in and she said that her group of doctors on whatsapp became concerned after the recent announcements.

                                    I wish I could recommend xmpp/OMEMO, but it’s just not as easy to set up. You can use conversations.im, and it’s a great service, but if you are worried about silos you are back to square one if you use their domain. They make using a custom domain as friction-free as possible but it still involves DNS settings.

                                    I feel the same way about matrix etc. Most people won’t run their own instance, so you end up in a silo again.

                                    For the closest thing to whatsapp, I have to recommend Signal. It’s not perfect, but it’s good. I wish you didn’t have to use a phone number…

                              2. 2

                                What happens when someone buys Signal, the US government forces Signal to implement backdoors or Signal runs out of donation money?

                                Not supporting signal in any way, but how would your preferred solution actually mitigate those risks?

                                1. 1

                                  Many different email providers all over the world and multiple clients based on the same standards.

                                  1. 6

                                    Anyone who has written email software used at scale by the general public can tell you that you will spend a lot of time working around servers and clients which do all sorts of weird things. Sometimes with good reasons, often times with … not so good reasons. This sucks but there’s nothing I can change about that, so I’ll need to deal with it.

                                    Getting something basic working is pretty easy. Getting all emails handled correctly is much harder. Actually displaying all emails well even harder still. There’s tons of edge cases.

                                    The entire system is incredibly messy, and we’re actually a few steps up from 20 years ago when it was even worse.

                                    And we still haven’t solved the damn line wrapping problem 30 years after we identified it…

                                    Email both proves Postel’s law correct and wrong: it’s correct in the sense that it does work, it’s wrong because it takes far more time and effort than it really needs to.

                                    1. 2

                                      I hear you (spent a few years at an ESP). It’s still better than some siloed walled garden proprietary thing that looks pretty but could disappear for any reason in a moment. The worst of all worlds except all others.

                                      1. 2

                                        could disappear for any reason in a moment

                                        I’m not so worried about this; all of these services have been around for ages and I’m not seeing them disappear from one day to the next in the foreseeable future. And even if it does happen: okay, just move somewhere else. It’s not even that big of a deal.

                                        1. 1

                                          Especially with chat services. There’s not that much to lose. Your contacts are almost always backed up elsewhere. I guess people value their chat history more than I do, however.

                              3. 11

                                My vote is for Signal. It has good clients for Android and iOS and it’s secure. It’s also simple enough that non-technical people can use it comfortably.

                                I’ve recently started using it, and while it’s fine, I’m no fan. As @jlelse, it is another closed-off platform that you have to use, making me depend on someone else.

                                They seem to (as of writing) prioritize “security” over “user freedom”, which I don’t agree with. There’s the famous thread, where they reject the notion of distributing Signal over F-Droid (instead having their own special updater, in their Google-less APK). What also annoys me is that their desktop client is based on Electron, which would have been very hard for me to use before upgrading my desktop last year.

                                1. 6

                                  My vote is for Signal. It has good clients for Android and iOS and it’s secure. It’s also simple enough that non-technical people can use it comfortably.

                                  What I hate about signal is that it requires a mobile phone and an associated phone number. That makes it essentially useless - I loathe mobile phones - and very suspect to me. Why can’t the desktop client actually work?

                                  1. 2

                                    I completely agree. At the beginning of 2020 I gave up my smartphone and haven’t looked back. I’ve got a great dumb phone for voice and SMS, and the occasional photo. But now I can’t use Signal as I don’t have a mobile device to sign in to. In a word where Windows, Mac OS, Linux, Android, and iOS all exist as widely used operating systems, Signal is untenable as it only as full featured clients for two of these operating systems.

                                    Signal isn’t perfect.

                                    This isn’t about being perfect, this is about being accessible to everyone. It doesn’t matter how popular it becomes, I can’t use it.

                                    1. 1

                                      What I hate about signal is that it requires a mobile phone and an associated phone number.

                                      On the bright side, Signal’s started to use UUIDs as well, so this may change. Some people may think it’s gonna be too late whenever it happens, if it does, but at least the protocols aren’t stagnant!

                                      1. 1

                                        They’ve been planning on fixing that for a while, I don’t know what the status is. The advantage of using mobile phone numbers is bootstrapping. My address book is already full of phone numbers for my contacts. When I installed Signal, it told me which of them are already using it. When other folks joined, I got a notification. While I agree that it’s not a great long-term strategy, it worked very well for both WhatsApp and Signal to quickly bootstrap a large connected userbase.

                                        In contrast, most folks XMPP addresses were not the same as their email addresses and I don’t have a lot of email addresses in my address book anyway because my mail clients are all good at autocompleting them from people who have sent me mail before, so I don’t bother adding them. As a result, my Signal contact list was instantly as big as my Jabber Roster became after about six months of trying to get folks to use Jabber. The only reason Jabber was useable at all for me initially was that it was easy to run an ICQ bridge so I could bring my ICQ contacts across.

                                        1. 1

                                          Support for using it without a phone number remains a work in progress. The introduction of PINs was a stepping stone towards that.

                                    1. 2

                                      This might be OT, but there was some interest expressed in more posts about synthesizers…

                                      These circuits are based on classic designs by Dave Rossum that were used in a lot of classic synthesizers. With a few of these inexpensive ICs you could build a DIY analog monosynth on a breadboard. Plug in a keyboard with control-voltage output, like an Arturia KeyStep, and you’re ready to rock. If I had the analog-electronics chops to know what I were doing, I’d totally do it.

                                      1. 3

                                        Do it. Analog is pretty forgiving, and if you stay away from vacuum tube voltages, you can’t hurt yourself. Even if you get it a but wrong, you get a sound, which is fun.

                                      1. 4

                                        I have 40 year old email boxes that I can still access on essentially all of my devices, mobile and otherwise. I have current mail boxes that are in the same format I can access in the same format. It takes a more or less finesse depending on platform, only because people are casting about for the new hotness and ignoring the old reliable, but it works. There are all kinds of problems and limitations with it (how the hell did we end up with MIME?), but the underlying use case (communication) works.

                                        Will I be able to access my Signal or Telegram store 40 years from now?

                                        Yes. email is a good format.

                                        1. 11

                                          In regards to mention of Nazi deathcamp imagery on 9front’s site, they’ve removed the image in question and updated the page with an explanation:

                                          Once upon a time, khm was searching for rails documentation and accidentally hit the Images link. In the first page of results was a photo of the train tracks of Auschwitz. Its presence among the Ruby on Rails logos was so absurd and out of place that khm memorialized it. It was made in an era before actual Nazis had re-entered the public dialogue, so it felt like Google Image Search was denigrating Ruby on Rails by including this sort of imagery in the results.

                                          Generally speaking, 4chan types read it as an endorsement, which sucks. More recently, people who are not assholes have also begun to read it as an endorsement, which is even more unfortunate. Finally, the people who just get mad about things on social media have begun nesting in it. As a result, this image has been targeted for redaction by the 9front Internet Mob Mollification committee.

                                          Also note the “Nazi punks fuck off” badge has been on 9front’s front page ever since I found out about them.
                                          I don’t think they condone nazisim, or welcome fascists into their community.

                                          1. 9

                                            Also added, for people who didn’t find “Nazi punks fuck off” sufficiently explicit:

                                            ACHTUNG! 9front absolutely and unalterally opposed to racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, nationalism, ethnocentrism, religious fundamentalism, and oppressive and coercive power structures of all kinds.

                                            1. 3

                                              For context. When 9front was still on Google Code they added tags like SOAP, cloud, enterprise, oracle (SOAP being the only thing I certainly remember, but you get the gist). They used that the same way and I am pretty sure they weren’t secretly in love with those things.

                                              Yes, it’s easy to call call something tasteless, if your taste is different and matches the taste of majority. 9front all the way through is is doing the opposite, so I think the nazi meme stuff is similar. I mean attaching software to ideologies or vice versa (maybe other than licenses) seems odd.

                                              It’s also not my taste. Attaching political labels to some one based on memes they find funny seems really off though.

                                              There is a more fitting comparison maybe. Nero Burning Rom, which I have seen criticized for being named after a violent dictator and making a joke out of it. It was actually compared with Nazis as well.

                                              I think people should judged by overall sentiment, actions, and what they actually say, not something that manages to cause such a discussion.

                                              Of course I cannot look into someones mind, so certainly also not saying that there isn’t such a reason behind it, but since it can easily be interpreted as joke, ironically and there is nothing indicating more than that I would go by giving the benefit of the doubt.

                                              Yes, stay vigilant, but let’s not turn this into thought police.

                                              1. 4

                                                Yeah, sure…they put up “we’re not -ism or -phobia we swear” and took down the Nazi pr0n. After vocally arguing why they should’t have to and we’ve done nothing wrong and anyone who had a problem with it are “the people who just get mad about things on social media”. Instead of saying “Whoa! We put up a picture of fucking Auschwitz? Hey lemme delete that right now”.

                                                The optics are less than optimal.

                                                1. 7

                                                  When I went to the killing fields in Cambodia there was this audio tour where a survivor narrated the place as you walked around. For reference, there were children sticking their hands through the fences trying to beg money from the rich tourists wandering around the mass grave (the grave was one of very many killing fields, it wasn’t a special one or anything, the cambodian genocide was seriously super horrific). Every time it rains more bones will come out of the ground so they have a collection bucket at the exit if you find any bones while walking through. At the entrance there is a monument that is a tower full of human skulls.

                                                  The walk features such things as the tree where they killed children by bashing their heads against it (apparently more efficient than using other means) and of course there is a permanent bloodstain and the bark is eroded where the impact would happen.

                                                  As I was going through this tour I was thinking “why on earth am I here, this is literally the most horrific thing I’ve ever seen! Who would have the capacity to do this???”

                                                  But at the end of the tour the voice begs and pleads: “Please do not allow this atrocity to be forgotten, we must remember that these things have happened so that we do not grow complacent thinking that ‘nobody would do such a thing’. We must never let such a thing happen again.” (paraphrased since I don’t remember what he said verbatim).

                                                  This stuck with me and since then I have become better aware of other such events, for example visiting Rwanda you can feel the scar in the culture. “Dancing in the Glory of Monsters” is a book that if you can stomach it (I wasn’t able to) shows you how the Rwandan genocide is still ongoing in the Congo…. Speaking of, I know people from Venezuela and their refugee crysis has grown faster and further than the Syrian one and their current situation is tragic.

                                                  These countries are being torn apart by the wealth they hold (and I believe the vultures that we admire for how much money they can stockpile must be held responsible if we want to start doing anything about this - but that is another matter).

                                                  However even though I have very strong feelings on the matter and even though I have good friends from Venezuela that are affected by the crysis there, still.. I will not fault you for showing me a picture of Venezuela!

                                                  Actually. I’m quite triggered that you consider it immoral to show a picture of Auschwitz. Repressing memories is not a good way to come to terms with reality, when a loved one dies it is better to honor their memory and respect whatever force it was that destroyed them. Rather than acting like nothing ever happened while you desperately try to hold onto your ignorance of the evils in the world.

                                                  IF I ever use the word “hate” with all the weight that it holds then I will use it to describe these symptom-treating efforts that ultimately undermine any efforts at real healing.

                                                  1. 10

                                                    If someone was to use one of the many horrific images from the Cambodian killing fields as a reaction image comparing different programming languages, would you consider it a good way of honoring the victims?

                                                    1. 2

                                                      No admittedly not, but it’d be a good opportunity to start a reasonable discussion with whoever is responsible (probably a child[ish] person).

                                                      Deciding unilaterally where the line is and then dogmatically shaming is what I take issue with.

                                                      Edit: not advocating infinite patience but maybe one or two iterations of reserved judgment would go a long way towards defusing misunderstandings or having differing values clashing.

                                                    2. 8

                                                      Actually. I’m quite triggered that you consider it immoral to show a picture of Auschwitz

                                                      Context is important here. Showing a picture on a historical/educational website is great, showing it on some edgy website for a fringe OS is completely tasteless.

                                                      1. 2

                                                        Well there was further context with the ruby thing and then inertia took over. Idk it’s obviously not the appropriate context but all it would take is a caption with some platitude and a link to educational resource for it to be suddenly a brave gesture to keep the memory alive… people are fickle.

                                                    3. 3

                                                      You seem very hard to please, context and time changes, they took it down.

                                                      1. 7
                                                        • Puts up a photo of Auschwitz
                                                        • Shouts all over Mastodon how it’s not going to be removed, claiming it “provokes thought instead of dogma” and any opinion to the contrary is “breathless internet pearl-clutching” (lmao sounds like somebody’s thought ain’t being provoked!)
                                                        • Removes it, adds snark towards the author of this article and attributes the removal to mollifying an internet mob

                                                        nah, sounds like not much has changed at all

                                                        1. 3

                                                          The snark isn’t entirely unwarranted, especially considering how the author of this article felt the need to include 2 paragraphs about how the 9front devs are awful, terrible people for not immediately doing exactly what he asked.

                                                          1. 3

                                                            Nah: the author of the article asked a question on Mastodon that most people would have – “why is there nazi imagery associated with this project” – and after one follow up question a 9front dev[1] blew him off as “starting an internet witch hunt”.

                                                            [1]: That’d be you, yes? Typically it’s good form to say “here’s my side of things” so people know you aren’t just a dispassionate observer sharing their opinion.

                                                            1. 4

                                                              (no, that is not me. I’m not involved in 9front at all, besides occasionally looking at it and booting it up on a pi to see how it’s going. I am truly a dispassionate observer here– thanks for trying to root me out though!)

                                                              It is important to look at the tone of the discussion here: the author opens with “I am now used to the FQA being frankly not worth the 1s and 0s it was written in” (a very kind dismissal of someone’s work!) and then immediately poking and prodding about who, exactly, committed the image. It’s understandable that someone would get defensive if that happened. At this point the aftermath is pointless social media bullshit and is probably off-topic to this site.

                                                              1. 1

                                                                (no, that is not me. I’m not involved in 9front at all, besides occasionally looking at it and booting it up on a pi to see how it’s going. I am truly a dispassionate observer here– thanks for trying to root me out though!)

                                                                Fair enough – I thought I caught a whiff of username overlap but there’s really only 26^2 bits of information there for me to key off ;).

                                                                1. 1

                                                                  It is important to look at the tone of the discussion here

                                                                  If this is really the worst thing you can pull out about what I’ve written online I’d say that’s not bad. Can you provide me an example of where I’m apparently poking and prodding about who, exactly, committed the image? Because the only person I asked about was here with reasons for asking in the question. I didn’t know when I asked but it turns out the info is publicly available anyway.

                                                                  the author opens with “I am now used to the FQA being frankly not worth the 1s and 0s it was written in” (a very kind dismissal of someone’s work!)

                                                                  No I don’t. This isn’t even in the linked article. It was taken from part of this mastodon conversation between two people. It’s in reference to the state of the FQA where I’d written notes to submit to fill gaps until I saw the image. I find it odd to assert a frustration shared as part of a discussion between two people is a dismissal when the document itself says:

                                                                  ACHTUNG! Information provided by this document is UNOFFICIAL and may be outdated or just plain WRONG

                                                                  This is certainly an accurate statement, as evidenced by section 8.3.2 of the FQA. This was one of the places where I’d written notes for the FQA. Feel free to share any insight into Acme that cyclogram image gives you.

                                                                  1. 2

                                                                    Yes, the discussion where the maintainer got upset opened with “I am now used to the FQA…” I’m not sure why you’re being pedantic here. The article also opens with “ The FQA is more harmful than good.”, two dismissals. And you did poke and prod: I would say asking two separate times about who created and/or committed the controversial image would be somewhat hair-raising.

                                                                    1. 2

                                                                      Yes, the discussion where the maintainer got upset opened with

                                                                      The discussion opened with the “What in the actual fuck” post, and KHM replied to dogstar’s post on the thread, not to mine.

                                                                      The article also opens with “ The FQA is more harmful than good.

                                                                      That statement is over 400 words into the piece. It is not the opening. Stop with the obvious falsehoods.

                                                                      And again, you’ve been unable to link to the poking and prodding because I already linked to the question I asked about who, which contains the reasoning for the question in the toot. Given you claim to be “truly a dispassionate observer here” it is clear you have an axe to grind. I will not discuss this with you further here as there is nothing either of us can say that would add to the conversation.

                                                              2. 3

                                                                how the author of this article felt the need to include 2 paragraphs about how the 9front devs are awful, terrible people for not immediately doing exactly what he asked.

                                                                1. Please tell me where in the post I said the devs are awful, terrible people.
                                                                2. Please show me a link where I’ve asked for the devs to take an immediate specific course of action.

                                                                You can’t because I did neither of those things. In fact it specifically says in the article that “9Front doesn’t owe me change”. If you’re going to say things that are untrue it helps if it’s not immediately verifiable. I’ve flagged this because it’s both untrue and doesn’t add to the discussion.

                                                                1. 2
                                                                  1. “… and those feeling welcomed by it. My concerns lay with the 3rd group. The Nazi death camp joke author was so courteous…”

                                                                  Emphasis mine. Come on man, are you really trying to argue that this is neutral? Where I come from, insinuating that a dev team are nazis is definitely saying that they’re bad people.

                                                                  1. “ Update: The “9Front Internet Mob Mollification committee” huffed, puffed, some of them called me bad names then took it down.”

                                                                  so this was your goal? What was your goal otherwise? In the mastodon thread, why were you trying to hold your (much desired, I’m sure) FQA additions over their heads?

                                                                  If you don’t owe 9front any change, why mention them at all unless you want to punish them for some indiscretion? It doesn’t change the article in any way.

                                                                  1. 3

                                                                    You keep cutting parts of things out, so I’ll put this here once.

                                                                    There are 3 types of people who’ll see it - Those who won’t use 9Front because of it, those whose choice is unaffected by it, and those feeling welcomed by it. My concerns lay with the 3rd group.

                                                                    I’m very clearly talking about people who would’ve seen the picture. Not 9Front Devs. People who look at stuff like that and think “Yeah, this is for me”.

                                                                    The Nazi death camp joke author was so courteous

                                                                    Look at the actual discussion thread and you will see how courteous the author was. I stand by my words, I did not say the devs were awful, terrible people as you falsely claimed.

                                                                    Update: The “9Front Internet Mob Mollification committee” huffed, puffed, some of them called me bad names then took it down.

                                                                    As it says, this is in a post-publish update, not the piece when you originally claimed. Just so we’re clear. The “9Front Internet Mob Moillification Committee” is a direct quote from the FQA text in Appendix L as represented in Mercurial.

                                                                    Huffed and puffed, some of them called me bad names - you can see all this here as well as in the mastodon thread.

                                                                    You’ve claimed to be truly a dispassionate observer. That claim is demonstrably false. You haven’t been able to link to a request for change because I never made one. You haven’t been able to show me calling the devs “awful, terrible people” because I never said that. Given that you’re obviously trolling I see no reason to engage further here, it won’t add anything to the overall discussion.

                                                                    1. 2

                                                                      Huffed and puffed, some of them called me bad names - you can see all this here as well as in the mastodon thread.

                                                                      There’s a saying: “If there are 10 normal people and 1 Nazi sitting at a table, there are 11 Nazis sitting at a table”. I know you’re aware of it, not only because it’s widely used, but because it was brought up in one of the threads you linked. You dismissed it. You were wrong to dismiss it.

                                                                      So, your insinuations, amplification of links to accusations, while insisting /your’e/ not saying anything is simply dancing around the edges of saying some very serious things about me and my friends, while not taking any responsibility.

                                                                      And, even worse: I believe on Mastodon, you implied that there was specific information you got via private messages. If this is true, and you did not speak out, then you’re also depriving me and my friends of tools cut these supposed shitbags off.

                                                                      So, either you’re helping spread baseless rumors about me and the company I keep, or you’re leaving me an accessory to the ideology that lead to the cold blooded murder of my family. I’m fairly certain it’s the former.

                                                                      And you’re wondering why I’m a little unhappy. Are you serious?

                                                                      It’s strange. It’s like you don’t actually grasp what’s being said – just words.

                                                                      Maybe it will click now.

                                                                      Or, if you ever end up in Jerusalem, maybe you can go to Yad Vashem. Maybe that will make it click. At least you could get a sensible, polite chuckle out of the make of the elevator they use to get in to the compound: Schindler’s Lifts.

                                                                      (And yes. There’s the question about gallows humor and why I accept, and even enjoy it. There’s a discussion to be had, and even academic papers to be read, about how it undermines oppression, both as an attack and as a defense, but I’m not keen to have it. Let’s leave it explained as me being an immature shithead with no taste. It saves breath, and I’m happy with that epiphet.. I will, however, point out that you can find (IMO) spicier Nazi jokes on fairly mainstream Israeli TV.)

                                                                      1. 4

                                                                        You’ve come into a thread where I wasn’t talking to you after you called me all kinds of names and swore at me on HN.

                                                                        know you’re aware of it, not only because it’s widely used, but because it was brought up in one of the threads you linked. You dismissed it. You were wrong to dismiss it.

                                                                        So you’re going through my Mastodon posts as well looking to cherry pick. You know full well I said:

                                                                        I’m not sure I agree with that last point. There is definitely a problem, but I think/hope the problem is more one of maturity than wolves in the flock.

                                                                        In a thread where the commentator thanked me for “calling the 9front people out on their nazi bullshit”. If I hadn’t responded I’m sure you’d be here now saying my lack of response would imply I agreed with their statement.

                                                                        You don’t know me. Our only interactions have involved you swearing at me, calling me names or accusing me. Please look at your own actions and stop harassing me. I will not respond to more of your harassment.

                                                            2. 5

                                                              I think kjs3 is trying to say that putting up a picture of Auschwitz is so unbelievably tasteless to a lot of people, that there should not be a discussion as to why it should be removed. This place of unbelievable crimes should never be used as an edgy joke. We all must be better than that.

                                                        2. 9

                                                          With context, it does sound kind of funny, and it might be the sort of thing I would have shared privately (with context) to friends or some such. But putting it up without context on a public FAQ is a pretty big failure in understanding that without this context, it just looks weird and out of place, at best.

                                                          Something like “heil Hitler” can be a literal endorsement of Hitler, but it can also be a joke (possibly in bad taste, but a joke nonetheless), or a statement against authoritarianism. Context is everything, and I don’t know why there’s such a failure to understand this from the 9front people. I suppose some of the more outlandish “oh, they must be literal Nazis then!” probably doesn’t help.

                                                          1. 3

                                                            I don’t understand what context would make someone think that image was anything other than an excessive attack on Ruby on Rails.

                                                            Do you know anyone that looks at that image and thinks “I love Rails, and therefore the juxtaposition must therefore that extermination camps are good!”?

                                                          2. 5

                                                            I take these accusations with a grain of salt, because they seem superficial. I’m yet to hear someone call them communists because they have the manifesto of the communist party in their repo. To me, it always was like a subversion of “”“optics”””, explicitly aimed at people who take one look and come to conclusions like OP, but I guess, when it doubt, people are Nazis (also known as not-“a political movement situated in the specific context of post-WW1 Germany”).

                                                            1. 4

                                                              The text of the Communist Manifesto replaced the text of Mein Kampf that was in the repo earlier.

                                                              It’s easiest if everyone just assumes the 9Front developers are 4chan-inflected trolls. It doesn’t really detract from the quality of the code, but it probably makes people considering contributing pause.

                                                          1. 9

                                                            Moving to Docker unfortunately ruled out FreeBSD as the host system.

                                                            Was there a reason you couldn’t use FreeBSD’s Jails for this? It seems you could have accomplished pretty much the same setup.

                                                            1. 8

                                                              My experience with jails is that they are much harder to use as the tooling around them is not as extensive or fully featured. It may well be possible but I imagine it would require much more manual effort.

                                                              1. 3

                                                                Can you provide an example? Because I pretty much always find jails less opaque/hand-wayvy/etc than docker.

                                                                1. 4

                                                                  Having used both docker and jails, the big difference for me is the Dockerfile. A single place with a single command to build my “server” is a killer feature. A jail in my mind is more like a VM than a container.

                                                            1. 5

                                                              Now I’m actually curious, does anyone learn programming from a book?

                                                              I figured books (and tutorials) are a good way to just get started if you can’t get there on your own, and I guess you can learn new tricks & deepen your knowledge with the help of a book after you’ve got the core stuff figured out. Between the getting started stage, and the deep end, you just have to learn programming by actually programming eh?

                                                              I’m not sure people in universities learn programming from books either. Well, my lil’ sister just started studying CS. There are books, but they’re rather supplemental. The core material is lectures and exercise.

                                                              1. 6

                                                                I learned from books (and magazines) in addition to writing programs. But this was back in the mid-80s when I was in high school. The only source I had were books (and magazines [1]). No one else I knew knew anything about computers (with the exception of one friend, and he had a different computer than I did).

                                                                [1] Byte magazine was one of my favorites [2]. But even the computer I had, which was not popular by any means, had at least two different magazines devoted to it, both of which covered everything from hardware to software.

                                                                [2] I recall it having a series of articles about compiler construction and parsing techniques. Mid-80s Byte magazines made incredible readings. By the late 80s it had morphed into a general PC rag, but I was in college at that point.

                                                                1. 2

                                                                  “Getting started” isn’t learning? I learned C in the early 80s with a copy of K&R in one hand, doing the exercises. Or at least it sure felt like learning. Now, I didn’t get proficient/skilled without a ton of practice and subsequent help from more experienced mentors, but that strikes me as something different.

                                                                  1. 1

                                                                    Books are an invaluable tool for learning, but they can’t do everything. Some people are just plain bad at teaching or writing or they have other incentives for writing aside from education.

                                                                    The principal point I think is that someone (maybe several people) with wider and deeper knowledge on a subject present their knowledge for you to learn from.

                                                                    My first approach when I want to learn something is to read about the subject - and we also have other media too. I don’t have to stumble along, making mistakes, going down the wrong path, wasting time on irrelevant material and so on. Others have already done that before. Why wouldn’t you learn from them?

                                                                    Later, once I’ve gained some knowledge, I can explore and expand, go deeper or focus on topics that are interesting or relevant. Everyone is different though and some people do benefit and thrive from a hands-on, practical approach first.

                                                                    Personally, I want pointers and relevant background and guidelines from others who have studied the subject already. I don’t want to have to learn by doing all my own research up front over and over and over.

                                                                    You absolutely need to reinforce that knowledge with action, experimentation, application though. I think the best approach for me is to have that practice during the teaching - relevant exercises that push a little beyond the material you’ve just covered works best for me.

                                                                    1. 0

                                                                      You have said exactly nothing that discounted what I said. Please don’t piggyback your “let me tell you how awesome I am and how great I think my way of doing things” drivel on my simple response. It’s really pathetic.

                                                                  2. 1

                                                                    “You won’t learn how to write a novel by reading Betty Azar’s grammar book.”

                                                                    1. 1

                                                                      I managed to learn quite a lot from books (Various books on programming languages (Java, Python, Perl, …) and others like SICP). Not that I just read the books without writhing anything or using Google, but I got quite far. The main problem is that if you get to choose you’re own “schedule”, you might keep on avoiding more boring but important topics, like in my case computer architecture.

                                                                      1. 1

                                                                        I learned programming from a book, which included lots of code examples, but it was back in 2002 when paper was easier than the internet.

                                                                        1. 1

                                                                          Now I’m actually curious, does anyone learn programming from a book?

                                                                          Yes and no. I learn programming languages from books because I want to know more about the semantics than pure examples often provide.

                                                                          (Grrr.. hit “post” by mistake…)

                                                                          As for programming, it would be unfair to say that learning hasn’t been at least well supplemented by books. It’s certainly a lot of “learn by doing”, but there’s a good mix of learning from others’ experiences as well. It’s a stretch to say I’ve learned programming from books and at the same time it’s accurate to say my programming skills have been enhanced by them.

                                                                          1. 1

                                                                            I would argue the inverse, can you learn programming without “books?” Here I am using “books” to refer to references that an autodidact might employ. I don’t think they can be the sole source of an education, and should be supplemented with real experience. However, they are an important resource early on and, at least in my experience, when continuing to learn. I have been doing this for 20 years now, I am still learning to program - often from books. And while this is not universally true, I have noticed a trend that those who don’t continue to read tend toward stagnation. I can also think of counter examples on both sides of that.

                                                                            1. 1

                                                                              I spent a good chunk of my life in some places, esp in rural areas, without access to a computer or the Internet. I could occasionally get an IT gift from well-off relatives (often chose wrong), find outdated books on any subject in thrift stores, and get recommendations from some elitist, possibly-fake hackers at times. I had to practice programming in my head, on paper, or (on budget) the dirt. Lots of time doing stuff, screwing up, introspecting, and repeating that process. My biggest concern over time was how many bad habits I might have picked up from wrong, mental model of how things actually worked. On top of that, total waste that resulted from having no ability to check my work or get feedback on doing it right.

                                                                              The habits I developed doing that are probably the reason I still do that to this day with most of the papers and articles. People occasionally are like, “Nick, did you even read the damned article or dig deep into what they said?” Yeah, I probably tried to run through it like I never had access to the actual article or time to do that. I have better excuses for it these days but it could be habitual, too. Double reinforcement. So, it’s possible old habits that worked well enough over decades are hard to ditch. I did in fact learn programming, administration, business advice, speaking, etc from a mix of books and whatever people locally seemed to know about a topic. Cheap paperbacks were all I had for a lot of things.

                                                                              1. 1

                                                                                I don’t see what you’re getting at. Books only provide information, learning is the responsibility of the reader. I don’t think anybody’s claimed otherwise.

                                                                                And it’s the same with literally everything. Nobody learns to drive by reading a book, or learns carpentry from a carpentry book, or learns advanced math by merely reading a book, etc.

                                                                                Learning anything requires doing and practicing. Just reading a book or listening to a lecture isn’t going work except maybe for the most trivial things.

                                                                              1. 3

                                                                                The problem is, that we have to treat work as an environment where we do not feel like we are surrounded by predators. Sure, you can steal somebodies purse and car keys or even lunch to prove a point, but honestly, I do not see where that leads to. Yes there are bad guys and all that, but things have to stay in balance. Are we all supposed to have firearms on ourselves just in case? That is what this seems to lead to. Be afraid of everybody and trust nobody. What kind of a world is that?

                                                                                Also, laptop locks are funny these days where everybody has a Mac and no way to lock them…

                                                                                1. 7

                                                                                  Be afraid of everybody and trust nobody. What kind of a world is that?

                                                                                  Capitalism?

                                                                                  1. 2

                                                                                    “An armed society is a polite society.” -Robert Heinlein, Beyond This Horizon

                                                                                    The point of the talk is that security starts at the physical world, and that everyone is afraid of “evil hackers” or Russia/China, when they should be concerned about who’s in their facilities.

                                                                                    An unrecognized face should definitely be questioned, which is why at high security facilities (i.e. an airport), keys and cards are required to get into say, the data room, with an escort. Obviously, visitor badges should be required, and an escort is a good option, also, in order to keep out the bad guys at the physical layer (obviously, this doesn’t include security at every other layer, such as a legacy telephone system voicemail running on NT 4.0 that can be NetMeetinged into and compromised very simply, or someone having a 0-day for a service ran on-site and exposed to the public).

                                                                                    1. 3

                                                                                      “An armed society is a polite society.” -Robert Heinlein, Beyond This Horizon

                                                                                      By that definition the US is the politest place in the world. It clearly is not.

                                                                                      1. 1

                                                                                        It may not be, but then again, not everybody in the U.S. owns a firearm.

                                                                                        1. 10

                                                                                          The US does own many more firearms than other notoriously more-polite societies (Japan, say) though.

                                                                                          The obvious conclusion here is that there’s no real reason to think that the fun Sci-Fi Writer had any real insight into or facts to support his take on the topics of armed civilians, trust, and what makes for a livable society – at the end of the day it’s just a pithy turn of phrase.

                                                                                          1. 4

                                                                                            Im a pro-gun person from a former, murder capital in the South: Memphis, TN. Most of us would laugh at the quote given the number of assholes and thugs we’ve run into in our lives.

                                                                                            We do think a high amount of firearms, esp concealed, reduces number or success of physical attacks since many attackers are basically wimps or arent in top shape mentally. Many of us think of it as check against government worst-case scenarios. For many others, it’s a tradition, recreational activity, family bonding, protecting cattle/crops, and/or self reliance for food sources. A few deer can feed a poor family quite a while for the price of some bullets. Grocery stores nowhere near that cheap.

                                                                                            It doesn’t make the area more polite, though. Some situations are even scarier when they might have concealed weapons. Hell, some calm people become assholes when they have power of life and death at their fingertip.

                                                                                            1. 4

                                                                                              An armed society is a society that thinks problems should be solved with arms.

                                                                                              1. 1

                                                                                                An armed society is one that thinks a corrupt government might be a problem that takes guns to solve. That problem and solution is how America itself was created.

                                                                                                Then, they created a Constitution. It said most problems are to be solved by individual citizens within the country’s laws, legislative bodies, executive branch/agencies, and court system. And in pro-gun America, that most problems are resolved using those instead of the guns totally disproves your point in general case. Cops and gun owners rarely shoot people out here. Mostly gangsters doing that.

                                                                                    1. 4

                                                                                      Reminds me of a blog post I made years ago about the ancient and obscure “dsw” Unix command: https://web.archive.org/web/20111104141518/http://dvlabs.tippingpoint.com/blog/2008/03/18/a-bit-of-history

                                                                                      1. 5

                                                                                        Very interesting post. But:

                                                                                        The legendary Seymour Cray was famed for being able to switch in a bootloader from memory.

                                                                                        Back in those days, all ops could do that. Admittedly, doing it on a CDC6600 like Seymour was using was a bit more involved, but I certainly could do it on a PDP-11 30 years ago (no…I don’t remember now). I have many acquaintances that still do it regularly on a PDP-8, PDP-11, IBM or DG today.

                                                                                        Now the folks who could front-panel the test routines from memory…that was impressive.

                                                                                      1. 5

                                                                                        I have to agree with this. My personal Mac is a 2013 model Macbook, and between how well it still runs and the high price and design compromises in newer Macbooks, I don’t feel much interest in updating it. I am starting to consider replacing it with a Pixelbook, since the price came down to well below $1,000. I already have a cheaper chromebook, but oh those HiDPI screens are so nice.

                                                                                        1. 2

                                                                                          I have the same model. It’s a really nice machine, but I agree I just don’t see the reason to update. There’s so much more to offer in other ecosystems (especially considering price), and the idea that the answer to long-form document creation in the Apple ecosystem seems to be “iPad Pro with a 3rd party wireless keyboard/mouse” is just…weird. But maybe I’m excessively old-school.

                                                                                        1. 5

                                                                                          I can’t follow this at all the way it’s presented.

                                                                                          1. 4

                                                                                            No worries, you are not the only one who is having trouble following it.

                                                                                            This is not an editorialized piece of writing trying to guide you towards a particular point of view. It just shows unredacted facts. The intent is to allow anyone to be a bystander in the discussion that actually occurred and make up their own minds about related questions if they have an interest in doing so. And it is only happening in public because interpretations of what happened contradicting the facts were circulated in public (most recently at BSDcan).

                                                                                            There are no easy answers to the questions raised by the full- vs coordinated-disclosure debate in general. If you are involved in the disclosure process of a security problem and fix, whatever you do, one way or another someone else might potentially be put at risk as a consequence of your actions. And not every risk assessment will lead to the same conclusions.

                                                                                            1. 1

                                                                                              Near as I can figure, there was a bunch of back-channel communications about the issue in the OpenBSD community until the guy who found the issue contacted CERT because he figured out the issue went way beyond OBSD. The OpenBSD folks apparently don’t trust CERT and decided to push a fix to protect OBSD users possibly at the expense of, well, everyone else because…I don’t know…screw them, I guess.

                                                                                              You put us in a conundrum. We knew there was a problem and how to fix it. And when you got CERT involved, we had to assume that information about the problem was now leaking beyond your control into government agencies and private companies, and that some of those “in the know” would have had 2 months of extended embargo time to use an exploit against OpenBSD users. I don’t see any reason to trust every single person in those parts of the security community and in these institutions to act responsibly.

                                                                                            1. 3

                                                                                              wouldn’t you have to agree to an embargo in order to break it?

                                                                                              also: How about blaming the people who created the flaw instead of the people trying to fix it?

                                                                                              1. 8

                                                                                                Oh believe me, I would like to blame Damien Bergamini for lots of things :) But that wouldn’t do the overall great results of his work justice.

                                                                                                KRACK was a common flaw across many independent WPA implementations. Which was quite surprising. It has been argued that it’s an 802.11 standard flaw because the standard authors didn’t alert anyone that the state machines described in the documents were incomplete and didn’t account for this issue. But of course the standard authors didn’t notice the problem either at the time.

                                                                                                1. 7

                                                                                                  “because the standard authors didn’t alert anyone that the state machines described in the documents were incomplete and didn’t account for this issue.”

                                                                                                  Another example where formal specification of a standard might have caught a problem. Especially if it involved state machines.

                                                                                                2. 2

                                                                                                  wouldn’t you have to agree to an embargo in order to break it?

                                                                                                  Yes, but if you don’t agree to it, don’t complain if you aren’t given disclosure.

                                                                                                  How about blaming the people who created the flaw instead of the people trying to fix it?

                                                                                                  Because that’s not a mutually exclusive position, and a transparent attempt to create a moral high ground where none exists. You can blame both the people who created the flaw and the people who trying to fix it if they act in bad faith.

                                                                                                  1. 4

                                                                                                    Yes, but if you don’t agree to it, don’t complain if you aren’t given disclosure.

                                                                                                    It’s rather hard to agree to an embargo if you’re not notified of it or offered a chance to agree.

                                                                                                    1. 0

                                                                                                      Since the OBSD folks are talking about the embargo and their participation (or not) in it in all of the emails cited, I assume you’re speaking of the general case and not this specific one. I agree that, in the general case, if you aren’t notified it’s hard to agree to an embargo. That’s not the case here, of course.

                                                                                                      1. 8

                                                                                                        The OBSD people were talking about how they heard rumors of an embargo, and could not get a response from anyone relevant. They were absolutely clear that if they had been able to agree to the embargo, they would have. They were not offered the option.

                                                                                                        The best they got was “You didn’t get a response because you asked the wrong people”. When asked who the right people were – crickets.

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                                                                                                  The title is a little misleading. The author is not against adblocking in the abstract, but is against Adblock Plus, a specific adblocker.

                                                                                                  1. 2

                                                                                                    I think that was done on purpose, because the title wouldn’t have made sense otherwise. For me personally it is click-baity but definitely more tolerable and enjoyable than the standard clickbait titles one sees on the internet.

                                                                                                    1. -2

                                                                                                      The title capitalizes Adblock, which makes it pretty clear that it’s talking about a specific product.

                                                                                                      1. 21

                                                                                                        It wasn’t clear to me. All the other words in the title are capitalized, and “adblock” without qualification usually refers to all extensions which block ads.

                                                                                                        1. 13

                                                                                                          The title capitalizes all of the words. It’s in title case.

                                                                                                          1. 10

                                                                                                            That’s The Most Annoying Thing When Reading American Websites Online

                                                                                                            1. 0

                                                                                                              Americans are the only people on the planet who don’t adhere to your capitalization rules?

                                                                                                              1. 0

                                                                                                                As far as I know, yes. British, French, Spanish and Portuguese-language sites don’t capitalize everything and it’s such smooth sailing.

                                                                                                      1. 1

                                                                                                        Very interesting, but name collision with one of the bigger products in the data classification space. Ah well.

                                                                                                        1. 3

                                                                                                          On one hand, I’m semi-amused by the creativity. On the other hand, christ what an asshole.

                                                                                                          Since it’s an explicit attempt to use a ‘letter of the law’ argument to circumvent an ‘intent of the law’, I’m not sure a judge would think it’s nearly as clever as the author thinks. Pure speculation. IANAL.

                                                                                                          1. 8

                                                                                                            Please read and consider this. I have a reasonably mild essential tremor (many have much, much worse), and there are any number of touch interfaces that a are terribly hard to use. Even basic things on my iPhone decide I’ve actually double (or triple) tapped or tapped and dragged with only very minor tremors. UX folks really need to consider that not everyone has dexterous, slim, precise fingers with tiny pads.

                                                                                                            1. 3

                                                                                                              I got quality time with Power7 and Power8 infrastructure when I was at IBM, and I can’t say enough good things about performance, stability, etc. But I don’t think they’ve got the economics right. There really needs to be a true entry level machine, something on par with an HP DL360 or Dell R400 type, something in the sub-$2k price range, that would induce a substantial number of users say “I can afford to pick one or two up just to check it out”. They’re simply way outside the kick-the-tires price point to make adoption easy.

                                                                                                              1. 1

                                                                                                                A small and cheaper machine might be good for i users as well - a large chunk of them of them are still hanging onto their old AS/400 Model 150/170s running a hopelessly old version of the OS, and “gone off the grid.” IBM shows little interest in trying to get them back on the wagon again; “entry level” POWER9 is still very, very expensive and very large compared to a tower-sized Model 150. A small POWER9 wouldn’t get just new customers, but it’d turn long-time shops back into paying customers again.

                                                                                                                (It has to be an IBM design too; they’re the only ones with tagged memory extensions that i needs.)

                                                                                                                1. 1

                                                                                                                  I might be missing something here, but to my knowledge there’s never been an inexpensive i-series version of Power. So even if they release a sub-us$2k Power9 Linux/AIX box, the AS/400 division is never going to chase that market, even if that might be a smart move.

                                                                                                                  1. 1

                                                                                                                    Probably because they were an all-in-one solution marketed to replace a pile of servers, enterprise DB integrated last I checked, and not needing much administration. That’s the kind of thing one can avoid making a commodity for a while. We know it would be a smart move to chase that market with cheap offerings due to Net Integrators’ Nitix boxes that did similar things with UNIX tech. Really neat development back then. What happened to them? IBM acquired them, shelved the regular solution, and re-released it as something in Lotus portfolio. Typical IBM… (sighs)

                                                                                                                    1. 1

                                                                                                                      You keep using past tense there. AS/400 nee i-Series is now almost 30 years old (40 years old if you consider the System/3x ancestors) and is still a profitable line of business for IBM. Apparently, they’ve managed to not make it a commodity for a long time. They’ve got an awfully long track record of success for us to second guess them and say they need a dirt cheap/hobbyist/tire kicker AS/400; that smacks of hubris.

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                                                                                                                        The AS/400 doesnt have same feature set as an IBM i. The System/38 similarly had differences to AS/400. I said were because AS/400 is an older product in ths family. Far as will never, people said that about mainframes, too, long ago. IBM has entry-level ones now that let people experiment for a fraction of a real mainframe.

                                                                                                                        I dont think they want to do IBM i that way but might in future.

                                                                                                                        “They’ve got an awfully long track record of success for us to second guess them”

                                                                                                                        You could use same logic to say COBOL is still a huge, profitable language because it’s superior to modern ones. Instead, IBM tech and legacy systems have a high switching cost that keeps customers upgrading their boxes instead of porting to Linux or something. Vendor lockin. IBM also cleverly let the newer ones run Linux in VM’s to reduce some motivation for porting. That the machines are also incredibly reliable compared to risks of a switch look even higher.

                                                                                                                        If there was no cost for a port, you bet a lot of businesses would consider moving their AS/400 apps onto a highly-available, mostly-self-managing set of x86 machines running enterprise Linux. Esp when they look at $2-5k that Nitix-like solutions did/could cost vs whatever IBM i’s go for now. That many were already doing new developments on Linux or attempting ports via migration companies likely contributed to IBM supporting it in IBM i systems.

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                                                                                                                          The i-Series is upward compatible with AS/400, and if it “doesn’t have the same feature set”, it doesn’t in the same way that Solaris 2.1 had a different feature set that Solaris 2.8. Yes, in 30 years, new features hopefully creep in. And yes, IBM has entry-level z-Series…but they aren’t sub-$2k items. Other than that, I don’t really see what you said that contradicts what I did.

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                                                                                                                Maybe “iverson” in honour of their common roots?

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                                                                                                                  Or “array languages”. But ‘Iverson’ works.

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                                                                                                                  Koopman is great if you want to understand stack architectures (tho as I recall he doesn’t really dig deep on multi-stack, esp 3 and 4 stack possibilities, this far back). But this is from ‘89, and there’s probably a reason that stack machines aren’t the dominant architecture, no matter how much hyperbole he heaps on them. I’ve got a soft spot, first because the Burroughs Large Systems mainframes are really cool and second because it’s pretty easy to look like a rock star in undergrad computer architecture implementing a simple stack machine and a crappy Forth.

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                                                                                                                    I don’t know if it’s just the Baader-Meinhof phenomenon, but I feel like just since @hwayne started posting about J here, I’m seeing more and more APL and J stuff everywhere (including other tech link aggregators and Reddit).

                                                                                                                    Not that I’m complaining, mind you. So, +1

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                                                                                                                      I just saw that mentioned on HN. I thought it was too simplistic because (a) I can easily tell with searches that some stuff picks up over time in waves and (b) some of those waves start by people posting things on well-read forums. Gotta eliminate that first.

                                                                                                                      Ive not seen people say Baader-Meinhof virtually ever despite being kind of person that likes learning or spoting such things. It got mentioned recently on HN which is said to have millions or tens of millions of views a month. At least one high karma person said it. After that, many other people are repeating it on HN, Reddit (which may have had it before HN), and now Lobsters.

                                                                                                                      We normally call these trends, fads, or bandwagons which are themselves even more common by my estimation than Baader-Meinhof obsessions. What I dont know is if you personally saw it on HN or Lobsters recently before saying it now. You might be independent of recent trend I saw on social media. Im guessing you read others, though, with you seeing on one. If so, it’s a just a fad.

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                                                                                                                        I only use lobste.rs - certainly never Reddit nor HN - but, the post here on kdb+ I found interesting because I had just recently mentioned it in a private discussion about some language and tools which used used in very specific industries (we were talking about ‘big finance’, VLFIs [Very Large Financial Insutitions], and high frequency trading), so it was certainly a great example of synchronicity to see it mentioned here.

                                                                                                                        I always enjoy playing with APL because it causes you to excercise a different way of thinking, and would encourage all programmers to explore some recreational APL.

                                                                                                                        Doesn’t mean it might not be a fad, however, but I’d like to see such a tag, if only because I find APL and APL-derived languages and environments fascinating and enjoy reading about them.

                                                                                                                        Edit: I absolutely boycott all social media and do not use nor even access Facebook or Twitter or what not - but that doesn’t completely isolate me from influences from the people who do.

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                                                                                                                          I was talking specifically about “Baader-Meinhof” in that comment. APL has had a lot of interesting posts here on Lobsters. That by itself is a little trend that could justify a tag with the upswing in interest. That might explain you seeing it here around same time you mentioned it but it’s still a little uncommon. Still might be an interesting coincidence.

                                                                                                                          “ I absolutely boycott all social media and do not use nor even access Facebook or Twitter or what not”

                                                                                                                          Good for you! It will save you a lot of time and headaches better spent on your life or hobbies. :)

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                                                                                                                            I strongly suspect the people using the term (aside from the eye-roll worthy, pseudo-intellectual aspect) don’t know who the Baader-Meinhof Gang, the Red Army Faction or the German Autumn were, nor do they know how tenuous the connection between the group and the phenomenon is (go on…you know who you are…scramble to Wikipeadia to catch up). Maybe we use ‘frequency illusion’ or some equivalent term instead. RAF are horrible people that don’t need any more attention.

                                                                                                                            That said, I think an APL tag would be apropos.

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                                                                                                                              Somehow I’ve never heard of the “Baader-Meinhof phenomenon” in this context! o_o

                                                                                                                              However, I recommend the The Baader Meinhof Complex (2008) available via the Criterion Collection.