Threads for kline

  1. 14

    The couple of weeks around when the creation of the network happened, and the rapid death of freenode were very entertaining. I happened to jump into #freenode about 5 minutes before everything hit the fan. Many communities I was in saw what was happening and as soon as there was an alternative, run by the people we’d known and trusted for a very long time, there was no question we’d be moving.

    The absolute audacity of the person (whose name I can’t remember and don’t really care to) who “bought” freenode without anyone who mattered seeming to know, was just shocking, and the blatant double speak that was used in all the communications to try to justify it just made things worse.

    Watching the… FSF I believe, try to be reasonable, talk things through and eventually realise how insane that was was amazing to watch. I feel like the whole drama would make a good Internet Historian episode, though I doubt any of his subscribers would care. Thinking about it always reminds me of a mate of mine who happened to jump into the place in space in Eve Online where the largest space battle ever happened, just a couple of minutes before it kicked off.

    Since moving, all the communities I was in have found that Libera is basically a better freenode, it felt like it gave them a chance to improve things they always wanted to, and it feels like they are actively maintaining the infrastructure, without losing any of the spirit that was freenode. I’d like to give a personal thanks to all the Libera staff for doing an amazing job - like most of us working in IT know, if no one notices your work, you’re doing your job perfectly.

    1. 3

      They have group registration working, among other things!

      I wasn’t able to register a group for my project on Freenode since its inception in 2013 (well, at least I did get to register a single-hash channel for it, with help from the ops). After moving the channel to Libera, I asked them to register a group and they did.

      1. 12

        We were very fortunate in that we had a short amount of time (really short :( ) to bootstrap a new network from scratch, and the operations people we had did a fantastic job of making that happen. But it also gave us a chance to turn things on that we’d wanted to turn on for a while, and things like projectserv were extremely high on our list of “things that just have to be better”. Making cloaks easy was another. Libera has been the rewrite from scratch many projects need, but with the urgency few of these rewrites get to keep stuff focused.

        If there’s stuff people want to know, or stuff they still want me to look at, be sure to let me know!

    1. 27

      Getting rightfully shredded as closed-source spyware over at HN: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=30921231

      1. 7

        Also being prodded for using the name “Warp” (the name of a popular crate) and also trading on Rust’s name for marketing.

        1. 4

          Yea they are roasting the CEO alive and rightfully so.

        1. 11

          Posts about society aren’t being removed because they are mis-tagged, but because they’re off topic. It would make sense to me not to add tags to cover off topic areas.

          (And conversely, just because you can post something under an extant tag doesn’t mean it’s on topic)

          1. 1

            Right I’m suggesting we have the tag and that such posts be on topic under that tag

            1. 4

              And we’re saying we don’t want them.

              1. 5

                I think you’re missing what is being said. “On topic” != “tagged correctly”.

                Such articles would still be off topic, fundamentally, no matter how they were tagged. It’s a subject we don’t cover on this site.

                If there was a badminton tag, badminton articles would still be off topic. Make sense?

                You can read more about this site here: https://lobste.rs/about

                1. 2

                  Yes but it could be on topic if we chose as a community to make it on topic.

                  1. 10

                    I think it’s pretty clear the community does not want it to be on topic. In the past, discussions around these sorts of topics have devolved into name calling and bad-faith arguments with practically no redeemable content. Arguably, lobste.rs-style link aggregation with commenting and light-touch moderation is a bad format for such discussions, regardless of the site. It hasn’t worked here in the past and there is little to suggest it will in the future.

                    It would be better for such things to have a different site, perhaps a sister one.

            1. 22

              Except it wasn’t an investment to curry favor with an employer. Or as some shrewd career play for the long term. In fact, I didn’t see it as an investment at all. I wasn’t doing it expecting any external rewards or advantages, then or in the future.

              What DHH is saying is that their intention wasn’t there. In this way, he’s saying “I didn’t mean to accidentally become a well paid and sought after architect based on my bricklaying”, and that he never wanted paid for this.

              That doesn’t mean, of course, that it’s wise or representative of the software bricklayers and foundation-pourers, who absolutely should still be paid.

              DHH, just because you didn’t intend to reap returns on your accidental investment doesn’t mean that no one should.

              1. 11

                That doesn’t mean, of course, that it’s wise or representative of the software bricklayers and foundation-pourers, who absolutely should still be paid.

                DHH is saying that to lay one’s expectations of personal well-being on the altar of market forces and contractual obligations is to invite misery. I don’t think he’s wrong. Why should open source developers expect compensation?

                1. 2

                  Why should open source developers expect compensation?

                  Because use without compensation is exploitation. If someone makes money off of my work, I expect to be compensated – you mention market forces, but that is exactly how the market was intended to work in the first place

                  1. 13

                    If you haven’t read the piece yet, I would urge you to. One of the points made within it is that consumption of software is free. When I give you an apple, and you eat it, there is one less apple in the world. If I grew that apple, I would expect compensation for the efforts of doing that because I now have one fewer apples. When I download a piece of software, there is still just as much software in the world. There is no such scarcity in software. You can choose to spend your time to create something, and then if it is consumed one billion times you are no better or worse off than you started. Your time is already spent.

                    DHH is urging people who engage in open source or free software endeavors to do so for intrinsic reasons, because to do so for financial reasons is all but guaranteed to result in the same level of existential angst that occurs to people at shitty and boring jobs: your sense of purpose is divorced from your precious time spent, and money doesn’t fix that. That is the real exploitation.

                    1. 6

                      When I download a piece of software, there is still just as much software in the world. There is no such scarcity in software. You can choose to spend your time to create something, and then if it is consumed one billion times you are no better or worse off than you started. Your time is already spent.

                      But this is a fundamentally incorrect assumption. Software itself isn’t subject to scarcity, but as The Mythical Man Month shows (A good chunk of the book is dedicated to this exact matter), the actual program is only part of that which makes software usable – and all of the rest is bound by time cost, and resources. A program author rarely “just makes software”, and has to expend huge amount of resources not only on the initial program but on bug reports, documentation, etc.

                      “Software is post-scarcity” is an age-old argument that has since been disproven repeatedly.

                      Regardless, the fact that you included “Open Source” in your argument is telling, because the Open Source movement explicitly advocates for software to be given, exploitatively, to companies, because you do not have to pay people for labour. It’s a large part of the original argument for the rebranding of “Open Source”. Thus there is a cost there that is openly admitted, whether or not you admit it to yourself as an individual or not.

                      1. 9

                        “Software is post-scarcity” is an age-old argument that has since been disproven repeatedly.

                        The claim is not that software is ‘post scarcity’ it is that it is a zero marginal cost good, like news. The cost of creating software may be high, the cost of copying software is essentially zero. This is the economic truth at F/OSS recognises: it makes no sense to build an economic model for building anything where you do the expensive thing for free in the expectation that people will pay you to do the trivial thing. Software piracy is such a problem for proprietary COTS software because it does not recognise this and relies on using the law (and, increasingly, technical measures) to prevent third parties from copying the software that a company wrote for free.

                        One you accept this, you have a few possible strategies, for example:

                        • Write software for free because you want the software and don’t distribute it.
                        • Write software for free because you want the software and release it under some license. If other people copy it, don’t worry about it.
                        • Write software for free because you want the software and release it under some license. Try to control what people who copy it do with it and become upset if they either break the terms of the license or circumvent the intent of the license.
                        • Write software because someone paid you to write it.

                        The point of the article is that the second one of these is a better path to individual happiness than the other alternatives. I’ve tried most of these and this also reflects my experience.

                        I’ve written software that I’ve never distributed. Most of it has bitrotted. Net tangible result: I have some space on my hard disk used by dead projects. Net personal result: Mild regret.

                        I’ve contributed to a GNU project where a company violated the license and the FSF decided not to do anything. The net tangible result was that the company didn’t contribute any of their improvements back because it would have meant publicly admitting that they were violating the license. The net result on my happiness was that I was annoyed and cranky.

                        I’ve written permissively licensed software where big companies have sent back the occasional patch but got far more total value out of the codebase than me. I’ve also written permissively licensed software where big companies have contributed far more than I have and permissively licensed software where they’ve used it and given nothing back. In all cases, I didn’t worry about it. If I got code back, I was happy because it was code that benefitted me that I didn’t have to write. If they made money out of the result, good for them. Net tangible result: I got the software I wanted, often better than I wanted. Net personal result: I am happy.

                        I’ve written software (including quite a bit of F/OSS) because a company wanted to pay me to write it. Often this was also software I wanted, sometimes it wasn’t. Net tangible result: there is more software in the world, some of which I want to use. Also, I have some more money than I’d have otherwise (or, more recently, charity-of-my-choice has more money than otherwise). Net personal result: Almost purely transactional interaction, no major change in my happiness in either direction.

                        Importantly (as the article says), when I’m releasing software and not caring if people who use it make money, then I feel no obligation to the people who are making money with it. If they send me patches that I like, I’ll merge them. If they want the project to go in a different direction then they’re welcome to fork it. I don’t take it quite as far as the title of the article suggests because (when I have sufficient time) I am quite happy to use money to help me sort my to-do list for a project. If I want to implement 10 features but have time to work on two of them, then the two that someone is willing to pay me to work on will take priority. If they want two features that I don’t object to, but don’t care about, then I’m also happy to tell them to pay someone else to do it.

                        1. 8

                          I feel like you’re more focused on refuting points that are secondary to the core message I’m trying to convey than hearing what I’m trying to say to you: this piece isn’t really about software; this is about the individual writing the software and their motivations.

                          I interpret DHH as saying it’s a bad idea to do things that matter to you because you expect to be paid for them, and I agree with him. If I’m in error about what people expect when engaging in work on open source software, that would explain our disconnect. I thought it was something people did because it mattered to them, primarily. Is that not the case? I understand the concept of being compensated fairly for one’s labor, but that only makes sense within the context of a transaction. Is open source work supposed to be transactional? DHH seems to be specifically suggesting that people don’t treat it transactionally for their own well-being.

                          1. 7

                            I interpret DHH as saying it’s a bad idea to do things that matter to you because you expect to be paid for them, and I agree with him.

                            That’s what the text says, sure, but what about the subtext? I think it’s impossible to interpret this message completely without taking the context into account, which is that he is a buyer of precisely the type of labor he’s encouraging people to not expect compensation for.

                      2. 7

                        Because use without compensation is exploitation.

                        Only if the license agreement is broken.

                        1. 2

                          This may sound snarky, but I don’t mean it to be: how many of the original authors of every part of the TCP/IP stack have you paid? Make sure to include those who were involved in authoring, reviewing, editing, etc of all the RFCs.

                          Today’s tech is only possible by the unpaid contributions of countless people, many of whom aren’t even known to most of the tech (and, heck, even FOSS) community.

                          1. 2

                            Bad example, because those researchers were funded by the universities they were at, and by DARPA.

                            In general, this is why free software for a long time was only sustainable in universities and research environments, because they had sources of income that allowed them to maintain the software as part of their ongoing research. The removal of military to non-military sources killed the main sources of funding SAIL and the MIT AI Lab, which were the main nexuses for the free software movement. Bell Laboratories, one of the only companies that actually had the money and the wherewithal to channel huge budgets to their research staff, was similarly closed.

                            The ensuing corporatisation of research groups outside of those events, has made it impossible for even well-thought-out research projects to get grants, and while companies do contribute occasionally to open source (mostly the larger, more well-known companies that deliberately do it for publicity) how many of them actively contribute money or energy back into the ecosystem?

                            Open source was pitched as a solution to this, companies save money while taking the work of the community, man hours that were previously paid are given gratis, and hopefully the companies pay back their work. Being generous, I think ESR was hoping to get recognition and that OSS developers would be hired to work on their personal projects, and… that never happened. Maybe a handful of companies actually allow that.

                            That’s the fundamental difference between Free Software and Open Source. The former forces the companies to donate their man hours back to the ecosystem, and it is precisely that reason why many companies stay away from those licenses. A company is a fundamentally greedy type of organization, and greed is overwhelmingly bad for the ecosystem.

                            1. 1

                              Perhaps my concrete example wasn’t a good one. My underlying point is that the tech we use today is built on the shoulders of giants. It’s a constant evolution, created by untold number of people working in the background, whose names we may never know.

                              If everyone took the viewpoint that “I’m not going to do this unless I get compensated,” that evolution would either slow to a crawl or be nonexistent. For those that do take that viewpoint, I’m curious if they can confirm whether they have given monetarily to those countless number of unknown people–without whom, their own work would not be possible.

                              1. 1

                                You’re missing my argument

                                1. 2

                                  Would you help me understand your point of view?

                      3. 4

                        I’m not saying that there’s something categorically wrong with developing open source on market-based terms. What I’m saying is that it isn’t a necessary condition of sustainability.

                        Again, I’m not saying this is a universal truth, but I am saying that it’s a possible truth.

                        Here’s what made sense to me over the past two decades of sustaining an active open-source involvement. This is my personal truth. To resist the temptation to treat my open-source work as a set of transactional, market-based exchanges.

                        It’s brought profound meaning to my life, and a much needed escape.

                        And, should your personal pyramid of needs allow it, I invite you to do the same.

                        1. 4

                          I honestly think we should apply a hotness downmod to the rant tag.

                          1. 10

                            There is one.

                          1. 4

                            I’m really excited that interest seems to be piqued around unikernels again, I think they’re a really cool technology and I love the idea of an OS as a library.

                            The first generation a few years ago seemed to kind of fizzle, and I think people didn’t want to write appliances when they felt they had perfectly good applications already. This round seems more about providing unikernels that provide a complete set of linux syscalls (allowing applications to run unmodified), but I hope if it does take off the door will be open to smaller, more specialised library OSs again.

                            1. 2

                              Yeah, me too! Hopefully the collective revolt against deep complexity will yield more manageable, specialized tools. It seems like this is a good opportunity for people to understand “everything” (okay… more) that they are running. Plus, it has security and performance benefits.

                            1. 21

                              This is good stuff. We’ve been working (lightly) with sourcehut for this and it’s in my eyes one of the big steps forward.

                              IRC might be an old protocol, but the number one issue is purely one of client UX. Better on ramps and clients to get people to the communities where people are is the number one issue. I really strongly believe that this is improvements like this one will keep IRC competitive with proprietary systems like discord and slack.

                              1. 7

                                Of course it’s a good thing to have alternatives, but as it is a paid service I still think it’s spam.

                                1. 29

                                  I’m perfectly happy with paid up services that run entirely and exclusively on Free software. This ends up being a well tested and supported stack that anyone can run themselves, or have sr.ht host it for them.

                                  What matters to me is that there’s a variety of free software tools to compete with proprietary stuff, and this is such an example.

                                  1. 8

                                    Yes, I’m sure we all agree on that. :)

                                    But compared to articles about IRCv3, modern-irc, or the internal workings of the service, this announcement is not exactly on-topic.

                                  2. 7

                                    It’s only a paid service if you use the sr.ht instance, sourcehut itself, including the stack that runs chats.sr.ht is entirely open source. You can host it yourself if you want.

                                    1. 3

                                      Yes, and still not the 2 application reps were linked but this.

                                    2. 1

                                      would it be spam if it were a nominally free proprietary service which you pay for in data and attention?

                                      1. 3

                                        rephrasing the title as “company/org X is offering irc bouncers” still would make it “news as in product announcment” for me, so still offtopic, just because many of us use IRC… Same as announcing a new free mail provider. The fact that it is paid is just another category of offtopic.

                                        Had someone posted “Hey here’s an alternative to thelounge and irccloud” and “btw, sr.ht made this and offers this” would’ve been a good comment.

                                        Just from the point of a normal user, I’m not mad at sr.ht or anything.

                                  1. 4

                                    If blogs are being posted on behalf of the company, can’t help but feel that the author should be doing it themselves, rather than sending it off to another employee to post it. This makes it clear and unambiguous.

                                    1. 6

                                      I’d like to also present my occasionally widened BadBuzz collection: https://github.com/abstractbeliefs/badbuzz

                                      It’s Java Enterprise FizzBuzz, same as this blazing fast memory safe hello world written in Rust. Pull requests welcome, in whatever weird, wacky language or unusual implementation you fancy.

                                      1. 4

                                        Looks like a good opportunity to microservice the two together.

                                      1. 3

                                        This is a cool move, and I hope it works out well. What does bother me is a seeming commitment to move away from the C codebase despite the fact that the funding/planning situation appears not to be ideal.

                                        from https://gitlab.torproject.org/tpo/core/arti#status

                                        Arti 1.2.0: Onion service support (not funded, timeframe TBD)

                                        Arti 2.0.0: Feature parity with C tor as a client (not funded, timeframe TBD)

                                        Arti ?.?.?: Relay support

                                        While timeframe is tbd, from the currently funded and higher priority tasks, it will likely be 2023 before these tasks get any look in. I’m worried that 2-3 years of C tor being on a skeleton crew and everyone else plunging ahead on a replacement that doesn’t have parity, or even core features, budgeted or planned is not a good place to be.

                                          1. 15

                                            When this popped up in my RSS reader I thought I’d have to comment on it at some point. While I enjoy Rachel’s work, I can’t say I agree with this one, being at the centre of it.

                                            freenode, and now Libera, are fundamentally for and by the foss community. Every one of our staff have roots in some - often many - projects, and these roots are what allowed us to give confidence to projects during the split.

                                            Something I’ve seen a bunch is that when deciding what to do, projects have said “well, they’ve taken good care of us so far - the people are more important than the name” and followed us to Libera. I’m not sure that would be true if this was only a changing of the guard at a distant, faceless organisation that weren’t first and foremost also users.

                                            1. 5

                                              I agree. There’s a useful notion here but I don’t think Rachel really manages to get at it. The divide is more along the lines of something like maybe channel politics vs network policy. But even just that is getting a bit too abstract for easy application while at the same time still being overly prescriptive.

                                              1. 3

                                                Yes. Power is formally dual to responsibility, and there’s nothing like dogfooding to keep the powerful aware of their responsibilities. Additionally, the responsible need to understand what they’re doing and why they’re doing it, which is hard to do at a distance.

                                                1. 2

                                                  So I’ll pose a question then: How would you know if you didn’t hear the community’s voice? Aren’t you naturally biased by whom you consider to be the community? Moreover, as far as Libera is concerned, before the Bylaws were put in place, there wasn’t even a formal definition of what the “community” meant. In other words, if someone disagrees, how would you know?

                                                  1. 4

                                                    Drawing staff from communities means they can tell us when their community seems unhappy.

                                                    That does leave a tilt in favour of “communities from which we draw staff”, but we’re aware of and try to mitigate this: every project or community registered with us on libera has at least 1 group contact, and they are invited (and strongly encouraged) to join #libera-communities , which is both where they can make support requests (such as cloak requests, help in dealing with abuse, etc) but also where we seek broader feedback and also they can tell us outright what’s good and bad. It’s ~150 people in there from across our communities right now.

                                                    We also have #libera , our open access support channel, which is again the best place to tell staff how things are going right or wrong.

                                                    To sum up: 1) we try to ensure staff is a sample of the community, 2) we seek broader community feedback from formally delegated representatives of projects and communities, 3) the entire userbase is welcome to let us know their thoughts in a public discussion channel.

                                                1. 10

                                                  I’m moving house today, but for the rest of the week my efforts in tech will all be getting poured into https://libera.chat/ . It’s been a tough couple of weeks but the community response has been incredible, and a double edged sword in affirming we made the right choice, and building a queue of hundreds of requests to help migrate projects and communities

                                                  1. 11

                                                    The obvious question is why freenode was never registered as a charity. Remember: never donate to organizations not regulated as charities in their place of incorporation.

                                                    1. 19

                                                      libera, the new organisation, is registered under a swedish non-profit. For what it’s worth, neither libera nor freenode ever taken cash donations etc from normal users.

                                                      1. 6

                                                        Freenode was Limited by Guarantee, which is English law jargon for a non-profit. A legal form guarantees nothing.

                                                        1. 7

                                                          No it isn’t. Companies limited by guarantee are a common corporate choice for charities but being registered as a charity is a different thing.

                                                          1. 1

                                                            Late answering, but not for profit isn’t the same thing as a charity.

                                                        2. 1

                                                          libera nor freenode ever taken cash donations etc from normal users.

                                                          This doesn’t sound like a sustainable model. Look at discord!?

                                                          How has this “charity only” crap prevailed when it’s been $ that funds infrastructure and development?

                                                          At least Patrick at Slackware takes my money (finally!!) but it’ll never be a Red Hat.

                                                          1. 13

                                                            This doesn’t sound like a sustainable model.

                                                            “never taken cash donations” does not mean “never taken donations”

                                                            Freenode has outlasted countless VC-backed chat startups, and Libera will outlast even more.

                                                            1. 7

                                                              it sustained freenode for 20 years and was never the limiting factor. When you have dozens of large communities like fedora, gentoo, python, etc that you host, there are plenty of responsible and generous donors when it comes to getting the few, small servers that irc requires.

                                                          2. 7

                                                            What would this have prevented? You can own and sell a charity just as well as you can sell any corporation.

                                                            1. 4

                                                              Not in England you can’t.

                                                            2. 7

                                                              Agreed. Let’s all take note, this is why we have nonprofits: so we can codify the sorts of arrangements people build to operate Communal Things Involving Money. Person Foo may start a fight and chase off Person Bar, and Person Baz may start neutral but then get pissed off and leave such a toxic environment… But a nonprofit provides a framework to make sure things can actually keep operating in a sane fashion. Otherwise you end up with Foo needing a lawyer to get the domain name, Bar needing to be hunted down and asked for the server passwords, and Baz accidentally being left as primary contact on the donation-linked bank account for three years. I speak from personal experience here.

                                                              1. 6

                                                                It was, for a long-ish time, registered as a charity as the Peer-Directed Projects Center (PDPC). IIRC they dissolved that as the legal overhead was significant.

                                                                1. 2

                                                                  There’s no UK de registered charity with that name https://register-of-charities.charitycommission.gov.uk/charity-search/-/results/page/86/delta/20/keywords/Peer+directed+projects+center/sorted-by/charity-name/asc

                                                                  There was a non profit registered in the US with that name.

                                                                2. 4

                                                                  As of at least the last five years, Freenode never accepted monetary donations; only donations of servers.

                                                                  1. 2

                                                                    It was, but the charitable organization didn’t actually bring in enough money to maintain its own existence, so it folded several years ago.

                                                                    1. 1

                                                                      Right but that means the charity was really a money collector not the operator or holder of assets.

                                                                  1. 3

                                                                    I’m sad that people keep trying to import the worst bits of the WWW into gemini. Gemini makes it really easy to host your own server/capsule/instance, and the adopted cultural practice is to write your posts on your own site and link to others.

                                                                    I hope that attempts to bring centralising web services and silos to gemini fail, to be brutally honest.

                                                                    1. 8

                                                                      Gemini makes it really easy to host your own server/capsule/instance, and the adopted cultural practice is to write your posts on your own site and link to others.

                                                                      To be honest, most people don’t want to do that. There’s still costs and burdens associated with hosting anything, and (even federated) servers can become policy domains/communities of their own.

                                                                      If you truly want this, use a P2P system.

                                                                      1. 6

                                                                        The good news is that things like this usually die out pretty quickly due to lack of interest. You don’t really have to worry about it.

                                                                        1. 6

                                                                          This is basically the problem with Gemini: it does little to nothing to solve the actual problems it sets out to solve, they just seem solved because of the conventions of the currently-small user base. If it ever actually took off it would be the same as the web very fast.

                                                                          1. 2

                                                                            I’d add that the basic issue with Gemini is that it’s trying to address social problems with technical solutions.

                                                                            1. 2

                                                                              Can you elaborate on what these actual problems are that you see Gemini trying to solve that are only solved because of a small user base? Looking at https://gemini.circumlunar.space/docs/faq.gmi, a lot of the design goal has to do with Privacy. Gemini isn’t going to magically get cookies just because lots of people start using it.

                                                                              @gerikson I hear this all the time about addressing social problems with technical solutions being some sort of bad idea. What is the alternative? I’d argue that the only way (besides superhuman Mahatma Gandhi or MLK levels of persuasive power) to solve social problems is with technical solutions. Now, you can’t just focus on the technology by itself. That’s certainly a failure mode. But social problems often boil down to some technology permitting people to do too much (e.g. cookies). Restricting people from doing things we’ve come to realize have negative externalities, this usually requires a change in technology.

                                                                              1. 2

                                                                                Gemini is trying to work against the current widespread and profitable harvesting of online activity to target ads.

                                                                                Effectively combating this requires legislation. Individual actions will do nothing to change it.

                                                                                For example, we’ve had ad-blockers for a decade or more. Has online advertising gone away? No it has not. A costly arms-race between blockers and detectors has ensued instead.

                                                                                Trying to defeat tracking online by offering a solution that’s much more limited than even HTML 4-era web and expecting a significant adoption is bordering on delusional.

                                                                                1. 1

                                                                                  Trying to defeat tracking online by offering a solution that’s much more limited than even HTML 4-era web and expecting a significant adoption is bordering on delusional.

                                                                                  I don’t think they expect adoption - it feels more “pretend it isn’t real”.

                                                                                2. 1

                                                                                  The three items at the top of that page are:

                                                                                  Tracking: Gemini may lack some of the obvious “tracking features” like 3rd party cookies, but given the sophistication of fingerprinting solutions big tracking uses at this point, that’s at most a speedbump to them going online. Privacy of Gemini users is largely safeish due to Gemini hosts being largely “good guys” at this point.

                                                                                  Flashy design is bad: One can deliver any content over Gemini, and as big publishers and the users who like their flashy stuff came in, the flashy content (whether HTML-over-Gemini, SWF-over-Gemini, or some new future abomination) would follow.

                                                                                  Bloat is bad: this is basically the same as the last point. As people put out more and more flashy stuff, the bloat they put out would also increase.

                                                                                  In context, my comment was also triggered by the parent post whose point was social networks / non-self-hosting is bad, which the OP is a contradiction to in the Gemini space already.

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                                                                                    I likely just don’t know enough about Gemini, but:

                                                                                    • How do you do images over Gemini?! I thought there’s no way to do it.

                                                                                    • If each page loads as a single resource, isn’t there just much less room for fingerprinting? Clients are also not required to cache anything. I have a hard time seeing how one domain can learn anything about another. The spec has one line of request going out and one line of response header. How could this possibly be fingerprinted?

                                                                                    the parent post whose point was social networks / non-self-hosting is bad, which the OP is a contradiction to in the Gemini space already.

                                                                                    There’s no contradiction here. You literally can’t insert a newline in Gemini. The bloody protocol spec limits how long posts on this social network can be. Talk of bloat sounds like a lot of pearl clutching and false equivalence to me.

                                                                                    I flagged @kline’s post as unkind. This is the worst part of www, really? No need for the mainstream to worry when we’re all so good at tearing each other down. I have criticisms of Gemini, but I don’t feel the need to bring them up when people are sharing projects.

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                                                                                      On how to do images: right from the FAQ you linked you can serve any content type that has MIME type over Gemini, so images should be easy.

                                                                                      For ad tracking you don’t need to have the client involved, anything a server can learn about the client it can relay to another server. Advertiser just has to make doing so a requirement of sellin their ads. This assuming the most rose coloured future where client side tech somehow never gets served via another MIME type for tracking purpose.

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                                                                                        Oh, I understand that you can serve images over Gemini. But can you embed them? I don’t believe so. Requiring images to be explicitly requested seems like a huge improvement.

                                                                                        You’re right that servers can just sell your information outright. Is your point that it doesn’t make sense to worry about privacy if you choose to interact with a server? That’s internally consistent but an impractically high bar, IMO.

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                                                                                      How would you go about fingerprinting Gemini users? Gemini has no user-agents or interactivity; clients just open a TLS connection and show the resulting contents. All you really get is an IP address. What other information can be gained?

                                                                                      Gemtext leaves presentation in the hands of the user agent rather than the content author; authors only dictate content with per-line semantics.

                                                                                      What sort of bloat are you envisioning in Gemini? One of the core ideas of Gemini is that one user action should trigger no more than one request. For example, a user must click a link to load an image (inline or in another window, depending on the client).

                                                                                      Finally, the best part of Gemini (imo) is the fact that it isn’t mainstream, and thus won’t be plagued by corporate interests. It’s actively hostile to corporate interests like branding (emoji favicons were recently rejected) and tracking (one-way communication, one request at a time, without any identifiers beyond an IP address or optional client cert for auth).

                                                                                      I invite you to try out Gemini before commenting with a blanket-statement dismissal.

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                                                                                        I agree that if you serve only Gemtext, over any protocol, bloat is unlikely.

                                                                                        Your “best part” is in full agreement with my post. So long as it never catches on Gemini can remain largely pure because only people who want the culture happen to use it. Don’t need a whole new protocol or format for people to choose to be good, though…

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                                                                                    It’s like “use plain text email” - it works in their tiny bubble, fails to meet reality with i.e; your clients, non-technical friends, important orgs, etc.

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                                                                                    I don’t think this project is trying to import anything from the Web. It’s creating it’s own thing and allowing ppl on Gemini to socialize. Or even if they are not on Gemini, to be able to participate and this IMO is the built of such projects. It can help bring more people to the protocol. IMO, for a young protocol such as Gemini, project like this can really help spread the word and I welcome them.

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                                                                                    Sadly that’s a really difficult bit of software to use. The license states that you cannot use it in any capacity without emailing the author.

                                                                                    I’d be very hesitant to engage with this at all, unfortunately.

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                                                                                      Yeah that licence is … interesting. I could understand emailing for permission to modify it, but just to use it seems a bit over the top.

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                                                                                        This is an effort to fight individual exploitation in the FOSS community.

                                                                                        By writing proprietary software. ;)

                                                                                        The fact that the source code is available doesn’t make it less proprietary.

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                                                                                        Where do you see the license?

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                                                                                          It’s at the bottom of README.md.

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                                                                                          Not at all. Compiling and running the code privately or for educational purposes would fall under fair use.

                                                                                          Exploitation is a huge problem in the community, and it starts with little acts like this to fight it, even if it isn’t what people are used to. And as time goes on I will refine what I do to help the problem. ☺

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                                                                                            Exploitation is a huge problem in the community, and it starts with little acts like this to fight it, even if it isn’t what people are used to.

                                                                                            I’m not sure this achieves anything, honestly. Other than of course, being proprietary software in an effort to “fight exploitation in the FOSS community”.

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                                                                                              what “exploitation” are you referring to?

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                                                                                                The most recent event, which really opened my eyes, was the the one where Amazon took over ElasticSearch.

                                                                                                My code can still be used under fair use, and is available for reading.

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                                                                                                  Amazon didn’t take over ElaaticSearch…Elastic chose to relicense it under a proprietary license, and then Amazon forked the latest Apache 2.0 licensed version into a competing product.

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                                                                                                    Any software licensed under terms that prevent Amazon (or any other party) from doing this is not free. Maintainers of software that claims to be free software should not be able to prevent users from modifying that software in ways they disapprove of.

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                                                                                                That’s nice for users of your software in countries where Fair Use exists as a concept in copyright law.

                                                                                                In the UK for example, the concept of Fair Use is described as Fair Dealing, and a defence exists to copyright infringement if it is for the purpose of ‘academic study’, ‘criticism or review’, or ‘reporting of current events’.

                                                                                                Running this bot, for example, for my own use in a channel unrelated to its development, I don’t believe would reasonably fall into any of those three buckets.

                                                                                                Have you considered a strong licence like AGPL-3.0?

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                                                                                              If you plan to flag as off-topic (as five already have), I urge you consider why you feel that way. This is the water in which we swim, the air that we breathe. Off-topic from “culture,” “practices,” and “ai” doesn’t really make sense.

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                                                                                                From the about page:

                                                                                                “Lobsters is focused pretty narrowly on computing; tags like art don’t imply every piece of art is on-topic. Some rules of thumb for great stories to submit: Will this improve the reader’s next program? Will it deepen their understanding of their last program? Will it be more interesting in five or ten years?”

                                                                                                “Some things that are off-topic here but popular on larger, similar sites: […], management, [,,,], anthropology, […], and defining the single morally correct economic and political system for the entire world when we can’t even settle tabs vs. spaces.”

                                                                                                I think that the intent of the about page is to try and focus on the technical side of computing rather than the air we breathe that enables it. If you think that the article counts under the ai, culture, or practices tag, then it’s no stretch to consider even more so that it’s about management, anthropology, and the political systems at play in tech and academics.

                                                                                                It’s not to say that the article is wrong or important, just that lobsters is a specialised forum and that there are other, better places to discuss it.

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                                                                                                  Well said and fair enough. I am glad though that this particular forum will have exposure to this article and I do believe it can concretely impact the development and study of software.

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                                                                                                  I originally flagged it as off-topic because none of it was “about” AI. You could write the exact same essay about physics or sociology or economics, and propose the same problems and the same solutions.

                                                                                                  On second reading, there’s a paragraph on AI ethics, which is on-topic, but I don’t think it’s enough to carry the other ten pages.

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                                                                                                    Reasonable. I’m still behind posting it, but not everyone has to agree, especially if they give it a thorough chance as you did.

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                                                                                                  I think this is a good idea, especially as the site scales and “barely on topic” - tangential, even - discussions happen more and more, that probably need in some way managed but more subtly that moderation.

                                                                                                  An example was where in the call-for-mod-applications one thread quickly became about an individual’s political beliefs. It wasn’t irrelevant, but it wasn’t something that deserved to be pinned to the top the whole time (because who doesn’t want in on a good political bash) at the expense of less exciting but more relevant questions.

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                                                                                                    Essentially I have my personal/chat/music on the bottom screen and whatever I’m working on top:

                                                                                                    Desk: https://i.imgur.com/lFhYSRr.jpg

                                                                                                    Desktop: https://i.imgur.com/kHJzb0v.png

                                                                                                    I use debian with i3+polybar on my thinkpad x240. I’m essentially living the memes. I’ve since moved to using weechat for irc.

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                                                                                                      I think you might enjoy the Telegram desktop application. It’s not an Electron blob, but rather elegant C++ application using Qt

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                                                                                                        I spy PADI books and dive tables. Had any opportunities to go diving recently? That’s one of the biggest things I missed out on this past year.