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    “The applications cannot be combined together or used in tandem, because the user wouldn’t be able to conceptualize the idea of two things working together anyhow.”

    Wasn’t the ’84 Macintosh notable in part because it allowed pictures from the painting program to be directly copied and pasted into the word processor program? I think that was pretty revolutionary at the time.

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      The Alto provided a gesture based system for combining independently developed currently-running applications, popping up a configuration panel for handling message passing between them & setting up triggers for those messages. From that panel, the source code of the applications in question can be edited.

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      I quite miss the immediacy of older home computers, even though I was a bit too young to understand much of it. I could just switch on the C64, and instantly have an interactive programming environment. Type in POKE 53281,4 and watch the background change to purple. I had no idea what I was doing, but there was no friction. I’d copy code from magazines and learn by playing around with it. I started sketching on a little device dedicated to running TIC-80, that I hope to put together some day.

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        I have a suspicion that this is partly why web development is so popular – you can manipulate the DOM and get immediate feedback without really having any idea what you’re doing.

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          That’s a good point, and I share your suspicion. “Have a web browser” is basically the only requirement nowadays, then you have a decent REPL, instant-feedback GUI manipulation (and you can fiddle with any web page you’re viewing,) and so on. I think most would agree that the barrier of entry is enticingly low.

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            Although I’m usually anti-web-app, one of the great developments in that space is being able to play with code in the browser without installing anything. Especially in conjunction with tutorials on learning that language. It would’ve been nice to have when I was new to programming. I had QBasic, though, so next best thing. :)

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              I agree. I don’t particularly enjoy web dev, or web apps, but I would be delighted if more projects would strive for this kind of accessibility. FWIW, I think the Rust folks have done an amazing job here, considering the space Rust operates in. Cargo is just delightful, super easy to get started, to build/run a project, to generate documentation; no wrangling virtual environments, packages that fail to install for incomprehensible reasons, or the other things Python/Ruby expect me to put up with (let’s not even talk about C++.) And, of course, the rustc diagnostics are just amazing. It’s not quite QBasic though, and requires more effort before you have something fun running. But it’s clear that they consider this a priority, and it shows.

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          Have you been using TIC-80 a lot? I used to spend some time messing around in PICO-8, how does it compare?

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            It’s a big plus to me that TIC-80 is open-source. I also like that it exposes functionality similar to raster interrupts, so I can try some of the old-school techniques I used to see in games.

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          Zulip sounds interesting.

          Can you export all the data if you want to change providers, or if Zulip goes out of business/gets purchased? Can you export the discussions to a web-based format (as you can with mailing lists) for searchability?

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            Zulip has already been purchased by Dropbox. And Zulip is open source so you can run your own.

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              Yes, both of those things are important to me. It looks like there is an export.py tool, although the docs aren’t the greatest:

              https://zulip.readthedocs.io/en/1.7.1/conversion.html

              And it looks like they’re working on truly public archives:

              https://github.com/zulip/zulip/pull/8135

              Right now it’s a little annoying that you have to sign in to read messages, which they’re also working on changing. But at least it doesn’t require another login – you can log in with Github.

              Overall, the choice was basically between Zulip and Discourse. It’s a little sad how mailing list infrastructure hasn’t kept up with the times.

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                I’m not a huge fan of the “new” style of collaboration (Slack, MSFT Teams). They try to combine the immediacy of real-time chat with some sort of structured discussion format, but there’s an implied pressure to provide an answer immediately. In a mailing list, it’s not expected for someone to reply to a message within minutes, and I believe that for most projects this is a better expectation - if nothing else than people are in different timezones.

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                  I’ve used instant messaging in different ways for 20 years, and I always felt that those tools are fundamentally asynchronous, that the answer is never expected immediately. Perhaps it would help if you never enable notifications for those tools? I never do, except for the tools that I use for personal communication with family.

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                    there’s an implied pressure to provide an answer immediately

                    Maybe it’s better with good threading support since the messages don’t get lost as much and it’s less an issue if you reply later.

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                      I feel like there needs to be adequate division between channels of communication in order for it to work successfully. A bad example is Discord: a lot of servers will have a #general channel where there are often two or three conversations going on at the same time, and replying to someone’s question more than a few minutes later seems futile.

                      Having used Zulip for a few months at work, I feel like the named subtopics within streams can handle slower conversations, but it might be a matter of corralling the userbase away from these catch-all channels.

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                        Well, a few people had asked for an IRC channel, which I haven’t had success with. So I hope to kill 2 birds with one stone here. It’s an experiment.

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                          Please report your findings (maybe a blog post?) at some point. I’m super interested to hear how it goes, and I imagine other folks would be too.

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                    I might be the only person in this thread who likes the new keyboard. I use a 2017 15” Macbook Pro with Touchbar for work and find the keyboard easier to type on than my 2015 13” Macbook Pro. I like the reduced travel distance and what I perceive as a louder click when typing.

                    The thing that changed my life, however, is setting CAPS LOCK to be ESC. I’ve done it across all of my computers now and would not have done so without Apple giving me a nudge when removing the physical ESC key on the Touchbar Macs. I don’t miss CAPS LOCK at all and the travel distance to ESC is so much more pleasing.

                    I do have problems with my hand sometimes brushing the touchpad if I’ve not positioned my wrists correctly. That’s a little aggravating but I’m largely over it now in the ~4 months I’ve been using this machine. Turns out I never really used the media keys much except for volume and pause/play so I don’t mind the touchbar and the extra info it can provide in many modern apps I use (e.g. Chrome, Outlook).

                    To each their own?

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                      I can totally see switching caps lock to be esc on the touch bar model. However, people who use the CTRL key a lot, like people running Windows or Linux or spend their day inside the terminal in macOS, might find it useful to swap CTRL and Caps Lock. Vim users might then want to start using CTRL+C instead of Esc to enter normal mode.

                      Especially people on MacBooks or Lenovos where the Fn and CTRL keys are all wrong should consider swapping the buttons if they ever use CTRL for anything.

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                        Set caps lock to BOTH Ctrl and Esc!

                        X11: xcape (like this)
                        Windows: AutoHotkey (like this)
                        macOS: karabiner-elements

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                          Is there a High Sierra work around?

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                            I haven’t tried it (I’m still on Sierra) so can’t confirm, but the Karabiner Elements repo suggests it works on High Sierra. Karabiner Elements still has far fewer features than Karabiner though.

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                              There wasn’t, the last time I checked.

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                                A shame. I’m still on 10.11 and I won’t upgrade because my workflow depends on karabiner.

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                            Just a warning for potential users of this setup: ^C and Esc aren’t exactly the same in vim. A major difference is entering text [count] amount of times (like 3i or 4A): hitting ^C to enter normal mode will only insert the new text once.

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                              That’s true. My .vimrc has the following lines to make ^C act as Esc in normal and insert mode:

                              nmap <C-c> <ESC>
                              imap <C-c> <ESC>
                              
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                                You could use C-[ instead. It’ll work everywhere without any mappings and is equivalent to ESC.

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                            Yeah, I concur. I like the new keyboard, even coming from a cherry MX green keeb on my desktop.

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                            I was always impressed that the 2nd generation iPod Shuffle used its headphone jack for both data transfer and charging. I wonder if that would be viable for charging any device that actually had to power a display.

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                              At 100mah, I doubt it, that battery is tiny in its size.