1. 5

    Please - the word you wanted is “lose” and not “loose”. “loose” is the opposite of “tight”, not of “gain”. (I realise you’re probably not a native English speaker and I wouldn’t complain, but it’s right there in the title and it reads wrong - because the words are pronounced differently).

    I too am concerned about the web browser monoculture. I personally continue to use Firefox, although some of the practices of Mozilla occasionally irk me, I still find it preferable (and far easier to build) than Chrome. The question is, though, what can we actually do about it? Chrome is very successful and has a lot of resources behind it. But web renderers are far from trivial; it’s not like it’s an easy to produce a quality feature-complete competitor. That’s why webkit is doing so well - it’s packaged as a component, not a full browser. (Just as Firefox has Gecko, or whatever its current incarnation is called, in theory).

    So: what do we do? How do we avoid blinking?

    1. 12

      I think we lost when we allowed web standards to get so complex that they can’t be independently implemented without a billion dollar company funding a large team. I don’t think that this is solvable. The existing players are so far ahead that there’s really no catching up.

      1. 3

        Servo is not a billion dollar project.

        1. 6

          Mozilla’s annual revenue is half a billion dollars. Since it’s a non-profit, there’s no real valuation that I’m aware of, but just going off of typical P/E ratios, that would make them a multi-billion dollar company.

          1. 1

            Mozilla Corporation is a for-profit corporation owned by Mozilla Foundation, a nonprofit. That means the private part does have a value. They usually do profit times 10 in straight-forward sales of businesses. Using their 2016 financial, here’s the numbers to look at:

            Revenue: $520 mil

            Development cost: $225 mil

            Marketing: $47 mil

            Administrative: $59.9 mil

            Net gains: $102 mil (if I’m reading it right cuz it’s different than ones I did in college)

            They’re worth somewhere between $1-5 billion if looking at operating profit or revenues with no consideration for up/down swings in the future. Also, there’s two numbers there that look inflated: development cost; administrative. For the former, they use a lot of developers in high-wage areas. They could move a good chunk of development to places where good talent, esp their real estate, is cheaper to free up money for more developers and/or acquisitions. For administrative, that’s a big number that’s above their marketing spending. I think that should be other way around. More money into marketing might equal larger share of users.

      2. 6

        So: what do we do? How do we avoid blinking?

        It seems that Mozilla’s answer to that question is the Servo project. I guess we could start contributing.

        1. 6

          While I like rust and servo as a research project - mozilla does not hold a good track record when it comes to providing a browser as an reusable component. It has been a long time since Gecko could be easily embedded in other browsers, and this does not seem to be a priority for servo either.

          FWIW I think the main competitor to Blink is actually Webkit in the sense that it is the easiest open source browser for someone to modify. I would prefer to see people put their effort there.

          1. 13

            GeckoView is an upcoming embedding API. It’s supposed to fix that and already used in some Firefox products, most notably Focus.

            1. 2

              This needs to be on desktop platforms, too, though, not just Android. But I’m happy to see the progress.

              1. 2

                I haven’t seen any code using GeckoView on the Desktop, is it Android only or can it be used to build Desktop browsers?

                1. 6

                  It runs a where Gecko runs. Which is Linux/Windows/OSX on Intel, ARM, ARM64 etc.

                  First iterations happened to be in mobile because we need to cash in on the Quantum improvements on mobile. That’s not due to technical constraints.

                  1. 3

                    oh that is awesome news. I was looking at the repo but could only find examples for Android and it being mentioned as an Android component. I wish there was a sample for the Desktop, something like QtGeckoView would make it quite popular.

                    1. 1

                      Is it Java, though? Because, if so - ick. It would be much better to have a C, C++ or Rust API - something that doesn’t automatically add a large runtime overhead. I don’t foresee many desktop browsers being built on top of a Java API no matter how powerful/easy-to-use it is.

                      (Not that I think Java doesn’t have its place, I just don’t think it fits this niche particularly well, except for the obvious case of Android).

                      1. 1

                        No. On Android, we use embed GeckoView within a Java projects (obviously). This is mostly based on our Android Components.

                  2. 1

                    That also looks incredibly easy to use. That’s cool.

              2. 1

                Thanks for the feedback. I’ve realized the mistake about that typo too late and unfortunately the URL is tied to it. Fixing it makes a new URL and I can’t edit the URL here. :-(

                I agree with you, building an engine as a component that is easy to embed and build upon is the reason why WebKit became the dominant force here. I wish Mozilla paid more attention for the embedability of Gecko (which I’ve heard is a mess to build your product on top of). There is no easy way out of the current mess we’re in, people who are concerned about that can basically throw some effort and action towards Mozilla strengthening the remaining engine before it is too late.

                1. 1

                  Fixing it makes a new URL and I can’t edit the URL here.

                  Can you add a redirect?

                  1. 1

                    I will look into crafting a redirect tomorrow as I don’t want to disrupt the little server today. This is not a jekyll blog. I think that adding a redirect using .htaccess should work but as the server is being accessed a lot right now, I am a bit afraid of breaking the post and potential readers reaching a broken URL.

              1. 6

                Sigh. In 2020 EU will require Open Access for the research papers it funds. From that moment, it will take 10-20 years for the old journals to start being lossy when providing the old volumes. They will eventually sell them off to the libraries. Only the top journals will stay alive in the hybrid OA mode and eventually, after a few more decades will get replaced by overlay journals as their readership literally dies off.

                Well, unless librarians screw up and buy some POS cloud platform subscription instead of just indexing the open institutional repositories themselves.

                1. 13

                  Thanks @friendlysock for bringing it up. I also found that thread appalling for its level of cheap potshots and general rudeness. Like, to the point where I’m already looking around for a better alternative.

                  Why wasn’t the off-topic flag used more?

                  Because it’s ineffective. In the post I just linked, the “top” (most upvoted) comment is from a moderator taking a side in the debate. I’ve said it before and will probably say it again: our Reddit-style voting system encourages Reddit-style behaviour.

                  1. 7

                    Because it’s ineffective. In the post I just linked, the “top” (most upvoted) comment is from a moderator taking a side in the debate.

                    That moderator took a side not as a moderator but as a human being, with personal opinions. I agree that the post friendlysock mentioned had some cheap potshots, but what you’re doing here isn’t different.

                    I do however agree with you about the voting system.

                    1. 5

                      what you’re doing here isn’t different

                      Can you elaborate? The difference seems pretty clear to me.

                      All moderators, hat on or off, are human beings and as such probably have opinions. I’m asking what responsibilities pertain to that role. If the answer is “none really”, then the role itself is not of much use. I would expect a moderator who is deliberately stepping out of that role to at the very least see that another mod actually moderates the discussion. @Irene, care to comment?

                      How many downvotes (raw numbers, or relative to page views or upvotes, or whatever) do you think should be required before a moderator takes action?

                      1. 4

                        the act of moderation deals with knows bads. A particular comment, account, thread, or story where evidence is available, a complaint can be levied via reference to those facts, and the matter settled by any necessary restitution: clarification, apology, demand for cessation of activity, or deletion.

                        By focusing on what actually happened you (hope, intend, ensure to) remove appeal to intuition, opinion, or preference and focus instead of parsimoniously resolving the matter at hand.

                        1. 4

                          Ok, so maybe @friendlysock and I are just unclear on the procedure. When 25 users flag a story as “off-topic”, are you saying that someone has to additionally and explicitly call for a moderator and file a complaint? Where is this procedure written down? It sounds like you’re quoting some manual of conduct that I’ve never seen.

                        2. 2

                          Can you elaborate? The difference seems pretty clear to me.

                          Thank you for asking, you just made me realize that a) my statement was very ambiguous and b) that I was actually doing exactly what I wanted to condemn, mainly discussing the person and not the topic/post. I personally do not think the ethical discussion is the problem, in fact I’m very much for having ethical discussions, but my problem is with attacking people instead of arguing the ideas. That’s why I saw your comment also as a cheap potshot, because you didn’t provide much to why you think that comment was a problem, instead you focused on the human behind it, and that they were a moderator. This is also why I realized thanks to your question that mine wasn’t different.

                          All moderators, hat on or off, are human beings and as such probably have opinions. I’m asking what responsibilities pertain to that role. If the answer is “none really”, then the role itself is not much use.

                          The responsibilities can be none with the hat off, that doesn’t mean that they’re also none when the hat’s on. Are you of the opinion that every opinion a tech worker has should be considered the opinion of their employer? how is it different in this case? You can argue that moderators should be role models to the community, but I think that’s not necessary if the moderators can still be judged according to the exact same criteria as other users when the hat’s off.

                          How many downvotes (raw numbers, or relative to page views or upvotes, or whatever) do you think should be required before a moderator takes action?

                          Thanks for asking, I’d like to actually hear your opinion on this? I don’t wanna engage in any direct recommendations, because the last time I did, I felt very unwelcome.

                          1. 4

                            I’ll be as clear as I can: I was responding to one of @friendlysock’s original questions, and suggesting that Lobsters users, and especially users who have been around long enough to see how things actually work here, don’t use the “flag” (aka “downvote”) feature very much because they have very little evidence that it ever results in moderator action. In practice, it’s a “disagree” button with a little bit of extra ceremony.

                            1. 3

                              For flagging: ‘Already Posted’ flags very often result in a merge; ‘Bad Link’ is new but I hope it will usually result in the submitter editing in or resubmitting a working link before a mod gets the chance.

                              I’ve been deliberately reluctant to remove stories that get ‘Off-Topic’ flags because the ‘hide’ link on stories also hides the comments from /comments and other pages, so it’s easy for someone to effectively remove it from their view. The site has never had an definition of topicality more specific “if no tags apply, it probably doesn’t belong”, so most of what I’ve removed for topicality is news and gossip about tech companies (the mod log has the full list, of course).

                              The invite system has done a lot to prevent spam, so the ‘Spam’ flag doesn’t get used much. I’ve removed out-and-out spam, but because we get so little it seems to be mostly used as a more vehement “Off Topic” flag. But that’s me reading into it from my perspective; I haven’t messaged to ask. The use of spam flags has increased a bit this year:

                              MariaDB [lobsters]> select *, n_spam_votes / n_stories * 100 from (select extract(year from updated_at) as y, extract(month from updated_at) as m, count(*) as n_spam_votes, (select count(*) from stories where extract(year from stories.created_at) = y and extract(month from stories.created_at) = m) as n_stories from votes where comment_id is not null and reason = 'S' group by y, m) q;
                              +------+------+--------------+-----------+--------------------------------+
                              | y    | m    | n_spam_votes | n_stories | n_spam_votes / n_stories * 100 |
                              +------+------+--------------+-----------+--------------------------------+
                              | 2012 |    9 |            4 |       436 |                         0.9174 |
                              | 2013 |    2 |            1 |       150 |                         0.6667 |
                              | 2013 |   10 |            1 |       216 |                         0.4630 |
                              | 2014 |    1 |            3 |       576 |                         0.5208 |
                              | 2014 |    2 |            1 |       467 |                         0.2141 |
                              | 2014 |    4 |            9 |       519 |                         1.7341 |
                              | 2014 |    5 |            2 |       509 |                         0.3929 |
                              | 2014 |    6 |            1 |       482 |                         0.2075 |
                              | 2014 |    7 |            6 |       623 |                         0.9631 |
                              | 2014 |    8 |           14 |       482 |                         2.9046 |
                              | 2014 |    9 |           11 |       435 |                         2.5287 |
                              | 2014 |   10 |           11 |       396 |                         2.7778 |
                              | 2014 |   11 |            3 |       443 |                         0.6772 |
                              | 2015 |    1 |            1 |       509 |                         0.1965 |
                              | 2015 |    2 |            5 |       454 |                         1.1013 |
                              | 2015 |    3 |            9 |       584 |                         1.5411 |
                              | 2015 |    4 |            5 |       490 |                         1.0204 |
                              | 2015 |    5 |            3 |       424 |                         0.7075 |
                              | 2015 |    6 |            7 |       422 |                         1.6588 |
                              | 2015 |    7 |           12 |       608 |                         1.9737 |
                              | 2015 |    8 |            7 |       541 |                         1.2939 |
                              | 2015 |    9 |            2 |       549 |                         0.3643 |
                              | 2015 |   10 |           11 |       737 |                         1.4925 |
                              | 2015 |   11 |            3 |       791 |                         0.3793 |
                              | 2015 |   12 |            6 |       761 |                         0.7884 |
                              | 2016 |    1 |           18 |       972 |                         1.8519 |
                              | 2016 |    2 |           12 |       849 |                         1.4134 |
                              | 2016 |    3 |            1 |       736 |                         0.1359 |
                              | 2016 |    4 |            4 |       739 |                         0.5413 |
                              | 2016 |    5 |            6 |       786 |                         0.7634 |
                              | 2016 |    6 |           16 |       798 |                         2.0050 |
                              | 2016 |    7 |            5 |       812 |                         0.6158 |
                              | 2016 |    8 |            5 |       797 |                         0.6274 |
                              | 2016 |    9 |            5 |       731 |                         0.6840 |
                              | 2016 |   10 |            9 |       779 |                         1.1553 |
                              | 2016 |   11 |           12 |       835 |                         1.4371 |
                              | 2016 |   12 |            6 |       852 |                         0.7042 |
                              | 2017 |    1 |           10 |      1037 |                         0.9643 |
                              | 2017 |    2 |           13 |      1068 |                         1.2172 |
                              | 2017 |    3 |           28 |      1194 |                         2.3451 |
                              | 2017 |    4 |            4 |       947 |                         0.4224 |
                              | 2017 |    5 |           18 |       979 |                         1.8386 |
                              | 2017 |    6 |           10 |       941 |                         1.0627 |
                              | 2017 |    7 |           31 |      1109 |                         2.7953 |
                              | 2017 |    8 |           22 |      1111 |                         1.9802 |
                              | 2017 |    9 |           24 |       974 |                         2.4641 |
                              | 2017 |   10 |            5 |       985 |                         0.5076 |
                              | 2017 |   11 |           13 |       924 |                         1.4069 |
                              | 2017 |   12 |           10 |       922 |                         1.0846 |
                              | 2018 |    1 |           10 |       961 |                         1.0406 |
                              | 2018 |    2 |            7 |       846 |                         0.8274 |
                              | 2018 |    3 |           20 |      1058 |                         1.8904 |
                              | 2018 |    4 |           33 |       983 |                         3.3571 |
                              | 2018 |    5 |           37 |       982 |                         3.7678 |
                              | 2018 |    6 |           22 |       886 |                         2.4831 |
                              | 2018 |    7 |            9 |      1017 |                         0.8850 |
                              | 2018 |    8 |           18 |       985 |                         1.8274 |
                              | 2018 |    9 |           21 |       869 |                         2.4166 |
                              | 2018 |   10 |           16 |       918 |                         1.7429 |
                              | 2018 |   11 |            8 |       563 |                         1.4210 |
                              +------+------+--------------+-----------+--------------------------------+
                              60 rows in set (0.83 sec)
                              
                              1. 2

                                That’s an interesting point. Up until recently I was under the impression that flagging isn’t used often so that things that actually get flagged are in fact dealt with. Specially since there’s a wiki on how and when to downflag, whereas there’s nothing regarding upvotes.

                        3. 5

                          Its baffling to me that the idea that a company that does what Palantir does, and that people who choose to work there should somehow be treated with some abstract notion of dignity, is so prevalent. I’ve lost work, years of work for refusing to do things I thought were unethical. It drove me into homelessness. I have yet, really, to financially and emotionally recover. I have no sympathy whatsoever for individuals who choose to check their morals at the door. And similarly, I have no sympathy whatsoever for the attitude that we should police comments and whole tech communities into a tortured abstract “technology is science and science is value free thus any imposition of moral considerations is authoritarian mob mentality”. Its attitudes like that, a reluctance to confront the effects and interrelations of what we do that allowed me to be driven out of a very real community and out of digital labor generally.

                          1. 6

                            “ I’ve lost work, years of work for refusing to do things I thought were unethical. It drove me into homelessness. I have yet, really, to financially and emotionally recover. “

                            Same here minus homelessness from that. Sorry to hear it came to that. Had to be rough. Im actually about to drop that policy soon since stuff is so pervasively evil that Ill have to work with evil companies or practices to do good in certain areas. Depressing.

                            Just remember that many of us are not talking about entire tech scene ignoring politics, us getting jobs at Palantir, and so on. We’re talking about people who, under a range of politics, want one site to not have it or keep it in politically-tagged threads. One. Site. Some of you keep making a quantum leap from one site to saying we want no politics anywhere. No, this site or tech threads staying tech focused while politicking continues elsewhere.

                            A break, more focus on stuff that might benefit folks, holding activists to account on doing work where it helps the most… many reasons to keep one site free of political fights even for a person that does politics. I voted no politics since Im a union guy doing activism in a company that’s an uphill battle with other sites, friends, and family always doing politics. Am I evil because I want a distraction or break in between political things I do? And one that’s consistently relaxing?

                            And if I am, why are leftist Lobsters constantly telling us nice, relaxing things they do during the week or weekend that dont involve letting their political opponents call them out, say theyre racist/sexistwhatever, advise them to quit their jobs, and so on? They’re fine with doing non-political things or staying in political circles they like but think we reading papers on Lobsters must read shit that bothers us or some despise simultaneously? And here’s the kicker: they think something positive politically will come out of that instead of fights and metas that resulted for years. Telling them to 180 all their beliefs saying theyre evil sure doesnt work but telling us to will?

                            Id rather us be a peaceful, technical community with a section dedicated to politics. That’s a long tradition on forums that let both types do their thing. Wont happen here but wouldve blocked a lot of damage.

                            1. 4

                              You’ve changed my mind.

                              I was reluctant to open lobster.rs this morning, because I was being afraid of more of this instead of more threads about monads and cool ipfs hacks.

                          2. 1

                            I cannot find the comment you are referring too (possibly because it’s in a subthread that’s hidden by default due to downvotes). Can you provide a direct link to the comment in question?

                          1. 6

                            You might not need Docker, either? NixOS!

                            1. 4

                              On Atlassian Marketplace, we use both!

                              1. 3

                                I would like to read more about creating your own derivations. Preferably with some good examples of nontrivial stuff, such as adding static assets and configuration files.

                                1. 4

                                  Not sure why static assets and configuration files are non trivial? But sure, I really want to write about nixos tbh.

                              1. 10

                                The post by a16z explains it well: https://a16z.com/2014/02/14/why-there-will-never-be-another-redhat-the-economics-of-open-source/

                                Elastic vs Algolia is a nice case study here as well. Let’s see which one ends up doing better long term.

                                Problem with open source is that it’s hard to monetize. In most cases if something is hard to monetize it results in poor product quality. Of course you can point to large open source projects which are excellent, but that’s really the exception not the rule. Relying on people contributing free work to a project just doesn’t work in most cases.

                                It also doesn’t help that the open source community has some negative feelings towards anything commercial. That culture is also pushing a lot of software from open source to closed solutions. This post is a great example calling Redis Labs shady for wanting to have a way to make money. Funny enough the post is written by an engineer who also thinks he should get paid for his work.

                                The only thing this post achieves is convincing more companies to stop with the whole open source thing.

                                1. 15

                                  This post is a great example calling Redis Labs shady for wanting to have a way to make money.

                                  Isn’t he just calling Redis Labs shady for calling a non-free license free? He even specifically states “You have every right to license your work in any way you choose.”. That doesn’t smell rabidly anti-commercial to me.

                                  Monetizing open-source is not an easy task, though, that’s true. But the antidote to difficulty should not be dishonesty. Perhaps the honest thing would be to just stop trying to monetize it, and generate the income from some other thing?

                                  1. 20

                                    This post is a great example calling Redis Labs shady for wanting to have a way to make money. Funny enough the post is written by an engineer who also thinks he should get paid for his work.

                                    You’re being dishonest. I’m calling them shady for calling their software open source when it’s not. I think that engineers deserve to be paid for their work but that doesn’t make it okay to lie about the licensing of your software.

                                    1. 8

                                      Standardized open-source tools/infrastructure are what make modern software products (open and closed) possible. The “exceptions” you mention represent a huge share of critical business systems (Linux, many widely deployed databases, web and other network servers, TLS/security infrastructure, web frameworks, most widely used language implementations, etc.).

                                      Problem with open source is that it’s hard to monetize. In most cases if something is hard to monetize it results in poor product quality.

                                      If you mean that “the standard of quality for software is low”, that seems easy to agree on. Asserting that closed-source software is somehow higher quality doesn’t hold water - see the list above and contrast with any of their closed-source competitors from 10-20 years ago.

                                      Making money is hard, whether you’re closed source or open source. TFA is just asserting that being deliberately misleading is bad.

                                      1. 4

                                        Problem with open source is that it’s hard to monetize.

                                        Not really. The problem with commons is that it’s hard to sell permits when everyone can just help themselves to come in. The mitigation has been known for a long time. Fund it from the taxes. You are represented, so the commons you care about should be maintained.

                                        In other words, want to research? Get a grant. Still not good enough? Maybe it’s time to acknowledge that floss movement should be represented better and start pushing.

                                        Here we have a Pirate party. I personally know an elected representative. He shares my opinions on floss.

                                        Have you talked to your ER?

                                        1. 1

                                          In other words, want to research? Get a grant.

                                          I thought about that. Unfortunately, the funding authorities for academic research are about quantity of papers instead of quality or code attached. Many will actually either give no credit for implementations or criticize the people doing them since it takes away from papers that bring in more money. An example was Antti Kantee of Rump Kernels telling me how they didn’t care that he actually built one to go with the paper. They just wanted the paper.

                                          Now, there’s institutions that do build software to go along with their papers. Usually just prototypes they throw together but it’s something at least. Some build software outside of their papers. Some of those like Racket are pretty polished. Getting into one of those institutions might allow a person to use tax dollars to write open-source software. Much smaller number of positions than academia as a whole. Some percentage might also be doing it in their spare time on top of a full day’s work as an academic, though.

                                          1. 2

                                            As a library, we get small grants for improvements as well as software, but the situation is far from ideal. We can also get our hands on EU grants, but those do require some serious administration.

                                            I have met the Racket team during their stay in Prague and I am still amazed at how good people they actually manage to fund to work on the PLT projects.

                                            I think that it should be much easier to get funding for open R&D. EU still measures improvements using the number of patents granted, though.

                                        2. 1

                                          Funny enough the post is written by an engineer who also thinks he should get paid for his work.

                                          I would like to upvote this more. Sadly, I can’t.

                                        1. 31

                                          All this talk about ethics, open, and free brings another angle to mind: people pushing that with no-cost licenses are themselves misrepresenting what they are achieving in at least U.S.. I used to push for OSS/FOSS in the past. Now I’m switching to hybrids. The reason is that encouraging people to play “give it all away” or “use low-revenue models” in a capitalist country where opponents of freedom make billions of dollars for their software shifted all the money (and therefore power) to the latter. They then paid off politicians and used pricey lawyers to win more power against OSS/FOSS in ways they couldn’t fight against without piles of money. This includes ability to patent/copyright troll users of open/free software and especially Oracle’s API ruling which jeopardizes OSS/FOSS, backwards-compatible implementations of anything that had a proprietary API.

                                          From what I see, OSS/FOSS have done great things but are a fundamentally-flawed model in a capitalist country where money wins. As many as possible need to be charging by default both to support contributors and send money/power the other way. They and FOSS-using companies that don’t depend on patent/copyright money need to pool money together to fight legal advances of patent/copyright-trolling companies that want lock-in. Otherwise, in a game where only one side is playing for keeps, the OSS/FOSS groups keep losing by default software freedoms and ability to enforce their licenses while preaching that they’re maintaining them. Seems dishonest. Also, strange I almost never read about these issues in FOSS writers articles about business model and licensing recommendations.

                                          Far as hybrids, I can’t give you the answer yet since it’s too soon. For FOSS, I’m looking at Open Core and Dual-Licensing with strongest copyleft available. For non-FOSS, Source-available from public-benefit companies and nonprofits chartered to implement most software freedoms for customers on top of free for non-commercial or under certain use. These freedoms and justifications would also be in licenses and contracts with huge penalties for non-compliance for extra layers of defense. Maybe expire into FOSS after certain time passes or revenue threshold. We need more experimentation that lets companies currently supplying or later releasing as FOSS to get millions to hundreds of millions in revenue collectively to fight this battle. Again, it’s not optional: the other side is actively fighting to remove software freedom inch by inch. And mostly winning despite FOSS organizations’ little victories.

                                          1. 5

                                            Apologies if this is a threadjack, but I’m wrestling with these kinds of questions. I’ve been doing open source more or less my whole career, and usually in some form of hybrid.

                                            Now I’m going out on my own and am searching for a model that makes sense. I like the collaboration of open source, but I also very much want to make money, and don’t want to do that with hallucinogenic business models.

                                            I’m building a game that has a music synthesizer in it as a core mechanic. What I’m building has basically 3 layers - infrastructure for building such things in Rust, the synthesizer itself (with GUI), and the game logic on top. What I’m converging on is doing the first two layers as very much community open source with permissive licenses, and the third layer as just straight up proprietary software, no pretending to be anything else. There’s stuff to fine-tune around the edges, for example somebody brought up a delayed open release of the game source, after the monetization has run its course, but I don’t want to commit to that right now because it might constrain working with a commercial publisher. If I end up self-publishing, I’ll strongly consider that though, especially if people tell me it helps motivate their contribution.

                                            1. 3

                                              I think you should flip your plans on business models around this code - the infrastructure and synthesizer are the things that could have enough value to a business that you could do well selling them. The median game does not make a profit and, as entertainment, games are a hit-driven (usually-)one-time purchase not bought based on predictable need.

                                              1. 4

                                                I’ve certainly thought about it. But here’s my thinking. First, there’s currently no business for Rust infrastructure, the community is very much organized around permissive licenses. Second, the market for synthesizers and music plugins is pretty crowded, while games in this particular genre are, as far as I can tell, underserved. Third, I think the Switch is a promising platform, and it doesn’t really do free games. Fourth, if the game is a dud but the free music tools catch on, I can always do a pro version, and I get free marketing and market research. Lastly, the game is definitely riskier, but I’m at a point where I’m ok with that; if this stuff doesn’t monetize, I just go back to a corporate job.

                                              2. 1

                                                I think it’s pretty obvious that the ‘correct’ way of doing free software games without violating the freedom of users by making anything proprietary is to make all the code free software but not make the art/music/etc. free. After all, software freedom is about software, not about art or music.

                                                People can modify the software, they can use it as they see fit, but they can’t redistribute it along with the art and music. They can either come up with their own art and music or they can redistribute it without the art and music and it’ll be useful to others that already have the game (because they already have the art and music).

                                                1. 1

                                                  Your model (bottom two free, top not) was exactly what first popped into my mind when I read the first couple of sentences of your comment, so you’re not the only one who thinks it makes sense, fwiw :-)

                                                  By the way (off-topic question), as someone who has recently bought a midi controller (MPK261) and started playing around with some of the synths that I got free (Hybrid Air, Sonivox), and has a decent mathy ability to understand any given synthesis concept, but absolutely no intuition for what changes will sound like… is your game aimed at me? :-)

                                                  1. 2

                                                    Yes, it’s made for exactly you :) I’ll put you on my list for beta testing.

                                                    1. 1

                                                      OMG that’s fantastic!

                                                  2. -1

                                                    why don’t you want to deal LSD

                                                    1. 1

                                                      Beg your pardon?

                                                      1. 3

                                                        hallucinogenic business models

                                                        1. 4

                                                          Ah, right, right. Basically I want to create value honestly and do a reasonable job of recovering revenue from the value I create, rather than playing these games that seem to increasingly substitute for that these days.

                                                          1. 1

                                                            what games are you referring to?

                                                            1. 2

                                                              Financial engineering in general, more specifically the kinds of things that startups do when they’re looking for an exit or when their purpose is to burn through VC money rather than make a business. MoviePass, Juicero, that kind of thing.

                                                              1. 1

                                                                ah okay. in reading your original comment i thought you were saying it’s hallucinogenic to think you could make a living writing free software.

                                                  3. -5

                                                    This would make sense if these ‘attacks on free software’ actually existed, but they don’t. They literally don’t exist.

                                                    Source available is a violation of user freedom. It’s unacceptable. That’s all there is to it, if you care about user freedom. If you don’t then I feel sorry for you.

                                                    FLOSS doesn’t need ‘hundreds of millions in revenue’ to fight any battle because there is no battle. I don’t know what it is, but there seems to be a recurring thread I see on forums a lot recently: everything is framed as a battle. For an unrelated example, if a game developer makes an unpopular change to their game? It’s a WAR to get them to fix it. No it isn’t. I see the term ‘culture war’ thrown around too. There’s no such thing. Not everything in life is a war or a battle.

                                                    People and groups of people that produce non-free software aren’t at war with people that do.

                                                    1. 7

                                                      “This would make sense if these ‘attacks on free software’ actually existed, but they don’t. They literally don’t exist.” “FLOSS doesn’t need ‘hundreds of millions in revenue’ to fight any battle because there is no battle.”

                                                      You missed the war on open source software by Microsoft et al… thwarted largely by IBM saying it will drop a fortune defending Linux which fits my comment… the DMCA attacks, the patent trolling (Android vendors alone pay billions), the copyright ruling from an expensive case that applies to API’s FOSS often depends on, and so on. Hell, a patent defense alone facing one of these big companies gets quoted as about $200,000 on average from expensive, law firms. You bet FOSS folks need a fortune if one of these companies wants to use a legal team to destroy them.

                                                      You really don’t see such things much, though. You wonder why if there’s a threat as I claim. They mostly ignore FOSS developers since they’re (a) free labor that the big companies are monetizing or (b) penniless opponents with weak or non-existent marketing to big spenders. For (b), the common MO is to hit companies building on the product, FOSS or not, for royalties once they’re financially successful. They parasite off them instead of destroy while using a slice of that money investing in lobbyists and courts to ensure they can continue. Alternatively, they use a combo of the lure of money with the threat of market destruction (patent or otherwise) to pressure them to sell the company. Microsoft and IBM have taken entire markets using their dominant positions, patent portfolios, and large[-for-small-player] offerings to get acquisitions. It’s rare for someone to stare at both that kind of money and corporate threat telling them to get lost. So…

                                                      “People and groups of people that produce non-free software aren’t at war with people that do.”

                                                      …the big players wanting to dominate markets, maximize profits from locked-in customers, and eliminate disruptive competition are always at war with folks producing anything that threatens that. Always. It’s never changed since they have people on top whose bonuses depend on this shit. They’ll also remember companies that were sent to non-existence or limbo from new stuff they didn’t stamp out when they had a chance. Just because you or many FOSS folks aren’t playing doesn’t mean they aren’t. They certainly are. They even have people working 24/7 on Capitol Hill to screw people over. Not just here in states: they’re represented in international, treaty negotiations as well under the I.P. agreements. And if you think copyright enforcement isn’t war or this is just U.S., just look at the nice, unarmed, law-abiding people that came after Kim Dotcom over U.S.-generated complaints. Those situations illustrates the heights things can go to when it matters to those in power. Better to be the ones with power.

                                                      1. -5

                                                        You missed the war on open source software by Microsoft et al…

                                                        Yes, we get it. This happened. A long time ago, now, but it happened. Okay, move on. It’s no longer relevant. The corporate world has long since embraced free software.

                                                        the DMCA attacks, the patent trolling (Android vendors alone pay billions), the copyright ruling from an expensive case that applies to API’s FOSS often depends on, and so on.

                                                        Patent trolling is something very specific. All companies that own patents and enforce them are not automatically patent trolls.

                                                        Also patent trolls target companies that produce proprietary software just as much as they target companies that produce free software. It has nothing to do with free or proprietary software. They target both, because they target software in general.

                                                        …the big players wanting to dominate markets, maximize profits from locked-in customers, and eliminate disruptive competition are always at war with folks producing anything that threatens that.

                                                        No they aren’t.

                                                        just look at the nice, unarmed, law-abiding people that came after Kim Dotcom

                                                        If you think Kim Dotcom was law-abiding you have another thing coming mate.

                                                        1. 7

                                                          You are very wrong.

                                                          I am trying to bring some more floss to the public sector and the resistance from the entrenched vendors is a thing.

                                                          Straight up bribes are manageable, but lobbying and regulatory capture is the true evil. We actually need floss lobbyists of our own.

                                                          1. 6

                                                            You are twisting @nickpsecurity’s words and I do not understand why you are doing this.

                                                            1. 1

                                                              No I am not.

                                                        2. 3

                                                          You’re right that there isn’t a war as such, but there is definitely a certain kind of dynamic. I think @nickpsecurity is also pointing out (quite correctly) the wider implications of the wealth concentration resulting from the free work that goes into producing free software.

                                                          One of the issues is that the companies that use free software don’t always comply with the terms of the licence. There are many examples:

                                                          The problems are obvious unless you stick to a very narrow and dogmatic view. Consequences matter. Just like the ill-considered, short-sighted, damn-the-consequences technological “disruption”, free software is an idea that produced a lot of unintended side effects (and in fact, contributed to the aforementioned “disruption”).

                                                      1. 3

                                                        anybody on the local network can send you a packet and take control of your computer

                                                        Unrelated to parsing, but does it actually enable DHCPv6 by default? Why? Because Windows does that for some reason? Every non-Windows device that ever connected to my home network only used SLAAC.

                                                        Back to parsing… is there a good byte/bit oriented / “binary format friendly” parser generator for C? Like Rust’s amazing nom?

                                                        1. 4

                                                          Yes. It’s in the original bug report. systems enables DHCPv6 if it sees the right broadcast packets. Even better, if your exploit crashes the network daemon, systems will restart it for you to try again.

                                                          1. 4

                                                            Back to parsing… is there a good byte/bit oriented / “binary format friendly” parser generator for C?

                                                            You’ll need C++, but: Kaitai Struct (https://kaitai.io)

                                                            1. 0

                                                              Why not use Rust? There is no reason for DHCP client to be written in C.

                                                              Edit: thanks for replies.

                                                              1. 10

                                                                Probably because Rust wasn’t even stable yet when they started this functionality, let alone systemd?

                                                                Of course, it’s not like there were no other memory-safe languages ;).

                                                                1. 7

                                                                  portability?

                                                                  1. 7

                                                                    There is no reason for DHCP client to be written in C.

                                                                    Hold up, there are plenty of reasons that embedded systems are written in C. Just because a tool that has complete memory safety guarantees exists doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s a fit for every system.

                                                                    I agree, network parsing code should probably be written in safe languages, but C is a tool as much as Rust. It’s all about using the right tools for your job.

                                                                    1. 5

                                                                      Why was C and not rust the right tool for this job? Memory-safety bugs like the kind this post is about are exactly the thing that C makes it easy to do and Rust makes it very hard to do.

                                                                      1. 10

                                                                        I agree, network parsing code should probably be written in safe languages

                                                                        Read the whole comment, please. This is a decision that depends on the system in question, desired maturity of tools, and who’s going to work on it in the future, at a minimum. Hell, Java might solve this problem (specifically, fulfilling the same safety guarantees) if your system is running a JVM or Java Card. People treat Rust like it’s the only sane choice other than C. It’s really not, and if you don’t have Rust or a nicer tool available to turn to, what else are you going to use other than C?

                                                                    2. 4

                                                                      This kind of response would be useful if accompanied even by code snippets showing how you could do the same thing, better, in Rust.

                                                                  1. 5

                                                                    Betteridge’s law of headlines strikes again.

                                                                    (you can’t steal intellectual property)

                                                                    1. 2

                                                                      “trade-secret theft”

                                                                      1. 1

                                                                        Clicked just to type this. Thanks for doing it for me. :-)

                                                                        1. 1

                                                                          I think the article makes it clear that answer is more of a “maybe” than a “no”

                                                                          1. 0

                                                                            It is literally impossible to steal “intellectual property”, because stealing implies that you’ve depriving the original owner of possession.

                                                                            1. 2

                                                                              Stealing is applied to anything where you deprive the original owner of enjoyment. In the case of intellectual property you are depriving the original owner of royalties or market advantage both of which can be estimated. Damages based on future potential is applied commonly in law, for example as when a person or their family is awarded damages for injury or death based on future earnings potential.

                                                                        1. 5
                                                                          • A period prediction tool using standard linux utilities
                                                                          • Investigating two bugs on Alpine Linux
                                                                          • Regular maintenance work as usual

                                                                          IRL i got socialist literature from my grandparents a while ago, and now hope to find time to read some of the books.

                                                                          1. 2

                                                                            hello, I am a beginner in os dev. and i wanted to contribute to alpine linux. should i start by trying to fix bugs or should i install it and playground with it initially.

                                                                            1. 2

                                                                              My involvement with alpine boils down that i’m using it as desktop system and for production servers, and if i find bugs or things that annoy me, i try to work out fixes. Also writing documentation. Rather boring work actually, but afterwards people are glad somebody did it.

                                                                            2. 2

                                                                              IRL i got socialist literature from my grandparents a while ago, and now hope to find time to read some of the books.

                                                                              That’s not something you see on a regular basis.

                                                                              1. 2

                                                                                Yeah, one would usually use AFK. IRL makes it sound like the Internet is outside of reality or something.

                                                                                I hope to find some time to read a little as well. Young Marx is quite fun.

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                                                                              I absolutely do not want to be seen as being in the same camp as the low-life scum on the internet that think it’s OK to be a white nationalist Nazi, and have some truly nasty misogynistic, homophobic or transphobic behaviour. […] And those people were […] making [me] look bad.

                                                                              Makes sense.

                                                                              I’m anti-CoC in principle but pro-CoC in practice. Why? Because of those “truly nasty” folks. I’m pro-meritocracy–in principle! But, the word is just a dog whistle now. I am truly tired of randos on the street trying to explain to me why the internet is terrible. Is this famous person publicly distancing himself from them going to help?

                                                                              1. 17

                                                                                I’m pro-meritocracy in principle too, but I think the belief that an organization is meritocratic can and is used to justify a lot of ugly behaviors. Better to have meritocracy as an ideal and work towards it than ever claim to actually be, because it leaves room cognitively to recognize and correct when it’s not true.

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                                                                                  Meritocracy is not a fucking dogwhistle. I know I’ll get down voted for saying ‘fuck’ but it’s worth it. The emphasis is worth it. What you said is complete and utter nonsense.

                                                                                  Meritocracy is a great thing. The people calling it a dog whistle are the sort of people that get funded by outreach programmes to add ‘const’ to a hundred lines of code in the linux kernel and call themselves kernel developers then get offended when people suggest that’s not very good use of money. The people calling it a dog whistle are incompetent people and people that listen to incompetent people.

                                                                                  A ‘meritocratic’ country inevitably results in a country that lets poor people die on the street. But a free software project is not a country. The free software community is not responsible for providing a social safety net. Meritocracy - the idea that the people that run things and make decisions should be those with technical merit - is the only way free software works.

                                                                                  I’ve been part of open source projects run by non-technical people that picked and chose leaders and decision makers based on how much they were liked and how long they had been around and how active they were on IRC. It’s a broken model. If you’re interested in free and open source software projects in the sense that you want to actually see them develop the software ever, meritocracy is code for ‘get on with writing code and leave the politics for the voting booth’.

                                                                                  1. 14

                                                                                    Wikipedia’s Criticism of meritocracy section is a good overview of why a true meritocracy is difficult or impossible—but I don’t think you’re actually arguing for meritocracy here. It seems like your main point is that (at least in volunteer efforts like Free Software projects) work should be allocated to the people best able to perform that work, otherwise nothing will get done. That seems like a reasonable approach, and I’ve sometimes heard this described as a do-ocracy, where things get done by the people with the skill, motive and opportunity to do them.

                                                                                    I don’t think it’s strictly-speaking a meritocracy, though, since getting something done requires motive and opportunity as well as skill. Maybe the person with the most skill doesn’t have the opportunity, or they’re just interested in other things at the moment and don’t have the motive. Maybe a particular achievement requires a variety of skills, and the person who gets something done has many weak skills, even though there are many people who are much stronger in any individual skill. I’d be willing to believe that in Free Software projects, the people who get the most done are not the most technically skilled, making them the opposite of a meritocracy.

                                                                                    1. 4

                                                                                      That wikipedia articles goes through multiple definitions of meritocracy – but the first one you come into contact with reads

                                                                                      … should be vested in individuals on the basis of talent, effort, and achievement, rather than factors such as sexuality, race, gender, or wealth.

                                                                                      Talent, effort, AND achievement, which is what I think most people resonate with when they see the word meritocracy. Achievement is the doing of tasks, it takes effort and talent. I never considered a meritocracy to be based solely on skill.

                                                                                      I’ve sometimes heard this described as a do-ocracy, where things get done by the people with the skill, motive and opportunity to do them

                                                                                      Whom, I would think in the context of the project would be those who merit praise and control? I guess it is a question of order to some degree – do you get assigned something due to your merit, or do you get merit based on what you have done? I suspect many people think in terms of the latter not the former.

                                                                                      Maybe the person with the most skill doesn’t have the opportunity, …

                                                                                      Is this going with the definition that merit is only skill (talent) and ignoring effort and achievement? Akin to the referenced “1956 A. Fox in Socialist Comm. May 13/1 The ‘meritocracy’; the society in which the gifted, the smart, the energetic, the ambitious and the ruthless are carefully sifted out and helped towards their destined positions of dominance.”?

                                                                                      I think in open-source, merit in terms of control tends to follow activity, not the reverse. Additionally, if anyone is trying to help people towards their destined positions of dominance – wouldn’t that be people trying to promote certain classes of people?

                                                                                      1. 2

                                                                                        I guess it is a question of order to some degree – do you get assigned something due to your merit, or do you get merit based on what you have done? I suspect many people think in terms of the latter not the former.

                                                                                        In a system where you don’t get authority due to your merit, that’s not really a “merit-ocracy”, is it? The name for “you get merit based on what you have done” is just “remuneration”.

                                                                                        A better model would be a cycle: you attempt a small thing, you earn merit (by your demonstrated effort and achievement) and you get to attempt a bigger thing to earn more merit. But everybody (by definition) starts out with zero demonstrated effort and zero achievement, so a meritocracy needs to be bootstrapped with some other principle.

                                                                                        Since (in a meritocracy) you need merit to earn merit, merit is an inflationary cycle, and a small initial advantage can become a huge long-term advantage. Whatever principle is used to bootstrap the meritocracy can therefore have a greater effect on society than the meritocratic principle, even over the long term. And if “merit” isn’t the most relevant attribute, it seems misleading to describe the result as “meritocracy”.

                                                                                        1. 1

                                                                                          “But everybody (by definition) starts out with zero demonstrated effort and zero achievement, so a meritocracy needs to be bootstrapped with some other principle.”

                                                                                          I don’t think that’s true with code. You get merit when you write useful code in a meritocratic system. You did it here, there, wherever, and you’re a coder now. The more output or impressive designs, the more merit.

                                                                                          I don’t think a bootstrapping phase is needed if it’s really a meritocracy. It might be if it’s not. ;)

                                                                                          1. 2

                                                                                            My point is, you can’t have a true meritocracy where great merit is built on lesser merit, like great turtles stacked on lesser turtles, because eventually the turtles have to be stacked on something. You seem to be saying that one project can start stacking its turtles on some other project’s turtle stack, which while true, doesn’t invalidate my point.

                                                                                            Once you get to the point that you’re comfortable writing code and putting it online for the world to see, congratulations, you’ve gotten past the bootstrap principle and hopefully you can operate by the meritocratic principle from then on. But that doesn’t mean that the bootstrap principle doesn’t exist, or that it has anything to do with merit.

                                                                                            1. 1

                                                                                              That makes sense.

                                                                                      2. 3

                                                                                        This resonates with me a lot. I suggest reading the Walkaway from Cory Doctorow to anyone interested as it elaborates on the difference between just doing and a meritocracy in one of the earlier chapters.

                                                                                        I believe that empowering as many people as possible to contribute in a useful way is better than making it possible for a few competent ones to order the rest around. And by empowering I mean providing processes, tools and communications accessible to anyone willing to volunteer their time.

                                                                                      3. 9

                                                                                        people that get funded by outreach programmes to add ‘const’ to a hundred lines of code in the linux kernel and call themselves kernel developers then get offended when people suggest that’s not very good use of money

                                                                                        Did that actually happen?

                                                                                        1. 1

                                                                                          X, age 22, of India, has had more than 340 patches accepted into the Linux kernel – an accomplishment that contributed in no small part to her receiving one of two Linux Kernel Guru scholarships from The Linux Foundation.

                                                                                          X served as an Outreachy intern earlier this year, focused on the Linux kernel, where she worked on securing the kernel from surface attacks by making the kernel structures read-only.

                                                                                          Name changed to avoid any suggestion I’m trying to publicly shame her or anything like that. But yes, it did actually happen.

                                                                                          1. 4

                                                                                            served as an Outreachy intern earlier this year, focused on the Linux kernel, where she worked on securing the kernel from surface attacks by making the kernel structures read-only.

                                                                                            I looked at the kernel change log. That’s not a trivial project at all. The modifications are simple, but it required reading a lot of kernel code to see what could be done and it looks entirely useful. Pretty good for an intern project.

                                                                                          2. 1

                                                                                            To me, it’s much more common to see libertarian theorists who glomm on to others work, hustle funding from not too sharp corporate programs, and portray themselves as superheros.

                                                                                            1. 0

                                                                                              Of course not. It’s a routine strategy of CoC opponents to invent fantasy grievances and use slippery slope arguments in order to excuse, ignore, or detract from the real challenges a CoC is trying to address.

                                                                                              1. 4

                                                                                                I really wish they’d knock that off if they’re doing it. It’s much easier to link to the real actions of the person, Ehmke, who wrote Contributor Covenant and pushed for CoC’s. She wrote it specifically to do things like that. In there, she’s slamming a maintainer and project pushing them to reinforce her beliefs and practices about how the project should be run… because that’s what the CoC is designed to do. Not just make people be nice, not total assholes, or whatever. In that example, they did the following:

                                                                                                1. Show their belief that a person expressing different, political views in any medium is to be ejected from all mediums these people wield influence on, including their own software project.

                                                                                                2. They demand a key contributor of the project that its survival might depend on be ejected with nothing in return. They expect everyone they target like this to comply regardless of the cost. The maintainer challenges them to pick up their slack contributing to the project. They show no intent to give anything in return for what they demand.

                                                                                                3. They hit it hard all at once as a crowd ganging up on their targets, relentless, and increasing aggression as time goes on. Imagine a crowd showing up at your door unannounced yelling insults at you telling you all the changes you’ll make in your social circle or hobbies to comply with their beliefs. They want you to tolerate and comply with that situation. Depending on the location, such people would get told to get lost, be arrested, or get shot by homeowner. These people writing and pushing the CoC think it’s mandatory to do it and other accept it.

                                                                                                4. The CoC pushers show true colors when insinuating the maintainer supports child rapists. Started with a poisoned question followed by some shaming. When I saw that, I dismissed them now and forever if they stay on same path since that’s so low it’s sickening to watch. Not to mention trivializes horrible thing. Even most sophist debaters won’t connect opponents to child rapists. These people are both ideological and “win at all costs” in a way worth stopping fast.

                                                                                                5. Toward the end, they get into the insults and stuff showing they don’t care about offense, inclusion, etc so long as opponents have different political philosophy. They talk of burning bridges but to who.

                                                                                                They’re usually a lot sneakier so that people can say what you just said. In that case, they went full on thinking so many people were like them and they were so much better that their plan would work with no problems. Maintainer was expecting an attempt like this, stayed in constant No mode without fighting them, and that strategy outed them better than any other. This behavior, not being transgender or trying to make peaceful communities, is why Ehmke takes so much shit from people on the net, in Github, etc. It’s also why a tool designed for such political attacks and subversion, the Contributor Covenenant CoC, should never be adopted by diverse projects if there’s even a chance such people will be enforcing it or have significant sway. I added diverse since their beliefs seem uncommon to both majority and (in my area) minority members. Latter may or may not be true in other locales, but these people don’t care.

                                                                                                People should know their goal is to silence and eject everyone that disagrees with them even on their own Twitter account speaking personal opinion. They say they do this to prevent offense and be inclusive. Yet, they’re willing to maximize offense and exclusiveness to anyone that disagrees with them saying the end justifies the means. Even minority members disagreeing are suppressed as deluded by people with such politics. So, going with them is supporting a radical version of leftist politics willing to censor everyone from liberals to conservatives that don’t agree with them, even if otherwise civil. That’s unacceptable for an inclusive, democratic, and/or meritocratic project.

                                                                                                And to people that think it’s inherently necessary: we disprove the theory of people like Ehmke here on Lobsters regularly with better moderation. There’s rarely bans. The group-oriented censorship that exists is mostly collapsed comments that still allows exploration of unpopular views. The moderators that disagree tolerate it if the person is still civil. The people that disagree a lot sometimes still are helpful to each other. So surprising if the theory is we can’t have a diverse, productive, and enjoyable community without CoC’s and moderators strictly enforcing radical, leftist politics.

                                                                                                1. 2

                                                                                                  I was actually about to respond to your points, when I realized how deftly you had deflected away from mine, first by pretending to agree, then by denying [“if they’re doing it”—as if it hadn’t been right there in the grandparent post], and finally pivoting to another topic altogether. Specifically, no one claimed that CoC proponents have never acted in bad faith.

                                                                                                  So I won’t engage with that. Nice try though!

                                                                                                  1. 3

                                                                                                    I said the main CoC author and proponent designed it based on her group’s faith, used it to enforce that in many cases, forced others to adopt it with vicious tactics, and continues lie in various articles about its purpose and where the resistance is coming from.

                                                                                                    There’s no try from me so much as showing the CoC inventor using the CoC to do what it’s designed to do with her scheming more visible. Especially that it’s quite different goals and results versus what she tells many projects and companies about when pushing its adoption. That difference is important.

                                                                                                    1. 1

                                                                                                      Great! Go tell it on the mountain! Or the moon for all I care.

                                                                                                      1. 2

                                                                                                        “We are concerned about racist/sexist/immoral behavior in your project/company.”

                                                                                                        “Great! Go tell it on the mountain! Or the moon for all I care.”

                                                                                                        Still accomplishes same thing. Would you want you’re political opposites running projects to stick to those kind of replies?

                                                                                                    2. 3

                                                                                                      Refusing to engage with someone because they didn’t either completely disagree with you or completely agree with you is arguing in bad faith. I have downvoted you and marked you as a troll. I think it’s bad form to downvote without giving an explanation so that’s why I’m giving you one.

                                                                                                      1. 2

                                                                                                        Hi, I upvoted you because who gives a shit and I’m still not going to engage with nick

                                                                                                    3. 1

                                                                                                      All human projects are rift by politics, ambition, honest and dishonest differences of opinion, mistakes, anger, and all those other messy human qualities. Get used to it.

                                                                                                      1. 1

                                                                                                        In another comment, you expressed skepticism about some conspiracy by people to push their agenda with CoC’s. You talked like they’re a neutral tool designed just to get rid of bad behavior we’d all agree on. Many of you either buy into that disinformation or spread it. So, I linked to example of author using her work to do exactly the things people worried about that you dismissed as hypothetical.

                                                                                                        Oh I know people have political differences and it gets messy. Im one of a few people defending our right to on the forum. Then, there’s sneaky, political activists that tell a pile of lies about their goals, try to force their politics on others, and (surprise) pretend they are victims and/or werent doing anything at all when people resist that. Im shining the light on those scheming, lying pricks.

                                                                                                        In case you didnt know, exposing the lies of political aggressors is part of accepting and operating in a world of politics, their ambitions, and their dishonest differences of opinion.

                                                                                                        1. 3

                                                                                                          I have never suggested or argued that human beings are free of bad motives or agendas. But I’m trying to point out that these CoC’s are not being applied to previously angelic communities of disinterested technical enthusiasts - but rather to standard human groups that are already political, influenced by money, full of people who are prejudiced and motivated by all sorts of not necessarily great ideas. I was an early participant in Linux. I heard open racism and sexism plus a lot of corporate bullshit and worse. It was not shocking

                                                                                                          1. 1

                                                                                                            That’s a fair point. I’d still oppose them without modification but they would have new form. Trading one type of politics and risk for another which may be better.

                                                                                                    4. 2

                                                                                                      Of course not.

                                                                                                      Well it did actually literally happen. Would you like to apologise to calling me a liar?

                                                                                                      I’d suggest that if anyone is ‘inventing fantasy grievances’ it’s the people that come up with policies like Netflix’s new ‘you may not look at any coworker for more than 5 seconds at a time’ policy. The ‘real challenges’ a code of conduct is trying to address don’t exist. Having rules is one thing. Online communities have always had rules. Nobody has a problem with having rules. What people have a problem with is codes of conduct, because ‘code of conduct’ means ‘Americanised overly-political unnecessary rules’.

                                                                                                      1. 2

                                                                                                        “Her goal is to become a full time kernel engineer after completing this current project.” [emphasis added]

                                                                                                        Now did you accurately represent that part in your comment? Or did you willfully omit or misrepresent that part?

                                                                                                  2. 8

                                                                                                    I think you had already in mind what you wanted to say before reading what @sebboh wrote and went ahead.

                                                                                                    He is not against any of those just how the words are just thrown around.

                                                                                                    It’s like one being clearly against being a douche to others but still not liking how certain pro-CoC people are behaving.

                                                                                                    1. 7

                                                                                                      “It’s like one being clearly against being a douche to others but still not liking how certain pro-CoC people are behaving.”

                                                                                                      Describes me pretty well. Keep it civil but tolerate differences.

                                                                                                    2. 12

                                                                                                      What part of “I’m anti-CoC and pro-meritocracy” did you miss, milesrout?

                                                                                                      I presume you’re mad at someone else and you’ve simply misidentified me as them. I forgive this. It’s been a long and maddening war; we’re all stressed.

                                                                                                      Now please sit out while somebody answers my question. Will this instance of a famous ubergeek publicly distancing himself from those truly hateful folks do anything to help end the war? Can we yet move beyond Red vs. Blue? If not, what will it take?

                                                                                                      UPDATE: Sorry, I hit ‘post’ too soon. I meant to also say that the word meritocracy is being used as a dog whistle “now”. As in, ever since this current Linus news item and the response. “Used as”. I didn’t start it, I’m just reporting what I see.

                                                                                                      1. 5

                                                                                                        I don’t think meritocracy is used as a dog whistle by anyone though. That’s kind of my point.

                                                                                                        Sorry that my post was a bit aggressive. This whole CoC stuff just aggravates the crap out of me.

                                                                                                        1. 8

                                                                                                          This whole CoC stuff just aggravates the crap out of me.

                                                                                                          In all seriousness: why?

                                                                                                          1. 12

                                                                                                            Of course it is used as a dogwhistle. People have been using meritocracy or similar to justify privilege since the first cavepeople started killing each other. It’s super common for people who have unearned privileges, often unjust privileges, to angrily insist that they got what they have through hard work, God’s will, superior morals or intellect, better heredity, racial superiority (or inferiority of the unfortunate other people) or anything at all. It doesn’t matter whether you are justifying the English ruling class in 1100AD, or google programmers last week, or Tsutsis or Serbians or whaever - it’s all a shoddy bullshit effort to justify the unjustifiable.

                                                                                                            1. 3

                                                                                                              In your definition of meritocracy is it about innate ability, or is it about demonstrated skill/value?

                                                                                                              My point being, someone of privilege might have the ability to spend all their time learning, lets say polo. They become the worlds best polo player. Another human, who through the genetic and birthplace lottery is the theoretical best polo player ever but due to circumstances of birth never even sees a horse.

                                                                                                              The privileged person is the demonstrated in real life best polo player, they have actually done it. The other person while having more raw ability through the genetic lottery did not accomplish anything (in terms of polo). Is this a failure of a meritocracy, should it somehow have found the person with the most potential? Is this person who gets praise as being “the best polo player” unjustified?

                                                                                                              1. 4

                                                                                                                You can have merit (e.g. acquired through skill and work) and also have unearned privilege. This is not a binary. However, if you are a really excellent, meritorious, polo player thanks to some combination of your skills and your parent’s wealth, you should try not to whine about how you are being discriminated against if the polo league invests in adding training opportunities for less well to do people.

                                                                                                                1. 2

                                                                                                                  The implication from your response is that you think the merit is based on accomplishment, not potential. I don’t intend to misrepresent you, is that correct? Because if you believe it is accomplishments that create merit, then wouldn’t it follow that regardless of privilege those who accomplish the most merit the most acclaim, money, etc?

                                                                                                                  You could say most athletes at the top level are genetically privileged, they have a natural top level that exceeds that average person due to simple physics. They would likely claim they came to the top of their sport via a meritocracy, they were simply better than others, would you disagree with them?

                                                                                                                  You could easily extend this to wealth, a person with the best coaches and training might have an advantage beyond their genetics over another human being in terms of sport $X. They demonstrated the ability to win, they did so against other competitors – did they rise through a meritocracy?

                                                                                                                  1. 3

                                                                                                                    You’re oversimplifying to avoid the mess. If law/custom prevents women from becoming mathematicians, and you are a man who is one of the top mathematicians of your era, your accomplishments are a mixture of work/ability and privilege. You can’t claim to have risen to the top of the field on your own hard work/smarts, when half the population is prevented from competing. Your field cannot be fairly called a meritocracy. When orchestras started doing blind auditions, they discovered that they had not been, as they presumed, promoting on merit alone.

                                                                                                                    1. 3

                                                                                                                      I am not oversimplifying to avoid the mess, I am trying to reach understanding. We generally try to reach understanding via simplification down to root principals.

                                                                                                                      So by your definition of meritocracy – a field can only be a meritocracy if it has 100% of the population able to participate? Basically 100% EoO (Equality of Opportunity). It would follow then that you believe meritocracies do not exist – as that has never occurred, nor do I think it is likely to ever occur.

                                                                                                                      It seems to me that your point is more forceful and clear if you simply start from “meritocracies don’t exist” – they aren’t a dog-whistle, they are a straight up lie. Anyone referencing them is lying to further their own interests, or defend their status.

                                                                                                                      1. 3

                                                                                                                        I’d generally agree with the claim that “meritocracy cannot exist”; messy real-world issues mean that it can only be approximated.

                                                                                                                        I’d go further, and say that calling something a meritocracy is an attempt to pretend that those messy real-world issues are not at play.

                                                                                                                        1. 3

                                                                                                                          And I would say that is both clear and fairly compelling. I think calling it a dog-whistle is a disservice to that argument.

                                                                                                                          1. 3

                                                                                                                            I remember back in the late ’90s when Ira Katznelson, an eminent political scientist at Columbia, came to deliver a guest lecture to an economic philosophy class I was taking. It was a great lecture, made more so by the fact that the class was only about ten or twelve students and we got got ask all kinds of questions and got a lot of great, provocative answers. Anyhow, Prof. Katznelson described a lunch he had with Irving Kristol back either during the first Bush administration. The talk turned to William Kristol, then Dan Quayle’s chief of staff, and how he got his start in politics. Irving recalled how he talked to his friend Harvey Mansfield at Harvard, who secured William a place there as both an undergrad and graduate student; how he talked to Pat Moynihan, then Nixon’s domestic policy adviser, and got William an internship at The White House; how he talked to friends at the RNC and secured a job for William after he got his Harvard Ph.D.; and how he arranged with still more friends for William to teach at UPenn and the Kennedy School of Government. With that, Prof. Katznelson recalled, he then asked Irving what he thought of affirmative action. “I oppose it”, Irving replied. “It subverts meritocracy.”

                                                                                                                            Attributed to Harry Hopkins.

                                                                                                                          2. 1

                                                                                                                            You can say it can only be approximated about the goals of common alternatives to meritocracy as well. They’re all models we might strive for which will have failures or exceptions.

                                                                                                                            The model did have successes, though, like we saw with blind auditions. That’s a performance-focused technique that ignores people’s differences entirely. That’s what got more women promoted in Navy. Gapjumpers also claimed success with that model.

                                                                                                                            So, meritocracy seems like it can work if it’s blind to our differences. It’s the conscious/unconscious biases that seem to screw everything up.

                                                                                                                            1. 2

                                                                                                                              I agree that creating (or moving towards) a blind meritocracy is generally going to lead to better outcomes. It’s the claim that a group has already arrived there which I object to.

                                                                                                                              The pro-affirmative-action crowd argue that its not possible to get blind enough, so we need active counter-steering. That’s where I think principled debate is possible.

                                                                                                                              1. 1

                                                                                                                                Another great counterpoint. :)

                                                                                                              2. 3

                                                                                                                Me too and me too. Gah. I was still thinking about this thread after I signed out and I quickly realized that ‘dog whistle’ is certainly not a good term to describe what I observed… Sorry about that!

                                                                                                                A dog whistle is, for example, when somebody is speaking to a group of people and they use a phrase that carries extra meaning for a subset of the group and the speaker does it deliberately to “get away with” saying something they aren’t willing to say outright.

                                                                                                                What I see happening with the Linus-takes-a-break conversation is: folks picking up the thread and twisting it around so that it looks as if the pro-CoC crowd has committed some heinous manipulation. But that is not what Linus said happened. In fact, he said “I absolutely do not want to be seen as being in the same camp as the low-life scum […]”. Oh, ‘spin’?

                                                                                                                Ok, so I should have said: I’m pro-meritocracy–in principle! But, the idea is being subjected to PR-style ‘spin’ now, as if to force good people to choose between adopting a CoC and opposing meritocracy. Damn the heathens who have constructed this probably false dichotomy!

                                                                                                            2. 11

                                                                                                              Meritocracy is not a fucking dogwhistle.

                                                                                                              It may interest you to know that the term “meritocracy” was invented to be precisely that: a signal that the speaker falsely believes their position of power to be justly earned, as opposed to the product of social stratification: https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2001/jun/29/comment

                                                                                                              1. 2

                                                                                                                To be fair – words once unleashed are defined by society and not the original authors. I am not sure the average person thinks of meritocracy in terms of what it was coined to mean. Lump it in with hacker, awful, literally, girl, and tons of other words that have completely changed meaning over the years.

                                                                                                                Possibly “meritocracy” is a poor word to be used if two people will sincerely read it exceptionally differently.

                                                                                                                1. 1

                                                                                                                  The original definition of racism was a practice done to Native Americans that most minority members have never experienced. Do you think they similarly should stop redefining the word when saying they were victims of racism? Or are terms allowed to evolve?

                                                                                                                2. 5

                                                                                                                  I’m pretty sure you’re allowed to drop f-bombs on Lobsters.

                                                                                                                  1. 22

                                                                                                                    You’re also allowed to say fuck.

                                                                                                                  2. 8

                                                                                                                    The word “dogwhistle” is a dogwhistle. It’s the magical sauce you sprinkle on somebody else’s words when you want to pretend they mean the most awful thing you can imagine, rather than what they actually said.

                                                                                                                    1. 2

                                                                                                                      People who are making really vile arguments often try to disguise them and then they and others will argue that as long as you don’t openly advocate something terrible, you are not.

                                                                                                                      1. 1

                                                                                                                        Now that you mention it, the radical Leftists do the same thing. Their real, vile argument is all people should be forced to conform to their narrow views by any means necessary and in perpetuity. Then, they try to disguise it when pushing CoC’s by talking about goals and offenses nobody would disagree with.

                                                                                                                        The bad folks in very different groups are a lot alike as usual.

                                                                                                                1. 4

                                                                                                                  Read the parent post and stop feeding the trolls, please.

                                                                                                                  1. 3

                                                                                                                    https://juliareda.eu/2018/09/ep-endorses-upload-filters/

                                                                                                                    Hmm, I think this actually makes it mandatory for Wikipedia to install an upload filter.

                                                                                                                    1. 13

                                                                                                                      There is actually an exception for websites like Wikipedia in this version of the directive:

                                                                                                                      “online content sharing service provider’ means a provider of an information society service one of the main purposes of which is to store and give access to the public to copyright protected works or other protected subject-matter uploaded by its users, which the service optimises. Services acting in a non-commercial purpose capacity such as online encyclopaedia, and providers of online services where the content is uploaded with the authorisation of all rightholders concerned, such as educational or scientific repositories, should not be considered online content sharing service providers within the meaning of this Directive. Providers of cloud services for individual use which do not provide direct access to the public, open source software developing platforms, and online market places whose main activity is online retail of physical goods, should not be considered online content sharing service providers within the meaning of this Directive;

                                                                                                                      (Emphasis mine)

                                                                                                                      1. 4

                                                                                                                        Reda says Voss misrepresents the true scope of the upload filtering obligation and at no point does the definition exclude platforms that don’t make money off their users’ sharing of copyrighted content. She concedes that “completely non-commercial platforms” are excluded, but points out that experience has shown that even a call for donations or the use of an advertising banner can be considered commercial activity.

                                                                                                                        (Emphasis mine, https://thenextweb.com/eu/2018/06/19/the-eus-disastrous-copyright-reform-explained/)

                                                                                                                        Also, I am not sure that this is the exact wording that has passed. I am, to be honest, not well-versed in the EU legislative procedure.

                                                                                                                        1. 2

                                                                                                                          does an american organization have to care about exceptions in stupid european laws?

                                                                                                                          1. 16

                                                                                                                            does an american organization have to care about exceptions in stupid european laws?

                                                                                                                            They only do if they have enough presence in a European country willing to enforce those laws that they could be hurt in court.

                                                                                                                            If a company has no presence in any EU country, it can ignore those laws just like it ignores the laws against insulting the Thai king and laws against telling the truth about the Tienanmen Square Massacre.

                                                                                                                            1. 3

                                                                                                                              Untill some European countries order their ISP’s to block all traffic towards those companies.

                                                                                                                              This has already happened with major torrent sites like ThePirateBay,org, which serves up this page to everyone in The Netherlands with this ISP (and they are quite activistic about providing everyone unrestricted access to the entire internet). Take note that other European countries have ordered similar filters and take-downs onto their ISP’s and those are being actively being enforced.

                                                                                                                              1. 1

                                                                                                                                Untill some European countries order their ISP’s to block all traffic towards those companies.

                                                                                                                                Again, that only hurts the company in proportion to how much of their business was coming out of the EU to begin with.

                                                                                                                                It also isn’t forcing them to abide by the law of any EU member state, any more than West Germany was forced to abide by East German law when the Berlin Wall was up and East Germans were barred from going to West Germany.

                                                                                                                                1. 1

                                                                                                                                  Again, that only hurts the company in proportion to how much of their business was coming out of the EU to begin with.

                                                                                                                                  True, but since most major content-platforms in Europe are American companies, I doubt they’d get away with ignoring these laws. Nor do I think that they’d like to give up a market of about 510 Million people. Note that the United States is a market of only 325 Million people. So in terms of numbers, you have to care if you intend to grow beyond the United States, Canada and Mexico somewhere in the near future. You also have to keep in mind that Europe is a lot closer to the United states than you might think.

                                                                                                                                  It also isn’t forcing them to abide by the law of any EU member state, any more than West Germany was forced to abide by East German law when the Berlin Wall was up and East Germans were barred from going to West Germany.

                                                                                                                                  Actually, that isn’t true at all. West Germany still had West-Berlin and had to maintain supply lines to that part of Berlin through East-German (DDR) territory. Because of this, there were a bunch of DDR-laws they had to abide by, despite of being separate countries. A scenario like this, might also happen to US-companies as well.

                                                                                                                            2. 6

                                                                                                                              It’s going to be interesting for US firms that use e.g. the Dutch sandwich to avoid US taxes.

                                                                                                                        1. 11

                                                                                                                          The idea to map the heap inside the process address space multiple times instead of zeroing some pointer bits on every access is rather cool.

                                                                                                                          1. 13

                                                                                                                            Gmail casually puts all my email to spam, despite having SPF and DKIM and owning the IP address for almost 3 years now.

                                                                                                                            There is no way to fix that. Whenever I try their tools, it seems that I’d need to become a bulk sender first.

                                                                                                                            1. 3

                                                                                                                              I noticed this years ago and wrote a post about it:

                                                                                                                              https://penguindreams.org/blog/how-google-and-microsoft-made-email-unreliable/

                                                                                                                              Both Google and Microsoft require you to send a lot of e-mail from one address for it to get white listed. It’s really quite bizarre. I even moved my e-mail server recently to OpenBSD on a Vultr node. They don’t allow SMTP by default and I had to request the block be removed from my account. So in theory I shouldn’t be on any SMTP-noisy subnets.

                                                                                                                              Outbound e-mail still ends up in spam for some of my Microsoft accounts (but not all of them). I don’t get it. They really have imposed a huge barrier to reliable e-mail.

                                                                                                                              1. 2

                                                                                                                                I gave up trying to fight. Google doesn’t work in China, and their hosted crap was the same price as Microsoft’s but MS gives you full Office access, so I went with Office 365. They have a feature in which you can have them front a domain, but then send all the messages to a SMTP server. Just as you can relay mail through them as a smart host.

                                                                                                                                Doing this I can still run my own email server, and kind of pretend to be self hosting, but at least people get my email now, as it’s been sent from MS instead of being sent by me. Of course this means that for so many people who try to self host their email it gets flagged as spam. It’s amazing how anti-competitive open things like email are.

                                                                                                                                1. 1

                                                                                                                                  Gmail casually puts a small amount of my emails in spam but lets the rest through. All my emails are pretty much the same plain text emails to people who have usually contacted me first but every now and then I have to send a follow up email to one that was marked as spam.

                                                                                                                                  1. 1

                                                                                                                                    Now that sounds rather weird.

                                                                                                                                1. 2

                                                                                                                                  Some of these are outrageous like inbox and nytimes but tbh most of these are fine. I can run a 40MB web page no problem. I regularly have to kill telegram because it has hit 5GB memory usage. My IDE uses about 2GB ram, firefox feels light in comparison.

                                                                                                                                  Memory usage isn’t something most people care about at all. It’s the page speed which is more related to download sizes and cpu usage. A higher memory usage can often mean faster run times.

                                                                                                                                  1. 5

                                                                                                                                    You’re lucky to have multiple gigs of RAM. Most people don’t.

                                                                                                                                    1. 1

                                                                                                                                      Thats fine because your browser will store older tabs on disk storage if ram is low. I have 2gb ram on my phone and have no issue with websites other than news ones.

                                                                                                                                      1. 2

                                                                                                                                        I’m happy that you’re personally satisfied with website performance. Your satisfaction makes you an outlier.

                                                                                                                                    2. 2

                                                                                                                                      Riot also leaks, so after a few days it routinely hits ~4GiB.

                                                                                                                                    1. 8

                                                                                                                                      I love this kind of stuff because it seems young developers confuse the web for the internet. There is more than HTTP out there folks! For god sakes make your own protocols! It’s fun!

                                                                                                                                      1. 6

                                                                                                                                        I agree. Do you have any recommendation about how to learn to implement your own protocols?

                                                                                                                                        1. 11
                                                                                                                                          • Assume network drops or delays your packets indefinitely.
                                                                                                                                          • Use CBOR for binary protocols and JSON (one message per line) for plaintext protocols as a very safe starting point.
                                                                                                                                          • Anauthorized peers being able to grow other peers’ internal state opens up a possibility of cheap DoS attacks.
                                                                                                                                          • Don’t roll your own crypto.
                                                                                                                                          1. 7

                                                                                                                                            I’ll add that learning about and practicing with FSM’s plus FSM’s of FSM’s is good preparation. Most protocols that I looked into were FSM’s.

                                                                                                                                            1. 4

                                                                                                                                              Haha, just edited my post to say finite state machines are your friend. :-P

                                                                                                                                              1. 2

                                                                                                                                                Yeah. People sometimes make the mistake of assuming the network to be reliable and fail to factor in the drops, fixing them on case by case basis, turning the code into a horrible spaghetti mess.

                                                                                                                                                FSMs turn that into “what if I receive an init packet while waiting for a reply?” which leads to much more solid designs.

                                                                                                                                            2. 3

                                                                                                                                              Any time you need IPC within or across machines is a chance to implement a protocol. Generally, it’s not a good idea if you don’t know what you are doing, so I would first try on a hobby project. If you are getting paid for the work, do it when you have the chops to do it and the need.

                                                                                                                                              This goes for everything if you are skilled at making it, make it, otherwise use the work of those that are. Clearly, there is a chicken and egg problem, where you need to acquire the skill, and that’s where hobby projects or practice projects are great.

                                                                                                                                              EDIT: Pro Tip — Finite state machines are your friend.

                                                                                                                                              1. 1

                                                                                                                                                Do you have experience implementing protocols that are not your own? If not, start with that. You will learn a lot more about protocol design and implementation that way than by reading a textbook or blog posts or whatever.

                                                                                                                                                1. 1

                                                                                                                                                  I agree. I do have experience, but I want to know more about how other people learn and what they recommend since I might have missed something.

                                                                                                                                            1. 7

                                                                                                                                              This is a complicated issue for me, one that I haven’t really worked out to my satisfaction. I’ll give it a shot here.

                                                                                                                                              My first reaction is send the developer a real monetary donation! Gold stars are for kindergarten, you can’t pay bills with stars.

                                                                                                                                              But then I don’t think open source is motivated by contractually stipulated monetary reward. It’s more of an artistic expression, a pride in workmanship. Yes it does offer professional exposure, but I don’t think the best and most prolific contributors are fixated on that. They think to themselves, “I’m making this software well and no short-term business objective is going to get in my way. Everyone will see this and be pleased.”

                                                                                                                                              Stars are thus saying, “You’ve made something beautiful and true.” It’s shared appreciation, online applause for a performance that has collectively elevated the audience and the performers.

                                                                                                                                              However, to continue the concert analogy, great performances do typically sell tickets. This is where open source doesn’t hold up. It’s as if they audience asks, “Can we get in for free if we just clap really loud?”

                                                                                                                                              I believe that existing web patronage models are a failure. Look at the average Patreon page – the scale of donations are like an alternate reality. Maintainers collecting like $100 per month total for stunning expertise that provides huge time savings for users worldwide. The fundamental problem with the Patreon model is that the developer has relinquished their leverage the moment they release code under an open license.

                                                                                                                                              If I put myself in the shoes of the would-be patrons for a moment, I can totally see their side. Maintainers and bloggers begging for money are ubiquitous, and their requests are vague. After all, they kind of started their projects for nothing and apparently that was good enough for them, so their plea rings hollow.

                                                                                                                                              I believe that the only effective model for being paid for open source maintenance is to stop work after a certain point and negotiate contracts with specific people or companies to work on specific features. The idea is that the initial work on a project (which brings it to popularity) is the investment that allows you both to create artistry and gain leverage for future consulting.

                                                                                                                                              This is still a second-class arrangement compared to businesses based on selling products or rentals because it cannot scale beyond paid labor. The consulting rate may be high, but if you stop working on the project that’s the end of your pay from that project. By contrast, authors who sell physical books or training videos make the artifacts once and then enjoy revenue proportional to number of people buying those artifacts.

                                                                                                                                              Would that I could truly internalize this capitalist mindset. There’s just something seductive about open source software – it feels like it’s the only thing that actually stays relevant in the long term. The commercial stuff gets warped and fades away. Freedom from commercial obligations and deadlines means that open source maintainers retain the independence to do things correctly.

                                                                                                                                              Developers working together on OSS form an intellectual bond that spans nations, almost like the scientific community. It’s the software created (or the scientific truths discovered) that unite people and elevate them beyond their otherwise monotonous striving for money and physical comforts.

                                                                                                                                              I’ll end this rant here. Perhaps I’ll never reconcile these two viewpoints, the material and spiritual you might call them.

                                                                                                                                              1. 2

                                                                                                                                                I rely on the Godot engine nowadays, but don’t really have money to spare. I’d love to contribute to their Patreon campaign, but there are specific features I’d need, and I don’t think they’re a priority. So it’s hard to direct money into specific problems. Bounty programs would be more specific.

                                                                                                                                                Everything about this is hard, though. Having money stuck in a bounty escrow is not advancing anything. Contract negotiation and international billing has a lot of overhead, and may turn out to not advance anything. Not paying anything, money or code, doesn’t necessarily advance the project.

                                                                                                                                                C’est la vie, I suppose.

                                                                                                                                                1. 2

                                                                                                                                                  The money really has to come from businesses. It’s so easy to say “Hey, this JetBrains IDE I need costs $200” and that will get approved right away because it has to be paid for and it makes me much faster as a dev but saying “This open source library we use is asking for donations” will not get approved because it doesn’t have to be paid for. The most I can do for OSS we use at work is send bugfixes upstream.

                                                                                                                                                  1. 1

                                                                                                                                                    IMHO this is a very useful observation. Maybe we should build a culture that tolerates little paid gimmicks on top of open source projects so that you can justify what’s effectively a donation.

                                                                                                                                                    1. 1

                                                                                                                                                      This seems to be the way many OSS projects run now. The core is open source which usually has everything individuals need and then extras are proprietary which are needed for large corporate projects. Its called “Open Core” for people who want to search it. Gitlab even has the source for the paid features public but the license doesn’t let you use it without paying.

                                                                                                                                                      It does have some issues though. The major one being what happens when someone replicates your paid features. Gitlab says they will accept pull requests that recreate their paid features but they also have the resources to create 20 more by next month. As a solo dev, having someone recreate your paid features could cut out all of your revenue.

                                                                                                                                                      1. 1

                                                                                                                                                        I think this gimmicks can very effectively be access oriented. Custom slack channel, custom email address, custom phone number, access to a special meeting. Not so much a feature they get over others, but access to the team they get over others.

                                                                                                                                                      2. 1

                                                                                                                                                        It might also not be paid for because the value isn’t as obvious. A bounty-style deal might get approved, because you’re essentially paying for something you require.

                                                                                                                                                        It’s a question of the direction of the funds and value. This is very obscure when asking for donations in general, don’t you think?

                                                                                                                                                    2. 2

                                                                                                                                                      A lot of great stuff in this comment I want to reply to!

                                                                                                                                                      My first reaction is send the developer a real monetary donation! Gold stars are for kindergarten, you can’t pay bills with stars.

                                                                                                                                                      I actually think you hit the nail on the head with your first out of the gate recommendation. I think no matter how small your project is you should put up a Patreon or a Bountysource or similar. Not just for yourself for paying bills – but for the people who want to feel involved but can’t do so directly. The patreon model is about supporting what you love. Regardless of the platform you use, you can display you patreon count.

                                                                                                                                                      The fundamental problem with the Patreon model is that the developer has relinquished their leverage the moment they release code under an open license.

                                                                                                                                                      I fundamentally disagree with this. It simply isn’t about leverage. It is about eyeballs and goodwill. Look at DTNS – the show is free to listen to for all – heck, it is even free to remix how you want as it is released under creative commons. It brings in $18,000+ monthly because it feels good to support it and the perks it offers feel relevant.

                                                                                                                                                      I think it is about being savvy in regards to perks, and initial market. Developers were not the initial target for Patreon, there isn’t a lot of crossover there. That said, I think many projects could have very successful Patreon setups if they tried. Some of it is about tiers, if you want to get into the Slack channel it takes a an investment. The investment could be time and code or documentation, or that investment can be $5 a month. If you want to sit in on the monthly feature discussion roundtable – $40 a month or direct contributions at a level that you are invited, etc. If you want to get the project leads home phone number, be a sustaining supporter at $1000 a month for at least 6 month – etc.

                                                                                                                                                      After all, they kind of started their projects for nothing and apparently that was good enough for them, so their plea rings hollow.

                                                                                                                                                      Which is why you put up the Patreon feature early, so it doesn’t look like some bolt on or beg later. It is there from before anyone would consider contributing. Neovim had this as a bolt on after the initial funding push, and while I find their pitch possibly too gentle, at least it is there at the bottom.

                                                                                                                                                      to stop work after a certain point and negotiate contracts

                                                                                                                                                      This is devastating to good will, and will encourage forks so someone can take your work and be the more well known version of it with those +3 features. I do not think this is a good way forward.

                                                                                                                                                      (and one last mostly irrelevant reply)

                                                                                                                                                      But then I don’t think open source is motivated by contractually stipulated monetary reward. It’s more of an artistic expression, a pride in workmanship.

                                                                                                                                                      I honestly think far more work is done in anger than for artistry. In market terms, more “painkillers” than “vitamins”, doubly so in open source. “The bleep won’t beep bleep bleep what type of bleep bleep wrote this. I will just fix it, bleep it!”

                                                                                                                                                      1. 2

                                                                                                                                                        But then I don’t think open source is motivated by contractually stipulated monetary reward.

                                                                                                                                                        I guarantee that is sometimes the case. I’ve been turned down offering to pay for work on FOSS projects or public sites specifically because the developers and admins wanted to keep money and its psychological effects out of that part of their work. They were doing it for ideology, charity, fun, and so on. They had other work they did for money. They kept them separate.

                                                                                                                                                        I still advise offering to pay the going rate for work just in case they need it. If they refuse, maybe a cup of coffee or lunch for thanks. If they refuse that, then a heartfelt thanks, star, and whatever since they’re some really devoted people. I won’t say selfless since some do it for not-so-nice reasons and the good ones get personal satisfaction from the good they do. Definitely dedicated or devoted to helping others with their work without asking for something in return, though. I respect and appreciate those people. I also respect the ones doing it for money since they might have been doing something without large benefit or benefiting companies like Oracle hurting us all.

                                                                                                                                                        EDIT: Someone might wonder what I meant by not taking money for not-so-nice reasons. I’ll give a few examples. One is academics who release code as a proof of concept and/or with potential to benefit people if someone else works on it. They’re paid and promoted for output of papers, not maintainable FOSS. Many would refuse offers to extend older projects. Proprietary software vendors doing OSS side-projects and/or open core companies might refuse paid work on their FOSS because the features compete with their commercial offerings. Regulated industries using some FOSS or OSS components that had to be certified in expensive process would have to recertify them to use modified forms. They often don’t do bug/security fixes for this reason. They might turn down offers on specific libraries. Finally, some people might want the software to work a specific way for arbitrary reasons and/or straight-up hate some potential contributors for personal attributes. There’s a religiously-motivated project whose maintainer fits that description.

                                                                                                                                                        So, there’s some examples of maintainers that would turn down money for reasons having nothing to do with selflessness.

                                                                                                                                                        1. 1

                                                                                                                                                          It is basically same as science. Which is also tragically broken due to funding (and valuation) issues.

                                                                                                                                                          If only there were a global fund for free projects that would map their dependency tree, perform some health-checking and distribute donations in a predictable fashion…

                                                                                                                                                          Then a government or a company relying on free software might donate with indications on what to support. Gov. might, for example, donate 1% of purchased software project price to it’s dependencies or require the supplier to do so… That would be about €5.000.000 a year just for Czechia.

                                                                                                                                                          1. 1

                                                                                                                                                            My first reaction is send the developer a real monetary donation! Gold stars are for kindergarten, you can’t pay bills with stars.

                                                                                                                                                            I’m afraid that for most people, the hurdle to sending money over the internet is much higher than telling them they like what is done via a star (or analogous system)…

                                                                                                                                                            1. 6

                                                                                                                                                              Or maybe configure loading properly, including failing on unexpected loads early.

                                                                                                                                                              1. 2

                                                                                                                                                                Sounds like a good solution if you are looking to optimize your queries. Honestly, we aren’t.

                                                                                                                                                                A simple example is a Rest Framework model API. We want to use this API for getting different data fields every time. There is no smartness in the ORM to decide whether to pre-fetch or not. Unless I take time to optimize each of the cases manually (or mindlessly always do JOINs which I don’t need), I can’t make it return me the data in an efficient way.

                                                                                                                                                                1. 6

                                                                                                                                                                  why aren’t you looking to optimize your queries?

                                                                                                                                                                  1. 1

                                                                                                                                                                    I will try to explain the above example in detail.

                                                                                                                                                                    We write an API which simply returns data from our model directly.

                                                                                                                                                                    Model Crop
                                                                                                                                                                       name 
                                                                                                                                                                    Model Farm
                                                                                                                                                                       crop
                                                                                                                                                                       area
                                                                                                                                                                    

                                                                                                                                                                    Now, we want to access a Farm using an API: /farm

                                                                                                                                                                    But we made this API with partial support so that we can access only the data we need

                                                                                                                                                                    /farm?fields=crop  # Needs to join with Crop table
                                                                                                                                                                    /farm?fields=area  # Does not need to join with Crop table
                                                                                                                                                                    

                                                                                                                                                                    The above is a simple example, but things can get a lot more complex where we access 3 layers of relationships. In most of our cases, we are not seeing a lot of latency with caching added(see results in my tests, we went from 7s to 3s for a very very large query), so we aren’t worrying about optimizing it.

                                                                                                                                                                    Of course, we should be splitting into multiple APIs which do different things, but given that this is allowing us to move faster, we have been doing it.

                                                                                                                                                              1. 34

                                                                                                                                                                Good talk.

                                                                                                                                                                I recently used systemd “in anger” for the first time on a raspi device to orchestrate several scripts and services, and I was pleasantly surprised (but also not surprised, because the FUD crowd is becoming more and more fingerprintable to me). systemd gives me lifecycle, logging, error handling, and structure, declaratively. It turns out structure and constraints are really useful, this is also why go has fast dependency resolution.

                                                                                                                                                                It violates unix philosohpy

                                                                                                                                                                That accusation was also made against neovim. The people muttering this stuff are slashdot markov chains, they don’t have any idea what they’re talking about.

                                                                                                                                                                1. 22

                                                                                                                                                                  The declarative units are definitely a plus. No question.

                                                                                                                                                                  I was anti-systemd when it started gaining popularity, because of the approach (basically kitchen-sinking a lot of *NIX stuff into a single project) and the way the project leader(s) respond to criticism.

                                                                                                                                                                  I’ve used it since it was default in Debian, and the technical benefits are very measurable.

                                                                                                                                                                  That doesnt mean the complaints against it are irrelevant though - it does break the Unix philosophy I think most people are referring to:

                                                                                                                                                                  Make each program do one thing well. To do a new job, build afresh rather than complicate old programs by adding new “features”.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. 30

                                                                                                                                                                    If you believe composability (one program’s output is another program’s input) is an important part of The Unix Philosophy, then ls violates it all day long, always has, likely always will. ls also violates it by providing multiple ways to sort its output, when sort is right there, already doing that job. Arguably, ls formatting its output is a violation of Do One Thing, because awk and printf exist, all ready to turn neat columns into human-friendly text. My point is, The Unix Philosophy isn’t set in stone, and never has been.

                                                                                                                                                                    1. 7

                                                                                                                                                                      Didn’t ls predate the Unix Philosophy? There’s a lot of crufthistory in unix. dd is another example.

                                                                                                                                                                      None of that invalidates the philosophy that arose through an extended design exploration and process.

                                                                                                                                                                      1. 4

                                                                                                                                                                        nobody said it’s set in stone; it’s a set of principles to be applied based on practicality. like any design principle, it can be applied beyond usefulness. some remarks:

                                                                                                                                                                        • i don’t see where ls violates composability. the -l format was specifically designed to be easy to grep.
                                                                                                                                                                        • the sorting options are an example of practicality. they don’t require a lot of code, and would be much more clumsy to implement as a script (specifically when you don’t output the fields you’re sorting on)
                                                                                                                                                                        • about formatting, i assume you’re referring to columniation, which to my knowledge was not in any version of ls released by Bell Labs. checking whether stdout is a terminal is indeed an ugly violation.
                                                                                                                                                                        1. 6

                                                                                                                                                                          i don’t see where ls violates composability. the -l format was specifically designed to be easy to grep.

                                                                                                                                                                          People have written web pages on why parsing the output of ls is a bad idea. Using ls -l doesn’t solve any of these problems.

                                                                                                                                                                          As a matter of fact, the coreutils people have this to say about parsing the output of ls:

                                                                                                                                                                          However ls is really a tool for direct consumption by a human, and in that case further processing is less useful. For futher processing, find(1) is more suited.

                                                                                                                                                                          Moving on…

                                                                                                                                                                          the sorting options are an example of practicality. they don’t require a lot of code, and would be much more clumsy to implement as a script (specifically when you don’t output the fields you’re sorting on)

                                                                                                                                                                          This cuts closer to the point of what we’re saying, but here I also have to defend my half-baked design for a True Unix-y ls Program: It would always output all the data, one line per file, with filenames quoted and otherwise prepared such that they always stick to one column of one line, with things like tab characters replaced by \t and newline characters replaced by \n and so on. Therefore, the formatting and sorting programs always have all the information.

                                                                                                                                                                          But, as I said, always piping the output of my ls into some other script would be clumsier; it would ultimately result in some “human-friendly ls” which has multiple possible pipelines prepared for you, selectable with command-line options, so the end result looks a lot like modern ls.

                                                                                                                                                                          about formatting, i assume you’re referring to columniation, which to my knowledge was not in any version of ls released by Bell Labs. checking whether stdout is a terminal is indeed an ugly violation.

                                                                                                                                                                          I agree that ls shouldn’t check for a tty, but I’m not entirely convinced no program should.

                                                                                                                                                                          1. 4

                                                                                                                                                                            just because some people discourage composing ls with other programs doesn’t mean it’s not the unix way. some people value the unix philosophy and some don’t, and it’s not surprising that those who write GNU software and maintain wikis for GNU software are in the latter camp.

                                                                                                                                                                            your proposal for a decomposed ls sounds more unixy in some ways. but there are still practical reasons not to do it, such as performance and not cluttering the standard command lexicon with ls variants (plan 9 has ls and lc; maybe adding lt, lr, lu, etc. would be too many names just for listing files). it’s a subtle point in unix philosophy to know when departing from one principle is better for the overall simplicity of the system.

                                                                                                                                                                      2. 25

                                                                                                                                                                        With all due respect[1], did your own comment hit your fingerprint detector? Because it should. It’s extrapolating wildly from one personal anecdote[2], and insulting a broad category of people without showing any actual examples[3]. Calling people “markov chains” is fun in the instant you write it, but contributes to the general sludge of ad hominem dehumanization. All your upvoters should be ashamed.

                                                                                                                                                                        [1] SystemD arouses strong passions, and I don’t want this thread to devolve. I’m pointing out that you’re starting it off on the wrong foot. But I’m done here and won’t be responding to any more name-calling.

                                                                                                                                                                        [2] Because God knows, there’s tons of badly designed software out there that has given people great experiences in the short term. Design usually matters in the long term. Using something for the first time is unlikely to tell you anything beyond that somebody peephole-optimized the UX. UX is certainly important, rare and useful in its own right. But it’s a distinct activity.

                                                                                                                                                                        [3] I’d particularly appreciate a link to NeoVim criticism for being anti-Unix. Were they similarly criticizing Vim?

                                                                                                                                                                        1. 9

                                                                                                                                                                          [3] I’d particularly appreciate a link to NeoVim criticism for being anti-Unix. Were they similarly criticizing Vim?

                                                                                                                                                                          Yes, when VIM incorporated a terminal. Which is explicitly against its design goals. From the VIM 7.4 :help design-not

                                                                                                                                                                          VIM IS... NOT                                           *design-not*
                                                                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                                                          - Vim is not a shell or an Operating System.  You will not be able to run a
                                                                                                                                                                            shell inside Vim or use it to control a debugger.  This should work the
                                                                                                                                                                            other way around: Use Vim as a component from a shell or in an IDE.
                                                                                                                                                                            A satirical way to say this: "Unlike Emacs, Vim does not attempt to include
                                                                                                                                                                            everything but the kitchen sink, but some people say that you can clean one
                                                                                                                                                                            with it.  ;-)"
                                                                                                                                                                          

                                                                                                                                                                          Neo-VIM appears to acknowledge their departure from VIM’s initial design as their :help design-not has been trimmed and only reads:

                                                                                                                                                                          NVIM IS... NOT                                          design-not
                                                                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                                                          Nvim is not an operating system; instead it should be composed with other
                                                                                                                                                                          tools or hosted as a component. Marvim once said: "Unlike Emacs, Nvim does not
                                                                                                                                                                          include the kitchen sink... but it's good for plumbing."
                                                                                                                                                                          

                                                                                                                                                                          Now as a primarily Emacs user I see nothing wrong with not following the UNIX philosophy, but at it is clear that NeoVIM has pushed away from that direction. And because that direction was an against their initial design it is reasonable for users that liked the initial design to criticism NeoVIM because moving further away from the UNIX philosophy.

                                                                                                                                                                          Not that VIM hadn’t already become something more than ‘just edit text’, take quickfix for example. A better example of how an editor can solve the same problem by adhering to the Unix Philosophy of composition through text processing would be Acme. Check out Acme’s alternative to quickfix https://youtu.be/dP1xVpMPn8M?t=551

                                                                                                                                                                          1. 0

                                                                                                                                                                            akkartik, which part of my comment did you identify with? :) FWIW, I’m fond of you personally.

                                                                                                                                                                            I’d particularly appreciate a link to NeoVim criticism for being anti-Unix

                                                                                                                                                                            Every single Hacker News thread about Neovim.

                                                                                                                                                                            Were they similarly criticizing Vim?

                                                                                                                                                                            Not until I reply as such–and the response is hem-and-haw.

                                                                                                                                                                            1. 9

                                                                                                                                                                              To be fair I don’t think the hacker news hive mind is a good judge of anything besides what is currently flavour of the week.

                                                                                                                                                                              Just yesterday I had a comment not just downvoted but flagged and hidden-by-default, because I suggested Electron is a worse option than a web app.

                                                                                                                                                                              HN is basically twitter on Opposite Day: far too happy to remove any idea even vaguely outside what the group considers “acceptable”.

                                                                                                                                                                              1. 4

                                                                                                                                                                                Indeed, I appreciate your comments as well in general. I wasn’t personally insulted, FWIW. But this is precisely the sort of thing I’m talking about, the assumption that someone pushing back must have their identity wrapped up in the subject. Does our community a disservice.

                                                                                                                                                                                1. 0

                                                                                                                                                                                  OTOH, I spent way too much of my life taking the FUD seriously. The mantra-parroting drive-by comments that are common in much of the anti-systemd and anti-foo threads should be pushed back. Not given a thoughtful audience.

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. 2

                                                                                                                                                                                    Totally fair. Can you point at any examples?

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. 3

                                                                                                                                                                                      https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=7289935

                                                                                                                                                                                      The old Unix ways are dying… … Vim is, in the spirit of Unix, a single purpose tool: it edits text.

                                                                                                                                                                                      https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=10412860

                                                                                                                                                                                      thinks that anything that is too old clearly has some damage and its no longer good technology, like the neovim crowd

                                                                                                                                                                                      Also just search for “vim unix philosophy” you’ll invariably find tons of imaginary nonsense:

                                                                                                                                                                                      https://hn.algolia.com/?query=vim%20unix%20philosophy&sort=byPopularity&prefix&page=0&dateRange=all&type=comment

                                                                                                                                                                                      Please don’t make me search /r/vim :D

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. 4

                                                                                                                                                                                        thinks that anything that is too old clearly has some damage and its no longer good technology, like the neovim crowd

                                                                                                                                                                                        That’s not saying that neovim is ‘anti-Unix philosophy’, it’s saying that neovim is an example of a general pattern of people rewriting and redesigning old things that work perfectly well on the basis that there must be something wrong with anything that’s old.

                                                                                                                                                                                        Which is indeed a general pattern.

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. 1

                                                                                                                                                                                          That’s not saying that neovim is ‘anti-Unix philosophy’

                                                                                                                                                                                          It’s an example of (unfounded) fear, uncertainty, and doubt.

                                                                                                                                                                                          rewriting and redesigning old things that work perfectly well on the basis that there must be something wrong with anything that’s old.

                                                                                                                                                                                          That’s a problem that exists, but attaching it to project X out of habit, without justification, is the pattern I’m complaining about. In Neovim’s case it’s completely unfounded and doesn’t even make sense.

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. 1

                                                                                                                                                                                            It’s not unfounded. It’s pretty obvious that many of the people advocating neovim are doing so precisely because they think ‘new’ and ‘modern’ are things that precisely measure the quality of software. They’re the same people that change which Javascript framework they’re using every 6 weeks. They’re not a stereotype, they’re actual human beings that actually hold these views.

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. 2

                                                                                                                                                                                              Partial rewrite is one of the fastest ways to hand off software maintainership, though. And vim needed broader maintainer / developer community.

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. 0

                                                                                                                                                                                                Vim’s maintainer/developer community is more than sufficient. It’s a highly extensible text editor. Virtually anything can be done with plugins. You don’t need core editor changes very often if at all, especially now that the async stuff is in there.

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. 3

                                                                                                                                                                                                  You don’t need core editor changes very often if at all, especially now that the async stuff is in there.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Which required pressure from NeoVim, if I understood the situation correctly. Vim is basically a one-man show.

                                                                                                                                                                                        2. 2

                                                                                                                                                                                          Thanks :) My attitude is to skip past crap drive-by comments as beneath notice (or linking). But I interpreted you to be saying FUD (about SystemD) that you ended up taking seriously? Any of those would be interesting to see if you happen to have them handy, but no worries if not.

                                                                                                                                                                                          Glad to have you back in the pro-Neovim (which is not necessarily anti-Vim) camp!

                                                                                                                                                                              2. 20

                                                                                                                                                                                What is FUD is this sort of comment: the classic combination of comparing systemd to the worst possible alternative instead of the best actual alternative with basically claiming everyone that disagrees with you is a ‘slashdot markov chain’ or similar idiotic crap.

                                                                                                                                                                                On the first point, there are lots of alternatives to sysvinit that aren’t systemd. Lots and lots and lots. Some of them are crap, some are great. systemd doesn’t have a right to be compared only to what it replaced, but also all the other things that could have replaced sysvinit.

                                                                                                                                                                                On the second point, it’s just bloody rude. But it also shows you don’t really understand what people are saying. ‘I think [xyz] violates the unix philosophy’ is not meaningless. People aren’t saying it for fun. They’re saying it because they think it’s true, and that it’s a bad thing. If you don’t have a good argument for the Unix philosophy not matter, or you think systemd doesn’t actually violate it, please go ahead and explain that. But I’ve never actually seen either of those arguments. The response to ‘it violates the Unix philosophy’ is always just ‘shut up slashdotter’. Same kind of comment you get when you say anything that goes against the proggit/hn hivemind that has now decided amongst other things that: microsoft is amazing, google is horrible, MIT-style licenses are perfect, GPL-style licenses are the devil-incarnate, statically typed languages are perfect, dynamically typed languages are evil, wayland is wonderful, x11 is terrible, etc.

                                                                                                                                                                                1. 8

                                                                                                                                                                                  claiming everyone that disagrees with you is a ‘slashdot markov chain’ or similar idiotic crap

                                                                                                                                                                                  My claim is about the thoughtless shoveling of groundless rumors. Also I don’t think my quip was idiotic.

                                                                                                                                                                                  there are lots of alternatives to sysvinit that aren’t systemd

                                                                                                                                                                                  That’s fine, I never disparaged alternatives. I said: systemd is good and I’m annoyed that the grumblers said it wasn’t.

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. 2

                                                                                                                                                                                    It’s not good though, for all the reasons that have been said. ‘Better than what you had before’ and ‘good’ aren’t the same thing.

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. 1

                                                                                                                                                                                      seriously. If you don’t like systemd, use something else and promote its benefits. Tired of all the talking down of systemd. It made my life so much easier.

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. 1

                                                                                                                                                                                        seriously. If you like systemd, use it and shut up about it. Tired of all the talking up of systemd as if it’s actually any better than its alternatives, when it is objectively worse, and is poorly managed by nasty people.

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. 4

                                                                                                                                                                                          Have you watched the video this thread is about? Because you really sound like the kind of dogmatist the presenter is talking about.

                                                                                                                                                                                          If you like systemd, use it and shut up about it

                                                                                                                                                                                          Also, isn’t this a double-standard, since when it comes to complaining about systemd, this attitude doesn’t seem that prevalent.

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. 2

                                                                                                                                                                                            No, because no other tool threatens the ecosystem like systemd does.

                                                                                                                                                                                            Analogy: it wasn’t a double-standard 10 years ago to complain about Windows and say ‘if you like Windows, use it and shut up about it’.

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. 3

                                                                                                                                                                                              I see this kind of vague criticism when it comes to systemd alot. What ecosystem is it really breaking? It’s all still open source, there aren’t any proprietary protocols or corporate patents that prevent people from modifying the software to not have to rely on systemd. This “threat”, thr way I see it, has turned out to be at most a “ minor inconvenience “.

                                                                                                                                                                                              I suppose you’re thinking about examples like GNOME, but on the one hand, GNOME isn’t a unix-dogmatist project, but instead they aim to create a integrated desktop experience, consciously trading this in for ideal modularity – and on the other, projects like OpenBSD have managed to strip out what required systemd and have a working desktop environment. Most other examples, of which I know, have a similar pattern.

                                                                                                                                                                                2. 6

                                                                                                                                                                                  I think that the problem is fanboyism, echo chambers and ideologies.

                                                                                                                                                                                  I might be wrong, so please don’t consider this an accusation. But you writing this sounds like someone hearing that systemd is bad, therefore never looking at it, yet copying it. Then one tries it and finding out that baseless prejudices were in fact baseless.

                                                                                                                                                                                  After that the assumption is that everyone else must have been doing the same and one is enlightened now to see it’s actually really cool.

                                                                                                                                                                                  I think that this group behavior and blindly copying opinions is one of the worst things in IT these days, even though of course it’s not limited to this field.

                                                                                                                                                                                  A lot of people criticizing systemd actually looked at systemd, really deep, maybe even built stuff on it, or at least worked with it in production as sysadmin/devop/sre/…

                                                                                                                                                                                  Yes, I have used systemd, yes I understand why decisions we’re taken, where authors if the software were going, read specs of the various parts (journald for example), etc.

                                                                                                                                                                                  I think I have a pretty good understanding compared to at least most people that only saw it from a users perspective (considering writing unit files to be users perspective as well).

                                                                                                                                                                                  So I could write about that in my CV and be happy that I can answer a lot of questions regarding systemd, advocate its usage to create more demand and be happy.

                                                                                                                                                                                  To sum it up: I still consider systemd to be bad on multiple layers, both implementation and some ideas that I considered great but then through using it seeing that it was a wrong assumption. By the way that’s the thing I would not blame anyone for. It’s good that stuff gets tried, that’s how research works. It’s not the first and not the last project that will come out sounding good, to only find out a lot of things either doesn’t make a difference or make it worse.

                                                                                                                                                                                  I am a critic of systemd but I agree that there’s a lot of FUD as well. Especially when there’s people that blame everything, including own incompetence on systemd. Nobody should ever expect a new project to be a magic bullet. That’s just dumb and I would never blame systemd for trying a different approach or for not being perfect. However I think it has problems on many levels. While I think the implementation isn’t really good that’s something that can be fixed. However I think some parts of the concept level are either pretty bad or have turned out to be bad decisions.

                                                                                                                                                                                  I was very aware that especially in the beginning the implementation was bad. A lot got better. That’s to be expected. However next to various design decisions I consider bad I think many more were based on ideas that I think to most people in IT sound good and reasonable but in the specific scenarios that systemd is used it at least in my experience do not work out at all or only work well in very basic cases.

                                                                                                                                                                                  In other words the cases where other solutions are working maybe not optimal, but that aren’t considered a problem worth fixing because the added complexity isn’t worth it systemd really shines. However when something is more complex I think using systemd frequently turns out to be an even worse solution.

                                                                                                                                                                                  While I don’t wanna go into detail because I don’t think this is the right format for an actual analysis I think systemd in this field a lot in common with both configuration management and JavaScript frameworks. They tend to be amazing for use cases that are simple (todo applications for example), but together with various other complexities often make stuff unnecessarily complicated.

                                                                                                                                                                                  And just like with JavaScript frameworks and configuration management there’s a lot of FUD, ideologies, echochambers, following the opinion of some thought leaders, and very little building your own solid opinion.

                                                                                                                                                                                  Long story short. If you criticize something without knowing what it is about then yes that’s dumb and likely FUD. However assuming that’s the only possible reason for someone criticizing software is similarly dumb and often FUD regarding this opinion.

                                                                                                                                                                                  This by the way also works the reverse. I frequently see people liking software and echoing favorable statements for the same reasons. Not understanding what they say, just copying sentences of opinion leaders, etc.

                                                                                                                                                                                  It’s the same pattern, just the reversal, positive instead of negative.

                                                                                                                                                                                  The problem isn’t someone disliking or liking something, but that opinions and thoughts are repeated without understanding which makes it hard to have discussions and arguments that give both sides any valuable insides or learnings

                                                                                                                                                                                  Then things also get personal. People hate on Poetteing and think he is dumb and Poetteing thinks every critic is dumb. Just because that’s a lot of what you see when every statement is blindly echoed.

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. 1

                                                                                                                                                                                    That’s nice, but the implication of the anti-systemd chorus was that sys v init was good enough. Not all of these other “reasonable objections” that people are breathless to mention.

                                                                                                                                                                                    The timbre reminded me of people who say autotools is preferrable to cmake. People making a lot of noise about irrelevant details and ignoring the net gain.

                                                                                                                                                                                    But you writing this sounds like someone hearing that systemd is bad, therefore never looking at it, yet copying it.

                                                                                                                                                                                    No, I’m reacting to the idea that the systemd controversy took up any space in my mind at all. It’s good software. It doesn’t matter if X or Y is technically better, the popular narrative was that systemd is a negative thing, a net-loss.

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. 2

                                                                                                                                                                                      In your opinion it’s good software and you summed up the “anti-systemd camp” with “sys v init was good enough” even though people from said “anti-systemd camp” on this very thread disagreed that that was their point.

                                                                                                                                                                                      To give you an entirely different point of view, I’m surprised you don’t want to know anything about a key piece of a flagship server operating systems (taking that one distro is technically an OS) affecting the entire eco system and unrelated OS’ (BSDs etc.) that majorly affects administration and development on Linux-based systems. Especially when people have said there are clear technical reasons for disliking the major change and forced compliance with “the new way”.

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. 2

                                                                                                                                                                                        you summed up the “anti-systemd camp” with “sys v init was good enough” even though people from said “anti-systemd camp” on this very thread disagreed that that was their point.

                                                                                                                                                                                        Even in this very thread no one has actually named a preferred alternative. I suspect they don’t want to be dragged into a discussion of details :)

                                                                                                                                                                                        affecting the entire eco system and unrelated OS’ (BSDs etc.)

                                                                                                                                                                                        BSDs would be a great forum for demonstrating the alternatives to systemd.

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                                                                                                                                                                                          Well, considering how many features that suite of software has picked up, there isn’t currently one so that shortens the conversation :)

                                                                                                                                                                                          launchd is sort of a UNIX alternative too, but it’s currently running only on MacOS and it recently went closed source.

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                                                                                                                                                                                    It violates unix philosohpy

                                                                                                                                                                                    That accusation was also made against neovim. The people muttering this stuff are slashdot markov chains, they don’t have any idea what they’re talking about.

                                                                                                                                                                                    i don’t follow your reasoning. why is it relevant that people also think neovim violates the unix philosophy? are you saying that neovim conforms to the unix philosophy, and therefore people who say it doesn’t must not know what they’re talking about?

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                                                                                                                                                                                      are you saying that neovim conforms to the unix philosophy, and therefore people who say it doesn’t must not know what they’re talking about?

                                                                                                                                                                                      When the implication is that Vim better aligns with the unix philosophy, yes, anyone who avers that doesn’t know what they’re talking about. “Unix philosophy” was never a goal of Vim (”:help design-not” was strongly worded to that effect until last year, but it was never true anyways) and shows a deep lack of familiarity with Vim’s features.

                                                                                                                                                                                      Some people likewise speak of a mythical “Vim way” which again means basically nothing. But that’s a different topic.

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                                                                                                                                                                                        vim does have fewer features which can be handled by other tools though right? not that vim is particularly unixy, but we’re talking degrees

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                                                                                                                                                                                      The people muttering this stuff are slashdot markov chains, they don’t have any idea what they’re talking about

                                                                                                                                                                                      I’ll bookmark this comment just for this description.