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    Was the link supposed to lead to the submission for last year’s competition? I joined our leaderboard, under the name grxnola.

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      Shoot! I pinged pushcx to edit the URL.

    1. 9

      With Python 3 being out for so long and the Python 2 deadline being delayed I think it is somewhat embarassing Mercurial still doesn’t use it as default. Sure, 3rd party plugins are not up to date, but the longer they wait with the migration, the longer Python 2 will need to be kept alive.

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        Python 3 has been especially difficult for Mercurial because Mercurial does not use encodings. It’s an application to store your bytes and your bytes are just bytes. You don’t want Mercurial (or git, for that matter) to start having opinions about how to interpret the bytes you give it. All the data that hg deals with – all of it – is just bytes.

        The Python 2 deprecation deadline was mostly extended by 5 years for Mercurial. A bunch of us (not just Mercurial, but probably we were the loudest ones) crowded around Guido at Pycon 2014 and told him about how difficult Python 3 was for Mercurial. In response, Guido later announced that day that we would have 5 more years. The bare minimum we needed was PEP 461, which wasn’t available back in 2014, and once that was done, the rest was just a lot of hard work.

        I am not at all embarrassed by the gargantuan effort that my fellow Mercurial maintainers have made to port Mercurial to Python 3. Quite the contrary, I’m proud of them and have gotten a little resentful that the Python 3 upgrade path has not been nearly as easy as its proponents claim.

        1. 6

          Oil is the same way – it doesn’t use Python’s unicode object. it uses bytes, since libc calls all take and return bytes (e.g. execve, chdir, listing directory entries, etc.)

          http://www.oilshell.org/blog/2018/03/04.html#faq

          Right now the Python 2 interpreter is bundled with Oil. I removed at least half of the interpreter, which I’m not using [1] (e.g. the whole front end, unicodeobject.c, complexobject.c, etc.)

          Eventually I want to get rid of the dependence on the interpreter. But I think this was a decent way to make progress quickly and have a working program the whole time.

          Since hg is already a mature and working program, I imagine bundling the interpreter might also have been a worthwhile strategy.

          It would also largely fix the startup time issue (which I think got worse in Python 3) since you’re not dependent on the system PYTHONPATH and you can modify the startup sequence with some #ifdefs.

          People always talk about maintenance of Python 2 but I don’t really think it’s a problem. It’s a very mature and understandable codebase. I’ve made dozens of small, localized modifications to it.

          And if Python 2 has a security issue in say the tempfile module, well it doesn’t affect a program that doesn’t use that module.

          [1] http://www.oilshell.org/blog/2018/11/15.html

          1. 6

            We’re actually vaguely planning to bundle Python with Mercurial via PyOxidizer - it should be a one-file binary at that point.

            I’m sure Greg would be interested in Oil doing it too, but I think it can’t be done on Python 2 for a variety of reasons.

            1. 1

              People always talk about maintenance of Python 2 but I don’t really think it’s a problem. It’s a very mature and understandable codebase. I’ve made dozens of small, localized modifications to it.

              So you’ve made dozens of small modifications to it (python) and are now carrying those changes, and you don’t see a problem with many people doing the same thing? It seems like you’ll quickly end up in a situation where one implementation of python2 used by/included in one program is not the same as another used by/included in another, and that is a bigger maintenance problem.

              1. 1

                Why is that a maintenance problem? There can be N different forks of Python 2, e.g. one used for hg, one used for Oil, and I don’t see the problem. Each team maintains it separately.

                Python 2 is a stable, well-tested, and well-understood codebase.

                It’s somewhat analogous to there being N forks of the BSD kernel. In that case I’d say it’s also a feature and not a bug.

                Although you could argue why they don’t combine their efforts (though I don’t think it makes sense to argue). Either way, that argument doesn’t make sense for hg or Oil or dozens of other programs that are written in Python and may want to make small, local, backward incompatible modifications.

                1. 1

                  The problem is that you have a bunch of different teams maintaining essentially (but not quite) the same thing in their own gardens. So when a vulnerability is found, you have to rely on them all to 1) notice it then 2) fix/deploy. And users now have N number of “python 2” installs on their one system that are in all sorts of different states. How do you know if you have something using a broken “version” of python 2? When a CVE is posted, how can you possibly tell if you’re affected in all the different “versions” of python 2 on your system?

                  1. 2

                    On balance, I think using Python 2.7 and statically linking it reduces the number of vulnerabilities. (Although it’s not ideal for other non-security reasons, which is why it’s not a permanent solution).

                    If you rewrite the functionality from scratch rather than reusing well-tested pieces of code, you’d have as many or more vulnerabilities in your own code. Unless of course there is something you’re doing that the Python team isn’t (possible but not that likely).

                    I’d say Python 2.7 more solid than the average piece of code simply because it’s undergone a lot of testing and usage. There have been a lot of eyeballs on that code.

                    And as mentioned, the vulnerabilities in stdlib modules that Oil don’t use don’t matter because they’re not even in the binary (e.g. I see CVEs in XMLRPCServer, which has nothing to with Oil). On top of that, I also remove around 150K lines of other interpreter code, leaving somewhere around 100K. That’s more than I would like, but it’s not a problem to maintain.


                    On a related note, I think there is some cargo culting of the “CVE treadmill”. Newer code isn’t always better. If the development team isn’t careful about security, you can patch one CVE and introduce another one. In fact I think that’s pretty common because software tends to get larger over time.

                    I’d rather move to a model where there is actual reasoning about security from first principles rather than “I heard about this CVE so I need to update all the places where it occurs, and now I did, so the problem is gone”. It’s kind of where the industry is now, but it doesn’t reflect the underlying reality.

            2. 2

              bare minimum we needed was PEP 461

              Can you expand on that? That request looks just like some convenience feature that could have just been a normal method.

              1. 1

                It’s because mercurial used % formatting on python2 strings heavily to encode the mercurial wire protocol. Before pep 461, % formatting on bytestrings was not allowed, so they would have needed to carefully rewrite the wire protocol code in a way that would have left the code less readable.

                1. 2

                  Isn’t that pretty much a basic refactoring operation in any typed language?

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                    If you take a stroll through the gargantuan effort of hundreds of commits I linked above, I think you’ll see that it wasn’t a basic refactoring operation.

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                      Not sure what you mean, regardless it doesn’t matter much for Mercurial because it’s not written in a typed language.

                      Also I think the aspect of rewriting the code for no gain but leaving the code less readable is a big deal, readability counts.

                2. 1

                  It’s an application to store your bytes and your bytes are just bytes.

                  Python 3 has a “just bytes” type. One that’s actually far better than Python 2’s, because Python 2’s was overloaded by also needing to be the default string object. For example, a while ago I went back and did the first couple sets of cryptopals challenges again using Python 3 instead of 2, and it was night-and-day how much nicer Python 3 was for working with “just bytes”.

                  And the fact that Mercurial was apparently utterly blocked by not being able to use % on bytes objects indicates Mercurial was not treating these bytes as “just bytes” – the % operator is there to let you do string formatting operations with printf()-style syntax, which only makes sense if the bytes are in fact being treated as strings (which in turn means you need to “use encodings”, because formatting operations on byte sequences of unknown encoding are a ticking time bomb in the code).

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                    Please read PEP 461. Its use cases are explained there and apply to Mercurial.

                    1. 4

                      I have read it. I’m not disagreeing that the Mercurial team says PEP 461 makes the their lives easier. I’m disagreeing that use of % on str in Python 2 was a “just bytes” operation.

                      Even the rationale in the PEP, and the discussion on python-dev when the PEP was being drafted, acknowledged this – the whole purpose for this is to allow treating some bytes as actually being encoded text, and manipulate them in ways that only make sense for encoded text. Which in turn carries an assumption about what encoding was used to produce the bytes, etc.

                      Which means that all of your insistence on “just bytes”, “no encodings”, “no interpretation”, and so on in your original comment was, to be charitable, a red herring. Mercurial didn’t need % formatting for “just bytes” operations; it needed it for operations on bytes that Mercurial assumes are ASCII-encoded text.

                      I don’t doubt it’s perceived as easier for Mercurial to continue doing things that way. I do doubt whether it’s the right approach to wire protocols which consist of mixed encoded text and “just bytes”.

                3. 4

                  Actually with the latest release (Mercurial 5.2), Python3 is the default.

                  1. 1

                    …except on Windows, unless I missed something, correct?

                    1. 3

                      Yep. Windows has a little ways to go yet. :(

                1. 4

                  As a general rule it’s frowned upon for most of your posts on this site to be self-promotion. So far you’ve submitted three stories, all from your blog. I’d encourage you to try to submit less often from your own blog and more often from other sources.

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                    I disagree. This is real technical content, and while it’s not especially interesting to me personally, I’m glad that it was submitted. I regard your use of the spam flag as inappropriate, because the post is not promoting any commercial product or service. I’ve upvoted the story to compensate, and I suggest you have a look at the guidelines.

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                      I flagged it as spam because:

                      1. this user is clearly promoting their blog (not contributing to lobste.rs in any other meaningful way other than, heh, spamming links to their own articles)

                      2. this is a very low effort post (“TIL about cp” and “go read about BorgBackup!’ (but no actual info about how to configure/use it).

                      I suggest you have a look at the guidelines.

                      Unfortunately there’s no clear ‘guideline’ for this type of crap. So ‘spam’ is (IMHO) the best fit.

                      1. 3

                        I didn’t flag this as spam, someone else did.

                        1. 0

                          Mea culpa. I do appreciate your having commented with your opinion. I think there are a few Lobsters users who flag stories they don’t like as ‘spam’, and it’s hard to respond to them if they don’t comment.

                        2. 2

                          As technical content it’s bad. It’s bad advice that for the most part should not be followed. At best it serves as a polemic.

                          1. 1

                            Having looked a little closer at the content, I agree – I just think that a brief comment (like yours!) is a better way to respond, both to the poster and to other readers, than a flag.

                      1. 3

                        Interesting. Looking forward to seeing what @andyc has to say about this one, although I suspect it’s pretty much already been said at http://www.oilshell.org . Do you suppose the author (Terry Jones) is aware of https://xon.sh ? It’s not mentioned in the README.

                        1. 3

                          There’s an issue on the bug tracker: https://github.com/terrycojones/daudin/issues/6

                          1. 1

                            I used Xonsh for a while, until I ran into some pretty annoying performance issues (that was ~2 years ago). I did love the blending of Python and shell, but remember it lead to some awkward syntactic edge cases. I eventually settled for Fish, but continue to write my scripts in Bash (and the amazing ShellCheck) – the pipe remains a very powerful abstraction, so maybe Daudin would hit that sweet spot, where we get first-class integration with the command-line environment and a good language. It seems to me it has more potential as a shell-scripting replacement than a real REPL shell.

                            1. 1

                              Hi Sebastien. I’m also a fish user :-) I’m trying to avoid awkward edge cases in daudin, but sometimes it’s not clear how best to do things. E.g., if you run ls --color=auto in daudin you get nice coloured output because it runs in a pseudo-tty and you probably want to keep the output for later pipeline usage. But if you run git status you also want the coloured output in your terminal but do you actually want to keep the output to use in a pipeline. Worse, what if you run (say) vim from inside daudin? It works fine, but what should be in the output / pipeline from that command? I could “fix” that at the expense of not allowing one to continue a pipeline by starting the subsequent line with a pipe.

                              Anyway, I tried to stay as close to pure Python as I could manage, with the explicit goal of minimizing edge cases. The special % commands can all be done with a very small (usually one line) piece of Python, so they’re just syntactic sugar.

                              There are certainly rough edges in daudin with respect to exception handling. Hopefully I’ll improve that as issues arise.

                              BTW, tonight I made some changes so that you can run a daudin script by putting commands in a file (#!/usr/bin/env daudin works too).

                              Thanks for the comment. I don’t know where this is all going, and I didn’t think much before writing it. It’s just a fun project. But I think it’s getting to the point where I can consider actually using it (I now also have a dynamic and coloured prompt). But I’ll certainly miss the awesome predictive powers of fish…

                            2. 1

                              Hi @minimax. As @ngoldbaum says below, I didn’t know about xonsh. I’ve since had a little look at it, but only a bit. I should make time to read it more carefully. If I’d known about it I might not have started. But OTOH, I figured I could make something work in one evening and I love coding, so…… Implementing daudin was really more of an exercise in thinking than anything else - provoked by comments from my Lisp-loving friend.

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                              Maybe you want conda and the packages on conda-forge?

                              1. 2

                                Yes, conda looks good. The fact that it is advertised for Python and R suggests some genericity. It is hard to find documentation about anything not Python though.

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                                Sad :-( I still think Mercurial far better meets the needs of most people, and that the chief reasons for git’s popularity are that Linus Torvalds wrote it, GitHub, and that Linus Torvalds wrote it.

                                That said, I did end up switching from BitBucket/mercurial to GitHub/git a few years ago, simply because it’s the more pragmatical thing to do and I was tired of paying the “mercurial penalty” in missed patches and the like. I wrote a thing about it a few ago: https://arp242.net/git-hg.html

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                                  Why do you think hg is better for most people? I honestly find it vastly more complex to use.

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                                    The hg cli is light years ahead of git in terms of intuitiveness.

                                    1. 6

                                      I’d say it’s years behind ;)

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                                        How long have you been using Mercurial? I find most people who dislike Mercurial’s UI, are mainly coming from years of experience with Git. I disliked Mercurial at first as well, but after a few years of forced usage it clicked. Now I appreciate how simple and well composed it is and get frustrated whenever I need to look up some arcane Git flag on StackOverflow.

                                        In general, I’d say you need several years experience with both Git and Mercurial before you can draw a fair comparison.

                                        1. 3

                                          I used mercurial for about 2 years before using git.

                                          1. 3

                                            Sorry if my post came across a bit accusatory (not my intent). In that case I guess to each their own :).

                                          2. 3

                                            but after a few years of forced usage it clicked.

                                            I’m pretty sure that git clicked for me in a much shorter timeframe.

                                            1. 1

                                              Me too, but I know many (otherwise perfectly competent engineers) 5-10 years in who still don’t get it and aren’t likely to.

                                          3. 9

                                            I’m going to strongly disagree. I’ve used git intensively and I find Mercurial to be a well-designed delight. I’ve run across features that Mercurial supports flawlessly, with a nice UI, and Git requires a hacky filter-branch that takes hours to run and doesn’t even behave correctly.

                                            IMO, a lot of the badness in projects is down to Git badness. it doesn’t scale and people feel compelled to break things down into tiny sub-projects.

                                            The only reason Git is winning anything is GitHub’s support of it.

                                            1. 3

                                              The only reason Git is winning anything is GitHub’s support of it.

                                              Why then was github ever used in the first place? Kind of a strange proposition.

                                              1. 1

                                                Network effect of the social network is pretty important.

                                                1. 1

                                                  Why would there ever be a network effect in the first place if git was so bad that github was the only reason to use it. I get that the argument technically holds but it seems very unlikely.

                                        2. 8

                                          You find mercurial more complex to use than git? That’s an… unusual view, to say the least. The usual recitation of benefits goes something like this

                                          • Orthogonal functionality in hg mostly has orthogonal commands (compare git commit, which does a half-dozen essentially unrelated different things).
                                          • hg has a somewhat more uniform CLI (compare git branch -a, git remote -v, git stash list).
                                          • hg either lacks or hides a bunch of purportedly-inessential and potentially confusing git functionality (off the top of my head, partial commits aren’t baked into the flow a la git’s index/staging area; and rebasing and history rewriting are hidden behind an extension).

                                          I personally prefer git, but not because I think it’s easier or simpler; I’m more familiar with it, and I find many of those purportedly-inessential functions to be merely purportedly, not actually, inessential.

                                          1. 5

                                            One more thing I like about mercurial that the default set of commands is enough for >90% of people, and that everything else is “hidden” in extensions. This is a very different approach than git’s “kitchen-sink” approach, which gives people 170 commands (vs. Mercurial’s 50, most of which also have much fewer options/switches than git).

                                            Git very much feels like “bloatware” compared to Mercurial.

                                            1. 3

                                              I used git for many years, and then mercurial (at FB) ever since we switched over. The cli interface for mercurial is definitely more sensible, crecord is delightful, and overall it was fine. But I was never able to build a mental model of how mercurial actually worked. git has a terrible interface, but it’s actually really simple underneath.

                                              1. 1

                                                I didn’t think that underneath they were different enough to matter much. What differences do you mean? I guess there’s git’s remote tracking stuff. Generally, it seems like they differ in how to refer to and track commits and topological branches, locally and remotely. (IMHO, neither has great mechanisms for all the things I want to do.) Mercurial is slightly more complex with the manifest, git is more complex with the staging area that feels absolutely critical until you don’t have it (by using hg), at which time you wonder why anyone bothers with it. I’m a heavier hg user than git user, but that’s about all I can come up with.

                                              2. 2

                                                You find mercurial more complex to use than git?

                                                I actually found – in a professional shop – mercurial far more complex to use. Now, the fact is that mercurials core – vanilla hg is IMHO absolutely without doubt vastly superior to git. Git keeps trying to make the porcelain less painful (including a release just a bit ago) – but I still think it is ages behind.

                                                The problem is – I never used vanilla mercurial in a professional environment. Not once. It was always mercurial++ (we used $X extension and $Y extension and do it like $Z) which meant even if I knew hg, I felt painfully inexperienced because I didn’t know mq, share, attic, collapse, evolve, and more… not to mention both the bigger shops I worked with using mercurial has completely custom workflow extensions. I suspect part of this was just the ease of writing mercurial extensions, and part of it was wanting to fall into a flow they knew (mq, collapse). But, regardless of how we got there, at each place I effectively felt like I had to relearn how to use the version control system entirely.

                                                As opposed to git, wherein I can just drop in and work from day one. It might be less clean, it might be more finicky and enable things like history rewriting by default. But at the end of the day, the day I start, I know how to generally function.

                                                I am curious how Mercurial would have faired if instead of shipping default extensions you had to turn on – if they had just baked a little more functionality, to try to cover the 80% of what most shops wanted (not needed, I think most could have gotten by with what vanilla mercurial had) – if the shop to shop transition would have been easier.

                                                1. 2

                                                  mq, I think, is responsible for many of the “mercurial is too complicated” complaints people have. Evolve, if it ever stabilized and ships with core hg would really enable some killer capabilities. Sadly for social and technical reasons it’s perpetually in beta.

                                                2. 1

                                                  whoa, no index? Admittedly I didnt really use index as intended for several years, but now its an important part of my workflow.

                                                  1. 1

                                                    In Mercurial, commits are so much easier to make and manipulate (split, fold, move), that you don’t miss the index. The index in git is just a limited special cased “commit”.

                                                    1. 3

                                                      The index in git is just a limited special cased “commit”.

                                                      I disagree.

                                                      The index is a useful way to say “these lines of code are ready to go”. If you are making a big commit, it can be helpful to add changes in logical blocks to the index as you go. Then the diff is not polluted with stuff you know is already fine to commit.

                                                      You might say, “why not just make those changes their own commits, instead of trying to do one big commit?” That’s a valid question if you are talking about a 200 line commit or similar, but sometimes the “big” commit is only 50 lines. Instead of making a bunch of one line or few line commits, its helpful to “git add” small chunks, then commit at the end.

                                                      1. 0

                                                        You can as well amend to a commit instead of adding to the index.

                                                        1. 3

                                                          True, but all thats doing is bastardizing the commit process. If you are committing a one line change, just to rebase minutes or hours later, thats not a commit.

                                                          Rebase to me is for commits that were intended to be commits, but later I decided it would be better to squash or change the history. The index is for changes that are never meant to be a full commit on their own.

                                                          1. 1

                                                            Having a distinction between draft and published phases in mercurial I think makes it easier to rewrite WIP work. There’s also a number of UI affordances for it. I don’t miss the index using mercurial. There’s also academic user interface research that shows the index is a big conceptual barrier for new users.

                                                            1. 1

                                                              There’s also academic user interface research that shows the index is a big conceptual barrier for new users.

                                                              this isnt really a valid point in my opinion. some concepts are just difficult. if some goal can be achieved in a simpler way i am on board, but I am not a fan of removing useful features because they are hard to understand.

                                                              1. 1

                                                                But the point is the index is hard to understand and unnecessary.

                                                                There’s no need to have a “commit process”. Just commit whatever you want and rewrite/amend it for as long as you want. As long as your commits are drafts, this is fine.

                                                                Is the problem the word “commit”? Does it sound too much like commitment?

                                                                There’s no need to have two separate ways to record changes, an index, and a commit, each with different degrees of commitments. This is multiplying entities beyond necessity.

                                                                1. 1

                                                                  That’s your opinion. The index is quite useful to me. I’d rather make a proper commit once it’s ready, not hack together a bunch of one line commits after the fact.

                                                                  1. 2

                                                                    The index is a commit. Why have two separate ways of storing the same sort of thing?

                                                                    Also, it’s not my opinion that it’s hard to understand and unnecessary; it’s the result of usability studies:

                                                                    https://spderosso.github.io/oopsla16.pdf

                                                                    You’re also not “hacking together” anything after the fact. There’s no more hacking together after the fact whether you use git amend (hypothetically) or git add. Both of those mean, “record additional changes”.

                                                                    1. 0

                                                                      It seems you have a fundamental misunderstanding of the difference between add and commit. Commit requires a commit message.

                                                                      1. 1

                                                                        This isn’t a useful distinction. You can also create commits with empty commit messages in both git and Mercurial.

                                                                        With both git and Mercurial you can also amend commit messages after the fact. The index in git could well be implemented as a commit with an empty commit message that you keep amending and you wouldn’t notice the difference at all.

                                                                        1. 1

                                                                          you keep amending and you wouldn’t notice the difference at all.

                                                                          yeah, you would. again it seems that you either dont know git, or havent used it in some time. when you amend a commit, you are prompted to amend the message as well. another facet that doesnt exist with git add, because add doesnt involve a message.

                                                                          if you wish to contort git internals to suit your agenda thats fine, but git add has perfectly valid use cases.

                                                                          1. 0

                                                                            you are prompted to amend the message as well.

                                                                            This is UI clutter unrelated to the underlying concepts. You can get around that with wrappers and aliases. I spoke of a hypothetical git amend above that could be an alias that avoids prompting for a commit message.

                                                                            Don’t git users like to say how the UI is incidental? That once you understand the data structures, everything else is easy? The UI seems to have locked you into believing the index is a fundamentally necessary concept, but it’s not. It’s an artifact of the UI.

                                                                            1. 1

                                                                              The UI seems to have locked you into believing the index is a fundamentally necessary concept, but it’s not.

                                                                              Nothing has locked me into believing its a necessary concept. Its not necessary. In fact, for about 7 years I didnt use the index in any meaningful way.

                                                                              I think what you are missing is that Im not compelled to use it because its the default workflow, I am compelled to use it because its useful. It helps me accomplish work more smoothly than I did previously, when I would just make a bunch of tiny commits because I didnt understand the point of the index, as you still dont.

                                                                              The argument could be made to move the index into an option, like somehow make commit only the default workflow. Im not sure what that would look like with Git, but I dont think its a good idea. It would just encourage people to make a bunch of smaller commits with meaningless commit messages.

                                                                        2. 1

                                                                          You have a set of things you want to accomplish. With git, you have N+1 concepts/features/tools to work with. With hg, you have N (because you drop the index). That means you have to expand your usage of the remaining N.

                                                                          Specifically, since you no longer have this extra index concept, you now expand commits to cover the scenarios you need. Normally, you’d make an initial commit and then amend a piece at a time (probably with the interactive curses hunk selector, which is awesome.) If you’re unsure about some pieces, or you have multiple things going on that you’d like to end up in separate commits, you can always make a series of microcommits and then selectively collapse them later. (In practice, it’s even easier than this, because of the absorb extension. But never mind that.)

                                                                          Yes, those microcommits need commit messages. They don’t need to be good ones, because they’re temporary until you squash them out of existence. I usually use a one word tag to specify which of the separate final commits they belong to. (If you don’t have separate final commits, you may as well amend, in which case no messages are needed.)

                                                                          …or on the other hand, maybe mercurial ends up with N+1 concepts too, because phases really help in keeping things separate. As I understand it, one reason git users love the index is because it keeps rapidly changing, work in progress stuff separate from mostly set in stone commits. Phases perform the same purpose, but more flexibly, and the concepts are more orthogonal so they compose better. In my opinion.

                                                3. 6

                                                  I never particularly liked git and find it unintuitive, too.

                                                  I wouldn’t consider myself a git poweruser. But whenever I had to work with alternatives I got the feeling that they’re just inferior versions of git. Yeah, maybe the usage was a bit more intuitive, but all of them seemed to lack things that I’d consider really basic (bisecting - hg has that, but e.g. svn has not - and shallow copying - not avaible in hg - are examples what I often miss).

                                                  1. 3

                                                    Mercurial was actually my first DVCS, and like you I ended up switching to git not out of a sense that it was technically better, just more pragmatic. For me, the change is more of a mixed bag, though. It is definitely the case that Mercurial’s UI is worlds better, and revsets in particular are an amazing feature that I sorely miss, but when I made the switch I found that the way git handles branches was much more intuitive to me than Mercurial’s branch/bookmark system, and that the affordances around selectively editing commit histories were very much worth the risk in terms of being able to manage the narrative of a project’s history in a way that makes it more legible to others. Ultimately, I found that git’s advantages outweighed its downsides for my use case, since learning its UI idiosyncrasies was a one-time cost and since managing branches is a much more common occurrence for me than using revsets. That said, I think this is a really unfortunate development.

                                                    1. 2

                                                      I occasionally convert people’s git repos to hg for my use. Stubborn like that.

                                                    1. 4

                                                      That’s unexpected.

                                                      1. 4

                                                        Only if you haven’t been paying attention, the writing has been on the wall for a while now.

                                                      1. 17

                                                        Do not delete the path part of that URL, yikes.

                                                        Anyway, what is “Suckless”? That’s what I was trying to see, and instead got an image of a naked man holding a bottle of wine.

                                                        1. 16

                                                          For Suckless, see https://suckless.org/, not the users subdomain.

                                                          It’s a project/group related to cat-v and classical-unix/plan9 advocacy, rejecting tools that “suck” and wanting to replace them with “simpler” alternatives (dwm for window managment, st for terminals, dmenu for reading keyboard input, …). This often entails that configurations have to be applied pre-compilation and that the default distributions of various tools and projects are pretty lean – hence additional features are collected as patches, which are listed here, showing which can be successfully applied, and which can’t.

                                                          1. 4

                                                            I can report that dwm and st are great tools.

                                                            The only hitch is recompiling them after modifying their configuration files, which are written in C. Many people don’t like this. Some, like myself, don’t mind.

                                                            1. 3

                                                              I used st (off and on) for a while (~1yr), and for me the biggest annoyance was having to rebase some patches when multiple patches modify similar lines of code. Once that headache was resolved, it was generally OK unless some st commits triggered rebasing some stuff again. Basically it was all the fun of maintaining your own branch of st with patches someone else wrote.

                                                          2. 13

                                                            Suckless was in its heyday around the time of the systemd eruption, as far as I know. This would be around 2010. Slightly prior was this one weird viral video of an artist named Gunther, a self-styled “sex prophet,” who made the rounds with a (completely SFW in the most technical of senses, though apparently not germane to your sensibilities, bheisler, which is fine with me, thus this explanatory note to lessen the blow of freakishness herein) music video called “Ding Ding Dong.” Pop music beats, euro summer beach ditzy style. Not amazing, but pretty good, definitely unique. The naked man is that same gunther. Just wanted to clear that up, because this is a clear case of an overreaction to a misunderstood joke. As far as I know, the suckless community was and is to the extent that it still exists, pretty insular. Probably didn’t anticipate being posted on an HN style board

                                                            1. 7

                                                              Probably didn’t anticipate being posted on an HN style board

                                                              Lobste.rs has even “suckless developer” hat used by several people. Not quite buying the unanticipated part.

                                                              1. 1

                                                                Reasonable.

                                                                Would you, however, admit that Gunther, the individual who presumably is the man behind gunther.suckless org, is not the OP of this link?

                                                                In admitting this, if you do admit this, are you not therefore forced to agree with me that the post we’re discussing was not intentionally put forth as a display of nudity to eyes averse to that same nudity?

                                                                If a list of patches to utilities and other programs is hosted at a path of a subdomain which contains the image a naked man holding a vertical wine bottle (with suggestive verticality) is posted without awareness of the suggestive verticality of said bottle, then can’t we conclude that the proximate nature of that suggestively vertical bottle to said list of patches to utilities and programs is in some sense accidental, and therefore unanticipated?

                                                                By this argument, I intend to demonstrate that your claim, while seemingly reasonable, is eliding the quite clear nature of the circumstances, in an effort to maintain that all suckless developers and subdomain holders should be aware of all possible audiences for their online “speech” (or however you wish to define what the image is), when in fact it is absurd to believe that all speech of all suckless developers would be anticipated to agree with all possible audiences. I’m afraid that, unless Gunther appears to justify his position, we’ll have to remain in a misunderstanding silence regarding the reason why a suggestively vertical bottle and naked man are so closely associated with this list of patches.

                                                                I tried to explain it, because it seemed necessary to explain, to me. Perhaps one day, your doubt regarding this explanation will itself be exposed to the eyes of someone on a far away news site, and they will be as horrified as if they had seen a vertical and suggestively placed bottle.

                                                                1. 2

                                                                  @varjag simply wanted to inform you that @FRIGN not only has an account here, but also has the [suckess.org developer] hat. So a lot of the community knows about Suckless (presumably not @bheisler, who asked the question in the first place).

                                                                  I must confess to be in the same position as @bheisler. I knew of suckless, but had no idea what the linked page meant in context of that project.

                                                              2. 3

                                                                So the guy probably thought since he had the same name as this weirdo that for internet reasons (remember when memes were cool and unique signifiers of in-group identification?) it would naturally follow to have him around on the ol’ personal page

                                                                1. 2

                                                                  Sorry for the long-winded explanation, but I miss the old web, and I am not even old! Would you, Herr heisler, have been hip to a tidy game of Flash-powered Sandspiel, even if it were on a subdomain of ebaumsworld?

                                                              3. 8

                                                                The suckless project makes and maintains a bunch of Unix programs that meet their definition of “sucking less” - http://suckless.org/philosophy/

                                                                I’ve been caught off guard by them offering personal subdomains on their site before, too - suckless.org is SFW, but any individual subdomain?

                                                                I use and like dwm when I can.

                                                                1. 17

                                                                  They like to send mail from hosts with names like wolfsschanze. You can also see FRIGN’s opinion about diversity as shared on lobsters. Or the time someone pointed out there are torchlit marches at suckless conferences and someone else asked FRIGN to clarify and he basically admitted to being a white nationalist, complete with dogwhistles like “cultural marxism”?

                                                                  I’m not saying that suckless is definitely a white nationalist organization but I am saying someone would have to do a lot of work to convince me otherwise.

                                                                  1. 4

                                                                    Must we do this everytime someone posts something suckless related? Can we please just talk about technology instead of all this political nonsense and random accusations?

                                                                    1. 13

                                                                      Look, for every person who thinks this is “political nonsense and random accusations,” there’s at least one person who thinks this is so damning that they want literally nothing to do with suckless ever again.

                                                                      And despite Lobster’s general “politics is off-topic” policy, this thread is literally someone asking “what is ‘Suckless’?”, so if it’s on-topic anywhere, it’s here.

                                                                      1. 2

                                                                        Please see my reply above.

                                                                        1. 5

                                                                          Um. Welcome to lobsters? A couple of words to a wise guy:

                                                                          1. Your previous comment is not “above” this one. The whole tree gets reordered based on upvotes.
                                                                          2. That stream-of-consciousness-wall-of-text style may play well wherever @enkiv2 invited you from, but it’s gauche here. At least, I find it exhausting more than amusing.
                                                                          3. For heaven’s sake, please don’t feed the trolls! No matter how many big buckets of troll slop you may have handy.
                                                                          1. 0

                                                                            Thank you, minimax! – for your welcome, since it is utterly welcoming. A couple more words in response, and whether they contain a wisdom equivalent to my similar and apparently inherent quality of same is entirely your determination. I am so grateful to have run into an authority on these matters. Perhaps you can finally solve the trolley problem for us all, and divide good people from bad ones, as you scry into your palantir of forum posts.

                                                                            To wit -

                                                                            (1) My previous comment is in a tree of comments.

                                                                            (a) What is the precise and preferred nomenclature, such that an ignoramus could understand?

                                                                            (b) In the sense that a tree (such as this comment tree) goes from a single node to plenty of nodes, is it entirely inappropriate to say “above” in order to indicate, where n is the depth indicated away from the origin, trunk, root, or base of the tree, the position n - 1? I understand if your perspective is like the protagonist of Ender’s game, and you feel like n-1 compared to n is down, not up, but Ender held that of his enemies, and I am not yours. Are you mine?

                                                                            (2) I don’t care. Actually, like a total four-year-old, I feel an evil glee.

                                                                            (a) When you say, “stream-of-consciousness-wall-of-text,” you are committing a grammatical error by hypenating between “chunks” of words. One noun is “stream-of-consciousness” and the other is “wall-of-text,” and, while neither necessitates hyphens, it is an elegant stylistic choice, and redounds back upon my usage of “implied-by-you.” But the nouns you connected simply don’t need to be joined. In fact, they should be separated by a comma. I’m running out of breath just looking at it.

                                                                            (b) Gauche – what is the meaning of this word in the sense you’re applying?

                                                                            (b, cont.) John Ohno is no concern of yours in this regard, is he? What are you, a partisan of webbiness that wants to condemn hypertext? What beef could you possibly have with the guy? How do you even go from his proto-post-communism on the one hand and quasi-Ludditic radically conservative ideals of “small computing” on the other, to me? Am I to consider you as thinking that my response, “below,” (in opposition to ngoldbaum’s unfair condemnation of an entire ideal of technical practice in contemporary FOSS on the basis of his own flawed reasoning, equating cultural marxism, which predates the ilk whom ngoldbaum is, in abject ignorance, confusingly attempting to condemn, by about 45 years) the same as enkiv2’s opinions?

                                                                            (b, cont.) That you find it exhausting to read: good for you. :)

                                                                            (3) This would be humorless, except it is meaningless.

                                                                            Please, oh minimax, solve the trolley problem, since you know how to identify trolls and can give advice to the gauche. I am happy to lay on the tracks if you want to flip that switch to experimentally determine once and for all whether it is worth saving some arbitrary group of people as opposed to me. Regarding the basic subject matter at hand, which is suckless, and someone’s unfair-in-my-opinion (see how that’s grammatical?) condemnation of suckless, I should say that I find a policy of opposition to affirmative action intolerant. I support techne, and it follows that I support suckless. It does not therefore follow that I support what ngoldbaum very confusedly understands to be a persecution of the Jews by FRIGN. This seems absurd to have to point out, but here we are. Again: I find intolerance disgusting. I also find vendettas disgusting. Lastly, I find hubris disgusting. I am painfully aware that I, too, sadly lack the cleanliness that would come with an absence of this very quality. However, you have to admit, your hubris in judging me is incomparably greater than my hubris in defending myself against your allegations of . . .

                                                                            1. Being a “wise guy.”
                                                                            2. Having a “gauche” “style.”
                                                                            3. Having an exhausting and unamusing style.
                                                                            4. Feeding the trolls, in contradiction to the “sake of heaven.”
                                                                            5. Having handy “troll slop.”

                                                                            Your welcome is most welcome.

                                                                            And you’re welcome.

                                                                            Regards,

                                                                            Myself

                                                                            P.S.: “A couple of words” is merely a figure of speech! And you don’t have to type “um,” even if you habitually say it!

                                                                            1. 4

                                                                              This sardonic flippancy is tedious and unwelcome. Please treat others better than this.

                                                                              1. 2

                                                                                Noted

                                                                              2. 1

                                                                                (a) What is the precise and preferred nomenclature, such that an ignoramus could understand?

                                                                                I prefer to simply provide a link to the comment.

                                                                                (2) I don’t care. Actually, like a total four-year-old, I feel an evil glee.

                                                                                This is not a good attitude to have on Lobste.rs.

                                                                                (b) Gauche – what is the meaning of this word in the sense you’re applying?

                                                                                I’m not @minimax, but I would read it as “socially awkward”.

                                                                                (b, cont.) John Ohno is no concern of yours in this regard, is he?

                                                                                Actually he is, as he invited you and has a certain responsibility for that invitation.

                                                                                1. 2

                                                                                  Yeah, um, @lettucehead, please don’t get yourself banned. I would not have invited you if I didn’t expect you to acknowledge community norms & practices.

                                                                                  1. 0

                                                                                    I just saw your reply to this thread, and I want to thank you again for the invite, and assure you that I won’t be a troll or otherwise possess sardonic flippancy in the future. Well I will try to tone it down. A lot.

                                                                                    I still have all my questions from this thread (how the heck can somebody using the words “cultural Marxism” to discuss radical forms of Marxism having to do with culture, which are genuine phenomena, be considered an anti-Semitic “dogwhistle?” Why was I considered a troll for pointing out this exhausting and unfair absurdity? Will pushcx ever change his mind about my sardonic flippancy, and see it for the charmingly wonderful firehose of Furby-faced unicorns it really is? Like the center of a Tootsie Pop’s per-lick depth scalar, the world may never know)… Thus I have decided to just let it go. Or maybe I’ll start a tech blog and collect $20 from Drew DeVault.

                                                                                    I just wanted to make a splash. I will certainly be more careful moving fwd, and not imperil your reputation. Any further than you yourself do all the time with all the “small computing” heresies I hear you’ve been spreading among the faithful, turning Microsoft customers into the reprobate worshippers of Alan Kay. Tsk, tsk. Cheers

                                                                      2. 1

                                                                        Hey, because minimax decided to play mod with my “gauche style,” and I suspect he just disagrees with what he believes to be my assumptions about what you said, I have some further, legitimate, serious questions. What can you say to substantiate your reduction of the “stream-of-consciousness, wall-of-text style” (to use minimax’s phrase with my improvement) post by which FRIGN “[clarified,] and … basically admitted to being a white nationalist,” in the torchlit marches link, above?

                                                                        I’m honestly confused, I just don’t see how you get that from what he said. Can you, please, substantiate your reduction of what he actually said, to what you said he said?

                                                                        Or, can you remove your unnecessarily politicizing post, in violation of pushcx’s general wishes for this forum? I will happily delete (or respect the deletion of) my replies to it, so that we’re “even.” But let it be known, I do wish substantive answers because I am sincerely curious about your opinion and understanding, and would rather not have the kabosh put on a polite and principled discussion. We’re all crustaceans here, instead of denizens of the orange site, because the discussion is of a much higher quality. At least, that’s what I’m here for, and I care deeply about that.

                                                                        I should also add that I never would have been aware of any rift between certain members of this community were it not for one of your posts on almost the exact same subject several months ago, and while I have picked on specific points of contention regarding the “dogwhistles,” I was glad to receive the intelligence represented by your… saintly screeds… in this regard, both initially and now.

                                                                        1. -5

                                                                          I believe your characterization of FRIGN and some generally-applicable ad hominem arguments about suckless devs as a whole are accurate and appropriate. Furthermore, I do think it’s not unreasonable to maintain that the qualifier “definitely,” being dropped, would result in a statement of something that you are indeed saying. I encourage you to unequivocally embrace your own opinions, since greater accuracy and forthrightness about a diminished predicate (the implied-by-you “absolute” white-nationalism of suckless being reduced to a mere quality thereof) will remove the difficulty necessitating a disavowal of your own opinion in the first place.

                                                                          It is an intellectual error to equate white nationalism with opposition to cultural marxism. The preeminent hypervisor over the various and factional containers of that latter opposition, Jordan Peterson, was interested when Zizek pointed out that during the passion of Christ, he said, “Why hast thou forsaken me?,” a point of contention in scholastic philosophy that, from Zizek’s point of view, cut at a certain root of Peterson’s misunderstanding of what communism was all about, in relation to the nominal subject of their appearance together recently. The fact that that seems unrelated, is because it is. However, it is definitely in the strictest possible sense of “relating to definition,” relevant to cultural marxism as such. All this is to say – there is such a thing as conversation, and it is stymied when an equation is made between unequal parts. I dont dispute the apparent co-location of nationalism and anti-Marxism, but this goes without saying, and I don’t dispute the divergent interests of “whiteness” (as concieved by the so-called cultural Marxists) and “culture” (read: “diversity;” as conceived by the self-styled neoreactionaries).

                                                                          In the final analysis, we’ll all go along with some eventual victory in the political arena, and either condemn or glorify the ideologues of the suckless branch of post- simplicity accordingly, but that victory has not yet been obtained by either belligerent party in this technical and confounded arena. Until then, FRIGN is probably gonna go on with his agenda in every sense, the mods are gonna maintain their positions of relative non-interference, and you might remain willing to conflate ethics with techne. I shall not.

                                                                          (The only remaining position is cultural Trotskyism!)

                                                                      1. 25

                                                                        With respect to email, don’t forget that pull requests were once intimidating too - as anyone who frequently works with onboarding new developers to its workflow can attest. To help make onboarding users with email easier, I wrote this tutorial:

                                                                        https://git-send-email.io

                                                                        I also wrote a rebase guide which applies to both workflows for making your changes more consistent and easier to review:

                                                                        https://git-rebase.io

                                                                        1. 26

                                                                          https://git-send-email.io

                                                                          That nicely outlines how to send patches, but I think people have far more difficulty receiving patches via email. Not everyone uses mutt, aerc, or runs a patchwork instance. Many mail clients, that people are otherwise generally fairly happy using, are just super not great at handling emailed patches. Emailed patches also generally don’t show a CI status that you can view ahead of time (I have heard of some, but I don’t ever remember seeing it firsthand in the wild).

                                                                          It’s great that it (an email patch workflow) works well with your workflows and tooling, but for some people it just… doesn’t work as well.

                                                                          1. 4

                                                                            I mean, those people who don’t have such a mail client are missing out. It’s like arguing that we should use SVN because not everyone has git installed, in my opinion. And testing your patches against SourceHut CI is pretty easy, before or after it’s sent.

                                                                            1. 26

                                                                              I think one issue is that for most of us, sending and receiving patches is a very small part of what we do with email, so choosing a mail client on that basis doesn’t make sense.

                                                                              1. 1

                                                                                But we aren’t forced to use only one mail client. I use several depending on context / the task at hand.

                                                                                1. 1

                                                                                  I am curious about your multiclient workflow. Do you use multiple addresses, or use filters and one shared address? Or just all the mail in all of them?

                                                                                  1. 4

                                                                                    Whether you use local maildir or imap, mail stores are designed for concurrent access. How many people check email on their phone and not their phone?

                                                                                    1. 1

                                                                                      Sure, but my question was specifically about their workflow with it.

                                                                                    2. 2

                                                                                      As it happens I do use multiple accounts for multiple “hats”, but that’s slightly orthogonal to multiple clients, which I use even for a single account. My daily driver is mutt; I use thunderbird for rare occasions when I need to see rendered html properly or perform a search (still haven’t got mairix or not much etc set up) and I often use ios mail app but mostly read only.

                                                                                      At work we use Gmail. I do check that from ios mail app too. I recently started configuring mutt to read my work mail too but it’s a work in progress so I still regularly open the Gmail website.

                                                                                2. 23

                                                                                  I mean, those people who don’t have such a mail client are missing out. It’s like arguing that we should use SVN because not everyone has git installed, in my opinion.

                                                                                  To me it sounds a bit more like arguing “anyone who doesn’t ride a penny-farthing to work every day is totally missing out”.
                                                                                  Well…maybe.. I do find it unlikely that is going to convince very many people who weren’t already riding them, or weren’t already inclined to do so. Even if it is amazing.

                                                                                  Sidenote1: I may be wrong, but it even appears that Mutt itself uses gitlab instead of email based patches. If true, I find that oddly humorous.

                                                                                  Sidenote2: I have nothing against email based patch flows, and if I am going to contribute to a project, I generally contribute in whatever form a project requires (within reason). But for my own projects, I do not desire an emailed patches based workflow (EPBW), nor do I desire to run/manage/admin/moderate(remove spam) a mailing list. That’s just me though.

                                                                                  1. 7

                                                                                    To me it sounds a bit more like arguing “anyone who doesn’t ride a penny-farthing to work every day is totally missing out”.

                                                                                    I don’t really like this take. Having sunk thousands of hours into the GitHub, Gerrit, and email-driven workflows, I can confidently assert that the email-driven workflow, even setting aside the many respects in which it is politically and technically superior, is simply the most efficient for both contributors and maintainers. The penny farthing comparison is unfair.

                                                                                    Sidenote1: I may be wrong, but it even appears that Mutt itself uses gitlab instead of email based patches. If true, I find the humorous.

                                                                                    Mutt uses Gitlab and mailing lists and Sourcehut, actually. The dominant avenue of contributions to mutt is through its hosted mailing list. They use Sourcehut CI, however.

                                                                                    Sidenote2: I have nothing against email based patch flows, and if I am going to contribute to a project, I generally contribute in whatever form a project requires (within reason). But for my own projects, I do not desire an emailed patches based workflow (EPBW), nor do I desire to run/manage/admin/moderate(remove spam) a mailing list. That’s just me though.

                                                                                    That’s why Sourcehut can do it for you.

                                                                                    1. 9

                                                                                      I don’t really like this take. Having sunk thousands of hours into the GitHub, Gerrit, and email-driven workflows, I can confidently assert that the email-driven workflow, even setting aside the many respects in which it is politically and technically superior, is simply the most efficient for both contributors and maintainers. The penny farthing comparison is unfair.

                                                                                      A bit of an “Ipse dixit”, but I’ll take it at face value anyway. To be clear, my comment was in response to your statement:

                                                                                      I mean, those people who don’t have such a mail client are missing out.

                                                                                      Which is what I made the comparison against. You have now pulled in other concerns in your response, and attributed them to the comment I made. I find that a bit uncharitable. I guess at this point we can just agree to disagree.

                                                                                      Mutt uses Gitlab and mailing lists and Sourcehut, actually. The dominant avenue of contributions to mutt is through its hosted mailing list. They use Sourcehut CI, however.

                                                                                      That’s odd. I looked through the last 2 months of their mutt-dev mailing list, and saw no mailed patches, but several gitlab PRs. Maybe I saw the wrong mailing list? Maybe I didn’t go back far enough? Overlooked it?
                                                                                      It doesn’t really matter, and I’ll take your word for it that they predominantly use emailed patches.

                                                                                      1. 2

                                                                                        The last 2 months have only seen one patch on Gitlab:

                                                                                        https://gitlab.com/muttmua/mutt/merge_requests?scope=all&utf8=%E2%9C%93&state=merged

                                                                                        After reviewing it myself I have to correct myself, I reckon that Gitlab and the mailing lists are at about an even pace these days.

                                                                                        1. 2

                                                                                          Do note: that was merged PRs. There were a couple of more (not many though!) in All which is what I looked at.

                                                                                  2. 5

                                                                                    Not everyone is productive using such mail client. Personally, I just plainly cannot remember more than a few shortcuts, which is already a massive roadblock for effectively using CLI tools as for most of them rely on shortcuts to increase productivity, they also do not provide me with options of what I can do, and I cannot for my life remember what can I do for all the possible contexts, cause of course options on what you can do are dependent on the context which you are currently in. Some people just aren’t productive using CLI tools, and saying that they “are missing out” because they plainly cannot effectively use the tool is simply gatekeeping.

                                                                                    1. 3

                                                                                      saying that they “are missing out” because they plainly cannot effectively use the tool is simply gatekeeping.

                                                                                      This is absurd. If a mechanic decides that he “is not a ratchet person” and will only ever use open-end wrenches, then I will question his professionalism just as I would question a software developer that “is not a CLI person” and will not learn to use a CLI mail client.

                                                                                      He doesn’t need to use the CLI mail client for his day-to-day email, but he should be capable of learning how to use it to handle the occasional emailed patches.

                                                                                      1. 5

                                                                                        Or this person will work with whatever, when paid for (professionals are paid for their work by definition!), but will only work with tools he/she finds enjoyable when doing charity. Thus FLOSS projects forcing inconvenient, last century methods with arrogant communication are missing contribution.

                                                                                        I thing the FLOSS community should focus on this kind of openness more, instead of CoCs.

                                                                                        1. 3

                                                                                          Good point. For work I’ll use whatever tools get the job done, no matter how gruesome. But for FOSS contributions, I agree that if the tool is difficult or simply frustrating to use, then it may as well not exist.

                                                                                        2. 1

                                                                                          Wrong assumption. Difference between using GUI and CLI clients is not like between open-end and ratcheted wrenches. Using those wrenches is basically the same. Meanwhile the experience between using CLI and GUI mail client is a lot bigger. I’d compare it to using automatic and manual wood planes. You can work with higher precision and similar speed with manual hand plane, but most carpenters would choose automatic hand plane, as it “just works” and doesn’t require that much skill and learning to do.

                                                                                          And why should you care what kind of wrench does your car mechanic uses, if he does the job well? This isn’t a problem not using better tools, but a problem of tool abilities. The tools that an average developer uses does not represent the tools that are created for that workflow. And that is a problem.

                                                                                          1. 2

                                                                                            I’ll entertain the analogy to a wood plane, though I’m unfamiliar with the devices. You say it yourself: the manual wood plane is useful in certain circumstances but requires skill. So does the CLI mail client. Use the automatic wood plane where it fits, but at least learn the skill to use the manual wood plane where the higher precision is necessary.

                                                                                            A developer that refuses to acquire a skill is simply not professional.

                                                                                            1. 1

                                                                                              It’s not like it requires much skill. It is the basically the same skill. The difference is, you need to move the manual wood plane along the plank 10 times, while with automatic you only need to move it once and the motor does its job. Some people just don’t have the patience and/or physical stamina to use manual wood plane. Manual hand plane is in fact more configurable, and can be used in more specialized scenarios. So enthusiasts use hand planes. Your average carpenter does not.

                                                                                              1. 2

                                                                                                The analogy was not mine.

                                                                                        3. 0

                                                                                          Consider acme?

                                                                                          1. 2

                                                                                            I am unable to find such email client. And the point is, for a workflow to be usable by a wide range of people, it should require as little new tools that do the same as the ones they use. And in case of email clients, most people probably like their current email client, and they do not want to change it. So they, in turn, do not want to switch to this new workflow, which, while potentially increases productivity, requires them to switch to tools they do not like.

                                                                                            1. 4

                                                                                              acme is a text editor which can be easily coaxed into being a mail client.

                                                                                              Consider as well that you needn’t discard your daily mail client in order to adopt another. What difference does it make if some technology is backed by email or by some other protocol? Just because you already have an HTTP client (e.g. your web browser) doesn’t mean another isn’t useful (e.g. curl).

                                                                                              1. 7

                                                                                                Acme does not seem like general user friendly. My colleagues all use JetBrains IDE’s and use Thunderbird as their mail client. And acme would be a downgrade for their experience. I might use it, but they wouldn’t. If I cannot offer them a good GUI email interface, there is no way they would switch to email-based workflow.

                                                                                                1. 0

                                                                                                  I was recommending acme particularly for you, given the following:

                                                                                                  I just plainly cannot remember more than a few shortcuts

                                                                                                  If your colleagues won’t join you I consider your colleagues to be in the wrong, not the software. A bicycle is easier to use than a car but it’s not going to get you to the other end of town in time for the movie.

                                                                                                  1. 14

                                                                                                    If your colleagues won’t join you I consider your colleagues to be in the wrong, not the software.

                                                                                                    Don’t you think peace within a team is more important than any particular software or workflow? Or, to put it another way, the feelings of people are more important than any workflow, so if a large group of people reject a workflow, it’s better to conclude that the workflow is wrong for those people than to say that those people are wrong.

                                                                                                    1. 7

                                                                                                      My colleagues wouldn’t join me because the workflow is bad, but because there is no tooling suitable for them and the workflow. If tooling for a specific workflow just isn’t comfortable for me, I’m just not going to use it.

                                                                                                      1. -8

                                                                                                        Then you ought to be coding in basic. Good things often require effort.

                                                                                                        Edit: this comment seems to be being misinterpreted, so a clarification: I’m not earnestly suggesting that he should use basic. I’m extending his logic to an incorrect conclusion to demonstrate the flaw in his argument. Most languages are harder than Basic, therefore Basic is more comfortable, therefore why ever learn anything else? Obviously it doesn’t make sense.

                                                                                                        1. 18

                                                                                                          You are literally making the exact same argument that @ignaloidas’ colleagues are. The only difference is that the tooling you find suitable and the tooling they find suitable is a null set. They want to be in JetBrains’ IDEs, you want to be in email. You built tooling that demands email-based workflow because it’s what you want and then tell them they have to change; they’ve got tooling that demands GitHub (or a workalike) and then tell their colleagues that they have to change.

                                                                                                          As an aside, I pay for and generally enjoy using Sourcehut, and I respect your diehard allegiance to email, but you’ve got to quit acting like this in the threads. I get that you love an email-based workflow, and find it superior for your use cases. Having used Git and Mercurial since, what, early 2006 I guess—certainly before GitHub and Bitbucket existed—I disagree (especially when your workflow starts to involve binary assets, so most websites, games, mobile apps, and so on), but I’m also comfy in that workflow, and happy to support an SCM that fully supports that flow. But if you insist that people who do not use your workflow are wrong, and do so in this offensive manner, you’re going to start losing customers.

                                                                                                          And as an aside to that aside, you need to do what you want with Sourcehut, but the fighting against this on principles to me, as a former SCM lead, looks a bit forced: looking at this whole thread, and thinking back to a very early comment, all you’d have to do to satisfy him is to make temporary branch names that can be pulled in some mechanism based on the patch series. That’s it. It’s not trivial, but it’s also not that difficult, since you’re already doing 90% of that with the patch view. If you don’t want to do it, that’s fine, but it seems like that’d still mandate patch-accessible workflows, while also meeting the PR crowd a bit.

                                                                                                          1. 2

                                                                                                            Note about the JetBrains’ IDEs. It’s not like they are incompatible with with email driven workflow, they just have tools that are better suited for pull-request workflow. I gave JetBrains IDEs as an example of what an “average” developer as I know it uses from day to day, as it seems that many bloggers have a distorted view of “average” developer. Average developer actually doesn’t want to fiddle with settings and try 10 different variants before deciding to use one. They want tools that “just work” without massive setup. Average carpenter wants a table saw that simply does the job they want to, they do not fiddle around it to make it the best saw for them.

                                                                                                          2. 14

                                                                                                            Hi this is not a very nice tone, please try to argue in good faith.

                                                                                                            1. 13

                                                                                                              Is insulting prospective customers really the best way to grow your business?

                                                                                                              1. 0

                                                                                                                That was no insult, it was a logical extension of his logic. I didn’t mean it sincerely, I was using it to explain his error.

                                                                                                              2. 2

                                                                                                                Ok, in simpler terms. I would probably still use an SUV instead of Smart even if Smart can go through some shorter paths, because I feel cramped when driving it. Same with software. Some software is in fact more useful than other, but is harder/inconvenient to use for some than software which doesn’t have those fancy features.

                                                                                                                1. -5

                                                                                                                  This isn’t such a case. This is a case where you (or your colleagues, I’m not sure at this point) are refusing to try unfamiliar things and, being ignorant of the experience, asserting it’s worse.

                                                                                                                  1. 3

                                                                                                                    It is. The thing is, I have tried mutt and aerc, and the problem is that I just plainly am not comfortable using bigger CLI programs, that is, those, whose scope goes out of pipes and command line rguments. About the only programs that of such style that I can use is nano and htop, only because they have a handy shortcut guide in the bottom at all times. Acme is also not the kind of editor I would like to use casually. It is easy to blame the people that don’t use it, without understanding the reasons why they don’t use it.

                                                                                                                    1. 0

                                                                                                                      You didn’t know anything of acme not even 2 hours ago. You’ve evaluated it in that time?

                                                                                                                      Herein lies my point. I have a vision and I must at some point exercise my creative authority over the project to secure that vision. Yes, it’s different from what you’re used to. You can construct reasons to excuse this away, but I fundamentally believe that being unwilling to learn something new is the underlying problem. As evidence, I submit that there’s no way you could have given acme a fair evaluation since my suggestion of it. I don’t consider this sort of behavior acceptable cause for changing my system’s design to accomodate.

                                                                                                                      1. 12

                                                                                                                        As someone who used Acme for two years, @ignaloidas does not sound like someone for whom Acme would even be worth trying. It’s great, but incredibly dependent on how you want to use your editor. You can’t disable word wrap, or use any shortcut to move the cursor down a column, for Christ’s sake. It’s really not for everybody (perhaps not even most people).

                                                                                                      2. 2

                                                                                                        So they, in turn, do not want to switch to this new workflow, which, while potentially increases productivity, requires them to switch to tools they do not like.

                                                                                                        What happened to using the right tool for the job?

                                                                                                        1. 1

                                                                                                          The question here is not about “the right tool for the job” but about the usability of those tools for the wider audience. Currently I do not see the majority of the developers switching to email-based workflow purely because of the usability of tools. “Rockstar developers” think that CLI’s are very usable and productive, but that is not the case for the average programmer.

                                                                                                          1. 3

                                                                                                            “Rockstar developers” think that CLI’s are very usable and productive, but that is not the case for the average programmer.

                                                                                                            Good to know that we were all rockstars for decades without realizing it!

                                                                                                            This is probably just an age thing but I don’t know any professional programmers who aren’t comfortable with CLIs.

                                                                                                            1. 3

                                                                                                              There is CLI, and there is CLI application. Git is used through CLI. Vim is a CLI application. Surely you know at least one professional programmer that isn’t comfortable with Vim and alike.

                                                                                                  2. 3

                                                                                                    I am not particularly experienced at using git with email. One problem I have had in the past is when I want to pull in a patchset from a mailinglist archive, where either I am not subscribed to the mailinglist, or wasn’t subscribed at the time when the patches were sent. Can these mail clients help me with this problem? (By contrast, I find it very easy to add a branch / PR as a remote and pull or cherry-pick commits that way)

                                                                                                    1. 3

                                                                                                      lists.sr.ht, the sourcehut web archive for mailing lists, has a little copy+paste command line thing you can use to import any patch (or patchset) into your local git repo. Here’s an example:

                                                                                                      https://lists.sr.ht/~sircmpwn/aerc/patches/7471

                                                                                                      On the right, expand the “how do I use this” box and a short command is given there.

                                                                                                      Integration directly with your mail client would require more development but isn’t necessarily out of the question.

                                                                                                      1. 3

                                                                                                        That’s good to see, but presumably doesn’t help for non-sourcehut mailinglists?

                                                                                                        1. 3

                                                                                                          No, I’m afraid that there are fewer good solutions for non-sourcehut mailing lists. Patchworks has a similar feature, if the list in question has that set up. You could also ask someone else for a copy of the mail. I don’t think this damns the idea, it just shows that we need better software to support the idea - which is what sourcehut tries to be.

                                                                                                2. 2

                                                                                                  I am still trying to find some time to check out Sourcehut. My only concern is how to configure it to run CI builds on mailing list patches as I couldn’t find it anywhere in the docs.

                                                                                                  1. 1

                                                                                                    This hasn’t been implemented yet, but it will be soon.

                                                                                                    1. 1

                                                                                                      Great. If that happens I will think about migrating some of my personal projects to the Sourcehut as it seems pretty as a pretty nice solution.

                                                                                                1. 1

                                                                                                  That is a really excellent gif in the readme.

                                                                                                  1. 6

                                                                                                    Maybe I am mis-remembering my C, but isn’t this more like ++i pre-increment? In that the expression evaluates to the incremented value? I am basing this off of the psuedocode presented of:

                                                                                                    class Integer
                                                                                                      define_method '++' do
                                                                                                        self = self + 1
                                                                                                      end
                                                                                                    end
                                                                                                    

                                                                                                    For which the result of the assignment is returned from this ++ method (if it worked).

                                                                                                    Now that I think about it, true i++ post-increment feels like very awkward Ruby, both at its object-oriented core, and in its functional flourishes. On the other hand, pre-increment fits easily as “just another method”, akin to i+=1 though possibly without the gotchas of assignment precedence.

                                                                                                    Post-increment has to concern itself with manipulating which immutable value object that is assigned to a variable, more than a mutation internal to an object itself. A true i++ would need to:

                                                                                                    1. Store the original value.
                                                                                                    2. Change the value assigned to the variable name, ala Binding#local_variable_set.
                                                                                                    3. Return the original value.

                                                                                                    This still likely require an MRI patch, though I haven’t though too deeply about it.

                                                                                                    1. 4

                                                                                                      Good observation, your memories of C are right. What I implemented is a weird the pre-increment operator working as postfix. I’ll update the post to acknowledge this, thanks!

                                                                                                      I initially implemented the pre-increment operator (++some_var) and that’d be correct because the expression evaluates to the new value of some_var. However I only changed it to be postfix for a stupid reason: it looked better to me.

                                                                                                      I could have gone further and implement the post-increment & post-decrement the proper way but decided to leave it there for now, doing so was a bit tricker as the expression evaluates to something different from the assigned value (as you pointed out).

                                                                                                      My only goal was to mess around with Ruby and challenge myself to make changes in it, there’re tons of experiments you could do for fun. For example enforcing all method calls to have parenthesis so that @ngoldbaum would like Ruby more 😜.

                                                                                                      1. 3

                                                                                                        I fully endorse your JRI fork of the ruby interpreter

                                                                                                      1. 1

                                                                                                        This is because of the recently announced package registry feature: https://github.com/features/package-registry

                                                                                                        1. 1

                                                                                                          Seems strange that you’d be able to log in to this whole second/nth copy, and visit issues and what-not: https://npm.pkg.github.com/NixOS/nixpkgs/issues/63839

                                                                                                          1. 1

                                                                                                            It seems to be just additional domain. And as it is additional domain that is not meant to be used as a web UI it do not shares cookies with the main domain. So only problem I see is that it is indexed (aka it do not specify canonical URL).

                                                                                                        1. 2

                                                                                                          If anyone with firefox on a mac or with hugo experience can help me fix whatever is causing the syntax highlighted code blocks to not render correctly on some browsers I’d really appreciate it

                                                                                                          Apparently some people are seeing the code blocks like this: https://imgur.com/a/ARqo9qD

                                                                                                          1. 1

                                                                                                            FF on macOS: the code blocks seem to render fine for me…

                                                                                                            1. 1

                                                                                                              Fine for me on Firefox 67.0.2 on Mac OS 10.13.6 too. It’s not some dark mode thing is it?

                                                                                                              1. 1

                                                                                                                I do have the problem in the screenshot, and I’m using dark mode, but switching to light mode didn’t fix it.

                                                                                                                Comparing Firefox against Chrome I can see what it’s supposed to look like, but I can’t see from the element inspector why Firefox is getting it wrong.

                                                                                                              2. 1

                                                                                                                Came to say same, on FF on macOS and the code blocks are rendering almost black on black, I tried popping open dev tools and changing the colour to white, but after a second all the text on the page went white, then came back and then the code blocks reverted, so you’ve got some JavaScript loaded there that either FF is screwing up running or the script itself has some issues.

                                                                                                                1. 1

                                                                                                                  I think I’m going to change the theme, the one I’m using appears to be unmaintained.

                                                                                                              1. 11

                                                                                                                Unpopular opinion in the tech industry apparently, but I think this day is truly awful.

                                                                                                                Every year, demonstrators march through London on Labour Day, with standard-bearers waving the Hammer and Sickle up high. Typical symbology also includes portraits of Karl Marx and Joseph Stalin.

                                                                                                                I live in Poland, where the Hammer and Sickle symbol is banned. Polish people aren’t quickly forgetting that Joseph Stalin is responsible for more deaths than Adolf Hitler.

                                                                                                                Perhaps May Day means something far less controversial to most people, but from where I stand it’s as bad as the KKK being a socially acceptable and even morally-righteous movement.

                                                                                                                1. 18

                                                                                                                  Really? Stalin? Mayday was a popular movement in the west including many groups that were adamantly opposed to Russian style communism or even anything associated with Marx. Even in Polish history, the pre-ww2 socialists were a wide range of political ideas.

                                                                                                                  1. 5

                                                                                                                    Unfortunately, yes. It’s true.

                                                                                                                    If I have kids at some point, I’ll insist they take extra history lessons. It seems young adults today were truant.

                                                                                                                    1. 13

                                                                                                                      The MLKP is a fringe party:

                                                                                                                      Marxist-Leninist Communist Party (Turkish: Marksist-Leninist Komünist Partisi, abbreviated as MLKP) is an underground Hoxhaist communist party in Turkey.

                                                                                                                      (my emphasis)

                                                                                                                      The fact that they are freely demonstrating in London is less an example of creeping Stalinism than an example of the free speech rights of Western democracies.

                                                                                                                      As a person of the center-left, I find equating socialist movements with Stalinism as intellectually dishonest as equating far-right/populist parties automatically with Nazism.

                                                                                                                      1. 6

                                                                                                                        If you had flicked through the galleries that I linked to, you would have seen there is no shortage of Hammer and Sickle symbols all throughout every march.

                                                                                                                        My perception is that in the Western world, it is not socially acceptable to march through the streets brandishing a Swastika, whereas doing the same with the Hammer and Sickle is not met with the same opposition.

                                                                                                                        I hope it’s not me you were calling intellectually honest, because it’s not hard to research which symbolism is banned in which countries. Germany strictly prohibits the public display of Nazi symbols. The UK also prohibits the display of Nazi symbols if it is used to promote racial hatred — which is the only real reason why it would be displayed at a public rally.

                                                                                                                        Are Communist symbols banned in the UK? No.

                                                                                                                        Are Communist symbols banned in Germany? No.

                                                                                                                        There are more countries where Nazi symbols are banned while Communist symbols are not, but it is not my duty to list them all.

                                                                                                                        1. 5

                                                                                                                          The gallery site you linked to seems to be an umbrella organization for a lot of fringe leftist groups. May Day is not a public holiday in the UK. It is in Sweden, and the marches there are rote, almost obligatory.

                                                                                                                          I hope it’s not me you were calling intellectually honest, because it’s not hard to research which symbolism is banned in which countries.

                                                                                                                          My comment was not aimed at you, nor did it address the banning of certain symbols in various countries.

                                                                                                                          What I reacted to was the “tarring with the same brush” of proponents of workers (really, employee’s) rights, with the worst excesses of “real socialism”. If I call for an expansion of childcare outside the home, am I a Stalinist because the Soviet Union offered that?

                                                                                                                          As to Poland’s ban on Communist symbols, according to Wikipedia it was found to be unconstitutional in 2011: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bans_on_Communist_symbols#Poland. Is there a followup on this?

                                                                                                                          1. 3

                                                                                                                            The gallery site you linked to seems to be an umbrella organization for a lot of fringe leftist groups.

                                                                                                                            That doesn’t matter. These are real photos, of real people, in a real Western capital city.

                                                                                                                            May Day is not a public holiday in the UK.

                                                                                                                            That’s irrelevant. It’s May Day, not Communist Day. The point is that one has become tacitly associated with the other.

                                                                                                                            If I call for an expansion of childcare outside the home, am I a Stalinist because the Soviet Union offered that?

                                                                                                                            No, and that is still the point. One has become tacitly associated with the other. I am also a proponent of workers’ rights.

                                                                                                                            As to Poland’s ban on Communist symbols, according to Wikipedia it was found to be unconstitutional in 2011; is there a followup on this?

                                                                                                                            Yes. It says that in the paragraph you linked to.

                                                                                                                            1. 4

                                                                                                                              That doesn’t matter. These are real photos, of real people, in a real Western capital city.

                                                                                                                              I find that something to be proud of, not condemn. Freedom of expression and association are very important!

                                                                                                                              One has become tacitly associated with the other.

                                                                                                                              How, exactly?

                                                                                                                              Regarding the Polish ban on the Hammer and Sickle, in your top level comment you wrote:

                                                                                                                              I live in Poland, where the Hammer and Sickle symbol is banned.

                                                                                                                              So this ban has been found to violate the constitution of Poland, and it’s still on the books and enforced?

                                                                                                                              1. 3

                                                                                                                                I find that something to be proud of, not condemn. Freedom of expression and association are very important!

                                                                                                                                …I don’t follow your reasoning here. It seemed as though you were trying to discard the photographic evidence I provided because the photos were hosted on a website with extreme views. That’s why I tried to explain that it doesn’t matter where the photos are hosted. What matters is that Communist symbols are freely displayed in public.

                                                                                                                                How, exactly?

                                                                                                                                I don’t understand how we’re failing to understand each other here.

                                                                                                                                May Day isn’t necessarily meant to be all about Communism (thanks for making your Straw Man position clear, though). And yet, any given May Day march will include a congregation of Communists.

                                                                                                                                So this ban has been found to violate the constitution of Poland, and it’s still on the books and enforced?

                                                                                                                                I haven’t read the law; I have only read summaries of the law in various places online (BBC, Wikipedia, Russkiymir, etc.). Furthermore, I’m sure you’ve heard of an “amendment” before.

                                                                                                                                1. 3

                                                                                                                                  I am not discarding the evidence. I am just not that upset that people with different views (maybe even reprehensible ones) are out in public expressing those views.

                                                                                                                                  You are free to find these views reprehensible though, and to say so.

                                                                                                                                  I am aware that doing so was illegal for a long time in Poland’s history.

                                                                                                                                  May Day isn’t necessarily meant to be all about Communism. And yet, any given May Day march will include a congregation of Communists.

                                                                                                                                  The majority of marchers in May Day parades (here in Sweden, where I can observe directly) are not Communists. They are Social Democrats, Left Party, syndicalists, etc etc. Actual, literal Marxist-Leninists are a tiny minority in Sweden. And they have a right to express themselves too.

                                                                                                                                  I haven’t read the law; I have only read summaries of the law in various places online (BBC, Wikipedia, Russkiymir, etc.). Furthermore, I’m sure you’ve heard of an “amendment” before.

                                                                                                                                  I’m sorry, I assumed that you were fluent in Polish. I will try to find clarification elsewhere.

                                                                                                                                  1. 2

                                                                                                                                    I am not discarding the evidence. I am just not that upset that people with different views (maybe even reprehensible ones) are out in public expressing those views.

                                                                                                                                    You are free to find these views reprehensible though, and to say so.

                                                                                                                                    Ok. Is your position on this universal? In other words, are you saying that you’re also fine with Nazis demonstrating in the streets? How about Sverigedemokraterna? Or Hamas? Or Hezbollah? The historical context of course being that Sweden profited from selling resources to Nazi Germany in WWII.

                                                                                                                                    If it is genuinely your view that anyone should be able to say anything, well, that is liberal indeed (or perhaps just immoral/cowardly, given how many people died as a result of Sweden declaring themselves “neutral” in the past). If that isn’t your view, well…

                                                                                                                                    1. 2

                                                                                                                                      Yes, of course I support these people demonstrating, as long as they follow the laws.

                                                                                                                                      I am well aware of the moral failings of Sweden, historically. I was not alive then, and had I been, I hope I would have the courage of the those Swedes that opposed the appeasement of Nazi Germany in Sweden.

                                                                                                                                      1. 3

                                                                                                                                        Yes, of course I support these people demonstrating, as long as they follow the laws.

                                                                                                                                        That is not a position you hold in common with most of the Australian left, who seem to be increasingly adopting the ironically fascist behaviour of Antifa with regards to free speech they don’t like.

                                                                                                                                        I applaud your consistency.

                                                                                                                                        1. 0

                                                                                                                                          Yes, of course I support these people demonstrating, as long as they follow the laws.

                                                                                                                                          Tell me, why was Charles Manson sentenced to death for seven counts of first-degree murder? He didn’t actually kill anyone.

                                                                                                                                          When Hezbollah — who’s primary political aim is the destruction of Israel and the extermination of all Jews — marched through London last year, they didn’t break any laws, right?

                                                                                                                                          The fact that you don’t see the naïveté of your statement is totally amazing.

                                                                                                                                          1. -1

                                                                                                                                            You are misrepresenting my views, and you are not arguing in good faith.

                                                                                                                                            1. 3
                                                                                                                                              1. 4

                                                                                                                                                I’ll be honest. I was pretty irritated by a lot of the comments here, and I made that tweet to blow off steam.

                                                                                                                                                I am sorry if you feel targeted.

                                                                                                                                                I have since engaged, in what I believe to be good faith, with you, and others, in this thread.

                                                                                                                                                However, I do not see anywhere in my comments here, or in any of the tweets I’ve made today or before, support of the aims of Hezbollah, or of tiny splinter Marxist-Leninist parties, or of Sverigedemokraterna, or of Vänsterpartiet, for that matter.

                                                                                                                                                All I have ever espoused is for these groups to have their say in public, in accordance with local laws.

                                                                                                                          2. 3

                                                                                                                            Personally, I see their presence (or the presence of analogous parties over Europe) as the residue of their strength from the 1930-50’s – they are the appendix of the left. Looking at them now, they seem neither a real threat not a real force.

                                                                                                                            1. 4

                                                                                                                              Oh come on. May Day parades typically feature red flags and literal Communist Manifesto slogans. Here’s one from Melbourne, Australia:

                                                                                                                              https://www.greenleft.org.au/sites/default/files/styles/glw_full_content/public/widerimages/p3%20May%20Day%20march%20in%20Melbourne%20in%202012..jpg

                                                                                                                              1. 2

                                                                                                                                Did you mean to reply to the comment you replied to, or to the one by @vyodaiken above it?

                                                                                                                                Anyway, the red flag predates Communism in Russia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red_flag_(politics)

                                                                                                                                1. 3

                                                                                                                                  I was actually aiming for the post by @gerikson.

                                                                                                                                  And yes, the red flag does. The swastika pre-dates NAZIsm, too, by thousands of years. But I’m under no illusions about why it gets waved at far-right rallies.

                                                                                                                                  1. 4

                                                                                                                                    OK, that’s me, I apologize for missing the threading.

                                                                                                                                    It’s unclear to me what your “Oh come on” comment refers to. Is your position that displaying a red flag means that one espouses Marxism-Leninism? That’s a fringe position.

                                                                                                                                    I live in Sweden, and have seen many May Day parades. The red flag is prominently displayed in all marches, which are organized by the full spectrum of parties on the political Left here. They carry the same sort of symbolism as the Swedish flag, i.e. a benign feeling of belonging.

                                                                                                                                    1. 2

                                                                                                                                      Huh. Maybe Sweden is different to Australia then (beyond the absence of giant spiders, snakes, kangaroos, and sunshine ;) ).

                                                                                                                                      Seriously, here, it’s a far left thing, and not at all representative of a benign feeling of belonging. There’s even a website: https://redflag.org.au/category/theory-history

                                                                                                                                      1. 0

                                                                                                                                        To be honest, I believe that some of the graying bearers of these standards would be thrilled to hear that someone still finds them even slightly threatening.

                                                                                                                                        1. 3

                                                                                                                                          It’s not about them, it’s about the idea they’re marching for.

                                                                                                                                          Many millions of innocent human beings were killed during the 20th Century by people trying to implement those ideas.

                                                                                                                                          What I am scared of is what will happen if they get another chance to try. What I am scared of is that people may have forgotten the history of Communism - or, even worse, may know and not care.

                                                                                                                                          Greybeards waving flags don’t scare me. Greybeards raising the next generation of Stasi, Cheka, or Santebal do scare me.

                                                                                                                                      2. 1

                                                                                                                                        Judging by the amount of Antifa graffiti I’ve seen in Göteborg, I’d say left-wing extremism is normalised in Sweden.

                                                                                                                                        I lived in Sweden for more than enough years to be a citizen, I spent most of my career there, I speak the language, I still have many friends there, and I still visit often. I’m not deluded about the state of that country.

                                                                                                                                        Naziism is a fringe position in Sweden. I used to be a musician in a rock band and I have played at the Hells Angels headquarters in Gunnilse, so yes, I have met some people with “fringe positions”.

                                                                                                                                        Communism is not a fringe position in Sweden. It’s common, and it’s socially acceptable.

                                                                                                                                        1. 1

                                                                                                                                          Gothenburg prides itself in its radical traditions.

                                                                                                                                          For the sake of clarification - would you consider a member of Vänsterpartiet to be a communist?

                                                                                                                                          1. 0

                                                                                                                                            Gothenburg prides itself in its radical traditions.

                                                                                                                                            You’re using a euphemism for violence and oppression here.

                                                                                                                                            For the sake of clarification - would you consider a member of Vänsterpartiet to be a communist?

                                                                                                                                            I’d consider anyone influenced by Gudrun Schyman to be extraordinarily naïve.

                                                                                                                                            I’m not sure how else to answer this question; I don’t agree with collectivism so I don’t want to make a blanket statement about a large group of people. Also, Vänsterpartiet historically has had ‘Communist’ in its name.

                                                                                                                              2. 2

                                                                                                                                Aside from the one from the tiny German MKLP or whatever it is, they all seem to be trade union banners. The Ivana Hoffman story, which I had never heard about before, is so odd: she was a German woman of South African descent, who belonged to a turkish communist party and died in Syria fighting with YPG Kurdish fighters who are some kind of anarchists. Hard to draw much of a lesson from that except that it’s a strange world. But for the vast majority of UK may day marchers, I doubt Joe Stalin is much of a hero.

                                                                                                                                1. 7

                                                                                                                                  I have never suggested it is the majority, nor do I believe it is the majority. The problem is that it is seemingly socially acceptable to declare oneself a Communist and espouse those views.

                                                                                                                                  Frankly, it seems unjust that I should sit and collate evidence of the use of Hammer and Sickle symbols throughout marches in the Western world. We all know this is normalised.

                                                                                                                                  1. 4

                                                                                                                                    It’s legal. In the west, communist parties are tiny splinter groups, with no more influence than flat earth societies. Certainly they are less threatening to free speech and human rights than, say, the anti-communist Polish government or the far right groups that are increasingly enaged in acts of terror in the USA.

                                                                                                                                    1. 5

                                                                                                                                      In fairness I think you’ll find both left- and right-wing groups are increasingly attacking freedom of expression. “De-platforming” is largely a tactic of the left, and is quite successful, especially at Universities. Quite a sad regression from the days of the https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Free_Speech_Movement.

                                                                                                                                      1. 5

                                                                                                                                        I don’t think universities need to give everyone a platform - and of course they do not. The question is whether their normal selection standards should exclude people who deny the humanity of other citizens. Radio Rwanda is not free speech, it is incitement to genocide. I agree with Karl Popper

                                                                                                                                        Less well known is the paradox of tolerance: Unlimited tolerance must lead to the disappearance of tolerance. If we extend unlimited tolerance even to those who are intolerant, if we are not prepared to defend a tolerant society against the onslaught of the intolerant, then the tolerant will be destroyed, and tolerance with them. — In this formulation, I do not imply, for instance, that we should always suppress the utterance of intolerant philosophies; as long as we can counter them by rational argument and keep them in check by public opinion, suppression would certainly be unwise. But we should claim the right to suppress them if necessary even by force; for it may easily turn out that they are not prepared to meet us on the level of rational argument, but begin by denouncing all argument; they may forbid their followers to listen to rational argument, because it is deceptive, and teach them to answer arguments by the use of their fists or pistols. We should therefore claim, in the name of tolerance, the right not to tolerate the intolerant.

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                                                                                                                                          But we’re not talking (at least exclusively) about such people. I’m talking about students who violently shut down legitimate conservative or right-wing speakers. Ben Shapiro. Richard Dawkins. Jordan Peterson. We’re not talking about angry students shutting down literal NAZIs, we’re talking about student bodies literally rioting to silence speech they don’t like.

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                                                                                                                                            They are not advocating censorship, they are arguing that people like Peterson not be given the honor of a platform at a university both because of their repellent views and their mockery of all the things a university is supposed to stand for. Obviously none of Peterson, Dawkins, Shapiro have actually had their free speech rights limited. In fact Peterson’s moronic point of view is hard to avoid.

                                                                                                                                            “If men are pushed too hard to feminize they will become more and more interested in harsh, fascist political ideology.”

                                                                                                                                            It would be funny if it were not for how many losers take it seriously. Compare to the US right taking AK47s to synagogues.

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                                                                                                                                              all the things a university is supposed to stand for.

                                                                                                                                              Universities used to stand for freedom of thought and freedom of expression.

                                                                                                                                              https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Free_Speech_Movement

                                                                                                                                              Students insisted that the university administration lift the ban of on-campus political activities and acknowledge the students’ right to free speech and academic freedom.

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                                                                                                                                                Freedom of speech does not involve offering any outsider to the university a speaking platform and it certainly does not include providing a platform for people who deny the humanity of others. Basically, everyone knows this is not a free speech issue at all - it is an effort to force universities to act as publicists for particularly nasty people who have wealthy backers.

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                                                                                                                                                  people who deny the humanity of others

                                                                                                                                                  This is newspeak.

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                                                                                                                                                    Like Richard Dawkins or Jordan Peterson? Both are professional academics.

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                                                                                                                                          It’s legal.

                                                                                                                                          …And? It’s legal to beat your wife in much of Africa and the Middle East. Does that make it ok?

                                                                                                                                          In the west, communist parties are tiny splinter groups, with no more influence than flat earth societies.

                                                                                                                                          I can only hope.

                                                                                                                                          Certainly they are less threatening to free speech and human rights than, say, the anti-communist Polish government or the far right groups that are increasingly enaged in acts of terror in the USA.

                                                                                                                                          That’s debatable, hence why I am debating you. The Polish government are going to have to work a bit harder if they want their death toll to reach anywhere near that of Communism.

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                                                                                                                                            It’s right to have free speech for unpopular or even repulsive opinions. It’s wrong to beat people. How hard is that?

                                                                                                                                            That’s debatable, hence why I am debating you. The Polish government are going to have to work a bit harder if they want their death toll to reach anywhere near that of Communism.

                                                                                                                                            I have a lot of faith in them and the other right wing European governments.

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                                                                                                                                          I am not denying that people are displaying the hammer and sickle in May Day parades in Sweden, in the UK or elsewhere.

                                                                                                                                          I am denying that this is a huge problem.

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                                                                                                                                            Would you say the same if they were waving Swastika flags?

                                                                                                                                            I know you think both should be legal; so do I, as a matter of fact.

                                                                                                                                            I just don’t think you’d be as quick to dismiss complaints of NAZI marchers as you are to dismiss complaints about Communists.

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                                                                                                                                              I would say it was an equal problem in 1930s Europe.

                                                                                                                                              Today, the “star” (no pun intended) of the hammer-and-sickle crowd is falling, while that of the swastika crowd is growing.

                                                                                                                                              If I ever met someone who literally thought that Stalin’s treatment of the kulak class or the Holomodor was justified, I would treat that person just as I would someone who espouses Hitler’s views on Jews, homosexuals, and Communists - with disgust. But tolday, the fact is it’s much more likely I would meet someone with latter views than the former - or a substantial subset of them, at least.

                                                                                                                                              In summary - today, Communists are (mostly) harmless - at least in Sweden. Nazis are not. I am vigilant for any change though.

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                                                                                                                                                But tolday, the fact is it’s much more likely I would meet someone with latter views than the former - or a substantial subset of them, at least.

                                                                                                                                                In summary - today, Communists are (mostly) harmless - at least in Sweden. Nazis are not. I am vigilant for any change though.

                                                                                                                                                We have totally opposite views on this, and we may both be suffering confirmation bias in this regard. However, I have tried — by providing links to photos/video, and commenting on laws regarding the illegality of symbolism in the West — to support my view with some evidence.

                                                                                                                                                If you genuinely believe that support for Naziism is growing while support for Communism is shrinking — which, again, I have seen no evidence to suggest this is the case — then it at least helps me empathise with your position.

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                                                                                                                                                  Thanks for clarifying your position.

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                                                                                                                                                    I’d like to thank both you and @jgt for maintaining a genuine effort to reach an understanding of each other’s opinions. It’s nice to see, especially on such a heated thread.

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                                                                                                                                                    Scandanavia has a recent history of far right terrorism.

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                                                                                                                                                      While this isn’t about naziism, the rise of far-right parties is definitely linked to it. https://www.economist.com/graphic-detail/2016/05/24/the-rise-of-the-far-right-in-europe

                                                                                                                                                      This progress hasn’t slowed down. Meanwhile, far left parties seem to have disappeared in about the same time as the Soviet Union did and haven’t come back. We just have different kinds of moderate left in its wake.

                                                                                                                                                      Your point that some symbols are prohibited and some are not is of course to the point. The obvious reason is that nazis lost the last big war and communists (amongst others) won. The less obvious and possibly more subjective reason is that far leftism (in the sense of communism) has redeeming qualities while far rightism (when we are talking about naziism, not modern far-right parties) has none.

                                                                                                                                                      I mean sure, communism sucked, but mostly because it didn’t work. Naziism would’ve sucked if it had worked. I have to find incompetence to be a lesser evil than … well, evil.

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                                                                                                                                                        1. That article is paywalled, so I can’t read it in full.

                                                                                                                                                        2. I’m not sure what to make of some of the descriptions used in the not-paywalled excerpt and in other publications. Parties are far-right because they’re anti-migrant? Poland is often described as being anti-migrant or anti-refugee — this despite Poland having taken in more refugees than almost any (if not just any) other European country. The false perception stems from the fact that the vast majority of refugees in Poland are Ukrainian, and not from MENA. There is historical context for this, as well as an overwhelming deluge of current events.

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                                                                                                                                                          Parties are far-right because they’re anti-migrant?

                                                                                                                                                          Do you seriously not see the similarities between those parties and the national socialists of early 1900s? Do you think all supporters of national socialists in that time were evil?

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                                                                                                                                                            All I’m suggesting is that it’s not that simple. The excerpt that I could read of the link you posted (and several other publications, and the general state of sociopolitical discourse today) suggested that any society which is supposedly anti-migrant/refugee is inherently far-right. It is a fairly commonly held view that both the Polish government and its people are anti-migrant/refugee, and are therefore racist. People on this website — in this very discussion thread — have essentially said the same.

                                                                                                                                                            It is a common tactic of the authoritarian left — and I am politically left-leaning myself — to associate any idea/society they don’t like with racism. It is an effective tactic because nobody on either side of the debate is arguing that racism is a good thing.

                                                                                                                                                            And it just isn’t that simple. As I already noted, Poland has taken more refugees than [almost?] any other European country.

                                                                                                                                                            I can’t comment specifically on the parties mentioned in the excerpt of the article you linked to. I am not denying the existence of the far-right in Europe — or anywhere, for that matter. What I am arguing against is the common reductio ad absurdum argument made that “oh, society x doesn’t like ideology y, therefore they are racist”. The excerpt of the article you linked hinted at this sentiment, or at least I read that interpretation into it.

                                                                                                                                                            Do you think all supporters of national socialists in that time were evil?

                                                                                                                                                            I have said it before in this discussion thread, and I will say it again. I am against collectivism, so no.

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                                                                                                                                                      But today, the fact is it’s much more likely I would meet someone with latter views than the former - or a substantial subset of them, at least.

                                                                                                                                                      That’s not been my experience, at all. I have met many people sympathetic to Communist philosophy - several in the replies to this lobste.rs story, in fact! I see Communist symbology and rhetoric on a near-daily basis. Melbourne recently hosted a Marxist conference, I see young folks wearing Che and red star clothing, and colleagues who routinely describe Communism as a “good idea in principle”.

                                                                                                                                                      In contrast, I have only once seen literal fascists in Melbourne, and they were being counter-protested by a lot more of the Hammer and Sickle crowd outside a courtroom. The last time a person explicitly espoused sympathy for Fascism to me was in the mid 90s.

                                                                                                                                                      Maybe this is another difference between Australia (or at least, Melbourne), and Sweden?

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                                                                                                                                                I think the writing on the MKLP banner is Turkish.

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                                                                                                                                                Communist and Fascist imagery are two of the very, very few things I’d draw the line at being allowed in my home. I expect my kids to understand why by the time they’re old enough to buy their own clothes.

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                                                                                                                                              Unpopular opinion in the tech industry apparently

                                                                                                                                              No, the tech industry in general leans right on economic issues, and you know that. It’s just unpopular on this site, which is great. Stalinism is inexcusable, but Marxism has been an indispensable ally to the working class throughout history.

                                                                                                                                              There are many worker’s struggles happening in Poland right now: https://www.marxist.com/militancy-grows-over-first-week-of-polish-teachers-strike.htm

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                                                                                                                                                No, the tech industry in general leans right on economic issues, and you know that. It’s just unpopular on this site,

                                                                                                                                                Totally true.

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                                                                                                                                                  Your hero is a racist who raped his wife’s maid and didn’t pay her for her work.

                                                                                                                                                  The link you provided is propaganda.

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                                                                                                                                                    In the United States of North America, every independent movement of the workers was paralysed so long as slavery disfigured a part of the Republic. Labour cannot emancipate itself in the white skin where in the black it is branded.

                                                                                                                                                    ~ Karl Marx, a Jewish anti-semite racist.

                                                                                                                                                    The link you provided is propaganda.

                                                                                                                                                    Oh the irony. The Daily Signal is a propaganda outlet by a right-wing think-tank.

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                                                                                                                                                      Oh the irony.

                                                                                                                                                      The daily signal is a public relations arm of the heritage foundation, a rightwing US political thinktank. Pretty much the definition of propaganda. I also really appreciate all the antisemitic comments after the article jgt linked to.

                                                                                                                                                      This thread is a tirefire.

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                                                                                                                                                  The AskHistorians subreddit has really well researched posts on these topics that are nonetheless accessible to non-historians or non-political-philosophers:

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                                                                                                                                                    There’s also the abridged version.

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                                                                                                                                                    Thank you for sharing your experience.

                                                                                                                                                    One of the things to keep in mind for all of us advocating for ourselves and our fellow workers is that the messaging we use and the shibboleths we touch on can lose us the support of people who have had different histories or experiences.

                                                                                                                                                    It is hard to, for example, talk to workers in red states about things they should agree on if we carelessly use pictures that they feel (rightly) threatened by. We can’t talk to people like you if we also invoke Soviet imagery.

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                                                                                                                                                      This isn’t a subjective issue that can be explained away by appealing to historical or situational relativism.

                                                                                                                                                      May Day celebrations worldwide prominently feature Communist rhetoric (“our fellow workers” included), Marxist and Communist organisations, Marxist and Communist banners and symbols, etc.

                                                                                                                                                      This also isn’t a matter of invoking the wrong imagery. Supporters of actual mass murdering dictators turn up to your events with their flags and leaflets, and are accepted with open arms.

                                                                                                                                                      Anyone familiar with the death toll and barbarism associated with Communism should be appalled, every bit as appalled as if “workers groups” allowed Swastika-waving NAZIs to join their parades.

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                                                                                                                                                        The history of the communists in the West is very different from that in Eastern Europe/Russia or China. And “fellow workers” is labor union language. France commemorates a number of Communists who took part in the resistance against the Nazis and, after the war, participated in electoral politics.

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                                                                                                                                                          The history of the communists in the West is very different from that in Eastern Europe/Russia or China.

                                                                                                                                                          Yes, in no small part because they never gained power.

                                                                                                                                                          Are you arguing that, if they had, the result wouldn’t have been a Mao, Stalin, Tito, or Pol Pot? Curious as to your reasons why.

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                                                                                                                                                            No, I’m pretty sure the result would have been terrible. But it didn’t happen. Here in the USA, we have armed right wing nuts machine gunning synagogues. In Europe, between Orban and the SS descended party ruling Austria, the 1930s seem on their way back. It’s hard to take some 11 person One True Communist Party Marxist Lenninist Whatever marching around Clapham with pictures of Uncle Joe as anything but a kind of unpleasant joke.

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                                                                                                                                                        We can’t talk to people like you if we also invoke Soviet imagery.

                                                                                                                                                        Finding yourself with an audience that’s comfortable with Soviet imagery should probably prompt some reflection.

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                                                                                                                                                          It’s not just that they find themselves with that audience, the Soviet flag-wavers literally turn up to their celebrations, and are welcomed. In many cases they are the organisers.

                                                                                                                                                          https://www.greenleft.org.au/sites/default/files/styles/glw_full_content/public/widerimages/p3%20May%20Day%20march%20in%20Melbourne%20in%202012..jpg

                                                                                                                                                          Red flags aplenty, and a literal Communist Manifesto slogan on the banner. Every bit as abhorrent as a march of flag-waving NAZIs, and with a worldwide death toll an order of magnitude greater.

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                                                                                                                                                            This is maliciously dishonest.

                                                                                                                                                            Any fair criticism of any ideology will separate its implementation from its thought. Fascism and national-socialism have things like violence, war, racism, antisemitism, and xenophobia prominent in their ideology; communism is inherently democratic.

                                                                                                                                                            While the crimes of the so-called communist states of the 20th century should certainly not be dismissed, communists and socialists were crucial to the defeat of mid-20th century Nazism, played a key role in the development of modern-day workers’ & women’s rights, and had significant impact in the defeat of ISIL/Daesh – among others.

                                                                                                                                                            You can be a Marxist and a communist while being disgusted by what was done by Stalin; you can hardly be a Nazi while being disgusted by what was done by Hitler.

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                                                                                                                                                              Any fair criticism of any ideology will separate its implementation from its thought.

                                                                                                                                                              This makes very little sense to me. If ideologies were to stay mere thoughts, no one would be concerned. But ideologies are enacted and can, and should, therefore be judged by the outcomes of their implementations.

                                                                                                                                                              While not blatantly horrific like National Socialism, Communism is inherently destructive and violent, as every practical expression of it has shown.

                                                                                                                                                              All that aside, to use the iconography of a particular implementation of Communism that resulted in arguably the worst atrocities in human history is unforgivable and shows either extreme naivety or malice.

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                                                                                                                                                                There is a difference between an ideology where {Bad Thing} is a postulate, and one where it isn’t; this fundamental presence or absence of {Bad Thing} should influence the way we think about them.

                                                                                                                                                                People have used violence to fight for things like democracy and workers’ rights, yet those are still (hopefully) considered to be good things on their own. You can take a look at a relevant encyclopedic definition to see that violence and destruction are not inherent to communism unless you subscribe to schools of thought which think of taxation and redistribution of wealth as violence.

                                                                                                                                                                I do agree that Stalin should not be publicly glorified, and do not fully understand the motivation of the people who do so.

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                                                                                                                                                                  You can take a look at a relevant encyclopedic definition to see that violence and destruction are not inherent to communism unless you subscribe to schools of thought which think of taxation and redistribution of wealth as violence.

                                                                                                                                                                  Guilty as charged :) A couple of schools, in point of fact. But I don’t think you’re correct that subscription to those schools is a pre-requisite.

                                                                                                                                                                  One can determine that violence and destruction are inherent to Communism regardless, by observing that a) state Communism implies seizure of the means of production and the abolition of private property, and realising that b) that will require literal murderous violence to achieve. I think that most people who favour partial wealth redistribution through compulsory taxation would blanch at the treatment of the Kulaks.

                                                                                                                                                                  Communism on a small scale actually seems to be workable where it remains peaceful and voluntary, and capable of co-existence with other political systems (like capitalism). Is that what you’re getting at, here? The voluntary, peaceful formation of small communes?

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                                                                                                                                                                    Yes there is a difference, but I’d argue that it is relatively insignificant. If a “peaceful” ideology routinely leads to horrendous outcomes, you have to seriously consider that it is, perhaps, not peaceful at all.

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                                                                                                                                                                  You can be a Marxist and a communist while being disgusted by what was done by Stalin; you can hardly be a Nazi while being disgusted by what was done by Hitler.

                                                                                                                                                                  There’s no functional difference.

                                                                                                                                                                  Every Communist state, ever, has either started out as, or has become, a totalitarian dictatorship. Hundreds of millions of people have died as a result. The USSR, Cuba, Vietnam, Cambodia (described as the worst genocide in history, which is a pretty high bar), China, … the death toll is staggering.

                                                                                                                                                                  One could perhaps be a good NAZI or a Communist in the first half of the 1900s, before it became apparent just what those ideologies led to in practice. That hasn’t been true since the Holocaust, or the death of Stalin.

                                                                                                                                                                  Perhaps to turn the question around: as a Marxist and a Communist, can you point to any leader of a Communist state with whom you’re not (on balance) disgusted?

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                                                                                                                                                                    Again, this is maliciously dishonest. The postulates of communism, fascism, and national-socialism as political ideologies are fairly clear.

                                                                                                                                                                    The national-socialist ideology is anti-democratic, antisemitic, eugenic, and social-darwinist. Fascism is, at best, anti-democratic and militarist. Communism is about redistribution of wealth, workers’ self-management, and ownership of the means of production.

                                                                                                                                                                    Most so-called “Communist states” you mention do not consider themselves to actually be communist, but rather a transitionary entity on the way to communism / socialism. To turn the question around: as an anti-Marxist and an anti-communist, can you point to any leader of any state with whom you’re not disgusted?

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                                                                                                                                                                      Repeatedly calling me maliciously dishonest is the sort of ad-hominem attack that, elsewhere on the site, people are proposing a flag / downvote mechanism to deal with. Please watch your tone.

                                                                                                                                                                      To clarify your answer, are you saying that there have never been any Communist states? Because you haven’t answered my question. Can you? Also, if those states are all transitional steps towards “true” Communism (the withering away of the state, if my memory serves?), then that seems to imply that the transition to Communism demands the deaths of hundreds of millions of men, women, and children.

                                                                                                                                                                      To answer yours: yes, on balance. Margaret Thatcher is a good starting point. Definitely a mixed bag (heh), but better than any of her contemporaries that I’m aware of, and a boon to England. I’m certainly more a fan of hers than a detractor, much less someone who is disgusted by her.

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                                                                                                                                                                        I have never called you maliciously dishonest, but rather your writing and your arguments. I have also tried to explain why I think so, even after you’ve ignored a large part of my attempts to do so. That is certainly not an ad hominem attack.

                                                                                                                                                                        There have indeed been no communist societies fully consistent with what Marxist thought considers to be a “full” communist society. There have been various attempts at more local and non-nation-state levels, with various degrees of success.

                                                                                                                                                                        The transition to communism does certainly not demand the deaths of hundreds of millions of people no more than a transition to a liberal state democracy does, yet some of them end up in bloodshed. There are various ways to transition, some more violent and disgusting, some less.

                                                                                                                                                                        On balance, I am not completely disgusted by Josip Broz Tito.

                                                                                                                                                                        1. 3

                                                                                                                                                                          There have indeed been no communist societies fully consistent with what Marxist thought considers to be a “full” communist society.

                                                                                                                                                                          In the same sense that there have been no capitalist societies fully consistent with either Austrian or Objectivist definitions of capitalism. The closest we’ve achieved has been mixed, but mostly free, economies. New Zealand for a decade or two following the 1984 reforms is actually a good example. The closest you’ve achieved has been … totalitarian Yugoslavia? Really?

                                                                                                                                                                          The national-socialist ideology is anti-democratic, antisemitic, eugenic, and social-darwinist. Fascism is, at best, anti-democratic and militarist.

                                                                                                                                                                          Yes. I’d argue that it also explicitly embodies a degree of personal leadership - a.k.a. the Fuherprinzip - that was never a part of Marx’s doctrine. Discussion elsewhere ( http://esr.ibiblio.org/?p=8310 ) has led me to think that this is possibly the most significant difference between Marxism (at least in theory) and Fascism. The enormity of Stalin’s rule shocked people like Yevtushenko; that sort of rule was an explicit feature of Fascism.

                                                                                                                                                                          Communism is about redistribution of wealth

                                                                                                                                                                          … which in practice means violent revolution (because that redistribution is most certainly not universally welcomed).

                                                                                                                                                                          workers’ self-management

                                                                                                                                                                          That’s good business sense ;). Genuine empowerment and autonomy at work makes every kind of good sense, from personal well-being to profit.

                                                                                                                                                                          , and ownership of the means of production.

                                                                                                                                                                          I’m personally not against ownership of the means of production. Hell, I work for a company that literally promotes that, and also distributes half of its profits among its employees. I could leave tomorrow, taking with me my share of the profits, and quite literally the tools I’ve used to generate it.

                                                                                                                                                                          The problem is, Communism isn’t about ownership of the means of production, it’s about seizing it. To quote Marx himself (and I don’t think I’m taking this out of context; please correct me if I am):

                                                                                                                                                                          “There is only one way in which the murderous death agonies of the old society and the bloody birth throes of the new society can be shortened, simplified and concentrated, and that way is revolutionary terror.”

                                                                                                                                                                          This is particularly relevant to the leader you mention, Tito.

                                                                                                                                                                          I’ll grant you that he’s definitely the best of the Communist dictators. He was also definitely a war hero, having directly participated in the overthrow of NAZI rule. And I suspect that unlike a lot of other Communist dictators he genuinely wanted the best for the Yugoslavian people; witness his partial adoption of free markets later in his rule.

                                                                                                                                                                          But he, too, was a totalitarian dictator, and was at his worst in the first ten years of his rule, while pretty literally following Marx’s advice above. He built a secret police that routinely oppressed political opponents (including other Communists), and perpetuated a string of human-rights abuses. Even after toning it down some, the oppression continued, and there were no free elections.

                                                                                                                                                                          I’m afraid I agree with Marx, here (as I do on a number of points, despite being an anti-Marxist). “Murderous death agonies” and “bloody birth throes” really do characterise the establishment of Communism, even in its transitional forms.

                                                                                                                                                                          Edited to add:

                                                                                                                                                                          communism is inherently democratic.

                                                                                                                                                                          In which case, why has every Communist state prohibited free elections?

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                                                                                                                                                                            Somewhat tangentially, I’d like to point out that based on the example of New Zealand reforms, I’m quite pleased we haven’t achieved this vision of “true capitalism”. As it is, we’re still dealing with the consequences, and will continue to do so for a long time. There is an obscene amount of poverty, deprivation, and environmental destruction in New Zealand thanks to the delusions of free market economists.

                                                                                                                                                                            New Zealand’s economic reform program was a failure.

                                                                                                                                                                            Personally, I feel frustrated with how such discussions are always about the dichotomy between communism and capitalism. Neither model has worked in practice, capitalism has been enormously destructive (see climate change), we need to move on to better socio-economic models altogether instead of being fixated on two obsolete options.

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                                                                                                                                                                      Every Communist state, ever, has either started out as, or has become, a totalitarian dictatorship. Hundreds of millions of people have died as a result.

                                                                                                                                                                      Singapore is a police state. It started out rough as lots of revolutions do. They mostly take care of their citizens from what I’ve seen. I have some insiders that send me encrypted emails talking about the corruption, people dropping due to mandatory workouts, indoctrination in schools, questionable taxes, and so on. What they tell me barely compares to prior states. Actually, they’re better off than lots of people over here who can’t get a job or benefits, or work multiple jobs without health insurance. They also don’t have to go into tons of debt to got to school. If my info is correct, the average person in that dictatorship might be objectively better off than tons of people in capitalist U.S..

                                                                                                                                                                      You’re also leaving off the cost of capitalism, esp imperialist capitalism. To support its capitalism, the U.S. military has invaded a ridiculous number of countries. In War is a Racket, Smedley Butler admits most of those deaths were to support some corporate interests back home. The War in Iraq alone supposedly led to 250,000 to 1 million innocent civilians dead depending on which source you get from your numbers. The food, chemical, drug, and medical industries combined with the corporate media are driving the leading causes of death for Americans. Since salt and sugar are as addictive as delicious, most Americans can’t quit eating the stuff even if they wanted to. As in this thread, their jobs have also steadily occupied more of their time, demanding more, stressing them out more, and always giving less to shift that money to capitalist executives. Data coming in shows how damaging the stress and sleep deprivation is on the workers’ mental and physical health, maybe even kids down the line.

                                                                                                                                                                      So, capitalism is highly damaging with military-back capitalism torturing, maiming, and/or murdering all kinds of people. Better than alternatives but still does damage. I don’t see you equating with worst of capitalism any mention on Lobsters of jobs, nice acts of government, symbols like money, and so on. Likewise, you probably would’ve have left if you equated programming with burnout, apathy, and freeloading that we see in its worst implementations. One can, as you do on other topics, discuss reasonable implementations of abstract ideas without using or doing the worst. The others are saying you can do that with this topic, too, like you do with others. Especially communism which had decent ideas and beneficial influences but utterly failed in practice due to corrupt or evil leadership.

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                                                                                                                                                                        Especially communism which had decent ideas and beneficial influences but utterly failed in practice due to corrupt or evil leadership.

                                                                                                                                                                        Every time. Every single time, over the course of more than a century.

                                                                                                                                                                        What does it tell you about the “decent ideas” of Communism that literally every attempt to implent it at scale has lead to political terror, mass murder (often in the millions), and a debased totalitarian leadership? How are ideas “decent” if they a) don’t work, and b) kill millions of innocents again and again while their adherents keep trying them?

                                                                                                                                                                        Yes, somewhat-capitalist countries have committed atrocities (because, as with communism, we’ve never achieved true capitalism). But the worst of these pale in comparison with the worst of communism, and the best… well, so far on this thread we’re comparing New Zealand with Communist Yugoslavia.

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                                                                                                                                                                          “Every time. Every single time, over the course of more than a century.”

                                                                                                                                                                          Same with capitalism. Every single one became a plutocracy doing tons of damage inside and outside.

                                                                                                                                                                          “What does it tell you about the “decent ideas” of Communism that literally every attempt to implent it at scale has lead to political terror, mass murder (often in the millions), and a debased totalitarian leadership?”

                                                                                                                                                                          I’m not sure it’s ever been implemented. Like with capitalism, it looks like most of the ambitious people who can take power over countries do the kinds of things you describe regardless of model. They promote that they’ll do one thing while doing different, evil things. That means each model that allows this must be called out for it. That followed by a way for the citizens to hold the government in check regardless of what kinds of policies it follows day to day. Honest-enough leadership, accountability for them, and a feedback loop so they know what effects they’re having.

                                                                                                                                                                          You’re obsessively calling out specific ones equating any piece of them with the full evils of their worst implementations while denying anything remotely positive in them. Then, you’re ignoring the others on capitalist side or letting people have a balanced view of them. This is very inconsistent. If you hate evils you describe, you’d really be calling out military-backed capitalism in the West. That they maybe did less of those evils didn’t mean they didn’t do a massive amount of avoidable evil. They certainly did.

                                                                                                                                                                          So, we can give due credit for the good, bad, and (most often) “doesn’t matter what random people are doing” of all of these philosophies. Or negate all details, comparisons, possibilities, etc if some version or a lot of them were evil as you’re doing for just a few.

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                                                                                                                                                                            Same with capitalism. Every single one became a plutocracy doing tons of damage inside and outside.

                                                                                                                                                                            Except for the rather significant fact that it is the only system in human history that has moved, and continues to move, people to levels of wealth above mere subsistence. Capitalism certainly has its flaws, but it also has huge benefits that are actually observed in the real world. And compared to the slaughter of 10s or 100s of millions of people, those flaws are positively mild.

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                                                                                                                                                                              What some of us have been arguing against is the claim the the worst parts of communism mean nothing symbolic or good about it counts. That expressing the slightest thing about it negates all the good because of the bad. The author doesn’t apply that logic to capitalism, which I’ve shown is also horrific on its bad sign. So, they need to get consistent slamming anything tying into capitalism or backtrack admitting both the good and bad of communism can be considered.

                                                                                                                                                                              “And compared to the slaughter of 10s or 100s of millions of people, those flaws are positively mild.”

                                                                                                                                                                              One of my links showed capitalism slaughtering millions to tens of millions of people. They do it through a mix of direct action and using their money/spies to incite others to do it for them to reach their capitalist goals on international level. Without their input, much of it might have not happened.

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                                                                                                                                                                                What some of us have been arguing against is the claim the the worst parts of communism mean nothing symbolic or good about it counts.

                                                                                                                                                                                What are the good parts of Communism that have been seen it any of its practical instantiations? This is a serious question - perhaps my reading has been too much on the horrific side.

                                                                                                                                                                                One of my links showed capitalism slaughtering millions to tens of millions of people.

                                                                                                                                                                                Which is one or two orders or magnitude less bad than Communism. Not to mention the millions of lives that market-based economic systems have saved. I’m under no illusion that Capitalism is “good”; but I’m pretty confident based on the natural experiments we’ve seen throughout the 20th century that it’s a damn sight better than Communism.

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                                                                                                                                                                                  re good parts of Communism

                                                                                                                                                                                  Nikola already gave a few examples:

                                                                                                                                                                                  “communists and socialists were crucial to the defeat of mid-20th century Nazism, played a key role in the development of modern-day workers’ & women’s rights, and had significant impact in the defeat of ISIL/Daesh – among others.”

                                                                                                                                                                                  I didn’t spend a lot of time tracing the history of communism given even studying it was discouraged in my country. I do wonder if it had any inspiration for socialism in more democratic countries where people got education, healthcare, and safety nets. Capitalism was initially opposed to all of that unless they had money. Then, their money would be minimized while cost of that stuff maximized. Monarchies varied considerably. So, I’m not sure where socialists’ inspirations came from. Work looking into.

                                                                                                                                                                                  re capitalism better than communism

                                                                                                                                                                                  Hey, I said that! Clearly capitalism is a better experience for the citizens in most cases.

                                                                                                                                                                                  Still, I should probably add to the litany of crimes that imperialist capitalism also installed or supported the kinds of regimes you’re talking about to back their domestic agendas. Often just letting specific companies push more product in more countries or benefit from slave labor or lack of safety/environmental regulations there. So far, capitalism works hand in hand with external fascists and dictators since they’re good for profit maximization in domestic businesses. The people, not those businesses, pay the costs of the manipulations and wars.

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                                                                                                                                                                                For example, it has raised the very real prospect of eliminating extreme poverty:

                                                                                                                                                                                https://humanprogress.org/article.php?p=770

                                                                                                                                                                                Well, in 1820, 94 percent of the world’s population lived in extreme poverty (less than $1.90 per day adjusted for purchasing power). In 1990 this figure was 34.8 percent, and in 2015, just 9.6 percent.

                                                                                                                                                                                Capitalism did this. During the same period, Communism reduced several previously wealthy countries to ruins, and led to the murder of millions (many by outright starvation, in a macabre contrast to the growing wealth of the free world).

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                                                                                                                                                                              I think the communist parties have often had a dual nature - with many members honestly hoping to improve the world and often doing good things. But the nature of the ideology seems to almost always produce ugly dictatorships - something that Marx’s opponents in other left wing movements predicted way back in the 1870s.

                                                                                                                                                                              Atrocity comparisons are pointless. Did the Belgian Congo pale in comparison to Stalins crimes? Not for the people who were victims, I bet.

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                                                                                                                                                                                Violent revolution has almost never ended well for the people. It installs leaders who are, by definition, willing to use violence to enforce their way of doing things.

                                                                                                                                                                                My reading of 20th century history shows that founding a revolution in political violence is a near-guaranteed way to produce a brutal dictator.

                                                                                                                                                                                Non-violent revolutions, by contrast, produce a healthy government about half of the time (guesstimate based on my readings; I haven’t actually counted them).

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                                                                                                                                                                The latest versions of rust have the dbg! macro, which also prints out the context of the expression and is easier to type and remember than the println syntax.

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                                                                                                                                                                  The article advocates asking “why?” instead of merely “how?” (and “what?”), but doesn’t answer any of these questions. I thought I’d at least see an image.

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                                                                                                                                                                    Added in edit: I’m getting a lot of mis-understanding, and I really don’t know what to do to ask the question differently. But the down-votes (off-topic) are clear, so I’ll go away and re-think this. I still believe the question I’m trying to ask is relevant and on-topic, so perhaps I’m just not being clear about what the question is.

                                                                                                                                                                    The response has given me much to think about. In particular, I guess I need to read more here to try to work out what the audience is. It would seem that thought-experiments of this type aren’t welcome. Fair enough.


                                                                                                                                                                    I don’t understand your criticism.

                                                                                                                                                                    Yes, the article is asking why. The point is that this is a question that requires either thought or experiment. To provide an answer in the article, or an image of the result, defeats the entire purpose of the question. If you want to know what the result is you can either follow the link in the article, or you can do the experiment.

                                                                                                                                                                    But some people might choose to think about this for themselves, and giving the answer would prevent that.

                                                                                                                                                                    And the question is about the why. Everyone I ever ask seems simply to do the experiment, look up the answer, or tell me how a photocopier works. I was hoping someone would be able to reason out the why you get the result you do, not simply tell me how the copier achieves the result it does.

                                                                                                                                                                    Clearly I’m just not asking the question correctly - only one person has ever understood what I’m trying to ask, and I don’t understand why that’s the case.

                                                                                                                                                                    Deeply frustrating - I was hoping for more from the Lobsters community. But I see now that there are two downvotes, marking this as “off-topic”. I thought this was sufficiently intellectually engaging, but I guess I’ve misjudged the audience.

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                                                                                                                                                                      I found the title misleading. If it had read “Don’t just ask how — ask why”, and then used the mirror photocopy question as an example, that would be one thing. But when I see a headline asking a question, I expect the article to answer it, and this case I was left disappointed.

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                                                                                                                                                                        That’s really interesting. When I see an article asking a question I expect it to be discussed and not necessarily answered. I wouldn’t have expected people to expect articles always to answer the questions in their titles.

                                                                                                                                                                        Useful to see the different perspective. Thank you.

                                                                                                                                                                        Edit: In case an article intends to pose a question without answering it, how should it be entitled?

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                                                                                                                                                                        The question you are asking absolutely requires knowing how a photocopier or scanner works. There’s no deeper philosophical question involved.

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                                                                                                                                                                          The entire point about this question is that I disagree with you here. I believe it is possible to deduce the result without knowing how a copier works, only by knowing its desired behaviour. That is the point of the thought-experiment, and obviously I’ve not made that clear enough.

                                                                                                                                                                          So let me say this: knowing only what a copier is intended to do, and without knowing anything about how it works, can you, through various thought-experiments, deduce what you must get if you copy a mirror?

                                                                                                                                                                          I believe it’s possible.

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                                                                                                                                                                            You get whatever that mirror was reflecting at the time. In this case, some part of the inside of the photocopier.

                                                                                                                                                                            If there is a deeper point beyond that, it’s lost on me.

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                                                                                                                                                                              You get whatever that mirror was reflecting at the time.

                                                                                                                                                                              That turns out not to be the case, and I believe that even knowing nothing more than what a copier is supposed to accomplish, it’s possible via thought-experiments to deduce that. The reasoning is quite tricky, in places subtle, and I’m not convinced my argument is completely water-tight, and that’s why I believe this question is deeper than most people think.

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                                                                                                                                                                                The only subtlety is that the lighsource is angled. My first guess would have been a white mirror surface because I though the light source was parallell to the surface, but of course that would have prevented the CCD from being on the same axis.

                                                                                                                                                                                In any case, it devolves into the technical details on how to implement a photocopier. Mildly interesting, I learned something today.

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                                                                                                                                                                                  Certainly it does lead to the question of how to implement a photocopier, but there is still more going on before that. If you implement a good photocopier, is it an unavoidable consequence that they all give the same result when you copy a mirror?

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                                                                                                                                                                                  Eh, that is the case, it just happens to be that because of how the picture is pieced together over time, that reflection is always away from the light.

                                                                                                                                                                                  I think the reflective nature of graphite plays a role here as a forcing function in copier design

                                                                                                                                                                                  I’m now actually curious to see what chain of reasoning you’ve applied to this.

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                                                                                                                                                                                    You have a message.

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                                                                                                                                                                            It’s very much off-topic as it has nothing to do with computing.

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                                                                                                                                                                              Not directly, no, I agree, and I admit that I didn’t realise that this site is so specifically focussed only on computing. Having said that, my colleagues were intrigued by my approach to this problem. As mentioned in another comment, it’s not actually anything to do with how a photocopier works. It’s about deducing behaviour in an unknown context purely from knowing the overall desired behaviour of a system.

                                                                                                                                                                              As such I’d’ve thought it was squarely in the realm of the sort of thing programmers would occasionally have to do, and hence of interest.

                                                                                                                                                                              The options are (a) I was wrong, or (b) I’ve still not figured out how to ask the question in a way that makes it clear what the real question is, or (c) something else.

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                                                                                                                                                                          Isn’t this human subject research? Did you get approval from the university’s IRB committee? It’s not clear to me from the guidelines published by your university if this counts as human subject research. You may want to check with the IRB.

                                                                                                                                                                          Also personally I’m weirded out that a class is using the lobsters userbase for some sort of case study.

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                                                                                                                                                                            At least at my institution, class projects are usually exempt from IRB approval. But, if the authors ever want to share their results outside of their coursework, their request for IRB approval will probably be rejected because IRB doesn’t really like retrospective approvals (plus, it will be nearly impossible for the authors to get participants’ retrospective consent because the survey is anonymous).

                                                                                                                                                                            This project would have a fairly high chance to be approved by my IRB board. It has minimal risks to participants (the most likely risk is to be outed as a participant in the Lobsters community). My concerns are mostly related to instrument quality and data analysis methods. The survey seems to ask pretty basic questions that could be answered by just looking at the logs (as @pushcx mentions here). If I were a faculty advisor sponsoring an IRB application for this project I would be worried about the research questions that this survey is trying to answer and how well it could do it.

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                                                                                                                                                                              Also personally I’m weirded out that a class is using the lobsters userbase for some sort of case study.

                                                                                                                                                                              Why? I figure it’s just some fans who have a project that want to use a favorite site in the project. Maybe draw attention to it. What we do on here is public anyway.

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                                                                                                                                                                              A fusor is a device that initiates a fusion reaction by accelerating ions in a very strong static electric field. It’s also worth reading the thread where Jackson first announces his successful fusion experiment.