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    If media companies sold and served their own ads they’d be in better shape than outsourcing or paywalls. Part of the post Craigslist world was double click (now known as google) and a few others invading a space that used to be in-house. Then turning reliable profits for independent media orgs, into a game of bowing to whatever idea the conglomerates had for ads. AMP, etc.

    1. 2

      Wow that is a fun game. Nice clean port too. Well done! I’m a sucker for those sorts of STUN runner style racers.

      1. 1

        It took me a second to get what you meant by “Personally, I don’t see why Rust prevents moves like this, since it could easily reason that z is only partially defined in the same way that it already does for p”… it turns out there’s an issue that seems relevant: https://github.com/rust-lang/rust/issues/54987 it doesn’t touch on the half-owned bit, but it probably relates to why you can’t at this point accept the assignment to z even if only z.1 is touched later on. Interesting post.

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          As someone who paid a fair bit of attention to the early docker world, and now seeing its commodification am left wondering “what was it”, I think this article does a good job of explaining it. What it doesn’t explain is… I was around at that early redhat time, when it was small, when you could shake Bob Young’s hand at a Linux meetup. Heck, I remember when google was a stanford.edu site… the question in my mind is… why did redhat and google succeed (as corporate entities) and docker not so much? Perhaps it was the locking in of the company name and the core tech? Perhaps the world of 2010-2020 was far more harsh to smaller businesses, perhaps they just overshot by trying to fight their competitors instead of partnering with them. That will probably have to wait for a HBR retrospective, but I’m not 100% psyched that the big incumbents won this.

          1. 13

            Docker lost, as I understand it, because of commoditisation. There’s a bunch of goo in Linux to try to emulate FreeBSD jails / Solaris Zones and Docker provided some tooling for configuring this (now fully subsumed by containerd / runc), for building tarballs (not really something that needs a big software stack), and for describing how different tarballs should be extracted and combined using overlay filesystems (useful, but should not be a large amount of code and now largely replaced by the OCI format and containerd). Their two valuable things were:

            • A proprietary build of a project that they released as open source that provided tooling for building container images.
            • A repository of published container images.

            The first of these is not actually more valuable than the open source version and is now quite crufty and so now has a load of competitors. The second is something that they tried to monetise, leaving them open to competitors who get their money from other things. Any cloud provider has an incentive to provide cheap or free container registries because a load of the people deploying the containers will be spending money to buy cloud resources to run them. Docker didn’t have any equivalent. Running a container registry is now a commodity offering and Docker doesn’t have anything valuable to couple their specific registry to that would make it more attractive.

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              I wrote a bit about that here – Docker also failed to compete with Heroku, under its former name dotCloud.

              https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=25330023

              I don’t think the comparison to Google makes much sense. I mean Google has a totally different business that prints loads of money. If Docker were a subdivision of Google, it could lose money for 20 years and nobody would notice.

              As for Red hat, this article has some interesting experiences:

              Why There Will Never Be Another RedHat: The Economics Of Open Source

              https://techcrunch.com/2014/02/13/please-dont-tell-me-you-want-to-be-the-next-red-hat/

              To make matters worse, the more successful an open source project, the more large companies want to co-opt the code base. I experienced this first-hand as CEO at XenSource, where every major software and hardware company leveraged our code base with nearly zero revenue coming back to us. We had made the product so easy to use and so important, that we had out-engineered ourselves.

              (Although I don’t think Docker did much engineering. It wasn’t that capable a product. It could have been 30 to 100 people at Google implementing it, etc. Previous thread: https://lobste.rs/s/kj6vtn/it_s_time_say_goodbye_docker)

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                I appreciate the article on RedHat. It has certainly opened my eyes to the troubles with their business model, which I had admired in the past. (I suppose it is still admirable, but now at least I know why there aren’t more companies like it.)

                The back half of the article is strange, though. I’m not sure what I’m supposed to learn about building a new business based around open source by looking at Microsoft, Amazon or Facebook. While they all contribute open source code now, they did not build their businesses by selling proprietary wrappers around open source products as far as I know. And given the enormity of those companies, it seems very hard to tell how feasible it would be to copy that behavior on a small scale. Github seems like a reasonable example of a company monetizing open source, however. It is at least clear that their primary business relies on maintaining git tools. I just wish the article included a few more examples of companies to look up to. Perhaps some lobsters have ideas.

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                  I just wish the article included a few more examples of companies to look up to

                  To a first approximation, there are no companies to look up to.

                  1. 2

                    I feel like some of the companies acquired by RedHat might be valid examples. I expect that the ones that are still recognizable as products being sold had a working model, but I don’t know what their earnings were like.

                  2. 3

                    the biggest ones I can think of, not mentioned, are mongo and elastic… redis may go public soon, there are lots of corps around data storage and indexing that to some extent keep their core product free. There might be more. If you look at interesting failures, going back to the early days, LinuxCare was a large service oriented company that had a giant flop, as did VA Linux (over a longer time scale):

                    linuxcare https://www.wsj.com/articles/SB955151887677940572

                    va linux https://www.channelfutures.com/open-source/open-source-history-the-spectacular-rise-and-fall-of-va-linux

                    1. 2

                      Appreciate it, thanks.

                2. 8

                  same question, I think, could be asked why netflix succeeded but blockbuster failed, both were doing very similar thing. It seems that market success consists of chains / graphs of very small incremental decisions. The closer decisions are to the companies ‘pivot time’, the more impactful they seem to be.

                  And, at least in my observation, paying well and listening to well-rounded+experienced and risk-taking folks – who join your endeavor early, pays with huge dividends later on.

                  In my subjective view, docker failed to visualize and execute on the overall ecosystem around their core technology. Folks who seem to have that vision (but perhaps, not always the core technology) are the ones at hashicorp. They are not readhat by any means, but any one of their oss+freemium products seem to have good cohesive and ‘efficient’ vision around the ecosystem in this space. (where by ‘efficient’ I mean that they do not make too many expensive and user-base jarring missteps).

                  1. 1

                    could be asked why netflix succeeded but blockbuster failed, both were doing very similar thing

                    I’m not sure I agree. Coincidentally, there’s a YT channel that I follow that did a decent overview on both of them:

                  2. 3

                    My opinion on this is that both Google and Redhat are much closer to the cloud and the target market than Docker is/was.

                    Also, I thought that Docker was continuously trying to figure out how to make a net income. They had Docker Enterprise before it was sold off, but imo I’m not sure how they were aiming to bring in income. And a startup without income is destined to eventually close up.

                    1. 3

                      the question in my mind is… why did redhat and google succeed (as corporate entities) and docker not so much?

                      Curating a Linux distribution and keeping the security patches flowing seamlessly is hard work, which made Red Hat valuable. Indexing the entire Internet is also clearly a lot of hard work.

                      By comparison, what Docker is doing as a runtime environment is just not that difficult to replace.

                      1. 1

                        I kinda feel like this is the ding ding ding answer… when your project attempts to replicate a project going on inside of a BigCo, you will have a hard time preventing embrace and extend. Or perhaps, if you are doing that, keep your company small, w/ limited debt, because you may find a niche in the future, but you can’t beat the big teams at the enterprise game, let alone a federation of them.

                      2. 2

                        I think we all know our true desires we are just left to discover them.-

                        Lets not forget, The Docker Timeline:

                        • Started in 2013.
                        • Got open-source recognition.
                        • Got increased public use in 2015/2016.
                        • In 2017. project renamed from Docker to Moby. Mistake 1.
                        • In 2018. started requiring User Registration on DockerHub. Mistake 2.
                        • In 2019. Docker Database has been hacked which exposed user. Mistake 3.
                        • In 2020. Docker finally died and awaits new reborn. Good bye.

                        When I think about it, I’m not even mad. Hail death of Docker.

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                        I’m curious how does dockershim being removed from K8s leads to a conclusion that Docker Inc as a company is dying? As explained by many, Kubernetes team took that step to remove the bloat which was created by Docker in the codebase. But do you think people will go back to stop using docker CLI altogether and write 10 lines of bash script to spin up a new container, network etc? docker run is a UX layer on those containerd commands and I don’t see why people will stop using it just because K8s decided to remove the “dockershim” module. And how any of this has an affect on Docker Inc, that I’m still unable to understand AFAIK docker the CLI is open source and obv doesn’t generate any revenues for Docker Inc (which is what matters when we are talking about a company!)

                        1. 5

                          I think the reason that it points that direction is that there are multiple k8s providers and installers that default to the docker runtime (digitalocean managed k8s uses docker as the runtime, and kubespray defaults to it as well but also supports CRI-O). With dockershim going away where else will docker be used other than developers’ desktops?

                          Personally I bit the bullet was basically forced to switch to podman/buildah due to docker straight up not supporting Fedora 32+ due to the kernel change to cgroups v2. Docker Desktop for Mac/Windows is a nice product for running containers on those OS’ but my guess is that is the only place it will stay relevant. It’s easy enough to have a docker-compatible cli aliased to docker that doesn’t require the daemon on linux etc.

                          Also, with their attempts at monetizing DockerHub it kind of paints a “failing” aura over the company. If they can’t make money off of DockerHub how can they monetize a daemon that runs containers when there are many other equivalent solutions?

                          1. 1

                            multiple k8s providers and installers that default to the docker runtime (digitalocean managed k8s uses docker as the runtime, and kubespray defaults to it as well but also supports CRI-O). With dockershim going away where else will docker be used other than developers’ desktops?

                            SImilarly microk8s, k3s are using containerd since forever.

                            With dockershim going away where else will docker be used other than developers’ desktops?

                            Yep, exactly. It will be used by end developers just the way it is right now. I understand there are more lightweight alternatives for building images (esp something which doesn’t require you to run a local daemon) that are more lucrative. But not everyone runs K8s and I think there’s a large market out there for people running standard installations of their software just with docker/docker-compose :)

                            1. 2

                              I think there’s a large market out there for people running standard installations of their software just with docker/docker-compose

                              This is extremely true. I have many friends/colleagues who use docker-compose every day and there is no replacement for it yet without running some monster of a container orchestration system (compared to compose at least).

                              I guess my main worry is that docker is a company based on products which they are having an extremely hard time monetizing (especially after they spun off their Docker EE division). I don’t see much of a future for Docker (the company) even if loads of developers use it on their desktops.

                              1. 2

                                docker compose was based on an acquihire of the folks that made fig.sh, then very little ever happened feature-wise. Super useful tool and if they’d been able to make it seamless with deployment (which is very hard it seems) the store might’ve been different.

                              1. 1

                                Yep, I appreciate that they finally made it available for Fedora 32 (after having to tweak kernel args), but many of us already switched to alternatives.

                                They still don’t ship repos for Fedora 33 (the current release). After checking the GitHub issue related to supporting Fedora 33 it appears the repo is now live, even though it only contains containerd.

                          1. 2

                            Does anyone else see ‘no censorship’ as a double edged sword? How do you prevent abuse?

                            1. 1

                              It’s p2p, so, nothing to abuse?

                            1. 2

                              I got a M1 mini w/ 16G ram. It’s probably my fave desktop I’ve ever owned, and I got it for audio stuff (Logic is fine for now). That said, a week in I started up a dev box on GCE just to have zero headaches when it came to ‘vanilla’ dev.

                              On the portable front, I imagine the Macbook Pros will become “impressive” instead of heavier touchbar airs in a few iterations.

                              1. 2

                                I long for a dumb terminal. The missing piece of how computers work is that for jobs other than programming, the output is ‘outside’ of the computer. The product, the content, the reason we use the tools, is not to create more software, but to create more music, more designs, more plans. Fearing that general purpose computing will fall out of our hands when open source silicon (and raspberry pi/SBCs displacing Eee PCs as even cheaper units) are all thriving seems chicken little. We can have both, because the developers for any given system (even inside of completely walled gardens) need tools that can treat the content they create as new tools to create further with.

                                1. 4

                                  The Priviledge Few, the We, the priesthood, will always have general purpose computers. What is feared is that the general public will not (and in fact, in many cases already does not) leading to analogous problems to the preisthood+illiteracy problems of the past.

                                  1. 2

                                    I don’t think knowing how a given generation of computers and their associated languages work is quite as generalizable as knowing a language and literacy. The church went through issues when services were done in native languages instead of Latin, the ‘open’ languages of computing aren’t going to close up anytime soon. At this point nearly all of the major and minor computer languages have open versions, in toolchain, specifications and libraries. Open hardware is also widely known and available to those interested in joining the “privileged few”, indeed the barriers are not in the hardware existing, but in social and economic issues that keep some of the most curious among us held in positions of working poverty (in both money and free time).

                                1. 1

                                  I remember seeing this and thinking that “invasive behavioral information” is critical to how the app functions across devices. If you never read kindle on your phone then your kindle or tablet, perhaps this seems like surprising info, but if you do it’s not immediately obvious how any of the syncing would work without it. The whole piece seems to miss this. But if the bookseller knowing where you are in the book on their locked down device bothers you… well… try a different system.

                                  1. 3

                                    The article details a lot of information that is being sent back that is not relevant to the reader’s position in the book. In fact, that information is sent to an entirely different URL than the metrics data.

                                  1. 3

                                    What’s odd about this Dante (and other audio protocols) over ethernet can get to 0.25 microseconds of latency. Sure unlike keyboards it uses just as much bandwidth to transmit nothing as something, it’s just interesting (although not technically surprising) that on gigabit ether you can do better than USB.

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                                      I knew it a few seconds in, but I listened on 1.75x in the background… then he finally gets there that the folks who got rms to resign were complaining about stuff not worth mentioning by name which indeed was part of a national scandal.

                                      Centering in part on a WWII era center of American thought MIT, the scandal over Epstein, over dehumanizing women’s lived experience, wasn’t a joke scandal. The acts of RMS for years were bugging people out, in ways that if he’d done them to fellow men, fellow young men, he probably would’ve gotten booted years ago. But here in this video it doesn’t even merit mention by name, only vague reference.

                                      Being excellent to each other means replacing missing stairs.

                                      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Missing_stair

                                      1. 4

                                        I think there are two separate issues here: what RMS said and did, and the mob reaction that forced him out. Maybe both are wrong.

                                        1. 3

                                          There was no mob reaction, let alone a ‘linux users mob’ That’s really the crux of it. The video assumes Linux users had some majority agency in removing him, when in fact he was booted because no organization can have someone like that associated with them. It’s common decency not Linux community decency that forced him out. No mob of any sort needed.

                                        2. 5

                                          If I’m ever in the mood for reading toxic rhetoric (which never happens), I go read RMS. While the things you listed are important, I never really knew about them until the mob happened, because I chose to ignore him.

                                          Anyway, toxic rhetoric is exactly the thing that polarizes our world and turns everyone into abominable villains. Toxic rhetoric starts wars and tears communities apart. So in my book, toxic rhetoric alone is enough to get anyone fired.

                                          1. 4

                                            Yeah I don’t get why some people insist on defending Richard Stallman after his:

                                            • pedophilia support
                                            • untoward behaviors towards women
                                            • utter lack of humility bordering on parody

                                            It often makes me think the RMS defenders really think that low of women and that their only code is the bro code. As a woman in technology, it makes me feel somewhat jaded. Just because someone does good things doesn’t excuse them from acting like a human being. :-/ It feels more that people like me are perfectly fine to sacrifice as long as some figure head gets his adoration. And that bothers me a lot.

                                            1. 25

                                              RMS never supported pedophilia. I actually read the supposed evidence. They are thoughts/questions, admittedly naive, on the subject of unintended consequences of laws (evidence against pedosexual activity being itself illegal) and whether non-coercive, mutually beneficial, pedosexual activity, could, in principle, be possible.

                                              Also, please don’t use the term ‘pedophilia’ here. Pedosexual activity is child abuse and that is what is wrong, not ‘pedophilia’. We should encourage people to come forward as pedophiles to counselors and therapists so they can learn to live with a -philia that they must never follow up on. Shaming them for their feelings or even calling them evil merely for their feelings only makes the risk greater.

                                              1. 18

                                                pedophilia support

                                                It was a single philosophical blog banter that he later retracted. Calling it a support is a far far stretch.

                                                untoward behaviors towards women

                                                Am I missing something or all he did was literaly ask out women on dates? Is that bad?

                                                Stallman is weird in many ways but to consider him to be a malicious monster is ridiculous.

                                                1. 5

                                                  He’s an awkward, clearly aspergers guy that asked some women out on dates quite awkwardly. That’s ‘untoward behaviour towards women’ today.

                                                2. 27

                                                  When I did initially read about it, I was quite skeptic, particularly as I had recently seen many cases of mob justice gone wrong.

                                                  Later it blew out of control and I did some digging. It turned out to be nothing else than the usual character assassination some collectives favor. Due to his personality and lack of awareness of current trends, Stallman proved an easy victim.

                                                  1. 20

                                                    Hard agree. Unfortunately, this is happening in tech far too often. The free and open source software movements are getting caught in the cross-fire of US politics.

                                                    1. 4

                                                      I disagree. RMS was a seminal contributor to the movement, but there is no reason to pretend that his behavior - which might have acceptable back in the day when computer sciences were a boys club and movies like Revenge of the Nerds were considered funny even though they depict non-consensual sex as a ‘prank’ - is compatible with today’s world.

                                                      Epstein’s case is not subject to ‘politics’: the guy was a known pedophile and sex trafficker. There’s not even a point in arguing that. Minsky, who Stallman defended, was well-aware of Epstein’s circumstances and willingly took money from him and sexual favors from one of his victims. One could argue that Stallman was trying to make a ‘philosophical’ argument or playing devil’s advocate, but you’d have to ignore the kind of message that would be sending to any young women or victim of sexual assault in that mailing list: welp, it’s a shame Minsky got caught doing something really bad, let’s just ignore this other victim so we avoid rocking the boat!

                                                      1. 14

                                                        Epstein’s case is not subject to ‘politics’: the guy was a known pedophile and sex trafficker. There’s not even a point in arguing that. Minsky, who Stallman defended, was well-aware of Epstein’s circumstances and willingly took money from him and sexual favors from one of his victims. One could argue that Stallman was trying to make a ‘philosophical’ argument or playing devil’s advocate, but you’d have to ignore the kind of message that would be sending to any young women or victim of sexual assault in that mailing list: welp, it’s a shame Minsky got caught doing something really bad, let’s just ignore this other victim so we avoid rocking the boat!

                                                        It is insane to me that RMS’s opponents would denounce a person for making an argument that a personal friend of theirs is not guilty of a crime, on the grounds that making this argument “sends a message” to people who might see it who are members of a demographic they assume is likely to be a victim of that crime. I’m deliberately not addressing the question of whether or not Stallman’s argument is correct or not, in the context of the actual alleged crime. Maybe he’s wrong and Minsky really was guilty in a legal or moral sense of having illict sex. I’m not sure what I think about Stallman’s argument in context, although I agree with him that something seems morally wrong about charging a person with the crime of statutory rape who was unaware that the person they had sex with was under the age of consent.

                                                        I’m not particularly interested in litigating the details of a media-reported crime I have no special information about, and it doesn’t matter in any event. Young women as a demographic, or even actual victims of sexual assault, have no particular right to never see someone argue that a specific sort of sexual encounter wasn’t actually a sexual assault. I refuse to be complicit in condemning RMS for doing so.

                                                        1. 2

                                                          Do you even understand how society works? Are you arguing that people - in particular people in a position of power in a learning institution - should be able to say whatever comes to their minds, disregarding how other people are going to take what they say?

                                                          That’s the kind of behavior that leads to the normalization of behaviors like Minsky’s. The fact that people like RMS are comfortable thinking this is some philosophical riddle we are able to discuss, instead of clearly gross behavior that would creep the fuck out of any young person in the lab, is the problem. This is not someone pondering whether a bear shits in the woods, this is someone defending a 74 year man having sex with people in the age range of his students in front of his students.

                                                          Now, if that’s perfectly normal behavior for you, then I don’t know what to tell you. Maybe a consultation with a therapist would be a good start (and no, I’m not being an flippant about it).

                                                          1. 6

                                                            Do you even understand how society works?

                                                            I believe this is a bit patronizing.

                                                            Are you arguing that people - in particular people in a position of power in a learning institution - should be able to say whatever comes to their minds,

                                                            Yes? I believe that anyone should be able to say almost anything. Of course, there are the traditional exceptions for slander and specific incitation of a crime.

                                                            disregarding how other people are going to take what they say?

                                                            Lacking foresight is no reason to deny someone’s voice.

                                                            1. 6

                                                              I believe that anyone should be able to say almost anything.

                                                              Good argument against arresting someone. None of this is illegal, nor should it be.

                                                              Bad argument for leaving someone in charge of the FSF. Figureheads have resigned for less.

                                                              1. 3

                                                                Being cast out from society is, like it or not, a serious effect. It’s more serious, in many cases, than legal censorship.

                                                                1. 2

                                                                  Not being the head of the FSF any more is not the same thing as being banished.

                                                                  1. 3

                                                                    Being ostracised by the community and accused of all manner of wrongthink and wrongdoing based on at best wilful misinterpretation is being banished.

                                                                    1. 1

                                                                      If it works out anything like it worked out for Brian Eich, I’m sure Starman would do fine.

                                                                      1. 3

                                                                        Brian Eich? Starman?

                                                                        Come on if you’re going to participate in the discussion you could make a good faith effort to at least get the names right.

                                                                        1. 2

                                                                          I agree, but it’s Brendan Eich and Stallman. Starman is someone else entirely.

                                                                2. 4

                                                                  I believe this is a bit patronizing.

                                                                  But, on the other hand, it isn’t patronizing at all to assume how everyone should behave around people who say things that make them feel unsafe?

                                                                  Yes? I believe that anyone should be able to say almost anything. Of course, there are the traditional exceptions for slander and specific incitation of a crime.

                                                                  Sure, and I believe people should be able to fire a co-worker they disagree with or find generally disagreeable.

                                                                  Lacking foresight is no reason to deny someone’s voice.

                                                                  ‘Lacking foresight’ is hardly the problem, when there’s an extensive email thread where RMS kept digging deeper and deeper. I could see him lacking foresight before the first email, but by the third reply you’d assume he’d have some hindsight.

                                                                  1. 3

                                                                    Lacking foresight is no reason to deny someone’s voice.

                                                                    Dr. Stallman’s free speech rights have not been infringed in any way.

                                                                  2. 4

                                                                    Do you even understand how society works? Are you arguing that people - in particular people in a position of power in a learning institution - should be able to say whatever comes to their minds, disregarding how other people are going to take what they say?

                                                                    Yes. In fact, providing a space for people to say things that (some) other people take to be offensive is an important function of universities as an institution. This is the purpose of tenure systems, for instance.

                                                                    That’s the kind of behavior that leads to the normalization of behaviors like Minsky’s. The fact that people like RMS are comfortable thinking this is some philosophical riddle we are able to discuss, instead of clearly gross behavior that would creep the fuck out of any young person in the lab, is the problem.

                                                                    This isn’t (only) a question over whether some kind of sexual behavior is gross on an abstract philisophical level, it’s a question about whether something a friend of his did in fact or should have have constituted a serious felony under law. Discussing questions of law is absolutely the rightful concern of any citizen. I completely reject the idea that the standard of whether a behavior is moral or not should be based on whether some people claim it makes young people in a lab feel grossed out or not.

                                                                    This is not someone pondering whether a bear shits in the woods, this is someone defending a 74 year man having sex with people in the age range of his students in front of his students.

                                                                    I defend this. I explicitly believe that it is possible for a 74 year old man to have sex with someone of the traditional age to go to college (18-22 or so - that is, legal adults!) without either party doing something immoral. In fact, I believed this when I myself was within the ages of 18-22! Again, I refuse to be complicit in condemning someone else for making this kind of argument.

                                                                    1. 2

                                                                      Yes. In fact, providing a space for people to say things that (some) other people take to be offensive is an important function of universities as an institution. This is the purpose of tenure systems, for instance.

                                                                      RMS, as a non-tenured member of MIT, should’ve known that didn’t apply to him.

                                                                      This isn’t (only) a question over whether some kind of sexual behavior is gross on an abstract philisophical level, it’s a question about whether something a friend of his did in fact or should have have constituted a serious felony under law.

                                                                      ‘Gross’ vs. ‘legal’ isn’t abstract in the context he was discussing though. Let’s think of a different example: let’s say someone in an academic context talks about his experiences with prostitutes in a country where that’s legal. Would that be acceptable?

                                                                      Just because something is legal, it doesn’t mean discussing it or defending it is appropriate in every context.

                                                                      I defend this. I explicitly believe that it is possible for a 74 year old man to have sex with someone of the traditional age to go to college (18-22 or so - that is, legal adults!) without either party doing something immoral. In fact, I believed this when I myself was within the ages of 18-22! Again, I refuse to be complicit in condemning someone else for making this kind of argument.

                                                                      Well, we agree to disagree on that. Personally, I feel like there are so many questions about power imbalance embedded in that statement, that it could lead to a loooooong conversation I’m not willing to have seeing as people have been flagging my replies because apparently not defending RMS is a sin or something.

                                                                      1. 1

                                                                        Yes. In fact, providing a space for people to say things that (some) other people take to be offensive is an important function of universities as an institution. This is the purpose of tenure systems, for instance.

                                                                        There is a time and place for this - for example, invited speakers, seminars, lectures. A free-form mailing list for students and faculty would fall outside of this in most contexts - i.e. if some idiots starts spouting Nazi propaganda for trolling purposes, they can be banned from the conversation.

                                                                        Dr. Stallman did not have tenure at MIT. In fact, he was not even part of the staff. His office and access to the mailing list was provided as a courtesy.

                                                                        This isn’t (only) a question over whether some kind of sexual behavior is gross on an abstract philisophical level, it’s a question about whether something a friend of his did in fact or should have have constituted a serious felony under law.

                                                                        The sad part of this is before this happened, I had no idea that Marvin Minsky was mentioned in the Guiffre deposition[1]. Had Dr. Stallman not gone out on the field and broken a lance for him, I would not have to contend with the plausible possibility of him availing himself of sexual favors provided through Epstein.

                                                                        I refuse to be complicit in condemning someone else for making this kind of argument.

                                                                        One can simultanously agree that Dr. Stallman has and did have a right to make this argument, and also agree with the right of MIT to terminate his unofficial occupancy of an office, and the right of the FSF to remove him from a leadership position[2].

                                                                        Free speech is the right of an individual not to be gagged by the state, not an obligation that private parties have to host that speech.

                                                                        ______
                                                                        

                                                                        [1] a deposition isn’t a statement of fact under the law, it’s a document submitted by one party in an ongoing lawsuit.

                                                                        [2] as an advocacy group, the FSF is reliant on persuading people to their ideals (and usually soliciting financial donations). A public view (no matter how legally absurd) that their primary spokesperson is a defender of pedofilia is counterproductve to the mission of the FSF.

                                                                        1. 4

                                                                          Free speech is a principle of good society. Yes it has legal protection in some states but this constant appeal to ‘free speech is just a law stopping the STATE from censoring you’ is pathetic. Should we condone attacks on free speech in other states because it’s not protected by law in China or North Korea? Freedom of expression existed as a principle of a decent society far before it was ever enshrined in legislation. In New Zealand it isn’t even supreme law, essentially just a rule of administrative law and of legal interpretation (interpret ambiguity in favour of rights).

                                                                          Nobody is talking about whether MIT had the right to terminate his privileges. That’s not in question, anywhere in this thread. The discussion is around whether it was right to do so.

                                                                          1. 2

                                                                            Nobody is talking about whether MIT had the right to terminate his privileges. That’s not in question, anywhere in this thread. The discussion is around whether it was right to do so.

                                                                            In the narrow circumstances of Epstein’s alleged contributions to Harvard (he also had access to an office there as a private citizen, I believe) which is currently tearing Harvard apart, it was absolutely correct of MIT to defensively cut off Dr. Stallman from access to official MIT facilities and mailing lists. Not doing so would only have hurt MIT’s image (and possible future endowments).

                                                                            Note that if Dr. Stallman had been part of the faculty or student body, I would probably not accept MIT’s behavior.

                                                                            What is your opinion on the FSF removing him from a leadership position?

                                                                      2. 3

                                                                        Do you even understand how society works? Are you arguing that people - in particular people in a position of power in a learning institution - should be able to say whatever comes to their minds, disregarding how other people are going to take what they say?

                                                                        I think that people should not be expected to self-censor on the basis that people might get offended on behalf of others.

                                                                        This is not someone pondering whether a bear shits in the woods, this is someone defending a 74 year man having sex with people in the age range of his students in front of his students.

                                                                        Society decided a long time ago - and has not changed its decision since then - that once you’re over the age of consent there’s nothing wrong with relationships with anyone of any age also above the age of consent.

                                                                        You can advocate for change to that or that you think that’s wrong, but given that the primary basis for LGB rights advocacy I’ve seen is ‘consenting adults in private should be able to do what they like’ I think you should think carefully about what you’re implying.

                                                                        1. 2

                                                                          I think that people should not be expected to self-censor on the basis that people might get offended on behalf of others.

                                                                          So, is there any situation at all where you think people should self-censor? Say, for example, is sexual harassment appropriate? After all sexual harassment is just one person being offended about how someone else treats them.

                                                                          Society decided a long time ago - and has not changed its decision since then - that once you’re over the age of consent there’s nothing wrong with relationships with anyone of any age also above the age of consent.

                                                                          This is definitely not true. Society frowns upon all kinds of relationships where the age disparity is incongruous with the situation. For example, the terms ‘gold digger’, ‘crate robber’ and ‘cougar’ come to mind. Legality doesn’t equal acceptance.

                                                                          You can advocate for change to that or that you think that’s wrong, but given that the primary basis for LGB rights advocacy I’ve seen is ‘consenting adults in private should be able to do what they like’ I think you should think carefully about what you’re implying.

                                                                          If you can’t see the difference between two adults in a loving relationship wanting to be accepted by society vs. someone abusing a power imbalance to take advantage of people, then I don’t know what I can do to explain it to you.

                                                                      3. 1

                                                                        Young women as a demographic, or even actual victims of sexual assault, have no particular right to never see someone argue that a specific sort of sexual encounter wasn’t actually a sexual assault.

                                                                        Conversely, Stallman has no particular right to an office provided as a courtesy by a private university, nor does he have a particular right to a leadership position in a privately-held non-profit advocacy group.

                                                                        1. 8

                                                                          Imagine someone who pretend to be very nice and morally virtuous to a crowd that’s obsessed with this, which can easily be any crowd when carefully herded the right way (most people will agree with superficial statements that sound “morally good”) and gains influence in this crowd.

                                                                          Then, using this leverage (the belief this person is definitely a good person) and some character assassination material (an article, twits, whatever claiming a person is terrible; truth here is irrelevant, the holding of controversial opinions at any point in time, even the distant past, is often used as material), on someone (thereon subject), written by themselves or some convenient third party, calls on the mob to take on actions to try and destroy the subject’s life. Actions including online bullying and organized harassment of the subject’s employer, family and friends. This isn’t an exhaustive list.

                                                                          There’s a name for a person who does this. It’s Sociopath, or as it used to be called, Psychopath. They are the actual monsters. Whereas the subject is actually nothing else than a victim. If you still have doubts, digging a little on the perpetrator will typically reveal they have had other targets. Yes, they do it, enjoy it, realize they can get away with it and then do it again.

                                                                          It helps when in the mob there’s other monsters which enjoy doing this. They willingly help the mob leader, as in exchange they also get their help with other targets. There’s literally entire communities built around doing this.

                                                                          This is getting out of control and it needs to stop. Awareness of how these monsters operate helps. At some point, however, instigators will hopefully have to start answering to Justice. The official sort, with trials, evidence, presumption of innocence and all these steps and safeguards which separate Justice from Mob Justice.

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                                                                              I have just finished reading this. As I suspected, others have noticed this pattern, analyzed it and explained it much better than I could have.

                                                                              Thank you for linking this excellent article on the matter.

                                                                            2. 1

                                                                              Imagine someone who pretend to be very nice and morally virtuous to a crowd that’s obsessed with this, which can easily be any crowd when carefully herded the right way (most people will agree with superficial statements that sound “morally good”) and gains influence in this crowd.

                                                                              This is a straw man.

                                                                              1. 3

                                                                                This is a straw man.

                                                                                No, it is not. My comment is about a dark pattern I have noticed in recent years, nothing else than that. The intended audience is pretty much everybody reading the thread. The intended effect is to raise awareness of this dark pattern, and to promote critical thought (there’s never enough of this).

                                                                                The poster I was replying to isn’t being targeted by me in any other way than being the post that incited my reply, and is absolutely not being pinpointed as the instigator. Thus, I am not making them into some strawman.

                                                                                Instead, they are kindly and indirectly being nudged into considering the possibility that they might be participating in such a scenario, and into reflecting into whether what they’re doing is positive.

                                                                                1. 1

                                                                                  Can you cite an example of that ‘dark pattern’ you’ve noticed? Can you cite two examples? Can you cite examples where both sides of the political spectrum used that dark pattern to their advantage?

                                                                                  I’ll be happy to discuss them.

                                                                                  1. 3

                                                                                    Here’s an example: there is a transgender YouTuber whose channel is called ‘ContraPoints’. Her name is Natalie Wynn. She makes videos about a variety of different topics. She’s clearly left-wing and has stated openly and frequently that she is not a transmedicalist (essentially someone with a very narrow view of what constitutes a ‘valid’ transgender person).

                                                                                    She was essentially ‘cancelled’ on Twitter, and left Twitter as a result, because she made a video where she used a particular transgender activist as a voice actor for all of 6 seconds in an hour long video. What this activist actually said had nothing to do with transmedicalism, he was there to be the voiceover for a particular quote.

                                                                                    However, because said activist is alleged (without any basis that I’ve seen) to have transmedicalist views, not only did ContraPoints get ostracised from Twitter and harassed so badly she deleted her account and left the platform, but anyone that expressed any support for her (her friends, etc.) were harassed, even if they didn’t actually say anything beyond ‘she’s my friend’.

                                                                                    So to be clear, people get harassed (death threats, other violent threats, spammed with abusive imagery, told to kill themselves, etc.) not just for being a transmedicalist, not just for allegedly being a transmedicalist, not just for collaborating in an unrelated way with someone that they did not know allegedly is a transmedicalist, inhales but for being friends with someone that collaborated with someone that they did not know allegedly is a transmedicalist.

                                                                                    But no you’re right I’m sure that cancel culture isn’t a problem.

                                                                                    1. 1

                                                                                      Can you cite an example of that ‘dark pattern’ you’ve noticed? Can you cite two examples? Can you cite examples where both sides of the political spectrum used that dark pattern to their advantage?

                                                                                      The answer to all your questions is: I don’t need to.

                                                                                      I’ll be happy to discuss them.

                                                                                      I do not have the time nor the inclination to humor you any further than I have.

                                                                                      1. 1

                                                                                        The answer to all your questions is: I don’t need to.

                                                                                        So… it was a straw man. You were just pushing the whole ‘virtue signaling’/‘conservative oppression’ talking point on a conversation that had literally nothing to do with that.

                                                                                        I do not have the time nor the inclination to humor you any further than I have.

                                                                                        I have a feeling that you are one of those people who thinks he’s right even when proven wrong, and has been proven wrong enough times he’s learned not to push the envelope when things aren’t going his way. Can’t say I’m surprised.

                                                                                2. -1

                                                                                  lol

                                                                        2. 8

                                                                          I especially recommend reading the “Low grade “journalists” and internet mob attack RMS with lies.”, article, perhaps more for it’s content than it’s choice of words.

                                                                          The upside to this whole debacle is that RMS will probably have more tile to work on the GNU project. IMO the role of president of the FSF wasn’t ever the best for him – even if I disagree with they way they amputated him. I’ve been following the Emacs mailing list in more detail recently, and maybe I have a wrong impression, but I see him taking part in the discussions more than at least over the last few years.

                                                                          1. 0

                                                                            I remember that article. It had some weird phrasings, since edited:

                                                                            https://twitter.com/gerikson/status/1176211260142231552

                                                                            RMS’ more ardent defenders are in general a bit outside the mainstream.

                                                                            1. 9

                                                                              This is known as ad-hominem. The author’s personal views (or what kind of person they are) are irrelevant to the validity of arguments presented.

                                                                              The linked twit is a good reminder of why I avoid twitter. It is a community full of hate and destructive energy, not one of reasoning and respect for difference of opinions.

                                                                              If someone cannot tolerate the existence of human beings who hold opinions different than theirs, then they’re toxic. Twitter is toxic, as it’s full of this sort of people, to the point it hosts mobs that attack people they disagree with, with the full intent of destroying their lives. This is called mob justice (I believe those involved tend to use euphenisms for this), as opposed to justice. Basically a mob, typically herded by a sociopath, playing judge and executor. It isn’t just in any way.

                                                                              Twitter tolerates this behaviour and thrives on it. Twitter is a platform for organized hate. It is literally the platform where most of this is conducted. If Twitter went away overnight, the world would be better for it.

                                                                              1. 3

                                                                                It’s not really a stretch to say that the age of consent at 16 is too old. There are clearly kids having consensual sex that shouldn’t be illegal below that age, but not much below it. ‘Romeo and Juliet’ laws for anyone under 18 is probably a much more reasonable system.

                                                                            2. 1

                                                                              Hm, that article doesn’t do a great job of proving Stallman’s supposed innocence.

                                                                              His argument that Minsky having sex with Virginia Giuffre is not a crime even though she was a minor because she was coerced by someone else is ludicrous. By that argument, having sex with a victim of sexual trafficking Is acceptable. Minsky was a grown-ass man that should be responsible - and accountable - for his decisions, including deciding to have sex with a minor in very weird and strange circumstances.

                                                                              Besides the potential legality based on jurisdiction, the very obvious lack of morality of the act should make anyone take a step back. One can’t equate a 17 year old having sex with a partner of similar age as part of a normal love relationship with a full-grown adult taking advantage of someone barely able to make a decision about their sexuality… and yet, the author of that article seems to think that because Stallman somehow has been consistent about that misrepresentation, that must mean he’s been wronged by someone pointing out it’s wrong.

                                                                              1. 8

                                                                                He’s not arguing that it wouldn’t be a crime. I don’t know how you read that from the very clear, incredibly specific text.

                                                                                1. -1

                                                                                  Did you read the mail thread linked in that article? The whole point of the thread is pondering if they should be calling this sexual assault or not, because to Minsky’s knowledge she could’ve just been a really keen very young woman. For context, they are talking about a 74 year old thinking that a teenager is coming on to him.

                                                                                  1. 5

                                                                                    I know two women who in their teens were gerontophiles.

                                                                                    1. -1

                                                                                      Ah, I see. So that makes it OK, I guess.

                                                                                      1. 5

                                                                                        It makes it believable that an old man could think a teenager is coming onto him, at the least.

                                                                                    2. 2

                                                                                      The structure of your post throws around some ideas, but doesn’t construct any arguments. It reads as an appeal to emotions.

                                                                                      The whole point of the thread is pondering if they should be calling this sexual assault or not, because to Minsky’s knowledge she could’ve just been a really keen very young woman. For context, they are talking about a 74 year old thinking that a teenager is coming on to him.

                                                                                      Your point being? Be very specific, because through your roundabout strategy, you come out to me as pushing the idea that some topics should never be discussed, that some ideas should be never expressed, and that people who dare do so should be executed by mob. Or that it is alright if this is what happens.

                                                                                      Please correct me if I am wrong. By all means, please tell me this isn’t what you’re trying to push.

                                                                                  2. 3

                                                                                    Virginia Giuffre

                                                                                    Being born in 1983, she couldn’t have been a minor in 2001 when she alleged this trafficking took place. Assuming that it happened, that Minsky was involved, and that Minsky had sex with her, the crime would not be having sex with a minor.

                                                                                    His argument that Minsky having sex with Virginia Giuffre is not a crime even though she was a minor because she was coerced by someone else is ludicrous. By that argument, having sex with a victim of sexual trafficking Is acceptable.

                                                                                    If you don’t know that someone is a victim of sexual trafficking then it isn’t wrong. Obviously.

                                                                                    1. 2

                                                                                      That depends on the definition of ‘minor’. In most places that means ‘under 18’, and last time I checked, if she was born in - say - September 1983 and the sexual encounter happened in January 2001, that’d make her a minor. In fact, being that both of them are American, and considering that Americans aren’t exempt from crimes committed against other Americans abroad, the statue is even less clear.

                                                                                      If you don’t know that someone is a victim of sexual trafficking then it isn’t wrong. Obviously.

                                                                                      Millions of Johns that got thrown in jail would like to disagree with you.

                                                                            1. 4

                                                                              all I want is to be able to search $ & &= >>= <=> etc and get some answers. I realized that’s a big tokenization issue, but overloaded special characters are ruining searchability in a lot of languages.

                                                                              1. 1

                                                                                i think one of the issues is resource cost, which is much greater than that of simple keyword lookup in a tree

                                                                              1. 10

                                                                                At this point the Search under help in macOS will keep me using it until someone matches it. Searching dropdowns by hand has been a staple of GUIs since the ANSI graphics era. Automating that search saves me so much time and makes all other operating systems seem broken UX wise. I’ll still use them for specific needs, but they’ve all been navel gazing for a decade or so. The sad part is a cross platform app like Harrison Mixbus is 100x more usable under Mac than windows or linux (and I’ve used it under all 3) simply because of this feature and the deep menus it has as a DAW.

                                                                                1. 4

                                                                                  It bugs me so much that Office has almost copied this feature. If you type something into the search box, it will find the relevant ribbon option for you, just like the macOS help search box. On macOS; however, when you select one of those options it opens the relevant (sub)menu and points at the option so that you can find it again. With the Office Ribbon, it just shows you a copy and doesn’t tell you how to find it again and so the user doesn’t learn anything (though if you do it enough, eventually the thing you’re looking for is promoted to the help menu). Both are missing one of the great features from NeXTSTEP, where you could tear off any submenu to make a floating panel, so if you were repeatedly using a button three deep in a menu you could leave that menu somewhere near your cursor.

                                                                                  1. 2

                                                                                    The menu tearing option was in GTK for a while as well together with my favorite: hover over an option in a menu, press a key combination and, hey!, this is now your keyboard shortcut to that menu item.

                                                                                    Don’t know why they disappeared.

                                                                                    1. 1

                                                                                      Did a little search, the explanation shows how at the whim of the base of the pyramid developers we are as users. Not that Mac hasn’t taken away good things, but from the aqua beta to today, I’d argue there’s been the least disruptive change.

                                                                                      “GtkTearoffMenuItem is deprecated and should not be used in newly written code. Menus are not meant to be torn around.”

                                                                                      https://developer.gnome.org/gtk3/stable/GtkTearoffMenuItem.html

                                                                                      The feature you liked was “not meant to be.” I personally never used it.

                                                                                1. 2

                                                                                  I had heard a similar story, but a much shortened version which was Elm took out the escape hatch to vanilla Javascript and went from a production language to a toy language living in its own world. Promising to eventually do “all the things”, but in practice disallowing early adopters from getting work done. Seems like self inflicted damage, coming from a hope that they could encompass all of a potential user’s need within their safe language.

                                                                                  1. 5

                                                                                    I’ve been able to not update my blog with blosxom, wordpress and hugo equally throughout the years.

                                                                                    1. 3

                                                                                      I think it’s great, but I think I’m addicted to it. There are things that are simply easier in vscode or pycharm (intelliJ), etc. Especially when it comes to integrating deeper tooling. Language servers are helping, but the (by design) mystery meat navigation of vim, the not exactly 2020 help search system (compare it to the search under Help in every Mac app), keep it a bit hamstrung. I think there’s some great parts to vim, but I learned vi because my initial editor of choice, emacs, wasn’t on the servers I was logging into. And when it was it took too long to startup. Those things aren’t true anymore and I’m still stuck on hjkl and :, etc.

                                                                                      There are worse things to get addicted to, plus vim-mode in some of the more modern editors isn’t half bad if you need some of their features.

                                                                                      Like @david_chisnall I in the end wrote my thesis in vim (undergrad and phd) so yea, it just rules. I’d still say I’ve heard of 80% of the things vanilla vim can do, but I use about 5-10% on a regular basis.

                                                                                      1. 2

                                                                                        this post gave me goosebumps. what a gorgeous intro to this complex subject through easily grasped examples. wow. If I used an RSS reader I’d subscribe immediately.

                                                                                        1. 1

                                                                                          I’ve replaced the battery and HD on a 2011 macbook air. All this talk of replaceable parts… why not replace the battery?

                                                                                          1. 3

                                                                                            The video game Hacker by Activision was the first “hacking simulator” I played (in 1985). It wasn’t very realistic, but it was fun.

                                                                                            1. 2

                                                                                              There was hacker and hacker 2 by them. Mostly guessing iirc. I’d suggest doing a solved CTF challenge by hand in an area of hacking the OP is interested in learning about.

                                                                                            1. 1

                                                                                              It is strange for me because I only knew the challenges of threads from my schoolwork, they seemed brittle. Then these async, etc frameworks came up and folks started to latch onto their ease of use. Then to me and the author, and I’m sure some others, the async frameworks papered over what would become main failure mode… not that they were too hard to write, but that they were too hard to right once things started going wrong. In a multiply connected system without fixed queue sizes (and/or backpressure) it’s hard to know exactly where something is failing, or if a network break at point A won’t cause a cascading failure of a few systems down the line that have never seen 10-100x the request rate. Everything becomes try and see, instead of do a small calculation and see.