1. 2

    While my podcast is on a break from recording, I’m adding solarized themes to joplin

    1. 27

      Having menus and toolbars be completely keyboard accessible is huge. Being partially blind (and fine/gross motor impaired), the mouse is an absolute 1000% productivity killer.

      Being able to drive my computing universe from the keyboard as much as possible is critical. This is, FWIW a big reason that I fell in love with the Mac years ago when they actually gave a crap about HID guidelines.

      Linux is getting better and better in this regard, and KDE has always been pretty good.

      1. 1

        Sadly still no support for vertical tabs. :-/

        1. 3

          Every Firefox post feels like groundhog day with this vertical tabs stuff.

          1. 2

            :-)

          2. 3

            I have been using vertical tabs in the latest Firefox for quite a long time now, there was only maybe a week after the release of the breaking version where there was no good solution available. Not sure what else you want?

            1. 1

              I try those extensions from time to time. They are all terrible.

              I rely on vertical tabs to de-clutter my UI and free up some vertical space. All the extensions are a complete failure in this regard:

              • Their horizontal tab bar still takes up space.
              • Their sidebar headers add additional clutter.
              • Their visual metaphor is wrong: the location bar shouldn’t “own” the tab bar, it belongs to a tab.

              Compare my user interface to whatever fresh hell Firefox extensions do these days.

              1. 1

                It’s not ideal, but you can hide the horizontal tab bar and the sidebar headers with userChrome.css. The Firefox team has said they are going to provide an API for extensions hiding and showing the tab bar in the future. If I understand correctly, it’s hung up a bit because of the security implications of letting an extension do this.

                1. 1

                  An API for extensions and struggling with security implications sounds like taking the wrong path. Why not add an autohide option, which should be good enough that you’d turn it on and never show tabs if you use an extension?

                  While at it, take the time to allow rows of tabs as a built-in feature and not care about APIs.

                  But no, none of this will probably ever happen.

                  1. 1

                    It’s not ideal, but you can hide the horizontal tab bar and the sidebar headers with userChrome.css.

                    This possibility will go away.

                    Firefox 69 already requires an opt-in in about:config: toolkit.legacyUserProfileCustomizations.stylesheets: true

                    The Firefox team has said they are going to provide an API for extensions hiding and showing the tab bar in the future.

                    They say a lot, but even if they addressed this issue, there are still multiple other deal-breakers, most of which will never be addressed.

              2. 2

                Wasn’t that implemented as an extension in the old XUL days?

                Actually looks like there’s a new one too: https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/vertical-tabs-reloaded/

                  1. 3

                    The extension is little more than a proof-of-concept, but a good demonstration of all the things that still don’t work (and probably never will) since they broke the old API and killed off their own Tab Center experiment.

                    The state of vertical tabs in Firefox is the equivalent of Go’s “those aren’t angle brackets, they’re characters from the Canadian Aboriginal Syllabics block”.

                    1. 2

                      Yeah they lots a lot of things in the transition to the new API, but given the insecure nature of XUL I can understand why they made that difficult call.

                      I’m still pining for the loss of It’s All Text :)

                      1. 2

                        It comes down to Firefox being obsessed with their 100% fit on their mythological “average user” (that doesn’t exist), not their inability to address this issue.

                        In the end I transitioned to Vivaldi, who – despite the much smaller team – seem to manage to simply ship vertical tabs as a fully supported options out of the box.

                        It kinda sucks, because I’m adding +1 to the already concerning market-share of Chromium-based browsers, but after being a loyal Firefox user for almost 15 years – I’m sick and tired of them trying to be a Chrome look-alike.

                        1. 1

                          At least Vivaldi is open source. That’s pretty important.

                          I’m less concerned about the renderer and more concerned about transparency.

                        2. 2

                          In case you’re not aware of them, It’s All Text has several replacements: GhostText, Textern, Tridactyl and a few others the name of which I can’t remember.

                          1. 1

                            Tridactyl is awfully cool but also awfully invasive in that it turns your Firefox into a totally Vim style keyboard driven experience :)

                            Texterm has platform restrictions, and GhostText looks like it has good potential but you can’t invoke it with a keyboard shortcuts on Macs due to some firefox bug or other :)

                            Thanks though!

                        3. 1

                          I’m curious what you feel is missing from the tree-style-tabs extension? It seems to work fine for me, but mostly all I care about is that it’s vertical, can group tabs, and shows me what container they are in. Every now-and-then it gets a little wonky, but usually just hitting F1 to hide and show it fixes it.

                          1. 2

                            I rely on vertical tabs to de-clutter my UI and free up some vertical space. TST is a complete failure in this regard:

                            • Horizontal tab bar still takes up space.
                            • The sidebar header adds additional clutter.
                            • The visual metaphor is wrong: the location bar shouldn’t “own” the tab bar, it belongs to a tab.

                            Compare my user interface to whatever fresh hell Firefox extensions do these days.

                            1. 1

                              Okay, so it’s non-obvious, but just add this to .mozilla/firefox/[profile.dir]/chrome/userChrome.css:

                              #TabsToolbar { visibility: collapse; }
                              #sidebar-box[sidebarcommand="treestyletab_piro_sakura_ne_jp-sidebar-action"] > #sidebar-header {
                                visibility: collapse;  
                              }
                              

                              And you will have something lovely like my user interface

                              I agree that the location bar location isn’t perfect, but that bothers me less. it’s possible you could drag things around to fix that too, but I haven’t tried.

                              1. 2

                                just add this to .mozilla/firefox/[profile.dir]/chrome/userChrome.css

                                This approach will stop working in the future.

                                Firefox 69 already requires an opt-in in about:config: toolkit.legacyUserProfileCustomizations.stylesheets: true

                                You can probably guess what happens next.

                                1. 1

                                  hrmm, that sucks. given the popularity of this approach, i sure hope they have some migration path for users like me. if not I may have to join you in jumping ship.

                                  1. 1

                                    btw: from the bugzilla and the announcement it doesn’t sound like they plan on having this actually go away.

                                    You may or may not trust mozilla to not take this away, but I’m not quite jaded enough to switch browsers when they are explicitly saying they won’t remove it all together.

                                    1. 1

                                      The name of the config key contains the three things Mozilla hates most: legacy, users and customization. I don’t think it gets more upfront than that.

                                      I wouldn’t give it a year until the option is gone.

                                  2. 1

                                    I played a bit with chromeCSS and things turned out pretty well: https://i.imgur.com/iOgeSdQ.png

                                    Too bad the whole feature has a sell-by-date already. :-(

                      1. 9

                        My resolution is to ignore tech entirely and start reading more philosophy, psych, political economy, and such.

                        1. 2
                          • Hanging out with the family
                          • Reading the manual for pandoc, and generally screwing around with the same
                          • Recording and episode of our podcast, this session will be about the philosophy of Accelerationism
                          1. 16

                            If Twitter shuts down, you’ll lose your followers. If Facebook shuts down, you’ll lose your friends. For some platforms, it’s not a question of “if”, but “when”. Such events are usually followed by a scrambling into a variety of different platforms, where you inevitably lose some people as you have to make a choice which one to stay on. This happened before. But it doesn’t have to happen again. Use the federated web. Join Mastodon.

                            As a Mastodon user, I think this is my main issue with the way it is marketed to normal users. For most people, FB/Twitter going offline seems unlikely. But with Mastodon, the likelihood of your instance going dark is much higher, especially considering that joinmastodon.org’s guides recommend choosing smaller/more niche instances. Once the instance is offline, you’re SOL with respect to all your posts and follow/following lists, and regular users are not made aware of this.

                            Additionally, I think many new users will hop onto an instance without considering the fact that the instance admin has complete control over the instance, including access to DMs and private posts.

                            Federation has its benefits, but I’m not sure if federated services will ever be approachable by normal people.

                            1. 3

                              For most people, FB/Twitter going offline seems unlikely.

                              If FB or Twitter shut down, everyone will have moved a way long ago. MySpace still exists. These decentralized platforms always advertise resilience as their main feature but they quite often are actually worse than centralized systems. How often have you found a torrent with no seeds? If I host a small program on github or on a torrent, which one is more likely to still be around in 10 years?

                              I think the main difference is control. Your content may be hosted on one of these big platforms for ages if they allow it but if they decide your content is not ok you have no options left. With a decentralized system, no one can ban you from your own server unless it violates local laws.

                              1. 1

                                Agreed. I say the resilience aspect of these networks is more about the service itself remaining available if any instances shut down. For example, if Facebook shuts down, you don’t have any other way to use Facebook. But if https://mastodon.social goes down, you can just hop to another instance and Mastodon again. But by advertising the network by implying that mastodon will never die, people might be mislead into thinking that their data will stay online.

                              2. 2

                                But with Mastodon, the likelihood of your instance going dark is much higher, especially considering that joinmastodon.org’s guides recommend choosing smaller/more niche instances. Once the instance is offline, you’re SOL with respect to all your posts and follow/following lists, and regular users are not made aware of this.

                                My home instance was down most of today. And while I was searching around for some info about what was going on I just thought to myself “yeah, this could be the end for that instance, and my account, and all of my posts”.

                                I’ll be sure to back up my follow list in future, but this has put into focus just how transient and fragile these federated services can be.

                              1. 4

                                I’m thinking I’ll make a start on some kind of federated reddit-a-like

                                1. 1

                                  From my perspective lobsters is already federated hacker news for nice people.

                                  1. 9

                                    But… It’s not federated?

                                    1. 1

                                      Hey, man, they said it was their perspective.

                                      1. 1

                                        Not in the mastodon definition but in terms of the web itself, it is. Don’t like this discussion forum over here, go use this other one over there with different servers, different community, different norms. Counts as federated in my book.

                                    1. 3

                                      I had the same thought a few months back and started looking into ActivityPub. It all seems very do-able, and I sketched out an outline of what the system would look like, but at the moment I don’t have the bandwidth to implement something like that from scratch.

                                      Maybe later in the summer.

                                      1. 40

                                        Whenever I read tech articles about reducing keystrokes I tend to roll my eyes. cd‘ing directories already takes up a very small portion of my time—optimization will never be worth it. Now if you can tell me how to make roadmap estimations that don’t put my team in peril, now that’s going to help me to not waste my time!

                                        Edit: It’s a cool tool, just maybe the article is touting it as more of a life saver than it actually is.

                                        1. 12

                                          I mean, I do too, but people do actually take this kind of thing seriously. I’ve had several people say they wouldn’t use ripgrep because the command was too long to type, but upon hearing that the actual command was rg, were much more satisfied. Maybe I missed their facetiousness, but they didn’t appear to be joking…

                                          1. 5

                                            Could they not have just alias’d the command if it was “too long”?

                                            1. 4

                                              The people in question don’t sound clever enough for that.

                                              1. 1

                                                Are you asking me? Or them? ;-)

                                              2. 4

                                                I wonder if these are different people than the ones who complain about short unix command names and C function names…

                                              3. 9

                                                For those of us with RSI, these little savings add up, and can make for a pretty big difference in comfort while typing.

                                                1. 8

                                                  Oh please. If you’re really worried about a couple of words and keystroke saving, you’d setup directories and make aliases that will take you specifically where you want to go. Assuming it was even a GUI you were using with a mouse, you’d still have to click through all the folders.

                                                  Overall, paying close attention to your workspace setting and ergonomics can go a long way in helping improve your RSI situation than this little jumper will ever do

                                                2. 4

                                                  My thoughts exactly. I have often wasted time trying to optimize something which took so little time to begin with, even if I reduced the time to nothing it would have no significant impact on overall performance. And the less-obvious trap is optimizations like this add additional complexity which leads to more time spent down the road.

                                                  1. 9

                                                    All right, buddy. Cool.

                                                    Did I say it a “life saver”? Nope. Did I say it could save you a lot time? Yup. If cd'ing into directories doesn’t waste your time, cool. Move along, read the next blog post on the list.

                                                    I’m sorry about your roadmap estimations. Sounds like you’ve got a lot on your chest there.

                                                    1. 31

                                                      Let me just take a step back and apologize—nobody likes negative comments on their work and I chose my words poorly and was insensitive. I’m rather burnt out and, in turn, that makes me appear more gruff online. I’m positive that someone will find this useful, especially if they’re managing multiple projects or similar use cases.

                                                      1. 23

                                                        I really appreciate you saying that. The whole point of this piece was to share something that literally makes me whistle to myself with joy every time I use it. I hope you find some time to take care of your burn out. It’s no joke and I’ve suffered from it quite a bit in the past three years myself. <3

                                                        I know it’s easy to look at everything as “this is just like X but not quite the way I like it” and I don’t blame you for having that reaction (like many here). AutoJump is to me the epitome of simple, delightful software that does something very simple in a humble way. I wish I had spent more time extolling the virtues of the simple weighted list of directories AutoJump stores in a text file and that ridiculously simple Bash implementation.

                                                        The focus on characters saved was a last minute addition to quantity the claim in the title. Which I still think will be beneficial to anyone who remotely has frustrations about using cd often and may suspect there is a better way.

                                                      2. 6

                                                        If only there was a way to optimize crank posting. So many keystrokes to complain!

                                                      3. 2

                                                        the parent tool is probably overkill but a simple zsh function to jump to marked projects with tab completion is pretty awesome to have.

                                                        alias j="jump "
                                                        export MARKPATH=$HOME/.marks
                                                        function jump {
                                                        cd -P "$MARKPATH/$1" 2>/dev/null || echo "No such mark: $1"
                                                        }
                                                        
                                                        function mark {
                                                        echo "mark name_of_mark"
                                                        mkdir -p "$MARKPATH"; ln -s "$(pwd)" "$MARKPATH/$1"
                                                        }
                                                        
                                                        function unmark {
                                                        rm -i "$MARKPATH/$1"
                                                        }
                                                        
                                                        #if you need it on another os.
                                                        #function marks {
                                                        #ls -l "$MARKPATH" | sed 's/  / /g' | cut -d' ' -f9- | sed 's/ -/\t-/g' && echo
                                                        #}
                                                        
                                                        # fix for the above function for osx.
                                                        function marks {
                                                        \ls -l "$MARKPATH" | tail -n +2 | sed 's/  / /g' | cut -d' ' -f9- | awk -F ' -> ' '{printf "%-10s -> %s\n", $1, $2}'
                                                        }
                                                        
                                                        function _completemarks {
                                                        reply=($(ls $MARKPATH))
                                                        }
                                                        
                                                        compctl -K _completemarks jump
                                                        compctl -K _completemarks unmark
                                                        
                                                        1. 1

                                                          I’ve tried this, but I keep end up making shortcuts and forgetting about them because I never train myself well enough to use them until they’re muscle memory.

                                                          I think I’ll just stick to ‘cd’ and also extensive use of ctrl-r (preferably with fzf)

                                                          1. 1

                                                            And then you go to a work mates computer, or su/sudo/SSH and it’s unusable :)

                                                            1. 1

                                                              well this is one of the most useful shortcuts in my arsenal. type j <tab> or jump <tab> and it completes all the marked directories. If you get over the initial forget to use it curve it’s amazing and simple (just a folder in your home dir with a bunch of symlinks. and a few helpers to create those.)

                                                        1. 2

                                                          For whatever its worth, I installed Fedora today and can’t replicate the problem. So it doesn’t seem to be a universal problem

                                                          1. 1

                                                            Fedora 27 here with all updates installed on Lenovo X230 (Intel stuff), seeing the issue of increased memory usage here…

                                                          1. 4

                                                            Aside from the usual work on the podcast (generalintellectunit.net), I’m taking a look at ActivityPub with an eye toward making a decentralised reddit-clone, along the lines of Mastodon.

                                                              1. 2

                                                                This is a lot like the David Foster Wallace commencement speech, “This Is Water.” It’s easier to find a link to the video than to the transcript, so here’s the latter.

                                                                http://bulletin-archive.kenyon.edu/x4280.html

                                                                1. 2

                                                                  But…

                                                                  from Strange Loop 2015

                                                                  1. 2

                                                                    Ah, seems Gary only released the video this month, I presumed the recording was more recent.

                                                                1. 3

                                                                  I’m thinking of doing a Hierarchical State Machine implementation in Erlang/Elixir this week. Or maybe over the holiday break.

                                                                  1. 4

                                                                    I’m doing some maintenance on my Elixir rate-limiting library (hammer), and I’m starting to play with Nim.

                                                                    Oh, and we just recorded a monster episode of General Intellect Unit, on the movie Blade Runner 2049, so I’ve got to edit that this week too.

                                                                    1. 4

                                                                      Sounds good so far! It would be better if you had some reading material that you could include in the podcast description.

                                                                      1. 2

                                                                        Noted, will be sure to include some links to reading material in future episodes :)

                                                                      1. 8

                                                                        I did the survey because the article says “the remaining 63 images were equalized for a fair voting.” I had to find out if they actually put up 63 images for the user to grade.

                                                                        I counted 65, many of which should never have been a choice in the first place. At least Mozilla, when they asked the community to choose a logo, had the sense to whittle their choices down to a reasonable number.

                                                                        1. 4

                                                                          I was amazed at the sheer bulk of really sub-standard images they put in here. The selection should have been pared down to maybe 20 images (that pass some basic quality filter), because as it stands I think a lot of people will not bother to complete the rankings, due solely to time constraints.

                                                                        1. 3

                                                                          I’m re-reading Four Futures by Peter Frase, as homework for a podcast episode I’m recording next week.

                                                                          Also picking through the last of Endnotes 1: Preliminarily Materials For A Balance Sheet Of The 20th Century, which is also great, if a little difficult for being a dense theoretical work translated from French.

                                                                          1. 3

                                                                            A couple of things:

                                                                            I’m wrapping up a v2 release, with a substantially better API, of my Elixir library Hammer. Hopefully that’ll be done this week.

                                                                            I’m also trying to put together a lineup of co-hosts for a podcast project, analyzing and generally gabbing about technology and tech-work from a far-left perspective, and looking at left theory through the lens of tech. It’s proving pretty hard to find people who are interested in collaborating though, and who have the right mix of political theory and tech experience, so we’ll see if that pans out.

                                                                            Update: just landed a third co-host and we’re already on to planning the first few episodes!

                                                                            1. 15

                                                                              This is, in my biased opinion, the best thing in browsing since tabbed browsing.

                                                                              1. 4

                                                                                I’m with you on that, it’s an absurdly good feature. And it makes Chromes container-per-window thing feel clumsy by comparison.