Threads for sardaukar

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    Kinda disappointing that step 1 is to buy a mouse on Amazon :D https://github.com/great-houk/mouse-project

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      Ergonomic mouse design is hard to do after all. But I wonder if custom mice could grow into a market that is as big as custom mechanical keyboards.

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      This is a low-effort hit piece with scattered thoughts, poorly backed. Not worth your time.

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        I wouldn’t have called it a hit piece, I agree that it’s not especially well organized, and I have no idea how much effort the author put into it. But I strongly agree that it is poorly backed. Most of it leans on the author’s belief that WebAssembly is the future of software.

        While I’m also unwilling to speculate on the level of effort that went into that piece, I will observe that it should read very familiar to anyone who was paying attention to this sort of thing in the mid-1990s. If you replaced every instance of “WebAssembly” with “Java” or “the JVM”, all of those points were made in similar ways in the mid-1990s (and were so widely believed that MS ran off and created .Net in the early ’00s) and have not aged well.

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          If I understand you correctly, you’re saying it’s about the right time for me to create a new version of XML and make bank as a consultant selling it to the enterprise.

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            If you miss the billable hours from getting different SOAP stacks to interoperate, JSON Schemas seem well-suited to enterprise consulting.

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        I had been looking for something like this for a while now, thanks for posting it here!

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          Why do you say Nomad is not free?

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            That paragraph seems like the author is justifying to themselves why they want to play with k8s. I think they’re super weak reasons, could delete the entire paragraph and improve the post.

            eg, not sure I’d claim Mesos hasn’t gained critical mass given it underpins Netflix’s entire stack (Titus depends on Mesos & Zookeeper.) Nomad has equivalent large deployments, Cloudflare, Roblox and as you point out, is free (with paid-for extra features.)

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              Author here, thanks for the feedback. I meant Nomad is not free because some features are behind an “Enterprise” paywall.

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                Isn’t that also technically true of k8s? In the sense that cloud providers (google, amazon) have a special sauce that they don’t share with mere mortals?

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                  You don’t bump into “Error - Enterprise only feature” messages when working with K8s. I’m sure Amazon and Google have their own tools for working with it, but their use case is very specific.

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                    Thankfully no, that is not the case.

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                  Mesos was a contender for a hot minute but it’s definitely donezo at this point, isn’t it?

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                      Goodnight, sweet prince.

                      edit: I actually had no idea it had gone to Apache, hah.

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                        Apparently it was originally an Apache jam? Wow. I know nothing.

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                I have a feeling (untested, unproven) many of the pain points that led the author to k8s/k3s could be solved by a combination of declarative OS config (NixOS) + systemd.

                EDIT: TFA mentions NixOS at the end.

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                  There’s also Harbormaster https://gitlab.com/stavros/harbormaster. But I wanted to get more knowledge of k8s too as it’s an increasing force in the DevOps world, and I like to be up to date on that side of things.

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                  Gonna do a writeup of building and using my NAS. Spoiler alert: it was really boring in a good way.

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                    I’m intrigued. Where will you post it?

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                      My blog, per usual :)

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                        Oh, didn’t notice the username! Looking forward to it

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                          Seconded!

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                          It was nice to read the installation and Tailscale integration went well. More details would have been nice though :)

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                        sounds nice, looking forward to that

                        the commercial ones are totally overpriced for what they deliver or you get custom builds like “use this usb3 to sata adapter and put an SSD onto your pi”..

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                          There are quite a few NAS cases available that take a mini-ITX motherboard. I have a Chenbro case with 4 removable 3.5” disk bays and a slimline optical drive. I bought it about 10 years ago. I replaced the 2 TiB disks with 4 TiB ones about five years ago (I expected to replace the disks soon once the price went down, but there was an earthquake that took out most of the hard drive factories about a month after I bought the disks, so it took several years for disks to drop to the price I paid). A couple of months ago, I replaced the old motherboard (AMD E-350, 1.6GHz dual core, 8 GiB of RAM) with a Pentium J5040 one (4 cores, 2-3.2GHz, 64 GiB of RAM). It started with FreeBSD 9. I did a clean install of 10 (I think, possibly 11) when I replaced the disks, and it’s had incremental upgrades since then. The disks are in a RAID-Z configuration.

                          The only slight problem that I’ve had with it was due to the fact that the old motherboard was BIOS-only and the new one was UEFI-only (no BIOS emulation for boot). Fortunately, I had reserved 32 GiB on each disk as a swap partition, so I was able to trim those and add a UEFI boot partition.

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                        Tried to post a link about how a GNOME developer feel about this, but got deleted by moderators with “passing on this drama” as motive. If you’re curious, see https://blogs.gnome.org/christopherdavis/2021/11/10/system76-how-not-to-collaborate/

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                          I was literally playing around with window mangers this weekend, so I know exactly where to start!

                          Since you seem interested in wayland, tinwl is a great example of a minimal Wayland compositor. It’s part of the wlroots project, which seems to be a popular library for creating wayland window compositors

                          If you would rather make a window manager in X11, check out dwm, it’s also a small and easy to understand tiling window manager in X11. You could also checkout dwl which is a wayland port of dwm.

                          Last but not least, instead of writing your own window manager, you could use a custom configuration of fvwm. This what NsCDE does.

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                            Great, thanks! Is a window manager responsible for clearing the screen and so on? Or do I need to start a Wayland session some other way and then run the window manager?

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                              Last weekend I ended up using x11, so I don’t know the specifics of Wayland. But for x11 (on Ubuntu),

                              • I logged in to console mode CTRL+ALT+F3
                              • Stopped the gnome window manger, sudo service stop gdm
                              • Modified, ~/.xinitrc to exec $name_of_my_program_here
                              • Run xinit Then the x server (and my window manager) takes care of clearing the screen and so on. I imagine there is a similar process for Wayland
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                            If you are already into web technologies, maybe this (relatively obscure) project of an HTML5 Wayland compositor might be an interesting way to approach wayland in general: https://github.com/udevbe/greenfield

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                              Super interesting, thanks!

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                              I don’t think you can build something without having an idea of what you want. Otherwise, it won’t be built (bc no motivation to do so), or it won’t be what you want (because you don’t know what you want). You need that north star.

                              That said, for Wayland, you might be interested in using wlroots as a base, since it provides many sundry details for you. For X, brush up on ICCCM/EWMH for implementation details.

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                                It’s an exploration exercise. I don’t have an idea of what I want because I don’t know how it works and what it can even do.

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                                  One “goal” you could try is to flip things around a bit: what if you made Squeak the window manager for your system? I think this would require learning a lot about either X11 or Wayland in the process…

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                                What do you want to accomplish? Do you want something with the same sorts of abstractions as existing desktops? If so is there a reason other than vanity that prevents you from contributing to KDE or GNOME (do you want to do this as a learning exercise?)? Do you want to do something novel? If so, how will you provide an incremental migration path for existing software?

                                Using an existing toolkit locks you into a lot of core abstractions that the toolkit provides and limits your flexibility. Not using an existing toolkit makes it harder for existing apps to work in your environment.

                                If I had time to do DE-like things today, I’d contribute to Arcan. It’s the first thing I’ve seen in a long time that looks as if someone is building tooling that enables the kind of system I want to be running ten years from now.

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                                  Just wanted to see for myself how hard it is to create a barebones version. Not for any practical use or to release as an alternative to the existing ones.

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                                    Then my next question is: What do you want to learn?

                                    • How window management works?
                                    • How application launchers work?
                                    • How Wayland / X11 works?
                                    • How file browsers work?
                                    • Something else?
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                                      Yes to all of the above, except file browsers.

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                                        For X11, start with XCB, which is an incredibly thin wrapper over the protocol and lets you build up each part of a window manager one step at a time. Start with reparenting, then add compositing support. You’ll find the individual protocol extension docs a good reference.

                                        For Wayland, the window manager is integrated into the compositor (which is what Wayland calls the window server). This means you can’t easily write one from scratch, but I believe there are some quite configurable ones that you can start with.

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                                          For learning about X11, I cannot recommend this site enough: https://tronche.com/gui/x/xlib/

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                                        Well, then start with a minimal X11 window manager, itʼs just a few lines of code, for instance: http://incise.org/tinywm.html

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                                          Isn’t X11 deprecated? Why not Wayland?

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                                            No, it’s not deprecated, even if some Linux corporations claim otherwise. People still using X11, and will continue to do so in the next decades.

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                                              For decades its development has been funded by Linux corporations. Now they’re funding something better (for their users’ needs). I’m not sure to what extent others whose needs aren’t met by Wayland have stepped up to fill the gap.

                                              This is a relevant post: https://ajaxnwnk.blogspot.com/2020/10/on-abandoning-x-server.html

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                                                It’ll exist for decades, but it’s probably going to be doing so in stasis. Still useful to understand, but probably not the future of anything.

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                                                Try this for the Wayland equivalent: https://github.com/swaywm/wlroots/tree/master/tinywl

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                                          It boggles the mind that so many conclusions are drawn without ever asking a single user.

                                          There’s a gazillion alternative explanation for both situations, some of which do not boil down to users are stupid. Tiny screens that don’t allow you to easily tell which one’s the URL bar and which one’s the search bar. Laggy, confusing input. Touch widgets that aren’t fat enough. Good ol’ mistakes – have you honestly never pasted an ebay URL in the search box instead of the URL bar?

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                                            And without examining the frequency of these mistakes. The amazon search bar autocompletes give us very little indication of how often an entry has been seen (clearly https://google.com is more common than other URLs, but we have no idea how common it is as a fraction of all searches).

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                                              Seconded. Seems like blaming the users, instead of questioning the potential implications of the design mantra of simplifying everything, is easier.

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                                              I realize this piece has a strong whiff of PR to it, but I legitimately am interested in the idea of moving past the “local development environment” as a standard practice. Long ago I got real excited about local vagrant and docker for development, and that hasn’t really panned out for me in practice. I’ve been watching cloud development environments with great interest for a while and haven’t had a chance to invest time into them.

                                              Is this the way?

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                                                Is this the way?

                                                Not unless you’d like to see the end of accessible general purpose compute in your lifetime.

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                                                  I’m convinced it will happen regardless. Too few people care about it passionately. General purpose computing will become a hobby and cult like the Amiga is today.

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                                                    Also it’ll probably only be relevant if you’ve got such a big project that it takes you 45 minutes to make a fresh clone-to-dev environment and you’re not working with real hardware but something that’s made with replication in mind like web services. Oh and you don’t want any network problems.

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                                                    This could be so, so powerful if the compilation within those codespaces could also be pushed to distributed cloud-build instances. I’d be dying to use this if it came with a prebuilt ccache of previously compiled object files. I’m on a 28 core machine with 64G of RAM and building Firefox still takes up to ten minutes. I know it can be much less than with a distributed compiler like icecc.

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                                                      I think this will be the next step. The first and easiest development workflow to cover a scenario that is matches the remote environment as closely as possible (e.g. linux, no ui, etc). So codespaces is perfect as is for Web Development on Python, Ruby, PHP, JS. The next step would be service development where you combine Remote Execution (https://docs.bazel.build/versions/main/remote-execution.html) with CodeSpaces. It’s a bit tricky because now you have to deal with either multiple build systems, which is very difficult, or enforce a given supported built system (e.g. bazel). But at this point you will have very fast Rust/C/C++, etc compilation and can nicely develop there as well. The problem with CodeSpaces is when it comes to Mobile or GUI development, or worse case, 3D software (games). I am curious to see how they will solve that.

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                                                        Back when I used to build Chromium all the time, the worst part was linking (because it happened every time, even if I only touched one source file.) And [current] linkers are both not parallelizable, and heavily I/O bound, so a distributed build system doesn’t help The only thing that helped was putting the object files on a RAM disk.

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                                                          I don’t recall what was being used because I was a huge Unix fanboy at the time and wouldn’t touch Windows (tl;dr I was even more of an idiot than I am now) but back like 10+ years ago, I recall some folks at $work had this in Visual Studio. I don’t know if it was some add-in or something built in-house but it was pretty neat. It would normally take a couple of hours to compile their projects on the devs’ machines, but they could get it in 5-20 minutes, depending on how fresh their branch was.

                                                          I haven’t seen it because it was way before my time but I had a colleague who described basically this exact mechanism, minus the cloud part, because this was back in 2002 or so. ClearCase was also involved though so I’m not sure it was as neat as he described it :-D.

                                                          Cloud-based instances are, I suspect, what would really make this useful. Both of those two things were local, which wasn’t too hard for $megacorps who had their own data centres and stuff, but are completely out of my one man show reach. I don’t have the money or the space to permanently host a 28-core machine with 64G of RAM, but I suspect I could afford spinning some up on demand.

                                                          I wish this didn’t involve running an IDE in a damn browser but I guess that ship has sailed long ago…

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                                                            Back when we had all those powerful workstations co-located in an office, we had them running icecc, which is really damn awesome and got us above 100 shared cores. For a while, I even ssh’d into my workstation remotely and it worked quite well. But my machine failed me and getting it home was easier than making sure it’s never going to require maintenance again. Especially given that physical office access is very limited.

                                                            (As an aside, I agree running an IDE in a browser feels wrong and weird but vscode is pretty OK in terms of usability, considering it’s running on chromium)

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                                                          Docker and Vagrant can be heavy to run and often don’t make reproducible builds. Something like Nix or Guix can help with this part, and if you throw in a Cachix subscription, you can safely build and push once from a developer’s machine to CI, production, and other developers with less overhead.

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                                                            Usually I find it very frustrating to do any sort of development where there is human noticeable (and variable) latency on responses to keystrokes. (eg. Working From Home via vnc or something).

                                                            I suspect I’d find this extremely frustrating.

                                                            I have been working with a thin schroot container like thing. (ie. Tools, cross compilers, build system etc in a tar ball that gets unpacked into a schroot, gui tools and editor in the native host)

                                                            That has been working just fine for me. Schroot is smart about updating the tools when they change.

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                                                              I’m curious what issues you saw/see with a Vagrant setup, that you think some kind of ‘develop in a browser’ environment would solve?

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                                                              I noticed a lot of the decisions look like the ones hello made. This is another desktop-oriented FreeBSD AppImage project. What differentiates them?

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                                                                This one aims for source-level compatibility

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                                                                Anyone know why this took so long?

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                                                                  Some malicious features implemented by Microsoft?

                                                                  One of the claims was related to having modified Windows 3.1 so that it would not run on DR DOS 6.0 although there were no technical reasons for it not to work.

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                                                                    Don’t know. Looking at the patch so many things are stub/null but the hooks just weren’t there.

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                                                                    Doesn’t work for me on Firefox or Chrome. Must be my adblocker

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                                                                        Same thing :(

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                                                                          Try with http:// as a prefix

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                                                                      “The next optimization is both significant and controversial: disabling speculative execution mitigations in the Linux kernel. Now, before you run and get your torches and pitchforks, first take a deep breath and slowly count to ten. Performance is the name of the game in this experiment, and as it turns out these mitigations have a big performance impact when you are trying to make millions of syscalls per second.”

                                                                      Here is one highly optimized word: No.

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                                                                        If it’s an EC2 instance running a single app server, the risk is minimal as he explains.

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                                                                          Honest question, if you were running this server on a dedicated server, wouldn’t turning off those speculative execution mitigations be a good thing? In the author’s case since he’s on AWS it may not be super ok but on my own actual hardware? I thought it would be fine.

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                                                                          Not surprised and a little sad that the politics and non-explicitness seems to be just as bad as in other big projects. Also maybe a relief that they’re not doing it better than the rest of us…

                                                                          Great post though!

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                                                                            See also The Tyranny of Structurelessness, originally written about 1960s anarcho-feminist collectives but very applicable to open source projects. Skip down to ‘Formal and Informal Structures’ if you want to go straight to the relevant parts. TLDR: groups of people seeking to do things will always develop hierarchies and rules, so you’d better make them explicit if you want to keep them from being harmful.

                                                                            Github’s explicit permissions help avoid some of the structureless pitfalls - you either have the ability to merge a commit or you don’t - but not all of them. Schneems thought he could ignore an objection to a merge from a particular person, but it turns out there were unwritten rules about whose opinions counted and what ownership of a particular piece meant.

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                                                                              It involves people, so politics is not far away :)

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                                                                                What I meant was mostly under-the-radar inofficial structures and not, for example, “to be eligible to join the core group, someone inside must champion your entry and then we will vote. 2/3 yes -> in. Also the core members currently are x,y,z and these are their responsibilites and sole privileges: a,b,c”

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                                                                              The question is, what is the alternative? I see two main funding models:

                                                                              Paywalls. You pay with your money.

                                                                              Ads. You pay with your attention.

                                                                              It’s also possible to fund projects through donations, or as hobbies, but producing most of what there is to read requires more money.

                                                                              Has capitalism really progressed so far that we can no longer even conceive of collective funding models? No wonder people put up with privatised prisons, schools and healthcare systems.

                                                                              Yes I am suggesting software/news/services could be funded from taxes. Content that is a necessary part of our social infrastructure should be. Content that serves only a luxury/entertainment purpose could be covered by art grants to supplement the models the author listed.

                                                                              Increasingly we require certain software and internet services to function in society, we should view this as basic infrastructure.

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                                                                                Let us be distinct about funding infrastructure maintenance compared with funding software development or other artistic production. Then, indeed, infrastructure could be maintained through taxes in a non-controversial application of socialist logic. However, the design of that infrastructure will be by committees and incumbent power structures. Similarly, art grants could be extended to software authors, with all of the controversy over ownership and licensing that would result.

                                                                                But for infrastructure, there’s at least one additional option, which is perhaps more communist than socialist: the cooperative. The Bittorrent network is a popular example; folks each contribute a small amount of bandwidth and disk space, and create a vast content-distribution network which becomes faster and more available as content keys become hotter.

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                                                                                  However, the design of that infrastructure will be by committees and incumbent power structures.

                                                                                  Socialism is all about upsetting the incumbent power structure and putting the people in charge. In recent conceptions this has included nationalising utilities and putting them under the control of a board of stakeholders including service users, workers, and government (Labour party, 2019). There’s also the municipal socialism model where this is devolved to a local level (and quite a few essential services are delivered by municipally owned organisations, some of which are even meaningfully democratic).

                                                                                  Sure, there will still be committees, but there’s no reason that they have to be more onerous than they are in capitalist organisations. There’s nothing stopping a small group from doing its own thing and then trying to persuade the world to adopt it, indeed, if you don’t need to devote less of your time to wage labour you have more capacity to do such things and if the stakeholders don’t need surveillance capitalism then there should be less of an incentive mismatch.

                                                                                  Small aside: Lots of socialist parties support the co-operative movement. The Labour party in the UK has been in electoral coalition with the co-operative party for decades.

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                                                                                    For an implementation that’s a lot closer in spirit to what you describe, see freenet.

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                                                                                    I’ve noticed a similar phenomenon when discussing English football (soccer) in the aftermath of the attempt to form a breakaway league. (If you aren’t following it, the short version is that some historically profitable clubs tried to start a new league from which they cannot be relegated to guarantee their income, where the “they” in “their” is the owners who treat it as a business rather than the cultural entity it is.)

                                                                                    Any ideas that in any way restrict the freedom of the owners of these clubs - culture and wider society be damned - are out of the question.

                                                                                    We are now so deeply within this economic orthodoxy that we can no longer conceive of ideas that don’t neatly fit within it.

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                                                                                      Has capitalism really progressed so far that we can no longer even conceive of collective funding models? No wonder people put up with privatised prisons, schools and healthcare systems.

                                                                                      Yes I am suggesting software/news/services could be funded from taxes. Content that is a necessary part of our social infrastructure should be. Content that serves only a luxury/entertainment purpose could be covered by art grants to supplement the models the author listed.

                                                                                      We could fund things that way, and maybe we should fund things that way. But we aren’t funding things that way, which means that for right now there are only a handful of practical funding models that work, and none of them are good.

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                                                                                        Paywalls. You pay with your money.

                                                                                        These are annoying indeed but there are plenty of websites where you pay for content but can freely share a number of articles each month or so with non-subscribers, like LWN or The Correspondent. There are plenty of people paying them. And no ads!

                                                                                        Ads. You pay with your attention.

                                                                                        Like others say, this completely bypasses the deeply invasive ways ads on the internet track you. See also this other post showing how Facebook doesn’t even want to expose this to users because they’re too ashamed of it.

                                                                                        It also ignores the “user experience” of ads, which is often terrible - making your machine slow, hijacking your attention with big boxes that you have to click away etc. I don’t mind a well-designed ad here and there like you used to have in magazines, but the current ad experience is just hellish.

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                                                                                          It also ignores the “user experience” of ads, which is often terrible - making your machine slow

                                                                                          Indeed we collectively pay for ads through bandwidth and power consumption. Why is this never factored in?

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                                                                                            The Cost of Mobile Ads on 50 News Websites estimated ads are >50% of mobile data usage.

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                                                                                            Ads. You pay with your attention.

                                                                                            Like others say, this completely bypasses the deeply invasive ways ads on the internet track you.

                                                                                            It’s not just the tracking. Ads are intentionally manipulative. A lot of the techniques in modern advertising date back to the propaganda techniques from the early 20th century and have been progressively refined. There are benign ads, which try to inform customers and rely on the fact that the product serves a real need and is better than the competition for a specific use, but they’re in the minority. The vast majority are using psychological tricks to try to manipulate people into spending money.

                                                                                            If your motivation for working on ads is rooted in the idea that there’s a lot of wealth disparity and so a lot of people who couldn’t afford paywalled content, maybe you shouldn’t work in an industry that’s predicated on finding the most vulnerable people in society and taking money from them?

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                                                                                            Can you give more detail on how you would have government funding of media without government control of the media? Maybe a dedicated tax, the way the BBC is authorized to collect an annual fee from anyone in the UK who owns a television?

                                                                                            Maybe it’s better to have a media landscape beholden to a government which we (in the US) mostly elect than one beholden to a few giant ad companies, but not that much better.

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                                                                                              Here are some options:

                                                                                              1. Make them financially independent by giving investments or a trust fund rather than recurring grants (this is how The Guardian (partially) funds itself, and how many universities and charities in the USA are funded)
                                                                                              2. Encourage individuals to do the funding (this is how lots of public broadcasting in the USA is funded now, especially in the US. Possibly increase minimum wage or issue vouchers to get more funding from poorer people)
                                                                                              3. Get a more trustworthy government (Proportional representation, better parties, funding reform, gerrymandering, etc, etc)

                                                                                              I’d also argue that the existing corporate media in the USA is beholden to government, or at the very least has a deeply untrustworthy relationship with it. The corporate media are well known for uncritically repeating lies fed to them by intelligence officers (Glenn Greenwald and others have written about this often) and political journalists are dependent on “access” to government ministers and officials for their stories, which requires them to be chummy with the people they are supposedly holding to account.

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                                                                                              I once asked an economist doing monetary policy studies for African nations how she thought the world could work without currency (a la Star Trek, or similar) and she legit could not concieve of such a thing, said it was impossible.

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                                                                                                Well, she would’ve probably thought of something like the Economic Calculation Problem and decided it wasn’t worth her time to solve…

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                                                                                                  You have the same failure of imagination. Conceivably, a post-scarcity world where you have a matter replicator at home and you can just walk up to it and say what you want and it gets fabricated for you on the fly would conceivably not need a market, hence its absence in Star Trek TNG for example.

                                                                                                  It’s ridiculously far-fetched, but it’s just an exercise in imagination. We’re as a society so fixated on current economics and politicization, we can’t even conceive of different systems. Is what we have now the end state? If so, we’ve stopped dreaming and evolving.

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                                                                                                    I was going to make some joke about fully-automated luxury communism or the like but thought we were talking from within the bounds of possibility.

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                                                                                              Makes me think of the same for some Super Nintendo games, like the ones with the SuperFX chips or that one ARM processor used for only one game https://snescentral.com/chips.php?chiptype=ST018