1. 8

    The irony is presumably lost on them that this post has a yellow call-to-action banner to buy their book stuck to the top of the screen, and a pop-over newsletter sign-up form when you scroll down the page.

    1. 1

      You read my mind :x

    1. 1

      If I understand correctly, AMP is needed to get higher on the search results page. The question is, why is so important to get higher on the search results page. If a company/individual is confident in the product that is being produced/sold why it is important where it appears on google search page?

      1. 39

        The best place to hide a dead body is page 2 of Google search results.

        1. 7

          The general user perception is that the higher results are more relevant and of higher quality. It doesn’t matter if #5 turns out to be objectively better than #1, if the user’s only metric at the time of comparison is where they are on the results page, they’ll go with #1.

          1. 1

            this is becoming less and less true. nowadays the first page of results is often full of fake sites which focus on SEO, and the more useful results are often burred on the second page.

            1. 2

              Well, that just means it’s even more important that the quality results place higher.

              1. 3

                on the other hand maybe it’s best if consumers learn that google search is not as useful as it once was

                1. 9

                  on the other hand maybe it’s best if consumers learn that google search is not as useful as it once was

                  This isn’t the consequence. Users perceive that the internet is not as useful as it once was. People will consume whatever’s on top, even if it’s useless nonsense, and won’t even realize the stuff on page two exists.

                  1. 5

                    Have you got any good suggestions for how to get information from the Internet, on a topic that you’re not familiar enough with to know which website to consult, other than a search engine like Google, Bing, or DuckDuckGo? (all of which are vulnerable to similar SEO tactics)

                    1. 1

                      In this situation, I search for online communities, typically the relevant subreddits. In the subreddit presentation text, there are suggested resources/websites or a pinned post often titled “Where do I start?” or something similar.

                      Of course, this is the optimistic path. In reality, you have to rely somehow on search engines.

                      1. 3

                        Reddit isn’t any more resilient to fake social proof than Google is.

                    2. 2

                      i’m sure different users react in different ways. users who identify google with “the internet” will of course perceive it as the internet being less useful, and indeed it will be less useful for them.

                    3. 1

                      I agree, but I don’t think deliberately letting users get burned by bad/hostile results is the right way to go about it.

              2. 7

                I was chatting with someone on the AMP team and they told me that AMP gets you into the news carousel, but it does not get factored into search rankings beyond the degree to which it helps your page speed. I was interested to hear it because I had the same understanding as you.

                1. 2

                  I don’t know what is the news carousel, since I’m using ddg. It seems to me that all this tech from google will die off fast, once its search monopoly is no more.

                  1. 5

                    all this tech from google will die off fast, once its search monopoly is no more.

                    Yup, and all life on Earth will die off fast, once the sun is no more.

                    There’s nobody even close to touching Google’s search monopoly. There’s no alternative that is a better product (I use DuckDuckGo too, but sometimes I have to turn to Google); even if there were we know that defeating a monopoly needs more than just a better product.

                    Your attitude in these comments of “who really cares about Google?” is so detached from reality almost makes me wonder whether you’re trolling.

                    1. 2

                      For sure I’m not trolling. I know many people that are not using google for search. You said it yourself: I use DuckDuckGo too, but sometimes I have to turn to Google. I’m not suggesting people will stop using google at all.

                    2. 2

                      …once its search monopoly is no more.

                      You sure that’ll happen anywhere in our lifetimes? It’s too ingrained in our culture that no one simply says “searching on the Internet” anymore.

                    3. 1

                      To news publishers the news carousel is effectively the #1 ranking. For news searches, the result page looks like a list of news articles with irrelevant crap below, so even organic high ranking moves you below “here is the news” section into the bargain bin of other links.

                    4. 1

                      I agree. However, I noticed that AMPed pages are generally very text-centric (journals, blogs, discussions), so they are not always products. I guess the AMP project targets this kind of text-based websites.

                    1. 8

                      I have been a satisfied user of es for several years. I switched for a very simple reason: I find bash/POSIX shell terrifically unpleasant and confusing to write, and thus never wrote shell scripts in bash or zsh. On the other hand, es has a (for me) lucid and entirely unsurprising syntax which makes it quite simple to write my own shell functions for just about anything I do more than once or twice.

                      For better or for worse, I never use the higher order functions in es. I just find rc-style syntax comprehensible and posix syntax incomprehensible. Nevertheless, I would recommend it to anyone who suspects that if they understood shell scripting a little better, they’d be rather more productive.

                      1. 2

                        It’d be cool to read an annotated version of your config file and some stories about why it is the way it is.

                      1. 5

                        I really like the idea of this. I’ve been very idly interested in Pollen for a very long time. It runs counter to the two attitudes towards static site generators I tend to move between—being “God, this is something that I should set up and then never think about again” and, “I should just write my own from scratch”—but I love to hear about people using Pollen in the wild.

                        1. 21

                          I’m sympathetic to this but the author has skipped over what is by far the most important point of the meditation:

                          [I] have recognized that the wrongdoer has a nature related to my own - not of the same blood and birth, but the same mind, and possessing a share of the divine. … Nor can I feel angry at my relative, or hate him. We were born to work together like feet, hands and eyes, like the two rows of teeth, upper and lower.

                          The “cure”, if you will, to ill-will is not simply saying, “well, my job is to solve problems, so bring on the problems”. Aurelius is pointing to the fact that all of this bullshit, and all of these disappointing people, are not separate from me, the person suffering from them. There’s nothing inherently different between me and them, and if I know the beauty of goodness and if I possess a spark of the divine, then so must they.

                          This is also the most important part of being a developer!

                          I have recognized that the sloppy coder and shortsighted boss have the same motivations as I do. We’re subject to the same deficiencies of reason, the same intuitive leaps. I can’t feel angry at my coworker, or hate them. We each are here to help the other see what they haven’t yet seen, knowing that what seems obvious to one is mysterious to the other, and what appears foolish to one has reasons behind it that they haven’t fully grasped.

                          1. 0

                            I don’t get it. This article says that Venn diagrams are not useful for visually explaining joins. But then the author visually explains the one type of join that nobody needs to use, and then explains how all the joins (that are actually explained with Venn diagrams) are really just [insert LaTeX relational algebra here] of the joins which we have explained. I am all for a more faithful model, but you’ve got to have something to offer.

                            1. 7

                              All the join types are illustrated, not just cross join, so you should probably look more carefully.

                              1. 1

                                I am missing how all join types are illustrated also. I looked pretty carefully, so could you explain?

                                I wonder if there’s a miscommunication or something I’m not seeing on my mobile device or what.

                            1. 9

                              Woo! Congrats, @sjamaan! I know how long this has been in the making. Great to see CHICKEN staying at the top of the game.

                              1. 8

                                Thanks @zdsmith! This is an important release for us, yet in some sense only the beginning. People have been holding back several cool patches in the interest of getting this release out, so 5.1.0 is probably going to rock just as hard as this release.

                                1. 1

                                  What kinds of things are likely to land in the point release?

                                  1. 2

                                    Well, we have a milestone for it in Trac so that should give a good idea of all the stuff we would like to tackle. I’m not 100% sure all these tickets will stay on 5.1, but we certainly are going to aim at fixing as many of these as possible. Besides that, people have been thinking about improving our thread scheduler (which is a right mess), the scrutinizer is going to get some attention and there’s even been talk about a native code backend (but that’s more likely to be part of 6.0, so don’t get your hopes up).

                                    There’s also an interesting patch pending that enables conditional library loading, so when you do (if blabla (import foo)), the import will only happen when blabla is true. This is a continuation (haha) of the work we did to make import expressions lexically scoped (which is in 5.0 already), so that in (let () (import foo) ...) the identifiers which foo exports do not leak outside the let. In CHICKEN 4, these kinds of imports were (sort of) raised to the toplevel.

                                    Performance is also a focus, as 5.0 is slightly slower than 4.x and in benchmarks we’re somewhat middle of the road, so I really want to see if that can be improved.

                              1. 4

                                A Turin turambar turún’ ambartanen. Another shell that isn’t shell, shells that aren’t shells aren’t worth using because shell’s value is it’s ubiquity. Still, interesting ideas.

                                This brought to you with no small apology to Tolkien.

                                1. 13

                                  I’ve used the Fish shell daily for 3-4 years and find it very much worth using, even though it isn’t POSIX compatible. I think there’s great value in alternative shells, even if you’re limited in copy/pasting shell snippets.

                                  1. 12

                                    So it really depends on the nature of your work. If you’re an individual contributor, NEVER have to do devops type work or actually operate a production service, you can absolutely roll this way and enjoy your highly customized awesomely powerful alternative shell experience.

                                    However, if you’re like me, and work in environments where being able to execute standardized runbooks is absolutely critical to getting the job done, running anything but bash is buying yourself a fairly steady diet of thankless, grinding, and ultimately pointless pain.

                                    I’ve thought about running an alternative shell at home on my systems that are totally unconnected with work, but the cognitive dissonance of using anything other than bash keeps me from going that way even though I’d love to be using Xonsh by the amazing Anthony Scopatz :)

                                    1. 5

                                      I’d definitely say so – I’d probably use something else if I were an IC – and ICs should! ICs should be in the habit of trying lots of things, even stuff they don’t necessarily like.

                                      I’m a big proponent of Design for Manufacturing, an idea I borrow from the widgety world of making actual things. The idea, as defined by an MFE I know, is that one should build things such that: “The design lends itself to being easily reproduced identically in a reliable, cost-effective manner.”

                                      For a delivery-ops guy like me, working in a tightly regulated, safety-critical world of Healthcare, having reproducible, reliable architecture, that’s cheap to replace and repair is critical. Adding a new shell doesn’t move in that needle towards reproducibility, so it’s value has to come from reliability or cheapness, and once you add the fact that most architectures are not totally homogeneous, the cost goes up even more.

                                      That’s the hill new shells have to climb, they have to get over ‘sh is just easier to use, it’s already there.’ That’s a very big hill.

                                      1. 2

                                        “The design lends itself to being easily reproduced identically in a reliable, cost-effective manner.” “That’s the hill new shells have to climb,”

                                        Or, like with the similar problem posed by C compilers, they just provide a method to extract to whatever the legacy shell is for widespread, standard usage.

                                        EDIT: Just read comment by @ac which suggested same thing. He beat me to it. :)

                                        1. 2

                                          I’ve pondered about transpilers a bit before, for me personally, I’ve learned enough shell that it doesn’t really provide much benefit, but I like that idea a lot more then a distinct, non-compatible shell.

                                          I very much prefer a two-way transpiler. Let me make my old code into new code, so I can run the new code everywhere and convert my existing stuff to the new thing, and let me go back to old code for the machines where I can’t afford to figure out how to get new thing working. That’s a really big ask though.

                                          The way we solve this at $work is basically by writing lots of very small amounts of shell, orchestrated by another tool (ansible and Ansible Tower, in our case). This covers about 90% of the infrastructure, with the remaining bits being so old and crufty (and so resource-poor from an organization perspective) that bugs are often tolerated rather than fixed.

                                      2. 4

                                        The counter to alternative shells sounds more like a reason to develop and use alternative shells that coexist with a standard shell. Maybe even with some state synchronized so your playbooks don’t cause effects the preferred shell can’t see and vice versa. I think a shell like newlisp supporting a powerful language with metaprogramming sounds way better than bash. Likewise, one that supports automated checking that it’s working correctly in isolation and/or how it uses the environment. Also maybe something on isolation for security, high availability, or extraction to C for optimization.

                                        There’s lots of possibilities. Needing to use stuff in a standard shell shouldn’t stop them. So, they should replace the standard shell somehow in a way that still lets it be used. I’m a GUI guy whose been away from shell scripting for a long time. So, I can’t say if people can do this easily, already are, or whatever. I’m sure experts here can weigh in on that.

                                      3. 7

                                        I work primarily in devops/application architecture – having alternative shells is just a big ol’ no – tbh I’m trying to ween myself off bash 4 and onto pure sh because I have to deal with some pretty old machines for some of our legacy products. Alternative shells are cool, but don’t scale well. They also present increased attack surface for potential hackers to privesc through.

                                        I’m also an odd case, I think shell is a pretty okay language, wart-y, sure, but not as bad as people make it out to be. It’s nice having a tool that I can rely on being everywhere.

                                        1. 14

                                          I work primarily in devops/application architecture

                                          Alternative shells are cool, but don’t scale well.

                                          Non-ubiquitous shells are a little harder to scale, but the cost should be controllable. It depends on what kind of devops you are doing:

                                          • If you are dealing with a limited number of machines (machines that you probably pick names yourself), you can simply install Elvish on each of those machines. The website offers static binaries ready to download, and Elvish is packaged in a lot of Linux distributions. It is going to be a very small part of the process of provisioning a new machine.

                                          • If you are managing some kind of cluster, then you should already be doing most devops work via some kind of cluster management system (e.g. Kubernetes), instead of ssh’ing directly into the cluster nodes. Most of your job involves calling into some API of the cluster manager, from your local workstation. In this case, the number of Elvish instances you need to install is one: that on your workstation.

                                          • If you are running some script in a cluster, then again, your cluster management system should already have a way of pulling in external dependencies - for instance, a Python installation to run Python apps. Elvish has static binaries, which is the easiest kind of external dependency to deal with.

                                          Of course, these are ideal scenarios - maybe you are managing a cluster but it is painful to teach whatever cluster management system to pull in just a single static binary, or you are managing some old machines with an obscure CPU architecture that Elvish doesn’t even cross-compile to. However, those difficulties are by no means absolute, and when the benefit of using Elvish (or any other alternative shell) far outweighs the overheads, large-scale adoption is possible.

                                          Remember that bash – or every shell other than the original bourne shell - also started out as an “alternative shell” and it still hasn’t reached 100% adoption, but that doesn’t prevent people from using it on their workstation, servers, or whatever computer they work with.

                                          1. 4

                                            All good points. I operate on a couple different architectures at various scales (all relatively small, Xe3 or so). Most of the shell I write is traditional, POSIX-only bourne shell, and that’s simply because it’s everywhere without any issue. I could certainly install fish or whatever, or even standardized version of bash, but it’s an added dependency that only provides moderate convenience at the cost of another ansible script to maintain, and increased attack surface.

                                            The other issue is that ~1000 servers or so have very little in common with each other, about 300 of them support one application, that’s the biggest chunk, 4 environments of ~75 machines each, all more or less identical.

                                            The other 700 are a mish mash of versions of different distros, different OSes, different everything, that’s where /bin/sh comes in handy. These are all legacy applications, none of them get any money for new work, they’re all total maintenance mode, any time I spend on them is basically time lost from the business perspective. I definitely don’t want to knock alternative shells as a tool for an individual contributor, but it’s ultimately a much simpler problem for me to say, “I’m just going to write sh” then “I’m going to install elvish across a gagillion arches and hope I don’t break anything”

                                            We drive most cross-cutting work with ansible (that Xe3 is all vms, basically – not quite all, but like 98%), bash really comes in as a tool for debugging more than managing/maintaining. If there is an issue across the infra – say like meltdown/spectre, and I want to see what hosts are vulnerable, it’s really fast for me (and I have to emphasize – for me – I’ve been writing shell for a lot of years, so that tweaks things a lot) to whip up a shell script that’ll send a ping to Prometheus with a 1 or 0 as to whether it’s vulnerable, deploy that across the infra with ansible and set a cronjob to run it. If I wanted to do that with elvish or w/e, I’d need to get that installed on that heterogenous architecture, most of which my boss looks at as ‘why isn’t Joe working on something that makes us money.’

                                            I definitely wouldn’t mind a better sh becoming the norm, and I don’t want to knock elvish, but from my perspective, that ship has sailed till it ports, sh is ubiquitous, bash is functionally ubiquitous, trying to get other stuff working is just a time sink. In 10 years, if elvish or fish or whatever is the most common thing, I’ll probably use that.

                                            1. 1

                                              The other 700 are a mish mash of versions of different distros, different OSes, different everything, that’s where /bin/sh comes in handy.

                                              So, essentially, whatever alternative is built needs to use cross-platform design or techniques to run on about anything. Maybe using cross-platform libraries that facilitate that. That or extraction in my other comment should address this problem, eh?

                                              Far as debugging, alternative shells would bring both a cost and potential benefits. The cost is unfamiliarity might make you less productive since it doesn’t leverage your long experience with existing shell. The potential benefits are features that make debugging a lot easier. They could even outweigh cost depending on how much time they save you. Learning cost might also be minimized if the new shell is based on a language you already know. Maybe actually uses it or a subset of it that’s still better than bash.

                                          2. 6

                                            My only real beef with bash is its array syntax. Other than that, it’s pretty amazing actually, especially as compared with pre bash Bourne Shells.

                                            1. 4

                                              Would you use a better language that compiles to sh?

                                              1. 1

                                                Eh, maybe? Depends on your definition of ‘better.’ I don’t think bash or pure sh are all that bad, but I’ve also been using them for a very long time as a daily driver (I write more shell scripts then virtually anything else, ansible is maybe a close second); so I’m definitely not the target audience.

                                                I could see if I wanted to do a bunch of math, I might need use something else, but if I’m going to use something else, I’m probably jumping to a whole other language. Shell is in a weird place, if the complexity is high enough to need a transpiler, it’s probably high enough to warrant writing something and installing dependencies.

                                                I could see a transpiler being interesting for raising that ceiling, but I don’t know how much value it’d bring.

                                          3. 10

                                            Could not disagree more. POSIX shell is unpleasant to work with and crufty; my shell scripting went through the roof when I realized that: nearly every script I write is designed to be launched by myself; shebangs are a thing; therefore, the specific language that an executable file is written in is very, very often immaterial. I write all my shell scripts in es and I use them everywhere. Almost nothing in my system cares because they’re executable files with the path to their interpreter baked in.

                                            I am really pleased to see alternative non-POSIX shells popping up. In my experience and I suspect the experience of many, the bulk of the sort of scripting that can make someone’s everyday usage smoother need not look anything like bash.

                                            1. 5

                                              Truth; limiting yourself to POSIX sh is a sure way to write terribly verbose and slow scripts. I’d rather put everything into a “POSIX awk” that generates shell code for eval when necessary than ever be forced to write semi-complex pure sh scripts.

                                              bash is a godsend for so many reasons, one of the biggest being process substitution feature.

                                              1. 1

                                                For my part, I agree – I try to generally write “Mostly sh compatible bash” – defaulting to sh-compatible stuff until performance or maintainability warrant using the other thing. Most of the time this works.

                                                The other mitigation is that I write lots of very small scripts and really push the worse-is-better / lots of small tools approach. Lots of the scripting pain can be mitigated by progressively combining small scripts that abstract over all the details and just do a simple, logical thing.

                                                One of the other things we do to mitigate the slowness problem is to design for asynchrony – almost all of the scripts I write are not time-sensitive and run as crons or ats or whatever. We kick ‘em out to the servers and wait the X hours/days/whatever for them to all phone home w/ data about what they did, work on other stuff in the meantime. It really makes it more comfortable to be sh compatible if you can just build things in a way such that you don’t care if it takes a long time.

                                                All that said, most of my job has been “How do we get rid of the pile of ancient servers over there and get our assess to a disposable infrastructure?” Where I can just expect bash 4+ to be available and not have to worry about sh compatibility.

                                              2. 1

                                                A fair cop, I work on a pretty heterogenous group of machines, /bin/sh works consistently on all of them, AIX, IRIX, BSD, Linux, all basically the same.

                                                Despite our (perfectly reasonable) disagreement, I am also generally happy to see new shells pop up. I think they have a nearly impossible task of ousting sh and bash, but it’s still nice to see people playing in my backyard.

                                              3. 6

                                                I don’t think you can disqualify a shell just because it’s not POSIX (or “the same”, or whatever your definition of “shell” is). The shell is a tool, and like all tools, its value depends on the nature of your work and how you decide to use it.

                                                I’ve been using Elvish for more than a year now. I don’t directly manage large numbers of systems by logging into them, but I do interact quite a bit with services through their APIs. Elvish’s native support for complex data structures, and the built-in ability to convert to/from JSON, makes it extremely easy to interact with them, and has allowed me to build very powerful toolkits for doing my work. Having a proper programming language in the shell is very handy for me.

                                                Also, Elvish’s interactive experience is very customizable and friendly. Not much that you cannot do with bash or zsh, but much cleaner/easier to set up.

                                                1. 4

                                                  I’ve replied a bunch elsewhere, I don’t mean to necessarily disqualify the work – it definitely looks interesting, and for an individual contributor somewhere who doesn’t have to manage tools at scale, or interact with tools that don’t speak the JSON-y api it offers, etc – that’s where it starts to get tricky.

                                                  I said elsewhere in thread, “That’s [the ubiquity of sh-alikes] the hill new shells have to climb, they have to get over ‘sh is just easier to use, it’s already there.’ That’s a very big hill.”

                                                  I’d be much more interested if elvish was a superset of sh or bash. I think that part of the reason bash managed to work was that sh was embedded underneath, it was a drop-in replacement. If you’re a guy who, like me, uses a lot of shell to interact with systems, adding new features to that set is valuable, removing old ones is devastating. I’m really disqualifying (as much as I am) on that ground, not just that it’s not POSIX, but that it is less-than-POSIX with the same functionality. That keeps it out of my realm.

                                                  Now this may be biased, but I think I’m the target audience in terms of adoption – you convince a guy like me that your shell is worth it, and I’m going to go drop it on my big pile of servers where-ever I’m working. Convincing ICs who deal with their one machine gets you enough adoption to be a curiousity, convince a DevOps/Delivery guy and you get shoved out to every new machine I make and suddenly you’ve got a lot of footprint that someone is going to have to deal with long after I’m gone and onto Johhny Appleshelling the thing at whatever poor schmuck hires me next.

                                                  Here’s what I’d really like to see, a shell that offers some of these JSON features as an alternative pipe (maybe ||| is the operator, IDK), adds some better numbercrunching support, and maybe some OO features. All while remaining a superset of POSIX. That’d make the cost of using it very low, which would make it easy to justify adding to my VM building scripts. It’d make the value very high (not having to dip out to another tool to do some basic math would be fucking sweet,), having OO features so I could operate on real ‘shell objects’ and JSON to do easier IO would be really nice as well. Ultimately though you’re fighting uphill against a lot of adoption and a lot of known solutions to these problems (there are patterns for writing shell to be OOish, there’s awk for output processing, these are things which are unpleasant to learn, but once you do, the problem JSON solves drops to a pretty low priority).

                                                  I’m really not trying to dismiss the work. Fixing POSIX shell is good work, it’s just not likely to be successful by replacing. Improving (like bash did) is a much better route, IMO.

                                                2. 2

                                                  I’d say you’re half right. You’ll always need to use sh, or maybe bash, they’re unlikely to disappear anytime soon. However, why limit yourself to just sh when you’re working on your local machine? You could even take it a step further and ask why are you using curl locally when you could use something like HTTPie instead? Or any of the other “alternative tools” that make things easier, but are hard to justify installing everywhere. Just because a tool is ubiquitous does not mean it’s actually good, it just means that it’s good enough.

                                                  I personally enjoy using Elvish on my local machines, it makes me faster and more efficient to get things done. When I have to log into a remote system though I’m forced to use Bash, it’s fine and totally functional, but there’s a lot of stupid things that I hate. For the most ridiculous and trivial example, bash doesn’t actually save it’s history until the user logs out, unlike Elvish (or even IPython) which saves it after each input. While it’s a really minor thing, it’s really, really, really useful when you’re testing low level hardware things that might force an unexpected reboot or power cycle on a server.

                                                  I can’t fault you if you want to stay POSIX, that’s a personal choice, but I don’t think it’s fair to write off something new just because there’s something old that works. With that mindset we’d still be smashing two rocks together and painting on cave walls.

                                                1. 2

                                                  Stopped reading at the casual hatred of capitalism. Can we get a philosophy article without throwing out the dog-whistle of capitalism being bad?

                                                  1. 9

                                                    I’ve covered the special relationship between capitalism & software extensively elsewhere. I didn’t elaborate in this article because I didn’t expect it to become popular outside my regular readership (who will already be familiar with those arguments).

                                                    In addition to the stuff covered above, there’s the obvious precedent of cybersyn. Of course, eliminating capitalism doesn’t require eliminating markets (as cybersyn does), & despite the various problems with markets, it’s unclear whether or not doing so would even be desirable in capitalism’s absence. After all, markets can be pretty good for solving certain kinds of information problems so long as the prerequisites for market efficiency are fulfilled. On the other hand, almost all economic activity on earth occurs within corporations or families (both of which are siloed planned economies) & attempts to bring markets into corporate silos have largely been disastrous, so it’s worth considering cybersyn’s progeny seriously.

                                                    1. 2

                                                      Next time just link the phrase to your previous article that explains it best, so that it doesn’t appear to be a random comment.

                                                      1. 4

                                                        I’ve got an awful lot of other writing related to every subject I cover here. You’ll have to excuse me if I don’t link every word to a different article when tossing off a low-effort rant I expected to get at most ten readers. Criticism of capitalism is among the least controversial subjects I cover in this.

                                                    2. 9

                                                      What is it about the author’s dislike of capitalism that invalidates their opinions about UX design?

                                                      1. 10

                                                        The casual injection into a post that I was reading to find out about his opinions on UX design.

                                                        1. 6

                                                          it’s their article, not yours. If they think it’s important, they can write whatever they want :)

                                                          1. 1

                                                            It may be their article but we are allowed to critique it. Nobody’s imprisoning the author for the way he writes, but by the same token, no one is obligated to read what he wrote if the style drives them away.

                                                            1. 3

                                                              Then why not just hide and ignore? How do the OP reply’s not equate to tantamount compaining and not serious discussion? what do you intend to accomplish with this reply?

                                                              EDIT: also, it’s funny I got downvoted as “incorrect” at the same time as your reply…

                                                            2. -6

                                                              It might have made some sense with context. Now it did not.

                                                              A big part of capitalism is providing the supply for a demand. If something won, there’s a market demand for it, right?

                                                              It might be suboptimal, and change can be hard to enact, but would it be better if every computer was an autistic LISP machine, utterly unapproachable for a layman?

                                                              1. 5

                                                                Can you seriously not use “autistic” as an insult?

                                                                1. 3

                                                                  ….what?

                                                                  1. 3

                                                                    This post includes, in five sentences, a severe misunderstanding of markets under conditions of near monopoly, some pretty extreme ableism, and the straw man fallacy.

                                                                    Please, reconsider.

                                                                2. 3

                                                                  I’m with zdsmith and the others here. It’s OK to have this as a pet peeve, but really, just put that aside and evaluate the ideas being presented for what they are. That’s my suggestion.

                                                              2. 14

                                                                It sounds to me like the OP is responding to an insufficiently-filled market need to shit on capitalism, and I commend them for responding so quickly to the invisible hand.

                                                                1. 5

                                                                  Also, I don’t think you’re using the phrase “dog-whistling” correctly.

                                                                  1. 2

                                                                    No. Calls for the death of capitalism and the adoption of fully automated luxury space communism are all the rage these days.

                                                                    And while I started writing this as snark, the truth is it’s a reality, especially in certain quarters like Mastodon where thousands of kids who’ve likely not experienced actual hardship ever seem to predominate.

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                                                                      And while I started writing this as snark, the truth is it’s a reality, especially in certain quarters like Mastodon where thousands of kids who’ve likely not experienced actual hardship ever seem to predominate.

                                                                      Except that the ‘kids’ you talk of have actually experienced far more hardship than any previous generation that still lives. Growing up in a massive recession, living in a world where they have no privacy and many have no expectation of privacy, where they’re allowed to own mobile phones as children despite it being objectively proven that this is incredibly harmful to their psychological development, living in a world where all collectivism in society has been snuffed out by the unstoppable march of neoliberalism.

                                                                      If you can, imagine having your once almost guaranteed job replaced by outsourcing to Asia so the very rich who were already far too rich can make even more money. Imagine having your previously completely free tertiary education replaced with unbelievably expensive tertiary education but of far worse quality with universities filled with foreign students that waste tutor and lecturer time by being virtually unable to communicate in English. Imagine having your Government’s public works department privatised and its job of building sufficient housing to keep house prices at a reasonable level completely abandoned, leading to some of the most expensive housing in the world in a low population density first world country with more than enough land.

                                                                      If you were in those shoes I imagine you’d consider yourself to be subject to some level of bloody hardship thank you very much.

                                                                      1. 3

                                                                        Except that the ‘kids’ you talk of have actually experienced far more hardship than any previous generation that still lives.

                                                                        Do you realise that there are still survivors of the Second World War alive? Survivors of the Holocaust? Survivors of the Cultural Revolution?

                                                                        No, millennials haven’t ‘experienced far more hardship than any previous generation that still lives,’ not even close. Not even a little bit.

                                                                        1. 6

                                                                          Um… Can we please not have sweeping generalizations about the life experiences of entire generations here? Or pissing contests about hardship? The hyperbole to which you are responding is severely oversaturated, but the basic point is sound. Genuine hardships exist at every level in the mythical Maslow hierarchy. Studies have shown that grad students suffer the same stress levels (measured by both Likert scale and cortisol levels) as combat soldiers. People who live through major natural disasters and other forms of severe crisis generally report feelings of peace and social communion. People adapt, it’s how our nervous systems work. Exercise some compassion!

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                                                                            I guess you’ve never met any from other parts of the world who isn’t from the United States, or other other affluent and unravaged countries.

                                                                            1. 1

                                                                              Did you mean to reply to milesrout? Every one of my examples of people who’ve experience far more hardship than millennials have was from outside of the United States.

                                                                              Or do you mean that ‘millennials’ is a term usefully applied to non-Western cohorts? I think that would be a rare usage. Still, while there’s some pretty horrific stuff going on the world today, I don’t think it compares to the Cultural Revolution or the Holocaust.

                                                                              1. 1

                                                                                I was replying to you; you brought up non-Western comparisons, and I’m pointing out that your attempt to minimize current ills is unsound.

                                                                                It’s undeniable that Millennials, and all other post-Boomer cohorts in the United States, have had declining opportunities and quality of life, due to structural issues related to unregulated and sociopathic economic policy and behavior (see https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/the-american-economy-is-rigged/). So what’s your deal? Why are you trying to gaslight us?

                                                                                1. 1

                                                                                  It’s undeniable that Millennials, and all other post-Boomer cohorts in the United States, have had declining opportunities and quality of life

                                                                                  I’m not arguing against that statement: I’m arguing against the statement ‘the ‘kids’ you talk of have actually experienced far more hardship than any previous generation that still lives.’ That statement is false, because there are generations still living which have experienced far worse hardship than the Millennials. Whatever hardship they face pales in comparison to mass slaughter, mass murder, mass starvation, mass conscription &c. &c. &c.

                                                                                  That’s not gaslighting: it’s a simple fact.

                                                                                  1. 0

                                                                                    I believe it is incorrect to exclude the rest of the world in the Millennial cohort; the problems they face are global. Especially since you keep bringing up non-Western-world examples like the Cultural Revolution. And Millennials and younger are now facing down the barrels of a bunch of giant ecological cannons, and the world is turning into an authoritarian hellscape, so again, your insistence on minimizing how rightfully pissed they should be is literally incredible.

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                                                                          And this is bad because?

                                                                          1. 4

                                                                            It’s absolutely not “bad” - did I say that?

                                                                            No, what I said is that I see a lot of people yearning for a particular bit of societal change, and sometimes I question whether or not they appreciate the fullness of what they’re asking for.

                                                                            1. 3

                                                                              In particular, I am selfishly worried that given that kind of massive, wholesale seismic shift in the way we structure our lives that basic infrastructure would fall away for a time.

                                                                              I’m dependent on a couple of key medications that aren’t all that common to continue existing on the prime material plane, so despite the fact that I LOVE the idea, I’m a bit cautious around what it would ACTUALLY mean to march into our glorious future with my comrades, possibly dying of dehydration along the way. (The drug I need is vasopressin replacement. Without it I dehydrate and die. Full stop.)

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                                                                                Countries with socialised medicine do far better at providing people with medicine than those without. I struggle to see why it’d be reasonable to expect socialism to do poorly at providing medicine.

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                                                                                  Countries that have socialized medicine where a person with disorder like GP has survives are capitalist.

                                                                                  1. 2

                                                                                    What does that have to do with what I said?

                                                                                    1. 1

                                                                                      This whole branch discusses the “calls for death of capitalism”, and you mention socialized medicine as a counter argument. Now, why do you make me explain your post to yourself?

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                                                                                      Countries that have socialized medicine where a person with disorder like GP has survives are capitalist.

                                                                                      I can’t even parse this. What are you saying? Socialized medicine is socialism. Western countries are a mix of socialized services (education, roads, trains, military) and private, market-based systems. The mix has historically shifted back and forth, and right now, we’re at an extremely capitalistic phase, and it’s too much.

                                                                                      Capital is useful, like fire. Demanding that we worship it and asserting that capitalism is the Only Way is like demanding that firefighting be outlawed, because fire is good.

                                                                                      1. 1

                                                                                        Socialized medicine in socialist countries is atrociously bad. The GP would not have survived there with the kind of disorder they have. I am saying that because I lived in a poster boy socialist country with such healthcare system.

                                                                                        All Western countries are decidedly capitalist, their economies are based on proceeds from capitalist mode of production. Back in my history class in USSR we had that political map of the world, they were marked there as such.

                                                                                        I hope you aren’t suggesting that the USA is the only capitalist Western country, since all others have socialized healthcare of some sort.

                                                                                        1. 1

                                                                                          Really, you’re saying the medicine in the Netherlands, and Australia, and Canada, and Sweden, etc. is atrociously bad? Because I know for a fact that the systems there are better than in the United States.

                                                                                          Again, socialized medicine, like socialized military or education, is socialism. All the Western democracies are a mix of socialism and capitalism.

                                                                                          The United States is more capitalistic than the other ones; I am saying it needs to be less capitalistic than it currently is.

                                                                                          1. 0

                                                                                            Really, you’re saying the medicine in the Netherlands, and Australia, and Canada, and Sweden, etc. is atrociously bad?

                                                                                            I am saying that medicine in Marxist societies was (and is) bad. There is a world of difference between socialized aspects of Sweden and Soviet socialism. They have nothing in common, nada, nilch. If you think USSR was like Sweden but just poorer and with more socialized services, no, it was nothing like it at all. In fact from that perspective Sweden is undistinguishable from the USA. I know because I’m familiar with both, and a former Prime Minister of Sweden agrees.

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                                                                                              No one was talking about Soviet-style Marxist Communism, which we all agree was a nightmare. The argument was, “Too much has been subject to capitalism,” (which originally sprang from the OP’s note that we still have capitalism, meaning, there is still scarcity and inequality), or, “There should be more socialism,” which has nothing to do with the dysfunction in the USSR.

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                                                                                                Fair enough. I was going off “calls for the death of capitalism” upthread, have nothing against socialized healthcare per se.

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                                                                                                  But why does a call for moving beyond capitalism automatically invoke, “I guess you want to try something terrible, like a USSR or DPRK style nightmare?”

                                                                                                  Capitalism, like controlled fire, is a human tool meant to bring about humane ends. When fire rages out of control and people get hurt, we put it out. When capital rages out of control and people get hurt, for some reason a lot of people get mad when you say, “Maybe common and critical needs shouldn’t be subject to market dynamics,” and I just don’t understand that reaction.

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                                                                                                    Because you hardly hear that call from anyone else than communists, and USSR/DPRK was the outcome of people giving their best to build communism.

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                                                                                                      Fully Automated Luxury Gay Space Anarcho-Communist Syndicalism does not suffer from the flaws of the attempts from 100 years ago; we will have automated labor this time ;)

                                                                                                      Also, if you have an ounce of awareness and you live in the San Francisco area, it’s impossible to not be confronted with catastrophic failure of capitalism as a total system (meaning, attempts to provide all needs via markets).

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                                                                                                        All kinds of societies can thrive once you remove human factor!

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                                                                                      Did you read what I read in full?

                                                                                      In particular, I am selfishly worried that given that kind of massive, wholesale seismic shift in the way we structure our lives that basic infrastructure would fall away for a time.

                                                                                      Of course once a fully marxist / communist society was attained medicine would be a non problem for most people, my issue is the transition. Do you actually think we could just pivot from full on rape and pillage capitalism to such a society without massive upheaval, bloodshed, and interruption of all but the simplest infrastructure services (like the manufacture and delivery of specialized medication for instance.)

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                                                                                        Of course once a fully marxist / communist society was attained medicine would be a non problem for most people

                                                                                        Don’t count on it. We had root canals treated without anaesthetics in 1980s USSR.

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                                                                                          This is exactly the point I was trying to make. I’m seeing a LOT of people extolling the virtues of Marxist / communist societies without thinking through how hard they are to actually implement in ways that benefit the common citizen.

                                                                                          For a really great trove of data on how this can go totally awry, read the book Red Plenty.

                                                                                          Many then cite successful implementations of universal healthcare in socialist countries, failing to acknowledge the fact that many (all?) of these are fueled by thriving capitalist economies.

                                                                                          I acknowledge that I am a cis white male working in technology and currently enjoying a lifestyle practically dripping with privilege, but this has not always been so, and I also feel that just because I have never known hardship (especially not the kind of hardship experienced by millennials, apparently) but that doesn’t mean I can’t talk about the flaws in people’s thinking.

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                                                                                  If you’re going to go that far you should go all the way: fully automated luxury gay space communism.

                                                                                  1. 4

                                                                                    Sure why not? With flying cars, even! :)

                                                                                    (In all seriousness, Ian Banks Culture novels represent pretty much the ONLY far future society I’d actually WANT to be a citizen of :)

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                                                                                https://imgur.com/a/Cv5KXOE

                                                                                Two virtual desktops.

                                                                                Despite my perennial curiosity about acme, I think the only thing I’m really into is its color scheme. There’s two kakoune windows with acme colors, and an es session with a little CLI weather app I wrote for myself. The terminal emulator is kitty.

                                                                                The second desktop is a couple vimb windows, where I do as much browsing as I can.

                                                                                The WM is spectrwm, which has a couple annoying bugs, but thus far the best tiling behavior I’ve found.

                                                                                1. 3

                                                                                  I used to use spectrwm!

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                                                                                    Rock on, dude! It seems pretty unsupported which is a bummer. It makes me think maybe I should go back to i3. Except I don’t remember why I switched from i3 to spectrwm in the first place so I don’t know what I can check on.

                                                                                  2. 1

                                                                                    I moved from spectrwm to awesome partly as I was using at work, and partly as it works well on OpenBSD.

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                                                                                    I don’t have anything to intelligently contribute except that I’m super excited to see this. J for years has been top of my ‘fuck it, I’m just gonna move to the Andes and learn a bunch of programming languages’ list. I’ve never really internalized its control flows and idioms. And I’ve never really made the conceptual leap from how I would use it to do statisticy stuff to how I would use it to build, like, business logic and servers and stuff. But even if mastery meant it became a really powerful desk calculator I still want to conquer it.

                                                                                    Also, love the pun.

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                                                                                      I’m a few chapters in and it’s fantastic. The eight character rule and the f~g construct alone would be worth paying money for!

                                                                                      1. 3

                                                                                        What is the eight character rule?

                                                                                        1. 1

                                                                                          I was curious too. I’m guessing he’s referring to the preamble?

                                                                                          As a broad rule, once ‘pure’ lines exceed around seven or eight characters, it is usually better to consider defining a new named verb or adverb, if necessary building up a chain of mixed new names and J primitives to achieve a final overall objective.

                                                                                          1. 2

                                                                                            Yup, that’s the one. I’m not sure whether I should be thinking of it as raw characters or primitives, but either way it’s a useful heuristic.

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                                                                                      Hot take: I love this.

                                                                                      While it’s clear that DRH is a devout Christian (or an expert satirist), he also takes pains to mention several times that he is not putting this out in order to try to enforce Christian beliefs—or even values—in his community. He also adds, which is quite canny and also unusual, that his expectation is not that failure to comply 100% with the CoC should result in expulsion or blacklisting.

                                                                                      But he is actually acknowledging: people have adopted Codes of Conduct for the purpose of regulating behavior within contained communities of practice for thousands of years in nearly every culture, at least any culture with any kind of monastic tradition. If we feel the sting of an unregulated community, where toxicity damages the spirits of the people we would like to contribute, why not start there?

                                                                                      I’m afraid it will fall on deaf ears because many people—on both sides of the CoC debate—have an immediate allergy to any mention of religious practice. I hope they’re given some time to see this code put into practice.

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                                                                                        A large part of this is because organised religion in general, has a pretty fucking horrific history of treating certain groups of people terribly.

                                                                                        In western society/culture/countries, (some parts of) Christianity has not just a history, but a current-day penchant for treating some of those same groups of people, as shitty as the law will allow them, and trying their damndest to reverse whatever protection laws do provide.

                                                                                        I’m a straight while male, but I can see plenty of reasons why almost any demographic other than my own would take issue with using Christianity as the basis of a “treat people right” guide.

                                                                                        Edit to clarify: it’s not just christianity that has treated groups of people like shit, but this CoC is linked heavily to Christianity and Christians do currently treat some of those same groups of people like shit.

                                                                                        1. 3

                                                                                          Say the same thing about muslims and you’d be shouted out of the server by hordes of “good” people.

                                                                                          Christianity is an enormous box containing all from the Swedish (formerly state) church which professes a form of liberation theology where god is gender-neutral and no longer a “lord” as that does not sound inclusive enough to fundamentalist sects who stand next to the road with signs professing all from the end of the earth to “whatever bad happened is your own fault because you allow gay people to be gay people”. The Benedictines have been around for a while, they tend not to do the latter and are far from the former and their Rule is, if clearly religiously tainted, a usable abstraction of the monastic ideal. Software developers as a rule are not medieval monks living in poverty with a vow of obedience which makes parts of the Rule inapplicable but compared to the intersectionalist religious pamphlets which are being used by other projects this one is no worse and in many ways a lot easier on the mind because its religious intentions are so clearly stated (and as such easily ignored by those who prefer to stay away from organised religions). The whole of the thing could be compressed into “do not do unto others what you would not have done upon yourself” which gives room for future abbreviation.

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                                                                                            As I said elsewhere here and on HN, I don’t see why this CoC or any such agreement needs to be more complex than “respect people”.

                                                                                            If someone needs it spelt out more clearly than that, do so, when the need arises.

                                                                                            Defining such a specific list of rules (either in this or in other verbose CoC’s), is micromanaging to the ridiculous extreme. If we file a feature request, we don’t preface it with a “how to type” or “basics of $X language” handbook, because we trust that people understand those concepts on their own.

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                                                                                              The reason is moderation, the vast majority of the rule of law in any country could be boiled down into “don’t do bad stuff,” but then when it comes to judgement who defines “bad”?

                                                                                              Without a CoC or Terms and Conditions by another name; moderation of large communities becomes messy, easily corrupt and non-transparent with different moderators treating people differently based upon personal preference.

                                                                                              With a CoC/T&C the moderation team have a set of guidelines that they must follow in their moderation duty, this gives a line in the sand that the community know they should not cross and the moderators know they should apply.

                                                                                              For the majority of people that line is pretty obvious without needing to read the CoC, for a select few however, they need “respect people” spelling out.

                                                                                          2. 4

                                                                                            Christianity in particularly

                                                                                            Christianity has far from a monopoly on human suffering and shitty behavior. Pretty much any organized system of beliefs or tribe of sufficient population will end up with a history of treating some subset of people terribly.

                                                                                            Please don’t be inaccurate.

                                                                                            1. 4

                                                                                              You’re right. I’ll amend.

                                                                                              1. 3

                                                                                                Agree. Looking at the people acting offended, it feels that they are largely angry that SQLite didn’t pick their (corporate) religion.

                                                                                              2. 1

                                                                                                In western society/culture/countries, (some parts of) Christianity has not just a history, but a current-day penchant for treating some of those same groups of people, as shitty as the law will allow them, and trying their damndest to reverse whatever protection laws do provide.

                                                                                                But that has nothing to do with Christianity. If those people happened to have a different religion they wouldn’t be different people, they’d just do nasty things for other reasons.

                                                                                                Countries where other religions have historically dominated are no different in terms of whether they have abusive practices or whether they have bigotry. And it’s pretty obvious from the wide variety of different types of Christianity practiced in different places, from Sweden to Subsaharan Africa, that the culture and socioeconomic status of people is what determines their behaviour, and religion is just an excuse to be nice or an excuse to be nasty, not the cause of nicety or nastyness.

                                                                                                1. -1

                                                                                                  Edit to clarify: it’s not just christianity that has treated groups of people like shit, but this CoC is linked heavily to Christianity and Christians do currently treat some of those same groups of people like shit.

                                                                                                  Yes, and so do the intersectional feminists who push for entirely-serious codes of conduct. Publishing this explicitly-Christian CoC, even if the author was sincere about valuing the rules of the Benedictines as a way of ordering human communities, has the satirical effect of making the feminist codes of conduct seem not all that different from the codes of conduct of a competing religious tradition.

                                                                                                2. 8

                                                                                                  I agree. I think the Rule of St Benedict is interesting, but this is real magic:

                                                                                                  However, those who wish to participate in the SQLite community, either by commenting on the public mailing lists or by contributing patches or suggestions or in any other way, are expected to conduct themselves in a manner that honors the overarching spirit of the rule, even if they disagree with specific details. Polite and professional discussion is always welcomed, from anyone.

                                                                                                1. 2

                                                                                                  Super excited. All of my free cycles these days have been going to formal methods - reading the Way of Z, working on my own ‘formal methods lite’ system. TLA+ has been on my list for a long time and I ran through the first chapters of Lamport’s tutorial but it never stuck. Pumped to pick up a resource that first and foremost tries to make things practical and adoptable.

                                                                                                  1. 2

                                                                                                    Oh yeah, that reminds me: would it be alright if I messaged you some questions about Pantagruel? Thanks!

                                                                                                    1. 2

                                                                                                      Dude, it would be fucking awesome.

                                                                                                  1. 3

                                                                                                    Very recently another Lobster mentioned on IRC, in a manner suggesting he didn’t see anything controversial about the statement, how anybody who didn’t support the idea of a ‘meritocracy’ in tech was immediately on his political blacklist. I think this article is a fine illustration of the realities of many organizations that tout themselves as meritocracies.

                                                                                                    1. 7

                                                                                                      There’s absolutely nothing wrong with the concept of a meritocracy in principle.

                                                                                                      In reality, of course, people often claim that something is a meritocracy when it is not, and use meritocratic claims as a way of dismissing any concerns of prejudice.

                                                                                                      (It’s important to note that this may in fact be completely honest on the claimant’s part. They may truly believe that their organization is a true meritocracy and that they themselves are not sexist. That may all very well be true, but often it is not, because we are very often blind to our own faults. It’s human nature.)

                                                                                                      (And of course there are people who are really are prejudiced but hide behind such claims of meritocracy.)

                                                                                                      1. 5

                                                                                                        This, I think, depends on how one defines “merit”, and what one’s goal is.

                                                                                                        An oft-used definition of “merit” is something like “the quality and quantity of work produced”. A “meritocracy” formed with this definition will reinforce existing structures of power, as those who have more power have more access to education and thus will tend to do higher quality work, and have more time not consumed by dealing with the consequences of oppression or unfortunate circumstances (working menial jobs, medical operations, etc.) and thus can do more work.

                                                                                                        In addition, there is a great deal of research that shows that intersectionally oppressed people - black women as a prototype, but including developmentally disabled people of color, LGBTQ+ women, et cetera - suffer from far more serious mental health problems than do people oppressed on a single axis, or only mildly oppressed by society. I would imagine this makes it harder for those people to produce code or other work than their white, straight, male colleagues.

                                                                                                        This is where the second clause comes in. If the goal really is to produce the highest-quality work as fast as possible, the argument could be made that excluding people who are structurally disadvantaged is a good idea - but only if one accepts the idea that diversity of viewpoints does not improve the quality of work.

                                                                                                        This is an incomplete argument, but I hope I’ve at least demonstrated that a “meritocracy” is not automatically or immediately a good idea, even if implemented perfectly.

                                                                                                        1. 1

                                                                                                          shows that intersectionally oppressed people - black women as a prototype, but including developmentally disabled people of color, LGBTQ+ women, et cetera - suffer from far more serious mental health problems than do people oppressed on a single axis, or only mildly oppressed by society. I would imagine this makes it harder for those people to produce code or other work than their white, straight, male colleagues.

                                                                                                          You literally just described many of my white, male colleagues and I at my current company in your first sentence given environment we operate in and hours we work. Lots of others I know, too, in other companies. Then, due to ideology, you excluded us from having that experience in your next sentence. That division will create opportunities for companies to discriminate against us and/or ignore our troubles in favor of minority candidates who might be anything from worse off to better off. That kind of draw the line with race and sex rather than specific circumstances… a faith-based rather than evidence-based approach… is one reason I oppose such politics.

                                                                                                          Instead, we can say people, regardless of race or gender, that have struggles individually or structurally due to some context (opposite majority and/or bad culture in OP article) might get behind on attributes like performance. Maybe they need a boost or evaluation system needs modification to address this. That version includes white males in bad situations which is really common in rural America. Then, policies that follow from it will help everyone instead of one ideology’s favorite, political groups to help at their expense of their least-favorite groups.

                                                                                                          1. 2

                                                                                                            You’re right, I didn’t include a sufficiently diverse set of examples. Class is certainly a major axis of oppression and definitely had a huge impact on these kind of metrics. I don’t disagree with you on that.

                                                                                                            In fact, I wonder if there is some non obvious meaning here that I’m missing. You seem unhappy with my comment, and yet I think we mostly agree.

                                                                                                            1. 1

                                                                                                              One group of people on this site in the political debates generally assume structural oppression or disadvantage only happens to non-whites and non-males. They typically say things that fit a pattern of “minority example with bad result followed by white/male lacks bad result.” Your example was like that. I assumed you had similar views based on some comments like that. If you don’t, then I apologize for the bad assumption.

                                                                                                              If disadvantaged whites and males are included, then I’m fine with the comment. I even upvoted it since you had a good point in there.

                                                                                                              1. 2

                                                                                                                If disadvantaged whites and males are included, then I’m fine with the comment. I even upvoted it since you had a good point in there.

                                                                                                                When one talks about oppression, structurally disadvantaged people should be included regardless of what axis that structural disadvantage lies upon. There is a lack of discussion of class in general, but in my experience that is primarily because most people expect others to recognize implicitly that class is a major factor in most oppression.

                                                                                                                Perhaps the belief is wrong; I would certainly be open to the idea that discussing class as its own axis of oppression is something we don’t do enough. I do think, though, that you could stand to be a bit more open to the idea that other axes are just as important. For instance, even very wealthy, famous, and otherwise minimally oppressed black men are harassed by police far more often that similarly advantaged white men, based on racial stereotypes.

                                                                                                                1. 2

                                                                                                                  Perhaps the belief is wrong; I would certainly be open to the idea that discussing class as its own axis of oppression is something we don’t do enough.

                                                                                                                  It probably should be discussed more. I’m not sure if class covers it since it happens regardless of income level. What I was alluding to were people who were minority members or had less power in their situation. It could be anything from lower-class whites to whites who were minority in a group even with others’ cultural norms determining what’s rewarded or not rewarded. Latter has happened to me plenty in black areas. Maybe the definition of class you’re going with covers that, though.

                                                                                                                  “I do think, though, that you could stand to be a bit more open to the idea that other axes are just as important. “

                                                                                                                  I’m a civil, rights activist and union member that boosts minorities out of bad jobs towards better ones or better positions all the time. Career/resume/people advice. Referrals. Resources on specific jobs. Tons of free entertainment I improve on the spot to combat stresses. I’m more than open to minority issues: I’m actively benefiting some of them that deserve it.

                                                                                                                  I just counter patterns that seem like misinformation to me. This one automatically went with minorities are victims and whites less so. I countered it to include white, male victims of same stuff to make bigger picture more accurate. When talking to the local rednecks, I’d be bringing up stuff like you’re saying worded more like they’d understand even if they didn’t want to hear it.

                                                                                                                  This forum has more activity promoting one set of views than another. Their voters tend to be more active even though there’s a lot of dissent from a few metas. I think other side doesn’t participate as much on that for apathy or fear. So, you’ll see me counterpointing those types of misinformation more than other things here. Somewhere else, I might be linking to studies showing people with a black name got interview calls way less than a white one and that I want it replicated by a diverse group to clear possibility of fraud or just bias. Another I shared was Navy reform that focused only on performance where more women got promotions. You’re likely seeing an environmentally-driven bias in my comments here if it looks like I don’t care about minority issues. :)

                                                                                                                  I’ll save that link to read later when I get sleep.

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                                                                                                      This looks like something I’m going to have to experiment with. Thanks for sharing!

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                                                                                                        hillel, as our resident formal methods wonk, i’m very interested to hear if you think this idea has legs! when it occurred to me it seemed like something that would be obviously useful to have, which is not an impression i’ve managed to convey to anybody else. so i’d be very interested to hear if it resonates at all.

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                                                                                                        The majority of this article doesn’t address the thesis. The author makes a perfectly reasonable if somewhat uninspiring argument to arithmetic to back up the title, but then the majority of the piece is about how (to paraphrase) terseness is not a great virtue in programming.

                                                                                                        In this I think he fails to convince. He presents two code samples, one quite short and one extremely long and arguably quite unpleasant to try to wade through. And his argument is that the second is to be preferred because, semantically, it’s better. Well, no duh! I don’t think it’s very convincing to compare bad code to better code and then argue that because this particular implementation in this particular language is longer, then it’s not reasonable to prefer short code to long code. At the risk of stating the obvious, the rule of thumb is that one should prefer short code to long code all other things being equal.

                                                                                                        In this case the author undercuts himself because he mentions offhand that he’d prefer to do this in a language where you could accomplish something with the same semantics much more tersely. Which would seem to be exactly the sentiment he was trying to contort himself out of saying.

                                                                                                        Nobody would argue that terseness is a virtue because (or simply because; I hate to type) you get to type less. Being able to communicate The Right Thing in the simplest terms, with the least structure, with the least vocabulary, makes your work easier to read, less likely to contain errors, and in a well-designed system, more combosable.

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                                                                                                          The answer is: the author’s idiosyncratic skillset and language familiarity, the state of the web application programming language ecosystem 9 years ago, and a series of extremely unconventional architectural decisions; all of which are nearly guaranteed not to apply to the reader.

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                                                                                                            Great summary. Also, given they were a 3 person startup I think they should have immediately reduced the candidate languages to the ones the author was already quite familiar with: Python and Common Lisp. Then out of those you think about how hard it would be to hire another engineer and get them up to speed without losing too much of your own velocity. Then you choose Python.

                                                                                                            (And hopefully step back from disliking the GIL and realise it very rarely stopped anyone from running a website in the real world).

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                                                                                                              “I think they should have immediately reduced the candidate languages to the ones the author was already quite familiar with: Python and Common Lisp”

                                                                                                              That’s exactly what the startup factories tell the founders to do, too. Makes sense given they need to be developing as fast as they can rather than learning a language/toolset and minimizing risks to their iterations.

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                                                                                                            Apologies for commenting on the form rather than content here, but is wikia.com really the place this community decided to organize around? Seeing TV shows and cosmetic products for teenagers advertised next to an article on formal methods is… a strange experience.

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                                                                                                              That’s strange but submission has many links. Mostly a positive. The only negative I had, which is dependent on my goal of industrial adoption, is that Z notation proved too hard to understand in a lot of projects for a lot of programmers. Alternatives, many coming later, also had a better story in automatic verification of code against the specs, generation of code from specs, prover integration, and so on. It’s still interesting for people studying various kinds of logic or historical use of formal methods. I keep Z papers in my collection just in case their work ever has ideas for solving a new problem.

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                                                                                                                I wasn’t exactly sure of the best link to post here. There’s a whole book that’s available online, but I thought a portal-type link might be a better entry point.

                                                                                                                The Way of Z: https://staff.washington.edu/jon/z-book/

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                                                                                                                  @nickpsecurity, what of Z’s successors would you say did a better job with being understandable to humans?

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                                                                                                                    The main one these days is Alloy. Jackson designed it specifically to address two problems he had with Z, which were that it was too intimidating to beginners and that a lot of valid Z specs couldn’t be model-checked.

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                                                                                                                      Survey is here.

                                                                                                                      1. 2

                                                                                                                        It largely failed due to its learning curve. B method did, too. Both did improve software quality, though. I had a resource diving into the various methods in a detailed comparison whose criteria I want everyone doing model-checking or formal verification to consider and weight in on. Turns out I didn’t submit it even though I thought I did. Oops…

                                                                                                                        I’ve been referencing the results in comments here: Abstract, State Machines and TLA+/PlusCal came out easiest to use with high cost-benefit analysis. ASM’s and PlusCal can look pretty similar to each other and FSM’s. TLA+ even has similar foundations of Z minus the complexity. If you like Z, you might also like the concept of TLZ where Lamport combined Z with temporal logic. That link has him saying the Z and CSP community ignoring his TLZ work twice. So, he ditched Z and created something better: TLA+. It’s going mainstream with non-mathematicians picking it up thanks to the work by folks like hwayne.

                                                                                                                        Since I didn’t submit that survey and it’s late, I’ll submit it in the morning around 10-11am as usual. That way people can check it out at lunch time. Stay tuned. :)

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                                                                                                                    This book is enticing but I’m not sure the appeal is clear to me. The first section seems to provide a quite detailed notation for describing the expected behavior for programs, which would seem to provide a useful lingua franca for precisely discussing specs before writing. But I’ve just read the first section where the author actually puts it all together and it seems as though he expects you to actually write a program in it, and then translate as literally as possible into a programming language in order to ensure correctness. Which seems nutty to me. Heck, in the first and most trivial example it already results in a GOTO, which can’t be a good sign. And I can’t help but imagine that it would be disastrous to take these semantics and then write them in, say, Erlang, thus forgoing all pattern matching—to give one example. I’ll keep reading. I’m interested in other people’s thoughts.

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                                                                                                                      what is this site?

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                                                                                                                        This is E2! Back in the day, years and years ago, it was a sort of cross between a wiki and a message board—this was before wikipedia was so popular. It was inspired by the hitchhiker’s guide to the galaxy ( much like www.h2g2.com )—a site that would contain everything. In practice some people treated it like an encyclopedia, some people submitted creative writing and poetry, and some people used it like livejournal. It also had a very active offline component; lots of people meeting up, living together, sometimes getting married and having babies.

                                                                                                                        If you want to know what I was like when I was 15, here’s my profile: https://everything2.com/user/Crux