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    It would have been nice to elaborate on some points. For example, I’d like to know why

    Java isn’t that terrible of a language.

    is the case. Or how

    Trading purity in exchange for practicality is usually a good call

    was picked up.

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      Java isn’t that terrible of a language.

      Maybe it’s because it simply gets the job done.

      Trading purity in exchange for practicality is usually a good call

      This seems to be an idealism vs practicality question. Would you want to go greater lengths only because you believe something is true? I understand this as if the OP tells us that the work environment isn’t a place for such questions. You should pick whatever gets the job done. I’ve also heard this in a different form: “if you want to build a business, choose a boring technology”. Well, unless I don’t really understand what OP had in mind.

      But yeah, I agree that additional expansion of some topics would be nice.

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      The first time I heard about io/fs was in adding something like go-bindata to the default toolchain. Is that still the plan, or was that delayed/canceled.

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        Datasheet doesn’t mention max load on GPIO output pins.

        Only 3 analog inputs and on a wiggly analog reference.

        Personal opinion: GND pins should have been placed at least on pins 1,20,21,40.

        Everything else seems perfect.

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          Everything else seems perfect.

          I wouldn’t mind if it also had WiFi. Maybe there will be a second version like with the Zero.

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            Arduino are producing the Nano RP2040 Connect using this Raspberry Pi silicon which provides wifi connectivity.

            https://blog.arduino.cc/2021/01/20/welcome-raspberry-pi-to-the-world-of-microcontrollers/

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          I completely disagree with the conclusion regarding VSCode extensibility.

          Everything about it can be changed, using scripting languages that have a bigger community and are more familiar to most.

          Just look at the virtually unlimited amount of VSCode extensions! They’re so good that people has made vim plugins to use VSCode extensions!

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            Everything about it can be changed,

            This is not true. Emacs plugin model is open – there are no plugins per-se, user code runs in the same environment as Emacs’ own code, and has access to all of the functionality. In contrast, VS Code plugin model is closed: there’s a finite API exposed specifically for the plugins, and this is a different, more restricted, API than the one used by editor’s core. Plugins are isolated even physically – they run in a separate process from the editor. So, for example, it is not possible to implement custom GUI to replace VS Code command pallet.

            That being said, “everything can be changed” is different from “everything I need can be changed”. For me personally, after having discovered edamagit, the only thing that Emacs has and VS Code lacks is wdired and golden-ratio mode.

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              This is wrong. You can change anything in VSCode.

              Some extensions that I would consider as proving my point:

              EDIT: Reading your comment more carefully, I now get what you mean, and yes, technically you can’t change everything, but still: this is in no way limiting the creative power of extensions or their capabilities and I would still consider VSCode as incredibly extensible.

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                First, sorry for starting with a “this is not true” – if this needed a re-read, I was too direct :) In this comment, I would like to disagree with one specific point, while agreeing with the overall conclusion.

                Specifically, I can’t agree with this one:

                this is in no way limiting the creative power of extensions or their capabilities

                Here are a couple of things I can not do, although I’d very much like to.

                One, there’s no way to show a convenient input box with code completion. I need this to implement “run cargo command” feature in rust-analyzer, which would complete cargo flags based on project info. This is Run Anything from IntelliJ. I can use InputBox, but that doesn’t have completion. I can do anything in a webview, but that won’t be a pop-up.

                It’s interesting that, before Run Anything API existed in IntelliJ, I implemented this feature in IntelliJ for Cargo manually. Like Emacs, IntelliJ is open-API, so that was possible.

                Two, there’s no way to add checkboxes/tabs to workspace symbol search input. I want a convenient way to look only for classes, or only for functions, or only in library code, like I can do in IntelliJ. I would build a custom pop UI for this if I could, but I can’t.

                So no, VS Code is not as extensible as open-API platforms, and this is limiting in practice.

                How does this square with the number of awesome extensions on the marketplace? I think Code doesn’t optimize for extensions power, it optimizes for a vibrant extension ecosystem. This is velocity and maintainability from @mpereira values, and not extensibility.

                VS Code has extensions marketplace, which provide automatic updates, versioning & rollbacks, discoverability and a nudge for writing your own extension. The traditional model in Emacs is that you just dump stuff into your personal .emacs.d and maybe paste some snippets from it to Emacs wiki. These two approaches create different incentives, and the resulting ecosystems are systematically different. I wonder why VS Code doesn’t have init.ts for local scripting? Is it just “only power users need this” low priority item, or is this omission a deliberate design decision to encourage publication of plugins?

                What’s more, limiting extension power by providing a closed API (as opposed to an open API) also serves to systematically improve the ecosystem. This is a feature, it is not a limitation. vscode.d.ts contains the entirety of extension’s API surface, and to me this single file reads like a gem of a great application and systems architecture.

                By not exposing the internal API directly and introducing an explicit interface layer, VS Code achieves the following things.

                First, extensions can’t block UI thread or slow down startup. They are in a separate process! This is a crucial property for extensions ecosystem, as there would be poorly written or buggy extensions which would compromise the overall experience. The parent blog post started with a story of 30 seconds freeze of Emacs. This is impossible by design in VS Code.

                Second, it is easy to provide backwards compatibility. You can freely evolve internal editor impl, concentrating all the backwards compatibility cruft in a single place, the translatation of internal mess to the extensions API.

                Third, it becomes trivially easy for extension authors to learn the API, as the entirety of an API is a single file.

                All three are crucial for a rich ecosystem, and all three require a closed API. I think this architecture is the reason why VS Code was able to replicate and mostly surpass the 40 years of Emacs in such a short term. I bet there are many more VS Code TypeScript code than Emacs elisp code by now.

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                  Thanks for your lengthy reply, and I apologize if I too sounded too direct in mine (I was hoping the edit made it better, but I didn’t want to “remove proof” of my original reply), sometimes on the internet it’s too easy to sound harsher then intended.

                  With that aside, you make a very good point, and yeah, this inevitably this means VSCode is not unlimitably extensible, however: do we need such a thing?

                  I’ve seen the VSCode team as very responsive, and given that you have such specific limitations, I wonder if you ever thought about opening an issue (or a PR directly) proposing the required API extensions to make those use-cases work, I’m sure many more extensions would benefit from it.

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                    Yeah, I do raise issues against vscode and (moreso) lsp protocol. Here’s completion and filtering. Implementation wise, I am afraid all my editor support capacity is sucked by rust-analyzer :)

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                      Thanks for all your great work on rust-analyzer by the way! :)

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                    Thanks for your analysis of the collateral effects of the VSCode closed API, you raise interesting points that weren’t very concrete in my head.

                    I’m not sure about there being more TS than Emacs Lisp by now, but maybe I’m just uninformed! :)

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                      Yeah, I don’t know about the amounts, that is my guess. Sadly, this info is hard to collect.

                      By the number of extensions, melpa contains 4800 extensions (https://melpa.org/#/), vscode has 10000 in the other category alone (https://marketplace.visualstudio.com/search?target=VSCode&category=Other&sortBy=Installs) (EDIT: 23k total: https://marketplace.visualstudio.com/search?target=VSCode&category=All%20categories&sortBy=Installs). Of course, many of code extensions are left pads. I am also not sure what’s the total volume of corporate elisp code, a-la JaneStreet’s iron workflow.

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                  Only thing really?

                  I suppose: Org-mode + ability to run in a terminal window (+ to run in batch mode?) + the fact that all is text (which we like, or not) + tight integration with a shell (eshell) + on-the-fly configuration and plugins development.

                  also important (to me at least): independent from a vendor.

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                    Well. I did list two things :) I … just don’t understand why people use org mode or any other todo list. For me, maintaining a list means that I am procrastinating. If I am in the flow, I just know what to work on next (i do use paper notebook sometimes). I don’t need integration with the terminal (I do need someone to write a non horrible terminal though ) or the shell.

                    All-is-text and general interactions are fine in vscode: there’s magit clone, it works ok! I do miss golden ratio and wdired.

                    On the fly configuration is a mixed bag: on the one hand, sure, I wish I can just drop a function in my init.ts from time to time, on the other hand, 80% of configurablity is handled by JSON config with auto completion and immediate reload. For those 80%, vscode is significantly better for me than emacs.

                    Now that I think about it, another thing I miss is daemon mode. Immediate startup is a big deal for me personally.

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                  Hey Alberto. I’m curious to which “conclusion” regarding VSCode extensibility you disagree with?

                  The post says that extensibility is not one of VSCode’s core values (which is just my opinion anyway), but that is different than saying that VSCode isn’t extensible. It clearly is…

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                    I disagree with the fact that extensibility is not a core value of VSCode

                    • Microsoft themselves are contributing to the most popular community extensions
                    • The extensions API is extremely powerful, and in case what you want to do can’t be done, Microsoft has shown to be very responsive in accepting extensions to the API or contributions that extend the API
                    • VSCode is also built with the same technology and language as their extensions: TypeScript, HTML and CSS, which means that you can create a completely customised component for it

                    Sure, maybe there isn’t a native API that allows you to inject custom CSS to (for example) move the command prompt from the top of the screen to the centre, but somebody made an extension that allows you to inject custom CSS, meaning that when you can’t extend VSCode with it’s native API, you can always hack it (at the expense of maybe causing issues with future updates, but maybe that’s a tradeoff you want to do).

                    Maybe the concept of “extensibility” is not as pure as the Emacs one, but this is software, not a religion: I never once came across something I wanted to do that either wasn’t possible or, more likely, somebody didn’t already built an extension for it.

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                      All free software is extensible. People have taken Acme and modified it, but that doesn’t mean it is a core value. The difference between Emacs and other models, to me, is not one of religion but of who extends it. If I want to add a new feature, to fix an annoyance, I can probably do it myself. I just have to write a few lines of elisp in my *scratch* buffer, evaluate it and there it is. It is my impression that this is the intended way to work with Emacs. My impression of VSCode is that the intended way is to install an extension, or write one by yourself, which raises the barrier. Sure you can do it, it’s a web browser after all.

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                  I used to think this was the case until I realized that Google funds Firefox through noblesse oblige, and so all the teeth-gnashing over “Google owns the Internet” is still true whether you use Chrome directly or whether you use Firefox. The only real meaningful competition in browsers is from Apple (God help us.) Yes, Apple takes money from Google too, but they don’t rely on Google for their existence.

                  I am using Safari now, which is… okay. The extension ecosystem is much less robust but I have survived. I’m also considering Brave, but Chromium browsers just gulp down the battery in Mac OS so I’m not totally convinced there yet.

                  Mozilla’s recent political advocacy has also made it difficult for me to continue using Firefox.

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                    I used to think this was the case until I realized that Google funds Firefox through noblesse oblige, and so all the teeth-gnashing over “Google owns the Internet” is still true whether you use Chrome directly or whether you use Firefox.

                    I’m not sure the premise is true. Google probably wants to have a practical monopoly that does not count as a legal monopoly. This isn’t an angelic motive, but isn’t noblesse oblige.

                    More importantly, the conclusion doesn’t follow–at least not 100%. Money has a way of giving you control over people, but it can be imprecise, indirect, or cumbersome. I believe what Google and Firefox have is a contract to share revenue with Firefox for Google searches done through Firefox’s url bar. If Google says “make X, Y and Z decisions about the web or you’ll lose this deal”, that is the kind of statement antitrust regulators find fascinating. Since recent years have seen increased interest in antitrust, Google might not feel that they can do that.

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                      Yes, I agree. It’s still bad that most of Mozilla’s funding comes from Google, but it matters that Mozilla is structured with its intellectual property owned by a non-profit. That doesn’t solve all problems, but it creates enough independence that, for example, Firefox is significantly ahead of Chrome on cookie-blocking functionality - which very much hits Google’s most important revenue stream.

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                        Google never has to say “make X, Y and Z decisions about the web or you’ll lose this deal,” with or without the threat of antitrust regulation. People have a way of figuring out what they have to do to keep their job.

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                        I’m tired of the Pocket suggested stories. They have a certain schtick to them that’s hard to pin down precisely but usually amounts to excessively leftist, pseudo-intellectual clickbait: “meat is the privilege of the west and needs to stop.”

                        I know you can turn them off.

                        I’m arguing defaults matter, and defaults that serve to distract with intellectual junk is not great. At least it isn’t misinformation, but that’s not saying much.

                        Moving back to Chrome this year because of that, along with some perf issues I run into more than I’d like. It’s a shame, I wanted to stop supporting Google, but the W3C has succeeded in creating a standard so complex that millions of dollars are necessary to adequately fund the development of a performant browser.

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                          Moving back to Chrome this year because of that, along with some perf issues I run into more than I’d like. It’s a shame, I wanted to stop supporting Google, but the W3C has succeeded in creating a standard so complex that millions of dollars are necessary to adequately fund the development of a performant browser.

                          In case you haven’t heard of it, this might be worth checking out: https://ungoogled-software.github.io/

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                            Except as of a few days ago Google is cutting off access to certain APIs like Sync that Chromium was using.

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                              Straight out of the Android playbook

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                          Mozilla’s recent political advocacy has also made it difficult for me to continue using Firefox.

                          Can you elaborate on this? I use FF but have never delved into their politics.

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                            My top of mind example: https://blog.mozilla.org/blog/2021/01/08/we-need-more-than-deplatforming/

                            Also: https://blog.mozilla.org/blog/2020/07/13/sustainability-needs-culture-change-introducing-environmental-champions/ https://blog.mozilla.org/blog/2020/06/24/immigrants-remain-core-to-the-u-s-strength/ https://blog.mozilla.org/blog/2020/06/24/were-proud-to-join-stophateforprofit/

                            I’m not trying to turn this into debating specifically what is said in these posts but many are just pure politics, which I’m not interested in supporting by telling people to use Firefox. My web browser doesn’t need to talk about ‘culture change’ or systemic racism. Firefox also pushes some of these posts to the new tab page, by default, so it’s not like you can just ignore their blog.

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                              I’m started to be afraid that being against censorship is enough to get you ‘more than de-platformed’.

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                                  Really? I feel like every prescription in that post seems reasonable; increase transparency, make the algorithm prioritize factual information over misinformation, research the impact of social media on people and society. How could anyone disagree with those points?

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                                    You’re right, how could anyone disagree with the most holy of holies, ‘fact checkers’?

                                    Here’s a great fact check: https://www.politifact.com/factchecks/2021/jan/06/ted-cruz/ted-cruzs-misleading-statement-people-who-believe-/

                                    The ‘fact check’ is a bunch of irrelevant information about how bad Ted Cruz and his opinions are, before we get to the meat of the ‘fact check’ which is, unbelievably, “yes, what he said is true, but there was also other stuff he didn’t say that we think is more important than what he did!”

                                    Regardless of your opinion on whether this was a ‘valid’ fact check or not, I don’t want my web browser trying to pop up clippy bubbles when I visit a site saying “This has been officially declared by the Fact Checkers™ as wrongthink, are you sure you’re allowed to read it?” I also don’t want my web browser marketer advocating for deplatforming (“we need more than deplatforming suggests that deplatforming should still be part of the ‘open’ internet.) That’s all.

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                                      a bunch of irrelevant information about how bad Ted Cruz and his opinions are

                                      I don’t see that anywhere. It’s entirely topical and just some context about what Cruz was talking about.

                                      the meat of the ‘fact check’ which is, unbelievably, “yes, what he said is true, but there was also other stuff he didn’t say that we think is more important than what he did!”

                                      That’s not what it says at all. Anyone can cherry-pick or interpret things in such a way that makes their statement “factual”. This is how homeopaths can “truthfully” point at studies which show an effect in favour of homeopathy. But any fact check worth its salt will also look at the overwhelming majority of studies that very clearly demonstrate that homeopathy is no better than a placebo, and therefore doesn’t work (plus, will point out that the proposed mechanisms of homeopathy are extremely unlikely to work in the first place, given that they violate many established laws of physics).

                                      The “39% of Americans … 31% of independents … 17% of Democrats believe the election was rigged” is clearly not supported by any evidence, and only by a tenuous interpretation of a very limited set of data. This is a classic case of cherry-picking.

                                      I hardly ever read politifact, but if this is really the worst fact-check you can find then it seems they’re not so bad.

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                                        This article has a few more examples of bad fact checks:

                                        https://greenwald.substack.com/p/instagram-is-using-false-fact-checking

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                                        Media fact-checkers are known to be biased.

                                        [Media Matters lobby] had to make us think that we needed a third party to step in and tell us what to think and sort through the information … The fake news effort, the fact-checking, which is usually fake fact-checking, meaning it’s not a genuine effort, is a propaganda effort … We’ve seen it explode as we come into the 2020 election, for much the same reason, whereby, the social media companies, third parties, academic institutions and NewsGuard … they insert themselves. But of course, they’re all backed by certain money and special interests. They’re no more in a position to fact-check than an ordinary person walking on the street … — Sharyl Attkisson on Media Bias, Analysis by Dr. Joseph Mercola

                                        Below is a list of known rebuttals of some “fact-checkers”.

                                        Politifact

                                        • I wanted to show that these fact-checkers just lie, and they usually go unchecked because most people don’t have the money, don’t have the time, and don’t have the platform to go after them — and I have all three” — Candace Owens Challenges Fact-Checker, And Wins

                                        Full fact (fullfact.org)

                                        Snopes

                                        Associated Press (AP)

                                        • Fact-checking was devised to be a trusted way to separate fact from fiction. In reality, many journalists use the label “fact-checking” as a cover for promoting their own biases. A case in point is an Associated Press (AP) piece headlined “AP FACT-CHECK: Trump’s inaccurate boasts on China travel ban,” which was published on March 26, 2020 and carried by many news outlets.” — Propaganda masquerading as fact-checking

                                        Politico

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                                          I’m interested in learning about the content management systems that these fact checker websites use to effectively manage large amounts of content with large groups of staff. Do you have any links about that?

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                                            The real error is to imply that “fact checkers” are functionally different from any other source of news/journalism/opinion. All such sources are a collection of humans. All humans have bias. Many such collections of humans have people that are blind to their own bias, or suffer a delusion of objectivity.

                                            Therefore the existence of some rebuttals to a minuscule number of these “fact checks” (between 0 and 1% of all “fact checks”) should not come as a surprise to anyone. Especially when the rebuttals are published by other news/journalism/opinion sources that are at least as biased and partisan as the fact checkers they’re rebutting.

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                                              The real error is to imply that “fact checkers” are functionally different from any other source of news/journalism/opinion.

                                              Indeed they aren’t that different. Fact-checkers inherit whatever bias that is already present in mainstream media, which itself is a well-documented fact, as the investigative journalist Sharyl Atkisson explored in her two books:

                                              • The Smear exposes and focuses on the multi-billion dollar industry of political and corporate operatives that control the news and our info, and how they do it.
                                              • Slanted looks at how the operatives moved on to censor info online (and why), and has chapters dissecting the devolution of NYT and CNN, recommendations where to get off narrative news, and a comprehensive list of media mistakes.
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                                        After reading that blog post last week I switched away from Firefox. It will lead to the inevitable politicization of a web browser where the truthfulness of many topics is filtered through a very left-wing, progressive lens.

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                                          I feel like “the election wasn’t stolen” isn’t a left- or right-wing opinion. It’s just the truth.

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                                            To be fair, I feel like the whole idea of the existence of an objective reality is a left-wing opinion right now in the US.

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                                              There are many instances of objective reality which left-wing opinion deems problematic. It would be unwise to point them out on a public forum.

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                                                I feel like you have set up a dilemma for yourself. In another thread, you complain that we are headed towards a situation where Lobsters will no longer be a reasonable venue for exploring inconvenient truths. However, in this thread, you insinuate that Lobsters already has become unreasonable, as an excuse for avoiding giving examples of such truths. Which truths are being silenced by Lobsters?

                                                Which truths are being silenced by Mozilla? Keep in mind that the main issue under contention in their blog post is whether a privately-owned platform is obligated to repeat the claims of a politician, particularly when those claims would undermine democratic processes which elect people to that politician’s office; here, there were no truths being silenced, which makes the claim of impending censorship sound like a slippery slope.

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                                                  Yeah but none that are currently fomenting a coup in a major world power.

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                                              But… Mozilla has been inherently political the whole way. The entire Free Software movement is incredibly political. Privacy is political. Why is “social media should be more transparent and try to reduce the spread of blatant misinformation” where you draw the line?

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                                                That’s not where I draw the line. We appear to be heading towards a Motte and Bailey fallacy where recent events in the US will be used as justification to clamp down on other views and opinions that left-wing progressives don’t approve of (see some of the comments on this page about ‘fact checkers’)

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                                                  In this case though, the “views and opinions that left-wing progressives don’t approve of” are the ideas of white supremacy and the belief that the election was rigged. Should those not be “clamped down” on? (I mean, it’s important to be able to discuss whether the election was rigged, but not when it’s just a president who doesn’t want to accept a loss and has literally no credible evidence of any kind.)

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                                                    I mentioned the Motte and Bailey fallacy being used and you bring up ‘white supremacy’ in your response! ‘White Supremacy’ is the default Motte used by the progressive left. The Bailey being a clamp down on much more contentious issues. Its this power to clamp down on the more contentious issues that I object to.

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                                                      So protest clamp downs on things you don’t want to see clamp downs on, and don’t protest clamp downs on things you feel should be clamped down on? We must be able to discuss and address real issues, such as the spread of misinformation and discrimination/supremacy.

                                                      But that’s not even super relevant to the article in question. Mozilla isn’t even calling for censoring anyone. It’s calling for a higher degree of transparency (which none of us should object to) and for the algorithm to prioritize factual information over misinformation (which everyone ought to agree with in principle, though we can criticize specific ways to achieve it).

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                                                        We are talking past each other in a very unproductive way.

                                                        The issue I have is with what you describe as “…and for the algorithm to prioritize factual information over misinformation”

                                                        Can you not see the problem when the definition of ‘factual information’ is in the hands of a small group of corporations from the West Coast of America? Do you think that the ‘facts’ related to certain hot-button issues will be politically neutral?

                                                        It’s this bias that i object to.

                                                        This American cultural colonialism.

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                                                          Can you not see the problem when the definition of ‘factual information’ is in the hands of a small group of corporations from the West Coast of America?

                                                          ReclaimTheNet recently published a very good article on this topic

                                                          https://reclaimthenet.org/former-aclu-head-ira-glasser-explains-why-you-cant-ban-hate-speech/

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                                                            That’s an excellent article. Thank you for posting it.

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                                                              You’re welcome. You might be interested in my public notes on the larger topic, published here.

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                                                Out of interest, to which browser did you switch?

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                                            if possible, try vivaldi, being based on chromium, it will be easiest to switch to f.e. you can install chromium’s extensions in vivaldi. not sure about their osx (which seems to be your use-case), support though, so ymmv.

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                                            Morals should be universal, if something is a moral obligation, it should be the right thing to do in all situations. I don’t think this is the case for Firefox, and it shouldn’t be made to look like this. You should use Firefox, if you think that an open web can and should be saved. But this would not a moral necessity, but an instrumental one.

                                            I have previously written about Mozilla’s user-hostile behaviour, which includes but isn’t limited to adding features nobody wants, removing features many people like, deciding what is better for users, even if these disagree. Articles like these legitimize this kind of behaviour.

                                            There is no other program most people would use that so routinely mistreats them, as Firefox. It’s still OK, and I do use it from time to time, but I don’t like it, even if it’s just because it seems lacking compared to what it once was. That all being said, I don’t even believe that the open web can be saved, or that any significant effort should be invested to do so.

                                            The sites and webpages a lot of us might frequent, will stay safe if only because browsers have to maintain backwards compatibility to 20+ year old sites, and that implies that our servers will survive. What is at stake is the future, a new generation of the web not marked by open access, free software and independent implementations, but DRM, software dependency and closed implementations: It’s a return to a closed media landscape that the classical media corporations (newspapers, film studios, etc.) have always wanted. This ~30 year hiccup has essentially resulted in a new industry that provides the new foundation, and it has appropriated the web browser for this purpose, and even “improved” it: More analytics and more individual targeting than was every possible before.

                                            For Firefox to survive outside a niche technical community as something outdates as a “Web-Browser”, it must go along with whatever new developments are (effectively) pushed forward by Google – and that is setting aside their financial dependence on Google, that wants Firefox to exist, for them to avoid lawsuits. Considering all of this, I still believe that there is no “moral necessity” to use Firefox, and that any argument to make you feel bad for not using Firefox is invalid.

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                                              There is no other program most people would use that so routinely mistreats them, as Firefox.

                                              I dislike various decisions Mozilla has made along the way, and think Firefox is quite probably doomed, but that doesn’t feel like a very supportable statement considering how many people routinely use Windows, smartphones, and Facebook.

                                              You could of course argue that the browsers bear responsibility for enabling the abuses of things like social media companies, and I think that’s reasonable - the web itself was deeply flawed from its inception. But this level of hyperbole about Firefox doesn’t really do the rest of your (reasonable) argument any favors.

                                              Anyway, I more or less agree that we’re past the point where the open web is salvageable. I’m coming around to the view that that’s because the web hasn’t been especially “open” since roughly the moment when it first became an application platform.

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                                                but that doesn’t feel like a very supportable statement considering how many people routinely use Windows, smartphones, and Facebook.

                                                You’re probably right, shouldn’t have probably said “There is no other program I would use that so routinely mistreats them, as Firefox”.

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                                              Is this not basically just an except from this article: https://www.murilopereira.com/how-to-open-a-file-in-emacs/?

                                              Shouldn’t the stories get merged?

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                                                I didn’t read that story, as it talks about Emacs for many pages before it gets to this part that’s actually interesting (for me).

                                                I wanted to submit this story as well (was beaten by a few seconds) and tagged it as culture, as I don’t think it’s really about Emacs or Vim at all, but rather about communities and open source development. Emacs, Vim, and VSCode are just used as examples, but you could just as easily have written this about any two other pieces of software.

                                                Maybe they should be merged … but IMHO there’s value in just leaving it, as I suspect a lot of people didn’t read the original story as they thought it was going to be about Emacs (which, in large part, it was) and never got to the more interesting part.

                                                1. 2

                                                  The original article only has an emacs tag, which I mentally filter. I would have not read it but for the vim tag, so I think this is distinct and valuable.

                                                1. 24

                                                  Horrible, horrible article.

                                                  However, here’s something to think about: while privacy preserving tech is commendable, does it have to come at the cost of user freedoms? Hint: it doesn’t, and it shouldn’t.

                                                  What user freedoms are being trampled? Author does not seem to specify any.

                                                  I don’t mean to sound conspiratorial, but what’s to say that the server in production hasn’t been backdoored? In fact, the Signal server code hasn’t even been updated since April 2020. You’re telling me it’s undergone no changes?

                                                  Serious accusation. Completely unfounded one. Two points are made. First, that backdooring the server would achieve something. Hint, it would not. E2E is exactly for that. Contact list crosschecking is being done inside SGX enclave, and clients are validating if SGX enclave is running particular version of code. What would server backdooring achieve? Author is clueless. Second accusation. “You are telling me it’s undergone no changes?” For half a year? On a platform where almost everything happens client-side? Server just shuffles cryptotext around. Nothing to see here.

                                                  1. 11

                                                    What user freedoms are being trampled? Author does not seem to specify any.

                                                    Two come to mind: Freedom to distribute software, eg. in the F-Droid store, even if this means that not everyone has the newest version. Freedom to use my own Server, instead of trusting someone else, at the conscious expense of my security.

                                                    1. 5

                                                      You can distribute the software in the F-Droid store. You can’t use their trademark (the name signal) or servers while doing it.

                                                      You also can run your own server with your own build of the app in the F-Droid store.

                                                      Presumably what you want is to use the network they’ve built with your own client. I agree that would be nice-to-have, but AFAIK not even Stallman wants OSS licensing to require it.

                                                      1. 5

                                                        I can distribute, but I can’t actually cause people to use it. Like spam filters: I can send my email all right, it’s getting it received that’s more problematic. I can run my own server, but it won’t talk to the official one. It has to be a separate network, that, understandably, nobody will use.

                                                        So yes, using their network with different clients would be very nice.

                                                    2. 14

                                                      Ad hominem much? Seriously, it hurts any argument you’re trying to make.

                                                      The problem they allude to is that we have to trust that moxie is running the server code that he claims to run. It does seem suspicious that the server code has seen 0 changes in almost 1 year.

                                                      People like to point out that signal has e2ee, and that the server doesn’t have to be trusted, but they (conveniently?) forget that signal collects a fair amount of information from users (phone numbers, contacts, other meta data), and has the potential to collect a lot more on the server side.

                                                      1. 6

                                                        Contact list crosschecking is being done inside SGX enclave, and clients are validating if SGX enclave is running particular version of code.

                                                        Could you expand more on that? If I’m sending my contact list to a Signal server for crosschecking, how can I trust that server to keep the list private?

                                                        1. 5

                                                          Signal’s own description of the problem and what they are doing with it: https://signal.org/blog/private-contact-discovery/

                                                          SGX page: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Software_Guard_Extensions

                                                          Long story short - it’s guaranteed by Intel. It’s a piece of the processor that user can load with code, lock and burn the key. Metaphorically - since there was never a key. Next, external application can talk to https server running from the enclave, and validate enclave’s claims about code that it runs with a help from Intel’s service.

                                                          This tech has it’s limitations - it’s still buggy, exploits being published every year, but it will mature some day. It also has some limitations in it’s threat model - it does not cover de-capping and RAM page replay attacks.

                                                          1. 15

                                                            Signal’s own description of the problem and what they are doing with it:

                                                            The problem still exists, you have to trust that they are doing what they say they do, and since it’s 100% centralized you have no way of knowing for certain that the server code they are running is what they say they run. And you can’t run it yourself since moxie is 110% hostile towards any sort of decentralization of his baby.

                                                            1. 6

                                                              you have no way of knowing for certain that the server code they are running is what they say they run.

                                                              The server code is able to send a verification code derived from intels private key, the current time, and the hash of the built server code.

                                                              In order to do that, they’ve either A) somehow gotten hold of intels private SGX key, B) successfully used an SGX bypass, or C) run code with a hash matching the one they’ve published, which comes from a reproducible build.

                                                              I think that list is roughly in order of least to most likely.

                                                              1. 5

                                                                I’d say an SGX bypass is more likely than any other. Intel’s opsec regarding their keys was flawless so far, hash collisions are hard (I think SGX uses SHA256 which is still unbroken in the general case?), but SGX and every other bolt-on “security” technology that Intel implemented since protected mode has been an utter disaster.

                                                              2. 5

                                                                you have to trust that they are doing what they say they do

                                                                You’re trusting Intel OR Signal. That’s the whole point of SGX. A successful attack means they have to conspire together.

                                                        1. 4

                                                          What worries me is that, basically, there is no real solution to messaging right now. So anything I might choose and decide to recommend is me betting that it take a bad turn. But at the same time, I can’t betray people’s trust all the time by saying X was bad, Y is better (for now). And putting it as it is, “X appears to be good enough for now” doesn’t sound confident enough to motivate friends into switching. So all that is left between alarmism and realism appears to be cynically advocating for something like Signal, not because it is the best, but because it is the most probable to disrupt the current landscape held together by the network effect. Until then, you can just hope that there will be a proper solution, i.e. something secure, with a specification and without dependence on a single organization.

                                                          1. 9

                                                            Until then, you can just hope that there will be a proper solution, i.e. something secure, with a specification and without dependence on a single organization.

                                                            Maybe it’s time to start wondering whether a decentralized or multi-organizational tool is actually worse. So far, any attempt at them has not worked and the outlook is not good.

                                                            What worries me is that, basically, there is no real solution to messaging right now.

                                                            What is a “real” solution? Something with a spec and decentralized, as the quote earlier suggests?

                                                            …the most probable to disrupt the current landscape held together by the network effect.

                                                            I posit that any messaging system will require the network effect. Making a good protocol, for example, is not nearly enough.

                                                            1. 3

                                                              Maybe it’s time to start wondering whether a decentralized or multi-organizational tool is actually worse.

                                                              The advantage of a non-centralized network is that there is no central point of failure, neither technical nor social, which I think is important. But of course, it is more difficult to implement, which I believe is the reason why attempts at this have historically been worse. I’m cautiously optimistic about Matrix though.

                                                              What is a “real” solution?

                                                              To oversimplify: Something that isn’t a compromise.

                                                              I posit that any messaging system will require the network effect.

                                                              Conversely, by weakening the network effect of already existing networks makes it easer for newer solutions to compete.

                                                            2. 10

                                                              I would totally prefer to build on top of a incentive aligned protocol enabling secure and cheap communication. Signal is not that.

                                                              But bitching about some fringe theoretical gripes of technical folk at the moment when alphabet-soup groups syphon out all the communication data.. it’s just shortsighted. Signal is a tool ready for mass consumption. Alternatives are really not even close. Including everything Matrix and XMPP.

                                                            1. 6

                                                              Reading The Go Programming Language and selecting a few exercises, since I start working with Go next week. This is a pleasant distraction from writing C++ (eugh)!

                                                              1. 2

                                                                It’s a great book. I love the introduction that demonstrates everything from basic syntax to building a webserver that renders formulas.

                                                              1. 11

                                                                In regards to mention of Nazi deathcamp imagery on 9front’s site, they’ve removed the image in question and updated the page with an explanation:

                                                                Once upon a time, khm was searching for rails documentation and accidentally hit the Images link. In the first page of results was a photo of the train tracks of Auschwitz. Its presence among the Ruby on Rails logos was so absurd and out of place that khm memorialized it. It was made in an era before actual Nazis had re-entered the public dialogue, so it felt like Google Image Search was denigrating Ruby on Rails by including this sort of imagery in the results.

                                                                Generally speaking, 4chan types read it as an endorsement, which sucks. More recently, people who are not assholes have also begun to read it as an endorsement, which is even more unfortunate. Finally, the people who just get mad about things on social media have begun nesting in it. As a result, this image has been targeted for redaction by the 9front Internet Mob Mollification committee.

                                                                Also note the “Nazi punks fuck off” badge has been on 9front’s front page ever since I found out about them.
                                                                I don’t think they condone nazisim, or welcome fascists into their community.

                                                                1. 9

                                                                  Also added, for people who didn’t find “Nazi punks fuck off” sufficiently explicit:

                                                                  ACHTUNG! 9front absolutely and unalterally opposed to racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, nationalism, ethnocentrism, religious fundamentalism, and oppressive and coercive power structures of all kinds.

                                                                  1. 3

                                                                    For context. When 9front was still on Google Code they added tags like SOAP, cloud, enterprise, oracle (SOAP being the only thing I certainly remember, but you get the gist). They used that the same way and I am pretty sure they weren’t secretly in love with those things.

                                                                    Yes, it’s easy to call call something tasteless, if your taste is different and matches the taste of majority. 9front all the way through is is doing the opposite, so I think the nazi meme stuff is similar. I mean attaching software to ideologies or vice versa (maybe other than licenses) seems odd.

                                                                    It’s also not my taste. Attaching political labels to some one based on memes they find funny seems really off though.

                                                                    There is a more fitting comparison maybe. Nero Burning Rom, which I have seen criticized for being named after a violent dictator and making a joke out of it. It was actually compared with Nazis as well.

                                                                    I think people should judged by overall sentiment, actions, and what they actually say, not something that manages to cause such a discussion.

                                                                    Of course I cannot look into someones mind, so certainly also not saying that there isn’t such a reason behind it, but since it can easily be interpreted as joke, ironically and there is nothing indicating more than that I would go by giving the benefit of the doubt.

                                                                    Yes, stay vigilant, but let’s not turn this into thought police.

                                                                    1. 4

                                                                      Yeah, sure…they put up “we’re not -ism or -phobia we swear” and took down the Nazi pr0n. After vocally arguing why they should’t have to and we’ve done nothing wrong and anyone who had a problem with it are “the people who just get mad about things on social media”. Instead of saying “Whoa! We put up a picture of fucking Auschwitz? Hey lemme delete that right now”.

                                                                      The optics are less than optimal.

                                                                      1. 7

                                                                        When I went to the killing fields in Cambodia there was this audio tour where a survivor narrated the place as you walked around. For reference, there were children sticking their hands through the fences trying to beg money from the rich tourists wandering around the mass grave (the grave was one of very many killing fields, it wasn’t a special one or anything, the cambodian genocide was seriously super horrific). Every time it rains more bones will come out of the ground so they have a collection bucket at the exit if you find any bones while walking through. At the entrance there is a monument that is a tower full of human skulls.

                                                                        The walk features such things as the tree where they killed children by bashing their heads against it (apparently more efficient than using other means) and of course there is a permanent bloodstain and the bark is eroded where the impact would happen.

                                                                        As I was going through this tour I was thinking “why on earth am I here, this is literally the most horrific thing I’ve ever seen! Who would have the capacity to do this???”

                                                                        But at the end of the tour the voice begs and pleads: “Please do not allow this atrocity to be forgotten, we must remember that these things have happened so that we do not grow complacent thinking that ‘nobody would do such a thing’. We must never let such a thing happen again.” (paraphrased since I don’t remember what he said verbatim).

                                                                        This stuck with me and since then I have become better aware of other such events, for example visiting Rwanda you can feel the scar in the culture. “Dancing in the Glory of Monsters” is a book that if you can stomach it (I wasn’t able to) shows you how the Rwandan genocide is still ongoing in the Congo…. Speaking of, I know people from Venezuela and their refugee crysis has grown faster and further than the Syrian one and their current situation is tragic.

                                                                        These countries are being torn apart by the wealth they hold (and I believe the vultures that we admire for how much money they can stockpile must be held responsible if we want to start doing anything about this - but that is another matter).

                                                                        However even though I have very strong feelings on the matter and even though I have good friends from Venezuela that are affected by the crysis there, still.. I will not fault you for showing me a picture of Venezuela!

                                                                        Actually. I’m quite triggered that you consider it immoral to show a picture of Auschwitz. Repressing memories is not a good way to come to terms with reality, when a loved one dies it is better to honor their memory and respect whatever force it was that destroyed them. Rather than acting like nothing ever happened while you desperately try to hold onto your ignorance of the evils in the world.

                                                                        IF I ever use the word “hate” with all the weight that it holds then I will use it to describe these symptom-treating efforts that ultimately undermine any efforts at real healing.

                                                                        1. 10

                                                                          If someone was to use one of the many horrific images from the Cambodian killing fields as a reaction image comparing different programming languages, would you consider it a good way of honoring the victims?

                                                                          1. 1

                                                                            No admittedly not, but it’d be a good opportunity to start a reasonable discussion with whoever is responsible (probably a child[ish] person).

                                                                            Deciding unilaterally where the line is and then dogmatically shaming is what I take issue with.

                                                                            Edit: not advocating infinite patience but maybe one or two iterations of reserved judgment would go a long way towards defusing misunderstandings or having differing values clashing.

                                                                          2. 8

                                                                            Actually. I’m quite triggered that you consider it immoral to show a picture of Auschwitz

                                                                            Context is important here. Showing a picture on a historical/educational website is great, showing it on some edgy website for a fringe OS is completely tasteless.

                                                                            1. 1

                                                                              Well there was further context with the ruby thing and then inertia took over. Idk it’s obviously not the appropriate context but all it would take is a caption with some platitude and a link to educational resource for it to be suddenly a brave gesture to keep the memory alive… people are fickle.

                                                                          3. 3

                                                                            You seem very hard to please, context and time changes, they took it down.

                                                                            1. 7
                                                                              • Puts up a photo of Auschwitz
                                                                              • Shouts all over Mastodon how it’s not going to be removed, claiming it “provokes thought instead of dogma” and any opinion to the contrary is “breathless internet pearl-clutching” (lmao sounds like somebody’s thought ain’t being provoked!)
                                                                              • Removes it, adds snark towards the author of this article and attributes the removal to mollifying an internet mob

                                                                              nah, sounds like not much has changed at all

                                                                              1. 2

                                                                                The snark isn’t entirely unwarranted, especially considering how the author of this article felt the need to include 2 paragraphs about how the 9front devs are awful, terrible people for not immediately doing exactly what he asked.

                                                                                1. 3

                                                                                  Nah: the author of the article asked a question on Mastodon that most people would have – “why is there nazi imagery associated with this project” – and after one follow up question a 9front dev[1] blew him off as “starting an internet witch hunt”.

                                                                                  [1]: That’d be you, yes? Typically it’s good form to say “here’s my side of things” so people know you aren’t just a dispassionate observer sharing their opinion.

                                                                                  1. 3

                                                                                    (no, that is not me. I’m not involved in 9front at all, besides occasionally looking at it and booting it up on a pi to see how it’s going. I am truly a dispassionate observer here– thanks for trying to root me out though!)

                                                                                    It is important to look at the tone of the discussion here: the author opens with “I am now used to the FQA being frankly not worth the 1s and 0s it was written in” (a very kind dismissal of someone’s work!) and then immediately poking and prodding about who, exactly, committed the image. It’s understandable that someone would get defensive if that happened. At this point the aftermath is pointless social media bullshit and is probably off-topic to this site.

                                                                                    1. 1

                                                                                      (no, that is not me. I’m not involved in 9front at all, besides occasionally looking at it and booting it up on a pi to see how it’s going. I am truly a dispassionate observer here– thanks for trying to root me out though!)

                                                                                      Fair enough – I thought I caught a whiff of username overlap but there’s really only 26^2 bits of information there for me to key off ;).

                                                                                      1. 1

                                                                                        It is important to look at the tone of the discussion here

                                                                                        If this is really the worst thing you can pull out about what I’ve written online I’d say that’s not bad. Can you provide me an example of where I’m apparently poking and prodding about who, exactly, committed the image? Because the only person I asked about was here with reasons for asking in the question. I didn’t know when I asked but it turns out the info is publicly available anyway.

                                                                                        the author opens with “I am now used to the FQA being frankly not worth the 1s and 0s it was written in” (a very kind dismissal of someone’s work!)

                                                                                        No I don’t. This isn’t even in the linked article. It was taken from part of this mastodon conversation between two people. It’s in reference to the state of the FQA where I’d written notes to submit to fill gaps until I saw the image. I find it odd to assert a frustration shared as part of a discussion between two people is a dismissal when the document itself says:

                                                                                        ACHTUNG! Information provided by this document is UNOFFICIAL and may be outdated or just plain WRONG

                                                                                        This is certainly an accurate statement, as evidenced by section 8.3.2 of the FQA. This was one of the places where I’d written notes for the FQA. Feel free to share any insight into Acme that cyclogram image gives you.

                                                                                        1. 1

                                                                                          Yes, the discussion where the maintainer got upset opened with “I am now used to the FQA…” I’m not sure why you’re being pedantic here. The article also opens with “ The FQA is more harmful than good.”, two dismissals. And you did poke and prod: I would say asking two separate times about who created and/or committed the controversial image would be somewhat hair-raising.

                                                                                          1. 2

                                                                                            Yes, the discussion where the maintainer got upset opened with

                                                                                            The discussion opened with the “What in the actual fuck” post, and KHM replied to dogstar’s post on the thread, not to mine.

                                                                                            The article also opens with “ The FQA is more harmful than good.

                                                                                            That statement is over 400 words into the piece. It is not the opening. Stop with the obvious falsehoods.

                                                                                            And again, you’ve been unable to link to the poking and prodding because I already linked to the question I asked about who, which contains the reasoning for the question in the toot. Given you claim to be “truly a dispassionate observer here” it is clear you have an axe to grind. I will not discuss this with you further here as there is nothing either of us can say that would add to the conversation.

                                                                                    2. 3

                                                                                      how the author of this article felt the need to include 2 paragraphs about how the 9front devs are awful, terrible people for not immediately doing exactly what he asked.

                                                                                      1. Please tell me where in the post I said the devs are awful, terrible people.
                                                                                      2. Please show me a link where I’ve asked for the devs to take an immediate specific course of action.

                                                                                      You can’t because I did neither of those things. In fact it specifically says in the article that “9Front doesn’t owe me change”. If you’re going to say things that are untrue it helps if it’s not immediately verifiable. I’ve flagged this because it’s both untrue and doesn’t add to the discussion.

                                                                                      1. 2
                                                                                        1. “… and those feeling welcomed by it. My concerns lay with the 3rd group. The Nazi death camp joke author was so courteous…”

                                                                                        Emphasis mine. Come on man, are you really trying to argue that this is neutral? Where I come from, insinuating that a dev team are nazis is definitely saying that they’re bad people.

                                                                                        1. “ Update: The “9Front Internet Mob Mollification committee” huffed, puffed, some of them called me bad names then took it down.”

                                                                                        so this was your goal? What was your goal otherwise? In the mastodon thread, why were you trying to hold your (much desired, I’m sure) FQA additions over their heads?

                                                                                        If you don’t owe 9front any change, why mention them at all unless you want to punish them for some indiscretion? It doesn’t change the article in any way.

                                                                                        1. 3

                                                                                          You keep cutting parts of things out, so I’ll put this here once.

                                                                                          There are 3 types of people who’ll see it - Those who won’t use 9Front because of it, those whose choice is unaffected by it, and those feeling welcomed by it. My concerns lay with the 3rd group.

                                                                                          I’m very clearly talking about people who would’ve seen the picture. Not 9Front Devs. People who look at stuff like that and think “Yeah, this is for me”.

                                                                                          The Nazi death camp joke author was so courteous

                                                                                          Look at the actual discussion thread and you will see how courteous the author was. I stand by my words, I did not say the devs were awful, terrible people as you falsely claimed.

                                                                                          Update: The “9Front Internet Mob Mollification committee” huffed, puffed, some of them called me bad names then took it down.

                                                                                          As it says, this is in a post-publish update, not the piece when you originally claimed. Just so we’re clear. The “9Front Internet Mob Moillification Committee” is a direct quote from the FQA text in Appendix L as represented in Mercurial.

                                                                                          Huffed and puffed, some of them called me bad names - you can see all this here as well as in the mastodon thread.

                                                                                          You’ve claimed to be truly a dispassionate observer. That claim is demonstrably false. You haven’t been able to link to a request for change because I never made one. You haven’t been able to show me calling the devs “awful, terrible people” because I never said that. Given that you’re obviously trolling I see no reason to engage further here, it won’t add anything to the overall discussion.

                                                                                          1. 2

                                                                                            Huffed and puffed, some of them called me bad names - you can see all this here as well as in the mastodon thread.

                                                                                            There’s a saying: “If there are 10 normal people and 1 Nazi sitting at a table, there are 11 Nazis sitting at a table”. I know you’re aware of it, not only because it’s widely used, but because it was brought up in one of the threads you linked. You dismissed it. You were wrong to dismiss it.

                                                                                            So, your insinuations, amplification of links to accusations, while insisting /your’e/ not saying anything is simply dancing around the edges of saying some very serious things about me and my friends, while not taking any responsibility.

                                                                                            And, even worse: I believe on Mastodon, you implied that there was specific information you got via private messages. If this is true, and you did not speak out, then you’re also depriving me and my friends of tools cut these supposed shitbags off.

                                                                                            So, either you’re helping spread baseless rumors about me and the company I keep, or you’re leaving me an accessory to the ideology that lead to the cold blooded murder of my family. I’m fairly certain it’s the former.

                                                                                            And you’re wondering why I’m a little unhappy. Are you serious?

                                                                                            It’s strange. It’s like you don’t actually grasp what’s being said – just words.

                                                                                            Maybe it will click now.

                                                                                            Or, if you ever end up in Jerusalem, maybe you can go to Yad Vashem. Maybe that will make it click. At least you could get a sensible, polite chuckle out of the make of the elevator they use to get in to the compound: Schindler’s Lifts.

                                                                                            (And yes. There’s the question about gallows humor and why I accept, and even enjoy it. There’s a discussion to be had, and even academic papers to be read, about how it undermines oppression, both as an attack and as a defense, but I’m not keen to have it. Let’s leave it explained as me being an immature shithead with no taste. It saves breath, and I’m happy with that epiphet.. I will, however, point out that you can find (IMO) spicier Nazi jokes on fairly mainstream Israeli TV.)

                                                                                            1. 3

                                                                                              You’ve come into a thread where I wasn’t talking to you after you called me all kinds of names and swore at me on HN.

                                                                                              know you’re aware of it, not only because it’s widely used, but because it was brought up in one of the threads you linked. You dismissed it. You were wrong to dismiss it.

                                                                                              So you’re going through my Mastodon posts as well looking to cherry pick. You know full well I said:

                                                                                              I’m not sure I agree with that last point. There is definitely a problem, but I think/hope the problem is more one of maturity than wolves in the flock.

                                                                                              In a thread where the commentator thanked me for “calling the 9front people out on their nazi bullshit”. If I hadn’t responded I’m sure you’d be here now saying my lack of response would imply I agreed with their statement.

                                                                                              You don’t know me. Our only interactions have involved you swearing at me, calling me names or accusing me. Please look at your own actions and stop harassing me. I will not respond to more of your harassment.

                                                                                  2. 5

                                                                                    I think kjs3 is trying to say that putting up a picture of Auschwitz is so unbelievably tasteless to a lot of people, that there should not be a discussion as to why it should be removed. This place of unbelievable crimes should never be used as an edgy joke. We all must be better than that.

                                                                              2. 9

                                                                                With context, it does sound kind of funny, and it might be the sort of thing I would have shared privately (with context) to friends or some such. But putting it up without context on a public FAQ is a pretty big failure in understanding that without this context, it just looks weird and out of place, at best.

                                                                                Something like “heil Hitler” can be a literal endorsement of Hitler, but it can also be a joke (possibly in bad taste, but a joke nonetheless), or a statement against authoritarianism. Context is everything, and I don’t know why there’s such a failure to understand this from the 9front people. I suppose some of the more outlandish “oh, they must be literal Nazis then!” probably doesn’t help.

                                                                                1. 3

                                                                                  I don’t understand what context would make someone think that image was anything other than an excessive attack on Ruby on Rails.

                                                                                  Do you know anyone that looks at that image and thinks “I love Rails, and therefore the juxtaposition must therefore that extermination camps are good!”?

                                                                                2. 5

                                                                                  I take these accusations with a grain of salt, because they seem superficial. I’m yet to hear someone call them communists because they have the manifesto of the communist party in their repo. To me, it always was like a subversion of “”“optics”””, explicitly aimed at people who take one look and come to conclusions like OP, but I guess, when it doubt, people are Nazis (also known as not-“a political movement situated in the specific context of post-WW1 Germany”).

                                                                                  1. 4

                                                                                    The text of the Communist Manifesto replaced the text of Mein Kampf that was in the repo earlier.

                                                                                    It’s easiest if everyone just assumes the 9Front developers are 4chan-inflected trolls. It doesn’t really detract from the quality of the code, but it probably makes people considering contributing pause.

                                                                                1. 35

                                                                                  e-mail has a lot of legacy cruft. Regardless of the technical merits of e-mail or Telegram or Delta Chat, Signal, matrix.org or whatever, what people need to be hearing today is “WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger are unnecessarily invasive. Everyone is moving to X.” If there isn’t a clear message on what X is, then people will just keep on using WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger.

                                                                                  It seems clear to me that e-mail is not the frontrunner for X, so by presenting it as a candidate for replacing WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger, I think the author is actually decreasing the likelihood that most people will migrate to a better messaging platform.

                                                                                  My vote is for Signal. It has good clients for Android and iOS and it’s secure. It’s also simple enough that non-technical people can use it comfortably.

                                                                                  1. 26

                                                                                    Signal is a silo and I dislike silos. That’s why I post on my blog instead of Twitter. What happens when someone buys Signal, the US government forces Signal to implement backdoors or Signal runs out of donation money?

                                                                                    1. 10

                                                                                      Signal isn’t perfect. My point is that Signal is better than WhatsApp and that presenting many alternatives to WhatsApp is harmful to Signal adoption. If Signal can’t reach critical mass like WhatsApp has it will fizzle out and we will be using WhatsApp again.

                                                                                      1. 12

                                                                                        If Signal can’t reach critical mass like WhatsApp has it will fizzle out

                                                                                        Great! We don’t need more silos.

                                                                                        and we will be using WhatsApp again.

                                                                                        What about XMPP or Matrix? They can (and should!) be improved so that they are viable alternatives.

                                                                                        1. 13

                                                                                          (Majority of) People don’t care about technology (how), they care about goal (why).

                                                                                          They don’t care if it’s Facebook, Whatsapp, Signal, Email, XMPP, they want to communicate.

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                                                                                            Yeah, I think the point of the previous poster was that these systems should be improved to a point where they’re just really good alternatives, which includes branding and the like. Element (formerly riot.im) has the right idea on this IMHO, instead of talking about all sorts of tech details and presenting 500 clients like xmpp.org, it just says “here are the features element has, here’s how you can use it”.

                                                                                            Of course, die-hard decentralisation advocates don’t like this. But this is pretty much the only way you will get any serious mainstream adoption as far as I can see. Certainly none of the other approaches that have been tried over the last ~15 years worked.

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                                                                                              …instead of talking about all sorts of tech details and presenting 500 clients like xmpp.org, it just says “here are the features element has, here’s how you can use it”.

                                                                                              Same problem with all the decentralized social networks and microblogging services. I was on Mastodon for a bit. I didn’t log in very often because I only followed a handful of privacy advocate types since none of my friends or other random people I followed on Twitter were on it. It was fine, though. But then they shut down the server I was on and apparently I missed whatever notification was sent out.

                                                                                              People always say crap like “What will you do if Twitter shuts down?”. Well, so far 100% of the federated / distributed social networks I’ve tried (I also tried that Facebook clone from way back when and then Identi.ca at some point) have shut down in one way or another and none of the conventional ones I’ve used have done so. I realize it’s a potential problem, but in my experience it just doesn’t matter.

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                                                                                                The main feature that cannot be listed in good faith and which is the one that everybody cares about is: “It has all my friend and family on it”.

                                                                                                I know it’s just a matter of critical mass and if nobody switches this will never happen.

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                                                                                                Sure, but we’re not the majority of people.. and we shouldn’t be choosing yet another silo to promote.

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                                                                                                XMPP and (to a lesser extent) Matrix do need to be improved before they are viable alternatives, though. Signal is already there. You may feel that ideological advantages make up for the UI shortcomings, but very few nontechnical users feel the same way.

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                                                                                                  Have you tried joining a busy Matrix channel from a federated homeserver? It can take an hour. I think it needs some improvement too.

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                                                                                                    Oh, definitely. At least in the case of Matrix it’s clear that (1) the developers regard usability as an actual goal, (2) they know their usability could be improved, and (3) they’re working on improving it. I admit I don’t follow the XMPP ecosystem as closely, so the same could be the same there, but… XMPP has been around for 20 years, so what’s going to change now to make it more approachable?

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                                                                                                  […] it will fizzle out

                                                                                                  Great! We don’t need more silos.

                                                                                                  Do you realize you’re cheering for keeping the WhatsApp silo?

                                                                                                  Chat platforms have a strong network effect. We’re going to be stuck with Facebook’s network for as long as other networks are fragmented due to people disagreeing which one is the perfect one to end all other ones, and keep waiting for a pie in the sky, while all of them keep failing to reach the critical mass.

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                                                                                                    Do you realize you’re cheering for keeping the WhatsApp silo?

                                                                                                    Uh, not sure how you pulled that out of what I said, but I’m actually cheering for the downfall of all silos.

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                                                                                                      I mean that by opposing the shift to the less-bad silo you’re not actually advancing the no-silo case, but keeping the status quo of the worst-silo.

                                                                                                      There is currently no decentralized option that is secure, practical, and popular enough to be adopted by mainstream consumers in numbers that could beat WhatsApp.

                                                                                                      If the choice is between WhatsApp and “just wait until we make one that is”, it means keeping WhatsApp.

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                                                                                                    They can be improved so that they are viable alternatives.

                                                                                                    Debatable.

                                                                                                    Great! We don’t need more silos.

                                                                                                    Domain-name federation is a half-assed solution to data portability. Domain names basically need to be backed by always-on servers, not everybody can have one, and not everybody should. Either make it really P2P (Scuttlebutt?) or don’t bother.

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                                                                                                      I sadly agree, which is why logically I always end up recommend signal as ‘the best of a bad bunch’.

                                                                                                      I like XMPP, but for true silo-avoidance you need you run your own server (or at least have someone run it under your domain, so you can move away). This sucks. It’s sort of the same with matrix.

                                                                                                      The only way around this is real p2p as you say. So far I haven’t seen anything that I could recommend to former whatsapp users on this front however. I love scuttlebutt but I can’t see it as a good mobile solution.

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                                                                                                    Signal really needs a “web.signal.com”; typing on phones suck, and the destop app is ugh. I can’t write my own app either so I’m stuck with two bad options.

                                                                                                    This is actually a big reason I like Telegram: the web client is pretty good.

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                                                                                                      I can’t write my own app either so I’m stuck with two bad options.

                                                                                                      FWIW I’m involved with Whisperfish, the Signal client for Sailfish OS. There has been a constant worry about 3rd party clients, but it does seem like OWS has loosened its policy.

                                                                                                      The current Whisperfish is written in Rust, with separate libraries for the protocol and service. OWS is also putting work into their own Rust library, which we may switch to.

                                                                                                      Technically you can, and the risk should be quite minimal. At the end of the, as OWS doesn’t support these efforts, and if you don’t make a fool of them, availability and use increases their brand value.

                                                                                                      Don’t want to know what happens if someone writes a horrible client and steps on their brand, so let’s be careful out there.

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                                                                                                        Oh right; that’s good to know. I just searched for “Signal API” a while ago and nothing really obvious turned up so I assumed it’s either impossible or hard/hackish. To be honest I didn’t look very deeply at it, since I don’t really care all that much about Signal that much 😅 It’s just a single not-very-active chatgroup.

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                                                                                                          Fair enough, sure. An API might sound too much like some raw web thing - it is based on HTTPS after all - but I don’t think all of it would be that simple ;)

                                                                                                          The work gone into the libraries has not been trivial, so if you do ever find yourself caring, I hope it’ll be a happy surprise!

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                                                                                                        The Telegram desktop client is even better than the web client.

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                                                                                                          I don’t like desktop clients.

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                                                                                                            Is there a specific reason why? The desktop version of Telegram is butter smooth and has the same capabilities as the phone version (I’m pretty sure they’re built from the same source as well).

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                                                                                                              Security is the biggest reason for me. Every other week, you hear about a fiasco where a desktop client for some communication service had some sort of remote code execution vulnerability. But there can be other reasons as well, like them being sloppy with their .deb packages and messing up with my update manager etc. As a potential user, I see no benefit in installing a desktop client over a web client.

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                                                                                                                Security is the reason that you can’t easily have a web-based Signal client. Signal is end-to-end encrypted. In a web app, it’s impossible to isolate the keying material from whoever provides the service so it would be trivial for Signal to intercept all of your messages (even if they did the decryption client-side, they could push an update that uploads the plaintext after decryption).

                                                                                                                It also makes targeted attacks trivial: with the mobile and desktop apps, it’s possible to publish the hash that you get for the download and compare it against the versions other people run, so that you can see if you’re running a malicious version (I hope a future version of Signal will integrate that and use it to validate updates before it installs them by checking that other users in your network see the same series of updates). With a web app, you have no way of verifying that you’re running the same code that you were one page refresh ago, let alone the same code as someone else.

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                                                                                                                  A web based client has no advantages with regards to security. They are discrete topics. As a web developer, I would argue that a web based client has a significantly larger surface area for attacks.

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                                                                                                                    When I say security, I don’t mean the security of my communications over that particular application. That’s important too, but it’s nothing compared to my personal computer getting hacked, which means my entire digital life getting compromised. Now you could say a web site could also hijack my entire computer by exploiting weaknesses in the browser, which is definitely a possibility, but that’s not what we hear every other week. We hear stupid zoom or slack desktop client containing a critical remote code execution vulnerability that allows a completely unrelated third party complete access to your computer.

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                                                                                                                  I just don’t like opening a new window/application. Almost all of my work is done with one terminal window (in tmux, on workspace 1) and a browser (workspace 2). This works very well for me as I hate dealing with window management. Obviously I do open other applications for specific purposes (GIMP, Geeqie, etc) but I find having an extra window just to chat occasionally is annoying. Much easier to open a tab in my browser, send my message, and close it again.

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                                                                                                          The same thing that’s happening now with whatsapp - users move.

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                                                                                                            A fraction of users is moving, the technically literate ones. Everyone else stays where their contacts are, or which is often the case, installs another messenger and then uses n+1.

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                                                                                                              A fraction of users is moving, the technically literate ones

                                                                                                              I don’t think that’s what’s happening now. There have been a lot of mainstream press articles about WhatsApp. The technical users moved to Signal when Facebook bought WhatsApp, I’m now hearing non-technical folks ask what they should migrate to from WhatsApp. For example, one of our administrators recently asked about Signal because some of her family want to move their family chat there from WhatsApp.

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                                                                                                                Yeah these last two days I have been asked a few times about chat apps. I have also noticed my signal contacts list expand by quite a few contacts, and there are lots of friends/family who I would not have expected to make the switch in there. I asked one family member, a doctor, what brought her in and she said that her group of doctors on whatsapp became concerned after the recent announcements.

                                                                                                                I wish I could recommend xmpp/OMEMO, but it’s just not as easy to set up. You can use conversations.im, and it’s a great service, but if you are worried about silos you are back to square one if you use their domain. They make using a custom domain as friction-free as possible but it still involves DNS settings.

                                                                                                                I feel the same way about matrix etc. Most people won’t run their own instance, so you end up in a silo again.

                                                                                                                For the closest thing to whatsapp, I have to recommend Signal. It’s not perfect, but it’s good. I wish you didn’t have to use a phone number…

                                                                                                          2. 2

                                                                                                            What happens when someone buys Signal, the US government forces Signal to implement backdoors or Signal runs out of donation money?

                                                                                                            Not supporting signal in any way, but how would your preferred solution actually mitigate those risks?

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                                                                                                              Many different email providers all over the world and multiple clients based on the same standards.

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                                                                                                                Anyone who has written email software used at scale by the general public can tell you that you will spend a lot of time working around servers and clients which do all sorts of weird things. Sometimes with good reasons, often times with … not so good reasons. This sucks but there’s nothing I can change about that, so I’ll need to deal with it.

                                                                                                                Getting something basic working is pretty easy. Getting all emails handled correctly is much harder. Actually displaying all emails well even harder still. There’s tons of edge cases.

                                                                                                                The entire system is incredibly messy, and we’re actually a few steps up from 20 years ago when it was even worse.

                                                                                                                And we still haven’t solved the damn line wrapping problem 30 years after we identified it…

                                                                                                                Email both proves Postel’s law correct and wrong: it’s correct in the sense that it does work, it’s wrong because it takes far more time and effort than it really needs to.

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                                                                                                                  I hear you (spent a few years at an ESP). It’s still better than some siloed walled garden proprietary thing that looks pretty but could disappear for any reason in a moment. The worst of all worlds except all others.

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                                                                                                                    could disappear for any reason in a moment

                                                                                                                    I’m not so worried about this; all of these services have been around for ages and I’m not seeing them disappear from one day to the next in the foreseeable future. And even if it does happen: okay, just move somewhere else. It’s not even that big of a deal.

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                                                                                                                      Especially with chat services. There’s not that much to lose. Your contacts are almost always backed up elsewhere. I guess people value their chat history more than I do, however.

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                                                                                                            My vote is for Signal. It has good clients for Android and iOS and it’s secure. It’s also simple enough that non-technical people can use it comfortably.

                                                                                                            I’ve recently started using it, and while it’s fine, I’m no fan. As @jlelse, it is another closed-off platform that you have to use, making me depend on someone else.

                                                                                                            They seem to (as of writing) prioritize “security” over “user freedom”, which I don’t agree with. There’s the famous thread, where they reject the notion of distributing Signal over F-Droid (instead having their own special updater, in their Google-less APK). What also annoys me is that their desktop client is based on Electron, which would have been very hard for me to use before upgrading my desktop last year.

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                                                                                                              My vote is for Signal. It has good clients for Android and iOS and it’s secure. It’s also simple enough that non-technical people can use it comfortably.

                                                                                                              What I hate about signal is that it requires a mobile phone and an associated phone number. That makes it essentially useless - I loathe mobile phones - and very suspect to me. Why can’t the desktop client actually work?

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                                                                                                                I completely agree. At the beginning of 2020 I gave up my smartphone and haven’t looked back. I’ve got a great dumb phone for voice and SMS, and the occasional photo. But now I can’t use Signal as I don’t have a mobile device to sign in to. In a word where Windows, Mac OS, Linux, Android, and iOS all exist as widely used operating systems, Signal is untenable as it only as full featured clients for two of these operating systems.

                                                                                                                Signal isn’t perfect.

                                                                                                                This isn’t about being perfect, this is about being accessible to everyone. It doesn’t matter how popular it becomes, I can’t use it.

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                                                                                                                  What I hate about signal is that it requires a mobile phone and an associated phone number.

                                                                                                                  On the bright side, Signal’s started to use UUIDs as well, so this may change. Some people may think it’s gonna be too late whenever it happens, if it does, but at least the protocols aren’t stagnant!

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                                                                                                                    They’ve been planning on fixing that for a while, I don’t know what the status is. The advantage of using mobile phone numbers is bootstrapping. My address book is already full of phone numbers for my contacts. When I installed Signal, it told me which of them are already using it. When other folks joined, I got a notification. While I agree that it’s not a great long-term strategy, it worked very well for both WhatsApp and Signal to quickly bootstrap a large connected userbase.

                                                                                                                    In contrast, most folks XMPP addresses were not the same as their email addresses and I don’t have a lot of email addresses in my address book anyway because my mail clients are all good at autocompleting them from people who have sent me mail before, so I don’t bother adding them. As a result, my Signal contact list was instantly as big as my Jabber Roster became after about six months of trying to get folks to use Jabber. The only reason Jabber was useable at all for me initially was that it was easy to run an ICQ bridge so I could bring my ICQ contacts across.

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                                                                                                                      Support for using it without a phone number remains a work in progress. The introduction of PINs was a stepping stone towards that.

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                                                                                                                  By coincidence, I just tried Delta Chat yesterday or the day before that, and I too was positively surprised. I uninstalled WhatsApp last November, and my friends have been complaining how inconvenient it is to email me when they want to say something. Usually people don’t like creating new accounts for new services, but Delta Chat seems interesting as it’s just a pretty client, that doesn’t have to use HTML mail or something like that to appal to regular people.

                                                                                                                  The only thing that concerns me is how energy efficient the persistent IMAP connection is. I’ve uninstalled it, because my Email workflow doesn’t sync very well, but I can imagine that if I tell someone to use Delta Chat, they might decide not to if it wastes 10-20% of their battery.

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                                                                                                                    What’s the point of doing a whole upgrade of the GTK toolkit while ignoring this problem?

                                                                                                                    Looks like there were other priorities: https://gitlab.gnome.org/GNOME/gtk/-/milestones/1?

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                                                                                                                      One thing I’m sure about after reading that is this author is the person who cares most about this issue in the world.

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                                                                                                                        I’m not so sure: back when I used to read /g/, an image board, it was one of the main arguments people raised against “Linux” (serious or not). But it makes sense, that if you want to use and pick images all the time, that it will annoy you more. The best workaround I know of is to use the regular file manager to find a file, and then drag-n-drop it into the picker.

                                                                                                                        1. 1

                                                                                                                          more likely the author is able to identify what exactly feels off, rather than just saying “this desktop is crap” and going to something else.

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                                                                                                                          If you want to avoid posting directly to reddit, there is https://teddit.net/.

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                                                                                                                            Whole desk, just the desk. I know, it looks horrible. But it’s comfortable enough. I do most of my work on an Intel NUC and a HHKB. I’m looking for a new chair though, can someone recommend anything?

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                                                                                                                              This stack will also make supporting the following features difficult:

                                                                                                                              • Paging
                                                                                                                              • Site Navigation
                                                                                                                                • By category
                                                                                                                                • By tag
                                                                                                                              • Common Elements
                                                                                                                              1. 12

                                                                                                                                It’s so annoying that (from our current perspective) this could have been so easily done in the <head> tag, by adding a few <meta ...> pointers to the next/previous page or something <neighbours>, but instead the only people who use anything like this are search engines.

                                                                                                                                1. 4

                                                                                                                                  Why do you need paging? You’d need thousands of pages before your site exceeds the size of e.g. NYTimes which amounts to tens of megabytes.

                                                                                                                                  1. 4

                                                                                                                                    Maybe you don’t. But you don’t need to scale to thousands of pages before paging is useful.

                                                                                                                                    • 5 most recent stories? Needs paging.
                                                                                                                                    • List of articles about topic X? Needs paging.
                                                                                                                                    • Blog posts in the month of June? Needs paging.

                                                                                                                                    Not everyone needs those but for the ones that do? Plain HTML/CSS is going to suck and be really error prone.

                                                                                                                                    1. 1

                                                                                                                                      wait what even is paging in this context

                                                                                                                                      1. 2

                                                                                                                                        I suppose a more fitting word for that concept is ‘pagination’.

                                                                                                                                        1. 1

                                                                                                                                          well the things in /u/zaphar’s comment don’t seem to be about that… why do you need pagination to list the 5 most recent stories?

                                                                                                                                          1. 2

                                                                                                                                            Because that list would otherwise need to be updated manually.

                                                                                                                                            1. 1

                                                                                                                                              how would pagination help with that? a list of 5 stories probably fits on a single page anyway.

                                                                                                                                              1. 1

                                                                                                                                                It’s the same process. The top-five-most-recent stories is just a page with 5 stories on it.

                                                                                                                                                1. 1

                                                                                                                                                  pagination is the process of dividing a document into pages.

                                                                                                                                                  maybe /u/zaphar was using “paging” to refer to any dynamic content; I am not familiar with that usage.

                                                                                                                                                  1. 1

                                                                                                                                                    The “document” is the entire list of stories. The page is the first five.

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                                                                                                                                                      this is extremely dumb

                                                                                                                                  2. 1

                                                                                                                                    Yes, but he also doesn’t need to maintain things that he doesn’t support, and that works in his favor.

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                                                                                                                                    I recently removed auto-redirection of http to https from my site, mainly because of the horrible experience of the letsencrypt client breaking and wanting me to install a custom version via snap (on a Debian server). The result was that until I had the time to fix the issue, my website was totally broken if the browser had remembered to redirect. I nearly wanted to give up HTTPS all together, but luckily I managed to fix it using a different client (acme.sh).

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                                                                                                                                      Every post I’ve seen from this website is so cringy.

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                                                                                                                                        I disagree, the Nix(OS) related posts have been quite helpful to me.

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                                                                                                                                          Thank you for your feedback. It will be taken into consideration as much as the unique merits of this claim deserve.

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                                                                                                                                            To be fair, this post is marked as “satire”, but yes, it seems low effort. “Learn X in N [time units]” has now become a meme, and I guess it will continue popping up until everyone gets tired of it.

                                                                                                                                            1. 6

                                                                                                                                              I was satirizing those posts yes. It feels low effort because i limited myself to 15 minutes for writing it. I even left in the typos.