Threads for bc

    1. 5

      This is a parody of the infamous blog post that announced the discontinuation of CentOS.

    2. 4

      On Linux (equivalents exist for other platforms):

      sudo ${EDITOR:-vi} /etc/firefox/syspref.js

      Add a line like:

      pref("network.trr.mode", 5, locked);

      Per the value 5 is “Off by choice. This is the same as 0 but marks it as done by choice and not done by default.”

      Making it a locked pref keeps you from accidentally turning it on again, but more importantly here, when on a version which hasn’t made the change yet, gives you a visual indication that the change has taken effect and you haven’t edited the wrong thing. You might use locked until you’re happy you’ve made the change in the right place, then remove that keyword if you think you might at least want to explore the feature.

      1. 3

        Why sudo ${EDITOR:-vi}? Just use sudo -e. Your command launches an editor with root privileges, while sudo -e does not, and works in situations where the system is administered competently.

        1. 1

          Thanks, I couldn’t remember the option to do that. I’m usually either editing as myself inside config management checkouts (not editing random files on random machines in prod), or working as root on something locally and needing to read other root-owned files while I’m at it, so running the editor as me doesn’t help.

          Also, this was an illustrative example. My phrasing is readable without a man-page, for folks using systems which use commands other than sudo (eg, op).

    3. 14

      Build on the matrix protocol or extend email

      Why not XMPP? It’s been around for 20+ years, works well, and is extremely extensible. Social functions have already been implemented as extensions to XMPP before. No need to reinvent the wheel here.

      1. 15

        That it’s extremely extensible makes it harder to write interoperable clients, people will implement a different subset of extensions and quite a few aspects are implementation-defined.

        I still have nightmares from when I tried to set up a working XMPP video chat from my then-girlfriend’s macOS machine to my Linux machine. It all worked fine as long as everyone uses the same client, but when you don’t things can get very tricky. In the end I gave up and just used Skype.

        Not everyone agrees with this, also see some of the comments on this previous story. For my part, I think providing a good UX is much more important than protocol choice and other technical aspects.

        1. 1

          Second on proving a good UX. Just setting up a XMPP server is a pain because of all the options to enable and configure. It’s insane! Granted, once you have it, the features are pretty nice. IRCv3 has a nice blend of features and extensibility IMO, but there aren’t very many clients out there that I could describe as “user-friendly”. I have some hope for Matrix, but I think it’s too early to tell if it will stick around.

      2. 5

        Agreed, there’s every feature the author mentions in XMPP, open standard(s) for e2e encryption, and a plethora of good clients for mobile & desktops.

    4. 6

      Like a lot of these “falsehoods” articles, for many cases these “falsehoods” are perfectly true.

      Take the “all currencies currently in circulation are subdivided in decimal units” point for example. There are only two currencies in use that are non-decimal: those of Madagascar and Mauritania. I don’t want to be dismissive of these countries, but they’re small developing countries, and the chances that code you create will have to deal with these currencies are quite small, so for most practical purposes it’s just fine to assume all currencies are decimal.

      The world is a big and complex place, and you can’t deal with every single edge case. Most of the time there is no need to, and it’s much easier to just “believe the falsehoods” and deal with the common cases in a straightforward way.

      1. 17

        The world is a big and complex place, and you can’t deal with every single edge case. Most of the time there is no need to, and it’s much easier to just “believe the falsehoods” and deal with the common cases in a straightforward way.

        Project management has talked about known unknowns and unknown unknowns. These lists turn the latter into the former. Knowing these edge cases exist can help design the solution space around them, explicitly design them out of the system, or at least document their presence.

        So yes, most of the time handling the common cases straightforwardly is right, but you can at least do it with eyes open.

      2. 8


        1. A price can be at most 10^N for some value of N.

        Let me interpret this: Whatever prices your system can process, it’s never enough. Using computers with infinite resources and processing power is therefore recommended.

        1. 1

          Right, and your boss might want you to write out that sandwich price as R$14,999,999,999.99 instead of RB$15 because it sounds cheaper that way.

      3. 2

        There are only two currencies in use that are non-decimal

        Another small country you may have heard of is Japan

        1. 2

          I’m not sure what your point is, because that Wikipedia article specifically states that it’s decimal in the lead section.

          1. 1

            I stressed the wrong point, what I meant to point out is that yen are not subdivided at all.

            I agree with you that it’s pointless to support iraimbilanja and khoums though, as both their respective currencies have more standard and more used decimal subdivisions.

            1. 2

              Well, yes. But that’s the next point on the list:

              All currencies are subdivided. (counter-examples: KRW, COP, JPY… Or subdivisions can be deprecated.)

              Japanese Yen, Indonesian Rupiah (which I use every day), and quite a few others are still decimal, even though not subdivided.

        2. 1

          The page you link to mentions 2 subdivisions of the yen, in 1/100 and 1/1000.

          In practical terms it’s a single unit though.

          The Indonesian rupiah is another currency with low real unit value, but its 1/100 subdivision is explicitly noted as “obsolete”.

          1. 4

            Not since 1953. (Sorry, can’t find an English article on it.) The words ‘sen’ and ‘rin’ are still used when referencing fractions when trading and whatnot, but no, they do not actually exist anymore.

            1. 1

              I think we can be charitable and assume that what the author means with “non-decimal” is

              • a “unit” currency (yen, rupiah, ex-Italian lira), which cannot be subdivided
              • a currency that is subdivided, and then always in multiples of 10.
    5. 1

      I run my own Pleroma instance, I mostly post sysadmin stuff and random stuff from life in Japan

    6. 22

      Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should!

      ()  ascii ribbon campaign - against html e-mail 
      /\   - against proprietary attachments
      1. 3

        And against proportional fonts, too? ;-)

        1. 1

          Proportional fonts are very pleasant for reading, but not as easy to write text in (if you want to do some custom layout), in which case a markup language is getting used.

          That probably means that we shift email from a tool to write to a tool to read.

          Of course, if most of what is transmitted by email is web services notifications and files to access over IMAP elsewhere, we get to read write much less in proportion.

      2. 3

        While people who do not care about how email works or are implemented enjoy highlighting the keywords of their sentence, people interested into the email stack (and eventually trying to make it not so tall) will keep enjoying the relative simplicity of SMTP + IMAP + SPF + DKIM + DMARC + TLS + STARTTLS + RFC3522 + MIME + Quoted-Printable over SMTP + IMAP + SPF + DKIM + DMARC + TLS + STARTTLS + RFC3522 + MIME + Quoted-Printable + XML + HTML + CSS.

        1. 7

          Ooh! Don’t forget format=flowed, my favorite email feature that every MUA documents as The Right Way to fix things but that doesn’t actually work with Outlook, Gmail, Fastmail, or many others.

          Or maybe everyone loves seeing emails like

          Owen, why are your emails always fucked up?
          I think this is a fair idea but really it deserves
          more thought.
          Frobulating this widget may have unintended
          Instead we should consider an approach
          that avoids unneeded frobulation; instead lets
          On September 10th, your cow orker orked:
          > why don’t you just frobulate all the impacted
          1. 2

            Misplaced newlines…

            Here is some explanation helpful to me from that email-litterate company:

          2. 2

            I adore format=flowed. It solves one of the four major problems well. (I’m not facetious — one out of four is much better than zero IMO, even if haters tend to pick on it being less than four.)

      3. 2

        I really like gmail’s HTML email. Parsing and rendering that is so much more pleasant than text/plain HTML. It has CSS classes for quotes and signatures, and the tables use HTML table syntax, so making the content readable on a narrowish phone screen is trivial.

        Try rendering that ASCII ribbon table nicely on a phone screen that’s wide enough for five words… it’s a three-column, table, right? Or two? Can the text in each table cell be wrapped so the table will fit onscreen?

      4. 1

        IMO that page is misleading in part, because it presents a bad practice that some follow, as the only potential way it can be done.

        In multiple points, it says some clients/users/assistive technologies can’t process HTML email, and suggests that for this reason HTML email should be verboten, instead of the more practical, and common practice of sending the message content in two media types: text/plain, and text/html.

    7. 5

      I expect to see a few more “via email” replies to this post :^)

      Anyhow, good stuff. I’d recommend neomutt ( over mutt, lots of great features already patched into it. It handles HTML emails just fine by piping them through w3m, with the ‘copiousoutput’ option in the mailcap making it display like any other email.

    8. 3

      I spend too much time fiddling with the site itself instead of writing articles, but here it is anyways:

    9. 7

      And so, dear reader, if you know how to disable this landmine — or are merely interested in advancing the state of the art in vermin removal — join us on #trilema!

      I went down the rabbit hole and checked out the #trilema channel and it’s associated website. What in the world is even going on on there? It seems like it’s mostly obscene schizophrenic ramblings.

      1. 1

        All the conspiracy stuff gave me a chuckle. The author apparently refuses to use x86 “crapolade” for… reasons, I guess.

        For sure, the three letter agencies would love to have their own private backdoors into every computing device on the planet but that doesn’t mean all of the manufacturers are just going to hand it to them, even if bribed to do so.

        The real reason Google would lock down Chrome devices because they want the devices to stay Chrome devices so that they’re used as Chrome devices so that they can show you ads on Google services. There’s barely any margin on the hardware at all so they don’t want people to buy them just to put Linux on, like I did.

    10. 26

      The circular shape of the letters hints at the eyes of the Go gopher

      They’re really stretching with that line. Two circles could be a lot of things and the first things that come to mind don’t have anything to do with the Go gopher. I don’t like this. It’s generic corporate, and I’ll miss the ode to Plan 9.

      1. 29

        they needed an excuse to update the website and make it not work without javascript.

        1. 16

          i kind of respect the cynicism that went into this reply

        2. 2

          But, they didn’t update the website. The branding is entirely absent from the website. It’s boggling.

          1. 3

            oh, they will

            1. 1

              Over two weeks later and still no redesign of the website.

      2. 15

        It’s generic corporate

        but… Go doesnt have generics! \s

        Maybe it just supports the corporate interface.

      3. 1

        It’s generic corporate

        Actually, it makes sense.

        I’ll miss the ode to Plan 9

        IMHO, Plan 9 had the technical potential to disrupt the centralized web. Years before it became a problem.
        Now it’s a niche OS, developed by weird hackers that don’t buy mainstream buzzwords.

        So, from certain points of view, Plan 9 is dangerous.
        Something that any good programming minion should forget…

        1. 5

          Wait, does the COC rotate every time you click it? If so, are they being serious? The COCs generally looked really laudable, but now I can’t tell if they’re just posting them ironically.

          1. 1

            Wait, does the COC rotate every time you click it?


            If so, are they being serious?


            The COCs generally looked really laudable, but now I can’t tell if they’re just posting them ironically.

            As my doctor say, irony is the worst side effect of intelligence.
            A pretty serious side effect, that most people cannot tollerate.

            (but since my doctor is my wife, she could be ironic about that… :-D)