Threads for qirpi

    1. 7

      Use near-black […] instead of pure black

      Doesn’t this prevent OLED displays from saving power on true black?

      1. 5

        Doesn’t this prevent OLED displays from saving power on true black?

        pure-white on pure-black looks very bad to people with astigmatism.

        1. 4

          Is it a colour thing or a contrast thing – is grey on/under pure black okay to look at?

          I think the rule “Use near-black and near-white instead of pure black and white” should include a warning that (a) the designer should be sure to leave enough contrast, and (b) that text that’s just-contrastful-enough to young eyes may have insufficient contrast for older eyes.

          …actually, I just scrolled the article again, and noticed that in the tip “Elements that the user does not need to notice […] can use as little contrast as possible”, the picture contains a divider that I had completely missed first time around. So that illustrates my point. (Or it illustrates that “does not need to notice” was meant literally.)

          1. 5

            Yes, “elements that the user does not need to notice”, such as unsubscribe buttons.

        2. 4

          Some* people with astigmatism, maybe. As a person diagnosed with severe astigmatism in both eyes, I definitely prefer pure black backgrounds with high-contrast text (not necessarily pure white) over the alternatives.

          Looking at the first image in the article, the example on the left is far more legible to my astigmatic eyes than the example on the right. Of course, I’m just one person, and this is just one anecdata point, but I am nonetheless suspicious of your claim.

        3. 2

          I don’t know. It was fine until I needed glasses anyway. Even now I don’t see much difference between black and gray BG without glasses. Black on white is slightly better without them, though.

          Was there a research?

      2. 3

        I remember seeing something that said the difference is about a few seconds of battery life on a smartphone. I’ll look for it when I’m at a desk

      3. 2

        Yes, but do you really want to risk being seen as unnatural?

        The issue they allude to would definitely be better to leave to the client.

        1. 2

          What even is “unnatural” about it? The night sky, one of the most natural things, is pure white on pure black.

          1. 3

            To me, the clear sky at night, outside of light polluted areas, always looked more like a complex gradient of some very deep blues and almost blacks. The stars I see golden, silvery, white, and some flicker green/red/blue.

    2. 2

      Cleaning up and refactoring the two PKM systems I coded for myself a couple weeks ago, arkive: a private web archive + read-it-later + readable content extractor, and remember: my own Readwise alternative with Calibre annotation import and a ‘show context’ feature.

      I don’t work a job currently and I’ve used some of my free time to pick up Rails. It enabled me to quickly craft many of the tools that have been on my “will do someday” list for years.

    3. 2

      I find this to be a worthy endeavor and I think focusing on the author’s angle on what is annoying or not misses the point of why such filtering can be valuable: this and similar algorithms ends up working very well for filtering (content) marketing and product sites, and shows you some hidden gems. Reliably. I love it! It is a nice addition to (my other goto for valuable content)

    4. 5

      Is a “nice site” an euphemism for “sites, with authors, that don’t understand even the slightest about design principles”?

      I generally find the lack of any styling to be a readability nightmare, and the screenshots shown here tickle that nightmare sense. I’m all for fast loading, text only designs. I’m not OK with ignoring hundreds of years of experience related to laying out text in a readable way.

      1. 3

        I dislike bad typography too, but I’d take a site with awful design and valuable content over a readable site with beautiful design but trash ‘content marketing-content’. I can always turn on the browser’s readable mode. Not true for quality.

        1. 1

          The reader mode, traditionally, existed mostly to make a distraction and ad free experience. Web site authors should take note. :)

      2. 2

        zero css looked fine in days where all screens were roughly 15 inches diagonally - nowadays it’s readability hell across devices.

        the vast majority of these sites could be fixed with two rules: max-width: 40em and margin: auto to center it. That’s it, that’s all you need to jump on the brutalist trend while keeping things readable.

        related reading: (which, funnily enough, seems to have either been scanned in wrong or the author is just having some ironic fun with the layout)

        1. 2

          Yeah, the max-width is typically my biggest concern. But I do want slightly more line spacing most of the time, as well.

    5. 9

      “The main feature that was awaited for a long time is the introduction of experimental features, namely the flakes experimental feature. Users still have to opt into the feature manually (as well as the nix-command feature that was enabled by default in previous nix versions).”

      If there wasn’t enough confusion about this already.. :( I’m not sure what the first sentence means, after reading the second one. I get it that now it’s manual opt in again… like before.. so then what exactly arrived that was long awaited? Flakes and the nix-command is available as an experimental feature since at least 2.4 (I have that on my Mac still and they work). I feel like I’m missing something here.

      EDIT: Okay, I get it – so only the nix command was available by default on previous versions. Still morning here :) I still don’t get what got introduced though.

      1. 1

        The flakes feature is what is new. Flakes are opt-in still but users can use them to manage their os configuration and/or use then for development workspaces.

        1. 1

          but flakes feature existed in previous releases

          1. 3

            nix/nixStable was on version 2.3.16 in nixos-21.11, and is on version 2.8.1 in nixos-22.05 now. The former did not include the flakes feature, which was introduced in 2.4 and above. You could of course, and many people did, just install nix 2.4 or newer manually. Hope that explains it :)

            1. 1

              Thank you, that does explain it! :)

              On another note: just upgraded on of my servers from 19.09 to 22.05 and it went buttery smooth, like all my upgrades so far — I love the stateVersion feature — NixOS rocks!

          2. 1

            I don’t think you could use them for your nixos configuration yet. But I could be wrong about that.

            1. 4

              I’ve been doing nixos-rebuild switch --flake .#host for a while

    6. 2

      in particular, one that i’m often wondering about, is what’s a funky way to manage, say, running a script to spin up a website, and the browser to interact with it. it’s crazy that it should take two screen locations for this. maybe someone has come up with a cool hack along these lines? also interested to know any cool things you’ve done!

      Could you explain in more depth?

      (I’ll reply to this with my xmonad when I’m on the pc that has it, or I’ll just edit this post.)

      1. 1

        yeah, sorry, it wasn’t a great explanation :)

        the main scenario is this:

        1. i’m writing some javascript app; and i need to run npm run dev, or similar. it stays open, and tells me about errors.
        2. i click around in the app; and i make code changes. arguably, i only need two windows allocated for this task. if i happen to use an ide, and have it set up well, i can do it with just two; getting all my errors via the ide somehow. but suppose i don’t do that, then i need 3 windows.

        one (not great) solution i often think about, is having 3 windows, but have the one with the errors be really small, most of the time, and then allow for it to be increased, as i have the will to read the errors.

        this is such a common pattern for me across so many languages and environments, that i’m thinking there has to be a good way to solve it within the window manager. either kind of saying “this window is the child of that”, and then having that relationship determine who is bigger; and using that idea to kind of push those two independent windows into one “region” within the xmonad window manager.

        does that make more sense?

        it’s just the idea that in almost all my dev, i have some windows that are clearly less important, and thus should be small, and perhaps even invisible, until such time as i want them. (for example, with some of my other projects, i just move the window to a “dead” workspace, that i never look at, and then i’ll occasionally have to drop back and look at it, if the error is beyond my ability to fix by guessing why my app didn’t update.

        1. 2

          I have two ways of doing this:

          1. Making my server/error/debug terminal a floating window, adjusting the size to something comfortable, then simply raising it above and lowering it below my browser/ide/both with a ‘toggle to raise/lower’ shortcut when I need it.
          2. Not assigning my terminal window to any workspace/group, then hiding it completely, and when I need it I search for it and bring it to the foreground using window title search shortcut, then hide it again. If I have many similar terminals, I give it a label using ‘label window’ shortcut before hiding it.

          I use cwm, but I’m sure something very similar is possible in xmonad or i3.

          1. 2

            interesting thoughts.

            i kind of like your idea of perhaps a window that is nowhere, and then bringing that to the fore with a quick search. i might have a bit of a think of a cool way to do that.

            maybe that, combined with the window coming to the foreground as floating-only, and taking up, say, just some space at the top or the bottom of the screen, temporarily. that could be really neat.

    7. 38

      Wow. Microsoft engineer complains about “some seemingly anti-competitive practices done by Google’s Chrome team”. Now that is some piquant irony.

      Also, the page’s YouTube video appears to be blocked. Icing on the cake?

      1. 37

        …one of the reasons we decided to end EdgeHTML was because Google kept making changes to its sites that broke other browsers, and we couldn’t keep up…

        I can appreciate the shadenfreude of Microsoft’s new position, but this is a pretty legitimate concern. Especially if Google is/was doing that intentionally. What we need is a good incentive for Google to care about web standards and performance in non-Chrome browsers, but this move by Microsoft only drives things in the opposite direction.

        1. 12

          I don’t know if it’s intentional or not, but I am almost never able to complete reCaptchas in Firefox, it just keeps popping up ridiculous ones, like traffic lights that are on the border of three squares, and it keeps popping the same unsolvable ones for 2-3 minutes until I get tired/locked out of it and just use Chrome to log in, where somehow I always get sane ones and it lets me in first try. Anyone had the same?

          This video sums it up very well, although not Firefox specific:

          (Btw I don’t use Tor, or public VPNs or any of the like.)

            1. 1

              Ha! Thanks for this, I won’t keep trying anymore :)

        2. 17

          Especially if Google is/was doing that intentionally.

          I disagree that intention has anything to do with it. We have to judge these kinds of situations by the effect they have on the web, not on good feelings.

          1. 7

            Spot on. Intent only matters when it is ill. Even if not intended, the outcome is what matters materially.

          2. 6

            One reason intention matters: if the intention is to handicap edge, then it’s probably not serving some other purpose that’s good for all of us. If handicapping edge is a side-effect of some real benefit, that’s just a fact about the complexity of the web (it might still be a bad decision, but there are trade-offs involved).

        3. 7

          OK, let’s put aside the schadenfreude as best we can and examine the consequences. I think it’s fair to assume, for the sake of argument, that Alphabet Inc absolutely will do everything in its power, dirty tricks included, to derive business value from it’s pseudo-monopolist position. If Microsoft were to dig in their heels and ship a default browser for their desktop OS that didn’t play YouTube videos as well as Chrome does, would that harm Alphabet, or just Microsoft at this point?

          I don’t really understand your talk of “a good incentive”. Think of it this way: what incentive did Google, an advertising company, ever have to build and support a web browser in the first place? How did this browser come to its current position of dominance?

          1. 15

            Google built a web browser because Microsoft won the browser wars and did nothing with IE for 10 years.

            Their entire suite of products were web based and their ability to innovate with those products was severely hampered by an inadequate platform.


            Chrome was revolutionary when it was released and many of the web technologies we take for granted today could never have happened without it.

            I’m not entirely thrilled with everything it led too but whatever their motives now, Google had good reasons to build Chrome in the first place.

            1. 23

              I’m sure whichever visionaries were at Google at that point had great reasons to build Chrome. But Google isn’t the same company anymore, and Chrome doesn’t mean what it once meant.

              “You could not step twice into the same river.” —Heraclitus

            2. 11

              That’s certainly ONE factor. The other is that Chrome by default makes “address bar” and “search bar” the same thing, and sends everything you type into the search bar to Google.

              Same as Google Maps, or Android as a whole. I often navigate with Google Maps while driving. The implication is that Google knows where I live, where I work, where I go for vacation, where I eat, where I shop. This information has a monetary value.

              If there is something Google does that is not designed to collect information on it’s users that can be turned into ad revenue, that something will eventually be shut down.

              1. 9

                “This information has a monetary value.”

                Exactly. They are trying to build accurate profiles of every aspect of people and businesses’ existences. Their revenue per user can go up as they collect more information for their profiles. That gives them an incentive to build new products that collect more data, always by default. Facebook does same thing. Revenue per user climbed for them year after year, too. I’m not sure where the numbers are currently at for these companies, though.

            3. 8

              Google built a web browser because Microsoft won the browser wars and did nothing with IE for 10 years.

              No, that was Mozilla. They together with Opera were fighting IE’s stagnation and by 2008 achieved ~30% share which arguably made Microsoft notice. Chrome was entering the world which already was multi-browser at that point.

              Also, business-wise Google needed Chrome as a distribution engine, it has nothing to do with fighting browser wars purely for the sake of users.

              1. 1

                I’m not entirely sure what you mean by a distribution engine. For ads? Or for software?

                I think business motives are extremely hard to discern from actions. I think you could make the argument that Google has been trying for years to diversify their business, mostly unsuccessfully, and around 2008 maybe they envisioned office software (spreadsheets, document processing, etc) as the next big thing. GMail was a surprise hit, and maybe they thought they could overthrow Microsoft’s dominance in the field. But they weren’t about to start building desktop software, so they needed a better browser to do it.

                Or maybe they built it so that Google would be the default search engine for everyone so they could serve more ads?

                Or maybe some engineers at Google really were interested in improving performance and security, built a demo of it, and managed to convince enough people to actually see it through?

                I realize the last suggestion may sound helplessly naive, but having worked as an engineer in a company where I had a lot of say in what got worked on, my motives were often pretty far afield of any pure business motive. I got my paycheck regardless, and sometimes I fixed a bug or made something faster because it annoyed me. I imagine there are thousands of employees at Google doing the same thing every day.

                Regardless, the fact remains that the technology they built for Chrome has significantly improved the user experience. The reason Chrome is now so dominant is because it was better. Much better when compared to something like IE6.

                And even ChromeOS is better than the low-price computing it competes with. Do you remember eMachines? They were riddled with junk software and viruses rendering them almost completely useless. A 100$ Chromebook is such a breath of fresh air compared to that experience.

                I realize there’s a cost to this, and I get why there’s a lot of bad press about Google, but I don’t think we need to rewrite history about it. I think we’re all better off with Google having created Chrome (even if I don’t agree with many of the things they’re doing now).

                1. 5

                  The reason Chrome is now so dominant is because it was better.

                  There are two reasons why Chrome became so dominant:

                  • Google makes deals with OEMs to ship Chrome by default on the new desktops and laptops. Microsoft cannot stop them because of historical antitrust regulations.

                  • Google advertised Chrome on their search page (which happens to be the most popular web page in the world) whenever someone using another browser visited it. It looks like they’ve stopped, though, since I just tried searching with Google from Firefox and didn’t get a pop-up.

          2. 3

            The incentive to play fair would come from Google not wanting to lose the potential ad revenue from users of non-Chrome browsers due to them deliberately sabotaging their own products in those browsers. Not trying to imply that EdgeHTML was the solution to that problem or that it would somehow be in Microsoft’s best interest to stick with it, just that its loss is further cementing Google’s grip on the web and that’s a bad thing.

            1. 3

              All the user knows is “browser A doesn’t seem to play videos as good as browser B”. In general they can’t even distinguish server from client technologies. All they can do about it, individually, is switch browsers.

              Now that Alphabet has cornered the market, their strategy should be obvious. It’s the same as Microsoft’s was during the Browser Wars. The difference is, Alphabet made it to the end-game.

              1. 1

                What makes Chrome’s position more of an end-game than what IE had in the early 2000s?

                1. 4

                  You’re looking at it wrong. The question you really need to consider is:

                  What makes Google’s position more of an end-game than what Microsoft had in the early 2000s?

                  Microsoft was the dominant OS player, but the Internet itself was undergoing incredible growth. What’s more, no one existed solely within what’s Microsoft provided.

                  Today, the Internet is essentially the OS for many (most?). People exist in a fully vertically integrated world built by Google - operating system, data stored in their cloud, documents written on their editor and emails sent through their plumbing… all of it run by the worlds most profitable advertising company, who just built themselves mountains of data to mine for better advertisements.

                  Microsoft in the 00’s could only dream of having that.

                  1. 4

                    Your assessment of Google today strikes me as not completely unreasonable, although it does neglect the fact that only a small fraction of Internet users live so completely in Google’s stack; I suspect far more people just use Android and Chrome and YouTube on a daily basis but don’t really use Gmail or GSuite (Docs, etc.) very frequently, instead relying on WhatsApp and Instagram a lot more.

                    And back in the 2000s there were definitely a large group of people who just used Windows, IE, Outlook, Hotmail, MSN & MS Office to do the vast majority of their computing. SO it’s not as different as you seem to believe. Except now there are viable competitors to Google in the form of Facebook & Apple in a way that nobody competed with MS back then.

                    1. 2

                      SO it’s not as different as you seem to believe.

                      It’s incredibly different.

                      When I used IE5 Microsoft’s tactic was to bundle it with Windows and use Microsoft-specific APIs to boost its performance, killing Netscape. If I used Chrome today, I’d find dark UI patterns are used to ensure my data is captured.

                      Similarly, Office/Outlook/Windows in 2000 didn’t mine the files I was working on to enrich an advertising profile that would follow me across the internet. If memory serves, while Hotmail did serve advertisements, they were based on banner advertisements / newsletters generated by Microsoft, and not contextually targeted.

                      The real risk here, I believe, is in both the scope and ease of understanding what’s happening today versus what Microsoft did. Microsoft’s approach was to make money by being the only software you run, and they’d use any trick they could to achieve that - patently anticompetitive behavior included.

                      Google, on the other hand… at this point I wonder if they’d care if 90% of the world ran Firefox as long as the default search engine was Google. I think their actions are far more dangerous than those of Microsoft because they are much wider reaching and far more difficult for regulators to dig into.

                      I suspect far more people just use Android and Chrome and YouTube on a daily basis but don’t really use Gmail or GSuite (Docs, etc.) very frequently, instead relying on WhatsApp and Instagram a lot more.

                      Even if we take that as a given, this means most people are sending:

                      • their location
                      • the videos and pictures from their phone’s camera
                      • their search history
                      • a list of content they watched

                      up to Google.

                      1. 1

                        Your assessment that Chrome is only a means to an end, the end being to have people continue using Google’s web search, seems dead on. But then you follow that up with a claim that doesn’t seem to logically follow at all.

                        The reach of Google now relative to Microsoft 15 years ago is lower as a fraction of total users; it only seems higher because the absolute number of total users has grown so much.

                        1. 3

                          Doesn’t this depend on how you define a “user”, though? Google has a grip on search that would be the envy of IBM back in the day. Android is by far the most popular operating system for mobile phones, if not for computing devices writ large. They pay for Mozilla because they can harvest your data through Firefox almost as easily as via Chrome, and they prop up a competitor, in case the US DOJ ever gets their head out of their ass and starts to examine the state of the various markets they play in.

                          1. 2

                            Depends on how narrowly you define “search” too; Do you include all the searches people conduct directly on Amazon or Facebook or Siri?

                        2. 1

                          The reach of Google now relative to Microsoft 15 years ago is lower as a fraction of total users; it only seems higher because the absolute number of total users has grown so much.

                          Android’s global smartphone penetration is at 86% in 2017[1]. And while the “relative reach” might be lower, the absolute impact of the data being Hoovered up is significant. In 2000, annual PC sales hit 130 million per the best figures I could find[2] … that’s less than a tenth of smartphone sales in 2017 alone.

                          What does it matter that Google’s relative reach is lower when they control nearly 9/10 smartphones globally and proudly boast over two billion monthly active devices?

                          1. 1

                            The level of control isn’t directly comparable. Microsoft sold Windows licenses for giant piles of money while Google licenses only the Play Store and other apps that run on Android. Android in China is a great example of the difference, although I guess Microsoft probably lost revenue (but not control over the UX) there via piracy.

              2. 1

                The end game being anti-trust action? I’m not following your line of argument. Are you examining that particular consequence?

                1. 2

                  The antitrust case against Microsoft ended up with not much happening, and that was 18 years ago. Do you have much confidence that there is likely to be an effective antitrust action against Google?

                  1. 1

                    I’m not the one making a case here.

                    Your interpretation[1][2] of how a single historical case went doesn’t change the fact that antitrust action is bad for a company’s long-term prospects and short-term stock price. The latter should directly matter to current leadership. Companies spend a reasonable amount of time trying to not appear anti-competitive. @minimax is utterly ignoring that consequence of “dirty tricks”.

                    [1] illustrates the opposite perception. [2] is more balanced, and points out the effect of the lawsuit on Microsoft PR, leadership focus and product quality.

          3. 1

            Think of it this way: what incentive did Google, an advertising company, ever have to build and support a web browser in the first place?

            Is this a real question asked in good faith? Maybe it’s just been a long day but I really can’t tell.

            1. 2

              I was going for Socratic. You’re quite welcome to assume anything you like about the goodness of my faith.

              1. 1

                Got it - always happy to play along with Mr. Socrates ;) I mostly wanted to be sure I wasn’t just biting on an obvious troll.

      2. 11

        That’s just a picture of a blocked YouTube video to emphasis their point.

    8. 3

      This is awesome! Signed up. Are you planning on open sourcing it? I’m sure I would self host something like this.

      1. 4

        Thanks! I’d love to open-source it. However, I can’t justify the time commitment it would take yet. I’ve open-sourced many smaller projects, and I always feel compelled to answer every email I get. I wish I could post it and then just ignore it, but I really can’t.

        I did make a deal with myself a long time ago. If I can get enough supporters on Patreon, I will open-source it. The code is already pretty cleaned-up and ready to go. It’s pure PHP, no dependencies. No frameworks or anything.

        1. 2

          Post code with no email address to contact you? ;)

          1. 1

            I actually did that with one project. People find a way.

            Anyway, my name is all over this by now.

        2. 1

          Sweet project, man! I’ve already set it up to email me whenever my name is mentioned on reddit. I’m just a poor student so I can’t justify a patreon (or I could, if it were just 1 project, but there are so many projects I’d love to support) so I’ll have to content myself with just saying thanks, it’s a great idea and a great post explaining it.

          1. 2

            I’m glad you like it! I put it online in the hope that others would find it useful, so I appreciate your comment!

    9. 3

      Curious that the “Linux Geek bundle” books that catch my eye are the OpenBSD-related ones: Book of pf and Absolute OpenBSD. Thought on these two books, anyone?

      For background, I switched to OpenBSD a couple months ago, after being on Linux since 2.4…

      1. 2

        I read Absolute OpenBSD ~1 year after switching and reading man pages, and still got a lot of value out of it. Bear in mind I’m only 22 so it might not say much new to old school people :)

      2. 2

        I’m a tourist from Linux, but I love Michael Lucas. Absolute OpenBSD was an awesome read, even though I don’t use OpenBSD much at the moment.

    10. 3

      I really liked Be Your Own VPN Provider With OpenBSD v2 – This is not just about setting up OpenVPN, it covers an FDE install, basic steps to make the default install even more secure, has a PF config (great for PF newbies who want to see a practical example) and it guides you through setting up unbound with dnscrypt-proxy.

      There are also two great vmd guides I know of: 1, 2. This repo complements them very well.

      I always start with the man pages, but in vmd’s case I needed a working example to get me going.

    11. 2
      • KISS Launcher The best launcher ever. Can’t recommend enough.
      • BeHe Keyboard Best keyboard I found. I only miss emoji support.
      • Conversations best mobile XMPP client
      • Odyssey Best music player I found, support scrobbling using Simple Scrobbler – It’s also great for audio books and podcasts as it has a bookmark feature.
      • M.A.L.P MPD remote control
      • MuPDF For viewing PDFs
      • Maps Decent Google Maps replacement
      • NewPipe Very good youtube client, I’d say better than the original.
      • DAVdroid Sync calendars and contacts with my personal DAV server
      1. 1

        I love the KISS launcher. Do you know if Odyssey ever resolved being able to play opus files? My quick read through their repo suggests not.