Threads for vifon

    1. 2

      Great list, i would always recommend firefox and firefox containers, great tools for separating activities, such as

      • work
      • banking
      • shopping
      • entertainment

      Should at least make creating a profile on your activities somewhat harder.

      1. 4

        Do the Firefox containers still serve a purpose with the 1st party isolation (“Total Cookie Protection”)? Unless multiple accounts at the same service are needed, the way I understand it, things are already kept separately. I separate my personal and work matters with two separate Firefox profiles, so my histories and bookmarks don’t mix as well. This is something the containers don’t cover and I find this part much more useful.

        1. 5

          I use them for eg logging into multiple AWS accounts at the same time; I find that reasonably useful.

          They also help separate your google profile, so sites that use google SSO library don’t show a popover to login with your google account (unless you use your google container to visit them).

    2. 1

      My stationary setup (home/office): Emacs with org-mode and a custom minor-mode for lightweight OrgRoam-like functionality. Managed and synchronized with my server using Fossil as I find Fossil more fitting than Git for this use case: I need little to no complex operations and the automatic push/pull on most actions comes in handy.

      My mobile setup: For reading, just shell and/or Emacs over SSH from my smartphone. For writing, preferably nothing connected to this system at all. My rule of thumb is that if I am not at a proper keyboard, any note will be low quality. Instead I prefer to scribble a quick disposable note on pretty much anything (usually either a physical notebook or my Galaxy Note) and then rewrite it properly when I’m back home.

    3. 1

      The title seems quite off. From the readme itself:

      Tested only with i3wm, might not work as expected in other DE/WM.

    4. 8

      Very neat, I might want to play around more with a steam deck someday. I wonder if it can run Wayland…

      However, I’m not sure you get to shame the Steam deck for not including a default password, then recommend doing curl some-url | sh to install something. :-P Though from the look of it the script escalates with sudo as necessary, and they don’t say to do curl | sudo sh, so this is a nitpick.

      1. 12

        . I wonder if it can run Wayland…

        It can and does by default. When running in game-mode, steam games are run through gamescope, a wayland compositor.

        1. 1

          Sweet. Thanks!

      2. 3

        In their defense, this installation method is taken verbatim from the Nix docs. Still unfortunate, but the blame is elsewhere.

        1. 2

          Aha, thanks. The method does seem to be becoming less fashionable, but I do wish it would do so faster, if only to get more people working with Flatpak or AppImage or OS package managers instead of rolling their own thing every time.

          1. 4

            I don’t think that’s possible for something like Nix. The Nix installer creates the root /nix directory, configures some build daemon users, sets up a systemd daemon and changes the user’s .profile. Can this be done within Flatpak or AppImage namespaces?

            Even the Nix project managing this complexity for each distribution’s package manager would be a nightmare.

            The Nix installer has a bunch of problems but I don’t see a way of doing hugely better.

            1. 3

              There is


              With packages. Most of the stuff is done in a post-install hook, but at least it cleans up after removal, works with distributions that have SELinux enabled, etc.

    5. 14

      I’m very curious how these companies address the fact that there are countries where smartphones are not universally owned (because of cost, or lack of physical security for personal belongings).

      1. 8

        At least Microsoft has multiple paths for 2FA - an app, or a text sent to a number. It’s hard to imagine them going all in on “just” FIDO.

        Now, as to whether companies should support these people - from a purely money-making perspective, if your customers cannot afford a smartphone, maybe they’re not worth that much as customers?

        A bigger issue is if public services are tied to something like this, but in that case, subsidizing smartphone use is an option.

        1. 24

          if your customers cannot afford a smartphone, maybe they’re not worth that much as customers?

          I had a longer post typed out and I don’t think at all you meant this but at a certain point we need to not think of people as simply customers and begin to think that we’re taking over functions typically subsidized or heavily regulated by the government like phones or mail. It was not that long ago that you probably could share a phone line (telcos which were heavily regulated) with family members or friends when looking for a job or to be contacted about something. Or pay bills using the heavily subsidized USPS. Or grab a paper to go through classifieds to find a job.

          Now you need LinkedIn/Indeed, an email address, Internet, your own smartphone, etc. to do anything from paying bills to getting a job. So sure if you’re making a throwaway clickbait game you probably don’t need to care about this.

          But even this very website, do we want someone who is not doing so well financially to be deprived of keeping up with news on their industry or someone too young to have a cellphone from participating? I don’t think it is a god-given right but the more people are not given access to things you or I have access to, the greater the divide becomes. Someone who might have a laptop, no Internet, but have the ability to borrow a neighbor’s wifi. Similarly a family of four might not have a cell phone for every family member.

          I could go on but like discrimination or dealing with people of various disabilities it is something that’s really easy to forget.

          1. 15

            I should have been clearer. The statement was a rhetorical statement of opinion, not an endorsement.

            Viewing users as customers excludes a huge number of people, not just those too poor to have a computer/smartphone, but also people with disabilities who are simply too few to economically cater to. That’s why governments need to step in with laws and regulations to ensure equal access.

          2. 11

            I think governments often think about this kind of accessibility requirement exactly the wrong way around. Ten or so years ago, I looked at the costs that were being passed onto businesses and community groups to make building wheelchair accessible. It was significantly less than the cost of buying everyone with limited mobility a motorised wheelchair capable of climbing stairs, even including the fact that those were barely out of prototype and had a cost that reflected the need to recoup the R&D investment. If the money spent on wheelchair ramps had been invested in a mix of R&D and purchasing of external prosthetics, we would have spent the same amount and the folks currently in wheelchairs would be fighting crime in their robot exoskeletons. Well, maybe not the last bit.

            Similarly, the wholesale cost of a device capable of acting as a U2F device is <$5. The wholesale cost of a smartphone capable of running banking apps is around $20-30 in bulk. The cost for a government to provide one to everyone in a country is likely to be less than the cost of making sure that government services are accessible by people without such a device, let alone the cost to all businesses wanting to operate in the country.

            TL;DR: Raising people above the poverty line is often cheaper than ensuring that things are usable by people below it.

            1. 12

              Wheelchair ramps help others than those in wheelchairs - people pushing prams/strollers, movers, emergency responders, people using Zimmer frames… as the population ages (in developed countries) they will only become more relevant.

              That said, I fully support the development of powered exoskeletons to all who need or want them.

            2. 8

              The biggest and most expensive problem around wheelchairs is not ramps, it’s turn space and door sizes. A wheelchair is broader (especially the battery-driven ones you are referring to) and needs more space to turn around than a standing human. Older buildings often have too narrow pathways and doors.

              Second, all wheelchairs and exoskeletons here would need to be custom, making them inappropriate for short term disability or smaller issues like walking problems that only need crutches. All that while changing the building (or building it right in the first place) is as close to a one-size-fits-all solution as it gets.

              1. 5

                I would love it if the government would buy me a robo-stroller, but until then, I would settle for consistent curb cuts on the sidewalks near my house. At this point, I know where the curb cuts are and are not, but it’s a pain to have to know which streets I can or can’t go down easily.

            3. 7

              That’s a good point, though I think there are other, non-monetary concerns that may need to be taken into account as well. Taking smartphones for example, even if given out free by the government, some people might not be real keen on being effectively forced to own a device that reports their every move to who-knows-how-many advertisers, data brokers, etc. Sure, ideally we’d solve that problem with some appropriate regulations too, but that’s of course its own whole giant can of worms…

            4. 2

              The US government will already buy a low cost cellphone for you. One showed up at my house due to some mistake in shipping address. I tried to send it back, but couldn’t figure out how. It was an ancient Android phone that couldn’t do modern TLS, so it was basically only usable for calls and texting.

              1. 2

                Jokes aside - it is basically a requirement in a certain country I am from; if you get infected by Covid you get processed by system and outdoors cameras monitor so you don’t go outside, but to be completely sure you’re staying at home during recovery it is mandatory to install a government-issued application on your cellphone/tablet that tracks your movement. Also some official check ups on you with videocalls in said app to verify your location as well several times per day at random hours.

                If you fail to respond in time or geolocation shows you left your apartments you’ll automatically get a hefty fine.

                Now, you say, it is possible to just tell them “I don’t own a smartphone” - you’ll get cheap but working government-issued android tablet, or at least you’re supposed to; as lots of other things “the severity of that laws is being compensated by their optionality” so quite often devices don’t get delivered at all.

                By law you cannot decline the device - you’ll get fined or they promise to bring you to hospital as mandatory measure.

          3. 7

            Thank you very much for this comment. I live in a country where “it is expected” to have a smartphone. The government is making everything into apps which are only available on Apple Appstore or Google Play. Since I am on social welfare I cannot afford a new smartphone every 3-5 years and old ones are not supported either by the appstores or by the apps themselves.

            I have a feeling of being pushed out by society due to my lack of money. Thus I can relate to people in similar positions (larger families with low incomes etc.).

            I would really like more people to consider that not everybody has access to new smartphones or even a computer at home.

            I believe the Internet should be for everyone not just people who are doing well.

      2. 6

        If you don’t own a smartphone, why would you own a computer? Computers are optional supplements to phones. Phones are the essential technology. Yes, there are weirdos like us who may choose to own a computer but not a smartphone for ideological reasons, but that’s a deliberate choice, not an economic one.

        1. 7

          In the U.S., there are public libraries where one can use a computer. In China, cheap internet cafés are common. If computer-providing places like these are available to non-smartphone-users, that could justify services building support for computer users.

          1. 1

            In my experience growing up in a low income part of the US, most people there now only have smartphones. There most folks use laptops in office or school settings. It remains a difficulty for those going to college or getting office jobs. It was the same when I was growing up there except there were no smartphones, so folks had flip phones. Parents often try and save up to buy their children nice smartphones.

            I can’t say this is true across the US, but for where I grew up at least it is.

          2. 1

            That’s a good point, although it’s my understanding that in China you need some kind of government ID to log into the computers. Seems like the government ID could be made to work as a FIDO key.

            Part of the reason a lot of people don’t have a computer nowadays is that if you really, really need to use one to do something, you can go to the library to do it. I wonder though if the library will need to start offering smartphone loans next.

        2. 5

          How are phones the “essential technology”? A flip phone is 100% acceptable these days if you just have a computer. There is nothing about a smartphone that’s required to exist, let alone survive.

          A computer, on the other hand, (which a smart phone is a poor approximation of), is borderline required to access crucial services outside of phone calls and direct visits. “Essential technology” is not a smartphone.

          1. 2

            There’s very little I can only do on a computer (outside work) that I can’t do on a phone. IRC and image editing, basically. Also editing blog posts because I do that in the shell.

            I am comfortable travelling to foreign lands with only a phone, and relying on it for maps, calls, hotel reservations, reading books, listening to music…

          2. 1

            The flip phones all phased out years ago. I have friends who deliberately use flip phones. It is very difficult to do unless you are ideologically committed to it.

        3. 3

          I’m curious about your region/job/living situation, and what about is making phones “the essential technology”? I barely need a phone to begin with, not to mention a smartphone. It’s really only good as a car navigation and an alarm clock to me.

          1. 1

            People need to other people to live. Most other people communicate via phone.

            1. 1

              It’s hardly “via phone” if it’s Signal/Telegram/FB/WhatsApp or some other flavor of the week instant messenger. You can communicate with them on your PC just as well.

              1. 4

                I mean I guess so? I’m describing how low income people in the US actually live, not judging whether it makes sense. Maybe they should all buy used Chromebooks and leech Wi-Fi from coffee shops. But they don’t. They have cheap smartphones and prepaid cards.

              2. 2

                You can not connect to WhatsApp via the web interface without a smartphone running the WhatsApp app, and Signal (which does not have this limitation) requires a smartphone as the primary key with the desktop app only acting as a subkey. I think Telegram also requires a smartphone app for initial provisioning.

                I think an Android Emulator might be enough, if you can manually relay the SMS code from a flip phone, maybe.

        4. 2

          You’re reasoning is logical if you’re presented a budget and asked what to buy. Purchasing does not happen in a vacuum. You may inherit a laptop, borrow a laptop, no longer afford a month to month cell phone bill, etc. Laptops also have a much longer life cycle than phones.

          1. 4

            I’m not arguing that this is good, bad, or whatever. It’s just a fact that in the USA today if you are a low income person, you have a smartphone and not a personal computer.

    6. 2

      Emacs shows matching parentheses by default

      It seems that show-paren-mode no longer has to be enabled?

      If so, that’s great. I’m trying to use most tools with as many defaults as possible.

      After 20 years on Emacs, my .emacs / init.el is very small, just a few use-package invocations.

      I wish make-backup-files defaulted to nil or that Emacs shipped with some mode that flipped those few variables that many people alter, such as that one, to more modern defaults.

      1. 1

        I agree that the tilde backup files are annoying, but they have saved my ass a few times. I think they are turned off when using a version-control mode and the file is under version control.

        1. 9

          I used to turn them off as well, until I discovered backup-directory-alist.

          (setq backup-directory-alist '(("." . "~/.cache/emacs/backup")))

          Now they don’t clutter my directories, but they’re still available when I need them.

        2. 1

          I’m not on 28 yet, but Emacs (with vc-mode, 99% defaults) does create the backup files even for files in version control for me. I’ve sort of learned to ignore them mentally.

          1. 1

            In my Emacs 27.2, vc.el has this commented-out code:

               ;; (unless vc-make-backup-files
               ;;   (make-local-variable 'backup-inhibited)
               ;;   (setq backup-inhibited t))

            …with a preceding comment claiming that this is somehow wrong. I must have learned this behavior on an earlier version of Emacs where that code was still active. Now I’m using Magit and I do have backup-inhibited set in version-controlled files, so I presume Magit is doing that.

            1. 1

              I just checked on emacs -Q (27.2) and backup-inhibited is still t on my version-controlled files. A quick (rip)grep didn’t find anything relevant though, but something must be setting it, and it’s not Magit.

      2. 1

        I honestly expect that a lot of old…experienced Emacs users will complain about this, as with most other changes to the old defaults that’s been done.

        But I agree, it’s great that it’s on by default now! One thing less to enable as a standard.

        1. 11

          As someone whose .emacs file is older than some of my junior devs, I say attack those defaults with a chainsaw. I can fix the defaults I don’t like, but new devs can’t, so the opinions of my fellow foggies shouldn’t count when making these changes.

        2. 2

          I thought that the guiding philosophy for improvements to the out-of-box defaults is that the old settings are still available there and experienced users will know how to revert to them if they wish (whereas new users may have more trouble going the other way). And as an Emacsen user for nearly [mumble!?] years now, I’m perfectly fine with that!

    7. 2

      I use my Yubikey with ykman, e.g.

      ykman oath accounts code -s
      1. 1

        With some basic dmenu wrapper it’s been a perfectly viable solution for me too:

        #!/usr/bin/env bash
        set -o errexit -o nounset -o pipefail
        SERVICE=$(ykman oath accounts list | dmenu -i -f -l 16)
        CODE=$(ykman oath accounts code --single "$SERVICE")
        notify-send Yubikey "$CODE"
        echo -n "$CODE" | xsel -i -b
        echo -n "$CODE" | xsel -i -p
            sleep 30
            xsel -c -b
            xsel -c -p
        ) &
    8. 3

      I am perhaps the very last person to adopt these newfangled rust-based versions of basic shell utilities…however I recently was forced to switch from gnu rgrep to rg by a large and unruly codebase I now work on. Wish I’d switched ages ago. rg is a lot quicker (largely I think because it carefully avoids digging through irrelevant stuff like node modules).

      What other ones should I look at?

      However…I only really call this stuff from emacs, so fzf is probably not much use to be as the emacs file finder is fine as it is. For context I hate change and it would require a minor miracle for me to use a piece of software not packaged in debian

      1. 4

        What other ones should I look at?

        bat is quite great, though its fanciness can get in a way (I mean specifically the line wrapping being done both by bat and by the terminal if you’d resize it).

        fd is great for simple file search (think: find(1)) though I’m not perfectly happy with its featureset.

        exa is a fancy ls(1) replacement. No comment here, it does exactly what’s on the lid.

        However…I only really call this stuff from emacs, so fzf is probably not much use to be as the emacs file finder is fine as it is.

        fzf is what you’d call a completing-read or “completion UI” in the Emacs world. fzf only filters what it’s given, defaulting to calling find(1) internally I believe. Inside Emacs you have the likes of Selectrum for that already.

        1. 1

          exa looks wonderful. Reminds me of tweaks I did on Emacs dired to achieve similar styling

      2. 2

        fzf is packaged in Debian as of Buster (10), and has a backport for Stretch (9).

      3. 1

        rga: ripgrep, but also search in PDFs, E-Books, Office documents, zip, tar.gz, etc.

    9. 2

      I had no idea about & let alone &! — this is so handy. Thanks!

      1. 3

        A shameless plug if you want more less tips:

    10. 2

      I tried to use it a few years ago. I don’t know if it still holds true but back then it felt pretty rough around the edges. To anyone finding the concept interesting but the implementation lacking: try Darcs.

    11. 29

      One thing I don’t think I’m ever going to get is how much Go does in comments. In my mind, comments are a way to communicate something to other humans, or, sometimes, a way to communicate something to some external tool (such as a documentation generator). However, in Go, you configure whether the file should be built in comments, you write C code in comments with CGo, you write shell commands for code generation in comments, and, with 1.16, you embed data into your binary using comments.

      I’m all for a kind of extensible meta language; a way to have commands in the code which the compiler proper will skip, but which official tooling might interpret. Something like a #pragma. But… in my mind, the official language toolchain shouldn’t extensively parse my comments.

      On the positive side though, I think what embed does is really cool. More languages should have a way to embed arbitrary data into the binary (without hacks).

      1. 17

        If it helps, you can consider the string //go: to be equivalent to the string #pragma and not think of it as a comment. Reusing the comment syntax has the advantage that parsers/formatters don’t have to worry about parsing anything other than comments. Much like how a shebang (#!/usr/bin/env bash) happens to be a comment in a bunch of scripting languages.

        1. 17

          Yea, if it was only that, I wouldn’t have been too worried. However, you also have a case where a comment changes the semantics of the following import after the comment. The whole thing seems like a giant hack to me; like “changing the grammar is too much work, so we’ll just make the tooling parse your comments so we don’t have to change the compiler”. I’m not saying that’s how the process is; I’m saying that’s how it feels as an observer.

          I would’ve probably done something like C, where lines starting with # are obviously going to be interpreted differently from other lines. The compiler could ignore all lines starting with #, so that the tooling could add new directives in a backwards-compatible way, and parsers/formatters could largely ignore them. It just would’ve been a structured thing instead of essentially parsing prose.

          1. 10

            The whole thing seems like a giant hack to me; like “changing the grammar is too much work, so we’ll just (…)

            This is how I feel about imports as strings. I see no good reason why we need quotation marks around the import paths in Go, it should be obvious for a parser how to deal with a path there. In general the Go syntax is… inconsistent at best.

            1. 3

              I see no good reason why we need quotation marks around the import paths in Go

              This is a guess, but it may be to make plumbing easier in Plan 9/Acme. Syntax like <something> and "something" is easier to match than just something.

              1. 1

                I think the comment you’re replying to is arguing that it’s not just "something" vs. something, but import "something" vs. import something.

                1. 3

                  Yeah, I know, but multiple imports still need quotation marks to be plumbable:

                  import (

                  works, whereas

                  import (


                  1. 2

                    Not sure why that would be the case. the plumber gets the whole string either way, expanded out to the surrounding whitespace if there’s no selection.

                    1. 4

                      But the plumber has to know somehow that it is a Go import path. The quotation mark syntax in Go (and C) makes that clear.

                      For example, should test, without quotes, really be treated as a Go/C import path? Wouldn’t that be too broad a rule?

                      1. 1

                        The plumber also gets a bunch of context, like the place you plumbed from. It should use that.

            2. 3

              I thought the same at first, but it’s simpler for the lexer/tokenizer to not have to know what mode it’s in. It’ll (presumably) just output a STRING token, and it’s only the parser that has to know that it’s in an import directive. Go is partly about keeping parsing (and lexing) simple and fast.

          2. 6

            It’s not my most favourite syntax either, but using #pragma or //go: seems like a really minor issue. I’m not sure what the motivation was for choosing //go: over # or #pragma.

            a case where a comment changes the semantics of the following import after the comment

            I assume you mean package foo // import "bar" type comments? That one, in particular, was a mistake IMO. But also kind of obsoleted by modules, and not really related to //go: directives.

            1. 1

              I don’t know what package foo // import "bar" does. Could you elaborate on it?

              I was talking mostly about CGo, where you have a giant comment with a mix of C code and #cgo pseudo-directives followed by a line with import "C", where the comment (minus the #cgo lines) is compiled by a C compiler and linked with the binary.

              1. 3

                It enforces that the package is imported as bar; often used for “vanity paths”; e.g. instead of This prevents some problem where one dependency might use the path, and the other the path. It’s a bit of a hack, and you can do the same with a go.mod file now.

                cgo is kind of a tricky beast, yeah; but also fairly rare. And since you can write any C code in that comment, I’m also not sure how else to do it? Overall, it seems to work fairly well and in the grand scheme of things, it seems like a fairly minor issue to me.

      2. 37

        But it’s a great way to pretend that it’s a small language with few reserved words.

        1. 7

          Even with the comment syntax, Go has fewer reserved words than C.

          1. 7

            While I agree with your comment, it’s a non sequitur. Having fewer reserved words and being a smaller language are two different things. LISP has 0 reserved words, therefore it must be the smallest language, right?

            1. 4

              Go is still a small language.

      3. 3

        This is the long-standing rationale for not having comments in JSON, and I think it stands the test of time (and complaints of programmers).

        1. 16

          This was just paternalistic nonsense on Crockford’s part. While I don’t really understand the Go author’s decision to use comments for pragmas, I would never in my life give up all comments to put a stop to it. An absolute textbook example of cutting off one’s nose to spite one’s face.

          1. 16

            I think it makes perfect sense for JSON’s intended usage as a data interchange format with good interoperability between all sorts of different environments. Extensions have made this much harder than it needs to be on more than a few occasions in the past.

            Now, if you want to use JSON for your config files then sure, it’s annoying. But that wasn’t the intended usage. If you’re driving a square peg through a round hole then you shouldn’t really complain about the peg shape but get a different peg instead.

            1. 7

              I still don’t buy it. If we’re considering the intended usage, one of the goals that gets thrown around is that it is “easy for humans to read and write” – just as long as they never need to convey something to another human being in the form of a comment!

              There are so many other under-specified parts of JSON, like what to do with large integers, or what happens when a document contains duplicate keys. It is extremely frustrating that comments were intentionally and unnecessarily stripped out, while the hard problems were apparently just ignored.

              1. 8

                HTTP or SMTP are easy for humans to read and write, and don’t have comments either because in the intended usage space it’s not really needed. Like those data formats, JSON is primarily intended to send text from one program to the other, and the “easy for humans to read and write” is more as a debugging and testing aid than anything else.

                There are so many other under-specified parts of JSON, like what to do with large integers, or what happens when a document contains duplicate keys. It is extremely frustrating that comments were intentionally and unnecessarily stripped out, while the hard problems were apparently just ignored.

                Sure, it could be improved, maybe, but as you mention these are not easy things to define in a compatible way since different languages deal with these things in different ways. But I don’t think that’s a good reason to introduce more interoperability issues.

      4. 2

        The comment syntax is mainly used together with cgo. Including a header instead of inlining C makes it feel less hacky and allows for syntax highlighting of the C code for a larger range of editors: // #include "project.h".

      5. 2

        IIRC there was discussion of adding pragma syntax, but it was decided that it’s not worth it to add yet another syntax, since there already existed comment-based pragmas that would have to be kept because of the go 1 compat promise.

    12. 2

      As part of our standard toolkit, we provide each developer at Skroutz with a writable database snapshot against which she can develop.

      I understand that historically we used to use the masculine pronouns in gender-neutral statements but this “revenge equality” of using the feminine pronouns now is silly when we have a perfectly good “they” in English.

      What I mean… When I see “he” in such cases, I understand that it’s most likely just the old convention used unconsciously. When I see “they”, I acknowledge they use the modern convention. But when I see “she”, I see it as an unhealthy revenge for people using “he” for such a long time. Can’t we just switch to the neutral pronouns directly?

      Disclaimer: I’m not a native speaker of English and not a speaker of Greek at all, so it may be more of a cultural thing instead.

      1. 7

        I generally prefer neutral pronouns, but the idea that it’s a “revenge” seems pretty weird to me.

        More charitably, when you read ‘she’ and think ‘are they trying to make a point’, that’s a perfect opportunity to consider how others feel about the constant, far-more-widespread use of ‘he’ (Poe’s law - are people using ‘he’ making a point that mostly only men can code? Because I guarantee that’s a real opinion people express in private).

      2. 3

        But when I see “she”, I see it as an unhealthy revenge for people using “he” for such a long time.

        IMO this has nothing to do with the author and a lot to do with biases.

        Many books written 2015-onwards use he/she interchangeably in the examples. Very well known, respected practice. I try to avoid the conundrum by using a noun e.g. “the engineer <…>”.

    13. 17

      You can pass a List<int> to a function that wants a List<int?>.

      It’s worth pointing out that this is not always sound. For example, this results in a runtime type error:

      addNull(List<int?> xs) {
      main() {
        List<int> blah = [];

      Of course, it’s valid to decide that this is an acceptable price to pay. TypeScript does this (with no runtime errors since the types basically just disappear), and I guess Dart does it as well.

      1. 8

        Isn’t this basically type covariance vs type contravariance? Some languages (notably Scala) allow to explicitly specify which is desirable.

        1. 4

          If the List type constructor was contravariant instead (i.e. List<int?> was a subtype of List<int>), then you would have analogous problem with the types swapped:

          oops(List<int> xs) {
            int x = xs[0];
            // do something with x
          main() {
            List<int?> blah = [null];

          So it doesn’t seem that this dichotomy is relevant here.

          1. 14

            An immutable list is covariant in its type parameter. A mutable list is invariant, neither covariant or contravariant. The proper solution is for List<A> and List<B> to be unrelated types in the sub typing relation.

          2. 3

            It is relevant. The covariance/contravariance of the type depends on whether it’s in the “input” position or the “output” position. But generally speaking, List is neither contravariant nor covariant.

            Kotlin gets this correct with its in and out qualifiers on generic parameters.

      2. 1

        “Valid” is a measured tradeoff between convenience and potential for errors. Because, it can cause runtime errors.

        function addString<a>(lst: (a | string)[]) {
            lst.push("oh no")
        let xs: number[] = [1, 2, 3]
        // straightforward function contract, returns a number
        function sum(lst: number[]): number {
            return lst.reduce((a, b) => a + b)
        console.log(sum([2, "bar"]))  // <- this produces a type error
        console.log(sum(xs))          // <- this doesn't, but it doesn't return a number
        // will this behave as it looks like it will?
        for (let i = 0; i <= sum(xs); i++) {

        The alternative is explicit variance specification, or seriously weakening subtyping relations.

    14. 3

      I think this is the best visualization of the Emacs undo system I’ve ever seen.

    15. 11

      To me this is like voter fraud. The amount of “stupid light” software I actually encounter is statistically zero — especially relative to “stupid heavy” software, which is far more pernicious. And so efforts to stamp it out or whatever wind up catching predominately “smart light” software, and do more harm than good.

      1. 12

        I think a lot of suckless projects count as “stupid light”, or at least have major subsystems that count. The complete lack of basic config without recompilation across almost all their projects is an example.

        1. 3

          Suckless stuff is entirely opt-in, and so not really germane.

          1. 1

            Opt-in, as in you can opt to use the software or not, or what specifically do you mean?

            1. 1

              Right. “Stupid light” is a subjective classification, what’s stupid light for you might not be for me. If you find Suckless software stupid light then you wouldn’t use it, and (presumably) everyone using it doesn’t find it stupid light.

        2. 2

          The complete lack of basic config without recompilation across almost all their projects is an example.

          Does the actually cause a problem for anyone in the target audience for those tools? The dwm config.h is better documented and easier to read than half the other configuration file formats I have to work with. Sure, I have to type “make” after I edit the file, but that’s hardly a hardship – restarting my X environment is more annoying than typing “make”

          1. 5

            Sure, when it’s just re-configuration it isn’t much more difficult than typical configuration patterns. However when it gets to managing patch sets for features, I believe it becomes “stupid light.” Because now I must decide on which patch sets I want, ensure they work together, that I’m including them correctly, etc. That is a ton of extra work when compared to some_feature = true|false in a config.

            Small nit, source that’s better documented than a config isn’t an argument for using source as the config. Nothing is stopping anyone from documenting a config to the same extent.

            1. 2

              Small nit, source that’s better documented than a config isn’t an argument for using source as the config. Nothing is stopping anyone from documenting a config to the same extent.

              Absolutely. My point was that the header file is a perfectly fine config file, not that it was magically better documented because of that.

              However when it gets to managing patch sets for features, I believe it becomes “stupid light.”

              I don’t necessarily disagree, however I would point out that the patches for suckless projects exist to represent rejected features, not optional ones. If you’re using more than one or two at most you’re building a divergent fork, a new project, not configuring withing the scope of the original project.

      2. 5

        This comes off a bit as “the other side is worse, so what’s the problem?” I don’t think it’s “statistically zero” either; for example in the Go community sometimes people get a bit too carried away with this IMHO. The whole math.Round() saga is a somewhat famous example of this.

        1. 4

          That saga sounds interesting. Do you have a link handy for reading more?

          1. 4

            Not the OP but here’s what I’ve found:

    16. 6

      A quite interesting idea. I find it quite aesthetically pleasing that this whole 3x3 block of keys gets used with AltGr now. Personally I have no issue with AltGr+{n,l,o} as my keyboard (Planck) has its AltGr in a very comfortable place but I know some keyboards—especially in laptops—have it MUCH worse and I struggle with entering Ł or Ń when I need to work with them.

      1. 2

        I am also Planck user and what I have done is to make space key behave like AltGr on hold while still working as space on tap. It makes working with Polish text much nicer.

      2. 1

        Can you share where do you have your AltGr key? :D I just bought Planck and I set it in place where left arrow is in default layer, but it’s not ideal for me.

        1. 1

          Two keys to the right of the spacebar, so probably the same place as you now.

          In general you can find my config here:

          Feel free to snatch some ideas.

    17. 51

      To whomever downvoted this as off-topic:

      • It’s about cryptography, security, and privacy
      • The source code examples are written in JavaScript

      …so which topic is it off-?

      1. 38

        It’s probably an expression of political distaste for overt references to furrydom rather than an authentic opinion that this article’s content is off-topic. I think this is absolutely topical content myself, but I’ve seen plenty of articles posted that I also thought were entirely topical (some of which I posted myself), that had off-topic or other flags because they were triggering to the political sensiblities of other users.

      2. 54

        Just posting in support of this.

        Folks, this is a nice high-effort post about implementing security, with code and references and the whole shebang. It isn’t shilling a service, it isn’t navel-gazing on politics, it isn’t even some borderline case of spamming a blog to get more views without care for the community.

        Anybody who flagged this as off-topic either didn’t read the article or is a tremendous asshole.

        Anyone who flagged this as spam either didn’t read the article or is a tremendous asshole.

        If the reference to furries in the title rustled your jimmies, despite the site policy here being to use the original title as close as possible, and you were unable to evaluate the quality of the article on its own merits, you’re a tremendous asshole.

      3. 27

        I get off topic downvotes for my posts with Mara too. Some of the graybeards here really dislike furries for some reason I can’t comprehend. I hope they can find something better to do that downvote furry adjacent content. Anyways, keep up the good work!

        1. 46

          I’m that kind of a person, though I don’t have a gray beard. To me it’s just cringe (for lack of a better word), just like an unironic “euphoric” atheist, a gun-obssessed anarcho capitalist, a “My Little Pony” Fanboy or a western-anime otaku. I honestly don’t see what the difference is.

          Any blog that tries to mix that kind of usually fringe subculture is fine by itself, people are strange, but I have my doubts how relevant it is to a general-public site like Lobsters.

          That being said, I didn’t flag it, I’ll just be hiding it.

          1. 16

            Setting aside how cringe or not it is, we should evaluate the article on its technical merits.

            1. 14

              In principle, yes, but we often have discissions on the form of sites (don’t post twitter threads, avoid medium, not loading without JS, too low contrast, automatically playing videos), and interspersing a page with furry imagary is just something that some people are used to (apparently this is an american thing), and others are not.

              1. 5

                It’s not an American thing.

                I don’t know why you think it is.

                Eurofurence, Nordic Fuzz Con, and FurDU are just a few of the international furry conventions that attract thousands of attendees every year (COVID notwithstanding).

                1. 16

                  Honestly that comes of as saying that McDonalds isn’t an american thing, because they have joints all over the world. Have you ever wondered why we are writing in English? I think everyone knows that american culture has a kind of dominance that no other culture has, because of hollywood, TV series and media in general. It’s always the de facto standard, and almost anything that is a thing in the US has following somewhere else. That has only intensified with the internet. But if anywhere in this thread, this is the point where we would be crossing over into off-topic territory, so I’d sugest we agree to disagree.

                  And regarding

                  I don’t know why you think it is.

                  First of all, Wikipedia says

                  The furry fandom has its roots in the underground comix movement of the 1970s, a genre of comic books that depicts explicit content.[5] In 1976, a pair of cartoonists created the amateur press association Vootie, which was dedicated to animal-focused art. Many of its featured works contained adult themes, such as “Omaha” the Cat Dancer, which contained explicit sex.[6] Vootie grew a small following over the next several years, and its contributors began meeting at science fiction and comics conventions.

                  So it literally comes from the US. But setting that aside, even if I didn’t know that, it’s something so inherintly american, that I would have been really suprised that something that at the same time desexualizes bestiality (by removing the inherent link) and sexualizes animals (by giving them human cues of attractivness and anatonomy) could come from anywhere else.

                  Edit: Also I was curious and looked it up, “Nordic Fuzz Con” has 1499 atendees in 2020, but considering how many contries these people came from, it’s approximatly 0.000008% of the population. It’s common that when people are too online, they overestimate how large their bubble really is. “Eurofurence” with almost twice as many atendees isn’t much better of.

                  1. 2

                    That’s super off topic for the discussion, but I’ve recently changed my mind about “american culture”. I now feel that a significant part of it is just universal, liberal culture, and not specifically American (hamburgers, pizzas and sushi being fun gastronomical examples). This post changed the way I think about this.

                2. 2

                  I don’t know why you think it is [an American thing].

                  Probably due to mako’s comment, which said they “always considered it an American subculture”. I hadn’t heard of it being American before… thanks to your comment I’ll unlearn that.

          2. 12

            Lobsters is general public? :-)

            I think you could tack on just about any group and the content would be pretty much the same. “…for punks,” “…for people with a pulse,” or whatever. I’ve no strong opinion on furries. As long as their hobbies are not hurting anybody, I’ll just file it in the “not my thing, but not hurting me” bucket and see if the rest of what they have to say is interesting or not.

          3. 11

            Technology doesn’t exist in a vacuum. Practitioners, users, researchers, and creators are people whose experiences of technology will be informed by their lifestyle preferences, race, gender, queerness (or not), positionality in society, past experiences, mental health, hobbies, friends and so on.

            It’s ridiculous and downright depressing to me that anyone would consider a blog off topic because the writer chose to make their technical narrative their own. It strikes me as the kind of narrow thinking that leads the tech industry to not be a very accessible or diverse place in general.

            Divorcing technology from the real world leads to isolation and atrophy (to borrow the words of Courant). It reduces diversity, leads to moral atrophy, and systems built without empathy for users.

            And it leads to gatekeeping. Don’t do that.

          4. 8

            The cringe is a reaction of your own, not the content itself. I would avoid downvoting a post just because of my relationship to it, so I’m glad you made the same call.

          5. 11

   caters to a very specific subculture that exists in the IT sector that is in itself part of a broader subculture of technology creators and maintainers. It’s just that you think your subculture is important enough to be let in and others are not.

            1. 11

              You’re right that “technology” is a subculture, but my claim is that we are perpendicular/stochastically independent to “furry culture”.

              It’s just that you think your subculture is important enough to be let in and others are not.

              I would very kindly ask you not not be this elitist about this, this is explicitly a techonology site, with no further designations. The community has it’s tendencies, this way or another, but that doesn’t change the fact that the average to something as obscure as a “furry” will be recieved with some hesitation. This isn’t anything personal, I can imagine that if I went to some “normal” site like Facebook and started talking about the need Free Software that most people would consider me crazy.

              1. 8

                It’s the exact opposite of being elitist, it’s about being inclusive. You call “technological community” a thing that is aligned to your culture and values and it’s just a very small fraction of the people that produce digital technology. You universalize it because you cannot conceive that there might be different ways than yours of producing technology together. You believe your way is THE way and you reject other ways.

        2. 11

          I don’t think it’s greybeards, rather non-Americans. I’m in the UK, London, and if there’s a furry subculture here it is so microscopic that I’m not aware of it. I’ve always considered it an American subculture, and possibly mostly silicon valley, but certainly for non-Americans I think it’s very obscure. I didn’t vote either way, and have no idea what the furry thing is about, just glimpse it once in a while.

          1. 11

            For what it’s worth, in America you don’t just see people walking around expressing as furries while they shop for groceries. Most of us have never run across the culture in person. I think it’s not that this is an American phenomenon but that online spaces are safer, so that’s where you (and we) see them.

          2. 3

            just how microscopic would it have to be for you to not be aware of it? do you keep tabs on all… culture… in London?

            1. 1

              It’s honestly not very hard.

        3. 10

          I really enjoy most of the aesthetic of your pages, and the technical content! I just don’t like the random stuff being jammed in between it. I don’t need a bunch of reading space occupied by a full color, artistic, glorified selfie 6 times. Or in the case of Mara’s first appearance, 16 times.

      4. 19

        I’m not going to flag it, but the „for furrys“ bit certainly is off topic

        1. 39

          Furry is my blog’s aesthetic and theme, and a significant chunk of the content, but the focus is 99% encryption. The parts that are furry-relevant are:

          1. A lot of tech workers are furries (or furry-adjacent).
          2. I’ve found that furries are generally more comfortable with the abstraction of “identity” from “self” than non-furries. I generally attribute this to the prevalence of roleplay in our culture. (I remarked on this detail in the post.)
          3. Implied but never stated in this particular article: Since roughly 80% of furries are LGBTQIA+, and queer folks are likely to be discriminated against in many locales, improving furry technology will likely have a net positive impact on queer privacy in oppressive societies.

          This page isn’t so much for furries than it is from a furry, published on a furry blog, and with a bad furry pun in the title.

          1. 27

            You don’t actually need to entertain anti-furry sentiment. And do not worry either, there’s also people who appreciate this. I’d rather see furries than most common traits of the modern web.

          2. 20

            A lot of tech workers are furries

            For certain values of “a lot”. I’d guess that this kind of stuff is more popular in the US than in India.

          3. 29

            The main problem with this kind of title phrasing is the forced communication of a political/sexual/whatever message, which is off-topic for the site, and most people don’t care, and don’t want to care for it.

            Anybody visiting the link would see that the page has a furry aesthetic. Then they would have the chance to read the article, or close the page. This way a message is promoted on the main page. I think identity politics are already too emphasized and destructive in discussions, and have a bad effect on communities and society. Consider seeing things like a Heterosexual christian father’s guide to unit testing on the front page. Without judging anybody’s identity, this is not the place and form for that topic and that kind of statements.

            1. 15

              I wonder why the simple reminder of a group’s existence bothers you so.

              1. 18

                For some reason you failed to understand my point, and are accusing me with something instead of arguing my points. Most likely this is because of my inability of phrasing my point efficiently.

                But in the same spirit: I wonder why do I even need to know anybody’s affiliation at all in context of a technical discussion?

                1. 11

                  One could make the same argument to flag “Beej’s Guide to Network Programming” or any post about how company X solves their problems.

                  1. 10

                    And usually they do so, considering it as spam, a form of advertisement… Only not of the political, but of the business kind.

                    1. 4

                      I don’t think you are familiar with at least the first example.

                      1. 7

                        But at least I can be familiar with the second example…

                        Your style is not that of a Friendly engineer.

                        1. 6

                          There was a time he went by a different name…:p (angrysock)

                2. 6

                  I wonder why do I even need to know anybody’s affiliation at all in context of a technical discussion?

                  Because the author decided, that their “affiliation” is relevant to their content, that’s it. You don’t need to follow that thinking, you can opt-out of reading their article, even hide it on sites like

                  Any articel tells you something about the authors identity and cultural affiliations. And most of us just fill the blanks with defaults, where details are missing. i.e. an authors gender on technical content is often assumed to be male, if not stated otherwise. Most of us who grew up in societies with Christian majorities just assume that most guides to unit testing are a variation of the “Heterosexual christian father’s guide to unit testing”. That’s bad because it taints our perspective, even on the already factual diversity of tech and the net. So IMHO it’s a good thing, if more of us keep their affiliations explicit and maybe even reflect on how those influence their perspectives.

                3. 3

                  Your points aren’t worth arguing. You assert several things (“most people don’t care,” “have a bad effect on communities”) without any supporting evidence. To the first about whether people care and “don’t want to care” – I don’t find that persuasive even if you can provide evidence that a majority of people don’t want to be confronted with the identities of people who’re considered outside the mainstream. But I also suspect you’re making an assertion you want to be right but have no evidence to back up.

                  Likewise, what even is a “bad effect on communities and society”?

                  You also express an opinion (“I think identity politics are already too emphasized”) which I heartily disagree with, but that’s your opinion and I don’t see any point arguing about that. OK, you think that. I think too many craft beers are over-hopped IPAs and not enough are Hefeweizens. The market seems to disagree with me, but you’re not going to convince me otherwise. :-)

                  1. 7

                    Your points aren’t worth arguing.

                    Start with a thought-terminating cliché. Then you start arguing my points. :) No problem.

                    To the first about whether people care and “don’t want to care” – I don’t find that persuasive even if you can provide evidence that a majority of people don’t want to be confronted with the identities of people who’re considered outside the mainstream.

                    I understand your points, but you didn’t really grasp what I wanted to phrase. IMHO “mainstream” and other identities should not confront each other here unless being technically relevant ones, about which technical discussion can be carried on. There are other mediums for those kind of discussions.

                    Lucky someone has managed to phrase my ideas better than I could above:


              2. 14

                As I understand @kodfodrasz, they were bothered not inherently by the reminder of the group’s existence, but by the broadcasting of that reminder to the Lobsters front page. When an article title on the front page asserts the author’s voluntary membership of a group, that is not only a reminder that the group exists—it’s also implicitly an advocation that the group is a valid, normal, defensible group to join. One can agree with the content of such advocacy while also disliking the side effects of such advocacy.

                What side effects would those be? @kodfodrasz said that “identity politics are already too emphasized and destructive in discussions, and have a bad effect on communities and society”. I think they are referring to way advocacy for an identity can encourage an “us vs. them” mindset. Personally, I see the spread of that mindset as a legitimate downside which, when deciding whether to post such advocacy, must be balanced against the legitimate upside that advocacy for a good cause can have.

                1. 9

                  ^ this

                  My assertion is that currently I see a trend where legitimate topics are not discussed because some participants in the discussion have specific opinions on other topics than the one discussed. Dismissing some on-topic opinions for off-topic opinions is an everyday trend, and if bringing our off-topic identities to the site would gradually become more accepted, then that trend would also creep in from other parts of the society, where it has had done its harm already.

                  I hold this opinion as a guide for every off-topic identity. I think of it with regards to this forum a bit similarly to the separation of church and state has happened in most of the western world.

                2. 6

                  by the broadcasting of that reminder to the Lobsters front page

                  The submitter (author in this case) has one “vote” in promoting their content on this site. Usually one net upvote keeps stuff in /new and outside the front page. What’s promoted this content to the front page is the site’s users, who have upvoted it enough to appear on it.

                  At time of my writing this comment, the current standing is

                  50, -7 off-topic, -4 spam

                  Also note that comments themselves contribute to visibility, so everyone commenting complaining about this being off-topic and “in your face” aren’t helping their cause…

                3. 5

                  When an article title on the front page asserts the author’s voluntary membership of a group, that is not only a reminder that the group exists—it’s also implicitly an advocation that the group is a valid, normal, defensible group to join.

                  Are you (or @kodfodrasz) implying that identifying as a furry is in some way so dangerous as to be suppressed by society at large?

                  1. 2

                    One can agree with the content of such advocacy while also disliking the side effects of such advocacy.

              3. 4

                Would you be fine with a BDSM-themed blog post on a tech topic?

                1. 10

                  It depends how the theme is explored.

                  If it uses BDSM culture to explore the nuances of consent in order to explain a complicated technical point, I’m all for it.

                  1. 3

                    What if it’s just interlaced with drawings of BSDM activities, like that old GIMP splash screen? I wouldn’t be caught dead scrolling that (nor opening GIMP) at work.

                    1. 8

                      If you work at a place that cares more about some bullshit policing of imagery than technical merit, that’s a yikes from me.

                    2. 5

                      There’s an inherent sexual quality to BDSM that isn’t inherent to furry culture.

                      You do realize that, correct?

                      1. 6

                        Strictly speaking that isn’t necessarily true about BDSM.

                        1. 3

                          Oh? This is news to me.

                          1. 16

                            Yep. There are people, for example, for whom submission is not a sexual thing but instead about being safe and there are people for whom having a little (in the subcategory of dd/lg) is about having somebody to support and take care of and encourage in self-improvement.

                            That’s not everyone, the same way that there are in fact furries who are all about getting knotted.

                            My point is just that if you want to go Not All Furries, you should be similarly rigorous about other subcultures.

                          2. 6

                            o/ I’m asexual but still very into BDSM (and also a furry!). I know what something being sexualised feels like — took a while to get here — and while a lot of people do link the two intimately (as many do for furry things), they aren’t dependently linked.

                2. 7

                  Actually, I know a real example. There is a Python-related French blog named Sam et Max. The technical articles are generally considered high-quality by the French-speaking Python programmers. But there are also BDSM- and sex-related articles alongside the Python articles. Even within a Python-related article, the author sometimes makes some references about his own fantasies or real past experience.

                3. 4

                  As long as there’s no overt pornography, sure. I’d read a good article on crypto that had “by someone currently tied up” on it. What’s the point of writing if you get shamed for putting your personality in it.

                4. 3

                  Already mentioned elsewhere but it’s my understanding that being a furry isn’t inherently sexual / about sex, though there can be that aspect. I certainly wouldn’t mind a post that was something like “a lesbian’s guide to…” or “a gay person’s guide to..” because those identities encompass more than sexual practices. (Someone elsewhere says that BDSM isn’t strictly speaking sexual, which … is news to me, but I admit my ignorance here. If there’s a non-sexual aspect to BDSM identity then sure, I’m OK with a BDSM-themed post on tech.)

            2. 5

              Consider seeing things like a Heterosexual christian father’s guide to unit testing on the front page.

              That goes without saying, because that’s the default viewpoint.

              The way the author clarifies and establishes their viewpoint does not make their technical content anymore off topic than someone submitting something titled “A Hacker’s Guide to MFA” or “A SRE’s Guide to Notifications”. The lens that they are using to evaluate a technical topic is an important piece of information that we often-times forget in tech with disastrous outcomes.

              1. 14

                No, it is not necessarily the default. But even if it would be, articulating that off-topic identity on the front-page would be unnecessarily divisive, and I’m pretty convinced, that people of other identities would flock the comment section claiming that the post is racist (sic!), and is not inclusive, hurts their feeling, and I think they’d be right (on this site).

                Hacker or SRE are on-topic tech identities themselves, while sexuality, political stand, religion are not really.

                1. 5

                  Hacker is a political identity. For instance, it’s one that I find really degrading when associated to the whole profession. The nerd identity or the general infatilizing of programmers is degrading as well. These are tolerated because they are the majority’s identity in this specific niche and presented as “neutral” even though they are not.

                  1. 4

                    Well I see some positive vibe about the hacker word in the IT sector, if you remember there was some hacker glider logo thingie around the millennia. I’m not one of them, and agree with you, I also find hacker somewhat negative, and not because of the “evil hacker”, but of the unprofessional meanings of the phrase (eg. quick hack). Still lots of fellow professionals don’t agree on this one with us.

                    Regarding Nerd: I also find the phrase degrading, and I don’t understand those who refer to themselves as nerds in a positive context.

                    1. 7

                      I don’t understand those who refer to themselves as nerds in a positive context.

                      The best way of removing the degrading conotation of a word is to rewrite its meaning. The best way to do that is to unironically use it in a neutral-to-positive context.

                      1. 1

                        yeah but the problem is what you want to appropriate. The word “slut” has been reappropriated to defend the right for men and women to have sex freely without judgement. The word “nigger” has been reappropriated because black people are proud of being black. But the word “nerd”? “nerd” means being obsessed with stuff and have very poor social skill and connections. Reappropriating the word flirts very closely with glorifying social disfunctions, exclusion and individualism.

                        1. 4

                          Reappropriating is done because there are negative connotations that we want to take out of focus; that’s the whole point.

                          1. 1

                            but Nerd is imho all negative. The positive connotations, like being dedicated and consistent on a practice is not exclusive to being a nerd. Being nerd is not even stigmatized anymore: now it’s cool to be nerd and still it’s degrading, like being a circus freak. You reappropriate a word to remove a stigma towards a category, but the stigma is already gone and what is left is a very distorted portrayal of knowledge workers.

                            1. 4

                              That the stigma is gone is precisely because people took the term and ran with it.

                              Besides, I have no problem with assholes (whose opinion of me is no concern of mine) considering me a circus freak: it makes them keep themselves at a distance which means less work for me to get the same desirable result.

                              (Also: I disagree with the term “nerd” glorifying “social dysfunction” - normalizing, maybe, but that’s a very inclusive stance, especially when these “dysfunctions” are called by their proper name: neurodiversity. And what precisely is the problem with individualism again? And another tangent: knowledge workers aren’t necessarily nerds and nerds aren’t necessarily knowledge workers)

                              1. 1

                                I agree with all your values but it doesn’t seem like this is what’s happening in the real world. Inclusion of neurodiversity is happening only in small bubble in USA/NE: if anything, neurodiverse people are just more aware of being different. Good for coping, not that good for social inclusion. Really neurodiverse people are still rejected by the society at large and at best they get tokenized and made into heroes but not really included. Also this appropriation of the word detached the concept of nerd from neurodiversity that if it was ever a thing, it’s not a thing now. Today being nerd is wearing glasses and a checkered shirt. Then if you flirt flawlessly with girls, entertain complex social networks and work as a hair dresser, it’s enough to say your hobby is building radios and boom, you’re a nerd. I don’t see how this process would help neurodiverse people and I don’t see how it is good to have to live up to this stereotype to be included in the IT industry (because in most places, if you are not some flavor of nerd/geek, you’re looked at with suspicion)

          4. 16

            A lot of tech workers are furries (or furry-adjacent).

            I don’t doubt that a lot of furries (or furry-adjacent) might be tech workers, but I’m not sure your statement is accurate, given just how many tech workers there are.

          5. 7

            For most people, “Furries” is “that weird sex thing”. I can see a lot of people wanting to make it clear that sexual references are out of place in order to make tech a more comfortable and welcoming place for everyone. I suspect that famous Rails ‘pr0n star’ talk has (rightly) made people feel uncomfortable with sexual imagery in tech.

            I’ve upvoted because the content is good, but I’m also not really one for keeping things milquetoast. I’d like to see more content like this. The technical parts are worth reading, even though I have no interest whatsoever in furries, and mildly dislike the aesthetic.

            And yes – I’ve discovered today via google that it’s only a sex thing for 30% to 50% of the people in the subculture, but as an outsider, the sexual aspect is the only aspect I had ever heard people mention.

            Going forward, I’d just suggest ignoring the downvotes and moving on – they’ll always be there on anything that’s not boring corporate talk, and the threads like these just suck the air out of interesting conversation.

          6. 3

            [edit: content moved to different post, this was accidentally off-by-one click]

        2. 12

          Yiff it bothers you, why not just read it without the images? Firefox reader view works great fur me.

        3. 9

          It doesn’t claim to be for furries, it claims to be by one.

        4. 5

          Is it, though? If it was written as “a teacher’s guide to end-to-end encryption” would anybody be flagging it or carping about the title just because the intended / primary audience was teachers but the content could be abstracted to anybody who cared about end-to-end encryption?

          1. 11

            That’s a good type of question to ask, but your example title “A Teacher’s Guide …” is not equivalent. The author being a teacher could be highly relevant to the content of the article; for example, the article might especially focus on the easy-to-teach parts of encryption. The author being a furry, however, is likely to affect only the theme.

            Analogous titles would change “furry” to another subculture that is not innately connected to tech and that people choose rather than being born with. Two examples:

            • “Hide my Waifu: An Otaku’s Guide to End-to-End Encryption”
            • “Communication is Key: A Polyamorous Person’s Guide to End-to-End Encryption”

            Would people complain about those titles? I predict that yes, some people would, though fewer than those who are complaining about the furry-related title.

      5. 5

        Belatedly, but I’m following up on these flags. I missed this story and am reading through it now.

      6. 5

        Obviously it’s great that someone wants to give us this information. In return we should give them respect and thanks.

        Showcasing their identity not only gives personal color to the post, it also donates some of the credit to the community they identify with, rather than to some default security engineer type we might imagine.

        Thanks to this personal touch, some readers can no longer say furries are unintelligent, or never did anything for them.

    18. 7

      From the title, I expected a VCS for audio files. That would be cool.

      1. 17

        I expected a VCS transmitted with speakers and a microphone.

    19. 6

      Between this and the recent home-manager post, I think I’ve found a new blog worth subscribing.

      1. 14

        That’s very kind, but you’re in for disappointment! I hardly ever write anything.

        1. 16

          all the better, less cost to subscribe

    20. 8

      Ok, now bring back phones with an integrated hardware keyboard like the HTC desire Z.

      1. 4

        My experience is that a fold-out bluetooth keyboard is much more comfortable and better.

        1. 6

          I guess it depends on your use case. If you have a proper table you’re right. If you want to have a purely hand held device for places like a crowded subway an integrated keyboard would be superior, I guess.

        2. 2

          I do tend to use various phones for multiple tasks as well. That being said, bluetooth fold-out keyboards were never a viable option for me (starting with some early folding ones for Palm handhelds etc up to the current Logitech Key-To-Go that isn’t foldabe but portable). My biggest problem with all of them was, that I use mobile devices mainly via commuting and it is just not really usable on your lap without the phone falling out or it being really shaky. A builtin keyboard might not be as comfortable as a separate bluetooth one, but it is fixed on your phone.

          A notable exclusion of the “external keyboards don’t work when commuting” is the ipad Pro with a Smart Keyboard - the magnets are holding it in place as good as a fixed one. (Can’t say anything about the magic keyboard but I assume similar) edit: i actually wrote about my experience using the iPad here - not really using it “fullblown” with a VM and stuff ondevice like you do but rather as a remote shell:

        3. 1

          Is it possible to use the one you linked on one’s laps? Or would I need a proper desk for that?