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Posted on 19-01-26, 14:46 in sr.ht, a new software forge
Stirrer of Shit
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Posted by Screwtape

Technically the service is self-hostable, but like any software designed to scale up to a public internet service, it doesn't scale down very well. The installation instructions mention PostgreSQL, Redis, NGINX, a mail server and a cron server, which is probably not unreasonable for the kind of service we're talking with, but if you're not willing to hire a system administrator to run the thing, maybe you should look at other options.

I agree. We already have tons of GitHub clones. What would be interesting to me is a lightweight GitHub clone without any dependencies, that's small enough that you could run it yourself as a hidden service.

I mean, there's already mailing lists. That's about as minimal as they come, and you could replace it with some forum software (in my opinion, Tinyboard would be the best option). But you would want an issue tracker as well, and mailing lists do need some effort to set up unless you're exposing everyone's e-mail address.

I had this idea that you would modify an imageboard to work as an issue tracker. It's perfect for the purpose. It would be possible to do it by just putting the repository under the www root and installing forum software, but it wouldn't scale very well. Some minor alterations would have to be made to make it production-grade.

* port TinyIB to C, removing dependencies on PHP
* integrate SQLite and a web server (I'm thinking OpenBSD httpd), removing the need to set up a web server
* add in support for "flair" to mark threads as issue/discussion/commit, like a fancier way of renaming your threads to "[SOLVED]"
* integrate git, removing the dependency on it
(this increases the binary size by about 2MB, which is a great tragedy, but nothing can be done about it)
* some scripting so that commits can be merged without having to SSH into the machine
* (optional) an SMTP or SSH server to integrate it with the git command line
(otherwise, just attach the commit as a file)

The end result would be a binary that takes two arguments, port and path to SQLite database, and hosts your issue tracker. It would run literally everywhere and require no dependencies, not even the standard library.

I considered writing something like it, but quickly gave up since the tools available for writing webapps in C were either rudimentary, poorly documented, or proprietary.

I did however find girocco, which is somewhat similar to what I want and more lightweight than the other options.

Anyone here know of any projects like I describe? That is, modifying forum software to use as a source code host, or small self-contained source code hosting software?

There was a certain photograph about which you had a hallucination. You believed that you had actually held it in your hands. It was a photograph something like this.
Stirrer of Shit
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Posted by tomman
I do need to carry some basic information about any specific design variation ever issued for a particular series, what I do have, what I'm missing, and for those pieces I have, in which conditions -Uncirculated/Very Fine/Good/Fair/whatever-, and any extra attributes like fancy serials and the like). As for the Touhou collection, it isn't simply matter of recording, say, what releases of a particular circle I do have, but also carry basic information about each circle, and since most (if not all) releases are made for specific events, I do need to store that information too - it would be very useful to know, for example, which DVDs came out for any random Summer Comiket.

Now you get why an application WITH a real database is needed: most people just resort to Excel (or for the FOSS purists, LO Calc), but a simple spreadsheet won't cut it this time - it would become a mess in no time, plus I HATE spreadsheets for anyting beyond quick calculations or scratchpad uses. Coming up with the database schemas is the easy part - I've already settled on using PostgreSQL for the task: it's simple, robust, is compatible with all major platforms, I've been using it for over a decade, and It Just Works™, plus I already have some ideas in my mind about the schemas design. The hard part is settling on a platform for the frontend.

Are you sure you aren't over-engineering this?
If you're willing to drop the PostgreSQL requirement, then DB Browser for SQLite looks like it might work for your use case.

If not, a PHP webapp would probably be the fastest to write since you wouldn't have to worry about SQL injections and the like.

There was a certain photograph about which you had a hallucination. You believed that you had actually held it in your hands. It was a photograph something like this.
Posted on 19-01-26, 16:01 in Cartoons, imported
Stirrer of Shit
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Posted by tomman
Whatever, where is my Mein Kampf anime by ufotable!??!?!

You're halfway there.


There was a certain photograph about which you had a hallucination. You believed that you had actually held it in your hands. It was a photograph something like this.
Posted on 19-01-26, 16:38 in I have yet to have never seen it all.
Stirrer of Shit
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Posted by Screwtape
MarbleMarcher, a simple game that demonstrates real-time ray-marching of 3D fractals, with physics. Think of it a bit like Marble Madness, but with ridiculous graphics.


Cool concept, but terrible execution. The levels were just painful to play. They were hard, right, but not in the fun way that hard games usually have. I mean, I suppose that's what you get without level design, but it still wasn't fun.

Beware of Bumps (the one with the H-shaped bars and the holes between them) and Around the World (globe) were kind of fun, but not much of a challenge to them.

Ride the Gecko was just painful to play. You kept getting stuck, and it wasn't immediately understandable why there wasn't any acceleration going on. At the same time, when you did complete it, it didn't feel like there was any kind of acceleration going on. Hated it.

Catwalk felt like it had some elements of normal platform games, although not much.

Posted by creaothceann
Can't get further than this level...

Benchmark: 23fps @ 1920x1080 in the first level at the start. That's with two GTX 970 in SLI.

Make sure to only travel on flat surfaces as much as possible. Don't go straight on, try to land on the flag platform from the side.

The trick is to accelerate up at a 45 degree angle to get more airtime.

There was a certain photograph about which you had a hallucination. You believed that you had actually held it in your hands. It was a photograph something like this.
Posted on 19-01-26, 18:33 in Board feature requests/suggestions
Stirrer of Shit
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I might be missing something, but is there a subscription feature like phpBB?

I can see that in the git repo, there's a listthreads.php, but it 404s if I try to go there on this server.

There was a certain photograph about which you had a hallucination. You believed that you had actually held it in your hands. It was a photograph something like this.
Posted on 19-01-28, 21:10 in sr.ht, a new software forge (revision 1)
Stirrer of Shit
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Posted by Screwtape
Posted by sureanem

I considered writing something like it, but quickly gave up since the tools available for writing webapps in C were either rudimentary, poorly documented, or proprietary.

To be fair, the tools available for writing anything in C are rudimentary, or poorly documented. It's not really a language designed for computers with more than four megabytes of memory.

I don't want to get into any language wars, but what I mean is that there weren't much in the way of libraries available, so you'd have to re-implement most of it yourself. What the language furnishes unto itself is a different story, and I think we'd have to agree to disagree here, but I personally would say that C is adequate for writing web software.

You do have FastCGI, nxweb, and G-WAN. FastCGI doesn't do much in the way of handling POST requests, which is what I'd like to abstract away, nxweb is poorly documented but I can't find anything about it, and G-WAN has similarly dubious documentation. It is also proprietary software.

If you know of anything else that takes care of all the HTTP weirdness and exposes a regular C API, please tell me.

Posted by Screwtape
Posted by sureanem

I did however find girocco, which is somewhat similar to what I want and more lightweight than the other options.

Isn't that basically just the git-web service that comes with git?

Yes, in addition to some other stuff:


Girocco itself comprises of a terse documentation, somewhat customized gitweb instance, CGI scripts for user and project management, and several management scripts for the hosting site maintenance.


for some reason, keeping this quoted "breaks the board layout"

Screwtape:
>sureanem:
>>Anyone here know of any projects like I describe? That is, modifying forum software to use as a source code host, or small self-contained source code hosting software?
>
>The smallest and most self-contained Git service I've heard of is probably Gogs, although I haven't actually tried it myself. If you don't strictly-speaking need to use Git, Fossil is a DVCS from the people who make SQLite, that incorporates a bug-tracker, a wiki, and a forum (all of which, I believe, are distributed, not just the version control). The repository format is, of course, a single SQLite database.

Gogs is very similar to what I want in spirit, but it has some issues in practice.

* requires extensive configuration and for git to be installed
* heavily bloated
* no support for anonymous contributions (?)
* developers are Chinese (?)
* not a single binary
* single-user use case not supported in default configuration

I want something that I could put in the same directory as one or more git repositories, double-click on, and it'd do the rest of the work for me. If I put in more parameters, I get more configuration, but it should work without having to configure it. I mean, it's not exactly rocket science to find all git repositories under ".", nor to guess which ports it should use (do the numbers 21, 22, 80, and 443 mean anything to you?).

Perhaps the best way would just be to take TinyIB/phpBB, add git binary patches to the list of supported attachment formats, and tell people to sort the administration out themselves. It still has the issue of requiring PHP which makes it painful to use, but from a functionality perspective it would be okay.

Fossil does seem very nice and designed by people with a healthy dose of common sense, but I do want Git. Fossil doesn't work in the way that I want it to work. While you can post anonymously on the forum, there doesn't seem to be any way to commit anonymously for instance. It seems to be a very well-designed system, but geared towards another kind of development:

Fossil and Git promote different development styles. Git promotes a "bazaar" development style in which numerous anonymous developers make small and sometimes haphazard contributions. Fossil promotes a "cathedral" development model in which the project is closely supervised by an highly engaged architect and implemented by a clique of developers.

Nota Bene: This is not to say that Git cannot be used for cathedral-style development or that Fossil cannot be used for bazaar-style development. They can be. But those modes are not their design intent nor their low-friction path.

Git encourages a style in which individual developers work in relative isolation, maintaining their own branches and occasionally rebasing and pushing selected changes up to the main repository. Developers using Git often have their own private branches that nobody else ever sees. Work becomes siloed. This is exactly what one wants when doing bazaar-style development.

Fossil, in contrast, strives to keep all changes from all contributors mirrored in the main repository (in separate branches) at all times. Work in progress from one developer is readily visible to all other developers and to the project leader, well before the code is ready to integrate. Fossil places a lot of emphasis on reporting the state of the project, and the changes underway by all developers, so that all developers and especially the project leader can maintain a better mental picture of what is happening, and better situational awareness.


There was a certain photograph about which you had a hallucination. You believed that you had actually held it in your hands. It was a photograph something like this.
Stirrer of Shit
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Posted by tomman

Progress on this has been very slow, due to constant power and Internet access outages in the last weeks over here (seriously, it's no fun to code with a hand on the keyboard and the other on the power button) - so far all I have is the schema for the Touhou stuff.


Why do you need to have your hand on the power button? If it cuts out, it cuts out. Are you concerned about data loss?
Also, don't you have some old laptops? Their batteries would function as a UPS, and you might be able to fashion one for your desktop computer out of them.


There was a certain photograph about which you had a hallucination. You believed that you had actually held it in your hands. It was a photograph something like this.
Posted on 19-01-30, 17:02 in Speed Runs
Stirrer of Shit
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Posted by neologix
45 minutes? I bet someone could speedrun that down to 30 minutes!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9zW4v1taJf0

There was a certain photograph about which you had a hallucination. You believed that you had actually held it in your hands. It was a photograph something like this.
Posted on 19-01-31, 20:01 in Board feature requests/suggestions
Stirrer of Shit
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What does the lock button on the top bar do? Does it do the same thing as "keep me signed in"?

There was a certain photograph about which you had a hallucination. You believed that you had actually held it in your hands. It was a photograph something like this.
Posted on 19-01-31, 20:25 in Mozilla, *sigh*
Stirrer of Shit
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Posted by tomman
Posted by CaptainJistuce
's okay, tomman. We'll always have Dillo.
...
And maybe enough interest in it to attract developers one day.


Tell that to whatever is left from the Seamonkey team, which is now down to... what, four or five heads?

Oh, regarding SM: there is the current roadmap, according to recent blog posts, forum posts by frg, and Status Meeting notes:

- 2.49.5: Coming Soon™, once they figure out how to build it on the new build infrastructure. Supposedly it backports quite a bunch of security fixes from Gecko 60ESR (remember that 2.49 is currently based off Gecko 52ESR)

- 2.53: Based on the final XUL version of FF/Gecko (56), but while there are usable unofficial builds available, it's not going to be released as a major version. In fact, it's unclear to me if 2.53 is going to be released at all, given that it has some important regressions (for example l10n is broken, which means no localized versions are possible for that branch right now). If you don't mind sticking to en-US software, I've heard that the current unofficial builds for 2.53 are stable enough for using them as your daily driver, but for me, en-US software on es-WHATEVER hosts sticks like a sore thumb and so I don't even bother.

- 2.57: Currently a hodgepodge of XUL and post-XUL code (Gecko 60). Very broken (Mail&News doesn't work at all, among others), you should not use those except for brief testing. But all development is focusing right now on this branch, which most likely will be the final SM version (because there is no life for us thanks to the sorry state of later Gecko versions, product of many API removals, and even if you had a team of unlimited monkeys writing code, it would take a long time to undo the sabotage). The road ends here, and even then we're far away from anything resembling a beta-quality release :/


What about Pale Moon? It's Gecko and it's still maintained.

Alternatively, what about Servo? I think you can run a stripped-down browser which is essentially just the engine and tab support. Like Midori but slightly better.

There was a certain photograph about which you had a hallucination. You believed that you had actually held it in your hands. It was a photograph something like this.
Posted on 19-02-01, 19:25 in Mozilla, *sigh* (revision 1)
Stirrer of Shit
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Posted by tomman
Dunno if you ever read my posts about Pale Moon on the old board, but I refuse to use the product from a notorious asshole (Moonchild et al.) ...

As for Servo, it seems no browser is built on top of it yet (Mozilla is only "borrowing" parts of it for Gecko for now), and in its current status isn't meant to be used by end users anyway. Also, be careful when mentioning the words "stripped-down browser" to me, as I would automatically interpret that as "Chrome-lookalike" and/or "minimalist UI", which are the main reasons of why I left Firefox in first place and why I'm deeply worried about the future of Seamonkey - once it's gone, it means my main door to the Internet will close forever (if the commies don't do it first with their forced blackouts!)


Right, I forget. That's true, but as long as it works it works. I think you pretty much have to be insane to want to work with this anyway. It's true, there are some people who do genuinely appear to doing it, but they are also the kind of people you would specifically want not to be developing a web browser, arguably fitting into that category. Which means you have two categories of people: those who do it because they enjoy web "technology", and those who do it because they're paid to do it.

I mean, I wouldn't want to work on developing the kind of web browser that I'd like to use. HTML and anything related to that is a big can of worms

Which leaves you with two options, either scavenging parts other people built for money and hoping the "commercial pressures" parts are neatly separated, or hoping insane people work on making new ones.

As for minimalist UI, I do genuinely mean it. As in, there is no user interface at all:


Keyboard Shortcuts

Ctrl+L opens URL prompt (Cmd+L on Mac)
Ctrl+R reloads current page (Cmd+R on Mac)
Ctrl+- zooms out (Cmd+- on Mac)
Ctrl+= zooms in (Cmd+= on Mac)
Alt+left arrow goes backwards in the history (Cmd+left arrow on Mac)
Alt+right arrow goes forwards in the history (Cmd+right arrow on Mac)
Esc or Ctrl+Q exits Servo (Cmd+Q on Mac)


The only buttons are the OS' minimize, maximize, close.

As you might be able to guess, it does not have any kind of extension support since it's just a very small wrapper around the engine.

I tried downloading it and trying it out, and it turns out the idiots dynamically linked it, so I can't run it with my version of glibc and would have to download several hundreds of megabytes of dependencies.

It must be the vaunted "easier dependency management" that comes from dynamic linking.
Posted by tomman
"It's not a new browser, except that it's actually a new browser, among other things".

I don't mind having a new rendering engine entering the contest - in fact we NEED more challengers!

But when "cellphones first" is the target, you already lost my interest. Also, how you deal with iThings, which are solely WebKit by design and by law? (Apple laws, that is!) This is also why those that consider Safari a "challenger" are delusional - it's the very same IE case (system preload, unremovable), but even worse (you have no choice in the case of iDevices).

If it's just a rendering engine, I don't see the problem. In theory, it should force them to dial down the insanity just a notch for it to be bearable to use on weaker devices.
Posted by Kawa
More like Disgust then, am I right?

You've just managed to describe two applications I hate.

There was a certain photograph about which you had a hallucination. You believed that you had actually held it in your hands. It was a photograph something like this.
Posted on 19-02-02, 13:21 in Mozilla, *sigh*
Stirrer of Shit
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Posted by Screwtape

Discourse is great. Normies get their fancy JS-heavy animated UI, and techies can use RSS and email without even touching a browser, even without a GUI.

It's not great at all. Why should I have to use email to read a regular forum? Why can't they just use any of the plenty of forum softwares which have existed since the 90's? Why couldn't they make it work without JS, like Reddit, 4chan, phpBB, and many other websites do without any problems at all?
Posted by Screwtape

New versions of glibc use versioned symbols to support binaries built against old versions of glibc, so I'm guessing you're deliberately sticking with an old or hyper-conservative distro to avoid change in general or to avoid particular changes you don't like. It's a free country and you're perfectly welcome to use whatever version of glibc you like, but as general advice, you'll live a happier life if you can avoid getting angry at other people over the consequences of your personal choices.

I'm running Debian stable, which is a perfectly standard distribution. It is neither old nor hyper-conservative. I have glibc 2.24, which was released on 2016-08-05. No other application has had this issue. Clearly, they are the ones in the wrong here for writing software that depends on running untested beta software to even start. My "personal choices" are not outside of the envelope.
Just what is it that was added in the last two and a half years that didn't exist in the C standard library before anyway? To my knowledge, the last revision was in 2011, which was 7-8 years ago - far before my "old version" was released. And if they want to rely on nonstandard features, why can't they link them in themselves and write portable code?

See, this is why I don't like Rust and why I don't like dynamic linking. Nothing but trouble. And for what? Saving a few kilobytes of binary size, that promptly get consumed by the bloated "standard library" you use?


There was a certain photograph about which you had a hallucination. You believed that you had actually held it in your hands. It was a photograph something like this.
Posted on 19-02-03, 16:07 in Mozilla, *sigh*
Stirrer of Shit
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Posted by Screwtape

Why should I have to use 90s technology to read a forum when it can be made to work with 80s technology? Besides which, typical forum software (including this forum) is very wasteful and inefficient, labelling each post with an author and an avatar and a posting date and a permalink and all kinds of junk that most people don't care about 90% of the time, just because without some kind of client-side scripting it's not possible to have it show and hide. Also, you wind up with a bunch of posts concatenated vertically so you have to scroll past the ones you're not interested in instead of just hitting the 'next unread' key, and because there's so much wasted space you typically only get 10-20 posts per page, instead of being able to look at all of them and pick out the most-interesting ones.

It's perfectly feasible to make it autohide via CSS or so, but it doesn't really serve a point. Unless you're browsing on a phone (in which case they get moved to above the post for that particular reason), you have plenty of free space off to the side. Generally, this would just be used for a large margin, since it's not very comfortable to read text spanning the entire width of your monitor. So you might as well put some post information there. Discourse has the tiny, round, soulless avatars, and wastes the infinitely more precious vertical space instead.

But yes, better forum software does away with it and just has a thin line on the top with name, date, post number, and menu.

As for posts per page, this has been configurable on almost all board software I've ever used, this being a noticeable exception. As I recall, on many boards there's a "jump to last post" button, which calculates which page it's on and links to /threadX/pageY#lastPostID. Anyhow, it's not something you'd need JS to implement.

The limit in posts per page isn't technological either, it's just an arbitrary default. Imageboards show the whole thread in one page without having any issues.

Posted by Screwtape

Don't get me wrong, webforums and imageboards have their charm, and foster interesting micro-cultures that wouldn't crop up anywhere else, so I don't want to *destroy* them. But it's not practical for a medium or large organisation to get anything done in a webforum.

I don't see why they wouldn't work for large organizations. If GitHub would go ahead and replace the "Issues" view with phpBB, would there be any noticeable changes but the theme? Or rather, why is Discourse better than regular forum software?

Linux uses mailing lists which are arguably even more primitive and they still get things done.



Posted by Screwtape

Are you sure Reddit works without JS? I think Reddit uses even more JS than Discourse, or at least New Reddit feels a lot more sluggish and swapping-heavy than Discourse.

Yeah, the new reddit doesn't work without JS. Old reddit can't handle collapsing posts without it, even though it's a simple change. It can still render posts, something which Discourse fails at due to transmitting them over XHR. Why?! It adds to the load time of the page for no good reason.

Posted by Screwtape

My apologies, I shouldn't have assumed. Debian Stable is perfectly respectable and not hype-conservative, although the release process for the next stable version has already started, so the current stable is a *little* bit old.

A little bit, yeah, but hardly ancient.

Posted by Screwtape

As a counter-point, I recently switched my automated higan builds from Debian Stable to Ubuntu LTS because Stable's glibc was too old for a syscall byuu wanted to use (getentropy(), added in 2.25) and because Stable's gcc was too old for the compiler features byuu wanted to use (C++17). So yes, other applications do have problems with glibc 2.24.

Fair enough. I'd still make sure to statically link in the getentropy() wrapper, since a build dependency is much less severe than a runtime dependency, but I guess it's a matter of opinion.

Posted by Screwtape

It's also unfair to say that versions of glibc newer than 2.24 are "untested beta software"; since then, glibc has had five stable releases: 2.25 through 2.29, tested by the glibc maintainers and in other distributions. Even if glibc is untested beta software, Servo is itself relatively untested beta software (number of official stable releases: 0) so it seems unfair to complain about the binaries of a project that expects most users to be actively developing and building from source.

I still think it's a bad idea. The binary is 306 MB big, and they can't be bothered to link in the standard library which is only about 527k (musl) or 7.9MB (glibc)?

Posted by Screwtape

You *do* know that glibc is responsible for the kernel API as well as the C standard library, right? And that the kernel adds new, more efficient API calls every so often, and glibc exposes them to userspace directly, or re-implements existing functions to be more efficient.

There's a certain noble minimalism in writing code that would work perfectly on UNIX Sixth Edition on a PDP-11, but it's not the One Correct Path. Especially for a project that (like Servo) is trying to experiment with making maximal use of modern graphics hardware, rather than being portable to an ASR33. If portability helps them access and try out more modern graphics hardware, like on Android or iOS devices, then that's good. More portability than that, like supporting old graphics hardware, or old OSs with old drivers, is bad for Servo because that's effort that doesn't benefit their primary experiment-with-modern-graphics-hardware goal.


Right, I forget that it doesn't only deal with funny GNU extensions. It could be a new kernel feature, but then why are they introducing hard dependencies on fairly recent kernel versions? They're writing for Windows too, and presumably they want their browser to work on older kernel versions (cough Android)
And it can't be the latter, or else it wouldn't be a hard dependency.

As for the use of modern graphics hardware, isn't the goal of Servo to eventually replace Gecko? Is it intended to just drop support for anything older than Windows 10?

The portability I'm asking for isn't anything insane like running on a PDP-11, it's that the binary releases should be easier to use than the source releases. If everyone's expected to build it themselves anyway, and the binary builds are broken, then why even release them? Might as well tell people to piss off and build it themselves if they want it so much.

Posted by Screwtape

Static linking is awesome, until there's a security fix for OpenSSL and you have to redownload (or recompile) half your OS install. And then again next week for the next security fix.

That said, Rust supports static linking perfectly well, it's just a bad idea most of the time. Many operating systems only provide their APIs as dynamic libraries (including Windows and macOS) so you can't build a static binary there. While you *can* statically link binaries for Linux, it's a bad idea on a glibc-based distribution because some authentication-related features depend on dynamically loading authentication plugins. If you know the app doesn't use any of those features, then go ahead, but it's not a safe default.

If you really don't like dynamic linking, you might look into Alpine Linux, which uses musl-libc rather than glibc and I think promotes static linking.

You forget that static linking isn't the only one with security issues. How many security flaws have there been from LD_PRELOAD again?
Also remember that the only thing that would need to be changed in such a scenario is the library version, it wouldn't be an update proper and wouldn't take much space to download.

It's true that Windows depends on the Win32 library. But that doesn't prevent your from statically linking in everything else. On Windows systems is probably where I've had the most use out of static linking, since you can download wget or ffmpeg or whatnot and have an .exe file ready to run without having to find ten random .dll files first.

Yeah, there's also Morpheus and Void. It's a very cool concept, but I also want stable software I don't want to update. In practice, debian wins out, as flawed as it is.

The ideal would be a Debian-based distro with apt, with all the packages statically linked using musl and apt set up to not be as trigger-happy with the "recommended software". Also sane defaults, like shipping with a moderately sane vim and bashrc, /var/ on tmpfs, "last used" and similar spyware removed, and application set small enough to always be in RAM like in DSL.

Ah, a man can dream...

There was a certain photograph about which you had a hallucination. You believed that you had actually held it in your hands. It was a photograph something like this.
Posted on 19-02-04, 22:04 in Mozilla, *sigh*
Stirrer of Shit
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Posted by Screwtape

CSS technically allows things to auto-hide, but doesn't really provide the kind of nuanced interface that native apps and JS can provide. For example, I can click a menu name to reveal the menu then click a menu item, or I can mouse-down on the menu name, drag to the item I want, then release. CSS only really lets you expose information on-hover, and that gets really frustrating really quickly.

No, it is possible to use a hack to make what you describe. In CSS, you can hide the box of a checkbox. You can also set the label to anything you want, such as another element. And an element can be hidden or shown if the checkbox is checked or unchecked.
It's slightly idiosyncratic design, but I've never heard of it causing lag, while I have seen many JS-heavy websites have this problem. For reddit, it'd work fine.

Posted by Screwtape

I'd also disagree with "there's space to the left and right, so you might as well put some information there". That's clutter - give me the most important information, but don't show anything more unless I ask.

That's a reasonable opinion. But I don't see what it has to do with discourse? You could make a phpBB theme with smaller avatars and the usernames on top.

I'll admit that Discourse looks nicer if you're into that kind of design (personally, I find it soulless, but that's obviously a matter of taste). But technologically, it's atrocious. It takes serious "skill" to design a forum software that manages to cause LAG on the client side, but Discourse manages to pull it off.

Posted by Screwtape

Eh, one person's "wasted vertical space" is another person's "easy to navigate even while scrolling at top speed".

No, this is just absurd. If you add in margin to make it easier to read, that's reasonable, but to add in padding so that you can clearer make out where each post ends and the next one begins while holding page down is madness.

That said, don't avatars accomplish the same goal?

Posted by Screwtape

Imageboards can show hundreds of posts on a page because they generally don't do any kind of formatting, just spitting out left-aligned blobs of unformatted text for the browser to stack vertically. Most actual forums try to make the page look a bit nicer by sticking things into a table, and they have to interpret fancy BBCode or whatever. That gets expensive - annoying on modern hardware, prohibitive on the 90s hardware most forums were designed for.

Almost all imageboards have text formatting - linking URLs, making quoted text green, sometimes youtube embeds and code/spoiler tags. It's true that there are slightly fewer tags, yes, but I sincerely doubt that any differences in performance would be due to that.

As for the HTML, I don't know what you're talking about. Posts are clearly delineated and put into different divs, which is not technologically more advanced than whatever this board does.

It would be trivial to make a stylesheet that made it look just like regular bulletin boards. I'm sure someone has done it.

Posted by Screwtape

If GitHub replaced their "Issues" view with phpBB, there'd be rioting within six hours, if only because issue-management relies on tagging and searching and phpBB's search is utter bollocks.

Discourse is better than other forums because the front page of a Discourse instance shows you what's been happening recently in the community, rather than immediately forcing you to decide between development/support/general/off-topic categories.

Discourse is better than other forums because when you go to write a reply, instead of giving you a big box to type in and a little window to review the previous comments, which are probably formatted differently and in a different order, you get a little (but resizable!) box to type in and the original thread is still visible behind it, looking exactly like it did before you hit Reply, so you can easily find the bits you wanted to talk about.

Discourse is better than other forums because you can paste an image into the message-compose box, rather than having to find a third-party image host, upload the image, and figure out what crazy syntax this particular forum uses for inline images on an external host.

Discourse is better than other forums because when post #297 quotes post #13, there's an automatic link back so the reader can see the full context without having to go hunting for where the quote came from. Also, the quoted post gets a link *forward* to the quoting post.

Discourse is better than other forums because when a thread gets necro-bumped, it puts a little marker just before the bumping post saying "7 months later" or however long the gap is.

There's so many reasons Discourse is more pleasant to use than phpBB, but it's not about any particular feature. Fundamentally, phpBB and other 90s forums said "a forum that's comfortable for humans is hard to implement for computers, so we'll compromise and make a forum that's only a little bit awkward for everybody." Discourse just set out to make a forum that's comfortable for humans, no matter how hard to implement it would be.

In other words, there are no technological reasons a large company couldn't use phpBB?

I don't know if you've been using some different features than I have, but when I go to the front page of https://discourse.mozilla.org/ there are many different categories to choose from. Sure, you get PMs when you're replied to, but phpBB has this feature too (subscriptions).
(Modern imageboards have this feature as well, but it requires JS)

It has the box in a different place, yes. I don't know what it improves, I just find it a nuisance because it always nags me that I shouldn't write to someone in the same thread more than thrice (I should instead send a PM? What the fuck?) and is in general finicky (for instance, sometimes the preview doesn't render)

Also, you realize that the box you wrote your post in is resizeable?
(Modern imageboards have this feature as well, but it requires JS, doesn't have a preview, and is a floating "window")

If you click on the username in "Posted by XXXXXXX", it does precisely what you describe.
(Modern imageboards have this feature as well, it does not require JS)

Links forward are neat, yes. I think this forum should implement them (modern imageboards have them), would be cool and pretty easy.

But there's another sacrifice you make for it as a user of one pre-baked product over another: for some unfathomable reason, you can only respond to one post at once. You can quote multiple, but this breaks the whole link business.

Pasting images is also very nice, provided it's enabled. It should be noted that when most of these softwares were developed, you couldn't just allow people to upload images willy nilly, would have been to expensive with the bandwidth. But yes, it should be added. As an optional feature, that doesn't break the board if you disable JS.
(Modern imageboards have this feature, in one click less than discourse, it requires JS)

Necro-bump notices are nice too. It's the only feature of these modern imageboards don't have, since it's not a concept which has to be dealt with.

My point here being that 90s software has received no major changes for 20+ years, and still beats discourse handily. I've never had a real forum manage to crash my browser, but discourse manages to fail at things you didn't even know were possible. I've never had a website that unintentionally managed to break basic features such as CTRL-F or scrolling, while intending to make them better.
Only with Discourse.

If you're comparing modern software to modern software, then compare 4chan to Discourse. It works just fine without JS, and only if you enable it you get the features. For discourse, it just gives up completely and tells you to enable it. Completely unfathomable.

No, Discourse is a cancer, just like that other application that begins with disco-. It's not just not pleasant to use, it's downright unpleasant. Even a primitive forum where you have to copy paste post numbers to and fro, it still works about like you'd expect. For discourse? No such guarantees. Can't even use page down without loading times.

Posted by Screwtape

The thing about LKML is that there's already a pretty big barrier to entry in the form of "having to understand the Linux kernel", so requiring people to learn mailing-list etiquette isn't that much more of a hurdle. That definitely would *not* work for internal communication in a company or a charity or something, where most people aren't 30-40 year old nerds.

That's true, maybe it was a bit of an extreme example. But what about forums? I've seen plenty of technologically illiterate old people posting on various forums without much trouble. I see slightly more that could go wrong with Discourse (Your computer wasn't made during the last 18 months? You clicked some tiny button and now you're quoting someone else and you can only tell by a small icon? You "liked" a post by accident?) than phpBB ("You forgot to quote" is all I can think of, which some people do in less busy threads)

Posted by Screwtape

There's also a good argument to be made that the rigid culture around the LKML excludes a bunch of talented people who would otherwise help make Linux even better. So even if Linux still "gets things done", maybe they'd get more things done if they used different communications infrastructure.

But regardless, Discourse *is* a mailing list, so it's got that covered too. :)

Excludes a bunch of talented people, maybe, but I'd reckon it also filters away a lot of undesirable elements.
If you're using Discourse as a mailing list, you're doing something wrong I'm fairly certain. Can you even make threads by email?

Posted by Screwtape
The getentropy() wrapper basically *is* glibc. I guess somebody could write their own wrapper around syscall(3) with all the architecture-specific variations of type, alignment, and offset for the arguments, but it'd be a lot easier to just statically link glibc.

Yeah, that's what I mean. If I recall correctly, you can statically link some parts and dynamically link others.

Posted by Screwtape

It's nothing to do with file-size, it's all about developer time. How many glibc assumptions would be broken by linking with musl? How many dynamic-linking assumptions would be broken by linking dynamically? If any weirdness does crop up, how difficult will it be to diagnose the problem, how difficult will it be to work around, how many problems will the workarounds cause? How many extra contributors will we get by supporting older Linux distros?

It's *likely* there'd be no problems enabling static linking, but there's a risk, and very little reward if any. Therefore, it's safer to leave things as they are.

Oh. I thought the long-term goal to produce a suitable replacement for Gecko, in which case writing code which doesn't have tight couplings out the wazoo seems reasonable to me. But since it's just a prototype, you're right - the only improvements would be very slight performance improvements.

Posted by Screwtape

When you say "they", do you mean the Servo developers, or the glibc developers?

Servo.

Posted by Screwtape

Servo just links with the current version of glibc, and when glibc supports multiple ABIs for a given symbol, the linker picks the newest one.
...
Apparently floating point math got overhauled in glibc 2.27
...
So a weird and rarely-used API got removed, and to preserve backwards compatibility, library functions using the new, simpler API got new symbols.

Isn't this what standards are for? Isn't the behavior of all those functions clearly regulated in C11?

Servo's not going to replace Gecko, no. Instead, bits and pieces of Servo are going to be grafted onto Gecko where they provide real benefit. For example, Servo's WebRender compositing/layout library is (I think) currently on by default for Firefox Nightly users on Windows 10 with particular versions of particular graphics drivers, and everybody else gets the current-gen compositing code.

By the time Servo's tech becomes the standard build of Firefox, 2018 graphics tech is going to be old and crusty.

So it will drop support for it, just a few years into the future?
That sounds slightly disconcerting. I mean, if it's slated for 2040 then fine, but anything earlier is kind of rude. I don't want to have to buy a new graphics card to be able to run a web browser.

"Easier to use" isn't an absolute, binary quality. Servo's binaries are directly useful to a lot of people, they're less useful to people who have to acquire updated libraries to run them, they're even less useful to people who have to boot an x86_64 emulator to run them, and they're much less useful to people who only have a desert full of rocks. But you've got to draw the line somewhere.

If the Servo folks felt they needed more testing on older hardware, I'm sure they'd put more effort into making their binaries more widely usable. But since they haven't, I guess they don't. And that's entirely their decision.

Well, that's true. If it's for internal testing, it's up to them. That said, I don't see how it could hurt to throw in a static build or two.

That's not strictly-speaking a problem with the idea of dynamic linking, it's a problem with a particular implementation of dynamic linking. It would be really easy to avoid LD_PRELOAD's risks by just removing that feature, but it's been kept around because LD_PRELOAD is so freakin' useful that the benefits outweigh the drawbacks.

Dynamic linking has tons of problems, LD_PRELOAD isn't the only one. I've had many issues with .so files and dependencies and handling them, I haven't ever had issues with binary sizes (note: I don't like nor understand it when they make true 31K, but it's not hardly a real issue which causes problems) or having to download a large amount of new binaries if some security issue emerges.

Dynamic linking is one of those archaic technologies I really feel should go away. It solves some complete (nowadays - not so much back in the day) non-issues, and introduces many new ones.


How do you figure? If a library has a problem on a static-linking-only OS, every binary that (directly or indirectly) uses that library needs to be replaced to get the update.


Right. But nothing else needs to be updated. Only the binary files. It's not an update that takes any time to prepare (short of compilation time), you don't need to increase any versions or write new man pages or anything like that, you don't need to test it, just rebuild. The download is very small in itself. There's no inherent administrative burden to an update which just consists of rebuilding binaries with new libraries.

Also, if you are concerned with binary sizes then switching over to musl would cut them by far more than static linking would increase them.


There was a certain photograph about which you had a hallucination. You believed that you had actually held it in your hands. It was a photograph something like this.
Posted on 19-02-04, 22:36 in I have yet to have never seen it all. (revision 1)
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Posted by Nicholas Steel
Neat article on CAPTCHA's and their becoming progressively more difficult.

This captcha monkey business is all so tiresome. At this point, it's not even to keep the robots out, just to train their AIs.
It's very easy to develop software to crack them - in fact, there's a firefox addon that does just that for you, using Google's public API. So how does it handle the actual mitigation?
Simple. IP blocks.
I mean, at that point you might as well just do it yourself and cut the middleman out.

In the long run though, a replacement is needed that isn't captcha, PoW, or IP checks. Does anyone even have anything like that in the works?

Edit: Bloody hell, this quote pisses me off:


“The tests are limited by human capabilities,” Polakis says. “It’s not only our physical capabilities, you need something that [can] cross cultural, cross language. You need some type of challenge that works with someone from Greece, someone from Chicago, someone from South Africa, Iran, and Australia at the same time. And it has to be independent from cultural intricacies and differences. You need something that’s easy for an average human, it shouldn’t be bound to a specific subgroup of people, and it should be hard for computers at the same time. That’s very limiting in what you can actually do. And it has to be something that a human can do fast, and isn’t too annoying.”

They miss the point entirely. If they'd make a captcha that required you to be good at English, I would install it in a heartbeat. It wouldn't only filter out bots, but also dodgy third world spammers and the kind of idiots who can't write proper English.

The Chinese have their own Internet anyway, what's the loss? I sure can't fill out the Chinese character captchas they use on their websites.

There was a certain photograph about which you had a hallucination. You believed that you had actually held it in your hands. It was a photograph something like this.
Posted on 19-02-08, 19:24 in Buying a new phone (not safe for tomman)
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Posted by Screwtape

- I previously only really used my phone for web-browsing, shopping lists, reading e-books, and listening to music. I've installed Firefox, Simple Notes, Book Reader, and Odyssey to do these tasks, and they seem to meet my needs. Are there any alternatives I should know about?

Naked Browser is much faster and smaller than Fennec, at least in my experience. On desktop Firefox is fine, but on mobile it's a bloated piece of garbage with poor privacy (in particular, saving metadata it doesn't have to, keeping cookies longer than it needs, and for some godforsaken reason recording your search history, even in incognito mode)
Posted by creaothceann

Games:
- Inside Out (lots of ads unfortunately, especially when online)

Have you considered installing AdAway? It's not perfect, but it gets rid of most of the in-app ads.

There was a certain photograph about which you had a hallucination. You believed that you had actually held it in your hands. It was a photograph something like this.
Posted on 19-02-09, 21:14 in Buying a new phone (not safe for tomman)
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Posted by Screwtape

Posted by sureanem
Naked Browser is much faster and smaller than Fennec, at least in my experience.

It doesn't sync with Firefox Sync, as far as I can tell, and it's just another WebView wrapper, contributing to the ubiquity of Blink/WebKit. :/

It's true that it doesn't sync. I don't see what you'd want to sync, since it doesn't have any addons. Bookmarks?
Using Fennec is contributing to the ubiquity of Gecko/Quantum. You can't win.

There was a certain photograph about which you had a hallucination. You believed that you had actually held it in your hands. It was a photograph something like this.
Posted on 19-02-10, 00:32 in Mozilla, *sigh* (revision 1)
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Bloody hell. I have an issue with Firefox. I try to google it.
"firefox ui crash" - get information about TABS crashing, the specific opposite of the issue I have
"firefox chrome crash" - and now for something completely different
Couldn't they have picked a name for their browser which wasn't already an accepted technological term? It's like if I'd start to manufacture cars and call them ENGINE™ brand cars.

On another note - maybe someone here can help me with my actual issue. When I use Firefox, I sometimes run out of RAM due to poorly coded web pages. This causes everything to freeze up, until Firefox offers to stop the offending script.
When it's done this, I can use the current web page just fine, and click on links.
However, the tab bar is broken. Can't even navigate left and right on it, let alone click tabs. And any JS alert just shows up as an empty box with "Cancel" and "OK" as options - neither of which do anything. Likewise, any other UI action is impossible:
* can't refresh page, with shortcut or button
* can't switch, open, or close tabs
* can open plugin UI (e.g. ublock) exactly once, but the button can only enter the pressed state and not leave it
* can't open menu or use back button
* plugins can open new tabs but they won't load or change title bar/address bar, however tab says "New tab"
* if plugins open more than one tab, both are "active", having close buttons and being white
* buttons react to hover, window reacts to resizing (partially - tabs expand and contract, and wrap to some degree, but if I drag it out too far it stops pulling in new tabs from the side, leaving me with comically large tabs)
* can't drag tabs out to form new windows
* clicking on close button on the real active tab (see above) gives the dotted rectangle around the tab title
* closing firefox is instantaneous
* cookie autodelete thing triggers on close

I get that I can just restart the browser, but it's a bit of a nuisance to lose all of my open tabs. Is this a known issue? It's bloody annoying, and it seems like the kind of thing which would get noticed and fixed. My gut feeling is that someone is playing fast and loose with the malloc(). It seems like the extensions and rendering and UI works, but the parts that the buttons are bound to don't.

Edit: apparently, if I open another instance of firefox and close the dead one, the tabs still show up as "Switch to tab" under autocomplete, although unclickable.

Truly a mystery.

There was a certain photograph about which you had a hallucination. You believed that you had actually held it in your hands. It was a photograph something like this.
Posted on 19-02-11, 16:35 in Mozilla, *sigh*
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Posted by funkyass
this has happened to me in the past, and the only way to fix it is killall Mozilla instances.

Its poor memory accounting I think. TO Be fair to Mozilla, they where calling the UI chrome long before google even had android.

stick bugzilla in any bug queries for firefox.

No, you can just press 'X' on the window and it closes down fine. But I lose my tabs, which is kind of a nuisance.
Mozilla didn't do anything wrong, it's Google that I blame for hijacking a standard term to use as a browser name.

Thanks for the tip. It does become more relevant, but I still don't know what to search for and "Chrome" still means the browser. "firefox ui crash memory bugzilla" doesn't give me anything relevant.

Oh well. I suppose I should just get more RAM. That's the 2019 way to solve things, right?


There was a certain photograph about which you had a hallucination. You believed that you had actually held it in your hands. It was a photograph something like this.
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“By summer 2019, the Firefox browser will also block, by default, all cross-site third-party trackers, strengthening privacy without your having to do a thing.”

I don't like Mozilla, but credit has to be given where credit is due. For a long time now, they've been integrating this kind of stuff into their browser by default. There has already been some work on the anti-adblock front. Hopefully, this will lead to an arms race, and one that is a winnable one for humanity.

They should take the leap already and start shipping it with built in opt-out ad-blocking. Starve the beast, you know what I mean? It's a parasitic industry anyway, and it would greatly improve the user experience, which in turn would increase adoption. It's a win-win situation - either their competitors refuse due to anti-trust legislation, boosting Mozilla's market share, or they follow suit, decreasing Google's.

At any rate, it would be quite a cut to the revenues of those kinds of businesses. Even with Firefox at "only" 5% of market share, albeit probably somewhat over-represented in the first world segment whose clicks are the most valuable, a 5% decrease in revenue would easily push many of the advertising companies dangerously close to the red.

There was a certain photograph about which you had a hallucination. You believed that you had actually held it in your hands. It was a photograph something like this.
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