Drew DeVault's Blog

A history of emergent intelligence

As you all know, the simulation of universe 2813/9301 is now coming to a close. This simulation is notable for being the first simulated universe suitable for hosting intelligent life, but yesterday the simulation reached a state where we believe no additional intelligences will emerge. It seems the final state of this set of physical laws is a dark and empty universe of slowly evaporating black holes. Though, given the historical significance of this simulation, it’s unlikely we we’ll be turning it off any time soon!

On taking good care of your phone

I just finished replacing the micro-USB daughterboard on my Samsung Galaxy S5, which involved taking the phone most of the way apart, doing the replacement, and putting it back together. This inspired me to write about my approach to maintaining my cell phone. I’ve had this phone for a while and I have no plans to upgrade - I backed the upcoming Purism phone, but I expect to spend months/years on the software before I’ll be using that as my daily driver.

Portability matters

There are many kinds of “portability” in software. Portability refers to the relative ease of “porting” a piece of software to another system. That platform might be another operating system, another CPU architecture, another web browser, another filesystem… and so on. More portable software uses the limited subset of interfaces that are common between systems, and less portable software leverages interfaces specific to a particular system.

Nvidia sucks and I'm sick of it

There’s something I need to make clear about Nvidia. Sway 1.0, which is the release after next, is not going to support the Nvidia proprietary driver, EGLStreams, or any other proprietary graphics APIs. The only supported driver for Nvidia cards will be the open source nouveau driver. I will explain why.

The future of Wayland, and sway's role in it

Today I’ve released sway 0.15-rc1, the first release candidate for the final 0.x release of sway. That’s right - after sway 0.15 will be sway 1.0. After today, no new features are being added to sway until we complete the migration to our new plumbing library, wlroots. This has been a long time coming, and I would love to introduce you to wlroots and tell you what to expect from sway 1.0.

Analyzing HN moderation & censorship

Hacker News is a popular “hacker” news board. One thing I love about HN is that the moderation generally does an excellent job. The site is free of spam and the conversations are usually respectful and meaningful (if pessimistic at times). However, there is always room for improvement, and moderation on Hacker News is no exception.

Killing ants with nuclear weapons

Complexity is quickly becoming an epidemic. In this developer’s opinion, complexity is the ultimate enemy - the final boss - of good software design. Complicated software generally has complicated bugs. Simple software generally has simple bugs. It’s as easy as that.

When not to use a regex

The other day, I saw Learn regex the easy way. This is a great resource, but I felt the need to pen a post explaining that regexes are usually not the right approach.

State of Sway August 2017

Is it already time to write another one of these? Phew, time flies. Sway marches ever forward. Sway 0.14.0 was recently released, adding much asked-after support for tray icons and fixing some long-standing bugs. As usual, we already have some exciting features slated for 0.15.0 as well, notably some cool improvements to clipboard support. Look forward to it!

Archive it or you will miss it

Let’s open with some quotes from the Wikipedia article on link rot: