Drew DeVault's Blog

on Drew DeVault's blog

I don't trust Signal

Occasionally when Signal is in the press and getting a lot of favorable discussion, I feel the need to step into various forums, IRC channels, and so on, and explain why I don’t trust Signal. Let’s do a blog post instead.

Setting up a local dev mail server

As part of my work on lists.sr.ht, it was necessary for me to configure a self-contained mail system on localhost that I could test with. I hope that others will go through a similar process in the future when they set up the code for hacking on locally or when working on other email related software, so here’s a guide on how you can set it up.

Writing a Wayland compositor with wlroots: shells

I apologise for not writing about wlroots more frequently. I don’t really enjoy working on the McWayface codebase this series of blog posts was originally about, so we’re just going to dismiss that and talk about the various pieces of a Wayland compositor in a more free-form style. I hope you still find it useful!

Git is already federated & decentralized

There have always been murmurs about “replacing GitHub with something decentralized!”, but in the wake of the Microsoft acquisition these murmurs have become conversations. In particular, this blog post is a direct response to forge-net (formerly known as GitPub). They want to federate and decentralize git using ActivityPub, the same technology leveraged by Mastodon and PeerTube. But get this: git is already federated and decentralized!

Input handling in wlroots

I’ve said before that wlroots is a “batteries not included” kind of library, and one of the places where that is most apparent is with our approach to input handling. We implemented a very hands-off design for input, in order to support many use-cases: desktop input, phones with and without USB-OTG HIDs plugged in, multiple mice bound to a single cursor, multiple keyboards per seat, simulated input from fake input devices, on-screen keyboards, input which is processed by the compositor but not sent to clients… we support all of these use-cases and even more. However, the drawback of our powerful design is that it’s confusing. Very confusing.

Simple, correct, fast: in that order

The single most important quality in a piece of software is simplicity. It’s more important than doing the task you set out to achieve. It’s more important than performance. The reason is straightforward: if your solution is not simple, it will not be correct or fast.

The advantages of an email-driven git workflow

git 2.18.0 has been released, and with it my first contribution to git has shipped! My patch was for a git feature which remains disappointingly obscure: git send-email. I want to introduce my readers to this feature and speak to the benefits of using an email-driven git workflow - the workflow git was originally designed for.

A quick review of my Let's Encrypt setup

Let’s Encrypt makes TLS much easier for pretty much everyone, but can still be annoying to use. It took me a while to smooth over the cracks in my Let’s Encrypt configuration across my (large) fleet of different TLS-enabled services. I wanted to take a quick moment to share setup with you.

Should you move from GitHub to sr.ht

I’m not terribly concerned about Microsoft’s acquisition of GitHub, but I don’t fault those who are worried. I’ve been working on my alternative platform, sr.ht, for quite a while. I’m not about to leave GitHub because of Microsoft alone. I do have some political disagreements with GitHub and Microsoft, but those are also not the main reason that I’m building sr.ht. I simply think I can do it better. If my approach aligns with your needs, then sr.ht may be the platform for you.

How I maintain FOSS projects

Today’s is another blog post which has been on my to-write list for a while. I have hesitated a bit to write about this, because I’m certain that my approach isn’t perfect. I think it’s pretty good, though, and people who work with me in FOSS agreed after a quick survey. So! Let’s at least put it out there and discuss it.