This article has been on my to-write list for a while now. In my opinion, fork is one of the most questionable design choices of Unix. I don’t understand the circumstances that led to its creation, and I grieve over the legacy rationale that keeps it alive to this day.
For a long time, it was just setting the default search provider to Google in exchange for a beefy stipend. Later, paid links in your new tab page were added. Then, a proprietary service, Pocket, was bundled into the browser - not as an addon, but a hardcoded feature. In the past few days, we’ve discovered an advertisement in the form of browser extension was sideloaded into user browsers. Whoever is leading these decisions at Mozilla needs to be stopped.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.