AlexMax's recent activity

  1. Comment on Discord is not an acceptable choice for free software projects in ~comp

    AlexMax
    (edited )
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    That's unfortunate, and I'm not going to necessarily disagree with you. When I first got started with Matrix, far and away the biggest pain in the neck was encrypted chat, so if they were running...

    That's unfortunate, and I'm not going to necessarily disagree with you. When I first got started with Matrix, far and away the biggest pain in the neck was encrypted chat, so if they were running into problems testing out encrypted chat, they should probably avoid that unless they actually need the extra security.

    Even going past that particular issue, I do think that matrix is a little janky and slow and that Riot's user interface could use some improvement. But I also think that they are probably in the best position to be the next dominant open protocol for chat, as I don't know of another open chat platform that is as popular as Matrix while also having a Slack-like feature set and does federation.

    I donate to the project monthly because I believe in the mission. Hopefully Mozilla's involvement with the project will bring additional developer attention as well.

    5 votes
  2. Comment on Discord is not an acceptable choice for free software projects in ~comp

    AlexMax
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    I agree on this point, which is why I think that Matrix probably has the best shot out of any free software project to take on modern chat applications. They're federated, which is what I think is...

    IMO "don't use it, use these <10 other inconvenient to setup and/or self-hosted alternatives, each one individually only replacing a single feature of discord, and all of which have minuscule userbase by comparison> instead" is a rather unrealistic expectation and likely not very compelling for most projects at this point

    I agree on this point, which is why I think that Matrix probably has the best shot out of any free software project to take on modern chat applications.

    They're federated, which is what I think is necessary to take on the convenience of Discord's "one account works everywhere", but they also put a ton of effort into protocol bridges. Their IRC bridge has almost completely supplanted my use of my old self-hosted IRC boucer, and they also have integrations with the usual suspects like Slack, Discord and Gitter.

    Considering all this, the absence of Matrix from the article is incredibly strange. I wonder why they didn't mention it.

    12 votes
  3. Comment on Steam - 2019 year in review in ~games

    AlexMax
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    I have to say, after getting over the initial hump of learning a new system, I'm actually quite pleased with the new Library. I never used the tagging system built into the library before, but now...

    I have to say, after getting over the initial hump of learning a new system, I'm actually quite pleased with the new Library. I never used the tagging system built into the library before, but now I have several dynamic collections to sort through my library, for both games I've installed and games I don't. Plus, the new game pane on the right looks so much better than it used to and is much more logically laid out - I don't have to hunt for stuff like the Store and Community links as much as I did.

    4 votes
  4. Comment on What are your favorite concept albums? in ~music

    AlexMax
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    Probably my favorite concept album is I, Phantom by New England rapper Mr. Lif. It was one of the cornerstone releases of the early Definitive Jux record label, and the older I get, the more my...

    Probably my favorite concept album is I, Phantom by New England rapper Mr. Lif.

    It was one of the cornerstone releases of the early Definitive Jux record label, and the older I get, the more my mind returns to it. Focusing on the dark side of the American dream, the lyrics do not paint a very bright picture, and the ending is particularly bleak, but it's such a pleasure to listen to with great lyricism and flow on top of some amazing beats it's really hard not to listen to it the whole way through.

    And the strangest part is that the only reason I know this album exists is because of Tony Hawk's Underground. It had a song on it by Mr. Lif called Phantom, but despite the name this song is not on the I, Phantom album anywhere except as background music to the opening skit. I thought it was strange to omit it, especially as it was such a great song on its own merits, but now I understand that it just didn't fit into the POV narrative of the album.

    1 vote
  5. Comment on The new Chromium-based Microsoft Edge browser is out of preview and available for download in ~tech

    AlexMax
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    I went ahead and installed it on my Windows machine and have been taking it for a test spin. So far, it has proven itself serviceable, and I decided to uninstall Chrome since having two chromium...

    I went ahead and installed it on my Windows machine and have been taking it for a test spin. So far, it has proven itself serviceable, and I decided to uninstall Chrome since having two chromium browsers felt redundant, though Firefox remains my daily driver.

    The only issue I have is that on the "new tab" screen, it appears that searches always goes to Bing and ignores your configured default search engine. Searches in the address bar always go to the right place, but still, kind of annoying.

    2 votes
  6. Comment on Does high FPS make you a better gamer? ft. Shroud - Final answer in ~games

    AlexMax
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    I remember the switch to LCD monitors, and it was a game-changer for me in two respects. One, I no longer needed to lug that heavy monitor around. But two, the 60hz cap freed me from having to...

    I remember the switch to LCD monitors, and it was a game-changer for me in two respects. One, I no longer needed to lug that heavy monitor around. But two, the 60hz cap freed me from having to chase super-duper-high framerates. It was kind of a relief to be able to get away with getting cheaper graphics cards, since once I had a steady >60fps I was "done" and didn't need to worry about anything higher, not to mention that 60hz on an LCD was much easier on my eyes than the equivalent on a CRT.

    I suppose Pandora's box couldn't stay closed forever. The results of the video aren't too surprising, and although I'm quite happy with my current 60hz monitor, my next build is probably going to be done with the intention of getting a VR headset, which means I'm going to be once again chasing acceptable framerates with both high refresh rates and large resolutions. Good times.

    3 votes
  7. Comment on Ooblets announces Epic Store exclusivity and explains some details of the deal, including that it matched their expectation of sales across all stores in ~games

    AlexMax
    (edited )
    Link Parent
    I'm not on the hate-train, in that I don't go out of my way to rage about it in literally every thread about Epic - lest I get lumped in with some of the crazies. However, I have a severe distrust...

    I'm not on the hate-train, in that I don't go out of my way to rage about it in literally every thread about Epic - lest I get lumped in with some of the crazies. However, I have a severe distrust of EGS.

    I suppose part of it is leftover from incredibly bad memories of PC gaming in the 00's outside of Steam. The competition was either releasing 5-CD games in paper sleeves with CD keys and badly-behaved DRM for games that were poorly ported from consoles, or trying to coax you onto awful digital distribution services that were slow, inconvenient and had lame restrictions like download limits. Steam had some scalability problems around the time of Half Life 2's release, but other than that I always had positive experiences with it and Valve always seemed to make smart decisions with Steam, dragging the rest of the industry kicking and screaming into providing good digital distribution.

    You owned your games forever and could download them anytime you wanted. Files were not encrypted or under lock and key, and external DRM was discouraged. The store started out curated, but then they opened the floodgates after developer complaints about not being able to get onto the store, which I maintain was the smart decision at the time, even if it did have some unfortunate knock-on effects. And of course the sales ensured that I never had to pay full price for a AAA game if I was just patient enough. Steam, in my opinion, was a huge net positive for PC gaming, and quite possibly might have even "saved" it.

    Having said all of that, I'm not a zealot. I understand that indie developers have to eat, and I don't mind buying games directly from developers, or through a store like itch.io or Humble Bundle, if it will put more money in their coffers. I also personally think that GoG does a better job with fixing up old games. I don't even mind Origin or Battle.net, because those programs are pleasant to use and Origin's refund policy in particular was fantastic and a necessary advancement for digital distribution.

    Epic Game Store, distinct from the others, leaves a bad taste in my mouth. It does not appear to me that they're competing other digital distribution platforms on any of their merits of their platform, all they have to offer is their enormous warchest and their buying-out of exclusives. When Epic buys an exclusive, there's no net positive to the consumer like when Steam dragged the industry towards digital, or when Origin introduced their refund policy, and that's fundamentally what bothers me, they're trying to "win" marketshare without actually delivering a better product.

    There's other stuff that bothers me about EGS too. Their application is a janky jittery mess that is unpleasant to use (by far the worst of the major digital distribution stores), and their social features are lacking to the point that I don't even know the identities of 95% of the people who have sent me friend requests, and can't remember the names of the people I have friended. But that stuff can be fixed in time. It's the fact that they're not competing on the merits of their store is why I have no intention of buying games on their store anytime soon, not even bothering with the freebies.

    However, I won't ever blame an indie developer for taking their offer. I'm unlikely to buy their game until it reaches another platform, but I completely understand the thought process. Game development is tough, take the guaranteed money.

    17 votes