conor's recent activity

  1. Comment on What's your OS and how does it look? in ~comp

    conor (edited ) Link
    I'm using Arch Linux with i3wm. i3bar is populated using Conky. The current track is using spotify-now to pull track information from Spotify. I'm using st for my terminal for no reason other than...

    I'm using Arch Linux with i3wm.

    i3bar is populated using Conky. The current track is using spotify-now to pull track information from Spotify.

    I'm using st for my terminal for no reason other than it does exactly what I need to with no extra features I don't really use.

    In Firefox I'm using TreeStyleTabs with a modified UserChrome.css to clean up some UI elements, since I largely navigate via keyboard.

    My setup is far from "Linux rice", but it's functional and I like the minimalism of it all.

    I also have a second HDD with Debian-testing installed that I use for gaming running a very stock GNOME 3, so there's nothing interesting to see there. :)

    2 votes
  2. Comment on The Internet Was Built on the Free Labor of Open Source Developers. Is That Sustainable? in ~tech

    conor (edited ) Link Parent
    I agree that a lot of these problems are caused by the inflation of use by tech giants who contribute virtually nothing back, relative to their size. However, I do believe that pushing the GPL as...

    I agree that a lot of these problems are caused by the inflation of use by tech giants who contribute virtually nothing back, relative to their size.

    However, I do believe that pushing the GPL as opposed to MIT licensing would help. The SFC has a great talk at linux.conf.au about how so many large IOT manufacturers are taking advantage of Linux but not actually abiding by the terms of the GPL -- they aren't releasing the source code they use, they aren't releasing the scripts they use for building/flashing the kernel and software, etc.

    I think this same principle can be expanded beyond merely IOT and embedded devices. They even go so far as to say we're inadvertently preventing the next generation of skilled programmers from taking shape because large FOSS projects like Linux are too focused on large corporate entities rather than the hobbyists. It was hobbyists who tinkered around with installing Linux and other open-source software on hardware and found bugs and fixed them in the early days. But with so large companies not giving their fair share to FOSS (the Android example in the article rings true, takes advantage of Linux, locks down all of the things that makes Android Android) it's a lot harder for people to grow an interest in software/hardware because this stuff becomes a black box you can't penetrate.

    Contributing to an extremely large project like Linux, for example, is highly daunting because it's chock full of developers who may have been contributing upstream for tens of years, and working with FOSS for even longer. Since they are effectively working on mission critical software, there's minimum room for a novice to learn or make mistakes, because they're now beholden to the corporations who rely on the software while contributing nothing.

    So for open source to go back to being sustainable, it needs to go back to being focused on the hobbyists who will actually use and improve the software solely to satisfy their own curiosity/interest in building and tinkering, since those are the people who will become the next generation of hackers who are capable of building software at the scale we're currently dealing with. A big way of making sure that happens is by pushing more aggressive licensing like the GPL, and actually enforcing it when large companies decide they're going to rake in billions from the software that enthusiasts wrote, without contributing anything back or ignoring the very thing that allowed such software to come into existence to begin with.

    (Disclaimer: My point somewhat detract from the point in the SFC talk -- they mention that by opening up IOT devices it allows for tinkering in the same way installing Linux on laptops and PCs did, but I believe that some of the issues there can be expanded in that large companies do not care about creating communities of developers and don't care about what enabled FOSS to be created, they just want to reap benefits for $$$)

    7 votes
  3. Comment on What are you reading these days? #12 in ~books

    conor Link
    I'm currently reading Developer Hegemony by Erik Dietrich The book is a fairly thoughtful take on corporate culture and how we ended up with the system of work we live with currently as well as...

    I'm currently reading Developer Hegemony by Erik Dietrich

    The book is a fairly thoughtful take on corporate culture and how we ended up with the system of work we live with currently as well as how it is a failing system for the fairly new concept of knowledge work. He proposes an alternative revolving around viewing oneself as their own company and facilitating relationships with several organizations, rather than limiting yourself to working for just one. It reads very fast and at no point does it really feel as if he is writing extraneously for the sake of making the book longer. Definitely a rewarding read thus far if you're either a developer or someone who is currently a knowledge worker within a more corporate environment.

    My todo list for when I finish this book is currently:

    1. The Design of Everyday Things
    2. Ego is the Enemy (interest in which was peaked by Derek Sivers)
    2 votes