whbboyd's recent activity

  1. Comment on If you have more than ten tabs open they’re not tabs anymore they’re bookmarks wasting RAM in ~tech

    whbboyd
    Link Parent
    On most screens, vertical space is at far more of a premium than horizontal. This is really most of why I use TST (though the tree structure is a nice side benefit)—I want all those vertical...

    On most screens, vertical space is at far more of a premium than horizontal. This is really most of why I use TST (though the tree structure is a nice side benefit)—I want all those vertical pixels to put content in, and almost always have wasted horizontal space next to the content I'm reading that is much better filled with useful UI elements. If your screen is small enough that horizontal space is also at a premium and you rarely have otherwise-wasted horizontal space, then yeah, TST (or other side-tabs extension) will typically spend more pixels on empty tab UI than the traditional tab bar at the top, and horizontal scrolling is of course much worse than vertical scrolling.

    Maybe of note, though, is that you can toggle the tab sidebar with a keyboard shortcut (by default for TST it's F1), which you can't do with the top tab bar.

    5 votes
  2. Comment on If you have more than ten tabs open they’re not tabs anymore they’re bookmarks wasting RAM in ~tech

    whbboyd
    Link
    Counterpoint: a tab is not a bookmark. It contains a good deal more state than just a URL, and with how stateful many modern web pages have gotten, that can be the difference between quickly...

    Counterpoint: a tab is not a bookmark. It contains a good deal more state than just a URL, and with how stateful many modern web pages have gotten, that can be the difference between quickly referring back to whatever you had looked up and wondering WTF you had this page open/bookmarked for. (Example: you're at a specific spot in the middle of a Youtube video. If you don't take the extraordinary step of bookmarking a timestamped share link, loading the bookmark will lose your place.)

    (I'll also concur with "ten tabs is not that many"; the "only wasted RAM is unused RAM" point is true, but significantly caveated by the fact that OSs aren't great at handling inter-application memory contention, and so you can have issues if you suddenly need a whole bunch of RAM for something more useful than keeping a giant pile of web page state immediately to hand.)

    Anyway, I personally have a typical baseline of between zero and a half dozen tabs (on my work laptop, I have email, calendar, and IM open all the time), but it can easily spike to many dozens if I'm researching something thorny. I'm not bookmarking all the stuff I have open transiently for a temporary research project.

    4 votes
  3. Comment on Ladybird: A new cross-platform browser project in ~comp

    whbboyd
    Link Parent
    I mean… This is true, in a sense, but requires that you bend the definition of "browser" significantly. I'd argue that you need a definition like "usably renders more than some n percentage of web...

    I mean…

    This is true, in a sense, but requires that you bend the definition of "browser" significantly. I'd argue that you need a definition like "usably renders more than some n percentage of web pages, normalized by traffic volume", otherwise some pedantic ass like me will try to argue that curl is a "browser" as a reductio ad absurdum.

    And for any n that passes the sniff test, you do need all that complicated stuff, or at least enough of it that yeah, you do (apparently) need multiple millions of dollars worth of engineers working on your project. (I'm guessing that the difference in investment between 50% and 90% is marginal; both require that you do everything, which costs too much. And of course, a "browser" which only works for 50% of pageviews is not a viable replacement for The Big One Rendering Engine or Gecko.) This is the great tragedy of the web; site authors use all these stupid features, frequently on pages where they provide little to no additional value and just make the page significantly more difficult to render.

    So… what do we do with browsers running engines other than The Big One and Gecko? Regrettably, we evidently don't use them to displace use of Google products. It would be an interesting experiment to try to establish a minimalist web using only HTTP/HTML features that are widely and easily supported by fringe browser engines (a la the Gopher renaissance or Gemini), but unfortunately, being embedded in the broad, complicated web makes that challenging because it's easy to stumble outside the bounds of this minimalist subset (a Gemini document can contain HTTP links, but a Gemini browser is certainly not going to silently follow them) or for formerly-compatible sites to adopt incompatible features.

    I don't have an answer for this other than to throw my hands in the air and say "the web's fucked". I hate that it is this way, and I truly despise Google for making it like this. (I mean, not just for that, obviously. But it's high on the list.) And maybe I'm wrong, and you can hit an adequate n with a small-ish community project! I certainly hope that's true, and I absolutely wish Ladybird all the luck in the world, even if I'm not going to bet on their success.

    5 votes
  4. Comment on Fortnightly Programming Q&A Thread in ~comp

    whbboyd
    Link Parent
    Their upload protocol includes checksumming to detect transmission errors, and of course there is a great deal of redundancy in storage (backups being their stock in trade). And they support...

    Their upload protocol includes checksumming to detect transmission errors, and of course there is a great deal of redundancy in storage (backups being their stock in trade). And they support arbitrary file metadata, so you can store checksums alongside on your own if you have them.

    (Also you could use something like par2 to create your own ECC and store it alongside or out-of-band.)

    I'm not sure what reliability guarantees they make about data retention, but I'd assume they're at least as good as S3 (which claims something idiotic like ten 9s). I've never heard a credible report of a major cloud storage provider experiencing loss or corruption of stored data.

    2 votes
  5. Comment on Fortnightly Programming Q&A Thread in ~comp

    whbboyd
    Link Parent
    Tarsnap has no minimums, so it's still cheaper up to 40-something GB/month. Personally, I use Backblaze B2 for my offsite storage, which is both extremely cheap ($0.005/GB/month, though there are...

    And unless I'm reading something wrong, it's $0.016/GB/month vs. $0.25/GB/month lol.

    Tarsnap has no minimums, so it's still cheaper up to 40-something GB/month.

    Personally, I use Backblaze B2 for my offsite storage, which is both extremely cheap ($0.005/GB/month, though there are transfer fees to consider) and no-minimum, so my monthly bill with them is on the order of 70¢. However, it is emphatically batteries-excluded, and definitely not suitable for someone not comfortable with writing their own backup solution.

    2 votes
  6. Comment on Linus Torvalds is using an Apple Silicon Macbook running Asahi Linux in ~tech

    whbboyd
    Link Parent
    I have a 2022 MBP 16" for work. I can state with confidence, there is no special handling of the notch, display-wise. The mouse cursor disappears into it and does not teleport to the other side....

    I have a 2022 MBP 16" for work. I can state with confidence, there is no special handling of the notch, display-wise. The mouse cursor disappears into it and does not teleport to the other side.

    "Accessibility" is the wrong term; I meant "usability". But it is a real issue that things can disappear into it, and there's no way whatsoever to know. And while the existence of logical, non-physical regions of screen is normal, applications are generally aware of and (if non-buggy and well-behaved) avoid drawing to those regions. Macos has less excuse than usual here, because it's screen that's only used by the menubar, and it certainly ought to know.

    1 vote
  7. Comment on Linus Torvalds is using an Apple Silicon Macbook running Asahi Linux in ~tech

    whbboyd
    Link Parent
    Yeah, most of these are definitely at least partly subjective. The fake tactile feedback in particular definitely is; I have friends who broadly share my opinions on Apple but like that feature....

    Yeah, most of these are definitely at least partly subjective. The fake tactile feedback in particular definitely is; I have friends who broadly share my opinions on Apple but like that feature. But to hold, while the vibration convincingly feels like a click, something about the lack of actual motion screws with my motor feedback, and I find myself unsure how much pressure I need to hold to keep the touchpad "pressed", and so I jam my finger into it and it still feels uncertain and awful.

    Drag-and-drop is an issue because it's an extended UI interaction which must be performed as a single action with the HID, and it's easy to trigger accidentally (any click while the cursor is moving is technically a "drag"). The single-action thing is especially bad on an Apple touchpad, because there are motions you cannot do as a single action. (In particular, if you click in the middle of the touchpad, which is pretty instinctual, you now cannot drag from one side of the screen to the other; you need to figure out how to abort and start over, or try to do something super janky to place a second finger on the touchpad without accidentally "dropping" the item.)

    1 vote
  8. Comment on Linus Torvalds is using an Apple Silicon Macbook running Asahi Linux in ~tech

    whbboyd
    Link Parent
    The fact that it is logical screen, in which things can be "displayed" as far as software is concerned, but is not visible to the user, is a serious black mark against it. It is a literal, actual...

    tl;dr is that the only real argument against the notch is an aesthetic one

    The fact that it is logical screen, in which things can be "displayed" as far as software is concerned, but is not visible to the user, is a serious black mark against it. It is a literal, actual usability problem, especially with the ridiculous bevy of things which want to iconify themselves to the system tray until some start falling into that hole.

    3 votes
  9. Comment on Linus Torvalds is using an Apple Silicon Macbook running Asahi Linux in ~tech

    whbboyd
    Link Parent
    …Interesting. I actually assumed it was a technical tradeoff and not a branding thing, for one reason: the corners of the screen are curved (gotta keep that aEsThEtIc, I guess), and Apple...

    …Interesting. I actually assumed it was a technical tradeoff and not a branding thing, for one reason: the corners of the screen are curved (gotta keep that aEsThEtIc, I guess), and Apple implemented physics for the mouse cursor if you push it into the curves (which is very extra, and the most Apple thing ever, but not really objectionable in any way). I would have assumed, if they had meant for the cutout to be there, they would have done the same for it (and also tried to keep application menu items or taskbar icons from disappearing into it), but no, it's just a missing piece of screen.

    So much for "attention to detail", I guess.

    2 votes
  10. Comment on Linus Torvalds is using an Apple Silicon Macbook running Asahi Linux in ~tech

    whbboyd
    Link Parent
    Oh boy. In no particular order, and certainly not complete (macos figures out new ways to piss me off daily): All sorts of exceptionally slow UI animations, many of which are blocking while in...

    Oh boy. In no particular order, and certainly not complete (macos figures out new ways to piss me off daily):

    • All sorts of exceptionally slow UI animations, many of which are blocking while in progress.
    • Workspaces are a PITA to use. They go hilariously (no, wait, actually it's just incredibly frustrating) haywire when you dynamically add or remove screens.
    • Actually, all window management is just awful. Windows bumping instead of snapping is hard to make use of, and the radius is so narrow it's basically useless. I frequently find it turning resizes into drags. Whatever it is maximizing a window does, I hate it. (This has gotten much, much worse since the 2000s, when it was merely underfeatured.)
    • Boatloads of interface elements that change location/meaning contextually (window decorations hiding on maximize or tile being a standout example).
    • Poor keyboard shortcut design. A random example: meta+q is slightly destructive (quit current application) and infrequently used. Meta+ctrl+q is completely safe (lock screen) and extremely frequently used. Meta+shift+q is extremely destructive (log out) and almost never used. Why are these wildly-divergent behaviors next to each other in shortcut space? Why isn't there a keyboard shortcut for "sleep" if your keyboard doesn't have a key that produces XF86Sleep? Why are the keyboard shortcuts that do exist so goddamn hard to discover? Why is Apple so in love with the fucking mouse?
    • Text rendering is atrociously bad on non-hi-dpi displays.
    • Drag-and-drop may be the worst interface mechanism ever invented, and macos is absolutely in love with it. Its general awfulness is massively compounded if you try to do it with a touchpad.
    • Finder is awful. Why is there no way to go up a level in the directory hierarchy? The keyboard shortcuts are deeply non-intuitive.
    • Apple's own keyboards don't have home or end keys. So, of course, they programmed these keys to do bizarre, nonstandard things if you hook up a keyboard that does have them.
    • The desire to tie everything to their cloud services is extremely frustrating if you don't want to dive headfirst into Apple's ecosystem. A bunch of default apps are between badly crippled and completely useless if you don't hook them up to icloud.
    • Reversed scrolling is stupid. Applying it to external mice crosses the line into hilariously incompetent. At least this one is easy to turn off.
    • I really like X's middle-click paste. There's no good way to get this (or even a facsimile) in macos. I really like focus-follows-mouse. There are at best terrible hacks to implement this in macos (it can't work well because of the top-of-screen menu bar). This is possible to get cleanly and effectively in Windows, of all things.

    I happen to truly despise Apple's hardware, too.

    • Sharp edges on a laptop palm rest is a cardinal sin.
    • They make fuck-awful keyboards and have for more than a decade now. I will never, ever forgive Apple for popularizing island-style keycaps.
    • I hate touchpads. Full stop. I hate the absence of explicit mouse buttons (do you have any idea how hard it is to click without causing slight movements on a touchpad). I hate the non-tactile click they introduced c. 2015 or so (the illusion of tactility they make with vibration goes wildly haywire for me).
    • The new MPB has grown the iPhone's stupid cutout in the middle of the top of the screen to make room for the camera. There's still logical screen there, so it's a black void into which things literally can and do get lost. I would massively prefer they just reserve enough bezel to not need to do things like that.
    • Apple think they're too good for standard connectors. Spoiler alert: they're not, it just makes me hate them even more.
    8 votes
  11. Comment on The free market responds to America’s school shootings in ~life

    whbboyd
    Link Parent
    This is a hell of an assertion with no support whatsoever. Counterpoint: the extraordinarily misogynist perpetrator of the 2011 Oslo terror attacks (may he rot in prison and subsequently hell) is...

    inceldom is mainly an American thing

    This is a hell of an assertion with no support whatsoever. Counterpoint: the extraordinarily misogynist perpetrator of the 2011 Oslo terror attacks (may he rot in prison and subsequently hell) is Norwegian.

    18 votes
  12. Comment on Hard water solutions? in ~life

    whbboyd
    Link Parent
    Fun fact: if you're used to hard water, soft water will feel and taste really weird. In particular, you'll feel like you can't rinse all the soap off your hands after you wash them. So yeah, I...

    Fun fact: if you're used to hard water, soft water will feel and taste really weird. In particular, you'll feel like you can't rinse all the soap off your hands after you wash them.

    So yeah, I agree, this is mostly subjective. Unless your water is extremely hard, simple age will kill most appliances long before mineral deposits do. The deposits on sinks, bathtubs, and toilets are annoying but clean up with scouring powder or vinegar and a bit of elbow grease.

    3 votes
  13. Comment on Should I quit smoking right now, or wait? in ~health

    whbboyd
    (edited )
    Link
    You should quit immediately. There is no stress on your lungs from quitting smoking, and benefits start to accrue almost immediately. (And the mental stress of quitting, while not to be...

    You should quit immediately. There is no stress on your lungs from quitting smoking, and benefits start to accrue almost immediately. (And the mental stress of quitting, while not to be underestimated, should have little impact on the severity of a COVID course.)

    If you can offset your nicotine use via a route that doesn't involve your lungs (e.g. gum, patches), that would be ideal for your health, but even vaping would be a significant improvement over smoking cigarettes.

    edit: here's a nice infographic about it. You are literally measurably healthier within 24 hours of your last cigarette.

    25 votes
  14. Comment on Firefox rolls out Total Cookie Protection by default to all users worldwide in ~tech

    whbboyd
    Link Parent
    In terms of engine hegemony, which is probably more important to controlling Google's oppressive stranglehold on the web than individual browsers, among desktop browsers, Webkit (Safari) and Gecko...

    In terms of engine hegemony, which is probably more important to controlling Google's oppressive stranglehold on the web than individual browsers, among desktop browsers, Webkit (Safari) and Gecko (Firefox) both have about 10%, and Blink (essentially every other browser, particularly Chrome) has the remaining 80%. The only big player is Google.

    The situation is quite possibly worse than with IE, because Google is substantially less incompetent than 2000s Microsoft.

    4 votes
  15. Comment on What should a layperson know about AI? in ~tech

    whbboyd
    Link Parent
    That's a great set of bullet points. I'll add two more: AGI ("Artificial General Intelligence", i.e. human-level intelligence) is not imminent. It's a good bet that our current paradigms are...

    That's a great set of bullet points. I'll add two more:

    • AGI ("Artificial General Intelligence", i.e. human-level intelligence) is not imminent. It's a good bet that our current paradigms are insufficient to achieve it. For at least the next decade, you should not believe news (or press releases from "AI" companies) that says otherwise.
    • The risks of "AI" are completely unlike Skynet or a paperclip maximizer. Instead, the risk is that humans will use "AI" technologies to do the regular shitty human things more widely and efficiently. And actually, this isn't a risk; it's actively happening as we speak.

    The first bullet is just my professional opinion (disclosure: while I'm a highly experienced software developer, I don't work in "AI"), and would be very difficult to prove (the questions of "what can't our current systems do" and "what unpredictable breakthroughs will happen" are obviously very open-ended), but here's a heuristic argument. AGI fundamentally requires reason: the ability to construct novel facts coherent with the rules governing the intelligence's environment. Modern "AI" techniques structurally don't reason; they are incredibly sophisticated pattern matching (and extension) systems, and generate "new" information only in the same sense (though obviously in a far more sophisticated manner) as a Markov model, or shuffling a deck of cards.

    6 votes
  16. Comment on gron - Make JSON greppable in ~comp

    whbboyd
    Link
    The tool you're theoretically supposed to use to parse json on the commandline is jq, but I hate jq. Its query language is not intuitive, its behaviors contextual and inconsistent, and I use it...

    The tool you're theoretically supposed to use to parse json on the commandline is jq, but I hate jq. Its query language is not intuitive, its behaviors contextual and inconsistent, and I use it far too infrequently to learn my way around its quirks. gron seems ridiculous at first glance, but by turning json into a line-based format, opens it up to manipulation with all the usual line-based unix (or other) tools.

    4 votes