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4:28 AM
What is the correct way to read/write a file in procfs and sysfs?
 
 
5 hours later…
9:46 AM
@Biswapriyo Using cat? Examples of what files you're interested in?
 
 
3 hours later…
12:47 PM
@Kusalananda For example echo 1 | sudo tee /proc/foo/bar works but it shows 1 in stdout. Any alternative to stop the output?
 
@Biswapriyo redirect it to /dev/null
echo 1 | sudo tee /proc/foo/bar > /dev/null
 
Why use tee at all if you don't want to see output?
why not just echo 1 > /proc/foo/bar
 
@Jesse_b sudo
 
yeah I guess
 
sudo good morning
 
12:58 PM
sudo su -c wat up root
Sorry I know that probably bothered some people :p
 
sudo su -c doas su -c sudo echo hello
2
 
My latest dad hobby is listening to air traffic control recordings. Pretty impressive stuff, also pretty funny sometimes. Especially stuff involving "Kennedy Steve"
 
Tim
1:41 PM
my latest hobby will be having to read a bit about graph database, then datalog, then prolog, then going backward
while trying to continue reading about concurrent programming.
 
 
2 hours later…
3:15 PM
@JeffSchaller I'm almost tempted to install sudo to test whether that would work...
 
@Kusalananda As someone who installed 500 Gnome-related packages for a test, I sympathize!
Although I will be very quick to point out that I made that string completely up. My spouse would say it came from a body part that is not my fingers.
 
4:07 PM
@JeffSchaller Yeah, I would probably do as well with my nose.
 
4:26 PM
@Kusalananda the nose knows!
Or, if I'm feeling less charitable, tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/TheNoseKnows
 
Tim
4:46 PM
Is it interesting?
 
@Tim Amazon shows me a "Used - Very Good" hardcover version for $5.48. Seems a little fishy, but the seller appears to have many high reviews.
(I searched on ISBN: 9780521339933)
 
5:04 PM
@JeffSchaller I’ve got quite a few IT books bought for a few dollars in very good condition from places like ThriftBooks
I also have a Shibboleth login but it doesn’t cover Cambridge Core apparently
 
One of the thrift stores near me has a fairly large library and once a week they do a deal where you can put as many books as you can fit into a grocery bag and it's only $1
I got some books on C and python from there
 
Our libraries do something similar -- used book sales -- fairly regularly. First place I looked for the Concurrent Programming book was in the local library (struck out)
I donate many more books than I purchase, these days. I'm halfway between a collector and "online only"
 
Tim
I have virtually no paper book.
 
LOL; I searched Amazon's book section for "DOS" and there are two further categories I can choose from: "Children's Books" or "Literature & Fiction" -- both of which are pretty accurate at this point
(I was wondering if I could get some help remembering one of my very first computer books, that I've held on to)
 
Tim
I have long since turned paper books into pdf files
Local library has books only for children and people who can afford entertainment and travelling
I saw books that are travel guides to countries around the world or famous cities and sites
 
5:16 PM
It's true; a library's computer book section is likely to be last generation, at best
(donated by people like me who have moved on from that technology or version of it)
 
Tim
Is software development with .net or under Windows a nightmare?
Maybe I am ignorant, but is the change along the versions too drastic ?
 
@Tim I can't speak to Windows or .net development, but if I was interested in learning a language, I wouldn't seek out the previous versions of it
 
Tim
Under Linux, even though not dealing with low level API, but with some supposedly cross platform development, does version change not lead to drastic change, and people can still rely on the knowledge in the old days?
 
maybe if the book was recommended to me because it had excellent examples a good teaching style, and/or the language hadn't changed much
@JeffSchaller, recently as in 12 years ago. And head -1 has been obsoleted for decades before that. — Stéphane Chazelas Jan 27 '16 at 13:09
 
Some libraries (on Linux and Windows) change drastically, but the core principles don’t move much. You can write C programs in the same way as you could twenty years ago.
Likewise, some languages change a lot, or add new features; so while you can still write 90s-style C++ or Java, you wouldn’t want to (and learning 90s-style C++ or Java wouldn’t help you get a job).
 
Tim
5:27 PM
I am seeking justification of slight resentment towards software development under Windows.
 
And of course best practices evolve, so modern C is different from 20-year-old C (but still recognisable).
Then there’s Perl.
 
Tim
In other words, is it reasonable to question the sustainability of software development under Windows?
If one doesn't keep up with the pace of the change there, they are more likely to be out of job
 
It’s no different to any other desktop platform as far as that goes.
If you want something that doesn’t change, learn COBOL on IBM mainframes...
 
Tim
Not to that extreme
I am reading about logical programming. I am learning something new every now and then
I am trying to see the relation between logical programming and database query
So many NoSQL database systems nowadays
Have to find a clean way out
 
5:35 PM
Become a system administrator! Then you can yell at the developers when they deploy an 8 Gb app in a 4 Gb VM! Fun for the whole family
 
@JeffSchaller or request a 32G VM to deploy a Perl script!
with eight vCPUs
 
@StephenKitt thought it needed 16 to run
Don't forget the 1 Gbit network card
MUST BE A DEDICATED NETWORK CARD
 
@JeffSchaller what? no, 100Gbps
maybe 40Gbps if there’s not much traffic
 
@StephenKitt well, it was meant as a 1990's requirement brought into the 10G modern networking world
 
1Gb network? What is this 1996?
 
5:37 PM
bingo
"this perl script ran just fine on a gig network card, so that's what we need!"
 
@Jesse_b that would have involved some time travel
 
@StephenKitt Doesn't seem like an unusual request from a developer
 
in 1996 we had two SPARCstations working together to store data fast enough so we could trace 100Mbps
GigE was 1999
 
We're still removing 1.44M floppy drives from VM definitions
 
@Jesse_b true
 
5:40 PM
They are all just ahead of their time
The requirements that seem unreasonable now will seem archaic in 10 years
 
Stephen is literally ahead of our time
 
yeah, my Zsh needs 256G of RAM and eight CPUs just to show the prompt
@JeffSchaller I am that! at least six hours ahead
 
@StephenKitt tag:"oh my, zsh!"
 
@JeffSchaller in a git repository
 
@StephenKitt predicting the future is hard; I'm not surprised that zsh can do it
I mean, it's probably proactively compiling gcc in the background, because it knows Stephen's planning it
 
I mis-read that initially as "ASCII enema" and was a little afraid to click
 
@JeffSchaller hah I think that every time I use that
 
I guess I've successfully warned Tim away from being a sysadmin
I didn't even get to systemd!
 
in TeX, LaTeX and Friends, 1 min ago, by Faheem Mitha
I have a template file which I need to put different values in occasionally. It's a feedback form for my short term rental. Having that information in my form means that I have to keep committing changes which aren't part of the template. Would it be reasonable to put the specific information in a config file (I was thinking YAML, which is about as flexible as it gets, though in this case it's overkill), and just have the template reference the config file. Does that sound reasonable?
in TeX, LaTeX and Friends, 49 secs ago, by Faheem Mitha
This isn't really a TeX-specific question, just that in this case the template file happens to be TeX.
 
m4!
if it's good enough for sendmail, it's good enough for you!
 
5:58 PM
I was hoping for serious answers. I did use m4 once; in an autotools context. But I don't see a good reason to use it now.
 
@JeffSchaller I turned off the fancy completions in zsh as soon as I noticed that it would actually execute qemu to complete some stuff on a qemu command line...
 
@FaheemMitha well, I was serious in suggesting it as a possible tool, but happy to hear you've already excluded it
 
So having zsh compile stuff with the C compiler on demand just to do completions does not seem far fetched.
 
zsh -c "gcc test.c" --> "Did you mean 'gcc -o do_not_name_your_binaries_test test.c'?"
 
@JeffSchaller Frankly, I had never considered it.
@Kusalananda LLVM can do JIT stuff, if that helps.
 
6:01 PM
@FaheemMitha Not really what I'd want happening in the background when I'm just trying to complete a filename.
 
But does everyone agree that having to keep committing a template because the values in it change is not optimal?
@Kusalananda That wasn't a serious suggestion either.
 
I figured.
 
Honestly, I'm not even sure what you guys are talking about.
 
:-) Well done on almost being on topic! :-)
 
6:04 PM
time-travelling shells ... which you could take to mean zsh or our own mortal coils
Honestly, you should just use Mercurial for it and call it a day
 
@Kusalananda is that your mortal coil? How do you even type, bro?
 
This would probably be a good time for someone to post a picture of the Giant Sea Snail from the Doctor Dolittle movie. Which is actually in the books.
Most of the movie isn't though. The Doctor Dolittle books are also notably short of singing.
 
@JeffSchaller No, it's a time-travelling shell.
My own is a bit squishier.
 
6:46 PM
@JeffSchaller Fossilised shells have also proven to be exceptionally good typists, especially when given a Dvorak keyboard!
 
6:59 PM
@Kusalananda put a Carassius auratus in there and you could have a fish shell!
 
:-) Continuation of my previous comment, curtesy of talktotransformer.com: They can also solve a variety of regular typing problems: they require fewer key presses than unguarded classical typists. Some primates also use this kind of typewriter.
 
> For example, the stick shrew has a rudimentary typist's skill. The shrew has six toes, which allows it to walk on a mat. It also has two fingers on each foot. The two fingers each have two digits that are paired so that if the left thumb is under the mat, the right is over it.
 
We might need to hire a couple of those and train them up a bit. They might do better than the monkies...
 
two fingers are all you need to type ed!
 
7:52 PM
I was just thinking about router/switch commands and how terrible their cli is
You can truncate pretty much any command on a router/switch and in fact most networking people love that fact and are proud of how badly they can formulate commands
a common example is: show running-configuration which is almost always run as: sh run
I was typing a long zfs command and thinking about how terrible it would be if unix allowed crap like that
 
Some utilities with long options allow using smallest unique prefix instead of the full option name...
 
@Kusalananda yeah but it's still explicitly defined. On a router or switch it only matters if the command is unique
so if the only show commands starting with r are show router and show running-configuration then you must only type show ru
but then you go on another device that has more commands and the command you are used to typing no longer works
It also just seems overly lazy to me, especially since every device I've been on has tab completion
 
I certainly do not disagree with you.
 
 
2 hours later…
10:11 PM
What a fun conversation I missed.
@FaheemMitha I couldn't figure out what this was about.
@Tim if you read through this question and answer fully, it's a pretty good explanation I think, even though it's not directly about justifying that slight resentment. But it lays out the technical differences that underlie that resentment. unix.stackexchange.com/q/141016/135943
@Tim also, read the Halloween documents.
@Kusalananda and many modern utilities use long option names with a single hyphen. It's Go that has made that pattern common (I finally learned).
I don't know if Go invented that pattern, but it is by far the easiest way to make options in a Go command line program you're writing (using the standard libraries).
 
@Wildcard What was what about?
 
10:41 PM
5 hours ago, by Faheem Mitha
But does everyone agree that having to keep committing a template because the values in it change is not optimal?
 
@Wildcard There was more context earlier.
 
@FaheemMitha ah, I just found it. Somehow missed it when looking earlier.
 
@FaheemMitha I don't see why. If you're doing it in Mercurial or Git, wouldn't the proposed yaml file live right next to it anyway, and necessitate a commit for any changes regardless of which file you're making them in?
 
@Wildcard No, the data file doesn't need to be versioned, because it keeps changing.
At least, I can't think of a good reason to version it.
 
10:47 PM
But then, what are the values changing in the template for?
 
In this particular case, it would just be some information (name and duration of stay) about my guests.
@Wildcard I'm not sure what you mean.
The idea is to separate the data and the rest of the file, and only version the latter.
 
Hmmm. I'm not understanding something about the premise.
 
Because the data would change relatively frequently, but the rest of the file wouldn't change that often.
 
That's what a template is, right?
So why would you have to keep committing a template because the values in it change?
 
@Wildcard You mean the rest of the file?
@Wildcard I don't want to. That's the whole point of what I was saying.
If the two are not separated, i.e. are in one file, then I do need to keep committing every time the values change.
Which isn't useful and just creates noise. I don't need to keep a record of all the different guest names and length of stays, at least not in this context.
 
10:51 PM
@FaheemMitha right, but I don't quite understand why you would have to in the first place. Or to put it another way, I don't see how it could be that you (a) have a file that can legitimately be called a template, and (b) have stuff in the template that you are finding the need to change, and (c) are in the position of having to ask how to avoid needing to commit those changes.
@FaheemMitha well that makes sense; so then I guess my question is, in what sense is the file you have a "template"?
 
@Wildcard The way I've had it set up is that everything was in one file. That's commonly the default.
 
I don't mean to be dense. I might end up annoying you with this question, so sorry in advance if I do. :)
 
@Wildcard Template just means stuff that isn't related to any specific instance. In this case, the instance is a guest stay.
@Wildcard I admit I don't understand what you find unclear. It's a very simple issue. Possibly not even worth asking about.
I have a feedback form. The feedback form contains the name and length of stay for short term stay guests.
I just want to separate out the name and length of stay of the guest from the form, so I do not have to commit every time a new guest arrives. Of course I could just keep throwing away those changes, but it seems better not to have that information under version control in the first place.
As a rule of thumb, one should try to keep down the level of noise in version control. Less commits, more meaning.
 
So, when I read the word "template" what I understand is "a file that is not complete in and of itself, that consists of the data or formatting information that does NOT change, which can be combined with or instantiated with a particular bunch of information to quickly create a usable final file, along with some method for combining that information and creating the final file."
 
@Wildcard Yes, that's the sense in which I was using the term.
BTW, can Excel be reliably converted into a more universal format, like CSV, these days?
 
10:58 PM
So...obviously I'm missing something. I would think a "feedback form" would be a template in the sense that it is to be filled out for any individual guest. And a filled out form would be an instance of that form that is filled out, and wouldn't go into version control.
@FaheemMitha it's easy to export to CSV, you'll just lose any formatting or special information.
Maybe I get it.
 
@Wildcard I just have one tex file. It's called "suggestions.tex".
This file is under version control.
 
And do the guests fill out a printed PDF or a digital copy?
 
Any change I make to that file shows up in version control.
@Wildcard I print out the form and give it to them, of course.
 
And you want to have the guest's name and length of stay already printed on the paper when you give it to them?
 
I don't think people like to fill in a PDF, if they don't have to.
 
11:00 PM
If so, then I finally understand. :)
 
@Wildcard I add the guest name and length of stay on it, yes. I could let the guests do it, but they would probably make a mess.
Were you under the impression I had them do it?
 
@FaheemMitha then I finally understand.
@FaheemMitha It didn't make any sense. I was thinking that you were trying to avoid having the filled out form make it back into version control. Now I get it.
 
I mean, the name and length of stay, is part of the TeX file, just to be clear. I personalize it before giving it to them. If I wasn't doing that, there would be nothing to discuss.
 
So, here's another question: Does your workflow require that you commit the changes before you can use the tex file to generate a PDF?
 
@Wildcard No, of course not. Why would it?
 
11:03 PM
@FaheemMitha well, one never knows...maybe you had a CICD pipeline to auto-create the PDF upon commit.
Like so: xkcd.com/763
 
@Wildcard That would be unnecessary and kind of batty. It's a very simple TeX file requiring a single TeX run. And committing before compiling would be a very poor workflow, in any case.
 
@FaheemMitha oh, I agree.
But then, it would seem the simple solution would be to just strip out that info again after generating the PDF, so you don't end up with it in version control.
Is it just that you're forgetting to do that?
 
I'm a big believer in clean commits. Though there is of course nothing wrong with creating temporary/scratch commits, as long as you clean up afterwards. Which is in large part what Evolve in Mercurial is about. BTW, did you ever watch that video?
@Wildcard I suggested the possibility above. It just felt kind of icky.
12 mins ago, by Faheem Mitha
I just want to separate out the name and length of stay of the guest from the form, so I do not have to commit every time a new guest arrives. Of course I could just keep throwing away those changes, but it seems better not to have that information under version control in the first place.
 
@FaheemMitha well, I don't know Mercurial, but in Git you could use a "smudge" filter for that: git-scm.com/book/en/v2/Customizing-Git-Git-Attributes#filters_a
 
I was thinking of using YAML, but I finally just went with moving the definition of the TeX macros to another file. As suggested by people in TeX chat. And which is certainly much simpler.
 
11:09 PM
@FaheemMitha sounds simpler. So which file is omitted from version control now?
 
@Wildcard The file containing the definition of the TeX macros.
 
@FaheemMitha I haven't watched the video yet. But I didn't mean make a scratch commit—I just meant don't commit that data at all.
 
It's three lines.
 
@FaheemMitha ah good. :)
So you've got it solved already then.
Well thanks for taking the time to satisfy my curiosity.
 
@Wildcard Yes, I understand what you meant. I wasn't suggested making a scratch commit of the temporary change either.
@Wildcard Well, there wasn't much to solve. But there is no harm in getting feedback.
I often think that the way I'm doing things may not be optimal. And that others may have a better approach.
 
11:12 PM
@FaheemMitha yes, I see that now. I had thought that message of yours was a reply to my preceding message. :) But it wasn't.
 
Unfortunately, in practice it's distressingly common for people to actually have a worse approach.
I guess they call that expediency.
I remember a former employer getting nasty about that. He wanted quick and dirty. Because there were deadlines. Except he didn't want to do any of the actual work himself. Creep.
@Wildcard I forget - are you actually a TeX user yourself?
 
@FaheemMitha yeah, one piece of advice I read early on in my career stuck with me. It warned that 90% or more of the code you will see in your lifetime is completely, laughably broken. And warned never to assume that some code is a good example of good practice and that it's just you who doesn't understand why it's brilliant.
@FaheemMitha not really. I've barely dabbled in it. I love the idea, but I haven't had the time or the reason to dig in fully.
 
@Wildcard Sounds like good advice. I've learned (at the school of hard knocks) to try not to take anything for granted. Though having to check everything all the time gets exhausting.
@Wildcard Well, it's very time-consuming. But you've probably figured that out already.
It's much worse than learning a "regular" programming language. Because it is anything but.
 
@FaheemMitha yeah. I had a "former life" in graphics design and printing, so I am very well versed in using InDesign.
Now as a programmer, I dislike the closed-source aspect; and I dislike the payment model (it's now only subscription based). But the product is REALLY slick.
 
Having said that, learning LaTeX at level of basic usage (which is probably where 99% of TeX's users are) isn't really that hard.
You could probably make reasonable headway in about a week or so.
And TeX SE is very helpful. Before, it was significantly harder.
 
11:17 PM
@FaheemMitha yeah, that's my trouble...I ran into something similar helping someone with Apple Pages.
Apple Pages is great for a non-technical user wanting to make something look nice in a hurry.
 
I have vivid memories of trying to learn LaTeX in the mid-90s. It was very stressful.
 
But because I have experience with InDesign, trying to use Pages is just pure aggravation. There are too many missing features from a professional perspective.
 
@Wildcard Sorry, I don't follow. What is your trouble?
 
@FaheemMitha my expectations and standards are too high. I'm used to a professional product that lets me focus on the work I want to do, and the "how" can be mastered well and then stays out of my way.
 
BTW, I'm pretty sure TeX can do anything InDesign can.
 
11:19 PM
@FaheemMitha That's what @JeffSchaller is exploring. :)
 
@Wildcard Well, TeX is "professional". But if you want to learn it beyond a superficial level - well, that would take some time.
Though superficial is still useful. That's the reason LaTeX was originally created.
But the underlying machinery is quite complicated. And arguably more than a little wacky.
 
@FaheemMitha I mean, that's true of any professional software. There is always a learning curve.
 
But I presume you're aware that TeX is also very very fast. That's part of the reason it's designed the way it is.
@Wildcard Some more than others.
 
Yeah.
 
Reading TeX code is fairly terrifying. Coding in it is even more daunting.
 
11:22 PM
And I get the philosophy of TeX as being that you can focus on the content and not worry about the layout. But the advantage of WYSIWYG when you DO want to focus on the layout, is missed with that approach.
 
@Wildcard No, it lets you control the layout. What makes you think it can't?
 
For example, if you're designing a newsletter, in InDesign, you can see how long the text blurb under a photo should be to fit with the overall design. And you can write it that size.
(Write it that length, I mean.)
 
@Wildcard You can do that with TeX too.
 
@FaheemMitha yeah, but there is no WYSIWYG in TeX.
 
You aren't giving anything up by using it. If you want manual, you can go manual. The point is, you can also choose not to.
@Wildcard Well, not as such. But you can keep compiling, and get pretty immediate feedback.
Sounds like you haven't used it much.
And a lot of the automation can be effectively disabled if you don't want it. Like driving stick shift.
 
11:25 PM
@FaheemMitha true, true. Thing is, I don't so much want manual as opposed to automatic. I want visual as opposed to delayed feedback.
 
@Wildcard You do get visual. You have a PDF right there.
 
@FaheemMitha I'm talking live preview level visual feedback. Here, take a look at this for an example: graphicdesign.stackexchange.com/q/124373/57377
That sort of immediate interactiveness in manipulation of the visual appearance of a layout is, for me, one of InDesign's most attractive features.
And the fact that you can drag stuff where you want it visually rather than trying to translate your intention into written commands that the computer can translate back into a visual result.
Of course, now I'm talking more about Scribus-type features rather than pure typography.
None of this is a knock against TeX, by the way. It's just background on why I haven't gotten into it so much. I keep wishing it were something more than it is.
 

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