« first day (4324 days earlier)      last day (43 days later) » 

10:45 AM
In other news, I'm starting to find FreeBSD rather comfortable actually. It's a better fit for work than OpenBSD.
 
11:25 AM
Is it very different?
 
12:23 PM
@Kusalananda Does the ports system work well?
 
12:38 PM
@terdon It's quite different from OpenBSD in certain aspects. It's closer to Linux in that it allows for running Docker containers via VirtualBox or other virtualization solutions, and it supports ZFS nicely. And yet it is not Linux, so I don't have to deal with systemd or with the GNU tooling.
@FaheemMitha It works well. I'm using binary packages from their quarterly port repositories, because I value the stability and I don't want to rebuild rust, GCC and llvm every day just because some fundamental library was touched. But I tried their bulk building tools, and they seem robust and user-friendly. I just don't have the compute power and time to build everything myself.
 
@Kusalananda You actually prefer non-GNU tools? Why? They often have very useful extensions to the standards, as you know, so why do you not like them?
 
@terdon Because most of the extensions are usually already provided by other standard tools. Exaggerating, GNU aims at implementing everything everywhere. To make a Swiss army knife out of every utility. It is very fitting that "GNU is not Unix", because that is exactly what Unix is not. (cont.)
Also, GNU tools encourage laziness. Not the "good" type of laziness (via Larry Wall), but the "I don't know" type of laziness that holds your hand and says "you don't need to know the order of options and operands, I'll try to sort it out for you".
GNU tools are a mess and a tar-pit that users seldom find their way out of. I aim to not get stuck to start with.
And that's even without mentioning the state of the actual source code.
Tracking down things in GNU code is an adventure.
 
@Kusalananda ironic that you mention tar in this context :)
 
12:54 PM
I'm thinking more about things like grep -P which makes grep hugely more powerful, especially when combined with -o. Of course, I've only ever used Linux, so GNU is the standard for me and I just miss it when it's not there.
 
@terdon Sure, there are useful extensions, I will definitely agree with that.
But then you have people using grep -P out of habit without knowing what it actually does, or starts asking how to use grep to extract fields from a JSON file with grep -o...
 
Yeah, but are there really extensions you find bad, actively harmful?
 
One bad habit that I broke early was putting options after arguments -- grep foo bar -o as a contrived example. Soon as I hit Solaris & AIX where that wasn't allowed, I realized the sticky trap I had started with.
 
@terdon Not really, apart from being unable to efficiently use standard tools on non-GNU systems. But since they are not using non-GNU systems, they don't care. Not knowing and not caring (and not wanting to bother) are things I don't really go well with.
It's an ideology thing, I suppose.
 
1:11 PM
In my experience, all GNU extensions I've been made aware of make the tool better, not worse. That's why I was surprised you would object to them.
 
"Better" as in "more convenient". I think I've written about this before. Convenience is good when it makes your life better. Convenience is not good it makes you lazy. Laziness does not make your life better.
 
"Better" as in "more powerful" is how I think of it: the GNU tools let me be much more efficient in many things. I have yet to find a case where I considered the GNU extension worse than the POSIX one. That may just be what I'm used to, of course, but still.
 
GNU is great until you write something using GNU features and give it to someone without GNU tools
 
 
5 hours later…
6:43 PM
@jesse_b Then that someone should get the GNU tools.
 
7:13 PM
@FaheemMitha And we are once again here: xkcd.com/927
 
@jesse_b No we aren't.
 
Sure we are
You are effectively making GNU tools the standard, if you don't have them then you should get them. But there is already a standard that was being followed. You just didn't like that standard so you created a new one
 
@jesse_b No, I'm just saying that if you don't have the GNU tools, you should get the GNU tools. They are generally available, at least on Unix-like platforms, and I'm not aware of any real downside to using them.
Unless you're really concerned about portability. But most people are working at the user level, and don't care about that.
 
They are unnecessary for most things
 
Most people probably think GNU is standard for Unix anyway, because Unix these days is close to a Linux monoculture.
 
7:16 PM
The overwhelming (and overwhelming isn't even strong enough a word for it) majority of unix like systems are not user level
The only reason portability is a problem at all is because most people think portability wont be an issue
 
@jesse_b Perhaps not. I guess I'm not clear what kind of scenario you are envisaging, though.
 
The moral of that story is that some developers wrote 911 response system code for a small town, never expecting it to be used at a large scale so the problems of scaling it were never accounted for
And that you should actually account for any potential problems regardless of whether you think they are likely
 
I don't follow.
 
In that case they assigned each record a number (an unsigned 32 bit integer IIRC) and since they were just writing this system for some small town they figured they would never need more than 4 billion records so that would never be an issue
then their system was adopted nationwide and eventually hit that 4.2 billion limit and stopped accepting calls
I compare that to writing a script thinking it will never need to be portable and then one day it is
 
@jesse_b If someone is writing something for his or her private use, it doesn't normally need to be portable.
If it's for longer term or more general use, like for a library or for use by other people or entities, then one can consider portability issues. But the former is by far the most common case.
I wonder what the level of dominance of Linux within Unix-like systems is, these days.
 
7:26 PM
I think ubuntu is the most used linux like system by a long shot
 
I meant Linux-based systems as a whole.
 
Yes that is what I meant
although actually it would be android by a long shot
 
I was about to say, not counting Android.
 
android is definitely the most used operating system in the world
 
I was restricting myself to Unix systems.
And regular computers. Not mobile devices.
 
7:28 PM
The only site I've seen that really charts usage of operating systems globally does so by checking what operating system people use when they visit some specific network of click bait sites
And the obvious downfall of that is that most servers have no internet access and even if they do people aren't using them to browse the internet
 
It's probably impossible to measure such things accurately.
 
I've seen somewhere though that ubuntu linux was the most used unix-like OS including servers which I'm not sure how credible the source is but I both believe it and am surprised by it simultaneously somehow
 
Though anecdotally, I doubt the usage of free operating systems, which is roughly the same as free Unix-like systems, is high in India.
China could well be higher. Possibly much higher.
 
With all of the $3.99 windows licenses you can buy out of india and china I would imagine everyone has to have one heh
 
Usage in South America is also quite likely to be high, for a variety of reasons.
@jesse_b I don't follow. $3.99?
 
7:33 PM
If you buy third party and almost certainly bootleg windows licenses they often come from either india or china
It's hundreds of dollars for a geniune windows 11 license but if you search for them you will find licenses for ridiculously low prices
I've bought several of them and they always work though hah
I guess windows 11 is actually cheaper than previous versions but I remember windows 7 pro was like $250 and I got a copy for under $10
 
7:52 PM
@jesse_b My computer guy said Windows licenses are quite expensive. And if you get a pirated version, it doesn't necessarily play nice with Windows network services. Like for updates and so on.
But I don't use Windows, nor have I ever felt any urge to do so since I stopped doing so in the late 1990s, so have no first hand experience.
 
@FaheemMitha maybe the newer versions but I know with windows 7 it would just get flagged when you installed because the key had been used before. The installer would ask "How many times have you used this key already" and if you say 0 it would let you install anyway
 
@jesse_b I see.
 
This isn't necessarily a bootleg key but a valid key that is just being sold multiple times
or an OEM key
 
@jesse_b What is a bootleg key?
 
@FaheemMitha Well I guess that wouldn't even be the right term although there were keys that worked sort of like a master key but were never sold and then there are copies of windows that use additional software to fake being genuine
the later is definitely one that would fail to update and give you headaches
 
7:56 PM
Presumably a Windows installation you cannot update is less than ideal.
 
yeah
You can actually use windows 10 and 11 completely for free now though. If you don't activate certain features are limited but really ones that aren't that important like the ability to set a custom background
 
8
Q: Recent site instability, major outages – July/August 2022

Josh ZhangOn Friday, July 29th, starting at 13:36 UTC, we experienced a very large surge in traffic to our web servers, indicating a DDoS attack. This surge effectively brought down the Stack Exchange Network sites (including Stack Overflow) and Stack Overflow for Teams (Free, Basic, and Business). Stack O...

 
@jesse_b Is that because they are out of date? Are they still supported? Security fixes and so forth?
 
yeah, windows 11 is the latest
You still get updates and everything
I'm using an unlicensed copy of windows 11 on the machine I use to run my cnc because the software only runs on windows
so far so good
 
@jesse_b OK. So why are letting people use it for free?
 
8:05 PM
DEVELOPERS DEVELOPERS DEVELOPERS
 
So that they buy their other software? To discourage adoption of other OSs?
 
I'm not sure but microsoft has been making a lot of moves to shake things up over the past several years. Claiming to be moving towards a more open source model, buying github, etc
I also know that they have even considered getting out of the operating system business altogether in favor of going all in on their cloud business
 
@jesse_b They must still make a lot of money on MS Office. Unfortunately everyone uses that, and I'm sure they don't give that away for free.
Question: what are the major advantages of using Windows if you happen to be someone who uses Linux-based systems?
 
For me it's just the amount of software (which is shrinking) that can only be used on windows
 
@jesse_b Such as?
 
8:12 PM
Mostly video games but the program that runs my cnc machine is called "carbide motion" for example
Lots of commercial type applications are only developed for windows though
fusion 360
 
@jesse_b What about 3D printers?
 
There are cam programs that can run on linux and I could even hack my machine to use one but it seems like more work than I want right now
 
Though I guess CNC is a form of 3D printing?
 
Yeah there are programs that will run both
 
@jesse_b No, I mean is CNC actually 3D printing? Because I'm not sure.
 
8:21 PM
Oh no it cuts
 
@jesse_b So it's different from 3D printing?
 
yes but similar
 
They both run off "gcode"
 
8:27 PM
yeah
 
@jesse_b What do you use your CNC machine for?
 
@FaheemMitha crime mostly
 
@jesse_b Pardon?
 
8:43 PM
Sorry, that does not enlighten me.
 
I made those
And then I committed crimes with them
 
@jesse_b What kinds of crimes?
 
@FaheemMitha j walking mostly
 
@jesse_b Color me confused.
 
@FaheemMitha I'm a pretty weird person
 
8:53 PM
@jesse_b You should fit right into Texas then. I hear pretty weird things about it.
 
Everyone is weird unless they are your flavor of weird
 

« first day (4324 days earlier)      last day (43 days later) »