Personal pronouns: 同志 / 同志 / 同志的

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Cake day: Feb 24, 2021

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In one job there were three of us who were a tight-knit bunch. One of the things we loved to do was pick apart the project Gannt chart as obvious fiction that could never be met.

One of the three of us was elevated to middle management.

Within a week he was treating the Gannt chart we’d mocked for eight months together as a schedule with no wiggle room.

Management turns people into assholes.


In F/OSS circles pre-Github a fork was when there was enough dissatisfaction with a F/OSS project (for many reasons) that people went through the effort of taking the source of a project at a given point and making an entirely new project based on it. Some famous examples of this kind of fork would be the GCC/EGCS fork, the Xemacs/Emacs fork, the DragonflyBSD/FreeBSD fork, the X.org/XFree86/Freedesktop multiway fork, the OpenOffice/LibreOffice fork, etc.

In this sense of the term “fork” it’s a major watershed event in F/OSS that sometimes shapes the way future projects run. (And sometimes, like the GCC/EGCS thing, one of the branches becomes the “new normal”.)

Post-Github, a fork is just what Github calls cloning a repository on their platform within their platform. Any time you look at a project on Github, if you have an account on Github you can “fork” it (in their sense of the term) which basically means you have a cloned snapshot of that project in your account. It’s functionally identical to typing “git clone ” on your own machine only it’s all kept in Github’s own ecosystem.

What I find funny about the people protesting the second use as some kind of Github conspiracy is that the alternatives they themselves recommend instead … do exactly the same thing (but aren’t subject to the same conspiracy theorist tripe)! Cognitive dissonance is a HELL of a drug…


In today’s lesson the writer of the linked post learns that:

  • words change meaning over time (consider what ‘hardware’ used to mean vs. what it means now, or ‘systems programming’, or even ‘computer’ for that matter!);
  • the same word may be used in different ways in different contexts (e.g. “I put my plane in a bank to land by the river’s bank so I could deposit the money in the bank.”); and
  • words are defined by their users and nobody else.

I’m excited to see what other lessons the writer learns in the future!


Or half in advance, rest payable on delivery, or the classic “tear this bill in half, you get the other half when you’re done” stunt, or …


They do things because it is better for their base line, not because they fees some moral “reward” that they will seek further in future.

Who said anything about a moral reward?

They can be motivated by regulation, not applaud.

Please show me the regulation that motivated this 50-year dump.

I am happy that they did release what they did, since I said “cool” in my post - that was not in sarcastic way.

Of course it wasn’t, and neither are you backpedaling from this. Note that I’m absolutely not being sarcastic. Really.

But the bigger problem is still there - most of science (in this case computer) is behind paywall that not everybody can afford to jump. We should keep focus on the main problem when they do this stunts.

You know you can let things go out of focus for a bit, just to let people feel good a while before going back into the fight, right?

No, of course you don’t. You’re young and stupid. I was pretty much the same way when I was 16. But you go ahead and fight tooth and nail 24×7 over every little thing, offering no respite and never actually enjoying (and more importantly, never actually letting anybody else enjoy) gains made along the way. I’m sure you’ll be just fine and your approach won’t even slightly undermine the cause you purport to serve.

Again, I’m absolutely not being sarcastic in the slightest.



Psych 102 time: you get the behaviour you reward. (Note that the wording isn’t “you don’t get the behaviour you punish”. There’s a reason for this. Of the means used to motivate people, punishment is the least effective and is more often than not entirely counter-productive.)

If the ACM is rewarded for releasing some of the most important papers in CS/Eng. history to the public for free, they will be motivated to release more. If, however, some whiny jackasses scream and flap their arms like toddlers throwing a temper tantrum that it “isn’t enough”, they will remember that there’s no benefit to releasing stuff for free the next time it comes up and that’s the end of good things.

So here’s a thought Sparky: there are a class of thoughts that you don’t actually have to put to voice. You can think them all you like, just don’t put them to words. These thoughts are easy to identify: they’re most of your thoughts. (And mine and anybody’s.) And putting many of these to words actually harms the causes you claim to support. (Leading me to believe that it’s not the cause you support, but rather the feeling of power you get when you delude yourself into thinking you’re forcing people to bend to your will.)


It never fails, does it?

Something good happens. Someone has to whine that it’s not good enough.

This is why we can’t have nice things.




This is arguably one of the most important archives of computer science and engineering information available. And 50 years of it is now free. Get out there and play while educating yourself on things you didn’t know were ancient history!..

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Lemmy.ml was the first point of contact for me with Lemmy. I joined it. I liked it. I saw no reason to go looking for another instance.

What’s my incentive to move to another instance supposed to be? Because I can?


So in your mind “free and open source” means every two-bit developer brain fart made before a release also needs to be free and open source?

I’m at the point of discovering why software at large tends to be such utter shite.


Calls itself “modern”. Ignores decades of UI design research to replicate Emacs’ interface.

I love software.


There’s one small problem I see here, though. They are restricting their beta testers to an automatically less-diverse group of people meaning that they’re not getting full possible feedback.

That being said, their project, their rules and I support whatever they want to do with their code.



When last I wrote about COROS I explored the EVQ component of it with a focus on the API and some of its underlying construction. In this post I will expand on that underlying construction giving reasons for some of the design decisions, as well as providing some example use cases for this…

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There are so many TLAs (three-letter acronyms) and FLAWs (four-letter acronymic words) in this article I can’t keep track of who’s fucking whom. Is there a summary available without the verbiage and the alphabet soup?


You’d think the only measures that would be required would be seizure and sale at auction of all assets until the debt is paid, wouldn’t you? It’s almost like the government doesn’t actually want to help.


Not just leftists. The left and right both have been westsplaining the non-western world for ages. It’s just this time they got caught flat-footed by people who can smack them down for it.


Protests are all well and good but they’re not helping the Ukrainians on the ground. Governments aren’t helping Ukrainians on the ground either. Maybe it’s time to help them help themselves…

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F/OSS is not the panacea its advocates claim it to be. I mentioned collecting bizarre compiler bugs. GCC has a huge presence in my collection.

And this ignores the fact that F/OSS often has no presence whatsoever in entire industry swathes. F/OSS, for the most part, with some exceptions, lags behind the technology curve when it comes to bleeding-edge tech. This is sometimes the fault of vendor shenanigans (I’m looking at you here, Altera and Xylinx), but often it’s just the problem of a very specific problem domain with very few eyes willing to work on it as a hobby.


The tools used in forging steel tools are made by forged steel. There are different skill sets even in foundry-oriented metalwork.

I know this goes against the grain of software developer ego, but there are actually very different skills involved in various types of software, and someone who can churn out a CRUD-backed web page at the push of a button (often almost literally) is not going to be making an optimizing compiler anytime soon, while the compiler writer may look at the utter screwed-up state of web programming and recoil in horror, not knowing where, even, to begin.

It’s great for the ego to say “it’s all software, so because I can write a app, obviously I can write an operating system too”. But it isn’t true.


One thing we can all do (users and practitioners both) is STOP ACCEPTING EXCUSES. Buggy software is broken software. Period. Shove this in the practitioners’ faces (and accept that it will be shoved into ours!) and stop standing for it.

One of the reasons we in this industry have gotten into this state is that we’ve convinced the public (and ourselves) that this is normal. We’ve shot ourselves in the foot for so often that we think walking around leaving bloody footprints behind is normal.

And we’re about the only branch of “engineering” (scare quotes because I can count on one hand the number of software makers I think use engineering principles–and I don’t number myself on that hand) that tolerates the kind of cowboy bullshit that is normal. Cowboy civil engineers get sued to perdition and/or jailed when their output is fundamentally broken. When mechanical engineers make broken shit, they go bankrupt from the returns. Yet when software “engineers” product total and absolute shit they get away scot free and, indeed, they often, bizarrely, manage to sell the repairs as “new software”.


You think most programmers have the skill set to build their own compilers, debuggers, operating systems, etc. from the ground up … and I’M the one with a romantic notion of programming.

Most people who call themselves programmers think that “full stack” means Javascript on both the server and the client. Think the best way to program is to go to SO and cut and paste code snippets. These people cannot build their own tools from the ground up. They can barely get a CRUD-backed web site up and running.




With coroutines and their use cases at least reasonably well established, the event queue mechanism of COROS is introduced to tie them up into a convenient architecture…

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The first piece of COROS explored was the coroutine system, but coroutines are not a well-understood facility in programming circles for some reason. This article builds up some use cases for coroutines and their application in preparation for the next major component of COROS…

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The first in a series of articles that builds up a coroutine-based RTOS for use primarily in memory-constrained embedded systems. Future articles will expound on other pieces of the RTOS after which the full, production-ready source will be published under my usual choice of the WTFPL2 license…

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Oh look! A straw man communism “joke”! This is totally fresh and new and not at all tired and dated! Ha ha ha!..

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There is a crisis in software development. …

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PrologHub (Logtalk tags)

PrologHub is an interesting community for the broader Prolog community, including Logtalk…

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