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commit d6c7563d961c1ccbf99951150c2e7cbcb0b7d8da
parent 879217d28defd79d7c8c32f9788da65b290dc1d3
Author: Jake Bauer <jbauer@paritybit.ca>
Date:   Fri, 24 Jul 2020 20:26:25 -0400

Publish new blog post

Diffstat:
Mpages/blog.md | 1+
Apages/blog/switching-to-alacritty.md | 112+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Mpages/home.md | 4++--
Mpublic/feeds/sitewide-feed.xml | 29+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Mpublic/sitemap.xml | 1+
5 files changed, 145 insertions(+), 2 deletions(-)

diff --git a/pages/blog.md b/pages/blog.md @@ -27,6 +27,7 @@ href="https://pleroma.paritybit.ca/jbauer">Pleroma</a>. ### 2020 <ul> + <li>2020-07-24 <a href="blog/switching-to-alacritty">"Switching From St to Alacritty" and "The Separation of Creators From Their Work"</a></li> <li>2020-07-23 <a href="blog/two-truths-and-a-lie">Two Truths and a Lie</a></li> <li>2020-07-23 <a href="blog/mastodon-to-pleroma-2-customizing-my-instance">Mastodon to Pleroma — 2 — Customizing My Instance</a></li> <li>2020-07-21 <a href="blog/mastodon-to-pleroma-1-setting-up-a-pleroma-server">Mastodon to Pleroma — 1 — Setting up a Pleroma Server</a></li> diff --git a/pages/blog/switching-to-alacritty.md b/pages/blog/switching-to-alacritty.md @@ -0,0 +1,112 @@ +## "Switching From St to Alacritty" and "The Separation of Creators From Their Work" + +[//]: # "I've been a pretty happy user of St for quite a few months now. However, some questionable things that people from the Suckless group have said and done were brought to my attention and I can no longer confidently recommend their programs." + +[//]: # "main.min.css" + +[//]: # + +<div class="byline"> +<b>Written By:</b> Jake Bauer | + <b>Posted:</b> 2020-07-24 | + <b>Last Updated:</b> 2020-07-24 +</div> + +Buckle up. This is going to get political. + +I've been a pretty happy user of St, the Simple Terminal from Suckless for quite +a few months now. However, as I was scrolling through my Fediverse timeline this +afternoon, I noticed a discussion about the attitudes of prominent software +contributors in the FOSS community which made me re-think my software choices. + +It's no secret that a lot of people in FOSS can be abrasive, hard to deal with, +and/or unaware of common social norms to the point where it can seriously harm a +project's image, as it did, for example, with the Linux kernel in the time +before Linus Torvalds took some leave to learn how to control his aggression. +It's another story, however, when a group of people use and spread far-right +rhetoric or partake in neo-nazi-like activities as I've recently learned +prominent people from the Suckless group have done. + +Here are the resources that were shared with me: + +* [Twitter thread 1](https://twitter.com/kuschku/status/1156488420413362177) +* [Twitter thread 2](https://twitter.com/pid_eins/status/1113738764797534208) +* [Cat-v ≠ Suckless](https://harmful.neocities.org/) + +From this, I can say that even if the Suckless team just has a really screwed up +sense of humour, it's not a group I'd want to promote or ever associate with. + +This issue once again stirs up the debate about the separation of a piece of +work from the creators of the work. Do we stop using or shun something that +someone has created, even if it was previously loved, because of the actions of +the creator? There's no black-and-white or one-size-fits-all answer to that +question. Some works are easier to separate from the creator, like the +[ReiserFS](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ReiserFS) filesystem for example, +because there are far more people than just Hans Resier (who, by the way, +murdered his wife) developing it. On the other hand, other works have the +creator's personality strewn through it like, for example, the Harry Potter +novels (if you didn't know, J.K. Rowling [is transphobic and is also an asshole +about it](https://www.scotsman.com/arts-and-culture/books/jk-rowling-twitter-why-harry-potter-author-has-been-accused-transphobia-2877977)). + +In the future, I will definitely avoid recommending Suckless' software and I'll +be far more hesitant to consider them when evaluating tools to use. For now, one +thing that I know I can switch from with little friction and with an actual +technical benefit is St. I've been eyeing Alacritty as an alternative if I ever +got tired of St because it seems to also be lightweight, fast, and supportive of +the [features I left urxvt for](https://www.paritybit.ca/blog/urxvt-to-st). It +also still has a scrollback buffer, zooming in and out, clickable URLS, and it +seems a Vi mode is also coming in the next release which I am very excited for. +The only thing I didn't really like about it was the YAML configuration and its +size in RAM. + +I did give some alternatives a shot. I tried Termite but found it to be too big +a pain in the butt to compile because of the need to also compile vte-ng which +itself was a pain (the terminal also behaved really weirdly for some reason, +backspacing would advance the cursor?), Kitty felt like it took too long to load +coming from St's ~100ms launch time, and other terminals like xfce4-terminal or +konsole wanted to bring in extra libraries and dependencies which I didn't want. + +The only things I've noticed that I would consider inferior about Alacritty is +that each terminal window uses about 90M of RAM compared to St's ~14-17M and it +still feels noticeably slower to launch. I'd estimate it takes Alacritty about +twice as long to launch as St (somewhere in the ballpark of 200-300ms) but I +don't have a great way of measuring it. The size of the Alacritty binary is 41M +whereas the size of the St binary is 104K—a significant increase, but ultimately +meaningless when you consider the size of contemporary storage. Also, Alacritty +is configured with YAML which is a very annoying configuration format because +it's white space sensitive (like Python). + +The technical advantages Alacritty does have over St is its support of colour +eomji without the [libxft-bgra +patch](https://gitlab.freedesktop.org/xorg/lib/libxft/-/merge_requests/1) and +the ability to properly make use of the `Delete` key without needing to set `set +enable-keypad on` in my `inputrc` (which didn't even work on remote machines +over SSH). Both of these workarounds are needed because Suckless refuses to +patch what are technically flaws in different programs—libxft and bash/ssh +respectively. + +As for the other suckless programs I use, if I am to switch I'd need to find +suitable replacements for dwm, slstatus, and dmenu. That's a little harder than +switching from St because, not only do I have no technical issues with that +software, there is also dwm's window swallowing patch which I consider to be a +killer feature and which is lacking from pretty much every other window manager +(I don't want to go back to bspwm). + +Ultimately, this is a tricky thing. How closely tied should we consider +Suckless' software from the Suckless people themselves? It would be easy enough +to fork it and maintain it under a different group and wantonly throwing away +software which is objectively useful because the creators are bad seems a little +extreme given that fact (look at what happened to ReiserFS). I will absolutely +not be recommending them anymore, but, in terms of switching off of something +that works really well for me, I really don't know. I'm curious what you think, +[send me an email](mailto:jbauer@paritybit.ca) or reply to [this post in the +Fediverse](https://pleroma.paritybit.ca/notice/9xQZNCVzQRiZdtxoeG). + +As always, my dotfiles can be found in the [dotfiles git +repository](https://git.sr.ht/~jbauer/dotfiles) +([mirror](https://git.paritybit.ca/dotfiles)). + +_This is my seventy-ninth post for the +[#100DaysToOffload](https://social.paritybit.ca/tags/100DaysToOffload) +challenge. You can learn more about this challenge over at +[https://100daystooffload.com](https://100daystooffload.com)._ diff --git a/pages/home.md b/pages/home.md @@ -18,6 +18,8 @@ This site will soon™️ be available over Gopher and Gemini. <a class="rss-icon" href="/feeds/sitewide-feed.xml"> <img src="/img/feed-icon.png" width="15" height="15" alt="Click for RSS Feed"/> </a> </div> +2020-07-24 <a class="feed-item" href="blog/switching-to-alacritty">"Switching From St to Alacritty" and "The Separation of Creators From Their Work"</a> + 2020-07-23 <a class="feed-item" href="blog/two-truths-and-a-lie">Two Truths and a Lie</a> 2020-07-23 <a class="feed-item" href="blog/mastodon-to-pleroma-2-customizing-my-instance">Mastodon to Pleroma — 2 — Customizing My Instance</a> @@ -36,8 +38,6 @@ This site will soon™️ be available over Gopher and Gemini. 2020-07-13 <a class="feed-item" href="blog/using-rm-with-trash">Using the "rm" Command with Trash</a> -2020-07-13 <a class="feed-item" href="blog/new-desktop-checklist">New Desktop Checklist</a> - ### What is a Parity Bit? It is a bit (in the 1's and 0's sense) used in checking for errors in digital diff --git a/public/feeds/sitewide-feed.xml b/public/feeds/sitewide-feed.xml @@ -7,6 +7,35 @@ <description>The feed that covers all notable additions, updates, announcements, and other changes for the entire paritybit.ca website.</description> <item> + <title>"Switching From St to Alacritty" and "The Separation of Creators From Their Work"</title> + <link>https://www.paritybit.ca/blog/switching-to-alacritty</link> + <guid>https://www.paritybit.ca/blog/switching-to-alacritty</guid> + <pubDate>Fri, 24 Jul 2020 20:25:09 -0400</pubDate> + <description><![CDATA[<h2 id="switching-from-st-to-alacritty-and-the-separation-of-creators-from-their-work">“Switching From St to Alacritty” and “The Separation of Creators From Their Work”</h2> +<div class="byline"> +<p><b>Written By:</b> Jake Bauer | <b>Posted:</b> 2020-07-24 | <b>Last Updated:</b> 2020-07-24</p> +</div> +<p>Buckle up. This is going to get political.</p> +<p>I’ve been a pretty happy user of St, the Simple Terminal from Suckless for quite a few months now. However, as I was scrolling through my Fediverse timeline this afternoon, I noticed a discussion about the attitudes of prominent software contributors in the FOSS community which made me re-think my software choices.</p> +<p>It’s no secret that a lot of people in FOSS can be abrasive, hard to deal with, and/or unaware of common social norms to the point where it can seriously harm a project’s image, as it did, for example, with the Linux kernel in the time before Linus Torvalds took some leave to learn how to control his aggression. It’s another story, however, when a group of people use and spread far-right rhetoric or partake in neo-nazi-like activities as I’ve recently learned prominent people from the Suckless group have done.</p> +<p>Here are the resources that were shared with me:</p> +<ul> +<li><a href="https://twitter.com/kuschku/status/1156488420413362177">Twitter thread 1</a></li> +<li><a href="https://twitter.com/pid_eins/status/1113738764797534208">Twitter thread 2</a></li> +<li><a href="https://harmful.neocities.org/">Cat-v ≠ Suckless</a></li> +</ul> +<p>From this, I can say that even if the Suckless team just has a really screwed up sense of humour, it’s not a group I’d want to promote or ever associate with.</p> +<p>This issue once again stirs up the debate about the separation of a piece of work from the creators of the work. Do we stop using or shun something that someone has created, even if it was previously loved, because of the actions of the creator? There’s no black-and-white or one-size-fits-all answer to that question. Some works are easier to separate from the creator, like the <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ReiserFS">ReiserFS</a> filesystem for example, because there are far more people than just Hans Resier (who, by the way, murdered his wife) developing it. On the other hand, other works have the creator’s personality strewn through it like, for example, the Harry Potter novels (if you didn’t know, J.K. Rowling <a href="https://www.scotsman.com/arts-and-culture/books/jk-rowling-twitter-why-harry-potter-author-has-been-accused-transphobia-2877977">is transphobic and is also an asshole about it</a>).</p> +<p>In the future, I will definitely avoid recommending Suckless’ software and I’ll be far more hesitant to consider them when evaluating tools to use. For now, one thing that I know I can switch from with little friction and with an actual technical benefit is St. I’ve been eyeing Alacritty as an alternative if I ever got tired of St because it seems to also be lightweight, fast, and supportive of the <a href="https://www.paritybit.ca/blog/urxvt-to-st">features I left urxvt for</a>. It also still has a scrollback buffer, zooming in and out, clickable URLS, and it seems a Vi mode is also coming in the next release which I am very excited for. The only thing I didn’t really like about it was the YAML configuration and its size in RAM.</p> +<p>I did give some alternatives a shot. I tried Termite but found it to be too big a pain in the butt to compile because of the need to also compile vte-ng which itself was a pain (the terminal also behaved really weirdly for some reason, backspacing would advance the cursor?), Kitty felt like it took too long to load coming from St’s ~100ms launch time, and other terminals like xfce4-terminal or konsole wanted to bring in extra libraries and dependencies which I didn’t want.</p> +<p>The only things I’ve noticed that I would consider inferior about Alacritty is that each terminal window uses about 90M of RAM compared to St’s ~14-17M and it still feels noticeably slower to launch. I’d estimate it takes Alacritty about twice as long to launch as St (somewhere in the ballpark of 200-300ms) but I don’t have a great way of measuring it. The size of the Alacritty binary is 41M whereas the size of the St binary is 104K—a significant increase, but ultimately meaningless when you consider the size of contemporary storage. Also, Alacritty is configured with YAML which is a very annoying configuration format because it’s white space sensitive (like Python).</p> +<p>The technical advantages Alacritty does have over St is its support of colour eomji without the <a href="https://gitlab.freedesktop.org/xorg/lib/libxft/-/merge_requests/1">libxft-bgra patch</a> and the ability to properly make use of the <code>Delete</code> key without needing to set <code>set enable-keypad on</code> in my <code>inputrc</code> (which didn’t even work on remote machines over SSH). Both of these workarounds are needed because Suckless refuses to patch what are technically flaws in different programs—libxft and bash/ssh respectively.</p> +<p>As for the other suckless programs I use, if I am to switch I’d need to find suitable replacements for dwm, slstatus, and dmenu. That’s a little harder than switching from St because, not only do I have no technical issues with that software, there is also dwm’s window swallowing patch which I consider to be a killer feature and which is lacking from pretty much every other window manager (I don’t want to go back to bspwm).</p> +<p>Ultimately, this is a tricky thing. How closely tied should we consider Suckless’ software from the Suckless people themselves? It would be easy enough to fork it and maintain it under a different group and wantonly throwing away software which is objectively useful because the creators are bad seems a little extreme given that fact (look at what happened to ReiserFS). I will absolutely not be recommending them anymore, but, in terms of switching off of something that works really well for me, I really don’t know. I’m curious what you think, <a href="mailto:jbauer@paritybit.ca">send me an email</a> or reply to <a href="https://pleroma.paritybit.ca/notice/9xQZNCVzQRiZdtxoeG">this post in the Fediverse</a>.</p> +<p>As always, my dotfiles can be found in the <a href="https://git.sr.ht/~jbauer/dotfiles">dotfiles git repository</a> (<a href="https://git.paritybit.ca/dotfiles">mirror</a>).</p> +<p><em>This is my seventy-ninth post for the <a href="https://social.paritybit.ca/tags/100DaysToOffload">#100DaysToOffload</a> challenge. You can learn more about this challenge over at <a href="https://100daystooffload.com">https://100daystooffload.com</a>.</em></p>]]></description> + </item> +<item> <title>Two Truths and a Lie</title> <link>https://www.paritybit.ca/blog/two-truths-and-a-lie</link> <guid>https://www.paritybit.ca/blog/two-truths-and-a-lie</guid> diff --git a/public/sitemap.xml b/public/sitemap.xml @@ -3,6 +3,7 @@ <url><loc>https://www.paritybit.ca</loc></url> <url><loc>https://www.paritybit.ca/home</loc></url> <url><loc>https://www.paritybit.ca/blog</loc></url> + <url><loc>https://www.paritybit.ca/blog/switching-to-alacritty</loc></url> <url><loc>https://www.paritybit.ca/blog/two-truths-and-a-lie</loc></url> <url><loc>https://www.paritybit.ca/blog/mastodon-to-pleroma-2-customizing-my-instance</loc></url> <url><loc>https://www.paritybit.ca/blog/mastodon-to-pleroma-1-setting-up-a-pleroma-server</loc></url>