19 Matching Annotations
  1. Jan 2023
    1. Software should be a malleable medium, where anyone can edit their tools to better fit their personal needs. The laws of physics aren’t relevant here; all we need is to find ways to architect systems in such a way that they can be tweaked at runtime, and give everyone the tools to do so.

      It's clear that gklitt is referring to the ability of extensions to augment the browser, but: * it's not clear that he has applied the same thought process to the extension itself (which is also software, after all) * the conception of in-browser content as software tooling is likely a large reason why the perspective he endorses here is not more widespread—that content is fundamentally a copy of a particular work, in the parlance of US copyright law (which isn't terribly domain-appropriate here so much as its terminology is useful)

  2. Aug 2022
    1. Editorial: The real reason I wanted Cmm to succeed: to democratize programming. It wouldn’t belong in any business plan, and I seldom mentioned to anyone, but the real reason I wanted Cmm to succeed was not about making money (although paying the mortgage was always important). The real reason was because of the feeling I had when I programmed a computer to perform work for me
    1. Roughly stated, my overarching career mission is to design, build, and deploy software platforms that put end users in control of their computing and data, in part by making it easy and natural for programmers to create software that honors user desire.
  3. Jul 2022
    1. Free as in ...? Points out that freedoms afforded by foss software to the average computer user are effectively the same as proprietary software, because it's too difficult to even find the source and build it, let alone make any changes. Advocates the foss developers should not think only about the things that users are not legally prevented from doing, but about what things they are realistically empowered and supported in doing.
  4. Jun 2022
    1. This is an excellent piece, even though the writing is (probably intentionally) in places too obscure.

  5. May 2022
    1. as if the only option we had to eat was factory-farmed fast food, and we didn’t have any way to make home-cooked meals

      See also An app can be a home-cooked meal along with this comment containing RMS's remarks with his code-as-recipe metaphor in the HN thread about Sloan's post:

      some of you may not ever write computer programs, but perhaps you cook. And if you cook, unless you're really great, you probably use recipes. And, if you use recipes, you've probably had the experience of getting a copy of a recipe from a friend who's sharing it. And you've probably also had the experience — unless you're a total neophyte — of changing a recipe. You know, it says certain things, but you don't have to do exactly that. You can leave out some ingredients. Add some mushrooms, 'cause you like mushrooms. Put in less salt because your doctor said you should cut down on salt — whatever. You can even make bigger changes according to your skill. And if you've made changes in a recipe, and you cook it for your friends, and they like it, one of your friends might say, “Hey, could I have the recipe?” And then, what do you do? You could write down your modified version of the recipe and make a copy for your friend. These are the natural things to do with functionally useful recipes of any kind.

      Now a recipe is a lot like a computer program. A computer program's a lot like a recipe: a series of steps to be carried out to get some result that you want. So it's just as natural to do those same things with computer programs — hand a copy to your friend. Make changes in it because the job it was written to do isn't exactly what you want. It did a great job for somebody else, but your job is a different job. And after you've changed it, that's likely to be useful for other people. Maybe they have a job to do that's like the job you do. So they ask, “Hey, can I have a copy?” Of course, if you're a nice person, you're going to give a copy. That's the way to be a decent person.

  6. www.mindprod.com www.mindprod.com
    1. Show me a switch statement as if it had been handled with a set of subclasses. There is underlying deep structure here. I should be able to view the code as if it had been done with switch or as if it had been done with polymorphism. Sometimes you are interested in all the facts about Dalmatians. Sometimes you are interested in comparing all the different ways different breeds of dogs bury their bones. Why should you have to pre-decide on a representation that lets you see only one point of view?

      similar to my strawman for language skins

  7. www.dreamsongs.com www.dreamsongs.com
    1. the very existence of a master plan means, by definition, that the members of the community can have little impact on the future shape of their community,
  8. Apr 2022
    1. Why is Standard Ebooks sending content-security-policy: default-src 'self';? This is not an appropriate use. (And it keeps things like the Hypothesis sidebar from loading.)

    1. except its codebase is completely incomprehensible to anyone except the original maintainer. Or maybe no one can seem to get it to build, not for lack of trying but just due to sheer esotericism. It meets the definition of free software, but how useful is it to the user if it doesn't already do what they want it to, and they have no way to make it do so?

      Kartik made a similar remark in an older version of his mission page:

      Open source would more fully deliver on its promise; are the sources truly open if they take too long to grok, so nobody makes the effort?

      https://web.archive.org/web/20140903010656/http://akkartik.name/about

    1. work-around

      Bookmarklets and the JS console seem to be the workaround.

      For very large customizations, you may run into browser limits on the effective length of the bookmarklet URI. For a subset of well-formed programs, there is a way to store program parts in multiple bookmarklets, possibly loaded with the assistance of a separate bookmarklet "bootloader", although this would be tedious. The alternative is to use the JS console.

      In FIrefox, you can open a given script that you've stored on your computer by pressing Ctrl+O/Cmd+O, selecting the file as you would in any other program, and then pressing Enter. (Note that this means you might need to press Enter twice, since opening the file in question merely puts its contents into the console input and does not automatically execute it—sort of a hybrid clipboard thing.) I have not tested the limits of the console input for e.g. input size.

      As far as I know, you can also use the JS console to get around the design of the dubious WebExtensions APIs—by ignoring them completely and going back to the old days and using XPCOM/Gecko "private" APIs. The way you do is is to open about:addons by pressing Ctrl+Shift+A (or whatever), opening or pasting the code you want to run, and then pressing Enter. This should I think give you access to all the old familiar Mozilla internals. Note, though, that all bookmarklet functionality is disabled on about:addons (not just affecting bookmarklets that would otherwise violate CSP by loading e.g. an external script or dumping an inline one on the page`).

    2. CSP is taking away too much of the user's power and control over their browser use
  9. Oct 2021
    1. Disable features that inhibit control and transparency, and add or modify features that promote them (these changes will almost always require manual activation or enabling).
    2. In addition, Google designed Chromium to be easy and intuitive for users, which means they compromise on transparency and control of internal operations.
  10. Mar 2021
    1. Second, I don't agree that there are too many small modules. In fact, I wish every common function existed as its own module. Even the maintainers of utility libraries like Underscore and Lodash have realized the benefits of modularity and allowed you to install individual utilities from their library as separate modules. From where I sit that seems like a smart move. Why should I import the entirety of Underscore just to use one function? Instead I'd rather see more "function suites" where a bunch of utilities are all published separately but under a namespace or some kind of common name prefix to make them easier to find. The way Underscore and Lodash have approached this issue is perfect. It gives consumers of their packages options and flexibility while still letting people like Dave import the whole entire library if that's what they really want to do.
  11. Nov 2020
  12. Jul 2018
    1. For now, the Solid technology is still new and not ready for the masses. But the vision, if it works, could radically change the existing power dynamics of the Web. The system aims to give users a platform by which they can control access to the data and content they generate on the Web. This way, users can choose how that data gets used rather than, say, Facebook and Google doing with it as they please. Solid’s code and technology is open to all—anyone with access to the Internet can come into its chat room and start coding.