I think there’s a certain mode of thinking which lends itself to a more productive free software community and a happier free software contributor. Free software is not theirs - it’s ours. ... These projects belong to everyone. That includes you! In this way, we reap the benefits of open source, but we also shoulder the responsibilities. I’m not referring to some abstract sense of reponsibility, but the tangible ones, like fixing bugs or developing new features.

One of the great things about this community is how easy it is to release your software under a FOSS license. You have no obligations to the software once it’s released, except the obligations you hold yourself to (i.e. “if this software makes my computer work, and I want to use my computer, I need to keep this software in good working order”). It’s important for users to remember that they’re not entitled to anything other than the rights laid out in the license, too. You’re not entitled to bug fixes or new features - you’re empowered by free software to make those changes yourself.

Sometimes ... someone says something like “oh, it’s a bug in libwayland”. My response is generally along the lines of “I guess you’re writing a libwayland patch then!” ... If a problem in some FOSS project, be it a bug or a conspicuously missing feature, is in the way of your goals, it’s your problem.


The entire world of free software is your oyster. Nothing is off-limits: if it’s FOSS, you can work on it. Try not to be intimidated by unknown programming languages, unfamiliar codebases, or a lack of time. You’ll pick up the new language sooner than you think1, all projects are similar enough when you get down to it, and small amounts of work done infrequently adds up over a long enough time period. FOSS doesn’t have to move quickly, it just has to keep moving. ...

THIS is how I hope to approach FOSS, and my use and contributions to it.
Sonata recently wrote a post titled, "The OS should provide a statically typed environment." which included the following:

Rule of thumb: if you're doing it right, a programming language shouldn't have a "syntax". It should have IDEs that write typed ASTs.

I disagreed, in what I think is an interesting way. I commented with the following:

All digital data is a sequence of bits -- that's always going to be true. I agree that not all (or even lots) of digital data should be treated as a sequence of Unicode codepoints; but claiming that data is really typed ASTs... isn't accurate. Lots of data can be treated as typed ASTs -- but it's still really a sequence of bits.

And the idea that a single sequence of bits can (or should) only be interpreted as one particular "type" -- that's misleading, and unnecessarily limiting. I want to retain access to the underlying bit sequence, so if my usual IDE's interpretation of it is insufficient, I can use a different program to interpret it differently. If the IDE (or the whole OS) refuses me access to the actual bit sequence -- then I'm a prisoner of the assumptions of whoever wrote the "blessed" IDE. Fuck that noise.

I agree with parts and disagree with parts, although I'm not sure how best to express which. Comments welcomed.
I just watched the pilot episode of a new comedy on ABC, "Speechless", and it was delightful. It's about a family with three kids, arriving in a new school, and figuring out how to fit in and make things work. The hook is that one of the two sons has cerebral palsy, and uses an AAC device without speech-generating capacity. At the new school, the school district has agreed to pay for a full-time (even outside of school) aid to read out what he is saying.

The producers of the show have very clearly listened long and carefully to a LOT of disabled people -- there are many jokes that could easily have come from "Shit people say to disabled people" videos.

It's very good, and you can watch it (with commericals) on . Please do so -- the more who do, the more likely they are to pay for more episodes.

The Looming Unfinished Task by Greta Christina; not read yet, intending to read soon
If you are looking for a venue to organise a spectacular scientific conference or symposium, you will find it here, at the “Wieliczka” Salt Mine, exactly 110 meters underground. The chamber is a unique combination of tradition and modernity. It is a great alternative to boring, concrete and glass conference rooms.
Drozdowice IV Chamber - “Wieliczka” Salt Mine - tourist attractions of Malopolska



I've played it and finished, so it is possible.

I like this phrase, from the examples: "Hey, did anyone see the sportsball game last night? How amazing was the ball thrown by that sportsball player on the team that half of you root for and the rest of you hate?"
A common mental model for performance is what I'll call the "error model."  In the error model, a person's performance of a musical piece (or performance on a test) is a perfect performance plus some random error. ... But we could also consider the "bug model" of errors. A person taking a test or playing a piece of music is executing a program, a deterministic procedure.  If your program has a bug, then you'll get a whole class of problems wrong, consistently.

Do read the whole thing! Interesting and thoughtful essay from 2012 on learning. Inspired by Mel Baggs essays.

Yay feeds!

Sep. 20th, 2015 10:26 pm
I am importing all (one at a time, sadly) the Tumblr blogs I follow into my Dreamwidth reading page as *Feeds*. You can do so too, just go to: and put in a tumblr blog, followed by "/rss". It's good!



January 2019

678 9101112


RSS Atom

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Page generated Apr. 22nd, 2019 02:02 pm
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios