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Messages - ersi

1
The Lounge / Re: Cats, cats, cats
Oops! Imran Khan's Party Live-streams Govt Meet on Facebook With Cat Filter
2
DnD Central / Re: Today's Bad News

US now seeking social media details from all visa applicants

The State Department is now requiring nearly all applicants for U.S. visas to submit their social media usernames, previous email addresses and phone numbers. It's a vast expansion of the Trump administration's enhanced screening of potential immigrants and visitors.

[...]

Social media, email and phone number histories had only been sought in the past from applicants who were identified for extra scrutiny, such as people who'd traveled to areas controlled by terrorist organizations. An estimated 65,000 applicants per year had fallen into that category.

[...]

The new rules apply to virtually all applicants for immigrant and nonimmigrant visas.... The new visa application forms list a number of social media platforms and require the applicant to provide any account names they may have had on them over the previous five years. They also give applicants the option to volunteer information about social media accounts on platforms not listed on the form.
My next trip to USA will occur early next year. We'll see how bad it is. Already, there is a requirement in place that people's smartphones, tablets, and ereaders should be charged so that they switch on upon the officials' request when they want to take a look at/into them. If not, get lost.

By these rules, a trip to USA has become about as inconvenient as a trip to Russia.
3
WA Supreme Court Upholds Fine Against Presidential Electors Who Failed To Cast Vote In Accordance With Popular Vote
In this latest episode of electioneering in American politics, [three presidential electors in Washington State] took it upon themselves to decide who they believed deserved election and not support that of the common voter. In this case, three electors reportedly perceived that then Candidate Donald Trump would win the election and to at least in a hail Mary type of stunt forestall this by casting their vote for Colin Powell instead of Hillary Clinton who won the state's popular vote.

[...]

Strangely, the penalty afforded was only civil in nature and in a comparatively weak fine....

Here a third of the electors (four of twelve) delegated to Washington abandoned their duty to elect the Clinton ticket. Had instead all twelve voted for the Powell ticket they would have effectively disenfranchised the entirety of the Washington electorate and collectively suffered in total twelve thousand dollars.
Yes, the fine is small compared to the blatant act of spitting at ordinary voters' decision, but why institute a political office where the function is to simply reaffirm what the voters already decided? Since the voters already decided it, it should move on to implementation. The fine is ludicrously small and weak, but the whole presidential electors thingie, as instituted in Washington State, is completely unnecessary.

Background Facts:

... The people of the state do not vote for presidential electors. Rather, they vote for presidential candidates. The nominees of the party that wins the popular vote are appointed by the legislature to be Washington State's presidential electors....


... Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine won the popular vote in Washington State....

... Appellants did not vote for Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine, as required by their pledge, but instead voted for Colin Powell for president and a different individual for vice-president....
4
The Push to Remove Any Mention of Slavery From Vermont's Constitution
... Vermont, which was 95 percent white at the time of the last census, has been known for its racial liberalism since becoming the first place in the Western Hemisphere, in 1777, to outlaw slavery....

... the language [of the slavery provision of the constitution of Vermont] is ambiguous: Designed to allow apprenticeships and indentured servitude, both relatively common 18th-century practices, the document explicitly banned only slavery for adults...

"...no person born in this country, or brought from over sea, ought to be holden by law, to serve any person as a servant, slave or apprentice, after arriving to the age of twenty-one years, unless bound by the person's own consent, after arriving to such age, or bound by law for the payment of debts, damages, fines, costs, or the like...."
Not so sure how an "unless" allowing for "person's own consent" outlaws slavery.

There's a similar problem with the abolition-of-slavery amendment of the United States constitution:
Quote from: Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution
Section 1. Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime....
To preserve slavery, the southern states could simply have declared all slaves guilty of mutiny or something.
5
It means limiting CPU/memory.
Something like settings for accelerators and such in IE and FF? Yup, that's innovation. Fine-grained performance controls would be welcome of course, but I expect coarse, clumsy, and crippled from Opera ASA, the way its allegedly inbuilt adblocking is. And I absolutely hate that video popout thingie.
6
ranger is an interesting alternative to mc.

http://ranger.github.io/
And nnn is said to be an interesting alternative to ranger.

I have been keeping an eye on and tried them all. In my opinion, mc does just about the right amount of things in the right way, such as multi-rename, multi-copy, and other multi-select operations. Those alternatives can do all of it too, but I find the dual-pane interface cozier particularly for multi-copying of files. And I am not so comfortable with so many automatic viewers as are present in those alternatives.

In reality, my file operations are so low-key that I mostly still do ls.
7
It took a while, but I (think I) finally understood that all text editors are for coders, and coders are not writers, so text editors will never be quite suitable for writing. Even Emacs with all its modes and extensions is for coders only, and has some way to go to become a word processor useful for writers.

There are a few crucial differences between writing code and writing human-language text. For coders, the repetitive (and therefore ideally automated) tasks are code-snippets in the beginning or in the end or around words and paragraphs. Instead of spellcheck, coders can make a good use of autosuggest, because their word-base is limited and repetitive.

Writers of techy and journalistic texts need more fixing for whitespace than for actual words. Or perhaps for words and phrases a most welcome feature would be suggestions from a dictionary of synonyms, particularly for writers of novels. And instead of code-snippets, writers need some actual typesetting (formatting) features, but not too much, because typesetting is a distinct task and everybody should be aware of it.

Writers in multiple languages (applies to any complicated novel, and much more so to scientific articles) need a convenient spellcheck for multiple languages in one document (multi-spellcheck). Unfortunately text editors can spellcheck just one language, and they tend to assume that a single document is a single language. (At worst they even assume that the only spellcheck language you need is the computer's default language.) An ideal spellcheck in a word processor would allow the user to:
1. select a chunk of text in the document
2. tell what language the chunk is
3. spellcheck the chunk for that language

And of course make exclusions for names, acronyms, and special signs when writing a technical text or in a markup language.

Another nice feature for human writers would be multi-selection: Make a selection of regions of text in different places in the document and swap the regions. Not cut first in one place, move it to the other place, then cut from the other place and move it to the first place, but select here, select there, and swap - much more convenient. Not going to happen in this world, I guess.

Anyway, I eventually found an actual word processor for the terminal: Wordgrinder. For starters, just look at the options to move around in the document. By the way, all keybinds are reassignable on the fly, no restart of the program needed.


8
Elections are going on in Europe, so it seems.
Luckily it's over now. Some candidates were really annoyingly campaigning on the streets. I hid myself from them at my home and did not vote.
9
What's this about? Gnome app developers ranting against theming?
GTK Stylesheets can make applications look broken, and even unusable.

Icon Themes can change icon metaphors, leading to interfaces with icons that don't express what the developer intended.

App Icons are the identity of an app. Changing an app's icon denies the developer the possibility to control their brand.

Appstream Screenshots (the screenshots used in GNOME Software or Flathub) are not very useful if they look nothing like the real app does once you install it.

[...]

Though we could disable theming directly in our apps, we do not want to resort to this. We believe that a technical solution would likely not be effective, because this is not a technical problem.

The problem we're facing is the expectation that apps can be arbitrarily restyled without manual work, which is and has always been an illusion.

[...]

© Do Not Theme, 2019
On the one hand there is what the app *does* and on the other there is what the app *looks like.* What's the reason that these two should be inscrutably fused? Theming is things like enlarging the fonts, adding/changing contrast to tints in the interface, and when you can do it a little, then why not a whole lot for fun or for special needs? Why should one not be able to e.g. enlarge fonts in your app?

I understand the app developers' frustration a little bit, because my experience with Gnome is that theming is one of those things that makes Gnome unusable. But I vehemently disagree that theming is the evil. The evil is Gnome's incompetence at theming.

I have heard that GTK does not have an API for theming, every distro modifies the Adwaita theme (and ships the modification and occasionally fails to include the default) and that's plain stupid. Theming is important to have in a desktop environment and therefore there should be a DE-community policy about it. The solution should be easy: Adwaita must be there to fall back to, and there must be a procedure by which things fall back to it, duh. To disable themes would take away much of the appeal of Linux, just like Gnome's incompetence at theming has, in my case, caused me to never use it.

Mint and Manjaro have done a wonderful job at theming. They have worked very hard to achieve this. But theming is just about the looks. It should not be too hard.

For app developers, it should also not be too hard to educate yourselves to write the interface so that it is themable. Themes do not break your apps. Apps get broken by your inability to foresee that the interface could be themed differently. Every app *must* be themable, otherwise it is written by an incompetent developer! Unthemable apps are a nightmare for the user. I see this at my work every day when I need to open an app that is made exactly for a FullHD resolution screen, no more, no less; an app whose window is unresizable; an app that lacks the DE borders and titlebar; etc. (Luckily at my work there is MS Win, so it is not directly about Gnome app developers.)
10
What is "information density" wrt an operating system?
Like so: https://imgur.com/a/Dq5lm
That's just a design of an app. Admittedly the design of this app has become worse, but it would be easily fixed by reverting to the old design. This, in my opinion, would not change the "information density" of the operating system - it would only change what is visible on the screen at one go.

What is visible on the screen at one go should be configurable. During Win 8 era, MS put thought into displaying its opsys items on handheld touchscreens. Their production of handhelds ended, but Win 10 bears this legacy. For a handheld, the touchy tile-y oversized look would be just fine. What MS should be doing is to *also* carry the legacy of Win XP and 2000 and to permit the users to revert the desktop to what it used to be back in 2000-XP era, because back then Win used to be a desktop opsys, displayed on desktop screens, and the apps had the appropriate look for that.

I thought big words like "information density" would mean something more fundamental, such as the totality of the data accessible on the operating system by means of all of its apps and display modes. In this sense nothing has changed in MS during this century.
11
i'll stay on it till ... either windows becomes again normal OS
or till I find Linux distro that looks normal as they currently all look fugly and act as freaking mobile platform
Only Gnome looks ugly and only Ubuntu Unity (and other less-known corporate offerings) act as freaking mobile platform. But Ubuntu has discontinued Unity.

Anybody can improve their computer after some distro-hopping. The first choice may not work at all, but soon you will find what works much better than whatever Windows you may have there.
12
Windows 10 is still largely a downgrade compared to 7 but it's not nearly as bad as it used to be. It's got nightmare information density (read: none) but at least things are mostly configurable again.
What is "information density" wrt an operating system?
13
I don't know what it means, but Opera is making a gaming browser.
It means a skin, I assume. Opera Coast is a Chrome skin for Mac. Opera Touch is a browser skin for Android. Etc.

Opera ASA makes skins these, not browsers. There are better skins out there.
14
Congrats to Frenzie for the Dutch victory at Eurovision. Well, congrats to the performer too.

Eurovision is a terrible circus for decades now, and it is made worse that there is less and less European about it. Not only are non-Europeans participating (with full rights, not just for the circus effect) - the whole event took place, yet again, outside Europe.

The way it is going, I am thinking Eurovision should be re-formed and re-branded in the manner of movie festivals. Hollywood has its Academy Awards ceremony or the Oscars - the focus is in Hollywood, but the rest of the world gets to participate somewhat in various ways. Same with Cannes etc.

So, let it be something like Singers' Circus or Music Vanity Arena, hosted by EBU and Aussievision (and others as they become strong enough industry agents). And what was that heavyweight ballerina about? Oh, that was France. Oh dear.[1]
Btw, someone somewhere said that English "oh dear" originated from "adieu" or the like.
15
DnD Central / Re: DnD entropy
Let's see, I had a Symbian flip phone that I first put Opera Mini on.
I had Opera Mobile on SE P800, a Symbian phone on 2003 or 2004, and Mini on some Java-enabled phone a bit later. Opera Mobile for SE P800 was a very good version that I happily used until the phone's battery became unsustainable almost a decade later.

Funny that this thread should be the last to entropy here.
16
Installed otter browser 1.0.01_2 under FreeBSD/amd64. Works OK.                                                                      
Seems to not spy contrary to every other browser i tried.
Did you try Qutebrowser too? I am interested if it spies.

I never tested browsers with regard to their spying. When they spy, don't they also spy on that you are testing their spying?

Already found a fix for right click - in javascript options i disallowed intercepting it.
Sounds very much like a problem dependent on what a website does (and is allowed to do in the browser). E.g. I want my right-click menu to be the same on every website and this is why I disallow interception of it by websites. If this is not the default in browser settings, it is very saddening.
17
DnD Central / Re: DnD entropy
Soon it will be 18 years since it entropied :)
18
Browsers & Technology / Re: Minimal Apps
That sounds like a false dichotomy. You can also use "full" plain text in Markdown; you just won't get any of the things you may very well want (e.g., headers/bold/italic/lists/links/images). :)
When you want things like headers, bold, italic, etc. then you are obviously not wanting plain text. And when you have to escape things like brackets, then you are obviously not having plain text.

The very idea of markup languages is to go beyond plain text and this has its immediate drawbacks. Markdown's drawbacks are slighter than the drawbacks of, say, HTML, but the drawbacks are there, such as having to escape some stuff or the fact that a minus versus a plus in the beginning of a line loses its meaning/rendering. So the dichotomy is real.

Also the distinction of mdp and sent is real. In the first you have the source text in markdown, by which you get headers and other formatting and you are supposed to distinguish slides by dash lines, while in the latter you just use paragraphs, you do not get headers, but it does not tie itself to the terminal and provides a sort-of opportunity for images (I wonder, since it does not use the terminal as its base, why not provide more formatting?). They are too different to use just one or the other rather than choosing one or the other to suit a current purpose.
19
DnD Central / Re: DnD entropy
Sadly the younger ones of us have gotten lives. The older ones have probably died off. And there is no natural growth of the next generation on the internet. On the internet, everything gets cataclysmically wiped over and replaced every few years.
20
Browsers & Technology / Re: Minimal Apps
Here's a tutorial how to run markdown to pdf with pandoc https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dum7q6UXiCE (tutorial for me rather than you, because you certainly know it already) The one thing wrong in the tutorial is the title that that's the easiest way to do presentations. The easiest is actually suckless sent, which renders plain text. Markdown may seem easy, but plain text is still easier.
21
DnD Central / Re: DnD entropy
Maybe before this place becomes completely abandoned, we should have a members gettogether irl somewhere convenient, such as Brussels? Flights are cheap right now.

Nah, I guess this place is already dead. The last chance was last year...
22
Browsers & Technology / Re: Minimal Apps
More markdown fun: mdp does slideshows based on text written in markdown.

Install mdp, download the sample.md file and run it in mdp. The file is a tutorial. Not as instructive as vimtutorial but almost. And great to look at, even though I would like it to inherit my .Xresources colours out of the box.

Update:
patat is a markdown slideshower with great promises, allegedly employing pandoc. The input format is even slightly simpler - instead of requiring explicit rulers to divide the slides as in mdp, every new header starts a new slide. However, other styling requires some haskell hacking with its ridiculously strict indentation demands, so that it is not plain and simple markup anymore.

Moreover, patat absolutely fails at the number one basic premise of presentation slides: fit to centre. There is a bug report about it but it has not been touched for years. It seems that there is total indecision about centering in pandoc markdown language, but this should not prevent the maker of a presentation slide programme to do what a presentation slide programme should do.

And I found a serious bug in mdp too. As its colours are hardcoded with lack of forethought, its invert mode mdp -i sample.md produces crap on a dark terminal emulator. Luckily this is circumvented by mdp -ti sample.md. Make it mdp -fti sample.md (-f to remove the transition effect) and it becomes a more usable markdown slideshower that patat will never catch despite its initial great promises.

Update 2: Oops, mdp doesn't do markdown tables. What now?? Well, that's why the keynote speakers in hacker conferences use Emacs Org or some contraption script of their own making instead of terminal slideshow apps. These apps are just not quite there. I guess I must do more Emacs too.
23
Browsers & Technology / Re: Minimal Apps
Well, a colour scheme is how the editor looks. Syntax highlight is how the opened text looks, i.e. the specific language in the file should be recognised and colorised. The two (colour scheme and syntax highlight) should not really be related, even though they may mess with each other. Colour schemes are not available in nano, except by giving the whole terminal emulator an overhaul.

By the way, I am already getting fed up with micro. I am so much more used to with the cursor movements in nano and also to the way selection and pasting works in pure terminal emulator. Nice little program, but vim is more rewarding and nano does all I need anyway.

Edit: And I did not give enough credit to mouse support in nano: Mouse was useful to set mark (i.e. start selection). Now nano has an updated man page and the mouse support has been extended even further. Anyway, I don't use it.

These days the man page starts as follows:
Quote from: man nano
Starting  with version 4.0, nano no longer hard-wraps an overlong line by default, and no longer automatically adds a newline at the end of the text if one is missing.  Furthermore, it uses smooth scrolling by default and makes use of the line below the title bar.
These are all big changes over the past few years.
24
Browsers & Technology / Re: Minimal Apps
For example right now, typing a bit longer lines, I see that micro does not autowrap lines and I have no idea how to make it do it. I did Ctrl+e help wrap and got "Sorry, no help for wrap"
Ha, found it. Out of the box it creates a config file at ~/.config/micro/settings.json and there's the line "softwrap": false,. So it does the config part conveniently too: Autocreate a human-readable config file at some sensible place and let people hack it.
25
Browsers & Technology / Re: Minimal Apps
Yes, text editors are interesting. I have configured micro to be the text editor in my terminal browsers and I am trying it out right now.

For me it was instantly reminiscent of nano but this is a false impression. For example right now, typing a bit longer lines, I see that micro does not autowrap lines and I have no idea how to make it do it. I did Ctrl+e help wrap and got "Sorry, no help for wrap"

It features prominently some superfluous niceties like colour schemes and astonishingly convenient mousing support on terminal, evidently achieved with xclip and xsel. It also autocompletes parentheses and brackets and provides syntax highlighting, but at the same time there appears to be no thought given to spellcheck.

Whereas nano misses colour schemes (which is a good thing, because you mostly want your terminal apps look all the same) but there is some rudimentary way to plug in some spellcheck. And its quirky keybinds are not too much of a problem, because out of the box you get the helpful line with some commands that can be used in the given context. Then again, nano's so-called mouse support simply disables pointer access to the terminal emulator and its only function is to scroll big files. I mostly keep the so-called mouse support off to be able to select the way the terminal emulator lets me.