As part of the ongoing revitalization of gopher, there has been quite a bit of discussion about what, exactly, is good about gopher, and whether you can separate that from what’s bad about the world wide web. From another angle: are there good things about the web that we can import to alleviate gopher’s shortcomings?
The discourse A recent thread of that conversation has been an exchange between ~solderpunk and ~enkiv2.
This blog is produced with hugo, a static site generator, and the articles are written in Markdown, a plain text markup format. Since the articles are fundamentally plain text, for some time I’ve been wanting to make them available over gopher, a simple protocol that was created around the same time as the first versions of the World Wide Web. I used gopher before I used the WWW in Lynx and Mosaic, and even after the web was dominant, I used GNOFN’s free dial-up gopher as my access point to the internet.
Introduction A year and a half ago, I wrote about what a federated replacement for Facebook would look like. Part of that was differences from Facebook, and another part was differences from Mastodon, the leading federated social network software. Since then, I’ve used Mastodon a lot more, Mastodon has added and changed features, and my thinking has evolved, so I feel like it’s time to write an update to that article.
It has come to my attention that some people I interact with do not know how to cook grits. This is a matter of the greatest seriousness, which must be remedied immediately.
This is a recipe, or more just guidelines or instructions on how to properly cook grits. It will assume you are lacto-ovo-vegetarian, but will offer vegan substitutions where possible. If you do not like grits, it is probably because you have never had them properly prepared; you may be familiar only with instant grits, or the next-to-instant grits served by Waffle House or university cafeterias.
A little while ago, I wrote a thread on glitch.social about ephemerality of posting on social media as compared to Usenet. It got a little bit of traction, and one person asked if I could post more about Usenet clients. I haven’t gotten to it until today, and I thought I would post on my blog instead of on glitch. The original thread wasn’t really about Usenet clients; it was mainly about how posts on Usenet expired, which is contrary to people’s current expectations about social media, but actually worked very well.
So, it appears that I’ve (accidentally?) written a Mastodon client! It’s been public for long enough that I probably ought to write about it.
Brutaldon is a brutalist (mostly) web client for Mastodon and Pleroma. You can use it to connect to most instances from almost any web browser — I commonly use it from Lynx and w3m, as well as my day-to-day Firefox, and I’ve seen others use it on retro browsers on 1990s and early 2000s hardware.
What is Prosody? Prosody is an XMPP server; for most people and most uses, that means it’s an instant messaging server that anyone can run, and talk to anyone with an account on any other XMPP server. So unlike centralized chat platforms like WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger, you don’t have to trust a single big company to run it and to not misuse your data. I’m focusing on Prosody here because I run a Prosody server, and in my experience it’s easier to set up and run than others.
This is a quick update to my article on Firefox Focus for Android, which is to say that I’ve, at least temporarily, stopped using Firefox Focus. But the reason is good for Firefox!
Most people know by now that Firefox Quantum has landed in mobile, and brings the same speed improvements as on desktop. What’s even newer (I think) is that at least Firefox Beta for Android includes a Custom Tabs implementation, compatible with Chrome Custom Tabs.
I had an entirely remarkable cup of coffee this past weekend while I was on the road. It was a cheap cup of medium-roast that had been sitting in a Bunn-O-Matic at a highway-exit gas station for hours.
It tasted exactly like the coffee I drank with friends in high school, sitting in the smoking section of Shoneys and talking for hours. The taste immediately took me back over 25 years.
On a lot of blogs and QA sites, you’ll find the recommendation to, if you have a low-RAM Linux desktop or laptop, to reduce vm.swappiness, the tuning knob that tells the kernel how much to prioritize moving unused application memory to swap to free up memory for the cache. It’s commonly recommended to reduce it to 10, and many guides recommend reducing it to extreme values like 0 (disable swap) or 1 (swap only when the only other option would be to OOM-kill processes).