how /linux got its groove back

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how /linux got its groove back

Postby fig1 » December 5th, 2015, 8:01 pm

im certainly interested in practical, daily computer tasks. i use gnu/linux for graphics, everything online, organization, coding, media and entertainment.

im mostly interested in programming.

as far as experts go, im not one. ive been enjoying a programming hobby for decades, and i always want to share that with other people-- especially those who might be reluctant.

so im looking for lots of ways to get people into coding, and this is a common thing these days. originally i was giving away machines with trisquel or debian 7 installed.

whether its "cool" to hate on windows depends on who youre talking to and what year, but i loved windows (over 15 years ago.) what microsoft is doing to customers is plainly evil, and though apple is somewhat evil too, i would prefer to see the marketshare of windows go down further.

but this is about the strange path /linux is on.

like i said, im interested in programming. i dont personally think that any system is better for programming than /linux, unless its bsd (which ive had less luck with.) when you use /linux, you have so many choices and so much control over your computer. you can drop down as far as you like, and if you bork the install you can just reinstall, if not fix it anyway.



i like python and bash a lot, and theyre ultimately more powerful than basic and dos, my first love. but even though i spent years learning both well enough for my needs, i think for many people the learning curve is too much.

i dont think anything would make /linux more useful to more people at this point than getting more people into coding. all the other ways are also good-- lets do all of them.

and if youre the type of person to teach yourself code, then python and bash (or javascript and ruby-- even racket or logo) will definitely be easy enough to teach yourself.

logo is so easy, but its difficult to introduce adults to programming through computer art. its great for kids, and kids at heart.

using code to get real things done (or get things made) is a little more "grown up," and if everyone doesnt make their own scripting language they should at least make their own markup language.

understanding code will help everyone understand computers so much better, and thats my mission.



but for people that already know how to code, i still think everyone should make their own language. it doesnt have to be serious or general-purpose, but its an opportunity. one you start creating your own languages (even simple ones) it can get very addictive.

ive never started a project i put more work into. ever. nothing keeps me at a project more than this.

but when you create a language, the main thing its going to be useful for is interfacing with other tasks: thats what blurs the line between toy and tool.

you can start out with a toy thats fun and saves time on something specific, then begin developing new ways to use it that almost start to look serious.



originally i wanted a language to create languages with. generally this is done the hard way, and you have to learn a terse, recursive language to create parsers with.

i started modifying qb64 to take qb programs and output python instead of c++. that was fun, but tedious.

i had more fun creating my own language (a simpler one than qb64) and designing it for teaching. ive spent a lot of time learning what stops people from learning to code and ive removed most of those issues from my language.

but again, this is actually about /linux.



the command line environment (often mispronounced "bash", but thats fine) in all unix-like systems is one of the most flexible and powerful environments ever created. some days its much nicer to write bash one liners than python; each has its own strength.

bridge languages, niche languages (above all, libre languages) in my opinion are key to keeping this environment powerful and relevant. no need to replace bash/zsh/fish, but i would like to see easier tools for beginners (that would not code at all otherwise.)

regarding languages for creating languages, "bash" (et al) lets you glue together all kinds of mini-tools with pipes. even "pure bash" is extremely accommodating, when it uses other standard utils.

but if you wanted everyone to create their own languages, rather than creating a sophisticated (or unsophisticated) parser and spending months on training yourself in that sort of work, you could hypothetically start today, and simply create your own commands for the bash shell. you dont have to pick a language, because you can write some commands in python, some in pure bash, and some in lua or ruby or node.js (if youre into that.) from this effort comes a new sort of "language." oreilly would call it "shell 2.0," but i promise i wont.

whats lacking in the computing world is a good education. since the vast majority that get one are going to take on for themselves, my interest is making it easier for them to learn casually, as a hobby or side-interest. you can join me, if you havent grown too cynical. (you might think i dont understand, but i can be pretty cynical too.) moreover, i hope youre not one of those people that think a larger percentage of computer literate people would be a bad thing. good luck.


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Re: how /linux got its groove back

Postby cynwulf » December 5th, 2015, 11:10 pm

it's not about linux, but more so 'free software'. linux is a kernel and the free software which makes up a typical 'linux' system does not just run on linux

the problem with 'linux' as it is? it's now a corporate affair, big businesses own and control most of it, rather than being the sole domain of the greasy hippies and social retards, with the real talent. who used to code in their bedrooms

of the users, only a very tiny minority are into coding, the rest just want to use the end result and don't care what's free or isn't, so much the same as windows except with absurd double standards

even 10 years ago a large proportion of 'linux' users were very knowledgeable, if not basic coders, then advanced users or students

the average linux user today just wants a free thing and they suck up all of the corporate shit spewed by red hat and canonical and regard google android as a 'linux' distro. they do not want to learn or expand help others, they mostly want to appear clever and pull others down to below their level and sneer and behave like 'fanboys'. go to any linux forum to see this. dumbed down accepted 'facts' and technical support friendly practises have replaced the enquiring minds rebelliousness of the user of 10 years beore.

linux itself is not the same, most projects have forgotten what they were all about and are populated by people solely with ambitions of getting on the payroll of hp/ibm/red hat intel/cisco/oracle/whatever. typical examples are torvalds and others who are effectively on the payroll of fortune 500 companies and serve their interests first and foremost

sorry to burst your bubble but it's been all over for a long time and systemd is the least of your troubles. systemd is just a small indicator to you of the direction in which 'linux' is heading and the nature of the people involved in it's development

have you heard of 'own the resistance'? in linux terms it's already happened, we're there now. gullible people and dreamers have simply underestimated the power of money

you might as well say 'come and clean microsofts toilets and we can change the computing world'
Last edited by Anonymous on December 5th, 2015, 11:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: how /linux got its groove back

Postby nauved » December 5th, 2015, 11:16 pm

cynwulf . . . is that you?
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Re: how /linux got its groove back

Postby cynwulf » December 5th, 2015, 11:21 pm

do you have anything useful to add besides asking if I am other users account? do you have an opinion on this?
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Re: how /linux got its groove back

Postby nauved » December 5th, 2015, 11:46 pm

I knew there was a reason I put you on my ignore list several weeks ago.
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Re: how /linux got its groove back

Postby fig1 » December 6th, 2015, 12:01 am

Winston Smith wrote:linux is a kernel and the free software which makes up a typical 'linux' system does not just run on linux


im glad youre making the distinction. i would rather just say "to heck with 'linux'" and refer to the operating system, though the kernels brand is stronger (its losing strength to android and systemd, so theres some justice) but i pretty much always put a "/" in front of "linux" and call it "gnu/linux" at least once.

you might/might not care about that, but imo doing so signals people that care about free software. so far every co-opting corporate dbag has shyed away from "gnu" which makes it attractive to me.


the problem with 'linux' as it is? it's now a corporate affair, big businesses own and control most of it, rather than being the sole domain of the greasy hippies and social retards, with the real talent. who used to code in their bedrooms


no argument there.


of the users, only a very tiny minority are into coding, the rest just want to use the end result and don't care what's free or isn't, so much the same as windows except with absurd double standards


this is true. i tend to shy away from that large "segment" of the community, so i know they exist but i rarely witness them. theyre about as interesting as clickbait/trollbait zdnet articles.


the average linux user today just wants a free thing and they suck up all of the corporate shit spewed by red hat and canonical and regard google android as a 'linux' distro. they do not want to learn or expand help others, they mostly want to appear clever and pull others down to below their level and sneer and behave like 'fanboys'. go to any linux forum to see this.


totally agreed. its tragic, but its what happens when you throw too much money where it honestly isnt needed.

i will sum up open source this way: open source comes along, looks at free software and says "gee thats nice, imagine what you could advocate if you had some real advertising budgets and money for conventions?"

so a decade or two passes, and theres more money and conventions than ever, but meanwhile the required budget to stand up against the co-opting of free software is larger than what was needed just to advocate the original purpose.

i wont even go into whats happened to the conventions, since theres one guy that plagues every forum and ml with that issue, then reveals himself to be a complete bigot. i wont go to the conventions. i also recommend this: https://github.com/domgetter/NCoC


linux itself is not the same, most projects have forgotten what they were all about and are populated by people solely with ambitions of getting on the payroll of hp/ibm/red hat intel/cisco/oracle/whatever. typical examples are torvalds and others who are effectively on the payroll of fortune 500 companies and serve their interests first and foremost


again we are entirely on the same page. i guess to understand where im coming from, replace "/linux" with whatever im obviously talking about: free software, gnu utils, python, the command shell. i did actually say "gnu/linux" at least once. not that "gnu" doesnt have its own issues, but theyre not the same issues.

it's been all over for a long time and systemd is the least of your troubles. systemd is just a small indicator to you of the direction in which 'linux' is heading and the nature of the people involved in it's development


actually, systemd is the only thing that has really gotten in my way. theres nothing i was doing with debian that i cant do now with devuan, but to really feel "ready" im waiting to be able to download a sources dvd image like i could with debian.

the way amprolla works, im not certain i can even make a downloader script without calling apt-get. in any case, i would rather have the convenience of a source dvd image (who wouldnt?) but im very happy to wait for beta on that.

(incidentally i routinely find updates for jessie and ascii, and the build network outputs to #devuan-dev on freenode, so i dont really grasp whats being said about the lack of devuan activity. its slow, but doesnt stop.)


you might as well say 'come and clean microsofts toilets and we can change the computing world'


pessimists have an unfair advantage in this world. just because id like you to be wrong doenst make me an optimist.

however, if youre completely right then this forum serves no real purpose. perhaps thats true; im willing to pretend the possibility exists if you are.

we dont disgree that much, though im not interested in cleaning toilets in redmond. i dont intend to sign anyone up for it, and i dont have any interest in working with systemd / canonical / linux foundation / redhat.

as for the future of free software, i dont think there will be one without free hardware. they just move the blobs to the cpu and northbridge/southbridge, so the days of free computing with intel seem few. (i do wish i had more faith in other archs to pick up the slack.)

im not an fsf cheerleader, either. they do have more integrity than linus torvalds and mark shuttleworth, and i like to give credit where its due. i would still be funding them, if they werent pushing that stupid noderivs license, as if cultural works and software (and "works of opinion") were distinct and separate entities, and the distinction wasnt invented/imaginary/self-serving.

im more inclined to give money to jaromil and ben mako hill, who seem to understand these things and be able to do service to them. i have not gotten around to it, but then it took me a few years to help fund the fsf (and debian, when they were worth it.)
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Re: how /linux got its groove back

Postby cynwulf » December 6th, 2015, 12:14 am

nauved wrote:I knew there was a reason I put you on my ignore list several weeks ago.

this does not make sense. if i am on your ignore list then why are you responding?
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Re: how /linux got its groove back

Postby cynwulf » December 9th, 2015, 11:55 pm

fig1 wrote:im glad youre making the distinction. i would rather just say "to heck with 'linux'" and refer to the operating system, though the kernels brand is stronger (its losing strength to android and systemd, so theres some justice) but i pretty much always put a "/" in front of "linux" and call it "gnu/linux" at least once.

to a gnu/linux system the kernel is rather important. if your gnu applications are running on windows, bsd or apple then a different kernel and abi is involved, same with android in most cases

fig1 wrote:you might/might not care about that, but imo doing so signals people that care about free software. so far every co-opting corporate dbag has shyed away from "gnu" which makes it attractive to me

I used to care about free software until I discovered that the whole 'movement' had been hijacked by self interested parties and fortune 500 companies. at that point I gave up caring about 'software'

fig1 wrote:this is true. i tend to shy away from that large "segment" of the community, so i know they exist but i rarely witness them. theyre about as interesting as clickbait/trollbait zdnet articles.

they are the primary user demographic and the people involved in developing to suit their needs are not that different in terms of ethics and goals

fig1 wrote:i wont even go into whats happened to the conventions

it is amazing how gullible people can be

fig1 wrote:as for the future of free software, i dont think there will be one without free hardware. they just move the blobs to the cpu and northbridge/southbridge, so the days of free computing with intel seem few. (i do wish i had more faith in other archs to pick up the slack.)

true
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Re: how /linux got its groove back

Postby Randicus Draco Albus » December 10th, 2015, 12:48 am

fig1 wrote:whats lacking in the computing world is a good education.
So computers are no different than anything else used by the masses. Unlike computers that are used by most people, electricity is used by everyone, but how many people can do basic electrical work (connecting wires, etc.)? They pay electricians to do it. The same with automobiles. It is ridiculous, but most people do not know how to do something as easy as change the engine oil. They must take the car to a shop. So of course most people do not have a clue about computers. They use them and it is up to someone else to make them usable. That will not change.

my interest is making it easier for them to learn casually, as a hobby or side-interest. you can join me, if you havent grown too cynical.
What are you planning to do? Start a website with tutorials? Start a forum? Place advertisements all over the internet? Start discussion threads on every Linux forum? If your idea is an information website or forum, does such a thing already exist? Before people can join your cause, they need to know what you have in mind.
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Re: how /linux got its groove back

Postby fig1 » December 11th, 2015, 4:57 am

Randicus Draco Albus wrote:What are you planning to do? Start a website with tutorials? Start a forum? Place advertisements all over the internet? Start discussion threads on every Linux forum? If your idea is an information website or forum, does such a thing already exist? Before people can join your cause, they need to know what you have in mind.


short term, i dont know which (if any) of those are necessary. this was more of an idea-stage idea in terms of collaboration. i figured if i started posting mini tools, other people could either contribute mini tools (single-purpose commands) or learn how to write them.

eventually, i think it would be good to have a programming forum. lots of those exist, but i havent seen one that is specifically for making a (decentralized) collaborative unix-based programming environment/language-- except github-- or for making mini tools related to such an environment.

it would be easy to demonstrate if the forum stayed up. as it looks its moot; this place will disperse in january, i think.

i will continue to work on related projects, but how they come together into something collaborative-- no idea. i do know that a top-down level of organization is not required, so it doesnt need to be centralized or limited to one forum/site.
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