Web Excursions 2021-06-02


A kakoune / neovim inspired editor, written in Rust.


  • Vim-like modal editing

  • Multiple selections

  • Built-in language server support

  • Smart, incremental syntax highlighting and code editing via tree-sitter

HN Comments

  • ljm: it's not really about the editor itself any more, it's about the ecosystem and the extensibility. The act of selecting and changing text is just a small part of the problem space.

  • jll29: Boehm, Atkinson and Plass (1995) proposed ropes as an alternative to strings for use in text editors. hx uses the Ropey crate (Rust library) to implement ropes: https://crates.io/crates/ropey

  • msoad: I never really felt faster eliminating mouse from my coding workflow. Point and click to navigate things is pretty powerful.

    • glaukopis: I’m always a bit disappointed that people making the case for mouse-lite workflows stop at “it makes you faster.” Removing a mouse from my workflow does wonders for ensuring that all my mental resources are dedicated to the task at hand.

[YouTube] Age verification issues - Can't download video. · Issue #28578 · ytdl-org/youtube-dl

[ The issue filer tried to download an age-gated video and got some age-verification errors. ]

.git/ERROR: Sign in to confirm your age This video may be inappropriate for some users. 

Replies from the maintainers:

  • Suika: You are probably connecting from EU, right? A change to YT was announced ~4 month that there will be extra steps for age verification in EU, iirc. If you connect from outside of EU, it should work.

  • remitamine: there is nothing to be done on the youtube-dl side. either use a proxy/VPN from a country outside the EU, or complete the age verification process.

  • fosam: If you connect from the EU and have not verified, theres is now way without the VPN. If you have already verified your account you can just pass the cookies and download.

[HN Comments]](https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=27353917)

  • alphabet9000: the "get cookies.txt" extension works to circumvent the age restricted measure and i have been using it with success for weeks now. get the extension, export the cookies.txt file to a folder, then run youtube-dl in that folder with: youtube-dl --cookies cookies.txt [link]

Amazon did the math and would actually prefer getting sued - The Verge

  • Amazon has recently changed its terms of service to allow its customers to bring lawsuits against the company instead of having to go through an arbitration process.

  • We’ve seen mass-arbitration happen before in attempts to pressure tech companies Both Uber and DoorDash have faced thousands of disputes from their workers.

  • As of May 1st, according to the WayBack Machine, the “Disputes” sub-section explained, at length, the process users would have to go through if they wanted to make a claim against the company. It also made clear Amazon’s responsibility to reimburse auditors fees for claims under $10,000, unless the claim was declared frivolous

  • Now, the disputes section reads:

    • Any dispute or claim relating in any way to your use of any Amazon Service will be adjudicated in the state or Federal courts in King County, Washington, and you consent to exclusive jurisdiction and venue in these courts. We each waive any right to a jury trial.

Why We Need to Rethink the Computer ‘Desktop’ as a Concept | by Ben Zotto | May, 2021 | OneZero

  • What is the desktop metaphor?

    • Topmost is whatever you are working on right now.

    • A “document” is stored in a “file,” and that file lives permanently in a “folder” (think: filing cabinet) or temporarily on your desktop.

    • each document is a file and each file is kept in exactly one place, and it’s up to you to create the folder organization system that makes sense

    • This design worked in the 1980s and 1990s

  • The internet completely changed what we use computers for

    • instead of creating documents — a sort of heavyweight work product — a lot of what we work with on our computers now are fragments

    • The cognitive load produced by modern internet use on top of a 1980s metaphor is high

    • Thus, two problems:

      • An ever-increasing junkpile of disorganized and often temporary material,

      • An ever-increasing set of ideas and informational fragments that are worth keeping and accessing,

        • but either don’t live on the disk as files in the traditional sense,

        • or live solely within cloud services accessed through a browser,

        • or are so hard to recover that it’s easier to just Google around and search the email yet again

  • The ascendence of (good) search over organization

    • [Google and the approach it represents] was a sea change in how we organized and thought about looking for information in the public sphere.

    • The world could be a complete disheveled mess, but as long as our interface to it was a clean white page with a search box, the real complexity was concealed.

    • Our computers have been applying small band-aids to our own information retrieval problems for years now. Trying and only partially managing to paper over that creaky desktop structure.

      • E.g., Spotlight, browser history search, clipboard

      • This all feels like a rather huge missed opportunity.

  • A computer for the modern user

    • Principles

      • Every piece of information the user interacts with is a fragment, and every fragment is findable later through standardized kinds of interface.

      • Fragments are created equal but rapidly accrue value, or decay.

        • Not just “last modified” date or whatever, but its whole history of access pattern.

        • A fragment has a whole profile of revealed usage preference associated with it.

      • Model fragment search and access after human memory, using access patterns and usage patterns as rich metadata to help the computer understand what is important and what is relevant

        • the cognitive dissonance between human memory (gradiated and complex and eventually faulty) and computer memory (binary: flawless or nonexistent).

      • Programs need to cut it out with the dreaded “do you want to review the 88 open documents” crap.

      • Sometimes, modeling human memory, things should get deleted permanently.

        • Content the user has a hand in directly creating probably shouldn’t.

        • But fragments from other places should

    • There are also services that do various levels of the sort of thing I’m suggesting.

      • E.g., Evernote, Notion

      • But these aren’t your computer desktop, the nerve center that sits at the nexus of your keyboard and monitor and local disk and internet connection.

  • All of this is really a story about access to information.

HN Comments

  • nexuist: The desktop is broken not because of the file/folder paradigm but because we stopped using files to represent information.

  • Perhaps the concept of file needs to evolve from a locally stored collection of bytes to a more generalized notion of locally identified collection of bytes, data links, and functional relations. All that should also have an ability of become fully localisable akin to 'clone'.

  • wvenable: Perhaps the problem is, as you allude to, that software is hostile to the user now. There's always something more than simply being a tool that you buy, use, and close. Now most programs are merely portals for "services".

Fixing the News Media and Digital Platform Bargaining Code

  • The News Media and Digital Platforms Mandatory Bargaining Code (NMDPMBC) of Australia imposes that all digital platforms must pay news organizations for any use of its news products. Including but not limited to merely linking to news.

  • [The author] proposes that news organizations should be compensated for their works when it’s packaged and used in a competing news destination service.

  • Any good legislation needs a few exceptions. Here are three exceptions I’d include in a revised legislation:

    1. a news destination with “fewer than 10 000 daily visitors (monthly average)” is exempt.

    2. news shared directly from a news organization’s own app or website should be exempt.

    3. a news destination that only aggregates news from syndication feeds (“RSS”) provided by the end-user to the service is exempt.