Nixers Book Club - Book #2: The UNIX-HATERS Handbook - Community & Forums Related Discussions

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Ch 4.
This chapter describes the various ways in which sendmail is a faulty program. I have little experience using sendmail directly. I end up using it via libraries in whichever language I'm working with. It's always worked great for me. I haven't done much with handling delivery of emails on a system either.

Quote:STEP 1: Figure out what is address and what is body

A story is told about sendmail parsing the body of an email incorrectly, using each word as a cc address. As a joke, I will email a friend with the whole message sent this way. Interesting quirk of email I've never thought about.

Quote:Unix believes so strongly in standards, it has (at least) three separation
characters: “!”, “@”, and “%”. The at-sign (@) is for routing on the Inter-
net, the exclamation point (!) (which for some reason Unix weenies insist
on calling “bang”) is for routing on UUCP, and percent (%) is just for good
measure (for compatibility with early ARPANET mailers).

Here's more examples of old email addresses formats:
Sample business card with bang paths
I'm happy where email landed, using DNS and a single separator. I can't imagine using bang path format. Seems so easily broken.

Also UUCP was new to me. After some research into this old-tech, I found it's still being used today. There's a project aiming to develop communication tools for remote areas (e.g. Central America) that have little money to afford the costs of satellites. Instead they're using High-Frequency radio to build out a GSM network. Wikipedia mentions this project near the end of the article.

Ch 5. Usenet

Quote:Newsgroups with large amounts of noise rarely keep those subscribers who
can constructively add to the value of the newsgroup. The result is a
polarization of newsgroups: those with low traffic and high content, and
those with high traffic and low content. The polarization is sometimes a
creeping force, bringing all discussion down to the lowest common
denominator. As the quality newsgroups get noticed, more people join—
first as readers, then as posters.

This little bit resonates with me, I often find the smaller communities I participate in more rewarding long-term. I'm slowly trying to increase my time spent on the internet being part of smaller, or niche communities, spending more time reading from websites that focus on specific content, and trying to carefully craft my own portion of internet. This happens naturally for anyone using the internet, finding sites to visit frequently isn't hard at all. What's different for me is trying to stay away from large catch-all websites like Reddit and find my own communities. I'm about a year into the process, and constantly trying to change my own habits.

How does a website or community become part of your daily/weekly routine?
Any of them you want to mention?

Quote:rn commands are a single letter, which is a fundamental problem. Since
there are many commands some of the assignments make no sense.

Any of the arguments made here about how this news reader works feel irrelevant today. Usenet is much less popular, and this no longer is how most people get their fill of daily discussion. Also, use a different program then. This chapter did not make any argument against unix specifically, and instead harped on the failings of usenet and a newsreader. Beyond users of unix being (historically) highly active on usenet, I don't see the connection here.

Ch 6.

I would love a better terminal, something that can draw properly. No curses, or ascii. No DEC Sixel type graphics. Would love to be able to "cat an image" file on a remote server. I want vim to feel like a graphical IDE. Let me mouseover and see typing information, when I debug code I want to be able to inspect the state of every variable. Yes using a mouse with vim, sacrilegious, and yes vim CAN show this information, but it does so within the limited blocks of a terminal.

Re: Escape codes
I guess using escape codes is a badge of honor, but not one I'm proud to wear. I think we can do better. I don't ever see that changing, however.

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RE: Nixers Book Club - Book #2: The UNIX-HATERS Handbook - by ylambda - 06-02-2021, 10:19 AM