webshit weekly

An annotated digest of the top "Hacker" "News" posts for the last week of February, 2019.

A Heavily-Commented Linux Kernel Source Code [pdf]
February 22, 2019 (comments)
An academic describes a MINIX clone for Intel processors. Inevitably, Hackernews starts talking about Lions' Commentary on UNIX, despite this book and that having completely different intent and approach. Other Hackernews complain that this particular book contains too much information: a capital offense. Another whines about the file format. Most of the comments are about the picture on the cover. Amazingly, no technology is discussed; since this is a technical book, the vote:comment ratio is damn near 20:1.

Cleave.js – Format input text content when you are typing
February 23, 2019 (comments)
A webshit fucks up some text boxes. Hackernews don't like when webshits fuck up text boxes, and invoke the scariest of boogiemen: hypothetical lost revenue. Other Hackernews also don't like this ridiculous garbage, but implement it anyway because they were told to. The software in question and the Hackernews debate about it are a valuable glimpse into why everything you do with a web browser is worse each month than it was the month before.

My Twitch Live Coding Setup
February 24, 2019 (comments)
Some asshole, with nearly Wolfram-level self-absorption, goes into gruesome detail to describe exactly how to construct a dystopian attention-gathering hellbox. The picture it paints is the saddest thing I have ever seen on the internet. Hackernews gets sucked into an inquest into the ontological implications of demanding an audience of strangers for every moment of your working day. Other Hackernews complain that some minute detail was elided.

Sunlight through glass does not provide Vitamin D
February 25, 2019 (comments)
An idiot wants to know how glass works, and turns to the world's leading authority on human physiology: the New York Times. Hackernews thinks you should have windows anyway, and feels the need to justify this opinion. Half of the comments are from people afraid of sunlight. The other half are arguments about which pills you can eat to make up for being a cave troll. Since the topic is not technology, but (pseudo)medicine, Hackernews has a shitload to say -- vote-to-comment ratio hovers right around 2:1. Almost all of it is wrong, but that's fine since all of it is irrelevant to functioning human adults.

Redis Turns 10 – How it started with a single post on Hacker News
February 26, 2019 (comments)
Hackernews celebrates the decennial anniversary of a database so bad that almost all of its use is as a message queue. Hackernews explores the idea of a program being completed, instead of an endless churn of Github issues and conference talks with stick figure illustrations. Hackernews lines up to relate stories about how wonderful the software is, then the next line is for them to reminisce about the first time their server got hacked because they were running it.

Immersive Linear Algebra (2016)
February 27, 2019 (comments)
Some academics port a math textbook to javascript. Hackernews has also written books, and proceeds to link to all of them, and complain about how hard it is to write a book. Other Hackernews complain about not knowing enough math, and then the pedagogy debate club arrives to bikeshed the javascript mathematics text.

UC terminates subscriptions with Elsevier in push for open access
February 28, 2019 (comments)
The University of California notices a great public relations spin available to cover a cost-saving measure. Hackernews enumerates all of the websites they use to download papers otherwise unavailable without rent-seeking bureaucracy, then proceeds to list all of the other organizations that are charging too much to publish. The rest of the comments are Hackernews explaining 19th-century publishing industry economics. Based on the comment threads, the reason Hackernews can't seem to get a business off the ground is because they spend all their time playing Pokemon with niche journal articles.