Re: [dev] Web development in C (or, C'ing clearly through the webs of bias)

From: Zach van Rijn <>
Date: Thu, 31 Jan 2019 20:58:47 -0500

On Thu, 2019-01-31 at 09:49 -0800, Anselm Garbe wrote:
> On Thu, 31 Jan 2019 at 07:50, Zach van Rijn <> wrote:
> > If I may cite a brief excerpt from this page:
> >
> > > Our philosophy is about keeping things simple, minimal and
> > > ...
> This is still totally accurate for the software industry, even
> more accurate than we could imagine 13 years ago when those
> lines were written.

I was pointing out the disparity between your (collective)
desire for quality software, while you simultaneously neglect
the quality of your community's forums with over-simplified
technical discussion and the shutting down of dissenting voices.

> > It has been my observation that valuable discussion has been
> > shut down or skewed due to knee-jerk biases such as yours.
> The problem is we don't have time for endless discussions and
> should rather spend the time we can cut out of our day lives
> with coding. I've become very bad at finding time for coding
> during the last yearS.

I agree that time is a valuable resource, though I've found that
spending a even a /little/ bit of time thinking about one's code
prior to sitting and writing it, results in a better outcome.

To support your point, wouldn't it make more sense to adhere to
your own software principles during discussion by preemptively
resolving as much ambiguity in your statements as possible?

Discussions would be more productive and have fewer lines.

> > > [Rust] is certainly better than C++ or Java and avoided
> > > many mistakes (like exceptions and going to far with OO).
> >
> >   * OK, you made a claim. Please explain _why_ and _how_
> > this supports your claim.
> I provided some pointers that support my claim already, in
> particular exceptions and OO. Both have proven to be root
> causes of complex software design. The problem with exceptions
> is pretty obvious, as any program using them has totally
> unpredictable control flow and the point you start using them,
> you have to try catch almost everywhere to handle them.

Well yes, serious bugs can be introduced in this manner... but
"any program using them" does not necessarily have "totally
unpredictable control flow" -- bad smell, maybe.

> Regarding OO you only have to look at the Java world to
> understand what went totally wrong. Mixing data structures
> with behaviour is one of the worst ideas that progammers came
> up with and has led to almost unmaintainable code and data
> structures. In Java world 'refactoring' is daily business
> because of this. I can't go into more detail as this would be
> a big waste of time. If you want to learn more about it, I
> suggest to start here:

In <any serious programming> world, refactoring is an essential
component of code maintenance. It doesn't have to be as drastic
as you might imagine, but to believe that code doesn't ever need
to be changed is irresponsible.

> > In the same way that a developer is (or should be)
> > responsible for every single line of code they write (and
> > properly testing their software), it is my belief that
> > people be responsible for their words, biases, and
> > consequences of them. "Digital hate".
> We won't give up the freedom of speech here. Suckless has
> never been about PC BS, but focussing on technical stuff.

I didn't suggest or imply that "political correctness" had
anything to do with what I perceived as a core issue in your
community: many messages lack the technical clarity one might
expect to see in a community that's spent 13 years focusing on
"simplicity" and "clarity".

> We call things what they are. Clear messages are required in
> this world ;)

So be clear in your messaging.

Being hostile towards others, especially on the basis that one's
ideas are "better", cannot be excused by conflating "be
responsible for [your] words, biases, and [their] consequences"
with whatever negative connotation "political correctness" has.

I was just hoping to reduce the amount of spam in my inbox...

> Best regards,
> Anselm

Received on Fri Feb 01 2019 - 02:58:47 CET

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