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Month: April 2017

Toybox: Writing a new command line from scratch

Rob Landley, of Busybox/Toybox fame, spoke four years ago about the Toybox project in the context of Android and whatever else was recent back then. The talk contains a brilliant deconstruction of the problems that GPL v3 has, and why it is in decline.

It also shows a lot of vision re containers, and what is needed in this context. If you are deploying Alpine today, with musl and toybox in it, here is why and how it came to be.

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Mastodon (or actually, GNU.social)

This article by rw is a good non-technical introduction to GNU.social, Mastodon, and the protocols and ideologies behind it:

The protocol OStatus is shared by a number of implementations, which are all more or less interoperable. One of the implementations is GNU.social, another is the right now hyped Mastodon. Each of the implementations has many instances, some of them large, many of them very small. They all connect to each other and talk to each other, through federation, and together they form the so called Fediverse.

You can subscribe to one or more of the instances, or start to run your own – it’s up to you.

I signed up as Isotopp@octodon.social, and use it mostly for reading. I won’t start posting there any time soon. So, what is it like?

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Switzerland, post fixed book price agreements

Swiss NZZ has an article about the Buchpreisbindung, fixed book price agreements. These are still a thing in Germany, and have been in Switzerland, in the past.

In Switzerland, fixed book prices was not prolonged in May 2007. In the political followup, it came to  a public referendum in March 2012, and that did not come through, repealing the agreement permanently.

Since then, book prices fell by 20%, and variances in price mostly have been caused by the price of the swiss franc in relation to the Euro. 30% of the book shows also closed, but that is more likely caused by digitization of reading than by the price agreement going away.

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What happened to Google’s book scanning project

The Atlantic has a wonderful article about the Google book scanning project and what became of it.

In 2002, Google began mass scanning every book it could possibly their hands on, OCRing it and making it searchable. Authors and publishers soon began sueing Google from here to the south pole and back, but in the end realized that they did not actually want to win their lawsuits.

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jq

When dealing with Kubernetes, you will inevitably have to deal with config and data that is in JSON format.

jq is a cool tool to handle this, but while the man page is complete, it is also very dry. A nice tutorial can be found at The Programming Historian, which uses some real world use cases. My personal use case is Converting JSON to CSV, and the inverse of that. There also is a mildly interesting FAQ.

Learning jq takes about one quiet afternoon of time.

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Handling Mail, correctly.

Somebody sent me a mail with
Content-Type: multipart-mixed;
  boundary=X5O!P%@AP[4\PZX54(P^)7CC)7}$EICAR-STANDARD-ANTIVIRUS-TEST-FILE!$H+H*”
Thank you for that. This is precisely my kind of humor.
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