October 15, 2022
As I started to think about back in May, it's past time I made the switch from Ubuntu to Fedora.
The more or less forced upgrade from Ubuntu 21.10 to 22.04, the snap store, & now ads in apt when I update? It was pop-up ads for Safari that made me switch from MacOS to Linux originally. Too far Canonical, too far.
Moving turned out to be pretty easy. I'd already scripted most of my installs, & the changes I had to make there to move from apt to dnf were slight. I kept my old /home partition… dash to dock was the name of the app I'd forgotten last time, makes Fedora's Gnome useable for me. It was all largely but not entirely problem free. I'd go so far as to say that the move from Ubuntu 22.04 to Fedora 36 feels like it was less work than it was for me to move from Ubuntu 21.10 to 22.04. Maybe because I wasn't forced to move this time. Maybe just because I'm so much older & wiser now than I was back in April.
The two (small) problems I had were blurry text, fixed with gtk-hint-font-metrics=1 in ~/.config/gtk-4.0/settings.ini, that maybe just didn't get put there by the installer because I'd kept my old home partition, and managed settings in Chrome – uh uh, no thanks, shades of Canonical there.
sudo dnf remove fedora-chromium-config & ahh, freedom.
Choice, I'm still a big fan.
Mastodon, a moving feast
October 10, 2022
After tentatively trying out Mastodon since around 2018 I made the move there from Twitter more or less completely this year, as it now seems likely Elon Musk's going to be Twitter's new owner.
Coincident with that move, the Mastodon instance I had been using – mastodon.technology – was being closed down.
So, I'm moving. Again, again. This time to my own single user instance, turnip.solutions, which is a suitably novel novelty domain name, I think. I'm moving to my own new instance rather than another existing one mostly because I didn't want to have to migrate again quite so soon, any time soon, unless it's of my own choosing.
I had joked that the four possible levels of galaxy brain gif madness of moving were to:
- move to a different instance,
- set up my own instance hosted on a managed service,
- self host my own instance,
- set up my own managed hosting service.
So I'm a little proud of myself for only having gone as far as level two. (All good jokes are worth repeating, but I'll also continue to repeat my jokes too.)
This all possibly makes it look like I'm much more all-in on Mastodon than I feel. Not being owned by a billionaire con-man is a very good start, so I am hopeful about it, but I wonder for example whether in, in part reacting to the presence of extremists on Twitter, we aren't maybe building even better infrastructure for extremists with Mastodon. Because on Mastodon people can easily get siloed in their self selecting instances, & outside views are something people have to actively seek out.
I'm also certain that most of the people I've enjoyed the company of on Twitter over the years simply aren't technically savvy enough or interested enough to make the jump to Mastodon. That move just isn't straightforward enough, not yet. I miss those guys.
But extremism, polarisation, atomisation even, & certainly the concentration of ownership & wealth under monopoly capitalism, those all aren't technical problems, so a technical solution like Mastodon isn't necessarily going to be of much use on its own. It doesn't need to solve every problem though, just help a bit with some of them… and a guillotine could also be considered a technical solution, I suppose… (he said, in a totally not extremist way).
I'm on a one person instance now, & I don't know yet how all this will play out, even just for myself. But I am hopeful.
June 18, 2022
I've been writing Ruby again, for the first time since February, and only the second time in almost two years now. It all started with Wordle & a poll about hand gestures on Mastodon.
The poll was about the 👌 hand gesture, a certain group appropriating it, & other people reclaiming it instead of letting it slip away from meaning "OK" (and other things in Greece). It made me think about Ruby, about people appropriating the language for themselves, & about perhaps reclaiming it.
I moved away from using Ruby in large part because of DHH, Basecamp, Rails, Shopify & who they were platforming. I didn't want to be associated with any of that. But maybe that was a mistake. (The moving away part, not the being associated with it.)
Around the same time as the poll I was thinking about Wordle, and finally getting the time to see what scripting a solution would involve. Just for the fun of coding. So I chose Ruby. (More on Wordle in another post maybe.)
But life catches up with you. I took what I thought would be a quick side trip to fix a bug I'd noticed in the Zine gem, & Prettier somehow managed to trash every single file. Randomly rearranging comments. Formatting… everything every which way. (Which is a much worse Michelle Yeoh film.) I'd got back into Ruby for only a few hours and I think my computer was rebelling.
I've got all the extensions turned off in Codium as I write this & push that bug fix up. Next step will be sorting that mess out. Or maybe writing a better version of it. A better Ruby/Rubocop/Reek thing for VS Code &/or Prettier. Be easier if I just worked out how I'd malfed the install somehow though.
I can think of lots of missing Ruby tooling – the AWS CDK being a big one – but my "if you have to build the whole ecosystem yourself" spider sense is tingling. Maybe I should just buy RubyMine & get my own horrible code in order.