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sometimes the commit is misattributed

A response of sorts to commit robbery.

I’ve been on both sides of commit misattribution. Sometimes my commit gets sniped. Sometimes I’m the one doing the sniping. It’s very rarely intentional.

In a project like OpenBSD, we’d have three Todds and four Jasons, which led to frequent confusion. Forgetting exactly who contributed what would happen occasionally. Emails get forwarded around. And I think every new OpenBSD developer goes through the experience of having half their commits sniped for the first month because other developers think you’re submitting a patch, not requesting review.

I’d guess 1% of commits are misattributed in some way. There’s an acknowledgement, but it’s incomplete. Or it’s omitted. Or it credits somebody else entirely. I think that’s not bad overall, though it does mean 1% of first time contributors have a suboptimal experience. It sucks to be the statistic.

Could the 1% be improved? Sure, just require a few more TPS reports before commits are permitted. If the solution is that we simply need to ask the maintainers to care more, are we sure they don’t care? There’s already enough people burning out and dropping out of open source work.

I think Ariel’s story could have been framed better, with a rather less villainous counterparty. I almost didn’t read it, because I don’t care about commit drama, but the story of the debugging was really interesting. I’m glad I read that! But hey, your blog, your story. That said, I don’t think it’s possible to generalize from one event to sweeping conclusions like this is why people don’t contribute to open source. This is, maybe, why 1% of people don’t contribute to open source.

Posted 14 May 2024 16:50 by tedu Updated: 14 May 2024 16:50
Tagged: thoughts

experiment with texture healing (monospace kerning)

The monaspace fonts introduced the idea of texture healing. I think of it as a sort of kerning for monospace fonts, though there’s probably some reason that’s technically incorrect. The basic idea is that some letters want more space, while others want less space, but this is hard to achieve in a monospace grid. And so they made a special font that includes alternative glyphs for letter pairs, so that i can donate some space to m.


Posted 11 Nov 2023 22:02 by tedu Updated: 11 Nov 2023 22:02
Tagged: software

write your own terminal

What’s next after you write your own text editor and mail client? How about a terminal? In fact, as a practice exercise or to learn some new skills, I’d say a terminal emulator makes for a much better target. It’s composed of many parts, but at an approachable level, making it easy to make tangible progress. In this way, I think it makes for a good introductory project. At the same time, there’s a very long tail of features that can be added to keep things interesting.


Posted 10 Nov 2023 07:44 by tedu Updated: 11 Nov 2023 18:42
Tagged: programming software

pasted bracket escapes escape bracketed paste

There’s a feature called bracketed paste supported by some “modern” terminals and editors, etc. When text is pasted from the clipboard, the terminal brackets it in special markers so that the receiving program knows it came from the clipboard and not the keyboard, and thus might turn off autoindent, etc.

It’s also supported by some shells, and I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve seen people claim that this is a security measure. Yeah, sure, it’s totally safe to paste commands from a website into the shell, because bracketed paste will let you review them before executing.

Does it work? The brackets delimiting the pasted text are just bytes as well, in band. A website can put the end paste sequence into the clipboard as easily as any other text.

Here are two buttons for testing. One runs ls. The second tries a little harder.

In testing, xterm turns the escape into a space, and nothing happens but a little gibberish spray. Other terminals appear to be not so lucky.

Posted 07 Nov 2023 19:47 by tedu Updated: 07 Nov 2023 19:47
Tagged: software web

fixing the other go loop bug

Go 1.21 added experimental support for fixing the loop capture bug. For reasons it’s never really bothered me, but the other loop bug does bite me some times. This is the one where the loop values are values.

I want references but go doesn’t have references.


The problem is easy to see when you’re looking for it, and hard to see when you’re glossing over the code.

func resetScores(players []Player) {
    for _, player := range players {
        player.score = 0

Before and after “the” loop fix, this will dutifully set the player’s score to zero. But which player? An anonymous player that only exists in the loop. The array will remain unchanged. Ugh.

hand fix

Fixing this requires slightly rewriting the loop.

func resetScores(players []Player) {
    for i := range players {
        players[i].score = 0

This looks kinda weird I think, and it’s not my first instinct to write it this way. I really just want a way to say hi, I’m iterating over the elements of this array, give me a reference to them.

mechanical fix

So let’s add references to go.

func resetScores(players []Player) {
    for _, &player := range players {
        player.score = 0

This can be translated by powerful state of the art tools into the go you’d have to write otherwise.

func resetScores(players []Player) {
    for  _i, _ := range players {
        player := &players[_i]
        player.score = 0

oh well

What’s annoying is the above broken form works if the array contains pointers. A lot of my code uses pointers, so I get used to writing the first form, and then it breaks when I do something different. Or I decide to optimize the code and reduce allocations by switching from []*Player to []Player without a careful audit of the impacted loops. Alas, I probably wouldn’t think to use the reference form even if available until it’s too late.

The common mistakes wiki lists the capture bug twice, but doesn’t mention this bug.

Posted 06 Nov 2023 21:24 by tedu Updated: 06 Nov 2023 21:24
Tagged: go

two hackers one keyboard two ways

There’s an amazing and famous scene of two hackers sharing a keyboard on NCIS, but it gets a lot of derision on the internet. What people don’t realize is that their mockery only reveals their own lack of skill. As everyone knows, a true hacker has mastered the art of dual wielding, and a keyboard that can be dual wielded by one might also be used by two hackers in tandem.


Posted 31 Oct 2023 04:13 by tedu Updated: 31 Oct 2023 04:13
Tagged: programming software x11

porting linux pledge to go

I like using pledge and unveil in my web apps. Especially unveil offers a nice degree of protection against common web app problems, like the dreaded double dot traversal. For go, I use a simple wrapper which gets pasted into each project.


Posted 25 Oct 2023 17:15 by tedu Updated: 27 Oct 2023 18:13
Tagged: go openbsd programming

banging errors in go

One of the many problems with programming in go is there’s functions, and the functions are written by people, and the people make mistakes, and the functions return errors, and now you have to check for the errors. This is all very tedious and tiresome. We can’t fix the people who cherish their imperfections as a sign of humanity, but we can change go to pretend the errors aren’t there.


Posted 19 Oct 2023 18:09 by tedu Updated: 20 Oct 2023 02:04
Tagged: go programming

idkfa - the activitypub everything app proxy

So you’re all in on ActivityPub. You’ve got your microblog, your long form blog, your bookmarks, your photo blog, your video blog, your discussion forum, etc. Each is a different service with a different identity. As more services catch on, users yearn for a single everything app solution to replace this multitude.


Posted 06 Oct 2023 06:23 by tedu Updated: 06 Oct 2023 06:23
Tagged: activitypub


I was planning on working on a redesign of a photo site, and wanted to use JPEG-XL as the preferred image format for storage. The only implementation I know of is the libjxl reference implementation written in C++. Alas, JPEG successors have not had a great security track record recently, and I would much prefer not to run this code on my server.


Posted 03 Oct 2023 20:57 by tedu Updated: 03 Oct 2023 20:57
Tagged: go programming wasm