RE: Bye Facebook

Wim made a stir in the land of the web. Good for Wim that he rid himself of the shackles of social media.

But how will we bring a generation of people, who are now more or less addicted to social media, to a new platform? And what should that platform look like?

I’m not a anthropologist, but I believe human nature of organizing around new concepts and techniques is that we, humans, start central and monolithic. Then we fine-tune it. We figure out that the central organization and monolithic implementation of it becomes a limiting factor. Then we decentralize it.

The next step for all those existing and potential so-called ‘online services’ is to become fully decentralized.

Every family or home should have its own IMAP and SMTP server. Should that be JMAP instead? Probably. But that ain’t the point. The fact that every family or home will have its own, is. For chat, XMPP’s s2s is like SMTP. Postfix is an implementation of SMTP like ejabberd is for XMPP’s s2s. We have Cyrus, Dovecot and others for IMAP, which is the c2s of course. And soon we’ll probably have JMAP, too. Addressability? IPv6.

Why not something like this for social media? For the next online appliance, too? Augmented reality worlds can be negotiated in a distributed fashion. Why must Second Life necessarily be centralized? Surely we can run Linden Lab’s server software, locally.

Simple, because money is not interested in anything non-centralized. Not yet.

In the other news, the Internet stopped working truly well ever since money became its driving factor.

ps. The surest way to corrupt a youth is to instruct him to hold in higher esteem those who think alike than those who think different. Quote by Friedrich Nietzsche.

Asynchronous undoable and redoable APIs

Combining QFuture with QUndoCommand made a lot of sense for us. The undo and the redo methods of the QUndoCommand can also be asynchronous, of course. We wanted to use QFuture without involving threads, because our asynchronosity is done through a process and IPC, and not a thread. It’s the design mistake of QtConcurrent‘s run method, in my opinion. That meant using QFutureInterface instead (which is undocumented, but luckily public – so it’ll remain with us until at least Qt’s 6.y.z releases).

So how do we make a QUndoCommand that has a undo, and that has a redo method that returns a asynchronous QFuture<ResultType>?

We just did that, today. I’m very satisfied with the resulting API and design. It might have helped if QUndoStack would be a QUndoStack<T> and QUndoCommand would have been a QUndoCommand<T> with undo and redo’s return type being T. Just an idea for the Qt 6.y.z developers.

The undoable editor that can open > 4 GB text files

We are making an editor for industrial uses at Heidenhain. This is to make big Klartext programs, editable. I’m sure other industries could also use that.

Nowadays these programs often come out of a conversion from a CAD-CAM format. Before you can mill and turn your pesky military secrets on one of the machines controlled by a Heidenhain set, you’ll have to tweak the program that you converted from your CAD-CAM product. We are making the editor for that.

I wrote on this blog how we will instantaneously open those >4GB files, ready for editing. It looks a lot like how I made the E-mail client modest open the headers instantaneously on the N900. Basically, having a partition or index table that gets mmapped.

We’re also making the overlaying (the changes made by the user) undoable. The APIs for that kinda look like this. All examples on my blog are amateur extracts of the real thing, of course.

I feel like it’s actually going to work out. Architecturally and organizationally the other developers in our team are getting at the right level of expertise and sense of wanting this.

That is most important for anything to make it happen.

It feels a bit like how Nokia was: I’m learning a lot about myself from techleading: how to propose a design, concept or idea; how to convince deeply technical people; how to push others to go further than what they can already do. How to make a team quit competing and start sharing a common goal. The infrastructure for that was provided to me by Nokia. At Heidenhain, I feel like having played a small role in it.