Status update, March 2022

Henceforth I plan to copy the habit of other bloggers to post a monthly status update, to remind myself to write some code every month.

While I plan to only talk about my hobbies here, I cannot ignore Russia's gruesome and deplorable invasion of Ukraine. It has to be stopped. Putin and his allies must be stopped. Their bloody and unjust attack on peace, sovereignty, democracy and human rights must never be forgotten or downplayed.

Hobbies. In the past months I have been moving from dwm on Xorg to river, to ride the Wayland wave. I have mostly got it set up now, with foot replacing urxvt, bemenu replacing dmenu, and mako replacing dunst (though it seems that dunst now also has Wayland support). Waybar replaces dwm's builtin bar for now—though I hope to replace it with something leaner: at cold boot it often takes seconds to start. Firefox's Wayland backend is papercut-free. So everything I use on a daily basis works without issue, now without tearing.

The downside of all of this is that snixembed will probably get even less love from me. But hopefully it will cease to be useful soon.

I learned to use git send-email and sent a small patch for adding an about:commands page to visurf. Visurf is a fun project of building a vi-like frontend to netsurf. It's still very bare bones, and netsurf of course cannot render every website you throw at it well, but the UI is very responsive and consistent. This cannot be said of the Firefox add-on I'm using currently, which is Firefox's fault (design decision). Its urlfilter concept is also interesting: you can specify a program of choice for mapping locations (stuff passed to the open command) to URLs. This allows for easy URL rewriting, setting search engines as fallbacks, et cetera. I hope to spend more time on visurf.

I also sent a 3-liner patch for making passmenu look for more dmenu alternatives on Wayland (it currently uses dmenu-wl). It made me learn more about POSIX sh for-loops—which is great—but I now doubt the patch itself is actually useful. (One might as well shadow dmenu-wl in the path.)

That's all the public code I wrote in the past month. I spent more time on e-mail trouble. My current host (Soverin) has had server issues in the past months. From SMTP failures to IMAP (and webmail) being unavailable for hours last night. I recall their Cal/CardDAV server often being offline when I used it, and then being dropped for an alternative without automatic migration or an e-mail about the imminent change. Their status page is also broken. I'm kind of surprised by all of this, since Soverin is advocated by Bits of Freedom. One good thing about Soverin, it must be said, is their kind and prompt handling of support queries, and their small price. It may very well be that these are growing pains.

But I'm going to try something else. I've started a trial at Migadu during last night's outage, and it works well so far. Migadu's documentation is a lot better, and I like the idea behind their pricing. The only downside is that it seems impossible to sign up for it without an e-mail address, but maybe I didn't look hard enough.

While writing this, I notice that my Markdown parser does not support footnotes. It's high time I give the innards of this blog some love. Metalsmith has been working well for me, but the downside of the plugin system is that one of them eventually becomes unsupported and starts dragging behind the whole system because of dependency conflicts. So maybe I should move to a more self-contained solution.