Drew DeVault's Blog

on Drew DeVault's blog

A broad intro to networking

Disclaimer: I am not a network engineer. That’s the point of this blog post, though - I want to share with non-networking people enough information about networking to get by. Hopefully by the end of this post you’ll know enough about networking to keep up with a conversation on networking, or know what to search for when something breaks, or know what tech to research more in-depth when you are putting together something new.

Electron considered harmful

Yeah, I know that “considered harmful” essays are allegedly considered harmful. If it surprises you that I’m writing one, though, you must be a new reader. Welcome! Let’s get started. If you’re unfamiliar with Electron, it’s some hot new tech that lets you make desktop applications with HTML+CSS+JavaScript. It’s basically a chromeless web browser with a Node.js backend and a Chromium-based frontend. What follows is the rant of a pissed off Unix hacker, you’ve been warned.

Getting on without Google

I'm losing faith in America

I recently quit my job at Linode and started looking for something else to do. For the first time in my career, I’m seriously considering opportunities abroad. Sorry for the politically charged post - I promise to get back to tech stuff right away.

Using the right tool for the job

One of the most important choices you’ll make for the software you write is what you write it in, what frameworks you use, the design methodologies to subscribe to, and so on. This choice doesn’t seem to get the respect it’s due. These are some of the only choices you’ll make that you cannot change. Or, at least, these choices are among the most difficult ones to change.

What motivates the authors of the software you use?

We face an important choice in our lives as technophiles, hackers, geeks: the choice between proprietary software and free/open source software. What platforms we choose to use are important. We have a choice between Windows, OS X, and Linux (not to mention the several less popular choices). We choose between Android or iOS. We choose hardware that requires nonfree drivers or ones that don’t. We choose to store our data in someone else’s cloud or in our own. How do we make the right choice?

[VIDEO] Arch Linux with full disk encryption in (about) 15 minutes

Sway 0.9 & One year of Sway

Today marks one year since the initial commit of Sway. Over the year since, we’ve written 1,823 commits by 54 authors, totalling 16,601 lines of C (and 1,866 lines of header files). This was written over the course of 515 pull requests and 300 issues. Today, most i3 features are supported. In fact, as of last week, all of the features from the i3 configuration I used before I started working on Sway are now supported by Sway. Today, Sway looks like this (click to expand):

Using -Wl,--wrap for mocking in C

One of the comforts I’ve grown used to in higher level languages when testing my code is mocking. The idea is that in order to test some code in isolation, you should “mock” the behavior of things it depends on. Let’s see a (contrived) example:

Life, liberty, and the pursuit of privacy

Privacy is my hobby, and should be a hobby of every technically competent American. Within the eyes of the law I have a right to secure the privacy of my information. At least that’s the current law - many officials are trying to subvert that right. I figure that we’d better exercise that right while we have it, so that we know how to keep exercising it once it’s illegal and all the information about it dries up.