Aral Balkan
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Switching to Linux

I want to feel good about the tool I use everyday and I want it to reflect what I stand for so I just ordered a Tuxedo InfinityBook Pro (tuxedocomputers.com/en/Linux-H) from @tuxedocomputers & they kindly agreed to preinstall Pop!_OS 18.04 for me (thank you, Vinzenz, you rock!)

I maxed it out with an i7 4-core CPU, 32GB RAM, 1TB Samsung Pro SSD & a QHD+ screen that I plan to run at 200% HiDPI.

This will be my main dev machine going forward. Can’t wait! :) mastodon.ar.al/media/1uMEIMJwn

@drequivalent @tuxedocomputers I wasn’t making fun of it; I was criticising it because I cared :) With Pop!_OS/Gnome Shell, I feel it’s reached a point where (a) I can use it and (b) I can hopefully contribute.

@aral @tuxedocomputers @drequivalent I'm interested in hearing whatever you do that way. May I recommend you learn Vala? It's designed very back-to-front for a language but it turned out very nice.

@drequivalent @aral @tuxedocomputers linux has usability issues when compared to macos. But it has come a long way and look at all the additional freedom and flexibility you are getting.

@drequivalent @aral Here's to the ability to change our minds! o/

@aral @tuxedocomputers Would you tell us how good it is, as soon as you receive it ?

@aral @tuxedocomputers Welcome to the light 🤣 That's super exciting. I hope you enjoy your new machine!

@vickylai @tuxedocomputers Thanks, Vicky. All my deployments have been on Linux for yonks and I’ve always been playing with various distributions in VMs but Pop!_OS was the the first time I felt I could switch properly. That and my increasing disillusionment with every multibillion-dollar tech behemoth, including ones whose business models are different to Google/Facebook.

@aral

I'm doing the same thing at some point. Was planning to go with Purism's hardware, but I saw your list of European shops. The game it getting better.

I'm nervous about writing tools though. I don't care about code, design, and emacs. I need me polished writing apps, and I don't mean a word processor replacement. In this department, Linux looks rough. I might have to rough it.

Manuskript would be one certain acquisition, and LibreOffice, of course, but where's the iA Writer of Linux?

@aral

I shouldn't say I don't care about dev and design. Of course I do. What I mean is I don't do those things, primarily, and when I do it's very surface level. ;)

@wion @aral Looks like a simple Markdown writer as it seems. There are many for that…

@rugk

Yes, but not all .md editors are the same. Editors for coders that can do .md are a lot different than editors designed for writers (features and usability around that aspect of use).

Can you give me some examples to look at?

Also need a Scrivner replacement, but I think Manuskript will work for that.

Do you know of any replacements for these types of tools:

screenotate.com

glamdevelopment.com/outlinely

mellel.com/ (desktop publishing)

@aral

@wion @aral don't know that much… only saw FocusWriter on flatpak lately, that seems to be solely about writing (novels, or so) and not get distracted.
Also just searched the repo and found uberwriter.wolfvollprecht.de/ (which – from a first look – looks surprisingly similar to ) and "Marker" (which preents some tex-style graphs and formulars in the screenshots)

Let me know if you find some more or try one or another out.

(And as for screenshot tools there are yet even more.)

@wion @aral if you could write about the features you need and why they're important someone may come and make one?..
Also there may be some cross platform alternatives

@charlag

I might do that. Won't be right away, though, a lot on my plate for the foreseeable future.

But for me, as far as a writer's text editor goes, nobody is doing it better right now than the folks at iA, except for one detail: no Textile. 😞

If I had the Linux equivalent of iA Writer but it supported Textile (including the advanced footnotes functionality the PHP version has) instead of Markdown, I would be in 7th heaven, as they say, as far as an quick text editor goes.

@aral

tech, unix, editors Show more

tech, unix, editors Show more

tech, unix, editors Show more

@dredmorbius

That's a subjective situation, naturally, and it depends on what a given writing task is (no single tool is ideally suited for all writing tasks) and what medium the text is destined for (web, print, etc...), and whatever applications may come into play in the publishing process, and so on. But if we just say an app that gets words out of the brain, it would be something identical to iA Writer but supporting Textile instead of Markdown when web formatting is needed.

@aral

@wion Do you have much (or any) experience with text editors such as vim or emacs?

@aral

@dredmorbius

I learned a bit of emacs (and awk, etc) back in the late 90s in a 'science computing' course while studying ecology, but it was a one-off course among all the biology, etc, and I never get back to the command-line the same way. Vi, never.

But if I had a dollar for every time some dude-bro told me I can do everything as a writer using emacs, I've be rich. I don't want to do everything with emacs.

@aral

@dredmorbius

There are at least a couple of those emacs dude-bros around here. I forget their nicks or I'd point you to them for interrogation.

@aral

@wion @aral As it happens, I've used at one time or another: edlin, DOS edit, MacWrite, WordStar, WP4.x, WP5.2 (still have a DOS image ... somewhere), AmiPro, MS Word (from Win3.11 through about Win97, more recent ... occasionally), original BSD vi, vim, emacs, VMS/EDT, MVS/EVE, TSO/ISPF, AbiWord, LyX, OpenOffice since it was StarOffice, numerous others. And vim.

@dredmorbius

You are the ancientest of mystical brohood order, oh master.

/ humble bows / 🙏

I'm firmly into 50s and want to spend less time in front of a screen, not more. It's too late for me to become a command-line padawan. The weeks learning would indeed be in the way.

@aral

@aral @wion I hear you. Though I'm also reaping the rewards of my youthful laziness: I've been using some variant of the vi editor for a third of a century. Proprietary stuff keeps aging out. Something to keep in mind :)

@wion @aral If I could _remember_ emacs I might use it, but vim is what I do virtually all my editing, including multi-hundred-page docs, in vim. These days making heavy use of Markdown & Pandoc, though I've used roff, nroff, groff, HTML, DocBook, LaTeX, and various lightweight markup languages.

It can work exceedingly well for that task, and does in fact get the fuck out of the way.

@dredmorbius

Maybe my attitude will change out of necessity when I'm 100% operating on Linux, but I hope I won't be forced to.

@aral

@dredmorbius

It's funny you should ask, though, because I have a long-form response nearly finished to that very question wrapped up in a Textile vs. Markdown thesis.

@aral

@wion @aral For immersive, author-oriented writing apps, there's Scrivner (available for Linux IIRC), some run-alikes, stuff like Notepad++, etc. Not my cuppa, but options if you're looking for something.

@dredmorbius

Wha... ?! Scriv is now available for Linux? That's new. I use it now on Mac. It's great.

I was expecting to switch to Manuskript for that kind of story development, which is a Scriv alternative for Linux first.

I've actually got a decent list of linux writing tools at this point. Things I can make use of even if not perfect. Who knows, maybe it will inspire me to brush of emacs too. I just need my first linux machine.

@aral

@aral @wion Don't get /too/ excited yet, I think it was a WINE-supported app, at that. scienceblogs.com/gregladen/201 I thought there were immersive text editors also (aside from the standard set). I'm bust on links though.

@aral @wion I'm in the middle of doing what you're lamenting right now, BTW: Trying (and trying to configure) a set of new tools, rather than Getting Actual Work done. FML. It's one of the subtle tyrannies of technology.

@aral @wion The worst part of this is that you've got to get yourself inside the head of whomever it was that designed the tool you're trying to use. Which isn't always easy. Or good for your sanity.

@dredmorbius @aral @wion I always used to think that when marking assignments. TBH, the marking bit was easy and could be done arms length. But to use the assignment as a teaching tool required getting inside the student's head, which was always intense and sometimes scary.

@aral @wion @robparsons @robparsons That's the hard part of teaching, generally, and why attempts to remove the teacher (or the immediacy of the teacher) virtually always fails, and has for millennia. Books, lectures, audio, video, "computer learning", all miss the point.

@aral @wion @robparsons @robparsons The hard part isn't transmitting the information. It's verifying receipt, and, if the lesson's been garbled, steering the student back on track. **YOU HAVE TO BE THERE FOR THAT.** One way or another.

@dredmorbius @aral @wion I have not until now seen TCP-IP as a metaphor for teaching. Nice one.

@aral @wion @robparsons @robparsons This is of course the basis for the trenchant-but-poorly-understood maxim that UDP is a /terrible/ pedagogical protocol.

@aral @tuxedocomputers Hey, I received mine last week. Also an InfinityBook (not 32G inside and a smaller HDD tho)

@aral @tuxedocomputers Yes, compared to my previous laptop, it's much better:D

Looks very much like the one I got from multicom. The Screen is a bit on the glary side, and it huffs and puffs a bit when you try to actually use it fot something, but otherwise a nice machine. The only one I could find that does not come with preinstalled Windows in Norway, and that's worth it alone! Originally from Clevo.

@aral @tuxedocomputers
So.... you leave #Apple ? Mac and IOS ? You stop believe in Apple privacy ?
What kind of future for Better ?

@mrkikos @tuxedocomputers No, I won’t be setting my MacBook, iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch on fire and dancing naked to the flames of their sweet demise :) I’m changing my main development machine to a Linux box. Better will still be maintained on Mac and iOS :)

@aral Awesome, I hope you like it! I'm thinking of buying a Librem 13 from @Purism . What browser are you going to use?

@rickymorgue @Purism Not sure yet, I might just end up using Firefox with all the surveillance-by-default options turned off and DuckDuckGo as the browser. Will see…

@aral @Purism @rickymorgue I'd put in a vote for ABrowser, which is pretty much ...

> Firefox with all the surveillance-by-default options turned off

... and a bunch of other privacy-protecting stuff turned on. I also recommend a couple of add-ons, uBlock Origin (ad-blocker) and NoScript (control who can run JS on your box). I used to use AdBlock+ but uBlock O consumes *so* much less RAM

@aral @Purism @rickymorgue You know which browser I'd recommend.

Or you could wait until I implement bookmarks, it'll be worth it!

@strypey @aral @tuxedocomputers I'm pretty sure it was Mac OS, though he should correct me if I'm wrong.

@dredmorbius Around 1.200€, but the price depends on your configuration. Base price starts at 897€.

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