6 Matching Annotations
  1. May 2022
    1. Can you imagine if the beginner version of Node.js came pre-installed with a GUI for managing and running your code?

      A graphical JS interpreter? That's the browser! And it just so happens that it's already installed, too (everywhere; not just on Macs).

    1. Yes, it’s making it easier than ever to write code collaboratively in the browser with zero configuration and setup. That’s amazing! I’m a HUGE believer in this mission.

      Until those things go away.

      DuckDuckHack used Codio, which "worked" until DDG decided to call it a wrap on accepting outside contributions. DDG stopped paying for Codio, and because of that, there was no longer an easy way to replicate the development environment—the DuckDuckHack repos remained available (still do), but you can't pop over into Codio and play around with it. Furthermore, because Codio had been functioning as a sort of crutch to paper over the shortcomings in the onboarding/startup process for DuckDuckHack, there was never any pressure to make sure that contributors could easily get up and running without access to a Codio-based development environment.

      It's interesting that, no matter how many times cloud-based Web IDEs have been attempted and failed to displace traditional, local development, people keep getting suckered into it, despite the history of observable downsides.

      What's also interesting is the conflation of two things:

      1. software that works by treating the Web browser as a ubiquitous, reliable interpreter (in a way that neither /usr/local/bin/node nor /usr/bin/python3 are reliably ubiquitous)—NB: and running locally, just like Node or Python (or go build or make run or...)—and

      2. the idea that development toolchains aiming for "zero configuration and setup" should defer to and depend upon the continued operation of third-party servers

      That is, even though the Web browser is an attractive target for its consistency (in behavior and availability), most Web IDE advocates aren't actually leveraging its benefits—they're still targeting (e.g.) /usr/local/bin/node and /usr/local/python3—only, these are supposed to run outside the browser on some server(s) instead of the contributor's own machine. The "World Wide Wruntime" is relegated to merely interpreting the code for a thin client that handles its half of the transactions to/from said remote processes, which end up handling the bulk of the computing (even if that computing isn't heavyweight and/or the client code on its own is full of bloat, owing to the modern trends in Web design).

      It's sort of crazy how common it is to encounter this "mental slippery slope": "We can lean on the Web browser, since it's available everywhere!" → "That involves offloading it to the cloud (because that's how you 'do' stuff for the browser, right?)".

      So: want to see an actual boom in collaborative development spurred by zero-configuration dev environments? The prescription is straightforward: make all these tools truly run in the browser. Step 1: clone the repo Step 2: double click README.html Step 3: you're off to the races—because project upstream has given you all the tools you need to nurture your desire to contribute

      You can also watch this space for more examples of the need for an alternative take on working to actually manage to achieve the promise of increased collaboration through friction-free (or at least friction-reduced) development: * https://hypothes.is/search?q=%22the+repo+is+the+IDE%22 * https://hypothes.is/search?q=%22builds+and+burdens%22

    1. To run it you need node.js installed, and from the command line run npm install once inside that directory to install the library dependencies. Then node run.js <yourExportedDirectory>

      Why require Node?

      Everything that this script does could be better accomplished (read: be made more accessible to a wider audience) if it weren't implemented by programming against NodeJS's non-standard APIs and it were meant to run in the browser instead.

  2. Mar 2022
    1. From the homepage:

      Repla is a macOS app that can[...]

      That's like the complete opposite of "just give me a document that I can double click to open from disk and view in my browser"...

    1. I’m considering updating my Mac to Big Sur just to run this.

      Meanwhile, not only does the scope of this tool not merit the Big Sur requirement, it doesn't even require a Mac. It interaction style is so free of intracies that it could be developed (and distributed) as a single HTML file with a text input and some script blocks.

    1. Around @11:16:

      "What made HyperCard the ubiquitous product it was in the early 90s... was the fact that it was included free with every Macintosh sold. So anybody could use it to create somethnig, then share their creation with somebody else with the confidence that the other person would be able to run it."

      So that was in that day. What is the box today?

      Let me ask it another way: What is available on every computing device[...]?"


      I would encourage us all to find ways to make the system immediately available to users.