In reply to It is bigger than a tiny little textbox by Dave Winer

What is biggger than a tiny little textbox, like the ones we get on social platforms, and a full blown CMS, like the editing back-end of my WordPress site? Asks Dave Winer. My current answer to that is: where I’m writing this reply now.

Mid 2022 Dave Winer talked about two-way RSS, which morphed into textcasting by the end of 2023. Now he’s looking at an editor that would work like that.

In my personal feed reader I added a form to post responses. You see Dave Winer’s posting that I’m responding to, and the response form.

The editor I am writing this in, is a simple webform underneath an entry in my feed reader. See the image above. Allowing me to respond while I’m reading feeds, and then move on to reading the next bit.

The editor allows me to set a title, keep the the title of the thing I’m responding to, or have no title. It can cater to different types of response (bookmark, favourite, reply). It can send to several WordPress sites (my blog, my company’s, the Dutch IndieWeb community site, and my company’s internal team site. As a post or a page.

Me writing this post in the response form in my feedreader.

But not just post to a website. It can post an online annotation to my Hypothes.is (the ‘H.’ response option at the top), and it can post to my local Obsidian markdown notes (the ‘obs’ site option underneath the edit boxes).

It accepts categories and tags as the same thing. The receiving site or location determines if one of the key-words is a category locally and treats the rest as tags.

It doesn’t use RSS except as source of the item I respond to, it uses the Micropub standard to talk to websites. It could use RSS or OPML. It accepts HTML and posts as Markdown to my notes. I just started tinkering with my feed reader and response form again, so I can take Dave’s question into account while doing that.

Now, the question: What’s between a tiny little text box and a full-blown content management system?
The question we intend to answer.
That’s what textcasting is for, to identity the essential features. This editor supports them.

Dave Winer

Bookmarked Commission opens non-compliance investigations against Alphabet, Apple and Meta under the Digital Markets Act (by European Commission)

With the large horizontal legal framework for the single digital market and the single market for data mostly in force and applicable, the EC is initiating first actions. This announcement focuses on app store aspects, on steering (third parties being able to provide users with other paths of paying for services than e.g. Apple’s app store), on (un-)installing any app and freedom to change settings, as well as providers preferencing own services above those of others. Five investigations for suspected non-compliance involving Google (Alphabet), Apple, and Meta (Facebook) have been announced. Amazon and Microsoft are also being investigated in order to clarify aspects that may lead to suspicions of non-compliance.

The investigation into Facebook is about their ‘pay or consent’ model, which is Facebook’s latest attempt to circumvent their GDPR obligations that consent should be freely given. It was clear that their move, even if it allows them to steer clear of GDPR (which is still very uncertain), it would create issues under the Digital Markets Act (DMA).

In the same press release the EC announces that Facebook Messenger is getting a 6 month extension of the period in which to comply with interoperability demands.

The Commission suspects that the measures put in place by these gatekeepers fall short of effective compliance of their obligations under the DMA. … The Commission has also adopted five retention orders addressed to Alphabet, Amazon, Apple, Meta, and Microsoft, asking them to retain documents which might be used to assess their compliance with the DMA obligations, so as to preserve available evidence and ensure effective enforcement.

European Commission

Bookmarked Coding on Copilot: 2023 Data Suggests Downward Pressure on Code Quality by William Harding and Matthew Kloster

Gitclear takes a look at how the use of Copilot is impact coding projects on GitHub. They signal several trends that impact the overall code quality negatively. Churn is increasing (though by the looks of it, that trend started earlier), meaning the amount of code very quickly being corrected or discarded is rising. And more code is being added to projects, rather than updated or (re)moved, indicating a trend towards bloat (my words). The latter is mentioned in the report I downloaded as worsening the asymmetry between writing/generating code and time needed for reading/reviewing it. This increases downward quality pressure on repositories. I use GitHub Copilot myself, and like Github itself reports it helps me generate code much faster. My use case however is personal tools, not a professional coding practice. Given my relatively unskilled starting point CoPilot makes a big difference between not having and having such personal tools. In a professional setting more code however does not equate better code. The report upon first skim highlights where benefits of Copilot clash with desired qualities of code production, quality and team work in professional settings.
Via Karl Voit

To investigate, GitClear collected 153 million changed lines of code,
authored between January 2020 and December 2023….. We find disconcerting trends for maintainability. Code churn — the
percentage of lines that are reverted or updated less than two weeks after
being authored — is projected to double in 2024 compared to its 2021,
pre-AI baseline. We further find that the percentage of “added code” and
“copy/pasted code” is increasing in proportion to “updated,” “deleted,” and
“moved” code.

Gitclear report

Bookmarked A quick survey of academics, teachers, and researchers blogging about note taking practices and zettelkasten-based methods by Chris Aldrich

Chris Aldrich provides a nice who’s who around studying note taking practices. There are some names in here that I will add to my feeds. Also will need to go through the reading list, with an eye on practices that may fit with my way of working. Perhaps one or two names are relevant for the upcoming PKM summit in March too.

Chris actively collects historical examples of people using index card systems or other note taking practices for their personal learning and writing. Such as his recent find of Martin Luther King’s index of notes. If you’re interested in this, his Hypothes.is profile is a good place to follow for more examples and finds.

I thought I’d put together a quick list focusing on academic use-cases from my own notes

Chris Aldrich

Favorited EDPB Urgent Binding Decision on processing of personal data for behavioural advertising by Meta by EDPB

This is very good news. The European Data Protection Board, at the request of the Norwegian DPA, has issued a binding decision instructing the Irish DPA and banning the processing of personal data for behavioural targeting by Meta. Meta must cease processing data within two weeks. Norway already concluded a few years ago that adtech is mostly illegal, but European cases based on the 2018 GDPR moved through the system at a glacial pace, in part because of a co-opted and dysfunctional Irish Data Protection Board. Meta’s ‘pay for privacy‘ ploy is also torpedoed with this decision. This is grounds for celebration, even if this will likely lead to legal challenges first. And it is grounds for congratulations to NOYB and Max Schrems whose complaints filed the first minute the GDPR enforcement started in 2018 kicked of the process of which this is a result.

…take, within two weeks, final measures regarding Meta Ireland Limited (Meta IE) and to impose a ban on the processing of personal data for behavioural advertising on the legal bases of contract and legitimate interest across the entire European Economic Area (EEA).

European Data Protection Board

Bookmarked The 100 Year Plan (by Automattic/WordPress)

WordPress is offering a century of managed hosting for 38.000USD, I presume upfront.

In reply to I’d love to understand what prompted Automattic to offer a hosting plan for $38K. by Ben Werdmuller

I don’t think this is a serious proposition by Automattic / WordPress.

  1. Who is in a position to put 38.000USD on the table right now, that they can’t use more usefully elsewhere? (even if in terms of monthly rates it’s not a large sum)
  2. Who believes Automattic, or any company, is likely to be around anno 2123 (unless they pivot to brewing or banking)? Or that they or their successor will honor such century old commitments (State guaranteed Russian railway shares are now just over 100 years old)?

I think it’s a way of getting attention for the last part of Matt’s quote at the end:

I hope this plan gets people and other companies thinking about building for the long term.

Matt Mullenweg

That is a relevant thing to talk about. People’s digital estates after they pass are becoming more important. I know how much time it took me to deal with it after my parents died, even with their tiny digital footprint, and even when it wasn’t about digital preservation mostly. Building code, hardware and systems to last is a valuable topic.

However if I want to ensure my blog can still be read in 100 years there is an easy fix: I would submit it to the national library. I don’t think my blog is in the subset of sites the Dutch Royal Library already automatically tracks and archives, even though at 20+ years it’s one of the oldest still existing blogs (at the same url too). However I can register an ISBN number for my collected postings. Anything published in the Netherlands that has an ISBN number will be added to the national library’s collection and one can submit it digitally (preferably even).

I think I just saved myself 38.000 USD in exchange for betting the Royal Library will still exist in 2123! Its founding was in 1798, 225 years ago, so the Lindy effect suggests it’s likely a good bet to give it another century or two.