Jamey Sharp

I've been mulling writing a blog post comparing Google's amp4email proposal with Google Wave (as a follow-up to my critique last week, jamey.thesharps.us/2018/02/16/) which is fairly straightforward. But I want to propose that people should be using RSS/Atom to solve the problems that amp4email set out to tackle, and my fear is I don't know enough about how people who aren't me actually use email and maybe the Hacker News types are going to yell at me, or worse, blindly agree with me.

@jamey I’m interested in talking that through. I use email in multiple contexts that include commercial marketing.

@audrey And marketing to mailing lists is the main category I have thoughts on, yes! In my experience, (1) there are marketers I want to receive stuff from but email is an unpleasant mode for that; (2) email delivery is hard as a sender due to the difficulty of distinguishing spam from wanted communications. (There are service providers for the latter but that limits who can participate.)

For context, have you looked at what Google says they're trying to do? github.com/ampproject/amphtml/

@jamey Yes, I have pretty strongly negative feelings about dynamic content in email.

@jamey I think the podcast episode where we talk about I will be online as soon as Christie has dinner. Basically: the static nature of email is part of its value, AMP increases Google’s control (and spam handling unfortunately has done much to push us that way already), and I don’t think it’s solving end-users’ problems, just marketers.

@audrey I agree! I don't trust that their claimed motivations match their real motivations, but even assuming they're completely sincere I think their plan is a bad way to accomplish their stated goals, and I think it's interesting to look at alternative ways to do what they claim to want.

@jamey It seems like there's a lot more that could happen with standardized service handling. Maybe you want it to help you find a spot on your calendar in the middle of every scheduling discussion — then it should connect with your calendar preferences. But the dynamic parts should be actions, not content.

@jamey it tends to be best to not allow the HN crowd affect what one does

@liw Hah, yes, ideally! But I've been fragile lately so I need to be a little careful; and for reasons I don't honestly understand, things I've written keep getting lots of HN attention.

@jamey I'm happy that my stuff is rarely mentioned on HN.

I am often emotionally fragile and it's not nice to have my stuff subjected to public scrutitny by anyone, when I am.

@liw @jamey I used HN for a while when it was still quite new, but lost interest in it. The stories got uninteresting, and the promotion of silicon valley stuff got more blatant. The comments got increasingly less thoughtful and more unhinged. Now I read that HN has become a haven of the alt-right, so I wouldn't want to go back. If a story about the fediverse appears and gets linked to here I'll sometimes log in just to upvote it and then leave.

@bob @liw I had a period of thinking that Paul Graham was an insightful writer and even applied (unsuccessfully) to be in an early Y Combinator batch, but somehow I never got into HN. But the general sense of blind faith in Silicon Valley is why I'd be even more afraid of them agreeing with me than criticizing me; at least the latter might conceivably be a sign I'm on the right track.

@jamey @bob I too used to like Paul Graham's writings about Lisp and startups. Early in my work on Obnam I pondered applying for Y Combinator with a friend, but we never did. Probably for the better.

@liw For whatever it's worth: I think you do cool stuff and I've liked your software that I've used.

@jamey Thank you. I'm afraid I don't know if I've used your software, but I like the blog post you recently posted.

@liw Thanks! Heh, I feel fairly safe in guessing you have some pages of libXCB loaded in RAM somewhere right now, and there was an X server release where I wrote more of the non-merge commits than anyone else that round, but no, I don't know that you'd have had reason to directly use anything I've written.

@jamey Oh! I know of libXCB and while I don't use it directly, I do use it all the time! Thank you! The mere existence of it helps sooth my scars from my brief enoucnters with Xlib (and Xaw).

@liw Hah, right? You'll probably appreciate this story then: My first conference talk was about a very early version of XCB, and I was 17 and totally nervous about public speaking. I was trying to be very diplomatic about Xlib's, um, faults. But Jim Gettys, who wrote the first version of libX11 in a few days in 1987, was in the front row of my audience, and kept interrupting me to say, "No, Xlib is much worse than that!"

@jamey You made me laugh out loud, causing my spouse to ask what's wrong.

@jamey @liw I've come to recognize a healthy degree of self-deprecation as a common trait of experienced software developers I've worked with.

Sign in to participate in the conversation

A Mastodon instance for cats, the people who love them, and kindness in general. We strive to be a radically inclusive safe space. By creating an account, you agree to follow our CoC below.

Instance Administration

  • Woozle: Supreme Uberwensch, general support, web hostess
  • Charlotte: tech support, apprentice in warp-drive arcana (aka Mastomaintenance)
  • ash: backend stuff, gay crimes

The Project: