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Tweaking get news in Gnus #gnus

๐Ÿ•™๏ธŽ - 2020-10-04

It is nice to be able to easily change the details of how things work when they are just a little off kilter for your preferences.

When I ask my email program/newsreader Gnus to look for new email/news by pressing g in the *Group* buffer, the count of unread messages is updated - and the way I have ordered my groups, I usually want to start reading from the top. However, by default, Gnus doesn't move the cursor after updating the list.

Let's fix that.

What to do? Well, C-h k g tells me that g bound to a function called gnus-group-get-new-news, so maybe I'll write a function to be called when g is pressed, that calls gnus-group-get-new-news and does some more.

What I want to happen is that after new email/news is fetched, is that the cursor is put at the first group with unread messages, for me to start reading.

So I wrote this:

(defun asjo-group-get-new-news ()
  "Do the equivalent of g M-< n :*)"
  (interactive)
  (gnus-group-get-new-news)
  (gnus-group-next-unread-group 1))

(define-key gnus-group-mode-map [(g)] 'asjo-group-get-new-news)

and put it in my ~/.gnus.

I've been using that for years. Sometimes it's a little annoying, because the first groups I have are the drafts and delayed groups, and I don't want to read those over and over - they are drafts and delayed for a reason. So I want to skip past them. Luckily I have a topic called "email" I can skip to, so:

(defun asjo-group-get-new-news ()
  "Do the equivalent of g M-< n :*)"
  (interactive)
  (gnus-group-get-new-news)
  (goto-char (point-min))
  (search-forward "email")
  (gnus-group-next-unread-group 1))

So that's nice, when there is new stuff to read, the cursor is put on the first group after the draft/delayed groups.

But what happens when there is no new news? Then the cursor ends up on the email-topic. Hm. I don't like that. So I changed the function to this:

(defun asjo-group-get-new-news ()
  "Do the equivalent of g M-< n :*)"
  (interactive)
  (gnus-group-get-new-news)
  (goto-char (point-min))
  (search-forward "email")
  (let ((current-place (point)))
    (gnus-group-next-unread-group 1)
    (when (= current-place (point))
      (goto-char (point-min)))))

So if gnus-group-next-unread-group doesn't move the cursor, the cursor is returned to the top of the *Group* list.

Being able to make little tweaks like this is one of the things that makes Emacs in general and Gnus is particular so nice to use.

Marketing opportunities #feedbase

๐Ÿ•Ÿ๏ธŽ - 2020-10-03

I recently read that China banned RSS in 2007, and continues by banning phone apps that access RSS.

I'm not sure I get the rationale, but this sounds like a great marketing opportunity for NNTP and Feedbase, doesn't it?

Sheryl Crow band 2020 #music

๐Ÿ•˜๏ธŽ - 2020-09-13

Looks like Sheryl Crow has quite the eclectic band - Ted Kaczynski on guitar and a backup singer with an XKCD "Science, it works bitches" shirt. Impressive!

Plain-text email a barrier to kernel development participation? #email

๐Ÿ•ข๏ธŽ - 2020-09-12

The Register reports, in Relying on plain-text email is a 'barrier to entry' for kernel development, says Linux Foundation board member:

Linux kernel development โ€“ which is driven by plain-text email discussion โ€“ needs better or alternative collaborative tooling "to bring in new contributors and maintain and sustain Linux in the future," says Sarah Novotny, Microsoft's representative on the Linux Foundation board.

Wauw, such a thinly veiled attempt at getting the the Linux developers to lock themselves into Microsoft GitHubยน.

You can take your sickening embrace attempt and stick it up where the sun don't shine, Microsoft.

"Linux is a cancer" - it might be convenient for you if everybody forgets the past and just jumps on the latest Microsoft-acquired bandwagon, but words and actions have meaning. Sorry.

Or maybe it would be a good thing, like when the whole [BitKeeper debacle] begat git.

Said tooling could be "a text-based, email-based patch system that can then also be represented in a way that developers who have grown up in the last five or ten years are more familiar with," she added.

Techsplaining to the oldies that the youth can't be bothered to figure out sending plain-text email much?

Novotny has been at Microsoft for just over a year, working in Azure's Office of the CTO where she describes herself as an โ€œopen source wonk.โ€

Rah-rah.

โ€œWe have more than half of the Azure cores now are running Linux in some flavor.

Good, more evidence, along with WSL, that Microsoft is losing, and going for the usual bag of tricks.

See also: "Bill Gates made his fortune through sheer robber-baronry, presiding over a vicious monopolist that shattered the law in its greedy quest for billions and permanent, global dominance.", Cory Doctorow.

ยน Yes, I'm calling it "Microsoft GitHub", and so should you.

A Mind at Play #books

๐Ÿ•Ÿ๏ธŽ - 2020-08-30

I just finished reading the biography of Claude Shannon "A Mind at Play" subtitled "How Claude Shannon invented the information age" by Jimmy Soni and Rob Goodman.

I knew of Shannon before I read the book, and it was an interesting glimpse into the life of a genius, who apparently besides being a genius also was modest, humorous, at times lazy, and focused on what ever whim interested him without worrying about how it "looked" - unicycling, juggling, information theory, building machines to solve mazes, etc. etc.

Recommended.

Netgear R6350 experience #hardware #wifi

๐Ÿ•‘๏ธŽ - 2020-08-29

Plus:

โ˜‘ OpenWrt installs easily (bought it specifically for this) โ˜‘ 5 GHz network speed is good

Minus:

โ˜ 2.4 GHz network close to unusable

I'm not sure if I have a dud or what, but speed is horrible and connectivity spotty on the 2.4 GHz network.

I ended up turning 2.4 GHz off in the Netgear R6350, and configuring the (new) ISP's Genexis Pure ED500 router as my 2.4 GHz access point instead.

(Experience with (the old) ISP's Netgear VVG2000 router, which was flaky when acting as an access point, led me to shun the wifi built into ISP routers since, using a separate access point instead.)

Wavy red underline blindness

๐Ÿ•›๏ธŽ - 2020-08-29

Watching a couple of presentations today, it struck me that a lot of people apparently have developed "wavy red underline blindness".

Even screenshots of windows with text included the "you've probably spelled this wrong"-markings, and nobody even raised an eyebrow!

It is always the first thing I turn off in browsers, word processors and everywhere else I encounter it.

Not [only] because I'm excellent at spelling, but because the false positive rate of spelling mistakes is waaay too high for the markings to be useful.

Bonus tip: to spell check the current word in Emacs, press M-$.

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