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Vika

A trans-person and a clueless amateur coder. Doesn't like her look and uses an anime-styled avatar instead.

On <DEMONETIZED> and censorship

Published: by Vika

Just to warn you, this post will be touching some very sensitive topics, like depression, self-harm and suicide. If you're feeling depressed or you have some sort of PTSD, maybe it's best to skip it and read something else. But if you're okay with reading such things, then go ahead.

We're going to live in a digital era. The age of information has already come, and in times of quarantine due to the pandemic, most of us are essentially living our lives on the internet, to save our fleshy shells from catching the virus. We're breathing in content from social network platforms, we speak our minds into the Void. 

But sometimes, people running this void for us reject our voices.

Today I'm gonna talk about censorship on the internet. On social networks like Facebook and Instagram, on YouTube, TikTok... everywhere. And I feel like my website is the only real platform where I can post it, because if I start talking anywhere else, I'm afraid I'd be quickly silenced.

Some topics are best not to be touched in the void of the internet, or the moderators will speak their minds, overriding your thoughts. The content we're breathing in is highly regulated, and all that is "toxic" gets deleted. But sometimes, the moderation goes too far. Voices which need to be heard are deleted with everything else. The social network becomes a happy idyllic place. But this ataraxia is fake.

"Fake it 'til you make it", say people, referring to building confidence. Platforms like Instagram try to help us live a happier life, but they do it in the wrong, mistaken way. They just silence unhappy people until everyone becomes happy. Don't you think it's weird?

The happiness that people want to produce with their services gets forced on us. Every time someone struggles through tough feelings and maybe wants to do something horrific with their life out of despair, this pops out.

And nothing more. Their voice just gets silenced, their screams in the void left unheard. The Void rejected their cries for help to fake happiness instead. They offer "resources" and tell that they want to "help", but as far as I know, they just care about money flowing in from ads and their resources sometimes aren't that helpful. There's a lot of stories on the internet, particularly by minority groups such as trans people, telling that suicide hotlines didn't help them, instead offering generic answers that felt like jokes, like rubbing salt into the wound. Rubbing very firmly and professionally.

Do we have a moral right to silence those voices? People can die if they aren't heard. We can't fake happiness by simply erasing everyone who's unhappy. It's immoral to do so. We can't be the judges here.

But we are judging. And who do I mean by "we"? Social network moderation platforms and advertisers. You see, if you allow people to post their content and speak their minds freely, advertisement platforms won't buy ad spaces next to these posts, which means the site's revenue drops. All of our world is built around advertisements, and advertising companies have become monarchs of this new digital world.

Can we trust them with this power? I don't think so.

Ad companies only care about revenue. They don't care about people, they don't care about happiness. Capitalism has led us to an antiutopia full of people faking happy thoughts so they won't get erased off the internet. Is there even any alternative?

There might be. Setting up your own website under your own domain name, and encouraging everyone else to do the same. That way we'll become independent from social networking sites with their predatory guidelines on what can be posted and what cannot be.

This is the only way to speak into the void freely. Build your own void. And this void has a name, and it has been named The IndieWeb.

Published: by Vika

Tags:
  • JS
  • frontend
  • webdevelopment
  • ES6
Also on:

Oh well, import maps are gated behind a feature flag in Chrome and not even available on other platforms! Thankfully there seems to be a polyfill available. #JS #frontend #webdevelopment #ES6 #JavaScript

Choosing the right website building paradigm, or "The Lazy Programmer Method"

Published: by Vika

Tags:
  • programming
  • frontend
  • Kittybox

While struggling with frontend development of my new blog software, Kittybox, I've came to a conclusion. I was pursuing the wrong thing all along.

When building a product, you need to ask yourself: "What do I want to have on my website?" Then, as ideas come into your mind, write them down, preferrably in a text document on your computer. Then order the features that you want to have by their complexity.

And then go from least complex, to the most, implementing it in the laziest way possible.

The lazy programmer method

I'm not exactly sure I invented something new, but I think I'd like to call it "The lazy programmer method". Why lazy? Because programmers need to be lazy. Invention is a product of laziness. We invent new stuff to have more time to be lazy and get some rest.

People in my country say that the leap from the apes to homo sapiens was performed when the concept of labor was invented. That tools were invented out of labor. No! They were invented out of laziness. Using a simple tool, an ape could get its job done faster, receive food more efficiently, and thus, have more time to enjoy the fruits of its labor. Humans are the same.

When you implement features you want in your product in the laziest way possible, sorted by complexity, three things happen:

Your code becomes simple and easy to debug

This may or may not be obvious. But when you write as little code as possible, you may not find yourself as tangled when something goes wrong. Less code means less places to make mistakes, after all!

Your code evolves in a natural way

Going from simple to complex is just how everything in nature works. Writing code the lazy way allows you to learn as you go. When one of the features you want to implement requires a thing you never knew about, you can pick it up as you go, and not try to cram stuff into your brain as if you're studying for an exam.

And we all know that everything you cram for an exam will disappear as soon as you go and write it on paper. (That's why I stopped making notes in school one day, because I tend to forget stuff I write down)

You only implement what you need

Remember, how I said: "write things down first"? This helps you with planning. Sometimes my brain tends to make me want to cram as much shiny stuff in my blog as possible; this led me to working on the new redesign for over a year already. I understand now that I need to start from scratch and apply everything I wrote above in my own practice.

The lazy girl's website

Ok, so you know the method, let me try showing you how it works in real life and try to fit my new blog frontend's concept in this method.

Features

  • Static rendering - of course, a proper IndieWeb website should be available without JS.
  • Dark and light themes - for sane people and for people who want their eyes to burn.
  • Support for most content types I usually post:
    • Notes - simple Twitter-like posts
    • Articles - long-form posts with a title
    • Photos and videos - I list them together because these media types are very similar to each other
    • Food and drinks - because who doesn't want to turn their blog into a food porn collection?
    • Exercise - umm, yeah, might be tough on quarantine but I still want to get my physical activity up
    • Check-ins - might feel a little bit non-relevant on quarantine too but I want to highlight some local businesses that need our love and support!
  • Ability to log in to the website to view private posts
  • A service worker to cache the website's content
  • A simple admin interface just for me, built right into the frontend, as a stretch goal

My past mistakes

My first mistake was starting in the unknown lands, with React. Next.js turned out to be a well-made framework, but it wasn't built for sites like mine, which need to be able to be stupidly simple. So I guess I should've started with some good old HTML templating.

My second mistake was then trying to overthink and overengineer the system - while the onboarding screen I've shown y'all earlier (I think it was even featured at IWC Online 2020!) was really good, the implementation was kinda messy and it wasn't completed before I realized that the framework choice I made was holding me back.

My third mistake was not realizing it and continuing to fight further, when it was clearly time for a fresh start. If only I got the idea for this post... a little earlier!

Published: by Vika

Also on:

@instagram why are your notifications lying to me? I click on the post notification from a person I’m following and guess what? Nothing. Their page is same as before, no new posts. It’s extremely annoying and makes me wanna delete all my social network accounts

f–kin’ silos

Published: by Vika

Tags:
  • frontend
  • JS
  • IE11
Also on:

I think I want to say “f–k #IE11, MS Edge 18, Opera Mini and this UC thing, I wanna use ES6 modules instead of Webpack and get a taste of #frontend of year 3020”

and yes, year 3020 is my current estimate of when frontend finally becomes sane. I hope y’all prove me wrong. #JS

Published: by Vika

Tags:
  • frontend
  • JS
Also on:

Today’s #frontend is in disarray. Module bundlers make toolchains complex, Electron gets hate because of its bloat (and so are most browsers anyway), frameworks are complex and think for the programmer instead of letting programmers think… I wanna go build backends only >.< #JS

Published: by Vika

Also on:

Надпись на двери: Дверь временно не работает. Приносим извинения за неудобства.

Уже даже двери в неоплачиваемый отпуск отправили

Published: by Vika

Also on:

Being a programmer have made me too smart.

Sometimes I realize that machines can fail in so many ways that it’s simpler to go through a human with something…