Alastair M. D. Touw 🌹 is a user on You can follow them or interact with them if you have an account anywhere in the fediverse. If you don't, you can sign up here.

Alastair M. D. Touw 🌹

I got back to Tōkyō from a week in London on Saturday and I have terrible jet lag. 😴💤 Show more

I feel like ‘Year of on the Desktop’ is the wrong approach. It’s unreasonable to expect the Free software community to compete on the same features as Microsoft or Apple. On the other hand, I think we’ve long since achieved on the Workstation!

I'm a copyleft nut but I've got plenty of critiques of the FSF and I don't uncritically revere Richard Stallman, really I don't,

but wow do I love this artwork

Illustrator: Nathan Fox

Published in:

Great blog post on Slack's "bait and switch".

"The reason email is federated, is because it was developed before surveillance capitalism was a thing and because it was established and entrenched long before these companies came around.

There's a reason why your email address is still the de facto way to sign up for any service on the web (sometimes with one or two degrees of separation), and it's because of federation."

I’d suggest that Emacs needs a Neo-Emacs like Vim has a Neovim, but that was XEmacs; but, just as no particular implementation of Vim is as important as its interface, Emacs is an idea — an implementation of a certain set of values and ideals — of which GNU Emacs is just one implementation, and like Vim, not even the first.

I really should spend a little more time going over my punctuation before hitting that ‘TOOT!’ button. 😅

I suppose this isn’t surprising to anyone following Emacs development for a while; Eric Raymond’s 1997 essay The Cathedral and the Bazaar ( was a contrast between the development processes of Emacs (for which public releases were few and far between) and Linux (which very readily accepted patches), and Lucid forked Emacs in the early nineties because of difficulties in collaborating with RMS (

I’m surprised anyone wants to contribute to a project whose maintainer-in-spirit spends their time on the list belittling the opinions of its users, and making demands of and dismissing the efforts of its contributors. Any thought I had of graduating from an enthusiastic user to a new contributor have been erased.

Colascione, denying that they’re interfering, says: ‘You are advocating for your suggested improvements. I am advocating for mine.’

To which RMS replies:

‘Emacs is not an independent project, and it isn’t governed by its contributors. I’m the head of the GNU Project, and that includes Emacs.

‘You, as a contributor, can advocate a certain decision, which means you present arguments why I should approve it. I don’t need to advocate a decision in that sense.’


After Daniel Colascione shares the completely reasonable opinion that ‘I don’t think word processing is a good focus for Emacs’, RMS, who has contributed no code toward making Emacs a word processor says: ‘I want to do my word processing in Emacs, so please stop interfering.’ 👉🏻

RMS shares the wisdom of his senior at the MIT AI lab, that ‘… hackers are often eager to make improvements of this sort: which
make the program better in an abstract sense, but not better for
users’, although ironically I’ve never heard anyone wish Emacs was a word processor before.

A discussion on emacs-devel, titled ‘What improvements would be truly useful?’, in which RMS dismisses a contributor’s work on the garbage collector to suggest that should be a word processor. 👉🏻

TIL I can just delete the media URLs from my posts and it won't affect anybody, WTF

When I use Atom, I miss Emacs, and when I use Emacs, I miss Atom.

Every time I try ( — which is a few times a year, I guess — I’m amazed that you can’t read its documentation, which is Web pages, in Atom, which is mostly a Web browser. Why not? ⚛️🤔

Fascinating article from the Atlantic on Shopify stores and ‘drop shipping’. It’s amazing there’s a market opportunity for someone to focus entirely on online marketing, advertising and sales thanks to platforms, automation and piecework markets. 🔗 🔁

Really interesting episode of Reply All about "drop shippers," an Internet phenomenon I didn't know existed:

I’m reviewing my goals for the year and setting up TODO items in to track them, and I’m suddenly gripped with decision paralysis about HOW TO ORGANISE those TODO items. 😓