recent posts related to technology in general

Things I don’t like about Facebook today (June, 2019)

I was writing with a friend about Facebook, and realized how much I dislike because (a) they don’t let me control my own timeline — not surprisingly, humans don’t like to be controlled by algorithms — and (b) you definitely get the feeling that you’re a piece of meat and they’re trying to sell you. If they were perceived as a kind, benevolent company that didn’t constantly force their version of “what’s important” on people, people might use it more.

Mobile is not a neutral platform

Ben Evans has an interesting article from 2015 titled, Mobile is not a neutral platform. Here’s a good quote:

“Of course, all this sort of stuff is a big reason why Google bought Android in the first place — Google was afraid that Microsoft (it was that long ago) would dominate mobile operating systems and shut it out. The obvious fear was around things like preloads, and the justice of that fear was proven right with Maps, where Apple Maps now has 2-3x more users on iOS than does Google Maps, despite being a weaker product — the ‘good enough’ default wins and the platform owner chooses what that is.”

How to convert asciidoc to markdown

It turns out that converting AsciiDoc to HTML without including a bunch of undesired CSS is a problem, and converting AsciiDoc to Markdown is also a problem. The page I linked to shows the best way I’ve found to convert AsciiDoc to Markdown, which can then be converted to CSS-free HTML. In case that page ever disappears, the basic commands are:

Install pandoc and asciidoc:

sudo apt install pandoc asciidoc

Convert asciidoc to docbook:

asciidoc -b docbook foo.adoc

Convert docbook to markdown:

How to convert Docbook to AsciiDoc

If you ever need to convert Docbook to AsciiDoc, this Pandoc command seems to work well:

pandoc --wrap=none -f docbook -t asciidoc \
       DocbookFile.xml > AsciiDocFile.adoc