when you think about it, the idea that software should scale is actually really weird. "sure this garden is nice, but how nice can it be if it doesn't grow to cover the entire surface of the earth?"

(just thinking about — the "More on scale" passage in particular, and how it's weird that Darius has to present "the notion that software does not have to scale" as some kind of tendentious heresy instead of, like, a default so obvious that it goes unstated)

@aparrish this weirdness kinda feeds my "most software isn't engineered" take -- it seems to me that very little of the software industry designs with limits in mind

@aparrish The related idea that a modern corporation must always seek growth at all costs.

So do cancer cells.

@max @aparrish maybe the growth emphasis comes from early days of consumer web e.g. Kleiner Perkins capital driving some of Netscape's actions

@petethomas @aparrish It's an older flaw in capitalism than that, surely. Growth reports have been key quarterly earnings information to Wall Street for at least decades. It's an implicit assumption in centuries of stock trading that companies grow or they die, with little middle ground. It was a 1980s management book fad that codified that into an aphorism. It's a philosophy of life for vulture capital firms and certain types of "activist shareholders".

@aparrish That's pretty much how I feel when I suggest that the Web shouldn't be so relient on JavaScript, and that both and web native have their place.

@aparrish Part of the design of Cwtch is that it davka DOESN'T scale well -- it becomes less efficient the more groups use a specific Cwtch server, and also it's very easy for groups to move servers, leading to loads naturally spreading.

(Servers are also -- assuming cryptography isn't broken -- untrusted with any data other than "some information is being exchanged, probably".)

@nightpool as an organization --
Sarah Jamie Lewis, Erinn Atwater, Dan Ballard mostly as the individual people coding.
Code is on their Gogs instance:
(and other repos. Somewhere there thee's in implementation of OV-Net anonymous voting that they've used.)

@nightpool For the people themselves, most of their public online presence by volume is.. on Twitter.., but they probably have other places, too -- Sarah Jamie Lewis has an interesting research-notes/thought-dump blog at .

@aparrish Excellent! Make it a banner of webring or something!!! 😘

@aparrish I think it's a natural thought for me that software should scale because I sort of grew up with Olympiad in Informatics in the back of my mind and the awareness of asymptotic complexity
@aparrish and now I sysadmin this very Olympiad and maintain its software
and I find that if you let people make their own little contests and suddenly you have 1500 contests then suddenly every page takes 15 seconds of server CPU time to load

"sure, one road and one car is nice, but if it can't be extended to give everyone a car and build enough roads so everyone can get around by car, we need something better"

"sure, it's nice that we can grow enough potatoes to feed one family, but if we can't grow enough potatoes to feed the whole village, we need something better"

@Wolf480pl @aparrish i can't tell if you're arguing or agreeing but i'm hoping the latter because those would be some very poorly chosen metaphors for an argument. >.>

@InspectorCaracal @aparrish
I was arguing, but I don't see why these metaphors are poorly chosen.

Maybe we mean different things by scalability?

@Wolf480pl @aparrish ... i typed up a long toot on this shitty on screen keyboard and did delete/redraft to fix a typo and it disappeared forever so i'll redo it on a real keyboard later >.<

@aparrish dueling gardening philosophies: kudzu vs rosebush

@phooky proposal to call twitter, fb, etc. "invasive social networks"

@aparrish love it!

would you then consider finger, Usenet, irc indigenous social networks?

@phooky haha I don't know if I'm ready to set up a whole for real taxonomy here, whoops

@phooky @aparrish I take it you've not seen the rosebush that ate my neighbor's porch.

@aparrish You're losing me a little 'cause I kind of *do* want a garden the size of the planet?

@aparrish This is a great insight!

As a SW dev myself, I feel it's part of being competent for SW devs to understand how well their code scales. But the only actual requirement is that it scales "appropriately."

In some cases "appropriately" might not be very much at all.

Or even, if you're worried about centralization or and things, "appropriately" might actually mean "not too much."

@aparrish because usually your goal is to scale up. Like that's the goal.

@aparrish to extend the analogy: gardens make sense for feeding a few people, but to feed a large city they are very inefficient.

@aparrish I have been toying a lot with the metaphor that the internet is the most ambitious terraforming project undertaken by civilization so this comparison resonates

@aparrish software's less a garden and more a landfill. I don't think most people would object to a massive increase in flora around the world...

@aparrish this is one of the key reasons software has become so bad.

(the same diseased thinking infects other products, but it happens slower).

@aparrish All I can see in this thread is the different type of Factorio players. Just one more ore patch...

@aparrish i'm just going to print it out and tape it to my monitor




@aparrish @hugh That sort of thinking doesn’t solely afflict software development. I get it all the time in health and social services. It might be great and working, but unless it scales everywhere it’s regarded as somehow failing.

@aparrish Maybe that phrase is thinking more like air and water. Or perhaps grain.

@aparrish Nevertheless, it's always bothered me. Similar to how things are deemed failures when the only have a few million users.

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