Initial concepts

I want to get this under version control now or it's going to wind up not
happening again, like in previous years.  More to come.
Mike Gerwitz 2019-03-04 23:39:04 -05:00
commit c604550086
Signed by: mikegerwitz
GPG Key ID: 8C917B7F5DC51BA2
12 changed files with 1664 additions and 0 deletions

.gitignore vendored 100644
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# build output
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COPYING 100644
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# Build presentation
# Copyright (C) 2019 Mike Gerwitz
# This program is free software: you can redistribute it and/or modify
# it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by
# the Free Software Foundation, either version 3 of the License, or
# (at your option) any later version.
# This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful,
# but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of
# GNU General Public License for more details.
# You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License
# along with this program. If not, see <>.
default: slides.pdf
# TODO: No local init.el! Isolate required options so that this is actually
# portable!
%.pdf: %-preamble.tex
emacs --batch -l ~/.emacs.d/init.el $< -f org-beamer-export-to-pdf
# TODO: Either script with GIMP or just use ImageMagick and get rid of xcfs
%.png: %.xcf
@echo 'Not yet implemented!' >&2

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All images licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0
International License. See ../COPYING.CCBYSA for more information.

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#+startup: beamer
#+TITLE: Computational Symbiosis: Methods That Meld Mind and Machine
#+AUTHOR: Mike Gerwitz
#+DATE: LibrePlanet 2019
#+BEAMER_HEADER: \title{Computational Symbiosis}
#+BEAMER_HEADER: \subtitle{Methods That Meld Mind and Machine}
#+OPTIONS: H:3 num:nil toc:nil p:nil todo:nil stat:nil
#+LaTeX_CLASS: beamer
#+LaTeX_CLASS_OPTIONS: [presentation]
#+BEAMER_HEADER: \input{slides-preamble.tex}
* Project Notes :noexport:
** Core Guidelines
- Blur distinction between user and programmer.
- Use only examples that non-programmers could come up with and understand.
- GUIs /are/ sometimes the most efficient means of melding mind and machine.
- De-emphasize doing everything on a terminal just because its "cool".
** Concepts [5/27]
- [ ] =/sys= and such
- [ ] Automating multi-step workflows with GNU Make
- [ ] Concurrency
- [ ] Connecting graphical and command line (X11 integration) [0/3]
- [ ] Clipboard (image)
- [ ] Clipboard (text)
- [ ] X11 commands
- [ ] Discoverability
- Example: I used GIMP for editing some images for this talk because I
thought it'd be faster to discover how to that way vs. ImageMagick docs.
- [ ] Editor should keep up with your thoughts
- Emphasize muscle memory
- [-] Efficiency gains of light use of keybindings [2/3]
- [X] Seldom change ([[*Browser Topics][Browser Topics]])
- [X] Some are universal (between programs) ([[*Browser Topics][Browser Topics]])
- [ ] Some context-sensitive and Just Work without having to hunt through
context-specific menus
- [ ] Emphasize free software community and how OS is built by so many
- Symbiosis is not only with machine, but community
- [ ] Globbing
- [ ] GnuPG and smart cards
- [ ] Incremental development [0/3]
- [ ] Develop as you go, perhaps just referencing history early on
- [ ] Evolve by making portions of command dynamic (variables, subshells)
- [ ] Transfer commands from history into scripts and aliases for re-use
- [ ] Interactive prototyping
- [ ] Looping
- [ ] McIlroy and Knuth
- [X] Mouse has dependency on positioning of UI elements ([[*Browser Topics][Browser Topics]])
- Changes over time, subject to user/system preferences, etc
- [ ] Multiplexing with GNU Screen
- [ ] Output redirection
- [ ] Phone as an example of a device that best works with touch and GUIs
and sacrifices practical freedom.
- Requires specialized knowledge and is inconvenient to work with.
- [X] Pipelines instead of intermediate files ([[*Browser Topics][Browser Topics]]).
- [ ] Practically exercising software freedom [0/2]
- [ ] Users need to be able to convey their thoughts to the computer
without being programmers
- [ ] Concise primitives / building blocks
- [ ] Readline (history and editing)
- [X] Regular expressions ([[*Browser Topics][Browser Topics]])
- [ ] Remote commands via SSH
- [X] Text as a universal interface
- [X] All programs can work with one-another ([[*Browser Topics][Browser Topics]])
- [X] Can replace any part of the process with a human---no difference
between input from a program vs. from a keyboard. ([[*Browser Topics][Browser Topics]])
- [X] Using keybindings in a GUI with no mouse ([[*Browser Topics][Browser Topics]])
- Including transferring data between programs
- [ ] Using macros to script keypresses (Vim)
- [ ] Version control
** Programs [0/4]
- [-] Coreutils / Common [3/12]
- [ ] =column=
- [ ] =diff=
- [X] =echo= ([[*Browser Topics][Browser Topics]]).
- [ ] =find=
- [ ] =gpg=
- [X] =grep= ([[*Browser Topics][Browser Topics]])
- [ ] =make= / Makefiles
- [ ] =sort=
- [ ] =ssh=
- [ ] =uniq=
- [ ] =wc=
- [X] =wget= / =curl= ([[*Browser Topics][Browser Topics]])
- [ ] More Sophisticated [0/3]
- [ ] =awk=
- [ ] =git=
- [ ] =sed=
- [ ] X11 / Graphical [0/5]
- [ ] =convert=
- [ ] =i3= / =xmonad= / etc
- [ ] =import=
- [ ] =setxkbmap=
- [ ] =xclip= / =xsel=
- [ ] Editors / Multiplexing [0/4]
- [ ] =emacs=
- [ ] =nano=
- [ ] =vim=
- [ ] =screen=
* DEVOID Slides [0/4]
:ID: slides
** Summary :noexport:
#+BEGIN: columnview :hlines 2 :maxlevel 3 :indent t :id slides
| Slides | 1:00:00 | DEVOID | |
| \_ Summary | | | |
| \_ Introduction | | RAW | note |
| \_ Choreographed Workflows | | DEVOID | fullframe |
| \_ Practical Freedom | | DEVOID | fullframe |
| \_ Practical Example: Web Browser | 1:00 | DEVOID | |
| \_ Browser Topics | | | |
| \_ Example: Web Browser | 1:00 | RAW | frame |
| \_ Finding Text (Mouse-Driven GUI Interaction) | | RAW | frame |
| \_ GUIs Change Over Time | | RAW | frame |
| \_ Thank You | 00:00:01 | | fullframe |
** RAW Introduction :B_note:
:BEAMER_env: note
Hello, everyone!
My name is Mike Gerwitz.
I am a free software hacker and activist with a focus on user privacy and
I'm also a GNU Maintainer and software evaluator, and hold other
various other administrative duties within GNU.
I have about twenty years of programming experience,
half of that professionally,
And I've been a computer user for longer.
So I've been around long enough to see a decent evolution in how we interact
with computers.
I've gotten a sense of what feel right and wrong as both a user and a
And interestingly,
what I've settled on for my computing is really a toolset that was devised
decades before I was even born,
with some light modernization.
And those tools don't work for everyone.
But I think a subset of them can.
So I'm here today to try to explore a healthy balance,
and walk you through what I see as an efficient means of computing,
based on the problems that I've encountered,
and the problems I've seen others encounter over the years.
** DEVOID Choreographed Workflows :B_fullframe:
:BEAMER_env: fullframe
#+BEAMER: \fullslidetext
Choreographed Workflows
** DEVOID Practical Freedom :B_fullframe:
:BEAMER_env: fullframe
#+BEAMER: \fullslidetext
Practical Freedom
** DEVOID Practical Example: Web Browser [0/3]
*** Browser Topics [1/7] :noexport:
This example is the main segue from GUIs into the utility of keybindings
into shell, so it has to be compelling. I chose something that is
frequently done by users: visiting webpages and searching for text.
- [X] Most webpages include styling, images, and other media that are best
represented in a GUI.
- Of course, I'm a firm believer in progressive enhancement, but this
isn't a web development talk.
- [-] Is it good for finding a word or phrase on a page? [1/4]
- [X] Menu -> Find in This Page -> Type. Sure.
- [ ] Instructing a user how to do this is inherently visual. Comment on
my need to highlight areas of screenshots.
- [ ] More experienced users may prefer =C-f=.
- Emphasize the motion with my hand. Explain how that mental association
is made. Really focus on this.
- [ ] Location of menu has changed over time (show screenshots), but =C-f=
has been unchanged for decades.
- [ ] What if I had a list of five webpages and I wanted to get rid of the
ones that didn't have that word? [0/5]
- [ ] Mouse and GUI way:
- Open each page in a new tab.
- Menu -> Find on page -> Type.
- Found, copy URL, open a word processor, paste.
- Go back, click X on the tab.
- Repeat.
- [ ] Then show keybinding way:
- *Demonstrate this on the LP laptop.*
- Open programs with =M-F2=
- Open each page in a new tab (=C-t=)
- =C-f ESC=
- =C-l C-c=
- =M-TAB C-v RET=
- =M-TAB C-w=
- Repeat
- [ ] Emphasize the profound differences between these approaches
- [ ] This would work with nearly /any/ combination of web browser and
text editor.
- [ ] But what if I had 10? 100? 1000? This is still tedious and slow.
- What if I could walk away and get a coffee, play with the kids,
come back and have it done for me?
- Emphasize how users familiar with the tools I haven't yet mentioned
may know how to do this, but people who don't know of Unix tools
will still be thinking in terms of the UI, trying to figure out how
to automate it.
- [ ] Right-click on page and View Source
- Briefly mention HTML and =C-f=, show how the text is on the page.
- [ ] Open a terminal [0/4]
- [ ] Type =wget URL=
- [ ] Show how it downloaded a file, useful for offline viewing
- [ ] Open it in a text editor, show how the text is there. =C-f=.
- We eliminated the web browser and can still find the text
/using the same keybinding/.
- [ ] =grep word file.html=
- We have just eliminated the editor.
- [ ] Eliminate the temporary file entirely using a pipe
- Show both =wget -O-= and =curl=.
- [ ] Now script discovering what pages contain a certain word [0/4]
- [ ] Mention previous example of being emailed a list of URLs. Rather
than pasting them into a file, let's discover them using the same
tool: =grep=. Save email to a file.
- [ ] =grep -o 'https\?://[^ ]\+'=, show how it gets a list of URLs.
- Mention how powerful regexes are, e.g. "find all the phone numbers on
a page".
- [ ] Introduce =while= and =read=, showing how we can iteratively run
commands, maybe =... | while read url; do echo "URL: $url"; done=.
- [ ] Introduce =-q= flag for grep, and use it to conditionally output
only the URLs at which the word can be found.
- Not enough talk time to walk away and get a coffee, but let's see if
we can maybe let it run for 10--30s while I blabber on. Depends on
the connection speed at MIT with all the participants.
*** RAW Example: Web Browser :B_frame:
:BEAMER_env: frame
**** Notes :B_noteNH:
:BEAMER_env: noteNH
One of the only GUIs I use on a day-to-day basis is my web browser.
In this case,
GNU Icecat,
which is a Firefox derivative.
This is a screenshot of an admittedly staged session,
and contains a number of addons.
Perhaps most prominent is Tree-Style Tab,
which displays tabs in a hierarchy off to the left rather than flatly at
the top.
I find this visual enhancement very useful when I have dozens or hundreds of
tabs open.
There are text-mode web browsers,
and I do occasionally use them.
But it provides a very different experience.
I don't want to spend too much time on my rationale,
which as a professional web developer and activist focused on privacy and
security run quite deep.
For the sake of this talk,
let's just recognize that most people who browse the internet use a
graphical web browser;
that's a simple fact.
I chose a web browser as an example because I feel that it's something that
most everyone can relate to using,
and most everyone can recognize the utility in---most
people using Internet-connected devices use one at least a few
times a week,
if not every day.
*** RAW Finding Text (Mouse-Driven GUI Interaction) :B_frame:
:BEAMER_env: frame
**** Images :B_columns:
:BEAMER_env: columns
***** Left :B_column:
:BEAMER_env: column
:BEAMER_col: 0.30
#+ATTR_LATEX: :width 1.5in
***** Right :B_column:
:BEAMER_env: column
:BEAMER_col: 0.70
#+ATTR_LATEX: :width 3in
**** Notes :B_noteNH:
:BEAMER_env: noteNH
The Web is used for many different things today,
but its original purpose is to render documents.
Take Wikipedia for instance.
Or the LibrePlanet conference website.
If you are looking for something specific on a page,
a common operation is to search for a word or phrase,
like shown here.
how exactly to do this with a mouse varies depending on what program
you're using,
but here I highlighted the steps in a modern Icecat or Firefox.
You start by clicking on the little hamburger, hotdog, or
whatever-you-want-to-call-it menu in the upper-right,
and then click on "Find in This Page" within the popup.
This then opens a bar at the bottom of the page with an area to type the
word or phrase you're searching for.
It highlights and scrolls to the first match as you type,
and has a button to highlight all results.
It also shows the number of results off to the right.
It's a simple,
yet powerful mechanism that is pretty easy to use.
So does a GUI provide the right tool for the job?
If you're just searching for a name or concept,
that seems to be true.
A GUI _is_ useful here.
But notice how I had to convey these steps to you.
I had to take screenshots and highlight where to click with the mouse.
Since a GUI is inherently very visual,
so are the instructions on how to use it.
There is no canonical representation for these instructions,
because it involves clicking on elements that have no clear name to the
Unless you're in software or UX development,
you may not know what to call that menu in the upper-right.
what do you call the bar at the bottom of the page?
You have to describe it in a way that reproduces what the user sees.
*** RAW GUIs Change Over Time :B_frame:
:BEAMER_env: frame
**** Images :B_columns:
:BEAMER_env: columns
***** Left :B_column:
:BEAMER_env: column
:BEAMER_col: 0.50
#+ATTR_LATEX: :width 1.5in
***** Right :B_column:
:BEAMER_env: column
:BEAMER_col: 0.50
#+ATTR_LATEX: :width 1.5in
#+BEAMER: \uncover<2>{\Large
**** Notes :B_noteNH:
:BEAMER_env: noteNH
Another difficult thing is: GUIs change over time.
I'm sure there are people here who remember earlier versions of Firefox that
didn't have the hamburger menu,
where the Find menu option was in the Edit menu.
By the way,
those old menus do still exist if you hit Alt.
I miss the old menus,
because it /did/ make it easier to convey actions in text.
Saying "Go to Edit - Find" is pretty clear,
and those menu positions were always in the same place across the entire
desktop environment.
Now individual programs may vary in the their user experience.
But do you notice something in common between these two screenshots?
There's something that /hasn't/ changed over time---something
that has been the same for /decades/!
When you type =Ctrl+F=,
it immediately opens that search bar.
it works /in any browser/.
Not only that,
but =Ctrl+F= is so universal that it works /in nearly every GUI program that
offers some type of search/!
And it's /context-sensitive/!
The program will just Do The Right Thing depending on where you are or what
you're doing.
Muscle memory
** Thank You :B_fullframe:
:BEAMER_env: fullframe
:DURATION: 00:00:01
Thank you.
Mike Gerwitz
Slides and Source Code Available Online
Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0
International License
* Exporting :noexport:
For a non-interactive build, including all dependencies, simply run =make=.
Once all dependencies are built, you should be able to simply export this
buffer as a Beamer presentation (=C-c C-e l P=) to get an updated PDF (or
you can just run =make= again).
* Copyright and Licenses :noexport:
This file Copyright (C) 2019 Mike Gerwitz.
This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0
International License. See [[file:COPYING.CCBYSA]] for the full license text.
Additionally, all code fragments are dual-licensed as such:
All code fragments are free software: you can redistribute it and/or modify
it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by
the Free Software Foundation, either version 3 of the License, or
(at your option) any later version.
This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful,
but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of
GNU General Public License for more details.
You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License
along with this program (see [[file::COPYING]]). If not, see
* Local Variables :noexport:
# Local Variables:
# org-todo-keyword-faces: (("DRAFT" . org-upcoming-deadline) \
# ("DEVOID" . (:inherit org-warning \
# :inverse-video t)) \
# ("LACKING" . org-warning) \
# ("REVIEWED" . "yellow") \
# ("AUGMENT" . (:foreground "yellow" :bold t :underline t)) \
# ("READY" . (:inherit org-scheduled :bold t :underline t)))
# eval: (add-to-list 'org-structure-template-alist
# End: