A Working Instance of Nitter on NixOS

With all of the various user and developer-hostile changes introduced to Twitter over the past year, the importance of a user-friendly alternative frontend for Twitter is greater than ever. After using public instances of Nitter for a while, I wanted to try hosting my own instance. I thought it would be as simple as enabling a service in my NixOS configuration: { services.nitter.enable = true; } Unfortunately, the only builds of Nitter that currently work are taken from a feature development branch which introduces changes both in build-time dependencies and runtime dependencies.
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Using Rust, Chrome and NixOS to Take Headless Screenshots for Social Sharing

The social media landscape from Twitter and Mastodon to Instagram and TikTok has, for better or worse, centralized on sharing text highlights and quotes as images rather than as plain text. Now I can share my highlights easily as images on social media! I like to share my highlights from across the web, which is why I publish topic-specific RSS feeds for people to subscribe to. However, one of the features that I’ve been missing for a while now on Notado is exporting screenshots for social sharing.
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Documenting War Crimes in Gaza

As I write this, the genocide in Gaza being perpetrated against the Palestinian people continues unabated, with the explicit support of many western governments and politicians across the political spectrum. Facilitation of war crimes is generally recognized as a war crime in International Humanitarian Law, the Rome Statue of the International Criminal Court and Customary International Humanitarian Law (I know this thanks to my many years spent as an ICRC field delegate, but you can do your own further research on this point if you’d prefer).
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Yubikey Passthrough on WSL2 With Full FIDO2 Support

I recently starting using Yubikeys both to store passkeys which allow me to do passwordless logins to websites like GitHub, and to SSH into remote servers with FIDO2. I have a number of machines at home, but I spend the majority of my time using a Windows 11 desktop computer running NixOS on WSL2 (in the past I’ve described Windows 11 + my tiling window manager komorebi as the “desktop environment” on top of my NixOS WSL2 shell).
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Sensible $WORDCHARS for Most Developers

Have you ever hit alt + backspace while in a zsh session, intending to delete just the last part of a path, or a word, or an identifier, but ended up deleting far more than that? This is probably because you are using the default value for $WORDCHARS. The default value for $WORDCHARS is *?_-.[]~=/&;!#$%^(){}<> i.e. pretty much everything and the kitchen sink. Usually, therefore, you will want to remove characters which you don’t want to be considered parts of words
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Hands-Free Tiling Window Management

Last year I read the excellent article “Hands-Free Coding” by Josh Comeau which went into detail about modifying his programming workflow to use dictation and eye-tracking after developing Cubital Tunnel Syndrome. I highly recommend reading the whole article and watching the demonstration videos of his approach. This article was my first exposure to the dictation software Talon, which is specifically built to be hackable and naturally targets software developers. If you know anything about me by now, it’s that I can’t use a computer without a tiling window manager anymore.
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Dynamic vs. Static Config for My Tiling Window Manager

For the last few years I have been writing and maintaining a tiling window manager for Windows that has steadily grown in usage and popularity. My first exposure to tiling window managers was on macOS with kwm (which was succeeded by chunkwm and later yabai). Naturally, this meant that whenever I used Linux, I would reach for bspwm. I am a big proponent of what I call the “bspwm architecture” for tiling window managers.
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Ditching Docker for Local Development

Earlier this month I mentioned on Mastodon that I was replacing a Docker-based local development environment at my day job with a Nix-based one, orchestrated with overmind and a justfile. There was quite a lot of interest in particular in how overmind and just could be used to replace a container / compose-based local development. While I can’t share the details of the significantly more complex migration I did at my day job (yet!
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Notado 07/2023 Update: API Price Gouging, New Services, Archiving

The last few months have seen a flurry of changes on major social media websites like Twitter and Reddit with regards to API access. This has also resulted in a number of new competitors seeing rapid growth and becoming new hubs for online discussion. Let’s start with the first point: you will always be able to save Reddit comments and Tweets to Notado by highlighting and saving a text selection. This doesn’t require any API access or scraping, and it will always work because it only relies on what is visible in your browser.
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Black Hole

Earlier this evening I finally had the opportunity to watch Spiderman: Across the Spiderverse, which I enjoyed a lot. I have been reflecting on how my experience of films like these (films with teenage protagonists) has changed with age. Even in my mid-to-late 20s, I would often identify clearly with the teenage protagonists, but over the last few years I have increasingly started identifying with the parents of the protagonists. Spiderman: Across the Spiderverse was no exception to this recent trend.
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