Our society rests on a layer of computing infrastructure which is increasingly broken, in a variety of ways.
This XKCD comic gets at part of it, I wrote a blog post about it glossing a talk by Jonathan Blow.
A friend of mine started a blog recently, hosted on Medium. I tried to convince him that he should be using some other software for a variety of good-citizen reasons: Medium’s UX is obnoxious, you don’t own your data and how your work is presented, etc. “Try GitHub Pages,” I said. “It’ll be easy,” I said.
We timeboxed an hour, and weren’t able to set it up in time. GitHub Pages is supposed to be an extremely easy-to-use tool and I set it up successfully for this blog less than two months ago.
Some issues we encountered:
- System Ruby vs user Ruby
- Gem executables (Jekyll) not on PATH
- GitHub repo in the wrong folder
- Unknown, some issue with the theme he selected (from GitHub’s selection UI).
Now, with a little more time, or a little more skill, we could have finished this, and GitHub Pages is still easier than most other options.
But the fact is – in 2020, 30 years after the creation of the web, we have moved backwards.