Hi, I’m Dwayne. I’m a freelance web developer. I spend most of my time writing code, reading random things on the internet, and playing PC games. I created this website to share what I’m working on and reading about. Check out the about me page for info about me, and the tech page for more about the website.

Get new posts in your inbox!

Lots of Penpot signups after Adobe's Figma announcement

Adobe announced they were buying Figma two weeks ago, and most of the reactions I’ve seen about it since then were pretty negative.

Now it sounds like designers (and developers) are turning to an open source Figma competitor called Penpot.

From TechCrunch:

Even before the Adobe-Figma news hit, Penpot had been making a name for itself. Launched a year ago, the startup has seen tens of thousands of downloads and 15,000 “stars” on GitHub. The 10,000 companies among its active users include Google, Microsoft, Red Hat, Tencent, ByteDance and Mozilla.

Before September 15, Penpot’s CEO and co-founder Pablo Ruiz-Múzquiz said that sign-ups were growing at around 40% per month: after Adobe’s news, that figure ballooned to 5,600%, and has stayed consistent since then. On-premise deployments have also grown 400%.

I’m happy about this part. There definitely needs to be competition in apps/services like these.

But TechCrunch also reported:

The company, based out of Madrid, has picked up $8 million in a round led by Decibel out of the U.S., with participation also from Athos and, significantly, several individuals notable for their roles in creative and developer ecosystems.

I’m not so happy about this part.

I like to see smaller organizations get the money they need to succeed, but at what cost? Why is it so common for businesses to leave the important part (revenue) to the very end and then accept financing that is guaranteed to push them to make decisions they wouldn’t have otherwise? Like, you know, selling to a bigger company for a billion dollar exit for example.

More about this on Mastodon (including responses from the Penpot CEO).

~375 words     4 likes     4 attachments    

Elite Dangerous console development has been cancelled

Frontier Development just announced that they aren’t working on console releases for Elite Dangerous anymore:

Over the last several months, we have been wrestling with the best way to move forward, and it is with a heavy heart we have decided to cancel all console development. We need to be able to move forward with the story of the game, and in order for us to do this we need to focus on a single codebase. Elite Dangerous will continue on console as it is now together with critical updates, but we will focus on new content updates on PC on the post-Odyssey codebase.

I bought Elite Dangerous on PS4 in 2018. There was a lot that I liked about it (like exploring a real scale version of the entire Milky Way galaxy), and a lot I didn’t (like the constant grind to get anything good in the game). I played it pretty consistently on console until I bought it on PC about a year afterwards.

I had been playing it on and off since then, and was pretty interested when I heard about the Odyssey update (that’s the one where you can finally get out of your ship and shoot things on foot). I got access to the “alpha” in March last year, which seemed like pretty much the same version as what we got in the real release a few months later.

Like a lot of people on the Frontier forums and on reddit, I was pretty disappointed with the Odyssey release. The game was already too buggy, and this update just added more things that were also too buggy. But I was assuming Frontier would eventually start making some progress fixing things up and at least get the console release done.

I uninstalled the game a few months ago and I figured I would download it again when it seemed like it was in better shape, but it doesn’t feel like there’s much of a point now. The state of the game isn’t great and it doesn’t really sound like it’ll ever get much better.


~390 words     2 likes     1 attachment    

Rust Moderation Team Resigns

Just as I started to dive into Rust and start using it on a new project, I hear the entire moderation team (of three people) resigned recently.

From a pull request to the “team” Rust repo:

The entire moderation team resigns, effective immediately. This resignation is done in protest of the Core Team placing themselves unaccountable to anyone but themselves.

As a result of such structural unaccountability, we have been unable to enforce the Rust Code of Conduct to the standards the community expects of us and to the standards we hold ourselves to. To leave under these circumstances deeply pains us, and we apologize to all of those that we have let down. In recognition that we are out of options from the perspective of Rust Governance, we feel as though we have no course remaining to us but to step down and make this statement.

The team declined to actually say what happened though:

In this message, we have avoided airing specific grievances beyond unaccountability. We’ve chosen to maintain discretion and confidentiality. We recommend that the broader Rust community and the future Mod Team exercise extreme skepticism of any statements by the Core Team (or members thereof) claiming to illuminate the situation.

As someone evaluating languages/frameworks for use on new project, it’s a little weird to hear that the core team of one of the options has done something bad enough to cause an entire group of moderators to resign, but there’s no information other than that team shouldn’t be trusted.

I respect not wanting to cause unnecessary drama, but keeping everyone in the dark like this doesn’t really seem like the best way to handle it either.

One of the members of the moderation team (burntsushi) writing on a reddit thread:

TIL about the term “vaguebooking.” Yes, we were vague. But on the flip side, we weren’t as vague as we could have been. Anyone who has read any amount of my writing knows that I’m all about balance. To say too much would be terrible folly. But to say too little would not make effective use of the last tool we had in our disposal: resignation. We resigned because we think some kind of change would be a good idea, and we suggested some ideas to the rest of the Rust Team Members.

It’s obvious why saying something is useful. But why not just let it all out? No. That’s irresponsible. Deeply deeply irresponsible. People who think we should just be completely and 100% transparent about literally everything that comes to us have not given any kind of serious thought to what it means to be a moderator. I’ve talked about moderation in the past, and how people tend to assume things are easier than they are.

There’s further discussion on Hacker News, but not much information on what actually happened. Anyone have any insight?

~531 words     2 likes     3 attachments    

Facebook is Meta?

Alex Heath:

Facebook is planning to change its company name next week to reflect its focus on building the metaverse, according to a source with direct knowledge of the matter.

The coming name change, which CEO Mark Zuckerberg plans to talk about at the company’s annual Connect conference on October 28th, but could unveil sooner, is meant to signal the tech giant’s ambition to be known for more than social media and all the ills that entail. The rebrand would likely position the blue Facebook app as one of many products under a parent company overseeing groups like Instagram, WhatsApp, Oculus, and more. A spokesperson for Facebook declined to comment for this story.

This actually makes a lot of sense for them. If you’re gonna be a conglomerate (by buying up or cloning the features of any company that is in any way related to or a threat to you) then at least be clear about it. I’m guessing Mark Zuckerberg hopes this might also:

  • Allow him to more effectively continue hiding from the consequences of his actions
  • Make him a harder target for government investigation/action
  • Put some distance between him and the tarnished Facebook name
  • Position him as the CEO and leader of the entire “metaverse” he’s trying to build

Vlad Savov from Bloomberg:

The report that Facebook Inc. plans to change its corporate name prompted a flurry of online speculation as industry followers rushed to register their guesses.


“Meta” is another contender put forward by, among others, Samidh Chakrabarti, the company’s former civic integrity chief. The web address meta.com currently redirects to meta.org, the home of a biomedical research discovery tool developed under the stewardship of the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, which is co-founded by the Facebook CEO. That suggests Zuckerberg has a head start on any other contender looking to secure the ultimate name for a metaverse firm.

I’m seeing a lot of people speculate that Meta is the new name. I’ve also seen either Horizon, which is the name of one of their VR projects, or just FB. Either way, I’m hoping this changes nothing and the company ends up being split into parts and the executives made responsible for the damage they’ve caused.

~422 words     5 likes     2 attachments    

Facebook is slowing things down for 'Reputational Reviews'

Emily Glazer at The Wall Street Journal:

Facebook Inc. has slowed the rollout of new products in recent days, people familiar with the matter said, amid media reports and congressional hearings related to a trove of internal documents showing harms from its platforms.

Executives at the social-media company have also put a hold on some work on existing products while more than a dozen people are involved in conducting “reputational reviews” to examine how Facebook may be criticized and to ensure products don’t adversely impact children, the people said.

It seems a little late for that, doesn’t it?

Facebook has been tightening the reins on what information is shared internally over the past few weeks, the people said. A team within the company is examining all in-house research that could potentially damage Facebook’s image if made public, some of the people said.

This sounds like the “shredding evidence” phase of their corporate response.

~198 words     2 likes     3 attachments    

Twitch source code and creator payout data leaked

Someone on 4chan posted a 125 GB leak of Twitch’s source code, creator payout information, account info (including encrypted passwords), and code from from Amazon’s unreleased Steam competitor called Vapor. From the post:

We bring to you today an extremely poggers leak:

Twitch is an American video live streaming service that focuses on video game live streaming, including broadcasts of esports competitions, operated by Twitch Interactive, a subsidiary of Amazon.com, Inc.

Their community is also a disgusting toxic cesspool, so to foster more disruption and competition in the online video streaming space, we have completely pwned them, and in part one, are releasing the source code from almost 6,000 internal Git repositories, including:

> Entirety of twitch.tv, with commit history going back to its early beginnings
> Mobile, desktop and video game console Twitch clients
> Various proprietary SDKs and internal AWS services used by Twitch
> Every other property that Twitch owns including IGDB and CurseForge
> An unreleased Steam competitor from Amazon Game Studios
> Twitch SOC internal red teaming tools (lol)

AND: Creator payout reports from 2019 until now. Find out how much your favorite streamer is really making!

The Twitter user @KnowS0mething posted some screenshots of the list of highest paid streamers earlier today.

Note that the torrent name is “twitch-leaks-part-one” so I’m assuming there’s more to come soon.

More articles about the leak:

Kotaku: Report: Twitch Is Hacked And Its Source Code Is In The Wild
VGC: The entirety of Twitch has reportedly been leaked
The Verge: Twitch source code and creator payouts part of massive leak
TechCrunch: Twitch source code and creator payout data leaks online
IGN: Twitch Reportedly Hit By Huge Leak Including Source Code, Payouts and More

~376 words     2 likes    

Re: The Perils of an .xyz Domain

I just came across this blog post about the perils of a .xyz domain. I’ve been using this (dwayne.xyz) domain for a while now and I definitely had some concerns about how often my links will be spam-filtered. Luckily I’m not trying to sell an actual product (besides my web development services) so I figured I would stick with it and see how it works out.

This part of the article stuck out though because I recently had something similar happen to me:

One surprising side effect of having a .xyz domain is that the mere inclusion of .xyz inside of a text message will result in a silent delivery failure for many providers.


The text including the .xyz link is notably absent. Until I realized what was happening, I would sometimes have some very strange text exchanges with people whenever I would mention my company or my email address. Once we switched to spotvirtual.com, this issue went away.

I sent a SMS with one of my .xyz email address to someone recently, and just like in the article, it silently failed to send. Very frustrating and concerning for me considering I use this domain to communicate with my clients.

I have other non-xyz domains as aliases to this server, and every time I read about this kind of thing I’m tempted to make one of them the primary instead of this one…

~251 words     1 like     1 attachment    

Re: Twitch Sues Users Over Alleged 'Hate Raids' Against Streamers

I wrote about the #TwitchDoBetter hashtag last week. Yesterday, Twitch sued two alleged hate raiders for violating its terms of service. Cecilia D’Anastasio from Wired writes:

Since early August, Twitch has been wrestling with an epidemic of harassment against marginalized streamers known as “hate raids.” These attacks spam streamers' chats with hateful and bigoted language, amplified dozens of times a minute by bots. On Thursday, after a month trying and failing to combat the tactic, Twitch resorted to the legal system, suing two alleged hate raiders for “targeting black and LGBTQIA+ streamers with racist, homophobic, sexist and other harassing content” in violation of its terms of service.

It’s good to see Twitch taking more action on this.

~136 words     4 likes     2 attachments    

Re: Stop just using "Frontend" or "Backend" to describe the Engineering you like

Michelle Lim on replacing the dev Frontend/Backend axis with Product/Infrastructure:

If there is one tip I could share with my fellow new engineers, it would be… Stop relying on the “Frontend/Backend” axis to understand the engineering you like. The “Frontend/Backend” axis doesn’t map well to engineers' motivations. If you only use that axis, you can end up in projects you don’t like or worse still, give up on engineering prematurely. Instead, try using the “Product/Infrastructure” axis as the first axis to understand your career preference.

This makes a lot of sense to me. Web development continues to get more complicated and specialized, and the simple frontend/backend division in tech career conversations keeps getting a lot harder to stick with.

Product-first engineers map to “Product engineering” – building, launching and maintaining features that solve user problems. They often love being in the same room as designers and product managers to learn about users, and they love finding technical opportunities that can improve the product.

Code-first engineers map to “Infrastructure engineering” – building infrastructure platforms that support applications, be it via building CI/CD pipelines, implementing logging, or supporting high traffic etc. They’re motivated to better the craft of programming and are often obsessed with things like test coverage, using the latest technologies, code architecture, etc.

This doesn’t cover every case of course, but I think it’s a much better place to start the conversation.

~253 words     1 like     1 attachment    

Re: Twitch Streamers Are Boycotting The Site For A Day To Protest Hate Raids

Ari Notis from Kotaku on today’s Twitch boycott:

Earlier this month, streamers rallied around the #TwitchDoBetter hashtag on social media, where reports of awful user experiences on the platform proliferated. Many of the posts revolved around how Twitch has offered tepid protections against sustained harassment. In particular, hate raids – in which bad-faith viewers use the platform’s “raid” feature to flood a channel en masse with slurs and vile language – are not only possible, but becoming a daily nightmare for folks using the livestreaming service. And since it’s nearly effortless to create an account on Twitch, trolls are able to sign up for a bunch of accounts. It’s absurdly easy to circumvent any bans, at least until measures like account verification via phone numbers are implemented.

I’ve done some streaming on Twitch before, and was lucky enough to have decent experiences with it. I was “raided” once, but it was a good one, not the hate raids that seem like the thing for racists and trolls to do these days. But while my the streams I hosted went okay (I never had enough viewers to attract a lot of negative attention), I’ve seen just how toxic the platform can be while watching other Black streamers. I hope Twitch ends up doing something meaningful here.

The #ADayOffTwitch campaign – organized by Raven alongside streamers LuciaEverblack and ShineyPen – is scheduled for September 1. Essentially, it’ll be a 24-hour-long total blackout: no streaming, no watching streams, no logging on to chat. Viewers are encouraged to participate, as well.

~310 words     3 likes     3 attachments    

Re: Reddit Responds to Calls From Moderators to Fight Disinformation

Matthew Gault from Vice, writing about reddit refusing to address misinformation:

Some of the most popular subreddits are protesting the proliferation of COVID-19 disinformation and conspiracy theories on the platform. Moderators from several high profile subreddits, including r/awww, r/showerthoughts, and r/pics, are now calling on the site to do a better job of curbing the spread of disinformation.

He then goes on to talk about the response from reddit’s CEO, Steve Huffman:

Huffman began by saying the CDC was the best source of up to date information about the pandemic and urged people to get vaccinated. “We appreciate that not everyone agrees with the current approach to getting us all through the pandemic, and some are still wary of vaccinations,” Huffman said. “Dissent is a part of Reddit and the foundation of democracy. Reddit is a place for open and authentic discussion and debate. This includes conversations that question or disagree with popular consensus. This includes conversations that criticize those that disagree with the majority opinion. This includes protests that criticize or object to our decisions on which communities to ban from the platform.”

I don’t understand why these tech company executives think that being in a democracy means they have no responsibility for the things they enable. The concept of freedom of speech does not mean you don’t have to do anything about amplifying and spreading misinformation through the giant platform you’ve created.

~258 words     2 likes     1 attachment    

Re: OnlyFans says never mind, it actually won’t ban porn on October 1st

Richard Lawler from The Verge reporting on OnlyFans' latest moves:

In an abrupt tweet, video and image sharing site OnlyFans announced a reversal of the shocker announcement that it would ban sexually explicit content. In a statement to The Verge, a spokesperson said “The proposed October 1st, 2021 changes are no longer required due to banking partners’ assurances that OnlyFans can support all genres of creators.”

They announced they were banning sexually explicit content on Friday. Here we are a few days later and they’ve already completely reversed the decision. How are any of the people who relied on the service ever going to trust it again after this?

~126 words     1 like     1 attachment