Pixel 6a with Grapheneos

As stated in a recent blog post about Using a OnePlus 5 in 2022, I had a few issues and decided to choose using a different, newer phone.
This new phone is the Google Pixel 6a, produced by a company I despise, bought second-hand to minimise the money it will receive from my purchase. The reason behind choosing a Google Pixel phone was that they are the only phones that GrapheneOS, a security-focused Android ROM, is available on.

While I have used LineageOS for a considerable amount of time, it’s not an Android ROM that I want to use. The reasons for this are simply that a lot of things break and I’m unable to easily recover from this. The most prominent example of this was when I was forced to use a year old build of the ROM without being able to update from within the phone. Updating would have cost me an entire evening I wasn’t ready to spend.
I will not go into more detail here, but this has just been my experience. If you’ve had a better one, that’s great!

Another reason for choosing GrapheneOS, besides not liking LineageOS, was the strong focus on security that corresponds with my desire for privacy in one specific aspect: Google Services, which are, realistically, almost required to use an Android phone properly these days, are by default run sandboxed and don’t have any special permissions on the phone. You as the owner of your phone are allowed to chose what data these services get to use, not Google.
Naturally, I revoked almost all the permissions that the Google Services wanted and refuse to log in with an account to minimise the amount of data collected on me.

Using my Pixel 6a with GrapheneOS has been great (well, except the absolutely horrible fingerprint sensor) and I hope this phone will serve me many years to avoid me having to waste another 300€.

November 28, 2022

rss-email 0.2.1

First off, thanks to Hugo for submitting a patch implementing asynchronous fetching of RSS feeds for rss-email that sparked the bit of interest I needed to continue working on the project in the first place.

Thanks to this, I decided to prepare rss-email for a 0.2.0 release by replacing Diesel with sqlx, a crate that enables compile-time checked SQL queries. A complete ORM always felt a bit overkill for this, but this was the project I decided to try Diesel on to get familiar with it. Discovering that Diesel is not able to be statically linked was enough of a push to replace it with sqlx.

Besides that, jman, who submitted a patch quite a while ago, replaced OpenSSL with rustls to reduce system dependencies.

In total, not a lot of changes have been made to rss-email, but they should be quite significant nonetheless:

  • Replace OpenSSL with RustTLS
  • Implement async fetching
  • Replace Diesel with sqlx

These changes allow faster execution of rss-email and finally allow rss-email to be run on musl-based Linux distributions!
This also means I can finally run it on my own server running Alpine Linux.

As I introduced a bug where inserting an already existing entry into the database and timestamps not being present on feeds would panic, I promptly released 0.2.1, which fixes these mistakes.
The latter could have easily been avoided by avoiding the use of unwrap in the code (something I made use of heavily while prototyping the project), and fixing unnecessary calls to unwrap is a priority going forward: https://todo.sr.ht/~witcher/rss-email/13. Well, another lesson learned.

Thus far only RSS feeds work with rss-email, but implementing Atom support is planned.
If you feel like contributing, feel free to either close one of the existing tickets or send an E-Mail to the development list discussing your ideas.

Starting now, announcements for new releases will only be published on the dedicated mailing list in order to not spam my personal blog.

November 20, 2022

Struggling to find time

I wanted to give a quick update on my current situation and why it is that I’m absent so much, both in FOSS and in private.

Besides finishing my full-time Bachelors this semester and my part-time job at the same time, I find it difficult to work on FOSS in my free time. This should clear up mid next year the latest, if not sooner.

If projects of mine seem abandoned, this is because I currently just can’t find time to work on them effectively.
As far as patches for those projects go, I will see to it that they’re applied without too much delay as much as I can.

Feel free to still contact me, though, for any reason whatsoever! It might just be that I’m a little slow with replying.

November 14, 2022

Signal is getting worse

Signal just recently released a new update adding stories, akin to the feature of the same name found in WhatsApp et al.

It sports the usual upsides of Signal: E2E encryption and privacy by default. It even allows you to disable it outright, a feature which I’ve been wishing for forever with WhatsApp, while I still feel little forced to use it for now.1

Stories are not a feature that I need or want. The fact that you can disable them is nice, but it’s still clearly showing a direction Signal is going in, even though I can’t quite put my finger on a definition of this direction.
There have been a few changes made to it that I don’t agree with: adding Payments (cryptocurrency) to and removing SMS support2 from Signal.

Having an experience similar to Apple devices with iMessage and SMS but on Android and with a messenger that is actually respecting the privacy of it’s users was quite nice. Try sending them a Signal message, but fall back to sending an SMS should they not have it.
Removing the SMS feature is quite sad since it also possibly made the switch for Android users that don’t care about private messengers3 easier as it’s “more than just a messenger”, meaning it’s more useful.4

In general, I’m not agreeing with the direction Signal is heading towards. This would be a scenario where I’d like to switch messengers, or at the very least change the app I’m using, but this is not possible since there’s no viable alternative messenger5 or even another app, as Signal disallows third party apps altogether, meaning I’m stuck with it, whether I like it or not.
Funnily enough, this is a similar situation I find myself in with WhatsApp, although Signal is much less evil and so I have less of a desire to ditch it.

In the end, Signal is better than Messenger X, so it’s still the best option out there for now.

  1. Ultimately, I want to ditch WhatsApp and have been wanting to do that for quite a long time. It might be time to pull the trigger soon. ↩︎

  2. SMS support has not been removed as of writing this post, but has been announced↩︎

  3. Commonly referred to as “normies”. ↩︎

  4. I’m not arguing this is the case, but if it gets people off of worse messengers I don’t mind it. ↩︎

  5. Matrix comes to mind, but it has a very low adoption rate, even in tech circles. ↩︎

November 7, 2022

rss-email 0.1.0

I just released the first version of rss-email, 0.1.0, a little program I’ve written about before.
It solves my issue of not checking my newsreader often enough. Instead, I’ll get notifications of new posts via E-Mail.
It’s easily self hostable and only requires a cron entry as well as a simple config and url file to work.

Feel free to check it out! You can find the installation instructions in the README.


August 15, 2022

GitHub Copilot

Instead of trying to formulate my own opinion on GitHub Copilot, I’ll leave Drew DeVault’s blog post about it here, which is more detailed than I would have been: https://drewdevault.com/2022/06/23/Copilot-GPL-washing.html

With the launch of GitHub Copilot and the problems that it has, as outlined in the blog post, I decided to pull all my projects from my GitHub profile, leaving only forks and projects I’m a maintainer of behind. I will also remove the link to my GitHub profile from my website.
You can find all of my projects here: https://git.sr.ht/~witcher.

I’ll close this small post with an excerpt of Drew DeVault’s message to GitHub, found in his blog post:

You’ve invested in building a platform on top of which the open source revolution was built, and leveraging this platform for this move is a deep betrayal of the community’s trust.

June 23, 2022

Comment on Password Managers and Himitsu

Recently, I published a blog post on password managers, saying I’m looking to switch again.
As it turns out, Drew DeVault (and contributors) has been developing a new “secret storage manager” called Himitsu, written in Hare, a new systems programming language also developed by Drew.

Himitsu seems very promising (kind of like a better pass?1) and I might give it a try, although I’ll have to see whether I’ll be able to properly use it on any non-Linux devices, like my smartphone2.

  1. As in: more like pass than the other password managers I’m aware of. ↩︎

  2. Currently on iOS, but desperately looking to change again as a lot of things just don’t work when you look over the Walled Garden(TM). ↩︎

June 20, 2022

Sourcehut Pages

My website is now also available on Sourcehut pages! You can find it here: https://witcher.srht.site/

Since I’m building and publishing my website via the Sourcehut CI anyways, I figured I could just publish it to Sourcehut pages as well.

If, for some reason, my website on https://wiredspace.de/ is down, you can still look at my content elsewhere now where it will be just as up-to-date as on the main website.

June 17, 2022

Please Use E-Mail

Like I mentioned in my post about communication channels, E-Mail is a low volume communication channel that I value a lot, which is why I want to remind and urge everyone to send me E-Mails instead of sending a short instant message to me.

Use communication channels the way they are intended to and make them serve a purpose.
Send me a Signal message if you want to have a chat with me, but please send me an E-Mail if you need anything else. This is my preferred method of communication.

Instead of shoving an email etiquette down the throat of my non-tech friends, I ask you to at least send a plain text E-Mail.

You can find my E-Mail address on the about page.

June 9, 2022

New Git Signing Key

I updated my public key to have a subkey for signing git commits. You can find my updated key on the about page and here:
PGP key

April 6, 2022

Discord and Alternatives

Recently I got myself a Nextcloud instance, and it’s been absolutely comfy. I didn’t know how useful a cloud can be until I got one that’s not one of the proprietary ones with next to no configuration available.
Nextcloud has a lot of apps. Some of the most known apps to non-Nextcloud-users are probably the Contacts and Calendar apps which also support CardDAV and CalDAV, respectively. Some lesser known to the non-initiated are apps like Talk, a WebRTC powered (video-)chat app.

When I tried out Talk for the first time, I was a bit shocked at how well it worked and how good the quality is. Thanks to WebRTC, server traffic is kept at a minimum, too.

Recently, I also tried Jitsi again, and was once more shocked at how simple but also perfectly usable it is. For some reason I’ve recently been viewing Discord as the only “viable” chat platform out there that is of high quality, but it’s nice that I’ve been reminded that this isn’t the case at all. There are ready to use solutions out there, like Jitsi, that you can easily use for good quality video chatting.

March 25, 2022

bspwm Issues

Around September 2021 I built a new PC. I decided this would be my first main machine running Linux, and Linux only1, so I also decided I should make it look a little pretty.
So, out with dwm and it’s default statusbar and in with bspwm and Polybar. I’ve been using this setup (mirrored on my ThinkPad E4702) since then, but lately I’ve been running into the issue described here.

It’s the kind of issue that makes me want to rip my hair out, since I have no clue why it appears and how to fix it.

Since it started appearing more often I’ve thought about switching back to dwm. I’m actually kind of missing it, really. There are some minor things in bspwm I find too complicated, and I miss the simple stack layout of dwm.

What I’ll be missing in dwm is Polybar. Sure, I can just use it, but Polybar (without any patches) will be unable to show information about tags in dwm which irritates me a bit (and actually is the primary reason I decided to switch to bspwm in the first place).

The reason I want Polybar is because of statusbar icons. There is a patch for dwm but I’ve never managed to patch dwm with it.
Looks like it’s time to try again, as bspwm is (sadly) really getting on my nerves now.

  1. I had to install Windows as well because of gaming, but Linux is still the primary way I use my Desktop. ↩︎

  2. Back when I bought the E470 I didn’t know any better. I should have gotten a different model, and one without a GPU because what do I need a GPU in a Laptop for? ↩︎

March 12, 2022

Another Semester of Java

Just when I thought the semesters full of horrible Java lectures stopped, another semester gets thrown my way with yet more lectures specifically about Java. And I bet it’s gonna be Java 8 again, none of the newer releases!

I understand that Java is still around, but it’s debatable whether

  1. it even should still be around (as much as it is)
  2. this much time and energy needs to be put into learning specifically Java in a university

There are so many languages around that are not Java. And don’t forget languages with other paradigms, like functional programming languages (like Scala, for instance, which supports OOP, FP, AND runs on the JVM!). Learning different programming languages in academics, especially considering different paradigms, would make much more sense than still trying to push Java and OOP in 2022. Alternatives exist for a reason!

I’m just hoping there won’t be another mandatory project where Java is the only language that’s allowed… At least expand it to JVM-based :)

Thankfully I’ll have some downtime from Java with my new job using Rust!

March 11, 2022


I started working on a thing that, for now, I’ve called rss-email. It’s supposed to check for new RSS posts and send them to a specified E-Mail address.
It’s in the very early development stages, and I’m currently struggling a bit to find enough time for it.

I’m using http://r-36.net/scm/zs/ as a reference.


March 2, 2022