Hacktoberfest 2018

Open Source is not only living from the idea that the software has open code and is visible and assessable for everyone, but also that the opportunity is given that everyone can partizipate. In any case, if the author of the software is involved and accepts so-called "pull requests". "Pull requests" are snippets of code (or assets), they are contributed by software developers, who do not have write access in the repository. They serve above all else to eleminate bugs, but also to integrate or improve features. Or to care about the documentation.

The Hacktoberfest in 2018 is organized from GitHub and DigitalOcean for the fith time (and in this year for the first time is also Twilio supporter) and is celebrating open source software for one month. You can partizipate on it by posting five pull requests in open projects on GitHub in october. They must not merged but shouldn't land in fake repositories or include spam.

My pull requests have moved in the repositories of Oh My Zsh, DDEV and gitignore.io until now. Maybe I will find a little bit more time this week. On friday there was a Hacktoberfest-Meetup in the holy halls of Micromata here in Kassel, I have partizipated for a few hours. It was fun and have made more fun, to visit the Webmontage, which are also held there.

Lootbox mechanics to hell

My kids playing Clash Royale and I didn't like this game from the beginning. It started with it that I have held the partition of the game board for a poor copy of the start szenario of Warhammer and it ended with the unspeakable lootboxes. There is nothing worse than lootboxes and I can understand them from the business view, that they integrate this mechanic in many AAA games, but I think it's unbearable from a player´s point of view.

Therfore I did not get warm with this game. But I must look at "Age of Sigmar: Realm war" because of the setting and my slowly growing love to "Warhammer: Age of Sigmar". Even if it was clear at the first game, that it was only a complete clone of "Clash Royale", i wanted to understand the game mechanics.

But I have done one condition: there will no money spend to run faster through the game. Even if I find it stupid, because I am software developer on my own and would like to be rewarded for my work. But I also do not develop "pay-to-win" games.

I am a bit disentchanted after the first days, because once you have looked through the game mechanics, you relaize, that there is no more ingame deepth. You are creating your deck, evaluating different combinations, you have seen by your enemies, that have beaten you hard and through the lootbox mechanic you are forced every few hours to open the comets/boxes to get new cards.

Meanwhile my character is near before level 6, I am standing at the entry in the fourth world and I think that I will play the game a little bit fourther. But not more.

Oh my shell!

For me is the most important tool after a development environment a well functional shell. Without these I couldn't do many things in my daily workflow. Sure are there actually for all commands, you are fireing in a shell, in one or another a replacement in form of a grapical interface or in an integration for a IDE, but these are either complicated to configure or have in the most cases only a small part of the necessary commands or parameters.

The times when such a shell only consisted of a blinking cursor, one had difficult remember the syntax of commands and they were not integrated in the workflow, are over. With "Oh My Zsh" exists a "configuration" framework that let no wishes open, because you can extend it yourself.

Though you can Oh My Zsh also use in the terminal of macOS, but while you are at it, you can also install a replacement: iterm2. A replacement for the macOS terminal, which, in addition to a search, profiles and a history is configurable of its myriad parameters, so you can open it like the terminal from Quake. What more do you want?


You should first install Homebrew first, after that you can with

brew cask install iterm2

install iterm. And then install "Oh My Zsh" with the follwing command:

sh -c "$(curl -fsSL raw.github.com/robbyrussell/oh-my-zsh/master/tools/install.sh)"


Let us pretty up iTerm2: material design colors, "Quake style" shortcut and a better readable font.

You can download the color profile for the material design colors here and import and select it in the preferences under "Profiles > Colors" in the selectbox in the bottom right.

To let open the terminal window like the terminal in Quake from the top, you must create a new profile on the panel "Profiles" with similar settings you can see in the image. The most important setting is at "Style" the value "Full-Width Top of Screen".

You must define a shortcut on the panel "Keys" in the section "Hotkey Window" and then there a only a few fonts are missing that you can download here on GitHub. I am using for all windows following font

12pt Meslo LG M DZ Regular for Powerline

The we come to "Oh My Zsh", that you can easily configure with a text file. Simply run following command in iTerm2 oder open the file in an editor of your choice:

vi ~/.zshrc

Beside the theme (I am using "awesomepanda") you can install a lot of plugins, they provide a lot of useful shortcuts and tools, in the well documented file. You can see a list here, which tools are available. I am using following configuration:


Otherwise, it is worth it, to create shortcut/alias for commands in this file. You can see which one are active with the command "alias".

Twitter is (as good as) dead

The first change in the Twitter API is active since a few days, what means, that third party clients has only periodical access to several APIs (Site Stream and User Stream) this week, which will shut down finally on 08/23. The DirectMessage-API may exist until 17th of September and one week before there will be the new API-Restrictions and new rules for the development of apps come into effect, which will make it even more difficult for the unofficial clients.

Sure you can beg to the support team, that your own app become the actual limits, but this is so nicely worded, that the exception is only for the actual version of the app. If there will be a new version e.g. of Tweetbot there will only be the new limits in effect. And this will become the end of Tweetbot & Co.

I have not really a clue, why Twitter is behaving in such a way and ignores the wishes of their users. I think, it is about the maximizing of advertising income and paid tweets, they don´t show in the 3rd party apps. Twitter seems to be orienting on Facebook, when it comes to reshaping its streams. The in the beginning chronological timeline in the webview and in the official app was destroyed because of algorithms and advertising, so that they are unusable.

I have a look on Mastodon since a few days, which have a comparable concept like Twitter, but is only a piece of software in the first place, that can everyone use to build your own instance. The Mastodon-Instances could communicate among themeselves, but could be blocked, if there is an instance that send spam.

The idea behind is tempting and the many instances of Mastodon were overrun by opening accounts after the announcement from Twitter. Nevertheless are there too few users on the instances at this time, so that there is a comparable feeling like with Diaspora. Diaspora was born with a similar approach against Facebook back then, but have in the time of nearly eight years since the beginning not break the marking of more than one million users.

RSS is alive

Yesterday I´ve read the comment on Heise about dying of RSS with wonder. How often has RSS already died? With the loss of Google Reader in the middle of 2013 was RSS brought to grave. Sure, this was a big break and since then RSS or the clients are not developing much. Also the development of my favourite client Fever was dropped.

But in my filter bubble is RSS not dead. My lawn is dead, as you can see in the photo above. RSS was not successful in his form, but the idea behind is not more as the subscribing of an Facebook channel, only that you will get a filtered version and not the articles in a chronolocial order.

Maybe there must be more advertising for RSS? I am developing a TYPO3 extension since a few time, which has similiar features like Fever. Because Fever was the best solution for me. It was self hosted, the data stayed with me and there were apps on iOS (and Android probably too) that could connect to the Fever API.

The articles from me can be fetched via RSS by the way. You can get the german articles under the url https://www.insomniaonline.de/feed and the english translation under https://www.insomniaonline.de/en/feed.