Computing Fails

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Mumbo Jumbo

Programs that are full of junk or otherwise misleading. With wget, we have too much info. This example isn't specific to wget, but is a common sight. Less is more.

sane/usable wget

$ wget -h
wget: unrecognized option: h
BusyBox v1.31.1 () multi-call binary.

Usage: wget [-c|--continue] [--spider] [-q|--quiet] 
[-O|--output-document FILE]
        [-o|--output-file FILE] [--header 'header: value'] [-Y|--proxy on/off]
        [-P DIR] [-S|--server-response] [-U|--user-agent AGENT] [-T SEC] URL...

Retrieve files via HTTP or FTP

        --spider        Only check URL existence: $? is 0 if exists
        -c              Continue retrieval of aborted transfer
        -q              Quiet
        -P DIR          Save to DIR (default .)
        -S              Show server response
        -T SEC          Network read timeout is SEC seconds
        -O FILE         Save to FILE ('-' for stdout)
        -o FILE         Log messages to FILE
        -U STR          Use STR for User-Agent header
        -Y on/off       Use proxy

insane/unusable wget

$ wget -h
GNU Wget 1.20.1, a non-interactive network retriever.
Usage: wget [OPTION]... [URL]...

Mandatory arguments to long options are mandatory for short options too.

  -V,  --version                   display the version of Wget and exit
  -h,  --help                      print this help
  -b,  --background                go to background after startup
  -e,  --execute=COMMAND           execute a `.wgetrc'-style command

Logging and input file:
  -o,  --output-file=FILE          log messages to FILE
  -a,  --append-output=FILE        append messages to FILE
  -d,  --debug                     print lots of debugging information
  -q,  --quiet                     quiet (no output)
  -v,  --verbose                   be verbose (this is the default)
  -nv, --no-verbose                turn off verboseness, without being quiet
       --report-speed=TYPE         output bandwidth as TYPE.  TYPE can be bits
  -i,  --input-file=FILE           download URLs found in local or external FILE
  -F,  --force-html                treat input file as HTML
  -B,  --base=URL                  resolves HTML input-file links (-i -F)
                                     relative to URL
       --config=FILE               specify config file to use
       --no-config                 do not read any config file
       --rejected-log=FILE         log reasons for URL rejection to FILE

  -t,  --tries=NUMBER              set number of retries to NUMBER (0 unlimits)
       --retry-connrefused         retry even if connection is refused
       --retry-on-http-error=ERRORS    comma-separated list of HTTP errors to retry
  -O,  --output-document=FILE      write documents to FILE
  -nc, --no-clobber                skip downloads that would download to
                                     existing files (overwriting them)
       --no-netrc                  don't try to obtain credentials from .netrc
  -c,  --continue                  resume getting a partially-downloaded file
       --start-pos=OFFSET          start downloading from zero-based position OFFSET
       --progress=TYPE             select progress gauge type
       --show-progress             display the progress bar in any verbosity mode
  -N,  --timestamping              don't re-retrieve files unless newer than
       --no-if-modified-since      don't use conditional if-modified-since get
                                     requests in timestamping mode
       --no-use-server-timestamps  don't set the local file's timestamp by
                                     the one on the server
  -S,  --server-response           print server response
       --spider                    don't download anything
  -T,  --timeout=SECONDS           set all timeout values to SECONDS
       --dns-timeout=SECS          set the DNS lookup timeout to SECS
       --connect-timeout=SECS      set the connect timeout to SECS
       --read-timeout=SECS         set the read timeout to SECS
  -w,  --wait=SECONDS              wait SECONDS between retrievals
       --waitretry=SECONDS         wait 1..SECONDS between retries of a retrieval
       --random-wait               wait from 0.5*WAIT...1.5*WAIT secs between retrievals
       --no-proxy                  explicitly turn off proxy
  -Q,  --quota=NUMBER              set retrieval quota to NUMBER
       --bind-address=ADDRESS      bind to ADDRESS (hostname or IP) on local host
       --limit-rate=RATE           limit download rate to RATE
       --no-dns-cache              disable caching DNS lookups
       --restrict-file-names=OS    restrict chars in file names to ones OS allows
       --ignore-case               ignore case when matching files/directories
  -4,  --inet4-only                connect only to IPv4 addresses
  -6,  --inet6-only                connect only to IPv6 addresses
       --prefer-family=FAMILY      connect first to addresses of specified family,
                                     one of IPv6, IPv4, or none
       --user=USER                 set both ftp and http user to USER
       --password=PASS             set both ftp and http password to PASS
       --ask-password              prompt for passwords
       --use-askpass=COMMAND       specify credential handler for requesting
                                     username and password.  If no COMMAND is
                                     specified the WGET_ASKPASS or the SSH_ASKPASS
                                     environment variable is used.
       --no-iri                    turn off IRI support
       --local-encoding=ENC        use ENC as the local encoding for IRIs
       --remote-encoding=ENC       use ENC as the default remote encoding
       --unlink                    remove file before clobber
       --xattr                     turn on storage of metadata in extended file attributes
  -nd, --no-directories            don't create directories
  -x,  --force-directories         force creation of directories
  -nH, --no-host-directories       don't create host directories
       --protocol-directories      use protocol name in directories
  -P,  --directory-prefix=PREFIX   save files to PREFIX/..
       --cut-dirs=NUMBER           ignore NUMBER remote directory components

HTTP options:
       --http-user=USER            set http user to USER
       --http-password=PASS        set http password to PASS
       --no-cache                  disallow server-cached data
       --default-page=NAME         change the default page name (normally
                                     this is 'index.html'.)
  -E,  --adjust-extension          save HTML/CSS documents with proper extensions
       --ignore-length             ignore 'Content-Length' header field
       --header=STRING             insert STRING among the headers
       --compression=TYPE          choose compression, one of auto, gzip and none. (default: none)
       --max-redirect              maximum redirections allowed per page
       --proxy-user=USER           set USER as proxy username
       --proxy-password=PASS       set PASS as proxy password
       --referer=URL               include 'Referer: URL' header in HTTP request
       --save-headers              save the HTTP headers to file
  -U,  --user-agent=AGENT          identify as AGENT instead of Wget/VERSION
       --no-http-keep-alive        disable HTTP keep-alive (persistent connections)
       --no-cookies                don't use cookies
       --load-cookies=FILE         load cookies from FILE before session
       --save-cookies=FILE         save cookies to FILE after session
       --keep-session-cookies      load and save session (non-permanent) cookies
       --post-data=STRING          use the POST method; send STRING as the data
       --post-file=FILE            use the POST method; send contents of FILE
       --method=HTTPMethod         use method "HTTPMethod" in the request
       --body-data=STRING          send STRING as data. --method MUST be set
       --body-file=FILE            send contents of FILE. --method MUST be set
       --content-disposition       honor the Content-Disposition header when
                                     choosing local file names (EXPERIMENTAL)
     --content-on-error          output the received content on server errors
       --auth-no-challenge         send Basic HTTP authentication information
                                     without first waiting for the server's

HTTPS (SSL/TLS) options:
       --secure-protocol=PR        choose secure protocol, one of auto, SSLv2,
                                     SSLv3, TLSv1, TLSv1_1, TLSv1_2 and PFS
       --https-only                only follow secure HTTPS links
       --no-check-certificate      don't validate the server's certificate
       --certificate=FILE          client certificate file
       --certificate-type=TYPE     client certificate type, PEM or DER
       --private-key=FILE          private key file
       --private-key-type=TYPE     private key type, PEM or DER
       --ca-certificate=FILE       file with the bundle of CAs
       --ca-directory=DIR          directory where hash list of CAs is stored
       --crl-file=FILE             file with bundle of CRLs
       --pinnedpubkey=FILE/HASHES  Public key (PEM/DER) file, or any number
                                   of base64 encoded sha256 hashes preceded by
                                   'sha256//' and separated by ';', to verify
                                   peer against

       --ciphers=STR           Set the priority string (GnuTLS) or cipher list string (OpenSSL) directly.
                                   Use with care. This option overrides --secure-protocol.
                                   The format and syntax of this string depend on the specific SSL/TLS engine.
HSTS options:
       --no-hsts                   disable HSTS
       --hsts-file                 path of HSTS database (will override default)
FTP options:
       --ftp-user=USER             set ftp user to USER
       --ftp-password=PASS         set ftp password to PASS
       --no-remove-listing         don't remove '.listing' files
       --no-glob                   turn off FTP file name globbing
       --no-passive-ftp            disable the "passive" transfer mode
       --preserve-permissions      preserve remote file permissions
       --retr-symlinks             when recursing, get linked-to files (not dir)

FTPS options:
       --ftps-implicit                 use implicit FTPS (default port is 990)
       --ftps-resume-ssl               resume the SSL/TLS session started in the control connection when
                                         opening a data connection
       --ftps-clear-data-connection    cipher the control channel only; all the data will be in plaintext
       --ftps-fallback-to-ftp          fall back to FTP if FTPS is not supported in the target server
WARC options:
       --warc-file=FILENAME        save request/response data to a .warc.gz file
       --warc-header=STRING        insert STRING into the warcinfo record
       --warc-max-size=NUMBER      set maximum size of WARC files to NUMBER
       --warc-cdx                  write CDX index files
       --warc-dedup=FILENAME       do not store records listed in this CDX file
       --no-warc-compression       do not compress WARC files with GZIP
       --no-warc-digests           do not calculate SHA1 digests
       --no-warc-keep-log          do not store the log file in a WARC record
       --warc-tempdir=DIRECTORY    location for temporary files created by the
                                     WARC writer
Recursive download:
  -r,  --recursive                 specify recursive download
  -l,  --level=NUMBER              maximum recursion depth (inf or 0 for infinite)
       --delete-after              delete files locally after downloading them
  -k,  --convert-links             make links in downloaded HTML or CSS point to
                                     local files
       --convert-file-only         convert the file part of the URLs only (usually known as the basename)
       --backups=N                 before writing file X, rotate up to N backup files
  -K,  --backup-converted          before converting file X, back up as X.orig
  -m,  --mirror                    shortcut for -N -r -l inf --no-remove-listing
  -p,  --page-requisites           get all images, etc. needed to display HTML page
       --strict-comments           turn on strict (SGML) handling of HTML comments
Recursive accept/reject:
  -A,  --accept=LIST               comma-separated list of accepted extensions
  -R,  --reject=LIST               comma-separated list of rejected extensions
       --accept-regex=REGEX        regex matching accepted URLs
       --reject-regex=REGEX        regex matching rejected URLs
       --regex-type=TYPE           regex type (posix|pcre)
  -D,  --domains=LIST              comma-separated list of accepted domains
       --exclude-domains=LIST      comma-separated list of rejected domains
       --follow-ftp                follow FTP links from HTML documents
       --follow-tags=LIST          comma-separated list of followed HTML tags
       --ignore-tags=LIST          comma-separated list of ignored HTML tags
  -H,  --span-hosts                go to foreign hosts when recursive
  -L,  --relative                  follow relative links only
  -I,  --include-directories=LIST  list of allowed directories
       --trust-server-names        use the name specified by the redirection
                                     URL's last component
  -X,  --exclude-directories=LIST  list of excluded directories
  -np, --no-parent                 don't ascend to the parent directory

Email bug reports, questions, discussions to <>
and/or open issues at


No human being can digest all the information in the latter. It's insane. Perhaps another flag can be used for the verbose help information, but for average daily usage, busybox wins here.

Attack of the Javascript and White Space 2010's web devs!

Discourse. I hate it so much. It's as if someone who had never used a forum before thought about designing forums. They then looked at all the reasonable spacing and coherent navigation offered by php forums from the 2000's, and said: "No, I must have more white space, and a font size that is 3 times as big. I must also make it slower, by adding superfluous javascript libraries.". Thus, discourse was created: To deter people from actually using forums effectively.

IPv6 Is Badly Designed

IPv6. It was supposed to take over IPv4 over 20 years ago (yes, people were talking about IPv6 in the year 2000). In 2020, it still hasn't. Why? Because it's crap, and everyone knows it. However, the amount of corporate money invested into it, means that it may eventually get shoved down people's throats. It's not even easy to find criticisms of the technology these days. It's all being astroturfed by shills. It's like a bad movie or video game sequel. It's worse than the original. But you can't avoid it.


To begin with, IPv6 will use a 128 bit address space, as compared to 
IPv4's 32 bits. This 128 bit address is the biggest reason for IPv6. It 
is supposed to give us plenty of IP addresses to last us well into the 
future. However, 128 bits is overkill. Sixty-four should be more than 

Let's put it in terms that are easier to comprehend. We'll assume that 
there are 15 billion people on the planet. (currently, there are only 
6.1 billion, and the largest estimates for the next fifty years project 
12 billion). With 128 bits per IP address, each person could have 
2.26e28 IP addresses to themselves. If we reduce it to 64 bits, each 
person would still have 1.2 billion addresses.

What about the people who want to put IP addresses on every light pole, 
mailbox, stop light and street sign? Well, there are about 148 million 
square kilometers of land on the Earth (not including ocean). With 128 
bits, we have almost 2.3e20 addresses per square centimeter. If we 
reduce that to 64 bits, each square centimeter would still have about 
12.5 IP addresses -- more than enough.

...(Sections Omitted)

Part of IPv4's immense success was due to its 
simplicity and rigid structure. It does the job it was meant to do 
quickly and effectively. IPv6 adds all sorts of bells and whistles that 
are unneccesary and even detrimental. With all the wasted space and 
privacy issues, I'd rather have the IETF go back to the drawing board 
and come back with IPv7

Less is more. The answer isn't "add more people". The answer isn't "add more ip addresses". Things can't expand exponentially forever. There has to be limits in place. Just as humans will destroy themselves on Earth, so too will they screw up the internet.

Hidden Files

alias ls='ls -a'

Hidden files are evil. Either clean up your files and move to a directory or don't fill up directories with config crap. All ls should be ls -a. They will bite you as often as pcb makers get bitten by incorrect footprints. Its bad design. It will never go away. There's no thinking that you should've been smarter. Lies. Its the human factor. It will always, always bite you someday. Hidden files are fundamentally flawed. They will always cause trouble.

Duplication of Work

There are dozens of companies and individuals doing source code management tools. Meta-coding. The duplication of work can't ever have been this bad, and the duplication here isn't even an actual tool: it's a tool for a tool. Go ahead and search for source code / git hosting. Prepare yourself, there are way too many options. It's to the point of hyperbole.

Western cultures need to take a lesson from china. One of china's strengths, is not necessarily cutting corners, but in not doing more than is needed to complete a task. It's about efficiency. And it is possibly a sin to indulge in things that aren't necessary. Time and Life is short. Time management is critical.