Software is all around us, it makes our life easier.
Still, it’s not a silver bullet and maybe there’s more to it than we know.
Here are thoughts about software, and maybe some ideas for a better use of it.
Last year, I wrote a post to propose an open source alternative to ready-to-use password managers like LastPass, 1Password and so on.
Something that you would host yourself, so that you would remain in control of your sensitive data.
There was one main limitation, though: the solution I exposed implied you had to install an application to read your password on a computer.
Today, I share a quick note if you can’t install an application on the said computer.
Up until quite recently, I used LastPass for storing my passwords.
The announced changes to the free plan are, however, a big showstopper for me and, like many users, I chose to move away.
Still, since my faith in service providers has been (once more) shaken, I’ve looked to an open source that I’ll be able to fully manage.
As I’m preparing for my first attempt at NaNoWriMo, I know I must have my writing software ready.
I used Scrivener in the past and know it’s a solution I love to use.
My only problem was: my mobility OS is Linux, which Scrivener doesn’t provide support for.
If you like to deliver clean documents, you probably sometimes display invisible characters in Word.
In such occasions, you may have seen lines or paragraphs ending with ·¶.
Yes, because a document is not only written but also manipulated and changed a number of times, having trailing spaces is not a rare thing.
One of my development reflexes is to trim those, but Word does not provide any tool to do that automatically.
Or does it?
To conclude this series about sustainable IT, I wanted to write a bit about some impacts of software creation that we rarely think about.
We’ve all seen movies where a mad scientist creates something that they think is awesome until it escapes their control and threatens life as we know it.
Everybody’s a mad scientist, and life is their lab.
We’re all trying to experiment to find a way to live, to solve problems, to fend off madness and chaos.
That’s especially true about us software creators: we innovate, create new technologies for thousands or millions of people.
If we’re not careful about those creations, they may transform the whole society, though not necessarily in the way we assumed they would.
Every project we hear about these days seems to be about data—or artificial intelligence, which is mainly the same.
Data is not something new, but the enthusiasm about it is growing rapidly.
People are not always aware of how much a website or an application is collecting about them, pushing legislators to write laws about what a company can and can’t do with a user’s data.
Why is that the problem of software creators?
Well, the mere amount of data we now collect could never be processed in a lifetime without our digital skills.
That makes us at least partly responsible for what is done with it.
Now, you’re willing to help, but you can’t see how you can make a difference because work on software exclusively and have no say about the hardware that it’ll run on?
This post will give you some hints about how to include these considerations into the design of your application.
Last month, I had the opportunity to talk about a topic I hold dear: how to make our job part of something sustainable.
This is something I’ve planned to share and I thought the period of the new year’s resolutions may be a great time to do it.
So, before going any further, let’s begin with why the idea of sustainable development should even be a question in the digital field.