A combination of our newsletter and other posts, where we talk about Tailscale, WireGuard®, 2-factor auth, and other networking-related topics.

Subscribe via email, RSS or follow our Twitter.

Archive / Page 5

Joining Tailscale: simplifying networking, authentication, and authorization

Brad Fitzpatrick on
Photo of Brad Fitzpatrick
I used to tolerate and expect complexity. Working on Go the past 10 years has changed my perspective, though. I now value simplicity above almost all else and tolerate complexity only when it’s well isolated, well documented, well tested, and necessary to make things simpler overall at other layers for most people. For example, the Go runtime is relatively complex internally but it permits simple APIs and programming models for users who then don’t need to worry about memory management, thread management, blocking, the color of their functions, etc. A small number of people need to understand the runtime’s complexity, but millions of people can read & write simple Go code as a result. More importantly, Go users then have that much more complexity budget to work with to build their actual application. I would’ve never built Perkeep had I needed to fight both its internal complexity and the complexity imposed on me by other contender languages/environments at the time.

Remembering the LAN

David Crawshaw on
Photo of David Crawshaw

I started programming in the 1990s living above my parent’s medical practice. We had 15 PCs for the business, and one for me. The standard OS was MS-DOS.The network started off using IPX over coax to a Novell Netware server, the fanciest software we ever owned. IPX was so much easier than TCP/IP. No DHCP and address allocation, it just worked.

Eventually the PCs would run Windows, and a Windows NT server took over file sharing over TCP/IP. The business software survived this transition unchanged, though there was more operational overhead. We assigned IPs manually.

Introducing git-subtrac: all your git submodules in one place

Avery Pennarun on
Photo of Avery Pennarun
Long ago, I wrote git-subtree to work around some of my annoyances with git submodules. I’ve learned a lot since then, and the development ecosystem has improved a lot (shell scripts are no longer the best way to manipulate git repos? Whoa!). Thus, I bring you: git-subtrac. It’s a bit like git-subtree, except it uses real git submodules. The difference from plain submodules is that, like git-subtree, it encourages you to put all the contents from all your submodules into your superproject repo, rather than scattering it around across multiple repositories (which might be owned by multiple people, randomly disappear or get rebased, etc). As a result, it’s easy to push, pull, fork, merge, and rebase your entire project no matter how many submodules you like to use. When someone does a ‘fetch’ of your repo, they get all the submodule repos as well. I wrote a longer git-subtrac README describing how to use it and its internal workings.

The asymmetry of internet identity

David Crawshaw on
Photo of David Crawshaw

Identity on the internet is messy. The result is some things that should be easy are hard.

Zero Trust networks

David Crawshaw on
Photo of David Crawshaw

I am leery of jargon. I am as guilty of using it as the next engineer, but there comes a point where there are just too many precise, narrowly-understood terms polluting your vocabulary. The circle of people you can talk to shrinks until going to the store to buy milk feels like an exercise in speaking a foreign language you took one intro course to in college. Less jargon is better.

Thus the first few times I heard the terms zero trust network and microsegments I ignored them. The conversation went on even though I was a bit confused. Eventually I heard these enough that I had to figure out what these words mean. Turns out they are useful!

So what are they?

Absolute scale corrupts absolutely

Avery Pennarun on
Photo of Avery Pennarun

Growing up, I, like many computery people of my generation, was an idealist.I believed that better, faster communication would be an unmitigated improvement to society. “World peace through better communication,” I said to an older co-worker, once, as the millennium was coming to an end. “If people could just understand each others’ points of view, there would be no reason for them to fight. Government propaganda will never work if citizens of two warring countries can just talk to each other and realize that the other side is human, just like them, and teach each other what’s really true.”

“You have a lot to learn about the world,” he said.

Subscribe for monthly updates

Product updates, blog posts, company news, and more.

Too much email? RSS Twitter