For several years I lived in rural Alaska where the fastest internet one could buy was $120 a month (I think) and a blazing 512 Kbps. I was a developer (working remotely) who's shop had adopted Docker, and it literally took more than 24 hours sometimes to download a docker image. By necessity I switched to having my whole development environment on a cloud VM. The Cloud VM had gigabit connection so docker downloads were blazing fast. All I needed to send across the wire was a tiny bit of text. Mosh was an absolute life saver by the way. I once flew from Anchorage to Salt Lake and had the same mosh session pick up like nothing had happened thanks to roaming abilities.
In related news, when people talk about the merits of developing with just Vim vs. an IDE, I also recount the same story.
Their demo is down now, but I have tried it in 2018 and unfortunately it was pretty bandwidth-heavy (about 100 kB/s while displaying a static webpage): it was permanently refreshing the entire terminal contents. Maybe they have fixed it since then, or it will be better with Mosh (as they suggest on their homepage).
I think that rendering server-side and transferring text as simple text blocks and images as heavily compressed HEIF/WebP in a special graphics client (or even a standard web browser) would be better. I was using something called Ziproxy over GPRS back in 2009 -- it was compressing HTML/CSS on the fly and recompressing images to JPEG with terrible quality.
That is almost achieved when you run a real web browser inside VNC, and connect to it using a VNC client that does the appropriate compression. (Tunnelled through ssh, obviously.)
I've been in similar situations and while I've honestly tried to give Vim a go, there just seemed like to much setup and configuration so I went back to an IDE. In my case sshfs (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SSHFS) was the lifesaver. Code locally, execute remotely. 99% of the time, I'd finish making a code change in the IDE and by the time I'd switched to the terminal on the remote server, it had already sync'ed.
I'd like to point out something to avoid scaring away potential Vim newcomers here.
While it's true that Vim can get as complex as you want via plugins and configuration, I think that one of beauties of developing with Vim is not doing this, spending a lot of effort configuring it to behave like a complex IDE, but rather changing a bit your working paradigm to rely only on just the basics and, at most, a few tweaks on a custom .vimrc which you can quickly scp over (or wget) to the host where you are working on.
Here I will totally agree that at the beginning it may require some time to get used to it. But once you get there, the level of freedom that it gives you is totally worth it. And not only because then any shell feels like home, but also because not having all the IDE helpers available also ends up forcing you to have some additional awareness about what you are doing on the code. You need to remember what the function signatures are, where the different pieces of code are, take care of the coding style while typing, etc. And, while it's truly a much more spartan experience, at the end your efficiency stops depending on your working environment to become just a part of you.
I've been using Vim for 6ish years now and one of the biggest issues I have is all the plugins randomly breaking. Especially true for IDE like features, such as auto-indent, auto-brackets stuff etc.
Another issue I run into, also due to a overly complex config, is that my hotkeys don't work across OSes. I mostly work on a mac and use for instance crtl+shift and the arrow to move between tabs in vim. Those keys do different stuff on my linux machine and I can't use them.
This makes me wonder: why can't a regular modern browser gracefully support this usecase?
Oftentimes, the real killer is not so much bandwidth but latency. If a page requires many requests to complete sequentially (ie. because one asset needs to be loaded in order to know how to request the next one), that all adds up real quick and produces a poor user experience.
Why not start with downloading the lightweight ones, and progressively load more?
I.e. first download what this text-based browser would download, display it, and then (optionally) fetch the rest.
With mosh helps you keep your connection alive when roaming, e.g you start a connection on a cafè Wi-Fi while having breakfast, connect to your VM while tethering your phone, go home and switch to your home wifi
- also w3m.
- why don't you git clone everything to your laptop when you have a chance? then keeping it up to date won't be expensive.
While I did enjoy the fun, my primary reason for moving up there was to escape the heat. I have a medical condition that flares up in the heat. There are good temperate places in the USA pacific northwest, but cost of living there was so high that there's no way I could have done it on Salt Lake City based wages. Even just the higher CoL in Alaska was pretty painful.
> - also w3m.
Hadn't seen this, will check it out :-)
> - why don't you git clone everything to your laptop when you have a chance? then keeping it up to date won't be expensive.
I definitely did, but we had a ton of services with new ones springing up all the time, so even though I would grab what I could when I could, there was still frequent needs for more. Also git wasn't the worst part, the worst part was downloading docker images (base images and prod images). Since they change regularly, sometimes daily, there was no real way around it.
have you looked into oregon outside of portland? say about 30 to 40 min out? it's not trump country, and it's still cool and not that expensive. i would say cheaper than alaska. same for seattle/WA.
for keeping your laptop up to date have you looked deeper into rsync? check out https://fedoramagazine.org/copying-large-files-with-rsync-an....
also you can consider zfs or btrfs as filesystem since they can offer block level sync. not always possible, but this can change things for you big time.
- ublock origin
- you can disable web fonts to cut bloated page sizes in half
Beyond that it gets progressively more difficult:
- squid isn't that useful, even with a fair amount of configuration for various reasons. Weird but true.
- SSL makes the Internet less cacheable.
- replacing multi-image icon menus with one map is helpful
- using a real mouse with your notebook can make it feel less painful.
(Most of these techniques I used either in Bali, or using a netbook in Calif.)