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May 4th, 2015

In Philosophy

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“My daughter came home one day crying and said, ‘Mommy, somebody told me you made a lot of money …’ “

Interesting:

WITHERSPOON: My daughter came home one day crying and said, “Mommy, somebody told me you made a lot of money …” and I was like, “Why are you crying? … I worked hard for that. You should never feel embarrassed about a woman doing well in this world.”

Source

May 4th, 2015

In Technology

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If a language does not guarantee order in a hashmap can the hashmap be referentially transparent?

It’s an interesting question. Clojure says it is referentially transparent, meaning you can remove any function and replace it with its return value, with no effect on the program, but can Clojure be referentially transparent if it does not guarantee the order of its hashmaps (especially since hashmaps are also functions in Clojure)?

Note that this issue is similar to ensuring that a hash function is consistent with equals in a language, i.e. if two values x and y are ...

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May 3rd, 2015

In Technology

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ExecutorService makes exceptions disappear in a bad way

I have been bitten by this many times, mostly in Clojure libraries that use ExecutorService under the hood:

What will be the result of the following snippet?

executorService.submit(() -> { System.out.println(1 / 0); }); I got bitten by that too many times: it won’t print anything. No sign of java.lang.ArithmeticException: / by zero, nothing. Thread pool just swallows this exception, as if it never happened. If it was a good’ol java.lang.Thread created from scratch, UncaughtExceptionHandler could work. But with thread pools ...

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May 3rd, 2015

In Technology

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JVM advice: name your thread pools

Tomasz Nurkiewicz offers this bit of advice, which sounds like it would also be useful in Clojure:

Name pool threads

I can’t emphasize this. When dumping threads of a running JVM or during debugging, default thread pool naming scheme is pool-N-thread-M, where N stands for pool sequence number (every time you create a new thread pool, global N counter is incremented) and M is a thread sequence number within a pool. For example pool-2-thread-3 means third thread in second pool ...

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May 3rd, 2015

In Philosophy

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Poland is the most Slavic nation in the world?

I did not know this, but this map shows Poland as having the highest percentage of Slavic heritage:

Source

May 3rd, 2015

In Technology

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Clojure does not need job queues, because it has Storm, Onyx, Quasar, Pulsar

I find it interesting to consider the question that maybe Clojure has so many great systems for distributed processing that it does not need the classic job queue.

It’s worth considering that if you don’t need something very robust (and depending on your situation), you could just use Redis + Carmine directly to pass messages around (possibly representing jobs), and have workers pull from the message queue. There is nothing else you really need for this; it’s quite straight forward. ...

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May 2nd, 2015

In Technology

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Aaron Bedra: web apps in Clojure have some of the worst security

Aaron Bedra – clojure.web/with-security

Breda says the Clojure community needs to have a talk, because of some bad things that happened recently. The rate of people getting hacked is going up. He says:

“Clojure web apps are some of the worst I have seen in terms of security. We are talking about PHP-without-a-framework levels of insecurity.”

“We have bricks with no mortar.”

“If I missed your library, it’s because it doesn’t exist. I could not find it on the first page of Google, ...

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May 1st, 2015

In Technology

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Embarrassing code I wrote under stress at a job interview

(Note: this post was, in part, inspired by John Lawrence Aspden’s post about FizzBuzz.)

I write terrible code when I go to a job interview. That’s mostly because, when they ask me to solve a coding question, I get nervous. I thought it might be entertaining if I wrote about one such encounter.

Yesterday I went to a job interview, at a company in New York that had once built their stack (for managing online advertising) in Ruby but who are now ...

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April 29th, 2015

In Business

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Startups behaving after Demo Day like someone going off a strict diet

Interesting:

Don’t go through the motions.

At Y Combinator, we sometimes see startups behaving after Demo Day like someone going off a strict diet. During YC they’re virtuous: they work hard on their product, focus on users, and avoid distractions. They’re also checking in with us regularly. But after they raise money, some founders go on a sort of bender. They rent a fancy office, hire too many people, spend too long shipping the next version, waste lots of time schmoozing ...

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April 28th, 2015

In Technology

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Jim Starkey says “Well, duh”

This doesn’t rise to the level of “Zed Shaw rant” style of meltdown, but Jim Starkey has decided the play the role of “famous old codger who did great work once but now seems completely out of touch“:

Any discussion of the CAP “theorem” revolves around the A – exactly what does availability mean?

The narrow sense is that availability means that all surviving nodes in all partitions continue to process work. This reduces the CAP idea to nothing more than ...

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April 28th, 2015

In Technology

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Kyle Kingsbury’s Jespen series is CAP enlightenment

So, again, I am late to the party. Yesterday, by accident, I discovered Kyle Kingsbury “Jespen” series. I stayed up till 4 AM reading through it. Every article is completely amazing. I wish he could do an article on every NoSQL database, but I read somewhere that each article cost him months of effort, so it is impossible to expect more from him. I recommend every single one of these articles:

Source

April 27th, 2015

In Technology

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Redis losing 56% of writes during a partition

Kyle Kingsbury (the same guy who does cool Clojure stuff like Reimann and teasers) has an epic writeup on Redis:

“In this post, we demonstrate Redis losing 56% of writes during a partition.”

I have trouble finding the pithy excerpt here, because it is all good. I guess I’ll just quote the opening where Kingsbury sets up the argument, and then you can read the rest for the way things fall apart:

Redis offers asynchronous primary->secondary replication. A single server is ...

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April 27th, 2015

In Technology

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Can MongoDB keep its promises?

See “Stale reads with WriteConcern Majority and ReadPreference Primary”

Kyle Kingsbury starts the fight without meaning to:

In this test, MongoDB returns the value “0″ for the document, even though the only possible values for the document at that time were 1, 2, 3, or 4. The value 0 was the proper state at some time close to the partition’s beginning, but successful reads just after the partition was fully established indicated that at least one of the indeterminate (:info) CaS ...

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April 27th, 2015

In Technology

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Parallelism versus concurrency

Someone posted this on Hacker News, and it is very good. Parallelism sends equal work to every processor, concurrency is the messy chaos of sending work to whatever processor is free, or bundling up many threads on one processor.

Source

April 27th, 2015

In Technology

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Disque is a distributed and fault tolerant message broker, so it works as middle layer among processes that want to exchange messages

The people who gave us Redis announced a new project today:

Disque is a distributed and fault tolerant message broker, so it works as middle layer among processes that want to exchange messages.

Producers add messages that are served to consumers. Since message queues are often used in order to process delayed jobs, Disque often uses the term “job” in the API and in the documentation, however jobs are actually just messages in the form of strings, so Disque can be ...

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April 26th, 2015

In Technology

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A very long Java method

A common rule in programming is to keep methods as small as possible, so I am surprised to see this method in a seemingly well-run project such as ZooKeeper:

private void processEvent(Object event) { try { if (event instanceof WatcherSetEventPair) { ...
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April 26th, 2015

In Technology

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Java performance

I like Tomasz Nurkiewicz’s summary of this book:

JIT (just-in-time) compiler turns out to be one of the most important tools bringing performance to the JVM. First “real” chapter goes into great details of how JIT works in different modes, how to monitor and tune it. I learnt a lot already, but the best is yet to come. Obviously garbage collection is a major concern, thus Oaks devotes two full chapters to explain all popular GC algorithms. Besides pure description, expect ...

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April 26th, 2015

In Technology

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Your data is the API

Interesting:

The first time I realized that “Data as an API” was in fact a very good idea was at Kevin Lynagh’s presetation at Öredev. However, if you want something more like a struct Clojure provides something called a record. If you know Scala this is very similar to case classes. A record can be defined like this:

(defrecord Person [firstName lastName])

This creates an actual normal Java class Person with two immutable fields and implements hashCode and equals. A record also ...

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April 26th, 2015

In Technology

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The farce known as “object oriented programming”

Jayway has a nice critique of how much real-life object oriented programming departs from the beautiful theory:

One thing I have realized is that in Java we use classes for many purposes. In a typical web application written in Java using something like Spring framework you will often find:

Data transfer objects (DTO:s)

Services (REST API, controllers, DAO:s)

Rich objects (if you’re lucky!)

A DTO is just a struct and contains no behavior. To minimize the boilerplate in Java I tend to implement DTO:s using ...

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April 26th, 2015

In Technology

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New data structures in Clojure 1.8

Apparently there are a lot of new data structures which may arrive in Clojure 1.8, thanks to Zach Tellman:

So, at the end of this exercise we have more than 5000 lines of Java, and we want to add them to the core implementation of Clojure. Ideally, we won’t introduce any bugs in the process. But the same unrolling that makes the code faster makes it significantly harder to simply read the code and verify it’s “correct”. The Clojure code which ...

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April 26th, 2015

In Technology

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Design patterns have social value

An interesting bit from Adam Petersen:

Patterns have social value too. The format arose to enable collaborative construction using a shared vocabulary. In Patterns in C I write on the groundbreaking work of architect Christopher Alexander:

The patterns found in Alexander’s books are simple and elegant formulations on how to solve recurring problems in different contexts. [...] His work is a praise of collaborative construction guided by a shared language – a pattern language. To Alexander, such a language is a generative, ...

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April 26th, 2015

In Technology

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Automat for easy finite-state-machines in Clojure

Another interesting library from Zach Tellman allows for finite state machines:

For a more real-world use case, consider tracking browsing behavior on an online store. We want to see when the customer visits the cart, begins to checkout, but then returns back to the cart without having completed the checkout. Seeing this indecisive behavior, we can make a special offer.

Source

April 26th, 2015

In Technology

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Using abstract classes to hide boilerplate code

I personally never do the kind of work where I need to implement abstract classes. I was asked in a job interview why I would use an abstract class, and I came up with some nonsense answer about having a default implementation for situations where my code expected a given situation 90% of the time, and edge cases only 10% of the time. But here is an interesting example in Clojure, where it interoperates with Java, using an abstract class ...

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April 26th, 2015

In Technology

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Zach Tellman on specialized tuples for Clojure

Other than Rich Hickey, I think I learn the most from Tellman, regarding how to do things and why they work the way they do:

Most data structures are designed to hold arbitrary amounts of data. When we talk about their complexity in time and space, we use big O notation, which is only concerned with performance characteristics as n grows arbitrarily large. Understanding how to cast an O(n) problem as O(log n) or even O(1) is certainly valuable, and ...

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April 26th, 2015

In Technology

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When to use reify in Clojure

This is a nice explantation. If you have a protocol, then you can instantiate with a record, like this:

(defprotocol Foo (bar [this]) (baz [this st]) (quux [this x y])) (defrecord FooRecord Foo (bar [this] (println this)) (baz [this st] (str this st)) (quux [this x y] (str this (* x y))))

But if only need to instantiate the protocol one ...

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April 25th, 2015

In Technology

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ExecutorCompletionService

How very much easier it is to use core.async in Clojure! My one concern is that core.async has a thread pool that is set to the number of CPUs + 2, so the thread pool is small and rigid.

Each call to contentFuture.get() waits until downloading given web site (remember that each Future represent one site) is finished. This works, but has a major bottleneck. Imagine you have as many threads in a pool as tasks (20 sites in that ...

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April 25th, 2015

In Technology

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Limit new features to a subset of your users

Inspired by the Ruby gem “Rollout”, Shoutout offers user buckets on which you can test new features:

Storage

Unlike rollout, shoutout is completely storage agnostic. You’ll have to implement your own storage backend, which implements ShoutoutStorage. The storage protocol has two functions, read-from-storage, and write-to-storage, both of which should be simple enough to implement. Both deal purely with serialized strings, and string keys, shoutout does the serialization logic itself.

The library provides an in memory store (used for testing) that you could ...

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April 24th, 2015

In Technology

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A Redis queue

There is a reason why so many message systems are using Redis as their backend:

Source

April 24th, 2015

In Technology

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Redis: I am late to the party

The strangest thing about the human mind is the degree to which context shades our memories. So now that I’m using Redis I realize that I’ve been reading about it for years without realizing how diverse its uses are. I just now decided to re-read the Github post from 2009 “Introducing Rescue” and I only now realize that it mentions both Redis and Kestrel, 2 things I had not heard of then, mere names that I read and forgot because ...

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April 22nd, 2015

In Technology

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Design patterns are failures

I love this:

Design Patterns was especially well-timed because it offered a ray of hope for people who were mired in the Woes of the New OO Programmer. You see, the OO camp was saying: “EVERYTHING IS AN OBJECT! YOU WILL THINK OF EVERYTHING AS OBJECTS FROM NOW ON! THE OO PROGRAMMING PARADIGM IS: CREATE YOUR CLASSES, ADD OPERATIONS TO THEM, AND LAUNCH THE DAMN THING!”

The last sentence (forgive the caps, sorry) is a pretty reasonable paraphrase of Stroustroup in his ...

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April 22nd, 2015

In Technology

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Singletons are evil

This is great:

Everyone Loves Singleton

Why is the Singleton so attractive? I’ll be the first to admit: I liked it too. No, scratch that – I loved the Singleton. It felt like an old friend from the moment I laid eyes on it. It was simple and beautiful.

I’ll tell you why: it’s because the Singleton pattern is a throwback to non-OO programming. It’s a lifeline for people who didn’t understand a single word that the Gang of Four were trying ...

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April 21st, 2015

In Philosophy

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What happened to Ani DiFranco?

What happened to Ani DiFranco? In 1993 I dated a woman who introduced me to Ani DiFranco. For the next 12 years, a lot of my female friends were in love with Ani DiFranco. She was a huge icon to a particular demographic. danah boyd maintained a page of Ani DiFranco lyrics. (I also liked DiFranco very much.)

Over the last 10 years, DiFranco has vanished. I am not aware of any of my female friends who still follow her. ...

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April 20th, 2015

In Technology

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Steve Yegge’s contribution to the revolt against Object Oriented Programming

Somehow I waited till today to read Steve Yegge’s 2006 rant “Execution in the Kingdom of Nouns”. I’ve seen it recommended many times, but I only now read it. I wish I had read it in 2006. I am not sure I would have understood it, but in retrospect it clearly marks the end of the mania that for Object Oriented Programming that Paul Graham had noted in 2001 (Paul Graham wrote: “There is a kind of mania for object-oriented ...

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April 20th, 2015

In Technology

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Encapsulation of information is folly

This is strongly stated, and surprising:

Datatypes and protocols are opinionated

While datatypes and protocols have well-defined relationships with host constructs, and make for a great way to expose Clojure functionality to Java programs, they are not primarily interop constructs. That is, they make no effort to completely mimic or adapt to all of the OO mechanisms of the host. In particular, they reflect the following opinions:

Concrete derivation is bad: you cannot derive datatypes from concrete classes, only interfaces

You should always program to ...

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April 20th, 2015

In Technology

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Why have both deftype and defrecord?

This is good:

It ends up that classes in most OO programs fall into two distinct categories: those classes that are artifacts of the implementation/programming domain, e.g. String or collection classes, or Clojure’s reference types; and classes that represent application domain information, e.g. Employee, PurchaseOrder etc. It has always been an unfortunate characteristic of using classes for application domain information that it resulted in information being hidden behind class-specific micro-languages, e.g. even the seemingly harmless employee.getName() is a custom interface to ...

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April 12th, 2015

In Philosophy

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Evening, by Susan Minot

In the early 1990s Susan Minot published some articles in Esquire magazine and I liked her stuff so I’ve been meaning to read some of her books. I was busy for the last 25 years, but I just finally got to reading her novel Evening.

Her focus is with the white upper-middle class of New England in the mid to late 20th Century, so she is covering ground also covered by writers such as John Updike and James Salter.

The ...

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April 11th, 2015

In Business

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China became powerful for all the wrong reasons

Interesting:

Suppose you’re in a setting where the rule of law and contract enforcement are really weak. And you realize that they don’t change overnight. Are you better off promoting the set of policies that presume that rule of law and contract enforcement will take care of themselves, or are you better off recommending a strategy that optimizes against the background of a weak rule of law? And I say that the evidence is that you do ...

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April 11th, 2015

In Business

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Print journalism is dying and there is no way to save it

Clay Shirky is always interesting:

A year or so ago, I was a guest lecturer in NYU’s Intro to Journalism class, 200 or so sophomores interested in adding journalism as a second major. (We don’t allow students to major in journalism alone, for the obvious reason.) One of the students had been dispatched to interview me in front of the class, and two or three questions in, she asked “So how do we save print?”

I was speechless for a moment, then ...

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April 10th, 2015

In Philosophy

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Zed Shaw’s legacy

I love this:

Once again, Zed Shaw preaches the truth.

The worst thing about the era of the Internet is how often I (and I think all of us) read something that effects my thinking forever, and then that thing vanishes, and no one can ever read it, and no one can ever hope to understand what shaped my thinking on a particular subject. 100 years ago, if I read a good book, there was a good chance some copy of ...

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April 7th, 2015

In Technology

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Ruby closures borderline macro syntax

A good reminder of how much block syntax gives you:

if user.save # publish event 'user.created', with payload {user: user} Publisher.broadcast_event('user.created', user: user) end def create_user(params) user = User.new(params) # publish event 'user.created', with payload {user: user}, using block syntax # now the event will ...
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April 6th, 2015

In Technology

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If the only thing you care about is behavior then ruby suggests to implement it as a module

Interesting:

Lets look at this ruby code. class Util def self.double(i) i*2 end end Util.double(4) #=> 8 Here we have a Util class. But notice that all the methods on this class are class methods. This class does not have any instance variables. Usually a class is used to carry both data and behavior and ,in this case, the Util class has only behavior and no data. Similar utility tools in ruby Now to get some perspective on this discussion lets look ...
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April 6th, 2015

In Technology

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Ruby On Rails as the frontend for polyglot programming

True:

Rails is a good framework for proof-of-concept and small applications, it promotes conventions over configuration. As the application grows it becomes difficult to maintain. This is primarily because rails promotes coupeled architecture with fat model, skinny controller approach. Developers need to adopt to new patterns and create new conventions to keep projects moving on pace and in shape. PUBSUB can help us resolve some of the problems we face often.

And the subscribers can be written in any language, allowing for ...

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April 6th, 2015

In Business

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The evil of granting companies property rights to IP numbers

Awful:

EthanHeilman

I wrote a blog entry about some of these issues. http://ethanheilman.tumblr.com/post/104839763080/are-ip-address-allocations-property

IANA specifically states that a free-market of IP addresses would be harmful, instead they argue that IP allocation should be based on need and not treated as property. >ISPs are required to utilize address space in an efficient manner. To this end, ISPs should have documented justification available for each assignment. The regional registry may, at any time, ask for this information. If the information is not available, future allocations may ...

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April 6th, 2015

In Technology

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What Ruby sees when you monkeypatch

Interesting:

That is, the code:

module Foo puts Foo.object_id end

is functionally equivalent to:

# Create a new Module instance and assign it to the Foo constant Foo = Module.new

# Reopen the Module instance assigned to the constant Foo for modification module Foo # Do stuff in here to add functionality to the Foo module # Since Foo is already defined, we can get its object_id. puts Foo.object_id end

This certainly doesn’t make sense coming from a compiled language standpoint (after ...

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April 6th, 2015

In Technology

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Shocking fact: using Spring used to mean giving up all compile time checks in Java

I have been reading Java Programming Interviews Exposed.

I never understood these “job interview” books before. Who can get ready for a job interview by reading a book? Surely that’s just cheap marketing by the publishers, who prey on developers insecurities?

However, I’ve decided I like this book. Not for job interviews — it sucks for that. But as a broad overview of the Java eco-system, it is perfect. It’s got a little about serialization, a little about dependency injection, a ...

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April 5th, 2015

In Technology

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Why does Google point to 5 year old articles about Railties?

Sometimes Google disappoints. If you search for “gem plugins railtie” the first link is to an article that is 5 years old. Is there truly no better information? That article says:

Railtie plugins are easy to turn into gem plugins for Rails. This makes them easy to distribute, manage, and upgrade. The first thing you need is a gem. If you don’t have a gem yet, you can create a new gem easily using Bundler. Just run bundle gem my_new_gem ...

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April 5th, 2015

In Technology

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Why (right side) cast a variable in Java

Interesting:

The question:

Is there some general rule about when a variable needs to be cast (on the right side)? Why is it that HttpURLConnection is cast on the right side here:

final HttpURLConnection connection = (HttpURLConnection) url.openConnection();

but responseInputStream does not need to be cast on the right side here:

final InputStream responseInputStream = connection.getInputStream();

How does a Java programmer know when to do this kind of casting, and when not to?

The answer:

In this program, you cast ...

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April 3rd, 2015

In Technology

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ActionDispatch and middleware

Interesting:

When you start using ruby on rails, its ease of use makes it great to get you started. Everything works out of the box. You may be using Devise for authentication, Cancan for authorization and every time you need something that you believe Rails do not provide, you search google for a gem doing what you seek.

And joy is everywhere, your app works fine, you didn’t even need to write that much code to get where you are!

It’s awesome. Until ...

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April 2nd, 2015

In Technology

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ActiveJob offers a uniform queue interface for Rails

I love that Rails 4.2 offers a unified interface for working with queues. This is obviously important for Ruby, since Ruby sucks at concurrency, and needs to rely on a lot of queue technology to facilitate most forms of async (some people then jump in: “blah, blah, blah, Fiber, etc, etc.” I get that, but still, the reality is, using Fiber does not magically give you Clojure, or Elixir).

Why do I need Background Jobs?

One common situation for needing background ...

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March 31st, 2015

In Technology

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The folklore that allows technology to work

They make this sound negative, but every branch of engineering is built up on folklore, some of which stretches back for thousands of years. On a practical level, few us ever need to go back to first principles. It is faster and more efficient to work from rough rules of thumb that work most of the time.

In practice, very few people study the primary sources (or even authoritative secondary sources) when they’re programming and then work forward from first ...

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March 31st, 2015

In Technology

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Why is Clojure leaner than Object Oriented Programming?

Interesting:

The person opposite will be wondering why is Clojure so lean and effective? You may think it’s unsporting and a bit negative to shoot fish in a barrel, but here I like to attack OO a bit. You can’t avoid this anyway as OO is the elephant in the room being the mainstream status quo. I’ve have found however that this can be a light and fun conversation, as people generally enjoy trading war stories and rallying against established orthodoxy.

We ...

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March 31st, 2015

In Technology

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Types of functions: where Functional Programming meets Object Oriented Programming

Interesting:

Over the past year I have used Prismatic Schema extensively on a large Clojure project. We really like the aid that if offers in understanding, debugging, and using our code. However, we regularly feel a bit of a let down when an argument to a function is another function. Prismatic Schema doesn’t allow you to say much in these cases beyond: this arg is a function.

To address this we extended Prismatic Schema to allow us to add type annotations ...

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March 31st, 2015

In Philosophy

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Jodhaa Akbar

I recently watched the movie Jodhaa Akbar. Watching it I realized how strange it was that Richard Attenborough’s version of Ghandi was so entirely secular. Jodhaa Akbar shows Akbar experiencing the mystical wonders of Allah and Jodhaa experiencing the mystical wonders of Krishna. But Gandhi is not shown experiencing any mystical wonders, even though he was a great spiritual leader. Attenborough’s version of Gandhi is very Western and secular.

Source

March 30th, 2015

In Technology

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Mistake: At least make your fancy app act like a web page

A lot of people now say stupid things like this:

To add insult to injury, web development has become more and more dominated by rich client side work over the last 5 years. Javascript used to be a tool that you used as sparingly as possible, sprinkling in just the barest hint of dynamic behavior where it was absolutely necessary. Now it’s common to start a new project and assume that 50% or more of the code will be Javascript. At ...

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March 23rd, 2015

In Philosophy

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The most important election in the history of Israel

Interesting:

I’m not interested in debating the normative side of the election, or various peace plans, right now. What I find striking is how unready many critics are to confront what has happened, not just in the “Plan B” sense but also rhetorically. The possibility that civil rights progress, peace progress, and self-governance and democratic progress simply have stopped, and won’t be back any time soon, is before us. If anything, matters might become worse yet, especially once ...

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March 23rd, 2015

In Technology

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Does not globally pollute Array, Hash, Object or AR::Base.

Kaminari is Clean. That is listed as its top feature. What does “clean” mean?

“Does not globally pollute Array, Hash, Object or AR::Base.”

Sure this is an argument against Object Oriented Programming? Doesn’t this make plain data structures seem wonderful?

Oh but wait, it fails the “clean” test in one big way:

Modern

The pagination helper outputs the HTML5 tag by default. Plus, the helper supports Rails 3 unobtrusive Ajax.

Embededed HTML! Fun times! Let’s party like its 1999!

Source

March 23rd, 2015

In Technology

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ActiveRecord scopes

I knew this once, but forgot during the time I have not worked with Rails:

scope(name, body, &block) Link

Adds a class method for retrieving and querying objects. A scope represents a narrowing of a database query, such as where(color: :red).select(‘shirts.*’).includes(:washing_instructions).

class Shirt < ActiveRecord::Base scope :red, -> { where(color: ‘red’) } scope :dry_clean_only, -> { joins(:washing_instructions).where(‘washing_instructions.dry_clean_only = ?’, true) } end

The above calls to scope define class methods Shirt.red and Shirt.dry_clean_only. Shirt.red, in effect, represents the query Shirt.where(color: ‘red’).

You should ...

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March 23rd, 2015

In Technology

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Constraints on routes in Rails

I did not know this:

4.2 Specifying Constraints

You can use the :constraints option to specify a required format on the implicit id. For example: resources :photos, constraints: { id: /[A-Z][A-Z][0-9]+/ }

This declaration constrains the :id parameter to match the supplied regular expression. So, in this case, the router would no longer match /photos/1 to this route. Instead, /photos/RR27 would match.

You can specify a single constraint to apply to a number of routes by using the block form:

constraints(id: /[A-Z][A-Z][0-9]+/) do resources ...

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March 23rd, 2015

In Philosophy

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You can’t take my pretty adjectives, damn you

In Strunk and White’s book Elements Of Style we are told that adjectives are bad. But here’s a book that says they are all liars:

http://languagelog.ldc.upenn.edu/nll/?p=18345

They also say that we should not start sentences with “but”. But I look them straight in the eye and say “Make me.”

Source

March 22nd, 2015

In Technology

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I hate dependencies

As an example, I’ll talk about Nokogiri. For years now, every time I have to setup up a Rails project on a new machine, I struggle with the installation of Nokogiri. I usually only do this once or twice a year, which is just enough time for me to forget the details, so I have to go through all the pain again.

Error installing nokogiri Failed to build gem native extension. mkmf.rb can’t find header files ...

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March 18th, 2015

In Technology

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Ruby mixins are powerful

A reminder of Ruby’s mixins powers:

I loosely modeled the BigInteger and Number classes after the Java versions. The BigInteger class defines one constructor and directly inherits one method from the Number base class. To mix in the methods implemented in the Stringify and Math modules with the BigInteger class you will note the usage of the include and extend methods, respectively.

# Create a new object bigint1 = BigInteger.new(10) # Call a method inherited from the base class puts bigint1.intValue # ...

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March 16th, 2015

In Philosophy

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The cost of failure

I was sick from 1994 to 2000, so I can relate to this:

Back when I made comics, I lived in a forest. I was poor. I had few options in life. I avoided the topic of college because I didn’t know what I wanted to “do with the rest of my life,” and I didn’t have the money to pay for it. It was much easier to tell myself I wanted to “do what I love, make comics for ...

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March 16th, 2015

In Technology

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When strongly stated opinions bring out defensive anger in computer programmers

This reminds me of the reactions I got when I wrote my essay “Object Oriented Programming is an expensive disaster which must end”.

Then he started by banging on everything that didn’t conform to His Way of Doing Things: his process, his tools. Everything else was “stupid,” “dumb,” “moronic.”

I got the impression he was hiding his own fear of inadequacy behind a wall of disapproval and smack talk. I know this method. I used to use it myself, when I ...

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March 16th, 2015

In Technology

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PHP is adding types without breaking backwards compatibility

This remark is very true:

If I were a Python developer (of the language itself), I would be paying very close attention to how PHP has handled deprecation and breaking changes.

and:

There’s been an effort with PHP 7 to try and avoid a Python 2/3-style situation. The PHP 5 to 7 jump should be much smaller than from 4 to 5.

and this about PHP:

I think of it as the English language of programming. Picking and choosing all of the best ...

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March 16th, 2015

In Technology

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CSS media rules for iPads and iPhones

Interesting rules for screening for iPads and iPhones:

/* default styles here for older browsers. I tend to go for a 600px – 960px width max but using percentages */ @media only screen and (min-width:960px){ /* styles for browsers larger than 960px; */ } @media only screen and (min-width:1440px){ ...

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March 16th, 2015

In Technology

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What Rails asset pipeline looks like

It’s interesting to actually look at the paths being managed.

Rails.application.config.assets.paths => [ "/Users/lkrubner/projects/pasha/magstore/app/assets/images",

"/Users/lkrubner/projects/pasha/magstore/app/assets/javascripts",

"/Users/lkrubner/projects/pasha/magstore/app/assets/stylesheets",

"/Users/lkrubner/projects/pasha/magstore/vendor/assets/javascripts",

"/Users/lkrubner/projects/pasha/magstore/vendor/assets/stylesheets",

"/Users/lkrubner/projects/pasha/magstore/vendor/bundle/ruby/2.1.0/bundler/gems/refinerycms_membership-cd49cac06a43/app/assets/images",

"/Users/lkrubner/projects/pasha/magstore/vendor/bundle/ruby/2.1.0/bundler/gems/refinerycms_membership-cd49cac06a43/app/assets/javascripts",

"/Users/lkrubner/projects/pasha/magstore/vendor/bundle/ruby/2.1.0/bundler/gems/refinerycms_membership-cd49cac06a43/app/assets/stylesheets",

"/Users/lkrubner/projects/pasha/magstore/vendor/bundle/ruby/2.1.0/bundler/gems/refinerycms_membership-cd49cac06a43/vendor/assets/javascripts",

"/Users/lkrubner/projects/pasha/magstore/vendor/bundle/ruby/2.1.0/gems/refinerycms-wymeditor-1.0.6/app/assets/images",

"/Users/lkrubner/projects/pasha/magstore/vendor/bundle/ruby/2.1.0/gems/refinerycms-wymeditor-1.0.6/app/assets/javascripts",

"/Users/lkrubner/projects/pasha/magstore/vendor/bundle/ruby/2.1.0/gems/refinerycms-wymeditor-1.0.6/app/assets/stylesheets",

"/Users/lkrubner/projects/pasha/magstore/vendor/bundle/ruby/2.1.0/gems/jquery-ui-rails-5.0.3/app/assets/images",

"/Users/lkrubner/projects/pasha/magstore/vendor/bundle/ruby/2.1.0/gems/jquery-ui-rails-5.0.3/app/assets/javascripts",

"/Users/lkrubner/projects/pasha/magstore/vendor/bundle/ruby/2.1.0/gems/jquery-ui-rails-5.0.3/app/assets/stylesheets",

"/Users/lkrubner/projects/pasha/magstore/vendor/bundle/ruby/2.1.0/bundler/gems/refinerycms-11f8d1eeb45e/core/app/assets/images",

"/Users/lkrubner/projects/pasha/magstore/vendor/bundle/ruby/2.1.0/bundler/gems/refinerycms-11f8d1eeb45e/core/app/assets/javascripts",

"/Users/lkrubner/projects/pasha/magstore/vendor/bundle/ruby/2.1.0/bundler/gems/refinerycms-11f8d1eeb45e/core/app/assets/stylesheets",

"/Users/lkrubner/projects/pasha/magstore/vendor/bundle/ruby/2.1.0/bundler/gems/refinerycms-11f8d1eeb45e/core/vendor/assets/javascripts",

"/Users/lkrubner/projects/pasha/magstore/vendor/bundle/ruby/2.1.0/gems/refinerycms-i18n-3.0.0/app/assets/images",

"/Users/lkrubner/projects/pasha/magstore/vendor/bundle/ruby/2.1.0/gems/turbolinks-2.5.3/lib/assets/javascripts",

"/Users/lkrubner/projects/pasha/magstore/vendor/bundle/ruby/2.1.0/gems/jquery-rails-3.1.2/vendor/assets/javascripts",

"/Users/lkrubner/projects/pasha/magstore/vendor/bundle/ruby/2.1.0/gems/coffee-rails-4.0.1/lib/assets/javascripts" ]

Source

March 16th, 2015

In Technology

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Functional design patterns

Interesting:

A good talk (~45 min) on this topic by Stuart Sierra:

http://www.infoq.com/presentations/Clojure-Design-Patterns

Not necessarily binding and authoritative, but I recognized a number of his examples from my own experience using FP for data analysis.

Examples written in Clojure, but likely applicable to any FP language. The names he gives to the patterns he covers are:

State/Event Consequences Accumulator Reduce/Combine Recursive Expansion Pipeline ...

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March 16th, 2015

In Technology

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The tech industry reaction against cloud computing

Interesting:

When Matt and Quin founded Swiftype in 2012, they chose to build the company’s infrastructure using Amazon Web Services. The cloud seemed like the best fit because it was easy to add new servers without managing hardware and there were no upfront costs.

Unfortunately, while some of the services (like Route53 and S3) ended up being really useful and incredibly stable for us, the decision to use EC2 created several major problems that plagued the team during our first year.

Swiftype’s ...

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March 16th, 2015

In Technology

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Now when confirmation validations fail, the error will be attached to :#{attribute}_confirmation instead of attribute.

Upgrading to Rails 4. I am not sure what this means, so I will leave this note to myself, and come back and read more later.

5.6 Active Model

Rails 4.0 has changed how errors attach with the ActiveModel::Validations::ConfirmationValidator. Now when confirmation validations fail, the error will be attached to :#{attribute}_confirmation instead of attribute.

Rails 4.0 has changed ActiveModel::Serializers::JSON.include_root_in_json default value to false. Now, Active Model Serializers and Active Record objects have the same ...

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March 16th, 2015

In Technology

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Rails adds a lot to the $LOAD_PATH

I guess I knew this but I was still surprised to look and see how many paths there are in one small Rails project.

bundle exec rails c

Loading development environment (Rails 4.1.8)

irb(main):001:0> puts $LOAD_PATH

/Users/lkrubner/projects/pasha/fiit/lib

/Users/lkrubner/projects/pasha/fiit/vendor

/Users/lkrubner/projects/pasha/fiit/app/assets

/Users/lkrubner/projects/pasha/fiit/app/controllers

/Users/lkrubner/projects/pasha/fiit/app/decorators

/Users/lkrubner/projects/pasha/fiit/app/helpers

/Users/lkrubner/projects/pasha/fiit/app/mailers

/Users/lkrubner/projects/pasha/fiit/app/models

/Users/lkrubner/projects/pasha/fiit/app/controllers/concerns

/Users/lkrubner/projects/pasha/fiit/app/models/concerns

/Users/lkrubner/projects/pasha/fiit/vendor/bundle/ruby/2.1.0/bundler/gems/refinerycms_membership-cd49cac06a43/lib

/Users/lkrubner/projects/pasha/fiit/vendor/bundle/ruby/2.1.0/bundler/gems/refinerycms_membership-cd49cac06a43/vendor

/Users/lkrubner/projects/pasha/fiit/vendor/bundle/ruby/2.1.0/bundler/gems/refinerycms_membership-cd49cac06a43/app/assets

/Users/lkrubner/projects/pasha/fiit/vendor/bundle/ruby/2.1.0/bundler/gems/refinerycms_membership-cd49cac06a43/app/controllers

/Users/lkrubner/projects/pasha/fiit/vendor/bundle/ruby/2.1.0/bundler/gems/refinerycms_membership-cd49cac06a43/app/decorators

/Users/lkrubner/projects/pasha/fiit/vendor/bundle/ruby/2.1.0/bundler/gems/refinerycms_membership-cd49cac06a43/app/helpers

/Users/lkrubner/projects/pasha/fiit/vendor/bundle/ruby/2.1.0/bundler/gems/refinerycms_membership-cd49cac06a43/app/mailers

/Users/lkrubner/projects/pasha/fiit/vendor/bundle/ruby/2.1.0/bundler/gems/refinerycms_membership-cd49cac06a43/app/models

/Users/lkrubner/projects/pasha/fiit/vendor/bundle/ruby/2.1.0/gems/refinerycms-settings-3.0.0/lib

/Users/lkrubner/projects/pasha/fiit/vendor/bundle/ruby/2.1.0/gems/refinerycms-settings-3.0.0/app/controllers

/Users/lkrubner/projects/pasha/fiit/vendor/bundle/ruby/2.1.0/gems/refinerycms-settings-3.0.0/app/helpers

/Users/lkrubner/projects/pasha/fiit/vendor/bundle/ruby/2.1.0/gems/refinerycms-settings-3.0.0/app/models

/Users/lkrubner/projects/pasha/fiit/vendor/extensions/videos/lib

/Users/lkrubner/projects/pasha/fiit/vendor/extensions/videos/app/controllers

/Users/lkrubner/projects/pasha/fiit/vendor/extensions/videos/app/models

/Users/lkrubner/projects/pasha/fiit/vendor/bundle/ruby/2.1.0/gems/refinerycms-wymeditor-1.0.6/lib

/Users/lkrubner/projects/pasha/fiit/vendor/bundle/ruby/2.1.0/gems/refinerycms-wymeditor-1.0.6/app/assets

/Users/lkrubner/projects/pasha/fiit/vendor/bundle/ruby/2.1.0/gems/refinerycms-wymeditor-1.0.6/app/controllers

/Users/lkrubner/projects/pasha/fiit/vendor/bundle/ruby/2.1.0/gems/refinerycms-wymeditor-1.0.6/app/decorators

/Users/lkrubner/projects/pasha/fiit/vendor/bundle/ruby/2.1.0/gems/refinerycms-acts-as-indexed-2.0.1/lib

/Users/lkrubner/projects/pasha/fiit/vendor/bundle/ruby/2.1.0/gems/refinerycms-acts-as-indexed-2.0.1/app/decorators

/Users/lkrubner/projects/pasha/fiit/vendor/bundle/ruby/2.1.0/gems/quiet_assets-1.1.0/lib

/Users/lkrubner/projects/pasha/fiit/vendor/bundle/ruby/2.1.0/gems/seo_meta-2.0.0.rc.1/lib

/Users/lkrubner/projects/pasha/fiit/vendor/bundle/ruby/2.1.0/gems/seo_meta-2.0.0.rc.1/app/models

/Users/lkrubner/projects/pasha/fiit/vendor/bundle/ruby/2.1.0/bundler/gems/refinerycms-11f8d1eeb45e/pages/lib

/Users/lkrubner/projects/pasha/fiit/vendor/bundle/ruby/2.1.0/bundler/gems/refinerycms-11f8d1eeb45e/pages/app/controllers

/Users/lkrubner/projects/pasha/fiit/vendor/bundle/ruby/2.1.0/bundler/gems/refinerycms-11f8d1eeb45e/pages/app/helpers

/Users/lkrubner/projects/pasha/fiit/vendor/bundle/ruby/2.1.0/bundler/gems/refinerycms-11f8d1eeb45e/pages/app/models

/Users/lkrubner/projects/pasha/fiit/vendor/bundle/ruby/2.1.0/bundler/gems/refinerycms-11f8d1eeb45e/pages/app/presenters

/Users/lkrubner/projects/pasha/fiit/vendor/bundle/ruby/2.1.0/bundler/gems/refinerycms-11f8d1eeb45e/resources/lib

/Users/lkrubner/projects/pasha/fiit/vendor/bundle/ruby/2.1.0/bundler/gems/refinerycms-11f8d1eeb45e/resources/app/controllers

/Users/lkrubner/projects/pasha/fiit/vendor/bundle/ruby/2.1.0/bundler/gems/refinerycms-11f8d1eeb45e/resources/app/models

/Users/lkrubner/projects/pasha/fiit/vendor/bundle/ruby/2.1.0/bundler/gems/refinerycms-11f8d1eeb45e/images/lib

/Users/lkrubner/projects/pasha/fiit/vendor/bundle/ruby/2.1.0/bundler/gems/refinerycms-11f8d1eeb45e/images/app/controllers

/Users/lkrubner/projects/pasha/fiit/vendor/bundle/ruby/2.1.0/bundler/gems/refinerycms-11f8d1eeb45e/images/app/helpers

/Users/lkrubner/projects/pasha/fiit/vendor/bundle/ruby/2.1.0/bundler/gems/refinerycms-11f8d1eeb45e/images/app/models

/Users/lkrubner/projects/pasha/fiit/vendor/bundle/ruby/2.1.0/bundler/gems/refinerycms-11f8d1eeb45e/authentication/lib

/Users/lkrubner/projects/pasha/fiit/vendor/bundle/ruby/2.1.0/bundler/gems/refinerycms-11f8d1eeb45e/authentication/app/controllers

/Users/lkrubner/projects/pasha/fiit/vendor/bundle/ruby/2.1.0/bundler/gems/refinerycms-11f8d1eeb45e/authentication/app/mailers

/Users/lkrubner/projects/pasha/fiit/vendor/bundle/ruby/2.1.0/bundler/gems/refinerycms-11f8d1eeb45e/authentication/app/models

/Users/lkrubner/projects/pasha/fiit/vendor/bundle/ruby/2.1.0/gems/devise-3.4.1/lib

/Users/lkrubner/projects/pasha/fiit/vendor/bundle/ruby/2.1.0/gems/devise-3.4.1/app/controllers

/Users/lkrubner/projects/pasha/fiit/vendor/bundle/ruby/2.1.0/gems/devise-3.4.1/app/helpers

/Users/lkrubner/projects/pasha/fiit/vendor/bundle/ruby/2.1.0/gems/devise-3.4.1/app/mailers

/Users/lkrubner/projects/pasha/fiit/vendor/bundle/ruby/2.1.0/gems/jquery-ui-rails-5.0.3/lib

/Users/lkrubner/projects/pasha/fiit/vendor/bundle/ruby/2.1.0/gems/jquery-ui-rails-5.0.3/app/assets

/Users/lkrubner/projects/pasha/fiit/vendor/bundle/ruby/2.1.0/bundler/gems/refinerycms-11f8d1eeb45e/core/lib

/Users/lkrubner/projects/pasha/fiit/vendor/bundle/ruby/2.1.0/bundler/gems/refinerycms-11f8d1eeb45e/core/vendor

/Users/lkrubner/projects/pasha/fiit/vendor/bundle/ruby/2.1.0/bundler/gems/refinerycms-11f8d1eeb45e/core/app/assets

/Users/lkrubner/projects/pasha/fiit/vendor/bundle/ruby/2.1.0/bundler/gems/refinerycms-11f8d1eeb45e/core/app/controllers

/Users/lkrubner/projects/pasha/fiit/vendor/bundle/ruby/2.1.0/bundler/gems/refinerycms-11f8d1eeb45e/core/app/helpers

/Users/lkrubner/projects/pasha/fiit/vendor/bundle/ruby/2.1.0/bundler/gems/refinerycms-11f8d1eeb45e/core/app/models

/Users/lkrubner/projects/pasha/fiit/vendor/bundle/ruby/2.1.0/bundler/gems/refinerycms-11f8d1eeb45e/core/app/presenters

/Users/lkrubner/projects/pasha/fiit/vendor/bundle/ruby/2.1.0/gems/refinerycms-i18n-3.0.0/lib

/Users/lkrubner/projects/pasha/fiit/vendor/bundle/ruby/2.1.0/gems/refinerycms-i18n-3.0.0/app/assets

/Users/lkrubner/projects/pasha/fiit/vendor/bundle/ruby/2.1.0/gems/turbolinks-2.5.3/lib

/Users/lkrubner/projects/pasha/fiit/vendor/bundle/ruby/2.1.0/gems/jquery-rails-3.1.2/lib

/Users/lkrubner/projects/pasha/fiit/vendor/bundle/ruby/2.1.0/gems/jquery-rails-3.1.2/vendor

/Users/lkrubner/projects/pasha/fiit/vendor/bundle/ruby/2.1.0/gems/coffee-rails-4.0.1/lib

/Users/lkrubner/projects/pasha/fiit/vendor/bundle/ruby/2.1.0/gems/actionview-4.1.8/lib/action_view/vendor/html-scanner

/Users/lkrubner/projects/pasha/fiit/vendor/bundle/ruby/2.1.0/extensions/x86_64-darwin-11/2.1.0/unicorn-4.8.3

/Users/lkrubner/projects/pasha/fiit/vendor/bundle/ruby/2.1.0/gems/unicorn-4.8.3/lib

/Users/lkrubner/projects/pasha/fiit/vendor/bundle/ruby/2.1.0/gems/uglifier-2.7.0/lib

/Users/lkrubner/projects/pasha/fiit/vendor/bundle/ruby/2.1.0/extensions/x86_64-darwin-11/2.1.0/therubyracer-0.12.1

/Users/lkrubner/projects/pasha/fiit/vendor/bundle/ruby/2.1.0/gems/therubyracer-0.12.1/lib

/Users/lkrubner/projects/pasha/fiit/vendor/bundle/ruby/2.1.0/gems/therubyracer-0.12.1/ext

/Users/lkrubner/projects/pasha/fiit/vendor/bundle/ruby/2.1.0/extensions/x86_64-darwin-11/2.1.0/sqlite3-1.3.10

/Users/lkrubner/projects/pasha/fiit/vendor/bundle/ruby/2.1.0/gems/sqlite3-1.3.10/lib

/Users/lkrubner/projects/pasha/fiit/vendor/bundle/ruby/2.1.0/gems/spring-1.3.0/lib

/Users/lkrubner/projects/pasha/fiit/vendor/bundle/ruby/2.1.0/gems/sdoc-0.4.1/lib

/Users/lkrubner/projects/pasha/fiit/vendor/bundle/ruby/2.1.0/gems/webrat-0.7.3/lib

/Users/lkrubner/projects/pasha/fiit/vendor/bundle/ruby/2.1.0/bundler/gems/refinerycms-11f8d1eeb45e/lib

/Users/lkrubner/projects/pasha/fiit/vendor/bundle/ruby/2.1.0/gems/will_paginate-3.0.7/lib

/Users/lkrubner/projects/pasha/fiit/vendor/bundle/ruby/2.1.0/gems/truncate_html-0.9.3/lib

/Users/lkrubner/projects/pasha/fiit/vendor/bundle/ruby/2.1.0/gems/sass-rails-4.0.5/lib

/Users/lkrubner/projects/pasha/fiit/vendor/bundle/ruby/2.1.0/gems/sass-3.2.19/lib

/Users/lkrubner/projects/pasha/fiit/vendor/bundle/ruby/2.1.0/gems/routing-filter-0.4.0.pre/lib

/Users/lkrubner/projects/pasha/fiit/vendor/bundle/ruby/2.1.0/gems/ref-1.0.5/lib

/Users/lkrubner/projects/pasha/fiit/vendor/bundle/ruby/2.1.0/gems/rdoc-4.2.0/lib

/Users/lkrubner/projects/pasha/fiit/vendor/bundle/ruby/2.1.0/extensions/x86_64-darwin-11/2.1.0/raindrops-0.13.0

/Users/lkrubner/projects/pasha/fiit/vendor/bundle/ruby/2.1.0/gems/raindrops-0.13.0/lib

/Users/lkrubner/projects/pasha/fiit/vendor/bundle/ruby/2.1.0/gems/rails-i18n-4.0.3/lib

/Users/lkrubner/projects/pasha/fiit/vendor/bundle/ruby/2.1.0/gems/rails-4.1.8/lib

/Users/lkrubner/projects/pasha/fiit/vendor/bundle/ruby/2.1.0/gems/sprockets-rails-2.2.4/lib

/Users/lkrubner/projects/pasha/fiit/vendor/bundle/ruby/2.1.0/gems/sprockets-2.12.3/lib

/Users/lkrubner/projects/pasha/fiit/vendor/bundle/ruby/2.1.0/gems/tilt-1.4.1/lib

/Users/lkrubner/projects/pasha/fiit/vendor/bundle/ruby/2.1.0/gems/protected_attributes-1.0.8/lib

/Users/lkrubner/projects/pasha/fiit/vendor/bundle/ruby/2.1.0/extensions/x86_64-darwin-11/2.1.0/nokogiri-1.5.11

/Users/lkrubner/projects/pasha/fiit/vendor/bundle/ruby/2.1.0/gems/nokogiri-1.5.11/lib

/Users/lkrubner/projects/pasha/fiit/vendor/bundle/ruby/2.1.0/extensions/x86_64-darwin-11/2.1.0/libv8-3.16.14.7

/Users/lkrubner/projects/pasha/fiit/vendor/bundle/ruby/2.1.0/gems/libv8-3.16.14.7/lib

/Users/lkrubner/projects/pasha/fiit/vendor/bundle/ruby/2.1.0/gems/libv8-3.16.14.7/ext

/Users/lkrubner/projects/pasha/fiit/vendor/bundle/ruby/2.1.0/extensions/x86_64-darwin-11/2.1.0/kgio-2.9.3

/Users/lkrubner/projects/pasha/fiit/vendor/bundle/ruby/2.1.0/gems/kgio-2.9.3/lib

/Users/lkrubner/projects/pasha/fiit/vendor/bundle/ruby/2.1.0/gems/jbuilder-2.2.6/lib

/Users/lkrubner/projects/pasha/fiit/vendor/bundle/ruby/2.1.0/gems/hike-1.2.3/lib

/Users/lkrubner/projects/pasha/fiit/vendor/bundle/ruby/2.1.0/gems/globalize-4.0.3/lib

/Users/lkrubner/projects/pasha/fiit/vendor/bundle/ruby/2.1.0/gems/friendly_id-5.0.5/lib

/Users/lkrubner/projects/pasha/fiit/vendor/bundle/ruby/2.1.0/gems/dragonfly-1.0.7/lib

/Users/lkrubner/projects/pasha/fiit/vendor/bundle/ruby/2.1.0/gems/multi_json-1.10.1/lib

/Users/lkrubner/projects/pasha/fiit/vendor/bundle/ruby/2.1.0/gems/warden-1.2.3/lib

/Users/lkrubner/projects/pasha/fiit/vendor/bundle/ruby/2.1.0/gems/responders-1.1.2/lib

/Users/lkrubner/projects/pasha/fiit/vendor/bundle/ruby/2.1.0/gems/orm_adapter-0.5.0/lib

/Users/lkrubner/projects/pasha/fiit/vendor/bundle/ruby/2.1.0/gems/decorators-2.0.0/lib

/Users/lkrubner/projects/pasha/fiit/vendor/bundle/ruby/2.1.0/gems/railties-4.1.8/lib

/Users/lkrubner/projects/pasha/fiit/vendor/bundle/ruby/2.1.0/gems/thor-0.19.1/lib

/Users/lkrubner/projects/pasha/fiit/vendor/bundle/ruby/2.1.0/gems/coffee-script-2.3.0/lib

/Users/lkrubner/projects/pasha/fiit/vendor/bundle/ruby/2.1.0/gems/execjs-2.3.0/lib

/Users/lkrubner/projects/pasha/fiit/vendor/bundle/ruby/2.1.0/gems/coffee-script-source-1.9.0/lib

/usr/local/lib/ruby/gems/2.1.0/gems/bundler-1.8.5/lib/gems/bundler-1.8.5/lib

/Users/lkrubner/projects/pasha/fiit/vendor/bundle/ruby/2.1.0/extensions/x86_64-darwin-11/2.1.0/bcrypt-3.1.10

/Users/lkrubner/projects/pasha/fiit/vendor/bundle/ruby/2.1.0/gems/bcrypt-3.1.10/lib

/Users/lkrubner/projects/pasha/fiit/vendor/bundle/ruby/2.1.0/gems/babosa-1.0.2/lib

/Users/lkrubner/projects/pasha/fiit/vendor/bundle/ruby/2.1.0/gems/awesome_nested_set-3.0.2/lib

/Users/lkrubner/projects/pasha/fiit/vendor/bundle/ruby/2.1.0/gems/addressable-2.3.7/lib

/Users/lkrubner/projects/pasha/fiit/vendor/bundle/ruby/2.1.0/gems/acts_as_indexed-0.8.3/lib

/Users/lkrubner/projects/pasha/fiit/vendor/bundle/ruby/2.1.0/gems/activerecord-4.1.8/lib

/Users/lkrubner/projects/pasha/fiit/vendor/bundle/ruby/2.1.0/gems/arel-5.0.1.20140414130214/lib

/Users/lkrubner/projects/pasha/fiit/vendor/bundle/ruby/2.1.0/gems/activemodel-4.1.8/lib

/Users/lkrubner/projects/pasha/fiit/vendor/bundle/ruby/2.1.0/gems/actionmailer-4.1.8/lib

/Users/lkrubner/projects/pasha/fiit/vendor/bundle/ruby/2.1.0/gems/mail-2.6.3/lib

/Users/lkrubner/projects/pasha/fiit/vendor/bundle/ruby/2.1.0/gems/mime-types-2.4.3/lib

/Users/lkrubner/projects/pasha/fiit/vendor/bundle/ruby/2.1.0/gems/actionpack-4.1.8/lib

/Users/lkrubner/projects/pasha/fiit/vendor/bundle/ruby/2.1.0/gems/rack-test-0.6.3/lib

/Users/lkrubner/projects/pasha/fiit/vendor/bundle/ruby/2.1.0/gems/rack-1.5.2/lib

/Users/lkrubner/projects/pasha/fiit/vendor/bundle/ruby/2.1.0/gems/actionview-4.1.8/lib

/Users/lkrubner/projects/pasha/fiit/vendor/bundle/ruby/2.1.0/gems/erubis-2.7.0/lib

/Users/lkrubner/projects/pasha/fiit/vendor/bundle/ruby/2.1.0/gems/builder-3.2.2/lib

/Users/lkrubner/projects/pasha/fiit/vendor/bundle/ruby/2.1.0/gems/activesupport-4.1.8/lib

/Users/lkrubner/projects/pasha/fiit/vendor/bundle/ruby/2.1.0/gems/tzinfo-1.2.2/lib

/Users/lkrubner/projects/pasha/fiit/vendor/bundle/ruby/2.1.0/gems/thread_safe-0.3.4/lib

/Users/lkrubner/projects/pasha/fiit/vendor/bundle/ruby/2.1.0/gems/minitest-5.5.1/lib

/Users/lkrubner/projects/pasha/fiit/vendor/bundle/ruby/2.1.0/extensions/x86_64-darwin-11/2.1.0/json-1.8.2

/Users/lkrubner/projects/pasha/fiit/vendor/bundle/ruby/2.1.0/gems/json-1.8.2/lib

/Users/lkrubner/projects/pasha/fiit/vendor/bundle/ruby/2.1.0/gems/i18n-0.7.0/lib

/Users/lkrubner/projects/pasha/fiit/vendor/bundle/ruby/2.1.0/gems/rake-10.4.2/lib

/usr/local/lib/ruby/gems/2.1.0/gems/bundler-1.8.5/lib

/usr/local/lib/ruby/site_ruby/2.1.0

/usr/local/lib/ruby/site_ruby/2.1.0/x86_64-darwin11.0

/usr/local/lib/ruby/site_ruby

/usr/local/lib/ruby/vendor_ruby/2.1.0

/usr/local/lib/ruby/vendor_ruby/2.1.0/x86_64-darwin11.0

/usr/local/lib/ruby/vendor_ruby

/usr/local/Cellar/ruby/2.1.5/lib/ruby/2.1.0

/usr/local/Cellar/ruby/2.1.5/lib/ruby/2.1.0/x86_64-darwin11.0

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March 16th, 2015

In Technology

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A shell script which turns your OS X laptop into an awesome web development machine

Interesting:

What it sets up

Bundler for managing Ruby libraries Exuberant Ctags for indexing files for vim tab completion Foreman for managing web processes gh for interacting with the GitHub API Heroku Toolbelt for interacting with the Heroku API Homebrew for managing operating system libraries ImageMagick for cropping and resizing images Node.js and NPM, for running ...

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March 14th, 2015

In Technology

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Redis for microservices with Clojure

This is a very good explanation of a microservices system with Clojure and Redis:

I drew a picture of how I wanted to break apart a monolithic application and instead run different parts of the application in separate processes / separate JVMs. The idea was to have a single client for the connection to the Twitter Streaming API and the persistence of the received Tweets in ElasticSearch, plus multiple machines to serve WebSocket connections to the client. For the communication ...

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March 14th, 2015

In Technology

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Rubinius X as the future of Ruby

Interesting:

The internet has caused a fundamental change in general computing, yet many programming languages are solidly centered in the Windows 3.0 era, providing their equivalent to the Windows for Workgroups add-on to enable networking. Unfortunately, Ruby is one of those languages.

To be relevant today, a programming language must provide simple yet powerful facilities for composition and collaboration. A language does not need general immutable state, purely pure functions, or complex type systems, no matter how inferred.

Rubinius X is an ...

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March 14th, 2015

In Technology

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Ruby reinvented to look like Clojure

To be clear, I like everything about Thomas Reynolds “Weird Ruby”:

# The standard "record" that contains information about a file on disk. SourceFile = Struct.new :relative_path, :full_path, :directory, :types # Find a file given a type and path. # # @param [Symbol] type The file "type". # @param [String] path The file path. # @param [Boolean] glob If the path contains wildcard ...
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March 14th, 2015

In Technology

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Ruby concurrency needs microservices but not Elixir

I was initially confused by this essay because of its emphasis on Elixir. The writers just happen to like Elixir, which is fine. I have previously said that Erlang is a work of genius, and the Erlang VM is a work of genius. Building a dynamic language on top of that VM is a great idea, and I would like to work with Elixir in the future.

However, you don’t need Elixir to add concurrency to Ruby. Any concurrency oriented ...

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March 14th, 2015

In Philosophy

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Teaching yourself computer programming is morally correct

Interesting:

I have come to learning Haskell in an unusual way. I have a master’s degree in linguistics and some background in logic (due to a BA in philosophy). I have no background in either math or computer programming. At all. I was persuaded, somehow, to learn Haskell by a friend with a notable fervor for Haskell advocacy, and because he got me sort of excited about natural language processing, I decided to give it a whirl. He is a person ...

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March 14th, 2015

In Technology

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What to use for Ruby background tasks?

Interesting:

Essentially all three perform the same task, executing background jobs, but go about it differently:

delayed_job uses your SQL database for storage and processes jobs in a single-threaded process. It’s simple to set up but the performance and scalability aren’t great. I would not use delayed_job for systems processing 100,000s of jobs/day.

resque uses redis for storage and processes messages in a single-threaded process. The redis requirement makes it a little more difficult ...

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March 13th, 2015

In Philosophy

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Kate Heddleston on argument culture

Interesting:

In a perfect world, people win arguments through the use of logic, facts, and better information. In reality, most people are pretty terrible at using logic, facts, and information. People make decisions from a place of emotion. We know this because if the emotional centers of a person’s brain are damaged, they become incapable of making even the most basic decisions [4]. Arguments are inherently emotional interactions where the goal is winning, and if we have learned anything from ...

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March 13th, 2015

In Philosophy

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Tardigrades can not be destroyed

Interesting:

If you go into outer space without protection, you’ll die.

The lack of pressure would force the air in your lungs to rush out. Gases dissolved in your body fluids would expand, pushing the skin apart and forcing it to inflate like a balloon. Your eardrums and capillaries would rupture, and your blood would start to bubble and boil. Even if you survived all that, ionising radiation would rip apart the DNA in your cells. Mercifully, you would be unconscious in ...

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March 12th, 2015

In Technology

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Relentless sexual assault in tech

I wish I could say this surprised me, but my own female friends have told me stories like this:

Here’s a non-comprehensive litmus test for if your workplace equality efforts are working or not: do they try to give the impression that workplace inequality is “under control?” Everything I have read and seen says sexism is not under control in tech, and that it is in fact wildly out of control. Sexism in tech is not a thing to be kept ...

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March 12th, 2015

In Technology

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Netflix monitors its micro-services

Interesting:

The ability to decompose where time is spent both within and across the fleet of microservices can be a challenge given the number of dependencies. Such information can be leveraged to identify the root cause of performance degradation or identify areas ripe for optimization within a given microservice. Our Mogul utility consumes data from Netflix’s recently open-sourced Atlas monitoring framework, applies correlation between metrics, and selects those most likely to be responsible for changes in demand ...

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March 12th, 2015

In Technology

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Mike MacHenry: Object-oriented programming has one major flaw which is that no one agrees what it really is

Mike MacHenry sums up the problems of OOP. Interesting:

Object-oriented programming has one major flaw which is that no one agrees what it really is. Everyone’s definition seems to be a collection of completely orthogonal ideas, most of which belong equally to some other, non-OOP paradigm. It makes it impossible to to get a clear answer to questions about the topic. To the best of my knowledge, through extensive reading, the best answer I can come up with for what object-oriented ...

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March 12th, 2015

In Business

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Just 18 elite universities produce half of all computer science professors

Interesting:

The evidence is not only anecdotal. A recent study by Aaron Clauset, Samuel Arbesman, and Daniel B. Larremore shows that “a quarter of all universities account for 71 to 86 percent of all tenure-track faculty in the U.S. and Canada in these three fields. Just 18 elite universities produce half of all computer science professors, 16 schools produce half of all business professors, and eight schools account for half of all history professors.” This study follows the discovery ...

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March 12th, 2015

In Philosophy

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Women’s drinking peaks at age 40

Basically, women drink more and more every year until the worries about age-related health begin to influence their behavior. Interesting:

Source

March 12th, 2015

In Technology

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Contracts in Ruby are part of the new style

Much more than PHP or Python, the Ruby community is constantly pulling in new ideas from other programming language, and we see the emergence of new Ruby styles:

# The standard “record” that contains information about a file on disk. SourceFile = Struct.new :relative_path, :full_path, :directory, :types

# Find a file given a type and path. # # @param [Symbol] type ...

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March 12th, 2015

In Philosophy

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Bad female boss suddenly understand mothers now that she has a kid

Interesting:

I secretly rolled my eyes at a mother who couldn’t make it to last minute drinks with me and my team. I questioned her “commitment” even though she arrived two hours earlier to work than me and my hungover colleagues the next day.

I didn’t disagree when another female editor said we should hurry up and fire another woman before she “got pregnant.”

...

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March 12th, 2015

In Technology

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Object-oriented Programming cannot save us anymore

Obviously, I agree with this. See what I wrote earlier todayIs Erlang an Object Oriented Language?.

That promised time when we’d have applications running distributed and concurrently finally has come. Unfortunately, we are not ready: our “current” (i.e., most used) model for concurrency and parallelism, even though might solve the problem, it adds a lot of complexity.

For a better applications, we need a simple and reliable manner to do it. Do you remember above-mentioned features of FP? Pure Functions and ...

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March 12th, 2015

In Technology

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Oracle is completely incompetent

True:

From the release notes: “The old syntax was meant to be only deprecated, but it was accidentally completely removed.”

How could Oracle have possibly “accidentally completely removed” the old syntax for setting a password even though it “was meant to be only deprecated”, without being completely incompetent?

I can not in my wildest imagination come up with a scenario in which a competent developer could possibly “accidentally remove” something like that. If they made such a huge “accident” with that security feature, ...

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March 12th, 2015

In Technology

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Let’s disagree with Micro-Services

I like this:

Anybody who tried to get a number of teams in a large organization to agree on a common technology can sympathize with this. We are all human, and tend to have passionate and strong opinions on technologies we like and hate. Put enough of these strong opinions together, and they tend to cancel each other out, leaving no common ground. This is bad news for the poor architect that needs to pick an approach for a large ...

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March 12th, 2015

In Technology

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9 different package managers

Interesting:

About Leiningen:

Pros

The artifacts are signed!

It simplifies the dependency definition of maven.

It’s easy to publish new artifacts.

It’s easy to learn how it works.

It allows to reuse Java artifacts from other maven repositories.

Cons

It violates the “Single Responsibility” pattern. Same as Maven.

Licenses are not mandatory.

No Mirrors.

I’ve wasted countless hours dealing with version conflicts and dependencies. I want a package manager to get things working, and I don’t care about what that requires. The semantic versioning, in terms of developing a lock ...

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March 12th, 2015

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At a certain scale you have to give up on the single, normalized, canonical database

I am surprised this article by Yorick Peterse, attacking MongoDB, got so much attention. The company used to use MySQL and MongoDB, but now they just use PostGres for everything. PostGres is a great technology, and I would always prefer to MySQL. I question the intelligence of a company that uses MySQL, when PostGres is such a good choice. But if a writer tries to compare PostGres and MongoDB, then I have to question their intelligence, since the 2 technologies ...

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March 12th, 2015

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Is Erlang an Object Oriented language?

A lot of people have read my essay from October 7th, 2014, “Object Oriented Programming is an expensive disaster which must end“. Many people like the essay, and many people hate the essay. The people who hate the essay often raise the possibility that I am a troll. They also feel that the whole essay should be dismissed based on its mistakes.

I have been meaning to write a second version that fixes all the mistakes of the first. The ...

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March 12th, 2015

In Technology

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Are you sure objects are an improvement of procedural programming?

Interesting:

This question is an endless source of flame wars. Ruby is better than Java because it has dynamic typing, which in turn allows for short, concise source code. Yeah, right, the Java guys say, your programs read fine, but they crash at your customer’s because type checking is left to the runtime. You’ve got it all wrong, the followers of LISP and Clojure say. Object Oriented Programming is an expensive disaster which must end. Don’t you see it’s all about ...

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March 9th, 2015

In Philosophy

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If you measure something intermediate, be sure it also contributes to your end goals

Interesting:

In 1962, what’s now known as the Perry Preschool Study started in Ypsplanti, a blue-collar town near Detroit. It was a randomized trial, resulting in students getting either no preschool or two years of free preschool. After two years, students in the preschool group showed a 15 point bump in IQ scores; other early education studies showed similar results.

In the 60s, these promising early results spurred the creation of Head Start, a large scale preschool program designed to help economically ...

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March 8th, 2015

In Business

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Financial speculation in games teaches us about financial speculation in real life

Interesting:

There I managed to buy the factories in a key star hub and set up shop. I produced the first Mammoths (a massive transport ship critical to trade) in the game, and also the first Minmatar battleships. I would have loved to expand my production but within days of the retail launch all factories had been bought up and idled by speculators who were charging $300 to $400 per factory, without any way of knowing if they really owned the ...

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March 6th, 2015

In Business

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The company transition from one big group to many groups

Interesting:

Everyone doesn’t know what’s going on anymore.

When you all fit around a single table (or a single Google Hangout) it’s easy for everyone to feel like they know what’s going on. Most people were probably wearing multiple hats and in constant communication as you focused on a single, core thing your business tries to do well.

But now things, have changed. Not only do people wear fewer hats, you probably even have multiple people to do many of the jobs.

Gone are ...

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March 6th, 2015

In Business

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Job interviews for computer programmers are full of bias

Interesting:

Confidence bias selects for candidates who are good at interviewing.

There are people who have the social skills to actively listen to someone else’s technical points, to guide a discussion with questions of their own, or to spot opportunities to redirect a tough question back to familiar territory. Those people build impressive resumes. They effortlessly pass “culture fit” tests. And a lot of them can’t code.

Confidence bias excludes candidates who don’t interview well.

For every genuinely competent and effective developer who ...

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March 6th, 2015

In Business

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Customization killed MySpace

From GeoCities to MySpace to Facebook the trend has been to less customization. Perhaps this is specialization: if you want a website, then go get a website, but if you want social, then let’s stick with a standard UI so that folks can focus on the social bits.

Could they have avoided losing out to Facebook? I think if they created MySpace 2.0 without all the crap (essentially what Facebook did) and made it easy to migrate your accounts and ...

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March 6th, 2015

In Business

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The end of the globalization consensus

After 1945, the USA lead the effort to establish a liberal zone of less restricted trade, an effort to step away from the protectionism of 1914-1945. And for awhile the leadership of the USA was unified on the need for this effort. But consensus is dying:

Summers’s ascendance is a reflection of the abandonment by much of the party establishment of neo-liberal thinking, premised on the belief that unregulated markets and global trade would produce growth beneficial to worker and C.E.O. ...

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March 6th, 2015

In Philosophy

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Women stealing happiness from women

Interesting:

“You know Weil hired Lauren? She just got her letter yesterday.”

It was Emma, smiling at me as though there was no one else she’d rather see.

“I guess they’re less fixated on first-year grades than they pretend,” she said, “because Lauren’s first year grades were”–here she made a soft clicking noise that made me want to strangle her.

“Incoming,” hissed Emma’s best friend, another girl who was notable mostly because her parents owned one of New York’s most expensive restaurants. And ...

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March 6th, 2015

In Philosophy

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The professionalization of childhood sports is child abuse

Interesting:

“It’s definitely child abuse,” Dohrmann said in an interview with ThinkProgress.

Dohrmann said that LeBron James Jr. might be an example of a rare kid with the support system that will allow him to survive the maw of youth basketball. He has a father who understands the system, is used to the attention and doesn’t need the money. He’s likely to get a coach who understands the game and even if he doesn’t he has his dad, one of the greatest ...

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March 6th, 2015

In Business

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The countryside is out of fashion

The reasons why the college failed:

Sweet Briar officials cited overarching challenges that the college has been unable to handle: the lack of interest from female high school students in attending a women’s college like Sweet Briar, declining interest in liberal arts colleges generally and declining interest in attending colleges in rural areas. Sweet Briar is in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Virginia. “We are 30 minutes from a Starbucks,” said James F. Jones Jr., president of ...

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March 3rd, 2015

In Technology

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What is the right way to use micro-services?

Interesting:

What I find over and over again is that micro-services appeal to leadership more than the developers. This is a somewhat confusing revelation considering micro-services are considered an architectural approach, and project managers are not supposed to fall in love with an architecture (at best, they are weary of it because ‘architecture’ is typically a code word for more boxes and increased cost and time to delivery). And yet.

…Beyond solving the sheer size problem, micro-services promise to solve the ‘different ...

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March 3rd, 2015

In Philosophy

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I don’t get the zombie craze

All the zombie movies — I am not clear why this genre is so popular now. Typically when Sci-Fi has some popular breakthrough its because of events happening elsewhere in society. Invasion of the Body Snatchers was a hit when Anti-Communist hysteria was at its peak. Star Trek was a hit when the USA government was actually trying to get to the moon. Planet Of The Apes was a hit when white America no longer felt free to speak openly ...

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March 3rd, 2015

In Business

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If mid-level managers are useless, then why do they exist?

At this point I think I can reasonably say that I’ve read thousands of stories about the stupid incompetence of mid-level managers. And I’m beginning to wonder if this genre of story is teaching us an important truth. I used to think the answer was “yes” but now I’m wondering, why do companies continue to have mid-level managers, given the endless number of these stories that have been brought up, at least since the 1960s, if not earlier?

A company ...

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March 3rd, 2015

In Philosophy

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Europe has seen a surge in voluntary childlessness

Interesting:

Europe has also seen a surge in “child-free” adults—voluntary childlessness. The proportion of childless 40-something women is one in five for Sweden and Switzerland, and one in four for Italy. In Berlin and in the German city-state of Hamburg, it’s nearly one in three, and rising swiftly. Europe’s most rapidly growing family type is the one-person household: the home not only child-free, but partner- and relative-free as well. In Western Europe, nearly one home in three (32%) is already a ...

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March 2nd, 2015

In Business

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Men ask Sarah Lacy to think of the children

This is awesome:

One of the highest profile positive symbols of the new generation of empowered women is Lena Dunham. I am avowedly not a fan of the TV show “Girls,” which I thought meant I wasn’t a fan of its creator. But my respect for Dunham just keeps growing with every interview with her I’ve read.

Last month, in the airport on the way to Nashville, I picked up a copy of Elle magazine which had Dunham on the cover. It ...

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March 1st, 2015

In Technology

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The problem with the ActiveRecord, as a pattern

Interesting:

The pattern (or one might say the way it is implemented) has several issues:

It (seriously) violates SRP. In a typical implementation of the pattern you will have the following set of methods and properties in every class: Getting the data from database. Instantiating a new instance in memory for inserting it into the database. Saving changes to the database. Loading related entities. Validation. Usually loads of methods (inherited from the base framework class) to deal with all the complexity involved with the above-mentioned methods. Column related ...

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March 1st, 2015

In Technology

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PostgreSQL is great and ORMs suck

Over the last 10 years I think I’ve heard all the arguments for Database Abstractions Layers (DBAL) and I’ve come to hate them. I’ve twice seen data moved from one database to another (from Oracle to MySQL and from MySql to PostGres) but in all cases I was able to write the import/export script in a day or two, so DBAL was never needed. More so, DBAL means giving up on what makes a database unique, and so you throw ...

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March 1st, 2015

In Business

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Anita Sarkeesian hopes to see game culture change

Interesting:

The metal detectors, and the overall heightened security presence at Sarkeesian’s talk, were impossible not to notice. I heard a few attendees mutter about this being necessary or finding it absurd that a talk about women in gaming, of all things, required this kind of presence. An NYU rep told me they hadn’t set up metal detectors for any Game Center talks before. The people who make Dragon Age didn’t get this kind of security.

Sarkeesian never acknowledged the security, and ...

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March 1st, 2015

In Technology

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The good and the bad of data-types

Interestingly honest to hear someone admit that types are important but not a cure all — this is my few as well:

Not distinguishing abstraction from checking

This is my number-one beef. Almost all languages offer data abstraction. Some languages proceed to build a static checking system on top of this. But please, please, don’t confuse the two.

We see this equivocation used time and time again to make an entirely specious justification of one language or other. We see it used to ...

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March 1st, 2015

In Technology

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How does ActiveRecord work?

Interesting:

Because find(id) is such a common query, the ActiveRecord developers have special-cased it to bypass a lot of the work that would have to be done if you were chaining together conditions or doing more elaborate queries. You can see at line 147 that this simple query is actually cached, and that this cache is checked to see if the query has been executed before.

If not, the query construction begins at line 149, with the chaining of a where clause ...

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March 1st, 2015

In Technology

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What is object oriented programming?

Interesting:

Here is an a la carte menu of features or properties that are related to these terms; I have heard OO defined to be many different subsets of this list.

Encapsulation – the ability to syntactically hide the implementation of a type. E.g. in C or Pascal you always know whether something is a struct or an array, but in CLU and Java you can hide the difference.

Protection – the inability of the client of a type to detect its implementation. ...

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March 1st, 2015

In Technology

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Message passing in computers is flawed because messages can not be trusted

Interesting:

First of all, if you call a random object to ask it a question of any kind, you can get a denial of service in the form of nontermination. This can be mitigated by using an asychronous send or resource limitation, in which case you may get no information about the object.

But it’s worse than this. Even if you ignore DOS and timeout, you might think you could do challenge/response for authentication = “type check” or brand predication. Let’s ...

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March 1st, 2015

In Technology

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The weaker reasons for hating object oriented programming

Interesting:

I didn’t think you were such an OO partisan. If you are, then you will probably find my reasons for despising it (other than the above) to be very touchy-feely, and they are. I think comprehensive OO (occasional OO is fine) is a very poor metaphor for the world, a poor tool for problem solving, and an unnatural way to think. Here are some particulars off the top of my head:

- It accounts poorly for symmetric interaction, such as chemical reactions ...

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March 1st, 2015

In Technology

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Object Oriented Programming is a moving target

OOP zealots are liars. This is the point I made in “Object Oriented Programming is an expensive disaster that must end“:

Because OO is a moving target, OO zealots will choose some subset of this menu by whim and then use it to try to convince you that you are a loser.

Source

March 1st, 2015

In Technology

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You can call yield in Ruby without an explicit block declared

Very interesting:

Given this:

def a(&block) yield end

def b yield end

Running `a {1+1}` is 4x slower than running `b {1+1}`. I didn’t even know you could yield in a method without an explicit &block parameter. I’ll guess I’ll change my ways then, although I like having the block declared in the method signature so I know ...

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March 1st, 2015

In Technology

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The mania for object oriented programming

Paul Graham says there are 5 reasons why people like object oriented programming, and 3 and half of them are wrong:

I think there are five reasons people like object-oriented programming, and three and a half of them are bad:

Object-oriented programming is exciting if you have a statically-typed language without lexical closures or macros. To some degree, it offers a way around these limitations. (See Greenspun’s Tenth Rule.)

Object-oriented programming is popular in big companies, because it suits the way they ...

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March 1st, 2015

In Technology

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Is static type checking important in software for a bank?

Interesting.

One attitude:

I always thought critical applications like banking needed compile time type checking. Clojure is neat and all, but it’s dynamic.

The counter-argument:

They need quality, trustworthy software. Compile time type checking is a tool that can be used to help get there (but how useful it is in getting there depends on how robust the type system is, and Java’s is not particularly robust).

Clear and concise code that is readily understood, avoids visual noise so that the programmer can focus on ...

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March 1st, 2015

In Business

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Physical presence is important for freelance

I like this:

When I quit my job to pursue my startup, I moved into a co-working space in Brooklyn and sat across a real estate broker. One day, he told me he wanted to have a website that his clients could log into and view available properties to rent over a map based layout. He talked to some development shops and got quoted for $X. $X turned out to be significantly greater than his budget and twice as much ...

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March 1st, 2015

In Technology

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When will WordPress die?

It seems to keep going, but I find it difficult to accept any explanation of why it keeps going:

It won’t happen overnight, but WP-API will dramatically reduce the amount of active PHP code in WordPress, starting with the admin back-end. It will become a JavaScript app that talks to the WP-API sooner than anyone suspects.

Front-end (read: theme) development will change at a slower pace, because rendering HTML on the server side is still the right thing to do for ...

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March 1st, 2015

In Philosophy

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What makes Buzzfeed good?

Interesting:

Where the Buzzfeed crew distinguish themselves from older media organizations, and even many of their contemporary online competitors, is in their lack of quality control, which borders on an actual rejection of the notion that “quality” ought to be an important factor in determining whether or not to publish something.

That’s Buzzfeed’s crucial differentiating factor. Combine it with their killer CMS (which encourages the rapid creation of exactly the sort of content we imagine when we think of lazy Buzzfeed ...

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March 1st, 2015

In Philosophy

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The short version of Kino Haruki Murakama

I think this story has too many words. This is my version, with less words:

Kino remembered the first time the man had come to his bar. His appearance had immediately caught Kino’s eye—the bluish shaved head, the thin build yet broad shoulders, the keen glint in his eye, the prominent cheekbones and wide forehead. He looked to be in his early thirties, and he wore a long gray raincoat, though it wasn’t raining.

The man sat in the back ...

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March 1st, 2015

In Philosophy

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Lying is good for you

Lying is an important social skill:

The ability to lie is adaptive. When kids start lying when they’re younger, they’re essentially supposed to. It’s a good developmental sign their brain is working correctly when they become aware both that you actually can’t see everything they do and also that you can’t read their minds. Sure, they may not be that good at lying yet by our standards—my 4 year old recently insisted she was turning flips right in front of ...

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March 1st, 2015

In Philosophy

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How can anyone remember where they saw a movie 25 years ago?

I am confused how anyone can remember these details:

My first time with James Cameron’s sci-fi war movie was a great filmgoing experience. I saw “Aliens” at the NorthPark 1 and 2 theater at NorthPark Mall in my hometown of Dallas, with a high school classmate who was, at that time, my regular action movie-watching buddy: Gabe Michaels. We drove to NorthPark to catch the 11 a.m. show on opening day and got in line a couple of hours early. ...

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February 26th, 2015

In Philosophy

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Dating someone wealthier

Interesting:

I dated a guy once whose father was quite wealthy and worked in finance. He often told me things straight-faced that, I—someone who had grown up on food stamps—found preposterous. He’d say that the couple grand he received as allowance each month was not very much money, and that his family was extremely careful not to show off their wealth too much, which he told me while we sipped booze on his dad’s $80,000 speedboat.

We went to restaurants where a ...

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February 25th, 2015

In Philosophy

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Fashion freedom in Britain

I agree, famous women in Britain seem to me to be under less pressure to minimize fashion risks, and therefore can dress in more interesting ways:

I am constantly hammering this point because it’s true: British fashion right now is, on the whole, so much more creative and interesting than American fashion. That’s certainly true on the runway, but it’s also true on the red carpet, even moreso with musicians, because on the whole British women aren’t as bananas about ...

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February 25th, 2015

In Technology

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Does the visitor design pattern need to exist?

What does this sound like to you?

The pattern should be used when you have distinct and unrelated operations to perform across a structure of objects.

Wait a minute, isn’t that… a function? In a language where functions can take functions, I would simply send in a function, right? Maybe a multimethod. I wouldn’t need an interface for the “visitor”, except maybe the interface of the multimethod, right?

The fact that these metaphors are so tortured is certainly a bad sign: ...

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February 25th, 2015

In Technology

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The angry argument against design patterns

The rant:

I tend to come across a lot of code written by people who read up on design patterns and than think they should use them all over the place and the result is the actual code gets buried under tons of interfaces, wrappers and layers and pretty hard to read. That’s a wrong approach to design patterns.

Design patterns exist so that you have a repertoire of useful idioms handy when you come across a problem. But you should ...

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February 25th, 2015

In Technology

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The best argument for design patterns

I do like this:

Given the few items we can hold in working memory simultaneously, it’s no wonder that programming is hard; any interesting programming problem has a multitude of fine-grained parameters and possible alternatives. One way around this limitation is a process known as chunking. Chunking is an encoding strategy where individual elements are grouped into higher-level groups, chunks. While the limit on the number of units still apply, each unit now holds more information.

Patterns are a sophisticated form of ...

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February 25th, 2015

In Technology

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The Leiningen eco-system

This is a nice write up of some of the plugins one can use with Leiningen

Cljfmt At long last, Clojure finally has its own gofmt-like tool, thanks to the ever-industrious @weavejester. Cljfmt both checks (lein cljfmt check) and formats (lein cljfmt fix) your code nicely in adherence to the generally accepted Clojure style rules, and has options for configuration in case you have your own feelings on the subject.

Eastwood Eastwood is a Clojure linter, invoked with lein eastwood. As a general request, ...

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February 25th, 2015

In Technology

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Computers, patterns, humbleness

The most obvious case for patterns:

One such strategy is to share knowledge and base our solutions on what has been known to work well in the past. Since few designs are really novel we often find that previous solutions, at least on a conceptual level, apply to our new problem too…

Patterns incorporate both of these strategies. As software developer and author of a technical book on patterns I obviously find value in the pattern format. And as a psychologist I ...

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February 25th, 2015

In Technology

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What do standard OOP patterns look like in Haskell?

Interesting:

Most software developers are familiar with the OOP motto “everything is an object.” People accustomed to C++ classes often find the Haskell concept of type classes difficult to grasp. Why is it so different?

C++ classes pack functions together with data, which makes it convenient to represent and consume data. Use of interfaces (abstract classes) allow classes to interact by contract, instead of directly manipulating the data in the other class. There exist alternative ways in C++ to accomplish such ...

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February 25th, 2015

In Philosophy

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What is the difference between depression and procrastination?

This sounds like depression:

You are too old to learn, they said. At your age it is impossible to change behavioral patterns, they concluded. “They” being these voices I have been hearing in my head lately — a side-effect of the isolation that comes with being a slave to/freelancer on the Internet.

A couple of days ago I would have agreed. Honestly, I would have agreed to anything. I felt done. Depressed. If somebody would have told me that I would never ...

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February 25th, 2015

In Technology

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Best practice is a misnomer

Interesting:

As one data point on the curve, at any rate, if you were to compete with ITA and chose to write your software in C, they would be able to develop software twenty times faster than you. If you spent a year on a new feature, they’d be able to duplicate it in less than three weeks. Whereas if they spent just three months developing something new, it would be five years before you had it too.

And you know what? ...

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February 25th, 2015

In Philosophy

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We lack a good theory for depression

Interesting:

The problem is that we’ve never had an adequate theory of what depression is, and the evidence seems to be that it is far more complex and situational than any one-pill-fixes-all approach could ever attack. The author is correct, but hardly novel or prescient, in noting that there are serious issues with the long-term efficacy of SSRIs and SNRIs (and most other classes of psychoactive drugs). The problems of discontinuation of drug therapy, especially for long-term users, and that the ...

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February 25th, 2015

In Uncategorized

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What is the argument for design patterns?

Interesting:

Paul Graham’s essay Revenge of the Nerds is a nearly pornographic love letter to Lisp. If you can manage to read all the way to the end, there’s an interesting footnote buried at the bottom:

Peter Norvig found that 16 of the 23 patterns in Design Patterns were “invisible or simpler” in Lisp.

He should have opened the essay with that evidence, because it strengthens his conclusion considerably:

In the OO world you hear a good deal about “patterns”. When I see patterns ...

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February 25th, 2015

In Philosophy

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How much of Gamergate is simply mental illness

Hitler believed that the Jews controlled the world and were working to destroy Germany. Racism that extreme is an obvious sign of mental illness. And likewise with misogyny. Where exactly is the line that divides banal everyday misogyny from mental illness? And how do we limit the damage that the mentally ill can do, while getting them the help they need? Several of the more extreme Gamergate men seem to be suffering from mental illness, Jace Connors being the obvious ...

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February 25th, 2015

In Philosophy

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The most popular resist-sexual-assault training manual is out of date

Interesting:

Universities across the country have been eating this program up since 1989, and no wonder: R.A.D. is a perfect slice of patriarchal fear-cake, studded with nuggets of bad advice and thickly frosted with condescension.

Take, for example, these “Risk Reduction Strategies”:

HOME: Try “casing” your own home, at night and/or during the day. Attempt to gain access when locked and “secure.” If possible, invite a security survey from your local Police Department.

Drapes and Shades: Draw the drapes and pull the shades. ...

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February 25th, 2015

In Technology

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Pair programming is exhausting

This is true. When I work with another programmer, I suddenly have to focus 100%, and interact with someone too, straining the limits of both my technical abilities and my social skills. I can do this for 30 minutes, but if I had to do it all day, everyday, I would be utterly exhausted.

What about the downsides? It’s not all peaches and cream of course – pairing all the time does have some downsides.

Tiring

Pairing can be exhausting. Not everybody thinks ...

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February 25th, 2015

In Philosophy

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The hollowness of the neutral meditation promoted by business

This is very good:

When I read about the general spread of mindfulness, I’m gladdened and encouraged. It is a simple thing, available as freely as breath to practically every human, that can steady our faltering steps on the path of life. I would not begrudge anyone their mindfulness practice, no matter what form it takes.

When I read about mindfulness in the business world, though, I’m left with uneasy questions. Apparently, I’m not the only one. In their review of ...

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February 25th, 2015

In Philosophy

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Are polyhedra of equal volume equidecomposable?

Interesting:

Just as any pair of polygons of equal area can be decomposed and reassembled into the same square, can any pair of polyhedra of equal volume be decomposed and reassembled into the same cube? Are polyhedra of equal volume equidecomposable? Are they equicomplementable?

By the end of the nineteenth century there were several examples of equalvolume polyhedra that were both equidecomposable and equicomplementable, but there was no general solution. One simple example is prisms with the same height and equal area ...

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February 22nd, 2015

In Philosophy

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Online bullying intensifies the attacks against women

Interesting:

It’s a point that I’ve been making for much of the last year about women in tech and Silicon Valley. We are in a strange place where there is both more opportunity for women than ever before, but also more disgusting and overt hate, whether it’s from anonymous trolls or senior executives and founders of the largest most powerful companies in the Valley. Worse are the excuses the industry makes for those in power, whether they’re justifications that being ...

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February 21st, 2015

In Philosophy

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Communism and corporatism are the same

This is interesting:

Following publication of the Short Course, which gave the author as “A commission of the ACP(b) Central Committee,” Stalin explained: “We were presented with … a draft text and we fundamentally revised it.” The Soviet leader’s deployment of the “royal we” suggests that he suffered from what Koestler called the “shamefacedness about the first person singular which the Party had inculcated in its disciples.” (Once a young department head—and Stalin’s future son-in-law—dared to speak for the party ...

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February 20th, 2015

In Technology

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Strings in Python have the wrong number of bytes

It’s an interesting dive into bytes and strings:

The width of a Unicode string differs from the number of characters in it. Fortunately, we can use the POSIX standard function wcswidth to calculate the display width of a Unicode string. We can use this function to rebuild our basic formatting functionality.

Source

February 18th, 2015

In Business

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8,000 computer programmers at General Motors?

They make it sound like they need 8,000 programmers to run a website. Even Google doesn’t have that many engineers. I sure hope that the reporter got the story wrong. Otherwise this sounds like waste on a staggering scale.

Two years ago, Chief Information Officer Randy Mott ended GM’s $3 billion a year outsourcing deal with Hewlett-Packard Co. , replacing it and others with about 8,000 GM software engineers, up from 1,400 previously. “Because we brought the [information technology] work ...

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February 18th, 2015

In Technology

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If we sample from a population using a sufficiently large sample size, the mean of the samples will be normally distributed

Interesting:

Suppose that we are interested in estimating the average height among all people. Collecting data for every person in the world is impractical, bordering on impossible. While we can’t obtain a height measurement from everyone in the population, we can still sample some people. The question now becomes, what can we say about the average height of the entire population given a single sample.

The Central Limit Theorem addresses this question exactly. Formally, it states that if we sample from ...

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February 18th, 2015

In Technology

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All GUI toolkits are old

Interesting:

Cocoa is from the 1980s. Qt is from 1991. MFC is from 1992, building upon older technology. AWT is from 1995. Swing is from 1996. GTK+ is from 1997. SWT and wxWidgets just build upon these old toolkits. Windows Forms is maybe the newest, from the early 2000s.

There hasn’t been a widely used UI toolkit created in the past decade, if not longer. The best we’ve seen since then are half-assed UIs built using HTML/CSS/JS, and limited mobile UIs ...

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February 18th, 2015

In Technology

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How to pull in patches from foreign repos

Interesting:

GitHub provides a special pulls remote “namespace” on the upstream repo, so you can add it as a fetch pattern to your .git/config like so:

[remote "upstream"] url = https://github.com/neovim/neovim.git fetch = +refs/heads/*:refs/remotes/upstream/* fetch = +refs/pull/*/head:refs/pull/upstream/*

Then when you `git fetch –all`, you will have ALL pull requests available in your local repo in the local pull/ namespace. To check out PR ...

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February 17th, 2015

In Philosophy

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Odious behavior from George Washington

Gross and disgusting behavior from the First President. Maybe he wasn’t the rapist that Jefferson was, but Washington was still gross.

The act began dismantling slavery, eventually releasing people from bondage after their 28th birthdays. Under the law, any slave who entered Pennsylvania with an owner and lived in the state for longer than six months would be set free automatically. This presented a problem for the new president.

Washington developed a canny strategy that would protect his property and allow ...

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February 16th, 2015

In Business

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A very bad awful way to ask for help with your startup

Because I have posted my cell phone number on my website, random strangers often reach out to me for advice about their startup ideas. 99% of the time they are very innocent and inexperienced, so I have no desire to work with them, but I am usually happy to give advice. Some of them seem reasonably smart, and others seem utterly clueless.

Last night at 2:30 AM someone started text me. This was our conversation:

THEM: Hi there. I found your ...

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February 15th, 2015

In Philosophy

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Sleep paralysis is heredity?

I sometimes get sleep paralysis, so I find this surprising. Neither of my parents had sleep paralysis, so I wonder how far back it goes?

Sleep paralysis often occurs during the rapid eye movement (REM) stage of sleep, when people are usually dreaming. In REM, the muscles are nearly paralyzed — possibly to prevent people from acting out their dreams, scientists say. Some people who suffer from sleep paralysis experience hallucinations of a terrifying figure pressing down on them and ...

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February 14th, 2015

In Business

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Being extorted by a non-profit

I think the word “negging” came from the world of pickup artists (PUAs) but now is just a general tactic for being awful to people:

So I just got a call from a guy claiming to be the director of Software in the Public Interest. Which I guess is a non-profit organization. But it felt like a really aggressive sales call. He started off with some very heavy negging and I was just trying to get him to explain what ...

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February 14th, 2015

In Business

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Premature deindustrialisation in the developing world

Interesting:

As developed economies have substituted away from manufacturing towards services, so too have developing countries – to an even greater extent. Such sectoral change may be premature for economies that never fully industrialised in the first place. This column presents evidence that countries with smaller manufacturing sectors substitute away from manufacturing to a larger extent, suggesting a trade channel through which falling international relative prices of manufacturing lead price-taking developing economies to substitute accordingly.

Mention ‘deindustrialisation’ and the image comes to ...

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February 14th, 2015

In Business

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A successful movie

Apparently the movie 50 Shades Of Grey is a huge success on its opening weekend. That must be because of reviews like this:

A movie based on one of the worst books in the history of the English language ought to change a hell of a lot if it wants any hope of being a movie that doesn’t top next year’s Razzie Award list. If the film’s directors and editors and producers hadn’t omitted certain scenes, the film would play like ...

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February 13th, 2015

In Philosophy

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革命的非モテ同盟

Kind of sort of hilarious, but sort of sad:

On February 14th, Kakumei-teki himote doumei (革命的非モテ同盟) — literally, “Revolutionary Alliance of Men That Woman Are Not Attracted To”– will gather in Shibuya, an area of Tokyo popular with young couples, to protest Valentine’s Day and its roots in what they call “romantic capitalist oppression.”

Source

February 12th, 2015

In Business

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Why self publish?

Interesting:

In terms of why I self-published, there are a handful of reasons, but the two main ones were this:

1) I wanted more creative control over the entire process: what I was writing, how it was presented to the market, and so forth.

2) I wanted a greater royalty share.

In terms of how it’s going, it’s going way better than my wildest predictions. I’m a spreadsheet kind of girl, so I can actually look at my wildest predictions, and yes, they were ...

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February 12th, 2015

In Technology

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Women learning Python

Interesting. Poland is on the list more than any other country. Why is that?

Source

February 12th, 2015

In Business

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A family’s story of life in the video game industry

This is emotionally intense:

My husband has worked in the video game industry for just about 14 years. It was always his dream to make video games, and it was a goal he’s worked towards since he began learning to program at 12 years old. One day on a whim, he applied to a major console game developer, and three weeks later our family of five was moving to California.

The company my husband was working for was really great. The benefits ...

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February 12th, 2015

In Business

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When Paul Krugman stepped outside this morning

This is good:

There are actually multiple revelations in that article. For one thing, it attacks not just QE2, which was about to commence, but QE1 — the Fed’s intervention during the chaotic post-Lehman period — which is generally considered to have been quite effective. Their evidence to the contrary? “QE1 failed to strengthen the economy, which has remained in a high-unemployment, low-growth slump.” Also, when I stepped outside this morning, it was cold, so I put on a coat — ...

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February 11th, 2015

In Philosophy

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Drinking water in the Middle Ages

Interesting:

People in the time certainly knew the difference between bad and good water. Pliny, in discussing drinking water, says: “It is a fault also in water, not only to have a bad smell, but to have any flavour at all, even though it be a flavour pleasant and agreeable in itself…. Speaking in general terms, water, to be wholesome, should have neither taste nor smell.”. Centuries later, Paulus Aeginata (seventh c.) wrote: “of all things water is of most ...

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February 11th, 2015

In Philosophy

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The growing importance of doulas during birth

Interesting:

Doulas are a growing force in the ever-changing culture of maternity, at once a manifestation of the growing demand for personal service (the doorman, the yoga teacher, Amazon Prime) and a backlash against the perceived overmedicalization of birth, with its high rates of cesarean sections.

But because of resistance from the medical profession and lack of insurance reimbursement, they are still a small part of the system. A recent report estimated that there are as many as 400 doulas working ...

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February 10th, 2015

In Philosophy

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How to think about your exercise regime

Interesting:

Let’s clarify something: When I say lazy, I’m not talking about physical laziness. In fact, I encourage trainees to do the minimum amount required for results. This might mean taking the elevator if you hate stairs.

When I say failure, I am not talking about setbacks. On your fitness journey, you will have continuous setbacks, like an accidental binge or feeling too unmotivated to go to the gym. That’s okay. By “failure,” I mean it in the sense of throwing in ...

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February 10th, 2015

In Philosophy

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The Compulsory Vaccination Act of 1853

Interesting:

At the time, there existed no obligation to vaccinate in England. Physicians and health reformers encouraged vaccination and, in 1840, successfully convinced Parliament to make the shot free of charge. But the public continued to spin fears about the vaccine’s effects, and in doing so, continued to catch smallpox. It became increasingly clear that simply suggesting vaccination to the public was not enough.

In 1853, those same reformers convinced lawmakers that “smallpox posed a serious danger to the national community,” and ...

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February 9th, 2015

In Technology

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Is this dependency injection?

Interesting. Assume a Python system that works like this:

###################################################################### ## ## DEMO ## ######################################################################

# ——————————————————————————— # Some python module defines a Bar component and states the dependencies # We will assume that # – Console denotes an object with a method WriteLine(string) # – AppTitle denotes a string that represents the current application name # – CurrentUser denotes a string that represents the current user name #

class Bar(Component): con = RequiredFeature(‘Console’, HasMethods(‘WriteLine’)) title = RequiredFeature(‘AppTitle’, IsInstanceOf(str)) user = RequiredFeature(‘CurrentUser’, IsInstanceOf(str)) ...

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February 9th, 2015

In Technology

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How should we separate HTML from its content?

Interesting:

The framework of the future should make us think only about the data and only about the markup. Nothing in between. We don’t want to deal with loading HTML strings or passing data to special functions. We want to apply values to variables and get the DOM updated. The popular two-way data binding should not be a feature, but a must-have core functionality.

In fact, AngularJS is close to the desired behavior. It reads the template from the provided page’s ...

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February 9th, 2015

In Technology

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Managing dependencies in Javascript

All this work just to avoid calling “new”? This should be read as a criticism of the object oriented paradigm. Interesting:

AngularJS goes a little bit further by giving us something called factory. We register our dependencies there, and they are magically available in our controllers. For example:

myModule.factory(‘greeter’, function($window) { return { ‘greet’: function(text) { alert(text); } }; }); function MyController($scope, greeter) { $scope.sayHello = function() { greeter.greet(‘Hello World’); }; } In general, this approach simplifies our job. We don’t have to use a function like require to fetch the dependency. All we ...

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February 9th, 2015

In Philosophy

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Um

Interesting:

Liberman has been studying these so-called “filled pauses” for almost a decade, and he has made a rather curious discovery.

“As Americans get older, they use ‘uh’ more,” he says. “And at every age, men use ‘uh’ more than women.”

If you look at “um”, exactly the opposite is true. Younger people say “um” more often than older people. And no matter the age, women say “um” more than men. Nobody, not even the linguists, were expecting this result; until they studied ...

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February 9th, 2015

In Technology

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How to maintain software?

Karolina Szczur writes about frontend systems we can maintain:

Practices are often built without targeting the crucial aspect of collaboration—the human factor.

The secret lies in understanding of good patterns and mindfully applying them (and we’ve elaborated on that a little bit here).

A starting point for building up effective collaboration is to create resources than can serve as learning and reference materials. One of the ways to do so is to have a style guide (see Github, MailChimp, The Guardian and A ...

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February 9th, 2015

In Technology

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This is not fun anymore

I have had 2 good friends of mine, both working as frontenders for many years, tell me that the work is not as fun as it used to be. 10 years ago, or even 5 years ago, working on the frontend meant doing creative worked that intermingled artistic design concerns and some technical cleverness for making the design real. But over the last 3 or 4 years, with the rise of the pure Javascript frontends, being a frontender has increasingly ...

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February 9th, 2015

In Technology

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Possible new Javascripts

Such a wealth of options indicates the industry is feeling real pain, and no one knows what the solution is:

* SoundScript (Google) * SaneScript (Google) * TypeScript (Microsoft) * ECMAScript 4 (Dead) * AtScript (Google) * Flow (Facebook) * Closure Compiler Strict Mode (Google) * Asm.js (Mozilla) * Dart (Google) * ...

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February 9th, 2015

In Technology

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Goals of Kythe

Interesting. How to get different tools to work together, via some common specification? This sounds a bit like a new approach to the problems that the industry failed to solve 10 years ago with the insane WebServices approach.

The best way to view Kythe is as a “hub” for connecting tools for various languages, clients and build systems. By defining language-agnostic protocols and data formats for representing, accessing and querying source code information as data, Kythe allows language analysis and ...

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February 9th, 2015

In Technology

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Gradual typing for Javascript

Here is an interesting proposal that goes beyond what TypeScript does for Javascript:

Source

February 9th, 2015

In Technology

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A standardized ontology of Javascript types?

Interesting. This reminds me of the effort 10 years ago to develop standardizes ontologies for XML or RDF.

interface VimeoParams { name:string; value:any; } interface VimeoPlayerAPI { (method: string): any; (method: string, callback: (value: any, player_id: any) =>void ): any; (method: string, value: any): any; (method: string, value: VimeoParams[]): any; } interface VimeoPlayer { api: VimeoPlayerAPI; addEvent(eventName: string, callback: (e: any) =>void ): any; removeEvent(eventName: string): void; postMessage(method: string, params:VimeoParams[], ...

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February 9th, 2015

In Technology

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The spread of gradual/optional typing

Typesafe brings gradual/optional typing to Javascript:

Type annotations in TypeScript are lightweight ways to record the intended contract of the function or variable. In this case, we intend the greeter function to be called with a single string parameter. We can try changing the call greeter to pass an array instead:

function greeter(person: string) { return “Hello, ” + person; }

var user = [0, 1, 2];

document.body.innerHTML = greeter(user);

Open in Playground Re-compiling, you’ll now see an error:

greeter.ts(7,26): Supplied parameters do not ...

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February 9th, 2015

In Technology

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400,000 lines of CSS at Etsy

Wow:

When Etsy announces their switch to SCSS to make their styles more maintainable the finding should not be “SASS beats CSS”, but it would be interesting to learn what lead to over 400,000 lines of CSS in over 2000 files for an actually not that complex site in the first place. The article is very interesting and shows some great differences in people dealing with code:

CSS enthusiasts love the fact that CSS doesn’t stop executing when it encounters errors — it ...

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February 9th, 2015

In Business

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Most USA companies have too many meetings

Every company I have worked at has had too many meetings, with too many people in the meetings. You can tell too many people are in the meetings because if you look around the room you can see that most people are bored, most have started to daydream, some are texting on their phones. As I see it, if you are manager, all your interactions are of 1 of 2 types:

1.) You need to talk to a human being, either ...

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February 9th, 2015

In Technology

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Javascript should not be used for everything

Interesting:

One of the great things about JavaScript is that you can do everything with it: you can do computations, you can create HTML, you can dynamically style elements, you can manipulate images, play and create music, video, and nowadays do all the HTTP work of an app, too. JavaScript is not only the leatherman of the client-side web any longer, it now took over the server, too.

That is also one of the terrible things about JavaScript. Just because you can ...

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February 9th, 2015

In Business

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What left parties mean for Europe

Interesting:

I’ve long believed that Matthew Yglesias hit on something really important when he noted that small-country politicians generally have personal incentives to go along with troika demands even if they are against their nation’s interests:

Normally you would think that a national prime minister’s best option is to try to do the stuff that’s likely to get him re-elected. No matter how bleak the outlook, this is your dominant strategy. But in the era of globalization and EU-ification, I think ...

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February 9th, 2015

In Philosophy

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The assumption that programmers are men

Julia Evans calls out some comments on her blog that assume she is a man:

When this happens, when people implicitly assume that a Technical Thing On The Internet must be written by a man, I find it confusing. I didn’t grow up with the idea that I was worse at math or programming than the men around me (because, well, I wasn’t!) And I didn’t grow up with the idea that it was weird for me to write programs ...

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February 9th, 2015

In Technology

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The 4 levels of bugs

Interesting:

So it seems like there are a few different levels of bug difficulty:

It’s immediately obvious to you what’s wrong

You Google the exception, read some documentation or Stack Overflow, and then it’s immediately obvious what’s wrong

You don’t know what’s wrong, but you know more or less where in the (open source) library code you’re using to look, and you can read the code to figure it out

You’re missing some bigger-picture of knowledge about the code you’re running that you need ...

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February 8th, 2015

In Technology

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ElasticSearch is amazing

We are suddenly drowning in a wealth of options when it comes to document stores. 5 years ago the default choice would have been MongoDB. But Riak is amazing, and ElasticSearch is amazing. Honestly, I don’t know how I’ll make a choice between these 3 in the future.

For making dashboards, the ELK stack is a powerful option:

We have followed the evolution of Elasticsearch from a search-specific platform to one whose power can also be leveraged for analytics. The ...

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February 8th, 2015

In Technology

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The benefits of testosterone

Interesting:

So he went to Cenegenics, a medical start-up that trains physicians to run their own “age management” practices. They updated his diet, put him on a new workout regimen, and started giving him testosterone. Within six months, his body fat was down to nine percent. “That’s pretty hard to maintain—I’m closer to 12 percent now,” he humblebrags. After his personal success, Cenegenics asked if he’d like to take their training course, so he did, and quickly, he found himself ...

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February 8th, 2015

In Technology

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Does denormalization make a linked list better?

Obviously you wouldn’t typically use the word “denormalize” when you are talking about a linked list. “Denormalize” means you are allowing a database table to accumulate redundant data. The best reason to denormalize a database is that it speeds up your software. If you embed all the records you want in one database table, then you can all the info you need with 1 query. It’s like doing a JOIN statement, but instead of doing the JOIN at the time ...

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February 8th, 2015

In Philosophy

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Problems with the schools in the USA

There is this:

My Son just recently graduated High School and now is in his first year of college for dual major in Aviation Science (to be an air traffic controller) and Business. His high school (Valhalla High School in El Cajon California) gave him a test to determine his aptitude that said he should go into “building maintenance” (being a Janitor more or less) and wouldn’t move up his classes to more difficult ones so he was in classes with ...

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February 8th, 2015

In Business

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How not to do a BSDM movie

The press tour for 50 Shades Of Grey is a disaster:

Because 50 Shades of Grey is a sex movie, Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan have routinely been asked about sex. Because Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan seem to dislike at least this specific sort of sex (fake sex, with a person they hate, in a movie they made for a job they regret), they routinely display discomfort (ranging from wide-eyed confusion to intense aversion) when talking about sex, in ...

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February 8th, 2015

In Philosophy

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Good British manners at a brothel

A British woman, with good manners, goes to a brothel in Nevada to get a naked massage. This bit of dialogue is priceless:

“Now. Would you like a little tongue action on those nipples?” she asked.

“If it’s no bother,” started my very English reply, “yes please.”

From Vice.

Source

February 8th, 2015

In Technology

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Azithromycin and mitochondrial biogenisis

Interesting:

The effects of a variety of oxazolidinones, with different antibacterial potencies, including linezolid, on mitochondrial protein synthesis were determined in intact mitochondria isolated from rat heart and liver and rabbit heart and bone marrow. The results demonstrate that a general feature of the oxazolidinone class of antibiotics is the inhibition of mammalian mitochondrial protein synthesis. Inhibition was similar in mitochondria from all tissues studied. Further, oxazolidinones that were very potent as antibiotics were uniformly potent in inhibiting mitochondrial protein ...

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February 8th, 2015

In Technology

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Can antibiotics kill cancer?

Interesting:

Here, we propose a new strategy for the treatment of early cancerous lesions and advanced metastatic disease, via the selective targeting of cancer stem cells (CSCs), a.k.a., tumor-initiating cells (TICs). We searched for a global phenotypic characteristic that was highly conserved among cancer stem cells, across multiple tumor types, to provide a mutation-independent approach to cancer therapy. This would allow us to target cancer stem cells, effectively treating cancer as a single disease of “stemness”, independently of the tumor tissue ...

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February 7th, 2015

In Technology

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The perfect Javascript framework

Interesting:

We all like simple tools. Complexity kills. It makes our work difficult and gives us much steeper learning curve. Programmers need to know how things work. Otherwise, they feel insecure. If we work with a complex system, then we have a big gap between “I am using it” and “I know how it works”. For example, code like this hides complexity:

var page = Framework.createPage({ ‘type’: ‘home’, ‘visible’: true });

Let’s say that this is a real framework. Behind the scenes, createPage generates a ...

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February 7th, 2015

In Business

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The problems in Europe

This is very good:

“Third, it makes no sense to blame the recipients of the capital inflows for causing the crisis. If enough money is sloshing around willing to invest in any stupid idea, you shouldn’t be too surprised that a lot of stupid ideas get funded. When, for example, Wolfgang Schaeuble, Germany’s finance minister, says: “The reasons for Greece’s problems can be attributable only to Greece and not to actors outside the country, and certainly not in Germany.” As he ...

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January 30th, 2015

In Philosophy

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Do you think mothers play an important role during birth?

If I asked you “Do you think mothers are important to birth?” you would probably regard that as a stupid question, and you would regard it as a stupid question because the answer seems so blindingly obvious. And, indeed, you would probably agree that mothers play an important role during birth, unless you happen to be in charge of the USA medical system, in which case mothers are the last thing that you ever worry about. This says it well: ...

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January 29th, 2015

In Technology

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Using gulp-diff to discover which of your Javascript won’t minify

I am astounded that the tech industry thinks this is a problem worth having. Do we really need any more evidence that HTTP and HTML and Javascript have failed and should be replaced with a new protocol?

Unfortunately, this is a generic problem with minifying code in JavaScript. Because JavaScript is untyped, it is easy to introduce errors in minification like this when variable names are counted on not changing. I personally think programming like this is an ...

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January 29th, 2015

In Technology

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When is dependency injection a bad thing?

Interesting:

Basically, dependency injection makes some (usually but not always valid) assumptions about the nature of your objects. If those are wrong, DI may not be the best solution:

First, most basically, DI assumes that tight coupling of object implementations is ALWAYS bad. This is the essence of the Dependency Inversion Principle: “a dependency should never be made upon a concretion; only upon an abstraction”.

This closes the dependent object to change based on a change to the concrete implementation; a class depending ...

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January 28th, 2015

In Technology

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Immutability changes everything, part CXXVIII

Interesting:

If I had to give a single reason to use Clojure, it would be this: immutability is awesome. It protects you from yourself in ways that aren’t immediately obvious at first, but become more apparent over time.

The argument that follows is particularly catered to the world of web development, but remains applicable in other contexts as well.

In short: application state is a source of complexity, and unwarranted complexity is a developer’s worst enemy. This is true on the basic level ...

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January 26th, 2015

In Philosophy

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Groupon is not a joke

I went to lunch today with some folks who work at Second Life. It was kind of amazing to remember that Second Life still exists, and people still log in there. (And likewise, MySpace still exists.) Alot of forgotten companies keep going, and apparently Groupon is doing fairly well:

But it didn’t take long for the wheels to fall off: By June 2012, the company was valued below Google’s proposed acquisition price. The following March, founding CEO Andrew Mason was ...

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January 26th, 2015

In Philosophy

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Depression and sex

Interesting:

You’re probably not a doctor. Even if you are, you are not your reader’s doctor. You should at no point be doling out medical advice. You should not be offering diagnoses and the phrase “talk to your doctor” should come into play. And please, for the love of god, do not tell people which medications they should or should not be taking. I keep hearing “why don’t you just take______?” in relation to Orgasm Quest and, it’s incredibly inappropriate ...

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January 26th, 2015

In Philosophy

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A girl gets propositioned

Interesting story over at Vice:

So after dinner, he drove me home, and then just handed me £500 in cash. I clearly looked very confused, and insulted, and he just said, “Oooh, you haven’t done this kind of thing before?” Of course, I jumped to conclusions and was like, “I’m not going to have sex with you!” And I actually gave the cash back to him. But he just said, “Look, I’m not delusional—you’re a smart, pretty, young girl. ...

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January 22nd, 2015

In Technology

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How do you enforce the integrity of your system?

I had a long conversation today with a very smart engineer. We have different views about things such as types and immutable data. It occurred to me that, in some sense, we both want the same thing: some sort of integrity check for our systems. And yet, we prefer to put these constraints in different places. His preferences:

1.) the dependency injector loads things in an order that ensures correctness

2.) the database does some (but not all) integrity checks (they ...

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January 19th, 2015

In Technology

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The unnecessary complexity of Ruby

Interesting:

Some imported code could be modifying methods on built-in classes. You can never be sure exactly what will happen when this Ruby code executes.

He’s right about that. “Readable” isn’t the word I’d use though: Ruby isn’t “reason-aboutable.” You can’t be completely sure what it’s going to do without running it. (No wonder Rubyists are such good testers.)

Tom agreed that Ruby could be good at expressing the intent of the programmer. This is a different goal from knowing exactly how it ...

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January 19th, 2015

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The flexibility (and ease of debugging) of optional types in Clojure

Jessica Kerr has a post about optional typing in Clojure. This is related to my post How ignorant am I, and how do I formally specify that in my code? Obviously I agree with this:

It’s hard to find the difference because the difference isn’t content: it’s type. I expected a vector of a map, and got a list of a vector of a map. Joy.

I went back and added a few schemas to my functions, and the error changed to

...

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January 19th, 2015

In Philosophy

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How much should gender figure in a story about women fighting in Afghanistan?

Interesting:

Percy sets the stage with what might be called “disarming candor.” A mere three weeks after arriving in Afghanistan, she hears about this woman who runs a militia, sees a photo of her, and boom, we’re off to see the warlord–in Percy’s foggy notion, Mistuh Kurtz in a chador:

“I’d been living in Afghanistan three weeks when my guide…showed me a photograph of the country’s only known female warlord, Bibi Ayisha, nom de guerre Commander Pigeon…In the photograph, she looked ...

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January 18th, 2015

In Philosophy

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Stuff I do when I am burned out

I’ve noticed these are the things I do when I am depressed and burned out:

1.) read newspapers

2.) watch television

3.) watch movies on/from Netflix

4.) read weblogs

5.) read novels or history books

6.) sleep

If I am very depressed and burned out:

7.) post comments on websites, in response to things I’ve read

When I had my own business, 2002-2008, I was so excited about my work that I rarely did any of the above. I recall, at one point, I went 6 months without ...

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January 18th, 2015

In Business

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Jimmy Carter deregulated venture capital

Interesting:

Money had been pouring into venture capital since a 1978 change in regulations allowed pension funds to consider it a “prudent” investment. The $2.5 billion managed by venture capital firms in 1977 quintupled by 1983 to $12 billion2. New money committed per year rose 16x over five years, from $218 million in 1978 to $3.6 billion in 19833. The number of venture funds grew from 47 in 1980, to 71 in 1982, to 113 in 1983. The number of investment ...

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January 18th, 2015

In Philosophy

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Why men love war

Interesting:

War is an escape from the everyday into a special world where the bonds that hold us to our duties in daily life–the bonds of family, community, work, disappear. In war, all bets are off. It’s the frontier beyond the last settlement, it’s Las Vegas. The men who do well in peace do not necessarily do well at war, while those who were misfits and failures may find themselves touched with fire. U. S. Grant, selling firewood on the streets ...

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January 18th, 2015

In Business

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Constraining competition

Interesting:

Yet another threat to start-ups comes from state legislatures, in the form of increasingly cumbersome employment regulations. Historically, technical workers such as mechanics and engineers moved freely from job to job, spreading new technologies across the industry. Today, however, a variety of regulations limit that mobility. Some states—Florida and Massachusetts, for instance—have made it easy for employers to enforce noncompete agreements, which prohibit employees from leaving one company to join or start another in the same industry. According to research ...

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January 18th, 2015

In Philosophy

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The heyday of the Romans ended with a crash

The Classical World hit its peak fairly early. For Greek science, the peak was from 300 BC to 150 BC, mostly in Alexandria. The system was in trouble from 88 BC on, with occasional revivals. Somehow the system in the West lasted until 415 BC. It was very long collapse, from a good era much earlier:

Dr Philip Kay of Wolfson College Oxford has produced the most detailed analysis of Rome’s economic development in the late Republic period and this ...

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January 18th, 2015

In Philosophy

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The unique suffering of being rich

This:

Michael M. Thomas, a former investment banker and a novelist of Wall Street manners, said that if he were ever to write a book about his own privileged upbringing, he would title it “Orphans With Parents.” Meaning that despite the private clubs, the best schools and all the many things that money can buy, there has always been for those born into this world a sense of acute loneliness that can strain ties with parents and mark a child forever.

is ...

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January 18th, 2015

In Business

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The Hemingway Law of Motion: Gradually, then Suddenly

Perhaps because I read Hemingway long before I heard of Dornbusch, I have often thought of the Hemmingway quote, every time I hear of the Dornbusch quote.

Ernest Hemingway’s 1926 novel The Sun Also Rises, which is available various places around the web like here, includes the following snippet of dialogue:

“How did you go bankrupt?” Bill asked.

“Two ways,” Mike said. “Gradually and then suddenly.”

Many economists will recognize this as a version of an apercu offered a number of times over ...

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January 16th, 2015

In Technology

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Use an obvious alias to teach newcomers about a language

I like this comment very much, as this is something that I remember struggling with:

The examples are fairly easy to follow. Many of the examples use `require` to alias dependent namespaces. I think this is key when presenting Clojure examples. Having to prefix calls to library functions causes them to stand out from uses of core Clojure functions. It also lets readers know from which library each function comes from. I would have liked to see all of the examples ...

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January 15th, 2015

In Technology

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Why I love immutability

I love Clojure. I love immutability. Why? Maybe I lack self-discipline, or maybe my co-workers lack self-discipline (not my current co-workers, who are very talented, but people I’ve worked with in the past). I am tired of dealing with mutable variables in loops, which allow us to many easy mistakes like this:

howMuchPrizeMoney = 0; arrayOfMoneyPerCategory =[]; for (i=0; i < users.length; i++) { u = users[i]; howMuchPrizeMoney += u.prize_money; } for (i=0; i < contests.length; i++) { ...
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January 14th, 2015

In Technology

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Basecamp caches HTML to go fast

Interesting:

Stacker can only make things appear so fast. If actions still take 500ms to render, it’s not going to have that ultra snappy feel that Basecamp Next does. To get that sensation, your requests need to take less than 100ms. Once our caches are warm, many of our requests take less than 50ms and some even less than 20ms.

The only way we can get complex pages to take less than 50ms is to make liberal use of caching. We ...

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January 14th, 2015

In Technology

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Async difference between blocking and parking

Interesting:

There are two varieties of waiting: parking and blocking. Blocking is the kind of waiting you’re familiar with: a thread stops execution until a task is complete. Usually this happens when you’re performing some kind of I/O. This kind of waiting keeps the thread alive, doing no work, so that if you want your program to continue doing work you have to create a new thread. In the last chapter, you learned how to do this with future.

Parking moves the ...

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January 14th, 2015

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A Pythonista reacts to Clojure’s immutability

Interesting:

Although the functional language purists will have other criteria (functions as first class values (python is already fine on this count)) the functional programming ethos is what is of interest to me: the idea of describing data transformations and piping the data through these transformations. Thats the essential, practical take-home message of functional programming and reproducibility. In pursuing these goals, we see the incorporation of some great libraries for R that allow piping and laziness, facilitating the easy composition of ...

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January 14th, 2015

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Maintain acceptance test suites

Very interesting notes from Jakub Holý

How to Create Maintainable Acc. T. Suites

Good acceptance criteria (“INVEST” – especially valuable to users, testable) Layered implementation: Acceptance criteria (Given/When/Then) – as xUnit tests or with Concordion/FitNesse/… Test implementation – it’s crucial that they use a (business) domain-specific language (DSL), no direct relation to UI/API, which would make it brittle Application driver layer – translates the DSL to interactions with the API/UI, extracts and returns results Take care to keep test implementation efficient and well factored, especially wrt. ...

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January 14th, 2015

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How to set up project.clj for a Clojure project

This looks great:

Some development tools, such as lein-test-refresh, are useful to have across most of your Clojure projects. Rather nicely, Leiningen supports adding global profiles to ~/.lein/profiles.clj. These profiles are available in all your projects.

{:user {:plugin-repositories [["private-plugins" {:url "private repo url"}]] :dependencies [[pjstadig/humane-test-output "0.6.0"]] :injections [(require 'pjstadig.humane-test-output) ...
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January 14th, 2015

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Assertions in dynamic languages give you the benefits of static type safety, with less code and ceremony

Interesting:

Well engineered non-trivial systems written in dynamic languages embrace runtime assertions especially near public interfaces. For example here’s a snippet of code from React.js that does exactly that:

_renderValidatedComponent: function() { /* ... */ invariant( renderedComponent === null || renderedComponent === false || ReactElement.isValidElement(renderedComponent), '%s.render(): A valid ReactComponent must be returned. You may have ' + ...
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January 13th, 2015

In Technology

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The Internet Protocol is out of date, can RINA save us?

Interesting:

There is, of course, one clear layer violation that NAT has to deal with, but that’s not NAT’s fault either. Some application protocols put an IP address inside the application layer header. These have to be modified by NAT, so a NAT has to understand the syntax of all of these layer violating applications that it supports. The original application that did this was FTP, going back to the very early ARPANET days. FTP did this because – remember, this was a ...

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January 11th, 2015

In Technology

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Dependency Injection in Python and Javascript

To start with, consider this quote from Martin Fowler writing about Rake:

This is a somewhat skewed story. I’m not trying to write a tutorial on Rake – I’m going to concentrate on things I find interesting rather than give a complete coverage. I’m not going to assume you know Ruby, Rake, or indeed any other build language. I’ll explain relevant bits of Ruby as I go along. Hopefully if you’ve done any messing with these, or are just interested in ...

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January 11th, 2015

In Philosophy

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Encouraging new developers

Interesting:

Let me give an example — say a new coder had somehow, impossibly, in their first month of coding, created an app that would save the planet, plunging us into a permanent state of world peace and 100% clean energy. What’s the first thing that you as a senior developer would say to that person before seeing or testing their project? Let me guess — you’re thinking, “Is it responsive?”

To put this in perspective, someone who knew ...

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January 11th, 2015

In Philosophy

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How should a programmer grow?

Interesting:

Software wants to be a meritocracy, but the sad reality is that effectiveness of an individual programmer depends on the environment. Drop a 1.8+ engineer into a Visitor-infested Java codebase and he turns into a bumbling idiot, in the same way that an incompetent player at a poker table can fluster experts (who may not be familiar with that particular flavor of incompetence). The result of this is that detecting who the good programmers are, especially for a non-programmer ...

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January 11th, 2015

In Technology

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Clojure tessers

Interesting:

Tesser.core looks a lot like the Clojure seq API, and many of its functions have similar names. Their semantics differ, however: Tesser folds do not preserve the order of inputs, and when executed, they run in parallel.

Applying a fold using tesser.core/tesser uses mutiple threads proportional to processor cores. Unlike reducers, we don’t use the Java forkjoin pool, just plain old threads. I’ve seen too many weird performance issues compared to regular threads.

(require '[tesser.core :as t]) (t/tesser [[1 2 3] [4 5 ...
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January 9th, 2015

In Technology

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The dictatorship of the GIL keeps you safe and makes you slow

But in jRuby there is no GIL, so you can go fast, and you can also hurt yourself:

Source

January 8th, 2015

In Philosophy

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Women in economics

Interesting:

Today, women in economics face a Catch-22, where speaking up can easily make them look like a shrew, while not speaking up robs them of legitimate power. There may be some loopholes in this Catch-22, but women starting out in economics need to be shown the ropes. And with so few senior female professors in economics, who can show a female graduate student how to promote herself gracefully, and break into predominantly male conversations without raising hackles? Somehow, that question ...

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January 7th, 2015

In Philosophy

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The Tracy-Widom distribution

Apparently phase shifts follow a unique distribution:

The Tracy-Widom distribution is an asymmetrical statistical bump, steeper on the left side than the right. Suitably scaled, its summit sits at a telltale value: √2N, the square root of twice the number of variables in the systems that give rise to it and the exact transition point between stability and instability that May calculated for his model ecosystem.

The transition point corresponded to a property of his matrix model called the “largest eigenvalue”: ...

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January 7th, 2015

In Philosophy

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Peer-to-peer health

This is a great example of peers helping peers:

Humans of New York (HONY) is a blog and Facebook page that features portraits of New Yorkers, each paired with a caption in the subject’s own words. With over 11 million followers, HONY is adept at bringing into focus the experiences that shape people’s lives. A recent post made me stop in my tracks and think. The subject said:

My children’s father was physically and emotionally abusive, so by the time I left ...

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January 7th, 2015

In Technology

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Cloxp

Interesting:

Clojure comes with a set of qualities that shape how programmers can interact with the language and runtime environment. To a large part this is derived from the powerful yet simple ideas and concepts Clojure builds on. Properties such as homoiconicity (your code is nothing special, “just” data) enable several versatile features: Meta-programming based on code transformations (macros). Documentation and other meta-data that becomes part of the actual system. Structural editing and inspection because, well, code is just data!

Clojure is ...

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January 7th, 2015

In Technology

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Why is modularity such a struggle in Javascript?

Surely it is suspicious that this is being so often discussed among Javascripters? Doesn’t that suggest that Javascript is being pushed to do things that it can not do?

JavaScript Modularity Shaming:

Pete Hunt of React fame recently got into an online discussion about the pros and cons of Webpack vs. Browserify. In the discussion he inadvertently coins a hilarious term for a form of rhetoric in some circles of the JavaScript community – “Modularity Shaming”. React itself has been on ...

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January 7th, 2015

In Technology

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Is there any point to dependency injection frameworks in dynamic languages?

2 essays, attacking dependency injection in Ruby and Python:

Python:

Dependency injection is a good idea a lot of the time. You don’t need a class to inject dependencies into, either. Every time you pass something to a free function as a parameter, instead of having the function call another function to get the information, you’re basically doing the same thing: inversion of control. Python also lets you treat modules similarly to classes in a lot of ways (certainly more ...

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January 5th, 2015

In Technology

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Defending Python’s Pyramid design choices

Interesting:

A canon of Python popular culture is “TIOOWTDI” (“there is only one way to do it”, a slighting, tongue-in-cheek reference to Perl’s “TIMTOWTDI”, which is an acronym for “there is more than one way to do it”).

Pyramid is, for better or worse, a “TIMTOWTDI” system. For example, it includes more than one way to resolve a URL to a view callable: via url dispatch or traversal. Multiple methods of configuration exist: imperative configuration, configuration decoration, and ZCML (optionally via ...

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January 5th, 2015

In Technology

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Handling HTTP routes in Python and Clojure

Very interesting:

Route handling 2 HTTP verbs in Flask (Python):

import flask @flask.route('/user/', methods=['GET', 'POST']) def user(uid): if flask.request.method == 'GET': return db.get_user_by_id(uid) return db.create_user(flask.request, uid)

Instead of using Compojure, my simple API servers used the underlying route matcher utility, clout. This was partly because my application needed one or two simple routes and so the additional power and complexity of Compojure was unnecessary. By using clout directly, the surface area ...

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January 5th, 2015

In Technology

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Jakub Holý: Start with the simplest version you can

Jakub Holý has an interesting post:

Once upon time, there was a webshop portal with hundreds of partner webshops displayed on the front page. Potential users wanted to find out if their favorite webshops or a particular type of goods were available, existing users wanted to find a shop quickly. Therefore it was decided to implement search. But how to do that?

[a section about the first attempt]

Alternative 2: Minimal viable feature growing iteratively

After the original diversion, I have focused on ...

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January 5th, 2015

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(Computer) Language is culture

I find it remarkable that each computer language has such a strongly unique culture. I notice that in Python-land it is common to profile the heroes of Python-land. There is no other language community that does anything like this:

This week we welcome Dr. Margherita DI LEO as our PyDev of the Week. She is our first PyLady in this series! Let’s spend some time getting to know her!

madi

Can you tell us a little about yourself (hobbies, education, etc):

I come ...

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January 5th, 2015

In Philosophy

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Kevin Drum expects more of the same

Kevin Drum has an article where he basically predicts all current trends will continue for the next 30 years. The article reminds me very much of all the articles written during the 1960s that basically said “5% annual growth will continue forever and 100 years from now we will all be super wealthy and no one will ever work and everything will be perfect”, and then 1973 came a long and the post-war boom ended and we suddenly had increasing ...

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January 5th, 2015

In Philosophy

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Why is gender still an issue?

I was a small child in the 1970s, and my mom subscribed to Mz. magazine. I recall reading some articles about women being ignored or underestimated by men. I assumed this was a problem that merely needed to be pointed out, and then it would go away. Apparently it is still an issue, almost 40 years later. Why is that?

Germaine Greer, in 1971, at a debate in New York filmed in Town Bloody Hall, spoke of “having to confront ...

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January 4th, 2015

In Technology

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The power of the double-linked list

This gave me a completely new appreciation for a data structure that I have rarely thought much about:

– First we mark the node deleted

– We walk our prev chain backwards until we find a live node, and we walk our next chain forwards until we find a live node

– We then set the next of our predecessor and the prev of our successor to each other, unconditionally

– We leave the pointers of the deleted node untouched

Now, if deletes occur ...

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January 4th, 2015

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What does statistical over-fitting look like?

I like how clear this makes the mistake of over-fitting:

The model explains over 99% of the variance in the data. Like I said, not a typical data set.

View the estimates of the coefficients, and the p-values of their t-tests

(:coefs lm) (:t-probs lm) The values for coefficients b0, … b10 are (0.878 0.065 -0.066 -0.016 0.037 0.003 -0.009 -2.8273E-4 9.895E-4 1.050E-5 -4.029E-5), and the p-values are (0 0 0 1.28E-5 0 0.083 1.35E-12 0.379 3.74E-8 0.614 2.651E-5).

All the coefficients are significant except ...

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January 4th, 2015

In Philosophy

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Asian films worth seeing

I want to see this:

“The Golden Era” (China/Hong Kong)

Director Ann Hui won best director at last month’s Golden Horse Awards for her three-hour literary epic depicting the troubled life and tumultuous relationships of novelist Xiao Hong, one of China’s most-prominent women writers whose work emerged during in the 1930s. The film employs the unusual technique of characters breaking the fourth wall to address the audience with their recollections of Xiao Hong. Actress Tang Wei (who will be seen next ...

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January 4th, 2015

In Technology

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The Linux system calls worth knowing

Very interesting:

Here are the steps that the process involves:

fwrite, together with the rest of the C standard library, is implemented in glibc*, which is one of the core components of the Linux operating system.

fwrite is essentially a wrapper for the write library call.

write will load the system call ID (which is 1 for write) and arguments into the processor registers, and then cause the processor to switch to kernel level. The way this is done depends on the processor ...

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January 4th, 2015

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Object Oriented Programming is often defended with examples of Anthropomorphism Gone Wrong

So true:

The school principal is standing in front of fresh students, who need to go to their respective classrooms. Only the students don’t know which classroom yet. How can we get each student to their assigned classroom?

…When pushed too far, analogies break down. And we have pushed this one way too far. The reasons why it is better for the principal to just tell students where to go are rather specific:

First, it makes the whole process a lot faster: ...

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January 3rd, 2015

In Business

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The many penalties for writing about sex

Violet Blue lists the problems she faces because she writes about sex. Since I’m working on software for midwives, it strikes me there is some common theme here. Writing about sex faces outright censorship, whereas trying to get information to pregnant women faces a different kind of censorship, the legal prohibition against giving medical advice unless you are a doctor — a seemingly reasonable limit until you realize how many women are desperately frustrated with their doctor and unable to ...

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December 31st, 2014

In Technology

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Accessing Columns in SqlAlchemy

A reminder to myself:

The MetaData object contains all of the schema constructs we’ve associated with it. It supports a few methods of accessing these table objects, such as the sorted_tables accessor which returns a list of each Table object in order of foreign key dependency (that is, each table is preceded by all tables which it references):

>>> for t in metadata.sorted_tables: ... print t.name user user_preference invoice invoice_item

In most cases, individual Table objects have been explicitly declared, and these objects are typically ...

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December 30th, 2014

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Always `git diff HEAD` before committing

Know what you’re about to push up.

Source

December 30th, 2014

In Technology

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We need to stop using HTTP for software

Regarding the conversation on Hacker News, I strongly agree with “the entire stack is more less broken”. Back in 1989 Sir Tim Berners-Lee put a lot of careful thought into the design of a protocol for sharing documents using IP/TCP. However, when Ajax and Web 2.0 got going circa 2004, the emphasis was on offering software over TCP, and for that the HTTP protocol was poorly suited. Rather than carefully rethink the entire stack, and ideally come up with a ...

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December 30th, 2014

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How to convert Sqlite to Postgres

I spent some hours trying to convert a Sqlite database to Postgres, and in the end, I failed. Or rather, I decided that it was no longer worth the time. I thought this would cost me 30 minutes, but hours went by and I was unable to make progress. For those using Ruby On Rails there is a good article about how to do it. I was not using any framework. Some of the problems that I ran into: ...

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December 30th, 2014

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The lack of expressiveness in Go

This is the strongest attack I’ve ever read about Go:

Deduping elements of a slice happens the following way in go:

package main

import “fmt”

func main() { // Given the following list: xs := []int{8, 6, 8, 2, 4, 4, 5, 9}

// For loop is the only generic way to traverse slices, you we have to write the following: index := map[int]struct{}{} for _, x := range xs { index[x] = struct{}{} }

// We can “easily” acquire the deduped slice by using a for loop again… deduped := []int{} for ...

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December 30th, 2014

In Philosophy

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Mae Keane, swallowed radium, died at age 107

Interesting that she lived to be 107 despite the radiation exposure. This is possibly in the same category of story as the apartment building in Taiwan that was accidentally built with weakly radioactive steel, and the people who lived there had lower than average cancer. There might be some very low level of radiation that does more harm than good. After all, we use it as the main form of therapy against cancer.

In the 1920s, a young working-class woman ...

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December 29th, 2014

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Worse is Better is often worse

Interesting:

There’s nothing inherently wrong with making tradeoffs like C++ did. And since C++ we’ve seen many instances of these sorts of tradeoffs in the software world. Scala is another recent example–a powerful functional language which makes compromises to retain easy interoperability with Java. What I want to deconstruct is the culture that has come along to rationalize these sorts tradeoffs without the need for serious justification. That is, we do not merely calculate in earnest to what extent tradeoffs are ...

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December 29th, 2014

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It’s hard to preserve programmer intent across all stages down to the silicon

Interesting:

All modern and advanced compilers convert source code through various stages and representation into an internal data-flow representation, usually a variant of SSA. The compiler backend converts that back to an imperative representation, i.e. machine code. That entails many complicated transforms e.g. register allocation, instruction selection, instruction scheduling and so on. Lots of heuristics are used to tame their NP-complete nature. That implies missing some optimization opportunities, of course.

OTOH a modern CPU uses super-scalar and out-of-order execution. So the first thing it has to do, is to perform ...

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December 29th, 2014

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Quality should be the responsibility of one person

The stuff about quality is interesting. The rest is a misguided rant that gets all of its historical facts wrong. Unix fractured in the 90s? Good lord! It was fractured a long time before that.

One of Brooks’s many excellent points is that quality happens only if somebody has the responsibility for it, and that “somebody” can be no more than one single person—with an exception for a dynamic duo. I am surprised that Brooks does not cite Unix as ...

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December 29th, 2014

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Which module should we use for RESTful APIs in Python?

In Python we have a great many HTTP modules to choose from:

urllib2 httplib httplib2 pycurl requests

Balthazar offers a good overview of the modules and concludes:

requests

Finally, let’s see how to create a Github repo with requests.

import requests, json github_url = "https://api.github.com/user/repos" data = json.dumps({'name':'test', 'description':'some test repo'}) r = requests.post(github_url, data, auth=('user', '*****')) print r.json

Wait, is that it? No CreateManagerWithExtraLargeName() method call? No manual credential sending? Well, no. requests was designed to be an HTTP high level API, supporting all HTTP methods, SSL encryption, proxies, redirection, caching, etc.

I ...

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December 29th, 2014

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How to imitate the Flask app.route() decorator

Interesting:

Now we’re almost there! But what use is that dictionary of routes if there’s no way to access the view functions inside of it? Lets add a method serve(path), which gives us the result of running a function for a given route if it exists or raises an exception if the route has not been registered yet.

class NotFlask(): def __init__(self): self.routes = {} def route(self, route_str): ...
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December 27th, 2014

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The changing focus of MBA programs

MBA programs are adding more digital courses.

Isn’t it surprising that this is happening now and not in, say for instance, 1999? Or is this perhaps an evergreen story that is being recycled (because I seem to recall similar articles almost 15 years ago)?

About this:

“That’s because the degree suggests a person steeped in finance and corporate strategy rather than in the digital-age arts of speed and constant experimentation — and in skills like A/B testing, rapid prototyping and data-driven decision ...

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December 27th, 2014

In Philosophy

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When rational thinking is correlated with intelligence the correlation is modest

I consider myself smart and rational, so I was surprised that I stumbled on many of the test questions. I got this one wrong, though you would think, having been programming computers for 15 years, I surely should have gotten this one right:

Jack is looking at Anne, but Anne is looking at George. Jack is married, but George is not. Is a married person looking at an unmarried person?

A) Yes

B) No

C) Cannot be determined

Oddly enough, I feel that if this ...

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December 27th, 2014

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If you miss the boom, your business will decline

Interesting:

Retail historians date the start of [Montgomery Ward’s] decline to the postwar boom of the 1950’s, when its rival, Sears, Roebuck & Company, moved aggressively into the then nascent suburbs, while Ward, under the steely leadership of its then chief executive, Sewell Avery, hoarded cash and waited for a second Great Depression.

Source

December 27th, 2014

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Real Simple is real complicated

Reverse marketing works sometimes. When Caesar Augustus made himself dictator of Rome, he claimed he was restoring the Roman Republic. Likewise, RealSimple is about the hassle of orchestrating complicated social relations and calculations of social status:

Then there are hostesses who meet our approval, like Auntie Mame, who glides about her apartment in a boozy and stylish haze. Like Clarissa Dalloway, she has servants to help (and eventually, her young nephew Patrick to mix martinis), but her skill seems to ...

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December 26th, 2014

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Boring is good in Python’s __init__

Interesting:

You might notice that these three observations I’ve made all sound a bit negative. You might conclude that I think this is an antipattern to be avoided. If so, feel free to give yourself a pat on the back at this point.

But if this is an antipattern, is there a pattern to use instead? I think so. I’ll try to explain it.

The general idea behind the pattern I’m going to suggest comes in two parts. The first part is ...

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December 26th, 2014

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When age and marriage and kids forces entrepreneurs to get a job

Interesting:

Yet, I still struggle with the fact that I’m no better off financially than I was when I started on this journey. In fact, it’s worse. I now have a wife, three kids, two dogs and a mortgage. All of that meaning that I can no longer take big risks. I need health insurance. I need a salary — and that salary needs to cover my family expenses. And, because I’ve ran so lean for the past 10 years, there ...

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December 24th, 2014

In Technology

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Get SqlAlchemy to call CREATE SCHEMA to keep PostGres happy

Someone asks:

I have a SqlAlchemy model with a schema argument like so:

Base = declarative_base()

class Road(Base): __tablename__ = “roads” __table_args__ = {‘schema’: ‘my_schema’} id = Column(Integer, primary_key=True)

When I use Base.metadata.create_all(engine) it correctly issues a CREATE TABLE with the schema name on the front like so “CREATE TABLE my_schema.roads (” but Postgresql rightly complains that the schema doesn’t exist.

Am I missing a step to get SqlAlchemy to issue the CREATE SCHEMA my_schema or do I have to call this ...

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December 24th, 2014

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Generate Python models from an SQL schema

Just a reminder to myself, this is how we should generate Python models for our SQL:

from sqlalchemy import create_engine, MetaData, Table, Column, ForeignKey engine = create_engine("sqlite:///mydatabase.db") # produce our own MetaData object metadata = MetaData() # we can reflect it ourselves from a database, using options # such as 'only' to limit what tables we look at... metadata.reflect(engine, only=['user', 'address']) # ... or just define our own Table objects with it (or combine both) Table('user_order', metadata, ...
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December 24th, 2014

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Why are people willing to give Facebook so much power?

There is the related issue, going back to the beginning of the human race, regarding the deference that humans grant one another. Should we allow others to judge us? If so, how much? But now there is the more modern issue of allowing a for-profit corporation to moderate much of that calculation of social status. Personally, I shut down my Facebook account in 2011.

And therein lies the problem. Facebook largely sets its own rules for what its rules are. ...

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December 24th, 2014

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.tgz file- tar: Unrecognized archive format

I got this error during a build:

.tgz file- tar: Unrecognized archive format

Turned out I was working against a mirror that was no longer being updated. I had read instructions telling me to set a particular URL for a mirror in my .zshrc file, but the mirror was out of date to whatever was downloaded was wrong.

This was a tough bug.

Source

December 24th, 2014

In Business

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Why Wikipedia succeeded

Interesting:

One answer, which seems obvious only in retrospect: Wikipedia attracted contributors because it was built around a familiar product – the encyclopedia. Encyclopedias aren’t just artifacts; they’re also epistemic frames. They employ a particular – and, yet, universal – approach to organizing information. Prior to Wikipedia, online encyclopedias tried to do what we tend to think is a good thing when it comes to the web: challenging old metaphors, exploding analog traditions, inventing entirely new forms…Another intriguing finding: Wikipedia ...

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December 24th, 2014

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Why callback hell is hell

This is great:

In the example above, it’s disturbing that simple and intuitively harmless changes introduced such drastic errors. Experientially, it’s kind of like executing print 2 + 2 and seeing 5. What was it about that logging API that turned us into such bad programmers?

The specification of a typical callback-based API is simple: pass in any function and it will get called when the relevant event happens. Unfortunately, this simple specification doesn’t reflect reality. You can’t just call any function ...

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December 24th, 2014

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Financing the “Humanisation” of Birth

The ultimate paradox of how our species currently reproduces itself is that we have managed to make human birth an inhuman medical experience. Think how strange it is that policy-makers even need this advice:

Policy makers who wish to achieve clinically important improvements in maternity care, particularly around normalising and humanising birth and preventing preterm birth should consider midwife-led continuity models of care and consider how financing of midwife-led services can be reviewed to support this.

The USA has stumbled into ...

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December 24th, 2014

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The increasing rigidity of Wikipedia

Interesting:

The basic cause of the decline is the English Wikipedia’s increasingly narrow attitude as to what are acceptable topics and to what depth those topics can be explored, combined with a narrowed attitude as to what are acceptable sources, where academic & media coverage trumps any consideration of other factors.

I started as an anon, making occasional small edits after I learned of WP from Slashdot in 2004. I happened to be a contributor to Everything2 at the time, and when ...

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December 24th, 2014

In Technology

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git pull –rebase

Tried to push to git and got ref errors? A reminder to myself:

If the GitHub repo has seen new commits pushed to it, while you were working locally, I would advice for:

git pull –rebase git push

The full syntax is:

git pull –rebase origin master git push origin master

That way, you would replay (the –rebase part) your local commits on top of the newly updated origin/master (or origin/yourBranch: git pull origin yourBranch).

See a more complete example in the chapter 6 Pull with rebase ...

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December 21st, 2014

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Guido van Rossum agrees with me

When I wrote How ignorant am I, and how do I formally specify that in my code? I said:

For decades, computer programmers have argued with each other over the issue of strict data-type enforcement, versus dynamic data-type unenforcement. And after 16 years of computer programming, I have come down firmly in the middle: I like optional typing.

Clojure allows me to work dynamically, but to type hint when I want to, so I can get the performance benefits of type ...

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December 21st, 2014

In Philosophy

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Marriage peaked in 1958

Interesting:

That was also the peak year of male participation in the economy and it was the best year for the wage-to-rent ratio.

Source

December 20th, 2014

In Philosophy

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Gamer culture and the demeaning of teen girl culture

Interesting:

It’s also the sort of following that makes it easy to see why people would make so much fun of him. As I argued in my piece about the Kim Kardashian: Hollywood game which is also popular with young girls, society loves to tell teen girls that their interests are stupid, vapid, and not worthy of respect. It’s not just teen girls, really. The internet has made a sport of mocking teens growing up on the internet. It’s easy to ...

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December 20th, 2014

In Philosophy

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110 year old lizard has children with 80 year old lizard

Interesting:

Henry, a tuatara who, as far as curators at Southland Museum in New Zealand know, had never mated before, hooked up with Mildred, a younger woman of about 80, in March.

In July she laid 11 healthy eggs and, this week, all 11 of them hatched — the last one on Wednesday.

“Eleven out of eleven,” curator Lindsay Hazley said Friday morning. “Bloody brilliant. We had a champagne breakfast to celebrate.”

Henry was the oldest tuatara ever to mate at the museum, ...

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December 20th, 2014

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Academics are poor

Interesting:

ON the first day of the fall semester, I left campus from an afternoon of teaching anxious college freshmen and headed to my second job, serving at a chain restaurant off Las Vegas Boulevard. The switch from my professional attire to a white dress shirt, black apron and tie reflected the separation I attempt to maintain between my two jobs. Naturally, sitting at the first table in my section was one of my new students, dining with her parents.

This scene ...

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December 20th, 2014

In Technology

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Metaphors for bad code

Interesting:

I “write” a Call Option when I sell someone the right, but not the obligation, to buy in the future an agreed quantity of something at an price that is fixed now. So, for a payment now, I agree to sell you 10,000 chocolate santas[1] at 56 pence each, at any time up to 10th December. You’re prepared to pay the premium because you want to know that you’ll have santas in your stores at a price you can ...

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December 20th, 2014

In Technology

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Which is better, MongoDB or Postgres?

I am very impressed with the new JSON features in Postgres 9.4. So can Postgres completely replace MongoDB? There are some grouping and aggregate functions that MongoDB has that Postgres does not have. More so, at the Mongo shell I have access to the entire Javascript language, whereas Postgres only gives me SQL plus some cool extensions. I recently found out about “WITH” statements in Postgres. From the point of view of SQL, this is the coolest thing ever. From ...

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December 20th, 2014

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An outside perspective on SqlAlchemy

Interesting:

For starters, as you might expect from the difference in Ruby vs. Python cultures, SQLAlchemy is more explicit than ActiveRecord. SQLAlchemy has what is called a “declarative” mode where you define your class and your table all at once (within a class that inherits from SQLAlchemy’s declarative_base class). But you can also explicitly create, edit, and inspect an explicit metadata object which defines the table. Then you can define a Python class for your object – and then use SQLAlchemy’s ...

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December 19th, 2014

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The big Python surprise: a culture of composable libraries, like Clojure

It is well known that Clojure has a culture best summarized as “Clojure developers prefer to assemble their own stack from small, composable libraries.”

I have been working with Python lately. I am surprised by that it also has a culture of using small libraries. There have been 2 attempts at monolithic frameworks in Python: Zope and Django (maybe Pylons, though it is done as separate libraries, sort of like Symfony2 in PHP). But for the most part, Python goes for ...

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December 19th, 2014

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What happens if you introduce a new pattern in your software but never replace the old?

This is very good:

Each new design and technology choice never completely replaced the one that went before. The application has archaeological layers revealing it’s history and the different technological fashions taken up successively by Laurence, Bruce, Ina and Gordy. If you look along the Version 4 line, you can see that there are four different ways of doing the same thing scattered throughout the code base.

Each successive lead developer acted in good faith. They genuinely wanted to improve the application ...

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December 19th, 2014

In Philosophy

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If a disease drives you crazy, then you are crazy but you are also having a physical issue

Very interesting story, about people driven crazy by their condition, and then being dismissed as crazy, when in fact, the craziness might be merely one symptom of the underlying illness:

WE NEED EXPLANATIONS. We need certainty. And certainty is precisely what I have been seeking over the last few weeks. Are Morgellons sufferers mad? Are they sane? Are they the one? Or the other? I never considered the possibility that they might be both. And, in this, I wonder if I ...

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December 18th, 2014

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How to install Postgres

By coincidence, I installed Postgres 9.3 yesterday and today they released 9.4 so I’m doing it all over again. This was a good setup guide.

Source

December 16th, 2014

In Technology

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Is PostGreSQL text search good enough?

Some interesting commentary:

As much as I would like it to be ‘good enough’, Postgres’ full text search lacks the feature set to be a reasonable solution to most search use cases. Background: I wrote a product search engine for a company called iTrackr using Postgres full text search, and later wrote the product search for milo.com using Solr. I also designed a simple (but very effective) algorithm to boost search rankings based on historical user click data, by generalizing click data ...

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December 16th, 2014

In Business

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The CEO of Playboy admits that he’s clueless

Considering how much money the modern CEO is paid, I find it frustrating that so many of them are incompetent, so much so that they are willing to be entirely honest about their incompetence.

With so much free porn oozing from the Internet today, why would anyone look at a tame, old brand like Playboy — online or in print?

Scott Flanders, 57, the first Playboy Enterprises Inc. CEO not to share DNA with its 88-year-old founder and figurehead Hugh Hefner, ...

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December 15th, 2014

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Logging activity can be expensive

Scaling issues.

Source

December 15th, 2014

In Technology

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dtrace: error on enabled probe ID 5 (ID 992: io:mach_kernel:buf_strategy:start): illegal operation in action #3 at DIF offset 0

If I run “iotop” I see this error:

I looked into it and found this on StackOverflow:

I’ve looked into it a bit deeper and it does seem that it’s MySQL causing these heavy pulsing writes. When a table has an entry added or updated, does it have to re-write the entire table to disk or could it append/modify existing data? We are using MyISAM tables. We are also using SELECT queries with ORDER BY and TEXT fields, which of course require ...

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December 15th, 2014

In Philosophy

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Why are dance friends so rare?

I was recently talking to a friend. Over the last 5 years, she and I have gone out dancing maybe a total of 6 or 7 times, in New York City and in Berlin. Not very often, and she is my only real dance friend. She and I were talking about it recently, why are dance friends so rare? It seems difficult to find friends to go dancing with. The person you can go out to a club and dance ...

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December 15th, 2014

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Making money as a public trust

Andrew Montalenti comments on the fall of The New Republic:

Take note, journalistas. This is how your readers view your stuff — not as a “public trust”, “a voice”, or “a cause”, as TNR was described by the exiting editors in their resignation letter.

For better or worse, readers view your stuff as a product. And a product, to be bought, let alone used, needs to be useful.

I disagree with that view. It is possible to sustain oneself as a “public trust”, ...

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December 9th, 2014

In Philosophy

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1 returns 1 as its identity, but how?

In math, we take identity for granted. But this is really very complex. I am willing to believe that 1 knows it is 1, but how does it communicate that the function that calls it? This is something that I’ve been thinking about a lot lately. Or maybe I am wrong about what it knows. How does 1 know it is 1? Does it engage in self-reflection? If so, how? Wouldn’t self-reflection be a function? But how can a function ...

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December 3rd, 2014

In Technology

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Java gave me a choice that I didn’t need, and I made the wrong choice

Interesting story:

I made a bug once, and I need to tell you about it. So, in 2001, I wrote a reference library for JSON, in Java, and in it, I had this line

private int index

that created a variable called “index” which counted the number of characters in the JSON text that we were parsing, and it was used to produce an ...

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November 30th, 2014

In Business

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When the crowds leave, some parts of the Internet get better

Interesting to think that after The Great Newbie Flood of the 1990s, some people gave up on IRC and now it is better than it was:

IRC today is the opposite of http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eternal_September. People who still use IRC are mostly well-mannered, skillful and welcoming of others, and things only seem to get better day-by-day. People who are unresponsive to email, Tweets and other means of communication can be very responsive on IRC. More signal less noise, I quess.

and:

Yes, compared to ...

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November 30th, 2014

In Philosophy

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Perpetual immaturity is the price of immortality

I am unable to agree with much of this post, but this in particular is a surprising viewpoint:

Your perspective on current events changes. Take the news media. Everything new is old after a time: you see the large-scale similarities across decades even without becoming a student of history. Today’s invasion or oil crisis is just like the one before last. Our current political leadership are stuck in the same ideological monkey’s-paw trap as their predecessors the last time their party ...

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November 30th, 2014

In Technology

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Why use Java?

This article is called “Java For Everything” and it makes a good case for re-using the same language over and over again, but it does not make any case for Java.

This makes clear of using the language that you know best:

And finally, I went to write a simple program that put up a web interface. I considered using Python, but this would have required me to figure out how to serve pages from its library. I had already ...

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November 30th, 2014

In Technology

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Letting others write your Emacs config

This is an interesting attitude:

After a long time of maintaining my own configuration I took the decision a few years ago to outsource it to people who really care about this stuff. I started with the Emacs Prelude (http://batsov.com/prelude/) which introduced me to some great tools. I recently switched to Vim bindings (evil-mode) and a week ago switched to Spacemacs (https://github.com/syl20bnr/spacemacs) which integrates better with evil-mode . So far I’m really liking the Spacemacs approach. tl;dr: Just use one of the ...

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November 29th, 2014

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peerinvalid The package mocha does not satisfy its siblings’ peerDependencies requirements!

Setting up a new complicated system. I got to the point where “make build” completed. But I run into trouble with “make run”.

I don’t know why this error exists:

npm ERR! peerinvalid The package mocha does not satisfy its siblings’ peerDependencies requirements! npm ERR! peerinvalid Peer karma-mocha@0.1.9 wants mocha@* npm ERR! peerinvalid Peer mocha-as-promised@2.0.0 wants mocha@>= 1.8.0 Source

November 29th, 2014

In Technology

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nixd is an automation framework to build your application environment

I am not clear why this is better than running a VM but this is an interesting attempt to fix the problem of setting up complex systems on machine:

nixd is an automation framework to build your application environment for development and production. It sits between build tools and configuration management engines, and lets you write simple shell scripts with hooks that will reliably get you from pristine source to running code in one command, and make every attempt to ...

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November 29th, 2014

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We need a unified abstraction for apps to discover each others formats

Myself and a friend exchanged some email regarding the article “The Future of Asynchronous IO in Python”. My friend wrote:

Seems like he wants zmq/nanomsg embedded inside Python. I am not really sure why.

I responded:

I think what he is suggesting is more interesting: a single, unified way of speaking to all protocols (MySql, MongoDB, Redis, Kafka, etc). When he says “protocol” I think he means “byte format”. He points out that each app generally has its own method of ...

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November 29th, 2014

In Philosophy

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The Krugman diet

I do this too, or at least, try to:

Some people can do sustained self-discipline, eating healthy limited portions all the time; sorry, I need to drown my sorrows in red wine and pasta. Mark Bittman’s vegan before 6 works for some people I know. But what has worked for me is severe caloric restriction two days a week. In case you’re wondering, it’s actually very unpleasant. But periodic suffering seems to suit my personality.

On the tracking issue: I use a ...

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November 27th, 2014

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Slingshot cleans up its “catch any exception or object” syntax

Personally, I am pleased to see Slingshot improve this, as it is has long been a source of confusion. Paul Stadig writes a long comment that is critical of this change, but I disagree with his assumptions, especially here:

“It is confusing to have a class selector that selects against the wrapped object instead of the wrapper.” In other words (catch RuntimeException e …) selects against the wrapper object that is thrown whereas (catch Object o …) selects against ...

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November 27th, 2014

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Why use Github and also Google Groups for an open source project?

This seems to be a universal pattern, where an open source project has both a Github account and a Google Groups mailist, but is the mailist really needed? Why not just use the tools offered by Github (issues, the wiki, etc). I like that Monger introduced a Feature Request label on Github:

From Google Groups

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November 27th, 2014

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Flask uses assertions

Assertions don’t seem to be used very often in Python, but they are used in Flask:

eugene-eeo started the conversation:

eugene-eeo commented 10 hours ago

I was browsing through the source and found it weird that asserts were used instead of normal exceptions.

untitaker replied:

Alright. Because Flask is using assert-statements exactly as usually recommended. The Python wiki explains the meaning of assertion errors:

Assertions are not a substitute for unit tests or system tests, but rather a complement. Because assertions are a ...

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November 27th, 2014

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Can Gunicorn die if bash quits before forking is done?

A very intersting bug:

Sly010 does some epic digging to find out why Gunicorn sometimes dies on startup:

Did a bit more digging:

# relevant section from daemonize() in util.py

if os.fork(): os._exit(0) os.setsid() ...

# (added 3 prints) # 3 out of 5 times this prints “1″ then silence. No gunicorn. # There is no error message and nothing in the logs.

if os.fork(): print "1" os._exit(0) print "2" os.setsid() print "3" ... # (added an extra sleep) # This prints 1,2,3 (but I would ...
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November 27th, 2014

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The effects of signal() in a multithreaded process are unspecified

I did not know this, and I find this very surprising:

Continuing reading the manual page, the very first note under the NOTES section is this:

The effects of signal() in a multithreaded process are unspecified.

This is called Unspecified Behavior. What it means is that standard does not say anything as for how the function should behave in a multi-threaded environment. Therefore, it may exhibit a different behavior on different systems including different versions of the same system, at discretion of ...

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