October 17, 2015

links 2015-10-16 Fri

Filed under: Uncategorized — @ 12:00 a.m.
links 2015-10-16 Fri

I don't know if I'm ever going to do this again, but here are some links and notes.

"I don't use frameworks, so I don't debug with them either."

I use frameworks. The law of leaky abstractions is real. Debugging shit's complicated. UI programming is expensive because the tools suck and are myriadly complex.

The rendering timeline trick is some nifty shit! One can use Chrome tools to slow a page's render down to support the "debugging" of HTML/CSS/JS presentation bugs.1

(hilariously, Microsoft's SSL certificate for that site appears bum as of 10/16/2015.)

I await MS Linux with all the baited breath I can muster knowing that the world is marching gleefully from one misery to the next. OS X wasn't bad, around 10.6 or whatever. It worked! As did 7.5 before it! Anyways, I'm trapped in a hell of forced upgrades, and at least I can try to console myself with running a Linux, even if was whelped from the Devil's own stables2.

Steve's dead, y'all! The whole edifice of Apple required that man be at the helm. Him and nobody else can wield that machine. Do you remember how every now and again Mr. Jobs would actually respond from How the responses were technical, witty, and glib by turns and as appropriate? Where is that in this new designer? Have you heard the rumors swirling that the company is working on a car?

Moreover, have you watched their software and hardware quality degrade phenomenally over the past decade? I certainly have. All of the old laptops, selections from the eMac and iMac line are total design and fabrication winners—solid and reliable. My ENTIRELY RECENT "Macbook Pro" is rotting as I watch: I've worn nearly entirely through the "command" key's black coating3, and the weird aluminum colored finish material on top of WHATEVER THE FRAME OF THIS THING IS ACTUALLY MADE FROM is CHIPPING on the front right edge, where my wrist lies4. ALUMINUM DOESN'T CHIP. WHAT THE EVERLOVING SHIT IS THIS THING MADE OF?! I've read that they're doing hilarious tricks with ceramic fill in their Watch product's "gold", so lord the fuck only knows what crimes against materials engineering and Steve's own ghost5 Ive's army of wreckers are committing over there.

I know, I know: "if we wanted to read Hacker News links, we'd go read Hacker News". On top of which, Medium is just the latest incarnation of the Livejournal model, the proliferation of the like of which is going to nibble the most interesting people away from Facebook, and not in concentrations like Instagram that they can simply allow to metastasize and then make a good offer to keep the whole views pyramid scheme rolling. All of that aside, the link is to a short eyebrow-raiser of the kinds of hilarious hijinks people get into because all of their tools live in the Web, that bloated, miserable heap of accidentally co-executing text-as-sort-of-program.

xProblems of resource allocation are taking up a lot of my attention lately, and this one lands squarely in the quick/good/cheap tradeoff bucket. People of this country don't even hesitate to do the cheap and insane thing. On the flip side, at least there are still people in this country who are willing to try to weld experimental new wings on the jet as it takes off: "WE HAVE NO IDEA HOW FLYING WORKS SO LET'S JUST TRY A BUNCH OF SHIT WOOO". The Monte-Carlo approach to engineering, if you will, but with humans doing a really bad job of playing RNG.

Reputation automation again. This time with reputation pledges and costs and all sorts of other complex made-up non-solutions to a human WoT. Reputations are a function of activities performed in public and in private, and only actually exist as relationships between the counterparties. Encoding these very personal relationships in the blockchain is folly—folly, I tell you!



I was lying in bed the other night, failing to sleep, when some problems related to divs and various HTML input elements drifted across my mind. I found myself screaming somewhere, at an even deeper level "WHY IS THIS WHAT OCCUPIES MY MIND AND NOT THE NUANCES OF FASTER THAN REAL TIME TRAJECTORY PLANNING". Because HTML? At 3:30 in the morning, when I have a kid on the way and myriad interesting things to steer the office into accomplishing?

While the debugging technique is question is cool and all, it's still of the web stack. A million capital A's.


This working stiff is required to use all sorts of radioactive waste in the pursuit of his daily work. HTML, CSS, JS…functional programming languages that incomprehensibly compile from one AST to another in a vain attempt to keep my mind safe from the radiation of the underlying…

However, I don't have to like it, and I don't have to engage in the same behavior at home. In fact, I go to rather extreme lengths to keep the tools I use revved for a jump over to Linux. Which raises once again the spectre of the only question worth thinking really hard to answer eg that of resource allocation: how should one best balance costs of the eventual seamless (it won't be) transition to Linux against the costs of fighting my local computing paradigms?

Data point: when I reviewed most recently (~10 months ago) there were no acceptable windows managers for the Macintosh.


I use it as Meta in Emacs.


Let's not even get into the ergonomic horror that is working on a laptop.



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