Simply Jonathan

Programmer Migration Patterns 

Super interesting, albeit completely unscientific, look at the history of programming languages, and the way different categories of programmers have switched from one to the other.

Chelsea’s Squad Woes

After the defeat against Arsenal yesterday, a lot of people have been quick to point out the passiveness of the squad. I stumbled upon Jonathan Wilson’s post-match write-up in the Guardian.

Wilson makes a fine point about the mismatch of the squad of players and the manager. Some of it is a little lazy I think – declaring that David Luiz and Azpilicueta are emphatically 3-at-the-back players is a bit of an easy point to make in hindsight, when only one manager has ever played either of them in such a system – but a lot of Chelsea’s players do seem better suited to a 3-4-3, and it is certainly the case that Chelsea have been performing poorly for far too long now.

Sarri-ball is thrilling to watch when well-implemented, but the constant changes in managers – and, more importantly, mangers’ playing style – at Chelsea make it difficult to assemble a squad that can carry a playing style out. As Wilson says, ‘Chelsea’s squad has actually over the years proved remarkably accommodating to change, at times seems almost to have thrived on chaos’, but it seems it may have finally started to buckle.

I like Sarri’s style, and I hope he can get Chelsea playing that way. But if he’s having a hard time motivating this group of players, maybe he should have a look at his available alternatives.

Effective Mental Models for Code and Systems 

Some great advice from Cindy Sridharan on how to write code optimised for others to read, that greatest of Knuthian pursuits.

Karl Marx Gets a Job 

Permanent location of 'Karl Marx Gets a Job'

I generally like Existential Comics, but I particularly enjoy the Marx ones.

When to Put Down the Tools – Mike Monteiro 

Facebook employees, with a few individual exceptions, don’t believe their company has crossed a line yet. Twitter employees, again with a few individual exceptions, don’t believe their company has crossed a line yet. We know this because they haven’t put down the tools. And by continuing to aid the companies making those decisions by selling them their labor, they’ve become complicit in their actions. They haven’t organized. They haven’t made a stand.

And they won’t.

From URL to Interactive 

Permanent location of 'From URL to Interactive'

A List Apart’s From URL to Interactive series just concluded, and I think it’s worth a read for any web developer.

It’s structured in a way that reminds me of one of my favourite books, Charles Petzold‘s Code, moving from the bottom of the stack to the top.

Pseudo Localisation at Netflix 

This is a really interesting technique from Netflix to fake English strings to look like ones in other languages, in order to make sure long strings aren’t being truncated disruptively.

Pop

Screenshot from Apple Music showing four hip hop albums ‘from our pop editor’

I’m not really complaining, but this is probably not what I would have picked if I were pop editor.

Matthew Panzerino Reporting on Apple’s New Pro Workflow Team 

An interesting report, but I kept wondering about this:

Apple decided to go a step further and just begin hiring these creatives directly into Apple

What do these people actually work on? The story makes it clear it’s not Hollywood stuff (because they’re understandably hesitant to bring that work in to Apple), but then what? Does nothing actually come out of this and are these just the world’s most expensive testers?

Reverse Engineering the Notability File Format 

A turn-by-turn description of how Julia Evans reverse engineered the proprietary image format used by the iOS Notability app.

As she says:

People don’t usually invent totally custom file formats! Nothing in here was really complicated – it was just some existing standard formats (zip! apple plist! an array of floats!) combined together in a pretty simple way.

This is Simply Jonathan, a blog written by Jonathan Holst. It's mostly about technical topics (and mainly the Web at that), but an occasional post on clothing, sports, and general personal life topics can be found.

Jonathan Holst is a programmer, language enthusiast, sports fan, and appreciator of good design, living in Copenhagen, Denmark, Europe. He is also someone pretentious enough to call himself the 'author' of a blog. And talk about himself in the third person.