Compelling proposal from Will Crichton: using EPUB as a basis for a format to replace PDF.
The second most important reason I don’t read more academic literature than I do (the first of course being other commitments) is that they’re all published as PDF, so can’t really be read on a phone. Reflowing text just fits so much better, and if they were published as HTML (possibly EPUB) I’d have a much easier time getting into them.
From back in August, Julia Evans at her best: taking a seemingly trivial operation and explaining in great detail what goes on under the hood.
This is not really Hillel’s point, but my main gripe with the “static types will save us“ philosophy of some is that there are so many things being represented as just strings, but which have de facto constraints that the type system can’t represent, meaning you either have to rely on runtime validation (which means you haven’t turned them into compile-time errors) or just expect people to adhere to the constraints.
And from February, Stephen Wolfram’s tome on ChatGPT. This is definitely not gentle, but also very good.
High-level introduction to how LLMs work.
I’m not sure this is really a ‘gentle primer’, but I do think this is a very good introduction.
An approach to window management unlike anything I’ve seen. I really like the idea of a mosaic as a sort of multi-dimensional tiling.
Via Lukas Mathis
I must admit I’ve never given the tech debt metaphor much thought; it’s always framed as an unmitigated negative, something outside factors foist upon you, and that’s how I’ve tended to think about it.
This is a deep dive into the metaphor, examining how it works on multiple levels, including how you can intentionally taking on tech debt, using the time saved as an investment to ship faster.
Via Simon Willison
Glyph describes some concrete steps to follow to begin splitting a monolith into a micro service (steering well clear of suggestion that micro services solve everyone’s needs).
This is a, to me, novel concept: Defence of design decisions or ‘why did we do it like this’.
I have never been involved with a large-scale project that didn’t have seemingly-weird decisions (and I’ve contributed my fair share), and an explanation would probably have helped.
The only problem I see will be in identifying them before it’s too late (and you forget why), but the presence of such a document surely shouldn’t hinder that.
In a sense this is the “comments should explain why not what“ maxim extracted into a document.
Via Hillel Wayne
(Paywalled at the Athletic.)
Reads like a love letter to the greatest player ever.