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.
Interesting article by Payal Arora in Quartz about dispelling some of the techno-optimism applied to the developing world.
Although it starts out with the sentiment
The shocking result from years of studying how the global poor engage with new applications is that they are like us, I found some interesting revelations regarding ways of showing status and feeling special on Western social networks.
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.
Some great advice from Cindy Sridharan on how to write code optimised for others to read, that greatest of Knuthian pursuits.