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Web Review, Week 2023-20

Friday, 19 May 2023 | Kevin Ottens

Let’s go for my web review for the week 2023-20.

Hector Martin: “why I chose KDE as the default desktop environment for Asahi”

Tags: tech, foss, kde

Well done team, it’s quite a lot about why the community is great!

Meredith Whittaker: Consciousness isn’t AI risk—it’s the corporations

Tags: tech, ai, machine-learning, gpt, ethics, criticism

Very good interview. She really point out the main issues. Quite a lot of the current debate is poisoned by simplistic extrapolations based on sci-fi. This distracts everyone from the very real and present problems.

LLMs and plagiarism: a case study - lcamtuf’s thing

Tags: tech, gpt, copyright

The copyright problem in all this is becoming more and more obvious…

Introducing DevPod - Codespaces but Open Source

Tags: tech, developer-experience, tools, vendor-lockin, foss

Interesting new tool for easily setting up dev environments. The real added value to previous such tools is it’s open source nature and the fact that you can fully control on which infrastructure the environments will be created.

Database Architects: The Great CPU Stagnation

Tags: tech, cpu, performance, cost

Interesting take. Will it lead to paying more attention to performance in software? Will it be the rise of the specialized CPUs? Time will tell.

Security implications of HTTP response headers | Snyk

Tags: tech, security, web, http

Interesting list. Definitely to keep in mind when developing and deploying a web application.

Properties | Pydon’t 🐍 | Mathspp

Tags: tech, python

Good primer on Python properties. Opens the door to lower level mechanisms in the language.

Real Multithreading is Coming to Python - Learn How You Can Use It Now | Martin Heinz | Personal Website & Blog

Tags: tech, programming, python, multithreading

Very early days and still hackish to use but that’s definitely big news for the Python ecosystem.

Ice and Fire: How to read icicle and flame graphs

Tags: tech, performance, optimization

Good explanation of how flame graphs are produced and how to read them. Gives a few tips on what to look for to optimize.

Expand Contract for Databases and Services | Andy Dote

Tags: tech, databases, availability

Updating database schema or interfaces between services should take time if you want to limit the downtime. The extra work involved might mean you should accept a little downtime instead. It probably should be on a case by case basis rather than a blanket policy.

You should be reading academic computer science papers - Stack Overflow Blog

Tags: tech, science

Definitely this. It takes time of course, I don’t do it nearly enough… I never regretted it though.

What is Technical Debt? — Laura Tacho

Tags: tech, technical-debt, business

Interesting points in this article. The exact definition doesn’t matter much. What really matters is the common understanding within a team of what technical debt is. It’s also a good idea to be able to link it to actual money and business impacts.

Choose Boring Technology

Tags: tech, architecture, decision-making, developer-experience

Definitely this. This is an interesting talk, most thing shouldn’t be shiny. It’s not about stagnating of course, but you should think more than twice before adding a new technology to your stack. Mastery is when you know everything that’s wrong with a piece of tech, before that keep in mind the amount of unknown unknowns and the cost of exploiting something new.

🤓 “Boring” is just one strategy 🥱

Tags: tech, architecture

A good counterpoint to the “choose boring tech” which I tend to agree with. Sometimes you need to look into unusual tech and it’s fine. Just have to do it rarely and responsibly. The context matters.

On trust in software development

Tags: tech, agile, codereview, pairing, trust

This trend around critiquing code reviews on the argument of “trust” should be challenged indeed. This is just the wrong way to approach it.

Read Every Single Error | Pulumi Blog

Tags: tech, infrastructure, safety, craftsmanship, logging

Interesting take… Is it really practical? Until which size is it viable? What are we loosing by aggregating? Also makes me wonder about alert fatigue… It clearly raises extra questions.

The Programmer’s Paradox: Software Development Ethics

Tags: tech, ethics

Nice piece, not perfect, good food for thought still. We definitely need more ethics in our craft.

Evaluating Managers: 5 heuristics to measure managerial impact – CodeKraft

Tags: tech, management, improving

This nicely goes in depth on the five domains to look at to know where you stand as a manager. Also proposes action to increase the impact. Good food for thought.

Bye for now!