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This is the weekly thread to discuss what you have done recently and are working on this week.

Please be descriptive and don’t hesitate to champion your accomplishments or ask for help, advice or other guidance.

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    I am back from Recurse Center. I’m catching up with family and friends, and doing the hundred put-off chores that come with returning from a long trip and finishing a big project. Probably not much code in my future this week, but I hope to sneak in some Advent of Code.

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      Thanks for writing that report! It sounds like it was a very productive and fun trip.

      And thanks a lot for hosting lobste.rs too! It’s been a great resource for me while I develop my shell.

      I was considering attending Recurse, as a change of environment to “finish” up my shell in 2018. One silly question: do they have computers there? Or is everyone coding on a laptop? Do they have monitors?

      I looked here and couldn’t find the answer:


      It’s a little silly, but I’m most productive on Linux, while my laptop is a Mac. I have used VirtualBox but somehow it feels a little wrong. Probably something to do with the screen size. Also my tests take a fair amount of computing power.

      Do they have a printer there? Another thing is that I frequently print out CS papers to read (I don’t like reading long docs on a laptop or tablet.)

      They aren’t dealbreakers as I can make my own arrangements, but I’m just curious.

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        Folks bring their own computers. Mostly that’s laptops, but one or two people brought desktop PCs. I think it was because they wanted the processing power for ML tasks, but you could bring one just because you prefer it, sure. There are a half-dozen monitors available for use. There are two printers, one of which can take print jobs via email (I spent an hour or two with cups but never got eiter working).

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          Just going to chime in to say that RC is great! I finished up an 18-week stint there a month or so ago, and I really enjoyed my time there.

          Re: printing out papers - as @pushcx mentioned, there are a couple printers, and one of the parts of RC that I enjoyed a lot was finding interesting papers that folks had printed out lying around the space and reading them :)

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            Hi! RC is awesome – I’m not sure if they have a printer but there are probably between 5 and 10 monitors, and almost always some are free.

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              There is at least one working laser printer there as of May of this year :)

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          About to wind down for a long Christmas break, going to travel to Mexico to see my family. Haven’t been there in a long time! I really need a dose of Mexico again to feel “Mexican” once more. I try to keep up with Mexican culture online, but it’s hard to “stay Mexican” when you’re not submerged in it. I’m not sure if other expats/immigrants can relate to the experience.

          Speaking of being Mexican, I went to watch Coco, and it’s a surprisingly accurate pastiche of Mexico (except that everyone mostly speaks English, of course). A lot of the underworld architecture was obviously inspired by things like Chapultepec Castle or the Postal Palace or the street layout of Guanajuato. I have only found this last one overtly acknowledged by the filmmakers.

          I’ve also been having lots of fun with Advent of Code. I am learning so much about D now that I’m really using it in earnest. I plan to write a blog post after Christmas, “Advent of D”, detailing what I’ve learned. The experiment has both strengthened my love for D and shown me some of its weak points (and no, it’s not the GC). I’m really excited that I can match C speed with D, even with range-checking enabled in the final binary!

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            British ex-pat here. I understand what you’re saying regarding not feeling “you”, and can relate but with a different spin. :-)

            In my personal experience living in a country not of my birth for going on 13 years, I don’t really consider myself British anymore, but a global citizen; however this is not something I feel I’ve lost. If I’m in the UK, I miss my new home (where I’m now a citizen), and when I’m home, I miss the UK (well, some of it; there are good reasons I left… ;-)).

            The only way to reconcile this strange lack of belonging is considering myself a human of the universe. Countries are kinda weird concepts anyways. Hat-tip John Lennon etc.

            That all being said, I have fierce national pride for my new homeland, Canada. It’s the best place I’ve ever been, and I’m continually more proud to call it my home. Perhaps it’s this that has led me to not care so much about national pride in my country of origin? If I had to pick one and only one, I wouldn’t hesitate to pick Canada.


            I started a new job a couple of weeks ago, and I’m ramping up there. This week is a bit of a wind down until the solstice shutdown period, however, so things are light. It’s a good time to arrive on board.


            Over Christmas break I plan to cut a new release of kurly, which is coming along nicely.

            And yes, Advent of Code when time permits.

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              I love Canada too! In particular Francophone culture and Montréal, where I am now. Where are you?

              It’s not national borders and politics so much that is important for me. Hell, if it were up to me, burn all flags (CW: ska). Rather, it’s the culture. The stories, the language, the beliefs, the music, the food – the things that make us feel Mexican. I know Mexico is a place with a lot of trouble, although I am privileged enough to have only left because of mild discomfort. I don’t want to wave a flag over all the problems in order to hide them.

              Anyways, warm season’s greetings to you, fellow world national!

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                I live in a tiny town called Cobourg, in Ontario about two hours east of Toronto. Whilst I work full time remote, my company has an office in Montréal as it happens; next time I go there I’ll ping you for a pint. :-)

                I totally understand why you miss Mexico from a cultural perspective; that’s quite a gap.

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            I’m working on the start of a programming language called “cupcake” – Right now there’s a parser and an initial HM type checker. I’m in the process of adding structural types to it. The source code is in Swift. It’s been a lot of fun so far!

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              First week of funemployment! So naturally I’m planning a lot of writing. In addition to the TLA+ book, I’ve started work on the social history of UML. If any of you worked with formal UML, Rational stuff, CASE tools, etc I’d love to hear more about your experiences!

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                Work, getting around to repackaging my chaotic assortment of DSP tools into a neater library of composable functions.

                Leisure, gradually going through Advent of Code puzzles.

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                  I’ve cast off most other distractions and am planning on implementing a fast text plane for xi-editor’s macOS front end, in OpenGL and Swift. It is inspired by both alacritty and WebRender, but I’m specializing it for the exact needs of text editing. I also hope to measure performance (latency, smoothness, and power) and write up the results. Based on my experiments so far, I expect it to be significantly better in performance than any other editor.

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                    I managed to write 2 blog posts on the Oil lexer which I’m happy with. I have 3 more sketched out, which is a lot of work, but I will make at least some progress on them this week.

                    As for code, I have to:

                    1. Unblock the ASDL [1] code gen optimization I’ve had pending for awhile. It broke pretty printing.
                    2. Run benchmarks again.
                    3. Optimize some other stuff I noticed in the Python profile.

                    After that I think it might be time for another Oil release. The parser will probably be 5x or more faster, and the runtime should be faster too.

                    [1] http://www.oilshell.org/cross-ref.html?tag=zephyr-asdl#zephyr-asdl

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                      Upstreaming some changes to Weston, in particular portability fixes and fractional HiDPI support. Phoronix noticed this!

                      I’m also working on Rust bindings for libweston, with the eventual goal of making the best Wayland compositor ever :D

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                        Work: still on the “help out another team” push. Also some GDPR compliance work, workshopping the physical architecture for one of our products, and winding down for Christmas. I don’t have much break but will make the most of all that there is.

                        Play: I have been stuck on side projects for a long time, due to having an unprioritised, conflicting, and overwhelming list of different interests that’s been hanging around since I quit work due to burnout a few years back. I need to tame that, at least by making sure it’s all written down, and preferably by ordering it. I can’t create the Eisenhower Matrix for these things as they’re side projects so not urgent nor important, so does anyone have any schemes that have worked for them in avoiding analysis paralysis in side project work?

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                          Unstitched.xyz - Been working on this for a few months now but haven’t released to the public yet. It’s app to help learn how to dress by helping them build outfits from clothes they have (or don’t have) in their wardrobe. I’m hoping to add some machine learning to this as soon as I have more data, so really looking forward that :p If anyone want to sign up to the really early stage Alpha release (I think currently sign up by facebook isn’t working), you can do it from here: Sign up to Unstitched.xyz here (Still very buggy :p)

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                            Working on a desktop (Windows & Mac) Go + React app for secure file and password storage. The Go app runs in the taskbar and when clicked it opens a browser tab pointing at the React app hosted by the Go app. The React app lets you create and edit plaintext, richtext, binary and password “virtual files” that are stored by the Go app on your local machine in a single encrypted file (using scrypt + aes-256-gcm). I plan on building out a Chrome & Firefox extensions that talk to the Go app for password retrieval and storage.

                            My goal is to have a beta ready by the start of the new year. I’m going to give it away for free (in binary form, not open source except for the core file encryption library which will be open source) to test if a market is there for a paid self-hosted team-based version that would run on a remote server.

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                              Trying to figure out if it’s worth it to take time off to go to grad school for bioinformatics or a related field. I’m getting a bit tired of the options available for a web developer and want to do something more interesting - specifically bio-related that could put my programming background to good use. Any thoughts would be appreciated while I wrestle with this one!

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                                Working on my pet project called Allt. A work management tool that helps my run my company better without major distractions. Pretty close to completion. This week, focusing on performance optimization on the DevOps side. Just to make sure everything is all set during launch (Scheduled early next year).

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                                  Did the Advent of Code for today; holy crap, that was tough. I managed to do disgusting async shenanigans to solve it in the end though.

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                                    I’m on vacation so I get to work on some personal projects.

                                    Project 1) I went antique shopping with the SO and came across a few Linksys routers for $2 a piece. I couldn’t pass that up, and I’ve been playing with DD-WRT, which is something I’ve always wanted to do, but were reluctant to do because of fear of bricking it. I’m finding the software so much better than what came with the router that I’m now seriously considering upgrading my main router.

                                    Project 2) an operating system for a simulated 8-bit computer of my own design. It’s based upon a Motorola 6809, a serial chip and timer and has been quite fun (and a nice change of pace from what I do). I even got dynamic linking working, although the tool chain I’m using could use some serious work.

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                                      Converting an existing F# solution (2 projects) to the new project file and msbuild system. Partial success so far, one project now builds.

                                      In other news, still trying to get the current master on the FSharp.Formatting repro to build AND generate output files. The maintainers have been updating master for a year and a half now since the last official release and at least for the last 14 months the built software will not generate output files. I now know why, but the parties involved have been uncommunicative about how they intended to go forward with their changes.

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                                        Happily the maintainer got back in touch with me right after I wrote this. Hope to make more progress this week.

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                                        I’m in the 4th week of my new job, still getting familiar with the workflow and how tickets/issues are handled, but enjoying being on a team a lot. Family is visiting for Christmas, so most of my standard hobby work, like PISC and game jams is currently on hold until mid-January. When I get back to PISC, I’ll be working on trying make the documentation in PISC better, both by writing more docs for PISC, and by building better ways to access it, like a website, and/or adding ways to get at it from the CLI.

                                        I’ll also be trying to build a message/tellbot for #lobsters.

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                                          @dedi I’m going to probably setup more servers with backup scripts. Probably. Also have to migrate a lot of my apps from my current mail provider to my own postal instance (postal was quite fun to setup, makes my mail hosting easier)

                                          @home The heating broke. When I initially programmed the controlled I did so assuming that there would be an electric heating rod in the tank. This is no longer the case, we have external heating which runs all the time (heats other houses so it’s more efficient that way). Problem being that now the tank is too hot and the controller assumes it should switch off the heating, which is exactly how it gets more hot. Problems problems. Rewriting the entire control logic seems inevitable for this week, otherwise I’ll have to sleep at sub-15°C room temperature.

                                          @project Might play a bit more with my toy kernel otherwise I don’t have anything urgent in mind that needs my attention

                                          @education I’ll probabl start of learning for my exams soon, need to cram all that statistics knowledge into my head (so I can finally forget it all after it’s over)

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                                            Well, $client has brought in another developer, and I’ve really started getting into “leading” our little team now (taking over that role from the original dev, who’s also still on board). Hopefully big testing push this week.

                                            Also, in-laws are getting antsy about the non-functional exterior lights due to the fucked power run mentioned last week, so I guess I’ll be digging a fucking trench.

                                            Oh, and finally, the car is back…ish We had it 3 days, but it’s already back at our regular mechanic, because sweet shit on a stick, so much stuff is still just fucked after the previous guy’s efforts.

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                                              Helmspoint, deploys your keras machine learning models.

                                              Last week:

                                              • Got ingress working (finally) Had to turn off the default GCE ingress that was fighting the nginx-ingress
                                              • Finished the basic pipeline editor when creating a new version.

                                              This week:

                                              • Get subdomains working, so when you publish a model, it has a subdomain associated with it.
                                              • Add TLS to subdomains.
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                                                I am building an app that enables the developer community to follow and discover recorded talks from meetups and conferences. This week is all about the last fixes before going live.

                                                The project’s first experiment has been the MeetupFeed blog: http://meetupfeed.com/ Its reception has been amazing, with a lot of positive feedbacks from the community. Also I could learn a lot about the upcoming challenges.

                                                The app is going live in January, I’m working on the last fixes this week. If you find the idea interesting, shoot me a mail for early access: tabraham@meetupfeed.com