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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’m prepping for interviews w/ Google on Friday, and pretty much nothing else :P

    On a side note, these threads seem to be getting fewer up-votes recently, is there a reason for that? Have they fallen out of favour with the community? Do people simply forget to up-vote? This is probably my favourite thread on lobste.rs and I’d hate to see it die!

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      I’m wondering if it’s the summer-effect at work, rather than anything else. I know I’ve not partaken as much in the last month as I have previously this year simply because I’m offline, or am doing very little worth mentioning as the summer happens.

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        Having only worked in Summer on internships, I’ve never experienced the summer-effect (or rather, perhaps I’ve always experienced it). Interesting :)

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        these threads seem to be getting fewer up-votes recently

        At time of writing, this thread has the most upvotes out of all the threads on the front page (Joint with doas mastery).
        So I think it’s fair to say these threads will stay for now :-)

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          Their behavior on the front page seems different. I feel like with similar numbers of votes & comments they used to stay further up the page, so they’d go to the top almost immediately and then stay there. Now you have to specifically look for the thread and it’s easier to miss. Has the ranking algorithm been changed? The ask tag has a hotness mod of -0.25; I don’t remember if that’s always been there.

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            Hmmm, that’s a shame; I find ‘ask’ posts to be very insightful and often give a sense of community. Perhaps we need a ranking algorithm for different ranking algorithms ;)

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              Even more radical - perhaps a link to “Ask” tagged posts should be in the header, along with “Recent”, “Your Comments”, etc.?

              While we’re on the subject, I’d love the interviews to make a comeback…

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                HN does that, but we’re low-volume enough here that I think just changing the hotness mod back to the default 0.0 would solve most of the problem. I can see why meta has a penalty, but imo ask posts (esp. those with any upvotes) are usually more on-topic discussion. And people misusing the tag for excessively meta questions can be dealt with by just adding the meta tag to such posts as needed.

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            I’m prepping for interviews w/ Google on Friday, and pretty much nothing else :P

            Good luck!

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              Thank you!

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            I fell in love with Pocket Ref and want to do something similar, targeted for travel fun.

            It’s meant to be a reference manual for all things you can do to avoid boredom. The idea is that you travel with this tiny manual everywhere and can discover new games and things to do, especially without your phone. From kids games, card games, to conversation topics and a meditation tutorial.

            The idea came to me after spending a weekend in a mountain cabin with my wife where we decided that we wouldn’t waste “idle time” playing phone games. We revisited some board games, explored around, looked at the night sky, and spent hours with insightful conversations you don’t usually have at home.

            I just started, but I’ve already compiled some games and things to do. I’d love to get new ideas, especially from all around the world. I’m in Spain which has some unique kid games and card games, and I suppose all countries in the world have their own. It would be amazing to include games (though not only games) from all around the world.

            I’m totally open to contributions, just drop me a message or an email!

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              This might work better as a poll/questionaire-with-a-single-question, which then you compile the results. I would buy that for $12.

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                My goal is to self-publish it as a pocket book that you can physically bring with you (plus ebook for those who want search and more). $12 is a reasonable price, I was thinking of that exact price range depending on costs, build quality and end result.

                I can prepare a questionnaire once it’s on a later stage, it can benefit a lot from having traditional games from all around the world – though I’ve already done some research and most of them are pretty similar!

                Thanks for your support!

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                sounds fun to me!

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                  For stargazing, please include a constellation map!

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                    Oh, hadn’t thought of that. Thanks for the suggestion, much appreciated!

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                  I’m driving from SF to Fairbanks, Alaska (and back again)! It will take the entire month and I am tent camping at free/dispersed campsites the entire way. I left on Saturday and drove the stunning section of I-84 east of Portland, OR yesterday. I am expecting to reach Banff today and will spend a few days there before continuing on to North Pole, AK to take selfies with Santa’s Village. The section after Banff before I reach Alaska will likely be the scariest because gas stations are every 150 miles and if one is out of service I’ll be lucky to make it to the next. Can’t carry spare gas because there is no place to mount a carrier on the exterior of the vehicle and I don’t fancy the thought of having a few gallons of gas sloshing in the trunk next to road flares and camp stoves.

                  We will see what happens! It’s a 7,500 mile adventure.

                  Edit: For downtime I am reading Jack Black’s “You Can’t Win”

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                    Wow, given the risks, I’d definitely carry extra gas. You don’t want to be stranded in the middle of nowhere. Mount a roof rack or something if you have flammable stuff in your trunk and you don’t want to mix it, though I believe the probability of a well-closed portable gas tank catching fire is minimal

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                      My concern is with a large amount of gas going everywhere in the event of a catastrophic accident (into a ditch, roll over, etc) and EMTs won’t approach a vehicle with gas on the ground until firefighters arrive. In rural areas where response times can be half an hour, I’d rather not risk having to wait double that for aid.

                      Also I’m prepared to live for a week “off the grid” since this is a camping trip. Waiting a few hours for AAA (I verified, they’ll come even in Yukon) isn’t an issue :)

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                        Great! Have fun then!

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                      gas stations are every 150 miles and if one is out of service I’ll be lucky to make it to the next.

                      um, what kind of vehicle are you driving? My (admittedly small) car does about 55mpg on decent roads, so skipping a station shouldn’t have been a problem. The tank only takes about 10 gallons, so I wouldn’t want to skip two of them, mind you :-)

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                        55 mpg would be very nice! It’s an older gen CR-V, getting 20-25 mpg depending on altitude, driving style, and temperature.

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                      Working on a system that will allow programmers create bots to play simple games (board games) against each other. Currently, I have most of the API done so bots can communicate with the service, unranked matching, game resolving is done. So, it’s basically working with Connect 4 (planning to add more and more difficult games, different variations soon). But bugs do come up. The fun part is actually running the bots and making them play against each other and seeing everything work.

                      Trying to improve the WEB part of the application now, to provide enough documentation about the API for it not to be too repulsive to developers (since it’s already very niche, I am trying to make it as accessible as possible).

                      A lot of things are already working but I keep on finding things for myself to do because I know that making people use it will be the hardest thing to do. I have no idea how I’m going to ‘promote’ it or anything. I guess, I’ll have to figure it out soon :)

                      If anyone’s interested in the technicalities, the API service is running on Go (Gin) and it mostly uses Redis for data storage, until the matches are resolved, then it’s all saved to MySQL. The WEB part is running on Laravel because, for me, it’s the fastest way to get it up and running.

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                        Be sure to post the link to source (GitHub, et al), I’d love to play with that and/or help with the Go side of things.

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                          Hopefully, I have enough patience to write pretty-enough code to post it to GitHub.

                          That’s certainly on the roadmap but most likely not less than 6 months after I actually launch the service.

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                        Getting acmetool to work on Ubuntu 16.04 ARM.

                        Acmetool is nice because it solves the chicken/egg problem with setting up LetsEncrypt and Nginx. Nginx won’t run if it does not have its certificates but it needs to be running to serve the challenges on port 80.

                        Acmetool can act as a “redirector”, it serves the certificates on :80 and redirects everything else on :443.

                        When I get the Ansible role working and it’s pretty enough, I’ll release it.

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                          Showing my face in the office for our six monthly internal hackdays this week, going to try and do something with a Triton install I think. (Possibly in rust as well, because why not.)

                          Aside from that, I’m getting evermore annoyed with the .fit files from my Garmin watch not containing heart rate data (guess who lost his heart rate sensor strap), even though my Apple Watch has been recording heart rate data into my phone’s health data. Quite fancy writing something to extract heartrate data from my phone & merge it into a fit file. Started playing with reading binary data in rust/ruby over the weekend as I’ll need to read/write the fit files, will probably continue with that for now.

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                            If you need help with Triton, #smartos on Freenode is a good place to ask questions!

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                            I’m working on a tool that analyses issue trackers, correlates them to commits against git and publishes daily stats of what people are working on, as well as weekly and monthly stats. Afterwards, I plan to add rudimentary stats on the complexity of commit and pull requests highlighting things like people who comment a lot of pull requests, pull requests with a lot of debate e.t.c

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                              A search tool that is (hopefully) faster than GNU grep and ag/ucg/pt/ack. (This tale is every bit as good of a lesson then as it is today. But, I’m in the home stretch!)

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                                I’m finishing up prep for 44CON later this month. That includes making sure everything’s ready, fixing all the last minute problems.

                                One thing I’ve done for 44CON this year is that I’ve designed the badge myself. For the past few years we’ve had really amazing hardware badges given away in PCB form, but often they’re surface mount using tiny packages, or need a fancy programmer. I started working on a digispark-based project to play with USB HID a while ago, and when I started designing a through-hole electronics learning platform decided to build my own through-hole digispark clone as the badge.

                                I call it the HID IO Toolkit or HIDIOT for short. 44CON attendees are getting version 0.7, but I’m hoping to release 1.0 early next year as I shift more to working on the software side.

                                Learning how to design and build something from breadboard to PCB to finished device has been a completely wild ride, and I’ve learned more doing this than I have doing anything else in a long time, and I still have a long way to go before I’ll feel confident. But at least this year people coming to 44CON will get a badge that does something and that anyone can put together in under an hour.

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                                  Been working on a Kinesis Client Library for Haskell for work while helping out a little with GHCVM.

                                  And preparing for my PureScript workshop at ICFP in a few weeks.

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                                    I’ve been building a version of Amazon Lambda that’s much easier to get started with and debug, and I’m going to send out beta invites soon. Sign up: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSez__7iw101nsj9fHm53lvlTbC5x7u1bs_FFs8bwJw-XOyjRQ/viewform?c=0&w=1&usp=send_form

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                                      That sounds like a very large project; I’d be interested to hear some technical details!

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                                      Building a Docker Registry and blogging about it.

                                      I’m pretty close to having a working image upload. The code handles the GET/POST/PATCH/PUT/HEAD sequence for resumable layer uploads, even if the logic is minimal (read:incomplete). I’m currently spending some time stepping through the requests coming from the Docker client. After layers, I’ll have to deal with manifests.

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                                        Learning RxJS.

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                                          Over the last two weeks I added the skeleton of a bytecode stack vm for my programming language Icarus, it is able to perform simple arithmetic operations and printing - it currently lacks support for user-defined functions that return values.

                                          So this week I plan to add support for user-defined functions with return values to the bytecode stack vm backend.

                                          Earlier this week I started adding if/else statements to my languages - they are now supported all the way from parsing to transformation (into IR), so this week I will be working on adding support for them to my 2 backends (one backend compiles to c, the other is a bytecode stack vm).

                                          Both of these should them give me turing completeness across both of my backends.

                                          Although the actual work still has a very long way to go, as my language still lacks many basic essentials.

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                                            On Saturday I sent out the first GitHub releases update email for Larder, our bookmarking app that syncs GitHub starred repos. If any of a user’s repos has had a new release (via GitHub’s releases feature) within the week, it’ll link to the release and include the release notes. I built this more because I wanted a way to keep track, but I had a positive response from current users too so I’m glad I made the effort.

                                            This week I’m switching back to work on Exist (personal analytics platform). I’m finally getting stuck into changing the architecture to handle tracking intra-day events. Currently we store values for each of a user’s attributes as a total for a day, eg. total tweets sent or total tasks completed, but changing this to store events, eg. a single tweet with a timestamp, will let us do some more clever analysis around times of day users do things. Probably some k-means clustering, and definitely some more fine-grained correlations, rather than just the current “on days where you do this a lot, you also do this other thing a lot”. It’s going to be a big change, and probably take me months! Users will just have to hold tight.

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                                              I’m waiting to hear back from Facebook about the screening interview for a Front-End Engineer position. If they want to do a technical interview, I’m gonna have to start digging into JavaScript this week!

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                                                I installed OpenBSD on my laptop this weekend right before heading back to school (kind of threw myself in the deep end since I don’t have any other computers up at school with me). Everything worked out of the box except for the trackpad, so I’m thinking of writing a kernel driver for it. I’ve never written anything kernel-ish before, though, so any suggestions for resources on writing OpenBSD drivers/porting drivers from linux would be super useful.

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                                                  The OpenBSD source code: sys/dev/pckbc/pms.c might be a good place to start…

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                                                  I just need to make a few fixes to my IRC client, and I’d like to try porting a recent version of ejabberd to OpenBSD, since the obsolete version in there doesn’t work with recent database dumps, silently ignoring things like passwords.

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                                                    This week I’m trying to port the autotool machinery of the rapicorn project to meson and ninja to allow faster builds.

                                                    So far build times seem to be promising (though I’ve already been using ccache previously), but in particular the vastly improved configure times seem to be making things worthwhile.

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                                                      Back from a quick vacation to Minneapolis (to see friends and attend the Fair); my new monitor has arrived and I might have to sell the 27" because Retina is even nicer on an external (24" Dell 4K number). Aside from trying to figure out if 1920x1080 is too little screen real estate, I’m going to be working on some database design stuff, particularly trying out a few different backends for some large graph calculation tasks (on the order of hundreds of millions of nodes, albeit light on the actual computation/node), getting some reporting tasks into a separate RDS instance, that sort of thing.

                                                      Outside of work, band practice this week; I retubed the Boogie and it again a) sounds like a chorus of Virtues and b) is way way way too goddamn loud. Sigh. I would very much like to get org-mode export to some static blog thing working, so I can then add Tufte LaTeX and CSS export to org-mode. Might spend some evenings on that, although I have a lot of thank you cards from the wedding to finish, and every waking moment that I take for some other purpose earns me guilt and daggers from the wife’s eyes. Double sigh.