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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 making a cellphone from scratch. It’s probably a stretch to say “scratch” because I’m using lots of premade components, and not making my own silicon, but it’s pretty fun nonetheless. I just finished up adding mic and speakers and making it run entirely on battery power. So far it can

    • make and receive calls
    • list and read SMSes on the SIM
    • compose and send SMSes

    It’s all on a breadboard right now, but I’ve started working on PCB designs in Kicad. Learning that stuff for the first time is fun. I want to get a batch of them etched and assembled. After that I have to learn Fusion360 or something to design the case.

    I’ve been posting updates on Scuttlebutt. I’ll try to link some here later.

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      Please do post again about it. It sounds like an interesting project. Any plans to “go bigger” with it? Like, make some semblance of an official project, make a website, a github repo, release firmware source code, seek hardware partners, etc. etc. I only ask because there is definitely a niche for a really “open” phone. Other projects have come and gone, or are only in Europe (not North America).

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        I do have a repo of the firmware. Not sure if I’m aiming for the “open” angle or the “less distracting” angle yet, but probably the latter. Open hardware is pretty hard to achieve. I know very little about what my cellular module does when I’m not looking. It’s manufactured by a Chinese company for instance, and I’m not sure I want to scour the earth for an open source replacement for all of these parts.

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          I finally got around to republishing my homebrew phone stuff on my site if you’re still interested in it! http://zacstewart.com/2019/06/17/im-making-a-phone.html

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        I’m trying to get a handle on basic Mac GUI programming without using Interface Builder. It’s a complete nightmare TBH, there’s pretty much zero documentation on anything more easily done through IB, all the online tutorials seem to be for doing something out-of-the-ordinary, in that they’re only doing things programmatically that can’t be easily done in IB. And every time somebody asks on Stack Overflow, the answer seems to be “fuck you just use Interface Builder like you’re told” :(

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          We’ve been trying to fix this with sweetiekit (NodeJS bindings for iOS and macOS).

          Here’s a practical example of a several-page app: https://github.com/sweetiebird/sweetiekit/blob/e4f5b55604b3359fa85c4edb4ceac76fa4d4a05b/Scripts/examples/MiniApp.js

          Bunch of other examples here: https://github.com/sweetiebird/sweetiekit/tree/e4f5b55604b3359fa85c4edb4ceac76fa4d4a05b/Scripts/examples

          This week I’ll be getting a pod up so that you can pod install and start working with it.

          One neat thing: Apple just shipped uikitformac. This lets you use the UIKit framework to make desktop apps. It’s pretty neat seeing all those examples run on mac even though they use UIKit. It’s a lot easier to develop too, since there’s a lot of documentation for UIKit but not so much for AppKit/NSView.

          If you install Xcode beta and upgrade to MacOS 15 beta, you’d have a lot of fun with SwiftUI. It’s easy to get started. No interface builder; just code (and a neat preview canvas – basically hot reloading). https://developer.apple.com/tutorials/swiftui/

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            Yeah as somebody who’s been doing React for a few years now I’m looking forward to SwiftUI, but while it seems better than IB to my tastes, it’s serving the exact same market, ie people making an app – and appears to be mostly xcode / compiler-side tooling.

            Thanks for bringing SweetieKit to my attention, I’ll definitely look into that. What I’m planning is sort of the inverse: instead of bringing Cocoa to node, I want to allow users to run code via JSKit within an existing Cocoa app. But I still want that code to be able to create/manipulate GUI controls, which means step 0 is writing the Swift code to do so, before I write the bindings into JSKit. But I intend to use JSKit simply as a means of running user-generated code; users will be authoring function and class bodies, not ES or node modules, and there won’t be any access to existing node APIs or npm.

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          • Visiting a friend/colleague. On the plus side got his CCTV camera mounted outside and streaming/recording over POE successfully. On the minus side, ended up unpicking data for work where it got screwed up for a customer.
          • Monthly D&D session. Ulfgar the dwarf bard wants to beat some musical sense into NPCs with his Tuba. Quite literally.
          • Sailing dinghy fixing! Fixed the silly chip out the bow with filler last week, so just some smoothing off & painting of that before putting her back in the water. Also taking the kids to their Youth session next weekend.
          • Networking fun! Sailing club has a webcam, but anyone doing anything on the wifi knocks out the live stream. I think the router can do network traffic shaping, so going to attempt to set that up.
          • Cycling? Been a few weeks and my wrist is in better shape. Weather is good too.
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            • Helping out some friends in the beginning stages of a startup by creating a design system for them and a static company website
            • Extending the JS emulator I’ve been working on to have a native interface along with the browser and terminal ones I’ve completed
            • Cleaning up my personal website a bit - considering making my own lightweight comment solution as I’ve removed comments for the time being due to my hatred of disqus ads
            • Finding time to work out a bit
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              • Working on an airflow pipeline that pulls PDFs from health policy websites, finds references in them, and links them to scientific publications.

              • Trying to keep recruiting on task with a backend engineering hire here in London.

              • Trying to carve out enough time every week to do small area estimation for crisis-attributable mortality.

              • Procrastinating by scraping events from the BFI website with chromedp.

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                After a month of almost no Rust, I finally found some motivation again.

                This week I want to finish cleaning up Clippy’s UI tests (contributions welcome!) and continue work on a new diagnostic emitter for Rust itself.

                Last week I also started a small indoor micro-greens project that I want to grow a bit bigger.

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                  I successfully swapped servers for the social network, so I have a few things to follow up on. Make sure the backups are clean. And a new patch to finish before the next hackathon.

                  I want to move more sites to my wandboard, and buy a solar panel to run them. Need to make a good seal on the roof to run the cable through. I’m not ready to spend $300 on the rig, so I’ll just move the sites for now.

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                    I am taking part in the /r/roguelikedev’s tutorial event. Having zero experience with Python I ran through the tutorial anyway as it contains a lot of the nuts and bolts needed for writing a rogue like in any language.

                    I found Python interesting to program in but I prefer Golang so this week I have been writing a roguelike game in Golang. Currently have state, tile engine, and user input working.

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                      Work: Trying to figure out how feasible it is to optimise some of our ElasticSearch queries. No-one on my team has tried to do that before. We’ve identified some queries that are slower than others. We’re now digging into the documentation to try and understand what our options are. It seems like judicious use of filters might be the key. I’m sure it’s going to require some trial and error.

                      Personal: Building my first Svelte application (though actually I’m using Sapper). It’s been a joy to work with so far, but I haven’t done much yet.

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                        I am playing with expression parsers and unit conversions in elisp, as an exercise in building a little Soulver toy. It’s been a good reason to refresh my memory on RPN and the Shinting Yard algorithm, and a few other things…

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                          I am thinking about prototyping a tool that does what guix/nix does more or less, but package definitions are in javascript .

                          Here is a quick write up of the concept: https://gist.github.com/andrewchambers/aff15418fcce12a487f2583d73a8ab78

                          Let me know what you think of that as an idea. Would you consider supporting such a project if it was usable?

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                            update, it seems a python like dsl by google seems like a better choice, link updated.

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                            More biking on the Colorado Trail! We’re in Frisco, CO taking a rest day, and tomorrow we ride segment 7 into Copper Mountain ski area, then off to Camp Hale and then Leadville. Some segments are still snowed in, but the goal is to finish the trail by August 4.

                            Last week was my biggest week of riding ever - over 250 miles and 25000 ft of elevation gain on a fully packed mountain bike. The next few weeks won’t be quite as intense, but will be more technically difficult, so it’ll be a fun challenge.

                            In the evenings I’m trying to get some reading in.

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                              I’m improving an R package named iRF by writing unit tests and fixing bugs in the process.