1. 20

What are you doing this week? Feel free to share!

Keep in mind it’s OK to do nothing at all, too.

  1. 26

    Continue looking for a new job after being laid off

    1. 18

      Personal: I’ve been working on a recipe website after some friends and I got frustrated at how bloated existing recipe sites are. It is privacy friendly, fairly accessible and hopefully easy to use.

      University: My next university semester starts this week (I’m studying part time as well as working). I’m doing reading-heavy courses this semester so I’ll have to spend time working through the assigned papers.

      Work: Trying to keep productive while working from home, partially succeeding :)

      1. 6

        yep, the minimalism rocks!

        hint from an old guy: bigger font, please! just imagine you’re almost 50, the arms are too short to hold anything to read, and you want to use minimalrecipe on a tablet fixed to a kitchen cupboard door.

        1. 3

          You can zoom the page to make the fonts bigger.

          1. 6


            Your hands are covered in ground beef, eggs and spices. You want to know what the next part to the recipe is but it’s sitting on the counter a few feet away. If the font is big everything is cool. Otherwise, you’re going to need to wash your hands, check the recipe, stick your hands back in the mixture, finish and wash your hands again. (Or try to use that one knuckle that’s clean on the trackpad, but I don’t recommend it.)

            Sure you can zoom at the start, but if you forgot you may be SOL in the middle of some steps.

            1. 1

              I agree. The default font size on the web is standard, it’s something like 16 CSS px if I remember correctly. Every website should use this size for body text. But hopefully one CSS px is not one pixel on the display and good web browsers support adjusting this ratio through zooming. I don’t remember how to do this on Android (from memory it was a bit awkward on Chrome), but on iOS there’s the “aA” button at the left of the URL bar and you can also set a default level in the settings.

            2. 2

              Thanks! I’ll think about ways we can cater for this, though I’d prefer not to increase the default font size too much. Perhaps we could have a setting that increases the font size, but would probably have to have a cookie notice if we were to make it persistent between visits (I think?). Another idea we’ve discussed was having a ‘viewing mode’ just for tablets in the kitchen

              1. 2

                CSS can accomplish this fairly simply with some well-placed media queries to provide different font sizes depending on the display’s logical resolution.

            3. 3

              Oh wow, that recipe website rocks! It’s a breath of fresh air.

              1. 1

                Thank you very much :)

              2. 2

                This is awesome. Where are you planning to take your recipe site?

                1. 1

                  Thank you! We just want to grow the number of high quality recipes that are on there to maximise the public good that the website can bring. We’re not looking to make a living or anything. The idea is to keep the features simple and people-first (privacy first, accessibility first, etc). Hopefully then we will naturally gain usage, and full bellies :)

                  1. 1

                    I note that the crepes recipe mentions keeping batter in the fridge and making more later. Is that even possible? I’ve always seen the batter run out before people’s appetites. :-)

                    Also, the Irish Soda Bread recipe doesn’t have units on its oven instructions.

                    1. 1

                      I’ve had that happen when my eyes were bigger than my belly!

                      Thanks, I’ll fix that soon. :)

                      Edit: Fixed.

                2. 2

                  Padrón peppers? Is there a Galician in our midst?

                  1. 2

                    Nope, the site is made by two British people and a French person, but that doesn’t mean we don’t love food from a little further West!

                    1. 2

                      Ah, gotcha! My father is from Galicia, but in California it’s a lot more common to see shishito peppers.

                  2. 2

                    This looks fantastic! Bookmarked. Do you have any thoughts on allowing people to add recipes via GitHub or something similar (and you folks still get to control what gets in)?

                    1. 2

                      Thanks a lot! At the moment, we’re taking suggestions via email (suggestions@minimalrecipe.com) but might let people submit PR’s directly in the future.

                    2. 2

                      I’m also working on one of these! We have a recipe database but all the individual recipes are still on bloated websites and it’s very frustrating.

                      Do you use the canonical recipe format?

                      1. 2

                        We don’t use the recipe format, but that’s a great suggestion. Thanks!

                        1. 2

                          Update, we just implemented this. It’s live now and we’ll improve the integration in the future.

                          1. 2

                            Amazing! I’m excited to check it out.

                      2. 2

                        This is great. I love the minimal design.

                        1. 1

                          Do you have plans to open source the recipe website? I am looking to build my own collection.

                          1. 2

                            Not yet, possibly in the future :)

                        2. 9

                          $WORK: Negotiating new contracts after being laid off, can afford to be picky so taking it slow.

                          $PLEASURE: Took the tactic of ‘keep calm and adopt a puppy’ so a lot of puppy training.

                          $RESEARCH: Side-channels on remote desktop protocols and related crypto designs.

                          1. 2

                            We need a puppy picture here.

                          2. 8

                            This week I’ve been procrastinating. Sigh.

                            Sometimes programming is so hard. Today I had to choose between evils, and deadlocked, typing nothing for three hours. Scrolling hither and thither. Eventually I settled for repeating some code “unnecessarily”. It works but those three hours are gone and I feel bad.

                            1. 3

                              These things happen to everyone, and have since the first proto-human was banging rocks together to make more useful rocks. Forgive yourself for it, think about how to avoid the deadlock next time… and then move on, change gears, and do something that makes you feel happy and productive. If you weren’t good at this stuff you wouldn’t be taking it so hard.

                              1. 2

                                Sometimes I just can’t get anything done.

                                Sure, I come into the office, putter around, check my email every ten seconds, read the web, even do a few brainless tasks like paying the American Express bill. But getting back into the flow of writing code just doesn’t happen.

                                These bouts of unproductiveness usually last for a day or two. But there have been times in my career as a developer when I went for weeks at a time without being able to get anything done. As they say, I’m not in flow. I’m not in the zone. I’m not anywhere.

                                This was the guy behind VBA, Trello, and Stack Overflow talking. So don’t beat yourself up. It happens to all of us, including the great.

                                1. 2

                                  That’s part of the job. I’ve been at this 20 years professionally and both paid and hobby work in highschool/college. I’ve had so many things that are 1-2 line fixes that too HOURS of this before I figured it out and wrote something.

                                  And that’s on a “normal” day, let alone when there’s an actual crisis to be managed and people who are working are often now scared because their friends are getting laid off.

                                  Go easy on yourself.

                                  1. 2

                                    When I feel this way (often) I try to remember a quote I like from Fred Brooks:

                                    The programmer, like the poet, works only slightly removed from pure thought-stuff. He builds his castles in the air, from air, creating by exertion of the imagination.

                                    1. 2

                                      That’s a great quote. Which book? I don’t recall it from the Brooks book I have.

                                      I think you might enjoy this image, or perhaps enjoy isn’t the right word. I didn’t enjoy it at all. Appreciate yes, enjoy no. I was doing some particularly intricate programming on the day I first saw it, and it hurt.

                                      I don’t know who made it.

                                      1. 1

                                        His most famous — The Mythical Man-Month

                                    2. 2

                                      I’m gonna add my voice to the crowd and say that we all have one (or more) of these days. It’s part of “a process”, I guess.

                                      Many years ago I arrived at the office and I found one of the lead devs of the team I was in goofing around with some music tracker. He said he’d tried to code that day, failed miserably, and it was just one of those days when it was not gonna happen. So this guy, one of the smartest and most disciplined people I’ve ever known, who – if the situation required it – would sit down at 8 AM and crank out code until 6 AM, spent the rest of the day listening to 1980s tracker music and metalcore.

                                      He thought (and today I think so, too!) that forcing code out of a brain that has run out of code steam will generally result in bad decisions that will take much longer to fix. Sometimes you just gotta stop and binge watch something or play or read or whatever.

                                    3. 6

                                      I feel like a rat on a wheel, so I am stopping all programming outside of work. This is going to be the best of a computer detox I can do and will include other computer-based leisure activities (YouTube, games, Netflix). I’m also going to try to skip out on other electronics for as a long as I can.

                                      1. 5

                                        I’m learning GTK.

                                        I’ve been cranking out web-based UIs for a while, so going back to asynchronously updating a tree of stateful widgets is …interesting. I wish I could have just printed a <form>.

                                        1. 2

                                          What language are you using?

                                          1. 3

                                            Rust, so the choice of GTK was partly due to gtk-rs being the most complete rustified toolkit. The wrapper is quite nice. Python examples can be copied almost 1:1.

                                        2. 5

                                          I’m working on Pybench, a Python benchmarks suite inspired by Geekbench.

                                          1. 3

                                            I’m juggling with two projects this week so there’s not much time left for non-essential things. So here’s what I’ll probably postpone:

                                            • Fixing our espresso machine. It’s a clunky, unpretentious thing but it’s one of the first presents I got for my wife when we moved to our apartment years ago, so there’s no way I’m giving up on the little bugger.
                                            • Playing with wlroots, which I really like. I’m piling hacks on top of tinywl in the hope of eventually producing something that resembles the old Workbench interface. Wayland (and the tools around it) are finally stable enough that I can realistically stay on top of Wayland-related code even if I don’t touch it for weeks at a time.
                                            • More of the cryptopals challenges, *sigh*.

                                            On the other hand I’m pretty happy with the projects that I’m involved in right now, I don’t mind cranking up the pace for a few weeks/months.

                                            1. 2

                                              Fixing our espresso machine. It’s a clunky, unpretentious thing but it’s one of the first presents I got for my wife when we moved to our apartment years ago, so there’s no way I’m giving up on the little bugger.

                                              If water canal is clogged: use formic acid (which is often used by central heating professionals to decalcinate the hydronic parts of cast furnaces, but you can also buy it especially for espresso machines, at a premium). rinse with deionized water or destilled water and compressed air. caution: formic acid is not kind to skin or eyes, wear safety glasses, gloves and old, long sleeved stuff. But it only goes after the calcium and not after the chrome. it may happen that the clog compund was calcium and some form of biofilm. formic acid will only remove the calcium, the rest of the biofilm will still be there. in my case the pressurized ait got out everything, but you could use some lye out of demineralized water and dishwasher tabs (these have enzymes which eat up proteines, also proteines of biofilms. Rinse even more after using the dishwasher lye! You could also use pipe cleaners, but I found these harder to come by than the chemicals.

                                              1. 1

                                                Oh, thanks! Formic acid was one of the things my mind raced to but I thought it would be overkill for a silly espresso machine. Good to know it’s not. I’d rather avoid things that require me to put on safety glasses, but if it turns the deposit is too nasty, formic acid it is!

                                                You could also use pipe cleaners, but I found these harder to come by than the chemicals.

                                                As luck would have it I actually do smoke pipe, and have a handy supply of these!

                                                FWIW, any place that also sells pipe tobacco is bound to carry them. Not just tobacco shops – I get mine at a fancy wine shop that’s pretty near to my place (I don’t really like the place but I regularly run out of pipe cleaners and it’s the closest place where I can get them). They aren’t advertised anywhere and they don’t sell pipes, either, I asked on a whim.

                                              2. 1

                                                I’m piling hacks on top of tinywl in the hope of eventually producing something that resembles the old Workbench interface.

                                                as in this style: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3O40cPUqLbU

                                                or one of the fancier new ones?

                                                1. 1

                                                  I’m aiming for something that’s closer to what you could get in 3.9, something like this or like this, for example.

                                                  The rate at which it’s happening is about one weekend per month, though, so it should be out just in time for the new Amiga :).

                                              3. 3
                                                • I upgraded h11 to use Zig 0.6.0, but it took me the weekend to understand how ownership should be done (questions I never ask myself in Python ^^): I hope to finish it tonight.

                                                • Train before saturday to last longer than a friend at Bring Sally Up

                                                • Try to code a small web service with goland and fiber. I am want to see the benefits compared with Python/Django.

                                                Previous What are you doing this weekend

                                                1. 3

                                                  Reading Systems Performance, contemplating getting a Linux laptop once again, binging through conference videos from this blog post: https://medium.com/@copyconstruct/best-of-2019-in-tech-talks-bac697c3ee13

                                                  1. 3

                                                    Trying to figure out a schedule where I safely get out of the apartment more often and both off technology and take a break from everything being either work or immediate family every single day and no time for myself.

                                                    Also trying to figure out how to be way more selective about social media.

                                                    1. 3

                                                      Apparently my brain decided I would be making a Gameboy emulator so that’s what I was doing until bad hours of the night last night. I can execute the boot rom, but I should make a display to see if it works correctly.

                                                      1. 2

                                                        Best of luck! Making an emulator was one of the most satisfying personal projects I’ve done.

                                                        1. 2

                                                          That’s good to hear! I’m probably the most stuck on graphics right now. Loading and rendering the tiles, etc

                                                      2. 3


                                                        1. Cleaning up some old infrastructure post migration
                                                        2. Getting ready to deploy a new web app, I’m pretty excited about this one :)


                                                        1. I’d like to roll out Terraform in my hobby infrastructure

                                                        My company reduced pay to 80% and cut our work week to 4 days… so I have Fridays off for the next 4 months. Time to learn some new skills.

                                                        1. 3

                                                          Onboarding at a new job.

                                                          1. 2

                                                            Somewhat guiltily reinventing wheels. But it’s exciting to be building a simple bytecode interpreter for expressions and applying it to a query engine for JSON-ish data. I know some of the theory behind things like query planning and indexing, but it’s neat to put it into practice.

                                                            And so far it’s too fast to measure (hyperbole!) It was fun to come up with clever optimizations for the bytecode, but were they really necessary when indexing the whole database already took only 5ms?

                                                            1. 2

                                                              Refactoring my Web site. Making a decent CSS burger menu that works on :focus is not as easy as it may look.

                                                              1. 2

                                                                Oh, let me know what you find.

                                                                My website is using a “checkbox dropdown hack” from ~2015 and I have yet to figure out what the non-hack 2020 version of that would look like.

                                                                1. 2

                                                                  That’s a dead end. Use a invisible checkbox input instead, controlled by a label. Then use the input’s :checked pseudoelement to in css to make it visible by using a sibling selector. Like this:

                                                                  #burger-input:checked ~ #burger-menu { display: block }
                                                                2. 2

                                                                  Starting off, at least, with a bit of Yak-shaving.

                                                                  One of the chapters I’m writing is how to better scale microservices, so I need a coding example (that’s not under a NDA) where I can show that in action.

                                                                  That means finding a sample microservice, stripping it except for the essentials, then writing a quick BASH script to generate new projects using the template plus a project name. Finally going in and adding the minimal amount of code to demonstrate coordination.

                                                                  I figure five microservices. I started Thursday afternoon with a traditional “How hard could it be?” statement. I am still screwing around with it. One of the things I find most difficult is that I’m not trying to generalize the template; that is, I’m not trying to make some kind of framework. I just need some sample projects in place. So I don’t have to make the dang thing perfect. Still, even knowing that, the defects call to me….

                                                                  1. 2

                                                                    Working from home, continuing to learn SaltStack, and working on my pi-hole blocklist: https://twitter.com/RooneyMcNibNug/status/1246197954207154176

                                                                    1. 2

                                                                      $WORK: Continuing a slightly frenetic pace of project tests and updates, still at the cost of prep for the next project. I’m one of the people who is doing the physical stuff so that others can keep working from home, which is stressful.

                                                                      $PLAY: Much like @x64k apparently, I’m playing with wlroots, though I’m still working through re-creating the tinywl example in Rust. Annoyingly there does not seem to be an up to date wlroots-sys crate, but it took an hour or two to roll my own with bindgen, most of which was learning how to use bindgen and getting the stupid include paths right. Works fine so far, but I haven’t actually done anything but a skeleton.

                                                                      1. 2

                                                                        “Almost offline week”: Get the garden allotment started. Weather is nice, and I managed to get organic cattle manure, woodchips and some compost shipped (normally I’d fetch it myself, but self-quarantine…), and I have reduced work hours, and I will likely spend the whole year at home, so why not making it nice & complete.

                                                                        If Amazon finally delivers: make some decent WLAN in the garden (for the same reason).

                                                                        1. 2

                                                                          Personal: finish updates for the next release of my forth system, starting work on a new code editor for personal use

                                                                          Work: implementing SMS and email order status notifications for customers

                                                                          Other: begin planting herbs, repairing the beds for my mom’s garden

                                                                          1. 2

                                                                            Work: Implementing Jira Data Center Single Node on our test environment and same time learning Terraform to provision infrastructure needed for Jira Data Center Cluster environment.

                                                                            Fitness: Taking advantage of Corona, I’ve pledged to run total 100 miles in month of April. So far I’ve logged 71 miles (average 24 miles/week). Hoping to hit the goal before month end. Also there is added challenge that I’m going to try on May 3rd. So this is all helping towards this objective.

                                                                            Mentoring: Working with undergrads, we’ve setup a goal that before start of next school year, we will complete few essential courses and ready for real world work! We just did kick-off yesterday. Planning to be do more ground work this week so that we all can start from next week. Hoping we will have lot of fun along the way!

                                                                            1. 2

                                                                              Finally making some progress rebuilding my personal website with phoenix and elixir. Inspired by dashbit and Saša Jurić.

                                                                              I’ve also been playing around with Roam Research and while I love the backlinks functionality I don’t love the idea of outsourcing my personal knowledge store to a third party so I’m playing around with doing backlinks with vim-wiki and vim-zettel.

                                                                              At work we’re building with Phoenix Liveview which has been amazing. Working on our text editor probably this week.

                                                                              1. 2

                                                                                I shared a project idea I had on the fediverse and almost 100 people showing interest, so spurred on from that I have begun building it.

                                                                                1. 2

                                                                                  What kind of idea ? I’ve been working on some aggregators.



                                                                                  Let me know if you want to talk

                                                                                  1. 1

                                                                                    A digital floppy disk box, a floppybox. Originally I had the idea as a parody of drop box that provided cloud storage in 1.44 MB chunks. I bought the domain on a whim over a year ago and the idea had collected dust ever since.

                                                                                    I mooted the idea of dusting it off and making it into some kind of art project, with each “disk image” being statically served via a custom subdomain (which could be CNAME linked to a users domain if they so wish) to see what creative things people can fit into 1.44 MB a bit like the demoscene but with digital art/web based projects.

                                                                                    People will be able to upload either archives (zip,tar, etc) containing no more than 1.44 MB in uncompressed content or a disk image of the same size restriction. Once uploaded, before publishing (if they choose to do so publicly or not) they can toggle the image as statically served content or to be displayed in something similar to js-dos or [pce-js])https://jamesfriend.com.au/pce-js/ibmpc-games/)

                                                                                    Those aggregators look nifty, I operate a pixelfed server: federated.photos, but need to do a bit of maintenance on it as I think it’s a fair few versions behind current stable.

                                                                                    They actually remind me of another project I have on the back burner, aggregating polls on the fediverse and displaying results as a grid of pie charts.

                                                                                2. 2

                                                                                  Building a pdf report generator

                                                                                  1. 1

                                                                                    Curious to know what’s the use case here.

                                                                                    1. 1

                                                                                      It’s basically generating financial reports

                                                                                      1. 1

                                                                                        Oh cool! Looking forward to hear more on the same. Take care!

                                                                                        1. 2

                                                                                          Sure. So basically I have a csv file which is read by the script and then later data from the csv file is used to generate necessary graphs and data is supposed to go into the pdf and et voila using jinja and html I am able to generate a pdf report using python pdfkit module. I will write a blog post on doing something similar

                                                                                          1. 2

                                                                                            Looking forward to this blog post. Thank you!

                                                                                  2. 2
                                                                                    • starting work tasks for work this week after recovering from an illness.
                                                                                    • helping parents
                                                                                    1. 2


                                                                                      • Getting some gardening stuff ready for the missus.
                                                                                      • Working a bit on organizing my mountain of old notes and notebooks. It’s going to be a monster project to get them all digitized and indexed.
                                                                                      • Bought an antique farm table for the dining room, so I have to navigate getting that picked up, decontaminated, and in the house.
                                                                                      • I put my raytracer project on hold for a while, started to get a little burnt on it after rewriting all the vector math bits. I’ll probably come back to it next week.


                                                                                      • Not a ton I can go into, but there’s a lot of things and I am responsible for many of them. Lots of people depending on timelines being met. Working in Healthcare (even my distant status as “Guy-who-makes-things-blink-in-the-right-order”) is even more hectic than it usually is.
                                                                                      1. 2

                                                                                        $WORK: Upgrading several of our ELK clusters (used for logging mostly) and moving some stuff into k8s. Wrapping a PR for filebeat that I’ve been procrastinating long enough by now. Finishing some design documents and a couple of tiny things.

                                                                                        $HOME: I’m playing with Loki which is “like Prometheus but for logs”. I’m using it for a personal project, the general idea is to collect metrics from the few visitors of my blog and generate useful metrics, which should work without any Javascript (in the browser at least). I will probably setup minio to have a usable S3 object storage on top of Azure (which I use to run some small things).

                                                                                        1. 2
                                                                                          • Not complaining too much because I still have a good job.

                                                                                          • Co-ordinating three kids’ schooling-from-home over a peculiar mix of Zoom, YouTube, MS Teams, and sundry other systems that confuse adults on good days.

                                                                                          • Working from home inbetween all the school-from-home stuff. More challenging since moving into tech management; it’s easier to code remotely than it is to, say, help a team to go from a high-level mission to concrete objectives. At least I find it easier; perhaps that’s just because I’ve been doing the former for longer than the latter.

                                                                                          • Trying to get a Common Lisp development environment going on my PinePhone - the idea being to develop GUI apps interactively, with Emacs + SLIME running on my laptop, connecting to a running SBCL instance on the phone.

                                                                                          1. 2

                                                                                            At home, I go back and forth from wanting to work on some side projects I have queued up to wanting to focus on anything but computers. So, it’s a toss up there.

                                                                                            At work, I’m on point for handling this week’s unplanned work. So, trying to chew through that small backlog that’s there and quickly resolve anything that pops up.

                                                                                            1. 2

                                                                                              Half way through ‘Expert C’. It’s a very enjoyable read and it is really helping me understand so many things. Also, started learning and making some graphics with Inkscape for fun.

                                                                                              1. 2

                                                                                                Continuing to work on a localization side project https://github.com/wolfadex/fluent-web. It’s ready to use, just want to migrate the docs to to use the project itself