Threads for horrorcheck

  1. 4

    Working on my viewer for the Kisekae Set System, a digital dress-up doll format from the 90s. This weekend I want to get an alpha version deployed so people can try it out.

    1. 2

      I spend most of my work hours working on, which is a magazine subscription platform written in Haskell. @dbp made it in like 2013? and I’ve been maintaining and adding features since 2016.

      Lately I’ve gotten interested in tabletop roleplaying and making little JavaScript things for that – here’s a dice roller that I’ve been actually using: Goal was mobile-first with minimal fuss and it works well! Next I’m probably going to make a character sheet app.

      1. 4

        I would like to know what kind of drama has ensued over human moderation of tagging at AO3 before jumping ton the conclusion that their particular system of tag curation is better than either top-down Dewey-decimal style classification or twitter-style freeform tagging. I personally rather like the ability to freely create tags, twitter- or tumblr-style, and like the rhetorical effect of writers introducing new information in the form of of a hashtag, which human moderation for the purpose of searchability would get in the way of.

        1. 6

          You can still freely create tags. Like, I just saw a story that has a “don’t read this if you’re having a bad night okay” tag, which is clearly not meant to help you search or browse, it’s just an informational tag. And I can still click on that tag to see other stories (none yet) with the same tag, I just can’t use it combined with other tags in AO3’s filtering engine.

          There’s definitely been drama over the tag system, and there was a ton of debate involved in implementing it. You can read about it on Fanlore. But this is a very large and diverse community, so there’d be drama about any policy made. I don’t think “drama” is a point for or against any policy.

          1. 2

            This criticism quoted on that Fanlore page resonates with me:

            But that’s the problem with the freeform tags; they are simultaneously presented as personal expression for the authors that cannot be touched or questioned even if it’s unwranglable or obviously a typo, and a rational structure to find fic with. It’s an incoherently thought out system.

            If AO3 were at all sane and sensible, they’d have a canonical set of tags for indexing and then a freeform area.

            After reading all the comments on that Fanlore page, I think there are not two, but three types of tags that people write:

            • tags that could be pre-defined officially by the tag-wrangler team, like “Harry Potter” or “slash”
            • unusual tags that are still useful for categorization, like “high school AU” or “angry sex”
            • one-off tags that are just author’s notes that the author doesn’t want to emphasize, like “don’t read this if you’re having a bad night okay” or “Sirry is a creamy cupcake”

            Inspired by the Proposed Suggestions for Improvement section of the Fanlore page, here is a tagging system that gives readers more information and still gives authors freedom of expression. The idea is to store tags of each of the above three types separately, instead of in the same list, as AO3 currently does. The tagging user interface for authors would probably consist of one combined tag field for the first two types, in which the autocomplete suggests official tags before unofficial tags, and one field for “mini-notes” or whatever you call them. The mini-notes would be displayed under the tags field, and could be hidden by users who only like seeing informational tags.

            Adding more categories of tags increases the difficulty of communicating to the users how to use the tag system. I think that giving the fields different names than “tags”, such as “mini-notes”, would help a lot, as would putting one-sentence descriptions next to the fields. More ideas for names:

            … I’d rename freeform tags as ‘fic labels’ or something, and then create a new set of not-freeform, wrangler-created-and-curated navigational tags. (Or the same thing, but leave the current thing called ‘tags,’ and call the new navigational thing ‘search keywords’ or something.)

        1. 4

          I’m finishing my entry for a 2-week game jam - it’s a JavaScript game I’m making with Glitch. Having lots of fun.

          Also going to go to the Gotham Girls roller derby game and skate afterwards 💖

          1. 3
            • Working on a feature for my magazine clients to allow them to attach lots of files of various types to each issue
            • Trying to finish up a PR for my templating language which I started like a year ago ( It’s using StateT monad to store all the template state, instead of half passing parameters around explicitly and half keeping it in StateT. It makes the language more like its inspiration, Heist. I don’t know if I like it, though (which is why it’s taking me so long to finish). I might make a second PR to compare this to that goes in the opposite direction and gets rid of the State, fully embracing the quirky Fn “plain old Haskell functions” style.
            1. 6

              This is the evolution of the work done by the main developer of CopperheadOS. I hesitated to post this as my first submission because any CopperheadOS discussion seems to be a lightning rod for pretty terrible social behavior other places. But I’m personally very excited that the work is continuing.

              1. 5

                “This is the evolution of the work done by the main developer of CopperheadOS.”

                Glad it’s going somewhere. That was one of the most important projects in the mobile space.

                1. 1


                  That’s a weird name. I assume they’re referring to the snake species, and not the Northern Democrats who advocated for a negotiated peace with the Confederacy during the US Civil War.

                  1. 2

                    It’s species familiar to anyone who grows up in the areas where they are common. Teachers and parents warn kids about them so it’s a good name for anything you want to sound slightly intimidating. :)

                    1. 1

                      It’s a weird name for something that’s supposed to keep your phone safe though.

                      1. 3

                        There’s names product developers come up with to resound well with the audience. Then, there’s names coders come up with that they think sound cool. CopperheadOS was probably the latter. If there’s any meaning, it might be that attackers don’t want to poke at a Copperhead because there’s no reward in it. Only misery. :)

                1. 1

                  Location: Brooklyn | Remote

                  Type of Work: Software Engineer

                  Hours: Contract / Agency

                  Contact: my first name (libby) at my company’s domain, or use the contact form on

                  Description: My company Position Development has some openings in our schedule in May. You can hire up to four experienced full-stack developers to work on:

                  • legacy code! We are awesome at improving and adding new features to legacy codebases.
                  • prototypes! We’ve can help you build an MVP for your startup.
                  • upgrades! We can upgrade your ancient Rails or Node app.
                  • functional programming! We have experience with Haskell in production!

                  It’s a long shot because probably nobody here is thinking of hiring a contracting team but anyway I think it would fun to work with somebody from Lobsters. :D

                  1. 14

                    Liz Fong-Jones. Her activism within and outside Google has been a constant inspiration. If you’re in tech and you haven’t heard of her, you’re probably cis. ;)

                    1. 0

                      role model in your capacity as technologists?

                      Could you be more specific on how Liz Fong-Jones answer the OP question?

                      I noticed Fong-Jones is a site-reliability engineer.

                      1. 2

                        I don’t notice anybody else being asked this question. You’ll forgive me for assuming it’s because I named a woman.

                        1. 4

                          Actually I was about to ask a similar question…

                          Perhaps let me phrase it differently….

                          I haven’t heard of, or come across, Liz before. Whereas I have heard of most of the names mentioned in this thread and could tell you something about them.

                          Possibly, because I do not operate in the realm of site reliability. Possibly, as you suggest, because I’m male cis. ;-) Quite likely it is (yet another) symptom of the bias in the industry.

                          However, if you say she is worth listening to… I’m more than willing to believe that she is.

                          A casual google pointed me at site reliability stuff… not my field.

                          Could you point us at stuff she has done / said / written that you feel would be a good introduction to her?

                          I’d appreciate that.

                          1. 5

                            Thank you for your question. I’d like to note that, while it might seem superficially similar to the parent comment, you’re asking for information, whereas that comment is kind of half-seriously challenging whether I have the right to post here. Even though the details I’d provide in response are the same, answering your question makes sense, whereas nothing I could possibly say to the parent comment would result in anything but escalating frustration.

                            Liz has done a great deal of work to make the tech industry a safe place for trans people to exist, and more broadly to remind everyone that being a technologist is not just about building things, it’s also about considering the consequences. Some of that work has been behind closed doors; some of it has been outreach to the public; some of it has involved educating the press on the human challenges our industry faces. When I gave this speech it was Liz’s example that convinced me it was worth doing.

                            I don’t know how to provide a fast introduction to that kind of thing. It’s not like if I’d said Donald Knuth, and then I could link you to his books. I’d note that even for somebody like Knuth, his impact was first and foremost on people - inspiring them, in his case, to follow a path of rigorous mathematical analysis of computing. Different leaders inspire people along different paths, and it’s never truly possible to capture everything.

                            1. 6


                              Liz has done a great deal of work to make the tech industry a safe place for trans people to exist

                              Let me tell you some ancient history…..

                              I was conscripted into a very aggressive, very macho military, as young man deeply part of a very aggressive very homophobic culture.

                              When I reported for duty… a beautiful young lady was ahead on me in the queue.


                              When she reached the head of the queue and presented her papers….

                              …I’m deeply ashamed that I witnessed all the humiliation and hurt dealt to her… but didn’t speak up at the time.

                              I was still part of the culture that believe she was the wrong one.

                              After a time, and witnessing the cruelty and viciousness, she and folk like her were exposed to…

                              I realized I had been lied to.

                              The LGBT folk were simply not the evil ones in this picture, not even close, they were bright sparks of beauty and kindness and mercy in comparison.

                              So I’m glad people like Liz (and you) are speaking up… like I wish I had done years ago.

                              1. 4

                                As somebody else said about a very different set of role models elsewhere in this thread, most people do what they’re told. Your response was perfectly normal, and I think you should be kind to yourself about it.

                                Thank you very much for the kind words.

                                1. 4

                                  Actually I hope the pain of that memory will always sting and make me smell the disconnect between words and actions sooner, and then not be silent.

                                  1. 2

                                    Then, I’ll hope that too. Pain can be important sometimes.

                          2. 4

                            Most people included links for us to follow to learn about their role models. They were also often IT celebrities. Your name is unknown to most of us with no link. A follow-up question asking what she did and/or links to her work is the most inclusive thing a person could do in that situationto give her equal attention to other linked people inthis thread. There was also a follow-up questions to a male in this thread who similarly provided no info and someone was curious.

                            So, I assumed the person just wanted to learn more about her and/or thought you might have links to her great work. I didnt see it as a challenge. Thanks for giving us more information in the other comment since she sounds like a highly-effective activist.

                            1. 3

                              I understand why it wouldn’t be perceived as a challenge if you aren’t used to everything you say in public being challenged in similar fashion. That’s why I’m taking the time to highlight that it was one.

                              1. 3

                                I experience that all day at work. We’re set up to fail, almost all results or responses get a negative interpretation, our customers continue to demand more every year, and so on. Tiring as it is, I still try to practice presumption of innocence and principle of charity facing uncertain situations. I slip up for sure but I still try.

                                In your case, I just was wanting someone to show dissenting opinion that one of two follow-ups might just be a follow-up. Plus, an opportunity to bring attention to a woman’s work regardless of intention behind the question. If good, they get some info. If aiming at suppression, their question is fliped into promotion opportunity.

                                Just doing a benefit of doubt thing rather than starting something. If anything, you’re typically way less likely to read negative things in or overreact to people’s screwups. So, I was surprises more than anything. My guess (all I can do cuz no data) is activism work you referenced has gotten you much more negative/discriminating responses than usual, you’re kind of in fight mode with mind optimized to counter it quicky, and you just reacted to the statement like that. I wasnt really holding it against you since I do that on occasion when I have more shit coming at me than normal (esp non-stop).

                                So, I dont think less of you or want a war. Just saw 3 downvotes on a comment that might have been well-intended. Had to point out it might. That was all.

                                1. 3

                                  While we’re making meta comments about other people’s comments, can I point out you’re spending paragraphs dissecting another user’s single-sentence comments and speculating on psychological motivations behind them? It has nothing to do with the topic. Give it a rest.

                                  1. 3

                                    One person asked for information about a person, they were accused of discrimination, then others attempted to censor the accused, and then using the benefit of the doubt got me accused of something.

                                    You’re saying people should be able to make negative accusations about others but other side shouldnt speak or receive a defense. You also didnt tell them they were off topic which means saying it now is you likely censoring folks you disagree with instead of caring about what’s on-topic. A recurring theme in these tangents.

                                    Far as paragraphs, Im known to be wordy. Double true whem Im trying to be careful criticizing a comment by someone I respect with some care and context. Dismissive snipes like yours are good for fights but not civil discourse. I mean, I was done with the thread but you couldnt resist prodding at me, eh? I’ll try again.

                                  2. 3

                                    I respect your position and appreciate your weighing in.

                                    1. 1

                                      Thank you.

                              2. 3

                                I am sad to read that your interpretation was quite negative. My question was sincere and based on the imprecision of your statement.

                                Your comment was pretty ambiguous to me: you hinted about Fong-Jones’s activism in gender identity (which I will classify as political), but vouched her citing her employer’s name, which make me look in her website to find out it is full of talks on SRE topics (which I classify as technical).

                                If you’ve chosen to cite Fong-Jones for political reasons, I think it is as valid as people citing Stallman for his political position on FOSS.

                                But if you’ve chosen her for technical reasons, I would be curious on the reasons because I haven’t seen many citing SRE people in here.

                                About me, I come from a blunt culture, so I am pretty straight forward with my questions and answers; however, I dislike when people use it against me with prejudice about my motivations or beliefs: it isn’t cool.

                                But if you would have said Ada Lovelace, Grace Hopper, Barbara Liskov or Julia Evans (as few did) as your role models, which are all women, I wouldn’t have asked you the reasons: they are pretty obvious. :)

                          1. 4

                            I have many technical role models but a couple folks here on lobsters have been especially influential to me personally:

                            dbp - you inspire me a lot. I admire how you do what’s right, share and build power with people, and create environments where people can grow. You’re also a pretty good programmer :)

                            Julia Evans - I think of your “how to be a wizard programmer” every time I run into a tough problem and feel paralyzed by doubt, and it helps me dig in and work to find a solution!

                            And one (afaik) non-lobster:

                            Sandi Metz inspires me because I love how her teaching both encourages excellent programming and makes excellence incredibly accessible. Her work is so pragmatic and useful, but she writes and speaks in a way that makes it fun and makes it stick. Whenever I write Ruby, I’m thinking, “what would Sandi Metz do?”

                            1. 8

                              Filled out the survey. I spent a few months trying to get haskell to work for me but I found it a frustrating experience. I got the hang of functional programming fairly quickly but found the haskell libraries very hard to work with. They very rarely give examples on how to do the basic stuff and require you to read 10,000 words before you can understand how to use the thing. I wanted to do some ultra basic XML parsing which I do in Ruby with nokogiri all the time but with the haskell libraries I looked at it was just impossible to quickly work out how to do anything. And whenever I ask a question to other haskell devs they just tell me its easy and to look at the types.

                              1. 3

                                There’s often way too few examples, yeah :( And type sigs are definitely not the best way to learn. That said, once you get it up and running, parsing XML in Haskell is quite nice (we use xml-conduit for this at work).

                                Someone actually took it upon themselves to write better doc’s for containers at and shared their template for ReadTheDocs: in case anyone else feels inspired :)

                                1. 3

                                  I agree. The language is beautiful, but we need to put more work into making libraries easier to understand and use. What makes it even worse for newbies is that as an experienced developer, I can understand when a library is using a familiar pattern for configuration or state management, but you have to figure out that pattern itself at the same time.

                                  You shouldn’t have to piece together the types or, worse, read the code, to understand how a library works. I dislike the “I learned it this way, so you should too” attitude I often see. We can do better.

                                  1. 5

                                    I agree too. Hackage suffers from the same disease as npm: it’s a garbage heap that contains some buried gems. The packages with descriptive names are rarely the good ones. Abandoned academic experiments rub elbows with well engineered, production-ready modules. Contrast with Python’s standard library and major projects like Numpy: a little curation could go a long way.

                                  2. 3

                                    I think the challenge is unless the documentation includes an example or even documentation at all it can be hard to know where to interact many libraries. While reading the types is often the way you figure it out, I wish more libraries pointed me towards the main functions I should be working with.

                                    1. 2

                                      It’s a skill to look at the types, but it is how I do Haskell development. I’d love to teach better ways to exercise this skill.

                                      1. 6

                                        I started to get the hang of it but it really felt like the language was used entirely for academic purposes rather than actually getting things done and every time I wanted to do something new people would point me to a huge PDF to do something simple that took me 3 minutes to work out in ruby.

                                        1. 2

                                          I use Haskell everywhere for getting things done. Haskell allows a massive amount of code reuse and people write up massive documents (e.g. Monad tutorials) about the concepts behind that reuse.

                                          I use the types and ignore most other publications.

                                      2. 1

                                        Ruby and Haskell are on opposite sides of documentation spectrum.

                                        Ruby libs usually have great guide but very poor API docs, so if you want to do something outside of examples in guide, you have to look at source. Methods are usually undocumented too and it’s hard to figure out what’s available and where to look due to heavy use of include.

                                        Haskell libs have descriptions of each function and type, and due to types you can be sure what function takes and what it returns. Haddock renders source docs to nice looking pages. However, usually there are no guides, getting started and high-level overviews (or guides are in the form of academic papers).

                                        I wish to have best of both worlds in both languages.

                                        When I started to learn Haskell, the first thing that I wanted to do for my project is to parse XML too. I used hxt and that was really hard: it’s not a standard DOM library and probably has great stream processing capabilities, and it’s based on arrows which is not easiest concept when you are writing your first Haskell code. At least hxt has decent design, I remember that XML libs from python standard library are not much easier to use. Nokigiri is probably the best XML lib ever if you don’t use gigabyte-sized XML files.

                                      1. 8

                                        Am I alone in expecting a squirrel burger to be pretty tasty? Some people say squirrel tastes pretty good (

                                        The problem in this story is that the burger is made from roadkill that had been dead for a while; the meat was probably rancid and full of bacteria and other contaminants. Roadkill-burger might be a better description (though not perfect, I suppose, because roadkill deer is completely different from roadkill squirrel).

                                        1. 4

                                          I had a babysitter as a kid who often cooked us squirrel for breakfast, and I remember it being fine.

                                        1. 4

                                          On Saturday I have a roller derby training camp. It’s been a few years since I played, so I’m really excited to get started again. I also want to add some Hacktoberfest issues to the Haskell apps and libraries I maintain.

                                          1. 9

                                            Something to consider is that the feeling of being an imposter could also be the fault of a toxic work culture; the OP alludes to that by calling out the “real programmer syndrome”.

                                            This piece points out that “syndrome” implies the fault is within the individual having an imposter experience, and causes people to not consider the structural issues that contribute to poor mental health:

                                            1. 7

                                              “One of the psychologists that coined imposter syndrome, Dr. Pauline R. Clance, once said that she wishes she called it ‘imposter experience.’” I love this.

                                              1. 3

                                                Nightmare-level on-call rotations definitely add fuel to the fire of “real programmer syndrome.” You’re not only expected to stay up all night for an entire week, but you’re supposed to recount your war stories in a way that makes you sound like the hero.

                                              1. 2

                                                Like everyone else, I think it’s weird to assume that WPEngine is better at filtering out bots (which make up ~50% of web traffic) than Google.

                                                But it’s definitely true that ad blockers warp GA data. I have a client who complained that our software was broken because GA said nearly 10% of their revenue was from Polish customers, which didn’t make any sense. We used a Rails gem that attached cart data to client-side GA data. It turned out that when an ad-blocker was in use, somehow the null location was labeled as this arbitrary place in Poland.

                                                1. 1

                                                  somehow the null location was labeled as this arbitrary place in Poland

                                                  Are you European? If so, could it be something roughly analogous to this issue where the default GeoIP location for otherwise unlocateable IP addresses from a particular provider was actually a specific location near the geographic center of the US?

                                                1. 1

                                                  I’m going to:

                                                  • go wandering through Prospect Park for a bit
                                                  • attend Science For The People’s big relaunch event
                                                  • try to make some progress on getting Smooch deployable finally
                                                  1. 33

                                                    This “there are no full stack devs” meme is horseshit. I’ll accept that keeping up with web frontend (especially JS) is very challenging lately, and requires a substantial investment of time. But I have experience doing every single one of the “impossible” list of skills, even having used most of these skills at the same company. We’re not unicorns, we just have more than five years in the field.

                                                    My take on it is that full-stack development is really only relevant on very small teams (1-5 devs), and that specialization happens from there, and that’s a good thing. Looking for full-stack devs on a team that’s bigger than this is usually the result of lazy resource planning. But when you don’t have a lot of hands on keyboards, full-stack or “T-shaped” developers are a great asset.

                                                    1. 15

                                                      I find it pretty funny to see this article on Lobsters, a site where I personally exercise every skill in the “impossible” list.

                                                      (OK, except for a front-end framework because we don’t need one, though I’ve worked with React.)

                                                      1. 9

                                                        Agreed. I’m really sick of this meme too. There are a LOT of apps/sites out there that are small, simple, and serve a limited audience very well. Not every app needs tons of developers. It’s really insulting to us full-stack people who take pride in keeping those apps running, to imply or outright say we must be bad at our jobs.

                                                        1. 5

                                                          It is rare for me to hear a dev say what they work on is ‘simple,’ even if it is. I’ve felt that a lot of programming in industry is somewhat simple with mountains of incidental complexity brought on by inexperience, poor practices, bad languages and paradigms, and unrelenting schedules. But devs seem unable to separate these things from one another, so it feels taboo to say something like that.

                                                          1. 3

                                                            At least half of what we all do is data shoveling. Simple doesn’t mean easy though, it just means uncomplicated. Digging a six foot hole is simple.

                                                        2. 5

                                                          “Keeping up with the frontend” is a bit rough, right?

                                                          Like, the products we work on don’t magically fall apart every time a new framework comes out–we do this to ourselves.

                                                          1. 2

                                                            I’ve done all those things as well, and web isn’t really my field. I really thought this would be something along the lines of what @technomancy said, in which case I would not yet qualify. And I fully agree with @hwayne’s comment, and simply consider myself a generalist.

                                                            1. 2

                                                              Agreed. There definitely are full stack developers, and while they need to have irons in a lot of dumpster fires to remain up to date on all of the fads, the collection of moving parts is fairly small really: some database knowledge, some SOA knowledge, and some presentation knowledge.

                                                              I think there’s some nuance missing in your “full-stack development is for small teams” idea: I agree with that part of it, but the part that growing the team means adding specialisation seems to imply that growing a team is natural and inevitable, so that small generalist teams evolve into large specialist teams. Either is a way to staff a software team, software teams have probably succeeded or failed using either approach, and a well-performing small team of generalists will probably continue to deliver successfully without adding some specialists. A well-performing large team of specialists will probably continue to deliver successfully, too.

                                                              1. -3

                                                                This “there are no full stack devs” meme is horseshit.

                                                                Saying it’s horseshit is, itself, horseshit unless you have a syllabus which, when mastered, will make someone a full-stack developer.

                                                                Until then, it’s equivalent to being “Cool”:

                                                                What makes someone “Cool”? Being “Cool”.

                                                                OK… who’s “Cool”? Not you…

                                                                1. 4

                                                                  There’s no single syllabus; it all depends on the business requirements, which drive decisions about the software stack. If you can solve every problem encountered with that software stack, congratulations – to that business, you are a full-stack developer.

                                                              1. 3

                                                                I thought this was going to be Sailor Scouts and I am VERY disappointed. Which sailor scout is Ruby? Haskell? Perl? The world needs to know!

                                                                1. 2

                                                                  Ruby = Mars (It’s because they both fit a red theme. Rei is unsubtle like that.)

                                                                  Haskell = Uranus (Because of the inner sadness, and the commitment to keep going anyway.)

                                                                  Perl = Mercury (Not necessary often, but always there and part of the team, and very powerful when she’s needed.)

                                                                  I agree with zdsmith’s point that the gendered language is distracting. I like your approach to dealing with that, coming up with an alternate headcanon. :) So I decided to help with it. :)

                                                                1. 3

                                                                  This is pretty interesting and I appreciate Position being worker run and owned - not to mention the work life balance, diversity, inclusion, and social justice. It’s just a shame that it’s onsite only. I’d apply if I were near NYC.

                                                                  1. 5

                                                                    Thanks! We don’t really have the processes in place to make remote work a possibility but maybe someday. Tech Coop Network may have some similar cooperatives that are more remote friendly!

                                                                    1. 2

                                                                      Yep, I posted the ad there too! But I don’t think many people will see it there, group seems kinda dead already.