Threads for stig

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    This is kinda cute, but please make sure your employer is OK with sending their code to OpenAI researchers before using this at work! :-)

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      Good feedback. I need to put a warning about it on the readme.

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      Hosting party for son’s 11th birthday on Saturday. Weather too bad for sailing on Sunday, so I’m at a loose end. Maybe play board games?

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        We’re driving home to the north east of England, ahead of an incoming storm facing the south west, after spending Thanksgiving with American friends. We’re new to owning an EV and don’t want to make charging stops in a lightning storm.

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          Emacs left the chat.

          (Sad that there’s no mention of ‘M-x’.)

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            +1. My team at work did this, and I consider it a success. Instead of a massive and constantly overwhelmed team we now have two thriving teams. (And the team left with the most services at that split are looking to split again.)

            We were allowed to hire before splitting though, and we did a soft spilt for a fee months before comitting to it.

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              Today I’m having an EV charger installed at my house. Mostly my contribution is cracking jokes and make teas and coffees for the qualified electricians.

              Tomorrow is dinghy sailing. The temperature has dropped since last week so I’m curious to see if my gear is up to it.

              Also learning Chinese with Duolingo. I signed up 2 weeks ago and found it quite addictive—in a good way. According to my weekly report I spent 8 hours in the app last week, and I have a 14 day streak.

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                It looks readable enough. I liked the raw strings. I didn’t see mention any start / end of document markers. That feels a bit strange, and I would be concerned about its inability to detect that the file or stream has been truncated.

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                  First 5-day week in nearly two years. I’m stepping up from a 4-day 80% week to a 5-day 90% week (~1 hour short of a full day). Tuesdays used to be stressful as I tried to catch up on what my colleagues did on Monday. Hopefully that’s less of a problem from now on.

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                    Feel free to use Vanilla CSS on your next set of themes ;)

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                      Sure sure! Thanks!

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                          That’s really beautiful :-)

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                      Preparing a Minecraft-themed meal (with an “dirt block” try bake) and gathering around screens to watch Minecraft Live with the 10 year old.

                      Applying to install an EV charger at my house. It’s a distressingly long form.

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                        Set up my work laptop for occasional personal use. I decided to trade in my personal laptop (early 2015 MB Pro) for a gift card that I plan to use as a downpayment on an Apple Watch.

                        I barely use a computer outside work nowadays, and my interests are sufficiently in the SFW category, so I’m comfortable using my work laptop.

                        That saves me spending so much time syncing setup between the two machines (something made harder by the new one I was just issued being an M1 Mac).

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                          I’m preparing a presentation for tomorrow, about a paper that I recently submitted to a conference. Afterwards, not exactly sure as the experiments that weren’t done in time did not result in anything interesting. I’ll probably be shifting my attention elsewhere to a new project.

                          I am a bit annoyed at myself that I want to start writing a blog (mostly summarizing my research in a less formal setting) but I always get hung up on the minor technical details. Of course this probably doesn’t matter as much to others as I think it will, but I somehow am afraid that what I write will not really be future-proof in that the text will not survive a migration to another static site generator. I guess I am just mentally stuck here (and have been for a while).

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                            One thing that helped ease my mind was the realization that HTML is “valid” Markdown, and Markdown is supported by virtually every static site generator in existence.

                            I’ve migrated parts of particularly stubborn content by just copy/pasting rendered HTML from a WordPress site into a Markdown file. I feel that as long as you’re sticking to plaintext formats, it’ll be as future-proof as anyone could hope for.

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                              Great content doesn’t need catchy presentation to capture people’s interest. Case in point: https://danluu.com/

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                              Frankly amazing it’s legible at all, I’m impressed. I do think the uppercase style works a lot better though.

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                                I think it’s only really “legible” because the sample sentence is familiar and expected in this context.

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                                Automated preview environments

                                Has anyone working at a big tech, any thoughts to share on this? I always feel like what I could achieve in a nice way on my personal project (or some startup) is simply utterly impossible at $JOB because we’re stuck with a normal Jenkins CI/CD solution and bitbucket PR system.

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                                  I’m not a big fan of SPA architecture at all, but the one thing I will say for it is that it makes preview environments SO much easier: if your application’s UI is pure HTML and JavaScript pulling from production web APIs you can turn on Netlify previews and they just work.

                                  … for client-side code at least. Server-side code remains much harder to do previews for, though Heroku has had this sussed for about a decade now.

                                  The hardest bit is when there’s a database involved, since you need a mechanism that can provision a fresh database for each PR - not cheap or easy.

                                  I think this is one of those things though that it massively less expensive if you build it early on. Having preview environments on a young project is hopefully only a day or so of tinkering - and then you can incrementally improve them as the system grows more complicated.

                                  Adding them to a large existing application with a lot of moving parts is a whole lot harder.

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                                    I always feel like what I could achieve in a nice way on my personal project (or some startup) is simply utterly impossible at $JOB

                                    Not at $BIGTECH, but I feel the same way. I can see it not being too difficult if you’ve got a monolith, but once you have multiple teams deploying their own services on different it becomes difficult / tedious / expensive to get a complete environment up for every PR. Probably less useful too.

                                    For a web frontend it might still be practical to deploy a preview pointing to the production backend, but for stuff further down the stack I’d recommend deploying behind a feature flag and toggling that on for yourself / your organisation only. And once you have that you might just want to use feature flags for the frontend too, for the consistency it provides and ability to slowly roll out the feature to new cohorts of customers—not to mention the ability to instantly roll back.

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                                      We were thinking about using Jenkins parametrized builds to allow devs to create preview environments from PRs on-demand. But on a first closer look it didn’t seem to be as easy as expected with the parametrized builds and I didn’t spend enough time to dig into Jenkins.

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                                        I just finished migrating a few internal tools in order for them to be used from the Jenkins agent, which previously we could’ve ran from the terminal ourselves (compliance reasons…) and played a lot with parametrized builds myself.

                                        The major pain-point, to me, is that you’re writing groovy without knowing wether or not it is going to work out, feedback look is tedious.

                                        Let me know if you find yourself knee-deep in parametrized builds somewhere down the line!

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                                      Your first stripe in particular reminds me a bit of tracer bullet development. Your stripes are a bit more fully formed than the tracer bullets I’ve seen, however.

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                                        Off to Edinburgh for the weekend! Looking forward to meet some colleagues in meatspace for the first time, after working together for 3 years.

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                                          Saturday is mid-autumn festival, and we’re having family around to for lunch and moon cakes.

                                          I’m on call this week, but thankfully managed to scrounge cover for 4 hours on Sunday afternoon so I can go sailing.

                                          I also plan to tidy the garage shelves, hopefully finding room for the stuff piled in the middle of the floor.

                                          If the weather is nice (ok, dry) I’ll test my new bargain-price lawn mower.

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                                            Reposting from a work chat about this exact article …

                                            This actually feels eerily reminiscent of discussions about machine code vs. assembler vs. high level languages in programming … it’s not “real programming” if you’re not programming on the silicon vs. programming is now guiding the machine tools to generate code.

                                            “It’s not programming art if you’re letting a compiler AI model handle the details”.

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                                              It does seem to take a skill to generate good AI images. I don’t need to watch 30 hours of Bob Ross to acquire those skills. Skills like brush strokes & color choices aren’t really important with this new medium, but there’s clearly skills that I don’t yet possess. But I can also stumble into a semi-decent output without the skill every now and then too.

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                                                Prompt engineering is a genuinely tough thing. You really have to think outside the box and it can sometimes require a few rounds of iteration with manually scribbling on prior outputs to get what you want. It’s not going to make artists go away any time soon. I use a lot of AI-generated art on my blog but I pay a lot of money to commission artists for things like the stickers you see on the blog.

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                                                  The phrase “prompt engineering” threw me for a bit, but I like it!

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                                                  Between the article and this comment, I now wonder if we’re seeing the dawn of “Poser, but for 2D art”.

                                                  Which isn’t bad, since Poser is “good enough” for a lot of tasks, but hasn’t replaced professional 3D artists.

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                                                Emacs users might be interested in elfeed, which has an elfeed score extention that simplifies such filtering.

                                                If you want to read feeds from multiple machines you can sync the plain-text DB between machines. I use iCloud, which works quite well.

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                                                  This reminded me that Perl has a special variable, $[, that contains the starting index for arrays and string subscripts. It defaults to 0, but you can change it if the situation demands it.

                                                  cf. https://www.tutorialspoint.com/perl/perl_special_variables.htm

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                                                    APL and Visual Basic Classic also have similar functionality; I consider it a misfeature.