Mark Smith's Linkblog

Monday 6th July, 2020 #

  • Rust for JavaScript Developers - Functions and Control Flow - If you are a JS developer thinking of learning Rust then this tutorial might be of interest, lots of similarities between the two languages

Friday 3rd July, 2020 #

  • Github launch docs.github.com - last time I was reading the github docs (about actions) they felt a bit fragmented to me, so I’m glad to see there is a push in this area, it’s really important to have clear documentation
  • BBC Sport website at 20 - How the site has changed over the past two decades - Hoping to find some time to read this later, I do like a good retrospective and the BBC has been doing web for a long time

Thursday 2nd July, 2020 #

  • Apple declined to implement 16 Web APIs in Safari due to privacy concerns
  • Building a decentralized web is hard. Who's in? - worth a read if you are into all things decentralised, quite a few relevant projects mentioned
  • Burrito Delivery Makes No Sense - I didn’t make it through this whole article because after a good start it jumps around all over the place, but the commentary on the food delivery business is interesting
  • HN Thread - DuckDuckGo browser seemingly sends domains a user visits to DDG servers

Wednesday 1st July, 2020 #

  • Bootstrap Icons Alpha 5 - bootstrap icons, svg sprite, icon web fonts
  • Chrome has a new CSS Overview feature
  • Mastering JQ - Part 1 in a series that looks at the jq command line tool, which is an essential tool if you are handling lots of json data, contains impressively short and simple examples that you can copy and paste directly into your shell
  • The end of the Redis adventure - @antirez Is stepping back as the (excellent) project maintainer to concentrate on other things - Best wishes

Tuesday 30th June, 2020 #

  • Remembering slice vs splice in JavaScript - Covers the functionality of these well used functions but also a handy mnemonic to remember which is which
  • Interesting article that discusses some of the benefits and challenges of the scrum agile development methodology

Saturday 27th June, 2020 #

  • Refactoring optional chaining into a large codebase - lessons learned - I’ve been waiting for this javascript feature to start becoming mainstream for a while now, so it’s super interesting to read about real world experience, turns out there are several subtle gotchas to watch out for when you are refactoring existing code to use the feature

Thursday 25th June, 2020 #

  • Data Intensive Applications with Martin Kleppman - There’s a lot of interesting ground covered in this podcast, I’m hoping to listen to it again, it brought together a lot of concepts that I wouldn’t necessarily have put together and in quite a novel fashion

Wednesday 24th June, 2020 #

  • Riot which is a client for the real-time decentralised messaging platform called Matrix, is being renamed - I was always put off a bit by the current name so I think this might be a good move - I like that they are announcing the up-coming change, some interesting tech developing in France at the minute
  • Github rolled out a new design, I noticed it yesterday, quite a big deal since so many developers use the tool every day - The discussion on HN isn’t on the whole all that positive, though not overly negative either - Hopefully they will find and fix the bits that people are having issues with
  • How fast are Apple’s new ARM Mac chips? It’s hard to tell

Sunday 21st June, 2020 #

  • mongoose-api-generator - Automatically generate a REST API from Mongoose models - It’s an early stage project that looks interesting, to add an endpoint just create a new mongoose model and add a permissions object export, also has auth built-in
  • Put your bash code in functions - It makes it easier to parallelise execution of parts of the code
  • Google’s latest Chrome extension lets users link to specific text

Saturday 20th June, 2020 #

  • From the experiments in web technologies department - Chrome Experiments - "A showcase of work by coders who are pushing the boundaries of web technology"
  • Twitter releases new audio feature for short voice recordings - This new feature reminds me of the early days of podcasting, I’m interested to see what the implementation looks like, and what kind of experiments people will try out

Friday 19th June, 2020 #

  • What JavaScript Developers Should Know About Curl - Nice article that highlights exactly the commands you need to know as a web developer to test your endpoints, I'm always searching for these commands, so it's nice to have them in once place

Thursday 18th June, 2020 #

  • The rise of embarrassingly parallel serverless compute - I like this article, a good mix of facts and "think of the possibilities", the most useful idea for me was the ability to parallelise integration tests, the one thing I was thinking could be interesting, and this is telling of when I arrived to the www party, would be a serverless RSS reader, and I can think of several music related tools that could also be quite cool
  • Introduction to CloudFormation - Cover a lot of the basics of how AWS cloud formation templates are structured
  • Could Blockchain Be a Solution to the Issue of Misinformation Online? - I'm not all that convinced by this study, but it's interesting to see some MVPs being developed that use blockchain in new ways, because it feels like a technology we still don't fully know how to use in the things we are building
  • Introducing AWS Snowcone – A Small, Lightweight, Rugged, Secure Edge Computing, Edge Storage, and Data Transfer Device - Edge computing is starting to become a pretty hot space at the minute, this new product from Amazon reminds me of my days in film VFX and digital cinema, shipping USB drives all over the place, it’s the next generation of that haphazard system, now you can install EC2 instances on the drives to pre-process data, the other edge computing area that’s interesting is the Cloudflare workers edge computing technology
  • Apple's Beefiest MacBook Pro Has a New, Speedier GPU Option
  • What is the deadly India-China border dispute about? - The border is called the Line of Actual Control (LAC) which sounds like a blockbuster movie IMHO

Sunday 14th June, 2020 #

  • Javascript promises are great and so is async/await, makes code much more readable, but there are several gotchas when writing tests for such code, and this article covers these
  • A Javascript Module for KeyDB and Redis - Gives you the ability to extend these datastores with functionality using Javascript rather than Lua - Pretty cool - Would be great to have something like this in Nginx

Saturday 13th June, 2020 #

  • Kayeb - Simple serverless processing workflows, on any cloud - I like the "backend processes as a service" pitch
  • Snapchat is launching Snap Minis - Small apps built by third-party software developers that can be opened within Snapchat - Sounds sort of interesting
  • New Horizons sends images to Earth from a vast distance
  • Disney Almost Bought Twitter in 2016 - Kind of interesting to think about how different things might be today had that happened

Saturday 6th June, 2020 #

  • Meet the new Microsoft, same as the old Microsoft? - Bit of a Microsoft hit piece and it appears to me to be a bit thin on substance, but there is a somewhat interesting angle that is mentioned - the recently announced Slack initiative in Amazon
  • GitHub Etiquette - Worth reading if you interact with any open source projects
  • Repl.it - The online code sandbox now supports Deno

Wednesday 3rd June, 2020 #

  • Firefox 77 Released - Continued roll out of the new rendering architecture called WebRender, better web certificate management page, improvements to the javascript debugger
  • US challenges 'unfair' tech taxes in the UK and EU
  • BBC launches Beeb voice assistant in partnership with Microsoft

Monday 1st June, 2020 #

  • Trusted CGI - It’s old school CGI but made into modern lambda style functions, all self hosted and without all the complexity of docker, I can see this being very handy for a lot of small scale projects

Saturday 30th May, 2020 #

  • Type safety with native JavaScript - With all the recent attention to typing in javascript it’s interesting to see an approach that tries to use native javascript, it’s in no way as complete a solution as Typescript but interesting none the less
  • The rise of React
  • Smashing Magazine review of their recent adventures and exploration in hosting re-imagined online events and conferences
  • tc39er.us a podcast where we talk to the TC39 delegates about JavaScript and everything else!

Thursday 28th May, 2020 #

  • Tina a.k.a. swissmiss shares some of her favourite blogs on the 15 year anniversary of her blog - I really like reading her Linkpacks and design focussed content, I also like the bring back blogging trend that I’ve been seeing in some places around the web recently
  • SpaceX is launching some astronauts into space later today (20:33 UTC)
  • Facebook’s latest TikTok-inspired app is a music-making platform called Collab

Monday 25th May, 2020 #

  • Chris Coyier weighs-in on the recent discussion about the state of the “Modern Web”
  • 5 Differences Between Arrow and Regular Functions - Well written article that covers all the bases in a very neat fashion
  • The Third Age of JavaScript - Interesting opinion piece summarising the past and future of javascript
  • Microsoft Azure gets into the Jamstack - Introducing App Service Static Web Apps

Friday 22nd May, 2020 #

  • Your First Deno Server in 60 Lines - Uses the oak library which looks very similar to express but using context objects
  • Handy description of all the javascript console.log variants
  • Node.js v14.3.0 has an experimental implementation of top level async/await, meaning you can use await outside of an async function

Wednesday 20th May, 2020 #

  • Styling Components In React - I’ve always gravitated more towards javascript than css in web development, while it’s great to see things are moving along, these new css techniques appear quite strange to me
  • Blogging is not dead
  • New York Times phasing out all 3rd-party advertising data
  • Introducing Facebook Shops - Helping Small Businesses Sell Online - Looks like a very comprehensive suite of tools for selling products online and it’s free
  • Microsoft’s Project Reunion bridges Win32 and UWP divide, again - This time they are using a similar technique to polyfills which gained popularity in web development

Tuesday 19th May, 2020 #

  • Power Tool Manufacturers and Who Really Owns Them - I find these industry brand charts quite fascinating, but also potentially very useful if your line of business overlaps
  • The NASA hunt for dark energy and exoplanets has some big news - Announcement tomorrow - Wednesday, May 20, at 11 AM EDT / 8 AM PDT
  • Amazon’s AI tool can plan collision-free paths for 1,000 warehouse robots
  • Deezer release music source separation engine called Spleeter under MIT license
  • Disney’s Head of Streaming Is New TikTok C.E.O.

Monday 18th May, 2020 #

  • Comparing Social Media Outlets for Developer Tips - It’s interesting to get concrete examples of how modern social medias help to further the conversation and discussion, and the experiment seems to show that blogging still is one of the best ways
  • Edward Saatchi on virtual beings - AI is the next great art form - This isn’t an area I’ve been particularly interested in to date, but having listened to this interview, I feel there might be some interesting avenues to explore - it appears to be relatively new ground, probably a lot of possibilities
  • It’s Time to Get Back Into RSS

Sunday 17th May, 2020 #

  • Create your own snippets in VS Code
  • I thought of a cool GIphy integration, turns out it already exists, but I think it could be implemented in a much better way, you really want to have something similar to a soundboard that you can load up with gifs in advance so you can drop them in at the right time using a keyboard shortcut

Saturday 16th May, 2020 #

  • How Facebook Could Use Giphy to Collect Your Data - This article takes the privacy angle, which is a totally valid concern, but honestly I kind of glazed over this piece because I'm more interested in wondering how the deal could lead to some cool products
  • Facebook to buy Giphy for $400 million - I’ve loaded this page about 20 times today while doing some testing but my eyes stopped scanning after the first word (I think I’m completely mentally checked out of Facebook), but now I’ve finally a bit of time for a cup of tea and actually read the whole headline, and I’m like wow that’s a phenomenal acquisition, Giphy is such a cool website and the synergy with Instagram feels like it could go in a lot of interesting directions
  • In defense of the modern web - A response to the article from Tuesday, I like when there is a worthwhile public discussion about javascript and the web like this, I’m not exactly sure where to find these lately, I feel like it was more commonplace in the early days of blogging, I’m wondering whether a webdev Techmeme would be a good idea (webdevmeme?)

Friday 15th May, 2020 #

  • Smashing Meets! - the online webdev magazine is holding an online meet-up next week with talks and interactive activities, it looks pretty cool
  • Debug anything - Series exploring how to use the VSCode debugger, I'm keen to see the rest of the articles in this series as I use the debugger a lot, based on this article looks like it could be a good series
  • npm v7 Series - first in a series of posts detailing the future of npm, interesting to see their direction now that they are backed my a big company

Sunday 10th May, 2020 #

  • Node.js CLI Apps Best Practices - A collection of curated best practices on how to build successful, empathic and user-friendly Node.js Command Line Interface (CLI) applications
  • Creating A Real-World CLI App With Node
  • Multicloud MySQL - Podcast from Software Engineering Daily, worth a listen just to hear discussion, language and concepts around deployment of apps on multi-cloud architectures of highly available Kubernetes clusters - this is how things are setup at YouTube

Friday 8th May, 2020 #

  • The Original Cookie specification from 1997 was GDPR compliant - An interesting read, the article highlights relevant parts of the original specification, showing how it was intended to work and what actually ended up happening - It feels to me that the browsers could have better cookie management tools
  • How Facebook’s oversight board could rewrite the rules of the entire internet - The thing that’s interesting about this new oversight board is how they’ve structured it, its much more than a Supreme Court style moderation board, it’s a factory for spinning off multiple such moderation boards, and that could indeed be quite a big deal

Thursday 7th May, 2020 #

  • Production ready Node.js REST API Setup using TypeScript - I like the app structure used in this tutorial, feels like a domain driven architecture, using layers to separate concerns
  • Tackling Webdev as a Bioinformatician: why is it so hard? - This is such a wonderfully level headed post, full of situations that have happened to me many times too - webdev really is difficult, an endless list of things that don’t work, progress is really slow at times
  • I'm looking for medium sized Express apps written in Typescript - This is the typescript implementation from the Realworld demo project
  • New Repo: minimal-express-typescript - Everyone is banging on about Typescript like it's going out of fashion, but after searching for several hours for clear examples of dev environment setup, it's apparent that there aren't many that are in a real life context, so I made this repo that sets up a basic dev environment for an Express app written in Typescript that you can run in the VSCode debugger
  • Github Codespaces - "Codespaces sets up a cloud-hosted, containerized, and customizable VS Code environment" - According to the description, it will be possible to step through code in a debugger right in your browser, and you will also be able to connect your local VS Code directly to a Codespace
  • Florian Schneider, Kraftwerk co-founder, dies aged 73

Wednesday 6th May, 2020 #

  • Why a “Shelter in Place Film Festival” beats bingeing video right now - More explorations of online / virtual conferences, there is a lot of nuance to organising a film festival that I was unaware of, the web designer in me found this really interesting
  • It's cool to see the online conferences space get re-invented, SmashingConf Live are putting together something that looks pretty interesting, live collaborative note-taking, slack, conference DJ
  • Google Podcasts will give podcasters more data about their listeners
  • Apple to host virtual Worldwide Developers Conference beginning June 22 free for all developers

Saturday 2nd May, 2020 #

  • typescript-exercises - A collection of challenging TypeScript exercises
  • A Visual Guide To React Mental Models - It's a bit long, but there are some nice diagrams in this article and I like the general idea of describing mental models used to understand frameworks - One of the things that trips me up in React is that the JSX tree looks like HTML but it has all these extra layers that have nothing todo with the actual presentation of the page, like for instance how routers are implemented, it feels to me like JSX munges a load of things that are usually separate into a big soup, but then again there are some things about JSX that I like

Friday 1st May, 2020 #

  • The Seafloor Is Absolutely Littered in Microplastic - 10 million tons per year get into the sea, mostly from washing clothes that contain synthetic materials
  • I was just looking at some bitcoin charts, and this one stood out to me (make sure to click the "all time" button) - Which is worse dilution or infinite difficulty? Well I guess it depends what we (humanity) are trying to achieve
  • Stocks Are Recovering While the Economy Collapses - That Makes More Sense Than You'd Think - So the Fed has added 8 trillion, other central banks are doing similar, note that the total money supply worldwide is in the region of 50 trillion, I don’t know what it means but these are big numbers - It’s likely I have this wrong but it seems to me that unless you increase your personal stash of money by the same percentage that got added to the total supply then you get poorer
  • Generate Typescript types from Postgres
  • Turning Vue components into reusable npm packages
  • Exploring Node.js Internals - Interesting deep dive into the node core and how the various pieces are connected together
  • middy is a middleware framework for AWS Lambda written in Node.js - I like the syntax, looks pretty good