Weeknotes 2024.12

I was able to post something, even though the reason was nothing to cheer about. I take what I can get. Elsewhere it’s databases all the way, Figma shares more engineering stories and plenty more links.

Structure. I guess, if I had to sum up last week in one word, this would be it. Structure. It allows me to come up with creative solutions, if it’s there. Last week, I had to deal with my worst enemy: lack of structure and mindless urgency. This urgency blinds people to the point that suggesting a structured approached is only seen as slowing things down unnecessarily. They’d rather see actions after actions, even if they don’t lead to anything.

This ended up messing with my own structure and my capability to do things. So I did the next best thing and wrote about what was happening and how to I deal with those situations internally. Externally, meaning how I talk to the person responsible, I still need to find a way.

On a more positive note, there is plenty of things going on in the world of software engineering that an AI, as interesting as the advancements are, will not worry me for a while.

Many mentions this week included either directly or indirectly three of my favourite pieces of software: Sqlite, PostgreSQL and FoundationDB. Add DuckDB and you see a pattern emerging.


Hopefully more next week.


Devin is not taking developers' jobs. Maybe someday, but the day is not today. Well, if all you do is translate a specification into a specific programming language then yes, your job is at risk. But it has been at risk even before Devin.

Daniel Roe offers a new tool to help with technical SEO considerations. For me, accessibility is also technical SEO, but not handled by the tool. Technical SEO will be handled by our build tools, because they are not SEO, but make content accessible and a pleasant experience. Everything else, like keywords and all the topic related crap to game the algorithm should die in a fire. I'm not writing to please a search engine.

Figma built a custom permissions DSL. I love these battle stories of how others approached a problem. Even if it's not 1:1 applicable, you still learn a bunch from it.

How Figma's databases team lived to tell the scale. Did I mention that I like war stories like this? Figma is on an educational roll here.

DHH chimes in on mental health days and throws out the baby with the bath water, but he is also right. It's sick leave by another name and should adhere to the same rules. An occasional flu is fine, repeated or even frequent leaves require a note from a doctor, if only as an indicator that professional help is involved. Why should mental health be handled any different?

People think app makers are contracted or employed by Apple or Google. It's but one of the misconceptions people have about the technology these days. Which is why I'm a bit concerned about unintended consequences of things like the DMA. They assume more literacy than there actually is.

Most apps struggle to reach $1000 revenue per month. Between this and a lot of people thinking developer are contractors for Apple, why am I doing this again? At least I have a link to post, if someone will inevitably complain about the subscription pricing.

Hopefully the last thing a mention about Apple and DMA. Apple only allows iOS app installs from websites in the EU, if the developer has shown a good record distributing on the app store. I think that's fair and is dealing with one issue I had with the whole distribute however you want. The whole iOS is like macOS and therefore I should be allowed to install from anywhere is complete nonsense. There is a vast majority of smartphone users even less computer literate than computer users. You open the door for scams, plain and simple.

Astro now has a database. It’s kind of weird for a static site builder, but Astro calls itself a framework for content driven websites, so a database is within scope, I guess. Based on LibSQL, which is a SQLite fork, therefore it can use SQLite for local development. This is mainly why I mention it. It shows the versatility of SQLite.

HBR asks what sets successful startup accelerators apart. One of the ingredients is structure. I have become very critical of accelerators and incubators over time. Most of them simply don’t do enough to maximise chances of success of a venture (which is the one job they have, really).

DBOS was announced and it excites me! The concept of completely rethinking the stack and building an OS on top of a reliable database is intriguing. With Mike Stonebraker and Matei Zaharia it has the right minds behind it. (via)

You can write Playdate games in Swift now. Filed under Swift in unusual places.

Subtitles, Closed Captions, Open Captions. Ben Myers with a nice explanation of the differences. In some players, captions are hidden as an additional language for the subtitles, marked “AD” or “Audio Description”. The naming of open vs. closed captions is weird and unintuitive though.

Image-scraping Midjourney bans rival AI firm for scraping images. Oh the irony!

YAMLScript is Lisp with YAML syntax. “Beneath the covers, YAMLScript compiles to Clojure code, run by the Small Clojure Interpreter (SCI)”. Aye caramba!

On to a better week!