had kind of a long rant on twitter today that i felt was important. reproduced here slightly modified for format.

the more i write code & interact with others’, the more i become convinced that abstraction is incredibly dangerous & a two-edged sword.

underpinning 90% of nontrivial bugs i see is a fundamental lack of understanding of how an abstracted component works. abstraction can easily lead to devs having a black-box mentality and utterly ballooning code complexity.

one thing i’ve done that has kept my code much, much more manageable than a lot projects i’ve seen is simply to implement everything i can. on my own. and it’s easy to cry “reinventing the wheel”&mdashl

—but at the end of the day my code has extremely minimal dependencies, i understand how every moving part works, and because i can tailor the implementation to my needs it can very easily work better than something designed to be more generic.

Twine is a massive unhosted JS app for interactive storytelling that has tons and tons of dependencies & requires node.js & a node build tool chain. the results were bulky, full of hacky HTML, and easily breakable. unsatisfied with the available options, i wrote my own.

my compiler was around ~600 lines of C++, has no dependencies outside the C compiler and stdlib (and even then only for string classes), runs in milliseconds and produces very optimal output.

also i wrote the whole thing in under 24 hours.

why is this? fundamentally the underlying problem is not a complex one. it’s something computers are extremely well-suited to handling.

but we don’t do that anymore. we’ve learned to code by stringing together libraries and bludgeoning generic solutions and writing masses of glue code instead of just solving the problem ourselves.

i was talking earlier about the trimet mobile ticket application and scorning it vocally. fundamentally the underlying problem is extremely simple! the only abstraction needed is for network access, GUIs, and arguably message serialization. i could write something like it in a week (i’ve done it before) but this company GlobalSherpa manages to expend tons of (mostly-)man-hours on this thing, hacking it together out of JS, spit, and prayers, when a native Java app would be perfectly sufficient, tiny in comparison, and much, MUCH more responsive and usable.

we don’t know how to solve problems anymore.

we’ve learned to outsource them instead.

very capitalist of us.

computer tech is getting better. it’s getting more and more powerful and capable and clever. and in the meantime software is getting lazier and fractured and more and more disorganized. by 2050 i am comfortable predicting that the average personal computer will be less usable and less functional than a 1980s mainframe because the hardware will be buried under a maze of bulky, badly-architected software.

i’m clinging to arch linux because it’s the last vestige of the old ways, where systems were built on an underlying design principle instead of hacked and glued together out of available components.

because that’s the other thing. in the FOSS world, new software just doesn’t seem to get written. projects are forked, old software is cloned, but there are close to zero genuinely new or interesting projects around. i ended up writing nitasema because there simply was NO tool that could accomplish what i wanted. twine was the closest but even it fell laughably short.

and the few new projects i do see are often just pieces of glue for other existing systems.

tech is just broken and i feel so utterly powerless to do anything about it.

there are a billion and one tetris and pacman clones out there. the number of new ideas, genuinely new games? vanishingly small.

and yet we just keep churning out clone after clone after clone.

i’m so tired of it.

i want a community that’s creative. that looks at a C++ compiler and sees the same beautiful, overwhelming skein of potential for creativity i do. instead of just staring at the screen with dull eyes and going “uh imma write an(other) Atari emulator” or whatever.

we can do so much better. the hoi polloi have never had access to the kind of tools we do now, and we’re squandering them on pointless shit.

it makes me fucking sad.

So, I finished programming the morpheme dictionary! I’m pretty proud of it! It works pretty well and looks nice and is easy to use.

Anyways, morpheme dictionaries are a must if you’re doing nerdy pursuits like worldbuilding, doing sciencey or academic things, or just making up works for fun. The linguists will probably have fun with this as well.

Also, words are just fun and you feel like a language wizard knowing how their word bits work.

Enjoy and tell about any mistakes or bugs!

3

Hey guys! I’d like to present to you Wykki, a new kind of search engine that directly answers your questions with information from Wikipedia instead of giving you pages of web results. 

What’s more, Wykki is capable of learning new question types. The more questions Wykki gets asked, the more she learns! Try it yourself, and share with your friends.

Wykki was created by Leon Overweel, a 17 year old high school student. More information about Wykki can be found here, on Leon’s website

etchesonstones said:

Equius, you look pretty good with that ponytail. You should tie your hair up like that more often.

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D —> I suppose it displeases you to say
D —> I prefer only having my hair up if it would be
D —> Hazardous to my safety as I work
D —> For instance, activities that require attention to detail
D —> Such as welding, programing microchips, repairing roboti%
D —> Or other high level necessities that require abso100t concentration

Announcing Code Studio!

I’m proud to announce the launch of Code Studio, Code.org’s new open-source learning platform designed to teach students the basics of computer science, starting as early as kindergarten. 

The Code.org vision is to bring computer science to every student in every school and today marks our latest step towards that vision.

We believe passionately that every child who has an opportunity to discover the world around them through a smartphone should also be given the learning capabilities and tools to build their own app. Code Studio enables even our youngest students to learn to build a basic animation or app in elementary school, and then share it to a friend’s phone within minutes.

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The Code Studio tutorials enable students to cover programming topics such as repeat loops, conditionals, and functions, as well as broader concepts such as how the internet works, or the role of digital citizenship in modern society. Code Studio expands on Code.org’s previous online tutorials which have already been used by over 30,000 classroom teachers and tens of millions of students. Any student can sign up for the beginner courses at http://studio.code.org.

Make a simple app, send it to you phone
Within Code Studio, we’ve developed Play Lab, where elementary students can create and send apps or animations directly to a cell phone, just by typing in the phone number. This is a first in education for kids, made possible through a collaboration with Twilio.

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To help new teachers integrate the system into their classrooms, we are also launching free, one-day professional development workshops in more than 60 cities throughout the US, aiming to prepare 10,000 teachers.

Any elementary school teacher in the US can sign up for a local workshop at http://code.org/k5. More workshops, offered through 100 Code.org Affiliates nationwide, will be available in every region of the country soon.

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Code Studio works on any modern browser or tablet, with no install needed. It’s free for everybody, and available in dozens of languages. Start learning with a loved one today!

- Hadi Partovi
founder, Code.org

Sexism in the IT industry

Today, while I was checking my emails and notifications on Twitter, Facebook, etc… I noticed I received an email on LinkedIn from someone who I recently accepted the invite thinking we would have a professional chat.

However, this is what I saw:

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Nothing can piss me off more… How can people want to see more women in the IT industry if this is the kind of comment we get?

It is not the first time I get comments on what I look like rather than on what I am capable of but receiving that on LinkedIn is maybe even more pathetic.

Who cares who’s hot, who’s not? I love programming, this is my passion and THAT is what matters and this is what I would like people to see in me.

How do you want to fight the impostor syndrome of telling yourself “I got the job just because I’m a woman” if the only thing people tell you is like “Oh, you’re doing IT…?”, or “You don’t have the face of someone who’s into robotics”…

I’m really fed up of the idea that women just need to be sexy and this is it. Sexism is still present in the industry and pushing women away from programming careers. This is just sad.

Watch on thechembow.tumblr.com

Why People Can’t See Chemtrails

Pretty self explanatory.  Video taken on the Gold Line, Northeast LA.

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