The Changelog The Changelog #500  – Pinned

The legacy of CSS-Tricks

Episode 500!!! And it has been a journey! Nearly 13 years ago we started this podcast and as of today (this episode) we’ve officially shipped our 500th episode. As a companion to this episode, Jerod and Adam shipped a special Backstage episode where they reflect on 500 episodes. And…not only has it been a journey for us, but it’s also been a journey for our good friend Chris Coyier and CSS-Tricks — which he grew from his personal blog to a massively popular contributor driven model, complete with an editor-in-chief, a wide array of influential contributors, and advertisers to help fund the way. The news, of course, is that CSS-Tricks was recently acquired by DigitalOcean in March of 2022. We get into all the details of this deal, his journey, and the legacy of CSS-Tricks.


Build + test + send emails with React

We’re longtime users of Action Mailer and wanted something similar for our TypeScript/React apps. We didn’t find anything, so we decided to build Mailing.

We added some features that we would’ve liked in Action Mailer, like a mobile toggle (with hotkeys), and the ability to send a test email from the browser while developing. We went all in on MJML so that we (almost) never have to think about email clients or nested tables :)

Plays well with the popular JS web frameworks, too. Demo video here.

Ship It! Ship It! #65

Two thumbs up for the Cool Wall

Tammer Saleh, founder of Super Orbital, a tiny team of exceptional Kubernetes engineers and teachers, is joining us today to talk about what is cool in the Cloud Native world. Yes, it’s the same Tammer that we had the pleasure of on - Is Kubernetes a platform?

In today’s episode, we also cover two great blog posts:

  1. Zero to GitOps: Terraform and the AWS EKS Blueprints project by Sean Kane
  2. Hunting Down an Intermittent Failure in Cilium by James McShane

We wrap up with ✨ The Cool Wall of Cloud Native ✨

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Error monitoring and exception handling at scale

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If large-scale software is simply too complex to be bug-free, and you’re not able to test for all the ways your users will interact with your application…what are you supposed to do? That’s exactly what Joel Hans shares in this post on the Raygun blog.

Even if your team dogfoods your application, watches countless Hotjar recordings of real-user interactions, and thinks they’ve tested everything, you’re still restricted by your bias on how the application works or how the product team has defined their user stories.

The reality of large-scale codebases is different. When thousands of users are simultaneously exploring your application, they find ways past all of the guardrails your team might have set up, whether that’s with unexpected interactions or by using devices you hadn’t planned for. You might even discover that a staging server, tested on by only your development team, behaves very differently compared to your production infrastructure under heavy load or latency.


Don’t call it a comeback: why Java is still champ

Mike Melanson gives props to the language many of us (myself included) enjoy lampooning:

While Java may have hit some hiccups earlier in its life, nowadays the language and its greater ecosystem have picked up the pace to meet the needs of the future in a variety of ways. In fact, it never really went anywhere: Companies like Amazon, Google, Netflix, Pinterest, Spotify, Square, and Zoom all employ Java across their vast codebases. Not to mention much of the high-scale data infrastructure over the past decade has been powered by Java, with the language serving as the backbone for the likes of Apache Hadoop, Kafka, and Spark.

You’ll have to read the article to see how he backs up statements like this one:

After nearly 30 years of Java, you might expect the language to be showing some signs of wear and tear, but nothing could be further from the truth. Java in 2022 is not a language in decline, but rather a language preparing for the effervescent future of software development.

Practical AI Practical AI #188

AlphaFold is revolutionizing biology

AlphaFold is an AI system developed by DeepMind that predicts a protein’s 3D structure from its amino acid sequence. It regularly achieves accuracy competitive with experiment, and is accelerating research in nearly every field of biology. Daniel and Chris delve into protein folding, and explore the implications of this revolutionary and hugely impactful application of AI.


Announcing: MiniRust

Ralf Jung has been thinking about semantics of Rust… a lot:

The purpose of MiniRust is to describe the semantics of an interesting fragment of Rust in a way that is both precise and understandable to as many people as possible… Specifically, MiniRust is specified by a reference interpreter that describes the step-by-step process of executing a MiniRust program, including checking at each step whether the program has Undefined Behavior.

Source code here.

Lucas Fernandes da Costa

Why your daily stand-ups don't work and how to fix them

Daily stand-ups are a classic example of learned helplessness. We all know they’re useless, but we tell ourselves “that’s just how things are” and do nothing about it.

Lucas provides a set of five symptoms that indicate you’re doing stand-ups wrong and says if your team hits at least three of the five, your stand-ups are useless.

But, instead of just telling you to stop doing them (like I probably would), he provides a bunch of solid advice on how to make them useful again.

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“Shift left”—wtf does it mean?

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Everyone’s telling us to “shift left” these days. This raises some questions. What’s being shifted? Who’s doing the shifting? How far left should we be shifting it?

To be honest, we’re not quite sure ourselves. It can be quite befuddling trying to sift through the reams of “shift left” content, trying to separate the ad copy from the nuggets of truth. But what we do know is…


A pandemic side project you can now play on Nintendo Switch

The story of Kells is an inspiring one, to say the least!

I started this game back in 2020 as a fun little side-project to pass the time during the pandemic with lots of help from my son. Back then we didn’t even expect it to be playable, never mind it turning into a real game with 100+ levels and being released on Steam/PC. But even after that milestone, I never dreamed my son and I would be able to play it together around the TV on our favourite console!

A pandemic side project you can now play on Nintendo Switch


Why we chose the Clojure programming language

Clojure is often lauded, but you don’t see too many teams actually using it to build production systems. “Why Clojure?” is what the Penpot team gets asked the most, so they lay their reasoning out in this article. The TLDR:

Though it is not a mainstream language, Clojure was the right language for Penpot to choose because of its key features: stability, backwards compatibility, and syntactic abstraction.

Backstage Backstage #24

Reflecting on 500 episodes

This is Adam and Jerod’s pre-show call before hooking up with Chris Coyier to record episode 500 of The Changelog. We’ve been doing these off and on for awhile now. We hang out for 30ish minutes before the show begins and ship that conversation as a bonus for our Changelog++ members.

We’re doing this one different. You don’t hit a round number like this very often. So, here it is. A standalone Backstage episode. Thanks for listening and here’s to the next 500! 🥂


How we created an in-browser Kubernetes experience

Michael Guarino lays out how the engineering team at Plural brought K8s to the browser for their users:

Overall, we had a ton of fun building this feature. It allowed us to delve into an often unexplored area of the Kubernetes API, which I am honestly happy that we got to explore. This project also took an unexpected turn in its use of tmux and exposed us to a genuinely mind-blowing project in xtermjs (I’m shocked the community had the patience to write a full shell in javascript!).

How we created an in-browser Kubernetes experience

Ship It! Ship It! #64

Bass: the beat drop after Concourse

Our today’s guest spent 4 days building a feature for his side project so that we could ship it together on Ship It!, while recording. The feature is called rave mode, and the context is Bass, an interpreted functional scripting language written in Go, riffing on the ideas of Kernel & Clojure. When the local build runs, you can now press r to synchronise the beats of your currently playing Spotify track with the build output. For a demo, see bass v0.9.0 release.

Please welcome Alex Suraci, a.k.a. vito, the creator of Concourse CI and Bass.

This episode is dedicated to the late John Shutt, the creator of Kernel.

Your ideas continue in Bass.

Thank you for getting them out into the world.

Medium Icon Medium

Fzf: a tool that will transform your CLI life

Suraj Pillai, singing fzf’s praises:

I’m a CLI junkie, addicted to Vim motions, and never miss an opportunity to bring those two in to any part of my workflow. Naturally, I love to geek out about command line utilities and am always on the lookout for the next tool that can improve my productivity or just make CLI more fun to use. I can confidently say that Fzf is one of the handful of tools I’ve discovered over the years that has done both and has,thus, significantly improved the quality of my command line life.

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