The Changelog The Changelog #507  – Pinned

Product development structures as systems

This week we’re talking about product development structures as systems with Lucas da Costa. The last time we had Lucas on the show he was living the text-mode only life, and now we’re more than 3 years later, Lucas has doubled down on all things text mode. Today’s conversation with Lucas maps several ideas he’s shared recently on his blog. We talk about deadlines being pointless, trajectory vs roadmap and the downfall of long-term planning, the practices of daily stand-ups and what to do instead, measuring queues not cycle time, and probably the most controversial of them all — actually talking to your customers. Have you heard? It’s this newly disruptive Agile framework that seems to be working well.


MNT's Reform is an open source PC that fits in your pocket

MNT Research… is going small for its next project. The MNT Pocket Reform has a seven-inch screen with a clamshell design that, when closed, will be less than five centimeters thick. If its perky purple facade looks a bit retro, that’s no surprise; the Pocket’s inspirations read like a ‘greatest hits’ list of pocketable computers.

They’re taking open source seriously:

MNT’s open-source promise is not limited to an open source operating system or select internal components The Pocket Reform, as with MNT’s full-size Reform laptop, will provide mainboard schematics, 3D models for physical components, and open source drivers, among other things.

Coming soon to a crowd fund near you.

MNT's Reform is an open source PC that fits in your pocket

Medium Icon Medium

We reduced our server costs 80% by moving away from AWS

Zsot Varga explains how Prerender saved $800k annually by removing their reliance on AWS and building in-house infrastructure to handle traffic and cached data. This was no minor migration, and it took months to pull off, but it’s a solid lesson in testing your assumptions.

The cloud (which is AWS in most cases) is the default for most businesses today. That’s a good starting place for many reasons, but once you get up and going you may find it’s not the best choice for your business, like the folks at Prerender learned.


Enhance is a web standards-based HTML framework

I love that people are bringing HTML back to the forefront:

Our mission is to enable anyone to build multi-page dynamic web apps while staying as close to the platform as possible. Enhance fills in the gaps to make building for the backend, and the browser a seamless experience for web authors and consumers.

Modern JavaScript frameworks bring more problems than they solve; recreating native web platform features adding unnecessary weight and complexity, which is challenging to unravel.

Enhance provides a dependable foundation built on standards-based web platform features, allowing developers to create web applications that are lightweight, flexible, and future-proof.

Practical AI Practical AI #195

Production data labeling workflows

It’s one thing to gather some labels for your data. It’s another thing to integrate data labeling into your workflows and infrastructure in a scalable, secure, and useful way. Mark from Xelex joins us to talk through some of what he has learned after helping companies scale their data annotation efforts. We get into workflow management, labeling instructions, team dynamics, and quality assessment. This is a super practical episode!

Vivian Qu

In defense of apps that don’t need updates

Vivian Qu states her case as to why Apple’s decision to remove outdated apps from the App Store is dumb, especially for indies like her.

Never mind the fact that my app has a 5-star rating and was still being downloaded, with no complaints from any of my users. Also disregard the fact that I had other highly-rated apps up on the App Store, some of which had been updated much more recently than July 2019, clearly showing that I have not abandoned these apps entirely. If there had been an actual reviewer who checked my outdated app, they would have discovered that I architected the app from the beginning to dynamically scale the UI so it resizes to fit the latest iPhone devices. All these could be signals that indicate to Apple that this is not a garbage-filled scam app that is lowering the quality of their App Store.

She goes on to tell the entire saga that she (and others) were put through to keep their apps on the store. Sometimes an app isn’t outdated, it’s just complete. Ya know?

Michael Knyszek

4 years of progress on the Go runtime

Michael Knyszek:

Since our last blog post about the Go GC in 2018 the Go GC, and the Go runtime more broadly, has been steadily improving. We’ve tackled some large projects, motivated by real-world Go programs and real challenges facing Go users. Let’s catch you up on the highlights!

Lots of invisible changes/improvements, but Michael focuses in on a new knob that he’s encouraging gophers to play with: the soft memory limit


A web-based implementation of The Matrix's digital rain

This project is a web implementation of the raining green code seen in the Matrix franchise. It’s built right on top of the upcoming graphics API WebGPU, but falls back to the functional WebGL wrapper, REGL; its previous Three.js version is maintained in a separate branch.

I used to spend countless hours in college scouring the web for the best digital rain screen saver for my laptop. Sounds like the author is with me on that:

The number of implementations out there of this effect is a testament to the size of the film’s impact on popular culture. For decades, I’ve enjoyed searching for and comparing them from time to time. That’s probably how you arrived here— it’s fun to see what kinds of solutions different people come up with to a problem, when the process is purely recreational and its success is subjective.

This one’s really nice and even has a 3D mode. The README says it’s “made with love”, but from what I can tell it’s almost entirely JavaScript. 😜

A web-based implementation of The Matrix's digital rain


Algorithms & data structures implemented in many programming languages

This looks awesome:

We are a group of programmers helping each other build new things, whether it be writing complex encryption programs, or simple ciphers. Our goal is to work together to document and model beautiful, helpful and interesting algorithms using code.

We are an open-source community - anyone can contribute. We check each other’s work, communicate and collaborate to solve problems. We strive to be welcoming, respectful, yet make sure that our code follows the latest programming guidelines.

JS Party JS Party #244

The spicy React debate show 🌶️

We’re back with another spicy YepNope debate! This time, Amelia and KBall are arguing that there’s real value to (continue) using React in 2022, while Amal and special guest (and author of the post which stemmed the whole debate) Josh Collinsworth argue that React’s time leading innovation has passed. Of course, the stance each panelist is taking is assigned ahead of time. Is that how they really feel? Tune in and find out!


A statement-based scheduling framework for Python

Unlike the alternatives, Rocketry’s scheduler is statement-based. Rocketry natively supports the same scheduling strategies as the other options, including cron and task pipelining, but it can also be arbitrarily extended using custom scheduling statements.

That’s pretty useful! I used to struggle to shove conditionals in to my cron jobs. Example time:

from rocketry.conds import daily, time_of_week
from pathlib import Path

def file_exists(file):
    return Path(file).exists()

@app.task(daily.after("08:00") & file_exists("myfile.csv"))
def do_work():


Create rich Python apps in the browser with HTML

PyScript is a Pythonic alternative to Scratch, JSFiddle, and other “easy to use” programming frameworks, with the goal of making the web a friendly, hackable place where anyone can author interesting and interactive applications.

Lots of code examples of various apps (clock, repl, todos, etc) here. I love the why behind this effort:

As an industry, we have focussed on making the impossible possible, rather than focussing on making the possible accessible to all.

They want to bring programming to the 99%. Somebody’s gotta do it…

Go Time Go Time #248

Engineering interview tips & tricks

In this episode, we will be exploring interviewing as a Software Engineer. Tips, tricks, and gotchas, as well as potentially some interviewing horror stories and red flags to avoid at all costs. We’re joined by Emma Draper, Engineering Manager at the New York Times based in Arizona, and Kate Jonas, goes by Jonas, Technical Enablement Manager at Datadog based in Denver.

OpenAI Icon OpenAI

OpenAI introduces Whisper (open source speech recognition)

They’re really putting the Open in OpenAI with this one…

Whisper is an automatic speech recognition (ASR) system trained on 680,000 hours of multilingual and multitask supervised data collected from the web. We show that the use of such a large and diverse dataset leads to improved robustness to accents, background noise and technical language. Moreover, it enables transcription in multiple languages, as well as translation from those languages into English. We are open-sourcing models and inference code to serve as a foundation for building useful applications and for further research on robust speech processing.

We might need to give this a spin on our transcripts. Who knows, maybe our next big innovation could be The Changelog in German, French, Spanish, etc!

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