Changelog News – Episode #36

Self-hosting in 2023, no more Alpine Linux, type constraints in 65 lines of SQL, Initial V, Minimal Gallery, the legacy of Visual Basic, tracking fake GitHub stars & Mastodon's 10M


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Michal Warda on self-hosting in 2023, Martin Heinz will never use Alpine Linux again, Oliver Rice at Supabase creates type constraints in Postgres with just 65 lines of SQL, Aaron Patterson converted a BMW shifter into a Bluetooth keyboard that can control Vim, Piet Terheyden has been curating beautiful & functional websites daily since 2013, Ryan Lucas put together a history of Visual Basic, turns out it’s easy for an open source project to buy fake GitHub stars & Mastodon hit 10 million accounts.


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What up, nerds? I’m Jerod and this is Changelog News for the week of Monday, March 20th 2023.

Let’s do it.

Let’s start with a Lightning Round today. Why not, right?

The topic: awesome things you should know about that have absolutely zero to do with AI

Michal Warda wrote about self-hosting in 2023. And he published said writing on his website that’s hosted on a Raspberry Pi 4b at his house. The Pi server, according to Michal, is still doing great in terms of speed, costing close to nothing, and having endless possibilities for extending for free.

Martin Heinz says he will never use Alpine Linux in his containers again. His reason for this is the many minor differences between musl, which Alpine uses, and glibc used by other Linux distros, such as Ubuntu. Martin’s conclusion: “By using Alpine, you’re getting “free” chaos engineering for you cluster.” Ouch

Oliver Rice at Supabase details how you can create type constraints in Postgres with just 65 lines of SQL. With a little effort, Oliver says, a user-defined type can feel indistinguishable from a built-in. To illustrate this, he walks you through creating a semver data type to represent Semantic Versioning values.

If that data type could force developers to use SemVer consistently… that’d be something.

That concludes our lightning rou… you know what? I’m digging this. Let’s just make this entire episode one big GPT-free lightning round.

Aaron “tenderlove” Patterson took a BMW shifter and converted it into a Bluetooth keyboard that can control Vim. There’s an image in your chapter data and Aaron says a promo video is coming soon. For now, you can think of it as a very over-engineered Vim clutch.

Piet Terheyden has been curating beautiful & functional websites daily since 2013. That’s a long time! Check the site at if you’re in need of some inspration, or subscribe to the weekly newsletter to keep up with the latest in minimal design.

Retool’s Ryan Lucas put together a gorgeous and comprehensive treatment of the history and legacy of Visual Basic. The lede: How Visual Basic became the world’s most dominant programming environment, its sudden fall from grace, and why its influence is still shaping the future of software development. This is a must-see, if not a must-read.

Turns out it’s easy for an open source project to buy fake GitHub stars. And the fine folks at Dagster shared two approaches to detecting them. This might help explain the somewhat extreme lengths I’ve had to go to recently to keep spammers and malware purveyors out of Changelog Nightly. That’s our automated, nightly email that unearths the top new and top starred projects on GitHub before they blow up. Lately, it’s been unearthing these fakesters.

Mastodon hit 10 million accounts yesterday after gaining 151k+ in the last week alone. Why the sudden growth in accounts? There are many theories in the announcement post’s replies.

Whew! That’s the news for now, Lightning Round style. Which do you prefer? Having more but shorter stories and links like this, or having less stories with more time spent on each one?

Let me know in the comments.

Oh, and if you were disappointed by the utter lack of AI content in today’s episode, don’t worry, we’re talking Whisper.cpp and Llama.cpp with Georgi Gerganov (yes, I’ve been saying it wrong this whole time surprise surprise) on Wednesday’s interview show.

Have a great week, share Changelog News with your friends, and we’ll talk to you again real soon.


Our transcripts are open source on GitHub. Improvements are welcome. 💚

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