Changelog News – Episode #37

GitHub Copilot X, Chatbot UI, ChatGPT plugins, defining juice for software dev, Logto, Basaran & llama-cli

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GitHub announces Copilot X, Mckay Wrigley created an open source ChatGPT UI buit with Next.js, TypeScripe & Tailwind CSS, OpenAI is also launching a ChatGPT plugin initiative, Brad Woods writes about juice in software development, Logto is an open source alternative to Auth0, Basaran is an open source alternative to the OpenAI text completion API & llama-cli is a straightforward Go CLI interface for llama.cpp.

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Chapters

1 00:00 Intro
2 00:14 Brain Science
3 00:56 GitHub Copilot X
4 01:36 Chatbot UI
5 02:55 ChatGPT Plugins
6 03:38 Juice in software
7 05:16 Lightning Round!
8 05:30 Logto
9 05:41 Basaran
10 06:00 llama-cli
11 06:15 Outro

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Changelog

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What up, nerds I’m Jerod and this is Changelog News for the week of Monday, March 27th 2023.

Have you heard? Our Brain Science podcast is back after a two-hear hiatus. On that show, Adam and Mirielle explore the inner workings of the human brain to understand behavior change, habit formation, mental health and what it means to be human.

Here’s a few fun facts about Brain Science: it’s one of the top ten most popular tech podcasts on Spotify, it’s currently featured by Pocket Casts with the best podcasts about the brain, and our its newest episode is called: develop a high-performance mindset.

Brain Science is a podcast for the curious. So, if you’re curious. Check it out at brainscience.fm

Ok let’s get into the news.

The biggest news last week was GitHub’s announcement of Copilot X – their vision for the future of AI-powered software development. It of course adopts OpenAI’s new GPT-4 model, but also puts chat and voice for Copilot, brings Copilot to pull requests, the command line, and docs.

Gosh, there’s a lot to say about this. In fact, we spent 40 or so minutes discussing it on JS Party’s live show last Thursday, so I won’t say any more here. That episode drops in the JS Party feed, the master feed, and ad-free into the Changelog++ on Friday.

The AI revolution continues apace…

and there’s so much fervor right now that it’s difficult to decide what’s worth covering (hence last week’s boycott). Here’s a cool project that’s utility might outlast the current hypecycle…

Mckay Wrigley created an open source ChatGPT UI buit with Next.js, TypeScripe & Tailwind CSS. Why’s that cool? It lets you bypass OpenAI’s ChatGPT UI and directly interact with their API instead. This is great for portability but even more promising is the ability to hack it with custom themes, prompt templates, plugins and more.

Prompt templating is a particularly valuable thing. Craft (or steal) a great prompt for ChatGPT to provide you with recipes and save that as a template. Now you have a RecipeBot. Do the same for yard work advice. Yard Bot. Template out a prompt for writing ideas. BlogBot. You get the point…

McKay says he’s dedicated to updating Chatbot UI over time and to expect frequent improvements.

Speaking of ChatGPT and plugins… OpenAI is also launching a plugin initiative starting with a small set of users. The first plugins have been created by Expedia, FiscalNote, Instacart, KAYAK, Klarna, Milo, OpenTable, Shopify, Slack, Speak, Wolfram, and Zapier.

This is a big step in the direction of keeping ChatGPT relevant, since its training data is large but limited in timeliness. While not a perfect analogy, they’re calling plugins the “eyes and ears” for language models, giving them access to information that is too recent, too personal, or too specific to be included in the training data.

Do you know what Juice is?

… purple stuff …

Not that kind of juice. Juice in software development. Brad Woods writes about it in his notes about web design and engineering. You probably know about juice from your favorite video games, even if you don’t realize it.

It’s the non-essential visual, audio & haptic effects that enhance the player’s experience. The example Brad gives is the delightful chimes sound that plays when Mario collects a mushroom.

Chime sound.

Yeah, that one. That’s the juice. In Brad’s design notes, he provides an excellent example of progressively cranking up the juice in web development using a delete button with a slider to increase the juice. He finishes by saying, “Juice is about the tiny details. It’s about squeezing more out of everything. It’s about serving the user’s emotional needs, not just the functional. It originated in games but can be used in other types of software.”

Did you know we even try to juice up our podcasts? The best example is this sound right here. That’s called “You found a secret coin!” and it plays at the front of every Changelog++ episode. It’s completely inessential, but we want our ++ members to know we appreciate them by creating a sense of reward and hopefully increasing their enjoyment by a smidge.

As you’re going about your work this week, maybe ask yourself: “how can I put some juice in this?”

Because sweating the details is so rewarding, in big and small ways.

Ok let’s finish up with a quick lightning round, shall we? These projects were all submitted for coverage at changelog.com/submit. They look cool, but I dunno, do your own research

First up: Logto is an open source alternative to Auth0. It offers a seamless developer experience and is well-suited for individuals and growing companies.

Basaran is an open source alternative to the OpenAI text completion API. According to its creators, the open source community will eventually witness the Stable Diffusion moment for LLMs, and Basaran allows you to replace OpenAI’s service with the latest open source model to power your application without modifying a single line of code.

Last one: llama-cli is a straightforward Go CLI interface for llama.cpp, providing a simple API and a command line interface that allows text generation using a GPT-based model like llama directly from the terminal.

That’s the news for now.

On Wednesday’s interview show I’m joined by Filippo Valsorda who quit Google’s Go team last year to experiment with more sustainable paths for open source maintainers. Good news, it worked! Filippo is now a full-time open source maintainer and he wants to tell everyone exactly how he’s making the equivalent to his total compensation package at Google in open source.

Have a great week, share Changelog with a friend if you dig it, and we’ll talk to you again real soon.

Changelog

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

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