Thoughtworks Tech Radar, docs aren't "simple", GPTs everywhere, Bullet Train, Frogmouth, tiny illustrated Sci-Fi stories & more...

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Changelog News

Developer news worth your attention

Hello again 👋

Jerod here, with your news for the week of Monday May 1st, 2023.

Adam and I will be in Vancouver next week at Open Source Summit! We’ll be hanging out with our friends at GitHub in (or near) their booth, recording conversations (of course), and connecting with the community. If you’re attending, come say hi!

Okay, let’s get into the news. Oh, and you can listen to the audio edition too.


an Open Source Financial Switch to make payments Fast, Reliable and Affordable. It lets you connect with multiple payment processors and route traffic effortlessly, all with a single API integration.

Remember when Segment took the adapter pattern and applied it to 3rd-party scripts? From what I can tell, that’s what Hyperswitch wants to do with payment processors.

Hyperswitch diagram

The future of programming: Research at CHI 2023

Austin Henley was jealous that he couldn’t attend ACM’s esteemed CHI 2023 conference last week:

Instead, I’m going through the proceedings and reading all of the papers related to programming, of which many involve AI.

In this post, Austin listed and summarzied eight of the talks that stood out to him. This conference is for researchers, so the work they’re doing today may very well help produce the future of programming.

Thoughtworks’ latest Technology Radar

The 28th volume (!) of Thoughtworks’ excellentTechnology Radar has been published and it’s always fun to see what’s new and what’s moving in/out of vogue.

If you’ve never seens their radar before, There are four major sections (Techniques, Tools, Platforms, Languages & Frameworks) categorized into four major quadrants (Adopt, Trial, Assess, Hold).

For a taste, here’s everything in the Adopt section for Techniques:

  • Applying product management to internal platforms
  • CI/CD infrastructure as a service
  • Dependency pruning
  • Run cost as architecture fitness function

And here’s everything in its Hold section:

  • Casual management of webhooks
  • Lambda pinball
  • Planning for full utilization

You can download the full report in PDF format right here.

🤡 Time for a meme break

Stop me if you’ve heard this one…

Drake knows two CS jokes

Why do developers care about API-first?

Big thanks to Postman for sponsoring this week’s Changelog News! 💰

There’s a lot of talk lately about API-first as an approach to design and development. While there are many paths to API-first, usually the people driving this initiative within their organizations have job titles like API architect, API designer, and API platform leader. This makes sense because those folks are tend to be the most invested in the efficiency, interoperability, and quality of an organization’s APIs. But, developers may find it tough to adhere to these policies.

This post from our friends at Postman shares a few reasons why developers do and don’t like API-first. If API-first is something you’re passionate about, they also share some ways to drive adoption of API-first in your organization.

It’s a journey…API-first design takes more time up front to plan and gain alignment among stakeholders. But once the design is agreed upon, it can save time auto-generating deliverables throughout the rest of the API lifecycle. Similarly, at the very beginning of an API-first journey, it takes time and resources to develop guidelines and reusable components to share with the rest of the organization. But once the process is sorted, teams see increases in productivity, quality of code, and user experience, which consequently results in overall developer happiness.

If someone’s having to read your docs, it’s not “simple”

The team at General Products Ltd put together an awesome microsite to remind us devs to scan our technical writing for words such as “easy”, “painless”, “straightforward”, “trivial”, “simple” and “just”. They’re not helpful!

As a developer, I often find myself knee-deep in a new technology – perhaps investigating a library, or learning a language. I’m trying to frame new concepts in my head, applying my own data and architecture on the fly to the generic explanations in the docs. It’s hard! Which is why it’s jolting to read something like:

[This library] makes it painless to [do difficult thing].
[Complicated thing] made simple and easy.
All you have to do is just [difficult thing].

If someone’s been driven to Google something you’ve written, they’re stuck. Being stuck is, to one degree or another, upsetting and annoying. So try not to make them feel worse by telling them how straightforward they should be finding it. It gets in the way of them learning what you want them to learn.

Want to read the whole argument? It’s trivially easy! Simply click on that straightforward link above the pull quote. It’s just hypertext, after all. Painless!

🦾 GPTs, GPTs everywhere

GPTs for $X Everywhere meme

🔗 Also interesting…

A QUIC proxy that lets you use QUIC to connect to an SSH server without patching LINK

1Password is adding (privacy-preserving) telemetry to their apps LINK

Bullet Train is an MIT-licensed Rails-based SaaS framework LINK

Frogmouth is a Markdown viewer / browser for your terminal, built with Textual. LINK
Frogmouth screen capture
AWS appears to be slowly changing their tune around open source contribution LINK

A CLI for quickly and efficiently stopping processes running on specific ports LINK

Tiny illustrated Sci-Fi stories shared each day on Twitter (via Kottke) LINK

You buy a time machine on eBay. It arrives 6 days ago.

Star Trek Voyager does prompt engineering before it was cool (via Simon) LINK The 500KB Slack alternative LINK

Rapidly build efficient sites with Neat, the minimalist CSS framework LINK

NOTE: do you like links at the end like the above 👆 or do you prefer them inline on relevant words in the text like the below 👇? Hit reply and let me know! I kind of dig both styles, myself…

🤗 Shared by the community

All of these things were submitted by Changelog community members for our consideration. I now submit them to you for your consideration.

🎧 ICYMI: Recent good pods from us

Adam talks with Andy Klein from Backblaze on The Changelog about hard drive reliability at scale

Adam Argyle on JS Party catching Amelia & Nick up on all the goings on in the world of CSS colors

With all the LLM hype, it’s worth remembering that enterprise stakeholders want answers to “why” questions. Enter causal inference

That’s the news for now. On this week’s interview episode of The Changelog I’m joined by Elixir creator José Valim to discuss all the cool new stuff his team announced during Livebook’s big launch week.

I leave you with this gem from Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice president of Software Engineering:

New is easy. Right is hard.

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