The Gorilla team is building an API store for LLMs, DeviceScript is Microsoft’s new TypeScript programming environment for microcontrollers, Nyxt is a hackable browser written in Lisp, Morgan Housel writes about expectations debt & I issue a gentle reminder to my fellow software engineers: there’s still no silver bullet.
Raycast – Raycast is a blazingly fast, totally extendable launcher. It lets you complete tasks, calculate, share common links, and much more. Turn Pro to harness the power of AI, make Raycast your own with custom themes, keep your Macs in sync and more on the way.
Fly.io – The home of Changelog.com — Deploy your apps and databases close to your users. In minutes you can run your Ruby, Go, Node, Deno, Python, or Elixir app (and databases!) all over the world. No ops required. Learn more at fly.io/changelog and check out the speedrun in their docs.
All links mentioned in this episode of Changelog News (and more) are in its companion newsletter.
Play the audio to listen along while you enjoy the transcript. 🎧
What up, nerds? I’m Jerod and this is Changelog News for the week of Monday, May 29th 2023. Only it’s coming to you on Tuesday, because Memorial Day.
Can you believe that Changelog News only has 1 rating in Apple Podcasts. At least it’s a 5-star rating, but still.
If you’re listening in Apple Podcasts right now, hook a brother up! Unless you’re listening to this in the shower. That might be dangerous. And don’t forget to clean behind your ears…
Ok, let’s get into the news.
The team behind Gorilla is building an “open source, one-stop-shop” for all APIs that LLMs can interact with. The problem is… even state of the art models like GPT-4 are prone to calling the wrong API, especially for more obscure languages. For example, Google Bard is batting zero for me on a dozen or so Elixir-related APIs. Enter Gorilla, they say:
“Given a natural language query, Gorilla comes up with the semantically- and syntactically- correct API to invoke. With Gorilla, we are the first to demonstrate how to use LLMs to invoke 1,600+ (and growing) API calls accurately while reducing hallucination.”
This is a big step in a good direction. The team behind Gorilla is laser-focused on fixing this problem and they even developed and released a dataset called APIBench for evaluating the model’s results.
DeviceScript is Microsoft’s new TypeScript programming environment for microcontrollers. It’s designed for low power, low flash, low memory embedded projects and has all of the familiar syntax and tooling of TypeScript, including the npm ecosystem for distributing packages. This project has a lot of devs excited.
Jonathan Beri says: “Dope. TypeScript for Hardware. Always glad to see these attempts at bringing web technologies to embedded systems and see what sticks. Even when they don’t, they inspire innovation.”
Zach Silveira says: “This is so much better than microphython!”
Andrea Giammarchi says: “This is the first Espruino competitor and I think it’s going to be huge”
Have you heard of Nyxt. N Y X T. They call it the hacker’s browser. And it’s written in Lisp, so you know it’s good.
Out of the box Nyxt ships with tens of features that allow you to quickly analyze, navigate, and extract information from the Internet. Plus, Nyxt is fully hackable- all of its source code can be introspected, modified, and tweaked to your exact specification. Check the project’s homepage for some pretty compelling features. It has a command prompt that provides fuzzy search, link hinting, a REPL, clipboard history, and more.
Time for some sponsored news!
Stuck while coding? Need some copy? Imagine this: you hit ⌘+space and you’re already asking ChatGPT anything.
Enter Raycast: a blazingly fast, totally extendable launcher for macOS. Think Spotlight, Quicksilver, or Launchbar. Only better.
Today the Raycast team is launching a Pro offering right here on Changelog News. This thing has so many goodies it’s hard to list them all: AI, cloud sync, custom themes, unlimited clipboard history, Pro APIs, and more on the way.
Use Raycast for absolutely FREE and upgrade when you’re ready to Go Pro. The link is in your show notes. Thanks to our friends at Raycast for sponsoring Changelog News.
Morgan Housel writes about living in Seattle when Amazon was at the top of the world not so long ago: “Expectations were so high in 2021 that investors and employees had to achieve extraordinary things just to break even. When results were merely good, they felt terrible. Expectations are like a debt that must be repaid before you get any joy out of what you’re doing. The hard thing is that every company and every employee wants to have what Amazon had in 2021 – winning, wealth, prestige, reputation. But look at what it led to now, after the expectations debt was repaid. Was it worth it? Hard to say.”
We talk a lot about technical debt, but this is my first introduction to the idea of expectations debt. Setting expectations is so important in many aspects of life, but sometimes you don’t get to control those expectations. Example: you’re a movie director and someone hears from their friends that they absolutely must see your movie because it’s life changing and the best thing ever. So, they go see it with high expectations… and your movie doesn’t live up to the hype. That’s outside of your control. Market dynamics are also outside our control, so how do we manage our own expectations as we ride the waves up and down… something worth thinking about.
Both of those conversations were in the context of React, but the principle applies to every over-adopted technology. So I wrote a post as a gentle reminder to my fellow software engineers: If a new tool promise to solve all your problems? It won’t
If you think you’ve found the “one true tech”? You haven’t. And if you have a shiny hammer that looks great for hitting screws? It isn’t
That is the news for now! On Wednesday’s interview show we’re closing out Maintainer Month with some more awesome conversations from OS Summit. On Friday’s talk show we are Kaizen-ing once again with one of our oldest internet friends: Gerhard Lazu!
Have a great, week, share Changelog with your friends who might dig it, and I’ll talk to you again real soon. q
Our transcripts are open source on GitHub. Improvements are welcome. 💚