Changelog News – Episode #58

All your CAPTCHAs are belong to bots

+ The OpenTF Manifesto, things you forgot because of React, work/like/love & why greenfield projects should join Mastodon


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New research shows that CAPTCHAs are now utterly useless, hundreds of concerned technologists signed the OpenTF Manifesto to keep Terraform open source forever, Josh Collinsworth writes down all the things you forgot (or never knew) because of React, Mike Seidle shared some quick-but-powerful advice on building new software features & Erlend Sogge Heggen urges new open source projects to join the Fediverse (by way of Mastodon).



Sentry – On September 7th, Sentry is hosting a discussion with the CEOs of three SaaS companies that adopt an open source strategy for their core product. Register to attend right here.

Notes & Links

📝 Edit Notes

All links mentioned in this episode of Changelog News (and more) are in its companion newsletter.



📝 Edit Transcript


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, August 21st, 2023

For the second time in three weeks, a beloved member of the software community passed away. This time we lost Kris Nóva to a climbing accident. Ashley Willis said this about Kris on Hacker News: “Kris was more than just a prominent figure in our industry; she was a beacon of inspiration in open-source. Her passion wasn’t just about writing code, but about bringing people together, breaking barriers, and making technology accessible to all. Kris’s vibrant personality and dedication to collaboration will be deeply missed, but her impact on the world of open-source won’t be forgotten. She has left a personal imprint on many of us, and her spirit will continue to inspire those who believe in the power of community-driven innovation. I will miss her so much. She was truly one of a kind.”

ok, let’s get into the news.

It’s official: advancements in computer vision have rendered CAPTCHAs obsolete as new research shows AI bots are 15% more accurate than humans at picking which images have a [bridge|sign|bicycle] in them. The researchers recruited 1,400 participants to test websites that used CAPTCHA puzzles, which account for 120 of the world’s 200 most popular websites. The bots’ accuracy ranges from 85-100%, with the majority above 96%. We mere mortals check in at a pathetic 50-85% accuracy and we answer slower than the robots to add insult to injury.

I’ve surmised this for months now as we’ve been unable to ward off spam account creations on no matter which shiny new CAPTCHA service we tried.

In the wake of last week’s big HashiCorp relicensing news, hundreds of concerned technologists signed a manifesto because: “In our opinion, this change threatens the entire community and ecosystem that’s built up around Terraform over the last 9 years.””

The group’s goal is to ensure Terraform stays truly open source forever and they’re asking HashiCorp to switch the license back. If HashiCorp doesn’t do that, the fallback plan is to fork the legacy MPL-licensed code and maintain the fork in a foundation. This is akin to the OpenSearch fork of ElasticSearch, except that was (is?) largely the work of Amazon whereas this effort represents almost 100 different companies.

Josh Collinsworth has perfected the craft of absolutely dumping on React in a convincing fashion.

This time around he draws an analog to pop music and his once naive belief that “anything good inevitably became popular—and therefore, anything worth knowing would eventually come my way on its own.”

I still believe this when it comes to memes, which are literally ideas that spread. So the best memes by definition are the ones that spread the furthest and eventually reach me. Right? Anyway, back to Josh and React: “Assuming we were only talking about personal preferences, I’d never write a blog post arguing about what you like, or trying to change your mind. (Not at this age, anyway.) Who cares? If you enjoy it, have fun. But unlike music or other subjective things meant for our own enjoyment, our choice of frontend tools has empirical, measurable effects on others.””

Josh’s overarching point is to look beyond React, because you don’t know what you might be missing. He goes into extreme detail on why React is falling (or has fallen) behind and all the other stuff you should try instead. Unsurprising to me (but maybe surprising to you), we’ve discussed literally all of these tools (often with their creators) on the JS Party podcast. That’s the next best thing (sometimes better if it saves you time) to trying all these for yourself.

Let’s do some Sponsored News!

On September 7th, Sentry is hosting a discussion with the CEOs of three SaaS companies that adopt an open source strategy for their core product. Peer Oke Richelsen from, Yaw Anokwa from ODK & Jerrod Engelberg from Codecov. On the agenda:

  • What open source means in the context of SaaS
  • Why they operate their companies using open source
  • Why we’re seeing a shift in SaaS companies adopting this model
  • How you can apply similar approaches in your startup or company

This is a completely FREE event that you don’t want to miss. Register to attend using the link in your show notes and chapter data. Thanks again to Sentry for sponsoring this episode of Changelog News.

Mike Seidle shared some quick-but-powerful advice on building new software features. He says “Make it work. Ship it. Improve it so people like it. Ship it. Then improve more, so people love it. Ship it.” This sounds a lot like Kent Beck’s “Make it work. Make it right. Make it fast” that I quoted on last week’s Changelog & Friends, but with a different spin on the process. Two things pop out to me: 1) iteration is the key here, and 2) it needs to work right out of the gate.

Consider these things while you’re creating software this week.

Erlend Sogge Heggen urges new open source projects to join the Fediverse (by way of Mastodon): “Joining the fediverse is a lot like installing your first Linux distro. Nothing is quite as easy as what you’re used to; seemingly simple tweaks lead you down deep rabbit holes of community-curated knowledge spread across unofficial wikis and old-school bulletin boards. But somehow it doesn’t feel all that laborious. That’s because you didn’t install Linux to save time. You entered the world of Linux (or WordPress, Node, Python etc.) because you got the sense that something is happening over there.”

I like that analogy quite a bit. And here’s the kicker (which I’ve found that to be quite true): “Permeating the whole experience is the deeply reassuring certainty that you are considerably more in control of your digital experience than you ever were before you took the leap.”

If and when you do join the fediverse (by way of Mastodon), connect with us at

That’s the news for now! Of course, the companion newsletter has more stories including the nerdiest game ever, System Initiative going open source, why you probably don’t need to fine-tune LLMs, a nerdy meme I created about GitHub Copilot not “getting” me and six new tools you should add to your toolbox.

So, give that a scan using the link in your show notes and pop your email address in to receive it directly in your inbox every Monday.

This week’s interview show features Andreas Kling from SerenityOS and the Ladybird browser. So stay tuned right here.

Have a great week, tell your friends about The Changelog if you dig it, and I’ll talk to you again real soon.


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

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