Tierney Cyren 1x.engineer

What is a 1x Engineer?

Fun little site poking fun at the 10x engineer meme. Here’s a sampler of things a 1x engineer does: Writes code that &emdash; gasp &emdash; has bugs. Writes code that others can read. Is a team player that goes to the same meetings their co-workers are required to go to. If you’re wondering whether the &emdash;es are intentional… yes and no. Bonus points for NES.css 👌

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Opensource.com Icon Opensource.com

What is POSIX? Richard Stallman explains

It’s great to read RMS and other GNU developer’s perspective on how we got past the UNIX days. I’m particularly interested in a conversation around this statement from the author: Open source discourse typically encourages certain practices for the sake of practical advantages, not as a moral imperative. I’m fascinated by the different perspectives. There’s one where F/OSS is a human right, and another where it’s a business opportunity. They’re not mutually exclusive, but which is more prevalent these days? My thought is that we wouldn’t be where we are today if the former didn’t dominate in the ‘90s, but we’re significantly more capitalistic with our OSS these days. What’s your take on it?

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project Icon github.com

Source code for the command and lunar modules of Apollo 11 🌔

Original Apollo 11 guidance computer (AGC) source code for Command Module (Comanche055) and Lunar Module (Luminary099). Digitized by the folks at Virtual AGC and MIT Museum. The goal is to be a repo for the original Apollo 11 source code. As such, PRs are welcome for any issues identified between the transcriptions in this repository and the original source scans for Luminary 099 and Comanche 055, as well as any files I may have missed. A nice bit of history to peruse in honor of the flight’s recent 50th anniversary. 100% Assembly tho 😱

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Thoughtbot Icon Thoughtbot

Profiling Vim

Chris Thorn writing for Thoughtbot: Lately, I’ve noticed that opening Markdown files in Vim is slow. I don’t know exactly how slow, but slow enough that I notice a pause after opening the file before I can edit it. I’m not sure why or when it started, but it’s painful enough that I want to track down and alleviate it. I, too, have felt this pain, which is one of the reasons I no longer use Vim as my full-time coding editor. I still use it enough for its sluggishness to bug me, but not quite enough to go chasing down why it’s sluggish. This article might change my calculus on that decision.

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Strange Loop Icon Strange Loop – Sponsored

How to teach programming (and other things)?

Felienne Hermans is giving a keynote at Strange Loop 2019 on “How to teach programming (and other things).” She’s an associate professor at the Leiden Institute of Advanced Computer Science where she heads the Programming Education Research Lab (PERL) and focuses on the question how to best teach programming to kids and students. Here’s the abstract for her keynote: Everyone should learn programming, right? Yes! But how… Should we allow children to explore and learn about syntax on their own, or should we drill programming like we rote memorize the table of multiplication or German grammatical cases? Felienne’s talk outlines this history of programming education and didactics beliefs in programming that lead to the prevalence of exploratory forms of teaching, starting with Papert’s LOGO. She will then explore programming education in relation to mathematics and language education and explore how rote learning could look like for programming. Felienne will discuss her own research into misconceptions and code phonology as means to teach programming more effectively.

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Google steinhq.com

Use Google Sheets as your no-setup database

This looks like a great option for proofs of concept or when you want to take an idea to market as fast as possible. It’s also probably empowering to non-developers on the team since so many people can slice-n-dice spreadsheets better than SQL databases. You can self-host the open source version or pay for the hosted offering. I’d love to see a comparison between this and Airtable.

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Smashing Magazine Icon Smashing Magazine

Improve your JavaScript knowledge by reading source code

One of the most amazing things about Open Source is how much it enables you to learn from the best. Just open up the source for your favorite library or framework and you can start learning from the best in the business. But that can feel intimidating. This article breaks down some approaches you can use to make it easier. As author Carl Mungazi says: Reading source code is difficult at first but as with anything, it becomes easier with time. The goal is not to understand everything but to come away with a different perspective and new knowledge. The key is to be deliberate about the entire process and intensely curious about everything.

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Testing nngroup.com

Why you only need to test with 5 users

Some people think that usability is very costly and complex and that user tests should be reserved for the rare web design project with a huge budget and a lavish time schedule. Not true. Elaborate usability tests are a waste of resources. The best results come from testing no more than 5 users and running as many small tests as you can afford. This article is from the year 2000 (queue Conan O’Brien’s side kick), but it’s filled with timeless goodies. Its conclusions are a straight forward example of diminishing returns, but worth reading how they arrived at them from empirical evidence.

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Peter Lu github.com

XSM – an "extraordinarily simple" state management solution

[XSM] consists of a global store and the machinary to re-render the component when the state is updated. The store is just a JavaScript object with key and value pairs. By binding the instance reference, this, to the store, each component can react to the changes of the store whether it is re-render or unmount. It is really this simple, no need to use HOC, provider, reducer, decorator, observer, action, dispatcher, etc. Hence, all the three most popular framewokrs work the same way in XSM and that’s why we can keep the code size very small and support the three frameworks without framework specific modules. Works out of the box with Angular, React, and Vue.

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Rachel Andrew Smashing Magazine

Everything you need to know about CSS margins

Margins in CSS seem simple enough at first glance. Applied to an element it forms a space around the element, pushing other elements away. However, there is more to a margin than you might think. No kidding! Margin collapsing has got to be one of the hardest things about CSS for new developers, and this article not only goes into it and how to avoid it, but explains the “why” behind it.

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Slack Engineering Icon Slack Engineering

When a rewrite isn’t: rebuilding Slack on the desktop

The Ship of Theseus is a thought experiment that considers whether an object that has had each of its pieces replaced one-by-one over time is still the same object when all is said and done. If every piece of wood in a ship has been replaced, is it the same ship? If every piece of JavaScript in an app has been replaced, is it the same app? We sure hoped so, because this seemed like the best course of action. Fascinating look behind the scenes at both the process of rewriting a massively used application and the particular architectural choices made along the way. The approach used was at once incremental and all-encompassing, rewriting a piece at a time into a gradually growing “modern” section of the application that utilized React and Redux. And the results? 50% reduction of memory use and 33% improvement in load time… not too shabby.

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Opensource.com Icon Opensource.com

Get going with EtherCalc, a web-based alternative to Google Sheets

After I wrote about Stein earlier today, I got to wondering about open source alternatives to Google Sheets. Coincidentally, this article popped up in my RSS reader. EtherCalc can be self-hosted or there are hosted offerings, including one at EtherCalc.org. It looks a bit rough around the edges, but that’s often the case with open source GUIs. Maybe kick the tires and blog about your experience? We’d happily log the results here on Changelog News.

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Tom Warren The Verge

Slack’s new desktop app loads 33 percent faster and uses less RAM

Good news fellow Slack users, your productivity just got bumped by the perf gods of Slack thanks to their continued efforts and focus on the desktop app’s performance. Slack is unveiling a new version of its desktop app for Windows and macOS today that promises big performance improvements. Slack has rebuilt its desktop app to focus on speed, and the company claims Slack will now launch 33 percent faster than before. The Slack app will even use 50 percent less RAM than before, according to the company. Slack has been working on this overhaul for two years, slowly modernizing parts of its code along the way. While the desktop apps still run on Electron, all of the UI parts have been rebuilt using React to fix some of the shortcomings of the existing Slack app.

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