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OkSo, Markdown generator speeds, Egr Mgr framework, Crockford says retire JS & messy code not required

Changelog News for 2022-08-01

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Oleksii Trekhleb has a new drawing app, Zach Leatherman did some markdown generator speed tests, Jorge Fioranelli built a framework for Engineering Managers, Crockford got interviewed on Evrone & Daniel Sieger wrote up his clean coding advice.

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Good Monday!

I’m Jerod and this is Changelog News for the week of Monday, August 1st 2022.

Did you know Adam talked to the founder of his favorite bike brand on Founders Talk? You should check it out. founderstalk.fm/93.

Ok, let’s do it.

Ok! So… here’s the thing. No, seriously. It’s called OK! So…

It’s an in-browser drawing app to express, grasp, and organize your thoughts and ideas.

Oleksii Trekhleb created it as an alternative to pencil and paper. He cites a few drawbacks to these old school drawing tools such as:

  1. You may forget it at home.
  2. The page space might not be enough to contain all the details.
  3. Often you only have pens of one or two colors.
  4. If you made a typo you can’t just undo/redo it, the sketch is not really editable.

And let’s face it, when it comes to digital tools that last one is the killer feature.

With OkSo, Oleksii is addressing all of these shortcomings while provideing organizational tools like nested pages. He’s also taking a minimalist approach over other drawing apps which keeps it clean and aesthetically pleasing.

That scene from American Psycho is so… psycho. Check out Oleksii’s new drawing too at okso.app

Eleventy creator Zach Leatherman asked himself a question: which generator builds markdown the fastest? Thankfully, he followed up by answering it. Otherwise, it wouldn’t really be news, would it?

Zach says, “Given that Markdown is a very popular document format for blogging, this gives us the opportunity to compare the performance of different site generators for this pervasive use case. Let’s see how each generator stacks up when consuming markdown files from the local project’s file system and building into a production-ready project.”

I’ll give you the rankings and leave the commentary up to Zach (link in the show notes). Hugo took first place followed by Eleventy then Next.js. There were other competitors as well, but let’s obscure the names to protect the innocent. Forth and fifth place was a near-tie between The Great character Leonardo Dicaprio played in the film and the Jetsons family dog. Pulling up the rear was that deal where you take a song and make it again, only different this time.

Have I completely lost you? Read Zach’s post and hopefully you’ll get it. Oh, and you can also read his benchmark process and caveats, for all the nuance that’s lacking here.

Up next: A framework for Engineering Managers. This is cool. Its purpose is to allow software engineering managers to have meaningful conversations with their direct reports around the expectations of each position and how to plan for the next level in their career ladder.

It works by delineating 4 different career ladders: Developer, Tech lead, Technical Program Manager, and Engineering Manager.

And relies heavily upon radar charts to show visually the different perspectives and expectations of a given position. I’m going to stop describing it now, because the radar chart is worth a thousand words. Click through and check it out for yourself.

Did you hear what Douglas Crockford said in an interview with Evrone? Well, let me back up a bit.

Do you know who Douglas Crockford is? He’s well-known in the JavaScript world because of his books, including JavaScript: The Good Parts and because of his son: JSON. Wait, no sorry I read that wrong. JSON. His son, JSON?

Did you hear what Douglas Crockford said in an interview with Evrone?

He said, “The best thing we can do today to JavaScript is to retire it.”

He did, Emma. He really did. And he went on to say, “Twenty years ago, I was one of the few advocates for JavaScript. Its cobbling together of nested functions and dynamic objects was brilliant. I spent a decade trying to correct its flaws. I had a minor success with ES5. But since then, there has been strong interest in further bloating the language instead of making it better. So JavaScript, like the other dinosaur languages, has become a barrier to progress. We should be focused on the next language, which should look more like E than like JavaScript.”

The Crock had a lot more to say, as you may imagine. Read the full interview at evrone.com. Link in the show notes.

Last item in the queue for this week, Daniel Sieger assures us that our code doesn’t have to be a mess. This may sound like it’s going to be a lecture from an overbearing parent.

But it’s not! Daniel shares some actionable, high-level strategies to keep software simple. Things like: defining clear goals, setting up constraints, saying “no”, and more. Here’s my favorite bit, in a section on minimizing dependencies. “Be picky about adding any dependencies. Don’t treat code re-use as a holy grail. Carefully consider the pros and cons. Dependencies might break, disappear, turn into garbage, or become a security risk. Consider to vendor by default. If the functionality in question is crucial for your core business: Consider doing it yourself.”

I couldn’t have set it better myself.

That’s the news for now. Don’t forget you can submit your projects, articles, and epic twitter threads (probably no) to be included in Changelog News at changelog.com/submit. And if you aren’t a regular reader of the newsletter, head to changelog.com/weekly to fix that bug. Remember, we highlighted just 3 of the 20ish awesome links and stories included in this Sunday’s email.

We’ll be back in your ear holes on Friday. Can you believe it’ll be our 500th interview episode? We’ve invited our long-time internet friend to celebrate with us and hear his story of selling CSS-Tricks. Yup, it’s the one and only Chris Coyier on The Changelog episode 500. We’ll talk to you then.

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