The Changelog

Harmonai revisited, lessons learned from public salary, Open Core Ventures, Stripe is Paypal in 2010 & Helix

Changelog News for 2022-10-17

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We revisit our Harmonai story from last week, Jamie Tanna reviews posting his salary history publicly, Sid Sijbrandij’s new (open core) venture fund, Zed Shaw thinks Stripe is like Paypal in 2010 & Helix is a new Rust-based terminal.

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Hello Again

Hello my friend, hello.

I’m Jerod and this is Changelog News for the week of Monday, October 17th 2022. Ok. Let’s do it.

Let’s start with a quick update on the HarmonAI story from last week. After listening to the pod, HarmonAI Director Zach Evans informed me that the audio samples I shared aren’t actually from Dance Diffusion. The author of the article I referenced mislabeled some style transfer attempts as original output from the model. So that explains why the one sample included Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing” track. They were testing out some style transfers on their Discord server, which is where the journalist obtained them.

My apologizes to Zach and the HarmonAI team for perpetuating that mistake. But I won’t apologize for that journeyroll’d joke.

Don’t Stop Believing in!

Wow, how’d you fall for it again?! Journeyroll’d!

Just over a year ago, Jamie Tanna did something quite “out there”, even for him, and posted his salary history publicly. When he did that, he made a note to himself to come back in a year for a review. To summarize his review: a bunch of people have seen it, he got a lot of private thank you notes from folks it helped, more people have begun sharing theirs, he doesn’t believe it’s had any negative impact on his career, it’s been great for his employers at Deliveroo because they compensate so well, and he has no regrets.

Ok, that one’s obscure. If you got the reference without checking the transcript… We should be friends.

GitLab CEO Sid Sijbrandij is putting his money to work at Open Core Ventures, a new approach to venture capital. Instead of looking for companies to fund, OCV identifies promising open source projects and creates companies around them. So far Sid and the team have invested in five companies surrounding open source projects osquery, Node-Red, Rook, OBS, and Mermaid, and they’re planning to add one company a month.

If this excites you enough to get your pitch deck all ready to present… don’t. You don’t pitch OCV, OCV identifies open source projects with traction and potential and then seeks out builders and technologists to launch their ideas.

Zed Shaw thinks Stripe is Paypal circa 2010. And, no. That is not a compliment.

Zed used Stripe about 10 years ago but switched to Paypal for chargeback fee and fraud non-prevention reasons. Now he’s back on Stripe and has this to say about the experience. “I honestly do not understand the belief that Stripe is better than Paypal. Everyone who begged me for an “alternative to Paypal” would recommend Stripe but my experience so far, and that of other people, is that Stripe is not better than Paypal. They’re both moderately terrible. This review is an attempt to make sense of why Stripe’s documentation doesn’t work, why it’s the same for Paypal, and how Stripe’s only real advantage now is mostly smoke and mirrors. Hopefully this helps people who are running straight to Stripe avoid a painful lesson.”

Zed doesn’t pull any punches, and this post goes deep on the shortcomings of both Paypal and Stripe. The nugget of gold is buried all the way at the end, though, where he gives this advice. “I advocate to people to be ready to switch payment processing at a moment’s notice. Right now I could flip two options and I’d be back on Paypal. If I was pressed I could probably implement any other payment processor in about a week or a day. The ability to quickly switch payments is your only defense against frozen accounts, fraud, and rogue employees.”

That’s good advice for almost all 3rd-party integrations. Keep an abstraction layer between your app and their API that can be swapped with minimal effort. Because…

Helix, a post-modern modal text editor. It’s written in Rust, inspired by Neovim and Kakoune (a pronunciation I’m not even going to apologize for) and it’s terminal-based. Helix is quite easy on the eyes, as well. Check your chapter image or the show notes to see what I mean.

So what’s so post-modern about it? Nothing, really. That’s just a joke. From what I can tell, it’s kind of like Neovim after somebody who has a lot of time on their hands has pimped it out all the way.

When Helix hit Hacker News’s frontpage recently, one commenter boldy proclaimed: “I fully expect Helix to replace Vim, Neovim, and Kakoune for most users in the long run.” To which another commenter replied, “Yeah, that’s not going to happen.”

Regardless of who’s right, if you enjoy trying out different editors to see which one maps best to the way your brain works, give Helix a look.

That is the news for now.

If you’re a fan of these News episodes we produce for you each Monday… I would absolutely love it if you’d share the podcast with your friends and colleagues.

We’ll be back in your ear holes on Friday talking to Will McGugan about Textual, a Text User Interface framework for Pythonistas inspired by modern web dev.

Have a great week! We’ll talk to you then.

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