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Crowdsourcing the evolution of text parsing with unified

unified –for the uninitiated– is an interface for processing text with syntax trees and transforming between them. Maybe you’ve never heard of it, but you’ve probably relied on it as part of your software infrastructure: [unified] has been OSS for years, but has recently gotten more traction. It’s used in fancy technology such as MDX, Gatsby, and Prettier, and used to build things like Node’s docs, freeCodeCamp, and GitHub’s open source guide. Project’s like unified are crucial to the JavaScript ecosystem, but they’re difficult to fund and support toward sustainability. Hence, the unified collective. Today, we are pleased to announce the creation of the unified collective. It’s an effort to bring together like-minded organisations to collaboratively work on the innovation of content through seamless, interchangeable, and extendible tooling. We build parsers, transformers, and utilities so that others don’t have to worry about syntax. We make it easier for developers to develop. Let’s show these maintainers some 💚 and share this around to those who should be supporting it.

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Kevin Owocki Medium

Gitcoin Labs and burner wallets?!

The next big thing for Gitcoin might be coming out of their announcement of Gitcoin Labs. In their words, Gitcoin Labs is “R&D for Busy Developers.” We are excited to expand upon Austin Griffith’s work in the ecosystem, and to formalize it into Gitcoin Labs, which will be a service that provides Research Reports and Toolkits for Busy Developers. Kevin mentioned that they’re “going to continue Austin’s work in the ecosystem” and the first thing listed on their roadmap was “burner wallets”— consider me intrigued.

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Tanya Janca Medium

Why I love password managers

Tanya leads with this as a disclaimer “This article is for beginners in security or other IT folk, not experts.” — which means this is a 101 level post BUT is a highly important topic. Share as needed. Passwords are awful … software security industry expects us to remember 100+ passwords, that are complex (variations of upper & lowercase, numbers and special characters), that are supposed to be changed every 3 months, with each one being unique. Obviously this is impossible for most people. Tanya goes on to say… If you work in an IT environment, you absolutely must have a password manager. I strongly suggest that anyone who uses a computer regularly and has multiple passwords to remember to get one, even if you don’t consider yourself tech savvy. I fully agree. I also use 1Password and have done so for as long as I can possibly remember.

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Addy Osmani Medium

A Netflix web performance case study

Hold on to your seat! This is a deep dive on improving time-to-interactive for Netflix.com on the desktop. Addy Osmani writes on the Dev Channel for the Chromium dev team regarding performance tuning of Netflix.com. They were trying to determine if React was truly necessary for the logged-out homepage to function. Even though React’s initial footprint was just 45kB, removing React, several libraries and the corresponding app code from the client-side reduced the total amount of JavaScript by over 200kB, causing an over-50% reduction in Netflix’s time-to-interactivity for the logged-out homepage. There’s more to this story, so dig in. Or, share your comments on their approach to reducing time-to-interactivity and if you might have done things differently.

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Lee Byron Medium

Introducing the GraphQL Foundation

The Linux Foundation is essentially a foundation for foundations, and the newest member to join the ranks is the GraphQL Foundation. We’ve been tracking news and talking about GraphQL for some time now. Back in 2012 Nick Schrock, Dan Schafer, and Lee Byron got together at Facebook to build the next generation of Facebook’s iOS app powered by a new API for News Feed — what they arrived at was the first version of GraphQL. Lee Byron has this to say about today’s announcement: Today, GraphQL has been a community project longer than it was a Facebook internal project — which calls for its next evolution. As one of GraphQL’s co-creators, I’ve been amazed and proud to see it grow in adoption since its open sourcing. Through the formation of the GraphQL Foundation, I hope to see GraphQL become industry standard by encouraging contributions from a broader group and creating a shared investment in vendor-neutral events, documentation, tools, and support. So who’s involved? Well, GraphQL Foundation is being created in partnership with the Linux Foundation, Facebook, and nearly a dozen other companies. Those “other companies” are likely large scale companies who’ve contributed to or are using GraphQL in production and have a vested interest in its future.

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Complexity is creepy: It's never just "one more thing."

The fight against complexity is analogous to the fight against contentment. Find contentment and you will find yourself at the end of a project. Hint: we will never be fully content. We live in a dynamic world of infinite, and never-ending change. There will always be a critique to offer. Perfection is an illusion. We’ve all worked on projects that never seem to end. Every time you think you’re done, you realize you’re not. There’s “one more thing” you or your client wants to add. Somehow, you get exhausted and your work suffers. Sometimes you simply burn out and move on to something else. Why does this happen? Why do we consistently underestimate how much extra work it is to do “one more thing?”

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Brad Armstrong Medium

How to fail as a new engineering manager

Brad Armstrong lays it all out there about how to transition from an engineer to a manager: There are decades of books and thousands of blogs dedicated to trying to answer these questions, so I‘m not here to pretend that I’ve got the secret to success. But I do know a few ways that I’m pretty sure can guarantee you’ll fail. He takes you through 8 easy steps to failure. I’ll disappoint you now and spoil that step 1 is to keep coding 😱

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Eric Clemmons Medium

Work on features, not repositories

In response to a recent Twitter poll from Kent C. Dodds, Eric Clemmons shared concerns about how organizational boundaries are impacting where development happens. Kent tweeted… Hey folks who have a decoupled client-server application (no server rendering, server is just an API server). Where is your client code and server code located? (#) Together in one repo? In separate repos? Eric writes in his response on Medium: Software is like Jello: poke it in one place, and another place jiggles. In my experience, a repository should house all of the code necessary to make developing & shipping features relatively frictionless. This isn’t an exact 1:1, but this was a big part of the reason why Segment transitioned back to a monorepo.

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Matt Klein Medium

The (broken) economics of OSS

In response to the post from Paul Dix on the misunderstandings going on around Redis and the Common Clause license — Matt Klein tweeted: Won’t defend Redis Labs, this is a dead end move, but there needs to be more recognition that the economics of OSS are fundamentally broken. In his post he starts by saying… I want to provide a long form discussion of my two Twitter threads as this topic is nuanced and quite interesting. Note: this post is heavy on opinion and light on facts/references backing up those opinions. Thus, preface everything that follows with “IMO.” Matt goes on to share some history of open source software and his opinions on modern expectations of software being free and open, startups and open source, and who pays…

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Josh Comeau Medium

Lessons learned as a conference speaker

How do you develop an idea for a talk, determine the conferences to pitch, actually deliver the talk, and whether or not it’s even worth doing? Joshua Comeau writes on Medium: I’m still very much at the beginning of my career. I’m only ~5 years into what will likely be a 40-year career, so I’m only about 1/8th through! That thought is simultaneously liberating and dizzying; it means I don’t have to feel rushed when it comes to making the most of every available opportunity, but it also means I have no clue what’s ahead. Conference-speaking is a worthwhile endeavor, but it’s one heck of a bumpy ride, and not always worth it. I’ll continue to prepare talks — as long as folks still want to hear what I have to say… Joshua ends with an invitation … 👏 I encourage you to give it a shot. Feel free to reach out to me, I’m always happy to give your proposal a quick read :)

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Paul Johnston Medium

Serverless best practices

If you’re building a serverless application to run at scale, then read this post from Paul Johnston on Medium… Within the community we’ve been debating the best practices for many years, but there are a few that have been relatively accepted for most of that time. Most serverless practitioners who subscribe to these accepted practices work at scale. The promise of serverless plays out mostly at both high scale and bursty workloads rather than at a relatively low level, so a lot of these best practices come from the scale angle e.g. Nordstrom in retail and iRobot in IoT. If you’re not aiming to scale that far, then you can probably get away without following these best practices anyway.

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More than a Billion downloads of Node.js 🎉

Node.js just hit 1,024,716,169 downloads and is now officially a part of the three comma club. In the last few years, we’ve seen incredible success with Node.js not just within backend development, but with cross-platform and desktop applications. The technology goes beyond simply an application platform but is used for rapid experimentation with corporate data, application modernization, and IoT solutions.

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Richard Littauer Medium

How to get rid of maintainer guilt

If you’re a maintainer who’s feeling the burden of your open source software, you have a few options to consider according to Richard Littauer — you can… Onboard more maintainers - spread the burden to more of the community Clearly set expectations - explain your software is provided on an “as is” basis Hire a maintenance company - wait, what?! Is that we’ve come to? Are we now hiring code maintenance companies to maintain our open source? I’m actually quite interested in the economies around this, so let this post serve as an open invite to Richard to join me on Founders Talk for a discussion on the state of open source maintenance and his lessons learned building Maintainer Mountaineer.

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Abhishek Singh Medium

Getting Alexa to respond to sign language using your webcam and Tensorflow.js

Abhishek Singh isn’t deaf or mute, but that didn’t stop him from asking the question: If voice is the future of computing interfaces, what about those who cannot hear or speak? This thought led to a super cool project wherein a computer interprets sign language and speaks the results to a nearby Alexa device. Live demo here and code here.

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Evan You Medium

Vue CLI 3.0 is here!

Good news — the next generation of Vue CLI, the standard build toolchain for Vue applications, is here. Evan You writes: Vue CLI 3 is a completely different beast from its previous version. The goal of the rewrite is two-fold: Reduce configuration fatigue of modern frontend tooling, especially when mixing multiple tools together; Incorporate best practices in the toolchain as much as possible so it becomes the default for any Vue app. This means that any Vue CLI 3 project comes with out-of-the-box support most of today’s preferred ways to build and ship applications.

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Pia Mancini Medium

Open Collective's new tool helps you "Back Your Stack"

Pia Mancini, CEO of Open Collective: BackYourStack is the first step to help companies discover the dependencies in their stack that are seeking to become sustainable and a way to start subscriptions to them. Each collective can set up different tiers for their subscriptions such us brand visibility, support or in-house training. Just input your GitHub org and BackYourStack will generate a list of supportable projects by analyzing your dependencies. This is a great idea and a good first step toward making it easier for organizations to put their money where their source is. (YMMV as the results are a bit limited (and maybe buggy?) at the moment. Our report is saying we only rely upon 1 open source project, which definitely doesn’t cover it.)

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Eric Holmes Medium

Here's how Eric Holmes gained commit access to Homebrew in 30 minutes

This post from Eric Holmes details how package managers can be used in supply chain attacks — specifically, in this case, a supply chain attack on Homebrew — which is used by hundreds of thousands of people, including “employees at some of the biggest companies in Silicon Valley.” On Jun 31st, I went in with the intention of seeing if I could gain access to Homebrew’s GitHub repositories. About 30 minutes later, I made my first commit to Homebrew/homebrew-core. If I were a malicious actor, I could have made a small, likely unnoticed change to the openssl formulae, placing a backdoor on any machine that installed it. If I can gain access to commit in 30 minutes, what could a nation state with dedicated resources achieve against a team of 17 volunteers?

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Dion Almaer Medium

On a mission to improve the web ecosystem for developers

Dion Almaer (Google) writes on the Ben and Dion Medium publication: A few teams within Google have joined forces inside Chrome to focus on improving the Web ecosystem, focused on those who build experiences, and create on the Web. We want to make high quality experiences easy to build as that will enable more meaningful engagement on the Web for users and developers alike. This is an awesome breakdown of all the components required to deliver meaningful engagements and a roadmap to the future of the web platform.

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Ives van Hoorne Medium

VSCode themes in CodeSandbox?

Ives van Hoorne writes on Medium: Personalizing color schemes is one of the most important things to have in an code editor. CodeSandbox didn’t have any way to personalize colors in the editor since release, but I’m happy to announce that we do now. The best part is that we were able to reuse a big chunk of logic from VSCode directly and also support any VSCode theme natively in CodeSandbox!

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Ives van Hoorne Medium

CodeSandbox launched their dashboard and teams feature

I’ve been closely watching CodeSandbox and have been thoroughly impressed with the work Ives van Hoorne and the 75+ contributors have put into this online code editor for … React, Preact, Vue, and more. I’ve been thinking about getting Ives on Founders Talk to talk about the business model behind CodeSandbox. It seems to have this interesting self baked, pay what you want, Patron model to cover the expenses of CodeSandbox. Most of the features are free with limits, and being a “Patron” lifts those limits + extra features, and supports the costs and development efforts.

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Gabriel Peal Medium

React Native at Airbnb

This epic four part series from the Airbnb engineering blog showcases how React Native was used at Airbnb to enable their teams to move quickly and maintain a great developer experience. However, in the end, they decided to sunset React Native and focus on native — but their journey to that conclusion is well worth a read. Part 4: Sunsetting React Native — Although many teams relied on React Native and had planned on using it for the foreseeable future, we were ultimately unable to meet our original goals. In addition, there were a number of technical and organizational challenges that we were unable to overcome that would have made continuing to invest in React Native a challenge. As a result, moving forward, we are sunsetting React Native at Airbnb and reinvesting all of our efforts back into native. It’s not all bad though. 63% of their engineers would have chosen React Native again given the chance and 74% would consider React Native for a new project. Gabriel went on to say: React Native is progressing faster than ever. There have been over 2,500 commits in the last year and Facebook just announced that they are addressing some of the technical challenges we faced head-on. Even if we will no longer be investing in React Native, we’re excited to continue following its developments. For a different perspective read Should we use React Native? — a follow-up post to this four part series.

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Casper Beyer Medium

Is the internet at the mercy of a handful of developers?

In this post from Casper Beyer titled The Node.js Ecosystem Is Chaotic and Insecure, he cites examples like left-pad, is-odd, is-number — and goes on to say the way to be responsible with dependencies is… …don’t trust package managers, every dependency is written by some random developer somewhere in the world and is a potential attack vector. … Is this being too paranoid? Perhaps, or maybe it’s the healthy amount considering the massive reach these trivial packages can have. While this focuses on Node.js, the lessons learned apply anywhere you have dependencies in your code.

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Medium Icon Medium

We do Scrum but…our management doesn’t.

Bummer. I’ve been there. It’s so tough to make iterative change to software when those who are “in charge” of what you do everyday keeps interrupting or changing the rules to the game. Sjoerd Nijland writes on the Serious Scrum blog: As Scrum is a framework for developing, delivering, and sustaining complex products, and, if your management isn’t actively engaged in this exercise, it indeed may not make immediate sense for them to adopt the framework. Scrum could thus be perceived to be for developers only. Or perhaps Scrum was introduced by and is still contained to the development organization. In this case it may make sense to talk about the definition of ‘Product’. Would it make sense for the Management Team, to consider the organization itself as a product? If your team does Scrum, you should 100% read this.

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Saron Yitbarek Medium

What are you optimizing for?

Saron Yitbarek, creator of CodeNewbie, says this is the one question that will change your life — it did for her. I encourage you to read this from end to end, and then truly ponder this question for your life. I don’t remember why he said it, but I remember the car we were in on our way to a fancy networking event full of important people doing boss shit when he looked at me and asked, “What are you optimizing for?” … I don’t think he knew it was that deep. It was. If reading this makes a significant impact on your life, I want to hear about it. Tweet at us.

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