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Life is too nice to do things twice.
13 Stories
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Why I prefer Makefiles over package.json scripts

John Ruble:

On any moderately-sized Node.js project you’ve likely already outgrown the package.json “scripts” section. But because the growth was gradual, with no single acute pain point, you might not have noticed. There’s a better way.

I’ve never been able to get into Makefiles, but many people I respect love them. For me the syntax is too arcane, but I recognize the power. If the “scripts” section of your package.json is getting unwieldy, it might be time for a make over. (yes I went there)


My thirty years of dodging repetitive work with automation tools

Conor O’Neill:

I blame my life-long work obsession with automation and avoiding repetitive drudgery on my first boss and mentor Danny in S3. He was horrified to see me doing the same thing over and over in a VAX code editor and introduced me to the magical world of macros.

From that point onwards, I was a man on a mission to save us all as much time as possible in our working days.

From Yahoo! Pipes to IFTTT to Node-RED and beyond: this is quite the journey.

Arthur Busser

Getting started with GitHub Actions

In this post Arthur covers the core concepts, the question “Should you use GitHub Actions?”, and a step-by-step tutorial to build a functional CI/CD pipeline using GitHub Actions.

If you are already using GitHub to host your project’s source code, getting started with GitHub Actions is effortless. The fact that it integrates fully with the entire GitHub ecosystem means your team can double down on using the platform as a significant part of your software development process.

Overall, my opinion is that GitHub Actions is worth a try. Whether this is the automation system best suited for your team depends on your specific needs.

Open Source

An "open source" alternative to Zapier

n8n (a numeronym for “nodemation”) is a node-based workflow automation tool. The reason for the square quotes around “open source” is because it has a Commons Clause attached to its Apache 2.0 license, which means you can do anything you want with the source code except make money with it. Since n8n itself is built on open source tech such as TypeScript and Vue.js, this is a nice touch by the author in the FAQ:

As n8n itself depends on and uses a lot of other Open Source projects it is only fair and in our interest to also help them. So it is planed to contribute a certain percentage of revenue/profit every month to these projects. How much exactly is not decided yet.

An "open source" alternative to Zapier

Mike McQuaid

👢 Bootstrap your macOS development system

On this week’s Homebrew episode, we discussed Mike’s script that automates the setup of a new Mac.

Listen to the show for an in-depth discussion on why he built it, the value of automating tasks you don’t do often, and to hear how Adam rolls with new machines. Or forget all that and click the headline link to check out Strap for yourself.

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