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Open Source github.com

Openblocks is an open source alternative to Retool

As the old saying goes, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. In the software world, an open source alternative is the sincerest form of imitation. Well, Retool (a Changelog sponsor) can consider themselves flattered, because Openblocks sets out to do openly what they’ve been doing proprietarily. Here’s why:

It’s cumbersome to create a single app. You had to design user interfaces, write code in multiple languages and frameworks, and understand how all of that code works together.

Low-code/No-code platforms are fast to get started with but quickly become unmaintainable and inflexible. This creates more problems than it solves.

Retool-like solutions are great for their simplicity and flexibility, but they can also be limited in different ways compared to frameworks like React/Vue.

Openblocks wants to take a step forward. More specifically, Openblocks is

  • An all-in-one IDE to create internal or customer-facing apps.
  • A place to create, build and share building blocks of web applications.
  • A domain-specific language that UI-configurable block is the first-class citizen.

Fathy Boundjadj fathy.fr

Forking Chrome to turn HTML into SVG

Fathy Boundjadj new html2svg project is pretty cool. We’ve seen a lot of efforts to convert HTML to raster images like PNG and JPG, but SVG is a different (pixel-independent) story.

This end product took some engineering, and the linked post goes deep into all the steps Fathy had to take along the way. From taking the picture to rendering to SVG to supporting shadows and more.

Terminal github.com

`hishtory` is a better shell history

It stores your shell history in context (what directory you ran the command in, whether it succeeded or failed, how long it took, etc). This is all stored locally and end-to-end encrypted for syncing to to all your other computers. All of this is easily queryable via the hishtory CLI. This means from your laptop, you can easily find that complex bash pipeline you wrote on your server, and see the context in which you ran it.

Kubernetes github.com

A graphical tool for developing on containers and Kubernetes

Podman Desktop installs, configures and keeps Podman up to date on your local environment. It provides a system tray, to check status and interact with your container engine without losing focus from other tasks. The desktop application provides a dashboard to interact with containers, images, pods and volumes but also configures your environment with your OCI registries and network settings. Podman Desktop also provides capabilities to connect and deploy pods to Kubernetes environments.

A graphical tool for developing on containers and Kubernetes

Tooling github.com

blip –a tool for seeing your internet latency

Most internet speed testing tools focus on bandwidth, but latency and packet loss are major factors in the experience as well.

Bandwidth means, once things get going, how fast you can download. But “once things get going” can take a really long time. In fact, it can take longer than the whole download! This is especially true for simple web pages, or web pages made up of a bunch of tiny pieces, which is very common on today’s web… That’s where latency comes in.

Try blip for yourself: gfblip.appspot.com

Saul Pwanson visidata.org

Connect VisiData to SQL Databases with vdsql

vdsql is a new plugin that allows VisiData to connect to databases and query them directly, using the database’s own query engine. It uses Ibis to generate SQL for many popular backends, including Postgres, DuckDB, Clickhouse, and more.

vdsql v0.2, released this past week, is already quite useful, and development continues to improve both vdsql and VisiData for bigger data!

Drew DeVault drewdevault.com

In praise of ffmpeg

ffmpeg is one of the foremost pillars of achievement in free software. It has touched the lives of every reader, whether they know it or not. If you’ve ever watched TV, or gone to a movie, or watched videos online, or listened to a podcast, odds are that ffmpeg was involved in making it possible. It is one of the most well-executed and important software projects of all time.

Yep. It also has one of the most epic man pages in the ’Verse.

Cloud github.com

Use SQL to instantly query your cloud services

This lets you do so many cool things, even joining across disparate services:

select
  aws.name aws_user_name,
  slack.id as slack_user_id,
  slack.display_name as slack_name
from
  aws_iam_user as aws,
  slack_user as slack
where
  aws.name = slack.email;

+--------------------------+---------------+------------+
|     aws_user_name        | slack_user_id | slack_name |
+--------------------------+---------------+------------+
| dwight@dundermifflin.com | U2EMB8HLP     | dwight     |
| jim@dundermifflin.com    | U02HE4Z7E     | jim        |
+--------------------------+---------------+------------+

Useful for compliance, security, ops, and cost management.

Python github.com

A tool for refurbishing and modernizing Python codebases

Point Refurb at your Python code to see how bad good it is. Here’s the author’s motivation:

I love doing code reviews: I like taking something and making it better, faster, more elegant, and so on. Lots of static analysis tools already exist, but none of them seem to be focused on making code more elegant, more readable, or more modern. That is where Refurb comes in.

Practical AI Practical AI #194

Evaluating models without test data

WeightWatcher, created by Charles Martin, is an open source diagnostic tool for analyzing Neural Networks without training or even test data! Charles joins us in this episode to discuss the tool and how it fills certain gaps in current model evaluation workflows. Along the way, we discuss statistical methods from physics and a variety of practical ways to modify your training runs.

Natasha Lekh crawlee.dev

Crawlee is a web scraping & browser automation library for Node.js

Here’s Natasha Lekh from Apify describing the project:

This project really is a culmination of 4 years of work trying to make the best library for web scraping in production. Web scraping is a very dynamic environment and what works today might not work tomorrow, so we at Apify had to go through a lot of trial and error to figure out the most reliable and convenient ways of crawling the web and scraping data. We hope that we finally cracked it and that now many developers will enjoy working with our new library and it will make their scrapers more reliable and time to production faster.

I like how it starts with simple HTTP-based scraping, but can switch to browser-based automation when a site has JavaScript rendering. I don’t love the built-in proxy rotation features. Not because they’re bad, per se, but because they make spammers lives easier…

Tooling about.maps.earth

Open source maps for everyone 🗺

maps.earth is a planet-scale installation of Headway, but you can easily set up your own server on a smaller scale for your own personal use by running just a few commands.

This is the first I’ve heard of Headway, but I love their mission:

The Headway Project was born out of a frustration with the need to send current and future location data to a corporation in order to figure out how we’re getting from A to B. Offline-only maps apps can be frustrating to use, and sometimes suffer from performance problems, poor data coverage, or other technical limitations.

Headway aims to remedy these issues by bundling industry-standard software into a web app that’s easy to set up for yourself or your friends. No need to send your location data to anyone you don’t trust, not even maps.earth.

Cloud resoto.com

Resoto is a meta layer on top of your cloud infra

As best I can tell, this provides simplified search across your infra, generates reports so you can easily audit resource usage, and lets you create/trigger jobs such as cleaning up unused resources and enforcing tag structures.

The search looks pretty powerful and you can pipe search results directly to jobs for quick processing:

search is(resource) and tags.owner==null | tag update owner "John Doe"

Tooling Medium (via Scribe)

Fzf: a tool that will transform your CLI life

Suraj Pillai, singing fzf’s praises:

I’m a CLI junkie, addicted to Vim motions, and never miss an opportunity to bring those two in to any part of my workflow. Naturally, I love to geek out about command line utilities and am always on the lookout for the next tool that can improve my productivity or just make CLI more fun to use. I can confidently say that Fzf is one of the handful of tools I’ve discovered over the years that has done both and has,thus, significantly improved the quality of my command line life.

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