1 year ago
10

Articles

 1 year ago in Quotes
Recent years saw a number of supply chain attacks that leverage the increasing use of open source during software development, which is facilitated by dependency managers that automatically resolve, download and install hundreds of open source packages throughout the software life cycle. This paper presents a dataset of 174 malicious software packages that were used in real-world attacks on open source software supply chains, and which were distributed via the popular package repositories npm, PyPI, and RubyGems. Those packages, dating from November 2015 to November 2019, were manually collected and analyzed.
 1 year ago in Quotes
Third-party delivery platforms, as they've been built, just seem like the wrong model, but instead of testing, failing, and evolving, they've been subsidised into market dominance.
 1 year ago in Quotes
“Things have really changed since I began learning, and rightly so. Instead of coding in plain HTML, CSS and JS, I'm now using endless frameworks, modules and libraries to build increasingly more complex web and mobile applications. It's great, if I didn't use these tools my code would be an unmaintainable mess.”

How sad that this has become the widely accepted narrative. There’s a lot of value right now in NOT building things that way. Last week I had to deal with fixing another dev’s mess on a stuck project. Big company website, but nothing fancy at all. Purely a marketing window. The amount of complexity he put into it by using Vue.js was insane for the scope of the project. INSANE. To do something as easy as changing the pages <title> tag we had to write an unjustified amount of lines of code. Framework-itis really is a bad disease, it not only affects your work, but it definitely clouds the simplest form of judgement, it appears. Then we have exactly this: someone who got a hammer and spent years treating everything like a nail comes to a reckoning, usually framed as a longing for the good old days when things used to be simple. Well, you know, things can still be simple, if you don’t offload to unjustifiably complex frameworks the duty of understanding what’s going on in your project.
 1 year ago in Talks

Making Game Programming Less Terrible

by Jonathan Blow
 1 year ago
4

Talks

 1 year ago in Quotes
For the most part I think the reason so many web devs put up with the “all-react” (and similar) development experience is basically cargo culting. If you admit you don’t like it, chances are there’s at least one front-end hipster around who will mock you as outdated, and that’s enough to silence most. For the hipsters, the problems of SPAs are hard, and engineers like hacking on hard problems. Also the fact that the solutions don’t work very well means they’re constantly being reinvented, which means if you do the work to keep up with it all you’re rewarded by being regarded as an expert, which is nice.

Lastly, I wouldn’t underestimate how this has built up slowly over time, and therefore how many people just don’t know any better.

Last year I assigned a feature to a junior dev which was quite simple. He spent two days hunting for and testing react libraries to try and build it. When he told me this I said, “Holy crap, that is overkill.” I tried to explain how easy this would be with just plain HTML and JavaScript and he didn’t understand, so we paired for about 90 minutes and the work was done.

At the end of that session this developer said to me, “wow, I didn’t realize you could actually do anything useful with just plain JavaScript in the browser. I thought it was like... assembly or something.”

This is a good, very productive, very fast-learning developer I’m talking about. He literally had never tried to use the DOM api, and didn’t realize it was, you know, useful.

I think there’s a lot of that in front end world today.
 1 year ago in Quotes
I fear that most authors (and most creators of images and links) are not knowledgeable enough to see the web's shortcomings and that it will be very hard to explain the shortcoming to them -- with the result that most authors will continue to consider their job to be done once they have put their writings (and images and links) on the web.
 1 year ago in Talks

The Immersive Fallacy

by Frank Lantz
(click image to load video)
Nothing to do with development per se, but I'd say huge parts of gaming lost the plot in similar ways development did.
 1 year ago in Quotes
No greater mistake can be made than to imagine that what has been written latest is always the more correct; that what is written later on is an improvement on what was written previously; and that every change means progress. Men who think and have correct judgment, and people who treat their subject earnestly, are all exceptions only. Vermin is the rule everywhere in the world: it is always at hand and busily engaged in trying to improve in its own way upon the mature deliberations of the thinkers. So that if a man wishes to improve himself in any subject he must guard against immediately seizing the newest books written upon it, in the assumption that science is always advancing and that the older books have been made use of in the compiling of the new. They have, it is true, been used; but how? The writer often does not thoroughly understand the old books; he will, at the same time, not use their exact words, so that the result is he spoils and bungles what has been said in a much better and clearer way by the old writers; since they wrote from their own lively knowledge of the subject. He often leaves out the best things they have written, their most striking elucidations of the matter, their happiest remarks, because he does not recognise their value or feel how pregnant they are. It is only what is stupid and shallow that appeals to him. An old and excellent book is frequently shelved for new and bad ones; which, written for the sake of money, wear a pretentious air and are much eulogised by the authors’ friends. In science, a man who wishes to distinguish himself brings something new to market; this frequently consists in his denouncing some principle that has been previously held as correct, so that he may establish a wrong one of his own. Sometimes his attempt is successful for a short time, when a return is made to the old and correct doctrine. These innovators are serious about nothing else in the world than their own priceless person, and it is this that they wish to make its mark.
 1 year ago in Quotes
22ms here. 22ms there. "Focused on human perception" here, "Focused on human perception" there.

And suddenly we have what is basically a supercomputer unable to perform anything without lag.
 1 year ago
30

Quotes

 1 year ago in Quotes
It's really sad that in 2020, 10k+ engineers can't make a photo, video, post and message sharing website that is not a pain to use. We collectively failed as a profession. If one needs 2MB of CSS for such a website, there is clearly a problem.
 1 year ago in Quotes
There is no excuse for how slow software is today. None.

Many parts of Windows 95 were faster in wall clock time in 1995 on the hardware of 1995 than today's Windows 10 is on the hardware of today. Yes, today's software does more, but THAT MUCH more? Are you sure?

The hardware we have is very fast. Software developers have been relying on hardware upgrades for performance improvements for far too long, and now few software developers know how fast things can be, if they just try just a tiny little bit.

Also, OOP teaches developers how to think about software in ways that are exactly opposite to how computers actually do work efficiently. Object oriented programming is just inherently slower because it encourages developers to think of things one at a time. Computers like to do things in batches.

More people need to think about performance, because clock speeds aren't going up like they used to, and we still don't know how to write software that spreads across a lot of cores very well. The free ride that hardware upgrades provided us is quickly coming to an end.

tl:dr; everyone needs to learn about how processor caches work, especially the 24-year old JS devs who think they already know everything.
 1 year ago in Things

HN + cookie laws = loads of F.U.D.

What has been created by this half century of massive corporate propaganda is what's called "anti-politics". So that anything that goes wrong, you blame the government. Well okay, there's plenty to blame the government about, but the government is the one institution that people can change... the one institution that you can affect without institutional change. That's exactly why all the anger and fear has been directed at the government. The government has a defect - it's potentially democratic. Corporations have no defect - they're pure tyrannies. So therefore you want to keep corporations invisible, and focus all anger on the government. So if you don't like something, you know, your wages are going down, you blame the government. Not blame the guys in the Fortune 500, because you don't read the Fortune 500. You just read what they tell you in the newspapers... so you don't read about the dazzling profits and the stupendous dizz, and the wages going down and so on, all you know is that the bad government is doing something, so let's get mad at the government.