Let’s go for my web review for the week 2023-10.

You Are Not a Parrot And a chatbot is not a human. And a linguist named Emily M. Bender is very worried what will happen when we forget this.

Tags: tech, ai, gpt, machine-learning, cognition, linguistics, politics, ecology, ethics

This is an excellent piece. Very nice portrait of Emily M. Bender a really gifted computational linguist and really bad ass if you ask me. She’s out there asking all the difficult questions about the current moment regarding large language models and so far the answers are (I find) disappointing. We collectively seem to be way too fascinated by the shiny new toy and the business opportunities to pay really attention to the impact on the social fabric of all of this.

Did You Miss My Comment or What? Understanding Toxicity in Open Source Discussions

Tags: tech, sociology, foss, github

Early days for this type of research so a couple of limitations to keep in mind while reading this paper. Most notably: rather small sample explored (it’s a qualitative study) and tends to conflate GitHub with “the Open Source community”. The later especially matters since the vibe can be very different outside of GitHub. That being said, very interesting findings in there. Some validate my experience with GitHub. It’s clear that compared to other spaces there’s much more entitlement behavior from some people. Interestingly the words seem on average less violent (although it does happen of course) than in other platforms… still this is important to keep in check since it could have implication toward prospective contributors. The last point in their discussion section is promising. Some of the current manual interventions from maintainers seem to have good results (encouraging) and it seems possible to at least semi-automate the handling of toxic comments which could help with maintainers well-being.

diziet | Never use git submodules

Tags: tech, git, tools

I tend to agree with this quite a lot. Git submodules tend to create lots of strange issues and rather bad developer experience. Even worse it’s not necessarily spotted straight away, you notice the real pains only after having invested in it quite a bit. There are alternatives worth exploring though.

Safety and Soundness in Rust

Tags: tech, rust, safety

People tend to be fixated on the “unsafe” keyword and assuming not using it will make their code devoid of memory safety bugs. Well, it’s a bit more subtle than this. It helps you know where such bugs can hide but it can’t completely prevent them all the way down the stack.

Indices point between elements - Made of Bugs

Tags: tech, programming

Neat way to think about array indices, if it was widespread it would simplify a few things in documentations I think.

A discussion between Casey Muratori and Robert C. Martin about Clean Code

Tags: tech, architecture, performance, craftsmanship

Very interesting conversation between Uncle Bob and one of the recent critics of his work regarding performance. I like how he admits some faults in the way he presents things and try to improve for later rather than trying to be right. Some people should learn from that. There’s clearly a tension between performance and what is described in Clean Code, it’d be pointless to deny it.

An Alternative to Dependency Injection Frameworks – Software the Hard way

Tags: tech, architecture, complexity, java

Indeed, in some type of projects people tend to turn to Dependency Injection Frameworks a bit blindly (especially true in the Java world). Still there are other patterns which give similar benefits without less headaches. That’s worth investigating if this fits your context before picking up a framework.

Why You Should Send a Weekly Summary Email | by Jens-Fabian Goetzmann | Feb, 2023 | Medium

Tags: tech, organization, team, note-taking

The advice is sound. Having more written records of such things definitely help teams. It can have a benefit in other forms (notes or todo’s) if you do it just for you.

How to hire engineering talent without the BS · Jesal Gadhia

Tags: tech, hr, interviews

Hiring and interview isn’t simple. There are good advises in this piece. In particular I strongly agree with the fact that leet coding is probably not it and that having something guided and scripted it necessary.

Want an unfair advantage in your tech career? Consume content meant for other roles

Tags: tech, management, empathy, culture, team, learning

This is definitely a worthy advice with lots of interesting side effects. For me the main motive beyond cheer curiosity is developing more empathy towards others with different roles.

The Lost Art of Lacing Cable - The Broadcast Bridge - Connecting IT to Broadcast

Tags: tech, networking, history, culture

Fascinating old school way to manage cables. And indeed the result looks pretty as well.

Bye for now!