Let’s go for my web review for the week 2023-30… You remember I “took a break”? Well, I did kind of. I confess I checked things from time to time. And that’s how we end up with a month worth of content.

Let’s have the July Mega-Compilation this week! I also inserted a couple of very old articles I had on the side (I’ll try to do this a bit more often). Since it’s really big, I added sections this time to group things a bit better. Hopefully this will make things easier to navigate.

Web Environment Integrity Special

Google’s nightmare “Web Integrity API” wants a DRM gatekeeper for the web | Ars Technica

Tags: tech, google, surveillance, browser

Let’s hope this doesn’t get any sort of adoption… that said seeing the amount of people using mostly Chrome and Google services, they can pretty much do as they wish.

Google vs. the Open Web

Tags: tech, google, surveillance, browser

More details and analysis about the events unfolding around the Google “Web Environment Integrity” proposal. This still doesn’t bode well. Whatever they claim it seems clear it’s about getting rid of ad-blockers.

Google Web Environment Integrity is the new Microsoft Trusted Computing

Tags: tech, google, surveillance, browser, microsoft, trust

I was indeed thinking this looks awfully similar to some things we’ve seen in the past… It needs to be fought as well.

Social Media and Politics

After riots in France, Macron partially blames video games on violence : NPR

Tags: tech, gaming, politics

Repeat after me: “there is no link between video games and violent crimes”.

Four companies must stop using Google Analytics | IMY

Tags: tech, law, gdpr, google, surveillance

This is a welcome consequence of the CJUE ruling. Be warned, think twice before reaching for Google Analytics.

Tags: tech, ai, gpt, law, copyright

It’ll be interesting to see where this complaint goes.

The Death of Infosec Twitter | Cyentia Institute

Tags: tech, security, social-media, twitter, fediverse

Looks like infosec people jumped out of the Twitter debacle. Good for them and welcome on the fediverse (looks like most of them moved there).

Tech Industry News

AMD CPU Use Among Linux Gamers Approaching 70% Marketshare - Phoronix

Tags: tech, cpu, amd, linux, foss, gaming

Looks like AMD’s strategy is paying off in the Linux world.

SUSE Preserves Choice in Enterprise Linux by Forking RHEL with a $10+ Million Investment | SUSE

Tags: tech, linux

Looks like SUSE is attempting to take the high road after the RHEL debacle. We’ll see where this goes.

Infrastructure and Self-Hosting

Toot toot! Mastodon-powered Blog Comments

Tags: tech, blog, fediverse, self-hosting

It’s definitely tempting me to switch my blog comments to the fediverse as well.

How I run my servers

Tags: tech, complexity, self-hosting

Hosting applications can be cheap and simple. You need to cater to complexity and mind your dependencies.

Databases and Message Queues

Zero-downtime schema migrations in Postgres using Reshape – Fabian Lindfors

Tags: tech, databases, postgresql

Interesting proof of concept. I wonder how far this will go. There is definitely a need in any case.

Create an advanced search engine with PostgreSQL

Tags: tech, postgresql, search

Yet another article on how you can do search straight in PostgreSQL. This one goes a bit further in how to put the pieces together though.

Introducing pg_embedding extension for vector search in Postgres and LangChain - Neon

Tags: tech, vector, postgresql, databases

Looks like an interesting extension for Postgres to do vector similarity searches inside the database.

Comparing Queuing Strategies in Distributed Systems

Tags: tech, distributed, queuing

Neat way to see how several queuing strategies behave. Picking the right one for your system is important.

Home | BlazingMQ Documentation

Tags: tech, messaging

There’s a new player in the message queue space. This one looks interesting.


DocuSeal | Open Source Document Signing

Tags: tech, foss, legal

Looks like an interesting Free Software alternative for digital documents signing.

Vim Commands: A Beginner Guide with Examples

Tags: tech, editor, vim

This is a good resource to learn Vim or if you want to get better at it.

GUI and Design

Be Open to Black: A Digital Design Tip

Tags: tech, design, ux

Black has been getting too much of a bad reputation in the last few years. This article makes a good job arguing for a more balanced view.

WebGPU: the cross-platform graphics API of tomorrow - Chrome Developers

Tags: tech, 3d, graphics, webgpu, c++

It looks more and more like WebGPU will be the cross-platform graphics API we’ve been waiting for. Vulkan didn’t end up in this position but WebGPU seems to get there.

The single most important factor that differentiates front-end frame­works

Tags: tech, web, frontend, framework, architecture

I think this is the right way to look at the problem space. The analysis provides the right pros and cons to look at when picking a frontend framework.

Interoperability and Protocols

Unicode is harder than you think · mcilloni’s blog

Tags: tech, encodings, unicode

An excellent explanation of the Unicode standard, complete with a bit of history. This is a good resource.

Advice for Operating a Public-Facing API

Tags: tech, http, api

Interesting list of advises. Most of it makes sense, I’m less convinced about avoiding the headers for the authentication mechanism though.

HTTP has become the default, universal communication protocol

Tags: tech, protocols, http

It’s unclear what really drove the adoption this far. Still, it’s clearly the default option in many cases.

DisplayPort: A Better Video Interface | Hackaday

Tags: tech, video, protocols

Interesting dive into the DisplayPort protocol and its advantages, looking forward to the next article in this series.


The Advantages Of A Polyglot Programmer | by Jan Kammerath | Jul, 2023 | Medium

Tags: tech, programming, language, expertise

I mostly agree with this. I’d just complete it a bit: it’s probably a good idea to have at least one language where you went really deep in (emphasis on at least). A kind of strategy to aim at “T shaped skills” (or better “paint drip shaped skills”).

Before you try to do something, make sure you can do nothing - The Old New Thing

Tags: tech, programming

Wise words. This is overall a good approach to add new components and behaviors to a system.

The Gentle Art of Patch Review – Sage Sharp

Tags: tech, foss, community, codereview

I’m not necessarily convinced this is as much a silver bullet as it is presented here. Still there are benefits to such a structured approach for reviews in community projects.

Software engineers hate code.

Tags: tech, complexity, maintenance

A bit sarcastic, but makes its point efficiently. It’s important to realize that more code to maintain is definitely not what we need.

Quadratic C.I. Cost Growth - by Utsav Shah

Tags: tech, ci, cost

This often overlooked indeed… and to make it worse it can be hard to optimize.

Ten Years of “Go: The Good, the Bad, and the Meh”

Tags: tech, programming, go, type-systems

Interesting update. Looks like Go is making progress at its own pace and tries to stay small.

Intro | Putting the “You” in CPU

Tags: tech, hardware, cpu, kernel, system

Can’t say I learned much but that was a very neat refresher. It’s very well done, so if you never dabbled in the basics of how the hardware or the kernel work I strongly recommend reading it. - Efficient jagged arrays

Tags: tech, data-oriented, programming, performance, optimization

Interesting optimization on this somewhat common data structure.

Nanosecond timestamp collisions are common

Tags: tech, multithreading

This apparently needs to be reminded from time to time. So here it is: don’t expect those timestamps to be unique, even on a single machine.


What is a Unit Test? (The Answer Might Surprise You)

Tags: tech, tests

This is about behavior and not structure indeed. Put the focus at the right place otherwise your tests will quickly become expensive to update.

Most Tests Should Be Generated | Concerning Quality

Tags: tech, tests

In praise of property based testing. This definitely completes well the tests you write by hand.

Snapshot Testing

Tags: tech, tests

Where does this style of tests shine? A few elements to consider.

Test Against Reality

Tags: tech, tests

Calls a bit too much everything mocks while the term test double would have done the job. Still it stresses fairly well the importance of being as close to reality as possible and the tradeoffs we have to make.

pytest fixtures are magic!

Tags: tech, python, tests

A little article which serves as a good introduction to the pytest fixtures. They are indeed very useful I think.

Organization, Management and Soft Skills

The hottest new perk in tech is freedom

Tags: tech, hiring, remote-working, business

Remote work is clearly the best way for smaller companies to compete to attract talent. This greatly increases the size of the pool of potential hires.

The Most Powerful Law in Software

Tags: tech, architecture, product-management, project-management, organization

Nice little article about Conway’s Law. Shows nicely all the ramifications it has.

The Ladder of Leadership and facilitating change

Tags: management, autonomy

Too often managers loose track of the level of autonomy achieved by the people around them. It’s important to gauge this properly though. Too much or too little guidance and prodding can lead to frustration.

Alignment > Autonomy — Build Right Side

Tags: management, autonomy, vision

Good explanations about why autonomy without alignment is problematic. There are tips I should mull over in there, this can probably lead to some improvements at some places I’ve seen.

Paint Drip People

Tags: management, knowledge

Interesting alternative to the “T-shaped skills” metaphor.

Excellence is a habit, but so is failure

Tags: habits

Habits indeed cut both ways…

Emotions: A Code Book - by Kent Beck

Tags: emotions, life

Clearly the book referenced here picked my interest, I guess I’ll try to read it. The cheat sheet proposed here is interesting, not completely sure how I’d act on it in practice though.

Learning and Writing

Nobody cares about your blog.

Tags: tech, blog, writing

All the good reasons to have a blog. This is why I keep maintaining mine.

How to Learn Better in the Digital Age

Tags: tech, note-taking, information, knowledge, learning

Very nice article. We must not loose from sight that actual learning requires some sort of effort. Even better when it’s coupled to using your hands (definitely why I still take notes written by hands for some things).

The “Three Things” Exercise for getting things out of talks

Tags: memory, learning, presentation

This is an interesting idea, I think I’ll try it to see how it impacts my memory.

Hope you enjoyed it, if you made it this far… congrats!

Bye for now!