Let’s go for my web review for the week 2023-52.

Drivers of social influence in the Twitter migration to Mastodon | Scientific Reports

Tags: tech, social-media, sociology, psychology, community, fediverse, twitter

Despite understandable limitations, this studies has a few interesting findings on how communities can more easily switch platforms (in this case from Twitter to Mastodon). At least one is a bit counter-intuitive.

Substack says it will not remove or demonetize Nazi content - The Verge

Tags: tech, moderation, social-media

Another platform failing at proper moderation…

How Big is YouTube? - Ethan Zuckerman

Tags: tech, social-media, google, research

An important question for proper statistics about the content itself. Surprisingly harder to get an answer to it than one would think.

Tags: tech, ai, machine-learning, gpt, copyright, law

It was only a question of time until we’d see such lawsuits appear. We’ll see where this one goes.

The growing energy footprint of artificial intelligence - ScienceDirect

Tags: tech, ai, machine-learning, gpt, economics, energy, ecology

Very interesting paper about the energy footprint of the latest trend in generator models. The conclusion is fairly clear: we should think twice before using them.

More than calculators: Why large language models threaten learning, teaching, and education | by Amy J. Ko | Bits and Behavior | Dec, 2023 | Medium

Tags: tech, ai, machine-learning, gpt, school, learning, education

When underfunded schools systems preaching obedience and conformity meet something like large language models, this tips over the balance enough that no proper learning can really happen anymore. Time to reform our school systems?

You don’t need analytics on your blog

Tags: tech, blog, self-hosting, attention-economy

Definitely true… never had use for more than the server logs for understanding the traffic on my blog. No need to invade the privacy of people through their browser.

Using Qt for Mobile in 2023 | Cameron Gaertner | Software Developer

Tags: tech, mobile, qt, android, ios

The experience is still not great on iOS and Android. This is in part due to the platforms design though, this still make Qt a great fit when you control the platform like for Plasma Mobile. For less friendly platforms this still limits the use to cases where you already have quite some Qt code. Still the same situation than a few years ago.

To Type or Not to Type: Quantifying Detectable Bugs in JavaScript

Tags: tech, javascript, type-systems, bug, quality

Interesting study, the amount of bugs which could have been prevented by the introduction of static typing in Javascript code bases is definitely impressive (15% is not a small amount in my opinion).

Why large companies and fast-moving startups are banning merge commits

Tags: tech, git, version-control

It looks like git workflows using rebase are becoming the norm. People are actively trying to avoid merge commits in their repository history. Tooling support could be a bit better though.

rscss - Styling CSS without losing your sanity

Tags: tech, css

Interesting guidelines for organizing CSS. This should avoid making things too much of a mess.

How to (and how not to) fix color banding

Tags: tech, graphics

Exploration of the causes of color banding and how to work around them.

So You Want to Optimize Your Code?

Tags: tech, mozilla, observability, telemetry, profiling, optimization, performance

Very nice collection of stories from the trenches of Firefox development. Lots of lessons learned to unpack about optimizing for the right thing, tooling, telemetry and so on.

John the Toolmaker

Tags: tech, tools, craftsmanship, developer-experience

It’s indeed important to hone your tools as well. Even though most things are not blocked due to tools, the right ones when well designed can make things easier.

On chains and complex systems – Surfing Complexity

Tags: tech, complexity, reliability

Word of caution on how we tend to reason about complex systems. They don’t form a chain but a web, and that changes everything to understand how they can break.

Cold-blooded software

Tags: tech, dependencies, maintenance

This is an interesting metaphor. I’ll try to keep it in mind.

Beyond Technical Aspects How Do Community Smells Influence the Intensity of Code Smells?

Tags: tech, community, smells, organization, quality

This study does a good job looking at the impact of community smells over the presence of code smells. This is an excellent reminder that the organization influences greatly the produced code.

The LinkedIn Developer Productivity and Happiness Framework

Tags: tech, linkedin, developer-experience, metrics, productivity

Interesting framework. I wouldn’t take everything at face value, but this looks like a good source of inspiration to design your own.

Explorers are bad leaders | Derek Sivers

Tags: tech, management, leadership

A bit too archetypal for my taste but there’s some truth to it. If you lean towards “explorer” (I think I do), it’s hard to be also a leader. Now you could be aware of your flaws and put tools in place to compensate for them when you need lead.

Bye for now! And see you in 2024!