Let’s go for my web review for the week 2024-19.

Heat Death of the Internet - takahē

Tags: tech, internet, web, satire, criticism

Obviously a satire, some of it feels eerily real though.

“AI now beats humans at basic tasks”: Really?

Tags: tech, ai, machine-learning, gpt, research, benchmarking, criticism

Nice article. It’s a good reminder that the benchmarks used to evaluate generative AI systems have many caveats.

Did GitHub Copilot really increase my productivity?

Tags: tech, ai, copilot, productivity

Interesting data point. This is a very specialized experience but the fact that those systems are kind of random and slow clearly play a good part in limiting the productivity you could get from them.

AI Copilots Are Changing How Coding Is Taught - IEEE Spectrum

Tags: tech, ai, copilot, ethics, programming, teaching, learning

Well, maybe our profession will make a leap forward. If instead of drinking the generative AI cool aid, if we really get a whole cohort of programmers better at critical skills (ethical issues, being skeptical of their tools, testing, software design and debugging) it’ll clearly be some progress. Let’s hope we don’t fall in the obvious pitfalls.

Machine Unlearning in 2024 - Ken Ziyu Liu - Stanford Computer Science

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

Interesting questions and state of the art around model “unlearning”. This became important due to the opacity of data sets used to train some models. It’ll also be important in any case for managing models over time.

Systemd heads for a big round-number release []

Tags: tech, linux, systemd

Indeed the next systemd release feels feature packed. Definitely to keep an eye on.

UEFI, BIOS, and other confusing x86 PC (firmware) terms

Tags: tech, bios, uefi, hardware

Confused? Well, not surprising we mostly use those terms with very lax definitions.

It’s always TCP_NODELAY. Every damn time. - Marc’s Blog

Tags: tech, tcp, networking

Getting network protocols right is definitely difficult.

Why Full Text Search is Hard

Tags: tech, language, search

If you wonder why information retrieval from natural language texts is a tough domain, here is a short article listing the important things to keep in mind.

All error messages are necessarily bad to some degree

Tags: tech, failure, ux

Not a reason to make no effort into having as proper error messages as possible. Still there’s some truth there that trying to have a really useful error message is a fool’s errand.


Tags: tech, python, qt, spreadsheets, tools

Looks like a fun spreadsheet tool where you can use Python in any cell.

The UX of UUIDs | Unkey

Tags: tech, uuid, encodings

Interesting set of tricks around UUIDs to make them easier to manipulate.

Build your own HTMX

Tags: tech, web, frontend, htmx

Excellent exercise in understanding how HTMX works under the hood.

No, I don’t want to fill out your contact form - Adam Jones’s Blog

Tags: tech, web, email

Good exploration of the many ways contact forms fail us regularly. Also shows a few cases where you might still want to us them… in most cases you shouldn’t.

What You Need to Know about Modern CSS (Spring 2024 Edition) – Frontend Masters Boost

Tags: tech, web, frontend, css

Looks like a good reference about everything which can be done with the latest CSS evolutions.

Google Testing Blog: Test Failures Should Be Actionable

Tags: tech, tests

Good advice indeed. Having asserts using appropriate matchers can go a long way understanding what went wrong.

Simplicity is An Advantage but Sadly Complexity Sells Better

Tags: tech, complexity

Definitely this. We tend to like complexity too much as a profession and field. It’s also a good reminder that the complexity of the problem and the complexity of the solution shouldn’t be conflated.

Programming mantras are proverbs -

Tags: tech, programming, culture, craftsmanship

Interesting take about the mantras often used in our profession. They shouldn’t be treated as laws, but as proverbs carrying a piece of contextual wisdom. It’s thus unsurprising that they tend to contradict each other. This contradiction should make us pause and think.

Refactor: Inline-Adjust-Extract - XP123

Tags: tech, programming, refactoring

Since there’s a clear tendency in the developers I meet to “extract at all costs”, this is a good reminder that sometimes you need to inline the code first. This very often brings better clarity in the context of use. In turns this leads to a better final extraction.

Bye for now!