Links from 2023-02-12

Using Python to bash | Die wunderbare Welt von Isotopp

Shell is a thing you want to understand and then not use, because you learned to understand it. (in German, from 1998 )

For the rest of this discussion, we assume “Python 3” as an instance of “something else”, but if you are older than 50, feel free to use “Perl” instead.

If you are already doing Python, the rest of this is not for you. You already know these things.

The Future (and the Past) of the Web is Server Side Rendering

In the past 10 years, the median size for a desktop webpage has gone from 468 KB to 2284 KB, a 388.3% increase. For mobile, this jump is even more staggering — 145 KB to 2010 KB — a whopping 1288.1% increase.

That’s a lot of weight to ship over a network, especially for mobile. As a result, users experience terrible UX, slow loading times, and a lack of interactivity until everything is rendered. But all that code is necessary to make our sites work the way we want.

This is the problem with being a frontend dev today. What started out fun for frontend developers, building shit-hot sites with all the bells and whistles, has kinda turned into not fun. We’re now fighting different browsers to support, slow networks to ship code over, and intermittent, mobile connections. Supporting all these permutations is a giant headache.

How do we square this circle? By heading back to the server (Swiss basement not required).


E.W. Dijkstra Archive: On the cruelty of really teaching computing science

The concept of radical novelties is of contemporary significance because, while we are ill-prepared to cope with them, science and technology have now shown themselves expert at inflicting them upon us. Earlier scientific examples are the theory of relativity and quantum mechanics; later technological examples are the atom bomb and the pill. For decades, the former two gave rise to a torrent of religious, philosophical, or otherwise quasi-scientific tracts. We can daily observe the profound inadequacy with which the latter two are approached, be it by our statesmen and religious leaders or by the public at large. So much for the damage done to our peace of mind by radical novelties.

I raised all this because of my contention that automatic computers represent a radical novelty and that only by identifying them as such can we identify all the nonsense, the misconceptions and the mythology that surround them. Closer inspection will reveal that it is even worse, viz. that automatic computers embody not only one radical novelty but two of them.

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