The Week That Was

Neat Things from Wk Beginning 25-Jul-22

Dylan Lacey's photo
Dylan Lacey
·Aug 1, 2022·

4 min read

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The Week & How it Found Me

I gave in. I decided it was time to start a public log/dashboard, despite the slightly obnoxious feeling that comes with publishing what's caught your eye.

Why?

Mainly ADHD. No really! I have about ∞ tabs open at any one time, full of things I either want to investigate or am half way through investigating. I get distracted easily. I get excited about upcoming portions of projects and research them well before I need too. Deleting things without doing anything with them triggers the "oh god what am I doing with my life" response, as well as a hefty bout of FOMO.

I also tend to feel crappy about what I have achieved, whether or not that's legitimate, and working as the only developer in my timezone, I don't get to share some of the cool stuff I find. So I figure, why not let The Internet know what that stuff is!

Wait who even are you?

Oh! I'm Dylan, the Manager of Developer Relations at Sauce Labs. I live in beautiful Brisbane, Australia with my husband and a cat called Galena. I prefer doing Ruby but mostly spend my time in JS/TS land. You might have seen me speak recently at Eurostar 2022.

When I'm not doing tech, I'm gaming, baking, or studying a Linguistics degree at uni, majoring in Japanese and hopefully minoring in Auslan, the predominant sign language in Australia.

Caveats

All opinions are my own; I don't guarantee any of this to be breaking news; Janeway is the superior Starfleet Captain; No-one is paying me to talk about their stuff; I don't accept liability etc; My cat is adorable and I won't be taking questions at this time;

Cool Stuff

Developer & DevRel Code Assistance

Sourcegraph

Sourcegraph is a cool-looking tool that lets you search across all your code. Like, all of it; Github, folders, Bitbucket, Perforce, the works.

It also offers nice looking code notebooks for samples and snippets, as well as bulk manipulation tools. I'm planning to investigate it for keeping docs and samples up to date, as well as helping our implementation team find stuff. (We have integrated Sauce Labs with a lot of DevOps tool chains.

Rich Codex

Neat little tool that runs commands or places code snippets in terminal windows, then generates screenshots from the inputs and outputs. Find it here.

Scribe

What if you could create step-by-step process guides by recording your screen, having your interactions highlighted, and easily editing the output? That's the promise of Scribe.

I'm looking forward to demoing this one, even while I'm a little leary.

Developer Tools

Brev

Docker is great for easy environment setup... Once Docker itself is setup. Brev decided that a great experience is one that lives, hidden in the background.

Once it's set up, you use all the same tools you already do, with Brev chugging away in the background, making things work seamlessly. It looks pretty neat, costing 10c USD an hour for the personal plan.

Cerbos

Cerbos is a lovely-looking, open source Access Control solution, designed as a configuration-over-code tool for authentication and permissions. I'm going to give it a spin in my latest sample app, so expect more Opinions™️ soon.

Assets

ProgrammingFonts

I assume Programming Fonts is old news, but it's a lovely way to find the next BodyMod for your code.

(FWIW I'm partial to Gintronic)

Glassmorphism-UI

I am awful at graphic design, so I rely on assets to get things completed in a manner which doesn't sear the eyeballs. For example, the lovely, modern elements of S M Rony's Glassmorphism UI.

We Call Books Content Now (Or, what I've been reading)

The Shallowness of Google Translate

The Atlantic published an article by no less then Hofstadter himself, discussing how well a newer implementation of Google Translate encompasses the art of translation itself.

Extremely prescient timing; Not only do I make a lot of use of Google Translate to check my working when studying Japanese, I'm also taking a unit about translation this semester.

Hofstadter is not well pleased at the Zaibatsu's work. He dissects the difference between decoding and understanding, gives several examples, and makes this interesting point:

It’s almost irresistible for people to presume that a piece of software that deals so fluently with words must surely know what they mean.

Well worth a read, for linguists and developers alike.

(The article dates from 2018, and the technology has no doubt improved since then, however, my own experience shows that Translate is often lacking... Especially when tenses vary or words are written in Hiragana, in lieu of Kanji.

If you don't understand that last sentence and would like to know more, leave a comment and I may do an article on it.)

The End of Localhost

A neat little discussion about whether development should be done on Localhost by swyx. Far more nuanced then most articles of the kind, deep and interesting.

Fun quote:

Literally all of Hacker News hates it (and Reddit too but edgily)

And that's it!

Should you have found this little diary interesting, please give me a follow and/or give this article a react. Thanks folks!

 
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