Weekend Reading — 🧄 Garlic expressions

This week we draw with SVG, learn garlic expressions, watch an epic battle unfold, explore AI as assistive technology, replace .env with 1P, and bake an octopie.

Weekend Reading — 🧄 Garlic expressions

alissa “this is a relaxing post”

Tech Stuff

Draw SVG rope using JavaScript from which you'll learn how to go from a paper sketch to animated SVG, and what Chaikin's method for recursive subdivision does.

Even if ropes are not your jam, enjoy this delightful interactive tutorial.

Debugging Architects

I prefer to base my opinions on actual data points, so after my recent engine room visit , I concluded that visiting the engine room is indeed essential for architects, but for a different reason:

Architects must visit the engine room. Not to deliver code but to re-emerge with new insights.

If gaining insights in the engine room isn’t linked to cranking out lines of code, perhaps architects can achieve the same benefit with other activities?

Perplexity AI Perplexity AI is a remix of ChatGPT and Google Search. It uses ChatGPT to answer questions with 100% confidence (!= 100% correct), and shows relevant search results alongside, which I guess are sourced from Bing?

Easy, alternative soft deletion When you need to keep deleted data around (compliance, discovery) and don't want to use soft delete (deleted_at), which complicates your code and could accidentally surface deleted content.

This elegant solution uses triggers so handled in the database, doesn't require any application logic.

Type-safe React Query Three solid takeaways:

microsoft/Recognizers-Text Recognize and resolve entities like numbers, units, and date/time. Available for JavaScript, C#, and Python. Like all things Microsoft, you have to work through the namespaces and factories. On the plus side, you can extract structured data from free-form text, make the end user's life easier. (h/t angsuman)

Virtual Keyboard API TIL there's an API for dealing with the on-screen keyboard! (h/t

A few years back I had to struggle with that. Worked on a web-based chat app and we wanted to show the most recent message at the bottom, as one does. Except, the viewport is a different size with and without a keyboard, and without an API, we had to work quite the hack.

if("virtualKeyboard" in navigator) {
  navigator.overlaysContent = true;

  navigator.virtualKeyboard.addEventListener("geometrychange", event => {
    const { x, y, width, height } =;

esbuild has a Bundle Size Analyzer “Anyone using esbuild as a bundler should be able to use it. I needed one for a project of mine and then one thing led to another...” (h/t Evan Wallace)

Dan Ports

Added some new Mastodon monitoring infrastructure for

Sure, every good #MastoAdmin has a cool Grafana dashboard, but we're going a bit more old school here...

hannah online “Stop using regex start using”

Eye for Design

Pole Clock That's an interesting way to see the current time in multiple time zones

React Wrap Balancer Great for headlines. Hoping this could be a CSS property someday.


Shopify Tells Employees to Just Say No to Meetings Better than any resolution, start the year with a calendar purge:

As employees return from holiday break, the Canadian e-commerce firm said it’s conducting a “calendar purge,” removing all recurring meetings with more than two people “in perpetuity”

Business Side

What explains recent tech layoffs, and why should we be worried?

The tech industry layoffs are basically an instance of social contagion, in which companies imitate what others are doing. If you look for reasons for why companies do layoffs, the reason is that everybody else is doing it.

The Games People Play With Cash Flow Fun read about cable companies, ATMs, “debit or credit?”, and what you can learn from that about raising money for your startup.

Many of the games you play in business is centred around managing cash flow. This might seem bizarre — because a cash flow game is essentially taking the money you make, and moving it back and forth in time. Once you get this, however, you'll understand that raising capital is merely one instance of this game. Which probably means that if you want to reason from first principles, you'll have to start with cash flow in mind.

In 2022, web3 went just great It sure was an interesting year for crypto, DAOs, and NFTs.

Rushabh Doshi on Twitter “An epic battle between the growth PM, the revenue PM, and legal”

Machine Thinking

As someone with ADHD chatGPT has made me a better student AI as assistive technology! (I have more to say about that for another time)

copilot-explorer Revers engineering GitHub Copilot.

GPT-4 could pass Bar Exam, AI researchers say “Researchers tested #GPT-3.5 with questions from the US Bar Exam. They predict that GPT-4 and comparable models might be able to pass the exam very soon.”

Microsoft and OpenAI Working on ChatGPT-Powered Bing in Challenge to Google 🍿 People use search engines to answer questions. Google's entire business is serving ads against search results. Apple has been trying to replace web search with voice search (Siri). So this could get interesting:

Microsoft could soon get a return on its $1 billion investment in OpenAI, creator of the ChatGPT chatbot, which gives humanlike text answers to questions. Microsoft is preparing to launch a version of its Bing search engine that uses the artificial intelligence behind ChatGPT to answer some ...


1Password CLI TIL you can use 1Password to manage your development secrets 🔥

Use op run with an .env file that has 1Password URLs for all secrets. (h/t chrisbiscardi)

Assaf “At least I'm in good company”

Everything Else

Xavier Ashe

erget “My favourite review on Google Maps is for an Antarctic research station. Unfortunately, their penguin is not a people pleaser.”

What does it look like for the web to lose? Pettition to bring back personal sites and blogs.

There is always some degree of tension between “native apps” and “the web” as platforms. If you’re going to write a native app for Android devices, well, I’ll quote from the Android Developer documentation: Android apps can be written using Kotlin, Java, and C++ languages. The Android SDK tools comp…

Woolly Mammoth

darren i

Just learned that Dutch scientists left a hamster wheel outside in 2014 and saw that tons of wild mice used it just for fun as well as frogs and slugs? All the creatures of the forest wanted a turn?? Absolutely phenomenal

Uncle Duke “That lamp looks PISSED.”

The science of why you have great ideas in the shower Via Holly Cummins:

TIL there's a technical name for why ideas happen in the shower: the "default mode network" is a pattern of brain activity, measurable using fMRI, that happens when we're unfocussed. When the brain goes into idle mode (reduced activity), this part of the brain actually becomes more active. What does the default mode network do? Research is ongoing, but part of it definitely seems to be making connections, which is associated with curiosity and creativity.

Here's a productivity hack for you. Shower. At least once a day.

Dgar “What’s the plural of octopus?”

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