Labnotes

Weekend Reading — Recombobulation Area

Published on

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Aidin Vaziri "We now basically live on a planet from Star Wars."


Design Objective

Google is Really Good at Design They've done a remarkable job shifting away from feature-obsessed engineering, and towards user experience, aesthetics, and maybe someday even brand appeal?

As an aggressively engineer-led company, the Mountain View behemoth’s early efforts, particularly with its mobile software and devices, focused not on beauty, elegance, or simplicity, but rather concentrated on flexibility, iteration, and scale.

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Distilling How We Think About Design Systems Argues that a design system is more like a product than a methodology:

The product is what users consume. The documentation (commonly called the styleguide), the UI kit, the code, etc. The product is the tangible parts.

What is a “serif” in Hebrew? "Every adaptation of a Latin system for non-Latin use is an interpretive measure, and has to be taken with a grain of salt."

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Tools of the Trade

React-Sight Visualization tool for React, with support for Fiber, Router (v4), and Redux.

testingDEMO

Keyboard latency 50ms latency is the time it takes for a TCP packet to cross the Atlantic and back!

But it turns out keyboard latency is significant! I was surprised to find that the median keyboard I tested has more latency than the entire end-to-end pipeline of the Apple 2. … keyboards are often more powerful than entire computers from the 70s and 80s! And yet, the median keyboard today adds as much latency as the entire end-to-end pipeline as a fast machine from the 70s.

The New MacBook Keyboard Is Ruining My Life Speaking of keyboards: "The path from “a piece of dust” to “$700 repair” is terrifyingly short."

mcc Metaphors are fun for a hot minute, and then they're just not:

Opinion: It would be better if this Homebrew error message explained to me what was happening instead of making confusing beer metaphors

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Steve T-S Adobe passive-aggresively embracing web technologies:

Adobe keeps taking parts of Photoshop and porting them to HTML so they take multiple seconds to load instead of nanoseconds 🤷‍♂️

JorgeBucaran/classwrap "0.3 KB JavaScript utility for conditionally concatenating class names."

IPv6 Buddy "The essential tool for IPv6 engineers." No they didn't …

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Web-end

Mark Dalgleish This:

With single page apps, we broke the back button. Now, thanks to the power of service workers, we've broken the refresh button.

Building Browser Extensions At Scale Grammarly on their experience building browser extensions for all the major browsers.

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Let There Be Peace on CSS Bringing peace to a world divided by it's love/hate for the cascades:

From that moment on, the web community was split in two by an intense debate between those who see CSS as an untouchable layer in the “separation of concerns” paradigm (content + presentation + behaviour, HTML + CSS + JS) and those who have simply ignored this golden rule and found different ways to style the UI, typically applying CSS styles via JavaScript.

Introducing PayPal’s open-source cross-domain javascript suite This is fantastic:

At PayPal we write a lot of javascript that ends up running on other websites and other domains. …
Last year, we decided to focus on putting together a really solid suite of tools to help avoid these pitfalls, and allow us to create great experiences without constantly having to worry about whether a message would get through, or whether an iframe would successfully render.

8 Key React Component Decisions Types, classes vs functions, state, styling, etc decisions all React projects have to make at some point.

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Lingua Scripta

Maggie Pint 👍

We really should rename package.json to allTheThings.json. The name is misleading.


Lines of Code

Optimal pull request size TL;DR smaller === better:

Every team has an optimal pull request size, it’s likely much smaller than you think, and making your pull requests your optimal size will improve the performance of your team.

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Gavin Joyce Or to put it another way:

Evolution iteratively produced an eye, you can split your massive pull request in two

Nick Lockwood 🙏

“May all your bugs be reproducible” - @nerdonica


Architectural

Nicolò Pignatelli Your periodic reminder: "The original DRY principle. And it's about knowledge, not code."

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Geoff Cant It's hip and fashionable:

Swagger is just WSDL you allow yourself to feel good about. Fight me.

JBD 💯

A good API is not just easy to use but also hard to misuse.

☠️ 💀 👻Cody 👻 💀 ☠️ "How a mutex works"


Devoops

e. hashman 😭

A primer:
Site Reliability Engineers = sysadmins with Go
DevOps Engineers = sysadmins with Ruby
Systems Administrators = sysadmins with Perl


Locked Doors

What to know about KRACK Attack Also KRACK attack is especially bad news for Android and Linux users TL;DR

  • If you're on a public Wifi, your threat model is still someone guessing or social engineering the router password, and will remain so
  • "Neither Windows nor iOS are believed to be vulnerable to the most severe attacks", and both Apple and Microsoft are issuing patches
  • "Linux and Android appear to be more susceptible" … however, Android patches coming some day, to some devices, maybe yours, maybe not
  • The issue originates in the WPA2 spec, which is "proven correct", except for that one edge case
  • It's been present for 13 years (!), the public only learning about it this week
  • Probably because the WPA2 spec is behind a paywall: an obstacle for public review, not for attackers with means

very earnest tweets "A lot to unpack here folks"

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Jan Schaumann 🔥

Since ancient times, members of the #infosec tribe have adhered to a set of rigid Rules of Branded Vulnerabilities across the cybersphere.

An Undead Favorite "this spam email encoded an entire image thumbnail as an HTML table, using a table cell with a background color for each horizontal chunk of pixels"

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Techtopia

One person’s history of Twitter, from beginning to end Mike Monteiro delivers some choice words:

Twitter was built at the tail end of that era. Their goal was giving everyone a voice. They were so obsessed with giving everyone a voice that they never stopped to wonder what would happen when everyone got one. And they never asked themselves what everyone meant. That’s Twitter’s original sin. Like Oppenheimer, Twitter was so obsessed with splitting the atom they never stopped to think what we’d do with it.

Caro 🤔

Me: I used to get joy from twitter but now it makes me upset.
Therapist: what if you just didn’t use it anymore?
Me: not sure I understand


None of the Above

Fluff Society "These mini cows. ♥️♥️♥️"

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Edge Subtle and genius:

@KFC follows 11 people.
Those 11 people? 5 Spice Girls and 6 guys named Herb.
11 Herbs & Spices. I need time to process this.

Halloween Name Chris "Timberland not fucking about when it comes to capturing the millennial market."

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Showerthoughts 🍽

It is amazing how many dirty dishes can hide from plain sight until after the dishwasher has been started.

ಠ_ಠ "best part about this weird La Croix CEO press release outburst is that it was published to a 1998-era geocities blog"

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The impossible dream of USB-C TL;DR "Maybe next time, we’ll get it right. But probably not."

Jay Nordlinger "Sign after you get through security in the Milwaukee airport. My favorite sign in all of America."

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Dark chocolate is now a health food. Here’s how that happened. TL;DR

They tend to focus on the health attributes of cocoa: its impact on cardiovascular health or cognitive function. But they don’t address the role the cocoa delivery mechanism — sugary chocolate — may play in obesity. Most Mars and Hershey chocolates also contain very small amounts of the cocoa that supposedly promotes heart health — along with lots of fat, sugar, and calories.

Farbod Saraf "Earth is 384,400 kilometers from the Moon —Nikon P900 optical zoom gives a closer look"