193 Matching Annotations
  1. Feb 2024
    1. Not a web developer? Sucks to be you. The vast majority of the static site generator tools out there are run from the command line, powered by things you've never heard of like Node, Grunt, or Babel.
  2. Jan 2024
  3. Dec 2023
    1. thanks to the complexity of JDSL it took days to do coding work that should only take minutes
    1. Every time I changed labs and computers during my postdoc years, I had to spend a day or two to reinstall everything I needed
    1. When the designer on the team, who also writes CSS, went to go make changes, it was a lot harder for them to implement them. They had to figure out which file to look in, open up command line, run a build step, check that it worked as expected, and then deploy the code.
    1. I hate npm so much. I had a situation where I couldn't work on a project because I couldn't get the dev environment running locally.
  4. Nov 2023
    1. if you're going to write a 00:35:14 plugin for an ide prepare for your hello world to be days of learning and pages of code just to do the hello world

      If you're going to write a plugin for an IDE, prepare for your hello-world to be days of learning and pages of code just to do the hello-world.

    2. now i would love someday to do a plug-in for intellij that understands all of the 00:33:01 custom stuff for my game code right you know i would love to but you know that's that's a project

      Now, I would love someday to do a plug-in for IntelliJ that understands all of the custom stuff for my game code. Right? You know, I would love to, but you know that's that's a project.

    1. it’s a lot of work to manually migrate 200+ components to what is essentially a new framework
    1. The web started off as a simple, easy-to-use, easy-to-write-for infrastructure. Programmers have remodelled HTML in their own image, and made it complicated, hard to implement, and hard to write for, excluding many potential creators.
    1. This post is a narrative rant (in the same vein of Dan Luu's "Everything is Broken" post) about my problems one afternoon getting a Fancy New Programming Language to work on my laptop.
    1. Some people are extremely gifted mathematicians with incredible talent for algorithmic thinking, yet can be totally shut down by build configuration bullshit.
    1. The repo was 3 years old. Surely it wouldn't be that hard to get running again? Ha!Here's what went well.Installing Android Studio. I remember when this was a chore - but I just installed the Flatpak, opened it, and let it update.Cloning the repo. Again, simple.Importing the project. Couple of clicks. Done.Then it all went to hell.
    1. Since infrequent developers spend relatively little time dealing with the language, setting up and running additional pieces of software is a much higher overhead for them and is generally not worth it if they have a choice.
    1. I sometimes find myself hacking together a quick console-based or vanilla JS prototype for an idea and then just stop there because messing with different cloud providers, containers, react, webpack and etc is just soul draining. I remember when I was 14 I'd throw up a quick PHP script for my project, upload it to my host and get it up and running in just a few minutes. A month ago I spent week trying to get Cognito working with a Serverless API and by the time I figured it out I was mentally done with the project. I cannot ever seem to get over this hump. I love working on side projects but getting things up and running properly is just a huge drag these days.
    1. My husband reviews papers. He works a 40h/wk industry job; he reviews papers on Saturday mornings when I talk to other people or do personal projects, pretty much out of the goodness of his heart. There is no way he would ever have time to download the required third party libraries for the average paper in his field, let alone figure out how to build and run it.
    1. I was trying to make it work with Python 2.7 but, after installing the required packages successfully I get the following error:
    2. Cidraque · 2016-Oct-23 Only linux? :( Matt Zucker · 2016-Oct-23 It should work on any system where you can install Python and the requirements, including windows.
    3. Hi there, I can't run the program, it gives me this output and I can't solve the problem by myself
    1. My first experience with Scheme involved trying and failing to install multiple Scheme distributions because I couldn’t get all the dependencies to work.
    1. The hidden curriculum consists of the unwritten rules, unspokennorms, and field-specific insider knowledge that are essential forstudent success but are not taught in classes. Examples includesocial norms about how to interact with authority figures, whereto ask for unadvertised career-related opportunities, and how tonavigate around the official rules of a bureaucracy.

      Clever. I also like the framing of MIT's "Missing Semester" https://missing.csail.mit.edu/

    1. Thereafter, I would need to build an executable, which, depending on the libraries upon which the project relies could be anything from straightforward to painful.
    1. I think that the website code started to feel like it had bitrotted, and so making new blog posts became onerous.
    1. almost every other time I've had the misfortune of compiling a c(++) application from scratch it's gone wildly wrong with the most undiagnose-able wall of error messages I've ever seen (and often I never manyage to figure it out even after over a day of trying because C developers insist on using some of the most obtuse build systems conceivable)
  5. Sep 2023
    1. Yesterday I spent a few hours on setting up a website for my music, but then instead of launching it I created a Substack.
    1. The amount of boilerplate and number of dependencies involved in setting up a web development project has exploded over the past decade or so. If you browse through the various websites that are writing about web development you get the impression that it requires an overwhelming amount of dependencies, tools, and packages.
    1. Reading through your link I caught myself thinking if I would put up with all those boilerplate nix steps just to add a new page to the site.
  6. Aug 2023
    1. Another way I get inspiration for research ideas is learning about people's pain points during software development Whenever I hear or read about difficulties and pitfalls people encounter while I programming, I ask myself "What can I do as a programming language researcher to address this?" In my experience, this has also been a good way to find new research problems to work on.
    1. I get frustrated whenever I have knowledge (specifically Web Platform knowledge) to solve a problem, but the abstraction prevents me from using my knowledge.

    1. With Go, I can download any random code from at least 2018, and do this: go build and it just works. all the needed packages are automatically downloaded and built, and fast. same process for Rust and even Python to an extent. my understanding is C++ has never had a process like this, and its up to each developer to streamline this process on their own. if thats no longer the case, I am happy to hear it. I worked on C/C++ code for years, and at least 1/3 of my development time was wasted on tooling and build issues.
  7. Jul 2023
    1. go sample from A gallery of interesting Jupyter Notebooks. Pick five. Try to run them. Try to install the stuff needed to run them. Weep in despair.
    1. I tried writing a serious-looking research paper about the bug and my proposed fix, but I lost a series of pitched battles against Pytorch and biblatex
    1. it's like all right someone built an app that's pretty cool now let me go set up my ide let me go download all these packages what's the stack they're using
  8. May 2023
    1. The paper had the "Artifacts available" badgea in the ACM Digital Library, highlighting the research in the paper as reproducible. Yet, the instructions to get the dataset required several steps rather than just a link: log in, find the paper, click on a tab, scroll, get to the dataset.
    1. @17:03

      The idea of portability is not that you take your C code and recompile it and hope it compiles and hope the compilers have the same bugs in them.

    1. A contrasting experience was to learn how to use the tools to turn my programs into executable. It was a painfully slow and deeply unpleasant process where knowledge was gathered here and there after trial, errors, and a lot of time spent on search engines.
  9. Apr 2023
    1. These systems provide quite powerful tools for automaticreasoning, but encoding many kinds of knowledge using their rigid formal representations requiressignificant- -and often completely infeasible-amounts of effort.



    1. Handleshave one serious disadvantage.Effective use requires the user’sWeb browser to incorporate specialsoftware. CNRI provides this soft-ware, but digital libraries havebeen reluctant to require theirusers to install it.
    1. The college we were at had locked down the networks crazy tight. Machines could not communicate with each other.
    1. Once I was *attempting* (Igave up) to install an application and the first tutorial allowed mea choice of 6 ways to install something and none worked.
    2. Our informants recognized this as a general problem with tu-torials: “There’s an implicit assumption about the environment”(I5) and “many tutorials assume you have things like a workingdatabase” (I4). If tutorials “were all written with *less* assumptionsand were more comprehensive that would be great
    3. Pimentel et al . [28] found that only 24% of Jupyter note-books could be executed without exceptions



  10. Mar 2023
    1. After 10 years of industry and teaching nearly 1000 students various software engineering courses, including a specialized course on DevOps, I saw one common problem that has not gotten better. It was amazing to see how difficult and widespread the simple problem of installing and configuring software tools and dependencies was for everyone.
    1. Even notebooks still are problematic, for example, this study found that only 25% of Jupyter notebooks could be executed, and of those, only 4% actually reproduced the same results.
    1. I could port it to Hugo or Jekyll but I think the end result would make it harder to use, not simpler.
  11. Feb 2023
    1. Checking your own repos on a new computer is one thing… inheriting someone else’s project and running it on your machine in the node ecosystem is very rough.



    1. But my experience with build systems (not just Javascript build systems!), is that if you have a 5-year-old site, often it’s a huge pain to get the site built again.
    1. Usability and accessibility can impact where a technology falls on the spectrum: not paying attention to these dimensions makes it harder to move to higher levels of agency, staying more exclusive as "Look at what I/you/we can do, as the capable ones"
  12. Jan 2023
    1. igal needs Perl to run and it also relies on a few other programs that come standard with most Linux distributions.
    1. We rebuilt Cloudflare's developer documentation - here's what we learned

      This post is one massive derp. (Or rather, the problem solved by the changes documented here is... The post itself would instead be best described as one massive "duh".)

      Spoiler alert: anti-wikis with heavyweight PR-based workflows that ignore how much friction this entails for user contributions don't beget many user contributions! (And it also sucks for the people getting paid to write and edit the content, too.)

  13. Dec 2022
    1. Six months passes and while you had almost forgotten about your little project, you now have got some new ideas that could make it even better. The project also has a few open issues and feature requests that you can take care of. So you come back to it. “Let’s start”, you whispered to yourself with excitement. You run npm install in your terminal like an innocent man and switch to your browser to scroll on Twitter while you are waiting for the dependencies to be installed. Moments later you return to your terminal and see… an error!
    1. By summing together these costs, the overall estimate is that in 2015, child-hood poverty in the United States was costing the nation $1.03 trillion a year.This number represented 5.4 percent of the U.S. annual GDP.The bottom line is that child poverty represents a significant economicburden to the United States.



    1. The migration would not be complete without calling out that I was unable to build the Mastodon code base on our new primary Puma HTTP server.
  14. Nov 2022
    1. But. I somehow changed-ish laptop, and you know the problem where you change laptop and suddenly you lose access to a few things? Yes. That's one of my problems. This site was using nini to statically generate pages and interconnect them with backlinks, and it's great. But I figured I'll keep it to simple html pages that don't need any compilation for now, so that when I change this laptop, I'll still be able to publish without having to install anything.
    1. This made me realize how little joy I’ve been getting from being an admin. How I’ve come to resent the work I have volunteered to do.
  15. Oct 2022
    1. This costs about $650 USD to operate

      Crazy! This underscores how badly Mastodon—and ActivityPub, generally—need to be revved to enable network participation from low-cost (essentially free) static* sites.

      * quasi-static, really—in the way that RSS-enabled blogs are generally considered static sites

  16. pointersgonewild.files.wordpress.com pointersgonewild.files.wordpress.com
    1. IMO: one of the biggest problems in modern softwaredevelopment• Code breaks constantly, even if it doesn’t change• Huge cause of reliability issues and time wasted• This is somehow accepted as normal

      ⬑ "The Code Rot Problem"

    1. This is the big hurdle; to leap over it you have to be able to create the program text somewhere, compile it successfully, load it, run it, and find out where your output went.
    1. this level oftime commitment is likely to prevent a potential user with apassing interest from trying a programming language or tool
    1. We next made two attempts to buildeach system. This often required edit-ing makefiles and finding and in-stalling specific operating system andcompiler versions, and external librar-ies.
    2. Several hurdles must becleared to replicate computer systemsresearch. Correct versions of sourcecode, input data, operating systems,compilers, and libraries must be avail-able, and the code itself must build
  17. Sep 2022
    1. It's wild that you have to set up Docker to contribute to 600 characters of JavaScript.

      Current revision of README: https://github.com/t-mart/kill-sticky/blob/124a31434fba1d083c9bede8977643b90ad6e75b/README.md

      We're creating a bookmarklet, so our code needs to be minified and URL encoded.

      Run the following the project root directory:

      $ docker build . -t kill-sticky && docker run --rm -it -v $(pwd):/kill-sticky kill-sticky
    1. Un-fortunately, there are no ascertainable statistics on the amount of time we wastefussing among papers and mislaying things
    1. Many research projects are publicly available but rarely useddue to the difficulty of building and installing them
    1. Over in the IndieWeb community we were having a conversation about how easy it should be for people to create their own websites (also for small local businesses etc.) Where making the site is basically the same as writing the text you want to put on it. Social media silos do that for you, but out on the open web?
    1. When I go to use some software it takes an inordinate amount of time to set things up.
    2. Some of my ruby, nodejs and python projects no longer run due to dependencies not being pinned at creation time.
  18. Aug 2022
    1. So what’s wrong with all the different languages? Nothing, if you enjoy the mental exercise of creating and/or learning new languages. But usually that’s all they are: a mental exercise.
    1. There has been significant pressure for scientists to make their code open, but this is not enough. Even if I hired the only postdoc who can get the code to work, she might have forgotten the exact details of how an experiment was run. Or she might not know about a critical dependency on an obsolete version of a library.
    1. today’s notebook implementations require note-book authors to take various precautions to ensure repro-ducibility, which are exactly the same as required for makingscripts reproducible: a detailed documentation of the soft-ware environment that was used, listing all dependencieswith detailed version information
    1. over the seven years of the project, I ended upspending a lot of time catching up with dependencies. Newreleases of NumPy and matplotlib made my code collapse,and the increasing complexity of Python installations addedanother dose of instability. When I got a new computer in2013 and installed the then-current versions of everything,some of my scripts no longer worked and, worse, oneof them produced different results. Since then, softwarecollapse has become an increasingly serious issue for mywork. NumPy 1.9 caused the collapse of my MolecularModelling Toolkit, and it seems hardly worth doing muchabout it because the upcoming end of support for Python 2in 2020 will be the final death blow.
    1. even if the code has been made available, it cannotbe easily run because of changes in the underlyinglibraries, operating systems, and other dependen-cies
    2. Finally, software is hard to work with. Forgetmaking research reproducible, it is hard enough touse it 6 months later.
  19. Jul 2022
    1. if you’re a beginner you can use Replit which allows you to program through your browser without installing anything on your machine
    1. We never got there. We never distributed the source code to a working web browser, more importantly, to the web browser that people were actually using. We didn't release the source code to the most-previous-release of Netscape Navigator: instead, we released what we had at the time, which had a number of incomplete features, and lots and lots of bugs.
    1. getting set up requires a github account and “pushing” commits every time I write a post
    2. But starting, hosting and maintaining your own blog is still too hard.
    1. It's also hard to share this workflow with someone non-technical. I have to setup and maintain the correct environment on their machine
    1. It is long past time to return to designing tools not just for rock stars at Google but the vast majority of programmers and laypeople with simple small-scale problems.
    1. @2:10

      They didn't publish the code. They published the algorithm. And they prided themselves on—the computer scientists at the time—of describing the algorithm, not GitHubbing the code. These days we don't—we GitHub the code. You want the algorithm? Here's the code.

      This is not always reliable. There are some non-highly-mathematical things that you'd prefer to have the algorithm explained rather than slog through the code, which is probably adulterated with hacks for e.g. platform gotchas, etc.

      There is a better way, though, which is to publish a high-level description of the workings as runnable code that you can simulate in a Web browser. Too many people have misconceptions about the stability of the Web browser as a platform for simulations, however. We need to work on this.

    1. When you’re building developer tools, if the officially supported developer environment doesn’t work for people in some way, they build their own approach.
    2. it shows that any time that you make something easier or harder to do, either because it’s faster or slower, or just because you’ve reduced the number of steps, or you’ve made the steps more annoying, or you’ve added cognitive overhead, then people react by changing how they use your tool.
    1. @14:18:

      So, for example, if you want to make a very basic static site: well, okay, now you need the static site generator, and now you need a library system, you need a package manager, you need a way to install the package manager, you need a way to check for security vulnerabilities in all the packages, you need a web server, you need a place to run the app. It's a whole thing, right?

    1. It took me an hour to rewrite my ui code and two days to get it to compile. The clojurescript version I started with miscompiles rum. Older clojurescript versions worked with debug builds but failed with optimizations enabled, claiming that cljs.react was not defined despite it being listed in rum's dependencies. I eventually ended up with a combination of versions where compiling using cljs.build.api works but passing the same arguments at the command line doesn't.
  20. Jun 2022
    1. There’s not much implementations can do, and it’s up to the debugger to be smarter about it.

      This is fatalistic thinking.

      Here's what both implementations and debuggers can do together: 1. implementations can document these things 2. debuggers can read the documentation and act accordingly

    1. other people’s toolchains are absolutely inscrutable from the outside. Even getting started is touchy. Last month, I had to install a package manager to install a package manager.
    1. I suspect because most software is optimized for industrial use, not personal use. For industrial uses the operations overhead is not a big deal compared to the development and operational efficiency gained by breaking things up into communicating services. But for personal uses the overwhelming priority is reducing complexity so that nothing fails.
    2. preventing the build from bitrotting would probably require a full-time maintainer in the long run
    1. I was speaking to the CEO of a developer tools company earlier this year. He told me that the biggest obstacle to contribution is his local development environment.
    2. Your personal dev environment travels with you no matter which device you use

      A lot of these ideas are junk. This one, though, is achievable. triplescripts.org.

    1. Built using Go, Hugo is incredibly fast at building large sites, has an active community, and is easily installable on a variety of operating systems. In our early discovery work, we found that Hugo would build our docs content in mere seconds.
    2. Developer documentation is incredibly important to the success of any product. At Cloudflare, we believe that technical docs are a product – one that we can continue to iterate on, improve, and make more useful for our customers.One of the most effective ways to improve documentation is to make it easier for our writers to contribute to them.
    1. The interconnectivity features need a server though, and that involves either using a third-party service, or spinning up your own VPS, which means added cost, and you’ll probably have to do that at some point anyway if you choose the third-party option at first.
  21. May 2022
    1. I think adding automated deployments would be a nice quality-of-life feature and would definitely encourage me to write more. Currently, I have to upload a new text file to my server and refresh the pm2 job.

      Is "automated deployments" really the solution?

    1. I develop in Node and Sveltekit regularly and the chances that on any given day my flow might be crushed by random madness is unacceptably high.
    2. I have seen experienced developers pull their hair out for a day or more trying to get a basic build system working, or to import a simple module.
    1. This is a problem with all kinds of programming for new learners - actually writing some code is easy. But getting a development environment configured to actually allow you to start writing that code requires a ton of tacit knowledge.
    1. I can write JS and TypeScript easily enough but when I start a new project I'm always fighting the tooling for at least half an hour before I can get going.
    1. Yes, you could write Python utilities that are easy to install and run, but people don't. And the last bit of that sentence is the one that actually counts. "Could have" doesn't actually count in an engineering context.
    1. I just want to try this C++, download, unzip, oh it's windows so .project file. Fine, redo on windows , oh it's 3 versions of vstuido old and says it wants to upgrade , okay. Hmm errors. Try to fix. Now it's getting linking error.
    1. It feels like every example I run into is an easy to follow "20-steps + 10 packages + 64GB cloud server instance" process when all I want to do is to download some historical temperature data to CSV.
    1. if you think it's hard for someone who is already a programmer - think about how needlessly complicated the entire ecosystem and everything surrounding it is for the average person
    1. Today I tried to help a friend who is a great computer scientist, but not a JS person use a JS module he found on Github. Since for the past 6 years my day job is doing usability research & teaching at MIT, I couldn’t help but cringe at the slog that this was. Lo and behold, a pile of unnecessary error conditions, cryptic errors, and lack of proper feedback.
    1. > Movim is easy to deploy> Movim is lightweight (only a few megabytes) and can be deployed on any server. We are providing a Docker image, a Debian package or a simple installation tutorial if you want to deploy it yourself.I imagine a typical Tumblr user landing on this page and not getting a single word of the "easy to deploy" section.

      Related: comments about deployability of PHP over in the comments about "The Demise of the Mildly Dynamic Website".

    1. I woke up realizing one of the computers I use isn't set up to build and I wished I could use it to build and release the new version
    1. The thrill of getting "hello world" on the screen in Symbian/S60 is not something I'll ever forget. Took ages of battling CodeWarrior and I think even a simple app was something like 6 files
    1. I still stick by the fact that web software used to b