[Weekly Drip 058.1] Is C stifling processor development? Kubernetes gets Operators. A new Electron challenger has appeared!

News

David Chisnall writes an insightful piece on how C Is Not a Low-level Language. It’s the story of how our processor designs are stifled because C/C++ developers really want to pretend they’re still programming a PDP-11. Some properties of C programs hold back potentially powerful new architectures (C programs tend to have few busy threads), and C itself is preprocessed to appear simple in an increasingly complicated world. Perhaps we should abandon it just to get a fresh perspective on this whole software thing :) People will continue to build processors to run existing C code faster, which means future code will be built for processors like today’s processors, which is an awful cycle that we could break if we wanted to. Also if you enjoy contention you’ll like the comments.

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CoreOS released The Operator Framework: an open source toolkit designed to manage Kubernetes native applications, called Operators, in a more effective, automated, and scalable way. In essence, Operators encode ops-knowledge around a particular service, automated inside of Kubernetes. Think “scaling and managing a Solr cluster” as an example of something that could become a fundamental feature of your cluster, rather than something you construct manually using primitives. This is a huge step forward in easing the burden of complex applications, and I’m eager to see where this framework takes us.

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Who is ready to replace Electron? Check out Proton Native, a new way to make native desktop applications with a syntax similar to React Native. Proton Native works with Redux, is cross platform, and did we mention you don’t have to use Electron? Take a look at the announcement, the code, and how to get started. (ed - I’m shorting RAM manufacturer stock)

The country of France seized france.com from its owner who was operating a legitimate travel site since 1994. Ars Technica details the legal battle and his counter suite. Why is this in a dev newsletter? Because it’s a good reminder to make sure you trust your upstream partners, including hosts, DNS providers, registrars, package maintainers, etc. In this case Web.com caved to France’s lawsuit, despite having no authority to release the domain from its owner.

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Swizec Teller dives into why a CS degree is useful for engineers, but not mandatory. It’s valuable to learn the the principles of computer science. Whether you learn them through school or independent study is up to you. Typically people that get a computer science degree aren’t disappointed. Swizec leaves his readers with a solid quote, It’s about knowing enough to know what to ask.

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Tom Black shows you how to compile Ruby to WebAssembly. In general, mruby can target LLVM, which can target WebAssembly, and so it’s possible to write ruby that will compile to webasm. It takes advantage of something called Binaryen, which aims to help compile to webassembly. Even if you don’t care about Ruby, if you want to do anything similar you will learn about valuable tools in this article. He also released the wasm gem to get started playing with this stuff quickly.

Dregs

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