Trending this week on the DailyDrip Distillery
Byte upgraded over 2,000 production servers in place, by installing the OS in memory, wiping the disk, and reinstalling the OS to disk. They used a script that warned
Do not use this script on any system you care about. Apparently that warning was sufficient to convince them they had to try it. “It was like replacing the wheels on a moving vehicle…” [ed. I would be sweating bullets running this migration. I guess this is why I’m not a sysadmin]
Raymond Chen wants to know if
people write insane code with multiple overlapping side effects with a straight face? Chen argues that ‘insane code’ is at risk of having false positives, and one should avoid blaming the compiler for being the problem. If you have no problem interpreting ‘a -= a *= a; p[x++] = ++x;’ than you probably can skip Chen’s article.
Robert O'Callahan is pretty sure no one can write C/C++ code safely. O'Callahan has a PhD in Computer Science, and was once a distinguished engineer at Mozilla where his job was to review C/C++ code. O'Callahan includes himself in this statement and confesses he ‘cannot consistently write safe C/C++ code.’
Stack Overflow Channels is in private beta. Stack Overflow Channels aims to make a space for engineering teams to ask questions in a private environment. Channels also allows an improved way to share technical questions and answers with your whole team.
Amit Patel from Red Blob Games is exploring procedural map generation, and shares an experiment that uses Distance Fields to describe mountains and coastlines, by allowing a designer to influence the procedural algorithm. The algorithm is simple, but the results are surprisingly good. Ultimately, he intends to use this in conjunction with other procedural generation algorithms to get better results.
Stop writing PHP like it’s 2009… - Florian advocates use of Hack, HHVM, XHP, Collections instead of arrays (because PHP arrays ಠ_ಠ), and more.
Redis 4.0 - Maybe the biggest deal: "Redis modules: finally it is possible to use Redis as a framework to write networked services without reinventing everything from scratch.“
8 things to learn in React before using Redux - Good advice, but I disagree that
You should feel comfortable using [local state]. It should bring you deep discomfort.
Building a fully featured burner phone with Twilio and Kotlin - I love this article and I deeply dislike most of the commenters :) Haters gonna hate I guess...
The rise of Python for Embedded Systems - If you haven’t played in embedded systems lately, it’s gotten extremely fun. I personally prefer Nerves though.
Rocket v0.3: Fairings, TLS, Private Cookies - If you’re building web stuff in Rust and haven’t seen Rocket, you should probably check it out.
A Look into NASA’s Coding Philosophy - This article’s too full of good advice to pick just one quote.
Binary AST proposal for ECMAScript - some of the benefits of web assembly, for your existing codebase, could be coming.
The mystery of the hanging S3 downloads -
Packets with an expected checksum of 0xd7a7 would always have the checksum replaced with 0. Packets with any other expected checksum would work just fine. This bug is ridiculous. We should all debug so well.
Code Health: To Comment or Not to Comment? - Make Comments Useful Again.
Principles of Automated Testing -
verify your software does what you expect it to do, now and into the future.
Overengineering The Deployment of Static HTML With CI/CD Docker and Kubernetes - mostly pointless, but interesting!
The Hard Thing About Software Development -
programming skill in the absence of business domain knowledge is becoming increasingly worthless.* [ed. I don’t disagree much]*
1.0 release of Cosette, a SQL solver for automatically checking semantic equivalences of SQL queries - Math is great, who knew?
Startup Engineers and Our Mistakes with MongoDB - Using it is mistake #1. In general, I prefer databases that fsync out of the box, rather than fail to persist data because they want to win at benchmarks.
Dive Deeper - Machine Learning
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