Strongly-typed Systems

Some people hate the strictness of strong types. Maybe they thing that it’s getting in the way of getting things done. Prototyping is fast-and-loose, throw it at the wall, see what happens, and perhaps… hope for the best.

Embrace the constraints.    I’m seeing an increase in productivity because the ball-in-play is now on a much smaller court. If something does not type-check, then there is no reason to even bother trying to run the program. It isn’t going to work. There was a time where I was enjoying the purity of Lisp languages like Scheme or Common Lisp, but found myself fighting with their ecosystems. The demand for these languages in the world has set them aside into their historical corner. Yes, you can do anything with lambda but that doesn’t mean that it will be fun or reliable.

Types are succinct design patterns.    Learning to read type-signatures is starting to become like reading condensed chemistry formulas—you begin to see how data types might react with other data types, how functions accept and return new data.

Embrace the suck.   If you’re still running amok with JavaScript or Python, learn a strongly-typed language. You’re going to get better as a programmer.


Vivaldi Browser + FastMail = Sad Face

I don’t know which “web technology” FastMail is requiring, but it does not like the Vivaldi browser. This seems to happen most often when switching screen-modes in the FastMail interface, e.g. from Notes to Inbox. But then I’m still having problems reproducing that.

Perhaps FastMail has already fixed this issue?

14/Jan — Now I’m not sure if I was confusing Chromium with Vivaldi. I haven’t been able to reproduce in either.

  • Ctrl-S for note-saving conflicts with Vivaldi’s page-save.

Environmental Chaos?

An entire business model has now been built from the curation of “ambient non-distraction” work-space audio.

  • — has over 50 channels, some of which will perplex those who aren’t ADHD Type-1 individuals. Those channels of course sound as if time stopped existing in the universe and all reality is happening simultaneously.
  • — turns Github commits into a dreamy space. Why does this work? We’re probably so good at detecting patterns that using a real random-event source keeps this from becoming an issue. I know of at least one other streaming media site that would loop this kind of ambient content after 7-15 minutes and as amazing as it is, our brains can pick up on that.  For that reason even the…
  • — eventually falls to our mind’s ability to catch patterns in time, or at least, we think we begin to hear patterns that aren’t there. Devices that have a limited set up sounds will usually present this pattern.

Myself for 95% of the time I’m not listening to anything. That seems to work well for me and it saves the cycles on deciding on whether or not what I’m listening to is helping or hindering.


Vivaldi Browser Notes

Vivaldi is turning out a pretty nice browser with a lot of nice “fine details” that you only notice if you’re paying attention:

  • Tabs “colorize” from the website. If you’re reading Y-Combinator’s news, the tab is Y-Combinator orange. WordPress is slate-ish blue, and so on and on.
  • Contextual search of recent history, bookmarks and the web from the address line of the browser.
  • Sidebars with utility. Things like bookmarks, status of downloads and so on.

There are probably hundreds of other nice touches I haven’t even realized.