Category Archives: software

Code formatters

Use a code formatter! That’s it. That’s the whole post. If you’re writing code, you should probably assure that it’s formatted to some kind of standard. That’s what formatters do. They will style your code according to best practices so that you don’t have to worry about it. While there are various opinions on what […]

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On using a fading javascript library

I’ve been building some web stuff recently with a JavaScript library that seems to be well past its prime. A couple of years is a long time in JS-land. I deliberately won’t name the library, because my intention here isn’t to criticize; rather I want to point out some of the challenges of working with […]

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Abstraction is largely the story of computing. Software developers have been building abstraction upon abstraction for decades now. Lev Manovich (of the CUNY Graduate Center) captured this clearly in his book Software Takes Command, and my thinking about this topic is influenced by his book. Abstraction makes life easier by simplifying tasks and making complex […]

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From the archive

I recently dug up an old paper about indexing that I never published. It’s pretty brief, but I think the main argument still stands, so I’ve shared it on CUNY Academic Works. Maybe of interest if you’re interested in indexing, or the politics of software. Here are the details: Title: Automation, Abstraction and Building It […]

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What’s next

My next programming project, which I’ve already started working on, is a tool that would help authors make indexes for their books. If this sounds rather niche, well, it really is. While I don’t want to give away my plans too much, I do want to say that I’ve been deeply dissatisfied with existing indexing […]

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The unpredictability of bots

I recently made a Mastodon bot that didn’t really turn out how I expected. My goal was for it to be a bit cheeky, by being a bot who poses as a scholar. That’s not how it comes across. Rather, it presents itself as pedantic and over-confident. I suppose I could tweak it to make […]

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Build small

Software can sometimes be big and unwieldly. But it doesn’t have to be. Software can also be small, unimportant and ephemeral. Software can have small goals and limited use cases. It can be fun to build and deploy. There is a lot of value in building small applications for libraries. Here are some benefits: Building […]

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