Blog

Rant posts

Theory of Mind in Numberblocks - 5 Apr 2021 Rant 

Before I start this I should clarify something: yes, I know it’s just a show for kids, and I’m a fan of the lessons and techniques it’s using behind the candy-coated facade. However it’s also weirding me out in various ways, and so I felt this needed discussing. I’ve only actually watched the first two episodes (along with my toddler), but I think this got enough of the core concept over that I can at least vaguely talk about this.

Immutable Systems Infrastructure, or how to mashup Kubernetes and Nix - 20 Feb 2021 Tools  Rant  DevOps 

TL;DR: Proposal for a way to define multiple-machine systems in a immutable way, without requiring by-hand layouts.

Weird software licenses you may have not tried yet - 6 Jan 2020 Rant 

So, you've just made your first software project and are wondering how to license it. Well, here's a quick guide to some options you may want to (not) take.

Traditionally there are approximately 4 different paths for licensing:

How to get a 10x developer - 6 Jan 2020 Rant  Pontification  Project Management 

Long time readers will note this post as being similarly clickbait as my earlier ‘How to be a Rockstar developer!‘. Don’t worry, hopefully there’s useful information here. (I’ve been inspired here by Keavy McKinn’s post ‘Thriving on the Technical Leadership Path’, which talks about many good things, but a lot of is about how to…

On Mocking Rust - 21 May 2018 Rust  Rant  Potboiler 

I’ve recently picked Potboiler back up again with the intention of doing some expansion work on it, but in order to be able to do this sensibly I first had to actually write some tests for it. First time around I was mostly just trying to hack it together and see where I could get, but…

Bazel: Fast, Correct, Usable – choose two - 14 Mar 2018 Tools  Rant 

I’d recently gotten reminded about Bazel, Google’s ‘boil the ocean‘ build system, and decided to give it a proper go. TL;DR – it’s not ready yet, and might not ever be, unless you’re willing to throw away everything else. I’m generally on the lookout for good build systems. Some of my colleagues are perfectly happy…

How to actually secure IoT devices - 30 May 2017 Hardware  Rant  Pontification  Business Ideas 

Every day it feels like there’s some new Internet of Things (IoT) story, telling us how these new devices in our homes and offices are causing more and more havoc. On the other hand, we really like the new and shiny things doing funky things for us, and that doesn’t look like it’s slowing down…

Pyrexia: IoT office temperature monitoring - 29 Nov 2015 Technology  Clojure  RabbitMQ  Rant 

Most of the projects I write about here are pretty much complete, or at least good enough. This one is a little bit more of a work in progress for reasons that will become clear fairly soon… One of the ongoing conversations in LShift over the years has been regarding the temperature in the office. It…

Tumblr blog generator - 28 Feb 2015 Web  Clojure  Rant 

TL;DR version – OAuth sucks, Tumblr’s API has some notable faults. So, a while back I came across the “dice shaming” meme. For those of you who haven’t seen this before, or who aren’t RPG players and so don’t know what’s going on, it’s a bunch of posts of people going “I rolled my dice…

“Nearby art”: using the V&A API and geolocation - 16 Jul 2010 Rant 

A little while back, I was informed that the V&A had an API. To be honest, my first response to this was “why on earth?”. There’s been a few similar APIs coming out recently from organisations, with some sort of “build it and they’ll come” expectations i.e. expecting that all they have to do is…