Archive for the ‘chat’ Category


Programmers need a class in aesthetics.

Posted by Elf Sternberg as chat

The three kinds of code: 1. It’s clear what this does. 2. After much thought, it’s clear how the developer got here. 3. WTF. — Eλf Sternberg (@elfsternberg) August 8, 2016 Sometimes it’s a little hilarious to read the back-and-forth of academics. My favorite is this exchange from Roman R. Redziejowski and Brian Ford over […]


What comes next?

Posted by Elf Sternberg as chat, programming

After publishing The Semantics of Python Import and explicating on the history and internals of how Python turns source code into running operations, I thought I had a pretty clear idea of what to do next. I extended Hy such that it was now possible to write an entire Django application in a Lisp dialect, […]


The weirdest interview I ever had…

Posted by Elf Sternberg as chat

The weirdest interview I ever had was shortly after I got laid off from Isilon. One-fifth of Isilon had been laid off in one brutal morning, and I was among them. The economy was deep into the recession, and like everyone else who had been laid off recently I had put out my resume and […]


Analysis Paralysis

Posted by Elf Sternberg as chat, personal, programming

There was an article highlighted in a variety of nerdy news sites called “I’m A Good Engineer But I Suck At Building Stuff,” and while I was reading it, I felt the writer Lionel Barrow’s pain. Because I’m a better engineer, but I still suck at building (some) stuff. When Barrow writes: “I find myself […]

I’m a dilettante in a lot of things software-development related, but I do love watching the world go by. Every once in a while I see two things happen at once and wonder why they aren’t aware of each other. A few days ago I was reading a paper entitled: Buzz: An Extensible Programming Language […]

“If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.” – Albert Einstein This quote annoys me. I’ve spent the last year trying to understand functional programming and this deep, mathematical concept called the monad. It turns out that monads are simple to explain: if you’re mathematically inclined and know your category theory, […]


The Key To Coding is Re-Coding

Posted by Elf Sternberg as chat, programming

In a recent, great article in the New York Review of Books, “The Key to Rereading,” Tim Parks takes the usual metaphor of reading as “the mind is a key unlocking the meaning of the text” and turns it around: The mind is not devising a key to decipher the text, it is disposing itself […]

Programmer Zef Hemel recently made a confession, aptly titled I Hate Puzzles. In it, he confesses to a deep loathing for the recruitment come-ons that read “Do you love puzzles?” and even more for recruitment ads that are puzzles. He says, eventually, that he and his wife agreed they don’t understand why people do puzzles. […]

I bought a new laptop recently, a Lenovo Yoga.  It’s the top-of-the line current generation: 13.3″ touchscreen, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD, quad-core Intel i7 CPU.  Buying it was a fun moment: after shopping around the various retailers, I discovered that the cheapest ones available were from The Microsoft Store.  So I drove over there, walked […]


An “Ah-hah!” moment

Posted by Elf Sternberg as chat, database, Design, PHP, web development

There are moments when the lightbulb goes off in your head with the power of a thousand white-hot suns.  For me, it happened while I was reading the WordPress Database Schema back to back with Henri Bergius’s highly influentials (well, it was a Hell of an influence on me, at any rate) Decoupling Content Management. Take a close […]

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