Misc links: August 2013

Some interesting and inspiring things I stumbled upon this month:

  • I couldn't agree more with Julien Danjou's rant about Github pull-request workflow implementation. Github has the merit of bringing git to the masses and somewhat even encouraging Open Source, but code quality (and project quality) is a harder story, and pull requests on Gihub often overlook it.

    I am a huge fan of the patches-over-email process: it works wonderfully in Linux, it's simple and it's transparent, it makes developers know one another better and get in tune.

    The patch dance —as we call it— may look slower but it is a more effective way to review code than just asking to pull some current state which has to be fixed up anyway.

    Issuing a pull request must be just the final step, a pull request means: My dear lazy maintainer, please pull the code which you already know, and acknowledged as ready to be merged.

  • Sometimes I find the electronic details of hardware intimidating, sure I can look at electronic components as functions with inputs and outputs, but still, knowing the physics that makes them work may be useful to have a deeper and maybe a more global view of how a computer system works.

    I recently found out that looking at electronics from the point of view of chemistry makes it more digestible, some examples:

  • I just have to quote Stallman on the Snowden story: Richard Stallman: Snowden & Assange besieged by empire but not defeated.

    The real problem with privacy and security is that for them to work, anyone must care; and nowadays people just don't.

  • Inspiring the next generation of female engineers: Debbie Sterling at TEDxPSU, keep that in mind when buying a toy for your niece or your daughter.
  • Bret Victor The Future of Programming: The most dangerous thought that you can have as a creative person is to think that you know what you're doing.
  • Bruce Schneier: The security mirage interesting notes about the feeling of security and the reality of it.
  • L'Arte della Felicità is an animated movie set in Naples created by Mad Entertainment, a Neapolitan animation studio.

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