Here’s the monthly review of interesting things I found while browsing Hacker News, Twitter, or RSS feeds.
Non-POSIX file systems is such a great piece of writing about POSIX and other filesystems, by a prolific Scheme coder.
Multics enabled a superior paradigm for storage management and backups. Xerox Alto allowed a disk structure to be restored even if all metadata blocks had been damaged. Hydra used a capability system to provide a powerful protection mechanism for data. All of these enabled interesting types of functionality that we are missing in POSIX.
I subscribed to svetlyak40wt‘s Lisp Project of the Day during the Summer, and I learned a lot of nice tips about Lisp and existing libraries. For instance, cl-flat-tree is a small Lisp library for working with binary trees.
The Neovim TUI experience is really slick, and it remains so fast. Even if I don’t load a lot of plugins, it remains by far the fastest text editor available on my Macbook. In addition, spell checking is better than Flyspell, and I believe Ale has nothing to envy to Flycheck. Yet, I spent a significant amount of time configuring my Doom Emacs to offer an enhanced user experience when running in a terminal, and it now start in just under 1.5s, which is great (yeah, I know
server-start & Co). My core Emacs keybindings (via
which-key) are similar to what I use in Neovim, so I am not lost when I switch from one to the other.1
Emacs is the only serious program I know which manages to be truly user interface independent, in addition to being platform-independent. Emacs works with graphical toolkits on all major platforms, but also offers a almost-feature-complete text interface. — Emacs is very special regarding UIs
Share a Tmux session. Interesting use of the
-S flag to specify a socket. I mostly use Tmux on a remote server, but this is just to benefit from a persistent session and of course multipane facilities.
These days, I don’t write a lot of Stata code. Not a single line of code in 3 months, TBH. However, thanks to a link found in one of Andrew Wheeler‘s recent posts’, I was reminded that the grstyle is a very nice approach to customizing the look and feel of Stata graphics. By the way, regarding Python graphing facilities, there’s a new one from JetBrains: lets-plot. Apparently, it is intended to be use in JetBrains IDEs or in a Jupyter notebook, but it’s quite interesting to know that we have yet another Ggplot-inspired graphical backend in the Python ecosystem.
A few days ago I learned that there’s now a Clojure dataframe library that runs on Spark: geni. It seems to be a pretty serious project, nicely illustrated and with lot of documentation.
If you’re interested in TUI and cli environments, you’re likely to appreciate the following blog post: everything you ever wanted to know about terminals. It provides a deep review of ncurses and ASCII escape codes, with illustrations in C.
Some free discrete maths textbooks by Ed Bender.
The main reason I use Neovim on my macbook, beyond its native speed for quick editing of text files, is because (1) I wanted to be more familiar with Vim keybindings for using Emacs with Evil mode more efficiently, and (2) I only use Vim on the Ubuntu workstations I manage to administer at work. ↩︎