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Things I Learned About: January 2024 Edition

Posted on:January 29, 2024 at 10:18 PM


Zed 💕

If you hadn’t heard of it before, Zed is a new-ish code editor created by the ones who brought us Atom - a wonderful editor in its own right for the time - and Tree-sitter, a parser generator that has arguably been extremely important in the code editor space to aid in its understanding of source code (highlighting and the like). I’m using it right now!

I’ll not be able to espouse the true delights of Zed beyond the cliffnotes version:

I don’t know if it will become my every day driver, but it excited me that there might be a new completely open source competitor that can unseat VS Code. Learn more about Zed here and the Zed codebase here on GH.

shadcn/ui ‼

shadcn/ui made big waves in the community recently. A few of the newsletters I’m on were glowing about it, and on YouTube was pumped on it too. I’ve yet to use it, but the business proposition of a UI “library” that scaffolds components for you to customize on your own is amazing. Just a little cli call and POW new component file added to your project.

Suffice it to say, I want to spend more time looking at it.

Gamepad API ⁉

I’m constantly surprised by APIs that I didn’t know existed, and during a recent MDN rabbithole session, I “discovered” the Gamepad API. As someone who has long intended but never delivered to develop some small web games, learning that the Gamepad API exists made me smile.

It’s basic usage is mostly intuitive - an event is dispatched when a new controller is connected or disconnected, gamepadconnected and gamepaddisconnected. After connecting, a method on the navigator object attached to the window called, unsurprisingly, getGamepads.

getGamepads returns a Gamepad object that exposes a few important properties like buttons and axes that can then be handled in game code to perform actions on the player character or in the game overall.

Anyway, I’m new to this too, but now I have one fewer reason to not get started on my first simple browser game. ❓

So, let me start by saying that initially I didn’t actually know what does, and I don’t have much experience with message streaming, but I am super interested in Rust and its community, so it stimulated me to do more research. It was initially a thread that showed up on HN linking to a blog post on that got me started. It seems to be targeting Kafka and its ilk, seeking to surpass them in speed, resource usage and convenience (SDK available in 6 languages already!).

I’m grateful for the HN thread because now I want to know more about message streaming, so thanks iggy!

ActivityPub 🤔

So this exposed a part of the web I was only partially aware of: federated social networks. I was aware of Mastodon and Lemmy and had been a Kickstarter supporter of Diaspora way back in the day, so the concept was at least not totally foreign to me, but I had no idea there was an established standard recommendation and a recent one at that (W3C shared it in early 2018).

I don’t have much to say other than I like discovering more about parts of the web that are still works in progress, and this was a critical piece that I can reference in the future should I work in the FediVerse.

Cloudflare layoff TikTok 💢

So I usually don’t follow things like this, but the TikTok of the woman recording her own layoff masquerading as a layoff made its way to me via a HN comment. Disgusting.

My main takeaway here is that whoever was responsible for the planning and execution of the Cloudflare layoffs absolutely blew it. If they’re trying to fire her for a lack of performance, there should be some documentation to support it. They had nothing and came off as completely unprepared.

I get it. An RIF is probably horrible for all parties (if you have any soul at all), but the whole thing felt disingenuous and shameful. And then the CEO gave a limp response that reminds me how out of touch C-levels can be. They keep claiming it’s a firing, but it feels like just trying to get out of paying severance during a wave of layoffs.

I don’t know. It’s a visceral reaction from someone who was laid off in 2023 so shrug?

The End

That’s it for January 2024. Here’s hoping I learn more in February. Ciao!