#Firehose

Here you can see all content on this website. This is probably not what you want: most of it will be pretty boring to you. There's some tweet-like content here that isn't particularly carefully edited. I mostly publish this for search engines to have something resembling a sitemap, and my three friends interested in knowing what I'm up to, even when it's trivial.

The Apple Watch is more useful than I thought

I pre-ordered the Apple Watch 7 on the day it was possible. I received it on October 15th. Now, 45 days later, I can tell you that it’s a life-changing device. I did not suspect it to be nearly as useful as it ended up being for me.

Weekly Report, November 22 - 28

This was a week where I tried something new. Instead of cutting through tens of shallow PRs, I focused deeply on a single one. I installed Irit Katriel’s GH-29581 to try out PEP 654’s new except* and ExceptionGroup objects.

Weekly Report, November 15 - 21

Pretty typical week that started with a bang: an out of schedule release of Python 3.9 to fix a regression of argparse that turned out to be pretty disruptive for our users.

Against Entropy

Today I meditated on the concept of purpose. The narrator in the audio meditation didn’t directly ask what purpose I think I have or should have. Instead, her questions were more indirect: what’s an example of a thing where I’m already purposeful, what is purpose in the first place, does it give life meaning? For a while it irked me: why was the question of my purpose not raised? Why was this problem dodged? But then I remembered some of my favorite reading.

Weekly Report, November 1 - 7

Python 3.9.8 got released this week! At this point in the 3.9 lifecycle this should be a relatively uneventful release. Instead, it took us a few days of work to get it out of the door. I still managed to squeeze in 51 closed PRs and even organized a meeting between the core developers and Daan Leijen, the author of mimalloc.

Weekly Report, October 25 - 31

This week I spent most time mentoring as well as reviewing PRs. No highlights this time as the report’s late as is, sorry.

Weekly Report, October 18 - 24

Core developer sprint week! Apart from reviewing and merging pull requests through the week, I did a bunch of project management things.

Notes From the Meeting On Python GIL Removal Between Python Core and Sam Gross

During the annual Python core development sprint we held a meeting with Sam Gross, the author of nogil, a fork of Python 3.9 that removes the GIL. This is a non-linear summary of the meeting.

Bicentennial Man (1999)

In 1976 Isaac Asimov published the novelette “Bicentennial Man”, later expanded into a full-blown novel called “Positronic Man” with Robert Silverberg. It’s part of Asimov’s robot universe which later extends far into the future, all the way to the Foundation. It’s a pretty intricate piece of literature, I was curious how the movie adaptation treated it.

PEP 563 and PEP 649

As the author of PEP 563, I can summarize my position as follows: had PEP 563 never been implemented, it would be easy to accept PEP 649. However, in the current situation it’s not that clear because I find it very important to allow writing a single codebase that works on Python 3.7 - 3.11. If we can secure this behavior, I’m +1 to accepting PEP 649. If not, I have an alternative idea.

Where does all the effort go? Looking at Python core developer activity

One of the tasks given me by the Python Software Foundation as part of the Developer in Residence job was to look at the state of CPython as an active software development project. What are people working on? Which standard libraries require most work? Who are the active experts behind which libraries? Those were just some of the questions asked by the Foundation. In this post I’m looking into our Git repository history and our Github PR data to find answers.

Isaac Asimov - Foundation (the original trilogy)

Strange books. They are well-written, neatly composed (each one around 250 pages), and describe an almost 1,000 year long piece of our galaxy’s future history. It’s a single story but composed of a series of smaller stories. Due to the passage of time, many characters only occupy a short span of the book. I enjoyed the books but some parts didn’t exactly stand the test of time.

Weekly Report, October 11 - 17

Very few merged PRs this week as I focused on pushing the report out. And it’s out 😅

Weekly Report, October 4 - 10

This week Pablo released Python 3.10.0. I was part of the “small” release party that ended up bringing a live audience of 400 people on YouTube, Guido included. It was a pleasure.

Weekly Report, September 27 - October 3

Another week gone by, and fast! This week I spent almost entirely on analyzing the Github contributor activity data. The blog post on it is still not finished yet, data quality turned out to be an issue so I had to redo parts of that. And between you and me, I’m a relatively slow coder.

Weekly Report 2021, September 20 - 26

This week in numbers: closed 13 issues, closed 46 PRs, and reviewed 7.

Isaac Asimov - "I, Robot"

An inspiring fixup novel about the rise of AI. Pretty short with the stories being relatively self-contained, revolving around the Three Laws of Robotics. There’s a few surprises.

Weekly Report 2021, September 13 - 19

This week in numbers: closed 8 issues, authored 1 PR, closed 49 PRs, and reviewed 6. No highlights this time since I badly hoped to be able to squeeze in some work on Saturday but that turned out not to be possible (it’s birthday season in my family).

Weekly Report 2021, September 6 - 12

Slower week this time as Monday was off due to US Labor Day. Apart from reviewing and merging pull requests, I spent some time on Thursday getting to know Datasette, fiddling with the SQLite data format to find one that lends itself best to analytical queries, and making sure that the dataset can be periodically updated. I’ll be writing a separate post with the findings from that.

Weekly Report 2021, August 30 - September 5

Slower week in terms of pull requests as I coded more myself and did some release management work.

James Clear - "Atomic Habits"

This is a short and to-the-point book sprinkled with anecdotal information to keep things relatable. If you’re looking for hard peer-reviewed science, this ain’t it. That being said, its core tenet and particular pieces of advice sound sensible. Many you have probably heard before communicated in less coherent fashion. I’d say, worth a read!

Daniel Kahneman - "Thinking, Fast and Slow"

While it starts somewhat cringeworthy and could have easily been three times shorter, I still found it a great read in the end. I won’t be making a thorough summary as it appears Wikipedia’s got a very good one. I’ll focus on the things that made the biggest impression on me.

Weekly Report 2021, August 23 - 29

I spent the week preparing for releases of Python 3.9.7 and 3.8.12 next week. Namely, making sure that pending security content is merged and including other high-profile fixes.

Weekly Report 2021, August 16 - 22

This week my family and I visited the Polish seaside. Since I’m admittedly not a big fan of doing nothing at the beach for 8+ hours a day for a week, I decided to just keep working for that week. I figured that since I was already remote, being a little more remote this week won’t make much difference.

Weekly Report 2021, August 9 - 15

Can you believe it? I’ve been doing this for a full month now! More deep dives this week. Mostly around making reference leak tests run on macOS, which I need to be able to check PRs locally before landing them. This will take at least another week to get right. I also made progress on gathering data from all Github PRs which will allow us to answer some interesting questions about our behavior as a team.

Weekly Report 2021, August 2 - August 8

While this week I wasn’t sprinting so crazily towards beating the 1,400 open PRs, we managed to keep the number of PRs around that line. In fact, I deliberately spent more time this week to do more coding.

Weekly Report 2021, July 26 - August 1

This week I tried to drop the open pull request count below 1,400. This was a grueling task and I barely succeeded.

Weekly Report 2021, July 19 - 25

Second week passed as fast as the first one, if not faster. This time I dug into more non-trivial issues. While most were around typing, there was also quite a bit of C involved. Also, we were able to close Dennis’ PR to speed up fastsearch.h (bytes.find is now 22%+ faster on real-world data).

Weekly Report 2021, July 12 - 18

First week of work done. While there are bigger overarching goals for the role, this week I decided to dive right into PR review which looking at our growing open PR numbers needs more help.

I am the new CPython Developer in Residence

This is some of the most amazing news in the past few years for me. Python needs full-time development to stay competitive, I’ve been talking about this for years, dreaming about it for even longer than that. Now it’s becoming a reality. Today is my first day. It’s both scary and exciting.

Why does `Black` insist on reformatting my entire project?

Some thoughts about why Black recommends adopting it by reformatting your entire codebase in one go and refuses to do “region reformatting”. This started as a tweet but there’s a bit too much content for 280 characters.

Cryptocurrency Is Evil

It isn’t hard to gather intuitive distrust towards cryptocurrency. If you haven’t formed an opinion yourself, here’s why I’m skeptical.

Getting a top-tier GPU in mid-2021

Unless you’re a PC gamer or cryptocurrency miner, you might have missed the drama around GPU unavailability and scalper pricing. I was largely unaware of it myself before my son announced he wants to build a PC.

Building a PC in mid-2021

My 12 year old son’s aging 2012 11” Macbook Air has gotten him successfully through a year of online learning in the pandemic, but he was increasingly frustrated by its near-dead battery, tiny screen, and most importantly the inability to play with friends. Most games aren’t available for macOS and even lightweight games that used to work fine before like Minecraft or Terraria started lagging with updates over time. Wanting to give the little guy a motivation boost for the last stretch of the school year, I agreed we would build a PC together.

Why the sad face?

When you first encounter Black, a few things about it might surprise you. One of the those things might be "sadface dedent", the style in which closing parentheses in function signatures and other block headers are put on its own line. I arrived at this formatting style long before creating the auto-formatter. It’s got a few objective advantages.

I Made My 2018 Macbook Pro Run Quietly with Ableton Live

I like my Intel MacBook Pro and will probably hold onto it for a while. But for music production it’s been more than a little annoying with its tendency to blast fans at full speed. I’m happy to say I solved that problem!

Adding FM synthesis to Polyend Medusa

I’m very excited this is out: I added digital FM synthesis to a popular hardware synthesizer, Polyend Medusa, used by some personal heroes of mine like Richard Barbieri or Eraldo Bernocchi.

American Psycho (2000)

Like it or not, it’s become iconic and somewhat of a cult classic. I won’t be rehashing reviews that either demonize it or over-interpret it. I just have a few observations.

I Care A Lot. (2021)

There’s a group of movies and TV series that focus on con artists that is sort of a guilty pleasure for me. From “Talented Mr. Ripley”, through “Catch Me If You Can” to “Sneaky Pete”. This one tries to be in this league.

Zen of Python, Again

There used to be a different blog here which I started in March 2012. The first entry was called “The Zen of Python and Me” where I went through each of the koans and explained what it meant to my day-to-day Python programming. What changed since then?

Micro blogging: a new attempt 12 months later

You might have read about why I decided to attempt a twist on the typical split between walled gardens and traditional blogs. It never got off the ground but I think now I have something better.

Yuval Noah Harari - "Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind"

I’m hearing this is a rather controversial book. In my view it organizes the understanding of the dual reality we live in, where there’s some objective truth of “rivers, trees, and lions”, but there’s also the imagined reality of “gods, corporations, and nations”. Here’s some notes I took while reading.

Safiya Umoja Noble - "Algorithms of Oppression"

Important subject matter and good data-backed observations. On the other hand, a dry and somewhat uninspired execution. But maybe it’s partially due to the topic being unpleasant to deal with?

Jerry Z. Muller - "The Tyranny of Metrics"

Starts off very strong against metric fixation but at some devolves into an argument against transparency.

Emily Nagoski - "Burnout: The Secret to Unlocking the Stress Cycle"

A more accurate title for the book would have been “hashtag burnout: a feminist perspective”. As a man, I realize I’m not in the target audience for this book. I’ll keep this short and will not put a numeric rating.

Marshall Rosenberg - "Nonviolent Communication"

Nonviolent communication is about establishing a relationship of honesty and empathy. Here’s my notes from reading the book.

Micro blogging: why

While it’s so easy these days to publish things online, it always bugged me how little we have to say about the platforms we use for this purpose. This is an attempt to find a better way for my personal needs.

Annihilation (2018)

I loved the movie: the visuals, the sound, the story pacing, the acting. It’s all there. What follows isn’t a review but a rather close synopsis of the plot as I plan to read the books and later compare the two.

Thom Yorke - "Dawn Chorus"

Simply an amazing song. Three simple monophonic synthesizers panned in stereo, some delicated padding here and there, and Thom’s voice telling a complex story. Here’s what I think about it.

The Adjustment Bureau (2011)

I was very conflicted about this film after I watched it. If you have seen it as well, here’s what I thought, and a different idea for the ending.

Bon Iver - "Beth/Rest"

This is one of my favorite songs of all time. It beautifully covers love in a long-term relationship, which is much more complex than the initial infatuation. It also uses some famous 1980s timbres and techniques for a really timeless feel. I prefer the album version over the later autotune-heavy renditions from concerts. What follows is my interpretation of the lyrics.

Julian Jaynes - "The Origin Of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind"

A fascinating and unexpected perspective on what makes us human. We are far less conscious than we think. I recommend you read it yourself as my summary below is rather hastily written during reading.

John Kotter - "A Sense of Urgency"

Rather a tedious read but there’s some insight there nonetheless. I made some short working notes.

Stoker (2013)

Good acting, great direction and tasteful photography, often focusing on atypical elements in the frame. The slow-paced plot unveils rather that twists.

Chris Voss - "Never Split The Difference"

The best book on negotiation I’ve ever read. I successfully used the techniques described in it many times, including during some pivotal moments in my life. It does change how you perceive dealing with other people. What follows is a working synopsis that I come back to every now and then.

Stephen Batchelor - "Buddhism Without Beliefs"

Since death alone is certain and the time of death is uncertain - what should I do? What does it mean to lead a life that will stop? In this book Stephen argues that Dharma practice is the courage to confront what it means to be human. What follows is less of a review and more of a digest, or synopsis.

"IN" devices, "OUT" devices

I always had a craving for a device that would fix my productivity issues. Years ago I imagined if I could just keep my notes, tasks, reminders and e-mails in one place, that would be it. Mail.app in Leopard introduced this feature, I bought it on release day. That didn’t fix it.

Eckhart Tolle - "Power of Now"

Profound ideas buried in pseudoscientific nonsense.

Miyamoto Musashi - "Book of Five Rings"

One of my favorites, it’s a poetic yet pragmatic depiction of Zen philosophy under the guise of a swordmanship manual. Here’s my working summary of the work.

Scott Rosenberg - "Dreaming In Code"

Follows the development of Chandler, a now defunct attempt at creating an open-source Outlook competitor. The company behind the project, OSAF, tried to differentiate themselves radically from typical software house corporations but ended up repeating every mistake in the book, including the ones described decades before in The Mythical Man Month.

Daniel Golberg - “Minecraft"

The Unlikely Tale of Markus “Notch” Persson and the Game That Changed Everything Not a great art piece. Nonetheless, an interesting book.