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Ask HN: What are you working on?
252 points by jessehorne on July 4, 2019 | hide | past | favorite | 545 comments
What do you spend most of your time on these days? Do you have a side-project you'd like to talk about? What is the community working on?

I'm writing a book that teaches people coding using JavaScript, the book that takes you from 0 (no coding background) to getting a job as a JS engineer.

2 years I ago, I had a hypothesis to see if anybody could learn coding if they tried. To test that, I reached out to random people with no coding background, most of them from underprivileged backgrounds. I figured they have fewer opportunities and are more likely to stay through the entire program. 17 of them stayed.

As of today, 14 of them have gotten full time jobs (which was a high win for them, going from minimum wage to 130k+ per year). The remaining 3 of them are starting interview prep right now. I'm going for a 100% success rate.

Everybody learns at a different pace. The slowest student took 2 years and the fastest around 6 months (I actively made them stay around to help out the slower students for as long as I could).

I'm putting together a curriculum of all the pain points people face when learning how to code and come up with a comprehensive book. It will be free to all. The current rough draft is here: https://www.notion.so/garagescript/Table-of-Contents-a83980f...

To test the effectiveness of the book, I've just recruited a new student (my dad), who spent the last 30 years doing manual labor and barely knows any English. So far, so good.

> 2 years I ago, I had a hypothesis to see if anybody could learn coding if they tried. To test that, I reached out to random people with no coding background, most of them from underprivileged backgrounds. I figured they have fewer opportunities and are more likely to stay through the entire program. 17 of them stayed.

You're missing some numbers at the start there, chief. How many people did you reach out to? How many responded favourably (first round of self-selection)? How many actually started the program (second round of self-selection)? Without these numbers it's hard to support your premise.

Of course, none of this takes away from the fact that you got 14 people from minimum wage into high paying software jobs in just two years. That's a damn fine effort! (And as others have said, where the hell can you get a $130k job straight out of a 2 year Javascript boot camp?)

> Without these numbers it's hard to support your premise.

His premise is that "anybody could learn coding if they tried", whereby "tried" I assumed applies to only the people who passed those two rounds of self-selection you describe.

That's kind of like saying "anyone can run a marathon" and then qualifying it to "if they enter an organized event and complete the appropriate training for it".

> That's kind of like saying "anyone can run a marathon" and then qualifying it to "if they enter an organized event and complete the appropriate training for it".

Yes. That was what I was trying to figure out is, if there was an organized event could anybody (who are motivated to complete the training) get a coding job?

I would like to think so, but I work with many people in the industry who will say, 'nah they need the brains for it'.

I try my best to motivate those who lose motivation but ultimately I don't have the bandwidth to inspire everyone who loses motivation.

The idea OP is working to combat or disprove, though, is not that "People can succeed without effort". Rather, they are working to prove that software development is a skill which can be learned by most/all people, and not some highly intellectual undertaking out of reach to all but the most mentally elite.

Is 130k realistic for someone with less than 2 years of not just experience but total exposure? I'm not aware of any market supporting that sort of value proposition; that's one hell of a book...

YMMV. I don't expect everyone to get 130k TC, but that has been the case so far.

A few things that helps:

1. Content must be lean. Learn foundations.

2. Really drill down those foundations.

3. Work experience: most of a student's journey is actually working together as a team to build / launch products. I role play as a project manager and run weekly sprints.

4. Relevant Technologies: I work as an engineering lead during the day, I make sure student's work experience covers all of industry trends (currently: GraphQL, React, Apollo Client)

In what way did you determine that GraphQL and React are industry trends? Isn't GraphQL a fairly niche solution to relatively uncommon problems that benefit from using a graph database?

> Isn't GraphQL a fairly niche solution

Everyone around me seems to be implementing a GraphQl layer, and most of them don't have a graph database. I'm still not even sure what the `Graph` means in `GraphQl`.

Here's an overview of how Airbnb uses GraphQL: https://medium.com/airbnb-engineering/how-airbnb-is-moving-1...

I generally take things which sound to good to be true with a pinch of salt. No exception here.

Depends where you live... where I live, that is a lot. Makes me want to move but my family is here

This is really cool! Kudos! I know CS is a great way to help improve underprivileged kids' economic status. As long as the person has certain kind of "wiring", is willing to work hard, and not giving up easily, it can bring about a bright future. So great to see someone goes extra-mile to bring this "gold-mine" forward. Hope many more people can be blessed by your book. Would love to also buy your book!

That's actually really cool. Where are you located and was everyone learning from you/others in person?

> Where are you located and was everyone learning from you/others in person?

San Jose (Bay Area). Yes, everyone is learning in person. I plan to release a (free) book capturing what I learned and wrap up this project (or let someone else take over)

Nice nice! Would love to test out, my brother-in-law is starting to learn js now, he could use your material as well. He has zero background in coding and just reached out to me to teach something.

Btw, have you ever seen freecodecamp and OSS (on Github)? They have really good content for reference.

edit: OSS link - https://github.com/ossu/computer-science

Hi, could you teach me how to navigate hiring phase? I have more than 2 years of JS experience, python, shell and whatnot, still 130k sounds good for me.

1. Foundations. How are your foundations? Given an array of promises, could you run them serially (instead of running them in parallel like Promise.all).

2. Do you have experience working with technologies that are trending? If not, start a side project using them.

3. How's your speed? Given the assets, could you build this in an hour? (this was an actual hands on interview problem) https://www.google.com/logos/2011/worldsfair11-hp.html?hl=en

During the day our students do practice problems that drill these concepts.

1. Wow, never thought of Promises as a foundation. I was never a fan of them in the first place.

2. Trending technologies do not necessarily make sense.

3. If I'm not mistaken, this is just: on mouse over, switch CSS class. CSS jutsu would be... interesting though. Oh, and set position.

Anyway, I am starting to see a lesson for myself here :) Thank you, sir!

I think maybe it is not USD

Thats an amazing story. Congrats on making it happen for the 17 kids. This is why HN is an amazing place and also why I wish there was a heart button in addition for special cases :)

Do you have a mailing list to sign up for updates? Whatstthe ETA on the rough draft? Any chance for early access to the first few chapters? Thanks!

This is pretty cool. I took a couple CS classes in college, but then I went on to law school before eventually becoming a non-technical founder. After looking over the first several lessons, I'm going to give this a try and see how far/fast I can go.

I probably still won't be a primary coder at my startup, but at least I'll be able to make more sense of the JS that our devs write.

That's really good success! Weve had a few people come out of a bootcamp and try to apply for jobs, but none were even close to getting hired. I think their bootcamp was only a 2 or 3 months though

2-3 months is really aggressive and the ones who do well are usually incredibly motivated and smart. Bootcamps that are 3 months long usually will involve an interview to make sure the student is motivated enough.

This is amazing and inspiring! I would love to follow this and help in some way if I can. I would donate money to this cause. Please get in touch with me. My email is on my HN profile.

I am teaching myself JavaScript and have an open notebook on the web. May I have your permission to use your material in the ongoing notes?

There's a form somewhere where we can put our email to be notified when we can buy the final book ? Nice project btw

I quit my job last month to work full time on (what I think is) an under-explored area of climate change: how institutional investors block shareholder proposals calling for firms to adopt more climate-friendly policies. I have just published the first bit of research with data on how 500+ funds from the big 3 fund managers voted on climate change-related proposals in 2018: https://voting.greengovernance.org .

Later this year, I'm planning to launch a "governance-first" ETF that gives investors the same exposure as other funds but is much more aggressive in fighting climate change.

I'd love any feedback! Feel free to email me at <hn-username>@greengovernance.org

Some ideas

-Which consumer product companies still use a lot of plastic packaging vs those already use bio-degradable packaging?

-Which heavy-industry manufacturing companies use coal or diesel as the main source of energy in their factories vs those use renewable energy source?

-Any company forbid their executives to fly excessively whether in private jet or business/first class? How many miles per year they travel ? It's simply not environmentally friendly when video conferencing should be effective in 90% of the cases?

Thanks! Those are all interesting questions -- and also quite hard to answer without a lot of research into each individual company.

One thing my fund will push for is more consistent and granular emissions disclosures across firms so that shareholders have a better idea of where firms are "spending" their emissions and identify inefficiencies.

No feedback, but thank you for doing this!

I think this is great! I’ve moved money from VTSAX to Vanguard’s ESG funds, despite big concerns about their governance voting. There’s nothing inherently incompatible about climate friendly voting and index funds, so I wish you the best of luck.

It seems the search is only by name. Is it possible to add a view that shows the funds sorted by which ones are most friendly to climate change proposals?

Is there somewhere one could follow your work for updates?

You can sign up for our email newsletter at https://tinyletter.com/GreenGovernance or follow on Twitter https://twitter.com/GreenGovernance

Woah! Respect for what you are doing and more power to you!

Staying sane by staying busy. My wife is slowly dying and is a thousand miles away at a hospital, hoping they can save her. Today I cleaned a workshop area that I'd been using for storage so that I could use it as an actual workshop. I have car parts to rebuild (Chevy 350 TBI at least) and I have things to build, like a recumbent bicycle from scratch.

I am also working on learning CW (aka Morse code), learning to play bass (already play guitar) and am trying to stay busy helping others too.

In addition to all that I do breakfix computer work on the side and a freelance gig writin technical tutorials for a site that specializes in selling small to medium sized, low budget VPSs. That has me learning things like Nginx and Redis, which I've never really spent any time on. It's great fun and my first professional writing job.

I also have a blog where I document my ham radio, automotive, and other misc projects, although I'm woefully behind on it. I built a 20 meter CW transceiver last week (from a kit) and have yet to post about that. I also had to repair a cracked body on the bass I am learning to play, but didn't even take pictures. Writing about things while you do them takes twice as long, at least. I'm lazy.

Lastly I took a recent promotion. I work remotely, training new employees at the web hosting company that I work at. I also develop training materials and am revamping how we approach that stuff. I've never done that before. It's the first time I've been off the front lines, and I like it. A lot.

Thankfully I have a lot to keep me busy so that my mind can focus on what I'm doing rather than on the troubles that plague my wife. She'll either survive or she won't, and my worrying won't affect it. All I can do is support her. Our adult daughter is her full time caregiver (I am not cut out for that, and we're all okay with it, I promise) and is with her, and that has to be good enough.

I've been blessed with an amazing support network and a few extra bucks to let me stay busy on projects. If I didn't have those to keep me going... eesh.

Lastly, I'm glad somebody asked this question. I had a lot to get off my chest. And if this didn't make a lot of sense, I apologize. It's a bit of a brain dump.

I ask a lot of questions here sometimes. None of them have been nearly as rewarding at this. If you ever need a remote-buddy to discuss/hack on things, let me know. I can't imagine what you're going through but it's good to remain positive and productive. My email is j.horne2796@gmail.com

I appreciate your kindness :)

Having loved ones have health issues is the worst. Consider keeping a daily log/diary just to have some place to put down what you're feeling, or just tactically what you did that day. That routine helped me when my Mom passed from cancer and I was one of her caregivers.

Good luck to you and your family.

Thoughts going out to you and your family. I’d be interested in checking out your blog!

That's very kind, thank you. https://miscdotgeek.com. I didn't post it because it wasn't relevant, but now it is I guess :)

Loop Thesis (https://loop-thesis.com), a multiplayer time traveling puzzle/arena shooter that allows players to simultaneously travel to different points on the timeline.

In co-op/multiplayer this allows you to do things like send someone back in time to open a door for another player in the future, or pull objects outside of time to effect someone in the past.

There's a big focus on experimentation and discovery. To that end, I never fake or script any of the gameplay systems -- so there's a completely internally consistent time-travel simulation running all of the time, even during menus and in lobbies. The goal with that is to make a world that is always predictable; Loop Thesis is about figuring out how the world works and figuring out the subtle implications of its rules.

It's supposed to capture that feeling you had the first time you were programming and a concept like pointers actually clicked for you. It's about these tiny cool moments where you suddenly realize all of the things you can do with a mechanic, or you suddenly understand why this obscure interaction you were dismissing three levels ago actually matters.

For that to work, there can't ever be a point in the game where you ask why something happened, and the answer is, "oh, that's just a glitch, or a hard-coded interaction." Literally everything, from menus, to how save files work, to even how maps load in and out of memory, is consistent with the internal mechanics of the time-travel simulation.

This is god send for my Autistic son who singularly obsessed about space-time continuum these days. He was even looking for games along the same theme. Do you have a patreon or planning to have one? Perhaps we can have a side conversation on ways to support your effort. Last question, any definitive resource you can point to for a 11 year old to grok the concept of space-time mechanics and other fundamentals concepts before tackling the concept of time travel. Cheers!

You're maybe the second or third person to mention to me now that this might be something that Autistic kids might be into.

I'm not super-familiar with the Autistic community, so I haven't been consciously pushing in that direction, but I am definitely interested in making sure that the game is accessible for Autistic players, in no small part because the few Autistic kids I've playtested with have so far been really good at latching onto the emotional core of the game -- which is to try and build this puzzle-box of a world that just feels very safe and contained, where the more you learn about it and the more that you dissect it, the more the disparate systems start to fit together and make sense as a cohesive whole.

On the resource side of things, take both of these with a grain of salt because I'm not an expert here, but I do have two recommendations. The first is that there are a few child-friendly movie-adaptations of Flatland out there, and my niece watched one of them in first grade and was really into it. Flatland indirectly inspired some of the mechanics in Loop-Thesis -- particularly this idea of time being a spacial dimension that you can hop around in and move objects into and out of, rather than the strict line of cause-and-effect that's more common in other games.

Flatland was also partially the inspiration for meta-meta-time, which is how I reconcile the player being able to insert themselves into the game. The physical player exists in meta-meta-time, and is projected via their computer into meta-time, which is the actual game engine running on their computer. Then the game engine projects their avatar into the regular level timeline.

The other recommendation I'll make is the game "Baba is You", which is not related at all to space-time, but is probably the closest example of the kind of mechanical consistency that I'm trying to hit with Loop Thesis, and it might scratch some similar itches.

Thanks for the recommendations to Flatland and Babaisyou. I will playtest the game in the next few days and provide some user feedback to you. Keep GameThesis awesome and I am glad you are open to Patreon.

They may be interested in the choose your own adventure comic "Meanwhile" by Jason Shiga. https://www.abramsbooks.com/product/meanwhile_9780810984233/

EDIT:- Saw the Patreon link on the top right of the page. Thanks for creating this.

This is friggin cool. Definitely gonna check this out.

By the way, I think there's a typo on the About page. Below the video, the game is called "Reset Hard". Guessing that's an earlier name?

Yeah, recent name change, still trying to track down all of the old references. :)

There is one reference in your vcard when we subscribe the mailing list.

There there is one on your patreon page. :)

This is brilliant! If the game is anything like the picture you've painted in this comment, it's going to be remembered for a long time.


If you're interested in this design philosophy of having almost radical consistency within a game's systems, I wrote a blog post early on in development about how that influences the way the game is coded.

It's a little out of date; since writing it some of the mechanics have changed, but it still provides a good overview of what I mean when I say that nothing in the game is faked.


Ironically, in this article I mention:

> It's possible to take this philosophy too far. When I first started building an update system for entities within the world, I experimented with using events and special methods to pass around information... I still use events, but only when it makes sense to do so.

The current rewrite I'm working on is going in the opposite direction here, relying much more heavily on events and only using direct object references when its absolutely necessary. This is, again, to make gameplay more consistent; but also just because events make the architecture cleaner and make the modding API more robust. So in a way, I've almost become more dogmatic about this as I've worked on the game.

Indoor vegetable and fish farm, i.e. aquaponics, in a fully circular production system.

We are building our pilot installation right now. Additionally we got two government grants: one to set it up monitored with sensors, and a production management system, for future automation, traceability and transparency for the food chain; the other to start taking in food waste and converting into fish food via insect larvae, closing the circle.

Sweden has recently adopted a food strategy which puts a lot of emphasis on local, circular food production, and there is a lot of interesting stuff happinging right now.

I'm an absolute beginner in all things botany/agriculture related, and don't have much experience in electrical engineering. However this idea is something I find really interesting and I've started researching it more.

I've been playing with the idea of using existing physical infrastructure for building farms. Specifically, server farms.

I'm imagining isolated racks with individually, fully controlled environments down to temperature, pressure, humidity, light, etc. What are your thoughts on the efficiency of a system like that? Is it outside the realm of commercial viability?

Do you think such a system is still worth pursuing outside of commercial contexts (say, in the case where we NEED such systems? ie. space, deserts, extreme cold, etc.)

We live in Stockholm, Sweden, where the average winter temperature is -1.5 C. The coldest days it drops down to -25 C (maybe one or two days a year). We want to have delivery of vegetables 365 days a year from our facilities, which means some type of indoor facility.

To me the smallest size which makes economic sense here is from one hectare and up (10000 m2). The bigger the better. We compete with the average greenhouse grower in the Netherlands, among others, which has four hectares.

For desert coastlines, check out Seawater Greenhouse. I know the founder well. https://seawatergreenhouse.com

Other extreme environments are very interesting to me, but I don’t foresee anything in rack size that makes economic sense. Food requires quite a lot of space to produce. But I could be wrong.

What a cool thing to be working on! What scale does your pilot installation produce at?

We are still constructing it. Total area in building is 300 m2. Active growing area in Deep Water Culture (DWC) system is about 100 m2. 25 m2 packing room, 25 m2 people facilities etc. Estimated production, 600 lettuce plants per week (6000 growing positions). About 9 m3 for fish, rainbow trout, max 200 kg in the system. Total amount of water in the system is about 30 m3. The insect facility isn’t even on the drawing board yet. But we have an empty horse stable next to the barn we use to put it in.

What a wonderful idea! Best of luck and I hope you share your progress on HN so we can see more.

This is amazing.

I've been devouring aquaponics setups on youtube with the ambition to eventually have a huge space for plant growth.

The trouble is that I'm in Nepal and quite a lot of the equipment is difficult and expensive to import. Is there anywhere we can read about your project?

It will be published here (currently Swedish only): http://cirkularodling.se

Incredibly interesting. How can we get more information on this?

I am planning on doing a proper write up in English as we progress. Part of the deal with the government is that we are openly publishing our work and software.

It will be published here (currently Swedish only): http://cirkularodling.se

Can't wait! What got you into this sort of work?

The realisation that we all have to chip in to bring positive change to the world, and I had skills that could make a difference. I used to sell software to companies, like web traffic analysis etc. before Google Analytics.

Then I took a break and (nearly) got a degree in environmental science. That lead to starting https://Akvo.org but before that I had spent quite a lot of time trying to build the business case for Seawater Greenhouse [1]. Recently we saw an opportunity to work on sustainable local food production, which is the aquaponics and associated work.

[1] https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=12658321

This sounds super cool!

I’m currently involved in some work with interconnected mesh networks and have some contacts in this field. Feel free to message me :D

Ideas like this are great and will hopefully some day make a real change in the world, I wish you great success for everyone's sake.

There are tons of these in the light industrial area beside our neighbourhood in Singapore. Super cool

Any advice to an inexperienced person interested in getting started in aqua/aero-ponics?

We started with reading two things:

- Small scale aquaponic food production. Integrated fish and plant farming, FAO, http://www.fao.org/in-action/globefish/publications/details-...

- The Aquaponic Farmer: A Complete Guide to Building and Operating a Commercial Aquaponic System, Southern and King, https://www.amazon.com/Aquaponic-Farmer-Complete-Operating-C...

Then we visited several operating facilities, including:

- Oberous Farms, https://www.ouroborosfarms.com

- Duurzame Kost, https://duurzamekost.nl

Then we have done a ton of research ourselves.

As a side project, I'm working on a route planning app for running. I'm a long distance runner and travel for work a lot, so I frequently find myself planning a run on one of the many existing apps at 5am in a new city whilst jetlagged.

My bugbear is that all the existing apps suck. I want a way to say "give me a running route that lasts approximately 10km and is as scenic (greenery, water, mountains, etc) as possible, with few road crossing and is as safe as possible". Maybe I can even pick from the top 3 options. Existing apps can't do any of this.

This data is readily available (or can be derived) for many countries using the wonderful openstreetmap and other public sources (e.g. national hiking trail routes).

I've adapted the brilliant Graphhopper routing engine to handle the routing algorithm and alternative routes selection. PostGIS (with OSM + other data loaded) is used under the hood to generate weights for each of the "ways" (edges in OSM-speak) for each of my variables (e.g. greenery). I'm using Leaflet and leaflet-routing-engine on the frontend currently, but would like to make it into a native Android/iOS app in the future.

Try imaginerun.com. Imagine run wants to inspire people to start walking or running. The free app creates (three) possible routes via gps based on the distance and pace you set. All routes start and end at your current location, no matter where you are. The app is navigating you, so you can’t get lost at a place you are not familiar with.

Thanks, this is the best one I've seen by far! The fact that they let you build round-trip routes is a first.

That said, the app would timeout if I tried to build a route over 15km long. Also, it doesn't seem to prefer scenic routes - it has me running on busy streets in London when there's the Thames very close by.

> The free app

Although it appears you have to create an ImagineRun account to use it which means this goes straight into the "nope" bucket for me.

I've wanted to build something similar for both cycling and motorcycling. There is an app for motorcycling that works ok, but it would be a fun project. Is this open source anywhere? I struggled to get started with working with road data and getting that into a route planning system.

I suspect you're referring to https://kurviger.de/en for motorcycling. This uses Graphhopper's builtin round-trip functionality (it was incorporated by the author of that motorcycling route planner). You can find more about the Graphhopper API here https://docs.graphhopper.com/#operation/getRoute, and it's completely open source at https://github.com/graphhopper/graphhopper

The motorcycling round-trip algorithm is quite crude, it relies on a user to pick a heading and then points N points in a circle on that heading and builds a route between them. It does not take into account any features of the map (e.g. forests, rivers, obstructions, etc). It's sufficient for longer distances though, but struggles on shorter distances.

My project isn't open source yet, but I hope to make it so if/when I finish it!

Komoot is pretty decent

Are you on Strava? In new cities I just look at their HeatMap to see where the locals are running.

The heat map is a nice visualisation for the vast amount of data that Strava has, but I don't find it useful for planning runs as an individual. It pretty much just shows where the major roads are in cities (which ironically is what I want to avoid).

Strava's more recent "draw your route" feature is quite cool, but again it requires that you know the area and does not take into account the features of the land.

That’s neat. Reminds me of this episode of a Smart Cities podcast where someone talked of building (or built?) a Google Maps equivalent that optimized for pleasure instead of time. One thing that was mentioned was a way to crowdsource data on which routes or POI people most enjoyed walking across. Could use that data to help decide the weights on the graph

Not much into running, more gym and judo. But have been traveling a lot recently, and running would be easier than finding a gym or dojo for me.

I had a look around in my last trip to the UK for short circuits with 5 to 10 KM, flat, not much obstacles, but couldn't find any.

Would be even better if I could also find some markers around the map indicating things like pull up bars or abs bench.

I've had this thought. I'm intrigued! Strava has a "Strava Local" but it appears to be automated and is, frankly, bad. Would love to see what you come up with!

I think Strava Local is curated, but I agree with the 'frankly, bad' part of your comment. For my home city of London it has a few of the major landmark routes, but doesn't have anything near my house, nor does it have any of the less obvious but more fun local routes.

My frustration with Strava is that they have SO much good data, yet they do so little with it.

> My frustration with Strava is that they have SO much good data, yet they do so little with it.

Whereas my frustration is that they have mountains of bad data (and we're sometimes talking egregiously bad here - segment times for runs that are >10,000mph etc.) which they do nothing about. It's a trivial data hygiene problem to note that, e.g., if an activity is marked as "running" and the average speed is 20mph+ over an hour, that's bullshit.

After a decade of R&D, I am (finally) building the first, true multi-model database kernel. All traversable data relationships (relational, polygon intersection, graph data models, time series, etc) are directly represented in a singular data structure that is nearly optimal and extremely parallel. No secondary indexing required whatsoever to access these relationships, so ideal for mixed workloads. Built on top of a new high-performance storage engine that has some neat computer science in it and brilliant performance specs compared to my prior designs (which were pretty damn fast).

This is likely my last database kernel design. I can’t think of many ways to materially improve the algorithms and design, and there are some other computer science research domains I previously went deep on that I want to get back to once I am finished with this.

Fascinating. Have you written at all about this elsewhere? Is it open source? Would love to learn more!

I have not written about it publicly at any length. Much narrower versions targeting specific data models have been used in production and I've licensed bits and pieces to big tech companies. The data structures and algorithms are non-obvious, and the join mechanics that enable arbitrary relationship type traversals on the representation hurts the brain (it really isn't visualizable). It is just an elegant instantiation of adaptive information theoretic embeddings in very high dimensionality spaces, reduced to fast database algorithms. My previous startup was based on related but very early and incomplete computer science, which was written about.

The storage engine is extremely fast but the only unusual capabilities it has are architectural: the ability to continuously, in the background, reshard data (many tens of thousands of times per second per inexpensive server) and shift shards between storage engines. If you think about it, all this really requires from a storage engine is the ability to concurrently create and destroy logical files at an extremely high rate, much higher than a typical file/operating system allows. Some of the internal algorithms are novel but it is still just a storage engine. It is tuned for petabyte storage densities per server -- it was originally designed for exabyte-scale sensor data models.

None of my database work has ever been open sourced AFAIK, though many companies have older designs. The biggest practical hurdle to open sourcing is that it would require many man-months of tedious unpaid work and I have zero desire to do that. It is also a production-grade research project; I currently have no obligation, explicit or implied, to maintain any kind of compatibility if I feel like redesigning some aspect of it. That said, I also want to get away from the current reality that every company wants someone to build their own slight variation of these designs.

Andrew, everything you reveal publicly has been tantalizing! (See https://www.jandrewrogers.com/ for those who haven't stumbled upon his posts yet)

"There is virtually no literature on practical representations of topological spaces, never mind parallel algorithms using those representations. A thorough exposition of both the theory and practice is on the order of a few hundred pages of dense technical literature that no one has had time to write, despite multiple implementations. Watch this space." - October 2015, J. Andrew Rogers.

I emailed you back in 2016 to inquire about your work and wondered what had become of SpaceCurve. (Thank you for replying!) You mentioned recent work then on a "modality architecture." Is that related to the work you mentioned in your post above?

Obviously, you're a busy man with a desire and the potential to change the world with your creations. But perhaps also a drive to withhold your creations from public display until only after you have them distilled to their purest elegance?

If it is your intention to eventually share, I encourage you to do the world a great favor and just share what you've got so far (with a "no guarantees; no support" reminder in your README), even if some corners are unpolished, inscrutable, or built on shifting ideas. With an appropriate license, you'll at least get the benefit of easily taking bits of your implementations with you between projects, even without supporting anyone else who consumes it.

Do you have any peers who are familiar enough and excited about your work to start writing up some posts laying out the conceptual ground-work? Have there been any relevant research papers or books published that would be foundational to understanding? Maybe start with links to those? I'd devour them!

On the other hand, perhaps you are motivated not to share, while your skills are highly marketable due to near exclusivity? If so, I certainly don't begrudge you that! And like you said, you have no obligations. :)

"In essence, you can only make money if you are doing hardcore R&D. This strongly incentivizes the creation of new capabilities but also disincentivizes publication of CS research.

"You see this in markets like databases, where open source has captured almost the entire market for undifferentiated capabilities, and there is a lucrative high-end market with unique product capabilities that don't exist in open source or CS literature. The trend toward treating CS research as trade secrets, originally started because algorithm patents were impractical to enforce, turned out to be effective at maintaining profitability in high-end software products if open source can't replicate capability."


Ah drat, apparently my fears are confirmed. If you should someday have enough money and not enough fame, I'll be eagerly looking forward to hearing the lessons you're willing to share.

Can you point to some companies and use cases they have?

Perhaps some of the companies have done conference talks on the systems built on top of your research?

Up until a year ago I worked on a personal project that involved putting online photos of old cars from my country as found on GoogleStreetView + some photos of the same old cars personally taken by me [1], the reason being that most of those cars will be totally gone in the next 10 to 15 years (many of them are already gone since Google took most of the photos back in 2012 and 2014) and so I wanted to sort of preserve and make these images easily searchable/browsable for existing and future car nerds.

I've also started a small project [2] where I'm posting photos of local flour mills built before WW2. I find them very interesting from an industrial-architectural point of view and by image-documenting as many of them as I can I hope that somehow these buildings will stir the interest of people with some more influence than me when it comes to architectural preservation so that maybe not that many of them will be teared down. I suspect this will be an "on-going project" for quite some time, as until now I've only taken photos of about 30 of these mills, while I counted 500+ still existing in the whole country (mostly using Google Maps/StreetView + Google Image searches + some old topographic maps).

[1] http://cars.maglina.ro/

[2] https://mori-din-romania.blogspot.com/

I'm just curious, are any of these old cars known to be very reliable?

Lots of Eastern European brands that I’m not familiar with, but I venture yes: relatively simple power trains that can be serviced and don’t rely on much complicated technology.

> relatively simple power trains that can be serviced and don’t rely on much complicated technology.

In my part of the world people pay a higher price for 2nd-hand Toyota Hilux 4x4's from the 90's then they do for the more modern versions for just this reason.

I've been working on a project called "HackTheCompany" (http://hackthe.company/) which lists historical hacks that have occurred, with a brief description. It then offers a live CTF for every single historical hack where you can do the same thing the attackers did. Walkthroughs are offered for each as well, if you have no experience. It's part of a larger project I'm working on, but even standalone I think it's pretty neat. It's not complete yet, but is functional - would love any thoughts and feedback.

That’s amazing! Can I subscribe somewhere to stay informed on the project?

That sounds fucking awesome.

very cool

I developed chronic hand pain a couple of years ago (probably from overworking), so I quit my job and I've been making Talon [1] since, with the goal of making it possible for anyone to efficiently do anything/everything on their computer (general use, programming, games, niche apps) without their hands.

Most recently I've been training acoustic models and writing a user frontend for the wav2letter++ [2] speech recognition engine, and porting Talon from Mac to cross-platform.

[1] https://talonvoice.com

[2] https://github.com/facebookresearch/wav2letter

This is pretty cool. I was actually thinking about doing something like this as I don’t like typing.

I will follow along.

I'm currently participating in Frontier Development Lab Europe ( https://fdleurope.org/), an 8 week research accelerator with the European Space Agency, Oxford University and a number of tech organisations.

The idea is to bring together space scientists (domain experts) and machine learning researchers to try and make a meaningful contribution to the field in a very short period of time. It's a lot of fun, and a really interesting mix of people taking part.

We've just finished week two, which means we're narrowing down our ideas and are about to start the "real work". We're split into teams working on different challenge areas (you can read more on the site). While I can't say much about what we're doing specifically, the outputs from the teams are usually published after the event at conferences/in journals.

There is an analogous program in the USA (NASA FDL) which is running in parallel.

(and who knows, I'm pretty sure there are some other FDL'rs who read HN ;))

This is really interesting.

A bunch of people I know are involved in the Australian space industry and a separate bunch are involved in machine learning research.

Here in Adelaide we have the new Space Agency and the SmartSat CRC and the Australian Institute for Machine Learning and the new Australian MIT Lab and the new startup hub in the same compound (a former hospital) so I'm really hoping we see similar programs.

Combining open-source photogrammetry software into a system that scales reasonably to >100k images (with accelerometer/gyroscope data from the video camera) and >1G vertices in a single, consistent, high-quality mesh. It later computes a texture map based on the images, not smoothing them, but just minimizing seams and using some seam carving and color interpolation to make most seams invisible.

I want VR reconstructions that don't lack details to be feasible for <1k$/acre flat area, not counting someone steering the camera. -

Places need to be archived like the rest of our culture.

[Current sub-part:]

I'm figuring out how https://www.gcc.tu-darmstadt.de/home/proj/tsr/tsr.en.jsp can be combined with https://igl.ethz.ch/projects/instant-meshes/ to get better meshes (with less wasted vertices) and also how this can be made to scale Out-of-Core or on a HPC cluster (the kind with lots of RDMA interconnect bandwidth and low latency).

AMA (I won't respond for a few hours)

I am planning a new building on my property and really would love to have something like this to visualize it from different angles on the driveway, back porch, etc.

I understand you want to visualize the current state? And have a free camera you can move around the scene? If so, this should be able to do it. If you can get your hands on a camera with electronic global shutter and more than 1080p, I'd offer you processing in exchange for being able to later use the data for testing / tuning some of the more recent multi-view stereo algorithms (well, their implementations).

Contact jcims-hn-reconstruction on d10.pw (beware of the digits in the domain) and I'll get you a sample result, if you're interested. Email should work ;)

Whoa this is an awesome offer, thank you! I'm arranging for some oblique and overhead shots around the property, will hit you up once they are available to see if it makes sense to give it a go. Thanks!

If you want good results, I'd advise considering needs of photogrammetry before the day you take the photos. I just don't want to post a public link to the example I mentioned.

Depending on how you take those shots/arrange for them there might be tricks to get (closer to) certain goals.

Feel free to mail me some questions regarding the shots/arrangements you mention.

I was wondering why you choose to go with video data rather than photos. From what I know, for a given feature point, you would rather have pictures with really different point of views. It seems to me video would generate a lot of redundant data, massively increasing processing times for very little gain.

What's your experience on this?

They probably are using drone/car/vehicle to capture the imaginery - at least that's the only reason i can think of - i used to do that back at the university.

We recorded a video from a drone, split it into frames, and built the mesh using those frames.

When drone is competently flown it creates a nice stripe of overlapping frames - and overlapping stripes(i don't know proper technical english translation for that term) of overlapping imaginery are basis of aerial photogrammetry.

Worst case - you can keep every n-th photo, or use some more intelligent approach and select the frames based on contrast, and other parameters.

Usually gathering data is the expensive part - in photogrammetry you try to take as much imaginery as possible - especially in traditional aerial photogrammetry.

I'm aiming for software to digest the output of a 300fps tethered camera on a drone. Basically an Apertus Axiom beta with a fancier FPGA to use all 64 lanes of the sensor to not have only 150fps, and being able to attach a 40G QSFP+ transceiver to it for data offloading.

Existing software makes hand-picked pictures worthwhile, but I want full-auto behavior.

Near-term I want a construction worker to open the case with the hardware after cleaning his hands, and then showing all insides of the building to the camera, before swapping the storage and getting the data physically back to base for processing.

Also, video capture gets you continuity of motion. Unordered picture collections are horribly expensive to compute with.

I also prefer redundancy to holes in my textures or models ;)

My drone swirls around the buildings, btw. I want VR for walking, not google earth.

Ok, so it's mostly a hardware issue then, a camera in burst mode continuously shooting at a lower FPS should theoretically work just as well.

But indeed, if that works with a video, that's might be easier to use.

You're talking about imu data, do you do geo-referencing also? It might be difficult having a GNSS fix if your target is inside buildings.

The point is that mechanical shutters in useful DSLRs have massive rolling shutter artifacts. You can get video cameras with shutter skew in the low microseconds or even sub-microsecond.

Remember, the exposure has to be short due to motion blur.

Concepts of resonant rotating camera heads that use torsion springs and electronically controlled clutches with a torsion oscillator that advances the camera in a few milliseconds were made, but apart from an ability to capture ~1 Gpixel effective 360° data in 2 seconds (there is overlap due to covering the sphere with rectangles and not changing the horizontal number of images per revolution (oscillation frequency) to reduce overlap at nadir and zenit), the benefits were considered insufficient to warrant more time on it before I actually _have_ the camera. And I'll probably have an fpga that is too bulky to oscillate with it, so I need fatigue-resistant cabling for the 64 + 2 clocks high-speed LVDS lanes between them.

You can get e.g. the Blackmagic pocket cinema 4k that writes 30fps DCI4k DNG with an electronic global shutter to an USB-C SSD.

I have no plans to rely on magnetic field sensors or GNSS. I plan to fuse bundle adjustment with constraints from the raw sensor data. Offset and drift correction for both will be done there, and thus I don't get the typical drift-off issues from cumulating a sensor offset.

I _do_ plan to allow fixing feature markers in space, to handle geo-referencing and potential un-curling at the same time. (Depending on lens distortion you get variously strong tendencies for the area you scan to either reconstruct as a small hollow earth or a small spherical earth (in both cases the average surface curvature radius is up to a few km at most, often even less).)

Just turn up the light and wave the camera faster, or, if you can't, maybe reduce fps if you need to conserve space at the time. Using only a covering subset of images with consistent redundancy for depth map reconstruction is easier after initial Structure-from-Motion than finding ways to recover from cases of under sampled geometry.

And with video data the initial SfM isn't nearly as expensive as with unstructured picture collections, and it's even cheaper if you get accelerometer and gyroscope data from the camera to initialize the motion recovery part and help feature matching to skip known-not-overlapping views.

You actually only use ~10 to ~40 degree view angles for depth map reconstruction, because of occlusion and texture distortion degrading results at high angles.

In my free time I've been working on a 2D MMORPG engine in C#. I'm working on the networking code right now, working toward being able to connect and move around the game world. I'm enjoying the network code, but I'm really looking forward to getting back to shader code and implementing dynamic lighting at some point down the road.

Wanting to build an MMORPG was the main thing that got me interested in software development over a decade ago, so it's been nice to be able to work on this hobby project again.

This sounds like great fun, especially having a nice front end.

I built something similar on google app engine way back when it was new and cheap. It was browser based so more text than cool graphics. And I didn't get to play with shaders.

It may sound dry but I was thrilled with the challenges of coding for NoSQL BigTable and its promises of cheap scalability. It was a fun project.

This really resonates with me. My big motivator has always been the challenge of all the different technical details. Persistence was certainly a fun one, though I stuck with a RDBMS instead of going the NoSQL route.

It's why I'm making an open source engine instead of focusing on making a single game - I can work on whatever tech problem I find interesting at the moment, and eventually (I hope) others who are more interested in the creative side will be able to build off of the engine and create their own games. My first run-in with MMOs was back in the day when there were lots of random MMO engines written in Visual Basic 6, and the indie MMO community back in those days was amazing.

Building a MMO was my dream for a long time and it's what kept me learning for several years. I haven't accomplished the goal but I will, one day.

I've been telling myself that I'll finish one day too, and now on my eighth attempt, I think I can pull it off. Learning to manage long-term projects has definitely helped me with that.


I am somewhat surprised how there are no modern 2D MMORPGs. It seems like it should be inherently easier to develop those, but there is nothing. I think it's a pity because simpler engine / graphics should allows for more resources to be spent on other areas regarding the gameplay.

Maybe those games just aren't popular enough to justify the development in comparison to bland but flashy 3D games..

I think you might be right about the popularity. Major commercial MMOs are deriving revenue from either subscriptions or microtransactions, with the latter becoming much more common (and requiring a far larger userbase to maintain profitability). The trend toward "bland but flashy 3D" has been around for a long time now, so it makes sense in my mind.

About ~ 15 years ago there were quite a few 2D MMO engines freely available, mostly written in VB6. The two big ones were ORE (a very basic FOSS project that didn't support much beyond logging in and walking around) and the Mirage family of engines (closed source, but was licensed and forked quite a few times, most notably into the Playerworlds engine). The various Mirage engines, especially Playerworlds, really lowered the barrier to creating MMOs, and consequently there were quite a few indie "MMOs" with userbases of ~ 50 - 100 regular players.

I know of at least one other FOSS engine project out there (Lunar Engine, which is much further along than my own) besides mine. My hope is that if a few easy-to-use engines are made available and promoted well, another community will form around these 2D indie MMOs. So we'll see what happens.

2D MMOs have morphed into casual mobile/web games. Full hardcore MMOs are a smaller market now with a few juggernauts, and they're all 3D.

I like C# as well. What kind of front end are you using? Web or native?

It's a native frontend, using SDL2 for windowing/audio/input/etc and Direct3D 11 (via SharpDX) for rendering. Backend targets .NET Core and is meant to run in a container on Linux.

That must be so fulfilling and a huge thing to be proud of. Good luck :)

Thanks! It's very fulfilling. Part of me always feels like I should be working on something else that I could eventually monetize. But this has been my passion project for a long time, and I've learned so much - both now and back when I was just starting out - that I think it's worth it personally.

I make paintings about programming/code. Right now I'm developing a screen print, and I wanted to build on the same abstract style I used with one-off watercolor paintings.

I decided to make my first print about rubber duck debugging. I had a lot of fun rendering a crazy hatch-mark pixelated rubber duck, but I keep going back and forth on the final layout and composition. I spent an alarming amount of time this week doodling thumbnails of ducks with different abstract backgrounds.

You can see some of my stuff here :) http://amydyer.art/wp/index.php/portfolio/technology/


As a solution architect visiting clients in Europe and North America, I struggled to capture names and roles of people in meetings and workshops. That led to lots of awkwardness and missed opportunities.

All meeting management apps I found assume participants always get calendar invites, which I found to just not be the case.

So I wrote a small web app that uses qr codes to allow participants in meetings and workshops to introduce themselves, using their phones, on the spot and in a way that persists: https://quickintro.app

I thought I’d be laughed out of the room first time I asked a room full of people to “check in” by scanning a qr code and filling out a form, but no. It worked. So now I’m releasing it for others who might need it.

This is very cool. As a sales person, the ability to set an upfront agenda and make things interactive for prospects (within a first meeting especially) is important. I have ways of doing this today but I'm always open to testing new strategies and technologies.

I'm in the process of creating a few meetings in QuickIntro and keep hitting the error of "[object Object]" when trying to save or "Create meeting."

Any guidance on a fix?

Thanks for checking it out and sorry about that bug! Do you mind shooting me a quick email at pedro@quickintro.app so I can troubleshoot it with you?

Awesome, I just shot you an email now. Thank you for the help.

Nice idea! Just tested it - so the guests have to auth with Google or Linkedin, correct?

Hey, thanks! Yeah, that’s correct. I’m using auth0, so it’s trivial to add more authentication methods too. Is there a specific one you’d need?

Still a long way to go, but trying to make it easier (and cheaper!) to research public companies / stocks - with both quantitative and qualitative data. https://docoh.com/

One further thing, not sure how easy it would be to do, but it would be very interesting to see (graph and/or table) a history of different financial ratios - e.g. what is the historical P/E of the business etc...

This is seriously impressive!

Wow! Very interesting. Would love to know how you're building it! Any write up on this would be very helpful. Thanks!

Ohhh myyyy goddddd!!!!

What a FANTASTIC site you are building. Beautiful design and usefulness.

Have you posted to r/investing? Quite an active community.


This is seriously cool. Are you working on it alone?

Are you scraping the XBRL files for this?


It's a proposed classifier algorithm that is suppose to be better than Random Forest and XGBoost for classifying high dimensional data. The data sets are cancer data (prostate and myeloma). Unfortunately it's not going to be publish because I'd like to graduate sooner and that the software does not meet certain criteria for the journal we were aiming for.

The proposed algorithm uses two technique:

1. My forest consist of GUIDE decision trees by Dr. Loh. It is better than CART and M4.5 and such because it does not have the selection bias problem. CART and M4.5 are bias to selecting categorical predictor for node splitting. They're also bias on variables that enable more splitting so decision trees usually contain more levels. GUIDE is also aim at finding interactions candidate to split if it is statistically significant.

2. CERP by Dr. Moon. It makes the trees within the forest less correlated among each other. Much more so than Random Forest. Accuracy takes a hit as your correlation gets higher (obviously zero is the best). It also enabled ensemble of ensembles (ensemble of forests). Of course some of you may state that you can do ensemble of random forests but it is naive and won't help you.

I should be defending in this month or next month.

Is there a public link to your thesis? Can your approach be used to do feature segmentation of 3D (triangle mesh) data?

> Is there a public link to your thesis?

Not until my advisor okay my paper. He wants to see it first.

> Can your approach be used to do feature segmentation of 3D (triangle mesh) data?

Sorry, I have no clue what this mean so I don't think this is my area of expertise nor can I answer this properly. I'm an master student for applied statistic, this seems to be a computer science machine learning question?

I can point toward papers regarding either GUIDE or CERP if you like.

I'd love to read those papers if you wouldn't mind recommending them.

Started a startup in early 2018. We help schools in Indonesia to manage their money. Collect payments digitally, manage their finances, digitalise their financial records.

Took us a long time to work through the practicalities (think driving motorbikes over rickety bamboo bridges to get to a school who has a shipping container of paper records). Very traditional industry. But doing quite good now, well over 100 schools. And we really help them, which is pretty cool. Maybe the first time ive worked on something that is genuinely productive.

Also, its given me a newfound respect for people who work in education, what we in other industries do daily really does pale in comparison:

- We find it hard to manage teams of actual professionals getting paid to be there. They have to manage thousands of kids who would rather be doing something else. And their parents, who arent easy "users" to deal with (to put it mildly)

- We measure most of our KPIs live. For them, it can take 15 years to measure the impact (graduate employment rates, salaries). Such a ridiculously long timeframe.

And of course theres the compensation. How you can stay motivated given all of that is insane. But they do. Met some genuinely great people.

working on my crippling depression / ADHD, unemployed (i don't want to work anymore in anything) 6 months , 0 productivity. learned a lot of category theory, functional programming and c++ tho.

Hang in there. You're definitely not alone, and it does get better. I'm happy to listen if you ever need someone to talk to who has been there, and in important ways is still there.

As others have said, don't be so hard on yourself: that you're teaching yourself useful stuff is the opposite of zero productivity. In fact, you're probably learning faster than if you were doing it while employed.

My best suggestion is that your local library will likely allow you to download an app such as Libby that will allow you to listen to audiobooks for free. During my downtime, nothing has brought me more respite from my depression than listening to - no joke - about 200 books. I alternate between sci-fi and non-fiction. I never would have imagined myself a listener, but I was very wrong.

If you learned a lot of category theory, functional programming and C++ then your productivity was not zero.

That's what I thought too. I yearn for more time to learn

I was just like you. This free self guided video series changed my life. Please, please, PLEASE take a look and give it a chance.


Sorry to hear that but good that you are working on it. Life will look better to you in the future if you keep at it. Psychotherapy worked for me in the long run (1+ years) - suffered from severe depression for more than two years.

are you lifting weights and exercising? If not get on it ASAP. Revert back to the physical-activity-heavy lifestyle of our ancestors and you'll feel better

If you hate exercise, try physically-active VR games. You don't even feel like you're exercising (although you sure feel it the next day!)

AFAIK that's not enough calories burned to get you into caloric deficit. You need more intensive or longer exercise

It's not as simple as "X will make you lose weight or not." Caloric deficit depends on both your intake and expenditure. You can out-eat almost any exercise regime so a somewhat healthy diet and reasonable portion sizes are always going to be important.

Active VR games are a legitimate cardio workout. Sites like https://www.vrfitnessinsider.com/reviews/ have real data if you don't believe me.

As for duration, I've seen people (including myself) happily play Beat Saber for hours who don't last 10 miserable minutes on a treadmill.

I walk a lot, but I'm thinking on start a video series with fitness exercises.

a pullup bar fit in a doorframe in apartment can do wonders + bodyweight exercises.

Just put your routine in a FOR-loop and grind for increased STRength and STAmina stats lol

I hope things get better for you. The hardest part is taking that first step. I've been there and I know how hard it is to even get out of bed. It's cheesy, but what really helped me was listening to motivational tapes like Les Brown/Jim Rohn/Eric Thomas. I'd just go for a walk while listening to them and over time it got a little bit easier.

Start a journal to track your diet and any pertinent symptoms. After a week or two, when you have a baseline picture of your current diet, look up some articles on research connecting diet and depression.

Off the top of my head: Certain oils are pertinent -- some should be avoided, others sought out -- and iron deficiency can cause depression.

As someone who recently discovered unaddressed ADHD has been holding me back so much for so long, as well as experiencing that numbness of depression too, you are not alone and I have felt at least some of what you are experiencing. I wish you all the best in working through it.

I have been there too. When you are injured or ill, your duty is to survive. You can flourish and achieve when you are healthy again so don't go on holding yourself to what you can expect in other contexts.

thanks for all the support I'll check the links.

I'm learning how to draw. Here's my latest drawing. https://www.instagram.com/p/BzZSo_bFtL6/

I really enjoy the challenge of learning to do something that isn't one of my natural talents. As a programmer, obviously, I would be better suited to learning music but I've always wanted to draw.

Becoming an artist as a part time job outside of writing code has been a journey into time management, budgeting and discipline. It's taken me a lot of work to get to a place where I create art on a regular basis.

Learning how to be creative is utterly different than building software. Even though building software is an intensly creative job, making art requires turning off a massive portion of your brain. You have to just let things flow.

I do not use any generative software in the creation of art. It's just me. https://www.instagram.com/p/Bt_gqSQAdcu/

5 years ago, I had a crazy idea that there must be an open source engine that had a really simple learning curve and worked out of the box.

The result: https://github.com/typesense/typesense

It took me over 3 years to get the nuts and bolts right. It's now production ready and being used in quite a few production environments. Of course, there is more work to do and so it's still actively being worked upon.

Note, search engine. That looks very cool!

Neat, this looks really useful. Was on the lookout for a search engine for my auto-generated documentation pages, this looks like it could fit the bill.

Been spending 4+ hours per day studying languages for the last year and a half.

It started as a challenge to learn German, and now it's spiraled into going to polyglot conferences and doing "learning challenges".

Right now, my main focus is on Swedish, but I've joined a 3-month language challenge, where I'm trying to learn as much of Inuktitut as I can.

Since 2 weeks ago, I study most days on Twitch as personal motivation; I think most people would find this boring, but I've had a few people show up semi-regularly, so here's the link if that's something that floats your boat: https://www.twitch.tv/letsstudylanguages/

Come join us on Reddit r/languagelearning and on 'A Language Learners' Forum' [1]


I spend a solid chunk of time on r/languagelearning haha :p... it's that curse of spending as much time talking about language learning as doing the actual studying :|. can find me under u/ninjarobotdino

Thanks for the reminder re: language learners forum ... I was on there a year or two ago. I'll make sure to check it out again and try to stay active! :D The polyglot community is such a cool group of eclectic people.

4 hours a day?

How do you manage all your life sustaining activities after work?

I get up early and go to bed early. I have no energy after work, so I study in the morning from 4a-8a'ish. It took a little life-hacking to get used to, but I feel a lot more accomplished each day, before I even get into the nitty-gritty meetings and pushing code.

Guessing you're married with kids and have a relatively routine life after work then.

Married. No kids.

I usually go out with coworkers on Friday evenings and on Saturdays/Sundays I find myself at a local brewery or event with friends. Certainly not out drinking every night.

There was definitely a conscious decision to prioritize this learning time and turn it into a routine. It also didn't happen all at once... it started at 45 min a day, then 90ish, etc.; I invested more as I saw the return on investment piling up. There's certainly days where I get little to no studying done and others where I get loads, but I try to get a minimum in.

At the beginning, I'd mostly just got tired of telling myself "someday" and registered for a class. From there it's kinda snowballed. Once I found out there were other people doing this and that they had meetups and conferences, it was that much more motivating to spend time on.

Working on a desktop version of my webdev tool SnipCSS:


The current version is a Chrome Extension that extracts every CSS rule needed to rebuild the DOM subtree of a selected element. Unlike other tools it never uses computed styles and uses the actual DevTools protocol to get the CSS. The current extension doesn't handle CSS specificity or inheritance correctly, so I'm waiting until I fix those things before promoting it. Actually this comment is the first time I've told anyone about it.

Hey, just so you know... I went to snipcss.com and attempted to sign up for a lifetime membership, only to be informed that the payment processing was in dev mode. I went back and entered the standard test numbers, and it worked.

You might want to lock this down.

Also: take my money, please.

Thanks for letting me know!

The homepage doesn't have a link to the pricing page so I didn't think anyone would find that. I'll let you know when it's ready!

I installed the Chrome plugin, and then it prompted me to create an account... so I did. That took me to your dashboard.

I loved the little animation with the critter coming to inspect the DOM element, but as of right now the plugin doesn't seem to actually do anything. It doesn't appear to emit any css nor is my css being transmitted to the site. It could well be that you're between iterations, but right now if I didn't know you were working on it, I'd be tempted to remove it.

Do you mind me asking which site you tried it on?

I haven't had it crash in a while where it produces nothing while snipping. Maybe you found a new way to crash it. What if you try it on this site? (HackerNews as a test)

Also your Chrome version and OS might help me debug it.

I ran it against a dev site I have up at localhost:3000... it does seem to work great on HN's homepage, so perhaps the page has to be publically addressable?

Running Chrome 74 on Ubuntu

Can this do media queries? eg if I have 5 responsive ranges, do I have to snip 5 times or is it smart enough to grab all of it?

I never tested a url with a port number so that could be it. I'll have to look at that this weekend.

It will be smart enough to grab everything but I'm still working out the issues. The extension version only runs once, but for the desktop version it has a list of Device Resolutions to run through (typical Desktop, iPad, Mobile is default) and for the extra resolutions adds more styles to the list of rules by iterating through all the elements again. That seems to get almost all media queries so hopefully I can release that soon.

The difficulty I imagine with that is for components whose subtree's styling is modified upon interaction via JavaScript. For instance, a drop down that gets extra classes when you click on it causing it to appear. How do you account for that?

It doesn't account for user interaction but I might attempt to do something for that in the future.

The desktop version uses puppeteer so I do force a hover state on each element and get extra psuedo selectors by doing that. I'm also planning to add something so you can interact with the page first to get the page in the state you want, because right now the selection process cancels all other events (you select something by clicking).

One of the first difficult issues that I ran into was that I had to modify CSS selectors to target the subtree. For example let's say there is a selector:

#mysidebar #atable tr

Now I only want to Snip/Extract the #atable element. I have to modify the selector by chopping off #mysidebar because the html I'm giving the user is just #atable and everything below that. The problem is modifying selectors like that ruins CSS specificity. That's just one example of how things became a lot more complicated than I originally thought it would be.

I've wanted this badly enough to have it on my list of potential things to build in a medium-term future.

Please do this. Is there a waitlist? If not, please make it so. :)

This looks like a really useful tool. I would use it. How are you planning to market it?

Thanks! I haven't thought much about marketing yet - when it's ready I'll try submitting it to ShowHN, ProductHunt and dev subreddits.

What made you decide to go with a desktop version of your software?

I'm hoping to make SnipCSS part of my workflow so a desktop version means I could have it more closely tied to an IDE. For example I could import code snippets, manage extracted Fonts/Images, or even analyze the existing project so it doesn't duplicate existing css rules.

Eventually it would be cool to automatically create React/Vue templates but that's getting ahead of myself. For now I'd be happy if it just extracts the correct styles 99% of the time. Currently it's 80% there, but the last 20% is always the hardest.

Erudito Keyboard for iPhone (https://erudito.io) It's a mini game in an iPhone keyboard, you play from any App, just by writing.

Common words give you little or no points, infrequent words give you points. You get bonus points when you write a sequence of words with points.

There is a leaderboard where you can compare your "skills" against other users and friends. Still need to implement a feature to segregate each leaderboard: general and friends.

The keyboard has realtime notifications and bidirectional communication with websockets, so you can know what other users are doing, this will be useful to have "death matches".

As you can see It's an experimental App. Currently is available on the Appstore (since last week) but I didn't promote it yet, I'm looking for users to iterate it more :) and crush few bugs along the way.

That's kind of cool, but I immediately ask myself what kind of security measures are in place. What happens so that every word I type isn't automatically uploaded somewhere where I do not know how it is handled?

Thank you @tomcatfish! Regarding security, yes that's an issue. At the end of the day as a user, all you can do is trust. So the company is incorporated in UK, your data is protected under the GDPR, we use the minimum amount of data necessary to make the game work, we use SSL, authentication is done by Apple or Facebook (whichever user prefers).

We don't sell information, nor we plan to use Ads, because of that there is a pay subscription.

Anyhow every time you need to type something sensitive you can disable or switch to iPhone's native keyboard and go back whenever you are ready to play again :). (by Apple's design 3rd party keyboard get disabled when typing on a sensitive/password/etc input)

My family. Got a two year old and 7 month old. Bought our first and hopefully only house a month ago. Work remotely doing some really interesting programming.

I reflected early this week during Canada Day fireworks that I have literally everything I wanted out of life. Now I just have to learn how to live in the moment and enjoy it all. That's proving to be a small struggle.

Good on you. I have a family as well and prior to it spent much of my free time coding side projects. Now, it's been tough to find the energy to do that in my limited time.

Of course, one can prioritize the projects, but find joy in other aspects of life once the little ones asleep.

Trying to get back into a side project though, mainly because I'm feeling the itch.

Back when I only had 1 child, I use to say you can have exactly one hobby.

With two children, you can have a hobby once in a blue moon.

This is a great struggle for me. I too have solved my basic needs for me and my family. But always in a conflict of enjoying the moment vs worrying about future (read career here).

Dont want to quit on either but learning to separate both.

I'm building https://learnawesome.org - essentially, a stumbleupon-equivalent for learners with richer data. The idea is to make it easy to answer queries like:

"Show me podcasts about architecture that are less than an hour long."

"Show me books about abstract algebra that are visual."

"Show me MOOCs on machine-learning that are challenging."

Just last week, I released browser add-ons for Chrome/Brave/Firefox to make it super easy to use. Eventually, we'll implement unidirectional relationships so you see recommendations only from people you trust/admire.

Oh jeez, I'm reading everyone's posts and I'm feeling shy to post mine since I'm not doing anything cool. Here goes nothing...

I quit my job in January this year with no business but the thought that I must start, I can't work jobs anymore.

I built and marketed a simple micro-saas for Shopify ecosystem together with my co-founder. He handles tech, I do design and marketing. We both do customer support. App was launched on April 24.

June was my first month of revenue and we hit ~$450 MRR which I'm very happy about. Expecting large churn figures though.

This is the app -- https://apps.shopify.com/whatsapp-chat-button

Here's a post I wrote a month back chronicling the journey thus far -- https://www.preetamnath.com/blog/shopify-micro-saas-growth

Currently I'm learning how to code (Frontend, React) so that I can contribute to the app development, as currently our biggest bottleneck is development speed of new features.

Really cool. Can you share on what lib/3rd party tool you use on the backend to send WhatsApp messages (such as the automated cart abandoned message)?

My list keeps changing, but I have three main "projects" these days.

- I will complete the final level of a beginner's Sanskrit course this August. This has been an intermittently executed project for me. I can follow uncomplicated spoken and written Sanskrit now, and can mostly understand Sanskrit at the level of Gita or the Indian epics. My long term aim is to be able to read Indian philosophical works in their original.

- I am teaching a few neighborhood kids Mathematics, Physics, and occasionally, Computer Science. This is immense fun!

- I am trying to learn at a deeper level some of the topics that I learned during my undergraduate studies. On this front, right now I am working on understanding operating systems and compilers a bit better.

Besides the course you are taking (is it an in-person class, or online perhaps?), are there any resources for learning Sanskrit that you'd recommend? I have the same long term goal as you! I'm looking to self-study the language since there aren't local courses where I live.

My course is the famous one by Samskritabharati (https://www.samskritabharati.in/). It's a correspondence program, but they do conduct introductory contact classes as well. They also deliver materials overseas. Samskritabharati also has online video lectures (http://www.samskritashikshanam.in/), but they are in Hindi.

I have audited a few introductory courses from vyoma samskrita pathashala (https://sanskritfromhome.in).

There's also the Rashtriya Sanskrit Sansthan in India (http://www.sanskrit.nic.in/) who have a two year introductory correspondence course. I believe they deliver overseas as well. I did the first year of their course with the help of a tutor I hired from urbanpro.com, but (as with all things GoI) I found the experience to be far less satisfactory than Samskritabharati's.

If you can read Hindi, you can also look at the school textbooks by NCERT as well, which are available for free (http://ncert.nic.in/textbook/textbook.htm)

Two "Western"-style books that I would recommend are:

* Devavanipravesika (An Introduction to the Sanskrit Language) by Robert Goldman

* Samskrita-SubodhinI (A Sanskrit Primer) by Madhav Deshpande.

One thing I want to do is to work through these books once I am done with Samskritabharati just to cement the things I have learnt.

The nice thing about Samskritabharati's course is that it doesn't just teach the language, but it also introduces you in a gentle (but unapologetic!) way to the whole tradition that flourished through it's medium. They also publish books in Sanskrit, which may also help you in your education.

Good luck!

Since stepping into a new role in the world of full-time Clojure earlier this year I have been almost entirely focussed on launching an ambitious new open source graph database that uses Kafka as the "unbundled" transaction log and provides bitemporal Datalog queries: https://github.com/juxt/crux

Before I made this move, tinkering with Clojure and thinking about databases was just a hobby.

I wasn't around when Crux was initially designed and built, but my primary job so far as the product manager for Crux has been to figure out how we make the most of all the ingenuity and effort that's already gone into it. I also wear many additional hats at the moment: leading the development team, managing community interactions, speaking at events/conferences, creating the marketing, and working on sales & strategic partnerships.

This all keeps me incredibly busy but it is fun and it feels like the right thing for me to be working on and thinking about at this point in my life. I think of it like the perfect side-project that I am very fortunate to be able to work on all day long (and surrounded by excellent & talented people!).

Working on a few projects right now as I recently left my job, but the one I am working today is "Allons-ip!", a free and open source IP address API that uses pure NGINX to work.

Right now there is one dedicated server in Germany (AMD Ryzen™ Threadripper 2950X with Hetzner) and all it does is display your IPv4 address, but once I am done it should work with both IPv4 and IPv6, and have servers around the globe to decrease latency as much as possible.

The API returns all data in plain text — or JSON/JSONP —, without any advertisements or extra data. Server has full disk encryption enabled and a no logging policy.

Usage is quite simple. There are no secrets here, just call the URL for the API and it should return the IP address of the machine you used to make the call.

Clear Text: curl -s https://api.allonsip.sh/

JSON: curl -s https://api.allonsip.sh/json/

JSONP: curl -s https://api.allonsip.sh/jsonp/

There are a few reasons for this, but it boils down to the need to improve my resume, as most of the work I done in previous companies are their propriety now. I also needed to get the public IP address of servers I deploy programmatically, and wanted to have control over how that was done, so I decided to turn it into a public project.

Since I did not want to reinvent the wheel and NGINX is so damn powerful, there was no need for anything other than pure NGINX.

A few weeks ago I started Spatial Awareness, a curated newsletter for the maps and spatial community. The idea was to scratch a personal itch – to do something with all the interesting links and maps I collect – though it's gone down amazingly well with the community. It's less than a month old – with 3 issues so far – and it's already surpassed 1,000 subscribers. Check it out if you're interested in maps!


This begs the question about audience ... how did you get to 1,000 subscribers in a month? Were you part of an existing community you launched to? Marketing it in some way?

Sounds like a cool passion project! Thanks.

A 1:1 meeting software: https://www.oneononemeeting.com

It was a for-profit side-project, but since I moved to another country (following my wife's Masters) it became full-time.

If you lead a team and have 1:1s, take a look :)

I'm in your target market and will take a look. What I really need is covered partially by 1:1's but I need some sort of CRM for my direct reports. I want dossiers that include the action plans out of our meetings plus more general stuff like work anniversaries, other dates and information all tied into a calendar with ideally alerts that give me a heads-up. Right now I use PerformYard, Outlook, random documents and part of an in-house app. Yuck.

let me know if you have any questions.

I would love to exchange ideas in order to build the roadmap based on what you need because that's exactly the path I want to go with my product.

My idea is to create a tool that the manager uses, but also the team members use - and is actually more useful and actionable for the team members, helping them achieve their professional goals.

Currently, you can create "Long Term Goals" and "Short Term Commitments" for your team members. And they have their own account to check and edit their own Goals and Commitments.

What I am working on now is to create some sort of "Steps" to achieve a Goal and frequent "Status Updates" on how is it going. With it, email notifications - sent to the Team Members - so they report their status updates.

Future integration with Slack for those notifications is in the plan too.

EDIT: You (or anyone reading this) can contact me through the email on my profile

"Important dates" added to your calendar of choice would be neat.

Been working on a piece of 2D animation/vector editing software called FlowBetween for a while now:


Seemed like a good way to combine my interest in building software with my other interest in creating art.

I've been spinning off the various components needed to build it as separate rust crates: interesting ones are flo_curves, desync and flo_binding.

Cool! It'd be great to have some videos of what it looks like... yeah, I can download it, but it'd be nice to see first.

Skincare line for men. I just turned 30 and I wanted an easier way to take care of my skin. One of the things I noticed was that there weren't a lot of skincare geared towards men that I "trusted." So, I threw myself all-in to see if I can bootstrap a brand focused on using natural ingredients myself. It was supposed to launch June 1, but early impressions suggested the "brand" sucked. Yes, I rebranded before I sold a single product, which was an expensive lesson, but it taught me a valuable lesson: Feature creep will always exist if you don't reign it in.

Anyway, I'm welcome to advice- if you want to check out the basic site, it's https://www.mendskin.co password: mendskin.

If you subscribe at the bottom (I'm a one man shop... I don't have the capacity to set up effective MailChimp campaigns, so you can trust me when I say I can't spam your inbox), I'll follow up with a personal hackernews offer once I launch.

Where/how are you sourcing product? Do you have any experience in cosmetics?

A brand called “War Paint”, which I’m sure you’ve heard of, recently created some buzz and quickly attracted a lot of negative media. Did you learn anything from the negative feedback they received?

I source the ingredients from a private labeler. They work with all the major cosmetic brands and sell what brands like L’Oreal don’t buy. Sure, we get leftovers, but it’s still top quality.


I've been doing work with the Vegan Hacktivists. https://veganhacktivists.org/

Basically, we code up apps that we hope will help promote veganism. In some cases, we lend engineering help to organizations that need something built (e.g. Meat The Victims, Rancher Advocacy, etc.).

Currently, I'm working on the website for Meat the Victims as well as a platform for education on the "why" and "how" of becoming vegan.

If anyone is interested, please reach out (my email is on the website under Gerard O'Neill). We're currently recruiting for experienced developers, ideally with PHP experience.

I've built a thing called the Tech Events Network: https://techeventsnetwork.com/cities/ which aggregates and publishes tech events - meetups, conferences, workshops, hackathons, etc - across 50+ cities in the US.

After being an evangelist at Twilio and running a number of my own meetups, I realized that that the biggest problem most groups had was getting the word out. This pulls data from Meetup, Eventbrite, and other places, uses some light ML to choose hashtags, company names, etc, and then tweets the day before and about a week before a given event. There's also a weekly pre-cap email that goes out.

If you're running a tech event in a major city in the US, we help you get the word out.

If you're near a major city in the US - or even just visiting - you can find out what's going on.

* We explicitly exclude job fairs, etc to make it SFW.

Am working on https://www.savio.io

We help product teams centralize their customer feedback from tools like Intercom, Help Scout, and Slack, and then use it to make data-driven decisions about what features to build.

My business partner and I have sold two SaaS businesses (we started one and bought the other). Savio is our third. It was born from the frustrations we had at the first two. We'd get lots of customer feedback from support, sales, customer calls, surveys, chat, etc. But we never had a good process or tool to keep track of it and use it in a way that gave us confidence we were building the right features.

We soft launched a few months ago and are very much figuring out positioning, feature set, acquisition, activation... the whole shooting match.

Customer funding as we did with the previous two businesses. We like optionality!

Hi, Embarking on my own sass journey. Would love to connect with you to hear about your thought process I sass pricing strategies. Thanks Ananth

Hey guys, working on https://openroll.io

Would like to connect and discuss my idea!

I'm working on Alchemist Camp, a site with screencasts and tutorials for web devs learning Elixir and the Phoenix framework. I believe that in terms of free content in this niche, nobody on the web has put out more.

I've also been sporadically recording podcasts on topics near and dear to my heart—learning, mental models, code and bootstrapping.




I’m working on Devev, a visual programming language which integrates with TypeScript and JavaScript: https://m.imgur.com/a/zLS1g0t

I’ve been working on this on the side for awhile and hope to launch an MVP by the end of the month. I transitioned to full time on the product 2 months ago and I’ hoping to make money by providing domain specific visual programming products. I’m currently thinking about a visual build system for example.

I'm teaching myself music (guitar and singing)! After casually dabbling for many years and not really getting better, I decided to devote at least 30 minute a day to practice to see how far I can get in a year.

I'm making videos to track my progress (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z1ytq5cTCDE) and creating tools to accelerate the learning process.

Some examples:

- Chord Bunny (to learn chord transitions): https://dkthehuman.com/chord-bunny/

- Interval Trainer (to learn intervals by ear): https://dkthehuman.com/interval-trainer

Why guitar and not synths?

Because John Mayer. :)

I do intend to learn synths but not now since I don't want to spread myself too thin (the trap I usually fall into).

I'm just trying to have a productive day. It's hard most of the time.

Less dreadful answer: Professionally I'm working on an Open data portal based on the python library CKAN for the University of Manitoba. Money isn't brilliant, but it's satisfying and has some odd challenges. In the upcoming month I'm taking an academic trip to Norway to explore undergrad thesis opportunities in the areas of Neural Networks and Remote Sensing, to which I'll hopefully be playing around with before-hand.

https://www.snapnews.win - a new way to binge on latest Hacker news stories.

This was my weekend project but I'm still working on it in my spare time.

The concept is simple: All news stories have a ticking timer. After it expires the news story is gone forever. There is also a clear now button at the bottom that destroys all the stories on the screen if you want to binge even faster.

Once the story goes away, it's gone forever. You will never see it again! So it's like the HN homepage that never shows you the same story twice.

Made with Vuejs and hosted on Aws lambda (serverless)

There aren't many options because I just uploaded the first version and everything is still pretty rough. It's just a concept site I made for my own amusement :)

My side project is create a relational language (not a RDBMS!):


I wish to resurrect the "spirit" of the fox/dbase family where operate on data was much more natural. This lang also mix some ideas of array langs like kdb+.

If my bet is correct, this will erase the need of ORMs yet make it work as easy.

Is build on rust, a lang I also learning along the way (making it even MORE slow to progress!!!) but I start to get the gist of it.

sounds interesting. Considering posting updates when you design or evaluate concepts or ideas about the internals, designs, and philosophy behind its abstractions (I guess there is more than tables related to tables and some syntactic sugar on top)

I'm working on a authorization protocol for IoT (ABAC+ReBAC and a little of RADAC). The main idea is to make it easier for non-tech people and secure (yes, everybody wants that), made the threat model and stuff - was my master's thesis, want to do a PoC to see if it sees sunlights ;)

Also working on a DataScience crash course with basic statistics, R, Python (Basics), Dataviz and webscraping (for journalists, biologists - for everybody).

Last, but not least, we have a music's group that is doing some visual + electroacoustic music (using supercollider and instruments). Our next step is to use Arduino and some other stuff.

resumes pretty much it.

(help wanted `:D )

Reverse engineering a handheld device that is used to flash the Bosch ECU memory region related to engine tuning

It features:

* master/slave paradigm

* public + private key encryption

* XOR ciphers

* hardware tokens

* server-side validation

* .NET obfuscation

* Themida/WinLicense DLL packing/obfuscation

* Debugger detection

Car tuning is an industry where if your car costs $60k, tuners can charge you $999. If your car costs $120k, they know you are a wealthier client, so they blatantly charge you $3k for the same amount of effort on their end. Gross.

Hell yeah!

What Got Done, a minimalist tool for teammates to share weekly status updates with each other.


I'm a solo developer and find it gratifying to set aside a half hour at the end of each week to write down what I did. Otherwise all the work just becomes a blur. I wrote a longer blog post about the motivation behind it here: https://mtlynch.io/status-updates-to-nobody/

I have a "lab book", but I stopped writing into it. It mostly contains information i gathered about a particular section of the code base or how a solution might work or what I learned about our business domain. But over time the constant context switching of topics I had to work on made me stop it.

I would like to revive it. However, i want the information in there (the lessons learned this week) to be less project/issue specific, but more transcending and transferable to new problems/environments.

Do you have a set of questions you pose yourself whose answers guide the write-up and make it a worthwhile knowledge vault?


Not sure if I expressed myself in a coherent way.

Oh, that's interesting. I do some introspection when I'm writing my weekly updates[1], but not to the depth that you're describing. But What Got Done should work as a lab book, although I haven't implemented search yet, and it sounds like that might be important to you.

The time when I do deeper reflection is when I write my monthly retrospectives. [2] I don't have a standard set of questions that I ask myself, but that's a good idea. My method so far has been to state what lessons I learned, evaluate how I did against my goals for the month, and define goals for the subsequent month.

[1] http://whatgotdone.com/michael

[2] https://mtlynch.io/retrospectives/

I have had a pretty incredible urge lately to work on some similar software. I'd love an app, for example, like Committed (linked below) that had SIMPLE live-collaboration functionality. Figured I would demo that pretty soon, make a site, and see if it could gain some traction. Looking forward to seeing how this progresses.

(forgot to add the link!)


Thanks for checking it out!

>like Committed (linked below)

I can't find the link you're referring to. Did you mean to add a link to the bottom of your post?

Sorry about that! I fixed it. Thanks for letting me know.

I'm spending the summer researching the implications of raising taxes on tobacco in low and middle income countries (basically to see how big of an opportunity it is for saving lives/earning additional govt revenue that can be funneled to useful areas)

I left my silicon valley job and am building a speedrunning analytics startup out of a side project I started 6 years ago.


This is really cool! I quit my big tech job a year ago, too, so I can definitely relate to the joy of focusing on software centered around something you're passionate about.

I’m working on my side project which is building a broswer based multiplayer DAW. It’s been about a tyear since I started working on it. Started with a keyboard that had a simple built in synth. It’s been a lot of fun to make, learning stuff from building sequencers, polyphonic synths, and web socket stuff :D. I hope to use it as my main DAW eventually, and will still finish up tracks in Ableton probably. I hope it will be a useful tool for people to get songs started and do it with other people.

Whenever I have any breathing room after my thesis work, I'm working on an electric motorcycle build based on an the chassis of an old Honda H100-S2 as a challenge in hardware, software, fabrication, and well, everything really. Shooting for actual road certification, so doing everything by the book.

That's something I've wanted to do as well. Keep us up to date on how it goes!

Will try! It's slow going because everything tends to start with some variation of 1. Get/buy new tool. 2. Learn entirely new skill. 3. Make mistakes. 4. Goto 3.

The documentation lags quite far behind the actual build (really need to update these pages...) but can be found at https://johnvidler.co.uk/mechanical-engineering/electric-mot... if you're interested.

I am finishing a procedural generation pixel-art editor, aka you connect nodes to get a rectangles of colour. The cool part is the nodes you use are often other graphs also built with the tool. It is a bit like Houdini but for pixel-art.

It is close to be a niche but solid product. I can reproduce with it a reasonable amount of the pixel-art I see daily. I am currently writing the tutorials for it.


The underlying engine is a restricted functional language and the architecture is based on streams of values. I am quite proud of the architecture because so far, I had very little accidental complexity to manage and that's key for me to stay motivated/productive on the project.

Whenever I get free time I work on my 'abstract visual debugger' project.

I've been doing that since late 2014 though, so recently I'm trying a new tack to free up some time for myself: I've been building a little desktop utility with three.js + Electron + Rust, that I'm going to sell in the Microsoft store (eventually elsewhere too): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j-ANWHLvARM

I'll start beta testing in about a week--definitely excited :D I'll probably do a write-up of the project and post it here as well.

Edit: just fyi, 'Lucid Disk' is a placeholder name (my bigger debugger project I mentioned is called 'Lucidity').

This looks nice, I use GrandPerspective for this task currently but your UI looks beautiful and useful.

Thanks! I came across this kind of app for the first time in January (GrandPerspective, WinDirStat, DiasyDisk, TreeSize, etc.), and I've spent a lot of time thinking about/working on making interactive/visual trees in the past, so I really wanted to take a crack at making the best one I could.

Here we are many months later and I'm finally starting to be pretty happy with the results. It's taken many iterations, but it is quite effective from a usability perspective now.

I'm starting to put a little thought into what other kinds of hierarchical data it might be useful for exploring...

Nice demo. Now do it in VR so I can be Jonny Mneumonic!

The dolphin could be included in the Premium Version.

Ha! Hadn't considered that... I could see a VR version being pretty cool though actually. Maybe if it was set up sort of like a standing chalkboard where you can move freely in the room but walk up to it and manipulate things... Plus dolphins of course.

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