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Moldable Emacs: Vega-Lite, Nyxt and Emacs Towards Sustainable Development (ag91.github.io)
99 points by grzm 29 days ago | hide | past | favorite | 7 comments

The Glamorous Toolkit that the article mentions is worth a look if you would like to know more about this idea. It's a bit bigger of a project, so it has more in the way of demonstration YouTube videos and the like.

This seems like a good intro: https://youtu.be/vtD-xD0Eo3c

"...for Sustainable Development" in the title is what caught my eye. Unfortunately, it isn't actually talked about in this article. I'm left guessing what the author's meaning was:

- This combo is lends to sustainable development because it's all FOSS.

- This combo lends to sustainable development because the cycle between coding and results is tightened.

- or?

There's a bit more explanation of the idea in this blog post: https://ag91.github.io/blog/2021/06/18/moldable-emacs-vision...

At least as I understand it, the basic problem tools like this are trying to solve is the tendency of long-lived software projects to become increasingly difficult to maintain. We tend to like to blame this the use of outdated tools or programming practices. Moldable development argues that, instead of blaming our predecessors, we should focus on creating development environments that do a better job of helping us to explore and understand the design of existing software.

Since software design, tools, and practices are such a mixed lot, you'll never get all the way there with just a pile of generic off-the-shelf refactorings and code analysis tools that have been baked into your IDE. Instead, you need a development environment that allows you to create your own custom code analysis tools that are tailor made for the current thing you're trying to understand.

wonderful explanation! Thanks for making it so clear.

author here. Sorry for that, I got pulled into explaining my hack and I forgot to make matters clear. The idea is to create custom tools to understand what you (in the sense of your past self and your ancestors) have created so far. We need to stop to reinvent the wheel: tons of people before us were smarter and we need to be able to understand and retrieve what they did.

Since there is a lot of useful information around us, we just need to extract meaning from it in better ways (for example, I mention climate change in the blog, because this goes further than just code in my opinion).

In this blog I show how I could visualize my interests (the notes I take). This showcases how I could make a tool on the fly (still a bit too expensive for my tastes, working on that). With such an infrastructure I can easily go into code bases and see patterns via visualizations. Potentially I could even apply refactorings from pictures (since I could run code in my editor clicking an HTML file).

If you missed it, my previous work on code-compass (https://github.com/ag91/code-compass) is just the first draft of what I have in mind.

Hi! I've been following your blog with interest for a while now. Thanks for working on this. I haven't actually used it (or GT) yet, but I'm anxious to make the time.

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