Digests » 226

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programming

What it feels like to be in the zone as a programmer

The phrase “in the zone” is defined as a period of intense productivity. When a basketball player is in the zone, they make more shots because the hoop appears larger to them. They steal more passes because time feels slower to them. They outrun opponents because their body feels lighter to them.

"What next?"

Setting aside the fact that "compiled" languages have had various more-or-less credible forms of "memory safety" for quite a long time, I agree (obviously!) that cementing memory safety as table stakes in all niches of language design -- especially systems languages -- continues to be an important goal; but also that there's also lots more to do! So I figured I'd take a moment to elaborate on some areas that we're still well short of ideal in; maybe some future language engineers can find inspiration in some of these notes.

The Night the PostgreSQL IDs Ran Out

It’s a story no one wants to encounter: Your primary key column runs out of values and your database starts exploding. Alarms go off as people start poking their heads into developer chat:

A history of branch prediction from 1500000 BC to 1995

How many of you use branches in your code? Could you please raise your hand if you use if statements or pattern matching?

Ideal OS: Rebooting the Desktop Operating System

By the end of this essay I hope to convince you of the following facts. First, that modern desktop operating systems are anything but. They are bloated, slow, and layered with legacy cruft that still functions only thanks to Moore's Law.