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this week's favorite

What's in a good error message?

As software developers, we’ve all come across those annoying, not-so-useful error messages when using some library or framework: "Couldn’t parse config file", "Lacking permission for this operation", etc. Ok, ok, so something went wrong apparently; but what exactly? What config file? Which permissions? And what should you do about it? Error messages lacking this kind of information quickly create a feeling of frustration and helplessness.

Prefer to change the code rather than write a workaround

I can't count how many times I've heard programmers talking about writing some new piece of code to work around the behavior of some other code which they don't want to change. You are a programmer - you are allowed to change code! In fact, it's your job! Just change the code to do what you want! Fix the bug! Change the behavior! Add the feature!

Networking of a turn-based game

There is a lot to say about how it works but this blog post will focus on how I’ve designed the networking part of the game. I’ll first describe the problem in a more formal way. I’ll continue by explaining how it’s solved in S&R, as well as describe other possible solutions that I’ve discovered or imagined.

Technical time travel: On vintage programming books

What if we turn that lens backward, toward the yesteryear innovations of our shared past? Not in an effort to gain some competitive edge in the present - although the insight of historical context can be piercing - but simply to satisfy intellectual curiosity. To scratch that innocent itch for understanding how things work. Or, given hindsight, why they didn't.

How and why the relational model works for databases

This is a note on, the Turing Award laureate, Ted Codd's revolutionary paper — A Relational Model of Data for Large Shared Data Banks. In this post, I will review the paper and add my comments with a perspective from modern distributed databases.

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