In the night we got a lot of snow. In the late afternoon we went
outside to admire the white winter landscape.
Because there was quite some wind it felt colder than we
expected. Also the wind had piled up the snow in some locations, which
Adam liked a lot; he jumped on those small dunes only to sink away.
The last time we had snow in the Netherlands; the first time for Adam
to see snow in person, was the 16th of Januari
2021. Alice had already
played in the snow when
she was very young: near the summit of a volcano in Mexico (about 3800
meters above sea level).
A new contender for the title of ‘World’s Smallest Reptile’!
We have just published the discovery of a new species of chameleon,
Brookesia nana, which is a new contender for the smallest
reptile—and therefore the smallest amniote vertebrate—in the world!
Our new paper is published in the Open Access journal Scientific
In the evening I watched the rest of Below Zero
(2021) on Netflix. I liked the
movie and give it a 7 out of 10.
Rust for Haskell Programmers!
While we focus on Haskell at MMH, it's also good to branch out to
other languages every once and a while. If you're a diehard Haskell
developer, Rust is one of the more interesting languages to try out
when you broaden your horizons. Its syntax has a lot in common with
more common, object oriented languages like C++ and Java. But it
also incorporates a lot of ideas that Haskell developers would find
familiar. In this series, we'll learn the basics of Rust, coming
from the perspective of Haskell programmers.
The Guide to Git I wish I had before I started my current job
I've been working with software for well over a decade, and honestly
cannot remember when I started using Git. I used to be a bit wary of
many commands but thought I had a good grasp on what to do when it
came to git. Then I started a new role at a larger company, which
had strict git guidelines. No more messy branches, no crappy commit
messages, everything rebased.
is a serialization and remote procedure call (RPC) framework used
for cross-service communication. Most services at Facebook
communicate via Thrift because it provides a simple,
language-agnostic protocol for communicating with structured
data. Thrift can already be used in programming languages such as
C++, Python, and Java using
fbthrift. We are also
open-sourcing Thrift support for Haskell
The hsthrift package includes the full collection of tools and
libraries for using Thrift in your own Haskell projects. The Haskell
Thrift compiler generates the Haskell code needed to communicate
with other Thrift services, and the included libraries allow you to
build both Thrift clients and servers in Haskell. Haskell Thrift is
fully compatible with all other fbthrift languages, so your Haskell
project can freely communicate with other services no matter what
language they are implemented in!
A Complete Machine Learning Project From Scratch: Setting Up
In this first of a series of posts, I will be describing how to
build a machine learning-based fake news detector from scratch. That
means I will literally construct a system that learns how to discern
reality from lies (reasonably well), using nothing but raw data. And
our project will take us all the way from initial setup to deployed
On a lonely road, a prison transport is brutally assaulted. Martin,
the policeman who was driving, survives and fortifies his position
while the con men search for a way to finish him.
In the evening I watched Below Zero
(2021) on Netflix. About
half-way I got too tired and paused the movie. I liked what I had seen
Setting Up Time Machine on Ubuntu Server 20.04
After building my home server last week, I was faced with a tough
question - why exactly do I need one of these again? Setting up a
Time Machine backup for both my wife's Mac and mine seemed like a
pretty solid endeavor. Unfortunately, the process took longer than
expected - partly because my Linux skills are dull, but mostly
because I needed things to run perfectly.
So please enjoy the fruits of my labor if this is something you're
looking to do also.
Every programming language aims to be performant in its niche and
achieving superior performance requires a lot of compiler level
optimizations. One famous optimization technique is Constant
during compile time the engine tries to recognize constant
expressions, evaluate them, and replaces the expression with this
newly evaluated value, making the runtime leaner.
In this essay, we dive deep and find what exactly is Constant
Folding, understand the scope of it in the world of Python and
finally go through Python's source code -
CPython - and find out how
elegantly Python actually implements it.
The infamous Monad is well known for it’s confusing name and
countless useless tutorials. I won’t attempt to explain what it is
here, but to explain why it is useful to have it available as an
abstraction. One common objection to Monads is that, while they do
seem to capture a shared interface and abstraction, it’s hard to see
what benefit is derived from using Monads. In Haskell, it’s easy
enough to say that the do-notation syntactic sugar requires the
Monad interface and no more, but why are some people so intent on
getting Monads working in Rust, OCaml, and even Java and Python?
Quickly Document Your Postgres Database Using psql Meta-Commands
Let's say you needed to document all of the tables in your
PostgreSQL database. You wanted the output of the “\d“ psql
meta-command for all of the tables so you could put it in a shared
documentation area. However, there were a lot of tables and you did
not want to have to type all the commands that you needed.
But sometimes you will write a series of commands without putting
them into a script. This may be because you are exploring a problem
or because you haven’t bothered to put together a script. No sense
in making something repeatable if you aren’t sure exactly how you
are going to repeat it.
But you may want to look back over past commands you have run,
whether to run them again, modify them or even just remind yourself
what you’ve done. For this, the shell history is very handy. Another
time I often look at the shell history is when I am signing into a
machine that I don’t visit very often. Perhaps there’s a command to
look at some log files that I know, distantly, in the back of my
mind, that I ran four weeks ago. I could have documented it, but
maybe I didn’t. If I look in my command line history, I can see it.
More than you ever wanted to know about font loading on the web
When I started thinking about writing a post about web font loading
my intention was to propose relatively sophisticated ideas that I've
been playing with for a while. However, as I was trying to use them
in real-world websites I realized that deployment of the more
advanced techniques is de-facto impossible without the creation of
new web standards.
With that the TL;dr of this post is: Use font-display: optional. However, I and many others really like our custom
fonts. See the rest of the post for how we can get our cake and eat
it, too–with a
that automatically makes fallback fonts behave like their respective
custom font counterpart.
At this point probably everybody has heard about Docker and most
developers are familiar with it, use it, and therefore know the
basics such as how to build a Docker image. It is as easy as running
docker built -t name:tag ., yet there is much more to it,
especially when it comes to optimizing both the build process and
the final image that is created. So, in this article we will go
beyond the basics and we will look at how we can influence the build
process of Docker images to make it faster and to produce much
slimmer and more secure images for our applications.
Most of the time you want to use class selector using CSS. That's
the most obvious and recommended approach. If these selectors are
properly combined with for example BEM methodology (or any other
methodology), chances are high that your CSS is written in a clear
and reusable way.
However, in long-term projects with legacy code you may find
yourself in such situations:
class names of elements cannot be changed,
HTML can't be changed,
elements can't be reorganized,
elements are loaded dynamically and there's no easy way to add a
The list is open. The point is, that you can encounter situations
where the class, type, or id selectors are not enough. This is when
the other CSS selectors come into play.