I'm a software person at Prodigy. My COVID projects are currently Pizza & Bread.

The transition to ECMAScript Modules feels like it’s going to mirror the move from Python 2 to Python 3. This is going to be bumpy.

1Password 8

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1Password’s major rationale for moving from AppKit to Electron has been speed of development. They want to ship fast, and they don’t want the cost of supporting another native platform in AppKit. Allen Pike has a great rundown on this argument:

Slow is a dangerous place for a product company to be. Slow product teams tend to be outcompeted by fast ones. We complain about how Figma and Slack don’t feel native, but why are most of us using Figma and Slack? We’re using them because they outbuilt and outcompeted their native competitors. There are so many things that could improve in these products, but they’re the best tools yet built for their purposes.

The major downside, of course, is bloat. More memory and bigger binaries are not ideal for an app that tends to run in the background all the time. And we all have examples of Electron apps that felt big and bloaty.

I figured I’d give the beta a shot when I installed 1Password on my new MacBook Pro. And, I gotta say, I like it better. 1Password was an app that always had a lot of custom UI. They made that UI work with AppKit, but the Electron version feels more solid. It feels less like the ground is going to shift from underneath you. It’s possible (likely?) that this is the result of quality design work and not solely because of the framework, but if we needed to sacrifice to the Electron gods to get this design, I think it’s worth it.

I haven’t noticed any performance lag. Of course, it helps that this MacBook Pro is a ridiculous machine.

My biggest annoyance with it continues to be what is also the most obvious characteristic of Electron apps: immovable modals. Preferences modals are always locked in the middle of the primary window with some custom dimming going on behind them. This is when it feels the most like a non-native web app.

But, I’ll take that tradeoff for a serious design improvement to an app I use every day.

Lucky first try on Wordle. Yep, this is going to be a thing.

Wordle 193 3/6

Now Reddit’s doing the thing where they do a hard push for the app. I don’t get it. I’m interacting with your thing (in this case I even followed a link).

Does an app really benefit you so much over the website that you want to discourage me from using the web?

“NFTs are an occasion for commerce masquerading as art, just as so many ostensibly meaningful experiences of the 21st century turn out to be occasions to spend money masquerading as life.”

This is the best article on NFTs yet.

V for Wikipedia remains one of my absolutely essential iOS apps. It’s been on my homescreen for years. It’s beautiful, fast, and a ridiculously useful bridge to the world’s knowledge in Wikipedia.

I showed my 6-year-old Jurassic Park. He seemed mostly bored by it. Crushed. 🦖

Contrary to popular belief, covering anything with chocolate does not make it automatically better.

Me: “The Lincoln Cathedral is really, really old. It was made in…”

5-year-old: “1997?”

Me: “1072…”

It is with a heavy heart that I recognize the end of Pumpkin Spice Latte season for 2022. It ended too soon. 🎃

Hands down, this MacBook Pro is the best computer I’ve ever owned. It’s so fast and so nice to use.

My son’s been asking about getting a bunch of Sharpies, so I took him to Staples. Of course, he picks the largest Sharpie that has ever Sharpied.

It’s legitimately shocking how broken Shortcuts is in iOS 15. There’s been periods in Apple’s history where software quality has been… lacking, but this is really something else.

After about a decade of using OmniFocus, I’m giving Things a shot. I’m appreciating the opportunity to fully rethink my systems. Initially I thought I’d have issues with how prescriptive it is, but so far I’m finding it actually fits the way I think pretty well.

The only thing that’s making the multiple hours I’ve sat at this car dealership waiting for a repair bearable is the Weather Channel they keep on in the background. They’re the best at making it seem like a little bit of rain is the coming of the apocalypse.

Ben’s Survivor Rule #42: Throwing the challenge is never worth the risk.

Screw B-Trees, the most unfair interview questions are anything that involves the JavaScript Date standard library.

The Highlights

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A few years ago my wife bought me a Kindle for my birthday, and I converted all my reading to the Kindle. I love the e-ink screen. But the feature that I’ve grown to rely on is the highlighting.

I’ve never really been a highlight-while-reading person. In university it always shocked me to see people tarnishing the pages of their incredibly expensive textbooks with brilliant yellow highlights. But, of course, highlights made on a Kindle are digital and sync their way up into the Amazon cloud. The highlights are downloadable, storable, and are a great starting place for notes.

To this, I’ve added Readwise, a service that takes highlights to the next level. It collects highlights from the Kindle, API, and other sources. Every day, it sends an email with random highlights for spaced repetition. And it provides search, API access, and exporting of highlights and notes.

Beyond the Kindle, Readwise can also import highlights from services like Twitter and Instapaper. This means that all my highlights are in one place, my reading contributes to them, and the email digests help me make new connections by surfacing them.

This setup helps me feel like my reading is active. My ADD doesn’t get as distracted, and I’ve been finishing way more books than before. It’s a nice feeling contributing to a corpus that drives my future ability to recall what I have read.