YAGNI, Cargo Cult and Overengineering

It’s 2012. We’re redesigning my employer’s flagship product. The first version was a monolith that used the boring MySQL. Spending too much time reading blogs and Hacker News comments section, we convinced ourselves that we need to go big and modern:

  • Break monolith into service-oriented architecture, aka, the SOA.
  • Replace MySQL with Cassandra (MySQL to Redis to Cassandra)

And we built it.

There was nothing wrong with the new system… except one major flaw. It was too complex for a small startup team to maintain. We had built a Formula One race car, that makes frequent pit-stops and requires very specialized maintenance, when we needed a Toyota Corolla that goes on for years and years on just the oil change.

YAGNI, Cargo Cult and Overengineering – the Planes Won’t Land Just Because You Built a Runway in Your Backyard

The incredibly challenging task of sorting colours

How can we sort colours so that they look as continuous as possible? Which parameters affects the sorting order? Is azure closer to blue (similar hue) or to cyan (similar luminosity)? I can stop you all here and say that there is no solution to this problem. You can sort colours, but the overall result depends on what you are trying to achieve. This post will explore how colours can be sorted, and how this can lead to very different results.

Alan Zucconi setzt sich mit der Frage auseinander, wie man Farben am besten sortiert. So viel sei verraten: es gibt nicht die Antwort, sondern es kommt wie so oft darauf an, was genau man erreichen möchte.

Mozilla Observatory

Observatory by Mozilla is a project designed to help developers, system administrators, and security professionals configure their sites safely and securely.

Ein praktisches Tool, mit dem man unter Anderem die Konfiguration seiner Web-Applikationen und Webserver unter Security-Gesichtspunkten abklopfen kann.

Observatory by Mozilla

Every Noise at Once

Every Noise at Once

This is an ongoing attempt at an algorithmically-generated, readability-adjusted scatter-plot of the musical genre-space, based on data tracked and analyzed for 1387 genres by The Echo Nest. The calibration is fuzzy, but in general down is more organic, up is more mechanical and electric; left is denser and more atmospheric, right is spikier and bouncier.

Hier verschafft man sich vor dem Klicken besser einige freie Zeit, denn die braucht es definitiv wenn einmal begonnen hat … Großartige Webapp!

EurKEY – The European Keyboard Layout

EurKEY – The European Keyboard Layout

EurKEY is based on the american keyboard layout. That’s because the american layout is much more convenient to type specific characters. These include :// in http://, [] and {} in source code, or slashes (/) and backslashes (\) in a Unix shell.

Seit über zehn Jahren bestelle ich alle Computer immer mit US-Tastatur-Layout; beim Programmieren und Arbeiten in Shells ist alles Andere eine unnötige Bremse. EurKEY nimmt jetzt das US-Layout und sortiert die sekundären Tastenbelegungen (Alt, AltGr usw.) so um, dass zusätzlich auch Texte in europäischen Sprachen leicht getippt werden können. Das Beste aus beiden Welten sozusagen. Das umständliche Tippen von Umlauten unter OS X gehört damit der Vergangenheit an: statt Alt-U gefolgt von a reicht nun ein Alt-a um den Buchstaben ä zu tippen. EurKEY ist mittlerweile mein systemweites Tastatur-Layout.

-ach, -ingen, -zell

-ach, -ingen, -zell

A visual exploration of the spatial patterns in the endings of German town and village names. I picked the most interesting suffixes from https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ortsname and cross-referenced them with a list of place names from geonames. (Note: The approach is not 100% scientific, as I only match the letters at the end of the string, not actual syllables.) It’s a dataset I always found interesting to explore; plus, this quick experiment gave me the opportunity to play a bit with a few new tools and libraries I wanted to learn more about. Find the code at: http://github.com/moritzstefaner/ach-ingen-zell

Gib den Leuten Daten und sie bauen tolle Sachen daraus. Die wunderschön umgesetzte Visualisierung der regionalen Häufigkeit von Endungen deutscher Ortsnamen untermauert diese These.

The Website Obesity Crisis

The Website Obesity Crisis

This is the text version of a talk I gave on October 29, 2015, at the Web Directions conference in Sydney.

The Website Obesity Crisis

Let me start by saying that beautiful websites come in all sizes and page weights. I love big websites packed with images. I love high-resolution video. I love sprawling Javascript experiments or well-designed web apps.

This talk isn’t about any of those. It’s about mostly-text sites that, for unfathomable reasons, are growing bigger with every passing year.

While I’ll be using examples to keep the talk from getting too abstract, I’m not here to shame anyone, except some companies (Medium) that should know better and are intentionally breaking the web.

Unterhaltsamer Vortrag von Maciej Cegłowski (Pinboard), welcher viele valide Punkte hat, aber dann doch hin und wieder über’s Ziel hinausschießt und an den Realitäten vorbeigeht. Einige Punkte sind Wunschdenken von uns technisch versierten Internetbewohnern, finden aber kaum Schnittmengen mit den Ansprüchen der normalen™ Menschen da draußen. Trotzdem eine sehr empfehlenswerte Lektüre.

The American Landscape, From Space: Denver, the Rockies, and Colorado Captured by DigitalGlobe’s Satellite

The American Landscape, From Space: Denver, the Rockies, and Colorado Captured by DigitalGlobe’s Satellite – The Atlantic

On September 10, 2015, a satellite named WorldView-3 was whisking on its regular path from pole to pole, locked in orbit 400 miles above the eastern Pacific Ocean.

WorldView-3 is one of the most advanced privately owned Earth-observing satellites in use. It’s owned and operated by DigitalGlobe, a corporation that supplies imagery to the U.S. National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency and Google Maps. If you’ve seen an orbital view of the planet that showed streets and buildings, it’s likely you were looking at an image captured by WorldView-3 or another DigitalGlobe satellite.

On that late summer day, though, WorldView-3 followed an unusual path. In the late morning, as it passed over the Pacific, it turned back and looked at the continent to the east. Gazing over Los Angeles; the Mojave desert; the Grand Canyon; and the southern tip of Utah, it captured an image of Colorado.

Here is that image, which has never previously been released to the public.

Eines der beeindruckendsten Satellitenbilder, die ich bisher gesehen habe (zumindest von denen mit der Erde als Motiv).