Archive for August 20, 2020

Thursday, August 20, 2020

Taking Ownership of Rust

Rust Core Team (via Hacker News):

Notwithstanding the deep personal impact, the Rust project as a whole is very resilient to such events. We have leaders and contributors from a diverse set of different backgrounds and employers, and that diversity is a critical strength. Further, it is a common misconception that all of the Mozilla employees who participated in Rust leadership did so as a part of their employment. In fact, many Mozilla employees in Rust leadership contributed to Rust in their personal time, not as a part of their job.


[The] Rust Core Team and Mozilla are happy to announce plans to create a Rust foundation. The Rust Core Team’s goal is to have the first iteration of the foundation up and running by the end of the year.


While we have only begun the process of setting up the foundation, over the past two years the Infrastructure Team has been leading the charge to reduce the reliance on any single company sponsoring the project, as well as growing the number of companies that support Rust.


Russell Kirsch, RIP

DL Cade (Hacker News):

Computer scientist Russell A. Kirsch, the inventor of the pixel and an undisputed pioneer of digital imaging, passed away on Tuesday in his Portland home from complications arising from a form of Alzheimer’s disease. He was 91 years old.


As DPReview points out, Kirsch never stopped improving on his most famous invention, even after retiring in 2001. In a 2010 interview with WIRED, he outlined his attempts to create a system that uses “variable shaped pixels” instead of the squares that have dominated digital imaging since he invented them.


In 1951 Kirsch joined the National Bureau of Standards as part of the team that ran SEAC (Standards Eastern Automatic Computer). SEAC was the U.S.’s first stored-program computer to become operational, having entered service in 1950.

Russell Kirsch (via Hacker News):

I’ve been against Macintosh company lately. They’re trying to get everyone to use iPads and when people use iPads they end up just using technology to consume things instead of making things. With a computer you can make things. You can code, you can make things and create things that have never before existed and do things that have never been done before.

That’s basically what Alan Kay said. There’s just something about him calling Apple “Macintosh company.”

What Changed Before SwiftUI 1.0

Kuba Suder:

However, I was surprised to see how many of those things I wrote down don’t work anymore.[…]

And the problem is that all those old APIs are still there in the WWDC videos from last year. But WWDC videos are usually a very good source of knowledge, people come back to them years later looking for information that can’t be found in the docs, Apple even often references videos from previous years in new videos, because they naturally can’t repeat all information every year.

This was bothering me enough that I decided to spend some time collecting all the major changes in the APIs that were presented in June 2019, but were changed later in one place.

Weather Apps, After Dark Sky

Jonas Downey:

This is an existential threat to indie weather apps. We’re now forced to:

A) Find a new provider that’s comparable and integrate it instead of Dark Sky.
B) Create a new set of widgets that are at least as good as Apple’s (preferably better!)
C) Do all of this in about 3 months.

We also have to learn all the new tech, update our existing app to work with iOS 14, and deal with the fact that this is all beta software that’s clunky, poorly documented, and barely works in a bunch of ways.

Oh, and Apple has special access to private APIs that we don’t have.

I was hoping Apple would integrate the Dark Sky features into the iOS 14 API. That would make it easier to develop (if not necessarily to sell) weather apps, as several of them have better interfaces than Apple’s own. Instead, they’ve improved the built-in app but made things worse for fans of alternate apps.