Issue 116

Lori M Olson Lori M Olson Follow Sep 21, 2022 · 6 mins read
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DRD116: The don't be evil issue.
(credit: Tech Nick on Unsplash)

OPED — Lori’s Unvarnished Opinion

Dark Patterns

I’ve mentioned these before. For example, the microscopic close button is one of the most commonly used and abused dark patterns out there in the wild. The one thing that I am absolutely sure of, is that every single one of my readers is familiar with this pattern, and has been afflicted by it. And I’m also sure you have a few favourites of your own.

So if everyone knows it, sees it—and hates it—why is it still so common? Because dark patterns fall into this creepy cobweb infested crevasse where ‘free’ content subsidized by advertising is joined at the hip with completely unethical practices.

I think that we need to work a little harder to figure out ways to provide value, without abusing the people we depend upon to make a living. Just a thought.

Speaking of Making a Living...

One of the significant ways that you can contribute back to the people who create things for you for free is to provide reviews and testimonials. If you have found value/enjoyment/entertainment in using DragonRuby, Amir would be super grateful for a review. Doing that on, for example, is just one click away.

And if you have learned useful things from the free (or paid) content in the WNDX School, I would also be grateful if you could leave a comment on the course, or reply to this email and let me know what you liked.

BTW, check it out! Amir and I are both going to be speaking at RubyConf 2022 in Houston this year. I hope to see some of you there!


TALK — Talk of the Tech

A friend of ours who edits an online journal provided a startling statistic the other day: that the average amount of time a reader reads an article before their attention wanders is a paltry one minute and 12 seconds. So why would anybody write anything longer than that if nobody is going to read it? Fortunately, each of the items from the two main DRGTK/DragonRuby chat spaces take not much more than that to read in their entirety.

  • Bugsnag — Georges Auberger wrote a very succinct, to-the-point review of crash reporters which touches briefly on Sentry, RayGun and Crashalytics. But he eventually concluded (spoiler alert) Bugsnag best met all his criteria including, importantly, displaying the message associated with MethodMissing.

  • We Love Trains — Particularly the ones that belch steam and smoke when crossing over the Glenfinnan Viaduct, for example (which, indidentally, you’ll find on the West Highland Line in Scotland not to mention a pretty famous movies series). All of which is just a setup for this neat little discussion led by Ceph, who appears to be building a really lifelike train simulation. Hopefully he also eventually gets the steam and smoke just right, too.

Do you have a DragonRuby-related product or service you would like to get in front of well over 1,200 raving DragonRuby-istas? If so, please get in touch...we would love to help you get the word out in a sponsored spot like this!  Sponsored

SPOT — Spotlight On…

Hands up everybody who knows what a tetromino is? The wrong answer is ‘the latest seasonal allergy medication’, but then again it really does sound like that. No, it’s actually the name of the playing pieces in that old chestnut 🌰 Tetris. If you have ever considered rolling your own version using DRGTK, you’re in luck. A recent tweet from Nezir Zahirović reminded us that Ryan C. Gordon has a video tutorial mini-series on exactly that subject.

GAME — All Things Gaming

Not familiar with Noun-Verb diagrams? We weren’t. But turns out they are a pretty good, intuitive way of documenting processes. And if you want a great, highly relevant example, here’s one which documents the gameplay loop for Dead Static Drive. Even knowing nothing about the game, a few minutes of studying this diagram gave us a pretty good feel for what’s what.

Tech newsletter content crunch? Intellog can help. And they have a special offer for DRD subscribers: they will curate and write the first issue of your newsletter for free. Find out more.  Sponsored

APP — All Things App

SaaS? PaaS? IaaS? Are all the ‘as a service’ offerings giving you a pain in the aaS? Us too, but every once in a while one comes along which defers our primal scream just a little, because the idea is actually pretty good. How about BaaS, as in backend as a service. Candidly, we think that something which pulls all the backend details together makes sense. If you think so too, then check out Appwrite 1.0, the first stable release of the “open-source backend-as-a-service”.

TWIL — This Week I Learned…

A few years ago, there was an excellent documentary on PBS called The Origami Revolution. It was an eye-opener for what has become of the humble, 1000 year old Japanese paper folding craft. But once in a while we are reminded of its elegant complexity that can make things look simple and beautiful again. What had that impact on us, recently, was a tweet from Massimo on the subject of Hypercubes by Andreas Markus Hoenigschmid.

HAHA — And They All Laughed

A typical day for a senior software engineer. You’ll either laugh because it’s true or cry—also because it’s true. Click the image for the punchline.

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“We’re all twisted messes inside. What matters is how we manifest our actions on the surface.” — Andrew Mayne, Dark Pattern