Issue 118

Lori M Olson Lori M Olson Follow Oct 19, 2022 · 5 mins read
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DRD118: No matter what the future brings / As time goes by...
Davis Brothers Clock Shop interior, Park Avenue, New York from 1893. (credit: Unknown via Wikimedia in public domain.)

OPED — Lori’s Unvarnished Opinion

Who Will Be the Internet's Timekeeper?

I sometimes wonder how many software developers even realize the extent of the ‘free’ labour that goes into maintaining the infrastructure that keeps our development world running.

I was reminded of this when I ran across this recent article in The New Yorker (of all things!) entitled The Thorny Problem of Keeping the Internet’s Time by Nate Hopper. It’s a delightful—and deeply disturbing—tale of the principal developer of the lowly, open-source, almost invisible Network Time Protocol. Spoiler alert: he’s 84 and has severe visual impairment related to glaucoma. And yet, without the code he wrote (and still oversees to some degree), civilization as we know it kinda ends. Yikes. (img: University of Delaware)

If you work for yourself, consider spending some time contributing or donate some hard cash to these vital efforts. If you work for a company, lobby for them to contribute, in staff time or hard cash.

The future of civilization may well depend on it.

Meet People at Conferences!

If you don’t have your ticket for RubyConfMini yet, now’s the time to get cracking. You won’t want to miss out on community member Cameron Gose’s DragonRuby workshop From Start to Published, Create a Game with Ruby!

And…check around before you go and find other community members to hang out with! One of the most valuable parts of conferences is all the person-to-person connections you make.

Fellow humans in the same room at the same time—this is a new and exciting trend which we really think is going to catch on!

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

TALK — Talk of the Tech

Here are our selections from the Slack and Discord chat spaces respectively:

  • Curse of Knowledge — There are those amongst us who have used Emacs (and similar editors) for so many years, it’s sometimes hard to remember the obscure ‘this is not obvious for people who have never encountered’ terms. Like Ctags, for example, as could have been easily applied in this scenario.

  • Latest DRGTK Release — v3.23 just hit the streets, and Amir has provided some release notes on Discord for your edification.

TWIL — This Week I Learned…

</a>If you’re still wondering where all this AI/ML hype is heading, checkout Whisper which employs “large-scale weak supervision” and claims “human level robustness and accuracy”. That includes multiple languages, variations in the speed of speech and thick accents. There’s a paper, code and a model card available for your review.

Now, if they manage to hook it up to some open-source lip reading software, they’ll really have something, mwa-ha-ha-ha!

SPOT — Spotlight On…

A couple of issues back we professed our love for trains 🚂 and we’re happy to continue on that theme. This is an entry in the Teeny Tiny Game Jam from Dee Schaedler appropriately called Teeny Tiny Trains: “[a]void a collision between two out of control trains!” That sounds right up our alley…er, or should we say railway tracks.

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

GAME — All Things Gaming

Sometimes it’s just about the code and sometimes it’s about what the code represents and what it can teach you. This is one of these times. From Euroku Talk 2022 How Music Works by Thijs Cadier. Here’s the slidedeck. Or, if you’re one of those who likes to skip ahead to the code, here it is. We’re not sure any of this would work in DragonRuby, but it would be interesting to try.

HAHA — And They All Laughed

Because this is the last newsletter before Hallowe’en, courtesy of Aula-J on Twitter!

APP — All Things App

Speaking of Hallowe’en 🎃 sometimes there is something to be learned by looking at somebody else’s horror show and take from that precisely what not to do. There are five great examples in Questionable Ruby. Hilarious and, yes, horrifying!

The World’s Best DragonRuby Newsletter can be delivered to you—at least it will be if you subscribe! Follow the WNDX School on Facebook, and don’t forget to follow WNDXLori on Twitter and Instagram.

If you enjoyed this issue of the DragonRuby Dispatch, please forward to a friend and ask them to subscribe, too…we really appreciate it!

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“98% of the people who get the magazine say they read the cartoons first—and the other 2% are lying.” — David Remnick, editor of the New Yorker. (credit: Max Schneider via Wikimedia under CC BY-SA 2.5)