Prototype wrapup #8

Things are looking a bit better on the prototype front. last week I got behind and missed a day, and this week I was determined to do all 7 that I committed to.


This was my second run at trying out different langauges for my superlative number market idea. This time I tried Rust, and I found it a lot more approachable than Pony. I managed to get a working web service that could store and retrieve a message, though I confess at a certain point I lost my grip on the memory management and just arbitrarily sprinkled ref/mut/&/move/as_ref/unwrap/Mutex around until it worked. I can see how the model could be very powerful once I've internalised it.


I find myself writing a really basic jQuery knockoff in one line at the top of my files a lot. jQuery's huge and I really just want a little bit of sugar over the DOM, which, in modern browsers at least, is surprisingly bearable. I thought it'd be pretty fun to try to make a modern jQuery small enough to fit in a tweet. Unfortunately I only got it down to 162 characters, but it can query for 1 or multiple elements and create documentFragments from html strings, which is pretty good considering.


This was MeDB, the first part of my stats resurgence. It's a little plumbing utility to load data into InfluxDB for use as a personal metrics database. I got as far as recording public GitHub stats and CouchDB documents from my website, but I designed it to be extensible for more plugins and things. At some point I'll probably clean it up a little and drop it all on npm as a real project.


This was the second part, Monotonic, which pulls data out of InfluxDB and puts it into my CouchDB. Nothing terribly fancy here, but I needed it for the stats to work. Much like MeDB, this is designed to be extensible so I can add more stats later.


This one turned into a full-blown project called pullitzer. Basically I wanted to mirror some of my GitHub repos to my server as a kind of ghetto deployment system. I got to spend a bit of fun time messing around with HMACs and things, but mostly it was pretty straightforward. It's now powering WTFISydJS, all part of my master plan to remove all manual intervention from updating that site.


This one got way out of hand. I'd had an idea for doing Markov chain music for a while, and I wrote a bit of code but never really stuck into it. This time I did, but it turns out splitting all the samples out, although quite relaxing, was incredibly time consuming. I totally blew my time estimate doing it, but I ended up with a fun demo and something to put up on GitHub. What I'd really like to do in a future prototype is add some nice graphics like I did with the later Audiomata prototypes.


This was an idea that rose out of some quibbles I had with Redux's actions. Everything just seemed so wordy. I thought it'd be interesting to see if I could make something a bit nicer. Architecturally, Redux is a lot of fun to work with. It's not that there's anything amazingly mindblowing in there, it's just good design and good code. The end result of my tinkering ended up being about 30 lines, which is very nice and largely a result of having a decent system to build on top of.

So I did well this week, but I still feel squarely in the yellow zone. I still blew through my time limits a few times, and if things had gone even a little bit differently I might not have made it. So for the mean time I'm going to keep at it, keep committing. and work at it until it gets easier. Until next week!