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First off, a Merry Christmas to everyone who celebrates, happy holidays to everyone, and happy almost-new-year!
Tim and I are very happy with the year devRant has had, and thinking back, there are a lot of 2017 highlights to recap. Here are just a few of the ones that come to mind (this list is not exhaustive and I'm definitley forgetting stuff!):
- We introduced the devRant supporter program (devRant++)! (https://devrant.com/rants/638594/...). Thank you so much to everyone who has embraced devRant++! This program has helped us significantly and it's made it possible for us to mantain our current infrustructure and not have to cut down on servers/sacrifice app performance and stability.
- We added avatar pets (https://devrant.com/rants/455860/...)
- We finally got the domain devrant.com thanks to @wiardvanrij (https://devrant.com/rants/938509/...)
- The first international devRant meetup (Dutch) with organized by @linuxxx and was a huge success (https://devrant.com/rants/937319/... + https://devrant.com/rants/935713/...)
- We reached 50,000 downloads on Android (https://devrant.com/rants/728421/...)
- We introduced notif tabs (https://devrant.com/rants/1037456/...), which make it easy to filter your in-app notifications by type
- @AlexDeLarge became the first devRant user to hit 50,000++ (https://devrant.com/rants/885432/...), and @linuxxx became the first to hit 75,000++
- We made an April Fools joke that got a lot of people mad at us and hopefully got some laughs too (https://devrant.com/rants/506740/...)
- We launched devDucks!! (https://devducks.com)
- We got rid of the drawer menu in our mobile apps and switched to a tab layout
- We added the ability to subscribe to any user's rants (https://devrant.com/rants/538170/...)
- Introduced the post type selector (https://devrant.com/rants/850978/...) (which will be used for filtering - more details below)
- Started a bug/feature tracker GitHub repo (https://github.com/devRant/devRant)
- We did our first ever live stream (https://youtube.com/watch/...)
- Added an awesome all-black theme (devRant++) (https://devrant.com/rants/850978/...)
- We created an "active discussions" screen within the app so you can easily find rants with booming discussions!
- Thanks to the suggestion of many community members, we added "scroll to bottom" functionality to rants with long comment threads to make those rants more usable
- We improved our app stability and set our personal record for uptime, and we also cut request times in half with some database cluster upgrades
- Awesome new community projects: https://devrant.com/projects (more will be added to the list soon, sorry for the delay!)
- A new landing page for web (https://devrant.com), that was the first phase of our web overhaul coming soon (see below)
Even after all of this stuff, Tim and I both know there is a ton of work to do going forward and we want to continue to make devRant as good as it can be. We rely on your feedback to make that happen and we encourage everyone to keep submitting and discussing ideas in the bug/feature tracker (https://github.com/devRant/devRant).
We only have a little bit of the roadmap right now, but here's some things 2018 will bring:
- A brand new devRant web app: we've heard the feedback loud and clear. This is our top priority right now, and we're happy to say the completely redesigned/overhauled devRant web experience is almost done and will be released in early 2018. We think everyone will really like it.
- Functionality to filter rants by type: this feature was always planned since we introduced notif types, and it will soon be implemented. The notif type filter will allow you to select the types of rants you want to see for any of the sorting methods.
- App stability and usability: we want to dedicate a little time to making sure we don't forget to fix some long-standing bugs with our iOS/Android apps. This includes UI issues, push notification problems on Android, any many other small but annoying problems. We know the stability and usability of devRant is very important to the community, so it's important for us to give it the attention it deserves.
- Improved profiles/avatars: we can't reveal a ton here yet, but we've got some pretty cool ideas that we think everyone will enjoy.
- Private messaging: we think a PM system can add a lot to the app and make it much more intuitive to reach out to people privately. However, Tim and I believe in only launching carefully developed features, so rest assured that a lot of thought will be going into the system to maximize privacy, provide settings that make it easy to turn off, and provide security features that make it very difficult for abuse to take place. We're also open to any ideas here, so just let us know what you might be thinking.
There will be many more additions, but those are just a few we have in mind right now.
We've had a great year, and we really can't thank every member of the devRant community enough. We've always gotten amazingly positive feedback from the community, and we really do appreciate it. One of the most awesome things is when some compliments the kindness of the devRant community itself, which we hear a lot. It really is such a welcoming community and we love seeing devs of all kind and geographic locations welcomed with open arms.
2018 will be an important year for devRant as we continue to grow and we will need to continue the momentum. We think the ideas we have right now and the ones that will come from community feedback going forward will allow us to make this a big year and continue to improve the devRant community.
Thanks everyone, and thanks for your amazing contributions to the devRant community!
Looking forward to 2018,
- David and Tim48
In a user-interface design meeting over a regulatory compliance implementation:
User: “We’ll need to input a city.”
Dev: “Should we validate that city against the state, zip code, and country?”
User: “You are going to make me enter all that data? Ugh…then make it a drop-down. I select the city and the state, zip code auto-fill. I don’t want to make a mistake typing any of that data in.”
Me: “I don’t think a drop-down of every city in the US is feasible.”
Manage: “Why? There cannot be that many. Drop-down is fine. What about the button? We have a few icons to choose from…”
Me: “Uh..yea…there are thousands of cities in the US. Way too much data to for anyone to realistically scroll through”
Dev: “They won’t have to scroll, I’ll filter the list when they start typing.”
Me: “That’s not really the issue and if they are typing the city anyway, just let them type it in.”
User: “What if I mistype Ch1cago? We could inadvertently be out of compliance. The system should never open the company up for federal lawsuits”
Me: “If we’re hiring individuals responsible for legal compliance who can’t spell Chicago, we should be sued by the federal government. We should validate the data the best we can, but it is ultimately your department’s responsibility for data accuracy.”
Manager: “Now now…it’s all our responsibility. What is wrong with a few thousand item drop-down?”
Me: “Um, memory, network bandwidth, database storage, who maintains this list of cities? A lot of time and resources could be saved by simply paying attention.”
Manager: “Memory? Well, memory is cheap. If the workstation needs more memory, we’ll add more”
Dev: “Creating a drop-down is easy and selecting thousands of rows from the database should be fast enough. If the selection is slow, I’ll put it in a thread.”
DBA: “Table won’t be that big and won’t take up much disk space. We’ll need to setup stored procedures, and data import jobs from somewhere to maintain the data. New cities, name changes, ect. ”
Manager: “And if the network starts becoming too slow, we’ll have the Networking dept. open up the valves.”
Me: “Am I the only one seeing all the moving parts we’re introducing just to keep someone from misspelling ‘Chicago’? I’ll admit I’m wrong or maybe I’m not looking at the problem correctly. The point of redesigning the compliance system is to make it simpler, not more complex.”
Manager: “I’m missing the point to why we’re still talking about this. Decision has been made. Drop-down of all cities in the US. Moving on to the button’s icon ..”
Me: “Where is the list of cities going to come from?”
<few seconds of silence>
Dev: “Post office I guess.”
Me: “You guess?…OK…Who is going to manage this list of cities? The manager responsible for regulations?”
User: “Thousands of cities? Oh no …no one is our area has time for that. The system should do it”
Me: “OK, the system. That falls on the DBA. Are you going to be responsible for keeping the data accurate? What is going to audit the cities to make sure the names are properly named and associated with the correct state?”
DBA: “Uh..I don’t know…um…I can set up a job to run every night”
Me: “A job to do what? Validate the data against what?”
Manager: “Do you have a point? No one said it would be easy and all of those details can be answered later.”
Me: “Almost done, and this should be easy. How many cities do we currently have to maintain compliance?”
User: “Maybe 4 or 5. Not many. Regulations are mostly on a state level.”
Me: “When was the last time we created a new city compliance?”
User: “Maybe, 8 years ago. It was before I started.”
Me: “So we’re creating all this complexity for data that, realistically, probably won’t ever change?”
User: “Oh crap, you’re right. What the hell was I thinking…Scratch the drop-down idea. I doubt we’re have a new city regulation anytime soon and how hard is it to type in a city?”
Manager: “OK, are we done wasting everyone’s time on this? No drop-down of cities...next …Let’s get back to the button’s icon …”
Simplicity 1, complexity 0.16
People who use smartphones with brightness set to 100% and no blue light filter on a dark bus at night with the display (7+ inches ofc) in the direction of your eyes... thanks, now I’m blind.9
The tech stack at my current gig is the worst shit I’ve ever dealt with...
I can’t fucking stand programs, especially browser based programs, to open new windows. New tab, okay sure, ideally I just want the current tab I’m on to update when I click on a link.
Ticketing system: Autotask
Fucking opens up with a crappy piss poor sorting method and no proper filtering for ticket views. Nope you have to go create a fucking dashboard to parse/filter the shit you want to see. So I either have to go create a metric-arse tonne of custom ticket views and switch between them or just use the default turdburger view. Add to that that when I click on a ticket, it opens another fucking window with the ticket information. If I want to do time entry, it just feels some primal need to open another fucking window!!! Then even if I mark the ticket complete it just minimizes the goddamn second ticket window. So my jankbox-supreme PC that my company provided gets to strugglepuff along trying to keep 10 million chrome windows open. Yeah, sure 6GB of ram is great for IT work, especially when using hot steaming piles of trashjuice software!
I have to manually close these windows regularly throughout the day or the system just shits the bed and halts.
RMM tool: Continuum
This fucker takes the goddamn soggy waffle award for being utterly fucking useless. Same problem with the windows as autotask except this special snowflake likes to open a login prompt as a full-fuck-mothering-new window when we need to open a LMI rescue session!!! I need to enter a username and a password. That’s it! I don’t need a full screen window to enter credentials! FUCK!!! Btw the LMI tools only work like 70% of the time and drag ass compared to literally every other remote support tool I’ve ever used. I’ve found that it’s sometimes just faster to walk someone through enabling RDP on their system then remoting in from another system where LMI didn’t decide to be fully suicidal and just kill itself.
Our fucking chief asshat and sergeant fucknuts mcdoogal can’t fucking setup anything so the antivirus software is pushed to all client systems but everything is just set to the default site settings. Absolutely zero care or thought or effort was put forth and these gorilla spunk drinking, rimjob jockey motherfuckers sell this as a managed AntiVirus.
We use a shitty password manager than no one besides I use because there is a fully unencrypted oneNote notebook that everyone uses because fuck security right? “Sometimes it’s just faster to have the passwords at the ready without having to log into the password manager.” Chief Asshat in my first week on the job.
Not to mention that windows server is unlicensed in almost every client environment, the domain admin password is same across multiple client sites, is the same password to log into firewalls, and office 365 environments!!!
I’ve brought up tons of ways to fix these problems, but they have their heads so far up their own asses getting high on undeserved smugness since “they have been in business for almost ten years”. Like, Whoop Dee MotherFucking Doo! You have only been lucky to skate by with this dumpster fire you call a software stack, you could probably fill 10 olympic sized swimming pools to the brim with the logarrhea that flows from your gullets not only to us but also to your customers, and you won’t implement anything that is good for you, your company, or your poor clients because you take ten minutes to try and understand something new.
I’m fucking livid because I’m stuck in a position where I can’t just quit and work on my business full time. I’m married and have a 6m old baby. Between both my wife and I working we barely make ends meet and there’s absolutely zero reason that I couldn’t be providing better service to customers without having to lie through my teeth to them and I could easily support my family and be about 264826290461% happier!
But because we make so little, I can’t scrap together enough money to get Terranimbus (my startup) bootstrapped. We have zero expendable/savable income each month and it’s killing my soul. It’s so fucking frustrating knowing that a little time and some capital is all that stands between a better life for my family and I and being able to provide a better overall service out there over these kinds of shady as fuck knob gobblers.5
Two big moments today:
1. Holy hell, how did I ever get on without a proper debugger? Was debugging some old code by eye (following along and keeping track mentally, of what the variables should be and what each step did). That didn't work because the code isn't intuitive. Tried the print() method, old reliable as it were. Kinda worked but didn't give me enough fine-grain control.
Bit the bullet and installed Wing IDE for python. And bam, it hit me. How did I ever live without step-through, and breakpoints before now?
2. Remember that non-sieve prime generator I wrote a while back? (well maybe some of you do). The one that generated quasi lucas carmichael (QLC) numbers? Well thats what I managed to debug. I figured out why it wasn't working. Last time I released it, I included two core methods, genprimes() and nextPrime(). The first generates a list of primes accurately, up to some n, and only needs a small handful of QLC numbers filtered out after the fact (because the set of primes generated and the set of QLC numbers overlap. Well I think they call it an embedding, as in QLC is included in the series generated by genprimes, but not the converse, but I digress).
nextPrime() was supposed to take any arbitrary n above zero, and accurately return the nearest prime number above the argument. But for some reason when it started, it would return 2,3,5,6...but genprimes() would work fine for some reason.
So genprimes loops over an index, i, and tests it for primality. It begins by entering the loop, and doing "result = gffi(i)".
This calls into something a function that runs four tests on the argument passed to it. I won't go into detail here about what those are because I don't even remember how I came up with them (I'll make a separate post when the code is fully fixed).
If the number fails any of these tests then gffi would just return the value of i that was passed to it, unaltered. Otherwise, if it did pass all of them, it would return i+1.
And once back in genPrimes() we would check if the variable 'result' was greater than the loop index. And if it was, then it was either prime (comparatively plentiful) or a QLC number (comparatively rare)--these two types and no others.
nextPrime() was only taking n, and didn't have this index to compare to, so the prior steps in genprimes were acting as a filter that nextPrime() didn't have, while internally gffi() was returning not only primes, and QLCs, but also plenty of composite numbers.
Now *why* that last step in genPrimes() was filtering out all the composites, idk.
But now that I understand whats going on I can fix it and hypothetically it should be possible to enter a positive n of any size, and without additional primality checks (such as is done with sieves, where you have to check off multiples of n), get the nearest prime numbers. Of course I'm not familiar enough with prime number generation to know if thats an achievement or worthwhile mentioning, so if anyone *is* familiar, and how something like that holds up compared to other linear generators (O(n)?), I'd be interested to hear about it.
I also am working on filtering out the intersection of the sets (QLC numbers), which I'm pretty sure I figured out how to incorporate into the prime generator itself.
I also think it may be possible to generator primes even faster, using the carmichael numbers or related set--or even derive a function that maps one set of upper-and-lower bounds around a semiprime, and map those same bounds to carmichael numbers that act as the upper and lower bound numbers on the factors of a semiprime.
Meanwhile I'm also looking into testing the prime generator on a larger set of numbers (to make sure it doesn't fail at large values of n) and so I'm looking for more computing power if anyone has it on hand, or is willing to test it at sufficiently large bit lengths (512, 1024, etc).
Lastly, the earlier work I posted (linked below), I realized could be applied with ECM to greatly reduce the smallest factor of a large number.
If ECM, being one of the best methods available, only handles 50-60 digit numbers, & your factors are 70+ digits, then being able to transform your semiprime product into another product tree thats non-semiprime, with factors that ARE in range of ECM, and which *does* contain either of the original factors, means products that *were not* formally factorable by ECM, *could* be now.
That wouldn't have been possible though withput enormous help from many others such as hitko who took the time to explain the solution was a form of modular exponentiation, Fast-Nop who contributed on other threads, Voxera who did as well, and support from Scor in particular, and many others.
Thank you all. And more to come.
Links mentioned (because DR wouldn't accept them as they were):
my boss in my first job. in general every time when he randomly burst into office. one specific time when he burst i to office and INSISTED that we've got to go to a parking lot to see something.
that something was a remote-controlled helicopter he just bought. (this was before the age of drones).
oh, and he was a chain smoker, always had a cigarette behind his ear (wat), and was dragging me out to have a smoke (i was the only other programmer smoker, but not as heavy as him) every 10-15 minutes under the implied pretense of needing to discuss something about the code, and frowned heavily when i refused (because i was actually in the middle of actual work), because he took it as me refusing to have a work meeting with him.
no, we almost never talked about anything work-related, while on that smoke "work meeting".
also, my boss' boss in my first job, when she entered the office asking "we need a clickable map of our country where clicking each region brings you to a search page with filter set to results from that region. how would we do that?"
i answered "html imagemap linking to the right search url for each region, or embedded flash doing the same, if you want the region buttons to be animated", and turned back to my work.
upon which she proceeded to talk about it with the second programmer, both pretending they're solving some aspects that my answer didn't already solve, INSISTING that i stop doing "whatever nonsense you're doing" and pretend that i'm paying attention as if anything they said was in any way relevant or important. i kept returning to my work because i was solving an annoying bug and their talk was empty and useless.
this second incident was then cited as one of the reasons i was let go, because "he ignores important conversations with his superiors about upcoming tasks"
in general, my first job was a shitshow where nobody had any time or energy to do actual work because they all expended all of it to PRETEND for their superiors that they're working, since the superiors had no clue how it looks when we actually do our actual jobs.
(one month after i was let go (because, in my boss' words, yes, the one with the helicopter, "the IT productivity is very low and I have to hold someone responsible") , the second programmer was let go as well, and one month after that, our boss (head of IT) was let go too. to this day I keep being fascinated how did the company manage to survive long enough for me to even be there, let alone how it STILL manages to survive. i guess being part of a nation-wide conglomerate is very effective in covering your company's losses and uselessness)1
If you spend a lot of time looking with computers then PLEASE use a blue light filter to reduce strain in your eyes as well to help you sleep well.
My favorite program for this is "redshift" and can be set up with this one liner
apt-get install redshift && redshift -O 300015
Hey devs, really need some help here. This is driving me crazy...
We're currently taking issues from the company via mail. We've got a group mail that goes to the three of us at the IT department. Problem is, colleagues just forward customers emails without event trying to help, which means that we get stupid issues like "I can't sign in", and no further information. We're currently using Jira, and I was thinking perhaps we can set up a Jira Service Desk? Then we could have an internal help desk where issues could be submitted, and require some important fields, and perhaps add a checklist. Have you had any experience with Service Desk? Do you think it would be a good idea to have a "normal" person have an account there as well to filter out the normal "Have you tried restarting your computer" stuff? Is it suited for non-developers?
Any other ideas?
Yeay, messy question, but I'm fucking desperate...5
"So our price widget doesn't allow decimals, you'll have to create a custom widget"
I do it.
"Hey, It's not working and I verified it's applying the filter correctly. I noticed my price is a string in your index, maybe that's incorrect and causing it to not work?"
They say: "Yep, you'll need to run an update to fix that and change all to floats" (charges an arm and a leg for the thousands of index operations needed to update the data type)
I clear the index and send a single one as a test, verifying it's a float by casting it using (float) then var_dumping. It shows "double(3.99)", but when it gets to Algolia, it's 0.
So I contact support.
"Hi, I'm sending across floats like you say but it's receiving it as 0, am I doing something wrong? Here's my code and the result of the var_dump"
They respond: "Looks like you're doing it right, but our log shows us receiving 3.999399593939, maybe check your PHP.ini for "serialize_precision" and make sure it's set to -1"
I check and it's fine, then I realize that var_dump is probably rounding to 2 decimal points so I change my cast to (float) number_format($row['Price'], 2) and wallah...it works.
Now I've wasted days of paying for their service, a ton of charges for indexing operations, and it was such a simple fix.
if they had thrown an error for the infinite decimal, that would have helped, but instead I had to reach out to find out that was the issue.