Useless use of GNU

The GNU project is the source of the Unix userland utilities used on most Linux distributions. Its compatibility with standards and other Unix systems, or lack thereof, directly impacts the overall portability of any piece of software developed from GNU/Linux installations. Unfortunately, the GNU userland does not closely adhere to standards, and its widespread usage causes little incompatibilities to creep into any software created on GNU/Linux systems. Read on for why this is a problem and the pitfalls you will encounter.

August 25, 2021 · Tags: opinion, programming, shell, unix
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Should the browser use all available memory?

We have all seen discussions go like this: someone first complains that an application like Google Chrome is wasteful because it uses multiple GBs of memory. Someone else comes along and says that memory is there to be used for speed and therefore this is the correct behavior: if the computer has multiple GBs of free memory, an application such as Chrome should make use of all the available memory in the form of a cache to be as responsive as possible. Makes sense, right? Yes, it does makes sense—as long as Chrome is the only application running. Let’s explore why this is not a great idea.

August 12, 2021 · Tags: opinion, programming
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Principal engineers should be on-call

A recent tweet that caught my attention read: “principal engineers should be on-call”. Of course they should be! I’m “surprised” they aren’t everywhere, but I can imagine some reasons to justify their situation. Let’s change that in this thread. ๐Ÿงต ๐Ÿ‘‡

July 14, 2021 · Tags: opinion, sre, twitter-thread
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Definitions and initializations in C++

When reviewing an incoming C++ PR last week, I left a comment along the lines: “merge local variable declaration with its initialization”. But why? Is this just a stylistic issue or is there something deeper to warrant making the change? Let’s look at stack frames, C, and then C++ to answer these questions.

July 12, 2021 · Tags: c, c++, readability
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macOS keyboard shortcuts for Windows

Are you a macOS user occasionally dealing with Windows systems or trying to switch platforms? Are you a Windows user that believes that the Windows-native keyboard shortcuts are objectively bad? Are you annoyed by something as simple as copy/pasting text not working consistently across apps? If so, this post will equip you with an AutoHotkey configuration file that brings macOS keyboard shortcuts to Windows. Read on.

July 7, 2021 · Tags: macos, productivity, windows
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EndBASIC 0.7: Hello, cloud!

Several months have passed since the last EndBASIC release and, since then, you might have seen me talk nonstop about an “EndBASIC service” in social media… which has sounded like vaporware. That changes today. After about four months of work, I am ecstatic to announce that EndBASIC 0.7 is here. And these haven’t been four months of idle time. No, no, no. It has taken four months of my scarce free time to deliver this because 0.7 is a humongous release on various fronts.

July 3, 2021 · Tags: endbasic, featured
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From FeedBurner to

An announcement that explains why this blog has had to migrate from FeedBurner-based email subscriptions to a new service offered by If you were subscribed before, please read this; and if you weren’t, please consider subscribing now.

July 2, 2021 · Tags: blog
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