2 Matching Annotations
  1. Jul 2022
    1. we quickly found it to be the wrong match for our content-heavy documentation experience. Gatsby inherits many dependency chains to provide its featureset, but running the dependency-heavy toolchain locally on contributors’ machines proved to be an incredibly difficult and slow task for many of our documentation contributors

      This wouldn't be so annoying to read if it weren't the case that this was solved like 15+ years ago by the right tool for the job: wikis.

      I see the "neo-OSS era" or "New Social era" of today to stand in sharp contrast with what I've previously referred to as the Shirky era. In the world of software development, the regressions from the transition from the Shirky era to the present, monumental though those regressions are, have been quietly underreported (seemingly hardly even perceived). We've seen the rise and consolidation of open source project management around a centralized (and perversely, closed source) service provider that's more of a social network and valued for that reason than it is a decent bugtracker or wiki. It calls things wikis that aren't, not just diluting the word but instead transforming it into something that is by now effectively meaningless—along with encouraging awful mixing of support requests and freeform discussion with bugtracking (but that's beside the point).

      The big hallmark of this era: obtuse publishing pipelines that seek to replicate the compiler-input →compiler → compiler-output workflow, pushed heavily by new programmers who first encountered compilers during this era and encouraged by others who bafflingly insist on applying this poorly chosen hammer to the non-nail-shaped problem. Why? What I can make out:

      1. the omnipresent and inescapable influence of Ra

      2. a desperation for legitimacy at a time when low-level system programming has been in decline

      3. people just genuinely unable to perceive the effects of complexification, like the way some people cannot enjoy cilantro, or the way others cannot accurately track the passage of time without external help

      It'd be nice if we could get back to a place where we understood that the point of all this stuff is to make things easier—particularly in the here and now, and not in some mythical, never-reached promised land where travelers are perpetually kept away by the YAGNI demons.

  2. Jun 2021
    1. They are artifacts of a very particular circumstance, and it’s unlikely that in an alternate timeline they would have been designed the same way.

      I've mentioned before that the era we're currently living in is incredibly different from the era of just 10–15 years ago. I've called the era of yesterdecade (where the author of this piece appeared on Colbert a ~week or so after Firefox 3 was released and implored the audience to go download it and start using it) the "Shirky era", since Shirky's Here Comes Everybody really captures the spirit of the times.

      The current era of Twitter-and-GitHub has a distinct feel. At least, I can certainly feel it, as someone who's opted to remain an outsider to the T and G spheres. There's some evidence that those who haven't aren't really able to see the distinction, being too close to the problem. Young people, of course, who don't really have any memories of the era to draw upon, probably aren't able to perceive the distinction as a rule.

      I've also been listening to a lot of "old" podcasts—those of the Shirky era. If ever there were a question of whether the perceived distinction is real or imagined these podcasts—particularly shows Jon Udell was involved with, which I have been enjoying immensely—eliminate any doubts about its existence. There's an identifiable feel when I go back and listen to these shows or watch technical talks from the same time period. We're definitely experiencing a lowpoint in technical visions. As I alluded to earlier, I think this has to do with a technofetishistic focus on certain development practices and software stacks that are popular right now—"the way" that you do things. Wikis have largely fallen by the wayside, bugtrackers are disused, and people are pursuing busywork on GitHub and self-promoting on social media to the detriment of the things envisioned in the Shirky era.