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Pierre Palatin (Palats)
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Pierre Palatin (Palats)

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Digging into reddit new mobile website performance issues:
https://github.com/reddit/reddit-mobile/issues/247
Been meaning to do a performance audit of the new mobile site. I'm going to drop it right here into the ticket. I may add comments as I go along. Initial Test: Loading (total duration: 45 seconds)...
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Pierre Palatin (Palats)

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Hey folks, I'm looking for a job.

I'm a sysadmin/programmer, with 14 years of experience. I'd like a job either in Switzerland, or one that allows me to work remotely. I do not have good German at the moment, so being able to work in English is a requirement in the short term. My CV is available here: http://diamond.ichbinn.net/priv/plus-wae5sheB/stephen-shirley-cv.txt

If you know of any jobs that might match what I'm looking for, or even companies worth considering, please let me know.

Thanks :)
Curriculum Vitae ======================================================================== Personal Details ---------------- Name: Stephen Shirley Address: Ankerstrasse 38, 8004 Zürich Telephone: +41-76-4656-784 E-mail: kormat@gmail.com ...
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Pierre Palatin (Palats)

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Fascinating presentation on the history of the notion of API - and how subroutines came to be a thing.
Excerpt I particularly liked about Wilkes work in the beginning of the 50s:, "at the time there was no notion of backward compatibility - there was no legacy programs" 

http://goo.gl/WLKLQc
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I especially liked:
"""Geeks get to spend more time hacking
─ less time talking to lawyers"""
I'm not sure whether lawyers will be very sensitive to this argument.
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Pierre Palatin (Palats)

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So, it seems that 75% of IKEA pictures are actually computer generated:
http://www.cgsociety.org/index.php/CGSFeatures/CGSFeatureSpecial/building_3d_with_ikea

Quite impressive rendering.
It takes more than an Allen Key to create IKEA's incredible visualisations
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Now I understand why they don't look as good in my living room.
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Pierre Palatin (Palats)

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So, I've been writing a simple lisp interpreter in Go:

  https://github.com/Palats/glop

This is mostly a toy project, with no intention of targeting real usage. I'm mostly writing to learn a bit more about lisp (and variations). There are still a lot of basic things missing.

Also, instead of trying to focus on making it a minimal lisp interpreter (like the excellent http://norvig.com/lispy.html ), I'm trying to dig into error management - how to have good information when something fails. This is something which I found usually lacking in many parsing&interpreter tutorial despite being the source of many interesting problems.
glop - A go lisp interpreter
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Pierre Palatin (Palats)

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Depuis le chateau de Peyrelade
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Pierre Palatin (Palats)

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How to ray trace a blackhole, with even a bit of science in it:
http://rantonels.github.io/starless/
It's now clear I'm on a Black Hole binge (I can stop when I want, by the way). They're endlessly fascinating. My recent interest was in particular focused on simulating visualizations of the Schwarzschild geometry. I was preoccupied by the problem of generating a decent accurate representation ...
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Pierre Palatin (Palats)

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And the award for most mind-boggling compiler optimisation ever goes to ..... Matthias Grimmer and Chris Seaton!

One problem people have when trying to speed up fundamentally slow scripting languages like Python and Ruby is that because the original implementations are so lethargic, people often rewrite parts in C to try and speed core things up. But these C extensions usually just plug straight into the original interpreter, making it difficult for anyone to ever do a better engine than the original because nobody can afford to rewrite all the extensions. It's like a tarpit of slow.

From the blog post:

"Our new solution in JRuby+Truffle is pretty radical - we're going to interpret the C source code of your extension. As we'll explain, JRuby+Truffle with an interpreter for C extensions is actually faster than running compiled C extensions using MRI!"

And they aren't kidding. Rewriting from Ruby to a C extension for some image processing tasks gets a 10x speedup. Going from Ruby to JRuby+Graal+interpreted C extension gets a 35x speedup! Of course it's not really interpreting C. It's actually doing a Java-style just in time cross language profile guided compile of the C/Ruby mix, on top of the actual HotSpot JVM, meaning that amongst other tricks ... it can actually inline both languages into each other at the machine code level! And it's benefiting from the 20+ years of performance research that has gone into the JVM.

Doing whole program optimisation across a dynamic scripting language and C on top of the JVM has to be the wildest mashup of programming technologies I've seen for years. Congrats to both of these mad scientists!
Very High Performance C Extensions For JRuby+Truffle. Matthias Grimmer and Chris Seaton, 27 October 2014. Ruby and C. C extensions are a big part of the Ruby ecosystem. They allow people to write Ruby programs to include C code for a variety of purposes. They may hope to make their Ruby program ...
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Whoa.
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Pierre Palatin (Palats)

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I had the occasion to try light bot with a 9 years old:
   http://light-bot.com/

This is an app to learn the basics of programming - in an extremely visual and easy way. This does not try to teach you an existing language, but instead to just gives you some base concepts, such as instructions, calls and loops.

This is really well done - what needs to be done is clear and the progression is  nice. The interface is also intuitive - when you do something, it does what you expect. Overall, I'm quite pleasantly surprise by overall quality.

There's a free version with a few levels too:
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.lightbot.lightbothoc
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It's an amazing game.
I was amazed how well my 7 year old daughter progressed in it.
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Pierre Palatin (Palats)

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A nice article about rvalues references in C++:
http://thbecker.net/articles/rvalue_references/section_01.html

It explains the details of how they work, the && annotation, move semantics and perfect forwarding.

Also, while C++11 might fool you sometimes as being a nice language, there are still enough traps :)
Rvalue references are a feature of C++ that was added with the C++11 standard. What makes rvalue references a bit difficult to grasp is that when you first look at them, it is not clear what their purpose is or what problems they solve. Therefore, I will not jump right in and explain what rvalue ...
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Pierre Palatin (Palats)

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Depuis le sommet des ruines de Roc Castel a Le Caylar
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Pierre Palatin (Palats)

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One of the funny things about having a number of pictures with a fairly non-restrictive license on the web is that sometimes you find your pictures in funny places. Case in point: my http://www.flickr.com/photos/ipalatin/6032496238/sizes/l/ is illustrating, among others, http://renaissance-hotels.marriott.com/united-states/george-dragon-pub-and-restaurant-phoenix and on http://www.irelandwanderer.com/where-to-eat-the-best-fish-and-chips-in-ireland/. (Both are reasonably properly attributed, so I have absolutely no problem with that, obviously.) The irony of this: as far as "chips" are concerned, I would expect oven-baked parsnip sticks to not be an illustration of choice :D
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Have them in circles
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Palats
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Palats
Introduction
Geek, software engineer, tinkering with things from linux internals to minecraft, with some amount of python, javascript and other things. Boardgaming and a fair bit of RPGs and Warhammer 40k here and there too.

My Scratchpad gives a small example of the kind of things I do.