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MonoLisa Font

MonoLisa is a new coding-focused font by Marcus Sterz:

As software developers, we always strive for better tools but rarely consider font as such. Yet we spend most of our days looking at screens reading and writing code. Using a wrong font can negatively impact our productivity and lead to bugs. MonoLisa was designed by professionals to improve developers’ productivity and reduce fatigue.

I’m still partial to Operator from Hoefler & Co, but MonoLisa looks very well done.

Github and npm

Speaking of Github, this week it was also announced that Github (aka Microsoft) has acquired the de-facto package manager for JavaScript, npm. 

Nat Friedman, on Github’s blog:

npm is a critical part of the JavaScript world. The work of the npm team over the last 10 years, and the contributions of hundreds of thousands of open source developers and maintainers, have made npm home to over 1.3 million packages with 75 billion downloads a month. Together, they’ve helped JavaScript become the largest developer ecosystem in the world. We at GitHub are honored to be part of the next chapter of npm’s story and to help npm continue to scale to meet the needs of the fast-growing JavaScript community. 

On what’s next:

Looking further ahead, we’ll integrate GitHub and npm to improve the security of the open source software supply chain, and enable you to trace a change from a GitHub pull request to the npm package version that fixed it.

That sounds very cool. Excited to see that piece come together. 

For this Mac-loving tech kid that grew up in the 90’s, I still cringe any time I hear Microsoft doing anything. But this is not the Microsoft of then. They’ve done well with Github so far. They’re doing amazing things with the cloud. I need to get over it. Hopefully this is a new great beginning for npm. 

Github Mobile

New this week: a brand new native iOS and Android app for Github. From what I can tell these are completely native apps. Maybe there’s some web embedded stuff in there, but if there is, I can’t tell and it’s super slick and fast. As it should be. 

The app seems very well designed and thoroughly considered. Handy for managing Pull Requests and Issues on the go. 

Proxyman

Very nice looking app for debugging network requests. Reminds me of the beautiful and powerful Paw app. I love that these little development and tech tools are being so well done lately, rather than having to use some awful cross-platform Java app.

via Brent Simmons

Introducing Tally

Last week I open sourced a new RubyGem called Tally. Tally was created over the past few years as a part of a number of products I’ve worked on and I’ve always wanted to open it up to the public for anyone else to use as they see fit.

Tally is a quick utility for collecting counters and stats throughout a Rails application. Technically I suppose it could be used outside of Rails in a standard Ruby app, but that’s not my use-case so I haven’t spent any time optimizing it for that.

Tally sits on top of Redis for fast collection of these counters. The goal of the stat collection was to make it as fast as possible so that counters could be incremented throughout your application code in real-time.

Periodically throughout the day the counters are extracted from Redis and archived into a standard ActiveRecord model within your application. There’s a single table added to your database that keeps track of the counters each day after they are archived.

That’s it. It’s a quick and simple way to get basic stats reporting into an application. There are certainly bigger players in this space, and I’ve used several before as well. StatsD is a great example of a much more robust and scalable tool for this sort of thing. But in my recent use cases, it’s just a bit overkill. Sure, I could spin up StatsD and get it all to work. But I had bigger areas that I wanted to focus on, so Tally is a great place to start.

Side note: if you’re wanting to collect millions and millions of data points, you probably need something different here. Tally can work, but there are better tools for that job.

I’m currently using Tally for few specific needs, which I think are perfect use cases for the project. Here are a few use cases so far…

Read more…