Programmer Weekly - Programmer Weekly - Issue 211

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Programmer Weekly

Welcome to issue 211 of Programmer Weekly. Let's get straight to the links this week.

Quote of the Week 

"Pasting code from the internet into production code is like chewing gum found in the street." - Mike Johnson

Reading List

Debugging with Production Neighbors
Uber's approach leverages the SLATE tool to address production issues by replicating problem states across similar environments. This method allows engineers to observe and debug issues as they manifest in production, ensuring accurate and efficient resolution. By utilizing SLATE, Uber can compare and analyze behaviors in different environments, making it easier to identify and fix anomalies.

Writing an IR from Scratch and survive to write a post
This post talks about the design of the first version of the Intermediate Representation of Kunai, the design decisions and how it was implemented.

Detecting hallucinations in large language models using semantic entropy 
Large language models (LLMs) like ChatGPT and Gemini often generate false or unsubstantiated outputs, posing risks in fields like law, journalism, and medicine. A new statistical method using entropy-based uncertainty estimators can detect these "hallucinations" by evaluating the uncertainty of the generated meaning rather than specific word sequences, improving reliability without requiring task-specific data.

Testing Generative AI for Circuit Board Design
We test LLMs to figure out how helpful they are for designing a circuit board. We focus on utility of frontier models (GPT4o, Claude 3 Opus, Gemini 1.5) across a set of design tasks, to find where they are and are not useful. They look pretty good for building skills, writing code, and getting useful data out of datasheets.

Building search-based RAG using Claude, Datasette and Val Town
Retrieval Augmented Generation (RAG) enhances large language models by incorporating external knowledge through search engines to answer questions accurately. Simon Willison implemented this with Claude 3.5 Sonnet, using SQLite full-text search in Datasette and Val Town for prototyping, completing the task in a live coding session.

How to Design an ISA
The article discusses the principles and considerations involved in creating an Instruction Set Architecture (ISA). It highlights the growing popularity of RISC-V and the reduced barriers to entry, which have led many groups to develop their own instruction sets. The article provides a comprehensive guide on the key elements of ISA design, including the importance of simplicity, extensibility, and compatibility, while also addressing the challenges and trade-offs involved in the process​ (CACM)​ .

Watch and Listen

The Fear Factor in Maintainable Software
Does your team’s software give you warm fuzzies, or does it leave you filled with fear? On this episode of Maintainable, Scott Hanselman, VP of Developer Community at Microsoft, shares his take on the emotional and human side of well-maintained code, how teams can overcome the fear that leads to technical debt, and the importance of finding balance between prep work and shipping.

Building Docker Images - Best Practices
You'll learn how to build Docker images as fast as possible, with the smallest file size possible.

VIM Essentials Course for Beginners
Learn the essentials required for working with VIM as your developer tool of choice.

Inter-System Messaging with NATS & Jetstream
In a world where messaging systems dictate "The Right Way," NATS defies norms, offering flexibility to behave as a queue, log, or request/response protocol with minimal client configuration. Jeremy Saenz explores NATS' inner workings, features, and trade-offs, revealing what makes it truly unique.

The key to a happy Rust/C++ relationship
Aida G., a member of one of Meta’s first Rust teams, joins Pascal Hartig on the latest Meta Tech Podcast to dive into the challenges of getting Rust to interact with Meta’s large amount of existing C++ code.

Interesting Projects, Tools and Libraries

Midday is an all-in-one tool designed to help freelancers, contractors, consultants, and solo entrepreneurs manage their business operations more efficiently. It integrates various functions typically scattered across multiple platforms into a single, cohesive system.

A cross-platform asciinema(v2) terminal session recorder for MacOS/Linux/Windows. Currently a better choice than the official one.

Offline alternative to Notion. Eidos is an extensible framework for managing your personal data throughout your lifetime in one place.

A high-frequency trading and market-making backtesting tool in Python and Rust, which accounts for limit orders, queue positions, and latencies, utilizing full tick data for trades and order books, with real-world crypto market-making examples for Binance Futures 

tachyonfx is a ratatui library for creating shader-like effects in terminal UIs.

Command line artificial intelligence - Multi-vendor generation in your terminal.

A better dotenv–from the creator of `dotenv`.
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