Links and Notes - April 16th 2021

Less sleep. Less food. Poor quality work.

It's just a few days into the month of Ramadan. The effects of it though are felt very strongly. Every year when this month rolls around, my productivity takes a dip. And there's nothing much I can do. The changed sleeping hours and the lack of food and water makes me feel like I'm thinking through a bowl of thick syrup. It's sluggish and I just keep wanting to fall asleep. I'm not special in this regard though. For as long as I've known, friends and colleagues who I've fasted alongside have all felt the same. We think slow, and our patience runs thin.

It makes me think of the people who work on just 4 to 5 hours of sleep daily and who rush through meals only to have one proper meal per day. I don't understand how they function. The fact that most of the people I know personally who do this are CEO's or senior managers boggles my mind. It's well documented what the effects of lack of sleep and proper food are. There are plenty of articles written about people in leadership positions who wrecked themselves like this. But those are stories told from a 3rd person perspective. A "here's what they did and what the result was".

Experiencing this from a personal perspective, it makes no sense to me why people choose to do this to themselves. It's very easy to tell that you aren't functioning correctly. You aren't functioning optimally. Why then would you continue with this pattern of self abuse? The stories of "because I had to make the work happen" makes no sense. It's not hard to have a sense that you are doing less quality work in longer hours as time goes by. I wonder... What drives people to stop realising that eventually?

PHP in 2021

(Via HN)

PHP as a language is a fascination for me. It was The language to use for server side technology when I was just getting into software engineering. For a myriad of reasons including what tech my degree used, I never ended up trying out PHP. Instead, my first real server side code was all written in Python. PHP has since then felt like tech from a bygone era with problems baked into its design that other languages had learnt from and avoided.

At the same time, I've known PHP was alive and kicking for a while to be honest. Heck, Buffer has been using it for the longest while. But it still felt like it was "legacy" tech.

And, in the recent past I've seen a few different projects come up that make use of PHP and frameworks like symfony. And they are modern, performance, and have stayed secure for the longest while.


From the HN thread:

My question is: why would anyone want to start something new with PHP in 2021? Is there anything that it does better than any other language/ecosystem?

All the answers to that question feel like they can be summarized as "because people know it already and there are lots of people who know it".

Those projects I mentioned that use PHP? All written by people who have long histories with PHP. So the question and the curiosity remains. What is PHP in today's world? I'd love to try my hand at it one day when I have some time. I'm dying to learn about it for myself.

Pixel Dailies on Twitter

With me getting into creating retro games using MakeCode Arcade, and with Microsoft MakeCode's game jam coming up, I've been exploring pixel art these days.

I'm not 100% a stranger to this world. Pixel art was on of my favourite categories on DeviantArt. I was especially awed by good pixel art animation. The people who would make the emojis were demi gods of sorts. I might never be able to dig it up, but there were emoji balls that would battle it out in never ending loops of action.

But though stranger I may not be, I am unfamiliar with modern day pixel art and its distribution. So I turned to... Twitter! And boy did it deliver. There are AMAZING artists pumping out work on a daily basis. And one twitter account for signal boosting is, @pixel_dailies. They release daily themes and wow! The community delivers.

Seriously. Just go check out the account and then the hashtags. Prepare to have your mind blown!

This blog doesn't have a comment box. But I'd love to hear any thoughts y'all might have. Send them to [email protected]

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Posted on April 16 2021 by Adnan Issadeen