#243 — November 20, 2019

Read on the Web

Covering the week's news in software development, infrastructure, ops, platforms, and performance.

Google Cloud Run Now Generally Available — Cloud Run is a serverless compute platform for running stateless HTTP-driven containers (as opposed to Cloud Functions’ purely function-based approach). It’s based on Knative and is available on GCP and for Anthos.

Google Cloud

A Private Equity Company is Acquiring the .ORG Registry — A few months ago, we mentioned the problems many people and organizations were having with price caps being removed for the .org TLD and.. the .org registry is now, perhaps unsurprisingly, being sold, though some are trying to get the sale blocked.

Andrew Allemann

Range: Know What's Happening on All Your Teams — Eng, Product, and Design — Reinvent your standup with Range. Deep integrations with GitHub, Jira, and Slack. Built for remote teams. Try free today.

Range sponsor

Windows to Improve User Privacy with DNS Over HTTPS — It’s certainly a big step to see Windows aiming to support DNS over HTTPS right in its core networking system. They note that “supporting encrypted DNS queries in Windows will close one of the last remaining plain-text domain name transmissions in common web traffic.”


Is Docker in Trouble? — Docker, Inc. recently had to sell off the enterprise portion of its business, raise another $35 million, and change its CEO (again).

J Cole Morrison

Writing Userspace USB Drivers for Abandoned Devices — I seem to love everything this guy writes, and this is no exception.. an amazing post about hacking together a USB driver for some old VGA frame grabbers he found on eBay.

Ben Cox

Quick bytes:

💻 Jobs

Site Reliability Engineer (Remote) — Join our Search Team where we build the infrastructure for search and discovery of Wikipedia content. We are working on Open Source stacks.

The Wikimedia Foundation

Find a Job Through Vettery — Make a profile, name your salary, and connect with hiring managers from top employers. Vettery is completely free for job seekers.


📕 Tutorials

The Language Agnostic, All-Purpose, Incredible, Makefile — A mixture of a love letter to Makefiles and a practical guide to using them for yourself. Goes into more depth than the typical introduction.

Ben Brodie

Building a Serverless 'Weather Bot' with Two-Way SMS, AWS SAM, and AWS Lambda — Sending SMS text messages with Amazon SNS is easy, but did you know messages can go both ways? There’s quite a few moving pieces on show here but the end result is pretty neat with the technique easily applicable to other use cases.

James Beswick

Video for Mobile: Build Video in Just Two API Calls

Mux sponsor

Intent to Explain: Demystifying the Blink Shipping Process — How do features get added to Chrome? What process goes on behind the scenes to bring the latest Web features to Chromium, Blink, et al.? Here’s an overview of the process, and if you prefer a talk/video version, there’s one of those too.


▶  Become An HTML Email Geek With These Videos From Rémi Parmentier — Genuinely useful guides to designing HTML emails and working with the quirks of targeting email clients (truly a minefield compared to normal browsers).

Rachel Andrew

▶  A Tour of Blazor, A New Framework for Browser-Based .NET Apps — It’s been around a while, but as a technology and approach, it’s still taking off and is becoming a headline feature in .NET Core 3.0 and beyond.

Steve Sanderson

Doing Real Web Development on an iPad — It doesn’t appeal to me but people are doing it successfully. This post outlines how to get set up for full-stack development on the iPad, including a look at how iOS automation can help.

Lachlan Campbell

How to Build a WhatsApp Chatbot With Python, Flask and Twilio

Miguel Grinberg

How Containers Work: Overlayfs

Julia Evans

💡 Stories and Opinions

Successfully Merging the Work of 1000+ Developers at Shopify — A look behind the scenes at Shopify, the popular ecommerce platform, and how they’ve implemented a ‘merge queue’ to enable them both to deploy updates from a large number of developers quickly.

Shopify Engineering

The Early History of Usenet, Part I — Usenet, an early Internet based discussion system (though it was also available over BBSes early on), was a huge deal before the Web took off, and it’s 40 years old this month. I miss the 90s Usenet a great deal.

Steven M. Bellovin

A List of All the Tools Used to Create a Hit HTML5 Game on Steam — They sold over 200k units so they clearly got something right.


Labeling 1M Data Points/Week for OpenAI's GPT-2

Akshat Bubna

Ask Hacker News: Do You Write Tests Before The Implementation? — TDD is no panacea.

Hacker News

🛠 Code and Tools

Sourcetrail is Now Free and Open-SourceSourcetrail is a cross-platform ‘source explorer’ that makes it easier to get a look at how a codebase is structured and to navigate through it for yourself.

Coati Software

Clusterman: A Cluster Autoscaler for Kubernetes and Mesos“Remember Clusterman? Now It’s Open-Source, and Supports Kubernetes Too!”


AWS Data Exchange: Find, Subscribe To, and Use Data Products — Another week, another new AWS service! Data Exchange is an addition to AWS Marketplace that contains “licensable data products from over 80 data providers” in areas like financial services, health care / life sciences, geospatial, weather, and mapping.

Jeff Barr

Communicate Your Service Status Simply and Effectively — Reduce downtime impact, take advantage of automation and save time. And resolve issues quickly and with less stress.

StatusHub sponsor

How to Run an Internet Speed Test from the Command Line — A brief guide to two tools, both ultimately leaning upon the popular speedtest service.

Steven Vona

Localstack: A Fully Functional Local AWS Cloud Stack — Yet another way to develop and test your cloud and serverless apps offline :-)


Chatwoot: Simple, Open Source Live Chat Software — Built in Ruby and bills itself as an open source alternative to a service like Intercom.


faster-utf8-validator: A (Very) Fast Library for Validating UTF-8 using AVX2/SSE4“Using AVX2, it can validate random UTF-8 text as fast as .26 cycles/byte, and random ASCII text at .09 cycles/byte.”

Zach Wegner

SF-Mono-Powerline: Apple's SF Mono Font Patched for Powerline Support — It wouldn’t surprise me if this gets taken down, so grab it while you can if you need it.


Kotlin 1.3.60 Released

Debian 10.2 Released
Debian Project

Vault 1.3 Released — A popular system for secrets management.