Useful Stuff I Read This Week

I am again starting a newsletter (sort of) with no expectations on its frequency. I will share links that I find useful and my short take on them. 

Coding in the Cloud with Codespaces – Link

Why codespaces:

  • On demand standard dev environments
  • Brings uniformity
  • Make software dev more accessible
  • Reduces friction
  • Enable quick experimentation

We have not commoditized dev. We have commoditized everything else.

Learn to think in sed, awk, and grep – Link

Learn how to do text processing with sed, awk, and grep

Why you should be deploying Postgres primarily on Kubernetes – Link

Covers many reasons why you may want to run Postgres on Kubernetes. Reasons include production ready configuration, connection pooling, automated backup, monitoring, high availability setup, and few others. Also, it talks about an interesting project called Stackgres that automates all of that. With a few lines of YAML you can have your full setup automated and running on Kubernetes in less than an hour.

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Podman: The Missing Tutorial

I have been using Docker since late 2013 and for me and many others Docker has revolutionised the way we build, package, and deploy software. As a community we are grateful to Docker and its creators. Docker is one of the first tools that I install on my dev machine. It used to be always running on my MacBook and anytime I wanted to try a new technology I preferred to install it using Docker. Just do a docker run <tech> and you are good to go. But, this has changed in the last couple of years. Docker for Mac is still installed but I no longer keep it running. The main reason for that has been the amount of resources it consumes, distracting fan noise, and MacBook becoming too hot. There are many issues filed in the Docker for Mac issue tracker on Github where developers have shared similar experience. Still, I kept using it as there was no good alternative available.

A couple of weeks back I learnt that Docker has changed its monetization strategy. Docker Desktop (Docker for Mac and Docker for Windows) will soon require subscription. From the Docker blog published on 31st August 2021 I quote:

  • Docker Desktop remains free for small businesses (fewer than 250 employees AND less than $10 million in annual revenue), personal use, education, and non-commercial open source projects.
  • It requires a paid subscription (Pro, Team or Business), starting at $5 per user per month, for professional use in larger businesses. You may directly purchase here, or share this post and our solution brief with your manager.
  • While the effective date of these terms is August 31, 2021, there is a grace period until January 31, 2022 for those that require a paid subscription to use Docker Desktop.
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Playing with htmlq, awk, and sed

Last week I discovered htmlq, a CLI tool to extract content from HTML. It is similar to jq, a very powerful and popular command-line JSON processor.

The best way to learn a tool is to use it for something useful. In this short post, I am showing you how I used htmlq to extract content from my Github profile

Finding name of all the repositories on the first page

curl --silent\?tab\=repositories \
| htmlq 'a[itemprop="name codeRepository"]' \
| htmlq --text --ignore-whitespace \
| awk '{$1=$1};1' \
| sed '/^$/d'

It lists the last updated 30 repositories.

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On Reading, Creativity, and Self-Reflection

This week I had an interesting discussion with a close friend. We have known each other for more than twenty years and whenever we see each other we ask each other what we have learned since we last met. This one question leads to many other questions and we spend many hours discussing different aspects of life and work. 

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Why is it ok to write pass-through services in a Microservices architecture?

This week I had a discussion with one of the developers in my organization on pass-through services. A Pass-through service is a service that wraps an existing service without much logic. Its job is to delegate to the downstream service. The existing service could be legacy service or an external third party API. The developer was questioning the purpose of pass-through services and the amount of development effort that goes in writing and maintaining them. In this post I am sharing the reasons that I gave to the developer to help him understand why pass-through services are not a bad idea and they can be helpful in the long run.

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