Recently, I have been messing around with writing and deploying AWS Lambda
Functions and Microsoft Azure Functions - two “serverless” technologies that
have a lot of promise for certain applications.
For development environments, both rely on using docker images provided by
the respective vendors to run your functions locally.
I attempted to set up Docker on Ubuntu 16.04 by running sudo apt install docker,
which appeared to succeed.
However, when attempting to run docker run hello-world - a command which
should pull a ‘hello world’ image from one of the public docker repositories,
then run it - I received an error to the effect of:
docker: Got permission denied while trying to connect to the Docker daemon socket at unix:///var/run/docker.sock
The solution to this problem is to either (a) run your docker commands as root,
or (b) add your login user to the docker group.
Option (a) is not preferred, as introducing a sudo dependency will quickly lead
you to ‘sudo hell’ where everything of use requires sudo.
For option (b), you can run sudo usermod -a -G docker $USER, which will add your
user to the docker group.
For the change to take effect, you will need to fully log out of your account and log
Over the past week or so, I have been spending a lot more time reading blogs.
Upon reflection, I am trying to fill a specific hole in my life: I’m not having enough interesting discussions with smart people who have interesting things to say about things that I don’t know about.
That sentence seems a bit long, and maybe convoluted, but I think it is about right. The absence of it is grinding on me.
Prior to 2006, I think this mostly came from speaking to my parents. Being under 12, this was acceptable.
From 2006 to 2009, this mostly came from spending an inordinate amount of time on a old-school web forum that, while centered around a particular game, had a politically diverse, tight knit community who liked to talk about all sorts of things.
From 2009 to 2011, I had truly fantastic teachers and classmates as conversation partners at Robinson High School in Tampa, Florida. In particular, three of my History teachers spent hundreds of hours in ‘study hall’ discussing all manner of things, ultimately teaching me much more than the State of Florida would’ve liked.
From 2011 to 2014, interesting discussions came from a combination of college classes (interesting, but outside of the mathematical classes, lacking), the University Economics Society at the University of Florida (light on economics, heavy on interesting discussion), and thousands of hours of discussion with Steve Spalding (@sbspalding) and Miguel Barbossa (@MiguelABarbossa, check out citizenaudit.org).
I graduated, I threw myself into my company, and then another. For a period in 2016, I got my fill from a wonderful private Facebook group. But like most communities, its moment ended; while it tided me over, after the 2016 election, the high quality discussion ended1.
Then, for three months in 2017, I had a taste of this again, hanging out with the wonderful Richard Stein in Hong Kong.
Given that for the majority of my life I’ve gotten most of my interesting discussion online, it shouldn’t be hard to reconstruct this.
But since 2014, the world has moved. Going through my old follow lists, many people are no longer active. Those who are active are posting less interesting (alternatively: less controversial) ideas in public spaces2.
I am resolved to rebuild. I’ve started by rejecting algorithmic aggregation3: I want to find content that makes me a better thinker and person, not content that monetizes well. The ‘indie web’ (we used to call it ‘the web’).
Here are the blogs that I find interesting and you should check out, along with a couple of keywords:
Dan Luu’s Blog: Low level programming, computer engineering, excellent essays about the market for technical talent.
DaedTech: Mostly commentary on navigating freelance technology roles; excellent writing.
Ben Kuhn: I’ve not read the archives, but general technology, effective altruism.
Decibels and Decimals, Brady Fowler’s music / data sci blog; not super active but every post is a delight.
These ‘Email Marketing’ providers each do email delivery, but only through their ‘email marketing’ platform.
These providers only provide tools to send emails to ‘contacts’ - not generic or transactional emails.
Each generally has some sort of campaign / newsletter creation tool, and usually some analytics and often optimization options.
Pricing is generally based on the number of ‘contacts’ that you have in your contact database.
These providers provide an SMTP API to provide email delivery from your application via an SMTP server and/or an API.
Some of them also provide ‘email marketing’ or ‘marketing automation’ services.
Pricing is generally based on the number of emails sent per month, and may be per-use or tiered into subscription levels.
My framework of choice is Rails. Rails’ default ORM, ActiveRecord, is very good, but it does not provide any real integration for views, materialized or otherwise. This becomes an issue, as views can only be dropped and re-defined - not incrementally changed with add_column or the like - thereby requiring us as developers to manually ensure that we’re correctly defining the view each time we wish to update it.
Originally, this post was going to be a discussion of some of the ways of managing this complexity, but I have since discovered scenic, a gem by thoughtbot designed specifically for managing materialized views. I recommend you check it out for all of your view management needs.