Technology

This Week in Programming: Break up with Your Pandemic Resolutions

4 Apr 2020 6:00am, by

I know, I know. You were laid off from your job or sent to work from home and you immediately thought to yourself “with all this extra time, I’m going to get so much done!” What, with no commute and nobody to distract you by stopping by your desk to chat, you’ll be distraction-free! You signed up for that Python course you’d been dilly-dallying on, dusted off that personal side-project that has been sitting on the sidelines for years, busted out the yoga mat for that daily practice you always thought you just never had time for and got ready to get after it…

…and then nothing happened.

Personally, I’ve had brief periods of productivity and focus, but they have been more often the exception rather than the rule. Working on the internet from home can be a distracting endeavor in the best of times, and right now is not, to say the least, the best of times. With Twitter, Facebook, Reddit and whatever news source you prefer just a Control-T away, focus is a precious commodity at the moment and I come to you with little in the way of recommendations, other than that, again, we might just have to be okay with that fact.

All that’s to say, it’s alright if you drew up a list of self-improvements and you haven’t crossed off a single thing. You’ve broken up with more than one New Year’s resolution in your life, so there’s nothing unusual about giving yourself some leniency on the pandemic promises you made to yourself. And if nothing else, hey, at least GitHub went down this week, so you can use that as an excuse too.

This Week in Programming

  • GitLab Moving 18 Paid Features to Open Source: This week, GitLab announced that 18 features are moving to open source, covering much of the entire software development and delivery lifecycle. In an email, GitLab EVP of Product Management, Scott Williamson told us that the features “cover many aspects of the software development lifecycle, including project planning, development, design management, service desk management, package management, Kubernetes management, and release management.” While the move has been given the go-ahead, GitLab isn’t going to do it all by itself and it’s looking for help from the community. The company writes that “if having this functionality in Core/Free is important to you, we invite you to contribute yourself to speed up the process. We’re not just giving you permission to help us move this code — we’re asking you to help us move it.”
  • TypeScript 3.9 Beta Brings Faster Compile Times: Microsoft has released TypeScript 3.9 Beta, saying that the release focuses on “performance, polish, and stability.” According to InfoWorld, the headline-grabbing feature is that it will slash compile times, addressing “extremely poor editing and compilation speeds associated with some packages.” The effort has led to “significant reductions of compile times — roughly 40% in the case of material-ui, for example,” writes InfoWorld, noting that the production release of TypeScript 3.9 is expected for May 12. JAXEnter also wrote up the new release, pointing out the editor improvements alongside compile times, also highlighting Microsoft as writing that “although the ‘awaited type‘ was initially planned for a 3.9 release, it will have to wait a little longer,” as “a lot of code was being impacted by awaited and we’ve decided that we need to back out the feature to ensure that we can roll it out more smoothly later on…”
  • StackOverflow Goes Dark: Goes dark, that is, in that ever-desired manner consistently requested by you troglodyte developers — it turned on its dark mode this past week and has penned a blog post looking at the difficulties of building dark mode on Stack Overflow, which, by the way, it says was “the 12th most upvoted question on Stack Overflow’s Meta community (out of 41,785 questions) and the #1 most upvoted on Feature Request overall.” So, like, rejoice, because you finally have your way. To turn it on, just head over to your user preferences.
  • The Kubernetes IDE: For you unfortunate, mythical “full-stack” developers out there, who not only have to code but also manage Kubernetes, one solution for your woes has been making the rounds this week: Lens calls itself a “Kubernetes IDE” and it comes in the form of a standalone application for MacOS, Windows and Linux that provides visibility, real-time statistics, log streams and hands-on troubleshooting capabilities, as well as the ability to fully manage your Kubernetes clusters. Released under the MIT license, Lens offers built-in Prometheus stats, the ability to manage multiple clusters and multiple workspaces, and a built-in “context-aware terminal”. But don’t take our word for it, listen to this weird robotic lady tell you how it works.

  • The ‘True Open Source Alternative to Visual Studio Code’: Speaking of IDEs, we wrote earlier this week about the first production-ready version of the Eclipse Theia code editor, which the Eclipse Foundation says offers “a true open source alternative to Visual Studio Code” for companies looking to build their own IDEs. Chances are, you’ve already run into Theia without even realizing it, as it already serves as the basis for Red Hat’s CodeReady Workspaces, the Eclipse Foundation’s own Eclipse Che, and Google Cloud Shell. One enticing feature of Theia is that it is fully compatible with all the Visual Studio Code extensions out there, giving it lots of language support right out of the gate. While Theia can be compiled into a standalone IDE with some work, right now it is primarily focused on being the basis for new IDEs in numerous verticals.
  • Google Opens Up Code Search: Google has decided to open up Code Search for Google open source projects, calling it one of their “most popular internal tools.” Code Search lets you search for code using regular expressions, filtering by things such as language and cross-reference, and provides that “suggest-as-you-type” experience you know from using Google itself. Check out the quick reference for all the ways you can search. Right now, Code Search launches with support for Angular, Bazel, Dart, Flutter, Go, Tensorflow and several more, with others expected to be added over time.
  • Tech Versus COVID-19: Last up this week, there are a few more resources launched this last week to help you techies in the battle against COVID-19 and we wanted to offer them up quickly before returning to your previously scheduled Netflix binge session. First, Google has launched a COVID-19 public datasets program that gives researchers and educators free access to a hosted repository of public datasets, including Johns Hopkins Center for Systems Science and Engineering, the Global Health Data from the World Bank, and OpenStreetMap data. And for those of you awash in data but without the processing power to handle it, well, there’s always quantum computing, right? Techcrunch writes that D-Wave is giving anyone working on responses to the COVID-19 free cloud access to its quantum computers. “The offer isn’t only valid to those focusing on new drugs,” they write, “but open to any research or team working on any aspect of how to solve the current crisis, be that logistics, modeling the spread of the virus or working on novel diagnostics.” And finally, IBM has offered up “Watson Assistant for Citizens” to provide responses to COVID-19 questions, which it says is being used by a number of government agencies already.

GitLab is a sponsor of The New Stack.

Feature image via Pixabay.

A newsletter digest of the week’s most important stories & analyses.