Change of settings

Upgrade!

Here are some updates, I am on a new contract since three months now. I changed my settings. This is the story of what happened to me after my last introspective dilemma. And my discovery of a new type of developers. Wanna read about that?

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Posted in Devsworld, Life

The typing symbol hack

Introducing the symbolTyper js library ♥

Do you remember as a kid playing with the Wingdings font of Microsoft Word on Windows 95 ? Personally it’s one of my favourite memories. I used to always activate the font and type on the keyboard to discover which symbols appeared on the screen. Every key was hiding a symbol. I never really understood why this font even existed mixed in with Times New Roman and Arial. It was like a pirate in the navy, discarding any character encoding rule, outputting whatever it wanted, like a crazy font. It seemed very odd that engineers would come up with that since it follows no logic and the use is really not obvious. Anyway, I found it very fun to play with and always ended up making some posters or invites with it. In the end I would do something that approached this :

For some reason, I particularly loved the bomb symbol, it is very unique, I’ve never seen it in any other font. So this is what the hack I want to share today made me think of, typing symbols in my childhood. High moment of almost creativity.

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By value, by reference in javascript

The pass by reference mechanism in javascript

Lately I have realized some useful facts about the pass by reference mechanism in javascript.
Let me share them here.

To cut to the chase, there is no such thing as passing a variable as reference in javascript. Variables are always passed as values in arguments. This means that what you can do in PHP for example when you do function test(&$val){} is not possible in javascript, there is no special keyword or symbol to do that.

However, there are some cases when you can “simulate” this behaviour in javascript. But before showing you how to do that, let’s make a recap.

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Posted in Code, Programming, Wiki

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Dude, where’s your paranoia?

Working with Java bears

Today’s story is about security. At work, one of our big construction site is to move old SOAP webservices into modern RESTful webservices. One of these webservices’ job is to generate a personalized pdf for a user based on the id of their banking operation. Doing this was not trivial considering our architecture, but it was rather fun, and it came with extra fun because developers are left alone with themselves to decide how to do things with no site manager to supervise how the building is going to be. No plan, just build it. Developers are expected to be their own architects. So developers are also expected to communicate with each other on how they’re going to do things. Sometimes it leads to funny situations.

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Posted in Devsworld, Stories

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Binary Insert : How to keep an array sorted as you insert data in it ?

With javascript and recursion

Recently I played solving the overlapping rectangles problem. This problem is simple, it is about finding out among a set of rectangles laid out on a surface which are the ones that overlap, with code of course. I will certainly detail my solution later but since it is very big and requires a bit of work and graphics, I prefer starting by sharing small bricks of the solution now.

A brick of the solution involves scanning the x coordinates of each rectangles like you’re moving from left to right reading every x coordinate of a rectangle you encounter, both left and right side. In computing terms, this means you need a structure to put the x coordinates in, and the scanning means the structure needs to be sorted : first x coordinate is the first coordinate you encounter and therefore the smallest one, last x is the largest.

I picked an array as the data structure so I needed this array to be sorted at all times to track the x coordinates. In real life conditions, the rectangles are thrown at you in chaos order and you have to add the x coordinates to your array and keep it sorted. How would you do that? This is the very problem I intend to expose and solve in this article :

How to keep an array sorted as you insert data in it?

My code is in javascript but the reasoning I will describe is totally language agnostic, you can always apply it to your own language.
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Posted in Algorithms, Code

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You can’t be just geek, you know

The sentient developer mode

So today I had an interesting conversation at work. They filled me in about a new position they want to open for a front engineer and they would like me to take the role. Obviously the job interests me, but it interests me only for its technical appeal because it’s an architect job – and this is what I want to do. They were pretty confident for the technical part of the job and didn’t even mention it which was reassuring. However, their biggest concern was if I would be motivated enough to learn more about the actual activity of the company in order to create interfaces with all the business logic in mind. In other words I would need to have a pretty sharp knowledge of the business logic to do the job, I would need to interact with non technical teams and such, they said “We want the closest person to the application to know our business the best” – wow. This is new.

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Posted in Devsworld, Life

The Infometer Concept : Making information measurable

Introducing the Infometer chrome extension

In this article I will show you what’s missing in the way we process digital content and what we could do to improve that with the concept of “Infometer”. It is the rationale behind the Infometer chrome extension that I also introduce here as an illustration of this concept. Continue reading

So I am a heavy reader. My best rate is one book per week. I read mostly practical books that make me learn something and sometimes novels. My reading is consequently very goal driven : I have to understand and learn. Being rather a practical reader, I have developed some reading techniques that make me read faster, with more focus, so that I learn more efficiently.

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Please collect your tickets on the floor

The modern and beautiful cinema Pathe Beaugrenelle

This morning I went to the movies right after my photography class. I love going to this new cinema that recently opened in my neighbourhood, it is so futuristic. It’s very modern, very classy, it has great contemporary design, in fact I think it’s the best movie theater I’ve ever been to, compared to the ones I know from London or the US.

Every time I go there I take the time to observe how they designed the rooms, the furniture, the decoration, it’s really beautiful, it’s like visiting some kind of modern art museum where you can also view movies and eat popcorn, how cool is that. And in the morning the place is empty which makes it even greater, we were just two in the room to watch the movie, perfect. For some reason the place makes me think of Ray Bradbury’s books, it would fit in the future he imagined. I also read it was designed after 2001 a space odyssey, so I really like going there to feel like I’m in the future. Warm feeling.

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Why don’t tech people give a full answer?

The hostile tech person always comes in peace

Today I had the impression I was hostile with one of my non-tech co-worker. He asked me something, and instead of giving him a full well-formed answer I redirected him to reading his emails. It’s only later that I realized what I had done because he seemed a bit pissed about it.

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Posted in Devsworld

Rings, bells and victory

A debugging story Ep02

This is the story of my investigation on solving a cryptic bug that caused a very mysterious session reset. It involves, https, cookie privacy (httponly, secure), understanding of sessions, understanding of the infrastructure, team work and the obsessive need to understand why, why and why. Continue reading

In this episode I will require you to keep your eyes and sockets open. Follow me !

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