Allen's Dev Blog

New job; new stuff to learn

July 03, 2022 — Allen

I started a new position back in April and so far it's been perfect. I'm a senior engineer and I'm not only allowed to make things−I'm expected to. I think I may have found the place I want to retire from.

To that end, I've been working on a user telemetry server. It's like all the pieces of my life are lining up. I'm using Sequelize for the persistence layer. Like many software libraries, it's very nice, but the documentation is atrocious. It seems no one told the Millennials that you can't use a word to define itself.

It took me forever to work it out, but the difference between references and Associations (ie. has/belong) is the former defines the DDL and the Associations seem to define the same analogous relationships in the object model.

Tags: TIL, winning

Now in COLOR!

June 02, 2021 — Allen

I found a very simple way to interpolate various colors over time, creating a fading/gradient effect. I had the picture in my head of what I wanted the behavior of each color channel to be and then defined simple functions with that behavior.

color functions

Tags: snippets

I tried; I really tried

December 07, 2020 — Allen

I really wanted to use React components on my form. I wanted to use React in a project to learn more about it since I'm forced to use React at work. But, at work, we don't use many libraries and they have the build system already which includes Babel (which I still refuse to use in my personal work). And these toolchains have gotten out of control. It's using the packager to run the transpiler, to parse the pseudo-languages…to catch the spider, to catch the fly… So, bottom line, the JavaScript toolchains are an unusable mess and I will not voluntarily learn any of it.

The final approach I took was using some React to generate the form, and jQuery UI sliders with React refs instead of the Material UI stuff. That approach is working alright, everything's pretty nicely buttoned up, and I don't have to play with the Web-Babel nonsense. I'll leave it at that and piss off the new grad, 20-somethings that think the way they learned is the right way.

Tags: whining

Geek Code v4

November 30, 2020 — Allen

I've got the bones of the results/profile page working. I had thought that I would use React for this. I typically like to create a new project with a new tool to help me learn it, but it seems like React doesn't expect there to be DOM modifications, which seems highly contradictory to me (see my previous post about needing to re-think the browser). Plus, this page is very static; it simply takes the given input and renders out the page. So, I'm actually not using any libraries at all (so far). I think I'm going to forego implementing modifiers right now and add in the ability to input raw values. Then I need to cobble together a form page to generate the code. For that, I think I will try using React. Then I'll publish the first draft.


  • add user-provided values
  • create questionnaire form in React
  • publish
  • add value modifiers
  • find a raw "opinion" representation (meter/gauge, emoticons, etc)

Tags: WIP

"Use our stuff−now it's more like not using our stuff!"

November 04, 2020 — Allen

More and more of Microsoft's products seem to be migrating towards the "non-Microsoft" way of doing things, aka the way everyone else already does it. (and, arguably, that's been their business model from the start) Bash in Windows. Git in TFS. It's a pretty strong indictment when you have to make your product be more explicitly similar to other products, presumably, from sheer user demand. It says that your way was wrong when your pitch becomes "use our stuff because it's not like our stuff anymore".

Tags: whining

"They have no idea what century they're in and they'll defend themselves, violently, if necessary."

October 23, 2020 — Allen

Ok, so I have to learn React. I've stayed as far away from it as I could, for as long as I could. My mind balks at the notion that I have to learn it just because everyone else feels they have to use it because that's what the "cool kids" at Facebook are using. But now that I am forced to learn it, I'll admit that it is a neat idea. But it also confirms my suspicions that it is the reason why I'm unable to successfully click on anything on Facebook (or anywhere else that uses React). React completely removes the concept of "document" and replaces it with components. That's an interesting idea and a useful approach to application development, but there's a problem: the browser has no idea that this is what React is doing. The browser thinks it's still rendering a document. It's no wonder everything is always jumping around, making it impossible for me to click on what I'd intended to click on.

If we're going to go down this path−which I'm starting to see the case for doing so−then I think the browser has to be re-imagined. We need a new kind of user agent that doesn't constantly shuffle things around because of an ever-changing "document" that no longer exists.

Tags: whining, TIL


October 16, 2020 — Allen

Switching from SVN to Git was kinda "ho hum" and non-eventful. Just learning a new way to do things.

Switching from Git to TFS feels like trying to do brain surgery using dull rocks with one arm tied behind my back and the other arm on fire.

Tags: whining

Good news, Everyone!

October 06, 2020 — Allen

I've almost got a rough POC working for ANSI escape codes showing inline images in jQuery Terminal. For some reason, it won't display the image from here. The image data is correct; I've validated it multiple times and confirmed that it's still correct after getting parsed out of the escape sequence. The parsed output will display correctly on its own, but doesn't render inline. A different image, similarly encoded does display. I can't figure out the difference.

Oh, and I finally got one of those job thingies.

Tags: whining, winning