Notes for Week 10 of 2021

It was a fragmented week. I am focusing more on hiring and I agree it takes roughly 100 hours per hire. I am writing some articles about it, but the first one crashed and burned in the review process, so let’s see whether there will be anything hitting the public site.

As a reminder, 2021 is now 20% completed.

Random

  • Open API Spec validation is so tied to Swagger Editor that you can’t do it otherwise. Apparently the best way is to render the editor in headless Chrome, inject your spec into it and watch for UI results. Vladimir shows how. I am crying.
  • Linux kernel code is fun
  • On my Synology NAS, I had LUN backed up via HyperBackup to another folder. I have discovered it’s possible to make btrfs shapshots via Snapshot Replication app for LUNs as well, which makes the backup speedier and less space demanding
  • When I was not paying attention, PyPI added support for both authenticator apps as well as hardware keys with U2F. Cool!

Aurora

  • I had a read-only instance in the cluster timing out on connection attempts from the apps, but being perfectly healthy for aurora/cloud watch monitoring. This made the cluster-ro endpoint time out. Adding a fresh instance into the cluster helped.
  • Unfortunately, the dangling instance can’t be deleted by terraform if it is on a main cluster replicated to a different region. Even after extending the cluster, terraform insists on deleting the dependent cluster when invoked using terraform destroy -target="aws_rds_cluster_instance.name_instances[0]. You can use AWS CLI instead: aws rds delete-db-instance --db-instance-identifier=name-cluster-instance-0. The DB identifier can be read from console. If you are an adventurer like me and you use the same scripted cluster instance name in all regions (and differentiate them by cluster name), I recommend quadruple checking your AWS_REGION variable
    • Do not get discouraged when the output looks like listing an instance without any side effect; rerun will tell you An error occurred (InvalidDBInstanceState) when calling the DeleteDBInstance operation: Instance name-cluster-instance-0 is already being deleted.
    • Deleting takes forever; keep calm and drink tea
    • Don’t forget to terraform refresh when done
  • Prisma was verysuperslow for me to pick it up and reports “cannot connect to endpoint” long minutes after; it got fixed by redeploying latest version on Vercel. There were multiple things happening at the same time, so the jury is still out whether I should blame connection pool settings or something else.

IndexedDB

  • Using plain database is pain, idb really does help significantly
  • I like the build-in versioning and how upgrades are done
  • There is a significant groundwork for good user experience though. If user has an open tab with old version of the database and loads the application in a new tab, blocking will happen and needs to be resolved in a user-friendly way
  • Keys (think RDBMS’s “primary key”) and Indexes (think RDBMS’s indexes) are distinct concepts when you want to iterate over data. Read IDBIndex example and IDBKeyRange example carefully to save a lot of pain
  • Note that locale-aware sorting is implemented in Firefox, but hidden behind a feature flag and not supported anywhere else

Pink Belt

Back in Apiary times, I wrote myself a very simple automation tool called Black Belt. It wired together simple tools we’ve been using in a small teams. Since I see myself using the same tools in more recent project and still operating within the same organizational blueprint, I have decided I’ll revive it for myself.

It goes under the name Pink Belt as it’s like Black Belt, just with more optimism.

It integrates Trello, Github and Slack in a way that makes Kanban CLI-driven. You probably don’t need it: you can use just GitHub Projects and Slack integrations. I do that for some projects where I do work alone myself. The problem is that GH projects is not friendly for non-developers and the integrations are quite noisy.

As with Trello, this will work for small-sized teams; larger teams want more robust tooling. Yet more robust tooling also adds more friction (looking at you, JIRA) and I tend to use it only when team has enough weight to support it.

The integration and problems that Pink Belt fixes for me:

  • Automatically picking the next card in queue, making corresponding branch for me, showing the card
  • Making correct cross-links when making pull requests for the card
  • Make planning simple: brainstorm on a Trello card using a simple checklist and when everything is done, run pinkbelt to break down the checklist into cards that are on a different board and cross-link

Not all updated and (re)written, but it’s something that I plan to maintain for myself.

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