Discussions around Software engineering as a profession is often framed as objective, focused around absolute truths, rules, and hard guidelines. Don’t repeat yourself, You ain’t gonna need it, the SOLID principles. All of these are discussed as absolute truths, and when a dissenting opinion is voiced people rush in to either disagree or point out how actually the claimed dissenting opinion is some sort of fringe case is only relevant to absolute experts.
I had some time this weekend to look back at my frametime project from last year. Drawing inspiration from an article on lwn from 2018 called A look at terminal emulators I figured it could be fun to dive into the relative performance of terminal emulators is 2022. The lwn article used an application called Typometer to asses the relative latency of the different terminal emulators. Typometer works by sending some input to the application, and monitoring the display buffer until the change is reflected.
Faced with over 100 Word VBA macros and a request for information about which macros call a certain webservice. How do you get that information without going insane? With a lot of python, some Windows black magic, and a couple of open Microsoft “standards”. Recently a team came to me to ask if it was possible to figure out who called one of our old applications. The application is a horrible pain for the team maintaining it, and they’d like to shut it down.
I am a huge believer in latency as an important part of UI feel. I am also a believer in optimizing against what you can measure. In this regard I see a hole in the open-source ecosystem: We have no structured ways to measure GUI lag. Lag When I say lag I mean the time between you pressing a physical button on your keyboard/mouse, and a change becoming visible on screen.
I recently obtained the keypad section from a Reuters 3000 Xtra keyboard. I’m a fan of tiny keyboards like the planck. These keyboards usually don’t have a numpad, so an external keypad is appealing to me. Discovery To start of with we will take a physical overview of this keypad. Both to learn what we have to work with, but also just to document it. Description of the keypad On the outside the first thing that catches the eye are the giant colored MINE and YOURS buttons, quickly followed by the other weirdly labeled and colored buttons.