Edge Cases

Yesterday I was looking at a bug with some students. It related to a problem in a file search feature: a user found that having a folder-name surrounded with braces (e.g., {name}) meant that no search results were ever reported within the folder. "This isn't a bug,"…

GitHub Knows

I was reflecting the other day how useful it would be if GitHub, in addition to the lists it has now like Trending and Explore, could also provide me a better view into which projects a) need help; and more, b) can accept that help when it arrives. Lots of…

"What are you struggling with?"

This week I had a discussion with my open source students in order to get a sense of where people were at with their work. One of the questions I had for them was, "What are you struggling with, what are you finding tricky?" Here's some of what…

Service Workers and a Promise to Catch

I love Service Workers. I've written previously about my work to use them in Thimble. They've allowed us to support all of the web's dynamic loading mechanisms for images, scripts, etc., which wasn't possible when we only used Blob URLs. But as much as I love them, they add a…

Space Git

Today one of my students wanted some help understanding how to solve a problem with git. I often find that students get stuck on the proper use of git's rebase, merge, pull, and fetch. They want to share and use commits from other repos, but can't quite get the commands…

Remembering Jordan

Yesterday, on Remembrance Day, I travelled to Stratford to attend the funeral of my colleague and friend, Jordan Anastasiade. He passed away suddenly a few weeks ago, and I've been deeply saddened by it. Yesterday was filled with tears and hugs with many colleagues, and his friends, and family. I…

When the music's over, turn out the lights

This week I've been thinking about ways in which GitHub could do a better job with projects and code as they age. Unfortunately, since technology is fundamentally about innovation, growth, and development, we don't tend (or want) to talk about decline, neglect, or endings. GitHub has some great docs on…

Fixing a bug in TensorBoard

This week I'm talking with my open source students about bugs. Above all, I want them to learn how The Bug is the unit of work of open source. Learning to orient your software practice around the idea that we incrementally improve an existing piece of code (or a new…

Why Good-First-Bugs often aren't

Let me start by saying that I'm a huge fan of open source projects putting a Good-First-Bug type label on issues. From my own experience over the past decade trying to get students engaged in open source projects, it's often a great way to quickly find entry points for new…