You'll find these in reverse chronological order because I'm not insane
Hello readers. I know, I know. Two posts in two days? Is that some sort of record?? Well, astonished readers, it actually isn’t. I know I’ve mentioned this before, but it was my intention upon the great digital birthing of this blog to write a post every single day. Intentions, pershhmentions is what I say to that.
Anyyow, (I’ve been saying “Anyhoo” far too frequently for either of our tastes) you may remember in a somewhat distant post that I threatened you poor innocent readers with a whiny post about why I don’t like college. Well, I’ve decided it’s high time to follow through with my threat, even though I’ll be making a good professional effort to keep the whininess to a minimum. As much as it might surprise you, I can actually be professional when necessary.
I think a good place to start with this whole business is to have a frank conversation about the purpose of college. The way I see it (and do yell at me digitally if you disagree) college has four primary purposes:
Now, as we all know, college is expensive. However, from the way I see it, not only is it expensive in terms of the money that is spent, but it’s also four whole years of my life (because I can’t really graduate in three years doing physics/CS unless I want to have a mean Junior year). So, if you’ll let me pop on my cute ‘lil economist hat real quick, the thing that is on the forefront of my mind is this question: is the time and money worth it?
Ok let me start from the top of my list: the academics. In order to understand my frustration with college academics, let’s take a fun stroll down yon memory lane back to my high school years. Basically, since eighth grade, it had been my dream to go to MIT. To make a complicated story overly-simple, I basically decided that the way to get into MIT was to get super good at math and physics (the longer story entails me pulling a theory of everything right out of my butt and proceeding to convince a bunch of high school admins that the only way I could prove it is if I skipped a couple math classes. Wow that sounds so much wilder when I read it than it did in my head).
MIT rejected me, on an academic, personal, and spiritual level, so perhaps you could say that the whole enterprise of me skipping into higher math and physics classes was a bust. However, in the process, I realized something interesting. Basically all throughout high school, I was always teaching myself something about math or physics, be it linear algebra or relativity, directly out of text books. As I did this more and more, I realized that I was able to achieve a significantly higher level of mastery of a subject that I taught myself independently. I also was/am able to retain far more information when I’m learning independently than when I’m in a classroom setting.
Not only that, as Berkeley has so lovingly taught me, I’m straight-up bad at learning in classroom settings. I basically intake zero information from lectures, to the point that I stopped going to most of them (exempting my humanities classes, where the lecture is the class). In terms of academics (and let’s be real, life), textbooks are my best friends because I can move at my own pace and focus more on topics I find particularly interesting.
Additionally, in a competitive and high-energy environment like Berkeley, it seems like academic performance always takes precedence to the content of our classes. And to a certain degree, it makes sense: employers are going to see GPAs, not detailed syllabi of the classes we’ve taken. It’s also been hard for me to escape that mindset because it feels like in order to make the most of the time and cost of college, I should do my best to get the highest GPA I’m capable of getting.
One of the biggest negative consequences of this mostly-toxic mindset is that subconsciously, my focus tends to shift from “oh wow this topic is so interesting, I’d love to learn more about it!” to “what’s the minimum amount of effort I can give learning this topic to still get an A.” While trying to minimize my whininess, let me suggest that the latter doesn’t lead to academic nirvana.
I also find that very frequently in my CS or lab classes, we’re being continuously tested on topics that are incredibly theoretical and don’t have much practical application in industry. Computer Science is such a broad and rapidly evolving field that they can’t really teach us much more than super theoretical topics without lecture content continuously becoming obsolete, but it’s personally quite irritating to spend a bunch of time learning about some super niche topic regarding machine structures that I’m fairly confident will never arise in my life again.
Hmm. I’m drifting onto my fourth page. I’m getting dangerously close to embarking on an all-out diatribe, so let me try to be succinct with this. Meeting students and having fun is great, but I have a very difficult time doing those things when the temporal and monetary price of college is looming in the back of my mind. In practice, while in college I’ve observed myself spending an egregious amount of time studying for topics that mostly infuriate me due to their inapplicability, and then almost immediately forgetting everything about said topics when the class finishes.
Ok, enough ranting. Wait hold on. Belay that order, let the ranting continue: ya wanna talk about degrees, kids? From my (probably naïve, 20-year-old) perspective, it seems like degrees are just nebulous abstractions used to convince employers that you’re a hard worker and have some knowledge in a particular field. Fine. Great. Whatever. The only problem is that after the last couple years, and my internship last summer I learned that I reeaaaaaaaalllly like writing software and I reeaaaaaaaalllly want to be my own boss. Yeah, I know, I can’t just magically be my own boss. But I can try.
Anygree (…you like?), gather round the campfire and let me tell you my future plans. Moving back home for the semester after Corona hit was actually kinda beneficial for me because it jarred me out of my machine-like lifestyle at Berkeley, and I was able to be more honest with myself about my collegiate experience and the activities in which I was involved. After talking about these things with my parents, and also after Berkeley’s decision to do “Classes in the Cloud” (* Danny is heard puking into a nearby trash can *), my parents have graciously allowed me to take a gap year back home in CO. What will I be doing, you ask? Well, the gremlins in my head are constantly trying to convince me that I’m making a mistake by not going back to school in the fall, so I’ll be making my best effort to work the entire time. Work on what, you ask? Stop asking. It’s annoying. Just kidding I live for your feedback, readers. Your words are the sourdough that keeping my heart beating. Anyway, I’m going to be a bit vague about this, but I’ve had a couple ideas I want to pursue, and they most certainly involve web apps. I’ll be coding for days!!
Well, enough of this. I suppose the tl;dr of this post is that I pretty much hate college, and will be doing everything in my power within the next year to achieve a position in which I don’t have to go back. Wish me luck, honey!
What is pooooooooooooppin’, my bois? (That’s supposed to be “poppin,’” not “poopin.’” No one’s pooping, as far as I am aware). It’s your boi Danny, back at you from my blogging hiatus that neither of us knew was going to happen. Basically, the story of my life is that I code 24/7 when I’m alone, and my brain is convinced that blogging isn’t a productive use of time when there’s coding to be done. Shut up, brain. No one needs you.
I’ve decided that I’m going to celebrate my coming out of my blogging slump by having a fun lil discussion about love. Love is a topic that is near and dear to me because it’s particularly intellectually challenging. Actually, fun fact: two spring breaks ago, I actually wrote a couple blog posts about love from the perspective of game theory. The posts were about 9 pages long, and even more schmeagy than the content yall have to put up with on XFA, so those posts haven’t really seen the light of day. Note that two spring breaks ago was about a year before I actually wrought XFA from molten python, Django, and html. Man I’m happy I actually powered through and finished building XFA. Where else would I possibly siphon off the thoughts that so mercilessly rattle about.
Alright, let’s jump right into the deep end in terms of love. First, I’ll mention that this post isn’t going to be Danny’s 101 tips and tricks for finding “The One,” mostly ‘cause I have 0 experience with healthy romantic relationships. Heavens, that might be a fun post for another time. No, much to the chagrin of all you readers who actively seek me out for my relationship advice (approximately 0.1 people per year), this post aims to answer a bigger question, namely why love is the answer.
“The answer to what?” you ask. “I thought the answer to life, the universe and everything was 42?” Well, nerdy reader, contrary to the religious teachings of Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, the answer to life isn’t 42, it’s love, so there.
Just kidding. I don’t know the answer to life. I just wanted to throw the click-baity title up for kicks and giggles (putting up click-bait on a personal site injects a certain amount of chaos into the reality simulation that I find particularly compelling).
Oh my gosh. I’m starting to get annoyed with myself. Pardon me for not getting immediately to the point. Allow me to get immediately to the point.
Love is particularly interesting to me because of how it affects human beings. I won’t try to describe love, an effort that is doomed to failure, but I can look at its basic characteristics and its effect on people. The aspect of love that I find particularly compelling is that love will often compel one person to partake in a set of actions that decreases his or her personal utility for the sake of another person. “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one's life for one's friends” comes to mind.
If you subscribe to the notion that life is a product of evolution, it may be surprising that human beings exhibit this particular behavior. Isn’t the whole mantra of evolution “survival of the fittest?” Why in the name of Odin’s left shin guard would humans have evolved in a way that compels them to harm themselves for the sake of another? Could organisms with that trait possibly have a higher level of evolutionary fitness than others?
Do remember that I’m a 20-year-old who is actively drunk on La Croix, but Imma take a lil stab at explaining this particular phenomenon, and I think you might like it.
The key trait of love that I think provides a good level of explanation for the intellectual query presented is the fact that one human being is able to love multiple people at once. If you model humanity as a graphical structure (within the context of graph theory) with humans being nodes and loving relationships being edges, you end up with a highly connected graph. If each human is in a loving relationship (either plutonic, parental, romantic, etc) with at least six other people, then even at third order, the love graph I’ve constructed could easily exhibit hundreds of connections between one person and the rest of humanity.
Bleh, I know you cool readers don’t care about graph theory, so let me tell you why it matters. Imagine you are in a particularly bad place in life, i.e. you lost your job, someone close to you has died, or something of that nature. At that particular point, you may not be in a position to lead a functional life. However, if you are in six different loving-relationships, then there are probably six other people who are willing to put their lives on hold to help you recover.
But that’s not even the best part! Those six other people probably know at least six other people each of whom would be willing to help you out.
What I’m describing is a highly connected, self-healing graphical structure! Isn’t that about the sexiest string of words you’ve ever seen in one sentence? Certainly is for this lad.
Now then, what about the evolutionary problem? The key issue in the perhaps counterintuitive argument I presented was that I was focusing on the wrong entity. Instead of looking at an individual human, look at humanity as the organism that has evolved to be the alpha on this planet. Humanity has evolved to have a particularly good knack at healing itself when a problem arises with one of its constituents.
An illustrative example of the point I’m making comes in the form of single cells. If you yodel on over to Google, you can verify that the average lifespan of a single bacteria cell is around 12 hours. You want to take a guess how long a single heart muscle cell lives? Probably not, so I’ll tell ya. 40 years. 40 frikin years. If you’re a single cell, it’s pretty great to integrated into a system of several trillion other cells built into complicated systems to ensure against single failures. Sure, this argument may have some logical holes in it, but 40 years is a longer time than 12 hours, I can tell you that much.
I understand that I’m not making a particularly complicated argument, but let me get to the juice. Say whatever poetic nonsense you want to about love, but at the end of the day, love can be understood as a chemical mechanism that compels people to form connections with others in a mutually beneficial fashion. You can make the argument that it’s in an individual’s best interest to play nice with other people, but I would counter that groups or organizations that are compelled by a loving motive are the most sustainable and expansive in the long run.
What’s particularly cool about the love-graph (patent-pending) is that its self-healing properties make it particularly sustainable, even despite its rich and diverse set of behavior. Systems that are stable and dynamic are particularly interesting because they’re able to interact with other similar systems in increasingly complex ways while maintaining stability.
And then, a large enough set of such complex, stable, and dynamic subsystems could potentially also form a type of self-healing graphical structure, which would then be able to form into a form of even greater complexity.
See where I’m going? The mechanism that we refer to as love within the context of humanity is actually perhaps the most effective tool in the universe for propagating and generating stability, order, and complexity. It’s a frikin anti-entropic machine, baby.
You could limit yourself by viewing love specifically as the deep, compelling emotion felt between humans, by why stop there? Personally, I find it more compelling to observe love-like characteristics in other highly complex systems than simply humans, and if you’re looking for a reason for why our incredibly complicated universe is the way it is, then perhaps the answer you’re looking for is simply love.
Anyhoo, that’s just some sauce for you to distill in your branium. If you disagree with me or the points I’ve made, or you have a different insight, please for the love of god send an email my way. I basically am always coding, so I’d love to take a quick break to spin up a fun lil email chain.
anYwaY, that’s all for now. I think I’m going to try for two posts a week, so I should have a bit more content coming your way from the ol XFA (that rhymed, massive flex). Byyee!
Hi. Let’s skip the introduction. Just kidding that would be absolutely horrible for bloggular cohesion. Since I last wrote a post, I have had several things float through my mind-space that seemed to warrant blog posts but were simply not juicy enough to consume an entire post. Such thoughts pile up quickly, my friends, and at the rate I’m currently writing posts, they will eventually overwhelm me, and I shall become more thought than man. I think I’ll just have to set aside particular times of the week specifically for blogging purposes. Yeah. That’s the only way.
aNyWaY, to relieve my brain, I will now proceed to write several shortish things about a wider variety of topics than usual. Various people have told me they enjoy the “stream of conscious” nature of my blogs. To that group of people, I must say that I actually haven’t really considered most of my posts to be particularly “stream of conscious,” but I must warn you all that what will follow in this post will simply blow every other post I’ve written out of the water in this particular category.
To begin the shotgun thoughts, let’s first talk about shotguns. I like them. My brothers and I recently got together with a family friend of ours, and we drove golf balls off a cliff into the wild blue yonder. We then subsequently shot skeet off the same cliff, and it was deeply enjoyable. My father owns an over-under shotgun (which is a double-barreled 12-gauge, but the barrels are stacked vertically), and that boi is simply of bucket of fun to shoot. Highly recommend to a friend.
Next, let me tell you about a lad named Nathan Peck. Who’s Nathan Peck (I mandatorily ask to keep up the jaunty flow of the post)? Well, he’s about the most stereotypical San Franciscan developer I’ve ever laid eyes upon. He works for Amazon, specifically AWS (my only true love), and his job title is “Developer Advocate for Elastic Container Service at AWS.” Pretty boring, right? WRONG. Go sit in a corner and think about what you’ve done. But why has Nathan Peck achieved loml status? Well, he wrote a series of just shockingly, almost offensively informative Medium posts about how to launch a serverless containerized chat web application on AWS. Huh? Let me dissect the previous statement. Medium = A web app where people can basically write blog posts. Medium is very, very good, and has been a critical well of information on my four-month web-app journey. I love it almost as much as StackOverflow. AWS = Amazon Web Services, which is essentially a butt ton of computing services running on a butt ton of gigantic computing centers that Amazon built all over the world. For me, I basically rent computers on AWS that run the backend of my application 24/7. Serverless = I give AWS code, and AWS simply deploys it wherever the frack it wants to. Serverless = Fan-frickin-tastic, because I don’t have to provision and maintain servers. The maybe two people of my user base who have ever worked with servers should understand the intrinsic pleasure serverless architectures bring to my soul.
Anyway, figuring out AWS and CloudFormation and Server programming in general was a challenging endeavor, but the posts my boi Nathan Peck wrote about AWS and chat apps has probably been one of the most helpful things I’ve read in the past four months.
Boom, next. So, Charli XCX is a gal. I was familiar with neither her nor her work until several weeks ago. Actually, that’s not quite true. I distinctly remember in 2012 driving through Indiana and having “I Love It” irrevocably stuck in my head. That was brutal. Anyway, I believe my sister and brother were talking about her, so I gave her latest album a spin. Spoiler alert, it slaps. It slaps hard. My gosh. Two days ago, I had a private drugless rave in my bedroom in which I turned on Anthems to max volume on my headphones and engaged in a dance form I have dubbed “rhythmic contortions.” Very good fun. Highly recommend to a friend. If nothing else, give Anthems a listen. It simply deserves your time.
It is an intellectual crime that I have never once mentioned blue corn tortilla chips on this blog. Hey friend! Are you a sentient human being that requires food to survive? Do you find that standard food is lacking in both saltiness and texture, but you don’t know where to turn? If you answered yes to either of these questions, then boy do I have the thing for you! Introducing blue corn tortilla chips! You remember regular tortilla chips, right? Well blue corn tortilla chips are just like those, only blue! Amazing! But Danny, I hear you ask, why are blue corn tortilla chips any different than regular tortilla chips? Well, intellectually endowed reader, I don’t have a fracking clue. What I do know, however, is that blue corn tortilla chips are 20% more salty, have 45% better mouth-feel, and 13% better texture than the average tortilla chip.
I can hear some of you sputtering about how on earth I’m able to properly quantify mouth-feel, quality of texture, or even saltiness. Beat me in a fight, and I’ll tell you.
Passionfruit La Croix. Mother of Mary. Unlike blue corn tortilla chips, I’m quite confident that I’ve mentioned my enjoyment of La Croix prior to this post. I haven’t, however, mentioned which flavor of La Croix is categorically superior to all others. The answer to that question is simply Passionfruit. I can firmly say, and I think you’ll all agree with me on this one, that anyone who disagrees with me has an incorrect opinion.
Now that Passionfruit has taken its place as the rightful leader of the La Croix pack, let me whisper some sweet hymns into your ears about another flavor of La Croix that deserves your full attention. That flavor is Coconut. Why? Well, pretty much all “flavors” of La Croix show up immediately the second that blessed liquid graces your tongue. I trust most of my readers are fluent in memes, so it seems like a flagrant waste of everyone’s time to discuss the faint nature of La Croix flavors. The coconut in Coconut La Croix, however, sneaks up on you in the form of a three-second delayed aftertaste. Thus the immediate onslaught of unadulterated carbonation that we all know and love doesn’t blatantly overpower the coconut in this particular rendition of La Croix. The coconut taste is, understandably, faint, almost like a pleasant dream, and thus after sipping a Coconut La Croix, it almost feels as though you’ve closed your eyes, and are lying on a hammock on the beach.
For those of you who’ve hopped on the Bubly bandwagon, you are all mindless sheep, and it will be a miracle if we can even superficially be friends.
You know, I really haven’t given MBMaM the time of day that it deserves. This is a great place for it. My Brother, My Brother, and Me is a podcast by three wonderful human beings, who give advice based on a series of questions either sent in or gathered on Yahoo Answers. The names of these bois are Justin, Travis, and Griffin McElroy, and they are simply very good. If you don’t know this Podcast, get familiar with it. It is guaranteed to improve the quality of your life by at least 17%.
Cher Lloyd wrote a song a good while back called Want you back. The sweet sweet beat of the song, combined with the British nature of her accent have conspired against me, and that song has been stuck in my head for like a week. I want it to stop. I am very tired of it. Wow, I’ve Googled Cher Lloyd, and apparently after she was on the X Factor, she was one of the “10 most hated teens in Britain.” Dang. That’s kinda wild. Way to reinvent yourself, Cher.
I’ve been running a bit more. I mostly just do it because it clears up my head space, which allows me to come back and program with greater ferocity. I’m super super slow, however. Nothing like a quarantine to absolutely have its way with your fitness levels.
I think that’s enough for now. Hmmst. I’ll spend 30 seconds thinking if there’s anything else.
Nah I think that’s good. Bye.
Sup Schmeags. I’m immensely happy to say that I’m finished with school for the semester. For a variety of reasons that I will likely put in irrationally whiny upcoming post, I have declared a personal war with academia. Suffice it to say that I am oh so done with stupid classes and stupid professors.
Ok now that we’ve established I handle my problems with the maturity of a three-year-old child, let’s get on to some dank Alfredo. Sike! The internet has seen to it that this particular topic, which was at one-point dank Alfredo, is now no more than mediocre Marinara. However, seeing as I’ve essentially written myself into a corner in my last posts, I feel I must take on the mantle of a Basic Betty and address the shockingly average Marinara that’s just sitting in the corner of the metaphorical room.
What is the Marinara? Well, it is simply the fact that Grimes and Elon Musk named their child X Æ A-12.
Now this, as with most information about celebrities that makes them appear different than the cookie-cutter image thrust upon them by the media, caused quite a stir. Perhaps the funniest article I saw said that the name X Æ A-12 isn’t legal in California, so I’m just not sure what Grelon will do about that. As any of you who follow Elon’s doings know, Elon is becoming increasingly militant in his attitudes towards the state of California, so perhaps California declaring he can’t name his child X Æ A-12 will be the metaphorical straw that broke the camel’s back.
Now then, enough about important people like Grelon Musk, let’s talk about me. Why, after my explicit fawning over this pair of humans, do I regard this topic as lame Marinara? Well, I suppose one reason is that I’m bitter that I was wrong on all accounts. First of all, the child X Æ A-12 is a male, not a female. Furthermore, the child’s name is X Æ A-12, not Enza (short for Influenza). 0 for 2, Danny.
However, I also feel like at this point, by writing about this, I’m actively drinking some sauce that the internet swished around its mouth for a couple days and then spat back out. Also, it doesn’t help that literally everyone and their mother hates Elon’s guts right now.
Whatever. Actually wait a second… I feel something deep inside me stirring. Let’s take a trip down to my emotions to see what’s going on.
* Danny walks into the frightening halls of his emotions and is immediately assaulted from all sides by a militaristically passionate desire to deeply analyze the name X Æ A-12 and explore its implications. Danny wasn’t ready for such an attack and is sent reeling backward. Danny looks up, trying to make out the emotion that so violently assaulted him, only to be viciously backhanded in the face by either Rage or Fury. It happened too quickly to tell. Danny limps backward, trying to escape the halls of his emotions, when a sort of conscious smoke engulfs him and holds him back. As he struggles with the smoke, he hears the voices of his emotions behind him, speaking in chorus: “Remember our agreement: you don’t mess with us, and we’ll only occasionally launch strikes against your consciousness. Remember how little power you have against us.” At this point, Danny is expelled out the emotional halls and thrust back into the chair in front of his computer. *
Well that was entirely unpleasant. Nothing like being reminded that you have no control over your emotions at 8:42 AM on a Thursday. For the maybe two of you concerned readers, there’s no need to worry about me. I’ll regroup and launch a more complete attack against my silly emotions later today with the help of the more logical aspects of my mentality, and Thor-willing, we can get my emotions to sign a better agreement that gives me more power in our relationship.
Enough of that. Well, even if it went cataclysmically, my trip downstairs to my emotions did in fact inform me that even though by most standards, the topic of X Æ A-12 is chyme-like Marinara, I do in fact want to provide some level of discussion regarding X Æ A-12. So here I go.
The first and most pressing concern regarding X Æ A-12 is simply how to pronounce his name. From the information I have received by means a variety of shady sources, the name X Æ A-12 is pronounced “Ash.” Like, what? Either Grelon are trying to make an incredibly bold statement about the fluidity of language, or they’ve just entirely deaged themselves. Now I’m all for making up words on the fly, as anyone who has met me, or read this blog can attest. However, the entire purpose of doing so is the fact that I feel that the words I make up better describe the connotations I wish to impart that any sequence of characters in the dusty old Encyclopedia Britannica, and I’m fairly confident that people around my will be able to understand my new words based on context and word-construction.
What Grelon has done, however is much different. They’ve essentially said, “Here’s a lot of letters and this is how it’s pronounced.” It’s like me saying I named my pet Beta fish “DD-% 49 L,” which is, of course, pronounced “Bartholomew.” Wild stuff, blessed readers.
To some degree, this is ok because they are both influential/powerful people and have jurisdiction over the name of their child. On the other hand, they’ve entirely deaged their child because based on standard conventions, “X Æ A-12” is not pronounced “Ash,” as I think you may agree.
I think the only trap door out of this madness is for the child to simply go by “Ash.” Just as the Queen of England is the figurehead, and Parliament is the collection of bois that actually gets stuff done, so X Æ A-12 will be Ash’s name only legally, and he will otherwise be known as Ash.
Or, I mean, X Æ A-12 could start a new trend in baby-naming, and he could be the hipster-like entity in this particular field. I suppose we’ll just have to see. However, I will say that it would be pretty sick if the first Space Commander’s name is X Æ A-12. I would be ok with that.
Good heavens, it’s almost 9. I actually have a little call set up at 9 AM this morning, so I’ll have to take my leave. Also, now that it’s summer, I believe I’ll have significantly more time to devote to blog-writing. We’ll see. Sayonara!
Aloha, schmeags! Man it’s good to be typing away at another blog post. For those of you keeping score, the blog/week ratio has really taken a hit over the past couple weeks. Why oh why, you ask, am I so negligent in my XFA duties? After all, I am just sitting in my room with nothing to do other than homework and programming. I’ll leave that one as an exercise to the reader.
Before I go any further doing a quasi-tech review of a variety of online goodies, I would like to inform you all that I got a new keyboard, and my typing speed is quite frankly blazing like it’s 420. After spending ~100 million hours coding with my laptop keyboard, I came to the realization that laptop keyboards really just have tremendously disappointing finger-feel, which experts agree is essential for building up the muscle memory necessary to type with extreme velocity. Anyway, to narrate an unarguably mundane sequence of events, I hopped onto Amazon and snooped around for a good-looking keyboard. And for those of you on the edge of your seats, the one I found blew all expectations out of the water. Not only does it have some of the best finger-feel I’m experience in my 74 years of life, but it also has rainbow backlighting, which is so tremendously psychedelic that I’m almost convinced I’m out clubbing every time I clack away at a key.
But you ain’t here to hear about no keyboard. No, I know what you content gremlins are looking for. I know your heart of hearts and soul of souls. I know you’re tired of seeing dank memes and unreasonably hot Instagram models lurking in your feeds. I know you’re tired of seeing updates about your best friends’ lives on the ol’ CountenanceManuscript (10 points for anyone who figures that one out). No, you don’t want that. What you want is for some schmeag (me!!) to speak into your inner-self truths about a variety of open AND closed source pieces of software that are making my life a time and a half right now.
And I, being a gracious and merciful meta-digital blogging machine, will oblige. The first piece of software on the docket is React js. “But Danny,” I hear you wonderful yet programmatically naïve readers saying, “haven’t you already told us like a million times about your love affair with React Native?” Well, readers, let me first take offense to that question and humbly assert that while my love life isn’t exactly a rainbow circus, I’ve never had sexual feelings for a piece of software, so I most certainly have never had a love affair with React Native. I would consider React Native to be most akin to an old friend that makes the other pieces of software on my tech stack jealous because of our staggering level of emotional intimacy.
Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, let me now address your actual question, namely what the frack is the difference between React Native and React JS? While I do know the difference, I’m going to sneak in a wee lil google search real quick to get a proper history for you enraptured readers. Aight. Google gave me the answers for which I sought. Good boy, Google. Don’t steal my soul when you gain consciousness.
So React JS is a open-sourced library for building web applications. What is a web application? Well, its an application on the web. Reddit comes to mind. To get suffocatingly nitty-gritty, the internet will tell you that a Web Application is any website in which the user can access and manipulate restricted data. So basically, React JS is what you want to use for building interactive web applications that show up in your browser. React Native, on the other hand, is an open-source library which allows you to create mobile applications, which of course are the little bois you know and love that you download on your phone.
“Danny, I know what the difference is between a web app and a mobile app. Stop treating me like I’m a child.” OK, bitter reader. Shade received. I simply thought I would be more precise with my definitions for the less nerdy members of my audience, but message received. Forgive me for trying to be helpful when you’re the one who so desperately craves schmeagy software reviews.
For the rest of you readers, forgive the previous interaction I’m having with the more bitter readers of this blog. You non-bitter readers are treasured, and unsurprisingly, I like you more than the bitter ones.
Ok, back to React js. Also wait. No one calls it React js. Everyone just calls it React. Shoot, I gotta get with the times. Let me restart.
Ok, back to React. Why am I using React now? You guessed it! I’m building a web app. I’ve reached a point with SSAP (super-secret app project) in which I’m largely done with the actual mobile app. However, the mobile app was just the beginning. For reasons I’m strictly prohibited by myself from talking about, this app requires an online interface for paying customers, which means I’m diving back into proper web development for the first time since I built this here blog.
As a side note for the extremely select few of you who have actually used these tools, let me just vent for quick second. Call me a deagy leag, but React Native’s Stylesheet class is like a million times better than CSS. For some stupid reason, I still haven’t gotten an intuitive feel for CSS, so my html elements basically show up wherever the frick they want on the page while I desperately try to subdue them, not unlike a soft-spoken shepherd attempts to corral his sheep shortly after learning that the sheep have all simultaneously acquired a taste for human flesh.
Ok back to the React and web apps. Actually, shoot dang. I’ve pretty well said what needs to be said. Actually one more thing. I’m also using a framework called Next js, which has been used by the likes of Netflix, Starbucks, Uber, Twitch. Because I’m a raging github, I still don’t fully appreciate all the blessing Next js provides when developing web apps, and all the horrific transgressions that it prevents, so I’ll just innocently say that it’s pretty neat.
Let’s switch gears.
Alright lads and lasses, and whatever the gender-neutral equivalent is to “lads and lasses,” take a seat ‘round here campfire and let me tell you a thing or two about AWS. What’s AWS? Amazon Frickin Web Frickin Services. Now those of you out there who aren’t aspiring to be full-stack developers you probably just think of Amazon as the wonderful little multi-billion dollar fairy that brings you the cool stuff you want like it’s a perpetual frikin Christmas. Well, readers, let me spin you a lil tail about the Amazon that you might not have heard about.
So a couple and half years ago, Amazon started Amazon Web Services. I’ll spare you the heart-throbbing love-story that is the history of AWS, and skip to the juicy stuff. Basically AWS provides a bunch of different cloud based web services for deploying full stack web applications. What does that mean in real-person-english? IT MEANS THEYRE RUNNING THE FRIKIN WORLD. Remember that wee lil site called Reddit? Yeah that bad boy is running on AWS. Have you heard of the cute lil picture sharing service called Instagram? Yeah that lil cutie was running entirely on AWS from 2010 until when Facebook ate Instagram and violently extracted Insta from the bowels of AWS. I could give you like literally a million other examples, so let it be known that AWS powers a metric butt-ton of the web services that you know and love.
That’s kinda wild to me. I guess I never fully understood how fundamentally important Amazon is to literally kazillions of internet businesses.
Why do I mention AWS? Because I’ll be using Google Computing Platform to run my app! JK I’ll be using AWS. That joke was so weak I wish I didn’t write it. Just kidding. We suffer together.
Anyway, AWS is pretty sweet, and they’re also pretty great because they offer a ton of free stuff. It’s a really fantastic business model. They basically let you build an entire application using their tools for free, and when your business actually takes off, then they start charging the big bucks.
Do I have anything else I’m dying to tell you all about right now? Let me think… Well I guess I’ll let you know that I finally got off my lazy butt this morning and ran 5 miles. My feet don’t take too kindly to being run on for that mileage after my staggering lack of cardio over the past four weeks, so both of my feet decided to blossom two of the largest blisters this side of the Baltic Sea, and for whatever reason, my right foot decided to break, and now I have to limp around.
Now that I’ve impressed you all with my remarkable athleticism, I think I’m going to say adieu. I’m actually going to send out an email blast to those of you on my email list after I finish writing this. For those of you who have still stubbornly decided you want no part of my email list, I’ll leave you to think upon your sins in whatever moldy dark corner you like spending your time in.
Nothing like ending a sentence on a preposition to intellectually invalidate myself.
That’s all. Have a good night of sleep.