NATE SYMER

artisanal software development

nate@symer.io • 856-419-7654

Coders and Minimalism

8 • 14 • 17 natesymer

non-technialminimalism

This is my first non-technical blog post. And it's going to be about lifestyle minimalism.

Minimalism is eschewing the material for the intellectual and intangible. You purge your possessions. Possessions are basically hydrocarbons arranged in a special ordering. There is nothing special that exists solely in them - their import exists entirely in our own minds. There's no reason to be sentimental, throwing out miscellany or rubbish doesn't get rid of anything but hydrocarbons - the memories & feelings remain.

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Monads Explained (for Smart People)

6 • 8 • 17 natesymer

monadexplainedtutorialfunctionalprogramminghaskell

This is the deal: Haskell monads are often misunderstood to the detriment of Haskell projects across the 'net.

The reality is that they are extremely easy to understand when you describe them in plain language: They are wrapped functions that take a context and return some value plus a new context.

Here's a definition for a 'State' monad that implements mutable state:

newtype State s a = State { runState :: s -> (a, s) }

Or more simply:

newtype State s a = State (s -> (a, s))

Let's take a look at a basic computation using the State monad:

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You don't need a Terabyte!

1 • 6 • 17 natesymer

applelinuxcomputersminimalismlaptopcloudclutter

Honestly, computers are time-consuming money pits - especially for us techy types. Costing thousands of dollars a piece, our computers are no match for the sheer amount of data we throw at them. They always need to be faster, store more, and process our ever-growing mountains of data at a constant speed.

If I received a dime for every time a fellow programmer told me to just buy another drive because "storage is cheap", I'd be a millionaire. Many people I know who follow this philosophy have scores of hard disks and USB drives lying around, largely untouched once filled. The Haskell programmer in me wonders why anyone would accumulate all that data if they were never going to use it.

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On Writing a Blog

5 • 21 • 16 natesymer

blogssoftwarewordpresshaskellHTTP

UPDATE: most of the cool stuff I talk about I put in the package webapp on the Hackage.

The aspiring blogger uses a blogging platform like WordPress or Blogger to go from zero to blog in under thirty seconds. Most people can't code, and those who can usually want to use someone else's code anyway.

Fine. Use bad software if it makes you happy. Wordpress is a precarious concatenation of bunk so fragile, many devoted users will refuse to host them themselves. Nobody has time to appease Wordpress's byzantine architecture.

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© 2017, Nathaniel Symer