Denis Defreyne

Weeknotes 2022 W03

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Ugh, not the best of weeks!

I’m having a hard time keeping the plants in my apartment alive. I’ve discovered root rot in a handful of them. These haven’t been overwatered as far as I know, and so I’m not sure what is happening.

One particular plant had a root system that was nearly entirely rotten through. This was one I bought just last week. The stench was so bad it made me physically unwell.


The COVID-19 situation in Berlin is frustratingly getting worse by the day. A handful of friends and coworkers caught the virus. This made me look at the statistics again, and amount of new cases is terrifying. The 7-day incidence in my area is 2800+ right now.

This pandemic is going to take a lot longer to overcome, and it’s weighing on me more and more.


I bought a handful of new fonts, but I haven’t used them yet. Pre-pandemic, a creative outlet for me was making slides for talks. I’ve got near-zero interest in giving talks online though, so it’ll have to wait until meeting up in person is feasible again.

I might create a microsite or two for some of my projects.


I’m phasing out DDMemoize, my Ruby library for memoization. Its usage of soft references using the ref gem is causing problems in Ruby 3.1.

I would like to maintain less and less software over time, and so I’ll soon officially deprecate the DDMemoize gem and archive the repository. A good replacement is memo_wise.

Two things that made DDMemoize stand out was its use of soft references, and its metrics. Especially the latter was useful, I found, because it can provide scientific proof that memoization is useful! I hope to see other memoization libraries with metrics as well.


No progress on the budgeting app prototype. I broke my Sorbet setup, and I think Sorbet might just not be compatible with recent Ruby versions. The project is unusable at this point, and now I’ve lost the motivation to work on it. I’ll give it a rest and think later about how I want to continue with it.

Sorbet is a cool piece of technology, but it is brittle and incomplete. It will take a while longer until it becomes comparable to what Type­Script is for JavaScript. On the bright side, I do believe Sorbet has a great deal of potential, and it’s actively being worked on.


For the Crafting Interpreters book club at work, I’m reconsidering my use of Crystal as the implementation language. I stumbled on a bug which breaks free variables in return types, and while it can be worked around, it’s some evidence that Crystal is still an early-stage programming language.


The blockchain is a terrible idea and that includes NFTs and web3. This week, Dan Olson published The Problem With NFTs and it is fantastic — and possibly the longest YouTube video I’ve ever watched, at 2h 18min. You should watch it.

Week­notes for week of January 17th, 2022. Browse the weeknotes archive, get these week­notes via email or subscribe to the web feed.
Backlinks: Weeknotes, Weeknotes 2022 W04.
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