The eli4d Gazette – Issue 012

Issue 012: 2016-08-17

Tech Pick

Dependency Hell applies to both real and digital life. When developing software one frequently relies on other people’s libraries. However, there is a difference between reliance on a robust well-maintained library and using a library for the most trivial of tasks.

At the beginning of 2016 there was a significant disruption in the server-side JavaScript world due to an eleven line NPM module called left-pad. You can see left-pad’s functionality on npm’s site (it just pads a string on the left side). The problem was that many small and high-profile JavaScript applications used it. I found some great perspectives on this issue here:

Last week JavaScript dependency hell was displayed through an amusing article about some high profile Node modules and some ridiculous dependencies within them (the Express hot pocket tweeting one was amazing). There’s no easy answer to dependency hell. I think that it tends to be more pervasive in JavaScript due to JavaScript’s monkey patching DNA which I’ve mentioned in another article.

Media Pick

On a friend’s recommendation, I started listening to the Exponent podcast. It’s a conversation between Ben Thompson and James Allworth about all things tech and society. This podcast is quite different than many others because Thompson’s long-term analysis is brilliant in a (good) mind breaking sort of way and Allworth helps to balance Thompson’s point of view.

Some favorites: