I met with the wolves

I sit under a wild apple tree at the edge of the clearing. Like a plant, I absorb the mild October sun. At the same time, I attentively listen to the sounds of the forest. Suddenly I hear a stomping of dry leaves about twenty meters ahead of me, slightly to my right. A wolf emerges out of the thicket. He stops for a moment, glances around, then starts crossing the clearing. »

Drama going on at the .NET Foundation

A few months after I released my first .NET open source project (a niche one targeting the Italian fintech world), I was contacted by a representative of Team Digitale, the digital innovation branch of the Italian Public Administration. He suggested joining the Developers Italia initiative and moving my project to the their organization on GitHub “to enjoy enhanced visibility and broaden the audience”. I politely refused. I did not doubt my counterpart’s good faith. »

The word for web is forest

When I read Entangled Life: How Fungi Make Our Worlds, Change Our Minds & Shape Our Futures by Merlin Sheldrake1, I was stunned by the scale and importance of the mycorrhizal network that lies beneath the surface of any given forest in the world. The “wood wide web”, as scientists started to call it, sounded like the perfect metaphor for such an incredibly efficient, symbiotic relation between fungi and trees. »

An nginx playground

Every single time I need nginx, I end up spending way too much time fiddling around with its configuration. If you’re like me, rejoice! Julia Evans built a lovely, helpful little tool called nginx playground. Hello! On Wednesday I was talking to a friend about how it would be cool to have an nginx playground website where you can just paste in an nginx config and test it out. And then I realized it might actually be pretty easy to build, so got excited and started coding and I built it. »

What getting old really feels like

In a new study published in Ageing and Society, researchers Sam Carr and Chao Fang spent over 130 hours interviewing older people to understand what it’s like to get old and cope with loneliness. The Conversation UK features their report, appropriately titled Loneliness, loss and regret: what getting old really feels like. We found that ageing brings about a series of inevitable losses that deeply challenge people’s sense of connection to the world around them. »

ASP.NET 6 Migration Cheatsheet and FAQ

David Fowler has a very informative gist up on GitHub. It’s titled Migration to ASP.NET Core. NET6 and it’s filled with details, recipes and FAQs on migrating an ASP.NET Core 5 web app to ASP.NET Core 61. The focus is on the new, streamlined hosting model, also known as Minimal APIs2. To be clear, You don’t have to move to the new model. As the FAQ section emphasizes: Do I have to migrate to the new hosting model »

Book Review: Nausea

Antoine Roquentin, the protagonist of the novel, is a former adventurer who has been living for three years in Bouville, a fictional French seaport town, researching the life of an 18th-century diplomat. During his previous life around the world, Antoine has seen many places, met many interesting people, done exciting things. For the last three years, however, he’s been alone in Bouville. He has no friends and no desire to make some or meet anyone. »

The American Style of quotation mark punctuation makes no sense

Years ago, I translated an essay by Terry Windling, On Tolkien and Fairie-Stories, from American English to Italian. I remember arguing with the author about her use of periods in quotations. Each quotation would end with a period before the closing mark. I was puzzled. We don’t do that in Italy. More importantly, I read many English texts where the period was left outside the quotation itself. She insisted that her style was correct1. »

Daft Punk's legendary Alive 2007 concert with remastered audio and 4K video

Someone did it –the perfect Daft Punk tribute after their break up. Also ideal for those hard-coding sessions. For the first time in 14 years, experience Daft Punk like never before! The first professionally recorded live show; revived meticulously by remastering and restoring the audio and video. The Alive 2007 show is considered a staple in live performances featuring the signature ‘Pyramid’ and groundbreaking visuals, which is now complemented by a fully remastered audio track which aims to maximize the experience. »

Hiking the Translagorai 25 years later

A couple of weeks ago I went hiking the Translagorai, an 80 km-long trail that traverses the whole Lagorai mountain range in the Alps. The route takes place in a mountain environment where the anthropic pressure is reduced, especially compared to the more famous nearby Dolomites destinations. There are very few managed huts, most of which do not offer overnight stays, and relatively few bivouacs (emergency huts, usually dislocated in the most isolated areas along the hike). »

Get the Fucking Vaccine Already, You Fucking Fucks

Wendy Molyneux, writing unabashedly for McSweeney’s, summarizes all I have to say on the COVID vaccine and never dared to say: You think vaccines don’t fucking work? Oh, fuck off into the trash, you attention-seeking fuckworm-faced shitbutt. This isn’t even a point worth discussing, you fuck-o-rama fuck-stival of ignorance. Vaccines got rid of smallpox and polio and all the other disgusting diseases that used to kill off little fucks like you en masse. »

Performance improvements in .NET6

I’m pretty psyched about the upcoming .NET6 release. I’ve already touched on ASP.NET 6 Minimal APIs. Continuing on the long-established tradition, the team has also worked hard on the performance side of things. File IO, for example, is seeing impressive gains: For .NET 6, we have made FileStream much faster and more reliable, thanks to an almost entire re-write. For same cases, the async implementation is now a few times faster! »

Book Review: Proud tobea Flyer

I happened across this book by pure chance. After having ice cream in our favourite place in Milano Marittima, my wife and I visited a small street market with all kinds of booths. Of course, there was a used book stand toward which I immediately gravitated. A quick scan revealed nothing of interest, so I moved along. But Serena, who arrived at the booth moments after I left, knew more. A simple, no-frills, cardboard-covered book which carried a giant PROUD 2BEA FLYER title on the spine caught her attention. »

How to read Windows-1252 encoded files with .NETCore and .NET5+

Another day, another lesson learned: modern .NET does not support the Windows-1252 encoding out of the box. Today my colleague was happily porting a legacy NET4+ app to NET6. As usual, the port was super-easy; it would compile and run just fine, so he was surprised when the app crashed reading a few specific XML files. That’s when I was called in. A closer inspection revealed a pattern: all those crashing files were Windows 1252-encoded (the rest, a vast majority, were UTF-8. »

How to restore a single Postgres database from a pg_dumpall dump

Today I learned how to restore a single Postgres database from a global dump generated with pg_dumpall. Now, pg_dumpall is handy when you want to back up an entire Postgres cluster. It will dump all databases and global objects in a single text file. In contrast, pg_dump, the go-to tool for Postgres backups, offers more control but only works with a single database and doesn’t dump global objects, such as the roles/users linked to the database. »

Travel is no cure for the mind

I stumbled upon a personal growth article this weekend, and that’s odd because I tend to stay clear from such things. Yet I found it quite relevant, so much that I thought I would share it (the delivery is also amusing, which is something new for this kind of content). It’s just another day… and you’re just doing what you need to do. You’re getting things done, and the day moves forward in this continuous sequence of checklists, actions, and respites. »

Book Review: Nomadland

Some call them homeless. The new nomads refer to themselves as ‘houseless’. Many took to the road after their savings were obliterated by the Great Recession. To keep their gas tanks and bellies full, they work long hours at hard, physical jobs. In a time of flat wages and rising housing costs, they have unshackled themselves from rent and mortgages as a way to get by. They are surviving America. »

Finland's intriguing take on the homelessness problem

In Finland, the number of homeless people has fallen sharply. The reason: The country applies the “Housing First” concept. Those affected by homelessness receive a small apartment and counselling – without any preconditions. 4 out of 5 people affected thus make their way back into a stable life. And: All this is cheaper than accepting homelessness. Finland’s take on the homelessness problem is remarkable and gives hope. I live in a small town where the problem is not as apparent as in, say, San Francisco. »

How to remove a file from Git history

Today I learned how to remove a file from a git repository while also cleaning it from the history. When you delete it with git rm or git rm --cached, tracks remain in the commit history (the reflog). That might not be a big deal, but if the file has sensitive contents that you want to disappear from version control entirely, then you also want it cleaned from the reflog. That’s when git filter-branch comes to the rescue. »

On GitHub Copilot

Like everyone else on the planet, I’ve been following GitHub Copilot since its launch. It is an impressive achievement and a remarkable milestone for the deep learning industry, that’s for sure. We are obviously at the early stages in deep learning applied to software development, and it is somewhat unsettling to ponder what the future might hold in this field. Like many others, however, I worry about code quality issues and the risk of license infringements1. »