My first-ever open source contribution, a couple years ago, was to a project called Pygments. My motivation? GitHub was displaying Racket source code poorly. Pygments didn’t have a Racket lexer. GitHub was using a Scheme lexer for Racket code. The Scheme lexer was highlighting square brackets in red as an “error”. This was really distracting and ugly.
I contributed a new Racket lexer to Pygments, and waited for that to roll into a Pygments release and in turn be deployed on GitHub. Finally Racket code looked good! Later Dave Corbett substantially improved the Racket lexer beyond my small start.
A few days ago, I was confused to see that Racket code was displaying poorly again on GitHub. The square brackets were highlighted in red as errors — again??
Cartoon-me’s thought balloons: WAT, OMFG, FML, &c. Why are we going in circles?
I’m at the end of week 6 at Hacker School, which marks the halfway point. There are overlapping 12-week batches. As a result, the previous batch never-graduated yesterday.
My early weeks here included some pairing, and it was fun, but I spent more time learning and coding solo. My previous week was nearly the opposite. I spent most of my time pairing with Sumana Harihareswara.
If you’re coming to Racket from another REPL language (such as another Lisp), this post might be real Captain Obvious material.
But if you’re coming to Racket from an edit/compile/debug language like C or C++, it might be unclear what a typical workflow is. You might have questions like:
- How do I compile?
- How do I debug?
Last week I decided to pivot from Clojure hands-on to Haskell hands-on.
Here are my notes about being puzzled about some Clojure code and diving into the implementation to figure it out. Although I figured it out the hard way, the exploration turned out to be interesting for me.
I spent most of late Thursday and Friday working on open source projects that pre-date Hacker School.
Yesterday a couple people asked me, “How and why do you use macros in a Lisp like Racket or Clojure?”.
I gave answers like:
Although all true, I wasn’t sure I was getting the full idea across.
So I’ve fallen behind on the blogging, for a few reasons. Time to catch up.
I’m calling this “day 5” as a useful fiction. It’s a distillation of what is closer to days 5–7, or something like that.
As I mentioned before, this series of blog posts is going more directly from brain to web. Reflection and editing? Not so much.
- Spent time with Clojure Cookbook.
- Started a cheat sheet for Racket ↔ Clojure.
- Looked at
- Started a port of wffi from Racket to Clojure.
- Confusion: Aggregates and generics.
Please see the usual disclaimers from my previous posts.
As I mentioned yesterday, my next toy project is to write wrappers libraries for the new Hacker News API. This seems like a good exercise because the REST API is very simple, and I have experience doing this sort of thing in Racket. In fact, I’ll do the same thing in both Racket and Clojure.
The result is clacker-news and racker-news. Trademark registration application is in-process.1