Simply Jonathan

Stephen Wolfram explaining ChatGPT 

And from February, Stephen Wolfram’s tome on ChatGPT. This is definitely not gentle, but also very good.

Large language models, explained with a minimum of math and jargon 

High-level introduction to how LLMs work.

I’m not sure this is really a ‘gentle primer’, but I do think this is a very good introduction.

Rethinking Window Management 

An approach to window management unlike anything I’ve seen. I really like the idea of a mosaic as a sort of multi-dimensional tiling.

Via Lukas Mathis

Joining GAN Integrity

On Monday, 1 August 2023, I joined GAN Integrity as a tech lead.

GAN Integrity are certainly not a household name, but are a leading global provider of compliance software to large enterprises.

For me this also marks a change, not just in employer but also in job description: This will be my first entry into management. This is something I’ve been looking actively for for quite a while, and I’m really happy to be taking that on at GAN.

Tech debt metaphor maximalism 

I must admit I’ve never given the tech debt metaphor much thought; it’s always framed as an unmitigated negative, something outside factors foist upon you, and that’s how I’ve tended to think about it.

This is a deep dive into the metaphor, examining how it works on multiple levels, including how you can intentionally taking on tech debt, using the time saved as an investment to ship faster.

Via Simon Willison


Permanent location of 'Bilithification'

Glyph describes some concrete steps to follow to begin splitting a monolith into a micro service (steering well clear of suggestion that micro services solve everyone’s needs).

SimPy’s Defense of Design 

This is a, to me, novel concept: Defence of design decisions or ‘why did we do it like this’.

I have never been involved with a large-scale project that didn’t have seemingly-weird decisions (and I’ve contributed my fair share), and an explanation would probably have helped.

The only problem I see will be in identifying them before it’s too late (and you forget why), but the presence of such a document surely shouldn’t hinder that.

In a sense this is the “comments should explain why not what“ maxim extracted into a document.

Via Hillel Wayne

Lionel Messi: The evolution of the greatest footballer of all time 

(Paywalled at the Athletic.)

Reads like a love letter to the greatest player ever.

Syntax highlighting is a waste of an information channel 

Interesting thoughts from Hillel Wayne on how to get more from syntax highlighting.

Being context-aware is usually a good thing; the difficulty often arises when determining context: either it’s done automatically, with all the errors inherent in trying to guess that, or it’s a manual process, at which point it becomes something that you have to get in the habit of using (or not, as often ends up being the case). But I definitely think there’s something to the idea.

Joining GreenMobility

I don’t blog a lot, but when I do, it’s apparently to say that I’ve got a new job. After four years at Veo (née Sportcaster) I’m super excited to be joining GreenMobility, a 100% electric car sharing service, on 1 February 2021.

Over the past few years I’ve changed a lot about the way I conduct myself in the world; I’ve changed my diet, I’ve become much more focussed on reuse instead of buying new and I’ve made a conscious effort about flying less (which was not exactly made difficult with the state of the world for the past year, but the plans were already in place before that). I had also come to realise that if I did decide to move on from Veo, it would be to work with green technology, and GreenMobility fits that to a tee. (As a coworker at Veo remarked, it’s also helpful that I don’t have to learn new company colours, but when I joined Sportcaster the company colours were red and white!) It’s also a fun change for me to be able to work on something that I actually use on my own time; much as Veo aligns with my interest in football, I have never had a use for the product outside of Veo-related activities. I still do, and will continue to, prefer bicycling and public transport over individual car riding, but GreenMobility has come in super handy for the times when a car is needed, and replacing more use cases where people would ordinarily use their own gas-powered cars is exhilarating.

When I joined what was then called Sportcaster the company looked much different than it does today: I brought the head count up to 7, we all fit in a single room, and there was no product. There was, however, a lot of ambition and potential, and today Veo is a company with 100 employees spread across half a dozen countries across the world, with a product that’s being used by some of the largest (and a lot of not so large!) football clubs in the world, including my beloved Brøndby IF and Chelsea FC. Veo just closed a €20 million funding round and I wish them all the best for the future.

This is Simply Jonathan, a blog written by Jonathan Holst. It's mostly about technical topics (and mainly the Web at that), but an occasional post on clothing, sports, and general personal life topics can be found.

Jonathan Holst is a programmer, language enthusiast, sports fan, and appreciator of good design, living in Copenhagen, Denmark, Europe. He is also someone pretentious enough to call himself the 'author' of a blog. And talk about himself in the third person.