Some odds and ends

My time at Redgate is coming to an end, so I’ve been reading a fair few books on some of the new technologies that I’ll be using in my new job. More on that later.

First some interesting videos and posts from the last month or so.

I’ve been getting to grips with Comonads as part of my push to understand Haskell in more depth. This talk on implementing the Game of Life using Comonads was interesting,  and it also led me to watching this slightly more in depth talk. This talk on UIs being Comonads, part of a series on Purescript was how I started this path.

This article on KVM made sense, and gives enough of an overview to help you understand where KVM sits.

I’ve been using React a little, and have found it a great technology. Of course, I’d like to understand more about what is happening under the covers, and this series of blog posts  helped me understand the reconciliation process between the React tree and rendered browser DOM, by way of the new Fiber engine. This YouTube video is also a good overview.

MySQL High Availability

I found this book in the local library and thought I’d give it a read. I read the older version, which was written just after MySQL had extended the statement level replication to support row based replication. I enjoyed the level of detail, and the hands-on nature which shows you the commands you’ll need to run to start the replication process. The idea of using replicas so that writes go to the master and reads go to one or more slaves is an idea that seems to come up all the time in system design examples. This book gave me a good feel for how this all works. After I read this book, I found this blog post which gives a grief summary of the ideas.

Fluent Python

I have done bits and pieces in Python in the past, but wanted to get a better grip of the more advanced features of the language. I was lucky enough to find this book in a local bookshop.

The book has several sections:

  • data structures, which talks about the basic sequence types, as well as dictionaries, sets and text
  • functions as objects, which talks about functions as first class entities, and includes decorators and closures
  • object oriented idioms which discusses object references, mutability and recycling, the meaning of a Pythonic object, interfaces and inheritance.
  • control flow, which covers iterables, iterators and generators, contexts, coroutines and concurrency. This is a part of Python about which I knew nothing, and the book covered it really well.
  • metaprogramming, which talks about adding dynamic attributes and properties to classes as well as class level metaprogramming

I really enjoyed the book. It discussed everything at the right level, with enough details to really understand what is happening under the covers. In fact, the author shows the byte code at times to help you understand what is going on.

Managing Kubernetes

This book talks about the operational side of managed a Kubernetes installation. As such you get to see a little more about what happens in the standard components, and it also covers monitoring, disaster recovery and authentication which are aspects you really need to understand if your business depends on it.

Pro .NET Memory Management

It’s impossible to describe how good this book is. It covers the implementation of the .NET garbage collector in great detail, often linking back to the sources. It works through various case studies to show you issues that you may need to work around, and it spends a lot of time showing you how to use ETW and perfview to diagnose issues in your application that are caused by garbage collection. It’s a massive book that takes quite a while to read, and I’m going to need to re-read it loads of times to really understand it all.

The level of detail in the book is truly awe-inspiring.

Quantum Space

I’ve always been interested int he unified theories of physics and wanted to understand the progress in Loop Quantum Gravity. This book covers some of the history of the theory and is a good read.

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