The Silence of the West Coast

It came to be that the west coast’s largest state fell eerily silent.

The cause was unknown for a long time. Nobody talked about it, obviously.

It took volumes of writing on the internet, filled with hashtags and emoji, to sort the issue out.

Legislators met in Sacramento to discuss the problem, quietly at first. As their resolve grew, so did the volume of their collected voice. Their numbers increased.

They could not be shut up!

This powerful wave of discussion rolled south, down the Pacific Coast Highway, finally reaching into Los Angeles and Hollywood.

People who once made a living there speaking or posing in front of cameras once more found their voice. It made their day jobs as bartenders, waiters, and waitresses much easier.

Legislation was no longer necessary. The problem solved itself through the sheer willpower and force of those once affected.

In a town filled with actors and models and their agents, Hollywood could not be held muteable.

Drawing ElixirConf 2015

Things can start so innocently before they snowball.

I’m growing increasingly antsy in my old age. I can’t sit still and watch a video anymore to the exclusion of anything else. So when I sat down to watch some ElixirConf 2015 talks, I started doodling.

The first couple came out OK, so I soon started skipping to other videos just to doodle some more.

I don’t do caricatures, but I did do this tonight:


* Jessica Kerr’s Keynote

This is the first one I drew, super fast and super small and loose. In my mind, there’s more detail to be had, but I am proud of getting most of the pattern of her top correct. ;–)

Remember Jessica’s message: Write Elixir blog posts! This counts. Right, Jessitron? Maybe?


* Alan Gardner’s “Phoenix With Elm”

I watched the first half of this talk. I’m not sure if my mind is blown or just terribly confused.


I just wanted to draw the hair, in all honesty…



* Wendy Smoak’s “How To Contribute to Elixir and Phoenix”

This counts. Right, Wendy? Maybe?


* Steven Proctor’s “Beaming With Joy”

Hey, he used my art in his slideshow. I had to look at this one!

I’m looking forward to watching this, just because Stephen was the first person I ever met (at ElixirConf 2014) with an Elixir app in production. I’m interested in seeing how much further he’s gone in the last year.


* Lennart Fridén’s “Virtually Instructional”


* Johnny Winn’s “Elixir Fountain Roundtable”

I briefly considered attempting to draw this whole panel, but then sanity set in.

OK, that’s it for tonight’s drawing exercises. I should go watch one of these talks now.

Will there ever be a part two of this? You never know…

Why Do People Hate Web Ads So Much?

Click on link to see video.

Scroll down the page to get to video.

Scroll down again because a video ad just popped up above it and started autoplaying because I scrolled past it.

Play video.

Click the “X” button to close the ad that’s in the middle of the video.

Scroll up now because the pop up ad video just finished and closed and the whole page just auto scrolled back up.

Watch video. 10 seconds before the end, close the next ad that pops up to block my view of the video.

The web is an annoying place to go these days…

When Elixir Transpiles to Perl6…

The problem with outlets like Slack and Twitter is that they’re ephemeral. Information goes there to die. It’ll never be found again after about 24 hours.

It has been suggested that folks using those outlets to discover things should report them back on their blogs or somewhere more permanent.

I think that’s a great idea, so I’m preserving this discussion here on my blog for eternity. (Or until I fail to pay a hosting bill…)

I asked on Twitter the other day what we’d call a project that converted Elixir code into Perl6 code. Forget ElixirScript; what’s the transpiler to Perl6 going to be named?

  • I suggested Elixerl, which would be dang near impossible to pronounce without biting a cheek or something.

  • Onorio Catenacci suggested Perlixir, which I liked even more.

  • Lew Parker floated a test balloon with Perlix. Like any good piece of Perl coding, it has the advantage of using fewer characters.

  • Luke Imhoff suggested “Mantle”. Why, you ask? “The part of a clam that ‘licks’ a pearl to make it bigger is the mantle, so I propose Mantle so it has to be explained.”

I can’t argue with him, and I also like the word play.

Now, let me be on the record with this: I have no plans on writing something to move Elixir code to Perl6. This is strictly hypothetical. Unless you want to write such a thing. I wouldn’t know where to start…

The iPad Pro and Palm Rejection

At the iPad Pro unveiling last month, the folks doing demos on stage had one noticeable tic: None of them wanted to use the pencil while placing their hand on the screen.

And in the videos introducing the iPad Pro and the Apple Pencil, many of the people drawing did so with a conspicuously raised hand.

I admit it; I was one of those who was worried that the palm rejection wasn’t good on the device.

Recently, Apple sent some iPad Pros over to PIXAR to try out, and the response was positive, along with word that palm rejection was “perfect.”

So I went back to the videos from the original introduction and watched them with fresh eyes. Guess what?

There are plenty of examples in the two videos of people drawing with their fleshy palms on the screen at the same time.

From the iPad Pro introduction video. and the Apple Pencil introduction video:







Even the pinky can’t distract the iPad Pro

Lesson learned? We often find proof to fit our own narratives, when the truth is staring us right in the face.

I think Confucius taught me that.

Serial Deprecator José Valim Strikes Again

We pause this blog for late-breaking news out of ElixirConf 2015.

José Valim: The most dangerous man in language design?

Austin, TX: Serial deprecator José Valim struck again this weekend, claiming four more victims in his ongoing campaign of “simplification.”

In a shocking speech in front of a crowd of over 250 people, Valim vowed to take out no less than four data structures in the Elixir language. HashSet, HashDict, Set, and Dict would be the next to go.

Gasps of horror and outrage could be heard throughout the room, as tables filled with functional fiends quickly bolted to their laptops, loaded up Github, and made a mad dash to convert their code into Maps.

“What did HashSet ever do to you?” cried one coder in Valim’s direction as he git branched the hell out of his project.

One witness, who preferred to remain anonymous, wondered if there was an ulterior motive. “Dude, remember when Apple took out Google Maps? We didn’t have a good set of driving directions for weeks. What if he moves Maps now to a paid edition of Elixir? What if only the biggest corporations could afford Maps?”

Another, even more hysterical user who claimed proficiency in Phoenix despite not knowing any Elixir, said, “We need to ask ourselves now, what will we do if Valim comes for Maps next? Resort to structs?”

When this reporter pointed out that structs were a type of map, the anonymous commenter quickly sputtered and walked away, mumbling something about, “Action Cable is the future…” before being taken out by four burly Elixir fans with overgrown beards.

Some wondered whether this was already old news, or if Valim had engaged in a bit of inside information trading. Rumors quickly spread that Dave Thomas and Moose didn’t attend the conference at the last minute because they were too busy getting a jumpstart on rewriting “Programming Elixir.”

Saša Jurić and Benjamin Tan Wei Hao could not be reached for comment. Likely, they were already rewriting.

We asked the Erlang core team what they thought of this news. In a prepared statement, they answered, “It took us 30 friggin’ years to come up with a map. The biggest thing we’ve deprecated lately was a random function, and even that took years of debate. This Valim kid needs to slow down.”

No word yet as to whether the local Austin police department would respond to the complaints made immediately to 911 regarding this development. But since no deprecation has technically yet been made, and “Minority Report”-style precognition doesn’t yet exist, it’s questionable whether a crime has actually been committed.

“It’s hate speech, pure and simple,” declared the one HashSet user later in the afternoon, as tears poured down his face while rewriting his chat app to use Maps.

The world of Elixir is in an unsteady place tonight, as its legions of fans board planes to take them back home, wondering who might be next. Range lovers, in particular, could be seen looking over their shoulder as they exited the Norris Conference Center, the fear evident in their voice over what Valim might do at ElixirConf 2016…

Only time will tell.

Actually, only :calendar will tell. Elixir still has no Time or Date library.