What’s New – October 30th, 2019

If you were bored enough to have read my post last month, then you know that I’ve decided that the best way to hold myself accountable to finish tasks and projects is to tell someone what I’m doing. Even if nobody sees it, to me, it’s like I’ve made a promise to whoever hears that I’ll try my hardest to follow through. A lot has happened since September 9th, and I’m more than excited to share. So, without further ado, here’s what’s new

What’s Dead

A screenshot of now-defunct Spunk, a non-linear video+audio editor.

I was serious about trying to follow through – in fact, I only killed one thing this month:

  • Spunk – A Web-based, free, progressive Web app for non-linear editing of audio and video. Though its name was inspired by Audacity, it seems I didn’t have the sheer spunk to finish it after all. Now that Chrome has native filesystem support, it’s a nice target for cross-platform “desktop” apps, so I decided to hack away. Either way, I found out that Blender has the exact functionality I was looking for, and as an added bonus, I already had it installed. It’s very refreshing to not rewrite the wheel.

What’ I’m Actively Working On

A screenshot of the rejuvenated Reel app (with a curse word censored for posterity).
  • Internship season – I have upcoming interviews with both Microsoft and Facebook, and on top of that, I found out yesterday that I made it past the hiring committee review at Google, and will be able to achieve my longtime dream of becoming an intern in Mountain View, CA. I’m beyond excited, and will probably write a longer article containing tips for students who are applying to internships.
  • alexa_skill – I got an Amazon Echo for fewer than 10 dollars, and got to work on porting the Java SDK to Dart, so it could be used with Angel. That being said, the Angel functionality is in a separate angel_alexa package, and instead, the main alexa_skill includes handlers for shelf. I’ll soon start hosting skills at https://skills.thosakwe.com, but in the meantime, check out the repo: https://github.com/thosakwe/alexa_skill
  • tiny-sandbox – A wrapper over chroot, unshare, and other Linux programs, in Python, to let you easily (and programmatically) provision unprivileged sandboxes/containers for untrusted code. There’s a very specific reason I needed this. Stay tuned in the months to come… Anyways: https://github.com/thosakwe/tiny-sandbox
  • Reel – This was marked dead last month, but in the spirit of “finish what you start,” I spent about a week grinding on the app and server. If I were to spend maybe a week or two more, I could have a beta out with all the ingredients necessary to make a scalable social media app. That being said, I don’t plan to release it for a long time, because I don’t think there will be a viable chance to catch on unless Twitter declines in popularity.
  • manda – I was working on this last month too, but left it alone for a bit (for good reason, though – I had to focus on school and interviews). Major progress this month includes completely ditching bison – good riddance – and instead hand-rolling a recursive, memory-safe descent parser in C++. I’ve also begun working on compiling Manda source code to an intermediate representation. I don’t plan to come up with a bytecode format, and instead will combine the new compiler and IR with the old JIT implementation. We’re now sitting at 396 commits… And yet very little functionality. It’ll probably be a couple more months before I make the repository public.


Thanks for reading! Cross your fingers, and pray that I follow through, and write another such post next month.

They say it takes 21 days to form a habit. Does that apply here? Who knows?

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