Dev Environments

Venkat’s new post about dev environments got me to reconsider some work I’ve been doing in the course of 2023 in a protocol-adjacent light:

  1. The death of Twitter and Reddit got me drawing Wardley maps in a big way. Here’s one, about the state of play of microblogging tools and the infrastructure I depend on to use them:

    Boxes on the same level are roughly alternatives to each other. I don’t show all possible dependencies, only the critical ones where the alternatives don’t work. So the lines end up highlighting bottlenecks in one tiny part of my own personal supply chains.

  2. That’s just choosing between existing alternatives. As a programmer, I’ve spent a lot of time in 2023 creating alternatives for myself. Anything I create is of course way to the left of the Wardley map, but it still feels workable at a small scale. My apps are cross-platform and can be modified as they run without needing to install any additional dependencies. At their heart is a “protocol”, with scare quotes because I explicitly make no compatibility guarantees. The idea is that one controls both sides of this communications channel, and so one is free to modify the language spoken on it if necessary. That said, it’s such a simple thing that I haven’t felt the need to make any changes at all. You can read more about this approach and how it connects up to my larger worldview around Wardley maps in this talk. Most recently I’ve been getting into mobile development with this dev stack, so that my apps can be even more cross-platform.