I’ve been playing around more with nix lately. I like what I’ve seen from it so far: declare dependencies and get an isolated shell with those dependencies. If distributed, the environment can be trivially recreated on another machine. So far, it’s been a struggle to get a working Python environment with dependencies setup. I’ve gotten a lot of cryptic error messages after trying a number of different flake.nix files. I plan to continue to experiment, but thus far the learning curve is tough.
Some unstructured thoughts on the types of tasks language models seem to be good (and bad) at completing: A language model is an effective tool for solving problems when can describe the answer or output you want from it with language. A language model is a good candidate to replace manual processes performed by humans, where judgement or application of semantic rules is needed to get the right answer. Existing machine learning approaches are already good at classifying or predicting over a large number of features, specifically when one doesn’t know how things can or should be clustered or labelled just by looking at the data points.
Experimenting with using a language model to improve the input prompt, then use that output as the actual prompt for the model, then returning the result. It’s a bit of a play on the “critique” approach. Some of the outputs were interesting but I need a better way to evaluate the results. import sys import openai MODEL = "gpt-3.5-turbo-16k" IMPROVER_PROMPT = """ You are an expert prompt writer for a language model.


I’ve been working through a series on nix-flakes. It’s well written and shows some interesting applications of the tool set. I’m still trying to wrap my head around exactly where nix could fit in in my development lifecycle. It seems like it wraps up builds and package management into one. Sort of like docker, bazel, pip/npm/brew all in one. The tutorial has shown some useful variations and has convinced me flakes is the way to go, but I need to spend some more time better understanding the primitives as well.
Facebook (Meta, whatever) announced Threads today to launch on July 6th. Given how much worse it feels like Twitter has become (my experience only), on one hand, I could see people migrating here because no great alternative has really emerged. On the other, Facebook has zero “public” products where the user experience is even palatable for me, personally (I use Whatsapp but it’s basically iMessage). Instagram and Facebook both rapidly became completely intolerable for me due to their content.
Go introduced modules several years ago as part of a dependency management system. My Hugo site is still using git submodules to manage its theme. I attempted to migrate to Go’s submodules but eventually ran into a snag when trying to deploy the site. To start, remove the submodule git submodule deinit --all and then remove the themes folder git rm -r themes To finish the cleanup, remove the theme key from config.
A simple shell function to setup a Python project scaffold. It’s idempotent, so it won’t overwrite an existing folder or env. pproj () { mkdir -p $1 cd $1 python -m venv env . env/bin/activate }
I’ve been following Jason’s working experimenting with different abstractions for constructing prompts and structuring responses. I’ve long felt that building prompts with strings is not the type of developer experience that will win the day. On the other hand, I’m weary of the wrong abstraction that would move the developer too far away from the actual prompt, which would make it harder to construct good prompts and steer the model. I’m not sure if this is an ORM vs.
Did some work with Clojure destructuring. Unpack values into specific variables. user=> (let [[a b c] [1 2 3]] (println a b c)) 1 2 3 nil Unpack the first N items, ignoring the rest. user=> (let [[a b] [1 2 3]] (println a b)) 1 2 nil Unpack the first N items to variables and capture the rest as an array. user=> (let [[a b & rst] [1 2 3 4 5]] (println a b rst)) 1 2 (3 4 5) nil
Doing math with a non-big decimal number and a big decimal number can cast down. user=> (* 0.1 101M) 10.100000000000001 user=> (bigdec (* 0.1 101M)) 10.100000000000001M