“Myths about /dev/urandom” and “What Is JavaScript Made Of?”

Today I read an excellent post: Thomas Hühn’s “Myths about /dev/urandom.” Highly recommended reading; especially if, like me, you can never remember which of /dev/random and /dev/urandom is the correct one to use.

Mnemonic: The u in /dev/urandom stands for “unlimited,” or perhaps “un-blocking.”

Even better mnemonic: The u in /dev/urandom stands for “You should use this one.” (Thomas Ptacek says: “Use urandom.”)

A few weeks ago I read another excellent post: Dan Abramov’s “What Is JavaScript Made Of?” (December 2019). I especially appreciate some of the little things he does, such as introducing “equality” === before “loose equality” ==, and his bit on {} which I’m just going to quote here:

We mentioned earlier that 2 is equal to 2 (in other words, 2 === 2) because whenever we write 2, we “summon” the same value. But whenever we write {}, we will always get a different value! So {} is not equal to another {}. Try this in console: {} === {} (the result is false). When the computer meets 2 in our code, it always gives us the same 2 value. However, object literals are different: when the computer meets {}, it creates a new object, which is always a new value.

In dead-tree news, I’ve also received a copy of John Lakos’ new book Large-Scale C++, Volume 1: Process and Architecture (many thanks, Addison-Wesley!) and am slowly progressing through it. Somehow I’m 200 pages in and I’m still on “chapter 1.”

Posted 2020-02-09