Honing my craft

Recurse Center Day 3

August 12, 2020

Had a really condensed and productive day today. The Hack n Tell model is really perfect for these short bursts of focused energy, but now my brain is tired.

Spent the morning just reading lightly. Nothing too major. There was the 11:00am check in, then a 11:30 compilers study group planning session. We’re going to read Engineering a Compiler as two chapters a week, and there will also be a 1x a week meeting on Tuesdays just to discuss open source projects to contribute to. LLVM sounds really interesting, I may try to get my hands dirty in a week or two.

During the first Hack n Tell sprint, I managed to write some more Rust and finish chapter 15 of Crafting Interpreters. We have a very small stack based virtual machine. I’m hesitant to call it bytecode, as I’m using Rust’s typesystem to capture constants as a type rather than pushing two ops into an array. But it’s the spirit of the law, I guess. Overall I’m happy with the work. Rust is slowly starting to become syntactically natural with practice. Admittedly I’m sure it’s not all idiomatic, but that’s okay. Diff here.

For the second Hack n Tell, I hit a wave of inspiration from the compiler study group meeting (inspiration from community is the best part of RC, it seems). I remembered Rome - I’ve got a lot of respect for @sebmck, and figured if I want to get my hands in a big project that’s a developer toolchain application, why not Rome? It’s early, they’ll need help. Luckily there’s a LOT of missing tests, so after hopping in the Discord I opened up a pull request. I’m hoping to make 4-5 contributions during RC. Ideally not all tests, but it at least lets me navigate the code base a bit.

Tomorrow I’ll probably chill a bit - I did the reading for Nand2Tetris week 1 today and want to watch the videos. The calendar looks less hectic so I’ll probably just consume some learning, MAYBE another test case.

Nikhil Thomas

I work and live in Brooklyn, NY building software.