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Today I Learned

Make LiveView template variables readable

If you ever seen this in the wild:

{:ok, assign(socket,
      %{my_variable: @my_variable
        my_other_variable: nil.
        yet_another_variable: nil 
      })}

Remember that applying elixir's pipe operator makes everything better:

def mount(_session, socket) do
    socket =
      socket
      |> assign(:my_variable, @my_variable)
      |> assign(:my_other_variable, nil)
      |> assign(:yet_another_variable, nil)
    {:ok, socket}
end

Currying in JavaScript

No, this has nothing to do with those delicious Indian curry dishes you might be thinking about, but with a functional technique used in JavaScript.

It seems confusing at first, but currying is simple. If you've never heard of it before, it's because this concept isn't native to JS.

Basically, it allows you to transform a function like f(a, b, c) into something like f(a)(b)(c). What that means is that you can split up a function with multiple arguments into a sequence of functions with one argument each.

Let's take a basic example.

const newUser = function(name, age, skill) {
  return {
    name,
    age,
    skill
  }
}
	
newUser("John", 27, "JS")

Now to the curry part:

const newUser = function(name) {
  return function(age) {
    return function(skill) {
      return {
        name,
        age,
        skill
      }
    }
  }
}
	
newUser("John")(27)("JS")

Add in some arrow functions and voila:

const newUser = 
  name => 
    age => 
      skill =>
      {
        name,
        age,
        skill
      }

The purpose of all this you might ask?

Think about situations when you don't have the complete data available in the beginning and you still need your function to gradually pass through your app and receive its arguments step by step as more and more data is arriving, until you add the final argument and receive the output.

Cheatsheet

As a developer, you frequently find yourself in the position when you forgot a certain syntax or you just want to see some quick code snippet to implement certain functionality. No need to google it now, you don't even need to leave your favorite terminal, welcome cheat.sh.

Usage:

curl cheat.sh/programming_language/query_string
curl cheat.sh/python/random+list+elements

Git delete all tags

Used to mark specific commits on git and often used to mark product releases on Github, git tags are important. But sometimes, you just need to delete them.

Here's a simple way to do that:

  • Delete all remote tags
git tag -l | xargs -n 1 git push --delete origin
  • Delete local tags
git tag | xargs git tag -d
  • Check if any tags are left
git tag

Use F12 as "Insert" in macOS terminal

On Apple keyboards we don't have an Insert key, and this is most annoying when using the command line or CLI tools like Midnight Commander.

We can fix this by re-assigning the F12 key:

  • Remove F12 as key from System Settings->Mission Control
  • Enable Use F1, F2, etc. keys as standard function keys in System Settings->Keyboard->Keyboard
  • Go to Terminal->Preferences and set the default profile as Pro
  • Go to Terminal->Preferences->Profiles->Keyboard and Replace F12 code with \033[2~

Make macOS remember your SSH keys after restart

We need to tell macOS to add the keys to the agent, in order to make them persistent after reboot.

We have to create new file in ~/.ssh/ called config

vi ~/.ssh/config

with the following content:

Host *
   AddKeysToAgent yes
   UseKeychain yes   

Then, we need to add our keys to the agent and macOS keychain (so your private key password is remembered).

ssh-add -D
ssh-add -K ~/.ssh/*

To verify that our keys are present in the agent:

ssh-add -l

LocalStorage event not triggering

Whenever a value is set in localStorage, a storage event will be dispatched on all other windows from the same origin. The event is not fired or catchable in the originator window when it is modified through a script.

This was a problem because I wanted to be able to have an Elm subscription as the only source of truth for my session.

In order to achieve this, I'm mimicking the storage event from within the command port as soon as the message is received through the port.

app.ports.commandPort.subscribe(session => {
  localStorage.session = JSON.stringify(session);
  app.ports.subscriptionPort.send(localStorage.session);
});
window.addEventListener(
    "storage",
    event => {
      if (event.storageArea === localStorage && event.key === "session") {
        app.ports.subscriptionPort.send(event.newValue);
      }
    },
    false
);

And in Elm:

port subscriptionPort : (Encode.Value -> msg) -> Sub msg
port commandPort : Maybe Encode.Value -> Cmd msg

Lists and Recursion in Elixir - Flatten a list

While reading Dave Thomas's book, Programming Elixir, I stumbled upon an exercise.

You're supposed to write a flatten(list) function that takes a list as a parameter. That list may contain any number of sublists, which themselves may contain sublists ... Your function should return all the elements of these lists in a single flattened list, all the while preserving the order of the elements.

In the beginning, it sounded a bit hard (especially since he mentioned in the book that the exercise it's hard), but after enough playing with the idea, I got to a fairly simple solution, simpler than what I thought it would be and the solutions I've found so far on the internet.

The result should look something like this:

iex> MyList.flatten([ 1, [ 2, 3, [4] ], 5, [[[6]]]])
[1,2,3,4,5,6]

Now the function:

defmodule MyList do
  def flatten([]), do: []
  def flatten([head | tail]) when is_list(head) do
	  flatten(flatten(head) ++ tail)
  end
  def flatten([head | tail]), do: [head | flatten(tail)]
end

At first I thought it wouldn't work, but tested it and got surprised.

The flatten function takes care of 3 cases:

  • the given list is empty
  • the head of the list is in itself a list, in which case it should be flattened
  • the head is not a list, in which case we continue with flattening the tail

Parsing a date string into a date sigil in Elixir

What I was trying to achieve, was to get a person's date of birth from a date_input and calculate the age of that particular person. The problem was that the input was giving back a string like "yyyy-mm-dd" with the date, while I needed a date sigil of the form ~D[yyyy-mm-dd] to use with the diff/2 function.

IO.inspect(date_of_birth) "1978-06-11"

So I learned that you can use the from_iso8601!/1 function to parse the date from a string to an Elixir Date sigil.

IO.inspect(Date.from_iso8601!(date_of_birth)) ~D[1978-06-11]
def calculate_age(date_of_birth) do
	date_of_birth
		|> Date.from_iso8601!()
		|> calculate_date_diff()
		|> div(365)
end
defp calculate_date_diff(date) do
	Date.diff(Date.utc_today(), date)
end

Why the private calculate_date_diff() function? Because the Date.diff() takes the oldest date as its second parameter, while using the Elixir pipeline adds the previous functions's result as a first parameter to the next function.

Upgrade your SSH Keys to the new Ed25519 standard

Why should you upgrade?

Your ssh key is most probably half a decade or more old, as with all technlologies, cryptographic algorithms evolve and all of them become less secure with time as vulnerabilites are discovered, or computing power increases. Good SysOps and DevOps often rotate their keys and you should too!

See all the benefits of Ed25519 here: https://ed25519.cr.yp.to

You need to upgrade right now if:

  • your key was generated using DSA you need to upgrade right now
  • your key was generated using RSA less than 3072bit length
  • your key was generated using ECDSA

Ed25519 is the public-key algorithm you should use today.

How to generate your key:

I like to have custom names for my keys, and I also add relevant information to key comments like: role, name and e-mail. The -o 100 option, increases the brute force resistance of your key by increasing the KDF rounds.

ssh-keygen -o -a 100 -t ed25519 -f ~/.ssh/zeno.popovici.ed25519 -C "Graffino Member :: Zeno Popovici (zeno@graffino.com)"

Don't forget to provide a strong password for your key.

Deploy (macOS)

You can now deploy your key. First, you need to add it to your keychain like this:

ssh-add -K ~/.ssh/zeno.popovici.ed25519

On macOS, to copy your public key to the clipboard and paste it into GitHub or other services you're using, just issue:

pbcopy < ~/.ssh/zeno.popovici.ed25519.pub

That's it!