Four short links: 14 Dec 2020

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  1. End-to-end Entity Resolution for Big Data — Introduction to the entity resolution pipeline and the algorithms at the different stages. Includes a summary of open source tools and their features. (via Adrian Colyer)
  2. 33 Engineering Challenges of Building Mobile Apps at Scale — Part 1, covering the first 10, is up. They are: 1. State management; 2. Mistakes are hard to revert; 3. The long tail of old app versions; 4. Deeplinks; 5. Push and background notifications; 6. App crashes; 7. Offline support; 8. Accessibility; 9. CI/CD and the build train; 10. Device & OS fragmentation.
  3. Cognitive Effort vs Physical Pain — We found that cognitive effort can be traded off for physical pain and that people generally avoid exerting high levels of cognitive effort. This explains why more people don’t use (your favourite editor).
  4. If-Then-Else Had to be Invented — The history of where “else” came from, and it’s a fascinating archaeological romp through the ages of programming. E.g., Flow-Matic, Grace Murray Hopper’s predecessor to COBOL, made the three-way if a little easier to think about by talking about comparing two numbers instead of about the signs of numbers. It introduced the name “otherwise” for the case where the comparison wasn’t what you were looking for.
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