.NET Disappointment: Microsoft's Regressing Us Back to the Old Ways

I’ve had an off again/on again relationship with Microsoft over the years. I despised them through the 90s as they became the big brother corporation gobbling up all of the computer market while Mac, Unix, and other operating systems like BeOS went by the wayside both as a natural process and because of monopolistic practices MS imposed on system vendors. The same was true for how they successfully dominated the early web after stumbling out of the gates. But most of my professional development and engineering life was on Windows machines, using Visual Studio, apps that only ran on Windows, developing software that only ran on .NET. It was only in the 2012 period on when customer’s demanded Linux-based systems that I was able to practically break free from that and my having alternative OS’s like Mac, Linux, or a BSD being just a side thing. At the same time the tech stacks I was working with lacked some of the cleanness and modernness I was used to expecting with .NET. That’s why I was so excited when Microsoft bought Xamarin, .NET Core came out, and it looked like Microsoft was going to finally embrace open source cross platform development. While it was never all roses and there were stumbles it was still a process that was moving in the right direction. It was but doesn’t seem to be any longer.

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Why Copyleft Mozilla Public License is my favorite

I have never been an open source purist or ideologue. It actually wasn’t until ten years ago or so that I really started to engage with and contribute to open source projects. In that time I’ve migrated from being philosophically ambivalent about free and open source software (FOSS) to being a very large proponent of it. Even within that progression I’ve gone from finding the “viral nature” of copyleft licenses to be unfair to feeling that non-copyleft licenses lead to more practical unfairness in many cases. My driving motivation is the essence of fairness combined with believing that humans sharing information as openly as possible is what is best for us all. I optimize that in my own projects by choosing the copyleft Mozilla Public License (MPL) as my go-to open source license. In this post I detail my thoughts behind that.

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Simplified Jim Lahey NYT No Knead Bread Technique
Simplified Jim Lahey No Knead Bread


When someone comes to me asking how to get started with making bread I usually point them to Jim Lahey’s no-knead bread technique which was made famous in the New York Times, video link here. It is a dirt simple way to get tasty bread which most of the times comes out looking nice. However one potentially daunting part of it is the use of a dutch oven preheated to 500 degrees that one has to put the dough into. I was discussing this with my neighbors as a great thing to do with kids but the dutch oven step had me concerned. I therefore decided to try it with cold metal bowls and cookie sheets instead. As you can see above and below my first try didn’t come out perfect but I think it came out well enough to document it here.

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Sourdough Starting Restarting
Tartine loaf from restarted starter


As a software engineer I know that having backups is important in case things are accidentally deleted or destroyed I also know that testing backups is an important thing to do. Simply having it doesn’t count. For my sourdough starter that I’ve been keeping going for over a decade and that the neighbor who gave me some has kept going since the mid-70s the fear of accidentally killing it means that it gets a backup. The backup is in the form of drying it out and storing it like that. I did this several years ago with mixed success. Now that I have a food dehydrator I have a much better backup. It’s so good that some friends want some for themselves to get started with sourdough. I therefore have decided to document the process of reactivating the dried starter. This whole process takes 4-5 days to go from dried flakes to making a fully raised real loaf of bread.

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Sourdough Discard Individual Roll
Sourdough starter discard individual roll


While sourdough discard can be used for many purposes from English Muffins to pancakes to pizzas, sometimes I just want to use it up quickly and easily and no fuss. I do this by using all of the starter to make a sourdough roll. This won’t be the sexiest best roll you’ve ever had but it is tasty and is the equivalent of a “one pot” past recipe but for sourdough bread.

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Picture of Me (Hank)

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