Luis Thiam-Nye

with a silent 's'

To me, one of the most satisfying things is building something interesting and seeing it work. Growing up in a world of stunning feats of engineering, I developed a strong interest in computers and technology, particularly computer programming — a magic that allows you to turn imagination into some form of reality.

More specifically, I enjoy creating systems and software to make processes more efficient. Since time is finite, it only makes sense to constantly be asking "how could this be made better?" (That is as long as you optimise the right things and solve the right problems.)

As of lately, I'm preoccupied with the awful state of modern computer software; most software continues to degenerate into slow and unusable tangles of complexity. We must revisit the foundations of our software — only then can we begin thinking about building beautiful, long-lasting skyscrapers.

Current Status

  • Hobby: Software development mainly in Jai, attempting to make the state of software development less disasterous.
  • Occupation: Undergraduate student of Engineering at the University of Cambridge.
  • Location: UK.

What I Think

I like to think about a wide diversity of things, such as (1) how the world is a flaming dystopian car crash and (2) what can be done to fix that.

For example, what is going on with software development? Why is so much software so slow, bloated and broken?

Anyone in their sane mind would make efforts to transition to techniques that have not been tugged up from the depths of Satan's lair. But no. Instead, there has been a trend towards the usage of web technology (which is evident when so many apps run on Electron.js and React Native nowadays).

Optimisation is useless when you are optimising the right things. In my view, Google V8 and React etc. are impressive creations, but they are solving the wrong problems; a better version of Javascript can only take us so far. What we desparately need is a radically different alternative technology that comes from a world that makes sense — a world that obeys reasonable expectations.

HTML/JavaScript has the wonderful property of being portable between platforms. While it is good that something like that exists, the thought that HTML/JS is the best solution for cross-platform user interfaces is a depressing thought. There must be better ways.

Luckily, there are people willing to work at the low level to build things from scratch, better. The Jai programming language is a systems language with exceptionally good design. Hopefully, this will be a vital tool for restoring order and quality to the software landscape.

In the past, I was a heavy user of the Clojure programming language. It is a very interesting language that makes certain activities particularly convenient (e.g. data notation and manipulation) and dynamic code execution and introspection can be incredibly handy. My most interesting example of levering Clojure's features comes from a robotics project where I was able to easily alter and fine-tune the robot's program running remotely on a laptop.

If necessary, you can contact me via email here.

Last updated: 2023-08-03

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