This is the 4th OKR, the last of 2020 (although it’s almost the end of Feb. 2021). This is actually the first post of the year 2021. I should say happy new year to you (though late), but I think I should wish you a healthy life instead.

There were quite a few personal upheavals in this Q. But unfortunately, I can’t share it here. It means it will probably be forgotten.

But similar to previous OKRs, let’s do a quick summary of the world in the 2020 Q4.

Well, Corona Virus is still killing people. As of today, it took over two million life worldwide. Imagine a disease wipe out the entire population of a middle size European country (e.g. Slovenia) in a year. In most of the days in the U.S., the death toll is like one 9-11 everyday. I can’t imagine how many families have been shattered by this.

The situation in Germany is improving, amid multiple extensions of the lockdown. In some days, there were over 1000 deaths. There are multiple more contagious mutations of the virus. Mutation is a direct consequence of us letting the virus wrecks havoc. Usually, these pathogens mutate in a direction of becoming more contagious but less virulent. But remember, for those with weaker immune system, any virus infection can be lethal. Also, enlarging the number of infected, despite less virulent, can also mean more deaths.

Vaccine is here. Many of them have great efficacy. In rich countries, immunization programs have rolled out since December. Israel, for example, has the fastest immunization rate of the world and a few days ago, the government proclaimed that they have entered the final phrase of the pandemic, i.e. from now on, the incidence will only go down and no relapse. Here in Germany, the vaccine is prioritized. Older population and health care workers first.

I don’t know where do I stand in the German vaccine queue. I am not a “system relevant” worker, in my middle year, no chronic disease, and ich bin Ausländer. My estimation is that I may not be able to get the vaccine until Q3. Maybe even in 2022.

In my last OKR, I mentioned the US election. That’s probably the most widely watched drama in 2020, only after Queen’s Gambit, I guess.

Biden is the new president. But Trumpists tried (and still, is trying) very hard to delegitimize Biden’s winning by claiming purported voter fraud. This lingering campaign to delegitimize Biden culminated into the storming of the Capitol on 6th January. Well, that is a boon for the authoritarian governments around the world. I can imagine Putin or Xi would be happy to see the failure of American democracy. Because of that, Trump faced his 2nd impeachment, and then again, were acquitted.

The whole world is still experiencing the fallout of that event. People were worrying the transition of power would not be peaceful. Luckily, the transition was peaceful. But it made a precedence: Trump was not there. And up to this day, he still has not conceded.

Talking about my Heimatland Hong Ko… oh, there is a big eagle, look at that!

Enough with this crazy world, let’s OKR.

think out loud

I’ve accumulated a huge collection of half-baked blog drafts. I’ve tried very hard to finish some of them but they are becoming very long. Let’s not talk about the quantity. I think quality is probably more important.

I am quite satisfied with the post on C++. It has been widely retweeted. I think this post hits an ignored spot: self-taught R programmers who want to write more optimized code.

contribute to open source

I have fixed some bugs of oolong, which were reported by the users. I have also “soft-launched” an R package on github. If you are curious, you can have a look. But I think I will only make the “hard-launch” later.

publish top papers

Last time I said “I will not be said, if there will be no new paper published in the Q4.” But I have actually published one. The Journal of Open Source Software (JOSS) paper of oolong is published.

This is the first time for me to publish in JOSS. It is quite different from my experience with typical scientific journals. I was actually quite frustrated with JOSS. Despite being a journal publishing so-called “software papers” (i.e. DOI records for people to cite the software), reviewers might not see it that way: The revised oolong paper is 7 pages long!

improve myself

I get better at C++. Please read my previous blog post.

publish a book

Nothing. But there was an occasion that I needed to present a part of the book. And that leaded to a clarification of one concept.