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OKR #10

Posted on Jan 7, 2024 by Chung-hong Chan

Previously on this blog: my objectives / adjustment; actual OKR #1, #2, #3, #4, #5, #6, #7, #8, #9.

It’s 2024. For me, that’s the time for another OKR. This is the tenth OKR. When I did that for the first time, I didn’t think that I will make it to perhaps 3. But well, lo and behold, it’s the first double-digit edition.

After writing this for a few years, I now know that sometimes I cannot do well in all regards. It’s like life: One has limited amount of time and there is that much time available for getting probably the some amount of results. The differences would then be the different combinations of sub units.

As I said in my previous post, I traveled back home for the first time in four years in December. That trip made my wife and me think about how should we handle some of the old scars that we had and how should we better approach them. How should we face our lives so that we can have less regrets?

But anyway, I will try to give a future outlook first. I am actually typing this extremely slowly, because I am using the proper touch typing technique. I am typing now at a speed of maybe twenty words per minute. Now I am spending more time correcting mistakes than actually typing. I really feel that the placement of ‘u’ on a regular QWERTY keyboard is not logical. However, I don’t think I would switch to another keyboard layout, unless I can’t make it work in perhaps three months. With some experience in touch typing then I realized my emacs configuration is quite incompatible with touch typing. I will do something about it, but I will let you know later.

Why am I doing that? Well, the first reason is opportunistic: In the first quarter of this year I don’t need to program as much; probably I also don’t need to type as much, both professionally and also for this blog. Maybe it’s perfect time to endure the (hopefully initial only) slowness of adopting a new typing method. The goal, however, is that I don’t hope to type extremely fast. That’s because I don’t think as fast. I hope I can type without having to move my neck to look at my keyboard and make the future of working more comfortable.

Other than that, I don’t have a lot to looking forward to. I really hope the challenge that I mentioned vaguely in the previous post would be a success. I am really sorry that I can’t say more about this now. As said, I really want to talk about things that are done.

With this being said, it’s time for the actual OKR.

Think out loud

I blogged quite productively in the last six months of 2023. My favorite post is the one about C++. I actually had an imaginary audience for that post and I think that there has been insufficient amount of information for R programmers who accidentally made their feet wet programming C++. Most information about C++ is not about this niche, whilst most information about R is simply about R.

Unlike the last season, I wrote two posts to express my feelings.

Contribute to open source

There were many breakthroughs in this area. First and foremost, the Projekt 71 is now over. readODS is now completely written in C++, a great part of it was contributed by Peter Brohan. Compared with the version in early 2023, readODS is now comparatively very fast. It’s also faster than the Python and JS offerings.

Another breakthrough is me being the maintainer of rio and the release of 1.0.0 in September. A related development is the consolidation of R development under my organization account: gesistsa.

There were many great moments in R development in the second half of 2023: webR, shinylive, polars, S7, httr2; the governance document of data.table, etc. etc. My contributions are in no way comparable to these. But I will remember the second half of 2023 as one of my anni mirabilium in terms of open source.

Publish top papers

I only managed to publish two papers in the last six months. I would like to thank all of my coauthors: Justin, Katharina, Philipp, Rainer, Hartmut.

Compared with the last time, where several of the seven papers are in Q1, this time is of course comparatively bad. The explanation is that the last time was actually like the (last) “harvest” of the papers written before and during the first year of the pandemic. During that last year of the pandemic, my paper writing speed slowed down a bit because of the transition to my current job. And to be honest, I don’t think the primary objective of my current job is to write papers. So I think publishing around two papers in six months is about right.

A slightly unrelated tidbit: My H-index jumped to 31 in this quarter, was 29. I don’t think this is an indicator of my research, probably my age.

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