Tech Enthusiasts Weekly (Issue 224): Why Figma wins over Sketch

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Here is a record of weekly tech content worth sharing, published on Friday.

This magazine is open source (GitHub: ruanyf/weekly ), welcome to submit issues, contributions or recommend scientific and technological content.

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How to recover a rocket? SpaceX has built two ships, each with a super-large net above it, waiting for the rockets heading to the sea to fall into the net. ( via )

Topic of the week: Why Figma wins Sketch

Last week, Adobe announced a $20 billion acquisition of design software Figma.

The purchase price is terrifyingly high. Figma’s revenue last year was $50 million, and this year it is said to be $400 million. Even if this forecast were reliable, the purchase price was 50 times revenue!

For comparison, Microsoft bought GitHub for $7.5 billion in 2018, and GitHub made about $300 million in revenue that year.

Why is a design software for professional users that came out in 2016 worth so much money?

Figma has a competitor, Sketch , which functions similarly. Until 2019, Sketch was more valuable than Figma. At that time, there was still speculation on the Internet when Sketch would acquire Figma, but it was not expected that it would be left behind by Figma.

Today I want to talk about Figma’s high valuation and why Sketch lost to it?

I’m not a designer user and can’t do a full analysis, just wanted to point out that technically, they have one major difference.

Sketch is a native MacOS application that can only be installed and run on Apple computers, there is no free version. Figma is a web application that can be used as long as there is a browser, and there is a free version. The image below is what the browser looks like when Figma is opened.

If you think about it, one has to be downloaded and installed on a Mac computer and can only be used by paying, and the other can be used as long as the browser is opened. It is self-evident who has the advantage.

However, things are not so simple. Native applications can call the underlying system API. Web applications are limited by browsers, and many functions cannot be implemented. So, Sketch’s features and performance are definitely stronger than Figma.

How does Figma solve this problem? The answer is the Rust language . Although Figma is a web application, it is not written in JavaScript, but in Rust, and then compiled into a WebAssembly bytecode format that browsers can understand, so as to achieve performance close to native applications.

In fact, Figma is one of the strongest WebAssembly companies in the industry. Its CTO Evan Wallace couldn’t stand the slow speed of JavaScript, so he wrote a new generation of JavaScript bundler ESbuild , which turned out to be more than 100 times faster than the traditional bundler Webpack (0.33s vs. 41.53s)!

(Photo caption: The two founders of Figma, left is CTO Evan Wallace.)

Once the performance bottleneck of the browser is solved, and the experience of the native application can be approached, it is no suspense that Figma will win.

In recent years, everyone seems to have a concept: native applications are standard, and web applications are optional. A lot of software obviously has a very easy-to-use Web version, and you must use Electron to package a desktop version for users to download and install. It’s as if there is only one desktop client that can be installed to feel at ease.

This time, Figma was acquired for $20 billion, proving that web applications are not obsolete. Even if you don’t take the path of native applications, you still have a chance to succeed.

On the other hand, Adobe is a company that started with native applications. It has been turning to the cloud in recent years , launching Adobe Creative Cloud , migrating its own software to the browser, hoping that users can use it when they open the browser, and the charging method has also changed from Buyouts become subscriptions.

In June, Adobe made the web version of its flagship product, PhotoShop, free to everyone. I think it has something to do with the acquisition of Figma. Adobe is willing to pay such a large price to buy Figma, not only for the product itself, but also to obtain the technology behind it, to help develop its own web applications, and to go completely cloud-based.

Technology trends

1. Accelerator punching holes

A physicist at MIT who has been working on particle accelerators. One day, he had a whim, could he use the accelerated particles to make holes in rocks?

He did several experiments and thought it would work (above). MIT is now funding him to try hitting rocks with accelerated particles to make holes in the ground. The goal is to hit a depth of 20 kilometers and bring 500 degrees Celsius of geothermal heat to the ground for geothermal power generation.

He still has a problem that has not been solved, that is, what to do with the rock vapor produced by the burrowing. If this problem can be solved, geothermal power generation may be promoted, replacing coal with the heat inside the earth and heating it to generate steam to generate electricity.

2. Mobile phone record player

Japan’s Yamaha has launched a mobile phone record player that allows mobile phone users to experience the feeling of playing vinyl records.

You put your phone on the record player and open a companion phone app, which displays your list of songs as a vinyl record.

At this point, you put the probe (it is equivalent to a stylus) on the phone screen, and the music will start playing. Remove the probe, and the music stops; move the probe, and there’s even a DJing effect.

3. Unmanned farm

The first “rice unmanned farm” in Guizhou Province ushered in a bumper rice harvest.

The farm uses unmanned machines from sowing to harvesting. The picture below shows the unmanned planters and unmanned rice transplanters used this spring, both of which are unmanned.

Drones spray pesticides and fertilizers.

Unmanned harvester used during harvest.

All unmanned machines are monitored and operated on mobile phones. In the future, it can be completely realized, sitting in the house and farming with a mobile phone.

4. Artificial Intelligence Party

Denmark has formed a new political party with policies drawn entirely from artificial intelligence (AI) models. Whatever policy the model figures out, they implement it. The goal of the model is to maximize the UN Sustainable Development Indicators.

The party hopes to run in the Danish elections in June 2023. If it can get into the parliament, it will let the model participate in politics.

This is actually a good idea, the policy is determined by the computer, which greatly increases the predictability and stability, and the cost of government operation is relatively low. If generalized, future parliamentary elections will likely turn into comparisons of various AI policy models.


1. When was the consumer-grade domestic mobile phone for satellite calls born (Chinese)

This article introduces the development status of satellite phones in China, and reveals that there is a start-up company called “Galaxy Aerospace”, which is launching its own satellite to test the establishment of a low-orbit broadband communication network.

2. How to choose a home 3D printer (Chinese)

The author explains how he chose to buy his first 3D printer.

3. 7 visualization tools for software internal information (English)

This article introduces 7 tools that can visualize the internal information of the software (such as directory structure, dependencies, etc.).

4. Difficulties of Music Databases (English)

This article lists the difficulties of maintaining a music database, such as different bands have the same name, and some bands have changed their names multiple times. For another example, some songs are co-operated by multiple people, and the largest one actually has 191 people participating.

5. How to enable Touch ID for sudo command (English)

The sudo command from the command line requires an authenticated user, which requires a password. On a whim, the author can replace the password with the MacBook’s Touch ID, and prompt the user to press the fingerprint when authentication is required.

6. Python’s is operator and == operator (English)

Python has two operators for comparing whether two objects are the same. This article describes their similarities and differences. Simply put, is compares whether the memory addresses are the same, == compares whether the values ​​are the same, and can be customized.

7. How does the air monitor measure dust? (English)

The author bought an air monitor to measure the PM 2.5 index. He took the monitor apart and analyzed the measurement principle.

The principle is to illuminate the air with a laser probe. The more dust and the larger the particles, the more light is reflected. Then the detector measures the air quality based on the number and intensity of reflected light pulses received.

8. You should turn off git’s automatic garbage collection (English)

By default, Git periodically clears unused commit objects (orphan objects), and the author believes that you should turn this feature off.


1. kvass

A lightweight key-value store tool that stores data locally. It can be used from the command line, or it can provide an HTTP interface externally to share the URL with others.

2. ERNIE-ViLG Vincent Map

The Wensheng map function of Baidu AI engine “Wenxin Big Model”, input Chinese sentences and output corresponding pictures, similar to DALL-E and Stable Diffusion.

Also, take a look at Elbo , an English service that does the same thing.

3. Simple Admin

A microservice backend management system written in Go language. (Contributed by @suyuan32 )

4. Text-watermark

An npm module that inserts (or decodes) invisible literal watermarks inside text with the help of zero-width characters. (Contributed by @zengkan0703 )

5. proxy-web-storage

A JS library that wraps localStorage and sessionStorage with proxy. In addition to regular data storage, event monitoring and setting expiration time can be supported. (Contributed by @KID-joker )

6. TinyTeX

A simplified version of the academic typesetting system Tex Live, only over 100 megabytes, supports Chinese.

7. Keet

A peer-to-peer chat software that does not require a server, and can conduct encrypted conversations of multiple people’s videos and texts.

8. Phoenix

Adobe has developed a code editor Bracket, and now it has been made into a Web version, renamed Phoenix, which can be used as an online IDE, and the source code is open source.

9. HypeScript

A TypeScript library for getting errors reported by the TypeScript compiler for a piece of code. It looks interesting to write such a library, but I can’t think of any use.

10. Dragonfly

An alternative to Redis and Memcached, an in-memory key-value database that claims to be faster.


1. Enterprise application practice of ClickHouse: ByteHouse

ClickHouse is a column-based (rather than row-based) database, open sourced by the Russian company Yandex, and currently the tool of choice for big data processing and data warehousing.

There will be an event next month, and ByteDance engineers will share: why they choose ClickHouse as the core data analysis technology, how to deploy and apply more than 18,000 nodes; how to enhance and reconstruct it, and launch products more suitable for domestic users ByteHouse, how business users can benefit from it.

The specific time is 2:00 pm on October 15th. Interested students can click the title link, or scan the QR code to register and participate in the online live broadcast.


1. Life Statistics

Enter your birthday, and the site will tell you statistics like how many days you’ve lived, how many times your heart beats, and how many more people the planet has.

2. Chinese podcast list

View the rankings and popular programs of Chinese podcasts, the data is taken from Xiao Universe and Apple Podcasts, updated daily. (Contributed by @alaskasquirrel )

3. Summary of cloud security resources

This project collects blogs, official accounts, articles, tools, books, videos and other resources in the field of cloud security. (Contributed by @teamssix )

4. Programmer Music

An alternative background music website, with a selection of songs and albums, suitable for programming as background music. Its interface is completely character terminal style.

5. Programming fonts

This website provides nearly a hundred kinds of programming fonts, you can switch the viewing effect for selection.


1. The first photo of the Earth

Did you know, when was the first photo of Earth taken by humans?

The answer is October 24, 1946, in the photo below.

At that time, the Second World War had just ended, and the United States saw the great potential of the German V2 rocket and shipped German scientists to the United States to continue their research.

That day, researchers installed a 35mm movie camera for the first time on a rocket and launched it into the New Mexico desert. The rocket reached an altitude of 105 kilometers, and the camera began to shoot, taking a frame every one and a half seconds. A few minutes later, the rocket fell back to Earth, smashing the camera itself, but the film inside the steel case was unharmed.

That’s how people got the first-ever photo of Earth. It was completely black and white, had low resolution and was full of spots, but heralded the beginning of a whole new field of photography.

2. The largest cave in the world

Son Doong Cave in Vietnam is the largest cave in the world. In 2009, a farmer stumbled across the hole deep in the jungles of central Vietnam.

About 9 kilometers long, 200 meters high and 150 meters wide, the cave contains waterfalls, jungles, underground rivers, and the world’s tallest stalagmite at 70 meters (above). Boeing 747 aircraft can pass through most of the cave.

3. SmartFlower

The domestic solar power generation device launched abroad is perfect in concept, without installation, automatically follows the sun, automatically opens at sunrise, and automatically closes at sunset.

It is too large, resulting in low practicality. But if the volume is smaller, the power generation is too small.


1. Crash faster

A 2003 study found that many software crashed and restarted faster than after a normal exit.

  • Redhat 8: 104 seconds to restart after exit, 75 seconds to restart after crash.
  • JBoss 3.0: 47 seconds to restart after exit, 39 seconds to restart after crash.
  • Windows: 61 seconds to restart after exit, 48 seconds to restart after crash.

Moreover, the researchers found that the crash did not result in the loss of any important data, after all, software is now well-established to handle crashes safely and prevent data loss.

Some people are joking. In this case, don’t write code that exits normally during development. If you want to exit, throw an error and let the software crash directly, which is faster.

For example, if you want to quit Windows, you don’t have to press the “Exit” button, it’s faster to just turn off the power.

If the error-handling code is very reliable, and all parts of the software are safe from crashes and recover quickly, then there is really no need to write explicit shutdown code, just use abort() instead.

Such software is called “crash-only software”, and Google’s distributed file system, GoogleFS, is considered such software, which does not exit normally, but only crashes when an error occurs.

2. IKEA Meatballs

IKEA is a furniture company, but it’s also the world’s largest Swedish meatball company. In total, the company sells more than 1 billion meatballs in IKEA restaurants around the world each year.

In the earliest days, IKEA had no restaurant at all, at most it was an in-store cafe, which only served coffee and cakes.

Later, as the store opened up, the company feared that people would leave early because they were hungry as they browsed the maze of IKEA stores. In order to retain customers, it is necessary to open restaurants in malls.

So, what food should a restaurant serve?

At the time, a typical IKEA store had as many as 5,000 customers a day. In order to simplify operations and reduce costs, simple, standardized food must be available and must be enjoyed by customers in different countries.

After much deliberation, they found that Swedish meatballs fit the bill. Meatballs are simple and easy to make. There are meatballs in the food culture of all countries in the world, and they can be conveniently frozen and transported.

In 1985, the IKEA restaurant opened, the main food is meatballs, as well as salmon, roast beef, salads, sandwiches and other common foods.

In the beginning, the meatballs consisted mainly of beef, not pork, because it was easier to export beef than pork. Now, IKEA offers a variety of meatballs, including chicken, salmon, vegetarian, and the newer plant-based meatballs, served with mashed potatoes, cream sauce, marmalade and vegetables. IKEA also sells frozen meatballs that customers can take home.

IKEA’s restaurant is always located next to the exit, which is also carefully arranged. IKEA doesn’t want to let you get food right away when you’re hungry, but rather let customers go hungry while shopping, increase their appetite, and wait until they’re done to go to the restaurant to eat.

One study found that hungry shoppers spent 64% more money than well-fed shoppers in the same mall.



A friend of mine said his life was sharply divided into two parts. In the first half, he was always the youngest in the group; in the second half, he suddenly became the oldest in the group, with no transition period in between.

I realize now that life is like that. After a certain age, you are no longer seen as a person, but as an institution, and you are seen as an antique piece of furniture, a landmark, or an ancient tomb.

“Ten Lessons I Wish I Was Taught”


Don’t get discouraged by this code leak, my fellow developers, it will pass. One day people will play your games and appreciate your craftsmanship, and this leak will just be a footnote on Wikipedia. Go ahead and keep creating.

Neil Druckmann , President of Naughty Dog, commenting on the massive leak of Rockstar’s GTA6 game source code this week


What people are addicted to is not smartphones, but an active social environment provided by smartphones.

With your mobile phone, you can connect with billions of people wherever you go. In the past, people worked with up to a hundred people, now we have unlimited access to everyone’s pages. Of course, this is not necessarily a good thing.

“Why are we addicted to mobile phones? 》


Van Gogh’s life is incredible. He has only been in artistic creation for about 10 years, and he paints frantically all the time. On average, he creates a work every 36 hours. Now there are more than 2,000 works left, of which 900 are oil paintings.

He had no artistic training, just practiced continuously by himself. Few people knew about him before his death, let alone recognized him. Lifelong poverty, as a painter, he only sold one painting during his lifetime. However, now he is recognized as one of the greatest artists of mankind.

Hacker News reader


Don’t waste your ignorance. Simple but important questions are easiest to ask when you know nothing about a subject.

Once you get used to a phenomenon or thing and take it for granted, thinking is unknowingly limited.

David Kohn

this week in history

2021 (Issue 176): Will Chinese Courts Recognize GPL?

2020 (Issue 125): Who will the digital renminbi replace?

2019 (Issue 74): Why the business model for information is not a fee

2018 (Issue 23): Statistically the biggest determinants of life


The domestic software FlowUs provides a personal column service (see the weekly column ), which integrates “document + table + network disk”, which is suitable for multiple purposes of knowledge base, data management, and file storage.


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  • Copyright statement: Free to reprint – non-commercial – non-derivative – keep attribution ( Creative Commons 3.0 license )
  • Date of publication: September 23, 2022

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