Marshall Bowers

Conjurer of code. Devourer of art. Pursuer of æsthetics.

AI Continues to Impress

Wednesday, January 10, 2024
381 words
2 minute read

I make no secret of being a bit of an AI skeptic, however, I will give credit where it's due.

Today I've had two AI experiences that left me feeling impressed. Both of these involved leveraging the AI assistant built into Zed.

Earlier today I was writing some documentation in the Zed codebase. I had two structs with the same fields: an internal settings struct and a separate struct for serialization. One of these structs had its fields documented while the other did not.

While I could have copied the doc comments over by hand, I decided to enter this prompt into the inline assistant to see what would happen:

Copy the doc comments from the fields in LanguageSettingsContent and add them to the fields in LanguageSettings. Ignore the note about the default value. Just bring over the doc comments.

The AI copied over the doc comments verbatim—sans the note about the default value that I asked it to ignore—and put them on the corresponding fields.

Later this evening I was doing some work on my site, translating some of my templates from Tera over to a new templating system I'm building on top of auk.

I needed to port this small component I had written over to Auk's DSL:

<div class="pv2 flex items-end">
  <div class="pv1 w-20">{{ label }}</div>
  <div class="pv1 w-80">
    <progress class="flex language-bar" value="{{ value }}" max="10"></progress>

Once again, I thought it would be interesting to see what the Zed assistant could do with this. I prompted it with:

Rewrite this HTML using auk's DSL like the post_link function above.

The end result that the assistant spit out looked identical to what I would have produced by hand:

pub fn language_stat(label: &str, value: u32) -> HtmlElement {
        .class("pv2 flex items-end")
        .child(div().class("pv1 w-20").text_content(label))
            div().class("pv1 w-80").child(
                    .class("flex language-bar")

I still don't buy into the notion that AI will make software developers obsolete. Rather, I think that a judicious integration of AI into our development tools and workflows can make us all more effective at building software.