100(ish) things

Many would not guess it, but I am a minimalist at heart. I don’t like looking around and seeing all the crap I’ve accumulated. So this year, I’m going to do something about it. This year, I’m working towards only owning 100(ish) things, and I’d like to encourage you to too. The 100 is easy. The “ish” requires some explaining, but I feel it is the key to making this workable.

Keeping a great Changelog

Changelogs are an invaluable, and often neglected part of any software project. So, how do you do that? A good changelog helps you users to understand: Why they should care about your latest version If any of your changes affect the problems or frustrations they’ve been having. If there are any changes that might affect how they use your app / library. Why your efforts are worth their continued support.

Why you can't auto-generate your Changelog

Let’s start by taking it as a given that a Changelog file is something very valuable that every product should come with. Even if your “product” is a library for other developers. With that in mind, the question rises of “How can I make it really easy to generate one”. Many developers have had exactly that thought. There are many free and some paid solutions that will “Autogenerate your changelog from your git commits/tickets”.

On Being A Manager

At its core, being a manager is about power. I feel that many managers fail to understand what that power is for. A manager is a lot like being the King or Queen of a tiny, tiny kingdom. The sovereign of a country can impose their will upon their people, but that’s not their job. A sovereign’s job is to keep their people safe, happy, and prosperous. The more prosperous the people become, the more power they gain.

Weeding Wednesday

“Follow Friday” has been a longstanding tradition on Twitter. It’s a great idea. People you follow, make curated recommendations of good content. Well, the world needs balance, and I’m instituting Weeding Wednesday. Weeding Wednesday is a day for reducing internet noise. This Weeding Wednesday watch your Twitter feed from a different perspective. Don’t look for the great posts. Look for the “meh” posts, then unfollow anyone with a low cool to meh ratio.

Creating a Terminal Emulator from Scratch (where to start)

Where to start creating a Terminal Emulator from scratch Before I get started I need to link you to this great answer on the Unix & Linux Stack Exchange which explains the differences between a Terminal (tty), a Console, and a Shell. That knowledge will be key to writing a terminal emulator. VT100 (and beyond) Setting the stage with a little background. Most terminal emulators claim to be VT100 emulators.

Adding Press and Hold Characters to macOS (OS X)

OS X makes it easy to type accented characters by simply holding down the letter you want accented. If you hold down c (for example) you’ll see this: Well, I do. You probably don’t see that 4th option: “ĉ”, and that’s what this post is about. I needed to add that, and others to support typing in Esperanto without switching to a different language keyboard. This technique is also useful if there is a language keyboard you want to use but it doesn’t have the Press and Hold support you want.

On offering up Grad School Recommendations

I was recently asked to provide a letter of recommendation to a past coworker who is trying to get in to grad school. The experience was excessively time-consuming, and left me with little belief that any of these schools are worth attending because their systems were (with one exception) all painful to use, and (with no exceptions) all looked like shit. If you can’t teach your students how to build a decent system for letting people upload recommendations, then how the @#$% can I expect you to teach anyone graduate level concepts?

Software worth recommending

There are lots of great tools out there. Far too many to try. Here are the ones that I’ve tried, and found worth recommending. Mostly they’re OS X Developer Things Quiver is a “Programmer’s Notebook”. I’ve recently switched to it from CodeBox which seems to have been abandoned by its developer. I’ve got some minor quibbles with Quiver, but overall it’s pretty nice and I’ll be bringing all my code snippets and reference material over to it.

Static vs. Dynamic Blogging

You’ve got a lot of software options when setting up a blog. Over the years. I’ve used or tried most of the options including, but not limited to: WordPress, Jekyll, Octopress, and at least 3 custom built systems. What follows is my thinking on the pros and cons of each option, and why I’m switching back to a static blog system (Hugo this time). Dynamic Blogs (WordPress, etc.) Dynamic blogs, like WP, have a lot going for them: