Converting HTML to PDF on the command line

I recently needed to convert some HTML to PDF on the command line and went hunting down the options. There numerous posts saying “X is great” “Y works great for me” but no-one gives examples that show you anything. I’ve tried WeasyPrint and wkhtmltopdf and Google Chrome (yes via the command line). The test was simple. Take a simple color chart, made from pre-formatted text and render it as a pdf.

Zed Shaw's Utu: Saving the internet with hate

A high level summary (and paraphrasing) of Zed Shaw’s talk at DEFCON 15 (in 2007) because I couldn’t find a good text version. Utu is the Maori word for a system of revenge used by Maori society to provide social controls and retribution. Utu is also a protocol that uses cryptographic models of social interaction to allow peers to vote on their dislike of other peer’s behavior. The goal of Utu is to experiment with the effects of bringing identity, reputation, and retribution to human communications on the Internet.

The Guy Who Loved His Work

(or Why A Healthy Work-Life Balance Is Important) During the dot com boom I worked at a company with a developer who loved his work. The problems were challenging, and we really valued the things he produced. Everyone who worked late late got dinner, and sometimes he’d work so late that he ended up sleeping by his desk. Bob (not his real name) wasn’t pushed to do this. He just really liked his job.

Getting Started With Scuttlebutt

Ok, you’ve been hearing about Scuttlebutt and decided that “Yes, I do want to join an amazing social network with lots of good people that no company can control and also happens to also work offline. Here’s a quick overview with the basics you need to know. First off Scuttlebutt is a protocol on which many different kinds of apps can be built. As for the social network, there are many clients, just like there are many Twitter clients.

Do Social Networks Need Companies?

I’ve been thinking a lot about Scuttlebutt lately (see my Why Scuttlebutt post), and Srol just wrote a great post about how Mastodon makes the internet feel like home again. There’s a lot of good reasons for people to use tools like them for socializing online, and I don’t want these services to just wither as their users wander off. I want there to be options that aren’t controlled by large companies, but at the same time services that require servers (like Mastodon) need someone to pay for those servers.

Why Scuttlebutt

I fell in love with the scuttleverse because of the people who are inhabiting it. Regardless of UX/UI, I continually come back because here I found people discussing practical ways of building their own airships, and what life is like doing guerilla gardening in Berlin or living in a self-reliant shack on top of a lava flow. There’s a distinct social anarchist bent to the discussion, and folks are not only discussing alternate societies at length, but also have the skills to realize them.

How to use the same Scuttlebutt identity on multiple computers.

v2.0 Offically Scuttlebutt doesn’t support posting from the same identity on multiple computers (as of Dec 2017). Unofficially, it’s easy but requires a little bit of care. In practice this means never run the Scuttlebutt client on two computers at the same time. The gotcha is that if you post from both computers before the changes of one have had a chance to replicate to the second via scuttlebutt one or both of your feeds will get screwed up and you won’t see some of your own posts ever again.

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”.