I’ve been moving a few newsletters so that they’re sent to Feedbin. Amazed by the amount of newsletters that don’t allow you to just update your details.

Unsubscribing, finding the landing page and then subscribing again is quite a chore for a few newsletters.

Looking forward to more nights like this when I can get both the boys out on the course.

Forgot how great the Silent Alarm album by Bloc Party is 🎵.

Weekly digest

An uneventful week (not a bad thing by the way) but ended with me and Jennifer taking the boys to see Black Panther on Saturday afternoon. It was such a great movie and definitely worth seeing whether you’re a Marvel fan or not. Visually amazing, but also great to see a Marvel movie make better use of music.

After 10 days of closure, the golf course was finally open this weekend and Ethan took full advantage by going out to play a round today. Stoked to see his practice paying off.

I could really do with a col-md-1.5 class about now. #webdevwoes

Robots opening doors? Calm down people, we’re a long way from Skynet happening.

Using Stimulus in PenMuse

It’s been a while since I dabbled in a bit of JavaScript. It’s not that I don’t like programming in JavaScript, it is growing on me, it’s just I’ve never found a real use case for it in a web application. The thing about JavaScript though is that there are so many great frameworks available that mean you often don’t have to write any of the curly bracket stuff.

Vue.js has been on my radar for a while but what has really grabbed my interest has been the release of Stimulus.

For a lot of web applications I work on, I don’t want to re-write a whole view for a particular framework, I just want to enhance a part of that view. Both the above mentioned frameworks do this, but I decided to try and use Stimulus with a web application of my own just for fun.

The copy to clipboard is a nice example to start from in the Stimulus handbook and so I started with this basic example by adding a copy to clipboard button when displaying a writing prompt in PenMuse. Not only was it good to broaden my reach beyond the Rails code that I am used to writing, I also got to experiment with WebPacker as well.

The final results are good and there was a few hiccups along the way in trying to copy the prompt from an input element that didn’t interfere with the user interface.

I did at one point create an input elemement on the fly to copy the prompt from when the button was pressed, but it jerked the screen up and down on tablet devices as it was copying the prompt. Horrible.

I decided to settle on using an input group so that you can partially see the prompt being copied. It’s not ideal, but it’s working and it doesn’t mess with the screen in anyway on different devices.

I’ve still got some adjustments to make for smaller devices like stacking the buttons on the home page so that they appear as a column but that will come later in the week.

So, even with the night shift on, iPads aren’t good for night time reading. Already thought this would be the case. Just as well I prefer to read my Kindle at night.

Weekly digest

I didn’t stay up or the Super Bowl on Sunday night but I managed to catch up with a much more condensed version on Monday with all the highlights. I wanted to the Eagles to win this so much but I didn’t think it was going to be a walk over against the Patriots. On the night though, the Eagles showed why they’re the best team in the league and Foles done a great job on the night. Calm and cool under pressure.

Thursday seen Ethan back out on the course for an hour with Andy, our club professional. Setup is getting much better and shots are more consistent now. We’re getting to the stage now where Andy is getting picky with parts of Ethan’s swing and his game in general. It’s great seeing him progress though in just a few weeks.

I had the day off on Friday as it was Jennifer’s birthday. We celebrated that night with a visit to our favourite local restaurant. Great food and great company!

Great to see the snow didn’t put Drew off from his golf yesterday.

Snow! What snow?

Would you download an app that wasn’t on the App Store and didn’t have any developer credentials (name, company etc) against it?

Weekly digest

It’s app changeover time this week!

I’ve been in task management limbo the last few months with various stuff I have to do spread out over a number of notebooks, files and apps. This week I started consolidating all this stuff into Things. It’s my glorified container for everything my brain fails to remember. I’ll still do the bulk of work using bullet journaling though. I’ve also started using Overcast again for managing my podcasts.

Feels good to be starting another Rails project. I’m hoping this one runs for a while, but I really need to spend more time on throwaway Rails projects and learning more about things like ActionCable and Turbolinks.

RSS discovery

A common observation around the slow uptake of RSS readers is that RSS is still something that people don’t understand.

RSS readers often rely on the user to add the feeds that they want, but unless users know where to look then users may be turned off by an RSS reader. A blank page with no suggested or recommended feeds in it isn’t going to demonstrate what an RSS reader can do.

I’ve noticed that podcasting apps like Overcast and Pocketcasts include discovery sections that show you podcasts that you can subscribe too. They provide recommended and categories sections that people can click and find out more information about that podcast. If they like it they can subscribe.

Perhaps it’s not only about adding subscribe buttons to our sites but also making RSS readers more user friendly by adding RSS discovery so that people can find the content they want.

_If my memory serves me right, Feedly does include such a discovery feature, so thumbs up to them! _

Despite a few attempts this week and last week at using VS Code, I keep coming back to Sublime Text. I think if I had a severe problem with using ST then I would make the switch, but as it stands, it just works.

If it ain’t broke, why fix it?

Write daily

Nicholas Bate with a run down on being happy. Writing daily is just one simple part of it.

Write daily about what is working so that you observe, notice and appreciate it.

Basics 7: How to Be Happy by Nicholas Bate

That painful moment when you realise that the reason your JavaScript isn’t working is because is you have a typo in your elements id attribute.

Move to Jekyll complete

Last night I finally pulled the trigger and moved my Ghost hosted blog to Jekyll. While the cost of running a managed blog was the most significant influence on the decision, there were other factors as well.

Easier writing

Ghost had been a promising idea when it started a few years back. A blog where the focus is on the act of writing. And it started well. The two-pane design with the plain text on the left and the rendered post on the right was great and allow you to see the post in real-time. In a recent change though, the Ghost decided that using a single pane with a WYSIWYG writing pane was more beneficial. The old two-pane environment was still there but just hidden away.

I’ve been looking to do more with my iPad Pro. I’m already using it for remote development work and a fair amount of writing, reading and listening. Unfortunately, a down-side of Ghost’s new writing pane made using the iPad Pro impossible. Characters were rendered twice with each keystroke, and I was unable to even copy and paste a blog post from another app such as Bear or Ulysses. In a recent update to Ghost this bug is fixed, but such a breaking change made me question why I was reliant on a product that prevented me from writing.

With Jekyll I can write anywhere with any app that I use daily. I can even write the post straight into my GitHub repo through my browser and save the changes which will automatically publish to my blog. The only thing that will stop me writing and publishing is whether I’ll have a connection to the Internet and in this day and age, that’s becoming such a rarity.

More control

With a move to Jekyll, I’m also able to make changes to the layout of my blog in a much easier way than if I was using Ghost. With Ghost, you need a local working environment first to make your theme changes. Setting up a local environment is reasonably straightforward, but keeping it up and running is not as simple as Jekyll. With just a single command I can have my blog up and running on my browser, and I can make any changes I need to the layout. There’s a small number of dependencies to getting my blog running, and it only requires some flat files for content.

I’ve also got more control over the photos I use on my blog and where I host them. I can either include the images in my blog directly or upload them to another hosting service like Amazon S3 where they’re still in their original format and I can export them if I need too.

Tried and trusted

My days of being wowed by-products such as Ghost are probably over. Tried and trusted products that are simple to manage and let you own your data are two significant factors for me. Ghost looked to be simple, to begin with, but even now there’s still a large number of features that many other bloggers take for granted from their chosen CMS. I’ve tried Jekyll in the past, and now I wonder why I didn’t stick with it.

Data is always a significant factor with me. The export facility of Ghost is excellent, and they were able to allow me to download all the images for my blog through a separate link as well, but I don’t think that’s enough. A single zip file containing all data including images would make things so much easier.

Manton Reece has an idea for this, and it looks promising, but getting the more prominent companies to adopt this is another matter.

With Jekyll though, I can always trust in the fact that my data is there in the purest form needed and that’s in plain text files.

Important things

Michael Wade provides another gem of being productive.

One important thing today, that will put this day far ahead of days when you hoped to achieve much but scattered your focus on trivial matters.

If You Do … by Michael Wade

Me? I’m just looking to complete that one important thing a day.