All this talk about web standards and owning your own data inspired me to support webmentions on this blog. I'm not treading any new ground here, so I won't bother you with another post describing the process. Instead, I'd like to treat this more like a link farm, referencing those I learned from and where I chose to coincide with or deviate from. Maybe someone will find this useful when evaluating their own options.
Like many others, I've been called by the siren song of Mastodon and have created an account (@firstname.lastname@example.org) in the fediverse to check it out. One of the things that interests me is the ability to self-verify the links I reference, as a way to say I am who I say I am (as much as anyone can do on the internet).
After a long hiatus, I have finally gotten around to rebuilding on the site. The colophon has been updated but I figured I'd spend a bit of time explaining the why.
As engineers, when we are asked to interview someone our primary directive is to assess someone's technical abilities. In fact, not just a passing assessment, but an assessment with a high degree of confidence. We need to know with as much certainty as possible this person is capable of doing the job. This is a team member, someone who will be relied upon and if they can't pull their own weight it will be felt by everyone else on the team.
I'm following the trend and moving over to Octopress. While I do love my custom node blog, the amount of work it took to get a new post up and the stack it required for a simple blog was just overkill. It was a fun experiment and I will continue to play with node in all sorts of varieties, I just am not interested in rolling my own blog in it for now. Enter Octopress.
So, I upgraded the db version on this blog and in doing so, I forgot to backup the comments. I apologize to both of you that lost your comments. Lesson learned, back up the db before I upgrade it.
Recently I had to learn a little bit about CORS (cross origin resource sharing). I had sites on different domains I had to get data in between. I like to try to be forward thinking, so when I learned about a better option than JSONP, I jumped all over it. Nicholas Zakas explains is very well on his article about CORS. Like all the other new, fun technologies, it's not supported by all older browsers. So I had to find a way to be forward thinking but have a fallback. What I ended up with is a CORS xhr that falls back to JSONP if CORS is not natively supported.
I had been trying to decide what to do with comments. I like to give the ability to people to make comments but I just did not want to deal with keeping track of people's username, passwords, etc. Furthermore, I absolutely abhor CAPTCHA or anything of the sort. I got to thinking about using something like OpenID. The main problem I have with that is adoption. I don't want to make it hard for people to comment, but I don't want to deal with user info. Then I read Chris Shiflett write about using Twitter for comments and I knew that was the key for me.
I've been helping some of the guys at work get acclimated to macs and with that, helping them customize their bash prompt. With much thanks due to mschout, I have finally got mine setup more or less how I like it (until I change it again).
So, I've been doing this Rails tutorial off and on for the last month or so, time permitting. People ask me "Why are you learning Rails?". I tell them it's an easy way for me to get introduced to Ruby. I'm not a proper developer by training. I don't think in the same terms most developers do. I can't just sit down, learn a new syntax and then wield the awesome powers of the new language. I have to relate it to something I know. I know web apps. So Rails teaches me some of the Ruby basics while letting me relate everything back to something I feel comfortable with. Yes, I know there are differing opinions on Rails and there is a bunch of stuff it adds to Ruby that isn't really Ruby itself, but that's ok. It's just a starting point.
Yes, it's that time of the year. Time for me to do another half assed design. This one looks particularly half baked, I know. But this one has rhyme and reason where the others were just laziness. This is still a transitional design, but instead of going naked, I'm going for a few simple design principles and then will fill in the rest as I go.
I really like Gist, a lot. They are full on git repos and as such have version control, remote updating, all of the things you would expect out of a github repo including most of the social aspects. They also have the best syntax highlighting I have seen. Yes, there are other libs that do it in various languages, but I really like theirs and I like having my code in 1 place.
I had some spare time today, a really nasty plugin I had written for jQuery a while back to do character count downs and a desire to play with the widget factory. Let's get it on!
When I mentioned the GLGUI Toolbox repo I failed to mention some of the content already in it. I'm gonna give a quick rundown of the two prototype methods I contributed.
As you may or may not know, I work for Gerson Lehrman Group as a UI Engineer. While this is more of my professional site, I don't talk a lot about my work. Truth is, I really dig it here. I work with some fantastic fellow UI Engineers: Garann Means, Zubin Tiku and Chris Bosco (and some others but I don't know their blog URLs, hint, hint).
So, a quick note letting you know (in case you couldn't tell) I moved the blog back to Wordpress. I tried out Tumblr because it is very convenient and simple. I wanted something with less upkeep. But the lack of flexibility really started to bother me. It's a great blogging system, but as it turns out, I wanted more features. So, I'm back to WordPress. That is all.
Since Austin has opened up their rail "system" I have really embraced mass transit. I happen to be in the sweet spot of living 3 miles from the park and ride and working 3 blocks from the downtown station. However, I noticed that for Austin being such a tech savvy town, the mass transit mobile app situation is awful. Sure, Google Maps work great if you want to get from one place to another and don't know how to get there, but for people who know the routes and just want to see when the next train is running, you have to go to Cap Metro's site. Their site leaves a little to be desired, especially when viewed on a mobile device. So, I decided to do something about it.
So I've been using Git-SVN for about a month at work now thanks largely to a gist put together by the magnanimous Lachlan Hardy. Honestly, if you are getting started and have a standard SVN layout, that has all you are gonna need. Naturally, where I work doesn't exactly have a standard layout so I had to adjust the instructions a little bit. I wanted to help explain to others how to handle these other variants I have encountered.
So, as it makes sense, I'm gonna blog about the progression of my site. First things first, I am working on the content. First, I'm trying to write it. Nothing groundbreaking, but worthwhile, hopefully. The content is structured in HTML5 (hopefully semantically). Basic navigational elements? Check. Pithy Bio? Check. My profiles on other sites? Check. So what's missing?
Anyone who has styled forms understands the frustration that is the input/textarea (or whatever your weapon of choice for masochism). They can be frustrating to make behave consistently. I found a technique I used today that I thought I would share. I seriously doubt I'm the first to use it but none-the-less maybe someone hasn't seen this before.
You may have noticed the new digs. You may have noticed I actually posted something. You may have a noticed a terrible mental visual in your head. Yeah, sorry about that last one. I am starting my blog anew. I have ported over the last few posts that were worthwhile and am primed to get going. However, I made some changes I feel are worth sharing.
I would have never guessed I would be blow drying my range out this evening. The cleaning lady came today and while she does a fantastic job, apparently she got the cooktop too wet. When electronic ignitor switches get too wet, they just start igniting. No gas leak, nothing else wrong other than the ignitors were firing. Turns out a little blow dry session dries them all out and it's right as rain.
Update: Added the check to make sure the input is empty before showing the overlayed label the first time.
We are back and it was a great, albeit long, trip. It was a beautiful wedding and a blissful honeymoon. However, I have tales to tell. Really, just my perspective on things. Though these aren’t in chronological order, I thought I would start with the story that has been told a couple times already so it has some form.