Notes

Quick thoughts on pretty much any­thing. Sometimes a bit more elab­o­rate, be­cause why not? My archived notes and my archived thoughts can be found on dif­fer­ent pages.

solid-world-nov-2020

📔 Note

A screenshot of full-screen video conferencing app Zoom, showing a developer sharing their screen demonstrating what they've been working on.

Currently at­tend­ing November 2020's Solid World.

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ce­les­tial-link-checker

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Today, I was fi­nally able to fin­ish a fea­ture for Celestial that had been in my wish list for, well, a re­ally long time: an au­to­mated link checker. The linked GitHub is­sue has a good de­scrip­tion of the fea­ture name it­self sounds con­fus­ing. Alternately, I've also now added a GIF show­cas­ing this fea­ture on Celestial's port­fo­lio page.

Given I have a sta­tic site that takes over a minute to build, this is some­thing I wanted and per­haps oth­ers will ben­e­fit from this too.

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has­geek-ty­pog­ra­phy

📔 Note

A screeshot from my mobile phone showing a Zoom session that's being recorded live. Karl's video sits in the bottom right as he shares his screen. The screen takes the center stage and explains concepts such as x-height, apertures, counters, and stroke contrast across three different fonts.

Currently at­tend­ing a ses­sion on ty­pog­ra­phy by Karl Fernandes — a great way to start the week­end! 😊

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fire­fox-send-news

📔 Note

Yesterday, I faced an is­sue send­ing a PDF file through my NextCloud provider. I don't like to self-host some­thing so crit­i­cal be­cause it has my con­tacts, cal­en­dar, and files. Unfortunately, my cloud host provider runs ver­sion 18 whereas it ap­pears to be fixed in ver­sion 19.

Previously, I had used Firefox Send for this but it had been shut down tem­porar­ily due to con­cerns around mal­ware be­ing sent us­ing the ser­vice. I asked the Fosstodon com­mu­nity for an al­ter­na­tive as I was un­happy not be­ing able to pass­word-pro­tect or set an ex­pi­ra­tion date on WeTransfer or Dropbox.

Very quickly, I dis­cov­ered Lufi. I like the user-ex­pe­ri­ence as tried on a pub­lic in­stance, and will self host it for sure. Even more so now that Firefox Send has been of­fi­cially shut down, as many in the pri­vacy com­mu­nity pre­dicted would hap­pen.

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mdn-con­tri­bu­tion

📔 Note

I had al­ways de­sired a con­tri­bu­tion to the MDN doc­u­men­ta­tion. It is a fan­tas­tic re­source that has helped me im­mensely through the years.

The idea that some­thing I con­tribute can ben­e­fit hun­dreds or thou­sands of de­vel­op­ers in mak­ing bet­ter in­formed de­ci­sions gives me so much joy.

This fi­nally came true to­day with a small im­ple­men­ta­tion note around how Firefox for Android cur­rently doesn't han­dle a datalist due to a re­gres­sion in­tro­duced in v79.

My ex­pe­ri­ence was very pleas­ant and rather quick. I would love to do this again! 😊

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gmail-to-out­look

📔 Note

I had been us­ing the Gmail client on my Android phone be­cause the user ex­pe­ri­ence is not com­pro­mised in any sig­nif­i­cant way, at least speak­ing rel­a­tively. I would like to use a FOSS client, but I've found too many fo­cus on func­tion­al­ity and not de­sign and/​or UX.

Still, Gmail has one ma­jor prob­lem though: on ac­counts work­ing through IMAP, you lose the Swipe to Archive ges­ture. This is pretty an­noy­ing as I've got two ac­counts work­ing through IMAP. They re­ceive a bulk of my ac­tion­able email and my de­fault ac­tion is to archive email. This is a prob­lem.

Finally, I de­cided to in­stall and try Outlook. It lets me cus­tomize the swipe ac­tions and doesn't lock me out from a first-party ex­pe­ri­ence just be­cause it isn't a Microsoft/Outlook email ac­count. In fact, it feels bet­ter de­signed than Gmail and I think I'm go­ing to stick with it.

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per­fec­tion­ism

📔 Note

Healthline.com ex­plains per­fec­tion­ism (emphasis mine):

People with per­fec­tion­ism hold them­selves to im­pos­si­bly high stan­dards. They think what they do is never good enough. […] Eventually, it can also lead you to stop try­ing to suc­ceed. Even mild cases can in­ter­fere with your qual­ity of life, af­fect­ing your per­sonal re­la­tion­ships, ed­u­ca­tion, or work.

This is the kind of stuff I think many of us can iden­tify with. In my time work­ing on Celestial so far, I've had at least three break pe­ri­ods where I didn't want to get back to work­ing on it. Each time, I thought it was over. Because it was ru­ined. Much worse, there was a voice telling me I ru­ined it and I'm not a good enough de­vel­oper to pull this off.

So, let me ad­mit some­thing: cur­rently, the unit tests are a lit­tle be­hind, there are a cou­ple of bugs with the Micropub server, some of the JavaScript is not quite DRY, a11y is not where I want it to be, the CSS is, though based on BEM, hardly per­fectly main­tained over the last cou­ple of months.

And that's okay.

I'm fight­ing this voice.

I have to.

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just-five-dol­lars

📔 Note

I browse the web a lot, and rely on apps and ser­vices a lot. It is not un­com­mon to come across phrases like just $5/month” or only $4/month” — and I roll my eyes each time.

I had cre­ated a sta­tic site a while ago called Bill My Pocket that aimed to show how dis­crim­i­na­tory these prices are when you take into ac­count the con­cept of pur­chas­ing power par­ity. PPP is not per­fect in re­al­ity, so I only use Bill My Pocket as a quick barom­e­ter.

Currently, I'm con­sid­er­ing can­celling my sub­scrip­tion of Standard Notes and have al­ready ex­pressed in­ter­est in self-host­ing Plausible Analytics. I'm also due to can­cel my YNAB sub­scrip­tion — be­cause US$84/year is sim­ply out­ra­geous money.

Paying ~36 EUR and tak­ing on the headache of main­tain­ing a VPS with sev­eral ser­vices is far more prefer­able to me than pay­ing US$48 or US$60 per year for a bun­dle of ser­vices each.

For con­text, if I paid US$60 each per year for just 5 ser­vices, I'd have paid the equiv­a­lent of one month's rent and main­te­nance in a well-kept so­ci­ety in the sil­i­con val­ley of India. A month's rent!

On the flip side, even a small busi­ness like Migadu when they de­cided to charge money, they set a price that much of the de­vel­op­ing world could af­ford too: US$19/year. Miniflux sim­i­larly charges just US$15/year.

If you have the priv­i­lege of sit­ting in meet­ings where a pric­ing model is chalked out, please con­sider that there is a world out­side of the US and much of Europe. At the same time, it is true you owe noth­ing to any­one. You don't have to talk this idea down — just con­sider it and dis­card it if it doesn't fit your busi­ness model.

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au­to­matic-blogroll

📔 Note

For sev­eral months now, I have de­layed mak­ing my blogroll au­to­matic. One of the ar­gu­ment lev­elled at blogrolls is that they are te­dious to main­tain. I agree, and wanted to take some ef­fort out of this process.

In July 2020, Jan au­to­mated his blogroll — and this val­i­dated the idea in my head. Now, my own blogroll is au­to­mated as well!

A key dif­fer­ence is that I have my script mark some feeds as recommended based on their feed IDs from my Miniflux reader. Then, these feeds are shown first as Recommended Feeds,” fol­lowed by all the other feeds in a sep­a­rate list.

I took this ap­proach be­cause list­ing 70 feeds does not help a vis­i­tor make a judg­ment on which feeds I re­ally en­joy and which ones I read when I can. Over time, some feeds can lan­guish in my blogroll even though I have stopped read­ing them; rec­om­mend­ing a se­lect few pro­tects me from this kind of rust set­ting in too quickly.

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feed-changes

📔 Note

Just a quick an­nounce­ment:

I have added likes, replies, re­posts and RSVPs to my mi­croblog. My all-con­tent feed (the one you likely fol­low from within your RSS reader) con­tains all of this. Despite this change, I do not think this feed will get over­whelm­ing given how in­fre­quently I post.

Anything that is not an ar­ti­cle will be pref­aced with its post type. For ex­am­ple, a like will ap­pear as Like: post-ti­tle-here” and a re­ply will ap­pear as Reply: post-ti­tle-here.” This will al­low you to skip mi­cro-posts quite quickly if a cer­tain kind of post type doesn't in­ter­est you.

However, if you'd like to sub­scribe only to spe­cific feeds any­way, for ex­am­ple the ar­ti­cles and the notes feed, that is pos­si­ble. See the Follow My Blog page for all the avail­able feeds.

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