Monday, March 03, 2014 11:59 AM (Less than a month old)
Okay, so I mentioned in a previous post that CS is going to be changing. The post basically said that CS was going to, for the most part, turn into a Wordpress site.
Well, maybe not.
The reason behind wanting to make the change was because I was having problems with the custom-built blogging system that runs blogs on CrazedSanity.com. I've been making changes to the libraries that it works with, and that's been causing more than a little frustration.
Then Prophet had to go and throw out that seemingly inocuous question: "Why?"
That got me thinking, probably a bit too hard, about my reasoning for shifting to Wordpress. As I found out, there are some hidden "gotchas" when it comes to integrating with it. First and foremost, to my dismay, it runs exclusively on MySQL, while all of my code relies on Postgres. If you don't know the difference... well, read my rant on it here.
And back to the real question, "Why?" I was trying to avoid some hassles and just get back to coding. CS-Blogger has a lot of problems, far more than I have time to enumerate, and causes me headaches every time I make changes to it's core libraries.
Anyway, I'm hopefully getting all that straightened-out as I get more unit testing implemented, which helps ensure that any change made is theoretically backward-compatible. And helps me to know when I have to fix other libraries in the event that it's not backwards-compatible.
So... to change, or not to change? That really is the question. More on that later.
Friday, February 07, 2014 10:55 AM (Updated last month)
So I'm still working on paying off my Technical Debt. There's a lot to figure out, things that need to get updated to work with newer systems that make life easier... and I'm getting there. Slowly, but surely, I'm getting there.
I've followed a fairly strict practice of versioning in the past. I've followed the spirit of Semantic Versioning, without even realizing it, though technically only about 90% of the way there. Most of this has to do with committing all the time, where I don't always update the version.
The problem has reared it's ugly head because I've recently changed my methodology for handling dependencies. With Subversion, I would "simply" use externals (svn:externals) to pull in external libraries using a fairly strict versioning system. Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately), each application was very much linked to a very specific version number. Technically each project should have been compatible only to the Major + Minor version (not all the way down to patch level).
Currently, I'm handling dependencies using Composer and Packagist (here's my public profile on Packagist). This way of dependency handling allows me to use automatic continuous integration testing systems like Travis-CI (I can't link to my profile, since it just goes to a blank screen, so search for "crazedsanity"), so I can be even more confident that my code will work on other systems. Oh, and I can put cool images up like this, which shows current and VALID values for build status on my projects:
(I totally understand if your eyes jumped to that grid right away)
Anyway, I've made significant strides toward code test coverage. That is to say that I've added unit testing to my systems in a more pronounced way, striving for TDD (test-driven-development), so that I can get to a point where I'm fairly confident in what ways any new changes will affect existing code. This will also help determine whether I need to release the code as a patch, minor version, or even a major version.
Hopefully this article gives you some insight into what I'm working on. Maybe it'll even give you some ideas, or help you, or encourage you to help me.
Monday, January 06, 2014 08:21 PM (Updated 3 months ago)
I was reading something today from Nerd Fitness. I find them to be really motivating, even if some (okay, ALL) of the posts are pretty long.
Anyway, a couple of the points in there really struck a cord with me. Namely, there was something in there about how you should really work backwards: figure out what you want to do, and then figure out the steps to get there.
Sure, I've gone through this before. And I figured out what I wanted to do... but then, somewhere along the line, I got side-tracked. And for the past year, I've been running on that track, trying to find a way to... well, a way to make it fun. And I've been working really, really hard to make it fun. Maybe it's been more than a year.
What was the realization, you ask? I realized I don't want to write code for a living. It's just not how I want to spend the rest of my life.
Now, that doesn't mean I don't want to write code at all. No, no. I'd like to write the code that I want to write when I want to write it. If it happens to make money, that's fine, but I'm not going to go at it from that angle.
"Dude, I already told you that." Yes, there have been several people that have told me that I probably don't want to code for a living. Or that I shouldn't go at a code-based project looking for money, but I should go at it from the perspective of enjoyment. Whatever, that's fine, you told me so, get over it.
What do I want to do? Well, I really want to tell stories. I really, really, really love to tell stories. Running D&D games is fun, because I get to tell stories in ways that are interactive, and really gets the players involved in it. But I love writing/creating stories even more. So, to that end, I've decided that I'm going to concentrate on my main novel.
Today for me is the start of a new year. Going with the original Roman calendar March is the first month of Spring and therefore the first month of the New Year. Today is also my birthday so it is the start of another year of existence for me.
I have been afk for about 8 months now. I suffered from a number of losses of friends and family last year and basically closed myself off from everybody. I did some major thinking and made some life altering choices. I took a new job and moved myself and my family across the state. I'm finally getting settled in and I'm much happier with my new job and being much closer to friends and family. Unfortunately during low period last year I quit working towards my weight loss goals and actually packed on quite a few pounds.
I am happy to report that I will again be working towards my goals and blogging about them.
After some suggestions from friends, I've decided to start posting an "audio blog" about my story, "The Guardian Legend" (or :"Legend of the Guardian", or various derivatives). It's still under development, as I try to refine my writing style.
I started recording the first chapter. After some irritations of dealing with Audacity (my audio recording software), I found out some things about it (the story). First, while the heart of the story is undoubtedly good (at least that's what others have said after reading), it's... well, lacking. As soon as I start reading it out loud, I find it lacking something. The words jumble together, and it sorta feels... like a "B" movie.
Not a BAD "B" movie, but one that has potential. Like it's lacking good special effects... instead of seeing an awe-inspiring helm of a next-generation spaceship, you see a really tiny corner of it, where a great actor is using something that vaguely looks like one of the computer panels from NASA, back when they launched Apollo 13.
Anyway, I have to figure some way of writing my story so it's entertaining. The underlying actions are interesting, the idea of what's happening is good... but the way it's written is just... well, it's bad. I can tell that some of the writing is a few decades old. Yuck.
So how do I write it? Somehow, I've gotta find a writing style that matches how I tell stories. As I remember it, people reading the story weren't as thrilled as the people that I told the story. Because I really get into it when I'm telling the story, but somehow that just gets lost in the written part... ugh.
Anyway, this entry is just an appetizer. I'm working on the audio blog, but there's a bit of work left to do. Stay tuned!