- Passive voice is killing your design documents – " I would argue that if the goal is to communicate clearly, actually stating and explaining the uncertainties is going to be much more helpful to readers."
- The Size Of Our World – Bad graphical quality, but cool comparison.
- 6174 (number) – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia – Who comes up with stuff like this? Who sits around adding and subtracting numbers to find patterns?
- Ta Prohm temple at Angkor, Cambodia – Absolutely gorgeous.
- 8.4 Million New Yorkers Suddenly Realize New York City A Horrible Place To Live – I don't normally read the Onion (maybe I should!), but this struck me as a brilliantly-written article. For instance: "'This is no place to raise a kid, that's for sure,' said 32-year-old Brandon Rushing, a lifelong New Yorker. 'I grew up here and I turned into a giant asshole. Why would I want that for my son?'"
- Java Programmers are the Erotic Furries of Programming " Some Guy Ranting – A Programmer Hierarchy. As a budding Python programmer, I have no idea what he's talking about with regards to Python folks thinking they're better than PHP folks. …No idea at all.
- What fuels my passion for technology & writing code – Highlight: "I began having difficulty finding people to discuss ideas and thoughts with. When I did find someone who I could brainstorm and bounce ideas off of it was a very surreal feeling. I loved every minute of it and did not want to stop. Even today I have very few of these conversations but cherish the people I can have these conversations with. I enjoy my ideas being challenged. I enjoy being challenged, period. My level of excitement in these conversations are off the hook."
- A Showcase of Single Page Websites – I like pretty things. And creative things.
- Reader Story: How I Save Tons of Money by Grocery Shopping Once Every … – This sounds really, really awesome. If I were to implement it, it would take some changes in food style–Greg likes meat and I'm lazy about lunches–but it would probably be change for the better.
This week’s internet cruising:
- A Beginner’s Guide to Website Feedback – If I can wrap up and launch this damn character sheet app, stuff in this post will be handy for when it betas, especially the surveying. I suspect the LARPing audience will be sufficiently… opinionated to speak on it.
- Six Useful CSS3 Tools – Some of these are pretty slick, if you're moving into CSS3 development.
- Sharpening the blade, part MCMXVII: Nine Amazing Hours. – This is incredibly cool, and I plan to use it for a bit and see if it helps me focus.
- Amazing Examples of Paper Art – I almost hate to link to this, in case Greg gets ideas for elaborate projects.
- Python Business Rules Engine – Lott raises a good point about handling complex business rules, in that it's (often) cleaner and simpler to go ahead and incorporate complex business rules into the app itself rather than writing a parser to allow external entry. In my case, I have such a small user base on the side that would have been entering these rules that it's just as fine for me to do a small code release for any games added with these validation rules in them.
- YouTube – Turkish male belly dancer "diva" – Major glitter warning, here. Major. This may be the first male bellydancer I've ever seen who wasn't mocking dancing, and he's very good. I don't like the music or the dissolve and swirling transitions, though. Or the glitter. That's a lot of glitter.
- Amazon S3 and CloudFront with WordPress and DreamHost | .larre – This is quite a cool plugin. Not the quickest to set up with CloudFront, minifying, and combining, but worth the effort, even just for the hell of it.
- Girl quits her job on dry erase board, emails entire office – This is apparently fake, but a cute read anyway. I’d advise against airing dirty laundry like that, though.
In working on my Character Sheet Manager for Geist characters, I’m finally building something that I’ve wanted for a couple of years now in projects at work — an Exception logger. Just a piece of middleware that grabs exceptions and logs them somewhere. In my case that’s Redmine, which has an API for manipulating issues. It’s not a perfect API, alas, because I can’t add notes to issues; I have to update the description of the original item. Django makes this very, very easy to build. I have an app in my project just for this Redmine connectivity, and I can keep its code and tests separate and independent.
I’m never sure how robust to build out something like this. It’s going to prove handy to me in the case of this app and others I’ll be building out, but there’s no way I’m going to try to implement every nook and cranny of Redmine’s API — I don’t need it. If I release it, though, other people could want the things I don’t need. What’s the right balance in releasing a tool?
As always when working on an app, it’s a struggle not to over-engineer things. This Character Sheet Manager project consists of two apps (ignoring the Redmine integration): the Game Manager and the Sheet Manager. The Game Manager is (right now) just a data app — it’s for me (and Greg) to put in Merits, Skills, various powers, etc. The Sheet Manager will be the consumer of said data.
But character creation logic — knowing how many skills someone gets, knowing how many specialties — is really per-game knowledge. But it’s the same for all White Wolf games of this version. …But what if I want to support something like Scion, where the rules differ a bit?
But… I don’t want to support them right now, and might not ever. Is this also a case of You Ain’t Gonna Need It? Right now, I kinda just want to get it out the door and in use as an evolving prototype. I don’t mind refactoring and rewriting some, but I don’t want to shoot my foot completely off, either.
In related news, there’s apparently been grumbling in global-level out of character Geist mailing lists about the existing character sheet. I should hurry.
- Broadsheet – Salon.com – Very well-written article on overweight folks having to buy two seats on planes. "See, those of us who are and/or love people to whom airlines' "person of size policies" apply don't automatically envision the discomfort of getting stuck next to a fatty; we envision the physical and emotional pain of being the fatty crammed between two potentially hostile strangers, at the mercy of flight attendants who might decide we're fine on one flight and a "safety risk" on the next."
- Four Fabulous Video Band-Aids YOU need NOW! | Bitch Magazine – "My secret ritual is to curl up in my favorite chair (preferably with a hot cup of tea in hand and a kitty on my lap) to devour a few substantive video clips from insightful women."
- The Most Common HTML and CSS Mistakes to Avoid | Tips – I'm very glad I rarely make these. I'd like to see a more advanced form of this list, though, for those us who use HTML/CSS often enough to break them in more interesting ways.
- Create a Professional Web 2.0 Layout | Psdtuts+ – Quite awesome guide, especially since I'm puttering around with a site at the moment. I'll have to translate it to Fireworks-speak, though, since that's what I have at the moment.
- sitemap-generators – Project Hosting on Google Code – I definitely recommend this for generating sitemaps. I've got it cron-jobbed on Dreamhost, and it generates a gzipped sitemap in about 1 second — 2500+ links.
- WILL THE iPAD BE A FLOP? APPLE SEEMS TO THINK SO. – Brain – – Points out something interesting about how Apple is marketing the iPad.