The care and feeding of tickets

I can be kind of a stickler about leveraging the ticket/issue tracker in software projects (which always seems to be Jira these days, but nevermind that). I write tickets carefully; I link to related issues; I add comments to note the status of work in progress, or to record info that’s important to the work to be done. I’ve always appreciated having teammates who take the care to communicate clearly on tickets.

Static files for Python apps behind CDNs: WhiteNoise

(Note: this post presumes you have, or want, a CDN in front of your site, which not everybody does. If you are satisfied without one, this post may be moot for you.) I recently came across WhiteNoise, “Radically simplified static file serving for Python web apps”. The basic proposition: serve static files in a way that will make the most of your CDN, while also reducing the complexity of your server setup.
Ubuntu Budgie

Ubuntu Budgie

My recent reinstall of Ubuntu 21.04 (to fix some driver problems) reminded me there is more to the world than XMonad. I played with Gnome Shell 3 for a day, and it’s all right. I don’t hate it (and I didn’t hate Unity either). I decided to do one of my periodic forays into Desktop Environment land to see what’s up. I read half of two or three “Best Linux DEs 2021” blog posts.

Transit of Mercurial

I’m quite fond of Mercurial, despite (though perhaps partly because of) using Git daily for the last ten years. The first DVCS I used was Darcs, which I liked; then I tried Mercurial and liked it even more. That was 2007; I didn’t get my first job in a “Git shop” until 2010. I’ve always found the Mercurial UX to be more pleasant than Git. Little things like invoking commands with unique left-substring, or seeing inbound or outbound commits with a single memorable command. New stuff New stuff

In July I deployed a major update to Nothing exploded. Good things resulted. The TLDR It looks different of course, but here’s the other stuff that’s new: Proper user accounts replaced the old cookie-based “accounts” Signup via GitHub, GitLab, Bitbucket, Google, or plain ol' username/password “Favorites” feature Optional public profile (linked from items you post) Responsive HTML layouts (looks good on your phone now!) 100% HTTPS More robust database setup Application hosting by PythonAnywhere Lengthened the base-32 item IDs from 7 to 9 digits (and dropped the ambiguous 0, 1, O, I) Added a latest-item blurb (with geolocation when available) to the About page, for fun.

CSS without classes

I came across an interesting CSS library the other day, awsm.css. It’s a CSS library with no classes. Its focus is providing nice styles for semantic elements (i.e. not for <div> or <span>). It sounds like the motivating use case was wanting to style stuff coming out of e.g. Markdown. Your HTML source can read like 1995, but look prettier!

How to get a remote software engineering job

I’ve been a full-time remote worker since 2010. The COVID-19 pandemic has brought big changes to things involving face-to-face contact – like going to an office for work. Since this sea change has gotten more engineers (and employers) to think about remote work, I thought I’d share some tips on how to find and keep remote gigs. This was written with junior-level engineers in mind, and is more about full-time employment than freelancing.