Aug 312021

A couple of years ago, Automattic (makers of WordPress, which powers this blog), Google, and some news-related organizations announced Newspack, a publishing platform that was supposed to be “WordPress for news organizations” (per their site). The original announcement, like all new product announcements, sounded very promising – a publishing platform that had best practices built right in, a curated list of plugins designed to support news organizations, all built on top of the platform that most of the web already runs on. So how did Newspack seem to peter out, especially when other publishing platforms, like Substack, take off?

Continue reading »

 Posted by at 11:45 AM
Dec 312020

So how’s the whole remote learning thing working out for everybody? That’s a rhetorical question, people have no problem talking about how much they hate the whole setup. I get that parents want their kids to go back to school (or at least give them some peace and quiet while they’re trying to work from home), but not only have we been at this for a while, a lot of us are likely to still be at this, likely for the rest of the school year. It’s really frustrating, but now that we’ve moved from the “This is good enough to finish the semester and then next fall we’ll be back to normal” of spring 2020, to “Well, we actually did this for a whole year” (calendar year at least), it’s time to start having a little bit of a retrospective on virtual education, what does work, what doesn’t, how how it needs to change to be useful in the future.

Continue reading »

 Posted by at 8:00 AM
Aug 242020

I’ve seen a lot of bad stuff about how to best work from home (because apparently that’s not going to stop any time soon) floating around, either from people I know offline or being posted on social media. Given that most people were going into work every day, I’m guessing a lotheirt of employers were scrambling to define what they expected about working from home. Judging by some of the dictates I’ve seen come out, these employers they only really know how to operate off the “butts in seats” school of management. So, when faced with this brave new world of employees not being on-site anymore, they appear to have turned to how-to guides that were already out there online, which means they were pre-pandemic, when people working from home were generally there by themselves. Now that we’re all doing it, that’s a dumb assumption, but I haven’t seen anything that acknowledges the realities of trying to put in a productive workday with the whole family at home, so let’s revisit the whole “how to work from home” thing, shall we?

Continue reading »

 Posted by at 11:45 AM
Nov 232012

While perusing the Internet, I stumbled on some question about getters and setters and why people are supposed to use them (which of course I can’t find the link to now, even with the help of the might Google). After reading the question, I realized something. Holy crap, a lot of getter/setter examples on the Internet aren’t that good. Most of the tutorials on getters and setters talk about variable visibility, and you don’t get any real useful discussion about how to use them properly outside of technical forums or discussion boards. So, I thought I’d write a quick little guide on the topic in part to increase the number of useful pages on the topic out there on the Internet, and thus make it easier to find a good reference on the matter. Continue reading »

 Posted by at 3:26 PM
Aug 132012

Like everyone else who’s ever wanted money at any point in their lives (i.e. like everyone else on the planet), I’ve put a little thought into just what I’d do if I ever go so obscenely rich I could stop worrying about money. Now, since definitions are important, I’ll define obscenely rich as making so much money a year, your immediate reaction is to utter an obscenity.

One of the things on that list is starting an open source foundation at my old college. This would be a setup designed to have students create or maintain open source projects that are released to the real world. The idea here is to give students an easily-accessible option that gives them all kinds of crazy useful real world experience other than “get a real-world full-time programming job.” Part of this was inspired by Steven Hicks Steven Hicks’ [ed. Fixed my grammar] post on Computer Science classes he’d like to take.

Continue reading »

 Posted by at 2:04 AM