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23 apr 2018 10:59:55 -0700

© 1999-2018 brent simmons...




17 apr 2018 12:21:26 -0700

on the omni blog i wrote up how we do the omni show.the post explains my approach to marketing, unchanged over the decades:...




16 apr 2018 11:27:14 -0700

jason kottke reminds us that blogging is most certainly not dead, and that there are great blogs out there.my only objection is the use of the word “dead” to apply to things that aren’t ...




16 apr 2018 11:54:37 -0700

a diatonic harmonica is designed to ease playing in one diatonic scale…blues harp subverts the intention of this design with what is “perhaps th...




16 apr 2018 13:05:05 -0700

© 1999-2018 brent simmons...




now i’m in a pickle with this web stuff

to publish to this blog, i run a little web server on my mac that implements the metaweblog api, which then renders this blog and rsyncs it to the server. (this way i can write using marsedit.)what i’d rather do: run that little web server on the actual server, and do the static-site generation there. that way i can post from my iphone and ipad, not just from my mac.but… here’s where web deployment gets tricky. i’m on an inexpensive shared host plan at dreamhost. the machine is running an older version of ruby that’s incompatible with my scripts.i could use rvm and bundler, i guess, to use the version of ruby i want to and to install the gems i need. (it’s just a few, but it’s more than zero.)that is, if i could figure out how ...




inessential: the view-source web

a line in frank chimero’s article everything easy is hard again, published a couple months ago, has stuck with me:that breaks my heart, because so much of my start on the web came from being able to see and easily make sense of any site i’d visit. i had view source, but each year that goes by, it becomes less and less helpful as a way to investigate other people’s work.one of the ironies of this is that html5 makes it easier than ever to make readable, simple html. i especially like two things:quotes for attribute values are optional (when there are no spaces), andthere are semantic tags for things where bef...




12 apr 2018 13:56:32 -0700

the ui design is much higher contrast — twitter for ios even acknowledges when you have the system’s increase contrast setting enabled, as i do. and,...




12 apr 2018 11:17:48 -0700

© 1999-2018 brent simmons...




11 apr 2018 09:16:13 -0700

i interviewed aaron bendickson — omni sysadmin, pinball wizard, very patient man who loves his people and isn...




10 apr 2018 16:50:13 -0700

© 1999-2018 brent simmons...




09 apr 2018 14:59:44 -0700

© 1999-2018 brent simmons...




09 apr 2018 15:39:02 -0700

pitas.com, an old blogging community, is being relaunched via kickstarter.bla...




rss readers and posts without titles

i’m quite aware that my recent blog posts without titles look weird in some rss readers.here’s the thing, though: the rss title attribute was always optional. it’s just that rss readers were written with the expectation that it was mandatory.if you write an rss reader with a timeline and detail view, here’s what you could do:use the first part of the description in the timeline, after stripping html.show the post in its entirety in the detail view — but minus a title. no “untitled,” no synthesized title. just no title at all.if you want to see an example, subscribe to thi...




inessential: evergreen status

things have slowed down for evergreen — but only temporarily.i had to spend some time turning 50 years old, which was ridiculously good fun. (one day i hope my 11-year-old nephew and i finish the cover of “smells like teen spirit” we were working on!)and… my nine-year-old blogging system needed an update, and i just couldn’t stand it anymore, so i rewrote it. it’s nearly finished now — finished enough that i can post to my blog again, at least.and then i realized that i had kind of a mess with evergreen and frontier frameworks. i was thinking about how i wanted frontier’s hierarchical key-value database (which i haven’t written yet) in evergreen — and so, obviously, they should share this framework. and, well, there are ...




09 apr 2018 09:21:25 -0700

© 1999-2018 brent simmons...




08 apr 2018 21:22:54 -0700

maybe you haven’t played maelstrom since the ’90s. maybe you haven’t even ...




inessential: why i use micro.blog

i wrote last february on why micro.blog is not another app.net.though that article had a bunch of good reasons to use micro.blog, i didn’t really say why i use it.winterthis vile season, run by crime families, shot through with bad faith and giddy injustice, with the highest frauds and the lowest characters, has me looking everywhere for the exit.but there is no exit. there are only choices: each of us can choose to do things, usually small, that will help make things better.we could continue to flock to twitter and facebook — we could keep paying those who have and will rip off democracy for a stock price — or we c...




inessential: blogging system rewrite

i realized that i want my blog to be me on the web. this used to be true, but then along came twitter, and then my presence got split up between two places.to make this work, i needed two things that my old system from 2009 didn’t provide:title-less posts, andthe ability to run the site generator on my server, not just on my mac.in other words, i needed to be able to write tweet-like posts with no title — while on the go, on my iphone or ipad.i’ve done #1 and part of #2 — now it’s just a matter of figuring out how to deploy the system to my server (which is a shared host on dreamhost, but where i can run cgi scripts).the code’s up on github. i don’t really expect other people to use it, but you can, if you want to. i apologize...




07 apr 2018 22:32:35 -0700

i’ve been rewriting my blogging system — more on why later — and this is a post just to prove to myself tha...