I went to see Devin Townsend and his touring band play at the Bexhill De La Warr Pavilion on Tuesday. It was a good concert, even by his standards.
This is a collection of my notes. If you use a feed reader, you can subscribe!
Ever since I figured out how to build monochrome (black and white or any other pair of colours) PNGs I’ve been thinking about hiding secret messages in the unused bits…
Monochrome PNGs have a bit depth of 1 (when encoded efficiently), which means that each pixel only needs one bit. Each row of the image is an integer number of octets though, so when the number of pixels in a row isn’t divisible by 8 you get some unused padding bits at the end.
Testing tweaks to my plain note shortcut.
I should probably make some sequence diagrams. My setup is a bit of a Rube Goldberg machine, but it's surprisingly robust and really convenient to use. For example, sharing photos happens right in the iOS photos app because shortcuts integrates into sharesheets. #indieweb
I'm really enjoying my POSSE setup. I publish to my micropub endpoint using my own iOS shortcuts for photos or study sessions (as events). For plain notes and bookmarks I typically use Omnibear.
The micropub endpoint pushes to a repository on GitHub, and an Actions workflow picks them up and syndicates photos, notes, and bookmarks to Mastodon. The workflow is fast enough that stuff frequently reaches Mastodon before Netlify has finished building my site. #indieweb
Word gets around…
A pop up gallery below Brighton station.
Last night we went to see Mogwai at The Brighton Dome. Just amazing.
One of the doves (they fledged last year) is roosting near us again this year.
An example of a more pragmatic approach to image uploads, for example, is the mastodon API. You still have to use a separate multipart request for an image, but the description (alt) text accompanies the image as an additional field. I think you can probably use the same image (and by extension its alt text) for multiple posts if you want. This fits because alt text is descriptive, so it shouldn't depend on the context the image is used in. #indieweb
I get why microformats documents came to look like this. It comes from their roots as data embedded in HTML. But it's not very pragmatic. Why would a document have more than one name or content? Why would photo (singular) be used for a plural field. It's all out of whack. #indieweb.
I love the #indieweb, but the aforementioned micropub thing isn't the only friction. JSON encoded microformats-2 documents are just plain weird. Everything is an array for some reason. Unnecessarily complex to consume. We can surely do better...
One pain in the ass thing about micropub is that there's no way to send photos and content together in a single request and include alt text. It can only be done with a multipart request to a media endpoint for the photo and a JSON request to the regular endpoint. Why not allow both in a multipart request? #indieweb
Photos never do a sunset justice, but this was a magnificent one.
I may have a problem.
I'm vain, so I have one domain for my personal site, and another for shortlinks. The personal site generates a text file, which the build of the shortlinks site uses when it builds.
I had Netlify set up to trigger a build of the shortlinks site after the personal site builds, but most triggers were redundant (I don't have them for notes etc.).
I decided to replace the hook with a build plugin. https://github.com/qubyte/qubyte-codes/blob/main/plugins/update-shortlinks/index.js
I've run out of time to publish it this year (still 2022 here for almost an hour), but I have a full year of language study sessions (special micropub posts with durations in) to crunch the numbers for. Should make for a few interesting plots!
Work in progress render of revision 2 of my custom split mechanical keyboard.
Another syndication test. This is a photo of a new pedestrian bridge close to where I live.
I’m testing syndication of notes from my personal site to mastodon, so here’s a photo of an icicle.
A sample of the Christmas cards for this year. They were rushed, and certainly minimalist, but I’m happy with the result.
I designed and built a keyboard! This is build for my comfort (despite how it looks). I designed it from the PCB and plates up! It uses kailh choc switches for a low profile, and a QWERTY variant of Miryoku to minimize finger and thumb movement.
I built a keyboard. Hopefully it's more practical than it looks.
GitHub sent me a one-time donation as part of their thank you to OS contributors to software GitHub uses (who have their sponsors dashboard set up). I originally set it up in hope that someone would send me the occasional buck or two for a coffee. That never happened (at least not yet), but $550 as a one off makes up for it!
This cat is attempting to be adopted by us and is in no way subtle about it.
I live so close to this countryside, but rarely take time to visit. It’s the perfect weather for it today.
多読 time! First up, しろくまカフェ
I bought the keycaps.
I'm using Safari for personal use these days. I wanted to use omnibear for micropub stuff, so I compiled the JS (a normal build step for it), and then ran the command below. The only change I had to make was to add a description to the manifest.
xcrun safari-web-extension-converter /path/to/my/extension/
In Safari, the Allow Unsigned Extensions option must be checked. Xcode generates a wrapper application for omnibear. After booting it, you can quit it and go to Safari -> Preferences -> Extensions to enable the extension. I'm posting this note using it!
I finally caved in and ordered myself parts for an ortholinear keyboard. I've gone with a Preonic through Drop, and paired it with Holy Panda X switches. The wait means it'll be a nice birthday present for myself!
I guess the reason for rolling my own webmention receiver is that I don't want to rely on services I don't manage or pay for. Now, an argument could be made that I'm putting everything on Netlify, so my eggs are all in their basket. My counter to that is that the functions I'm writing fairly portable. All I'd have to do is wrap the functions in a little server. So, the important part is to own the logic! Of course, there's also the fun part of reading a spec and implementing it.
This afternoon I'm playing with webmentions again. I've decided to implement my own endpoint and migrate away from webmention.io (which is fine, I just want to build my own).
First concert since December 2019. Back then it was seeing Devin Townsend. This time it was seeing… Devin Townsend. This time was stripped back and very tight. They played some songs I never thought I’d see live, like Dynamics and Almost Again. We got upgraded to a box in The Royal Albert Hall too.
A bridge being built close to where I live.
I found an old picture of me holding peanuts.
A little autumn weather isn’t putting folk off the sea.
An interesting path close to home.
Feels good to wander around Brighton.
I made an excellent banana bread the other day. No sourdough involved though.
I made some sourdough hot cross buns!
Sourdough brioche. About 25cm in diameter.
I finally found a use for that physics PhD.
It’s good! I got lucky!
My first sourdough loaf!
The sourdough starter is finally ready to use! It seemed to go a bit dormant, so I fed it some rye flour and it seems to have done the trick! The rubber band marks where the top was at its last feed six and a half hours ago.
The sourdough starter is growing!
First batch of white chocolate and macadamia nut cookies!
After a day I’m supposed to discard half the sourdough and feed the remainder. This is the discard, and it’s already showing some signs of activity!
I began a sourdough starter yesterday. Due to a lack of whole wheat flour I used 50:50 very strong white flour and buckwheat flour. I’m hoping the latter will donate the yeast!
Want: Recipes to label their ingredients in groups, so I can keep them together in the same bowls and save on washing up. Also good for knowing when things need to be ready.
From yesterday: Vegan buckwheat pancakes with caramelised banana, chai spiced coconut cream, coconut chips, and cacao nibs. Eaten at Black Mocha in Brighton.
Rainbow sunset with Venus.
Fox in the Pavilion Gardens.
No context conference slide.
Reminder for later... Paths are predicable enough in my setup that I can improve the netlify config to apply headers only to HTML by batching routes with wildcards.
Morning mist over the Sussex Countryside.
Next thing to do: add handling for h-reviews so I can rate mince pies.
Work in progress.
Testing out syndication of a note from my blog.
Between Lewes and Newhaven by train.
An interesting local mural.
Another nightmarish thing my partner bought.
Versioning edge case discovered on the Node.js website.
I'm not a huge webpack fan, but I'm wondering if I might change my own mind my porting my static site generator to it. As it stands my generator tries to be as efficient as it can be, but only for a single shot compilation. It doesn't cache artefacts. It looks like webpack, with a custom loader and plugins, might provide the necessary mechanics to make incremental builds while writing a blog post much faster.
Originally I was going to do a sort of dark-battenberg theme for dark mode on my blog, but now I'm rethinking. Since more and more devices are beginning to use OLED screens, I want dark mode to mean "mostly completely black" to save some energy on those devices.
I wrote a while back about how promises and event emitters in Node.js can play badly together. Since then, Node and JS have changed enough that I should write a follow up post.
I have a real completionist streak to me, which is a lot of fun as it interacts with IndieWeb stuff like microformats. The next thing on my radar is WebSub. I'm keen to implement both the hub and publisher in one as a glitch.
Next up, I’m considering micropub for posting full article entries. Hosting an editor and managing storage for drafts is a bigger task, but I can increment on that. Posts would be in markdown though. I wonder if that’s considered bad...
Idea for later: I need to markup each publication in the publications page as an h-cite.
I like the idea of a links page for things I've read and think others might enjoy. I'll probably build one soon.
I think I'll work on putting some of the sharing stuff at the bottom of each post into a
I think it's time I started writing some tests for the static site generator.
It’s possible using sed, jq, and date to read timestamps from scheduled posts and git mv and push them. This would be superior to the current Contents API approach because the content of the post will be properly attributed. It’s also lighter and agnostic with respect to git hosting.
The command to get a time stamp will be something like:
sed -n ‘/^---$/,/^---$/p’ < post.md | sed ‘1d;$d’ | jq ‘.datetime’ | date -f -
Now I’ve got a handle on the GitHub contents API, it’s tempting to build an editor into my blog. Could be a rabbit hole though...
Idea: Set up a web hook for webmention.io which posts to a glitch which in turn opens an issue on the GitHub repository for this blog.
Another possible set of articles I could write is on tips for writing kubernetes configuration files. I've accumulated a number of them over the last few years.
I might make the repository for this blog open soon. It's embarrassing in places, but I'd still like to show what I've done and compare notes...
Homebrew Website Club is this Thursday, so I need to either think of a blog post I want to write, or think of an enhancement to my blog. I’d quite like to integrate an editor, but that’s a big task. Something smaller, or an enhancement to an existing feature might have more impact...
Tickets booked for the next trip to Japan. Our first with the little one. I can't wait for his grandparents to meet him!
I can think of no better tribute (albeit late) than to wish the World Wide Web a happy 30th birthday on my own weird little personal site.
I have a glitch which tweets out new blog entries. Right now it just looks at changes in the sitemap. Reminder to improve it to include tags.
The selector to use is
Reminder to myself to write a post about my recent contribution to Node.js.
All micropub client implementations appear to be a bit lacking (none seem to support a media endpoint very well). I'm considering making my own client and embedding it in my blog...
Testing alternative micropub server implementation.
I've come to refer to my preferrred way of creating microservices as "calving". Start with a monolith, and move bits into microservices where the coupling is weak (like a big iceberg calving off a smaller iceberg).
One of the cool things about micropub is that I can use a third party client really easily. This post was created with micropublish.net
Now I need to reconsider my landing page. It'd be nice to have the notes there, and some information about me.
I implemented #indieweb notes on my blog using a Netlify function and the GitHub content API. I'm using Keith J Grant's omnibear browser extension (in FireFox) to post. Not much to see yet, and it's a very basic implementation, but not bad for a couple of hours of work.
Notes are live! 👍
Testing again, 456.