Chad Perrin: SOB

4 October 2010

Blogstrapping, Finally

Filed under: Geek,Metalog,Profession,Writing — apotheon @ 12:08

Just over three years ago, I wrote an entry here at SOB entitled Blogstrapping, in which I mentioned I was “planning to spin off a development weblog from SOB.”

I then said:

At first, the main focus is likely to be on writing weblog software, since the idea of this spin-off is that I will be writing a weblog application, and will be using it as I write. It’ll be the ultimate expression of the concept of “eating my own dog food”, as the expression goes.

It has taken me almost three and a half years to get around to it. I’ve had other things on my plate and, as I mentioned in The Virtues Of Lump — the inaugural entry at blogstrapping — laziness has served as the key motivation behind my procrastination. Perhaps ironically, I think that procrastination was probably for the best; I think I am actually in a better headspace for this project now than I was at the time.

Anyway . . . the wait was long, but it appears to be over. I’m working on development of the CMS application I use for blogstrapping at a pretty good clip so far. You can see the blogstrapping version of this entry, the “hello world” of the new development Weblog, if you like: Blog Strap Ping

. . . or just check out the main page of blogstrapping and follow links from there. There’s an RSS feed, too, complete with autodiscovery that should be recognized by modern browsers like current versions of Firefox. I still need to work on perfecting the generation of the RSS feed, but I believe it should work with (most?) RSS readers.

That’s where I’ll likely be sharing most of my thoughts about software development from now on. Of course, I’ll also be contributing a couple times a month to the Programming column at TechRepublic from now on. The subject matter of such articles will likely vary (perhaps subtly) from that of my blogstrapping entries, however.

Thanks for reading. I hope you like the new venue.

29 March 2010

another writing gig

Filed under: Geek,RPG,Writing — apotheon @ 10:45

In addition to being the primary name on TechRepublic’s IT Security column, I have another (semi-)regular writing gig now. I’m not on an actual schedule at Troll in the Corner, but the idea is for me to write as close to once a week there as I can reasonably manage amidst the rest of the doings in my already overburdened schedule.

As of today, my first article at Troll in the Corner has been published: Finding Inspiration for NPC Concepts. Hopefully you’ll like it as much as the enthusiastic first commenter did.

I have vague plans in mind about topics for other articles soon, including a stat block and description for a new critter, some stats and background for NPCs in support of a module, and maybe an overview of what niche Pathfinder RPG fills.

I’ve been kicking around the idea of starting up an RPG-focused Weblog of my own, but I don’t think I’d get around to it any time soon, and might not maintain any kind of writing schedule at all, so a gig writing for someone else will probably prompt me to write more often and has already prompted me to start writing much sooner than I probably otherwise would have started writing. So . . . there.

27 February 2010

editors who are wrong

Filed under: inanity,Writing — apotheon @ 08:45

I’d just like to say really quickly that I do in fact know when and how to use a semicolon. It is quite likely that, any time you may see a grammatical error of some sort (or misuse of the UNIX trademark or other such issues that are not strictly technical) in one of my article at TechRepublic, it was an editor altering my article prior to publication who introduced the error, and not me. The same goes for ambiguities of context introduced by formatting, such as when list items get turned into subsection headings (and, thus, the end of the list is no longer a visible end to anything when list items contain multiple paragraphs).

I can’t fucking stand it.

The incident that precipitated this comment from me is in one of my least interesting articles (in my opinion), Avoid ambiguity when referring to account names. The incident in question occurs with these words:

that value is greater than the cost of the added effort involved is difficult to answer in the general case; but for a person whose login information management procedures easily handle this behavior

This article was also a case of a list turning into a series of subsections, so that there’s now no point of differentiation between the last paragraph of the final list item (or subsection) and the first paragraph of the rest of the article. Argh.

Oh, well. It wasn’t really one of my best articles anyway. At least this time it wasn’t a great article turned into a mediocre article by someone else’s meddling.

The last time I tried talking to an editor there about introducing errors into my articles, it was about the UNIX trademark. UNIX is a trademark; Unix is not. Thus, when I say BSD Unix, I’m talking about the BSD branch of the Unix family of operating systems. When a TR editor changes that to BSD UNIX, the sentence now refers to . . . what? Some nonexistent Single UNIX Specification conforming and certified variant of BSD Unix that is called “BSD UNIX” . . . ? Who knows?

When I brought this up, I was basically told to keep my correctness to myself because that’s the way TR does it, has always done it, and will always do it. Since then, I’ve just quietly kept using terms correctly and, when people complained to me about misuse of the term UNIX, I have explained how the term got misused. That’s it. C’est la vie. The lesson I learned from that experience is that I shouldn’t argue about correctness with the editors, because they don’t care.

I won’t bother pointing out to them that “; but” is a sure sign you don’t know how to use a semicolon correctly.

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