Proof of Life
As many of you noticed, and some of you regularly messaged me about, this blog has been offline for quite some time. There are many reasons for this: I was rewriting the software this blog runs on, the host that served it closed their doors, I had to take an extended break in working on it for multiple reasons, and, when I got back to it, my half-complete rewrite had enough bit rot that I decided to start fresh. The good news is that all of that mess has finally passed. As you can see, that means this blog is back is business.
If you are a long time reader and you have a good memory, you'll notice that I changed the name of my blog. That's because the old name was a not-so-clever play on my name that was later appropriated for a rather different collection of writing. I think that's worth resetting the Google credit counter to get away from.
Oh and there have been a few upgrades…
All of my posts are back. Some content is a bit dated and I've tried to add clarifying notes where they were needed, but I was pleasantly surprised to see that much of it is still useful today. I believe my coverage of Character Encodings is what readers missed the most and it's fully restored.
But wait, there's more!
For a time, I wrote a series of for-pay articles on how I think about programming in Ruby, called Rubies in the Rough. All of that content, close to 400 printed pages, is now freely available on this blog. Enjoy.
I plan to add more new content in the future. However, it's probably worth mentioning that I've given myself permission to quit some projects that have been dragging me down.
With my series on Higher-Order Ruby one post from done, I realized that I just didn't like it. In some places I had Rubyified the code so much it was no longer about functional principles. In others, I kept so much of the functional style that the code is tortured Ruby that I can't recommend. My understanding of what functional programming is just wasn't strong enough when I tried to write that series.
Similarly, I never finished my coverage of Tokyo Cabinet and related tools. I was building a client library for this database when it was pretty much end-of-lifed to make way for the newer Kyoto Cabinet. This killed my motivation to finish the project.
You won't be seeing more of those projects. Sorry. I'm planning to launch all new projects so I can make all new mistakes.
I've heard people I respect say that you should just choose some blog engine so you can focus on getting posts out. My extended absence surely proves the wisdom of such recommendations, but that's just not my style. I'm a programmer who enjoys tinkering.
This blog engine is my own build of the feature list I've found myself wishing for in a blog engine. I'm sure there are bits I'll need to fix up as we break it in, but I hope readers will find something to like in the additions. I'm already growing fond of syntax highlighted code, "click to copy" code blocks, and series navigation links. I'm not a big feed user, but, for those who are, they also have several upgrades.
Comments have changed a lot as well. I considered dumping them, but a read through showed that my blog seems to attract more signal than noise. There are some gems in these comments that I would miss. I did switch them to opt-in though, hiding them unless you click a link. This should allow you to choose whether you want to brave them. If you do partake, you'll see more upgrades: nesting, GitHub Flavored Markdown support, previews, plus highlight and reply quoting.
One small advantage us tinkers do get is that I now have a bunch of new code that might be worth talking about. I did some different things with this version of the software, like basing multiple features off of PostgreSQL-isms and caching content that gets displayed in various forms. You may just see some posts about these tricks down the road a bit.
Welcome back everyone.
Kirill Shirinkin May 9th, 2014 Reply Link
Huh, good to know that I am not the only one who wrote own blog engine :)
Dr Nic Williams May 9th, 2014 Reply Link
Welcome back to blogging!
Andy Waite May 10th, 2014 Reply Link
I'm looking forward to reading your new posts!
I noticed a small problem when I subscribed via Feedly using the RSS link in the page footer - it gave me only the comments for this article. It seems this might need a small adjustment.
James Edward Gray II May 10th, 2014 Reply Link
The feed links match the content you are viewing. You can subscribe to the whole blog, a category, a tag, a specific article, or a search. So, assuming you want the whole blog, go to the main page and use that link.
aha! I too stumbled into this, but upon your explanation I appreciate your thinking behind this feature, kudos!
I used the RSS link in the footer of this article, maybe a modal or some way to inform the user what they are specifically subscribing too might clear things up.
Thanks for putting the blog together James, I missed this the first time around so very happy all your content is up and out there :-)
FYI, I get an error message about unsupported plugins on your code examples when reading on my Android tablet.
I'm very excited that you've resumed blogging!
James Edward Gray II May 13th, 2014 Reply Link
Yeah, you're not the first person to tell me that the use of Flash isn't degrading well. I'm going to look into this when I have some time.