Start that novel

Nicholas Bate has the steps you need to start that novel.

Great to see Ethan making progress under the watchful eye of club professional Andy Carlton. More work on the short game this week with great results. 👍🏻

I’ve been moving a few newsletters so that they’re sent to Feedbin. Amazed by the amount of newsletters that don’t allow you to just update your details.

Unsubscribing, finding the landing page and then subscribing again is quite a chore for a few newsletters.

Looking forward to more nights like this when I can get both the boys out on the course.

Forgot how great the Silent Alarm album by Bloc Party is 🎵.

Weekly digest

An uneventful week (not a bad thing by the way) but ended with me and Jennifer taking the boys to see Black Panther on Saturday afternoon. It was such a great movie and definitely worth seeing whether you’re a Marvel fan or not. Visually amazing, but also great to see a Marvel movie make better use of music.

After 10 days of closure, the golf course was finally open this weekend and Ethan took full advantage by going out to play a round today. Stoked to see his practice paying off.

I could really do with a col-md-1.5 class about now. #webdevwoes

Robots opening doors? Calm down people, we’re a long way from Skynet happening.

Using Stimulus in PenMuse

It’s been a while since I dabbled in a bit of JavaScript. It’s not that I don’t like programming in JavaScript, it is growing on me, it’s just I’ve never found a real use case for it in a web application. The thing about JavaScript though is that there are so many great frameworks available that mean you often don’t have to write any of the curly bracket stuff.

Vue.js has been on my radar for a while but what has really grabbed my interest has been the release of Stimulus.

For a lot of web applications I work on, I don’t want to re-write a whole view for a particular framework, I just want to enhance a part of that view. Both the above mentioned frameworks do this, but I decided to try and use Stimulus with a web application of my own just for fun.

The copy to clipboard is a nice example to start from in the Stimulus handbook and so I started with this basic example by adding a copy to clipboard button when displaying a writing prompt in PenMuse. Not only was it good to broaden my reach beyond the Rails code that I am used to writing, I also got to experiment with WebPacker as well.

The final results are good and there was a few hiccups along the way in trying to copy the prompt from an input element that didn’t interfere with the user interface.

I did at one point create an input elemement on the fly to copy the prompt from when the button was pressed, but it jerked the screen up and down on tablet devices as it was copying the prompt. Horrible.

I decided to settle on using an input group so that you can partially see the prompt being copied. It’s not ideal, but it’s working and it doesn’t mess with the screen in anyway on different devices.

I’ve still got some adjustments to make for smaller devices like stacking the buttons on the home page so that they appear as a column but that will come later in the week.

So, even with the night shift on, iPads aren’t good for night time reading. Already thought this would be the case. Just as well I prefer to read my Kindle at night.

Weekly digest

I didn’t stay up or the Super Bowl on Sunday night but I managed to catch up with a much more condensed version on Monday with all the highlights. I wanted to the Eagles to win this so much but I didn’t think it was going to be a walk over against the Patriots. On the night though, the Eagles showed why they’re the best team in the league and Foles done a great job on the night. Calm and cool under pressure.

Thursday seen Ethan back out on the course for an hour with Andy, our club professional. Setup is getting much better and shots are more consistent now. We’re getting to the stage now where Andy is getting picky with parts of Ethan’s swing and his game in general. It’s great seeing him progress though in just a few weeks.

I had the day off on Friday as it was Jennifer’s birthday. We celebrated that night with a visit to our favourite local restaurant. Great food and great company!

Great to see the snow didn’t put Drew off from his golf yesterday.

Snow! What snow?

Would you download an app that wasn’t on the App Store and didn’t have any developer credentials (name, company etc) against it?

Weekly digest

It’s app changeover time this week!

I’ve been in task management limbo the last few months with various stuff I have to do spread out over a number of notebooks, files and apps. This week I started consolidating all this stuff into Things. It’s my glorified container for everything my brain fails to remember. I’ll still do the bulk of work using bullet journaling though. I’ve also started using Overcast again for managing my podcasts.

Feels good to be starting another Rails project. I’m hoping this one runs for a while, but I really need to spend more time on throwaway Rails projects and learning more about things like ActionCable and Turbolinks.

RSS discovery

A common observation around the slow uptake of RSS readers is that RSS is still something that people don’t understand.

RSS readers often rely on the user to add the feeds that they want, but unless users know where to look then users may be turned off by an RSS reader. A blank page with no suggested or recommended feeds in it isn’t going to demonstrate what an RSS reader can do.

I’ve noticed that podcasting apps like Overcast and Pocketcasts include discovery sections that show you podcasts that you can subscribe too. They provide recommended and categories sections that people can click and find out more information about that podcast. If they like it they can subscribe.

Perhaps it’s not only about adding subscribe buttons to our sites but also making RSS readers more user friendly by adding RSS discovery so that people can find the content they want.

_If my memory serves me right, Feedly does include such a discovery feature, so thumbs up to them! _

Despite a few attempts this week and last week at using VS Code, I keep coming back to Sublime Text. I think if I had a severe problem with using ST then I would make the switch, but as it stands, it just works.

If it ain’t broke, why fix it?

Write daily

Nicholas Bate with a run down on being happy. Writing daily is just one simple part of it.

Write daily about what is working so that you observe, notice and appreciate it.

Basics 7: How to Be Happy by Nicholas Bate

That painful moment when you realise that the reason your JavaScript isn’t working is because is you have a typo in your elements id attribute.