Friday, 8 April 2016

How to Watch Repositories on Github via a NewsFeed

TL;DR subscribe to master commits on github with /commits/master.atom
There exist a lot of ‘lists’ and ‘notes’ on github, not just source code.
e.g.
I would like to be able to be notified when these lists change.
There are official ways of watching repositories on github:
I primarily use news feeds through newsblur.com
The newsfeeds officially documented provides a bit too much information for me.
I really just want to know when new commits are pushed to master.

Wednesday, 6 April 2016

Behind the Scenes: Tools and workflow for blogging on blogger and writing for other reasons

TLDR; Write offline. Copy/Paste to online.

This blog is powered by blogger. I still haven’t spent a lot of time creating a template that formats it nicely. Partly because I tend to read all my blog feeds through newsblur.com so I really don’t know what anyone’s blog looks like. I have ‘fix blogger formatting’ on my todo list, but it never seems to rise to the top.

I don’t particularly like the way that blogger uses html for posts: it avoids paragraphs and uses span, div and br.

But, it is easy and performant, so I use it.

What I don’t do, however, is write my posts in the blogger editor.

I thought I’d give a quick overview of my publishing and writing process for this blog because this is the same process I use when I’m working on Wordpress, Most Wikis, Jira, etc.

  • write in evernote using markdown
  • copy paste markdown to dillinger.io
  • “export as” “HTML”
  • open downloaded .html file
  • view source
  • copy paste everything between <body></body> into the ‘HTML’ view in blogger
  • review in preview in blogger
  • publish
  • review published form

Why?

  1. Web apps crash when I use them for editing
  2. I have a record of when I wrote the blog post because it is part of my Daily Notes ‘note’
  3. Writing in markdown means I focus on the content rather than the formatting
  4. multiple review points (yes, my writing goes through multiple reviews and still ends up like this!) each one shows a slightly different ‘view’ of it, so I pick up different errors.

##Web apps crash when I use them for editing

  • I’ve lost work in Wordpress.
  • I’ve lost defects raised in Jira.
  • I’ve lost edits to wiki pages.

You name the system that allows you to ‘create’ and ‘edit’ the ‘things’ online, and I’ve lost edits to it when:

  • the browser crashed
  • the browser hung
  • the tab froze
  • I accidentally pressed some magic button on the mouse that made everything go mental
  • etc.

I don’t trust online editing, so I do most of my writing offline in evernote or a text editor.

Secondary Gain

Because I’m writing it offline I have a record of when I wrote the blog post because it is part of my Daily Notes ‘note’.

Although Evernote seems to be slowing down these days when I write long notes. I don’t think it used to do this, I may have to start moving back to a ‘Day Notes’ txt file by default and import into Evernote at the end of the day.

Content rather than format

I have no fancy icons and gimmicks to distract me from my writing. Which means you get top quality content and no padding. Actually you probably get first draft text, but at least you know I wasn’t distracted by formatting.

Multiple Review Points.

Yes, my writing goes through multiple reviews and still ends up like this!

I first review the text in Evernote. Then in Preview in the blogger editor and then on the page after publishing.

Each stage shows a slightly different ‘view’ of it, so I pick up different errors.

If I do fix for formatting it is usually after publish, when it is live.

Summary

I write this way for most of the stuff I write.

  • emails
  • tweets
  • client reports
  • birthday card greetings
  • you name it

I also do this for my testing notes and test summary reports.

Which neatly brings us back to the topic of testing.

Happy testing.

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