µblog - archive for 2022-04
Wishing she could call him “Heartbreak”, but it’s not a boy’s name
A Make trick
The way this blog works is by running a Perl script with a big ole Markdown text as input. I wanted to keep my files logically separate, including the big dump of Tweets I’ve exported. So I wanted to do the following:
- check all
- if any have been changed, concatenate them all into one file
- run the script on that file
My first attempt looked like this
cat *.md >> content.in
But that of course just grew
content.in every time it was run. I did try a
rm content.in as a first command, but that felt inelegant.
With the help of @gwozniak in lobste.rs chat, I came up with this instead:
cat $^ > $@
Nice, simple, and inscrutable. Make at its best.
A good analogy to Ockham’s Razor is the pseudo-Marxist:
if something seems illogical, it’s that way because it makes people money
For example: content that used to be on blogs is now on YouTube, which is less convenient, harder to search, and generally uses more bandwidth. Why don’t people blog anymore? Because they earn more money producing video content.
Coming up hard against the realization that a fortune-style file format is pretty limiting.
So the format of this particular blog is a big file in
fortune file format:
YYYY-MM-DD today's title
Even more content
(I’ve had to escape the percent signs to avoid the blog engine to read them as delimiters.)
So the problem with this (and this is my problem) is that I add a sequential ID to every piece of content at generation time for permalink purposes.This means that if I mess up and add a piece of content above another, it will get that ID instead.
It’s not the biggest problem in the world, but ideally every piece of content would have an immutable ID, ideally a timestamp, but that would complicate the authoring.
But at that point, you might as well just use a database. There’s an inherent limitation in keeping too much metadata in plain-text files.
Some people on Hackernews are touting a new “troll-free” app for having “conversations”. One featured user is a gentleman in his late 20s, wearing a bowtie and repping an online mag that hosts an article by Curtis Yarvin about El*n M*sk and Twitter.
Yeah, I think I’ll pass.
Announcing my microblog
I’ve really enjoyed venting on gemini, but mostly because it’s really quick and easy to get something “out there”. But gemini itself is pretty limiting both in formatting and reach, and the recent Twitter kerfuffle got me interested in hosting my own quick-to-post solution.
So I googled a bit and found Tumblelog by John Bokma, which looked like it would tick the boxes I wanted:
- static generation
While I found the general idea great, I didn’t need all the bells and whistles, so I ripped out the parts that dealt with HTML generation and shifted that to a Template-based solution.
It’s still rough around the edges - I need to figure out a better stylesheet, and I need to add feed support, but so far it’s a lot of fun and I hope I can start using it shorter stuff.
Update 2022-05-05: feeds and stylesheet added. Source is at Github.
I wonder if TwElon will restrict the use of 3rd party clients on Twitter. It all depends on if he needs to wring more money out of the site.
This microblog project is coming along quite nicely. I’ve managed to extract my old tweets so I’ll backfill this with them.
It would be too funny if the Twitter deal fell through and Elon didn’t swoop in like the great White hope his awful fans claim him to be.
JSON feed specs
So much US history makes more sense when you consider it as a massive reaction against black people.
Watch out NYRB, the substackers are coming for you
I like free speech so much I’ve decided to buy it
🤬 Fucking Twitter - or rather, fucking Elon
This is depressing as heck. I am convinced Twitter will become even worse, very quickly. The global right is stirring and will use Twitter in its war against decency.
I’m probably not gonna be directly affected because I’m a cis white male, but I really feel bad for “designated targets” already having a tough time there. And I really don’t want to continue to feed the beast.
Even if people move on to somewhere else, a sort of meta-community will be fractured, and the bad guys have won another battle.
There’s an adage that crops up a lot in science fiction circles: a dystopia is a future or alternate world in which things that are happening right now happen to white people. It’s reductive, and not a little bit mean, but there’s a lot of truth to it.
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