Changes for 2014

Definitely definitely not a New Years Resolution list. I’ve made a few changes to my workflow for this year. This is my attempt at documenting those changes and their effects.

Somebody once asked could I spare some change for gas
I need to get myself away from this place
I said yep, what a concept; I could use a little fuel myself
And we could all use a little change
Smash Mouth, “All Star

I have moved to the_land_of_snake_case

I may have crossed over to the dark side on this one. I have adopted snake-case (e.g., do_something(text_data) versus doSomething(textData)) as my default scripting name convention.

How did this happen?

After several earlier grumblings about snake-case, I figured I should just try it out and try to deem if my complaints were justified. I tend to write very short statements, such as the following contrived example:

def do_something_complex(raw_dough):
    sweetened_substance       = add_sugar_to(raw_dough)
    flattened_sweet_substance = flatten_object(sweetened_substance)
    raw_pancake               = make_round(flattened_sweet_substance)

    return put_on_the_griddle(raw_pancake)

As opposed to this equally contrived example:

def do_something_complex(raw_dough):
    return put_on_the_griddle(make_round(flatten_object(add_sugar_to(raw_dough))))

Because I write such short statements (that fly in the face of the whole “state is bad” functional programming ethos), I have not run into the “underscore overload” problem I originally complained about. I haven’t looked at that many other people’s code though, so my mileage may yet vary…

That said, I am reserving this convention for Python and PHP, as that’s where people would tend to see snake-case. JavaScript, maybe not so much. It’s much more common in my work to see people using camel case in their JS.

Now the next adventure is adjusting to the C#/.NET naming convention Where Everything You Do Is In TitleCase.

I went ahead and wrote a Blog Engine anyway

Left tumblr. I’m now rendering static HTML from markdown sources (doesn’t that just seem to be the in thing these days?).

Performance changes

Shaved 300 KB (300%) and a ton of 3rd party code off of the page. The page size doesn’t matter as much, since this is hardly a high-traffic website.

Superficial changes

Refreshed the graphics for this year, leveraging some of the visual patterns I saw while on vacation this Christmas. I was going for slight organic with some connotation of “ongoing-ness”.

I also tightened up the typography of the page by introducing a new font and implementing some of the techniques I’ve learned over the last few weeks.

I finally bought a New Computer

I am finally rid of the chain gang. With the arrival of my Lenovo ThinkPad T440s, the Dell Inspiron 1300 with its 7 minute battery has been retired officially. I am mobile again!

New capabilities

With a larger screen, better keyboard, tons of memory and decent processor speed, I am actually able to run the latest versions of software including Visual Studio 2013, Photoshop CS6. With a renewed sense of inspiration and confidence in my tools and the ability to work from anywhere again, I plan on doing much more personal design and development this year.

loading blog data