Twenty-eight microblogging bits from ActivityPub. #cats #aws #nextjs #startrek #blog #nodejs #development #writing

Microblogging Journal through 12/4/2023

1,555 words.

Microblogging Journal through 12/4/2023

Dispatches from

Monday 11/27

  • 09:09 # I found this post I wanted to bookmark, which has a really good list of options and a nice primer on the trials and tribulations of implementing comments on a static blog: My takeaway is it’s hard, and probably isn’t worth the effort unless your site is for hawking wares. Both conclusions I had already come to, but it’s nice to know I’m not the only one who thinks it. “Wares” in this context are goods or services, but also ads, popularity, and credibility. #blog

  • 09:10 # And it’s back to work today after a week off for Thanksgiving vacation, during which I mostly did programming work as if I were still at work all week. Good job, me.

  • 10:20 # I’ve been using IAWriter on my MacBook for writing Markdown posts for a week or so now and I really like it, except for one thing that’s super annoying: It misses keystrokes now and then. I’ll be typing along and look back at what I wrote and find letters missing. I’m guessing there’s a realtime correction setting somewhere that’s chewing up too much CPU that I need to disable. #writing #blog

  • 12:17 # I added thread-detection and indentation to my microblogging digest posts e.g. It occurs to me that I now have the knowledge I need to update my ActivityPub-to-Markdown digest tool to read posts from the GoToSocial api rather than querying the postgres database directly, which would be a significant improvement. Another thing to add to the todo list. #blog #development

  • 20:04 # Continuing the theme of animated Star Trek, I’m watching The Animated Series for the first time ever. Pretty much continues the semi-sophisticated (for the time, at least) science fiction of the series, but it’s buried underneath a hilarious low-budget Filmation production, where Majel Barrett, Nichelle Nichols, and James Doohan end up doing most of the voices. #startrek

    • 20:08 # The music and sound effects repeat so often, TAS is sometimes like listening to that “apply directly to the forehead” commercial for 20 minutes straight. #startrek

Tuesday 11/28

  • 07:52 # Oof. Cats woke me up at 4:30. The disadvantage of letting the outdoor cat inside overnight during cold weather: Indoor cat prowls around at all hours of the night making trouble, establishing dominance, and trying to play with the outdoor cat who is just trying to sleep. And the outdoor cat doesn’t know any of the indoor routines so he’s ready to start his day in the middle of the night. #cats

  • 10:19 # As I try to setup extremely simple mock tests for my typescript Next.js project using jest, I’m coming to the realization that the theoretical promise that typecript will turn javascript into a real language is not worth the painstakingly annoying practical reality that literally nothing works with typescript. #nodejs

    • 10:23 # The basic process of getting anything to work in a javascript environment goes something like this: Add fifty billion dependencies and pray that one of them actually helps with the problem you’re trying to solve, knowing for sure that 99% of them will probably not end up being used at all but you’ll never be able to get rid of them. #development #nodejs

    • 10:32 # Typescript isn’t quite what I thought it was at the beginning of this year. An imperfect comparison I just thought of: If javascript is C, then typescript is C that’s decorated with a million custom define macros. #development

Wednesday 11/29

  • 07:04 # I’ve started recording “dev vlog” screncasts to keep track of what I’m doing on the blog site. Otherwise there’s just no way I’m going to remember all of the nitpicky little problems you have to work through to get aws cloudformation templates and Next.js-related development to work right. (Recording with OBS on a MacBook has a whole other set of problems.) #development #aws #nextjs #blog

  • 13:14 # For reasons that weren’t quite intentional, I got a chance to test the CloudFormation template that rebuilds my new amplify Next.js blog project from scratch. It mostly worked. I was able to run one command and watch aws create all the buckets and tables and build pipelines and wire everything up automatically. Infrastructure-as-code is pretty dern cool when it works right. #development #aws

  • 15:20 # Hrm I see that I am missing an essential pop culture reference today as I look at names on Discord.

    • 15:23 # Oh lol nevermind it’s just “streamer mode.” I thought everyone was changing their display name to e.g. “A…” as some form of protest about something or another haha.

Thursday 11/30

  • 18:48 # Seriously though why isn’t CodePipeline creating output artifacts in my s3 bucket even though it says it did and there were no errors. #aws

    • 19:03 # The answer may surprise you. Or not. It’s because I forgot to put an “artifacts” section in my buildspec.yml file. I just assumed that setting up the outputs in the CodePipeline resource of the CloudFormation template would be enough, but nope. #aws

Friday 12/01

  • 16:42 # wut “The new iA Writer shows you which words you typed, and which you pasted from ChatGPT or from a friend. It highlights the text you craft yourself and it keeps track of contributors, artificial and natural, so that your voice is what comes through on the page.” I mean I kind of know what I pasted from ChatGPT into my writing… it’s nothing.

  • 20:11 # Man ChatGPT has been almost unusably slow lately. How am I supposed to learn 50 million new things about Next.js and Node.js and Typescript in a couple weeks if I can’t flip to an AI and ask it for answers that take too long to find on Google.

  • 23:17 # I’ve just realized that my localhost blog build is also contributing stats to my Google Analytics. There’s a lot of user engagement on my laptop!

  • 23:35 # I’ve also just realized that Google Search Console has detected 1 security issue on my blog, which is patently absurd. It doesn’t even tell me where it found an issue. It just says N/A.

Saturday 12/02

  • 16:18 # Man, it’s a journey to setup an AWS CloudFront distribution to connect to an AWS Amplify application and also write logs to an s3 bucket. AWS is really powerful but you can see why there are competing cloud providers out there. All they have to do is provide a simplified experience, no matter how much it costs because literally any amount of money is worth the savings in configuration time, and they’ve got a winning product. #aws #blog

  • 19:31 # Writing a CloudFormation template is pretty much the same developer experience as writing assembly language in the 80s. No IDE, no code completion, no validation. Just typing text into the editor and running it through the interpreter over and over and over again until it’s right. #aws

    • 19:33 # I guess one positive spin of how backwards it feels to write these CloudFormation templates is you could say I’ve been preparing my whole life for this moment of writing templates?? #aws

Sunday 12/03

  • 11:54 # I’m becoming unhappy with Amplify for hosting my simple web pages. Possibly because this Next.js app is less simple than a static site. Anyway Amplify is just so peculiarly proprietary with how it does everything, and I’d rather do something a little more, you know, industry standard. So I’m thinking about containerizing my Next.js app and deploying it through either Amazon ECS (another proprietary thing) or EKS (not proprietary Kubernetes cluster). I generally know how to do that, but the main issue is I have no clue how much it will actually cost to host a container that way. I’ll just have to run it for a while to see what the costs are. If it’s too much, I can put it back in Amplify I guess. (I actually don’t know how much Amplify will cost either. Maybe I should start with that as a baseline.) #aws #blog

  • 20:05 # Switching over to the new site for a smoke test to gather some data. Want to see what happens when live traffic goes into it for an hour or so, to see if I’ve handled the redirects properly. Unfortunately switching the domain over wasn’t nearly as fast as I thought it would be, so it might end up being all night. #blog

  • 22:20 # Tinkering with domain name management. If everything breaks that’s why. Trying to setup an easy way to do blue/green testing in the aws console. #blog

  • 22:50 # Switching the domain to the Next.js app to collect some traffic data for a test, the very first live traffic request I got is a HEAD request from WordPress Jetpack. For years now, WordPress has thought my site is still a WordPress blog and their stupid admin panel somewhere in the nebulous bowels of WordPress Headquarters keeps pinging my site. Just give up already, please. #blog

    • 23:11 # Blue/green test has concluded for now. Major bugs in displaying images in posts on the Next.js site were detected. Also stop using http links and use the https ones instead, because it’s not the past anymore. I was very late setting up https and I’ve had it for years. That’s a wrap on the weekend. #blog

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