Sweater Evolutions

I've been knitting! Here's an update: I finished a sweater. Still need to block it, but it looks great so far. It's a (near) duplicate of a sweater that I made a few years ago in blues. The biggest difference in construction is that I did the hem in a very slightly different way. Other than that, it's very much the exemplar of "the default tychoish sweater." Note to self, it would be good to have a version of this sweater in brown.…

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Knitting Shopping

... and planning I did a little bit of holiday knitting shopping. Given how infrequently I buy yarn and knitting things and the fact that shopping for knitting things correlates strongly with my project planning, it seems worth sharing: I got a cone of merino/tencel lace weight yarn in a steel blue color to knit a long plain tube to wear as a neck tube/scarf thing. I bought one of these a few months ago knit out of a jersey tencel knit, and I adore it, so it makes sense to knit something similar.…

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Github without Github

Github is great, and I think they've done a lot--for the better--to change and shape the way that everyone uses and does really awesome things with git. But I worry about lock-in, I worry about having a project that relies on some feature of github that can't be easily accomplished on another platform. This post is an index of "git ecosystem" tools that let you get something that looks a bit like github on your own servers.…

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Documentation Maximalism

You may hear people, particularly people who don't like to write documentation, something like: Users need minimalist documentation that only answers their questions, and there's no point in overwhelming users with bloated, maximalist documentation that they'll never read. Which sounds great, but doesn't reflect reality or best practice. Consider the following: Documentation is as much for the producers of the software as it is for the users. Having extensive documentation contributes too, and reflects a sane design process.…

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Information Debts

Like technical debt, information debt is a huge problem for all kinds of organizations, and one that all technical writers need to be aware and able to combat directly. Let's backup a little... Information debt is what happens when there aren't proper systems, tools, and processes in place to maintain and create high quality information resources. A number of unfortunate and expensive things result: People spend time recreating documents, pages, and research that already exists.…

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Novel Automation

This post is a follow up to the interlude in the /posts/programming-tutorials post, which part of an ongoing series of posts on programmer training and related issues in technological literacy and education. In short, creating novel automations is hard. The process would have to look something like: Realize that you have an unfulfilled software need. Decide what the proper solution to that need is. Make sure the solution is sufficiently flexible to be able to support all required complexity.…

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Programming Tutorials

This post is a follow up to my :doc`/posts/coding-pedagogy` post. This "series," addresses how people learn how to program, the state of the technical materials that support this education process, and the role of programming in technology development. I've wanted to learn how to program for a while and I've been perpetually frustrated by pretty much every lesson or document I've ever encountered in this search. This is hyperbolic, but it's pretty close to the truth.…

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