Project Orientation

(or my latest attempt to do things in a more "project oriented way.") This post is about recent projects, projects that I'm working on, and how my work has changed in recent months. A couple of weeks ago, I finally posted all of the content that I've been working on for the new, revived Cyborg Institute. While the book on systems administration itself had been mostly done for a while, I'd delayed for two reasons:…

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imenu for Markdown

For a while, I've been envious of some of the project and file navigation features in emacs for browsing bigger projects/programs, things like imenu and tags have always seems awesome but given that I spend most of time editing restructured text and markdown files (I'm a technical writer), these tools have been distant and not a part of my day to day work. It's not that it would be impossible to write interfaces for imenu or etags, for the formats I use regularly, but more that I've never gotten around to it until now.…

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Practical Branch Layout

I've recently gone from being someone who uses git entirely "on my own," to being someone who uses git with a lot of other people at once. I've also had to introduce git to the uninitiated a few times. These have both been notable challenges. Git is hard, particularly in these contexts: not only are there many concepts to learn, but there's no single proscribed workflow and a multitude of workflow possibilities.…

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Hypertextuality

I recently took some of my writing time to create a makefile (Novel Makefile) to manage work I hope to be doing on a new novel project. I've started outlining and researching the story in earnest after having spent the past few couple of years talking about it, and I think writing will commence soon. In another post I'd like to write up some thoughts on the tooling and technology of writing non-technical/non-manual long-form.…

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Denormalize Access Control

Access control is both immensely useful and incredibly broken. Access control, or the ability to constrain access to data and programs in a shared system is the only way that we, as users of shared systems, can maintain our identities, personal security, and privacy. Shared systems include: databases, file servers, social networking sites, virtualized computing systems, vendor accounts, control panels, management tools, and so forth all need robust, flexible, granular, and scalable access control tools.…

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Taxonomic Failure

I tell people that I'm a professional writer, but this is a bit misleading, because what I really do is figure out how to organize information so that it's useful and usable. Anyone, with sufficient training and practice, can figure out how to convey simple facts in plain language, but figuring out how to organize simple facts in plain language into a coherent text is the more important part of my job and work.…

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Work Logging

Joey Hess' blog of his work on git-annex-assitant has been a great inspiration to me. Basically, Joey had a very successful Kickstarter campaign to fund his work on a very cool tool of his that he wants to expand to be a kind of drop-box replacement. As part of the project, he's been blogging nearly every day about the work, his progress, and the problems he's faced. I really admire this kind of note taking, and think it's really interesting to see how people progress on cool projects.…

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