AUTOMATION FUN

Part of the fun of technical writing is figuring out how you can do less of it. Specifically when it comes to developer documentation. Writing out things like tables of variables, class references, etc. gets really tedious. It’s also fragile, and your work can quickly go out of date. At work I currently have two challenges ahead of me: Documenting RESTful APIs. Documenting SDKs for various mobile platforms and frameworks. RESTful APIs Now, RESTful APIs are pretty well understood in the technical communication world.

BRAVE BROWSER

Web browsers are fascinating beasts. They’re pretty much our window on modern computing, facilitating everything from simple communications to complex desktop applications. In general, they’re also pretty shit. That’s hardly surprising given how much they are expected to do, but I really do feel like we should be doing better. Of the web browsers available today, only a handful actually try to properly integrate into the OS. GNOME Web and Safari spring to mind.

JULY UPDATE

Things have been a bit busy this past month. As well as getting vaccinated and finally securing my visa appointment, I’ve been doing a lot at work. This month saw the release of our new help center, to which I contributed my first SDK documentation. I’ve had to sit down and learn Swift, Objective-C, and Java to get this out the door. It’s been a bit of an adventure! I’ve also been socialising more, especially important since I’ll be moving away soon.

WORKING WITH THE M1 MAC

After a bit of faffing around with invoicing and reimbursing, I have finally managed to get ahold of a machine specifically for work. At my company’s request, I have purchased a MacBook Pro with the Apple M1 chip. Anybody who has read my blog knows I have significant misgivings about Apple, their products, and their business practices. I am generally not a fan of working with Macs, but I must confess I was intrigued to see how this new chip would perform.

THE HUNT

I’ve wanted to live abroad since I was a very young child. As a beady-eyed youngster I distinctly remember telling my parents I was going to be a vet out in Japan working at the base of mount Fuji. Obviously, at that age I had no idea the logistical challenges such a move would bring. Even if I were to study veterinary medicine and Japanese simultaneously, I very much doubt there would be any appetite for a practice opening at the base of a mountain.

DELL XPS 13 THOUGHTS

So I decided finally (finally!) that I was going to invest in a new device in preparation for my upcoming move to Germany. I’ve never really been much of a hardware person, if I’m honest. Hardware has always just been a means to an end to get me working with software as efficiently as possible be it productivity software, games, or media software. For this reason my computers have always been a bit off the mark; I will nearly always pick something over-specced or under-specced, something too big or something too small, etc.

FINALLY, CHANGE

Some big life changes The last time I posted anything here was August 2020. Wow. That’s a pretty substantial break, but it does also coincide with the last time I had any time off work. So in a way it makes sense. A lot has happened since then, but the biggest thing for me personally is that I have taken a job opportunity out in Germany. I’ve been trying to get out of the UK for a while now, so to have finally managed to secure an opportunity is pretty huge for me.

IN DEFENCE OF GNOME WEB

So you probably already know that Mozilla recently went bang and fired 25% of its workforce before announcing that whoops lol actually we are still going to be able to feed the hungry fox this year. Among the teams affected were the servo developers, a lot of the threat response team, and (I believe) the entirety of the team behind MDN: the only good resource for web development don’t @ me.

BURNOUT

In December 2019, I was given a new role at work. This was with the understanding that there would need to be a transition period while I trained my replacement (I work with a very big, poorly documented product, which means that training is a very big task), but that I could expect to be out of my current role within 6 months. 7 months later, we have not even appointed somebody to the new role.

ROSWELL FOR EVERYONE!

This website uses coleslaw as a static site generator. Coleslaw is managed using Roswell. Some of my bots are written in lisp and packaged using Roswell. It’s safe to say I like Roswell. As mentioned a little while ago I’ve been teaching myself how to write FreeBSD ports. Since I run this site on a FreeBSD box, it is only logical that I would try to package the tools I’m using.