Ben Crowder

Blog: #web

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Links #44

Tauri looks like an interesting lightweight alternative to Electron. Quill is the only Electron app I’m still actively using, but it’d still be nice to reduce its footprint a bit.

Ada Palmer on the Renaissance. Better than the Middle Ages? Doubtful. (Also, there was so much more plague over the centuries than I’d realized. Goodness.)

Robin Rendle on redesigning his personal site. The latter half of the post is what resonated most with me. Sometimes I feel like my site has gotten perhaps a bit too focused on smoothly delivering projects, at the cost of some character. I hope to restore some of that character over the next year.

Bartosz Ciechanowski explains internal combustion engines. His interactive diagrams are superb as always.

Donald G. McNeil, Jr., on the end of Covid. A fairly measured take, I thought. My wife and I are both fully vaccinated now, by the way, but we can’t unquarantine until the kids get their shots (mid-to-late fall is our current loose expectation on that).


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Links #43

Tyler Hobbs on color arrangement in generative art. I haven’t done much generative art lately (and don’t know how much I’ll end up actually doing in the future), but I like Tyler’s work and this is a good writeup.

Phil Plait on David Novick’s colored spheres optical illusion. Wow.

Shawn Wang on quality vs. consistency. Which is something I feel I could do much, much better at here on this site.

Matthias Ott about personal websites. A good thing to remember.

Jason Kottke linking to a map of the world’s lighthouses. Look at Norway!


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I used to use Fabric to deploy my personal apps, but I often ran into issues with it, so several months ago I switched over to simple shell scripts that use ssh. Much more resilient, and far easier to maintain (at least for me).

Here’s a sample of what one of these deploy scripts looks like for a Django app:

#!/bin/sh

git push

ssh myusername@myhost /bin/zsh << EOF
  cd /path/to/app/code/

  echo "- Pulling the code"
  git checkout main && git pull

  echo "- Restarting the app"
  supervisorctl restart myappname

  echo "- Running migrations"
  /path/to/venv/bin/python manage.py migrate

  echo "- Collecting static"
  /path/to/venv/bin/python manage.py collectstatic --noinput
EOF

I’ve thought about using a CD pipeline instead, but I’m not convinced that introducing an extra dependency — no matter how slick — is actually worth it for something small and personal like this. (CI/CD sure is nice at work, however.)


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Links #40

Dave Rupert on how the web is something different. Celebrating the democratic nature of the web as a space for everyone, not just professionals. I like that.

Adrian Roselli on responsive type and zooming. Over the last few years I’ve become one of those people who scale text up. Not massively — not yet — and not always, but it very much makes a difference for these aging eyes.

Donny Trương’s free online book on Vietnamese type design. Mmm.

Noah Smith on developing countries in the Global South, which tied in nicely with my recent reading of How Asia Works (and mentions the book as well). Nice to see that Malaysia’s doing better than it was when the book was written.

Radio Garden lets you browse worldwide radio stations via a map. Fun.


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Links #38

Ziglings. Learn Zig by fixing small bugs in small programs. (Inspired by rustlings, though those exercises seem to be broader than just fixing errors.) A good way to learn a programming language, I think.

Maggie Appleton on bi-directional links. Doing this locally is one of the (many) changes I want to make down the road when I rebuild this site’s backend.

Vasilis van Gemert on where web page navigation should be. I’m convinced: nav at the bottom of the source file, and on mobile at the bottom visually as well. Planning to make the change here soon.

Blender 2.92 dropped recently. Geometry nodes look promising, and it’s crazy to see how all the grease pencil work has turned Blender into a viable 2D animation studio as well.

PEP 636. Pattern matching! In Python! Very much looking forward to this — I’ve loved using it in Rust.


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Links #34


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Links #33


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Links #32


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Links #29


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Links #27


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