Random Jottings

I need to start an outline of ideas to blog about. Then I won’t be stuck trying to think of an appropriate topic when I sit down to blog. My experience has been, that when I have such a list of topics, I often don’t have to refer to it to find something to blog about. It must be the pressure of trying to come up with a topic that causes me to draw a blank.

Fargo has a new feature. It is call Community Feed and is the latest iteration of Dave’s Instant Outliner concept. I’m looking forward to participating in it. I had wondered if the lightning icon indicated any change to the outline or just your changes to the outline. It just came up without my posting anything so I suspect it indicates any new post.

I love this tool (Fargo). I wish I could use it more. I will certainly use it a lot at home. I may write some more later but I have other things that must be done right now.

A Day Without Fargo

I survived. I got quite a bit accomplished. I also found a bunch of times that I wanted to jot something down and I had to use some other tool besides Fargo. I guess that’s when you realize that you really have embraced a tool, when you miss it when you don’t have access to it.

I came home for lunch but I didn’t have time to do anything more than eat and visit with Pam for a minute before it was time to go back to work. I wanted to keep up my pattern of blogging every day. I am approaching this blog post the way that I approach writing my morning words. That is, I start writing about the first thing on my mind and I keep writing until some arbitrary criteria has been met. For my morning words, it is having written 750 words. For a blog post I don’t know yet.

I need to start thinking about things to blog about and spend some time organizing my thoughts on a given topic before I just dive in and start writing. At least that’s how I think it ought to be done. I seem to be doing fairly well writing a draft this way. Maybe I’m demanding too much of myself. Maybe I just need to write and see what happens. I’m not saying I shouldn’t revise what I’ve written and make sure that it is what I intended to say, just that there is nothing wrong with the way I’ve been doing things.

Here’s Another Post

I like the way that the New Post organizes posts in the reverse chronological order that they should be organized in. The more I use this tool, the more I like it. It allows me to keep a draft post in the outline and work on it until it’s ready to post and then publish it at my discretion.

I just wish I could use Fargo from behind the firewall at work. I understand the concern of our security team about allowing open access to Dropbox. It is too easy for people to think that things that they save to their Dropbox is actually secure. That would be naive but I’m sure that there are those that believe that.

Because of Fargo, I just fixed an incorrect setting in my blog configuration. I had the timezone wrong. This is great. I will have to remember to go tag my blog posts every now and then but other than that, I like blogging this way.

I Discovered the New Post Button in Fargo

Since I am trying to blog more regularly, I am using Fargo more than I would imagine. I might write something major using it, who knows. For that matter, who knows what I mean by major. Anyway, I hovered over the + button and it popped up a label that said “New Post” so I pressed it. I’m not sure how it will be different from the posts that I have been making but I do know that it helped me to get started writing a blog post for today. That is good, no matter how well I like the New Post button. So, let’s give this a try and publish it.

How I Discovered AngularJS

The other day, I decided that it was time to update my home page. It hadn’t been updated in years and many of the links on it were stale. On a technical level, it was implemented in PHP and was ugly. I felt like it was time to update the underlying technology to something a little more in line with modern ideas about development.

My first thought was to use Rails. I had done some Rails work several years ago and had found the philosophy of configuration by convention a great improvement from the tons of XML I had to write to do a Java Server Pages site. I started investigating and discovered that I was so far behind in the Rails world that it was going to take a major effort to bring myself up to speed on all the new features. It made me question my decision to use Rails for such a “small” application.

Then I found AngularJS. What an elegant way to implement a dynamic web site. I especially liked the fact that the bulk of the compute load was shifted to the browser. The server only provided the data to feed the dynamic behavior. At last someone had implemented a framework where there was a clean separation of concerns between Model, View, and Controller. What is more, the View was implemented with carefully crafted, minimal extensions to html.

And, the most important feature of all, it was fun. I haven’t had this much fun developing in years. I also discovered the Cloud9 IDE but I’ll leave a discussion of it’s goodness for another blog post.

Blogging from Fargo

Today I connected Fargo to my WordPress blog and I am testing the connection. This is the first post made using this interface.

I am trying to figure out how to embed a link into a blog post. I haven’t figured it out yet. I suspect that it may involve using Markdown but I haven’t found a description of how to do it yet.

I just figured it out. Notice that Fargo in the first paragraph is a link to the Fargo site. The way that I did it is to put an html anchor markup in the outline and then with the entire node selected type clover-`. Doing it again exposes the html for editing. Pretty slick.

I could get used to this. It gives me an easy way to write my blog posts in a tool that is far more capable than anything else I’ve used. I have to admit, I am a fan of outline processors but this one sets the bar high for a new generation of outliners.