One thousand lightbulbs

Revamping 1klb comments part two: the database

We’re building a commenting system for a static site blog! Or at least, I’m taking you on a guided tour of my blog commenting system.

In my last blog post I outlined how the commenting system of the blog works, at least at the big picture level. In this post, I’ll go through how we set up the database.

Revamping 1klb comments part one: an overview

A little while back I created a commenting system for this blog. The blog itself is served via a static site generator (specifically nanoc served on netlify), so a commenting system isn’t as simple as putting an html form in the page and hooking it up to a database on the server. Instead, I ended up using a hybrid of netlify’s forms, the web-based database system Fauna DB, and some javascript.

But the issue was that this system didn’t really work that well. Comments got lost in the churn, I got notified kind of poorly, and it was all a bit messy. So a month or so back I completely revamped the commenting system, cutting out the middle-man (in this case Netlify forms), adding some moderation features, improving notifications, and generally making it run smoother.

The end product takes a bit more effort to put into production, but I think it’s worth showing off. In this first post, I’ll do a big picture overview of the whole system.

New year, new tools

2021 is a new year! I’ve been slowly ramping up my logging and notebooking routine, and this year I’ve reached new heights of pretension for my analogue note-taking setup:

From bottom to top:

Ten books I enjoyed this year

Because it’s that time of the year, where we do book roundups.

This year was the first full year where I kept a (manual) reading log. At the close of 2020, I can see exactly how many I’ve gone through. As a small exercise, I went through that index putting a little star next to the ones I really enjoyed, and suddenly - boom - a top ten for the year!

Keeping productive with a tiny zine

I’ve been having real problems focussing on doing stuff during the evenings this last year or so. It’s a real shame since I’ve spent the last ten years or so investing heavily in GTD and fancy tools in my computer to keep track of my projects, but all this goes out the window when I’m sitting down at 7pm after finishing up all those chores that comprise adulthood. In fact, my normal process is:

  1. Review tasks on the to-do list
  2. Get overwhelmed
  3. Watch youtube all night

Which isn’t the best way of dealing with the situation.

Automating OmniFocus to scope every task

I can’t believe Omni-automation has been out for so long and I haven’t talked about it.

The tl;dr of the site is that Omni Group recently (as in six months ago) supercharged the automation capability of all their apps (OmniFocus, OmniGraffle, OmniOutliner, OmniPlan), by giving them a really robust Javascript Core framework. That sentence will either send you to sleep, or make you quite excited, and that reaction will tell you whether you care an inch for this post or not.

With your expectations set, let’s see how I can develop a really simple Javascript plugin for OmniFocus in about half an hour.

Birds of a feather

We are pigeons. We are everywhere. The vast majority are as you expect. A few of us have been blessed by the Grey Lady, given the dedication to carry out her work. We seek out the Bag People, take their instruction, and help the dead rejoin the Earth.

Even those of us who have purpose, who can see the souls of the dead, are still pigeons. We are vain, myopic, argumentative, impulsive. But for some souls, we’re all they have.

JAMStack comments (for free) with Netlify and Fauna

Note: This commenting system is now out of date. To find a more up-to-date discussion on the commenting system this blog uses, check out the series of posts starting here.

This site used to have comments through Disqus. But Disqus was a huge third-party javascript drain and resource hog, and I ditched it.

R and colour palettes part 2 - set your primary

A few posts ago, I got very invested in how to build a nice colour palette in R. I went through how to build your own palette, select colours depending on the number of series you needed to show, and how to wrap it all up in some handy shortcut functions, so you could feel like a real pro as you bring your own colour palette in to help with whatever plot you need to build.

What could be better than a whole article devoted to colour palettes in R? Did you guess, doubling down with a follow-up article about niche aspects of colour palettes? If so, you’d be correct.