Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from 2019

Announcing Feet, a Python Runner

I've been working on a problem that's bugged me for about as long as I've used Python and I want to announce my stab at a solution, finally!

I've been working on the problem of "How do i get this little thing I made to my friend so they can try it out?" Python is great. Python is especially a great language to get started in, when you
don't know a lot about software development, and probably don't even know a lot about computers in general.

Yes, Python has a lot of options for tackling some of these distribution problems for games and apps. Py2EXE was an early option, PyInstaller is very popular now, and PyOxide is an interesting recent entry. These can be great options, but they didn't fit the kind of use case and experience that made sense to me. I'd never really been about to put my finger on it, until earlier this year:

Python needs LÖVE.

LÖVE, also known as "Love 2D", is a game engine that makes it super easy to build small Lua…

Interrupting Coders Isn’t So Bad

Here’s a hot take: disrupting coders isn’t all that bad.

Some disruptions are certainly bad but they usually aren’t. The coder community has overblown the impact. A disruption can be a good thing. How harmful disruption might be a symptom of other problems.

There are different kinds of disruptions. They are caused by other coders on your team, managers and other non-coders, or meetings throughout the day.

The easiest example to debunk is a question from a fellow developer. Imagine someone walks over to your desk or they ping you on Slack, because they have “one quick question.” Do you get annoyed at the interruption when you were in the middle of something important? You help out your teammate quickly and get back to work, trying to pick up where you left off. That’s a kind of interruption we complain about frequently, but I’m not convinced this is all that bad.

You are being disrupted but your team, of which you are only one member of the whole unit, is working smoothly. You unstuck …

Using a React Context as a Dispatch Replacement

React Contexts are the pretty little bows of the React world.

Here's a really quick example of the kind of messy code you can cleanup by using contexts, without dragging in a larger dependency like Redux or even Flux. Starting backwards with a diff showing lines of code I was able to remove:


All the properties I was able to remove were just pass-through. The Carousel component didn't care about any of them, but it had to pass through these callbacks so the multiple TaskList components inside the carousel could invoke actions. They were removed from the Component class itself, too, since it no longer needed to pass them through.

Where did they all go?


My ActionContext removed all the need for these passthroughs by providing a single simple helper method, action(), that components rendered under it can access.


I really enjoy the pattern of passing a single callback through a context and removing what used to be lots of callback properties. Of course, I could be using a proper di…

Cheqee: Or, How to Write and Publish a Mobile App In a Couple of Hours for Free for Anyone

For the first time in a long time I wanted to write a brand new little app, from scratch, just for fun. I was feeling the Joy of Coding coming back after a long hiatus. So, yay for me? Yay for me. The idea for a single-case app for the kinds of repeating chores of the day has been knocking around in my head, so I whipped out npx create-react-app and tinkered on my laptop while watching TV.

In about an hour and a half I made Cheqee, the Simple app for the things you do every day.


I was thrilled to be reminded of how quickly an entirely new application can be built from scratch and published as a PWA (Progressive Web App) and "installed" on any phone and used like any app by anyone around the world, so here's the things I accomplished in just a couple hours total and in this post all the pieces that went into making that happen so effortlessly:

Wrote a brand new app that does a simple job, built quickly but easy to expand and improveIncorporated persistent data for a totally…