Here is the very first status update of the blog. I think these kind of updates can help me to look at what has been achieved at the middle of the month and also lay the ground for the upcoming challenges.
So, what is going on?
On the blog itself, aka. meta stuff
On this very blog, activity has been going but at a little pace. In fact, no article has been published since the hello world introduction one. The conducted changes have mostly been stylistic, as the sidebar was moved to the left so that the eyes reading a paragraph do not stumble upon it at the end of each line.
An article idea has raised up in my mind. Instead of directly going to a text editor and write the ideas down, I tried this time to go with my fountain pen and a notebook that has plenty of blank pages (and the fountain pen plenty had of ink left).
The idea behind this is to start a writing flow by cutting every possible distraction that I usually fall for while writing something on a digital device. For starters, there is the urge do search the web right after writing a paragraph to find a source to confirm this, search the exact syntax of that or add a link to the documentation of something. This could be called the write-edit-write-edit loop, as I inevitabely fall in the trap of both writing the content (actually typing words as they come into the mind) and editing the text right after it has been typed — which consist of adding additional markup to enrich the text, like links, emphasis, footnotes, etc..
By confronting my self to the blank page and looking at the writer's block in the eyes, the flow of ideas can be expressed without being interrupted by the distraction of adding a link, switching window and verify that it correctly appears on the page… This is a kick right into the mind's creative flow each time there is a stop to do something that will enrich the writing instead of damn putting the writing together in the first place.
The counterpart is that after writing this very first horrible draft — as all first drafts are horrible by nature — you have to put the sheets (hopefully plural) of paper in front of you and start to type them back. This has to be done later, so that the mind had time to recover and have a fresh view about what you tried to express in the first place.
Long story short, yes there is a somewhat long article coming up, but I yet have to finish the editing and write a conclusion.
I have been able to create some pull requests for projects I personnaly use everyday. They are now waiting on Github for the feedback of the maintainers, but this may take time. I guess there is nothing much I can do about it, as I would like to avoid to be rude by raising a "gentle reminder" on the pull requests to try to get some attention.
This would be a "push" approach, while I think benevolent open-source projects are more of a "pull" approach, where the maintainers only get the changes merged when they feel they matter and have the energy to look at it deeply.
I find myself to spend more and more time in the "pull requests" section of various projects to find out if someone has already implemented this feature that I was messing and was about to code myself. Most of the time, the feature is present but not yet merged. On some extreme cases, the pull request has been opened and refined during months or even years, but as the upstream maintainer is not showing any interrest in the feature and nobody has the energy of driving a fork, the feature stays here, always rebased on master, and people clone them from contributors' fork branches to get what they want.
This reminds me of the image of bringing flowers on a graveyard each year as long as you have not accepted the loss of someone — or in this case something — you cared about; be it some cool project with no more support from the maintainer (and that you do not want yourself to become the successor, because being one is sooo hard, been there, done that).
So, I will wait, I guess. The most important thing is that other users can see the patch in the pull requests list and not recode everything from scratch because it was not present in the upstream release.
That's all, I guess?
The idea of the status updates would be for them to be quite short to not make you loose too much reading time. I do not know if future ones will be as long, but from my perspective this is the place where I take a mental picture of what I have achieved (or tried to) and what is to come next. I guess that the length will depend on how I am willing to comply to the exercice, and not especialy to the quantity of achieved and to-be-achieved tasks, as this one quite proves the point.
Until then, see you!