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A Look Behind The Curtain - How I Blog

shindakun profile image Steve Layton Updated on ・4 min read

Blogging

I've been quite busy this week so I don't have a standard post ready to go. Instead, I thought I'd write a little bit about my current setup and my posting "workflow".


Machine

Let's get the boring stuff out of the way first. I do the majority of my writing code and the accompanying posts on a Mac Book Air.

➜  ~ system_profiler SPSoftwareDataType SPHardwareDataType
Software:

    System Software Overview:

      System Version: macOS 10.14.2 (18C54)
      Kernel Version: Darwin 18.2.0
      Boot Volume: Macintosh HD
      Boot Mode: Normal
      Computer Name: Steve’s MacBook Air
      User Name: Steve (steve)
      Secure Virtual Memory: Enabled
      System Integrity Protection: Enabled
      Time since boot: 18 days 20:31

Hardware:

    Hardware Overview:

      Model Name: MacBook Air
      Model Identifier: MacBookAir6,2
      Processor Name: Intel Core i7
      Processor Speed: 1.7 GHz
      Number of Processors: 1
      Total Number of Cores: 2
      L2 Cache (per Core): 256 KB
      L3 Cache: 4 MB
      Memory: 8 GB
      Boot ROM Version: 110.0.0.0.0
      SMC Version (system): 2.13f15
      Serial Number (system): XXXXXXXXXXXX
      Hardware UUID: XXXXXXXX-XXXX-XXXX-XXXX-XXXXXXXXXXXX

Environment

I use iTerm2 with ZSH and Oh My ZSH. It's not too customized though. I just stick with the default robbyrussell theme and a handful of useful plugins.

ZSH_THEME="robbyrussell"

plugins=(
  git
  colored-man
  colorize
  github
  vagrant
  virtualenv
  pip
  python
  osx
  vscode
  fzf
  golang
  httpie
  zsh-syntax-highlighting
)

iTerm 2 is using Solarized Dark and Operator Mono. VSCode, my current editor of choice, is also using Solarize Dark and Operator Mono. I use Vim for quick edits as well (and yes it too is using Solarized Dark).

I don't have a fully customized dotfile repo since I have not really done too much in that direction. I did use some of "Mathias’s dotfiles" sensible Mac defaults though. Maybe I'll take a little time to dig through and see if I have anything worth sharing though.

vscode

On the desktop, I have a folder cleverly name writerings. This folder is a private repo over on GitLab, so I can access these if I happen to be sitting at my Windows PC when the mood hits. Basically, each post is just a markdown file, I have two directories - non-public and public. Non-public holds any in-flight ideas or other posts which aren't quite finished.

Blogging Flow

First things first - music! I am currently working my way through "live" daily jams by Monotrail. #48 is probably my favorite so far.

I'm trying to learn as I go so I've tried to come up with smaller projects. My time for this is a bit more limited then I would like but what are you going to do. The code for whatever I'm going to post lives in a separate folder outside the writing directory. This folder is also version controlled and kept in a private repo. Once I have an idea in mind, I'll start with the most basic code. That becomes the basis for my first post in what makes up the overall Attempting to Learn Go series.

I'll then take the raw code and paste it into a new file that contains my markdown post template. From there I have been trying a top-down style basically commenting on the code, pointing out what's changed, if I've actually learned anything, or what we may expect in the future. I'll typically try to get a good base of the post written and then go back through and add links. I don't add too many images usually, other than the header mostly because I don't have that much free time.

So far all of this has happened completely outside of dev.to. Once I think everything is in a pretty good state I'll copy and paste the markdown into the v1 dev.to editor and save an unpublished version of the post. Then its time to give it a couple re-readings. I can't tell you how often I catch little things, typos, or larger things, like unfinished thoughts where I just trailed off into...

Iteration

Once a post is up everything is checked into GitLab and the iteration process begins. Picking up from where we last were, I first decide if there is a feature or something that clearly needs fixing. My goal is to push the project a bit further along, enough that I can have another post but not too far that I'm skipping ahead. I have been fortunate enough to receive some very good feedback so I try to incorporate that both in the revised code and keep it in mind for new projects.

Looking Ahead

I am trying to plan out what we might get into after we've "finished" the static site generator. So I'm thinking about incorporating a real paper notebook and pen so I can jot down ideas both when working on code and posts but also for any ideas for topics.

Next Time

There we go, a quick peek into how I've been writing my posts. We'll be back to our static site generator at some point next week!



Posted on by:

shindakun profile

Steve Layton

@shindakun

I've been known to write some code from time to time.

Discussion

markdown guide
 
 

Definitely agreed. I just went digging for this post so I could come back and basically say the same thing—thanks @shindakun !

Anyway, I've been jamming to these tunes for days now and it's so unobtrusive whilst working. Really loving it.

 

Hah! Thanks for jumping back and leaving a comment. It really is very good to work to. Makes a good bus ride commute soundtrack too. There are two collections on Bandcamp of some of the "live" stuff.