Ugging along

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I was going to title this ‘Chugging long’ but inadvertently saved the markdown file as ugging-along, so ugging along it is. Who am I to disagree with the unconscious?

Horse Racing Datasets permalink

I’ve been making slow progress on Horse Racing Datasets. A few months ago I knocked out a proof of concept to move an existing project backed by Airtable to Eleventy. I also wrote up using Airtable with Eleventy if you’re interested.

I was originally thinking I would finish up by the end of February, but thanks to some minor burnout and a bit of life happens I ended up taking a break. Since then I’ve been slowly poking at it and making some good progress.

In the Airtable article I mentioned having to do a couple of extra calls to Airtable because I couldn’t figure out how to filter on the initial data call. The good news is that I figured out how to do a variety filtering and am now using a single API call 🎉. This was a welcome JavaScript breakthrough for me as I ugh along trying to improve my JS skills. I’ll also be adding “update the Airtable article” to the to do list!

So far I’ve ugged my way through the following permalink

  • Improved filtering as mentioned above
  • Added individual pages using this approach. Made good use of Nunjucks variables to get reuse from a template, I might make a little post about that.
  • Have everything sewn together and a good approximation of the layout.
  • Have a nice progressively enhanced toggle menu. It’s not nearly as robust and bulletproof as Andy Bell’s but I’m happy with it. I need to snap up my JS skills to really understand the more complex parts of the tutorial.

Next up permalink

  • Nail down colors
  • Focus more on the design aspect, of course the layout is part of that but I need to move on to the visual particulars of the menu and homepage. I have some ideas!

Dogs of Dev permalink

My sweet little doggy is now a Dog of Dev. I ran a Twitter poll to help decide which cute picture to use. I was going to go with the couch shot but understand the appeal of the park portrait.

Be sure to check out all the Dogs of Dev, a fun project by Mike Aparicio. It looks like someone is going to make a Cats of Dev, I have a a couple of those too.

A11y Websites permalink

I haven’t posted since the beginning of the year, but I kicked off 2021 on a nice note with a review from A11y Websites. Individual reviews don’t have direct links, but it’s a nice project by Callum Ryan in which he gives submitted sites a proper accessibility review. Be sure to check out this useful resource.

Notion and Obsidian permalink

If you use Notion you were probably aware of their DNS snafu. It was a good reminder that the best files in the cloud are the ones you can always access locally. I’m not a super heavy Notion user, but I use it enough to be concerned about losing what’s there.

Thanks to this thread I found Obsidian and was able to set up a local version of Notion using this handy script. But what about moving forward?

I’ve been using iA Writer to draft posts but don’t love it. It’s a nice clean, distraction-free app but I usually only rough out a structure and quickly move to my editor (Atom) to complete them there, mostly because iA Writer doesn’t support auto pair brackets and quotes. This is a big flow killer for me, especially since I do so much linking.

Once I got the Notion backup taken care of, I started tinkering with Obsidian to see if it was a better fit for me than iA Writer moving forward. It didn’t take long to realize the answer was a big, emphatic “Yes!”.

Instead of prattling on about my new crush I’ll just note a few things I like so far and maybe to do a post on it later…

  • It’s easy to create “vaults” or instances. In fact separate instances is a big selling point for me vs. Notion’s all-in-one (which isn’t horrible, with good organization, but so far I like the separation).
  • Auto pairing of brackets and quotes 🎉
  • It’s easy to customize using CSS snippets or full on themes. There are several community themes or you can create your own.
  • An active user community (also at Discord, which I haven’t checked out yet).

I’ve written this entire post in Obsidian and only did minor clean-up once I got it in Atom, and that’s a welcome change. I also made vault of some design inspiration for my Horse Racing Datasets homepage concept along the lines of using Are.na.

I’m sure I can come up with some other ideas too. Until then, I’ll continue to ugh along.

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