Here we are again, another quarter flew by so it’s time for an update. I committed to do quarterly updates and I’m sticking to it.
A lot of things happened this quarter. I feel I have been pretty productive, especially considering the fact that I have a full-time job and way too many ideas I want to work on.
Modular Rails Update
The first thing I did was giving total ownership of the rewrite/update of Modular Rails to Theo, my savior! I think it’s time to properly introduce him.
Theo is a software engineer, building maritime software, who fell in love with modularity and figured out a way to offer better products to his clients with it. He liked the approach so much, he offered to help me edit the book (which hasn’t been updated in years and really needed an update). Over the months, we worked together more and more, and I’m now completely trusting him to bring Modular Rails to an up-to-date state.
I then added small improvements to Devblast to prepare for the publication of Master Ruby Web APIs. Once I was happy with the look and feel (I still want to change a lot of things, but that can wait), I started working on how to publish books on Devblast.
Publishing Master Ruby Web APIs online
I’ve used Softcover and Markdown to write both of my books. This means I have a set of PolyTeX (Markdown + LaTeX) files corresponding to the chapters that need to be compiled into PDF, EPUB, MOBI and HTML. Softcover takes care of all that, but everything runs locally. Also, it’s written in Ruby and Devblast is an Elixir application.
Figuring out how to actually do it led me down a rabbit hole that I will cover in another post. To summarize, I ended up building a Ruby microservice, running a gem called polytexnic used by Softcover (and it doesn’t have much documentation). I then had to call that service from Devblast, fix the title numbering and format, generated a table of contents, and update all references to images.
Anyway, after all those adventures, you can now read Master Ruby Web APIs online, for free!
I mentioned Scrivi in the last update, and I haven’t progressed much since then. I did finish the landing page and deployed it: Scrivi. It’s currently on pause, as I’m working on a smaller project before getting back to it.
In the last 2 weeks of June, I added a new habit to my daily list. I already had a daily pomodoro (25 min) to spend on Devblast to make sure I was making progress (and it really worked). Now, I also have a pomodoro dedicated to writing. That can be any kind of writing:
- Blog posts or tutorials for Devblast
- Writing for a programming book
- Or even just trying to write that fantasy/sci-fi novel that’s been in the back of my head lately.
A new project
After the publication of Master Ruby Web APIs, I started working on a small project. I actually purchased the domain name for it over a year ago, so it’s not something new. I’m expecting to be able to finish it in less than a month, and release it. It’s related to a hobby of mine and has nothing to do with programming.
It involves a lot of data scraping from multiple sources. It’s my first time doing something like that, and to be honest, it’s harder than I thought!
I shared the list of daily habits I promised myself to stick to, at the beginning of the year. As a reminder, here is the original list:
- Have a proper morning routine
- Eat healthier, drink less alcohol
- Workout more and get back into triathlons
- Work on Devblast everyday
- Read everyday
- Continue learning Thai
- More standing while using the computer
I’ve been pretty consistent with some of the habits, and pretty inconsistent with others.
If I’m able to wake up at 7am, I’m going to go through my morning routine properly, and probably get all my habits done for the day. But when I sleep past that time, I usually start missing some of them.
I continued reading every single day for at least 10 minutes upon waking up (the average is probably around 20 minutes) which isn’t much, but adds up. I then work on Devblast for 25 minutes before going for a workout.
This quarter, I’ve done 2 triathlons: a sprint (400m swim, 20k bike, 5k run) and an OD (olympic distance: 1.5km swim, 30k bike, 10k run). I finished them both, and while I’m doing okay on the swim and the bike, my running times suck. I don’t know if it’s due to my bad hip and shorter leg (2.5 cm difference) or if I’m just not good at running… Doesn’t mean I’m going to stop training anyway!
On the health side of things, I’m down to 76kg. I was 87kg in December 2018, so 11kg lost so far. I lost most of them (9kg) in the first quarter of the year though, it’s been hard in the past 3 months and I’ve only lost 2 more.
Learning Thai is probably my most inconsistent habit. I haven’t been doing it properly and I’m actually thinking about building an app with 5-10 minutes sessions to make it easier to follow through.
I’ll probably write a dedicated post on the habits and how this approach has helped me.
I’m currently working on that new project and will be (hopefully) releasing it soon. It’s nothing ground-breaking, but it solves a problem I had last year.
I’ve also just started defining the content for an upcoming book I want to write. I will probably switch to using Asciidoctor to write it and see how it goes. This will affect the development of Scrivi and the first supported writing approach might be Asciidoctor instead of Polytexnic.
I don’t want to say too much about it yet (until I’m more sure it’ll actually happen) but it involves two of my favorite programming languages.
Now, onto a new productive quarter!