Video - Chat bots as UI at ElixirConf Africa


My presentation from ElixirConf Africa.

Video - Does terminology matter?


A short video on the importance of terminology in computing.

Video - Is it all queues?


Are computers really all about queues?

Video - Reacting to the Phoenix Keynote 2022


I share my reactions to the Phoenix keynote.

Video - Sonic Pi


Code has always been about creative pursuit for me. This video showcases Sonic Pi. It is an open source project that I really appreciate. Sonic Pi enables live coding of music. If you are already a programmer it can turn your hard-earned, often dry, programming capabilities into musical potential. If you know music, you might just learn programming. If you know neither it is a fantastically fun place to start.

Video - Why use a database?


A short video on databases.

Complex Systems All The Way Down


As part of running Underjord I've done both mentorship and some teaching. Both in the form of a working relationship where I have seniority and am responsible for supporting their learning as well as mentoring entirely external people of varying experience levels. I find it incredibly hard to transmit everything I think people need to get familiar with when they want to do development. Why?

Fear-driven development


There’s a thing I’m wary of with both companies and developers: when they seem to operate mostly on fear. In the case of companies, fear can lead to heavy screening during the hiring process, heavy-handed, detail-oriented project management or distrust towards employees. To my mind, these things either come from the basic mode of operation of some founding member or from cultural scars caused by a bad hire, a runaway project or very anxious management. Admittedly, there are projects where detailed specifications make sense. There are roles where screening is more important. There are entry-level garbage jobs where mutual distrust is possibly unavoidable at a certain level. However, I believe that, ultimately, all of these are detrimental practices.

Why can’t I find a CMS?


I've been trying to address this particular topic and I find it challenging. It is a topic that's very easy to turn into a negative rant and that's not what I like to do. If you enjoy any of the stacks I dismiss in this post, please know that is not a jab at you or your work. I have worked in these stacks and I've mostly transitioned away from them where they aren't necessary. They absolutely work and can be used. I believe my reasons are good and sound, but they are specific to my values and experiences. If you have a different take-away, I'm fine with that. With that out of the way, let's talk about Content Management Systems, or more commonly CMS.

Video - Self-hosting: Mattermost


Slack, Teams, teamchat. We all use them in our jobs. It is unclear whether that's even legal. I wanted to present one of the more well-known open source options and how to get started with it. This video is a collaboration with GleSYS. Keep them in mind for your cloud and data center needs in the Nordics.

Tradition and Ritual in Software, or The Unwritten Code of Code


I’ve been thinking about shared experiences: culture and tradition. As the seed of this was written close to the holidays, it might be that they are to blame. But this post isn’t about Christmas or the new year; it’s about my reflections on these human matters and how they apply in the software development world.

Video - My Tools, the current product stack


In this very serious video I will tell you exactly how you must build your products.

Video - LiveView on Nerves


A video on doing LiveView with Nerves and having fun with input devices. Published as I finish up my backlog of publishing all my videos to my site. It should calm down now.

Video - Self-hosting: Plausible Analytics


This video covers the steps to set up Plausible Analytics. Previously published on YouTube and part of me catching up on site publishing :)

Video - Reacting to React


Out of freak fortune I haven't significantly used React. This was an experiment in just diving in and trying to use it. Be warned, if you know React it might hurt.

Video - What Is: Phoenix LiveView


A video explainer on what Phoenix LiveView is.

Video - Why Self-Host


A video on why you should consider hosting your own services and data. Especially in the current EU legal landscape. Created in collaboration with GleSYS, a swedish data centre and cloud provider.

What ID3v2 could have been


Speculations and specifications. If you were a Winamp user back in the day, or curate an MP3 collection currently, you might recognize the humble ID3 tag. It is what the metadata in the MP3 file is made up of. First it was pretty limited in the version later dubbed ID3v1. Like any good 2.0 they added a ton more fields, features, removed character limits and it was suddenly ID3v2. The latest spec is ID3v2.4 while the most commonly adopted one seems to be ID3v2.3. I recently found myself having a reason to dig into this specification.

Code BEAM, Stockholm 2022


I started writing this on the train home from Code BEAM. It's an Erlang, Elixir (and BEAM in general) conference put on by Code Sync which is part of Erlang Solutions. It was a hybrid conference, I was there entirely in person. It was a very good time.

LiveView on Nerves


I've played with Nerves for almost as long as I've been learning and using Elixir. Nerves is a fantastic way of working with hardware along with the BEAM virtual machine and it is great fun for hobbyist projects like Raspberry Pis. Phoenix LiveView is currently my favorite way of making full-stack web development cohesive and keeping the complexity as low as possible for it. I haven't run into any short compelling demos of getting these started together.

Fundamentals & Deployment


I've had Gerhard Lazu on my livestream once where he showed me a way of doing CI/CD with k3s and ArgoCD. The podcast Ship It! that he hosts on Changelog recently had Kelsey Hightower on. Kelsey is to many this guru of the cloud native and Kubernetes space. I've had good value from what I've heard him say in the past. In this episode he really spoke to me.

Is LiveView Overhyped?


To alleviate any sense of clickbait. No, it is not overhyped as a technology, in my opinion. Let's get into the nuances. In a recent tweet a while back a member of the Elixir community expressed some frustration with how everything is all about LiveView. It led to some interesting and useful discussion and as someone who writes a fair bit about Elixir, Phoenix and such I have thoughts. Following on that discussions other people expressed further concern about the unreserved enthusiasm with which some of us have pushed LiveView and maybe even more, the PETAL stack. I doubt they were just thinking of me there but I'd be surprised if I wasn't considered a bit of a cheerleader for it. So taking some of that very reasonable criticism and skepticism, let's try to address that and also dig into some of the concerns about the LiveView hype.

Nerves Quickstart


This is a labor of love where I just wanted the Nerves project to have a nice promo video. Frank and crew put a lot of work into making Nerves approachable while all their day-to-day use and needs is in the nitty-gritty industry side of it. So what does all that effort get them? Well, they've gotten it to the point where a complete step by step can be a one minute, 38 seconds long video. Showing the common steps for getting an RPi from inert to you controlling the system LEDs using Elixir from a web UI. Kudos to Livebook on the interactive web programming bit :)

Video - What Is: Elixir


Trying to put words to the technology that has been most important to me for the last 4-5 years. Elixir. A language I picked up and now work almost exclusively with and specialize in. It is not the mainstream and I think that has serious advantages.

Video - How Do: Server


This one has been a while at the back of my mind. A lot of my readers have mentioned wanting to learn Linux and servers. This is an attempt at just unleashing you on the very first steps of your journey to do server work.

Video - What Is: Server


A brief explanation of servers.

My Elm Experience


I've been using Elm since about one year back now. At the start of 2021 I began working with a client that had an existing Elm frontend code base and an early stage backend built in Elixir and Phoenix. This post will be about my experiences running face first into Elm. I'll be vague on some details as I can't share too much about the specific client and code base. I'll be much less vague about Elm itself.

Video: Fixing my LiveView app


My note-taking web app build in LiveView needed some fixing. Also updated it to use the new heex templates.

Guest post: Cross-cutting Elixir in Teams


Release day. Although the product team was used to a bit of a hustle to wrap up open features, perform final testing, and prepare for deployment, today presented some additional challenges.

Video: Building Out Indie Livestreaming with LiveView and Membrane


On a previous stream we tested out the library for RTMP in Membrane to achieve streaming on our own in Elixir. This time we make it more convenient, flexible and work our way towards using it.

Video: Elixir and Computer Vision with evision


From Twitter I stumbled on this neat, still early, but working project for using the OpenCV library from Elixir. So I decided to give it a whirl!

Video: Improving a GenServer, My IoT Lightswitch


GenServer is the typical Actor abstraction in Erlang and Elixir. I've used one for talking to my Elgato Keylights in the lightswitch project. It is sort of dumb.

Video: Indie Livestreaming with Elixir & Membrane


So Software Mansion, the makers of Membrane Framework, have kindly conspired with me to get RTMP ready for Membrane. RTMP is the protcol used when streaming from popular open source tool OBS. The RTMP module is currently at a technical preview level so be warned, might have some sharp edges.

Winners - Manning book giveaway


Just a brief note announcing the three winners that take home a copy of Elixir in Action by Saša Jurić. Thanks to Manning for providing those copies.

Are you hiring Elixir developers?


Is your company actively trying to hire Elixir developers? Or should you be?

Are Contexts a Thing?


The discussion of Contexts in Phoenix, their arguable relevance to Domain-Driven Design and their general usefulness feels like a common point of controversy in Elixir. I've gathered that the discussions went high and low as it was becoming a thing. I don't really care for controversy but what I see is a topic which gets confusing to wrangle with and which I never know quite how to explain. So this will be an attempt to explain what Contexts as provided are, cover some common concerns around this and two rather opposing suggestions about how to deal with them.

Giveaway: Elixir in Action


The book Elixir in Action by Saša Jurić is widely recognized as one of the best books on this language I favor. I've been meaning to run some giveaways and this book was always on the agenda. It shouldn't be the only one but I think it makes a very appropriate starting point. Especially as the book has been such a starting point for many Elixirists through the years.

Building a Startup on Elixir to a $50 mil round


I became familiar with Marcin Kulik when I was brought in to work with a company called A fintech startup. Marcin is the guy who started building their entire Elixir system and was the person to primarily onboard me to the work. When I was brought in they were a small team of 4 devs, looking to grow up to around 7 at the time.

Finally using your Raspberry Pi & Elixir


How many Raspberry Pi do you have sitting in a drawer. I think I still have about 4? And at least 2 on a shelf. I may be over the average there but the story itself is common. Oh! This is neat, I can automate X with this and ...

Video: Attempting to Control Elgato Keylights from Nerves


This livestream we tried to control my Elgato Keylights from a Nerves device. We really tried gang, come on. A good attempt.

Video: Automatically Clustering Nerves devices


Sitting down to show some of the work I've done with Nerves and Erlang Distribution for clustering Raspberry Pis. This is what I do when I have a cold and am not streaming. Automatically, with mDNS.

Video: Making a Calendar Gadget with Nerves and LiveView


Cleaning up previous work and making the eInk display look fabulous by iterating in our LiveView-based simulator. We get this thing ready for small office production :)

Video: Forming an Erlang cluster of Pi Zeros


I sat down with the stream and gently coaxed a couple of Raspberry Pi Zeros to cluster up with each other using the Nerves project.

Video: Unbox a Pi400 and put Nerves on it


I've been enjoying some Nerves recently which prompted me to finally order the Pi400 to play around with. In this stream I unpack it and get Nerves running on it without having tried it before or hearing that anyone had tried it. I just trusted the hard work of the Nerves team.

Video: Nerves, Livebook & small displays (eInk, OLED)


The Inky eInk display was one of my first real things done with Elixir. And I'm apparently back on my bullshit. Because I just pulled that thing out and tried it with Nerves + Livebook. Had a really good time this stream and I think I want to do more things with hardware like this. Let me know how you like that.

Video: Phoenix 1.6 RC, Preview


There are some very exciting updates in Phoenix 1.6 that just recently hit RC. We go through and try them out. It all seems to work great. I consider every bit of it an improvement.

Video: Elixir & Ecto, generating queries


As part of some foundational work on a CMS concept I've been building out this fairly dynamic Ecto-based way of dealing with content types and content (we call it entity types and entities) in a database.

Video Companion - Teaching Elixir - Strings


Me and an experienced programmer friend sit down and try to teach him Elixir using the Elixir School curriculum and materials. We are doing it in Livebook. This time, strings.

Video: Elixir CMS Thoughts, and code


I've had a lot of thoughts and a few failed runs at creating a CMS in Elixir. This isn't because Elixir is particular hard to do it in. Rather the opposite. The reason I've abandoned those efforts have to do with what exactly I want solved with a CMS.

Video Companion - Teaching Elixir - Comprehensions


Me and an experienced programmer friend sit down and try to teach him Elixir using the Elixir School curriculum and materials. We are doing it in Livebook. This time, comprehensions.

Video: Attempting Operational Transformation .. again


Getting deeper and farther into trying to do Operational Transformation with Erlang wxStyledTextCtrl, aka. Scintilla and TextDelta.

Video Companion - Teaching Elixir - Sigils


Me and an experienced programmer friend sit down and try to teach him Elixir using the Elixir School curriculum and materials. We are doing it in Livebook. This time, sigils, the most arcane.

Video: Attempting Operational Transformation


In an act of hubris I try to tackle with wxStyledTextCtrl and Operational Transformation in an unholy alliance of native UI and offline-friendly collaboration. I get partway there but nothing actually works.

Video Companion - Teaching Elixir - Modules


Me and an experienced programmer friend sit down and try to teach him Elixir using the Elixir School curriculum and materials. We are doing it in Livebook. This time, modules.

It is not about Elixir


That's right. It never has been.

Video: Building with PETAL 4 - Authentication


In this stream of the PETAL Photo project we work on authentication.

Video: Building with PETAL 1 - Getting Started


It begins. For my vacation work-days, a concept to explain soon, I wanted to try to scratch an itch that I feel have product potential. So I decided to do parts of the work on the stream. This is the first part.

Video: Building with PETAL 2 - Mostly Tailwind


It continues. After some off-stream work fixing the upload issues from last stream we are now mostly heading into making this visually sensible. We are using the PETAL stack and that means a lot of Tailwind CSS.

Video: Building with PETAL 3 - Thumbnails and Transcoding


Getting a bit technical in this one we get into thumbnails and video transcoding in the middle of a heatwave. Watch me sweat .. the details with FFMPEG.

Trust in Software, an All Time Low


I don't think I've ever had more distrust and as a consequence distate for software than in recent years. I don't think its just me as a tech-nerd with artisanal tech-carpentry aspirations. I want people to build well, treat their users right and generally exercise some actual restraint. I see it very clearly and I react more viscerally than anyone non-technical in my surroundings. However, I see the frustrations and the consequences everywhere.

Deploying with k3s and ArgoCD


I'm pretty skeptical of Kubernetes as a choice for small teams, small projects and any less complicated operation. Gerhard Lazu is quite enthusiastic about it on the other hand. After having me on his show Ship It!, a production, I expressed some curiosity about k3s, a lightweight variant of k8s. He offered to come on the livestream and show me how good life can be. Hope you enjoy the video.

Systems Design & Architecture livestream


For this livestream I sat down with pen and (i)Pad and tried to hash out some of my design thinking for a product idea I've been turning over in my head.

Video Companion - Teaching Elixir - Pipe Operator


Me and an experienced programmer friend sit down and try to teach him Elixir using the Elixir School curriculum and materials. We are doing it in Livebook. This time, the pipe operator |>.

Onboarding to Elixir


I've worked with a number of clients on Elixir projects and I've onboarded myself, I've been onboarded and I've onboarded others. And compared to my experiences with PHP/Python/Javascript and my limited experience with C#/.Net I have experienced quite a difference.

Video companion - Teaching Elixir - Functions


Me and an experienced programmer friend sit down and try to teach him Elixir using the Elixir School curriculum and materials. We are doing it in Livebook. This time, functions.

Video - Setting up Prometheus and Grafana with Elixir


Alex Koutmos, creator of the PromEx library and buddy from the radio show gave us some of his time to help set up Grafana and Prometheus metrics for our application Noted. This was an extremely tight path to a lot of observability. PromEx is very kind to you as a developer. Leveraging the common telemetry API to make something really compelling. And then Alex has spent the effort so you get a whole bunch of useful default dashboards rather than needing to decide up front what you want. I thought this was quite the well-packed hour. Hope you enjoy.

Video companion - Teaching Elixir - Control Structures


Me and an experienced programmer friend sit down and try to teach him Elixir using the Elixir School curriculum and materials. We are doing it in Livebook. This time, control structures

Video - Improving the crawler


Made the webcrawler better, more polite. Plan to continue with this in coming livestreams, so watch this to get up to speed on what we are doing.

Video companion - Teaching Elixir - Pattern Matching


Me and an experienced programmer friend sit down and try to teach him Elixir using the Elixir School curriculum and materials. We are doing it in Livebook. This time, pattern matching.

Video - Building a web crawler


Had some great fun building on this webcrawler on the stream. Plan to continue with this in coming livestreams, so watch this to get up to speed on what we are doing.

Video companion - Teaching Elixir - Enums


Me and an experienced programmer friend sit down and try to teach him Elixir using the Elixir School curriculum and materials. We are doing it in Livebook. This time, Enum as in enumerables. We map, we reduce, we love and we laugh.

Video - Native UI with Elixir and wxWidgets


This livestream turned out well. We got the Erlang wx module to work as intended in Elixir. We built a window, we made some controls, we made them interact. Good fun.

Video - PETAL Stack Setup


Last weeks livestream was spent mostly on setting up the PETAL stack basics for a project. Then we spent some time with setting up Exqlite and finally started looking at setting up SiteEncrypt. Everything you'd need for an indie SaaS ;)

Video companion - Teaching Elixir - Collections


Me and an experienced programmer friend sit down and try to teach him Elixir using the Elixir School curriculum and materials. We are doing it in Livebook. This time, collections. So lists and maps, etc.

Video companion - Teaching Elixir - Basics


Me and an experienced programmer friend sit down and try to teach him Elixir using the Elixir School curriculum and materials. We are doing it in Livebook.

Video - Stream Overlay with LiveView


A livestream where I created some parts of an overlay for my stream. In this case it shows some indication of what we do during a coding stream by showing lines-of-code stats as we go. This is the view-at-your-leisure archival footage of that. This time in 1080.

Membrane Media Processing & LiveView


Membrane Framework allows processing media streams in a very high-level compelling way with Elixir. I've been wanting to work with it for a while and finally did a small thing with it around my most recent livestream. When we did the live stream we didn't get it all the way to where I wanted. This resolves that.

Video - Membrane Framework, trying it out


Another live stream. I've been very curious to try Membrane and I finally got to screw around with it some. Thanks to Marcel Fahle for being a patient and helpful guest.

Video - Livebook, trying it out


Last friday I did my second live stream. A lot of nice people stopped by and I spent the time showing and getting more familiar with the newly released Livebook.

Lumen - Statically compiled Erlang for x86


The Lumen Project is an ambitious compiler development effort to create a complimentary set of compilers and tools that allow developers to get the power of the Erlang VM, The BEAM, in places it does not traditionally fit. Such as the browser. Currently the project is at an early released stage as covered in Luke's ElixirConf talk. It does not yet implement all of Erlang OTP and as such won't handle most Erlang/Elixir you could throw at it. I want to show something that it does do. And while the project is a complicated compiler project you do not need to know that stuff to try it out. This should be achievable for most developers and to ensure that I wasn't talking out of my rear I had my assistant developer follow the instructions without my input and it worked out well.

A Telegram Bot in Elixir feat. LiveView


I asked my network about noting ideas quickly and got a lot of good responses. One mentioned saving them in Telegram. I don't think I want to do specifically that but I do want a minimum friction way of noting ideas for later review and refinement. And sending them to a Telegram chat would be quite nice. So I started on the path of something like a note-taking system using Telegram for ingesting quick notes. And I want to share the satisfaction I felt with seeing the near real-time way that it works.

Small update, full content RSS


This is a small update to let you know that the RSS feed contains full content.

Post-mortem: 10 years in the vertical - Part 3


Before I did the independent thing I was a developer at a few different companies. I worked on multiple things but one of the main things I worked on was a series of products in the preschool education segment here in Sweden, that's the titular vertical. The products have since been shut down. This series of posts will cover my trajectory as a professional web developer as well as the evolution of these systems. The series has three parts (they are already written) and will likely receive an addendum. This is part 3.

Post-mortem: 10 years in the vertical - Part 2


Before I did the independent thing I was a developer at a few different companies. I worked on multiple things but one of the main things I worked on was a series of products in the preschool education segment here in Sweden, that's the titular vertical. The products have since been shut down. This series of posts will cover my trajectory as a professional web developer as well as the evolution of these systems. The series has three parts (they are already written) and will likely receive an addendum. This is part 2.

Getting started with PETAL


I recently wrote about the PETAL stack on and as I haven't really had a chance to really get my hands dirty with it I decided that my next lab project should use it. So I set it up as a public repo and added the missing components manually by following some guides. You can see the commits or follow along.

Post-mortem: 10 years in the vertical - Part 1


Before I did the independent thing I was a developer at a few different companies. I worked on multiple things but one of the main things I worked on was a series of products in the preschool education segment here in Sweden, that's the titular vertical. The products have since been shut down. This series of posts will cover my trajectory as a professional web developer as well as the evolution of these systems. The series has three parts (they are already written) and will likely receive an addendum.

Podcasts that supported my independence


I want to shine a light on some podcasts that I really appreciated as I made my bid for independence and went out to contract, consult and strap boots. Because in some aspects running your own business can be lonely. It suits me well but I also immensely appreciate having some voices that share my concerns, contribute to my thinking and sometimes just keep me company.

Elixir businesses doing well


I generally don't track startup news and financing rounds closely but it filters in because I enjoy tech. And these two Elixir-based companies made a blip on my radar recently with their successful rounds. So why not. Let's be a little bit business.

Wisps, a touch of whimsy


This has been the most fun I've had with JavaScript in some time. A spiritual successor to the [stupid solution](/live-server-push-without-js.html) which allowed both me and my visitors to see the number of concurrent readers. It is also a piece of whimsy I've wanted to do for a while to add more magic and life to the site. The animations default to off to preserve CPU but do turn on the magic switch if you can and want to see the visuals. This is arguably less stupid.

Asking a tech recruiter


While working I mostly found the attention of recruiters slightly reassuring but often annoying. I think that annoyance is fairly common, usually built up from countless LinkedIn drive-by attempts from unreading keyword-hunting recruiters. I thought that now, out on my own, maybe this legion of recruiters can be my sales department.

The Mac is losing me


I've been mostly happy using a Mac since I got myself my first computer earned with programmer money. I believe it was a mid 2009 15" MacBook Pro. That was a computer I used at least until 2016 which I consider very decent usable life. At that point I had replaced the hard-drive with an SSD, upgraded the RAM and switched a battery that was worn out. I stopped using it when it just straight died some time in 2016.

The BEAM marches forward


The BEAM is the virtual machine that Erlang and Elixir runs on. It is widely cited as a battle-tested piece of software though I don't know in which wars it has seen action. It has definitely paid its dues in the telecom space as well as globally scaled projects such as Whatsapp and Discord. It is well suited to tackle soft-realtime distributed systems with heavy concurrency. It has been a good platform chugging along. And with a small team at Ericsson responsible for much of its continuing development it has been managed in a deeply pragmatic way. Erlang has always been a bit of a secret and silent success. Almost no-one uses it if you look at market shares. But among the ones that use it there seems to be a very positive consensus. And then Elixir came and caused a bit of a boom. I think the BEAM has benefited from Elixir and Elixir wouldn't exist without the BEAM. With that bit of background I'd like to shine a light on some cool developments that I think makes the BEAM more interesting or even uniquely interesting in the future.

Supervision trees, an example in Elixir


So any time recently that I've gone looking for a good overview of supervision trees in Elixir I haven't found what I want.

Stupid solutions: Live server push without JS


So in my post Is this evil? I covered a way of tracking users with CSS. While thinking about those weird ways of using the web I also started thinking about pushing live data to clients without JS. Or at least maintaining a connection. So WebSockets requires JS. WebRTC requires JS. Even HLS (video streaming), which would otherwise be super cool, with captions for accessibility. But no. Or rather, maybe on Apple platforms. Eh. Not good enough.

Vlog - 2020-09-22 - Helping Junior Developers


Pondering one of the things I want to make an impact in: helping inexperienced developers get the traction they need to find their way into the industry.

Vlog - 2020-09-17


A brief weekly run-down of what I've been doing.

Is this evil?


I try to be a friendly citizen of the web. I try to keep my site in good shape. It should load quickly, track nothing beyond your basic server logs, not hassle you about cookies, GDPR or my newsletter. I do have a newsletter but it won't pop up in your face here. I try to stay firmly on the side of friendly and a good experience in how I run this site.

Vlog - 2020-09-07


A brief weekly run-down of what I've been doing and what I'm planning on doing.

Vlog - 2020-09-07


A brief weekly run-down of what I've been doing and what I'm planning on doing.

Nerves-keyboard - Running a mechanical keyboard with Elixir


Chris Dosé was interviewed by us on Elixir Mix. When he spoke about his work on a Nerves-powered keyboard I knew this was a project I wanted to try out. So I dropped into their dev channel, acquired the hardware (thanks for the help) and have done some playing around with it.

Simple Solutions: UI choices without JS


I've been looking at creating some progressively enhanced UI which shouldn't require JS for any basic operations. The idea being that I can accelerate and simplify any operation with interactivity provided by Javascript but I won't implement things in a way that requires JS.

Beam Bloggers Webring


This is a brief announcement. If you are interested in following bloggers in the BEAM, Elixir, Erlang, etc. ecosystem or you blog yourself. Please check out to get in on the old-school webring action. Bloggers can join it. It might lead to some traffic. Mostly it is a small nod to a stranger old time on the web when sites organized in rings for discoverability. I think the need for discoverability remains and some webrings have been showing up again. You can find the shuffler for the webring at the bottom of my site as well and just let it carry you to a new site.

The Strong Technologies


I feel like a curmudgeonly sort recently. I'm honestly a pretty optimistic and positive person. But I'm becoming increasingly technically curmudgeonly. I don't think it is age turning me conservative. But I feel like I'm moving back to what I find tried and true in many ways. I feel resentful in a lot of cases where I can't really reasonably go back. So what am I talking about here?

The best parts of Visual Studio Code are proprietary


I've been very surprised and delighted over a number of years now by Microsoft's strong efforts in open source. I understand the skeptics, I was on Slashdot when they tried to sue Linux out of existence and I think only time will tell. I figure MS contributing is better than them hunting Linux distributions for sport. So I was mostly onboard for Microsofts efforts and I've especially found Visual Studio Code useful.

Five Buck Fatigue


This is about a reaction I noticed with myself in response to membership programs, patreons and individual sponsorship as I've run into significantly more of these following Corona. The advertising-supported model has confirmed many of the concerns about its sustainability and creators are looking for more reliable options. I think this feeling I have might be something other people experience and something for creators to be prepared for.

"More than one thing at a time"


On a recent Elixir Outlaws episode Chris Keathley told us all a nice story of the advantages of Elixir as opposed to Ruby. His frustration with Ruby and appreciation of how Elixir works resonate at the frequency of my own frustrations and joys. I believe my titular quote is accurate, that's one of the primary things he noted. How nice it is to use a runtime that can do more than one thing at a time.

WordPress & the gross inefficiencies


My recent work with WordPress revived a frustration I built up while working with software from that era of the 2000's. Drupal, WordPress, Joomla and friends. Whenever you visit a page, the system will generate it from scratch.

The WordPress merging problem


WordPress is approximately the most popular CMS out there. I've worked with it plenty over the years, off and on, as clients, employers and others have needed websites.

A wall too tall - Nerves & k3s


Short update on the general state of things. Pandemic quarantine in full swing. Me and mine are doing fine. Thankfully. We are staying at home awaiting a baby. I'm likely to be fairly sporadic for a few months. But I do intend to keep writing. Most of my blog posts are written to be useful in the longer term. If you want more in-the-moment writing, the newsletter is more temporally anchored publication (signup further down, no pop-up).

Self-evaluation improvements


A little while back I released a tool for self-evaluating as a web developer. I have just now updated it to include some explanation and guidance for things topics where the learner indicates a need for it.

Check yourself - Web developer self-evaluation


I've been thinking a lot about inexperienced (junior, if you must) web developers and just how much there is to learn about programming in general but the web in particular. You often hear people say that you don't need to know everything but you should have a solid foundation. Well, how do you establish a solid foundation and how do you know if you have one? How do you get introduced to all the relevant terminology and how do you find out what you haven't learned yet?

I always want to do it all


My brain has very little chill on a day-to-day basis. There are moments where I can find a very peaceful state of mind. Doing something menial in the garden for an extended time, cooling off outside after a while in a sauna, winding down after heavy exercise. At most other times my mind is usually working on something or I'm itching with the need to do things.

Lumen - Elixir & Erlang in the browser


The Lumen Project is an alternative implementation of the Erlang VM, more known as the BEAM. It is designed to work in WebAssembly with the specific goal of bringing Elixir and Erlang to the browser.

Why am I still excited about Elixir?


A good ol' while back I wrote about why I'm interested in Elixir. I think that deserves some follow-up.

Ecto & Multi-tenancy - Prefixes - Part 3


This should be the final piece of this saga. Previous parts can be found here:

A Slight Delight - Compile-time checking things


This was a short-but-sweet thing that struck me while working with a client code-base. It was trivial but both useful and delightful and it is a type of thing I haven't been able to do in Python, PHP and Javascript in quite the same way.

Elixir - Signing for Cloudfront resources


This covers how to create Signed URL Custom Policies with Cloudfront in Elixir.

Happy little screens (with Elixir)


So me and Emilio Nyaray made Inky. We built on top of what was there from Nerves and Scenic and in the end we had theInky series of eInk displays for Raspberry Pi devices working with Nerves through Elixir. Cool. That was a fun tripI've covered previously:

Consider signing up for the Elixir Radar


If you have an interest in the Elixir ecosystem I think the Elixir Radar newsletter is useful resource. I followed it even before I had any real opportunity to work with Elixir or Phoenix but it helped in keeping me up with conference talks, interesting blog posts and assorted other stuff. I recommend it.

Ecto & Multi-tenancy - Dynamic Repos - Part 2


In the first part I covered the basics of getting started with Dynamic repositories with Ecto. Using that post we can create one or more repos at runtime, create the necessary database, run migrations to get it ready and then direct queries to it. That's a good start. Building blocks for something better. I'll try to get into the better bits here.

I was on a podcast


You can listen to it here.

Ecto & Multi-tenancy - Dynamic Repos - Part 1 - Getting started


Ecto is the database library we know and love from the Elixir ecosystem. It is used by default in Phoenix, thehigh-profileweb framework. Ecto has a bunch of cool features and ideas. But this post is about a corner full of nuts, bolts andvery little of the shiny or hot stuff. It just covers some rather specific needs. Ecto docs for these features arethis guide and this API. But that is usually not thewhole picture. I'll try to cover some of the practicalities.

What I’m up to - Mostly Elixir things


While I'm writing something a bit more involved and substantial I figured I could give an update on what I've been doing. Mostly around Elixir. But I'll cover a few different things.

Why a newsletter?


So I'm launching a newsletter. The sign-up is at the bottom of the page, it won't pop up here, so read on inpeace.

Case Study: Inky - An elixir library


This is a post covering the creation and refinement of an open source project within the Elixir ecosystem. More words than code. Be warned.

Artisanal software - Beyond pragmatism


Whenever we design and create software we need to pay attention to the trade-offs we are making.

An eInk display with Nerves & Elixir - Getting started with Inky


So I've been curious about what kinds of displays you can connect to the Pi-series single board computers for a while. I happened to accidentally order a few. Among others an eInk display. I ordered the PaPiRus ePaper. It ended up being dead on arrival and then out of stock so I received an Inky to replace it. Fair enough.

Inky library released!


Me and nyaray finally finished up our work on the Inky eInk display library to a level where we are happy to release it. So Inky 1.0.0 is now out on Hex! Docs are on there too.

Revitalizing valuable legacy systems


Do you have a system that is vital to your business that your development team seems to have given up on? Do they consider it old, slow, complicated or impossible to work with? Are they pushing heavily for a rewrite?

Why am I interested in Elixir?


I’ve had Elixir on the brain recently. And by recently I probably mean 2 years. In my defense I think it is fair to say it is blooming right now. I haven’t had much need of it, or opportunity for it, in my day-to-day of maintaining a Python legacy system, renewing another legacy or optimizing Elasticsearch. So I’ve tried it with a few hobby projects I’ve spent time on and that was fun. But mostly I really just watched the community and what they did with a feeling of “Shiiiit, I want in on some of that!”. I'll primarily touch on BEAM, OTP, Phoenix Presence, Phoenix LiveView, Nerves, Scenic and Rustler.

Scenic - Getting started from scratch


This post covers setting up a Scenic project in the Elixir programming language. It briefly covers the default method but largely dives into adding Scenic to an existing project, which covers the different parts that Scenic requires to run.