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I bought Editorial

08 Jan 2014

2014-01-08 00:27:34 -0600

So yeah, in sort of the same way that I used to buy new pens and paper notebooks in order to rejuvenate my writing, these days I do that with tech. Ya know, with writing apps for the ipad.

My latest is Editorial. One of the things that held me back is the fact that it's still at version 1.0. See, I always like to see some active development in the apps I'm going to be using. I don't want to buy into abandonware.

One of the reasons I bought Editorial was that I'm thinking about buying Pythonista too. I really wish that something like Pythonista for ipad existed for Ruby. I actually used to do Python as my main programming language, but these days it's Ruby and I think my problem with Python is that it's too similar to Ruby.

Let me explain.

For me, Python and Ruby are often used in the same contexts, so then, why wouldn't I just use Ruby? And then the syntax is similar enough to make me cry "why not Ruby".

But there are a couple of situations where I'd like to get back into Python.

  1. opengrads python integration - the GrADS scripting language is horrible. I've got a project that's like 90% done at this point (ironically, what's left is not GrADS related but sys admin type stuff), and part of me is hesitant to go forward with it because the underlying code is so horrible. Granted, this is also one of those cases where I should just launch the bloody thing, rather than doing a full rewrite, but you know, I'm not logically minded.
  2. pythonista - part of it I think is just the wanting to learn something new (for instance, I'm also looking into Codea which is a lua ipad programming environment that seems to be much more oriented towards building simple games as opposed to how pythonista seems to be much more general purpose), but I really would like to have a friendlier way to build some ios utilities for myself without having to learn something like phonegap, rubymotion, or full blown objective C

So by buying Editorial, part of it is because of the Python integration, but it also gives me a way to get a feel for what this developer is capable of building. Something like that.

And of course, I always dream of finding that perfect writing environment that's going to pull me back into the writing world.

today's work

In other news, today ended up being another day with a lot of work and hardly anything to show for it.

A significant amount of time was spent on refactoring the translation stuff on the Cyclocane individual storm tracker pages.

See, in the beginning, I started with English. Then I built a Spanish template. Then I merged them and used if and elsif blocks to handle complex translations and actual proper translation keys for other things.

Then later down the line I learned that I could actually send variables to translation files and then it was all magic.

Since I'm on the ipad, I'm not staring at my code, but I believe the format went like this:

#{I18n.t(:translation_key_name, variable1: "whatever", variable2: "heyo")} is what you'd use in the template call and then translation_key_name: "My first var is %{variable1} and my second is %{variable2}"

See, I didn't realize that functionality existed when I first implemented this stuff because the middleman documentation was fairly limited as compared to say the Rails documentation on the topic (and it appears that middleman can do all the same stuff as rails on this front).

So I spent a good number of hours today just refactoring my storm tracking page to take advantage of all of the things I would've loved to have done in the first place, had I known about it.

Next, was upgrading middleman because I was trying to take advantage of the t translation shortcut. Ironically, I ended up rewriting the whole storm tracker page without it, because I didn't get the update going successfully until afterwards.

Finally I went in and fixed a Meteo France advisory where the system was not properly detecting that it was the final advisory on a storm... ah, ya know, because they changed the text they used (can't remember the specifics, but let's pretend it was "final warning" vs. "last advisory"... things like that).

What's awesome about the last one is that, because I already had my programming environment "booted" and was semi in-the-zone, it took probably 5-10 minutes to accomplish. It's always nice to be able to hammer out those "simple" things that would've taken much longer if done on their own.

editorial bugs

So now that I've been using this for this entire entry, I can speak to a few things. Bugs.

  1. Sometimes the cursor ends up too far down the screen such that you can't actually read what you're typing. Not good.

  2. Sometimes there's this weird flashing going on on the screen. It's annoying but it's not quite as harmful as the "hidden" text bug.

Overall though, it's been a nice enough experience. Frankly, I'm still not sold on whether I'd rather be writing on the ipad (bluetooth keyboard of course) or on the computer.

I can say that Editorial hasn't been mind blowing enough to say "I'm totally writing on the ipad for the rest of time!"

That would've been a miracle though.