30 October 2019

Personal web pages used to have links to sites that you personally followed, at first it was a web ring but then we had RSS and OPML for sharing lists. Google Reader was my favorite way of finding new people to follow. Well, we know how that turned out. A few years ago I wanted to go back to publishing my own thoughts on my own site. Today I noticed that I have not been sharing links to those that I follow, and now I am correcting that with this page.


My most important follows really. I do not get smarter on my own, I really need other people asking me why I am pursuing life the way I am.


I really enjoy developing software. Over the years I have found a few people that have figured out how to navigate through all of the issues that are not software but still have to be sorted out in order to be successful.

Tim Bray is a person to reckon with when it comes to the Internet. I defer most of my opinions on XML to his weblog. He was there in the beginning. I only work with the outcome. His approach to life is pretty consistent with mine too.

Peter Baumgartner follow the links. He is brilliant, seek out the translations.

So DaedTech is on a totally different arc than my career, up to now. He still makes relevant connections to what is actually happening in the current employment environment.

CodingHorror Jeff Atwood is one of the luckiest and hard working people in the industry. He also knows how to build on ideas.

Developing and managing development are covered by Accidently in Code.

An even more eclectic developer than myself is Mr. Haki. The "Messages from Mr. Haki" blog is full of content on Java, Groovy, Kotlin, AsciiDoc and more.

Technology and Life

Not all of the technology that we build is used as we intend. We can reflect on what went wrong and try to patch it in the short term, and avoid creating a similar mistake in the future. These links examine what happened with internet journalism and social media.

If you interest is in journalism and knowledge management, John Udell is a great person to follow. He really understands the hows and whys of publishing on the internet.

On the subject of internet publishing I cannot think of anyone with more experience that Sripting News aka Dave Winer. Search for your latest publishing idea and he has probably tried it. If you do not find it on his blog you should give it a try.

Lately the internet has been extended to the Internet of Things (IoT). Phil Windley’s Technometrica deals with the issues that have arisen in this space. The older content is worth a read too.

Is there a way to make building new technology easier? Alarming Development is trying to find a way.


Remember why we all got excited about the internet in eighties? It was probably the communities that you could join. Usenet was an interesting experiment that foreshadowed much of what online communities would become. I still think that the promise is there if we can decentralize governance.

I find the intersection of online and real-life communities more interesting every day, then I found CityLab. I would recommend their podcast too.

Economics is useful when the human costs are also considered. I was happy to find Evonomics. Thoughtful writings, may take a couple of days to digest.

Software that I Use

Feel free to contact me about any of these. I try to keep my toolkit as small as possible so my knowledge can be as deep as possible.

I prefer a static site for the blog. JBake makes it easy, all I need is a JVM and a text editor, point the web server at the output directory and you are done. Write your pages in AsciiDoc or Markdown and you can get the output in HTML and PDF.

The Java community has adopted a six month release cycle for JVM releases. I need a few versions installed at any one time and SDKMan makes this much easier. It will also install many of the other JVM projects mentioned here.

This one is kind of developer-centric but it is getting more user friendly with each passing quarter. Managing your public and private keys can be difficult if you use more than one computer, Keybase helps. They also provide an end-to-end encryption chat application that is not affiliated with any Big Brother brands.

You really do need secure transport on your web server. The easiest way to do this is with Let’s Encrypt. I see a lot of sour grapes from the other certificate providers that they will become a single point of failure, but I am not running a site with financial or personally identifiable information. Tip them some dollars, nothing on the internet worth using is free (as in beer).

So for editing web content I am a little bit inconsistent. I used to exclusively use Vim. In fact I still use it for my personal notes that I keep in Markdown. Good highlighting for simple mark up, and my fingers just know what to do to write the lightly formatted notes. I usually use Atom for this blog and most of my other AsciiDoc writing. The plug-ins really help some days.

My go to integrated development environment is IntelliJ although the real name is Idea. I have a personal subscription since I do more than just basic Java development. A good editor is worth paying for, and it really is a good deal for me. The community edition is very functional too if you do not have the extra $500 for the first year. Price decreases each year.

Now that I am spending more time working on dotNet applications I have started using Visual Studio Code both in Linux on my personal laptop and in Windows on my work laptop. It is usually pretty snappy and well integrated with the dotNet and Windows ecosystem.