Jay Caines-Gooby

Back in 5 mins

Better late than never

Thursday March 19, 2009 @ 03:06 PM (GMT)

Since 1999 this domain has had the title “Back in 5 mins”, so here, a whole decade later, is the inaugural post.

At the start of Dune, Frank Herbert says through his narrator Princess Irulan that “A beginning is the time for taking the most delicate care that the balances are correct”. If I tried to take the most delicate care with this post, let alone the site, I think another decade would pass before anything happened.

So as much as I’d like to write a manifesto, put some nice design in place and make everything as POSH as possible, I’m just going to worry about the content, stupid, and sort the rest, later.

To keep me honest, and to make sure I keep my promise with myself not to let this blog stagnate after my first flush of interest, I’m going to commit to a few things:

  1. I’ll be posting about some personal sites I’m just about to start building: BuildYourSiteRight, FamilyAddressBook (no links, because they’re just tumbleweed at the moment).
  2. As well as personal projects, I want to talk about some recent Wordpress work that uses a mother-lode of plugins and has some rather excellent Google Apps and Google Calendar integration and well as some sick iCal aggregation
  3. A quick post about using Dreamhost (Dreamhost, I think I love you) to host private git repositories
  4. Finally, I really ought to write about my adventures in Ruby, seeing as it’s pretty much all I do nowadays

And what blog post wouldn’t be complete without taking up an internet meme? So, to keep up with the Jones’ (so to speak) and to ride the wave of Moleitausian excitement allow me to introduce you to the things that I’ve made this past week or so…

thoth-plugins on github. Rather than take the obvious route of running this blog on Wordpress, I’ve opted to try a different blog engine, Thoth. I heart Wordpress, but it’s an abusive relationship, because once I see that PHP I can’t help myself. I wade on in, a bit of html there, a quick <?php> tag here, and I’m drunk on bad habits. The next most obvious route would be to write my own blogging engine, after all, the seminal Rails screencast is a blog in ten minutes, but that way madness lies – along with anther ten year wait for the first post – as I get sidetracked by all that an under-specified software project entails.

My giddy excitement at finally joining Github meant that I had a quick look around for a blogging system that used Ruby and let you author both posts and pages. I know, I know. I could have just used Mephisto or Typo, but I wanted something simple, that I could understand and customise easily. Thoth seemed to fit the bill nicely. And so that’s what’s driving Back in 5 Mins for the moment.

For recent projects I’ve been used to running a mongrel cluster behind an Nginx front-end, but Rob, has been tempting me with Enterprise Ruby and Phusion Passenger. Thoth got a patch which let it work with Rack, and so after a fresh install of this slice I’m now a happy user.

The first thing I made was a plugin for Thoth, which lets you set up redirects.

As well as some digital making, I’ve made some physical stuff too. I’m attending Scotland on Rails and I haven’t got around to ordering any Moo cards, so I thought I’d have a bash at making my own, what with the ubiquitous message and all.

A quick trip to WHSmith and and bit of moveable type action, and I’m sorted on the card front.



Keep up the good work,

Anyway, thanks for the post

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Thursday October 29, 2009 @ 04:36 PM (GMT)
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