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Jekyll templates with Docker containers

It took me a few tries (divided attention #FTW), but I realized that after messing with blogs for over 10 years, I’ve seen all the things! Way back in the beginning was Movable Type (which I didn’t realize was still a thing), followed by PHP-based CMS like Textpattern and Nucleus CMS, and then a brief flirtation with Blogger (someone made me do it). I have somehow avoided ever having to maintain templates for WordPress (?!). These systems all come back to some pretty basic concepts around templating.

The one snag was loathing having to do anything with ruby. I have never had anything but grief and pain installing ruby anywhere. But hey! We have docker now! Put it in a container and forget about it. WOOT!


From then to now.. blogs over 12 years

Yes, I confess, I did .. umm.. censor my blogs over the years. When facebook arrived, blog posts about nasty headaches and reactions to the latest headlines could all go away. The exodus of content continued with the advent of Twitter. Which left this blog, which I’ve tended on and off for close to 14 years, in the lurch!

There is also the small matter of how much time I have to spend on blog posts between work, kids, and this mammoth garden we have going in the back yard. The mammoth garden is totally my fault, we started it as an excuse to get me outside. It worked.

However, it has become obvious that a return to blogging is overdue. To start with, Game On! needed a blog! We kept having little tidbits to share, that needed a home. I made an initial foray into creating a blog with Jekyll to build a new blog for Game On!. I kind of liked how that worked, AND it meant I could stop having to edit posts via the web, and so I’ve now brought that to my own blog, too.

Next post: the jekyll stuff.


Game On! Explore microservices with a text-based adventure

Microservices: the buzz is everywhere. Given the breadth of technologies related to the term, it can be difficult to get a full picture of what a Microservices architecture should look like, or to understand why it is said that microservices architectures both remove and introduce complexity at the same time. Game On! is a throwback text-based adventure built to help you explore microservices concepts.

Continue with post on IBM developerWorks

Swagger-first API design

I’ve been working for the past few months on building Game On! a microservices-based application that is intended to show both what a microservices architecture looks like, and to make it easy for people to play with such a system without having to start from the ground up themselves.

We started with a best-guess set of services, and over time, it became pretty apparent that our first pass at a map building service (the Concierge) was both misleading in purpose and insufficient in function. It did serve its purpose, filling in for service discovery in a way, but we were growing beyond what the service could do.


Shell prompt crazy for Git Submodules

I’ve run a somewhat odd little script to generate my command prompt for years now, sets some colors, adds some indicators of what kind of shell I’m in (sudo or tmux/screen or ssh or.. ).

Given I now have to work with git and submodules, I’ve revised that to include information provided about git generated by this script: https://github.com/git/git/blob/master/contrib/completion/git-prompt.sh

The difference is worth it, in understanding at a glance what is going on without typing git status or variant every two seconds. ;)

I’ve also been using some very useful aliases to make working with submodules sane, as documented here: Game On! Advanced Adventures / Git Submodules

Trying to tell the human story...

Writing is always hard. Writing technical stuff is hard. Writing technical stuff that doesn’t sound like it is a regurgitated text book… sigh

I’ve been leading a team working on or with Microservices at IBM (lots of people everywhere are doing things with microservices, this should come as no surprise). We’ve been specifically looking at how to modernize an existing Java EE application. There are articles about this, but they are all formal, and (to me) preachy.

We’re doing the experiment live, so to speak. Taking the crufty Plants By WebSphere application and pulling it apart bit by bit. Our aim is to make sure you have a functional application at all times, and to frankly just share our thoughts as we try it. Let us know what you think.

Blog posts (there will be more):

Articles (longer lived, some procedure):

Which gradle...

I am lazy. My fingers have habits that are sometimes hard to change.

I’ve learned to type gradle, like all the time. Now I need to use gradlew, and for some reason this is difficult.

So I wrote a script, that I’ve now aliased (whichGradle is now obviously on my path):
alias gradle=‘whichGradle’

which just does this:

if [ -x $PWD/gradlew ]; then
  echo Using $PWD/gradlew
  $PWD/gradlew $@
  echo Using `which gradle`
  gradle $@