What is a blog post?

I've been working on some RSS/Atom blog aggregation software with my open source students.  Recently we got everything working, and it let me do an analysis of the past 15 years of blogging by my students.I wanted to answer the question, "What is a blog post?"  That is,…

Hacktoberfest 2019

I've been marking student submissions in my open source course this weekend, and with only a half-dozen more to do, the procrastinator in me decided a blog post was in order.Once again I've asked my students to participate in Hacktoberfest.  I wrote about the experience last year, and wanted…

Some Assembly Required

In my open source courses, I spend a lot of time working with new developers who are trying to make sense of issues on GitHub and figure out how to begin.  When it comes to how people write their issues, I see all kinds of styles.  Some people write for…

irc.mozilla.org

Today I read Mike Hoye's blog post about Mozilla's IRC server coming to an end.  He writes:Mozilla has relied on IRC as our main synchronous communications tool since the beginning...While we still use it heavily, IRC is an ongoing source of abuse and  harassment for many of our…

Teaching Open Source: Sept 2018 - April 2019

Today I submitted my grades and completed another year of teaching.  I've spent the past few weeks marking student projects non-stop, which has included reading a lot of pull requests in my various open source courses.As a way to keep myself sane while I marked, I wrote some code…

The technology of nostalgia

Today one of my first year web students emailed me a question:Today when I was searching some questions on StackOverflow, I found their website turns to a really interesting display and can be changed to the regular one back and forth by a button on the top. I guess…

Processing.js 2008-2018

Yesterday Pomax DM'ed me on Twitter to let me know he'd archived the Processing.js GitHub repo. He's been maintaining it mostly on his own for quite a while, and now with the amazing p5js project, there isn't really a need to keep it going. I spent the rest of…

Observations on Hacktoberfest 2018

This term I'm teaching two sections of our Topics in Open Source Development course. The course aims to take upper-semester CS students into open source projects, and get them working on real-world software. My usual approach is to put the entire class on the same large open source project. I…

Building Large Code on Travis CI

This week I was doing an experiment to see if I could automate a build step in a project I'm working on, which requires binary resources to be included in a web app. I'm building a custom Linux kernel and bundling it with a root filesystem in order to embed…

Experiments with "Good First Experience"

Since writing my post about good-first-bug vs. good-first-experience I've been experimenting with different approaches to creating useful walkthroughs. I think I've settled on a method that works well, and wanted to write about it, so as to encourage others to do the same. First, a refresher on what I mean…