Posts about:

  • Documents vs UIs - holding back the web?


    While updating this website I’ve found myself staring at a crossroads. Persist with the existing format of a backend application that serves up a mix of templated HTML and static assets, or switch to a UI framework (specifically, elm-ui). But what are the trade-offs? If I’ve grown so fond of elm-ui, why isn’t this switch a simple decision? It comes down to the difference between documents (AKA “content”) and User Interfaces, and I think the answer reveals one of the main weaknesses of the web as a platform.

  • SSH config for easier EC2 usage


    SSH is one of the key tools used for modern web development but it's not very well known that ssh can be configured to make life easier. Modern applications often bear little resemblance to those that existed when ssh was developed so tweaking the default settings is increasingly important.

  • Play multi-project builds as of 2.3.4


    With the lastest release of the Play Framework, the way multi-project builds should be created has changed. Unfortunately this change is yet to be documented. If you're following the docs but seeing unexpected (and unwelcome) error messages along the lines of object Project is not a member of package play then read on. I spent a while getting to the bottom of this, hopefully I can save you the time.

  • Happy birthday, BASIC


    BASIC was 50 the other day! I shared some happy memories on the Guardian but I thought I should go into a little more detail here on my own site. Apart from anything else, you'd miss all the links if you only read the Guardian version ;-)

  • Why you need an SSL certificate


    This blog has started to become a "me sharing little things" place. Along the same lines, a friend of mine has been setting up a website and asked me about SSL certificates. Rather than just replying with a recommendation, I launched into a brief description of why they're necessary. I might as well put it up here in case it can help anyone else.

  • Find your IP


    A colleague just asked me how do I get the IP address of the server this script is running on?, which a great question. You can do it in Python but it's a bit of a hassle and as is often the case, it's really easy to do this in bash. I came up with this off the top of my head. It's not the best way to do it but it works nicely and it's very clear so I figured it would be a nice example to show. (I have a few alternative implementation as well but if you have a neat one I'd love to see it in the comments)

  • Über PS1 - with added Git


    I spend alot of time in a terminal working with git. If you're like me then you can save typing by customising your command-line prompt. I'm going to chat for a bit about why I built this, you may want to jump straight to the PS1 samples at the bottom.

  • Amazon & WikiLeaks - The Real Problem


    I’m sure you have all heard about Amazon’s decision to stop hosting the WikiLeaks website and given my interests (and career!) in web technologies this is something I’ve been giving a lot of thought to over the past few days. My opinions have changed while I’ve been thinking about it so I’m going to tell the story of my reasoning as a backdrop to what I have (for now) concluded is the real underlying issue. This isn’t about WikiLeaks and it isn’t about Amazon but given the ongoing WikiLeaks debacle and Amazon’s enviable position in online retail and web services, these organisations and the relationship between them makes for a great case study in the deeper issue of the role of technology in our lives today.