2012-06-15 22:37

Nikola 3.0.1 Available for Testing

I have merged a bunch of patches from Kay Hayen and Kadefor:

  • disqus_developer is gone
  • addthis buttons are optional (controlled by a new option)
  • You can have more than one static files folder to be merged into output.
  • Image galleries support uppercase extensions.
  • Templates can not link to CSS that is empty/missing
  • Better Google Sitemaps
  • Preserve (some) metadata when copying files, like timestamps
  • Don't overwrite existing posts with doit new_post
  • Generate valid URLs from unicode titles

So, if you want to try it out:


I will make it a real release if nothing bad shows up before sunday or monday.

2012-06-14 22:25

Now that's a nice theme.

I have been flooded by awesome patches for Nikola by different contributors, so there will be a new release very soon. In the meantime, see what happens if someone with design skills does a theme for it:


The author says he's polishing it and will be done in a few days.

2012-06-12 12:09

Nikola is FAST.

A fast-loading site is a good thing. Your site's speed matters. Which is why creating fast sites is one of Nikola's design goals.

Sure, it's not meant to create e-commerce sites, but if you are doing just a simple corporate site, or a personal blog, why would you not make it as fast as possible anyway?

So, here's one data point, from Kay Hayen


Guess when Kay switched to Nikola.

But you don't have to just believe that graph. Here's Yahoo's YSlow report on this blog, which is hosted in a $5 VPS (as are other sites, BTW. The same VPS. As is a bunch of services. And my Quassel core)


It scores 94 on that test. That's 94 out of 100 possible points in the "Small Site or Blog" ruleset.

How much server tuning was needed? I added one line to the Apache config:

AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE text/html text/plain text/xml text/css

That makes it compress those files before sending it to the user and improved the third item from F to A.

So, when I say Nikola makes your site fast, don't take my word for it, just check it out.

2012-06-10 18:38

Nikola 3 is out and it is good.

It's a major release, there is hardly any code from the previous version that was not moved, prodded, broken or fixed!

The main features of Nikola:

  • Blogs, with tags, feeds, archives, comments, etc.
  • Themable
  • Fast builds, thanks to doit
  • Flexible
  • Small codebase (programmers can understand all of Nikola in a few hours)
  • reStructuredText and Markdown as input languages
  • Easy image galleries (just drop files in a folder!)
  • Syntax highlighting for almost any programming language or markup
  • Multilingual sites
  • Doesn't reinvent wheels, leverages existing tools.

Changes for this release (not exhaustive!):

  • New optional template argument for "nikola init"
  • New "install_theme" task
  • Optional address option for the "serve" task
  • Better looking codeblocks
  • Russian translation
  • Use markdown/reSt compiler based on post extension
  • Don't fail when there are no posts/stories/galleries/tags
  • Use configuration options as dependencies
  • Use more relative links for easier site rellocation
  • Syntax highlight for markdown
  • Better multicore builds (make the -n 2 or -n 4 options work)
  • Configurable output folder
  • Don't fail on posts with periods in the name
  • Different page names for different languages
  • Recognize (some) Mako template dependencies
  • Is now a more "normal" python package.

2012-06-08 20:50

I Must Be Doing it Wrong

It has been said that if noone hates you, you are doing it wrong. I must be doing it quite wrong because there seem to be a lot of people who like me, for some reason. For example, today I was in a dark mood all afternoon. I wrote aggressive stuff on twitter and IRC.

And what do I get? People asking me what was wrong and offering help. It's unfair. Unfair to them because they should not be subject to the moods of any asshole (including me). I can only claim, in the way of excuses, that my wife no longer works next to me all day.

If she were there, and saw me acting like that, she would have slapped me back into sensible behaviour by reminding me that I am a lucky bastard. She doesn't even have to say anything, she just has to be there. So, she arrived, I noticed I am a lucky bastard, and I am all mellow now.

So, if I acted like a bastard with you today, or any other day, sorry dude, I am a bit of a bastard. But I am a lucky one, and when I don't forget that, I am, I think, bearable.

2012-06-08 13:52

It has swords in it.

Sergio de la Pava is Neal Stephenson with law and bullshit instead of computers and swords.

—Roberto Alsina

But there are also swords in A Naked Singularity!

—Levi Stahl

A while ago I finished reading "A naked singularity" by Sergio de la Pava.

If you have not read it, stop reading this now, take a week off and read it first. You may love me for telling you that, or you may hate me with the intensity of a thousand suns, but I doubt you will find it in you to say "meh" after you do.

I will try not to go into plot details, even though it's perhaps impossible to spoil this book. If I told you how it ends, it would not make any difference. If I told you about the chimp, or about the Casio Carousel, it may not matter. Or maybe it was a monkey, and the Carousel is done by Sony. Which it is, in the book. By Sony, not a monkey. I think.

Remember that kid in school that could tell the best jokes, and he did those funny voices? De la Pava writes in funny voices. And he breaks your heart with funny voices. His book doesn't meander, it goes straight and quick, determined and in a hurry right out to the middle of nowhere, then keeps going, goes offroad, keeps going, runs through a few walls, and comes back here, by just going and going. It has a motor, it has a rocket engine, it never blinks.

This book is ostensibly about a lawyer straying his path. It's probably written about something else. I have this strange feeling that most characters are imaginary, even though they talk and feel very real to me, who am writing this and thus am supposed to be more real than they are. It's hallucinatory gritty realism. It's poetic and technical. It's bullshit as an art form.

Which is, really, what attracted me to it. The dialog, the monologues, are to regular bullshit like fine dinners are to hot dogs. Sergio de la Pava may be the finest bullshit-giver in this blue planet of ours (take it from one dabbler in the art), and we are all lucky to have him writing.

UPDATE: How could I forget to mention that this book, this novel, has some of the best box writing since Mailer? It's an incredible feat, and I just forgot about it because there is so much stuff in it.

And yes, it has swords in it.

2012-06-06 11:17

Traer Cosas de China es Más Fácil!

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Document or section may not begin with a transition.

Hice mi compra más grande a DX.com desde que empecé con esto: un Mele A1000.

Y ya casi, casi, casi lo tengo en mis manos, pero se quedó en la aduana. Eso normalmente sería una muy mala noticia, ya que signiicaría que me tengo que tomar medio día del trabajo, ir a la aduana, esperar varias horas, pagar y retirarlo.

Pero ayer me llegó un telegrama que lo convirtió en una noticia, ni buena ni mala. El telegrama me dice que como llegó un paquete del exterior de un "remitente no informado" (?), tengo las siguientes opciones:

  1. Pagar en el correo (cualquier sucursal) los derechos de aduana, y me va a llegar a casa en los próximos cinco días.
  2. Llamar por teléfono, decir en qué sucursal lo quiero retirar, y pagar cuando lo retiro.
  3. No hacer nada y que o lo devuelven o será "procesado como abandono".

Además, que si quiero usar mi franquicia anual para pagar menos, por favor avise.

Es genial. Es honesto. Hasta me pusieron el monto correcto a pagar (50% del valor, al cambio oficial), que no sé como hicieron.

En fin, que de ahora en más, comprar cosas de China parece que es más fácil que nunca. Y si compraste algo y querés contar cómo te fué, o queres leer sobre esas cosas que vamos pidiendo... bueno, http://loquemellegodechina.blogspot.com

2012-06-01 18:09

Rst2pdf 0.92 released, now has a website.

Just released rst2pdf version 0.92. Rst2pdf is a tool to convert restructured text to PDF without requiring multi-hundred-megabytes of software. It supports styling, multiple page layouts, font embedding, vector images, and much more.

Also, now it has a real website: http://rst2pdf.ralsina.me

Try it out and let me know of the obvious, horrible bug I forgot to fix (happens in most rst2pdf releases ;-)

2012-06-01 13:05

How I Prepare to Speak

  1. Be asked to speak
  2. Be unsure about it for a few days
  3. Be asked if you are going to move your ass and do it already
  4. Think title
  5. Send proposal at deadline +/- 48 hours
  6. Spend the next week or two thinking of cancelling
  7. Figure out what the title means
  8. Spend the next N-1 weeks until the conference with a constant dialog in your head about what you should talk about
  9. Turn that constant unorganized dialog into a little story
  10. Write down the story headings in slides
  11. Attend the conference
  12. Sit in the back while you polish slides
  13. Start talking
  14. Show slides
  15. Stop talking

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