Finished reading Cloud Atlas, gave it 5 starts. Here's a quick review:
I am not going to explain this book. It's enough, I think, to say I loved it, and that it's strange, and that it's a bit of a mistery.
Imagining a universe in which all the contents of the book could be real at the same time in a way that would allow all the pieces to be written as they are and yet, be, somehow, not the novel they are, but a found artifact, is both depressing and ellusive.
At the end, I felt something I can only describe as retrospective hope, the feeling that things were supposed to end up better, but that even as terribly as they did end, were it not by that earlier hope, they would have been more grim.
The control the author has over his own style is impressive. This book feels written by half a dozen completely different writers.
Some quotes (which may only make sense once you read the book):
"The sun was deaf'nin' so high up, yay, it roared an' time streamed from it."
"In the first set, each solo is interrupted by its successor: in the second, each interruption is recontinued, in order. Revolutionary or gimmicky? Shan't know until it's finished, and by then it'll be too late"
"What wouldn't I give now for a never-changing map of the ever-constant ineffable? To posess, as it were, an atlas of clouds."
I have just uploaded release 4 of Nikola my static blog/site generator. Here are some of the changes in this version:
Previous/Next post links
Support posts with HTML "sources"
Site checking script (nikola_check)
Maximum image size in galleries
Image descriptions in galleries
Image exclusion in galleries
Special "draft" tag
Pretty code listings ("code galleries")
Easy theme tuning via Bootswatch
Support for WebAssets bundles
"Filters" for powerful file post-processing
Improved HTML output
Support multiple time formats in post metadata
Slugify tag names for URLs
Archive path and filename configurable
Galleries sorted by date (supports EXIF)
Rotate gallery thumbnails (EXIF)
Tag feeds in tag pages
Colorbox support in restructured text figures
Fix for content displaying too wide
As usual, you can discuss bugs or make feature requests at the nikola-discuss group and I love to know of sites using Nikola.
Hope you like it!
It's not that I need a CDN in any way, since the traffic for this site is little and the way the site is built is light, but hey, it's free, easy to setup and easy to leave when I feel like it. And I expect to have significantly higher traffic eventually after I finish some not-so-secret projects.
What's CloudFlare's service? They take over your DNS, then put a reverse proxy between your site and the clients. That reverse proxy then uses a CDN to serve you the pages from a conveniently located server, and can rewrite the HTML/JS/CSS in some ways to make it faster/safer/nicer.
It also supposedly will protect my site from different kinds of attack (the only one that could possibly affect me was DOS attack, but thanks anyway ;-)
Also, they offer a platform so apps can provide services for me, like intruder detection, analytics, and others, which is a very cool idea.
So, I created an account at cloudflare.com and configured it so that //ralsina.me (which is this exact same site except for wrong comment counts) is served via cloudflare, and ralsina.me is served directly.
What I've seen so far:
Setup is very simple
It works, even setting up experimental features
It does seem very slightly faster, but that's not a surprise since the tiny server the site runs on has good conectivity and ample unused resources.
It does do a good job of automatically optimizing some things in ways that are generally accepted as a good idea (in other words, my pingdom and YSlow numbers moved up)
So: no pain, maybe some gain. I will probably move all sites into it tonight.
We all hear all the time that less is more. That simple is better, that complex is worse, that options are evil, that defaults are what matter.
And yes, that is about 90% true. Except when it is false, which I know because I bought a coat a few weeks ago.
This is a rather nice coat, and if you saw it without much care you would miss one of its best features: it has two pockets on each side.
Let's think about why we want pockets in the sides of coats:
To put our hands when it's cold. Since this is a cold weather coat, that's important. In moderate climates like this one, gloves are more trouble than they are worth, and just sticking hands in pockets is enough.
To put stuff that is not hands in them: keys, phones, money, candy, etc.
For the first use case, we want the pockets to be shallow angled, so that the hand goes in naturally, almost horizontally. Also, we want the access to be unobstructed, so no zippers, which also scratch the wrists.
For the second use case, we want things not to fall off. So we want either a vertical pocket (perhaps with a flap) or a zipper. Zippers suck because you can forget to zip them, and things fall off. Vertical pockets are awful to put your hands in.
So, my jacket has two pockets on each side, one with a zipper, one without. One for hands, one for things. Since it's a thick coat you don't see it unless you know what you are looking for, and it's trivial to use: everything goes in the zipped one, except my hand. I can even check the contents of the zipped pocket without getting my hands out of their pockets.
This is one case where more is more, complex is better, options are awesome, and defaults don't matter. Now, if you find a place in software where that's the case, that's an opportunity.