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My friend’s Dads

I can’t say I knew John well, but his son has been a part of my life for half of it and for so much of that, my best friend. I can’t even say I knew John well, but his presence in my life provided a fewstrong and distinct memory.

Dan became a friend that I knew for my whole life from virtually the moment I met him. Hockey, baseball, the Dead: I had tons of things to chat about with a man 25 years my age.

The last time I saw John was at Tom’s wedding. John greeted me as a second son. He loved Tom and if someone was important to him, he was going to do his best to love him as well. John didn’t need a lot to be happy. A cold drink, some tasty meat and the people he loved would make him smile. He didn’t need much to make home smile.

Dan has this hockey game that involved picking the winners of each playoff series and talking some shit to each other. It’s a game his son introduced me to and Dan invited me to be a part of his league. It’s a game I look forward to playing every year.

The first time I hung out with John is a memory that will stay with me more than any other. You see, Tom and I had just turned 21 and John was happy to take us to the bar. We went to the top of the Landmark Inn, overlooking Lake Superior. And John bought us broke college students drinks. He wanted us to have fun. This was my first time meeting John but he treated me like he knew me forever. He became a friend instantly.

In jokes can take years to develop or in the case of Dan, an instant. The first time I hung out with Dan he demonstrated leadership in a way that authors spend years working on and it earned him the name Cap’n. Or at least I think that’s the story. It’s sort of lost to the annals of time.

This year, I lost my mom and two of my best friends lost their fathers. It’s pain that all of us will process and it’s pain inspired by memories of great people. Hug the people you love. Tell them you love them. Tell them every time you talk to them. John and Dan never met but im sure if they sat next to each other at the bar they would end up laughing and smiling. So today I’ll laugh and smile and be glad I had them in my life.

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Art Four Short Things Programming Uncategorized

Four Short Things – 16 February 2019

Inspired by O’reilly’s Four Short Links, here are some of the things I’ve seen, read, or watched recently.

Git for Ages 4 and Above

My friend Adam recommended this talk as a good deep dive into git. One thing I often preach is the importance of understanding the tools you use on a regular basis. It doesn’t matter what editor you use (but really, it should be vim), what matters is knowing how to use your editor. The same can be said for git. Git is much more powerful than git commit, git push, and git pull. The piece I used yesterday? git checkout master -- filename.jsto revert a single file in a branch that didn’t actually need changes.

Tom Brown at Laugh Fest

Do you live in or around Grand Rapids? If so I highly suggest checking out The Tom Brown at Laugh Fest in March. You will laugh your socks off.

Public APIs

This collection of mostly JSON REST APIs has everything from APIs around art, music, and photography to weather, news, and NFL arrests. It’s a great first stop if you are looking for a data API.

Two Elephants

I finished my first new canvas of 2019.

Four Short Things is a series where I post a small collection of links to art, news, articles, videos and other things that are me. Follow my RSS feed to see Four Short Things whenver it comes out.

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Public Discussion in Open Source

As slow and cumbersome as public discussion can be, it’s almost always preferable in the long run. Making important decisions in private is like spraying contributor repellant on your project. No serious contributor would stick around for long in an environment where a secret council makes all the big decisions. Furthermore, public discussion has beneficial side effects that will last beyond whatever ephemeral technical question was at issue:

Karl Fogel “Producing Open Source Software”

The important part after this is that you need to “Nip Rudeness in the Bud”. Every contributor deserves respect as a person. Always. 

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Uncategorized

PHP7.3 and WordPress

I just upgraded this site to use PHP7.3.  So far, I’m not noticing any changes (which I would say is a good thing), but I’ll keep my eyes on my error log.  I know that there is one open issue with WordPress that will flood my error logs.

Something that makes me proud of WordPress is that for PHP 7.0, 7.1, and 7.2, WordPress Core has made it a priority to run without issue right away. Sometimes this happens during the PHP release candidates, and other times it’s when the release is final, but it’s always quick.

Preparing WordPress for PHP7.3

In 2015, I started looking at how WordPress would run on php7.0 over 6 months before it was released. Now WordPress has gotten to a maturity level that it doesn’t take 6 months to be ready for a new version of PHP.

Does WordPress continue to run fine on old versions of PHP?  Yes, because it’s important to not abandon users.  But efforts are underway by many in the WordPress community to educate users and help them upgrade. In my history, many users of WordPress don’t know what PHP is, yet alone why it’s important for them to upgrade. 

What’s coming in PHP7.3?

PHP7.3 is not a groundbreaking release, but is a continued refinement of the language. is_countable makes it easier to not have errors with count (and is already backported to WordPress, so start using it now). array_key_first array_key_last helpers for some common code. There are also a handful of deprecations and new warnings that aim to make it easier to work with PHP. Overall, I’m excited to start using it more and more.

If you want to understand my opinions more on PHP and WordPress, these opinions still hold true. PHP7.3 is expected to be released on 12 December 2018 and a changelog highlighting new features and breaking changes is available.

Are you running PHP7.3 now?  What’s your experience and thoughts? 

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Uncategorized

Four Feeds I’m Reading Right Now

I’ve some a semi-annual pruning and searching on my RSS feed.  Here are some of the feeds I find valuable as a developer, engineering manager, and person. 

  • Daniel Bachhuber – I’ve known Daniel for years, and his feed focuses on things that are important to him. It’s not a single topic site by any means, but his writing on open source often influences my thinking. 
  • Rands in Repose – A manager of mine turned me on to Rands about 8 years ago, and I’ve been reading it regularly ever since. It’s a must read if you are interested in engineering leadership. 
  • Four Short Links – An eclectic collection of links five days a week. 
  • Jeff Wong – I sat near Jeff while we worked together years ago and he became one of my biggest influences on how I think about design. Years later and I still enjoy his writing. 

Who are you reading these days? 

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A timeline of thought when someone blows off your meeting

Yesterday: “That’s an interesting idea. Let’s discuss it during a meeting tomorrow”. Send out an email with one paragraph on the idea so they are prepared to discuss it. Meeting scheduled for noon.

:  I have a meeting in an hour. That’s enough time for me to make some good progress on this ticket.

: This is stopping point. I’ll get some water and then check my email and hacker news.

11:58am: I have 5 more browser tabs than I had 10 minutes ago, but I should go online for this meeting. 

:  I guess they are running a little late.  I’ll look at Twitter since there is no point in starting back on real work. My meeting is starting soon.

12:15pm:  Hmm, I wonder if this meeting is going to happen. I’ll look at Reddit.

12:30pm:  WTF.

12:35pm:  Seriously, WTF.

: Great, now I’m going to be pissed off the rest of the afternoon and when I finally share my idea, I’m going to come off as an asshole.

1:00pm: Fuck everything.

: Apology email from the higher up that blew you off. They suggest rescheduling the meeting for Friday. 

7pm: I could have left an hour ago if people had respected my time.

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About Aaron Uncategorized

Thirty Five

This is my fifth tetrahedral number birthday and me second consecutive semi-prime birthday. As a multiple of five, it’s also a “round number”.

Thirty Four was a year that I continued my growth as an artist. I regularly painted, sketched, and played with colors and shapes. I’ve started experimenting with block and set up .jorb.in to be the home of my art. I have art hanging in my friend’s homes. As a , it would be cool to have someone I don’t know own my art. Seems like a good goal.

From a professional perspective, Thirty Four was mostly a stable year. I spent time launching a new brand and relaunching another. My contributions to WordPress continued, but at a much slower pace. I helped organize the flagship WordPress conference and a new event focused on the intersection of WordPress and Publishing.  The next one is accepting speaker submissions for the next few days. Most importantly, I’ve set Thirty Five up to be an incredible year on the professional front.

One of my biggest personal accomplishments was being elected to the board for a non-profit I’ve volunteered with since I graduated college. Additionally, I got to see a childhood best friend get married at an amazing camping wedding, become an uncle for the first time (I can’t express how happy I am for my brother and sister-in-law) and had my first Christmas Morning celebration with two amazing kids and some of my best friends.

I’m excited on so many fronts. I’m excited to see more amazing art as I work on my 2018 goal of seeing everything at The while continuing to enjoy MoMA and making it to some of the other museums in town as well. I’m excited the art that I’m going to make. And I’m excited everything I have lined up from a professional perspective. Cheers to 35 years with me. I’m going nowhere but up!

I’ve previously blogged 34, 32, 2928.

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Food Uncategorized

Patty Melts

One of the greatest food items is the patty melt. It's a burger, it's a sandwich, it's delicious.

As great dinner sandwiches go, it is hard to beat the patty melt

The patty melts deliciousness comes from the fact that's it's only four components. Rye bread, , Cheese, and grilled onions. The simplicity doesn't mean you can't customize it though. Dark, light, and marbled rye each add a different flavor, but the biggest way to customize it though is the choice of cheese. Swiss and American are the two classics, but I think cheddar and muenster also deserve consideration.

BONUS: If you want to make the patty melt even better, make sure to include a pickle on the side for dessert.

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Uncategorized

I’m proud to be a card carying member of the ACLU

Friends, join the ACLU as they fight to ensure the constitution of the United States is upheld.

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Current Events Uncategorized

Commit Messages are about Intent

Commit messages are user experience for developers.  Both for other developers active right now and for developers (including ourselves) days/years/months from now. Think about the last time you were looking at a piece of code and asked yourself “Why is this here”.  This is for you, this is your experience. I shared my four rules of thumb for commit messages, this is a little more in-depth.

Caleb Thompson proposes three questions that all commit messages should answer:

  • Why is this change necessary?

  • How does it address the issue?

  • What side effects does this change have?

In general, the first and second is the easiest to answer. In many cases, a link to your bug tracker will suffice (at least in part) for the first question. Your bug tracker should already contain the *why* for every change requested. The second question  is important when the solution is complex.

Does this mean that all commit messages need to be bland? Absolutely not. WORLD WAR Z-INDEX: Restoration of sanity to revisions/slider/menu z-index values. is an excellent example of a commit message that is both fun and informative. The changeset is small ( 3 lines changed, 4 deleted), and is fairly easy for us to answer the question “What is changed?”. The why is answered with both a link to the ticket of

Erlang/OTP identifies three important purposes that commit messages serve:

Good commit messages serve at least three important purposes:

  • To speed up the reviewing process.
  • To help us write a good release note.
  • To help the future maintainers of Erlang/OTP (it could be you!), say five years into the future, to find out why a particular change was made to the code or why a specific feature was added.

The third reason to me is likely the most important.  Boone Gorges identifies blaming and annotation to be important tools in understanding the history of code and history of decisions in his talk Building a Better WordPress through Software Archaeology. Our software has a history and commit messages are the first draft of that history.

 

Further reading:

Commit Often, Perfect Later, Publish Once: Git Best Practices

Best Practices vary from environment to environment, and there is no One True Answer, but still, this represents a consensus from #git and in some cases helps you frame the discussion for the generation of your very own best practices.

On commit messages

Any software project is a collaborative project. It has at least two developers, the original developer and the original developer a few weeks or months later when the train of thought has long left the station. This later self needs to reestablish the context of a particular piece of code each time a new bug occurs or a new feature needs to be implemented.

5 Useful Tips For A Better Commit Message 

Having a story in your git log will make a huge difference in how you and others perceive your project. By taking great care in commit messages, as you do in your code, you will help to increase overall quality.

The Art of the Commit

Think of the commit log as a newsfeed for your project, in which the log message is the headline for each commit. Have you ever skimmed the headlines in a newspaper (or, for a more current example, BuzzFeed) and come away thinking you’d gotten a summary of what was happening in the world? A good headline doesn’t have to tell the whole story, but it should tell you enough to know what the story is about before you read it.