Blog

4:19 amLinux Mint
Last year I swapped back to Ubuntu after getting tired of Windows 10. I used Linux for 10 years until I moved to Italy and bought a new laptop. About a year ago I started coding more regularly and I prefer to code in Linux, so I jumped back to Ubuntu, even though Fedora was my regular distro back in the day. Ubuntu felt kind of clunky, background processes crashed and programs didn't seem to close cleanly. I tried a few distros, a few different desktop environments, but went back to Ubuntu and just used the LTS build. A couple of months ago I upgraded to 17.04 and regretted it instantly. My battery life dropped and it felt unstable. I downloaded the LTS again, then decided to shop around some more. I ended up giving Linux Mint a try and I love it. It reminds me of Ubuntu before Unity and runs smooth. I haven't had a single issue with it, plus I have the best battery life my laptop has ever had. It's weird considering Mint is built on Ubuntu, but there is a difference. Tonight I upgraded to the latest 18.2 release and once again not a single issue. Try Linux Mint if you haven't, I love it.
11:27 pm
Feeling a little better (this cold just won't go away!). I've been cleaning up the code for the upgrade, found a few bugs during the pre-release audit. If this cold keeps slowly going away I'll do another test upgrade and at least upgrade Clay this week. I realized earlier I never finished coding the user profiles so I'll add that before I enable the user registration. One day we'll have comments...
10:47 pm
I'm still sick, but I've managed to push a few updates to the clay repo. I have some comments app updates left and then hopefully just a pre-release audit. Hope everyone had a good weekend.
3:02 am
I've been updating the Summernote text editor I've built into Clay. I created a plugin for it that lets you embed content from many different sites, like YouTube, Instagram, etc. The trick is I'm doing it without using iframes, which are a security concern. I've also been rounding out the social features in the blog and comment apps. The Summernote editor will work for comments as well. Unfortunately I caught a summer cold so I haven't been able to finish everything for the site upgrades. Hopefully it'll pass soon and I can do a test upgrade to see what problems may creep in. The first upgrade will just be to clay and adding user access. When that's finished I'll upgrade the design. Eventually...
If you've read my blog lately, you know I'm in the process of upgrading the site as well as Clay. Part of that has been a big cleanup of old code, bug fixes, and restructuring. My main focus has been the bugs, but I'm also hardening the security while I'm at it. Part of that is moving unused code out that I don't look at often enough and isn't functioning at a usable level. I'll be segregating a lot of apps and such to a different repo that will act as buffer between the core apps (and such) and extras that may not be up to snuff. There aren't a lot of functioning apps right now, so I'm hoping the segregation will help with maintaining the core code and maybe entice me to finish some of the other stuff. Finally, all of this work means eventually it'll be packaged as Clay [insert version] and I can finally say I released it. I hit commit 666 (quickly followed by 667) today, so I'd say it's about time for a release...
So, a couple of weeks ago I received an email about the Clay organization I owned on Github. I've had a few people wanting to use the name, but this time it was a web developer from NYMag.com (yes, the New York Magazine website). It turns out they are developing a CMS named Clay as well, named after the Magazine's founder, and are releasing it as open source. After considering for about a week, I handed over github.com/clay to nymag.com. I did it mainly because I know my Clay will likely remain something that just I use (and others seem to just copy). I'm ok with that, I built it for me. With that said, Clay is still being worked on, it just lives at github.com/daviddyess/clay now.
2:02 am
In my pursuit of blogging more, I decided I needed to upgrade the site. Well, it's been more work than I expected. It seems at some point I removed the upgrade path for the current version of the site from my development version. Doh!! So, I decided if it's going to be a lot of work, I may as well do it right. The current plan is to enable user registration and comments. I'm also upgrading the styling and a lot of backend stuff to fix some older workarounds I'd put in the code. Hopefully, this will clean up enough of clay to finally do another release version. More on Clay later...
I'll have to postpone the site upgrade for a few days probably. I will have to break it up more than I had wanted, so there isn't an extended downtime. I'll also be updating the design and layout, as I'm building a new CSS framework to use within Clay and other projects (more on that later).
I'll be doing some site upgrades this week, so I apologize if there are any outages. 

The upgrades will add more features, I'll make a list once everything is finished.
The Clay project on Github has moved under my username instead of under it's own organization. I've updated the link on the left. Github.com/daviddyess/clay.

Move info to come on why, but it's for a good reason :)
Bootstrap is the pseudo standard for CSS/Grid frameworks today and the forthcoming Bootstrap 4 will likely solidify that position further. I love it and use it here. Unfortunately, developers sometimes need an edge and using the same thing everyone else is using doesn't really supply that. A new framework, named iotaCSS (iotaCSS.com) is under development and shows a lot of promise. The framework is entirely based on SASS and is designed to be completely customizable. It provides the base and you build into it, not just onto it like Bootstrap. It also has a very flexible architecture that allows you to add your own components and bend it at your will. The only downside is the framework is so loosely coupled that it is just a series of NPM modules you have to link together. I have created a project on github that brings it all together and gives you a starter kit to work from. Check it out on my github account (daviddyess). It's still under development, but I expect to have the baseline in the repo soon. It's currently functional, I just need to finish commenting the pieces.
Over the past month I've been working with the Defense Digital Service (DDS) on a new website promoting open source software within the Department of Defense. I've been working as a volunteer with another volunteer and the DDS team to build and launch the .mil site before it is presented at OSCON. We're hoping it'll be finished and ready by it's launch date. Once it goes live I'll post a link and discuss some of the tools we are using. It's been a fun experience and not an opportunity that comes up very often.