Blog

Proprietary Services Fulfill The Open Web's Dream

Last night, during the protests for #BlackLivesMatter, there was an urgent need to spread information to participants and others trying to help. In an effort to get that information out, people reached for tools that they could use quickly and effectively. One of these tools is Carrd, an online website builder that makes single-page websites or very simple multi-page sites. It is run by a solo founder-developer. Carrd is great. If you want to put a single-page or other simple website online, it gets the job done fast and well.

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SpaceX Crew Dragon Launch and NASA's Gulfstream-IIIs

I was watching news coverage before SpaceX’s launch of NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley when I noticed something that took me back to the very end of my aerospace career. Astronauts usually live in Texas near NASA’s JSC, and fly to KSC (or Russia) when it’s time to launch. During the Shuttle era they would fly in T-38s from Texas. For this trip they took one of NASA’s Gulfstreams, though it’s unclear why.

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Our Web Versus Search Engines

Sometimes it seems like search engines are amazing. And yes, for a lot of questions, they do get us an answer quickly. But other times search engines fail me. For example I might search for pages that talk about two topics together, and I’ll get results for a popular page about the first topic that happens to have a link to a page on the second topic in its navigation menu.

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Thoughts on Sandstorm

When I tell people about my side-project to create a server that makes it safe and easy to run your own web apps, some say I should check out Sandstorm. I was a (small) backer of Sandstorm’s IndieGogo but I’ve been disappointed by how it worked out. I think the idea of safely and easily hosting your own server-side applications and services is important for the internet to remain free. I thought this then and I still think it now.

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The End of the Before-Times

Amused by this Guardian article, which draws from this tweet, which is inspired by this BBC piece, here is the last picture on my phone that represents normal life, or as we’ll soon know it: the before-time. This is sunrise in Joshua Tree, California on March 8. We had met some friends for a one-nighter camping trip. The virus was in the news a lot by then, and we greeted each other by kicking boots.

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100 Days Offload: Time For An Adjustment

This is day 17 of the 100DaysToOffload challenge for me. I have to say it’s been taxing. While I am very happy that I got this far, and I am happy with the posts I cranked out, I can tell it’s time to make an adjustment. This pace of posting is too demanding for me and my family, and it’s also limiting to some extent how much I’m getting out of the challenge.

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Deno Saved My Side-Project

My main side-project is a server that runs personal web-based applications. The idea is that web apps could be built and distributed more like the smartphone ecosystem than the current model of “everything online is a service”. I’ll talk more about this project some other time, but for now suffice it to say that for the idea to work, a user should be able to install a web-app without putting themselves at risk.

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Thoughts on Hugo

This blog is generated using Hugo. A documentation site I’m rebuilding is also made with Hugo. These two projects have given me a chance to get to know the tool, to appreciate it at times, and to curse it otherwise. Some of my complaints are inherent to static site generators, others are more specific to Hugo. Your Directory Tree Is Configuration Code In its simplest form, a static site generator takes a directory tree full of markdown files, and cranks out an identically structured directory tree full of HTML files.

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Laravel Temptations

I need to modernize an old PHP web-app. I am facing down many hours of sifting through old messy code (written by me over many years) to figure out the essence and transform it into something more robust. This is going to be painful, and I’m looking for anything that can help ease the burden. One such helpful thing that comes up over and over in modern PHP chatter is Laravel.

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Web Of OK People

I’m terribly frustrated with common social networks, and by extension the spread of misinformation and the spread of hate. This is a great time to be an a-hole, or a blowhard, or to have a desire to spread a viral idea to the world if you have no scruples. We are in the golden age of BS. Social Media Social media companies love to say they are bringing the whole world together.

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Olivier Forget

Los Angeles, USA
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Aerospace Engineer turned sofware developer and bootstrappin' entrepreneur.