Tagged with Pelican

More Pelican, or how I learned to stop worrying and start developing with others.

Pelican 3.0 is almost out the door now. It's been great working on a "real" project with other developers for what is, in retrospect, the first time ever.

Some programmers I know would rather fork a project and trudge off into the snow with the code base, then fork off their own leg and write their way back before working on someone else's code; I think at some point I caught that same fever from someone close to me. I think the phrase tossed around was; "The only thing that is worse than someone else's code is working with someone else's code." The crazy part is, after actually working with other people on a project I wish I had done it earlier.

After fitting in to someone else's product and pitching my ideas and work into it instead of trying to run in it I almost don't want to go back. Not everything I've suggested flew, some things were downright rejected and other things had to be rethought to fit it all... but it was a great experience to have a driven goal and to contribute to it. Luckily the Pelican team is also small, awesome, and very supportive so I've found it downright pleasant to work with them... I realize that not every team is as friendly and constructive as the Pelican project has been but the concept of check and balances and the feedback alone is invaluable.

Yes, there is a part of me that wants to be the solo super programmer hacker that gets an idea and sits down to write the next program that becomes the next golden standard but we can't all be Linus and honestly, who wants to maintain that project into the ground? I'm not an amazing programmer, maybe someday I will be after lots of training. My programs work but without constant learning and challenges they aren't going to be written well.

While cleaning out little bugs and documenting things over several times may not be everyone's best use of time; I feel getting used to have to test everything, double think my commits, write tests for everything is important. Normally I can be a little lazy with my commit, get it in and test it after that... but I can't just do that with a bigger project. On a personal project you can quickly develop and learn bad habits. Working with a team forces good habits, or at least as good habits as the team itself.

For big professional life time programmers I am probably preaching to the choir. Term development, code review, and focused controlled projects with deadlines are vital to putting out great projects. For all those that have been playing the part of the antisocial developer, like I was, I really recommend finding a smaller project that you can help grow, getting in on the channel, and getting your team coding on... you will be shocked how great it can be to work on a project together once ego gets set aside.


The project has sidetracked several other of my side projects, but in one of the best ways possible considering the amount of joy and constructive knowledge and experience I think I am getting from it. I still plan on learning more languages, namely lisp… but right now I am juggling working on this project and studying reversing, one of my biggest interests for the future.

As a whole sidetrack to this whole post, I think that infosec is where I am going to steer my career and reversing and malware is my current big "interest". Even if I can't grok it enough to become a professional malware analyzer or software analyzer, learning some of the lowest levels of computing and programming will help me understand all the other facets of security and infrastructure that much better. Not that infrastructure management isn't a great career, but I don't feel it's really focusing me where I want to be long term. I have days where I really regret stepping up from Sr. Systems Admin.

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Now with less dynamics

I've been stalling a lot on writing this post. I guess I wanted everything to be perfect by the time I actually wrote about it however my willpower to finish these test cases is weak.

The site has now changed, yet again. I decided not to wait 5 years between refreshes this time.

The biggest change people should notice is at first glance you shouldn't notice change. When you click around it should be easy to realize that the site isn't WordPress based anymore though. I've switched over to Pelican. The project still feels very young and small, but it's done in python and the developers are very active and open to submissions so I jumped in.

It's took some wiggling around to get into it, and lots of bashing on my old chunk theme to get it to look perfect in Pelican but in the end I really like the fact I did a lot of back end work to the system. I submitted my theme to the official Theme's repo and am currently working on adding in several features of my own to the project... and by several I mean I have a to-do list longer than most any of my own software by far.

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A little thank you goes a long way

Things like this happen sometimes

[4:27 PM] <SnowLprd> tBunnyMan: Nice work on #389. I can see how that will come in handy. :^)
[4:27 PM] <tBunnyMan> Thanks!
[4:28 PM] <tBunnyMan> I really just wanted a 404 and 50x error that matched my theme... but making it more extensible helps everyone
[4:28 PM] <tBunnyMan> I just need to finish this test case for it when work stops being annoying
[4:29 PM] <SnowLprd> Nice of you to generalize it for everyone, despite only needing it yourself for 404/50x errors.
[4:29 PM] <SnowLprd> And the test will also be most welcome! \o/
[4:32 PM] <tBunnyMan> Pelican is fairly awesome IMO, I hope I can help tweak it into epic levels.
[4:34 PM] <SnowLprd> With contributions like yours, those levels will be here in short order. :D
[4:34 PM] <tBunnyMan> haha. I'm not that good ;p Thanks for the kind words
[4:35 PM] <tBunnyMan> Catch you around. It's time to travel
[4:35 PM] <SnowLprd> Every little bit counts!
[4:35 PM] <SnowLprd> Sounds good. Cheers!
[4:36 PM] <tBunnyMan> It does. It's why I love contributing little things to big projects.

All I really was trying to do is add a very quick and simple feature I needed. This was the response I got for it! The thing is, you would be shocked how infrequently I see something like this... It's this type of additude and behavior amongst developers that makes people WANT to work with eachother and help really grow a product.

I just wanted to post a little good will and show that some people rule. Expecially SnowLprd, kylef, bbinet, and doubly so alexis!

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