JSON: Camels, Kebabs and Snakes

I do a lot of work using JSON (JavaScript Object Notation), and last week I ran my first ever poll on Twitter posing the question of which naming convention people prefer for keys. A quick survey of its use in the wild reveals common use of camelCase, kebab-case, and snake_case. These are all things I was aware of, but I only knew the name for the first one until a year or so ago. There are Wikipedia articles dedicated to two of the three of them!


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First URSSI Workshop

Earlier this week I attended the first URSSI workshop, held at UC Berkeley. URSSI stands for the US Research Software Sustainability Institute, and right now is in the formation phase. Much of the week was spent discussing what this institute could be, and how such an institute might operate. For me this speaks to a core gap I observed in the importance, and career opportunities for researchers that engage in the development of software that is primarily used in research.


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Proposals, Decisions, and Waiting

At the end of my PhD I wrote my first proposal, that is over eleven years ago now, and it was for a Google Summer of Code (GSoC) project. It felt like an eternity waiting for the decision, it turns out it was quite quick! These days a lot of my work involves seeking funding to develop open source code, it is a great job in so many ways and something my successful GSoC project helped to seed. There is a huge amount of writing, then a lot of waiting until you find out the decision which is usually measured in months.


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Last Day as an Immigrant

Today is my last day as an immigrant, having lived in the USA for more than ten years now with my wife and family. Both of our children were born here, despite only initially planning to stay for a couple of years as a postdoc we have made our home out here. I never imagined how difficult the journey to this point might be when we first moved out, and had never considered that we might one day become US citizens…


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Internet Privacy and VPNs

I am sure you have seen one or two articles already about the demise of Internet privacy protections at the ISP level, coupled with a crippling lack of competition in the USA. Last I checked I have only one realistic option from our cable company, and one far less realistic option of extremely slow DSL (by modern standards). Trying to liken the ISPs right to collect and sell data as akin to that of the websites we choose to visit seems vacuous at best.

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Florida, Snowstorms and the Motorbike

We went away on a family holiday to Florida in February, we needed some beach time and to get away from the frigid north for a few days. Our trip was beset by snowstorms on the way out, and on the way back! The very next weekend it was so warm I was back out on my motorbike! Absolutely crazy weather…


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Automated Blog Build and Deploy

One of the bigger weaknesses of static site generation is that the build and deploy process requires whatever machine you blog on has all of the pieces needed installed (pretty simple with hugo as you can download a static binary), and that when deploying you effectively deploy the entire site for any update. This means that making posts low bandwidth locations would be impractical, and so it has led to me posting less than I might have.

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Logins, Passwords and Lastpass

So I have been meaning to do this for years, but I finally got around to it on New Years day… I went over a bunch of articles and reviews, and then set up a Laspass account. If you haven’t tried it, and want a free month of premium (gifting one to me in the process) here is my Lastpass referral link. I already bought a year of premium as I wanted the phone syncing and shared folders.

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Social Media and Blogging

Reviving my old blog, and importing the old posts gave me a chance to look back at some of the old posts I made and the context in which they were written. My first recorded blog post was made on the 8th of March, 2004. Putting it into context Facebook was founded in February, 2004 (but remained student only until 2006), Twitter was founded in March, 2006, and GitHub in February, 2008 assuming my quick Google searches were right.

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Bringing Back the Blog

So I got distracted with life, and continued writing in several other places, including my company blog, opensource.com, and a few other spots. I also got tired of maintaining my blog on virtual machines with the typical LAMP stack, but I did get interested in using static site generators. I am giving HUGO a try, and I made an attempt to migrate my old posts over from Serendipity via Jekyll in case they are still of interest.

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