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I received an email from a developer the other day, who had forked the repository for my “IIS Express Here” shell extension on GitHub. He had noticed there was no license information available in the project, so asked if I could either add a license, or give him written permission to adapt my code and share it to others (as is the spirit of GitHub and OSS).

To be honest, this wasn’t something I’d thought about before, and was a bit of an oversight on my part. I’d not really considered the need to add explicit licenses to my repositories. After all, the code is out there anyway – it’s open to use on GitHub, and I’ve often shared it on this blog… if someone wanted to copy the code, they could, right?

Unfortunately, this creates a grey-area, which some are naturally uncomfortable with. Can I use this code in something else? Can I modify it at all? Do I have to pay royalties if I do?

But licensing is hard, isn’t it? All the different types, with different caveats, liabilities, and legal mumbo-jumbo… well, yes, it can be hard. The good folks at GitHub have a solution: ChooseALicense.com is attempting to demystify open source licenses so you can pick the right one for your project. More than this, when you create a new repository on GitHub, the site will ask if you want to add a template license during the initialisation process:

repo_licenses

Coming back to the developer who emailed me – I mailed him back to let him know that IIS Express Here is now licensed under the MIT license. This fits best with how I see the code and projects I share on this blog (unless noted otherwise) – free for anyone else to use, but with no warranty, so if something goes wrong then I’m not liable and it’s not my responsibility to fix it. This license has also been added to Pseudonym. I haven’t got around to updating all of my repos with licenses, as I’m evaluating each one in turn, based on my goals and even whether the project is going to archived.

ChooseALicense.com

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Ten

Chris McLeod —  Sep 17 2013 — Leave a comment

Today is my son’s tenth birthday. How time flies! It’s a little scary to think that 10 years ago I was nervously pacing the corridors of Aberdeen Royal Infirmary, mind completely blown at the thought of being a dad.

It feels like yesterday, and yet like a lifetime ago.

DSCF0064

Pseudonym for Jekyll

Chris McLeod —  Sep 15 2013 — 1 Comment

Earlier this summer I started messing around with Jekyll. In the end I didn’t migrate to it, but I at least gained a little knowledge.

One way that I tried to learn more about how Jekyll works, was by creating a test site and building a theme. That theme sat locked away in a private Github repository. Until now.

I’ve just opened up the source for Pseudonym, the name I gave to the project. It’s really very basic, but I hope at least somebody gets some use out of it.

You can find the demo site at http://dev.pseudonym.xxx/ (yes, I own a .XXX domain), and source can be found in the Github repository, here.

dev.pseudonym.xxx

A few notes and attributions (some copied from the readme)

  • I was also experimenting with Grunt.js. There’s a rudimentary gruntfile included, but the setup is incomplete. It was designed to build, concat and minify LESS files into CSS, various JavaScript files, and generate multiple sizes of the header images.
  • The theme is slightly responsive, but more work needs to be done here. Only tested on/targeted at desktop, iPad Mini, and my Nexus 4.
  • Header images are from Unsplash
  • Icons are by Font Awesome
  • I was messing around about with some newer CSS properties – the theme uses CSS columns in many places. While I’ve made it as cross-browser as I could in the time I spent on it, IE doesn’t look as pretty.
  • I’ve used Zepto, with a fallback to jQuery for IE.

For someone who’s primarily a developer/support person, I spend a lot of time setting up and configuring – or fixing – servers. I guess this came from an eagerness to learn and I got tarred with the “Linux/Server” Guy brushes at some point!

My interest in Operations has had an uptick again recently, so I’ve been doing a bit of reading of late. This morning, while waiting on news about some work-related activities I’ve come across a couple of interesting articles:

My First 5 Minutes On A Server; Or, Essential Security for Linux Servers by Brian Kennedy is a fantastic little quick-start for securing a Linux server. It’s not everything you need to do, but as noted in the article, it sets the foundations for a secure server which is easy to keep secure. Do these steps first, then go about securing any additional services you need to run.

One thing I’ve been wondering about, is setting up my own email system, rather than run on Google Apps. As convenient as the Google platform is, I do sometimes think I’m trusting them with a bit too much of my information. Recent revelations about the NSA/GCHQ, PRISM, and whatever-comes-next, from Edward Snowden haven’t done much to allay those worries.

But Google Apps is convenient. It wraps my mail, calander, contacts, and many other things into a nice package that is available everywhere and syncs across platform, with Push notifications, search, and other modern conveniences… but never the less, I’ve been thinking about how I could move away from the “Do-No-Evil” Empire, which is why Drew Crawford’s excellent, in-depth article “NSA-proof your e-mail in 2 hours” was a great find. I might spin up an instance on my dormant Joyent account and give it a try on one of my spare domains, so I can evaluate the process and benefits before deciding on moving my primary mail domain.

Other topics which have crossed my path this weekend are system configuration, maintenance, and automation using tools such as Chef and Puppet. The idea of taking a known-good environment and replicating it with just a few commands is definitely appealing – particularly when it comes to tasks such as setting up development/test environments! I haven’t gone too far into these topics yet, but I’m hoping to find the time in the next few weeks to go through some of the articles I’ve found.

That cool little “Coder for Raspberry Pi” project from Google which I linked to earlier doesn’t just run on Raspberry Pi. You can run it on any old Linux PC (Mac works too, but the instructions are slightly different).

I set it up in less than 2 minutes using these commands (note that I’m running Debian Sid):

    sudo useradd -M pi
    sudo apt-get install redis-server
    cd ~/projects
    git clone https://github.com/googlecreativelab/coder.git
    cd coder/coder-base
    npm install
    npm start

Node.js is also a requirement, so if you don’t have that, you’ll need to install that at step 2 as well.

Once everything is up and running, point your browser at https://localhost:8081/. You’ll need to specify a password the first time you run Coder, after which you’ll be able to try the environment out. It’s pretty neat, and the sample clone of Asteroids is quite addictive!

This sounds like it could be pretty cool. I’m going to take a look at it over the weekend, as it might be a good way to get my son into coding for the web.

3 Fallacies About Working From Home

This is just a bunch of stuff I’ve wanted to link to over the last few days, but didn’t get around to doing individual link posts for:

Force Requisition Screenshot

Just a small Public Service Announcement for this morning: last night Games Workshop released an updated version of Codex: Space Marines that included the missing audio and Force Requisition feature, the recent FAQ/Errata, plus some additional content by way of an apology.

First impressions of Force Requisition are that it’ll be handy, but it’s not yet complete, and it’s a little fiddly in places. The data for the Elites and Fast Attack slots is missing (it states this before launching), and the “View Collection” button doesn’t do anything. So not exactly ideal! I can only hope this gets addressed ASAP, and that the partial upload is only to get something released quickly while further problems are being fixed.

On Dating

Chris McLeod —  Sep 10 2013 — 1 Comment

Alternative titles considered: “My Love Life (or Lack Thereof),” or the Blink-182 inspired “Story of a Lonely Guy”

Perhaps this is a silly/odd topic to be writing on what would have been my 8th wedding anniversary, but it’s on my mind, so why not? Sorry, this might come across a bit “woe is me.” It’s not really meant to be.

Anyone who has met me would probably be able to guess that something like dating doesn’t come naturally to me. At all. But given my circumstances, I recognise it’s something I’m going to have to get back into eventually… and the thought is a bit scary.

That’s not to say I haven’t dated since my separation. I have, but it’s not really been all too successful. In the last 2 years I think I’ve been on a small handful of dates, and the one meaningful relationship I’ve had in that time didn’t even come from any of them!

But it is something I’m going to have work on, so what are my options?

Online Dating

I’m not sure what it is, but online dating seems to inspire a particular type of self-loathing.I can’t quite put my finger on whether it’s the “window-shopping” aspect of it, the mechanics of how most sites work, the fairly small cross-section of local + interesting + looking for someone that sounds-vaguely-like-you, or something else. Then there’s the stress/anxiety of moving from chatting online to actually meeting in person…

I’ve tried online dating a couple of times. Each time it’s ended with me deleting my profiles. The most recent attempt was only a month or so ago, thinking it would help me get over the break-up with Sarah. It didn’t. First, I had one date which was a disaster. That nearly put me off completely. Then I actually got to the point of having two arranged dates before I had a freak-out and wiped myself completely from all the sites I had joined and skipped the meet-ups.

Yes, I’m quite aware I have “issues,” thank you.

Bar-Hopping

This is actually where I had been most successful, immediately after the separation. It’s how I met Sarah, in fact. Back then I had no problem heading out for some drinks on a Friday or Saturday night by myself. For some reason I don’t seem to have that now. It might’ve been because I’m sure when I looked around in the last place I was out to, I was a good 10-12 years older than most of the other patrons.

Why by myself? Well the number of friends I have available to go out on any given weekend (especially without weeks of advance notice) is scarily close to zero. Sucks to be the single guy in his 30′s when everyone around you is settled down!

That would just leave work social occasions, but less face it, we’re all a little bit more reserved at an event related to work. Speaking of work…

Work/Colleagues

No. Just no. I’ve never seen any good come of it. No.