Thursday, April 10, 2014

Migration Complete: Welcome to!

The migration is now complete. Currently, I have:

* Atom feed support
* Hosted on https:// (with heartbleed patched)
* Sources hosted on github
* Main blog over at
* All content from here ported over
* All posts tagged appropriately

I've documented the process as my first new post at the new location: Learning Hakyll and Setting Up

At this point, the one feature I'd like to add to my static blog soon is the ability to have a Haskell-only feed. I'll be working on that over the coming week.

Thanks again for reading, and I hope you'll enjoy visiting the new site!

Monday, March 31, 2014

Migrating to Static, Self-Hosted Blog

Hello, readers.

Soon, I'll be moving away from the Blogger platform to a statically hosted blog. I've been playing with hakyll for some time now, and am pleased with it's support for syntax highlighting, markup formats, RSS/Atom generation, and packaged Warp.

It'll be great to develop my blog with emacs, leveraging git for backup and rsync for deployment.


* Less latency
* A home-grown design
* More code samples, with pretty highlighting

With possibly:

* More frequent posts

Stay tuned. I'll be releasing the new blog by the end of the week!

Thursday, January 30, 2014

My OSCON 2014 Proposal: The Case for Haskell

I just finished submitting my proposal for OSCON 2014. After two days of brainstorming, I feel pretty good about what I've come up with. This talk:

  1. Is about something I'm passionate about
  2. Is a talk I would give even if I wasn't accepted
  3. Requires me to learn even more thoroughly what I'm proposing to speak on
It's an opportunity to learn!

For those of you that would like to submit a proposal in the future, I have two thoughts to share with you.

First - DO IT! If you have something you'd love to share, get it out there. You are Allowed to Apply.

Secondly, if you need a simple video recording solution (I was on Linux, I used my laptop web cam, and I lacked a proper camera), I'm recommending the YouTube Recording interface. Given the capabilities of HTML5, I wasn't entirely surprised that such a thing existed. However, I was pleased with the outcome. It certainly worked for me, and worked better than either Cheese of Guvcview.

More on the process:

I must've re-re-recorded myself at least 10 times in trying to express my abstract. It took practice. It was scary the first time around. I stumbled on words. I ran out of breath. I forgot where I was. It got easier as I got into the cycle of editing my script, tweaking, optimizing, and simplifying. It was very similar to developing, testing, and refactoring. There is Zen in all of this.

 So that was it. Lots and lots of practice. Now, the long wait.

Oh, and by the way - sharing is caring: here's the link to watch my video proposal: The Case for Haskell

Let me know what you think. As suggested by (2) above, I intend to give this talk whether or not I'm accepted to speak at OSCON, so let me know if there's something that you'd love to hear about!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

OSCON 2014 Aspirations: The Case for Haskell

Update (Feb. 01, 2014, 00:18am EST): I uploaded by proposal to OSCON two days ago, then blogged about it. You can see the result here: OSCON 2014 Proposal

It's been an exciting year, and it's only just started.

Inspired by movements like Allowed to Apply and following all kinds of amazing people on Twitter, I'm going to submit an OSCON proposal this year.

I decided this about a day and a half ago, a bit close to the proposal submission deadline. I've had to move fast as a result.

Yesterday, I brainstormed on what I want to speak on. Haskell. Definitely Haskell. It's what I've poured a good portion of my free time in to over the past few months. Sadly, I've yet to even say hello on #haskell, but it's been great listening in to discussions on there!

So, more on that brainstorming -

The title: "The Case for Haskell"
The track: Emerging Languages
The goals:

1, Instill excitement in Haskell
2. Show where Haskell can help you (a list of 10)
3. Share 5 places where Haskell is changing the way we think

There's a lot of pieces left to fill in there still.

Today, I put together a short summary of talks that emphasized how language features helped people solve problems that were presented at OSCON 2013. I'm sharing this guide with you today in the hope that it helps you build a great submission to OSCON 2014.

You can find the guide here: OSCON 2013: What People Were Saying About Languages

Happy reading!

Monday, January 13, 2014

Removed the Advertising

Dear readers,

I've removed the O'Reilly widget from the right hand side of the page. My reason for doing so is that I don't want to bombard you with advertising every time you visit my blog. I want you to feel safe to come here to gather whatever information I make available.

The influence of advertising is subtle. It works even better when it takes a background role in your subconscious. I deliberately choose not to watch cable television in large part because of this effect. I don't want to be craving a taco salad or a chicken sandwich late in the evening and not know where that craving came from! I want it to be my choice (as much as possible) if I want such things.

So read on, and soak in what you like (or don't like). I'll keep writing, and this place will be ad-free. If for whatever reason, this blogging platform begins to introduce advertisements, then I'll host this blog myself.

Of course, I'll continue to review books, both by the grace of blogger review programs and by my own love of books. Ah, on that note - expect a review of Real World Haskell soon. I just finished the book up for the second time, and now feel ready to write about it.


Saturday, January 11, 2014

On Being Me

Hello world,

I'm writing about me today. It's a topic I don't often write about, because it's scary. That's the main reason why I'm writing about me - because I don't want it to be scary. I want to be me, wherever I go, whatever I am doing, and whoever I am with.

First, a story.

For over 10 years of my life, I've confined myself to two or three interests. This limitation felt safe. I felt confident in these areas, and that confidence helped shield me from the fear of being open.

Computer science

Video games

So really, two. I could go on and on about the right programming languages and methodologies to use, comparing alternatives. I loved speaking about and learning about new data structures, their various asymptotics, and where they were appropriate to use. I collected bits and pieces of information about advanced research in innumerable areas of computer science, because it helped protect me from feeling like I wasn't good enough. Maybe this is that impostor syndrome I've read about. It was a constant battle against fear of inadequacy.

And video games. They were a retreat. A place I could go and level up, and improve, and play, without the fear of being seen as less. I could talk about them, too, and compare them, and celebrate the little victories. Still, I couldn't use video games to play with others. It was scary to think that I might invite someone into a place of retreat.

So that was the me that I let myself be for years. I defined myself so strictly that when I finally started looking at who I was, I wasn't even really sure. I often said programmer. I sometimes said gamer. I've used student, as well. I was okay as long as I didn't have to step outside of those boxes.

Then, over the past few years, I've painfully realized that I wanted to be more. This is in no small part due to the patience, diligence, and understanding of my wife, Jessica Cabrera.

So here I am today, trying to figure out what it means to be me. How do I do it? By breaking out of the boxes I've made for myself, I think. By that, I mean, being open and honest wherever I can be. Here, too, in this blog that I started originally because the idea of being able to read books in exchange for reviews sounded awesome. Reader review programs - I'm still pretty fond of them.

All of my blogging efforts in the past have failed, and I think part of the cause was that I tried to narrow myself too much. I wrote only from the filter of my boxes, only one of which I felt safe speaking about in the open.

So here I am, encouraged by the discussions I see being held in the open. Questions of gender, of shaming, blaming, of connectivity, of sexuality, positivity, of empowerment, of the woes of meritocracies, of the individual, of collaboration and education, faltering political systems, and of living the life that only I can live. I want to participate in these discussions, because I don't want to stand by and silently allow for things to continue as they are.

So here I am. This is me, and some of the many things I care about. Nice to meet you, and I'll be writing again in the future.

Hello, world.