jewelfox: A portrait of a female anthropomorphic fox, with a pink jewelled pendant and a cute overbite. (Default)

Microsoft is doing a promotion where you get paid $100 for every Windows Store (or Windows Phone) app you write, for the next couple of months. I don't have nearly as much resistance to the idea as I thought I would. In fact, I'm loving this 30-day app challenge I'm on, and seeing official blogs and developer resources by women. Is this what it's like outside the Free Software world, where more than like 1 percent of people are female-identified?

Anyway, I know a lot of people hate it but I also love Windows 8 so far. It's more elegant than anything else that we've worked with so far, including OS X. Plus, we can write Javascript apps for it, which is good since that's what we know. I don't like said apps being tied to the Windows Store as the only channel of distribution, but I'm almost cheering for Microsoft as the underdog here since there are a lot of reasons I dislike Apple and Google's corporate practices. And MS has come a long way since the antitrust trial.

Plus, being able to play my games inside an inoffensive (to my senses), aesthetically pleasing OS, with elegant developer tools and a significant Free Software component (Firefox) has been ... very nice.

Speaking of Firefox, they're giving out Firefox OS phones to people who say they'll write apps for them. I told Mozilla I basically wrote GNOME's Javascript docs, and want to write a Dreamwidth client. Here's hoping that I get accepted?

Also, issues

Content note for abuse, discussion of incest and rape, trans issues, and internalized transphobia. Please please please do not read this if you are trans and are struggling for self- or outside acceptance.

Read more... )

jewelfox: A portrait of a female anthropomorphic fox, with a pink jewelled pendant and a cute overbite. (Default)
  • Markdown support, because I'm falling in love with it thanks to Simplenote. (Fortunately, it got it earlier!)
  • Google Reader style reading page, with an unread count and read entries marked differently than unread ones. Also, ease of adding external feeds to it, preferably with one click on a bookmarklet or extension.
  • Clean, modern UI. LiveJournal superficially looks much nicer right now. With a little organization and modernization, Dreamwidth could keep the same features but be much more accessible to newbies.
  • Daring Fireball style "essay" posts, which are set apart somehow from others because you want to call attention to them and let your friends know "hey I'd appreciate it if you read this." (DF uses a unicode star at the start of essay titles.)
  • Tumblr style microposts, for pictures or videos or anything else, even if they have to be hosted elsewhere. Basically I want it to be easier to post stuff that isn't a long-form essay. Right now I have noplace for this, because I don't like Twitter and don't want to get sucked into Tumblr or get trolled there.
  • One-click "add to memories," with maybe a Javascript popup asking if you want to give it tags or anything.
  • Memories page done in journal style.
  • Profile page done in journal style.
  • Apps for Android, Ubuntu, and Firefox.
  • Sharks with freaking laser beams.

I put this together because we spent awhile tonight brainstorming where, exactly, we should post little things that we want to share with our friends. Right now we use Skype for that, but what we'd really like is a Daring Fireball style linkblog. Unfortunately, that'd involve WordPress, which we've wasted hours and hours and hours on -- all while happily blogging away on Dreamwidth.

So as long as Dreamwidth's our home, we might as well do some renovation maybes. Once we've got our den set up and have done some test programming with JavaScript and Firefox OS.

Also, stories. Especially interactive ones.

jewelfox: A portrait of a female anthropomorphic fox, with a pink jewelled pendant and a cute overbite. (Default)
I feel like nothing I did for them last year amounts to anything. Except for "The JavaScript beginner pages were lacking eight tutorials that are available in Python and Vala," and one person's comments on their blog (which I can't find right now) about how strange I was and how I discussed inappropriate things at Open Help.

I feel like all I did was get them to subsidize my lifestyle and my depression, and give me a stage from which to preach controversy and argue with real GNOME users and contributors. I can't believe they spent so much to ship me to another state so I could have a depressive episode and embarrass them all in public, and let me say the embarrassing things that I did on their aggregator.

I shouldn't have applied to their program, I shouldn't have promised to do anything afterwards, I shouldn't have continued to blog there when I was doing nothing for them, and I shouldn't have tried to do something so out of my league. I'm a terrible fox, and it was wrong of me to pretend to be anything else.

I deleted the tag, and filed a bug report to be removed. I should delete all the entries I posted. I'll get around to that later.

I'm sorry. I don't know how to deal with depression, and I shouldn't have made myself out to be someone they ought to bring along when I'm dealing with it. I'm also completely inept socially and very easily scarred, and shouldn't have gone to their in-person event to begin with.
jewelfox: A portrait of a female anthropomorphic fox, with a pink jewelled pendant and a cute overbite. (Default)
So, today WordPress crapped out on me.

I'd just finished an article I was writing (I use my self-hosted WordPress install like a word processor), then I clicked on "New Post" and all of a sudden got a "500 Internal server error." Trying to fix the problem turned out to be an exercise in futility, because my web hosting (they of the spotty connection and two other randomly broken websites) didn't like the password Firefox remembered for their CPanel or customer support area, and didn't remember any accounts registered to my main email addresses.

I sent them a call for help in a panic, and then started to think "What if I just used other websites, like normal people?" I say that because for the past three years or so, WordPress has been an often-frustrating "hobby" for me, which hasn't really gone anywhere.

Read more... )

Sorry to ramble, and stuff. I just ... yeah. I'm scared right now and I'm trying to figure out how to not have to go through this again.

I just want things to be simple.

I guess I'm not getting that second article written tonight.
jewelfox: A portrait of a female anthropomorphic fox, with a pink jewelled pendant and a cute overbite. (Default)

Make GNOME's JavaScript developer docs so awesome, a Girl Scout with basic knowledge of the most popular scripting language on the web can learn how to write her own applications with them.


First off, to give it some context I wrote a short intro on our beginner page, explaining what JavaScript is and how to get started with it.

Second, so far I've been working on code samples, each one documenting a specific Gtk widget. You can see a list of the ones that I and the other interns and mentors have done so far on our wiki page, although it doesn't include a few that I've submitted but that haven't been approved yet. Fellow intern Marta Maria Casetti is way ahead of me with the Python documentation ... I'm trying to keep up! Tiffany Antopolski, my mentor, has helped a lot, including by writing a few of the code samples so I'd have a starting point.

One thing Marta and I have been trying to do is make the code samples more interesting. Here's an example of a code sample I got a little creative with! Not only does it give an intro to the Creative Commons, it goes beyond a basic "switch" example by showing how you can use multiple switches together. I've found that by figuring things like this out, and how to lay out windows to accomodate them, I've been learning a lot about application development.

Challenges -- Short term

First off, the current JavaScript documentation ranges from "barely adequate" to "nonexistent," as I lamented in earlier posts. As near as I can tell, most of the knowhow that goes into things like GNOME Shell and GNOME Documents' JavaScript code is passed on by word of mouth, and/or by accomplished C hackers looking at Gjs' code. Several times in the last week I was completely stumped and had to ask for help on IRC, all on the same code sample.

Second, while JavaScript seems to be basically a first-class "native" language on GNOME, it seems to be somewhere between C and Vala in terms of how complicated and verbose it is for writing GNOME applications. I'm not entirely sure what the pros and cons are for using it versus Vala and Python, aside from Python having a bigger memory footprint and JavaScript being more universally familiar (as well as being more useful for extending GNOME Shell).

Third, I'm concerned about how much of it will have to be rewritten if and when Anjuta and Glade catch up to modern Gtk widgets, like the ApplicationWindow. Because it seems like they've lagged behind for ages, and yet at the same time I'm told they're supposed to be the preferred development environment for GNOME.

I'm given the impression that most "real" GNOME hackers use Emacs or something, and I personally suspect this to be a big part of the reason there aren't many GNOME app developers. At any rate, I'm probably going to assume that readers are using Gedit for development until and unless something changes.

Challenges -- long term

Even once the documentation's complete, I'm not sure how anyone will ever find it. Here's GNOME's developer website; what's your guess for how to get to the tutorials I wrote? Did you know that none of those "10-minute tutorial" screenshots actually take you to the corresponding tutorial if you click on them? Even once you click on JavaScript, assuming you have any reason to prefer it, you've got one option that says "Beginner tutorials" and four others that are beginner tutorials.

Where's the obvious starting point? Does our 14-year-old Girl Scout find out how to write apps, or does she walk away in frustration? In a lot of ways I think Ubuntu's developer site has the edge when it comes to "getting you started writing stuff for the platform"; ours is basically a tech demo at this point (albeit one with a cleaner and more attractive design). I'm not sure what an overhaul would look like, but if anyone wants to collaborate on this I'd love to help, mostly because I want someone to actually read what I write. I feel a strong sense of ownership for the JavaScript docs, and I want them to shine.


First off, finish the code samples, including re-writing some earlier ones to update them.

Second, start writing a series of actual tutorials you can take in order, to learn how to develop GNOME apps. They should build on each other, and be fun and engaging and not assume you know anything more than some basic JavaScript knowledge, although they can link to the code samples.

Third, develop an actual GNOME game or app of some kind, that uses libraries like Telepathy, and work its development into the tutorials (i.e. teach people how to make it).

Beyond that, it'd be great to cover internationalization and accessibility throughout the course and the samples, and to have a guide explaining how to create GNOME Shell extensions. Carlos Sorianno started an attempt at this, and I'd like to polish and add onto it (if nobody else beats me to that).

I also need to apply to the GNOME Foundation for financial assistance in order to attend OpenHelp.

About us

~ Fox | Gem | Rei ~

We tell stories, paint minis, collect identity words, and share them all with our readers. If something we write helps you, let us know.

~ She / her ~


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