Return – Random Mutterings

Events and Talks | General

Once upon a time I did a series of posts that then became a newsletter called random mutterings. The idea was thoughts, views that would never make a full post would make it into the wild along with some other links and bits.

I miss random mutterings so am bringing it back, in post format. But also borrowing heavily from the week posts idea of Andy & Ross (though Random Mutterings won’t be weekly, think monthly). As an aside, Ross has an awesome new look to his site and it’s blazingly fast you should check it out.

What have I been up to?

Shells and Productivity

In part inspired by my good friend and colleague Keith Hyde talk on productivity within the MacOS/Terminal I have been spending some time making tweaks to my shell and working on workflows and snippets in Alfred.

For my shell, I have changed my theme to spaceport with some customised colours, delved into the world of nerd fonts which bring ligatures and symbols to the shell. Cursed that I didn’t know such fonts existed two weeks earlier when trying to build a presentation that needed some of these icons and resorted to some horrible hackery.

I also took the time to clean up my PATH and converting all entries to use an array, making it far easier to maintain then previously.

Rust & Typscript

This year I told myself would be the year I learn Javascript deeply and immediately abandoned that idea and started concentrating on working with Typescript instead.

Two months in and I’m loving it, well loving it might be a tad too much, I’m coping with it. I’m also now at the stage where I can look at a Javascript example and almost straight away rewrite it into Typescript in my head. It will fail, but its progress. My next goal is to start looking at frameworks, I really want to try SvelteJS, unfortunately, it’s lack of Typescript support is a bit problematic but I really like the approach it’s taking. This is one of the downsides to choosing to concentrate on Typescript first, the dipping back to pure JS for some projects continues to cause me headaches and I totally understand I’m doing everything backwards.

My adventures with Rust continue, having rewritten a password checker that was slow and clunky to use Rust the speed improvements were insane, like the two can’t be plotted on the same graph. Admittedly this is one of those times I should have used the correct tool for the job but hey I’m pleased with the results. It should hopefully be rolling out at work soon and expect maybe a blog post on the work blog. My next project with Rust is going to make me cry and that’s building a new object caching system which includes building a PHP extension that uses Rust. While I can only imagine the pain I think the long term benefits should easily make up for it and what could go wrong?

You ok App

Thank you to everyone who read, shared my post on my own struggles with Mental Health that I published recently you all rock. That was a bit of a hard week. What it did do was push me to put some more polish on to my very simple app to track my own mood. I mentioned the concept briefly during my talk at WPLeeds but the idea is you not only ask yourself how you’re doing, but the app also asks someone else, how they think your doing. The idea is to alert the more optimistic person that it’s worth checking in with the other.

It currently uses influxdb at the backend with a really bad front end, my goal is to well make it at least not hard coded and then release the code for others to use.

Site design/changes

I’m slowly rebuilding the theme for this site, just to make it a little bit more well, nice to look at. I’m also finishing of some niggles like having embeds where I would prefer, thumbnails and links. I’m also adding some Gutenberg support as at the moment all that CSS is removed. So expect to see incremental changes appearing over the next few weeks. I don’t expect a big bang, just tweaks as I’m happy with them.

What have I been reading

I have a fair amount of back log in Pocket but here are a few interesting articles and sources from the last months reading.


Machine Learning



Quick shout out to Morning Cup of Coding email, which has been putting awesome articles in my inbox most days.

Where am I going to be?

So this month is pretty quiet I’m going to be at:

  • PHPNWTalking Security Headers on the 5th March
  • WordPress SuffolkBuilding fortresses and tearing them down on 14th March
  • WordUp BrightonCome to the darkside, we have cookies on 25th March

If you can get along to any of those talks, do come and say Hi! Looking forward to April I will be talking at Digital People in Peterborough and will be at WordCamp London.

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