I've studied web development for about ten years. In that time, I've really not built things as well as I'd have preferred. I've tried to continue learning and trying new things. But maybe I didn't try enough new things, and held onto older things simply because "Hey, I built that." Sporkblog is a part of that, despite it being the only project I've really stuck with. I've been questioning whether I should continue work on Sporkblog or if I should move onto something that can teach me more.
Since 2009, I'd been slowly having a little bit of trouble seeing things at a distance. It was usually smaller text or details that most people never paid much attention to. Then it started progressing, and by last year I noticed it was harder to read road signs. That was a sign that it was time to get glasses.
Vim is a wonderfully extensible text editor. I use it to work with all sorts of
text. While I was browsing /r/vim, I saw a thread
asking for a way to prevent
:number from counting blank lines. I
checked it out to see if there were any cool answers. None of what I saw were
adequate. For instance,
:%s/\S\+//n makes every match highlight, clobbering
the last text that was searched for. I figured it was time for me to learn a
little more about Vimscript, and so I wrote a function that will tell you how
many actual lines of code are in your file:
Ever since I started earning money regularly, I looked for ways to better manage money. I did most of my money-managing on temporary index cards, maintaining my balance and discarding it when I stopped caring. As time went on, I wanted a better perspective on my finances and began accruing a little debt, which no doubt needs to be managed well. I turned to LibreOffice (OpenOffice at the time) to manage a spreadsheet for my day-to-day spending and my debts. It took a little work to come up with a so-so spreadsheet, but my skills in spreadsheeting match my skills in finance: so-so. While it helped me maintain the information I cared about, it felt lacking, and the reporting tools didn't seem very helpful or easy to work with. I kept at it, though, because it was easy and did what I expected it to.
While browsing Reddit recently, I found a comment that linked to the suckless project, which champions simple, elegant solutions to various computing tasks. I checked out their list of "other software that sucks less" and found out about Ledger, a double-entry accounting program available for Windows, OS X, GNU/Linux, and the BSDs. It's a command-line program that takes an input file consisting of your transaction details and outputs the data that you really care about: things like the balance of your accounts, the total you've spent on certain things, current debts, and even the worth or amount of stock you've invested in.
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