iPad Updates?

I really should learn to sleep through the night. But no. Instead I wake up at 3 AM, and next thing you know, I’m thinking about something. Then a cat comes and stands on me as I lie in bed. Then I’m well awake and it’s time to put words on paper. Or, well, you know, into the computer. These are those words for today.

When I travel to teach a class, or even for other reasons, I generally bring all my gear. A MacBook Air, an iPad, a Kindle, various wires and cables. The computer gets used a bit in a Certified Scrum Developer class, but otherwise doesn’t need to be in class. I generally bring it along, to check email and Twitter and such. Walking around a conference, I generally have only the iPad, in a small bag, and leave the computer in my room.

So, for short trips, I’ve tried traveling with just the iPad and Kindle. (Yes, the iPad has Kindle software on it but the Kindle used to fit in my cargo pants pockets, so I could carry it without carrying anything in my hands. I once read that the sign of a man with real power is that he never carries anything. I’ve never had real power, but sometimes I can get by without carrying anything.)

The ronjeffries.com site is static. If you’ve been reading the articles, you know why. Briefly, it’s because I want to spend more time writing and drawing for the site than I do maintaining it. And, frankly, because I’m in a mood to program a little something, and this is it. But this morning, at 0330, I recognized a problem.

I can read my email or tweet from my iPad. Can even do it from my iPhone in a pinch. I can even write an article if need be, although typing a lot on the iPad is a chore.

But how can I put up a new article from the iPad? The software to builds the site, Jekyll, runs in Ruby, on my Air or iMac. File transfer to the site will be by FTP or SFTP or SomeDarnTP, also running on a real computer. The site’s indexes are static as well, so even if I did push an article onto the site, it wouldn’t show up in the indexes.

This bears thinking about. I can imagine some hacks to wedge the article into the home page and let the indexes fall where they may until I get home. I could make the site “mostly static”, with a bit of intelligence running that generates indexes. I’d rather not do that, but with the right software, maybe it’d be possible.

So there’s a new story card in the pack.


The question of comments on the site has come up. Some XProgramming articles allow comments: it’s certainly a “feature” of WordPress. You’re probably thinking right now that you have an idea for how i could do articles from the iPad and if I only had comments on the site you could tell me. I suppose there’s a widget that can put comments on a static site.

But no. Tweet me at RonJeffries, or email me at ronjeffries at acm dot org. That’ll be cool. Comments are unruly and a pain to manage.

OK then what about a forum?

Maybe there should be a place for people to chat about the interesting ideas on the site. Well, first of all, there are lots of forums and if I’m not on yours, invite me. And second, let’s wait to see if there are any interesting ideas here.


I think the priorities right now are

  • Look and feel: a bit fancier home page, perhaps a little like XProgramming;
  • Indexing: by time and category, with paging large indexes being the big issue;
  • Moving XProgramming articles in and merging the sites.

What do you think the priorities should be? Tell me using the comment approach described above.