Avoiding git PTSD

In an attempt to prevent additional git (or maybe just git-svn?) induced PTSD, Asheesh kindly created a git phrasebook. If you, too, are a Subversion deserter and want to figure out how the whole branching thing works in git, this may be useful to you.

Someday I’ll write up my thoughts on distributed version control and “convention versus configuration”, which seem to overlap in this deployment. But not today.

date:2008-06-13 14:56:25
category:cc, development
tags:cc, git, ptsd

Getting Things Zero’d

I really love task lists — especially the crossing off part — but lately they haven’t really been helping me out. Between the day job, consulting work, dating, and a more active social life than I had in Indiana, it seems like I never quite get to the crossing off part. This has become particularly clear at work where I use two simple labels for email: action and reply. I’m a little ashamed to admit that the action queue currently has 196 items in it, the oldest dating to August of last year. My CC inbox has 404 messages in it right now, of which 182 are starred. Starring is supposed to indicate something that needs my attention. Somehow this doesn’t seem productive. Mike, if you’re reading this, I’m sorry. Believe me, I’m sorry.

So I’m trying something a little different. This evening I watched the Google Tech Talk by Merlin Mann on Inbox Zero. While the second half played I managed to clear out my yergler.net inbox.

Tomorrow I’m planning to create an email DMZ and begin at zero with my work inbox. Just keeping the flow of information to a reasonable level is just the first step, though.

I’ve had a Remember the Milk (RTM) account for quite a while but never got in the habit of using it. After watching an introduction to Tasque, I decided to look again. Tasque is a simple task list application for Gnome, in the same vein as Tomboy for notes. I love Tomboy. I think I’ll love Tasque, too.

I don’t know if the RTM elves have been hacking away at the site since I last looked or if I just never really dug in, but it actually seems to have the features I want in a task list. And there’s even a handy blog post on how you can use RTM to GTD (get things done).

Finally, the piece that ties both sides together: their Firefox extension. My workflow this evening looked like this:

  1. Go to the next email
  2. Decide that had some action associated with it
  3. Add the action label to it, which also created it as a task to RTM
  4. Later, when skimming through the action list I saw one I could knock out in a few minutes. And when I finished and removed the action label, the task in RTM was marked as complete. Sweet.
date:2008-06-11 23:18:16
category:cc, General
tags:cc, gtd, inbox zero, rtm

OpenWeb 2008 Vancouver

I’m in Canada (O! Canada!) for the OpenWeb Vancouver 2008 conference today and tomorrow. I’ll be speaking tomorrow morning on Creative Commons licenses and the Semantic Web — specifically about how things like ccREL and RDFa allow us to build a real life, scalable, extensible Semantic Web deployment without really thinking about it (“It’s SemWeb! And I helped!”)

OpenWeb Vancouver is a community run conference, much like PyCon. And much like PyCon it looks like it has a really great value proposition (unfortunately much like PyCon it also seems to have crappy wifi… sigh).

I’ll post slides soon (read: when I actually write them).

date:2008-04-14 10:26:34
category:cc, conf
tags:cc, ccrel, conference, vancouver

Technology Internships at Creative Commons

If you don’t read the Creative Commons blog, you missed the announcement that the deadline for applying to be a CC intern this summer has been extended until March 21 (a week from Friday). On the tech side we’re looking for computer science/software engineering students who want to help us build tools to support the CC license ecology. Questions? I’m happy to answer them.

date:2008-03-11 14:05:43
tags:cc, intern, summer

Open Source is my day job

On Monday I gave a talk at the University of Michigan School of Information on what it’s like to run an open source project and things to think about it you’re going to do it as part of a business. They sort of got the shaft — Jon Phillips is CC’s resident expert on community building and open source management. But Jon doesn’t like “in the middle”. So they got me.

I thought the talk went well. For once even though I talked too fast I had enough content to fill the time. Usually I talk too fast and run way under. And it felt like I had a good idea what the “story” was I was trying to tell, so that made it easier to put everything together. Putting the talk together reminded me that I’ve been really insanely lucky; for the past six years of my life, I’ve been at jobs where I’m paid to either consume or develop (or both) open source software. That beats the hell out of MCSE bullshit[1]_.

Slides, links, etc available here.

[1]In my humble opinion, of course.
date:2007-03-22 16:30:28
category:cc, michigan, open source, talks