Back With a Bang!

Oh, yes! I am, definitely, back – with a bang! Before, an interpretion is made on the word, you ought to know about !#: Shebang.

First, let me talk about Writing – a habit that I have cultivated over time, and a strong case can be made for the fact that it is one of the rarest recreational stuff that I do and preach to my friends. It can be really helpful, and at the same time, can take you to an n-dimensional hyperspace, where you can imagine nearly anything you want to believe or create. Not only that, for me, writing is a process to jot down those pesky little thoughts (hundreds of them) that roam inside my mind like ants near a sugar cube. I, usually, keep a personal diary where I am able to write these things down, but then, I am craving for some social interaction (online, to be precise) and maintaining a steady blog can really help with that.

Anyways, I write here. And, I write rarely as per the reasons stated above. But, I am thinking to make a switch – give it a try. I won’t be writing anything personal, but atleast, I will be trying to make a steady attempt at posting once per day – on coding, particularly.

Coming back to the bang, anyone who knows will agree that I live in code. Shebang is probably the first thing that crosses my mind when I wake up, and definitely, the last when I sleep. But, these days, I am leaning towarding combining the two. That can either be done via Literate Programming (when coding), or otherwise, writing about code (when writing).

In order to accomplish the above goals, I have setup a new blog at the current address – with only a few posts from the past. I am using Octopress, and yes, I chose it over WordPress, again.

Reasons for switching are really simple:

  • Comfort of using Vim or Emacs to write my posts. In particular, Emacs’ Org mode is a godsend for writing your thoughts. I have been using it since last 2 months or so, and I am pretty confident with it, now.
  • Posts are versioned and securely stored inside a Github repository.
  • Site is served via Github pages, which in turn means, safer hosting. I am always experimenting with my hosting server, and often time, I am able to blow it up. Hosting my site on Github ensures that it is free from such manipulations and always served nicely.
  • It, just, feels more appropriate. :)

So, I used the GreyShade theme from Shashank Mehta, a fellow IIT guy (yeah, I have served my time at IIT Delhi, too :P) and, gave it a simple spin to roll out with the current version. I must say, he has done a really good work with the Octopress theme and definitely, deserves a kudos!

Now, the site is all up and running and I, quickly, want to jot down a few tasks that I am committed for this month:

  • Migrate old posts from various sources to the current blog.
  • Redirect old blog’s links to the current blog.
  • Improve upon the current website design.
    • The header hover should occur when hovering over the picture and not when hovering over the header, itself. This is a bit difficult in pure CSS3, since that defies the cascading rule of CSS, and instead, tries to modify the parent from the child.
  • Write a post daily on the current website, preferably, about coding in ruby.
  • Setup org mode in Emacs, so that I can write my blog posts using it.
  • Create a few basic public APIs:
    • an API that lists words matching a given pattern.
    • a WhoIs API that also, lists available domains matching a given pattern.
  • Create a few basic applications using RoR:
    • a domain searching application, somewhat like domai.nr
    • an application that makes it easy to run scripts on servers (have detailed specifications listed in a separate personal diary)
- by Nikhil Gupta

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