a rickety bridge of impossible crossing

developing story

There's always a bit of a refractory period after I write something polished that I'm proud of, like a short story or an actual thesis-argument-conclusion style essay (you know, the kind that nerds write) where I don't really have any new creative thoughts because I can't stop thinking about the thing I just wrote. I read and re-read it obsessively, looking for any tiny imperfection, anything I think could be worded better. No matter how good I may have thought it was it some point, I inevitably end up thinking it's garbage, that anyone who says something nice about it was just being polite, that I should un-publish it and consider it a first draft, and tell myself when I re-write it I'm going to really buckle down and do it right next time. Make sure people really get what I'm trying to say. I know it's possible to make a version of it that's actually good, that will truly, finally be a proper representation of the version of the piece that was in my head.

This phenomenon is commonly known as "being a writer", and that way lies disaster. If you've seen the movie Pi, you know the logical conclusion of this line of thinking: a weird movie about Noah's Ark starring Russell Crowe, and nobody wants that.

That's why it's more important than ever to stick to my daily update schedule, to force myself to think/write about something else, no matter how trivial, just to get my brain thinking and writing about something else. Sure, writing about writing is a cop-out, but there's nothing wrong with that. I'd argue that sometimes we need cop-outs, because the alternatives are: (1) Try to write something good every single day, which will lead to madness, or (2) Take a break from writing, which will lead to taking a longer break from writing, which will lead to forgetting why I ever liked writing in the first place. "Wow," I'd think, "not writing is so much easier than writing. I don't have to write at all! This rules!" I'd probably remember again someday, but I'd rather not even let my brain go down that path.

raccoonio is missing!

The favicon! The raccoon emoji, the whole reason I adopted the raccoon as my animal persona to begin with, the driving force behind me (maybe) becoming (sort of) a furry, is gone! It's just the default bear blog face, which is cute, but makes the site a little less personal. Could this be a sign? Is the raccoon not my familiar after all? Am I having a crisis of identity?

Nah, it's just a bug. I looked at some of the recent changes on github, and I see that the developer fixed a bug where the favicon of the main bearblog site (the superdomain?) wasn't lining up properly, but in the process somehow broke the emoji favicon for everyone else. I can still choose an emoji in the settings, it's just not showing up. I don't know if this is the sort of thing anyone but me would notice.

git etiquette (gitiquette)

Because nobody but me would notice it, I feel weird about opening an issue on github. I know it's a bug, I know it's something the developer would want to fix if he knew about it, but something about it feels entitled, like "excuse me, you broke my toy, wtf are you doing." The new issue is, at least for awhile, right at the top of the issue page, implying that it's the most important. It feels like I'm making work for someone, for a completely trivial reason. I can live without the favimoji. Why make a big deal about it?

I'm sure if I poked at the code I could figure out what went wrong, fix it, and do a pull request; but I would need to set up a whole python development environment to test it, to make sure I really fixed it and didn't accidentally break anything else. Someday I'd like to do this, to be a better and more helpful contributor, but it's not feasible at the moment. The one pull request I made opened a can of worms, and caused trouble, and that was just changing an HTML tag in the template, so I would need to be extremely certain my fix was correct before I'd think about suggesting it. That still kinda feels like making work for someone, but at least I'd've done the hard part already, and he would just need to review and approve it. As soon as I have a working computer, I'll probably start figuring this stuff out and become an actual badge-wearing contributor.1 For now, we'll have to deal with only seeing one raccoon emoji per page instead of two. (unless the developer happens to be reading this, in which case, hi Herman! Thanks for reading my blog! The atom feed is also broken, if you have time to take a look at it. Please and thank you)

But yeah, I wish when you made an issue there was a box for like "how important is this on a scale from 1-10", and the UI sorted issues by importance rather than time. I'd rate this one like, a 2. It would generate a notification, and have a little "unread" icon to let you know it's new, but it wouldn't be so in-your-face about it. The project leaders could re-label it with a more appropriate number if they feel differently about how important it is. There could be a button to sort by time, because you're going to want to see the issues chronologically at some point, but it wouldn't be the default. I dunno, I ain't no project manager, but that's how I'd do it. Well, I am a project manager, but only for a team of 1, so it's a lot easier to reach a consensus 🦝

  1. Interestingly, my name does still have the contributor tag next to it, even though my pull request was ultimately reverted. I hope eventually I can live up to it.