Matthew Lang

Freelance web developer specialising in Ruby on Rails

Jun 18th, 2021 · 1 post


First paragraph: The Midnight Library

Trying to reboot the reading habit again.
Nineteen years before she decided to die, Nora Seed sat in the warmth of the small library at Hazeldene School in the town of Bedford. She stared at a chessboard on a low table.

—  The Midnight Library by Matt Haig
Permalink / Tags: First paragraphs, books, Matt Haig

Jun 17th, 2021 · 1 post


Lunch date

I just had a wee lunch date with Jennifer at one of our favourite local restaurants.

Nice to get out of the house, have the cooking done for you and be in great company.  Shame I have to get back to work now. 

Jun 10th, 2021 · 1 post


Love writing

Julian Summerhayes reminds us about the joy of writing as he takes time off away from social media.
But there’s also the love of writing. The pure pleasure of seeing one word, then another and a whole sentence etc. develop. Of course my ego’s involved — and I’m not ashamed to admit that — but it’s also very cathartic.

The love of writing
I've forgotten what it was like to write daily. I used to carve out 30 minutes of writing every morning. Once the boys were dropped off at school, I would return to the house and write for 30 minutes. I can't remember the last time I did this, but it was well over two years ago.  Writing is habit I need to start up again.
Permalink / Tags: writing, habits

Jun 4th, 2021 · 1 post


Let me get this right. Twitter's Blue subscription costs $3 per month, and for that, I still have to see ads in my timeline? Undoing tweets and organising my Twitter bookmarks hardly seems worth it.

I'm not impressed.
Permalink / Tags: Twitter, subscriptions, social media

Jun 1st, 2021 · 1 post


Loving the new Firefox release

I'm loving the new Firefox release. Sure, it's largely a number of cosmetic changes to the Firefox interface. But the fresh new look makes surfing the web a better experience.
Permalink / Tags: browsers, Mozilla

May 26th, 2021 · 1 post


Boris fit and proper?

Cumming's testimony today has been interesting. Cumming's admission that the government failed to live up to what the UK public expect of them, is what we've all been thinking.
Asked whether the prime minister was a fit and proper person to lead the country through the pandemic, Cummings replied simply: “No.” Apologising for what he said were his own failings, he added: “The truth is that senior ministers, senior officials, senior advisers like me fell disastrously short of the standards that the public has a right to expect of its government in a crisis like this.”

Cummings lambasts Johnson in damning account of Covid crisis
Of course Boris isn't fit and proper to lead the country. And yet, he will probably still be in power after all of this is done.
Permalink / Tags: UK, Politics, Boris Johnson

May 25th, 2021 · 1 post


The best medicine in life needs no prescription. 
I love this. Just posted by Patrick Rhone about a post by Kurt Harden.

May 21st, 2021 · 1 post


Status: available to be interrupted

Jason Fried highlights the importance of the status indicator to many companies.
Presence is a feature of many modern communication work tools. It’s generally represented by a green, red, or yellow dot. If there’s a green dot next to someone’s name it means they’re available. Yellow or red means they’re away. This is how many companies get a read on who’s working when.

—  Active? Away? How about neither.
It's something I've noticed recently about the status indicator in Microsoft Teams. Where I work, everyone is either in a meeting or available (to be in a meeting) during the day. Over the last few months, I've noticed that almost no one uses the 'Do not disturb' option from the people I frequently chat with.

I personally wouldn't mind blocking out a few parts of the week so that I can get my head down and get on with some programming tasks. However,  perhaps that indicating to people that I shouldn't be disturbed isn't the right thing to do and that I should always be available. I don't know. I might try it out a few times and see if anyone notices.

For the moment, I'll continue to be available (for interruption).
Permalink / Tags: Microsoft Teams, work, focus

May 20th, 2021 · 1 post


Google re-discoveres its roots

It seems that Google has re-discovered part of what made it great. RSS.
The test is small-scale: following sites will only be an option for some US users of Chrome Canary (the bleeding-edge version of Chrome that lets enthusiasts access beta features). Users will be able to follow sites from the browser menu, and updates will be aggregated in a card-based feed that’s shown when users open a new tab. It’s not clear whether this feed is wholly dependent on sites providing RSS support, or if Google will fill in the gaps itself.

Google rediscovers RSS: tests new feature to ‘follow’ sites in Chrome on Android
I suspect that Google has filled in the gaps for sites that don't have RSS.


Permalink / Tags: Google, RSS

May 18th, 2021 · 2 posts


Permalink / Tags: communication, Michael Wade

Glasgow bigotry, enough is enough

Growing up in the west of Glasgow for a few years, I witnessed plenty of actions of hatred and violence just because you had a particular colour of football jersey on. It was a mentality that I thought the city had outgrown until this year. Not once, but twice now, the centre of Glasgow has been the scene of violence and vandalism by those that call this same city their home.
The desperate, misplaced, desire to equivocate and suggest the wrongs in the conduct of a section of the Rangers support are shared city wide, hasn’t helped. The Ibrox club are on their own in this city and any other across the global game when it comes to the expression of anti-Catholic sentiment, and that should have been long since acknowledged. It was in an interview run by this newspaper group, conducted by Graham Spiers for the Scotland On Sunday in 1995 with Walter Smith, that the then Rangers manager struck to the heart of what continues to be at play. “There is a Protestant superiority syndrome around here, you can feel it sometimes…”

Rangers, the 'superiority syndrome' and anti-Catholic bigotry: Why it cannot go unchallenged any more
 Last weekend's scenes in the centre of Glasgow are just the tip of the iceberg of a culture of "fans" who hide behind their football club to justify their actions.

There is a clear consensus from people across Glasgow that enough is enough. Action must be taken.  

Permalink / Tags: Football, Religion, Glasgow

May 15th, 2021 · 2 posts


A good day

It was nice to get back to church and celebrate Drew’s first Holy Communion today.
Even nicer that he was able to do it with some of his classmates and friends. 

We’re back home now and firing up the BBQ for a feast with a few drinks.

All in all, it’s been a good day.
Permalink / Tags: Drew, family

Breaking out the good shoes today.

May 14th, 2021 · 1 post


It's all about self-care

Julian Summerhayes reminds us to look after ourselves.
 I realise that none of what I’m saying is revelatory but perhaps we need a formal practice or at least a regular check-in to invite a question into the very depths of our soul that allows a space for us to be honest, transparent and to cut ourselves some slack from the vicissitudes of life.

Self-care
Permalink / Tags: health

May 13th, 2021 · 1 post


Netflix is making two sequels to Knives Out and they're now confirming some of the cast. And yes, Daniel Craig, will return as Detective Benoit Blanc in both sequels. I loved the first movie. Looking forward to this!
Permalink / Tags: movies, Netflix

May 12th, 2021 · 2 posts


Another week, another thing I forgot to put in the calendar and completely forgot. It's official. I need to write more stuff down. In fact, I probably need to write almost everything down.

Is it time for a new Repulican party?

The GOP is continuing its move to always side with Trump.
In this, Cheney is hardly alone. At the national and state level, Republicans who challenged Trump’s Big Lie — ranging from Sen. Mitt Romney (UT) all the way down to a member of the Michigan State Board of Canvassers — have either been formally punished or publicly rebuked. The party may not agree on much internally nowadays, but on this point, they march in lockstep: Trump’s falsehoods about the election must not be challenged.

The Big Lie is the GOP’s one and only truth
It makes you wonder if it's time for a new Republican party.
Permalink / Tags: US politics

May 11th, 2021 · 3 posts


As nice as the Jumpstart Rails application is and all the feature it includes, I'm finding the new annual pricing a little on the expensive side. I think I may start building my own template and use that for new applications.
Permalink / Tags: Rails, web development

Permalink / Tags: apps, productivity

Apple back in court in the UK

On top of the court case against Epic, Apple is now facing another court case, this time in the UK. Apple is accused of over-charging people for the apps in their App Store.
The tech company has been accused of deliberately shutting out the competition in the store and forcing people to use its own payment processing system, generating “excessive” profits for itself in the process.

The claim, which is being brought on behalf of potentially millions of Apple users in the UK, has been filed in the competition appeal tribunal and calls for Apple to repay UK customers it says have been overcharged because of the company’s practices, with damages of up to £1.5bn being sought.

It says as many as 19.6 million UK users could be eligible for compensation.

Apple accused of breaking UK competition law by overcharging for apps
As an Apple user of some years now, it's only recently that I've seen the argument against the use of a single App Store that is controlled by Apple.

Is it safer? Undoubtedly. Sometimes though, it might be too safe given the fickle approval process that apps must go through when developers submit new or updated apps to the App Store. Also the 

What would happen though if developers could submit to stores other than Apple's own App Store? Maybe they could even run their own stores. I would definitely think twice before buying an app through an alternative store though.
Permalink / Tags: Apple