Matthew Lang

Freelance web developer specialising in Ruby on Rails

Apr 3rd, 2021 · 1 post

Perfect end to Saturday

Is there anything better than coming home to lemoncello mojitos and pineapple chicken tacos?

Apr 2nd, 2021 · 1 post

Boys night

Me and my sons hit the golf course tonight for a few holes. Good practice for me for my first Saturday medal of the season tomorrow. I definitely need it more than my boys do!
Permalink / Tags: golf, Paisley Golf Club

Apr 1st, 2021 · 1 post

Summer here we come

We’ve got the drinks, the food and the weather is getting better. Here’s to many summer nights sitting in the garden.

Mar 18th, 2021 · 1 post

Walking again

We’re getting a bit more daylight now, so me and Jen have started up our mid-week walks again. Lockdown or not, we’re going to keep this going.
Permalink / Tags: walks, spring

Mar 16th, 2021 · 1 post

Master & Commander, a masterpiece

I completely agree with Michael Wade. Master & Commander is a masterpiece.

I never got round to seeing Master & Commander at the cinema. If I'm honest, I don't even remember much of seeing Master & Commander being advertised at all at the time. I do regret not seeing it on the big screen, but at home, maybe with a good set of headphones, it is as close to the cinema experience as I'll ever get.

It's definitely one of my favourite movies of all time.
Permalink / Tags: movies, Master & Commander, Michael Wade

Mar 15th, 2021 · 2 posts

Some class golf over the weekend

Last night's final round of The Players Championship was a fantastic watch and highly entertaining. A great win for Justin Thomas, although I was disappointed for Lee Westwood. I would have loved for him to have won. The cherry on the cake was Helen, Lee's fiancee and caddie, collecting the 18th flag for Justin Thomas.

A great display of sportsmanship and respect. I can't wait for The Masters now.
Permalink / Tags: golf, the players, Justin Thomas, Lee Westwood

Permalink / Tags: Nicholas Bate

Mar 13th, 2021 · 1 post

A productive Saturday

It was one of those Saturdays where everything through the day just fell into place.

A code and coffee session early this morning yielded another milestone met. I managed to close off another couple of widgets for my CMS product. There's just one more to go to switch out the old widgets for my new ones that offer better flexibility when it comes to putting pages together.

It was then off to the hardware store to get a few things for the garden. We missed out on a few things last year as we left it too late to get a couple of things, so we were quicker off the mark this year.

Back home, I spent a couple of hours getting the back garden into some shape for the summer. The next few Saturday's are going to be similar as we get a few more things done, but the hope is that we put in the work now, to enjoy the fruits of our labour when the sunshine and good weather really kicks in.

It not often a Saturday just falls into place like this, but its been great having a productive day. I can kick back a bit tomorrow knowing I've got a few things done today.

Mar 8th, 2021 · 1 post

The not so fun weekend of debugging code problems

It's been a while since I last posted here. I've been getting my head down and working on my CMS product, which has left not much time for blogging.

Over the last few weeks, I've been putting in place a feature that should allow for more flexible page designs so that customers can use a series of widgets to build up pages. It's a three-level form with a page with many sections on it, and each section has a single widget. The thinking is that the sections can be re-ordered regardless of what type of widget it holds. It hasn't been without its issues, though. It took several attempts to get this overall widget design with the page in place.

Thankfully, that part of the feature is done, but I'm still working out some issues with this.

The main issue is when I add a new section and widget to the page, it clears any input elements that I have changed on any other sections widgets on that same page. The merry-go-round of possible sources of the problem includes the usual areas when things like this go wrong on the front-end—namely Turbolinks and Javascript.

The biggest problem just now is that of time, though. I don't get much more than a couple of hours at a time working on this, and when I do, I feel that I am problem-solving the same things over and over again. It's just as well that we're still in a national lockdown here in Scotland because it does afford me some extra time to work on this.

Hopefully, I can make progress with it this week.
Permalink / Tags: Rails, coding

Feb 22nd, 2021 · 2 posts

Reminiscing of days with Sublime Text

Over the weekend, I decided to re-install Sublime Text to see If there have been any substantial updates to it. I haven't used it in a few years now since moving to VS Code.

The text editor remains snappy and fast as I navigated through a large codebase and made a few changes. Sublime Text was never a slouch when it comes to performance. It was always fast for me, even on larger codebases.

Intrigued, I turned to Sublime Text's package control to see if there were packages there for Ruby and Rails and general web development. While I don't really need these, there are nice to have in the text editor. What I found was quite disappointing.

Most of the packages that I have used in the past on Sublime Text have not seen much in terms of updates, with a few packages listed as missing. Clearly, VS Code has impacted the number of actively maintained packages as developers migrated from Sublime Text to VS Code when it first hit the scenes.

Although I'm pretty much baked into the VS Code ecosystem thanks to its huge library of extensions, I wouldn't be against going back to Sublime Text. Maybe one day I will. For the moment, I'll leave it on my Macbook and see what I get from it as a wee change to VS Code.
Permalink / Tags: tools, coding, text editors

Permalink / Tags: music

Feb 21st, 2021 · 1 post

First hit of the year

First hit of the year for me and Drew at Paisley Golf Club today!

A glorious afternoon of weather and a welcome change to the snow and rain we've had the last few weeks. I was a bit rusty but Drew has managed to find some extra yardage to his drives over the winter. I've got some catching up to do!
Permalink / Tags: Drew, golf, Paisley Golf Club

Feb 17th, 2021 · 1 post

Don't forget that text is everything

Graydon Hoare suggests we always bet on text.
Text is the most socially useful communication technology. It works well in 1:1, 1:N, and M:N modes. It can be indexed and searched efficiently, even by hand. It can be translated. It can be produced and consumed at variable speeds. It is asynchronous. It can be compared, diffed, clustered, corrected, summarized and filtered algorithmically. It permits multiparty editing. It permits branching conversations, lurking, annotation, quoting, reviewing, summarizing, structured responses, exegesis, even fan fic. The breadth, scale and depth of ways people use text is unmatched by anything. There is no equivalent in any other communication technology for the social, communicative, cognitive and reflective complexity of a library full of books or an internet full of postings. Nothing else comes close.

Always bet on text
I wholeheartedly agree. You can keep video clips, online meetings, voice memos and all the stuff. Text is the ultimate form of communication.
Permalink / Tags: communication, plain text

Feb 15th, 2021 · 1 post

Hello Dingbats

In a change from my regular Leuchttrum notebooks that I use, I wanted to try something different. Last week I ordered a Dingbats Wildlife notebook.
It’s a bit bigger than the Leuchttrum notebook which I don’t mind. It also includes a single bookmark as opposed to the Leuchttrum’s three. Hardly a deal-breaker as I can add my own bookmarks.

Aside from being eco-friendly, the notebooks come in many colours. 
Permalink / Tags: notebooks, bullet journaling

Feb 13th, 2021 · 1 post

It's been a code and coffee morning

I'm trying to build a bit more flexibility into a Rails application by adding the ability to have multiple widgets on the one page.

From a presentation perspective, the problem looks easy. Any number of widgets for a page can be modelled to be presented as a complete web page. It doesn't matter how the data is put together, e.g. flat files, canned models, hard-coded HTML.

What complicates the problem is how the user creates and manipulates these widgets to their needs. I've seen enough back-end interfaces for various products to know it can be done. The Mailbrew interface, which has similar functionality, is how I want this feature to work.

Instead of sitting at the text editor and blindly coding my way out of this, I've been using my iPad to sketch out a few ideas of how widgets of different shapes will relate to the page, and how a page will assemble these widgets. The problem is starting to unravel now.

Might be time for another coffee.
Permalink / Tags: Rails, coding

Feb 12th, 2021 · 1 post

First paragraph: The Light Fantastic

The sun rose slowly, as if it wasn't sure it was worth all the effort.
    Another Disc day dawned, but very gradually, and this is why.

— The Light Fantastic by Terry Pratchett
Permalink / Tags: First paragraphs, books, Terry Pratchett, Discworld

Feb 11th, 2021 · 1 post

Permalink / Tags: The Last Of Us, gaming, TV

Feb 4th, 2021 · 1 post

Got AirPods and macOS? Here's an excellent recommendation from Curtis McHale.
Permalink / Tags: Curtis McHale, Apple

Feb 3rd, 2021 · 1 post

First paragraph: Troy

Troy. The most marvellous kingdom in all the world. The Jewel of the Aegean. Glittering Ilium, the city that rose and fell not once but twice. Gatekeeper of traffic in and out of the barbarous east. Kingdom of gold and horses. Fierce nurse of prophets, princes, heroes, warriors and poets. Under the protection of ARES, ARTERMIS, APOLLO and APHRODITE she stood for years as the paragon of all that can be achieved in the arts of war and peace, trade and treaty, love and art, statecraft, piety and civil harmony. When she fell, a hole opened in the human world that may neve be filled, save in memory. Poets must sing the story over and over again, passing it from generation to generation, lest in losing Troy we lost a part of ourselves.

— Troy by Stephen Fry

Feb 2nd, 2021 · 1 post