2021: End of year sum up
So… it’s the end of the year, let’s look back at what I’ve achieved this year.
Starting a blog
I felt like it was longer, but it turns out I started writing a blog right at the beginning of this year. I tried switching around multiple solutions, namely Wordpress, WriteFreely, to static site (Jekyll) hosted on GitHub, later SourceHut and currently on a tilde, envs.net. I’m quite content with the current clean setup and not planning to change.
Graduating & getting a job
It’s also the end of my life as a university student. I intended to go for higher study, but due to my lack of planning, I missed my opportunity. On the other side, I believe me getting my current job is another chance to acquire more experience in programming and teamwork as well as some cash to fuel my hobby. While this means I spend less time developing free software, I feel better having an income and not staying in an idle state.
While escaping from Big Tech is impossible, I have made a step away from it. Facebook is a bad actor of the web, and I do feel less irritated after I left it. On the contrary, the current social media that I use, Mastodon and Pleroma, are full of nice and chill people—not that there aren’t heated ones or trolls, but it does feel like the lacking of a manipulative algorithm does make the content better.
Of course I’m biased, so try it for yourself.
Being more active in free software contribution
I don’t lead a big free software and I also am not a regular contributor for any particular project, but I did participate in them.
Discovering the fediverse
While I joined Mastodon since the end of last year, it is not until this year that I tested out other various ActivityPub-based federated projects: PeerTube, Pleroma, Misskey, PixelFed, Lemmy, lotide, WriteFreely, and Bookwyrm. They are all great projects.
You might question the fediverse’s premise: what is the point of making it possible to interact with another server which uses entirely different software? I just think it’s great that we can freely choose whichever software that suits their need and still can communicate with each other, whether it’s the nice and simplistic Mastodon, the customizable Pleroma with richer features, or the even more feature-rich Misskey.
I also tried out federated chat protocols, Matrix and XMPP, and I’m sticking with Matrix because its clients look nicer generally, and they often handle E2EE in less headaching way. I also try out IRC during the Freenode drama, and decided to stick to a lesser known server, hackint.org. The channel for IPWHL is thereon.
If you subscribe to my blog or follow me on social media, you probably have known about Floating cheeses, more formally known as IPWHL, which is a Python distribution on IPFS and has its dependency tree pre-resolved.
I also try packaging packages for GNU/Linux distributions I use. I tried to add Badwolf, a minimalist web browser, and update the outdated noto emoji font on openSUSE, though the submissions sadly were not approved. Though, the update nheko on Void Linux1 to version 0.9.1 was.
Contributions to other projects
I have contributed a fairly large amount of code to projects I use. There are tiny ones, such as correcting typos or updating outdated information, and there are non-feature ones, such as adding IPA layout to Florisboard.
I also fixed a bug on flit that prevents people with non-ASCII characters in
their names to have them written correctly in the
pyproject.toml file, and
added another redirect to Privacy Redirect add-on, though sadly the latter
still hasn’t been fixed.
Writing my own pieces of software
Using badwolf, I found it cumbersome to write a small tool to generates XBEL from a YAML template. Unsatisfied with the default lotide frontend, I decided to write an alternative one, Luna2, and later, Yue. I’ve given up on my attempt to rewrite a conlanging tool PolyGlot, since I realize using such software is against my plain text workflow. It’s true that a software is only born when it scratches the developer’s itch.
Advent of code
I’ve participated in the first half of Advent of Code for the first time, but it is increasingly less fun to do, so I dropped it prematurely.
Rekindle my old hobbies
I have hobbies of making creative works, like many other nerds on the internet: drawing, conlanging, world building, writing fiction. Though I only keep them to myself, it feels great to come back after a long time neglecting them. I have a few scribbles on here, though they’re not representative of my drawing (they’re representative of my drawing with mouse, on a computer), not that I draw that well.
Looking back at these achievements in the last year is inspiring me to plan for the next, though I’m leaving the details for tomorrow.
- Host an public IPFS node to support IPWHL
- Make more advancement in developing Yue
- Make a Mastodon bot for the sake of it?
- Try out the gemini protocol
- Renewing my IELTS certificate and take a DELF test
- Publish my first usable conlang and start translating my blogs and software to it?
- Start drawing a comic with ideas I’m having in mind?
- Donate to good software and services I use
I guess I should have more coherent plan but as I said, let’s leave it for the new year.