Saturday, December 30, 2023

13th annual blog reflection

Today, it is the 13th anniversary of my blog. As usual, this is a nice opportunity to reflect over last year's writings.

Similar to 2022, 2023 was not a very productive year compared to the years before -- I am still a bit in a state of recovery, because of the pressure that I was exposed to two years ago. Another reason is that a substantial amount of my spare time is spend on voluntary work for the musical society that I am a member of.

Web framework

I have been maintaining the website for the musical society for quite a few years and it is one of last applications that still use my custom web framework. Thanks to my voluntary work, I made a new feature addition to the layout framework: generating dynamic menus by using an HTML representation of a site map as a basis, such as a mobile navigation/hamburger menus and dropdown menus.

I never liked these kinds of menus very much, but they are quite commonly used. In particular, on mobile devices, a web application feels weird if it does not provide a mobile navigation menu.

The nice thing about using a site map as a basis is that web pages are still able to degrade gracefully -- when using a text-oriented browser or when JavaScript is disabled (JavaScript is mandatory to create an optimal mobile navigation menu), a web site remains usable.

Nix development

Last year, I explained that I had put my Nix development work on hold. This year, I still did not write any Nix-related blog posts, but I have picked up Nix development work again and I am much more active in the community.

I have visited NixCon 2023 and I had a great time. While I was at NixCon, I have decided to pick up my work for the experimental process management framework from where I left it behind -- I started writing RFC 163 that explains its features so that they can be integrated into the main Nixpkgs/NixOS distribution.

Writing an RFC was already on my TODO list for two years, and I always had the intention integrate the good ideas on this framework into Nixpkgs/NixOS so that the community can benefit from it.

The RFC is still being discussed and we are investigating some of the raised questions and concerns.

Research papers

I have also been sorting files on my hard drive, something that I commonly do at the end of the year. The interesting thing is that I also ran into research papers that I collected in the last sixteen years.

Since reading papers and maintaining your knowledge is quite important for researchers and not something that is easy to do, I wrote a blog post about my experiences.

Retro computing

Another area that I worked on is retro computing. I finally found the time to get all my old 8-bit Commodore machines (a Commodore 64 and 128) working in the way they should. The necessary repairs were made and I have ordered new and replacement peripherals. I wrote a blog post that shows how I have been using these 8-bit Commodore machines.


Next year, I intend to focus myself more on Nix development. I already have enough ideas the I am working on, so stay tuned!

The last thing I would like to say is:


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