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This is the daily journal for User:RobLa. I'm trying to use this as sort of a blog, even though MediaWiki isn't a very good blogging platform. See for my official blog.

NOTE: This page also gets included in User:RobLa, down in User:RobLa#Journal

2020-06-23[edit | edit source]

updated 05:03, 24 June 2020 (UTC)

1/ I created a myndmess group over on MeWe:

2020-06-21[edit | edit source]

updated 06:57, 22 June 2020 (UTC)

1/ My clock still claims it's June 21. I don't know about all y'all in the U.K. Anyway, I posted something on the roblawiki:RobLa journal about myndmess. And other things.

updated a couple minutes later

2/ whoops, forgot "="

updated 07:34, 22 June 2020 (UTC)

3/ I did a lot of shell scripting today, and I'm really starting to see how Perl scripting replaced Bash scripting as the preferred form of scripting in the mid-1990s. I've done so much Python scripting in the past few years that my Perl isn't as good as it used to be. We won't even talk about PHP. And yes, I realize that Python's datetime library on my computer tells me its 2020-06-22 already, even in San Francisco. Oh well...

2020-06-17[edit | edit source]

update: 21:18, 17 June 2020 (UTC)

1/ I've been thinking of using little .org files (i.e. org-mode files) as a vaguely-more POSIX-friendly equivalent of Microsoft .lnk files. Wikipedia has a shortcut article that may be worth reading and understanding to get a beter grip on the problem. In general, I'm looking for a cross-platform, interoperable, simple-ASCII form of symlink that tries to preserve as much information as possible from the standard POSIX symlink.

2020-06-13[edit | edit source]

Update: 23:24, 13 June 2020 (UTC)

1/ I'm doing a lot more editing on the myndmess wiki today than I expected to. See Special:Contributions/RobLa to see what I mean. It all started with wanting to start an article about Pelican...

2020-06-11[edit | edit source]

Update: 03:19, 12 June 2020 (UTC)

1/ Oh wow, I really fell of the wagon on this project. Well, I have yet another wiki, which is this: . It's pretty basic right now, but it may one day replace . We'll see...

Speaking of that, I'll try to keep my journal over there up to date. It's at .

2020-06-04[edit | edit source]

updated 06:30, 5 June 2020 (UTC)

1/ I fell of the wagon as I was editing this, and it's getting close to midnight here in San Francisco. But I realize that this myndmesswiki may be the most reliable place to store some of my thinking about social media websites (as described at wikipedia:Social media). I need to create some redlinks for some of the social media sites that I learned about over on Daily Kos, on an article titled "How to create the Great Facebook Migration.". I'm going to quote the really helpful table listed in the article:

Facebook Alternatives
Site Name PROS CONS Built-in migration from Facebook, Privacy focused, mobile support no messaging, no groups, no video uploads (embedded videos only), it’s very quiet over there right now
MeWe Privacy focused, allows importing contact list, messaging, public and private groups, events, video upload, feels very Facebook-like Anecdotally the mobile app has been buggy, but improving, still low content relative to Facebook (but better than sociall)
Vero No ads, no data-mining, video upload Mobile only, no groups, no events, may charge a subscription fee in the future, more like Instagram than Facebook
Diaspora Privacy focused and decentralized (we could choose to run our own ‘pod’), cross-post to twitter built-in Sign up is not user friendly (pod wizard helps, but still not ideal), no video upload, no event calendar, mobile app is seriously underwhelming
mastodon Decentralized like diaspora (again we could run our own local instance), video upload supported,  Sign up is not straightforward (similar to Diaspora), no groups (except for by server, that I could see), feels more like tumblr than Facebook

I need to actually give a fair evaluation to these five (, MeWe, Vero, Diaspora, and Mastodon), but given that it's getting pretty late here, I'll have to consider this tomorrow (or later....)

2020-05-30[edit | edit source]

updated 00:34, 31 May 2020 (UTC)

1/ I'm writing today's journal using VisualEditor. My May 30 journal on electowiki was also written using VisualEditor, and that made me update the template over there. I should copy that template over here.

Also, the thing I wanted to write about: lnedit . That's a symlink editor that I started writing shortly before I started my last job. I didn't have time to clean it up, but I decided to publish it anyway. The source code is available here: A lot of my symlinkutil source code is crufty and out of date.

2020-05-27[edit | edit source]

updated 22:56, 27 May 2020 (UTC)

1/ I should pay closer attention to Special:WantedPages. I should also pay attention to electowikiwiki:Special:RecentChanges, and make sure that things aren't going crazy over there. I should also write my first journal entry of the day on electowikiwiki (e.g. at electowikiwiki:User:RobLa/Journal#2020-05-27). There are many things I should be doing today....

2020-05-24[edit | edit source]

updated 03:54, 25 May 2020 (UTC)

1/ Copying electowikiwiki:Template:JournalUpdate from Electowiki ended up being a pretty deep rabbithole with lots of chambers, and a crazy dude with a lisp who tried to serve me tea. Anyway, I'm probably going to start keeping journals in a lot of places:

I should probably fill in the gaps in those other journals. But will I? TBD....

updated 04:21, 25 May 2020 (UTC)

2/ I'm learning about the dangers and the joys of transclusion as I write this journal. I should create a "template" namespace in my User:RobLa namespace. I think I'll do that now. Here's what will be a link to my electowiki journal: robla's electojournal (2020-05-24):

2020-05-22[edit | edit source]

updated 00:44, 23 May 2020 (UTC)

1/ I want to copy ^that template over to this wiki from electowikiwiki:Template:JournalUpdate. I may remember to do that before this day is over...

Over on this wiki, I'd like to talk about best current practices for writing on a wiki, whether it's a personal wiki, or a big collaborative wiki like Wikipedia. There's a lot to think about there...

I have so many thoughts about timestamps. I should just create timestamp on this wiki for us to talk about these things...

2020-05-18[edit | edit source]

I've been pretty active on Twitter and Reddit recently. Remind me to update this journal entry about that...

2020-05-14[edit | edit source]

I've continued to make several edits over the course of the week, reflective of conversations I've been having with friends:

The theme of the edits has been to add in a few products that I've looked at, or the products I've neglected to look at, but need to. Dynalist is the most interesting of the new (to me) systems that I need to look at; I had spent a lot of time with WorkFlowy a few years ago, and but decided to focus on Org-mode for outlining rather than find a different web-based system. It might be worth a looking at Dynalist now.

2020-05-11[edit | edit source]

I did a lot of editing over the weekend: . This little project seems to be coming together.

There was an interesting post over on Hacker News today:

The author (Alex Gamburg) appears frustrated with TaskPaper, a task manager and outliner that seems to be popular on Mac. Gamburg appears to be frustrated with lack of specification of the TaskPaper format, and how TaskPaper is overly-opinionated about structure. In particular, "TaskPaper splits items into projects, tasks, and notes" whereas Margin just has "items". Additionally, Margin seems to allow a lot of flexibility in the formatting of the text.

That started me looking into a couple of things

In the end, though, it seems like there is an infinite number of PIM/CRM/note-taking systems, and it doesn't seem like convergence is happening very quickly. Since people prefer systems that integrate into their personal workflows, it means pretty wide divergence in integration requirements. But it also seems like this is the reason why interoperability between tools and simplicity in data format so important.

There are many pages listed here: Special:WantedPages. Much more writing to do....

2020-05-08[edit | edit source]

I left a big-ol-mess in an obnoxiously-long tweet storm in reply to YuviPanda and bd808:

...then I followed up with a tweetstorm where I pinged @myndmess:

I've been futzing around with note taking systems as a background hobby for quite some time. Many years ago, I hacked a plugin or two for Zim that were mainly for my personal use. Then personal circumstances forced me to use an Android phone and a Chromebook for a while, and I went looking for portable systems. I tried using the elephant in the room: Evernote, but I ran into many problems with it. I became a big fan of WorkFlowy for a while, and spent a fair amount of time just making notes in Google Docs work reasonably well. I tried using Google Keep seriously. I also tried writing some tools based on Pandoc. I switched around for many years after that, even relearning wikipedia:Emacs so that I could use Org-mode. I'm largely back to using Zim, and may start contributing upstream again (e.g.

One thing I would love to do is to be able to edit this journal (and this wiki) as Zimwiki notebook. But MediaWiki and Zim use different wiki text formats. The chain to do that with existing tools would be incredibly complicated. One possible workflow:

  • Use a tool like Git-MediaWiki to check out this wiki
  • Use a tool like pandoc (and many scripts) to convert the MediaWiki markup in to Zimwiki markup
  • Import the notebook into Zim

With ^that, there's the ability to make local edits to a MediaWiki-based wiki (like this one). But then, to push it back means many kludgey scripts and whatever else. Meh.