Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Thanks Randall Munroe

I don't know you and you definitely don't know me, but I am a regular reader of your comic XKCD and your What If? blog. Thank you for helping me gain a little confidence.

Guess what day I posted it to

The Time comic has been all around interesting, but for me it's been exciting. It represents a crossroad of my mediocre coding skills and the XKCD fans. For the first time I am decent enough to produce a website people are using. This is the whole reason I started learning to code.

It's a project that has undergone a few changes since it gained popularity. The initial version didn't even use CSS. Aubron Wood's post helped me with the idea of how to grab the pictures. It also represents my first use of github issues--a feature request for previous and next buttons!

I have intentionally chosen not to add ‘Like’ and ‘+1’ buttons because I am tired of seeing them all over the web. Some places make sense, but so many pages are cluttered with "share this".

I don't like to admit it, but I often don't have the confidence to post things for fear of ridicule. I know it’s silly, and it’s taken a long time to change my thinking to "who cares?" So I wanted to thank the creator of XKCD because he has motivated me to share something I did. That is, to step out of my humble comfort zone and show a little pride (yes, I am an Ultima fan). For the first time ever I have accounts on Reddit and Hacker News. My project has earned a few thumbs down ratings, but the feedback from folks who use it has been a wonderful experience.

Update: April 13, 2013
I got a few more hits than my usual 2 or 3 per month on this one, so here is some more about this project.

There is a log file that gets made from the cronjob and bitly (that's new) url shortener code. Some pretty good oops'es in there.

This is the data file that holds the list of images.

And this is the bitly data file, admittedly not interesting, but if you ever need to prove someone has used a space separated value file, there it is.