John Kawakami's blog

Looking at Kindle Unlimited (part of Amazon Prime)

I started looking into Kindle Unlimited (KU), a $10 a month borrowing library for Kindle e-books, for tutorials on some subjects I'm studying, and also as a possible publishing platform for articles. What I found is a market that, for readers, is somewhat non-functional.

I looked at 21 books. (Really, it's a little more, but I wasn't paying attention early on.) Of these, I found 7 writer worth reading, and 13 writers to avoid.

Compiling PHP... :(

It's been a few years since I compiled PHP from sources... and "ouch", it's a lot of work. It makes me want to give up, port all the sites to a new OS stack, and deploy that.

Mobile Website Editors Reviewed

Reviews of several mobile-phone or tablet-based website editors.

Observations about WordPress, and why I think this weird platform in not in crisis

WordPress is no longer the best blogging platform. I think Medium is that. It's almost like a word processor.

According to the few surveys I've seen, WordPress isn't used as much for blogging as for making "brochure" websites. There's a bit of a product-market mismatch.

The program is so huge once you add Jetpack and a few other plugins that you need to purchase a more expensive hosting plan with 1 Gig of RAM.

The built-in onboarding/user registration code is not only not-OO, it's spaghetti code. Modifying it is difficult, limiting the ways it can be used for growth hacking.

PHP Frameworks get weird

I was getting the itch to write a small web application and started looking around. I had played with Laravel a while back, but it's just a little too large. I wanted to deploy cheaply on my slow server.

The features I wanted were: REST API support, OAuth (client), Routes, User Auth

Phalcon was the most interesting. It's written in C as an extension, and is fast. It does mostly traditional, Laravel style MVC. It can do REST APIs as well, but the example isn't good. It needs some more code to do REST right. Being compiled it is fast. The features resemble Laravel and Twig.

A Small Web Dev Network

This is a quick description of my current web dev network that includes a caching proxy server for Debian and Ubuntu packages, and Ansible.

Due to general annoyance with Ubuntu, I started using Debian again, but when I started learning Ansible to set up a staging server, I had to switch back, because Ansible plays nice with Ubuntu. It works with Debian but you need to build from sources.

So, start out by firing up VirtualBox and creating two machines (512M to 1G RAM, 8G disk). Into one, I loaded Debian, but any distro is fine. Debian is just smaller.

Docker on VirtualBox installation commands

This is a short howto about setting up VirtualBox with a Docker environment in it.

Set up a clean Debian VM with the regular install, a 10G disk, and nothing but the SSH server packages. (I have started to just use the Vagrant setup, which uses the username vagrant and password vagrant, in case I want to convert it to a Vagrant image.) Download the VirtualBox Guest Additions CD and, as root, do these things to prep the virtual box to install the drivers.

Run the following.

A Volunteer Sign-In Tool

Several years ago, for the Obama elections, I had to manage a bunch of sign-in sheet info. To perform the data entry, I did a few things to make life easier (for me).

We made a web app with the intent that multiple people could enter data into it. That didn't happen because there wasn't sufficient time to finish the application and then train everyone.

March for Bernie

I have been working on March for Bernie on the side, for free of course. It's a WordPress site with a theme from Bernie volunteers.

The TDD/BDD Religion, Getting The

I must admit that I'm fully drunk on the Kool-Ade.

The tl;dr : testing isn't just writing tests, but also using mock objects and services to simplify testing, and using package managers to port code to new versions of modules. It takes days to learn how, but it's worth it.

Search this Site from the Search Box

If you go to the home page you can add a site-limited google search to your search bar. Google isn't too nice about it, but it'll work.

Movies about the Great Recession / Real Estate Bubble / Economic Crisis

2010 is upon us, and unlike the Arthur C. Clarke sequel to 2001, wherein the world is exploring space, in the real 2010, the world is trying to find a goddamn job and avoid a huge, double-dip recession and rapid price deflation.

Online Ads - oh s- they really work on me

I've been putting ads on here for years, and they have basically failed. On other sites, it's actually OK, making a little trickle of money, which is so weird. Lately, I've been looking at the ads on this site, and sometimes I click them. It's not click fraud because I'm actually interested. So they are working. Then I put up this hideous ad with a big stack of text ads, and I wanted to click more than one of them.


These ads work on me now.

Python Packaging, Development, Git, and an Epiphany about Contemporary Development

So, I have this library, and it's always a pain to release it onto my internal computers (or any computers). Unlike the web apps it's not running from a virtualenv. It's right on the system. Maybe it shouldn't be :/

Anyway, that was my motivation for learning Python packaging. It's not hard, but you have to follow every step in the tutorials, and really repeat them a few times. After a couple tries, I had my "eggs" working locally. I also found out that I'm supposed to use pip to make "wheels" instead. I was behind the times.

Making Some Promises (in Parse, but also relevant to jQuery and Backbone)

What a confusing topic. Unfortunately, if you start wanting to add "library" features to your code, like I did, you have to study Promises.

These are notes about Parse.Promises, and the end product is a small object that caches models.

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