Monday, February 18, 2013

Gitifying the OneWeekWebsiteList

N
ote to self: document as I go, not after the fact. It felt a lot like I was running in circles trying to find documentation and n00b help as I was working on this, so I didn't take notes along the way. A lot of the point of this first step was to familiarise myself with a few new systems (Git, GitHub, Terminal, Unix command line, Vim), as well as just publishing my strategy for creating a bigger, better website for myself. The entire project is more about learning than having a finished product (although it would be nice to sell a photo again, someday), so each post is intended as a reference for myself, as you'll note from the links peppered throughout the text below.

I apologise in advance, too, for these posts likely being very dry, incoherent and plentiful. I'm often writing from the top of my head and focusing on developing and documenting rather than fine literary prose. Coincidentally, my horoscope for today:
Once you break down a task into manageable chunks, you'll discover that your challenges are not really that hard. You are absolutely capable of meeting the goal you projected at the beginning.
Essential breakdown of Gitification of The List:
  • Wrote project todo list.
  • Thought about purpose and use of list- dynamic, changing, updating steps as I go to keep track of overall process.
  • Translated list into HTML 
  • Created GitHub repository (repo) for new project, cloned repo onto local drive
  • Updated and committed ReadMe file on GitHub
  • Discovered that this threw my local clone out of sync, figured out basics of git pull.
  • Finally figured out how to control the vim editor in Terminal (thanks largely to the patient human who helped me with basic commands) to add messages to merges and commits when I forget to use the -m option .
  • At this point, the list was basically done, and pushed to GitHub. 
  • Researched how to publish a repo to the web so that it looks like an actual page. I had seen a friend do this with a basic design portfolio, but couldn't find a simple button to push in order to see repo files in anything other than raw code. 
  • Turns out I had to create an entire new branch in my repo, move everything, and when it still didn't seem to be working, realised I had left off the obvious !DOCTYPE declaration.  Actually, I could have just left it and popped in a reference or something. oh well.
  • Had also found this Google Style Guide, which mentioned that some element tags are optional in HTML5. So I guess my dunderheadedness over formatting my initial list file wasn't actually critical, but I haven't implemented the recommendations yet. Also ran it past a W3C validator
  • Meanwhile, I just need to get the published OneWeekWebsiteList.html into my blogpost, somehow, in a way that would save me from updating said blogpost every time I modified the original file. I found the embed element in the HTML5 spec to be a simple solution. Presumably there's some way I should have done this with PHP or scripting or one of those things I don't know how to do yet.
  • So, one properly sized embed element and a div element with simple border later, the list mostly worked as dynamic content. 

Unfortunately, I couldn't discover until after publishing that the embedded HTML file doesn't display in Google Reader. It's visible in the RSS feed itself, so the problem comes somewhere in the aggregator?

I would love to hear about better solutions to this problem, as I just went for the first option I could find in the interest of moving forward. I've also just now switched to an object element, since embed seems to be intended for non-HTML content. Any thoughts?

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