Rick Dillon's Weblog

Visualizing Directed Graphs

In a technical field, thinking in terms of directed graphs is useful, but creating, versioning, diffing, and sharing them can be a challenge. Graphviz dot is simple to start with while still being very capable.

API Design Reading List

There are surprisingly few resources out there that discuss real-world trade-offs in RESTful API design. Here are some that I found to be helpful.

Diving Into RSS

RSS may have a few years under its belt, but it is one of the most revolutionary technologies on the internet, despite its simplicity. Here are some tips to get started with RSS.

Why You Should Be Using RSS

This post is for those that have heard of RSS, but aren't sure what it offers over corporate products like Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr.

Unity's Shortcomings

Canonical, makers of Ubuntu, made their own desktop environment and pushed it as the default. Despite being friendly to new users, I discuss several ways it is actually a step backward for Linux users in general.

Internet Influence

Some companies attempt to gauge influence on the internet. I discuss some problems with both the concept and the implementation.

How Broken is SHA-1?

SHA-1 is has been 'broken'. What exactly does this mean? Is it still safe to use?

Android and iOS Demographics

iOS and Android cater to different audiences and have different goals. Which should you be developing for?

Pebble Rocks

Smartwatches are a great idea. Here's what Pebble got right.

Linux Gamer Notebook: Setting up my X51

I'm a gamer, but I use Linux. How's that working out?

Generating Random Passphrases

Passphrases are sometimes better than passwords. Here's some simple code that generates them.

Using Profiles in Firefox

Web applications are just that: applications. Firefox has a great way to make them play nicely on the desktop. Here's how.

Google Supports the Web, Not the Internet

The internet supports many protocols, but the web is focused on HTTP. What does Google sacrifice by focusing only on the web?

Using Dreamhost Dreamobjects with S3Tools

Dreamobjects is API-compatible with Amazon S3. How can you set up S3Tools to use it?

Building a Library

Preserving the fruits of artists' labor has long been a valued endeavor. What challenges are unique to our generation in attempting to carry on this noble tradition?

The Retro Gaming Fad

Concurrent with the surge in indie gaming, retro games featuring 8- and 16-bit graphics have become popular, despite the power of modern devices. I examine some of these games and trends.

Developer Notebook: Installing Rebol

Rebol could have been a great language, at one point contending for a role much like that of JSON. Where is Rebol today?

Portals and Tiles: A Better User Interface

The desktop metaphor has worn thin and fails to address the needs of modern users or take advantage of modern computers. I examine a better way.

Virtual Reality: Creating Immersion

Virtual reality is extraordinarily promising, but also extraordinarily. What exactly does it take to give someone the illusion that they are somewhere else?

The VR Revolution Begins Now

VR is a whipping boy of critique after the shattered hopes of the 90s. But now its back, and it's poised to be one of the most important media formats in the next 20 years.

Gollum: The Ultimate Personal Wiki

Personal information management is a huge challenge, and wikis cleanly address many of those challenges. Here's how to set up GitHub's open source wiki for personal use.

The Power of Static

Much of the web is based on dynamic sites, like Wordpress and Ruby on Rails, even though many sites don't need it. Here's how you can put static sites to their best use.

Keysnail and Browser Extensibility

Some argue that the browser is the next operating system. How much can we really customize and extend our browsers?

Federated Wikis

Ward Cunningham, creator of the wiki, is back at it, this time with a federated wiki. The technology is remarkable, but how useful is it in day to day use?

Adopt Early, Adopt Often

In an effort to embrace progress, the quality of desktop environment software that ships by default in Ubuntu seems to be in continual decline. Should it be this way?

Xtend Dependencies

Eclipse released their own JVM-based language. What were they thinking?

The Trend Towards Centralization

Is the modern web abandoning the very principles that make the internet great?

News Aggregators

RSS ties the web together. Will Google Reader be around forever, and if not, what's the best way to consume RSS?



Documentation for todotxt.el, a todo.txt client for Emacs.

Hack Emacs

A video series targeted at Emacs beginners that discusses fundamental and intermediate concepts in Emacs.

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