11 Finch D. River’s Website
void micro_blog() {

Microblog: A small weblog for frequent short-thoughts.

The Doc-Comment (Pipe) Dream

I’ve been thinking recently about doc-comments/docstrings, and how differently they are implemented and formatted. I know, it’s truly a world of excitement round here!

Godoc has pretty much no format, inferring much from context, and deferring further functionality to other tools. A reflection of Go’s simple, atomic, and slightly prescriptive approach to language design.

Godoc comments are just good comments, the sort you would want to read even if godoc didn't exist.

Contrast to D. The idea that syntax isn’t the main barrier to code understanding extends to Ddoc which permits macros, code blocks, and even aligned tables. In typical D spirit, they have syntax to be learned, but the resulting comments (though complex) are readable both in and ex situ.

A valid D comment:
            * Prints `Hello, world!` normally, and then `Yellow world!` in yellow.
            * # Welcome to the Docs
            * It's great to see you, enjoy your stay.
            * ## Tables!
            * | Line No. | Output        |
            * | -------: | ------------- |
            * | 1        | Hello, world! |
            * | 2        | $(YELLOW Yellow world!)
            * ## Lists!
            * - Lists are:
            *   * Useful
            *   * List-y
            * ## Quotes!
            * > Comments are hard. -- programmers
            * Examples:
            * ```
            * main(); // Let's call that function
            * ```
            * ``` sh
            * # Bourne-shell equiv:
            * echo -e 'Hello, world!\n\033[01;33mYellow world!\033[00m'
            * ```
            * - - -
            * Authors: Finch River, fdriver@posteo.net
            * Date: 2021-06-05

Despite differing results, the underlying theme is of in situ readability, and language-suitability. While D and Go’s great documentation is mostly a testament to their communities, it’s not a stretch (imo) to say that languages lacking good commenting conventions have worse docs (naming no names (Clojure)).

University-Lockdown Blues

I had my final exam for the year a few days ago. I don’t think that they went well, but I’ve always found it hard to pre-gauge.

I’m tentative to say this, as I’m lucky to just be healthy, but this year has been shit. Some say that it’s like time has almost stopped, but I think I stopped while life moved on.

Not being able to meet up for groupwork would have been bad anyway, but our lecturers seem to think that us digital natives can work at the same speed without face-to-face contact.

I’m not going to record my lectures; you should be attending each one anyway.

What a joke.
How should I clearly view a lecture when it competes for space on my 13” screen with notes and an editor?
How can I even attend lectures reliably when I’m one of 5 people trying to both send and receive real-time video on one university-house internet connection?
How will I ask a question if the lecturer won’t/can’t use the Zoom chat panel at the same time as a slideshow?

I’m paying full tuition fees for a shitty YouTube course.

I can’t even blame my lecturers (for the most part). They’ve been thrown into this with as little preparation as me, with far greater responsibilities. That I can’t be frustrated is what’s so frustrating. If it was a definitive failure I could at least be satisfied that I’m angry at the right thing.

Furthermore, it’s just been no fun. I know, woe is me, but 80% of the enjoyment was making friends and learning things by talking to people.

My existing friends have also suffered. When I’ve spent my day on online lectures, online technical difficulties, online quizzes and short-form work, and hours of coursework, the last thing that I want is to spend more time online, even for my favorite people.

But here we are. I think hope that we’re past the worst. The end is in sight, rather than nigh. Travel restrictions are lifting, friends are visiting later this week, and the sun is out.

Wish me luck, and luck to you also!

I Program HTML

I once thought of HTML as a data-format written by site/document generators and masochists.

Yet a friend accused me of being quick to judge. What cheek! And so I brushed up on HTML5+CSS3 to prove once again that my opinions are (as usual) perfectly formed now and forever.

Long-story-short, I’ve become pleased with what just a little experimenting (and CSS-selectors) can make. HTML has limitations, but they are healthy if your aim is simple, semantic web documents. It’s been a while since I had my own site, and I decided to start one up as a little passion project.

Please note: I’m no web designer; I’m an internet person trying my best and having fun. Hopefully you will too. At least for now, I aim to hand-write (some of) this site, and make the source as readable (within reason) as the formatted version, bar color.

I’ve been quite heavily inspired by the strong-n-simple designs of websites like Butterick’s Practical Typography, Prog21, and Winestock Webdesign. Plus a little of my own flair, naturally.