Weekly Notes - 2023-03-11 to 2023-03-17

 · 2 min read
 · Dan Sloan
Last updated: March 02, 2024
Table of contents

Travel

I made the decision to head to Europe for the end of May, to attend DjangoCon Europe, in Edinburgh. I’m planning to stay over there for a bit, although family/health stuff might force me to change that plan. Still working out more details here…

Time Management

Last week, I mentioned changing my approach on time management. It’s actually working okay so far, although I struggle to be consistent. If I can embed the habit of doing the rough time box planning and task prioritization every day, I think this will work well, for now at least.

There’s definitely a useful role for some basic client-side automation, like notifications to remind me of the things I need to do, when I need to do them. Otherwise it’s just too easy to end up getting into the weeds on things.

Client Work

Have deployed the first iteration of the complete overhaul of the UI of a django application. It’s been a great experience - while the old Bootstrap 4 theme that we were using previously saved a lot of time early on, and let us focus on functionality and getting things going, we now constantly butt up against the limitations of the design and the need to build custom jQuery stuff, and other related sins.

Building something in TailwindCSS has been extremely helpful for me, and now we’re free to pursue UX designs that make more sense for the user rather than slotting things in to an existing theme style. I’ll write an article in future on why TailwindCSS has been perfect for me; I know a lot of people have strong opinions, but in my particular case due to Aphantasia, a toolkit like Tailwind is perfectly suited for my neuro-atypical needs.

However, all this UI work is just something I’m trying to finish up because I’m excited about the NEXT project; a full Zapier app integration. We already have a fairly decent API for the project, so finishing a Zapier app that allows no-code integration with other client tools will let the client really level up their automations. We are probably 1-2 weeks from being able to start that work, but I’m hopeful it’ll be done pretty fast!

Open Source

Contributions

No time for this at the moment; great reminder of why it is sometimes even simple issues opened on an open source project take weeks to get attended to. I just can’t find time to fit everything in, and the voluntary stuff drops off first…sucks, but nothing to be done.

My projects

I’ve been working on a side project for personal automation and other things; basically trying to write something that helps me manage my life better! It is also providing an opportunity to work with some things I’ve wanted to for a while; the biggest one is giving Jinja2 templating a go in a Django project. It has so far been a surprisingly painful experience in terms of working out how to set it up, but now that it’s working, it is no more difficult than regular Django templating, and there are some big benefits. Will write an article about it soon, hopefully.

Made some modest progress on the ‘oddjobs’ package, with a first alpha release coming in the next couple of weeks. The personal automation project will leverage it, because its such a tiny one-person web app, so its hard to justify a dedicated celery worker and all the extra overhead that requires. As such, it’ll be a good demo case for ‘oddjobs’, and help push me to finally publish the damn thing, finished or not.