The Five Stages of YAML

· yaml · opinion ·
  1. Configuration languages are too complex; YAML is much simpler and easier to understand.
  2. Declarative YAML configuration is brilliant.
  3. Lots of our things look similar, we have too much copy and pasted YAML.
  4. We’ve written a tool which uses templates and parameters to dynamically generate our YAML
  5. The declarative YAML format now supports conditional, iteration, and inheritance syntax; it is now turing complete.

It's no secret where GitOps falls down

· gitops · infrastructure · puppet · jenkins · kubernetes ·

This year I have started to see a new buzzword get thrown around, one which I can feel especially hipstery about: GitOps. While the folks over at WeaveWorks have made the term fashionable in the Kubernetes ecosystem, stodgy old-timer Puppet users might recognize the same practices they’ve used for a few years now by combining R10k and Git. In fact, I was first introduced to the concept by Gary Larizza, an absolutely loud, foul-mouthed, and wonderful hacker. The concepts Gary blogged about I rapidly introduced to the Jenkins project’s own Puppet-based infrastructure. This blog post isn’t about how sunglasses-at-night cool all us Puppet users have been, but instead I wished to clarify some areas where “GitOps” as a practice falls short, and what is needed to compensate.

Coping with The Bullshit Web

· opinion ·

I recently came across this post from Nick Heer castigating “the bullshit web.” A term he uses to describe the fairly despicable state of modern web applications. While I overwhelmingly agree with the points he lays out, especially in his disparaging remarks towards AMP, I think there’s more to be said about alternative approaches for web users to once again experience the web without the bullshit.

Navigating Linux/BSD in the newer Open File dialog

· linux ·

With the latest (quantum!) releases of Firefox, a number of things changed for the better but one of the few things that seemed to get worse was the Open File dialog. I tend to use the dialog quite frequently to open up HTML generated reports from test and coverage tooling, and with the newer Firefox versions I had become very frustrated with the mouse-heavy requirements to use the dialog.

Deciding who you are by what you eat.

· food · garden · opinion ·

Living in Northern California has taught me many valuable lessons, but perhaps the most fundamental has been to appreciate high quality food. This appreciation was further enhanced when I started a garden, and began to savor freshly grown, vine-ripened, fruits and vegetables. Providing a strong counter-example, my travels to areas without great access to either fresh ingredients or strong culinary culture (strip malls, strip malls everywhere), usually results in a change in my own well-being. An upset stomach really hammers home the importance of high-quality food.

Running for election to the SPI board

· spi · opensource ·

Over the past seven years, the Jenkins project has been an associate project with an umbrella 501(c)3 organization called Software in the Public Interest (SPI). Debian, PostgreSQL, and a number of other associate projects utilize SPI as a legal entity with which they can collect donations and assign intellectual property, such as trademarks. For the past few months I have been coming up to speed as an interim director on the board, replacing a seat vacated, but now I’m running for the seat in the 2018 board election

You should blog more

· opinion · writing ·

Some time ago, whenever I started the draft for this blog post, I was discussing with my colleague Kathy why I feel it’s important for people to write out their thoughts in long-form, ideally sharing them via a blog such as this. My reasoning is not to build “your brand”, share information, or anything else like that per se. I find that fundamentally, taking the time to write my thoughts down long-form helps draw more reasoned and nuanced thoughts out, and allows the cultivation of a richer inner mental landscape.

It's all about the dirt

· garden · compost ·

Last season I wrote down some of what I’ve learned about growing tomatoes and made certain to highlight the importance of soil health. Unfortunately this season’s tomatoes aren’t doing as well as I would like, and I’m relatively certain I know the culprit, despite not having the time to correct it: soil health.