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  • Personal

    19 articles in this category

      JWSE Year 2 - moving forward yet another year

      Today is my birthday. It is also the first birthday of this website after I converted it to use Invision Community. This last year have been filled with ups and downs, not just in life but the entire world seem to be having trouble finding it's footings. As I move into year two of the latest incarnation of this website it is time to find that footing again, at least for this website.
      When I started the conversion last year it was just another experiment. A way to try out the good old Invision Community again. Something I have done on and off since 2002 or so, but never really stuck with. What I found was that Invision Community was working very well for me now. The many years had matured Invsion Community as a product and as I got deeper into the template system it really appealed to me as it allowed me a creative freedom that not even Wordpress can match.
      In this last year I have created hundreds of blogposts, hundreds of videos have been added and I have recreated my entire swedish blog again. I have built several databases such as the Awesome People section and My Projects section. I have also had a few setbacks such as loosing all graphics for some strange mishap at my hosting company and also had my account ravaged by virus due to the presence of my old Wordpress site. This has since been corrected and I am now on a new webhost and I have setup an AWS hosting for images (which also cost me dearly due to a script malfunction, but that has since been corrected).
      Over all it has been a good year, filled with exploration and learning. My passion for front end development have been reignited and my passion for design has also returned. The writing comes and goes, but overall I feel good about it and i feel that it is far easier to write using Invision Community than it is to use Wordpress. It suits me better I think.
      Moving forward
      Last year I wrote some goals for this website in the form of short term, medium term and long term goals. These goals are still valid and while I have created the databases and I have a design that works for at the moment, I will rebuild this design again as part of the 4.5 upgrade.
      Short Term Goals
      My short term goals is to upgrade the site to version 4.5. With that comes some new features, but the main goal is to reset the structure and design  bit. I have played around and experimented a bit in the last year and it is time to clean that up now. So the first short term goal I have is to build a new design, recreating the current design for the 4.5 version. This includes building some new templates that I need for certain databases, but also organize the databases properly.
      One of those templates I want to build is to recreate the block design I currently use for this blog. It is based from a purchased application and as much as I like it, I do not need the functionality. I also want to build a design I can understand fully and can control rather than relying on someone elses design. I also want to experiment a bit and use css grid, flexbox and maybe even currentColor, which will be superfun I think.
      The second template is a listing template that I will use for things like My Education and if I decide to add a reference feature, like the CSS reference on w3schools. It will be a very simple template, but very useful for different types of listings.
      Another short term goal I am working on right now is to update all the projects in My Projects and rebuild My Gallery section.
      Medium Term Goals
      The medium term goals will be to create the information for guest blogging and about this site.  About this site is not just for the visitors as I also need to define what this site is for myself. I also need to figure out who I build the site for so I know what to create for them. For this purpose I am starting to create sort of a personas gallery for myself, which is actually already helping me focusing the content a bit.
      Guest blogging is probably not going to take off that much in year 2, but I still want to make sure it is easy to understand how to do it. Having a page and instructions on what it means to guest blog is just a first step however. I still need to build a few things to make it valuable for the guest bloggers so I can repay them for their contributions. I have create a new user group just for authors and I am considering to build a new database for them as well.
      With the My Projects on it's feet I will take another look at My Roles. I realize that it is quite easy to build a CV - like structure by connecting to the My Projects database. So I will build a new template for this later this fall and combine that with acual CV's as time permit.
      Long Term Goals
      The long term goals for year 2 will be to create more content that is helpful. What I mean by that is that much of what I write here is mostly for me. It is news that I think is interesting and my own thoughts mostly. While that is good and fine, I also want to make sure that I add content that can help and inspire. Things like short tutorials, downloadable graphics and inspiring posts on new tools or practices is probably more useful for a visitor, so I will focus a bit extra on that in year 2. It takes a bit more time and energy, but I think it will be worth it.
      I get a lot of questions on how I built this site, so I am going to write more about that. I know how hard it can be to get started with Invision Community as the information is a bit scattered, so if I can help people get started, then that would be great.
      Overall the long time goal is still to provide useful information and resources to make people want to come here. The long time goal is also to use this site as a way to keep my toes wet in the front end development area and the design area primarely.
      These long term goals always balance against me having fun. This site can never be a source of stress, that would defeat it's puprpose. Slow and steady progress over perfection as time permit is key. As is doing this with love, not obligation because this is a website created to satisfy my need to write and create. Nothing more. Nothing less.
      Onwards to year 2 with new adventures and discoveries!

      Working with Invision Power Services is difficult, but rewarding

      This site is built on Invision Power services and out of the box it is a very competent solution. As I dig deeper into the CMS however things quickly becomes a bit difficult. At the same time I continue to be amazed on just how powerful this system is.
      When you dive into IPS then you quickly start to find areas where you need some guidance. This is when you try to figure out how to adjust a certain piece of data or how IPS template systems work. This is where things get a bit difficult because very little effort is made to support this kind of questions from IPS. They rely on the community to support each other, but unfortunately this works very poorly.
      IPS used to have specific areas for each of their modules, but now that is gone and instead there is a generic area. For me who mostly need help with the CMS this is a pain because the CMS barely register as most still only use the forum. So finding the right information is difficult at best and if you ask, then you rarely get any help because so few actually know anything about the CMS. I think that 90% of all my questions are answered by OpenType, one of the few Pages experts on IPS. There are some documentation, but it is rudimentary and is more a base than actual documentation, so you really need someone to help you with the more specific areas.
      Once you get through that obstacle then magic start to appear. I do not think i have used a software this powerful...ever. Just out of the box you can do pretty much anything you want. Then there are plugins and addons built by the community to further extent the capabilities. Once you start to understand how things are connected, then you almost get immobilized because there is just so much potential so it's hard to know where to start!
      It is annoying ass hell sometimes, but at the same time it's just awesome when you figure out how things actually work and what you can do with it.

      September - The month of Me

      September is upon us and for the next 4 weeks I will focus on giving you a glimpse into who I am. That part of my site always are the least developed, so I want to make it a bit different this time around. So September will be the month of me here on the site.
      Since I will be rebuild the Interview section where I met and interviewed different people I will present myself in a similar way. I will work on my projects and my education section to make sure those are up to day and the way I want them. The biggest focus will be on the About me section however and the new feature called my roles..
      Since I want to give you a more in depth view of who I am it would be fun if you asked me questions about things you would like to know about me.
      So don't be shy and ask me anything you want to know about me!

      My trip to Moscow

      Last week I went on a trip to Moscow to lead some workshops for my current assignment. This was my first trip to Moscow and to Russia in general. Not only did I enjoy my time in Moscow, I find myself considering going back again as a tourist.
      My trip began a few of weeks before traveling as you need a visa to travel to Moscow. This required some documents and a trip to the Russian visa central. Since we got all the documents in advance this was quick and easy. A waiting period for about 10 days and then we could pick up our visa and travel to Moscow.
      At Arlanda Airport we traveled with Aeroflot from terminal 2, which is a pretty small terminal compared to the ones I usually travel from. Me and Christan must have been a bit tired, because we missed that we were at the wrong gate and that the restaurants where all upstairs. It all worked out well of course, but we laughed a bit at it afterwards.
      I am not a frequent flyer by any means, but I have taken a few flights in my days and passing through customs in Moscow was a new experience. Not many speak English (or at all) at the airport and you have to go through several checkpoints which takes forever. It's not annoying or stressful, it just takes extra long due to the many checkpoints. Some checkpoints are even just a few feet apart, which feels a bit redundant.
      Once cleared we had a taxi waiting for us. The trip took about 90 minutes and cost almost nothing compared to the cost here in Sweden. The hotel had a pretty small lobby and we arrived just as a bus was checking in. I know well how stressful this is from my time working in hotel, but the receptionist checked us in with grace and great attitude. Top score right there.
      We had a burger king just outside the hotel so we just grabbed a burger and Pepsi cherry by mistake and then went to bed. It was a long day, but overall a smooth trip.
      The next day we had workshop with the client and afterwards we had a dinner together. We went to a Nordic restaurant called Björn and had some good food. After the meal we got a nice tour of the red square and of course the subway by our hosts Mikhail and Roman. Me and Christian decided that even though we got a nice tour of the red square, we wanted to see it in daylight as well.
      Day 2 was workshops again and after we wrapped that up we started a walk that would last for almost 5 hours. We aimed for Gorky park and headed out. Going a little bit west we continued to be amazed over how clean Moscow is and how amazing the architecture is. The buildings are impressive and everywhere we stood in awe over the structural pieces of art.
      Passing through a busy Gorky park we moved towards the river and headed towards the red square. We passed the enormous statue of Peter the Great and then took the bridge over to the Kreml and the red square. Just on the right after the bridge there are some spectacular structures that give an amazing view over Moscow and the Moscow river.
      After a long walk around the surrounding areas around Kreml to see Bolshoi Theater and Lubyanka prison we ended up watching a bunch of Scotsmen playing just outside the Kreml. This of course was because at the time of our visit there was a competition for military music groups from all over the world.
      On our way home we decided to walk and we got to see a little about Moscow's nightlife. As expected it was pretty calm and cosy with some musicians playing in the parks and soft music playing in the pubs. I am sure this is a bit different in the weekends, but it was just the right amount of people out for my taste on the weekdays.
      Going back home took a while. We started at 5 in the morning and took a cab to the airport before 6, just to be sure that we would not have any issues before our flight was leaving at 10.40. The cab drive took a little over an hour and at the airport we had to stand in line for 40 minutes just to check in. After that it was the long process of getting through to our flight through all the checkpoints.
      It took another hour and I actually got stuck in a very strange situation where the woman before me was having a heated argument with the woman forcing her to step back and take off her shoes before passing the security checkpoint with the scanner. it was awkward because the woman working in the checkpoint waved me to pass through, but the woman without shoes would not let me pass.
      Eventually we got through and had a smooth flight back to Sweden. I got stuck on the last row and I had company by a nervous guy from India going to Uppsala to study and a restaurant chef returning from a 3 month visit with family in Mongolia. We had an interesting chat on our way back to say the least.
      Once back home in Sweden we had a very long queue to get past the visa check, but as a swede I could pass right trough. Thank you for that Arlanda! 
      Once home I was super tired and fell aslep in the afternoon. My head desperately trying to process the workshops and of course the amazing city of Moscow.
      It was an amazing trip.

      Keeping track of life with Daylio

      If you are anything like me, then you track all kind of things about your life. Whether it is your heart rate, physical exercises or the calories you digest, we track them on a daily basis in our smart devices. Mental health and your mood is not as common to track however. For me who also like to scribble down short reminders here and there I found Daylio to be quite interesting for track your mood and mental health.
      Daylio is not a medical tool in any way. It is a micro diary. It is very customizable and you can edit the activities and your moods easily to fit the tracking you want to do. For me that are my state of mind, but also how often I get sick. This is so I can get a grasp on the extent I get affected by my SHR and what might trigger it. I also track things like how often I take medicine and nutrients and so on.
      The written part is designed to be very short. I write down very basic things about my day just as a reminder on what I did during that day. It kind of remind me of the school calendars you had when you where young where you were limited to a few words at most.
      Once you start adding daily entries you can see activities and mood in a calendar view as well as statistics view where you get a number of useful diagrams and statistics.

      Now this can be used in any way you like, whether it is to track your training habits, quit smoking or your state of mind. I like this app a lot because it is extremely easy to use and it can be customized to be useful in many situations. The micro diary part is just icing on the cake and super fun to look back on.
      Daylio - Mood Tracker and Micro Diary
      DAYLIO.WEBFLOW.IO Daylio is Mood Tracker slash Micro Diary. Daylio enables you to keep a private diary without having to type a single line. Try this...  
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