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from Introspect in category professional

Great ex-SPECT-ations

A statement of intent and principles for my new blog-and-website generator, Spect.

Introducing Spect, Part 3

Spect is a Python-based static website generator and blogging engine. The program is still at a way early alpha development stage, but it is working enough to begin using for this website. In the long run, I hope that it becomes practical for others to use it as well, because, clearly what the world needs most is new ways to make blogs.

I am working this all out on GitHub, which I’m still just learning to use alongside of learning Python.

As of this writing, Spect can generate blog posts like this from MarkDown files, track categories and tags (including sitewide tags, importing tag dictionaries from non-blog sections), upload new content to a server, and generate certain pages. I have a lot more in mind – there is a roadmap at the GitHub repository where I’ll try to post updates. But progress may be slow now that I have the basic framework in place and can get down to writing.

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from Introspect in category professional

Writing Code to Make Websites to Write About Code

I’m learning to code but I ain’t got wings. Part 2 of a series.

Introducing Spect, Part 2

In 2015, I began a bit of a career shift from “generalist with solid tech skills” to “brogrammer wizzzard.” Ok, not really. But after a long period of working with library metadata I moved to a new position in my library’s Digital Initiatives department. Around the same time I began a long-delayed MLIS program. My technical knowledge increased rapidly. I had to dive immediately into databases and command-line tools, then quickly pivoted to geniune coding. I began to take an interest in Python on the advice of my supervisor — we’re working on a major project with the Internet Archive and much of their technical infrastructure is built in Python. I took some of an MIT EdX Python class and then, as part of an “information architecture” class, a Codecademy Python course. I learned a fair amount despite hating the way “Codecademy” is spelled.

These courses were the first time I have ever done any formal(ish) programming training. I can trace my primitive coding skillz back a long way though. As a kid I can remember going through examples from a book on BASIC on an old Apple II, and even remember a lot of details like using ? as a shortcut for PRINT:

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