Goals for 2015

I don’t make resolutions; I identify goals. These are my goals for 2015.

1. Start blogging again

I haven’t written anything for my personal blog in three years. Between now and then, I’ve moved to California and rebooted my entire life. I can still barely keep Apache running, but that’s not necessarily a prerequisite.

2. Drive less, bike more.

Driving is a loathsomely boring – and surprisingly dangerous – mode of transport that I simply have no real need for. I started riding a bike again late last year, having left my old ride in Florida during the move, and used it to get to work fairly consistently before a series of rain storms in December.

Now that I’m equipped with fenders, a cargo rack, and some confidence, 2015 should be a great year for bike commuting. Hopefully Caltrain’s bike capacity crunch won’t get in the way.

3. Make ongoing contributions to open-source software

Most of the people reading this probably know why open-source/free software projects are a Good Thing. I’ve made stray patches or demo projects in the past, but this year, I’d like to make regular, ongoing improvements to one or more projects that I use on a regular basis, or perhaps even start my own.

4. Get involved in civic issues

Perhaps the most justified complaint about the ongoing influx of tech workers into the Bay Area is that very few of us have engaged with the region’s numerous civic issues. As a very small step toward reversing this trend, I’d like to start participating more in the process.

Part of that will probably come in the form of blogging about housing and transit in the Bay Area. More concretely, I’d like to start showing up to public hearings and city council meetings to support transit and bike lanes.

5. Spend more time with friends

My friends in California are wonderful people who actually care about me. That’s a big adjustment from the toxic environments that I’d previously been accustomed to, and I still have the coping mechanisms to match. This year, I’m going to spend more time with them, and hopefully be a less awful friend to them, too.

6. Tend to a sourdough starter

After talking with Eryn last night about baking, and the need to do more of it, I think it’s finally time to have my own sourdough starter. Sourdough is delicious, can be made into almost any baked good, and has a long history in California, so it’s right up my alley. As a bonus, it should be good blogging fodder.

Hitting the wall with Storyboards

Jonathan Wight wrote about the problems with iOS 5’s new Storyboards API back in December, just as I was starting to use them for myself. At the time, I thought I would be able to avoid most of the problems he mentioned because the project has a relatively small scope. Sadly, there’s one issue that makes the technology simply unviable: the lack of user–defined relationships.

Consider a segmented control that toggles between a map view and a list view. At first glance, Storyboards makes it easy to follow the UITabBarController pattern with your own generic SegmentContainer class and a custom segue. But without user–defined relationships, you can’t add child scenes to a viewControllers outlet collection on the SegmentContainer’s scene.

My problem can be solved by writing a SegmentContainer equivalent that’s not as generic, but it still contributes to Jonathan’s overall point that storyboards simply aren’t ready for mainstream use. The container pattern is used by Apple’s own controllers; I’m honestly not sure how they implemented Storyboards without allowing it in custom controllers.

I love using Storyboards, but these kinds of problems are making me question whether I should.


I wanted to write something profound about my new handle. For a nerd, especially one who’s had the same handle for years and often uses it in real life instead of their real name, it’s a big change. But even now, with the domains registered, the server configured, and the DNS resolved, I’m finding that I simply don’t have anything to say about it.

The truly difficult part is that I don’t have any good reason for the change. Sure, I could blame the hate group squatting on a handle one letter off from my old handle or the degradation of the idea of patriotism in general in modern America, but even without those, I suspect @flpatriot just wouldn’t feel right.

In the span of a month, my hometown of St Petersburg was dealt two swift blows, the closing of a neighbourhood establishment, and the renaming the city’s newspaper to something that intentionally deemphasizes its (and my) home. The Florida I grew up believing in just doesn’t exist anymore, and I’m not sure that it ever did. That just hurts.

So with a heavy heart and a pocketful of words, I’m moving on.