# Experiments

Embracing Terminal-Centric Workflows using Alacritty, Tmux, and Vim

I've long been inspired by the often beautiful -yet vastly nonfunctional- desktop setups found on /r/UnixPorn and other Linux-based forums. Often, starter packs describe a aesthetic and futuristic configuration to comprise of `Arch Linux` , `i3-gaps` , terminal-based interfaces, and `Vim` .

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Experiment: Moving to Pop!OS For A Month

As of this past weekend, which marked the start of March and what appears to be kinder climates, I opted to conclude the one year experiment and evaluate the state of the Linux desktop in comparison for a month. Though Windows itself wasn't giving much grief, there were still workflows and quirks that I truly never got over; likewise developing with WSL 2.0 proved to be quite the abstract objective than I thought which led to quite a bit of productivity-loss. I still quite enjoy the concept of Windows Subsystem for Linux, and feel that if I had started using it from day one instead of dropping it into a pre-existing `GIT-BASH` setup that things would be quite smoother. Curiously, I have plans to test exactly that If I end up returning to Windows 10 in the near future. Regardless, I have to work with CentOS, Red Hat and Fedora systems daily at work -which, encourages me to run a similar system for both my home an development environments. Such familiarity truly can help produce fantastic results when enveloped in a unified mindset among different.

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Approaching Minimalism

If you were to ask anyone who knew me well, they’d claim that I have not exhibited values or mindsets which dance around the same way that a minimalists does. I am so far from such a genre (according to some), that I made the joke of calling myself the ‘failed minimalist’ to which, a chorus agreed. Yet, I don’t think it’s impossible for anyone to swing that direction if their interests focus that way. I’ve been conducting research through both YouTube and also forums on how individuals gradually converted over to minimalism -taking on lifestyles inspired by minimalism, and the common thread is that the once the mindset changes, the rest will follow. There are plenty of YouTubers explaining the concept, some of which I’ve included below (starting to see how big a fan I am of Matt D’Avella?) for anyone interested in learning more.

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Getting SSL Setup on WordPress and Static Sites

At the start of 2018, Google made a major push to rank and direct users to HTTPS websites in effort to be more web-safe; a fantastic way to push for such security onto as many websites as possible, aimed at those who care about there search rankings, privacy, and consumers. This also meant that at the time of writing this article, I was already at least eight months behind on this -and GoDaddy was the persistent parent who always reminded me of the HTTPS push, alongside their one-click-install SSL certificates sold on top of their hosting packages. In 2018, who wants to invest hundreds for SSL just to spend as much (if not more) in the next?

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Using Docker to Orchestrate and Manage Node Projects

I found myself frustrated with this constant battle, be-it on ANY system that I was using. Eventually, they all became too cluttered and unlike a USB key which you could pull away and forget about, it was hard to clear out the jank without exposing your rm -rf habits to critical file systems. This is where I came up with the convoluted but totally awesome idea: Can I run NodeJS projects through Docker, and discard the container when I am done?

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Trying New Things, at the Cost of Old

A few weeks ago, I went with my friend Svitlana to view [Frame by Frame](https://national.ballet.ca/Productions/2017-18-Season/Frame-by-Frame), a ballet which paid homage to filmmaker and animator Norman McLaren. It was the first time either of us had gone to see a show based around the expression of dance. Instead of citing her opinions, I thought I'd focus on mine and opt for anyone curious of hers to ask or encourage her to post an article on it. But, that's not the point of this writing either. Put brief, the show is a fantastical mix of the digital modern aesthetic, classic analog grime, and contemporary fluidity used to depths which I never thought possible. Absolutely amazing. But, what is the point of this article?

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How I'm Getting Ready for New Things

If you hadn't followed my Twitter account (which you should, this shameless plug advocates for not any thought provoking posts or new insights, but more-less the mediocrity of the everyday developer such as yours truly @GervaisRay), then you wouldn't have seen my ongoing battle for the past year with my move from Toronto to Mississauga. Mississauga is a beautiful, growing city; so why the battle? Well simply put, because I could not put down or give away my habits, friends, and favorite activities which spawned out of Downtown Toronto. I was the kid who didn't want to say goodbye to his friends as he went home from summer camp.

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An Introduction to The 100 Days of Code

The day has finally come, the start of the much discussed 100 days of code! The official website can be found here: 100daysofcode.com, which explains the methodologies and why(s) of the challenge. I decided that it would be the best way to start learning new languages and concepts that I've always wanted to have experience in, such as `Python`, `Swift`, `Rust`, and `GoLang`. The first and primary scope is to learn Python, and have a comfort with the language similar to how I do with C and C++.

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The Open Source Audio Project (Idea!)

Hello there! If you're not new to blog, or I haven't changed any of the main headings for the website at the time of this article, you'd be aware just how big of an advocate I am of FOSS technologies on our everyday mediums. Android devices running AOSP-centric ROMs, Linux workstations running Fedora 26, and my non-FOSS hardware running as many OSS technologies as possible such as Inkshot, Visual Studio Code, Kdenlive, Firefox, etc. Ironically, the one theme which I hadn't played with for a few years now was audio production in an open source environment.

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A Semester Working Exclusively with MEAN Stacks

Since May, I've had the unique experience of working with MEAN stacks on a daily basis, each varying in complexity and architecture to reflect a different end goal. A semester ago, I'd never guessed how little time I'd be spending writing C++, Java, Swift, or even Python applications compared to JavaScript-powered web applications. Furthermore, this is the first time in my life that I'd been exposed to a technology stack not taught at Seneca, which during the time of my attendance examined LAMP, and C# / ASP.NET stacks.

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Taking Boostnote for a Spin

Recently, I came across a review conducted by It’s FOSS which described a new open source project aimed at improving the experience of note taking for developers. Titled Boostnote, here’s what I gathered after making the software my default note taking application and snippet manager -replacing SimpleNote in the process.

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JavaScript Console in Thimble

Originally, my aspirations had drawn my contribution choice to a recently suggested UI enhancement, which can be found in my previous [blog post here](http://raygervais.ca/brackets-enhancement-proposal/). Though it led to some valuable discussions for said implementation, it was decided that until such topic is further conceptualized, my contributions should be spent otherwise in a more concrete topic.

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Going Evil

I have been a vim user for about two years, most of that time dedicated to simply learning how to exit the application. But all jokes aside, I’ve been using this editor for 90% of my projects and can say with confidence that despite its perverse editing modes, my continuous failures to execute the correct command -by hitting the key right beside the desired target mind you, I am proficient enough to navigate a document and develop. This week, I decided I wanted to see what it was like on the other side of the editor war. This week, I went evil.

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The Perfect Platform Agnostic Digital Notebook - 2

Using Google Keep as my exclusive note keeping and organizational platform has been a mixed bag, one of which I had learned quite a bit of my own preference and annoyances when it comes to software. For one, Keep does not have a dark theme (this is easily remedied by changing css, or using a web wrapper with custom themes) nor does it encourage any developers to utilize it compared to Drive for example.

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The Perfect Platform Agnostic Digital Notebook

EverNote, a product regarded as the one of the most controversial productivity services of 2016 due to [pricing scheme](http://lifehacker.com/evernote-limits-device-sharing-for-free-users-bumps-up-1782744350) upgrade, feature restrictions on lower offerings, and a [privacy policy update](https://blog.evernote.com/blog/2016/12/15/evernote-revisits-privacy-policy/) -which allowed developers decrypted access to the average user’s notes, have made many turn away in uproar, and even fewer advocate the upgrades.

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