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· 5 min read
Paul Armstrong
Multi-part series

In the introduction to this series, we covered the rationale for building a custom wedding website, as well as the requirements that we laid out for ourselves.

Now that we know what we need, it’s time to choose the right tools for the job. From our previously set requirements, the following items stood out as important for what we choose here:

  • Free or very cheap hosting with a custom domain and SSL
  • Invitees must be able to
    • Sign in with their email address and no password (magic link email)
    • Receive automated emails for their invitation and RSVP confirmation
  • All significant information must come from a protected database

· 3 min read
Paul Armstrong

Weddings are expensive. Trying to do one on a budget while following the social norms and expectations of planning and putting on a wedding just don't really mix. After getting engaged, Kelly and I discussed what we did and definitely did not want when it came to our wedding.

Oh hey, I'm getting married!

One of the first things to do that we threw out was the idea of sending paper invites. Not only is it incredibly wasteful, but we had just received a wedding invitation in the mail and it just seemed expensive, tacky, and impersonal. Take this RSVP card option that comes from popular wedding registry website redacted:

· 2 min read

At Microsoft, obviously, we’re required to use Teams for communication (instead of Slack, Google Chat, Discord, etc). I’ll be honest, there is not much that I actually like about Teams. But one of the most minor and frustrating things is how much they’ve limited your ability to express reactions to messages.

· 2 min read

Today marks nine full years of sobriety for me. Just a few weeks ago, my fiance asked me a question that’s been nagging her for a bit.

What can I do to help you celebrate your milesone?

My response surprised even me.

· 3 min read

Working with git can be hard, verbose, and repetitive. I’ve been using this small collection of bash/zsh functions for a few years now and I don’t think I could work without them anymore.

  • main - quickly jump back to the default/HEAD branch of your repo without needing to know what the name of that branch is.
  • rebase - rebase your current branch against the current state of the default/HEAD branch as it is on the remote server.
  • rmbranch - delete your current working branch and move to the default/HEAD branch. Great for PR cleanup!

· 7 min read

As of October 26th, 2021, I have resigned from the AMP Technical Steering Committee. Though no small part of it was brought on by mounting responsibilities at work and at home, I cannot in good conscience recommend AMP to my peers due to recent disclosures about Google’s advertising conduct and its positioning of AMP.

· 5 min read

I’ve been sitting on this decision for a long time. It’s not easy to abandon something I have poured a lot of thought, care, time, and effort into. It’s almost like quitting a job… except I never got paid for the job.


Want to avoid the blah blah sob story? Just go here: Maintainer help wanted

Open source was, is, and will continue to be the gateway for my entire skillset. Without it, I don’t think I would have ever learned how write software, let alone ever have become a software developer.

· 7 min read

There are too many choices for server-side rendering HTML pages. Avoiding the heavy hitter frameworks like React, that require a lot more work and will drain server resources quickly, you may find yourself reaching for a templating engine that can dynamically help you build up HTML responses for your JavaScript server.

Having written a templating engine1, I know that many of them include features that make them really attractive to many users. However, you may really not need one at all.

· 4 min read

I absolutely love the multi-touch surface of the Apple Magic Mouse 2. It's easy, it's intuitive, and it's natural. Unfortunately, the mouse is wildly non-ergonomic. Almost just as importantly, the battery seems to die, without fail, an hour into my work-day. In order to get any work done, I need a backup $79 Apple Magic Mouse 2.

In fits of rage, every couple of weeks when the battery died, I would try to live with just using the keyboard. Unfortunately, too many websites that I need to use daily are completely inaccessible. Tabbing around the page just doesn't work.

So I needed a better solution. Sadly, though, no one else seems to make a reputable multi-touch surface mouse that doesn't have a proprietary port on its under-side that renders it useless while charging.