Introducing LiteStore

A tiny, lightweight, self-contained, RESTful document store

Lately I have become more and more interested in client-side single-page applications. Nowadays you can write your web apps in Javascript using your favorite framework, without any server-side logic, but you obviously still need:

  • some web service to retrieve and persist your application data.
  • a web server to serve the source code and the static assets of your web application.

NodeJS is probably one of the easiest backend to setup for prototyping SPAs. It is very easy to create a simple web server in Node and to implement a simple REST API using Express or a similar framework, but you still need to install node and write some code to wire up your backend.

I wanted something even more lazy then that. I wanted a fully self-contained program able to:

  • Serve static files
  • Act as a simple JSON document store
  • Provide a simple REST API to work with
  • (bonus!) provide a way to pack web apps for easy distribution

…and that’s how I ended up developing LiteStore.

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Introducing HastyScribe

A simple command-line application to generate self-contained HTML documents

Did you ever have to write a document, but didn’t want to (or couldn’t) use MS Word or another WYSIWYG word processor? Yep, I agree: that’s what Markdown is for.

Luckily, there are a lot of editors that support Markdown out there (I just installed MacDown myself), and they work great, most of the time. Unfortunately though, they often:

  • Generate HTML fragments instead of full documents
  • Don’t include a proper stylesheet
  • Generate more than one file

The last one on the list in particular, is true for all of them: the stylesheet may be embedded in the document, but if you want to use images, they are managed as separate files; and the same thing happens if you want to use custom fonts. That’s how HTML works, after all… right? Nope.

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Choosing the Right Blogging Platform

Or why I am still going to use Nanoc for the foreseeable future

Every so often I wonder whether I should ditch my current blogging platform and try something new and shiny that just came out. Luckily, normally I come back to the same conclusion: I don’t need to change anything, I just need to find the time and the will to write about something.

This time is no different, but I thought I’d write a roundup of platforms, services, and tools that you can use for blogging or managing your personal sites. Note that this roundup is by no means exhaustive (like most roundups) — it’s just a quick overview of the pros and cons of a few systems that I’ve been researching on lately. Maybe it will be useful to someone.

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Book Review: Best Practices for Technical Writers and Editors

Simply all the books your Documentation Team needs

I’ve been working in Technical Communications for nearly seven years now, first and foremost Technical Writer and more recently as Documentation Manager. In other words, my work revolves around manuals and online helps, authoring tools and guidelines, documentation standards and… you get the picture.

And yet, although I write articles and develop documentation tools in my free time as well, I rarely write about my job on this site. But when I was offered the opportunity to read and review Best Practices for Technical Writers and Editors, I just couldn’t resist.

Continue reading → v8.3 Released

A new minimalist design, powered by Twitter Bootstrap

One of the many things that really bothered me about my web site was the fact that it didn’t look good on my iPhone, or any small screen for that matter.

Years ago I read about responsive web design, media queries, etc., but I never had the will or the time to dive into the subject. Then Twitter Bootstrap came out, and it changed everything.

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Glyph 0.5.0 Released

Featuring Calibre integration, macro composition, Turing-completeness, and more

Too much time passed since the last Glyph release. Way too much. Finally I found the time and will to tidy up the last few remaining bugs, update the docs, and release it!

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Herald (Vim Color Scheme)

My very own VIM color scheme. Featuring 256, 16 and 8 color support, high readability and... pretty colors!