The Meta Letter (Archive)

A now defunct newsletter from Kev Quirk

Meta Letter 10 – RMS – The Rather Massive Shitshow

📅 23 Mar 2021

Hey there, folks! ? Welcome to issue number 10 of The Meta Letter. We made it to double digits, whoop whoop! Honestly, I can’t really believe it’s been another month already – where is 2021 going?

Anyway, enough pre-waffle, there’s a lot to cover this month so let’s got on with the issue shall we…

📝 From my blog

I’ve been a busy bee ? on my blog this month and have produced what I would consider a fair amount of content. I think that’s mostly down to the fact that I switched themes, so I’ve been concentrating more on writing content than writing code. Here’s the drivel I’ve managed to produce this month:

Is JavaScript Bad? Well, Only If You’re Using It Wrong
In this post I talk about why I think JavaScript has a bad reputation and why it isn’t as bad as people make out for many use cases. Yes, it can be mis-used, but that doesn’t mean it’s inherently bad.

How To Remove The HTML Extension From A URL
Someone asked me on Mastodon how they could go about removing the .html extension from their webpage URLs. The 500 characters that Mastodon affords me wasn’t enough, so this was my response.

The Wonderful World Of WordPress Wizardry For Working With Websites
The TL;DR for this post is basically that I switched my website back to WordPress from Jekyll, left it for a month and no-one noticed. Just shows that WordPress isn’t that slow after all, eh?

Getting started With Git – A Simple Beginner’s Guide
I’ve been meaning to write a Git beginners guide for some time now, having only started using it around a year ago myself. Many of the guides I found online baffled me, so I decided to create a post that focusses on the real basics of Git and no more. So far I’ve had pretty positive feedback.

A Child Of Twenty Twenty One
I alluded to this in my intro – when I flipped back to WordPress, I originally used a theme that looked exactly like my Jekyll site, which is why no one really noticed. But in true Kev fashion, I was still pissing around with the code all the time. So I decided to switch to a slightly customised (via a child theme) version of WordPress’ default theme, Twenty Twenty One.

How To Speed Up WordPress
Is it obvious I’m back on WordPress? ? The title says it all really, this is a guide on how I optimise WordPress to get the performance my site has. Spoiler: There’s not magic going on here, it’s all common-sense.

My Thoughts On Richard Stallman’s Return To the FSF Board
If you didn’t know, Richard M Stallman (RMS for short) is back on the board of the Free Software Foundation. This has caused a huge shitshow and this post talks about my own personal feelings on the whole thing.

Wew! Told you it was a busy month for content! Ok, enough about my blog, let’s look at some other cool stuff I’ve found around the web this month…

Around the web

The First Battery-Powered Tanker is Coming to Tokyo
I thought this was really cool – I didn’t realise that the electric motor industry was mature enough to be running tankers! There’s a change in the tide coming, folks! ?‍♂️

Firefox 86 Introduces Total Cookie Protection
One for my fellow privacy advocates, this. It’s great to see Mozilla adding privacy first features to Firefox, like total cookie protection. If you don’t know, total cookies are basically cookies that track you across multiple sites on the Internet. Firefox now prevents this from happening.

The Ultimate CSS Grid Tutorial for Beginners
I enjoy web design, but CSS Grid has always baffled me, but no longer, dear reader! This superb guide takes you through CSS Grid in such a way that even my dog could understand it. ?

🧐 Meta Picks

Nextpad: Notepad & Markdown Editor
I use Windows 10 almost as much as I use Ubuntu on my main desktop machine, so I’ve been on the lookout for a good Markdown editor for quite some time. I was using Typora previously, which was ok, but a little wonky as it tries to hide the markdown syntax from the writer. I recently found Nextpad, which I’m using right now to write this post. It’s an excellent editor and I’m really happy with it. If you’re looking for a decent Markdown editor for Windows, check it out.

💭 Meta Thought

Ok, this month’s issue has gone on long enough, so I think it’s time to wrap this up if you’re not asleep already. As usual, I will leave you fine people with a thought:

You know you’re an adult when you miss trash day and it ruins your entire week. ?

Until next month, folks; Kev, out.