A few days ago on ADN I noticed tech blogger Harry Marks complaining about his blog host, Squarespace. For various reasons, he wanted to take his blog elsewhere. What they gave him was as a large xml file with more than sixty-thousand lines of bracketed stuff amounting to 5.5mb, which is kind of humongous for a text file.
I get uncomfortable when people are upset and I want to help them so I can relax again, so I offered to help convert that xml file into the format he wanted, which is a markdown file for each blog post with the metadata at the top in the YAML front-matter syntax. I felt pretty comfortable that I could help because some of the projects I’ve done recently involved xml interpretation1, markdown2, and general string manipulation, and was like mad bored and jonesing for a project just like this, to do like my mom does Sudoku (which I’m terrible at).
On ADN it’s customary to join conversations uninvited. People go to the global feed and just reply to things. Some apps de-prioritize the global feed, to the ire of these people. My instinct is to give people space, but when in Rome, … write unsolicited programs … ?