My Last Post on This Domain

OK guys,

I think that it is time for me to publish the last post on this blog using WordPress as a domain. As you probably already know, GitHub is my favorite company and I have decided to switch my blog to a completely new domain.

I have published a couple of posts exclusively on the new domain and backed up every post from this domain to my new address (with one exception, but I’m working on it). I feel confident now to make the switch and I started to feel really comfortable using GitHub + Jekyll as a blogging platform, so I’ve decided to drop by and say good bye to my old domain.

From now on, you can follow me on r3bl.github.io. Be sure to use the http version of the site because https version is currently not properly implemented in the code. If you run into some issue while browsing the site or you miss a feature that I had implemented on this domain, feel free to report it here.

As always, you’re more than welcome to contact me anytime on aleksandar.todorovic@mail.ru. I hope that you’ll continue to read me on my new address.

Sincerely,
Aleksandar Todorović

Why Have I Decided To Switch My Blog To a GitHub Pages + Jekyll Combination

WordPress was a great platform for the beginning of my blogging experience. The simplicity needed for the creation and maintaining of the WordPress blog is amazing. It literally took me 10 minutes from the creation of my blog to my first post. But, a few days ago, I’ve decided that it is time for me to switch to something more powerful. I’ve decided to switch to Jekyll blogging platform.

Why have I chosen GitHub + Jekyll as my new platform?

Well, first of all, my PHP knowledge is very limited. I have always considered PHP to be the weakest spot in my education. And, on top of that, I’m not that comfortable with databases for now. Jekyll has allowed me to run a completely self-maintained blog without using any PHP or MySQL.

Using this combo is going to boost my GitHub profile and my Git knowledge

Because of the excellent Jekyll integration with GitHub pages, maintaining a blog using Jekyll is going to force me to use GitHub even more than I have used it so far. And I think that is great. By doing so, I’m going to visit GitHub more often, which will boost my desire to hack and program new things (this is the newest project I’m planing on making a reality).

It will also boost my GitHub profile in the search results, which is something I desperately need to do. While Google-ing my full name, I found out that there’s an actor, a photographer and a war criminal with the same name as mine. You can imagine the surprise of my future employer if he sees my name associated with a term such as a war criminal.

I love every single product that GitHub developed over the years

Lets be honest, GitHub is my favorite company and I love every single feature they’ve developed over the years. I love their tight integration with Git, their pages, their Gists, their Atom text editor and their Student Developer Pack (even though my request is still in the verification process).

Markdown has become my favorite markup language

Ever since I’ve started using GitHub more regularly, I’m amazed by the simplicity behind Markdown. I’m using it to type everything from by blog posts to my collage papers and essays. Now, to be honest, I’ve written most of my posts using Markdown even back when in my WordPress days, but Jekyll allows me to update my blog in an incredibly simple way. I just have to write my post inside of a new Markdown file, update my repository and that’s it. I don’t even have to open Firefox to post something.

An option to choose a commenting platform

Lets be honest, if you need comments on your website, Disqus is the way to go. Most of the sites I’m visiting are using it, and I see no reason of why I should choose anything else.

I love having the full control over my blog

Worpress.com is a free platform and as such it does have some advantages and some limitations. Even though I loved the simplicity of some feature (like a WordPress stats feature), I hated the way I was limited in the customization of my blog. Using this combination, I have no limitation that I’m uncomfortable with. I can customize my blog in any way I want and it feels great! Every Jekyll customization, every theme and every plugin I ran into were completely free (as in both speech and beer) and because of that I can customize every single aspect of them as I wish.

So, how will I make the transition happen?

Now this is a tricky one. I have decided that I’m going to be using this combination permanently, but I do have a lot of work to do before making the final switch.

First of all, there are still some parts of this excellent HPSTR Jekyll theme that I haven’t customized properly (or at all). This is why I’m regularly updating a TODO.md file to remind myself of what still needs to be done.

So, if you like my blog, I encourage you to go through that TODO.md file and to report any issues that I haven’t noticed inside of that file here.

In the meantime, I’m going to post on my old platform and my new platform until I’m completely satisfied with the switch. I have also started posting my most interesting articles on Medium not too long ago, so you might want to check that out as well.

You can expect some great new things like SSL support, my own domain and a fully customized home page in the near future. And, in the spirit of open source software, every single line of code is available for you to fork and use in your project in any way you want.

CodeCombat – The Most Fun Way To Learn New Programming Language

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If you ever programmed in your life, you’ve probably realized that the process of learning a new programming language can become quite a boring thing to do. You already know how to program in X programming language, but you need to learn the syntax of Y language for yourself / for some new project / for some job you want to get? Well, believe it or not, there is a fun way to do that.

I was never a huge fan of video games, but I did like to play a game or two once every few days. I haven’t played a single game for months now. I consider playing games as a huge procrastination. One of the main reasons I switched to Linux (almost completely now) is because I wanted to be more productive, and one of the ways to be more productive is to limit your access to the things that make you procrastinate*.

But, there’s a certain game that got my attention. It’s called CodeCombat and the point of playing this game is to teach you the syntax of a programming language in a very fun way. It’s an open source project (and if you’ve been reading my blog you know how much am I obsessed by everything related to open source) and the game is not limited to one specific programming language. You can select which programming language you want to use. My choice for a new programming language was JavaScript. This is a pretty well done browser game, so you can start playing the game no matter what platform you’re using currently.

Now I’m not in any way suggesting that this is the best way to learn some programming language, but it pretty much is the most fun way of doing that. So, if you like playing computer games, but you think that you’re waisting your time by playing them instead of learning something, this game is pretty much the best of both worlds.

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* DISCLAIMER: I’m not saying that gaming on Linux is not possible. I’m a huge fan of the way how Linux gaming is advancing in the last year or two. I’m just having a huge self control over it.

What I’ve been doing lately? Translating elementary OS!

So, apart from writing my first semi-professional paper (which I wrote about – although in Bosnian – here) and organizing a contest on my blog where you could win a couple of Office 365 licenses for free, I started to fall in love into programming again. It’s been a couple of months since I programmed anything.

The last project I’ve been working on is working, but it has a hell of a lot of bugs. It’s called Sensitive Data Grabber and I’ve already written about it on my blog here. So, why ain’t I finishing it?

Well, the thing is that I’ve created that project using Visual Basic inside Visual Studio. You probably know that this kind of environment is Windows-specific. I’ve been spending most of my time lately using Linux as my primary operating system. I’ve found my perfect distribution and it’s called elementary OS (I already covered the reasons why here – again, in Bosnian language).

Now, because I don’t have enough knowledge in any programming language that can be run in my perfect distribution, I’m still adjusting. While I’m doing that, I’ve decided that I want to do something for the elementary community before I’m good enough to program some apps. Because of that, I’ve decided to start translating elementary OS to Bosnian language.

I’m not just getting started, I’ve already finished translating a lot of elementary-related projects. Now I only have seven (out of 37) projects left. That’s a little more than 2.5k strings to translate. It does seem like a lot, but I’m pretty confident that I will be able to finish that by the end of the year. Most of the operating system is already translated. By the time I finish it, I’ll probably be able to program some useful apps and then I’ll start to publish them using my own ppa.

I feel very optimistic right now. As the narrator says in the end of this great video:

I don’t know why, but.. I feel very excited about the future. Anything is possible now.

 

Update:

The translation of elementary OS is almost over! Only a couple of programs until you can use elementary OS without any problems if you come from Bosnia & Herzegovina!