It's Been a Minute

February 18, 2023 by Steven Ng

So it's been slightly over a year since my last post, and a lot haas happened. I'm no longer doing independent contracting, and took on a full time job.

That job has taken up a lot of my time (in a good way), so I also haven't done any development in Svelte for over a year. Most of my days are spent pushing Cognos reports to their limits, and it's been a fun time.

If you asked me two years ago whether I'd be using Jquery a lot in 2023, I would have laughed at you, but because I'm working with Cognos Custom Controls a lot these days, I've been using Jquery and Jquery UI a lot.

While it feels like a huge step back compared to a modern framework like Vue or Svelte, it does give me an appreciation for why Jquery became ubiquitous when it did. Behind the scenes, Cognos HTML reports don't consistently use HTML classes, IDs or attributes (nor do they let you change them in many cases). As a result, you often have to figure out an attribute selector pattern to either style, control or bind events to them (thanks a million, IBM!), and Jquery is the OG library for doing that.

On another note, I had spent over a year building a little app called Radar (in Svelte), that I had been using daily to basically organize my life. And then late last year, Obsidian went 1.0. If you have followed my comments in the past, I've been searching for years for the ultimate note taking application. I had used the Obsidian beta, but it wasn't quite there for me, and while it's not what I ultimately would like (which, in a nutshell is a WYSIWYG Markdown Editor that works and looks like Visual Studio Code), it's by far the closest thing to it. Also, its nascent plug-in ecosystem is already large and full of useful tools.

I basically use Obsidian for tracking stuff now (in addition to note taking). What does that mean for that app I made just for myself (and a few people who managed to get a link for it)? It means I'm most likely going to redirect my attention towards migrating it to Electron (which I had considered doing in the past), and/or converting it into an Obsidan plug-in. The great thing is that Obsidian is an Electron app that supports plugins written in Javascript. The challenge now will be carving out some of my free time to learn the API and coding for it. Given how many hobbies and interests that I have, I don't know how and when any of this would happen.

Finally, I don't know how frequently I'll be posting right now, but I think I'd prefer to focus on quality over quantity, especially since the site is no longer in that "self-promotion" mode that I needed when I was an independent contractor. I'm probably going to focus on topics related to being more productive using technology, or maybe some how-tos on random technological subjects.