OK, but seriously ... Hackaday Reorganization

PatrickPatrick wrote 07/24/2019 at 19:25 • 5 min read • Like

I have a pretty good idea now how works.  My first three months have resulted in a hodpodge of projects, pages, log entries, and links to a bitbucket repository.  Although I would like to salvage what I can from those projects, pages, log entries, and repositories, I feel it is now time to kind of "start over" to provide a better framework going forward.

The most important Hackaday "thing" is the now published link to the rPi bare metal vGuitar rig project and my three (3) followers :-)

Besides that, my general profile serves as a master container for subprojects and pages, and that entry point will also be retained going forward.

(1) I need to move the source code, generally out of Bitbucket and into GitHub.    Why?   I think I might trust Microsoft more than Atlasian, and I just feel like GitHub will be here for sure, going forward.

(2) Add lots of's to the GitHub project and subdirectories.    Why?   Because I like the idea of providing static or semi-static contextual information for the source code at the directory level.   In fact, I am not thrilled with using for the long term preservation of static information about the source code, how to build it, etc.   I like the idea of information that is keyed to the commits I make, as the structure, semantics, and usage of the code is a moving target and can change over time.   Hackaday does not lend itself to versioning, it seems better for recording snapshots of a moment in time, and presenting them in a separate linear context. i.e. as a fixed index into the morphing github commits.

(3) Create GitHub "pages" for the long term documentation of the architecture, components, APIs, etc, in the project(s).   Why?   this is a tough one.   Mostly because they are a natural fit for linking from the's in the source repository directories and subdirectories.

Although in a sense I like the "editor" functionality, and the ability to upload images to their servers, etc, I sometimes find it constraining.   Even if I try to use the <> raw HTML feature, it is just the nature of WYSIWYG html editors that they stomp on the HTML and create lots of artificial constraints on the presentation.   One thing that I have always struggled with, even in pure html, is to get two images to present side by side with a caption underneath each.    It can be done in html, but I would be afraid to do it in the editor for fear that that it will get stomped on in some round trip to html and back.     I had a heck of a time just getting the bullet list on my history page to work consistently.  The editor seems to want to make it's own decisions about the font faces and attributes of the text and does not change well between outdended (no bullet list) and indented (bulletted) items.  It's not a slam on hackaday.  I've written these kinds of WYSYWIG editors and they are not easy and always iffy somewhere around the edges.

(4) Use hackaday to present the most visually appealing aspects of what I'm doing.   I think serves as a great entry point for people surfing the web looking for interesting things to look at.  I think there is still a role for hackaday "pages", like this one, for extemporaneous stream-of-consciousness writing.

I like the eye candy of hackaday. 

If anyone else was interested in joining the project, perhaps that is what hackaday would be best at.  Unfortunately (a) no one has expressed an interest, and (b) I'm wary of inviting people because a one-person project gives me ultimate flexibility.   In order to properly move to a multi-person project, a LOT has to be established between the players ... from coding conventions to areas of responsibility to processes and procedures.  I think I  am a fair ways from that, which would, at a minimum, require the highest level architectural and design documents to be in some kind of a presentable state themselves.

But I much prefer the color scheme of hackaday to the light grey default of github pages.   Hackaday seems more fun to look at, more immersive, wheras Github pages looks like a wiki.   In fact, I suppose that's another thing I should research ... "wiki pages".

(5) One problem, I think, perhaps, with switching to github pages, we'll see, is that it seems you may need a separate server for images? I'll have to play around with it.   I dont think you can link from a github source repository to an image in the same repository, inasmuch as github source repositories are basically not intended to be web-servers, but I would think that you can create better links between html and images in github pages, with meaningful, persistent, semantic names and a directory structure, than you can with hackaday's server generated image urls, which are basically strings of random numbers.  I have no idea how the life-cycle of hackaday io images are managed ... like if I delete an image from all pages does it disappear from the server, or what kind of guarantee, if any, I might have that an (unlinked) hackaday image url will remain valid.  Probably so .. they probably just archive EVERY photo FOREVER, but github pages would give me explicit control over the lifecycle of such resources in the presentation.

In any case, I have a few things I want to post using the hodge-podge of what I have before I embark on a re-organization.  I created ili9486/xpt2046 touchscreen drivers for Circle, I have started to write a wxWidgets-like event driven windowing system for it, I had a very pleasant two days playing around with the esp8266 and an adxl345 accelerometer I had laying around, and finally, over the last few days I have built a quick and dirty Zythian synthesizer.   Somehow I want to present these four additional things for perusing, even though I will probably just be creating extra work for myself in the long run, but I've been sitting on some of these photos for almost a month and I want to get them, and some new sub-projects, or pags, or log entries, up for them before I do a major re-organization..

I'm also getting my first 3D printer delivered early next week.   A Prusa I3 MK3s.   I am very excited about that, lots of 3D daydreams, but also just an additional layer of complexity on the whole presentation thing.   I have to assemble it.  Is that a Project?   We'll see :-)

Finally, btw, comments are appreciated.  On any of the projects, subprojects, pages, logs, or anything else I publish.


- Patrick



Patrick wrote 07/25/2019 at 19:28 point

Thank you @Richard Hogben 

I will definitely create a project for the Prusa assembly.  Yikes.   It's a 15 hour build.  I am a little scared to get it right.

I am very curious how it will work on a boat that is always swaying to and fro. Hence "fun with accelerometers".

As far as general projects, and, I gotta say that I love your stuff.  You are way ahead of me.  I have to read your projects, particularly the synth(s) in more detail.  There's stuff I could learn there.

Physically, one limitation that I have is that I live on a sailboat at a remote island in Panama.  I sailed here from California.  The other thing is that I'm old and out of touch :-)  I only started doing this stuff (my first arduino) this year.  Sailed away in 2007, hardly been back.   Haven't been IN a car in 2 years, much less driven one (5 years ago I think).   So it's kind of weird to try to be "connected" and part of the hackaday community. 

Yet here I am :-)

For micro-electronic type stuff I can ship it from china like everybody else.  It just takes an extra 2-3 weeks.  "next day" delivery here is "maybe in 3 weeks, maybe not, have a beer, chillout mon".  

Unlike SF, love it, where you can just run to any one of a variety of stores, hardware stores, specialty electronics stores, etc, and have virtually anything in the USA delivered to you the next day, it's a little tougher to be a maker here.  If you want a piece of FRP, you can just go to home depot and get it.  I would have to lay it up myself.  Or 1/8" aluminum sheet.  How many times have I wanted that?  Even just basic internet can be challenging here. LOL, 5mbps is considered really good here, when there's power ... I'm hooked up via the marina I live at ... the town generator often goes down .. usually at about 5:00pm on Friday, when no-one can fix it :-)  (have a beer and chill mon).    I have solar on the boat but not enough at this time ...

I can't even get good plywood here :-)  

That's part of the reason I went with the Prusa instead of a cheap chinese clone 3D printer.   I want it to work well, and repeatably, and it must be robust to endure the rigors of the environment here.   Not only is the boat always moving, but we haven't had a day with less than 88% humidity in the 11 years I've been here.   There's salt water in the air.   Guitar strings that last 3 months up there rust here in a week.   I have actually put new strings on my guitar at night and they were rusted the next morning (phosphor bronze).   Put a bitchen bass amp in a closet for 6 months, came back, and the connectors and circuit boards were clumps of rust.   Hell, lol, the bugs alone are amazing.   If the flying termites find your stuff ... they'll eat through a sheet of 1/2 plywood in 2 days.   They got into a cardboard box containing a bunch of electronics components I wasn't paying attention to, and they not only ate anything you'd think of as consumable, but they even friggin ate a plastic (bakelite) terminal strip, along with the cardboard that was in the plastic shrink packaging.  The "stainless steel" screws on the terminal strip were also rusted lol.

You'll have to excuse me, I always have what's known as "sailors syndrome" ... which means I talk a lot cuz I don't get out much :-)

it's an honor to at least trail along in this new "makers world"  ...

I'll never be looking to sell anything.  I'm way retired and only doing what interests me.  Anything I design or create will be open source, and in the same way, I consider it an honor if someone else uses my code or anything. 

Uhm, thanks for reading.

- Patrick

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Richard Hogben wrote 07/25/2019 at 19:34 point

That's pretty amazing, do you blog anywhere else about your boat/travel or have anything on youtube?

I'm learning with 3d printers even the best require a lot of work. Going cheap/clones take even more time between mods & fixing, I think the Prusa is a good choice.

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Patrick wrote 07/25/2019 at 20:35 point

@Richard Hogben   When I sailed down here I made a pretty nice set of webpages integrated with google maps explaining the journey.   I started that webpage in 95' and continued supporting it through about 2008.  That page also has samples of my music and some of my other hobbies at the time (woodworking and rockets).   Though the google maps API has changed, and my page threatens to stop working, it still seems to work "ok".   So once you click on a map, it should open up the map in a separate browser window, and then you can navigate the map in one window or the story in the other window, and they shoudl be hooked up.  I think there about 350 pages in that effort.

I gave that effort up, and have not "blogged" anywhere else (except facebook, which is really not appropriate for any kind of useful information, and hence why I am on hackaday) until I got on here.    I made a couple of quick YouTube videos about the Ipad rig when I first set it up.  Not musically great,  but they weren't intended as performance pieces, but rather as explanatory/documentary pieces.

I've been meaning to embed these youtube videos in my "motivation" page on hackaday, but just so you know, that's the rig that I am trying now to replace with the bare metal vGuitar project.

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Richard Hogben wrote 07/25/2019 at 15:32 point

Hey @Patrick really appreciate this feedback. One thing I’ll add is everyone here is using github/Bitbucket or some alternative and I think your point #4 is very valid. There is a community on Hackaday and a wider audience from the web to share new projects with that will always be valuable for your stuff.

You should definitely post the perusals assembly as a project. I want one to replace my mono price mini delta and have been doing nothing but watching YouTube videos about them 😀

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