Almost Back In The Saddle

Hello, my name is Ian Jones, and this is the RustyElm microcast, a short, very ad-hoc journal of my attempt to learn Rust and Elm in order to build a side project.

I had a draft podcast way back in mid September 2018, but never finished it as I was just too damn busy.

Things have been kinda crazy, starting with working on multiple huge releases of WP Offload Media, and helping out with WP Offload SES. Giving my best 8 hours or more of mental energy a day to my work for Delicious Brains doesn’t leave much in the tank for late night hacking. I very much enjoy working on WP Offload Media, it’s an awesome plugin, and I enjoy having primary responsibility for it’s development, so I naturally put a lot of my energy into it and am always thinking about it.

Having said that, I did get an itch for something I needed to build that also took my eye off of RustyElm and learning Rust and Elm, that being: Snippet Pixie.

Snippet Pixie is “Your little expandable text snippet helper”, for Linux. I couldn’t find a good Linux application alternative to the likes of Text Expander or Dash (which I currently use on macOS). So, in the end, I kinda just had to build it, otherwise known as scratching my itch. My primary desktop Linux distribution is elementary OS, so that’s what I built it for, in Vala.

Turns out that may have helped me get my shrivelled little brain around the Rust concept of Ownership, as Vala also doesn’t let you throw objects around without taking into consideration ownership. It caught me out a few times when the complier complained about not being able assign and unowned reference etc, and reminded me a lot of how Rust handles ownership. Even though things aren’t exactly the same, I’m going to chalk that one up as some progress in my learning of Rust, alright?!

Anyhow, Snippet Pixie recently had a momentous release that included date/time, clipboard, embedded snippets and cursor placeholders, adding a whole new level of functionality. And even though I’m in the middle of trying to get a snap sorted so it’ll be usable on many more Linux distributions, and still have plans for more improvements to Snippet Pixie, I feel like I no longer have a huge pressure to keep adding functionality and can relax a little bit on it.

As such, I’m starting to look at getting started with my Rust and Elm based project for my evening recreational programming. Stay tuned.

Micro.blog: @ianmjones

Twitter: @ianmjones

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