Dear friends,

Happy New Year, and welcome to my first weekly recap for 2021!

I am still figuring out a proper format for these newsletters. If the first couple of emails seem a little chaotic, please bear with me. What I am hoping to achieve is not just a log of my experience, but an actual community with 2-way communication. That is why your early feedback is vital. Please, do not hesitate to send me an email with your critique and suggestions. Also, I am ready to listen to your project ideas if you are looking for collaboration.

What follows:

Book writing challenges

The first week of 2021, I dedicated most of my free time to my little e-book project - Generative Art in Go, due for its first release in February. Although I am back on track, I thought I had underestimated certain aspects for a couple of days. Like the publishing and distribution part, for example. As it turned out, there is a plethora of note-taking and writing tools out there, but none explicitly designed for exporting e-books. Some were good at generating beautifully laid-out PDFs but terrible when it came to ePub. Others had their way of handling graphics and imagery. A third had it all figured out, except providing an option for generating footnotes (it's a book, after all). In the end, I found Leanpub's Markua to be the best possible compromise. It is technically a superset of Markdown, so I could still keep using my preferred editor of choice (iAWriter). Indeed, the specific Markua additions stick out a little, but that is not such a big deal. The fact that Leanpub manages to render books of decent quality in multiple formats is something I thought the open-source community has long since cracked, but that is not the case.

Anyway, this part solved, I was able to continence my work on the book. To complement the last chapter, I created and released a small experiment yesterday. It uses the Go code I describe in the book but compiles it to WebAssembly to run on a browser. I will not go into technical details here, so I am just going to say the following. WebAssembly works, but we are not quite there yet.

Ship 30 for 30
Build an online writing habit in 30 days.
This looks like an exciting challenge to take on in February? Anyone else wants to join?
A Time for Local Democracy - Front Porch Republic
In these days of Twitter democracy, when platforms for political expression are so accessible, it sometimes seems, paradoxically, that citizens have little actual say in decision making about our country’s future.
No Meetings, No Deadlines, No Full-Time Employees
How we work at Gumroad

And some podcasts, of course

Note: Episode embeds might not work in email, so please, check out the Web version of this post or use the direct links.

Fareed Zakaria on Life After the Pandemic

Austin Kleon on Writing, Creativity and The Importance of Idleness

Until next week. Stay safe!