Welcome to the lab.

Progressive builds for Deckset

I’m a fan of Deckset for creating presentation decks using Markdown. Being able to write out an entire presentation in plain text is slick, and doing so cuts out time spent on transitions, animations, and other frivolities that come with building a deck in Keynote or PowerPoint. One thing that I’ve always missed, though, is progressive builds for lists, where each bullet item is revealed only when you advance.

The only way to replicate this in Deckset is to slowly build over multiple slides, adding one new list item with each. Which is a pain. A friend of mine had the same issue and asked me to automate it. So I present the “Spread Build Service.”

This Service just takes text containing multiple lines and expands it to a series of slides, starting with just the first line and progressively adding one line at a time until the full set is displayed. It can be used with bullet lists, numeric lists, or any text that has line breaks in it. Example input:

---

A list to build:

- Item 1
- Item 2
- Item 3

---

Selecting this text and running the Service on it generates:

---

A list to build:

---

A list to build:

- Item 1

---

A list to build:

- Item 1
- Item 2

---

A list to build:

- Item 1
- Item 2
- Item 3

---

A single blank line between elements will be preserved, but multiple newlines will be compressed to one empty line. You can select text with or without the slide dividers (---), they’ll be added to the output if they don’t exist in the input selection.

Hope you find it useful! Download, unzip, and double click the .workflow file to install the Service. It will show up as “Spread Build” when you have text selected and right click on it in any text editor.

Spread Build Service v1.0.1

A Service to convert a series of lines to a progressive build in Deckset (and other Markdown presentation apps)

Published 10/27/20.

Updated 10/27/20. Changelog

DonateMore info…

The Podcasts: Week of October 19th

This week on Systematic, I spoke with Jay Miller, a developer advocate for Elastic, and a guy who “builds stuff to help people who build stuff build stuff.” Which is a descriptive, albeit circumspect, way to say he makes cool stuff. He’s also one of the few Black developers I’ve had the pleasure of talking to on Systematic, a thing I’d like to make less rare.

This week’s Overtired has the topic list in the title: “A Disturbing B-12 Social Media Sex Cult Injection.” We navigate from dietary supplements to sex cults to radicalizing people via algorithms. It’s not necessarily a line, as I’m wont to switch topics very abruptly, but it does all relate in some manner, if you try hard enough. I have no intention of ever being good at sticking to a theme.

Find all the episodes at systematicpod.com and overtiredpod.com, and be sure to subscribe! My ability to keep the shows going is dependent on my ability to secure advertisers, which is in turn dependent on subscriber numbers. Getting yourself counted in my download stats (and maybe checking out the sponsors now and then) is all you have to do to support either or both shows!

The Podcasts: Week of October 12th

This is actually a double — well, quadruple — update. I missed the summary last week, so you get four at once. Four high quality, like-new podcasts, for the low, low price of $0.

Let’s start with Systematic. On episode 241 I had Tyler Hall on. He’s a Mac and iOS developer who has consistently created amazing software, always with the purpose of solving a problem he himself has, but crafted in a way that makes them accessible and useful to many others. In some ways I think of him as a kindred spirit, so it was great to chat with him.

On episode 242 I spoke with the delightful Alex Cox. They co-host Two Headed Girl and Do By Friday, and I’ve been a fan of theirs for a few years now. We caught up and dove into a discussion about gender, bipolar disorder, and virtual reality, among other topics. It was an excellent conversation.

Meanwhile, episode 208 of Overtired was titled “More Things to Not Talk About at Dinner” and basically serves as a guide to topics that should generally be avoided at family gatherings. Unless your family is just down for anything. Veganism, politics, religion, we hit ‘em all.

On Overtired 209 we stuck more to drugs, mechanical keyboards, and Microsoft Excel, though we did dip again into politics. How can you not right now? We recorded this one pretty early in the morning and that actually seemed to make it even more energetic. Guess us insomniacs are good morning people.

I’d also like to mention that I’ve started a Discord server for Systematic and Overtired listeners. There’s already a great community forming there, and I’d love it if you joined us!

Find all the episodes at systematicpod.com and overtiredpod.com, and be sure to subscribe! My ability to keep the shows going is dependent on my ability to secure advertisers, which is in turn dependent on subscriber numbers. Getting yourself counted in my download stats (and maybe checking out the sponsors now and then) is all you have to do to support either or both shows!

Web Excursions for October 13, 2020

Web excursions brought to you in partnership with MightyDeals.com, featuring great deals on software, training, and design resources.

Vertical tabs and why Firefox is the new hotness (again)
Having switched to Firefox, I was happy that Justin Blanton pointed me to this post on Tree Style Tab, an extension for adding vertical tabs in Firefox. The post includes instructions for hiding the regular horizontal tabs.
Hello Kinopio
Kinopio is a freeform brainstorming application that lets you drop ideas in with zero connections, figuring out how things connect later. A different take on mind mapping.
xwmx/nb
CLI plain-text note-taking, bookmarking, and archiving with encryption, filtering and search, Git-backed versioning and syncing, Pandoc-backed conversion, and more in a single portable script.
Tokens 2
Tokens is a great app for developers who want to make easy-to-redeem promo code links for their giveaways and promos. Version 2 is a huge upgrade, so even if you’ve looked at it in the past, it’s worth checking out again.
sassman/t-rec-rs
Blazingly fast terminal recorder that generates animated GIFs.

The Podcasts: Week of September 28th

I’ve been a bit light on the blogging this week. My energy level is pretty good, but most of my time has gone into podcast editing and guesting on other podcasts. I guess I’m a podcaster? That doesn’t sound quite right, but I’ll keep trying to figure it out.

This week on Systematic, my guest was Jared Rodriguez, an assistant professor at the University of Alabama, teaching in the department of gender and race studies. It was his second appearance, and a timely one to discuss racism in the context of current events. Conversations with Jared are always enlightening, and I love his energy.

Over on the Overtired, Christina and I recorded unexpectedly early, which meant even more off-script than usual. It turns out that, given no prompts or bullet points, we do exactly what we always do… nerd out about mental health and mass media. I do enjoy our shared love of television. My mom said no good would come from hours of watching the boob-tube, but I’m trying to make the best of it.

Find all the episodes at systematicpod.com and overtiredpod.com, and be sure to subscribe! My ability to keep the shows going is dependent on my ability to secure advertisers, which is in turn dependent on subscriber numbers. Getting yourself counted in my download stats (and maybe checking out the sponsors now and then) is all you have to do to support either or both shows!

The Podcasts: Week of September 21st

I had the pleasure of interviewing Patrice Brend’amour on Systematic #239 this week. Last time Patrice was on Systematic (2014), she was living as a man, and has since transitioned to being a proud, transgender woman. I’ve always supported trans people, but have been hesitant to ask a lot of questions I assume are stupid of trans the people in my life. Patrice gave me a chance to ask them with openness and understanding, and I learned a lot.

Meanwhile, on Overtired #206, Christina and I started with our “mental health corner,” in which we talked about depression, both in the context of my bipolar disorder and in the broader world of clinical depression. Of course, we soon moved on to mechanical keyboards, Schitt’s Creek, and our favorite audio books, closing with a bit of debate over the legacy of Ruth Bader Ginsburg. (Spoiler: she was a hero, but not perfect. Because nobody is.)

Thanks to ExpressVPN for sponsoring both shows this week. If you want secure, private internet browsing with the added benefit of circumventing geographic restrictions on streaming services, ExpressVPN is the #1 rated choice. Check it out with my exclusive link, expressvpn.com/systematic, to get three months free with a one-year plan.

Find all the episodes at systematicpod.com and overtiredpod.com, and be sure to subscribe! My ability to keep the shows going is dependent on my ability to secure advertisers, which is in turn dependent on subscriber numbers. Getting yourself counted in my download stats (and maybe checking out the sponsors now and then) is all you have to do to support either or both shows!

Web Excursions for September 25, 2020

Web excursions brought to you in partnership with CleanMyMac X, all the tools to speed up your Mac, in one app.

Pixelmator Pro gets AppleScript support
In a collaboration with Sal Soghoian himself, Pixelmator has released a very full-featured AppleScript library for their top-shelf photo editing app. As far as I know, only Acorn has ever paid this much attention to automation, and it’s really refreshing to see.
To Anybody Going Through It
I wrote about the depressive side of my bipolar disorder last week. I wanted to also share this excellent piece on depression from Kevin Love of the Cleveland Cavaliers.
GitHub CLI 1.0 is now available
I’ve been happily using the hub CLI for a lot of GitHub functionality, but this completes the toolset.
Rethinking the App Store
A well-thought-out look from Ben Thompson at the App Store by way of the Epic/Apple debacle.
asdf-vm/asdf: Extendable version manager with support for Ruby, Node.js, Elixir, Erlang & more
I’m afraid I’ve lost track of who pointed me to this when I was having rvm issues, but it’s a pretty impressive tool: > asdf-vm is a CLI tool that can manage multiple language runtime versions on a per-project basis. It is like gvm, nvm, rbenv & pyenv (and more) all in one.

CleanMyMac X

Bipolar: feelings vs. reality

I wrote a couple of weeks ago about being bipolar. I wrote that piece while I was in a manic phase, and I told myself I’d write another one while I was in a depression, just to contrast. If I’m going to share about a binary disorder, it seems important to document it from both sides. The thing is, I went through the depression and was unable to write for the whole week. I queued up a full week of posts while I was manic and just scheduled them to publish over the week I knew I was going to be down. Planning ahead!

Writing about the manic side was easy. It just flowed out of me — kind of unstoppable. Writing about the depressive side is much more difficult. It takes a concerted effort and there’s a whole potential shame spiral involved. Anyone suffering from depression is probably intimately familiar with this.

I always underestimate the depression side of my mood swings. I know what the manic phase will be like. I know how much I’ll get done, how I’ll be full of ideas, how little sleep I’ll get, and how much that will wear me down over the course of it. In my mind the depression will just be a couple of days off, catching up on sleep, getting back to normal. It never is, and I don’t know why I never remember that.