The Stochastic Game

Ramblings of General Geekery

PieCrust 1.0 RC

The past month has been pretty busy, between my next secret project, my day job, and of course fixing PieCrust bugs. But somehow among this chaos seems to be emerging a release candidate for PieCrust 1.0. And it’s only fitting that I announce this on Pi Day!

P365x52-73: Pi(e)

As always, for a complete list of changes, I’ll redirect you to the changelog. But for the highlights, please read on.

Big thanks go to the few people who contributed patches to the PieCrust code, and to the many who reported bugs and had the patience to help me fix them.


PieCrust on Heroku

When I first decided to work on PieCrust, I settled with PHP as the language – even though it mostly sucks – in an attempt to make it broadly available. Anybody who runs a blog on Wordpress should be able to switch and enjoy the perks of plain text data without needing to install and learn a whole new environment.

That doesn’t mean PieCrust can’t also be used in the nerdiest ways possible. A while ago we looked at how cool it is to update your website with Git or Mercurial, and today we’ll look at how you can host it on Heroku, which incidentally also supports Git-based deployment.

Today's latte, heroku.

If you already know how Heroku works, then the only thing you need is to make your app use the custom PieCrust buildpack. Skip to the end for a few details about it.

For the rest, here’s a detailed guide for setting up your PieCrust blog on Heroku, after the break.


Themes in PieCrust

I just pushed a lot of changes to the dev branch of PieCrust, including the new support for themes. The point of themes is to make it easy to change your website’s appearance by further separating content and look.

Here’s an early look at how themes work, so that anybody can play with it and provide feedback. Not everything is in place yet, so now’s the best time to affect the design.



Jeff Atwood posted another one of his controversial, opinionated articles on his blog, this time about To-Do lists. It’s a long rant about the failure of To-Do lists.

As a former Remember The Milk user and fan, I can totally relate. I just stopped using To-Do lists altogether a couple years ago. I just didn’t need them anymore – I knew what I needed to do most of the time:

If you can’t wake up every day and, using your 100% original equipment God-given organic brain, come up with the three most important things you need to do that day – then you should seriously work on fixing that.

But the truth is: I’m still using some form of list, especially since Trello came around. It took me a while to realize the difference between the Getting-Things-Done-ish productivity I tried to achieve in the past, and the more zen-like – and effective – process I have now.

Patrick Rhone eventually wrote it for me:

[…] increasingly, my to do list is full of the things I park there that otherwise get in the way of what I’m actively focused on.

My To-Do lists (hosted on Trello) are filled with stuff I don’t want to do right now, but need to remember for later. I know what I need to be working on right now, but I may forget about stuff I may want to do later. It’s more like a notebook than a To-Do list, really, but the To-Do list format makes it easier to cross things out if they become invalid or if I already did it.

The post-PC era

You can see this kind of headline all over the web these days, especially with Apple fanboy tech bloggers: the PC is dead, all hail tablets and smartphones. The argument is also made for video games consoles, who are supposedly on the way out to be replaced by, guess what, tablets and smartphones. Even Jeff Atwood is getting on the bandwagon.

I don’t disagree with the facts here: most indicators we have on the market right now show that, indeed, desktop and laptop computers have declining sales while mobile products have an ever-accelerating growth.


Some tech bloggers, however, are a bit too quick to equate opposing trends with replacement – in reality, people still own PCs and Macs, but complement them with mobile devices. As far as I know, there’s no evidence that anybody is actually getting rid of their laptops and desktop computers after buying an iPad… yet.