Letters from Somnolescent December 25, 2023

Happy Five Years: AutoSite Legacy returns! And dcb’s 2024 goals..

by dotcomboom

Merry Christmas! Happy holidays! Warm wishes however you might be celebrating. I bring good tidings for any of you who use AutoSite and find yourself jumping across Windows or Mac or Linux often. If you stick around to the end, I have some thoughts on the year and my current plans as well.

Python rises

I’ve updated AutoSite Legacy, the Python-based AutoSite script, with a few fixes that’ll make it behave about beat for beat with Apricot. It’ll use the pages folder, rather than in; modified date attribute– check. Scrubbing unused attribute tokens– check. Conditionals checking for empty values? Check. These aren’t huge source changes, but much overdue, nonetheless. When first releasing AutoSite XL, I intended to keep Legacy up to date with parity releases, but these plans fell through the cracks as that project got more ambitious.

What this means for you is that you’ll be able to build your AutoSite sites on any platform you may choose. If you’re on Mac or Linux, you no longer have to put up with an out of date AutoSite spec. If it builds in AutoSite, it’ll build in AutoSite Legacy without errors. (Hopefully! If there are discrepancies, let me know.)

If you want to get your hands on the new script you can grab it here. A proper release is still forthcoming, partly as I need to figure out how PyPI publishing works again. In the meantime, running this file with python3 in the terminal will suffice. In the future (when I release the version) you’ll be able to run:

pip3 install --upgrade autosite

and then run AutoSite Legacy with autosite --help. In the meantime you can also cd into the source’s AutoSite folder and run python3 __init__.py --help.

Visual Studio Code with an AutoSIte project open (dcb.somnol!). Demonstrates AutoSite Legacy in use

I’ll reflect this news on my site soon, now that I can work on it locally on macOS, which currently runs my walkabout 2013 MacBook Air. I did a soft launch of dcb.somnol v6 a couple months ago, so check it out if you haven’t. Progress has been a bit slow with how much of a daze this year’s been, but there’s stuff to see!! And there will be more…

Rambles on 2023’s projects

Won’t lie! 2023’s been quite a year. I had a rough schedule in the spring, and spent most of the year trying to clean up the rubble so I could still apply to the CS program. I intentionally set up this last fall semester to be lighter to accomodate for a tougher class retake, and it all went really well in the end, though, yeah.. very tired out from it at the moment. I’m tentatively taking some harder stuff that I’d need (linear algebra and a class with OCaml) next semester, but I’m trying to even it out with more familiar classes too. We’ll see how it handles.

Fortunately I still made a lot of good progress on personal projects and things this year, not least of which is that dcb.somnol relaunch. There’s still a ways to go, but my web presence is a lot more unified now and that feels good.

Web Sightseeing

For dcb.somnol, it took a lot of thought [and a deal of procrastinating on the matter] to figure out what I wanted for it. I’ve documented this process in a previous post, but I believe that with the current site I’ve finally settled onto a good format that’ll bring everything from my prior runs with sites (like Neocities, v4/v5, and Lince’s Links) together.

How to best balance the techy stuff and the lighter hobby stuff’s been a puzzle to me for the longest time, and this structure should be on the right track. It truly feels like my site now! Something I want to continue to cultivate. At least one or two good updates a month, I should be able to manage that…

dcb.somnol in its current iteration. The categorized pages with new icons are written.

Art

2023 was a pretty productive art year for me, a lot of sketches. Not a lot lined, though I wish I had scanned some of these in a cleaner fashion. Might go back and do that for some of them. This from March might still be one of the most legendary things I’ve drawn regardless.

Lince, Collie, Rufus, snake dcb, Cedrus, and Comio in the same room is more likely than you think

And you know, these Lince expressions in August? Pretty fantastic as well. I should take inspiration from model sheets more often.

Lince expressions sheet on a memo pad I drew on during my break between summer and fall semester

Trying a bunch of expressions; 8-29-23.

Lince sketches

Around November I started filling in my new sketchbook, and realized I really enjoyed completing sketches for the sketch’s sake. It isn’t that I don’t like being able to line something to completion, I certainly want to polish up and line and color drawings as well, but being able to rapidfire a bunch of smaller sketches is super satisfying and I just find it fun.

The way I line from scans takes a while, and it usually comes out pretty stiff before I fix all the little flaws I notice, which can take a few sessions to fix unless I ignore them. I’m thinking to make things easier (if not easier, more fun) for lined works I’ll dip more into digital sketching, and for going from a pencil sketch, possibly treating the digital version like a redraw, so it comes out looser and hopefully helps to reinforce my understanding of the shapes.

I’m overall pleased with the art I’ve done this year, though I do really want to pick up more speed and draw more consistently and comfortably. Most fun has been drawing other people’s characters, really, it’s been excellent to shake off the nerves for that. More to come going forward.

Lads!

Torrone (Caby), Arthur (Cammy), RufusGamedachi CraigSetter (Cammy), and Milo (from the webcomic by ReagentNein :D)

Sketchbook Page 2

So..

I’m looking to 2024 as a year of finishing what I start. Cleaning up and pushing out those projects I started working on and sat down around the halfway mark (or 80%.. known to happen). Getting the rest of my existing programming projects up on dcb.somnol, doing up those recommendations pages, releasing that Windows Live Messenger 2009 notification area icon I’ve been working on (09tray), and getting blog posts actually past that draft stage (and getting spontaneous with them for once!)… the ground work’s in place, I just gotta go for it.

In just a lil bit. Soon. Playing Donkey Konga right now…

About dotcomboom

Retrotech and plushie enthusiast. Author of AutoSite and maintainer of w2krepo.


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