Chris Lowis by Chris Lowis

Week 440

We spent the first two days of this week based out of our usual co-working space near the British Museum. On Wednesday James took a few days off to visit the Isle of Wight while Chris R headed to France for the Mont-Blanc 80k run. I held the fort for the second half of the week.

Working in the way we do allows us to have some flexibility in where and when we work and with a newly-arrived baby it has been interesting to experiment with working patterns that work well for me and my family. I spent a couple of hours in the local library - they’ve recently refurbished and, in order to cut costs, switched to an automated system for door entry. It was good to spend time in the library training room and to take advantage of the free, if somewhat restricted1, WiFi provided by Camden Council.

On Tuesday the three of us went in to Aviation House to catch up with Daniel about our progress on Manuals Publisher and to learn more about the next phase of our project. Our client are keen for us to start looking at the systems that managed uploaded assets, to consolidate the different approaches into a single place and to look at switching away from a self-maintained NFS file store to something in the cloud. This sounds like an interesting mix of research, refactoring and development and we’re keen to get stuck in next week.

In the meantime I spent some time documenting where we have got to in our work on Manuals Publisher with the aim of leaving some notes on how we might further refactor and improve the application. I used plantuml to draw some diagrams - I still haven’t found a better tool for this kind of diagram (I really like that the source code that generates the diagram can be versioned) but it certainly feels as though the website and documentation could use some love.

We took care of a few GFR tasks including these weeknotes, invoicing and organising some of our upcoming events. I also spent a little bit of time playing with hledger a plaintext accounting tool. I’m interested to see if we can convert our transaction history from FreeAgent into the ledger format and in doing so take advantage of some of the tools in that ecosystem to do some automated reporting of our finances.

The weather in London is beautiful but wherever you are, have a great weekend.

  1. The network only allows traffic over ports 80 and 443 which means accessing servers and git repositories over SSH would require some workarounds

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