Nicholas Whittaker

I'm excited for The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles and the Story Mode feature

2021-05-29 // #gaming

Late last year, I grabbed the original Ace Attorney trilogy on discount after stumbling across a trending fan video. I’ve now played through all six mainline games, and I’m optimistic for a seventh to coincide with the series' 20th anniversary later this year.

While a new game isn’t confirmed, Capcom will be releasing a localised bundle of The Great Ace Attorney 1 & 2 in a few months. This duo was previously exclusive to Japan, and it’s exiting to see them getting an international release.

A feature being introduced in the game is Story Mode, where the game will automatically play itself on the player’s behalf. Some internet shadows are criticising the optional feature, saying it removes the logic puzzles and problem solving the series is founded upon.

A reply to the critics captures the motivation behind this feature simply and succinctly. Every player should have the opportunity to experience these games, without the needless trial-and-error that the games can sometimes be guilty (ha!) of.

You won’t [need story mode], but some might. This isn’t for you, it’s for them.

Anyway, I’m looking forward to contradiction hunting on July 27th!

HERLOCK SHOLMES REAL by Fudgenuggets Thumbnail for YouTube video HERLOCK SHOLMES REAL

How do you navigate copyright issues around England’s greatest detective? Just call them Herlock Sholmes instead!

Pretty commits

2021-05-25

In a chance glance through the Git history of one of my projects last week, I found commit 53331294. A hash with eight leading numbers! A sequence like this isn’t particularly rare, but it’s also not an everyday occurence.

Today at work, I notice the palindrome 39eee93 while using git reset1. SHA-1 works in mysterious ways. 🤔

Of course, there are plenty of other pretty commits out in the wild. You can always try brute-forcing a commit with more leading zeroes than 00000000000000, or cracking a joke with deadbeef.

If you’re musically inclined, what melodies use the natural notes bar G? The lick is unfortunately not SHA-friendly.

When you commit next, consider a pause to admire the hash. Who knows what pattern you might spot?

1 If you find yourself navigating the fog that is git rebase, remember to throw out a tag here and there. It’s a great catch if (like me) you occasionally need to reset. 😅

Live previewing Hugo sites with Cloudflare Tunnel

2021-05-09 // #cloudflare #hugo #webdev

Recently, Cloudflare made their Tunnel service (formerly Argo Tunnel) free and available for all Cloudflare users. For an existing free-tier user like myself, there’s no better time to try it out!

Tunnels are designed for securely connecting an origin server to a web-facing endpoint. They’re particularly great if

  • You’re a service operating from a network/zone that doesn’t allow inbound connections
  • You’re a developer looking to expose your local server to the web

There are generic tools out there that fill this niche (ngrok is great for quick demos, and there’s inlets if you prefer self-hosting), but Cloudflare’s offering works well for me because I already use them to manage my website.

Down to business - I’ll be using my website for this example because it’s built with Hugo.

After installing the cloudflared tunnel client, there’s a few commands to authenticate and create a tunnel. I’m calling my tunnel preview, and exposing it at tunnel.nicholas.cloud.

cloudflared tunnel login
cloudflared tunnel create preview
cloudflared tunnel route dns preview tunnel.nicholas.cloud

With a tunnel created, we can start tunnelling traffic from port 1313, the default port for Hugo’s dev server.

cloudflared tunnel run --url localhost:1313 preview

Visiting https://tunnel.nicholas.cloud/ now will show a 502 Bad gateway error, since our Hugo server isn’t running yet. Let’s start it up!

hugo server \
    --baseURL=https://tunnel.nicholas.cloud/ \
    --liveReloadPort=443 \
    --appendPort=false

There’s a few options we specify with this development server, seeing as we’re no longer serving traffic from localhost.

  • Overriding the default URL to your chosen URL with baseURL
  • Disabling appendPort, since the tunnel’s exit responds to traffic on the default HTTPS port 443
  • Likewise, the liveReloadPort should be 443 so pages will be reloaded as we make changes

There you have it, a live preview of your Hugo site on your own domain thanks to Cloudflare Tunnel!

Thanks to Hugo (not the site generator!) for his bit on previewing Hugo sites in GitHub Codespaces, which inspired me to try this out!

There's a lot of automation going on here

2021-05-01 // #automation #github

With a little bit of invested time, I’ve figured out a nice little process for previewing changes to my site. The technical side of it is a writeup for another day, but it’s too cool to not to talk about here and now.

I start with my local changes on a new branch, pushing it to GitHub. The response includes a link to create a new pull request.

git push -u origin HEAD
# remote:
# remote: Create a pull request for 'disable-analytics-in-preview' on GitHub by visiting:
# remote:      https://github.com/nchlswhttkr/website/pull/new/disable-analytics-in-preview
# remote:
# To github.com:nchlswhttkr/website.git
#  * [new branch]      HEAD -> disable-analytics-in-preview
# Branch 'disable-analytics-in-preview' set up to track remote branch 'disable-analytics-in-preview' from 'origin'.

The commit message determines the pull request’s title. Referencing an open issue in the PR’s description makes the two pages reference each other.

PR opened. A workflow I’ve made with GitHub Actions kicks off, and my changes are deployed to a preview domain. A link to the deployment is included with the pull request.

PR merged. The same workflow kicks off and cleans up the deployed preview, marking it as inactive. The merged branch is deleted. Since the description a reference to “close #41”, the corresponding issue is also closed. 1

It’s kinda amazing how much of a breeze previewing is for me now, only ever a pull request away. GitHub’s developer experience really shines here too.

Screenshot from a merged pull request on GitHub, titled “Don’t include analytics in main site”. A deployment is created and later marked as inactive. The source branch is deleted after the pull request is merged.

1 Fun fact: GitHub doesn’t like it when you close 100 issues at once with a single pull request.

No FLoC for me please Google

2021-04-23

A new approach to online tracking being trialed by Google has been under scrutiny this week, from developers and privacy advocates alike.

Along with others, I’m explicitly opting-out my website out of this program. Thankfully it’s a one-liner in my Nginx config.

+ add_header "Permissions-Policy" "interest-cohort=()";

According to Google, this tracking method is activated (for the time being) when sites do either of the following.

  • Call document.interestCohort()
  • Load ads or ad-related resources (whatever Google determines this to be)

With that said, there’s no saying when or how this will change. Taking the hardline approach to avoid this behaviour seems sensible to me.

I’ve got more to say on the stances companies like Google take on privacy, but that’s a longer piece of writing for another day.

Thanks to Ruben Schade for his bit on FLoC too!

Newer postsOlder posts