Other writings in September 2016

Where have I been writing when I haven’t been writing here?

Over on Opensource.com, we had another 900k+ page views in the month: the fourth time in site history and the second consecutive month. I contributed two articles:

Meanwhile, I wrote a few things for work, too:

  • Cycle Computing: The cloud startup that just keeps kicking — The Next Platform wrote a very nice article about us, so I wrote a blog post talking about how nice it was. (Hey, I’m in marketing now. It’s what we do).
  • Cloud-Agnostic Glossary — Supporting multiple cloud-service providers means having to translate terms between them. I put together a Rosetta Stone to help translate relevant terms between AWS, Azure, and Google Cloud.
  • The question isn’t cost, it’s value — When people talk about the cost of cloud computing, they’re usually looking at the raw dollar value. Since it takes money to make money, that’s not always the right way to look at it. It’s better to consider the value generated.

Documentation formats and speaker interviews

In lieu of actual content on this blog, allow me to introduce you to some recent posts I’ve done for Opensource.com:

A wrinkle with writing your resume in Markdown

For Sysadvent 2011, Phil Hollenback wrote an excellent post called “Write Your Resume in Markdown Already!” Ever since I read it, I’ve been using a Markdown file as the source for my resume, which gets rendered to HTML and PDF as necessary. Recently, someone using Windows tried to open the PDF of my resume in Acrobat Reader. When she did, she got errors about missing fonts. “How odd,” I thought. In the course of several job applications over the past year-plus, I hadn’t heard of any problems. (It’s possible that nobody reviewing my resume used a Windows machine to do it.)

I fired up my Windows XP virtual machine that I keep around for playing Sim City 2000 and installed Adobe Reader. I was able to reproduce the problem, which is always comforting. It didn’t shed any light on the matter, though. I actively avoid doing anything “cute” so that my resume (and other documents) can easily be read by anyone on any platform. After examining the workflow, I figured that the problem had to be in the LaTeX template used to generate the PDF.

One of the features of the template is the conditional use of packages and font settings. Since the pandoc package in Fedora 17 (version no longer includes the markdown2pdf command in previous versions, the –xetex argument that Phil passed isn’t necessary. Removing the control structure resulted in a PDF that looked qualitatively the same, but would open on Windows. Phil’s instructions are still good overall, but they need some tweaks for newer versions of Pandoc.

Here’s a diff, for those of you who are interested:
< $if(xetex)$
< \usepackage{ifxetex}
< \ifxetex
< \else
< \fi
< $else$
< \usepackage[mathletters]{ucs}
< \usepackage[utf8x]{inputenc}
< $endif$