More random thoughts

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Hello dear readers! Since the next tutorial is not ready (and, I'll be honest, isn't anywhere near ready), I've decided to assemble my short notes on various subjects.

Since the post is bound to be pretty long and disorderly, here's a table of contents:

Grooveshark shutdown

As you might now, a musical service named Grooveshark was shut down by the court's decision on April 30th. The reason for the shutdown was Grooveshark's lack of music licenses.

Now, what was Grooveshark? It was a service that provided on-demand access to thousands of songs of various genres, labels and artists. It was free on desktop, although I know that they did have a subscription service called "Grooveshark Anywhere" that let you use the same on-demand service on mobile. The music was uploaded by users, so the site featured even more obscure artists.

There are quite a lot alternatives, mostly suggested in this Reddit thread. I've been using Yandex.Music for quite some time and I decided to try and Deezer recently. Both have their advantages and disadvantages.

Now, you could easily blame the people who ran Grooveshark for the shutdown. That's the point I've been seeing lately on TheRegister: they haven't been playing by the rules and they got what they deserved. Personally, I think the rules have been changed (and still are being changed) to appeal to a very specific (and rich) group.

Anyway, copyright system issues is a topic for another day and another post. In the meantime, I heartily recommend you to read Lawrence Lessig's Free Culture. It can be downloaded for free here.


I've been using Vim for the last... Year or so? Yeah, looks like it. Well, recently I decided to start learning Emacs.

I was lured in by the arguments of more solid codebase. Plus, Lisp was considered a better configuration/extension language than VimScript.

Now, I’ve had some frustrating time with Common Lisp. Although I do blame the book I was reading for trying to introduce macros far too early and not explaining them properly. Naturally, I was vary.

At first, I spent the majority of time banging my head against a wall. Which was probably my fault, but c'mon, reading manuals like books is hard! Now I'm pleased to see I'm being quite productive with Emacs. It's amazing how much it's "batteries included", featuring even its own package manager and configuration system. And Lisp, while probably not being a particularly good language for creating a large application, is pretty good for configuration and extension. It lets you pass functions and variables around quite easily.

Similarly to Vim, I decided to version-control my Emacs configuration on GitHub, resulting in the emacsd repo.

Improving the blog

Recently I made some changes to this blog again, although it wasn't one instantly visible. I decided to switch from Sprockets to Gulp for managing my assets. I think I'll write about my thoughts of this transition someday later. There are some more improvements I'd like to make though:

  • Javascript. I already use it for Disqus comments, but so far I've not written a <noscript> placeholder for it or use it anywhere else. The fact is, I'm not particularly happy with the current code highlighter I've been using, CodeRay, and since I'm using JavaScript anyway, using Highlight.js shouldn't be a problem. I also want to introduce a site-wide page of what I'm using Javascript for and link it in my <noscript> tag.
  • Color scheme. People were telling me that the colorscheme I'm using is not particularly comfortable on the eyes, so I'm looking for inspiration for my next one!
  • Fulltext search. I'm too lazy to install something like ElasticSearch or something, so I'll try using the PostgreSQL facilities. Hope it'll work well with Markdown!

Thank you very much for the reading and please circulate the links!