Filed under: “Projects”

# step-stool.io

As of a couple hours ago, my newest personal project has a website. Step Stool, the static site generator I’m writing in Python, now has a home at step-stool.io.1 If you visit the site, you’ll see that, while it looks nice (at least: I think it does), there’s not much to it and most of the links don’t go anywhere. The link that does go somewhere tells you that the project for which the website exists doesn’t actually have any functioning code, yet.2

(That gorgeous logo? Designed by the absolutely brilliant Cameron Morgan.)

So why is it live? There are a few reasons. First, the whole point of the project is my having fun with programming. Web design may not be directly involved in finishing Step Stool, but it definitely scratches the fun itch just as effectively. Second, and more importantly, it’s allowed me to get some time in with other technologies I’ve been interested in for a while – specifically, SASS. I’ve been frustrated with all the problems SASS solves in CSS for a while now, and I’ve known I wanted to just go ahead and learn it for a while. I just haven’t had a project where it made sense – until now. Read on, intrepid explorer →

Pro tip: keep an eye on step-stool.io over the next week. Fun things headed that direction in short order.

# SICP for Kindle – improved by yours truly

I was looking for a Kindle version of the MIT Press classic text on computer programming, Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs, which is (delightfully!) available online in its entirety here as an HTML book. (MIT is awesome like that.) I found one, by twcamper on GitHub.

Unfortunately, I discovered that he had eliminated paragraph indentation – apparently Kindle was doing that automatically at some point, but they have since stopped – so I forked it, thinking I’d just add it in, rebuild the .mobi file, and be on my way. Alas, it wasn’t that simple: his documentation skipped a few things (it looks like it was more a way of storing his personal project than meant for public consumption), so I spent a good chunk of the morning figuring out how the project worked, making some tweaks to get it to work the way I wanted it to, and updating the documentation so others could follow my steps themselves if they wanted to make their own tweaks to the CSS file.

You can get the updated book directly from the Downloads page. If you want the Ruby code used to generate it, you can get that direct from the main GitHub page for the project, which also has a (much improved, in my opinion) writeup on how to actually use it. Enjoy!