Getting De-railed

Anna's blog

Beautifying Non-Working Blog Posts

Avi said on Day 1 of Flatiron School: don’t fix non-functioning code. But how about editing a non-working blog post?

I had a post all written up and ready to go. It was about ways to iterate over arrays and had several A4 pages' worth of text (come to think of it, it’s a good thing that post did not happen).

I did some edits on it over the weekend, polishing my style, planning my fancy markup, and inserting clever programmer jokes (“Make me a sandwich” “No” “Sudo make me a sandwich” “Sure”).

All I had to do was set up Octopress and deploy it, which I conveniently postponed until the night before it was due. Because what could go wrong?

Many things, as it turned out.

I think I was the only person in my cohort (are there 27 of us? seems that we never did a headcount) who had issues setting up GitHub pages.

While everyone seemed to have their nice and shiny parts of cyberspace in which to share their musings with the outside world, mine never allowed me deploy the mandatory “hello world” post.

Several hours of feverish stack overflow-ing and tortured troubleshooting later (I would rather solve Hashketball both times all over again), it still wasn’t working.

After several more hours of precious instructor time (thank you, Rose!), we all threw our hands in the air, rm -rf'ed existing directories, deleted GitHub repos, and started from scratch. And it worked, ad oculos.

We figured out what happened, but not how. It looks like GitHub Pages gave me setup meant for companies instead of private individuals. Octopress was not enthused about me being Anna Ershova LLC and refused to produce a live page.

But we re-did it from scratch and that fixed it. And by then I had realized that Avi was right. I spent too much time on writing and editing my post, without trying to see if it would even go through. Murphy’s Law dictates that it is the very situation when it wouldn’t. So instead of using my original post, I am writing this one as a very public note to self to not get caught up in aesthetics of things if I don’t even know if they are going to work.

And those dozens of ways to iterate over arrays? Brace yourselves, I’ll come back to that.