ArtifiShell Intelligence

Recurse Center, four days in


Since arriving in New York last Saturday, I have settled into my AirBnB, did some prep work, and most importantly started my batch.

“Prep” included essential things such as modifying my self-updating GitHub profile to be more RC specific, with statuses reflecting the self-directives and the random activities in the README body being tailored to what I think I’ll be doing.

I also really wanted to add an Atom feed to my static site generator, and it’s what I spent most of my actual programming time on in the last few days. The Introduction to Atom is quite readable and has all I needed. I ended up generating a feed with just summaries instead of full post content, even though I quite dislike it when websites choose to do that; it would have been too much work for right now to add posts in their entirety. I did add some polish in the form of setting a feed icon that shows up in, e.g., Feedly, and hopefully other readers, too.

Implementation-wise, I misappropriated yq to build the feed basically in YAML, but then print it in XML. XML-specific things are supported as special field names, as in

$ yq -n -o=xml '
    "title": {
      "+content": "The title"
<title type="html">The title</title>

On the plus side, it works!

On the negative side, this is a bit of a cop-out where I spend time on something I’m already very familiar with, instead of pushing myself. My excuse was that I really want the feed to be there so I can learn in public and hook my blog up to the RC-internal blog feed, but now that that’s done, I want to stop fiddling with the blog and just use it to publish stuff.

Things other than programming

Monday and Tuesday, the hub wasn’t open yet for people starting a batch, so I went to a co-working space near the hub. There wasn’t a ton going on yet, mostly two meetings per day with intros to RC, everybody introducing themselves, a pairing workshop, and a tour of the software used at RC. It was still pretty exhausting, and time went by incredibly fast. (That hasn’t changed at all since then! 😅)

Yesterday, we finally got access to the hub. I guess there were about 50 people in yesterday, with a mix of Recursers starting the second half of their batch, and others who just started this week with me. The place was buzzing with energy, I had a lot of great conversations, and was very tired in the evening.

Overall, it’s overwhelming, but in a good sense. I still have to figure out a few things:

In this spirit, I want my next post to be about non-zero progress on the VR project.