Article: Relearning to Learn — InfoQ

For my 30 plus years in tech, I’ve been reading and listening to tech mostly wrong. After in depth investigation into learning strategies I’ve restructured my knowledge acquisition process. Find out how I’ve take control of my learning queue. How I now perform active reading while taking creative notes. And hear how to use reflection…

Like this author of this article Don Denoncourt I also have been doing the learning thing for over four decades.  Some of the concepts here I have adopted, active learning, going slower and taking notes.  I find the more notes I take, even if they are entered into Notepad the better I can remember those things.  I had notes everywhere, Evernote, LastPass, JIRA and little-handwritten notes.

I simplified things, I take “Dailies”.  Basically notes on what I’m doing and what I  learned.  I use a basic Notepad called Notepad2 which is a much better notepad.  I start out the day by copying yesterdays daily and deleting everything I either completed or no longer need to do.  I also do daydreaming on the Dailies to try and “Use the things I’ve learned”.

I use a Markdown syntax to help quick format the Daily so it is easy to read and update.  I use ASCIIDoc as my markdown of choice.  It only takes a little practice to use markdown.

Here is an example of today’s Daily


The (=) is the main heading, (==) sub-headings, (.), (..) are bullet items, checkmarks indicate the item is done.  I copy everything into here, web links, snippets of text from the web for the things I’m doing.

Then I have a Chrome extension installed called ASCIIDoctor Preview live, which can read my daily file and display and print in a nicely formatted HTML page.


I’m still learning about how to learn and even better, how to remember.

via Article: Relearning to Learn — InfoQ

Better tools for debugging Node.js

Debugging – the process of finding and fixing defects in software – can be a challenging task to do in all languages. Node.js is no exception. Luckily, the tooling for finding these issues improved a lot in the past period. Let’s take a look at what options you have to find and fix bugs in…

I am at the level with Node.JS that I no longer “Suck at it” but I am still learning every time I use it.  One of the areas I struggled with was debugging, which was much different and difficult than my .NET and PHP days.  It seems like open source meant that you were on your own for debugging.

Special thanks to Gergely for his article on just the topic of Node.js debugging.

pino.pngOne of the takeaways in the article is Pino is an extremely fast Node.js logger, inspired by bunyan. In many cases, pino is over 6x faster than alternatives like bunyan or winston
I had tried Winston as it was recommended by one of my programmer gods.  I was not worthy because I couldn’t understand it.  I have high hopes for Pino.

I use Microsoft VS Code editor as my editor and my IDE for almost everything including PowerShell, Bash, JavaScript, SQL, Node.js, ADCIIDoctor, and more.  I was glad to see a section in this article on how to better use MS Code with Node.js

via How to Debug Node.js with the Best Tools Available — RisingStack Engineering

ASCIIDoctor Split heading across multiple line

splitit (1)

Sometimes when using ASCIIDoctor to do some documentation it would be nice to split the heading across multiple lines.  If you type one continuous line of text you take your chances where the splitting will occur.  Using a special sequence can help you control the splitting.

The example above shows three distinct lines in the header

  1. State of Micigan (Misspelled)
  2. Departmental Work Intake Process (DWIP)
  3. Design Document.

The ASCIIDoctor header code for the heading is

= State of Micigan Departmental Work Intake Process (DWIP) Design Documentation

This will result in ASCIIDoctor determining where the split will happen.

By using the special control sequence, shown below,  you can add breaks where you want them


This control sequence allows a “pass”through of an HTML sequence ”
” to ASCIIDoctor

To get the format shown in the example change the header line to

= State of Micigan pass:q[<br>]Departmental Work Intake Process (DWIP)  pass:q[<br>]Design Documentation

PDF View of multiple line header

Still not formatted exactly how I want it but if I move the “Line Break” control sequences around I can it just right.

HTML View of multiple line header

ASCIIDoctor Primer

If you’re used to Microsoft Word then you are used to Markup authoring. You type some content, then you switch you view to format the content, and back and forth. Make your life easier by losing the Microsoft Word addition. If your focus is the content over form then maybe consider using ASCIIDoctor. It is a “Markdown” tool, less is more. Create large amounts of content easily, quickly and with a standard righteous look.

This is truly a minimumilist approach to creating and maintaining content that can be shared across the web, turned into a book, slide presentation, turned into a Word document (Why??) or heaven forbid, printed.
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