Abe Voelker's blog Programming stuff, mainly

GitLaw: GitHub for Laws and Legal Documents - a Tourniquet for American Liberty

5 minute read

GitHub's Octocat in the House of Representatives

Update: This post received a lot of attention on Hacker News. Please also visit there to read many insightful comments!

Update 2: Apparently this post also provided some inspiration for a TED Talk entitled “How the Internet will (one day) transform government” by Clay Shirky. Check it out!

It’s no secret that most Americans hate the members of our legislative branch. Polls show that 79% of Americans currently disapprove of the job that Congress is doing (only 14% approve). I can only speak for myself, but the disdain I feel for Congress is due to suspicion of a combination of malfeasance, misfeasance and nonfeasance. I simply don’t trust them to represent me, and I don’t think most Americans do, either.

OpenEdge ABL syntax highlighting and GitHub support

3 minute read

GitHub Octocat logo

As I had written in my last blog post, in order to upgrade my blog from Wordpress to a static site like Octopress, I decided that while performing the migration I would improve the syntax highlighting of OpenEdge ABL code snippets. Obviously I’m no fan of the language, but it’s baggage that I’m burdened to carry so I thought I might as well carry it with me in style.

A Whole New Blog!

2 minute read

Octopress logo

Welcome to my new blog design! I’ve migrated my blog posts from Wordpress over to Octopress, which is a custom version of Jekyll with a sensible default style and some additional plugins. It was extremely fast to get up and running - after cloning the git repo you already have a working site!

Octopress/Jekyll are static site generators, meaning that there is no server-side rendering that takes place when you are viewing these pages - it’s all HTML/CSS/JavaScript! The great thing about this is that pages load very fast, especially under heavy load.

rtorrent XMLRPC over nginx SCGI

2 minute read

Screenshot of rtorrent running in a terminal

So I’ve just started coding a new Rails project - a frontend for the awesome rtorrent BitTorrent client - and already wasted a bit of time getting started due to outdated instructions for setting up XMLRPC/SCGI on nginx from the rtorrent guide. Here’s what I did, current as of nginx 1.0.4 and rtorrent 0.8.6: