In 2019, I started the "tradition" of reflecting on the past year, mainly from a developer & geek point of view. I think it's a useful tool for summarizing how I've grown as a developer, and what cool new things I've done and accomplished.
As usual, I won't share any personal stuff except that, despite all precautions over the past 2 years, Covid 19 finally found me. I have no idea how that happened, especially since at the time I was pretty cautious about isolating, but thankfully it was a mild form and mostly over after 2 days.
Apart from that, I'm grateful for being generally healthy (see the Fitness section below) and aging gracefully.
I continue to work remotely as a full stack PHP + JS developer for (mostly) legacy code. As a useful distraction I worked in Node on a newer project for a couple of months. The company is A+ but the work leaves me unfulfilled and uninspired.
The blog has now been around for 4 years. That's cool, but I've been posting less every year. I'll continue to add interesting coding tidbits, however my motivation has been sinking for a long time.
I've been mulling over the idea of redesigning the blog, including a brand new engine. I would very much like to use SvelteKit for that. I have a list of requirements in mind - pretty much all the features of this blog, with comments in addition. A SvelteKit blog template that comes very close is SwyxKit.
Who knows, maybe 2023 will finally be the year for it, especially now that SvelteKit 1.0 is finally released. I realize how much of a lift it is though, so I won't make any promises.
Traffic-wise, I don't care enough to check.
I'll skip the popular posts section this time. Feel free to browse my articles, though some of the older ones are becoming outdated or irrelevant.
Personal projects and software releases
In 2022 I used less Laravel in my personal projects. Laravel remains my go-to for complex, server-driven applications, but I haven't settled on a good project yet.
I'm becoming more partial to the idea of building standalone/offline desktop apps, which is where the Tauri/Svelte stack comes in.
Here are some of the personal projects I worked on in 2022:
- Stable Diffussion Buddy - a free/open-source desktop client for Stable Diffusion on the M1 Mac. 2022 was the year of AI/ML image generation (as well as GPT3 & Co.) and I found myself riding that wave for a while. It's been a lot of fun building this, especially with a few collaborators at the beginning who provided very useful feedback and even contributed some PRs. As I write this the project is pretty much abandoned because the Stable Diffusion ecosystem has been moving at a faster pace than I was able to keep up with, but also because mentally I've switched to other things. The project is made with Tauri and Svelte. It has collected over 200 stars on GitHub which is incredible to me.
- Paneful - a free/open-source desktop dual-pane file browser that I started for a hackathon at work. Started but never finished, nor will it ever be. Made with Tauri and Svelte.
- Untitled Color App - a color-swatch organizer made with SvelteKit. I haven't made the code public because I lost direction on the project.
- Cycling stats app - a tool for Strava cycling activities. I've been slowly tinkering with it and adding features. I wanted to release it to the wide public but the onboarding experience is rough around the edges and I haven't had time to polish it. Made with Laravel and Livewire.
New dev tech
I described my 2022 stack at the beginning of the year, and most of it holds true with some exceptions.
- Svelte and SvelteKit
- Tauri replaces Electron, as it's overall a better developer experience.
- Rust was on my radar for a while and I finally got a chance to give it a spin, since Tauri uses it under the hood. Unfortunately it's harder to wrap my brain around than I thought.
In 2021 I adopted Apple Silicon for my personal and work laptops.
In 2022 I bought my first iPad, a 2021 13" Pro M1 + Apple Pencil. It's quite a big boi but I always wanted a large screen for reading comics and sketching ideas, icons, diagrams, and other amateur art.
I still use an Android phone, but eventually I know I'll switch to an iPhone as it makes everything easier when all devices share the same ecosystem. I like to hold on to my devices for at least 2 years (3+ ideally) and I'm holding out for a rumored future iPhone with a big optical zoom lens like I currently have on my Samsung S21 Ultra.
The new Apple Watch Ultra is very interesting for an amateur athlete like me, but it doesn't hold a candle to a flagship Garmin watch, at least in terms of sports/outdoors features. For that reason I don't see myself buying an Apple Watch very soon.
My only other tech purchase was a Nintendo Switch OLED. I'm very late to the table but I didn't have much of a reason for one, until this year when Diablo 2 Resurrected was released on the Switch. Diablo 2 is my #1 game of all time and, while I hate what Blizzard has become, I can't fault how D2R turned out. D2R is the D2 with modern graphics I always wanted. It works amazingly with a controller and the Switch is perfect for long-haul flights where I can easily pass away the hours.
Health and fitness
Cycling remained my one and only activity. In 2022 I rode a total of 6400 miles (10.4K km), slightly more than the previous year.
I've acquired a 4th steed, a lightweight gravel race bike, but in 2023 I plan to sell most of my stable and focus mostly on gravel riding.
Last year I said I hoped to race a few events but it failed to materialize. My usual excuse is that I'm too lazy to prepare for the logistics of a race, not to mention driving to the location. I'd much rather hit the trails close to my house since it's way more convenient.
For 2023 I won't make any promises - I'll compete if I feel motivated enough, otherwise I'll stay the course.
Unfortunately cycling has also come with the downside of injuries. At the beginning of the year I had a crash which wasn't too bad considering, but took me out of action for 2 weeks. Later I developed a persistent sort of RSI in one arm which prevents me from enjoying the sport to the fullest. That's the way it goes with me and sports. I tend to become obsessed with them which often leads to injury from overindulgence.
Last year I said I was planning to read some comics and I stayed true to that. I read Jodorowsky's The Incal, and re-read the Tintin and Asterix books.
Movies and TV
I don't watch TV in the traditional sense, but I do stream a fair amount of movies and TV shows.
Some of the movies I liked in 2022 are: The French Dispatch (2021), Moonwalkers (2015), Studio 666 (2022), The Batman (2022), Sonic The Hedgehog 2 (2022), The Bad Guys (2022), The Power of the Dog (2021), The Sea Beast (2022), Prey (2022), Top Gun Maverick (2022), Nope (2022), Bullet Train (2022), All Quiet On The Western Front (2022), Weird The Al Yankovic Story (2022), The Banshees of Inisherin (2022).
I also watched individual seasons from various TV shows. Excellent ones include: Our Flag Means Death S1 (2021), Severance S1 (2022), Stranger Things S4 (2022), Avenue 5 S1 (2021), Rome S1-S2 (2005-2007), House of the Dragon S1 (2022), The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power S1 (2022), Andor S1 (2022), The White Lotus S2 (2022).
Most of my gaming in 2022 was on the Switch, playing Diablo 2. A lot of it was done on long flights and during various downtimes.
Twitter and social media
The end of 2022 marked the end of my active participation on Twitter. While I'm only there for the dev side of things, I am not agreeable to the change in ownership. So I moved my active presence over to Mastodon. If you want to stay in touch with my dev postings, follow me there.
I finished the year with 562 followers on Twitter and 59 followers on Mastodon.
Things to look forward to in 2023
Laravel 10 is coming out in the spring. Livewire 3 should also be released at some point. SvelteKit 1.0 was finally released in 2022 so I expect it will continue to evolve. I'm expecting Tauri to gain a larger share of the cross-platform development pie.
I would love to dip my toes in something new, such as Svelte development with Three.js, and even learning how to make games with Godot.
AI tech such as ChatGPT and StableDiffusion will continue to improve. The future will be interesting. Will AI take everyone's jobs? I'm not too worried but I will keep a wary eye on this space.
These are some of the side projects I could work on in 2023, though realistically there's never enough time.
- Launch the Strava cycling app! It would be a miracle if I actually did it but who knows.
- Finish the MVP for an expense tracking app I started in very early stage.
- Make an app that collects links and broadcasts them weekly to various channels (RSS, Twitter, Mastodon, etc).
- Feed reader desktop app.
- Continue building features into my SD Buddy project.
Health and fitness
More than anything, I want to avoid further sports-related injuries in 2023. Cycling shall continue, of course, supplanted with other activities such as running and swimming.
And that about wraps it up for now. Once again, thank you for your readership dear friends, and may 2023 be gentler on all of us than the past few years.