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Jamie Schembri

Jamie Schembri

Cosulting Software Engineer

Recent

The Joy of Programming

·4 mins

For the past handful of years I’d been a happy Rails developer. Happy – or, perhaps more aptly, content – because I knew that that I could effectively build pretty much anything I could dream up in Rails. This contrasted with what, in retrospect, was the more rebellious phase of my career, in which I hungered and scoured for newer, fancier tools with more bells and whistles.

Don’t get me wrong; I’d always kept my ear to the ground: I read newsletters, flicked through subreddits, and subscribed to RSS feeds. I’d see projects go by, maybe throw them a star on GitHub, and file them away in some distant part of my brain for “later”. Many of the projects I’d come across would find a use for me in my day-to-day work, but the more esoteric or not-in-my-ecosystem tools and ideas more often went forgotten.

I thought this was just par for the course in the industry: growing up, if you will, leaves us with less time to waste on distractions.

RubyMine with Docker

·6 mins

Lately I’ve been experimenting with RubyMine. I’ve played around with it in the past, but always ended up back on vim for various reasons. This time I’m making a concerted effort to learn its feature set and make them work for me, and so far I’m thoroughly impressed.

Unfortunately I had some problems setting up Ruby/Rails projects running in Docker containers to work with RubyMine’s debugging features, so I’ve documented how I did it and some of the issues I ran into.

The Apple Delusion

·13 mins

In September 2018 I switched job to work as a remote consultant for a small UK company. Without a work computer, I considered buying a Mac for the following reasons:

  • Ruby development in Windows is a pain
  • I like the UNIX environment
  • The overall user experience, I believed, was top-notch

The other option would have been Linux, but my experiences of macOS had, until that point, been better than my experiences of Linux.

Figuring that I’d want about five years out of the machine, and having worked for too long on too-slow Macs, I dropped € 3,200 (~ $3,719 at the time) on a high-spec 15-inch Macbook Pro1.

Seamless Panes and Splits With Vim

·6 mins

Over the past few months, I’ve been on a bit of a journey through different OSes1, desktop environments, apps, and even editors. Ultimately I settled on Arch Linux + KDE Plasma + Neovim, but I ended up with some different ideas along the way.

One such idea was to ditch tmux and simply use a modern, more featureful terminal emulator. I primarily used tmux for splitting “windows” and its scrollback buffer, but it contributed another layer of abstraction to debug when things like performance, colour support, or displaying images became a problem. Meanwhile, almost any modern terminal emulator can do splits and scrollback buffers.

So I settled on Konsole, which supports all that I need and some other niceties (like ligatures). I set up my key bindings to create splits similarly to those I used in Tmux, and… immediately missed a feature of my tmux setup. This was the ability to switch between tmux panes and vim splits using the same key combination, as though they were in fact the same thing.