As you probably do not recall, this blog was not always running on
Wordpress. In it’s first incarnation, it was actually running Drupal
. And as
of yesterday, we can add Wordpress to the list of former lithostech.com
site is now running on Jekyll, and since it seems to be relatively
unkown compared to wordpress, I thought I’d take the opportunity to
explore this change and explain the move. What follows could be looked
at as a comparison of Wordpress to Jekyll as a blogging platform.
Wordpress has served me well. There are plenty of free, prebuilt themes
ready to rock. Sadly, if you’re searching for Wordpress themes and you
only consider themes that are mobile-friendly, SEO-friendly, easy to
work on and not full of bloat, you’ve already elimated the vast majority
of both free and paid themes that are available. If you want something
visually appealing, you’re really down to a small handful of available
themes which means your only real option is to use one of those and
extend it, or write your own.
This is a bit daunting, but totally possible, especially starting from
an example. Just read theme development docs
and have a great time.
You can <?php var_dump($foo); die(); ?> your way to a complete theme if
you have the time, but unless you’re very familiar with this theming
API, it’s going to take a while. It’s possible to do just about anything
you can imagine, but I found theme authorship to be slow and painful and
more than a little annoying.
Jekyll uses liquid for templating which is
quite powerful and much more compact than plain PHP. After all, Jekyll
is a much simpler tool than Wordpress, and for me that simplicity is a
core strength. Have a look at this page’s layout
to get an idea of how simple it is to write Jekyll themes.
looking through all the options, I just haven’t found the perfect
framework. That’s why I’m introducing my own framework to provide the
best possible interface, helping you to inject exactly the dependency
First, I want to introduce the problem we’re trying to solve. Let’s say
knows too much about the dependency. This is what smarty-pants engineers
call “tight coupling”:
Suddenly this topic seems to be all around me. Although, I’m not sure if
it was always here, or if I just wasn’t paying attention. But it’s here
in a big way. The meritocracy discussion seems to be mainly about women
in tech, but to a lesser extent, minorities.
At first it was an old colleague of mine on twitter. And frankly, I was
annoyed to see his many-times-a-day posts about feminism and how the
whole world is conspiring to keep his daughter from enjoying science and
math. It went on like this for years and I eventually stopped following
him because he never talked about anything else and I was tired of his
What I didn’t understand at the time was this was all part of a much
larger discussion. Although I did notice the growing trend about a year
ago and started to take notice. Looking back at stories from the past
few years shows just how much attention this is getting from major
internet media outlets:
The Boston Globe.
You can even watch the rise of the term ‘meritocracy’ on
as it begins in early 2009, likely in association with its so-called
Recently, I also ran across an indiegogo project called
CODE: Debugging the Gender Gap
which promises to explore the lack of diversity in the tech world. At
this point, it’s fully funded and I’m excited to see it when it’s ready.
Today, the discussion seems to be finding new ground after Microsoft CEO
Satya Nadella’s remarks caused a minor internet storm, where he made
some regretful remarks about how women should behave regarding salaries
and ended up having to
take it all back.
And that’s great, the man ate his silly words and hopefully we all
Through our work on the OptionsHouse API
we’ve somehow become known as trading algorithm experts. At least once a
week, Branded Crate gets a phone call or email from someone who wants to
automate trading activity. To even have a thought like this requires
some level of sophistication. Even so, many potential clients aren’t
aware of what it takes to create and manage a system like this. That’s
our area of expertise, so if you’re considering trading automation, read
on to learn more about how we do it.
The very heart of any trading algorithm is the actual algorithm, written
using instructions a machine can understand (code). This is mainly what
clients think about when they talk to us. The idea generally seems
simple at first, but complexities emerge as you begin to consider
automation. Without even thinking, clients “just know” to do things a
certain way as they execute their trading strategies manually.
Computers, on the other hand, don’t know anything.
Let’s say a client wants to buy N shares of some stock when the current
price of that stock is lower than it was at the same time on the
previous trading day and sell when the current stock price is higher
than the same time on the previous trading day. This is probably a
terrible strategy, but ignore that because it can still serve as an
example of how and where complexities emerge.
As a developer, I’ve long struggled with the problem of how to deploy
the applications I create. In an ideal world, I could spend all of my
energy doing what I do best (building applications), and none of my
energy dealing with operations concerns. That sounds like a good reason
to have an operations team. But an operations team has the same problem
because ideally, the operations team could spend all their time handling
operations concerns, and none of their time worrying about how
applications were created.
Deploying an application is largely an exercise in defining (or
discovering) the relationship between an application and its
environment. This can be a tricky and error-prone job because there is
so much variety in applications, environments and the people who create
them. If everyone involved could agree on an interface contract, we’d
all save a lot of time and energy.
This is what PaaS has tried to do. Solutions like
Heroku, Google App
OpenShift have sprung up to varying
degrees of success. Of these, Heroku has had the largest impact on the
way we think about software service deployment and what PaaS can do. You
can find an entire ecosystem of software packages on GitHub designed to
make your applications adhere to the tenets of The Twelve-Factor
App. And that’s a good thing because we’re
starting to see what life could be like in a world where apps fit neatly
into PaaS-shaped boxes.