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2012/05/29

It's Yak Shaving Day

What is Yak Shaving Day?



I can repost the Jargon File entry, but I'd rather explain via my life.

I'm creating a complex data entry application using Perl's Dancer MVC framework as the core, but as the requirements are complex, I'm doing a lot of the front-end in Javascript and jQuery. As I'm using Dancer, I have an outer template that's holding the head and thus the libraries. So, I could have several libraries that do all sorts of stuff on several sub-pages, or I can start out right and create these things with testing and a mechanism, qua Steve Souders, to unify all the Javascript libraries I write into one file, minify it and gzip it. Having each library separate for testing is another goal of this process.

Right now, I'm hung up on making the minifier work. I'm trying to use YUI Compressor, which should come via apt-get on my Ubuntu box, but it's failing to work, kicking out Java errors. There was a point in my history where I was excited about Java, but that was before I tried to use it. The reality of writing Java (in this case, the applets that were once in vogue but now have been replaced by Flash, which is increasingly being replaced by the raft of interconnected technologies we call HTML5*) and the official preference for GUI interfaces over the command-line or compatible code that was and is my bread and butter. So, I have repressed any knowledge of debugging Java I may have gathered, and that knowledge occurred over a decade ago. So, I'm out of my depth.

So, I will be shaving yaks today. Hopefully not waking up in a ditch.

* Allow me to apologize for my tendency to place paragraphs in parentheses. I'd claim that it won't happen again, but parenthetical digressions have always been my favorite pastime, which leads to the topic of this post.