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composition.al is up! - Lindsey Kuper [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Lindsey Kuper

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composition.al is up! [Jan. 10th, 2013|06:55 pm]
Lindsey Kuper
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I'm very excited to announce that I've started a new blog for writing about the research and research-related program activities that have taken over this journal in the last few years. Also, I'm excited to have a domain that's less embarrassing than rockstargirl.org.

I hesitate a bit in calling it a "research blog" -- that sounds so bloodless. Rather, I want it to be a blog about my experiences as a researcher, which necessarily include research but also include a lot of other things. If you've been reading my research posts here, I hope you'll consider reading there, too.

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Comments:
[User Picture]From: joshua_
2013-01-11 08:01 am (UTC)
1) Will you syndicate from there to here?

2) I'm surprised (well, not surprised, but I suppose sad) that you consider 'rockstargirl.org' embarrassing. Of the people I know who are PL hackers, you fall into the 'rockstar' hash bucket; I guess my male privilege is showing through, but I'm sad that it's 2013 and you're embarrassed to have your gender in your domain. "rockstargirl" is something to be proud of!

That said, composition.al is a baller domain name.
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[User Picture]From: graydon
2013-01-11 07:12 pm (UTC)
I read it as more of avoidance of an accidental collision with existing cultural tropes: "rockstar developers" and "referring to women via diminutives". Neither of which, I assume, was intended when the domain was acquired.

(composition.al is a great domain, btw. Now you just need to triple-word-score it by putting something amusing at the "non." subdomain :)
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[User Picture]From: lindseykuper
2013-01-11 08:16 pm (UTC)
Augh, I totally already thought of the non. thing but I've been too lazy to set it up. Actually, I thought about getting ition.al or some such thing and just having a whole bunch of awesome subdomains, but it seemed like too much effort.
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[User Picture]From: graydon
2013-01-11 08:22 pm (UTC)
Yeah. Shaver owns 'tive.org' and has had many amusing subdomains.
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[User Picture]From: lindseykuper
2013-01-11 08:02 pm (UTC)
1) Maybe! I'll look into it.

2) Well, so, first of all, rockstargirl.org dates from well before I was any kind of PL hacker. I've had it since 2003. The reason I got it, and the only thing I've ever used it for, was as a home for my music stuff. So it was sort of weird that lindsey@rockstargirl.org became my canonical email address in various contexts that had nothing to do with any of that stuff.

Second, the name was never really supposed to refer to me. Rather, it referred to a song I wrote ten years ago called "Rock Star Girl", and in the song, the term was used rather sarcastically; that was the point of the song! But, of course, nobody could be expected to know that. So people were always getting exactly the wrong impression from "lindsey@rockstargirl.org", which grated on me a bit.

Third, for a while I was okay with being associated with the term "rock star", because I'm actually pretty proud of my music degree and of my background as a musician. I even used "Rock Star in Training" as my tagline on LinkedIn until very recently. But gradually I've come to realize that "rock star" does not really connote "musician" to anyone and is in fact more likely to connote "self-absorbed egotistical jerk", and that, furthermore, any place that actually did put "rock star" in a job posting is probably not the kind of place I'd ever want to work. That's when it started to seem like an embarrassing domain.

Fourth, I definitely no longer think of myself as a "girl" (as opposed to "woman"), which wasn't a distinction that occurred to me at age 20 when I got the domain, but which kind of grates on me now. And, either way, although I'm fine with, you know, being female and having people know I'm female, having my gender in my domain is perhaps a little over the top. (Again, I didn't think of this when I got it because I didn't think of the name as being about me, but nobody else knew that.)

Fifth, I haven't updated rockstargirl.org in years, and I'm not sure when I will. So it's simply embarrassing by virtue of not having been updated in so long. (I'm not embarrassed by the fact that I'm not really doing music anymore (I've been a little busy with other things), but it is nevertheless a little embarrassing that I can't even be bothered to dust the cobwebs off my music-related web presence.)
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[User Picture]From: lindseykuper
2013-01-18 08:39 pm (UTC)
I'm trying to tweak Octopress to make it crosspost, but so far I've gotten about as far as "Client error: missing required argument(s)", so, well, here: the first nontrivial post is up!
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From: neelk
2013-01-11 07:40 pm (UTC)
For PL research blogging, the MathJax CDN makes it super-easy to fill your blog with impenetrable ranks of massed Greek letters; I highly recommend it!
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[User Picture]From: lindseykuper
2013-01-11 08:28 pm (UTC)
Thanks! I was just thinking about how I was going to do that. Some people have apparently encountered complications making MathJax work on Octopress, but I'll give it a shot.
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[User Picture]From: sstrickl
2013-01-11 10:26 pm (UTC)
I've been looking at Octopress in the past, but haven't actually put in the time to try working with it yet. Were there any specific guides you followed, or do you have an experience report of your own that might be useful were I to work with it in the future?
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[User Picture]From: lindseykuper
2013-01-12 02:18 am (UTC)
For getting set up in the first place, the official docs and this blog post were good. For updating from multiple machines, this did the trick.

The annoying part actually had nothing to do with Octopress. I wanted to use GitHub Pages to host the site, but when I asked my domain registrar (I used dot.al) to add the appropriate A record for GitHub Pages, as described here, they were like "No, we can't do it". I had already set up composition.al to use TextDrive's nameservers some time ago just out of habit, since I've used TextDrive for everything since 2006, so then I asked TextDrive and they set it up for me. But I'm pretty sure that dot.al actually does offer DNS themselves, and that they should have been able to handle the A record thing without any third party having to be involved. Or maybe I just don't understand DNS.

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