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Personal report for 2014

You can check the personal report for 2013 here

Indented paragraphs like this one contain details, so they can be safely skipped.

The milestone

It’s a very special report as it has been written in a special milestone… Just today 3 years have passed since the time I left IT outsourcing – perhaps, its worst representative – the firm named Softjourn (and there was not a single day I regreted, that I did this). It’s a special milestone as 3 years is the term, stated in the Softjourn’s NDA – the term, during which I should not share any confidential information about the company. So, since today I can share more! And I’m going to…

Achievements in 2014

So here are some things I succeeded in during 2014:

  • It’s not a completely my achievement (it can be even said, that it’s not my achievement at all), but it’s absolutely worth mentioning here, as it’s an achievement of the nation I am a part of: A year ago I would not believe, that ukrainians would be able to rise against the robber regime of Yanukovych. But, we did it! Actually, we did not just rose but also made the impudent dictator escape and this fact makes me very proud of being a ukrainian! Unfortunately, there was a huge cost of this and “friends” of the dictator still make ukrainians pay the tremendous price for our choice…

To be honest, my participation in this achievement was not big at all, unfortunately. I would like to be able to do more, but… Therefore, I just can’t be thankful enough to the people, who did (and do) the very needed things to make this achievement possible. I’m also quite optimistic and do believe, that ukrainians will be able to resist all the issues, caused by the dictator’s “friends”.

  • This year I finally launched my blog (thus, this report is an article in my blog)! At the moment of writing these words I have 67 blog posts published, 32 of which were moved from my other resources (like Redmine and Faceebook). 37 of these blog posts are in English (21 in Russian and 9 in Ukrainian).

To run the blog and to integrate it with Redmine I wrote several tools, which can now be considered stable (as they are used live). These tools are: RedWord theme for WordPress, RedPress plugin for Redmine and WordMine plugin for WordPress. I currently work on releasing these tools, so they may become achievements for 2015…

The most popular my blog post is the article about Paul Creig Roberts, an american economist, who appeared to be a Russian propagandist… In the article (which is in Russian) I draw readers attention to some weird “facts” in the Russian version of his biography and show paragraphs, in which he uses propaganda techniques to convince readers. Paul Creig Roberts is a frequenter in Russian mass media, where he is referenced as a foreign expert, who shares the vision of the Kremlin.

Having worked on my WordPress installation I also learned to develop WordPress plugins. So, I developed two more custom plugins for my blog (in addition to WordMine, mentioned above), as I needed the appropriate functionality. And one of this plugin was (in fact) released:

  • The Language Mix plugin for WordPress (which is dependent on Chouby‘s amazing Polylang plugin) is an attempt to implement my vision of the multi-lingual website, that is discussed in details here. Thus, I believe, that the currently popular multi-lingual website approach, which is used world-wide, is… wrong! I do think, that a website should show contents in all languages, which is known to the user, and let him/her choose the translation, when needed. This plugin was released (it’s not tagged correctly and has some minor issues) and made available in the official WordPress plugin registry. So, this is also my first WordPress plugin in this registry (another achievement).

Another my plugin for WordPress is Category Featured Post. This plugin allows to show the excerpt of the special pre-selected post on the sidebar of the category page. I use this feature to show the description of the category (e.g., check the “About this category” on the side bar of this page). The plugin has not been released yet though…

  • My involvement in Kayako becomes deeper… Currently we work on the feature breaking v5 release. One of the subsystems, I was an architect of, now becomes the very base of the future product! So, certainly, I’m very proud, that my work is so important and gains such confidence. I’m very pleased to be a member of the Kayako team!

This year I also released some already old (but not released till that moment) plugins for Redmine:

  • I use the Subscription plugin for more than 2 years, but only in 2014 I got some time to port it to the recent Redmine and to release it. This plugin, as it comes from its name, allows users to quickly subscribe to new project objects (e.g., news, Wiki pages, files etc). The difference with “watching” (which is supported by the Redmine natively) is that you can watch only already existing objects and the Subscription plugin lets you be notified about new ones.
  • The ISSUE-id plugin was released with a huge delay (after it became ready) because it is a highly experimental one. So, I needed to check it carefully before. Luckily it appeared to be stable enough and therefore I could realease it in 2014. This plugin makes Redmine issues IDs look like ISSUE-xxx, where ISSUE is the project key and xxx is per-project sequential issue number (i.e., much like JIRA issue IDs).

There could be more cool Redmine plugins released this year, if I chose to implement the corresponding functionality in separate plugins… Instead I decided to add this functionality to already existing ones. Anyway with these new features my old plugins became much cooler, and therefore they can be listed as achievements as well:

  • SCM Creator, which is the most popular my plugin for Redmine, got support for a new SCM repository in 2014. And, this is not just another SCM supported by SCM Creator for creating and registering new repositories in Redmine, but a completely new SCM repository type even for Redmine! Thus, the version 0.5.0b of this plugin adds the “Github” repository type, which allows you to add existing Github repositories directly (not though third-party plugin) into Redmine and even to create new Github repositories with just one click in Redmine.
  • Another my popular plugin for Redmine, WikiNG got two new breaking features, each of which could be implemented in separate plugins. One of this feature is mentions – each use of the user: Wiki syntax in Redmine now produces an email notification and gets listed in the mentioned user profile. Another feature allows easy creating of custom Redmine Wiki macros using just the web interface – you just give the macro name, specify the HTML content for the macro (with optional variables) and get new Wiki macro working.
  • Red-Andy is not a plugin but a theme for Redmine, but its version 1.00 comes with the feature, that moves it beyond the usual theme. Thus, a Redmine installation running Red-Andy can now be (relatively) comfortably read on cell phones, as it’s now the first responsive theme for Redmine.
  • As it was stated in 2012 in that year I finally got an interesting hobby – I started to play with the photography. Since then I made a lot of nice pictures, which I really like. But in 2014, I believe, I moved to a new level as I started to explore the photo processing tool Darktable (an alternative of Lightroom for Linux). So, now I can achieve better results in photography and like my photos even more.

Failures in 2014

Unfortunately there also were some gross failures in 2014. These things were planned too long ago and are still not done. They were also mentioned as “plans” in my previous reports:

  • Orangutan is still to be resurrected. This little smart Jabber bot is still waiting for me to find some time for him… I still do miss its organizing features and still crave for improving them.
  • I still have not resumed work (that was suspended years ago) on #MyNotStartupProject, which was announced in the previous report… I see many situations, in which this project would become very helpful. I hope I will be able to proceed it soon…


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