I found the exercise of writing up a summary of my projects in 2022 very valuable--it gave me a chance to step back, recognise that I actually achieved things, and let me reflect on the projects I want to continue pursuing. With that in mind, I thought it might be good to try returning to the practice of writing weeknotes. I plan to keep them a little shorter this time with a view to making it easier to keep going.
Sarah and I are moving again, from one Airbnb to another, as we continue our hunt for somewhere to settle in the near term. It looks a lot like that'll be Cambridge UK right now as we really enjoyed our Christmas in the little village of Horningsea, just outside Cambridge.
We've signed the agreement on our third storage unit in an attempt to make things easier as we move around--our possessions are new spread across California, Cambridge, and London. Hopefully everything's still dry after the devastating torrential rain in California.
I planned to ship Symbolic. Things got off to a great start--by Tuesday version 1.0.0 had been submitted to the App Store and was quickly approved--but then everything went off-the-rails: during some last-minute due diligence (prompted by one of my wonderful beta testers), I took a more detailed look at the licensing around SF Symbols and discovered they're explicitly prohibited from use in icons. That came as a really big blow and left me questioning the sense in continuing with Symbolic. Still, it feels like it's really come together in the last couple of weeks, so I pushed on and started looking for alternative symbol sets.
Once I'd accepted the situation, I quickly found a wealth of open source symbols variously licensed Creative Commons, Apache, and MIT, all of which would allow Symbolic icons to be used in shipping apps. As a start, I've integrated Google's Material Icons and I plan to add a few more sets before shipping. I will leave SF Symbols as an option as they feel like they could be great for internal apps.
In the end, this feels like this is a great outcome for Symbolic--users will have far more choice when designing icons, both in terms of design and licensing, and I've already done the work to make adding new sets easier and greater user customization in the future.
My little Raspberry Pi portable continues to be a pleasure to use and I'm finding it a great, playful, distraction-free device. Despite the terrible keyboard, it's proving a fantastic 'first draft' machine.
Most of my time has been spent exploring the software side of the device and bringing myself up-to-date with the state of modern Gnome apps. I've been enjoying using Xmonad on Ubuntu, Geary for email, Newsflash for RSS, Epiphany for browsing, and Tootle for Mastodon. I'm also having a lot of fun with the Uxn apps.
On the hardware side, my laser-cut aluminium internal mounting bracket turned up and I enjoyed taking a little time to fit it over the weekend. With this installed, the main physical design is complete and I can focus my efforts on the keyboard.
I made a small quality of life update to GitHub Status to let you use an environment variable to set the location of the configuration file. This allows me to store my configuration file in git and share it between my devices.