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Me. Woodward Park, Fresno, CA. January 2016.

My favorite pic of me that's sort of recent-ish. (No, you aren't lost. As of June 1, 2020, DoreenTraylor.com redirects here.)
Recent posts

Effective Written Communication is Harder Than Most People Appreciate.

One of the problems plaguing the internet is a failure to effectively communicate. When people leave comments online, a lot of them write similar to how they talk and this tends to go astray. When you talk to people in person, there are a great many contextual cues that help inform the interpretation of your words. In online written communication, people often mostly have your actual words and those words need to be a great deal more precise and detailed to have any hope of being good communication. If you use a lot of sarcasm, irony or similar and tend to rely on voice tone to convey your actual intent, you may run into a lot of unexpected drama online. You may need to actively work at using some means to convey your real intent or ditch those habits. Even seemingly very simple things can go wildly astray when you move from talking to local people who know you well in person to talking to mere acquaintances or strangers. If I write "sodas" on my grocery list, I and relati

The Chair Problem

Words are an amazing thing and the written word is this incredible, magical means to communicate what is in one person's mind to someone else's mind when they have never met and even potentially across time. You can read the written words of people who are no longer alive, sometimes in cases where they died centuries before you were ever born. But there are lots of ways this form of communication can go wrong. I generally think of this as the chair problem . Chair is a perfectly useful word but it it somewhat vague. There are many objects that can rightly be called a chair and they differ wildly. If you are trying to give someone instructions for how to accomplish a thing, telling them to put a chair in that spot is probably not sufficient information, especially if they have to purchase said chair. If they are grabbing one from the supply room or elsewhere in the same building, you may not need to give a lot of specifics because there may be a limited selection of chai

Relaunching a BlogSpot Site

I have a site called Project: SRO that I relaunched just yesterday. I think I started it sometime in 2017 and I didn't like the design and I wasn't clear what I was doing with it. I think it was initially some kind of black and beige design. I hoped to eventually update it. I was just trying to throw up something that was some minimal level of functional while I tried to flesh out the concept in my own mind and I knew that would take some time. Last summer, I pivoted the site to what I expected to be a temporary usage: A space to rant about local small town politics while losing my marbles during lockdown in a global pandemic. At that time, I updated the look to something sort of city-themed that I thought was pretty, but it wasn't really a good design from the perspective of really supporting a particular concept. It was a light and bright blue and white theme with a background that was an outline of part of Paris inclusive of the Eiffel Tower. I liked it but Par

Privacy and Safety Online

This is real off the cuff and I have no plans to give any kind of citations. If you feel I can't give you any useful advice based on firsthand experience and personal opinion and you want a bunch of links to a bunch of studies, then this is not the post for you. Hopefully, some of this is generally useful to anyone, but it is being written by a woman and based on years and years of trying to sort my personal crap out because I have a long history of being a walking, talking train wreck waiting to happen. I've worked really hard to reduce the online drama that tends to swirl around me and, so far, it hasn't turned into genuine real life drama (of the "need to call the police" variety -- that doesn't mean there haven't been some real world impacts). So I think I know a thing or three that might be helpful. Loose Lips Sink Ships That's a military saying. I've never been in the military, but I've had relatives who were career military. Du

Sticky This: See a typo? Submit a pull request.

For the first time ever, I submitted a pull request yesterday to an open source project notifying them of a typo. It was accepted within hours. Submitting the pull request was easy and took almost no time. The process of submitting it gave me valuable prompts, such as "This field is typically no more than 50 characters." I've been on Hacker News for over eleven years. I began wondering how on earth I can contribute to open source as a non-coder a few years back. I've talked to other non-coders who were just as mystified as I was -- or more mystified -- as to how on earth you get into open source as a non coder. So, no, it isn't just me. I spent probably a few hours yesterday trying to sort out how on earth to notify them of their typo. It took me far, far longer to figure out what I needed to do than it took to do it. This is a huge barrier to entry and will stop most people before they begin. Most people simply can't give you three hours of their t

My First Pull Request Was Approved! Huzzah!

A few hours ago, I submitted my first ever pull request . I mean to something other than the Hello World project Github walks you through to show you the basics. It has now been approved by the maintainer and merged. And, wow, I need to get this off my chest: You programmers are completely unnecessarily scaring off non-programmers from your Open Source projects. This is how this went down: I saw a piece on Hacker News that interested me and I opened it up to find that it was a Github repository. I began reading the documentation and noticed a typo. One of the titles said "Funtion" instead of "Function" in it. So I was like "I would like to tell them." Now the last time I wanted to tell someone in Open Source they had a typo, I left a comment on Hacker News to do it. They did fix it and apparently took some of my other advice as well. But this time the article didn't have a lot of comments. It only has two, in fact. So I felt like le

My Reddits

Before I was a blogger, I was a talented moderator on a homeschooling list. This year, I have kind of taken that back up again via Reddit. This is my current list of Reddits (yes, I sort of randomly added some spaces to the List to make it matchup some with the image on my laptop): r/ClothingStartups r/GigWorks r/CitizenPlanners r/aberdeenwa r/UrbanForestry r/Seward r/HousingWorks r/pocketputer r/frenchwardrobe r/Walkable r/CoastalWA r/HealthWorks r/Knits r/SolanoRail r/NorthToAlaska r/NorthToAlsaska r/Relo r/TheCrescent I created Urban Forestry just days ago and until today it had one member, me. I announced it on r/UrbanPlanning today and it was up to 27 members as I began this post, which makes it larger than about three-quarters of the Reddits I own. I am not even done with putting this post together and that figure is already out of date. It's continuing to pick up members owing to t