The D Blog in 2018

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Another year has gone and the D Blog keeps trucking along. That means it’s time once again to look in the rearview, dig into some blog stats, and talk about plans for the coming year.

The truck did get a bit low on fuel along the way. I’m the world’s worst manager of time and, thanks to an increased workload, that impacted the blog in different ways. I also suffered a severe bout of writer’s block for several weeks. That affected not just the blog, but also my regular job and my hobby. As someone who writes every day, suddenly being unable to find any words was both unsettling and frustrating. I did eventually get through it, but with a much-reduced output level. Where once I could crank out a near-final draft of a blog post in one sitting, I found myself requiring several sessions over several days and multiple revisions.

Because of that, the total post count was down from 2017 and I didn’t meet the goals I had for 2018. But the tank has been topped off for 2019, my output level has improved, and I’m putting a higher priority on chasing contributors. If you’re writing D code and I have a means of contacting you, beware!

What Was and Could Have Been

Publishing more project highlights was a big goal in 2018, but it didn’t go that way. The year kicked off with two in short order: BSDScheme in January and The D Community Hub in February, and that was it.

This is a bigger priority for 2019. If you have a D project you’d like the world to know about, let me know! It will help me tremendously for volunteers to step forward.

In March, I wrapped up the blog’s focus on the first target of our D in Production series with a set of User Stories from Funkwerk. They agreed at DConf 2017 to participate in the series and we started it shortly thereafter.

At DConf 2018, I asked the folks from Sociomantic to be the next target and they agreed. We started the conversations, but the initial post fell victim to my writer’s block and subsequent output woes. We’ll get that going early this year. I expect to pick up the next target at DConf 2019.

The guest post story wasn’t all bad. In the first three months, most of the posts were from me. The two exceptions were Walter’s Flash-Gordon-inspired title, Vanquish Forever These Bugs That Blasted Your Kingdom, a post from the LDC developers about the release of LDC 1.8.0, and the aforementioned Funkwerk User Stories.

In the middle of the year, we had guest posts from Jared Hanson on std.variant, Kai Nacke on using D with SAP, Nick Sabalausky on alias this vs alias for clearer error messages, Jack Stouffer on continuous improvement in D, Bastiaan Veelo on how his engineering company picked up D, and Walter on how he converted make.c to D. After that, there were no contributions until Joakim’s interview with Liran Zvibel of WekaIO.

As with the project highlights, guest posts are always welcome. If you have something you’d like to contribute, let me know! Most people I contact first tell me they don’t have the time now. Some agree to do it and then ask to postpone or cancel, sometimes after sending me a rough draft. That’s perfectly understandable, and I’m not complaining. I just want to make it clear that when someone volunteers to contribute a guest post without my prompting them, I know the person is already committed to publishing the post—they contacted me! The success rate, in that case, is almost 100%. It’s quite a bit lower when I’m chasing posts.

Several of my posts in 2018 were written to announce new initiatives, like The #dbugfix Campaign, The State of D Survey, The New New DIP Process, The D Language Foundation at Open Collective, Funding code-d, and The New Fundraising Campaign. And let’s not forget the page on the Symmetry Autumn of Code, which is in the process of wrapping up. I’m keeping the focus on the blog itself in this post, but I’ll be following up in a few days with a retrospective on D at large in 2018, including some words on all of these initiatives.

More such announcements will be coming your way in 2019. I’m hoping to publish one before the end of this month. It’s highly dependent on my time-management skills, so please don’t make any high-valued bets on it.

The Stats

My favorite part. Be sure to see The D Blog in 2017 and The D Blog in 2016 for comparison if that’s your thing.

There were 39 new posts published to the D Blog in 2018. We picked up 132,754 page views from 80,708 visitors who left 92 comments.

The top five referrers:

Referrer Page Views
Hacker News 20,049
Google Search 16,484
Reddit 7,645
D Forums 5,162
Twitter 3,330

The top five countries:

Country Page Views
United States 43,496
Germany 9,699
United Kingdom 8,358
Russia 5,601
France 4,758

Note that in 2017, France sent us 3,632 views and did not make the list. Canada dropped off the list, having sent us 4,890 views in 2017 and 4,261 last year.

The top five most-clicked GitHub links:

  1. BSDScheme
  2. DLangUI
  3. Pegged Tutorial
  4. PowerNex
  5. Mecca

The top five posts of 2018:

Post Title Page Views
How an Engineering Company Chose to Migrate to D 17,539
Liran Zvibel of WekaIO on Using D to Create the World’s Fastest File System 15,159
DasBetterC: Converting make.c to D 4,144
std.variant is Everything Cool About D 3,832
Lost in Translation: Encapsulation 3,476

Finally, the top five posts of all time (as of 9:20 a.m. UTC, January 2, 2019):

Post Title Page Views
D as a Better C 20,597
How an Engineering Company Chose to Migrate to D 17,541
Liran Zvibel of WekaIO on Using D to Create the World’s Fastest File System 15,169
Faster Command Line Tools in D 13,347
Don’t Fear the Reaper 8,983

Looking Ahead

One of the goals I had in 2018 was to bring on a semi-regular contributor to help lighten my load a bit. That didn’t pan out, but I still want to get something going in 2019. If you’re interested in contributing a “column” to the D Blog once every two or three months, please get in touch. (Psst: There’s money involved.)

The invitation for guest posts and project highlights still stands. Please note that the majority of the top posts are guest posts! People who are using D in their jobs or solving hard problems with D have things to say that the non-D audience will be interested to learn. Guest posts require a commitment to an editing and revision process, but project highlights do not require any writing from you. All I need is an information dump I can massage into a post. It’s an easy contribution. Please, get in touch! (Psst: There’s money involved.)

The GC series is on temporary hold, awaiting a potential development in the language. That gives me more bandwidth for some new installments in my series on Interfacing D and C. I’m shooting for four!

A new thing I’d like to do this year is to invite people to write about their first impressions of D while they’re still fresh. I have a couple of ideas for how to go about it, but they will take time to pursue. In the meantime, if you are a relatively new D user, I invite you to contact me (aldacron@gmail.com) and talk to me about getting your experience into written form. I hope through such posts we can zero in on some major pain points and source some improvements for them while reinforcing the good parts. Blog posts are slower to fall off the radar than forum posts (Psst: There might be money involved.)

Thanks for reading the D Blog in 2018. I’m on a mission to provide more, and more interesting, content in 2019. I hope you’ll keep on reading.

Happy New Year, D Land!

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