SharePoint, social distancing, civil unrest, and so on

I need to start a new SharePoint Online project at work soon. It’ll be an attempt to move an on-prem SharePoint 2013 site, with a fair amount of custom code, to SPO. I haven’t had time to learn much about SPO yet. I’ve taken a couple of pokes at it, but I’d been having trouble finding the right resources.

I “attended” Microsoft’s virtual Build conference this year, and had hoped for some useful SharePoint content, but there wasn’t much. About the only thing I could find was this session on the Microsoft 365 developer program. I already knew about that, and have an account, so that wasn’t too useful. It did, however, point me in the direction of a web page that (in turn) pointed me to this course on extending SharePoint. That seems to be what I need to get started.

I’m cautiously enthusiastic about learning this stuff, but I’m a little leery of the dev stack that they’re recommending. I have some limited experience with the tools they’re using (gulp, yeoman, node.js, and so on), but this stuff always seems like a house of cards to me. Too many different tools, all from different open source projects, pulling in possibly hundreds of different files, all just to get the scaffolding for a “Hello World” project up and running. Well, I need to remain positive and give it a try. I made it through the first “Hello World” example today, and I’m hoping I’ll have time to make some more progress tomorrow.

Since the dev stack includes node.js, I found myself visiting the node.js web site today. They’ve changed their home page to contain a Black Lives Matter message. (I’m not sure how long they’ll leave it up, so here’s a link to an archive.org snapshot.) We had a fairly small and very peaceful BLM march in Somerville over the weekend. And protests in NJ have mostly been peaceful, with some exceptions. I don’t have much to say about all this, other than that I hope something positive comes out of it all. I’m afraid that it’s going to get worse before it gets better though. (My own contribution to this situation was to start catching up on all the Black Lightning episodes on my TiVo. And to keep listening to the Invisible Man audiobook that I started a while back. So, not much, really.)

Meanwhile, NJ is starting to open back up a bit. Today actually marks three months since the first COVID-19 case in NJ, according to the newscast I just watched. I think that Murphy is acting with a reasonable level of caution, all things considered. I am worried about the “knuckleheads” who might push things a little too far and cause another spike in cases. I’ve actually been venturing out a bit more myself this week. I had a doctor’s appointment, then had to go to Quest for some blood work. And I’ve got a dentist’s appointment next week. It feels a little weird, going out and driving and stuff. I’m really wondering about how “armored up” the dentist and hygienist are going to be for my appointment. Dental work has got to  be pretty high-risk, given the level of contact necessary.

Here’s an article about the current state of things in downtown Somerville. And here’s one on a plan to close off Main Street to car traffic a few nights a week, and use the road for outdoor dining. It’s an interesting plan, though if it’s not implemented carefully, it could be a disaster. I want to see Somerville’s restaurants have a chance to do some business this summer, but not if it means that the whole street is crammed with people eating and drinking and spreading germs. If they can keep things reasonable and organized, maybe it’s not a bad idea. If things get crowded (like on a normal, pre-COVID-19, Friday night), then I’m going to be locking myself in my apartment and keeping the windows closed.

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