This page presents the technology-focused writing portfolio of Jason McIntosh. I have worked in technology full-time since the 1990s, mostly as a software engineer with a knack for writing – always leaving stacks of documentation in my wake, and publishing the occasional book or article as well.
After programming for more than 20 years, I have refocused my career towards writing. Find here some highlights of my written work from the last couple of decades, demonstrating the breadth of my skills, interests, and working styles.
Please direct any questions to me at email@example.com, or call me at 617–792–3829. Thank you!
In 2020, I received a grant from the Perl Foundation to establish new documenation standards for the Perl programming langauge. As part of this work, I wrote a style guide for Perl documentation, which began to ship with Perl itself as of May 2021.
Earlier that same year, I received a separate TPF grant to revise part of the documentation that ships with the Perl programming language. This work was included with Perl starting in version 5.32:
A thorough revision of the
open function's documentation, adding subsections, clear examples, and general reorganization.
perlopentut tutorial document, adding a new section on working with Unix pipes.
In 2018, I created two open-source libraries for the Perl programming language, both thoroughly documented with example code, and readable online via the MetaCPAN website:
Web::Mention, an implementation of the Webmention protocol.
Web::Microformats2, a parser for the Microformats2 metadata standard.
I also maintain the user documentation for Plerd, a static blogging platform of my own design.
In 2019, for the digital-arts nonprofit I help run, I presented the findings of IFTF's Accessibility Testing Project. This report represents the culmination of 18 months of planning and coordination among an eight-member expert panel, as well as a group of three dozen volunteer testers.
After I taught a semester-long game-studies lab at Northeastern University in the fall of 2011, I created a public resource out of all its related writing and coursework, as well as my thoughts in retrospect.
In 2018, I wrote an illustrated essay about open-source interactive fiction for Red Hat’s opensource.com.
From 2014 through today, I write around four articles per month for Fogknife, a general-interest blog that runs on software of my own design.
A selection of Fogknife-hosted essays on a variety of technological topics:
In the first years of the current century, I co-authored or otherwise contributed to the following books published by O’Reilly Media (at the time known as O’Reilly and Associates).
Mac OS X in a Nutshell, co-authored with Chris Stone and Chuck Toporek. I designed the book’s overall structure, wrote a significant portion of it, and was responsible for much of its internal illustration.
Perl & XML, co-authored with Erik T. Ray. I wrote the majority of the book’s content specific to the Perl programming language, including code examples.
Mac OS X Hacks. I contributed an article about using IMAP mail services on a Mac.
Perl in a Nutshell. I performed technical review on its chapters about XML.
I prepare talks for technical conferences occasionally, and treat them as heavily illustrated essays, writing them out in their entirety beforehand. Here are three such talks I presented during the 2010s:
A ten-minute talk on using public resources to build public-service software, from the 2017 BangBang Con.
A twenty-minute talk on blogging, from the 2015 Perl Conference.
A five-minute talk on personal project motivation, from the 2013 Perl Conference.
I wrote most of the static content on the Annual Interactive Fiction Competition’s website, as part of my four-year tenure as its organizer (2014 through 2017). See, for example, this illustrative essay defining interactive fiction.
In 2010, I wrote a text adventure game called The Warbler’s Nest, which won that year’s XYZZY Award for Best Writing. I followed this in 2014 with an online textual art installation called Barbetween.
And way back in in 2001, while writing Perl & XML, I designed, described, and wrote a reference implementation of ComicsML – a proposed XML-based standard for marking up comic strips. My explanatory essay about it got syndicated into a feature article for O’Reilly’s xml.com.