Items in Nov, 2007
Simply put, free and open-source software is just the scientific model applied to programming: free sharing of work open collaboration; open publication; peer review; recognition of the best work, with priority given to the first to do a meaningful new piece of work; and so forth. As a programmer, it is the best arena in which to work. There are no secrets; the work must stand on its own.
The Rissington Podcast. Resize the browser window and marvel at the way the various background images seamlessly overlay each other—Nat and I cooed at it for about five minutes. # 30th November 2007, 11:11 pm
What do we call personal information management when it moves into shared online spaces? I asked myself that question, and the answer that came back was: social information management.
sorl-thumbnail. This looks like a decent attempt at a generic Django thumbnailing service, but I’m always wary of code that allows URL hackers to create large numbers of files that will be cached to disk. UPDATE: My mistake, thumbnail creation can only be caused by template authors. # 27th November 2007, 7:17 pm
I can’t help feel that BDD is a case of a bad idea spreading; the motivations for BDD are fine (a change in developer testing workflow), but the technique they use to try to reach the desired workflow is totally bizarre.
Using django.newforms with Pylons. It’s always good to see Django components used outside of the framework itself. For the record, you can avoid the DJANGO_SETTINGS_MODULE environment variable entirely using django.conf.settings.configure (search for it). # 27th November 2007, 3:01 pm
Eventlet—Second Life Wiki. Seriously powerful non-blocking IO library for Python, currently maintained by Linden Lab as part of the server architecture used for Second Life. # 26th November 2007, 3:21 pm
Open Rights Group: Our first two years. ORG’s review of the past two years shows just how worthwhile a cause they have become—highlights include their hugely successful campaign against copyright term extension and their involvement in this year’s e-voting trials. # 25th November 2007, 10:05 pm
A Little Laptop With Big Ambitions. I hadn’t realised how much competition OLPC faced from Microsoft and Intel’s Classmate. It would be amazing to see a generation grow up understanding that computers are open tools that they can control themselves rather than closed black boxes. # 24th November 2007, 10:47 pm
Portable Social Networks: Take Your Friends with You. Brian Suda explains how OpenID, XFN and hCard can be used together to bootstrap portable social networks. # 23rd November 2007, 11:56 pm
Newforms, part 1. James Bennett provides a detailed description of Django’s newforms (not so new now though, they’ve been around for over a year), complete with attractive diagrams. # 23rd November 2007, 11:54 pm
Django Evolution. Really smart take on the problem of updating database tables to reflect changes to Django models. Code that automatically modifies your database tables can be pretty scary, but Evolution seems to hit the right balance. # 23rd November 2007, 11:49 pm
Is Facebook Really Censoring Search When It Suits Them? Apparently MoveOn’s group “Petition: Facebook, stop invading my privacy!” stopped showing up in search results for “privacy”—the search claimed 17 results but suspiciously only showed 16. # 23rd November 2007, 7:50 am
Musical hackery. Indescribably clever musical video game creation, where images from classic games spell out their own theme tunes. The smartest thing I’ve seen on YouTube, well, ever. # 22nd November 2007, 5:03 pm
Why Guiness tastes better in Ireland. Two reasons: it’s more popular so kegs empty faster (and you always get a fresh pint), and Guinness send someone round to every pub to flush the lines once every three weeks. # 22nd November 2007, 3:41 pm
A Taxonomy of Event- and REST-based Comet. Kris Zyp describes a conceptual model for Comet messages based on REST semantics (so you can send a PUT referencing a specific URI down to a client to represent an idempotent state change). # 21st November 2007, 8:18 pm
Web design is the creation of digital environments that facilitate and encourage human activity; reflect or adapt to individual voices and content; and change gracefully over time while always retaining their identity.