New Knitting Project: Ballstown

I've started a new project, much to my own surprise. After many years of looking at the merino/tencel blend "colrain" I ordered a cone of it, and have cast on a project: a plain tube using size 0s.. I think I may be crazy. The thing is, I got one of these neck tubes a month or two ago, and it's the most amazing thing ever. Looks good with most things, not weird, very comfortable, etc.…

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Sphinx Caveats

This is a rough sketch of some things that I've learned about the Sphinx documentation generation system. I should probably spend some time to collect what I've learned in a more coherent and durable format, but this will have to do for now: If you describe a type in parameter documentation it will automatically link to the Python documentation for that type when using the Python Domain and if you have intersphinx connected.…

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Stability is a Crutch

I don't think the tension between having good, robust, and bug-free software and having software with new features and capabilities is solvable in the macro case. What follows is a musing on this subject, related in my mind to the On Installing Linux post. I'm not exactly making the argument that we should all prefer to use unstable and untested software, but I think there is a way in which the stability [1] of the most prevalent Linux distributions is a crutch.…

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Markdown Standardization

I (mostly) lurk on the markdown discussion list, which is a great collection of people who implement and develop projects that use markdown. And there's been a recent spate of conversation about standardization of markdown implementations and syntax. This post is both a reflection on this topic and a brief overview of the oft-forgotten history. A History of Markdown Standardization Markdown is a simple project that takes the convention that most people have been using to convey text formatting and style in plain text email, and providing a very minimalist and lightweight script that translates this "markup" (i.…

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On Installing Linux

(alternately, "Installing Linux the Hard Way") I've had the occasion to install Linux on three systems in the recent past. People don't really install Linux anymore, it seems: with "cloud" instances and provisioning that's based on images means that no one really has to install Linux as such. My experiences have been mostly awful: I couldn't make my current laptop do a full LCM boot for the life of me.…

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Three Way Merge Script

Note: This is an old post about a script I wrote a few months ago about a piece of code that I'm no longer (really) using. I present it here as an archival piece with a boatload of caveats. Enjoy! I have a problem that I think is not terribly unique: I have a directory of files and I want to maintain two distinct copies of these files at once, and I want a tool that looks at both directories and makes sure they're up to date.…

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Today's Bottleneck

Computers are always getting faster. From the perspective of the casual observer it may seem like every year all of the various specs keep going up, and systems are faster. [1] In truth, progress isn't uniform across all systems and subsystems, and thinking about this progression of technology gives us a chance to think about the constraints that developers [2] and other people who build technology face. For most of the past year, I've used a single laptop, for all of my computing work, and while it's been great, in this time I lost touch with the comparative speed of systems.…

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