I personally watch commits go by for several projects, and it is instructive in many ways to read the commit messages and code. It is a way to learn new things about the software process as well as the implementation of solutions in code. That said, very occasionally, you actually get a giggle from the process…
Today was one of those times.
Date: 2007-08-22 12:22:06 +0100 (Wed, 22 Aug 2007) New Revision: 1398 Log: [DJG] IDCheck trunk: Tests tests tests.
Date: 2007-08-22 12:41:46 +0100 (Wed, 22 Aug 2007) New Revision: 1399 Log: [DJG+NHW] IDCheck trunk: Testing all the way.
Date: 2007-08-22 12:49:21 +0100 (Wed, 22 Aug 2007) New Revision: 1400 Log: [NHW+DJG] IDCheck trunk: Oh what fun it is to ride on a one horse testing sleigh.
The song ends there, I’m afraid… but it does seem like Dave and Noel are a bit cracked out today. Perhaps they should be out playing frisbee instead of coding this fine Thursday. As I’m not in the same timezone, it’s difficult to say what’s going on over there…
What the World Eats is a moderately fascinating photo essay of the weekly food consumption of 16 families around the world. The choices and differences aren’t that unexpected, but it is interesting none-the-less. Here are some thoughts:
For comparison the two of us spend around £40 on food a week.
The empirical hammer of science smashes the myth of the yeti, or at least suggests it is more closely related to ungulates than man.
The Shapes Project aims to make enough 2-D shapes that every one of the estimated 9.1 billion people alive in 2050 will be able to have one of their own. Not only that, but each shape will be unique. The uniqueness is guaranteed by a system any computer scientist would understand: define a grammar of shapes and then construct unique samples from the grammar. Here’s how the artist’s web page puts it:
Contrary to some errors made in certain press articles, McCollum’s Shapes are not “generated” in a computer with an invented or scripted “program.” Every shape is laboriously created by the artist using Adobe Illustrator — a common, everyday graphics program — by drawing little parts, cutting and pasting the parts into bigger parts, then cutting and pasting those parts into even bigger parts, and so on, and keeping track according to a written protocol, to insure against repetitions. The first exhibition of the project, in 2006, took around two years to complete.
I find his insistence that each shape is constructed by hand very amusing. Those who can program do, and those who can’t spend 2 years monkeying around in Illustrator.
Ezra blogs on something I’ve often thought. Wouldn’t it be cool ifProcessing had a better programming model. For better you should read: functional reactive. Imagine how easy it would be to code great animations. As he notes, it would make a good Master’s project, but it probably wouldn’t work as a PhD as I don’t think there is enough originality.
He closes with:
If I were just starting now on my PhD, I’d find a way to include this in my work, or I’d put off the PhD until I could get this done! Tinkering with graphics demos and slapping them up on the web is the kind of hacking I’d really like to be doing. As it is, I’ll have to leave it to some young whippersnapper, alas.
You mean a PhD isn’t about pursuing your own side projects? Why didn’t some one tell me! ‘sides Ezra, your PhD is really cool already. I don’t think it would be fair if you got all the toys.
£9.95 RRP for an iPod? Maybe.
The iPod has also benefited from a more crowded world. The academic literature surrounding personal stereos frequently references the 19th-century German sociologist Georg Simmel, who was one of the first to detail the acute horror of the urban commute:
Before the development of buses, railroads and trams in the nineteenth century, people had never been in a position of having to look at one another for long minutes or even hours without speaking to one another.
Europeans responded to the new reality by keeping silent and expecting the courtesy of not being spoken to. That strategy wasn’t always successful. They also started reading. Books, in effect, were the original iPods.
Acute horror? That’s a bit strong. Otherwise an interesting point. Books are certainly cheaper, and they come in a wider range of colours.
Geektool takes shell commands and lets OSX geeks overlay their output on the desktop. (It does more than that, actually… it’s really quite awesome.)
I’ve been pushing on Snooze lately, our imminently-releasable persistence layer for PLT Scheme. I thought to myself: “How quickly could I knock up a GTD DB using Snooze?”
Turns out, not more than an hour or so to get something rolling. Now, I have a simple command-line GTD interface that uses Snooze for persistence, remind for rendering of content, and Geektool for rendering things to my desktop.
The lower-left portion of my desktop has a six week calendar overlaid, and above is an eight week calendar with a condensed list of the same information.
I’ll publish the GTD interface when I’ve had a chance to work with it for a while. For now, I suspect it will evolve as I decide how I like working with it best.
David van Horn and I were wandering around Frankfurt after Dagstuhl when we came across this sign. It’s beer, and it’s also one of the major issues in programming language design. Clearly this is the drink of choice from discerning computer scientists!