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By ana (Fri Apr 29, 2011 at 05:41:52 PM EST) why did it have to be snakes (all tags)
The tree in the quad is very nearly opaque again.


It must be spring.

The weather this week has been little short of fabulous. Deo Gratias, we missed the rough weather elsewhere, and just got balmy springlike weather. I should open the storm windows at home.

I started another writing project this week. Dunno if it'll go anywhere, or if I have anything new or interesting to say. We'll see. In part it's drawing from other vignettes and characters I've played with before.

So last week I was kind of fretting about what to do for dinner on Easter Sunday. It's kind of a big deal and a let down all at once in my corner of the world, what with all the Big Things that happen during Holy Week, culminating in the Easter Vigil, which includes the First Mass of Easter. But we sang in the morning. For the nonce, there are pictures at theadventboston.org, including one of the choir in full voice.

Anyway, toxicfur suggested I come over for dinner. She roasted a duck; I did a re-run of a roasted-pumpkin with cranberries recipe I did successfully at Thanksgiving (this time with a butternut squash). She sauteed Brussels sprouts. And I made bread. Saturday was cold and rainy, so it made sense to stay in and play with bread dough all day. There was, at cooksillustrated.com, a recipe for "rustic Italian bread," featuring just flour, water, salt, and yeast, with a small part of the dough made the previous day and allowed to ferment longer than the rest. It came out remarkably well. I was afraid it would have big voids in it, if I failed to squeeze out all the CO2 bubbles, and I was afraid it would be too big for the baking stone. But it's fine, and actually quite tasty.

And I brought along pig ears for the dogs; it's their favorite treat. A good time was had by all, I think. It was a little sad when it was time to go home, but whatever.

This week my attitude is certainly better, even if I'm not much more productive. Back is still tight, but not as achey, so that's something. Maybe I'm relaxing from the ball of tension.

I've been trying to learn Python, with some help from the local gurus who have been conducting weekly tutorials. There's a project that involves slinging some data around, slicing it six ways til sunday, plotting this against that and looking for whatever residual trends there might be. Seems like just the system for that.

And there's a stone mason coming tomorrow to rebuild my front steps. They've been in somewhat bad shape the last few years, and this past winter made them substantially worse. Now, no more joints in the treads (they'll be single stones). I'm looking forward to having that finished. Next week, I have to call up the ironmonger, who'll come and measure the finished steps and craft a pair of railings to fit. The fact that I put off painting the old railing for lo these many years will thus become moot.




< World Expires on May 21, 2011 | Okay. Not sure what to do here. >
Optically thick | 11 comments (11 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback
Before you spend too much time on python... by dmg (3.00 / 2) #1 Fri Apr 29, 2011 at 07:08:47 PM EST

Please read this well researched, and acadamically cited technical review by my good friend Jon Eriksson's. You may find pearl is a better bet...


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dmg - HuSi's most dimwitted overprivileged user.
Back in the late 90's and early 00's ... by lm (2.00 / 0) #2 Fri Apr 29, 2011 at 08:18:22 PM EST
... I had a lot of time on my hand. I taught myself C, Perl, and ksh. I looked into learning Python.

I decided not to.

Were I in a similar position now, I might actually do it. The key question to ask is whether or not everyone who will use/edit the scripts use tools that are compatible with regards to whitespace.


There is no more degenerate kind of state than that in which the richest are supposed to be the best.
Cicero, The Republic
A decade ago by ana (2.00 / 0) #3 Fri Apr 29, 2011 at 08:48:42 PM EST
maybe 15, not long after I started here, I was learning perl very quickly. My knowledge maxed out before perl 5 was introduced. I also have C and Fortran available, but haven't actually written a program of my own in a good long while. Mostly I do scripting, taking data from tool A and reformatting it to go in the front end of tool B. But some things actually require a programming language (like fitting arbitrary functions to data).

And it's annoying, having whitespace be lexically significant. The worst feature of Fortran Will.Not.Die.

"And this ... is a piece of Synergy." --Kellnerin

[ Parent ]
(Comment Deleted) by mellow teletubby (2.00 / 0) #9 Sat Apr 30, 2011 at 06:27:40 PM EST

This comment has been deleted by mellow teletubby



[ Parent ]
It's not a steep learning curve by Scrymarch (2.00 / 0) #4 Fri Apr 29, 2011 at 11:40:42 PM EST
If you know a few languages this plus the Python docs would get you off and running.

http://abiens.snv.jussieu.fr/BI/python_for_impatient.html

Iambic Web Certified

[ Parent ]
I have no doubt that I could learn it by lm (2.00 / 0) #5 Sat Apr 30, 2011 at 10:46:24 AM EST
But, long term, I don't intend to stay in anything IT related. Hopefully,  the most "programming" I'll be doing five years from now will be LaTeX macros.

I may take up WSH or whatever script Microsoft's installer uses. For the short to medium term, I'm working for company that still uses batch files to update client side installations. I can't see roling out a Python interpreter to all of of clients' workstations and trying to support it on Windows installs ranging from XP to Windows 7.


There is no more degenerate kind of state than that in which the richest are supposed to be the best.
Cicero, The Republic
[ Parent ]
Python by ucblockhead (2.00 / 0) #6 Sat Apr 30, 2011 at 11:00:09 AM EST
Agreeing with Scrymarch, it's got the shallowest learning curve I've ever encountered in a language.

The whitespace thing is nowhere near as bad as people think.  Just set your editor to replace tabs with spaces and your fine.  ("set expandtabs" in Gods own editor.)

Python is just...beautiful.  It has the amazing property of allowing code that is both terse and readable.  It is the only language I've ever used where I don't at times swear at the language.
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[ucblockhead is] useless and subhuman

[ Parent ]
It's my preferred level of abstraction by Scrymarch (2.00 / 0) #7 Sat Apr 30, 2011 at 12:47:37 PM EST
I know language wars are dogmatic things, so I don't want to spend too much time testifying. I will it at saying Python does have the best combination of elegance and readability of any language I know. When I swear at it, it's usually at the libraries, but even then they are usually good, just some irratating averageness around XML and Unicode I have seen recently.

I don't use it anywhere near as much as when it was central to my job, but having come back to it after 5 years or so and dealth with Perl and some other things in the meantime, it still feels like the best tool in this space to me.

Iambic Web Certified

[ Parent ]
unicode by ucblockhead (2.00 / 0) #8 Sat Apr 30, 2011 at 02:05:43 PM EST
A yes, I'd forgotten how much I've sworn at python's unicode support.
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[ucblockhead is] useless and subhuman
[ Parent ]
As far as I can tell, it got worse with 3.0 by wumpus (2.00 / 0) #10 Sat Apr 30, 2011 at 11:56:48 PM EST
I'm not aware of the issues with 2.x, but 3.0 introduces the "bytes" code type which means "data that can only be used to convert to and from unicode", but is included as a standard type.

Unfortunately, while strings could formerly be used to send binary data to various places, if you try to do that now, you will find that there is absolutely nothing you can do with your "bytes" except meddle with unicode encodings.

Guido mentioned something about multicode not being needed since python was only to be used to serve webpages. I think this has become official policy.

Wumpus

[ Parent ]
ugh by ucblockhead (2.00 / 0) #11 Sun May 01, 2011 at 01:08:44 PM EST
I haven't moved to 3.0 yet.

This is irritating given that I am working on a home project involved on serving web pages based on Japanese dictionary files.
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[ucblockhead is] useless and subhuman

[ Parent ]
Optically thick | 11 comments (11 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback