Archive for May, 2008

Python Long Masks


x&y is a long when either x or y is a long. When it could/should be only when both are long.

In particular x&1 is a long whenever x is. Despite the fact that the numerical answer is either 0 or 1.

I’m not saying this is wrong, just… ugly.

Roll on Py3K.

Talk about Python


PyConUK 2008 is asking for submissions. You should give a talk.

You should give a talk because I want to hear what you have to say. And so will others. People tend to think that no-one will want to hear what they’ve been doing, or that it won’t be interesting. But on the whole I just don’t think it’s true.

Communication is a skill, and it is improved by practice. I think computer scientists and software engineers should all strive to be better communicators.

Python is not a huge community, we do not have a PR department. If we want Python to grow then we have to grow it ourselves. Conferences like PyConUK are an important part of that community growth, and the speakers—that’s you—that provide content are an important part of the conference.

What should you speak about? Why you love Python, why you hate Python. Your favourite module. How you saved the world from global nuclear catastrophe with a simple Python script. Anything really.

I’ve submitted my talk already, and—shock—it’s not about functional programming.

Look forward to hearing what you have to say in September.

Lost Searchers


WordPress gives me a very convenient view of what people have been searching for when they reach my blog. I think most readers are regulars; some come from sporadic spikes, but some come via search.

I feel sorry for some of these people, coming across my blog in the middle of their search must be like stepping on a rake whilst looking for the lost ball in the garden.

«Element Not Good For Monks» – ok, so the search is a bit wacky, but I’m sure I’m not the blog they’re looking for. There’s a Kryptonite for monks?

«quilting pattern flower uk» – Search engines have obviously decided on the basis of this post about purple things, and this one about multiplication in rings that I have something to do with flower quilting patterns. Sorry, no.

«multiplication table» – this is a relatively popular search term, it crops up a few times a week. Sufficiently popular that I’m thinking of creating a blog post for it.

«c++ matrix multiplication code» – close, but no cigar. Anyway, using Google to do your homework assignments is cheating.

«how to find sex of foetus in ultrasound» – it’s clear what they’re looking for and my blog doesn’t help them at all. If I had to guess I’d say you look for the willy.

«emacs python color» – there are quite a few variations on this theme, obviously looking for emacs modes that do colour syntax highlighting for various languages (not just python, I see fortran, javascript, and so on). Sorry, no idea.

«metroid 2 map» – Well, I suppose I do have a Metroid II map, but really it’s a celebration of how not to do mapping. Sorry, not very useful. Anyway, regardless of what I think about maps in video games, using somebody else’s map is clearly cheating.

«where is the colon» – umm… somewhere behind your belly button?

«most fragile part of the brain» – I have no idea, and I’m not just about to experiment to find out.