I’ve been spending a fair amount of time recently trying to choose my Language of the year for 2009. I’ve always been a dynamic language fan (yes, I know this means I should be looking further afield for the next one) and I was surprised at how different even such a common task as joining all the elements of an array together, using a given separator, looks between them. First let’s look at the big three, including perl, my current favourite. Read on →

You know what the best way to start the day is? I’m pretty sure that it doesn’t include a production web server putting its file systems in to read only mode. When this happens most local commands don’t work - init, shutdown, telnit and reboot all stop being useful and you have to resort to desperate measures… and here’s the desperate measure of the day. First, check that your system supports the magic sysreq key - $ cat /proc/sys/kernel/sysrq 1 # nonzero is good Now you know you have the power to destroy your system through a single incorrect character, have a look at the Redhat Sysrq command reference (you want the ‘sysrq’ section). Read on →

I made it along to my first ever London Python User Group tonight, and from what the regulars said about the turn out so did a lot of other people. Over 50 people in attendance is very respectable. The first talk was a bit of a let down, it felt really long, quite slow moving and could have been much better as a lightning talk. Shame it was the best part of over an hour. Read on →

You’re in charge of a server that provides two types of assets. The first type is public and its visibility is important to your company. The second should be restricted access only and shouldn’t be public. Now suppose there is a mistake made and the private material is exposed publicly - what’s more important, that the public data is available or that the private data isn’t? Who’d make that decision where you work? Read on →

At $DAYJOB I’m working with a strong team of Python (and Django) developers so over the last couple of months my interest in the language has grown. Thanks to YAPC::EU not being very exciting this year I had a spare slot in my “conference schedule” and went to the highly recommended (by me and previous attendees I’d spoken to) PyCon UK. I’m glad I did. I was more than a little out of my depth in most of the talks but a lot of the speakers were excellent, especially Raymond Hettinger - who I ended up stalking (by accident) and seeing all of his talks. Read on →

I recently went to the London 2008 Google Dev Day (the title of my post doesn’t lie!) and while it was lovely to be near that hallowed grass (only half of which was actually down) the talks themselves left a lot to be desired - actual technical content. I’m not sure if I’m the wrong audience in that I’ve already looked at the front pages and the code samples but I hoped, given the word developer in the events title, that it’d be a bit more tech heavy. Read on →

When it comes to spinoffs the BBC isn’t doing too well. After two, very, very bad series of Torchwood we’re now ‘blessed’ with Spooks: Code 9. It’s got nothing to do with the main Spooks series (a series I do like), has very… inexperienced acting and dull plots. What’s good about it? A lot of the cast are very pretty and it’s only 6 episodes long. Luckily it’s been panned by nearly everyone who’s posted a review of it (I like to be on the bandwagon every now and again) and with a little luck it’ll be canned after just one season. Read on →

While I’ve always been a bit of a perl guy I don’t want this post to be “perl has x and python doesn’t” in tone. Which is lucky really as Python has exceptions and threading as first class features where as perl has… ahem. So after spending a chunk of today reading a python book and spending some time writing code here’s my initial short list of gripes - except IOError print adding newlines Significance of whitespace in blocks. Read on →

In the past I’ve written up a small list of general goals to help measure my technical progress. Over the last few years I’ve become a lot busier and this habit fell by the wayside. But no more! I’ve got a quarter left and I’m going to try and complete… Write and publish a technical article. Attend two technical events. Read and review 3 books. Write and publish two Perl modules. Read on →

While Google Chrome has been getting all the press coverage recently Ubiquity, from Mozilla Labs, is where all the interesting action seems to be happening. Ubiquity ticks all the boxes for me, it’s a simple, easy to use idea, that’ll save me time. It’s easily extensible and already has a huge community of people working, enhancing and just trying new things with it. All the things I’ve come to expect from Firefox and the Mozilla using community. Read on →