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Interruptions

I hate interruptions. The funny thing is, though, that I interrupt people, too, so it's a behavior that I despise while needing to work on it myself. An interruption is a break in flow: while something is being done or said, hey, a squirrel! It's usually done by one person to another, though. (I interrupt [...]

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Flint

The Flint water problem makes me think a big government would be so awesome - government loves us and takes care of us, right? It's them, they're the parents... or the enemy, if something goes wrong. Government forever! More government, please! Yes, let's make the government stronger and bigger! Let's TRUST the government! Or not. [...]

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I still prefer Java.

I still prefer Java over other languages. I'm a fairly regular contributor to javabot, an IRC bot written for the Freenode ##java channel. I don't know that I'd be considered a major contributor (I'm not listed in the credits, for example, so maybe I do know - and I'm not a major contributor) but I [...]

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Python REST service with Django

This is a record of my experiences parsing JSON in a REST service written with Django, in Python. I'm following various tutorials (including Django's REST framework tutorial), but I was really struggling to get a snippet of JSON actually processed on the server side. The service in question was really quite simple: a name completion [...]

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Test-driven development can be great.

Test-driven development is, loosely defined, a practice in which tests are written before anything else, without regard to correctness. For example, if I want to write a program to generate "Hello, world," I would write a test that validated that "Hello, world" was generated - before I had anything that might create the output. When my tests pass, I know I've "finished," because my tests define a specification. By having tests in place, though, not only do I have a record of the specification, but I also have a way that I can add to the specification in such a way that I know I'm not breaking code - I would simply add more tests that corresponded with the changing specification, and I will know if my changes break other code. Here's the thing: I wrote the Java implementation using test-driven development practices (TDD), and the automaton is kinda neat; TDD also provided me the opportunity to fix the names of structures (renaming `Dataset` to `Generation`, for example) because the tests made it obvious that the names were inaccurate. However, seeing the differences in the development process between my Python implementation and the Java implementation, I might look into TDD with Python anyway.

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I hope

I hope my sons understand: when someone compliments an undertaking of theirs, that the compliment more often than not reflects the effort they've invested, and not the results. I hope their memories outlast mine, and I hope that their memory of me reflects more of what they needed me to be than I was able to provide.

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Essential Slick: a review

I read the HTML version, as I'm reading it on a Macbook, and HTML just seemed the most generic. I have tried Slick tutorials, for example, and the Hello, Slick example projects - only to have them fail out of the box or simply not working, with no clear explanations. I'm pleased to report that this has not been the case with Essential Slick - the code has worked very well, and been explained clearly. While in early access, there are a few minor problems - for example, in the book's source code they use durations early on without specifically including them or describing them.

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MySQL log sequence error

I just had the most fun time ever with MySQL backing an instance of WordPress. I'm writing up what happened and how I "fixed" it - note the quotes - just so others are aware of it. Maybe someone has insight into how it happened or has a better idea of how to fix it [...]

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What would you do… if you really had money?

There's a lot of whining lately about how the rich are getting richer, how it's not fair, how dare they have stuff when we don't... how dare they have money and keep it! It got me thinking: what would I do if I had a lot of money? What effect would I really have? I [...]

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What are your bellwethers?

What things about someone would serve as simple signals as to whether you could empathize with them? What would your bellwethers be? A "bellwether" is a leading or primary indicator of something. It came up in conversation about the Lord of the Rings; I have friends for whom LoTR isn't a pinnacle of fantasy. What [...]

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