JUCE, tox, Euclidean beats

Things I’ve learned today:

  • tox is a Python library designed to “standardize testing in Python” – including testing a given project across Python versions (so you could use it to create a library for both Python2 and Python3, and test in both environments.) I’m working on such a library right now; I am using two shells, two directory trees, two virtual environments… which is a pain. tox looks like a library to help me get around that.
  • JUCE is a library designed to help delivery music … applications. It has the ability to generate UIs, VSTs, AAX plugins using C++. One of the things I keep thinking I want (although I’m not sure I actually do) is a Euclidean beat generator; I also wouldn’t mind doing a cellular automaton to generate music, so JUCE looks interesting. I haven’t done C++ for real since my Alcyone project (my MIDI foot controller hardware) so I might have to approach this slowly.
  • I like this format of data capture more than I enjoy sites like Twitter. Sure, Twitter’s probably fine for simple assertions, but I don’t like simple assertions; there’s no room for nuance, and in the real world, there’s… nuance. So far, this allows me to make an assertion and explain it without worrying about incomplete, piecemeal consumption. I just have to build the habit, and work on classification.
  • Since I mentioned it earlier: Euclidean beats are apparently found in real world musical forms, and that’s kinda awesome… but every time I’ve played with them, I don’t care for the output much. Euclidean beats tend to be regular (therefore, well, Euclidean) and my own percussion approach, when I focus on it, tends to focus on the unexpected hits rather than regularly timed hits. Euclidean beats spread out hits over known periods; I cluster hits inside those known periods instead. Which approach is better? Well, you can find famous percussion virtuosos who use Euclidean approaches, and I’m neither famous nor a percussion virtuoso. Hmm.
  • Wildwood Guitars has amazing prices on Rickenbacker guitars, and from what I’ve been able to tell from asking Rickenbacker players and from community reviews, they’re quite well respected. And yes, they carry the basses – and have used equipment as well.
  • While I’m thinking about Rickenbacker basses – which happens a lot more than I expect it should, really – there are two main products, the 4003 and the 4003S. The 4003 differs in the fretboard inlays (the 4003 has a sharktooth inlay, the 4003S has a dot) and the 4003 has two outputs (“Ric-O-Sound”, where each pickup has its own output jack) and the 4003S has only a single mono output. The 4003 also has a bound body and the 4003S is unbound; apparently some people find the unbound body more comfortable. I have not done this comparison myself… but if I were to figure out my ideal Rickenbacker bass, it’d be a Midnight Blue 4003, although the others are pretty too. I do not have a Rickenbacker bass, nor is that likely to change, as I’m not a working musician and I don’t need another bass to replace my Jazz… I’d just like a Rickenbacker just because.
  • I find it extraordinarily difficult to trust Donald Trump. His wife shouldn’t trust him, and his ex-wives clearly shouldn’t have trusted him either; why should I trust him, when the people to whom he owes trustworthiness most can’t rely on him? And he employs “the best people”… and doesn’t trust their expertise when it suits him to counter their opinions. Yeesh. We elected this guy. I hope we deserve better.

Python docs, more on wget

Things I have learned today:

  • Python has a lot of modules that are documented well enough to make you cry. Other modules are documented so poorly that it will make you cry. Why am I using GNU parallel? Because creating a bounded threadpool in Python, a task that seems like it should be pretty straightforward, was documented so confusingly for me that I just ended up using the command line instead.
  • wget is a surprisingly easy way to hammer your CPU; run eighteen simultaneous processes and watch the CPU bleed. Great fun for all! (If you can’t guess: parallel is being used to fix this.)
  • I will be fascinated when I learn Gutenberg well enough to leverage it. It’s supposed to be like Medium’s editor, and I suppose it is; I don’t like Medium’s editor either.
  • The best and worst thing about programs to allow you to play Solitaire is how easy it is to play a new game; you end up not valuing a given hand, because if it gets difficult… redeal. That means you lose some hands you could win (“eh, too hard”) and means that you also don’t really value winning as much as you used to, because you can play so many hands so quickly.
  • I find no irony or contradiction in appreciating the Avett Brothers alongside Rush and Yes and Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin and Weather Report, but I expect others to be surprised at my choices in music. I think other people think I am easily pigeonholed, and maybe I am, but not along the lines of music genres… I think.
  • I ache when my friends ache. Sometimes I wish I did not, but I think the world would be much, much sadder for me if I couldn’t share others’ pain.
  • GNU parallel uses perl. This is amusing. It works; it’s great; it’s still amusing.
  • I like jokes that don’t have victims, generally speaking, but I have no problem using a few specific people as the targets of jokes… Paul Finebaum comes to mind. Give us a rest, Paul. We know you like the SEC.
  • Other people whose voices I could do without: Stephen A. Smith; Sean Hannity; Tucker Carlson. By the way, Tucker, not that you’ll ever read this, but…
  • YES, diversity is a good thing, and while we can argue about specific granularity and I have no problem conceding that there has to be a certain amount of homogeneity in value systems, only a total moron would dare argue seriously that cultural diversity, in and of itself, is a Bad Thing. Shut up, you knob. I appreciate that you use a cannon where a scalpel is better suited, and I hope you know that this is what you’re doing (and therefore you’re being obtuse on purpose) but every now and then it’s good to remember that nuance is A Thing To Use.
  • I decided I was going to try to publish one of these a day, and that streak lasted for ONE DAY.