Inklings in November 2009

sregex - Structural regular expressions for Python

Structural regular expressions work by describing the shape of the whole string, not just the piece you want to match. Each pattern is a list of operators to perform on a string, each time constraining the range of text that matches the pattern.

libactor - a C library based on the Actor model


PuDB is a full-screen, console-based visual debugger for Python.

Its goal is to provide all the niceties of modern GUI-based debuggers in a more lightweight and keyboard-friendly package. PuDB allows you to debug code right where you write and test it—in a terminal. If you’ve worked with the excellent (but nowadays ancient) DOS-based Turbo Pascal or C tools, PuDB’s UI might look familiar.

I remember using Turbo C’s debugger many, many moons ago and it was mighty piece of software. So if PuDB is even a patch on it, it’s good.

Definition of geeks, dweebs, dorks, and nerds

Pretty much spot on from my point of view.

Salary of incoming AIB head to exceed State cap on bank pay - The Irish Times - Tue, Nov 17, 2009

AIB’s board had wanted the Government to accept the appointment of Mr Doherty, who ran the bank’s profitable capital markets division, as chief executive. However, following the controversy surrounding Bank of Ireland’s appointment of an insider, Richie Boucher, as its chief executive last January, the Government encouraged the bank to seek an external appointee instead.

After a trawl of both internal and external candidates, the board of the bank felt that Mr Doherty was the best candidate for the job. The proposed salary of EUR500,000 for the role of chief executive was reported to have been a reason why some outside candidates turned the job down.

And I edge yet closer to pulling my money out of AIB and moving to another bank, most likely not one of the Irish banks.

FreeBSD 8.0-RELEASE Announcement

Sweet! If only for the new USB stack, this is going straight onto my laptop this evening.

Python web app as an egg with Paste, Fabric and Spawning

Endless loop: A brief history of chiptunes


Nanoloop is a synthesizer / sequencer cartridge for Game Boy consoles. It allows to create nice electronic music without further hardware, using headphones or an external amplifier / speakers for sound output.

Want Good Tools? Break Your Problems Down

We’ve all heard that loose coupling makes good APIs. But just saying that doesn’t really help you understand how to achieve loose coupling. Loose coupling comes from breaking a big problem down into small independent problems.

As you solve each problem, think about how those solutions will communicate. Design a simple API or communications protocol. You’ll know the API is simple enough if you can imagine easily swapping out each piece of the problem with another API-conformant piece. A loosely coupled API is one that makes replacing one end of the API easy.

Make my month of embarrassment worthwhite: make a Movember donation!

C'est La Tache!

As some of you may know, I’ve been doing something I was certain could only end in disaster: growing a moustache. Now, I’m not doing this out of a desire to reach the supreme manliness of Tom Selleck, Hulk Hogan, or Noel Edmonds in his prime; no, this attempt to grow potentially blush-worthy strawberry blond facial hair on my upper lip was motivated by my prostate, your prostate, everybody’s prostate, all living together in peace and harmony united by manly upper-lip fluff.

Specifically, I’ve been participating in Movember, which is a month-long charity event to raise money for prostate cancer. What many people don’t appreciate is that men have a 1 in 12 chance of developing prostate cancer during the course of their lifetime and that prostate cancer is the second most common cancer in men, after skin cancer in Ireland. Facts like these have convinced me I should get involved and I am hoping that you will support me. Here in Ireland, all donations go to the Irish Cancer Society’s Action Prostate Cancer programme. Me, I get nothing from it except for a warm feeling on my upper lip on a cold winter’s day.

If I’ve managed to convince you, make my four weeks of mild gingery shame worthwhile by throwing a few quid in the donation box before midnight this evening. Don’t matter how much, whether it’s 5EUR or 50EUR, it’s all good. And if you’re feeling extra generous, throw my cousin Kenneth a few quid too.

C'est la fin