ncoghlan_dev

261 thoughts; 22 streams
last posted July 18, 2017, 12:17 a.m.
2
Joined on Sept. 8, 2012, 6:01 a.m.
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Another older entry, recently remembered: Liath, in Kate Elliot's Crown of Stars series.

17 thoughts
updated July 18, 2017, 12:17 a.m.

Some time after I wrote the previous card, RhodeCode shifted to a fully proprietary licensing model, and the Kallithea fork was formed from the last clearly GPL'ed version of the RhodeCode code base.

GitLab also absorbed Gitorious, and started clearly positioning themselves as a more open and flexible alternative to GitHub, including publishing clear info on their notion of responsible stewardship of open source projects: https://about.gitlab.com/2016/01/11/being-a-good-open-source-steward/

10 thoughts
updated Sept. 15, 2016, 4:07 a.m.

That's not a log:

3 thoughts
updated Feb. 8, 2016, 11:21 a.m.

That's not a particularly good scientific hypothesis (since it isn't testable except in hindsight), but it's still a fun speculation to ponder :)

6 thoughts
updated Feb. 7, 2016, 7:16 a.m.

Coming back to this after another 18 months or so: I'm now of the view that Red Hat's own core operating system business model is actually of the "delayed open source" variety, since the definition of the core package set for RHEL & CentOS is entirely up to Red Hat, with the source code being delivered to CentOS at the same time as a new version of RHEL becomes generally available to subscribers. Thus, RHEL is to CentOS as Android is to AOSP. The difference is that Android doesn't have any equivalent to Fedora as an upstream integration project that creates a pool of public components, for Google's to filter and create the base Android platform.

Third party contributors getting a change accepted into Fedora isn't a guarantee of seeing that same change accepted into mainline RHEL (and hence CentOS), it just dramatically lowers the barriers to having that happen.

44 thoughts
updated Dec. 8, 2015, 3 a.m.

For folks tempted to say "but using proprietary software is more socially destructive then eating meat", there's a solid case to be made that meat products make a non-trivial contribution to humanity's global environmental footprint: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Environmental_impact_of_meat_production

7 thoughts
updated Nov. 18, 2015, 3:51 a.m.

Understanding this diagram referenced by the tweets below will get someone a long way towards understanding effective threat modeling and security management:

1 thought
updated July 7, 2015, 2:30 a.m.

An interesting article on some of the possible challenges of basic income in the presence of oligopoly control of essential goods and services: http://www.ianwelsh.net/the-problem-with-basic-income/

18 thoughts
updated March 8, 2015, 1:12 p.m.

The task of tracking these remaining concerns has migrated to the CPython issue tracker: http://bugs.python.org/issue22555

12 thoughts
updated March 3, 2015, 6:21 a.m.

“Free” as in “freedom”.

3 thoughts
updated April 6, 2014, 12:22 p.m.

Jess adds a point: different people express anger differently.

So we can't just assume that everyone else will express their anger the same way we would.

6 thoughts
updated April 3, 2014, 12:37 p.m.

For an explanation of what I mean by prototyping vs implementation, see slide 19 in my presentation on Path Dependent Development

12 thoughts
updated March 30, 2014, 12:33 a.m.

Oops, mega fail at keeping this up to date...

All the various issues with the pip bundling appear to have been worked out. pip 1.5.4 installed by default in the Windows and Mac OS X binary installers now, and we haven't had any new problems reported since rc3, so it all looks good for the final 3.4 release.

Donald Stufft has a new role at Rackspace that includes spending a substantial portion of his time on Warehouse development, so that is proceeding apace. The preview site is now integrated with the Fastly CDN and development and testing work is proceeding to ensure all the legacy APIs are implemented in order to make it possible to switch over from the legacy system.

I have also rewritten the Installing and Distribution guides that are part of the core Python documentation. They should now help to guide new users towards key components of the broader Python ecosystem, especially the Python Packaging User Guide.

34 thoughts
updated March 14, 2014, 12:49 a.m.

Another powerful description of this distinction is Pentaho's beekeeper analogy.

Sometimes it's nice to be able to just pay your dues and be a customer rather than having to put in the effort to be a community member yourself.

9 thoughts
updated Oct. 30, 2013, 1:54 a.m.

Nolan Brubaker reminded me I forgot to mention centralised version control and issue tracking providers on the professional services front. What is the impact on your business of a GitHub or BitBucket outage? Or Shining Panda CI or Travis CI?

12 thoughts
updated April 9, 2013, noon

Coming back to the possible relationship to the entitlement of Gen Y (and maybe anyone when they're young)...

If you have too much of a Fixed Mindset, you probably undervalue experience. You likely think you have just as much ability to do a job as someone with far more hours notched up.

A Growth Mindset, on the other hand, celebrates building up experience over time. It encourages you that you don't need to be at the top-of-the-ladder from the get-go. There's nothing wrong with starting small and working your way up slowly.

3 thoughts
updated Feb. 9, 2013, 11:54 a.m.

This turned into a python-notes essay

11 thoughts
updated Jan. 9, 2013, 12:02 p.m.

This article is also interesting.

7 thoughts
updated Jan. 5, 2013, 1:51 p.m.

There's also another highly salient point in all this. We've now had a natural experiment running for more than two decades in regards to the relative effectiveness of different distribution models for getting software from vendors to end users.

Users have proven they're willing to adopt new operatings systems: for example, Mac OS -> Windows -> Mac OS X, as well as the rise of iOS and Android. So "people just can't handle change" doesn't explain the failure of the Linux Desktop to become widespread.

Users have also proven they're willing to tolerate limited hardware compatibility, with the rise of Apple. Sure, Apple's superior design skills makes it easier to tolerate the fact that there is no choice in hardware vendor, but it's enough to show that broad hardware compatibility is a negotiable item.

There's one feature that all of the mass market operating systems (including the game consoles) have in common, though: an easy mechanism for application vendors to provide prebuilt applications with bundled dependencies (except for the core OS services) to end users.

So what do I see as the core difference between Ubuntu and other Linux distributions? Canonical have made a conscious decision to tolerate binary hardware drivers, and to allow the provision of binary applications with bundled dependencies through the Ubuntu Software Centre.

Many people see this as a betrayal of the principles that underpin free and open source software. In a certain sense, that's true: Canonical have deliberately placed the goal of providing a compelling user experience ahead of the goal of promoting the cause of free and open source software. They're not preaching to their end users or their vendors, they're leaving that discussion to others.

But that's a topic for a different thoughtstream (We're Only Part Time Tinkerers)

10 thoughts
updated Oct. 12, 2012, 8:03 p.m.

Much of the formation of that pattern comes down to luck, yet we can still identify a useful and meaningful scope for the concept of free will.

And it's intrinsically tied in with the capacity to suffer, and to be aware of the suffering of others and to make a choice about whether or not we take action to increase or decrease that suffering.

How we think about that often comes back around to how we think about fortune, good or bad. If we're fortunate ourselves, and think that reflects merit on our part, and similarly think that poor outcomes reflect a lack of merit on the part of others, then we're more likely to oppose taking action to redistribute outcomes more "fairly".

On the other hand, if we think outcomes contain a healthy portion of sheer random luck, then the concept of using taxes, or philanthropy or some other mechanism to reduce the suffering caused by the vagaries of chance starts to look quite appealing.

14 thoughts
updated Oct. 12, 2012, 7:54 p.m.

Reading Suggestion from Lee Carlon: "The Social Animal" by David Brooks.

Also a gorgeous illustration of seemingly smart behaviour from the simplest of rules: Braitenburg vehicles. (The Brooks reference reminded me - a lot of my thoughts on this stuff stems from my days studying cognitive science at uni, and Braitenburg vehicles are very neat)

The core concept here is the idea of intelligence and free will as an emergent property of interactions between millions and trillions of individually dumb components.

Another work from Dennett on this front is "Freedom Evolves". Very meta (albeit not as meta as anything by Douglas Hofstadter)

19 thoughts
updated Oct. 12, 2012, 7:54 p.m.

If I'm feeling masochistic some day, maybe I'll do a walkthrough of the madness that is the startup sequence inside the CPython interpreter...

5 thoughts
updated Sept. 23, 2012, 6:35 a.m.
3 thoughts
updated Feb. 8, 2016, 11:21 a.m.
6 thoughts
updated Feb. 7, 2016, 7:16 a.m.
7 thoughts
updated Nov. 18, 2015, 3:51 a.m.
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updated July 7, 2015, 2:30 a.m.
17 thoughts
updated July 18, 2017, 12:17 a.m.
18 thoughts
updated March 8, 2015, 1:12 p.m.
3 thoughts
updated April 6, 2014, 12:22 p.m.
6 thoughts
updated April 3, 2014, 12:37 p.m.
34 thoughts
updated March 14, 2014, 12:49 a.m.
12 thoughts
updated March 3, 2015, 6:21 a.m.
10 thoughts
updated Sept. 15, 2016, 4:07 a.m.
44 thoughts
updated Dec. 8, 2015, 3 a.m.
3 thoughts
updated Feb. 9, 2013, 11:54 a.m.
7 thoughts
updated Jan. 5, 2013, 1:51 p.m.
11 thoughts
updated Jan. 9, 2013, 12:02 p.m.
5 thoughts
updated Sept. 23, 2012, 6:35 a.m.
14 thoughts
updated Oct. 12, 2012, 7:54 p.m.
12 thoughts
updated April 9, 2013, noon
12 thoughts
updated March 30, 2014, 12:33 a.m.
19 thoughts
updated Oct. 12, 2012, 7:54 p.m.
9 thoughts
updated Oct. 30, 2013, 1:54 a.m.
10 thoughts
updated Oct. 12, 2012, 8:03 p.m.

Streams by this user that have been favorited by others.

9 thoughts
updated Oct. 30, 2013, 1:54 a.m.
18 thoughts
updated March 8, 2015, 1:12 p.m.
0

Another older entry, recently remembered: Liath, in Kate Elliot's Crown of Stars series.

0

The Dr Who 13 announcement prompted me to record a few more additions to this list:

  • Nell Ingram in the Soulwood spin-off from the Jane Yellowrock series
  • Joanne Walker in C.E. Murphy's Walker Papers (discovered via a not-canon-in-either-series crossover with the Jane Yellowrock books)
  • Antimony Price (from later in the Incryptid series already mentioned above)
  • Henrietta "Henry" Marchen (aka "Snow White") from Seanan McQuire's "Indexing" books
  • Venera Fanning and Leal Maspeth from Karl Schroeder's "The Suns of Virga" series
  • Clary Fray, Tessa Gray and Emma Carstairs from Cassandra Clare's Mortal Instruments series and its prequels/sequels
0

Some time after I wrote the previous card, RhodeCode shifted to a fully proprietary licensing model, and the Kallithea fork was formed from the last clearly GPL'ed version of the RhodeCode code base.

GitLab also absorbed Gitorious, and started clearly positioning themselves as a more open and flexible alternative to GitHub, including publishing clear info on their notion of responsible stewardship of open source projects: https://about.gitlab.com/2016/01/11/being-a-good-open-source-steward/

0

Of the assorted Forgotten Realms books I read during my school years, two of the main ones I remember liking were Spellfire and Azure Bonds, both featuring female leads (although I don't remember much in the way of details about either book - the D&D stuff tended towards "enjoyable" rather than "memorable").

0

I've been wandering through a variety of urban fantasy series of late, resulting in a couple more names to be added to this list:

  • Carrie Vaughn's Kitty Norville (a series I started reading because the premise was absurd enough to prompt me to read the short story that started it all, which then resulted in being intrigued enough to pick up the first book, followed promptly by devouring the entire series)
  • Faith Hunter's Jane Yellowrock (a series I started courtesy of Amazon recommendations after reading the various urban fantasy books mentioned above and the currently published books in Kevin Hearne's Iron Druid Chronicles - I've only read the first book so far, but definitely plan to continue with it)
mandarg favorited ncoghlan_dev
1 year, 11 months ago
0

That's not a log:

0

There are some lessons that are sufficiently counter-intuitive that nobody believes them without making the corresponding mistake first hand.

This stream doesn't have anything useful to say about that, it's just a place to collect links to GIFs and videos that convey the futility of trying to persuade people without first letting them experience the problem themselves.

0

That's not a particularly good scientific hypothesis (since it isn't testable except in hindsight), but it's still a fun speculation to ponder :)

0

This means that things get weird if you pose the following hypothesis:

  • the Gaia hypothesis is not true now, but could potentially become true in the future
  • human transportation networks are a candidate implementation for Gaia's endocrine system
  • human communication networks are a candidate implementation for Gaia's nervous system
  • the conscious practice of the scientific method is a candidate implementation of self-reflective loops within that nervous system
0

Consider:

  • Animals (including humans and various other beasts on land, but most noticeably aquatic and avian animals in the water and in the air) can and do travel long distances, bringing different microbiomes to different parts of the planet
  • Humans have dramatically accelerated the speed of this movement, first through ships, roads, and railways, and later through the development of aircraft
  • The rise of radio communications, the telegraph and the subsequent rise of the internet has then even more dramatically increased the speed with which information can move around the planet
0

The title of this stream then comes from noticing the parallels between those changes in the speed of communication within and between organisms, and considering how the development of human society has impacted the speed of information and material transfer between different parts of the world, to the point where dysfunctions in human social mechanisms can now have a clearly measurable impact on the planet as a whole (e.g. acid rain, coral bleaching, the ozone hole, anthropogenic climate change)

0

However, the possible aspect of the Gaia hypothesis that most fascinates me is comparing it to biological evolution and in particular changes in the speed of information transfer within and between organisms.

In particular, we can consider:

  • cases where information handling is purely local reflex, with no long distance information transfer
  • cases where information transfer is purely chemical, taking place at the speed of chemical relocation (e.g. ant trails, endocrine systems)
  • cases where information transfer is pressure based, taking place at the speed of movement of vibrations (e.g. echolocation, audible warning signals in social animals)
  • cases where information transfer is electrical, taking place at the speed of light (e.g. visual signalling, neural systems)
0

The "Gaia hypothesis" is an interesting notion that broadly entails conceiving of a planet and its biome as an aggregated entity: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gaia_hypothesis

Evidence to date suggests that the Gaia hypothesis isn't particularly useful for understanding the historical evolution of life on Earth.

0

Coming back to this after another 18 months or so: I'm now of the view that Red Hat's own core operating system business model is actually of the "delayed open source" variety, since the definition of the core package set for RHEL & CentOS is entirely up to Red Hat, with the source code being delivered to CentOS at the same time as a new version of RHEL becomes generally available to subscribers. Thus, RHEL is to CentOS as Android is to AOSP. The difference is that Android doesn't have any equivalent to Fedora as an upstream integration project that creates a pool of public components, for Google's to filter and create the base Android platform.

Third party contributors getting a change accepted into Fedora isn't a guarantee of seeing that same change accepted into mainline RHEL (and hence CentOS), it just dramatically lowers the barriers to having that happen.

0

For folks tempted to say "but using proprietary software is more socially destructive then eating meat", there's a solid case to be made that meat products make a non-trivial contribution to humanity's global environmental footprint: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Environmental_impact_of_meat_production

0

Copyleft licensing in this analogy becomes a legally enforced way of ensuring that a vegan recipe can only be used in the preparation of further vegan or vegetarian recipes.

Many folks are fine with that, but some complain:

  • this isn't fair to meat eaters that actively refuse to eat vegan dishes (rather than merely preferring to eat meat)
  • this isn't fair to people that actively refuse to create their own vegan or vegetarian dishes, and hence can't make use of the vegan recipes, even when they're really tasty
0

The analogy with free software advocacy then runs as follows:

  • if a free software advocate is trying to make you prefer to avoid proprietary software, then that's akin to vegetarians and vegans proselytising to folks that eat meat. This can be done gracefully by focusing on "These are the benefits I personally appreciate", and letting people decide for themselves whether or not those benefits matter to them, or we can be obnoxious about it by attacking people for not already being vegetarians/vegans/free software users/free software advocates. The latter might be emotionally satisfying in the near term, but it's not a particularly effective proselytisation tactic (since the most likely outcome is for people to tune out entirely).

  • conversely, demanding that a free software advocate use proprietary software for the sake of your convenience is akin to telling a vegetarian or vegan that you haven't bothered to provide a non-meat option for them at the dinner you invited them to. It's saying "Your personal principles make my life more complicated, so I'd like you to just abandon them, since that's easier for me".

0

I'm probably not the first to think of it, but as the stream title suggests, the analogy that occurred to me is with vegetarianism: the default in society is to pursue an omnivorous diet, making selections based on personal preference.

However, some folks will make a principled decision not to eat meat and become vegetarians, while vegans go even further and avoid animal products entirely.

0

This particularly thought stream was prompted by a desire to find a way to convey just how obnoxious the "I'm OK with proprietary tools, so you should be OK with proprietary tools" mindset can be.

I'm personally entirely OK with making the pragmatic argument for "we're compromising here, to further this other goal over there" (such as reducing the load on volunteers in a community context, or improving strategic focus in a business context), but that's different from telling people that their desire to avoid using proprietary software is invalid and not worth taking into account at all.

0

Benjamin Mako Hill's "Free software needs free tools" is a classic piece advocating for the hardline "no proprietary dependencies" stance: https://mako.cc/writing/hill-free_tools.html

In open source communities, the topic now comes up most frequently in relation to "Why can't you just use GitHub, that would be so much more convenient for me..." complaints directed at open source project maintainers by folks that have been co-opted into GitHub's marketing arm by their well-crafted, venture-capital backed, freemium business model. (Which actually has a nice positive externality, in that doing more of your work in the open reduces how much you need to pay GitHub for repo hosting)

0

Red Hat being Red Hat, "When is it OK to tolerate the use of proprietary software?" and "When is it OK to advocate for the use of proprietary software?" are unsurprisingly regular topics of conversation. These kinds of conversations are unavoidable in running a large multinational organisation founded on the principles of software freedom and open collaboration.

0

Understanding this diagram referenced by the tweets below will get someone a long way towards understanding effective threat modeling and security management:

2 years, 8 months ago
0

Emily Rodda's "Pigs Might Fly" is another one I recall liking a lot as a primary school kid (I probably read it when I was around 8 or 9)

0

An interesting article on some of the possible challenges of basic income in the presence of oligopoly control of essential goods and services: http://www.ianwelsh.net/the-problem-with-basic-income/

0

A couple more childhood ones that aren't on the bookshelves any more: Nancy Drew & Trixie Belden.

George was also definitely my favourite of the Famous Five, and while Lotta wasn't the main character in the Mr Galliano's Circus books, she was the most interesting. (As an adult, I'm aware there were lots of other problems with Enid Blyton's writing, but that all went completely over my head as a kid)

0

Those are the titles that occur to me off the top of my head. I'll likely come back and extend this list in the future after actually taking a look at my book shelves - the titles above are the ones where I didn't even need to look in order to remember them.

0

A series on my list to get back to is Kylie Chan's trilogy-of-trilogies featuring Emma Donahoe. Unlike the US based urban and post-apocalyptic SF&F mentioned above, this series is also notable for being primarily Hong Kong based (with an Australian element due to Emma's presence), and for having its supernatural concepts based in Chinese mythology rather than European.

Chan is fond of cliffhanger endings to books (and trilogies!), but doesn't quite always nail the "still resolve enough threads to be satisfying" aspect of that approach, so I'm currently waiting for the final trilogy to be fully completed before getting back to them.

0

Vin, the protagonist of Brandon Sanderson's Mistborn series is another favourite, although I confess that the thing I actually love the most about the Mistborn series is the elegant design of the magic systems (whilst many fantasy authors are happy to invent just one magic system, Sanderson invented three for Mistborn, weaving them together masterfully. The magic system in his first novel, Elantris, is different again).

0

Jim C. Hines's take on Cinderella (aka Danielle), Snow White (aka, well, Snow) and Sleeping Beauty (aka Talia) in the Stepsister Scheme and subsequent books is well worth a read (and you'll never look at the older versions of those stories the same way again).

0

I like Georgia Mason, from Mira Grant's Newsflesh series, as an example of a character who handles situations more through wits and foresight, than through anything else.

Verity Price, from Seanan McGuire's InCryptid series, on the other hand, is more likely to just hit things (but only if they had it coming).

0

Kate Daniels, from the eponymous series by Ilona Andrews, is brilliant. Also some fascinating world building here, in relation to the way the Shift impacts the structure of post-apocalyptic Atlanta and elsewhere.

That series isn't finished yet though, so if you do decide to pick them up, you'll eventually also end up stuck waiting for the next one, just like me!

0

Kat Richardson's Harper Blaine, in the Greywalker series, is a more recent favourite.

(The series is complete now, and well worth picking up if you think you might be interested in a bit of a detective-noir take on modern urban fantasy)

0

Heris Serano and Esmay Suiza anchor Elizabeth Moon's Serano Legacy series, while Ky Vatta anchors her Vatta's War series.

Sassinak, the lead character in a book Moon co-wrote with McCaffrey is another favourite, and in fact the stepping stone from McCaffrey's work to Moon's in my reading history.

0

Sorka was my favourite viewpoint character in Anne McCaffrey's Dragonsdawn, and Lessa and Menolly were firm favourites in the larger Dragonriders of Pern universe.

0

Eskarina Smith is the earliest female lead character I can recall that I'd still identify as a favourite protagonist. I read Terry Pratchett's Equal Rites when I was somewhere around ten or so, and she's still one of my favourite characters ever. It long annoyed me that she hadn't reappeared in any later Discworld novels, so it delighted me when she finally did (even if it was mostly a cameo appearance in someone else's story).

Esk's absence was also made much easier to tolerate through the presence of the wonderful Granny Weatherwax, Susan Sto-Helit and Tiffany Aching throughout various parts of the series.

Really, Discworld should just be required reading for everyone. It's proof that something that can be both tremendously educational and tremendously entertaining, all at the same time.

I sometimes wonder just how much reading Equal Rites when I did has to do with my intense dislike for helping to perpetuate broken systems. I certainly use Granny's "headology" lessons on an almost daily basis.

0

The idea of caring about whether the protagonist of a novel is male or not is one that's fairly alien to me, but I've gotten the impression that a lot of folks prefer to read novels where the main character shares the gender they themselves identify with.

This stream is about putting together a list of some of my own favourite female protagonists from books and series I've read over the years.

0

The task of tracking these remaining concerns has migrated to the CPython issue tracker: http://bugs.python.org/issue22555

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