Sunday, April 16, 2006

CN Tower

Tara was at a philosophy workshop in Toronto at the beginning of the month. Grace and I spent the weekend walking around Toronto. On Sunday we went to the observation deck of the CN Tower. One part of the tower has a glass floor. I'm afraid of heights, but I convinced myself to walk out on the glass and take a picture looking down. It's about 1100 feet to the ground. Posted by Picasa

Thursday, April 13, 2006

My Election Victory

I was elected Judge of Elections in Easton last November. Here's the official evidence. I won with a single write-in vote, although my official notice didn't mention that I was tied with Morris Ankrum, who played a judge on Perry Mason. I was actually elected in a district I don't live in, so I couldn't serve there. The county asked me to work a polling station in Forks Township instead.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Python Tutorial Wiki

Fredrik Lundh put the Python tutorial in a Wiki. One week later it he's seen 175 edits. It's probably the most important Python documentation project going. There haven't been 175 edits to the tutorial in the last five years.

For years, I maintained that Python's documentation tools were just fine. People suggested all sorts of new tools and gimmicks, and I thought that they didn't improve on what we already had. Sure, Latex is hard to format and the tools are a little cumbersome, but writing documentation is hard, so surely the tools aren't the issue. (See stop energy and space-program architecture discussions.)

I'm happy to see I was completely wrong. Removing barriers to entry is critical for this kind of collaboration. Every barrier turns away a few people until you're left with a few people who are committed but too busy to do anything. The Alternative Python Reference has exactly the right goals

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Python 2.5 alpha 1 released

Python 2.5 alpha 1 was released today! There are lots of new features to try -- and probably lots of new bugs to report. I'm eager to hear how it goes.

My own concern is with the compiler changes for this release. There are a handful of lingering issues, including the line number table problems I started digging into on last Friday's bug day. I fixed several bugs over the last few days, but the debugger/trace support is probably still off a little bit. There are probably a few more embarassing bugs to be found. A few weeks before release, for example, we found that the code generated for a slice with a double colon was completely wrong.

Please posts bugs to the SF bug tracker. (And I note with some glee that Fredrik has scraped all the content out of the SF bug tracker, neatly side-stepping the SF export bug that has stalled the development of a new tracker for the last couple of years.)