LCD-like banners in Python

Back in 1998 or so, I wrote a CD player application for Microsoft Windows in Borland Delphi. It was for a magazine tutorial article, and I wanted a cool LCD-like display to show track elapsed and remaining time. There was a good one available for Delphi, called LCDLabel, written by Peter Czidlina (if you’re reading this, thanks once more for your cooperation). I’ve been thinking about doing a modern version of the LCD display component for several times over the years, and I even got pretty far with one for OS X in 2010, but then abandoned it because of other projects. [Read More]

Learning Clojure

About one year ago I wrote a multi-part tutorial on Clojure programming, describing how I wrote a small utility called ucdump (available on GitHub). Here are links to all the parts: Part 1: The Clojure REPL Part 2: Definitions Part 3: Higher-order functions Part 4: Logic Part 5: Project However, Carin Meier’s Living Clojure is excellent in many ways. Get it from O’Reilly (we’re an affiliate): My little tutorial started with part zero, in which I lamented how functional programming is made to appear unlearnable by mere mortals, and it kind of snowballed from there. [Read More]

Functional programming without feeling stupid, part 5: Project

In the last four installments of Functional programming without feeling stupid I’ve slowly built up a small utility called ucdump with Clojure. Experimenting and developing with the Clojure REPL is fun, but now it’s time to give some structure to the utility. I’ll package it up as a Leiningen project and create a standalone JAR for executing with the Java runtime. Creating a new project with Leiningen You can use Leiningen to create a skeleton project quickly. [Read More]

Functional programming without feeling stupid, part 4: Logic

In the previous parts of Functional programming without feeling stupid we have slowly been building ucdump, a utility program for listing the Unicode codepoints and character names of characters in a string. In actual use, the string will be read from a UTF-8 encoded text file. We don’t know yet how to read a text file in Clojure (well, you may know, but I only have a foggy idea), so we have been working with a single string. [Read More]

Functional programming without feeling stupid, part 3: Higher-order functions

Welcome to the third installment of Functional programming without feeling stupid! I originally started to describe my own learnings about FP in general, and Clojure in particular, and soon found myself writing a kind of Clojure tutorial or introduction. It may not be as comprehensive as others out there, and I still don’t think of it as a tutorial — it’s more like a description of a process, and the documented evolution of a tool. [Read More]

The FIFA World Cup is not internationalized

At the time of this writing, the FIFA World Cup is almost at its final stage. Throughout the whole month of the tournament I have been amazed to find out that while UEFA has consistently made an effort to have the players’ names written as authentically as possible, FIFA hasn’t. Information conveyed to viewers in televised matches is transliterated, making many players’ names appear irritatingly different than their national, conventional spellings. [Read More]

12 12 12

Here we go again… Today is December 12, 2012 in the Gregorian calendar, and people are waxing poetic about how symmetrical, how repetitive and how unique this date is. (Even people who really should know better.) Some people are even getting married today. I wish them the best of luck. But let me put my science hat on for a moment, and offer the following statement: The symmetry / reflexivity / repetitiveness / uniqueness of a date expression such as 12/12/12, 11/11/11 etc. [Read More]

Unicode is in your now

If this blog entry was written 10–15 years ago, the title would have been “Unicode is in Your Future“. Luckily, the Unicode standard has been widely adopted during the last decade, so much so that it has almost become a part of the process and not something that you need to expend very much extra effort on. It is here Now, and has been for some time now. However, Unicode still isn’t quite as widely understood as it needs to be, and it is often adopted as a black box that nobody can really fix when something goes wrong. [Read More]