Four short links: 25 September 2009

On Wheel Reinvention, Research Visualization, New Comments, and Defective Congressional Data

  1. Diesel: A Case Study In That Thing I Just Said — a new asynchronous I/O library in Python, which earned this fabulous review from Glyph Lefkowitz who wrote the granddaddy of all asynch libraries in Python, Twisted. Again, I don’t want to dump on Diesel here; for what it is, i.e. an experiment in how to idiomatically structure asynchronous applications, it’s all right. For that matter Twisted has its fair share of bugs too, which would be pretty easy to lay out in a similar post; you wouldn’t even need to do the research yourself, just go look at our bug tracker. But both Diesel and Tornado make the mistake of attempting to replace the years of trial-and-error, years of testing discipline, and years of portability and feature work that Twisted has accumulated with a few oversimplified, untested hacks.
  2. Eigenfactorranking and mapping scientific knowledge. Visualizations and analyses from when geeks attack scientific publishing.
  3. Washington Post Develops Visual, Web-like Commenting SystemWebCom displays comments in a dynamic web instead of a traditional list. As new comments come in, the web gets bigger. The web, however, is not organized by chronology. King and his team believe that the most valuable comments are those that are rated highly by peers and those that spur responses. WebCom uses those criteria to organize the web. (via The Evolving Newsroom)
  4. Congressional Data is Defective By DesignYou should have better access to this info! You should have — at your fingertips — immediate, unrestricted digital access to the full text of any piece of legislation the very moment it’s released publicly by Congress. This is punishingly ridiculous. Congress could immediately take steps to make all publicly-relevant legislative data comply with the community-derived Eight Principles of Open Government Data.[…] That is to say, bill info from Congress could and should be available today in real time, free of charge, open-source, and licensed openly, via such open-standards technologies as XML, API’s, and regular bulk data downloads. We’re entering a time where the tools and methods that make good software can help make good laws. (via timoreilly on Twitter)
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