- Python’s Moratorium — Python language designers have declared a moratorium on enhancement proposals (feature requests) while the world’s Python programmers get used to the last batch of New And Shiny they shipped. I’m reasonably sure that the ALGOL designers went through exactly the same discussions, and I know Perl did too. So, don’t be afraid of it – don’t think that Python is evolutionarily dead – it’s not. We’re taking a stability and adoption break, a breather. We’re doing this to help users and developers, not to just be able to say “no” to every random idea sent to python-ideas, and not because we’re done. Reminds me of Perl god Jarkko Hietaniemi’s signature file: “There is this special biologist word we use for ‘stable’. It is ‘dead’. — Jack Cohen.
- This Week’s Finds in Mathematical Physics — I can’t meaningfully contribute to the math, but golly them pictures are purty! (via Hacker News)
- x86 Assembly Encounter — To use a construction industry metaphor, an average x86 assembler has the complexity and usefulness of a hammer, while the DSP world is using high-speed mag-rail blast-o-matic nail guns with automatic feeders and superconducting magnets. […] I find it ridiculous that the most popular computing platform in the world does not have a decent assembler. What’s even worse, from the discussions I’ve seen on the net, people are mostly interested in how fast the assembler is (?!) rather than how much time it saves the programmer. (via Hacker News)
- Finding Tennis Courts in Aerial Photos — more hacking with computer vision techniques and publicly-available data. This is going to lead to good things (and some unpleasant surprises, as that which was formerly “too hard to find” ceases to be so). (via Simon Willison)
We need more people who share Dennis Ritchie's spirit.
"UNIX is basically a simple operating system, but you have to be a genius to understand the simplicity," Dennis Ritchie once said. It's true, and we need more geniuses who share his spirit.
A list from O'Reilly's Free to Choose Cyber-Monday promotion offers a fascinating view of what's on the minds of the core audience.
Python Moratorium, Math Pictures, Assemblers Needed, Tennis Vision
There was a great exchange on the O'Reilly editors' backchannel the other day, so illuminating that I thought I should share it with the rest of you. We've been discussing the fast-track development we're using to produce The Twitter Book. (We're basically authoring the book as a presentation, after I realized how much more quickly I am able to put…