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PyOhio: Introduction to Debugging in Python Presentation

Mon, 07/31/2017 - 16:43

It looks like the video for my PyOhio presentation "Introduction to Debugging on Python" is up.

You can follow along with the slides and the sample code.

Hope you enjoy!

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Day 59/100: PyOhio Presenting

Sun, 07/30/2017 - 21:48

I gave a presentation at PyOhio today about the Python Debugger (here is a link to the slides). Had a great time, and am looking forward to the next PyOhio already.

Not a lot of "proper" programming today, but looking forward to getting back to it tomorrow.

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Day 59/100: PyOhio fun

Sun, 07/30/2017 - 11:54

Spent the day at PyOhio. Lots of interesting talks to digest. More later when I have some time to decompress.

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Day 58/100: Nothing to report

Fri, 07/28/2017 - 23:01

Most of today was spent on the road, so no progress to report.

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Day 57/100: More Exercism, but not much else

Thu, 07/27/2017 - 23:09

Worked a little more on Exercism problems, but for the most part today was taken up with other stuff. Not sure if tomorrow will do much better but we'll see.

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Day 56/100: Leap years in scheme, Guile code, and The Guile Manual

Wed, 07/26/2017 - 23:09

Today I did the Exercism exercise for Leap Years in Scheme. It was essentially a port of the Python code I wrote, but in Scheme. If you want to see it LMK.

Today I got curious about how Guile works. Chris Webber was asking questions in the #guile channel about some networking implementation details in Guile. I was curious what he was asking and wondered if I could play along at home. Sadly I am pretty much out of my depth when it comes to C code, so I quickly bounced off of his issue. But it got me curious enough to wonder what goes on under the covers of Guile.

One thing I have found incredibly pleasant with Guile is the manual. Good manuals explain how to use the software. Great manuals encourage you to understand the software and the implementation details. What the Guile manual does is not only explain the REPL (the interface you get when you type guile) and the API (how you can incorporate Guile into your C programs), but it also explains how things are implemented underneath. It encourages a deeper understanding of what is going on at the C code level. And it doesn't just cover what is there but also what you could try and why that might not do what you'd expect. In brief it is like having an expert programmer guide you through design decisions as though you are being mentored. It makes this manual a pleasure to read, and is easily one of my favorite manuals to date.

Definitely check out The Guile manual; it'll help make you a better programmer.

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Day 55/100: Exercism

Tue, 07/25/2017 - 23:17

Played more with the programming problems from Exercism. One of the exercises I did was the Hamming Exercise in Scheme. Its the first iteration and I might try to optimize it based on reviewing some of the other examples but I'm pretty pleased with how Exercism works. Part of that is because I can use my own tools in order to see how things work.

I'm still trying to figure out how to debug Guile code. I'd love to figure out how to step through code in Guile like I can in Python.

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Day 54/100: More learning

Mon, 07/24/2017 - 23:18

Spent part of the day watching videos and courses. Also played a tiny bit with Godot and downloaded some intro videos.

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You should learn Scheme

Mon, 07/24/2017 - 20:13

I recently did a presentation at MUG entitled Scheme, Guile, and Racket: an introduction (slides). One of the questions I got asked is "Why Scheme?". It's a valid question, but I'd like to counter with another question: "Why wouldn't you learn Scheme?".

For me Scheme is a lot like Latin.

Much like Latin Scheme is not in common usage. Look on Stack Overflow Jobs and you'll have a hard time finding any jobs that use Scheme. I know of only one person in our group that has done professional Scheme programming.

Latin is the same way. The majority of living speakers of Latin work for academic or religious institutions. It's rare to hear anyone speaking Latin, and it's rarer still to hear casual conversation spoken in Latin. Scheme is an academic language and was used to teach an introduction to computer science course at MIT. (Side-note: the course now uses Python).

So if Scheme and Latin are equivalent why would any modern person learn either language?

I took two years of Latin in high school, and I can say that one of the reasons I'm grateful for learning Latin is because so many languages borrow from it. Three of the major "romance" languages (Spanish, Italian, and French) are heavily influenced by Latin. I may not know the vocabulary, declensions, or pronunciation of any of these languages but I can get a general sense for how those languages work. When I took Spanish I had an easier time with it because it felt like a stripped-down version of Latin.

Scheme (and Lisp) are foundational languages. They were the melting pot by which ideas were tested and tempered. They also borrowed heavily from Lambda Calculus (becoming a superset of Lambda Calculus in the process). Many of the modern programming techniques we take for granted (map, filter, lambda functions, functional programming, etc.) have their roots in Scheme and Lisp. So in a sense Scheme is a short-cut for learning many of the ideas that build up computer science as a whole. If you've struggled as I have with learning lambda functions in Python and understanding what they mean then learning Scheme may help clarify what's going on.

So yes, Scheme might be akin to learning Latin, but you'll be able to take a look at something like Amazon Lambda and break it down into it's various pieces (lambda functions, no state in-between execution, return a single result). Once you understand the pieces you can better understand the whole (Amazon Lambda is a serve where it will spin up functions that return a result, and then disappear without leaving any state behind). You'll understand the nomenclature of functional programming better (closures, anyone?) and be able to apply it to your conversational languages ("Yes, that was quite an antidisestablishmentarianism thing for him to say, wasn't it?")

If you're looking for a gentle introduction to Scheme I highly recommend the Guile manual section "Hello Scheme". Also recommend Realm of Racket to learn more about the Racket version of Scheme.

"Provehito in altum"

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Day 53/100: Playing with Godot

Sun, 07/23/2017 - 22:52

Today I sat down and watched some Godot tutorials. I managed to get a sprite to move via keyboard control and even got it to face different directions.

I'm not 100% sure how to share Godot code (since it's in an IDE) but when I do I'll share the fruits of my tinkering.

So far I'm impressed. Liking my first forays into Godot programming.

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Day 52/100: Nothing to report

Sat, 07/22/2017 - 22:23

Nothing to report today. Spent most of it reading.

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Day 51/100: Marking time

Fri, 07/21/2017 - 23:14

Not much progress today. Spent most of it at a dealership trying to put my key back together. Fun time.

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Day 50/100: Halfway point

Thu, 07/20/2017 - 22:10

So it looks like I'm at the halfway point of this experiment. Frankly I wish I had more to show for it. True, I've done a few major-ish programs but most of this has been reading and learning, not actual programming.

I'm still keeping with it, but I'm disappointed with the progress so far. Hoping to change that in the next 50 days.

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Day 49/100: Playing with ideas

Wed, 07/19/2017 - 23:07

Spent most of the day playing around with some ideas that I've had percolating in my head. Nothing major but part of it was playing with a game idea that I've had for a while now and seeing if I could make it work. Part of that was modeling the data in a SQLite database. But I also got a little side-tracked in looking at Guile's Fibers support and concurrency in general.

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Day 48/100: Reading and working with CSS

Tue, 07/18/2017 - 20:00

Spent the day playing working fighting in mortal hand-to-hand combat with CSS on a Wordpress site. Finally gave up after things weren't working the way I thought they should and didn't want to get too far into the weeds to get what I wanted.

Funnily enough I got mostly there by removing some of the old styling in a table, but that's another story for another time.

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Day 47/100: JavaScript Allonge

Mon, 07/17/2017 - 23:28

Did a little reading of the excellent JavaScript Allonge today. Today was taken up with working on fixing bugs for a website and releasing the next Open Metalcast Episode. Hoping to get some more quality programming time tomorrow.

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Day 46/100: Playing with CodeWars some more

Sun, 07/16/2017 - 22:52

Played around with CodeWars and some of the problems on there. Here's one of the solutions I came up with for a question to determine an outlier in the array (eg: one of the elements would be either odd or even).

function findOutlier(integers){ let odd = integers.filter(function(n) {return (n%2) !== 0;}); let even = integers.filter(function(n) {return (n%2) === 0;}); if (odd.length < even.length) { return odd[0]; } else { return even[0]; } }
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Day 45/100: Everything but

Sat, 07/15/2017 - 00:45

Unfortunately today was taken up with everything but programming. Did a little reading but nothing of consequence. Again. Argh!

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Day 44/100: Reading is fundamental

Fri, 07/14/2017 - 21:48

Spent more time reading than programming. Am still trying to figure out what the next project will be.

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Day 43/100: Playing a little bit with Godot

Thu, 07/13/2017 - 22:55

Played a little bit with the Godot Engine today, but still getting my feet wet with it. Nothing really to show for it right now. More tomorrow and this weekend.

Categories: LugNut Blogs