Awesome book. Probably my favorite Doctorow.
Awesome book. Probably my favorite Doctorow.
This is maybe the third time I read this book.
Today, March 24th is Ada Lovelace day, a day of blogging to celebrate the achievements of women in technology and science.. I am taking the liberty to tag this as python so it appears in the right planets, but that's just to promote Ada Lovelace day. Sorry 'bout that.
I will write about the only person who ever taught me programming, Claudia. I was young, so the earth was still lukewarm, the day we saw the dinosaur.
I was just a green sophomore in the School of Chemical Engineering where, paradoxically I would never take a chemistry class, being an applied math student and all that, and at the time "personal computers" were a novelty, a toy of the upper middle class.
We had spent the first two months of the semester learning how to program the obvious way: writing assembler for a fictional machine on paper by hand, when Claudia broke the news, we were going to see a real computer.
No, not a PC, not even an XT, but a real computer, the one real computer in all the university, and you could hear the type switching to bold as she spoke about it. Sadly it was not as real as the one at the research facility (A MiniVAX!) but it was a real enough PDP.
We would not be allowed to actually use it until the following year, but ... well, it was still something special.
I had been programming for years, even for a year before I saw my first (seriosuly not real) computer, I had followed BASIC programs in my head for days, imagining the space invaders float on the screen of my mind, and stepped into writing machine code inside
REM statements in my Timex Sinclair 1000 onto the luxury of a C64, but never noone had taught me anything.
Our small class (maybe 10 students) spent endless hours doing things like traverse a matrix, first by rows, thn by columns, then in a spiral from the top-left, writing programs that followed our endless source of algorithms, the numerical solutions guide.
First assembler, then Fortran, we learned.
She was my Mr. Miyagi, I was a heterosexual Ralph Macchio, and I figured out the most important thing about programming: I was awful at it.
Over the next 20 years that situation has been slowly improving, but I never again had someone teach me programming. Claudia had already taught me everything I needed to know, that code can always improve, that there's more than one way to skin a cat.
That the dinosaur was real and that some day soon my computer would be faster and nicer than the dinosaur was then, and that programming was cool, and that if I could find a way to draw a polynomial graph horizontally on a printer without ever having the whole graph in memory (it didn't fit), those future computers would do awesome things, and that I was one of the many who would help bring that to reality.
That talking about code was fun in itself, that you could make a modest living and be happy about it, that you could in any case make jigsaw puzzles in your spare time and keep on teaching or whatever.
And later the dinosaur's bones were scavenged into a line of racks holding routers, and its glass terminals are destroyed, and the gold in its teeth was stolen and the rare bus cables sold, and its circuits scrapped, but I saw the dinosaur alive, and Claudia taught me how to make it jump, and for that, I will always be grateful.
The people at Packt Publishing has been kind enough to send me a copy of Grok 1.0 Web Development by Carlos de la Guardia.
I have now read it (sorry it took so long!) and here's my review.
It's a well-written book. The exposition is clear and the author knows the subject and what he wants to say.
I was impressed by the straightforward approach of Grok when compared to what I dimly remember of ancient Zope experiences. The idea of a modern, agile, simple framework over Zope's admittedly powerful foundation has a lot of merit.
OTOH, I am not really convinced that I should drop Django for the small web projects I have scheduled, but if you are looking for a framework, and are not heavily invested in another, Grok is certainly worth checking out.
And, if you want to learn Grok, this book does the trick.
You can read a sample chapter or get more information about the book
It's my pleasure to announce that I just uploaded rst2pdf 0.14 to the site at http://rst2pdf.googlecode.com.
Rst2pdf is a program and a library to convert restructured text directly into PDF using Reportlab.
It supports True Type and Type 1 font embedding, most raster and vector image formats, source code highlighting, arbitrary text frames in a page, cascading stylesheets, the full restructured text syntax and much, much more.
It also includes a sphinx extension so you can use it to generate PDFs from documents built with Sphinx.
In case of problems, please report them in the Issue tracker (http://code.google.com/p/rst2pdf/issues/list) or the mailing list (http://groups.google.com/group/rst2pdf-discuss)
This release fixes several bugs and adds some minor features compared to 0.13.2. Here are some of the changes:
Fixed Issue 197: Table borders were confusing.
Fixed Issue 297: styles from default.json leaked onto other syntax highlighting stylesheets.
Fixed Issue 295: keyword replacement in headers/footers didn't work if ###Page### and others was inside a table.
New feature: oddeven directive to display alternative content on odd/even pages (good for headers/footers!)
Switched all stylesheets to more readable RSON format.
Fixed Issue 294: Images were deformed when only height was specified.
Fixed Issue 293: Accept left/center/right as alignments in stylesheets.
Fixed Issue 292: separate style for line numbers in codeblocks
Fixed Issue 291: support class directive for codeblocks
Fixed Issue 104: total number of pages in header/footer works in all cases now.
Fixed Issue 168: linenos and linenothreshold options in Sphinx now work correctly.
Fixed regression in 0.12 (interaction between rst2pdf and sphinx math)
Documented extensions in the manual
Better styling of bullets/items (Issue 289)
Fixed Issue 290: don't fail on broken images
Better font finding in windows (patch by techtonik, Issue 282).
Fixed Issue 166: Implemented Sphinx's hlist (horizontal lists)
Fixed Issue 284: Implemented production lists for sphinx
Fixed Issue 165: Definition lists not properly indented inside admonitions or tables.
SVG Images work inline when using the inkscape extension.
Fixed Issue 268: TOCs shifted to the left on RL 2.4
Fixed Issue 281: sphinx test automation was broken
Fixed Issue 280: wrong page templates used in sphinx