Threads for march

    1. 2

      I’ve managed to collect enough interesting stuff on old floppy disks to put together the second “issue” of my found media zine that I publish over at

      I’ve got some images from a family vacation in NYC just before 9/11, as well as some floppies containing some early memes from right after 9/11. I’ve also collected some other sort of interesting varia but I need to solidify my approach to publishing: do I keep the issues focused on a central topic? Or is it OK for them to have some additional bits of info attached as a bonus? That kind of thing.

    2. 2

      Funny coincidence, I was on a forum the other day when a bunch of people started chiming in that they all sort of wanted to try out programming.

      I had been feeling the way you had, and had been considering trying to start a little community where people could find mentors, so I did.

      So far I’ve only posted it there, but we’re up to 4 mentors and 6 folks who are at various points in their learning journey.

      More than happy to have anyone who feels interested in taking part of either side of that bargain join us!

    3. 1

      Props for having girlfriends in the example screenshot. Also, nice font :)

      1. 3

        This comment made a lot more sense when I realized that “Girlfriends” is a band.

      2. 1

        Thanks! And yeah, Girlfriends is awesome!

    4. 3

      Some help for those of us who don’t know Arabic but would like to learn would be nice.

      1. 4

        Here’s an entertaining account about trying to learn the language:

      2. 2

        I’ve been learning Farsi (as a native English speaker) for the past ~8 months or so and ق is a real pain, even in Farsi which is less harsh than Arabic.

    5. 23

      Getting married this weekend! After months of planning and a hellish year (for other reasons) in general, it’s finally happening!

      Anyway, break time is over - back to the preparations I go.

      1. 3


      2. 2

        Congratulations in advance!

      3. 2

        Congratulations! Been married 12 years and loving every minute of it.

    6. 2

      Going back home to enjoy a pig roast and maybe doing some work on a little tool I’m working on to convert ANSI to HTML. it’s mostly working, you can see (very ugly) test output at there are just a few tiny bugs to work out and then cleaning up the code a bit.

    7. 1

      looks like this

      Schema: pwd:git:python-virtualenv[> if clean >> if dirty]

      Underscores replace git and python-virtualenv if not in use. I use a ligature font that turns the >> into a single character.

      This looks absolutely hellish, but here it is~

      PROMPT=’%{$fg_bold[red]%}%~%{$fg_bold[green]%}:%{$fg_bold[yellow]%}$(parse_git_branch)%{$fg_bold[green]%}:%{$fg_bold[magenta]%}$(parse_virtualenv)%{$reset_color%}>$(parse_git_status) ’

    8. 5

      Work continues still on plant startup. I’ve got a web server running that shows some mock data right now and I just got a package full of electrical bits in the mail today. I’ll probably try to get some readings going for that but I think I’m going to try out nerves for the first time, we’ll see how far I actually get.

      Also planning a vacation in July, bought tickets to the Estonian song festival in Tallinn but I’ll probably be going to places other than Tallinn. Let me know if anyone has suggestions for things to do in Estonia or surrounding countries.

      1. 2

        If you like beer, go try some brews by Pöhjala and Pühaste. The latter’s old ale is my favorite beer!

    9. 5

      We already have a number of tags for functional programming languages. They are:

      Is there some subset of existing content that a functional tag covers better than any of the language specific ones?

      1. 4

        The tag for APL says: “Array Programming Languages such as APL, J, and K”. Since it’s not specific to one language, I’d use it for the array programming paradigm as well.

        Recent posts about functional programming, that are not just about a specific programming language:

        • Transmorphic: Mapping Direct Manipulation to Source Code Transformations (3 hours ago)
        • The Relationship Between OO and FP (16 hours ago)
        • Declarative Programming: Is It A Real Thing? (2 days ago)
        1. 3

          I think a big difference between APL and FP is that APLs are an extremely tightly unified set of ideas- APL and J are much, much closer to each other than Lisp and Haskell are, or even than Haskell and ML are. By contrast, R and numpy are arguably array programming, but I wouldn’t use the APL tag for them.

          1. 9

            I think is well served by having a collection of generic tags that cover important paradigms in programming and computing, rather than focussing primarily on tags for specific languages and projects.

            Functional is a good tag, and I think there are enough relevant posts to justify adding a new tag.

            Lisp is a good tag, which is unrelated to functional programming. The Lisp family of languages are distinguished by their syntax, and by the power macro systems that they have. Some of the Lisps have good support for functional programming, eg Clojure, which has functional data structures. I wouldn’t call Emacs Lisp a functional language: although it is technically possible to create a closure value, you have to enable the lexical scoping option, which is disabled by default.

            Due to my personal interests, I’d like to see a tag for array programming as a paradigm. I think array programming has modern relevance, because of numpy, TensorFlow, and other important array programming systems. But I agree that nobody will use the existing “APL” tag for general array programming topics, due to the close association of that word with the languages APL, J and K. And I haven’t looked to see if there are enough array programming posts to justify an “array-programming” tag.

            1. 2

              We have a PLT tag, and at the moment it’d be splitting hairs to do functional , procedural, declarative, concatenative, and so forth.


              You’ve been on the site for a short time. Maybe give things a bit longer before fretting over tags?

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                PLT is programming language theory, types and design. An article on functional programming technique, like functional reactive programming, or persistent data structures, would merit the Functional tag but not the PLT tag. Of the 4 recent articles I mentioned as candidates for the Functional tag, neither the Futhark or the Transmorphic article use or merit the PLT tag.

          2. 3

            I think it makes sense to have lisp for Lisps, fp for functional programming languages, especially if you have FP topics that don’t fit an individual language.

        2. 3

          The current top article is “Futhark 0.9.1 released - now with CUDA backend”. The tags are “compiler” and “performance”, but the Futhark project description says: “High-performance purely functional data-parallel array programming on the GPU”

          Tags I’d like to see on the Futhark article: Functional, Array-Programming, GPU

      2. 3

        Maybe we could instead use that to shorten the list there and put them all under a functional umbrella tag and remove them (except the emacs tag, which also happens to denote an editor).

      3. 2

        OP seems to be suggesting that the APL tag is for the paradigm, rather than the language. I don’t know if that is true, but content that is about FP in the abstract, rather than any specific implementation, would fall under the tag. Could have similar tags for OO, logic programming, etc.

        I’ll add that a search for “functional programming” brings up a number of generic articles on the topic. I imagine there are others that don’t have the words “functional programming” in their titles that might be surfaced with a generic tag for those interested in the paradigm itself.

      4. 1

        Emacs is not a functional programming language. Anyway, just curious–is there some limit on tags? What would be the issue with adding one for functionalprogramming?

        1. 1

          is there some limit on tags

          As far as I know, there isn’t. However, going by my experience, the Lobsters community seems to be skeptical about adding tags when there’s no clear audience who would specifically filter it out. Searching by tag doesn’t seem to factor into it.

    10. 3

      Work continues on plant startup. We’ve got round one of meatspace testing going with a boatload of seeds in pots, good so far. Working on getting some simple watering reminders set up now.

      Still happy to send people kits (everything you need to grow plants from seed, including the seeds and clear instructions) for free, just PM me. No green thumb required, should be going out in a month or so.

      Otherwise I’ve got coworkers from the other side of the world coming into the city for my day job. Excited to spend some time with them as well :~).

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        Tell me more? I’ve recently been contracting for, which is a very young startup building systems for monitoring greenhouse plants and equipment. So I’m interested in other people working in this space.

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          Hey, sure. Panacea looks cool! We’re more of a consumer company, much lower tech than what I imagine y’all are doing just from glancing at the website. Think Blue Apron but for house plants with some smart-enough care reminders. The hope is that since we are maximizing for just keeping plants alive and reasonably healthy, rather than maximizing growth or yields, we can achieve our goal with minimal hardware.

          We haven’t started playing with that side of things yet, but when we do I’m happy to have a more in-depth conversation about our findings if you like!

          1. 1

            Hah, that honest sounds like something I’d be interested in, at least come spring. I like gardening, at least for the first three weeks or so, and having a system to poke me time to time and remind me to help take care of stuff sounds nice… Especially if it teaches me stuff in the process, which wouldn’t be hard.

            Panacea is honestly lower tech than it looks, basically everything is off-the-shelf. But in this era of cell phones and arduinos, you can do a lot with off the shelf parts. The maker movement and their tendancy to dig into random topics and then blog about it is also wonderful. “Oh, you need a filter for a near-IR camera? We tested a bunch of things and found a theatre light filter that works great, you can get them anywhere for $2. Here’s what the transmission spectrum looks like…”

    11. 3

      Working on my first startup with a close friend. Parts should arrive this Wednesday for us to do some experiments with in meatspace. I’ll be working on v0.00001 of our tech over the weekend.

      If anyone wants to grow some houseplants (with a (little) tech help) let me know. Happy to send some beta boxes out for free in a few weeks in exchange for feedback. Just DM me!

    12. 4

      Skimmed the first couple of chapters, very funny book–a rare quality for a book about algorithms (or really any book).

    13. 9

      I’d like to learn how to grow plants from seed.

    14. 2

      What is going on in the Minecraft example? I tried to find the creator by searching Google, but didn’t find anything.

      1. 5

        You can see in the lower left hand corner of the loading screen some references to MCP and Forge, which are tools used to modify/load mods into Minecraft. I assume this person just wrote a Java solution to the problem and basically just used the Minecraft client as a container for their GUI.

        It’s been a while since I’ve messed around with any of this stuff, but I did have fun building a fairly complex adding machine a few years ago using this mod - which makes available in-game monitors, cabling, and a “computer” that is programmable with LUA. Using something like ComputerCraft could be a fun way to solve one of these problems. You could hook the in-game computer up to some light blocks and have the solution displayed in the game world rather than just using the client as a wrapper.

        1. 2

          I had assumed the same but their solution is a little more elaborate than that as outlined in comments in this Reddit post.

          If I understand correctly, they’re using the / commands, primarily the /scoreboard manipulation commands as ‘memory’ and math primitives. These / commands can be be saved into a .MCFUNCTION file. They have built up an assembler and C compiler based on these primitives that emits these .MCFUNCTION files, which can then be run in Minecraft.

        2. 1

          Oh, I missed that. Thanks!

          Yeah, I’ve seen a few cool YouTube videos of people doing interesting things with ComputerCraft. A long time ago, I was working on getting an adder working just using redstone.

    15. 2

      I’m rereading The Book of the New Sun by Gene Wolfe. Some of the finest science fantasy I’ve ever read, cannot recommend it highly enough.

      “[We] wore the gaudy armor of barbarians–you wore his heart.”

    16. 7

      I’m building a gym inside of my apartment and started working on a little CLI app to track my lifts.

      Going to get the stats overview scene done tonight and hopefully also some method of switching scenes.