16 September 2008

on PyconUK 2008

Great conference, like last year. Interesting talks, nice people, spotless organization. Go to the PyconUK wiki if you want slides and (in a few days) recorded audio.

Next year the same bunch of great guys will host EuroPython, in June. I'm sure it will be fantastic, but I don't know whether I'll be able to attend, as it will happen during weekdays and I probably couldn't justify the absence from work. Apparently it's all because the French don't go to conferences during weekends; it's always their fault, isn't it ;)

Anyway, it was all good energy to start messing again with Django on a magnatune-inspired project. Also, we'll try to "reboot" Python North-West and see if we can stabilise it a bit. It's all fun :)

14 September 2008


Jacob Kaplan-Moss looks like a young Robin Williams.

11 September 2008

Off to PyconUK

So, tomorrow night I'm off to Birmingham to attend Pycon UK. I don't think I'll liveblog like last year, I'll try to be more social. To be honest, I'm not as excited as last year, probably because the conference was so good in 2007 that I doubt they'll be able to top it. This said, let's hope I'm wrong (as usual).

06 September 2008

Goodreads Collapse Folders

This is yet another greasemonkey script for Goodreads, this time to deal with a minor annoyance.

A GR group (basically a forum) can have "folders" of topics (basically different areas/sub-forums). When you look up a group, you will get a list of all folders, with the last 4 discussions for each folder; on a group with dozens of folders (e.g. the SciFi and Fantasy Book Club) it means you might have to scroll quite a bit to get the (small) link to the folder you're interested in.

So this script will make the folders "expandable", and collapse them by default if they are more than a certain amount (by default 2, but you can customize this threshold). Preview:

02 September 2008

Goodreads Exploder

Another little script for fellow GoodReaders: GoodReads Exploder will add a link to "Explode" all the books on the shelf in different tabs. It saves having to CTRL-click on each book or losing the original shelf page while you browse the books.

Since this might be a bit dangerous with lots of books, if the shelf contains more than 10 books, the script will warn you and give you the option to cancel the operation before your browser "melts". You can change the limit to suit your machine.

This script uses several of the most recent Greasemonkey features (GM_openInTab, getValue, setValue...). It was a lot of fun to write, Greasemonkey really is a fabulous toolkit; the FF Extensions framework is, in comparison, very complicate and burdensome (which I guess is the trade-off for all the power they give developers).

01 September 2008

a question of Snopes

Somebody you love (or in your family) forwards one of those email-chains. It's not even too bad, the content is not racist or virulently conservative, even though it might be interpreted as a veiled anti-Muslim piece. Quite a few people are CCed in the email. What do you do?

  1. You just ignore the email. Nobody "on the net" pays attention to those anyway.
  2. You reply only to the sender, pointing to the relevant Snopes link, and admonishing on the perils of forwarding this sort of chain.
  3. You hit "reply to all", pointing to the Snopes link. The level of "flamin' & shamin'" in the reply will depend on your willingness to maintain a friendship with the original person.

This just happened to me, and the sender was... my mother, who increasingly uses email (without being particularly techno-inclined).

After careful consideration, I went for option 3, keeping the tone as soft as possible. I have to say I've done it because it explicitly mentioned "UK schools" in a negative tone for something they are not, in fact, doing at all. I also thought this might teach my mom never to forward this sort of things, no matter how good they seem, in a stronger way than just admonishing "behind the scenes". However, I now feel a bit guilty.

What would you have done in my situation?

(This is clearly material for a comedy sketch...)

Amazon-to-Goodreads Greasemonkey script

This is a little Greasemonkey script that will add a link to Amazon item pages to see the reviews on Goodreads (if the book is available there). The result will look like this:

You can download it from here: Amazon-to-Goodreads Greasemonkey script 2.0. Note that you will need to install Greasemonkey first, if you haven't already.
I also put the script on Userscripts.org as well.