grey sheep

Herder: Automagic scheduling of a convention

Tom Parker wrote “About once a year I go off with about 30 of my friends and go and play role playing games and board games for a week in a big house out in the country. This is kinda awesome, but as we’ve increased the numbers we’ve been having fun with the scheduling. Namely, we need to…”

First impressions of Idris

Ashley Hewson wrote “Lately I’ve invested some time learning Idris. I wanted to share some thoughts on being a beginner at Idris, in no particular order. My experience has been positive overall, so if you’ve been tempted to try it out, I hope this will encourage you to go ahead. I’m not going to discuss my motivation for…”

By Btcpg (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Practising Software Engineering

Matthew Sackman wrote “A tourist stops a musician on the streets of New York. “Excuse me, can you tell me how to get to Carnegie Hall?” “Of course”, answers the musician, “Practise, practise, practise!” In the book ‘Outliers: The Story of Success’, the author Malcolm Gladwell repeatedly mentions the “10,000-Hour Rule”, claiming that the key to achieving world…”

By Pink Sherbet Photography from USA [CC BY 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Application Patterns for the Outernet

James Uther wrote “I’ve been meandering through the Long Earth series by Terry Pratchett (may Death be as kind to him as he was to Death) and Stephen Baxter (not met Death yet). It’s a classic alternate universe setup, where one (contemporary) day the multiple worlds theory becomes reality and people find they can ‘step’ between alternate universes. Earth…”


Talky Jukebox bot

Tom Parker wrote “Previously I talked about our soon-to-be-new Jukebox (which is currently blocked on going live due to a Mopidy bug). At the bottom of that post, I mentioned Slack support, but hadn’t figured out what sort of form this support would take. The Mopidy search interface is perfectly good, but having something that notifies our #jukebox Slack channel…”

jukebox feature

Yet Another Jukebox

Tom Parker wrote “LShift has for a significant part of it’s history (at least 9 years, according to the blog post in 2006 about an earlier version) had an in-office jukebox. When I arrived here to begin with in 2010, there was the aforementioned earlier version, written in Erlang, and I have anecdotal reports of predecessors to that.…”

By J.smith (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Messaging, partition and consistency

David Ireland wrote “‘Why is this so hard?’ is a recurring theme of my RabbitMQ consulting at the moment. If a database gets a split brain, I just ask it to reconcile, and it mostly works. Why can’t RabbitMQ do that? Here is an attempt to explain that in fairly concrete terms. Imagine a simple system where a…”

[[File:Mary Pickford and mirror image cph.3b05765.jpg|thumb|Mary Pickford and mirror image cph.3b05765]]

Teaching Emacs Who You Are

Alexander Kahl wrote “To some people like me, GNU Emacs is more than just the most powerful text editing system in the world. We don’t just write prose and code in Emacs, we read and send our mail from Emacs, we browse the web using Emacs or write better versions of the Vi editor in Emacs. Sometimes however, we…”

By Paul Stein from New Jersey, USA (Crayon Test I) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

bbfy: BBCode in the Age of JavaScript

Alexander Kahl wrote “Some readers might remember BBCode, a dated HTML-like syntax that enables users of forums to apply markup to their posts while minimising the danger of injecting malicious content into the whole website. (note: modern HTML doesn’t use these tags, anymore) While ubiquitous back in the early noughties, it has become a rare sight these days. WYSIWYG editing components…”

By Skrrp (Own work) [CC BY 3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

RabbitMQ throughput: assigning blame

David Ireland wrote “Recently I looked at the instrumentation API to see what I could figure out about allocation performance. Actually, there’s a bunch of information available via erlang:system_info:  (rabbit@mrclumsy)2> erlang:system_info({allocator,binary_alloc}). [{instance,0, [{versions,"0.9","3.0"}, ... It’s far too long to include here, but it at least confirms the allocator is the best fit allocator. Erlang also promises that coalescing…”