Weeknotes: Becoming functional

It has been a week of moving something onwards and making it in the way that I’ve like to see it made.  I enrolled onto the Software Engineering course at Oxford this year. In all honesty, it has been an upward and somewhat rocky journey but I am enjoying it. Now.

I signed up for the Functional Programming course for which Haskell is used. It is a suggested requirement for Concurrent Programming (which uses Erlang) but I thought it would be a chance to stretch myself and learn something completely different.

As well as the course reading, I looked at Functional Programming in Javascript having downloaded Michael Fogus‘s Functional Javascript (O’Reilly, June 2013) and Neal Ford‘s Functional Thinking (O’Reilly, July 2014). Within a couple of hours, I managed to get a working prototype to transform some data working and could see how being Functional was allowing my work to be more functional.

Plans are in hand for some hackdays as well. More details shortly when I post the resources.

Also, the new ACCU CVu magazine arrived with a great article on testing from Pete Goodliffe, editor of Becoming a Better Programmer (O’Reilly, July 2014).


Upgrading CouchDB on OSX Mavericks

I installed CouchDB on OSX a while ago using Homebrew. I think it was at last year’s All Your Base Conference. Anyhow, I merrily ran brew upgrade on it without using it much. Until today. I want to play around with some data and thought that CouchDB would be a good database for it. I […]


Thoughts on algorithmic regulation

Over the weekend, the Observer published Evgeny Morozov’s essay “The rise of data and the death of politics“. It is an impassioned plea about the rise of data and technology to solve political issues and the rise of Tim O’Reilly’s coined phrase “algorithmic regulation”. I am aware of the slants on both sides: both have […]


A blog becomes a book and thoughts on the process

The discussion on the future of publishing, or at least the strand that has come my way, is often about how digital is eating traditional publisher’s lunch. Techcrunch‘s John Biggs has written a few posts about this recently and the Kindle Unlimited launch and whether it is a good thing or not and Danny Crichton […]


Zero copying with ZeroMQ

I have been looking at the ZeroMQ zero copy pages for a project. I’ve dipped in and out of ZeroMQ over the last few months but am looking at it in a different light. I’ve been building some toy applications with it to greater or lesser success, such as File transfer system, and so on. […]


Partially reviving the Open Literature project

One of the projects which I have been involved in with Open Knowledge is the creation of a WordPress plug-in for the existing Textus project. To be fair, it has gone more slowly than I would like but I have finally got a test site up using Redhat’s OpenShift which makes it very easy to […]


Beginning to visualise the nodes of hours

A while ago, I looked at the ideas behind the Beautiful Trouble book at the suggestion of someone and the idea of monadic visualisation. In this post, I offer a short overview of the project and some of the issues and then an overview of the libraries used. An overview of the project I thought […]


A glimpse into the wormhole

The High Scalability blog posted a link to Facebook’s new posts search system and the Facebook Notes written about it by a member of the engineering team. One of the sections mentioned the Wormhole publish/subscribe system that they developed to push data across multiple data centres in near real time. At a very basic level, […]


Random Links

The Observer’s New Review section had a short piece on the British Library’s Beautiful Science exhibition, “How visualising data has changed life … and saved lives“. That section also ran a larger article on the new wave of small press magazines and their design aesthetic. The common theme seems to be having a focus. Wondering […]


In which PandoDaily draws from its roots – journalism and presentation

PandoDaily ran a piece called “From word games to spy games” on the encryption and the NSA’s attempts to undermine it writen by David Holmes, and Explainer Music (where he is a co-founder). Whilst the content interests me, it was the way that the piece was put together that really intrigued me. The subheadings had […]