Category Archives: Programming

Looking into profiling Python

Periodically I get back to profiling code, or at least some of it. Profiling is an tricky art: I do not claim expertise but it is something that I come back to every so often. In a previous project I used strace to follow the ins and outs of a very long running process (about […]

Week Notes 31 March

Having managed to damage myself at the end of last week, I forgot to write a week notes. We have made progress on the Museum’s project in a slightly surprising way but more on that in due course. Talks have been written for submission. The work itself has helped the main project and I really […]

Software Carpentry and Reproducible Research at Oxford

Last month I instructed at a Software Carpentry workshop with the Reproducible Research Oxford group as Phil Fowler, my co-instructor, a has recently blogged about. He mentions Software Carpentry’s mission about reaching science students and comments: I think researchers in the Humanities and Social Sciences have just as much, if not more, to gain from […]

Reactions to Mark Zuckerberg’s letter

Mark Zuckerberg published a somewhat rambling letter / essay on Facebook, Building Global Community. In itself, it comes across as rambling, trying not to really engage at a deeper level. Surprising for me, Techcrunch called it out in Taylor Hatmaker’s piece, “What Zuck’s letter didn’t say“, pointing out the rhetoric and the reality of Facebook […]

Smoke testing Dockerfiles and their images

As a result of the work on building Dockerfiles to build Docker images that can then be run with the same build, I considered testing the files as it as being developed. This provides confidence that the file and Docker are installing the desired packages and that these packages can be run. One of the […]

Soft skills in developing Research Software Engineers?

I was at the Research Software Engineers’ conference recently and in the group discussing training. One of the themes that I advocated is training in soft skills such as communication. In part I meant this as the bridge between the developer(s) and business but on reflection, perhaps I mean something deeper as well. A while […]

New beginnings, new stories and finding ways of communicating

I am starting a new project with the Oxford University Museums to work on making art more accessible. My role is a technical one but I love visiting the museums concerned and it feeds out of an interest in audio and sound. One of the challenges at the moment is to create user stories for […]

The Audio Paper format announced in Seismograf

The Sound Studies Lab posted some recent work about Audio Papers that was published in Seismograf. A short overview might be The purpose of the audio paper is to extend the written academic text: to present discussions and explorations of a certain argument or problem in sound. I’m interested in this as I have had […]

Identifying depression on social media

I was skimming Arxiv yesterday and came across Moin Nadeem‘s paper on Identifying Depression on Twitter. I am a little skeptical of the area due to the Samaritan’s Radar application. There is an awful lot that is good to the paper and the work in it and clearly the model has something very positive about […]

Is UX really providing user experience?

Although I am not a gamer (no, have not played a game for years), Benjamin Brandell’s reflections on User Experience in 1990s games is a provoking read. His thesis is the contentious: the evolution of UX — although we know it now as a way to keep users sticking around — this is from a time period when it wasn’t […]