Category Archives: Software Engineering

Prototyping, tracers and the art of throwing things away

I’m a fan of prototyping. Not all the time but I strongly believe that it has a place within the toolkit. If I am unsure of how something might be put together then I might put together a quick version to test out a current approach. If I am working with a team who know […]

Reflections on the Docker Containers for Reproducible Research workshop

I’ve just come back from an workshop run by the Software Sustainability Institute about Docker and reproducibility. Widely used in industry and academia, Docker, the containerisation technology, is perhaps one of many tools to support the running of software across different platforms in a sane way. Two or three years ago, there was a huge […]

Sometimes the project is for turning

In a speech to the Conservative Party in 1980, Margaret Thatcher said that the “lady’s not for turning”. Projects are not always like this. Recently a decision was made to change direction completely. A project meeting was held and a demonstration of some technology shown that followed the agreed project path. In the following conversation, […]

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 […]

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 […]

Audio fingerprinting and AudioContext study

Having a quick surf around this morning on the bus, I came across this post on Techcrunch about a study from Princeton University into online trackers. They were able to create a fingerprint of a machine using the AudioContext API that allowed for the tracking of machines. As the article mentions, online privacy will be […]

Notes from visualisation workshop

Notes from yesterday’s Digital Humanities visualisation colloquium at Reading on 31 March. Reuse of models in different form: tensions between drama and academic use. Life of Rome as MMORPG. VR seems big: Oculus Rift and Google Cardboard. What’s the sustainability? As the tools become more available and publication modes. How does the digital output fit […]

Scripting Scyther

As part of my latest course assignment, I have been using Cas Cremer’s Scyther tool for one of the questions. It is a Python programme that allows a user to test a protocol for security properties. It is very user friendly once it gets going but I got frustrated with having to go the directory […]