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 […]


Some Thoughts on Digitizing the Stage

I attended the Digitizing the Stage conference, jointly between the Bodleian libraries and Folger Shakespeare library. A basic storify exists here for the various tweets. A mix of performance, textual, makers, and doers, this was a chance to consider the needs of archives, scholars and the data for ongoing scholarship. I noticed a disenchantment with […]


Jane Austen’s word choices

A Facebook friend had a link to an NY Times piece on Jane Austen’s word choices. Using Franco Moretti’s techniques, it begins showing how Digital Humanities can be useful. There are one of two of his books that I am waiting for before I can get into the pros and cons but I do have […]


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 […]


Approaching physical user experience as a total novice

As part of a project that I am involved with, I am currently trying to design some hardware. It is mainly casing around the components but it is completely new experience for me. I have never tried building anything for a person with visual impairments before, let alone a user experience. It is certainly a […]


Background music in podcasts

Music can be an interesting topic for audio, such as podcasts and so on. It is something that I have a passing interest in for other purposes. Pitchfork magazine has an article on the issue reflecting on luminary podcasts such as This American Life, The Secrets of Successful Podcast Music.


Studying at the Sussex Humanities Lab

It is with an absolute joy that I’m going to the Sussex Humanities Laboratory at Sussex University to do a PhD in the autumn. I recently gained an MSc in Software Engineering at Oxford. I have been trying to do more in Digital Humanities and this was an opportunity that I could not miss really, […]


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, […]


Continuing on the path to better reproducible work

Last year I had the pleasure of helping Julia Stewart Lowndes at a Software Carpentry style workshop in Oxford. I got notice of her paper, Our path to better science in less time using open data science tools, [1] via various means and made time to read the other day. It describes the path taken […]


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 […]