Atomic conditional inserts with complex conditions

I was going to blog about the software I’m currently writing, but that’s not happening, yet (although it’s been beta-test-ready for about a week and, given that I’ve made just under 100 subversion larger-than-ideal check-ins in the last seven days, it’s been getting refinements literally almost by the hour).  Instead, I’m going to share a little trick I came up with to do atomic conditional insertions into a database without using triggers or conflicts.  Indeed, I’m using little old sqlite3, so there’s nothing fancy going on in this database at all.  Sure, the software I’m currently working on is probably going to be open sourced at some point, but this would just get buried in there.

Continue reading “Atomic conditional inserts with complex conditions”

Jam-packed week

Yes, it’s that crazy week again.  Pi Day, Dead Caesar Day, and St. Patrick’s Day.  But that’s not why this week’s blog post is so short…  I’m trying to cook up a storm (having likely discovered one unrelated HTML5 bug in each of Safari and Firefox), so we’ll see what happens next week.  Hopefully there will be less RFC reading next week.

Fault tolerant… public transit

I was going to write a proper blog post today, but I got stuck in a good old fashioned TTC delay for about forty minutes this morning (this also means I haven’t proofread this post nor thought too much about the topic). Some poor folks that left later than I may have been held up by multiple delays. Indeed, a single delay on the TTC seems to invite further delays. I.e., though long delays aren’t (that) frequent, once there is one delay, multiple long delays seem to crop up. If the TTC has statistics on the number of chains of delays that appear within half an hour of each other, I’d love to see if I’m just experiencing a memory bias (also likely). However, I’m not here to rant today, but to put some thoughts down I had during my bonus (cramped) quiet time today.
Continue reading “Fault tolerant… public transit”

Newest CS assignment for CSC120

Yesterday, Michelle Craig and I were discussing ideas for the last assignment for her CSC120 class, Computer Science for Scientists. The assignment had to include some components of databases, Python dictionaries, file reading, and string parsing. What we settled on was automatically generating a class composite; the idea was based off of what I had for the Food-In conference. Instead of including the group that each person belonged to as I had for the Food-In attendees, we’ll put something in like college, instruments played, favourite transition metal, or programme of study. Food-in composite, generated entirely in Python from individual headshots, after the jump.
Continue reading “Newest CS assignment for CSC120”