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Stuff of Interest - Week of Sept 17 - 23, 2006

Wow! It has been almost two weeks since my last post, and I was doing so well. Unfortunately, i got quite sick and then had an unexpected trip out of state (read: I forgot about it until the day before!) and now feel ill, yet again. But, determination brings me back. I was planning to post this on the 23rd of September, but the 6th of October is close enough. Regular posting will continue starting tomorrow.




This is the first in my weekly post of interesting links around the web. These are articles, websites, services, photos, and anything that else that I want to bring up on my blog, but can't use an entire post for. Being on any aggregation sites makes you think harder on each post and puts some weight on you against those little posts, at least in my mind.

Hopefully, you'll enjoy whatever I post here. Maybe you'll find a useful site, or learn something you wouldn't otherwise.

Really Smart Stuff

Ross Jekel, over on the Python 3000 mailing list, supported the existance of the GIL (Global Interpreter Lock) in a very clear paragraph). This came from a thread (yet again) about the possible removal of the GIL for Python 3.0, which will almost definately not happen. Instead, the most weight seems to be toward improving the effectiveness and productivity of multi-process or multi-interpreter-in-one-process communication to offset call between interpreter boundries. Awesome stuff if it happens!
After some initial surprise when I learned about it, I'm now okay with a GIL or even single threaded python (with async I/O if necessary). In my opinion threaded programs with one big shared data space (like CPython's) are fundamentally untestable and unverifiable, and the GIL was the best solution to reduce risk in that area. I am happy the GIL exists because it forces me to come up designs for programs and systems that are easier to write, more predictable both in terms of correctness and performance, and easier to maintain and scale. I think there would be significant backlash in the Python development community the first time an intermittent race condition or a deadlock occurs in the CPython interpretor after years of relying on it as a predictable, reliable platform.

Really Cool Stuff

In my effort to professionalize my blog, snazzy it up a little, and a general interest in having cool things to look at, I found stock.xchang, a free stock photo exchange website. There are great photos available there, and when I get my camera working again, I will definately be contributing to the collection.

Sometimes you just gotta say "Wow." I had a little trouble with the prototype applet running sluggish and buggy, but watching the demo video is just amazing. The software will extract 2D shapes into 3D models and allow you to extrude, cut, reshape, and just do some amazing things with an interface so simple that a kid could, and has, use it. Makes me want a touchscreen all the more, so I can have extra fun playing with this.

Really Quick Stuff

JavaScript Scope (and this) Explained in Detail
ParenScript - Lisp to JavaScript translator

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