DrProject‘s wiki parser has reached—in fact, passed—the point of no return. We tried replacing it a couple of years ago, but the results were disappointing. I’m now thinking about trying again using ANTLR to generate a (Python) parser. Yes, it means developers will have to use a Java tool in development, but (a) I hope that only a few people will ever need to muck with the parsing (we’ll check in the generated grammar), and (b) as far as I can tell,the pure-Python alternatives are not as well developed, documented, or supported. Plus, this gives me an excuse to do some coding—it’s been three and a half years, and I’d like to contribute something to DrProject besides bugs. I’m starting in on the documentation now; if you’re in Toronto, and consider yourself an ANTLR whiz, please drop me a line.
I resubmitted a major grant application last Friday (or re-resubmitted — there was some back and forth too painful and boring to go into here). After celebrating my birthday in quiet but satisfying ways (yes, being woken at 5:30 am by a baby can be fun), I had a little time to think about what it is I’m actually trying to do in this job. Figuring out how modern collaboration technologies ought to be incorporated into software project portals is part of it; so is figuring out how to improve the skills and productivity of scientific software developers. But here are a couple of other things I’d like to have an impact on:
- Jay Goldman, Eli Singer, and Mark Kuznicki have an article in the Harvard Business Review about the TransitCamp they organized last year. There’s a lot of names in the thank-you list at the bottom of Jay’s blog post about it—none of them, so far as I can tell, from the University of Toronto.
- Six Canadian companies are showing their stuff at DEMO08: none of them from Toronto.
I know it isn’t a new complaint (i.e., people were probably already grumbling about this in Italy in the 1400s), but I’d really like to see the university and local innovative companies talk to each other more, and Toronto talk more to the rest of the world about what it’s doing. Big rock, steep hill, but if this is where my daughter is going to grow up, I think it’s worth trying…
In keeping with today’s spirit of re-using and recycling wherever possible, I would like to propose that the word “knismesis” be redefined, so that instead of meaning “light tickling”, it means “that slightly disoriented feeling of having invaded someone else’s personal space you get when faced with their keyboard bindings, GMail configuration, and other e-preferences”. The adjectival form is “knismetic”; the l33t form is, “Ew, I’ve been knizzed” or “Ew, that’s *so* knizzy…”
You heard it here first…
…but Tim Bray thought it was a blast, and so did Jon Udell (who has posted his talk—very interesting, as always). 1 and 3 describe the talks they attended, and 2 should ask himself if attitudes like his are part of the reason for the gender gap he bemoans (quote: “Wow, there were female hackers! And they were all really pretty and cute. And they really were girls! And passionate about computing! And really good at it too! Awesome! Women who talk more about perl than pearls! How hot is that!”.