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Web Excursions for April 01, 2014

Prune all those pesky branches that you have already merged, both locally and from remotes. On GitHub.
Is it better for Discourse to use JavaScript or CoffeeScript? - Discourse Meta
On the disadvantages of using coffescript instead of javascript
Datalicious Notebookmania – My favorite 7 IPython Notebooks
One of the most remarkable features of this year’s Strataconf was the almost universal use of IPython notebooks in presentations and tutorials. This framework not only allows the speakers to demons…
Text File formats – ASCII Delimited Text – Not CSV or TAB delimited text
ASCII delimited text solves the problems exporting and importing structured text files and is part of the design of the character set. Unfortunately a lot of people and systems use CSV and other printable delimiters such as tab that are broken by design.
It’s showtime in a terminal near you! Put on your best colours, resize to 80 columns, and let your fingers fly!

Web Excursion for March, 27nd

A short list of links I’ve bookmarked this week

  • This is why OneNote is awesome: Maybe a bit over the top, but there are truly a lot of reason to use OneNote as your note taking app;
  • kandan: An Open Source Alternative to HipChat;
  • CSS Diner: CSS Diner is a little game to help you learn CSS selectors. Type in the correct selector to complete each level. So cool!
  • Practical partitioning: A nice introduction to (MySQL) partitioning (in PDF);
  • Using GNU Stow to manage your dotfiles: How to manage the various configuration files in your GNU/Linux home directory (aka “dotfiles” like .bashrc) using GNU Stow. I’ve immediately started using this. I might, one day, blog about it.

Web Excursion for March, 22nd

A la Brett Terpstra, a short list of links I’ve bookmarked this week

  • Neovim: vim’s rebirth for the 21st century. An ambitious project by Thiago de Arruda to bring vim to the 21st century.
  • Get started with rvm: this was a better introduction to RVM and gemsets any documentation I’ve ever read on the RVM website. Highly recommended!
  • Tabula: If you’ve ever tried to do anything with data provided to you in PDFs, you know how painful this is — you can’t easily copy-and-paste rows of data out of PDF files. Tabula allows you to extract that data in CSV format, through a simple interface, running, if desired, locally.
  • Two factor auth list: List of websites and whether or not they support 2FA. I’ve activated two factor authentication on Gandi — which is a new feature, I guess.
  • OneNote: the premium note taking application from Microsoft has gone free and multiplatform. I’ve tried the Mac version, and I have to confess that, for being a 1.0, I’m impressed!

Github Pull Request Triage

Here’s an interesting project by Peter Bengtsson of Mozilla to get an overview of the pull requests for a given github repository. I’ve immediately gave it a try at one of our clients and I have to say that it works like a charm. Installation instructions can be found here.


I’ve finally bit it and started using Twitter bootstrap for my website and the blog. It was a bit of work (partially done while flying to and from Venice), but I took the occasion to do some spring cleaning.

A handful of GoDataDriven posts

In the past few weeks I’ve written a couple of blog posts at the GoDataDriven blog: Comments Widget

The other day I set up the Comments widget on this blog. Comments require an or Facebook account, as the Venn diagrams of the two have one of the smallest intersection in the tech world :)

This is my professional advise (!)

This is my professional advise, and if you need more proof, here is a Detective giving the same advice on youtube.

You would think nobody would ever never say something like that, but x0054 disagrees. He offers advice, (professional advice), on how not to get arrested. In case you don’t believe him, he links to some guy (a Detective) on youtube. This is 2014 folks!

Long time, no signs

It has been almost two years since my last blog post. My new year resolution is to not let that happen again.

I have some good reason for that though. Without any particular order:

  • I became father for the third time. Little Elena, as charming as she is, still keeps me awake more than needed (02);
  • I became a doctor in Theoretical Physics (02);
  • I finished my contract with FOM after four years of research (30);
  • I worked for a year at KPMG NL, as a consultant (01 – 30/09/2013); I spontaneously left to become a
  • Data Whisperer at GoDataDriven (01 – today). GoDataDriven is an amazing company, with a stellar team of colleagues.

You may notice a pattern up there: end of September, begin October is always busy.

Export to BibTeX from Papers (2)

If you always wanted to automate the tedious process of exporting your collection of papers in Papers to BibTeX here’s an Applescript that does that:

{% gist 8471281 save_bib.scpt %}

To use it, you should invoke it when the focus on Papers is on the collection (or selection of papers) that you want to export. The various variables presented in the script, pretty self-explanatory, should allows for enough customization.