Archive for January, 2005

RIP: Johnny Carson 1925-2005

Monday, January 24th, 2005

Johnny Carson passed away over the weekend. A sad loss as he was truly a great entertainer.

I am just old enough to remember Johnny Carson as the host of The Tonight Show. I used to sneak downstairs and hide behind a chair and watch the show. I’m pretty sure my parents knew I was there.

Not only was Mr. Carson a brilliant comedian, but he was a great interviewer and– on stage– a great role model (his personal life was a mess, apparently).

In particular, Carson’s stage presence, whether solo or interviewing, was brilliant.

As an interviewer, Carson was one of the few who always seemed to maintain respect and interest in the interviewee, regardless of how completely boneheaded that person might be. Yet, if a person was particularly vacuous, Carson could still pull off a great interview while illuminating the stupidity in a non-offensive and often very subtle fashion. Quite the fine line to walk and Carson did so brilliantly.

Big improvements to PyObjC

Tuesday, January 18th, 2005

Bob made a bunch of improvements to PyObjC. Go read the post for details. Some very cool stuff.

Commercial use of BitTorrrent

Saturday, January 8th, 2005

Blizzard’s World of Warcraft uses BitTorrent to download patches. The software includes a BitTorrent downloading client that also offers non-P2P downloads for those in environments that block all BitTorrent like traffic.

It is standard. I found the .torrent and have been serving it via a standard BitTorrent client for a while. Both a nice thing to do and my way of supporting legitimate uses of BitTorrent.

Well, almost standard. It appears that Blizzard’s patch downloader ensures that there is at least one viable channel open outside of the BT traffic just in case your system can’t reach any other system within the BT swarm.

It would be interesting to see the bandwidth charts for World of Warcraft BT traffic after a patch release. I wonder how it compared to to the infamous release of RedHat 9. The path is a lot smaller than a Linux distro, but I bet there are a lot more World of Warcraft users than RH9 users.

New CSS for ReSTedit

Thursday, January 6th, 2005

Ian Bicking submitted some new CSS for ReSTedit. It can be found in the subversion repository and I have built a one-off binary of the app that includes it in the app wrapper.

I re-rendered both the Primer and ReST Specification with the new CSS. Click through for a view of how it looks.

Thank you to Ian for providing the CSS! Very nice.

I also added the PEP CSS as found in the Docutils CVS repository. It is even more plain than the default CSS. There is certainly room for more styles.

Now I just need to figure out how to deal with setting a default style and potentially remembering the style per document.

CSS for ReSTedit (and reStructured Text)

Sunday, January 2nd, 2005

As a followup to my previous post, two folks have volunteered to take a crack at producing better CSS for use within ReSTedit and docutils. That would be a supremely welcome contribution.

I have rendered both A ReStructuredText Primer and reStructuredText Markup Specification. Each document embeds the default CSS included with docutils.

The ReSTedit README is a simple reStructured Text document that does not include the embedded CSS.

Note that this would benefit a lot more than just the ReSTedit community. docutils is the underlying formatting engine used by ReSTedit. It is portable to all platforms that run Python and has a good sized user and quite active user community. This subject has come up within that community several times and a choice of different CSS has been on the todo list for a long time.

Also, there is a growing community of weblogggers that are using reStructured Text for their posting. A variety of CSS would help that community, too.

Feel free to email me any CSS contributions. Anything that is an improvement will be added to ReSTedit and forwarded to the docutils community.

Update: Links to the spec and primer are [hopefully] fixed now.