Archive for the ‘programming’ Category

I’ve been thinking a lot about where the death’s head symbol, ☠, appears in the Python semantic analysis. The Python language, underneath all the churn and symbols, is only about 40 semantics in size (see: Python, The Full Monty), and most of those are fairly well-defined. The problem lies in this simple example: def f(y): […]

Introduction I’ve been trying to grok Matt Might’s Parsing With Derivatives for a while, and one of the better, clearer explanations for it that I found is Yehonathan Sharvit’s Clojure version. Since Clojure isn’t a language I know very well, if at all, although I do know some Scheme, I decided to try and re-implement […]

New work: autorotate. As I mentioned earlier, I managed to score a brand new Microsoft Surface Pro 3 for $230 (not including the additional cost of a new keyboard, stylus, and power supply… sigh) from a woman who much preferred her MacBook and was moving and had to get rid of everything she didn’t want […]

Last year, I worked my way through Lisp In Small Pieces, implementing several variants of the Lisp engine Queinnec described, most of them in Coffeescript. I’ve decided this year that I’m going to continue building out my language experience and write a scripting language. I’m still working out the details, but I’m working my way […]

Joe Wright has an excellent blog post about Anti-If Patterns that I naturally believe everyone who write programs ought to read, but there’s a detail that’s missing that I think is absolutely crucial to getting anti-if programming correct. Types. Yeah, you can yawn and leave now, if you don’t care. But I’m with Guido von […]

14Oct

PacMan doesn’t need AI

Posted by Elf Sternberg as Design, programming

The other day, I was reading through the course syllabus for a second-year AI class, as one does, when I noticed that the assignment for the sixth week was to turn in a working version of PacMan. Which is kind of weird, because the actual algorithm for PacMan involves more or less zero AI. It […]

My latest contribution to the world is Git Lint, a plug-in for git that allows you to pre-configure your linters and syntax checkers, and then run them all at once on only the things you’ve changed. About half of us still live in the command line, and I like being able to set-and-forget tools that […]

11Aug

What comes next?

Posted by Elf Sternberg as chat, programming

After publishing The Semantics of Python Import and explicating on the history and internals of how Python turns source code into running operations, I thought I had a pretty clear idea of what to do next. I extended Hy such that it was now possible to write an entire Django application in a Lisp dialect, […]

11May

Analysis Paralysis

Posted by Elf Sternberg as chat, personal, programming

There was an article highlighted in a variety of nerdy news sites called “I’m A Good Engineer But I Suck At Building Stuff,” and while I was reading it, I felt the writer Lionel Barrow’s pain. Because I’m a better engineer, but I still suck at building (some) stuff. When Barrow writes: “I find myself […]

24Aug

Pattern Matching And Lisp

Posted by Elf Sternberg as programming

No, I don’t mean regular expressions.  I mean that thing that you see in “modern” programming languages where you’ll have two functions of the same name that take different arguments do different things  We use it all the time.  The plus symbol, “+“, often has two separate meanings, and is often processed by two different […]


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