James Saiz : Blog James Saiz - 2005/06

James Saiz

journeyman of some

Blog James Saiz - 2005/06

On Way Back to Boston

I'm currently at Zürich airport waiting to catch a flight back to Boston. Had a wonderful trip—photos will be online at some stage.

Hundreds of emails and thousands of blog entries to catch up on :-)

2005/06/29 : 0 trackbacks : 0 comments (permalink)

MorphGNT Update

A couple of months ago, I talked about the current process I'm going through to identify errors in my morphologically parsed Greek New Testament, MorphGNT. By the end of April, I was down to 400 mismatches I needed to check. At the time, I thought I'd be able to finish going through them by the time I left to go to Europe on holiday.

Unfortunately, I haven't actually worked on it at all the last month. I'm leaving tomorrow but still have 350 mismatches to check (an estimated 14 hours work).

Hopefully I'll get it done some time during July and then I'll be able to release another version of MorphGNT.

2005/06/10 : Categories morphgnt : 0 trackbacks : 4 comments (permalink)

Three Weeks Off

I'm at the British Airways lounge at Logan Airport, Boston, just about to get on a plane to Zurich connecting via London.

I'll be travelling around Austria and Switzerland for the next three weeks—don't know if I'll be blogging at all during that time, but I'd say I'll find the chance.

2005/06/10 : Categories travel : 0 trackbacks : 3 comments (permalink)

Leonardo 0.6.1 Released

I am pleased to announce the release of Leonardo 0.6.1.

Leonardo is the Python-based content management system that runs this site and provides blogging and wiki-style content.

This is a minor bug fix release which updates the two wiki-formatting engines.

You can download it at:


by James Saiz : 2005/06/09 : Categories leonardo Python announcements (permalink)


I finally got to watch Primer on DVD. Actually, I watched it twice in a row (and some scenes a third time).

Imagine if Darren Aronofsky had directed a screenplay that Christopher Nolan wrote after wondering what Back to the Future would have been like if Kubrick had made it instead of 2001. (sorry, that was the first thing that came to mind :-)

Wow! The last two films I can recall that had this much of an effect on me were The Usual Suspects and Memento.

But in the case of both The Usual Suspects and Memento it was the writer and director's (or writer/director's) second film—the masterpiece they made after they cut their teeth on a first feature. But Primer is Shane Carruth's first film. Made for $7000 (shot on Super 16 with mostly practicals and, apparently, a pretty close to 1:1 shooting ratio). Seven grand! Heck, the eventual blow up to 35mm alone would have cost way more than that.

It's not perfect. The acting was sometimes a little off (although David Sullivan is great) and there were occasional problems both with focus and sound quality. But that doesn't stop it from being one of the best films I've ever seen. It will be very interesting to see what Shane Carruth will do next.

On the one hand I'm totally inspired to go make my first feature. On the other hand, it sets the bar so high, I'm almost too scared to. After all, one only gets one chance to make a first feature.

2005/06/09 : Categories filmmaking : 0 trackbacks : 2 comments (permalink)

Continuous Functions are between Topological Spaces not Sets

In the Poincare Project, I've said things of the form "a continuous function from (some subset of the real numbers).

There's an assumption in that phrase that's worth pointing out.

Whenever someone talks about a continuous function, they are actually talking about a mapping between topological spaces rather than just between two sets. This is because the definition of "continuous" requires a topology.

So, in this context, whenever I say "the reals", I mean "the topological space consisting of the set of real numbers with the standard order topology". Recall that any totally ordered set has a particular topology that can be derived from the ordering relation.

Mathematicians frequently take this kind of shortcut and it should always be clear from the context what is being referred to. But I think it's useful to point out because I think it's something that needs to be understood explicitly.

2005/06/08 : Categories poincare_project : 0 trackbacks : 55 comments (permalink)

Apple on Intel and the Osborne Effect

A number of people (such as Jeff Nolan) have suggested that Steve Jobs's announcement of the move to Intel will hurt Apple due to the Osborne Effect.

If Steve had announced that a G6 PowerMac or G5 PowerBook was going to ship in 2006, wouldn't that be just as likely to cause an Osborne Effect?

So even if there is an Osborne Effect, I don't think see why it should be attributed to the switch per se.

Mind you, given there are always new technological innovations, holding off on something you were planning to do now because of an announcement about a release a year away doesn't make that much sense to me. A quarter or two maybe. But not a year.

But then again, no one said the Osborne Effect was rational. Just that (some) humans think that way.

2005/06/08 : 0 trackbacks : 4 comments (permalink)

Mentoring the Summer of Code

I've put my name forward as a Python mentor for the Google Summer of Code. That's not to say that the Python Software Foundation has accepted me as a mentor for official projects, but I'm making it known that I'm interested in helping out.

If you are thinking of applying and you have an interest that might overlap with mine, please feel free to email me.

Besides the specifics of a project, I believe I can help a lot with more general questions of software craftsmanship in an open source context.

In light of my previous blog entry, this definitely feels like an opportunity for me to "give back", although that phrase generally makes me cringe :-)

UPDATE (2005-06-30): I'm official mentoring Elliot Cohen's Bayesian Network project. Watch this blog for updates.

2005/06/07 : Categories Python software_craftsmanship : 0 trackbacks : 12 comments (permalink)

Yet Another 2D Political Test

The Political Gauge (via Norm Walsh)

No surprises:

On Non-Fiscal Issues, you rank as a Moderate Liberal (34). On Fiscal Issues, you rank as a Strong Conservative (84).

I still find it confusing that Americans call economic liberals "conservative" and being fiscally "liberal" means anything but.

2005/06/07 : Categories politics : 0 trackbacks : 2 comments (permalink)

Be Careful What You Ask For

I was ego-surfing Google Print and found that a question I asked the FoRK mailing list back in 1999 had been quoted in a book.

The email read:

My XSL formatter/renderer, FOP, is soon to have more than just myself as the developer and as I communicate with would-be co-developers, I've started wondering about software engineering in open source projects.

There have been numerous musings on the business and anthropology of open source. Is anyone aware of readings that address the actual software engineering issues?


The book is Understanding Open Source Software Development by Joseph Feller and Brian Fitzgerald and my second paragraph is quoted on page 6.

I don't mind they quoted me—it's just funny that it was just a simple query to a mailing list that they quoted.

Incidently, I've done a lot of collaborative open source and distributed development since I asked that question. I should probably blog what I've learnt as a way of answering my own question, six years on.

2005/06/07 : 0 trackbacks : 0 comments (permalink)

Google Sitemaps

For as long as this blog has had an Atom feed, I've also published my entire site as an Atom feed whose entries include the pages outside the blog too. I'm not talking about a "recent changes" feed (although that would be useful), I'm talking about a snapshot of the entire site.

It was initially just an experiment in uses of Atom beyond blogs but it had the interesting side-effect that, if I subscribed to the feed in Bloglines, Bloglines would tell me whenever someone referenced a non-blog page on my site.

I don't publish the URI of my "site map" because, until Leonardo has caching (which is the big theme of 0.7) it's too inefficient to generate frequently.

Now, thanks to Google, I have an extra incentive to do so. Google has just announced Google Sitemaps which is a format for informing search crawlers about resources that exist on your site.

Like Bob Wyman, I wondered why they couldn't have just used Atom as the format for this. Well, buried down in a FAQ, Google say they will accept Atom 0.3 feeds. So the feed I produce for jtauber.com will work right now.

I still would have preferred them to adopt Atom as the primary format and just use extensions for any extra information they needed.

2005/06/04 : Categories google atom_format this_site leonardo : 0 trackbacks : 1 comment (permalink)


Consider two paths in the same topological space, X. Let's say one is the image of the map f from the interval [0, 1] and the other is the image of the map g from the interval [0, 1].

If it's possible to continuously deform f to g the two are said to be homotopic.

If x is the parameter for a path and t is the parameter for the deformation then we can think of the deformation as a continuous map F : [0, 1] x [0, 1] -> X where

and F(x, t) for some t, 0 < t < 1 is a path somewhere along in the deformation from f to g.

F is referred to as a homotopy from f to g.

deformation of one path f to another path g viewed as a map from I x I

Homotopies, as we shall soon see, will turn out to be a key to the topological difference between a sphere and a torus and will form the basis for our description of the Poincaré Conjecture itself.

2005/06/03 : Categories poincare_project : 0 trackbacks : 10 comments (permalink)

Atom Publishing Protocol

Dave Johnson of Roller fame has a great post outlining how the Atom Publishing Protocol will work.

I've commented before that I'd like to support blog clients in Leonardo and felt that a REST style made this much more straightforward.

Fortunately, Atom Publishing Protocol (APP), shares a very similar model to Leonardo so it looks like adding APP support to Leonardo will be fairly easy.

Also, the next version of Leonardo (discounting any bug releases) will switch to supporting the final version of the Atom feed format (assuming it's done in time, which it should be).

by James Saiz : 2005/06/03 : Categories atom_protocol leonardo (permalink)

Leonardo 0.6.0 Released

I am pleased to announce the release of Leonardo 0.6.0.

Leonardo is the Python-based content management system that runs this site and provides blogging and wiki-style content.

New features include:

You can download it at:


2005/06/01 : Categories leonardo Python announcements : 0 trackbacks : 1 comment (permalink)

Java method implementations whose arg types are broader than declared in the interface

What is the motivation for disallowing this in Java?

interface A {
  void foo(C arg);
interface B {
  void foo(D arg);
interface C {}
interface D extends C {}

public class E implements A, B { public void foo(C arg) {} }

The compiler complains that E doesn't implement the foo(D) required by B.

I realise the underlying issue is that the following doesn't compile either:

public class F implements B {
  public void foo(C arg) {}

but I don't understand why Java disallows it?

2005/06/01 : 0 trackbacks : 9 comments (permalink)

Tintin Movie News

It's been ages since I've heard any news about Spielberg's live action adaptation of Tintin.

Via Animated News:

Quint at Ain't It Cool News recently visited the set of Steven Spielberg's War of the Worlds, coming to theaters June 29, 2005. Within this revealing two-part article is not only interesting information regarding War of the Worlds, but small details on Spielberg's other upcoming projects as well. For instance, after discussing King Kong with Peter Jackson and seeing a reel showcasing the magic at Weta, Spielberg feels that the computer effects company is capable of bringing Tintin's faithful canine companion Snowy to life in the Tintin film Spielberg is producing.

2005/06/01 : Categories tintin : 0 trackbacks : 2 comments (permalink)

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