Coding Beyond The Screen, Part I


I'm sitting in Portland International waiting for my flight after the end of the Tcl/Tk conference, so it seems an appropriate time to continue my series on software aesthetics. Previously I talked about writing individual procedures, small and large. But what about entire modules—files—of code?Some modules are simply one utility procedure after another with a header comment at the top. Those are straightforward. More often, though, I prefer to implement a module as an ensemble command: a … [Read more...]

Portland, O Portland

So today is my last full day in Portland, and due to the weather and the conference activities I haven't actually been out of the hotel since Tuesday evening. (It was genuinely icy at times yesterday.) I'm going to have to go out today, though, as the conference is over just before lunch and the hotel restaurant is your basic $50 steak place. The clouds appear to be thinning this morning, so with luck even if it's cold it might not be wet or windy. We shall see.My talk went well … [Read more...]

Presenting Quill

Tcl Logo

This morning I'll be presenting my paper on Quill, here at the Tcl/Tk conference in Portland. I'm looking forward to it eagerly.This conference has had a different feel than most, as we've had very little interaction with the surrounding downtown area. The conference proper begins Wednesday morning and ends around noon on Friday, and usually provides a lunch and dinner during that time. This time, however, the number of attendees was lower than expected, and since the hotel requires a … [Read more...]

Book Reader Notes: Kindle vs. iBooks vs. Google Play

Crows with book and glasses

I read mostly e-books these days, and mostly using the Kindle App on my iPad. I like; it works for me, and quickly becomes transparent for me: it's just me and the book.However, I do have a collection of e-books I've acquired for free. As an example, we bought a copy of a David Weber book a while back that had a CD of most of his books in ePub format. I copied them all into Calibre on my desktop, and in the past I'd read them using Apple's iBooks app. It worked well enough, even though … [Read more...]

On the Ground in Portland…

...where it is cold (by Los Angeles standards) and windy, but clear. I strolled up to Powells' City of Books, and nosed around for a bit, but mostly I've been at the conference hotel. It's a small conference this year, only 27 attendees, but I'm looking forward to it. … [Read more...]

Review: Gay and Catholic, by Eve Tushnet

Eve Tushnet

Eve Tushnet has been blogging about being a celibate gay Catholic since the term "blogosphere" was shiny and new, and though I haven't followed her career closely I've been aware of her presence in the Catholic world for a long, long time. Thus, when I had the opportunity to receive a review copy of her book Gay and Catholic I jumped at it.I should probably begin by saying that this book was not written with people like me in mind. I'm straight and happily married with four kids. The book … [Read more...]

Oprah Winfrey and Catherine of Siena On Setting the World Ablaze

The Refiner's Fire

Some while back a FaceBook friend posted two quotes together:Oprah Winfrey:Know what sparks the light in you. Then use that light to illuminate the world.Catherine of Siena:If you are what you should be, you will set the world on fire.But of course, these two statements aren't identical. Oprah's dictum is focussed completely on the individual: find out what brings out the best in you, and then bring that to the world. And that's good advice. But Catherine's subtext is … [Read more...]

A Few Words About

Question Mark

You can't spend long on-line these days without hearing about, that arbiter of Internet truth; and over the last year I've several times read anti-Snopes rants, along these lines: Who are these people? What are their credentials? They have no credentials! They pretend to be experts about subject XYZ, but they've got no training in XYZ! And so on, and so forth. Many of them call Snopes' political leanings into question.Here's the deal. is run by Barbara and David … [Read more...]

Quill v0.3.0


Quill v0.3.0 has now been released, and is available on the Quill Release Page. Binaries are available for OS X, Windows, and for 32-bit and 64-bit Linux.Quill is a project automation tool for Tcl/Tk projects. Quill creates project directory trees with skeleton code, and manages many project tasks, including running tests, building documentation, preparing libraries for inclusion in a teapot repository, building applications, and building distribution sets. Some of these capabilities … [Read more...]