Thanks to Victor Mair for mentioning “Drawing as Translation” in his Language Log post “‘Tis the Season: blooming in translation and in art”. If anyone has comments about blooming, that would be a good place to make them.
In the essay “Drawing as Translation” which is the topic of my previous post, I had this little diagram: This represents the process of restoring the “balance” of a drawing, if one were first to copy it mechanically from the original scene. Imagine a pen-and-ink drawing of a house. If the drawing showed every brick … Continue reading “Generalised Inverses, Adjunctions, Aesthetic Balance, and Too Many Cartoon Bricks”
I’ve subtitled this blog “What a web developer does”, and most of my recent posts have been about web development, mainly in WordPress. But I do other things too. One is drawing cartoons, which I blogged about in “How to Make Pencil on Tracing Paper Look Good with Gimp”. I recently went to the Oxford … Continue reading “Drawing as Translation”
Here’s another nice review, written for me by Andrew Moore. To the general public, Andrew may be known for recent features such as Evidently Cochrane’s “Paracetamol: widely used and largely ineffective” and (with Nicholas Moore) the European Journal of Hospital Pharmacy‘s “Paracetamol and pain: the kiloton problem”. But these are just the tip of a … Continue reading “A Good Review II”
On my website, I’ve got two kinds of page. One kind is like my home page: coded directly as HTML. These pages are static, in that they are files which never change unless I edit them. The other kind of page belongs to this blog. These pages are implemented in WordPress, and are dynamic. When … Continue reading “How to List Blog Posts from outside WordPress”
Here’s a very nice review one of my customers sent. His site is still confidential, so I can’t show it here, but I can say that the WordPress theme he was talking about is a premium theme that works with WP Job Manager. The rest of the text below is his. Like the majority of … Continue reading “A Good Review”
Apropos my post in December about preferring to write outlines in HTML rather than Word, search for “stross word”. You will get some interesting results.
Here’s a useful website for overcoming a defect in Google: IndustryStandardSoftware.com’s Google Result Link Converter. It solves the problem that copying links from a page of search results is harder than it needs to be. For example, here are the first few results for “Oxford world class city”. These are long links, and Google has … Continue reading “How to Remove Mumbo Jumbo from Google’s Search Result Links”
In July 2016, Oxfordshire County Council ended bus subsidies to 118 Oxfordshire bus routes. It’s why Oxfordshire Neighbourhoods Partnership, who I wrote about in the posts starting at “How to Use Web Pages as Outlining Tools”, was so interested in helping neighbourhoods set up community transport. If you’re over 60, these cuts are a double … Continue reading “An Example Community-Transport Site”
This post is a plug for the company who host my website, Mythic Beasts. My site has been around for a long time, and has accumulated not only research papers, lecture notes, essays, and free programs, but even a recipe book and a tribute to the Excelsior café. It also has an assortment of interactive … Continue reading “Happy Hosting with Mythic Beasts”
(Continued from How to Use Web Pages as Outlining Tools IV.) To do this, I coded an outline as a list of lists, using HTML <ul> elements. This gave me a bulleted list of bulleted lists, where each list item was a topic such as “A bit of our history” or “New Vehicle Appeal”. I … Continue reading “How to Use Web Pages as Outlining Tools V”
(Continued from How to Use Web Pages as Outlining Tools III.) The trouble with Word is well expressed in author Charlie Stross’s blog post “Writing tools”. He explains why Word is not ideal for writing his science-fiction books, and why it’s bad even for other tasks. Later on in the discussion, commenter Alex writes:My partner … Continue reading “How to Use Web Pages as Outlining Tools IV”
(Continued from How to Use Web Pages as Outlining Tools II.) Community transport costs money. For example, BACT, a volunteer group providing transport around Beccles and Bungay, inaugurated a new minibus last April. It cost over £52,000, a figure which presumably doesn’t include tax, MOT, repairs, petrol, and other running costs. I’d been asked to … Continue reading “How to Use Web Pages as Outlining Tools III”
(Continued from How to Use Web Pages as Outlining Tools.) I took the image at the end of the previous post from one of the maps on the Campaign for Better Transport’s site: an interactive map which lets you see the cuts to bus funding in England and Wales since 2010. For Oxfordshire, it shows … Continue reading “How to Use Web Pages as Outlining Tools II”
As well as web development, I’ve been working for a charity called Oxford Neighbourhoods Partnership or ONP. I needed an outlining tool for some of this work, and I’m going to explain how I used Sylvain Hamel’s Simple-expand. This is a a jQuery library for making web pages which you can click on parts of, … Continue reading “How to Use Web Pages as Outlining Tools”
A Summertown artist recently asked me to build her a WordPress site to show off her paintings. As with the other sites I’ve blogged about, I installed WordPress for her at Mythic Beasts, discussed the design of the site and chose a theme, and built a prototype showing the pages we thought we’d need together … Continue reading “How to Grab Images from Clickpic”
Here’s a useful little discovery. I’ve just drawn a cartoon about Trump winning the US Election. It was in pencil on tracing paper. Pencil is often said to be hard to scan, but this, after some thresholding and tidying up in the free image-editing program Gimp, worked very well as an image to display on … Continue reading “How to Make Pencil on Tracing Paper Look Good with Gimp”
(Continued from “How to Make a WordPress Blog Theme Match an Existing Website”.) I then copied the page source to a file called index.php in blog/wp-content/themes/bandolier. This is a so-called “template file”. WordPress uses some complicated rules about which template file to use to display different kinds of information. These are explained in the WordPress … Continue reading “How to Make a WordPress Blog Theme Match an Existing Website II”
I’ve been hosting the Bandolier evidence-based medicine site for Oxford pain researcher Andrew Moore. I’d previously collaborated with him on analysing drug-trial data, but this was the first time we’d worked together on a website. One thing we thought we might want to add was a WordPress blog; and since Bandolier has a very distinctive … Continue reading “How to Make a WordPress Blog Theme Match an Existing Website”
Were you to call a gardener to come round and tidy the garden, you’d give them instructions such as “mow the lawn, dig out weed clumps, then use my long-handled shears to trim grass overhanging the edges”. These seem clear, but they’ve omitted something crucial. Where should the gardener find the mower, the trowel, and … Continue reading “How to Run PHP under WordPress with Justyn’s Magic Includer”
In “A Promenade of Promenades”, I wrote about using AudioTheme’s Promenade theme to give a clear minimalist visual design to a Summertown teacher’s WordPress website. This teacher gives regular weekly classes, and asked me to list them on the site, all the way up to mid-2018. Promenade, as I also mentioned last time, was designed … Continue reading “How to Bulk-add Gigs in an AudioTheme Theme”
I’ve been using the Promenade theme from AudioTheme. A “theme” is a piece of software that determines the visual design of a website built with WordPress or some other content-management tool. One of my customers wanted Promenade for her site because of its uncluttered minimalist design, so we bought a copy from AudioTheme and experimented. … Continue reading “A Promenade of Promenades”
The RSDN is an association of software developers at Oxford University. I went along to their meeting on October 5th and introduced myself and some of the projects I’d worked on. Here’s a page about these. It covers the same material, more or less, as on my home page, but in more detail. The things … Continue reading “Introducing Myself to the Oxford Research Software Developers’ Network”
This is part of another computer-science tutorial I gave at the Oxford Institute. The idea was to use Python to demonstrate that in programming, functions can be as tangible as numbers, strings, or dates: that they can be assigned to variables, passed to other functions, returned from functions. In short, they enjoy all the privileges … Continue reading “Python Functions as First-Class Values”
Over the summer, I taught computer science to post-GCSE students at the Oxford Institute. Some of the students wanted to know about computer graphics and how to program animations. Could I find a way to do this without losing them amongst the complexities of Java method syntax and graphics libraries? As it happens, I’d come … Continue reading “How to Teach Computer Animation in an Hour: or, Flying Duck à l’Orange”
Today (and most of the past three months) are what we in the trade call Anna-Karenina weather. All good-weather days are alike; each bad-weather day is bad in its own way.
A customer I sketched in the Summertown Costa this morning, inspired by Charlie Stross’s blog posting about how news is bad for you, PSA: Ignore the news. Sketch Description A heavyset fifty-ish man sitting in an armchair reading the Daily Mirror. No sign of enjoyment is visible in his grim expression.
Today is what we in the trade call Ice Age weather. There’s a patch of snow in the shadow of a lock-up garage in Summertown that hasn’t melted since the snow fell five days ago. AND I THINK IT’S GETTING BIGGER. My neighbour is a geomorphologist, and he explained it to me. During our frosty … Continue reading “Ice Age Weather”
Today is what we in the trade call glove-on-the-wall weather. There’s a raw and gusty north-east wind, but it is dry. Mums are out with pushchairs, their toddlers wiping wind-runny noses and letting fall gloves from chubby pink fists. We are lucky to live in such a big softy of a country, where passers-by will … Continue reading “Glove-On-The-Wall Weather”
“Robots from Universe Next Door Rush to Steal our RAM.” “Black-Hole Storm Set to Batter Betelgeuse. How YOU Can Beat the Photon Floods.” “Keep Germany out of Singularity, Warns Minister. Secret Plot will Convert Jupiter to Hitler Super-Brain, Take Over EU.”
And speaking of Daily Express Weather, after writing that entry, I found this: Curious repeating headlines in the Daily Express in the NewsFrames blog. The author shows two collections of Daily Express front pages, the first running from 18 January 2013 back to 29 October 2012. It becomes immediately obvious just how often the Express … Continue reading “Curious Repeating Headlines in the Daily Express”
Today is what we in the trade call Daily Express Weather. It is colder than the Traitors’ Plain and more bitter than a friend’s betrayal. And it is the only day when reality caught up with Daily Express weather headlines, even though the Express has announced a Big Freeze every week since the end of … Continue reading “Daily Express Weather”
The images, in essence, are abstract political cartoons. She thinks of the economy while staring at the blank paper, then creates the artwork. From WSU instructor displays abstract political cartoons by Becky Wright, a piece announcing an exhibition by Kristina Lenzi.
Today is what we in the trade call “at least” weather. It’s spitting, but at least it isn’t cold. Yesterday was cold, but at least it wasn’t raining. All British weather is “at least” weather, apart from a week of August-hot sunny days in April which make you forget that it will rain, for at … Continue reading ““At least” Weather”
Another Moodle cartoon, expressing my discovery that a function for returning data about users can return fields, such as Skype ID, that the function for creating users can never accept. (See Why is the argument to core_user_create_users different from the result of core_user_get_users_by_id? .) Cartoon Description The orange Michelin-man-like Moodle figure is disdainfully pointing at … Continue reading “Moodle Cartoon: And You Need to Look Inside Every Single Plugin Before You’ll Know Which Unenrolment Method You Should Call”
This is the cake that was presented at the Oxford town crier competition. I took the photo during the lunch, between the morning and afternoon halves of the competition.
I’ve put up my photos of the Oxford town criers’ competition of July 2nd. It was a noisy and colourful day, which we finished in an open-top tour bus full of town criers in their regalia, all shaking their bells at the people on the pavements and shouting. You’d be surprised how surprised a citizen … Continue reading “Oxford’s Town Crier Competition 2012”
The art manuals say that the feeling of not being able to draw is merely the sensation that accompanies the act of drawing. From the short story Zoology by Simon Ings,in the collection When it Changed, edited by Geoff Ryman.
I drew this today after they read out my email about their forecasts and suggested I draw a cartoon of Greg forecasting.
Following my original blog entry about this, the implementors have posted some details on the Semantic Wiki Interest Group list, swikig. See the thread called “Multi-way relationships?“.
SF has inspired many researchers, but when will the media stop reporting research as though it were SF? Here’s a feature from the Sunday Herald about Professor Tim O’Shea, now Principal of Edinburgh University: Back in the mid-1970s, Timothy O.Shea had a vision of the future which he has lived to see come to pass. … Continue reading “Dr. Who gets professorial chair; Batman, Robin as assistants”
“Still having a hard time with that monster?” Jean asked. “Monster?” “You know. The bureaucracy.” He nodded, smiling — then, remembering, said “Yeah. Always the same story, day in, day out.” Jean snorted. “I’m still not convinced that thing even exists, you know. I checked the library for a slightly less wonky definition, but now … Continue reading “Parkinsonian Selection”
I used to think the brain was the most important organ in the body, until I realised who was telling me that. – Emo Philips. Quoted by Daryl Gregory in his short story Second Person, Present Tense.
I’m experimenting with semantic wikis as a front end to my Excelsior spreadsheet generator. I’ll say more about this in another posting, but the point here is that some of my semantic annotations need to be relations with more than two arguments. Most semantic wiki engines don’r implement general n-ary relations: if you need them, … Continue reading “BOWiki: Semantic MediaWiki with n-ary relations”
Going on from yesterday’s post BOWiki: Semantic MediaWiki with n-ary relations, I wonder whether anyone has implemented a semantic wiki in Prolog? Most semantic wikis restrict themselves to binary relations, I assume, because RDF does so. Prolog predicates, however, can take any number of arguments. But I haven’t yet found any Prolog semantic wiki engines. … Continue reading “Semantic Wikis in Prolog”