Birch Street Computing -

about me

John M is a Linux fan in Lowell, MA.

I work at at a company writing software. I fool around with Free and Open Source software for fun & profit.

I was big into and you can still see some of what I listen to there. I can also be found using github and recently sourcehut as well as bitbucket (historically). I don't care for most popular social media sites. If I have an account on one or the other it's probably either old and unused or was created just for tinkering.


Links to things I like, use, or otherwise feel is worth sharing. Things I'd like to see get more popular.

Good Things in Bad Times

The good news starts off with the release of Mercurial version 1.2, in which my largest contribution becomes part of an official release. Now people who have multiple branches (probably named branches) that are unwanted can close a branch. As with normal operation in Mercurial nothing gets deleted, as that would change history, instead a new commit flags the branch as "closed." A closed branch can then easily be ignored by commands or tools. The heads and branches commands can be set to skip displaying the closed branch.

The other big thing in the release that is relevant to me is the addition of the pure-python modules. The parts of Mercurial that were covered by C modules now have python equivalents. I like this for a couple of reasons, it makes it easier for folks to try running on Jython or PyPy or other similar platforms. I also like it because python is (for me at least) easier to read than C. Now its easier to get the gist of a module before seeing the work done to speed it up.

Next up is the pleasant discovery of matplotlib a graphics & plotting library for Python. Or, I could say re-discovery because I think I ran across it a while ago but forgot about it. Now that I need to draw graphs with lots of data points for work, I think this lib will really come in handy. The result even looks pretty.

My self-made tool for partially synchronizing my music directory between desktop and laptop is making some good progress after being dormant for a while. The "pull" and compare functions are working but I still need to implement a "push" operation. The tool is heavily influenced by the Mercurial cli and even some of its code structure. I will probably will make the code available, but don't plan on advertising it too much. The "database" structure isn't a generic one with wide application.

Every blog page or article on this site is available under the CC-BY-SA license unless otherwise noted.