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monkeyYaml part 2, or unexpected longevity


Ten years ago, I hacked out a limited parser in Python for YAML, which I named monkeyYaml. I even blogged about it. It turns out that this code is still in use. Not only as a backup, but as the *only* parser for front matter in the test262 repository. Initially, I used import yaml to […]

Don’t Know Much Philosophy…


I really like my idea of what philosophy is supposed to be. Unfortunately this doesn’t seem to align with what philosophy is to other people. Notably, I took two philosophy courses in undergrad and earned a D in the first and a D+ in the second. But now I’m taking a sabbatical, and I am […]

Recalled To Life


Hello again! It’s been almost ten years since I last posted here. Back in 2014 I was working on a chemistry app for pre-medical students; my idea was to make it easier to understand and remember enough organic chemistry to do well in the required classes and on the MCAT exam. I realized that it […]

Like Poor Old Ollie


I was thinking some more about the new game “Shadow of Mordor” (read the review by Carolyn Petit here). I can’t really add anything to her review — she makes it sound like the plot of God of War was transplanted into an Assassin’s Creed game set among some of Tolkien’s ideas — not truly […]

Monkey-YAML (or: Reinventing the Wheel)


In theory, we’re never supposed to reinvent the wheel. In theory, we’re supposed to fix things correctly. Well, as Yogi Berra allegedly said, the difference between theory and practice is that, in theory, there is no difference… Some time ago I got involved in the Test262 project (you should too!) and, one thing leading to […]

Installing node.js 0.10 on CentOS5


I have an old stable internal server that’s running CentOS 5.10 which I want to use a staging/development server for modern node.js applications. The problem is, current prebuilt versions of node.js can’t be installed on CentOS5, since CentOS5 has GNU libc 2.5 and the prebuilt node.js RPMs are only for Fedora/RedHat/CentOS 6, and are linked […]

Chemical Structure QR


Getting from a printed chemical structure to a structure database is slow and painful. Every printed chemical structure should include a Chemical Structure QR Code with the InChIKey for the compound.



I’m starting a week-long work block today — that is, I’m planning to work from 5AM to 5PM straight every day, like a “normal person”. Danielle has graciously consented to spend one week of her vacation doing everything else that needs to get done. Since last week we had a “stay-cation” where we went out […]

Books I recommend to everyone


My friend Evan asked about design books and I spouted off a few – including The Systems Bible, which I now feel guilty about, because it’s not strictly a design book. I included it because it talks about how system design fails, and it’s humorous and I think teaches some larger truths. It was originally […]

Passing options to node on the shebang (#!) line


Someone on #node.js wanted his script to pass a command-line option on the node shebang line. When I suggested he use the “-x” hack…