A Good Day

A few misc. items…

Happiness & Economics … What a wonderfully weird chart this is.  It’s weird in two ways.  First off what the heck is going on in the US?  Secondly this is basically the inverse of the chart of happiness v.s. income.

Programming languages – There is a very nice dialect of Lisp build on top of the Python ecology.   Sort of analogous to the way clozure is built on top of the Java ecology.  It’s called hy. Very smooth interoperability with Python, across many Python implementations.  For example you can casually load libraries written in hy into python code and visa versa.  Macros, backquote, real lambdas, everything is value returning, etc.  Surprisingly it even works pretty well with the Python debugger, such as it is.

Pricing games – As an collector of amusing pricing games this article that attempts to puzzle out the details of MTA ticket pricing is fun.

Programming – I wish I could find a standard tool that would let me make a compressed archive and then insert a descriptive header of unpredictable size at the front of it.  Something suitable for when you are building an archive by streaming and after the fact you want to prepend the cataloging metadata.  I guess I’m just a bit surprised that this use case isn’t so common that we don’t have a widely used tool that supports it.

Current events – NYPD?  What a bunch of babies!

Tourist Info:  The Brooklyn Art Museum is amazing.

3 thoughts on “A Good Day

  1. Douglas Knight

    Your programming issue seems to me oddly underspecified. Probably you want to shoehorn your metadata into a standard format so that the metadata, or at least the data is readable by standard programs. But that only makes sense if you specify the format. Whether it is even possible depends on the format and I’d expect a different tool for each format. But if you drop that requirement, you are free to invent your own format and I suggest: a tarball of two files, readme and payload.

  2. bhyde Post author

    A tarball of two files, the first being the meta data, would achieve the goal that there is a prolog of metadata which describes the rest of the data; but it would require two passes over the data. That’s the crux of the problem. I’m surprised there is no existing way to use the tar (etc. etc.) family of archive formats in a way that lets you set aside a chuck of space at the beginning of the file so you can return to it later to fill it in.

  3. Douglas Knight

    OK, I think I understand the problem. When you talked about variable length metadata that you would “insert,” I thought you were going to concatenate files in the end, and tar isn’t much worse than cat. But if you really don’t want to go over the file again, you have to have fixed length metadata (and your own terminator, padding, etc). As a format issue, it’s probably legal in most formats to change the metadata in place, which is why you didn’t specify a format. But the problem is that most tools to change metadata aren’t designed to change it in place, but will write out the whole file, even if the length didn’t change.

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