Author Archives: Nonochef - Page 2

Rice boy complete – Order of Tales now ongoing

Woot! It’s time (for me) to go over it all again from the start. If you haven’t read it do your eyes a favor let them enjoy Rice Boy.

Once your done with Rice Boy, switch over to Evan Dahm’s new project Order of Tales It’s updated often so it’s worth it to keep current. I love his naïve style and the themes of this one.

Girl Genius web comic

Discovered that comic recently, don’t remember from where. I was rapidly hooked. Went from the start of the archives and got current in a matter of days.

It’s amazingly entertaining. the settings is steam punk with very strong Marvel influences. The beginning of the archives is in black and white, but quickly becomes full colors.

Let’s list characteristics of this comic: funny, beautiful, well written, political, science-fictional, victorian, robot-frantic, epic, romantic, gothic, rich setting, full of intrigues, strong visuals, heroic, super-heroic, full of mad-science, action-driven… and probably lots more. The diversity of the influences and the many-leveled story line makes for a very refreshing work.

It all takes place in a fictional europe and the political landscape is rich and complex. The past and its discovery meshes intricately in the story line.

The art is very rich and dense. A bit ‘babe’ driven but still very pleasing on the eye. There’s sometimes a bit too much density in layouts for my taste, but hey, Marvel’s been doing that for years and it works.

Writing is good, lot’s of funnies in there, stereotypes are used and abused. Story twists are always extremes and keep the pace very fast and engaging. Characters are well defined and there’s a certain Marvel quality to them. Punch lines delivered mid-combat and such.

Ok I’ll stop gushing about it now and let you go and read Girl Genius.

Interesting and very rich online music system

http://listen.grooveshark.com/

Fight my brute!

http://bognasse.labrute.fr/

Cool little flash fighting game. Lots of weapons and different techniques and stuff. What’s funny is that the combats are resolved by the computer, you don’t have to actually fight.

The Romance of Transportation in Canada

The Romance of Transportation in Canada, Colin Low, provided by the National Film Board of Canada

Romance of Transportation in Canada ,The

A light-hearted animated short about how Canada’s vast distances and great obstacles were overcome by settlers. The story is told with a tongue-in-cheek seriousness and takes us from the intrepid trailblazers of long ago to the aircraft of today and tomorrow. A 1953 Cartoon Short Subject Oscar®-nominee.

Everything about napping

From the Boston Globe

Eddie Izzard

I HAZ A FUNNY (Eddie Izzard – Learning French 6:30)

DA FUNNY HAZ FUNNY CLOZ (Eddie Izzard – Evil Giraffe – 2:06)

IZ LANGAJ IZ DIFRENT (Eddie Izzard – Being Bilingual 3:24)

yet another good comic on xkcd.com

xkcd comic logo

Bruce Sterling on interaction

Interesting talk by Bruce Sterling about Interaction design, future vs science-fiction vs technology.

The first couple of minutes are a bit buzzword heavy, but it sets the pace and context for his message.


Bruce Sterling from Innovationsforum on Vimeo.

django

I’ve started using Django at work and I’m completely seduced. I don’t know much python but it’s very easy to use and setup. I’ve got it running on my OS X machine without too much hassle by using the instructions in the Django Book.

Django is a MVC framework (forcing the use of a clean Model/View/Controller pattern) that was developed to solve real world problems with web development. It is very robust, efficient and stable.

The four most prominent advantages to using Django are:

databases are abstracted
This allows you to define your models in a very efficient python format. It also allows for Django to manage field types commonly used in web development (URLs, email, etc.) It also enables very efficient automagical form generation from your models. Django will automatically creates your tables in the database of your choice (MySQL, PostgreSQL, SQLite, MSSql, Oracle, etc.) and manage connections and SQL queries.
automatic admin sites
Once your models are defined and your database created, you can enable very easily an admin site. “Very easily” is an understatement. This is simply awesome. No more spending hours to validate fields and modifying your admins each time you add or modify a table. Django does it all for you. the admin sites generated are very robust and usable. Django will add little widgets for specific data types (ex: calendar selectors for date) and do all the dirty validation work. If you set your models correctly you can stop worrying about weird data bugs caused by bugs in your hand-made admin. A whole lot of problems and headaches simply disappeared. The admins generated are extendable, you can use the admin engine to override and customize the admin. You don’t need to start from scratch.
URL are abstracted
This takes some time to get used to. Files are not served directly like what I’m used to. In django, URLs are mapped to functions. In a easy-to-use format, you specify what function serves content to what URL pattern. This is great because you can easily make pretty urls (in fact it would be harder not to have pretty urls) for your website, it’s also easier to manage parameters that way. My experience with pretty URLs have not been good. URLRewrites are server specifics and often added as an afterthought. In django you have to map your URL first.
a robust and easy-to-use template system
The MVC pattern really shines here. The template system is simple and very easy to work with. You can keep integration and design almost completely separated from the database and it simplifies the sharing of HTML code like nothing else I’ve see.

The only disadvantage I see about Django vs my usual PHP/MySQL approach is that it changes the hosting parameters completely. I’ll start using it for my personal use that’s for sure, we’re already setup for using it at work, but I won’t be able to easily develop sites for anyone on any server. Python and Django are needed, and some configs have to be enabled on the server. This will eventually make me look around for a new host.