• The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, by Robert A. Heinlein

    If you haven’t read it, put it on your list. I enjoy every single page of it. It’s one of my favorite books of all time.

  • Playing with React

    At some point I got fed up with Medium, where I was hosting my blog. The posts that I see are so formatted and undirectional (not to say condescending) that I start having an epidemic reaction when I see them. Most of them contain either why you should, or this thing is wrong and here’s why I’m right. In other words I don’t identify with the community at all. I still respect the quality of the platform and thank Medium for hosting my blog for so long, and I’m probably going to cross-post to Medium.

  • The 180 degrees shift

    On February I decided that it was time for me to move on from developing a scientific software for MS Windows using Fortran to the more current sotware applications developed for the web. Two months later I was starting at Lunatech, in Rotterdam. Why such a move?

  • Holidays readings

    I went back to France for Christmas holidays, by train as usual. I have a full day of travel, with a lot of time to spend, and some quiet time at my parents. I prepared it well: I downloaded several books from Safari Books Online on my tablet. Here’s what I’ve read, from cover to cover, or in diagonal.

  • EuroClojure - My first Clojure conference

    In the last week of October I went to Bratislava to attend EuroClojure, an important Clojure event organised by Cognitect. I took the week off, and paid the registration with my own money. Functional programming is too far from my day job, I practice it on my spare time, so that’s normal.

  • Hosting Numerry, or the adventures in finding a cloud provider

    In its simplest form, numerry is a tool for scientists to quickly plot and visualise data. That’s my personal pain point, the frustration to be solved behind numerry. The first use case is doing this on a desktop. Yet I don’t want to build a graphical user interface (GUI) per operating system, or resort to Java or Qt. No. I want to learn modern web development, and that means building the GUI for the web, even if first it’s going to run locally.

  • Numerry's logo

    I think I should first start with why spending time creating a logo.

  • Numerry's prototype

    As many new projects, from scratch or not, prototyping is an essential step. For side projects, which are often small try-outs, a prototype is not needed as the project is the prototype. Numerry is a full fledged application, a collection of prototypes in a sort: the graph database, the web frontend, the backend with the server and the graph execution, etc. It’s manageable as a collection of prototype components, but it’s still, for a one-man army on his spare time, quite a challenge. What I need is a high level prototype to get the whole picture. This will allow me to get a better idea of what is needed, what is not, what can; to get a proper design and refine it.

  • Numerry: visual algorithms

    Numerry is the name of my new side project, where I spend my spare time. The idea is visual algorithms: drawing them on the screen then executing them.

  • Recursive graph or not?

    Recursive graph or not? Or, infinite data structure or not?

  • My values

    I’ve been thinking about it for a while now, what are my values, my pillars. The foundations that define me. To me, being aligned and true to these values defines integrity. Our integrity is attacked every day, and it’s good to put words on the values that help us keeping looking and going in the right direction, answer doubts, and being proud of ourselves until the end.

  • Lifelong learning

    The first time I saw this expression, lifelong learning, was on ACM Learning Center’s web page. Later on I discovered that the terms were coined by Peter Drucker. In addition to the sweet sound of the alliteration, these two words included several important aspects of life, or, should I say, the way I see my life.

  • Chi più spende, meno spende

    I got this proverb from an italian friend who was quoting his grandmother. This means litterally “who spends more, spends less”. I’ve been thinking about it for some time.

  • Existence & Applications

    I finally decided to rename this blog into a wider name, a bit more personal too. For the anecdote this is the name of the first blog I had on livejournal twelve years ago. Programming Geomechanics was a nice one, but with the time, and after a full day of work, I also want to write about other things than programming or geomechanics. As you may have seen, it’s been a while since I last wrote.

  • The framework wall

    When creating a website, it is often tempting to use a so-called web framework. For the website of a friend, I opted for Django, as I had already some experience with it through the second version of my blog. This version, the third one, is a return to the web pre like button fueled by databases, as too much frustration grew out of the previous one.

  • Halting funfem

    After spending quite some time working on funfem, I just decided to halt it for an undetermined duration. That’s a bit sad but easily understandable. I work on finite elements all day long, and I just figured out that I did not have the motivation to work on finite elements again when back home, during my spare time. But how disappointing. Yet another halted project of mine.

  • Writing Essays

    I’ve just spent more than an hour trying to write an essay-like blog entry on a topic of software engineering. The conclusion is: it’s hard.

  • Funfem

    Time has come for me to introduce funfem. funfem is the functional finite element library. I could say it is a functional finite element library, but there aren’t enough of them to say it is yet another finite element library. To my knowledge, only femlisp exists, and it does not emphasize that much on the functional aspect of it. Funfem is open-source; it follows a BSD3 license.

  • Haskell blog engine

    I have moved recently from Django to static pages for my blog, using a Perl script and a git post-receive hook to trigger the updating script. That was too tempting not to write it in Haskell. The full source code is available on GitHub

  • Perl blog engine

    A few week-ends ago I wanted to clean up my Django-powered blog. But it went wrong, and even if everything was under version control, I decided not to use Django for it anymore. Don’t get me wrong here, I still think it is a great framework and I use it for the website of a friend; it is also a nice occasion to play around with Python. However, for my personal blog, I did not want to use a framework anymore, and even less a CMS.

  • Going minimalistic

    I came to ArchLinux in the mindset of taking more control over my OS, but also to move away from the eye-candy-yet-bloated desktop environments. So when I installed Arch I also installed Gnome 3, while I got used to the OS. Gnome 3 is nice, and I enjoyed using it. Still, my laptop is old, has a chipset instead of a proper graphics card so it was slow. The more important point is that I no longer appreciate this cpu expensive eye-candiness. I want speed and simplicity.

  • Moving to Archlinux

    Last week I decided to move to ArchLinux.

  • Learning Haskell

    For some time I was looking at a functional language to learn, as it is another approach on solving the problems we encounter every day. I started to look at Erlang, as it is used for CouchDB. Still, it is more network oriented, and I wanted something more general. I also thought of Lisp and Scheme. Then I stumbled upon an article from Simon Peyton-Jones, “On the importance of being the right size: the challenge of conducting realistic experiments”. I then took the firm decision of learning a functional language, and that this language shall be Haskell.

  • Pure procedures in Fortran

    In Fortran, a keyword I haven’t used enough so far is PURE. We want functions but also many subroutines to avoid side-effects. To ensure this, Fortran let us add the keyword PURE in front of a procedure declaration in order to tell the compiler that it does not contain any side-effect.

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