Category Archives: rant

programmers who get respect

I was just re-reading this interesting rant from Zed Shaw, author of “Learn Python The Hard Way” and other “the hard way” books: The whole blurb is worth reading to see his point of view, although I disagree with some … Continue reading

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word processor versus typesetter

Today I saw a couple of scientific papers which were written with a word processor (probably Microsoft Word, but possibly libreoffice) instead of a typesetting approach (such as TeX/LaTeX). I realized how fortunate I am that I seldom have to … Continue reading

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starting with hdf5 — writing a data cube in C

pre(r)amble Let us start using hdf5 to write out a “data cube” — in our example a series of scalar values f(x, y, z). hdf5 is a library written in C but it can be called from many programming languages. … Continue reading

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can anyone believe your results? (reproducibility)

Here are things I have heard working scientists say: I made the plot in excel I played with the plot in excel until it looked good I’m not sure how I got from the raw data to the plot I’m … Continue reading

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Kevin McCarty’s “physics software rant”

I have always liked Kevin McCarty’s Physics Software Rant.  I think he’s on the money in pretty much all his points. He starts out with “First and most importantly — Choose a license!”, then goes on to show many specific … Continue reading

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is there a curriculum problem in universities?

I have thought for a long time that most universities are neglecting at least one important part of preparing students for real research work: the confluence of mathematics, computing, and the specific scientific topic. A student’s first research project in … Continue reading

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