Content from 2013-01

On Aaron Swartz
posted on 2013-01-13 12:36:00

I can't remember a death feeling this much like a personal attack. The best way I can describe the feeling is this: One of my heroes was slaughtered by my government for defending my beliefs. Of course, the sad reality is that Aaron took his own life, persecuted or not. As a disclaimer, I never knew him over the net or otherwise but I always looked up to him as one of our brightest lights. As written in another article, I have always aspired to be more like Aaron and can see myself winding up in his position, fighting his battles. That's probably why he is the most significant activist of this generation for me. To everyone else who is grieving, I love you. Hold together and we will create the better world that Aaron was so clearly fighting for.

EDIT: Initially, I had intended this post to explain in greater detail why Aaron's death has affected me as much as it has. I couldn't quite find the words but John Atkinson has done a beautiful job capturing my feelings on his blog. Please read it.

Other articles on Aaron's death follow:

Lessons from Coleslaw
posted on 2013-01-06 14:40:00

Is there anything more pointless than a new blog engine? Probably not. 4 months ago, I wouldn't have thought that I would be distracted from my Lisp 6502 emulator so long or that I'd have this much fun writing blogware. It is amazing, however, just how much you can do with a bit of time and ~600 lines of lisp.

Lately I've come to realize my favorite part of hobby programming is that I essentially treat it as creative writing. One of the reasons I love Lisp and find myself using it so much for hobby code is how easily it enables me to experiment with new coding styles. In Coleslaw's case, this has meant a stronger focus on CLOS and API design.

I like to think there's a clear stylistic shift in my projects, from the earlier and messy imperative of Paktahn, through the neat but overly macro-heavy cl-scrobbler, to the more balanced style of my present day code. It's no surprise that some of my favorite lisp luminaries, Peter Seibel and Luke Gorrie, talk a lot about code as literature and readable programs. Hopefully, I will continue to progress in that tradition.

Coleslaw 0.8 is hereby released. The biggest features are multi-site publishing and support for new content types. Here is an example bookmark or tweet-like content type that may ship in a future release, Shouts. See the NEWS for further details. It's time to get back to Memory Mappers for a bit and see if I can't get actual NES emulation going in pure Common Lisp. See you next time, Planet Lisp.

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