Author Archives: Mark Eaton

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Further into Mastodon

Joining Mastodon in 2017 turned out to be a positive change for me. Twitter had been making me depressed and anxious, and I needed a way out. At that point Mastodon – an open source social network – was unfamiliar to me and seemed rough around the edges. But the people I found there were […]

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Open Journal Matcher is here

I’m very pleased to let you know about a project I’m releasing today, the Open Journal Matcher. It’s a resource for people looking to find a suitable journal for their work. Paste in a draft abstract and see the best matching open access journals! Open Journal Matcher uses a natural language processing library called spaCy […]

Posted in doaj, journal recommender, open access, open source | Leave a comment

Backing away from GCP

I finally got a working prototype of my journal recommender project up and running; I just shared it with a few co-workers yesterday. However, it has been a bit of a journey to get here: I was only able to get the project finished by backing away from Google Cloud Platform. I won’t dwell on […]

Posted in google, python, pythonanywhere | Leave a comment

Some things are harder remotely

I know there has been a lot of talk about how people will continue to work from home, even after the virus fades. This seems mostly sensible. I find I can do most of my job from home quite well, thank you. Of course teaching and reference are more difficult remotely, but the rest is […]

Posted in projects, remote | Leave a comment

Beginning again

The past few months have been humbling for me, programming-wise. I’ve struggled a lot with Google Cloud Platform, without much success. It’s been frustrating. It has also forced me to re-evaluate my progress as a programmer. The real issue has been that I failed at being a self-reliant problem solver. It’s one of the hallmarks […]

Posted in google, learning | Leave a comment

Puzzles

Sometimes, it’s important to enjoy coding for it’s own sake. It can be fun to solve problems and bend your brain a bit. Work doesn’t always offer this. Sometimes work is, well, work. That’s why this weekend I’ve been spending time with checkio. Checkio is a programming puzzle site, where the only goal is to […]

Posted in learning | Leave a comment

The (much needed) back burner

Some technology projects really test my patience and stamina. Either they’re too advanced for me, or they use badly-documented technology that’s hard to work with. There is sometimes an upside to this frustration: it’s good for me to try things that are difficult or at the limits of my skill set. But it’s also nice […]

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

There be dragons…

For a beginner trying to solve a programming problem, there is a lot of readily Googleable help. You can usually solve your problem with very clear, specific, and accessible instructions. Things are different a bit further down the programming path. As the problems become harder, the solutions become less obvious. For example, I now might […]

Posted in learning | Leave a comment

Preliminary thoughts on Google Cloud Platform

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I was granted a bunch of Google Cloud Platform credits. I’ve started using them, and here are my initial thoughts: There is a Cloud Platform service for most of the use cases I can imagine for my project. This means that there are a lot of options to […]

Posted in google | Comments closed

Async

I started working with Python around version 3.3, which predates the addition of asynchronous features into the language’s standard library. Asynchronous programming in Python has come a long way since then; it is now a well-established feature of the language. I first wrestled with async on an Amtrak train, on my way home from the […]

Posted in async, python | Comments closed
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