Author Archives: Mark Eaton


Last week I attended Smashing Conference, which is apparently a conference of somewhat long standing in the field of front-end development, or so I am told. I opted for the online version, rather than in person, because it was cheaper, and because I was out of town on the conference days. So I logged in […]

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In which we puzzle over what is a “framework”

As I move more of our website’s code to the idiom of Vue.js, I wonder how to best explain this to my colleagues. Vue is commonly referred to as a “framework”, but this is not super enlightening to a non-programmer. It can be a bit hard to explain what Vue does, because it deals in […]

Posted in javascript, vue | Comments closed

In which, undeterred, I try to figure out what to write next

One never-ending challenge for faculty is finding things to write about. The problem is especially acute for those on the tenure track, but it really applies to almost anyone in a faculty role. Moreover, coming up with the wrong idea can be a real setback. It’s possible to spend months working on a topic before […]

Posted in research | Comments closed

From the archive

I recently dug up an old paper about indexing that I never published. It’s pretty brief, but I think the main argument still stands, so I’ve shared it on CUNY Academic Works. Maybe of interest if you’re interested in indexing, or the politics of software. Here are the details: Title: Automation, Abstraction and Building It […]

Posted in indexing, software | Comments closed

Top 10

I just noticed that in the WordPress classic editor, you can list your blog’s top 10 most used tags! If this were 2005, I would make a word cloud! For your amusement or interest, here they are for this blog: learning journal recommender LibGuides Python JavaScript Twitter Google Mastodon API homepage

Posted in meta | Comments closed

Fall is here

The fall semester is starting this week, so it’s a natural inflection point in the academic year. Our departmental website committee wrapped up our summer weekly meetings last week, committed all the code we’d written over the past few months, and made it live. Things are going to shift dramatically in September. I’ll be spending […]

Posted in eresources, homepage | Comments closed


Programming around dates, times, and timezones is painful. I’ve done this in Python and in JavaScript and it was miserable either way. It’s due to the complexities of time that we mostly ignore in our day to day lives. We are able to do this because we generally are not in multiple timezones at the […]

Posted in javascript, python, time | Comments closed

Hours widget

When we built the current library webpage in 2021, I wrote a homemade widget in JavaScript to display the library’s hours. It has worked consistently since then without any problems, perhaps surprisingly, since the code is very ugly. This original version of the widget drew upon a custom JSON file with the hours data, which […]

Posted in javascript, libguides, widgets | Comments closed

Languages and idiom

This summer, I’ve been going to a French speaking meetup in Crown Heights on Friday evenings. It’s a nice to end the week by simply sitting outside and chatting in French. It’s got me thinking about natural and programming languages. My ideas on this are probably very naive, so please forgive me, and feel free […]

Posted in language, meetup | Comments closed

The last days of the Open Journal Matcher

Yesterday I took the Open Journal Matcher offline. It had a good run of just over two years. I was reaching the limits of my comfort level maintaining this kind of production system. Technical debt had built up, and my enthusiasm for maintaining the project had ebbed. My hope is that someone will pick up […]

Posted in journal recommender | Comments closed
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